Friday, February 3, 2012

WIP Excerpt: "Do you like princesses?" (Nobody's Perfect)

The muse is back in town and I've been writing like crazy the past few days--well, more so than the last month anyway. Thanks to everyone who sent prayers, good wishes, and healing thoughts to my sister and my family last month as we were all in the grip of cancer surgery and recovery. We also loved the quilt and prayer shawl two Facebook friends sent. Just gorgeous. My sister is home now and gets stronger every day. Still will need chemo to eradicate the remaining cancer cells, but the major tumors have all been removed.

So, of course, now that my mind isn't sleep deprived and worried, I am working on Nobody's Perfect, book 4 in the Rescue Me series (due out in May 2012). I thought I would share an unedited excerpt from the first chapter. Those who have read the Epilogue of Nobody's Hero know where they are and why. Hopefully the rest of you can follow, as well.

I continued this scene with the next six sentences in my Feb. 5 Six Sunday blog. Oh, you're in Damian's point of view right now. And this is TOTALLY UNEDITED except by me, so bear with me on typos.

The inner door swung open and Marc stood there in scrubs. Damián did a double take. "I'm assisting tonight." 

His friend grinned, apparently loving the idea of being in corpsman mode again. He wondered why Marc hadn't pursued a career in medicine when he got back from Iraq, rather than going into an outdoor-adventure outfitter business. Of course, he did do search and rescue, which probably enabled him to make use of his medic skills a bit, too.

Marc looked from Damián to Marisol's face, then back at Damián. He quirked an eyebrow, then grinned. Damn. He knew his buddy was drawing conclusions Damián wasn't ready to acknowledge yet. Hell, he didn't even know for sure.

Yes, you do.

Yeah. He did. But he wasn't going to talk about it with Marc before he talked to Savi. He turned to find she had halted in the doorway and was looking warily at Marc. Damián adjusted his bundle, which wasn't nearly as heavy now that she was awake. Her tiny arms and hands held onto his neck as if she wouldn't let go.

He just wished her mama would trust him like that.

"Savi, this is the friend I told you about. Marc D'Alessio, meet Savi Baker. She's from my neighborhood in California." Marc walked toward Savi and held out his hand. She paused only a few seconds before reaching out to take his hand briefly, then pulled back.

"Pleased to meet you, Savi. Looks like you've been in a bit of a scuffle." Self-consciously, she raised her hand to her face to hide her cheek and winced, probably more from the pain in her rib than from her face.

Damián took a step forward. "I think her left side might be injured. She's been favoring it and showed signs of something going on when I examined her the way you told me to over the phone." Don't think about touching her right now, chico.

"Come, cara, let me get you into the exam room. Dr. McKenzie is setting things up for us now." Marc took her elbow and led her past the reception window to a door that had been propped open. Savi looked back at Damián.

"Don't worry. We're right behind you."

Savi halted. "No. I don't want Mari to see."

Damián didn't want to wait out here. He needed to know what Savi's bastard father had done to her. But he knew he couldn't just barge in the exam room if Savi didn't want him there. Besides, she probably was right. Marisol didn't need to see her mama's battered body. Bad enough she could see the bruises on her face.

Savi's gaze shifted to Marisol. "Mari, honey, the doctor is just going to check and make Maman all better. You stay here with Damián. I think I saw some toys in the corner over there you can play with while you're waiting. I shouldn't be too long."

Marisol looked from her mother to Marc. "Don't hurt my maman." The fierce tone in her high-pitched voice made Damián smile. Protective of her mommy. He liked that, although he was saddened that his little girl felt the need to protect her mother. Parents were supposed to protect their kids, not the other way around.

Marc smiled his understanding. "Don't worry, Mari. The doctor and I will take very good care of her and she'll be back with you in no time."

Marisol scrutinized Marc a moment, taking his measure, then nodded, seeming satisfied with his buddy's ability to care for her mother and return her safely. Heaven help Marc if he didn't follow through on that promise, though. This muñequita would be a force to be reckoned with.

Already the little doll had breached a wall in Damián's defenses.

"Come, bebé, let's go check out the toys over here."

"I'm not a baby. You can put me down now."

Yes, ma'am. He grinned as he put her down, feeling instant relief in his ankle. He hadn't even realized the strain his prosthesis had been under until now.

Marisol placed her hand in his and led him to the table laden with Legos and books. He hadn't played with the plastic interlocking blocks since he'd been in Eden Gardens for Teresa's birthday. Happier times with his nephew, José. They hadn't enjoyed fun like that during his last visit. 

He figured a little girl would be more interested in dolls, but she surprised him when she sat at the table and began playing with the colorful blocks. He soon discovered she was quite adept at building intricate structures. Like a construction foreman, she instructed him on what he could do to help and soon they had built four castle walls, complete with a drawbridge that could be lowered and raised. Next she began working on a tower. 
Marisol's fingers stopped working and she looked over at him. "Do you like princesses?"

Damián wasn't sure how to respond. "Well, I haven't met too many princesses, but the ones I know, like my niece and you, I like a lot."

"Not me, silly. I mean Maman. An evil knight from a kingdom far away put a spell on her and she doesn't know she's a princesa anymore. She needs to have a prince kiss her so she can remember."

Shit. The calculating expression in the little girl's eyes told him he was being sized up to take on the role of her mama's rescuing prince.

...for the next six lines (and to finish the scene), go to this Six Sunday blog!

For a list of all of the e-books in the Rescue Me series 
and links to purchase sites, go to the book listing tab in this blog.  
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  1. YES!! So glad to have you back!! First, I'm glad that things are going well with your sister. I know it's not over, but she's so strong and has one helluva support system. I'm always rooting for her. ;-)

    Second, I. Can't. Wait!! May's not that far away, is it..? Great excerpt!

  2. So glad to hear that Mary is doing so well! And that she is home, that is always better than being in a hospital.

    Loved the excerpt and can't wait until May to read the book! I know it is not far off but it seems like an eternity to wait! LOL

  3. Wow. Just wow. I love this series and I know this book is going to be my favorite. May can't get here fast enough!!

    If you need a Beta reader, you can count on me!!

  4. OOOOOOOOOO- I can't wait to read this book!!!

  5. HOLY LEGOS!!!! You muse is back with a bang! I LOVE IT!!!!

  6. Not only is my muse back, DiDi, but so is my Master. Damian (and Savi) woke me up from a nap with dialog that began with a phone call, "Damian, someone's here." I wrote 500 words in that scene later in the book a little while ago. I love when they wake me up with dialogue and scenes, because it's usually pretty intense. It was!