Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Peek at "The Cowboy and the Princess"

Debra shares a peek into her WIP.

I have a good half dozen mss in their beginning stages. Some have just a few lines. Some have an entire chapter. This particular one, has about 16,000 words. Originally I'd intended for it to be a novella, but I'm leaning toward making this one a full-length. The opening itself seems more fitting for a full-length, as it does a bit of world building before the hero and heroine meet. With my novellas, they usually have contact by the first or second paragraph. (Although, Cal, our hero, makes an appearance in the very next scene.)

I haven't worked on this story (or any other) in months. But the other day I got a hankering to see what was in the archives, so to speak. I spent an hour or so opening word docs and reading my WIPs. And while it didn't motivate me to sit down and write anything new, it was fun to take a peek, and I feel it did get me one step closer to that moment when the author in me finally steps forward again.

So, for your is the opening to "The Cowboy and the Princess".

Chapter One
"Hot dad alert. Lucky you."
Tessa McCormick applied a thin streak of blue eyeliner to her lower lid before glancing up. "What?"
"There's a really fine dad in your section tonight." Becky waggled her eyebrows.
"So?" Tessa brushed mascara onto her lashes. She blinked at her reflection. Long blonde ringlets draped over her shoulders. A round pendant suspended on a velvet ribbon hung in the lace-trimmed sweetheart neckline of the baby blue gown. When she tilted her head, the faux diamonds in her tiara sparkled in the mirror lights.
"So, you should check him out."
Tessa paused with the small brush in her hand. "Um, why?"
Becky yanked a yellow ball gown over her head. When her face emerged, she rolled her eyes. "Because he's hot."
"But he's a dad."
"You love kids."
"That's not the point. What about the mom? As in his wife?"
Becky waved a hand. "I didn't see anyone sitting with him. I bet he's single." Her rosy lips curled out in a pout. "You always have the luck. First you get to be the Blue Princess, and now you have the hottest dad in the world in your section."
Tessa laughed. "Does it really matter? We're not allowed to fraternize--" She made air quotes with her fingers. "--with customers outside of the restaurant." Her glance swept over Becky. "And besides, you get to be the Yellow Princess."
"Right." Becky fluffed out her brown curls. "'Cause walking around looking like a tub of margarine is what I've always dreamed of. While you on the other hand are a dead ringer for Cin--"
"Don't say it," Tessa admonished with another laugh. She glanced down the row of other girls primping in front of the mirror. All the colors of the rainbow were represented. "You know we're not supposed to be any specific princesses."
"Right." Becky flopped down in a nearby chair. "If I would have known there were so many rules, I never would have taken this gig."
"You're going to wrinkle your gown."
"Well, you'll just have to iron it for me when your fancy gown turns back to rags." She glanced at an imaginary watch. "Midnight is in, what? Another six hours?"
Tessa stuck out her tongue before applying a layer of shiny pink gloss to her lips.
"Now that's not very princess like."
A knock on the door was followed by the stage director's head poking through the open slit. "You're on in five, girls."
The flutter of activity in the dressing room increased as half a dozen princesses did a last minute check of make-up, hair, and gowns.
Tessa brushed a final stroke of peach blush across each cheek, then stood to follow the line of other girls toward the stage.
"Tell me again how you talked me into this," Becky muttered.
"Because it looks good on your resume. When we're big Broadway stars someday, we can look back and think of how far we've come."
"Places, ladies."
Tessa found her mark on the wooden boards of the stage behind the closed curtain. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Letting it out slowly, she visualized the steps of the dance and did a quick run through of the words to her solo in her head.
"Curtain in one. Lights in two."
Tessa opened her eyes and let herself become the Blue Princess as the curtain rose.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. Great intro, Debra.
    Disney Princesses! I wonder what they will do onstage.

  2. I love this opening, Debra. And I'm so glad you started sifting through the files. Yay!

    1. The sifting was really fun! I 'visited' some files I haven't opened in years.

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