Entry Name: Palm Beach
Title: Of a Palm Beach Persuasion
Word Count: 90,000
Genre: Adult Women's Fiction
Maggie is finally ready to come home. Trust-fund untouched, a self-made success, she will step back into the role of dutiful socialite on her own terms. Her return comes shortly after the bubble pops on the real estate market, and her father, although Palm Beach royalty, finds himself upside down on multiple properties. Maggie is amused when he decides to rent their Palm Beach mansion to an L.A. band. Amused that is, until the musicians reconnect Maggie to her first love, her high school boyfriend, who’s proposal she once fled. Literally.
And yes, more than ten years later, she’s still flustered about that.
Back in high school, Gavin doesn’t understand Maggie’s surprise invitation to her father’s annual fall gala. Rumor has it she only dates Ivy Leaguers down for crew training. It isn’t that Gavin comes from “the wrong side of the tracks,” but that he lives on the wrong side of the water - off “The Island.” Not a Palm Beacher, not a Beach Clubber, not an anything. But when the Beatles cover band brought in for the gala strikes up, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” for their first song of the night, he takes it as the perfect omen.
He’s wrong. By the next summer Maggie leaves Gavin standing by the sea wall - the Flagler Museum where they’d danced prom night illuminated across the water. The ring he’d designed to showcase his grandmother’s diamond still in his own hand.
And yes, more than ten years later, he’s still holding a grudge.
It’s Persuasion under the glare of the south Florida sun, but the only one going by the name of Wentworth is a peacock who takes residence in Maggie’s yard, and the modern heroine is not lifted in and out of carriages because she drives her own Mercedes thankyouverymuch.
First 250 Words:
February 15, 2007
Almond Granola Bark, a.k.a. Road Trip Fuel
Blog Recipe Box: snacks, other
Blog Recipe Box: snacks, other
What do you like to eat on road trips? What if it begins on snowy roads and ends in 85 degree heat? What if it’s a moving road trip? A you-lived-somewhere-eleven-years but... it’s time. Chapter closed. On the road.
Is there a food for that?
When this publishes I'll be winding around DC’s Dupont Circle, my townhouse disappearing in the back window. I’ll weave and turn until I find myself on 395 soon to be spit out on 95 - the highway that takes me home.
When I’m welcoming the heat of seat warmers under my jeans should I fill my mug with hot chocolate, but later, when sweaty denim starts sticking, do I toss the bottom-sludge in a 7-11 parking lot where I’ll have stopped for an icy Slurpee? Maybe I’ll begin with a toasted sandwich and end with, I don’t know, what are they eating in Florida right now? Mangoes? Kiwis? Avocado everything?
No surprise - my kitchen was the final room dwindled down to boxes. What to make? What to make!
I’m a Florida girl. I love heat, thick salty air, those mangoes. Watching Sandhill Cranes by the dozen peck through empty fields or finding a smaller family of the birds honking a parade down my driveway. (It’s happened.) I don’t mind braking for alligators (also true), though I’m not crazy about giant lizards (tiny dinosaurs). We’ll blame them for my hiatus.
Entry Nickname: She Wears Bruises Like Trophies
Title: Lucky Punch
Word count: 71K
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Widowed military veteran Poppy Leon is desperate to rebuild her life and be a great single parent to her son Milo, despite suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, after almost losing her life in a mortar attack in Iraq.
When Poppy finds a veteran’s outreach program of mixed martial arts (MMA), she hopes it will help curb her debilitating PTSD. After two years of MMA competition Poppy is undefeated, and her relationship with her five year old son has never been better. But a vicious blow to the head during a match triggers a flashback, and Poppy loses control, nearly killing her opponent. She’s immediately plunged into a mental and physical nightmare. Unable to function, Poppy lashes out at those she loves the most, including Milo.
Despite the resurgence of her PTSD, Poppy still has contracts and commitments to complete that her honor demands she fulfill. If she doesn’t, she loses her fight money, and the home she and Milo picked out that she just signed a contract for. If she doesn’t get her shit together and Marine-up, Poppy knows losing a match is the least of her worries. But what was once her most cherished outlet soon has her reliving her past trauma with every strike and blow. Now Poppy must decide between Marine and Mother if she's ever going to give her son and herself the life she deserves.
The tent was in flames around her and Poppy felt like she’d been thrown against a concrete wall. Sand filled her mouth, her head was splitting apart. All, she could think was, move! Her eyes teared up as she opened them, and rough hands grabbed her and dragged her from the tent.
Poppy was dropped on the ground next to another Marine and watched in a haze as her savior ran back into the tent to bring out anyone left inside. He was a God damn hero.
She looked around, the ringing in her ears increasing, and took quick inventory of the action around her. There were men and women in uniform, running hither and to with their faces bloodied and their once clean uniforms tattered and covered in dust. She heard herself asking the question, what happened, in a voice that didn’t sound remotely like her own. She brought her hand up to her head, grimacing as she felt something sticking out of her skull. She had the presence of mind to leave it where it was, and leaned over to retch into the sand.
She crawled over to the body next to her, putting her shaking hand on the Marine’s neck to feel for a pulse, but not even a whisper beat against her bloodied fingers. Poppy drew her hand away and felt herself up. She didn’t feel any obvious wounds, and she glanced to the side, wondering who was in charge. Then she remembered: she was.