Before I make the announcements, I want to add a small note about any prizes that needed to be physically posted in the mail. At this time of the year, post is notoriously slow and often goes missing. For that reason - and I really hope you understand and don't mind too much - I will be waiting until the holiday season is over to send them out to you, just to ensure they get there safely. I will still contact you in the next couple of days to get your addresses though, so I have them ready once the craziness is over!
Okay, now that's done - on to the winners!
Blindsided Paperback Giveaway from Kelley Lynn's blog - Nick Wilford
Blindsided Paperback Giveaway from Tiffany's TV - Jennie Bennett
Silly Winter Hat Giveaway from Nick Wilford's Blog - Laura Clipson & Leigh Covington
Blindsided ebook Giveaway from Tribute Books Blog - Julie Kornhaus
Blindsided Christmas Photo Bloghop Winners:
Most Creative ($20 Amazon Gift Card) - Tamara from One Magic Bean Buyer
Silliest (but in a good way!) ($15 Amazon Gift Card) - L.G Keltner
Simple But Stylish (£10 Amazon Gift Card) - Suzanne Furness
Random drawing for a paperback copy of Blindsided
C. Lee McKenzie
Congratulations to all the winners! And thanks again to everyone who participated, and made he tour so much fun!
For those of you who are following in my Game On Christmas Story, the next snippet is here! Reminder that there are some spoilers for those of you who haven't read Game On. However, if you have read it, or don't mind spoilers - keep reading! :D
I’m pretty sure parties are supposed to cheer you up, but I was totally not in the mood. I’d been home for eight hours, the jetlag was really starting to kick in, and the pounding beat of the music threatened to make my skull cave in.
It was four in the morning, London time. Even though I’d had a short nap earlier, it only made me feel worse but even if I didn’t stay for long, I wanted to drop by Bree’s party to see everyone.
With my knee brace, and on crutches, I couldn’t exactly get involved in any dancing, so I was stuck either waiting for people to come over and talk to me, or hobbling my way around the room.
Bree rushed towards me and, carefully avoiding my injured leg which was propped on a chair, leaned down to hug me.
“I’m so sorry I didn’t see you come in,” she said. “How are you? We missed you around here!”
Right away, my mood shifted. Bree was always so happy, it was hard not to smile when she was around, and as she took the seat beside me, I said, “I’m doing okay. Happy Birthday, by the way. I left your gift on the table with all the others.”
I nodded towards the mountain of gifts that had been piled up on a table in the back corner – all decorated in shiny giftwrap and bright ribbons.
“Aw, thank you, honey!” she said. “You look sad. What’s up?”
I smiled again at the concern on her face. Her own party, and she was taking care of a crippled soccer player.
“I’m good,” I told her. “Just tired. The time difference is a bitch.”
She shook her head. “No, something’s wrong. You can’t fool me, Mister! Tell me.”
It sucked that it was so obvious I was miserable. But this was really not the time or place to talk about it. I didn’t want to bring Bree down by spilling my guts to her.
Actually, I wasn’t sure that was even possible, but I had no plans to put it to the test.
“How about we get together when I’ve caught up on some sleep?” I asked. “Then I’ll tell you everything.”
“Deal. I might even save you a piece of birthday cake! Have you talked to Leah yet?”
“Yeah, just a second ago. She nearly flattened me when she ran over here!”
Bree giggled. “See, everyone missed you!”
“I missed you guys too.”
“You had a great time in London, though, right?”
Images of Isabelle flooded my mind.
“Yeah,” I told her. “I did.”
After staring thoughtfully at me for a moment, she gave me another hug. “I bet she misses you too.”
Well, that made it official. Without me even mentioning a girl, Bree saw me for the lovesick loser I was. But I made no move to get out of the hug. I needed it.
Yeah, yeah, like Hunter always told me, I was a pussy.
“I think you should go home,” Bree said, taking my hand. “Not because I don’t want you to stay, of course I do! But you’re tired, you’ve got a lot on your mind. You need to rest.”
I opened my mouth to tell her that no, I wouldn’t leave so early, not on her birthday, but she was right. I could barely keep my eyes open, and if I stayed, I’d only drag the mood down.
“I’m sorry,” I told her.
“You don’t need to be sorry. We’ll catch up real soon. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
I smiled. “You’ll have a hangover tomorrow.”
“Oh, I hope so!” She winked, making me laugh, then added, “Maybe I’ll call you the day after tomorrow!”
“Sounds like a plan. I’ll make sure we have enough coffee for ya!”
Everyone was sad to see Jesse go home early, especially Leah. I knew how much she wanted to catch up with him, but like me, she saw through his brave attempt to enjoy himself. I wasn’t offended.
But I was desperate to hear all about the girl he’d met.
Jesse had a rough time with his last girlfriend, Taylor. She hurt so many people. Me included. I wouldn’t say she was my best friend, but I loved hanging out with her, she was bundles of fun. Most of the other soccer wives and girlfriends looked down on me because … well … I guess because of the twelve year age gap between Jude and me. Plus, it didn’t help that we met in a pretty weird way.
I tried hard not to care what they thought of me, but it was hard. Until Jesse met Taylor, and Leah came to Westberg, I didn’t really have a whole lot of real friends. As it happened, Taylor wasn’t a real friend either.
She called me after everyone found out about her lies, like I’d be on her side. I may be a ditz, but I’m a loyal one and although I wasn’t as close to Jesse back then, I couldn’t stand the idea of him being upset. The second I told her our friendship was over, she flipped out. Told me my marriage to Jude wouldn’t last and I’d soon be back where I came from.
I guess that’s what happens when you trust the wrong people with your life story.
But enough of that.
After Jesse left, I grabbed Leah and Freya, and we made our way onto the dance floor. The party was only just getting started, but a couple of Jude’s relatives were dancing to some cheesy 80s song, along with a few of the soccer wives I’d had no choice to invite.
“Having a good time?” Freya asked me as we started to dance.
“Yeah, this is great! Look at all the pink!”
“It’s definitely very, very … pink,” Freya laughed.
“I’m a little bit concerned about that karaoke machine,” Leah said, raising her eyebrows.
“Ha!” I said. “You owe me a song, remember?”
“I remember,” she groaned. “But I’ll need a few more drinks first!”
I was about to answer, when the familiar beat of one of the latest dance track crazes began playing. I exchanged a look with Freya, because we’d done this dance in clubs on more than one occasion.
“Leah, do you know this one?”
“Are you kidding?” she laughed. “I have a niece and nephew back home, and they went crazy for this!”
We all grinned at each other, and shouted, “Gangnam style!”Don't forget to join me again next week for snippets from Miguel and Will! :D
Gangnam as you've NEVER seen it before! :p