And Now For Something Completely Different

We’ll call this edition of Watch This Space a shameless plug.

I’m beginning to believe that writers are a completely neurotic lot.  When I was writing Luke & Bella: Two Streets Over, which by the way currently has four 5 Star Reviews on Amazon, as I saw the end drawing near I began to feel a sense of panic.  What would I do when it was finished? 

So before I was actually finished writing it, I started a new project that became Rannigan’s Redemption.  Now, I’m in the same situation.  I see the light at the end of the Rannigan tunnel and I feel that same sense of anxiety. 

And I’ve started on what is apparently my next project, tentatively called For Sparrow.  It’s an erotic romance with a bdsm flavor.  Unlike Luke & Bella and Rannigan, I don’t plan to publish it serially on WP.  But I thought I’d float the first chapter just to see what happens.  I hope you like it.

For Sparrow by Pandora Spocks

Chapter 1

I buried my husband today.
The thought tumbled through Jessi’s mind over and over like clothes in a dryer. Voices around her sounded oddly muted, as though she were underwater. Occasionally, someone would touch her, a simple grasping of her hand, a gentle pat on her shoulder, and the sensation felt like burning embers showering down over her.
Following the graveside service, mourners had gathered at her home. Hers and Graham’s. Only Graham isn’t here. We left him at the cemetery. I buried my husband today.
Food had appeared in her kitchen. Casseroles, desserts, salads. There was even a brisket. An army of women had set up a command post and were making sure guests had plenty to eat and drink. Jessi wondered briefly if there was enough ice for the drinks. Maybe she should ask Graham run to out and get some more. I buried my husband today.
Since that day, her phone hadn’t stopped ringing. Friends and neighbors hadn’t stopped calling and dropping by. “How are you?” “What can we do?” “What do you need?”
Her business partner, Sarah Reid, had been a rock, taking over the events they had scheduled this week, returning calls Jessi didn’t have the strength to deal with. “You take all the time you need, hon,” Sarah had told her. “We’ve got it under control.”
Since that day. “Sparrow, I need to get the oil changed in my car. Why don’t you drive to the mechanic’s and I’ll meet you there? I’ll drop you off at your office and then we can do the reverse this afternoon.”
Jessi had waited at the mechanic’s shop. When an hour had passed, she tried his phone. A stranger answered. “This is Officer Brooks. The owner of this phone has been in an accident. Are you the wife of Graham Crenshaw?”
A police car picked her up and drove her to the hospital. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Crenshaw. It appears your husband suffered a fatal heart attack behind the wheel of his car. When the car hit the utility pole, he was most likely already deceased.” The doctor had an air of resigned sympathy. Jessi wondered how many people he pronounced dead on an average day.
Sarah had met her at the hospital and driven her home. Jessi wasn’t sure how her own car got back to the house. She’d somehow made the calls to Cara and Adam. “Something has happened. Your dad died.”
Cara, age twenty-five, had made her excuses at her job with the Weather Channel and taken the first available flight from Atlanta to West Palm Beach. Adam, age twenty-two, had driven from Orlando where he worked as a video game animator.
Jessi and the kids had gone to the funeral home the following day to make arrangements. “Mrs. Crenshaw, your husband has everything prearranged. You don’t need to worry about a thing, it’s all taken care of. He has requested that he be buried in a navy suit with a white shirt and a blue and red paisley tie. Do you know the things he means?”
Jessi nodded dumbly. What he described was her favorite suit of Graham’s. He always looked so handsome, he’d even worn it when they’d celebrated their anniversary a few months back. He had it all planned out. Why didn’t he mention it?
“We’re just so sorry for your loss.” The statement shook Jessi from her thoughts. It was a neighbor couple from down the street.
“Thank you,” she murmured, not meeting their eyes. She sipped her wine to have something to do and wandered into the kitchen.
“Hey, hon, how are you holding up?” Sarah asked.
Jessi shrugged and gave a weak smile. “I’m okay.”
“Can we get you something to eat?”
Jessi shook her head and headed back to the living room. I buried my husband today.
“Jessica. I was just chatting with your lovely daughter and son,” said Rev. Lyman. “Graham was a good man, taken before his time.” He looked at Jessi with slight reproof. “I hope we’ll be seeing you and your family on Sunday.”
“Maybe, Reverend,” Jessi replied softly. “If you’ll excuse me and my children.”
“Of course. Family has to pull together at a time like this.”
They watched him work his way across the room. “I’m not lovely?” quipped Adam.
Jessi smiled at her son. “You’re lovely to me. And you’re welcome.”
“Do you love the way Rev. Lyman tried to get in a plug for going to church?” commented Cara.
“My personal relationship with God is exactly that. Personal,” replied Jessi. “How are you two doing?”
“It’s hard,” said Adam, his voice breaking.
“I know. You don’t have to stay for all of this. I have no idea when people will decide to leave.”
“I’m here until Friday,” Cara said. “I don’t want to leave you alone to deal.”
Jessi kissed her cheek and then Adam’s. “Thank you both. I love you so much. Your dad loved you, too.” She felt tears forming again. She felt as though she’d cried out her very soul, and yet tears were always near. Cara’s here until Friday. What day is it again?
Cara and Adam moved out to find their friends. Jessi turned to look for a place to sit. She was so weary. She was stopped by a woman she vaguely recognized. “Jessica, I’m Harriet, from church?”
“Oh, yes, Harriet. It was good of you to come.”
“Sweetie, I just want to remind you that Graham is in a better place.” She beamed at Jessi as though her words bequeathed onto her some sort of miracle.
Jessi felt a twitch begin at the corner of her eye. If I don’t get out of here right now, I’m going to scream. “If you’ll excuse me, please,” she murmured, pushing past the woman. She hurried through the kitchen, ignoring Sarah as she called to her, and slipped out the back door.
The lanai and pool deck were blissfully quiet. The sun had set and the lights had come on automatically. She crossed to the far side of the pool and sat on the edge of the spa with her back to the house. Finally alone, she leaned forward with her elbows on her thighs and let the tears flow.
She’d only been there a few minutes when she heard a sound, the scuff of a shoe. She sat up abruptly and whirled around.
“I’m so sorry. I don’t mean to bother you.” The man was tall and muscular, his dark hair cut severely, almost military style, his dark suit cut slim. His brown eyes were soft and sympathetic.
Jessi sniffed and stood, swiping at the tears on her cheeks. “I just needed some air. I buried my husband today.” She looked up at him, shocked. “That’s the first time I said that out loud.”
He smiled kindly. “I’ll leave you alone. I just wanted to say that Graham was a good man. He was my friend and I’ll miss him.”
“Thank you. Did you work with him?”
“No. We were friends. I’m Judd, by the way.”
Jessi nodded. “Thank you for coming, Judd. I’m sure he would have appreciated it.” She began walking back towards the house. Judd fell into step beside her.
“I thought maybe I could come back on Saturday, maybe help you with the lawn,” he said.
Jessi was only half-listening, wondering if Harriet had gotten the hell out of her house yet. “Mm-hmm,” she murmured.
“Alright, Jessi,” he said. “Take care, now.”
She nodded and went to find her children.

