Romance Novel Giveaways - Freebies and Giveaways of All Things Romance Romance Novel Giveaways: Chance For Rain by Tricia Downing 💕 Book Tour & Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Contemporary Romance)

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Chance For Rain by Tricia Downing 💕 Book Tour & Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Contemporary Romance)



Elite athlete Rainey Abbott is an intense competitor on the outside, but inside, she feels a daunting apprehension about her chances of finding true love. Her life as a downhill skier and race car driver keeps her on the edge, but her love life is stuck in neutral. A tragedy from her past has left her feeling insecure and unlovable.

Now that she’s in her thirties, Rainey’s best friend Natalie insists she take a leap and try online dating. Rainey connects with brian85 and becomes cautiously hopeful as a natural attraction grows between them. Fearful a face to face meeting could ruin the magic, Rainey enlists Natalie to scheme up an encounter between the two where Brian is unaware he is meeting his online mystery woman. Rainey is left feeling both guilty about the deception and disappointed by something Brian says.

When they finally meet in earnest, Rainey’s insecurities threaten to derail the blossoming romance. As she struggles with self-acceptance, she reveals the risks we all must take to have a chance for love.


Chapter 19

The days begin to pass quickly. At a time of year when most people are hunkered down, hibernating, and waiting out the winter, my life is in full motion. I have been skiing way more than teaching, socializing, or even thinking about Brian. My days in the mountains are intense with workouts and tryouts and the anticipation of the Games in March.
When I finally get a weekend off, I relish the opportunity to be in my own bed, sleeping in and enjoying the laziness most people take for granted. I open my eyes, and the sun shines radiantly, though there are still flurries coming down off and on. Yesterday was a downright snowy December day, and it felt weird to be in town while there was probably some great skiing to be had in the hills. But, on this Saturday, when the ground is blanketed with white, I have absolutely nothing planned for the day and no idea where I’m going or what I will do. I’m in a funk, probably because once I get into the groove of hard training; it’s hard to take a day off. I feel like I’m losing my fitness and my edge, although realistically I know they don’t simply disappear overnight. I also haven’t had any great conversations with Brian, although we’re still writing daily.
I roll out of bed, head to the shower, and get ready for the day. While I’m rinsing my hair, I come up with a plan. I’ll head to the showroom where I know Jake will be working on his car, getting ready to put it on a trailer to head to South Carolina for next week’s race.
With winter fully set in, it seems like forever since I’ve spent quality time with Jake as sounding board, confidant, fellow speed demon. Ever since I found out he was happily married and I would never be Mrs. Jake, he’s turned into a pick-me-up, taking his role seriously. He always tries to make me feel better in moments like this when all I want to do is sit around and sulk.
As I push my chair across the linoleum floor of the showroom where we all keep our cars indoors during the winter, I spy Jake under the hood tinkering. I roll up to him in silence and manage a very slight “Hey.” I’m so quiet, partly because I don’t want to scare the crap out of him and partly because I don’t have the energy to be any more exuberant.
“Hey, Rainey, how ya doing?” Jake turns his head to look at me while still ducked under the hood.
I don’t say anything, only look at him with pathetic puppy dog eyes until he catches on that things in my world aren’t quite right. He stops what he’s doing, wipes off his hands with the nearest cloth, and comes over to me, getting down on one knee, so he is at my level. For a moment, I envision this gesture as the tender scene of a marriage proposal, but I know better. Jake is being polite. Getting down on my level to talk rather than standing tall and talking down to me. This is one thing I love about him. He thinks about these etiquette details, and I appreciate it.
“Jake, am I doomed to live my life alone? Why can’t I get myself to call Brian, ask him out to lunch, and meet him in person? Why am I so scared?
“We both know you’re in serious like with Brian. You have to be willing to let go. Let yourself feel and take a chance. Even if it doesn’t work out, it’s giving it a shot that counts. He might not be the one for you. That is a definite possibility, and there is a chance you’ll lose him, but that’s part of life. You can lose anything, on any day. You know that. You can lose your ability to walk, lose your family, or lose this relationship you have been building online. But that doesn’t mean you should live holding your breath, waiting for the worst. Why not go into this with hope instead of dread?”
