Trish Perry – Excerpt – Part 1 of 3

Shannon here: Contemporary romance author, Trish Perry shares an excerpt of her fictional characters’ romantic meeting and three chances to win three copies of her latest release, Tea for Two. Comment on any post dated June 20 – 24. Deadline June 25th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Trish:

Tina and Zack cross paths in the very first chapter of Tea for Two, in front of Milly’s tea shop. But they don’t have a formal meeting until Milly gets them together to discuss the problems Zack is having with his teenagers. At that point they recognize each other from that initial moment, and that brief spark is reignited.

Here’s a little slice of that moment:

Once he entered he could see directly into Tina’s office, since she had the door open. She was standing, reading something on her desk, and her eyes widened the moment she looked up at him. He had obviously surprised her, because she had a lot of . . . something stuffed into her mouth. Zack was reminded of younger days when he and his friends would cram entire donuts into their mouths at once, simply because they could.

She made a little squeak noise and waved her hands in panic. Then she held one hand to her mouth, apparently so she could chew without his seeing. With the other, she held up her index finger, showing him to wait for her.

He didn’t know much about this woman, but she definitely seemed more human to him now than she had one minute ago. He allowed his smile to show. Her antics were kind of cute.

And there was something familiar about her. Once she swallowed and stopped moving about and covering her face, he remembered. She was the woman he saw in front of Milly’s shop a couple of weeks ago. The pretty one who gave him that saucy smile.

Without giving it too much thought, he realized this incident here made them kind of even. He had looked foolish, at a loss for words, that first time he saw her, simply because she was so attractive. Now, caught in a less-than-attractive instant, she was at a temporary disadvantage, too. Granted, it wasn’t because she found him attractive, but at least they’d both had their awkward moments.

She grabbed a glass of water from her desk and took a swallow. She dabbed at her lips with a paper napkin and laughed. He could tell she was embarrassed, just by the nervous tone of her laugh.

“I am so sorry about that.” She flicked her dark hair away from her eyes and straightened her skirt before approaching him and extending her hand. “I didn’t get breakfast and was trying to fit it in between appointments.” She rolled her eyes. “Obviously I was trying to fit it all in. In one bite. You surprised me.”

He took her hand and shook it. He liked how delicate her fingers felt. And warm. “I gathered that.” He couldn’t help smiling. “I’m early. I should have knocked more loudly.”

She stared at him as he talked. Maybe she recognized him from that other time. But then she shook her head. “No, no, my clients always just walk in. Come on into my office. You’re Zack, I assume?”

He followed her into her small, comfortable-looking office. She had a coach and chairs clustered in a little nook, away from her desk. She sat there, in one of the chairs, and motioned toward the sofa for him to do the same.

“That’s me,” he said. “Zack. And you’re Tina.” He didn’t know why he said that. The woman knew who she was. He lowered onto the couch. There was a coffee table in front of it, so he had to turn sideways to find room for his long legs. When he finally got comfortable and looked at her, she was staring at him again. Big brown eyes that she darted away for a moment.

Then he remembered. Of course she noticed that stupid raspberry stain on his chest. Now they were uneven again. “Oh, I apologize for my appearance.” He looked down at the dark red splotch that appeared to have spread even farther across his shirt. “Had a bit of a fruit accident on my last delivery.”

But when he looked back up, she wasn’t looking at the stain. She was watching him. All of him. She seemed to be taking his measure.

She started and smiled politely. “Don’t worry about it.”

Again, she seemed as if he had caught her at something. He decided to address it.

“Uh, I think you and I might have crossed paths before. You look so familiar. Do you remember?”

He watched her make some kind of decision before she spoke.

She nodded. “In front of Milly’s shop.” It sounded like a confession. But then she smiled. This time it was a real, terrific smile. “It was raining.”

He pointed at her, smiling back. “That’s right. You peeked at me from under your umbrella.”

“My entire group cut you off, if I recall.” That slightly nervous laugh returned. “And we made you wait in the rain while we took our sweet time entering the shop.”

Zack opened his arms, as if presenting himself. “I didn’t melt!”

They chuckled together.

“No, you sure didn’t.” She said nothing for a moment, and neither did he. It dawned on Zack that, despite the nature of this meeting, they might actually be on the verge of flirting. Or were they? It had been so long—

At once she sat up straighter and became more businesslike. “Now, what brings you here, Zack? Tell me about your son and daughter. What’s troubling you about them?”

So much for flirting.

About Trish:  Award-winning novelist Trish Perry has written eight inspirational romances for Harvest House Publishers, Summerside Press, and Barbour Publishing, as well as two devotionals for Summerside Press. She has served as a columnist and as a newsletter editor over the years, as well as a 1980s stockbroker and a board member of the Capital Christian Writers organization in Washington, D.C. She holds a degree in Psychology.

Trish’s latest novel, Unforgettable, released in March, and Tea for Two released in April. She invites you to visit her at www.TrishPerry.com

About the book:  Zack Cooper tries his best to raise his children, but he’s losing his grip on them in their teen years. They’ve both had scrapes with the local law.  

Tea Shop owner Milly Jewel has the perfect woman in mind to help Zack. Counselor Tina Milano meets weekly at the tea shop with her women’s group. Milly encourages Zack and Tina to work together to draw the teens back before they get in even hotter water. Milly never thought things might heat up between Zack and Tina. Or did she? 

Tina’s connections with the Middleburg police department prove a mixed blessing for Zack and his kids. Both her best friend and old boyfriend are officers on the force.  

And when Tina’s women’s group gets wind of her personal pursuits and clashes, they want to help. The group’s meetings at the tea shop take on a slightly different flavor. Tina wonders who, exactly, is counseling whom.

Come back June 22 when Trish shares a romantic destination and more chances to win her book.

2 Responses to “Trish Perry – Excerpt – Part 1 of 3”

  • Sandra Kaczanowcke says:

    This one sounds really good and it’s something different than the other romance novels. What a unique situation to have the characters in. Hope to win this one for sure!!

    Sandy

  • Rosemary Travis says:

    Hi Trish,
    It would be nice to win one of your books. It sounds like it would be a good one.
    Hey Shannon, Always good to hear from you. keep them coming my dear. God Bless you all.

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