Monday, March 11, 2013

Protecting What's His - by Tessa Bailey

Protecting What's His - 
A Line of Duty novel by Tessa Bailey

She’s running from the law, and the law wants her bad.
The opportunity was just too damn delicious for Ginger Peet to pass up. The purse full of money she finds—$50,000 to be exact—could give her and her teen sister the new start they need. So she grabs the cash, her gothy sibling, and their life-sized statue of Dolly Parton, and blows outta Nashville in a cloud of dust.Chicago, here we come…
Turns out, Chicago has some pretty hot cops. Hot, intense, naughty-lookin’ cops like Derek Tyler, who looks like he could eat a girl up and leave her begging for more. And more. Tempting as he is, getting involved with the sexy homicide lieutenant next door poses a teensy problem for a gal who’s on the lam. But one thing is certain—Derek’s onto her, and he wants more than just a taste.
And as far as he’s concerned, possession is nine-tenths of the law.

Title: Protecting What’s His
Author: Tessa Bailey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 273
Release Date: February 2013
ISBN: 978-1-62266-789-5
Imprint: Brazen

“Scorching hot, and laugh out loud funny! You’ll want to read this book again and again.”
- New York Times Bestselling Author Katee Robert

Chapter One
© 2013 Tessa Bailey

To steal or not to steal, that was the question.
Nothing happened. And didn’t that just figure?
Instead, her conscience wiggled out of her chest, moseyed across the room, and perched itself on the giant, unused stereo system circa 1992. It crossed its arms and shrugged as if to say, “Union break. You understand.”
Ginger cocked an eyebrow. It appeared her imagination was already overcompensating for the absence of her conscience.
She plopped down on the dingy carpet, pulled her knees up to her chest, and inhaled a shaky breath. Her night shift at Bobby’s Hideaway had been crazy as usual, what with the dueling bachelorette parties and frat guys from Vanderbilt screaming drink orders at her until 4:00 a.m. Typical night in downtown Nashville.
Most nights, she screamed right along with them. Playing the part. Laughing at jokes she couldn’t even hear above the honky-tonk music. Giving as good as she got. Was it pure coincidence that tonight, when she’d been unable to muster a single smile for her good ol’ boy regulars, she came home to find a pile of cash waiting for her?
Furthermore, their mother hadn’t darkened their door in months, but had picked tonight of all nights to stop by and catch a nap. The last time Ginger spoke—okay argued—with Valerie, she’d been stripping to make a living. If you called passing through life in a drug- and alcohol-induced hazeliving. At least she’d managed to pass out with dignity and not wake Ginger’s seventeen-year-old sister, Willa, in the process. Willa tried valiantly to hide her depression over their mother’s habitual absences, but Ginger knew it cut her deeply.
Ginger didn’t take kindly to anyone hurting her sister. Mother or not.
She narrowed her gaze once more at the cash-filled purse. No way had Valerie pulled in this much cash twirling around a pole. She sifted through the bulging rolls of hundred-dollar bills held together by rubber bands. What she wouldn’t give to have this much money. The pile of cash in front of her represented freedom. Change. A chance to pursue something other than pouring drinks to support herself and Willa.
This could be Ginger’s one and only chance to get her sister away from this broken-down heap called a house. Away from the danger of the strange men her mother brought home when she actually came home. Away from the fate of ending up passed out on a thrift-store couch while your twenty-three-year-old daughter debated ripping you off.
And. Yet. Ginger knew with absolute certainty that if she took this money, just walked out the door with it, it would come back to take a chunk out of her ass. Moreover, it occurred to her that this one poor decision moved her one giant step closer to her biggest fear.
Becoming her mother.
Ginger had to believe the pile of skin and bones on the couch had once possessed dreams and ambitions of some sort. Then one misguided choice landed her in a G-string and pasties shaking it for some trucker named Dirk to a played-out eighties anthem.
If Ginger could just be a good enough person for long enough, she could flip the script for Willa, though. Willa, who’d skipped the sixth grade, swore like a sailor, and took photographs that could make Ginger cry, would have a chance at becoming something. Someone.
She glanced around at the peeling paint, stained carpet, and twice-pawned television set. Without the responsibility of playing parent to her sister, Ginger would have lit out a long time ago, leaving Nashville in her rearview mirror. The thought of falling asleep in her squeaky twin bed in the room she shared with Willa, only to wake up tomorrow and complete the same bleak routine—riding the bus into town to work a double shift, then still struggle to put dinner on the table and make rent, all the while looking out for her sister—made her feel nauseous.
I can’t see past tomorrow anymore and that ain’t good.
As her idol Dolly Parton once said, “If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” Hell, she was going to need a fleet of cement mixers.
And for that, she’d need some cash.
Ginger fanned the money in front of her face, inhaling the musty scent. Surely the guilt would appear any moment and she would stuff the purse back into the crook of Valerie’s arm and pretend she’d never seen it in the first place. She could then fall asleep with a clear conscience and the false hope that her mother had turned over a new leaf and would use the money to feed Willa, move her sister into a nicer home.

Or she could seize the opportunity fate was dropping in her lap and get the heck out of Dodge…
As Ginger picked up the purse and slung it over her shoulder, she learned something very important about human nature. Oftentimes people make questionable decisions. And even though they already taste the fat regret sandwich headed their way, they do it with a smile.
She gave her trembling, wide-eyed conscience the finger and went to pack.

Guest Post - 

Tessa Bailey
Tessa Bailey

Tessa Bailey
From Brazen Books at Entangled Publishing

Character Development

Every character needs a weakness. To me, that specific weakness is the trait that makes them interesting. Superman is so strong because of the weakness he has to overcome: kryptonite. The fact that he overcomes it each time and ultimately saves the city makes him stronger than if he had zero weaknesses in the first place! In romance novels, the kryptonite for the hero is almost always the woman. I like to write men who walk around thinking they're invincible until SHE shows up and blasts that theory to hell. A man realizing his next breath depends on HER staying or leaving is always my favorite part of a novel - and Derek definitely feels that in PROTECTING WHAT'S HIS.

Ginger, my heroine in PWH, has a few weaknesses, too. She fears becoming her mother, a strung-out stripper who neglected Ginger and her little sister as a child. Because Ginger is such a strong character, if I didn't throw in a significant weakness, she would probably appear less intelligent and too cocky for her own good. It's so important for characters to have their own version of kryptonite or they would have nothing to overcome and we would have nothing to cheer for!  It's the first thing I like to decide on when character building. What is this character fighting to overcome? How will they overcome it? Then the story begins to build itself :)

Author Bio : 

Tessa lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and young daughter. When she isn't writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.

Follow Tessa on Twitter @mstessabailey


1 comment:

laura troxel said...

Love the first chapter!! Cant wait to read this book!!!