Talk about a crazy day. I overslept and my day job is insane, but enough of that.
Today is release day for me. My first book with Loose Id. I'm very excited about this book and enjoying writing about a heroine who wasn't Barbie sized. Check out Adrift available now.
Here's a little taste. If you want more there's a longer excerpt up on the Loose Id website. :o)
“I expect everyone to be there.” Mr. Carlton stood up and continued talking to the small group in the conference room. “My wife looks forward to this every year, so I don’t want to disappoint her. There will be boats at the dock to take people back and forth to Carlton Island.”
Kari cringed just thinking about getting into a boat and being escorted over to her boss’s island. The last thing she wanted to do over her weekend was spend it with him and fellow coworkers. Kari enjoyed the peace and serenity of her apartment. She didn’t have to make small talk except with Pepper, her cat.
Last year she’d been able to get out of the company picnic, but something told her this time she wouldn’t be so lucky.
“This is bullshit.”
Kari swiveled her chair to see who else felt like she did, but was brave enough to voice his opinion. She was met with the most amazing blue eyes.
Her heart caught in her throat. Was he speaking to me?
Ben Eckhart hadn’t uttered a word to her in the three years he’d worked at Carlton Technologies. Kari had admired him from afar, knowing he’d never be interested in someone like her. She wasn’t a size 2 pinup model like Ben probably dated.
“Does he think we don’t have a life outside of work?”
He was talking to her.
Hanging out on her deck with a book wasn’t in the cards for her this weekend.
“Have you ever been?” he asked.
“Once. I’ve managed to escape all the other yearly get-togethers, but I don’t see that happening this weekend.”
“I heard people have gotten let go for not attending.”
She’d heard that too, but thankfully it hadn’t happened to her. With the economy in dire straits, she wasn’t risking it this year. “That’s what they say. I can’t afford to take any chances. I’ll be going.”
“Me too, I guess.”
Kari groaned inwardly. She didn’t want to spend the weekend lusting over Ben. At work she could cover up her scars, but on Carlton Island she’d be expected to dress more casually.
Maybe she could think of a way out of this.
“Spouses and significant others are more than welcome too,” Mr. Carlton continued.
Kari turned her attention back to her boss. Right about now, she wished she had someone in her life she could bring along to ease the pain of watching Ben. Fortunately he wasn’t aware of her feelings for him.
He leaned closer to her chair and whispered in her ear. “You bringing someone?” Heat from his breath trickled down her neck, straight to her core. Images of Ben wearing only swim trunks filled her mind. She pictured a hard, smooth chest and abs of steel she could run her fingers along.
“No,” she snapped.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you.”
She swiveled her chair slightly and glanced over her shoulder. His lips were close. Close enough that if she leaned just a little bit, she could graze them with her own. “I didn’t mean to snap. I’m just really frustrated about having to go this weekend. I’m going alone.”
“Hmmm. I guess I’ll see you there.”
Mr. Carlton ended the meeting. Kari gathered her notebook, pen, and coffee mug before heading back to her office. She wondered if Ben would be coming alone or if he would be bringing some lucky lady.
She prayed he came alone. He’d broken the ice by talking to her in the meeting. Maybe they could get to know each other better over the weekend.
As she sat in her chair, she realized she was fooling herself. Ben would never be interested in a size 12 disfigured woman. Even if he did show an interest, Kari couldn’t take her clothes off for him. Her scars were a reminder that she’d never have a love life again. It was bad enough that the memories of that horrible night still haunted her; visible scars stared back from the mirror. They screamed at her, taunting that she’d be lonely the rest of her life.