The Marshall Memo, 9/9/12 – 9/15/12

Deleted Scenes and Final Decisions

So far every single book I’ve ever written has a deleted scene folder on my computer.  The following scene hit the editing floor when my editor made a great point about it totally slowing down the pace of the prior hot kissing scene, and the evitable first love scene in Dr. Tall, Dark…and Dangerous?

My reasoning for writing it was to give the reader and the heroine, Kasey, the chance to learn a bit more about Jared and his tough living situation.  I couldn’t figure where else to put in the book a peek into his apartment, so I wrote this scene.

It didn’t take long for me to realize my editor was completely right about my ruining the pace and sexual tension in this part of the story.  Anyone who has already read the book will probably agree.

For the sake of sharing with readers, the following scene picks up right after the crazy kiss on the dock where the splash of icy cold water brings Jared and Kasey to their senses.

I hope you enjoy this peek into Jared’s apartment.  It doesn’t appear anywhere in the book, so consider this an exclusive.

Deleted Scene Excerpt:

“Let’s go,” he said, taking her hand leading her toward the walkway.  He’d come to his senses.  Seducing a woman in public wasn’t his style, what the hell was he thinking.  “I should probably get you home.”

Her puzzled gaze left him feeling like a jerk, though she seemed to recover quickly enough.  “Good idea.  I’m glad we walked over, now I have a fighting chance of working off a part of that molten chocolate cake I ate.”

“You can pack it away,” he said, feeling more relaxed than he had in a long time.

She slapped his deltoid before wrapping her arm around his elbow.  He let her, feeling more familiar with Kasey and her sweet lips…and hips.

The drizzle had let up, and the walk back to his car became leisurely, the urgency of their kiss dissolving a little more with each step.  He didn’t want to forget it.  No.  He wanted to remember every luscious second of their hot make-out session.  Feeling the heated blood rush through his veins reminded him that he was alive, that he could feel passion again, that he’d been missing a hell of a lot of the good stuff life had to offer.

He glanced at Kasey, walking arm in arm with him, her face turned up toward the sky, a slight smile tugging on her lips.  “Oh, look!” she said.  “It’s a full moon.”  The curtain of clouds had parted enough to see the plump white ball in a deep navy sky.

So it is, he thought, and life feels pretty damn good right now.

Twenty minutes later, when they arrived at his car, before he produced the keys from his pocket, he got a bright idea.  “You want to see my apartment?”

“Your apartment?”

“Yeah, I live inBeacon Hill, remember?  I have the permit on my car window and everything.”  He pointed.  “See.”

She gave him a suspicious look. “So, you want to show me your etchings?’

What the hell did he want to do?  Besides his kids, he’d never invited anyone into his house.  It wasn’t a place he was proud of, didn’t represent anything about him.  It was functional, that’s all.

She must have read the mix of thoughts going through his mind.  “Sure,” she said, saving him an explanation.  “I’ve always wondered what these places look like inside.”

“Don’t get your hopes up,” he said, as they crossed the street and headed for his red-bricked basement apartment.  “I’d never be a candidate for home beautiful magazine.”

She chuckled, the sound delighting his ears.

“Gosh,” she said as they took the four steps down to his front door.  “This must be a problem with flooding.”

He shoved his key into the lock on the dark green door with the brass knocker.  “They’ve worked out a draining system here, but it’s a bitch to dig my way out in the snow.”  As he opened the door, stale air contrasted the fresh night.  He flipped on the lights.  Drab.  Would she think his house was as bleak as it looked to him right now?  He tensed.  Why had he brought her here again?

Kasey glanced around the small living room.  A brown plaid overstuffed couch took up most of the space, a smaller matching chair on one side, a large black leather recliner on the other.  Standard landscape prints hung on the walls in the dim room.  The only things that stood out were the multiple framed photos of his kids.  At least half a dozen pictures taken at various ages were scattered around the room.  He may have ordered his furniture from a catalogue, but those frames housing his children’s beaming faces made this place a home.

“My style of décor is called functional.” He tossed her a humble look.  “I just wanted some place to flop, yet big enough for the kids to come and stay with me.”  He dropped his keys on a small dark wood table by the door.  “It’s only a one bedroom apartment, but the davenport pulls out into a bed.”

She stepped deeper inside and he caught her eyes with a searching gaze.  Did he want her approval?