Ask the Alien – Pandora Spocks – Who is Jon Snow’s Mother?

Finally the definitive truth we all seek. LOL!!!

Bookshelf Battle

Greetings Earth Losers!

The Esteemed Brainy One The Esteemed Brainy One

Before I begin this week’s edition of “Ask the Alien,” the only column that allows Earthlings to consult the wisdom of a higher species in an effort to make your world a smarter place, my Supreme and Unquestionable Overlord, the Mighty Potentate, has asked me to repeat an announcement he made earlier this week:

Our planet, whose name is none of your business, is not Kepler 452-b.  There is no life on that planet and no, there are not really aliens who live there who have been instructed to turn off all the lights until your satellite leaves.  Also, stop using the satellite to beam reality television programs into this planet’s air waves.  If anyone lives there, they are most likely an asexual race and thus have no use for your Kim Kardashian.  

In summation, nothing to see here, so moving along.


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Invisible–Just One Chapter

Ever get something stuck in your mind and you just can’t let go of it?  This is a chapter from a story I haven’t written yet.  Just thought I’d try putting it down.  Maybe now I can go on with what I’m actually working on and come back to this later.

Henry sat across the table watching her devour his hamburger and fries.  When he’d asked, she’d said she wasn’t hungry, but when his food arrived, she hadn’t been able to take her eyes off of it.

The impromptu meal started when he’d asked if he could buy her a coffee.  It seemed a small thing, seeing how she’d rescued him from an embarrassing predicament.  He never should have tried to go after Joanne.  He’d been a fool.  She hadn’t just now decided to break up with him, it had been brewing for a while.

He’d found himself trapped in the door of her building, the sleeve of his overcoat caught when it slammed shut.  He’d pulled and tugged, kicking at the door, but to no avail.  He couldn’t even manage to take the damn thing off and the driving rain was soaking him anyway.

