• Home
  • Posts Tagged'romance'
  • Page 30

Posts Tagged ‘romance’

A Win-Win Deal — An Executive Decision Free!

Ellison Thorne knows a good deal when he sees it and, no doubt, both he and Dee Henning would agree that a FREE download of the Kindle Version of An Executive Decision is a very good deal, indeed. Like most good deals, this one is time sensitive. Beginning October 10th through the 14th, you can download your copy and learn about Ellis and Dee’s secret weapon, which makes them the hottest business team around … in more ways than one.

Now’s the time to take advantage of this win-win deal and get a head start celebrating the anticipated November 1st print release with K D Grace and Grace Marshall. The deal’s on the table. Don’t miss the opportunity.

Blurb:

Sex in the contract – it’s the only way super-focused, over-worked CEO, Ellison Thorne, is ever going to get laid. That’s what his retiring business partner and secret match-maker, Beverly Neumann, thinks. She’s convinced no-strings, stress-free sex in certain employee contracts would raise productivity and minimize stress — perfect for a busy executive like Ellis. But she’s joking, right?

Enter her hand-picked replacement, Dee Henning. Young, hungry, gifted, Dee is the queen of no time for sex. When negotiations on a major project break down, and Dee and Ellis end up in each other’s arms, the Executive Sex Clause suddenly becomes more than a joke. In fact hot executive sex just might be the ultimate secret weapon for success. But secrets seldom remain secret, and Dee and Ellis soon learn there’s no such thing as no-strings where the heart is concerned.

Excerpt:

Ellis,

Just an addendum to the conversation we had earlier about Dee Henning. Before I lose contact with all things Pneuma Inc to bask in blissful solitude of the rainforest, I want to make it clear how I feel. I’ve already told you she’s perfect for the position. And if you were ever going to implement the ESC, she’d be the one to do it with – that is if you’ve got the balls.

 Dee’s exactly what you need on all counts. I know you think she lacks experience, but trust me, with the right training, given half a chance, she’ll be brilliant. Hire her, Ellis. Implement the ESC. Trust me, it’s the perfect strategy, a secret weapon that could make Pneuma Inc even more successful than it already is.  And if anyone could do it, you could. Do this for me and I can retire and enjoy my dotage.

 And in case you’re planning to write this message off as a sign of dementia due to my advanced years, I plan to invite her for drinks after I get back from Brazil and feel her out about the position. Just so you know I’m serious.

                                                                        -Beverly      

Ellis shut the email, took off his glasses and stared for a long moment at the blurred screen. Beverly was always right, he reminded himself. Then he shoved his glasses back on, opened the manila envelope and took out the information Beverly had left him. It was true, the list of work experiences and skills were impressive, and in a couple of years, at the rate she was going, Dee would be his choice for the position, hands down. But it was too soon. She was so unprepared for what she’d be facing. How could she be otherwise under the circumstances? And she was untried. He’d be throwing her to the lions. But Beverly believed in her. He prayed she was right.

He found himself reading over the personal information again, the intimate details about her that he shouldn’t know, but did. He found her intriguing in quirky ways. A love child, parents never married, spending summers in Paris, defying her mother to study business at Harvard instead of pursuing a career in music. The notes were all in Beverly’s hand. He wondered why she thought he should know all these things. Personal lives should be kept personal. There was no room for them in the workplace. But then again, there was no room in the work place for what he had done with Dee eight weeks ago, in spite of Beverly’s Executive Sex Clause.

Maybe Dee would turn him down. There was a good possibility. And then what?  He hadn’t even looked at the other resumes. The only one he knew who was at least halfway qualified, certainly more technically qualified than Dee, was Tally Barnes, but that was a moot point now.  Ellis jumped as a crisp rap on the door broke into his silent reverie. He shoved Dee’s resume back in the envelope, straightened his tie and stood to greet her.

‘Lynn? Are you in here?’ Dee entered the conference room dripping wet, turning to shut the door behind her without looking up. ‘Sorry I’m so wet. It’s pouring out there. The garage was full so I had to park in the drowned-dog section, or be late, and I make it a point to never be …’ She stopped in mid-sentence, frozen to the wet spot she was now making on the carpet. ‘Ellis!  I’m so sorry. I just assumed I’d be meeting with your secretary again.’

The classic lines of her dark blue power suit caressed her curves a little less discretely than they might have otherwise done had it not been wet. The rain had rendered her blouse partially transparent – just enough to reveal the contours of lace beneath, and he knew from personal experience just how nice those contours were.

‘Lynn told me you’d be gone,’ she was saying. But he was having a hard time paying attention to her words. Rhinestone droplets of water clung to her lashes and tendrils of damp hair curled around her ears. For a second, he stood motionless, unable to take his eyes off the woman glistening in front of him. She held his gaze with a half-smile, her cheeks tinged with the slightest hint of discomfort, discomfort he was sure he could match and raise. It took another second before he realized she was waiting for him to respond. He caught his breath and spoke in a mad rush. ‘I felt it was time we met in person about the executive assistant position. Can I get you a towel? I have an extra jacket if you’re chilled.’

