Winning Excerpt

Spoiler: This is not the excerpt that put me over 50K, and the reason for that is that my quality dropped dramatically when I had 800 words to go.  I had to put something up, though, so here goes.  (Current Word Count: 50,574)


Eddy was sitting in his study, but he definitely wasn’t getting any studying done.  Part of him begged to get called in to work for an emergency.  Part of him begged to reverse time a little and pause during the trial.  That one point when they’d all been together, having to be the same team again, just for a short time.  The other part of him, which he realized was a third, not just a part, wanted to go see Trixie.  That was the easiest thing to do, and probably the best, so he got into his car and went to the animal hospital.
The receptionist recognized him with a smile.  “She’s in her room,” she told him, pushing a button so he could access the hall.  He thanked her and pulled open the door.  Every step down the hall filled him with anticipation until he reached Trixie’s door.  He could hear low whimpers from inside before he’d gotten to the gate which formed the door to her little doggie hospital room.
As soon as he was within sight, the whimpers changed tones from pained to excited and intensified greatly.  Eddy smiled broadly as he opened the door and stepped over the gate.  As long as she had to stay down, the gate was fine, he figured, but as soon as she got well enough to walk, she’d be out of there in a heartbeat.  At the moment, she looked incredibly happy, and Eddy had to admit that it made him happy to see her happy.
He stroked her face soothingly, kneeling beside her.  “There you go, girlie.  Did you miss me?  I missed you more than anything.  Well, not anything, technically, but you get the idea.  Home’s just not the same when I’m the only one there.  I really miss always having you right beside me no matter what I’m doing.  You have got to be my favorite annoyance, do you know that, puppy?”
She sighed contentedly as if she definitely did know that, but if he’d just scratch a little more to the left, she’d never forget it.
“Work’s been slow, which is good, I guess.  Brinkley  hasn’t gotten any better, which is a definite minus.  We got our big bad guy, although we’re still waiting on the jury.  It’s been two weeks already, but that’s not uncommon.  We’re still looking for his boss, but we’ll find him soon.  I know you’re rooting for me, puppy.  Good grief, did I tell you I missed you?  Probably a dozen times already, but I can’t say it enough for you to understand the whole truth.  I miss everything about you, even cleaning up after you.  You’re my only friend, do you know that?”
Then he realized that it didn’t have to be that way.  “Don’t go anywhere, puppy,” he warned, planting a soft kiss between her ears and standing slowly.  “I’ll come back with a treat for you,” he promised in reply to her suddenly insistent whines.
He left the room, painfully aware of the fact that she already missed him and didn’t understand why he was leaving so soon.  The receptionist looked surprised, too.  “I’ll be back tonight,” he explained.  “I just had to stop by now.”  She nodded and turned her attention back to her computer.
Eddy climbed back into the jag, wondering what to do next.  Reine would probably blast him for stalking her despite his insistence that it was all Brinkley.  He really didn’t feel like an argument right now, although it did have its appeals.  What he needed was a friend to just sit down and say the random, simple “cool, man” over coffee, so he drove straight to Tyler’s house.
The car wasn’t in the driveway, and Eddy immediately had a feeling of dread that he wouldn’t be at home at all.  He risked it anyway.  He walked up the driveway and knocked loudly on the door.  Nothing.  He rang the doorbell.  Nothing.  He tried both at the same thing, and still nothing happened.  He turned away slowly.  He should have known better.
He would go back to Trixie and apologize for running off like that when she was the friend that had given everything for him.  He still had to get the treat he’d promised her.  There was a whole box of treats in the glove box of the Jaguar, but he felt like getting her something special for having been there for him for so long and through so much.  He figured he’d stop at the mall, since it was right next to the hospital, and get her a big bone.
After purchasing the dog bone, he suddenly felt like getting coffee, and remember Reine’s favorite coffee shop, he walked through the mall toward the shoe store.  When he got to the corner, he refused to go past the coffee shop and look in the shoe store first.  Instead, he stepped into the short line at the coffee shop.  Glancing at the sign with their prices, he whistled low.  This coffee had better be exceptionally good for the price he was going to have to pay for it!


Plot Twist

So, you know that moment when you haven’t been paying attention to what you’re writing and all of a sudden your main characters split up and you can’t go back and change because you suddenly know that it’s supposed to happen?  Guess what?  That just happened.  It completely defeats most of my sub plots, but now I guess I can spend more time now working on only Reine.  Current word count: 22197.