“Would you like some tea or coffee?” he asked.

“Oh, I’m fine.  Still full from dinner.  Thanks, though.”

“Let me show you around.  Not that there’s much to see.”  He grabbed her hand pulling her along behind him toward the next room, and it felt good to be touching him again.  “They’ve updated the kitchen.”  He flipped on the light, which was much brighter than in the living room.

The galley kitchen sported shiny black with gold flecks granite counter tops.  Glass faced cupboards, a small stainless steel refrigerator and stove, and a gooseneck brushed nickel faucet.

“Very nice,” she said.

“Thanks.  The bathroom’s been updated, too.  The rest is just stuff.  You know?”

“I guess I do.  It must be hard to know you’re only going to be somewhere a couple of years.  Especially as a single person.”

He got a glass from a cupboard and filled it with water.  “Yeah.  The wife got the house and the furniture.”  Took a drink.  “The last thing I felt like doing was shopping for stuff, so I lease the furniture.”

She took a seat on a leather cushioned stool by the counter.  He leaned on his elbows across from her “I didn’t mean it that way, in case I came off bitter. I was just stating a fact.  Since we were in the neighborhood and all, I just thought I’d show you my place.”

“I got ya.  No need to explain.  Hey, maybe I’ll have a glass of water, too.”

A few minutes later having taken a quick tour of the snug apartment, and her granting her polite approval, they headed out.  The bedroom had been as nondescript as the living room except for a bright blue and white comforter, and a king-sized bed that practically filled the room wall to wall. Maybe he’d had big plans to finish off the seduction she’d started back at the restaurant, but the shine had left the coin by the time they’d gotten to his place.  So much for brisk walks in damp night air.  Or maybe he was more of a gentleman than she’d given him credit for.  Whatever he was, right now, she was darn glad she’d met him.

When they got to his car, he leaned in front of her to open the door.  She didn’t back up enough, and when he rose up his face grazed close to hers.  He stopped, lips lined up with hers, eyes delving deep.  She froze and breathed softly, hoping he’d kiss her again.

He did, and it didn’t take long to reignite the tamped flames from earlier.  Except this time there was something even sexier added to the mix, he’d opened up and let her into his life making the sexy kiss feel even more intimate.

End of excerpt.

Originally, I had used this more intimate kiss as a spring board to have them drive like crazy over to her house and begin the first love scene in the middle of chapter five.  In the book, they have dinner, kiss on the dock, get shocked by the icy cold water, then drive crazy to get to Kasey’s duplex.

File this under author trying to share unnecessary stuff with the reader.  I agree it belonged on the editing floor, but I hope for anyone of you who may have read Dr. Tall, Dark…and Dangerous? that this deleted excerpt has given you a little more insight into Jared, and into the process we writers go through to bring you our books.

I’ve just discovered the book cover for the French version of Dr. Tall, Dark…and Dangerous? Rencontre avec Dr Irresitible. (Encounter with Dr. Irresistible) I’m fortunate enough to be paired with the fabulous Carol Marinelli!  What do you think?

Until next week, make it a great one!


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2 Responses to The Marshall Memo, 9/9/12 – 9/15/12

  1. Robena Grant says:

    I looked at that French cover (just briefly) and thought huh? Kasey was pregnant? How did I miss that? Ha ha. Then I started to think back to the characters and took another glance at that cover. Whew! so glad that I knew your characters well, because my French is limited. Neat cover though.
    Yep, I know what you mean about deleted scenes and what we as the storyteller think is important, or what we’re trying to convey, and then having to balance that with what the reader wants. I always remember what Jenny Crusie advises: don’t write the parts that the reader skips. Easier said than done. ; )

    • Hi Robena – Yes, that’s great advice from Ms. Crusie. I so wanted to get Jared’s apartment into the book, I forced it. And it didn’t fit and my editor made me take it out. The funny thing is, when I originally wrote the hot kiss scene that precedes it, I HAD gone directly to the drive to Kasey’s house. It was draft two when I decided to add it.

      As for the French cover–when you get paired with another author, often the book cover is about the other author’s book, which is the case this time. But since my pairing is with the fabulous and highly successful Carol Marinelli, I am not complaining one teeny tiny bit.

      For those who read Dr. Tall, Dark…and Dangerous? you may know that pregnancy is not the issue. At. All.