‘Thanks, but I won’t melt, and I’m not cold. And if you don’t mind me dripping on the carpet, I have several more prospects for you to look at.’

He motioned her to follow him down the hall to his office. ‘After all you’ve done for Pneuma Inc in the past few years I think you’ve earned dripping privileges.’ He felt stupid the minute he’d said it, but it was out, and it got him the smile he’d hoped for. If she were angry at him for what had happened, if she felt in any way hurt or slighted, she hid it well. In fact she hid it a little better than he’d hoped. He’d hoped to get some idea of how she felt about him after … everything. If they were going to be working together, he needed to know if she harbored enough of a grudge to put cyanide in his coffee or set explosives off under his desk.

Amazon Links:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

Grace Marshall has made An Executive Decision!

Grace Marshall has made An Executive Decision

Grace Marshall is  very happy to announce that An Executive Decision is now officially available for Kindle in the US and the UK! And you’ll be able to hold the print version in your hot little hand November 1st.

For a project that began its life eight years ago as an erotic short story I wrote just for fun, AED has had a circuitous journey to publication. In its first incarnation, it was called Learning the Business.  From there it expanded into an erotic novel, then grew into a romance novel that was too big for its britches, and too hot for anyone to touch at the time, and wearing the brazen title, The Executive Sex Clause. An Executive Decision has finally grown up and come into its own as the first steamy romance novel in The Executive Decision Trilogy.

Radio or Not, Here I Come!

I had the very big pleasure of being interviewed, along with Hazel Cushion, Managing Director of Xcite Books, by Phil Rickman for his popular Phil the Shelf programme on BBC Radio Wales. Phil Rickman is the author of the best selling Merrily Watkins mysteries, the John Dee series and several paranormal novels. Though I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting the man face to face, I was ushered into the studios of the BBC Radio facility on the Surrey University Campus several weeks ago, and there, alone in the small cubicle, Phil’s ethereal voice filtered into my ear via the magic of techy stuff. The interview lasted about twenty minutes, covering everything from Fifty Shades of Grey mummy porn to interesting uses for truffles in The Initiation of Ms Holly.

As you might expect, I excitedly alerted all of my friends that I was going to be on Phil Rickman’s show, and we all gathered round the ‘radio,’ just like in the old days, tweeting and Facebooking over our glasses of wine, not so much like the old days, only to discover that BBC Wales was running a cricket match instead. No warning, nothing. Just suddenly cricket. None of us knows what happened, and no doubt there will be a pod cast at some point. In fact, I just got a text from Hazel saying she heard it. However, in the wilds beyond the mysterious offices of Xcite Books and Accent Press, we’ve heard nothing. Even Phil has heard nothing, and he’s threatening murder on his end. But he has promised to let me know when the pod cast is up, and I’ll be sure to pass on the word.

Face Time

Just after tweeting and facebooking my excitement about An Executive Decision’s swift release on Kindle, I was off to Wales to the Kidwelly eBook Festival Friday afternoon. I had the pleasure of being on a panel of erotic writers for ‘Sex at Noon.’ and it was lovely to be included with the fabulous Toni Sands and to make the acquaintance of Gillian Brightmore. Hazel was chairing the group. The discussion was lively and the interaction with the small but enthusiastic audience was loads of fun. It’s very heartening to see the growing interest in erotica.

As much as I enjoyed the panel and the short bit of the festival I was there for, the best part of the two days was having face time with Hazel and getting to meet her lovely family. There was much talk of writing and publishing, as you can imagine, and I had a fabulous time watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics with the entire Cushion family.

Book Time

I’m working flat-out at the moment to finish the final rewrite of Riding the Ether, the second book of the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy. If anything I’m even more excited about it than I was Body Temperature and Rising, which was amazing fun to write.

There’ll be more exciting K D Grace and Grace Marshall news coming up in the month of August, so be sure to keep an eye out on this site and on both K D and Grace’s face book and twitter pages. In the meantime, hope you have a hot August in the very best sense of the word.  I’ll leave you off with a little taste of An Executive Decision.

Blurb:

Ellison Thorne’s business partner, Beverly, and his brother, Garrett, create the Executive Sex Clause as a joke speculating that no-strings, stress-free sex in certain employee contracts would raise productivity and act as a cure for Ellis’s lacking love life.

Enter Dee Henning, the queen of no-time-for-sex. Young, hungry, gifted. When negotiations on a major project break down, Dee and Ellis realise the Executive Sex Clause could be the ultimate secret weapon for success. But secrets seldom remain secret, and Dee and Ellis soon learn there’s no such thing as no-strings where the heart is concerned.

Excerpt:

By the end of the third day negotiations were at a deadlock, and the Paris heat was beginning to take its toll in more ways than one.

