Author Topic: Indie Romance thread--announcements, questions, pitches!  (Read 353511 times)  

Offline 25803

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Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
« Reply #100 on: November 28, 2010, 10:43:49 am »
Kathy, would mind mentioning a few names? I'd like to take a look at their product pages to see how they've done things (product description, pricing, etc).

I discovered that the product description for Close Proximity is all wrong: wrong plot, wrong charater names.  :-\ I contacted Amazon but have heard nothing from them.

Check out Cait London.  I know a few others, but since they've published them under a publisher name, I'm not sure I should mention.

How weird about the wrong product description!

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    Offline Dana Taylor

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #101 on: November 28, 2010, 11:54:14 am »
    Hi Girlfriends--

    Special wave to Donna Fasano (just thinking about you this morning)!  Thanks to any and all who have purchased my wares.  Terri, I must admit I'm jealous of your numbers.  Good for you!

    Kathy, I'm going to check you out.  I've got a list of this list going.

    Donna, keep us posted about the foul ups at Amazon on your backlist books (Think it's great they are there in any fashion)!  I wish I could do something about the "also read" list that shows with "Devil Moon."  It's all vampires and horror stuff and "Moon" is a light, funny read more along the line of Cecilia Ahearn or Jennifer Cruisie. Sigh.  Also, when they did the sample read of the original paperback version, they went with Chapter One instead of the Prologue.  So, if anybody read it, it didn't make much sense.

    Well, anyway, onward and upward!

    Dana Taylor (currently reading "Flurries")
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    Offline terrireid

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #102 on: November 28, 2010, 12:21:03 pm »
    Hi Girlfriends--

    Special wave to Donna Fasano (just thinking about you this morning)!  Thanks to any and all who have purchased my wares.  Terri, I must admit I'm jealous of your numbers.  Good for you!

    Kathy, I'm going to check you out.  I've got a list of this list going.

    Donna, keep us posted about the foul ups at Amazon on your backlist books (Think it's great they are there in any fashion)!  I wish I could do something about the "also read" list that shows with "Devil Moon."  It's all vampires and horror stuff and "Moon" is a light, funny read more along the line of Cecilia Ahearn or Jennifer Cruisie. Sigh.  Also, when they did the sample read of the original paperback version, they went with Chapter One instead of the Prologue.  So, if anybody read it, it didn't make much sense.

    Well, anyway, onward and upward!

    Dana Taylor (currently reading "Flurries")

    Thanks for keeping this going, Dana!

    Terri

    Offline mamiller

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #103 on: November 28, 2010, 12:27:26 pm »
    I think the best "incorrect product description" story was when Barnes and Noble got all messed up with their covers, and my WIDOW'S TALE (a romantic suspense) had Martin Luther King Jr. on the cover!   ::)

    Offline DonnaFaz

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #104 on: November 28, 2010, 12:29:19 pm »
    Dana, could you contact Amazon dtp and tell them you want the sample to include the prologue? I would. Just a humble suggestion.

    ~Donna~

    Offline DonnaFaz

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #105 on: November 28, 2010, 12:30:56 pm »
    I think the best "incorrect product description" story was when Barnes and Noble got all messed up with their covers, and my WIDOW'S TALE (a romantic suspense) had Martin Luther King Jr. on the cover!   ::)

    That's funny! I'll bet that looked very strange to you. How long did the problem last?

    Did they fix it, or did you contact them? If you contacted them, who did you contact?

    ~Donna~

    Offline mamiller

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #106 on: November 28, 2010, 12:34:31 pm »
    They fixed it within a few days.   Our own Ed Patterson spotted where my actual cover went, and it was on an author that wrote ummmm...errrrrr...welllll..."romance" that was much stronger than mine, if you know what I mean  ;D

    Offline Maria Romana

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #107 on: November 28, 2010, 02:11:46 pm »
    They fixed it within a few days.   Our own Ed Patterson spotted where my actual cover went, and it was on an author that wrote ummmm...errrrrr...welllll..."romance" that was much stronger than mine, if you know what I mean  ;D

    Geez, Louise!  I wonder how that happened?  What a major mess-up; I have to think those three books were not the only ones involved. Sounds like some poor programmer or database guy was going on that chopping block that day!

