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First Chapter of The Golden Boy

Want a sneak peek at our first (unedited) scene?

 

“All you have to do is tell him you’re pregnant.”
When Clay Roman passed me a note during chemistry telling me he had good news about my tuition woes, I thought he meant he’d found a scholarship I was eligible for. I ran to the football field bleachers, hoping for some good news. This wasn’t good news. This… this was a curveball straight from the underworld.
I rubbed my ear and dramatically inclined my head at him.
“I’m sorry, what was that?”
His icy, almost lifeless, pale blue eyes rolled in exasperation. As if I were frustrating him. Me. The girl he’d just asked to fake a pregnancy. Where can one buy that amount of nerve? Amazon? Sam’s Club? Did he get frequent shopper points with The International House of Audacity? I mean seriously!
“Tell Julius you’re pregnant and he’s the father, and I will ensure your tuition is paid in full for the next two years.”
Yup. That’s what I thought he’d said.
I planted my hands on my hips to keep from flipping him off.
“You made me walk all the way across the football field to ask me to commit pregnancy fraud? What kind of girl do you think I am? Do I look like I’ve ever been on a daytime talk show?”
His demeanor was cool. Calm. He leisurely leaned on the sun-warmed bleachers, totally at ease with the fact that he was asking me to tell the biggest lie of my life. Meanwhile, my temper was at DEFCON 1.
“Think about it, Meg,” he said.  “All your money problems can go away just like that. You won’t have to switch schools or leave your friends. Your parents won’t even have to know.”
I scoffed and ground a pebble into the dirt with the toe of my sneaker.
“I know you don’t understand how the world works, so let me spell it out for you. My parents get a bill from this school every semester. I think they’ll notice a big fat zero next to the amount due box.”
“Tell them it’s a scholarship, or that you’ve received a grant. The means don’t matter to me. Your cooperation is what’s important.”
He placed a hand on my shoulder and smiled as if he knew I’d cooperate.
Not so fast Clay. It’s going to take a whole lot more than a slick smile, enviable blond hair, and a hot body to even begin to convince me to go along with this crazy plan.
I lifted his pointer finger from my skin and slid his clammy hand off of me.
“Ok. Let’s assume for one minute that I’m a crap daughter who would lie to my parents. How am I supposed to pull this whole charade off? Number one, I’ve never even spoken to Julius Samson. Number two, I may be three steps from impoverished right now, but I still have a moral compass. And three, how am I supposed to trust that you’ll pay up?”
I gave myself a mental pat on the back. These were all valid questions, and if Clay was smart, he’d take this opportunity to apologize for even thinking of such a terrible plan. Then he’d kiss my feet and beg my forgiveness. Some tears would be shed. It’d all be very beautiful, really.
But no.
Clay was too slick for that. He just stood there in the sunlight and stared at me like I was an old horse he was about to put out of its misery. “Meg, Meg, Meg.” His head shook each time he said my name, making me even madder. “Don’t you think I’ve thought of that? I already told Julius that the girl he took off with that night might be knocked up. Everything is in place. Megera, I’m offering you the world.” He placed his thumb and forefinger on my chin, squeezing it. His skin was cold, even though it was a warm October day. Makes sense. After all, snakes are cold-blooded.
“I’ll give you twenty-four hours,” he said. “Either tell one little lie or say goodbye to St. Mary’s Academy forever. The choice is yours.”
He gave my chin one last squeeze before picking up his black book bag, hoisting it onto one shoulder, and walking away.
I watched him go, my body feeling on edge. My gut dipped and twisted as if I were riding a rollercoaster, and tension sat heavy on my shoulders. Something about this didn’t seem right. Well, nothing about this was right, but there was one thing that especially bothered me.
“Clay!”
He turned, his icy eyes finding me. The longer he looked at me, the more I felt my blood freeze.
“Isn’t he your friend?” I asked. The ‘he’ in this equation was, of course, Julius.
He dropped his chin slightly. “My best friend,” he replied.
My shoulder’s rose. “So, why are you doing this?”
His lips raised at the edges. “Twenty-four hours, Meg,” he said. “I hope to hear from you.”
Regardless of what type of person Clay assumed I was, I wouldn’t be shaken off so easily. This was someone’s life we were talking about. I took another step forward.
“What’ll happen to him?”
He scoffed. “Shouldn’t you be more concerned about what will happen to you?”
“I’m not heartless.”
“I never said you were. And, if your ex is to be believed, it was your celibacy rather then your heartlessness that was the problem.”
The stinging words were like a right hook straight to my heart.  “Leave Homer out of this. He would never say that?”
“Wouldn’t he?”
Clay’s words hung in the air, and my cheeks warmed. I crossed my arms to hide my heaving chest.
“Look, all I’m saying is that men are dogs, Meg. Consider this your opportunity to remove another hound from St. Mary’s Academy.”
“Is Julius a hound?”
Clay smiled. “One of the worse. That’s what makes this so simple.”
I dropped my gaze to the field turf.
Could I really do this? Could I really destroy someone’s life to protect my own? Even if they were a so-called ‘hound’? I didn’t really know Julius Samson. I knew that everyone called him Hercules or Herc. He always seemed like a standup guy to me. Never bullying anyone or anything like that. But then again, I didn’t really know him. Clay did. Was Clay telling the truth about Julius?
I rubbed my hands on my jeans, my increasingly agitated state making me fidgety.
“What about me?” I asked. “Everyone will be calling me a whore for the next two years.”
Clay shook his head. “Once Julius is gone, it’ll be old news. Think about it, Meg. Are you willing to face a little humiliation to remain at your family’s alma mater? In a month’s time, you won’t even remember this conversation. Julius will be out, I’ll be the new Quarterback, and you’ll get to say in school. Everyone wins.”
“But-”
“Twenty-four hours,” Clay said. He turned around, his long legs making quick strides across the field. “This offer expires in twenty-four hours. Tick tock, Meg.”
I watched him until he disappeared around the front of the school. My legs felt weak and I collapsed on the bench with a sigh.
This morning, I was Meg Kotopuli. A junior at St. Mary’s Academy. Resident film geek with modest grades and an ex-boyfriend with a penchant for cheerleaders way outside of his league.  Now, Clay expected me to lie to someone I’d never even met. And not just anyone. The most popular guy in school. Was it worth it? Could I do it?
My chest felt tight and I rubbed it.
The right thing to do would be to tell Clay to shove his idea where this sun didn’t shine.
The right thing to do would be to tell Julius about this conversation.
The right thing to do was to not consider this offer at all.
But it was hard to do the right thing.
Sometimes, it was absolutely impossible.

