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The official launch for A Beautiful Struggle is about to happen in only a few hours! - you can get a copy now online from Amazon or Smashwords (it will soon be available on ibooks, nook, B&N etc just waiting for approval) s

Here are the links - Amazon US
                             Amazon UK
                              Smashwords

It's still the number one bestselling Australian Drama - so spread the word to your friends! 

BLURB

*** ADULT CONTENT WARNING *** contains sex scenes not suitable for under 18s
Katrina Mahoney has a very full life attending university to study a law degree, training for triathlons and now she is working part time as well. She couldn’t possibly find time for a relationship, especially after her last one ended so catastrophically.

Right now she is content focusing on work, study and training while hanging out with her best friend David Taylor, a womaniser with a heart of gold that would do anything for Katrina – except watch her get hurt again.

That is, until the dashing Elliot Roberts, a junior solicitor from her work, shows an interest in her despite their office’s ‘No Dating’ policy. 

Katrina struggles with following her heart or following her mind and has trouble seeing where her heart truly lies.

 
Picture
The official launch for A Beautiful Struggle is tomorrow - but you can get a copy now online from Amazon or Smashwords (it will soon be available on ibooks, nook, B&N etc just waiting for approval) so you can read it before the launch party

Here are the links - Amazon US
                             Amazon UK
                              Smashwords

BLURB

*** ADULT CONTENT WARNING *** contains sex scenes not suitable for under 18s
Katrina Mahoney has a very full life attending university to study a law degree, training for triathlons and now she is working part time as well. She couldn’t possibly find time for a relationship, especially after her last one ended so catastrophically.

Right now she is content focusing on work, study and training while hanging out with her best friend David Taylor, a womaniser with a heart of gold that would do anything for Katrina – except watch her get hurt again.

That is, until the dashing Elliot Roberts, a junior solicitor from her work, shows an interest in her despite their office’s ‘No Dating’ policy. 

Katrina struggles with following her heart or following her mind and has trouble seeing where her heart truly lies.

 
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Squee!!! It's almost here, the big release I have been raving on about! But guess what? I put it on Amazon and Smashwords early to escape the release day gremlins - I didn't tell a soul but it was found anyway and has now spent a full day in the number one spot in Australian Drama, I am really pleased. So thank you to everyone who managed to find it and buy it. 

Lilli xoxox

Chapter 2 When morning tea was over, Kayley and I walked back to our area of the office. “Do you want to have lunch with us? We don’t do anything special, just gasbag in the break room while we eat and maybe go for a walk, and do a bit of shopping in Pitt St. It would be great if you could come,” she offered.

“I really would love to,” I answered genuinely, “but I am actually going out to lunch with a friend today.”

“Ok, never mind, maybe another time then,” she said as she sat down at her desk, and I continued on to the library.

I managed to work steadily until lunch and was excited to grab my bag and get out of the office for a while to have lunch with my best friend David, we have known each other our whole schooling lives and are both studying together at Uni. He was the one that had the idea of getting entry jobs in law firms while we were at university to get our foot in the door. He works a couple of blocks away from me as a filing clerk, so we figured meeting for lunch would be a great way to celebrate us both working now. 

Just as I was about to leave the library I was held up by one of the solicitors asking me where a particular book was, it wasn’t in the library, so I had to chase it down. In truth, it only took about ten minutes, but I was feeling really bummed that I was then running late to meet David.

I rushed towards the lifts and could see the doors starting to close of a cab that was on its way down, so I ran for it – jumping through the shrinking gap before it got too small for me to fit through.

“Whoa Indiana Jones! I think you left your hat out there!” said the only other person inside the elevator. I sucked in my breath when I noticed it was Elliot. He was leaning against the side of the car smiling his sexy and very amused grin at me. He seemed really friendly – a stark contrast of the stoic man I'd met earlier that day. I actually looked over my shoulder to check he was talking to me. Seeing no-one else, I responded with raised eyebrows.

His brilliant blue eyes were dancing as he clarified, “You know - Indiana Jones? He just makes it under a door and then reaches back for his hat?” I shook my head, and he laughed putting his hands on either side of his head like his head might explode. I gulped as I noted the curve of his bicep through his shirt, “Oh my god! I can’t believe you haven’t seen that!”

I shrugged my shoulders and offered, “Sorry?”

He was still laughing as shook his head, “No worries; it's just a classic film – you should watch it some time.”

“I’ll be sure to put that on my to-do list,” I told him.

“You should,” he put his hands in his pockets and focused on the numbers as they counted towards the ground floor.

Standing close to Elliot, I noticed his height – I guessed he was around 6’3” as he was just a notch above me in my low heels. Gorgeous and tall, I was practically a puddle at his feet. I could feel my body humming with attraction. It felt like there was some sort of force that was trying to pull me towards him. I wondered if he was feeling it too as images of him hot, sweaty and naked flashed through my mind. Don’t think like that! I chastised myself, not wanting to fall prey to my hormones and make a fool of myself.

