Excerpt from Sweet Illusions

Excerpt from Sweet Illusions
by Jeanette Lewis
All rights reserved

Eva sat just beyond the dunes on a blanket, next to the picnic basket she’d borrowed from Marjorie. She’d moved far enough along the beach that she could keep the trail leading between the dunes in her peripheral vision and watch for Ben. Her excitement had been building all day, tempered by dread he would ask about Sam. Ben would know she’d bailed Sam out, wouldn’t he? She didn’t know how much information was shared between the jail and the police department, but word traveled fast in Indigo Bay. Miss Lucille probably knew by now.

Her heart jumped as Ben appeared between the dunes. It was late in the day and the beach crowd had thinned, but he still stopped for a minute to search for her among the joggers, strolling couples, and tired families packing up their things. She was about to wave to him when he spotted her and began walking in her direction.

He wore his cargo shorts and a navy jacket, open over a blue-and-green-striped T-shirt.

He walked slowly, hands in the pockets of his jacket, and her smile slid away as he got closer. He knew.

“Hi.” He dropped onto the blanket, and she felt a physical ache at the space he put between them. Normally he would have sat close, gathered her into his arms, and pressed a kiss to her lips. But tonight he kept his distance, sitting at the edge of the blanket, toying with the fabric. “Our family beach blanket,” he said with a small smile.

“Yeah, your mom was really nice to let me borrow it, along with the basket.” She flapped one hand weakly toward the wicker basket at her side. The picnic wasn’t anything special—chicken salad sandwiches on croissants she’d picked up from the grocery store, along with red grapes, a bag of chips, and some chocolate chip cookies Marjorie had sent along with the basket.

And the red wine, with a pair of cheap goblets. She’d been trying to plan a romantic picnic, but now, with the way Ben was acting, her cheeks burned in embarrassment at her presumption.

“I used to fall asleep on this blanket,” Ben mused. His fingers pinched the red and blue folds, but his eyes were focused on the thundering waves. “We’d stay out here until we were absolutely fried with exhaustion. Then my dad would carry me to bed. That’s the best feeling isn’t it? Having your Dad ca— …” He trailed off as he turned his head; he must have remembered who he was talking to.

“I wouldn’t know,” Eva said.

Ben flushed. “Sorry. I got reminiscing and …” He met her eyes for a long moment, then ducked his head, lacing his fingers together at the back of his neck. “Why didn’t you tell me it was a cult?” he whispered.

Eva felt the sting of tension between her shoulder blades. Why indeed? Because calling it the Family, or the Church, or the Compound was so much more benign than calling it a cult. Admitting it was a cult meant admitting she’d been taken in, she’d been fooled, and even though she’d been so young and it wasn’t her fault, how did you explain that you let it go on for eighteen years, even after you’d grown up enough that you knew? How did you explain that kind of learned helplessness and fear?

She pressed her suddenly shaking hands between her knees. “I didn’t think of it as a … a cult,” she said. “To us, it was just the Family.”

“The Nineteenth Day Church,” Ben clarified, his voice scraping on the words. He yanked open the pocket of his shorts and pulled out a folded piece of paper, tossed it to her across the bright plaid blanket. “And they killed a man.”

Sweet Illusions is available for preorder at the following retailers:

Amazon | Apple | Google | Kobo | Nook

Release date is June 6 and … *drumroll* … it will also be released as a paperback on Amazon! This is the first paperback I’ve released since An Unexpected Angel so I’m super excited and hoping, hoping, hoping I’ve done the formatting right.

 

Soda or Pop? Take the Poll.

For The Glamorous One, I researched add-in syrups for soda fountains. Not as exciting as the indoor skydiving I did for The Adventurous One, but I did have a pretty good sugar buzz going for a few hours.

So speaking of soda … do you call it soda or pop or something else? I’m curious. Vote here!

Coming Soon — Indigo Bay

I am so excited to be part of this beautiful series. Indigo Bay is a fictional town set on the coast of South Carolina, which means I get to research crab boils, sea glass, and genuine Southern sweet tea. There may also be an attempt to make my own sea glass underway, but more on that later.

My book is called Sweet Illusions and is scheduled for release on June 8.

Sweet Illusions
by Jeanette Lewis

Eva Malone was very young when her mother forced the family to join a violent doomsday cult, but she remembers a little about how normal life used to be. As a young woman, she escapes the cult with the help of an aid organization and relocates to Indigo Bay, South Carolina to pursue her dream of peaceful anonymity.

After several tumultuous years as a policeman in Atlanta, Ben Andrews has had enough. He returns home to Indigo Bay and joins the Indigo Bay PD, where the most exciting part of the job is getting a kitten out of a tree or rescuing tourists who lose their keys at the beach.

Eva and Ben are immediately drawn to each other. But as the prophesied date of the apocalypse draws near and the cult steps up its efforts to find her, Eva realizes she can’t maintain her sweet illusion forever.

Available for preorder exclusively on iBooks.

 

 

For busy mommies everywhere …

Please tell me I’m not the only one who has to lock myself in the bathroom if I want a little peace and quiet! Busy moms, we hear you!

