Today’s excerpt and giveaway is Heart’s Storm by Julia Sherman
Elizabeth Shulman, a twenty-seven-year-old Russian Jewish immigrant, would like nothing better than not to die a corporate accountant working at a Fortune 100 company. She wants to walk away from the corporate rat-race, but…she’s still holding onto the painful memories from her poor past—from the days her family came to America with nothing so that their children could have a free life.
But soon one day’s event turns Elizabeth’s world upside down and inside out. With her bubble burst, Elizabeth decides to take the first step, quit her job. However, her bullying boss from HELL offers her a promotion and a big raise. But there’s a hitch. She must also agree to do pro bono work to bolster the company’s image. Her pro bono assignment: tutor unprivileged kids in a Southwest Chicago elementary school. And there, in school, her life begins to change when she gets a peek at a different type of world from her own.
Heart’s Storm is a bitter-sweet romantic comedy about love and career, family and friends, immigration and hardships, betrayal and forgiveness, and the promise of the American dream.
“Catch me,” I laughed and sprinted off towards the towers of Crown Fountain.
“Liz, you’re crazy, you know that!” Justin yelled after me laughing, and I heard the sound of his running footsteps behind me.
“Go get her!” someone yelled after us. “You can’t let her go!”
“I’m trying to!” Justin yelled back, his loud voice echoing through the night. “She’s too fast for me!”
I reached my destination, took off my sandals, and tossed them on the bench by the fountain. The cold water felt good on my bare legs when I jumped into the shallow pool. This is fun, so much fun. I picked up the bottom of my dress, and ran through it, splashing loudly.
Justin approached the fountain and stood there watching me. “Come on, you coward!” I dared. He didn’t move, just stood there, smiling. He looked so tall and sexy in his ripped jeans and t-shirt, breathtaking in fact. I ran up to him and swung my arms around his neck. He laughed and wrapped his arms around me in a tight embrace, it felt so nice. Then he lifted me up and I wrapped my legs around his waist. “We’re the only ones here,” I whispered, playfully running my tongue against the tip of his ear. It felt like it wasn’t just here, but everywhere. There’s only us. There’s no one else, outside of this fountain, outside of this moment. Just the two of us, and it felt so right. “Wanna have some more fun?” I’ll do anything for you.
Grinning, he said, “You crazy girl, we’re gonna get arrested,” but then he moved his one arm underneath my dress, playing with my zipper with the other.
I’m not afraid to get arrested. I’m not afraid of anything when I’m with you. With a slight chuckle, I looked into his eyes. “That would be so cool.” I lowered my head and gently kissed his neck, feeling his breathing quicken. “Who would I call to bail me out?” I looked up and teasingly smiled.
“They’ll let you go,” he whispered, running his hand up and down my back, and placed a light kiss on my lips. “You’re a good, nice girl.” He kissed me again. “Good girls don’t go to jail.” Good, nice girls are boring. I’m not a good, nice girl anymore.
“Maybe I’m tired.”
“Tired of what?”
I looked into his eyes again. “Of being a good girl.”
For a moment he looked at me as if he was considering something. “What are you thinking about?” I asked.
He was quiet, then he smiled and said, “Lean in close. I’ve got something I want to tell you.” He slid his hand underneath my hair and pulled me closer to him.
“I love you.” My breathing stopped. What did you say? “I love you, Liz,” he repeated, his voice a whisper in at my ear, melting my heart. I love you more.
“Yeah? How do you know?” I whispered back.
“I just know.” His hands traced slowly over my back again. “You make me happy.”
“I love you, too. I love you so much.” I love you more than life itself.
Giveaway: (1) eBook copy of HEART’S STORM. Open International.
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Giveaway will run through Friday evening at 11:59 p.m. EST, and the winner will be announced on Saturday.