    Offline Kristie Leigh Maguire

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #108 on: November 28, 2010, 05:58:46 pm »
    Thanks for reviving this thread. I would like to post a couple of my romances here.


    Available for only $2.99 - From the scorching sun of the Mojave Desert to the brilliant neon lights of Las Vegas, the sexy steel magnolia Marcie Treyhorne blazes a trail of passion through the desert sands. Her heart is torn in half as her desire for her new boss grows into a raging inferno while her love for her longtime husband remains as steadfast as the ancient desert mountains that surround Mojave Junction, California. Don't expect the typical romance story with this novel. There are no shrinking violets or shy maidens who long to be taken against their will in DESERT HEAT. Get swept away into a world of sex and passionif you dare!

    Maguire singes readers' eyes with the fire of her love scenes. - Romantic Times Book Club Magazine


    Available for only $2.99 - The beautiful and sexy Marcie Treyhorne is a steel magnolia who knows what she wants and isnt afraid to go after it. Marcie's story began in DESERT HEAT. Her saga continues in CABIN FEVER. Marcie leaves the blistering heat of the desert but the searing passion she carries to the northern Nevada mountains will melt the deepest of winter snows. Author Janet Elaine Smith states, "...the ending is a twist that will hit you like a runaway train! You won't want to miss this one!"


     
    Kristie Leigh Maguire - Romance Author

    Offline stacyjuba

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #109 on: November 28, 2010, 06:37:51 pm »
    Thank you for the invitation! I have a mystery/romance novel titled Twenty-Five Years Ago Today about obit writer/newspaper editorial assistant Kris Langley, who stumbles across a 25-year-old murder on the microfilm. The book is on sale over the holidays for $1.99. 



    Here is a blurb:

    Kris Langley has always been obsessed with murder. She blames herself for the violent death of her cousin when they were kids and has let guilt invade every corner of her existence. Now an editorial assistant and obit writer for a Massachusetts newspaper, Kris stumbles across an unsolved murder while compiling 25 Years Ago Today items from the microfilm. She grows fascinated with the cold case of a young cocktail waitress who was bludgeoned to death and dumped in the woods. Determined to solve the case and atone for the death of her cousin, Kris immerses herself in the mystery of what happened to Diana Ferguson, a talented artist who expressed herself through haunting paintings of Greek mythology.

    Not only does Kris face resistance from her family and her managing editor, she also clashes with Dianas suspicious nephew, Eric Soares until neither she nor Eric can deny the chemistry flaring between them. She soon learns that old news never leaves the morgue and that yesterday's headline is tomorrow's danger, for finding out the truth about that night twenty-five years ago may shatter Kriss present, costing her love, her career, and ultimately, her life.

    If you'd like to read one of the romance scenes in the book, you can follow this link: http://saturdayeveningromance.blogspot.com/2010/05/twenty-five-years-ago-today-by-stacy.html?zx=7e83b0aac60728cd

    Here are a couple of reviews:

    "Edgy suspense and sweet romance make for an enjoyable read. Pat Elliott, BookLoons

    This was a very intriguing and captivating book. I found myself carrying it with me whenever I thought I may have a few minutes to read while waiting on something. On top of that, this book stayed in my head even when I was not reading it. I loved the characters that Ms. Juba has so clearly laid out for her readers. The subplots of the book were also quite fascinating. Kris Langley is a character that you will remember long after you have completed reading this book." Lynn Cunningham, Fresh Fiction
    I'm the author of 10 published books including the Hockey Rivals series for young adults, the Storybook Valley chick lit series, mystery novels, and the patriotic children's book The Flag Keeper. I also teach the Book Editing Blueprint online writing class, helping authors who need guidance on how to edit a book, and am a freelance developmental editor. My goal is to save writers from overwhelm, showing them how to edit their own writing.
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    Offline Daphne

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #110 on: November 29, 2010, 02:38:34 am »
    I posted on here in June, but would like to update with the addition of Purple Lake, the love story in which Amelia starts to mend her broken heart on meeting Alain, who has been driven into the life of a reclusive artist by tragic events in his own life. The cover is my own painting of the view at dawn from the farmhouse in Brittany described in the book.



