Monday, January 12, 2015

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway for Just the Way You Aren't by Lynda Simmons

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Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for Just the Way You Aren’t by Lynda Simmons.  Please leave a comment or question for Lynda to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway, for a $50 Amazon/B&N Gift Card, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can also follow the rest of the tour by clicking on the tour banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning. 


The Newcomer

I shouldn’t have come inside.  I know better, I’ve been around.  But I let my guard down for a moment and here I am. Locked inside with no way out, and no guarantee I’ll make it to sunrise. 

I know I’m not the only one in here. I’ve spotted five others so far, but in a place like this, there’s bound to be more. Good intentions somehow twist into madness and the number of captives keeps growing. Space gets tight, sickness spreads and the bodies start piling up. Rescue finally arrives with its own price tag, one I’m not prepared to pay. So I need to stay calm and search again, make sure I haven’t missed a way out.

I’ve discovered ten rooms on three floors, but when the lights went out, the five others headed into the room at the top of the stairs. The captor’s in there too, asleep by the sound of it, confident that not one of them will attack in the night. A sad but natural development when captivity drags on.

Heading back downstairs, I start my search in the dining room this time. Moving quickly around the perimeter, unseen in the darkness.  

My name is Shadow for a reason, although it’s been a long time since anyone has called me that. Trouble, Bad News even Killer have all been thrown at me over the years. Took a while, but I’ve learned to let stuff like that roll off my back, save my strength for important things like finding food and maybe some temporary shelter. 

Of course, the captor didn’t label me any of those things. Called me Newcomer when I took that first fateful step through the door. And added “welcome” when the lock clicked behind me, as though I’d already given up, resigned myself to life under this roof, but she’s wrong.  The rattle of that damn treat bag fooled me once, but I’ve learned the hard way that Crazy Cat Ladies are never to be trusted.

Why would this one be the exception?

Leaping up into the window sill, I nose the flimsy curtain aside and lean close to the glass. The yard is still and gray in the moonlight. No rabbits, no mice, not even a frigging raccoon. How come I’m the only one who didn’t know enough to give this place a wide berth?

Wanting to maintain silence, I make my way to the living room across the furniture. Leaping from table to chair back to hutch to side table. Finally making it to the loveseat and coming face-to-face with the biggest cat I’ve ever met.  One of those giants you hear about but never actually see.  

“How’d you get in?” he asks, and yawns, showing me a mouth full of sharp, white teeth. 

“The Crazy Cat Lady opened the door.”

“Watch it, Newcomer. Her name’s Ophelia, and trust me, I’ve seen crazy before, and she’s not it.”

I could argue that having more than three cats under the same roof is the very essence of crazy, but I don’t want to fight this giant. So I say, “My bad,” and turn, intending to make a quick getaway, but he has other plans.   

“Not so fast,” he says, licking his lips as he gets to his feet.

He’s even bigger when he’s upright. “You sticking around?” he asks, giving me a long, slow once-over. “I only ask because we’re a bit tight on space just now.”

A fight may be inevitable after all, and he’s probably got allies who are watching as we speak. That’s when it hits me. This could be the break I’ve been looking for. Maybe a big, noisy fight will get the Cat Lady out of bed and me tossed out on my ear. A few bruises and it’s over.

“Looks like you’re taking up enough space for three,” I tell him, and leap over his head, just to show him how nimble I am. He hunches his back, I flatten my ears and sure enough, four new cats pop up out of nowhere.  A fluffy one that probably isn’t as dumb as I’d like, a scruffy one that will definitely be trouble and a couple of calico twins that look as nervous as I feel.

Team assembled, the Giant starts the wail and one by one, his buddies join in. I add a nice rhythmic hissing to our war chorus and moments before the first punch is thrown, a human voice saves the day.
“What’s going on?” Crazy Cat Lady hollers.

I pop out into the hall. She’s coming down with four cats racing ahead.  Only one stays with her, darting ahead and falling back. Darting ahead and falling back. The favourite, no doubt.

I inch toward the front door, growling and spitting for all I’m worth. Showing her I’m the trouble maker, the one she should get rid of immediately.

“Newcomer, what are you doing?” she demands.

All the cats fall silent, giving me the floor, letting me dig my own grave. 

Or my way out.

“Boots, move,” she says to her constant companion, but he’s suddenly frozen on the stair in front of her.  Terrified of the monster at the bottom.  Declawed or just a coward? It’s hard to tell sometimes.

“Never mind,” she says, stepping over him, and just like that, Boots snaps out of his stupor. Leaps straight up, knocking her off balance. She grabs for the banister, but Boots is confused, darting left and right, weaving around her feet. Her fingers skim the banister, her mouth opens wide, and then she’s falling. Bumping and thumping down the rest of the stairs and landing with a thud at the bottom.

“Ophelia?” Boots cries.

“Is she dead?” the fluffy one whispers.

The giant nudges her face, licks her cheek. No response. “This is your fault,” he says to Boots.

