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About the author:
My professional biography is as follows (I’m not sure why it’s in the third person, evidently that’s the rule): Grace is happiest when reading, eating Portillos hot dogs, and patiently waiting for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
What inspired you to write your book?
I was out playing in the snow with my dog after a blizzard covered the town. I wondered if there was a book plot somewhere in there and an idea slowly started to form. I added an alpha male, a feisty heroine, and gave my dog a cat name just to be strange.
Here is a short sample from the book:
I trudged through the snow, cursing my heels under my breath. At least I could think of something positive to look forward to. I might catch a glimpse of “Brick Wall” when I walked past the newest construction site to pop up on the already crowded street. There was an office complex going up next to Kharmma and I passed it every day on the way to my car. I noticed HIM on Monday. He hadn’t been there before. I’m sure I would have seen him. He was impossible to miss. With a body built like a linebacker and a stony expression on his finely chiseled face, I had nicknamed him “Brick Wall.” He stood tall, towering over the rest of the crew, and looked like he could literally stop traffic. He had mournful brown eyes and shaggy dark hair falling into his face. I wanted him desperately. I would never have the guts to actually talk to anyone as sinfully sexy as that. So he became my newest fantasy. Forget book boyfriends or TV crushes, I had a man that existed in real life to daydream about.
In case you’re wondering how I got close enough to know that his eyes were sad and angst-ridden, I had the opportunity to fully check him out two days ago. I was walking to work and he was getting a tool out of a work truck. I was blatantly ogling him when he looked up and our eyes met. My heart stopped. The universe paused for a brief second while our souls became intertwined and recognized each other. Ok, not really. That’s what happened in my fantasy world. In reality, he looked away and went about his job while I tried to memorize every detail of his face so I could replay it in my mind as I fell asleep that night. Lame? Absolutely. Guilty as charged.
I wouldn’t have time today to linger and hope for a sighting of my dreamboat. My feet were getting soaked in this snow and I had to hurry it along. As I neared the construction site, I realized I would be passing “Sleazy Dirtball” instead of “Brick Wall.” I was in no mood for this. Every day for the past week, I had my ears assaulted with lame come-ons from a slimy construction worker pig, hence the nickname “Sleazy Dirtball.” He was very intimidating. Instead of working, he liked to stand around and harass anyone who came by. Evidently he had taken a liking to me and wolf-whistled every time he saw me. I tried to hang my head down and hurry past him, but he still yelled embarrassing taunts my way. Today was no exception.
“Hey, baby….why don’t you come here and show me what’s under that skirt?”
I ignored him, as usual, but this time he didn’t stop.
“What’s your problem, sugar tits? You think you’re too good for me? I bet you suck a lot of cock with those pretty little lips of yours.”
I snapped. I don’t know why, but I did. Maybe it was my frozen feet, or the impending snowpocalypse, or the fact that life kept throwing curveballs at me that never failed to hit me right in the face and I finally had ENOUGH.
I flipped him off and said, “Get a life.”
I had about four seconds of satisfaction, before I felt the repercussions of my actions. I mean I literally felt them. Sleazy Dirtball caught up to me, grabbed me by the upper arm, and snapped, “What did you just say to me, you stupid bitch?”
This was not looking good at all. You’d have thought I would have learned my lesson that flipping people off did NOT work to my advantage. First with Libby in the parking lot, and now with this guy about to rip my arm off. One of my favorite sayings was “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” Do I learn from my mistakes? Of course not. I repeat them over and over. Before I could start apologizing and beg for mercy, fate stepped in to give me some much needed assistance. To my shock, it was Brick Wall who came to my rescue.
“Take your hands off her, Jimmy. She was only sticking up for herself. Let it go,” Brick Wall demanded.
“This is none of your business, Dane. Walk away,” Jimmy replied. At least I would die knowing the name of my fantasy man/knight in shining armor. Dane. It even sounded manly. Although if it were Albert or Dexter, I still would have liked him.
“I’m making it my business. It’s the end of the day, let’s just pack up our shit and get out of here. I don’t want any trouble. Let her go,” Dane urged.
