Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Book Tour + #Giveaway: Lightning in a Bottle by Gina Ardito @GinaArdito @SDSXXTours

Lightning in a Bottle
by Gina Ardito
Genre: Contemporary Romance

After suffering through a humiliating divorce in New York, Bo McKenzie is out of luck, money, and patience. Arriving in Silverton, Texas, she’s bet her last dime on the launch of her craft brewery to get her life back on track. Despite her vow to stay focused solely on the beer business, one man manages to capture her heart. Can she trust him?

Drew Garwood’s one true love has always been serving the legal needs of his neighbors. His greatest trouble is keeping his brother on the right side of the law. When Bo McKenzie sweeps into town, she rouses his passion and provides the spark his life has been missing. Whatever happened before she came to Silverton has left her guarded and suspicious. Can he break down her defenses?

As the two struggle to rein in their wild attraction, secrets and greed could destroy the brewery and force Bo out of town for good – unless Drew can find a way to convince her to stay. 

Goodreads * Amazon

Outtake I:  

If you can’t behave until the steaks are done, I will banish you to the patio outside.” 

Fine.” She tore lettuce leaves off the head of romaine and dropped them in a colander, doing her best to maintain the boundary he set. Through her lashes, she caught him staring at her several times. When she did, she’d slow down the leaf-tearing, making each motion slow and deliberate. The fourth time she caught him, she licked her lips, her pink tongue teasing the flesh from one corner to the other. 

So, umm…” he said in a low tone, his gaze now laser-focused on applying fresh cracked black pepper to the steaks, “are you…” He cleared his throat. “Are you wearing my underwear right now?” 

She snorted in her attempt to hold back a satisfied smile. “No.”

He sounded so disappointed she knew she had to cheer him up. “I’m not wearing any.”

The wooden peppermill in his hand clattered to the floor and rolled toward her feet. “Damn.” The word came out a harsh whisper, as if it were the last utterance of a dying man.

Her laughter nearly exploded then and there, but she bent at the waist, giving him a fabulous view of her cleavage, while she picked up the peppermill. “Here you go.” She placed it in his hand, allowing her fingers to glide over his palm as she did so.

His eyes widened, and his Adam’s apple dropped when he swallowed. “Thanks.”

Oh, you’re very welcome,” she crooned and returned her attention to her salad ingredients. Upping the ante, she swung her hips to the beat of the music while working. Done with the lettuce, she picked up one of the cucumbers, found a peeler on the island, and shimmied her way to the sink. She turned on the water and skimmed off the cuke’s rind. Who said it was hard to be seductive while peeling a phallic-shaped vegetable? She varied her strokes from long and slow to faster around the tip, all the while allowing the discards to drop into the drain equipped with a garbage disposal. 

He might have made a strangled noise; she couldn’t be sure. But she definitely sensed him slip behind her seconds before his hands landed on her hips and his lips found their way to her neck.

Her breath left her lungs in one quick sigh of delight. Somehow, she managed to turn off the water before he spun her around to trail kisses from the hollow of her throat to the hollow of her breasts. His hands, hot and searching, slid up her waist until his fingers found their way underneath the knotted t-shirt. She gripped him by the belt loops of his jeans, pulling him closer, and arched her back—a subtle hint she ached for his touch everywhere. He complied with her unspoken request, his hand sliding up past the knot of the t-shirt, molding the flesh to his palm. A throaty purr rumbled from her mouth. Just for now, she told herself. To quench this need he’d ignited in her. If she slept with him once, whatever draw he had on her would evaporate and she could go on with her plans, focused and recharged. Just this one time…

What about the porterhouse?” she eked out, not giving one good god damn about steak right now. 

Dinner’s going to be late,” he told her and yanked the t-shirt off over her head. 

I can wait,” she replied as her hand traveled to the button of his fly.  

About the Cover 

I’m extremely fortunate in my cover artist, Elaina Lee of For the Muse Design (http://www.forthemusedesign.com/index.html). No matter what impossible ideal I throw her way, she always exceeds beyond what I picture in my head. The cover for LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE is a perfect example. This story is part of Carolyn Brown’s Blame it on Texas world in the Kindle Worlds program. Carolyn’s written two stories for this series: LONG, HOT TEXAS SUMMER and DAISIES IN THE CANYON. Both her covers feature women, from the torso down, each wearing a white dress hiked up at the knees. In the first, she’s got red cowboy boots on her feet. In the second, she’s wearing black army boots. I wanted to keep close to the theme Carolyn’s covers established, but still fit the brand Elaina’s already established for my books. What did I tell Elaina I wanted? Something with a woman’s torso, wearing jeans (maybe barefoot?), and holding a beer. She came back with two prototypes, the cover I chose and another that was just as terrific. Why did I end up picking this one? I love the green background, which really pops against her red shirt. And as luck would have it, there’s a scene where my heroine is wearing a very similar outfit as the woman on my cover. See if this outfit looks familiar in Chapter Seven:

Drew pulled into the gravel-covered lot behind a building with aluminum siding the hideous color of Pepto-Bismol and slid the gear into park. “Here we are.”

This is my competition?” In comparison to Empire Brewery, this place was Barbie’s toolshed. Where was the ambience? The aesthetic details? “It’s pink. And ugly.”