Check out these fantastic clean romance writers for the next time you sneak off to the bathroom … or the closet … or the garage … for a mini-vacation. And check back because we are also sponsoring a Seven-day giveaway to help stock your eReader with some great new reads. Details coming soon!

Jennifer Youngblood

Brooke St James

Cami Checketts

Lucy McConnell

Rachelle Christensen

Victorine E. Lieske

Kimberley Montpetit

Cindy Roland Anderson

Liz Isaacson

Jeanette Lewis

Kimberly Krey

The Glamorous One is Out!

Performance stage with musical instruments before the show

As the lead singer of a popular indie rock band, Kynley Salvatici is living her dreams. And now that the band is about to sign a recording contract, she’s on the brink of unimagined fame and wealth. So what if the rock star lifestyle isn’t quite as glamorous as she’d expected? A big dream demands big sacrifices, right?

But when she falls for sexy Dalton Parker, fellow musician and dreamer, Kynley fears that fame might require the biggest sacrifice of all … love.

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Kindle and Kisses!

We are so excited to announce our Kindle and Kisses Giveaway!


Since February is the month of love, we thought it was the
perfect time to release our Love and Romance Boxed set.

This set, featuring 15 sweet contemporary romance novels, is on pre-sale now for just 99¢ on Amazon B&N, Kobo, and ibooks. To celebrate, we’re giving away a Kindle Fire Tablet. But hurry quick, this giveaway ends Feb 9th!

*Note: Winners outside of US will win a $40 Amazon gift card in place of the Kindle Fire (which is the value of the tablet).

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And if you haven’t pre-ordered your copy of Love and Romance, here’s a list of the authors and books included. Good luck on the giveaway!

Dangerous Lies by Christine Kersey
A handsome stranger moves next door to Amethyst Fox, but as she begins to fall for him she discovers he’s not all that he seems.

The Masquerading Groom by Taylor Hart
When Sterling Pennington, movie star and billionaire, gets stuck with a paid date at a masquerade party, he’s not happy. But Sayla Jones might be exactly who he needs to remove his masks.

Feels Like Love by Jeanette Lewis
April Winston brings her new fiancé home for Christmas, but her childhood sweetheart, Wade Hardley, isn’t ready to let her go.

His Personal Relationship Manager by Jennifer Peel
After suffering a public humiliation, Kenadie Marshall realizes that love shouldn’t be left to personal judgement. But Jason Hadley is determined to prove that love isn’t over for this relationship guru, even if it means joining her computer dating service to get closer to her.

The Academic Bride by Lucy McConnell
Janel Fendrick’s dream excavation is within reach—until the funding is pulled . A surprise employment opportunity comes with a proposal…and a groom!

The Resilient One by Cami Checketts
Alyssa Armsworth escapes to Maui and finds herself spending days on the ocean with Beckham Taylor, a handsome ex-NHL star. Alyssa must redeem her past to have a chance at a future with Beck.

Candlelight Kisses by Jennifer Youngblood & Sandra Poole
Gracie Andrews led an ordinary life—right up until the day she died and became an angel … err … almost an angel. She’s given the task of helping others find love and quite possibly find love along the way.

Meet Me in Myrtle Beach by Brooke St. James
Paige Spears accepts an unexpected job offer, hoping for one last summer adventure before joining the work force. She had no idea the trip would change her life forever.

Under a Georgia Moon by Cindy Roland Anderson
Addie Heywood wants to avoid her aunt’s matchmaking schemes and Chase Nichols wants to avoid his ex-girlfriend. They team up to fool the world by pretending to date. What neither of them counts on is actually falling in love.

Rough Edges by Kimberly Krey
When divorced mother, Allie Emerson, seeks employment with her old high school flame, Braden Fox, sparks fly. But will resentment from the past prevent them from sharing a future?

Blissfully Married by Victorine E. Lieske
Sidney wears a fake engagement ring to ward off Blake, her childhood crush that broke her heart. When Blake finds out the beautiful Sidney’s lying, he makes it his goal to get her to tell him the truth.

The Neighbor’s Secret by Kimberley Montpetit
Allie Strickland returns home to Heartland Cove after being left at the altar. When an intruder breaks into her house, Allie has to figure out what secrets Ethan Smith is hiding. Is the man friend or foe—enemy or lover?

Diamond Rings Are Deadly Things by Rachelle J. Christensen
With the unwanted help of a divorce lawyer who’s too good looking to ignore and a detective who has an eye for murder, Adrielle Pyper must race to uncover a secret hidden within the yards of satin and lace before she becomes the next victim.

House Without Lies by Rachel Branton
Lily fills her tiny apartment with endangered teens who don’t have everything they need, but together they have enough. Or so she thinks—until she meets Jameson. But will he be one more thing Lily has to give up to protect the girls?

Before the Leap by Liz Isaacson
Scorned by his ex-fiancé, Jace Lovell isn’t ready for a new relationship with someone as fiery and beautiful as Belle Edmunds. Can she employ her patience while he figures out how to forgive so they can find their happily-ever-after?

Pre-order now:
Amazon:
B&N Nook:
Kobo:
ibooks (link to come)