Formats available: hardcover, ebook, audiobook
Genres: contemporary romance
Published by Harlequin Books on July 11th 2017
Purchasing Info: Author's Website, Publisher's Website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository
A wonderful story full of romance, forgiveness and the unavoidable ties that bind, SECRETS OF THE TULIP SISTERS is Susan Mallery at her very best.
The relationship of sisters Kelly and Olivia Van Gilder has been, well… complicated ever since their mother left them as teens, though it's the secrets they have been keeping from each other as adults that have unwittingly widened the chasm. But one thing they do share is the not-so-secret torch they carry for the Martin brothers.
In the small enclave of New Holland, Washington, Griffith and Ryan Martin were demigods. While Griffith was the object of Kelly's high school crush and witness to her mortal teenage humiliation, Ryan was for Olivia the boy who got away-something she's never forgiven Kelly for-and the only person since her mother who appreciated her wild streak.
Now, ten years later, both brothers are newly returned to town. Believing they're destined to be together, Olivia's determined to get Ryan back, until she discovers that she's not the only one keeping secrets…and that perhaps he's not the handsome prince she remembered. And even though Griffith has grown up to be more irresistible than ever, Kelly's impulse is to avoid him and the painful memory he represents, despite his resolve to right the wrong he caused her long ago-and her desire to let him.
Welcome to the Virtual Pre-Order Tour for Susan Mallery’s upcoming book, Secrets of the Tulip Sisters. I loved her Daughters of the Bride last year, so I was thrilled when not one but two tours were available for Sisters of the Tulip Sisters. This pre-order tour includes an exclusive excerpt, and just in time for Mother’s Day, the opportunity for one lucky U.S. entrant to win a beautifult bouquet, of tulips of course, to be delivered to your own home or to a person of your choosing as a very special gift.
There is also a review tour for Secrets of the Tulip Sisters coming in July. Based on this teaser chapter, I can’t wait to read this book!
Leo Meierotto, the forty-something site supervisor, stuck his head in Griffith’s office. “Boss, you’ve got company.” Leo’s normally serious expression changed to one of amusement. “Kelly Murphy is here.”
Because Leo was local and in a town the size of Tulpen Crossing, everyone knew everyone.
“Think she wants to buy a tiny home?”
Considering she lived in a house her family had owned for five generations, “Doubtful.”
He had a feeling she was here to tell him to back off. Maybe she’d shown up to serve him with a restraining order. Or did that have to be delivered by someone official? He wasn’t sure. Avoiding interactions that required him to get on the wrong side of law enforcement had always been a goal.
He told himself whatever happened, he would deal, then walked out into the showroom of the larger warehouse. Kelly stood by a cross section of a display tiny home, studying the layout.
He took a second to enjoy looking at her. She was about five-five, fit with narrow hips and straight shoulders. A farmer by birth and profession, Kelly dressed for her job. Jeans, work boots and a long sleeved T-shirt. It might be early June, but in the Pacific Northwest, that frequently meant showers. Today was gray with an expected high of sixty-five. Not exactly beach weather.
Kelly’s wavy hair fell just past her shoulders. She wore it pulled back in a simple ponytail. She didn’t wear makeup or bother with a manicure. She was completely no-frills. He supposed that was one of the things he liked about her. There wasn’t any artifice. No pretense. With Kelly you wouldn’t find out that she was one thing on the surface and something completely different underneath. At least that was what he hoped.
She turned. He saw something flash through her eyes. Discomfort? Nerves? Determination? Was she here to tell him to back off? He couldn’t blame her. He’d been too enthused about his plan when he should have been more subtle. She was going to tell him to leave her alone.
Not willing to lose without a fight, he decided he needed a distraction and how convenient they were standing right next to one.
“You’ve never been to my office before,” he went on. “Why is that?”
“I don’t know. You’ve been back about a year. I guess I should have been by.” She turned toward the tiny homes. “You build these?”
“I do. Have you seen one before?”
“Only on TV.”
