Please join me in welcoming romance author, Mary Lou George! Mary Lou has several books out but today we’re going to focus on her latest book, Saving Destiny. It released in February from Siren-Bookstrand. Take it away, Mary Lou…
A Few Words From Mary Lou George
Just check any woman’s list of what she finds most attractive about a man and you’ll find ‘sense of humor’ in the top five. A man who can’t make us laugh isn’t sexy. That’s why no matter how serious the subject matter, you’ll always find funny bits in my novels. Of course there are plenty of serious, passionate moments too. You’ll find murderers, vampires, shape shifters, rapists and just plain tortured men in my stories, but that doesn’t mean it’s always doom and gloom. In my most recent book, Saving Destiny, there’s plenty of angst to go around. Sloan and Mac can’t find their way back to each other because she’s blamed for his sister’s tragic death ten years ago. She’s back in small town Kentucky after years spent jet setting – think Paris Hilton without the sex tape and vacuous attitude. Sloan’s just rescued a starved and beaten pregnant horse named Destiny. There’s nothing funny about that. Mac’s been pressured into helping, but he wears his resentment like dented armor. Losing patience at last, she manipulates him into helping plan a baby shower for their soon-to-be-born godchild. Humor is the food that helps to feed their malnourished hearts. Check it out…
Saving Destiny is the first novel I’ve written that has no suspenseful mystery at the heart of the story, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be surprised along the way. Enjoy!
Sloan Ridgeway and Mac Watson’s fairy tale ended in tragically-ever-after. For years, they’ve been separated by the grief and guilt surrounding his little sister’s death. Devastated, Sloan traded small-town Kentucky for star studded big cities and tabloid fame, but life in the limelight was filled with emptiness and betrayal.
When one more highly publicized, broken engagement sends Sloan home to lick her wounds, she comes face-to-face with Mac. He obviously hasn’t forgotten the past, but despite his antagonism, he’s more compelling than ever. To save herself the heartbreak, Sloan vows to keep out of his way, but destiny won’t let her. Desperate to rescue an abused horse in foal, Sloan is forced to enlist Mac’s help.
Working together day after day begins to reignite the passion they once felt for each other. But is passion enough? Can Sloan and Mac breathe new life into their malnourished hearts and prove that true love trumps tragedy every time?
An Excerpt from Saving Destiny
“People around here are finally rising to the challenge. I’m having a tough time making decisions,” Sloan said to Stick one morning while she carefully measured out Destiny’s breakfast.
“Don’t look at me,” he said.
“Oh come on, help me out here. Should I go with traditional pink and blue or something less expected?”
Stick groaned. “How should I know?”
They heard Mac’s laughter. “Don’t let her rope you in, dude. This is a chick thing. Baby showers are for girls.”
“Ha!” Sloan took his words as a challenge. “Thank you, Fred Flintstone. How’s life in the Stone Age?”
“Yabba dabba do.”
His sexy grin and ultra confident expression made her smile, but she wasn’t about to let him indoctrinate the kid. “Don’t listen to him, Stick. This isn’t your grandmother’s baby shower. It’s like a regular party, but with baby presents. I could use a man’s opinion.”
Stick looked helpless. “Um. Wasn’t the dancing enough? Leave me out of this.”
“Atta boy. Don’t let her put your balls in a Tupperware dish.”
“You’re being ridiculous,” she said. Was he trying to provoke her? She’d show him. “On second thought, as godfather, you’re the one who should help me.” She stabbed Mac’s chest with her finger.
“Oh yeah? Well that’s just not gonna happen.” He smiled in that irresistible way again and folded his arms across his chest.
“Yeah, I’ll make you.”
“You and what army?”
“Who needs the military”—she pulled out her cell phone—“when I have Jeanie on speed dial?”
Twenty minutes later, Mac and Sloan were sitting in the office of the only caterer within a hundred miles, waiting for the owner to finish with a customer.
“What’s wrong with balloons? Everybody likes balloons,” Mac said.
“Yeah, every clown likes balloons.” In actual fact, Sloan loved balloons, but since Mac suggested them, she decided she didn’t want them for Jeanie’s shower. “Flowers are more elegant. We can fill the house and grounds with cut flowers. They’ll complement Lindy’s gardens. What kind do you think?”
“Uh, I don’t know.” His shoulders lifted in a helpless shrug. “Roses?”
“You’re not really trying are you?”
“I was drafted. What do you expect?”
She counted off on her fingers. “So far you’ve suggested beer, balloons, and roses. Great, our job here is done.”
