Thursday, January 31, 2008

Grazia Magazine!!!

Well since February is pretty much upon us be prepared to see lots and lots of my favourite cover all over the place this next while ;) And don't be the least little bit afraid to come tell me if you see it anywhere in case I miss one... which I did with my feature interview in the Belfast Telegraph here this week. Typical me.

So here we are, Her One And Only Valentine in GRAZIA MAGAZINE with lots of lovely goodies for the big day! And trust me when I tell you to WATCH THIS SPACE around the big day... too much FUN I tell ya!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Writer's Workshop in March

Want a weekend break with a little added inspiration thrown in for good measure?
Then I may just have the very thing for you...

On March 8th in Killiney, Dublin I will be joining fellow Irish author Abby Green who writes for the Modern/Presents line and - wait for it - MILLS AND BOON EDITOR Jenny Hutton for the FIRST EVER Mills & Boon writing workshop in Ireland!!! (We think...)

This is a HUGE opportunity for you to come along and ask all about writing for Mills & Boon, discovering the differences in the imprints and learning the methods Abby and I use to create our stories.- AND in what will I'm sure will be an informal and FUN day.

AND before you go talking yourself out of it - it's not that expensive!!!

The cost of each seminar includes writing materials, tea, coffee, and a light lunch and local B&B's start as low as 45 to 50 EUROS per night! So with flights to Dublin so cheap these days as well you could treat yourself to a lovely AND educational weekend without having to eat rice for weeks...

Come on. You know you want to.
You can get more information and book your place at The Inkwell Writers Website


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It's Official - I Suck

Well it had to come sometime. My first truly truly BAD Romantic Times review. And at a time when I really needed one. Isn't that always the way??? And I don't even have a cover to show you to cheer me up. Am tired, am irritable, have done something bad to my neck, am snowed under with work and I now officially suck. Oh - and if this is my RT Reviewer for Modern Heat and she hates my voice then I fully expect to suck a lot more this year. The joys of writing.

But just to prove I can show you the bad along with the good... Here's the review for At The Billionaire's Bidding aka The Return Of The Rebel:

Two lovers keep running into each other after many years apart in At the Billionaire's Bidding (2), by Trish Wylie. Rumor has it that the building Shannon Hennessey works in has been sold, and she's unpleasantly surprised to find out that old flame Connor Flanaghan is the billionaire who's buying it with plans to tear it down. What follows is a rather dull story as Shannon tries to talk Connor out of demolishing the building by introducing him to all of the people that will be affected if he goes through with his plan. Long on dialogue and short on happenings, this book is a struggle to get through.

Would I feel better if this one hadn't been such a - what did we agree to call it? - Oh yes - A tough one to write ? Maybe. But its just angst upon angst really. Bad reviews = chocolate. But as chocolate = calories in a month when I seem to have become a media darling thats not an option. So am going to do the mature thing and wallow instead. Feel free to leave calorie free cyber chocolate at will. I'll be in the cave with a book thats due in a week and a headache from hell because of what I've done to my neck and NO DRESS for next week... Oh to hell with it...
Where did I leave the chocolate???

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Too Old For Fantasy?

Is there an age where we should stop enjoying the odd fantasy? I don't think so. And I'm saying so in my own very individual, somewhat long-winded (for an ikkle change) way over at Totes Bags N Blogs today...

Go - shoo - I'll even say Hi... see how can you resist???

And had a look see for some new soundtrack music and found this and now can't stop playing it... Just in case you want to know where my next inspiration might come from ;)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stretching Creative Muscles

It's been a busy week here both in and out of the cave. Just in case you all think I'm sitting here glued to youtube and playing with collages and googling guys and not doing much...

I was interviewed by a newspaper last week and they sent a photographer out to traumatize - sorry treat me - to a few pics in varying poses holding one of my new books... It's all due to go into a piece in the Belfast Telegraph here fairly soon so if there's a link for it online at any point I'll let you know ;)

It's all part of the centenery celebrations that are going on to celebrate Mills & Boon's 100th Birthday - and I even get to go to London again soon for the official launch at a glamorous cocktail party no less!!! All very traumatic with the whole lack of teeth/massive weight gain since writing and doing christmas things really. But hopefully the dress situation will resolve itself at least 24hrs before the big event... otherwise shall be back here to WEEP. LOTS. Be prepared.

