Today I will be sharing an extract for my spot on the blog tour for the novel Flying by the Seat of my Knickers by Eliza Watson. This one is available now and is currently FREE! There is also an international giveaway going on! Be sure to check it out!
Why run from your troubles when you can fly instead?
When Caity Shaw is fired from her first job that doesn’t require an elf uniform, her older sister, Rachel, an event planner, hires her to work a meeting in Dublin. Caity jumps at the opportunity to travel abroad and escape her pathetic life. However, even four thousand miles from home, there’s no avoiding debt collectors, an overbearing mother, and haunting memories of a controlling ex.
While in Dublin, Caity suffers a series of humiliating mishaps, causing her to lose even more faith in herself. Caity struggles to earn Rachel’s respect—and to keep Declan, her hot Irish coworker, at arm’s length. Declan repeatedly saves Caity’s butt and helps boost her self-confidence, making it difficult to keep her distance from the charming womanizer. When Declan helps her research her Irish grandmother, Caity discovers the mysterious past of the courageous woman she barely knew might hold the answers to her future.
Caity’s older sister, Rachel, an event planner, hires her to work a meeting in Dublin. Rebuilding her self-confidence and earning her sister’s respect is difficult when Caity suffers a series of humiliating mishaps, causing her to lose even more faith in herself. The following is just one of her many mishaps:
My phone rang. Rather than Rachel checking on me, it was Mom. How was I supposed to feel independent when not only did I live with my parents, Mom expected me to check in with her daily? She didn’t know about the Craigslist encounter with my ex, yet she still worried about me being in a foreign country. I’d assured her if anything happened to me, Rachel would notify her. Once she got everyone off to their meetings.
“Hey, Mom, sorry I didn’t e-mail you—”
“They just took your car!” She sounded frantic and out of breath.
My eyes widened, heart raced. “Someone stole my car?”
“It was repossessed!”
Repossessed? I’d only missed one…maybe two payments. Didn’t someone have to advise me if my car was being repossessed? Maybe the notice was in one of the many unopened envelopes I’d stashed in my desk drawer. Mom was at work when the mailman came, enabling me to intercept notices from collection agencies without her knowledge. I’d been able to defer my college loan, or I’d really be screwed.
“There I was sitting at the kitchen table drinking my coffee, and I look up to see a tow truck in front of your car. I ran out and asked them what they thought they were doing, and they said you’re behind on payments and they were taking it. I said no way are you behind on payments, because I’d lent you money to make your last few car payments.”
I knew borrowing money from my parents would come back to haunt me.
“I kind of used the money for some credit card bills.” So I was able to make charges in Ireland.
“Some credit card bills? Well, I guess you have two less bills to worry about now. Certainly don’t have to pay insurance on a car you don’t have.”
I should have sold the car, but it wasn’t even a year old. I’d have lost a ton of money on it. Besides, it was red, sporty, and a boost to what little self-esteem I had left. I’d overextended myself trying to keep up with my ex’s lifestyle and live up to his standards. He’d been the first person who’d had high, albeit unrealistic and self-serving, expectations of me. In some twisted way, had that attracted me to him?
I glanced out at the drive as a shiny black sedan pulled up. Omigod, I’d forgotten about Tom Reynolds’s car. I shoved aside thoughts of my red sports car being hauled away.
“I have to go. I’ll call you later.”
I raced out the door, and one of my backless shoes flew off. My phone shot from my hand as I headed toward the pavement, and Tom Reynolds said, “Holy shit. I’ll have to call you back.”
I lay on the ground, flat on my face, disoriented.
“Are you all right?” The CEO grabbed hold of my arm and helped me up.
I shook the daze from my head. “Ah, yeah, I’m fine.” I glanced down at my burning palms, scraped and dotted with blood. The dancing leprechauns on my shoeless foot smiled up at me. Heat exploded on my cheeks. I’d thought not knowing the breakfast hours had made me look like an idiot!
“No worries, I’ll take care of her,” Declan said, materializing out of nowhere. “Your car’s ready, Tom.”
And my embarrassment intensified. Declan had likely witnessed the entire scene. Tom shot me one last concerned glance as Declan escorted him to his car.
The sedan drove off.
Declan walked over and handed me my phone, the glass back a spiderweb of cracks. “Nothing some packaging tape won’t fix.”
It better. I didn’t have money for a new phone.
The doorman handed me my shoe.
“Thanks,” I muttered, whipping the stupid shoe on the ground.
“Brilliant socks,” Declan said, eyeing the leprechauns.
I shoved my foot in the shoe. “You should see my underwear.”
He gave me an intrigued smile, his gaze traveling down below my waist, lingering, as if he was envisioning my undies. Still smiling, he slowly raised his gaze and met mine.
My cheeks burned. “That didn’t come out right. I forgot to pack socks and underwear, so I had to buy some in the gift shop, and all they had were souvenir ones, and…” I was rambling, embarrassing myself even more.
“There’s a clothing shop up the street. I’ll take you later if we have time.”
Hadn’t I suffered enough humiliation for the day without undies shopping with Declan?
“If you can give me directions, that’d be great.” Maybe I’d be able to hobble to the store on my throbbing ankle. Too bad I couldn’t afford new shoes. “Thanks for your help, but I’m fine.”
“Ah, grand, are ya?”
He slipped his hands around mine and turned them over, eyeing the tiny pebbles imbedded in my blood-scratched palms. He gave my hands a gentle, comforting squeeze. I stared at my hands resting in his, a warm feeling washing over my entire body, not merely my cheeks. My shoulders relaxed, the throbbing in my ankle subsided slightly, my palms didn’t burn quite as much, and…
Get a grip. A simple act of compassion and my heart was all aflutter? I slipped my hands from Declan’s.
“Rachel’s going to kill me.” Since she’d warned me in front of everyone not to screw up.
I swallowed the lump of emotion in my throat, fighting back tears. I’d just lost my car and possibly my phone. I couldn’t lose this job. Every time I thought my life had hit rock bottom, something happened to prove things could still get worse. I had to figure out how to stop taking steps backward and start moving forward with my life.
About the Author:
Eliza Watson is a USA Today Bestselling Author. When Eliza isn’t traveling for her job as an event planner, or tracing her ancestry roots through Ireland, she’s at home working on her next novel, bouncing ideas off her husband, Mark, and her cats Frankie and Sammy. Learn more about Eliza’s books at elizawatson.com.
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