“Because I want to be realistic.”
He stops talking long enough to stand up and retrieve his soda from the roof of the car and then returns to his position in front of me. I begin to get uncomfortable since I know what’s coming. It’s me. I know it’s me, getting in my own way.
“Rainey, you know what I believe? If you always go into situations expecting the worst, often that’s what you’ll get. I know you’ve learned this a million times as a skier and as a driver. When you’re on the ski hill or the track, and you feel outclassed and believe you’ll never win, you won’t. You don’t stand a chance. You have to have some amount of confidence and faith that things will work out the way they are supposed to. And it might not be with Brian. He’s the first guy you’ve dated … if I can use that term … though you haven’t actually even met him yet. Maybe it’ll be the next guy who is the right one. Or the one after that. You realize that Amber is not the first woman I’ve dated, right? Don’t tell her that,” he says as he winks at me.
Amber, Jake, and I are all keenly aware that Jake is a hot commodity, and that he’s had women throw themselves at him over the course of his thirty-three years.
Then he launches into the lecture that I know I need.
“Love is difficult. It can be fun, but it can also be exhausting. It’s hard work, but ultimately, it’s rewarding. That’s why it’s such a huge emotion. It has to be able to encompass all those things. It’s not all sap and romance like in the movies. Even your parents probably had those spiritless relationship moments of ‘Uh, you again?’ But there’s something about knowing you have that bond, and you’re united by a common feeling that belongs only to the two of you. To get there, you have to be willing to stick your neck out. And that’s where you’re getting hung up. You realize this isn’t all about the chair or your mom and Sunny, don’t you? It’s really about your unwillingness to open your mind. To be out of control and take the plunge. You’re staying in your protective little shell.”
Jake has me figured out, and as he looks directly into my eyes, I feel my body shrink into itself. I cross my arms and brace myself to take the rest of what he has to deliver.
“Rainey, it’s okay to feel scared, but the only one who can take the leap of faith is you,” he continues. “Being in love is like driving your car. You have to trust your machine, your mechanics, your tires. But more than that, you have to trust yourself. Think about how scary it was the first time you raced in a field of other cars. Did you ever get that lump in your throat when you were hitting a turn in a race, and there were cars on all sides of you, and you prayed that you would get through unscathed? You were totally out of your comfort zone, right? I don’t know about you, but I love that feeling when your skin prickles and the little hairs on your arms stand at attention because it makes me feel alive. Yeah, sometimes I feel like I’m gonna crap my pants, but when it’s over, and you’ve crossed the finish line, you know you’re a better racer because you had courage. And the more times you crossed that line, the more comfortable you got. Now it feels like home. You get on the track, and as soon as the flag waves and the race starts, you settle in and know exactly what you’re doing.”
He is right. There was a time when racing scared me out of my mind. But the more I did it, the more comfortable and confident I got. I learned my car inside and out. Got to know its quirks and when something wasn’t dialed in quite right. I wanted to learn to race so badly that I kept on pushing through all the scary stuff. I always thought—keep my eye on the goal.
“Approach falling in love with the same confidence and faith,” he continues. “Picture yourself with everything working like clockwork. But instead of being on the racetrack, picture yourself on a Sunday afternoon drive. Don’t rush to the finish line. Breathe it in and really feel it. Experience it for the butterflies it gives you. Even feel it for the lump you get in your throat when you disagree. Let yourself feel emotion because then you know you’re alive. You are living, Rainey. If you don’t, you’re just as guilty as what you assume about all the men out there. You are confined. Not to your chair, like people might say, but to your thoughts. That somehow different is bad. You have so much to offer because of your situation. Turn it around. You are the prize and it’s their loss if they can’t see it. Not yours.”
“Jake, I know. But I’m terrified. I want so badly to find someone who sees me as a person, not a chair or a tragedy. How do I get over this?”
I am so caught up in my woe-is-me drama that I don’t realize someone else has walked into our area in the showroom and is standing within earshot listening in.
From behind me, in the corner, piping up in a demure female southern voice, she matter-of-factly answers my question. “Just jump.” I can see the big loving smile on Jake’s face as we turn around to see Amber behind us, having heard our entire conversation.

