Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tess Thompson’s ‘River Valley Collection' book tour: excerpt and giveaway


Welcome to our stop on  Tess Thompson’s ‘River Valley Collection' book tour hosted by CBLS Promotions. There is an excerpt from the second book, Riverbend, and a tour-wide giveaway.
Riversong (River Valley Collection #1) by Tess Thompson
Contemporary Romantic Suspense*Paperback/eBook, 278 pages
Publisher: Booktrope (March 11, 2011)
Available at: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

When Lee Tucker's husband commits suicide, he leaves her pregnant and one million dollars in debt to a loan shark. Out of options, she escapes to her deceased mother's dilapidated house located in a small Oregon town that, like her, is financially ruined, heartbroken and in desperate need of a fresh start. Lee's resilience leads to a plan for a destination restaurant named Riversong, to new chances for passion and love, and to danger from her dead husband's debt as her business blooms.

Author Tess Thompson (formerly known as Tess Hardwick) assembles a colorful cast of endearing small-town characters and takes you on a journey that will make you believe in the possibilities of life - even in the face of overwhelming adversity and unimaginable grief. Lee Tucker is the kind of woman you find yourself rooting for long after the last page is read.

A surprising mix of romance, humor, friendship, intrigue and gourmet food - Riversong entertains while reminding you of life's greatest gifts.

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Contemporary Romantic Suspense*Paperback/eBook, 272 pages
Publisher: Booktrope (January 15, 2013)

“Tag. I found you.”

Just as Annie Bell’s reputation as one of the best chefs in the Pacific Northwest grows to new heights, she receives a threatening phone call from her abusive ex-boyfriend. Marco is out on parole and hungry for revenge, blaming her for his ten-year imprisonment. Fearing for her life and that of her young son, Annie reluctantly accepts help from Drake Webber, a cold and wealthy recluse hiding a dark history of his own. Supported by the gang of misfits from their restaurant Riversong, Annie forges ahead despite her growing terror that Marco will appear at any moment and make good on his threats.

Author Tess Thompson reunites the colorful cast of endearing small-town characters from her bestselling novel Riversong and takes you on a journey that will renew your faith in love, friendship and the power of community – even in the face of seemingly insurmountable grief and fear. You’ll find yourself once again cheering for the residents of River Valley, especially the big-hearted and compassionate Annie Bell.

Escape with a blend of love, laughter, friendship, suspense and gourmet food while remembering it’s never too late for second chances.

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Excerpt: 
(From the Prologue)
2003

That night, just shy of midnight, she opened the window wide enough for someone to jump through. Dressed in lacy lingerie, she painted her mouth with lipstick. She sprinkled the pillows with drops of the men’s cologne. Then she climbed into bed, clutching the telephone in one hand and the meth in the other. And she waited.

Marco came home twenty minutes later. Annie knew he was the plus ten kind of drunk by the way he slammed into the hall table and the subsequent heavy and unsteady footsteps down the hallway as he made his way to the bedroom. She’d invented a scale to gauge Marco’s drunkenness. Five was the afternoon kind of drunk while watching football with some of his buddies. He was harmless then, almost playful. Anything above an eight meant that he would have his fists on her before he passed out on the bed.

His footsteps were closer to the bedroom now. She dialed 911, speaking quietly into the phone. “I’m being beaten by my boyfriend. Send police to 8011 Alvarado right away.” She hung up, bracing for the worst, hoping they would arrive in time.

Then he was in the doorway, his red eyes scanning the room, taking in the open window, her lingerie, and her painted mouth.

He yanked her from the bed, tearing the front of her nightgown apart so that she was in only her panties. “You little slut. You had someone here? In my bed?” He went to the window, shouting into the night like a crazed animal, “Where is the son of a bitch?” Slamming the window shut and locking it, he turned towards her, utter rage displayed on his now almost purple face. A vein popped from his forehead; his pulse beat wildly at his neck. Then, he lurched towards her, yanking her up by her mane of thick curls. She closed her eyes, knowing the pain was coming, and slipped the meth into his pants pocket.

Please, God, don’t let him hurt the baby.

He slammed her against the wall, smashing his fist into her face. She felt blood from her nose mixing with tears she could not control. But she did not cry out. She did not beg him to stop as she sometimes did. This time they were coming. She must hold on until they got here, until they could see what he did to her.

