Today I’m posting an excerpt from my short story IMAGES – A LOVE STORY. Unlike my novels, there are no horses but there is a touch of paranormal, another of my favorite themes.
Before I do that, I’d like to mention that I’ll be guest blogging twice this weekend. Friday through Sunday, I’ll have an excerpt from FOREWARNING on The Ruthin Trilogy, a romance book blog. http://the-ruthin-trilogy.blogspot.com/
Then on Saturday, I’ll be interviewed on Sallie’s Book Reviews and will offer a free copy of WYOMING ESCAPE to a lucky visitor. http://yesterdaydaugher.blogspot.com/
Lauren Carmody has a most uncomfortable and unwanted gift. She sees the images in other people’s minds. As a result, she hides from the world and only ventures out when necessary. When she encounters a very appealing man who doesn’t bombard her with unasked for pictures, she doesn’t know what to make of him. Does she dare let him get close or should she continue to hide?
“Can’t get much frumpier than this,” Lauren Carmody muttered, gazing into the restroom mirror. The reflection revealed a brown wig with hair falling forward that partially concealed her make-up free face, while a figure-hiding, too-large blazer, a long, loose skirt and tinted glasses completed the picture. Perfect.
She bowed her head, hunched her shoulders and opened the door. The sound of voices infiltrated the hall outside the Jorrow Publishing meeting room. Pausing, she visualized a golden ball of light that surrounded her and created a mental barrier. When a man opened the door and brushed by her, she gritted her teeth in frustration as a brief image of a woman’s breasts flashed in her head.
Damn. She strengthened her golden light, took a deep breath and entered the room. If only she didn’t have to attend these meetings. Why couldn’t she stay home, where she didn’t have to deal with other people’s thoughts or, more accurately, thought pictures? That was the reason she worked as a freelance artist after all.
She opened her portfolio case and laid a set of sketches on the table in front of Tom, the senior editor. “Here are my ideas for the fairy books.”
Pivoting, she spied Bailey at the other end of the large conference room. The modishly dressed children’s editor gave a small wave and motioned her near.
“What’s going on?” Lauren took the chair her friend had saved her. The room was unusually full for the quarterly editorial meeting.
“The new marketing director is being introduced today. We all want to see him first-hand.”
So that’s why everyone seemed so keyed up and why the images she was encountering—faces, clothes, someone’s tush—were so intense. She really had to work at her boundaries to keep all the overlapping pictures at bay.
“So who is he? Anyone I know?”
“Really? How did Jarrow manage to land him? He’s got a tremendous reputation for someone so young. I hear he’s only about thirty.”
Bailey laughed. “Thirty-two, according to his bio. And you should like this. Apparently, he thinks your stuff is pretty awesome. I’m told he wants you to do more books for us.”
“Only if I still work with you.”
Lauren made it a rule to deal strictly with women. Men were more difficult for her to ignore, their thoughts more intrusive. Given that a normal man thought about sex several times an hour, the images they projected could be downright embarrassing. And, depending on the content, could change her perception of the person.
All conversation stopped when the door opened and a tall, blond man in a custom-tailored suit entered.
Lauren didn’t need to see Bailey’s mouthed “Wow” to pick up the reaction of all the women in the room. Eye candy in spades.
Tom, the editor, motioned the latecomer forward. “Everyone, I’d like you to meet the newest member of our team, Adam Traynor. Most of you already know about him. If you don’t, you soon will.”
He then asked everyone at the table to introduce themselves briefly. When it was Lauren’s turn, Traynor nodded and said. “I’ve seen your work. Very nice.”
Keeping her voice quiet and diffident, Lauren thanked him and gave a sigh of relief. He’d looked right at her, his blue eyes alive and knowing, but she’d felt no pressure, no intrusion. Her dowdy look was successful.
The meeting began and soon everyone was down to business. Lauren tried to tune out the discussion as she usually did until it was her turn. Today, however, Adam’s deep voice caught her attention and brought her back time after time. Something about his way of speaking, his whole persona affected her, grabbed her and wouldn’t let go.
If you’d like to read the rest of Lauren and Adam’s story, you can get a FREE copy from:
IMAGES is also available on Amazon for $0.99, which is the lowest price I could set. If other customers notify Amazon of the price difference, they might price match and set it to Free also.
Happy reading everyone.