Friday's sneak peek

I considered (for about two seconds) giving you a sneak peek of my work in progress. I quickly shut down that train of thought. This story is so different for me, I don't want to embarrass myself. I will embarrass myself with a few select critiquers/readers only. Not the whole world (as if the whole world reads my blog LOL!).

So anyhoo...here's a little peek at a novel that is with one of my editors right now - Breakaway:

Remi hurried down the school hall, past empty classrooms, and into the gym. The kids were actually being pretty good, sitting on the bleachers and filling the room with a dull roar punctuated with the occasional scream of high-pitched laughter.


“Change in plans,” she said to her fellow teacher Paula Vaughan. “We have hockey players coming instead of basketball players.”

“Oh. Okay.”

“Okay, everyone, listening!” She paused and waited for the noise to subside, holding a hand in the air. “We’re running a bit late, so please be patient. Jemar Fast isn’t going to be with us after all.” Big groans of disappointment greeted that statement. “But someone else is coming in his place.”

“Who is it, Ms. Buchanan?”

“Yeah, who is it?”

Dammit, she didn’t even know who it was. “Three players from the Chicago Wolves are coming today.”

Cheers echoed in the gym. Huh. Guess the kids knew hockey.

“They should be here shortly to get us started. Has everyone got their book picked out that they want to read first?”

Another burst of cheering erupted and she grinned. She loved it when kids were into books and reading. Some of her students were already avid readers, but others, like Justin and Ryan, struggled with it.

Out of the corner of her eye she saw Jennifer entering the auditorium with a group of men. Relieved, she prepared to turn the microphone over to the principal to introduce their new “stars” and get things started. If they didn’t get going soon, the kids would be beyond control.

Remi went to stand with some other teachers at the side of the gym and watched Jennifer lead the three men to the front where the sound system was set up. Big guys, all three of them…Remi’s eyes widened and she straightened. She blinked and focused on the back of one of the men. It looked like…no. She shook her head. Then he turned.

Jace.

Her face went hot, her body got chilled and she fell back against the concrete block gym wall.

He said something to Jennifer and they both laughed. His gorgeous smile flashed. Today he was dressed casually in jeans and a Wolves T-shirt that hugged his broad chest and shoulders. The other two men with him…yes, she was sure they’d been with him that night at Rouge…also wore the same T-shirts.

Hockey players.

Well, didn’t he just look like a hockey player? Big and tough, with a crooked nose. Except he had beautiful perfect white teeth—didn’t most hockey players lose their teeth by getting hit with a puck or something?

She licked her lips.

Jennifer spoke into the microphone to get the kids’ attention and get the rally underway but Remi barely heard a word she said, until she introduced “Jace Heller!” and the kids all screamed and clapped.

Dear God, he was famous.

And she hadn’t even known who he was.

No wonder he dated a model. She leaned her head back against the wall and covered her eyes with one hand. She’d slept with him. Her. Remi Buchanan, grade six teacher at Abraham Lincoln Middle School. A wave of heat swept over her at the memory of his touch, his mouth on hers, his body inside hers.

Her one wild attempt at being fun and spontaneous and sexy had ended with the police at her door. She chewed on her lower lip. That could have been very bad for Jace. Oh, God.

Jace had taken over the microphone and was getting the kids all worked up into a frenzy over reading books. She focused on him and what he was saying, clamping down on the resurgent lust.

“So you guys can ask us all questions now if you like,” Jace said. “Who’s got a question?”

Hands shot up and little bodies bounced excitedly on the bleachers. Remi smiled.

“What’s your favorite book?” a student asked Jace.

“I have a lot of favorites,” Jace replied. “But I really love Tom Sawyer.”

A murmur of agreement rippled through.

His hockey buddies shared their favorites, too.

“What’s your favorite video game?”

Jace tipped his head to think. “Tough one,” he said. “Right now I like Hosuko.”

More cheers. The kids were eating it up.

“How many of you play sports?” Jace asked. Again hands reached for the sky and kids jumped up and down. “Wow! That’s great! Any hockey players?”

More hands.

“Any girl hockey players?”

Remi laughed and shook her head, but sure enough, several girls jumped up and waved.

The rally continued and then the three athletes stationed themselves at the doors of the auditorium along with the teachers to hand out buttons and score sheets and gift bags with free books to the kids as they filed out.

Remi went over to talk to Jennifer, who was all smiles. “That went great!” she said. “Those hockey players were fantastic with the kids!”

“Yes. They were.”

“Come on. I’ll introduce you. You’ll be working with them over the next few weeks.”

Remi nodded, sucking her bottom lip as she followed Jennifer toward Jace. Her heart picked up speed and her head went just a little light as she neared him, tummy tight and fluttery. She’d given him her number but he hadn’t called.

Yet. It was only Wednesday.

Maybe he had no intention of calling her.

Maybe he was going to be horribly embarrassed to see her.

Maybe he was going to regret that he’d volunteered to work on this program.

Remi pressed a hand to her stomach and stopped with Jennifer. Jace was bumping fists with a boy—Remi’s student Ryan—who’d stopped to talk to him. She’d never seen Ryan so focused.

Then Jace straightened to his full imposing height and turned and his gaze landed on her.

She felt it like a touch.

His eyes widened and then a slow smile spread across his face.

She liked that smile.

She gave him a tremulous smile back.

“Remi, this is Jace Heller, Dominic Griffin and Matthieu Lalonde. Gentlemen, I’d like you to meet Remi Buchanan. She’s a grade six teacher here at Lincoln and she’s the one who was instrumental in bringing the kick off rally to our school this year.”

Jace’s smile disappeared, replaced by a glower.