Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Excerpt from "Under a Rogue Moon"

OK, I fibbed. I said in my previous post that I'd be posting a short excerpt from the beginning of chapter three, but it dawned on me that that same excerpt was going to be available in an upcoming LSB newsletter (or the new one, I forget which). So I've chosen something else instead.

In the scene that follows, Jason has shown up in England and announced that Flanna's in danger. Her father has decided, after checking out Jason's credentials, that he will stay with them until the threat is past. Here, Flanna takes him back to her house to show him around a little.

****


With his new Nissan parked in the drive, the house looked older somehow, more worn around the eaves. Flanna saw the way he looked at everything, not missing a single detail, and yet, Jason never commented on the property, choosing instead to continue with his light gibes that kept her slightly on edge. She took him around the side of the house and showed him the range she used for shooting practice, and then trekked further onto the grounds to take him to the old barn that had been converted into her training room.

“Nice,” he said, standing in the doorway.

The entire space was devoted to the hunt, whether it was weapons preparation or fitness-related. Her father did all his metalworks in the far corner, and most of his silvers were arrayed along the wall behind it, sparking against the aged brick. There was a boxing ring in the opposite corner, and various ropes and punching bags were scattered throughout the barn, giving Flanna ample opportunity to hone any one of her skills.

She watched Jason carefully, trying to best gauge his reaction. He sounded like he meant it, but she got the distinct impression that he was used to more affluent ventures. He probably saw their whole set-up as antiquated, but then again, he hadn’t made a joke about the space either. Knowing what she knew of him already, that said a lot.

“Did your father train you?”

“Yeah,” she admitted. “He picked this house especially because it had the barn he could use for his weapons and the like. What about you? Is hunting a family thing for you, too?”

Jason chuckled. “Only if it’s got money at the end of the trail.” He was suddenly standing right in front of her, blocking the way out of the barn. “I’ve gotta ask because I’m dying to know, and it’s probably going to make things worse, but what the hell. Why is it you don’t like me?”

Nobody could leave her speechless quite like Jason Randolph. Her mouth opened, closed, opened again as her mind searched desperately for some kind of response that didn’t make her sound even more foolish than she already felt. In the end, the best she the best she could manage was, “Excuse me?”

“It’s not that that’s not OK,” he went on. His eyes were twinkling, and his mouth was twisted into a half-smile, but underlying his joviality was a note of disappointment. “It’s just ... well, that’s kind of a new one for me. I mean, people don’t usually start disliking me until they’ve had a chance to really get to know what a jerk I can be, and I haven’t been around here long enough for that to happen with you. So, I’m asking. What is it about me that rubs you the wrong way? My devilish good looks, or my sparkling personality maybe?”

The question bothered her. Not because he was asking, but because she suddenly felt like she’d been caught out on something, a child with a shameful secret forced to share it when she really didn’t want to. Her cheeks blazed in embarrassment, and her hair seemed suddenly too heavy down her back. But Jason wasn’t moving from her path. If she wanted to get by him, she would have to resort to being physical, and that would just be wrong on far too many levels. She didn’t have much of a choice but to give him some kind of answer.

“You joke too much,” she said bluntly.

His head cocked in amusement, his eyes narrowing slightly as they regarded her. “So ... you have a phobia for funny?”

Her flush deepened. “I just don’t think it’s always appropriate,” Flanna said. “You make light of things that I wouldn’t. What we do ... it’s serious business, and it looks like you treat it like it’s not. I don’t care if my father or Guillaume or Tony Blair himself thinks you’re God’s gift, but I think you’re going to get yourself killed. And ... enough people die already.”

“What you’re saying, then, is that you’d miss me if I wasn’t around.”

“What? No! Stop twisting my words!” Whirling away, Flanna began to pace the length of the wall, doing everything she could to keep from looking at him. “This is exactly why I don’t like you. You always say just the wrong thing, and it’s ... it’s...”

“Sexy as hell?”

“Infuriating!”

She hadn’t realized she was moving so close to him until his hand shot out and curled around her bicep, forcing her to a halt.

“You accused me last night of being emotionally invested in getting Romm,” he said. Something dark flickered behind his eyes. “You were right. But if I went at all this with the same seriousness you do, I would’ve slit my wrists a long time ago. This is who I am, Flanna. This is how I don’t explode.” He paused, and she felt the slightest of caresses along her arm where his thumb began to stroke it. “Kind of like how you go to places like Rage.”

Her skin was burning beneath her sleeve where he was touching her, and her throat was dry, refusing to work properly in the face of his casual reference to her night in New York. “You don’t know anything about why I went there,” she whispered.

Jason shook his head, the strokes along her bicep growing stronger in tiny, almost imperceptible fractions. “I think I know a lot more than you’re willing to admit.”

****


Remember, anybody who posts a comment on this or my previous entry will be eligible for the drawing for a free copy. :)

22 Comments:

Anonymous yesy rubi said...