Book I'm working on for Romance that has caused me a problem or two here and there is now due in a week odds. So no pressure. Much. Though AM starting to get back into it again and it's not reading half as bad as I'd convinced myself it would. Kinda loving Quinn...

Have had a FABULOUS start to the year with the RT nomination for Rescued: Mother-to-be - the EPPIE finalist place for Bride of The Emerald Isle and then Bride also went and lifted a Cataromance Reviewers Choice Award so was CHUFFED TO BITS WITH THAT.

AND THEN got an email from a LOVELY MAN who did the illustrations for BOTH those books AND my February romance release Her One And Only Valentine. ALL THREE COVERS I LOOOOVVVEEEEE. So what a THRILL to get to *talk* to him. And to thank him for bringing my characters to life so beautifully. Am kinda loving 2008 just a lil bit round about now...

Oh sorry. The pics? Ahhh now. Meet Jake and Lauren. And remember I briefly talked about doing things completely different from the norm in order to stretch my creative muscles some? Well these two are a part of that. A super secret part. That I can't tell you about. But you gotta admit they're a couple that look like they might have some chemistry, don't they??? Oh and Jake has a jet. Mind you he had me at the coffee cup...


On Friday you can find me over at Totes, Bags And Blogs where I'll be talking about when we're too old to indulge in a little fantasy... So PLEASE COME JOIN ME and add your two cents worth or share a fantasy or two.

In the meantime feel free to name these two and think up a story of your own for them. You could tell us the blurb in the comments if you like. And if you could send me a few extra hours in the day too that would be GREAT. Do this thingie, finish book, go to London, do another book by April, do first ever M&B Workshop in Dublin (more to come on that) in March, start third book, do Literary festival in May...wellll that's the first five months of the year covered then... VALIUM ANYONE???

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Why Romance?

For anybody so deeply buried in a cave that they might not know - 2008 is Mills & Boon's CENTENERY year!!!

That's 100 years worth of writers and books and reading pleasure. Generation after generation of happily ever afters and pure escapism. It has survived two world wars and a sexual revolution or three and changing roles of women and... Well...

It's a bit of a phenomenon.

What it means for us writer's this side of the planet is that we're suddenly thrown into the public eye in a way many writers never expected. At least I didn't. And it's a tad scary if we're gonna be entirely honest - which being my Blog we naturally are ;)

The THING IS we seem to take more of a beating this side of the planet than authors do ANYWHERE ELSE and me being me, I think it's about time that changed, don't you? Let's look at the differences shall we?

In the UK Mainland we recently had the BBC Radio show Guilty Pleasures
(You can find the original blog I did on it here)

And in Australia we recently had the very lovely Ally Blake's Interview

Now - *cough* - does anyone notice a difference in the approach??? See now that's the price of fame. This side of the planet M&B is an iconic name. And when you're *up there* it automatically means people get to take the mickey out of it. Criticisms like 'it's dated' or 'it's cliched' or 'theyre all the same' or 'the writing is bad' ?!!!$$$%%%& or 'they're anti-feminist' or...well I think we've pretty much heard all the tired lines by now haven't we?

The question is - can we turn the tide in 2008???

We all love em. A Mills and Boon book is sold - wait for it - EVERY FIVE SECONDS in the UK. That speaks for itself. And we've been saying how great the books are and how much fun loud and proud at The Pink Heart Society for a year and a half now. But with the Centenery Celebrations and all the promotional activity can we now get the message out there a little wider? Gosh I hope so!!!

Now my argument would be that there's no age limit on fantasy or escapism. Men get to play video games, mess about on football fields and watch/read cartoons regularly enough (The Simpsons being a classic example). Okay, granted, their model making days may now have larger pieces to play with (car parts, building materials, etc,etc) but they still take time out to remain young at heart. In order to prove myself a fully paid up member of the 21st Century womans club should I read nothing but Philosophy and Self Improvement books while limiting myself to Nigella Lawson type cooking and Supernanny type raising of kids???(If that's the case I should point out I'm failing miserably and should be expelled from the club forthwith!!!)

