So yesterday Neha met Logan. Not at all a match made in heaven, right? She's totally not at the end of her tether, either!
Catch the previous excerpts
pages 1-5 here;
pages 6-8 here;
pages 9-11 here;
pages 12-14 here;
pages 15-17 here.
And you can get the full novel already at these places!Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Decadent Publishing ~ Barnes & Noble (Nook) ~ AllRomance Ebooks ~ Smashwords
“Station hasn’t been launched yet, but we have live conditions all the time to get used to the pace. News editor’s job is to prepare all the news bulletins for the radio, the hourly recap, as well as the longer bulletins to be aired three times a day. Station broadcasts twenty-four hours, but news starts at six and ends at eight at night. I head the TV section and work with the newsroom for the TV bulletin at six every evening….”
He entered a room to his left, and Neha quickened her step to follow him and more importantly, to hear the explanations he spewed forth like a machine gun. Drat, would she remember all the details he pushed her way?
She screeched to a halt at the sight of the half dozen people in the newsroom.
The hulk had stopped by a large, paper-strewn desk. “Here’s your material. Compile a three-minute bulletin for the radio, and then put together a TV news report of the information you deem more newsworthy.”
He finally peered at her, and she froze under his fiery gaze.
“You have one hour,” he said, then walked past her out of the room.
What had that been about? In all this time, she’d hardly understood a word he’d said. He spoke with a strange accent. It sounded British, but wasn’t. Too jumbled. Aussie, maybe? Not drawling enough. Definitely not South African, not thick enough.
The only words she recalled clearly of his diatribe were “three-minute radio bulletin” and “TV news report of newsworthiness.”
Neha heaved for breath. Tempted after what she couldn’t term a conversation with the frightening man to turn tail and leave on the spot, a part of her knew she’d never be able to live with herself if she didn’t see this through to the end. She’d always prided herself on finishing whatever she started. Well, today wasn’t the day she’d prove this wrong. She could, and would, do this. The exercise sounded no harder than a university exam for the media papers. She’d done such exercises over and over for her degree.
Your one hour is ticking down.
After pulling a typist chair at the heavy steel desk, she sat down and glanced at the other people in the room. They gave her quick peeks from under their lashes, yet not one stepped up to offer some help or show her what material she needed to work with.
“Fine.” She’d get no help? No bother at all. Didn’t she deal with her kids on a daily basis? This couldn’t be any worse.
Taking a deep breath, she browsed through the piles of papers on the table. News reports from wire services. Bingo.
Neha banned all thoughts from her mind as she skimmed the sheets. Pulling all the relevant information for the day, she classified them according to the five categories of newsworthiness. Timeliness, extent and importance, prominence, proximity, and oddities or deviations.
Having found the ones she’d use for both sections, she tackled the five “wh” questions of news writing—who, what, where, when, why. Gathering the answers as she went along, she drafted her news reports, taking particular care in formulating her leads with appropriate and concise language.
Finally, she set it all down in the appropriate format, with each news item on a different page for the radio bulletin, and using the two-column layout of TV news reports.
She stacked the sheets in front of her and glimpsed at her watch. Ten to eleven. She stood well behind her deadline. Standing up, she addressed one of the girls in the office. “Excuse me, could you please tell me where I may find the man who gave me all those instructions?”
The girl smiled faintly. “That’s Mr. Warrington. He should be in his office. It’s behind the mirror, at the left of the entrance lobby.”
Neha thanked her and made her way out toward the office.
Logan Warrington. The co-owner of this branch of the network. New Zealander, former heavyweight boxing champion. No wonder he looked like a hulk.
With a wince, she recalled how Lara had barged into her place the previous day, armed with a folder on the company and its owners. How did Neha think she’d prepare for an interview when she didn’t know who she’d be dealing with, Lara had questioned.
Aghast and with fury smouldering in a steady boil under her skin, she had bitten back her words and let her sister give her a run-down of World Global Network, its functioning, and also who was responsible for what at the offices. Feeling like a small kid an adult took tremendous patience to teach, Neha had let Lara rattle on about the information.
She had to thank her sister, though, for otherwise, she really would’ve had no idea who, and what, she went up against. Logan Warrington’s reputation painted him to be as tough as they came, someone who’d put the worst reality TV bosses to shame, Donald Trump and Gordon Ramsay combined. When he became a sportscaster after his retirement from the ring, he said everything like it was and took no bull.
And to think she would go up against this man…. Could she stand up to him? Did she want to?
On the threshold to his office, she stopped, right in front of the mirror that had swung open to let the big man out. Probably a one-sided mirror only. Logan Warrington must’ve already seen her approach. He had the advantage everywhere. Did he believe it gave him the right to be rude, though? He hadn’t introduced himself. Manners counted for something even if you stood at the top of the food chain, didn’t they? This notion fuelled her with the grit she needed to face him and, after a steeling breath, she knocked on the mirror.
After a few seconds, a “come in” sounding more like a roar resounded from the other side. She pulled the door open and walked into his office with resolution making her feet light and her step purposeful.
Her buoyant tread however grew heavier as she approached his desk, like she dragged her sandals on the thick carpet. He fixed her with his penetrating eyes, their intense depths sucking the breath from her, his commanding presence drawing the air around them.
Everything in his surroundings seemed to be swallowed in a vortex with no bottom. A vortex named Logan Warrington. Such was the man’s powerful magnetism and charisma. She found herself at a loss, both for words and movements.
He trained his gaze on the stack of documents in her hand, and Neha swore the paper caught fire when he kept looking at it. The heat touched her fingers, tickling and teasing with their scorching licks, to travel up her arm, to her face, when his gaze followed the same path.
“You’ve finished?” he asked in a dry voice.
She snapped out of the hypnotic spell. Then she extended her hand to give him the reports.
He caught it in his firm grip, his fingers an inch from hers on the cover page. The lick of fire came back, jumping from his hand to hers. She flinched and pulled her fingers away. The documents remained anchored in his grasp.
He caught her eyes with his, and her mouth went dry as she parted her lips.
What did this man have more than any other, that he could affect her in such a way?
An intimidating and ruthless predator would have the same effect, she reasoned with herself, and he was just a man, however alluring and dangerous he looked. A measure of control seeped back into her, making her throw her shoulders back and tear her gaze from his.
“Thank you,” he said, breaking the silence. His voice came out soft, not at all the harsh barking he’d uttered so far. “We’ll let you know of our decision shortly.”
This time, the edge of ice and contempt in his tone hit her.
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From Mauritius with love,