I have never been afraid to share my love for Susan Mallery and now is your chance to preorder her next fabulous read coming out this July!!!
(And make sure you enter for your chance to win some flowers … just in time for Mother’s Day in case you need a little help 😉 )
Secrets of the Tulip Sisters
by Susan Mallery
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (July 11, 2017)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Daughters of the Bride comes the charming tale about the problem with secrets, the power of love and the unbreakable bond between sisters
Kelly Murphy’s life as a tulip farmer is pretty routine—up at dawn, off to work, lather, rinse, repeat. But everything changes one sun-washed summer with two dramatic homecomings: Griffith Burnett—Tulpen Crossing’s prodigal son, who’s set his sights on Kelly—and Olivia, her beautiful, wayward and, as far as Kelly is concerned, unwelcome sister. Tempted by Griffith, annoyed by Olivia, Kelly is overwhelmed by the secrets that were so easy to keep when she was alone.
But Olivia’s return isn’t as triumphant as she pretends. Her job has no future, and ever since her dad sent her away from the bad boy she loved, she has felt cut off from her past. She’s determined to reclaim her man and her place in the family…whether her sister likes it or not. For ten years, she and Kelly have been strangers. Olivia will get by without her approval now.
While Kelly and Olivia butt heads, their secrets tumble out in a big hot mess, revealing some truths that will change everything they thought they knew. Can they forgive each other—and themselves—and redefine what it means to be sisters?
Told with Mallery’s trademark heart and humor, the Tulip Sisters are in for the most colorful summer of their lives…
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“This is going to take a while. Are you two willing to come back in a couple of hours or do you want to call it a night?”
Jeff glanced at the clock on the wall. It was nearly six.
“Buy you a burger?” he asked Helen.
“That would be great. Thanks.”
Jeff returned his attention to Isaak. “We’ll be across the street.”
“Great. I’ll come get you there.”
Jeff locked his guitar in his truck before they headed across the highway to the Tulip Burger restaurant. While Helen didn’t mind that their town was all things tulip, she felt the new owners of Tulip Burger had taken things too far. There were stencils on the wall, a tulip-shaped blackboard with specials and tulip-printed napkins. Cute, but not necessary. Tourists already knew where they were—there was no reason to drill home the point.
They took a seat at a booth in the back. Helen knew better than to read too much into the dinner invitation. New band disagreements were frequent, which meant she and Jeff often had time to kill between sessions. What she didn’t know was whether or not she wanted to return to the previous topic. While it might help get her closer to her goal of being his love slave, there was also the risk of him saying something like, “I will only ever see you as my friend.”
Helen stared at the menu. They had a really nice grilled chicken salad. If she asked for dressing on the side, she would have made it nearly twelve hours on her new low-carb, low-fat diet and wouldn’t that be special.
“Want to split the bacon cheeseburger?” Jeff asked.
Because while the decorations might be tacky, the food was amazing and the bacon cheeseburgers were huge and delicious and, well, damn.
Helen’s stomach grumbled, which she took as a vote of “yes, please.” Oh, why did she have to be weak? Or fat?
“Sure,” she murmured, then waited for the wave of guilt.
Their server came over. Jeff ordered for them, asking for extra fries and suggesting a chocolate milkshake. In deference to the now broken diet, she said she would just have water.
“We’re getting Christmas orders,” Jeff said when their server had left. “It’s June. What are they thinking waiting so long? We have to grow the tulips from bulbs, which we have to order. It’s not like we can put on an extra shift in the factory.”
“Maybe if you put up inspirational posters they’d grow faster.”
“Are you sassing me?”
“Actually I believe I was sassing the tulips.” She sipped her water. “I get that you’re growing flowers, but it’s still strange to me that flower distributors have to order flowers so far in advance. The most I have to do is make sure my food orders are done two weeks out. What if the bulbs don’t work?”
“They’ll be fine.”