WHY can't I enjoy the modern day/mature equivalent of a latter day fairy story. WHY can't I read something that leaves you with that guaranteed sense of happily ever after? WHY am I incapable of understanding the difference between real life and fantasy if I read these books? WHY? WHY? WHY? (insert stomping of feet and pouting and can I have a lollipop if I'm a good little girl...)

And WHY can Mills & Boon type storylines appear vaguely hidden in everything from movies to soaps and yet when I make my living being blatantly happy and proud of what I do I'M THE ONE that has to deal with the *look down our noses* attitude of so called *PROPER WRITER'S* and *EDUCATED READERS*?????? Huh? Huh? I just don't get it. Someone help me out here...

I always thought, and maybe this is naive, that part of the great feminist movement that hundreds of thousands of womens still fight for gave us the right of FREEDOM OF CHOICE. Am I wrong about that gang? If I want to indulge in some out and out fantasy and still believe in the power of love in all it's varying forms both on and off the page - am I wrong to want that too?

This year we writers get to talk about Mills & Boon books on a scale we've probably never done before. And already several writers, myself included, have had interviews that have actually been very positive. So is the tide turning? What would YOU say to the critics? Do you think that some of the tired old criticisms just make the people saying them look like the fools? Do the sales and the longevity speak for themselves?

Should we really have to defend what we read and write?

I'm PROUD of what I do. So there! I LOVE that I'm a very very very small part of a century long history in publishing. I LOVE happily ever afters. And as to the heroes... wellllll... like Forest Gump... that's about all I have to say about that.... You guys can fill the rest of the sentence in on your own ;)

So what would YOU say to help turn the tide???

Friday, January 11, 2008

Left Or Right Brained?

My very good friend Kate Hardy put this on her Blog a while back and it gave me migrane for twenty four hours... So in the spirit of share and share alike...

I hope it's moving the way it's s'posed to - if not you can go here for the proper thing (Blogger won't let me check to see properly grrrrrrr) But what it's sposed to do is tell you whether or not you use chiefly the left or the right portion of your brain. Its one of those neat little optical illusion thingies that always FASCINATE me and while I fight a losing battle with this WIP it seems only fair I gIve you something to amuse yourselves with. Just to show I still wuv oo.

So what does this pic tell you?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa. Most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.

uses logic,
detail oriented,
facts rule,
words and language,
present and past,
math and science,
can comprehend,
order/pattern perception,
knows object name,
reality based,
forms strategies,

uses feeling,
"big picture" oriented,
imagination rules,
symbols and images,
present and future,
philosophy & religion,
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception,
knows object function,
fantasy based,
presents possibilities,
risk taking

Now you guys have *met me* so do you want to hazard a guess which one I was????

Meanwhile, while I've been struggling so badly with this latest book I've taken to writing something completely different to get the juices flowing again. A gals gotta do what a gals gotta do - so the word count may slide up slooowwwllllyyyy. Also the M&B PR company got in touch today about some promo for the centenery celebrations so life might get interesting - looks like I might have an interview with a big local paper over here next week. SCARY STUFF.

And today I'm at The Pink Heart Society discussing handsome men. As one does. HAPPY WEEKEND!!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Moomins And Other Stuff

Well it does say Writing and OTHER ASSORTED forms of insanity...

And you can thank Natasha for this one for a wee change. Cos all of this came out of a typo on MSN Messenger when Natasha, Ally and I were helping each other with our current WIP's... Natasha typed that her heroines momin a wheelchair. I of course said every book should have a Moomin in a wheelchair. Ally then needed to know why it was in a wheelchair. I googled a pic to explain its cos they have such short legs... Bit Moominist I know - but you just have to look at them. Mind you - I did also mention how cute they are. I WANT ONE.

Yes folks welcome to the world of Romance Writers.
See now you thought we spent every hour of every day talking about books and googling hot heros and trawling Youtube for theme tune music and bemoaning deadlines and discussing changes to lines and working through plot problems, didn't you? Well - okay, fair enough - we do a lot of that. It's a wonder we have time to write really. But just very very occasionally - as a treat for our hard work - we have five minutes play time. This was one such moment. And hence a blog was born...