Despite the 'no dating' rule stating that I shouldn’t act on my attraction, I didn’t have time for men in my life. I had recently gotten out of a relationship and had no inclination to start another one – I needed to focus on my sport, my studies and my work; which I thought was more than enough for one girl.

“How’s your first day going?” his rumbling baritone invaded my thoughts and snapped me to attention.

“Huh? Oh, Not too bad!” I answered quickly, “just trying to figure my way around.”

“It’s not so hard. The office is really just a big circle, if you keep going eventually you’ll work out where you are,” he said as the elevator doors chimed open. “I’ll see you around Katrina. That was a pretty cool elevator entrance, it made my day,” he beamed at me, and I blushed uncontrollably.

He lifted his hand in a wave as he left. I lingered back in the elevator bay and shamelessly watched him walk away until David placed his head next to mine.

“Who are we looking at?” he whispered.

I blinked away my erotic thoughts of Elliot and turned to David. “Nobody,” I answered coyly.

“Nobody huh? I wish you looked at me like I was nobody then. I wouldn’t mind doing whatever was in your mind making your cheeks all pink like that,” he teased.

I swatted him on the arm. “Get your mind out of the gutter and come and get lunch with me. We've lost 15mins already.”

“As you wish my dear Trina,” he said wiggling his eyebrows up and down comically, he took my arm and linked it with his as we set off across the street to the nearest food court and have a quick chat and an even quicker meal.

David’s usually pretty popular with the ladies, and I noticed a few girls from my office in the food court looking at him with interest. In my heels, he’s the exact same height as me. He’s pretty easy on the eyes, with sandy blond hair and blue eyes that crinkle shut when he smiles his dashingly dimpled smile. Many a girl has fallen prey to that smile of his, and it has gotten him both in and out of trouble more than once. He is fairly fit, with a lean and wirey build with broad shoulders and a small waist. Occasionally, he trains with me, always holding his own fitness wise.

His features are fairly similar to my own. We're often mistaken for brother and sister, second only to being mistaken for a couple - something that neither of us really wanted to cross the line into; a good thing for our friendship as David tended to have a new girl on his arm every week, and I tended to be more of a long term relationship kind of girl. 

“So, are you going to tell me who that guy was you were perving on before?”

I rolled my eyes, knowing that if I didn’t tell David he would tease me mercifully until I gave up the information, “It was Elliot. He's the office ‘hottie’ that all the girls drool over.”

“How about you? Are you all of the girls? Because that’s what it looked like to me.”

“He’s hot yeah, and I admit that I was perving but I'm not going to make a fool of myself going after some guy I can’t have.”

“Who says you can’t have him?”

“Um! The fact that there is an office full of gorgeous girls in there, and he hasn’t dated one of them,” I said all indignant.

“Maybe he’s gay?” countered David.

“No, I don’t think so. There’s a 'no dating' policy.”

“That sucks! Where’s the fun in that?”

I laughed at this. “We can’t all be Mister Sex in the Filing Room with the Receptionist!”

“Hey, I’m all about the pleasure,” he said with a cocky half grin on his face.

“I don’t know how you get all of those girls to sleep with you, if they knew you like I do they’d run a mile.”

“Is that so?”

“Yeah that’s so,” I told him only half-seriously. Truthfully, I thought that any girl that could hold David’s interest for more than ten minutes would find herself a very lucky woman.

He laughed and threw his scrunched up napkin on his tray and looked around the food court, watching the people moving around us. I turned my thoughts inward for a moment before bringing the subject back to me again.

“All joking aside David, I still don’t think I’m ready to start dating yet.”

His face went sombre as he returned his attention to me. “I know you’re not Trina,” he reached across the table and squeezed my hand. “I’m sorry for teasing you about Elliot. I wasn’t thinking.”

I blinked back the emotion that was suddenly prickling the back of my eyes.

“It’s fine. You didn’t do anything wrong. I’m the one that needs to let go and move on,” I took a deep breath and put a smile on my face, pulling my hand away from his. “Besides, a bit of harmless perving on a guy I can’t have seems pretty safe to me.”

David looked at me with an assessing gaze, “There’s no guy on this earth you couldn’t have Katrina. You don’t give yourself enough credit,” he cleared his throat and pushed his chair back, assuming the usual jovial persona that he likes to present to the world. I felt sure that his mother, and myself were the only ones who ever got to see David being serious.

“Well,” he said. “I hate to leave the company of a beautiful woman, but I need to get back.”

Flicking my hand down, I said, “Oh! That’s what you say to all the girls!” in a mock sexy voice.

