Monday 22 June 2015

Blog Tour Excerpt - Find Me in Manhattan by Shealy James

Find Me in Manhattan
Author: Shealy James
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Date Published: March 25, 2015

Book Description:
Find Me in Manhattan is a stand-alone spin-off novel from the Finding Series.

Sarah Grant is finally living her dream in the Big Apple. While working to achieve her life’s ambitions, she becomes ensnared by the charming and charismatic Jameson Carmichael. Just when Jameson threatens Sarah’s safety, a dream-worthy hero falls in her lap making her question everything she had ever believed about herself.

Sergeant Michael Pearson is merely existing in this nightmare he calls life. He is attempting to have a normal existence, while struggling to discover who he is after the army. When an opportunity save someone arises, he doesn’t hesitate, but Michael doesn’t realize that he is rescuing the one woman in a city of millions that can make him want to truly live again.

Sarah and Michael discover a connection that runs deep, but can they find love in a city known for heartbreak?

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This interview was the most difficult one I’d done thus far. Not only was I off because of my phone call with Jameson, but today also had to be the day the hot soldier appeared. I knew it was bound to happen. I’d met every kind of soldier except the hottie up to this point. With the way my day had been going, it was no surprise that he showed up when I was a complete disaster from talking to Jameson.

I spent the first half of the interview avoiding eye contact. I spent the second half kicking myself. He had been opening up to me, sharing more than I expected. You could always tell what kind of subject you had on your hands by how they sat in the seventies style vinyl chair. Sergeant Pearson looked at it with disdain, and I knew that the chair wasn’t the only cause of his displeasure. As expected, he was closed off and reluctant to participate at first. However, the more questions we went through, the more he opened up. Until the dreaded sex question.

I had never had a problem with it before, but I had never been sexually attracted to one of the study participants either. No man filled the room with his presence like Sergeant Pearson. No man eyed me the way he did. It was like he was seeing into me instead of merely looking at me. I imagined he left broken hearts all over the city with his track record. Sergeant Michael Pearson was the kind of man who made a woman forget other men existed. I had no doubt that he could consume all of my thoughts if I let him, but I wouldn’t—no, couldn’t—let him. There were several good reasons not to give into his flirting, the least of which was because my iPad recorded every word of the interview.

When he shut down, I knew I had been too hard on him and instantly regretted handling it so harshly. I didn’t have to go all she-woman on his ass. The only hope this interview had was a change of subject.

“How many hours do you sleep each night?” I had to stay focused. This project was important if I ever wanted to finish school.

“Three to five.”

“What keeps you awake?”

“This and that.” He was being stubborn now. I knew I had to do something to turn the interview around, but I couldn’t as long as my iPad was recording. I couldn’t pause it or Dr. Wright would know a separate conversation took place. In my mind, I begged him to forget about what I had said and go back to sharing. My expression, however, gave nothing away.

“Could you be more specific?”

“Dreams, noises, the usual.”

I looked up at him. “Are you still experiencing night terrors?”

He barely nodded.

“How often?” I asked quietly. This was obviously something he didn’t want to talk about. I knew I was in a time crunch with this guy before he shut down completely. My approach could end it before I found out anymore, and this piece of information was intriguing.

“Almost every night.” His eyes were glued to his hands. His fingertips were pressed together between his knees where his elbows rested, and his head was down. Sergeant Pearson looked completely defeated.

“Have you continued the journaling that you started in therapy?” I asked gently.

“No,” he said hard and fast before he shifted in his seat and started glancing toward the door. Time was up. That was all I was going to hear before he walked out on the interview.

“I think that’s enough.” I stopped the recording.

He stood quickly causing the chair to whine in distress. “Anything else I have to do for this?”

I shook my head. “No.” He started to leave, and I heard my voice shout, “Wait!” I surprised myself by shouting louder than I had intended, but I had wanted a chance to apologize and this was it.

He turned and raised his eyebrows while he waited for me to speak. I took in his light eyes and dark hair, and I had no doubt what made him land all those women. The man was attractive. His t-shirt did nothing to hide his muscular physique, and his eyes bore into me like he could see inside of me. No girl could resist a gaze like that.

“I’m sorry about what I said and how I spoke to you. I waited a long time to get to this point, and I want this career more than you could know. The VA is primarily male, so I have to keep my guard up. One screw up could ruin everything, so please understand that I’m simply trying to be a professional woman.”

He sighed and rubbed his face the way I used to see Parker do when he was frustrated with Maggie. “I understand,” he said. “No harm done. Did you get everything you needed from me?”

“For the most part. If I need anything else, I’ll call you.”

“You do that, Sarah,” he said with a small smile on his lips.

I stepped around my desk and opened the door for him. With my hand held out to shake, I said, “It was nice to meet you, Sergeant Pearson.”

He took my hand and the thrill that ran through my body both surprised and pleased me. By the look on his face, he either noticed or felt something as well. “Call me Michael, Sarah. I’m not a soldier anymore.”

With our hands still connected, I looked up at him sadly. “We both know that’s not true.”

“Sarah,” he whispered my name as if it came from somewhere deep inside him.

A handsome, damaged soldier was the last thing I needed in my life, so instead of acknowledging his words or finding myself caught in the gaze from his sad eyes, I quietly said, “Goodbye, Michael. It was nice meeting you.”

Other Books in the Series

Finding Me, Finding You

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Finding Us

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About the Author
Shealy James is a Georgia native who teaches middle school by day and disappears into the world of fiction at night.  She is an avid reader and writer who hopes to one day write full time and leave the world of middle school angst behind. A sucker for love and happy endings, Shealy likes to combine humor and drama to create stories that are both emotional as well as entertaining.

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