ebook of the month... the working title
|First published June 2007|
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BILLIONAIRE ON HER DOORSTEP :: ebook
The working title:The working title of BILLIONAIRE ON HER DOORSTEP was Sunsets Over Sorrento, and as my working titles tend to be, it summed up the emotion, the tone, the feel of the story in one short hit.
Sorrento is a beach town I visited a plenty during the ten years I lived in Melbourne. Visited and loved to absolute bits. Its peaceful, elegant, with great food, gorgeous little shops, and some of the most opulent real estate in the country. My heroine, Maggie Bryce, is a portrait painter who gets stuck trying to paint those darned sunsets in an effort to reinvent herself. Who knew all she needed was gorgeous Tom Campbell to love her for her to realise she was fine just the way she was.
The title nearly stuck too! Their Sorrento Sunset was very close to nearly the final title, until the powers that be became concerned that readers might mistake it for an Italian story rather than one set in a big rambling ramshackle house on the Mornington Peninsula bluff south of Melbourne.
Her stomach took a small happy trip as she experienced the thrill that came with seeing someone making a connection with one of her paintings.
‘It’s really growing on me,’ he said. ‘Yep, this one’s going to look just right on the wall in my john.’
Maggie coughed out a laugh. It was so without warning that her stomach kind of clenched. The sensation wasn’t in any way uncomfortable but it made her feel off kilter all the same. She crossed her arms low over her belly.
‘If you’re even thinking about putting this painting on your toilet wall, Tom Campbell, the deal’s off.’
‘Fine,’ he said. ‘Okay. Though more people would get to enjoy it there than anywhere else in my house.’
He turned to face her so quickly she hoped he didn’t realise she had been staring at him rather than the subject of their conversation. She glanced away quickly, but not in time not to notice the solid crease appear above the corner of his mouth.
‘I’m kind of glad my agent won’t get to see this one,’ she admitted.
‘You have an agent?’
She faced him fully and glared. ‘I thought we had decided you thought I was talented.’
He laughed, his eyes creasing, every part of him seeming to overflow with amusement. Beneath her crossed arms it now felt as though her stomach had flipped all the way over.
‘Sorry,’ he said, his eyes dancing, ‘of course we had. That came out wrong. It’s just that we get painters out here all the time. In summer they line the beaches painting beach huts and sunsets over Sorrento. But I just never knew anybody personally who’d actually sold anything.’
Maggie shrugged. ‘Well now you do.’