CAT Magazine

CAT Magazine
Writing Tip of the Day

Writing Tip of the Day

Never argue with you muse.

You are sitting down to write your novel, and you have a thought on where you want the book to go. The character is in your head, you know what you want to happen. You start typing away, or writing, and WHAM! You just can't get it down on paper. No matter what you try, it just won't flow. You're trying to have your characters do, say, be one way, and they are telling you "NO! I want to do this!"

That my friend, is your muse talking. Don't argue, because 99.9% of the time, you won't win. Just let the muse guide you, and the story will flow.

Wishing you a blessed day,

Writing Innnovations

There's A Fine Line by Teresa Joyce



There’s a fine line by Teresa Joyce

I have been asked many times why I decided to write my book, and then share a chapter in my life that was so agonising to go through. Is it not easier to leave all those painful memories behind? The truth is that we don’t, they are just one step behind us lurking. Just waiting for an opportunity to drag us back into the recess of our mind, where we have neatly stored those painful subjects under the heading of delete. But the only way to remove those memories and in to the trash is by shedding the file. This process for me was the hardest thing I ever had to go through, but a journey I had to make. By sharing my experience with you I am hoping that you will also find the strength to do just that. If you live your life under a rain cloud, you will never know if its stop raining until you put the umbrella down. So how does my message help? Why should I think it will make any difference? It’s not unlike finding camaraderie in the madness. I am also here to say that there is light at the end of the tunnel; you just need to reach out for it. There is a place somewhere deep inside of us all that remains untapped; if you have never had occasion to visit you are unaware of its strength, but at your darkest moment as long as you believe you will survive.

So how do we start this process, leave the past behind and look towards the future. Firstly you need to try and forgive yourself, to heal the child that’s inside of us all. The other side of the coin is so much harder, you have to try and make headway in forgiving your abuser. Holding on to all that pain is only creating a mountain of hate which has no real purpose, by holding on to that pain your abuser is still very much in control. It has taken many years of my life to realise that maybe I was not to blame for everything going on around me at that time. I am not in the least saying this will be easy, how could I when I am still struggling to fully do so myself. But I am making headway and we have to believe that it’s possible. Writing my book was so very therapeutic for me, that I felt the need to help others unload their pain and face their own demons. You see if my book only helps one person that recognises its content, then it will have been worth all the pain inflicted. Ultimately within the pages of my book, I can help others with their own journey to heal.........


We were able to have Teresa on BK Media Entertainment, you can listen below. She is an amazing woman who's been through more than one person should have to endure. She loves to hear from her readers, and is always willing to reach out to those in need. Visit her online today.


                                          
Ask Mags

Ask Mags

Jenny from Stoke on Trent.(UK)

I have been writing for many years and decided last month, enough was enough. I am not getting anywhere with novels and when I do, the pay is so small that I can’t afford to carry on. I have a little glass angel that I stand on my computer. I don’t know why I brought her. I was at a fete one year and she was sparkling in the sunshine and I thought she was pretty.
Fed up I said to her, fat lot of help you’ve been. You could have helped me more. I just need one little break, earn some money to keep me afloat so I can write my books. I hit send as I glared at my angel and sent off my last poem to a publisher who produces cards of various themes.
It wasn’t even more than three hours later that I go an email back from the publisher saying they liked the poem and would like to buy it and did I have anymore.Within hours i had a contract that was quite substantial.
So Mags, can you tell me if a person needs to actually ASK the angels for help. I thought they did it automatically.


Hi Jenny.
Thank you for your letter. There is a great misconception that angels will jump in and help where they can. In actual fact, they are the only beings with no free will of their own as they work from the will of god. They will never intervene in lives until they are asked. So in answer to your question, you will need to ask them to help you. Once you invite them into your life it will change for the better. No deed is too small or too big for the angels.
Namaste
Mags x

One Day Tour - Pandora's Box Book Blitz & Giveaway with Katie Salidas


Katie Salidas will be making an appearance at over 20 blogs today with her new release, Pandora's Box, with various giveaways along the way. You will have several chances to win an e-copy of Pandora's Box, and by leaving a comment at each blog for Katie, you will be entered into the Grand Prize Drawing for a Signed Print Copy of Pandora's Box. After you visit and comment at each stop, just send an email to bkwalkerbooks@comcast.net with "Pandora's Box Blitz" in the subject line, and include your username you used to comment with and that you commented at each pit stop. That's it and you're entry is in! Remember, you only have today, July 12, to get your comments in to enter all giveaways, by tomorrow this blitz party will be over. You will find her schedule below with a link for each pit stop. Each blog will either have the schedule posted, or a link for you to come back here to move on to the next stop. I hope you enjoy your journey as much as we have enjoyed putting it together.