That’s when she’d appeared.  “Are you stuck?” she’d called to him up the steps.

“No, I enjoy standing in the rain!” he’d fired back.

She’d shaken her head and bounded up the steps, pulling her soaked black fleece hoodie tighter around herself.  “No reason to be an asshole,” she muttered.  She began pressing all of the buttons beside the door.  “Let me in!  It’s rainin’ out here!”  The door buzzed and he was free.  She gave an exaggerated bow and hurried down the steps, stopping under the awning of the building next door.

Sheepishly, Henry followed, standing beside her under the awning.  She glanced down at him then resumed looking out at the rain.  “I’m sorry,” he said.  “I didn’t mean to be an asshole.”  She continued staring toward the street.  “Can I buy you a coffee?  My way of saying thanks.”

She looked back at him again seeming to think for a moment.  Finally she sighed.  “I guess I’m not goin’ anywhere until it stops rainin’ anyways,” she said.  That was when he noticed her drawl.  She certainly wasn’t from around here.

She must be homeless, he guessed.  He figured her to be in her early twenties, twenty-three tops.  She was pretty, too, as far as he could tell.  Her long wet hair was plastered to her head, but it seemed to be brown.  She had huge blue eyes that were watchful, flitting all around the room as she ate.  He’d never seen a woman eat like that.  And she was skinny, too.  “I’m Henry, by the way,” he told her.

She paused, french fry halfway to her mouth.  “I’m Shelby.”  She chewed thoughtfully and swallowed.  “What were you doing stuck in that door, Henry?”

He looked down at his hands.  “Acting like a fool, I suppose.”

She smiled knowingly.  “It was a girl,” she said definitely.  Henry declined to answer.  “So what do you do, Henry?”

“I’m a professor of English Literature at Columbia,” he answered.

Shelby’s already large eyes grew bigger.  “No shit?” she said softly, and she laughed to herself.

Henry felt his temper rising.  Having been born with dwarfism, he’d faced ridicule all his life.  “What, is it so unbelievable that someone like me could be a university professor?” he demanded.

Shelby stopped laughing.  “That’s a hell of a chip on your shoulder, there.  A chip that big ought to have its own name.”  She shook her head.  “What I meant was, who would have thought that someone like me would ever meet a professor, let alone sit and have dinner with him?”

“What do you mean, someone like you?” he asked, realizing that he owed her another apology.

She shrugged.  “I’m not very smart,” she said simply.  “I never even finished the eighth grade.  I don’t even know anybody who went to college, let alone anybody who teaches there.”

Henry let that thought sink in.  I’m not very smart.  “Where are you from, Shelby?”

She shook her head, grinning.  “You never heard of it.”

“Try me.”

“I’m from Pine Grove, West Virginia,” she said, watching him carefully.

Henry smiled slowly.  “You’re right, I never heard of it.”

She laughed.  “Count yourself lucky, then.  It’s smack in the middle of nowhere.  Everybody there works in the Hastings plant, processing natural gas.  They actually have red lights to stop the cars about a mile away from the plant, just in case the shit hits the fan.”

Henry nodded.  “Is that why you left?  You didn’t want to work in the plant?”

Shelby looked him dead in the eye.  “I left in the middle of eighth grade because I was tired of getting fucked by my mama’s boyfriends.”  She paused.  “I figured if I was going to be doing it anyway, I might as well be getting paid for it.”

Henry’s eyes widened.  “You’re a…” he stopped.

She narrowed her eyes.  “Now who’s judging?” she asked.

Henry backpedaled.  “No, I mean, I just…”

“I don’t do that anymore.  I quit three years ago.  I have a new gig,” she said.  “I take pictures.”  Henry noticed that she pronounced it pitchers.  “I have a friend who sells postcards and shit to the tourists.  He sells my postcards and splits the profits with me.”

“Really?” Henry said thoughtfully.

“I have a nice camera,” she said, for the first time opening up her jacket to reveal a small camera bag.  She placed it on the table, opening it carefully.  “It’s mine, I bought it at a pawn shop,” she said, slightly defensively.

Henry looked over the camera appreciatively before handing it back to her.  “It’s very nice,” he said.

“That’s why I came uptown.  Somebody told me that I’d like to take pictures at Columbia.  Said there’s cool buildings there.  I was pissed off and not thinkin’ straight.  It was dark by the time I got here.  Plus I didn’t know it was going to rain.  I wasted a whole damn trip for nothing.”

