Friday, February 15, 2013

Egg-cerpt from Summer's Growth

Family Tree Club series
Keeper of Winston Manor
Advised by spirits
Carving out a future.

Prologue to Summer's GrowthBlurb:
Forced by the family spirits to get a life, Mattie Winston has to train her replacement Amber Harrison to be in charge of all the workings of the Winston estate. Reluctant to make changes in her life, Mattie forms a bond with Amber, when strange accidents start happening which threaten their lives and an unknown ghost makes an appearance.

After being rescued by an old flame, Quincy Miller, Mattie faces old wounds of rejection. As the general contractor for Amber’s redecoration project, Mattie is in constant contact with Quincy and realizes she still in love with her childhood sweetheart.

Amber, learning her new role in the family, wants to discover the identity of the ghost who keeps appearing. After several appearances, Gwen, Amber’s distance grandmother, shifts the book into more of Amber’s struggle to find out why her grandmother disappeared two hundred years ago without a trace. In a fight to claim her position in the family, Amber searches for clues to solve the mystery.

Mattie and Amber are both challenged when the family spirits decides Amber shouldn’t be the keeper. Battling for Amber, Mattie realizes she wants a life with Quincy outside the Winston estate.

Amber realized the importance of her new spiritual family, and she works to discover how Gwen died.

Can these two women achieve their goals?

“No reason for her to stay bottled up in the house with an old maid like me,” Mattie grumbled.

Alone and feeling sorry for herself, she stared at the cold ashes in the fireplace, a black mess with no hope of burning again. Just like her life. Once Amber assumed the job of keeper, she’d be free to do anything she wanted.

The sound of a car in the driveway alerted Mattie. “Amber must have forgotten something.” She walked out of the study on her way to the front door.

Surprised by the sight of Quincy coming up the stoop with bags in his hands, she leaned against the doorjamb. Butterflies fluttered in her stomach.

“I thought you might be hungry.” His winning grin prevented any objection she might have had.

Flustered, she sputtered, “But—”

“You said you didn’t want to go out, so I brought dinner in.” Not pausing, Quincy pushed his way past her.

His reasoning seemed logical, but Mattie wasn’t sure of his true intentions. She rushed to catch up. “Quincy, you really didn’t have to do this.”

“Sure, I did. I invited you to dinner, didn’t I?” he said over his shoulder on his way to the kitchen.

She longed to tell him to leave, but she couldn’t. Not after he’d gone to so much trouble to bring her dinner. His thoughtfulness disarmed her, weakened her knees as well as her resolve.

“I hope you’re hungry.” He pulled a rotisserie chicken and potato salad from a bag. “I even have dessert.”

From another one, he unearthed a pie and showed her the label. “Apple pie and,” putting down the pie, he reached back in, “ice cream.”

Delighted, Mattie squelched her giddiness by protesting against his efforts. “Quincy, you shouldn’t have gone to so much trouble. I planned on having a sandwich for dinner.”

Heedless of her words, he stashed the ice cream in the freezer and retrieved one more item from a different bag. “And these are for letting me have dinner with you.”

Quincy held out a bouquet of deep red roses, catching her completely off guard. Shocked appreciation snatched her breath away. Hands shaking, heart quaking, she stood rooted to the floor. She didn’t know how to handle this situation. No one had ever given her flowers before.

Mattie clasped the roses to her chest, mesmerized by their beauty. “Thank you, Quincy.”

Not releasing his hold, he stared into her eyes.

She couldn’t help but yield to the powerful forces between them, and swayed into his arms. Enclosed in his warm male strength, she trembled.

He ran his hand along her spine and slowly leaned closer.

She waited, expecting the soft caress of his lips on hers. At the last moment, he diverted his kiss and his lips brushed her forehead instead.

Stunned, she could only stare.

“Mattie, I’m trying not to rush you and take it slow, but I won’t deny I want you in every way a man could want a woman. So for now I need you to promise me something.”

Lost in the velvet warmth of his eyes, she knew she’d promise him anything. She placed her hand on his chest and breathlessly asked, “What kind of promise?”

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