Let's meet Katie:


I am Super Mom!
  
Endowed with special powers and abilities, beyond those of mortal women,  I can get the munchkin off to gymnastics, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, and swim lessons.  I can put hot food on the table for dinner while assisting with homework, baths, and bedtime… And, I still find time to keep the hubby happy (nudge nudge wink wink). I can do all of this and still have time to write my novels.

Sorry… I can’t even write that with a straight face.

Lies all lies.

Here’s the reality. I’m a sleep-deprived, overworked, mom who just doesn’t know the meaning of the word balance. I try so hard to do it all, (be super mom, wife, & author) and at the end of the day I fall face forward into the couch.

Yes, you read that right, I tend to sleep on the couch. It’s a point of frustration for my hubby and a thing of comedy for my daughter. Imagine waking up to your little child yelling, “Mom slept on the couch again!!!”
Because being supermom (or trying to) means a lot of time devoted to family, writing is often done when said family is peacefully snoozing away. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen asleep with my laptop, on the couch. It just happens. Then, bright and early at 7am either my hubby (on his way to work) or my daughter (getting ready for school) wakes me up.

Writing is my passion. It’s a part of me. More than just a hobby, it’s a compulsion. I have to do it. If I don’t do at least one writing related thing each day I get cranky.

Hopefully, my passion can be your entertainment!

Over the last two years I have written and published (via my publishing company, Rising Sign Books):






After a few months as a vampire, Alyssa thought she’d learned all she needed to know about the supernatural world. But her confidence is shattered by the delivery of a mysterious package – a Pandora’s Box.

Seemingly innocuous, the box is in reality an ancient prison, generated by a magic more powerful than anyone in her clan has ever known. But what manner of evil could need such force to contain it?
When the box is opened, the sinister creature within is released, and only supernatural blood will satiate its thirst. The clan soon learns how it feels when the hunter becomes the hunted.

Powerless against the ancient evil, the clan flees Las Vegas for Boston, with only a slim hope for salvation. Could Lysander’s old journals hold the key? And what if they don’t?

And how welcome will they be in a city run by a whole different kind of supernatural being?
Werewolves…


Learn about all of Katie's books HERE.

Schedule:

Meet & Greet at - www.vbtcafe.com
Guest Blogging at - http://.lahongrais.blogspot.com
Guest Blogging and Giveaway at - www.alanryker.com
Guest Blogging and Giveaway at - www.jc-martin.com/fighterwriter
Review and Giveaway at - http://giveawayblogdom.blogspot.com
Guest Blogging and Giveaway at - http://livetoread-krystal.blogspot.com
Guest Blogging and Giveaway at - http://speedyreader-allthingsbooks.blogspot.com
Guest Blogging and Giveaway at - http://bestbooks1.blogspot.com
Review and Giveaway at - http://norachipleybarteau.blogspot.com
Guest Blogging at - http://JETaylor75.blogspot.com
Guest Blogging and Giveaway at - http://hotgossiphotreviews.blogspot.com
Guest Blogging and Giveaway at - http://writingcrazyme.blogspot.com
Review, Guest Blogging and Giveaway at - www.lisasworldofbooks.com
Review and Giveaway at - http://authorsbyauthors.blogspot.com
Guest Blogging at - www.chaosandinsanity.com

Robyn Bradley on tour now with debut novel - Forgotten April


On tour now with her debut novel, Forgotten April, we are pleased to bring you Robyn Bradley. Robyn is currently touring with The Virtual Book Tour Cafe' and will be doing so until August 9. You can see her entire schedule by visiting The VBT Cafe' Blog.



Robyn Bradley is a Short Story Seductress and Novelist Ninja with an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. Her work has appeared inFictionWeekly.com, Metal Scratches,The Breakwater Review, Writer's Digest, and The MetroWest Daily News, among other places. In 2007, she won a short story award for “A Touch of Charlotte.” Forgotten Aprilis her first novel. When she's not writing or sleeping, Robyn enjoys watching Law & Order marathons, drinking margaritas, and determining how many degrees really separate her from George Clooney. Learn more at www.robynbradley.com.














A Sister Story with an Edge!



