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sssAllysonI originally saw Independence Day when it came out back in 1996. Midnight showing, opening night and everything. I met up with friends. We ran into more friends in line. The theater was packed.

We stayed up too late, we ate too much junk food, and we went to Dennys after for fries and soda. And the movie, while it had its flaws, was awesome. Lots of explosions. Lots of pretty special effects. Classic Will Smith one-liners. Pretty much everything I hope for in a sci-fi action movie.

When Independence Day Resurgence came out, a friend said it wasn’t so great. Worse than the first. A big disappointment. That made me sad. I wanted it to be just as awesomely epic. Then we watched them back to back the other day. The first had so many cliche stereotypes. It was a typical nineties sci-fi film. Resurgence was almost exactly the same – a pretty light show, and a plot and cast indicative of 2016. Not better, not worse, just as fun (in my opinion).

Setting the anecdote aside for a moment (but keep it in the back of your mind), I just started work on a new contemporary romance series. It’s more of an involved process for me than just “this story sounds cool”. Though that’s a lot of it. I pull up old ideas, toss them around, then pick a new one instead.

But there’s always this voice in the back of my head, every single time, that says, “Remember those first two books you published? Those were awesome. Billionaire CEO’s, as close to alpha males as you’ve ever written. All the stuff that everyone loves, right?”

And I always tell the voice, “Oh, yeah. Those were awesome. We should write something like that again.”

I always end up going off on a new tangent instead. This time though, I was determined to write something like that again. I dove in, and it wasn’t right. There are two kinds of not right when I start a book. There’s the “Oh, hell, this sucks, no one loves me” that I think most authors get, and I manage to push through several times each book. But there’s also a more subtle “This just isn’t right” that I get sometimes, and usually means the book gets abandoned around chapter four.

I’ve been having the second thought. Over and over. And in the back of my brain I knew it was because my hero had certain aggressive traits that just weren’t working. But I told myself I just had to push through. That’s what made him like those first books. That’s what people buy… Right?

Yesterday I read two reviews of one of those very first books I look back on so fondly. I don’t usually read reviews, but sometimes the impulse wins out. One of them compared the first book to my newer books.

It flipped a switch in my brain that turned on an aha bulb. I realized I’m looking back fondly on those first two books because they were my first. One got me that first publishing contract. One got me more encouraging feedback from publishers than I’d ever had, they must be awesome. Kind of like Independence Day – I had so many fond memories associated with them, there was no way they could be filled with subtle stereotypes and irritating dialog that were an indicator of their time.

But since then, in the span of three years, I’ve changed a lot. I’ve learned (mostly) that I don’t write well to trends, my guys aren’t big on brooding, my women don’t have to hate the world to be self-confident, and my readers read my books because they like what I’m writing. So it’s okay to write it in my style and my voice.

Which means today, Mr. Tattooed CEO, who owns the Silicon Valley venture that was the one in five billion that took off, is about to get his ego handed to him. Possibly in a to-go bag, because they’re out of silver platters. But I’m looking forward to it, and I hope readers like all the characters in this new series. Or, at least enough of them to keep them reading.

In the mean time, an unfiltered (unedited) peek at The Nerd and the CEO (Based on He Said, She Said, which originally appeared in the Sexy to Go 2016 Valentine’s Day box set)

“Anyway.” Her voice was too loud in the quiet room. “Back to it? Potstickers and education?” Pink dotted her cheeks. Wonderful. Now he’d flustered her.

Couldn’t have that. Food was a good excuse to talk about something else. “I would have aced school if they offered that kind of reward.”

Her shoulders relaxed, and some of the stress seemed to drain from her neck, so she didn’t sit as stiffly. “Chinese food as incentive for pop quizzes? Pizza for exams?”

“Not pizza. I already ate too much of that the night before, while I was cramming. I’m thinking a shot of Nyquil and an afternoon nap, for acing the final.”

“Nyquil? Isn’t that a bit…” She bit her bottom lip.

“A bit what?”


He grabbed a won ton. “You were going to say a bit high school, weren’t you? Poking fun at getting drunk off cough syrup.” This was nice. One of the things he always enjoyed about working with Emily was how easily the banter flowed.

“I was, but I realized that’s what we were talking about, and I stopped myself.”

As pleasant as the teasing was, they did have work to do. “Uh-huh. So explain to me again, why you implemented fourteen layers of normalization. And let me have a bite of your sesame chicken.”

“You should have ordered your own.” She pulled her carton out of reach when he extended his fork.

“I’ll share my Szechwan beef.” He used his most coaxing voice.

“Which, you know I don’t like.”

“A technicality.”

Her smile was back, lighting up her eyes and radiating joy. “I’ll make you a deal you tell me why there are fourteen layers—I know you were listening when I explained—and you can have the rest of my chicken.”

“A bribe. Smart woman.”

She shrugged. “I just know the way to a man’s heart. Pry open the ribcage.”

“Ouch. So brutal.”

(The Nerd and the CEO is coming in 2017)

About Allyson Lindt

Allyson Lindt is a full-time geek and a fuller-time contemporary romance author. She prefers that her geeky heroes come with the alpha expansion pack and adores a heroine who can hold her own in a boardroom. She loves a sexy happily-ever-after and helping deserving cubicle dwellers find their futures together.

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