Welcome! I'm taking a break from my historical romance to celebrate the recent acceptance of my contemporary Greek island story, entitled Aegean Intrigue, to Astraea Press. This is my second sale to that wonderful publisher. Here's the opening scene:
He was staring at her again.
She knew it, despite his outward lack of interest. His long, lean frame was draped casually into the wooden chair in the outdoor section of the Appolon Grill. Dark shades covered his eyes, but the jet-black eyebrows above them rose and tilted her way every time she moved. Unlike locals, who occasionally threw friendly greetings her way, this man stayed in his seat and silently watched her.
Francie Vasileiou bent her head and focused her attention on the textbook in front of her. Inwardly, she was flattered by his interest. But she reminded herself she was here in Athens to further her education, not to find a man. She sipped her water and struggled to ignore the man and concentrate on the words on the page.
The warm breeze calmed her nerves as she sat at her usual table in the back corner of the restaurant. Most tourists preferred to sit at the outer edges of the seating area, with a view of Mount Olympus and the spectacular sunset. But here, next to the kitchen, she was not distracted by the conversation and the view. The light from the kitchen allowed her to continue reading until Kostos closed down for the night.
Her job here at the restaurant was perfect. She worked enough hours so that she could pay her living expenses, and when she wasn’t cooking or waitressing, Kostos allowed her to use one of his tables for studying. Even with the commotion from the kitchen and the restaurant patrons’ conversations, this setting was much better for concentrating than the noisy apartment building where she lived.
It took some effort, but finally the words on the page became concrete ideas, and she was transported back in time to the world of ancient Greece, to the time of the patricians. The structures on the Acropolis were not ruins but proud, gleaming works of art. Toga-draped people walked the dusty streets, while the less fortunate hawked their wares from makeshift stalls.
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