For April Sullivan-LaMonica, the last ten years have been hell: her husband and young son were killed in a car accident, and soon after, her mom descended into the darkness of Alzheimer’s. So when broadcast journalist Maggie Prescott shows up claiming to be April’s half sister and tries to capture their reunion on film, April outwardly regards Maggie with much suspicion. In reality, she’s simply afraid to grow close to someone again, only to have that person leave — or worse.
Maggie, meanwhile, is battling her own demons: figuring out why her biological mother gave her up, facing a secret she’s kept from the one man she’s loved all her life, and giving herself permission to follow the dream she’s had since she was a child.
Separated by nearly two decades and radically different life paths, April and Maggie must decide if pursuing their sisterhood is worth it…or even possible.
A story of loss, love, survival, and redemption, Forgotten April will speak to anyone who’s experienced the pains — and riches — of an unexpected friendship that emerges from family ties.
Five Stars for Forgotten April:
"One of the best stories I've read in awhile! I love it!"!~Robin Dix (Amazon)


I was a little leery not having heard of the author or knowing much about the book itself. After the first couple of pages, though, I was hooked. Forgotten April was one of the more enjoyable books I have read recently and would make a terrific beach read.~Roxy (Amazon)



Highly recommend!!

Very well written book!! The characters are very well developed!! I love the way the author took all characters thru trials, tribulations and joys!! Wonderful intrique!! Loved it!!~Fredreeca (B&N)

Didn't want to put it down!

I'm usually a Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan but this was recommended and was cheap so I thought I'd check it out. I really didn't want to put it down until it was over, and even now I want to know what happens next. Good, believable characters with interesting stories that all intertwine without seeming too coincidental to swallow.

The writing style is in first person but switches between all the main characters by chapter so the same scenes are sometimes repeated from different perspectives. It took a bit of getting used to but I found I liked it by the end.

Excellent beach book, engrossing without being too convoluted to follow if you have to put it down for a few days.~Anonymous at Barnes and Noble

G.A. Hauser's Of Wolves and Men Book Tour Starts Today

Today is Kick-Off day for G.A. Hauser who starts her virtual book tour today with The Virtual Book Tour Cafe'. She appeard at The VBT Cafe' Blog for a Meet & Greet  today, and will be touring through August 8.

Award-winning author G.A. Hauser was born in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, USA and attended university in New York City. She moved to Seattle, Washington where she worked as a patrol officer with the Seattle Police Department. In early 2000 G.A. moved to Hertfordshire, England where she began her writing in earnest and published her first book, In the Shadow of Alexander. Now a full-time writer, G.A. has written over sixty novels, including several best-sellers of gay fiction and is an Honorary Board Member of Gay American Heroes for her support of the foundation. For more information on other books by G.A., visit the author at her official website. www.authorgahauser.com
G.A. has won awards from All Romance eBooks for Best Author 2009, Best Novel 2008, Mile High, and Best Author 2008, Best Novel 2007, Secrets and Misdemeanors, Best Author 2007.




‘Cowboy’ Charlie Mosby worked on a horse ranch in Heber, Utah. He loved his work, the owners of the ranch, and his co-workers; wranglers who helped tourists with guided horse tours and trail riding all year round.

But after a chance meeting with a handsome gay man who had helped Charlie change a flat tire on Interstate 80 a month ago, Charlie was beginning to wonder about his sexuality. And if that wasn’t confusing enough, strange things were happening on the ranch.
Satanic worship? A strange cult ritual? Whatever it was, it wasn’t good for the owners or the horses on it.
One night Charlie stumbles upon Roman Burk in the woods, naked, bleeding and shivering in the cold. What Charlie never imagined was who -or what- Roman was. Even though the handsome stranger seemed to vanish at times and reappear as if by magic, Charlie was infatuated by this man.
Roman was fearful of revealing his secret. Most of all to a cowboy who was spending more time hunting him, than loving him.
In this shape-shifting story of sexual bonding and discovery, can both Charlie and Roman find what they’re looking for? It’s a question of honor; one that has been up for debate since the first time man set his eyes on this formidable predator. It’s about the mutual respect of Wolves and Men.
View this entire Meet & Greet at The VBT Cafe' Blog

Do You Know The Genre of Your Book? A Visit from The Word Queen


Keidi Keating - aka The Word Queen

Do You Know The Genre of Your Book by Keidi Keating

Researching the market for your book’s genre is essential if you want to successfully target your book and win the attention of publishers and agents.

