It’s my pleasure to have friend and fellow author, Shyla Colt, on my blog today to help celebrate her newest release, Cursed. Welcome, Shyla! 🙂
I want to thank Lorraine for having me over today and letting me have free reign on her blog! 😀
Thank you again for joining us for a tour of Baxter, the Southern town with a lot of heart and even more gossip. Its common knowledge messing around with the Edgeworth men will lead you to heart break. Back in the day their great-great-great grandpa swindled a witch and left town with her loot. Not a wise decision. It earned them a curse that prevented them from finding love. One hundred years or so in the future the hex remains firmly in place. Each of the Edgeworth brothers deal with their misfortune in a different way, Hunter is a serial dater who never commits, Randy has been divorced three times, and Colton has given up all together, until Avalyn Voiles comes to town. Avalyn is everything Colton’s every wanted in a woman, smart, beautiful, witty and down to earth. For the first time in his life he can imagine an ever after. The problem is she’s a descendant of the witches who cursed them, and the key to ending the hex.
Come and see how Colton woes Avalyn at one of Baxter’s hidden jewels, the Baxter Botanical Gardens. Known for their dazzling themed displays outside and exotic flowers indoors, the gardens are located on the edge of town. The main attraction is the Butterfly gardens, but we’ll get to that later on our tour. 😉
When they pulled up, she read the cream-colored oval sign that read, Baxter Botanical Gardens. A large glass building with a dome sat in the distance. It was surrounded by a vibrant array of colorful art created with plants. The frog made up of two different shades of green was whimsical. Her spirits rose as she drank in the beauty, and the tranquility washed over her. She turned to look at Colton, shocked at the look of revelry that appeared on his face.
“Coming to this place is one of the few vivid memories I have of my mother. She loved flowers and kept a food garden in the backyard and a flower garden in the front. I remember spending a lot of time helping her outside. It was really just an excuse for me to play in the mud, but she always made me feel like what I was doing was important.”
A sweet smile curled the corner of his lips upward, warming her heart. There were few things as touching or telling about a man as the way he treated his mother. It was obvious Colton had adored her.
“She sounds like she was amazing.”
“She was. I wish you could’ve met her. I know she’d love you. She was very into living off the land and giving thanks to God and respect to the people around you. Even after all these years, those things are etched into my mind. I was lucky to have her for six years, but I would’ve loved to have many more.”
A twinge of apprehension struck. It was her family who was partially responsible for the premature death of his mother. Was this the moment when he’d ask her to remove the curse?
He slipped his hand in hers and tugged. “Come on; it’s even more beautiful inside, and I have a special surprise I think you’ll love.”
She allowed herself to be pulled along behind, clamping a lid tight on the negativity. It wasn’t like her to dwell on things like that. There were things in the universe that loved chaos, but they were barking up the wrong tree. She imagined the white light of healing beaming down on her, vaporizing the negative vibes and restoring her balance. Tonight she needed to meditate. She gave his hand a gentle squeeze with the hope she was conveying her appreciation. He’d really thought outside the box. While cookie cutter dates like dinner and a movie or the local bowling alley were always fun, special outings like these were relationship-defining.
For weeks, she’d been going back and forth, asking herself if being with Colton was worth the lukewarm reception she was getting from her gran, the pitying looks from her mother, and the guilt that twisted her gut on a daily basis. It might seem silly to some, letting the opinions of others affect her so much. But family was forever and supposed to come first. Dating Colton went against everything she’d been taught. Still, she couldn’t deny the message from Viola or the uncanny feeling she was exactly where she should be.
“What do you want to see first, the outside or the inside?”
The brilliant hues of the flowers mesmerized her as they moved from display to display. He told her a bit about each one, and she got the feeling he came here fairly often. When she asked as much, he answered, “I come here when I need to get away and think. This place holds some of my fondest memories, though I’ll deny it if you tell my brothers.” He flashed a wicked smile and winked. “I don’t care what other people think about me, but Randy and Hunter can be like a dog with a bone when they get a hold of the right information.”
She laughed. “I can tell you love them.”
“Oh, yeah. They just make me want to kill them from time-to-time.”
“I think it’s a family requirement.”
They toured the building, and he led her to the garden display set up outside.
“You’re such a tease, drawing out the surprise even longer,” she said as they walked beneath the lush green arches decorated with deep red blooms.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever heard those words from a woman.” He laughed. His eyes darkened with lust, and she grinned.
“I get the feeling I’m a lot of firsts for you, Mr. Edgeworth.”
“That’s because you Voiles are in a class of your own.”
“What does that mean?” She placed her hands on her hips and cocked her head to the side.
“It means y’all are a handful.” He pulled her close to him and placed an arm around her shoulders. “Of course, that’s one of the things I adore the most about you. Never a dull moment.”
“Mmmhmm.” She fought back giggles. Truth was, his family was just as crazy as hers. The stories she’d heard about his Granpa Willie had made her laugh until she cried. They were on equal footing in so many different ways. Finally they reached a smaller building that sat away from the main one that housed the botanical gardens.
“Come on inside.” He steered them inside the building, and she gasped. It was a butterfly house!
I hope you enjoyed your glimpse into the tiny town of Baxter, and the main character of , Cursed, Edgeworth Men Book 1. Comment to enter for a chance to win a Botanical Garden basket. The winner will be announced on September the 12th.
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