Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday Sneak Peek - at Paula's new novel

Here's what feels like the 101st version of the start of Chapter 1. I took on board the comments you made last month, and tried various openings, none of which I was happy with, until I eventually wrote this one. Hope you think it's an improvement!

Kara Stewart descended the three uneven stone steps from the front door of the Western Ireland Adoption Agency, and heaved a deep sigh. So much for her expectation that someone would open an index and provide all the information she needed about her mom’s birth mother.

So now what? Maybe a large Americano at the coffee shop on the corner of the street would give her a few minutes to get her mind around everything Josie, the Agency receptionist, had told her. She glanced to her left, checking for oncoming traffic, and stepped into the road.

A squeal of brakes and the blast from a car horn startled her. Instinctively she turned around, and clapped her hand over her mouth. She’d come within inches of being hit by a dark blue taxi.

The driver jumped out. “Are you trying to commit suicide or something?”

“I’m so sorry! I looked the wrong wa—” Her thudding heart jerked as she recognised the taxi driver. He’d driven them several times from Mist Na Mara House into Clifden. “Oh, it’s you.”

The man’s frown was replaced by wide-eyed surprise. “Kara? I didn’t expect to see you here in Galway.”

“I’m sorry, Liam. I wasn’t thinking and forgot to look right instead of left.”

“No harm done, fortunately.” He took a step nearer her. “Are you okay? You look a bit shaken.”

“I’m good.” Her pulse was still galloping but she nodded toward his car. “I’m just grateful you have good brakes.”

“Reflex action, but I’ll admit you gave me a scare.”

“I’m sorry,” she said again.

“So where are you heading? Can I give you a lift?”

Momentarily she considered asking him to take her to Salthill, but the need for coffee prevailed, if only to calm her nerves after the near-miss. “Actually, I was going over to the café across the road.”

“Sounds like a good plan. Mind if I join you?”

Surprised, but with a small tingle of pleasure scuttling through her veins, she nodded. “Only if you let me buy you a coffee to make up for me scaring you.”

“Okay, if you insist. I’ll park up and join you there.” He glanced over his shoulder. “Road’s clear for you to cross now without scaring anyone else to death.”

Kara crossed, walked a few yards up the street to the door of the coffee shop, and waited while he reversed expertly into a space between two parked cars.

She allowed herself a small smile. What were the odds of meeting Liam Hickey here in Galway? But it had happened, and now she was about to have coffee with him.

Her friend Liz’s words echoed in her mind: Tried to flirt with him once, but got no response. Probably means he’s married with half a dozen kids.

Maybe she was about to find out if that was true.

She handed him a twenty Euro note as they entered the small café. “A large Americano for me, and whatever you want. With my thanks for not knocking me down.”

She found an empty table near the window and watched him as he crossed to the counter. Tall, six foot at least, she guessed, with broad shoulders encased in a mid-blue polo shirt. His biceps and forearms were firm, not too hairy, but definitely masculine. Her glance slid down to where his shirt was tucked into his well-fitting black pants. The words nice ass came into her mind, and she suppressed a smile. She didn’t usually survey men’s bodies, but his definitely ticked all the boxes.

7 comments:

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    1. Am assuming that means approval :-)

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  2. You have this right to their meeting with the briefest of essential backstory. Whoo hoo!

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    1. Thanks, Ana. As you know, I've had several shots at this, so hopefully this one is enough to capture a reader's interest!

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  3. Perfect. A great introduction to the characters, just enough backstory and a bit of mystery (adoption agency) to be intriguing. Can't wait for the rest.
    Carol

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  4. Sorry I was out of town away from a computer and didn't get to chime in yesterday.

    I like the improvements you've made. This opening really catches my interest!

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