Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: I’VE GOT YOU, BABE by Lynnette Austin

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I’VE GOT YOU, BABE (Must Love Babies Book 2) by Lynnette Austin

Publication Date: August 27, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

4812203B-F7B5-4052-B867-0D5A5ABEE122Where do you go when you’re at the end of your rope

Former Marine Tucker Wylder wants nothing more than to work with his brothers in their vintage car restoration business and be left alone with his nightmares and regrets. The last thing he needs is to take on someone else’s troubles…

Then Elisa Danvers and her young daughter arrive in Misty Bottoms, Georgia. Elisa has reached the end of the line—flat broke, engine trouble, sick in body and spirit. Tucker steps up to the rescue and finds himself reluctantly taking care of a feisty preschooler and her independent mother, who doesn’t seem to want his help. And Tucker isn’t sure he’s ready for the way precocious little Daisy and headstrong, beautiful Elisa herself capture first his bachelor household and finally his carefully guarded heart…

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Excerpt

A cup of hot, black coffee in hand and a well-earned—and desperately needed—weekend fishing trip on his mind, Tucker unlocked the front door of Wylder Rides. The smell of oil and new tires welcomed him like an old friend. He liked the peace and quiet of the early morning, the solitude before his brothers arrived.

When a breeze drifted in through the open bay door, he thanked the stars the calendar had finally flipped to October. This summer, his first in Misty Bottoms, Georgia, had been hotter than Hades. With the onslaught of autumn, though, temperatures had dipped to a less humid mid-seventies.

Still, even the Georgia low-country summer had been a hell of a sight better than the sweltering heat he’d suffered during his Middle East deployment. There the July temperatures hovered above the hundred-degree mark. Add in the blistering sun, and the place could turn a man’s hide to shoe leather in no time.Don’t even get him started on the never-ending sand that found its way into every crack and crevice on the human body and scoured exposed skin raw.

A tough place to live. A worse place to die.

Involuntarily, his hands clenched into fists. Taking a deep breath, he relaxed them. Not today. He dropped to the creeper, slid partially beneath the ’Vette, and got busy replacing the brake lines.

Southern rock blasted from his stereo. Over the magic of Charlie Daniel’s fiddle, Tucker heard a car slow, then pull in out front. Its muffler was shot. The engine knocked, coughed and sputtered, then shut down with a rattle.

Seconds later, a totally different sound caught his attention—high heels on the garage’s concrete floor. Tucker slid a sidelong glance toward the front of the bay and almost swallowed his tongue. Framed in the narrow window between the floor and the car’s bumper were a pair of legs that would have any red-blooded man drooling…and they crossed slowly toward him. Laying the wrench on the floor beside him, he gave a push with his foot and slid the creeper from beneath the car.

Flat on his back, he let his gaze travel up over a body that matched the legs beat for beat, then on to a face only angels could have created. The heart-shaped face, with its sensuous lips and the biggest, bluest eyes he’d ever seen, sent a shockwave rocketing through him. Long, pale blond hair had been caughtback in a ponytail.

An illusion? Maybe he’d breathed too many gas fumes and was hallucinating?

Nope. This woman was real and, from the expression on that stunning face, in trouble.

“My car—” She waved a hand toward the front of the building.

“Could use some work,” Tucker finished, slowly getting to his feet. Wiping his hands on a grease rag, he moved toward her. “Look, we’re not a repair shop, but I can probably figure out what’s wrong. If it’s minor—”

She swayed and reached out toward the wall.

“You okay?” Even as Tucker spoke, he saw those mind-blowing eyes go blank. Dark lashes fanned her cheeks.

With a muttered curse, he lunged, barely reaching her before she hit the floor. Heart racing, he held her against him and swore again. Out cold.

“Hey, can you hear me?” He tapped her cheek but got no response. “Wake up.”

Sweat broke out on his brow. Where were his brothers? They should be here by now. What was he supposed to do with an unconscious woman? He leaned his head close to hers, relief flooding him when her breath whispered against his cheek.

A high-pitched wail split the air. Panicked, his head whipped up, and he glanced toward the beater parked out front. The driver’s side door hung open; in the back, strapped into a child’s seat, sat a little girl with her mama’s pale blond hair—a little girl winding up for one hell of a crying jag.

