Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Claire Hastings Explains What She Knew

by Claire Hastings, from Sheila Connolly's new ebook Once She Knew (Beyond the Page Publishing)

I'd like to strangle Jonathan Daulton.  I won't, of course, because I'm a rational college professor of women's studies at a prestigious women's college, but I've thought about it more than once.  There I was, sitting in a peaceful, isolated cabin in the woods hard at work on my book, a critical analysis of contemporary romance fiction.  And I do mean critical, because I think most of the products of the genre are escapist trash.  And then Jonathan Daulton blundered in out of nowhere, and I had figure out what he was doing in the middle of nowhere—while patching up his bullet wound, no less. Not my area of expertise.

Why didn't I call the police immediately?  Well, I knew Jonathan, kind of.  I'd met him years earlier, in an encounter I'd rather forget, but I thought he was a respectable journalist, even if he had written an intellectually lightweight woman-bashing book that made him a lot of money. Apparently I was wrong. The thing is, he kept lying to me.  First his story made no sense:  I mean, really—a college student (a woman, but I hate the dated term "coed") shooting at an FBI agent who had done no more than knock on the door?  And then Jonathan got scared and fled into the dark night, and then fell into a lake? (At least he didn't try to pretty up that part of his story just to make himself look macho.)

Of course the police believed the young woman's story, that Jonathan had fired the fatal shot (sexist assumption!). I thought I'd finally persuaded him to turn himself in to the police, or at least get out of my life, but then he kidnapped me!  Well, it looked like he kidnapped me, at least to the police and the FBI, who tried very hard to find us (and failed).  I suppose I could have walked away at any point, but by then he'd dragged me so deep into whatever mess he was involved in that I had to figure out what it was just to clear my name.

Only it turned out to be a really big mess.  Think international terrorists and an assassination plot.  Why I thought that he and I could stop whatever was going to happen—what little we could figure out—I have no idea.  Unfortunately we seemed to be the only people who knew anything about what might be happening. And we did manage to stop it. Of course he'll get all the public credit, since the FBI will let him write the story, but he couldn't have done it without me.  And I'm fairly sure that he'll neglect to mention that I had to rescue him from the bad guys! Plus explain it all to the FBI—it's a wonder neither of us ended up in jail.

The thing is, I've found it hard to get back into my research now, because I've had to rethink a few things about this whole romance thing.  And, you know, I got rather fond of Jonathan—he's not as big a jerk as I first thought.  He's almost intelligent, and life is certainly more interesting when he's around.

Once She Knew was a Nook First Look selection for September, and will be released in other e-formats on October 3rd.




  1. Memo to self: Do not go near isolated cabins in the woods...

  2. Oh, you are so in big trouble now, Claire. Sounds like you're falling for the guy! Also sounds like something I'll be reading!

  3. Claire, why do I have a feeling this guy will come back when he needs more help? I suppose it's too late to get out now!

    ~ Krista