Ellis slammed the door to the hotel suite behind them and yanked off his tie. ‘I know the woman doesn’t like Americans, but the only one she’s hurting by not accepting our offer is Trouvères. She has to see this is the only way to move things forward.’

‘It’s got to be some sort of bluff.’ Dee threw her jacket across the couch and rotated her aching shoulders.

‘Can’t you talk to Daniels? Surely he can make her see reason.’

‘I have talked to him. He’s at his wits end as to why she’s behaving like this. Besides, he works for her, remember?’

‘True, but it’s pretty clear it’s you he’s concerned about pleasing.’

She slammed her computer bag down on the couch. ‘I told you there’s nothing between Jason and me, and we’re both too professional to let –’

Ellis interrupted. ‘Look, I said up front that this deal was a long shot. Pulling it off may take a lot more time than either of us expected. Anyway, I should have known better than to get caught up in the excitement. Don’t take it personally. I’m only saying you may have bitten off more than you can chew this time. You’re not exactly working drive-through at McDonalds these days, you know?’

The pain returned to her shoulders with a vengeance. ‘At first it was a real shock, Ellis, but I figured that one out fairly early in the game.’ Dee bit back her sarcasm, remembering his comments about no one making him angry until she came along. She was about to excuse herself for a much-needed shower and time to cool her temper when the phone rang. Ellis answered it.

He dropped the receiver back into its cradle. ‘That was Yvette Rousseau’s secretary.  Tomorrow’s meetings are cancelled. Apparently Yvette sees no reason for further negotiations.’

‘Shit.’ Dee turned on her heels and headed for her room. Maybe she’d have a good cry while she was in the shower. It certainly wouldn’t be her first since she’d started working at Pneuma Inc.

But Ellis grabbed her by the arm. ‘Where are you going? We have a disaster here, Dee. We need to regroup and figure out what to do about it. Your pouting can wait.’

Anger joined frustration and became a seething boil. She jerked her arm away, certain a shower would no longer be enough to cool her down. ‘I’m not pouting.’

He shrugged. ‘What else am I supposed to think when at the first sign of trouble you run off to your room. We have a mess here, we need to fix it.’

It was then that she snapped. She stood facing him nose to nose in a glare-down, no longer caring if she made him angry. ‘Fine, goddamn it, let’s stop the bullshit and fix it then. I’m sick and tired of your snide remarks about Jason and me, and your condescension about my lack of experience. Guess what, Ellis, I know I lack experience, and you knew it when you hired me, so tell me something I don’t know!’

His eyes flashed white hot, and the line of his jaw hardened. The intake of his breath was harsh against the soft hum of the air conditioning. It came as a total surprise when he grabbed her, and for one frightening second, she thought he was actually going to shake her. But before the thought was completely formed, he pulled her to him so hard that she feared whiplash, then he did the unthinkable. He kissed her. He kissed her hard. His mouth was bruising and tyrannical against hers, swallowing her breath even as she fought to swallow his. At first she pushed him, pushed him as hard as she could. But he only yielded enough to step back, pulling her with him, kissing her harder, holding her tighter, tight enough to crush her breasts against his chest. It took a second for her brain to register she was pushing him back toward the sofa, and he was letting her. She bit and nipped at him like an angry wolf, yanking and shoving his jacket off over his shoulders as she pushed.

There was ripping and tearing. She wasn’t sure whose. She didn’t care. At least one button went flying.

With one hand he tugged and yanked her skirt up over her hips, with the other he shoved down the straps of her bra and kneaded and cupped.

It soon became clear they weren’t going to make it to the sofa. She’d just managed to force Ellis’s trousers down over his hips when he plopped onto the chair at the computer desk, pulling her on top of him as he figured out how to release the front catch on her bra.

‘Oh my god!’ she cried out as the chair went over backwards landing them in a heap on the soft carpet …

 

Welcome Grace Marshall: As Interviewed by Her Naughty Twin

It’s a pleasure to introduce my doppelgänger, Grace Marshall. Grace is no good at keeping a secret, and neither is our husband. Him I can’t lock in his room.  Her however, I finally had to until Xcite made the announcement of her new Executive Decisions trilogy official. Now that she’s been unleashed onto the world, along with her soon to be published hot romance novel, An Executive Decision, I’m very pleased to be the first to have her as my guest.

KD: Grace, you and I have known each other all our lives, and you’ve always been happy to collaberate  and make sure that I didn’t leave romance out of my smut. What made you decide to strike out on your own?

GM: Well, you know I’ve always been the true romantic between the two of us, KD, and as much as I love writing smut with you, I just thought it was time for me to go in search of my own Happy Ever After.

KD: Good for you! I think everyone should have a Happy Ever After. And wow! Are you going at it in a big way, a hot new trilogy with Xcite Romance right out of the blocks. Hon, you’re really hard core.’

GM: It takes one to know one, Sweetie.