I likes me some Jason! ;D
He sounds yummy.
Very nice excerpt.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Jackie Abbott said...

Even better than your fan fiction and I thought you fantastic at that.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy cats girlfriend!

That was, ooooooo, nummy. I'm sneaking on after lunch....will check back in again later.

Manoah ;)

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Lilred26x said...

A very intriguing excerpt that just demands the reader to read more. I'm going to check out your other excerpt at your website. Sounds like you've got a great book here!

4:38 PM  
Blogger Vivien Dean said...

Yesi rubi - I was so in love with Jason by the time the story was over with that I kept coming up with all these possibilities for sequels, just so that I didn't have to give him up just yet, lol. I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes him!

Jackie - Wow, what a tremendous compliment! This story, especially, means a lot to me. :)

Manoah - Now you know why I was so wrapped up while I was writing it, lol. Do you know how hard it was to pick an excerpt? I kept saying, "Oh, but that has Jason doing this," and "Oh, but Flanna thinks this here."

lilred26x - Thank you so much for stopping by! The excerpt at the site is the first chapter in its entirety, which gives a much fuller introduction to Flanna, as well as a brief one for Jason. I hope you enjoy it as much as this one. :)

5:29 PM  
Anonymous annalisa said...

Your book sounds wonderful! I just loved your excerpt - made me want to read more!! :)

5:34 PM  
Blogger LSB Author, Darragha Foster said...

I love the cover. I want a free copy.

Thanks!

Darragha
who doesn't count...because she's an LSB author, but always tries, nevertheless...

6:08 PM  
Blogger Vivien Dean said...

Annalisa - Thank you! Prompting the want for more is always a great thing. :)

Darragha - Wouldn't it be nice if we were eligible, lol? Probably save a lot of money that way. :)

6:41 PM  
Blogger snowflake said...

Viven, your site is beautiful! I love the rose and the soothing colors. Don't forget to get your author link added to the side of the blog. The excerpt is great. Leaves me wanting to read what happens next.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Vivien Dean said...

Thanks, Jenny! I love how it turned out; the original picture with the rose on the keyboard just encompassed everything I do with my romance writing.

And thanks for the reminder about adding my link here. The site is still so new that I'm still playing catch-up. :)

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanna know how you came up with the name Flanna

Jessy Harris

8:50 PM  
Blogger KimW said...

He sounds hot! I think Jason and his devilish good looks should come on over to my house so we can compare Nissan's and a few other things. haha

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed Jason's way of confronting Flanna regarding her dislike of him. Fun excerpt.

Little Lamb Lost

9:24 PM  
Blogger Vivien Dean said...

Jessy - Choosing Flanna as a name came way back when I was playing with the original concept for the story. I wanted to do a twist on Little Red Riding Hood, and I knew I wanted my heroine to be British. Flanna is Gaelic for "red-haired." The story idea changed as it grew, but the name stuck, mostly because I fell in love with it. :)

Kim W - Hee! One of the things I love most about Jason is his sense of humor. There was a spark to writing him that was a complete joy.

Little Lamb Lost - Jason's the sort of fellow who confronts issues. Combine that with Flanna's more stoic nature, and it made their scenes great fun to write. :)

9:42 PM  
Blogger LadyVampire2u said...

Fabulous excerpt! And I am surprised at learn that Flanna developed from Little Red Riding Hood. I never would have guessed. But I suppose ideas spark from anywhere and everywhere and we readers of the world are greedy for all the marvelous stories that great authors like yourself create. ~April

9:56 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

This sounds great!! I loved the excerpt and the cover is awesome. I loved how Jason approached Flanna about her dislike of him. I think that he sounds absolutely yummy!
Lori

10:18 PM  
Blogger glenna day said...

Sounds great.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Vivien Dean said...

April - It really surprises me what might spark a story idea. Sometimes it's a word, sometimes it's an image. Once or twice, I've pictured a scene inside my head and then written an entire story around it, just to get it out there. Funny how a 80,000+ word novel can come from a scene that only takes up 500 words of that. :)

Lori - Thank you! I wanted to pick an excerpt that shows Jason's humor as well as some of his charm. I'm glad that came across. :)

Glenna - First of all, I love your name! Secondly, I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for stopping by!

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Ginger said...

Congratulations on your latest publication. I can't wait to read it. It looks very interesting... and sexy!
Ginger

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks very good - congrats! I look forward to buying and reading the book.

This did not post in the comments yesterday for some reason - but better late than never, right

Kiska12

11:54 AM  
Anonymous LINDA BASS said...

hi dakota!

i loved shut up and drive!

my dh and i got freaky with barry white "i gonna love you-just a little more" of course we got freaky on EVERY SONG!

2:41 PM  
Blogger Caffey said...

Oh they are going to be so good, so hot together! You could get that all from they way they were at each other!! Fantastic!

6:26 PM  

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