And all I can see is that door, locked forever now, and no way out for any of us.

Just the Way You Aren’t
By Lynda Simmons

Publisher:  Bluefoot Press
Release Date: October 27, 2014
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Length: 282 Pages
ISBN:  978-1500639631

Buy Link:  Amazon Print      Kindle

About the book:

What happens when an everyday Cinderella makes a play for the prince?

A moment of madness. That’s all muralist Sunny Anderson expected when she donned a glittering mask and a fabulous gown to crash the gala at Manhattan’s newest boutique hotel. Project manager Michael Wolfe has no idea that the beauty staring up at the mural on the ballroom ceiling is also the artist who painted it. He’s captivated and she’s willing, but when their moment of madness on the sofa in his suite comes to an abrupt end, his princess is off and running, leaving nothing behind but a pair of earrings. He’s determined to find her again, but all he has to do is look closer at the woman painting the mural in his office to see that the one he needs is standing right in front of him.

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Sunny’s feet moved of their own accord and she stared straight ahead, horrified and thrilled at the same time. Wondering what she was playing at and not at all surprised when he fell into step beside her.

This was why she wasn’t ready to leave, she realized. She was enjoying herself too much. Enjoying the fact that as Sonja she could do anything or say anything. Be shocking and sexy, and make Michael Wolfe sit up and take notice.

She glanced over at him as they walked, feeling beauti­ful, powerful, but most of all desirable. Because if that wasn’t hunger she saw in those dark eyes, then she’d been out of circulation for far too long.

Which was a distinct possibility given that her last sexual encounter had been almost a year ago in the back of Vince Cerqua’s convertible when the top wasn’t the only thing that wouldn’t go up. She’d spent the drive home assuring him that it happened to men all the time; at least that was what she heard in the tearoom.

She felt her face warm, knowing instinctively that Michael’s top would never let him down. Not that she wanted to find out. Not really. Not now, at any rate.

“Where will you be going in the morning?” he asked.

“New Jersey.”

He drew his head back and she laughed. “There’s a theater group I’m rather fond of. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. I’m just a wanderer. Never in one place long enough to plant a garden as they say.”

“Is that what you’d like to do? Plant a garden?”

“Yes,” she said, slipping in a touch of Sunny, but staying true to Sonja. “Of course, with so many emerging artists, I’m not thinking about that right now.”

He stopped and took her hand. “What are you thinking about?”

Trouble. And sex. Mostly sex. For all the good it did her.

Truth to tell, Sunny wasn’t the kind to have a one-night stand. She was conservative in her thinking and cautious when it came to matters of the heart. She was the kind who delivered hampers at Christmas, painted faces at the community center on Halloween, and made sure her organ-donor card was signed. No question about it, she was Sunny the good: Balanced. Friendly. And utterly predictable.

But Sonja? Now there was a real vixen. A woman who traveled the world, took risks every day, and was never, ever predictable. It seemed a shame to make her leave the ball so early when she was only in town for one night. And Sunny had the rest of her life to spend being good.

Michael ran his thumb across hers and the pull was stron­ger than ever, bringing her back a step. After all, it wasn’t as though he was a total stranger, some masked man she picked up at the sushi bar. This was Michael Wolfe, Beast of Brighton, Terror of the Tradesmen. And she already knew he looked good without a shirt.

Maybe Hugh was right. Maybe a moment of madness was good for the soul.

The music changed again, the singer launching into a slow, sultry torch song that begged an answer to the question women had been asking for centuries: what is it with men and commitment?

Sunny had wrestled with that issue herself for years, convinced that the boy she’d loved too much would come back for her one day. Pale and contrite, wanting nothing more than to love her the way he should have all along. But commitment wasn’t on her mind at all when she twined her fingers with Michael’s and gave him Sonja’s best come-hither smile. “I’m thinking we should go to your place,” she said, and was sure she was floating as they headed for the door.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
 Lynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.

With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat - a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman.

When she's not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she's found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her - like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!

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  1. Thanks for hosting. The tour is off and running! Cheers

  2. Trouble at the Crazy Cat Lady's house. This is going to be good!

  3. Great excerpt! Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Love the guest post!

    Trix, vitajex(At)aol(Dot)com

    1. Thanks Trix! Stay tuned for more. Cheers

  5. Great excerpt and I like the cover. Thanks for the giveaway. :)

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks Suzanne. Stay tuned for more! Cheers

  7. I really enjoyed the excerpt!! It was interesting and amusing. I think I'd enjoy reading this. Thanks for sharing!!!

    1. Thanks Christon. If you pick up the book, let me know what you think! Cheers

  8. Love the crazy cat lady! Looking forward to the rest of the story!

    1. Thanks Karen! See you on the next stop. Cheers.

  9. I liked the excerpt best. This book sounds like such an interesting and intriguing read. I will totally have to add this book to my "to-read" list.

  10. i liked the excerpt!

  11. I liked the Excerpt