Writer Wednesday – Barbara Ehrentreu

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1. Who are you?
My name is Barbara Ehrentreu. I write under Barbara Ehrentreu.

2.What type of stuff do you write?
I write YA and poetry.

3. What do you want to pimp now?
My second novel, After, is going to be in print in September. After is a story about the struggles Lauren Walstein, a fifteen-year-old girl, has to go through when her father suddenly has a heart attack and undergoes bypass surgery. In one phone call her life changes completely. Lauren is a character with whom most teens will relate. Her best friend since kindergarten, Joey, is going out with her enemy and they have grown apart. Before the phone call all she thought about was getting a scholarship for softball, and the Mets. Suddenly she must deal with both her father’s illness and being in school. The demands on her from both ends complicate the story. In the middle of all this, she finds she is developing feelings for her best friend that are more than friendly. Is he feeling the same or is he just comforting her? In addition there is Joey’s mean girl friend Amber, who doesn’t appreciate Lauren being in the picture. Will Lauren’s father recover? How will Lauren cope with her new feelings for Joey?

Also I am working on the sequel to If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor called “Jennifer’s Story”. Jennifer Taylor, the girl who bullied Carolyn Samuels in the first book is getting ready for a very big meet that will decide her fate. Will she be training for the Olympics or will she have missed her chance? As the day gets closer for the meet she finds she is reverting back to her old eating disorder and that her parents are creating problems for her as well. Her father is running for mayor and her mother is drinking. Having to navigate these issues is making Jennifer crazy. She does have her good friend Carolyn and Brad her boyfriend to help her through it. However, Jennifer is still worried she might not get on the training team. Also, Maura, Jennifer’s oldest friend, has a new boyfriend who seems to be paying way too much attention to Jennifer. Will he cause a problem in her relationship with Brad?This is still a WIP, but I hope to submit it soon.

4. What is your favorite book?
When I was younger it was Alice in Wonderland. Then I loved Rebecca by Daphne de Maurier. Now my favorite books are by Dennis Lehane and Jim Butcher. I loved The Given Day by Dennis Lehane and The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. But it’s hard, because I am constantly reading such good books from my author friends.

5. What other hats do you wear besides the writer hat?
In addition to writing I am also a tutor. I am a retired Reading Specialist so I work with students who have difficulty in school due to reading problems. I am also a mother with two adult daughters.

6. What links can we find you at?
Find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraEhrentreu

Twitter: @Barbehr

My blog: http://barbaraehrentreu.blogspot.com

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The best writing advice I can give to newbies

When I was first starting out I only knew I loved to write and the opportunity came for me when I was stuck in a hotel between places to live. My entire family consisting of two daughters and my husband, all adults, were squeezed into a two bedroom hotel room for a month and a half while we waited for our new place to be vacated. So every night I would tap on my computer and I finished writing an entire novel in that time. I revised it and had other people read it and then I thought it was ready to send to publishers. I got constant rejections and I gave up. It was a children’s fantasy and no one wanted it. Then I wrote another novel, this time it was YA and sent it to my critique group and they gave me excellent criticism. Then I had beta readers read it and they liked it. So I thought, great, this was ready to send out. I went to several SCBWI conferences and the editors gave us permission to send to them. So I started doing that and was met with rejection by every big 5 publisher. I put my novel away. I thought it would never get published, but a friend of mine was starting up a new publishing company. So I pitched it and she wanted it. This was such a long shot I thought I would never get it published. But I persevered and it did get published. First as an ebook and then in print.

My advice to anyone who is a newbie is to keep on trying. Take those rejections and save them and keep trying. Attend as many conferences as you can both physical and online. Online writing conferences are good places to meet all kinds of people. There are editors and publishers mixing with authors and writers. Physical conferences are good places to meet people too. Everyone mingles and you can meet editors and publishers across the table from you. Make the most of every opportunity to learn more about your craft. Workshops are excellent to take so you can hone your skills. Gather as many friends on Facebook and Twitter as you can and definitely start a blog if you don’t have one. Another great idea is to join writing groups both physically and online. All of this will help you to be a better writer and will immerse you in the world of writing and publishing. The last piece of advice I would give is again to keep on keeping on. Don’t give up if you feel your work is good. You are the one who is selling your work to other people. So tell people about your work whenever you can. Also if you can’t get it published the traditional way there is always self publishing these days for little or no money. If you want people to read your work you need to put it out there.

