As I fiddle with the clasp on my bag, I see out of the corner of my eye that someone takes the seat next to me on my left. Not wanting to invade the person’s space, I pull my bag over towards the right to give them more room. But as I look to the side, my eyes are drawn to the nicely tailored pair of gray slacks and designer shoes. I’m not sure how I know the pants are tailored, but I do. There’s just something about the material that says he didn’t buy them from JC Penney. I can’t help but admire his well put together attire and get confused when I feel my breathing start to speed up. My eyes roam over the slacks and the black sweater, causing heat to run through my system while noting that he obviously takes excellent care of himself. He has an athletic build, with his broad shoulders and lean muscular upper body. Even through his sweater I know that there is nothing but well defined sculpted muscles adorning his entire body.
My gaze slows as it passes over his chin, which is sporting some seriously sexy stubble, finally falling onto a pair of bright blue eyes looking intently at me. His face takes my breath away and it feels as if my heart has slowed its tempo. He has piercing blue eyes and dark hair that is styled like he just rolled out of bed. You know, that sexy way guys wear their hair that makes women turn into blabbering idiots. Chiseled cheekbones and a strong jaw complete the package. He screams yummy to my starving body. He appears to be in his late twenties or early thirties if I had to guess. I blink twice and then look back down at my bag, feeling shy and awkward all of a sudden.
“Is this seat taken?” he asks in his deep English-accented voice.
That voice. There is something about his voice that seems familiar to me. I know I’ve never met this man before in my life. I would most definitely remember meeting someone like him. I look up again into his kind eyes and he smiles at me, showing perfect white teeth. Oh my, the earth can swallow me up now.
“Um, no. No one’s sitting there. Well, you are now, I suppose.” Lame. Totally lame. Way to go, Tessa.
He gives a little chuckle, keeping the smile in place on his perfect face. I give him a slight returning smile and can feel my cheeks start to heat up. His eyes dance around my face and I swear I see something flash within them. Something familiar but I can’t quite figure out why.
He looks as if he’s about to say something, but the crackle of the speakers draw our attention to the airline desk attendant as she announces that our flight is ready to board. Kara is still talking on her phone but stands up with me as we make our way to the counter. I’m almost eager to get away from him, yet sad at the same time. The only comfort I can gather is he’s going to be on the same flight as me. The mystery man follows suit and stands a couple of people behind me in line. As we board the plane, Kara ends her call and then turns around to ask me where I am sitting.
“Aren’t we sitting together again?” I ask her.
“No. I wasn’t able to get us a seat next to each other. I’m in row three, how about you?”
“Oh well. Maybe you’ll get lucky and the person you’re sitting with is a mute. Or maybe they’ll just be some hot eye candy that you can talk to and start an illicit affair with,” Kara says, as she shrugs her shoulders.
“You’re so funny. You know I’ll have my nose stuck in my Kindle or I’ll be sleeping.” I laugh as I smirk at her. She gives me a grin back.
“If the person next to me doesn’t show you can sit by me. Deal?”
I make my way through the aisle and find my seat. Row six, seat A. No problem. I sit down and pull out my Kindle, getting it ready for the long flight across the Atlantic. I’m juggling the device in my lap as I bend down to stow my laptop bag when I notice that someone is occupying the seat next to me. I inwardly sigh. Of course, I’m not lucky enough to sit by myself. I glance over to my right and see a newly familiar pair of shoes. I slowly straighten my body back into an upright position. With a small lump forming in my throat, I turn my head and there he is, my mystery man, sitting next to me and flashing me a smile that causes my heart to stop yet again.
“Hello, we meet again,” he says in his sexy English accent.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve always loved writing, even when I was younger. It started out as Sweet Valley High fanfic (because Jessica and Elizabeth couldn’t get into enough trouble on their own) and it kind of bloomed from there. I always had a story going about something that happened to me and I needed to get it off my chest. Or an idea would pop into my head and I would have to write it down before it was lost. In Seventh Grade, my teacher submitted a poem I wrote for a class to some national contest and I was one of the winners. They published it in an anthology of poems written by kids of various ages from across the country. I was extremely excited about that. Until recently I hadn’t written for fun in a while, due to life getting in the way. A couple years ago I had an idea pop into my head and soon enough, Tessa and Andrew’s story was born!
Who is your favorite author and why?
Tough question. I have lots of favorite authors that I fangirl over. I love Mia Sheridan’s writing with all my heart. Her stories are so real, so moving that I just can’t help but get lost in them. And I love the fact that they’re real people going through real struggles as they make their way through life. I could pick any of her books from my shelf, and yes I have them all signed, and just get lost in their world for a while.
Another author I love is Amy Bartol. She is an amazing writer. The way she creates her stories have me begging to be included in them. Both her Premonition series and Kricket series are some of my favorites. And I tell her that often!
Heather Lyons is another one of my favorites. The Collector’s Society series is fantastic. I love how she creates these pictures in my head as I read, making me see everything as if it’s a movie playing out in my thoughts. And her attention to detail and creating these characters that come to life amaze me. I recommend her books all the time simply because they’re some of the best out there.
And I’m sure this is only supposed to be one author but I can’t go without saying how much I love LB Simmons!! She is such an amazing writer and friend that I need to mention her. She has a gift with her words and pulls at your heart strings with so much ease that you can’t help but fall in love with her work. Plus she is one of the sweetest people I have ever met and I’m lucky enough to call her my friend!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I had several things I wanted to be. At first, I wanted to be a singer, which was an easy pick because that’s all I did growing up was sing. I always auditioned for the musicals and got the singing parts or was chosen to sing solos during the Christmas performances when I was younger. As I grew older, I wanted something more practical, so I decided that being a doctor sounded good. If you overlooked the fact that I’m squeamish about needles, I’m sure I would have made a fine doctor if I would have stayed focused and not changed my mind again. And now, as an adult, I’m still not sure what I want to be. But being a mom is definitely a full-time job (on top of my paying ones) and it is something that I get rewarded for daily.
Any advice you would give your younger self if you could?
Don’t rush to grow up. Enjoy being a kid for as long as you can.
Oh, and don’t drink beer at the house parties in college. You’ll just end up puking on the sidewalk because you don’t like beer.
Who is your favorite book boyfriend?
I think everyone who knows me will not be surprised by my answer. I have a (slight) obsession with Professor Gabriel O. Emerson. He is not my boyfriend, he is my husband and we are happily married! I don’t know what it is about him, but I fell in love with him instantly. Yes, he was an arrogant asshole at first, but man. When he romances a woman, he does it right! My list of BBF’s changes and updates as I read, but he has always remained my number one.
Fated to be Mine (Fated #2) – Releasing Oct 6, 2015
I've made a mistake…Can we find our way back?
They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder, or that time heals all wounds. What they don't tell you is that it doesn't lessen the pain. I don't think those people have experienced a loss like this.
I left my heart in London, and I'm not sure I'll ever get it back.
But fate has a plan of her own. She keeps me guessing and hoping that not everything is as it seems.
Hearts can be shattered but can also be put back together. Especially when love doesn't give up on you, even if you think it has.
Jodie Larson is a wife and mother to four beautiful girls, making their home in northern Minnesota along the shore of Lake Superior. When she isn’t running around to various activities or working her regular job, you can find her sitting in her favorite spot reading her new favorite book or camped out somewhere quiet trying to write her next manuscript. She’s addicted to reading (just ask her kids or husband) and loves talking books even more with her friends. She’s also a lover of all things romance and happily ever afters, whether in movies or in books, as shown in her extensive collection of both.
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