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Trouble Me Teaser – Chapter 1 continued

Trouble Me teaser day 2. Tune in each day between now and release day (9.27.19) for a snippet of the first two chapters. If you like it, pre-order this beauty for just $0.99 at

Chapter 1
Burgers and Bills

He waved as he walked out the door, the bell above the front door ringing in his wake. As she set about the mindless task of refilling ketchup bottles for the next day, dread tightened her chest like a vise. She needed to nail her job interview tomorrow. The operations director job at a local winery was the only job in town that paid anywhere in the vicinity of what she needed.

Emma slid her hand into her apron and rubbed the white chip she kept with her. The surrender chip was the hardest to earn and held more significance to her than her bronzed two-year chip. As she did several times a day, Emma recited the Serenity Prayer silently in her mind. The pills and booze had stolen so much from her. Her family’s estate would not be one of them.

A winery was not a good place for Emma, but she needed the job. She was out of choices and out of time.

When the diner was empty, she bused Jimmy’s table and dared to dream about a hot shower and fresh sheets. Just getting off her feet sounded like a heaping slice of heaven.

The bell announcing another customer rang, sounding like a siren in Emma’s ears. Yanked back to reality, she had to bite back a groan. Mentally, she’d already clocked out for the day and was at home, in bed. But she shook out the ache in her feet and plastered on her best fake smile.

Turning to greet the customer, “hello” died on her lips. Even in the dingy surroundings, the man filling the doorway stood out like a beacon in a storm-darkened night. He glanced around the empty diner, his chestnut-colored hair glinting under the harsh lighting.

When her mouth and brain caught up with each other, she managed to say, “Sit anywhere you like.”

He stared at her for a few heartbeats before he muttered, “Thanks.”