“Don’t be smug. The Sugar Shack has a loyal clientele. Look around.” He indicated the dented trucks, old cars, and motorcycles parked around them. “These are the real people in the canyon. Not the mayor or those state officials you’ll glad-hand at the soft opening on Saturday night.”

“They’re not all state officials.”

“You know what I mean.” He unbuckled his seatbelt and opened the driver’s door. “Come on.”

“Fifteen minutes,” she reminded him as she followed suit.

“Thirty,” he said over the roof of the Jeep. “Plus, at least one dance and one drink.”

“Okay, okay.” The soles of her favorite blue suede boots crunched over the gravel when she strode toward him. Taking Drew’s advice, she’d opted to wear a pair of dark jeans and a red-and-black-buffalo-plaid flannel shirt over a simple black tank. The boots were, as always, non-negotiable, but thankfully, Drew had approved of them anyway. Of course, the fact she still wore his boxer briefs beneath her jeans meant she could’ve insisted on coming barefoot and he would’ve agreed.

She took a deep cleansing breath of the night air, hoping to borrow some calm from the stillness around them. As they drew nearer, music broke the quiet—something twangy with a banjo and a harmonica. So not her style. A few people loitered outside on a deck, smoking and laughing. Her nerves returned, and she gripped Drew’s hand with the strength of a vise.  

God, she hated making small talk. Strangers always started out by mentioning her height in some snarky way.

“If one person asks me if I ever played professional basketball…” she warned.
“Say yes and challenge them to a quick game of one-on-one in the yard. 
They’ll back down.”

Despite her anxiety, a smile tugged at her lips.

“Atta girl. Come on.” He loosened her grasp but kept her hand cupped in his, pulling her along.

Meanwhile, she struggled to keep from digging in her heels to root in the ground beneath the gravel. It wasn’t just her height. What was she supposed to say when they asked, as people always did, about being a woman in a male-oriented business? Or why she’d left the hustle and bustle of New York for the laid-back Palo Duro Canyon in Texas? And would her husband be joining her? What about her children?

By the time she’d run through her litany of rude questions, Drew had opened the door and ushered her inside the establishment. Bo paused to allow her senses to adjust to the dim interior, the loud music, the crush of the crowd, and the foreign surroundings. Where she had lined her walls at the brewery with armor and weapons from various historical empires, Mr. Tiny Lee had opted for old license plates from all over the country. A long bar ran the length of the building, flanked by assorted chairs and stools, none of which matched, and ended with a jukebox. A jukebox! Bo hadn’t seen one of those since she stopped watching Happy Days reruns.

See? She nailed it. As she always does.

I kill houseplants. There. Now you know one of my greatest shames. I'm not boasting. I just figure that if you're reading this, you're looking for more than how wonderful life is as a writer. You get enough of that elsewhere. Ditto for political rants, how to lose thirty pounds in a week, and creating gorgeous crafts with nothing more than twine and soup cans. My goal is to connect with you, dear reader, even if you're not a writer, not a New Yorker, not a mother, not a female. We're human (unless one of us is a spambot), and what we have in common is flaws. So here are a few more of mine:

I sing all the time. I sing songs most people don't know--jingles from television, crazy stuff I used to listen to on Dr. Demento, Broadway and movie soundtracks, and I can even bum-bum-bum through instrumental music. I sing in the car. In the shower. While I'm grocery shopping. And I headbop while I sing. When I'm not singing, I talk to myself. Just ignore me and move on. You get used to it after a while.

I don't eat my vegetables. Seriously. I only started eating salad about ten years ago, but I'd still rather have a cookie.

Given the option, I would live in a mall where I would never have to worry about freezing temperatures or too much sun. I'm extremely fair-skinned and could burn under a 60-watt light bulb.

I can't sleep without background noise so the television's on all night. If it's too dark and too quiet, all I have are my thoughts. And even *I* don't want to be alone with my thoughts.

Don't ask me to Zumba, line dance, or march in the parade. I have absolutely no rhythm.

I color outside the lines. Not because I'm a rebel, but because I suck as an artist. My artistic ability is limited to being able to draw Snoopy sleeping on his doghouse. And I don't even draw that well.

Regrets. I have more than a few.

My favorite activity is sleep, and I'm pretty good at it. I don't clock a lot of hours, but I can powernap like a Persian cat and rejuvenate within ten minutes.

I consider shopping and dining out excellent therapy for anything wrong in my life.

My feet are always cold. Always. My husband of more than a quarter century claims it's because I'm an alien sent to Earth to destroy him. (He might be right about that.)

Coming to my house for a visit? Unless you've given me plenty of advance notice, be prepared. My floor will not be vacuumed, there will be dishes in my sink, and I only make my bed when I change the sheets once a week (I'm climbing back into it ASAP. Why make it?) Housecleaning is not high on my priority list. Okay, to be totally honest, it's not on the list at all.

I can resist anything...except ice cream.

Since this is our first date, I figure I've revealed enough secrets for now. But if you've read this bio and think I might be the author for you, pick up one of my books or stalk my website

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!


James Robert said...

Congrats on the tour and thank you for the book description and giveaway. I appreciate it!