It’s a very late episode of Scene-Snippet Sunday here as I traveled to Birmingham yesterday for the Southern Magic RWA’s annual Readers Luncheon (fun!) then went to Montgomery to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Home at last.
Today, we have a scene from River Road (only a week until release–yay!), that gives a taste of the kind of relationship DJ and her partner Alex have settled into now that the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has passed. It is a scene I always liked and is actually one of the scenes that made it from first draft to final revision without much change….
An hour later, I’d put on my Harry Potter pajamas to celebrate the first cool night of the year and settled in with a mug of cocoa and a DVD of “To Catch a Thief.” All I needed to complete the picture was a dog and an undead Cary Grant. The cat who’d just sauntered past me with a rubber rat dangling from his lips was not a relaxing-on-the-sofa kind of pet. That rat would be buried in my bed within the hour. Even knowing it was there, I would scream. It had become a nightly event.
I took a sip of cocoa and rested my head against the back of the sofa, watching the movie through half-closed lids that sprang open at the sound of footsteps on my stairs from the first floor. Leaning forward quietly, I eased Charlie off the coffee table and breathed deeply to slow my galloping heart rate. My protective wards were in place, so how had anyone gotten in?
Setting the mug on the table, I stood and pointed the staff at the stairwell opening. One of the disadvantages of having most of my living space upstairs is the potential for being trapped. I’d learned that the hard way during one of my early run-ins with Jean Lafitte, back before he’d decided I was a better ally than enemy. Short of selling my house or learning how to land a jump from the second floor, I wasn’t sure what to do about it.
My emotional radar told me the intruder was a disgruntled shapeshifter and I relaxed. Only one grumpy shifter could get past my wards and he had a key to my house, which he’d been using far too liberally.
Alex’s voice beat his body up the stairs by a couple of heartbeats. “Put down the staff. If you zap me with it I’m going to have to hurt you.”
“How’d you know I had the staff?”
He rounded the top of the stairs and gave me a heated look. I still held the two-foot carved piece of wood in front of me, aimed at his head. “You might be able to tell how I feel, but I know how you think. Either use it or put it down. I’m tired.”
I propped the staff in the corner, reclaiming my cocoa and my spot on the sofa. “You’re tired? I spent the day with creepy mermen and Libby the airhead and watched an alligator get his feet cut off.”
Alex stopped, sweeping his eyes from my face to where my feet balanced on the coffee table in their fuzzy blue socks. “What the hell are you wearing?”
I looked down at my black sleepshirt featuring the movie cast on the front and the pants with the Griffindor logo all over them. “Well, crap. Now the matching Harry Potter PJs I bought you for Christmas won’t be a surprise.”
Now…did you win a book this week? If you see your name, please email me at suzannej3523 at gmail with the relevant info!
KELLY won the first two books in Shea MacLeod’s Sunwalker Saga. Just let me know your email address, which I’ll pass along to Shea and you guys can work out the details.
LARENA won a digital copy of Moriah Densley’s The Valkyrie’s Guardian. Let me know your email and I’ll pass it along to Moriah to work out what format you need.’
SHEILA won a surprise book of my choice in your chosen genre of urban fantasy, sci fi, fantasy, paranormal romance, or YA. Let me know your genre preference and snail-mail address.
BN100 won a copy of Ian Rogers’ Every House is Haunted. Let me know your preferred email and I’ll pass it along to Ian.
MEL won the week’s Reader’s Choice and chose Darynda Jones’ new Fourth Grave novel–I’ll need your snail-mail addy.
Thanks for entering last week’s contests…stay tuned for a big new Reader’s Choice tomorrow 🙂