Happy Saturday my friends!! With the help of my amazing cover designer and photographer extraordinaire - Kelsey from K Keeton Designs - we have re-vamped the cover for Last Call!
I'm soooo happy with it. This new design is sleek and sexy and wait until you see what we will have for follow up book in the series. #Yummmmmy!
If you haven't read it yet, Last Call is a New Adult, Romantic Suspense that tells the story of Savannah as she stumbles her way through blind dates, a sexy bartender, and a broken heart from her past.
All while dealing with her first love marrying her cousin and something sinister that threatens not only her happily ever after, but her life.
*First Chapter Excerpt*
Friday - April 12, 2013
It all started with a 6x9-inch cream envelope and some swirling calligraphy.
I stepped into the small house I shared with my two roommates to find the offending envelope propped up against a glass vase on our dining table. Next to the envelope was a bright yellow sticky note with my roommate Sara’s chicken scratch:
Wine is chilling and dinner is on us <3
Indication #1 that this envelope was bad news.
Indication #2? The three missed calls and voicemails from my mother sitting on my phone. She never called me during my school hours, and yet today she had tried, and failed, to reach me three times. When she didn’t catch me by voice, she finally sent a quick text:
Mom: Darling, call me on your way home. Everything is fine here. I have wonderful news from Mary Anne to share.
My mother never texted me. Typically, she considered texting beneath her. This text was a warning sign.
Indication #3 was the name Mary Anne.
Then finally, as I walked towards the envelope that was so beautifully addressed to Ms. Savannah R. Guthry and flipped it over, I found indication #4. The proudly displayed return address along the back of the sealed envelope. It was a dead giveaway as to whom this event was for. As if I hadn’t connected the dots already.
First things first. I dropped the envelope back on the table, walked slowly down the long hall into my room, and stripped out of my clothes. My mood instantly improved as I slipped on my favorite comfy outfit and piled my dark hair into a messy bun on top of my head. Phone charger in tow, I walked back to the front of the house where I plugged in my phone, grabbed a glass of the aforementioned wine, and plopped myself into a chair with the offending envelope.
For a good twenty minutes I just sat there chewing on my lip and sipping the white wine. Curling my legs under me, I finally decided to open it.
The heavy paper was sealed with a gold wax “G” stamped into it and I chuckled to myself. The Guthry family certainly spared no expense when it came to a wedding of one of their own. Without looking in the envelope, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that it contained a wedding invitation. Slowly I pulled the card out, indulging in one long sip of my wine before reading the words.
Mr. and Mrs. Grantham E. Guthry
Request the honor of your presence
At the marriage of their daughter
Mary Anne Guthry
Mr. Daniel Edward Livingston, III
On Saturday the Fifteenth of June
Two Thousand and Thirteen
Country Club of Charleston
Daniel Edward Livingston, III: the boy with the crystal blue eyes and windblown blond hair. My heart clenched at the painful memory. Then, almost as quickly, I felt nothing as I thought of the man he had become. My gorgeous, Southern, spoiled cousin was marrying my first love. No big deal. I knew it would happen eventually. I could be happy for them, couldn’t I? After all, it was four years ago. Four years since Daniel sat me down to tell me he wanted to “explore his options.” Little did I know his option was my cousin Mary Anne.
The vibrations of my phone pulled me back to the present. The display glowed: Mom. I debated the wisdom of letting her fourth call of the day go to voicemail, and decided it was best to get it over with. Avoiding Erika Guthry when she wanted to speak with you was pointless. She could be relentless, and it was best to deal with her like ripping off a bandage…grit your teeth and get it over with quickly.
“Savannah Rose Guthry, I have been trying and trying to contact you today! I almost had Daddy contact the authorities. You’ve given me quite the scare, darling.”
Add hysterics and exaggeration to the list of qualities my mother possessed.
“Momma, I’m fine. You know I have classes all day. I just walked in the door a few minutes ago.”
“Well you should have called me back,” she drawled, the irritation clear in her heavily accented voice. She’d been inconvenienced. “Sweetheart, I called to tell you about Mary Anne and Daniel. Have you heard yet?”
