Welcome to Mid Week Tease. Thanks to the lovely and talented Sandra Bunino, who created this weekly fun, myself and other author friends post a little something for you, the readers, from some of our published works, up-and-coming releases, and WIP (Works in Progress).
This week, I'm going to be sharing from For the Love of Murphy. A sweet romance anthology from Roane Publishing. For the month of March this book is on sale.
99 cent ebook and 7.99 for the paperback book!
They say love conquers all, but whoever "they" are, must not have heard of Murphy's Law -- whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.
These five tales of sweet, accidental romance prove Cupid's arrows are a lot tougher than they seem, and sometimes it pays to be unlucky.
No Wrong Turns by Lisa A. Adams
Falling For You by Michelle Ziegler
Coffee and Cufflinks by Annabelle Blume
A Slippery Slope by Rebecca Hart
The Shamrock Incident by London Saint James
From the Shamrock Incident:
Trey Cleary didn’t think his day could get any worse, but since he was gripping what remained of his side view mirror, he decided he was wrong.
Glancing up from his spot on the sidewalk, he read the sign hanging overtop the flower shop.
Pocket Full of Posies
The name matched the one printed in fancy font on the back of the silver van that maimed his car. He’d caught only part of the address as the vehicle whizzed out of the parking garage. Nonetheless, he concluded he was at the right shop. He had to be. Even though Charlotte was a big city, there couldn’t be another store with such a whimsical name. And if there was, he’d bet money both were owned by the same person. Of course, he’d usually look things like that up on his iPhone. However, his handy-dandy phone had turned into an expensive tank decoration after it accidentally slid out of his shirt pocket and into the one hundred and eighty gallon aquarium he’d been hassling with in his store that morning. It slept with the fishes. Literally.
Trying not to show his irritation with all the aggravating events of the day, he took a deep, cleansing breath. He’d calmly speak with the owner about his BMW’s missing side view mirror, get their insurance information, and go to grab something to eat.
His stomach grumbled, and he glanced at his wrist watch. The lunch hour had long ago passed. “I knew I should have taken Dad up on his donut offer this morning,” he mumbled.
He stepped inside the store and did a double take. He wasn’t a stranger to a retail establishment with lots of stock. Heck, his own store was well-stocked, but this shop overflowed with merchandise.
“Holy shamrocks, Batman,” he said under his breath.
The place had been totally decked out for the current holiday. Shamrock ornaments dangled from the ceiling tiles as far as the eye could see. Green twinkle lights blinked on and off and were draped across shelves of stuffed toys, knickknacks, boxes of candy, and a plethora of homemade, North Carolina candles in a jar. According to the signage, they came in fifty-six pleasing scents.
He took a couple of steps forward and stopped. A “Luck of the Irish” banner and cardboard leprechauns were stuck to the glass doors of a commercial cooling unit that contained freshly cut flowers. Some sort of spiky plant grew from the inside of old cowboy boots that were scattered on the floor. They had been placed everywhere in random groupings of two as if someone had kicked them off and left them where they stood.
He cleared his throat. He wasn’t there to sightsee or in the market for flowers and frou-frou things. He was there to do something about his poor vehicle. Although, before he could do anything about that, he had to figure out where the owner was hiding.
He switched the mirror to his left hand and scratched the back of his head. There was very little in the way of designated walking paths. He couldn’t proceed forward unless he squeezed between a free-standing shelving unit and a massive refrigerator. Customers should have been given a map to help them maneuver through the store.
He took a right down a trail of some sort. “Hello?” Nothing resembled a customer service desk or point of sale. “Is anyone here?”
“I’ll be right with you.”
He turned in the direction of the small muffled voice and walked past a bunch of colorful, helium-filled latex balloons tied off to a vivid red air tank. They swayed in the breeze and bounced against each other, making a hollow, drum-like bopping sound as he passed. A few more steps and he made another turn. To his left stood a tall stand filled with greeting cards. He hoped this was the last large obstacle. As soon as he side-stepped around the card stand, he felt like throwing a victory fist in the air. Not too far in front of him was a counter with a cash register. And beside that—an open door.
He headed toward the register, only to stop short. A woman burst through the doorway and into the room like an out of control whirling dervish. Her legs kicked. Arms flailed. Strawberry blonde hair flew around her face. For such a petite person she made a huge entrance and took one mother of a wipeout.
“Oh, shit!” He dropped the mangled mirror, leapt over a potted plant, zigzagged through a gauntlet of tulips, and ducked beneath the hanging ferns to get to her. She’d hit her head. Hard. And she sat half slumped on the brown tiled floor.
Trey bent down beside her unmoving frame. “Ma’am, are you okay?”
Silence greeted him.
“Ma’am?” He swiped hair from her cheek. Green glitter bespeckled her peaches-and-cream complexion. “Are you hurt?”
She fidgeted, then lifted her hand in a weak gesture that Trey interpreted to mean “Hang on.” A second or two passed before she straightened her shoulders.
A sense of relief swept over him.
“Try not to move around too quickly.” He attempted to study what he could see of her face. Hair still partially obscured her features, but he was able to tell her eyes were closed. She brought her knees to her chest, wrapping her slender arms around her legs and bowing her head. He couldn’t get over how tiny she seemed. “Should I call an ambulance?”
She shook her head—slowly. “I need a minute. My head feels like a jackhammer operator is running amuck trying to dislodge my brain.”
Trey chuckled. “I’m sure it does. You took a pretty hard fall.”
“If you don’t think a trip to the ER is in order, is there someone I can call for you?”
He looked around, knowing the answer before he asked the question. “Is anyone else here?”
She peeked at him with big jewel-green eyes through silky, red-blonde strands of hair. He figured she was sizing him up since she hesitated to answer him as quickly as before.
He smiled in an attempt to put her at ease. “I’m just concerned about a concussion. With the tumble you took, rest will be in order. Someone should hang out with you to make sure you don’t fall asleep.”
“My delivery guy will be back soon.”
“Can he run the store so you can go home?”
An expression of horror overtook her features. “God, no. I’ll be fine.”
A good sized goose egg was taking shape in the middle of her forehead.
He pointed at her head. “You are going to need some ice for that.”
She sat up straight, touched the lump and winced. “Ouch.”
“Ouch, indeed.” A pang of sympathy pain made him itch to rub his own head. “We probably better find you a more comfortable spot to sit and relax. That is, if you think you can get up?”
She struggled for a moment before he couldn’t take watching any longer. Political correctness and all hail the strong, independent woman be damned. “Here. Let me help you.”
Wrapping his arm around her waist, he lifted her. She gave him her weight. Once she was on her feet, he started to release his hold until she swayed. He scooped her into his arms, and she gasped. His “Me Tarzan, you Jane” move must have startled her, but he didn’t care.
Conceivably it was the vulnerability of her in the moment, or the fact she smelled like a mixture of things that spoke to him on a level he couldn’t shake. Either way, he wouldn’t leave until he knew she was going to be okay, and he realized he actually wanted to be her own personal hero.
You can find For the Love of Murphy on sale Here:
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