Anniversary Shenanigans: Author Visit + Giveaway - Erin McLellan

Here's a sweet way to recover from all that turkey and dressing that's sweet, free and won't make your pants fit tighter! So take a break from Black Fridaying and let Erin McLellan make you squee.

Sparklers First

I glance around the busy park, trying to spot my blind date. Evidently, he’ll be the “one with the sparklers,” according to my bestie, Marissa, who set us up.

Sparklers” is not a helpful clue. It’s the day before Independence Day. There are sparklers everywhere.

Oh, and the dude’s name is Dan. Also not useful when trying to pick him out of a crowd. Millions of men are named Dan.

I wander by a fireworks stand toward a cluster of picnic tables and consider texting Marissa to demand more info. This is a ridiculous plan. Needle in a haystack shit right here.

A whistle pulls me up short. A handsome man is jogging toward me—always a nice sight—but it’s not just any, old rando. It’s Chip.

Marissa’s brother, Chip.

Marissa’s hot, older, out-of-my-league brother, Chip.

“Fletcher! Hi.” He’s out of breath, and my mind dive bombs into the gutter. Out of breath looks good on Chip O’Rourke.

“Hey, man. What’re you up to?” I say, cool as a cucumber. I hope.

A smile blooms across his face, and I catch a glimpse of his namesake—a tiny corner of his front tooth was chipped off when he was a kid during a monkey bars fall. On most people, it’d distract from an otherwise perfect smile. On Chip, it lends him a cocky swagger, changing a pretty face to an unforgettable one.

“I just finished my shift at the fireworks stand.”

“Oh!” I turn back to the stand and realize it’s being sponsored by the LGBTQIA charity that Chip runs. “Neat.”

“Yep! Let’s get a drink. I’ve heard they’re selling virgin strawberry daiquiris at the concession. Remember when you and Marissa used to make virgin daiquiris when we were kids? I usually pretended I didn’t want one, or didn’t want to hang out with y’all. But I always did.”

Chip throws an arm over my shoulder and leads me away before my brain can catch up to tell him that I need to find Sparkler Dan!

Chip’s thumb rubs circles on the apple of my shoulder. A delighted shiver wracks me, and I stop in my tracks.

“Chip, I’m sorry, but I can’t get fake daiquiris with you. I’m here to meet a guy, so I appreciate you wanting to hang, but I can’t.” Chip stares at me like I’ve got fireworks coming out of my nose, so I keep babbling. “You see, your sister set me up with some random dude, and I’d love to spend time with you right now, but I don’t want be rude and stand him up. So I need to find the rando with the sparklers. And—”

Words fail me as he pulls a lighter out of his pocket. In his other hand is a stick.

Which he lights.

It flares to life.

“A sparkler like this?” he asks.

“Yeah. Umm.” I shake my head. “My date’s name is Dan.”

He passes me the sparkler and takes my free hand in his own.

“Oh.” I stutter. “Your name’s Chip.”

He smiles. “Nickname, Fletcher.”

My heart tries to escape my chest.

Dan. Daniel O’Rourke. Nickname Chip. My best friend’s older brother.

“So, your sister is sneaky,” I say.

“I put her up to it.” The glow from the sparkler gilds his handsome face. “Virgin daiquiris from the concession stand?”

I squeeze his hand and yank him closer to me. “Sparklers first.”

How sweet was that? We unicorns thank Erin for putting a smile on our faces and helping us celebrate our fifth anniversary!


Erin McLellan writes contemporary romance, often set in the Great Plains, with characters that are complex, goodhearted, and sometimes a little quirky. Originally from Oklahoma, Erin currently lives in Alaska with her husband. 

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Erin has a free novella, "Small City Heart" which you can pick up if you sign up for her newsletter HERE.

Patrick Pearl’s career is in shambles, and his love life is in even worse shape. The last place he wants to be is his horrid hometown’s biggest shindig and high school reunion, but he’s decided to stomach it for a chance to see his mom.

After years away, Patrick doesn’t anticipate the longing that hits him the moment he sees his hometown’s hills, the same pull that has him itching for his camera. But Patrick’s biggest shock of all is Charlie North—Small City’s golden boy and resident firefighting hunk.

Charlie has had a crush on Patrick Pearl since they were fifteen, but avoided him like the plague in high school, intimidated by Patrick’s courage to be different. Now that they’re all grown up, Charlie isn’t going to let Patrick slip through his fingers, much to Patrick’s surprise.

If Patrick has to withstand the torture of the Small City Alumni Weekend, then he might as well bang the hottest, most popular guy from his graduating class, right? It’s not like there are hearts involved. What could possibly go wrong?

Warning: This novella contains a lot of blackberry cobbler, a hometown hunk who didn’t have the good grace to peak in high school, a millennial hot mess that does not have his shit together, and super sweet small-town charm.

2 winners will be selected to win their choice of a backlist ebook from the author. The giveaway is open until 12:00AM (EST) 11/30/18. Shortly thereafter, we will contact a winner!

Please respond to the winning notification within 48 hours or we will choose another winner. Good luck!

Don't miss entering in our month long unicorn giveaway HERE! It ends 12/1/18!