Happy Monday, RG2E Peeps!
Welcome to The RG2E and/or Welcome Back!!!
I promised you a Sneak Peek at my upcoming Christmas release, co-written with the A-mazing Bestselling Author Theresa Ragan…and here it is…
For THE BILLIONAIRES’ CHRISTMAS CLUB, think Trading Places meets Tim Allen’s Santa Claus.
What if two Billionaire Bachelors made a bet to see which one could help the most people before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve? And…What if, along the way, they each find the perfect woman to spend the rest of their life with?
Theresa and I wrote a Prologue for the book together, basically setting-up this fabulous bet. Then, we each wrote an entire novella for our Billionaire Bachelor. You’ll see the Bachelors’ names on the place cards on the table of our cover – Roswell Bellesconi and Grayson Hawk. We then wrote an Epilogue together too to wrap-up the book.
It was just a terrific experience writing with Theresa, and a project that was filled with joy and fun from page one to ‘the end.’
Here’s a Sneak Peek at The Prologue:
Fashionably late. Perfect.
As if this crowd cared when the biggest names on their guest list arrived. All they wanted was the money those guests brought with them or sent in their stead. And before the night was through, they’d get it. Billions of pretty pennies and then some.
Roswell “Ross” Bellesconi and his buddy Grayson Hawk each had more cash than every other guest at this gala combined. If the organizers had to wait on both of them to arrive before starting the soiree, they’d be more than willing to do so.
Always preferring to go it alone, Ross avoided the hostess’ station and headed toward the front row of tables, knowing he’d find a fancy place card bearing his name.
Sure enough, there it was. Front and center. Roswell Bellesconi. To be seated next to Grayson Hawk.
What if these charitable groups took the money they shelled out for galas and, instead, spent it to do something for the people that they actually intended to help? Talk about a novel idea.
He took his seat then checked his Tag Heuer to see exactly how much longer he’d have to sit there. Noticing a smudge on its face, he used a corner of the table linen to swipe at the surface.
“Doesn’t your butler see to those kinds of things?”
Ross heard Grayson’s good-natured tease before he came into view.
“I gave him the night off,” Ross said, standing up to shake hands with his childhood friend. “Wish we had the night off.”
Grayson disliked these events as much as he did, although they had different reasons why.
“Look at it this way, my friend. At least it’s the last one of the year,” Grayson said, taking two glasses of champagne from a passing waiter’s tray and handing one to Ross.
“Cheers to that,” Ross said, raising his glass in a toast.
“So what’s this fundraiser for anyway?” Grayson asked, reaching for the program laying on top of his place setting.
Ross chuckled to himself while shaking his head. Typical Grayson.
“What? Don’t tell me you actually pay attention to this stuff. Don’t you just have your accountant write the check?”
Ross laughed out loud at that. “C’mon, Grayson. You know that’s your style, but definitely not mine. I’m a hands on type of guy, remember?”
“All I know, Roswell, is that if you’d be a little more hands on with these fine ladies around here, you wouldn’t be a billionaire bachelor with no prospects in site,” Grayson remarked, taking time away from their conversation to dazzle the women at the next table with his I’m-all-yours for-the-night, smile.
“Whatever. I don’t have time for women. Besides, some of these organizations are doing very important work. And you know I like to see how my money is being used,” Ross said, wishing he could do more than merely read each group’s brochures and websites before figuring out what amount to write his check for.
# # #
Not only did he have a tendency to be a goody two-shoes, in Grayson’s opinion, Ross was also a little too particular when it came to women. Grayson could count on one hand the number of women Roswell had been involved with in relationships. He wasn’t necessarily keeping track. It’s just that he worried about his friend sometimes.
“All work and no playing around isn’t healthy, my friend. Once you’ve given away all of your money, what then? If you keep this up, you might end up penniless and lonely.”
“Here we go again,” Ross said. “Every year, it’s the same damn thing.”
Grayson had read too many stories of intended goodwill where the money ended up going straight into the pockets of those claiming to help others. He, like his friend, was bombarded with requests for money every single day. Sure, maybe a few dollars trickled down to somebody in need, but who really knew what percentage of the funds did any real good?
“My uncle Frank is proof that you need to be careful who you give your money to. After surviving prostate cancer, Frank started the Walk for Life Program, only to later discover that the largest portion of his donation was going to the sizable salaries of the organization’s top executives.”
Roswell gave him one of his I’ve-heard-it-all before looks.
“We need to be careful, Roswell, that’s all I’m saying.”
“I’ll tell you what, Grayson. Since you’re so fond of talking about fraudulent charities, I think you should put your money where your mouth is and straighten this out once and for all.” Ross ignored his friend’s scowl and added, “Pick a charity tonight, but not just any charity. Whichever one you choose will get one hundred percent of your Christmas Club Account–”
“Hear me out first,” Ross said. “Tonight, I want you to choose one charity to give your money to, but before you make the donation, I want you to personally find out if the money is really going to those in need by becoming one of the beneficiaries.”
“It would take me all night to choose one,” Grayson said. “You pick.”
Ross looked over the brochure and stabbed his finger halfway down the middle of the second page. “There. The Next Step. It sounds perfect. The organization helps the homeless get back on their feet so they can apply and interview for jobs. By Monday, you’ll be a recipient of those very funds.”
Grayson laughed. “In order to be an eligible recipient, I’d have to be homeless.”
“Okay,” Grayson said, not taking the proposition all that seriously, “then you’ll do the same for this organization.”
He closed his eyes and pointed to a random spot on the list. He then opened his eyes and read his selection aloud, “From Dreams to Reality, an organization to help women realize their dreams.”
Roswell’s face turned a light shade of mustard yellow. “What does that even mean?”
“I guess you’re going to find out, aren’t you?”
It suddenly occurred to Ross that he had nothing to worry about. The chance that his good friend would actually follow through with this lunatic idea was several billion to one.
“Care to double our bet?” Ross asked, enjoying the site of his friend squirming in his seat.
“What do you mean?” Grayson asked, fidgeting with his bow tie, which didn’t need fixing at all.
“I mean…starting Monday, you’re going to be homeless and I’ll be helping women realize their dreams. Whichever one of us makes the greatest impact by New Year’s Day, the other one doubles the money the winner donated to his cause.”
“Interesting. I like it. Yes. I like my odds. You’ve been out of touch with the female world for so long, you’ll be in way over your head,” Grayson said as he locked eyes with a beautiful woman across the room.
“That may be true. But imagining you, my friend, not only without your butler, but without your penthouse too? Well…that will surely be a very Dan Aykroyd, Trading Places kind of moment.”
“I haven’t seen that movie in years,” Grayson said, picking up his topped off champagne flute.
“Well, no matter. You’re going to be living it. On your own terms, of course,” Ross added, clinking his glass to his friend’s. “Cheers. And may the best man win.”
Okay, RG2E Peeps: What do you think? Who’s going to win this bet? Does this sound like a Hallmark or Lifetime Christmas Movie or what?! Each year could be two new Billionaire Bachelors and two new philanthropic groups to spread the word about. And…if you haven’t already added your name to our Ebook Gift Waiting List, here’s your chance! THE BILLIONAIRES’ CHRISTMAS CLUB is coming on or before November 15th!!!
The Best of RG2E Ereading Wishes — D. D. Scott, RG2E Founder