Manuscript Status: 2 months delivery
Mentor Name: Lady Lioness and Mary Ann Marlowe
Mentee Name: Jamie Manning
Title: OUT OF THE ASHES
Genre: M/M Romantic Suspense
Word Count: 60,000
When a fire destroys Alex Porter’s bookstore, fire sergeant Matt Fields comes to the sleepy Maine town to investigate. With Alex on the hot seat for arson and Matt on the case, they must resist the scorching heat growing between them and solve the crime—or arson just might lead to murder.
Alex saw smoke long before he reached the tiny bookstore he owned and loved more than anything. He’d worked his ass off turning that place into something he could be proud of, and now it was going up in flames. Even as a little boy, he’d dreamed of having his own business, and his intense love of the written word was the perfect motivation. For almost three years, it had been his lifeline.
“No, no, no…” His protests faded when he turned onto Shemwood Drive and saw the historic brownstone blazing red-hot, thick black smoke pluming into the sky. “Dammit!” He leapt from the car, heat blasting him.
“Stay back!” A firefighter approached as he headed for the inferno.
Alex glowered. “That’s my store!” She gripped his arm like a vise and he snatched free. “Let me go.”
“I don’t care. You’re not going in there.” She yelled to be heard over the fire. “What the hell are you gonna do, anyway?”
“I…” What the hell was he going to do, put it out with his bare hands?
“Step back!” She pushed against his chest and he skittered backward.
“My God.” Alex ran his hands through his hair, every emotion inside him alive, trying to claw their way out. He wanted to scream, hit something, fall completely apart right there in the street, because it was gone.
All those books, the artwork created by kids in the neighborhood during Saturday story times…everything was burning.
It was all gone.