And the day just got better!

He shook the limp woman gently, noticed the sheen of perspiration on her face. “Come on, sugar. For God’s sake, open those baby blues.”

She didn’t.

Kneeling and taking the woman down with him, he spread an old garage blanket and laid her carefully on it, straightening the short skirt of her flower-print dress.

With his forearm, he swiped the sweat from his brow. “Hey, wake up.”

She didn’t.

Okay. Time to tackle the second half of this double-feature horror show.

Edging toward the used-up Ford Escort and its young occupant in much the same way he’d approach a suspected sniper’s nest, he pulled out his phone and hit 911.

The sheriff answered on the first ring. “Misty Bottoms Police Department. What can I do ya?”

“Jimmy Don, it’s Tuck Wylder. I’m out at my shop.” Opening the sedan’s back door, he stared at the young child, at her tear-covered face and runny nose. He’d guess her to be maybe two or three years old. An opened bag of pretzels lay on the seat. Leaning in, he grabbed one and handed it to her. She raised it to her mouth and chewed, her cries dying to quiet whimpers.

Thank you, Jesus.

“Tuck? What’s goin’ on?” the sheriff demanded.

“A woman pulled up in front of our place, and, well, she’s passed out.”

“Been drinkin’?”

“I don’t think so, but she’s hot.”

“I don’t care how good lookin’ she is.”

“No, Jimmy Don. Not hot hot, hot! As in sweating.”

“Well, why didn’t you say so?”

“I did!” Who’s on first? he thought.

“Do I hear a kid?”

Exasperated, Tucker raked fingers through his short hair, his gaze travelling over the woman. She still hadn’t moved. What a friggin’ mess!

“Yeah, you do. She came with the woman who’s passed out on my garage floor.”

“She okay?”

Tucker raised his eyes to the heavens and rubbed at his forehead. “Which one?”

“The kid.”

“How would I know? Nothing wrong with her lungs, I can tell you that.” The nagging beginning of a headache bloomed into a full-fledged whopper.

“You need an ambulance or you gonna take the gal in to see Doc Hawkins?”

“What?” Tucker pulled the cell away to stare at it. Bringing it back to his ear, he asked, “Are you serious, Jimmy Don? You want me to pick up an unconscious stranger, toss her in my car, along with the baby, and drive them into town?”

“So I guess you want me to send the town’s ambulance out there.”

“Bingo.”

Excerpted from I’ve Got You, Babe by Lynnette Austin. © 2019 by Lynnette Austin. Used with permission of the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

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Giveaway

5 Copies of Must Love Babies

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

LYNNETTE AUSTIN gave up the classroom to write full time. An author of eight novels, she has been a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest. She and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Blairsville, GA.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Spotlight, Guest Post & Giveaway: Picture Perfect Wedding by Lynnette Austin

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Picture Perfect Wedding (Magnolia Brides, #3) by Lynnette Austin

Publication Date: November 1, 2016

Synopsis

img_5045Third in the heartfelt and charming Magnolia Brides series from Lynnette Austin

One mistake can change everything…forever

Beck Elliot and Tansy Calhoun were inseparable—until Tansy left Misty Bottoms, Georgia, promising to come back after she finished school. Beck stayed behind to save the family business, dreaming of the day when Tansy would return. Instead, his trust and his heart were broken when she inexplicably married another man and bore his child.

Five years later, Tansy comes home, a sadder and wiser woman. Despite his anger, Beck finds it hard to avoid her and her adorable little daughter—especially with all the busybodies of Misty Bottoms going out of their way to throw him and Tansy together, hoping a lingering spark will reignite their enduring flame…

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon PBK | B&N | iBooks

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Author Guest Post

Love—the Second Time Around!

I love second-chance romances—both to read and to write! Our couple’s first chance has generally happened before the book begins, and, then, they meet again—with all the ensuing angst. This is no slow-build relationship but rather a raging inferno from the get-go with the chemistry and connection full-blown on page one.

The once-lovers often face-off as enemies; the conflict is built in. Something caused their relationship to implode the first time around. When they meet again, that problem remains unresolved. If they couldn’t solve it before, how can they hope to now?