Here are some examples of genres:

Mystery
The characters of mystery books are usually fictional but they behave in realistic ways. There is a problem that needs to be solved. A mystery may include a detective or a spy as a main character.
Biographies
A biography is a book of true stories about the life of a real person. The author is a different person than the book is written about. The person in the biography can be dead or alive. The author describes how the person affected others.
Fantasy
A fiction story where there is a struggle between good and evil. Often there is also magic. The characters or objects do things that couldn’t happen in real life.
Poetry
This usually touches your feelings. It may or may not be written with rhymes. Poetry books are often read aloud.
Realistic Fiction
The characters behave in realistic ways. There is usually a problem or conflict to be resolved. The book is set in modern times.
Historical Fiction
Some characters may be real and others are fictional. The story takes place during a period in history. Real events from history can be mixed with fictional events.
Science Fiction
These stories are written with future ideas such as space travel and new technology. The characters are fictional.
Non-fiction
These books provide true facts and information about different subjects.
Romance
A story about character’s relationships, loves, affairs or engagements.
Horror
A story designed to scare or frighten the audience, through suspense, violence or shock.
Reference
These books provide true facts and information. Some examples include: dictionaries, almanacs, atlases, thesauruses, and encyclopaedias.

Your Book’s Genre

Your job as a writer is much more than just writing. Anybody can sit down and write a story, that’s simply a matter of sitting down and typing three or four pages a day until its done. But not every book is saleable, not every saleable book will find an audience, and not every book that finds an audience will be able to bring the readers back for more of what the writer is selling.
It is essential as a writer to know everything about your book before you begin writing it. You must know the genre, other authors who write for that genre, the readers, etc.
When preparing your book for submission to an agent or publisher, it’s essential that you define your book’s genre correctly.
The reason for this is that the genre of your book will determine the agents and publishers you will eventually approach. Get it wrong and your book will be rejected time and time again.
Publishers are set up to sell one type of genre. Even large publishers are split into genre defined departments and imprints.
Selling a cook book is very different to selling a horror novel. They have different readers, but also different marketing approaches and design aspects. This means publishers have an internal team dedicated to selling one type of genre. It’s your duty as a writer to correctly define your book’s genre and then choose the right agents and publishers who can sell books of your chosen genre.
How you determine your book’s genre is not as straight forward as it may seem. The development of online bookstores such as Amazon, have created some debate over a definitive list of genre. The reality is that though all of the publishing industry agree on the broad genres, there is much debate about sub-genres.
My advice for a first time writer is to turn to Amazon to help define your book’s genre. Collect a list of five to ten titles you feel are similar to your own, then look on Amazon to see how each is categorised. This should give you a good idea about your own book’s genre.
Love & light

Keidi has been super kind enough to allow me to share her posts with you. She is brilliant with her writing, publishing and marketing advice. Please visit her online at The Word Queen for more information, her site is packed full.

Thank you so much Keidi! You ROCK!

Writing Innovations Launch Party and Giveaway!


Welcome to our first day and launch party for our new E-Zine - Writing Innovations! We are so excited and we want to celebrate! What better way to celebrate than to offer a giveaway?

For every 100 followers, we will do a drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Card! That's right, every 100 followers! We will run this contest the entire month of July! So follow us, spread the word and get your entry in for a chance to win!

What is Writing Innovations? We are an online Authors Cafe'. Here you will learn all about your favorite authors, their books, new releases, and so much more.  We will have a Book of the Month, Blog of the Month, guest posts, author spotlights, writing tips, marketing strategies and even a recipe corner!

Ask Mags - our spiritual section for you to ask your questions and get answers! Ever wondered about Angels? What about spirit guides? Look no further, our very own Margaret West can help!

Have an article or event you'd like to share? Email us and let us know and we will share it for you.

Coming soon - Online Bookstore. Submit your book for a one time placement fee with a purchase link and your book will forever be listed here with us for all to see and buy.

If ever you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us anytime! Margaret and I are happy to help.

I've hit you with a lot of information, so for now I'll let it all sink in :). I hope you all have a fantastic Fourth of July and stay tuned as we will have a lot of exciting things happening.

Wishing you the best,
Margaret & BK

July Blog Feature of the Month



Sally Sapphire – Bibrary Bookslut

More years ago than I’d care to share (or remember) a colleague good-naturedly accused me of being a Bookslut. You see, I had a habit – still do, as a matter of fact – of getting lost amidst the shelves of used bookstores during my lunch hour. As a result, I’d come rushing back to the office, usually at the very last minute, with volumes of literary sustenance in the crook of my arm, but little more than a snack in my hands. That nickname stuck, and I’ve proudly worn the scarlet badge of ‘Bookslut’ ever since.

