If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Excerpt: Starlight on Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs / @TLCBookTours @susanwiggs

Title: Starlight on Willow Lake
Series: The Lakeshore Chronicles, Book 11
Author: Susan Wiggs
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

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Join #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs on a journey to a charming Catskills town that feels like home and where a cast of brilliantly drawn characters awaits in a poignant story of reconciliation and the healing power of love. 

Mason Bellamy’s world is fast, loud and decorated with the most extreme risks. Nothing can tempt him to give up his high-rolling Manhattan life and high-maintenance girlfriend—not even family. When he’s called home to upstate Avalon to help his quadriplegic mother in her deepest time of need, he sets his mind on temporary, determined to craft a way to care for her from a distance.

Alice Hayes is supposed to be his best solution. Hiring the gentle-hearted yet struggling caregiver as a live-in nurse gives Alice and her two daughters shelter, his mother companionship and Mason the freedom to escape to his adrenaline-pumped, no-attachments routine. But Alice’s beautiful presence promises to repair Mason’s frayed family ties. And his unstoppable attraction to Alice could lead to the most exhilarating thrill of his life. 

“Wiggs’s storytelling is heartwarming… [for] romance and women’s fiction readers of any age.”—Publishers Weekly

Other books in this series


She glanced at the clock on the mantelpiece. “In a bit. Lena, the night aide, will bring her to the lounge room for coffee at nine. You can go see her in her room right away if you want.”
He did want to see his mother. Just not…before she was ready for the day.
One of the hardest things Alice Bellamy was having to adjust to was the loss of privacy. Needing another person to look after all her personal needs was a constant source of irritation. “I’ll wait,” he said. “The coffee is great, by the way. Thanks for sending it up.”
“Wayan roasts his own. He gets the green coffee beans from his family in Bali. It’s got a funny name, tupac or leewalk, something like that.”
“Luwak,” said Mason. “No wonder it’s so good. You should look this stuff up sometime. You won’t believe where it comes from.”
“Right. That’s the stuff that comes from a civet cat’s arse or something, yes?”
“It’s organic.”
Like Mrs. Armentrout, the personal chef had been selected for his unique excellence as well as his urgent need to escape his dire circumstances. Wayan had been attending cruise ship school in the Philippines. The Balinese native had abruptly been cut from that program, leaving him stranded and nearly penniless in a foreign land. Mason had found him through a sponsorship program and brought Wayan—along with his wife and son—halfway around the world. The family lived above the old carriage house, now a four-car garage and workshop. His wife, Banni, served as a daytime aide and personal assistant, and their son Donno was Alice’s driver, mechanic and general fix-it guy. Mason hadn’t met Wayan yet, but Adam sang rhapsodies about his cooking.
Mrs. Armentrout held up a rash guard shirt. “It’s a shame you had to cut your vacation short,” she said. “I’ve heard the surfing at Malibu is the best in the world.”
“It will keep,” he said simply.
“And the skiing was good?” she inquired.
“You bet.” It occurred to him to explain the trip wasn’t strictly a vacation, but a journey to fulfill his father’s last wish, followed by a work trip. He knew the explanation would make him sound less like a selfish prick who was avoiding his wounded mother.
But it didn’t actually bother him to be regarded as a selfish prick. It just made things simpler.
“How is she doing?” he asked Mrs. Armentrout. “She didn’t have much to say about her fall.”
“The doctor said the collarbone will heal nicely. There was a surgery to repair it with plates and screws, and she was able to come home the very next day.”
“I’ve spoken to the surgeon about her collarbone already. That’s not what I’m asking.”
“She’s…it’s terribly hard, Mr. Bellamy. She is bearing up.”
“Were you around when she fell?”
“No one was around. You can look over the report from the EMTs.”
“I’m sure Adam went over that with a fine-tooth comb,” Mason said.
The mantel clock chimed nine. He felt Mrs. Armentrout watching him. He could practically hear her thoughts. She was wondering why he didn’t seem so eager to settle in. “I’ll let you finish here,” he said, wishing he could be a million miles away. “I’m going to see my mother. We’re starting the interviewing process today.”
As he descended the wide, curving staircase, he wondered if this was where his mother had fallen in her chair. Had she called out in terror? Had she felt pain?
He trailed his fingers over the silky walnut handrail. She couldn’t feel the texture of the wood with her fingertips. Physical sensation below the spinal cord injury was gone. Yet when he thought of the expression he’d seen on her face last night, he knew that she still felt the deepest kind of pain.
“Mrs. Bellamy?” Mrs. Armentrout came out on the veranda. “Your first appointment is here.”
“Lucky him,” she said.
“We’ll meet in there.” Mason gestured at the great room through the French doors.
Thus began the work of finding the right individual to make life bearable for an angry, disabled woman with a major attitude problem. They met with the first group of candidates in quick succession.
The back-to-back meetings were brief and businesslike. Mason watched his mother closely as she questioned the visitors. She gave up nothing, holding her face in a benign, neutral expression, speaking in controlled, icy tones that highlighted her crisp diction. Alice Bellamy had been educated at Harvard, and although she claimed she had spent most of her college years skiing, she’d graduated with honors. She’d had a successful career as an adventure travel specialist and guide, which had nicely complemented her husband’s job in international finance.
Mason listened carefully to each applicant, wondering how the hell a person would go about helping someone like Alice Bellamy remake her life. Which candidate was up to the task? The military nurse built like a Sumo wrestler? The motherly woman with a master’s degree in nutrition and food science? The spandex-clad personal trainer? The registered nurse with a rack Mason couldn’t stop staring at? The tough-as-nails Brooklyn woman whose last client had written a glowing three-page letter of reference?
He was glad Brenda had provided photographs along with the résumés, because the interviewees were all starting to blend together. Each one of them had outstanding qualities. Mason was sure they’d met the right person. They just had to pinpoint which one.
Afterward, he placed the réumés on the table and offered his mother an encouraging smile. “Brenda did a great job,” he said. “They were all excellent. Did you have a favorite?”
She stared out the window, her face unreadable.

Susan Wiggs is the author of many beloved bestsellers, including the popular Lakeshore Chronicles series. She has won many awards for her work, including a RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America.

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