You don’t have to be an established book reviewer; you just need to have an opinion! I would like YOU to help me create the perfect suspense romance novel.

The working title is Who Are You? The novel will be a stand alone sequel to Hearts On the Run and will focus around Max, an assistant district attorney who is seduced by his dream woman – who then disappears on him without a trace. When he finally discovers who she is, he’s in for another surprise. It seems someone else is after her as well, and will use any means necessary to get her. Even if that means killing Max to get him out of the way.

Intrigued? There's more: I’ll even publish your name at the end of the book under a section titled, “My Opinion Mattered.” (You may stay anonymous if you would like.) If this sounds like fun, then this is how you can critique the novel every step of the way:

Every couple of days, I will post a small section of the book. After reading it, comment on what you liked, what you didn't like, how the dialogue flowed, character traits, how well edited the section was, and whatever else you can think of while reading. I will then revise the section based on your suggestions. Names published under the "My Opinion Mattered" section will be listed in order of number of comments contributed, so comment often! For those just joining us, please check out the blog archives to start the book from the beginning.

There is also an area to vote on how well you think the novel is progressing. You will be able to change your vote as the novel progresses to best reflect how you feel at any given time along the journey to a completed novel.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Part 3 of Who Are You?

Chapter 2

When she was absolutely sure that Max was asleep, Lauren Stevens slid out from under the arm he had slung around her to pull her close.  Careful not to wake him, she found her panties and bra on the floor and quietly made her way back downstairs to find her dress and cape.  Dressing as quickly as possible, she slipped out the front door and hurried down the block to where she had parked her car.  All the while, being amazed that she had actually had the nerve to go through with it.
            She had wanted Max Canter since the first time he had walked into a meeting with her.  She had been so taken with him that words had failed her for the first couple of minutes he sat in front of her.  Feeling like a complete idiot, she had overcompensated by being extra bitchy - to which he responded to in kind.  It had set the tone for all of their future meetings and elicited from him the oh so charming nickname of ‘The Shrew’ for her.
            Lauren was sure that Max had no idea who she was last night, and she wanted to keep it that way.  She had known him for over a year now, since she became a defense attorney specializing in juveniles here in River Rapids, and she had tried repeatedly to make up for that first meeting.  But he didn’t seem to want to see her any other way.  As a matter of fact, he now went out of his way to push her buttons. 
Absolutely gorgeous, Max left a trail of women panting after him wherever he went.  At six feet tall with a lean muscular build, he looked great in a suit.  He kept his dark, slightly wavy hair just on this side of respectable for his job as an ADA, and with a little bit of a curl to it, it just begged to have fingers running through it.  His brown eyes were almost hypnotizing, making it hard to concentrate on the subject at hand when he spoke.  When he walked into a courtroom, all the female eyes shot to him.  Feeling his body under her hands and pressing into her had been worth every moment of embarrassment she had felt when she had dressed in this skimpy little outfit and had spoken completely out of character for her.  But there was no way he would have gone through with it if she had let him discover who she was.  He probably would have just laughed at her.
Regardless of how much she had wanted to sleep with him, he was still everything she didn’t want in her life.  Hot headed and stubborn, he often seemed to lack compassion for her clients, which sometimes drove her insane.  Not to mention if the rumor mill around the court house was to be trusted, more women than she cared to count had been where she had been tonight.  But even with all that, she had to be with him at least once, just to sate the overwhelming desire she felt for him every time they met.
                        Lauren drove to the other side of town to the modest house she had grown up in as a child with her grandmother.  Her parents had been killed in a car accident when she was two and her grandmother had raised her.  When she came back to River Rapids after graduating from law school last year, she had moved back in with her grandmother at her request.  As much as Lauren wanted her own place, she knew her grandmother was not only lonely, but her arthritis had progressed to the point where she needed help doing the little things around the house such as cleaning.  Even though she could have paid for a housekeeper to come in a couple of times a week, Lauren just didn’t have the heart to tell her grandmother no when she had asked her to move back in.
