Ack! I almost forgot to post! Who knew that having everyone stay at home would make life fast-forward? Okay, so maybe I should have known. However, let me describe my day so far…
Instead of getting up to see kids off to the bus and then enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee before I headed to my computer, I organized kids to take care of animals—scooping poop from litter boxes, feeding and walking dogs, feeding horses.
Just as I was settling at my desk, a kid came rushing down the stairs. “Hey, Nina? Whatcha making for breakfast?” Yes, I am now in charge of all breakfasts, because now that they are home, cereal isn’t good enough. So, yes, I caved and made breakfast. An hour later, it was, “Hey, mom,” from my dd. “Can you help the 16-year-old with her homework? She has an essay to write, and you’re the writer…” Then I had to organize the next round of taking care of animals, putting on a load of washing, etc.
An hour later, I sat at my desk but the morning was gone. I worked on editing someone else’s pages then turned to edit my own. Just as I was getting ready to start on new words, my dd said, “Hey, Amazon isn’t shipping for third parties any more,” and of course, I had to read up on the news, watch a conference Governor Cuomo conducted, because his information is so much better than what we’ve gotten out of our own state’s… And on, and on…
When I went outside to clear my head, I realized I’d forgotten something. A few somethings. Like blogging. Like changing my clothes. Like cleaning off my desk. Like making my bed. Like… There are not enough hours in the day. How long is this self-quarantine going to last, because I’m ready for a break!!!?
And I’m sure you’re feeling just about the same way, too, right? The thought that I might be doing this for longer than two weeks is enough to make me want to have a video-conference with some doctor to request sedatives.
But hey, I do have something to share. The opening pages of the next book I’m releasing, One Hot Night. I set the release on Amazon for April 14th, but I’m doing my best to get it finished for release at the end of this month.
One Hot Night
While investigating seemingly unrelated attacks against visiting dignitaries, New Orleans detective, Remy Cyr, spots a certain reporter trying to use a fake invitation to enter an exclusive nighttime event. Seeing a chance to give the persistent reporter a hard time, he pulls her aside to confront her. He’s distracted and amused by her excuses long enough that, once he heads back to the ballroom, he realizes it has been taken over by a group of armed men and that he and the reporter are the only ones who know…
Excerpt from One Hot Night
Detective Remy Cyr followed the slender woman with his gaze as she made her way around the convention ballroom. That she didn’t belong was obvious. That she was likely a reporter was also, although only to someone trained to observe.
Sure, she was dressed for the occasion in a knee-length, emerald green dress. She should have blended in well with the other well-dressed women. Her four-inch suede heels teased a man’s gaze to travel upward over lightly muscled, sleek calves. The jewels she wore weren’t fake. They were nice enough they might fool some of the men attending the event into believing she did, in fact, belong among the glittering NOLA socialites. But her earrings and bracelet were a classic design, likely passed down, not something purchased on a reporter’s salary. Likewise, the clutch she carried was a classic black quilted piece, probably Chanel.
Remy’s ex-girlfriend had been a social-climbing vlogger, who’d told other women how to dress to get the guy they wanted and would have traded all her followers for that clutch. He should have known when Isabelle had worn sweats and frayed jeans around him that she didn’t consider him “end game material” as she’d called the hapless guys she’d urged her devoted audience to stalk.
At first glance, Remy had thought this woman was cut from the same cloth as Isabelle. A lovely blonde with smoky eyes and a red-rimmed, diamond-bright smile. However, she wasn’t smiling to entice a man into taking her to dinner or even up to his room. One by one, she tried to draw them into conversation only to have the mostly foreign dignitaries raise brows and deflect her with a tight smile and tactical turn. Even now, she was beginning to annoy the man she’d latched onto—the Mayor of New Orleans, Hugo Benoit.
Unfortunately for the woman, it looked like Hugo knew her well because he arched a thick, black eyebrow at the woman, and then raised a hand and snapped his fingers.
In seconds, his personal security team converged. Hugo, always one to turn a moment into a flashy laugh, lifted the woman’s hand and bent over it to give her a kiss. Then he straightened and flicked his fingers over his lapel like he was brushing away dirt.
The woman gave him a narrow-eyed glare as she smiled, waved at the bodyguards, and as she turned away, snatched a flute of champagne off a passing waiter’s tray as she walked toward the exit.
One of the bodyguards spoke into a radio, likely ensuring an escort awaited the woman outside the door to remove her from the venue.