    Thanks, Dana! :)
    « Last Edit: November 29, 2010, 02:42:18 am by Daphne »

    Daphne Coleridge

    Offline Dana Taylor

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #111 on: November 29, 2010, 12:50:37 pm »
    Hi gang!

    How about posting some snippets here?  I'll start:  This is from the Beaver Cover High School dance scene from "Devil Moon: A Mystic Romance".  Maddie is the Assistant Principal; Phil is the new football coach.  The are polar opposites.  Prior to this scene, Phil broke up a fight between two tough teens.
     
      The lights changed, drenching the whole room in a blue tint and Randy began the strains of Blue Moon.
      Phil gently tugged on her hand and brought her close to him, swaying to the haunting love song. He held her far enough away from his body to look into her face and talk. "You know how to cut a rug, Miss Harris. But you're a little idiot, you know that don't you?"
      Her eyes flashed darkly and she tried to push away. "You are the most insulting person I have ever met."
      He squeezed her hand and tightened his grip at her waist. "Getting between two raging bulls isn't a bright move. You could have gotten hurt by those guys, sweetheart."
      She looked down. "Oh...I suppose so. I just thought they'd stop."
      "Honey, never get between two males during mating season."
      She tilted her head up, meeting his gaze. "I'll try to remember that. Thanks for coming to the rescue."
      "Anytime, cupcake, anytime."
      They continued rocking as Randy's mellow voice crooned about a blue moon and longing for someone to care for. Throbbing music. Pulsing heartbeats.
    Maddie couldn't take her gaze away from Phil's face. In the shadowy light he appeared so strong, his square jaw and chiseled features supremely male. A serious, compelling expression replaced the smart aleck smirk. His intense gaze held her as firmly in place as his brawny arms. Something was happening here. She could feel it, a spinning of invisible threads twisting around them as the music played on. She imagined a blue cocoon materializing out of the notes pouring from the bandstand.
      "What do your friends call you?" he asked.
      "Maddie," she said softly.
      Maddie. He liked it. It promised the soft underside of the hard surfaced Madeleine. The cashmere under his hand on her lower back had a sensual feel and he moved his fingers ever so slightly over the texture. He couldn't remember the last time he had felt this good. For the moment the usual burden of bitterness, frustration, guilt and cynicism lifted from his shoulders and life seemed to have possibilities. Looking into the wide eyes of Maddie Harris, he felt like the man he was supposed to be.
      They finished the dance locked in each other's gaze knowing something beyond words was transpiring between them. Something that transcended the mere sexual attraction of a slow dance. Reflections from the mirrored ball glinted on their faces with hypnotizing rhythm, shadow and light, sparkle and space. Like being caught in the beam of that ol Devil Moon
     
    Who's next?

    Dana
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    Offline AnneMarie Novark

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #112 on: December 04, 2010, 09:32:39 am »
    Here's a snippet from my Contemporary Western The Doctor Wears A Stetson:


    When the song ended, he took her by the elbow and led her away into the night. He was breathing hard, walking fast. Jessie had to run to keep up with him. She tried to free her arm, but Cameron ignored her.
     
    "What are you doing? Where are you taking me?" she whispered furiously, glancing back at the diminishing lights surrounding the dance floor.

    "I'm taking you someplace where we can be alone. We need to be alone."

    Cameron pulled Jessie to the side of the huge implement barn, away from prying eyes. He held her for a moment, hugging her close. "I've wanted to do this all evening."

    The savage yearning in his voice flowed over Jessie like a blanket of pure desire. An answering ache in the pit of her stomach begged for fulfillment. Tori's punch clouded all reason. Jessie's body burned for one man; she had always burned for one man. He was here, holding her, wanting her.

    Cameron touched her cheek, sliding his fingers into her hair, tangling them in the silky bonds. With infinite gentleness, he brought her lips close to his mouth. She felt his breath mingle with hers. The effects of the punch, combined with the intoxicating nearness of Cameron's body, pushed all thoughts of resistance to the back of Jessie's mind.

    ###

    Remember:  Life's too short not to love a Texan!!!

    Happy Reading!!!

    Anne Marie   :)

    Offline Dana Taylor

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #113 on: December 04, 2010, 01:20:28 pm »
    Hi Anne-Marie--

    I enjoyed your "snippet."  I jotted down your book.  I have to have an infusion of Texas every once in a while.  I lived in Oklahoma for many years and miss the accents and the cowboy hats.

