What I'm Writing: "Snowed In" for Desire!

*originally posted in the October Lemmon 15

Snowed In...

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Right now I'm working on my second Harlequin Desire book tentatively titled Snowed In at the Mayor's Mansion. 

I'm not going to say I'm in love with my fictional mayor of Dallas, but ... okay, I'll say it. I'm in love with my fictional mayor of Dallas! 😍

Chase Ferguson is a fun combination of suited bad boy and confident alpha--you know how much I love to play with that combo--and best of all, he and his summer fling from a decade ago are now trapped in his Montana mansion under piles of winter white! Today I had to take a hard pause and jot down notes for each chapter to make sure I wasn't writing too long or too short. My big fear was that I'd dawdle around the luxurious 15,000-square-foot mansion with my couple for so long we'd run out of time to tell the rest of the story! But once I paced out my chapters, I was relieved to find that was still time for plenty of "dawdling" (indoor swimming pool/hot tub, anyone?) and plenty of time to tell the rest of the book. Now it's simply a matter of writing it.

Here's a taste of Snowed In

(first draft, so please forgive any typos!)

...

At the entrance of Whole Foods, the automated doors swished open and the fragrant scent of mulled cider wafted out. She lifted her head and closed her eyes to pull in a deep breath of her most favorite scent—autumn—when a competing smell mingled with the cider. Sandalwood. Pine. Eerily familiar. As was the voice that crashed into her at the speed of a runaway shopping cart.

“Mimi?”

She snapped her eyes open and her gaze collided with a man taller than her by several inches, his devastatingly handsome face broken up by the frown on his forehead and additional lines at the corners of his gray-green eyes. His jaw sported a barely-there five o’clock shadow, and his hair was in the same disarray as she remembered from ten years ago. Like it could never be tamed—the one crooked part of Chase Ferguson that couldn’t be straightened.

“Chase. Hi.” She blinked again at the man in front of her, having the half-crazed thought that she’d summoned him with her mind. It was a week or two ago when she’d received a photo of herself in an envelope she’d had to sign for. Along with the photo was a letter from the mayor of Dallas’s office—Chase’s office—that was signed by a woman’s hand. Miriam had read the two neat paragraphs and tossed it into the trash. There was no action step for her, merely a “making you aware” note that she could be mentioned in Mayor Chase Ferguson’s upcoming campaign and “may be called upon in the future” for her cooperation.

But throwing the letter into the wastebasket hadn’t removed thoughts of Chase from her head. For a solid week, she’d marinated on their days together ten years ago, fumed at the way he’d left her behind, and played out a few scenarios wherein she’d enjoy humiliating his mother—whom Miriam still blamed in part for Chase’s leaving her.

“I didn’t expect to run into you while I was here,” the man from her past was saying. It was the same deep, silken voice she remembered, but his Texas drawl had diminished, no doubt due to rigorous training from a speech coach.

“That’s my line,” she said with a flat smile, stepping to the side to allow a woman pushing a stroller to go in ahead of her.

Chase palmed Miriam’s arm and physically moved her to the side of the automated door, and if she was still twenty-three and over-the-moon crazy about him, she may have said that hand was warm and brought back memories of the summer they spent with each other, most of those days wearing as little clothing as was legal. Sometimes less.

“Yes, I suppose that would be your line.” Chase’s smile hitched at one corner and then dropped like it’d never been there. He adjusted the paper grocery sack in the crook of his arm.

“What are you doing in Montana?” She had to ask. Because seriously—what?

“I needed a break from the political hoopla.”

Preorder isn't available yet for this title, but you can keep an eye on it here →

xoxo,

Jessica