This week, Tuesday Teaser -- oops! -- became Thursday Teaser.
Because Castaway Cove doesn't come out until August 6th, I was going to wait a while to share excerpts, but pre-order paperbacks suddenly went on sale at Amazon for $4.69, which is 41% (!!!) off the listed Penguin Books price of $7.99, so I'm going to share a bit this week. You can also read the back cover copy on the book page.
Single dad Mac Culhane moved to Shelter Bay eight months ago after having survived an explosion in Afghanistan. He's currently living with his widowed father, who's returned to Shelter Bay from Portland Oregon, to take care of his father. Mac used to spend summer vacations at his grandfather's house in Shelter Bay.
Annie was on her way out of the building when she dodged a scooter —whose rider had swerved to avoid hitting Daisy, a calico who'd jumped down from a chair — and plowed into a man who was entering the building. Distracted by a display on his phone, he hadn't seen her coming.
"I'm sorry," she said as she was brought to a sudden stop by the rock hard wall of his chest. The wheeled bag carrying her craft supplies tipped over onto the floor.
"It was my fault." Sounding anything but apologetic, he shoved the phone into the pocket of his jeans. "I wasn't watching where I was going."
Although she couldn't see his eyes because of the wraparound Ray-Bans, she could feel the laser glare he aimed at the cat, who was currently calmly licking a paw. "Especially in this place with all the animals underfoot." His sexily beard-stubbled jaw was firm, his chin ruggedly square and marked with deep, delicious cleft.
Annie took a step back and lifted her purse strap, which had slid down her arm, more securely onto her shoulder. "I take it you don't like cats?"
"I don't exactly dislike them." He shrugged shoulders clad in a black T-shirt. "I just don't get them." His baritone voice roughened with exasperation. "They're not like dogs, who let you know exactly what they're thinking."
He might be testosterone on a hot stick, but with that disparaging comment, his sex appeal plummeted several degrees. Not only did Annie love cats, she was currently owned by a twenty-pounder she'd adopted at Charity Tiernan's Christmas pet fair.
"That's part of their appeal. They're mysterious." She bent to pick up her bag, but he was faster. "They prefer keeping their thoughts to themselves."
Wasn't she the same way? Life in the revolving door of the foster care system, then her failed marriage, had definitely taught Annie to keep what she might be thinking to herself.
"More likely people just mistake stupidity for inscrutability."
"I suppose that's one way of looking at it."
Well, wasn't he just Mr. Sunshine?
Annie felt sorry for whomever he was here to visit. Deciding she'd wasted enough time, she grabbed hold of her rolling craft bag, and after momentary tug of war, he released it.
"Well, again, I'm sorry to have run into you." Since she was all too aware of the fact that they'd begun to provide entertainment for a group of residents sitting at a table putting a jigsaw puzzle together, she managed, just barely, to keep the annoyance she was feeling from her voice. "Have a nice evening."
With that, she squared her shoulders and walked past him, toward the door. Although for some inexplicable reason she was tempted to look back to see if he was watching her, Annie resisted the impulse.
I've received several emails pointing out that book prizes from my author copies don't mean that much to people who read ebooks. So, for the moment I'm suspending weekly drawings while I try to figure out the best way to make it fair. I'll probably go to occasional, unscheduled Tuesday Teaser drawings where winners can choose whether to receive an actual book or a Kindle or Nook edition. Stay tuned. :)
Meanwhile, the winner of The Return of Caine O'Halloran teaser is MandCsmom! If you'll email your post office mailing address to JoAnn AT JoAnnRoss DOT com, we'll get your book out to you!