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Friday, July 8, 2011

Work-in-Progress: The List

A new excerpt from my work-in-progress called, "The List".  Remember the first excerpt (to read first excerpt, click here) showed a conversation between Grey and his sister, Jenna, where they created the list, which had three characteristics on it that a woman must have to become Grey's wife: she must be smart, she must be able to cook a decent meal and create a nice home without a decorator and she must have the same interest in sex that he does. Sounds simple to find someone like that? Perhaps not as simple as you think:
 Grey and Jenna kept the list to themselves. They never spoke about it to friends or family and rarely discussed it with each other. As time went by, Grey found he valued the list more and more as it seemed to save him from one bad relationship after another. He never got in too deep when he remembered the list and found a woman wanting of any of the characteristics on it. He felt grateful to the list for saving him from a broken heart or an unhappy marriage.

Neither Jenna nor Grey imagined such a small list could eliminate so many women. Grey intensified his search but found after five years, he still didn’t have a wife, fiancée or even a woman with serious potential. He was lonely and frustrated, racking up financial gain with no one to share his good fortune.
Still, he refused to abandon the list which became imprinted on his brain, the little piece of paper long discarded. He still believed it would lead him to his true love. He had searched for five years; this patient man was finally growing impatient.
Chapter Two
 Her palms were sweaty, her heart was beating rapidly and her mouth went dry. Carrie Tucker was about to face her first pitch on her romance novel to an editor and she was scared, scared shitless. She entered the small room set aside from the rest of the writer’s conference for editors to meet with writers. She spied a short man with glasses sitting behind a desk. He must be Paul Marcel, editor for Rocky Cliffs Press.
            Carrie straightened her skirt, made sure her blouse was slightly unbuttoned but not too revealing. She took her manuscript and synopsis and walked in, feeling anything but confident.
She sat down across from him and smiled. He smiled back and looked down at a printed sheet.
            “You’re Carrie Tucker?”
            She nodded.
            “Tell me about your book,” he said, sitting back, watching her.
            Just as she was about to open her mouth, a man strode into the room.
            “Paul! Wait. We need you in the conference room,” the man said.
            “I’m just about to hear a pitch, Grey, can’t it wait?”
            “Sorry, Jeremy is only here for an hour and if you want that loan…”
            Paul looked at Carrie and smiled again.
            “Miss Tucker…Carrie, I’m sorry but we’re going to have to reschedule this pitch. I have a meeting with an investor…can’t put off,” he said, looking down at the papers in his hand, “I have your contact info here. I’ll get in touch.”
            With that, Paul marched out of the room with Grey Andrews right behind him. Carrie stood up and put her hand on Grey’s arm.
            “Hey, Mister, you ruined my opportunity to get my novel published! I’ve been waiting six months for this chance to see Paul Marcel,” she shot at him.
            Grey turned to look at her. His blue eyes took in the shoulder length honey hair, the intense green eyes and the nicely rounded figure and smiled.
            “Give it to me,” he said, reaching for her manuscript, “I’ll make sure he reads it.”
            Before she could move, the handsome man with salt-and-pepper hair and a trim physique snatched the manuscript out of her hand and was walking quickly out of the room. She trailed along behind him, trying to speak, but soon he was lost in the crowd.
            What just happened here? Where’s my manuscript and who was that guy? Carrie found a cup of coffee and a chair. Everyone was rushing around, looking for various lectures and rooms where they were meeting with agents, editors and publishers. She watched the bustle die down as people found their places. She sat there wondering what she was supposed to do now. Her manuscript was gone and she had no interest in the workshops, lectures and marketing advice panels addressing attendees. She looked at her watch, four pm. She’d wait a while and see if Paul Marcel reappeared.
            By six o’clock, most of the people had cleared out. Workers were stacking chairs and knocking down tables. Famous authors were chatting among themselves as they packed up and moved to the door. Still no Paul Marcel. But the good-looking guy wearing a camel jacket and charcoal gray pants who grabbed her manuscript came into the center hall, looking around. He spotted her and sauntered over.
            “Glad you’re still here,” he said, his eyes looking directly into hers.
            “And?” she said, trying to ignore the little shiver running up her spine.
            “I gave your manuscript to Paul and he promised me he’d read it tomorrow.”
            “Why should I believe that?” She asked, noticing how broad his shoulders were, trying to keep her gaze on his face.
            “Because I’m the silent investor in his publishing house. He wouldn’t lie to me. I’m Grey Andrews,” he said, offering her his hand.
            “Carrie Tucker,” she said, losing her small hand in the warm, dry flesh of his powerful one.
            “Carrie, I invest in green companies, very interested in ebook publishers now. Would you be willing to join me for dinner and tell me what you know about ebook publishing, from an author’s point of view?”
            He’s smooth, gotta give him that.
            “How do you know you want to talk to me? I might be new to this business.”
            “I read some of your book, your synopsis and biography. You’re a good writer, can’t be that new.”
            “An advertising copywriter, not the same thing,” she corrected him, fascinated by the wry grin on his perfect lips.
            “Maybe not. But the work you submitted…I read…was well written. You’ll probably get published and be pretty successful at this.”
            “So you want my opinion?” She asked, impressed he had read her work.
            “If you don’t mind. Can I pay for it with a nice dinner?” He asked, moving closer.
            “Why not?” She agreed, feeling warmth in her body growing as he neared.
            “How about Le Chien D’Or?” he asked, mentioning a chic French restaurant.
            She smiled at him as he took her elbow and guided her out of the hotel and toward the restaurant only a few blocks away.  
            Carrie didn’t know if she was disappointed Grey Andrews spent the entire dinner actually grilling her about ebooks, publishing and her dreams as a writer or not. She blushed a few times under his scrutiny and when his hand brushed hers reaching for the cream, the tingle went all the way up her arm.
She thought they had chemistry, but when he took her home, he didn’t make a pass or even ask to come up for coffee.  He didn’t even kiss her goodnight! It felt weird to be out with such an attractive man and only talk business.
            Maybe he’s gay.
            “You’ve been very helpful tonight, Carrie. Thank you. I’ll make sure Paul reads your manuscript and gets back to you.”
            She nodded and went in the door, puzzled.
            Win some, lose some.

If you like my writing, you might like "Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights" my latest contemporary romance, listed as a "Publisher's Pick" in the July issue of Still Moments emagazine!
Get "Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights" ebook for only $1.99 for a bit longer at:
Astraea Press (all formats)
Check out this review:

A little bit about the book:

Caroline “Sunny” Davis has it all, a rich husband, career as a well-known artist and a bgi, beautiful house, she has everything except happiness. Fleeing from a philandering husband, she returns to her family’s cabin in the woods. Looking to reconnect with happier times while she sorts out her life, Sunny is surprised to meet up with someone she hasn’t seen in twenty years.
Mike Foster, her friend, her protector from childhood is more handsome and devastating than ever. Tempted almost beyond endurance, can she resist him…if it’s for his own good? This story about rekindled friendship will warm your heart.


Kallypso Masters said...

Nice excerpt--and I love your photos showing your inspiration for scenes and characters on your blog!


Jean said...

Thanks for stopping by. I took the photos of the scenes myself. Helps me to channel the setting.

Alica McKenna Johnson said...

Okay I love the idea of making a list- I love lists. And having her be a romance writer and pitching- so fun!
BTW- as a fellow writer and someone who is terrified of spelling and grammar because I suck at it big time- in your blurb for Sunny Days- big is mis-spelled.