Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Excerpt and Giveaway River Valley series by Tess Thompson


Author Tess Thompson assembles a colorful cast of endearing small-town characters and takes you on a journey that will make you believe in the possibilities of life - even in the face of overwhelming adversity and unimaginable grief.

Lee Tucker is the kind of woman you find yourself rooting for long after the last page is read. When her husband commits suicide, he leaves her pregnant and one million dollars in debt to a loan shark. Out of options, she escapes to her deceased mother's dilapidated house located in a small Oregon town that, like her, is financially ruined, heartbroken and in desperate need of a fresh start. Lee's resilience leads to a plan for a destination restaurant named Riversong, to new chances for passion and love, and to danger from her dead husband's debt as her business blooms.

A surprising mix of romance, humor, friendship, intrigue and gourmet food, Riversong entertains while reminding you of life's greatest gifts.


Just as Annie Bell’s reputation as one of the best chefs in the Pacific Northwest grows to new heights, she receives a threatening phone call from her abusive ex-boyfriend. Marco is out on parole and hungry for revenge, blaming her for his ten-year imprisonment. Fearing for her life and that of her young son, Annie reluctantly accepts help from Drake Webber, a cold and wealthy recluse hiding a dark history of his own. Supported by the gang of misfits from their restaurant Riversong, Annie forges ahead despite her growing terror that Marco will appear at any moment and make good on his threats.

Author Tess Thompson reunites the colorful cast of endearing small-town characters from her bestselling novel Riversong and takes you on a journey that will renew your faith in love, friendship and the power of community – even in the face of seemingly insurmountable grief and fear. You’ll find yourself once again cheering for the residents of River Valley, especially the big-hearted and compassionate Annie Bell.

Escape with a blend of love, laughter, friendship, suspense and gourmet food while remembering it’s never too late for second chances.

EXCERPT  Riverbend

The tears came, unhindered and hot on her cheeks. She grabbed a paper towel and wiped under her eyes, taking in deep breaths. And then, there he was standing next to her. His hands twitched at his sides as if he wanted to touch her. She stared at his neck. There was a prominent vein that ran from his ear to his collarbone: a sign of a man who exercised a lot. He was freshly shaven but he’d missed a spot just under his chin. She smelled his aftershave, something subtle and old-fashioned with hints of lime and something else she couldn’t place.

“Please don’t cry,” he said, his eyes soft and sympathetic and pained. “I can’t stand to see a woman cry.”
“I’m sorry.” But then she cried harder, hiding her face in the paper towel. “I didn’t sleep well.”
“It’s all right. You’re safe here.” She felt him shift, almost as if he might put his arms around her, but then he went still. “I’m going to keep you safe,” he said, softly. “It’s the only thing I have left to do in this pathetic life.”
Book #3
She went cold. What did he mean? “Only thing left?”
He looked into her eyes. “Yes.”
“Why, Drake? Why are you hiding up here on the side of this mountain? Why did you leave your life in Seattle?”
“I can’t talk about it.”
“Surely you can trust me? Look at everything you know about me so far?” She said it in a quiet voice, like she was talking to a wild animal she didn’t want to spook.
“It’s nothing about you.” He paused, putting his hands in front of him like a shield. “You’re lovely.”
The vein in his neck pulsated. “But I’m not well. Not whole.”
Then he stumbled back from her, yanking at the collar of his shirt. His face went tense and turned bright pink. He moved to the sink and leaned against it. His breathing was heavy like it had been the afternoon of his anxiety attack. Was it another?
“Do you need a pill?” she asked, searching for the bottle she’d noticed on the windowsill last night.
“Yes. Please.”
She grabbed them and put one in his outstretched hand. He swallowed it without water but she poured him a glass anyway. “Come sit,” she said, taking his arm.
“Please. Don’t touch me,” he said, yanking away from her as if her touch hurt. “Please.”
“I’m sorry.” Her stomach lurched.
“It’s not your fault. I just. I just can’t bear it.” He didn’t meet her eyes. “I’m going to my room. Don’t worry about breakfast.”
And then he was gone. She looked around the expansive kitchen, the morning light soft through the windows, and felt displaced and uncertain. She stepped outside to the deck. The air was warm already, the sky blue and cloudless; it would be hot and dry. Alder was near the large fir, tossing a ball in the air and catching it in his baseball mitt. She called out to him and he raised his hand in greeting. How did one go from a happy ten-year-old to tortured man? How would she keep her boy from the same fate as poor Drake Webber?
“Ten minutes until breakfast,” she shouted.
“Sounds good, Mom.”
She turned to go back inside and saw Drake at the front room window, watching her. Flushing, she averted her eyes. But her hand twitched in his direction, just a flicker of a movement, as it had earlier. What was this—an instinct to touch, to reach out, to gather him into an embrace? And yet, even as she did so, she knew he’d be gone by the time she looked back in his direction. She was right. There was nothing but the sky and trees reflected in the great glass windows, making her wonder if he’d been there at all.

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About the author:

Tess Thompson is a mother before all else, and a writer after that. After honing her craft in theater with a prize-winning play titled My Lady’s Hand, her heart was called to a different storytelling medium: the great American novel.

She is currently working on an ambitious historical fiction trilogy inspired by a story from her great-grandmother. The first of these, Riversong (Booktrope Editions), went on to become #1 on Barnes and Noble’s Nook Book chart in October 2011. Two years after its release, readership of Riversong continued to grow, spending weeks in the top 100 Kindle bestsellers. The second installment, Riverbend, is scheduled for release in May of 2013.

In March of 2012, Tess was honored to contribute to Write For the Fight, Booktrope’s collection of essays reflecting on life’s past, present and future. All proceeds from the sales of this collection benefit breast cancer research.

Like her main character in Riversong, Tess hails from a small town in southern Oregon. She currently lives in a suburb of Seattle, Washington with her two young daughters – a card shark working her way toward the tables of Atlantic City, the other a princess in training – and their wild but lovable dog, Patches.


RedPanda said...

Frumoasă recenzie. O carte plină de suspans, aş spune eu.

Beautiful review. A book full of suspense, i would say.

Debby said...

These books look like they will keep you up late. I am adding them to my list.
debby236 at gmail dot com