Sunday, October 22, 2017

Excerpt from Notice Me

Victoria has loved Andrew for 12 years. It's time to make him notice her.

Andrew Moore has always thought of Victoria as family. She is his best friend’s little sister and his little sister’s best friend, but recently something has changed. Andrew is thinking about Victoria in a completely different way. She will never fit into his quiet, conservative world. They are too different to have a future together, but he cannot stop noticing her.

Victoria Carson has been in love with Andrew since her sixteenth birthday, but Andrew never noticed her as anything other than the girl next door. She fled from her hometown so that she wouldn’t have to watch Andrew build a life with someone else. But things have changed. Andrew is now a widower, and Victoria has returned home. It is time to make him notice her.

Return to Holton, Texas to see if Victoria can get Andrew to notice her. Notice Me is the second book in the Holton Series but may be read as a standalone novel.

Victoria took a deep breath before tossing Andrew the baseball. She watched with satisfaction as his eyes widen and a crooked smile crossed his face. As always, his smile took her breath, and when his eyes locked with hers, she was unable to look away. Her heart beat faster and her mouth went dry. Andrew’s smile faded and his eyes narrowed. At that point, it was just the two of them. Everyone else in the room faded away. She could hear her heart pounding in her ears. Victoria knew her desire for him showed but was surprised to see a flickering response in his eyes. She was unable to breathe and for a moment, she thought he was going to reach for her. Then, he took a deep breath and the desire faded from his face.
"Thank you, Victoria," Andrew said gravely.
A sharp stab of disappointment ran through her but the spell was broken. He might desire her but he wasn’t going to act on it. She quickly averted her eyes and launched into the story about the player and getting his autograph. They were all impressed that she had actually met him, and the conversation became a rehashing of his career. Julie decided it was time for her kids to go to sleep so Victoria volunteered to help put them to bed. She felt the need to put some distance between her and Andrew.
Upstairs, she took Katie to her room. The five year old was tired but fighting sleep and she begged for a story. There was little Victoria could refuse Julie’s daughter. She loved all of the Riley children, but did admit to herself that Katie was her favorite. Named after her, Katherine Victoria was sweet, affectionate, and mischievous. Julie had put Michael to bed and stopped by Katie’s room. She smiled when she saw Victoria with Katie’s favorite storybook in her hand.
"Do you want me to read to her?" she asked from the doorway.
"No. I want to."
Julie nodded and headed back downstairs. Victoria picked up the book and began reading. It wasn’t long before Katie drifted off to sleep. Victoria carefully rose and covered her with the bedspread. She stood a moment by the bed fighting the longing for a child of her own. When she turned and headed for the door, she saw Phyllis leaning against it.
"Is she asleep?"
Victoria nodded and walked over to Phyllis. She linked her arm with the woman she considered a second mother. As a child, Victoria had spent as many hours in the Moore home as she had in her own, and she had a great deal of love and respect for this woman. Victoria closed the door softly behind her and headed for the stairs. Phyllis stopped her before she reached them.
"Tori, you should consider having children of your own."
Victoria closed her eyes momentarily against the pain her remark caused. Twice in a matter of days, someone had made that suggestion, and Victoria fought the longing each time. She smiled ironically. "I think it’s too late for me to marry and I can’t imagine raising a child on my own."
She looked at the older woman and saw that Phyllis was staring at her, searching for something.
"You’ve given up," Phyllis said softly.
Fear raced through Victoria. Surely, Phyllis didn’t know. She quickly gathered herself together. "What do you mean?"
"You’ve given up on Andrew, haven’t you?"
Victoria leaned back against the wall and sighed. "How did you know?"
"Oh, Tori. I’ve known you since you were five years old. I still remember the look on your face at your sixteenth birthday party when Andrew handed you his gift. It was like a light had suddenly been turned on inside you. You had always burned bright but that day, a fire ignited in you. It worried me at first but I should’ve known better. You were incredibly sensible underneath all that flamboyant exterior even then. You knew you were too young at the time and you were willing to wait. Only we both waited too long, didn’t we? I wasn’t prepared for Carolyn either."
Victoria watched Phyllis as she turned and looked down the stairway. For some reason, it helped to know that she had been watching out for her. She listened as Phyllis went on.
"I wish I could say I had loved her. Carolyn was very nice and a good daughter-in-law. She gave me two beautiful grandchildren but I couldn’t love her. You see, I wanted you for Andrew." She smiled a little sadly at Victoria who leaned over and hugged her. "Don’t give up on him, Tori. He’s coming around. I can see it."
"I don’t know, Phyllis. I don’t think I’m making any progress, and it hurts so much."
"I know it does, dear. I wish I could say that you will never hurt again but we both know that’s not true. All I can say is that I think you are just what he needs. I believe someday he’ll realize that."


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Saved by H.L. Anderson - New Release

Theresa Kent is a wife, mom, and hardworking nurse living in rural Colorado. Life is good until her increasingly despondent, unemployed husband suddenly snaps—his vicious attack leaves Theresa fighting for her life as she tries to escape the insane version of the man she loves.

Ryan Tucker appears to have it all, except he’s been merely existing, not living, for the last three years. His emotions get a much needed jump start when he rescues Theresa from the torment her life has become in just a matter of days. Ryan feels an instant and fierce desire to protect this stranger that fell into his life.

Hanging over their heads is the knowledge that Theresa’s husband is still out there, hunting for her.

Can two broken souls be repaired, or will the demons of the past and present come between the repressed love that grows between them?

Theresa sat forward, the seatbelt tugging at her collarbone. She smiled as she stared at the crooked, brown, furry trunks that split into thick branches—a melon-sized clump of green reaching for the sky atop each branch. “I’ve killed a cactus before. More than one, actually.”

“Ah. Did the cactus do something to deserve an early demise? Or, are you just a silent psychopathic killer of cacti?”

She cringed a little at his choice of words, but hid it with a small chuckle. “Neither. I’m just really bad at keeping plants alive. My thumb is not only decisively not green—it’s necrotic. I have necrotic thumb syndrome when it comes to plants.”

“Hmm. I see. So, how, exactly, do you go about killing a cactus?”

“Well, there are several ways actually. Too much water. Not enough sunlight. And, surprisingly, not enough water. Apparently, you can’t just ignore one and hope it sucks up enough moisture from the air to survive.”

“Okay. Necrotic thumb noted. There will be no gifts of living plants from me in your future. How do you fare with the plastic versions?”

She snorted at the fake seriousness in his voice. Turning to him, she wrinkled her brow to match his tone. “I can’t guarantee the safety of even synthetic greenery in the care of my black and decaying thumb.”

Mouth twitching, he narrowed his eyes and placed a finger alongside his jaw, nodding. “I see. This is more serious than I thought. Dead flowers and chocolate will have to suffice, I suppose.”

She laughed, then turned serious, laying her hand on his arm where it rested between them. “Or, we could just say that saving my life and taking care of me when you really didn’t have to is enough of a gift to last an entire lifetime and then some.”

About the Author:
Holli Anderson has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing—which has nothing to do with writing, except maybe by adding some pretty descriptive injury and vomit scenes to her books. She discovered her joy of writing during a very trying period in her life when escaping into make-believe saved her. She enjoys reading any book she gets her hands on, but has a particular love for anything fantasy.

Along with her husband, Steve, and their four sons, she lives in Grantsville, Utah—the same small town in which she grew up.

Instagram: anderson.holli
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Sunday, October 15, 2017