An Error in Judgment is launched!
Lots of celebration is going on, among which is thanking everyone who participated in the title contest. Those of you whose email addresses I have will hear from me right away with a free coupon for the e-book copy from Smashwords. If you entered the contest, but haven't heard from me, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get that coupon to you right away.
Smashwords is incredibly easy to use and has the books available in formats for virtually every type of electronic reader. They're a great company, too, treat the authors like kings and queens and are leaders in the e-book revolution. I sometimes think of them as the Ben & Jerry's of e-books (small, innovative company with big influence, lots of flavors & share the wealth)
And now, without further ado, here's how the adventure begins....
Guilt tapped me on the shoulder for the hundredth time since my morning coffee --although plaguing me for another, more immediate, reason. Paul, my boyfriend of six months, stood directly in front of me, hand on his hip, tux jacket pushed back, and eyes narrowed to the point of hiding their luminous blue.
"Is there something you'd like to tell me? Something in particular you've been sitting on since, I don't know, all day?"
I shifted on my three-inch stilettos, clamped down on my lower lip, then turned it loose. I'd only chew off my lipstick. "It's Andrea, and …" I trailed off. The excuse of our families and friends waiting for us to join them in one of the several huge banquet halls on the second level of the Seattle Convention Center seemed … lame. Sure, the annual awards dinner for the Puget Sound Dressage Society would be starting soon. Because of my foot-dragging we were tardy. Now, because of Paul's insistence we talk, we'd be later still. The problem essentially came back to Andrea. I scanned the elegantly dressed people streaming past us in the massive glass, brass and granite foyer.
I returned my gaze to him and he circled my shoulders with an arm. At first I thought he intended to hug me. Instead, he gently steered me across the flow of pedestrian traffic to the protection of one of the numerous shoulder-high stone planters. Packed with large ferns and other greenery, they softened the cold, hard lines and gave the Convention Center's gleaming interior a Pacific Northwest feel. The main advantage -- and obviously Paul's intent -- was that the planter kept people from bumping into us. However, it did nothing to block the cold October breeze gusting in each time a door opened and raising goose bumps under the lightweight fabric of my long gown and tiny jacket. I should have worn a coat. What was I thinking? At least Paul's arm was warm.
"'It's Andrea and' what?" he asked, turning me loose and facing me. I shivered with the returning chill.
"And … and we're going to be late, because I couldn't find my evening bag, ran over to Aunt Vi's to borrow one, messed up my hair and had to redo it, ripped a perfectly good pair of panty hose getting into this dress and had to go out again to buy more."
"What? That's not enough?"
"So you're telling me all this stress has been about seeing Andrea?"
I swallowed and darted another look at the crowd. Not everyone was headed to our banquet, unless we had a bridal party joining us. I returned my attention to Paul. "Yes."