Thanks for having me back to the Lagniappe! Today, I’m excited to share the story of how my latest release evolved. You see, I wrote the first draft in one afternoon. I’m not bragging about my speed or anything. Actually, I’m not a fast typist. It’s just that sometimes inspiration strikes and just snowballs.
That’s what happened with the story that would eventually become The Art Lover. I had this glimmer of an idea and that glimmer had all the sparks I needed to get rolling – a sexy artist, a captivated security guard and a dark, deserted art museum. I opened a blank document one day, and this is what came out (mostly unedited):
Leonard Melman, full-time actuary and part-time sadistic serial killer, had just strapped Misty Kensington, the beautiful, feisty underwriter he’d snatched from the company parking garage, to a stainless steel table in the basement of his mother’s Victorian home when the red light started flashing. An annoyed frown puckered Mitch Jameson’s brow. He dropped his feet to the floor and planted the paperback novel he was reading face-down on the desk, knocking the bag of Red Hots he’d been systematically decimating and sending candies flying under the console. This was his third weekend moonlighting as overnight security for the Templeton Museum and the first time anything other than an inadvertent snore interrupted his reading.
He stared at the building layout displayed on the screen. The beacon looked to be a secondary alarm which was a relief. Only the primary alarms paired to the actual artwork, windows, and exterior entrances triggered an automatic call to the police, and Mitch didn’t particularly want any of his fellow officers to know that he’d been picking up an extra paycheck at a museum. Spending Friday and Saturday nights bouncing people out of bars or working security at local sporting events were more socially acceptable side jobs for a cop under thirty to pad his bank account. They generally left the quiet desk jobs to the guys closer to retirement age, but when his godfather and mentor, Bert Holman, suffered a mild heart attack a month ago, Mitch offered to cover the museum gig until the older man was back on his feet.
The truth was, flashing red light or not, he was going to miss it. Sitting in the semi-dark reading the night away suited him far better than dealing with belligerent drunks or working crowd control at the latest teeny-bopper concert. Not that he’d ever admit it. He liked the way he could hear his own footsteps when he walked the tile halls. He had no problem with being left alone with his own thoughts or a good book. Hell, he even liked being left alone with a bad book. Heaving a sigh, he snagged the seventeen inch Maglite he carried on his rounds and abandoned poor Misty to Leonard’s torture devices.
The Art Lover started out as a short story called Portrait of Passion. It was published in its original form as part an anthology called Passionate Exhibitions. When the rights reverted, I knew I had some work to do to make it ready for re-release. Uninhibited by word count, I added new scenes and explored the characters a little more…intimately. I love it when that happens.
The Art Lover by Maggie Wells
Starving artist Kelsey Tecato takes being The Templeton Museum’s artist in residence a little too literally. By day, she puts on a show of painting for the crowds that shuffle through the galleries, but at night, her muse runs wild.
Mitch Jameson is a guy’s guy. A cop moonlighting as a security guard, he has little use for the artsy-fartsy stuff, but the mysterious Ms. Tecato’s sexy portraits call to him.
So does an interior alarm.
When Officer Jameson goes to investigate, he finds a paint-splattered goddess working on a self-portrait–in the nude.
A couple tubes of paint and a roll in the drop cloths later, free-spirited Kelsey helps Officer Jameson discover his passion for art.
*Giveaway: So tell me, what type of art inspires you? Paintings? Sculpture? The written word? Comment below and I will give one lucky winner their choice of one book from my backlist! Contest ends 3/2 at 11:59PM EST.
Retail Price: $0.99 Promotional Price: FREE March 3-7, 2014!
Personal Blog: http://maggie-wells.com/maggies-musings/