1. August 1: I finished my first draft of Friends Without Benefits (~97000 words)
2. August 5: I sent it to my beta readers (~98000 words)
3. August 8: I received comments back from half of the readers... Damn. They make good points
4. August 9-10: I corrected issues and added two more chapters (107,000 words)
I'm still waiting on feedback from 2 of my betas... and these last two are probably the most critical of the bunch (obviously I mean that in a not bad way) so I'm kind of on weird pins and needles.
HOWEVER! In celebration of finishing (everything but the epilogue) I thought I'd share a new excerpt with all of you. It's short and is from one of the knitting groups scenes, so...
I changed my mind maybe one hundred and seventeen times on the ride to my apartment.
String him up or sex him up?
At last, I decided that I would let my knitting group help me decide what to do. I wasn’t operating in my right brain anymore. I needed some perspective from an unbiased audience.
However, when I arrived home, under the impression that I would find my friends—unbiased friends—knitting harmlessly and swapping a few raunchy stories, instead I found Nico.
Freaking Nico Manganiello.
He was on the couch next to Janie; they were huddled together, their heads a few inches apart like they were sharing a secret. She was frowning at something in his hands and he was smiling at her confusion. They looked adorable and I was boiling over with jealousy.
“What are you doing here?” I didn’t try to hide the sharpness of my tone.
Everyone paused, mid-conversation, mid-row, mid-stitch, and glanced at me—unhurried, unworried, unperturbed. It was maddening.
“Oh, hey, Elizabeth. Nice to see you too.” Nico flashed me a just unbelievably brilliant smile. His eyes weren’t twinkling, they were electric.
“What’s going on? Why is he here?”
“Nico and I are learning how to crochet.” Janie held up a crochet hook; a long chain stitch dangled from one end.
I looked from the chain to Nico to Janie then to the rest of the knitting group. They were all smiling at Nico approvingly.
“Can I speak to you please?” I pointed at him then the hallway. “In the other room?”
Nico’s smile was slow and deliberate and full of carnal intention. “Yeah. Sure.”
I ignored the rapid pace of my heart while I led the way, held the door open to my room. I waited for him to enter—which he did while whistling.
I closed the door and spun to face him, one hand on my hip the other pointing at him with what I hoped would be perceived as serious business. “What is this? What are you wearing?”
He glanced down at his black suit, white shirt, askew skinny tie. “What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”
I stalked toward him, sniffed. Just as I suspected, cologne. “Suit? Tie? Cologne?”
“Yes. This is a suit,” he lifted one of his lapels, “and this is a tie,” he pointed to the tie, “and that magical scent filling the air, that is cologne. Men wear these things. It’s not a mystery, Nancy Drew, it’s clothes and fragrance.”