So for all the people who said, “Eh, you’re kind of funny, but what’s with the homicidal angels? Were you drunk when you wrote Angeli?” (and by people I mean my mother and mother-in-law… and by drunk the answer is ‘yes’) do I have a treat for you!
A NEW Romantic Comedy!
Based loosely on how I stalked my husband into submission. (WARNING: I’m not as hot as the cartoon version on the cover.)
And as one of my loyal readers, if you’d like a FREE copy in exchange for your honest review (for a limited time) (limited time offer that is, not that you have to be honest for a limited time), just email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you one!
Emily never expected to find love in a dart bar, but the moment she spots tall, sexy Sebastian, she’s determined to catch his eye.
Ex-girlfriends, perpetually shirtless rich boys, frantic best-friends and a mysterious orange handbag converge to stop her.
No one said stalking was easy, but if romance was left to the boys, the human race would die out while they logged fantasy football points and punched each other in the balls.
Everyone knows that.
Emily’s not stalking Sebastian…she’s saving the world.
Want a preview? Here’s Chapter One!
“In college you’re constantly being thrown into rooms with the opposite sex,” said Emily. “College is a Petri dish of lust.”
Emily sipped her Chardonnay, deep in a buttery, oaky rut. She preferred a warm, chocolaty rut, but summer meant time to mix-up the ruts.
“That sounds like the worst romance novel ever,” said her friend Kady. “Petri Dish of Lust.”
“Seriously though, where are you supposed to meet people on the wrong side of twenty-five?”
Emily sat on Kady’s porch, pushing a flake of peeled white paint back and forth with her toe. Kady and her boyfriend, Joe, were Emily’s “hippie” friends. Kady and Joe lived in a fixer-upper they never fixer-upped, went to concerts featuring one endless song, and ate unidentifiable plant pods on purpose. Emily had no interest in jam bands or kale salad, but she and Kady had other things in common like wine, food and books. Kady was also one of the warmest people Emily had ever met.
While the girls sipped wine, Joe attempted to roll a cigarette, tongue hanging from his mouth like an overheated Labrador’s as he concentrated. Without looking up he muttered, “Why don’t you go to dart night at the Irish Rover?”
“Irish Rover the bar?” asked Emily.
“Yes, the bar. They have a round robin where you play darts for money. The place is full of men. It’s a Petri dish of lust.”
Kady groaned. “You have no idea how close that is to the truth. That place is filthy.”
Emily recalled the dartboard that had once hung in her father’s garage. As a pre-teen, she had punctured more holes in the Stanley Cup Winning Flyers team photo pinned next to the dartboard.
“My dad had a dartboard when I was little, but I wasn’t very good. But I threw javelin in high school…”
Joe tilted his head, his floppy auburn hair spilling to the left.
“That’s like saying you’d be an excellent bowler because you played marbles.”
“Why? Same idea, right?”
“No, it really isn’t. For one, you don’t aim a javelin.”
“Mmm. Excellent point.”
“Ha!” said Kady, jumping in her seat. “Get it? Excellent point!”
“Bad dum dum,” said Joe, verbally providing Kady with a lackluster rimshot.
Emily ruminated on Joe’s idea. She did love the idea of throwing sharp pointy things. She definitely had a competitive streak. However, meeting men in a bar sounded so…meeting men in a bar.
On the other hand, she was tired of drinking café lattes alone at Grounded coffee shop under the guise of reading a book, while not-so-secretly trolling for sensitive, literary types. Avoiding eye contact with the other single girls was becoming pathological. None of them could bear the sight of their own desperation reflected in each other’s eyes.
Emily knew which girls were on Grounded Man Safari by the way their gazes laser-locked on women with boyfriends. Women-with-boyfriends always entered the Grounded arm-in-arm with their man, moving in slow motion, heads tossed back in the throes of an exaggerated laugh. The vision of those white teeth flashing activated jealousy processes in the brains of the hunters, loud as a room full of ticker-tape calculators. Judgment was passed. The girlfriend was found wanting. Too tall, too short, too fat, too skinny, fashion-impaired, crooked-nosed, obnoxious, obvious, loud and mousey. Wait, isn’t one of her breasts smaller than the other?
After judging the girlfriend, attention shifts to the boyfriend. He seems nice. Or douchey. It doesn’t matter; gazes pull back to the girl as if magnetized. That’s when girlfriend notices the gaping latte drinkers. She looks back at them.