KD: Thanks Grace. I’ll take that as a compliment. I’m really curious. You’re new trilogy, is it an effort to catch the Fifty Shades wave?

GM: KD, there was an Ellison Thorne way before there was a Christian Grey, and at the time Ellison Thorne made editors and agents nervous because he was just a little too hot, a little too risqué. He was ahead of his time, as was his outrageously competent and sexy new business partner, Dee Henning. I guess you could say that Fifty Shades was the coming of age novel that brought truly sexy romance into the mainstream all grown up and seductive. Hats off to Christian Grey for that. At last, romance for adults!

KD: You mean romance with hot sex? Well exactly! I’ve been saying that all along. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted to see what goes on behind closed doors and in the back of limos and in elevators and … well you get the picture.

GM: You always were a bit of a voyeur, Hon.

KD: So tell my readers about Ellis and Dee. What makes their story so special?

GM: What makes their story so special? Four words, KD, four words, The Executive Sex Clause?’

KD: The Executive Sex Clause?

GM: It’s what happens when you’ve got two busy executives ready, willing and able to conquer the world and everything in it … but totally unable to find time for a love life.

KD: Hold on a minute, you mean sex is a part of the contract? Sounds pretty kinky to me.

GM: Oh, I don’t know, I think it’s actually quite practical. Think about it, a source of strings-free, on-demand sex would boost productivity and creativity, relieve stress, even reduce sick days. And who knows how much more two top-notch businessy types could accomplish if their junk wasn’t interfering with their brains.

KD: Wait a minute, Grace, that sound more like something I’d write. Where’s the romance? Where are the hearts and flowers? Where’s the staring longingly into each other’s eyes?’

GM: Oh, I promise there’s PLENTY of romance, KD. Because though Dee and Ellis might be able to work sex into their business arrangement, you and I both know the heart has its own agenda, and a secret like The Executive Sex Clause, a secret business strategy that cutting edge and that kinky is not going to stay secret for long. I’m sure you can imagine, there’ll be … consequences.

KD: Okay, I’m intrigued. I want to know more about Dee and Ellis and their Executive Sex Clause. Could we have an excerpt, please.

GM; I thought you’d never ask. Here’s a sneak peek.

An Executive Decision Blurb:

Over drinks one night after too many hours at the office, Ellison Thorne’s business partner, Beverly Neumann and his brother Garrett jokingly scheme the Executive Sex Clause, an innovative cure for Ellis’s lack of a love life. They speculate a source of no-strings, stress-free sex in certain employee contracts would raise productivity, minimize stress, and boost creativity for a busy CEO like Ellis. But they were joking, weren’t they?

Enter Dee Henning. Young, hungry, gifted, what Dee lacks in experience, she makes up for in ambition and hard work. Dee is the queen of no-time-for-sex.

When stressful negotiations over a huge project break down, driving Dee and Ellis into each other’s arms, the aftermath is a deal even sweeter than they imagined. Suddenly the Executive Sex Clause no longer seems like a joke. Could it be the ultimate secret weapon for success? And why not, if no one else knows? But secrets seldom remain secret, and Dee and Ellis find out the hard way that there’s no such thing as no strings where the heart is concerned.

Excerpt:

‘I missed her again didn’t I? She’s going to think I’m avoiding her.’ Ellis dropped into the chair in front of Beverly’s desk and flipped absently through the files Dee Henning had just left. ‘It’s not her I’m avoiding, actually, it’s your silly retirement plans.’

‘You won’t be laughing when you come in here some morning and find my desk empty. You’ll be SOL big time, boy.’

He offered her an amused chuckle. ‘Who are you kidding, Beverly? You love this place and you know it. You’re not going to retire. How many false alarms have there been now, three?  Four? I’ve lost count. Face it; you’ll work here until you drop dead.’

‘Believe what you want, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.’ She pulled a manila envelope from the top drawer of her desk and handed it to him.

‘What’s this?’

‘My replacement. Since you won’t help, I’ve taken matters into my own hands. She’s been right under our noses all along.’ She rubbed her hands together with a shiver of anticipation. ‘Come on, humor me.’

Still holding her in a disapproving gaze, he took the envelope as though he half expected it to be booby trapped. He opened the clasp then slid the contents from inside and gave it a glance. ‘Wait a minute. This is a file on Dee Henning. You can’t be serious. You want a head hunter to take over running half of Pneuma Inc?’

‘Don’t be such a snob, Ellis. It’s not like she’ll be taking over tomorrow. I’ll be here to train her up to suit your persnickety standards.’

‘How did you get this information anyway?’ The file was too thick for a simple resume, and some of the pages looked like hand-written notes photocopied. Others were odd sizes, and the whole packaged smacked of Beverly’s scheming.

‘Portland’s a small city.’ Suddenly she seemed particularly interested in the leaves of a thriving Christmas cactus sitting on the edge of her desk.

‘Beverly?’