It's tongue-in-cheek, a bit naughty, and has a nice ring of alliteration with Bibrary, which is the companion site I've been managing since 2006.
More than anything else in my life, books have always defined me. As an (admittedly) precocious child, I secretly made the leap from the juvenile shelves straight to streets of Stephen King’s Castle Rock; as an overachieving teenager I hid the likes of Melanie Rawn and Michael Moorcock inside my text books – and generally managed to bluff my way though any questions that came my way; as a young career-woman, I may even have ‘exaggerated’ a family illness for the chance to attend a writing workshop with Nancy Kilpatrick (although I’ll deny it, if ever confronted!).

The only thing I love more than curling up with a good book is sharing one with friends and watching them fall in love. That’s a large part of why I started blogging.

When I first started blogging, it seemed like every blogger out there had their own particular ‘niche’ to blog about. Some dedicated themselves to romance, others to young-adult fiction, others to urban fantasy, and others to their own literary passions. Since I was already maintaining my index of LGBT relevant speculative fiction, it seemed only natural to make my blog an extension of what I had established with my Bibrary site. So, with no real idea of what I was doing, how to make my blog a success, or of even how to measure my success, I posted my first book review, and never looked back.

I did, however, take stock after a few months and decide to embrace the eclectic diversity of my bookshelves, making my niche a focus, rather than an arbitrary restriction.

I already mentioned that sharing my love for books is the primary motivation behind my blogging, but the secondary motivation is one that took me a while to recognize. The longer I’ve been blogging, the more I’ve come to realise that it’s also my opportunity to say ‘thanks’ and to give a little something back to the authors I love. For every comment I get from a reader who has been sufficiently intrigued by my blogging to check out a new author, I feel like I’ve made a match between friends.

That’s where my participation with the Virtual Book Tour Café comes in. Each tour is a chance to discover, to share, to give back, and to play a role (as small as it may be) in contributing to the success of the authors participating. In many ways, it’s the most rewarding aspect of book blogging, because there exists the potential to have such an impact. Knowing you’ve helped sell book one-million-and-one for a best-selling author is nice, but knowing you’ve helped sell book one-hundred-and-one, or even ten-thousand-and-one, for an author who has poured their heart and soul into their work . . . well, that’s almost as magical as getting lost in a good book.

July Book of the Month


A Questionable Hero, a novella by Kiki Howell
Cover by Tara at Fantasia Frog Designs 
Blurb:
Born of a mortal woman but raised in Hell by the demon that sired him, Abdamas is a Halfling—proof incarnate of the war between good and evil that exists in each of us. Shaebiel is an angel warrior earning her ultimate salvation in Heaven by fighting demons like Abdamas who are in search of human souls on Earth.

In the heat of a raging battle , Abdamas sees Shaebiel and wants her. When the blade of another demon aims for her, Abdamas is injured himself trying to save her. Shaebiel can’t believe a demon has rescued her from certain death and takes her questionable hero home with her to heal him.

As they both fight and surrender to their desires, the conflict around them continues, and there is Heaven and Hell to pay for their actions. Through divine intervention they are offered a gift. But Hell is nowhere near finished with either of them, and the stakes are getting higher and higher.

Can a questionable hero sacrifice enough to redeem himself in the eyes of Heaven so that he may claim the love of an angel? 

"I recently finished up the wonderful paranormal romance "A Questionable Hero" By Kiki Howell. Once I started reading this love story I had a difficult time getting my nose out of my Nook and back into reality since it was action packed from start to finish with very little breathing room in between the pages!~Punky’s Book Raves
 
The world-building Kiki Howell did in this story is uncanny as this is what I always believed angels and demons to be.  The romance and characters came alive on the page for me. I was personally involved in their happiness and craved the resolution as deeply as Abdamas and Shaebiel did! I can say A QUESTIONABLE HERO is a good story with great tension and fast paced making it an enjoyable read.”  ~Nas Dean, Romance Book
Paradise

Genres: Urban Fantasy (Angels and Demons), Erotic Romance
Adult Content Warnings: Explicit Graphic Language and Violence

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE  KINDLE EDITION FROM AMAZON
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE  NOOKBOOK FROM BARNES & NOBLE

