Thanks to a spectacularly bad ex-boyfriend, Liza Skinner is in one heck of a mess. She's lost not only her amazing job at Atlanta's hottest TV talk show, but also her best friends and her share of millions of lottery bucks! Frankly, a blackmailing ex is the cherry on Liza's misery sundae! But then an unexpected date with Dr. Hunky-Hunk, Evan Gann, turns Liza's life around again, especially when she suspects the good doctor is quite a bit naughtier than she first thought. So that whipped cream from her sundae might come in handy for those sinfully delicious nights... Nights that will end for certain if Evan discovers what she's been hiding!
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November 30, 2007
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Excerpt from What She Really Wants for Christmas by Debbi Rawlins
Rumor has it that Atlanta's own Just Between Us, the three-year-old, sex-themed, hot-topic afternoon television show hosted by Eve Best, is soon going into national syndication. Geared toward women's perspectives and concerns, the local show has garnered a widely growing audience and advertisers have taken notice. While taking on contemporary, cutting-edge topics, Ms. Best's energy and spontaneity has captured the attention of teens and mothers alike.
Recently, however, the local show has drawn a maelstrom of not-so-flattering publicity. Most of you already know about the state lottery win, shared by six employees of the show, including Ms. Best. But what this reporter has just learned is that despite attempts to keep the unpleasantness quiet, a lawsuit filed by a former segment producer, Liza Skinner, has halted the disbursement of the winnings.
According to my source, Ms. Skinner was an original member of the lottery pool before leaving the show nearly a year ago. There is some confusion as to whether she still had money in the pot, but the number 13, which she'd chosen, was among the six winning numbers, and apparently she seems to think she deserves a share.
Liza quit reading the article and threw the copy of last week's Atlanta Daily News onto the passenger seat of her compact car. When she got home, she was throwing the tattered paper away. No use continuing to torture herself. The wheels were already in motion. Soon it would all be over. She hoped.
She pushed a shaky hand through her tangled hair and tried to get comfortable--not easy with her long legs. She had no business being here. Her attorney had told her to stay away from the Just Between Us studio. At least until her lawsuit was settled. Of course then there'd be no reason to be here, in the parking lot, waiting, like a smitten schoolgirl, for a glimpse of Eve and Jane. No matter which way the suit went, her friends would never speak to her again.
She didn't blame them. All she'd done in the past year was cause them pain. Hadn't they warned her about Rick? From the start, they knew he'd be trouble. They'd been her best friends since the sixth grade, closer to her than anyone in the whole world. Why hadn't she listened to them?
Liza let her head fall back against the worn cloth upholstery and forced herself to breathe. He'd been just her type, wild and sexy and a little dangerous, and she'd thought he was the one. He turned out to be way more dangerous than she'd ever imagined.
Movement caught her eye and she turned her head just in time to see a woman step outside, the sunlight glimmering off her pale-blond hair. She looked like Nicole, the Just Between Us segment producer who'd replaced Liza. The woman who was going to get Liza's share of the lottery money. Unless the lawsuit was successful.
God, why didn't they just pay up? It wasn't as if each of them wasn't going to still be filthy rich after coughing up her share. She closed her eyes, blocking out the image of the woman walking toward a red convertible. A reminder of how much Liza had lost. Just another month and it would all be over.
Although, if she had the guts, she could go to Eve and Jane now. Confess everything. The idea took hold and her breathing quickened. Slowly, she opened her eyes. Could it be that simple? After nearly a year of selling her soul? Ha. Sure, confessing would ease her conscience, but that wouldn't solve anything. Eve would still be vulnerable to public humiliation. And it would still be Liza's fault.
She hung her head and stared at her pitiful cuticles. Nowadays she couldn't even afford a manicure. The small inheritance she'd received after her father's death last year was nearly gone and there was rent to pay, attorney's fees and a myriad of other things. But what she resented the most was the money Rick spent on cigarettes, booze and drugs. Money she could've used to buy a better car, live in a better neighborhood.
Maybe when this was over she'd be able to find a decent job. Never one like she had with Just Between Us. That had been a dream job. The once-in-a-lifetime kind. She knew because she'd been a part of it from the beginning. Those crazy, fifteen-hour days when none of them knew what they were doing, but they pushed forward, tackling any task they were given, their passion making up for what they'd lacked in experience.