May 7, 2012

excerpt: 'lucky charm' by marie astor

Blogger's Note: I am pleased to welcome Marie Astor today on her Chick Lit Plus blog tour. Check out the info and excerpt from her novel, Lucky Charm.

About Lucky Charm
Twenty-eight-year old Annabel Green is about to tie the knot with her college love, an aspiring author Jeremy Blake, but her plans for an ideal wedding are rudely interrupted when she catches Jeremy kissing his gorgeous book agent.

Shell-shocked by Jeremy’s betrayal, Annabel retreats into the quiet routine of TV dinners and solitary evenings. It is then that Annabel’s best friend, fashion designer Lilly Clayton, sets herself on a mission to draw Annabel out of her shell. In an attempt to persuade Annabel to keep an open mind on dating, Lilly takes Annabel for a stunning makeover, but after Annabel passes on a date with a dashing entrepreneur, Lilly decides that more drastic measures are needed. Lilly invites Annabel to see a palm reader who gives Annabel a lucky charm that is supposed to help her find true love.

A few weeks later, during her trip to Paris, Annabel meets a handsome Parisian, and as the two embark on a whirlwind romance, she starts to believe in the power of the talisman the palm reader has given her. But what Annabel doesn’t know is that Lilly is hiding a secret that could unravel her faith in her newly found luck in love.

Excerpt from Lucky Charm
Ok, this is the moment of truth, Annabel thought, as she stared at the lacy garments on her bed. She wriggled her body into each piece of the intricate ensemble, leaving the garter belt for last. Then, she unwrapped a pair of stockings that she had bought to go with the garter and attempted to fasten them to the garter strips – a task that was easier said than done as she failed at it again and again, cursing the tricky garter clasps that kept slipping through her fingers. After almost ten minutes of struggle, she finally managed to secure the last strap and stepped into her black plumps. Not bad, she thought, straining to see her full reflection in the three quarter mirror that hung in the foyer. Of course the extravagant attire she had on was not all that comfortable, but she was fairly certain that once Jeremy got home, she would not be wearing it for much longer.

Annabel glanced at the clock again: it was six o’clock. Any minute now Jeremy would walk through the front door, and she would surprise him. A smile spread over her lips as she thought about what would happen next. She lit some candles on the magazine table by the couch and put out two cognac glasses along with the bottle of Hine that she had bought on her way home – it was Jeremy’s favorite brand of cognac.

But half an hour later there was still no sign of Jeremy. Annabel propped herself on the couch, reaching for the TV remote and immediately felt the corset pinch her sides; she shifted this way and that, until finally attaining a half-reclined position that was somewhat comfortable. It took me all this time to get into this thing, she thought, I’m not taking it off until Jeremy comes home and sees it. 

It was almost eight o’clock at night when Annabel heard the key turn in the front door lock. She had dozed off without realizing it; the noise startled her and she jumped off the couch, hastily adjusting her now slightly crumpled outfit in place. The candles had almost burned down to the core, and she blew them out, thankful that she woke up in time. She straightened up and, feeling a sudden jolt of adrenaline, hurried to greet Jeremy as the front door began to open.

“Well, hello there.” Annabel leaned against the wall, doing her best to strike a seductive pose, praying all the while that she did not look ridiculous.

“Wow, babe!” Jeremy’s jaw dropped as he stepped inside. He was dressed in a pair of jeans and a corduroy jacket with leather patches on the elbows – his attire of choice: polished and presentable, without trying too hard, as he liked to describe it. However, this time he did not look as collected as usual: his jacket was creased and his hair was tousled. “You did all of this for me?” Jeremy slid his hefty laptop case off his shoulder and placed it on the floor as he leaned over to give Annabel a quick peck on the lips.  

Well, whom else? Annabel wondered, taken aback by Jeremy’s reaction – it was far from the response she had been expecting. “You don’t like it? It’s too much isn’t it?”

“No, no! I love it! You look great. Turn around, let me have a look at you.” Jeremy plopped himself on the couch. “Ah, Ann, you got Hine too! You are too good to me, you know that?”

 “Yeah, well, I wanted to surprise you.” Annabel perched herself next to Jeremy.

“And you lit candles, too.” Jeremy motioned at the blown out candles. “I’m sorry for being so late – there was some kind of outage with the Metro-North and we were stuck for over two hours. I tried to call you, but there was no signal on my cell.”

“Hey, it’s OK. Don’t worry about it. The night is still young.” Annabel slid closer to Jeremy and nuzzled his neck.

“Hey, Ann, can I take a rain check? Don’t get me wrong, you look great - it’s just that I’m dead tired.”

“Yes, sure. No problem. I should have thought about that.” Annabel rose from the couch; suddenly, she felt incredibly ridiculous and could not wait to get the itchy, uncomfortable lace off of her.

About the Author
Marie Astor is the author of contemporary romance novels Dance Me to the Stars, On the Rim of Love, and Lucky Charm, and a collection of short stories A Chance Encounter and Other Stories.

Marie’s latest contemporary romance novel, Dance Me to the Stars, has been selected in the first round of entries in the General Fiction category in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest this year.

Currently, Marie is working on her next novel – a first installment in her romantic suspense series.

Contact Marie:
Author Website:
Twitter: @marieastor

Books by Marie Astor:
Dance Me to the Stars – a contemporary romance about finding one’s perfect match.

On the Rim of Love – a contemporary romance about the unexpected power of love.

Lucky Charm – a humorous contemporary romance about love, luck and friendship.

A Chance Encounter and Other Stories – a short story collection about love and everyday life.

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