That’s sort of how I feel tonight. As exhausted as I am, I have to admit I don’t think I’ve ever been able to pull in these kind of numbers before. It was like once I caught the whiff of “the end” I was obsessed. I wrote every free minute outside of work and kid duty today. We even grabbed a bite out so I didn’t have to stop and cook. Between Dark & Early, lunch, before dinner, after dinner…
I netted over 9,800 words today and managed to finish the first draft of the Zombie Category Romance at 43,133 words. I have one scene I know I need to go back and add, and I might need to fine tune the ending to get a snappy last line. I’m not sure that what I have sings enough, and I’m too tired to tell. There’s also a few dropped threads I need to go back and fix, but overall, I’m so very pleased with this draft.
It’s everything I love about HQ Presents and alphahole heroes mixed with zombies and a tough yet sweet woman who knows exactly how to bend the arrogant Greek to her will. I so hope Angie wasn’t kidding when she said she was interested in something like this… Plus it’s got a foodie theme for Alissa and pays tribute to my all-time favorite restaurant, Mythos. I’m so ridiculously pleased with everything about this story that I’m almost giddy.
Or maybe I’m just high on words. Or maybe Clare slipped me a little of that Death By Chocolate Cake when I wasn’t looking…
Now I’m turning into a pumpkin for the night. I won’t be getting up D&E tomorrow and I plan to rest my wrists and eyes as much as possible. Since I’m ahead, I might make the first pass of revisions while the fire is hot and then move to Phantom. Or maybe I’ll just free write notes for Lord Regret. He’s been nagging me lately, even if I don’t have a plot for his book.
We’ll see how I feel.
NaNoWriMo count: 36,701 words
Snippet: Hmm, there are so many fun and touching moments I haven’t shared with you. Shall I share the first kiss…when Clare punches him? The word games they play in the kitchen? The “demonstration” that Helga puts on for him that convinces him Clare is the real deal and as honest as she claims to be?
I decided to share the first tender moments when Clare begins to understand exactly how much danger she’s in.
“When are you going to start calling me Yiorgos?” Briskly, he turned to an expensive barista-quality espresso machine that certainly had not graced the kitchen in her father’s time. “Besides, tea is for stuffy old ladies in silly hats. I’ll make a cup of coffee that’ll grow hair on your chest, while you explain how a curse works.” So I can break it.
He didn’t say the last aloud, but now his carefully worded contract began to make more sense. He desperately wanted to break this so-called curse, and he suspected she might know how to do so. Even if her father had cursed Yiorgos—which she highly doubted—she didn’t have a clue how to break it.
Of course, Michelopoulos didn’t…couldn’t…know that. If he suspected she was of no use to him, she’d be kicked out of Remy’s so fast she wouldn’t even have time to remove the apron. She’d certainly lose her chance of regaining not only the restaurant but the Remy family legacy as well. If, and that was a huge if, the man would uphold the contract he’d signed, arguably under duress.
She didn’t know much about the real man behind the famous tycoon façade, but she suspected he valued his word of honor above winning this war with her father that had gone on way too long.
“If I’m going to have motor oil in a cup, then I need dessert.” Laughing lightly at the scowl he shot over his shoulder, she prepared two plates of strawberry shortcake which she’d intended to serve at dinner tonight, assuming he allowed the restaurant to open. When he set the steaming cup of coffee in front of her—straight jet black and so strong just the smell of it made her eyes water—she spooned some of the cream into her cup. “Besides, you never gave me permission to use your Christian name, Mr. Michelopoulos, and according to our contract, you’re my employer.”
The furrow between his eyes deepened into formidable caverns. “That contract is null and void.”
“Oh, thank God,” she breathed out heavily, letting her shoulders slump. “I was afraid I was going to be stuck working for you.”
“You are,” he retorted without any real heat. He drew up a high stool opposite her at the large island. Sipping his cup, he closed his eyes—evidently in bliss, not revulsion. For the first time since she’d arrived yesterday, he appeared more human and less the caricature of the billionaire playboy. If he was deliberately letting her peek into his real life in order to sway her into helping him, it was working.
Ruefully, she dug into her cake. The man was gorgeous and rich and brilliant. Evidently he possessed a soul, too.
“Well, then, Ms. Remy, I shall ask the most difficult question first. Do you hate me too much to help me?”
Surprised, she searched his face. He was trying for bland and smooth, but he kept his eyes guarded, veiling his secrets in those dark depths. True vulnerability? Or merely stage two of his conquest? She couldn’t be sure. “I never said I hated you.” She took a sip of coffee and nearly spluttered it all over his immaculate shirt. “Oh dear.”
His lips curled in the first genuine smile he’d bestowed on her. “A bit stout?”
“Errr, yes. Stout.” She barely restrained herself from rubbing her tongue with her napkin to get the bitterness off. She spooned more cream into her cup. There’s no amount of fat and sugar I could put into this to make it palatable.
“You have every right to hate me, Ms. Remy. I defeated your father at his own game, took his beloved restaurant which was surely to be your inheritance, and ultimately left you and your mother to face the world alone.” He stretched out his long, graceful fingers and lightly stroked the back of her left hand. “I’m terribly sorry for your loss. I had no idea Mr. Remy was quite so ill.”
Emotion made her throat swell shut. So unfair. Tenderness and sincerity from the arrogant man would devastate her defenses like nothing else. “We didn’t either.” She raised her gaze to his. Gleaming pools of melting obsidian didn’t flinch or withdraw from her perusal.
Because he had nothing to hide? Or because he was such a practiced liar?
Her fingertips tingled, bewildering her even more. Why would her magic come to life when she wasn’t cooking? She had no other gifts. But it wasn’t her imagination, because he felt it too. His eyes flared and his stroking fingers froze on her skin.
“What was that?”
“Magic,” she whispered, as shaken as he.
“Can you break this curse, Clare?”
The way he said her name, slow and gentle, a verbal stroking of pleasure and hope, made her shudder. This couldn’t be happening. Just the faint touch of comfort and his voice alone had her quivering like an eager puppy. He’d already made it abundantly clear that she wasn’t attractive to him. He might stoop to a little seduction to get what he wanted, but that was all it could possibly be.
He’ll leave me brokenhearted and powerless, while he goes in search of his next conquest.