Defended by a Jaguar (Mate Me book 4)

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Chapter 4

Saturday morning Georgia dug through her closet, unable to decide on what to wear. Her normal attire was jeans and a t-shirt. She hadn’t done a public reading in a while and this was her first since dumping Bert. White Valley Publishing was waiting on her contract to be officially broken before they would help her. Bert was holding up the process, and she prayed it would resolve itself soon. Maybe Caroline would know of a better lawyer. She’d spoken to hers yesterday.

“I’m sorry, Georgia. I don’t know how you will get your other books. The rights belong to Bluemont Press. I’ve looked through your contract. Unless you can prove it was your idea first you’ve got nothing.”

“If you can’t help me, I’ll find someone who can,” she yelled and hung up. To help with her anger, she spent the rest of the day demolishing her half bathroom. Then she went to the tile store, picked out the tile and paint colors. She’d ordered the vanity and marble sink over two weeks ago and was waiting for them to be delivered.

“Georgia!” Caroline called and Georgia rolled her eyes. Bedroom,” she shouted from her closet.

“What happened?” Caroline asked, stepping into the bedroom.

“Ever heard of knocking? I’m trying to pick out an outfit to do my read aloud in,” she told her sister.

“Sit, I’ll find you one. Liam is excited to hear your new book. When does it go on sale?” Caroline stepped into her closet and came out with a pair of black denim jeans and a long-sleeved rose-pink sweater.

“Wear this.” Caroline handed her the clothing.

“My book comes out Tuesday. Where is Liam?” she asked, noticing her sister was alone.

“Downstairs trying to finish number thirteen. He wants to be prepared for the read aloud today,” Caroline explained and Georgia laughed.

“How is he doing that?” she asked, Liam was only four and didn’t read yet.

“Your recording. He loves that you recorded them for him. That was the best Christmas present. How come none of them are professionally recorded? You are a New York Times best selling author.” Caroline hit another sore point for Georgia with her past company.

“Bert,” she replied and Caroline scrunched her nose.

“That man is a weasel.”

“I agree I’m going to have to find a new lawyer. Henry told me there was nothing to do and I might lose all the rights to my books.” She stepped into her bathroom to get dressed.

“I know a good lawyer,” Caroline commented.

“You do?” she asked, putting on her makeup and styling her hair. The perk about her hair was it took to any style she did. Today she pulled it into an elegant updo.

“Beautiful. Josie is friends with a jaguar shifter named Jordan. He helped Roxie and is working with Ellie.”

“You say their names like I should know who they are. I know Roxie but none of the others.” She put on a pair of low heeled boots.

“You’ve heard about Josie, she is the one who hosts the Mate Me events. Jordan is the best lawyer in town. He will be able to help,” Caroline assured her.

“Can you get his information for me?” she asked, heading down to see her nephew. He was sitting with headphones on, his eyes closed.

“Liam,” she called and he turned. Getting up he ran over to her and hugged her.

“Enjoying the book?” she asked and he nodded.

“What do you think about a new type of story with a lion shifter?” she asked and watched him think about it.

“Can he have a friend? I have a friend Daisy at daycare,” Liam whispered and Georgia nodded.

“I like the idea. What should I make the friend?” she asked not making a big deal he was talking to her. Liam was the sweetest kid and she loved spending time with him.

“A girl jaguar shifter. That’s what my friend Daisy is,” he answered and she smiled.

“I’ll keep that in mind. Now we need to get going to the library. I must speak with Myra Juleston before I read. She is the head children’s librarian,” she announced walking out to her car.

“I met Myra the other day. She helped me find construction books for Liam. He’s become interested since Preston Reese has been helping me add the new addition to the inn,” Caroline shared and Georgia smiled wider.

“Preston huh?”

“Don’t Georgia,” Caroline warned and she laughed.

“Liam is four. It’s been three years since Jonas passed away. Enjoy your life. I’ll babysit whenever you need me to. Why not come to that Mate Me event on Sunday?” she suggested and Caroline shook her head.

“I am helping host the event,” Caroline answered.

“Still means you’ll be around all the eligible men,” Georgia pointed out and climbed into her car before Caroline could argue further.

...

