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Welcome to Fiction Fridays! We plan to give you a short bite of fiction every week – something to enjoy during your lunch hour – but with a twist: We want you to give us the idea for the next installment! Come join in the fun with our first story, a contemporary romance. … Another […]

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Fiction Fridays: “Another Time,” Part 1

Posted by on Aug 24 2012, 2:17 am Posted in , ,

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Welcome to Fiction Fridays! We plan to give you a short bite of fiction every week – something to enjoy during your lunch hour – but with a twist: We want you to give us the idea for the next installment!

Come join in the fun with our first story, a contemporary romance. …

Another Time

Part 1
By Lauren Christopher

She leaned further across the pool table – just enough to make him suck in his breath – and he averted his eyes for the fiftieth time.

“Olly, why don’t we call it quits? I’ll buy you a beer.”

She smirked. “Don’t think you’re getting off that easy, Nick. I’m taking you down.”

She leaned further so her pool stick was perfectly aimed, then snapped off a beautiful shot. The cue ball ricocheted across the table and landed a striped 7 and a striped 3 in two different pockets in perfect unison.

She straightened slowly and grinned.

Nick looked away again. He wasn’t going to make it through this night. Not with Olivia looking like she did in that dress.

Of course, the dress wasn’t for him. It was for her date. Who was late. And who Nick – as dictated by Olly – was supposed to “check out” before she went out.

That was his role. Date-checker-outer. And it had worked out pretty well when she was in high school and he was in his early 20s, hanging with her brother here in Clarkston. He saw her as his own little sister, and he and Daniel would size up each of her dates and decide whether they were guys who had her best interests at heart. They weeded out the ones who looked like they had an overflow of testosterone or seemed like they only had one thing on their minds. He and Daniel thought they were doing a helpful service back then.

But now – eight years later – Nick was surprised to come home from his field work with Doctors Without Borders to find his old friend Olly … well … grown up.

“I think I can do my surveying better if we’re sitting down and having a beer,” he lied. And if your body is well hidden behind a table for four.

Her brow puckered. “Really?” She looked uncertainly toward the door as she chalked her cue. “I guess. … “

Nick ran his hand down his face. He was used to the tough version of Olly. Her thrown back shoulders, her over-exuberant laugh, her messy ponytails, and her off-color jokes. But this vulnerability – and this feminine, ruffly side of her – was doing him no good at all.

“He’s late,” he finally barked. “That’s not a good start.”

A slow smile spread across Olly’s face – it might have been mocking, or amused, Nick couldn’t really tell. But then the bells rang against the front door, and her smile slid away as she glanced over Nick’s shoulder.

“Date’s here,” she whispered.

He tore his eyes away from her eager expression – which he really hated – and turned slowly to face this kid down. …


Okay, readers, our next Round Robin writer needs your next twist! Who would YOU like to have walk in the door?

Should it be:

  1. Olly’s gay best friend because she’s really trying to make Nick jealous?
  2. The new preacher who Nick can’t say no to?
  3. Someone Nick knew in the past who isn’t exactly a “kid”?
  4. Nick’s boss, with whom he needs to stay in good standing?
  5. It’s not a man, it’s a woman – and Olly is setting Nick up on a date (or trying to)?

Tell us in comments below! And be sure to tune in next Friday for your next lunch installment.


Lauren Christopher is the author of THE RED BIKINI and TEN GOOD REASONS. To learn more about her and her books, visit 


UPDATE: Looks like No. 3 won! We’ve got the next installment here.

Copyright 2012 by The Firebirds

40 responses to “Fiction Fridays: “Another Time,” Part 1”

  1. Sharon Wray says:

    Tough choices, Laurie. But since I have to pick one, I’d go with number 3, someone Nick knew in the past.
    Great story start and I can’t wait to read what comes next!

  2. Great first chapter! I’m so excited about this weekly feature. As all of you can see, wow, what talent we have here — Laurie Sanchez Rocks!

    My vote — it was really, really hard, because I want all of these things to happen — is for number 4.

    Love you guys!
    Diana Belchase

  3. […] The Firebirds are stirring it up today with some fun on Fiction Friday. Stop by and read our quick part 1 of Another Time–an original short story where you get to decide what happens next. Come on over and cast your vote, we won’t know what you want to see happen with Olly and Nick without your input. […]

  4. Karen says:

    Fantastic first segment of Friday Fiction. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Any of these options will definitely add a twist to the story.

    I think it would be funny to either make it a set up for Nick or make it the minister but with a past that puts Nick on edge.

    Great job. I can’t wait to see which one the readers vote into the next segment.


  5. […] and check it out — and be sure to play along by giving us the next twist! It’s here: “Another Time,” Part 1, by Laurie Sanchez. Come […]

  6. Ooh! Choices,choices, choices. All of them could provide one heck of a good story. I like them all but the one I think can cause the most mayhem is #4.

    Great job, Laurie! So glad to be part of the innaugurial Fiction Friday team!

  7. Kat Cantrell says:

    Oh, I love this beginning!! I’m so torn. I have to go with #2 just because I am SO CURIOUS how that will play out.

    Awesome story Laurie!!

  8. Elisa Beatty says:

    I love this!!!

    #3, #3!!!

