Saturday, 11 June 2016

Blog Tour Excerpt Post ~ Without Benefits BY Nicole Tone

Without Benefits Synopsis:
Emma will always be a New Yorker at heart, even though she has a perfect life in Seattle. She has a prestigious job fundraising for the Seattle Symphony, a handsome boyfriend who adores her, and a Belltown apartment with views of the Sound. It should be more than enough to keep her pain from not playing the piano, and her 9/11 nightmares, away.
But when her old college crush, Owen, comes back into her life, it’s more than just spending time with him that’s causing cracks in her picture-perfect life. As she steps back on stage, and back into the spotlight, her connection with Owen and his world, dredges up old memories that Emma worked hard to forget.
Emma’s past comes back to haunt her, forcing her to face the truth about more than just her fears of returning back to New York. As her once perfect life begins to burn down, Emma is forced to figure out what she really wants: her fundraiser and cocktail party-filled life with her boyfriend, or forging a new future with the one thing, and one person, she’s ever loved–even if it means returning to New York.
EXCERPT!!!!! Sitting back down with the song's pages in hand, Emma read through the adjustments that had been made to incorporate more than just a lone violin. From just the violin, the song moved into two violins, then the piano, followed by the full orchestra. The last refrain of the song didn't go back to just the lone violin like she expected, but just the piano and violin. They would waltz together until the final notes rang out and they put their fingers down, the last notes lost in the applause.

That's how it would go the night of the concert.

They would play together, writhing in the pain of the notes and memories, and finish to applause.

Emma blushed. Her fantasy with him had nothing to do with physical touch, and everything to do with playing together. Every now and then she caught herself daydreaming about a man who'd write a song about her, for her, and want to play it with her. A man who anticipated the moves she was going to make, what she would want, what she needed him to do.

If only her definition of home, of what she wanted, was so closely tied into music. Maybe then she'd be able to move on from the idea of Owen.

She knew Owen wasn't fantasizing about her, or a woman like her. He'd want the kind of woman who would follow his lead — that was evident in the way he started today's rehearsal off. He'd want the kind of woman who would be able to put her own career on the back burner while she supported his. Emma was his equal. Standing in his shadow was something she'd do for this one concert, only.

Yes, she was here to support him. To play his music, and the songs they wrote together. To support him on his big night.

But wasn't it her big night, too?

It would be her first night playing on a stage that wasn't in rehearsal, or determined her final grade in a class. It would be her big debut into Seattle's music world. She'd no longer be on the outside looking in.


Emma looked up at Owen, blinking.

“You ready? We're going to run through the first few songs tonight.”

“Yes. Sorry,” she mumbled quickly. “Ready when you are.”
Nicole Tone  Bio:
Nicole Tone is a freelance editor, MFA student, traveller, pet collector, binge-watcher, and a self-proclaimed coffee snob. She lives in Buffalo, NY with her husband, three cats, and two very large dogs. She cheats on Buffalo with Seattle as often as she can.


  1. Like both the excerpt and giveaway. Thanks for the chance to win

  2. No Worries James. Glad you enjoyed the post :)


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