Rowan Hunter threw his pen down and watched as it bounced off of his notebook and onto the floor.
He had two months to finish and get the first draft of his latest crime thriller to his editor. It was the end of September and the book was scheduled for release at the beginning of the new year and in between that time he also would have to fix any edits that he got on the book to make sure it was perfect. And he would also have to promote the book as well.
Rowan glanced at the screen of his laptop looking at the bottom of the writing program he had open to the word count.
He was officially screwed.
He wasn't sure what was going on with him, but he hadn't been able to write a single word for months.
His cell phone rang and when he saw the name pop up on the screen he swore and was tempted not to answer.
It was as if his editor, Harry, had a sixth sense about when Rowan was in the middle of a writing plight.
He answered the phone and put on his best 'phone smile'.
"Harry, what's good man?"
"What's good?" Harry repeated. "What's good is hearing you tell me that your book is coming along great and I'll have it on my desk by your deadline."
"It's coming along," was all Rowan managed to get out.
"Don't bullshit me Hunter," Harry said, through what sounded like gritted teeth.
Rowan could imagine his mentor squeezing the little blue stress ball on his desk.
"What's the problem?" Harry asked.
Rowan decided to be upfront.
"The problem is my mind is blank. Every time I try to write something, it sounds like a bunch of crap."
Harry was silent for several minutes and Rowan could hear him drumming his fingers on his desk through the phone.
"It's this damned city," Harry finally said. "It's nearly impossible to get a clear thought out here. Here's what you're going to do. You're going to go up to my beach home in Martha's Vineyard. Stay there for as long as you need to and get this book done. I don't care if it's a week or if it's until the end of the year, just get me something we can work with. I know you're a perfectionist, and as much as I hate to lose money, if we need to push the release back to later next year will do it. We'll make up for it in sales."
Harry always had the utmost confidence in Rowan, which was why he worked hard to let the older man down.
"Don't get ahead of yourself," Rowan said. "I'll get you the book by the end of November."
"If you do that, I'll make sure you have the first slice of turkey at Thanksgiving," Harry joked.
"Well then you better make it a big ass slice," he threw back at his editor. "But I think you're right. A change of scenery will do me some good."
"Excellent, let me know when you make it out there. You'll love it on the island."
"Thanks for this Harry."
"You're like a son to me Hunter. My home is your home."
Rowan got off of the phone, and began making arrangements for his trip. He was already beginning to feel relaxed and couldn't wait to see what Martha's Vineyard had in store for him.
Los Angeles, California
Sapphire Woods smiled and waved as she got out of the huge black SUV. The photographers on the other side of the barricade were shouting her name, trying to get her to look their way and smile for their camera. She tossed her flaming red hair over her shoulder and blew them all a kiss before walking into the posh restaurant.
While her lips were plastered in a megawatt smile, behind the large designer shades she wore, her eyes were pinched with stressed.
The host, who was starstruck, never took his eyes off of her as he led her to a secluded table near the back of the restaurant. It gave them a little privacy, yet it was still visible enough for the most determined of paparazzi to catch a photo every now and then.
Her manager, Michelle Drake, stood and they kissed each other on the cheek. After they sat and gave the waiter their order, Sapphire removed her shades.
"You look like shit."
Sapphire grinned and shook her head. "Leave it to you to hold nothing back."
"I'm your oldest and best friend. And I never mince words, which is why you made me your manager."
Michelle was right. Sapphire had hired her because she knew her dearest friend would make sure to look out for her in the cut throat industry of music. And she would always make sure to keep Sapphire grounded. Not that Michelle had to work hard to do that.
Despite the fact that Sapphire appeared to be a very eccentric jazz singer to her fans, she was truly one who loved the simple things in life. Which was why she was so annoyed with this staged lunch they were having.
"You know I hate this, Chelle."
"It's good for publicity," Michelle said, although she had a sympathetic look on her face. "If you didn't make these occasional appearances, people would think you were some kind of hermit."
"Aren't all the best artists?" Sapphire teased, dryly. "Besides, it adds to my mysterious appeal."
"Whatever, let's get down to business. I hear you're having a tough time in the studio."
Sapphire rolled her eyes. "You know how these Hollywood music producers are. They want to turn my music into something it's not."
"Is that all there is to it?" Michelle raised an eyebrow.
Sapphire blew out a breath. "I...I can't breathe out here. I feel like I'm suffocating. I need to be somewhere where I can make my music and have it be pure. Not some bullshit, manufactured crap that all sounds the same. You know that's not me, Michelle. The last album was awful. I'm sick of not sticking to my music, my real music. I'm sick of Los Angeles. And I'm sick of Sapphire Woods," she said, flicking at the ends of her red hair.
Michelle held up her hand, in an effort to calm Sapphire down. "Okay, sweetie. Okay. I get it." She whipped out her phone and made a call. "It's Michelle. I need you to have the jet prepped. Within the hour." She looked up at Sapphire and smiled.
This was why she loved her best friend. Michelle always knew exactly what she needed and made it happen.
"I don't care," Michelle snapped into the phone. "Get it done! One way trip. To Martha's Vineyard Airport."
She hung up, reached over and grabbed Sapphire's hand and in a whisper said, "It's all set up. By this evening Laurel Asher will be back in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts."
|Autumn Kisses Available on Amazon|