Tyler spoke without moving his head from between his hands.  “I know you’re just trying to pretend nothing happened.”
“Actually,” Reine admitted, “we were intending to make you face it, but both of us seemed to chicken out.  So what happened in there?”
Tyler shrugged and dropped his hands, although he didn’t lift his head.  “How am I supposed to know?”
“Answering a question with a question,” Eddy remarked.  “Not a good move around a woman.”
“Noted,” Tyler answered.  “So you don’t want a question for an answer.  I honestly don’t know what happened.”
Reine sat back and crossed her legs while pushing her hair out of her face.  “Well you have to know something.  I mean, none of the rest of us know anymore about you than you do, so if you don’t know then we’re in trouble.  What were you thinking?”
“Probably exactly what I said.”
“Nope.  Let’s try again.  What made you respond the way you did to a simple playful question?”
“Maybe because you don’t play,” Tyler answered.
“No maybes,” Reine discarded the answer immediately.  “That’s not your reason.  You aren’t getting out of this, Tyler Newman.  What was it in my question that bared something that you decided you had to quickly cover it with something so out of character for you that it left all of us in shock, probably including you.”
Tyler rolled his eyes.  “Reine, you aren’t a shrink.”
“And that’s not an answer,” she instantly threw back.
A deep sigh, and Tyler lifted his head for the first time.  “So what exactly entitles you to ask all the questions?”
“First, may I point out that you haven’t answered any of them straight yet so my entitlement is that I deserve at least one answer to my three or four questions.  Secondly, which really should be able to stand alone, didn’t I save your life?  You know, that is reason enough on its own.  Strike the first one.  Apparently eternally grateful doesn’t extend to answering simple questions,” she added to Eddy.
Eddy nodded, and Reine thought she saw his trademark smirk for a fraction of a second.  Then he turned to Tyler.  “So what’s up?”
Tyler sat back and looked at them questioningly.  “You guys just don’t really understand,” he said after a minute.  “Eddy, you can take a break from work, Reine, you can just break down whenever and blow up.  We all understand.  Yeah, it’s understandable, isn’t it?  Well, it’s understandable when you guys break down a little.  If Tyler cracks for minute though, it’s as if he’s broken every rule in the book.  Why can’t you at least be consistent?”
Reine looked at Eddy, and he sighed and sat back.  “And your point is?” he asked.
Tyler looked absolutely fed up.  “The rest of you get to crack under pressure.  You should understand better than anyone else why I’d have my moments too.”
“So you want us to understand?” Reine was glad that Eddy was taking over the conversation.
Tyler sighed.  “Isn’t that what I just said?”
Eddy leaned forward again.  “Well, considering that one of the last things you said you want us to ignore, I’d thought I’d better check.”
Tyler groaned.  “You guys, are we entirely incompatible?  I mean, really.  The two of you can’t be alone for five minutes without getting into a battle royal, Reine hates me, and now you’re entirely against me, Eddy.  Is this where we realize that we should never have been in each other’s lives and make our exit?  I mean, is this where we are all supposed to recognize that it’s goodbye time?”
Reine felt her heart fall and crash hard.  She had a feeling that it would be a long time before she ever got the pieces picked up again as she and Eddy silently nodded and then they all went in separate directions.

Reining Pennies Cover


It’s a little different than Dead Tired’s, and don’t even ask where the whole “Balanced” thing came from because I won’t be able to tell you for sure until after I write the last book.  (Which, in case you haven’t had any caffiene yet, will be the third and next book.)  I couldn’t do much writing, so I thought I’d get a picture together, which always helps.  Today’s no different.  I’m going to go write, now!  Current word count: 20679)

Excerpt 2!

(Yeah, I know it’s a long time coming, but here it is at last.  I couldn’t give you the other stuff without context.  I hope you enjoy.  Current word count is 15132.)

