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About the author:
When not writing, Elanna usually tries to convince herself that she should go running or bike riding, but normally caves in the luxury of reading through some of the great stories by other authors. And drinking coffee ? lots and lots of coffee from a local coffee shop.
What inspired you to write your book?
I chased after them and Nice Guys Come Last is the result.
Here is a short sample from the book:
The little blonde girl, sitting on the couch next to Geneva, stared up at her. If Geneva shifted even an inch in any direction, the kid’s big blue eyes followed her. Geneva wanted to scream. Hell, she wanted to do more than scream. She wanted to stomp into the kitchen, pull Delia aside, and remind her that we still had to finish packing. Delia scheduled the movers to pick up boxes the next morning, but neither Geneva nor Delia had made any real progress in packing up the house.
Geneva tried to pack. A little. But every time she moved to a half-filled box needing stuffing, the little rug rat peppered Geneva with a litany of questions she couldn’t really answer. Geneva didn’t know why they only had brown dishtowels, maybe because the color matched the other kitchen crap?
Geneva finally gave up and sat down with the kid. Only now, the kid wasn’t saying a word.
Delia sat in the kitchen with the kid’s mom, talking about something or other. But whenever Geneva peeked in, Delia waved her off. Geneva assumed the hush-hush meeting had something to do with the Lyall family and therefore important, but not important enough to include Geneva. Ever since Geneva and Delia came out east for college, Delia had visitors. She explained to Geneva that they had ties to the Lyall family philanthropy and Geneva believed her. Believing was easier than questioning the number of people who had ties to the Lyalls.
Geneva figured out relatively early in their relationship that smiling and nodded her head most of the time was the best response. Geneva knew Delia was hiding something, just as if Delia knew that Geneva wasn’t an idiot. It was better, and a little bit easier, to pretend Delia was telling the truth.
“Mom won’t let me have soda.”
Great. The beverage options at the moment were limited to Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Diet Sprite–the perfect mixers for any alcohol–beer, and various liquors.
They used the last of it to make mimosas that morning. But Geneva wasn’t about to tell a little kid that. “Sorry. We’re moving back home today, we tried to use up what was left in the fridge.” She took a breath and looked around the nearly empty room. “Cookie?”
The kid nodded her head. Geneva needed to figure out the kid’s name. She knew Delia told her when the two showed up earlier that morning, but Geneva forgot. It wasn’t as though Geneva expected the kid to stick around for too long. She was wrong. Geneva was getting close to calling the visitors long-term guests. Another hour and she’d have to invite them to stay the night just to be polite.
Geneva stood up and looked in the box she had been trying to pack up. She remembered sticking a few boxes of thin mints in it. The green box peeked out at her from behind a brown dishtowel and she snatched it out of its nest. Geneva pulled out a sleeve of cookies and tossed it to the girl. “I’ll get myself a coke and if you’re thirsty you can have a sip.”
If a parent dropped their kid off in Geneva’s lap, literally, then she felt no reason to abide by the parental rules. Unless the rules somehow worked to her advantage when it came to packing. She looked at the little girl and pulled her bottom lip through her teeth. She didn’t think an illicit soda or stack of cookies was on par with feeding the kid drugs or alcohol, but Geneva had to suppress the tinge of guilt creeping up through her stomach and into her throat. Raising a kid couldn’t be easy, especially when other grownups did their best to undermine the parental rules.
Geneva crept into the kitchen and pulled a can of coke from the fridge. She also took a quick look over the shelves. She wanted to make sure she wasn’t lying and that they didn’t have juice hanging around. Satisfied only soda resided in the fridge, she headed back to the living room. Geneva sighed a few times, loudly enough for Delia to hear. Delia ignored the noises. Delia was adept at ignoring Geneva when responding might lead to answering questions. Delia was almost as good at it as Geneva was at ignoring Delia’s secrets.
Geneva sat down on the couch and eyed the kid from the corner of her eyes. She didn’t want the kid to think she was staring or anything, but she didn’t quite know what to do next. “Look, kid, I need to pack. We have a few boxes left and the movers will be here first thing tomorrow.”
The girl opened the coke and held it in both of her hands. She took a loud sip. Geneva decided the act was permission to pack. She took a deep breath and eyed the pile of kitchen stuff. It patiently waited for Geneva to place it neatly inside of a box. Neatly was the key word and not one Geneva focused on at the moment. She glared at the kitchen doorway. Once more, she wondered why she was alone in the task of shoving crap–there really wasn’t any other word for it–into boxes.
“Where are you moving?”
“Chicago.” Geneva tossed in a few towels, packing them around the loose items.
“That’s where we grew up. We’re moving back home.” Cooking utensils, big spoons, spatulas, and ladles piled in on top of the towels.
“What are you going to do back in Chicago?”
Holy crap, did the kid ever shut up? “Delia’s going to start working for her father, and I have a job lined up with a commodity trader.”
“What’s a commodity trader?”
Geneva blew her bangs out of her eyes with an exaggerated sigh. “I’ll look at numbers and tell him what goods, like corn or grain, to buy or sell.”
The girl stared at Geneva. Geneva didn’t even need to turn around to see those big, sad, blue eyes fixated on her. She ignored the girl. Or gave it the good ol’ college try. Surveying the pile again, Geneva re-tucked her blue oxford shirt back into her shorts. Not exactly moving attire, but she realized a bit too late that she packed her other clothes. It was either her shorts or a khaki skirt and only one blouse. Of course, she could always pull on the cardigan if she got a chill.
Geneva pulled her fingers through her dark blonde hair and twisted it around until she pulled the strands into a tight ponytail. If she wasn’t careful, she figured there would be a bald spot soon. Geneva grumbled and kicked at the pile.
“You could just pick it all up and drop it all in.”
Geneva looked over her shoulder at the little girl and grinned. So what if she didn’t know the kid’s name, she was a girl after Geneva’s own heart.
“I won’t tell anyone either.”
Like that would have stopped Geneva. Well it might have, if the witness wasn’t a six-year-old girl. Geneva took the kid’s advice, swept up the pile of crap between her arms, and dumped it into the box. Before Geneva could even close the box, the kid was next to her with a roll of tape.
Apparently ignoring mom rules was worthy of aiding and abetting. Geneva grabbed the tape and together they managed to seal the box closed. It took some finagling and holding the flaps tight, but they managed.
“My name’s Molly.” She crossed her arms over her chest and glared up at Geneva
Crap. She knew Geneva didn’t remember her name. A blush crept up her neck to her cheeks, but she hoped the kid wouldn’t notice it. Geneva reached for the sleeve of chocolatey minty goodness and handed it to her. “Have another cookie, Molly.”
Geneva stared at the kitchen doorway. Like staring at the doorway would answer the question of when Delia and Molly’s mom would finish their conversation and Delia could join Geneva in the task of packing up everything they had procrastinated packing up.
Molly reached for the cookies and almost had her hand wrapped around them when the door slammed open with an echoing bang.