 

 

Please tell me if you like it.

I hope so!

 

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giveaway

Summer Shelf Stock-Up Party is Live from 12:00 – 8 pm July 13th, 2017!

Click to check out the great book sale.

 And don’t forget to head over to the FB Party and meet the authors!

Be prepared to have fun, play games, and mingle!

Party stays open for 24 hours after it ends tonight at 8 pm EDT.

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My stories

You and Me Forever: A Sweet Romance Collection is now LIVE!

 

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Eight Short Stories from Eight bestselling and new authors! Get your free copy now and enjoy falling in love!

So excited that it’s now live. You can download your free copy of the YA and NA collection at the following retailers:

Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y14WPDJ

B&N:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-me-forever…/1126163394…

Google Play: https://play.google.com/…/Megan_Linski_You_Me_Forever_A_Swe…

Kobo:
https://www.kobo.com/…/you-me-forever-a-sweet-romance-colle…

 

Can’t wait to hear what you think about my first short story!

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My Writing Journal

Shown Love at the Dentist Office

I’m putting our conversation in quotes but it’s not exactly word for word. Though it’s close.

Today, when I rose from the dentist chair and turned around there were two other hygienists waiting for me. One of them held my book, which I had left for another hygienist months ago.

One of them held Masquerading Our Love in her hands and asked, “Do you recognize this book?”

I nodded. “Yes, I wrote it.”

My mind raced. Writers have so much self-doubt haunting us, that we could be billionaires if we received one cent for every time we believed that our work is terrible. I looked at the two hygienists preparing myself for criticism.

“We read it and we need to know when is the next one coming out?”

“Yeah, what happens to the pregnant girl, Trina?” asked the other one not holding my book.

“Uhm, well I’m writing Carol and Frank’s story and I’m editing Trina and Stuart’s story.” Yikes, I’m still writing Trina’s story and don’t know exactly where it’s going.

“Well, you need to write it because we need to know!”

Are you for real? You really liked my book and are waiting to read it?

We continued talking and a short time later, the second one said, “I read the book in one day. And I love the main character’s boyfriend because he’s so romantic bringing her roses.”

She loves Christopher, Thalía’s boyfriend. I do too because he is pretty romantic and reminds me of my husband, who used to bring me a single rose every time we went on a date.

I asked them to review it and to please be honest. The first one said, that it was slow in the beginning and slightly confusing with all the characters in the first two chapters but once she hit chapter three she needed to find out what happened.

HOOKED! She said she was needed to find out what happened and in my book it means she was hooked!

Since the other two heard I was there they came to talk to me. ME!

The one holding my book gave it to my hygienist and told her to read it because it’s that good. They left and the hygienist who worked on my teeth said that she’s been hearing about this book during their lunch hour and how they’re saying that she needs to read it. She knew it was written by a patient but she didn’t realize it was me. She’s planning to read it tomorrow.

Wow!

I wish you could see the joy on my face right now. It still floors me that they both said that they needed to find out what happened next. The moment my foot hit the pavement outside the office I dialed my husband’s number to let him know.

Those two women showed me so much love that my heart can still bust open from their words and I have a huge grin on my face, hours after being home. I still can’t believe that these women loved my book.

This is so exciting because every author wants readers to like our books and when two people, who are standing in front of you are saying that they loved it, well, yes I call it showing me a whole lot of love.

A special thanks to all the hygienists at Dr. A’s dental practice. I have to return in three weeks for a filling, not so much fun, but hopefully I’ll take a photo with these women and my book.

Now I must be off to work on my books so they can know what happens to my characters!

I’m hoping someone shows you as much love as I’ve been shown today and if you can please do the same.

We all need love!

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