Over to you Carlene.
Hello! Thank you so much for having me here to talk about my new road trip romance release, Sidewalk Flower. The excerpt I’ve included shows what happens when a girl gives a guy a delicious road trip dessert, he follows it up with a heartfelt declaration, and then they skid to a stop. I hope you enjoy!
MR: I love the Cover Carlene!
Book Blurb: In Sidewalk Flower, a jaded young woman sets out on an intense road trip home to deal with her past when she is asked to allow a relative stranger to tag along.
But, she’s seen too many good guys succumb to the harsh realities of her supposed privileged life in the music business and intends on keeping her distance.
When she picks up Lucky, the southern gentleman cousin of her selfish best friend, she has absolutely no idea of how to accept a perfectly good person with good intentions. Home has never looked so good, or felt so far away.
MR: this sounds like a really emotional story, one where the character's learn so much about themselves! Can we have a little taste please?
Sidewalk Flower Excerpt:
Through the slots of window not covered with cigarette and phone card advertisements, Lucky saw Trista exit the restroom and make her way around several aisles, grabbing things as she went. All he had was a back view of her wild, knotted hair and slender neck that bled into the royal blue and purple collar of her dress. It was all he needed to see. She was exquisite, the most beautiful woman he’d ever met, even through the cluttered windows of the convenience store.
He’d decided he couldn’t hold her work situation against her. It wasn’t fair to knock her for being honest that she would be busy with the band while he was in California. Most likely his feelings for her were stronger than her regards for him—but she was worth the biding of his time.
And worth trying to figure out.
She was serious for good reasons, but equally playful for equally justifiable ones. She read people well but let herself be used by those closest to her. She was open to just about anything that rang of fun it seemed. She’d rather leave the past where it belonged but he had no idea how she felt about the future. She’d make an amazing lover.
The saddest thing he’d learned about her? That if he’d persisted, she would have slept with him, no matter what her body was going through at the moment.
She was good and she didn’t know it. Or she knew but didn’t care. He wondered how much longer they had on the road. Was it enough time to tell her he was in love with her?
“Hey there, I got you a Coke, Tic-Tacs and this.”
Trista handed him the two familiar staples and then one in a cellophane wrapper with the picture of a duck. He accepted them graciously, curious about the surprise.
“What is this?”
“Okay, that is a Gansito and it’s delicious. You know you’re in California when these guys start showing up on the shelves. Taste it, it’s soooo good.”
They were already in California.
“Come on, open it. Like this.” She took hers and peeled apart the wrapper at the seams. “Don’t tear the little goose, it’s bad luck.”
Trista plucked out the Twinkie-shaped snack cake and put it up to her mouth to bite down. Her smile was so wide he could see her teeth sinking down through the layers of chocolate, strawberry and yellow cake. “Oh my God, this is…soooo good,” she cooed.
Lord what he’d give to be that snack cake.
“What’s wrong? Are you allergic to chocolate? You hate strawberry don’t you?” she asked, licking her tongue over a piece of filling stuck to her front tooth.
“No, I like all those things.”
“Then what’s wrong?”
His unopened Gansito lay on the seat near his legs. Trista reached for it but he caught her arm just as she was leaning into him and held her there. “I’m in love with you, Trista.”
“Oh.” She sat for a minute in the driver’s seat. Then proceeded to exit her side of the Jeep and make her way over to his. She opened his door. “Can you please drive?”
This was not the reaction he had expected. Although, he hadn’t thought it out in the two seconds it took for him to decide to tell her up front how he felt. Not after learning they were already so close to their destination.
After switching seats, Trista remained quiet and still, reminding him more of a robot than a flesh and blood woman. She hadn’t registered his declaration, that much was obvious. He couldn’t even be sure she was thinking because she just sat there, stuck in time. He turned over the ignition, scooted the seat back, and crept the Jeep forward toward the freeway.
“We’re in Barstow. You had asked earlier…where we were,” she said blankly.
“No, actually I hadn’t. But thank you for telling me because I was wondering.” He’d look over at her but feared what he might see.
“You didn’t ask me that?” she asked, still looking vacantly around the Jeep’s interior.
“No, Trista. I hadn’t asked.” He let out a breath and drove on.
This is not good. He loved her and she was so scared of the notion that they were now having a conversation about a conversation they’d never had. The next exit sign indicated a rest stop in five miles. He planned to pull into it.
Just as he put on the blinker, her knees tensed and pulled together. If he’d managed to throw her into shock, there was little time to waste. He drove right up to the curb, parked, turned off the engine and undid his seat belt. Then he unsnapped hers and turned in the seat to face her.
“I love you.” He reached a hand up to her cheek to feel the strong bone beneath it. “I realize you weren’t expecting to hear that from me. But it’s the truth, more true than anything I’ve felt in a very long time. You’re not the only one who is afraid of that.”
“You barely know me.”
“But I do. I’ve spent the last twenty-four hours thinking about all the things I know about you and the things I want to discover. I know the way your breathing sounds when you fall asleep and how you smell when you get out of the shower.”
“That’s not love, Lucky. You’re just very observant.”
“Trista, I’m not joking around. Call it what you want.”
The dull, waxy aura melted away before his eyes as she became life-like again. “Lucky, you don’t have to say that. I told you, I’m not one of those girls who teases a guy because I can. I will make the time to be with you.”
He cut her off with silence and throbbing eyes. She has absolutely no idea of what I feel. Lost at her inability to relate to the feeling, he somberly turned back to face front, refastened his seat belt, and headed back for the highway. He may as well have just declared the end.
MR: I do like the sound of that book. So here are the buy links!
All Romance E-Books— https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-sidewalkflower-1041391-148.html
More about Carlene:
Carlene Love Flores is a big fan of the stars (especially Orion), honest music (especially Depeche Mode), and her travelling family (no favorites there-she loves them all). These things have always inspired her to think up edgy, intimate love stories and continue to do so. If she could touch someone’s heart with her writing the way others have done for her, she’d say truly there never lived a luckier girl.
MR: Carlene is one of those authors you will want to keep track of, so here are the places you will find her.
Website & Blog: http://carlenelove.com/
Facebook: Carlene Love Flores
MR: Thank you for coming along today Carlene and we look forward to more from you!