Because I naturally HAD to blog on this. And what it did was take me on a bit of a trip down memory lane. I can remember a time when I loved Moomins. I even love the word Moomin. It's one of those deliciously stupid words that makes you smile when you say it. Go on - TRY. Remember to do it with different inflections and different speeds to get the full effect. Never let it be said I don't attempt to put a smile on your face on a Monday morning. You can thank me later.

And to increase your blogging pleasure I'm providing a slew of my favourite childhood programming so you can see how many you recognize... No prizes for how many mind you. But what it might also do is make you think about the ones you used to watch when you were a kid. Any of these? Were we viewer buddies from way back? Huh? Huh???
For me - they range from the earliest ones when I actually kept quiet for a while so my Mother could do other stuff - and then there are the really obscure ones that its pathetic I can still remember the name of to Google for pics of them. (nice to know my random ability to retain useless pieces of information started at a really early age... you'd be surprised the questions I can answer... just ask Ms. Oakley!)
I even found a pic of a cartoon that I've been arguing black and blue for years now REALLY DID EXIST. Problem is,
when you start to discuss a dog that helped hunt ghosts but became invisible when he was scared leaving only his collar visible - people have a tendency to tell you to get off the heavy medication. Thanks to researching for this blog I HAVE VISIBLE PROOF that it was real. So to those who doubted me... and you KNOW who you are... I am going to be mature... and say nah nah ne nah nah. Ha!
The industrial sized SKIP that is my brain KNEW it was real. I am also now seriously investigating that time in my teens when the doctor said I sleep walked and I argued you aren't asleep when your eyes are OPEN and you REMEMBER everything you did!!! I may have been medicated wrongly. Mind you - all that night walking may have been an early sign of the one thing that most of my MSN buddies think I should be burned at the stake for... Ask them when they visit if you don't know what I mean... Natasha reckons its the reason I can write so fast when I get going... As you may recall I like to put it down to guilt myself. Late book = GUILT = increased productivity = sleep for a week afterwards. Add chocolate and a daily visit to hug my horse and it's pretty much my life in a nutshell that formula.
So COME ON, How many of these do you recognize??? And if you've got any of your own from the annals of time - Blog 'em - leave me a note in the comments - and I'll come visit and see if the random information for them is in my head too. HAPPY MOOMINDAY.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Behind The Scenes Of The New WIP

So Trish - How's the new book going?

Well, it's nice of you to ask... I think it's FINALLY starting to take shape... FINGERS CROSSED...

Why Trish - were you having problems?

The start of every new book has problems thanks. One of the joys of the job. Especially when the one before it was such a joy in the end.... and a work I'm gosh darned proud of if I do say so myself. Outside the box is FAB!!!

Is this one outside of the box too Trish darling?

Yuh-huh. Well it is for me. Irish-American hero for one thing. Completely American setting in my gorgeous gorgeous New York for another. Former bad-boy hero in a ROMANCE title - a tad of a challenge so far cos he could soooooooooooo be a Modern Heat hero - he said so. And I have to keep remembering the difference between roads and streets and pavements and sidewalks and... well... you've *met* me. I'd be bored if I didn't make it difficult...

How's your new hero treating you?

Welllll.... he's not a Gabe. BUT Quinn is proving to have layers above and beyond the ones I thought he had in the beginning. I kinda love him already now that I know him better. And I HAVE to love him I think in order to have the heroine and the reader fall for him. Believe in what you do I say. I sometimes wish I could make my heroines as interesting... but lets face it - its all about the hero isn't it? ISN'T IT? And this one is a real tug-at-the-heartstrings kinda guy. Wish I could put my finger on why it is I never know them properly until I've written a few chapters... would save me time in going back to fix things...

As much research this time?


It's New York - you went there - why do you need that much research?

Yup Manhattan and Brooklyn and Tiffany's and movies outside on a big screen on a hot summers night and matchmaking and an office and a Friends type group who ALL want their own stories now... and A GREAT SOUNDTRACK. And I STILL have to research because I'm too flipping picky not to want to have everything from park entrances to values of properties right and what road - dammit STREET - they turn off to get to so-and-so on such-and-such near whadyamacallit. Cos knowing my luck a New Yorker will read it and email me to tell me I got it wrong... Plus its a RESPECT for the location thing. AND I LOVE THAT CITY. Seven months til I can go again - not that I'm counting. MUCH.

