I’m hoping he’ll be equally impressed with our extensive writing…which, in my case, resulted in finally getting to type THE END on my sequel to Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match — my upcoming novel PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND THE PERFECT BET!!! (*wild confetti toss*) The first half of the book has been edited and revised. The second half of the book is in the process of being edited with revisions to be finished in late June. Then comes proofreading…and formatting…and it’ll be ready for release before the end of July!!
In celebration, below is a scene I haven’t shown to ANYONE but my editor yet. It’s about midway through the novel and it introduces a character that the readers have only heard about in passing up until now: Trey Willoughby, Jane’s ex-boyfriend. Hope you’ll like it! (BTW, if you haven’t read the two other scenes I’ve posted from the story and would like to, they’re here: Scene One and Scene Two.) And please don’t miss the special 99-cent boxed set sale announcement at the bottom of this post!!
Given all that had gone on over the past couple of days, Jane hadn’t had the most restful of weekends. So, when Monday morning rolled around, she was understandably tired, still ticked at her brother for all the upheaval he’d caused, and wondering what had possessed her to call out Bingley on that bet.
At work, slumping in her desk chair in the school psychology office, she stared at her cell phone. Bingley had already texted her about setting up a time to wash her car tomorrow afternoon.
So soon? she typed back during her first break. You still have houseguests…don’t you?
Yep. But I have a chaperone in place, he replied.
It was the message that followed that sealed the deal, though.
Charlie wants to be my carwash helper & his friend Mikey is gonna join us, too. Good old guy bonding time.
What could Jane say to that? Bingley knew she had a soft spot when it came to Beth’s son.
So she texted, Want me to bring the boys home after school?
Nope! We’ve got it all arranged already.
Okay, she typed. See you tomorrow @5.
Then she studied the manila file folder in front of her—Charlie’s. The first round of aptitude testing had gone well. She compared his scores to the mean for his age range and noticed definite spikes in certain subject areas—verbal skills especially.
Now she had some hard proof. Good.
Jane was looking forward to being able to coordinate with the gifted/talented program heads some language arts enrichment activities for him and for a handful of other students in their grade.
There were many areas in her life where she felt confused and even powerless, but this was something she could do. She hoped it would expand Charlie’s world a bit more, help him make a few new school friends and keep that infectious grin on his sweet face. She didn’t want to see any of these bright students have their eagerness to learn stamped out of them just because they weren’t being challenged as much as they needed to be.
Despite her exhaustion and the tons of paperwork ahead, Jane’s day was starting to look up. Until she heard her email ding.
She checked her inbox, staring in disbelief at the name she saw on the computer screen. A name—a man—she hadn’t expected to cross her path ever again.
A part of her wanted to delete his message, sight unseen. But the crazy, overly curious girl who’d had her heart broken by that cheater couldn’t help but click on it.
Idiotic inquisitiveness. It’d be the death of her.
Jane, his email began. Followed by his old nickname for her, Red…
I know I’m probably the last person you ever expected to hear from—
Boy, did he get that part right, she thought.
—especially after the way things ended between us a few years ago. But I’ve been thinking about you. A lot. I just moved back to the city of Chicago after having spent the last eighteen months working in the Pacific Northwest. I wrote a lot of new poems about rain and fog out there…it was hard not to be influenced by it…but I wrote about you, too. About us.
I still feel bad about what happened during college, and I know I owe you an apology. A personal one.
Any chance you would let me at least buy you a drink some night?
Jane read and reread the message.
Her hands shook as she moved the mouse. The cursor hovered on the screen, dancing indecisively between the REPLY and the DELETE buttons. She should ignore him. She should not only erase all digital traces of him from her email account, she should obliterate every memory of him from her mind, too.
Scary thing was, she thought she had. She thought she’d gotten over him.
Yet, just seeing his name in front of her sent her time traveling. Back to the maelstrom of emotions she’d felt when she was with him. Not only the lows, which had slayed her and forever altered her ability to trust a man, but the highs, too, which she hadn’t allowed herself to feel since she left Trey either. Kissing Bingley in the coat room was the closest she’d come to letting someone in again, and look at how well that had turned out?
But she was a student of psychology after all. She knew when there was unfinished business in her life. She either had to give in and go to therapy so she could finally move on, or she had to face her ex-boyfriend and get closure that way.
She typed: You do owe me an apology, Trey. A drink won’t change anything but, sure, you can buy me one sometime.
Jane squeezed her eyes shut and clicked SEND. She didn’t expect a response but, hey, at least she was taking control and slamming the ball back into his court. He probably wouldn’t set a firm date anyway. Follow through had never been his strong suit.
Which was why she was stunned all over again when her email dinged a second time.
Good, he wrote back. How about tonight?
Also: BIG NEWS — I have a special Reader Appreciation Sale going on right now along with seven other writing friends. If you’re a fan of romantic comedy, we have a *limited edition* boxed set with EIGHT full-length contemporary romances in it — all by New York Times, USA TODAY or National Bestselling Authors — called the LOVE, LAUGHTER & HAPPILY EVER AFTERS collection, and it’s just $0.99 for June!
I’ve included the description below — it releases officially on June 24th and will only be available for a short time — but it’s up for pre-order at AMAZON (worldwide), B&N and iBOOKS/APPLE right now. (Kobo and Google Play will be coming, too). Hope it’s something you might enjoy!!
DESCRIPTION: Just in time for summer! An all-star collaboration by some of today’s most popular bestselling contemporary romance authors. From the funny and sweet to the steamy and heartfelt, this collection has it all, with eight full-length FUN, romantic love stories hand-picked to bring a smile to your face while you’re lounging out in the sun this summer.
This limited edition boxed set will only be available until July so get yours today!
— ON ANY GIVEN SUNDAE — by USA Today Bestselling Author Marilyn Brant
— FINDING THE RIGHT GIRL — by NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Violet Duke
— SWEET TO YOU — by iBooks and Barnes & Noble Bestselling Author Jessie Evans
— UNAFRAID — by USA Today Bestselling Author Melody Grace
— LOVE LOVE — by Amazon Bestselling Author Beth Michele
— TEMPTING LOVE — by Amazon Bestselling Author Melanie Shawn
— NOT OVER YOU — by NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Marquita Valentine
— And in her much-anticipated indie debut, Samhain bestselling author Erin Nicholas with the never-before-published novel, GETTING OUT OF HAND.
Happy Friday the 13th, all — I’ve always considered it a day of GOOD luck!! — and may you have a wonderful weekend 😉 .