Book Excerpt & Giveaway: Secrets of the Tulip Sisters by Susan Mallery



Title:  Secrets of the Tulip Sisters
Author: Susan Mallery
Publisher: HQN Books
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction



From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Daughters of the Bride comes the charming tale about the problem with secrets, the power of love and the unbreakable bond between sisters.

Kelly Murphy’s life as a tulip farmer is pretty routine—up at dawn, off to work, lather, rinse, repeat. But everything changes one sun-washed summer with two dramatic homecomings: Griffith Burnett—Tulpen Crossing’s prodigal son, who’s set his sights on Kelly—and Olivia, her beautiful, wayward and, as far as Kelly is concerned, unwelcome sister. Tempted by Griffith, annoyed by Olivia, Kelly is overwhelmed by the secrets that were so easy to keep when she was alone.

But Olivia’s return isn’t as triumphant as she pretends. Her job has no future, and ever since her dad sent her away from the bad boy she loved, she has felt cut off from her past. She’s determined to reclaim her man and her place in the family…whether her sister likes it or not. For ten years, she and Kelly have been strangers. Olivia will get by without her approval now.
While Kelly and Olivia butt heads, their secrets tumble out in a big hot mess, revealing some truths that will change everything they thought they knew. Can they forgive each other—and themselves—and redefine what it means to be sisters?

Told with Mallery’s trademark heart and humor, the Tulip Sisters are in for the most colorful summer of their lives…


Helen glanced at the clock, then reached for a mug. She was still pouring coffee when she heard the front door open. Her butterflies started a quickstep and for one brief second, she thought her hands might actually shake. Which was ridiculous. And right on cue, the recorded sound of breaking glass was followed by the opening chords of “You May Be Right.”
“I may be crazy,” Helen whispered to herself before turning around and smiling as Jeff Murphy walked toward her. “Morning.”
“Hi, Helen.” Jeff winced slightly. “Does it have to be this loud?”
“Billy is my rock-and-roll boyfriend. A love like that demands volume.”
“Uh-huh.”
Jeff set paper-wrapped flowers on the counter before pulling out his phone and tapping the screen. It only took him a second to find the Sonos app and lower the volume to the level of background noise.
“One day Billy’s going to kick your ass for doing that,” she told him.
He grinned. “I’m willing to take the chance.”
It was a variation on the conversation they had nearly every day. One she looked forward to with ridiculous anticipation. Billy might be her rock-and-roll boyfriend, but Jeff was, well… Jeff was the reason her heart kept beating.
Stupid, but there it was. The truth. She was wildly, desperately in love with Jeff Murphy.
The man was gorgeous. He looked a little like the actor Jason Bateman, with shaggy hair and big brown eyes. He was tall, fit, funny, kind and he could play guitar like nobody’s business. In a word—irresistible.
He was also single, so what was the problem? Why couldn’t she simply tell him how she felt? Or ask him out to dinner? Or rip off her clothes and smile winningly? Jeff wasn’t a dummy. He would get the message.
Only three things stopped her. One, he was older. Sixteen years, to be exact. While she didn’t care, she thought he might. Two, the extra thirty pounds she carried. She was currently subscribing to the when-then philosophy—distant cousin to the if-then concept. When she lost weight, then she would be brave and throw herself at Jeff.
She acknowledged that pending moment of disaster might be the reason she seemed in no hurry to commit to a weight loss plan but she wasn’t sure.
Reason number three—which was probably the most important and therefore should be the first—Jeff was her best friend’s father.
Yup, Jeff was Kelly’s dad, which added a whole layer of complicated to the situation. Because should she ever confess the truth to said best friend, there would be a conversation filled with “WTF” and “Are you kidding me?” All of which would be screamed rather than spoken.
Oh, wait. There was a fourth reason Helen hadn’t thrown herself at Jeff. He’d never once made a move in her direction. All the more reason to bury her unrequited love/lust in a warm cinnamon roll.
“Let me show you what I brought you today,” he said, unrolling the paper. “Havran.”
Helen stepped closer to study the beautiful tulips. They were deep purple with a slightly pointed petal. The stems were pale green and smooth.
“They’re lovely. Thank you.”
She knew better than to offer to pay for them. She’d tried a couple of times, but Jeff had simply shaken his head. “I grow tulips, Helen. I want to do this.”
She’d tried reading something into his words but weeks, then months, had passed with nary a change in their relationship. Not by a whisper, look or touch did he ever hint that he thought of her as more than a friend. She’d learned to accept the flowers as a kind gift. The man was a tulip farmer, after all. It wasn’t as if he’d bought them for her.
She collected a tray filled with small vases, along with clippers. Together they loaded the vases and put them on each table. When she returned to the counter, he held out a small wrapped package the size and shape of a single stem.
“For you. Don’t tell Kelly.”
Humor danced in his dark brown eyes. Eyes she would very much like to get lost in. Maybe while he slowly undressed and reached for her as they…
“Helen?”
“What? Oh, thanks. Although I’m not sure I should thank you for stealing from your daughter’s private greenhouse.”
“She’s not going to notice one flower missing.”
“You take one every week. At some point she’s going to catch on.”
He winked. “She hasn’t yet.”
No, she hadn’t. Because Kelly would have mentioned the thefts, had she spotted them.
Yes, it was true—father and daughter worked together on their tulip farm. In addition to growing millions of blooms for florists and grocery stores, Kelly had a small, private greenhouse where she cultivated special flowers. Flowers Jeff occasionally stole and brought to Helen.
Today’s offering was red with a yellow base. But what was most remarkable was the long, slender petals that came to a needlelike point. They were delicate and exotic and incredibly beautiful.
“Tulipa acuminata,” Jeff said.
Helen didn’t know if the words were Latin or just scientific, but hearing him say them made her girl parts sigh in unison.
“It’s stunning,” she said. “I’ll put it in my office and not tell my best friend, which makes me a bad person and it’s all your fault.”
“I do what I can.”
He took a seat at the counter. His regular seat. The one she thought of as Jeff’s chair. When she had a moment between customers, it was where she later sat. Sad, but true.
“Want to see a menu?” she asked.
He raised his eyebrows. “Is that your idea of humor?”
Because he’d been coming to the café all his adult life and knew everything they served.
“I’m trying to mix things up,” she said.
“I’ll have an omelet.”
“With bacon, avocado, cheese.” A statement, not a question.
“You know what I like.”
If only that were true. If only she knew the words or moves to get him to see her as more than a friend. Unless, of course, he wasn’t interested. Which he probably wasn’t, because he was a decisive man. So she should get over him and move on with her life. Only she didn’t want to get over Jeff. She wanted to get into him. Or have him get into her or…
“I need more coffee,” she muttered. And a hormone transplant. Or maybe just some more Billy Joel.

