Release Day Guest Author Maya Tyler on The Meet-Cute Point of View + An Exclusive Excerpt

Hi friends! I’m excited to welcome Maya Tyler to ALBTALBS! She emailed a while back asking if anyone was interested in reviewing her newest book (look for that sometime), and I responded with “and how about a guest post too?! 😁” And here we are! Everyone give Maya a warm welcome!

The Meet-Cute Point of View by Maya Tyler

Thank you, Limecello and A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet, for inviting me to visit on Release Day for Designed by Destiny, my 7th published title.

I embarked on my publishing journey in 2014, and I’m sure you “hear” this all the time, but being a writer—especially a published writer—was a lifelong dream of mine. I just want to write. (Think to the tune of The Flash theme song “I Just Wanna Run” because that’s what I’m humming.)

I’ve planned an “old school” release for Designed by Destiny with two book tours, additional guest posts, and several book spotlights. I want to get my book in front of as many readers as I can because it’s a great story. A classic fake relationship trope with my own personal twist. My couple have the assistance of a fairy godmother as they navigate their fake-turned-real relationship.

My heroine, Beth, is an independent woman with a soft spot for the underdog, especially if they’ve been misjudged. She has personally experienced racial and economic prejudice and working in the male-dominated field of professional architecture brings its own set of predeterminations to overcome.

My hero, Nick, appears to have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth with everything he ever wanted simply handed to him. And, up until this point, that has been true. For the first time, he has to work for what he wants and who he is (or was) is a black mark against him. He’s matured, but it’s hard to be taken serious when everyone still sees the frivolous playboy.

The scene where they meet is high stakes for both. Beth’s goal is career success. She meets Nick at the conference’s mandatory meet-and-greet. Making a good impression at this conference will be good for her career at the company as well as in the industry. Nick also has a career goal, impressing the prospective client. His position at the company depends on landing this contract, and he’s willing to go to great lengths to do so. When he learns that his past reputation is a deterrent, he wants to demonstrate he’s changed. The opposite of an irresponsible flirt? A respectable fiancé.

The Meet-Cute Exclusive Dual-POV Excerpt:

Beth’s POV:

“There you are, darling.”

She heard the man call out, but surely he wasn’t speaking to her. She didn’t know a soul in this room. Although, she’d probably put off the mingling portion of the evening for as long as was politely possible. She scanned the room for someone who looked… approachable.

A tall man in a black suit appeared at her side, leaning close enough to whisper in her ear. “Just play along.”

Before she had a chance to reply, the stranger cupped the back of her neck and captured her lips in a soft but sensual kiss. He abruptly released her for a moment before tucking her against his side. She glanced up, but from her close proximity—practically standing in his pocket—she couldn’t see more than the profile of his chiseled jaw. Come on, Beth. It seemed she’d read one too many romance novels over the years if “chiseled jaw” was her flowery observation. She appreciated his solid physique and unexpected woodsy cologne before she snapped back to attention. Stranger. Kiss. What the hell is happening here?

“Well, well. I never thought I’d live to see the day the proverbial playboy settled down. And with this lovely creature, no less.” An older gentleman in a dark-grey tailored suit touched her hand, bringing it to his lips. “Are you going to properly introduce us?”

“Maybe later.” She could hear the mirth in his voice. “Right now, I need to steal my Blue Eyes away.” Without waiting for a response, he ushered her toward the exit.

She clutched onto his arm, walking as quickly as she could manage in her heels. She was really more of a flats kind of gal. But that didn’t matter. She had more important things to worry about. Like who was this guy and where the hell were they going? Just outside the conservatory, she dug her fingers into the lush material of his suit. “I think you owe me an explanation, mister.”