Remy grinned. He’d bet his last dollar the woman would be back inside within half an hour. That cheeky grin she’d given the mayor said she wasn’t a woman who conceded a battle—ever.
“Hey, bro,” his brother’s voice sounded in his earpiece. “We’re not bein’ paid to eye the arm candy.”
“Not arm candy, man,” he said softly as he glanced around the ballroom for any hint of further trouble.
“Yeah. This rich a target? They’re not just standin’ behind the velvet ropes along the red carpet. They’re hittin’ up the wait staff, hidin’ in bathrooms…”
“Wearin’ pretty green dresses and high heels…”
Remy’s lips twitched. “She’s made now. I’m wonderin’ what she’ll try next.”
“Think she will?”
“I’d bet money.”
“I won’t take that bet. I’m here to make extra cash, not lose it.”
“Better earn it then, Thibaut, instead of ridin’ my ass.”
“You call that ridin’? I’m just seein’ how much you like the girl. My question is answered,” his brother said, amusement in his voice.
“Don’t even know her name, so don’t go reservin’ the chapel. Just ’cause you and Amelie are tyin’ the knot doesn’t mean the rest of us are ready to tie a noose around our necks.”
“It’s a sweet noose. But damn, weddings are expensive.”
Remy chuckled. “What happened to ‘simple and just family’?”
“Have you seen the size of our family?”
“If you weren’t also countin’ SEALs and cops…”
“Well, there you have it. This gig is a sweet deal. Ballard likes you. He’ll give you as many engagements as you want.”
Thibaut sighed. “I barely see Amelie as it is—what with her shifts at the store and all this wedding shit. Do you know she wanted to hire someone to figure out all this stuff?”
“It’s a lot,” Remy murmured. As Thibaut’s best man, he had a front-row seat to the chaos surrounding his brother’s wedding plans.
“Thank God for Laure. She really stepped up after Amelie asked her to be her Maid of Honor.”
“Glad those two put their shit behind them.”
“Amelie had this crazy idea Laure was sweet on me. Said she was jealous.”
“Maybe when you two were kids…”
“Said it was why Laure was always a bitch around her.”
“Doesn’t she know Laure’s that way with everyone?”
They both chuckled. They loved Laure, but the girl had always been a handful. Remy felt sorry for any man who got tangled up with her.
“I feel sorry for any man who thinks he’s gonna put a ring on her finger.”
Remy’s grin stretched across his face when Thibaut echoed his own thought. “Yeah, he’ll have to be tough, or she’ll walk all over him.”
“Maybe I should introduce her to some of my SEAL buddies when they come to the wedding.”
“Thought you liked your teammates.”
They laughed softly.
Remy caught sight of Thibaut across the ballroom floor and gave him a two-fingered salute.
“Man, I’m glad I’m here,” Thibaut said, smiling.
“Me, too. I’m happy for you.” Thibaut’s road to his engagement hadn’t been an easy one. He’d left the SEALs, attended the police academy, and now was a rookie NOLA cop. “Do you miss it?”
“The Navy?” Thibaut drew a deep breath. “Yes and no. I hated losing folks around me, but there’s something about walking into a firefight with your closest buddies. You feel… Man, I don’t know…like you’re part of something big. Like you’re one…organism. If that makes sense. We can function without commands; know each other’s next moves.”
“If you make SWAT, you’ll feel pretty darn close to that. They work hard. Play hard.”
“Did you hate giving it up when you made detective?”
“I’m not lyin’; I did. But what I’m doing now… I like puzzles. Like figuring out who done it.”
“Don’t think I’ll be goin’ after your job, man. Interrogation was never my strong suit.”
“Breakin’ heads more like it?”
Thibaut grunted in his ear. Then he drew an audible breath. “Glad I didn’t take that bet. Check out the waitress. Your four o’clock.”
Remy glanced out of the corner of his eye and found her. The blonde. Only now, she was a brunette. The wig was chin-length. She’d wiped off the bright red lipstick and smoky eyeshadow. Gone were the heels and in their place were functional black loafers.
Remy smiled and began to make his way toward the table where she was removing some kind of shrimp finger food tray and replacing it with fresh entrees.
While he watched, she glanced around then slipped one of the shrimps into her mouth and closed her eyes. Must have been good. Now, he was hungry, too.
Remy had no doubts that what could have been a really boring night was about to get interesting…