Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Time To Catch Up!

I apologize for my intermittent postings lately. I've been a bit flattened by life as of late, and this week, I have family in town. Lots of running about trying to prepare, etc. My writing has taken such a back seat, I hardly remember what it was I was working on. :) That said, it's been a while since I've caught up with a lot of you out there, so I thought it might be fun to have a little snip fest of our WIP's. Feel free to post something, or if you're holding it close to the vest, tell us a little bit about what you're working on without giving away anything you don't want to.

Hopefully next week I'll have something a little more on topic. :)

Have fun! Can't wait to read all of your wonderful snips.

A random, newish bit from BY THE PALE MOONLIGHT:

Despite my injuries, it was Ty who had the roughest time over the next few days. He sank into himself, the weight of his guilt an unrelenting force that put a wedge of distance between us. He still stayed with me through the nights, but he was restless. We both were, each for our own reasons. Unable to give voice to our fears, we chose to simply not speak at all.

Surprisingly, it was Melanie who helped get us through. Her determination to discover the truth kept us moving forward, and served as a focal point to distract us from getting lost to our fears and guilt. While Ty and I drifted through that first day back at school in a fog, she simply refused to get pulled into our funk.

“Nothing’s changed,” she said, barely sparing either of us a glance as she took a seat at the lunch table beside me. “What happened…happened.” At that, she did look at me, stealing a quick peek at my bruised cheek. Makeup had hidden most of the damage, but not completely. I’d been forced to slip on sunglasses when I could, and had strategically left my hair down to help shield myself from prying eyes. It had worked so far.

My hands were another story. There was no way I could hide them short of wearing gloves. Not an option. In the end, I’d fallen back on my own general clumsiness, telling everyone I had biffed it on the pavement. Luckily, there weren’t many people around to question it.

“My point is, we have to keep going,” Melanie said, turning her attention to Ty. He sat with his shoulders slumped forward, his head down as he scribbled away in a notebook. I wasn’t altogether sure he was actually doing any work, but for the moment I was content to leave him be. I knew he was listening.

“You’re right,” I said, dropping my fork on the table. I had been pushing my food around anyway and hadn’t managed more than a few bites. “We should get back to work.”

Melanie popped open a can of Coke and nodded as she took a sip. We’d made a point to not talk about things where prying ears might overhear. The lunchroom was definitely a no-fly zone for a full-blown discussion.

“My house after school?” I said, strangely rejuvenated.

“Sounds good.” Melanie glanced at Ty who still hadn’t looked up from his work. “I’ve got a few ideas.”

“Same here.” I couldn’t help the small hit to my enthusiasm at Ty’s silence. I tried not to let it show and pulled out the notebook that held our list of suspects.


  1. I've got a snippet that the ATWOP ladies have seen, but I don't think anyone else has. It's from my new (as yet untitled) WIP, also set in WWI (1916 France), which revolves around a French battlefield prostitute, Marisol, and the young Australian soldier she breaks all the rules for. This scene is part of a longer one that shows their first- erm- meeting.


    He stood straight and stiff, his soft curiosity clenched into awkwardness, his hat held tight between his hands. He stared at her as if she were some exotic bird that had fluttered into his tent in the middle of the night, and she returned his gaze with a small smile.


    The corner of his mouth twitched. “G’day.”

    She allowed herself a little laugh. “Please, put your hat down. Take off your coat.” She gestured to the chair beside the window, all hospitality and womanly concern. “And those boots, they must be so… how do you say? So heavy.”

    There was a faint hint of pink rising in his fair cheeks. His eyes shifted to the chair, and back to her. “I’m right, thanks. I just… I’m not…” He coughed. His cheeks flushed all the way to beetroot. “I don’t want to put you out.”

    “Put me out?” Her eyebrows flew high. “Out there? I’m glad you do not; I might catch a chill.”

    She hadn’t thought it possible for his blush to darken, but it did. “I mean, I don’t want to… to inconvenience you, it’s just… it’s just…” He swallowed hard. “It’s my mates. They paid for me to be here, but…” He spoke as though attempting to breathe around something lodged in his throat. Another cough, and he straightened even further. “The thing is, I have a fiance back home. Responsibilities. So, I can’t.”