    Thanks--

    Dana
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    Offline Kenneth Rosenberg

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #114 on: December 04, 2010, 01:22:21 pm »
    Hey, good idea on the snippets!  Here's mine from No Cure for the Broken Hearted:

    The moon was rising in the sky now and the first evening stars began to show.  They stood face to face, staring into one anothers eyes.  Katherine felt a stirring of emotions that shed never known before.  Fear foremost, mixed with desire.  Fear of the unknown.  Desire to be grasped in his arms.

    I suppose a lot of guys buy you jewelry, huh?  Back home? he asked.

    No.  Youre the first, she admitted.

    I find that hard to believe.  Nick reached out and took her hands in his.  You know, I didnt want to stay here this summer at all.  It was like a prison sentence for me.  But now I couldnt bear to leave. 

    Nick leaned forward slowly until his mouth brushed hers ever so softly.  They lingered close together; afraid to continue yet unable to pull away.   Katherine wrapped her arms around him as his hands came to rest on her waist.  She tilted her head back slightly and closed her eyes.  Nick pressed his lips to hers.  It was Katherines very first kiss and her life would never be the same.


    Kenneth Rosenberg | author website | blog | facebook | twitter

    Offline Linda Acaster

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #115 on: December 05, 2010, 01:02:46 pm »
    Thanks for suggesting snippets. Here's mine from Beneath The Shining Mountains, an 86k word HistRom set among the Apsaroke on the northern plains in the 1830s. I used to belong to a UK re-enacting group - yeah, weird, right? Well, the novel's not. It's a tumultuous romance with plenty of story.

    Moon Hawk's love for Winter Man is unrequitted: why would a man with so many lovers want to take a wife? And then she comes up with a plan...

       The small, shrivelled turnip caught Winter Man full on the base of the neck. The blow did not unseat him, but made him lurch to such an extent that his horse shied. Regaining control he swung round, astonishment sharpening his high cheekbones and widening his eyes.
       Did you throw that?
    Moon Hawk swallowed her fear and lifted her chin. I didnt mean to hit you, she said. My throw was wild.
       Wild? No womans throw can be that wild!
       Moon Hawk flashed her eyes at him to give her words more vehemence. I slipped, she said, and pointed behind her to some imaginary obstacle in the grass. Do you think I would waste a hit on you?
       She glanced across to the young people disporting themselves in the sunshine. As she knew he would, Winter Man followed her gaze. She looked back at him in time to see his face registering utter disbelief that any young woman would prefer someone of no account to him.
       I am Winter Man! he bellowed indignantly. I am a Good Young Man.
       Moon Hawk gave a casual shrug of her shoulders. I know that.
       Her reply seemed to cut him to the quick. She took a step towards her friends.
       Ha! Winter Man spat after her. Your lover seems to have deserted you. No boy waits for you that I can see.
       Moon Hawks heart sang. Hed drawn on the bait as her mother had said he would. She swallowed her smile of excitement and turned back to him with a look of disdain.
       Lover? I have no lover! I am chaste. Theres not a man alive who can entice me.

    5* reviews: ... should be listed with the Classics. The story mesmerized me, with its rich detail and strong emotions...
    ...It is an epic, heroic world, where wealth is measured in horses and warriors win pride and honour by the dangerous sport of stealing horses from rival peoples...

    Thanks for reading!

    Linda Acaster | Website | Newsletter | Twitter

    Offline terryr

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #116 on: December 05, 2010, 01:43:21 pm »
    I like snippets. :) Here's a snippet from my romance/sci fi Discovery, on sale through New Year for 99 cents (79 pence in UK):

    ***
    ...As he returned, in the dim, clouded moonlight, he saw Povres empty jumpsuit spread over a tree limb. And another garment, a thinner one, still one piece.

    "You cant leave these out here, theyll be soaked with dew by morning." He retrieved the garments, rolling them the same way he would roll his jacket and shirt to use as padding beneath his head once he was settled. Then he stopped short. "Damn."

    What did that leave on her?