Georgia walked into the library and was greeted by a woman around her age.

“Hi, I’m Myra the head children’s librarian. Welcome to White Valley Public Library.” Georgia looked at the librarian, she didn’t look anything like the ones she’d met before. Myra had brilliant green eyes and golden blond hair swept into an updo. She wore bright red lipstick and had on knee-high boots meeting her knees. Her outfit of choice was a fuchsia sweater and jean skirt with a flare around her hips. Myra made her feel dumpy.

“Thank you for having me. This is my first event without an agent. I hope it goes smoothly,” she replied shaking her hand.

“You’ll do great. So many young children love your books. I’ve had a hard time keeping them on the shelves. Our budget only allows me to buy two of each book.” Myra explained walking her over to a cozy book corner. In the center sat a large comfortable looking red plaid armchair.

“You’ll sit there. How much of your book are you allowed to read?” Myra asked.

“Since I am in between agents I can read all I want. How long do you have for me to read?”

“The event is set up for an hour with the last fifteen minutes being a question and answer session, then you have your book signing,” Myra explained.

“I’ll read for forty-five minutes, that should get me about halfway through the book,” Georgia answered, pulling the book from her bag. She had a box full of advanced copies sitting in her office.

“Perfect, the event will start in ten minutes. Feel free to browse the library until we start. I’ll be at the front desk checking people in. We had to limit the number of people allowed because of fire code.”

“See you in ten minutes,” Georgia replied and wandered off to find Caroline and Liam. On her way, she paused along the shelves to find her books. There was a whole section devoted to her and only one book remained. Myra wasn’t kidding when she said they had a hard time keeping them on the shelves.

“Aww I already read that one,” a little voice complained behind her. She turned to see a small girl with blond hair and green eyes. She looked vaguely familiar to Georgia.

“Which one do you need?” she asked crouching to look her in the eyes.

“Oh my uncle read me all of them but number seven is my favorite.”

“The one where Bethany and Felix visit a fairy kingdom,” Georgia commented and the little girl gasped.

“You know it?” Her eyes were wide and a huge smile played on her face.

“Yes I do, it is a favorite of mine too.” Georgia winked and stood seeing Myra waving her over.

“I’ve got to go. I hope you find number seven soon,” she told the little girl patting her on the head.

“Stand over here and I’ll introduce you,” Myra told her. Georgia clutched the book to her chest. She always worried the kids wouldn’t like her newest book. Butterflies took hold of her stomach as she waited.

“Thank you, everyone, for coming to visit and see the author Georgia Stevens. She is here to read her newest book. It will be released on Tuesday,” Myra began and Georgia looked around the room stopping on one man. Her heart skipped a beat in her chest. She remembered him from the grocery store. No other man had made her heart skip a beat. Then it hit her, the little girl looked familiar because she’d been with him. He must be her dad. It was sweet to see him bring her here.

“With no further ado here is Ms. Stevens,” Myra announced and loud applause sounded. Georgia walked out and saw the little girl sitting in the front next to Liam.

“No wonder!” she exclaimed and Georgia laughed.

“Daisy,” the man warned and Georgia smiled.

“I met Daisy over by the selves with my books. I am so glad many of you enjoy my stories. I hope you love this one just as much. Ms. Juleston, will you set me a timer? I love to read so much I can get lost in a book. I would hate for me to run over and you not have time to ask me questions,” she said and Myra nodded while holding up her phone.

“Perfect. I am here to share with you Bethany and Felix: The Big Camp Out.” Georgia held up the book and smiled when all the eyes went round. Many parents she saw settle in their seats, the eyes of Daisy’s dad bore into her. She knew he was giving her his full attention. Taking a calming breath she began to read.

“Bethany loved dragons, all her life she had loved them. Bethany pulled her All About Dragons book out from under her bed. Ever since she found out her book was magical she’d kept it hidden away. Tonight she wanted to see Felix. He had promised her a night under the stars with his family. Touching the picture of Feliz she made her wish. “I wish, I wish to see him tonight,” she whispered and her book glowed just like the first time. Closing her eyes she waited for her stomach to stop dropping before opening her eyes again. She saw the familiar emerald hills and jewel-toned trees of Felix’s home.”

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