Hello book lovers! I hope everyone is ready for the holidays. I ordered all of my gifts on the Internet in the beginning of December and they have all arrived. Now to wrap them and put up a few decorations around my home. My parents are coming this Sunday and just the wreath on the front door isn’t going to please my mother at all.
I wanted to share another excerpt from my short story, Simply Amazing just in case you haven’t downloaded it yet. Its the prequel to the third book in the Arrington Family Series, Only One for Me. The story is doing quite well with reviews, sitting on a few Amazon bestsellers list as well as readers emailing me or sending me messages on Facebook and Twitter that they enjoyed the prequel and want more of Yasmine and Cannon. (Its coming, I promise.) It was a nightmare to write because I prefer to write full-lengths so don’t hold your breath looking for another short story from me anytime soon. But who knows…ideas are always popping up in my head, and I had a dream last night that would be a cool short story. I need to jot it down before I forget.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday! See you in the new year!
Cannon Arrington has pushed aside a social life to dedicate his time to medical school, extracurricular activities, and helping others … that is, until he lays his eyes on the angelic face of Yasmine Dubose. For Cannon, meeting her was like a breath of fresh air. Something about the bubbly, sexy teacher makes him realize he needs to stop and smell the roses.
Yasmine has had a crush on Cannon since high school, but he never noticed the nerdy freshman. Now she’s blossomed into a woman who’s full of life. She knows Cannon’s drive for success is important to him, but she fears he’ll become even more of a workaholic than her father, who died when she was a child.
Will Cannon settle down and learn how to balance his career and love life, or will he lose the simply amazing woman who has stolen his heart?
(A little background about the excerpt. Cannon participated in a Read-a-Thon at a local elementary school and read a book to Yasmine’s class earlier that day.)
During the afternoon, Yasmine’s class worked on their thank you cards and drew pictures of scenes from the book. She tried to stay focused, but nerves overtook her as she thought about whether or not to contact Cannon to give him the cards. She’d promised her students she would make sure he received them, and if he ever came to visit again, she knew that would be the first question they would ask.
That evening, Yasmine sat on the couch with her laptop and all of the thank you cards stacked up on the coffee table. She decided she was going to email Cannon and ask him for his address so she could mail the cards in one big envelope, along with the pictures of him reading to the students.
Muffled hip-hop music began to reverberate through the ceiling, quickly followed by a loud crash interrupting her contemplative mood. She sighed and stared up in the apartment she’d lived in since her senior year of college. Apparently, the new tenants above her were having a party, as usual. At the time, it made sense to rent an apartment a few miles from campus, but now she was ready to move.
Trying to tune the music out, she read over the email, deleted it for the fifth time, and began to type out another one.
“Dear Cannon … no wait … that’s too formal.” She deleted it. “Hey, Cannon. No wait. Hey is for a horse, at least that’s what my mother says. Let’s see. Hi, Cannon. Yep. That’s better.”
Thank you so much for reading to my class today. My students enjoyed it very much. To show their appreciation, they made you thank you cards, and I would like to mail them to you. If you could send me your address when you have a chance that would be great, or call me at 555-0819.
“Perfect. That sounds better.”
She read it ten times, deleted it, walked away from the computer, typed it again, deleted it, took a shower, retyped it without her phone number, and then added it back in.
Okay, this is ridiculous. You aren’t the shy little girl you were in high school. It shouldn’t take two hours to send an email. You’re a strong, independent woman who simply needs a handsome man’s address to honor the request of her students.
Yasmine pressed send and closed her laptop before she changed her mind.
Cannon glanced at his laptop when his email account notified him he had a new message. He was reading over a ten page paper he received back that afternoon and wasn’t interested in anything outside of it.
He received a B+ because he had a few typos. He hated anything less than an A, unless it was a hard B, but he was too intelligent and too much of a perfectionist to even accept that. The professor had written a note in red on the cover page:
Excellent A paper, but you need to get a proofreader for the next one because I may not be so lenient next time.
Cannon read through the paper, taking note of all of his careless mistakes. He was surprised at his errors, but Raven blamed it on his lack of sleep and taking on too many outside projects. She was the more focused twin who concentrated only on her classes and elected not to have any extracurricular activities outside of medical school.