He shrugged and smiled at me as he started to walk away with his tray, he seemed to remember something and paused mid turn, spinning slightly on his heels before turning to face me again. That’s when I noticed something, “Are you wearing hi tops?” I commented, surprised to see them sticking out of the bottom of a pair of dark grey dress pants. 

He gave me a half smile that showed his dimple on only one side, “What can I say – they’re comfy…Hey, you want to hit the town on Friday night? We haven’t been out in the city for ages,” he asked.

“I do, but I have to go to drinks at work for a bit beforehand. The social committee chick was pressuring me so it seems pretty important - I will have a drink there and then meet up with you, ok?”

“Sure, I’ll email or text you so you know where to meet me.”

“Sounds good,” I said, standing to leave myself. We hugged good bye, giving each other a cheek kiss before we headed off to our respective jobs.

The lift was more crowded on my way back up to the office; the snooty receptionist was in there with Elliot’s PA, Beth as well as maybe ten other people from other floors.

The receptionist turned to me and said, “So was that your boyfriend I saw you having lunch with?”

I frowned and looked at her, not understanding how we went from frosty glares to questions about my personal life so quickly – I didn’t even know her name.

Taking my frown for incomprehension, she repeated herself slowly, “I said – was… that… your… boyfriend?”

“I heard you,” I replied. “I’m just not clear on why you’re asking me.”

She narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips while she exchanged glances with Beth. Beth smiled charmingly, in her stiletto heels, she was a half a head shorter than I was, her skin was creamy and flawless; she looked like a porcelain doll with large hazel eyes, full lips and a heart-shaped face. She was dressed impeccably and had a very slim build, looking like she just stepped out of a magazine ad.

“Let’s try this again,” she said. “Hi, I’m Beth, and this is Bianca.” She held out her hand to shake mine, and I reluctantly took it.

“Katrina,” I said cooly, not at all comfortable in this situation.

“I’m Elliot’s PA and Bianca, as you probably already know is the receptionist.”

I nodded, confirming I did indeed, already know.

“Forgive Bianca, she just saw you with a guy at lunch time and was wondering who he was. No harm intended.”

“I’m sure,” I said warily, there was something about these two that set my internal alarms off. I didn’t like them. “To answer your question - no, he’s not my boyfriend.”

“Oh, so he’s your brother?” Bianca probed.

“Why is this so important to you?” I asked, willing the lift to travel faster so I could escape this conversation.

“Just curious - he’s a good-looking guy, I wanted to know if he was fair game; That’s all,” she said challenging me with her eyes.

I narrowed my eyes a little. “He’s not my brother or my boyfriend, and I don’t discuss his ‘game'. It's none of my business.” 

Beth and Bianca once again exchanged glances as the elevator opened, and I was granted the freedom to walk straight back to my desk instead of continuing a conversation with those two.

 I’m not stupid and I knew Bianca was interested in David, but I’m not his pimp. I don’t do set ups – he’s perfectly capable of finding girls on his own.

I let out an exasperated sigh as I plonked down onto my chair. Happy to move on from the elevator interrogation, I checked my emails and started sorting through my 'in' tray again.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, but I was happy to go home even if that meant enduring the million and one questions my mother was going to ask me about my first day.

“How was it?” she asked the moment I stepped through the front door. I swear she must have been staking it out.

“It was alright, busy and a little overwhelming but ok.”

“Did you meet any new people?” she asked.

“Of course she did mum! It was her first day and there would have been an office full of people she hadn’t met before!” my older brother chimed in.

I smiled at my mum. I knew she was just excited for me. She had never worked before and found the idea of me working in an office very glamorous.

 “I met everyone briefly but clicked fairly well with a small group; they were nice,” I said squeezing her arm. “I’m just going to get changed ok?”

“Did you meet any nice boys?” she asked hopefully.

“Mum,” I replied in warning.

“I just think you should try moving on. Was there anyone there you might like?”

“Get off her back Mum!” my brother called out. “She’s not ready alright.”

“Thank you Tom,” I called out gratefully. My brother was annoying, but at least he stuck up for me.

“You’re welcome. You'll owe me later.”

I rolled my eyes at him and looked at my mother, giving her a tight smile, “Can you leave the ‘boy thing’ alone please. I don’t want to date right now.”

“Yes but if you’d just move on, have a bit of fun, you might forget,” she pleaded.

“I’ve already forgotten, see!” I gave her the biggest happiest smile I could muster.

She smiled back at me, a sadness in her eyes. “Are you going training?”

“Yes, I will just get changed and head out.”

“Oh… ok.”

“What does that mean?”

“I just thought we could talk more about your first day.”

“There’s nothing much more to say mum, it really wasn’t that exciting.”

“Get off her back!” my brother yelled again.

“Sorry,” my mum said quietly.

“It’s fine. I just want to get a ride in before I call it a day.”

The front door opened and my dad walked in. “Hello family!” he called out as he did every time he came home.

