If you've missed previous posts in this series, don't worry, I've included links to all of them below.
It's been a typical busy week here in Dani's Attic Production Facility For Romance Novels. I have a small blog tour happening for all my fall books. I'll post the links below the excerpt, but so far all the giveaways have been Hometown Hero as it had a brief Free run at Amazon.
Actually, now that I think about it, the reason I felt so busy in this office was because I spent so much time out of it. I had appointments ever day this week. Yesterday was snow tires--which I had to buy new this year. Then it turned out that the tires didn't come in. They tell me next week. Such is life.
I'm also contemplating NaNoWriMo. Well, I'm pretty serious, actually. I have a Harlequin Presents I'd like to write in November. So I'm thinking--not written in stone, mind you--but thinking about running a series of blog posts on prepping for NaNo. If I go through with it, they'll start, gosh, Monday. I have to make up my mind!
For now, let's focus on:
We'll have six of these excerpts. Here's what has happened so far:
Here Clair fights for her job:
~ * ~
Aleksy Dmitriev released her hand and insultingly wiped his own on his tailored pants, as if her touch had soiled his palm.
Clair jerked her hand into her middle, closing her fist over the sensation of calluses and heat. He was hot. In every way. All that masculine energy and muscle was a bombardment. She didn’t want to react, especially to someone who wanted to fire her.
She dragged at her cloak of indifference, the one she’d sewn together in a school full of spoiled rich kids. “What gives you the right, Mr. Dmitriev, to take away my job?”
“Your ‘job’ is dead.” His curled lip told her what he thought her job was.
“I’m a PA,” she said tightly. “Working under the president. If you’ve taken ownership, I assume you’re moving into that position?”
“On top of you? A predictable invitation, but I have no use for his leavings.”
“Don’t be crass!” she snapped. She never lost her temper. Poise was part of her defense.
He smirked, seeming to enjoy her flush of affront. It intensified her anger.
“I do real work,” she insisted. “Not whatever you’re suggesting.”
His broken eyebrow went up. They both knew what he was suggesting.
“I manage special projects—” She cut herself off at his snort, heart plummeting, suddenly worried about her own very special project. The foundation was a few weeks from being properly launched. After last week, she knew the building she’d grown up in was badly showing its age. The home needed a reliable income more than ever. And the people…
“Clair, are you okay? You’re more quiet than usual,” Mrs. Downings had said last week, catching her at the top of the stairs where she’d been painting. They’d sat on the landing and Clair hadn’t been able to keep it all in. Mrs. Downings had put her arm around her, and for once Clair had allowed the familiarity, deeply craving the sense that someone cared she was hurting.
She’d come away more fired up than ever to get the foundation off the ground. She had to keep people like Mrs. Downings, with her understanding and compassion, available to children with the same aching, empty hearts that she had.
“Are you shutting down the whole firm?” Clair asked Aleksy with subdued panic.
He turned stony. “That’s confidential.”
She shook her head. “You can’t let everyone go. Not immediately. Not without paying buckets of severance,” she guessed, but it was an educated one. There were hundreds of clients with investments managed here.
“I can dismiss you,” he said with quiet assurance.
Another jolt of anger pulsed through her, unfamiliar but invigorating. “On what grounds?”
“Not turning up for work last week.”
“I had the time booked months ago. I couldn’t have known then that my employer would pass away right before I left.” And she would have stayed if Victor’s family hadn’t been so cutting. If someone, anyone, had said she was needed here.
“You obviously cared more about enjoying your holiday than whether your job would be here when you returned.”
The annual blitz of cleaning and repair at the home was the furthest thing from a holiday, not that he wanted to know. “I offered to stay,” she asserted, not wanting to reveal how torn she’d felt. With her world crashing around her here, she’d been quite anxious to escape to the one stable influence in her life.
“The VP granted my leave,” she continued, scraping her composure together by folding her arms. With her eyes narrowed in suspicion, she asked, “Would I still be employed if I’d stayed?”
“No.” Not a shred of an excuse.
What a truly hateful man! His dislike of her was strangely hurtful too. She tried hard to make herself likable, knowing she wasn’t naturally warm and spontaneous. Failing without being given a chance smarted.
“Mr. Turner assured me before I left that another position would be found for me. I’ve been here almost three years.” She managed to hang on to a civil tone, searching for enough dignity to disguise her fear.
“Mr. Turner doesn’t own the company. I decide who stays.”
“It’s wrongful dismissal. Unless you’re offering a package?” She hated that she tensed in hope. She knew exactly how marketable her skill set was: barely adequate. Going back to low-end jobs, scraping by on a hand-to-mouth existence made her insides gel with dread. This job had been her first step into genuine security.
The Russian tilted his head to a patronizing angle. “We both know you’ve enjoyed the full package long enough, Miss Daniels. If you haven’t set aside something for this eventuality, that’s not my concern.”
“Stop talking like I was—”
“What?” he demanded, baring his teeth. “Victor Van Eych’s mistress? Stop acting like you weren’t,” he snarled with surprising bite. In a few long strides he was at his desk, flipping open a file, waving a single sheet of paper. “Your qualifications are limited to typing and filing, but you’re occupying an executive office.” Another sheet flapped in the air. “You’re paid more than his personal secretary, but he still needed one because you were dedicated to ‘special projects.’” He cracked out a laugh as he snatched up the next record. “You live in the company flat—”
“In the housekeeper’s wing because it’s one of my duties to water the plants,” she defended, hearing how weak it sounded even though Victor had made it sound so logical.
“The janitors who dust the place can water the plants. You’re a parasite, Miss Daniels. One who’s being pried off the host. Take the day to pack your things.”
A parasite. She was doing everything in her power to pay back the system! This job had been a golden egg, but she’d tried not to take advantage of Victor’s generosity. Now she was finally on the brink of being able to help others instead of focusing on her own struggles—something she wanted not for the recognition, but to support children like what she’d once been—and he was calling her a parasite?
“You reprehensible, conscienceless…” Her voice dried up, which was probably best. She was shaking and liable to get personal. Mention that scar, for instance.
“Conscienceless,” he repeated through lips that peeled back in a snarl. He closed her file and took up a memo of some kind. “Do you even know what you’ve been sleeping with? Read that, then tell me who is conscienceless and reprehensible.”
~ * ~
You can pre-order The Russian's Acquisition on Amazon here or scroll to the rest of the buy links on the bottom of this post.
Here are the blogs I've visited had so far:
If you'd like a chance to win a signed print copy of The Russian's Acquisition, join my newsletter! I'm prepping my next newsletter and I always draw from my subscriber list for a copy of my upcoming release. The next draw will happen around Oct 27th.
There's also this Goodreads Giveaway open 'til Oct 23rd:
Or you could preorder The Russian's Acquisition from Amazon now. It will be in stores November 1st or you can also buy now from Mills & Boon UK.
And you can still enter this:
$500 Visa Gift Card Giveaway
Tule Publishing has partnered with a number of their authors to bring you this chance to win a $500 Visa Gift Card. Closes Oct 20th
Next week I'll have a giveaway special for Blame The Mistletoe. I've had so many other things going on, I decided to drag my feet on this one, but it's coming.
And I do like to plug my fellow authors' books in this awesome Homecoming series. Here are all the titles, authors, and release dates:
- Sept 22 - Sing Me Back Home by Eve Gaddy
- Sept 25 - Finding Home by Roxanne Snopek
- Sept 29 - Hometown Hero by Dani Collins
- Oct 02 - Long Way Home by Kathleen O’Brien
- Oct 06 - Home For Good by Terri Reed
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Please check back for #TeaserTuesday. Have a great weekend,