Happy spring to everyone, and happy Easter to all those who follow! I have been neglecting this blog lately — after promising to blog more diligently. Maybe with increased light I'll be more active here too.
I haven’t been completely idle. I’ve written a new short romance, To Catch a Billionaire Dragon, which despite its name doesn’t have actual dragons in it. It’s a story of Laurel, a fantasy author, who after a chance meeting with Logan, a New York businessman, decides to base a character of a dragon on him. He isn’t entirely happy about it, and he most definitely doesn’t like how she seems unable to see him and her dragon apart.
I’m trying a new model of publishing with this book. I’ve written it in three short parts, each about a ten thousand words, and I will publish it in three parts too. It’ll be interesting to see how that will work.
I have a cover for it too. I’m toying with the idea of having a slightly different cover for each three parts, so that readers won’t accidentally download the same part twice. What do you think?
Here is the first chapter for you. The first part will come out next week.
The elevator cage descended slowly towards the lobby with no regard to the sentiments of its sole passenger. It had served the residents of the Upper West Side high-rise with dignity and decorum since the 1930s and it wasn’t about to start speeding now. Sixteen floors took exactly the same time to descend as it always had, despite the modern engine powering the art deco cage.
To Laurel Maynard, the ride felt eternal. She was ravenous, having lost track of time and working past a few meals—again. She wasn’t sure of the time now, but this was New York. Surely she could find something to eat at any time of day. And preferably fast. She needed to get back to her book.
The cage finally came to a halt and the brass-plated doors opened to a small lobby. As always, the golden marble floors and columns, inlaid wood decorations, and gleaming brass detailing made her blink a few times in wonder. She sure wasn’t in Kansas anymore. Or Brooklyn, as it was.
She hurried across the lobby, past the old doorman in a red uniform. She nodded at him and saw his eyebrows shoot up. She was wearing clothes, wasn’t she? That wasn’t always a given when she was distracted with writing.
She glanced down as she went through the revolving doors. She was decent, wearing her comfiest sweats, a T-shirt that had seen its best days a decade ago, and slippers with teddy bears on them. It wasn’t exactly high fashion, but she was only headed for takeout. No one cared what she looked like.
At least, no one in Brooklyn did. But as she turned the corner to Amsterdam Avenue she noticed a few puzzled looks shot her way. Ignoring them, she walked to the nearest café.
The place was packed full and she stared at the crowd in dismay. She would starve to death before she reached the counter. A glance at the large clock behind it revealed that it was the worst peak of the evening rush hour. No wonder she was hungry, she hadn’t had anything since breakfast. Maybe she should find a place that sold something more substantial than bagels and salads.
But by then the line behind her was blocking the door and pushing her forward, and she resigned to her fate. Eventually it was her turn and she got a salad, and a large bagel filled with lox too. She gritted her teeth paying for them. She might be living for free in her agent’s apartment, but she was paying a king’s ransom in food.
The moment she was back on the street she bit into the bagel and closed her eyes in bliss. Hungry or not, she would savor the first bite.
Someone bumped into her from behind and the food shot out of her mouth, only barely missing the person walking in front of her. “Hey!” But whoever it had been had already disappeared in the crowd. Annoyed, she guarded her food and hurried back to her building. She would eat the rest in the safety of four walls and a roof.
The doorman shook his head when he saw her, but she didn’t pay attention to him as she ran across the lobby. A man had just entered the elevator and the doors were already closing. “Hold it!” She could not wait for the damned contraption to ride all the way up and back down again.
It seemed the man had not heard her; the doors were almost closed. But just as she was about to grudgingly resign to her fate, a hand shot through the gap, blocking the door sensor. The doors opened again and she got in.
And came face to face with the sexiest man she had ever laid eyes on.
The scent of food filled the cage, making Logan Avery’s stomach rumble quietly. The day he’d had, it was a wonder he had managed a long enough break to eat a sandwich, despite his secretary’s best efforts to keep him properly fed. He had better eat something before he headed out to his dinner date or he would embarrass himself.
Immediately at the heels of the mouthwatering scent came another, more delicate and pure, which made an altogether different part of his body take interest. The woman it belonged to suited exactly the wood nymph mental image the scent conjured—albeit an eccentric one. He stared at her, baffled.
Average height, which meant she reached to his chest instead of his chin, slender and small-breasted. Dressed in sweats and a tee so worn his cleaning lady wouldn’t wear them to work, let alone in public, and slippers of all things. Were those teddy bears?
A mass of hazel curls was pulled into a haphazard ponytail, and on her forehead she wore not one but two pairs of glasses. And was that a pen in there too?
What on earth was she doing here?
“You know, servants use the back entrance.”
She turned to him and he realized she wasn’t fully aware he was there. Her gaze focused on him only slowly, and the reaction wasn’t the usual interested flash of eyes followed by a slow, inviting smile he would then answer with his own. He wasn’t used to being ignored by women and didn’t know whether to feel amused or miffed.
“I said, the servants use the back entrance.”
“Do they?” She blinked, as if trying to figure out the reason for the remark. “Fascinating.” And she actually sounded like she did find it fascinating.
Logan suppressed an exasperated smile and soldiered on. “Are you delivering food?”
She glanced at the paper bag she was carrying and smiled, delighted, as if she had forgotten all about it. She had a beautiful smile, the kind that lit her whole face and eyes too. It mesmerized him. Too many women in his acquaintance only pretended to smile, their eyes as cold as their hearts.
Her eyes were light blue, with a hint of hazel in the middle. Her brows were slightly arching and darker than her hair. Her nose was straight and lightly dusted with freckles. And her mouth…
He swallowed as he watched her bite into the bagel she had fished out of her bag. The look of bliss on her face was as unaffected as everything else about her. She savored the bite before swallowing it. Then she licked her lips—and his erection shot to life.
The sensation was staggering with its suddenness. He leaned against the wall of the cage to gain his balance. Closing his eyes, he breathed deeply, trying to gain control of his body. But it didn’t help. All he saw in his mind’s eye was her pink tongue sliding around her sensuous lips. He had to get out of here before he did something stupid.
Just then, the lights flickered and the cage came to an abrupt halt, pushing them both out of balance. Alarmed, they glanced at each other, and for once the woman was fully focused on him.
“Please tell me we’re not stuck.”
I hope you liked the sample.
And I believe I mentioned a book sale. It’s actually a free book! The Croaking Raven, my suspense/crime novel is free on Amazon until April 5th 2015. You can find it on Amazon US, UK and all the other Amazon marketplaces. If you like the genre, give it a try.