We all called out ‘hi’ in unison with varying degrees of excitement, “How was your first-day  kiddo?” he asked as he walked past me into the kitchen to search the fridge for a cold beer.

“Pretty good – I was just going to get changed to go for a ride.”

“Ok, see you when you get back.”

I went into my room and got changed into my riding gear. I could hear mum telling my dad that she couldn’t understand why he didn’t ask me more questions; 'pretty good’ could mean anything she told him. I couldn’t quite hear what his answer was, but I managed to get out of the house without any further questioning so I could go on my ride.

I loved the peace that training gave me, whether it was going for a run, a cycle, a swim or doing weights, I felt calm when I was working hard. It’s like my brain stopped, and I didn’t have any worries left. It was tranquillity at its best for me.

After a couple of hours I went home, ate, showered, dodged more questions and flopped into bed. I had uni the next day and caught up on some of my readings before I drifted off. I was working Monday, Wednesday, Friday and at university on Tuesday and Thursday as well as training most days. I was really going to have to work hard to keep on top of everything. 

 
Chapter 1 If my life was a movie, it would have been playing Dolly Parton’s ‘nine to five’ as I entered the building in Sydney’s Martin Place that housed the law offices of Turner Barlow & Smith. It was my first day as the part-time librarian, actually it was my first job full stop, and I was nervous as hell.

The music would have then come to a screeching halt after I had exited the lift and approached the reception area to introduce myself.

The frosty receptionist - taking an instant disliking to me, that was made painfully obvious; gave me a look that told me I was no better than the crud under her beautifully manicured fingernails. 

I have to admit I felt a little intimidated by her looks; she was beautifully made up and very curvaceous - she looked like one of those sexy cartoon pin up girls you see from war time posters, with jet-black hair cascading down over her shoulders and a bust daring to break through her fitted blouse that a flat chested girl like me would pay dearly for.

Despite feeling a little ill at ease by the frostiness of her gaze bearing down on me. I took a deep breath and boldly told her who I was and why I was there. She tilted her head back and looked down her nose at me - a difficult thing to do to someone as tall as me, but she succeeded insurmountably; and told me curtly to sit and wait for the office manager.

Taking a deep breath, I turned and looked at the reception waiting area, sighing when I saw the low-set furniture. I walked towards it wondering how the heck I was going to fold my long legs in some sort of a dignified manner, so I wouldn’t flash the office manager when he or she came out. I chose to perch on the edge of a cream leather couch with my knees angled down and legs tucked to the side, imagining that I looked a little like a daddy long legs spider but not having much choice in the matter.

I had applied for this job in the hopes that it would be a foot in the door by the time I graduated. I was two years into studying a humanities/law degree at the University of Western Sydney, Parramatta campus - which was only half an hour's drive away from my home in Cranebrook, one of Sydney's western suburbs.

I was originally born in Penrith (or Penriff, as a lot of people jokingly call it) but my parents had saved as much money as they could to buy a new house and move out to Cranebrook which they considered to be a step up in the world. It wasn’t – it’s the suburb right next door to Mount Pleasant, home to one of the largest public housing estates in the west.

There was a fair bit of crime in the area, my car had been broken into numerous times, but we had been lucky and never had our house broken into. So, in the grand scheme of things, it was no big deal – petty crime was just something you dealt with when you were a blue-collar family living in an area that housed people both less and more fortunate than you.

The best way for me to travel to work was via train, which took about an hour. I had woken up extremely early that morning as I really wanted to make a good first impression - taking an extraordinary amount of time getting ready, ensuring I looked just right.

I had chosen a black pinstripe skirt that came to my knees with a crimson satin blouse and low heeled black maryjane shoes. I had straightened the natural wave out of my long honey blonde hair so it sat just below my shoulders, wearing enough makeup to cover a scar that ran along my hairline and to give my lips and cheeks a rosy glow.

My goal was to look professional but be comfortable enough to climb ladders while I lugged books up and down the shelves. I thought the effect worked well and was at least feeling good about my looks despite being nervous about my job. I had even caught the earlier train in to the city from Penrith station just to make sure I had plenty of time to navigate my way from Wynyard station to my new workplace on the corner of Martin Place and Phillip St.

I only had to sit awkwardly on the low-set chairs for a few minutes before a small woman who appeared to be in her mid-30s and of Indian origin came out to greet me. “Hello, my name is Priya. I am the office manager,” she said extending her hand in greeting. “You must be Katrina.”

I immediately rose, dwarfing Priya with my six feet of height, smiled and shook her hand. “Yes, that’s me. It’s lovely to meet you.”

Priya looked up at me and said the first thing most people say upon meeting me, “My, you’re a tall one aren’t you?” I smiled and nodded to be polite while inwardly rolling my eyes. “Follow me and I will show you around the office.”

I did as I was told, following closely behind her and trying to take in as much information about my surroundings as possible.

