I’d like to be counting down to my vacation week, but it’s still too far away for me to do that. So instead, I’m going to keep my head down and keep writing in my spare moments.  I actually can see the light at the end of the tunnel at the day-job. We have a new trainee starting this week, but it will be about a month before she’s ready to actually do the job, so we still have a few crazy weeks ahead before we can slow down and catch our breath. And right after that is my vacation week, and I have plenty of things on that to-do list already, aside from the trip to the beach.

 

Actually, I have a pretty huge to-do list in general.  I need to break that down into categories, like ‘do now’, ‘do by the end of the year’, and ‘do when you can’. I used to be much better about weekly to-do lists and goals, and need to get back into that. I used to break down the yearly goals I set to monthly, and then weekly, by day. Now I do my goals for the year and break them down by month, but the past two and a half years, plans kind of went to hell with all of the family things we had going on. I really have to get my brain back into list-mode. I love a good list, and checking things off when they’re completed–I do them at the day-job all the time, I’ve just gotten out of the habit in the rest of my life and I need to fix that.

Exercise used to be on my weekly lists, and that’s been off the radar for a long time–when I worked retail, I got plenty of exercise in during the work-day, but now I sit at a desk all day, which isn’t so good for the size of my behind. One of my teammates and I actually added a daily walk to our work calendar so we get up and move for at least ten minutes once a day (unless all hell has broken loose and we’re lucky to make it to the bathroom), and are adding a second one this week.

I used to have page goals on my weekly goals as well, which went a long way toward making the annual writing goals. I’m already plotting for my 2019 goals that I won’t set till December about how to get that figured in early so I make better progress again.  Right now, I’m still studying and researching things I need to know for jumping into the self-publishing pool (which, by the way, is a scary place!). There are a lot of things to know and do there, and since I’ve never done some of them before, I want to make sure I’m doing it right. Too many people put books out themselves who have clearly not done enough homework, and I don’t want to be one of them. I want the Medusa trilogy to go out into the world ready to fly. Some more in-depth study will be happening during my vacation week.

I am going to get some fun time in, along with all of the work. We have concert tickets for the end of the month for a group with some musicians my husband and I both like from their previous bands, so that will be an interesting evening. And next month, right before my vacation week, a friend and I are having a mini-retreat the day before the next Nora Roberts signing, and I can’t wait. We’ll head down the day before the signing, check into our hotel and spend the rest of the day writing, and then be at the signing the next morning.

Before I get back to weekend chores, I have a little story snippet to share with you, from the first tiger shifter story (which is still currently nameless).

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His father’s words stuck with him the rest of the night, and again the next day. Boyd was right. Dealing with Tessa would take all his attention.

Now if only he could cross paths with her.

He got lucky the next evening. India had left a note in the kitchen that Tessa was stopping by after work to pick up some books, just in case India wasn’t back from New York on time.

He grinned to himself as he made his way to where he knew she’d go when she arrived. India was, indeed, still in New York, so she wouldn’t be there to meet Tessa.

But he would.

He heard the front door, and her laughter reached his ears along with his brother Joe’s voice. Joe’s heavier footsteps continued up the stairs, and Tessa’s slower, lighter ones came along the hallway. To the library. To him.

Harley lounged in his chair, deliberately not letting her know he was there. How long would it take her to notice his presence?

She dallied for a few minutes in front of the shelves that housed the African cat books even though he knew she’d read all of them at least twice. He took the time to admire her toned legs beneath the hem of her khaki skirt. The shape of her hips as she leaned her weight on one leg. Then she meandered past the native plants of New England shelf, her fingers trailing along the spines as she went.

He imagined what her fingers would feel like sliding over his skin that way, and his body came to attention.

She stopped in front of the garden design area, head tilted. After a moment, she pulled a book out, then another, then several more, and lugged the whole stack to the wide worktable several steps away from him.

He held his breath.

She dropped the books loudly, and then froze when her gaze landed on him.

“Hello, little Tessa,” he said softly.

Panic flitted through her eyes, and her pulse beat madly in the hollow of her throat. “Harley.” It came out strangled.

“Planning a garden?” He stayed where he was, hoping she wouldn’t flee.

She lifted a shoulder jerkily. “Someday.”

He stifled his grin. She was still poised for flight. “What kind of garden?”

She blinked at him. “What?”

“What kind of garden?” he repeated evenly. “Formal, cottage? Something in between?”

A tiny frown line appeared between her eyebrows, as if she were trying to decide his intent. “Probably cottage style,” she said at last, dropping her gaze to the stack of books in front of her. “Formal gardens are pretty, but require more work than I have time for.” She glanced at him again, wariness clouding her eyes.

He leaned forward in his seat, watching her tense still more. The first hint of her arousal scented the air. “I haven’t seen you for a couple days, Tessa.” He pushed to his feet.

She swallowed hard, blushing. “I’ve been busy at work.”

Liar. “I thought maybe you were avoiding me.” He moved to the work table, standing opposite her so he could see the way her eyes darkened.

“Of course not,” she murmured, dropping her gaze to the books again.

“I’m glad to hear that, since I was hoping to kiss you again.”

Her gaze jumped to his face. “We agreed that wasn’t a good idea.”

Harley shook his head slowly, holding her gaze. “I never agreed to that.” He took a step toward the corner of the table, then another, until he rounded the table and stood beside her.

Tessa’s prey instincts were good. She was fairly quivering with the need to run. But she held her ground anyway. He touched her arm lightly with his knuckles and watched the goose bumps lift along her soft skin.

You said it would be a good idea not to kiss again, but I’d never agree to something like that when I know it’s a fat lie.”

Her eyes widened a little more. “I disagree.”

“Liar.” He slid his hand higher, until he could catch her warm nape against his palm.

She set her hands on his chest when he turned her. “Whatever happened to leaving siblings’ friends alone? Or not screwing with the humans?”

He’d been bending toward her and it was his turn to freeze. “That’s Adar’s opinion, Tessa. Not mine.” He pulled her slightly closer. Now it was his turn to lie. “And all I’m talking about is a little kissing.”

Her gaze landed on his lips and her tongue darted out at the corner of her mouth, almost too quickly for him to see.

Almost. He stifled a groan and bent to kiss her, quickly. Lightly. And again. Again. Until she opened her mouth, her fingers curling into his shirtfront.

Gotcha!

One kiss turned into two, into five, until he lost count. The taste of her was addicting.

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I hope you all get in some down-time this week.  Find a hammock and take a book along!

Young lady reading the book in the hammock on tropical beach at sunset

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