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Writer Wednesday – Benjamin Cheah

1. Who are you? (A name would be good here…preferably the one you write under)
Benjamin Cheah, indie writer, blogger and freelancer. Someday I will become a full-time writer.

2. What type of stuff do you write? (Besides shopping lists)
I write about the impact of disruptive technologies and ideas on people, how conflict between people and groups would evolve, and how society and individuals adapt. In my fiction I strive for high-intensity action sequences, plausible futuristic technologies, realistic tactics and strategies, and characters driven by personal codes and visions of tomorrow. My stories also tend to blend science fiction and fantasy tropes to varying degrees, with a strong bias towards hard science fiction, military and law enforcement, and spirituality.

3. What do you want to pimp right now? (May it be your newest, your work-in-progress, your favorite or even your first)
Keepers of the Flame, my first novel, which is the second entry in the American Heirs series. Set in a North America recovering from a global collapse, the Republic of Cascadia is attempting to restore civilization in the Pacific Northwest. However, at the edges of Cascadia’s Green Zone, the Sons of America are plotting to foment a revolution and restore the old United States. On the East Coast, a new American empire rises, and prepares to march west. And as the conflict heats up, in the digital infrastructure that underpins Cascadia, a machine god is born.

The full American Heirs saga is conceptualized as three core novels supplemented by three novellas. The novels cover the major events of the series, while the novellas focus on a single character. The first novella, American Sons, was published last year, and the second novella (the third entry) should be ready by the end of Q1 2015.

I’ve also sold a short story to Castalia House for its anthology Riding the Red Horse. Titled ‘War Crimes’, it tells the story of a shell-shocked solder who stands accused of massacring alien civilians and a journalist who wants to find the truth. You can find the anthology here.

4. What is your favorite book? (Okay, or two or three or… I know how writers are as readers.)
I don’t have favourite books so much as favourite writers, specifically those who inform my writing. Currently, the most important writers are:

Jim Butcher. His Dresden Files and Codex Alera series inspired my earliest stories. They still inform my writing, through their combination of high-octane action and characterisation.

Larry Correia. Guns, magic, B-movie monsters, fleshed-out characters, authentic action scenes, incredible worldbuilding, and he just keeps getting better. His Grimnoir series was also fairly similar to a story idea I had in my head – but much, much, better, so much so I had to revise it.

Barry Eisler. His flagship character, John Rain, is a Japanese-American hitman who lives in the shadows but yearns to get out of the life, a ronin looking for a cause but disappointed by what he found, someone with a foot in the East and West but fully belonging to neither. His characterisation is incredible, and so is his unflinching portrayal of counterterrorism and modern-day espionage. The realistic martial arts and well-researched technologies help.

Marcus Wynne. Former shooter turned writer, his stories capture the mindset of top-tier operators and how they see the world around them. Also, his Depossessionist series resembled another idea I had – but much better.

Tom Kratman. His Legion del Cid and M Day series are masterworks of military fiction. Not merely content with portraying modern war at the tactical level, they delve into politics, economics, impact of technology, strategy and philosophy. He even wrote a thinly-disguised handbook on training women for warfare. His works set the standards for my big war novels and series, such as Keepers of the Flame.

John C. Wright. Just about everything he writes is pure genius. His writing harkens to the Golden Age of science fiction and the pulp era, with fantastic technology and mind-boggling scales, characters who are true to their beliefs and products of their times, and his stories always point towards better and brighter tomorrows, albeit won through blood and fire.

5. What other hats do you wear besides the writer hat?
Professionally I write articles for lifestyle magazine Eastie Brekkie and website Mothership.sg, and work for local NGO the Pwee Foundation as a staff writer. I’m also available to take up writing and/or editing assignments. In between stories I write the script, churn out design documents, and hash out mechanics for my indie RPG project.

In other words…I don’t.

6. What link can we find you at? (One or two please; don’t go overboard here!)
I blog at www.benjamincheah.wordpress.com, while my professional writing page is at www.benjamincheah.com.

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Advice For New Writers

Figure out what kind of writer are you: why you write, and who you write for. This will inform the skills you need to develop.