Priya spoke over her shoulder and pointed things out as we went along, “In here are the conference rooms, you only need to know about them for drinks on Friday nights – there is a social committee that is in charge of all that, you can join if you like. Mary runs it all and should come to talk to you about it at some point today.”

We continued down the corridor, past different offices and cubicles. Priya explained that the corner offices were for the partners, and the middle offices were for the junior and senior solicitors. Outside the offices were the personal assistant's cubicles and then there was a row of offices inside for accounts and other support staff. Administration had a cubicle section all of its own, and in the very centre of everything were the filing room, the library and the break room.

“Here is where you will be working,” said Priya. I looked at the large room lined with built-in bookcases that reached the ceiling, as well as two rows of smaller bookcases lining the centre. There were two desks against the outer wall with a reference computer on one, and a microfiche reader on the other, in between those was a photocopier. 

My own desk was in the corner. It had a low cubicle divider around it with a computer and an in/out tray that was piled high with mail, law journal updates and microfiche slides.

“Wow, this is bigger than I expected,” I stated.

“Not too big I hope,” Priya smiled before launching into the next part of my orientation. “Now, you will be responsible for making sure all the books are in the correct place of course, as well fetching any books that people have removed. They have to check the book out, but sometimes they just take it, so you may have to do some hunting at times.

“You will need to stocktake once a fortnight to make sure you have a list of any missing books. Most importantly, you need to keep the law journals up to date; new updates come in regularly.”

She pulled an update from my in tray and showed me the instruction sheet that told me what pages to add and take away, I couldn’t see myself having difficulties with it. “Also, you have to sort these microfiche into order and then give them to one of our junior solicitors, Elliot; he is responsible for updating the system with those.”

“Oh, I thought the microfiche would be in here because the readers are here,” I interrupted.

“No, they are kept with the files, but you will get people leaving them in here, sometimes in the reader itself. Just sort them and return them all to Elliot, he will deal with them. He also catalogues the law magazines that get sent to us. I will take you to meet him now so you know where his office is.”

Priya led me down the corridor and into an open area, where a group of PA desks were clustered, surrounded by window offices. She came to a stop outside a small windowed office right next to the Partner’s, and tapped on the door before opening it. A man in his early 20s looked up from his work revealing the most vivid blue eyes I had ever seen. My breath caught a little as I drank him in. Even through his dress shirt I could see how well muscled he was, his face showing that smattering of stubble I loved on a man. I don’t know how else to describe him except to say that he was beautiful; those blue eyes, that full mouth, his light golden-brown hair and those broad shoulders! I felt myself swoon a little but came back to reality when I noticed him arch one of those perfect eyebrows of his at us in question.

“Sorry to interrupt Elliot but I just wanted to introduce you to our new librarian Kat,” Priya said.

“Um, Katrina,” I said, hating having my name shortened to that of a furry animal.

“Sorry – Katrina,” Priya corrected with a slight eye roll.

Elliot didn’t speak at first; he just sat there studying me.

 My cheeks flushed involuntarily and the discomfort of being stared at caused me to start nervously looking around the room, out of the door; anywhere but at him.

My apparent unease seemed to make him realise he was staring. He quickly cleared his throat and said, “Hello Katrina.” His voice was as beautiful as the rest of him, it had a deep rumble to it that sent chills up my spine.

I was trying desperately to be cool, so he didn’t notice my immediate attraction. A guy like this must have women swooning all over him, and I wasn’t going to let myself be one of them – despite his hotness. I had met guys like him before, and it never ended well.

Despite my efforts, I didn’t manage much more than a tight smile, a small nod and a, “Hi, um, uh, Elliot.” You sound like an idiot! my mind told me. There was a silence after that; nobody said a word and this awkwardness enveloped us like a thick woolen blanket while we all tried not to make eye contact.

I felt like I needed to say something to break the silence, “Ah…I didn’t think a junior would get a window office,” I observed, regretting the comment the moment it left my mouth.

Elliot looked over his shoulder at the window behind him and shrugged, “Every solicitor gets one. It comes with the office. Mine is a very small one though.” His blue eyes met mine but revealed no emotion. I could imagine that he must have thought I was a complete ditz! I could feel the heat as it rose in my cheeks while moths of embarrassment churned through my stomach.

Priya raised her eyebrows at the exchange, smiled and commented, “Well; this was fun.” She ushered me out of his office as she told Elliot, “Just thought you should meet Katrina so you knew what she is doing leaving things on your desk. Enjoy your day Elliot,” she gently closed his door and led me back towards the library. “So, your bright-red face tells me you noticed he’s a bit of spunk huh?” she said quietly to me when we were far enough away. I tried to act nonchalant and just shrugged my shoulders a little. “Don’t get any ideas though, all the girls are after him but he doesn’t show interest in any of them. There’s a strict no dating policy here and he adheres to it; there’s a list of junior solicitors a mile long wanting to work here and I really don’t think he is going to risk his job.”

