Thursday, April 21, 2022

Arianna by Cynthia Hilston - Book Tour



Arianna Banks never committed to anything, whether a relationship, a job, or her education. Carrying a damaged reputation because of an atrocious childhood incident, Arianna’s poor self-image has been her downfall. When her parents die unexpectedly, awash with grief, she wonders what her purpose is. She makes several changes, including quitting beauty school to work at a charity call center. Convinced she is doing important work, Arianna isn’t prepared when a coworker named Marc Arnold challenges her to achieve her dreams through her suppressed passion for writing. Coming off a nasty breakup, Arianna grows closer to Marc, but she tells herself she won’t be at another guy's mercy. But Marc isn’t ready to give up on her. Now Arianna must choose to walk away or invite him in. But inviting him into her heart means sharing who she really is, ugly scars and all. In the midst of navigating her heart, Arianna excels at her telemarketing job, but does she choose what’s familiar or dare to pursue her heart’s song, as Marc encourages her?

Arianna is the great-granddaughter of Lorna and Tristan Blake from the Lorna & Tristan Series.

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Chapter four: Arianna returns home to Nana after quitting her beauty salon job

 When I walked into Nana’s that day, she turned, elbow-deep in flour as she made bread. “You’re home early.”

“I quit.” I took a seat at the table, placed my interlocked hands on its surface, and stared at my peeling nail polish.

“You what?

“I quit my job.”

“Why would you do that?” Nana wiped her hands on her apron and went to the sink to wash up. After the water turned off, she grabbed the tea kettle and filled it. I knew what was coming. “We’re going to talk about this over some tea, Ari.”

“Isn’t it a bit hot for, um, hot tea?”

“Fine, then. I’ll make iced herbal tea, but it’s still best to let the water boil on the stove, the tea bag steep, and then add the ice. None of this instant nonsense.” While the kettle warmed, Nana joined me. “Now, what’s this about?”

I pointed at my face, half smirking.

“Your choice of decoration?”

I laughed. “Yeah, Jeanine didn’t approve. She wanted me to remove it, but we got into a bit of a heart-to-heart. We decided the salon wasn’t the right place for me. I left on good terms.”

“Hmm, seems a bit rash, dear. But then again, you don’t seem that broken up.”

“I thought I’d be more upset, but to be honest, I’m free. And if I’m going to be honest with you, Nana, I don’t think I want to continue with beauty school, either.”

Nana’s eyebrows rose. “Don’t you think you’re making an awful lot of changes, Ari? I understand if you’re not happy with the way things are going, but too much change too quickly is, well, not healthy.”

I laughed humorlessly. “Don’t I know it? Don’t we both know it? What choice did we have when my parents died, Nana? None. I wanna make some choices that are gonna have a better impact on my life. Example — my relationship with Brad was coming apart at the seams for months.”

Nana chuckled. “I never cared for that boy, but I tolerated him because I thought you liked him. He never stayed for dinner. A man who doesn’t like my cooking automatically gets a lower grade in my books.”

I laughed at her spunk. “Oh, Nana.”

The kettle whistled. Nana stood and took care of making iced tea the right way. We enjoyed her creation and further conversation. I helped her bake vegan bread, which was something I’d never done. It was a lot of work, but something was therapeutic about it, the way my fingers worked through the dough off and on for several hours. By the end of the afternoon, we had three loaves, one of which we used with dinner.

Author Bio – Cynthia Hilston is a stay-at-home mom of three young kids, happily married, and lives in the Cleveland, Ohio, area. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction, although she still dabbles in fan fiction.

In her spare time – what spare time? – she devours books, shamelessly watches Hallmark movies and When Calls the Heart, pets her orange and black kitties, looks at the stars, drinks wine or coffee with good friends, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.

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