The jig is up!
Eyes dart away. Heads drop and noses tuck into books. The hunters squash the urge to form an over-caffeinated, snarling wolf pack.
Emily didn’t think she would meet the love of her life in a coffee shop, but she worked from home as a freelance writer and web designer, and she didn’t get the daily human interaction most people took for granted. Her friends had lives and families of their own and even if they didn’t, she wouldn’t expect them to babysit her. She loved her dog, Duppy, but he wasn’t much of conversationalist. The chairs in Grounded weren’t chatty either, but the constant flow of people walking in and out with their mochas and muffins made her feel social. It was like being at a party during that uncomfortable in-between-conversations moment. Awkward but, hey, anything could happen.
Emily decided to play darts.
“When is it?” she asked.
Joe held up his freshly rolled cigarette, beaming.
“How about that?”
“Nice,” Emily said, having no real opinion on the quality of his workmanship. She considered Joe’s ragged beard. It never grew in. He wore a flannel shirt, but it was Ralph Lauren. He wanted to be a hippie, but no matter how hard he tried, he always looked like he’d grown up in the affluent area of Short Hills, New Jersey. Which he had.
“Wait,” said Emily. “Aren’t you the only granola muncher in the world who doesn’t smoke pot? Why do you need to roll cigarettes?”
“I just thought it was something I should know,” Joe said, slipping the cigarette into the pocket of his flannel.
“In case you’re magically teleported to the old West?” Emily asked. “Cigarette rolling is not something you need to know. Nobody every screams, ‘This man is having a heart attack! Quick! Someone roll a cigarette!’”
Kady laughed, the dark curls framing her face bouncing. “The plane is going down! Can anyone roll a cigarette?”
Stone-faced, Joe chose to ignore them.
Kady’s giggles faded. “He said he saw someone roll one last week and he thought it was cool. He just had to know how to do it.”
“Thank god he didn’t see someone speed-balling cocaine,” said Emily.
The part of Emily that was not fond of Joe sneaked out for a visit, and she took a sip of wine to quiet herself. She didn’t want to appear mean-spirited and offend Kady. Joe was her boyfriend, after all. Emily knew better than to pick on a girlfriend’s mate, even if the girlfriend initiated the attack. A week later, that same girl would reunite with the man she’d bashed, and Emily would be the jerk for calling the love of her friend’s life “King Needle Dick of Loserville.”
Unlike Joe, Kady was an genuine person and more of an earth-mama-hippie than a dancing-bear-hippie. Kady liked jazz and cobbled together signature outfits from vintage clothes purchased on eBay. Kady thought the Eleventh Commandment should be “Thou shalt not shop at Pottery Barn,” because every time she found a classic piece of furniture, she’d discover Pottery Barn mass producing carbon copies and it broke her heart. She loved plants and insects and worked in the garden department of Home Depot to finance her tuition to landscaping college.
How many hippies made six figures a year in corporate finance? That was another fail for Joe. He wore a tie to work and looked more comfortable in suits than hemp t-shirts. Emily knew it shouldn’t bother her, but something about Joe felt disingenuous, like he was a bored rich kid trying on new personalities, dating Kady to complete his hippie ensemble. Emily would never share her theory with Kady, but she was tempted. Especially because Joe wasn’t always nice to Kady. He didn’t seem to appreciate Kady for Kady.
Emily sighed. The Joe-puzzle was unsolvable today; time to let it go.
“When is dart night?”
“Tonight,” said Joe.
“That seems sudden. Should I go tonight? Do I have to buy darts? Should I practice throwing soft things first?”
“You could throw Q-tips,” suggested Kady.
“You can borrow my spares,” said Joe.
“Great,” said Emily. She glanced at Kady, still unsure.
“We’ll all go,” Kady said. “It’ll be fun.”
“Who me?” said Joe. “I don’t want to go.”
“Oh come on, Joe. Why wouldn’t you? You were just saying you wanted to go out tonight, like, an hour ago.”
Joe wrinkled his nose and then nodded his head from side to side, relenting.
“Fine,” said Emily. “Good.”
Emily supposed it wouldn’t kill her to give darts night a try.
Unless someone had terrible aim, in which case, maybe it could.
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