Welcome to another wonderful week of Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop!
Today's question comes from the wonderful Raine Balkera and she wants to know: " What is everyone working on at the moment. Give details and conundrums, and five extra points for a bit of your favorite scene."
Oh Boy... Let's start with the conundrums!
This is me more or less all the time, but the last few months have been stupid. I'd been in a terrible writing slump due to some health issues, some depression, and just general life bullshit. Somewhere around February, I finally got down to business and had a come to Jesus talk with myself and got to work on the two books I was working on at the time. Yes, two. I am always working on at least two books at a time because my brain is aggro and never lets me sit still.
And then... it happened. My computer went to hell. Dead. Expired. I knew it was coming, honestly. It's been a darn good friend, but it had some grey hairs and saggy tits. It was working it's way into the over the hill bar for months.
I didn't fret at first, because duh, my work was backed up. Well, because I was so off my game, I didn't realize nothing was backing up into my cloud for weeks. So, at the moment, almost all my writing is being held captive in my old hard drive in that empty graveyard of a computer until I can get my new computer situated and the files exported. I get paid once a month because life isn't fair and my job sucks, so I have not been a happy camper for a month.
But I had to write. I mean, I will explode if I'm not writing something. So, I pulled out an old story I wrote back in 2010. It's one I'd planned on reworking and rewriting for a while, but back-burnered the thing until I was finished with the two planned released for this year. (Hatchet, and Summer Girls)
Shit happens, and plans change. So, that's the conundrum part of the party, and now onto the good shit.
The original title of the story was SNAPDRAGON. I have yet to decide whether I want to stick with it, or rename it, so we'll just reference Snapdragon for now.
Snapdragon is a story about a fairy tale gone stale. Jenna met her prince charming when she was 15, and thought there would never be a day when he'd turn into a frog. Sadly, middle age has a way of sucking the life out of dreams and romance and all the things we think will last forever.
A fading relationship, four kids, a full-time job, a mortgage and an emotionally absent husband make for a fierce challenge for Jenna, but she loves Royal, always has, and she's determined to hold on to everything she holds dear. She's determined to bring her family back together.
I want my extra points, so here's a little bit of Jenna and Royal for you to check out:
This is a flashback scene, the first meeting of Jenna and Royal, and it's my favorite part since it's where it all starts, twenty years earlier. Enjoy!!
A crowd of guys started walking toward me, and they made me even more apprehensive than the creeps at home. First of all, I knew those idiots, and secondly, these guys looked a lot older and a lot rougher.
I started to panic and ran into the bathroom as fast as my legs would take me, locking myself inside. I couldn't help it—I started to cry.
I tried to stay quiet, mostly because I was embarrassed for being such a coward. I turned on the water, splashed some on my face, and wet the edge of my towel so I could start sloughing the sand away from my skin. It stung like a bitch, so I moved toward the shower against the wall and turned it on. In no time, I was smooth and clean. I dried off, re-wrapped my sarong, and slung my towel over the top of my bag.
I was in no hurry to walk out of the bathroom, but I knew I couldn't just hide in there all day long. I took another glance in the mirror to make sure I didn't look all puffy and red, then squared my shoulders to walk out.
As soon as I stepped outside I was assaulted by a very large, very tanned bare chest. I jumped back—startled, and clasped my hand over my heart. A low, rumbling chuckle pulled my attention up and into the eyes of the most handsome boy I’d ever seen.
But, he wasn't really a boy. He looked like a… man. He was much taller than I was, with stunning hazel green eyes, broad shoulders, and a heart-stopping smile.
I was shell-shocked. He was definitely not what I expected to see when I walked out, and I found myself unable to move. I could feel my breath quicken as he looked me over from head to toe, and I could do nothing but stare.
My head told me to book it. Run. Get the hell out of there. I was basically cornered by him and his friends, and my friends were too far away to hear if I called out for them.
I was trapped. He crossed his arms across his chest, and I watched in utter amazement as his pectoral muscles twitched and flexed.
An unconscious shudder shook my body, and I pulled my bag in front of me like a hemp straw shield. A barking laugh from behind him startled me out of the staring contest we were having, and I moved aside slightly so that I could get around him.