Tyler knew Eddy had been by the mall and had called saying that he’d pick Reine up, and he knew that Eddy was going home to change cars before coming over.  What Tyler didn’t expect was the gorgeous German shepherd that sat patiently on the back seat in the “down” position until Eddy lifted the leash and gave a command.  Tyler felt his heart fly into his throat.  Gorgeous was relative, and Tyler wasn’t a dog person.  He supposed that if he had to have a dog in his house, Trixie was okay, but he still didn’t want her anywhere nrear him.
Reine saw his face at just the wrong moment, apparently, and he saw a devilish hint in her eyes.  She leaned toward Eddy for a moment and said something very quietly.  Eddy stood up from beside Trixie and shrugged.  Reine smiled, took the leash, and ran toward the porch with Trixie thundering behind her in a deer-like movement.
Tyler realized what was coming just a moment too late.  That was the moment after two long legs attatched themselves to his shoulders and the force of it sent him onto his back.  Trixie didn’t seem to notice.  Joyfully licking his face as if her were a long lost friend, she didn’t look like she was moving any time soon either.
Tyler grunted slightly, although he didn’t dare open his mouth.  This was almost torture.  He really didn’t like dogs!  He realized how ridiculous this situation was and almost started laughing.  The strange sound that was produced by this made Trixie freeze with her tongue against his face.  She whined deep in her throat and then resumed her torturous licking.
Eddy finally appeared to take pity on Tyler and called Trixie off in a low, one word command.  Tyler was amazed at how easily he got the monster off of him by just saying “come” and he lay there for a moment enjoying not having any weight on him.  then he realized how ridiculous that looked.  He was just sprawled on his front porch with a guy, a girl, and a dog watching.  He grinned sheppishly and jumped up.  Well, he tried to jump up, but it took a minute.  He had a feeling he looked like he was on a tight rope a thousand feet in the air as he struggled to stand on his thirty foot long porch.
From the expression on Reine’s face, he knew his feeling was right or very close to it.  “Well,” he attempted to brush off the situation awkwardly.  “That was nice.  Now that we all know each other, do you want to come in?”
Eddy just smirked, and Reine rolled her eyes, but Trixie barked once.  Tyler had to hand it to her, she was somehow keeping his attention.  “Pretty dog,” he mentioned.
Eddy nodded.  “She always has been, haven’t you, puppy?” his voice suddenly got that quality that people only have in their voices when talking to pets and very young children as he leaned over the golden and black animal that Tyler thought was way too big for anyone to call a puppy and stroked her face affectionately.
Trixie ate it up.  Literally.
While the dog and owner shared a special bonding fight, Tyler asked Reine how work went.  It was a nice gesture, he thought.  “Did you enjoy your first day?”
From the way her eyes rolled, Tyler knew that he had somehow crossed an imaginary line that he didn’t even know existed.  He made a mental note although even he wasn’t sure what it said for this one.  “Not so hot, huh?”
“No,” was all she said, and since she had shut her mouth twice before saying it, Tyler could see that he was lucky to get an answer at all.
“Sorry.  It was an obvious answer already, huh?” he asked.  “Actually, don’t answer that.  I didn’t mean to ask anything.  I know you’re just going to say ‘Obviously’ very annoyingly, and–what?”  He did an instant checklist and saw the problem before she got a chance to say it.  “Don’t.  It’s never annoying.  You’re never annoying.  If I think so, it’s my fault because I have translation problems.  Is that it?”
“It’s about time you got somehting right,” was the ungracious and reluctant agreement he got for his unfelt statements.
Tyler didn’t even look over this time.  He knew Eddy was smirking again.  Instead of offering this time, Tyler just led the way inside.  “You know where everything is, so you know, knock yourselves out.  Please note that this is only a figure of speeck because it would really suck if you managed to knock youreself out while doing something here.”
Eddy’s chuckle and Reine’s groan raced past the closing door and made it to the ears of the shadow in the bushes that none of them had noticed.

Excerpt 1

This is my first excerpt post.  I will post one every week, or more often if I write well.  My thoughts/notes will be italicized, and my novel will be regular font.  Current word count: 1895.  For more information on what all of this is, go to my profile at

Reine stalked the mall hallway behind security guard Marks.  He’s invited her to call him Tim, his first name, when he met her, but he definitely wasn’t her type, so she – possibly not too courteously – declined.  Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to dissuade him in the least.  He just grinned and said something stupid about her calling him whatever she wanted to.  Reine was sure that in another life, this guy had killed her.  She was just naturally averse to him.  Neither Tyler nor Marks noticed this, however.  It’s all one could expect, seeing that they were both at least twenty-five and male.
Twenty-five?  Reine glanced at her companion through a veil of long, black bangs.  She grimaced at the thought of actually spending time with him when Tyler didn’t force her to.  She stopped her thoughts right there in a rare but heroic effort to think kindly and truthfully.  Marks wasn’t so bad looking after all.  He was slightly stocky, but being a mall cop in a small, quiet town explained that.  The words “small” and “quiet” stuck in her mind as she thought about how her mom had said them while convincing Reine that coming to this place wouldn’t be a bad idea.  In an effort to get rid of those thoughts as she did with anything connected to her mom now, Reine forced herself to continue evaluating Marks.  She almost shuddered when she noticed how greasy his moderately short brown hair was, how it pressed down over his short forehead, almost falling into the hazel eyes that Reine realized with a sudden start had been turned her way.
Marks smirked, but he thankfully didn’t bring it up again. Reine continued piling up her disgusted thoughts.  This guy was so self conceited that he thought she was looking him over because she liked him!  Because she wasn’t sure whether to be utterly disgusted or terrificly horrified, Reine chose to be neither.  Marks was also somewhat thick and a bit of a pushover, Reine had quickly decided when she first met him.  So far tonight, she hadn’t had a chance to really notice whether or not he had changed.  She was sure that he hadn’t, though.  Marks wasn’t the kind of guy to change for the better.  Marks wasn’t the kind of guy to do anything for the better, actually.


Marks caught himself staring at Reine.  Not that she was necessarily unusually pretty or anything, he was just still in shock.  To be fair, he decided, she was pretty in her own way.  The more he’d mulled this over, the more he’d liked it.
He suddenly realized that they were just standing in the middle of the mall’s front entrance, so he told her that his job was to walk the halls and explained that he was doing that now.  She followed him without a word.  They had continued in silence, and Marks had used the time to come to a decision that although she wasn’t necessarily his taste, he was sure he could make an exception since she seemed to be entirely taken up with him.  Obviously, that wasn’t surprising in the least, but now that it had been proven, he was glad all the same.