    He found out soon enough and nearly bolted from the tent. From what he could tell, she was entirely nude. He gulped. Then again, the flash of a bare shoulder didnt mean she didnt have some sort of strapless covering on

    "I doubt it." He swore again, softly.

    Great. He had to sleep in a narrow sleeping bag with a naked alien an attractive, beautiful, soft-as-chamois female alien who looked all too human in all the right places.

    "Its that or freeze. So what am I complaining about? Sleeping with Povre is a much better alternative. What the hell one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind"

    He could see the supermarket tabloid headlines. I Slept with an Alien. Amazing TRUE photos!

    "Knt." Her husky voice interrupted his thoughts. "You are baby-man, yes? Or no?" She sounded scolding and just a bit amused. "I not bite. Not carn-ee-vor."

    He couldnt move or speak at the moment, fighting an internal battle.

    The she started squirming out of the bag. "I sleep out."

    "No! You sleep in. Too cold out here. Im coming" Bad word choice. "Im getting in." He punched himself in the thigh. Lord. Couldnt he say a simple sentence without a double meaning smacking him right where it hurt the most? "Ill sleep in the sleeping bag with you. But I warn you, no kissing, either. Just sleep."

    "No kiss? Kiss make warm I, you." Was that a smile in her voice?

    Kent stripped off his socks. "No. Absolutely no kissing. For your information Im not the sort of person who engages in casual sleeping with an alien." He tried not to laugh. "At least not on the first date."
    ***
    I need more coffee.

    Offline SuzanneTyrpak

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #117 on: December 05, 2010, 08:18:31 pm »
    These snippets are fun to read. Great thread. I'd do a snippet, but it probably wouldn't sound too romantic.

    Offline Lacey Diamond

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #118 on: December 05, 2010, 09:19:17 pm »
    Keep plugging away and hope your work is good enough that a few readers will get a buzz going about your book.

    Lacey

    Offline Dana Taylor

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #119 on: December 06, 2010, 12:13:49 pm »
    I love these.  From Westerns, to Indians to Aliens.  Come on Suzanne.  Give us a snippet of a Vibrator!

    Dana
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    Offline terryr

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #120 on: December 06, 2010, 02:22:23 pm »
    I love these.  From Westerns, to Indians to Aliens.  Come on Suzanne.  Give us a snippet of a Vibrator!

    Dana

    Yes--and I loved your Eulogy over on Red Adept's thread. Snippet! (I just have to wait a few months before I can buy any more books. :/)
    I need more coffee.

    Offline Dana Taylor

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #121 on: December 07, 2010, 12:40:09 pm »
    For the holidays Valerie Maarten put together a list of Indie Authors from Amazon that includes Romances, among others.

    Check it out: http://www.amazon.com/lm/R1108DUARP28EE/ref=cm_lm_pthnk_view?ie=UTF8&lm_bb&tag=533633855-20

    Dana Taylor
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    Offline 28612

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #122 on: December 07, 2010, 03:43:46 pm »
    A great thread, Dana -- thanks for starting and continuing it.

    I'm just getting onto Kindleboards (this is my 2nd post!) -- I'll come back and actually tell some about my books a bit later, if that's okay.

    Pat McL, the new kid  ;)

    Offline Dana Taylor

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #123 on: December 07, 2010, 06:05:41 pm »
    A great thread, Dana -- thanks for starting and continuing it.

    I'm just getting onto Kindleboards (this is my 2nd post!) -- I'll come back and actually tell some about my books a bit later, if that's okay.

    Pat McL, the new kid  ;)

    Hi Pat--
    Welcome to Kindleboards!  At least you have conquered getting the bookcovers in your signature.  That took me a bunch of tries.  They look inviting.  I'll be interested in reading your snippets.

    Dana
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    Offline 28612

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    Re: Indie Romance novelists post here
    « Reply #124 on: December 08, 2010, 10:32:17 am »
    Okay, here goes ... This is from PRINCIPAL OF LOVE, an e-book original.

    Josh is the high school principal in Drago, Illinois, and a single father of three -- Xena, Topher and Livvy. (Weird names explained in the book  :) ) Vanessa is CFO of a high-tech company and its point person on a charity project to build a computer lab in town. Josh is the town's rep on the project.  Fay is a high school student who's had an emergency. To let Josh go help her, Vanessa went several miles out of her comfort zone by looking after his kids for the evening.