If you’re a hobbyist, you write for fun and to pass time. The most useful skill to develop is perseverance. To finish the story, even if it feels bad or wrong or when it stops being fun. Finish the story, then work on the next one. The only reason to give up a story is to burn it up and write something better from the ashes.

If you’re writing for a community, you’re writing to entertain people. First, learn the above. Then, develop the craft and art of writing. The former are the tools of trade that build the story: plotting, characterisation, spelling, punctuation, grammar, and so on. The latter is derived from the former; how you wield the tools of the craft defines you, and makes you stand out among everybody else in the community. And keep in mind, how you feel about your story doesn’t matter; if your audience is not entertained, you’re likely doing something wrong.

If you’re writing stories for a publisher, you’re working. First learn the above. Then keep in mind that you are writing for your client, the publisher, and your audience. Sometimes your client and audience are one and the same, or else they have similar tastes. More realistically, both the writer and publisher will have different ideas over what the audience wants. You’ll need to work with your client to serve your audience, and that means reworking your story as needed and standing firm where you must, so that the both of you deliver the best story possible.

If you’re writing as a career, you’re a small business owner. Build upon the lessons of the above three stages of writing. Then, while perfecting your craft, study the industry. The industry is changing, and to make a career out of it you need to stay abreast of affairs and figure out how to best promote and sell your works. If you’re a self-publisher, you need to think like a publisher too, and study the ways of formatting, editing, cover and interior design, marketing communications, accounting, management and other business skills.

Notice that each step of the way builds upon the last, but at heart is the determination to write a good story and to keep on writing. Writing is no more and no less a skilled trade as any other; if you aspire to master writing, you must first master yourself.

Writer Wednesday – Lee Martindale

Who are you? (A name would be good here…preferably the one you write under)
Lee Martindale

What type of stuff do you write? (Besides shopping lists)
Short stories. More fantasy than anything else, but I do, on occasion, commit space opera and a little horror-lite.

What do you want to pimp right now?
Just released in trade paperback (and coming soon to Kindle & Nook), Bard’s Road: The Collected Fiction of Lee Martindale.  Twenty-nine of my stories, including hard-to-find reprints and four never-before-published works. Available from HarpHaven Publishing and Amazon.com

What is your favorite book? (Okay, or two or three or… I know how writers are as readers.)
Robert Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
Elizabeth Moon’s Heris Serrano and Vatta’s War series
Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series

What other hats do you wear besides the writer hat?
Anthology editor – I’ve put together two so far: Such A Pretty Face: Tales of Power and Abundance, and The Ladies of Trade Town.
Nano-press publisher – I own HarpHaven Publishing.
On the Board of Directors of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (2nd term))

What link can we find you at? (One or two please; don’t go overboard here!)
http://www.HarpHaven.net

 

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Rejection is the Advice of the Day

What’s the best advice I can give new writers? Come to terms with rejection or find another hobby.

Seriously. If a rejection ruins your whole day, sends you into the doldrums, makes you swear you’ll never write another word again, then you probably shouldn’t. If you react with anger, nastygrams to the rejecting editor or publisher, or long diatribes about how the rejecting entity doesn’t understand your vision or recognize your brilliance, you definitely shouldn’t. You don’t have the temperament for it.

Writing is a business. Publishing is a business. The decision to buy, or not buy, a story is a business decision, one with more components than whether or not a story is good. Perfectly good, sellable stories get rejected all the time for any one or more reasons. It may not fit the guidelines. It may not fit well with other stories already selected. It’s too similar to an already-selected story. The editor has two good stories that perfectly fit a particular slot, and the name of the writer of one of them on the cover will result in more sales. The reasons are many, all equally valid.

If you take rejection for what it is – that this particular story doesn’t fit this particular slot at this particular time for this particular editor – and get the rejected story out to the next potential market with no more than a “well, darn”, you’re in good company. We’ve all been there, will doubtlessly be there again many times. It’s part of the business.

 

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Writer Wednesday – Rita Webb

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Let’s start with the basics. Who are you?
Rita Webb, author of PLAYING HOOKY (the first book in the Paranormal Investigation series) and DAUGHTER OF THE GODDESS

Tell us (briefly) about you…
Wife to the sweetest man, mom of 3 extraordinary girls, adventurer, dancer, crazy lady.
I’m not a vampire (even if I am pale and allergic to the sun) or a werewolf (though I am married to one) or a faerie. I’m just a woman with an overactive imagination.

