by Colette Shannon from the April 18, 2011 issue
Tagline: Lisa's day had gotten off to a bad start, but after meeting Alan in the park, things were definitely looking up...
In a Nutshell: Lisa gets a cramp while jogging. A man offers to help her. Turns out he works at the same hospital she does. After he escorts her back to her car, they see it has a flat tire. He changes it for her and asks her out for breakfast.
Observations: This story reminded me of something I angsted about a lot when I first started writing for Woman's World--how a single woman can meet men who are essentially stranges and still manage to be smart about her personal safety. Often the "stranger" the heroine meets turns out to have a connection of some kind. He's the nephew of her grandmother's friend. He's the guy her friend has been trying to set her up with and here, she's meeting him by accident. Or, like in this story, they work at the same place. Often one of the characters is new at the company.
You want your characters to be smart women whom you respect and who are smart enough to make wise choices when it comes to going out with strangers.