Common Ground

This year has been hard. For many reasons. But I think I've ended it on a high with the release of Bar None, and in November, I tackled my next book, Common Ground.

Common Ground is coming your way in probably April, but the first 56k is out of the way, and this is going to be a longer book than anything I've written in 2019. Delaney is probably my favourite heroine I've ever written, and that says a lot because I've loved them all.


Anyway, it's really early, but because I'm so far ahead, I thought I'd share chapter one of Common Ground with you. <3 Obviously subject to change as there'll be a lot of editing between now and April. :D


Josh


Six years ago


“You’ll hear from us.”


Usually famous last words, but this audition has been something special. I’ve got a good feeling about this one.


Although, I’ve been wrong about that before.


Something has to come through before the end of the year. That’s the target I’ve set, and there are only a few months left before I have to pack up and go home to Florida.


I’ve managed to pick up small jobs here and there, but nothing that’s going to keep paying my rent for any length of time. My savings are nearly non existant now—I worked a year to help fund a year to pursue my dream. It’s not been long enough, and time is running out.

Fuck it. I’ll treat myself to a decent coffee and go home. I deserve it for the long day I’ve had, and I just want to curl up in front of the television and chill for a while.


There’s a coffee shop not far from my apartment, and I make my way there.


It can get quite crowded in here sometimes, but it’s the middle of the afternoon and it looks like there’s a lull in customers. Suits me.


A brunette I haven’t seen before is standing behind the counter, and I approach her, digging through my wallet for spare change.


“Latte, please.”


“Sure thing.”


I look up at the sound of a foreign accent, and into the deepest blue eyes I’ve ever seen.


“Let me guess. Australian?”


She scowls, narrowing her eyes, but still taking the money I’m offering her.


“New Zealander.”


I fist my hand in annoyance. “Shit. Sorry. You guys are real sensitive about that, right?”


She rings up the coffee on the register, and hands me the change before moving across to the coffee machine.


“I don’t sound Australian.”


The machine grinds the beans, making the whirring sound and I breathe in the fresh scent of coffee.


“I’m sorry. I only had two words to make a guess.”


“Do better next time.”


I lean on the counter to get a better look at her. She’s got long, chocolate brown hair that hangs in big curls just below her shoulders, and her light makeup doesn’t hide her flawless complexion. I’m in love and she’s literally said … twelve words to me.


“Are you new here? I haven’t seen you before.”


She nods. “I started last week.”


My eyes drop to her name badge. Dee.


“Live around here?”


She pours the milk into a metal jug, and starts frothing it. “You’re just full of questions, aren’t you?”


I shrug. “I’d have been here last week if I’d known you were here.”


A small smile breaks through, and she shakes her head. With a roll of her eyes, she lets out a big sigh. “Well, I’m sure my day will be a lot brighter now you’re been in.”


I can’t take my eyes off her, and when she shoots a glance at me through those long eyelashes, I’m gone for good.


When she hands me the coffee, our fingers brush and she stares at me for a moment before letting go.


It’s not until I’m out the door that I realise she’s written something on the cup.


My favourite Canadian.


People turn and look at me when I laugh out loud.


I’m definitely coming back in tomorrow.

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