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The super sweet AJ Nuest is here to celebrate her newest release, She's Got Dibs, with a fun post on the meet-cute. Take it away, AJ...
The Guilty Pleasures of a Meet-Cute
Howdy everyone and a huge THANK YOU to Laura Kaye for hosting me on my first FREE day of She’s Got Dibs! I’m thrilled beyond thrilled to be here! Whoo hoo!
Right off the top, I feel I must confess I’m a huge movie buff. Nothing says guilty pleasure to me more than an all-day movie marathon, a bowl of popcorn and a box of tissues in hand. And I must admit, one of my favorite parts of this butt-on-couch break from reality is the meet-cute.
A meet-cute, you ask? What the heck’s meet-cute?
Wikipedia defines it as: a term sometimes used to describe a situation in film, television, etc. in which a future romantic couple meets for the first time in a way that is considered adorable, entertaining, or amusing.
I stumbled across the term while watching a fun film called The Holiday. If you haven’t seen it, you should. The movie stars Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Jack Black…but my favorite character in the movie is Arthur, played by Eli Wallach.
Arthur is a retired screenwriter from the early days of film and befriends Kate Winslet when she decides to switch homes with Cameron Diaz for a man-free vacation in California. They meet one day when she is out driving and finds an elderly Arthur on the street with his walker. Concerned he may be lost, she offers him a ride home.
Arthur tells her they’ve just experienced a meet-cute and explains what it means.
I immediately fell in love with the idea and knew I had to use a meet-cute in my next book. But how does one craft a good meet-cute? And how would I know if I’d been successful?
Well, I started with two strangers and stranded them at LaGuardia airport during an ice storm. They meet briefly, have a light exchange and then separate. However, since they are both now spending an unplanned overnight stay in New York, they meet a second time a few moments later while searching for pajamas in the airport boutique.
Enter Tessa and Dibs, aka the meet-cute:
Navigating the corridor, she occasionally tiptoed to see over everyone’s heads, and then veered left toward a small boutique nestled in a corner between a shoe shine place and a store selling sundries and magazines. She jostled through the oncoming foot traffic and entered.
Orange velour, purple velour, green velour…who wears this stuff? She picked up one of the lounge suits. Elvis meets Richard Simmons…oh, and look at the pretty gold lamé epaulets.
She shuddered and hung the lounge suit on the rack, approached another display and paged through the sweatshirts. Ugly, ugly, ugly…
Movement caught the corner of her eye and she leaned away from the clothes, her line of sight inching past a metal stand of women’s discount shoes.
Dibs stood near the back of the store, flipping through a rack of men’s shirts. She skimmed the length of his arm, the hint of muscle pulling his jacket sleeve taut around his biceps. He selected a loud, plaid button-down shirt, grimaced, and quickly replaced it. A quiet laugh tickled the back of her throat and she lowered her chin.
He glanced over, did a double-take, and zeroed in on her across the floor. He picked up the plaid shirt and held it in front of his chest. His eyebrows rose.
She winced. “No,” she mouthed. But he thought his choices were bad?
She unhooked a sweatshirt the shade of pink bubble gum and swept a graceful hand down the embroidered daisies and butterflies like a game show hostess.
He squeezed his eyes shut, scrunching up his nose. Chuckling along with him, she returned the sweatshirt to the rack.
She moved to another section of the store and furtively peeked in his direction when she located a yellow cable-knit sweater with a faux tiger-fur collar. She smiled slyly and grabbed the hanger, swiveling in time to find Dibs holding a lime-green hoodie, measuring the sleeve down the length of his arm. His chin came up, and his contagious laughter echoed across the floor over the apparent horror on her face.
She put her palm up. “What?”
He widened his eyes. “I know.”
Across the store a folded stack of powder blue sleeping shirts rested on one of the built-in shelves. She closed the distance, shook out the first and pressed the garment along the length of her suit. Two fluffy orange kittens peered up at her, a ball of yarn and a toy mouse all silk-screened on the front.
Dibs cleared his throat, but the periwinkle-blue negligee and bathrobe set dangling from his index finger hid his face from view. Floor-length and classic in design, the pieces shimmered under the lights as if they were silk.
He peeked around the hanger.
A playful glint sparkled in his eyes and she shifted her focus back to the negligee. It would be an outright travesty to pass on such a beautiful nightgown. But a complete stranger choosing her lingerie? Yeah, not so much. Mulling over her choices, she reconsidered the kitten nightshirt and chewed the inside of her cheek.
Her eyes returned to the negligee.
Dibs shook his head, bobbing the hanger. “This one,” he mouthed.
What do you think happens next, hmmm? LOL Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun crafting an opening scene between two characters. The chemistry between Tessa and Dibs took on a life of its own.
If you’re curious to find out more, She’s Got Dibs is FREE on Amazon starting today through June 29th! All you have to do is click the link below!
Thanks to Laura Kaye once again for hosting me! And I hope you enjoy your very own copy of She’s Got Dibs!
Multi-published, award-winning author and editor, AJ Nuest, lives in a small farming community in NW Indiana with her loving husband, two beautiful children, and a bevy of spoiled pets. She and the cat are currently vying for dictatorship. The cat is winning.
She’s Got Dibs, won 1st Place in the Contemporary Category, Heartland Romance Authors, Show Me the Spark! Contest, 2010
True love does not exist…or so event planner Tessa Adams learns the day she gets jilted—twenty-four hours prior to walking down the aisle. One-night stands are much easier, and with sexy philanthropists like David Brenner, how can she resist? Now if she could just get rid of him. Had she known the biggest event of her career would be working for David’s father, she would have cut and run. Instead, she’s unwittingly become a part of his parents' plan to destroy his life-long dreams. Will sacrificing her love protect him or be the ultimate betrayal?
Wealthy and gorgeous, David Brenner seemingly holds the world in the palm of his hand—his generous heart and infectious smile are just two in an endless stream of attractive qualities. But the one thing he wants, he can’t have—a repeat of the passionate night he spent in the arms of a skittish Tessa Adams. His family’s far-reaching power threatens to crush their dreams. To prove his love, he would risk everything…but will the return of her ex-fiancé be their final undoing?
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Leave AJ some new release love everyone! Did you have a favorite line from her excerpt? Or do you have a favorite meet-cute from a book or movie?
Thanks for reading!