Thursday, April 16, 2015

Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for Perfect Fit by Lynda Simmons

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for Perfect Fit 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 GC by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can also follow all of the stops on Lynda’s tour by clicking on the tour banner above. Lynda is also doing a Flash Fiction Short Story for this tour in 10 parts.  My stop is the 9th part of the story – to enjoy the story fully, please make a stop at first 8 blogs listed on the schedule   

Good Works – A Serialized Novella
By Lynda Simmons

Chapter Nine

           “Yes, it’s me,” I said. “I’ll explain later, but right now, I have to go.”

          Melissa’s expression changed from disbelief to relief to anger in less than a heartbeat. “Bettina, take over the till,” she called to one of the girls then she pointed at me. “You. Outside.”

          “I said I can explain.”

          “I’ll bet you can,” she muttered, smiling at her customers as she led me out from behind her counter and through the front door to the street. “Where have you been?” she asked when we stood a safe distance from her tables. “And why are you wearing this getup?”

           I set the purse and backpack down, wiped a sleeve across my sweaty chin. “It’s a long story.”

          “I’ll bet it’s a good one,” Khaled said, sidling up beside Melissa. “I’m sorry I didn’t recognize you right away Mrs. Sandhurst, but under the circumstances –”

          “What are you doing here?” I asked.

          “He’s doing me a favour.” Melissa’s tone was sharp. “My barista was in a car accident this morning.”

          “A car accident?” I asked.

          “Big pileup on the Parkway,” Khaled said. “I’m sure Ryan wasn’t the only one who didn’t make it in to work this morning.”

          No, he wasn’t.

          “I’m lucky Khaled has experience with coffee machines,” Melissa said. “I don’t know what I would have done otherwise.”

          “You’d have figured it out.” I turned to Khaled. “Do you know a shop called AK Picture Framing and Shoe Repair?”

          “Mom,” Melissa warned.

           Khaled only smiled. “Strangest business model you could imagine. But the Awads make it work.”

          “How well do you know the family?”

          “Fairly well. They came from Iraq around the same time we arrived from Libya. Nice people. Big wedding coming up. If you ever need pictures framed or new heels on your –”

          “What do you know about the wedding?”

          “Mom, that’s enough,” Melissa said. “Khaled isn’t the one who should be answering questions.”

          I rounded on her. “Why do you keep protecting him?”

          Her mouth tightened. “We’re done here,” she said and turned to Khaled. “I apologize for my mother’s rudeness. She’s not quite herself today.”

          I had to laugh. “Not myself? Sweetheart I am more myself today than I’ve been in years.”

          “I can’t be near you right now,” Melissa said and turned to Khaled. “I desperately need a break. Take me to that fundraiser you mentioned earlier.”

          “You can’t just leave the shop,” I said.

          “Watch me,” she said, and they set off without a backward glance. The only ones waiting to see what I did next were the customers at the tables.

          “Did you get me something to eat?” Aisha asked.

          I turned to find her behind me. “What are you doing here? I told you to wait.”

          “They started to follow me around, like I was going steal something, so I left. Did you get me anything?”

          I looked around, spotted an uneaten cookie on a plate, the owner still busy with a sandwich. I walked over and snatched it up. “She needs this more than you do,” I said, and handed it to Aisha. Snatched up my purse and the backpack. “Let’s go.”

          “You got your purse,” she said, shoving the cookie up under the niqab so she could eat it.

          “Yes.” I lifted my own niqab into place, fished the phone out my purse and handed it to her. “Call Finn, tell him we’re en route to the banquet hall.”

          “I shouldn’t be far,” she said between bites. “And this cookie is weird.”

          Right on both counts. The banquet hall was less than two blocks away, housed inside a building that had once been a church. One with a huge and wealthy congregation judging by the size and the number of stained glass windows. Instead of listing the times for services, the sign on the lawn now listed the day’s events.

          A wedding at 5:00.

          A corporate meeting at 1:00.

          And from 9:00 to 12:00 this morning, free admission to a fund raiser for Iraqi refugees. The same event Melissa had insisted on attending.

          “Why would Finn send you here?” I asked.

          Aisha held out my phone. “I just asked him the same thing. He didn’t know about the fund-raiser when the guy said he could get me a burner. But it doesn’t matter. No one will recognize me.” She pressed the niqab closer around her face and reached for the backpack. “I’ll text you when I’m inside.”

          I waited by the wrought iron gate, watching families coming and going.  The women wearing hijabs for the most part, some of them giving me a curious glance as they passed. Maybe a lone woman in a niqab and chador was an oddity. Who knew?

          Within minutes my phone pinged. A text from Aisha. Got the phone. Call me back so I know everything is working.

          I pressed Call, keeping an eye out for Melissa and Khaled as the phone connected and started to ring. I spotted them in the doorway seconds before a bomb inside the church exploded.

          “Melissa,” I screamed, but a second explosion rocked the building before I could get through the gate.

          Stained glass falling, people screaming, thick smoke everywhere. And in the distance, emergency vehicles already on the way.

          I couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think.

          I tore at the niqab, pushed back the chador. “Melissa,” I screamed again.

          People were rushing through the front door where Melissa had been. 
Women, children, men carrying babies, all screaming, crying, trying to get away. But where was my daughter? And Aisha? What had happened to her?

          I managed to push through the crowd coming out through the gate. Made it to the sign on the lawn.  More people pouring out of the church, some carrying out wounded, others making it through on their own, holding arms, heads, stomachs. 

So much blood.

          “Mrs. Sandhurst,” a voice called. Khaled, coming through the smoke, carrying a body.

          “Please God no,” I said, lurching forward, grabbing at him, at her. “Melissa, baby.” 

Perfect Fit
By Lynda Simmons

Publisher:  Bluefoot Press
Release Date: October 30, 2014
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Length:  256 Pages

Purchase Links:  AMAZON   

About the book: 

Fast-paced, funny and incurably romantic

Rachel Banks has never believed in magic or moonlight, but if she’d thought that putting a piece of wedding cake under her pillow would conjure up a nightmare in the form of blue-eyed charmer Mark Robison, she’d have stuffed that cake into her mouth instead! Mark is only in Madeira Beach for some much needed R&R and his new neighbour is not the kind of woman made for vacation memories. But there’s something about the incurable romantic that just keeps drawing him back.

Jennifer Crusie. Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Lynda Simmons? Oh, yeah!

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. I enjoyed the excerpt from the book for it grabbed my attention.

  2. error in RC entry - could not change it: pin

  3. I enjoyed reading the chapter highlight

  4. The impressive cover is my favorite part of the post.

  5. The synopsis sounds interesting, maybe on the dark side of romance. Blessings and Thanks to all.

  6. Thanks for hosting. Hope everyone is enjoying the novella! Cheers

  7. Wow, didn't see that coming---good one.

  8. What super pace and suspense! This has been a fantastic read so far! Not happy that we're so close to the end. What a great promo for your writing!!

  9. Not a happy chapter this time... but wow.

  10. Very intense!

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

  11. I love your writing style! Great chapter!

  12. Thanks everyone! Glad you're enjoying the novella! Cheers