Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Winner of the day and excerpt!

Yesterday I asked all of you to tell me where you might see the world in 120 years.

Congratulations to Kim & Seneca! All you need to do is send me an email at lucymonroe.promo@gmail.com with your address and I will get the goodies shipped out!


Enjoy the Excerpt from "The Spy Who Wants Me"

Another foreign curse came from the new Project Manager’s end of the lab.

Chantal bit her lip and looked over her shoulder to find Mat scowling at one of the technicians. Again. The poor tech looked ready to cry.

Who could blame him? Mat was over six feet tall with the solid muscles found in many Ukrainian men. The only colors she’d ever seen him wear were black and shades of grey. Even his lab coat was a special order slate grey. When she’d told him the monochromatic dressing made him look like a hit man for the Russian mob, Mat had admitted he was color blind – after giving her a lecture on the difference between the two nationalities. He’d told her that dressing like this was his way of preventing himself from leaving the house looking like a circus clown. But added to that, his black as coal hair, trim mustache and close cropped beard gave him a decidedly intimidating look.

Especially when he was angry. Like now.

Mat never had been the warm-fuzzy type. Calling him a people person was a stretch even she hadn’t been able to make when she was head over heels for the man. He wasn’t the worst manager in the world. In fact, he was actually pretty decent at it and even better when his scientists and technicians were efficient. Only he had an abrasive way of dealing with them if they weren’t.

Abrasive as in almost scary until you got to know him better.

Deciding their department really couldn’t afford to lose another team member after their former PM’s disappearance, Chantal got up from her lab stool and headed toward the mini-contretemps.

“Wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?” she asked Mat with a smile and a nod for the technician.

Mat turned his scowl on her while the tech he’d been upbraiding stared at her as if she’d just stepped in an electromagnetic field and then tried to use her electron scan microscope.

She turned up the wattage on her smile and made sure it included both men. “Is there a problem here, gentlemen?”

“I…uh…” The technician swallowed twice and gave Mat a sidelong glance before continuing. “I was trying to explain to Dr. Chernichenko that we’d already done the tests on mercury reclamation from fluorescent bulbs and that the ROI was too low to make it a viable project.”

Chantal remembered the tests. “Unless a different reclamation process can be developed, I agree.” She looked up at Mat, trying to ignore how being this close to him made her body go haywire. “Were you thinking of trying a different process?”

“I want more information on the one already tried,” he said with a stubborn tilt to his chin.

“No problem.”

It was the technician’s turn to glare at her.

“I can get that for you and fill you in on the preliminary trials if you like,” she added.

The sense of relief from the tech was palpable as he realized she wasn’t setting him up for more of the same with his new PM.

Mat frowned however. “I don’t want to take you away from something important.”

“Bringing the Project Manager for Material Reclamation up to speed on all our current and recent projects is important.”

Mat sighed and rubbed his eyes, a gesture she remembered from their college days that meant he was more stressed than tired. The man was almost inhuman when it came to getting tired…he could go for hours. In more arenas than academia. The thought brought the heat of a blush to her cheeks while her thighs clenched together involuntarily. Thank goodness for lab coats that hid embarrassing reactions.

“Thank you. I would appreciate that,” Mat said.

The look of shock the technician gave Mat’s polite response was comical, but Chantal did not crack a smile. Mat might think she was laughing at him and even she wasn’t going to beard this bear in that way.

To stop herself from reaching out and touching that particularly tempting bear, she crossed her arms under her chest. “It’s past lunch time and I don’t know about you, but I could use something to eat.”

Mat nodded, his grey gaze skimming her body like a barely there caress. “We could meet in the cafeteria…or we could go offsite.”

“The cafeteria would probably be better.” Less chance she would make a fool of herself. “We can talk freely without worrying about being overheard.”

Mat’s scowl was back. “I suppose.”

“Would you rather eat offsite?” And if so, why hadn’t he just said so?

He shut his eyes and tensed his jaw like he was trying to bite back words.

“We could eat in your office,” she suggested, wanting to take that look of strain off his features. “We’d have privacy without the distractions.”

Which wasn’t going to do a thing for her own strain, but she had to deal with her attraction to him or quit her job. And she had no desire to leave Environmental Technology Research and Design.

“You’d think so, wouldn‘t you?” He opened his eyes, the irises storm cloud gray now.

