Welcome to the Hopeful Romantic's Page

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From time to time, I'll post information for only those of you who are on my subscribers list. 

Things like excerpts, book giveaways, and sneak peeks will be featured here. 


I'll be sure to let you know if there's good stuff for you to see in each Newsletter. Thanks! Kay

Book Giveaway #1

For this inaugural Book Giveaway, I'm going to let the winner choose which one of my ebooks they would like to win. Since I'm slowly building my paperback catalog, I'll save a signed paperback giveaway for another day. 

Soon, though, I promise. 


To Enter

To enter, please complete the following form on or before 10/26/19: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdfSnVpKq4hiNJ_3GsQcjYhcMQiEr4VbCQZmxmwqOsFdnBGUQ/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1


I will not choose the winner, instead, I'll put your names into a hat and let my daughter choose the winner. How's that? 

Bedhead: Chapter 1

This isn’t happening. It’s just a dream.

At least that’s what’s going through my head until the I hear, “Bloody hell, he’s got a bird?” 

“Oy, mate, I think we woke ’er.” That comment comes from the second person in my little dream fantasy. He stepped up behind the first one, the hot one. 

“What gave it away, genius?” says dream man numéro uno.

“Well, I’ll tell ye… she’s got bedhead and her spectacles are askew. But that’s a nice pair of baps.” 

Spectacles? Baps? I laugh aloud, and it sounds rather hoarse and dry. So I shut my mouth and think about “askew.” That’s such a funny word. If you say it three times fast, it sounds like you’re sneezing. Askew. Askew. Askew. I laugh again as I adjust my glasses so they’re no longer askew on my face. I’d take them off but I need them to see since I took my contacts out before climbing into bed.

“You all right, love?” 

I blink at the screen of my laptop and attempt to take in the sight before me. Without speaking a word, I stare at the two men who have called me using the FaceChat application. Two men who are shirtless and beyond gorgeous from what I can tell only seeing the top third of them. Maybe they’re naked. Besides that, they’re English, Brits, of the UK variety. 

God, I love accents.

“It’s just a mirage,” I say again. “They can’t be looking back at me at...” I turn to look at the clock on my bedside table. “Three thirty in the a.m. Right?” 

“Excuse me, love?” 

I look back at the screen and blink. “Huh?” 

“We’d like to talk to our long-lost mate.” 

Mate? I’ve heard that expression. I’m sure I know what that means. Shit, wake the hell up, Quinn! “Your long-lost mate?” 

“That’s right. Our mate. Be a dove and wake up the lazy git.”

“Um… your wife or girlfriend or whatever isn’t here.” I stare at the screen as both men burst into uncontrollable laughter. “What?” God, wake up already.

“Did you hear that, Cooker? She thinks you’ve got a wifey.” 

Cooker? That’s a strange name. When he smiles at me, I stop worrying about his name because I nearly faint from the sight. It’s a good thing I’m lying down. “Our friend, love. Max.”

“Max?” Who the hell is Max? 

“Maxwell Quinn,” adds the other guy. I call him the “other guy” because the guy in front—“Cooker,” apparently—is the hottest man I’ve ever seen. The “other guy” is cute too but nothing compared to the tattooed, blond god who is front and center on my computer screen. Okay, let me rephrase that. I’ve seen hot guys before, but none of them have called me in the middle of the night before. Unfortunately. 

“Maxwell Quinn?” I rub my face with both hands and then look back at the laptop. I’m waking up, which is both good and bad. It pains me but I have to say, “I think you have the wrong number.” 

Mr. Hottest Man in the Universe replies, “We googled the eejit. One Maxwell Quinn. It gave us this American number.”

“I think—no, I know you have the wrong number, because my name is Quinn Maxwell.” 

“Bloody hell,” mutters my future husband. Snort. Just kidding. “Are you seriously telling me your name is Quinn Maxwell?”

“Seriously.” 

“Bloody hell,” he repeats. 

Yeah, bloody hell indeed. 

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Bedhead: Chapter 2

“That was weird,” I mumble tiredly to myself as I bite into a stale piece of white bread that I toasted to make it not seem stale. It also helps that I slathered it with Dollar Bin-brand grape jelly. Good as new.

“What was weird?” 

I blink several times before I’m able to focus on one of my new roommates, Patsy. I’ve been living in a house with five other women for almost a week. I moved in last weekend, right before classes started. It’s a good thing too as I was getting desperate. I couldn’t find any housing I could afford. Heck, I’m scraping by as it is even though this house is a bargain.

I need to find a job. 