‘I’m friends with Irv McDowell, okay? At least I think we’re still friends.’ The look of driven-snow innocence gave way to something just slightly this side of devious.

‘You’ve been head-hunting from the head head-hunter? Dee Henning’s Jasper and McDowell’s star recruiter. Surely Irv didn’t give you this willingly.’

Beverly ignored the question and nodded at the photo he now held in his hand.

‘She’s exactly what you need on all counts. She may be only a few years out of grad school, but what impresses me is her accomplishments during that time. She reminds me of you back in the early days – young, hungry, dedicated… And pretty. Don’t give me that look, Ellis, you’d blush if you heard some of the juicy conversations about you I overhear in the ladies’ room.’

He pretended to ignore the photo. ‘Your delusions aside, it doesn’t matter — that she’s good looking, I mean.’

‘And that’s why you’re drooling over the photo? I may be old, Ellis, but there’s nothing wrong with my eyesight.’

He put the picture of Dee aside and flipped through the file. ‘What all do you have in here anyway?’ He read out loud from the photocopied pages. ‘Classically trained, voice and piano? Oh, that’ll come in really handy here at Pneuma Inc. In fact, I was just thinking of requiring it for all new employees.’

‘Stop being an asshole. It’s just background information, just stuff that’s good to know.’

The hand-written notes stated that both of Dee’s parents were musicians. Her father had sung in the chorus for the Paris Opera. Her mother was a soprano, who went to Paris on some summer program, and nine months later Dee came along. Ellis suddenly felt like a voyeur. ‘This is none of our business.’ He tried to shove the file back at Beverly, but she refused it.

‘Oh for chrissake, Ellis, there’s nothing in there I haven’t already wheedled out of the girl over coffee or drinks. Don’t be such a wuss.’

‘I’m sure she didn’t give you the copy of her finances over coffee and drinks.’

‘Oh that. Just tells us that we can’t appeal to her with money alone.’

‘Clearly she doesn’t need it,’ he said. He was surprised to find someone so young had such a good portfolio. She obviously knew how to make money work for her. She wasn’t exactly rich, but give her a few more years, and she would be.

‘My point exactly. Musicians tend to be poor, and I think our Dee has taken it upon herself not to follow in her parents’ footsteps.’

‘If the need ever actually arises for me to interview her, what makes you think she’s even interested in working for me? She’s got a growing career with Jasper and McDowell, and as you said, she’s making very good money.’

Beverly frowned. ‘Jasper and McDowell is a means to an end. Surely you don’t expect someone with her talent to settle in there permanently, do you? It’s the experience of working here with you that will appeal to her. She’s a perfectionist, never does anything half-assed. She’s always striving to be the best. She’s driven, just like you are. Remember that when you interview her.’

He shuffled pages. ‘What did you have to do to get this stuff, tie Irv to a chair and beat him with a tire iron?’

‘It’s amazing what a man will tell you over a couple of drinks.’

‘You got him drunk.’

‘It wasn’t that hard. He never could hold his booze. I can’t believe I didn’t figure it out sooner. She’s perfect for my job.’

Ellis looked down at the resume. ‘She’s not perfect for your job, Beverly. She’s too young, too inexperienced, and this is not even her area of expertise.’

‘The woman’s a head hunter, Ellis. She has to be competent in lots of areas. Besides, we’ve always been risk-takers, and those risks have always paid off. I’ll train her myself, and you’ll see, within a few months she’ll be able to run this place on her own.’

‘An opportunity she’ll never get because you’ll never retire.’

‘Forget about my retirement, Ellis. It’s time. You know it is. We need someone in training for when the inevitable happens.’

He gave up pretending to ignore the photo, which was definitely the nicest thing he’d looked at all day. Short, dark hair framed blue eyes, a straight Roman nose, and a full-lipped smile that suggested competence, with a touch of mischief. So this was what Dee Henning looked like. He’d often wondered.

‘Hire her, Ellis. It’s not just that I’m retiring, but I’m old. Hell I could drop dead anytime, then what?’

‘Oh for fuck sake, Beverly, we both know you’re too damned ornery to die. You’ll outlive me. But I tell you what, if and when you do drop dead, I’ll hire her. Hell, when you drop dead, I’ll give her your job on a silver platter and train her myself, I promise. Now can we get back to running the business here?’

Two weeks later, Beverly had sent him an email from the airport. The last email he got from her before she flew off to Brazil.

Ellis,

Just an addendum to the conversation we had earlier about Dee Henning. I want to make it clear how I feel. I’ve already told you she’s perfect for the position. And if you were ever going to implement the ESC, she’d be the one to do it with – that is if you’ve got the balls.

Dee’s exactly what you need on all counts.  I know you think she lacks experience, but trust me, with the right training, given half a chance, she’ll be brilliant.  Hire her, Ellis. Implement the ESC. Trust me, it’s the perfect strategy, a secret weapon that could make Pneuma Inc even more successful than it already is.  And if anyone could do it, you could.  Do this for me and I can retire and enjoy my dotage.

