Monday, May 1, 2017

Secrets of the Tulip Sister by Susan Mallery ~ Excerpt & Giveaway




Coming July 11th from
Harlequin

A wonderful story full of romance, forgiveness and the unavoidable ties that bind, SECRETS OF THE TULIP SISTERS is Susan Mallery at her very best.

The relationship of sisters Kelly and Olivia Van Gilder has been, well… complicated ever since their mother left them as teens, though it's the secrets they have been keeping from each other as adults that have unwittingly widened the chasm. But one thing they do share is the not-so-secret torch they carry for the Martin brothers.

In the small enclave of New Holland, Washington, Griffith and Ryan Martin were demigods. While Griffith was the object of Kelly's high school crush and witness to her mortal teenage humiliation, Ryan was for Olivia the boy who got away-something she's never forgiven Kelly for-and the only person since her mother who appreciated her wild streak.

Now, ten years later, both brothers are newly returned to town. Believing they're destined to be together, Olivia's determined to get Ryan back, until she discovers that she's not the only one keeping secrets…and that perhaps he's not the handsome prince she remembered. And even though Griffith has grown up to be more irresistible than ever, Kelly's impulse is to avoid him and the painful memory he represents, despite his resolve to right the wrong he caused her long ago-and her desire to let him.


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It was rare for anything to keep Kelly from a good night’s sleep, but her conversation with Griffith had done that and more. The man had made it clear he wanted to sleep with her. In a way more troubling, he wanted her to be his girlfriend.

Who talked like that? She’d never had a guy come up and baldly state his intentions. Not that she had huge experience with men. She wasn’t exactly a guy magnet. She’d had the requisite college boyfriend where she’d lost her virginity and had doodled Mrs. Elijah Mellon in her notes, but by her senior year, she’d realized she was more excited about returning to the farm than getting married.
A couple of years after graduation, she and Sven had started seeing each other. Their relationship had started slowly. They’d been friends for nearly a year before they’d taken things “to the next level.” After becoming lovers, they’d settled into a comfortable albeit not very exciting relationship. She’d never pushed for more, nor had he. Still, she’d been surprised when he’d ended things six months ago. Not heartbroken but surprised. Which was too bad because on paper, she and Sven were well suited. She grew tulips, he grew plants for nurseries up and down the West Coast.

So that was her romantic past—Elijah and Sven. Did she want Griffith as her third? And what did it say about her that Griffith thought she would be okay as only a girlfriend with no promise of more? Which she was, but why did he know that?

She finished making her bed, then walked back into the Jack and Jill bathroom she’d shared with her sister growing up. After brushing her wavy hair into submission, she pulled it back in her usual ponytail, then studied herself in the mirror.

Why her? She wasn’t pretty or glamorous. Now if she were her sister Olivia, she could understand Griffith’s interest. Of course if she were Olivia, Griffith would have to get in line because there were always men interested in her younger sister.

Not that Kelly was interested in that kind of attention. She didn’t want passion or the drama that came with it. She’d seen what uncontrolled passion did in the form of her mother’s destruction of their family. Kelly wanted something different. Not quiet and not sensible, just…safe. She wanted to feel safe. In her mind that was way more important than some fleeting hormone-induced excuse to destroy and abandon.

She left her bedroom and walked down the hallway to the kitchen. The Murphy house was nearly a hundred years old, built when the land was originally homesteaded. All remnants of the classic farmhouse had been remodeled away until what remained was a U-shaped rambler.

The front of the house had a big family room, a large kitchen and formal dining room. To the left was the study her dad used and beyond that were the master bedroom and an en suite guest room. To the right of the main living quarters was another, shorter hallway, leading to two good-sized bedrooms with the Jack and Jill bathroom at the end of the hall.

Funny how she and her sister had never fought over that shared bathroom, or much of anything else. At least not when they’d been younger. Despite their parents’ troubled marriage, the constant fighting and the way each parent had claimed one child as his or her favorite, Kelly and Olivia had been buddies. They’d played together, hung out together and had been close. That had changed. Kelly wasn’t sure when exactly, but by the time their mother had left, Olivia was different. Or maybe Marilee’s departure had caused the shift—which meant Kelly had even more responsibility for what had happened.

She could tell herself she’d been a kid and it wasn’t her fault, but she knew the truth. Her fight with her mother had pushed Marilee into leaving and Kelly was the reason Olivia had been sent away.
“Deep thoughts for a weekday morning,” she murmured as she crossed to the coffeepot.
The coffee was already brewed—her father would have started it before he left for the diner. She poured a mug and inhaled the delicious scent before taking her first sip. In a matter of minutes caffeine would flow through her veins and her world would slowly right itself.