    He didn’t meet her eyes a single time. She wanted to see his eyes. She slid off the bed and padded over. Reached out for his hat and pulled it gently away to reveal what he’d been trying to hide. She stole his last ounce of composure, but she was discreet, and she gave no attention to his trousers- rather she looked up into his face, and let his beauty take her breath.

    The irises of his eyes were rich as truffle, deep as midnight. His face spoke so loudly of his desire that the silence of his lips was drowned entirely. She wanted to lean up and bite him, gently, to lap at the promise that full mouth held.

    But instead she stood there holding his hat and said, “My name is Marisol. And yours?”

    “Robert. Rob.”

    “Robert.” She pronounced it the French way, purring. She laid his hat aside on the table and reached for his hand. He let her take it, but his arm was heavy as she tugged him toward the chair and pushed him down. “You do not need to be afraid, Robert.” She knelt before him, the better to keep drinking in his face. A long nose, high cheekbones, the shadow of manhood on his chin. “I will not ask of you anything that you do not wish to give. We have one hour together, and no reason to be anything but comfortable. So, please.” She ran a hand down his leg, without pressure. “Please, take off those heavy boots and that coat, and let us simply talk, if talk is all you want.”

    The lump in his throat bobbed, and for a moment she thought he was going to refuse, to walk away. But then he nodded. “All right.”

    A small thrill of victory sang in her belly as she stood again. “Wonderful.” She let her robe flow open as she crossed to the dresser and lifted the lid of the little teapot to sniff at the concoction inside. Mathilde’s blend of herbs, a hint of lemon, always assured of bringing a man’s better nature to the fore. She turned back. “May I offer you some tea?”

    He was half out of his coat, struggling with one of the arms. His face was startled, frozen for a moment in the boyish surprise of getting caught. “Oh, yes. Please.”

    She lifted the pot to the delicate china cup. Before the hour was up, she intended very thoroughly to see that expression of startlement at least one more time.

  2. I miss seeing snips from you, Jen! Hope you have a good time with your family.

  3. Ooh, Claire, thanks for sharing! It's lovely to see them in their real setting, outside of the houseparty. Just what is she going to do to Robert? Or make him do...

  4. In honour of the fact that I've revised the opening of Out of the Water yet again (this has *got* to be the last ), here it is in public for the first time:

    She hurtled down the corridor, the slap of footsteps close behind. Her feet turned and her body followed, her thoughts a waterfall of words. Get away, get away, get away.

    One flight, two flights, and she reached a long corridor lined with high windows, gasping for air. A haze of early morning light gave the damp, stone walls a forbidding aspect, as though they might start moving inward to trap her if she stayed in one position too long.

    The smell of sizzling garlic made her want to stop in her tracks, accepting whatever might happen, if she could only have one bowlful of food.

    Through an archway, she saw a man in an apron beside a pot bubbling over an open fire. He was a stranger; not one of the Inquisitors who’d removed her from her uncle Aram's house nor yet de Armas, the officer who'd questioned her last night.

    Behind him, a door stood open to the gardens.
    She grabbed a poker as she skidded past. He called out, lunging around the table, and she hooked the poker to the pot's rim and yanked, jumping back before the hot liquid could splash on her. His spoon clattered to the floor and he yelped as broth splattered across his arms.

    Out through the door and across the herb garden, a crashing and banging coming from behind as the man followed her. She was halfway to the gate when a second man stood up among the mint, a fistful of green leaves in his hand.

    She caught one glimpse of his gaping mouth and kept running, the strong scent of trampled dill rising up around her. Dirt flew in clods against her legs as she ran on and on, towards the forest at the edge of the field, clutching a stitch in her side, not stopping or looking behind her. She burst into the shelter of the branches and tramped through the undergrowth, slipping and sliding on pine needles, ears pricked to their utmost, straining for the sound of pursuit above her own thrashing.

    She sprang out into a clearing and crashed into another man.