Whadya listening to on the soundtrack?

For this one we have a blinder of a soundtrack - Simon Cowell should ask me to put compilations together you know... Mind you, you may be sorry you asked when you see just a SMALL SELECTION of what I'm listening to right this minute...

Representing how Quinn took Clare under his wing when her rotten husband left...

Michael Buble and LOST

Keeping in mind that Clare lives in the basement apartment of Quinn's brownstone in Brooklyn Heights and thinking hot, sultry summers evening and music drifting through the air we have

Norah Jones and One Flight Down
(the first song on this clip)

And keeping in mind they're friends and that neither of them have ever opened their eyes properly... (and not looking at the depressing video) we have

Will Young and All Time Love

Quinn could do with taking some of his own advice with this song I feel...

Kubb and Grow

But there are two tracks that are repeated again and again cos they ARE this book to me. With this first one think Quinn and think New York and think summer and listen to the lyrics and you pretty much have the tone of the book

Ben Jelen and Come On

And with this one you HAVE QUINN in a nutshell and how he ends up feeling.. SIGH...the chorus is GORGEOUS (not that he could probably hit the high notes quite like Shane does...)

Shane Ward and Until You

Anymore questions feel free to ask... And no, I haven't forgot the rest of the Ask Trish Almost Anything series... but I'm being a good girl and WRITING... ;)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!!!


Yup another one is upon us. And d'ya know - I LOVE the start of a new year.... never mind all the bright shiny newness of it or the fact its full of undiscovered possibilities and new hero's yet to be born inside my poor crowded little head...

It also means BOOKS. Cos for some reason I seem to have fallen into a *start of the year* schedule the last few years. So while I kinda go quiet-ish at the tail end of an old year... at the beginning of a new one I - well - I kinda get busy...

So as a special welcome to the new year and the beginning of my new release schedule for 2008... I bring you... wait for it...

An excerpt from His Mistress: His Terms and a re-introduction to the very very lovely Alex and the fabulously confident Merrow... Cos they're OUT ON THE SHELVES THIS WEEK!!!