“Still, it seems risky. You put a bulb in the ground and expect there to be a flower. You even know exactly which one it is. That’s a lot of trust.”
“It’s farming, Helen. Don’t make it into magic.”
“I think there’s an element of magic. I mean, come on. Eggplants. Who saw that coming?”
A burger and more fries than Weight Watchers would approve of later, Helen pushed her plate away. The chef had tossed a little avocado on their burger, taking it from delicious to heavenly. She would, she swore, start her diet tomorrow. Again.
Jeff moved his glass of iced tea in a circle on the table. He looked at her, down at his drink, then back at her.
“Before you were asking me about the women I sleep with.”
Had Helen been drinking, she would have choked. As it was, she tried not to flinch and still had to clear her throat before speaking.
“That’s one way of putting it,” she murmured. “I was just wondering about, you know.”
She tried desperately to think up something to say. If she wasn’t desperately in love with him, what would she want to know?
“How do you do it?” she asked, then held up a hand. “The logistics of finding someone. I know how to have sex.”
He smiled. “I would hope so.”
“It’s the other stuff.”
“Why are you asking?”
Because I want you desperately and I’m hoping you’ll make the jump from friend to more than friends, pull me close and ravish me with a fiery passion. She glanced around the diner. Okay, maybe you’ll just suggest we go back to my place.
“Helen? Why are you asking?”
“I’ve been divorced for years and I need to do something.”
“You don’t want to date anyone in town?”
“Um, well, that’s hard to say. There aren’t a lot of single guys. Sven is Kelly’s ex, so that would never work. Griffith is into Kelly, so again, a problem. Now that I think about it, your daughter is creating trouble in my personal life.”
“You want to date Sven and Griffith?”
“No, but blaming Kelly means it’s not my fault.”
“I respect that. There’s Ryan.”
Helen wrinkled her nose. “Thanks, but no. He’s flaky and not my type.”
“Plus he’s too young for you.”
She glared at him. “Excuse me? He’s what, five years younger than me. That’s a perfectly acceptable age gap.” Jeez, if Jeff didn’t think five years was okay, what was he going to say about their sixteen-year difference?
“You’re an old soul. Ryan isn’t.”
“That’s amazingly similar to calling me old.”
“You know I didn’t mean that. You’re on a tear tonight.”
“Not really. Just sassing you.”
“You said it was the tulips.”
She grinned. “I lied.”
“You don’t have to sound so cheerful about it.”
“Why not? I’m a cheerful person. Now about your women… How does it happen. Do you go to bars? Is there a website? And why haven’t you ever brought someone home? Don’t you want to get married again? I know things with Marilee weren’t great, but it’s been forever. You’re still a relatively young man. Don’t you ever want more? Someone to care about you and be a part of your life?”
His steady gaze warned her that she might have gone too far with that last bit, but she figured Jeff would chalk it up to enthusiasm rather than a plea for attention.
“Helen,” he began, then stopped. His tense expression relaxed.
She turned and saw Isaak walking toward them.
“Timing bites,” she muttered.
“Depends on how you look at it.”
“You would say that.”
Isaak slid in next to her and reached for a fry. “We have made our musical selections.”
“Great.” Jeff was already standing. “Can’t wait to hear what they are.”
Isaak grabbed two more fries, then rose. Helen followed, then moved close to Jeff.
“Chick, chick, chicken,” she chanted softly.
“You know it.”
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The winner can decide if they would like the bouquet for themselves, their mother (Mother’s Day gift!), a sister, daughter, friend, anybody!!
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Winner for this stop will be chosen randomly from the comments. I’m curious how many of you have enjoyed Susan Mallery’s work before and if you have what your favorite book is. It’s not an easy choice for me but I’m awfully partial to Falling for Gracie – it will always have a special place in my heart 🙂
You have until 6 PM CST on Thursday, May 4th to enter, so leave a note and good luck!
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