By: Shannyn Schroeder
As I writer, I’ve often been told to use deleted scenes from my books as a bonus for readers. The problem is, although I don’t plot out books, I tend to be a pretty clean writer. That means I write scene to scene and rarely have a whole scene to cut. One Night with a Millionaire is the exception. Every book I’ve written until now was at least 80,000 words. I know that doesn’t mean much to readers, but that’s usually my goal in writing. I started One Night with a Millionaire and when Entangled put out a call for books with older characters, I thought, “That’s what I’m writing,” so I had my agent submit. My editor was interested, but this line of books is category length, which means they’re shorter. I had to cut to make the book under 70,000 words. Maybe 10,000 words doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is. For the first time, I have lots of deleted scenes, so I’m going to share an exclusive with you today. In this scene, Tess has agreed to go out on a traditional date with Miles. And she’s nervous.
“Are you all right?”
Tess swallowed. “Yeah. I’m out of practice.”
Her mom crossed her arms.
“I’ve barely dated. I don’t know if I should ask Miles in or wait until we know what we’re doing or what.” She looked at Helen but didn’t expect advice from her mom. Tess had never known her mom to date. “Why didn’t you date when I was a kid?”
“Who says I didn’t?”
“But I never met anyone.”
“No one was important enough to introduce to you. I dated quite a bit early on. Don’t you remember spending nights at Grandma’s house?”
“I dated then. But after a whole lot of dating, I learned I didn’t need a man to be happy. I began making friends.” She touched Tess’s arm. “But if I found a man worthy, I would’ve brought him home.”
“How do I know?” Tess whispered.
“Go with your gut. How do you feel about this man?”
“I like him a lot.”
“But I don’t like the idea of introducing him to the kids if we’re temporary.” And how could they be anything but temporary? Miles wasn’t looking to settle down. Even if he were, he wouldn’t choose a woman with a ready-made family. He would want to start his own and Tess couldn’t give him that.
Huh. Go figure. One quick conversation with her mom and she was able to figure things out. “Thanks, Mom.”
“Everything you do. I won’t be too late.”
“If I get tired, I’ll go to sleep. You just worry about having a good time. We have things handled here.”
Her phone buzzed with a text. Miles was outside.
“Okay, guys. I’m leaving in a few minutes. Be good for Grandma. I’ll see you all in the morning.” She moved through the room giving each of them a kiss good night.
Zoe tsked. “What kind of guy doesn’t come to the door to pick up his date?”
Tess suddenly discovered the downside to watching romcoms with her daughter. Her own comments were coming back to bite her. “He will come to the door, just not through it. But don’t get any ideas. When you start dating, I expect a full introduction.”
“So it’s do as I say not as I do?”
“You got it.” Tess patted her on the head.
The doorbell rang. Billy perked up and leaned over to see. Tess shook her head at her nosey kids and answered the door.
Miles stood on the porch with a bouquet of flowers. Tess’s heart dipped. He handed her the flowers and kissed her cheek. “Hi.”
“Hi,” she said. “Let me run these inside.”
The door opened behind her and Zoe stood there, hand out to accept the bouquet.
Tess glared at her. “It’s not nice to spy on people.”
“I’ll take care of these for you. Be glad I beat Billy and Andrew to the door. Have fun.” She nudged Tess and wiggled her fingers at Miles but said nothing. Then she slid back through the door and locked up.
“I take it that was Zoe.”
He flicked a thumb over her shoulder. “I think we have an audience.”
Sure enough, all three kids and her mother had their faces pressed against the front window.
“Shall we?” Miles asked. He bent an elbow for her to take his arm.
“I haven’t even done anything yet.”
“You’re here and not pressuring me to meet them even though they’re so damn nosey they’re staring at you.”
“I told you we’ll do this at our pace.” He opened the car door for her.
“It wasn’t my idea to go on a date tonight.”
“Well, your pace within reason. If I left it completely up to you, I’d be nothing more than a midafternoon booty call.”
“Fun and flirty with great sexy times.” -Anima G., Goodreads
“This is a present time Cinderella story, it’s fun, it’s romantic and it has characters you can’t help falling in love with.” -Jackie W., NetGalley
“This was such a fun and energetic read. The characters were wonderful.” -Patty W., Goodreads
“One Night with a Millionaire is fun and sexy contemporary romance. This is the first book I’ve read by Shannyn Schroeder but it certainly won’t be the last.” -Klynn A., Goodreads
“One Night With A Millionaire is a must read!” – Ofelia A., Goodreads