“So are we talking about what’s wrong or are we pretending nothings wrong ‘til we get back to my place and I wheedle it out of you another way?”
Merrow lifted her chin and continued walking, “Nothing’s wrong.”
“That’s okay,” She could hear the amusement in his voice, “I’m fine with the wheedling option.”
“There’s nothing to wheedle.”
“Oh I think there is.”
“Well, you’re wrong.”
Alex pushed his hands back into his pockets and continued walking beside her while Merrow stared down Grafton Street. There was no point in trying to explain how she felt.
Because to be completely truthful, she hadn’t quite sorted through how she felt yet. She just knew she was, well, miffed, quite frankly.
“I didn’t spill any food.”
She ignored him as he withdrew a hand and began holding fingers up as he counted off what he obviously considered to be plus points,
“I used all the right cutlery.”
“There were only two courses,” She mumbled back, “So it’s not like you had that much cutlery to begin with.”
“Still counts though,” He unfurled another finger, “I didn’t ask for a quarter of the information they supplied me with. And-“
He leaned a little closer to add, “I even deflected a couple of titbits that sounded like they were going to be really juicy to help you with your embarrassment…”
He didn’t unfurl another finger for that one Merrow noted. And in fairness, another bottle of wine and her friends would have divulged enough information to make her contemplate moving to another country.
Another finger unfurled, “I didn’t push for the reasons why I’m apparently much better than ‘that Dylan one’ – who, incidentally, I’m assuming was the prat that cheated on you.”
Probably because she’d barely managed to stifle a moan of mortified agony at that point…
And another finger, “Even you have to admit that I was at my most charming. I didn’t even try to feel you up under the table, though the fact you’re wearing trousers instead of one of those short skirts I like so much was a help with that –“
“Yes but you didn’t have any problem with smiling at me the whole damn time, or brushing my hair back, or holding my hand on the table,” She stopped in the middle of the street and turned to frown up at him, “Since when have you been so into PDA’s?”
His other hand appeared out of his pocket as he stopped and turned to face her, both hands twisting in the air to form an invisible shape as his brows lifted in question, “Those little hand held computer things?”
“No,” She pursed her lips and shook her head in frustration, “Public Displays of Affection. Since when do we do that?”
The hands were tucked in against his broad chest as he folded his arms, “There’s a rule about that I didn’t know, is there?”
“Well…” She frowned at a point at the base of his throat, “Yes… there is…”
“Because it breaks the ‘affair’ boundaries does it?”
“Yes!” She’d have stamped her foot in frustration if she hadn’t thought it would’ve made her look like a five year old.
Alex unfolded his arms and stepped a step closer, his voice dropping as he lowered his head, “You see I haven’t actually been given a list of those rules. So since you’re so much more au fait with the whole ‘affair’ thing then maybe you should fill me in. I’ve always been the type of guy to wine and dine or actually date a woman before this…”
Merrow struggled to find words, which irritated her all the more. How dare he stand there having charmed all her friends to the point of adoration over one meal and then look so goddamned gorgeous while pointing out that he was practically God’s Gift to womankind – and then claim to be a nice guy too! How was that fair? Huh?
When she didn’t answer as fast as normal, his brows rose again, “You have me pegged as some kind of playboy, don’t you? Running about all over the country looking for mistresses?”
She sucked her cheeks in.
And Alex smiled his hint of a smile in response. So she frowned and exhaled,
“I hate it when you smile at me like that.”
“No you don’t.”
“I do right this minute.”
He stepped another step closer, tilting his face so close to hers that their foreheads almost touched, his gaze steady and fixed on her eyes, “You know what I think O’Connell?”
She searched his glowing eyes, heat radiating all over her body from just that look alone while her pulse bounced erratically. She wasn’t actually sure she did want to know what he thought, but she sighed and asked anyway,
“What do you think Alex?”
He angled his head to one side, as if he was about to kiss her with one of those incendiary kisses of his – right there – in the middle of a busy Grafton Street - in what would end up as a very public display…
But instead he kept looking into her eyes as he informed her in a husky whisper, “I think you need someone to remind you that not every guy on the planet is as big a loser as your last boyfriend was…”
Last boyfriend? Meaning he saw himself as her current boyfriend? Hang on a minute-
But before she could call him on it, he leaned back a little, taking a deep breath as he considered a point about an inch above her head, and then he smiled; a wide smile, a devastatingly sexy smile - a smile that addled her brain and distracted her completely from rational thought. Seriously – one man should not be allowed to be that sexy!
“Meanwhile, having had our first debate in a while, I think we should head back to my place to make up, don’t you?”
When she opened her mouth to answer, he stepped back, bent over at the waist, and to the sound of her surprised squeak, tossed her up over his shoulder.
“Alex! Put me down!”
“Nope.” He hoisted her up a little more as he stood tall, so that her stomach rested on his shoulder, both his arms wrapped around the backs of her knees to hold her in place, and her head dangled upside down facing his back.
Then he started walking down the street.
