Thursday, April 30, 2015

Chapter 1 Emma and Leo

Chapter 1 Emma and Leo

Liz's Progressive Novel
Yeah, I don't like that name either so you need to help me think of another one. 

Hey everyone!

A few weeks ago I mentioned I was thinking about this concept of writing a story on my blog. Eventually, I hope you will join in and help me write it with your comments and suggestions.

Let me put a disclaimer in here.
1. I have no idea if this is going to work. 
2. This will be raw and unedited. You will see all my ticks and flaws that drive my editors crazy! 
3. See #2. This can't be stressed enough. 
4. I reserve the right to re-write any previous parts if needed.

Any questions? No, I didn't think so. 
Well, here goes with Chapter #1. The title is still up in the air. Feel free to offer suggestions.

Copyright 2015
All rights reserved
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, business, places, events and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, currently known or future inventions except as may be expressly permitted in writing from

Chapter 1
Emma Matthews stood proudly on the deck of the Shark Tracker as she navigated the waters back to the dock after a very successful tagging mission. Her sun streaked brown hair flew behind her in the breeze as the boat rose and dipped with each wave. Dark sunglasses shielded her hazel eyes from the beating sun. A strong wave sprayed her face, she whipped off her glasses and laughed. This was the life.
Behind her she could hear the conversation of her co-workers which was still focused on the fourteen footer they had tagged that day. It had been an exceptional tag and Emma couldn’t wait to get back to her office and begin entering the data they had gathered and begin tracking the great white they had named Mary Beth. Jeff would take the samples back to the lab to begin running diagnostics on them. Soon, they would know all the secrets of Mary Beth and would be able to track her movement.
“Hey Em, do you think MB’s heading north?”
“That would be my guess, this early in the season.” As a marine biologist Emma knew shark patterns this time of the year headed north. One of the exciting parts of her job was when a shark varied from the norm and went rogue. You’ve never seen a group of scientist more excited than when a deviated pattern is noted.
Emma turned back around and lowered her speed as the dock drew near. She cut the engine and drifted in the last few feet before pushing the button to lower anchor. Paul was already on the dock tying her down. Emma picked up her bag and cases. Paul would close the boat for the day.
“See you guys tomorrow. Five sharp.” Emma waved at the groaning group and sailed past Paul and the guys with her head already running the data pattern she planned to use for Mary Beth.
Once in her office she sat her things down and powered up her computers. While she waited for them to come on she put a pot of tea on and changed from her one piece bathing suit to a T-shirt and cut-off blue jeans shorts. That was the wonderful convenience of working from home. Emma’s office was the open sea or in her one bedroom cottage overlooking the ocean. Sometimes she was required to be onsite at the lab or training facility.
Just as she was tucking in to work her phone rang. After checking the display she grimaced before she pushed the button to answer.
“Hi mother,” always mother, never mom. Emma put her mother on speaker phone and opened her Shark Tracker program. She had learned long ago it was best to only listen with half an ear. Neither of her parents approved of her career choice. Her mother especially would have been happy if she had married well and had already produced two point five offspring.
“Emmaline, seven o’clock sharp tonight, and wear a dress. Not one of those awful sundresses of yours either, a cocktail dress, preferably black. You know how your skin looks all mottled with those garish colors you insist on wearing. And do something to that hair of yours. I wish you would let me make you an appointment with my stylist. She could tame that wild hair of yours into some semblance of order. You get that from your father’s side you know.”
“Yes mother.” Emma said and then popped her head up from her computer and ran her mother’s conversation back through her mind, “I mean no mother, I will fix my own hair, but thank you for offering.” Emma answered politely.
“And Emmaline, wear make-up, you simply must cover that sun damage on your face. Why you think a tanned face is acceptable is beyond me. You should be taking care of your skin at your age you can’t be too careful.”
Emma propped her elbows on her desk and dropped her head into them. She was only thirty years old, and always used sunblock on her face and body, and reapplied often. People said her skin looked sun-kissed and healthy. She couldn’t help it, she spent the majority of her day outside, and mostly on the water. That was, after all, where the sharks she caught and tagged were.
But of course, her mother didn’t really understand her job and she wanted to keep it that way. “Yes, mother I will be there on time. I promise.” Her mother thought she worked at an aquarium, and Emma would do nothing to dissuade her from that misassumption.
“Very well, be sure that you are. You know your father doesn’t like to be kept waiting. I will send the car for you at six fifteen.”
“Yes mother.” Her father could care less if she was five minutes late. Her mother however would have a cow. Emma would admit that she did have time issues, but she had never been late to her parent’s dinners. Well, not very late. Expect for that one time and then she was extremely late. That however, had been the sharks fault not hers and had required fifteen stitches in her leg, which her parents never knew about and never would.
Emma told her mother good-bye and hung up wondering who was on the menu tonight. Once a month her parents would invite her to dinner and just happen to have invited a pre-vetted single male candidate for her dating pleasure. Her mother always sent the limousine to pick her up, so said candidate could take her home. To date no one her mother had chosen as acceptable even registered on her hotness scale.
