Hi all! Meg Mims here. I’m a romance/romantic suspense/mystery author and excited about my Valentine’s Day novella, The Key to Love, published by Astraea Press. I’m giving away ONE free PDF copy today – so make sure you leave a comment! To me, Valentine’s Day is all about the chocolate – but oddly enough, I didn’t put any in The Key to Love. It does have roses, though, and art! Collage, to be exact.
Being an artist, I worked on a collage before Christmas (still not finished!) which sparked the inspiration for this story. I love keeping an eye out for little things to add. You never know what you might find useful! Which is why, when I was pawing through my junk drawer for something, I thought, “Hmm. A piece of metal. What if…” LOL. All I needed was a heroine – an artist, of course, and for some reason most of the heroines I’ve written so far are on the wealthy side. Must be a Freudian wish, rather than a slip! 😉
I came up with a hero who disdains any type of art (since fictional romance ought to start with conflict!) but there’s a good reason for it. I love adding “secrets” for the reader to discover along the journey of reading. But both Jennette and Steve have more going on in their lives than a chance meeting and a disagreement over art! I had to think up a few other crisis-type possibilities and I was off and running… er, writing!
I love to put in a bit of comedy in my romance. I hope to win over Jenny Crusie and Janet Evanovich’s fans one day. So LEAVE A COMMENT and tell me WHY you’d *LOVE* to read The Key to Love!
Artist Jennette Jacobson clashes with a handsome visitor at a gallery show. He claims that artwork is just “more junk to dust.” Ouch. When she finds a small metal object on the floor, she uses it later in a new collage.
Her world soon crumbles with family problems and a friend’s betrayal. And wouldn’t you know that the same hunky guy claims he lost an important key the night of the show! When Steve Harmon offers to buy Jenn’s work, she refuses to sell. He’ll just trash it to free his precious key.
Or is it possible that key will unlock her future happiness?
Tiffany squeezed her arm. “Here they come. Get ready to smile, Jenn.”
She hurried to greet a number of guests, two of whom were artists Jennette didn’t know. Barb, a former art school classmate, wore a mannish tux-style suit with her auburn hair spilling over the shoulders. She waved a nervous hand.
“I’m gonna hurl. I swear I am.”
“I hate these shows. Why can’t we just hang our stuff and leave?”
“It’s good to meet our fans.” Jennette pushed Barb forward. “You first.”
Tiffany had beckoned them to join the other artists, who explained their works to a smattering of applause. Jennette’s stomach churned. Maybe she would hurl along with Barb. She made it through a brief, awkward, agonizing talk given her nerves and weak knees. Pottery and sculptures competed for room with the milling crowd.
Someone thrust a wine glass in her hand. She sipped the white liquid. Ugh. Too sweet. But holding something helped steady her nerves.
Jennette loathed these type of “meet and greet” events, ever since childhood. Her parents had never allowed her to hide in her room, and expected her to entertain guests on the piano or show her sketches despite intense shyness. They believed she would “get over it” but they’d been wrong. Now her long dark hair kept falling out of the silver clip. At least the white mink fur shrug kept the winter’s chill from freezing her bare shoulders. Thank goodness it looked fake. The last time she’d worn it, some animal activist threatened to throw blood on her.
She set her glass down on the side table with other empties and wandered toward one of her framed photographs. “Miss Jacobson? Could you explain your technique?” an older woman asked and led the way to the gallery’s opposite wall. She pointed to the watercolor collage. “Such an interesting theme.”
“Yes, I love clocks. ‘Time Will Tell,’” Jennette said.
The patron peered through her tortoiseâ€‘shell glasses. “What’s that, dear?”
“The title. Of my piece.”
“Oh. So how do you fix the clocks on? With some kind of varnish?”
“Um, matte medium and Elmer’s glue. It dries clear.”
She raised her eyebrows. “Elmer’s glue?”
Jennette explained her collage methods until her head swam. The woman’s overwhelming magnolia perfume didn’t help. At last she made her escape. The crowd seemed larger and noisier, and someone jarred her shoulder. She stumbled on her stiletto heels, lurching sideways, but a strong warm hand shot out to catch her arm. Heat flooded her cheeks. Jennette glanced up at the tall, wiry man whose dark shock of hair flowed back from his forehead.
“Thank you—I’m so sorry.”
“No problem,” he said. A brusque voice and manner belied his words. His ice-blue eyes glanced her over once before he scanned the painting behind her. “How much longer will this last, do you know?”
“You mean the show? Another few hours, I suppose.” Jennette frowned at his obvious displeasure. “What, don’t you like art?”
“I’m not interested, no.”
His gaze wandered all over the place, as if he deliberately wanted to avoid her eyes. He didn’t say anything else to explain his insult. Then again, maybe he missed the beginning where she’d been introduced as one of the featured artists. Jennette counted to ten. And then twenty.
“The sculpture over there won a prestigious award.” She gestured toward the unusual pink and red ruffled-edge ceramic cabbage on its black pedestal.
“You’re kidding,” he said, eyebrows raised. “What is it?”
“I think it’s called ‘Ornamental Glory.’”
Jennette fought down an acidic reply. Judging from his tan cashmere sweater, tailored trousers and expensive Italian loafers, he must be a patron. She couldn’t alienate him even if he was hard to please. Tiffany deserved a successful evening, and this man had to be someone important. She forced a smile.
“So nothing here interests you?”
“Just more junk to dust. Excuse me, miss.”
THANKS for reading! I hope you find the key to your own happiness on Valentine's Day.
- About the Author
- Posts in the Past
Author, Artist, Amateur Photographer – The Key to Love and Double Crossing, available on Kindle or print. Intriguing mystery, vivid history and romance! Working on sequels, including Double or Nothing for 2012