Excerpt & Giveaway! Angel of the Centerfold by Michaela Robertson

Excerpt & Giveaway! Angel of the Centerfold by Michaela Robertson

by Michaela Robertson

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Disguise of every sort creates difficulties for recent Yale grads Elizabeth and Jennie Blackwell, who are eager to begin the next chapter of their lives.
Elizabeth hopes her remarkable voice and academic training will help crown her the new darling of the Met. But will her burgeoning romance with world-renowned philanthropist Lliam Dafydd benefit her career or derail it before it begins?
Elizabeth’s minutes-older twin, Jennie, plans to translate her impressive résumé into a successful medical research program, but her demanding academic pursuits leave little time for romance.
Feeling trapped by her girl-next-door image, Jennie adopts a daring alter ego who behaves as she never would. As “Ariel De Mer,” Jennie becomes captivated by mysterious photographer, Chance Bly. Handsome and suave, he smoothly awakens her desires, while Ariel’s sexiness and sassiness mesmerize her smitten lover.
But Jennie’s innocent charade has a powerful impact on the lives of those she loves, and she is not the only one playing games.

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The “raid”
Chance had just made the bed in his photography studio when the bell rang from his office downstairs. Checking the security monitor, he was surprised to see two uniformed New York City police officers in his office. He pressed a button and spoke. “Officers, I’m not sure to what I owe the honor of your visit, but I’ll be right down.”
Exiting the elevator, he was surprised to see not just the two officers from the monitor, but several plainclothes police as well. A female dressed in a severe black suit approached him. “Chance Bly, I presume?” Without waiting for an answer, she continued, “We have a report that you are currently engaged in taking pornographic photographs of a minor. Due to the serious nature of this accusation, we’d like to request that you give us access to your studios and your model immediately. If we are forced to get a warrant, we can make this uncomfortable for you. Assuming you have nothing to hide, this shouldn’t be an unreasonable request.” Handing Chance her business card, she waited for his reply.
Chance sighed. He’d heard of other photographers having similar problems with the NYPD, but so far, he’d managed to avoid this kind of issue. He had a doubly severe problem if he had to produce ID or was booked. His face would be splashed all over the New York Reporter. He could see it now: “Millionaire Playboy in Sex Ring.”
Taking the card from her, he began, “Detective, I am more than willing to allow you access to my studios; however, I would like my attorney to be present during your search. Of course, anything you’d like to see is available to you, including the consent form and copy of the ID of my last model. You should also know that she is no longer on the premises.”
“Thank you for cooperating with us, Mr. Bly. You do understand that we have to check out all complaints of this kind, and the fact that you are accused of currently engaging in this activity, makes this a high priority for us. Make your phone call.”
Chance immediately got on his cell phone. “Bert, this is Chance. Could you come up to the office? I have a group of New York’s finest who would like a look at my books and the studio. I’ve agreed to a search without a warrant but want you present to protect my interests.”
He turned back to the officer. “Detective, my attorney will be right up. Please ask the officers not to touch anything until Mr. Gardner arrives. Let’s go upstairs to the studio now so you can see that no one is there.”
The elevator seemed to take forever. Chance’s mind was going a mile a minute. He needed to avoid providing his own identification at all costs. He couldn’t figure out how this situation could happen. He was careful about whom he photographed and meticulous in getting consent and checking ID. Only a few people knew where his studios were located. All transactions were accomplished through the holding company and Bert Gardner, the attorney for Chance Bly studios. Bert was one of the best attorneys in New York City. He specialized in business law, particularly personal services. There had to be some kind of mistake.
Bert arrived in Chance’s offices, and to his surprise, he knew one of the detectives. The detective’s sister was one of his wife’s protégés. Reaching out his hand to the man, he greeted him warmly and asked him to explain the problem.
Looking incredulous at the detective’s response, he said, “Do you really think I’d be mixed up in a child porn ring? Or with someone who ran one? This has to be some kind of mistake.” He walked to the row of file cabinets. “What would you like to see? Chance keeps records of every woman he photographs with release forms and copies of IDs. If they don’t have state-issued identification, he won’t shoot them.”
“Bert, could you give us, oh, four random sets of records on the girls he’s photographed. He already gave us the data on the girl he just shot.”
Randomly selecting a few folders, Bert handed them to the officers. “Here you go. Look all you’d like. Now, care to tell me how you happened to be here?”
The detective pulled out his notebook. “The Special Victims Unit got a call a couple of hours ago about an underage model who was seen entering the building. The caller was a woman, and she gave us information about this place but chose to remain anonymous. She sent a photo from her camera phone of a young girl being led into the building. In the public’s interest, we’re obliged to check on this type of call.”
“Well, I think you’ll find someone has played a poor practical joke on all of us. I understand your need to protect the public though, and I’m sure Mr. Bly does as well. While you gentlemen are waiting, can I offer you some coffee?”
“No, we’re fine.”
The NYPD computer expert found no one resembling a minor on the computer equipment or digital storage devices. The female officers, finding some of the subject matter offensive, left the viewing of the pictures to the men. Once the male officers realized this was Chance Bly, who had taken some of their favorite locker room photos, not one of them could be pulled away from the monitor displaying photo after photo of gorgeous models.
The number of people who knew of Chance’s studio was limited: his models, Bert and Amanda Gardner, and Margaret Nelson were in on the secret. All business-related matters were conducted by Bert through his law office. The call had to have come from someone who knew about Chance.

 

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Michaela Robertson has dabbled in writing since her teenage years. In college, she initially majored in music until deciding she’d rather eat than enrich the world with her talent. A few years later, with a still-damp business degree in hand, Michaela entered the world of statistics. As the author of many dry technical documents, her artistic side was hidden from the world. Only her husband and daughter were aware of the musical talent hidden beneath the surface.

In the late 1990’s, she began traveling extensively for her job, and being away from home and family created something she was previously unfamiliar with—spare time. Bowling, mixed-doubles darts, and touring temporarily filled the void. A chance encounter in 2004 with the 1995 Pride and Prejudice mini-series starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle led Michaela’s down a new path. Having read Fan Fiction in other genres, she went on a quest for Austen Fan Fiction and discovered a world rich in stories and history.

Music continues to be Michaela’s muse and has inspired her writing. Now a widow, she lives on a couple of acres on the edge of the world in the Pacific Northwest with the current love of her life, a border collie.

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Comments

  1. Enjoyed the excerpt! I liked the name of Chance’s attorney! 🙂

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