…and a bit about what you’ve written…
Loads of shorts stories (published in various anthologies), several unpublished novels, TEARS (my first novel, no longer in print), and the following novellas (currently available:

PLAYING HOOKY (Paranormal Investigations #1)
DAUGHTER OF THE GODDESS

…and what you’re working on right now.
My husband TJ and I are now writing together. We’re working on the sequels to PLAYING HOOKY:
BREAKING ANGELINA (Paranormal Investigations #1.5)
TAKING CHANCES (Paranormal Investigations #2)

What are your earliest book-related memories?
Visiting the library with my mom and picking out books:
The Lion and the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

I loved them both and was forever addicted. Strange how both are on banned book lists, and I’m impressed that my very religious mother actually recommended them to me.

What are your three favorite books?
I hate this question. I have hundreds of favorites, different ones in each genre, plus my childhood favorites. Really my favorite book might be whatever I just finished reading.

But if I have to narrow it down, this is my list:
The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
The Mercedes Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

OK, I cheated. I named 3 series instead of individual books, but if you think of them as never-ending books that are just so long, they had to be separated into smaller editions…

How many books to do you read at any given time?
Sometimes I have two or three books that I’m reading. One will be an audiobook, one will be a paperback, and another might be a book I’m reading with the kids or maybe another paperback.

What are you reading now?
I’m reading MAGIC RISES by Ilona Andrews!!! I’ve been waiting sooooo long for this book.

Finish this sentence; when I curl up with a book, I ___
…forget the rest of the world exists.

To re-read or not to re-read, that is the question.
Definitely love to re-read good books! I’m on my 5th read of the Kate Daniels series, and I’m sure I’ll read it again next year in preparation for the next release.

How likely are you to read a book that’s been recommended to you?
Very likely! Especially if the recommendation comes from someone I trust…

How likely are you to recommend a book (that isn’t yours)?
All the time! First off, I love promoting other authors. Second, I love books. I became a writer because I love to read.

What do you look for in a good book?
Lovable characters and good dialogue. Plots are important to keep the intensity of a book, but it’s not the plot I remember, it’s the people.

I discovered this when re-reading some of my favorites. The plot was a rediscovery as I couldn’t remember what was going to happen, who the bad guy was and why, but the scenes that burned into my mind were the ones related to the interactions between my favorite characters.

Why do you write?
Because I have to or I’ll burst into flames. Once I started on the road to writing, I couldn’t stop. I’ve tried. Many times.

If you couldn’t be a writer, what would you be?
Dancer, artist, musician… Writing has made me fall in love with the arts. I probably wouldn’t be any good at it, but I still have a day job. However, my day job is not ME.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My family, my friends, movies, books, art, music, a hike in the park. Writing, like all artistic endeavors, is best when it comes from the soul, and therefore, you must always keep your soul brimming with life.

What has writing taught you about yourself?
That I’m a dreamer. That I have determination. That I fight for my dreams and never give up. That I am officially insane.

How do the people in your life seem to view your writing career?
My husband TJ has supported me, believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself, and helped me every step of the way. Now I’ve finally convinced him to write with me. We can live in insanity together.

My oldest daughter writes stories and creates characters now too, and she and I are writing picture books together. My other girls love to read what I write (when it is not too adult for them), and so I’m (slowly) working on a few Middle Grade books.

Are there any stereotypes about writers that you don’t think are true?
The stereotype of the absent-minded writer is absolutely… Oh, did you say something? I just had this epiphany about a character.

What do you see as the biggest challenge today for writers starting out?
The learning curve is steep. First, you have to learn all the techniques of writing (like how to craft interesting dialogue, how to pick strong verbs, how to show and not tell, how to intersperse description without bogging down the story), and then grammar is a whole other monster to tackle.

Then you have to learn how to lead a reader through a story. You have loads of threads to keep track of and characters that must be flushed out if you don’t want cardboard people walking like zombies through your stories.

Then you have to learn how to market those stories, whether to an agent, publisher, or directly to the reader. And if you decide to self-publish, you’ll have to learn about how to run a business.

Thankfully, in our day and age, there’s loads of information and resources to make things happen…if you have the determination to learn.