On top of that, neither the hero nor the heroine has remained in a vacuum during their “away” time. They’ve both had lives for these two or five or ten years. Both have changed, and those old emotions, resentments, and frustrations have had a chance to fester.

Picture Perfect Wedding, the third book in my Magnolia Brides series, is a second-chance-at-love story. When Tansy Calhoun left for college, she promised to return to Beck Elliot, who stayed behind in Misty Bottoms, Georgia, to save the family business. She reneged on that promise and married someone else, had his baby.

Five years later, divorced and broke, she and her daughter return to Tansy’s small hometown to create wedding cakes for Magnolia Brides. The question isn’t whether or not she and Beck will fall in love but rather will either take a chance on risking his heart again.

One mistake can change everything…forever.

If you love this trope as much as I do, I’m sure you have favorites! Here is one of mine:
Ain’t She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Sugar Beth Carey ruled Parrish,

Mississippi, fifteen years ago. When she left town, she left behind a lot of hatred and resentment, all well-earned. Collin Byrne’s animosity is almost a living entity.

At the story’s start, this golden girl crawls back to Parrish with her deceased third husband’s dysfunctional dog and barely enough money to feed herself and put gas in her car. One of the feistiest heroines ever, it’s a veneer. She’s the girl you love to hate, the one who made high school a living hell. Yet, under Phillips’ expert hand, I found myself rooting for Sugar Beth, and, once the reason for her behavior was exposed, I wanted her to rise like the phoenix. Sugar is fighting for a second chance both at love and redemption.

My guilty confession—I’ve read Ain’t She Sweet at least six times, and, every single time, I cringe at the fork-under-the-table incident. I’m not telling. You’ll have to read it for yourself.

What’s your favorite second-chance romance? Why?

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Excerpt

In a perfect world or, heck, even in a movie, music would play softly in the background. The SUV’s windows would be down, her auburn hair blowing softly in the breeze. Her hero would wait at the road’s end, arms open and welcoming.
They’d kiss…
Tansy Calhoun Forbes’s cell rang, and, startled, she glanced in the rearview mirror. Gracie, her four-year-old daughter, slept soundly, a welcome respite from today’s endless are-we-there-yets.
“Hello?” she practically whispered.
“You unpacked yet?” Jenni Beth Beaumont, her best friend forever, sounded stressed.
“Still a few miles from town, but almost there.”
“Good. Great. Listen, I know this has been a stressful day, heck, a stressful year, and you’re tired…”
Tansy smiled. She could practically see her friend squirming. “What do you need, Jenni Beth?”
“Oh, Tanz, I have two weddings and a sixteenth birthday party coming up this week. Magnolia Brides is booked solid for the next nine months—my dream come true—but I’m dying here! I need cakes. Phenomenal cakes. Your cakes!”
“I don’t have—”
“Kitty said you can use the bakery’s kitchen.”
Tansy sighed and ran her fingers through already-mussed hair.
“I know, I know.” Jenni Beth’s tension vibrated over the airwaves. “I’m putting you on the spot. Big-time. I’m a horrible person. An even worse friend.”
“No, you’re not.” Determined, Tansy sat up a little straighter. “This is exactly what I’ve insisted I want. Part of the reason I’m on my way home. Color me stupid, but I’m in.”
As the city-limits sign loomed, she hung up and removed her dark glasses. Misty Bottoms, Georgia. The Low Country. Even slowing to a crawl didn’t stop the inevitable.
Home, sweet home.
Right back at the starting gate.
Waiting for her? No music, no hero, and no kiss.
And no one but herself to blame.
Tansy pushed her sunglasses back in place and glared at the brilliant sunshine that bathed the beyond-gorgeous autumn day. The humidity had dropped, and a few white clouds drifted high in the bluebird sky. Shouldn’t it be raining, the sky dark with ominous thunderheads?
Divorced for fifty-three days, five hours, and—she checked the dashboard clock—six minutes, and here she was, hell-bent on creating the cake for a bride’s special day.
She’d had her own shot at the dream and lost—because the wrong groom stood beside her at the altar.
Walking out of her supersized house that morning had been confusing. She’d expected a huge weight to lift, and it had. Still, that was the house she’d brought Gracie home to after she’d been born. Where her first four birthdays had been celebrated. Christmases and Thanksgivings.
And so much unhappiness and deceit.
A building off to Tansy’s right caught her attention and caused a hitch in her heart. Elliot Construction and Lumberyard.
Beck Elliot, the groom behind door number one, the door she hadn’t chosen.
Oh boy. Was she making another mistake? Should she have started over somewhere else?
Ding, ding, ding. The low-fuel indicator chimed, and the little red light blinked on. Shoot!
Tommy’s Texaco loomed.
Relieved, she flipped on her turn signal, veered into the lot, and pulled up to the gas pump.
And there it sat.
A big red truck with Elliot Construction on the side.
The door to the gas station opened, and Beck Elliot, looking hotter than any man had a right in dusty jeans, a faded T-shirt, and old work boots, stepped outside.
He tore the wrapper off a candy bar and took a bite.
Then his intense, midnight-blue eyes met hers. The chill had her rubbing her arms even though the temperature read seventy-five in the shade.
As she got out, her gaze collided with Beck’s again.
His eyes radiated resentment and betrayed hopes.
Hers? She figured they held remorse, hurt, and impossible-to-deny desire.
Beck nearly choked on the bite of chocolate. What the hell?
He tossed the bar into the trash barrel outside the door.
Months ago, he’d heard rumblings that Tansy’d enrolled her daughter in the local preschool, but since no one had said anything else about it, he’d figured she’d changed her mind. That fancy SUV of hers was loaded to the roof, though, way more than she’d need for a quick visit.
His chest constricted, and he swore under his breath. Why would she return to Misty Bottoms? She looked like one of those emaciated French models in the magazines his mom read. A good strong wind off the coast would blow her from here to Atlanta.
The strong, carefree Tansy he’d known had disappeared. She’d become… He didn’t know. Ethereal came to mind.
Not his business—and she’d be the first to tell him that.
“Hey, Beck,” Tommy said. “Got your truck filled for ya.”
“Thanks. I left the money on the counter. Later, pal.”
Without another word, without another glance toward the woman he’d once expected to marry, Beck hopped in his truck, turned the key, and pulled out of the gas station, reminding himself that Tansy Calhoun—no, make that Tansy Forbes—was history. Ancient history.