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Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books about the relationships that define women’s lives—romance, friendship, family. With compassion and humor, Susan keenly observes how people think and feel, in stories that take readers on an emotional journey. Sometimes heartbreaking, often funny, and always uplifting, Susan’s books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list, thanks to her ever growing legions of fans.

Critics, too, have heaped praise on “the new queen of romantic fiction.” (Walmart) Booklist says, “Romance novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling,” and RT Book Reviews puts her “in a class by herself!”

Although Susan majored in Accounting, she never worked as an accountant because she was published straight out of college with two books the same month, January of 1992. Sixteen prolific years and seventy-four books later, she hit the New York Times bestsellers list for the first time with Accidentally Yours in 2008. She made many appearances in the Top 10 before (finally) hitting #1 in 2015 with Thrill Me, the twentieth book in her most popular series, the Fool’s Gold romances, and the fourth of five books released that year.

Susan lives in Seattle with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a tattletale toy poodle. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society. Animals play a big role in her books, as well, as she believes they’re an integral component to a happy life.

TO CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:  Website | Facebook | Twitter



(1) winner will receive a bouquet of tulips.  Winner can decide if they would like the bouquet for themselves, their mother (Mother’s Day gift!), a sister, daughter, friend, anybody!! **US ONLY** We will need the winner’s PHONE NUMBER, name and address of the recipient, and the name of the person gifting it in order for them to receive their tulips. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Check out the full tour schedule for more information! Click on the image below to take you there.
                                                                                                                                          




CONVERSATION

34 comments:

  1. “Tulipa acuminata
    Purple are my favorite color of tulips. Actually they are all beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. Beautiful! I love tulips in general. So all of them are my favorite.

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  2. Tulipa acuminata
    My daughter carried white tulips in her bridal bouquet.
    I actually like mixed bright colors together.

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  3. Havran. My favorite color tulips are a deep purple, almost looking black!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! That is a pretty color, but hard to find!

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  4. Tulipa acuminata - Tulips are my favorite flower. My favorite color of tulips is pink.

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    Replies
    1. Me too! I think ivory or yellow or tht orange red color. Wait. All of them! Hahhaa

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  5. Looking forward to reading this new book

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  6. They're called tulipa acuminata. I think lavender tulips are just so gorgeous!

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    Replies
    1. Agree! Lavendaranything is pretty! 😄

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  7. I have to say, I don't know much about the names of tulips. He seems to have Havran in the excerpt--the purple sounds pretty. I like the red and yellow ones myself. Thanks!

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  8. Loved the description of the book. I like reading books with family ties in the story. My favorite color of tulips are purple.

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  9. “Tulipa acuminata
    My favorite tulip color is pink.

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  10. Havran and/or tulipa acuminata. My favorite color is any shade of purple.

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    Replies
    1. Purple is a popular one on this post! =) Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. Tulipa acuminata are mentioned in the excerpt.

    Purple and yellow tulips are my favorites. Thanks for the post and giveaway.

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    Replies
    1. Great color choices!! Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Havran and Tulipa acuminata were mentioned in the excerpt. I love to see red and yellow tulips together in a garden. So vibrant and beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. So true. Ive seen thatcombination often and very pretty!

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  13. Purple is my favorite color especially for tulips. Any shade of purple. Pink is neat too, goes well with purple.

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  14. Havran...my favorite color is yellow. Bright and happy.

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  15. Thanks for featuring this excerpt for the tour!

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  16. Havran and Tulipa acuminata were both mentioned. I love the purple and white tulips.

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