Monday, January 24, 2011

Reviews

Watch for what reviewers have to say about Last Call....

 LibraryThing Reviews
Amazon Reviews

Review from Reading, Eating and Dreaming I was Blair Waldorf
Review

An early review from Journey with Books!
http://journeywithbooks.blogspot.com/2011/09/last-call-by-jennifer-schmidt-arc-book.html#disqus_thread

 An early review from Kat Terrell! 

"Last Call is a wonderful heartwarming story that is a perfect way to spend a relaxing day.  Last Call will pull you in with the first chapter and will hold your interest all the way through the last page. 

The heroine in this novel is a young woman that has faced the many challenges in her life with determination and an amazing sense of strength.  Novalee decides to treat herself to a fun trip to Vegas.  She awakes on the last morning of her vacation to find that she had had too much to drink the night before and had gotten married.  She sneaks away and hurries home in the hopes that she can go on with her life and pretend that it never happened. 

The groom, Dean, is handsome and wealthy and is embroiled in a battle with his drunken father over his Grandfather’s estate.  The conditions of the will state that Dean has to be married in order to inherit the estate.  

Enter the problem - Two years has passed and now Dean needs Novalee to testify that they are married and that it is real marriage.  How does he approach her and persuade her to testify for him and not hate him for tricking her.  How can he keep her from taking him to the cleaners in anger. 

Can these two come to an agreement?  Can they be honest with each other or will they be too busy protecting the hearts and their assets?  Can they find a way to forgive after the deceptions and lies finally come to light?

Ms Schmidt has a real talent for telling a story.  I enjoyed every minute that I spent curled up with her story.  If you are looking for a fun, light and beautifully written story - I urge you to lose yourself in this touching story."

Kat Terrell, The Review Lounge

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Teasers

A peek at Last Call....

Prologue

Even without meeting his gaze, she could feel his eyes on her. She kept her gaze locked on her cocktail glass, her hair around her face to hide her smile. He had been sitting there for a good ten minutes now, watching her. Normally it would creep her out, make her stomach flip to the point of being nauseous, to have someone stare at her like he was doing. But oddly she liked it.

Flirtatiously, she twisted her shoulder while still keeping her eyes on her glass. She turned her body, slowly twirling on the stool so her bottom half faced him. She began to swing her leg back in forth slowly, lazily. She didn’t have to look to know his eyes were now on her legs, probably drifting up to where her skirt ended just above her knee.

She softly giggled at her actions, knowing what it was doing to him. She felt sexy sitting four barstools down from a total stranger, knowing she was turning him on. Or at the very least that he was captivated by her for the moment.

The bartender must have been making her drinks with a little splash of something extra tonight. She’d never behaved like this in all of her twenty six years.

But she was in Las Vegas, and everyone knew what happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas.

Not that there was anyone she knew to witness her actions anyway. She had come alone, her first real vacation, and knew no one in the city. It was a time to be by herself, to celebrate how far she had come in the past few years, and to welcome the different woman she was becoming with open
arms.

And apparently that new woman liked to tease strangers in Las Vegas casinos. She giggled again at the thought.

“Excuse me?”

She looked up, meeting the eyes of Mr. Four Barstools Down. She opened and closed her mouth, the innocent game suddenly at a whole new level now that he had approached her.

This is where she would normally smile nervously, maybe let him engage in chitchat for a few minutes and then excuse herself so she could hurry away.

But for reasons she would never be able to explain to anyone, including herself, no part of her wanted to flee. She stared into the blue eyes of the man before her and wanted nothing more than to stay. She felt a surreal pull towards this man, making it impossible for her to want to run away.

“I couldn’t help but notice you were alone,” he said. His voice was deep, yet soft. “Could I buy you a drink?”

She looked down at her glass as if realizing she had one in front of her and then back up at the man.

“Okay.”

Immediately she wanted to smack herself for such silly response. Okay?

The man asked to buy her a drink and all she said was okay?

He smiled and took the seat next to her, signaling the bartender for another round.

She smiled shyly at him when the drink was set in front of her, even though she felt anything but shy in that moment. His leg bumped hers as he made himself more comfortable on the barstool and she had to bite back the grin that wanted to spread across her face at the contact.

He apologized and then introduced himself; she told him not to worry about it and did the same.