            Pulling into the attached garage of the three bedroom ranch house, Lauren turned off the engine and thought about the night.  Max had been everything she had hoped that he would be as a lover – passionate, generous, and most definitely skilled.  And she had been able to make love to him with an abandon she had never felt before.  There was a lot of freedom in being anonymous, she discovered.
            Opening the car door, she paused to slip out of her boots so the high heels on the linoleum wouldn’t wake up her grandmother.  The Bat Girl costume had been a rental but the boots she had purchased on a whim.  She pressed her lips together as she remembered how much she had paid for them knowing that she would never have the courage to wear them again.  Her personal style was much more subdued.  Remnants of a strict and old fashioned upbringing.
            Draping the boots over her arm, she let herself into the side door that led from the garage into the kitchen.  Glancing at the clock over the stove as she pulled out the pins that secured the black wig in place, she grimaced at the time.  It was already four-thirty and she had promised David that she would have breakfast with him at nine.  Maybe she could push it back to brunch.
            Tiptoeing down the hall past her grandmother’s room, she had almost made it to her own when her grandmother called out to her.  “Lolo, is that you?”  Her grandmother was the only one who called her that.
            “Yes, Grandma, it’s just me,” Lauren said through the closed door.  She wasn’t surprised when it opened just seconds later.              Her grandmother stood framed in the doorway in her long flannel nightgown and curlers in her thinning gray hair.  Lauren could never figure out how her grandmother managed to sleep in those things.
            “Now, Lolo dear,” her grandmother began with her hands on her hips, “I know things are different from when I was your age, but it just doesn’t seem proper for an unmarried woman to be out all hours of the night.”
            Lauren cringed at the unmarried woman part.  Her grandmother had been trying to marry her off to her friends’ grandsons since Lauren was sixteen.  “Sorry, Grandma, I was at a party that went late.”
            “What kind of party goes until four o’clock in the morning and with you dressed like a hussy?” her grandmother demanded.
            Lauren tried hard not to roll her eyes.  She was twenty-six for goodness sake!  “A Halloween party.  Now, Grandma, we talked about this when I moved back in that I was an adult and would be coming and going as I pleased, remember?”
            In a huff, her grandmother replied, “I guess I didn’t know at the time that you’d be wanting to gallivant all night long.  I guess you’d prefer it if I just didn’t worry about you at all while I’m alone here at night.”
            And here comes the guilt, Lauren thought as she bit back the retort that her grandmother had done just fine when Lauren had been living three hours away in Ann Arbor doing her undergrad and law school at the University of Michigan.  Sighing, she said, “Grandma, this is the first time I’ve been out this late.  I understand that you worry about me, and I appreciate it, really, but you promised not to treat me like a little girl when I moved back in.  Right now I’m exhausted and I want to get some sleep.  I’m meeting David for breakfast.”
            Her grandmother’s eyes lit up at David’s name.  “What a nice young man he is.  When are you going to settle down with him and give me some great grandchildren?”
            This time Lauren did roll her eyes.  “Never.  David and I are just friends, as you know perfectly well.”
            “Which I don’t believe for a minute.  He’s perfect for you.  You run along and get some beauty sleep so you’ll be refreshed when David picks you up.”  Her grandmother said smiling as she turned back into her room and closed the door leaving Lauren frustrated in the hallway. 
            With a heavy sigh, Lauren walked into her bedroom and closed the door.  If her grandmother had found out what she had really been doing tonight, she probably would have disowned her.  Good thing no one was ever going to find out.


  1. I like the more background info on "the shrew" and how we understand why she acts the way she does around Max! The only thing I would say is when you talk about how Max looks, it's basically the same exact description as before: Brown. Maybe change it to like pools of chocolate. And when you say "eyes you could lose yourself in", maybe say something less overused, like "with one glance...." and something more emotional about how she felt. That's it though!! I love it and am excited for more!!

  2. I've changed the description, more intense now. Hope you like it!

  3. Yes!! That's so much better! It gives more of the effect of how attractive Max is without just saying it. I love it :)

  4. I love how you write your chapters, you describe one or two characters and it gives the reader a chance to get to know them. You also start chapters from different points of view, so it's not always the same character.