When Patsy, who I met last year when we lived on the same dorm floor, found out I was looking for a place to live off campus, she let me know there was a room open in this house. Besides Patsy, I live with her younger sister, Susanna; Kat, who is dating Patsy and Susanna’s older brother, Ryne; and finally Robbi and Lindsay. I haven’t quite figured out how they all know each other. Patsy’s the only one I know, and that’s not all that well. I hope I’ll bond with the other girls in the house, but I’m not great at breaking the ice, as they say. My shyness and insecurities have always been a curse.

I stare at Patsy as she meticulously cuts fresh fruit into uniform shapes, all while humming a happy tune. How does she do it? I know she was out late last night. I heard her clomping around her bedroom at all hours because my room is directly below hers, so I hear just about everything that goes on in her room. 

I gaze enviously at the grapes she’s placing into her dish of a decidedly healthier breakfast than mine. Hers? Yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit. Mine? See above. Heck, if I could swing it moneywise, I’d have at least one of the things Patsy was having for breakfast. Yep, I need a job. When you’re poor, carbs are about all you can afford. Take ramen noodles—no, please, take them. Ha! No, so ramen noodles cost like twenty cents per package. That means for only two dollars, I have ten meals. Heck, noodles in general are cheap. Bread? Same thing. One loaf of day-old bread is a buck at the local Dollar Bin. 

I peek over at her again. It’s obvious fruit does a body good, because she’s got a killer bod, made all the more noticeable by the tight leggings and crop top she’s wearing. “Did you work out already?” I ask her.

Patsy makes a humming sound that sounds like a yes. Then she says, “I ran. Made it three miles this time.” 

How’s that possible? She’s got to be hungover. 

I should work out. We can do it for a discounted price at the Iowa State University Recreation Center. It’s where some of our athletes work out, but there’s a section in the building for us mere mortals. There are all kinds of treadmills and weight machines there. On a good day, you can walk on a treadmill and watch the football team run sprints. Too bad I haven’t had the time, money, or inclination to trek over to the rec center. I look down at my body and internally shrug. I also have a body reflective of my food choices—dough. I release a soft snort as I bite down on my extra-crunchy bread. 

“What’s so funny?” she asks, looking back at me again. 

“Nothing.” I shrug. “You’re the funny one.”

“Right?” She smiles brightly. Pointing at the toast in my hand, she adds, “Cute nails.” 

“Thanks.” I smile midbite. My fingernails are sort of my signature thing and have been since middle school. Because of that longevity, I have an enviable collection of nail polish in my possession. I love to change the paint at least once per week, it’s therapeutic, so in honor of the first week of school, I’ve painted them Iowa State University colors, red and yellow, alternating each finger. Not as detailed as I usually do, but I was in a rush since I had to move and settle in just days before classes started. I’ll do something more advanced for next week. Ooh, maybe multicolored Converse tennis shoes. I’ve done that before, and it’s super cute. 

After brushing my hands together to remove the toast crumbs, I clean up my spot at the circa-1950s kitchen table, gather my bookbag, and check my watch. 

Patsy turns and begins walking toward the table. Setting down her bowl filled with yogurt goodness, she asks, “Hey, I thought you were going to tell me the weird thing?” 

Oh. I ponder making something up, but “the weird thing” is far-fetched enough. “I got a FaceChat last night.”

She blinks at me a few times. “We all get FaceChats.”

“At three thirty in the morning?”

Patsy winks. “Sometimes.” 

“From two hot English guys?”

She blinks some more, then, with a hushed voice, steps closer, “No. Who were they?”

I shrug. “I’m not sure. It was a wrong number.” I snort. “Obviously.”

“Why ‘obviously’? You could get calls from hot guys in the middle of the night. Booty call,”
she singsongs, then finishes it with “You’re pretty.” 

Okay, Patsy is officially my favorite roomie. “That’s real sweet, but they were looking for someone named Maxwell Quinn.”

“No!” Her voice is all breathy and rushed again. “Seriously?” She chuckles. “What are the odds?” 

“Since I’m an art education major, I’m going to just come right out and tell you that math is not my thing, so statistical analysis of the odds someone would call me, Quinn Maxwell, and ask for Maxwell Quinn is beyond my capabilities. I can draw you a pretty pie chart, but it’ll have to be cherry.”

Patsy laughs again. “You are funny. Maybe I’ll let you join my club.”

“Club?”

“Yeah, the ‘funniest person I know’ club.”

“Oh, right.” I shrug. “Okay.” 

Getting right back to the subject at hand, she asks, “What’d they say?” I start to speak, but she interrupts with “Then what did you say?”

I pause for a second to be sure she’s going to let me respond. “They called asking for Maxwell Quinn….”

“You already said that.” Gesturing wildly for me to get on with it, she adds, “What else?” 

