Monday, March 18, 2013

Tina Leonard: Falling In Love

Falling in love--either the most wonderful thing or the most heart-breaking thing you ever experienced--or both.  You're never sure which way it's going to go, and therein lies the story.  There's no good road map for falling in love--right time, right person--it's a random procession of mental and emotional encounters that exhilarate and scare both sides.  Sometimes it's so easy; other times the romance is harder than hard.

It's not any easier in a romance novel, except that the happy ending is guaranteed--after all the jarring, exasperating potholes in the road!   

For Sugar Cassavechia, the happy endings have not been forthcoming lately.  Nothing seems to be working out for Sugar, her mother, Maggie, and her younger sister, Lucy.  Now they're throwing caution to the wind, and starting over in Texas selling pecans online.  The problem is that the treasured family recipe has been lost, though mother Maggie is doing her best to remember it.  They picked up a stray dog who was down on her luck in Opelousas, Louisiana, and worse, the house they rented in Texas is a hot mess of sexual allure, a love shack straight from the pages of bygone Hollywood.

Maybe, just maybe, the road Sugar and her family are traveling isn't paved with gold but Charlie Brown-style rocks and potholes.  And then Jake "J.T." Bentley, the landlord who leased them the love shack over the internet, shows up to meet the new tenants, and for the first time, Sugar wonders if sex in a small town might be exactly what's needed to change her luck.  

HOTTER THAN TEXAS excerpt, Tina Leonard, e-book Release Date 3/19/13, Available for Pre-Order Now!

Twenty minutes later, Jake had driven by his house, grabbed a six pack of beer and a bag of chocolate chip cookies—comfort food—and headed down the road to the creek. He had to think, and the only place he could think in peace and quiet without Kel’s issues or his mother’s fixation with the Hot Nuts, or Averie wanting to relive their relationship, was his private hideaway.
He passed Sugar and Paris walking down the road, looking like she might be heading into town. “Don’t do this,” he told himself and backed up his truck.
“Hey,” he said, and she smiled at him.
Just her smile made his muscles relax. He hadn’t realized how tense he was until he breathed out at the sight of her. “Where are you two ladies off to?” “We’re heading into town. We’re going to get a new dog bowl and a bag of dog treats.”
He looked at Paris, the world’s most spoiled dog now, and her beautiful red-haired mother. Paris had on an autumn-leaf-themed kerchief around her neck. Sugar wore capri jeans and a green top that showed just a bit of her waist, and he wanted to sit and stare at her all afternoon.
“Where are you going?” Sugar asked.
“Just going to head off for a bit.”
“Oh.” Sugar smiled. “Have fun.” She started walking again, and he watched her fanny move from side to side in the tight jeans, and groaned.
She was dynamite in his world, capable of blowing his heart to bits. He knew that now, but he wasn’t entirely sure it mattered.
He pulled his truck up beside her, and she and Paris stopped again. Sugar looked at him, a question in her eyes.
“I’m going to take the canoe out.”
She nodded. “Good.”
“You know, I—”
“Jake. I get it. You don’t have to explain anything to me. This is one of those times where you need to get away. You have your ways, just like Lassiter.”
He looked at her. “I guess so. Never thought about it that way before, but—” “Anyway, you don’t have to tell me every time you breathe, Jake.” Sugar
smiled at him, and his heart dropped. “I’ve got to go. I promised Paris treats, and I keep my word.”
He nodded, and she went on down the road.
He let the truck idle, a feeling of discontentment stirring inside him. The problem was, he shouldn’t have told her—anyone—he was going to his private hangout. It sort of ruined the effect of going off to work things out.
What had really ruined it was Sugar saying she understood that he had his ways. He hadn’t known he had “a way” until she’d said that.
He wasn’t really like Lassiter. He didn’t do private benders. Just a six pack alone with his thoughts.
He didn’t really want to be alone with his thoughts. He wanted to be alone with her.
“Hey,” he said, pulling up alongside Sugar again, “would Paris consider a trip to the creek a treat?”
Sugar looked at him but didn’t stop walking, forcing him to slowly edge the truck forward to keep up with her. “She probably would. But she has to decline your invitation. She has social calls in town to make.”
“The invitation was for both of you.”
Sugar smiled. “Thank you. But we have other engagements.” She peeked over the window at his stash. “Is that your picnic?”
“Yeah. Beer and chocolate chip cookies.”
“Ew.” Sugar resumed walking. “Whatever floats your boat.”
Sugar rewarded him with a smile.
“Get in,” he said, “both of you.”
“No,” she said, “I’m not the kind of girl to intrude on a man’s cave time. And Paris definitely isn’t. Well, she is, she’s an attention drain, but I’m bribing her with treats so she says maybe another time, thanks.”
He grinned listening to her create a story for Paris. Sugar could not be the horrible person his mother’s investigator seemed to think she was. He knew it wasn’t possible, because until he’d met Sugar, he hadn’t known how happy he could be with a woman.
Jake got out of the truck and stood in the road. Sugar turned around. “What are you doing?”
“Either you go with me, or I’m going with you.”
“But what about your ways?”
He walked up to her, kissing her until she rose up on her toes and put her arms around his neck. “I’m trying to find a new way,” Jake said against her lips. “You coming?”
“I have to take Paris back home.” “Why can’t she come?”
“In your canoe?”
She looked adorably concerned. “Yeah,” Jake said. “And we’ll stop in town first to get her treat, because if there’s one thing I can’t bear, it’s doggie disappointment. We’ll also pick up something for you to toss in the cooler that goes better with beer.”
“If you’re sure.”
He led her to the truck. Paris got in the middle with a big doggie grin, and Sugar laughed, making him smile.
He’d never been more sure of anything in his life. 