At precisely seven o’clock that evening Emma, in her black above the knee cocktail dress walked into her parent’s foyer. She stopped to smell the roses, literally on the round marble table under the massive chandelier hanging two stories above. She could hear everyone in the back parlor but she took her time enjoying the flowers and sticking her head in the kitchen to tell Sally and Maude hello before she walked through the grand French doors and greeted her parents.
“Hey Daddy.” Her father wrapped her in a hug.
“How’s my little girl?” Her dad gave her a kiss on the cheek.
“I’m fine we had an exciting day at work.” Her father had a better understanding of her work but he still had no idea of the extent of her involvement.
“There she is.” Emma turned at her mother’s greeting.
“Stewart, this is our daughter Emmaline. Emmaline this is a friend of your fathers, Stewart Rawleigh.” Her mother literally preened over the introduction as she picked invisible lint from the shoulder of Emma’s dress.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Mr. Rawleigh.” Emma said as she shook his hand politely before cutting her eyes towards her mother. Surely her mother wasn’t seriously entertaining the idea that Mr. Stewart Rawleigh was candidate material. He had to be close to her dad’s age.
“Stewart, please Emmaline.” He said as he clasped Emma’s small hand in his large, cold, and clammy hand.
Emma smiled uncomfortably as his eyes roved her body stopping way too long on her breasts. She tried to politely remove her hand from his but he held tightly, “Stewart, and please call me Emma.” A shiver ran through her and it wasn’t a good shiver.
“Why don’t you children run along and get to know each other before dinner is announced. The roses are lovely this time of year, Emmaline would be more than happy to show you Stewart.”
Emma cut her eyes towards her mother who was very pleased with herself. Without causing a scene she accompanied Stewart to the garden and for the remainder of the night played twister getting away from his grouping hands. There was no way she was letting Stewart take her home.
Two hours later Emma sat in the back of Stewart’s limousine steaming mad. Her mother had insisted she allow Mr. Pawsy to take her home. Her feet hurt from the ridiculous shoes she had worn to please her mother, she had a headache due to the riveting conversation she had been made to endure throughout dinner and now, she was stuck in the back of a car with a very unwanted hand on her knee for the fifth time.
She had had enough. “Stewart,” she said sweetly. “If you don’t remove your hand from my knee, I will remove it for you and I can’t promise your fingers will be in the same condition they are now?” Emma said sweetly, but with a determined glint in her eye.
“Oh now Emma,” Stewart patted her on the knee, “we are just getting to know each other. Your folks are real happy we’re going to start seeing each other.” His hand on her knee began to more up her thigh.
Emma brushed his hand off her leg and demanded, “What?” He had to be delusional if he thought she wanted to see him again. Once was more than enough.
Stewart put his arm around Emma’s shoulders and pulled her close into his side. “I told your mother your age didn’t bother me at all.”
“My age. Wha…” Emma was too stunned to move away. He really thought she was too old for him? He had to be at least twenty years older than her.
“We’ll date and get to know each other, and well, you know, take things for a test drive,” he gave her shoulder a squeeze, and winked at her before he continued, “and then well get married in a month or two.”
“Marr…” Emma looked around the limousine for a camera. This had to be a joke.
“I’m sure you want kids right off before your eggs dry up. Your mother said she would only need a month to get a shindig ready.” Stewart’s hand returned to her knee and Emma could smell his kickin’ breath move closer to her face.
“Stop the car.” Finally her senses returned. She sat up straight, and in doing so knocked Stewart in the nose, with the top of her head, as he moved in for a kiss.
“Driver, stop the car now.” Stewart held his nose and moaned about it being broken. She hadn’t hit him that hard. He was just being a baby.
The limousine pulled over to the side of the road and stopped. Emma opened the door and got out as quickly as she could.
“Mr. Rawleigh, there has been a misunderstanding. I am not on deaths door, and I am certainly not going to marry you. If my mother said I was, she was mistaken. I will not now, or ever consent to marry you.” With that she slammed the door in his shocked face and started walking towards the bus stop. The limousine sped away and that was fine with her.
She had only gotten as far as the corner when a siren sounded behind her and a police car screeched to a stop in front of her. Two police officers charged out, “Ma’am, may we see some identification?”
“What?” Emma’s heel hit a rock and she tilted precariously before she caught herself and straighten back up.
“We need to see your identification.” One officer repeated as they both surrounded her and nodded to each other. It was obvious the perp was intoxicated. She couldn’t even stand up.
Emma reached for her bag and then realized she must have left it in Pawsy’s car. “I’m sorry. I must have left my bag in the limousine.” She pasted her best innocent smile on.
“Ma’am, solicitation is against the law.” One of the officers said as he reached behind his back.
“Solici…what?” Emma couldn’t process what his intentions were, “No, no…” When the lightbulb went off in her mind, she was so shocked, she couldn’t even defend herself. They thought she was a prostitute?
“Put your hands on the hood of the car ma’am and spread your legs.” The other officer said as he spun her around facing the police cruiser.
“No, you don’t understand. You have it all wrong.” Emma tried to turn around and explain but a hand pushing on her back prevented her from moving.
“Ma’am are you refusing to follow directions?” The first officer asked just before Emma felt cold hard steel touch her skin.
Before Emma knew what was happening, she was handcuffed and sitting in the back of a police cruiser with her head spinning. What had just happened?