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Giveaway

10 Copies of The Best Laid Wedding Plans

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

LYNNETTE AUSTIN gave up the classroom to write full time. An author of eight novels, she has been a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest. She and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Blairsville, GA.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Spotlight, Guest Post & Giveaway: Every Bride Has Her Day (Magnolia Brides, Book 2) by Lynnette Austin

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Every Bride Has Her Day (Magnolia Brides, Book 2) by Lynnette Austin

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

Genre: Small Town Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

imageCAN LOVE REVIVE A WILTING HEART?

Cricket O’Malley can’t wait to plant roots back home in Georgia, where she’s returned to restore an abandoned flower shop to its former glory. The only blemish? Her neighbor’s house is even more neglected than her old flower shop, and its occupant seems as surly as he is darkly handsome.

Devastated body and soul after a tough case went south, New York City detective Sam DeLuca thought he’d have no trouble finding solitude in the quiet Georgia town of Misty Bottoms, but his bubbly neighbor seems determined to shine happiness into Sam’s life. Sam is equally determined to close himself off, but his heart says otherwise…

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Buy Links
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1T8AGGz
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/21XD0yF
iBooks: http://apple.co/22WC3wu
Books A Million: http://bit.ly/25BFmb6
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1RRK4dL
!ndigo: http://bit.ly/1RD2WLe
Indie Bound: http://bit.ly/1RS7LWk

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Author Guest Post

Lynnette’s Tip for the Perfect Wedding

Your wedding day. You want it to be perfect, and it will be…if you don’t wander into the bridezilla zone. Keep your eye on the prize—a lifetime with that someone special—rather than the minutia of the wedding. In the long run, does it really matter if the cream-colored tablecloths are a smidgeon darker or lighter than you’d expected? Don’t become so obsessed on this one day that you lose sight of what’s important. If you find yourself slipping into rude behavior over the little things, maybe it’s time to play—and really listen to—Tim McGraw’s song, “Humble and Kind.”

