Thursday, May 14, 2015

That Thing You Do by Maria Geraci Blog Tour

Allie Grant doesn’t believe in second chances. She does, however, believe in the power of a permanent paycheck. So when a tipster reports that the soon-to-be demolished senior center in her hometown is haunted, Allie hightails it to Whispering Bay to get the scoop that could secure her dream job at Florida! magazine. What she finds, though, is far scarier than any ghost. Cue her ex-boyfriend, sexy construction foreman Tom Donalan.

When Tom catches Allie poking around his construction site, he quickly realizes his former high school flame is just as feisty as ever. And, heaven help him, her irresistible, mile-high legs still take his breath away. But Tom isn’t about to delay the building’s demolition because of a silly ghost story.

With neither of the stubborn exes backing down from their opposing positions, sparks fly. And, underneath the surface, the fire of their old attraction burns as hot as ever. When strange things start happening with increasing frequency around town, even a tough skeptic like Tom is tested. The question is, can Allie and Tom stop fighting long enough to get to the bottom of Whispering Bay’s ghost problem—and the more important matter of mending their broken hearts?

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Book 1
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Keeping herself as still as possible, Allie slipped the cell phone back into her shorts pocket. The building was now eerily quiet. No gravel crunching. No chains rattling. Had she imagined it? Probably. Allie let out a pent up breath. She didn’t know whether she was relieved or disappointed. Both, maybe.

She waited a few minutes so that her vision adjusted to the darkness. Years ago, she’d been inside this building. Buela had brought her here after Allie had graduated high school, proud of the granddaughter about to go off to college that she’d raised almost single-handedly. Back then the senior center had been alive. Full of noise and energy. Now, the place just looked sad. Empty, with bits of scattered trash strewn on the floor.

Something small and dark scurried past her.

Correction: Not exactly empty.


The place was probably crawling with them. Allie was a native Floridian, so she should be used to all manner of creepy crawly things, but sorry, she’d never get used to cockroaches. Best to get this over with as quickly as possible.

“Hello?” she called out. Unable to help herself, she giggled. More out of nerves than a comedic response, because it wasn’t as if she expected someone to answer.

A chain rattled—louder than before—followed this time by a distinct clang.

This was no product of her imagination.

Her mouth went dry. She squeezed the flashlight in her hand, nearly cutting off the blood flow to her fingers.

She tried to concentrate on the rattling sound but all she could hear was the soft whoosh of waves lapping onto a beach. Was her mind playing tricks with her? Because it would be impossible to hear the ocean from inside the building.

Then she remembered the window she’d crawled through.

Of course. The sound was coming though the now open window.

A rush of air swept through her. But instead of the cool night air she’d expected, this was a warm tropical breeze. A pleasant smell assailed her nostrils. Slightly sweet, and vaguely comforting. Lemons, maybe? Her arms erupted in goose bumps. But strangely enough, she was neither cold nor frightened.

A door slammed behind her. She spun around just in time to see a shadow dash across the room. The warm lemony smell vanished, replaced by a voice inside telling her that she was in big trouble. The door was padlocked. Which meant that whatever had gotten inside the building had bypassed the lock. Which was…impossible.

Allie tried to scream, but her throat wasn’t cooperating.

Luckily, her legs weren’t so chicken shit.

She turned to run but something charged at her, smacking her solidly in the chest. The air flew from her lungs. Her last thought before hitting the floor was that ghosts weren’t supposed to make physical contact. They needed Whoopi Goldberg for that.

She struggled to roll out from under whatever had attacked her, but it was no use. The thing on top of her was composed of solid bone and muscle.

“Hold still,” hissed a deep voice. For a second there, it sounded like… No, that too was impossible. “I told you the next time I caught you breaking into the place I’d call the cops.”

Allie nearly swallowed her tongue. She knew that voice. Hot, dark, male. And definitely alive.

“I think you have me confused with someone else,” she gasped.

The body above her stilled. Did he recognize her voice, too?

A light shone directly in her face, temporarily blinding her. Enough was enough.

She found the flashlight clutched in her hand and aimed it in retaliation at the two-hundred-pound mass pinning her to the ground. “Hey, can you stop with the Dragnet treatment?”

It was almost worth being crushed to death to see the incredulous look on Tom Donalan’s face. “Allie? Allie Grant? What the hell are you doing here?”