“Where do you live?” Henry wondered.

Shelby rolled her eyes.  “Long story,” she said, “but when I’m in between places, I usually stay at Grand Central.”  He thought of the train station.  “It’s pretty clean, and you can leave your stuff in a locker for two weeks before you have to move it.  There’s a guy who lets me clear tables for a few dollars.  Plus, you can eat what people leave on the trays.  You wouldn’t believe how much food people just waste.”

Henry listened, astounded.  He’d never known a moment when he didn’t know where his next meal was coming from.  “So you came uptown to take pictures at the university?”

“Yeah,” she said around another mouthful.  “Kind of stupid, I guess.  It was too late to begin with and then when I came out of the subway the bottom just fell out of the sky.”

“So are you going to go back to Grand Central?” he probed.

Shelby shrugged.  “I guess so.  I’d better hurry, though.  The good places get taken early.”

Henry sat back in his seat, picturing Shelby stalking through the train station dripping wet, trying to find a good place to settle down for the night.  His own words surprised him.  “You could stay with me for the night.  I’ll take you to the university in the morning, give you a tour.”

Shelby’s eyes narrowed.  “I don’t fuck for a place to sleep.”

Henry blushed furiously.  “God, no!  That’s not what I meant at all,” he stammered.  “I just thought, you’re all the way here, you’re soaked, it’ll take you, what, another hour to get back to Grand Central.  What if you can’t find a place?”  He cleared his throat.  “I’m just saying you could stay on my couch, go with me to work tomorrow.  You can get your pictures and get back at a reasonable time.”

Shelby popped the last bite of hamburger into her mouth, gazing steadily at Henry.  “Okay,” she finally said.

20 Symptoms of Writeritis

Oh, yeah. It’s worse than I thought.

Myths of the Mirror

image from image from

As some of you know, a pervasive syndrome has troubled a segment of society for centuries. After years of research, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders finally classified these symptoms under the diagnosis: Writeritis. 

Writeritis is defined as a persistent, maladaptive pattern of writing that leads to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by six (or more) of the following within a single month:

  1. A marked craving for increased amounts of writing, and longer periods of time to write.

  2. An unquenchable thirst for coffee.

  3. Repeated efforts to cut down or control word count are unsuccessful.

  4. Withdrawal occurs when writing is discontinued or suddenly reduced. Symptoms include shakiness, moodiness, and/or irritability.

  5. A tendency to rapidly relapse into extreme patterns of excessive rewriting – even after periods of abstinence or control.

  6. After writing, a compulsive urge to return and edit.

  7. An inability to initiate household chores until a plot hole is resolved.

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Rannigan’s Redemption: Chapter 9

Michael stopped in the doorway and allowed her to precede him into the hallway.  As she passed him she caught the scent of his cologne and recalling her dream from this morning, she blushed furiously.  Thank God he can’t read my mind, she thought, gripping the new folio tightly.  Even so, when she turned he was regarding her curiously and she felt her face redden.  She smiled to cover her discomfort.  “I can’t believe I have my own office.  Downstairs the newbies have cubicles.”

He grinned and nodded.  “Yeah, up here on 50 we’re kind of our own beast.”  He began walking down the hallway towards the reception area.  “Jim Metheny used to be with Jernigan, Krandel back in the day but they had a parting of the ways about ten years ago.  He was looking for partners to start his own firm.  He found Brian Murphy first.  I had just won a big case in the Public Defender’s Office.”

“People vs. Smithson,” Maggie said.  “He was accused of murder.  An eyewitness IDd him as the perpetrator.  The evidence showed that he was a hundred miles away at the time.”  Michael looked at her in surprise.  Maggie shrugged.  “I studied the case for a criminal justice class.”

He laughed lightly.  “Anyway, together we formed this firm.  Downstairs they deal with all sorts of cases.  Here on 50 we have the most high-profile clients.  When the beautiful people get into trouble, they call me.”  He watched to see her reaction.  “Obviously, confidentiality is a very high priority.”

She nodded her head vigorously.  “Of course.  I understand.”

As they moved down the hallway, Michael pointed out the offices of the people she’d met at the first interview, Stan Hodges, Ellen Standifer, and John Hemphill.  Maggie remembered how condescending they’d been.  That will have to stop, she thought to herself.  There were also the offices of several other associates.  Michael stopped in front of a pair of frosted glass doors.  “This,” he began, swinging open the doors, “is our library.  It was donated by a very wealthy, very grateful client.”