  9. LorendaC says:

    Looks like I’m in the minority so far, but I wanna hear more about #5 – every guy’s dream, right. So many women, so little time!

  10. Olivia Kelly says:

    Oh, wow. I’m not sure- there are so many great ways this could play out! Hmm. If I HAVE to choose, I think I’d choose Number Four, but make it a conflict for Nick. Maybe it’s an old friend or someone he owes something to, or perhaps someone he has issues with. 🙂 Look forward to the next installment!

  11. Magdalen says:

    I’m going to go with #3. I think it should be one of the guys that Nick & Daniel kicked to the curb back in the day only this guy’s now bigger and more successful. Of course, there’s nothing to stop that also from being #2…

  12. Robena Grant says:


    Someone like Nick’s young assistant football coach who he admired and who is now the head coach at their old high school. ; )

  13. TerriOsburn says:

    I love how this has turned into a “what if” plotting session. Keep them coming. Since I’m on this team, I’d better keep my vote to myself. 🙂

    Great job, Laurie!

    • Tamra Baumann says:

      I agree, great job Laurie.

      But I’m on Terri’s next installment plotting team so I should probably keep it zipped as well.

      Love all the great ideas flowing in!

  14. Ami Weaver says:

    Wow, love the story (Great job, Laurie!) as well as the comments! I’m torn between two–I guess #3. Can’t wait to see how this goes!!

  15. Dawn Imig says:

    Fun start… my vote is #4… see how that plays out…

  16. Jean Willett says:

    Wonderful start, Laurie! I’m all for #3
    Looking forward to the next installment.

  17. Joy Allen says:

    Since she was a wisecracking young girl the preacher would be a stretch, but funny. I like 3 the best.

  18. Joy Allen says:

    Since she was a wisecracking young girl the preacher would be a stretch, but funny. I like 3 the best as it puts Nick in a vise for his friend is one of his partying buddies.

  19. Laurie Sanchez says:

    Thanks, all! I’m loving all these ideas! I do have a favorite twist (that someone else wrote), but I’ll keep it buttoned up and let everyone else steer the story. (They all actually sound fun to write!)

    Our tag-team for this first story, I should have mentioned, is Terri Osborn, Terri Bolyard, A.J. Larrieu, Karen Fleming, and Tamra Baumann.

    We can’t wait to see what direction we’ll go next. …

    Keep the ideas coming! We’ll close comments on Friday at midnight!

  20. Ava Milone says:

    I’m digging #4 – conflict, please! Nick has to stand by helplessly and watch his boss try to charm the pants off Olly? Maybe he’s a bit of a womanizer but Olly looks at him like he walks on water because he meets all of the requirements on her Things I Want in a Man checklist? And Nick’s reluctant to say anything because she looks SO happy with the guy?

    The site looks great, by the way! Thanks Heather Nickodem for posting the invite! 🙂

  21. Kay Hudson says:

    Great beginning! I think I like #4, although all the ideas are good. Surely Nick already has some issues with his boss, and now the guy has designs on the girl Nick wants to protect–but I’ll bet that’s not what he really wants, is it?

  22. Denise Sanchez says:

    #1 won’t let the story go easy into the next step. Not a fan of pastors/preachers/priests being involved in romances. I like #4, he has to keep his mouth shut for a boss so I am leaning towards that. But #3 could be good also for a past friendship now possible romance where they all are connected.

  23. Jamie Wesley says:

    Laurie, I love it!! My vote goes to #5. Oh, the drama that could unfold.

  24. So much fun! I love the beginning, Laurie. For me it’s close between 3 & 4, but I’ll go with #4.

  25. Lynnette Dodge says:

    I like #4. Nick will presumably have day-to-day interactions with his boss and there is nothing better than workplace drama!

  26. Carol Post says:

    Hi Laurie

    Great first installment. I vote for #3, someone Nick knew in the past. That has all kinds of possibilities.

  27. Barbara Hayden says:

    This is sooo cool! Can’t wait for the next installment. 🙂
    I vote for #3 as well.

  28. Diane Mabry says:

    Such a great idea!!
    I like #3. Will be watching to see what happens next.

  29. Thanks for all the votes so far, everyone! Keep them coming ’till midnight! I can’t wait to see where this goes.

  30. Joanne Lockyer says:

    This is fabulous Laurie! My vote goes to #3 too!

  31. Monica Fleming says:

    #3..could be interesting

  32. Jim says:

    cool, laurie – i wanna head to the pub RIGHT NOW 🙂

    #5 is my vote too!!

    *have a wonderful weekend*

  33. Terri Osburn says:

    With 13 votes it looks like #3 is our winner! Tune in next Friday to see what mysterious person from Nick’s past walks through that door!!

  34. Kris Lynn says:

    Wonderful start. I really want to know what happens with each!! But I guess I pick #3.

  35. Debi Skubic says:

    Hi Laurie – I like the start so far, this could be fun! I think #5 would be a good twist! Oh, and hey, I love the name Olly 😉 Can’t wait til next week to see what happens!

  36. […] Fiction Fridays: “Another Time,” Part 1 Tags Book Recs Contemporary Romance Dear Firebirds Fiction Friday Fiction Fridays Finding New Authors Firebird Favorites Firebirds Hero Short Stories Welcome […]

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