-Beverly

Find Grace Marshall at:

http://gracemarshallromance.co.uk/

http://www.facebook.com/GraceMarshallRomance

https://twitter.com/gm_romance

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grace Marshall: The Secret’s Out

I’ve had SUCH a hard time keeping my secret for the past few weeks. In fact, it’s slipped out a couple of times, at least a little bit. But now, I’m very excited that mum’s no longer the word, and I can shout it out with the very first ever blog post on Romance Served Hot.

Hi, I’m Grace Marshall! I’m K D Grace’s more subtle alter-ego. Well, okay, I’m not really that subtle. The only thing I like better than reading a really good hot romance is writing one, and that’s what my new website is all about.

I’m very happy to announce that I’ve signed a contract with Xcite Romance for a sexy, fast-paced, quirky new romance trilogy called Executive Decisions. I’m even happier to announce that Book One of the new trilogy, An Executive Decision, will be served hot and ready for your reading pleasure very soon.

In the meantime, I’m going to tease you with a little blurb and an excerpt. Enjoy!

An Executive Decision Blurb:

Over drinks one night after too many hours at the office, Ellison Thorne’s business partner, Beverly Neumann and his brother Garrett jokingly scheme the Executive Sex Clause, an innovative cure for Ellis’s lack of a love life. They speculate a source of no-strings, stress-free sex in certain employee contracts would raise productivity, minimize stress, and boost creativity for a busy CEO like Ellis. But they were joking, weren’t they?

Enter Dee Henning. Young, hungry, gifted, what Dee lacks in experience, she makes up for in ambition and hard work. Dee is the queen of no-time-for-sex.

When stressful negotiations over a huge project break down, driving Dee and Ellis into each other’s arms, the aftermath is a deal even sweeter than they imagined. Suddenly the Executive Sex Clause no longer seems like a joke. Could it be the ultimate secret weapon for success? And why not, if no one else knows? But secrets seldom remain secret, and Dee and Ellis find out the hard way that there’s no such thing as no strings where the heart is concerned.
Excerpt:

‘I missed her again didn’t I? She’s going to think I’m avoiding her.’ Ellis dropped into the chair in front of Beverly’s desk and flipped absently through the files Dee Henning had just left. ‘It’s not her I’m avoiding, actually, it’s your silly retirement plans.’

‘You won’t be laughing when you come in here some morning and find my desk empty. You’ll be SOL big time, boy.’

He offered her an amused chuckle. ‘Who are you kidding, Beverly? You love this place and you know it. You’re not going to retire. How many false alarms have there been now, three?  Four? I’ve lost count. Face it; you’ll work here until you drop dead.’

‘Believe what you want, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.’ She pulled a manila envelope from the top drawer of her desk and handed it to him.

‘What’s this?’

‘My replacement. Since you won’t help, I’ve taken matters into my own hands. She’s been right under our noses all along.’ She rubbed her hands together with a shiver of anticipation. ‘Come on, humor me.’

Still holding her in a disapproving gaze, he took the envelope as though he half expected it to be booby trapped. He opened the clasp then slid the contents from inside and gave it a glance. ‘Wait a minute. This is a file on Dee Henning. You can’t be serious. You want a head hunter to take over running half of Pneuma Inc?’

‘Don’t be such a snob, Ellis. It’s not like she’ll be taking over tomorrow. I’ll be here to train her up to suit your persnickety standards.’

‘How did you get this information anyway?’ The file was too thick for a simple resume, and some of the pages looked like hand-written notes photocopied. Others were odd sizes, and the whole packaged smacked of Beverly’s scheming.

‘Portland’s a small city.’ Suddenly she seemed particularly interested in the leaves of a thriving Christmas cactus sitting on the edge of her desk.

‘Beverly?’

‘I’m friends with Irv McDowell, okay? At least I think we’re still friends.’ The look of driven-snow innocence gave way to something just slightly this side of devious.

‘You’ve been head-hunting from the head head-hunter? Dee Henning’s Jasper and McDowell’s star recruiter. Surely Irv didn’t give you this willingly.’

Beverly ignored the question and nodded at the photo he now held in his hand.

‘She’s exactly what you need on all counts. She may be only a few years out of grad school, but what impresses me is her accomplishments during that time. She reminds me of you back in the early days – young, hungry, dedicated… And pretty. Don’t give me that look, Ellis, you’d blush if you heard some of the juicy conversations about you I overhear in the ladies’ room.’

He pretended to ignore the photo. ‘Your delusions aside, it doesn’t matter — that she’s good looking, I mean.’

‘And that’s why you’re drooling over the photo? I may be old, Ellis, but there’s nothing wrong with my eyesight.’

