Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Excerpt from my novella in Texting All Hearts—Wounded Hearts

What do rodeos, otherworldly encounters, exotic dancers, bondage, hot sex, refound love, and time travel have in common? Besides romantic, edge of your seat fun and intrigue, they all evolve from a single text. Seven multi-genre novellas that promise to heat your nights and warm your hearts.

                                                                  Wounded Hearts

Sarah Lawson's fiancé Logan Miller died in Afghanistan. She receives a text from Brandon Perdue, one of his war buddies, who wants to meet and deliver a message from Logan. Physically and emotionally scarred, Brandon values Sarah's friendship. Sarah wants their relationship to deepen, but he fears she's projecting her feelings for Logan on to him.

Excerpt # 1

A child's voice jerked him back to the present. “Mommy, that man is ugly.” Having grown accustomed to the reactions of young children to his scars, he didn’t flinch.
The mother, red faced, shook the three or four old and hustled him out of the coffee shop. Through the glass window he watched as the woman lectured the child. A couple of minutes later, the boy re-entered the store and stopped before Brandon’s table.
“I’m sorry, mister. I didn’t mean nothing bad about what I said.”
“I know you didn’t, young man.” Would he ever get used to his changed voice? The heat and gasoline fumes had permanently damaged his vocal cords. “No offense taken. I realize my face is hard to gaze upon, especially by someone so young.”
He shuffled his feet. “Ah, you don’t look so bad.”
Brandon couldn’t hide his grin, though his mouth twisted in a grotesque way when he did so, but the kid didn’t flinch. "That's mighty kind of you to say."
“Was you in the war?”
He cleared his throat. “Yes, I was.”
The boy hung his head. “I’m sorry.” He looked up giving Brandon a clear view of his innocent brown eyes. He chewed on his lip a minute. “Can I give you a hug?”
Tears stung Brandon’s eyes and a knot formed in his hoarse throat. “I’d love a hug, especially from a fine young man such as you.”
The child launched himself at Brandon and two skinny arms squeezed his neck tight. Brandon hugged him close, shut his eyes, and breathed in the little boy smell—a mixture of soap, dirt, and chocolate milk. 
Brandon released him. “Thank you. That hug was better than an ice cream cone.”
“You bet. Now run along and tell your mom we’re square.”
He grinned, waved, and ran to the door where his mother waited. Brandon nodded to the woman. She smiled and mouthed “thank you”.
He watched them cross the street, heat radiating off the pavement. His heart ached. How he’d love to have a child or two, but there was little chance of that now. With his ugly facial burns, no woman with sight would marry someone with his horrid scars.

Excerpt # 2

Brandon lay in bed reliving the gentle touch of Sarah's lips against his. The kiss was such a surprise, and over before he realized her intentions. Could someone like her really care for him? His heart pounded in his rib cage, and hurt and longing clogged his throat. Tears pricked his eyes, and he closed them.
He slept in the nude, so it wasn't hard for him to take inventory of the scars on his body with his hands. He didn't need to see them. He knew them by heart, but allowed his palm to roam over them for the millionth time. His torso was puckered and lumpy from the burns. They traveled down his torso to just below his navel. Fortunately the flames hadn't reached his genitals, and he was able to function sexually. Not that he'd had an opportunity for a test run, but seeing Sarah, being close to her, breathing in her special scent had made his trousers uncomfortable on more than one occasion.
The burns covered his shoulders, arms, and parts of his back. And then there was his face. It had not been spared. His helmet had protected most of his head and somehow his eyes hadn't been damaged. Considering how bad the damage could have been, he was a lucky son-of-a-gun. But he wasn't what Sarah needed. She deserved a man without scars, physical or emotional. She was projecting her feelings for Logan onto him. That wouldn't do, for either of them. What if they married and she decided later she couldn't live with his scars? He shuddered. No, he'd never take that chance.

I'll be adding blurbs and excerpts of the other novellas in the next two weeks.

Happy Reading and Writing!


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