It's been quite some time since I've chatted with you. This past year has been C.R.A.Z.Y.! Goodness, the past few days alone have been even more insane. I'm putting this together while in bed fighting the flu. Yes, the icky flu cooties managed to find me just after I returned home from a great little vacation. The most recent event that threw my world off course is that my favorite little guy (or to many of you he is aka "Mr. Editor") was involved in a car accident over the weekend and the vehicle he was in actually caught on fire. I thank God every day that he is okay and he continues to act like his usual silly self, but it was a pretty frightening experience. I'm still pretty shaken up over it. All of this and everything else unspoken serve as reminders for me to enjoy life and the people in it. Each day truly is a blessing. Please don't take that for granted.
Before I talk about my next release Love Is, I do want to give an update on Chasing Moments. Is it ever coming out? Yes. When? I'm not sure of the exact date yet. So what's the hold up? I just don't feel like it's ready. I know that sounds like a cop out, but Chase Ryan has a very interesting story (okay, I'm probably a little biased since I'm "telling" her story). I want to try to tell that story the best way I possibly can and the nature of her book makes that a little tricky for me. Instead of forcing the story to get to where it needs to be within a certain timeframe, I decided to roll out my next releases until the story genuinely feels good enough for me to share. So yes, Chasing Moments is coming and it will be soon, but it will not be my next release.
What is my next release? Last week, I revealed a story that I didn't plan to write, but I'm so happy that I did. In Love Is, Diane Collins had big plans for her life, and hoops star Warren Scott was not among them. He doesn't want to be the face of the NBA, and she doesn't care that he is. His reluctance to be part of the limelight disarms her and the two embark on an unlikely friendship that becomes an even unlikelier romance. Soon, his life is her life - filled with VIP treatment, parties and luxuries beyond Diane's wildest imagination. But Warren is harboring a secret, and once it's revealed Diane's decision to stay or go could change the very fabric of who she thought she was.
In the coming weeks, I will share more with you about Diane's story, Love Is. However, I do have an unedited sample from the manuscript just to give you a peek at what's to come.
As always, please let me know what you think of the excerpt. I hope you enjoy!
love is. an excerpt.
A low grunt beside her got Diane's attention and she looked to her left to see a man trying to get comfortable in one of the seats. His long frame poured into the aisle in front of them as he shifted his stiff magnificent body, making his unusual length stand out even more.
A family with two young children stopped in front of her and the stranger. staring openly, unlike Diane who tried to keep her gaze discreet. The mother held onto a Polaroid camera and one of the kids clutched a piece of paper and pen.
“We hate to bother you, Warrior, but do you mind?”
Diane turned to look at the guy now wearing a scowl on his face as he took the piece of paper and scrawled his name across it.
“No pictures if you don’t mind. I’m just trying to spend some quality time with my lady before our flight,” he said in a voice so low that it was barely audible.
The group moved on and Diane sighed with relief after noticing no other stragglers threatened to invade their space. Turning the page, she mumbled to her seat mate keeping her own curiosity about him in check. He was a man that clearly wanted to be left alone, but that was until she was dragged in to the imposition his celebrity caused him. “Your lady?”
“They usually leave me alone if I have company.”
She smiled, not able to resist the urge to tease him. “Glad to know I could be of assistance. By the way, I’d be highly upset if after all I did to save you from your fans if my man happens to forget my birthday this year.”
He laughed and the sound of it stirred her soul. She placed the magazine on her lap and turned to get a good look at him. He kept his head down, but she still noticed the intensity in his golden brown hazel eyes beneath thick, dark furrowed brows. A passerby interrupted their polite conversation by calling out “The Warrior." With his head still bent, she saw his face go from relaxed to obvious discomfort. A group of young men repeated the nickname and the guy beside her clenched his jaw. Strong, angry nostrils flared above full lips and for some reason, Diane felt the need to protect him.
Her soft voice broke the tension and she placed her hand atop his forearm. “I take it you would rather they don’t recognize you.”
“Right now just isn’t the best time for me.”
“You must be pretty famous. People are whispering and staring at you.” Diane watched the corridor fill with people slowing down just long enough to get a glimpse of The Warrior as he waited at the gate.
He shrugged and shifted again in his seat, not saying anything but also not moving to get from under her touch.
A gate attendant appeared and offered him two small white flight pillows. He struggled as the attendant watched without offering any more help that might invade this man's space. On instinct, Diane reached to help, placing the pillows behind his back only pausing to ask if that made him feel any better. When he nodded, the attendant returned to her post at the counter.
His laborious effort of pointing behind him was just as uncomfortable for her to watch. “Landed on my back during last night’s game.”
He smiled and laughed again.
“What’s so funny?”
“No. I’m just confused. Would it be safe to assume you are referring to basketball?”
“No need in telling me more. I don’t follow sports so any conversation about teams and the like would be wasting your time and mine. But I do hope you find relief soon.”
The Warrior smiled and signaled to get the gate attendant's attention.
“Your ticket?” he asked Diane.
He pointed toward the sign with their destination and flight number nearby. “Are you going to New Orleans, too?”
He stared at the ticket she used as a placeholder in the magazine and slipped it from between the pages before handing it to the attendant. “There was a mixup when my lady and I made our travel reservations. Is there any way you could seat her beside me in first class?”
Turning back to Diane after the attendant walked away, he offered a stiff shrug. “Like I said earlier, I hurt my back in the game and now the spasms are killing me. I just want to rest during the flight. Do you mind sitting with me? That’s the only way I can make sure whoever has that seat doesn’t work my nerves the next few hours.”
Diane looked back at the uniformed woman that was still smiling and typing on the computer terminal in front of her. "Why me?"
He lifted his head and once their eyes met, Diane felt herself drawn to him. Just as he opened his mouth to speak, the attendant returned holding a new ticket out for Diane to accept.
"Mr. Scott, we're about to start boarding, but I'm willing to allow you and your companion early entry so you can get situated. Please follow me."
Diane paused, but he nodded after standing and gestured for her to follow. Collecting her belongings and his small bag so he didn't have to bend down to retrieve it, she walked with him toward the jet bridge.
Copyright © 2015 by Tia Kelly. All rights reserved.