Crushed ~ A novel of wine and love by Deborah Coonts ~ Blast and Giveaway

Posted: March 8, 2016 in Book Blast, Contemporary Romance, giveaways
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by Deborah Coonts

Crushed cover

Genre: Contemporary Romance



Excerpt: Chapter One

Sophia Stone knew life held few absolutes: good wine is art, good Italian cooking is passion, a good child is a gift, and good news never comes in a certified letter.

“You sure this is for me, Tito?” she asked the postman who thrust an envelope toward her. When she tilted her head she could read the word “Certified,” stamped in red like a guilty verdict across the front.

A heavy-set man, Tito had a ready smile and an easy, engaging manner. Each day while delivering mail, he also traversed the valley searching for tidbits of gossip with the zeal of an Army battalion scouring the countryside for insurgents. St. Helena was a small community where the denizens believed mining each other’s business was an inalienable right granted on the theory that without the titillation everyone would fall over dead from boredom. “Yeah, looks like it’s from Charlie. Certified, too.” Tito didn’t have the decency to hide his interest as he mopped his face with a dirty handkerchief then stuffed it back into his rear pocket. The wiping didn’t help—a sheen of sweat still covered his ruddy cheeks. August had been hot with no break in sight.

Sophia eyed him. She wouldn’t put it past him to have already steamed open the letter, a thought that made her a bit nauseous. Why had she thought a small town in Napa Valley would be a good place to hide?

“From Charlie, you say?” Keeping her hands in her pockets, Sophia tilted her head further and tried to double-check the sender’s address. Then she looked him in the eye. “Any idea what it’s about?”

Tito looked like a bully when his bluff was called. He shrugged—an exaggerated movement that seemed like the shifting of a mountain—but a noncommittal answer, leaving Sophia certain whatever was in that letter would be spread around the valley and germinating in imaginations as rapidly as seeds on a spring wind.

At an impasse, Sophia and Tito stood there, the letter between them, Sophia delaying the inevitable. Unfortunately, with a dinner to cook and a cake in the oven, Sophia didn’t have time to see if she could outlast him. So, with a sour downturn to her mouth and a knot in her stomach, Sophia took the letter.

Tito motioned for her to flip the envelope over. “There on the back, that green card? You need to sign that.” Handing her a pen, he waited for her to sign, then tore off the return receipt, pocketing it.

Confirming the return address, Sophia gave him a distracted wave as he climbed back into his truck. “Thanks, Tito.” A perfunctory nicety.

“Sure thing, Ms. Stone.” In a shower of gravel, he gunned the mail truck back through the vineyard down the winding driveway leading to the valley floor. Sophia glanced up as the trees enveloped him and her normal quiet smothered the sound, wiping away all vestiges of his presence.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Crushed author


My mother tells me I was born in Texas a very long time ago, but I’m not so sure—my mother can’t be trusted. She’ll also tell you I was a born storyteller. That I believe—I have the detention notices and bad-conduct reports to prove it. However, the path from minor hyperbolist, or as I prefer to think of my former self, Grand Master of the Art of Self-Prevarication, to the author of the New York Times Notable Crime Novel and double Rita ™ finalist, Wanna Get Lucky?, the book that launched the bestselling series, was a bit tortured.


Someone once told me I lived a peripatetic life—yes, I had to look it up. And he was right. I’ve been everything from a mom, business owner, accountant, wife, pilot, flight instructor, lawyer …worse, a tax lawyer… to a writer. The three personas I’ve kept suit me the best: mom, flight instructor, and writer. And the other personas I’ve tried on then shrugged out of and discarded like an itchy coat were great grist for the story mill.

Chasing stories keeps me busy and out of jail…for the most part. Researching in Vegas can be a bit… sketchy.

Prodded by the next adventure and the police, I keep moving. Right now I have a house in Texas, but that will change soon. I lived in Vegas for 15 years—the longest I’d stayed anywhere. And I get back there often. But other places, too, are calling.

Someone asked me the other day where I lived. The question stopped me cold. Finally I said, “On Southwest Airlines, third row, window seat, either side.” Always in search of a story. And the adventure would be perfect if they could just stock a split of nice Champagne.

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  1. judethomas21 says:

    It sounds like my kind of book.Thank you for sharing :)

  2. nikolina84 says:

    Really enjoyed reading the entire post today. This is a new author for me but I would love to learn more! Thank you for the reveal!

  3. Mary Preston says:

    A great chapter thank you.

  4. Saph says:

    Excellent post. Thank you for showcasing Crushed today!

  5. Anne says:

    Thanks for this intriguing novel and great post. A very talented author whose books are unique.

  6. Ree Dee says:

    Thank you for sharing the post and the giveaway!

  7. Ooo such a pretty cover. I am a “cover girl”. Who has the final say in the finished product?
    sherry @ fundinmental

  8. Sandra Watts says:

    I enjoyed your bio. You sound really interesting and fun.