Cannon tossed the paper on his desk and proceeded to his bed, where the laptop sat. He had two emails waiting. One was from his sister, Bria, and one from Yasmine Dubose. Baby sister could wait. He clicked on Yasmine’s name and read the short message, imagining her bubbly voice in his head.
He read it again and smiled. He’d been thinking about her off and on during the day and kicking himself for not getting her phone number, but he thought it would be inappropriate to ask for it in her classroom. Instead, he’d planned on asking Doug to set something up with Sherika and Yasmine to see her again, but now he didn’t have to. Her number was staring back at him on the screen.
He quickly checked his sister’s email. At seventeen, Bria was into boys, shopping, and sports. Captain of her soccer team, she wanted him to know that they’d won the game thanks to her winning kick and that their youngest sibling, Shelbi, had been elected to sophomore class president. He emailed Bria back with congratulations to both sisters.
His stomach grumbled, reminding him of something he’d meant to do since two o’clock. Eat. He glanced at his watch. It was nine at night.
He proceeded to the kitchen as he dialed Yasmine’s number and opened the refrigerator. The left over pizza was gone. Thanks, Raven. Everything else was breakfast food. He grabbed the eggs, cheese, an onion, a bell pepper, and ham to make an omelet.
His heart smiled at the sound of her beautiful voice in his ear.
“Hi, Yasmine. This is Cannon Arrington. Are you busy?”
“Nope. Just grading papers.”
“Working on a Friday night? I’m surprised a woman as adorable as you isn’t out on a date.”
“Thanks for the compliment, but I needed a break. The last few dates I’ve been on were horrible. One guy just rambled on about himself the entire time.”
“He was probably nervous being around you. Some men become big blabbermouths when in the presence of a lovely woman.”
She giggled. “Thank you.”
“Just speaking the truth.”
He cleared his throat. “So how’s your mother?”
“She’s fine. Still teaching AP biology and chemistry. She only has a few more years before retirement, but I have a feeling she’ll work beyond that.”
“Your mother is a wonderful teacher. I learned so much from her.”
“Thank you. I’ll let her know you asked about her. I wanted to get your address so I can send you the thank you cards.”
“Of course.” He whisked the eggs into a bowl. “Let me know when you’re ready to jot it down.”
After he gave her his address, they caught up on their lives since high school, her funny stories about teaching so far, and her noisy neighbors. He let her do most of the talking because he wanted to know everything about her; plus, he enjoyed listening to her bubbly, sweet voice. She wasn’t the nerdy, shy teenager he remembered. She was full of life and had blossomed into a delightful, intelligent woman.
Before he realized it, it was after two o’clock in the morning. He’d retreated to his bedroom after eating his omelet and had stretched out on top of the comforter.
“Yasmine, I didn’t realize what time it was…” His sentence trailed off into a yawn. “It’s 2:15 in the morning.”
She yawned. “Yeah … it sure is,” she replied in a sleepy tone and yawned again. “Cannon, stop yawning. You’re making me yawn. I have to be up at six in the morning for a breast cancer walk.”
“I’ll let you go to bed.”
“I’m already in bed,” she moaned. “Nice and snug.”
Her moan wasn’t supposed to be sexual, but the thought of her nice and snug in bed had his mind in the gutter. It was definitely time to let her go, even though he didn’t want to. Instead, he’d rather listen to her sleepy moans in his ear until the sun came up.
“It was really nice talking with you.”
“Huh … mmmm … Cannon?”
I see a cold shower in my future if she keeps moaning and saying my name like that.
“I’m going to let you go to sleep now,” he said reluctantly. “Have fun at the walk.”
“Mmmm … okay. You too.”
He chuckled. She was definitely drifting off to sleep. “Go ahead and hang up.”
“Good night, Cannon.” Her voice was barely above a whisper, and he loved the way she said his name as if she’d been saying it for years. As if she was the only woman meant to say it like that. It stirred in him a fervor that he couldn’t explain.
“Sweet dreams, Yasmine.”
Copyright by Candace Shaw, December 2012