Tuesday, March 24, 2015
House Divided Bog Tour
There is a law irrevocably decreed in the state of Alabama that you must choose a team. You're either an Auburn fan or an Alabama Fan. There is no fence sitting or waffling. It’s one or the other. However, it doesn't mean that you can’t fall in love with someone from the opposing side. They even have a name for it ... House Divided.
Ellie Eaton and Brady Jackson were just such a couple, but unfortunately they were separated by more than just their loyalty to a university. Against the odds and against the rules, Ellie and Brady dove right into the forbidden current of friendship and then love. Their sweet, innocent romance was one for the storybooks, but old rules and family prejudices ultimately tore them apart, just as they were each ready to depart to their beloved universities, Ellie to Auburn and Brady to Alabama. But years later, when near tragedy strikes, they're brought together again and given a second chance at love, this time with help from some very unlikely sources.
House Divided is a sweet romance filled with southern charm, a dash of humor and, for good measure, a pinch of lies and intrigue.
"House Divided was one of those books that made me want to ignore my children, my to-do list, my need for food, and pretty much anything else that would keep me from reading. Jennifer Peel has a real gift for depicting first love, heartbreak, and hope."
"A tender, soft, story that truly is a gem to read."
"Ms. Peel has created a story that stands as a tribute to true southern gentility, it's foibles and strengths. Truly a beautiful read that gives heart and meaning to true devotion. She truly knows how to weave a story that has beauty and true southern charm."
I really enjoyed this book! It was adorable and sweet and romantic. It's one of those stories that just sucks you in until you can't stand to put it down. Ella is a great character that I could easily identify with. I loved the ambiance of the southern setting. The characters are all well written and interesting. I don't want to slip up and give too much away but this is a must read! It is clean and wholesome while still being a stirring romance. Four fairies to this book that left me desperately wanting MORE.
Author Jennifer Peel
I'm a Colorado native who currently calls Alabama home. I'm the mother of three amazing children who have grown up way too fast. I enjoy the mountains, vacations at the beach, date night with my husband, late night talks with my kiddos, touring model homes, and pink bubblegum ice cream.
I grew up on the Western Slope in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. I learned to love the beauty of the outdoors, but not camping--unless staying overnight at the Marriott counts. I met my husband while living in Denver and then several years later we traded the beauty and majesty of the Colorado Rocky Mountains for the art and culture of Chicago, Illinois. My family and I enjoyed living near this world class city, despite the crazy cold winters, but new adventures awaited in Northern Alabama--just six hours away from Orange Beach, Alabama. These three magical places (the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Chicago, and Orange Beach) are the inspired locations used in several of my books.
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EXCERPTS - Please choose 1
Number one -
I was so thrilled that Brady was in my home that I didn’t notice he wasn’t acting like himself. I pulled him into our drawing room where the fireplace was lit and the twelve-foot high Christmas tree sparkled in the dimly illuminated room. Under the tree sat my wrapped present for Brady. I retrieved the present and sat in front of the fireplace on the floor. Brady sat next to me, and before I could say a word, he pulled me to him and kissed me like he never had before. It was like a man kissing a woman, not a boy kissing a girl. I could barely breathe when he was done. His breathing was ragged too.
"Well, Merry Christmas," I said. That was present enough for me.
He smiled that country boy smile I loved so much, but it was then I noticed it didn’t touch his eyes like his smile always had.
"What’s wrong, Brady?"
He pulled on my hair, like he always had. "Ellie …"
He took a deep breath and looked at me with his baby blues. "We can’t be together anymore," he quickly blurted out.
I just shook my head. Surely I had heard him wrong, but I knew I hadn’t.
I backed up, and he scooted closer. The tears welled up in my eyes and in his. "Please, Ellie, just listen to me."
"My name is Ella," I replied bitingly.
"Ok … Ella. I’m so sorry, but being with you is tearing my family apart, and with my daddy so sick … I … I have to … I have to do this for my family. Can you please understand that?"
I was speechless. I loved him. I had broken my aunt’s rules and heart for him. And he, he was the one who pursued me and who had to shout it to the world that we were together. How could he just end it like that? I didn’t understand. The tears began to flow. He tried to wipe them away, but I wouldn’t let him. I didn’t want him to touch me.
He stood up, but before he left, he looked down at me. "I love you, Miss Ellie."
How could he? I just stared up at him blankly.
"Don’t worry, Ellie, you don’t have to say it back. I love us enough for the both of us."
"Can we please talk?"
"I don’t think there’s anything else left to say, Brady."
"Ok, Ellie, but if you think I’m going to let you walk out of my life again without a fight, then you have another thing coming, so saddle up, Ella Lu Eaton."
"Goodnight, Ellie." And just like that he hung up.
He was on my ever living last nerve tonight. Well, you have another thing coming, Brady Jackson. "And by the way, I didn’t walk out of your life in the first place. You pushed me!" I don’t know why I said that out loud, it wasn’t like he could hear me.
I stomped up the stairs and took a long, hot bath. As I lay there soaking, I tried not to think of that fool. Who did he think he was, telling me to saddle up? Well, cowboy, you better hold on to your hat because I have no intention of losing this rodeo.
Number three -
He kept pace with me nicely and reached for my hand. There were too many people around for me to pull away from him. I wouldn’t embarrass him like that. He grinned at me. He knew me too well. On the elevator, I refused to look at him, but I knew he was looking at me. I could feel it. Before we reached the ground floor, he leaned over. "Ellie, you’re so pretty when you try to ignore me."
I was ready to turn and look up at him with my icy glare, but he had the sweetest, sappiest smile on his face and I just couldn’t. I couldn’t help but smile back at the fool, but I did shake my head at him. As we walked off the elevator, he leaned in again. "You’re even prettier when you smile at me."
I lightly elbowed him.
As soon as we made it to the parking lot and were alone, I tried to let go, but he anticipated. He pulled me to him and wrapped his arms around me.
"Let go of me, Brady Jackson."
"Ellie Eaton, I have no intention of ever letting you go again, and I’ll pick you up and throw you over my shoulder if I have to."
"You would do no such thing."
"That sounds like a challenge, darlin’."
"Don’t you dare, Brady! I’ll scream."
"Even better," he said as he scooped me up without any effort and threw me over his shoulder. He apparently still worked out like an athlete. I could feel his muscles, which kind of made me forget that I was completely furious with him for taking such liberties with me.
"Brady Jackson, put me down! I’m not seventeen anymore and I’m not your girlfriend!"
"No, you’re definitely not seventeen anymore," he responded salaciously. "The last ten years have done your body good. You filled out quite nicely. And as far as you being my girlfriend, that’s just a technicality I plan on fixing.
"I can’t believe you just said that. Does your momma know you talk like that?"