I’m thrilled to bring you an excerpt from Susan Mallery’s latest installment in the Mischief Bay series, Sisters Like Us. I’ve really loved this series so far, and I can’t wait to dig into the new book.
Follow the excerpt tour beginning in early January, with long excerpts in consecutive order at each tour stop, followed by a review tour beginning on 01/22, release week!
Now on to the excerpt from Sisters Like Us:
Harper went into the kitchen and poured herself another cup of coffee. The back door opened and Harper’s mother walked in. Bunny Bloom was petite, slim and in her early sixties. She dressed in high-end knits, wore her dark hair short and spikey and always, always put on makeup before stepping outside her apartment.
Bunny had lost her husband a couple of years ago and while Harper had been a mess in the months following her father’s death, Bunny had soldiered on, taking care of what needed doing. Once the dust had settled, she’d moved into the apartment above Harper’s garage both to be close to her only grandchild and to help Harper financially. There were months when Bunny’s thousand-dollar rent check meant the difference between hamburger for dinner and a box of mac and cheese. Figuratively, Harper thought as she smiled at her mother. She would never use boxed mac and cheese. She would make it herself, from scratch, including the noodles.
“Hey, Mom. How are you?” Harper asked, automatically pouring a second cup of coffee before pulling a freshly made coffee cake from the bread box and cutting off a slice.
“Old. Have you heard from Becca?”
“Just that they’re planning on heading home tomorrow.” She didn’t mention that since the text two days ago saying her daughter had arrived, she hadn’t heard a word. These days Becca just wasn’t talking to her and for the life of her, Harper couldn’t figure out why.
They settled at the round kitchen table and she gave the plate of coffee cake to her mother. Each of the four matching place mats had a rabbit motif, as did the salt and pepper shakers in the center of the table. The sugar bowl and creamer had rabbits and tulips, celebrating the holiday and the fact that it was spring.
“Good.” Bunny poured cream into her coffee. “I need to see my only grandchild for Easter. Have you started preparing dinner?”
Although no matter how much she prepped, she would spend most of Easter Sunday in a frenzy of cooking. The menu this year included strawberry avocado salad, a glazed ham, potatoes grand mere, both roasted asparagus and creamy spring peas, along with lemon meringue pie and an Easter Bunny cake. Oh, and appetizers.
All that for five people, or possibly seven if Lucas came and brought a date. She was never sure with him. Regardless, there would be food for twenty and lots of leftovers. And none of that counted the special “welcome home” dinner she would make tomorrow.
“Do you need help?” her mother asked.
Harper did her best not to scream. Of course she needed help! She was working sixty hours a week in a desperate attempt to stay afloat financially, taking care of her house, dealing with a sixteen-year-old, decorating for the holiday and getting ready to cook a fancy meal. Help would be nice. Help would be grand. But, in Bunny’s world, the woman of the house did not ask for help. No, she did it all herself, seemingly effortlessly. Family came first. The measure of a woman was how well she looked after her family and so on. Harper knew it all by heart. The problem was, from her perspective, the only person who cared about all that was Bunny herself. Bunny who no longer had to do anything for anyone because somehow all that responsibility was Harper’s now. Bunny was free to spend the day with her friends, dress perfectly for every occasion and judge her oldest daughter.
Harper smiled at her mother. “I’m good, Mom. I have it all under control. You just show up and look pretty.”
“All right. Stacey and Kit are coming to dinner?”
“Last I heard.”
Which could be interesting, Harper thought. At some point her sister was going to have to reveal her pregnancy and wouldn’t that be a conversation starter? She wasn’t sure if she wanted to it happen at Easter dinner, though. Not with all the work that went into the meal. Maybe after would be better, when everyone was still digesting, although that could be problematic, as well.
She supposed the actual issue was there was simply no good time to confess to your mother that you were six months pregnant. At sixteen it made sense to hide the truth, but Stacey was forty.
About SISTERS LIKE US
- Hardcover: 432 pages
- Publisher: MIRA (January 23, 2018)
The grass is always greener on your sister’s side of the fence…
Divorce left Harper Szymanski with a name no one can spell, a house she can’t afford and a teenage daughter who’s pulling away. With her fledgling virtual-assistant business, she’s scrambling to maintain her overbearing mother’s ridiculous Susie Homemaker standards and still pay the bills, thanks to clients like Lucas, the annoying playboy cop who claims he hangs around for Harper’s fresh-baked cookies.
Spending half her life in school hasn’t prepared Dr. Stacey Bloom for her most daunting challenge—motherhood. She didn’t inherit the nurturing gene like Harper and is in deep denial that a baby is coming. Worse, her mother will be horrified to learn that Stacey’s husband plans to be a stay-at-home dad…assuming Stacey can first find the courage to tell Mom she’s already six months pregnant.
Separately they may be a mess, but together Harper and Stacey can survive anything—their indomitable mother, overwhelming maternity stores and ex’s weddings. Sisters Like Us is a delightful look at sisters, mothers and daughters in today’s fast-paced world, told with Susan Mallery’s trademark warmth and humor.
“Fresh and engaging… There’s a generational subtext that mirrors reality and the complexities of adult relationships…filled with promise of a new serial that’s worth following.” -Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“Mallery enthralls [and] thoroughly involves readers in the lives of her characters as they face realistic, believable problems and search for their own happy endings.” -Publishers Weekly
Find SISTERS LIKE US
About Susan Mallery
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.
Connect with Susan Mallery
Susan Mallery’s TLC Book Tours Excerpt TOUR STOPS for SISTERS LIKE US:
Tuesday, January 2nd: Romantic Reads and Such
Wednesday, January 3rd: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, January 4th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Friday, January 5th: Books a la Mode
Monday, January 8th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, January 9th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Wednesday, January 10th: Reading Reality
Thursday, January 11th: The Sassy Bookster
Friday, January 12th: OMG Reads
Saturday, January 13th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Monday, January 15th: Suzy Approved
Tuesday, January 16th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Wednesday, January 17th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, January 18th: Books & Spoons
Friday, January 19th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Monday, January 22nd: Reading Reality
Tuesday, January 23rd: Books and Bindings
Tuesday, January 23rd: Chick Lit Central
Wednesday, January 24th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Thursday, January 25th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, January 26th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, January 29th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, January 30th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Wednesday, January 31st: OMG Reads
Monday, February 5th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Friday, February 9th: Not in Jersey
Monday, February 12th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Tuesday, February 13th: Book Mama Blog
Wednesday, February 14th: Deborah Blanchard
Friday, February 16th: Book Nerd
Monday, February 19th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, February 21st: Why Girls Are Weird
Thursday, February 22nd: Thoughts on This ‘n That