Mannerly Mayhem

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As a writer, I have learned two things: 1) characters pop into your head and will not leave you alone until you satisfy their ego (i.e.; write their story) and 2) People think you’re crazy when you start talking about the hero and heroine as if they’re REAL PEOPLE. And because, as the writer, you don’t think you’re crazy, then you’re even crazier because you’re in denial…

Guarding JessWell, Noah drove me crazy. For a big guy who doesn’t talk much, he sure got annoying. That’s why Guarding Jess is Noah’s story – it was the only way I could sleep peacefully. When I first started plotting this story, I had to try and think of a strong woman who could match my hero, but would also tease out his gentler side. The initial plotting stage also happened to coincide with my interaction with a tel-co customer service representative from hell.

Have you ever had one of those experiences when someone was so incredibly rude that it took your breath away, left you shaking with rage and utterly flabbergasted that the company actually continued trading with such poor representation? When I shared my story with others… wow, it was like opening the floodgates. I heard stories about rude behaviour at parties, at soccer games, in parking lots – during job interviews!

That got us all talking about manners, etiquette, and BANG! Jessica Pennington, my heroine, emerged. I needed to study etiquette – and I’ve learned it is an absolutely fascinating subject. For example, the origin of the handshake was so folks could greet each other (possibly on a country road) and show that by using their right hand they were bearing no weapons, and not intending to attack. A friendly greeting. The word ‘etiquette’ came from the French, meaning ‘ticket’. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the French royal court would draw up daily lists (tickets) of events, and include an expected dress code.

So etiquette and manners are a general observance and consideration of those around you, with our social interactions. As with all things, you’ve got to take the good with the bad – the social faux pas – or as I call it, the ‘whoopsy’. You know what I mean, when you say or do something that is so embarrassingly wrong… who else has been asked when their baby is due WHEN THEY’RE NOT PREGNANT!!!??? That’s my favourite. There’s no going back after that one.

I’m going to share a whoopsy with you. I once introduced a friend to another very good friend, one whom I’ve known for many years – only to get the second friend’s name wrong. I still haven’t lived it down. Or there was that time when I was absently watching my child do something funny and burst out laughing – at a funeral. Or that – no, wait! I’ve told you mine, now you tell me yours: what have you said/done at an inappropriate time, and wished the earth would open up and swallow you? A comment will be randomly selected to receive a copy of the book that started the whole McCormack Security Agency series, Viper’s Kiss!

Here is an excerpt from Guarding Jess – hope you enjoy!

Something clicked loudly in the brown parcel Jessica was holding, and all three of them looked at it. Jessica froze, a chill spreading over her shoulders and down her arms.
Ollie froze. “Was that—?”
“Yes,” Jessica whispered.
The man standing in front of her moved with a speed that left her stunned. He grabbed the parcel from her arms and ran to the office corridor. He pulled open the garbage chute and tossed the package in. He turned and raced straight for her.
“Take cover,” he yelled.
Jessica’s mouth dropped open in horror as screams filled the office. Before her brain could register the danger, a hard body hit hers, tackling her to the ground and rolling her along the carpeted floor. An explosion splintered the glass doors to reception. The floor they lay upon trembled. Jessica managed a terrified peek over a broad shoulder before it obscured her view, and the hard body covered hers protectively.
Smoke filled the reception area, and foul-smelling embers floated to the floor.
She turned wide eyes from the falling ash to the man lying on top of her, his chocolate-brown gaze eyeing her with a calm intensity.
Ollie’s pale face popped into her peripheral vision.
“He isn’t the client, Jess,” she said shakily. “He’s your bodyguard.”

Psst… for the month of May only, Guarding Jess has the special sale price of $0.99 – so get it quick

Shannon Curtis has worked as a switchboard operator, dangerous goods handler, logistics centre supervisor and real estate administration manager, and now writes copy and content by day, romantic suspense by night!

Follow me on Twitter: @2BShannonCurtis
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9 thoughts on “Mannerly Mayhem”

  1. Great excerpt! Looking forward to the read. Twitter @bluewater08 @trindiebooks
    I’ve got a few characters that need to calm down – they will get written in a book!

  2. Danielle West says:

    The other day my daughter and I were at the park and we finally met the people living above us. They were nice and the toddler was gorgeous with long dark hair and big brown eyes. Also wearing pink shoes. My logic said that these people would not put their baby boy in pink so that pretty toddler is a girl. I complimented their pretty girl and they told me that he is a boy and they left not long after. I felt horrible.
    I will be getting this book because I adore bodyguard stories :)

  3. Good luck with that, Tara!

  4. Lol, Danielle!

    Been there, done that – as both the ‘doer’ and the ‘doee’! Hope you enjoy Guarding Jess! Thanks for the story!

  5. Christi McMillen says:

    You have to love the “OOPS” moments~ they help us write!

  6. What is your “OOPS” moment?

  7. Coleen Kwan says:

    My OOPS moment: At a school fundraiser I said to one of the mothers that the caramel popcorn I’d just had was awful, and she informed me that she’d made the popcorn. I spent all afternoon apologising to her.

    Congrats on the new release!

  8. Justine says:

    Hmm, I don’t know if this counts as an OOPS moment, but here goes:

    I work with middle and high school students. The first time a 12-year-old met me, he said, “You look like you could be a student here.”

  9. I don’t know if that’s an OOPS or Damn, I’m fabulous moment!
    Sounds fantastic, though, either way!

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