Weekend Excerpt–LUKE & BELLA

LUKE & BELLA begins with a pair of journalists being presented with the job of a lifetime–traveling the world and producing a new television travel show.

Bella is a smart, sassy redheaded television host with a passion for adventure.  Luke is more jaded, having spent years covering war and mayhem as a news photographer.  He left television behind to spend his days living on a rented boat in Florida.  The promise of producing his own show is intriguing enough to coax him out of retirement.  The fact that he’s paired with a sexy redhead is an added bonus.

Throughout the story, Luke & Bella visit cities like Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Mykonos, Mumbai, Buenos Ares, and many other romantic places.  As I wrote the book, I did a great deal of research into every destination.  And when possible, the hotels and restaurants the couple visits are actual places.

Above are photos of some of the settings for scenes in LUKE & BELLA.  I also included the photo that was my inspiration for Bella’s huge suitcase, the one she affectionately calls her “big-ass Louis,” which was a gift from her grandfather.

Here’s a scene from LUKE & BELLA.

It was 8:00 am local time when they landed in Edinburgh.  They moved quickly through customs and headed down to Baggage Claim.  A short man in a driver’s uniform held a sign lettered “McGillicutty.”  Luke strode up to him, right hand out.  “I’m Luke McGillicutty.”

“Yes, sir, my name is Stewart.  I’m here to take you to the Balmoral,” the driver replied.  “Shall we collect your bags?”

Luke lifted his battered duffels.  “These are my bags, but I believe the lady has a cargo container or something.”

Bella smirked at him.  “Ha-ha!  Maybe you could make yourself useful and get some footage.”  She wandered in the direction of the baggage carousel and Stewart followed, cart in tow.

Good idea, Luke thought to himself.  Since the moment he’d first seen her in the airport lounge, he’d been itching to see her through his lens.  Life itself was all too often neither contained nor controlled.  Things in his camera lens were precisely contained and exactly controlled, separated into manageable segments.    It was how he preferred to see the entire world, really, although he didn’t want to analyze that too deeply.   He felt that images in his camera lens appeared in their true form.  And he wanted to see Bella.

As she stood near the carousel chatting with the driver, Luke zoomed in on her.  A good photog always zooms completely in on his subject, focuses, and then slowly backs off.  Only he didn’t back off.  He started at her feet, clad in jeweled leather thong sandals.  And fuchsia nail polish.  He moved up to her ankle peeking out from under the long grey (or was it silver?) lace skirt she was wearing.  Since when was an ankle so sexy?

Traveling up he paused as she leaned over to retrieve a cosmetic case.  The skirt hung from her curved form in just the right way.  The bottom of a white tank top covered the top of the skirt before disappearing under the short denim jacket she was wearing over it.  Again, all curves.  Now Bella had turned toward him, her attention on the driver who was still waiting for her luggage.  From this angle he trailed up her body, watching her take off the jacket and fold it over her arm.  Full, perfect breasts filled out the tank top and for the first time he noticed a sprinkling of light freckles that trailed off into her cleavage.

Unconsciously, Bella reached up to tuck some stray red curls behind her ear.  That face.  And that amazing hair.  God, she was beautiful.  “Careful, Cowboy,” he whispered to himself.

He hurried to get some video they could actually use and tried not to dwell on what Bella might think if she saw what he’d just shot.

She flashed him a triumphant smile as she and Stewart returned to him, her things loaded onto the cart, including what could only be the fabled “big-ass Louis.”

“Geez, is that all?” Luke quipped.  “Aren’t you afraid you might not have everything you need?”

“McGillicutty, you and your ghetto bags are just jealous!” Bella returned, and she led them all out into the Edinburgh morning.

LUKE & BELLA is available at this link:





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