Earliest writing on which I can get my hands?
Oh. ~cringe~ Oh, dear reader, I haven't cracked open this file since 2006, about two years after I'd decided I wanted to be a Romance Author. This was my first completed PNR. This was...a total trainwreck, a shining example of What Not To Do. From the prologue to the head-hopping to waiting til chapter 5 for the meet-cute. We won't discuss the Other Guy or the Lusting for the Beast (yes, it's a shifter romance). Thank the Powers That Be no one wanted to rep this book.
I ain't proud, but I am happy my writing has come a long way from this tragedy. For your amusement, I'm pasting a lesser eye-stabby section of my Fated Mates Reunited PNR:
---The Shifter Story That Shouldn't Be---
Regina noted the bitterness that suddenly appeared in Aurora’s voice. Intrigued by the racing pulse, Regina peeped into the other woman’s mind.
Flashes of spurting blood faded into an older human male with lifeless brown eyes. Quickly withdrawing, Regina gripped the steering wheel and groaned inwardly at the protections Aurora’s mind provided. Regina could retrieve no sounds, scents, tastes, touches, or emotions--just a series of images that meant that Aurora had killed or witnessed someone being killed. If she didn’t need to focus on driving, Regina would have pried into the human’s mind for more details. Some minds were harder to invade than others, and Aurora was just shy of impenetrable. Instead, Regina grinned at the prospect of a mystery. She loved mysteries.
“Tell me Auri, what brings you to our enchanted mountains?”
Aurora pressed her nose against the window. “Fuzzy creatures and the scenery.”
“There are animals and scenery everywhere, why the Carpathians?”
Aurora forced herself to stop thinking of the nightmare that had claimed her father over a month ago. She was in the mountains to get away from it, not to languish in it. Her hostess was just trying to make conversation. “Honestly, I needed a break from the din of D.C. I was surfing the Web when I saw an ad for the Carpathian Mountains. The site said this place has the largest natural wildlife preserve in Europe including the large carnivore project. A rather insistent inner voice reminded me that those are two key themes for my nature portfolio. So here I am.”
“So you like large carnivorous animals?” Regina teased.
“Well, I’d rather draw them, not be eaten by them.” Aurora chuckled at the little driver who could barely see over the steering wheel. Mercedes really needed to develop a custom booster seat. “Do you mind if I roll down the window for a bit?”
Regina shrugged and pushed the window button. Aurora stuck her head out and sucked in the winter air. She ducked her head back in. “Mind if I do something totally crass?”
“Just as long as you keep your clothes on, I don’t mind.”
Aurora blinked. “Why Reg, I think you’re joking with me.”
They both laughed as Aurora took off her seat belt and slid out the window to sit on the door.
Regina looked over at her new companion. Her mysterious new companion. She grinned hearing Aurora’s laughter on the wind. If Regina solved the mystery, she could help her new friend--seeing as how she was something of an expert on killers and killing.
In the distance a wolf howled, a long low mournful sound.
“Speaking of killers …” Regina muttered to herself. “Come back in here Auri.”
Aurora slid back into her seat and Regina raised the window. “Did you hear that? He sounded so--bereft.”
“He is. He’s looking for his mate.”
“Did she die?” Aurora whispered, the scars along her cheek twitched with concern.
“Yes, many many years ago.”
“Oh, the poor thing. That’s just tragic.”
“They say the grief drove him mad. That he wandered the world in search of ways to bring her back.”
“I assume that didn’t work out for him.”
“Not yet. He prowls the mountains every night looking for her.” Regina shared her sympathy. The ancient wolf was the strongest of the inhumans. No contest. His physical strength was surpassed only by his magics, but without his Dragoste… She feared for him and for what he could do to inhuman-kind if he ever gave up hope.
“Poor guy. He’s lonely. Makes you want to scratch him behind the ears.”
The SUV swerved sharply. “You want to do what?” Regina looked aghast at her companion.
“Scratch him behind his ears. My dog used to love that. He’d lean into you and tap his foot. Behind the ears or just above his tail, either one would make him your best friend.” Aurora made a furious scratching motion.
Regina smirked. “Mountain wolves are a bit different from the domesticated dog.”
“What? You think he’ll eat me first? Then he’d never know I give great belly rubs,” she cried in mock offense.
“You are very strange indeed, Auri.” She giggled trying to picture the sight. Scratch his belly? Scratch his ears? Regina couldn’t even reach his ears.
---I'll end the torture here---