Players of Marycliff University Book 2
New Adult Romance
Release Date: May 16, 2016
BlurbSleeping with your roommate is a bad idea, right?
Megan Davidson is scrambling to find a new place after Abby, her roommate and best friend decides to move in with her boyfriend Lance. With just a week until classes start, the open spot left in Lance’s old house looks like her best option. She moves in with Matt and Chris, shameless flirts and notorious players.
Chris Watkins first met Megan at their Fourth of July party over the summer, and he’s wanted her ever since. She’s now tantalizingly close, and he doesn’t want to keep his hands to himself, even if its the worst idea ever. Chris doesn’t do relationships, but once with Megan just isn’t enough.
With ground rules in place, it seems like everything’s working out fine. But will Chris’s history catch up to him and ruin everything?
Chris held the restaurant door open for Megan. It was after two on a Sunday and the usual lunch crowd had cleared, so they got a table right away. He'd opted for Fire, the fancy pizza place. He didn't know what was expected for a date on a Sunday afternoon. Megan was in jeans and he wore shorts, so a really upscale place didn't seem like a good choice. He'd been here a couple of times and the food was good.
Once they’d ordered their pizza and the waitress had gone, Chris fidgeted a little, tapping his fingers on the table.
Megan studied him over the top of her glass. “Nervous?”
He stopped his hands through sheer force of will. “Nope. Why?” He managed to keep his voice casual. Good.
A grin spread across Megan's face. “You're bouncing your leg like crazy.”
Shit. He stopped that too. “I don't know what you're talking about.” That casual tone he'd managed before? Nope, gone now. He was such a bad liar sometimes. Megan just laughed at him and he smiled. “Fine. I don't take girls out very often.”
“How often is not very often?” Megan's tone was dry, and her lips twitched with suppressed laughter. He appreciated that she was trying not to laugh in his face, even though part of him was kind of annoyed that she found it so amusing that he was flustered. He didn't get flustered with girls, dammit. But he didn't date girls either.
He screwed up his face like he was deep in thought. “Hmm. About never.”
Megan lost her fight with her laughter and let it out. She didn't hold back when she laughed—no simpering giggles like so many girls used when they flirted with him.
Her laughter died down and she studied him again, the humor now gone from her face. “So, this is a date.”
He nodded and took a drink of his soda, wondering where she was going with this. Hadn't they established this morning that this was a date?
“Does that mean we're dating?”
He shrugged. “What would that mean, exactly?”
“Don't worry, you don't have to take me out to eat all the time or anything.” She flashed him a big grin and he smiled back. “But no ******* anyone else while we're together. If you want to end it, have the balls to end it with me before you hook up with another chick.”
It was his turn to study her face. The waitress showed up then with their food. What impeccable timing. He waited for her to leave before he returned his attention to Megan. “Sounds fair. And it goes both ways.”
“Of course.” She maintained eye contact, her brown eyes holding his like she was trying to see inside him without giving anything away. Finally she flashed her smile again and got a slice of pizza.
Their conversation relaxed after that. She seemed satisfied with his answers about their relationship, such as it was. Relationship. That was a loaded word. Their … shit. He couldn't come up with anything better than relationship. In any case, he was happy she didn’t push for more than he was able to give. Exclusivity didn't seem like too big of a deal. Especially since he hadn't wanted anyone else since he'd met her.
Other Books In This Series
One summer is all they have ...
A chance encounter at a party brings Lance and Abby together.
Lance just graduated and has a summer internship. His parents expect him to come back to Texas to work in the family business at the end of the summer. He likes to have fun and doesn't want to be tied down too soon. Until he meets Abby.
Abby still has two years left of college and a mom who keeps her anchored near the town where she grew up. She is cautious in relationships, not letting people close. But Lance's persistence wears down her defenses. Knowing Lance is leaving, Abby tells herself it's just a summer fling.
Will that be enough to keep her from falling in love?
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How I Approach Writing a Story
Guest Post by Jerica MacMillan for Aspiring Writers
If you’ve ever taken a class where they propose to teach you how to write, you were probably taught that there is One True Way to write. That probably involved an outline. And multiple drafts. And you may have been required to turn in an outline for a grade, a first draft for a grade, and a final draft for a grade. If you’re like me, this probably made you want to scream and throw things or bang your head on a desk. This was especially painful if it happened more than once throughout your career as a student.