He put the picture of Dee aside and flipped through the file. ‘What all do you have in here anyway?’ He read out loud from the photocopied pages. ‘Classically trained, voice and piano? Oh, that’ll come in really handy here at Pneuma Inc. In fact, I was just thinking of requiring it for all new employees.’

‘Stop being an asshole. It’s just background information, just stuff that’s good to know.’

The hand-written notes stated that both of Dee’s parents were musicians. Her father had sung in the chorus for the Paris Opera. Her mother was a soprano, who went to Paris on some summer program, and nine months later Dee came along. Ellis suddenly felt like a voyeur. ‘This is none of our business.’ He tried to shove the file back at Beverly, but she refused it.

‘Oh for chrissake, Ellis, there’s nothing in there I haven’t already wheedled out of the girl over coffee or drinks. Don’t be such a wuss.’

‘I’m sure she didn’t give you the copy of her finances over coffee and drinks.’

‘Oh that. Just tells us that we can’t appeal to her with money alone.’

‘Clearly she doesn’t need it,’ he said. He was surprised to find someone so young had such a good portfolio. She obviously knew how to make money work for her. She wasn’t exactly rich, but give her a few more years, and she would be.

‘My point exactly. Musicians tend to be poor, and I think our Dee has taken it upon herself not to follow in her parents’ footsteps.’

‘If the need ever actually arises for me to interview her, what makes you think she’s even interested in working for me? She’s got a growing career with Jasper and McDowell, and as you said, she’s making very good money.’

Beverly frowned. ‘Jasper and McDowell is a means to an end. Surely you don’t expect someone with her talent to settle in there permanently, do you? It’s the experience of working here with you that will appeal to her. She’s a perfectionist, never does anything half-assed. She’s always striving to be the best. She’s driven, just like you are. Remember that when you interview her.’

He shuffled pages. ‘What did you have to do to get this stuff, tie Irv to a chair and beat him with a tire iron?’

‘It’s amazing what a man will tell you over a couple of drinks.’

‘You got him drunk.’

‘It wasn’t that hard. He never could hold his booze. I can’t believe I didn’t figure it out sooner. She’s perfect for my job.’

Ellis looked down at the resume. ‘She’s not perfect for your job, Beverly. She’s too young, too inexperienced, and this is not even her area of expertise.’

‘The woman’s a head hunter, Ellis. She has to be competent in lots of areas. Besides, we’ve always been risk-takers, and those risks have always paid off. I’ll train her myself, and you’ll see, within a few months she’ll be able to run this place on her own.’

‘An opportunity she’ll never get because you’ll never retire.’

‘Forget about my retirement, Ellis. It’s time. You know it is. We need someone in training for when the inevitable happens.’

He gave up pretending to ignore the photo, which was definitely the nicest thing he’d looked at all day. Short, dark hair framed blue eyes, a straight Roman nose, and a full-lipped smile that suggested competence, with a touch of mischief. So this was what Dee Henning looked like. He’d often wondered.

‘Hire her, Ellis. It’s not just that I’m retiring, but I’m old. Hell I could drop dead anytime, then what?’

‘Oh for chrissakes, Beverly, we both know you’re too damned ornery to die. You’ll outlive me. But I tell you what, if and when you do drop dead, I’ll hire her. Hell, when you drop dead, I’ll give her your job on a silver platter and train her myself, I promise. Now can we get back to running the business here?’

Two weeks later, Beverly had sent him an email from the airport. The last email he got from her before she flew off to Brazil.

Ellis,

Just an addendum to the conversation we had earlier about Dee Henning. I want to make it clear how I feel. I’ve already told you she’s perfect for the position. And if you were ever going to implement the ESC, she’d be the one to do it with – that is if you’ve got the balls.

Dee’s exactly what you need on all counts.  I know you think she lacks experience, but trust me, with the right training, given half a chance, she’ll be brilliant.  Hire her, Ellis. Implement the ESC. Trust me, it’s the perfect strategy, a secret weapon that could make Pneuma Inc even more successful than it already is.  And if anyone could do it, you could.  Do this for me and I can retire and enjoy my dotage.

-Beverly 

 

A Chat with the Fabulous Jane Wenham-Jones

My guest today is an amazing, multi-talented woman, who knows how to put people at ease, make any interview shine AND write a damn good novel! Please welcome the fabulous Jane Wenham-Jones!

KD: Jane, you truly are a woman of many talents. Your website is very inspiring, especially your story! Fiction, non-fiction, columns, mags, telly, radio. I have to ask, which part of being Jane Wenham-Jones, multi-talented professional woman, do you like best?

JANE: My problem is that I love it all and there aren’t the hours in the day! I really do enjoy interviewing other writers and doing the presenting/chairing panels events, that I do at Guildford Book Festival, Romantic Novelists’ Association conference etc. Would love to do more of that. I just co-hosted the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards with Peter James. And then I’m doing an “in conversation with” Tim Bentinck (David Archer in The Archers) end of March – that will be fun too. But I have to say I’m feeling it’s time to start writing another book and ought to be chaining myself to the desk….

