For those that don’t know what these new featurettes will be about, here is the scoop! “You’ll Never Believe…” will feature the weirdest questions or encounters that authors have been asked/had. Might be about their books or random things, like meetings in a bathroom where someone asked what brand of toilet paper they normally use. Fun stuff and inside scoops that an author would not normally share. YAY US!!!! I LOVE a peek behind the fun!
Ready for Renée?
You’ll Never Believe with Renee Carlino
“My favorite story has to be from a book signing after party. I was having the coolest, most enthusiastic conversation with a reader who had no idea who I was. She was telling me that I needed to read the latest Christina Lauren book and that I should one-click all of Kylie Scott’s books and then she said, “Oh my god, you have to read Sweet Thing by um…” and I said, “Renée Carlino?” “Yes!” she said. I just hugged her and told her I was Renée and then I said, “I’m really glad you liked it because it would have been a little uncomfortable if you started trash talking it to me.”
Exclusive Excerpt from AFTER THE RAIN by Renée Carlino
I was startled awake when I felt myself being lifted from the porch swing. My eyes shot open to see Nate looking down at me. I was cradled in his arms as he made his way into my cabin. “Hi, beautiful,” he whispered. “How are you feeling?”
“Drunk and sad,” I murmured.
“I know. How much of that bottle did you drink?”
“Not enough, apparently, because I’m still conscious.” He shook his head as he moved through my living room and into the bedroom. He set me down to stand on my feet. “Thank you.”
I wobbled so he braced me and then gently pushed me to sit on the edge of the bed. I looked down at my tattered quilt to where a section of the stitching had come undone. I slid my hand over the spot to cover it so Nate wouldn’t see it but when I looked up he was wearing a pitying smile.
He shook his head. “Don’t be ashamed. You should see my apartment. I don’t even have curtains.”
I managed a weak laugh.
“There’s that sound.”
I stopped immediately when I suddenly felt a shock of pain for Dancer. “Why? Why did that have to happen today?”
He shook his head. “I’m so sorry.”
“I was riding her fine, not even hard, around the barrels. She just stepped wrong.”
He got very serious and took my face in his hands. “You know this isn’t your fault. You have to stop blaming yourself for these things.”
“These things?” I scowled. “You mean everyone I love dropping like flies all around me? You should run far and fast from me. Why are you even here?”
He crossed his arms over his chest. “Because I care about you.”
“You barely know me.” I looked pointedly at him.
“I know you enough. I’d like to get to know you better. And like I said, I care about you.”
“You feel sorry for me.”
“No.” He shook his head. “Don’t insult me and don’t insult yourself.”
“Look at you.” I waved my hand toward his finely muscled body. “And you’re a doctor. You’d have no problem finding someone.”
“You’re someone, and I’m having a hell of a hard time.”
I laughed but quickly looked away shamefully. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t take this out on you.”
“Don’t apologize.” He knelt in front of me and reached for my boots. Slipping them off he said, “Do you want a bath?” I nodded. He got up and went into the bathroom, then I heard the water go on. I stood but swayed, and he came rushing toward me. “Let me help you, Ava.” He led me into the bathroom and reached for the bottom of my T-shirt. “Arms up.” I lifted them as he pulled my shirt off. I unbuckled my belt, pushed my jeans down to my ankles, and stepped out as he held my hand. The tub was filling quickly with steaming water and bubbles. “I can turn around.”
“Okay.” He turned and faced the door. I unclasped my bra and slid my panties down. I stepped into the bathtub and sank into the warm, heavenly water.
“Are you in?”
“Yes.” I was hidden under the bubbles and drunk so there was little left to be self-conscious about.
He sat on the edge of the tub with his back toward me. “Are you going to be okay?”
“You can leave if you want.”
“I’m not leaving. I meant are you okay emotionally.”
“Oh. Well, do I have a choice? I’m being punished for something. I should just shut up and take it.”
“Why didn’t you let Dale try to help Dancer?”
“Because he wouldn’t have been able to. I’ve seen it a hundred times. I couldn’t watch her suffer; I’ve done that before. Will you get me the bottle?”
“No, the whiskey.” He stood and walked out reluctantly.
I laid my head back on a towel and propped up my knees, exposing more skin above the bubbles. Nate came back in and held the whiskey out to me. His mouth opened and his breath quickened when I sat up and reached for it. He turned away from me quickly.
“You’re a doctor. I didn’t really think this would have any effect on you.”
I watched as he smoothed his hands down his legs in a subtle gesture to adjust himself. “I’m a man, Ava. And I’m affected,” was all he said.
I took a large swig from the bottle. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. You’re not my patient, remember? You’re a beautiful woman. It would be hard for anyone not to be . . . affected.” He made sure not to turn back and look at me again.
“Do you know what my middle name is?”
“No. Tell me.”
“You’re kidding.” He turned back this time with a huge smile on his face.
“I’m serious. Can you believe that?”
“It’s tradition in my family and my mother is very religious. When I got married I was supposed to drop my middle name and use my maiden name in its place.”
“So did you?”
“No, how could I drop Jesus? That has to be some kind of sin.”
“I would have dropped that name in a second. Things didn’t work out so well for him.”
I laughed so hard, the bath water rippling around me. Nate’s expression was serious, or at least he was trying to be serious until he started laughing with me.
“I think I’m doomed,” I said.
“I think you should ditch the name.”
“Maybe I will. I obviously can’t perform any miracles. Sometimes I feel like I was the one holding the gun to Jake’s head when it went off.”
“Don’t say that. You’ve had to deal with a lot of death at your age. Tragic death, at that. What you did today, even though it was hard for me understand at first, I get it now. You had to do it.”
“I’m ready to get out.” He and I both stood at the same time. I was naked and covered in bubbles. He looked down at the floor as he reached for my hand to help me step out. With his other hand he grabbed a towel off the rack and wrapped it around me quickly. I dried off and then dropped the towel and moved toward him. I took his face between my hands and kissed him hard. His clothes were rough against my naked skin.
“Take your clothes off.”
“Wait, Ava,” he murmured against my neck.
I kissed him again. He wrapped his arms around me, lifting me a few inches off the ground and moved quickly into the bedroom without breaking our kiss. Setting me down near the bed, he tried to pull away but I wouldn’t let him.
“No, please. I want to feel something again.”
ABOUT AFTER THE RAIN
From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a deeply emotional contemporary romance about the second chances waiting beyond the shattered dreams of youth.
Under the bright arena lights of a rodeo show, young Avelina Belo falls for a handsome cowboy with a larger-than-life personality. After a whirlwind courtship, she happily moves away from her family in northern California and settles into married life with her cowboy on a seven-thousand-acre cattle ranch in Montana. One freak accident later, Avelina’s hopes for the future come to an end.
Nate Myers graduated from UCLA medical school at the top of his class, ready to follow in the footsteps of his father, a superstar cardiothoracic surgeon. Six years later, Nate’s career is being ruined by a malpractice suit. Questioning himself for the first time, he retreats to a Montana cattle ranch to visit his uncle and gain perspective. There, he meets a beautiful young woman named Avelina who teaches him more than he ever knew about matters of the heart.
About Renée Carlino:
Renée’s first friends were the imaginary kind and even though her characters haven’t gone away, thankfully the delusions have. She admits she’s a wildly hopeless romantic and she blames 80’s movies staring Molly Ringwald for that. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on the next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.
- Website: https://reneecarlino.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/renayz
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorReneeCarlino
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6994731.Ren_e_Carlino