Today we're spotlighting author Marie Astor on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the contemporary romance, "Lucky Charm". She's sharing an exclusive excerpt with us.
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Shell-shocked by Jeremy’s betrayal, Annabel retreats into the quiet routine of TV dinners and solitary evenings. It is then that Annabel’s best friend, fashion designer Lilly Clayton, sets herself on a mission to draw Annabel out of her shell. In an attempt to persuade Annabel to keep an open mind on dating, Lilly takes Annabel for a stunning makeover, but after Annabel passes on a date with a dashing entrepreneur, Lilly decides that more drastic measures are needed. Lilly invites Annabel to see a palm reader who gives Annabel a lucky charm that is supposed to help her find true love.
A few weeks later, Annabel meets a new love interest, and as the two embark on a whirlwind romance, she starts to believe in the power of the talisman the palm reader has given her. But what Annabel doesn’t know is that Lilly is hiding a secret that could unravel her faith in her newly found luck in love.
Back at the apartment, Annabel unwrapped her purchases, laying them out on the bed. Suddenly, she was overcome with buyer’s remorse. She had spent close to three hundred dollars on lingerie. Big mistake, she thought - a mistake that would cost her. She would have to eat yogurt for lunch for a month in order to balance her checkbook after this splurge. It wasn’t as if she had money to burn. For now she was still the breadwinner, and every penny was accounted for in their tight budget. She could still scrap the whole idea and just return everything. Luckily, Bloomingdale’s had a very forgiving return policy. No, she thought, I want to give this a try. I want to do something special for Jeremy. And despite every practical thought that was thudding through her mind, Annabel had to admit that she felt her pulse kick as she imagined Jeremy’s reaction to the racy lace. She wanted to be irresistible to him.
She glanced at the clock on the wall. It was five o’clock. Jeremy should be here soon, Annabel thought. He had left her a message on her cell phone when she was at Bloomingdale’s with Lilly, saying that he would be running late, but should be home by six. She had tried to call him back, but his phone went straight to voicemail.
She hurried into the bathroom and turned on the shower. After lathering up with passion fruit shower gel and meticulously shaving her legs, she toweled off and critically surveyed her reflection as she combed her long, brown hair. She had worn her hair the same length - slightly below the shoulder blades - for as long as she could remember. Maybe she should try something different – a pixie cut, like Lilly. In all the years that she had known Lilly, Lilly must have tried at least a dozen different hairstyles. Like the men in her life, her best friend’s hair constantly changed. Probably something like a bob would be more realistic or maybe just some layers for starters, Annabel thought, wary of drastic changes. She plugged in the hairdryer and began the familiar ritual of wrapping her hair, strand by strand, on a round brush under the hot stream of air. Afterwards, she applied a bit of mascara to her eyelashes and a light dusting of powder and blush to her face; just the right amount of makeup to make her look like she was not wearing any. She dabbed some perfume behind her ears.
Okay, this is the moment of truth, Annabel thought, as she stared at the lacy garments on her bed. She wriggled her body into each piece of the intricate ensemble, leaving the garter belt for last. Then, she unwrapped a pair of stockings that she had bought to go with the garter and attempted to fasten them to the garter strips – a task that was easier said than done, as she failed at it again and again, cursing the tricky garter clasps that kept slipping through her fingers. After almost ten minutes of struggle, she finally managed to secure the last strap and stepped into her black plumps. Not bad, she thought, straining to see her full reflection in the three quarter mirror that hung in the foyer. Of course, the extravagant attire she had on was not all that comfortable, but she was fairly certain that once Jeremy got home, she would not be wearing it for much longer.
Annabel checked the clock again. It was six o’clock. Any minute now, Jeremy would walk through the front door, and she would surprise him. A smile spread over her lips as she thought about what would happen next. She lit some candles on the magazine table by the couch and put out two cognac glasses along with the bottle of Hine that she had bought on her way home. It was Jeremy’s favorite brand of cognac.
But half an hour later, there was still no sign of Jeremy. Annabel propped herself on the couch, reaching for the TV remote, and immediately she felt the corset pinch her sides. She shifted this way and that, until finally attaining a half-reclined position that was somewhat comfortable. It took me all this time to get into this thing, she thought. I’m not taking it off until Jeremy comes home and sees it.
If you would like to learn more about Marie’s writing, please stop by her website: www.marieastor.com or visit her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marieastorcollection
Books by Marie Astor:
This Tangled Thing Called Love – a contemporary romance about overcoming one’s inhibitions, learning to tango, and finding one’s true love match.
Lucky Charm – a humorous contemporary romance about love, luck and friendship.
Smitten at First Sight – a contemporary romance about the unexpected power of love.
A Dress in a Window – a collection of short stories about love, coincidences, and fate.
Over the Mountain and Back – young adult fantasy adventure novel about a boy who takes his snowboard for a ride and finds himself in a magical, hidden world he never knew existed.
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