Indie Author Weekly

130: Excerpt from "A Choice Between Two"

September 21, 2021 Sagan Morrow Episode 131
Indie Author Weekly
130: Excerpt from "A Choice Between Two"
Show Notes Transcript

Do you wish you could attend author book readings again, while the world continues to be in flux? Well, that’s exactly what you’re getting on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly! 

A Choice Between Two  romcom back-of-book blurb:

What if you fall for someone, but you’re already in a wonderful relationship with someone else?

Emma has been dating John, an alpha lawyer type, casually for the past six months. When she meets the kind-hearted feminist Carlos, there’s instant attraction… and since she and John haven’t had the exclusivity conversation yet, then why not date both men simultaneously?

After all, she has two best friends! Emma sees no harm in having two boyfriends, too.

Emma didn’t anticipate that both men would want to take their relationship with her to the next level, and now she has to choose between the two men in her life… or does she?

An adventure in romance and polyamory, “A Choice Between Two” explores the thought processes and relationship strife that can come along with adopting new identities and lifestyles in your late 20s. The struggles and joy in the early stages of a polyamorous lifestyle are both represented in this contemporary new adult romcom.

***

This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books.   

TUNE IN NOW to hear an excerpt from "A Choice Between Two" (AKA Book 1 in the Polyamorous Passions romantic comedy series)... 

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Hello and welcome back to Indie Author Weekly! This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and the behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. I’m your host, Sagan Morrow (or @Saganlives on Twitter & Instagram), and I’m a productivity strategist and an author of polyamorous romcoms.

Now, we’re still in the midst of the pandemic, and frankly, it’s not going away any time soon. Some things are starting to open up, but we still can’t quite do in-person events the way we used to. Do you wish you could attend author book readings again? Well, that’s exactly what you’re getting on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!

But first, don’t miss an episode: You can now get all Indie Author Weekly podcast episodes plus book and writing updates delivered directly to your inbox each week at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Today, I want to do a reading from the very first novel in my Polyamorous Passions romcom series, A Choice Between Two.

That’s right: We’re doing a blast from the past today!

A Choice Between Two was published in August 2018, and there are now 7 books published in the Polyamorous Passions romantic comedy series. I didn’t actually start doing this podcast until I’d already published the first three books in this series… so, normally I like to read an excerpt from each novel leading up to their release day. That means you can go back through the podcast archives here on Indie Author Weekly to get excerpts from my most recent four books in the series… but I’ve never done readings from the first three books in the series! 

I figured it was about time to remedy that. 

Before we get into that, here’s the back-of-book blurb for this book, just to give you a little context about the novel: 

What if you fall for someone, but you’re already in a wonderful relationship with someone else?

Emma has been dating John, an alpha lawyer type, casually for the past six months. When she meets the kind-hearted feminist Carlos, there’s instant attraction… and since she and John haven’t had the exclusivity conversation yet, then why not date both men simultaneously?

After all, she has two best friends! Emma sees no harm in having two boyfriends, too.

Emma didn’t anticipate that both men would want to take their relationship with her to the next level, and now she has to choose between the two men in her life… or does she?

An adventure in romance and polyamory, “A Choice Between Two” explores the thought processes and relationship strife that can come along with adopting new identities and lifestyles in your late 20s. The struggles and joy in the early stages of a polyamorous lifestyle are both represented in this contemporary new adult romcom.

If you like the sounds of that, you can grab your copy of A Choice Between Two at your favourite e-bookstore, or visit SaganMorrow.com/books — link is in the show notes.

By the way, I actually did a full author commentary of the first three books in this series on Episode 61 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast, so if you’re curious to learn more about this series, that’s a great starting point.

Another very quick sidebar—I’m currently recording this episode at my sister’s house in Winnipeg, where I’m spending a few lovely weeks visiting family, and I’ve never recorded in this space before. Hopefully the sound quality works well without too much background noise! I think I’ll be recording the next couple episodes here as well, and then I’ll be in my brand-new condo in Kamloops where I’ve recently moved, so that’ll be another fun adventure in finding the exact right space to record podcast episodes. 

Okay! Without further ado… here’s an excerpt from the first chapter of A Choice Between Two, Book 1 in the Polyamorous Passions romantic comedy series…

***

If she had expected anything from the party, it sure as hell wasn’t this. But perhaps that was part of the issue... Emma never really went into these corporate company events with any kind of expectations. And she’d been to a lot of them: her rank within the recruiting firm she worked at meant the generic invitations were often passed to her when corporations sent them along. So she did her due diligence and did the company facetime gig.