“What brings you to Vegas?” he asked.

“Vacation,” she answered. “I needed a little bright lights and big city.”

“You don’t seem like the bright lights and big city type,” he said. She raised her eyebrows at the assumption. “I don’t mean that in a bad way,” he assured her quickly. “There’s just something about you that doesn’t fit in
here.”

“Fit in how?” she asked, genuinely curious about his answer.

“I don’t know. Maybe it’s the innocence.” He grinned.

She laughed.

“I am far from innocent,” she said, and then frowned.

No, that wasn’t exactly true. In some ways she was innocent, even to the point of being na├»ve. But in other ways, she had experienced more than most young women of her age.

She glanced back up at the man beside her, puzzled by why she was sitting there talking to him. He smiled kindly at her, his eyes vibrant as he watched her, and yet, not once did she feel like he was checking her out in a sleazy way.

His eyes didn’t stray to her breasts, they didn’t travel up and down her body—although she would bet dollars to donuts he had been eyeing her legs earlier. But even that didn’t make her skin crawl.

There was something oddly comforting about this man. She couldn’t say what it was, but for the first time in years she didn’t feel like she had to be on guard.

“Have you enjoyed your visit with us so far?” he asked, taking a sip of his drink.

She nodded.

“I have, but honestly, you were right, I’m not much of a city girl. At least not a city this size.” She smiled. “I’ll be glad to be home tomorrow.”

“Well, if it’s your last night I insist on making it a memorable one.” He turned around in his seat and glanced towards the casino. “How are you at blackjack?”

She chuckled, “Horrible. I’m more of a slots girl.”

“In that case,” he stood and held out his arm to her, “care to accompany me to the slots, ma’am?”

She looked from his arm up to his face and bit her lip, slowly nodding her head.

“Sure. Why not?”

“Now, there’s a trick to this,” he told her once they were standing in front of a machine.

“Is that so?”

“Yes. Let me show you.”

Gently, he put his hands on her hips. The touch was so light she had to look down to make sure she hadn’t imagined him doing it.

He must have caught her look because he pulled his hands away slightly and asked, “Is this okay?”

She nodded, swallowing over the lump that had suddenly formed in her throat at his touch.

He put his hands back on her hips and moved her to stand directly in front of the slot machine.

“Now,” he said, sliding his right hand down her arm and gently grasping her hand, lifting it to the lever, “the key is to pull down really slow,” he murmured.

“Why slow?” she asked, thickly.

“Everything’s better when it’s slow the first time,” he answered just as huskily.

Her heart beat faster at the words and she let him help her pull the handle, her head feeling as if it were spinning right along with the images in the tiny display windows.

“Are you okay?” he asked when her breath hitched.

“Fine,” she all but croaked. “I think I need a drink.”

He smiled.

“Let me get it for you.”

He ended up getting them both a few drinks, and what could have been hours later, they were laughing at every attempt they made to play the games around them. He excused himself to take a call during the middle of their fun and she watched him out of the corner of her eye. His demeanor seemed to change while on the phone and she couldn’t help but notice he seemed a lot tenser than he was before the call.

“Everything okay?” she asked, even though it was none of her business.

“Fine,” he replied, but his smile was tight and forced.

“I’ve had a great time. Definitely a few too many of these,” she added with a laugh, holding up her glass, “but a great time.”

This time the smile he gave her was genuine.

“I’m glad.”

“I’ve never done anything like that before!” she suddenly exclaimed. “At least not for a long time. It feels so good to let loose. It kind of makes me want to do something crazy,” she added with a laugh.

He watched her, shook his head and she swore she heard him curse under his breath, before he looked back up and asked with a charming smile, “Just how crazy do you want to get?”

“As crazy as you want to be,” she answered in almost a whisper. She couldn’t help it. It was that damn smile. Those dimples that carved his cheeks made her feel all weak in the knees. And he made her feel whole
again. It was messed up and made no sense but he made her feel like a real woman again.

Something no one had been able to do for a long time.

He leaned forward and also whispering said, “You know, there’s a chapel just a few blocks down that does mock marriages. Feel like getting hitched?” he asked, wiggling his eyebrows.

She laughed, but shook her head.

“I couldn’t do that!”

“Why not?” He shrugged. “It’s all phony. No harm done. We say some sappy vows, take a few pictures for a laugh and you go home having done something wild and crazy.”