“I’m staring at the announcement as we speak.”
“Oh darling, I’m sorry. I so hoped I would be able to warn you. Are you alright?” she asked; her voice heavy with misplaced sorrow. The speed at which her emotions changed could give you whiplash.
“Mother, it’s been four years. I’m fine.”
“Losing someone like Daniel Livingston does not simply go away, Savannah. I can’t believe we let him slip through your fingers and right into Mary Anne’s. Why, I bet Charlene is prancing like a peacock at the match.”
“I’m sure she is, Momma. Look, I need to run…”
“Honey, you know Mary Anne barely graduated, don’t you? Daniel would have done so much better with you. But here we are; they’re getting married in June and you’re in Tennessee still in school.” Her voice rose an octave or two as she mournfully complained.
“I’ve really got to run, Mother,” I interjected before she could whine some more.
“What? Oh darling, your father is calling. We’re supposed to have dinner with the Alexanders this evening. Oh…” she gasped. “The most amazing idea just popped into my head! Spencer played golf with your daddy and Neal today…”
“Oh Momma, don’t go there. Leave poor Spencer Alexander alone,” I begged. You could practically hear the matchmaking wheels spinning from two states away.
“Sweetheart, Spencer was a doll all those years ago escorting you to your coming out party after Daniel broke your heart. Don’t you worry about a thing, Savannah. I’ll handle everything. I’ll call you in a few days to discuss the details of the pre-wedding events. Love you.”
“Alright, love you…” I heard a click and she was gone.
With a heavy sigh, I lifted my wine glass to my lips and was surprised to find it empty. According to the clock on the wall, Sara and Candace should be back with dinner any minute. Another glass could wait for them to return. As I carefully took the wedding invitation from my lap and slipped it back into the envelope, I allowed my mind to wander back to Spencer Alexander. The history there was way more complicated than my mother knew, and he didn’t deserve her snooping into his personal life when all he did was play golf with my father.
Mind made up, I quickly rang my father’s cell phone, hoping to catch him before he picked my mother up for dinner.
“Bradford Guthry,” his brusque business voice answered.
“Hi, Daddy.” Yes, I was a daddy’s girl.
“Hi, baby. Sorry, I didn’t see it was you. Everything alright?”
“I’m great, Daddy. I talked to Momma a moment ago about Mary Anne’s wedding.”
“Oh? I’m sorry baby, I should have warned you about that.”
Funny thing was, I knew immediately that my father was talking about warning me about my mother calling. Whereas my mother thought I needed warning of the event, as if I was going to have an emotional meltdown. My father knew it was my mother’s overreacting, melodramatic phone calls that would put me over the edge.
“It’s alright, I survived. However, Spencer Alexander may not.”
“Spence? What does he have to do with anything?”
“What, indeed,” I laughed; filling him in on Mother’s ‘amazing idea’.
“Leave your mother to me, honey. Will you be home before the wedding, or are you set on staying in Nashville for the summer?”
“You know I’m staying here, Daddy.”
“Alright, sweetie. I promised not to complain. Don’t worry about your mother. I’ll keep her off your case. You have finals in the next few weeks, don’t you?”
“Okay then, study hard and let us know how you do. Let me run before your mother yells at me for being late again.”
“Have fun. Love you.” I laughed as I hung up the phone, my mood significantly improved merely by speaking with him.
My mother and father were polar opposites when it came to me. Although I knew they both wanted what was best for me, it was my father who listened to me about my wants. My mother, on the other hand, assumed she knew what I wanted and never had a problem making decisions for me.
Muted laughter outside the front door alerted me to my roommates’ arrival. Hearing the fumbling and rattling of a key in the lock, I got up to help them in.
Sara let out a curse as I pulled the door open and she stumbled in. “We’ve got to get a locksmith to look at this. It sticks.”
“Surprise,” sang Candace, nudging Sara in and holding up two carry out bags from my favorite local Italian restaurant.
“And ice cream,” Sara chimed in, pulling out a tub of Ben and Jerry’s. “Want dessert first?”
I so did, more than either of them knew.