Chapter 20

When I get home, I know what I have to do. It’s time. And if I don’t take the opportunity, someone else will, and I’ll lose out on a prize of a man. It won’t be long before Brian gives up and finds someone else. I don’t think I can take another pep talk and, to be honest, the suspense is killing me. If he doesn’t like me, it is time to find out. Amber was right. It’s time to take flight, make the leap, and trust that, wherever I land, I will handle with the grace of a skier, the finesse of a race car driver and just enough pure me to make the trip worthwhile. But I won’t know anything until I do something about it. I turn on the computer and go to my messages. Remembering that I didn’t get on my computer in my funk yesterday, I see that I have not one but two messages from Brian in my inbox.
Hi, Ms. May Belle:
I don’t know what’s going through your mind, but I can tell you for sure that you are the only thing going through mine. I feel like it’s been so long since we had a good heart-to-heart talk. I am missing you like crazy and wish my mystery woman on the other side of this computer would pipe up and tell me what’s new in her life.
Can you believe Christmas is only two weeks away? I was wondering how you might feel if a present happened to fall on your doorstep, courtesy of one gentleman who is, at this moment, jumping out of his skin to meet the lovely spirit who has now become his dream woman. It has to be time, doesn’t it? Please promise me, we can spend time together during the holidays. I would love to sit on a park bench with you and watch the snow fall on a moonlit evening, or sit by a fireplace at a romantic restaurant, drinking bottles of wine until we close the place down. Or how about an active date, visiting one of the outdoor skating rinks and we could do a few figure eights?
Let me know your preference, and I will plan a night you will never forget.
I look forward to hearing from you. And can’t wait until I’m looking directly into those clear green eyes of yours.
Love,
Brian
Wow, I think. That’s the first time he’s ever signed a message “love.” The thought makes my insides stir, and I begin to imagine us on one of his proposed dates. Well, except the skating one. But then I open his second message and whatever elation I felt after his first message disappears.
May:
I can’t take it any longer. I’m at a loss for words. I’ve written, IM’d, laid out my best date ideas, and still nothing. I desperately want to meet you, but maybe it’s not meant to be. Is it time for us to move on? I can’t date a computer any longer.
Brian
I panic after I read the second message. I didn’t mean to blow him off. This truly is an instance of, “It’s not you, it’s me.” But now, I know he’s slipping through my grasp. I held out too long. Made him work too hard. I am going to lose him, and I’ll never know the feeling of truly getting to know the in-the-flesh person. I realize I must do something, and fast.
Brian:
I am so sorry. My intention was never to string you along. I do want to meet. I am scared. I am afraid of what might or might not happen. But I will never know if we never meet, will I? Ready or not, I’m ready to take the plunge. Though maybe not ice-skating….
May
I don’t know what else to say besides that, so I take a deep breath and hit send. Then, with shaking hands, I dial Natalie’s phone number. “Emergency,” I say. “What are you doing right now? How does a pitcher of margaritas sound?”
“Oh my. We haven’t had a pitcher of margaritas night for quite some time. This must be big. Let me go ask Seth if he minds if I come out to the rescue.”
“No, we need Seth with us. This must be group counseling, and we definitely need a male’s perspective. I need help. Coaching. I sent Brian an email and told him we should meet.”
There is an audible gulp on the other line. “You finally did it? Rainey, I’m so proud of you! How do you feel?”
“Did my request for a pitcher of margaritas not convey my feelings? Can we go? Now?”
“Yes, ma’am. We’ll meet you at the Rio, pronto!”
“Thanks, Nat.”
When I arrive at the Rio, I don’t waste any time. Head straight to a four-top table and order a pitcher of Margaritas. I immediately start drinking after they are served, so when Nat and Seth walk up, I must look like a lush.
“Wasting no time tonight, are ya?” Seth says, beaming at me.
“Nope,” I reply.
“Okay, spill the beans,” Nat says.
“I asked him out,” I say. “Happy now?”
“You asked Brian out?” Nat asks as if there could be someone else in question.
“No, Justin Timberlake. Who do you think I’m talking about?”
“What did he say?” she asks.
“I don’t know. I was too chicken to stick around. That’s when I called you and split from the house. What do I do?”
“Well. A—” Natalie says as she starts her list, “You know he’s going to say yes. B—you’re going pick a neutral spot to meet, don’t commit to a whole day of activity or anything. And, C—you’re not going to chicken out. It’s really straightforward, actually.”
By the time Natalie has gotten through the first three letters of the alphabet, I am already through my first drink.
“Slow down there, sailor,” Seth says.
“I’m just. So. Nervous. What if he doesn’t like me?”
“We’ve gone over this a million times, Rainey. The only way to find out is to go.” I can tell Natalie is becoming tired of my neurotic behavior.
“Okay,” I put my head down. The rest of the night I sit, shoulders slumped, sipping my margarita through a straw, and wondering what I have gotten myself into.
After two hours of drinking, gossiping, and worrying about boys, with Seth only able to get a word in every once in a while, he has to drive two drunk, babbling women home. What a good guy he is to put up with us at times like this. That’s one thing I can say for Seth. He’s always been the designated driver when Nat and I need to have margarita nights. Which has been on many occasions.
As they drop me off in front of my house, Natalie has one bit of advice for me. “Remember Rainey, drunk texting, emailing, and IMing, or any other form of communication for that matter, with a possible future boyfriend is never a good idea.”
I give her a big nod and thumbs-up as I transfer out of the car. I push up to the front door, and as I turn the key and let myself in, I turn and wave goodbye to them both. And then I do exactly what I was warned about not sixty seconds earlier. I head point-blank to the computer. I have to know Brian’s response. I open his message:
May! I thought you would never ask! I hate to act like a kid on Christmas, but I don’t think I can wait. When can we meet? How about lunch tomorrow?
Tomorrow? The word is still swimming in my head when an instant message pops up.
Hi, May. I saw you online and thought I would say hi. How’s your night been? Do anything fun? I took Casey to dinner and paintball tonight and had a great time, but it didn’t compare to what was waiting for me when I returned home. I’m so glad you’re ready to meet.
Oh no, I have to form a sentence now. I’m not sure I can do it. Why didn’t I listen to Natalie’s advice and go straight to bed? The only words I can get out in my drunken state are:
What time and where?
I’m playing ball in the morning with the guys. How about a late lunch? One o’clock at Bittersweet?
Okay. See you then. I’ve got to go lie down. I’m exhausted. Can’t wait to see you.
I don’t know if it is nerves or the margaritas, but the minute I hit the send button, I hightail it to the bathroom and throw up.

