I need some expert excerpt opinions if y'all don't mind.

Friday, September 16, 2011
Guess what-guess what-guess what!?

As I said on Wednesday, whenever I complain about not receiving a response from a query letter, I usually receive a response that very day. Well, yep, I heard back from an editor and....woo hoo...I sold my first Linda Kage short story (the rest of my published works are stories over 50,000 words long, making them not so short).

I'll reveal all the juicy details whenever I get them, but until then...I need to pick out an excerpt to use as my big promo piece.

They say it needs to be "alluring," something a reader will think "I must buy this book" after reading it, something with enough conflict and excitement to keep a reader interested but not so much as to give away the ending.

I've narrowed it down to four. Now, I'm all curious...which one do you like best, or do you think I should keep searching for something better? Any opinion would be greatly appreciated, even if you think I should delete all these scenes from my story entirely.

Thank you, thank you. Have a great weekend.



“How’re you doing?”

Deri gritted her teeth. “Hurts.”

His chocolate brown eyes filled with sympathy as he lightly stroked her hair. “We’ve almost got you free. Just hang in there.”

A moment later, some unknown person yanked the ladder away. The release of pressure was almost more brutal than the pinching agony, but it soon dissipated to a dull throb. Deri closed her eyes and let out a breath. Her head lulled against that thigh tucked beneath her cheek, and she focused on the warmth and muscles layered under smooth cotton slacks to keep her mind off the pain.

“I’m going to check your ankle out, okay?” Large capable fingers slipped off her shoe.

She ground her teeth and swallowed yet another whimper.

“Sorry,” he rasped. He gently cupped her heel as he examined the damage, prodding with the barest of thumb pressure. Deri held her breath but the burning was not appeased.

When she heard, “Holy Mother of God,” her eyes flew open, and she lifted her face.


Hot Guy shifted to block her view from the damage. “Don’t look.”

That didn’t exactly placate her. “What’s wrong?”

“Well, it’s…it’s swelling and bruising already. We need to get you to a hospital. Now.”

She nodded. “Okay.” Then she blew out a breath to hype herself. “Okay,” she said again. But how was she supposed to walk out of here? Gah, even the thought of standing made her stomach pitch with nausea.

“Wrap your arms around my neck,” he answered her unspoken question. “I’ll carry you.”

The sheer, noble romance of his command caused Deri to lose her breath.

What? Run away with you and bare your twenty children?


As long as he kept looking at her exactly as he was looking at her, she was pretty much game for any suggestion he made.

She stared deeply into his brown eyes and nodded. “Okay.”



“It wasn’t your fault.”

“But you fell because I distracted you,” he argued.

"Yeah, well I’m the doofus who lost her balance.” She rolled her head along the back of the leather seat to turn it his way.

He glanced at her, his mouth open as if ready to keep arguing, but when he saw her face, he cracked a smile. “Just how many painkillers did they give you?”

She shrugged a loose shoulder. “Dunno. I’ve always been a cheap drunk though. Maybe I’m a cheap druggie too.”

Unable to stop smirking, he shook his head. “Are you even going to be able to tell me how to get you home?”

“Sure.” Yet as soon as she made the adamant claim, she scowled, thinking hard about her address. When half of it came, she grinned and proudly pronounced, “Eight-twelve.”

“Okay...” He paused. “Eight-twelve, what?”

She frowned again. Hmm. Now there was a stumper.

“Eight-twelve, eight-twelve, eight-twelve…Aha! Dragon—I mean, Daggon, Doggon, Dogwood. Yeah, tha’s it. I live at eight-twelve Dogwood Lane.”

His shoulders eased. “Great. Dogwood Lane I can find. Now… do you know if that’s east or west Dogwood Lane?”

Deri pulled her bottom lip in between her teeth as she thought about it. Finally, she said, “East?”

When she made it sound more like a question than a fact, he sighed. “Is that your final answer or a guess?”

After another brain-smarting moment, she decided, “My answer.”

“All right then. We’re going to eight-twelve east Dogwood Lane.”

Deri perked to attention. “Really? Hey, tha’s where I live.”



“Do you need help with anything else?” he asked.

She lifted her head to look around. They’d made it to the second floor and now stood in front of her apartment entrance.

Had they come to the end of their association, already?

“No,” she mumbled, her voice full of all her forlorn thoughts. Time to let the hunk go now and never see him again. “I’ve got it from here. But thank you. Thank you sooooo much.”

Deri didn’t want him to leave. A dozen excuses came to mind. She should make him a hot cup of tea. Or maybe she could have him help her into bed and then just coax him into joining her there.

Ack, what was she thinking? A man running on his level of hotness did not tinker around with short, dumpty nut cases like Deri.

Besides, she didn’t even know him. The safe plan would be to send him on his way. Pronto.

Except, he looked so good standing there watching her as if he really did want to help her with, well, anything.

“Oh, what the hell,” she slurred and reached for him, her fingers groping clumsily for the lapels on his jacket, which blurred in her drug-hazed vision.

He immediately caught her shoulders, his eyebrows pinched with worry. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” she garbled out the irritated mutter, and finally caught his slippery jacket within her two fists. “I’m jus’…I’m trying to thank you property…I mean, properly.”

He squinted. “You’re trying to…what?”

“Thank you,” she stressed with a little more force as she used the last of her strength to tug on his jacket, jerking him close.

Unprepared for her heave, Cole stumbled against her, which was just fine, because somehow, she lifted her face perfectly and aligned—mostly aligned, anyway—their mouths as they smashed together.



A baffled frown wrinkled Cole forehead. He cleared his throat. “So, umm…will you come back to work at Harrety then?”

Huh? “No,” Deri answered hoarsely.

His eyes flashed to hers. “But you have to,” he almost whined. “If you don’t go out with me, you really need to come back to work.”

Deri sent him a startled look. “Are those my only two options?”

“Well…they’re the only two I’ll accept.”

His honestly startled and pleased her. She threw back her head and laughed.

Cole’s gaze grew hot as he watched. “You just had to go and do that, didn’t you?”

When he visibly swallowed and let out a little groan, swaying almost across the threshold toward her, she faltered. “D-do what?”

He rested the side of his face against the doorjamb as he stared with a yearning that made her mouth go dry. “I think I’ve become quite desperately obsessed with your laugh, Dericka Crandall.”

Oh, boy. She had to physically restrain herself from confessing she’d become quite desperately obsessed with pretty much everything about him.

“I…I…” She shook her head, a loss for words.

He took a step toward her, his gaze vigilant, intent. “I’m just going to throw one more thing out there we both need to consider before you make a final decision.”

She licked her lips, more tempted by the second. “What’s that?”


Before she could figure out what he meant, he eased one more step closer, barely entering her apartment. She could only gawk, mesmerized as he lifted a single hand and curled his fingers around the back of her neck to draw her close. Then she was against him.

His mouth sealed over hers.


  1. Excerpt B. Hands down.
    Happy Weekend!

  2. Thanks, Carol! I'm kind of partial to her drugged up moment too!

    Thanks, Amber. That was part of the meet scene, so I'm partial to it too. Okay, fine. I'm partial to pretty much the entire book!!!

  3. Well, I'm torn between A and D. I think they both leave a nice romantic hook. :-)

  4. I agree with Amber. I really like A!!!