You may have guessed that I’m not much of a plotter. If you’re not a writer, you may not be aware of the divide between plotters and pantsers—or those that outline everything in advance and those who write “by the seat of their pants."
The thing is, I’m not really a pantser, either. I don’t fit very well in either camp (story of my life, really, but that’s another subject for another time). I fall in the middle as a sort of hybrid. Luckily, I’m not alone. I’ve met many other authors who take a similar approach to writing.
So, how do I approach writing a story? I have two bare minimum requirements for me to start a book: the main characters and the opening scene. The nice thing about those two things is that you can extrapolate everything else from that basic starting point. I know how the characters meet (or run into each other again) that starts off the particular story I’m telling. Usually, the seeds of the conflict that keeps them apart come up in that first meeting. Or, at the very least, I learn enough about my characters in the writing of the opening scenes to figure that out.
For Convenient Fall I already had the characters created because they were in the first book, Summer Fling. That should’ve made things easier, but it didn’t. Convenient Fall was my Nanowrimo project that ended up taking three months to write. I got sidetracked by another project partway through, so that’s my excuse. (That didn’t happen until December, though. There was no way I could’ve finished the book in one month.)
The next thing I need is the conflict. There’s no story without some kind of conflict. What do the characters want? What do they need? What are their deal-breakers? Because it’s romance, I know the characters eventually end up together, because that’s part of the genre definition (and why I like romance, for that matter. I’m a sucker for a happily ever after).
In Convenient Fall the initial conflict was sort of obvious, and is summed up in the first line of the blurb—sleeping with your roommate is a bad idea. Especially since Chris is kind of a manwhore, and what girl wants to live with a guy who has a constant parade of women in and out of his room after he’s slept with you? Maybe there are women who would be okay with that, but Megan’s not one of them. But there’s heat and attraction that’s been brewing between them since they met, so …
There has to be more to the story after that, though, right? Because either I have to keep them apart the whole time (which I didn’t want, and had just done something like that in book two in my other series, Rebound Envy), or there has to be more to get in the way of their relationship. That means getting to know the characters more deeply and finding out what makes them tick. There’s a sweet, caring guy under Chris’s brash, player exterior, and Megan has deeper issues than she lets on with her let-it-all-hang-out, tell-it-like-it-is attitude that we got to know in Summer Fling.
Once I know the conflict I come up with two or three major plot points that move the story forward. I figure out how they get together, and what and when something goes wrong. This gives me a sort of framework to build the story on. Another writer friend (who’s a plotter), tried to tell me this is the same as an outline. It’s not, though. At least not as most people are taught about outlines. Outlines usually include fully written out scene lists and have things pre-divided up by chapters and acts or whatever story form that particular writer subscribes to. I have three or four key things that I know need to happen, and then let the characters drive the story in that direction. I let them take me from one key point to the next. I never know how they end up together and work through whatever crap is keeping them apart until it happens. Sometimes vague ideas come to me about that as I’m writing, but it’s never definite until it happens. (I’d give examples, but I don’t want to let out any spoilers if you haven’t read the book yet.)
So, there’s your glimpse behind the curtain into the crazy writer-space inside my head. I’ll spare you the details of how my characters talk to me and stuff, because that just makes me sound like I need some serious mental health intervention (I’ve been assured that it’s normal for writers, though, so don’t worry, I’m fine).
I’m always happy to answer questions and talk to readers, so feel free to stick around and leave comments. Or send me an email if you want. I can be reached at: contact (at) jericamacmillan (dot) com.
About Jerica MacMillanJerica MacMillan is a lifelong reader and lover of romance. Nothing beats escaping into a book and watching people fall in love, overcome obstacles, and find their happily ever after. She was recently named a semi finalist in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write 2015 contest.
Jerica is living her happily ever after in North Idaho with her husband and two children. She spends her days building with blocks, admiring preschooler artwork, and writing while her baby naps in the sling. Join her Book Club at www.JericaMacMillan.com and get a free book! Find Jerica on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.
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