 

  


Tricia Downing is recognized as a pioneer in the sport of women’s paratriathlon, as the first female paraplegic to finish an Iron distance triathlon. She has competed in that sport both nationally and internationally, in addition to competing in road racing and other endurance events. She has represented the United States in international competition in five different sport disciplines—cycling (as a tandem pilot prior to her 2000 accident), triathlon, duathlon, rowing and Olympic style shooting, in which she was a member of Team USA at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
She was featured in the Warren Miller documentary Superior Beings and on the lifestyle TV magazine show Life Moments. She has been featured in Muscle and Fitness Hers, Mile High Sports and Rocky Mountain Sports magazines.

Additionally, she is founder of The Cycle of Hope (www.thecycleofhope.org), a non-profit organization designed for female wheelchair users to promote health and healing on all levels—mind, body and spirit.

Tricia studied Journalism as an undergraduate at the University of Maryland and holds Masters degrees in both Sports Management (Eastern Illinois University) and Disability Studies (Regis University).

She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband Steve and two cats, Jack and Charlie. Visit Tricia at triciadowning.com


   


Up for grabs:
💕 $30 Amazon gift card
(1 winner)
💕 eCopy of Cycle of Hope
(4 winners)
At thirty-one, Tricia Downing was in the best shape of her life. In the summer of 2000, Tricia, an avid cyclist, drove across the country for what amounted to eighteen races in twenty-three days. She returned from her adventure to a fresh start: a new job awaited her, and determined to make the next summer the year she would make her mark on the world of cycling, she began a rigorous training strategy.

But on September 17, 2000, Tricia Downing's life took a detour. While training on a her bicycle one sunny Colorado afternoon, Tricia collides with a car that turns directly in her path, and instantly becomes paralyzed from the chest down. As a competitive road and track cyclist and lifelong athlete, losing the use of her legs is devastating on all accounts. As she re-learns to do everything from sitting straight up to navigating through her house in a wheelchair to returning to work and operating a handcycle, her grueling recovery takes her to the very core of ther athletic mettle. This inner strength helps her to not only learn how to live life as a paraplegic--a label that takes time to grow accustomed to--but to have the courage to return to the competitive sport she loves and almost lost. Determined to live life on her terms, Tricia turns her misfortune into opportunity, and is now a wheelchair racer, competing regularly in triathlons around the globe. Cycle of Hope chronicles Tricia's journey from the first terrifying moments of impact with the car through rehab and her emergence as a world-class athlete.





 

18 comments :

  1. This sounds interesting. I don't think I've ever read a story about an intense competitor that wasn't football, hockey or baseball!

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  2. Both books sound amazing. Thank you

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  3. This sounds like such an inspiring book.

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  4. It sounds awesome! Loved the excerpt.

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  5. This sounds awesome, thanks for sharing :)

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  6. Can't wait to read this. Sounds good.

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  7. I enjoyed the excerpt and really like the cover. Very nice.

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  8. The book sounds intriguing and would love to read it!

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  9. This sounds like a very interesting book.

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  10. looks like a fun one

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  11. sound very deep and sound like it would be a good read.

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