“If you don’t want any trouble, then walk away. I’m not telling you again. This is between me and the bitch.”
I tried to pull my arm away, but sleaze ball Jimmy had it locked in a death grip. I have no idea how I get myself into these situations. I’m a magnet for trouble.
“I’m not telling YOU again, take your fucking hand off her or I’ll break it,” Dane demanded, getting right up in the other man’s face. This was ten times better than any of my fantasies. A hot stranger being all protective of me. I was liking this. A lot.
“Are you stupid? Did you forget that my brother OWNS this company that you’re working for? Did you forget that you’re a homeless reject who’s going to be sleeping on the street if you lose this job?” Jimmy taunted the bigger man, puffing out his chest like he was somebody important.
“I’m fully aware of the situation. I’m going to count to three and you’re going to let her go. Or you can go the hospital after I start breaking bones. It’s your choice. One….”
Dane didn’t even get to “two” before Jimmy let me go. He pushed me and I staggered before catching my balance.
Jimmy smiled, clearly pleased with his position of power. “Fine, Dane. Have it your way. You’re fired. Good luck getting a ride home, dumbass. Oh wait, you don’t have a home to get back to. Have a nice life!”
“You don’t own this company, Jimmy. I’m not going anywhere until I talk to your brother,” Dane said, showing no sign of fear about possibly losing his job. Another man approached our little group and gave his opinion on the matter.
“I saw the whole thing but I’m afraid I’m going to have to fire you anyway, Dane. Jimmy is a giant putz, but he’s my brother. I can’t fire him and I can’t have fights breaking out among my crew. It’s just business. No hard feelings, ok? Here’s your fifty bucks for today’s work.”
The guy reached into his wallet, handed Dane a fifty dollar bill, and walked away. I stood there dumbstruck. I couldn’t believe Dane just got fired for helping me. He was innocent! I also didn’t understand why Jimmy said Dane was homeless and had no way to get a ride. None of this was making sense. The boss came back, handed Dane a tool bag, and said, “Sorry. You understand how it is, right?”
Dane took the bag and mumbled, “Yeah, I understand how it is.”
I was still standing there rubbing my arm, when Dane turned to me and asked, “Are you alright? He didn’t hurt you too bad, did he?”
This dude just got fired and he was worried about ME? Wow.
“I’ll live. I have a heavy coat, so he didn’t hurt me that bad.” I paused to brush snow off my face. The white stuff was still coming down pretty fast, and I needed to get home before it piled up on the streets any worse than it already was.
“Look, I really appreciate you coming to my defense,” I said, “Is there somewhere I can give you a ride to?” I would never give a ride to a stranger, but in this case, it was the least I could do. As it would turn out, I ended up giving him a lot more than a ride.
“Yes, that would really help me out,” he replied.
“Follow me. My car is parked this way,” I explained while motioning him forward.
“My name is Dane. And you are….?”
Unable to form a coherent sentence right now. “My name is Izzy.”
“Nice to meet you, Izzy. You’re kind of shaking. Are you sure you’re okay?”
He was right. I was shaking all over. I had just been grabbed by a dickface and then rescued by my fantasy man. I think my body’s reaction was totally justified in this case.
“I’ll be fine. I guess it shook me up more than I realized. Can I ask you something? What did he mean about you being homeless? And not having a ride back? Back to where, exactly?” These were good questions that needed answers. If he was from out of town, I didn’t want to be driving him anywhere far on these icy roads.
He sighed. “Here’s the thing, Izzy. I’m homeless. The fifty bucks he just gave me is almost all the money I have. This tool bag in my hand contains everything I own. I have nowhere else to go. I know this is asking a lot, but do you think there’s any way that I could just spend the night at your house?”
WHAT? Are you kidding me? That was the absolute LAST thing I expected to come out of his mouth. Is this some kind of joke?
I stood staring at him with my mouth hanging open and a stunned expression on my face.
“I mean it would just be for one night,” he continued. “The snow is coming down pretty hard and it’s not like I can sleep on a park bench. The blizzard is supposed to last all night.”