“Fair enough,” I said, mentally kicking myself for feeling a little disappointed.

“Someone nice to look at though huh? Stops the office being so boring.”

“I suppose it does,” I answered carefully.

“Well, here we are, back at your new home away from home,” she said stopping in front of the library’s entrance, “If you need anything today, don’t hesitate to call me.”

I nodded that I would and thanked her for the tour before entering the library to start work. As I flipped through the items in my tray, I couldn’t imagine that I would need to call Priya for help, everything was very basic - all I had to do was sort books, microfiche and follow a simple instruction sheet for the law journal updates; take out page 22, insert new page 22 -  I’d be fine.

Alone, I took some time to look around my new work space, so I could take it all in. It felt peaceful being surrounded by books – the colours helped add to the calming effect; pistachio green for the small spaces of wall and a dim grey for the bookcases. There was only one wall without book shelves and that was the one with the desks, microfiche machine and photo copier. That wall had a large window taking up the top half of it so you could see inside as you walked past.

The partition that separated my desk from the rest of the room, was a similar grey to the book cases with tiny flecks of white and black to add some contrast. The desk itself was a light grey, as were the other desks in the room. All the chairs were black padded swivel desk chairs – they looked comfy enough. I walked to the one situated behind my desk and sat down to test it out, adjusting the height setting to suit me. I twisted lightly from side to side and grinned to myself as an idea came to me, I peeked over my partition to make sure I was still alone and then tucked my legs in tight and spun around on my chair in sheer childish abandon. I placed my hands on the desk to stop the spinning and sighed happily; it was exciting to have my own space within an office – I felt a little like a girl playing dress up though.

I reached out to my 'in' pile and took the law update that Priya had shown me, got up and collected the folder it belonged in and started to find and replace the pages required. I hadn’t gotten much work done before a woman a few years older than me with chestnut brown hair, and a Mediterranean complexion came in to introduce herself.

“Hi, you must be Katrina! I’m Mary, Francis’s PA - you may have seen him on your tour – I’m the head of the social committee!” she announced it to me like there should have been a TaDa! at the end of it, she seemed very peppy. “I thought I would pop in to welcome you to Turner, Barlow and Smith, and also, to give you a rundown of the things we like to do here.”

I sat silently listening to her chatter on about Friday drinks and other various social activities that come up throughout the year. I told her that I would try to make it to the next Friday night drinks but wasn’t really sure if I had anything on yet.

“No worries, it would be great if you came even if it was only half an hour,” she smiled.

“Ok, I’ll make sure I at least do that,” I said feeling the pressure to fit in.

“So um, this is your first job is it?”

“Yeah, very first,” I admitted.

“I am sure you will like it here, there’s a pretty good group of people around. I mean, you get your cliques like you do everywhere but mostly people are pretty nice. I’ll see you around, if not, on Friday ok?” she said as she turned to leave and practically bounced out the door.

“Sounds great,” I called after her, smiling weakly. I really didn’t know if I was a Friday night drinks person, but I figured I had better show my face if I wanted to make any friends here.

After I got a little more work done I left the library to go and get a coffee at morning tea time. There were two PA desks outside the offices in front of the library door, and one of the girls, a small, slightly rotund girl with a friendly face and dirty blonde hair tied up in a bouncy ponytail, got up as I approached.

“Hi there, I’m Kayley,” she said in an Irish accent.

“Katrina,” I replied and we shook hands briefly.

“I’m Greg’s PA. He's a bit creepy,” she whispered.

“Is he?” My eyes skittered around nervously, I wasn’t really sure I should be having this conversation.

“Yeah, sometimes I go in there to drop something off, and he is under his desk.”

“Ok… doing what?”

“Exactly! That’s the part I find creepy.”

I laughed, my concern ebbing away, as we started to talk about how long she had been working there and what some of the other girls were like.

When we reached the kitchen, I met Anne and Carl, who were the filing clerks, as well as Albina and Joanne, who were both PAs as well. I couldn’t help but notice that most of the people in the break room were all support staff. Any solicitors who came in made their coffee or tea, uttered some small talk and then left.

Kayley must have noticed me looking around and read my confused expression. “They don’t really associate too much with all of us Plebs. The younger ones do sometimes, but they generally just talk to each other and hang out in their offices.” She handed me a cup for my coffee, and we moved along the line of people waiting for the water heater. “Although I wish this one would hang around a bit more,” she added as her eyes moved to the doorway, I looked around as Elliot walked in. He nodded and said hello to a couple of people but mostly stood there quietly, waiting for his turn for coffee, tea or whatever his chosen refreshment was.

