How have you been doing? I hope you all are well! Today I'd like to present to you a very special guest! I am a HUGE fan of her books and she is gracing us with her presence today on my blog! Not only that, she is sharing a BRAND NEW excerpt here first! It's a never before seen read! I'm doing a happy dance right now!
No...seriously...this is how I feel....
Joining us today is New York Times and USA Today Bestseller and author of the highly popular Kowalski Family Series, Shannon Stacey!
Hi, everybody! Falling For Max, the ninth book in my Kowalski series, is kind of my own spin on My Fair Lady, the classic musical that’s one of the few movies my younger sister and I don’t agree on. (She loves it. I love almost all of it.) Max Crawford has decided it’s time to start putting himself out there in hopes of finding a wife, but he’s a little shy and not exactly smooth. Tori Burns, after watching him strike out, decides she’s going to help him out. But the more time she spends with Max, the more she realizes she likes him just the way he is.
Here’s an excerpt from Falling For Max, which releases on July 29th, so you can see why Tori thinks Max needs a little help in the dating department. Poor Max. I hope you enjoy it, and happy reading!
Max had often heard Laundromats were a good place to meet women. He wasn’t sure why, since he wasn’t one to speak to strangers while folding his underwear, so he didn’t imagine women would be any more comfortable doing so. But he’d tried it anyway, using a comforter that didn’t fit in his washing machine as an excuse to spend time in the town’s only Laundromat.
After spending ninety minutes listening to the life story of a man who was newly divorced, Max had decided the rumor of Laundromats being a good place to meet women was probably started by a Laundromat owner.
So he was back at the diner, perusing the menu and working up the courage to talk to the woman sitting further down the counter. She looked vaguely familiar to him, and he’d finally placed her as the woman who owned the secondhand store near the bank. He’d seen her on the sidewalk sometimes, setting up sale racks, but he’d never spoken to her. And even if he’d ever known her name, he wouldn’t have remembered it.
She wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. Granted, that didn’t mean much, but it’s not as if he was going to open with your place or mine? Casual conversation would give him plenty of opportunity to clarify her relationship status before it came time to make a decision on asking her out or not.
He’d left two empty stools between them. It seemed enough to respect her personal space, but not so far away they couldn’t have a conversation if she was so inclined. Assuming he worked up the nerve to speak to her.
“Do you know what you want, Max?”
He looked up at Tori, who had her order pad and pen at the ready. Just seeing her friendly smile relaxed him. “What do you recommend?”
“Gavin made pork tenderloin for the special tonight, with a brown sugar and balsamic vinegar glaze. Served with garlic mashed potatoes and your choice of creamed corn or a spiced, chunky applesauce.”
He noticed she hadn’t actually answered the question he asked. “He made it, but do you recommend it?”
“Absolutely. I taste-tested it myself when I got here so I could give my honest opinion. It’s delicious.”
“Then I’ll try it. With the applesauce, please. And decaf to drink, if it’s fresh.”
“Paige just started brewing a fresh pot, so I’ll grab you a cup as soon as it’s done.”
When Tori walked away, Max snuck a look down the counter. The secondhand store woman had dark hair cut into one of those smooth cuts that ended just below her chin. She was around his age and she was reading. It was a magazine, but that still counted. He also took note that her bill was on the edge of the counter, along with some cash, which meant she’d probably be leaving very soon.
He cleared his throat and turned his head, making sure his voice would project to her. “The weather’s nice today.”
She glanced sideways at him and then, apparently realizing he was talking to her, gave him a brief smile. “Yes, it is.”
“It’ll start getting cold soon.”
She turned her attention back to the magazine she’d been reading, but he wasn’t ready to give up. “Do you follow any sports?”
“No, I don’t. Sorry,” she said, glancing at him again, this time without the smile. Then she turned the page of the magazine and lifted it so there could be no missing the fact she was reading.
Even Max could take that hint. Stifling a sigh, he tried to not think about how quickly he’d been shot down. He wasn’t sure what the average time was, but he felt like a guy should get more than three lines.
Max Crawford has reached the point in life where he’s starting to think about settling down. Unfortunately, he’s always been a little awkward when it comes to social interactions, and working from home doesn’t help. He spends so much time alone, painting beautiful, historically accurate model trains that half of Whitford has begun to joke that he may be a serial killer. Not exactly prime husband material.
Tori Burns has found happiness in Maine, thanks in large part to her shifts at the Trailside Diner. She likes the work, and she loves the local gossip. When shy, geeky Max Crawford becomes a regular, she’s intrigued. When she finds out he’s in the market for a wife, she’s fascinated…and determined to help.
Molding Max into every woman’s dream turns out to be much easier than expected. But has Tori’s plan worked a little too well? As she turns his comfortable life all sorts of upside down, she’ll have to find a way to show just how she’s fallen for him…the real him.
Are you guys ready for another Kowalski Series book? Don't forget, it comes out July 29th! BUT pre-order it NOW!
And make sure to keep up with all of her latest news!
Thank you so much Shannon for stopping by today to share your new excerpt with us! The door is always open and you are welcome to stop by any time!
Until next time...
Until next time...