Monday, May 25, 2015

Contest Season: Skin (a subverted fairytale office romance)

Now that I am free from laborious job related tasks, I'm free to write again and my summer plans are crazy, so much so I most likely will not be able to do it all. First on my list is entering contests, two of which have the first few days of June as the deadlines. Considering most of May consisted of a sleepless grade-athon where I had to ignore my poor son, I'm making it up to him on a staycation we are having with my family from abroad. This fantastic downtime is exactly what I needed, but leaves little time or energy to write. Since that little smile appearing on my guy's face and him finally telling us he loves us (he's not a softy) are much more important than entering a contest, I've placed my priorities well.

Now, I have time. I'm sharing this link below since I don't believe in competition but writing alliances and support. If you have time, enter too! I may not be able to finish this novella in time, but it is a great exercise and I might turn it into a full-length novel later. The contest guidelines are below followed by Chapter 1 of my novella.

Subverted Fairy Tales: Got a 10,000-word to 30,000-word romance based on a classic fairy tale but subverted in fun, fresh, original ways? Perhaps Beauty is a beta-male librarian and Beast is a brusque, female kickboxing champion whose paths cross? There are so many possibilities here and we want to see your modern take on these classic favorites. (submission deadline June 1, 2015) - See more at:

I'm halfway completed and it is an office romance based loosely on Rumpelstiltskin, called Skin. Just a recap of a version of the fairytale, Rumpelstiltskin helps the Miller's daughter spin hay into gold so she can marry a prince, but must promise her firstborn child unless she can guess his name. She manages to do so after some help and saves her firstborn living happily ever after.

My Rumpel will be much more attractive of course

Here you meet the heroine, Goldie (Miller's daughter), and her plight, where Chapter 2 will introduce the sweet, yet dark and intense, trickster Russell (Rumpelstiltskin).

                Goldie Miller had been a social media specialist for two months after her year long stint as an intern. She more than paid her dues getting coffee, relentlessly posting on media sites, and dodging the CEO’s perverted remarks. The catch to the last job responsibility was that he was hot, a millionaire, but married. All the women at work fawned over him, the men had an adoration of wanting to be him. He was as charismatic as they came, giving, and a savvy businessman, but he cheated on his wife openly and repeatedly. Goldie was his new target and she refused to let him take control over her; she simply would let her job performance speak for itself. She had denied three advances already.
                “Gold-ee,” Sara purred leaning over the cubicle wall.
                Goldie stiffened in her seat. Sara was the office diva, a drama queen, the town crier, a woman who made it her job to butt into everyone else’s lives in an attempt to destroy them. She wanted people more miserable than her and went through great lengths to do so. No one liked her, yet no one dared voice that and cross her; otherwise, she’d make people’s lives hell. The fact the boss was into Goldie did not win her brownie points with Sara.
                “Sara,” Goldie said with her sweetest voice. She turned and gave Sara her Miss Rhode Island runner up smile. “Yes?”
                “Just thought I’d tell you Mr. Shipman needs you in his office pronto. I did you the largest favor, so you owe me.”
                A “favor” from Sara was never really a favor but usually a nightmare wrapped up in vindictive insincerities.
                “What did you do?” Goldie couldn’t hide the strain in her voice.
                “I just spoke so highly of you that he’s put you as head of the Mercer-Bottnick account.”
                “That’s what’s-his-name’s account. You know, the senior executive PR guy, the quiet one with the glasses. It’s his gig. I couldn’t. I don’t even know how to.”
                “Oops, well. I’m sure that you’ll figure it out. I was just trying to help.” Sara gave her a simpering smirk and sauntered off whistling to herself.
                Mercer-Bottnick was the largest client of the firm and if she messed up, then she was going to be on the chopping block.
                Before she could flee, type up her two weeks’ notice, or just scream, George Shipman, the CEO, cleared his throat behind her. She jumped.
                “Miss Miller, could I have a word with you in conference room A? Got a project for you I’d like to discuss in private.” His lecherous voice even insinuated something beyond a “project.” She tried not to cringe as she simpered an affirmation following him. She saw Sara smirking with triumph at her. Goldie really wished she could punch the woman in the face. Like really, wind it up and break her face, blood everywhere, just like the movies.
                George Shipman was an attractive man, pushing fifty but had a dignified look, and dressed well. Had she met him elsewhere she might show a tad of interest…until she saw what he was really like. He was a pervert of the highest degree. She really couldn’t figure out how he hadn’t been sued for sexual harassment by now.
                “May I call you Goldie? Please Goldie sit,” he said. He didn’t even wait for her to acquiesce but simply continued on. “You’ve done such good work in the past, proven yourself time over time, and I think it is time to step up the game here. Give you something to really challenge you. Please, sit.”
                Finally Goldie sat in one of the chairs. He sat on the desk looming over her, too close to her. She had to look up at him feeling like a child. He was overly intimidating and she realized he situated himself this way on purpose. She was like deer in headlights, not knowing what to say or do. She felt faint and his voice faded away; all she could hear was her own thumping heartbeat. She shook her head to bring herself back to reality.
                “So here you go. I know you have it in you.”
                She had missed what he had said but Sara’s snide warning gave enough away as to what he was asking of her.
                “Really sir, I’m flattered, but that account and event is beyond me. I am grateful for the offer but…”
                He cut her off. “It wasn’t offer but a demand. I know you’ll rise to the occasion, especially when your job is on the line if you fail.”
                “You’re giving me a job I’m not trained or qualified for and are going to fire me if I fail?” Goldie asked incredulously. She hadn’t meant for it to sound accusatory but really, who did he think he was to put her head on the chopping block for his libidinal purposes?
                “No, I’m sure there’s something we can work out if needs be.” He said it with a leery grin and touched her shoulder giving a gentle squeeze. His eyes raked over her chest chilling her to the core despite the layers of clothing protecting her from his gaze.
                “What?” Goldie asked. She knew exactly what he was alluding to but had to say something.
                “Nothing. Don’t worry. You’ll do fine. I have a feeling you will rise to the challenge.”
                And with that comment, one he somehow made wanton, he got up and left the room.
                Goldie stood up and tried to leave but her stomach turned soured and the bile rose. She choked it back, her eyes watering, and then he tears came. Goldie, who thought of herself as a strong confident woman, was now a blubbering mess due to her plight. She wasn't one to want saving normally, but here she just wished prince charming was real and he'd come to her rescue.
Stay turned for Chapter 2