He shook her now so that her teeth rattled inside her head. “What? You’re not bothering to lie to me tonight?” He punched her face again, slamming her head against the wall. He tossed her on the floor and straddled her before slamming her head into the floor over and over. Then he was up, leering over her. He kicked her in the side, hard, with the toe of his boot. She cried out from the pain. She moved her hands over her stomach. She couldn’t get a breath. Had he cracked her rib? Please, God, protect the baby.

He was on top of her again, slamming her head on the rug.

Next, she heard a loud thump. Was it the sound of the door being kicked in? Yes. That was it. There were footsteps, too. Running feet. They were here. Finally someone would see what he did. Her sight was blurry now, her eyes swollen almost shut and stinging from the blood that dripped into them. But she no longer felt the pain. It was as if she were out of her body now and merely a spectator. And then suddenly Marco was no longer on top of her.

Through her dim vision, she saw there were two of them, dressed in blue uniforms and carrying long black sticks. One of them smacked Marco on the head with his club. Marco cried out and held his head in his hands.

“Check his pants pocket,” she managed to croak out.

One pulled Marco’s arms behind his back while the other searched his pockets. “Meth,” he said, opening the package.

One cop handcuffed him as the other one read him his rights, just like in the movies.

“You piece of shit,” said the shorter cop to Marco. “You’re going away for this and the drugs.”

“The lying whore had a man in here,” said Marco. “Everyone knows I have every right to kill the bitch.” He turned to look at her. “You’ll pay for this if it’s the last thing I ever do.”

She turned her face away as the cops shoved him towards the door.

An EMT was above her now. He was tan and had blond hair bleached almost white from sun. A surfer, maybe. The pain had found its way back to her consciousness. She moaned as he examined her.

“Bastard broke her arm. And a rib too, I think.”

“I didn’t have a man here,” she whispered.

“It’s all right. Don’t talk.”

“I’m pregnant.”

His eyebrows went up and down. There was alarm in his eyes but his voice was soothing. “Okay, kiddo. You’re gonna be fine. The ambulance will take you to the hospital.”

“I don’t have any insurance.” Her throat was so dry. If only she had some water.

“Don’t worry about it. We’ll figure that out later.”

“Am I dying?”

“No, you’re gonna be fine, kid. Just hang in there.” He was gently probing her stomach, his fingers pushing into the extra flesh.

“I’m sorry I’m so fat,” she said, tears leaking out the corners of her eyes.

“Shush now. Just stay still. It’ll be all right soon.”

“Hold my hand until they come?”

“Of course,” he said, taking it between both of his. Her hands were the only part of her body that didn’t hurt.

“Jesus, what an animal,” she heard him say as she felt herself drifting away.

And then it all went black.
About the Author:
Connect with Tess Thompson

Tess Thompson is a mother before all else, and a writer after that. After honing her craft in theater with a prize-winning play titled My Lady’s Hand, her heart was called to a different storytelling medium: the great American novel.

She is currently working on an ambitious historical fiction trilogy inspired by a story from her great-grandmother. The first of these, Riversong (Booktrope Editions), went on to become #1 on Barnes and Noble’s Nook Book chart in October 2011. Two years after its release, readership of Riversong continued to grow, spending weeks in the top 100 Kindle bestsellers. The second installment, Riverbend, is scheduled for release in May of 2013.

In March of 2012, Tess was honored to contribute to Write For the Fight, Booktrope’s collection of essays reflecting on life’s past, present and future. All proceeds from the sales of this collection benefit breast cancer research.

Like her main character in Riversong, Tess hails from a small town in southern Oregon. She currently lives in a suburb of Seattle, Washington with her two young daughters – a card shark working her way toward the tables of Atlantic City, the other a princess in training – and their wild but lovable dog, Patches.

Giveaway:
This tour wide giveaway is for 10 eBook copies (1 each to 10 winners) of "Riversong (River Valley Collection #1) " from Tess Thompson. Contest is tour-wide and ends July 13. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

4 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for having me! I'm excited to see who wins. Big hugs.

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  2. They look like some great stories.

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  3. Interesting stories

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  4. Both of these books sound wonderful. I look forward to reading them.

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