“No. Not really.” Gratified to have squashed the hope in his face, she smiled without conscience at the caterer as he took his place behind the desk.
Mac looked enormous and uncomfortable sitting in the fussy surroundings. Sloan got a small thrill watching him shift in his chair. Designed to fit regular-size people, it could barely hold he-man Mac.
“I was thinking exquisite, tiny finger foods, the more exotic the better. And sushi, I just love unagi don’t you?” Sloan flashed her red-carpet smile at Mac who was looking a little green. “That’s eel, in case you didn’t know.”
“I did know. That’s what scares me.”
Turning in her chair, she faced him with eyes wide. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
He shifted, trying to cross his legs, but without ample room to execute the maneuver, his foot hung in mid air until he gave up and set it back down again. The failed attempt only made him more agitated. “Finger foods? You’re seriously thinking of serving itty-bitty finger foods? And raw fish? Around these parts, we call that bait. Great idea, Sloan. Good luck with that.” He pounded the armrests. “Hey, for entertainment, why not play Yoko Ono records? That oughtta make this the shortest party in state history.”
“Very funny.” Avoiding the caterer’s bewildered expression, Sloan tried not to giggle. “Lots of people like sushi these days. And I bet once they’ve tried a good chicken katsu they’ll swear it’s the fried chicken that God eats. But if you think going Japanese is ill advised we could go French.”
“French? Here? Escargot for the same crowd who flood Digby’s Bowling Alley and Taxidermy on ten-cent wing night?”
The caterer flushed and with a deadpan expression, said, “Sir, due to rumored health violations, Digby’s no longer offers a taxidermy service.”
Laughter burst from Sloan’s belly like a Kentucky Derby racehorse out of the starting gate. Mac was lost in a fit all his own. Lacking the requisite sense of humor, the caterer frowned and waited patiently for them to calm down and resume the meeting.
Wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, Sloan was grateful she hadn’t put on eye makeup that morning. “I don’t want to do the formal sit down dinner thing. We can set it up like a carnival with booths of food all over the place.”
Mac nodded. “Mm, barbeque.”
“And fries with about twenty different dipping sauces.” She closed her eyes. “Who doesn’t love fresh-cut fries?”
The light of inspiration flared in his eyes as Mac hit his stride. “And for dessert we gotta have—”
“Flan.” Sloan interrupted him.
“Flan?” From the look on his face, one would have thought she’d just kicked his puppy. “What the hell is a ‘flan’?”
She sent him a pitying look.
He said, “Pie. We need good ole’ American pie.”
“With homemade ice cream.”
Mac narrowed his eyes. “Are you as hungry as I am?”
“Oh God, yes.”
“How’s the diner sound?”
“Like Kentucky-fried heaven.” Standing up, she pulled an envelope from her bag and smiled at the confused caterer. “I’ll e-mail you tonight with my choices from the menus you’ve given me and anything else we might want. Get back to me when you can arrange a taste test. Thanks for your time.”
Lunch felt like old times. Shocked to see them together, fellow diners sent them curious glances. The gossips had something new to talk about, but in front of Mac and Sloan, they said nothing. The food was as greasy and good as Sloan remembered and their conversation was easy. By some silent agreement they set aside past sorrows for the moment and spent the time getting to know each other again. He talked about his work and how much he enjoyed restoring old houses and making them beautiful again. Sloan opened up enough to tell him how involved she’d become in the charitable foundation her paternal grandfather had started.
But Sloan and Mac’s armistice doesn’t last long. They have so much more to learn about each other and the heart’s capacity for forgiveness. Of course after a surprise or two they find their way back. In an effort to prove his love and with a little humor thrown in, Mac counts off the ways:
“I love that, to this day, you claim Celine Dion makes your ears bleed.”
Her eyes widened with sincerity. “That’s a true story.”
“I know, sweetheart.” He nodded as if he believed her. “I love how cranky you get with a cold and how you carry a tissue box under your arm for the duration. You take to your bed for one day, but heaven help anyone who fusses over you. And I know you have the coldest feet in the world, but if you’ll give me the chance, I’ll always be there to warm them. I’m crazy about your frosty little toes and every other part of you.”
Where To Find Mary Lou George
Find Mary Lou’s books at Siren-Bookstrand
I hope you enjoyed Mary Lou George’s visit as much as I did today. I’ve added Saving Destiny to my TBR list and I’m sure I’ll be going back for her other books too. Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Mary Lou George, and I hope you’ll come back again when your next book releases or just to say hi!
♥ ♥ ♥