A Barrum, KS Novel

Book Cover: Fantasy Girl

Discovery ID meets Bridget Jones!

By day, Lynn Broadmore leads a boring life as a mild-mannered bookkeeper, enduring one blind date after another. But by night, she’s “Hush,” webmistress extraordinaire, writing naughty stories for her adoring legion of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan fiction minions.

Now that there’s a new guy working in the next cubicle, though, real life is getting interesting. All Jack has to do is smile, and her insides turn to goo. To her complete surprise, she might even stand a chance against the office bimbo.

Undercover FBI agent Jack Edwards is on the hunt for a serial killer who trolls the Internet for victims. The trail has led to Lynn’s virtual doorstep, and he’s ready to do whatever is necessary to bring the killer down—including using two secret identities to gain her trust. Things get complicated, however, as the goofy fan fiction writer gets under his skin and starts staining his brain—and his heart.

Distractions are something he can’t afford right now…not if he’s going to keep her from getting hurt in what she thinks is a safe, on-line hideaway.

Because between the pixels lurks a murderer.

And he’s chosen Hush, his fantasy girl, as his next target.

 

 

Excerpt:

December

“Come on, Lynn,” Bella said, rolling her eyes.

I sat in my bedroom, staring at my computer. “Look, I just need a few more minutes, then we can go.” I clicked away, uploading the new holiday graphics I’d made for the fan fic website. I’d included an update of four new stories, including the latest in my own series, the Rennati/Angel stories, Rennati being my Original Character that I put into the universe in my fan fiction stories.

A Christmas present for the minions.

Bella let out a huff and headed for my closet. “You still haven’t even dressed. Come on. Stuart and Bill will be waiting for us.” The hangers slid across the rod as she selected something suitable for the evening’s festivities.

Another blind date.

Gag.

Bella had been on this kick over the last month or so to hook me up with someone. Needless to say, no one had called for that elusive second date.

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“So where is this at again?” I asked as I clicked on slayerdomain to make sure all the updates posted like they should. Coding HTML wasn’t difficult, but even a single letter or colon in the wrong place could spell disaster.

I checked the links, stalling.

The revulsion of having to dress up for some guy that I didn’t know and who was probably not going to be interested in me anyway was starting to show.

Unfortunately, stalling proved fruitless—everything was coded right.

Bella grumbled. Bella was my best friend in the world, but she was also the matchmaker from hell. And I was her eternal experiment.
’Course, if she were really good at this, I wouldn’t still be single.

I wasn’t enthused.

Bing.

An IM box popped up on my computer screen.

 

Willowrocks: Hey chicky—wassup?

 

I rolled my eyes. I was not a “chicky”.

 

Hush: On my way out the door. Got a date.

Willowrocks: That rocks. Have fun, wear a condom.

 

I smirked at the screen.

“What are you doing? You need to get dressed,” Bella said, stalking over to the computer.
I put my hands on the keyboard and started typing a reply to Will.

 

Hush: Don’t think that’ll be a problem…

 

I faced Bella. “Did you find something for me to wear?”

“Yes I did,” she said. “Now turn that contraption off and let’s go.”

I signed off with Will then turned off the computer.

“You spend too much time on that thing,” Bella said. “You need to get out more, have some fun!”

“And what makes you think this isn’t fun for me?” I grabbed the clothes she thrust toward me. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes at the provocative outfit.

Bella was desperate to get me laid.

I was not, but she wanted to see me get some joy in life.

“It’s not natural to spend that much time on the computer. I mean, how do you even know who you’re talking to?” Bella sighed as I dressed in the skirt and halter-top type blouse.

“Does it matter?” I asked. “It’s not like I’m saying ‘Hi, here’s my home address, come visit me’ to every person I talk to.”

Bella raised one sandy eyebrow. “Yeah, but what if you think you’re talking to a girl and it’s a guy? Or vice versa?”

“So what? What does it matter, really? We all love Buffy. Buffy doesn’t discriminate.”

It wasn’t like I hadn’t heard this line before. Bella grumbled about weird people on the Internet, but I only half listened.

’Course, few people got the whole fan fiction connection thing. I couldn’t seem to get anyone to understand that the Internet was an incredible way to meet people, to share loves of things that, well, aren’t necessarily broadcast-able, like loving the Buffyverse.

I mean, people love the shows, they do, but can you just walk up to someone and say, “Hi, I am a Whedonite!”

The Internet allowed me to connect with other people who were as out there as I was, and who loved the shows like I did. It created a bond, a relationship that brought people together who felt weird in their own lives, but when they got together on the Internet, they found they weren’t so weird after all.

It was hard to meet those people in the real world. And I would love the chance to meet some, but unfortunately, all my authors lived in pretty much every state but here.

At least I know I’d have friends if I ever decided to travel somewhere.

Bella let out a sigh. “Come on, let’s go fix your hair.” She dragged me into the bathroom to do something with my mousy brown locks.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Fiction Conviction Review Blog on Fiction Conviction Review Blog wrote:

I’m so glad I found this book! I didn’t know what to expect, and I was more thrilled the deeper I got into the story and couldn’t put it down!

Sonja on A Hopeless Romantic's Booklandia wrote:

I just couldn't wait to read this book and I was excited about everything from the suspense to the somewhat taboo relationship all the way to the humor. Fantasy Girl turned out to be such an excellent book and I truly loved it.


This title has been reprinted and revised from its’ original version, which was released in 2007.

Fantasy Girl