She remembered that shade, but not from frustration at work. Stifling a groan, she gave herself a strong mental shake. Her attempts to deal with her reaction to him were not going to succeed if she couldn’t stop memories of the past from intruding on the present.

The reminder should have been enough to bolster her flagging self-control. It didn’t. The problem being that she’d been using the same self-lecture for two weeks and it wasn’t getting any more powerful with repetition.

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“Nothing you need to worry about.”

“Okay then. We’ll meet in your office.”

“Yes.” The clipped single-word response wasn’t all that he was thinking, but typical for the stoic scientist, he wasn’t sharing whatever else was on his mind.

Chantal had enough of her own worries, she should not be concerned with his. Only it never worked that way. By nature, she was too empathetic to others and it was even worse when it came to this man. She had to watch it to stop his moods from dictating her own, even when they hadn’t said a single word to each other.

The last two weeks had proven one truth beyond the shadow of a doubt. She was not and probably never would be completely over Matej Chernichenko.

Not that she was going to do anything about that fact, but facing the truth was the first step in dealing with it. Isn’t that what someone had told her after her parents’ deaths? She’d hidden in her room, wanting to pretend they were still alive, that the world was not what it was.

She hadn’t been allowed the luxury. She’d known the people around her, the ones forcing her to face reality, were only trying to help. She just didn’t understand why truth had to hurt so much.

She forced a smile. “Good. I’ll pick up lunch at the deli and bring it to your office.”

“Good, that will give me a chance to finish up here.”

The technician who had looked so relieved got a worried expression on his face again and turned to hurry off without another word.

Mat ignored his defection. “You remember what I like?” he asked her.

“Yes.” She remembered far too much.

Her suggestion they meet in his office was probably the height of idiocy. Offsite would have been better, even if they had spent the hour whispering over a table in some dark corner of a crowded restaurant. But making bad choices when it came to men was a failing of hers, she thought cynically.

Matej Chernichenko had been her first object lesson in how poor her judgment regarding men was, but he hadn’t been the last one.

She was absolutely not going to let him be a repeat though, lunch date in his office notwithstanding. She might be unforgivably gullible where men were concerned, but even she was savvy enough to know that the same man was bound to hurt her the same way if she gave him the chance.

She wasn’t about to do so, no matter how foolish some of her choices in the past might have been.

“I’ll see you in about thirty minutes then.” She turned to walk away.

“It wasn’t waking on the wrong side of the bed that made me cranky this morning, little one.”

The endearment she had not heard in ten years stopped her more forcefully than if he’d grabbed her physically. She looked back over her shoulder at him. “It wasn’t?”

“No.”

“Are you going to tell me what was?” she asked fatalistically.

“Waking up alone.”


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Spy Who Wants Me - Excerpt and Giveaway

Answer the following question the best you can for a chance at winning an autographed copy of "The Spy Who Wants Me."

Where do you see the world in 120 years from now?

Good Luck! Enjoy the excerpt from "The Spy Who Wants Me"...

“You know you can trust me with your secrets, Elle.”

She nodded, feeling better. He and her other brothers had kept the truth of her job from their parents for several years now. He wasn’t going to go blurting out stuff to Mama that would end up hurting her in the long run.

Okay, time to get back to the matter at hand.

“I need to make a phone call.” She pointed to Chantal and then Mat. “You two stay here.” Then she looked at Beau. “I’ll see you at the meeting with Frank.”

“What, you’re kicking me out?”

“I’m not kicking you out. I just assumed you’d want to go home, get some clean clothes and call Frank.”

“I could call Frank from here, but some clean clothes wouldn’t hurt.”

“Right. So, see you later.”

He shook his head, smiled, and stood up. Then he bent down, getting right into her personal space until her head was leaning back on the sofa. “You will definitely be seeing me later.”

He planted a kiss smack on her lips. And it wasn’t a friendly little peck either. If her brother had had any doubts about what they had been doing last night, he didn’t now. Elle was breathing in short pants when the kiss ended and Beau looked altogether too pleased with himself.

It was pure claim staking behavior, but he had no claim on her to stake. What in the world was going on?

She didn’t have any better of answer a couple of minutes later when Beau came out of the bedroom wearing his shoes and tucking his wallet into his back pocket.

He put his hand out. “I’ll need the keys to the Spider. You picked me up last night, remember?”

She grabbed the keys from her purse and handed them over. “Bring it to the meeting. We’ll work out your transport home from there.”

