It's Snippet Time! I'd like to thank my buddy Ellen for coming up with this great idea while we were hashing out the details of our next showdown--which happens to be on June 21st. I'm going to start by posting a snippet from my December 2012 book Crossing Nevada. Please feel free to post snippets of your own, either from your own writing or from a book you particularly enjoy.
[Background:Tess O’Neil had a successful modeling career until her face was slashed by a vengeful relative who promised to keep taking pieces off her until he gets the money he thinks she has. Now she’s hiding out in a remote Nevada community, afraid of being recognized and trying to avoid her overly friendly neighbors who keep showing up with casseroles and trying to get her to join quilt club. Widower Zach Nolan lives with his three daughters on a ranch across the road from reclusive Tess, whose barn was struck by lightning the night before and burned it to the ground.]
Tess‘s eyes flashed open as the dogs started barking. A split second later someone else pounded on her door. It had to be another fireman, but that didn‘t keep her heart from knocking against her ribs as she went into the living room and looked out the window to see Zach Nolan standing on her porch.
Feeling relieved that it was at least someone she was vaguely familiar with and that he wasn‘t carrying food, Tess opened the door a few inches.
“I have to check the remains of the fire and I wanted to let you know.” He sounded utterly ticked.
“Thank you,” Tess said. What else could she say?
He didn‘t respond. Didn‘t move, didn‘t do anything except stare her down with cold blue eyes. Tess shifted uncomfortably and was about to close the door in his face again when he said, “What‘s wrong with you?”
“Pardon me?” she asked, startled. Was he asking about her face? Which she thought she was keeping out of sight.
“I said, what‘s wrong with you?” He planted a hand against the wall and leaned closer to the open crack between the door and the jamb, so close that she could feel the warmth of his body. Or was it her imagination? “Have you always been like this?”
“Like what?” Scarred?
“Like what?” he asked on a disbelieving note. “Like being a person who slams doors in people‘s faces, chases away grandmothers with food and scares little girls.”
Tess pulled back at the unexpected attack. “I just want to be left alone.”
“That shouldn‘t be a problem, lady.” He pushed off from the door frame and started down the porch steps, reaching the sidewalk before he muttered a few words she probably wasn‘t meant to hear.
Well, she had heard—or at least she thought she’d heard. Regardless of the words, there was no mistaking the tone. Tess stepped out onto the porch, no longer caring about hiding her injury from him. She‘d had been through hell last night. No, make that more hell. Who was he to judge?
“I don‘t see how my interactions with other people in this community is any business of yours.”
Zach came to a dead stop, and then he turned toward her. “Oh, it‘s my business.”
His certainty perplexed her. “How so?” she demanded. “Because I won‘t let your ruddy cows onto my land?”
“No. Because that little girl you scared off your property two days ago happens to be my youngest daughter.”
That's it. Now please, snippet away!