“First things first. I’ll drop my flashlight if you drop yours. And if it’s not too much to ask, maybe you could get off me while you’re at it? You’re not exactly made of air, you know.”

He jumped off her like she was on fire.

After a few long and tortuous moments, he reluctantly extended his hand. Considering that she was flat on her ass, she should have taken it. But it would be a snowy day in Florida before she accepted help from Tom Donalan. She pushed herself up on her elbows and rose as gracefully as possible under the circumstances.

It had been twelve years and two months since she last saw, talked, or even thought about Tom Donalan. Not that Allie had been counting. Six hours ago he’d been nothing more than an unpleasant memory. Like a pimple on the chin on prom night, or a lost library book racking up fines. Okay, so maybe she had thought about him some.

The fact was she couldn’t cross over the Choctawhatchee Bay Bridge without thinking of him, and she couldn’t get to Whispering Bay without crossing that bridge. Hence, he was the first thought (regret) she had whenever she drove home for a visit. The last she’d heard of Tom Donalan he’d made it big in Atlanta. Some kind of hot shot in the construction business, recently divorced from his perfect hometown sweetheart.

Allie tried not to stare, but it was impossible. This certainly was not the Tom Donalan of her fantasies. The ones she had (only occasionally) after eating too much Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. In that world Tom Donalan had a beer belly, was bald, and missing a couple of front teeth. A lot of deterioration for only twelve years, but, hey, a girl could dream, right?

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo☆☆☆
The Players: Tom Donalan and Allie Grant

The Story: Tom and Allie became fast friends during their senior year of high school. Tom was the captain of the football team and dated the head cheerleader, Lauren. When Lauren broke up with him the week before prom, he asked his best friend, Allie, to the dance. As the summer progressed, so did their romance, until the night that Tom broke up with her the night after she told him she loved him. Because he had gotten his former girlfriend pregnant and he was going to do the right thing and marry her.

Fast forward to 12 years later and Allie is now a freelance journalist who's returned to her hometown in pursuit of a story about the haunting of the former senior center in Whispering Bay. Allie is still trying to fulfill her "Life Goals three and four": getting a full time job and building a family of her own.

Tom Donalan is also back in Whispering Bay. His now ex-wife moved back to town with his son, Henry, and he followed suit because he didn't like the fact that he didn't get to be as much of a part of his son's life as he wanted. He's made many mistakes in his life, but being a part time father is not one of them.

When Allie finds out that Tom is the construction manager for the demolition of the building, she tries to talk him into letting her inside to investigate. When that fails, she turns to her sister-in-law who calls in her Bunco Babes to the rescue.

Lots of unexplained incidents, a medium, a séance, out of control teens and old feelings brought to the fore are just some of the story points in this book.

Plot: There were a few things about this book that, to me, didn't seem to fit. I realize that the teenage angst is probably going to set up a future book, but it didn't add much to the overall story. Also, the constant references to a 60s music playlist began to take away from the story and I found myself skipping paragraphs as the story seemed to drag toward the end of the book and yet the ending itself seemed hurried.

Part of a Series: Whispering Bay

As this is the first in a series, it spends quite a lot of time giving us the background and cast that will, I presume, entertain us further in books to follow. I can report that this is done in a good way. The people are introduced in situation, and there are not a great long explanations which pull away from the current situation – Ms. Geraci did a great job of setting everything up in a natural way, and I have already got my favourites.

In a way this community building made us see more of Ali, than Ali and Tom, which was maybe a bit disappointing – perhaps their future is plotted into upcoming stories. Ali has a great personality and her humour is fun – and her 'alternative' swear words did make me laugh out loud. The romance is definitely sweet rather than chemistry laden. Looking forward to the next in the series.

Also Available in the Whispering Bay series

Book 2
Coming May 19th

Pre-Order Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Book 3
Coming June 9th

Pre-Order Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Maria Geraci writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction with a happy ending. The Portland Book Review called her novel, The Boyfriend of the Month Club, “immensely sexy, immensely satisfying and humorous.” Her fourth novel, A Girl Like You, was nominated for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA ® award. She lives in north Florida with her family, which includes a very needy chihuahua, an extremely needy dachshund and a not-so-needy cat (guess which one she likes best?).

Connect with Maria

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of That Thing You Do (Whispering Bay #1) by Maria Geraci to read and review for this tour.

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