Welcome to the Love in Bloom Giveaway Blog Hop hosted by Bookhounds!
For this stop on the hop, up for grabs is a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Just follow the Rafflecopter link to enter! And don’t forget to check out all the other amazing stops for even more fabulous prizes!
My newest release, A Road Paved in Copper, comes out May 18, 2017! If you want to join in on the Online Release Party click on the purple button! For those not familiar with my release parties, they are well known for a day of FUN and FREE stuff, including two $15.00 Amazon Gift Cards, free paperbacks, other gift cards, and mystery prize packages! Seriously, I have people who talk about my parties for weeks after they end!
Armed with her six-shooter, Ava De La Vega dips the pen into the inkwell and etches her name on the Esmeralda County tax record book. A formidable force, that’s what her peers have called her. The woman in a man’s world, what did she know of mining ore, silver, and copper? Plenty. And it’s this knowledge that makes her of the richest miners in Nevada in 1903.
Of course, it also makes her a target.
Traveling back and forth from Tonopah, Nevada and San Francisco, Ava blazes the trail from the dirt and grime to the fanciest hotel rooms, the finest wines, the most decadent meals, and the company of attractive young men.
Unfortunately, for Ava, she doesn’t see Craig Harrison coming.
A miner from the snowy Klondike, Craig has traveled from the harsh Canadian mountains down to city streets of San Francisco. Not looking for work, he’s happy with the comfortable life away from the deep mines, the dirt, and the ever sought-after gold.
Unfortunately, for Craig, he doesn’t see Ava coming.
I set the glass on the coffee table and slid my hands up the sides of my head, tugging the strands of my hair away from my face and into a ponytail held together with my fingers.
Two days. I could have seen Craig at least once more in the two days I’d given myself.
I stared down at the street below. Early morning risers had already begun their daily activities, bodies that appeared as though nothing more than tiny specs from eight stories high in the air as they made their way to unknown destinations. Was Craig one of them? Was he awake already this morning, and if he was, what was he doing? Was he eating breakfast? Or perhaps on his way to his job?
A knock on the door jerked my attention, and as I opened it, a huge bouquet of flowers greeted me.
“Delivery for Miss Ava De La Vega.”
“Were would ya like them, miss?” The bellhop’s southern accent fawned in a high pitch that sounded like he spoke through his nose instead of his mouth.
“Over on the coffee table, I suppose.”
I followed the sprays of flora, its peach and pink colors fluttered softly as though dancing. “Do you know who sent them?”
“No, miss. They just told me to deliver them.”
“Well, thank you.”
The young man tipped his pillbox hat and scurried out of the room. I rounded the table, and plucked the little white envelope sitting amongst the soft petals with the word ‘Ava’ etched on the front. I flipped the thick parchment in my fingers then slid the tiny card from its depths: ‘My dearest Ava . . .
My eyebrow hitched as I clicked my tongue. That’s it? That’s all it says? I checked the back of the card. Blank. I checked the envelope for another message. Empty.
Another knock rapped against the door, and as I opened it, a second huge bouquet strolled into the door held by the same young bellboy. “One more delivery for ya, miss.”
“Ya want it by the other?”
“Um, yes . . . yes, please.”
He set down the vase and left the room just as quickly as he had only moments ago, once again leaving me blinking at a bunch of flowers bigger than her sister. I grasped the subsequent envelope and slipped the card out, a half smile spread across my lips as I read the words: I just wanted you to know . . .
Moments later, a third knock resounded, and I greeted the bellhop with a stunned silence while he trotted inside out of breath with yet another vase of flowers in his arms.
“Exactly how many more bouquets are there for me downstairs?” I asked him, crossing my arms.
“Several, miss. But I was instructed to bring them up one at a time.”
“Oh you were, were you? Why don’t you just bring them all up at once? No sense in working your legs off in one afternoon.”
A sense of relief spread across his face. “Thank ya, miss.”
He trotted down the hallway as I flipped the third card over, the sentence continued: that I had a lovely evening with . . .
With the three tiny pieces of paper in hand, I tapped them against my lips before I leaned over to inhale the sweetness of the flowers. Memories of my intoxicating conversation with Craig last night replayed in my mind.
The bellhop entered for the final time, followed by a few of the other suited young men, their arms full of vases. By the time they left, ten bouquets showered the room with fragrance and colors of pink, yellow, violet, red, and orange. Each one different, and yet, as I spun around in circles, their matched colors blended and played off in a beautiful spectacle.
One by one, I plucked the rest of the cards and settled into the couch cushions to read each one.
My dearest Ava, I just wanted to know that I had a lovely evening with you, and I sincerely hope that you had a
wonderful time too. You are an amazing woman.
One I didn’t believe I’d ever meet.
I have no clue as to what to write on this one other than I wish
I could see you again. Please consider seeing me again.
Please. Please. Please. Please.
“He does have charm.” I whispered to myself. “More than any other man I’ve ever met.”
A lump formed in my throat at the thought of never seeing him again. He was a handsome complication I never saw coming and a seductive quandary I didn’t need. However, he was also a beautiful predicament I didn’t know if I could walk away from without feeling utter regret.
Another knock rapped against my attention. “I have another delivery, Miss De La Vega.”
I left the cards on the table, opening the door Jimmy holding yet another huge bouquet. “Oh my. I thought they brought all of them up.”
Jimmy flashed me a smile, setting the vase amongst the others. “Well, we were specifically instructed that if you told us to bring them all up at once, that we be sure to bring this one separate from the others . . . and last.”
I peeled the last card from the delicate envelope and my fingers pressed gently against my lips, brushing my skin as I stared down at Craig’s address.