"Hey, hey, hey," he said, slapping the palms of his hands against the concrete wall behind me, caging me in. "Where you goin', cookie?" he asked. He dipped his head lower, trying to look into my eyes.
I dropped my chin and stared at my feet. I started to shake, and I could feel my eyes burn with the urge to cry. He was so imposing—intimidating.
"Please… my friends are waiting on me," I said meekly.
A strong, warm finger curled around my chin and lifted my face to look at him. I couldn't look away. His eyes were still vibrant and beautiful, but they held concern, and it changed his whole face.
"I'm not gonna hurt you, cookie. I just wanted to say hi."
"Hi," I breathed.
He chuckled again, but this time it was melodic and so beautiful that it made my knees wobble. He pulled away from the wall to stand in front of me and smiled wider, making the corners of his eyes crinkle.
"What's your name?" he asked.
"Jenna," I whispered.
"Jen-ah," he said as he leaned in and whispered in my ear. "I'm Royal."
I felt my eyes roll into the back of my head when I felt his breath on the skin of my ear. Hearing my name fall from his lips did things to my insides that I'd never experienced before. An unattractive and rather embarrassing squeak escaped my lips as he pulled away from me, igniting a mischievous glint in his eyes.
"You kind of smell like a cookie, too. Sweet… and warm," he said in a low voice.
I gave him a questioning look and tipped my head. "Why are you calling me that?" I kind of felt like he was making fun of me, but I wasn't sure what it meant. Just another reminder of how stupid and young I was.
He laughed again and brushed his large, warm hand over my bare shoulder. "You looked like a cookie, all covered in crumbles," he laughed.
I blushed and smiled down at my feet. I realized how silly I looked when I walked up, covered in sand. "It was sand," I said dumbly.
"Obviously," he said with a tinge of humor.
We stood there for a few minutes just staring at each other, and I started to feel weird. Even though I could’ve looked at him all day long, he made me nervous. He was so arrogant and confident, and obviously older than I was. I needed to get back to the group—safety in numbers.
"I… um… gotta go," I stuttered. I shifted my feet back and forth and clenched my bag a little tighter to my chest as I watched his eyes wander my form once again.
No one had ever looked at me that way. No one had ever paid that much attention, honestly. I was flattered, but anxious about what his attention meant.
"Why don't you hang out? I want to talk to you for a while," he said, backing up and leaning against the wall across from me.
I tried not to look at him, afraid that if I got caught up in those eyes again I'd be a goner. As it was, I would see his gorgeous face as soon as I closed my eyes to dream. I didn't think I would ever see a more handsome boy as long as I lived.
But, I was Jenna Caplan, and I was a total loser.
"I can't. My friends are waiting for me, and they're going to come looking," I said, hoping there was some kind of threat behind my words that he would read into. Apparently, he wasn't going to be that easy to get rid of.
"Is it your boyfriend?" he asked.
"No!" I said quickly, and cringed at the way it sounded. "I mean, no, my boyfriend isn't waiting."
I watched as his eyebrow lifted and his smile widened. "So, you have a boyfriend, Jenna? Maybe I should go warn him that I'm going to steal his girl," he smirked.
I narrowed my eyes at him. He was being such a pompous ass. The sweet boy was gone, and I was no longer interested in his games. "I don't have a boyfriend, so you can just forget it. Let me go," I said. Even to my own ears, it sounded like a lie. Every other part of my anatomy wanted to stay with him, but my brain was yelling and screaming, and I was listening.
He moved away from the wall and spread his arms, giving me a wide berth. I took a look around me, eyeing the other boys he was with, before putting my feet in motion and running like hell. I caught up to the girls quickly and flopped down on the sand next to them.
"Where the hell have you been? Did you have to dig sand out of your cracks?" Carissa said, snorting.
I rolled my eyes and turned over on my side to face them. I held myself up on my elbow and smiled like the starry eyed girl I was. "I think I'm in love," I sighed, and then giggled.
They both looked at me like I was crazy and sat up simultaneously on their knees. "What the hell, Jenna! You weren't gone that long! Where were you?" Abbie asked.
I fell back on the towel and threw my arm over my eyes to shield them from the sun. "The bathroom. His name is Royal, and he is so fine…" I said dreamily.
And there you have it! Be sure to stop on over and give Jeanne some love!!
See ya next week!!