He stepped back, letting her hand drop from his arm, allowing her the first complete glimpse. The owner of the chiseled jaw was handsome—Hollywood handsome—with tousled dark-blond hair and soulful green eyes. Her heart fluttered when she realized she knew him. Well, didn’t know him exactly. More like she knew of him because of his reputation and the fact that she worked for his company. Nicholas Grey. Her jaw dropped open. The evening had taken an unexpected turn. Understatement of the year. She donned her most serious, I-mean-business look and held his gaze, waiting for his explanation. This better be good. She resisted the impulse to tap her toes, willing her body to keep any hints of unease to itself. This trip was such an opportunity. She wasn’t going to let this inappropriate overture set her back. They’d clear the air now—it had to be a huge misunderstanding—she’d be wildly successful this weekend, and earn a lead position on the next project.

He flashed her a disarming smile, radiating unapologetic sex appeal. God, she understood why so many women fell under his spell. Well, she wasn’t just any woman. She had plans for her future which didn’t leave time for relationships. The air vibrated around them with undiffused tension. He just stood there, all suave. Wasn’t he going to say anything? She perched her hands on her hips. Maybe he wasn’t as intelligent as she’d thought. Maybe the whole “successful company” thing was nothing but a complete fluke.

“Well, as fun as this—” she made a waving gesture between them, “is, I have other things to do tonight.” The plans consisted of prepping for the trade show and going to bed (to sleep) early, but he didn’t need to know that. She rolled her eyes at his continued muteness, turned on her heels, and headed for the elevators.

Nick’s POV:

“Your work is impressive, but our majority shareholders are old-fashioned, expressing concern about your future.”

“Grey & Company is solvent, a financial position supported by multi-year pro forma statements which I can provide—”

“The shareholders have concerns about you, Nicholas. They want to invest in your company, but they would prefer more stability in your private life.” Kingsbury averted his gaze, looking uncomfortable for the first time during their conversation.

He placed his now empty glass on a strategically positioned cocktail table. “I can assure you, much of that reputation—” he made the air quotes gesture for further emphasis, “—is the result of bored tabloids looking for quick profit by any means necessary.” He scrambled for a semblance of a logical explanation that would satisfy Jamison Kingsbury’s old-fashioned shareholders without seeming contrite. Then, like the answer to an unspoken prayer, he spotted the beauty from earlier. “As a result, a precaution if you will, I am quite private. Enough of my life is misconstrued by the media, I don’t intend to hand them additional fodder.” He tilted his head, offering a conspiratorial smile. “In actuality, my fiancée is in attendance this evening.” He stepped toward the woman, took a fortifying breath—here goes nothing—and called out. “There you are, darling.”

The young woman looked up, peered around, but didn’t seem to notice him. He doubled his strides, needing every second to solidify his potentially disastrous scheme before Kingsbury caught on to his desperate deception. Fiancée? God, what was he thinking? Clearly, there was no thinking involved. Get yourself together, man. There would be plenty of time to berate himself later. Right now, he needed to save the game. He arrived at her side and whispered in her ear. “Just play along.” She stiffened and started to pull away. He caught her deer-in-the-headlights expression and knew it would surely tip Kingsbury off to his deception. He did the only thing he could. He cupped the back of her neck and captured her lips. Now, if she happened to look starry-eyed, there was a plausible cause. Her full lips were as soft as they looked. She even melted into his embrace like she’d been born to fit in his arms. He pulled away, breaking off the kiss before he could get carried away. He tucked her neatly against his side as a precaution, just to keep her from darting off.

“Well, well. I never thought I’d live to see the day the proverbial playboy settled down. And to this lovely creature, no less.” Kingsbury smiled, leaning over to kiss her hand. “Are you going to properly introduce us?”

“Maybe later.” Not knowing her name was problematic, but having her trembling like a leaf beside him was even more concerning. They needed to make a quick exit. It was always better to leave your audience wanting, right? He gave her a reassuring squeeze around her slender waist. She gave him a doe-eyed sideways glance, allowing him his first close-up of her brilliant blue eyes. “Right now, I need to steal my Blue Eyes away.” He offered Kingsbury an apologetic look—he hoped—before looping his arm in hers and leading them toward the exit.

