It’s that time again, for a scene snippet and two weeks’ worth of winners!
First, thanks to all of you who made suggestions for character names this past week. I’m well into my latest WiP and it’s even more complex than usual because both the hero and heroine have two names. Why? Well, you’ll have to wait and see! But in the meantime, I ended up with the primary names of Samantha (aka Sam) and Brody. Sam’s name was suggested by Miki; Brody’s second name was suggested by Liz S: Nathan. I’ll be dipping into that list of names for other characters as well, so thank you!
Now, how about a snippet from Pirate’s Alley in honor of Elysian Fields’ release in paperback coming on May 13? Remember this is from the raw manuscript, so scenes can always change or get clipped, but you can learn a lot from this snipped: the looming crisis that will drive the action through much of the book. It’s a great big “uh-oh.”
“This is perfect running weather,” Alex said. “Want to go before dinner?”
No, I had a little science experiment to take care of. “Thanks, but I promised Eugenie I’d help her with some, uh, cleaning.”
Alex had beautiful eyes, a dark chocolate brown with long lashes that every woman I knew would kill to have, including me. When he squinted in suspicion, like he was doing now, it ruined the effect.
“You’re an organization freak but you only clean as a last resort, when you want to avoid doing something else. You’re a procrasti-cleaner. So what are you really up to?” He snaked out a hand and pulled on the Walgreen’s bag, whose top still protruded from its leather hiding place in my satchel. I snatched at it, but he jerked it out, upended it on the kitchen counter, and grinned at the mountain of chocolate candy that tumbled out—until a Snickers rolled to the floor and exposed the lavender box of the pregnancy test.
If I hadn’t been so worried about Eugenie, I’d have laughed at Alex’s expression. Despite my daily grounding ritual and the small protective amulet of herbs and stones around my neck, my empathic abilities picked up his fear.
He picked up the box as if it might contain radioactive materials. For all I knew, it might—who knew what was in those tests?
“We need to talk about this.” His voice sounded croaky and froglike.
I bit my lip to keep from laughing. “It’s not—”
“We’re still trying to figure things out between us.” He paced around the counter and put his hands on my shoulders. “I’m not ready to be a father. You’re sure as hell not ready to be…”
Too late, he realized he’d stuck a big old size thirteen boot in his mouth. It would serve him right if I’d let him go on thinking the pregnancy scare was mine, just to see how big a hole he’d dig himself into. Except I’d promised myself I wasn’t going to keep secrets from Alex and that I was going to be mature enough to give this relationship a fighting chance, even if it killed me.
Plus, he was right. I wasn’t ready to be a mother. I was well aware that my grumpy, unaffectionate cat, Sebastian, had become fat, happy, and docile since my house burned down and he’d moved in with Alex, a canine shapeshifter. I wasn’t even a decent cat mother.
“It’s not mine, Alex.” I kept my voice low. “The test is for Eugenie.”
I tried not to be offended at the relief that washed across both his face and his aura. His wonky shapeshifter energy, which had been crawling across my skin like invisible ants, settled down to its usual buzz.
Then it began rising again. “You mean…” He looked toward the living room, where Eugenie sat staring at the fire, then out the window, where the front of Plantasy Island sat in plain view. Quince Randolph stood framed in the doorway.
Alex took a deep breath. “Holy shit.”
I followed the direction of his gaze with my own and nodded.
Oh, and don’t you know THAT is going to complicate everything?
And now for the winners. If you see your name here, please email me at suzannej3523 at gmail dot com firstname.lastname@example.org with your info…
ERIN F won a copy of AJ Larrieu’s new book Twisted Miracles. I think this is a choice of print or digital, so let me know your preference and, if digital, preferred format.
BOOKLADY won a digital copy of Stacy McKitrick’s My Sunny Vampire. Let me know the preferred format (Kindle or Nook) and your preferred email address.
GALENA won this week’s Reader’s Choice and selected the first book in Theo Lawrence’s Mystic City trilogy. Your choice of print or digital.
BARBARA E won a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card from Betty Bolte in celebration of the April 28 release of her new novel, Traces.
GAMISTRESS66 won last week’s Reader’s Choice and chose Wild Wolf by Jennifer Ashley–choice of print or digital on this one.
Come back tomorrow for a new Reader’s Choice! In the meantime, what kind of complications can you see arising if Eugenie is, indeed, carrying Rand’s elf baby?! Is this a twist you saw coming?