Have you made any writing mistakes that seem obvious in retrospect but weren’t at the time?
All the time! But that’s how we learn, by making mistakes, falling down, and getting back up. Your understanding is more complete when you know what fails.

Is there a particular project you would love to be involved with?
No, I have projects and ideas coming out my ears. I’ve scheduled my writing time for the next 3 or 4 years, and then I have another series I can’t wait to get started on.

How do you deal with your fan base?
I always try to answer emails and be available for conversation. You can often find me on Facebook.

Finish this sentence; my fans would be surprised to know ___ about me.
How shy I am. Sooooo glad I can do this interview by typing on my computer. 😛

And yet this year, I performed a monologue in front of 300+ people and danced 3 performances (hip hop, lyrical jazz, and musical theater) in front of 500+ people. I try my hardest to ignore my shyness.

Anything else we should know?
If you come across an Elvin wizard, don’t drink anything he gives you.

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Because this post was a wee bit late, I present you with a bit of bonus material – the first chapter of Rita’s novel!

 

 

EXCERPT FROM PLAYING HOOKY


 

Chapter 1

~ EMMA ~

 

THE ALARM CLOCK hammers ice picks into my brain. My freshman year of college, I swore I’d never do another eight o’clock class, but here it is my junior year and I am torturing myself with English Lit after staying up until three in the morning to finish a paper.

I try to peel my eyes open, but they’re glued shut. I rub them and squint at the clock, trying to read the red numbers swimming in circles, but nothing makes sense.

Letting my eyes drift shut, groping for the right button with my hands, I punch snooze and roll over.

It’s Thursday. Valentine’s Day.

My twenty-first birthday.

And all I want is the pounding headache to go away.

It seems like no time at all before the alarm goes off again.

“Emma, either get up or turn it off.” My roommate Maggie—but we all call her Magpie—kicks the thin wall separating our rooms.

With a groan, I turn off the alarm, roll out of bed, and pad into our kitchen, still in my cotton panties and T-shirt. Sleepwalking, I fill the coffee pot with water, scoop one tablespoon of coffee grinds into the filter—no, two, because Mr. Linden likes to drone on about eighteenth-century poetry—and hit the start button.

Coffee. Breakfast of champions. And sleep-deprived college students.

A knock on our apartment door, and my sister trills a happy, “Good Morning, Emma,” and begins to sing me Happy Birthday, along with several embarrassing verses we wrote when she was five and I was seven. It includes something about monkeys slipping on banana peels.

“Someone shoot her.” Magpie grumbles from her doorway and slams her door shut.

Still in my skimpy sleep-clothes, I open the door to find my sister—long, blonde hair curled to perfection, not a strand out of place, red hair band matching her flouncy short skirt and the red hearts on her too-cute-for-words tights. Glimmering strands of silver lace peek through her pink sweater. As always, Angelina’s the image of vomit-inducing school-girl perfection.

And standing behind her—

Jason.

My best friend from childhood. The boy—er, man—who should be ten hours away in Kodiak, Alaska, rather than here in Anchorage.

The man staring at my naked legs.

And I’m standing here in my panties and baby-doll T, which clearly shows I’m not wearing a bra, especially as Alaska is cold in February and the door gapes wide open.

I cross my arms over my chest to hide my breasts and duck my bottom half behind the door. “Jason, what are you doing here?”

“To take you out for the day. It’s your twenty-first birthday. Did you think I’d let you celebrate without me?” He grins and slips into the room before I can stop him. His eyes travel up my bare legs (thank goodness I shaved last night) with the ugly wool knee-high socks, the black T with the pink Batman symbol, and ending with my short, blonde hair, sticking up in all directions on one side, matted on the other.

I glance out the door. A few girls, gawking at the man who is too handsome for his own good, stand out on the landing and whisper. I grab Angelina’s hand and drag her inside and slam the door.

“What about what’s-her-name? Sarah? Sally? Mandy? Whoever your latest thrall is. She really let you come out and play? I thought she’d have your Valentine’s Day booked.”

“I broke up with her right after Christmas.” He shrugs.

For the first time in about ten years, neither of us has a significant other. Once upon a time, when I was twelve, I decided Jason was the one for me, and I set about trying to get him to kiss me. He was clueless, and I settled for Mark Jameson, a boy down the road. Three years later, Mark moved to Ohio somewhere. Or was it Idaho? And I never heard from him again.

