I don’t write in any particular order either. Take the book I’m working on now. The one I just yesterday completed - the first draft of anyway. (Short time out here for a brief happy dance!) I knew exactly how that story ended a while ago because I took time out of writing the middle to finish the last couple of chapters. Then all I had to do was go back and write the other chapters just ahead of those last ones in order to believably get my characters to that already established THE END.
Except, I wasn't always like this.
Except, I wasn't always like this.
At one time I was a plotter. Plotting my books from beginning to end was how I wrote my first book. Well, HONORABLE INTENTIONS, my first book to be contracted and published, that is.
We won’t even mention the six, or was it eight, books I wrote that never did sell…yet. But back to my point. To be honest, you could say the events in HONORABLE INTENTIONS were plotted out for me.
A few years ago, my husband and I took an Alaskan cruise. HONORABLE INTENTIONS takes place, for the most part, on an Alaskan cruise.
We had a travel itinerary to follow. Hero and heroine Chase and Samantha had a travel itinerary to follow. We marveled at all the splendor that is Alaska. Chase and Samantha marveled at all the splendor that is Alaska. We enjoyed fabulous meals in a variety of culinary venues, even dined with the Captain. Chase and Samantha enjoyed fabulous meals in a variety of culinary venues, even dined with the Captain. My in-laws were in the state room next door. Chase and Samantha...well, that's where the similarities departed.
Samantha is a retired policewoman who is serving as the chaperone and roommate on the trip to the single dad Chase’s impressionable and slightly rebellious teenaged daughter. He finagles his way into the adjoining room, which made for a moonlit, romantic encounter on their connected balconies.
The peaceful Alaskan night was a welcome contrast to the turmoil of her thoughts. Soothing waves whispered against the ship’s hull, a mild reverberation in the stillness. Strands of multi-colored lights, strung stem to stern on the decks above her, reflected in shining ripples on the smooth surface of the water. Beyond that faint light, a blue black haze hid any landscape they might be passing.
Elbows rested on the short railing, she allowed the surrounding darkness to bring her into the comfort of its folds, until thoughts of where she was going and who was along started up again. Serenity vanished, and she lifted her eyes skyward, huffing out a sigh of annoyance. The restless toss of her head from one side to the other did little to dispel her irritation, then a movement to her left caught, then held, her total awareness.
Too late she discovered Chase was out there too. Reclined in a deck chair, feet propped up on the railing with a blanket across his lap, he looked to be asleep. As far as she knew, she hadn’t bothered him…yet. Not wanting to disturb him now, for his sake as well as for hers, she turned to go inside.
The softly spoken words stopped her progress and stilled her heart. She glanced toward the avenue of her escape, the room she shared with his daughter. Their ship’s light cast a muted shadow on the girl’s peacefully sleeping form. Torn between her two options—retreat to the safety of that room, or do as he asked and remain out here with him—she hadn’t been able to budge to do either.
In the end, he made the choice for her as he set the blanket aside and walked over to stand beside her. “Please.”
“I didn’t want to wake Lisa.” She spoke as if she owed him an explanation for being out there. “I couldn’t sleep.”
Tufts of sea chilled air blew upward in response to the ship’s movement, yet his closeness, not the cool night breeze, caught her in a shiver. Saying nothing, he retrieved the blanket and settled it around her shoulders. She snuggled into the plush material which still held his warmth, and his scent.
“I owe you an apology for…my actions our first day on board.”
She looked at him, not sure what her response should be, but he went on before she had a chance to form a thought.
“I should never have kissed you. I regret that.” He studied her for a second then averted his gaze.
“That’s okay,” she managed, a little sad he could be sorry for a kiss which had come to mean so very much to her.
“We sort of got off on the wrong foot.”
She turned to lean her back on the railing. “It’s been a long week.”
“And, it’s only Tuesday.”
They both laughed and the simple, companionable sound echoed like a peace offering between them before silence descended.
Chase’s voice broke into the night. “There must be a way to make this easier.”
“I’m sure we’ll find it.” Her words rode a delicate mist that rose up to touch his cheek.
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