Well, there is chapter 1. How did you like it?
Check back in a few weeks for more.

Questions for you, I need:
1. Male lead name?
2. Male lead occupation?

Comment below. If you don't have an account you may select Anonymous to leave your comment.


  1. If you are unable to post a comment here. Email me at

  2. Tony and an Italian sounding last name. He's her lawyer assigned by the court. She accepts him because she doesn't want to tell her parents about the trouble she's in.

    1. Yeah Diana, I see where you are going. She doesn't want to use her money because her daddy would know what happened.

  3. You sure got my interest. I don't think the "court-appointed attorney" approach would work. She's 30 -- has her own career. She would qualify for a free attorney even if Mommy and Daddy are not informed. But having the lead male be an attorney could be an interesting angle.

    1. If I have your interest then my evil plan has worked! LOL! Maybe he's the Attorney General visiting with his good friend the mayor.

  4. I think it should be a police officer!

  5. Or maybe he could be some guy who is walking into the station to talk with the mayor and he sees her - is fascinated!

    1. Maybe he has nothing to do with the police. Maybe he is meeting with the mayor because he is funding a new youth program for the city. He could be a billionaire business man, or somebody famous, or...

  6. Vito...a sleazy, yet filthy and rich bail bondsman who falls for Emma, his newest client after she's allowed to sign her own bond with visions by Vito of how they'll work the cost out. I'm just sayin'.

    1. Ron Shaw, you know I have a Delete button! LOL. Thanks for your very creative comment. I will be sure to take it under advisement.

  7. I like the Vito idea - she could change him and he could change all of his businesses into something good. Right? Good idea Ron!

    1. Are you sure this isn't Ron disguised as Daisy? LOL! OK, I will consider that angle.

  8. Thanks everyone, these are some awesome suggestions. I can't wait to hear more!

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  10. I think he should be a jewel thief and he is in jail for another reason - a crime he didn't committ. So he can understand her predicament and helps her get out of it.

  11. Has anyone suggested a name? If not, what about Leo? I've always liked that name.

    1. Leo...I kinda like that Mavis! What could it be short for. I don't really like Leonardo. Unless he is Italian. Which...maybe he is!

    2. Oooh Oooh Oooh! And could he possibly be an undercover detective?! With long hair and a scruffy beard who is just totally hot looking when Emma first sees him and....oh oh oh...then he turns out to be this really amazing human being inside (with handcuffs!)!

    3. Well, handcuffs hummm, I've never written anything with handcuffs. I did mention handcuffs in A Sheik for Rose. I assume you don't mean just handing from his belt. I'll think about it. But the idea of him being an undercover police does sound like fun writing. Especially with her parents! They would never approve of someone like that. I like it. We may have found out guy! Thanks Mavis! I'll give it a few more days to see if anyone else wants input before I start writing it.
      This is soooo much fun! Thanks everyone!

  12. Love! He could be a fisherman who is seemingly on the opposite sides... Though I like the undercover cop idea too. How about Nash as a name?

  13. I'm with Shannon! Undercover cop is great! So...if she is a shark person - does she have a shark tattoo? Maybe a grinning shark on her bum that Leo/Nash/Tony is going to discover? A shark with wiggling eyes, maybe? Okay - perhaps I've been in the craft store for too long. Ha!