Sunday, January 18, 2015

Snippet Sunday - a sneak preview of Paula's new story 'Irish Intrigue'

Charley has returned (unwillingly) to Ireland - and this is her first meeting with Luke Sullivan:

She reached Clifden shortly before five o’clock and pulled into the parking area near the supermarket on the outskirts of the small town. Still familiar with the layout of the store, she didn’t take long to collect some basic supplies.
A tall man in a sheepskin jacket stood near the chilled cabinet of yogurts and desserts, speaking on his phone. “Kate, which yogurts do the kids like? Melissa said something about pink pots.”
She reached past him to pick up a pack of mixed fruit yogurts at the same moment as he turned and bumped against her.
“Oops! Sorry,” he said.
“No problem.” She put her yogurts in her shopping trolley, but couldn’t resist pointing further along the cabinet. “The pink pots are those strawberry ones.”
“Thanks.” He gave her a quick smile before speaking into his phone again. “Okay, Kate, I see them.”
She started to push her trolley toward the cash desk, but stopped when the man said, “Thanks again, but don’t I know you from somewhere?”
With a small grimace of resignation, she half-turned back to him. She didn’t recall meeting him when she lived here, but perhaps he’d seen her on television. Or else it was a clich├ęd chat-up line.
“I don’t think so.” She gave him a perfunctory smile as her glance took in rugged good looks in a square face, and dark wavy hair. Not exactly tousled, but certainly untamed.
The man frowned for a moment before his face cleared. “You remind me of my mother-in-law.”
“Really?” She suppressed a grin. Being compared to a mother-in-law was a novel kind of comment.
“Not really, no. Her hair’s short and straight, not long like yours, and her face is rounder.”
She couldn’t help but laugh. “So I’m nothing like her?”
“You’re much younger, of course, but your eyes are the same colour. Unusual.”
“Brown eyes are unusual?”
“Kind of coppery. I’m useless with colours, but that’s what she said hers were.”
“Oh, I see.”
It seemed an odd conversation to be having with a stranger in a supermarket, but his dark eyes twinkled as he smiled, and her heart-beat quickened.
He held out his hand. “Luke Sullivan. Pleased to meet you.”
“Oh—er—yes.” As she put her hand in his, something low in her stomach jerked in response to his strong handshake. “Charley Hunter.” Deliberately she didn’t use her professional surname, which he might recognise if the local press had reported anything about Waterside Hall being used as a film location during the next few weeks.
“Short for Charlotte, but only my grandmother calls me that.”
“Hunter was my mother-in-law’s maiden name. Maybe you share the same ancestry.”
“Maybe.” She’d no intention of telling him it was her married surname. 


  1. This is really, really good, Paula! Smooth reveals of character =.
    Well done!

    1. Thanks, Ana! Did you notice the change from when you last read this chapter??

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Jen. As you see, I incorporated your idea about Luke and his phone!

  3. Can't wait for it to be published so that I can read it.

    1. Thanks, Margaret. I think I'm within sight of the end of editing now :-)

  4. I love that when he compares her to his mother-in-law it throws her a bit off-track. Definitely not your usual pick up line! :)

    And lots of good tid bits for her character reveal, but not too much backstory. Just the right amount to keep us wondering.

    1. Thanks, Debra. The mother-in-law part of the conversation goes way back to my very first draft of this story, and I could have deleted it (when that original storyline changed) but didn't because it was, as you say, a different kind of pick up line!