One of the other PAs moved towards him and started a conversation. I was stupidly standing there, openly watching him when he realised and looked at me, stopping mid-sentence for just a beat, this however, caused the girl who was talking to him to glance over her shoulder at a now red faced me. She squinted her eyes, shooting daggers in my direction, flicked her long honey streaked hair over her shoulder and continued her conversation with Elliot.

Kayley leaned into me and said, “He’s pretty delicious huh? The one talking to him is Beth, she’s his PA and thinks she has dibs on him. But every woman here is lusting after the man. He is devine! Just look at that body! And the hair, the eyes! I could go on,” she sighed.

I tore my eyes away from him and tried to focus on Kayley, “Priya told me there’s a 'no dating' policy here.”

“That doesn’t stop anyone,” Albina added, eyeing Elliot up and down like he was a piece of meat, “It wouldn’t stop me if I got a chance with him anyway.” She let out an appreciative growl, and I grinned, enjoying her audaciousness but refusing to look towards Elliot again.

The line moved along at a steady pace, and we all took our drinks to one of the tables inside the break room. At our table was Anne, Carl, Albina, Joanne – who prefers to be called ‘Jo’; Kayley and myself. It kind of felt like a scene from a high school movie were a group swoops in and claims the new girl - they all seemed nice though, and were filling me in on some of the office happenings. I found out that the IT guy was having an affair with one of the admin girls, they thought no one knew but weren’t very good at pretending nothing was happening, no one cared enough to report them though, so they were left to it.

As is usual with a new person, they were very interested in my life, and wanted to know if I had a boyfriend and what I did with my spare time. I told them I had recently broken up with a guy I lived with for 3 months, and that I trained for triathlons around work and my law degree at university.

“So you want to be one of them,” Carl commented.

“I suppose, but I’ll make sure I’m still kind to the little plebs,” I replied with a smile.

 
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The time has come people - I am going to share teaser chapters of my new book A Beautiful Struggle to help get you all excited for its official release on New Years Day - You can join in the launch party on facebook HERE

That's all I have to say for now - how you enjoy the Prologue - stop by tomorrow for Chapter One. 


I'm getting excited!! 

Lilli xoxox

Prologue 

 “Oh my god! Why are you making me sit through this girly movie?” David complained as the couple on the screen struggled with their attraction to each other yet again.

Laughing at him, I answered, “Because it was my turn to pick – you made me sit through that horrible action movie last time, so consider us even.”

“Fine,” David grumbled. “But I need more beer to get through this, do you want one?”

Shaking my head no, I lifted my legs from his lap so he could stand. I didn’t think that my boyfriend Christopher would be happy if he came home from work and I was rolling around on the floor, drunk with David. Actually, David needed to be gone before Christopher got home. They weren’t exactly friendly with each other.

I sucked in my breath as I heard the key enter the door and click it open, it was as if the thought had been enough to conjure him.

David spun around and locked eyes with me, his own as wide as mine were. Gulping, I watched as Christopher walked through the front door and prepared myself for the verbal tirade that was sure to follow.

“You’re early,” I pointed out, my heart thumping loudly as I flicked my worried gaze toward David in the kitchen.

Christopher followed my line of sight, his face darkening as he spotted my friend.

“What the fuck are you doing here?” Christopher bellowed at David, giving him zero chance to respond before he marched towards him, planting the full force of his fist into the side of David’s face rocking him back on his heels before he slowly fell.

“No!” I screamed, covering my mouth in horror as I watched David fall to the floor. “What are you doing, Christopher!? Get away from him!”

My protests were futile. As David scrambled to get up, Christopher grabbed the back of his shirt and dragged him to the door, throwing him unceremoniously out into the hallway.

“Stay the fuck away for good this time!” he yelled at David before slamming the door and flicking the lock.

As Christopher turned his attention to me, I stopped breathing but my heart raced.

“You!” he bellowed, I felt the bile rise in my throat as he charged towards me, his face twisted with fury.

 
Yesterday, I am doing one last read through of A Beautiful Struggle before it launches on New Years Day, but to avoid the last minute rush and the risk of any auto vetters delaying my manuscript, I uploaded to Smashwords and Amazon yesterday. 

Normally when I upload a book, nothing happens until I start to promote it. I literally spend hours setting up tweets and facebook posts as well as travelling around the net touring blogs and participating on book sites. Just to get my books noticed. 

I was expecting more of the same this time. I put A Beautiful Struggle up and checked it this morning when I woke up to make sure everything was working. My mouth dropped open when I saw that it was already selling, it has been selling all day long and is currently #2 on the Australian Drama chart on Amazon. 

I am pretty shocked and fairly humbled, it's by no means a top 100 contender just yet, I've only broken the top 20k - but I am so grateful that people are interested enough to go and look for it. 

Thank you, you have all made me day. 

Lilli xoxox
 
I was having a look at news.com.au and came across a fun holiday article titled - THE SEASON'S WORSE CHRISTMAS CAROLS and thought I would share. 