Once you’d been to one of these things—all amounting to roughly the same, even when they were varyingly referred to as “company parties” or “networking events” or once, nauseatingly, “celebratory shindig”—you’d pretty much been to them all. Same crappy buffet-style food. Same annoying lines for the open bar (although, she had to admit, at least there was an open bar. It was the only reason she kept agreeing to be her company’s mascot at these events). Same glazed expressions as everyone made small talk in between discreetly looking at their phones, either in the hopes that they’d received a text message from a more interesting person, or to check the clock to see whether they’d stayed an appropriate amount of time and could therefore politely excuse themselves from an excruciatingly boring evening.

So, Emma mused, reaching for a mini cornbread as a platter-carrying server walked by, perhaps I do go into these events with my own set of… very low expectations.

No other event had been quite like this one, however. Between the performance art taking place at the beginning of the evening and the increasingly heated, whispered discussion currently happening amongst company executives on the other side of the room, Emma figured it would be some time before she forgot about this party.

Striving for nonchalance, she strolled closer to the company executives on the pretence of admiring a giant painting on the wall. She knew she should mind her own business, but god, she was bored. How else was she supposed to entertain herself at one of these things? And anyway, if they wanted a private conversation, then they probably shouldn’t be having such a public argument, she reasoned in a weak attempt to shove the mild sense of guilt down. Trying not to make it too obvious that she was straining to overhear their conversation, Emma absently popped the entire mini cornbread in her mouth and began chewing.

And chewing.

All right, my low expectations have legitimate foundations to them, she thought to herself. Crappy, overly-dry food: check. It was a good thing she always made a beeline for the bar upon arriving at these events. Emma took the last swig of wine from the bottom of her glass, wishing she hadn’t been sucking it down quite so quickly earlier in the evening, but it didn’t help. It turned out the mini cornbread wasn’t so “mini” after all. If she’d been paying attention to her food rather than trying to eavesdrop on the argument, she might have realized it wasn’t exactly a one-bite sort of thing.

Feeling ridiculously like a cow munching away on grass, Emma stared intently at the painting in front of her without seeing it. She raised her hand in front of her lips in an unsuccessful attempt at concealing the cornbread that threatened to spill from her mouth. She could feel her cheeks burning. Good thing she didn’t know anyone at this event. And then...

“Would you like some water?”

Emma glanced up in the direction of the concerned voice. The man—a tall drink of water himself, if she’d ever seen one—stood before her and held out his half-filled glass. The concern from his voice stretched to a beautiful pair of dark brown eyes, even as his lips twitched with obvious amusement.

She snorted, biting back laughter, and nodded wordlessly. His face broke into a kind grin as Emma took the glass and gulped, turning the dry cornbread into mush she could more easily swallow.

Brown Eyes took a step back to survey the painting, giving her an opportunity to watch him out of the corner of her eye as she continued to chew and force the cornbread mush down her throat. He was an attractive man, there was no doubt about that. With short-cropped brown hair and a muscular build visible beneath his tailored, cream linen shirt, he could have passed for an army guy, were it not for the ease with which he stood.

In fact, she realized, for all that Brown Eyes was a good foot taller than her and no doubt considerably stronger, his demeanour might be the least threatening that she’d ever seen in a man. Perhaps it was the appreciation in which he admired the painting, or how his stepping away from her had subtly given her the choice to turn away without speaking again (a choice which, frustratingly, too many men insisted on monopolizing). Or perhaps it was simply the gentle, relaxed self-assurance in his stance. Regardless, she had to confess she was intrigued.

Of course, it might have been that strong jawline and broad chest which compelled her to continue watching him, too.

Emma swallowed the last of the water and cornbread mush, clearing her throat.

“Thank you,” she said, unable to tear her piercing gaze from his face. “If you’re planning on eating anything tonight, I would not recommend the cornbread.”

He turned to look at her, doing something of a double-take at the intensity of her curious, unblinking eyes, before meeting her scrutiny with heightened interest of his own.

He laughed. “Looked like you were having some problems there. I’ll keep that in mind: the cornbread is to be avoided.”

Emma held the empty water glass out to him awkwardly, the wine glass in her other hand. “Can I fill this up for you, or… get you a new cup?”

Brown Eyes took the glass from her as he eyed up her empty wine glass. “You know, I was thinking about switching to wine. I’ll join you at the bar, if that’s where you were heading?”

“Oh!” She tilted her head, a smile playing across her lips. There was something so enjoyable about the prospect of an unexpected flirtation. And here Emma thought this would be a dull evening. “Yes. Yes, I could definitely go for another drink.”