    * * * *
    Josh had his key in the lock but hadnt turned it when the door opened.

    Youve been gone forever. Xena took his briefcase, placing it beside the bookcase where he left his keys.

    "Hows Fay?

    Shell be okay. You did the right thing, but you should be in bed, Xena. He shrugged out of his raincoat and hung it up. Why are you still up?

    She rolled her eyes. Like I would go to bed.

    Concern rose up. Livvy?

    Shes in bed, asleep. Finally.

    His daughters disapproval said Vanessa hadnt met Xenas schedule. But few babysitters reached Xenas lofty expectations. Joshs concern ebbed. Topher?

    Oh, hes having a fine time. Though he should have been in bed an hour ago.

    Halfway down the length of the living room, he became aware of low voices from the breakfast area.
    He stopped at the archway, taking in Vanessa and Topher, their heads close together. They were drawing on the same piece of paper, even though they had enough paper spread out to allow a score of pages each.

    Theyve been at it forever, Xena said in disgust.

    At what?

    His daughter shrugged, disavowing any knowledge or interest.

    Vanessa? Josh pitched his voice louder than usual. How did it go?

    Topher jumped, looking not only startled but . . . wary?

    Before he could double-check his sons expression or his own reaction to it Vanessas acknowledgement of his presence caught his attention.

    She raised her head as if in slow motion, blinking like she was waking up. When recognition came into her eyes, she smiled.

    At him. Directly into his eyes. Also like someone waking up. Like a woman waking up after a long, satisfying night, and giving her lover that special, intimate morning-after smile.

    Hi, Josh. Her voice was morning-after husky, too. It brushed nerve-endings all through his body. Hows Fay?

    Shes doing okay. What are you two working on so intently?

    A machine to wash babies.

    It was his turn to blink. What?

    Not newborn babies, Vanessa amended. Theyre too delicate."

    They got this stupid idea from giving Livvy her bath, Xena said, contradicting her earlier statement that she had no idea what they were doing.

    But once theyre old enough to follow instructions, Vanessa continued as if Xena hadnt spoken.

    And you should see what she did to the kitchen, Xena added.

    The kitchen? Two steps to the side and he could see all the way into that room. It looks fine.

    Now, maybe, Xena said scornfully, but it was a disaster.

    In fact, Josh said, noticing gleaming surfaces. It looks really good.

    Topher helped, Vanessa said.

    Did you? Josh smiled, but the boy didnt raise his head.

    I better get to bed, he said in his usual mumble.

    Thats a good idea, Josh said. You, too, Xena.

    His daughter glared, turned on her heel and pounded up the stairs. What was that about?

    He was about to call her to come down and say good-night and thank you to Vanessa, when Vanessas words to Topher interrupted him.

    so it could be an intriguing project for the Science Fair. Although, I do like your other ideas.

    Science Fair? Youre planning to enter the Science Fair? Topher wasnt old enough to qualify automatically.
    Youd have to get a waiver.

    I havent decided. Its not till spring.

    I know, but if you want to, youll need a waiver.

    I dunno, Topher mumbled. He clutched the paper to his chest as he looked at Vanessa. Good night, Ms. Irish. Thank you.

    He said those words distinctly. Then, as he passed Josh on the way to the stairway, he reverted to his usual mumble for a Night.

    Josh sighed as he sank into Tophers deserted spot beside Vanessa, who was organizing the remaining papers.

    Youve definitely made a conquest, he said.

    Her eyes flashed to his, then away. Topher? Her would-be light tone carried a thread of strain. If we get along well, that would barely bring me to the break-even point with your children.

    Oh? Edginess rose up. Hed had this conversation with women before.

    Livvy and I wrestled to a tie. Xena hates me.

    She said it with no heat, no emotion. But he knew his lines.  Im sure Xena doesnt hate you. Im sure she holds you in high regard

    If you believe that, I have to adjust my assessment of either your intelligence or your honesty.

    Taken aback, Josh met her eyes, and saw only facing-the-facts calm.

    A spurt of sound escaped him. Part chuckle, part relieved sigh, part groan. He didnt need to mollify this womans hurt feelings, or pretend his daughter adored her. He could be honest.


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