The Next Big Thing – I’ve Been Tagged:

I’ve Been Tagged: I’ve Got The “Look”

I’m delighted to have been tagged to participate in “The Next Big Thing” by the most supportive and generous of authors, Jenny Twist. Jenny has shown such willingness to share her wealth of knowledge with me over the last year or so and I’m thrilled to join in this ‘blog hop’ with her. Check out her intriguing response to “The Look” here –

The idea of this blog hop is to find the word “look” in my latest work and include a little of the surrounding ‘action’ as well as answering a few questions about the story. Then I have tagged 5 other authors who I hope take up the baton and continue this hop further. I’ve chosen my next release “The CEO Gets Her Man” (release date 12 April 2013 The Wild Rose Press). I found an interesting excerpt with the word “looking” and trust this fits in with the criteria of the hop.

“The CEO Gets Her Man” is a sweet/clean contemporary set in a fictitious version of my childhood home town in Southland, New Zealand. The story later continues in NZ’s capital city, Wellington. I liked the idea of turning one of the normally accepted romance themes of the rich, driven businessman and the struggling, determined heroines around. It’s my heroine Debra who’s driven, her career as a successful businesswoman is her sole focus in life. Until she meets Jase, an assistant manager of one of her hotels. Hero Jase is struggling to keep the hotel afloat against seemingly insurmountable odds. For a few years my sister had been asking me when I was going to set a story ‘down home’ and this sounded like it could be the one. While my home town could never support a five-star hotel, it was great imagining the affect such a business would have on the community. A little poetic license. I was about half way through writing this story when the movie “The Proposal” with Sandra Bullock came out. I was devastated. Oh No! They’d “stolen” my idea. But I soldiered on anyway, and had the first draft finished in about 3 months.

I can’t visualise Debra on screen. Sandra Bullock has been there, done that. Jase is much easier, except my ideas turn to current rugby All Blacks rather than any actor. Richie McCaw? hmm. Daniel Carter? no. Maybe Conrad Smith? Then again, maybe I should go back to Richie McCaw after all. Tough, uncompromising, honest as the day is long. Oh and pretty gorgeous, too. Yep, Richie could easily be Jase.


Ensuring her company’s success is Debra Laurie’s life. But when she goes undercover to investigate a failing hotel in southern New Zealand, she finds her confidence crumbling. Masquerading as a waitress is a disaster—especially when the hotel’s assistant manager is a former rugby star she once had a crush on. Jase McEwan is struggling to keep the hotel afloat. An unpredictable manager, ridiculous demands from the head office, and employee unrest are problems enough. Now a haughty new waitress is causing mayhem in the restaurant—and in his heart.Determined to be impartial, Debra sets out to discover if Jase is responsible for the hotel’s drastic situation. But the more she investigates, the more she likes his work—and the more their attraction sizzles. Before long, Jase has turned Debra’s world upside-down. But what happens when he learns the new waitress is really his CEO?


A clattering thump returned them to reality.

Motionless except for their heavy breathing, within seconds a mortified Debra, with face burning, shoved against the chest she’d just been caressing. She scrambled to her feet, straightening her clothes, unable to look at him.

Activity outside the lift suggested the technician had arrived. There was knocking, tools whirring, men talking. No one must think…no one must guess what had almost happened.

About to bury her face in her hands, Debra refused to give in to such weakness. Instead she squared her shoulders and stuck out her chin. As long as she didn’t look at him perhaps she could get through these next moments.

Jase seemed in no hurry to rise. “Debra? We need to talk.”

“No, we don’t,” she snapped, keeping her eyes forward. “There’s nothing to talk about.”

“Oh yes, there is.” He rose slowly. In her peripheral vision Debra saw him adjusting his trousers and the blush fading from her face returned tenfold, invading her whole body. “But you’re right. Now is not the time.”

Jase leant over and touching her chin forced her to look at him. “We’ll be out of here soon and everyone will be concerned.” Their gaze locked together. Something flashed between them–some powerful force neither seemed able, nor willing, to withstand. Debra forgot to breathe. Her tongue dampened her parched lips.

Slumberous eyes followed the movement. “We will be talking, Debra. You can bet your life on that.” The expression on Jase’s face turned his threat into a delicious promise.

A couple of enormous thumps and a hideous cacophonous grinding from outside destroyed the moment. Reality hit Debra like a swinging four-by-four post.

There couldn’t be anything between them. Once she’d ferreted out what was going on in this hotel she’d be off home to Wellington. Jason McEwen wouldn’t sanction her pretence, nor her suspicions of his involvement.

Their confined space accentuated the volume of the noise and Debra covered her ears. It also gave her an excuse not to look at her companion. She feared what she might read in his expression. Familiarity? Intimacy? Desire? She couldn’t handle any of those.

Or was she afraid because she knew any of those might soon be replaced by his looking at her with disdain?


I feel terrible having to report that none of the five writers I approached are going to take up the baton and continue this great promotional idea. They’ve either recently done it before, are snowed under with work right now, or they never replied to me. A couple of others I then approached were equally unable to join me. I apologise to Jenny and everyone else. This feels oddly like breaking the chain on an old fashioned chain letter. Only those never left me feeling guilty like I’m feeling right now. My apologies.




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