Remember, too, the age-old adage, “You’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar”. Not that you want to catch flies! But you’ll find that you get what you want a lot more often and a lot faster by being nice rather than unkind. And that means treating everyone well. Your attendants are your best friends. Relationships of a lifetime have been irreparably damaged by bridezilla behavior. Don’t say or do anything that you’d be ashamed of if a video of that conversation popped up on YouTube. Yes, you’re getting married. Yes, it’s a very important day. No, that doesn’t make it okay to be rude to others.

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Excerpt

“Hold on a sec.” Sam raised a finger and headed back inside. Grabbing the small radio he’d found tucked inside a closet, he placed it on the ledge above the sink, dialed up a station that played a lot of Frank Sinatra, and opened the window. The music drifted into the twilight.
In another cupboard, he found a stub of a candle in a squat holder. His aunt Gertie’d probably kept it in case of a power outage. It would do. He lit it and stepped outside to find Cricket curled up on the back porch swing, Hobo at her feet.
“So you decided to come home,” he said to the dog. “You’ve been gone half the day.”
In answer, Hobo thumped his tail on the porch.
“Yeah, I know. You heard steak was on the menu for dinner.”
The tail thumped harder, and Cricket laughed, a warm, sultry sound.
Sam set the candle on a small side table, his system on high alert.
Cricket O’Malley. The girl-next-door meets sex goddess.
He didn’t understand it, but that didn’t seem to matter. Chemistry fairly sizzled between them.
He cleared his throat, then leaned down beside the fire circle. After he got a nice little blaze started, he pulled an old bench close. “I know we don’t need the heat—” He broke off. No, they sure didn’t. If they got within ten miles of each other, they generated enough of their own. “I mean, uh, I thought it might add a little ambiance.”
“Nothing I enjoy more than sittin’ around a campfire.”
“Have a seat then, and I’ll start the steaks.”
After he tossed them on the grill, he inched down beside Cricket.
The woman smelled like heaven. Or sin. He couldn’t decide which and slung an arm over the bench back. Hobo jumped up beside him.
Sam slid closer to Cricket to give the dog more room.
Hobo took it and more.
“You’re crowding me, boy.”
Those big eyes stared up at him, then Hobo threw his head back in an ear-piercing howl.
“Stop that!”
The dog answered with another mournful cry.
“Oh, for Pete’s sake.” He tried to move the dog off the bench, but he’d become a boneless, dead weight.
Cricket laughed. “I think we both know what he wants.”
Sam let out a half-laugh. “You up for it?”
“I can handle it if you can.”
“Oh, yeah, I’m up for it.” He rolled his eyes. “Wrong way to put that, but—”
He broke off as she laid a hand on the side of his face, leaned into him, and gave him a taste of heaven.
“Not enough,” he muttered, pulling her closer, dipping his lips again and angling them to take more. He trailed kisses along her neck, then moved back to her mouth. His hands moved down her arms, brushed the sides of her breasts.
A log dropped and sent up a loud popping and a shower of sparks.
He drew back and laid his forehead against hers, noticed, thank you God, her ragged breathing matched his own. “Cricket—”
“Shhh.” She laid a finger over his lips. “Let’s just accept that for what it was.”
“What was it?”
“Darned if I know.” She laughed. “But Hobo’s quiet.”
Sam looked at the dog who, job done, had hopped off the bench and rested in the grass. “I’m liking that dog more every day.”

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Giveaway

5 copies of THE BEST LAID WEDDING PLANS by Lynnette Austin

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

imageThe luxury of staying home when the weather turns nasty, of working in PJs and bare feet, and the fact that daydreaming is not only permissible but encouraged, are a few of the reasons middle school teacher Lynnette Austin gave up the classroom to write full-time. Lynnette grew up in Pennsylvania’s Alleghany Mountains, moved to Upstate New York, then to the Rockies in Wyoming. Presently she and her husband divide their time between Southwest Florida’s beaches and Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. A finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart Contest, PASIC’s Book of Your Heart Contest, and Georgia Romance Writers’ Maggie Contest, she’s published five books as Lynnette Hallberg. She’s currently writing as Lynnette Austin. Having grown up in a small town, that’s where her heart takes her—to those quirky small towns where everybody knows everybody…and all their business, for better or worse. Visit Lynnette at http://www.authorlynnetteaustin.com.

Connect with Lynnette: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads