Thursday, June 4, 2015

Summer's Family Affair by Cynthia Gail Excerpt & Giveaway

Jenny Cohen defines successful independence: she put herself through college, couldn’t ask for better friends, owns a consulting firm, wears designer clothes, and just moved into her dream home . . . But she’s alone, except for her ailing mother whom she supports in a nursing home. As the marketing consultant for Chester, Dorsey & Tanner, she’s surrounded by male attention. Too bad it’s the overly-protective big-brother type.

Architect, Craig Stone, hasn’t looked at another woman since his wife passed away four years ago. His time is taken—building a career while trying to be both mother and father to his eight-year-old son. But when his appointment with the largest development firm in Nashville is double-booked with a black-haired beauty, he finds himself reaching for new possibilities.

The attraction sets off more fireworks than the Fourth of July. Yet, their relationship is riddled with issues neither one of them expected. Somewhere in the middle they must find a way to compromise or let go of a chance for love they may never find again.

One of the things I love about reading a series is the attachment I find with the characters. I often feel like books end too soon after the black moment reconciliation but a series gives me the opportunity to continue following characters I’ve fallen in love with. The hard part about writing a series is you have to develop most of your characters well in advance of writing their individual books.
Summer’s Family Affair is book #3 in my Music City Hearts series, but I created most of Jenny’s profile while writing Winter’s Magic and Spring’s Surprise. Her work at the children’s hospital, her mother’s disability, and the three best friend’s habit of reading their horoscopes each month came out in the storyline well before Jenny’s book was even written.
I was asked in a recent interview if I put any of my own truths into my characters. I think every author does. Jenny has a combination of traits, good and bad, I see in myself as well as traits that fit my ultimate vision of her character. She’s a really good person at heart, but she has insecurities and flaws just like everyone else. Picking the right combination and creating the perfect hero in contrast is the tricky part.
Craig was harder for me. My husband reminds me regularly that women don’t think like men, LOL. But it’s true. Creating the right balance of alpha-male and loving-sensitivity is tough. It was also difficult to put myself in the right mentality to show emotions related to Craig losing his wife. Or to imagine Ben’s feelings of losing a mother. I’ve been so blessed, experiencing very little death in my own family. I hope I gave their feelings proper justice.
“Ms. Cohen,” he said, “we still have a few more questions, if you don’t mind sitting back down.”

“I do mind, Detective. My car is totaled.” She pointed to her red BMW Z4 convertible, now an ugly pile of metal being loaded onto the back of a tow truck. “I’m tired and sore and I want to go home. If you have any more questions, I would be happy to meet you at your office on Monday morning.”

“Ms. Cohen, you don’t understand,” he said.

“No, you don’t understand. I’ve given my statement three times and I don’t know anything else. Now, is somebody going to give me a ride home or do I need to call a cab?”

“Ms. Cohen—”

“She’s finished, Detective.”

Jenny turned and saw Craig standing less than three feet behind her. He was wearing a black suit, royal-blue shirt, and matching necktie. What a sight for sore eyes . . .

“I can give you a ride home. Let me take your bag.” He held out his hand and she let him take it. “Come on. I think you’ve had enough.”

As bad as she felt and knew she looked, she couldn’t turn away his offer. She fumbled through her purse, found a business card, and handed it to the detective. “Call me on Monday if you need more information.”

She turned back to Craig, who now stood so close she caught a hint of his cologne and couldn’t help the shiver that ran up her spine. He pulled a card from his wallet and handed it to the officer. “If you call her before Monday, call Mr. Warner first. He would be happy to make arrangements for any meeting you can justify to his satisfaction.”

Suddenly, he lifted her into his arms.

“Craig! Please, put me down,” she shrieked, then tried to compose herself. “I can walk just fine. I know I look like a train wreck, but I’m really okay.” Okay if she only referred to injuries. Being cradled against him, she could feel the taut muscles of his chest and her heart almost stopped.

“Jenny, you have no shoes and the street is covered in broken glass and plastic. I’m not letting you walk across it with just socks on your feet.”

Resigned, she relaxed and laid her head on his shoulder. “Thank you,” she whispered into his neck and breathed in a lungful of deep musk.

“That’s better. My car isn’t far. I’ll have you home in just a few minutes.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
My husband and I live in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee with our three dogs. When I'm not working or writing, I can be found with family and friends. I love to bake in the winter, grill in the summer, and on occasion, I sneak away from everyone and curl up with a good book.

Other Books in the series:
Winter’s Magic
Spring’s Surprise

Cynthia Gail will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host. 
The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

    1. Mai,
      I travel a lot with my day-job, so for the most part, I love ebooks. Plus, I instantly have it once I've bought it and can even buy from my phone. For research, however, I like traditional hardback/paperback. I like to put sticky notes and highlight certain things. The physical book is so much easier to go back and find information I've noted.

  2. I really, really liked this excerpt.

    1. Thank you MomJane! So glad you stopped by today.

  3. Thanks for having me today!

  4. I liked the excerpt, thank you.


  5. Terrific excerpt! The cover and title are awesome! Thank you for the great post and contest!

  6. Looks cute. the cover drew me in, too.