Tuesday, January 19, 2021

TLC Book Tour excerpt: The Vineyard at Painted Moon by Susan Mallery

I am excited to participate in the TLC Book Tour for The Vineyard at Painted Moon by Annie Ward. For this tour, I am just doing an excerpt from the novel.
 

Summary: Step into the vineyard with Susan Mallery’s most irresistible novel yet, as one woman searches for the perfect blend of love, family and wine.
Mackenzie Dienes seems to have it all—a beautiful home, close friends and a successful career as an elite winemaker with the family winery. There’s just one problem—it’s not her family, it’s her husband’s. In fact, everything in her life is tied to him—his mother is the closest thing to a mom that she’s ever had, their home is on the family compound, his sister is her best friend. So when she and her husband admit their marriage is over, her pain goes beyond heartbreak. She’s on the brink of losing everything. Her job, her home, her friends and, worst of all, her family.
Staying is an option. She can continue to work at the winery, be friends with her mother-in-law, hug her nieces and nephews—but as an employee, nothing more. Or she can surrender every piece of her heart in order to build a legacy of her own. If she can dare to let go of the life she thought she wanted, she might discover something even more beautiful waiting for her beneath a painted moon.

Purchase Links Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Susan Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Excerpt:

Mackenzie paused to unlace her boots and left them in the mudroom. Rhys did the same. They raced up the stairs together, separating at the landing to head to their individual en suite bedrooms. 

Once in her bathroom, she started the shower. Thankfully, she’d already picked out the dress she would wear. She raced through a shower. After she dried off, she wrapped her hair in a towel and dug out the scented body lotion Rhys had given her a couple of years ago. Why anyone would want to smell like coconut and vanilla was beyond her, but he liked it. 

She walked into the large closet and opened her underwear drawer. To the right were all the sensible bikini panties she usually wore—to the left were the fancier ones for special occasions. She chose a black pair and slipped them on, then went to the second drawer and looked for the matching push-up bra. When it and the pads were in place and doing the best they could with her modest curves, she pulled on a robe and returned to the bathroom. 

After plugging in her hot rollers, it took her only a few minutes to apply eyeliner and mascara. She was flushed from the day working outside, so she didn’t bother with any other makeup. 

Her hair took a lot longer. First she had to dry the dark red shoulder-length waves, then she had to curl them. While the rollers were in place, she searched for a pair of black high-heel sandals that wouldn’t leave her crippled by the end of the night.

 Those found, she opened her small jewelry box and pulled out her wedding set, sliding both the engagement ring and the wedding band into place on her left hand. Diamond stud earrings followed. She’d barely stepped into her sleeveless black dress when Rhys walked into the closet, fully dressed in black slacks and a dark gray shirt. 

She sighed when she saw him. “See. You have it so much easier than me.” 

“Yes, but in the end, you’re more beautiful. That should be worth something.”

 “I’d rather have the extra time.” 

She turned, presenting him with her back. He pulled up the zipper, then bent to collect her shoes. They retreated to her bathroom and together began removing the curlers. 

“We’re late,” Mackenzie said, catching sight of his watch. “Your mom is going to be all snippy.” 

“She’ll be too busy welcoming her guests.” The last of the curlers was flung onto the counter. Mackenzie fluffed her hair, then pointed to the bedroom. 

“Retreat,” she said, reaching for the can of hair spray. 

Rhys ducked to safety. She sprayed the curls into submission before running into the bedroom to escape the death cloud. Rhys was on the bench at the foot of the large bed. She sat next to him and quickly put on her shoes. 

“Done,” she said, pausing to reacquaint herself with the seldom-used skill of walking in heels. 

She grabbed her husband’s wrist. “Seven fifteen. Barbara’s going to kill us.” 

“She’s not. I’m her only son and you’re just plain her favorite.” 

“We weren’t ready exactly at seven. I can already hear the death-march music in my head. I want to be buried on Red Mountain.” 

Rhys chuckled as he led the way downstairs. “In the vineyard? I’m not sure your decaying body is going to be considered organic.” 

“Are you saying I’m toxic?” she asked with a laugh as they walked toward the front door. 

“I’m saying you’re wonderful and I’d like us to have a good night.” 

There was something in his tone, she thought, meeting his gaze. She’d known this man her entire adult life. They’d met over Christmas her freshman year of college. Her roommate, his sister Stephanie, had dragged Mackenzie home to meet the family. Grateful not to have to spend the holiday by herself, Mackenzie had gone willingly and had quickly found herself falling not only for her best friend’s hunky older brother but for the entire Barcellona family and the vineyards they owned. Barbara had been like a surrogate mother, and the vineyards, well, they had been just as magical as Rhys’s sexy kisses.

 Now she studied her husband’s expression, seeing the hint of sadness lurking behind his easy smile. She saw it because she hid the same emotion deep inside herself. The days of stealing away for sexy kisses were long gone. There were no lingering looks, no intimacy. They had a routine and a life, but she was less sure about them still having a marriage.

 “I’d like that, too,” she murmured, knowing he wasn’t asking them not to fight. They never did. Harsh words required a level of involvement they simply didn’t have anymore.

 “Then let’s make that happen,” he said lightly, taking her hand in his and opening the front door. 


Excerpt Tour:

Monday, January 18th: Novel Gossip

Tuesday, January 19th: Helen’s Book Blog

Wednesday, January 20th: Pacific Northwest Bookworm

Thursday, January 21st: From the TBR Pile

Friday, January 22nd: Jathan & Heather

Monday, January 25th: Reading Reality

Tuesday, January 26th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Wednesday, January 27th: Lesa’s Book Critiques

Thursday, January 28th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy

Friday, January 29th: Literary Quicksand

Saturday, January 30th: The Romance Dish

Monday, February 1st: Leighellen Landskov

Tuesday, February 2nd: The Sketchy Reader

Wednesday, February 3rd: Audio Killed the Bookmark

Thursday, February 4th: Palmer’s Page Turners

Friday, February 5th: What is That Book About

Saturday, February 6th: Books & Bindings

Sunday, February 7th: Books & Spoons

Monday, February 8th: Books Cooks Looks

Tuesday, February 9th: Romantic Reads and Such

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