He grinned. “Gotta love the free advertising.” He gestured to the model next to the cross section. “Micro housing is defined as being less than five hundred square feet. They serve different purposes for different people. In sub-Saharan Africa, micro housing provides sturdy, relatively inexpensive shelter that can be tailored to the needs of the community.” He pointed to the roof. “For example, we can install solar panels, giving the owners access to electricity. In urban settings, modified homes can be an alternative to expensive apartments. They can also offer shelter to the homeless. For everyone else, they fill a need. You can get a single-story house for an in-law or a guest cottage with a loft. You can take it on the road, even live off the grid, if you want.”
She studied him intently as he spoke, as if absorbing every word. “I like living on the grid, but that’s just me.”
“I’m with you on that. Creature comforts are good. Come on. I’ll show you where we build them.”
He led her around the divider and into the back of the warehouse where the actual construction was done. Nearly half a dozen guys swarmed over the homes. Griffith saw that Ryan was leaning against a workbench, talking rather than working. No surprise there. He ignored the surge of frustration and turned his attention to Kelly.
“Clients can pick from plans we have on hand or create their own. If it’s the latter, I work with them to make sure the structure will be sound. A house that’s going to stay in one place has different requirements from one that will be towed.”
She nodded slowly. “You’d have to make sure it was balanced on the trailer. Plus it can’t be too high. Bridges and overpasses would be a problem. Maybe weight, as well.”
“Exactly. A lot of people think they want a tiny home but when they actually see what it looks like, they’re surprised at the size.”
“Or lack of size?” She smiled. “I can’t imagine living in five hundred square feet.”
“Or less. It takes compromise and creative thinking.”
“Plus not a lot of stuff.”
They walked back to the show area. She went through a completed tiny house waiting to be picked up.
“I can’t believe you fit in a washer-dryer unit,” she called from inside.
“Clothes get dirty.”
“But still. It’s a washer-dryer.” She stepped back into the showroom. “It’s nice that you have this setup for your clients. They get to see rather than just imagine.”
He nodded as he looked around. There were photos of completed projects on the wall, along with the cross section. He had a small selection of samples for roofing, siding and hard surfaces. All the basics.
“What?” she asked.
“It’s okay,” he admitted. “I want to make it better, but I don’t know how to do the finishing touches.” He could design the hell out of three hundred square feet, but when it came to things like paint and throw pillows, he was as lost as the average guy in a housewares department.
“I wish I could help, but I can’t.” She flashed him a smile. “I’m totally hopeless at that kind of thing, too. Now if you want to know the Pantone color of the year, that I can do.”
“The color of the year. Every year the design world picks colors that are expected to be popular. You know, for clothes and decorating.”
“Why would you know that?”
“Um, Griffith, I grow tulips for a living. If I don’t get the colors right, nobody wants them at their wedding or on their coffee tables.”
“Oh, right. I didn’t think of that.” He frowned. “Don’t you have to order bulbs before you plant them? What if you get the colors wrong?”
“Then I’m screwed and we lose the farm. Which is why I pay attention to things like the Pantone colors of the year. It’s not so much that people won’t buy yellow tulips regardless of what’s popular, it’s that I’ll lose sales by not having the right colors available when my customers want them. I like being their go-to vendor when they need something.”
He’d known she cared about her business, but he hadn’t thought of her as competitive. Better and better.
“Do you focus on having the right colors in the field flowers as well as those you grow indoors?”
She studied him for a second, as if surprised by the question.
“They’re different,” she admitted. “What we have for the annual tulip festival are more focused on popular colors as well as types of tulips. I use the greenhouses for wedding seasons as well as for the more exotics. It’s easier to control the process when you don’t have to deal with Mother Nature.”
“I hear she can be a real bitch.”
Kelly laughed. “If there’s a spring hailstorm, I won’t disagree. Ten minutes of hail can ruin an entire crop.”
He winced. “That sucks.”
“Tell me about it.”
They smiled at each other. He had a feeling she’d forgotten about why she’d come to see him, which was how he wanted things.
~~~~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~~~~
Susan is giving away a beatiful bouquet of tulips to one lucky entrant at each stop on this tour.