By then, Jason had a girlfriend, and though he never took her fishing with him or mountain biking (my role in his life), they went to homecoming together and then to the prom. And I went out with Troy Simmons up until the middle of our first year of college when I caught him in another girl’s dorm room where he’d sacked out for a week.

Troy was so pissed about the breakup—because I should just forgive and forget the cheating, since it was my fault because I refused to sleep with him—that he spread rumors about our supposed sexual escapades.

Whenever I tried to date since then, the guys I went out with only wanted me to put out, so I’ve been single ever since. Whenever I consider dating him now, I remind myself of all the ways we are incompatible. We would fight over everything as we’re both too stubborn for our own good.

Angelina tucks her hand through his arm and smiles up at him. “Isn’t he sweet? You have the best friends.”

Not even a note of jealousy in her voice, even though she’s had a crush on him ever since third grade when he put a band-aid on her skinned knee.

My sister Angelina is too perfect. Straight-A honor student. Mother’s sweetie pie. Father’s angel. Never snuck out of the house to go partying. Always kept her curfew. Never broke her leg jumping out of trees while trying to chase squirrels or ramping bikes on the homemade ramps. Always prissy and clean. Never leaves anything out of place.

Always the perfect lady in her cute little outfits.

I can’t hate her for it because she doesn’t even act superior about it. She’s never been the goody-goody. Never lectures me on my messy room, sloppy hair, torn jeans, or skipping classes.

Jason grins. “I’d never miss your birthday. Remember last year?”

“Ugh! I thought I’d never thaw out after we went skiing in a blizzard. We were stranded for three days in that cabin we found in the woods.”

“Aw, come on, you didn’t even get frostbite. I took care of you.”

“At least I didn’t end up with any broken limbs. That time.”

“I still can’t believe we went snow-boarding on East Pillar Mountain Loop. That’s a tough trail, and then you broke your arm slipping in the parking lot on the way to the truck.”

My muscles were exhausted, and carrying my board on my shoulder, I wasn’t watching where I was going. I didn’t see the patch of ice. “Remember when you took me spelunking?”

“I had no idea that bear was in there.”

“I can’t remember ever being that scared.”

“But it was fun! Come on. We can’t break tradition.”

“What are you planning this time?” Angelina smiles up at him with a glimmer of wistful longing.

“It’s a secret.” He extricates her hand from his arm and takes a step away from her, and her hand falls back to her side.

For a moment, her smile falters, but then she bounces from the room. “See you! Tell me all about it later. Emma, I’ll tell your professors and coach that you are sick today, and I’ll collect your notes and assignments.”

“Thanks, Angelina. You’re a sweetie.”

She gives me her smile, cheeks dimpling in the cute china-doll way she has, and blows us kisses. Sometimes I wish she could be a real human being for once—throw a royal temper tantrum, break a rule, or actually make a mess—but either she keeps all negativity bundled up deep inside or she really is incapable of baser emotions.

I’m left alone in the apartment’s tiny entryway with Jason.

“Emma,” he says, stepping closer, his head leaning down toward me. He is way too close, and I remember I’m not dressed.

Tall with wide shoulders, Jason is muscular from hard labor (construction and welding) and athletic adventures (kayaking and mountain biking). The perpetual scruff movie stars work hard to perfect shadows his jaw, and his tousled black hair kept short. He cuts it every week because it grows too fast, like at least a half inch a day. With the smoky blue eyes and the confident grin he usually wears, he’d make any girl swoon.

Well, any girl but me. I’d more likely hit him upside the head with a broom than swoon over him.

“Coffee’s in the kitchen. I need to get dressed and showered; then we can go for pastries at the bakery around the corner.” Just off campus, there’s a scrumptious little shop, but I never have time in the mornings. I turn back to my room but then stop. “Oh, how do I need to dress for the day?”

“Sure.” He runs his hands through his hair, but his eyes are too busy following my ass to pay attention to anything I said.

“Jason.” I snap my fingers. “Up here. What do I need to wear?”

His gaze shifts to my face, and he grins, not even having the decency to flush. “Dress warm.”

Good. So we’re going to have an adventure.

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