Monday Mayhem – Smoke & Mirrors Edition
That’s right, I’m about to use a little trickery to distract you from the fact that I have nothing prepared. Are you shocked? This is supposed to be mayhem, right?
I’ve been working on stuff, I swear.
Every day I write, edit, redit, and then edit some more. My life is dedicated to eradicating the mysterious words I swear I did not type but show up in my manuscripts anyhow.
I’m about knee deep in Containment and psyching myself up to wade in deeper. This book is already an emotional rollercoaster.
Did the final read though on Always the Groomsman – the short story I’m including in TMP’s Wedding Day Collection due out this summer. Did I tell you about my story? It’s Tom and Maggie’s wedding! Squee!
I’m also compiling the Long Distance Love short stories for release later this year. Remember Jack and Ellie? Well, I’m tweaking the older stories so they flow and working six new stories over until they come up to snuff. Want to see the line up so far?
New Year, New Expectations
I’ve Got You to Talk to Me
Kiss Me, I’m Full of Blarney
Going the Distance
The Feeling is Pari-Mutuel
Declarations of Dependence
Labor of Love
A Voyage of Discovery
Veterans of Domestic Wars
Thanks Be to Grandma
It was so much fun to spend some time with those two crazy kids again. Oh, who am I kidding? It was fun to crawl inside Jack’s…head again. (Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter!). I missed Jack. Oh, I love Ellie too, but there’s something about Jack Rudolph that tugs at me. So…You want a taste?
I figured you might. Just to bring you up to speed…When last we saw our couple (Declarations of Dependence), Ellie’s reticence had poked a few sizable holes in Jack’s ego. This is taken from Labor of Love:
Before the whole debacle at her parents Fourth of July cookout, he would have called her. Hell, there would have been at least two or three messages waiting on her phone if she hadn’t called until ten o’clock. But not these days.
These days he only called her when he was calling her back. Despite the new job with the Chicago field office and a schedule was more flexible than hers, he hadn’t come to see her in eight weeks. Eight long weeks. As a matter of fact, he hadn’t even suggested a visit. That was the straw that broke Ellie’s back.
He answered the phone and she said only, “I think we need to talk,” in greeting.
His sharp intake of breath cut the silence that hummed between them. He let it go with a hiss and punctuated the sentiment with a low grunt. “So talk.”
“I’m downstairs, but I can’t find a parking spot.”
The shock in his tone triggered a smile. For once, she got one over on her very special agent. “Surprise.”
“You’re here? In Chicago?”
“Right in front of your building, Rudolph,” she confirmed. “Do you think you can come down and guide my sleigh to a parking spot? I might need your nose to scare off the creepy guy lurking in the alley a couple of blocks over.”
Jack hesitated for a moment. Her stomach dropped to her toes as she heard the rustle of bedclothes. He juggled the phone. “Uh, hang on.”
The echo of a woman’s voice sent shivers down her spine and alarm bells started clanging in her head. Mortification burned hot in her cheeks. It could have been the TV. She hoped with all her heart it was the TV. She was almost one thousand percent certain the voice came from the TV. Still…
“Maybe I should just go to Laurie’s.” The thought of turning up on her sister’s doorstep in a flood of tears wasn’t particularly appealing, but it beat the crap out of coming face to face with the infinitesimal chance that he wasn’t watching TV. Oh God, what if he wasn’t? Why did she ever think it was a good idea to just show up?
Jack’s derisive snort yanked her back. “Are you kidding me?” The exasperation in his tone stoked the dying embers of hope in her heart. “Come down the alley. I’m opening the gate to the lot. My neighbor’s out of town this weekend. You can park in his spot.”
The TV. The voice had to be coming from the TV. Surely Jack wouldn’t be cruel enough to invite her in if he was…entertaining company. Niggling doubt chased her taillights. She held her breath as she made the sharp turn from the narrow alley into the crowded lot.
“Joe’s space is next to mine,” he huffed.
Ellie pulled into the spot and killed the engine as the back door opened. Fluorescent light spilled into the parking lot. He stood silhouetted in the doorway. The gate rolled shut behind her, trapping her there. Taking a deep breath, she forced herself to open the door. She cast a glance over her shoulder as she climbed from the driver’s seat, keeping her hand wrapped around the top of the door. She had questions she needed to ask, and she was hoping the reinforced steel could shield her from any answers she didn’t want to hear.
Pressing the phone tight to her ear, she stared straight at him. “Do you still love me, Jack?”
Dun dun dun!
That was fun, wasn’t it? You know what else is fun? Talking about book boyfriends.
Jack is one of mine. I’m also partial to Jamie Fraser, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Roarke from JD Robb’s In Death series, and pretty much every Eversea and Redmond male from Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green series. Oh, and Morelli. I know, I know. Ranger is hot, blah blah blah. I like the guys who are the keepers, and that’s why I’m a Cupcake.