Welcome to Scene Snippet Sunday.
Whew–what a week! The new boss started and I wish I could say everything was going to be right in the world for a change but, fact is, I barely saw the poor woman as she got rushed from meeting to meeting. So we shall see.
Then there was car drama. My 13-year-old Nissan Xterra (whose name is Samwise Gamgee because, yes, I name my cars) overheated during rush-hour traffic Friday 2/27, which set off a case of New Car Fever. Mind you, Samwise has only driven 77,000 miles–I use rental cars for long road trips–but the interior is a mess, metal is showing through the worn-through floorboard carpeting, the fabric on the roof falls on my head as I drive….it’s time. So wish me luck; I’ll be trudging out tomorrow during my lunch hour to look at this pretty baby.
I won’t buy it tomorrow because it has manual transmission and that’s not happening. Been there, done that, and there are WAAAAY too many hills where I live. So wish me luck! The dealer will either locate an automatic in another city and have it brought here, or I’ll pick a different car. Playing it by ear.
So…what’s this about a WIP snippet? It’s from one of three “secret” projects I’m working on this year. One is a novella I’m writing for an anthology that will come out in the fall. More details to come on that one. The second is the first in a novella series I’m co-writing with another author. More details to come on that one too. And third is the beginning of a brand new series that I’m working “on spec,” which means I’m trying to sell it to a publisher and haven’t gotten a decision yet. All of these things will become clear when I finally, finally, restart my newsletter, grasshoppers. I’m trying to make that happen for April 1. I’m working on something a bit different from the usual newsletter, so subscribe if you haven’t already! In other news, my publisher has chosen not to exercise its option on a new Penton book, so I will be writing and publishing that one on my own, along with the much-delayed Pirateship Down novella. So it’s shaping up to be a busy year, and we’ll see how it all goes and whether the day job puts a crimp in it as it did last year.
Anyway, here’s a bit from the beginning of the new WIP, which has a working title of WILD MAN’S BLUFF:
A pair of reptilian green eyes, followed by a leathery snout, rose above the water line two feet from the bow of the boat. Gentry Broussard tracked the movement from his hiding spot among the overhanging trees of Whiskey Bayou.
At least a ten-footer, and the fourteenth gator sighting since Gentry had found the poacher’s line two hours earlier. Not counting the poor beast on the end of that taut line. A life-ending treble hook had likely pierced its gut when it snapped on the bait.
Louisiana’s annual thirty-day gator-hunting season ended the previous midnight, but a few poachers always tried to wrangle in a few more kills, either to eat, to sell the valuable skin, or both. That truth lay hard in the twisting, isolated tangle of the Atchafalaya River basin. Places like lower St. Mary Parish. Places like Whiskey Bayou.
Places where a bored, sleep-deprived wildlife enforcement agent like Gentry might work off some aggression. All he needed was one dumb redneck to show up and claim his illegal prize.
Gentry settled back in the flat-bottomed skiff hidden among a dense overhang of hackberry limbs, raised his binoculars, and followed the gator’s progress. It glided in a graceful arc across the narrow bayou, leaving a vee-shaped trail in its wake. Before reaching the opposite bank, the reptile dropped into deeper water and out of sight.
For the past eight hours, he had set up a watch at four spots, each deeper in the far reaches of St. Mary Parish. The bulk of Louisiana’s Wildlife and Fisheries agents, including the enforcement division, had pulled poacher duty today.
Fine with Gentry. He needed to work off some energy before ending his ten-hour shift and coming face-to-face with yet another weekend of battling his own demons. Every weekend offered a distinct chance for him to lose that battle. If that happened, he’d lose everything.
After hours of dead ends, he’d finally spotted this downed gator line in the last spot anybody with good sense would trap–within sight of crazy old Eva Savoie’s cabin.
Some said the old Cajun woman was a voodoo priestess, others that she was a witch. All agreed she spoke little or no English, only the thick Cajun French patois that people here clung to with an almost religious fervor.
Gentry didn’t believe in voodoo, and he didn’t believe in witches. Crazy old Cajun women with shotguns were another matter.
Yep, I’m back in Louisiana for this one! So keep your fingers crossed that it works out.
In the meantime, I have some winners to announce! As always, if you see your name here, please email me either at the contact tab above or directly at email@example.com.
ROGER won the new book from Kylie Chan, Demon Child. This is a print copy.
CHEREI McCARTER won this week’s five-book TBR Toppling giveaway. These are all print copies.
MIKI won this week’s Reader’s Choice giveaway and was trying to decide between the new books from Patricia Briggs, Devon Monk and Seanan McGuire–let me know which one you prefer!
Finally, if any of you have an interest in mixed-media art, be sure and check out my Supplies and Demand blog, which I set up a few weeks ago after a couple of false starts. A lot of it is me rating different art supplies but I’ll have some of my pieces on there too. AND it will be the testing ground for my “Art Therapy for Writers and Readers” workshop when I pull that together–the timing will depend on my writing schedule and how it all shakes out but I hope by summer. Anyway, this first workshop will have a great price tag on it. FREE. 🙂
Stay tuned for another Reader’s Choice contest tomorrow!