Still on the road with our fabulous Secret Cravings and Sweet Cravings authors.
Today let's welcome Cindy Christiansen and her latest sweet romance, Fortune for Fools.
Studious Lavinia Vega is tired of proving to Zeke Abberley that she has no ulterior motives. When Zeke brings her a damaged painting to restore and authenticate, she is eager to help but not get involved. When she uncovers a hidden map behind the painting that leads to valuable buried coins, the game plan changes. Or so Zeke thinks.
Excerpt: The Poodle in the Gallery
Lavinia Vega spread out a sheet of bubble wrap and placed the early 1900s painting of the Great Salt Lake, by Alfred Lambourne, carefully within its confines. She expertly wrapped it for shipping, hoping to get it mailed before noon.
No more clumsy moves on her part…or Zeke’s. They had stopped secretly dating two or three months ago—Oh, who was she kidding?—exactly seventy-one days ago, and her life had certainly gotten calmer and less physically painful. At least as calm as her life ever got. She heaved a sigh and taped the bubble wrap.
Father hadn’t figured out she had been dating Zeke for that would have been disastrous. Instead, he thought she had been cursed by some voodoo spell Holly Waterbury had brought with her from Idaho when she had come here to take care of her injured uncle Kipp, who was Hungarian, spoke in fragmented sentences, and hoarded all kinds of things. As ludicrous as that sounded, Lavinia would rather Father thought her cursed than him knowing she had been dating Zeke.
The Abberleys had been a taboo subject for as long as she could remember. It had all started with Father’s friendship with Zeke’s dad, Zymon. Father had gotten to be a close friend of the family and had fallen in love with Zeke’s aunt Adele some fifteen to twenty years ago. She, in turn, had fallen in love with Kipp Waterbury, but everything went south when Zeke’s mother was killed in a plane crash.
Lavinia pulled a packing box from the shelf and began folding it.
Last year, when Adele announced at a block meeting that Father was jealous of Kipp and had had it in for him for years, he had retreated into one of his dark moods. Little could be said to him still. Unfortunately, he had always tried to live in a world of perfection. Everyone must think the Vegas are perfect—no mistakes, no deficiencies, no flaws, no failings.
She tried to relax her clenched jaw. Somewhere out there, there had to be a road marked with happiness for her. She didn’t know what, where, or with whom, but somehow she would find the harmonious lifestyle of which she had always dreamed.
Finished with packaging the painting and addressing it, she looked up to see Daniela Estrada checking out the unique Utah spring flower paintings displayed in the large front window. Even unconventional Daniela had managed to find love and happiness with Duston Cooper and her own canine grooming business on the street.
Why did relationships happen so much easier for everyone else?
“Haven’t you finished that yet?” Father asked as he came in through the back.
“Yes, actually. Is Donny around to take it to the post office?”
“His name is Donatello. I did not name him Donny. And frankly, I can’t stand that people on the block call him Picasso.”
“Fine,” she said with an inward groan.
“I sent your brother on a delivery. He’ll be back soon.”
Vivete sauntered sleepily into the gallery from the back, stretched her back, and curled up next to Lavinia’s feet.
Father grumbled. “What have I told you about your poodle in the gallery?”
“The customers don’t seem to mind Vivete. Almost everyone has a dog in their shop on Merchant Street. That’s one of the things that contribute to our uniqueness compared to the cold, sterile, commercialized shops in the mall.” She reached down and patted Vivete’s fluffy, white head of hair.
Father muttered under his breath again, unwrapped a piece of gum, and popped it into his mouth.
He had hated the day she had brought home the small, but clearly identifiable, white Standard Poodle she had adopted. She still couldn’t believe she had found a purebred at the shelter, but she preferred to rescue a dog than to pay thousands to someone who was clearly only out for the profit. Besides, Vivete didn’t shed, handled the customers good-naturedly, brought smiles to their faces, and provided wonderful company. Lavinia gave Vivete’s ears a scratch. So she could get a little rambunctious at times, mostly at home. She had a habit of playing with her food and tearing up paper and plastic and scattering the pieces. Oh, and mouthing people’s hands like they were chew toys. Lavinia declared again she would work on Vivete’s social skills.
“Keep her in the back.” Father reached down and grabbed Vivete’s collar and tugged.
Despite being pulled to her feet, Vivete dug in her paws and stayed by Lavinia’s side, letting out a low growl. She had never liked Father, but then he wasn’t exactly a dog person, and not the best people person either.
Buy Links for Fortune for Fools
Sweet Cravings: http://bit.ly/1nW5RhZ
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1pWtJ6L
About the Author
Cindy A. Christiansen writes sweet romance with humor, suspense...and dogs! She's the mother of two awesome boys who just happen to be autistic. Dogs have helped her through multiple health issues so she honors them in her books and donates both time and money to help them. She lives with her wonderful family and delightful dogs in West Jordan, UT. Fly into a good book!
Google+: http://bit.ly/14TuIh6Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/cindydragonfly/