I'm giving away a $25 Amazon e-certificate to one winner who posts on the blog!

***Tina's winner is April!  Please email with your mailing address!***


Mary Kirkland said...

Thanks so much for the great excerpt. Looking forward to reading the book now.

Kathleen O said...

Great excerpt, I can't wait to read the book.. Love Tina Leonard books. She tells great stories.

tsleonard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tsleonard said...

Kathleen, you made my day with your sweet post! Thank you!

tsleonard said...

Hi, Mary! Thank you for the kind words! :)

Darlene Limon said...

You asked for an experience falling in love. Here's mine.... Mario had started to talk to me while I had sat with him the first day on my new job in 1998. The next time I saw him, I was crying and wondering if I made the right choice in it. He calmed me down and made me realize that I had made the right risk. We then started to take our lunch breakws together and found outwe had alot in common. After a couple of weeks, he handed me an invitation to his niece's wedding and reception. The way did it was very romantic. Like aking asking his lady for a dance. At the reception, he acted and was a old fashioned romantic gentleman. At the reception I knew the D.J. from elementary and high school so we talked for awhile. When the next slow song came on, he beckoned me with his smoky eyes and a finger waving air as to hypnotize his queen to come here. That he had enough of sharing me with the world,that is was time for me to return to him. After this we wrre together for 12 years until his death in December 2010.

Quilt Lady said...

Great excerpt, I would love to read this book and the cover is so hot! Thanks for the giveaway

quiltlady110 AT gmail Dot com

tsleonard said...

Darlene, I LOVED your story! Thanks for sharing! Now that's romantic!

tsleonard said...

Hi, Quilt Lady, thank you for your kind words and for stopping by!

Margaret Luvisi said...


tsleonard said...

Margaret, thank you so much--I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for stopping by! :)

Peaces of Me said...

Can't wait to read this!

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

This sounds so very wonderful... and I always like dogs in a story.. Thanks for sharing this!

tsleonard said...

Thank you, Peaces of Me! Thanks for stopping by! :)

tsleonard said...

Hi, Girlygirlhoosier! I love dogs in stories! I just love dogs, period. :)

Pat Cochran said...

Enjoyed the excerpt, looking forward to reading this book to find out how Sugar and Jakes's story turns out!

Pat C.

tsleonard said...

Hi, Pat! Glad you liked the excerpt! Thanks for coming by! :)

erin said...

Congrats to Tina on her new release! This sounds awesome :)

Karen H in NC said...

Love this excerpt. I'm new to Tina's books and from the sound of this one, I've been missing a lot. That will be fixed!

chey said...

Great excerpt! Looking forward to reading this book!

Anonymous said...

Love the excerpt, Miss Tina. Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to reading this story.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read this book!!! Already loving the chemistry between Jake and Sugar!

tsleonard said...

Erin, thank you so much! I'm excited! Thanks for visiting!

tsleonard said...

Thanks, Karen H! Always happy to make a new friend! Thanks for stopping by!

tsleonard said...

Hi, Chey! Thank you so much! Appreciate the kind words! :)

donnas said...

Love the excerpt. Cant wait to read more.

tsleonard said...

Thank you!! So happy you came by!

tsleonard said...

April, thank you--and thank you for stopping by!

tsleonard said...

Hi, donnas! Thank you for joining in the fun--and your kind words! :)

Mary Preston said...

Falling in love should come with a manual I think.

Eager to read more. This was fantastic.

Winnie Lim said...

This book sounds wonderful. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!! :)

Eli Yanti said...

Another cowboy story, yayy, can't wait to read :)

Laurie G said...

Jake has his hands full with Sugar and her family. The love shack sounds like something out of the late 70's and early 80's.

I 'd love to find out how Jake and Sugar get it right!

Chrisbails said...

Definatley looking forward to reading this book. Loved Hotter Than Hot and this one looks awesome also. Loved the excerpt and the characters sound fun also. thanks for the chance to win.
christinebails at yahoo dot com

May said...

Love your other books and looking forward to this one! :) Congrats!

maybe31 at

Shannon Bereza said...

As for the beginning of the post I experienced both great love and great heartbreak all in the same relationship. Its amazing what happens in a relationship. Happily though the heart break came before the great love which I still have today and am happily married to with five kids.
Okay, the cover alone has me sold! Definitely adding this one to my Amazon to buy list. Then I read the blurb and I want to know more of the story of Sugar and her family and even little Paris. I have to know how J.T. explains the love shack and just how swoony he really is. I can't wait to read this one. Congrats on the release! sbereza22(at)gmail(dot)com

Betty Hamilton said...

The book sounds like a great read. LOVE the F/C!!

Di said...

Excerpts like that are just a big tease and along with that cover I'm convinced this is a great addition to my TBR.

sallans d at yahoo dot com

Aly said...

Teasing is mean :))