Have a great holiday season everyone! See you all for my New Years Day release of A Beautiful Struggle  
This season's Christmas carol shockers exposed
by: Matt Young
From: news.com.au
December 24, 2012 3:25PM


With less than 24-hours until Christmas, one could be forgiven for joining in a Yuletide carol, or two.


‘Tis the season, after all. But what separates a merry, melodic mishap from a timeless classic?

 
Take a look at our picks of the cheesiest (some would argue, the best) carols below, and decide for yourself.
 
So gather round, folks, grab the family and friends, pour yourself a glass of eggnog and warm up those vocal cords. 
 
Fa la la la la la la la la.
 
Mariah Carey feat. Justin Bieber – All I Want for Christmas is You
 
It’s been hailed as “one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon" by The New Yorker. And fourteen years after its initial release, remains one of the best-selling singles of all time. But Mariah Carey’s decision to remake her 1994 classic All I Want for Christmas is You with Justin Bieber last year nearly stripped Mariah of her Christmas cred. 
 
Destiny’s Child – 8 Days of Christmas
 
Beyonce and her Destiny’s Child bandmates wrapped Christmas in an uptempo R’n’B package with their 2001 Christmas album, but the critics weren’t convinced. Any ideas why?
 
Kylie Minogue - Santa Baby
 
Kylie Minogue’s version of the Eartha Kitt hit, Santa Baby, has been doing the rounds since 2000 when it was released as a B-side to her single, Please Stay. It was again met with moderate success in 2006 when it was featured in the Kate Winslet film, The Holiday and again in 2010 when she released the flirtatious video. Alright, alright, it’s not that bad.
 
Victoria's Secret Models - Deck the Halls
 
Furthering the notion that models are just pretty, young things, lingerie label Victoria's Secret released their own festive greetings this year. Deck the halls with what now? 
Lady Gaga – Christmas Tree (WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT)
 
Trust Lady Gaga to put a sexual spin on Christmas. 
 
“Light me up put me on top, let's fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la.
 
“The only place you'll wanna be is underneath my Christmas tree.
 
“Ho ho ho, under the mistletoe, yes, everybody knows, we will take off our clothes.”
 
Enough said.
 
Jessica Simpson – O Holy Night
 
We’re not sure what’s worse; Simpson’s swooning stares into the distance, or the awkward, motion-sickness inducing camera angles. Just say no, Jess. The song was taken from Simpson’s 2004 Christmas release Rejoyce: The Christmas Album, which sold over 1 million copies worldwide.
 
Spice Girls – Christmas Wrapping
 
Featuring as a B-side on the first single minus Ginger Spice in 1998, GoodbyeChristmas Wrapping is a cover of the Waitresses’ 1981 hit, described as "one of the best holiday pop tunes ever recorded" by AllMusic.
 
The lyrics are somewhat fitting; girl has a crazy year on a world tour, no time to celebrate, bah humbug and all that. Until, she meets a man I convenience store…
 
Christina Aguilera – Christmas Time
 
Remember Christina Aguilera from the Genie in a Bottle days? Red streaks, stick-thin, poptastic? Here’s a refresher from Xtina’s Xmas 2000 release, My Kind of Christmas.
 
 Aqua  - Spin Me a Christmas
 
To think we almost missed this corker of a carol. Spin Me a Christmas featured on the Danish group’s Greatest Hits Special Edition and while the album peaked at Number One in Denmark, it failed to match that success overseas. No surprises there.
 
Before we go folks - considering it is Christmas Eve and all - we thought it time to regale you with a Christmas story,  before the big man makes his way down your chimney. 
 
Courtesy of Snoop Dogg, we give you the Cautionary Tale of Ebenezer Scrooge
 
me and BBQs, I don't think we are friends. I just fired up the barbie for it's maiden voyage of the summer and flames started coming out where flames shouldn't be. 

I quickly flicked all of the dials off and turned the gas off so no harm done but I have to wonder what I am doing wrong. This is the third BBQ that has done this to me. 

I clean them when I am finished and always put the covers on so what am I missing? I think it is time to research BBQ maintenance - there is obviously something I am missing. 
 
 
This is the last week to enter my christmas competition! 

Visit MY HOME PAGE to enter.

Good Luck! and Merry Christmas! 

Lilliana xoxox
 
With the launch date for A Beautiful Struggle looming on the horizon, I have been madly reading it, over and over again to make sure it is the best I can make it. 

I took all of my editors advice and made some necessary changes to the book - cutting out superfluous paragraphs, even though it pained me to hit delete. 

The story is still the same as it was in all of my pre-release copies but it just reads better now I think. You won't have to wade through quite so much information. 

Anyway, I am looking forward to sending this book out into the world - hopefully it will be received well. 

Lilli xoxox