A Captivating Conundrum

A CAPTIVATING CONUNDRUM

 

Amy Lignor

Published by

Ring of Fire Publishing

 

A Captivating Conundrum

©2012 Amy Lignor. All rights reserved.

 

This is a work of fiction. Any similarity with real persons or events is purely coincidental. Persons, events, and locations are either the product of the author's imagination, or used fictitiously.

 

Source material for cover image from John Pesina / Shutterstock.com.

Cover design by Stephen Penner.

 

Dedication

This book is dedicated to the ‘lover of the romance genre’ in our family - my sister, Kathy. I miss you, and thought that this particular ‘Conundrum’ would be fun!

 

 

Acknowledgements

Yes, I have a “Room of My Own,” as the great Virginia Woolf always spoke about. But when it comes to writing there is literally a community of friends who help, family who support (even though they get really sick of listening to the writer whine), and - for me - a dog named Reuben who acts as a best friend I can bounce ideas off of. So, with that said…

 

I want to thank J.P. because she had to listen to the Technicolor version of this story; M.H. because she had to listen to all my negativity when things went south; My Mom, without whom I would never have even found the magic in books; and Shelby Lignor - my pride and joy, without whom I never would have even continued trying for that ‘brass ring.’ I love you.

 

And to all the fans who fell in love with Emily and Matthew and who are about to fall in love with Leah and Gareth (hopefully) - here is another couple who will bring romance, wit and a spark of fun into your day. Your reviews, tweets, blogs, Facebook comments - everything you’ve said, written and done has just been an absolute pleasure and honor for me!

 

And to all those back East who are going through the after-effects of Hurricane Sandy, I send you my prayers, wishes and a whole lot of love!

 

Until Next Time, Everybody,

Amy

Table of Contents

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Thirty-Six

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Chapter Forty

About the Author

One

 

 

The Conundrum…

 

~ Hers ~

"I need book two finished in a WEEK. Oh, and that piece you wrote for the charity event? STUNning!" Nicole flashed her small white teeth at me, as she flipped her straight black hair over her shoulder. "It was intense, powerful—and that song and dance number at the end? LOVED it!"

I tried not to laugh at her exaggerated speech. For a woman smaller than a Keebler elf, she certainly made sure to emphasize exactly what she wanted to get across so there was never any confusion; a talent that many dictators could claim.

I stared into the jet black gaze I was so used to. Right now it held a prideful 'Mom' look, yet I knew the serial killer persona lay just below the surface.

"NOW, you have to come with me to the theatre because all of the authors are in charge of picking who THEY want to star in their piece."

I took a long sip from the mug of coffee in my hand. Caffeine was my absolute favorite substance, and extremely necessary when Nicole was within a mile of me. "I think casting would be better left to the casting director, don't you think?"

She shrugged her shoulders, rolled her eyes, and offered a huge sigh of frustration; this was the Nicole trademark move that I referred to as, 'The Triple Threat.'

"NO! Beth, you've become a bestseller. HELLO?
You
haven't come along since 'Pottermania' struck the globe, and your work certainly has to be represented correctly. You don't want some moron to take the role and destroy it."

I could feel my eyes roll back inside my skull, which was absolutely pounding. "You're talking about this like it's an audition, Nicole. This is a charity event. These are major actors, singers and dancers who are giving up their time to help these kids. They are all stars, not morons."

She waved her hands in the air, as if casting my words aside…yet again. "YOU have to pick out the guy. END of subject."

Yup, that was the end.

"Now, when do you think I'll have book two?" She sat back in the kitchen chair and stared up at me as if I now wore the 'moron' sign on a sandwich board around my neck. "You've been working on 'The End' for weeks. I NEED that book."

Sighing, she stood up and began flitting around my living room, straightening pillows, wiping the dust off my television set—she was absolutely mesmerizing to watch, like the Mad Hatter on crack. A petite country gal, Nicole was beyond the definition of OCD, and loud? Every time she made a point I swear I could actually hear the silverware rattle in the kitchen drawer as Tornado Nikki raced by.

"I'm working on it."

Putting her hands on her hips, she suddenly looked like a Stephen King creation; lips pursed, eyes wide—all she was missing was the bucket of pig's blood dripping down her face. "You HAVE to be faster."

I tried not to crack a smile. "I thought you just said I HAVE to head to the theatre with you for all this other stuff?"

"Yes, you DO! But you can write at night, can't you?" she offered a sneer. "I mean, you must be awake at two a.m. considering the amount of coffee you drink. That's a beneficial time for a writer. USE it."

"No playtime?" I smiled.

Practically slamming her mug on the table—which was filled with tea, going against everything I stand for—Nicole marched on her four-inch heels to stand face-to-neck with me. "You?
Playtime
? Isn't that what Sundays are for? You know I NEVER bother you and Bobby when you're watching those ridiculous sports matches on T.V. and that's the only playtime you ever have, which is a mistake by the way," she mumbled. "Sports! Talk about a waste of freakin' time."

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