She bit her lip as she thought of what he said.

“And what do you get out of the deal?” she asked.

“Me? I get the memory of once having a very beautiful bride,” he teased. “Something that will make all my friends jealous.”

Finding his charm irresistible, she set down her glass with a little too much enthusiasm and cried, “What the hell! Let’s get married.”

“Seriously?”

“Seriously.” She laughed again, a definite sign she’d had too much to drink. She was never this giddy. “What harm could it do?”

~ * ~

Her head throbbed, making it almost impossible to open her eyes. When she finally did manage to crack them open, fractions at a time, the lights were so blinding she had to slam her lids closed again. The small action
caused a rush of pain to surge through her forehead.

She moaned and covered her face with her hands and slowly turned onto her side to bury her head under the pillow. Under the protection of the thick material, she attempted to open her eyes again, groaning from the effort.

What the hell had she done last night?

She shifted her body, trying to stretch out, when her foot brushed against a very hairy leg.

Gasping, she jerked her foot away and held her breath, afraid any noise or movement might wake the stranger.

Oh my God!

Who had she done last night?

She heard him mumble something in his sleep and the bed shifted as he moved.

Please don’t wake up, please don’t wake up, please don’t wake up.

She stayed as still as possible until his soft snore filled the room.

Breathing a quiet sigh of relief, she slowly inched her way to the side of the bed. The mattress squeaked from her slight weight and she froze, squeezing her eyes shut and biting her lip so hard she tasted blood.

To her relief her companion continued to snore beside her despite the noise. Hoping he was truly a heavy sleeper, she said a silent prayer and slid the rest of the way to the edge of the mattress. However, she misjudged the amount of room she had and rolled right off the bed, landing on the floor
with a loud thud.

She instantly curled up into a ball, covering her nakedness as best she could from prying eyes. Her cheeks burned as she thought of being caught bare-assed in that position, but the room remained silent except for the
cover hog’s snoring.

Inhaling a shaky breath, she sat up, darting her eyes over the room in search of her clothes. Her jeans lay on the floor at the foot of the bed bunched up as if she’d taken them off in a hurry. Not bothering to look for
her underwear first, she reached for her pants and squirmed into the heavy material while still lying on the floor.

After successfully wiggling into her jeans, she spied her purse on the seat of the armchair and quickly snatched it up, then crawled to the other side of the bed—his side—and saw her blouse peeking out from under the bed. She stretched out as far as she could to reach it, not wanting to get any closer to
him than necessary. Finally, her fingers brushed the soft fabric and she pulled it to her, yanking it on as fast as she could while still being quiet. Then she grabbed her shoes and held them to her chest as she slowly got to
her feet and backed away from the bed, her eyes never leaving the sleeping form.

If the circumstances had been different, she’d definitely think he was a good-looking guy. His brown hair was spiked in the front—although it had flattened from sleeping—and his nose had a slight bend to it as if it had
been broken at one time. His chest was bare, and she was pretty sure the rest of him was as well, revealing a very nice set of biceps. His face suddenly flashed in her mind and she knew he had brown eyes and dimples
when he smiled.

She forced her mind to focus back on quietly escaping, when her bare foot landed on a piece of paper. The crinkle echoed through the room, making her cringe. She bent down and ripped the paper off her foot,
quickly glancing at it to make sure it wasn’t something of hers. Her eyes widened when she saw the words that were staring back at her, making her stomach roll and vomit rise in her throat.

No fucking way.

She tore her eyes away from the paper and looked at the man sleeping in the king-size bed. His soft breathing felt all wrong compared to how her heart was hammering in her chest. This man, this stranger, was—

He rolled over, grumbling again in his sleep, causing her to jump. She had to get out of there before he woke up.

Frantic now, she turned and bolted from the room, not caring if her hasty exit woke him, just as long as she got away. As she ran down the hall she could only hope he would wake up as confused as she had been and unable to remember anything.

Especially her.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Contact

Email: jleeschmidt00@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Schmidt/181909148531269

Twitter: @jleeschmidt

If you're a blogger and would like a copy of Last Call to review contact Donna donna@thewriterscoffeeshop.com

Where books are sold:

TWCS Publishing House

Amazon

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And also on iTunes!