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Excerpt Thursday! Promise of the Heart

Excerpt Thursday rolls around again! Despite my thoughts to the contrary I've made great strides in crossing items off the never-ending list - but at the sake of almost everything and everyone else! Let me take a few minutes to relax and post an excerpt from Promise of the Heart my second contribution to the Dreamspinner To Have and To Hold collection.

Promise of the Heart by Chrissy Munder. Available from Dreamspinner Press.

Buy Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=63_74&products_id=1372

Summary: Jacob agrees to fill in as a wedding photographer for a friend, never expecting to come face to face with a ghost from the past: Alan, the man he loved and lost through his unchecked ambition. Will Jacob get a second chance to keep the promise he made in his heart?

Excerpt:

The phone rang, a shrill, unwelcome interruption to the moment. Jacob blinked as his head turned to discover the origin of the insistent noise. Denial swiftly followed awareness. He didn’t want to leave his reverie. Jacob hated to wake alone in his empty bed with Alan nothing more than a fading memory in his dream of a dream.

But the persistent ring refused to give up. Accepting the inevitable Jacob reached out to his nightstand and picked up his cell phone. “Wynn,” he grunted. His dark head fell back against the pillow, one arm flung over his eyes to keep reality at bay for a little longer.

“’Bout time you answered.”

Jacob recognized the caller. Harry Osborn might be his closest friend, but their relationship didn’t help as emptiness and loss filled his gut. The last remnants of Alan slipped away. “What do you want, Harry?” His voice echoed the tiredness within.

“Is that any way to talk to me?” Harry sounded too damn cheerful for Jacob’s sour mood. “Here I am calling with the opportunity of a lifetime.”

“What do you want,Harry?” Jacob repeated. Better to get this over with. Harry wouldn’t leave him in peace until Jacob heard him out.

“I’m hoping you’ll take a job for me. It looks like the grandbaby is finally going to make an appearance this weekend.” Harry kept talking, his words falling into the space left by Jacob’s stunned silence. “Come on, Jacob. You know Anna will have my head if I miss this one.”

“Hell, Harry.” Jacob rolled over onto his side, the better to ignore his stiff leg. Too bad he couldn’t do anything to stop the memories that flooded back along with full consciousness. “You don’t want me, any hack would do.”

“I don’t need any hack,” Harry protested. “I need Jacob Wynn. This is an important client.” His voice lowered in an effort to be cajoling. “You know I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t have to.”

Jacob stared at the blank, white wall before him and tried to concentrate on a likeness of Alan’s face once again. Anything other than Harry’s pushing. “I didn’t mean that. I’m sorry.”

“It’ll be like riding a bike, Jacob.” Smelling weakness, Harry played his trump card. “You owe me.”

“Just blackmail me, why don’t you?” Jacob said. He mentally acknowledged the truth of Harry’s claim. Jacob did owe him. He could never repay Harry and Anna for their unquestioning support during the long months of rehab following the accident.

“Whatever it takes.” Harry managed to sound gracious in his victory. “But it’ll do you good to hold a camera again.”

“I’ve held the damn things,” Jacob replied bitterly. “I’ve just not been able to do anything else with them.”

“No time like the present. Remember, any hack can do this.” Jacob flinched as Harry tossed his own words back at him. They held a bitter tang, the same as the stale and sweat-stained sheets beneath him. Jacob longed for the freshness of his dreams.

“With you as my friend, I don’t need any enemies.” Jacob sounded harsh, but he didn’t want to cave too easy. Deep down Jacob knew Harry was right. He had hidden long enough; the time had come to put the past behind him.

Buy Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=63_74&products_id=1372