So, what am I doing lately?
I didn’t, in fact, die of the plague over the weekend. Despite my initial worry, it was just a cold. Suffice to say, I’m a little melodramatic and I hate being sick. I don’t get sick very often, so I’m a big baby when I do. Luckily, I survived, and SmallBoy is excellent at putting up with mom when she’s sick.
More news: I bought a house! This is very exciting for a number of reasons. As many of you know, my ex and I separated last year around the time The Force of Wind came out, which meant a move and a lot of other changes for all of us. Lots of changes and things were a bit edgy for a while, but we’re good. And honestly, I thought I was going to be a long ways off from buying a house on my own, so this is really, really exciting for me and SmallBoy. (Plus, the new house has a pool, which my son thinks is pretty awesome, since he would live in the water, if that was possible.) So I’m moving in November.
Wait… I’m moving in November?
THAT’S NEXT MONTH.
Holy packing boxes, Batman! And I still have a book coming out. And a trip to Houston. And soccer games. (If anyone wants to volunteer to bring halftime snacks on the 11th, that would be great, thanks.) And you don’t even want to know about the laundry pile. (That’s just scary.)
Luckily, all the editing/proofreading/formatting on The Scribe is close to being done, so it should all be delivered to your e-reader/mailbox promptly on October 15th. Advance reviews have been—I’m not going to lie—really, really good. This is very flattering, and also very motivating, as I’m working on the second book in the series right now.
Okay, so now that you know all this, if I’m not around on Facebook and Twitter and not blogging much, that is the reason. I’m still writing as much as I can, because Elizabeth turns into a very cranky girl if she doesn’t get in writing time. (Really, it’s not pretty.) But, since time will be limited, if something needs to take a backseat for a while, it’s going to be online world.
I do have a couple interviews coming up, so I’ll try to remember to post about those, so you can give a listen, if you like. Other than that, I’m going to try to cut back and focus on 1) The Scribe release. 2) The meet up in Houston. 3) MOVING HOUSE and all it entails.
To tide you over until the 15th, here’s another teaser from THE SCRIBE, which Doug Meeks (reviewer extraordinaire) calls “the greatest romantic plot I have read this year.” (No joke, he actually said that. Thanks, Doug!) It’s a nice, fat teaser, and it’s probably the last one you’ll get, folks. So I hope you enjoy.
And wish me luck! I’ve got packing to do.
From THE SCRIBE:
One of the men across from the bar winked at her, then the one who’d been standing by the hallway came up and sat in the chair Leo had occupied.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“None of your business.” He looked shocked, but the whole situation was giving Ava goose bumps. What was the game here? She didn’t get it. There was something going on, but the wine had muffled the voices, making it harder for her to read the intentions of the man sitting next to her. She looked around the place. She was in a pair of old jeans and a T-shirt, hadn’t even attempted to dress up. Why was this guy talking to her? She had no illusions about her own beauty. Ava knew she was moderately attractive, but she wasn’t the kind of woman who turned heads. Certainly not heads that looked like they belonged in fashion magazines.
“I’m just curious. You’re a beautiful woman, and you’re all alone.”
“Yes. Happily alone.”
Keep telling yourself that, Ava.
“But you weren’t alone earlier.”
“Your point, Einstein?”
“Did your boyfriend leave you here?”
“None of your business.”
“So he is your boyfriend? Do you know what he is?”
What? Ava took another drink. This guy wasn’t making any sense. Maybe it was a language thing.
“You know,” she said in a low voice, sliding closer. “I’d really like you to…”
He leaned in. “What?”
Hottie’s eyes narrowed. “I don’t think you know just who your boyfriend is, do you?”
Irritated, Ava blurted out, “He’s not my boyfriend! But he will take care of you if you don’t leave me alone. Now.”
Well, that made him happy.
“So he’s not your boyfriend! May I join you?”
She squinted. Yep, buzz definitely getting spoiled. “Are you deaf? No! Are all Turkish men this forward? Do I look like I want company?”
He said something she really didn’t listen to. The noise from the television seemed louder. Had the bartender turned it up? Hot Guy was still talking.
Was it some kind of game? A bet? She looked around, but none of the other men were looking at them. In fact, even Mister Wink Wink across the bar was looking away. Ava was starting to get nervous, and she really wished Leo would come back. She pulled out her phone and saw that he had just texted her.
Meet me by the door I left through.
Normally, she’d ignore him. After all, he worked for her—or her stepfather. Whatever. She didn’t have to do what he said. She finished the glass of wine and narrowed her eyes at the handsome man who still looked like he expected Ava to fall into his bed. He was watching her like she was the most fascinating thing in the world.
“What are you?” he whispered with barely contained excitement.
“I’m an American photographer. It’s really not all that exciting.”
“I don’t think that’s what you really are.”
Weirdo. He might have been handsome, but the guy did nothing for her. She was about to pour another glass of wine when she heard her phone buzz again. She looked down. It was Malachi’s number.
Ava, go to Leo. Now.
“Ugh.” Her head fell back and she groaned. “Bossy men. Damn bossy men. Who the hell do they think they are?” She’d tell them off in person.
Ava stood and picked up her purse. As soon as she did, she felt a hand on her arm. It was Hot Guy, who had morphed into Mr. Intrusive.
Okay, not cool.
“Hey!” Feeling bold with wine, Ava rounded on him as she yanked her arm away. “Do not touch me, do you understand? Did I give you permission to do that? Did I indicate in any way that I wanted your attention, mister?”
The man’s green eyes widened in shock.
“You pulled away from me.”
“For heaven’s sake, do you really think you’re God’s gift? Get over yourself, buddy!”
She was starting to draw attention. Luckily three-quarters of a bottle of wine meant she didn’t really care all that much. She was only a block from her hotel, after all. And there was always—
“Leo!” She grinned, her annoyance forgotten. She turned to the pushy stranger. “Now this guy? He’s a catch. For one thing, he’s handsome without looking like he’s been airbrushed, because really?” She waved a hand in front of the guy’s face. “Are you wearing makeup? I mean, whatever, if that’s your thing, but see, Leo here—”
Leo cleared his throat. “We should go, Ava.” He was trying to steer her toward the door with a hand on her shoulder, but Ava ignored him, still talking to Hot Guy.
“See, Leo’s got the confident-without-being-arrogant thing. You need to learn that. Because girls don’t usually go for… a guy who looks in the mirror more than they do.” Ava giggled as she looked around the place. “Well, obviously not some of these ladies, but where I come from… that’s probably a bad example. Still—”
“Ava.” Malachi’s low voice sounded across the bar. She turned, stilling immediately when she heard it. Heard him. Their eyes met.
There you are.