“Great,” he said, stepping back and motioning her forward with a hand. Just then, a group of several people talking animatedly walked close by them, too caught up in their conversation to notice Emma. She sidestepped out of the way to avoid them, and her new acquaintance reached out to steady her, his hand lightly touching the middle of her back in a courteous gesture to guide her forward. Butterflies fluttered in her chest at his touch as they made their way toward the bar. He dropped his arm, and she couldn’t help but lean toward him a little, wishing his hand had lingered for longer.

“I’m Emma, by the way.”

“Carlos,” he said, flashing her a broad smile. “What brings you here?”

“I’m with West & Smith Recruitment Agency. We organized the recent hiring for a new department at Green Valley,” Emma explained, glancing reflexively at the large sign in the corner of the room which prominently displayed the host company’s name. “What about you? Do you work at Green Valley?”

“No, I’m an outside contractor like you,” Carlos said. “Foreman of a construction company. We built the new offices in the west end.”

Aha! So that’s why he’s in such amazing shape, Emma thought, unable to stop her gaze from flickering with interest down his body. She looked back up at him and realized he’d caught her checking him out. His mouth twitched and she looked away, feeling the heat rise in her cheeks for the second time in as many minutes.

“That’s a pretty intense job,” Emma answered, pretending she hadn’t noticed. “Worked on any other buildings I’d know?”

Carlos smiled and shrugged. “Probably not. This was our biggest project yet. How about you? Recruited anyone I might know?” he joked.

“Oh, most likely. I’ve been at it for a while. But confidentiality keeps me from recruiting and telling,” Emma said, tapping her nose.

They reached the front of the line at the bar and received a questioning look from the bartender. Carlos indicated his hand towards Emma. “Please, go ahead.”

She ordered red wine and Carlos followed suit.

“All right,” Emma said as they accepted their wine and moved away from the bar, “Tell me about yourself. You work in construction. You drink wine. You seemed to appreciate the art over there,” she added, nodding towards the painting on the opposite wall. “What else do you like?”

Carlos smiled at her as he took a sip of wine. “Gardening. I bought a house last year and planted all kinds of flowers in the backyard. And it’s not just art; I like the theatre and the Symphony, too. Bit of an arts and culture nerd in general.” He considered her for a moment, head tilted to the side in open admiration. “And… I think it’s safe to say I’m digging you, too.”

Emma fluttered her eyelashes teasingly. “Oh? Do the kids still say ‘digging?’”

Carlos laughed. “I don’t know what the kids are saying, but I’m saying it.”

“Well. It’s mutual in any case,” Emma said, raising her glass to him and winking.

Carlos stepped closer to her, giving her enough space to step back if she wanted to, even as he raised his hand to brush a feather-light touch against her lower back. She leaned in close to him, inviting him in. Fuck it. This flirtation was escalating faster than she’d anticipated. Why not go with it?

His eyes drank in her face, alighting for a lingering moment on her lips before he drew up to meet her gaze again.

“I’m glad to hear that,” he murmured, leaning in just a bit closer before he took a step back, his hand never leaving Emma’s waist. Carlos cleared his throat. “And you? What other… extracurriculars do you enjoy?”

She smiled up at him. This was a man she could get used to. “I play Ultimate, actually. And I sing.”

“You sing? Really? You should sing for me.”

Emma giggled—when was the last time she’d giggled? —and pressed herself against him for a moment. “Maybe some other time.”

Carlos raised his eyebrows. “Am I going to see you another time?”

She shrugged demurely and took another sip of wine, looking up at him with speculative eyes, the butterflies continuing to flutter against her chest as she did so.

“So,” Carlos said, his hand now lightly skimming her side and causing her to shiver in anticipation of what else he might stroke, “I should probably ask the obvious question… are you seeing anyone?”

The heat from his hand diminished slightly as she stiffened in response.

Crap. She’d forgotten about John.

***

There you have it! An excerpt from Book 1 in my Polyamorous Passions series, A Choice Between Two. Grab your copy of A Choice Between Two from your favourite e-bookstore, including Kobo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others, or just visit SaganMorrow.com/books.

If you enjoyed this episode and want to tune into more book readings, please do share this episode on Twitter or Instagram and tag me, @Saganlives, so that I can see it and repost! It means the world when you share these episodes.

All right. That, my friend, is a wrap for today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly. Access the show notes for this episode, including all links and additional resources, at SaganMorrow.com/podcast.

Thank you so much for tuning in. Please take 2 minutes to rate and review Indie Author Weekly on Apple Podcasts—I really appreciate your support. 

Until next week, this is Sagan Morrow, signing off the Indie Author Weekly podcast.