KD: What does Jane Wenham-Jones do for inspiration?

JANE: Gets out and about with a glass in her hand…

KD: I could paper my house with the rejections I received from agents before I finally got publishes, also without an agent. So your experience of getting published without an agent really resonated with me, as I’m sure it does with lots of writers. Do you think the un-agented route to publication is the maverick route or do you think it’s the wave or the future?

JANE: I think it may be the necessity of the future! It can be really hard to get an agent and as you know (I tell the whole ghastly story in Wannabe a Writer?) I ended up with a two-book deal with Transworld, without one. But I always advise other writers to try their very best to get an agent first. I have one now and wouldn’t be without her (even if she is terrifying – I don’t call her The Fearsome One for nothing).

KD: Which do you enjoy most, writing fiction or writing non-fiction?

JANE: I think I find non-fiction easier! But it is very satisfying to sit and look through a novel one’s dreamt up oneself.

KD: You said on your website that you find writing novels very difficult, what do you do to ‘make it happen?’ Have you worked out a specific method that will get you there in spite of the difficulties?

JANE: I call it MIND THE GAP (again outlined in Wannabe a Writer? Sorry to mention that again but you don’t have to buy it dear reader – your library should have it) (If you’ve still got one of course :-/). Basically you keep going whatever happens and write yourself notes in capitals in the gaps….

KD: A lot of us writers are introverts and have to really fake the extroverted part of public readings and appearances. What about you? Do you fake it? You certainly make it look like the easiest most natural thing in the world.

JANE: I kept faking till it became real… Now I am the most dreadful show-off.

KD: Other than having your first novel published, what’s the most exciting thing that’s happened in your writing life?

JANE: Oh gosh lots of things. I get excited quite easily. Getting my columns was lovely, writing my first non-fiction book. Blagging an invite to the British Book Awards and rubbing shoulders with all those fabulous authors. Interviewing some big name writers at Guildford Book Festival. Being booked to speak about writing, on a cruise ship headed for Barbados…

KD: Wow! Definitely sounds like you have a lot of exciting things to choose from! Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?

JANE: My own murky past mostly.

KD: In your book, Wannabe a Writer?, you’ve got over a hundred contributors who are writers, some quite famous, like Jilly Cooper and Frederick Forsyth – nothing like advice from the best! What, in your opinion, is the best piece of advice any of the writers who contributed to Wannabe a Writer? gave?

JANE: Oooh you’ve mentioned it now! Well done 

Well I rather liked Michael Buerk’s tho my mother was horrified. The best advice anyone can give to any writer is to WRITE. And quite a few said that in various different ways.
I liked Zoe Sharp’s advice too: Therapy’s cheaper!

KD: It definitely is! Tell us about your latest novel, Prime Time.

JANE: Prime Time is about PMT and Daytime TV and being a woman of a certain age who doesn’t want to give in to slippers and curlers just yet….
Here’s the blurb – it’s set in my home town of Broadstairs as well as in London.

Laura Meredith never imagined herself appearing on TV– she’s too old, too flabby, too downright hormonal, and much too busy holding things together for her son, Stanley, after husband, Daniel, left her for a younger, thinner replacement.

But best friend Charlotte is a determined woman and when Laura is persuaded on to a daytime show to talk about her PMT, everything changes. Suddenly there’s a camera crew tracking her every move and Laura finds herself an unlikely star. Wined, dined, and pampered, she begins to see the charms of a younger partner herself. But as things hot up between her and gorgeous TV director, Cal, they’re going downhill elsewhere. While Laura’s caught up in a heady whirlwind of beauty treatments, makeovers and glamorous film locations, Charlotte’s husband, Roger, is concealing a guilty secret, Stanley’s got problems at school, work’s piling up, and when Laura turns detective to protect Charlotte’s marriage, things go horribly wrong.

The champagne’s flowing as Laura’s prime time TV debut looks set to be a hit. But in every month, there’s a Day Ten …

KD: Wow! Sounds like quite a romp! Definitely one for the must-read list. So tell us, what does 2012 have in store for Jane Wenham-Jones?

JANE: I guess I’d better do some work at some point…
I don’t know what the crystal ball shows but what I’d like is the editor of a national newspaper to phone me up and offer me an agony aunt column. I love doing “Talk it Over” for Writing Magazine and am now longing to get my teeth into some non-writing problems too. I see myself as a cross between Mrs Mills and Marje Proops – with attitude. Any takers?

KD: They’d be insane not to, Jane! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing good stuff about writing, reading, and your fabulous new novel, Prime Time! It’s been a pleasure having your.

Jane’s Website:

www.janewenham-jones.com

Buy Link for Prime Time:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Prime-Time-ebook/dp/B006M0TUQC/ref=dp_return_1?ie=UTF8&n=341677031&s=digital-text

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

Site created and maintained by Writer Marketing Services | Sitemap