“Will do.”

Then he was gone and Mat was giving her a look of utter disbelief.

“What?” she asked.

“You’re letting him drive your car?”

“He drove it last night. He knows how to handle the powerful engine.”

“You let him drive it…twice?” Mat whistled. “It must be love.”

“Not. Listen, brother mine, Beau and I enjoy each other. I’m sorry if that offends you, but it’s the way it is. Since he’s the first man I’ve wanted to be with in the last four years without an ulterior motive, I’m not about to dismiss this thing between us. But trust me, it’s not love.”

“Whatever you say, princess.”

“Matej, my dear brother, did you know that I have the skills to maim a man twice my weight more easily than fixing a run in my pantyhose?”

“Elle, my darling little sister, did you know that though you might do it for a living, you can’t lie for shit?”

“I am not lying. Beau and I are not in love!”

“Fine.” That word was getting a lot of use this morning.

And she didn’t think it had been said once with real sincerity. She turned to go.

“Just don’t forget to invite me to the wedding.”

She pivoted one on heel and faster than he could blink, she’d flipped her brother right onto the carpet. She was careful not to actually hurt him, which might be why instead of being properly impressed, he was laughing his grumpy grizzly ass off.

Yelling out instructions over her shoulder for them not to leave or open the door to anyone, she slammed into the bedroom to make her call.





Thursday, January 22, 2009

Winner!

Thanks for writing in yesterday. I know that was a tough question and I hope it gave you some time to reflect.

Technically, I'm still a kid at heart but live in the body of an adult. I turn 20 on the 4th, so I still have a couple of weeks before I lose my teenage status.

As for the winner of the prize- Stephanie, you have won. All you need to do is send your mailing information to lucymonroe.promo@gmail.com. I'll take care of it from there and get your prize out!!!

Have a great weekend everyone...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday Updates & Excerpt


Good afternoon everyone!

I was so lucky to have a little break from the blog and hand over the goods to Lucy. We have discussed posting options and she will most likely either be blogging on Thursday or Friday of each week if work/life permits. Lucy has been very busy and appreciates that all of you continue to support her.

As for my first day back, I will be giving away a princess prize pack with a copy of the "Spy Who Wants Me." In order to win you must post an answer to the following question. The winner will go to the most creative answer.

What would the child you once were think of the adult you have become?

Looking forward to your answers! This is a tough one...

Enjoy the excerpt...

Another foreign curse came from the new Project Manager’s end of the lab.

Chantal bit her lip and looked over her shoulder to find Mat scowling at one of the technicians. Again. The poor tech looked ready to cry.

Who could blame him? Mat was over six feet tall with the solid muscles found in many Ukrainian men. The only colors she’d ever seen him wear were black and shades of grey. Even his lab coat was a special order slate grey. When she’d told him the monochromatic dressing made him look like a hit man for the Russian mob, Mat had admitted he was color blind – after giving her a lecture on the difference between the two nationalities. He’d told her that dressing like this was his way of preventing himself from leaving the house looking like a circus clown. But added to that, his black as coal hair, trim mustache and close cropped beard gave him a decidedly intimidating look.

Especially when he was angry. Like now.

Mat never had been the warm-fuzzy type. Calling him a people person was a stretch even she hadn’t been able to make when she was head over heels for the man. He wasn’t the worst manager in the world. In fact, he was actually pretty decent at it and even better when his scientists and technicians were efficient. Only he had an abrasive way of dealing with them if they weren’t.

Abrasive as in almost scary until you got to know him better.

Deciding their department really couldn’t afford to lose another team member after their former PM’s disappearance, Chantal got up from her lab stool and headed toward the mini-contretemps.

“Wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?” she asked Mat with a smile and a nod for the technician.

Mat turned his scowl on her while the tech he’d been upbraiding stared at her as if she’d just stepped in an electromagnetic field and then tried to use her electron scan microscope.

She turned up the wattage on her smile and made sure it included both men. “Is there a problem here, gentlemen?”

“I…uh…” The technician swallowed twice and gave Mat a sidelong glance before continuing. “I was trying to explain to Dr. Chernichenko that we’d already done the tests on mercury reclamation from fluorescent bulbs and that the ROI was too low to make it a viable project.”

Chantal remembered the tests. “Unless a different reclamation process can be developed, I agree.” She looked up at Mat, trying to ignore how being this close to him made her body go haywire. “Were you thinking of trying a different process?”

