Wednesday Special Spotlight
Obsession Down Under
Aspiring author Jessica Butler-Reid has never done anything exciting in her entire life. The daughter of a Minister and his aging wife, she sees her life heading down the same tedious predictable path has her mom’s, organizing church fetes, bazaars, and bake-offs. But when she innocently posts a help request on an Internet forum for some technical advice with her book, her life is changed forever when Australian cattle rancher, Whip McGregor, answers the call.
Jessica embarks on an adventure of a lifetime, but little does she know her decision to accept his offer of a two-week paid vacation to the land Down Under will, jeopardize more than one life and, have far-reaching consequences neither she nor Whip could have foreseen
Jessica was on tenterhooks. She glanced at her wristwatch and circled the small sitting room yet again. When she passed her suitcase and hand luggage stacked in readiness by the door she paused, then shoving aside her Yankees Jacket draped atop the pile, she picked up her handbag and rifled through it to triple-check the contents.
Surprise, surprise, her passport, plane tickets, and wallet with some Aussie dollars inside were still right where they’d been the first two times she’d checked. She clucked her tongue, marched into the kitchen, drank a glass of water, and commanded herself to chill. Trish wasn’t even due for another fifteen minutes.
As it turned out, she arrived early. Jessica placed the glass on the kitchen sink and went to answer the knock.
“Thought you might be like a cat on a hot tin roof, so are you all packed and ready to roll?”
“As ready as I’m ever going to be.”
Trish picked up the suitcase and headed out the door. She collected her cabin luggage, jacket, and handbag, locked the apartment and followed Trish downstairs to the car.
They arrived at JFK International in plenty of time to process her luggage and then have dinner at one of the airport cafés. When they’d finished the meal, Trish handed her a square flat package tied with a red bow.
“What’s this?” she asked perplexed, taking the gift from her.
“Open it and see.”
Jessica unwrapped the parcel. She felt her face glow with a hundred watt smile and laughed out loud. Inside was a brown paper sack that Trish had meticulously cut out eye, nose, and mouth holes.
“You are incorrigible,” she chastised.
“Yeah, I know, but you love me anyway.”
“That I do,” she agreed and stood. She still had the formalities of customs and security to get through so needed to make a move.
“Guess its show time?”
“Yep, I’m getting a bit nervous.”
Trish sprang up and enveloped her in a long tight hug. “Have a great time, and call me the moment you land. I won’t rest until I know you’re safe.” Her words came in a rush. “And if he does turn out to be a jerk, walk away. You don’t have to go to some Hicksville back of beyond cattle ranch with the dude just because he paid your airfare. You do know that don’t you?”
Trish eased out of the hug, her forehead wrinkling. “If things don’t feel right Jessica, get the hell out of Dodge, okay?”
“Okay, okay, I promise, now stop worrying.” She stooped and picked up her hand luggage. When she straightened and faced her very best friend in the world, she was surprised to see her hazel eyes were filled with moisture. “Seriously Trish, I know it will be okay, but thank you for caring, it means a lot to me.”
Trish hugged her again and kissed her cheek. “I pray you’re right.”
“Trust me.” With a smile and a wink she turned and walked toward her new adventure.
Layne lives with her husband, two dogs, and a cat on the mid-eastern coast of New South Wales, Australia. In addition to being an author she has a degree in history and holds down a full-time job.
She has always been an avid reader and voraciously consumes all types of fiction, but she particularly loves a happy ending, so writing romance seemed a natural progression for her. But as she sat at the computer one day — staring at a blank screen — it all seemed rather daunting. Yet once she finally started tapping on the keys, the words kept flowing, and what was meant to be a short story turned into a full-blown novel, Desire Unleashed, the first book in the “Desire” series.
Layne writes contemporary romance, paranormal, and sci-fi. With her passion for travel and a love of history an historical romance is not outside the realms of possibility.
When she’s not writing, you might find her tackling a craft project, walking by the lake, or in the kitchen creating some culinary delights.