Monday, March 17, 2014

Kissing Eden by T.A. Foster: Blog Tour w/ Excerpt & Giveaway


Have you ever thought of taking a vacation alone? I mean step on a plane, check into your hotel, and lie on the beach completely and utterly alone. No? Me either, but then right before senior spring break I got dumped.

Something about break ups makes you do things you didn’t want to do, and try things you didn’t know you were capable of.

That’s how I ended up at the Palm Palace.

That’s how I met Grey.

That’s how my spring break turned into the most unforgettable week of my life.

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About the Author:

T.A. Foster is a Southern girl whose heart and spirit are connected to the beach. She grew up catching rays and chasing waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her adventurous pilot husband, two children and two canine kiddos.

Her long love affair with books started at an early age, and as soon as she was able, she transformed imaginative stories into words on paper. Time Spell is T.A.’s debut novel, and the first in a series about a very adventurous, clever, and magical girl named Ivy.

T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing or planning her next beach trip.

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I couldn’t keep pacing in my room. This wasn’t good for me. My heart was about to beat out of my chest. Grey had been gone for hours. I didn’t really know where he had to go on the mainland and I wasn’t exactly sure where that was. It was over the bridge, but other than that, it was like a big geographic black hole.

I pulled open the drawer. Inside the bedside table was a yellowed writing tablet. I scribbled a note and crossed the parking lot to shove it under Grey’s door. Everything had happened so quickly with us that it never occurred to me to swap phone numbers. This must have been what my parents felt like when they met. They loved to tell me stories about dating in the age before email, cell phones, and social media. How did anyone ever meet up or know where the other person was? I folded the note in half and slipped the corner under his door before tapping the rest under the threshold.

If Grey made it back to the Palm before I did, at least he would know I was at Pete’s getting some dinner. I wasn’t sure why I bothered to tell him, but I wanted him to know I was worried—that it mattered, that he mattered.

A Jeep full of spring breakers passed before I crossed the street and trekked through Pete’s parking lot.

I pushed open the door to my new hangout. There was something comforting about the prospect of one of the bar’s cheeseburgers. I had skipped lunch altogether, but there was no way I was going to skip dinner too. Comfort food was exactly what I needed.

“Look who’s here.” Mac smiled sheepishly from behind the counter. He fidgeted with the towel over his shoulder. He seemed uncomfortable to see me, but I brushed it off, knowing I was hypersensitive at the moment.

“Hey, Mac. I could really go for a margarita and one of those burgers that are so good.” I slid into the first open seat.

The cowboy next to me smiled. Unlike Bongos, I felt comfortable here. I knew I didn’t have to worry about slimeball jerks trying to paw at me. I definitely would not be going back to the club scene the rest of the week.

“Sure thing, Eden.” Mac looked over my shoulder. Something was off with the bartender. I was certain.

He typed in the order for my cheeseburger and reached for the tequila. I watched as he rimmed the glass with lime then a heavy dose of thick salt.

“Here you go. That burger will be right up.” There it was again. Mac was focused on something or someone behind me.

I took a full sip of the drink before spinning on the stool. The end of Pete’s was an open wall, completely exposed to the sound and marsh sprawling along the island’s west side. The sunset was blinding, but I squinted through the orange rays until my eyes landed on two figures at a far table. What in the hell? Was this really happening to me again? Clearly, I must be a magnet for guys who have no problem hopping from one girl to the next.

I picked up my margarita and began the painful walk to the patio tables. I sidestepped the waitress whose arms were loaded with beer mugs. I stopped in front of the table closest to the water. The one with arguable the prettiest and most romantic view on the entire island. Sunset lovers camped out all afternoon just to get that table.

“I thought you were out getting supplies.” I was trying not to let the contempt seep through my teeth, but holding back wasn’t my best trait. The patrons next to the table had turned their sun-setting gaze to me.

“Oh, hey. I didn’t see you come in.” Grey smiled.

He seemed more relaxed than the last time I had seen him, only last time he wasn’t sitting with a cute brunette, in a short dress and five-inch-heels.

“Oh, hey?” I pushed down the queasy feeling in my stomach. Was this the part of the fling where I was supposed to play it cool, like we didn’t actually know each other and hadn’t spent all night skin to skin? I didn’t think I could do it, especially not now with Grey sitting so close to someone else.

“Who’s this?” I spit the words.

“Eden, this is Laura. Laura, Eden.” He glanced between the two of us before tipping his beer bottle back.

I don’t know if he thought I would shake her hand or hug her like a fake sorority girl, but neither of those things was going to happen.

“Laura?” I could feel the trembling in my ankles. Oh my God. How was this happening? This was Laura. As in, med school, he spent all his nights, did laundry with, cooked dinner, and watched movies with on the weekends Laura.

She looked nothing like her brother, Connor, other than the fact that she was thin, like perfect super-model thin. We could not be more different. Her long pink nails clutched a glass of white wine. She took a deliberate sip and smiled at me.

“So nice to meet you, Eden.” She even had a sweet Texas accent. She fluttered her eyes back to Grey and looked at him with consuming intensity. I thought I was going to be sick right there on Pete’s patio.

“Eden, are you ok?” Grey stood from the table. His voice was deeper than usual and he stepped closer to me. He blocked Laura from my view.

Everything happened so fast, I didn’t think before the margarita flew from my hand and into Grey’s face. “No, I’m not ok, you asshole.”

The lime drink streamed down his chiseled jaw as he wiped the slush from his cheek.

“Oh my God, Grey!” Laura jumped from her seat with a stack of napkins.

Before I witnessed one more nauseating exchange between the two, my legs carried me out of Pete’s faster than I had ever run in flip-flops. Mac might have been calling my name or maybe it was Grey. The tears kept streaming down my face, and each time I wiped one away with my palm three more appeared. I managed to cross the street without being struck by a car. In my current state, that was a miracle.

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