“I want more information on the one already tried,” he said with a stubborn tilt to his chin.

“No problem.”

It was the technician’s turn to glare at her.

“I can get that for you and fill you in on the preliminary trials if you like,” she added.

The sense of relief from the tech was palpable as he realized she wasn’t setting him up for more of the same with his new PM.

Mat frowned however. “I don’t want to take you away from something important.”

“Bringing the Project Manager for Material Reclamation up to speed on all our current and recent projects is important.”

Mat sighed and rubbed his eyes, a gesture she remembered from their college days that meant he was more stressed than tired. The man was almost inhuman when it came to getting tired…he could go for hours. In more arenas than academia. The thought brought the heat of a blush to her cheeks while her thighs clenched together involuntarily. Thank goodness for lab coats that hid embarrassing reactions.

“Thank you. I would appreciate that,” Mat said.

The look of shock the technician gave Mat’s polite response was comical, but Chantal did not crack a smile. Mat might think she was laughing at him and even she wasn’t going to beard this bear in that way.

To stop herself from reaching out and touching that particularly tempting bear, she crossed her arms under her chest. “It’s past lunch time and I don’t know about you, but I could use something to eat.”

Mat nodded, his grey gaze skimming her body like a barely there caress. “We could meet in the cafeteria…or we could go offsite.”

“The cafeteria would probably be better.” Less chance she would make a fool of herself. “We can talk freely without worrying about being overheard.”

Mat’s scowl was back. “I suppose.”

“Would you rather eat offsite?” And if so, why hadn’t he just said so?

He shut his eyes and tensed his jaw like he was trying to bite back words.

“We could eat in your office,” she suggested, wanting to take that look of strain off his features. “We’d have privacy without the distractions.”

Which wasn’t going to do a thing for her own strain, but she had to deal with her attraction to him or quit her job. And she had no desire to leave Environmental Technology Research and Design.

“You’d think so, wouldn‘t you?” He opened his eyes, the irises storm cloud gray now.

She remembered that shade, but not from frustration at work. Stifling a groan, she gave herself a strong mental shake. Her attempts to deal with her reaction to him were not going to succeed if she couldn’t stop memories of the past from intruding on the present.

The reminder should have been enough to bolster her flagging self-control. It didn’t. The problem being that she’d been using the same self-lecture for two weeks and it wasn’t getting any more powerful with repetition.

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“Nothing you need to worry about.”

“Okay then. We’ll meet in your office.”

“Yes.” The clipped single-word response wasn’t all that he was thinking, but typical for the stoic scientist, he wasn’t sharing whatever else was on his mind.

Chantal had enough of her own worries, she should not be concerned with his. Only it never worked that way. By nature, she was too empathetic to others and it was even worse when it came to this man. She had to watch it to stop his moods from dictating her own, even when they hadn’t said a single word to each other.

The last two weeks had proven one truth beyond the shadow of a doubt. She was not and probably never would be completely over Matej Chernichenko.

Not that she was going to do anything about that fact, but facing the truth was the first step in dealing with it. Isn’t that what someone had told her after her parents’ deaths? She’d hidden in her room, wanting to pretend they were still alive, that the world was not what it was.

She hadn’t been allowed the luxury. She’d known the people around her, the ones forcing her to face reality, were only trying to help. She just didn’t understand why truth had to hurt so much.

She forced a smile. “Good. I’ll pick up lunch at the deli and bring it to your office.”

“Good, that will give me a chance to finish up here.”

The technician who had looked so relieved got a worried expression on his face again and turned to hurry off without another word.

Mat ignored his defection. “You remember what I like?” he asked her.

“Yes.” She remembered far too much.

Her suggestion they meet in his office was probably the height of idiocy. Offsite would have been better, even if they had spent the hour whispering over a table in some dark corner of a crowded restaurant. But making bad choices when it came to men was a failing of hers, she thought cynically.

Matej Chernichenko had been her first object lesson in how poor her judgment regarding men was, but he hadn’t been the last one.

She was absolutely not going to let him be a repeat though, lunch date in his office notwithstanding. She might be unforgivably gullible where men were concerned, but even she was savvy enough to know that the same man was bound to hurt her the same way if she gave him the chance.

She wasn’t about to do so, no matter how foolish some of her choices in the past might have been.



Friday, January 16, 2009

Momma said...