Maggie walked into the room full of bookshelves as far as she could see.  She crossed over to touch some of the leather-bound volumes on the nearest one.  “Holy…” she breathed.  She turned to face Michael.  “This is amazing.”

“Well, I’m not sure how amazing you’ll think it is.  Part of your job will be re-shelving the books.  That job always falls to the newest member of the team.  Dan Alvarez is very happy you’re here.  Now he doesn’t have to do it.”

“Shit rolls downhill, huh?” Maggie quipped.

Michael snorted in surprise.  “Sad, but true,” he laughed.

She smiled at him.  “I don’t mind.  I get having to pay my dues.  I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

“Then you’ll probably do very well here,” he observed.  “Let’s head to my office and discuss the details.”

They passed Karen’s desk.  She was busy on the phone.  “I’m sorry, Mr. Rannigan is currently unavailable.  I’ll have him return your call at his earliest convenience.”

Just before his office, Michael pointed out the conference room.  Maggie peeked inside.  It looked like the one on the lower floor where she’d had her second interview.  He held open his office door and closed it behind her.  Maggie took a few steps into the room and stopped to take it all in.  The corner office was all glass on two walls, one overlooking the park as in her office and the other looking down Park Avenue.  His huge glass and steel desk backed into the corner was dwarfed by the size of the room.  To the right of the desk was a small conference table and to the left was a seating area with two black leather couches and a couple of coordinating chairs.  He watched her for a moment.  “It’s not a bad view,” he minimized.  “Can I get you something?”  He crossed the room to a small refrigerator concealed in a glass and steel credenza behind the desk.  Opening it, he offered her a bottled water.  She accepted it, still speechless from the view.  He motioned for her to sit in one of the black leather chairs opposite the desk and he sank into his own black leather executive chair.

“So, Mary Margaret Flynn,” he said.  “You’re officially part of the Murphy, Rannigan team.”  She smirked at his use of her full name.  He grinned.  “Maggie.  More specifically, you’re part of the elite 50th floor.  We’ve already discussed your library duties.  A couple of times a day, you should get the cart and gather up books people are finished with and return them to their proper places.  Sometimes people take them back themselves and just leave them on a table, so look for those, too.”  Maggie was writing notes in the folio.

Michael continued, “Every morning we meet as a team in the conference room to touch base on what everybody’s working on, where they are in the process. We have coffee and pastries for the meeting.  That’s another rookie job.  Getting the coffee and pastries.”  He opened a drawer and took out a credit card, sliding it across the desk to Maggie.  She reached to pick it up.  It was an American Express ‘Black Card’ she saw.  Well of course it is, she thought, mentally rolling her eyes.  “Use this for those kinds of purchases,” he was saying.  “We usually get coffee and stuff from Starbucks on the corner.”  Maggie grimaced unconsciously.  Michael cocked his head.  “What’s wrong?  Not a Starbucks fan?”

Maggie, eyes wide, tried to backpedal.  “No, Starbucks is fine, I mean, if you like…” she trailed off.

Michael was curious.  “If you like what?”

“Well, I mean, if you like corporate, big box kinds of sh…stuff,” she answered.

His grin was wry.  “What would you suggest?” he asked, leaning back in his chair and steepling his fingertips together.

“For Pete’s sake, this is New York.  There are terrific mom and pop bakeries on practically every block.  The food is better and you’re supporting the local economy rather than lining corporate fat cat pockets.”

“Keeping in mind that corporate fat cats are precisely our clients,” Michael replied evenly, suppressing a grin, “this seems to be something about which you feel strongly.”

“I just think you can do better than Starbucks, that’s all,” Maggie said.

“Tell you what, Mags, you bring in what you think is best tomorrow and we’ll see how it goes,” he said with only a trace of a smirk.

Mags? she thought.  Beats the hell out of Mary Margaret, I suppose.  “It’s a deal,” she said, smiling.  “You’ll be happy, I promise.”

Michael went on to say that she would also be responsible for taking lunch orders.  “You pick the place and let them tell you what they want.  What you say goes, I don’t want you running all over town to suit everyone, and besides, most places will deliver here.”

“Do you have a suggestion for the first day?”

“Do you have anything against the Lexington Grill?” he asked with only a trace of irony.

“Lexington Grill,” she repeated, writing it with her notes.

“In addition to your rookie responsibilities, there will be times I ask you to proofread briefs, go over depositions, find precedents, even accompany me to court on occasion.  We’ll try to ease you in,” he said.

