Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sunday Sneak Peek - at Paula's new novel 'Irish Secrets'

This is the start of the first draft of my new novel. It could change completely by the time I finish it, of course! 

“Hey! Wait for me! Wait!” Kara Stewart sprinted the last twenty yards, arriving at the bus stop on Market Street as the blue and yellow City Link bus drove away. With one hand fisted against her waist in frustration, she watched the bus turn right at the end of the street and muttered a small curse under her breath. With the next bus not due for three hours, she'd have to abandon her plan to visit the Adoption Agency in Galway. Her mother's family history would have to wait until another day. 
The short beep from a car horn made her turn. A white car pulled up at the bus stop, the side window slid open, and the driver leaned across the passenger seat. “You’ve missed the Galway bus.”
Did he think she hadn't already realised that? “Yes, I know.” She took a step toward the car, and her heart jumped at the sight of the taxi driver who’d driven their Living History group from Mist Na Mara Arts Centre into Clifden a couple of times. “Oh, hi, there.”
Something about him had attracted her the first time she’d seen him a few weeks ago. Good-looking in an understated way with thick nut-brown hair, Irish blue eyes, wide forehead, straight nose, and firm jaw. Not exactly male-model gorgeous but rugged enough to set her pulse racing until she reminded herself he was probably married with half a dozen kids. No way was she going to make that mistake again.
“Good mornin’. Thought I recognised you,” he said.
She glanced at the roof of the car which usually held a blue and black sign with the name and phone number of his taxi company, but today the sign was missing. “You’re not taxi-ing today?”
“Day off.”
“Mine too, but, as you guessed, I missed the bus to Galway.”
“Hop in, I’ll take you there.”
She laughed. “You probably charge about a hundred Euros for that trip. I can’t afford that.”
“A hundred and ten actually, but I’m not working today, and I’m on my way to Galway, so ye’re welcome to come along with me. No charge,” he added.
“You sure?”
“O’ course.”
He opened the passenger door, and she slid into the seat beside him. The thought crossed her mind that she didn’t really know this man, but he’d always been chatty and friendly when he’d driven them into Clifden. Besides, all licensed taxi drivers had to undergo strict Garda background checks, so she should be safe enough, and anyway, she relished the idea of getting to know him during the hour’s drive to Galway. At the very least, she could find out if he was married. “Thanks. I really appreciate this.”

I'll be interested in your comments as to whether this beginning would be enough to make you want to read on, or whether I should start the story at another point!


  1. I'd want to keep reading, although I'm a little iffy about her getting into a car with a man she doesn't know, even if he is a taxi driver. And being from the US, how would she know about the background checks?

    1. Good point but I don't know how to get around it! Any ideas?

  2. I agree with Jennifer on both accounts. I'd keep reading, but did wonder why she was so quick to get into the car with him.

    Does she have to miss the bus? Could she run into him at Galway and recognize him as the taxi driver she'd seen before? Maybe he IS working today and took a fare out there.

    1. Thanks, Debra. He has to be off work today because of what happens during the rest of the day, so I need to find some way of making it okay to get into the car with him!

  3. Okay, have gone back to the drawing board with this problem. Many thanks to Jen for an email brainstorming session this evening :-)
    Kara will miss the bus and then walk around the corner to the taxi office where Ben is putting suitcases in his car for two older ladies he is taking to the train station in Galway. They'll greet each other by name (thus establishing a prior knowledge of each other), and he'll check with the ladies if they mind if Kara comes along with them. Of course they don't - and so off they go! That's the general idea, anyway - am just hoping it will work better this way!

    1. This definitely resonated better than accepting the ride from someone she barely knew. Plus, she's with other folks so there's safety in numbers!

    2. Thanks, Debra, I'm happier with it too - and happy I posted the original here for your comments. You guys rock!

  4. Maybe she's seen him around more often. Or some of the people at Mist na Mara have talked about him because they know him.