Several people commented the "Something Fishy" post and said they'd like to hear more of my mom's advice, so I thought I'd oblige. Yes, she *is* absolutely amazing. She's always been really open with us kids and so very accepting of who each of us are. She'd never read romance until I started writing it, and now she reads all of my books. It took her a few years after a stroke to get back to reading, but she persisted so she could read my stories and tell me what she thinks.

I'll never forget when she read "The Billionaire's Pregnant Mistress." She stayed up all night reading it and when I got up the next morning, she told me, "I hated him until about five o'clock this morning, but then you redeemed him." I laughed, but deep inside I was so pleased. I love writing the anti-hero who needs to be redeemed. LOL

Since I'm in a romantic mood about my daughter's upcoming wedding, I thought I'd share the advice my mom gave me on deciding if DH was "the one" or not. She told me to try to imagine my life without him. If I couldn't without a whole lotta pain, then he was probably it for me. She was oh, so right. And you know she never once criticized me for marrying young, even though her own youthful marriage brought her a lot more pain than joy. Mom has never visited her mistakes on us kids, assuming we would have the same outcome from decisions that didn't work out for her. She's pretty unique that way. Even I tend to want my children to avoid anything resembling my past mistakes. LOL

And a beauty tip from my mom (she just gave to my daughter): don't spend your time worrying about the future and what might happen. Live today like tomorrow is going to be okay and you'll be beautiful to others. Kinda profound, isn't it?


One piece of advice she gave me that helped my life to be beautiful was: learn to laugh, or you'll spend a lot of time crying. And you know, she was so, so, soooo right!


Hugs and happy weekend!

Lucy
P. S. The picture is of Mom and my daughter - the oldest.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2009 The Year...

...to get better.
So, when did my body start resembling a used car needing so many repairs selling it for junk looks favorable? I'm not sure I can answer that, but as you all know I've struggled with health issues for the past three years. Every time we thought we had an answer, um...we didn't. Wanna know why? 'Cuz there isn't just one thing wrong - there's lots and they're all treatable, but they all *have* to be treated for me to get better.

So, I've spent more time in doctor's offices than my own office lately. I've met some gifted medical practitioners and am so grateful we are finally figuring it all out. Everything that is wrong and needs to be treated is like a really whacked laundry list. Seriously. But we are dealing with each and every way my body has stopped working.

You know how they say stress kills? Well, it does. It can cause nasty things like adrenal fatigue, high blood pressure, dangerous cholesterol levels, and weight gain. Um...so can nasty stuff like uterine fybroids, thyroid imbalance and Type II Diabetes. Ulcers and IBS aren't any fun either, nor debilitatingly painful bouts of bursitis. Yeah, like I said - a laundry list. And I may be a grandmother, but I'm a young one!

So, what am I going to do? Well, I start with 30 minutes a day of blue light therapy (uh...did I mention the light deprivation disorder most likely exacerbated by my sun allergy that developed after I went onto synthetic thyroid?), take a boat load of vitamins and medications and I've got a couple of out-patient procedures scheduled soon and a couple of minor surgeries scheduled after some significant weight loss.

It may not sound like fun to you, but I am THRILLED to have answers and to be working toward true health again. I'm in a great mood and excited (if a bit intimidated) by my plans for weight loss to hopefully reverse the Type II Diabetes. I'm exercising with my daughter and hubby to Denise Austin (she's too perky for her own good, but I love her) and working on my writing as well as getting caught up on life.

Other stuff going on in the Lucy Monroe household:

We're planning a wedding...that's right, my oldest daughter is getting married in March and we're all uber happy about it. We love the soon to be son-in-law and are over the moon she is so happy.

I've got three teens graduating this year. DQ decided she wanted to graduate early and is taking online courses from BYU to make that happen - yeah, she's even more driven than her mom. Between her, my son and our long term Korean host-stay studen, we've got a mega party planned come June. We've got an extra teen living with us...again. And my niece plans on moving in after she graduates this year.

DH is still Mr. Green and my new PA & Promotions Coordinator is working out superbly (don't you just love Andre - he keeps so many things rolling for me).

I'm not online hardly at all, but that's just one of the costs to getting better again. I will be popping in occasionally with updates on my journey back to health and hope you'll all share how your lives are going as well. I may not reply on the blog, but I do read comments. Not always, but as often as I can.

Hugs and many blessings in this new and exciting year,
Lucy