Release Day Blitz Encore by Bernadette Marie

Thursday, July 4, 2013
Title: Encore
Author: Bernadette Marie
Series: Matchmaker Series (#2)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: 5 Prince Books
Release Date: July 4 2013

Newly unemployed concert pianist, Thomas Samuel has spent most of his adult life escaping his upbringing. He’s become an expert at hiding his feelings and remaining professional. But when he meets cellist Carissa Kendal he’s faced with one emotion he can’t escape—love.

Carissa hadn’t expected her mother to take on the art of matchmaking and she was convinced she wasn’t very good at it. Strong minded Carissa had her work cut out for her with the emotionally scarred Thomas, but love always wins in the end—or does it?

By the time Thomas realizes his past does not define the man he has become it might be too late. Big venues and scenic places might just win over the heart of Carissa and take her away from him—unless he hurries and faces the man who ruined his career and convince Carissa that every performance, even love, deserves an encore.

Chapter One

Her young student pulled the bow across the strings of the violin, and the sound was pure evil. Carissa Kendal winced, then quickly smiled. She’d get it in time. Eventually, they all got it if they stuck around. 

The dropout rate of students was the one dark cloud over her next venture, the Kendal School of Music. It had been her dream to teach music in her own school, and she was about to dive into it. She’d hoped her mother would want to be by her side more, but Sophia still had Hope to raise. Carissa had accepted that, but to have her mother call up an old friend to help her wasn’t settling. 

Did Sophia not think she’d look him up? That she wouldn’t find out who he was? 
At the moment, he was nobody. Every musical endeavor he’d pursued in the eight years since the renowned tenor Pablo DiAngelo’s ensemble broke up had failed spectacularly. 
Why was Sophia soft on him? Her mother’s name carried far more influence than that of the failed pianist, and it would have given Carissa’s music school all the prestige it needed. 

The student pulled another evil note and snapped Carissa from her thoughts. 

“I’m never going to get this,” the young girl complained with her nose wrinkled. 

“You will. If you want to, you’ll get it.” She smiled encouragingly, remembering when she’d been that young girl. “You need to remember to practice the material I give you.” Carissa raised her eyebrows with the subtle demand. 

“Okay. I promise I’ll be better next time.” 

“And if you practice, that will always be the case.” 

As her student gathered her instrument, Carissa marked off her lesson sheet and handed it to her. 

They left the study of the old boardinghouse, where Carissa lived with her grandmother, and stood by the door as her student’s mother walked toward them. Carissa gave the girl a squeeze on her shoulder. 

“She’s doing wonderfully. A little extra practice each day will help,” she said. “Don’t forget your peppermint on your way out the door.” 

The young girl fished in the bowl for the right piece of candy as Carissa opened the front door. The violinist’s mother handed Carissa a check for the lesson. 

“Thank you, Carissa. She enjoys her lessons very much.” 

“I’m pleased to hear that. We’ll see you both next week.” 

As the woman and her daughter descended the front steps, a man paid a cab on the street in front of the old house. He stood with his suitcase in his hand and looked her way. 

He was tall and too thin for her taste, but he looked almost regal in the way he carried himself. He removed his sunglasses and stroked the wisps of dirty blond hair from his eyes. She almost didn’t recognize the man from the pictures she’d seen on the Internet. 
He looked like a blond Jimmy Stewart, and her stomach did a little flip. 

“Hello,” he called as he neared the house. She smiled despite her misgivings. He even walked like Jimmy Stewart. 

Like most of Pablo’s ensemble, he’d always walked behind the man with the million-dollar smile, never next to or in front of him, not like her mother who had been paraded on Pablo’s arm. It was no wonder she hadn’t recognized him. 

She extended her hand to him, and as his fingers enclosed hers, she gulped in air. He was strikingly handsome. She hadn’t expected that. 

To have played for Pablo, as Sophia had, Thomas had to be tremendously talented. Yet would the curse that hung over his career affect her music school? 

“You must be Thomas Samuel. I’m Sophia’s daughter, Carissa Kendal. I’ve heard a lot about you.” 

When Sophia Kendal had said her daughter would meet him at the boardinghouse in Kansas City, he hadn’t expected she’d look like the woman standing before him. The woman before him stood erect as a dancer. Her hair fell to the middle of her back like an ebony waterfall, and her dark eyes were soft. She wore a flowing, orange blouse and a long skirt of the same orange, mixed with earthy browns that swirled around her calves when she moved. 

She was mesmerizing. 

“Please come in.” She stepped back through the door. Heat rose on the back of his neck as he passed by her. “My mother says you’ll be staying with us until you get settled.” 

“Uh. Yes.” He felt like his tongue had swollen. “I’m sorry if I seem out of sorts. I knew Sophia for so long that to think of her as your mother, well, that’s a stretch for me.” 
Carissa smiled at him again. “I was seventeen before she adopted me, so I can understand. I’m sorry you couldn’t make it out for their wedding.” 

“Yes, so am I.” Had he made that wedding, he’d have made it his business to become more familiar with the dark beauty who, with the most subtle gesture of tucking her hair behind her ear, had his pulse climbing. 

Guilt halted his thoughts. He should have been at the wedding because he’d promised Sophia he would be. It was just another broken promise, and he feared he would let her down again. And given his past, he had no business fantasizing about Carissa—or any woman. It could end only in heartache—or worse. 

Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends.  Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter.  At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years. 

In 2007 – after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children – Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published.  That year she wrote 12 books.  In 2009  she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born.  In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, and has released contemporary titles and began the process of taking on other authors in other genres. 

In 2012 Bernadette Marie found herself on the bestsellers lists of iTunes and Amazon to name a few.  Her office wall is lined with colorful PostIt notes with the titles of books she will be releasing in the very near future, with hope that they too will grace the bestsellers lists.

Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events.  She is also an accomplished martial artist who will earn her conditional second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do in October 2012.  An avid reader, she enjoys most, the works of Nora Roberts, Karen White, Megan Hart, to name a few. She loves to meet readers who enjoy reading contemporary romances and she always promises Happily Ever After.

Places to find Bernadette

Places to find Encore


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