Maggie smiled.  “Great!  I’m ready to work hard.  I like to feel that I earn my keep.”

“I’m sure you will,” Michael said.  “It’s later than I planned.  You might get on the lunch order now.”

Maggie stood.  “Will do, boss,” she said walking to the door.

As she reached for the knob, he called out to her.  “You know, we have something in common,” he said.

Maggie turned around and smirked.  “Besides being lawyers, graduates of NYU School of Law, and aficionados of great live music?”

Michael gave a pained smile.  “I’ve thought about it since your second interview.  We’re both alone in the world.  I never knew my father and my mom died when I was a kid.  Nobody came to see me graduate, either.”

All the color drained from Maggie’s face.  “Oh, God, Michael, I’m so sorry.  I was being a smartass, I didn’t realize…”

He waved a hand at her dismissively.  “No worries.  I’m glad to know you’re a smartass.  I was thinking you were a little uptight.”  He gave her a genuine smile.  “Glad to have you on board, Mags.  Get going with lunch.”

Get It While It’s Hot!

wpid-screenshot_2015-07-09-12-22-56-1.pngWho am I kidding?  It’s always hot.

But for a limited time, oh, say today through July 13, you can snag your very own copy of Luke & Bella: Two Streets Over for the One-Month Anniversary price of $.99.

As always, it’s FREE on Kindle Unlimited.  I’d love for you to leave a review, good, bad, or indifferent on Amazon or Goodreads, too.  That would be amazing.

Thanks so much for supporting Indie Authors!!

Another Shameless Plug

Countdown sale twitpic(1)It’s an Anniversary Countdown Sale!  Tomorrow is the one month anniversary of the release of Luke & Bella: Two Streets Over.

In honor of this momentous occasion, starting tomorrow and lasting through the weekend it will be available at Amazon for the sale price of .99.

As always, it’s available free on Kindle Unlimited.  Just click the image for the link to purchase your very own copy.

And thanks for supporting Indie Authors!

Just for fun, here’s a taste…

Chapter 1
Bella Grant checked her trunk again. Three months was a long time. What have I forgotten? She frowned. Don’t be stupid. You can get anything you need. You aren’t going to the Amazon rain forest.

After calling down to the front desk for bell service, she made one last tour of the suite to make sure she wasn’t forgetting anything. Hearing the knock, she opened the door to find the bellman waiting in the hallway. She stepped back and admitted him to the suite. “It’s just these,” waving her hand to indicate her trunk, cosmetic case, and camera bag.

The bellman hesitated when he saw the trunk. Inwardly, Bella smiled. It was huge, a vintage Louis Vuitton steamer trunk that had once belonged to her grandfather. She jokingly referred to it as her ‘big-ass Louis’. Fortunately, the bellman was too well-trained to complain and he managed to get her things on the cart.

Bella didn’t wait, but went ahead and took the elevator to the lobby. Stopping at the desk, she returned her key and checked out. The bill was covered, of course, by the network. Her new employer.

She’d been in television for the last fifteen years, always in local news as a reporter in several places, but most recently as a morning show anchor in Akron. She’d hated Ohio, but had taken the job in order to add ‘Anchor’ to her resume. But this was different.

When she’d seen the posting in the trade magazine, she knew this was the opportunity she’d been waiting for. She’d be hosting a new travel show for TLC. According to the executive producer, Charlie, who’d hired her, she would have carte blanche to do what she wanted. He’d tell her where to go and the rest would be up to her. Fill the time. Make it interesting. Make it unique. Which was just what she intended to do.

The bellman loaded her things into the cab. She thanked him and gave him a generous tip before stepping into the back of the taxi. Her thoughts raced as they made their way through thick Manhattan traffic toward the airport. She didn’t even know where her first assignment would take her. They would find out at the ticket counter.

They. She’d meet her photog at the airport. Her mind wandered there. She didn’t even know his name. What would he be like? Young? Old? Experienced? She was sure Charlie wouldn’t hire someone with no experience.
A small smile played across her face. It wouldn’t suck too badly if he was attractive. Her social life was virtually nonexistent. Who had the time? Still…

Her thoughts came back to the present as the taxi pulled into the Departures lane of the airport. “Which airline, miss?” the driver asked. “Virgin Atlantic,” she replied. He stopped at the appropriate curb. Skycaps jumped into motion unloading her bags. “I’d like them stored please. I need to go to the ticket counter,” she told them.

They handed Bella the luggage receipts and she walked into the terminal.