This week’s winner is Connie. Thanks to everyone who commented!
It’s Friday! Of release week! *pants as though I’ve run a race*
Seriously, it’s been crazy around here. Lots of release-week stuff, lots of excitement, lots of work revising Harder so I can get a final version turned in on Monday, and then, in the middle of all that, THERE IS AN ARTICLE ABOUT ME ON MTV NEWS.
See? Look, it’s real!
I can’t even take it. I was such an MTV-watching kid that Tabitha Søren is pretty much burned into my brain. Plus, it’s just amazing to see Deeper getting this kind of exposure for its message. I am all aglow with happiness.
In other news, it’s time for a second excerpt from the forthcoming Strangers on a Train paperback! Today’s is from Serena Bell’s Ticket Home, wherein a workaholic hero stages a sit-in on his ex-girlfriend’s daily train commute in order to convince her to give their relationship another try. And learns some things. Plus, there’s love!
Excerpt from Ticket Home
by Serena Bell
He was waiting for her on the platform at the end of the day, leaning against a pillar, a study in male nonchalance.
Her insides got tangled as her heart tried to leap at the same time her stomach tried to sink, and then she knew half of her had hoped he’d go back to Seattle, while the other half had been hoping just as hard he’d be here, on the train again.
Stupid workaholic Jeff with his stupid phone.
As she stepped through the sliding doors, he pushed himself up off the pillar, an uncoiling of muscle, and closed the distance between them. Aligning himself at her side, matching her stride.
She sped up, ran for the train, and he chased her, bounding on behind her and following her up the aisle.
There was, of course, no place to go. No way to get away from him. Unless—
There was a conductor at the end of the car, and she started toward him, but Jeff caught her wrist again and spun her around to face him. He was very close, so close she could see the circles under his eyes and the pale brown stubble on his jaw. So close she could remember the exact feel of that well-formed lower lip.
“No more games.”
It was a command. It was a growl. She felt it, everywhere.
“Do you know what I spent my morning doing?”
She shook her head. From behind her, someone said, “Excuse me,” and he sat abruptly in an empty seat and tugged her down to sit beside him. A group of passengers went by and distributed themselves into the seats beyond.
She tried to get up, but he held her firm.
“Jeff,” she protested. “You’re hurting me.”
He released her instantly, and she rubbed the place where his fingers had dug into her.
“Your little stunt this morning with the conductor got me detained by the transit police for questioning. Apparently they take ‘See something, say something’ very seriously in the year of the tenth anniversary of September Eleventh.”
“Oh, God,” she said. “Oh, God.”
“It’s okay. It turns out I don’t have a police record or obvious links with terrorist organizations, and I haven’t traveled out of the country in the last couple of years.”
“Jeff, I’m so sorry.”
“Yeah, well. You can make it up to me by not running away again. Okay? Just talk to me.”
She felt terrible about siccing the MTA police on him, but that didn’t mean she wanted to be trapped here with him. It didn’t mean she wanted to rehash bits of their relationship better left behind. And it definitely didn’t mean she wanted his body a few inches from hers, tension rolling off him like fog off the early-morning Pacific Ocean. If she let her eyes flicker sideways, she could see that even his thigh was tensed, the big bulge of muscle straining the wool of his dress slacks.
“I’m not playing games,” she said. “I don’t want to talk. I don’t want to fix things up. I want you to get off the train and leave me alone. It’s over.”
“And I want you to come home with me.”
He said it so simply, it stopped her dead.