Merrow heard laughter as they passed people. Scowling, she tried to struggle free, kicking out her feet, “Put me down!”
“Stop jiggling woman. You’ll make yourself sick after all that food.”
It would serve him right if she threw up all over the back of his designer suit! She attempted to look from side to side, the end of her upside down ponytail flicking up into her eyes, “Alex-“
“Complain all you want O’Connell.”
“You can’t carry me all the way back to your place - you’ll have a heart attack.”
“I’ll have you know I’m in great physical health thankyou,” She felt his head nod against her hip, “Good evening, nice night, isn’t it?”
And now he was talking to passers-by about the weather? She really should’ve wanted to kill him. But instead she felt a bubble of half hysterical laughter building in her chest. It was the most ridiculous situation she’d ever found herself in – and that was saying something!
The laughter escaped, “You are not a nice person!”
“I happen to think I’m bloody adorable.”
She laughed again, “Please put me down you moron.”
“I’ll put you down on-my-bed.”
She moved her head from side to side to see if anyone had heard him, knowing she couldn’t blame the heat rising on her cheeks entirely on all the blood rushing to her head. But they were already turning off the end of Grafton Street and Alex was marching them past Trinity. He really did have abnormal stamina, didn’t he?
You’d have thought she’d have known that already from all the ‘messing around’ they’d been doing.
Admitting defeat, she attempted to make herself more comfortable for the journey, propping her elbow on his back so she could rest her chin on her hand. She flicked her ponytail out of the way and when a passing car beeped its horn, she waved at the driver with her free hand, not bothering to look to see if they waved back.
“Hey Gabe, how you doing?” Alex stopped walking and Merrow attempted to see who he was talking to. Whoever it was, was obviously someone he knew well, judging by the friendly tone of his voice.
A similarly deep voice answered with an amused edge to his voice, “Grand. I’ve just dropped some estimates through your door for the Gallery job.”
“That was quick.”
“I was out that way this afternoon on another job, so I took a look at the place,” There was a pause, “So who’s your friend?”
Merrow raised her voice, “Yes, please feel free to introduce me. Or just pretend I’m not here, whatever suits best. Don’t mind me.”
“Sorry,” Alex swung round a little, “Gabriel Burke, Merrow O’Connell. Merrow is the interior designer for The Pavenham. Gabe is the contractor for the project, and an old friend from way back.”
“You have my sympathy,” She reached her hand out and had it shaken by what felt like a ridiculously large hand. She even had to crane her head round to a painful angle to look all the way up at him, “Wow, you’re tall aren’t you?”
“Next to this squirt I am,” Amazingly blue eyes sparkled at her when he leaned down, “He giving you trouble?”
The six foot one ‘squirt’? She sighed dramatically, “You have no idea.”
“You need me to sort him out for you?”
“Would you?”
Alex hoisted her up again, “When you two have finished flirting with each other…”
Gabe stood tall, his voice laced with a more distinct humour, “I have to say I’m impressed squirt. You couldn’t have carried her like that when we were kids.”
“She’d have been too big when I was a kid.”
“Hey! I’ll have you know I’m the ideal weight for my height. I have a colour chart and everything.”
There was the sound of joint male laughter and Merrow felt her stomach jiggled as Alex’s shoulders shook. She even giggled herself. There wasn’t much else she could do. But they really had gone past the not tangling with each others lives thing if they’d both managed to meet each others friends in the space of a couple of hours. Even if Alex had managed his introductions while the right way up!
Gabe leaned down again, “Nice meeting you Merrow. I have a feeling I’ll be seeing you again.”
Alex swung her away before she could answer, “Probably at the party at the tail end of next month - if we don’t see you at the Hotel.”
“Nah, they don’t need me down there. I’ve moved on to the housing development outside town. So I’ll see you both at the party then.”
“Ash will be back by then. She flies in the day before.”
“Yeah, I know. Bye Merrow.”
“Bye Gabe,” She switched elbows and watched him walking down the street as Alex headed for Merrion Square again, “Do you both come from the land of giant beautiful people?”
He smacked her behind lightly and she flinched, “What was that for?”
“For checking him out enough to think he was beautiful.”
She smiled, “Is Ash his girlfriend?”
Another smack, “No, she’s my sister.”
“You have a sister?”
“That I do. She’s been away for a while. You’ll meet her at the party.”
Merrow didn’t remember being invited to a party, “What party would that be then? One of the long list of parties you haven’t bothered telling me about? I might not want to go to a party. I might hate parties.”
His shoulder shook again, “Not according to your friends you don’t. Though if you could avoid going in fancy dress or dancing on any tables at this one that would be helpful. It’s my parents wedding anniversary.”
What? Oh hell no! She wasn’t going to meet his parents!
SO THERE YOU GO! If you're out and about and you see a copy of it anywhere don't forget to move it to the front and spread it out lots ;) And send it my love...
If you're interested in a copy you can get it at Amazon here and at the Mills & Boon Site here...
Now if someone could just get the flipping wordcount meter thing to work I could update that so you know I've actually been doing some WORK. But more about that next time... Oh and I'm about to do my big end of year/new year COMPETITION for ALL of my UK releases from 2007 so if you want to get the heads up just sign up for the newsletter in the sidebar...