That picture above is close enough to what's on the stove in our kitchen right now. It's been so windy the last week or so, and the week ahead is going to be downright frigid. Plus I realized a week or two ago that somehow we've gotten this far into soup season and I haven't made chili yet. Usually I do it the first time we get a cool stretch in September or October. I'm not sure what happened this year. But hubs is already waiting for his first bowl. The house smells really good (even though I don't eat beef anymore, I can still appreciate it). I'm going to pull some veggie soup from the freezer for me and call it dinner. I had notions of making something else today, but I want to make more progress on getting the office back together and on this manuscript I've been working on--exactly the sort of day I put quarts of soup into the freezer for when I make a big batch.
While working on the office, it occurred to me that I probably don't need all of the old versions of manuscripts that I still have. But I don't want to toss them in the trash either. I'm thinking firestarters for my kids' firepit. Haha. I'd say ours, but we got hubs a propane fire table for Father's Day last year, so that's no good. But seriously, I really don't need to have half a dozen hard copy versions of a book anymore, so I've got to figure out what I'm going to do with those. And with the binders and file folders when I empty them. I used to do a three-ring binder every time I started a new book. They had pocket dividers, starting with character background files, sometimes maps and calendars, and pockets for each chapter. It's a lot, and I need to thin it out. I'll have to think about how to deal with that. But not today.
Before I get back to writing and the office, I have a quick snippet for you today from Hunting Medusa.
It was one of those days when having the Medusa's fabled power to turn people to stone would really come in handy.
Andrea Rosakis did not, however, have that ability, not this week, anyway. Even though she was the reigning Medusa.
She glared at the man on her back porch, wondering if he could ever understand how lucky he was she wasn't suffering from PMS this week. And why wouldn't he stop talking? Her fingers itched to slam the door.
"...if you just have five minutes, ma'am," he concluded.
She narrowed her gaze on the vacuum beside him. "No, thank you." And how the hell had he found her all the way out here? No one ever bothered to follow her rough, muddy driveway all the way to the top, even if they did ignore the "No Trespassing" signs posted at the foot of it. Not to mention the protective warding she had set at the boundaries of the entire property. Sure, it wasn't the heavy artillery of protection spells, but no one else had ever gotten past it. This man, however, had not only ignored the signs and the subtle "go away" protections, but managed the entire bumpy, muddy track into the woods and halfway up the mountain. Just to hear her say, "No."
And he didn't look discouraged. At all.
Andi almost wished she were PMSing this week, though it would be a real pain in the ass to have to get rid of a life-sized stone statue of a vacuum salesman.
Or maybe she could keep it. He was very pretty, even if he annoyed her. He was tall and broad, his inky black hair a tad too long, and his bright green eyes held her attention. At least as stone he'd be silent and still pretty. She gave herself a mental shake. "I'm sorry, but I don't have time for this--"
"When would be a better time?"
He did blink at that, but his smile never disappeared. "I'll have to check my calendar."
She snorted, then clapped her free hand ove rher mouth. Laughing would not discourage the man. "Look, I'm sure it's a great vacuum, but I don't need it. I don't want to see how it works, and I'd like you to get off my property."
His smile did fade a litle bit. "Well, I suppose, if that's what you really want."
She quirked an eyebrow, trying not to smile again. He had the faintest hint of an accent, but she couldn't place it. Not without hearing him talk some more, and she didn't want to encourage that either, or he'd just keep trying to sell her an expensive vacuum she didn't need.
"Maybe I could talk you into meeting me for coffee sometime then," he said.
Her jaw dropped. The cute salesman was hitting on her. For half a second, she indulged the fantasy of a date with the hunk. A real date, maybe ending with a real kiss. Her pulse quickened. Then she remembered one good date led to more, and eventually, it led to guys running away from her, gibbering like idiots when PMS struck. She shut her mouth and ignored the regret burning in her middle. "Sorry, but no."
"You're a hard woman," he said lightly, his bright gaze sliding down to her mouth. "I'll leave my card in case you change your mind. About the coffee, that is." He forced a small card into her hand and picked up his vacuum.
Andi stared after him as he strode off her porch. The bulky vacuum looked like it weight nothing in his hand, swinging at his side on his way to the shiny, new truck parked behind her car.
When he took one hand from the steering wheel to wave at her, she stopped herself from lifting her hand in response. He turned the truck around and vanished down the drive into the trees. Frowning, she went back inside and shut the door, then locked it and re-armed the alarm. He'd tossed the vacuum into the bed of the truck. A very strong saleman.
Who didn't seem to care the impending rain was going to damage his expensive vacuum. She turned back to the door and stared out the narrow window beside it, her heart beating faster now with alarm. Maybe he didn't realize. Or maybe he really hadn't come to sell her a vacuum.
She swallowed hard.
Aunt Celosia had always told the cousins stories of the Harvesters, the men who still hunted for the Medusa. Somehow, Andi had always thought they'd be more frightening. More obvious. Ugly men intent on murder.
If this vacuum salesman was a Harvester, he was sneaky. Of course, if he was a Harvester, he would be sneaky, as Perseus had been when he killed the first Medusa.
She was in a lot of trouble.
Before I get back to work, I wanted to give you an early heads-up about a booksigning in southeastern Pennsylvania next month. I'll be one of a baker's dozen of romance writers there!
I'll share more details in the next few weeks, but wanted to get the date out there now, so you can put it on your calendars!
What are your plans for this cold winter week ahead? Lots of reading? I'd love to hear!