With the release of Rejected next month and Halloween right around the corner I am pretty excited. And I want to pass along that excitement to you guys so I am putting up a chunk of the first chapter. FYI I am still waiting for edits so this might not be the same when you read Rejected on Nov 13. Enjoy!
Grace stopped what she was doing. She couldn’t help it. It was an involuntary response every time she caught his scent in the air. Grace stood still, eyes closed, in the middle of the sidewalk trying to pinpoint what made Jack Taylor smell so damn good.
It could have been his aftershave. No one else in the small town of Black Bird used his aftershave. It could have been the sawdust that was always lingering on his clothes. It could have been that wild smell that permeated under every other smell. Whatever it was, it added up to one thing in Grace’s mind. Mate.
“Hey, crazy, how about you stop daydreaming and help me with these boxes.”
“Sorry, Anne,” Grace ducked her head embarrassed that she had been caught, nose in the air.
Anne Kane, Grace’s best friend, just shook her head and walked into her boutique. Grace was helping Anne part time with her store while Anne looked for more permanent help. The two women were supposed to be bringing in new merchandise but Grace was frozen where she stood, box in hand, looking for the source of the distracting smell.
The bell over the door of Chic Chick rang as Anne walked back onto the sidewalk.
“He walked by while you were in the back. You missed him, Grace.” Anne sighed exasperated. “Now, can we get on with business? I want to get these dresses up before lunch.”
Grace picked up another box from Anne’s car and followed her inside.
Rows of clothes hung on galvanized steel pipes that serpentined through the single room store. The exposed metal, coupled with the antique white hutches, gave the store a rustic feel. Anne’s ability to pair modern and old world styles was what made her main street shop a success. Grace may have helped build the clothing racks and paint the walls but it was Anne who kept selling out of merchandise.
Without a word, the two women started opening boxes and shaking out dresses. They had done this so many times in the last four years that they had it down to an art. Anne pulled out the steamer while Grace started making room to hang the sundresses in the front window.
The weather was warming up. The sunshine peeking through the clouds would turn people’s minds to summer and the bright colors Anne had picked out would give ladies the incentive to buy new dresses. The front window was the perfect way to lure people in during their lunch breaks.
It also gave Grace an excuse to keep an eye out for Jack. In case he walked back this way again.
“I thought you had a sure fire plan to corner Jack yesterday,” Anne said breaking the silence.
Grace barely contained a growl, “I did.”
She had bribed old man Johnson at the lumber yard to call Grace when Jack arrived to pick up his shipment that week. What Grace hadn’t anticipated was that old man Johnson’s loyalty to Jack was greater than his love for butterscotch brownies. The old coot had taken the brownies but never called Grace.