Today I am so pleased to welcome Vinni George to Joyfully Jay. Vinni has come to talk to us about her latest release, Hold the Door. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Sam shifted his focus from where he was rubbing a bar of soap over a surfboard and gave me a thorough head-to-toe inspection, lingering a second too long on my crotch. I knew he noticed my just-happy-to-see-you state by the blush that colored his cheeks, but he didn’t mention it and neither did I, opting instead to ask about what he was doing. Apparently, avoidance was the name of the game where Sam and I were concerned.
“Why are you putting soap on that surfboard?”
Sam snickered. “Wow, you really don’t know much about surfing, do you?”
I shrugged. “Nope. I really don’t. I’ve taken lots of pictures of surfers, but the closest I’ve come is some scuba diving recertification lessons I took out of a surf and dive shop in Queensland when I was doing a piece on diving in Australia a few years ago.”
Sam shuddered. “You scuba dive? That’s impressive. I’m terrified to see what’s under the water. I’d much rather stick to the surface.”
I couldn’t help it; I preened a little at Sam’s assessment. “Well, Edison paid for me to do scuba certification so they could send me to cover diving locations. It was pretty cool. I’ve seen a few sharks.”
“Yeah, I know. I saw the pictures from the Thailand spread.”
I groaned. “Not those sharks. Those were whale sharks. They hardly count. I’m talking about leopard sharks and nurse sharks, though I guess nurse sharks really aren’t that scary either.”
“Not that scary?” Sam sputtered and shook his head. “You and I have very different ideas about what’s scary. Look. I have goosebumps just thinking about sharks. I won’t even go near a beach where there has been a recent sighting. Means I sometimes miss out on great surf.” He held out his arm, and before I could think better of it, I took it, running my hand up and down, taking in the smoothness of his inner arm and the texture of his skin. His muscles were firm, and I traced my thumb along the vein that ran from his wrist as I moved my hand to his elbow. He shuddered again, and I noticed with some satisfaction that despite my efforts to rub them away, he still had goosebumps. He pulled his arm away, and I glanced at the board he’d been “soaping,” reminding myself I needed to shelve any attraction I might be feeling in favor of reforging a friendship. It was going to be a long day.
“So, about the soap…” I said, breaking the silence that had settled over the garage.
Sam’s eyes blinked behind his glasses, confused for minute. “Soap?” He looked down at the board and then laughed breathily. “This is surf wax. It makes the deck of the surfboard a little tacky so you can get a better grip.” He picked up the bar of wax and continued what he’d been doing when I’d walked into the garage, gently rubbing the bar over the flat side of the turquoise board I’d seen him using last week.
“Oh. That makes sense. Can I help?” I asked, trying to move us away from the awkwardness I’d created.
“No, it’s kind of a skill that takes practice.” He gazed up at me again, his hand still moving over the board resting between us on what appeared to be two sawhorses. “How tall are you? Six one?”
“Yeah, on a good day,” I said with a shrug. “Why?”
“Just wondering what board to grab for you.” He nodded to the wall behind me. I glanced over my shoulder and saw there were probably eight other surfboards hanging there.
“Wow! That’s quite the collection.” While Fletcher had said Sam was a great teacher, I’d had no idea he was this into the sport.
Sam shrugged. “It’s a decent quiver. Good variety for the surf I hit around here and up and down the coast when I can.”
“Quiver?” I arched an eyebrow in question.
“Yeah. My collection of boards. It’s called a quiver. I’ve never really gotten used to calling a board a stick, though.”
I laughed. “Fletcher used that to describe Brody’s board last week, and he totally lost me.”
“Sounds like Fletcher. He was probably testing you to see if you’d ask or wait for him to explain. He’s quirky like that.”
“He seems it. What’s his story?”
Sam shrugged again and turned his attention back to the board, moving the wax from side to side and checking the application by following the strokes with his hand. “I don’t really know. He showed up down here about five years after I did and bought the surf shop from the old guy who used to own it. He renamed and rebranded it and started offering lessons, and that’s it. He’s kinda quiet about his life before he moved here. He’s a good guy, and I don’t ask. I figure if he wants me to know something, he’ll tell me.” He looked up as he said that last part, and I wondered if he was still talking about Fletcher.
“Right.” Another silence fell between us as I tried to reason out what he’d meant.
“Hey, grab the white longboard with the black striping over there,” Sam said, pointing to a surfboard a few over from where I was standing.
“This one?” I asked, pointing, and Sam nodded. I removed the board from its rack and took it to the sawhorses. Sam moved his turquoise board, and I set the white board down.
Open Doors, Book 1
One hidden crush.
One bunch of plastic mistletoe.
One alcohol-fueled kiss.
One set of taillights as Max Martino left town.
Sixteen years later…
Sam Addison hates change, and his company’s new merger is stretching him to his limit. When Sam finds out an older, hotter, and amazingly talented Max Martino is part of the acquisition, he knows the only way to keep his sanity is to avoid Max—and their history—at any cost.
Max never planned to settle down, but recently he’s been pining for roots. A new job, a new city, and a second chance with Sam makes the thought of staying in one place exciting for the first time ever.
But the harder Max pushes, the farther Sam runs, sometimes literally, and Max begins to wonder if Sam can ever let go of the biggest mistake Max ever made—leaving.
But maybe a second chance at forever is as simple as holding the door open for love.
Vinni George has been a lover of romance novels (of all shapes, sizes, and colors) since she first got her hands on one of her grandmother’s Harlequins and has never looked back. She lives in Ohio with her two favorite guys (her husband and son) and, hopefully—one day—a dog. When not writing her own stories, she can be found helping to polish other people’s novels. In her spare time, Vinni dabbles in performance art, quilting, and various culinary pursuits and enjoys traveling.
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To celebrate the release of Hold the Door, Vinni is giving away e-copies of her debut novel. Three winners will be chosen. Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
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