Ally Blake Romance Author - Blog

Latest news from Australian romance author Ally Blake, writer of fun, fresh flirty romance novels.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

ebook of the month...the idea

First published June 2007

The idea:
I was sitting on a train heading into Melbourne to do lunch with the Melbourne Mobsters - a fabulous, witty, brilliant group of romance authors who lunch once a month at a ridiculously posh hotel – when an image just popped into my head.

A ramshackle house perched perilously on the Sorrento bluff. A lean, paint-smattered woman standing at the window looking like the slightest breeze might blow her away.  And the gorgeous handyman - with a toolbox, a Ute, and muscles to match – who has no idea what he is about to stumble upon as he walks through her warped front door.

I thought I'd jot down some notes on my Alphie (AKA Alphasmart)  and 2000 words later my next book was born.

The excerpt:
Tom ducked out of the way of a low hanging vine, watched his step for fear of turning an ankle, and slowed as a magnificent ten-foot-high wood-carved double front door loomed amidst a shower of hanging ferns.  The right door was ajar, but guarded by a sizeable old red-brown hound with a great big smiley-face charm with the word ‘Smiley’ written upon it hanging off his thick collar.

‘Smiley, hey?’ Tom said.

The dog lifted its weary head and blinked at him, its floppy ears and sad expression not changing a lick to show that he felt any pleasure at the unexpected company.

Tom reached down and gave the poor old soul a rub on the head. ‘Is the lady of the house about?’ 

A sudden crashing noise followed by a seriously unladylike spray of words told Tom that the lady of the house certainly was about.

‘Hello,’ he called out, but he was met with silence as sudden as the previous verbal spray had been.  Not finding any evidence of a doorbell, he stepped over the melancholic guard dog, and walked further inside the entrance to find himself face to face with a square stain on the wall, evidence that once upon a time a picture had hung there, a garden bench that had a mildewed look about it as though it had been relegated from outside covered in a pile of unopened mail, and yet another fern living its sad bedraggled life in a bright new ceramic pot.

Another curse word, this one softer than the last, caught his hearing and he followed it like a beacon to find himself in a huge main room with sweeping wooden floors in need of a good polish, lit bright by a series of uncurtained ceiling to floor French doors through which he had a thicket-shrouded view of the sun glinting off glorious Port Phillip Bay.

Images piled up in his mind of what he could do with this place if given half a chance.  And the whole summer, and an open cheque book, and his old team at his side, and a time machine to take him back ten years...  He shook his head to clear away the wool gathering within.

The room he was in was empty.  No furniture.  No pictures on the walls.  Nothing.  Well, nothing bar a twisting cream telephone cord snaking across the middle of the room to the far wall where a large grey drop cloth, buckets of paint, several flat square structures draped in fabric, a rickety old table which held numerous jars of coloured water and different sized paintbrushes, and an easel with a three-by-four foot canvas slathered in various shades of blue.

And in front of it all wearing no shoes, paint-spattered jeans, a t-shirt that might have at one time been white, and a navy bandanna covering most of her biscuit blonde hair was the lady in question.

Tom cleared his throat and called out, ‘Ms Bryce?’

She spun on her heel with such speed paint from her brush splattered across the all-blue canvas.

Tom winced.  It was red paint.

‘Holy heck!’ she blurted in a toned down version of the language from earlier.  Her voice was husky, her high cheekbones pink, and her pale grey eyes aglow.

Well what do you know? Tom thought.  My lucky day.  For Lady Bryce was a knockout.  He wished his cousin Alex was there with him now so he could poke him hard in the side and tell him, this is why you never say no to a damsel in distress.

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