It's been nearly a year since I released my last full length novel. Seems like time just whizzed by. I've been busy, as most of you know, finishing my next novel, the first in a series, and now we play the waiting game because this time around I'm trying to find a publisher that's not, you know, me. We'll see how that plays out, but if I don't hear something from someone soon, you can bet that my Nora Hill books will find their way to your hands without, again, the aid of a traditional publisher. Let's just say I'm giving traditional publishing a chance I never thought I would simply because it's a new genre for me.
That said, I'm doubtful that many of you have read the final novel in my "Rock Harbor Chronicles" series (Formerly I was calling it my "Wicked Women" series.) So I thought I'd share a tiny piece of it with you today.
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And now: Please enjoy!
Mira wiped one angry tear from her cheek as she stormed up the stairs to the loft. She slammed the door behind her and started stuffing her few belongings into her duffle bag. Shara's promised him the loft. Now I have no choice but to go back to that house.
She slapped away another tear and took a deep breath. Loneliness engulfed her. Even with the uneasy relationship she had with Shara, the loft was a much happier place than the house.
She thought about the fall and how Madelyn liked to come up some weekends to enjoy the solitude.
And she’ll probably bring The Senator with her.
Fear and shame shuddered through her.
She struggled to stuff a pair of jeans into the already over-full bag when suddenly Collier tapped her shoulder. She startled and glared at him. "What the hell do you want?" She regretted her sharp tone for a moment. Then she remembered he was the one kicking her out of the loft.
"I'm sorry. I did knock. You must have...not heard me."
She yanked unsuccessfully at the duffle zipper. "Yes, I'm leaving. You're the new project, so I'm out and you get to live here while Shara and her band of misfits make you the next rising star."
"You heard everything, then." He didn’t seem surprised. He had a calm, old soul way of speaking.
Right now his voice annoyed her. "Of course I heard everything. I knew the minute I saw you lying in that bed last night what was going on. I can't blame Shara, she's been great to me, but...dammit.” She swiped her hand across her eyes and inhaled. “I’ll be stuck in this stupid town forever playing for tips at Dave’s.” A new thought, and a new anger flooded her. “And you’ve managed to screw that up for me, too.”
“What are you talking about?”
She liked the worry in his eyes. “You distracted me last night. I didn’t get half the tips I normally do. I figure I was short eighty bucks.”
“Oh, you figure that, do you?” His steel gray eyes cooled and his posture stiffened. “So if I hand you eighty bucks, you’ll somehow turn into a sweatheart?”
“Guess we’ll have to see what happens. I mean, it would be the gentlemanly thing to do. That and, of course, not forcing me to go home.”
“Oh, home? Home? So you do have someplace to go?"
There was no point in lying. "I do. I have a place, a house. My parents’ house.”
“And you’d rather stay here why?”
She bit her lip. “Look, none of this is any of your business so just get out and let me finish packing and then I’ll be out of your way.”
“Did I do something to piss you off that I’m not aware, or is this just how Wisconsin girls treat men?” His voice was soft, there was no trace of combativeness.
“I can’t expect you to understand, and I’m not in the mood to explain.” She raised stinging eyes to him and noticed his face held no trace of malice. Damn...he’s good looking. He's actually got kind eyes. And he seems to be a decent guy. “Is there any chance you can just give me some time here?”
Collier closed his eyes and let out a deep breath. "Shara says I can stay with Molly Hunter. I'll stay there a couple days and you can, you know, make a more easy transition."
"Fine. Whatever.” Force of habit, she swallowed down the flood of gratitude and responded with a cold tone she regretted. "Thanks." She blinked trying to keep as much loathing from her expression as possible.
His eyes clouded for a moment, and he shrugged. "Anything for a...lady."
He left as quietly as he came. She sat on the bed and glared at the door, annoyed by the sarcasm in his final words. He has nice eyes. He’s a selfish pig with nice eyes.
She ignored the niggling feeling that she was being unfair to him.