I’ve been so lazy! Looking at my manuscript I realized it has been thirty days since I wrote anything but a blog post. Yikes! So much for my New Years Resolution. The only one I’ve kept is the exercising bit and not in the traditional sense. I’ve been doing a lot of walking and tons of climbing stairs, moving things around in the house. I’m determined to have this book out this Spring. I’ve been playing around with it too much. I’ve got to quit binge watching Bachelor in Paradise, lol, and write instead. So, here is a sneak peek at China Fleet Club:
Today must be Sunday. The days tended to roll, one after the other out at sea. But Sunday was a day for the ship to come together and mingle. Lunch and dinner would be served from giant drums, made into grills, just for days like this. The ingenious minds on board could run a country if they so desired. Luckily, they remained bound to the United States Navy and only created their havoc here.
I wondered if Breeze would be coming out. The desire to see her in her bathing suit, hopefully a bikini, showing off her delightful body overwhelmed me. When had I turned into a letch?
My hands gripped the rails and I took a deep breath. It wasn’t when, it was a who. Shaking my head, I around retracing my steps, heading back to engineering. There was plenty of work to be done, even on a Sunday. And the object of my obsession was working or she wouldn’t have gone down to the Armory. The labyrinth to get down to the machine shop didn’t even trip me up. I’d travelled this path so often I could do it blindfolded.
I could hear my men laughing. A higher pitched voice joining in. I frowned. We didn’t have any females assigned to my shop. I wondered who it was. I stepped over the threshold to find out.
“Who is this?” My words stopped whatever conversation was happening.
A tiny blonde spun my way. “Chief. I’m Seaman Apprentice Evans-Atkinson. I want to become a Machinist Mate.”
My brows shot up. Not many females were interested in our rate. “What do you know about it?”
She shrugged. “You work on keeping the ship running. I want to do that. My dad was an appliance repair man. I helped him all the time growing up. Y’all won’t regret it. I love tinkering and I’m good with tools.”
“What are you now?” If she was a bosun, she was fair game.
“Have you studied anything about us?” If she had, it would be good. Meant she was serious.
“Yup.” She waved toward the couch. “Jensen loaned me his study guide after I mentioned MM looked interesting.”
Hmm. Jensen was going up for second class. Bringing in a new person was a good idea. I glanced at him.
He shot me a grin and shrugged. “She did ask.”
Good answer. I turned back to Evans-Atkinson. “I’ll talk to your chief. See about transferring you.”
A grin split across her face. “Thank you chief! That’s awesome.”
I looked around the shop. Most of the guys were rolling their eyes and smiling. I didn’t see any overt hostility. Once Evans-Atkinson transferred in, I’d keep a closer eye on everyone. I didn’t want this shop turning into a misogynistic nightmare.
She plopped down on the couch, wiggling between Jensen and Evans. Both wore identical grins, not giving an inch. It didn’t matter, she squashed herself right between them and forced them to give.
Oh, Atkinson would fit right in.
I laughed. “Looks like you’ll fit in just fine.” At least I wouldn’t have to worry about berthing. All the women onboard shared a berthing compartment topside. If they made adjustments, moving her from the deck department to the engineering department, it was an internal thing.
A locker on the other hand… “Jensen. See what lockers are available. Evans, take Evans-Atkinson and get a toolbox set up. Tell her what needs to go in it and let her assemble it.” I’d see how well she could identify the tools. A basic necessity in our job.
I sat at my desk, checking out the master log. Hmm, nothing there to keep me busy. I tamped down the lure of sunshine and bikinis, one in particular.
Bits of conversation filtered past my preoccupation.
“Are you heading to steel beach today?” Jensen asked.
I looked up. I saw the girl nod.
“Yup. Some of the boats told me about it, so I grabbed a pool and beach mats in Hawaii. Haven’t had a chance to use them.” She picked up a wrench. “This one, right? A pipe wrench?”
“Yes.” Evans nodded. “Ya know, having two Evans down here is going to be awkward.”
She scrunched up her nose, twisting those freckles scattered across her face. She looked adorable but not one jot of attraction stirred in me. “Fine. You can call me Atkinson.”
That was just a bit of it, and not even with one of the main characters! I did a contest to get your name in my book and I’ve picked two names. I’m having fun with that. It actually added a bit more dimension to the manuscript so far. Fun.
I’ve got to go make breakfast and finish clearing out my kitchen for my new cabinets coming Monday. Have a good weekend and don’t forget to check in tomorrow for all those sales!
And if you haven’t picked it up so far, There are only two days left to pick up Stealing Hope while it’s free!
Here’s the link!