She took another swallow before starting her breakfast. While the instant oatmeal heated in the microwave, she made a protein shake with frozen berries. When her cereal was ready, she stirred in a few walnuts and a spoonful of brown sugar and carried everything to the kitchen table. She got her tablet from the shelf by the window and checked email while she ate.

By the time she’d finished, she’d scanned the digital headlines, browsed two farm equipment ads, and had chuckled at a kitten playing with a laser dot on a Facebook video.

She rinsed her dishes and put them in the dishwasher, then poured a second mug of coffee. She had to figure out what she was going to cook on her days this week. She and her father alternated that particular chore.

They’d come to terms with their unusual living arrangement fairly easily. They each had a wing in the house. He went out for breakfast at Helen’s diner five days a week, they had someone in to clean the house, and they traded off cooking the evening meal. Their schedules were posted on a large wall calendar in the oversized pantry, so each would know when the other wasn’t going to be around for dinner. Every now and then Kelly thought that maybe she should move out and get her own place, but each time she mentioned it, her father told her he liked having her around. As for her, well, she didn’t seem to be in a big hurry to go anywhere.

The back door opened and Jeff Murphy walked in.

“Hey, Kitten.”

“Hi, Dad. How was breakfast?”

“Delja cooks a mean omelet. If I thought I was man enough, I would marry her in a second.”
Kelly laughed. “I don’t think she’s your type.”

“Probably not, but a guy can dream.” He hung his jacket on the hook by the back door and crossed to her for a quick hug. He poured himself coffee, then leaned against the counter.

“We have two more Christmas orders,” he said. “If this keeps up, we’re going to be shipping half a million tulips in December. Plus you know some idiot’s going to call in November and ask if we have any extras.”

“I’m ready. We can go as high as six hundred thousand, then we’re out.”

“I’ll be sure to let our distributors know. Also, that fancy yellow one is selling real well in Los Angeles. Connie wants to know if you can make those in any other colors.”

“Da-ad. Those yellow ones? Is that really what we’re reduced to these days?”

“You go ahead and use their fancy names. I’ll stick with yellow.”

Jeff knew the names better than she did. He’d been growing tulips since he was a teenager. When Kelly had graduated college and joined the farm full-time, they’d talked about how to handle things. Jeff was tired of being responsible for all the growing and Kelly had no interest in dealing with distributors or clients, so they’d split the duties. Like their living arrangements, it was a system that worked for them.

Sometimes she wondered if he’d ever wanted more than life in a small town. He was a relatively young man—not yet fifty—but he hadn’t remarried after his divorce. As far as everyone was concerned, he’d never even dated. Every few months he disappeared to Seattle for a long weekend. Kelly assumed he met someone for a brief affair, but that was it.

As for herself, she had no idea what she was going to do about Griffith. Being someone’s girlfriend again sounded nice, but shouldn’t she want more? Shouldn’t she want to fall in love and have babies and live happily ever after?

She supposed the problem was she didn’t believe in happily ever after anymore. If she ever had.




About the author:

With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.

Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com.



In partnership with Harlequin Books, Stuck In Books has a beautiful bouquet of tulips to give away!

The winner can choose to receive the bouquet or send it to someone else (a mother, a daughter, a friend).

US only

Note:  The winner will be required to give a phone number in addiction to the address they want the flowers delivered to for the delivery process.

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12 comments:

  1. This looks like a really fun, sweet read. I love it!

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  2. I love to read family stories, especially sisters, so I'd love to read this book.

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  3. Where can I go and print the lists of her book in the order they were released so I can read them in order??? Thanks!

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  4. Two words...Susan Mallery! That says it all. Love her books.

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  5. I really want to read Secrets of the Tulip Sisters to see what happens! Who ends up with who, what happened that caused the rift, and what the yellow tulips are really called! It just sounds like a wonderful book of second chances & lots of beautiful tulips.

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  6. I love Susan Mallery! I always look forward to reading her books!

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  7. Anxious to try a stand alone , outside of the Fool's Gold world. Thanks!

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  8. Sounds like a great read and I love Susan's books.

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  9. It sounds good!

    mia2009(at)comcast(dot)net

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  10. I want to read this book because it sounds like a wonderful book and would be a great spring/summer read.

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  11. Thanks for featuring this excerpt for the tour!

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