From the bestselling author of Riversong…
Playboy Ciaran Lanigan was the party. Executive Bliss Heywood was the library. When they meet, sparks fly and so begins an uncontrollable attraction that neither is strong enough to escape, regardless that it’s fraught with lies, secrets and family complexities.
But ‘party boy’ Ciaran isn’t everything he appears. Lurking beneath the surface of his charming grin is a man haunted by fears. Are they real or imagined? As he slowly reveals his past, Bliss becomes less and less sure if the man she’s involved with is unstable or truly in danger. Will she learn the truth in time to save him?
Set in the fictional town of Peregrine, Idaho, Blue Moon, the second book in the Blue Mountain Collection features the youngest Lanigan brother, Ciaran. It is both a love story and mystery, with Tess Thompson’s quirky and complex but lovable characters.
Book Excerpt of Blue Moon
Although the people of every city are as varied as the religious beliefs in America, it has surprised me that it’s possible to buy a condo in any metropolitan area identical to the one from which you just moved. Despite my vow each time to try something different, I always ended up with the same white-walled, sparse condo with high ceilings and large windows that overlooked the city. During the first few mornings after moving, just for a moment, I didn’t know in which city I was waking. But it didn’t matter, because the closet that looked just like the last closet in the last city I lived in still held my designer shoes and dresses. There is comfort in the familiar.
I always arranged my furniture, which consisted of a couch and bed and a couple of tables, in the same configuration, telling myself that this time I would hire a decorator. But I never quite got around to it. Down the street, a salon and spa gave me the identical haircut and color to the one before: honey with straw-colored highlights, sleek, long bob. Nordstrom, strangely, no matter the city, was always just two, maybe four blocks over from my condo. When I walked into a new job every other year or so and started to categorize those who would remain and those who would be sent away, and that which would become streamlined and that which could be abandoned, I always felt at ease. Work was my spouse, my family, my purpose.
As I stepped into the elevator to go up to my offices on the twelfth floor, I felt good, almost giddy. I’d successfully taken CreateBiz public three days ago, and I anticipated a warm reception from my board, replete with accolades for the high valuation of the company that had subsequently made the stock worth almost twenty dollars a share on our first day out on the public market. While most games for girls are centered on fashion or beauty, our product created virtual businesses. For the most part, I think games are a ridiculous waste of time given how many wonderful books there are in the world, but being the entrepreneur and capitalist that I am, I was enamored with our product. It was fun, thought-provoking, creative and educational all at once. On my first day on the job I told my new staff it was the smart girls’ answer to virtual gaming, a phrase which our marketing executive immediately seized upon and implemented into a full-fledged campaign that yielded huge numbers within its first month on the market. We were a sensation, the most sought-after product of last year’s Christmas season, and similar sales were predicted for the upcoming holiday season.
The founder, Ralph Butters, was a young, male version of a crazy cat lady, designing genius games in the basement of his house with six cats at his feet. He sported a receding hairline and a greasy ponytail—yes, it is possible to have both. A nervous twitch made his right hand jerk about like Mick Jagger holding a microphone on the last night of the last tour of his life. All of which rendered him completely unable to interact in the real world. I secretly wondered if he created games as a way to cope with his loneliness.
Regardless of the reasons for Ralph’s creation, his strangeness made it necessary to hire me. My goal, as it had been many times throughout my career, was to make it profitable and take it public. I did that, in two years, which no one thought we could do, including my board of directors. As was usually the case, we had an impressive board from the high-tech community to whom I was accountable. The board had not only invested substantial amounts of money into CreateBiz, it also advised me on certain aspects of the business. However, Ralph was still in charge, as he owned a majority of the shares, so ultimately I answered to him. So far that hadn’t been an issue. The one and only time I’d met him, he sweated so profusely—I assume from nerves—that he hadn’t ventured into the offices again. He left me alone for the most part, deferring to my experience and business acumen. For my part, I had the utmost respect for his mind and creativity, knowing he was certainly a genius, whilst I was merely good at business. There’s a difference, and I’m humble enough to know it. Having worked with many creative geniuses over the years, I’ve noticed that the smarter they are, the less likely they are to be comfortable with people. On a certain level, I understood this frailty, as I also found human, emotional connection difficult. I presented a persona of well-dressed, polished businesswoman, charmed rooms full of people with ease, made networking connections that led to deals and steered large groups of employees in a common direction. But that was only on the surface. No one was allowed inside weakness. I made a conscious choice to remain uninvolved with anyone in any emotional capacity, with the lone exception of my sister. This quality was a blessing as an executive. I could make decisions from a place of logic rather than emotion. But in my personal life? Perhaps I was more like Ralph than I cared to admit, minus the cats.
Tess Thompson is a novelist and playwright. She has a BFA in Drama from the University of Southern California.
After some success as a playwright she decided to write a novel, a dream she’d held since childhood. She began working on her first novel, RIVERSONG while her second daughter was eight months old, writing during naptimes and weekends. She considers it a small miracle and the good-nature of her second child (read: a good napper) that it was ever finished. RIVERSONG was released in April 2011 by Booktrope, a Seattle publisher and subsequently became a #1 Nook book and Kindle best seller. Since then she’s released five additional novels: RIVERBEND, RIVERSTAR, CARAMEL AND MAGNOLIAS, TEA AND PRIMROSES AND BLUE MIDNIGHT.
Like her characters in the RIVER VALLEY COLLECTION, Tess is from a small town in Southern Oregon. She currently lives in Snoqualmie, Washington with her two small daughters where she is inspired daily by the view of the Cascade Mountains from her home office window.
A voracious reader, Tess’s favorite thing to do is to curl up on a rainy afternoon and read a novel. She also enjoys movies, theatre, wine and food. She is fed emotionally by her friends and family and cherishes relationships above all else.
She’s currently in the editing process for her first historical romance called DUET FOR THREE HANDS, which will be released in late February and followed shortly thereafter with the second in the BLUE MOUNTAIN COLLECTION, Blue Moon.