Heart of Eden Short Story Contest Winner - Debra Chapoton


Debra Chapoton has taught kids of all ages in her main career as a teacher. She has a BA in Spanish and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English. She started writing in 2002 and was surprised to find out that the characters quickly take over the action and dialogue in the stories.
Her first YA novel is Edge of Escape. The main character, Eddie, is brilliant yet emotionally impaired. He fixates on pretty and popular Rebecca. He abducts her then tries to be her rescuer as she escapes his traps. His fragile devotion reveals a delicate spirit that Rebecca can either accept or reject. Stalking and obsession get a sympathetic twist in this story of physical and psychological survival.
Chapoton has also written the Big Pine Lodge series for kids ages 8 – 12. These books follow the adventures of Missy and Kevin as they explore the lodge, the cemetery, the old ruins and especially the labyrinth of caves which run beneath the lake and mountain near Big Pine Lodge. They solve mysteries, confront danger and face off with teenage bullies or wild animals in The Secret in the Hidden Cave, Mystery’s Grave and Bullies and Bears.
Other chapter books she has authored are A Tick in Time, a fantasy adventure into a parallel universe, and Bigfoot Day, Ninja Night, a pair of spooky stories that kids love. She has recently published a non-fiction work, Crossing the Scriptures, which explores the amazing connections between the 66 books of the Bible as they align with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This Bible study reveals the intricate weaving of words and themes in books that are spaced at equal intervals.
The Spanish Stranger
Amanda rode the bus she always took downtown, saw the faces she always saw, passed the sites that no longer impressed her. She did, however, take notice when a strikingly handsome man boarded the bus and began a slow advance down the aisle. He scanned the interior and their eyes met momentarily before she glanced back out the window. She wondered if his eyes had lingered. She looked down at her watch and as she did she had a funny feeling. She looked up to see him still approaching, but he was leaning near one passenger after another, asking a question to which each person was shaking his head. She caught a word or two and recognized the sounds of Spanish; he must be asking for directions.


     Amanda rose and headed forward; the bus was nearing her stop. She wondered if he would speak to her. She smiled, hoping her college Spanish wouldn’t fail her if he did, wondering if she should use the polite or the casual form of address. The man smiled back and turned sideways to let her squeeze past. She smelled his delicious cologne, was struck by the width of his shoulders and noticed the cute unevenness of his eyebrows. She used a Spanish phrase equivalent to “excuse me” and he reached for her elbow to stop her. He rattled off a request so fast that she thought she might have been mistaken about the Spanish, maybe it was Portuguese or Italian.

     “Lo siento. No te entiendo,” she said. I’m sorry, I don’t understand you. She used the familiar form of address. “Habla más despacio, por favor.” Speak slower, please.

     He did and despite being distracted by how his eyes danced around her face as he spoke, she understood enough to tell him to get off the bus one stop after her. He thanked her and told her his name: Miguel Santibañez. She nodded and mumbled her first name. Finally releasing her elbow he offered to shake hands. They held on a little longer than was normal.

     The bus slowed, stopped, the doors opened and Amanda stepped off. She half wished he would follow her. She turned left and then right and headed toward her destination with the eerie feeling that yes, she was being followed. She replayed in her mind what she had told him, not sure now if she had made it clear. One stop after her. Had she paused between the phrases, changing the meaning?

     Without looking back she broke into a semi-run, the fastest she could do in the crowded morning rush. When she had to stop at the intersection, she glanced back and saw him walking fast to catch up. He smiled and waved. He was flirting. This was what she had wished for. Half wished for.

     The light changed and she quickly crossed the street and entered the first door she came to. A security guard was lounging behind a counter and he gestured to a clipboard and told her she had to sign in. The stranger was at her elbow again; she could smell him. She wrote her first name and thought about using Santibañez as her last name. Should she flirt so boldly? She turned her head and stared into his eyes. There was no pretense there. Trusting her instincts Amanda slowly wrote her last name. Then she hurried down the hall knowing it wouldn’t take him long to memorize her name, sign in and follow. The first doorway opened into a large room packed with boxes. There was a curtain along one wall and she rushed over and hid behind it, leaving a small opening from which she could spy.

     Miguel stepped in almost immediately. She could see him scan the room in the same searching way he had on the bus. Had he been looking for her then?

     Amanda watched him move slowly closer, his smile widening, but then he stopped and waited. She breathed in slowly, relishing the moment. The decision was hers. She trusted the Spanish stranger intuitively and without question. There was chemistry. There was mystery. There was chance. It tugged at her heart – a heart of Eden. She pulled back the curtain and the unexpected romance began.