“I was half asleep.”

She squeaks. “Do you think they were calling from the UK?”

“No idea. But”—this is going to blow. Her. Mind—“they were shirtless.”

Slapping my arm, hard, she shouts, “Shut up! Were they built? How large were their arms?”

“Ouch.” Stepping back out of harm’s way, I nod. Patsy has a thing for muscly arms, but if she’d heard their sexy English accent, she’d have gone bananas. “I think they had nice arms. I’m not sure. I was only on the line with them for a couple of minutes. Enough for them to figure out I wasn’t the person they were seeking.” Far from it.

Moving closer, she places her hand on my forearm. “Oh. Em. Gee.” 

Her excitement is getting me excited, sort of. Well, as excited as one can get at seven thirty in the morning. On the morning of my first biology class. 

Ugh, science. 

“Did you get their number?” she asks, chewing on her unpainted middle fingernail. I should offer to do her nails sometime. It’s the least I could do to thank her for letting me live here.

I’m sure I could call them back if I looked at the recent call log, but “Why?” 

“Just curious.” She shrugs. “Maybe we could drink some wine sometime and call them back.” 

“Don’t you have a boyfriend?” 

“So?” Her bottom lip juts out just a bit. “I can look.”

“Sure, sure. You can look. But there’s no way I’m calling them back. As soon as they realized their mistake, they hung up.” Abruptly. They took one look at my messy head of hair and heard my croaking sleepy voice and wanted nothing to do with me. I shrug again. I can’t blame them. I’m scary with bedhead. 

“Still.” Taking a bite of her breakfast, she smirks. “It’d be fun.” 

“Uh-huh.” Checking my watch, I realize I’m going to be late for my first class. “Gotta go. See you later.” I grab my bag and start for the front door. 

“Think about it,” Patsy shouts after me. 

“Yeah, I’ll think about it.” Not.

***

Once I’m out the door, I pull the keys from the zipper pocket on my backpack and unlock the trunk of my scooter to get to my helmet. I smile down at my awesome wheels made possible by my oldest brother, Steve, who’s extremely talented when it comes to mechanical things. He rebuilt it from the frame up on the cheap. I’ve dubbed my moped Frankenscooter since it’s made up of a bunch of parts from other scooters. It’s also multicolored for the same reason. The gas tank is lime green, the frame is red, the seat is a dirty shade of white, and the trunk, the place that holds my helmet, is yellow. It’s a mishmash of lots of things, and that’s okay. Me and Frankenscooter understand one another. We’re both misfits. And thanks to my big brother’s talents, I’m not forced to ride Cy-Ride, our city bus system, every day. Don’t get me wrong, Cy-Ride is a great option on rainy and snowy days, but it takes twice as long to get places on the bus. 

Placing my helmet on my head, I press it down onto my topknot hard enough to latch the chin strap in place. With the key in the ignition, I press the Start button and silently pray that it will turn over. When it purrs to life, I smile and head off to my first and favorite class of the day, Ceramics 2. I take the neighborhood streets to campus to avoid Lincoln Way, Ames’s main thoroughfare. This time of the morning, it’ll be packed with people trying to get to work and class. Taking the back way will save me time in the long run, which is good since I spent extra time talking to Patsy this morning. I don’t want to be late or else someone will snag my favorite potter’s wheel. I learned that the hard way last spring when I took Introduction to Ceramics. And we can’t have that. 

I get lucky and find a spot right in the ISU Design Center parking lot. That never happens, trust me. Stowing my helmet, I jog down the back ramp that leads to the shipping dock, a shortcut to the basement where the ceramics classes are held. Well, lots of art classes are held on the lowest level, including painting, jewelry making, textiles, and woodworking. It’s a hub of artistic-ness. Wait. That’s not a word. 

It’s official, my brain is mush. Probably due to that phone call last night. 

As I grab a few things from my locker that sits only a few doors down from my classroom, I pause to give those guys one last thought. How can you blame me? The two men on the screen were gorgeous, but the one who did most of the talking was the hottest. In all of my twenty-one years, I’ve never seen anyone like him. Okay, maybe on the cover of a fitness magazine or a romance book. I only saw him from the chest up, but that’s all I needed to give me a lifetime’s worth of material for any future fantasies. He was blond and tan. His eyes seemed like they were light, almost golden. He also had a big toothy smile the entire time that made me speechless. In a word, the man was perfect. 

That’s enough! There’s no room in my life for that fantasy man. I’ve already got one of those. And he lives in Ames. Nope, I need to get my head out of the clouds and into class. 

I pat myself on my back for keeping it real. 

Snort. God, I’m such a dork.

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