She tugged on his arm, but he pulled her along, short of actually full-on dragging her. That wouldn’t do, but neither would stopping within earshot of Kingsbury. Who hadn’t invited him to call him Jamison yet, but Nick was certain he’d extend that invitation during their next encounter. He glanced at the woman beside him. She looked terrified, like the proverbial fish out of water. They’d stop to talk as soon as—

She clawed her fingers into his arm. “I think you owe me an explanation, mister.” He glanced around, assessing that this was just as good a place as any for the impending confrontation. When he turned back to face her—and the music—her jaw dropped as recognition flooded her face. She knew him. This was an interesting turn of events.

She seemed a bit familiar… He flashed her his most disarming smile. It never hurt to work in some of the magic that had garnered his reputation among the ladies. Her expression morphed into one that meant serious business. He tilted his head as he sized her up. She seemed immune to his charm. A first. He usually won people, male or female, over quickly with his charismatic demeanor. This situation was puzzling. Perhaps, he could lighten the mood with a more formal introduction. His cheeks heated up with the memory of their too brief kiss. Hopefully, she would be a good sport about it. Although, the look on her face didn’t seem promising. Either way, he had to say something, anything, to make her understand his position.

“Well, as fun as this—” she made a waving gesture between them, “—is, I have other things to do tonight.”

He watched, with his jaw dropped this time, as she—name still unknown— walked away, heading toward the bank of elevators. Still in frozen disbelief, he watched her disappear behind the closing steel doors. This wouldn’t do.

I enjoy writing the same scene from a dual point-of-view because every character sees things differently. The rule of thumb is to write the scene from the perspective of the person who has the most to lose. What if they both have something to lose?

In this particular scene, Beth has a stranger, she later recognizes as her boss, kiss her for no apparent reason. The kiss is disconcerting and momentarily distracts her. Remembering her career goals—specifically her hiatus on relationships—snaps her out of her daze, and she neatly extracts herself before it goes any further, certain that all will be forgotten by morning.

Nick, on the other hand, is caught off-guard by the unfavorable comments on his personal life. Knowing he must do whatever he can to land this contract, he invents a fiancée. When he kisses Beth, he feels an instant connection. But—and this is another first for him—she is seemingly unaffected and walks away from him. He must find out who she is… and convince her to play his fiancée for the weekend.

Designed by Destiny by Maya Tyler book coverAfter a painful break-up in university, Bethany Clarke has sworn off love to focus on her career. From her humble South Side beginnings to her position as an architect intern at a prestigious Chicago firm, she’s proven to be a hard worker and is proud of her accomplishments. In three years, she’ll be a fully licensed architect which is more important to her than anything else.

Confirmed bachelor Nicholas Grey is more than the playboy perpetrated by the tabloids. Now his position as CEO of the architecture firm Grey & Company is on the line, and his mother’s interference is making things more difficult. Nick’s serious about his work, but, in order to be taken seriously, he needs to land a huge project. A stable personal life will help guarantee the contract.

Fairy Godmother Faye Delmore hears Nick’s plea and steps in to help. Posing as a publicist, she suggests a strategy to polish his public image, which includes convincing Beth to play his wife. Faye knows Nick needs the huge project to save his job, but she also knows he needs Beth in his life.

What happens when you add a fairy godmother who loves playing matchmaker into the equation? A future designed by destiny.

Meet the Author: Maya Tyler is a multi-published author of paranormal romance novels and blogger at Maya’s Musings. An avid reader, Maya writes the books she loves to read—romances! Her paranormal romances come with complex plot twists and happily-ever-afters.
When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, listening to music (alternative rock, especially from the 1990s), practicing yoga, and watching movies and TV.
Maya loves to hear from fellow authors and readers! Please connect with her through social media (Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram)


Thank you, Maya!  And congratulations again on your newest release! So – are y’all adding Designed by Destiny to your TBR? 😀

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