Kristina Seek’s debut novel, The Hashtag Hunt, was published in 2018. She is a graduate of Queens College in Charlotte and a member of Romance Writers of America. In March of 2019, she quit her day job to focus on a career in writing.
Kristina lives in North Carolina with her husband and son. She cherishes time with her friends and family, loves traveling to new destinations, and plans to cross many other items off her bucket list.
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The only reason Lauren entered the Hashtag Hunt was for the $10,000 grand prize. She needed seed money for her startup, and it sounded easy enough: twelve hours to text twelve photos to someone called the Wizard.
For hashtag number five, Lauren needs a #HottieInTheWild, and with the help of her best friend, Ivy, she finds the perfect subject.
The only reason Brenner entered Barkley’s Pub was to have beers with Scott, an Army brother back in town. The reunion is interrupted when a woman is caught crouched in a dark corner, taking pictures of Brenner.
Lauren explains, and though embarrassed, she accepts Scott and Brenner’s offer to help with hashtag number six.While hunting for hashtags, Lauren finds adventure and romance with her #Hottie, but she must stay focused to beat the clock and win the cash.
“I’m sorry. Are you saying ‘hottie?’ ‘In the wild?’” Scott didn’t hide his confusion. “That’s not a thing, is it?”
“Oh yeah,” Ivy said. “It’s a thing. My Facebook friends post pictures of hot guys out in public all the time. Subways, airports, Disney World, construction sites, tattoo parlors, in line for coffee, carpool…” she trailed off with a shrug. “Wherever.”
“Are you serious?” Scott looked at Brenner and said, “I’m not sure men could get away with a ‘Honey in the Wild’ Facebook group.”
“Please, Scott. We ladies are making up for lost time,” said Ivy. “A handful of hotties on Facebook doesn’t compare to the tons of T & A on the Internet.”
All who heard Ivy’s voice nodded, and Margot shouted, “Preach!”
“Okay. Let me see if I understand what you’re saying,” Jess said as she sat up straighter in her chair. “Women take and post pictures of hot men they see out and about in town.”
“All. Day,” confirmed Ivy.
Jess left her chair and went behind the bar. She bent down and then reappeared, plopping her oversized purse on the bar top. She fished her phone out of the bag. “Show me the way.”
“Get on Facebook.” Ivy walked over to Jess. “I got you.”
Lauren looked at Brenner. Pointing to Ivy and Jess at the bar, she said, “I did not take your picture for that Facebook group. I needed it for this contest, I swear.”
Brenner said, “I’m flattered you found me attractive enough for your photo.”
“I knew it!” Ivy shouted from the bar. She looked up from Jess’s phone. “I told her any normal guy would love knowing he was a hottie in the wild.”
“Well,” said Jess, looking at her phone, “Facebook just got a hell of a lot better.” Lauren watched her move her thumb across the screen. “And these guys have no idea these pictures are being taken?”
“Plenty of women get caught,” Ivy said with a pointed look toward Lauren. “Most play it off by pretending they’re texting someone or taking a selfie. A friend of mine once acted like she was looking for a coupon when she was busted in line at Dick’s Sporting Goods.”
Jess looked up from her phone and said, “And some women run away and hide in the ladies’ room.”
“Take it easy on her,” Brenner said to Jess. He turned his attention to Lauren and said, “It’s worth it if the picture helped you win the contest.” When Lauren didn’t respond, he asked, “Did you win?”
“The contest doesn’t end until tomorrow. I have to take twelve pictures, and yours was number five,” Lauren responded. “If your picture is accepted, I’ll get a text with instructions for number six.”
“And if it’s not accepted?” Brenner asked.
“Then I’m out of the contest. First contestant to have twelve pictures approved before the deadline wins.”
“Wins what?” the crowd asked.
“Ten thousand dollars,” said Lauren.