Unexpected Game Changer – From the Bed, Breakfast, and Beyond World #MFRWHooks
Writing is a job that never stops. Whether I’m actually writing the next book, promoting the last one, thinking about next steps, analyzing what’s working and what isn’t, learning about craft, blogging, researching, reading,or just thinking about what direction my current WIP should take, it feels like there’s always an endless list of things to keep up with.
So when I find myself inspired to write a scene from a book lurking in the back of my mind, but not yet on the schedule to actually write, I take advantage of the chance. It might be a 400 word scenario or a 4000 word story block. Either way, I write it down. You never know when a story is going to have to be shimmied toward the front of the line, and any work you already have done for it is a bonus.
That is what happened with the second Bed, Breakfast, and Beyond book. One day, I was writing a whole different book in a whole different series, and a character just brazenly pushed his way to the front of the line and told me the first scene of his story.
Turns out, I did have to put that other book on hold for a while because of reasons, so it’s a good deal this character, Ozwald Green, demanded his fifteen minutes way back in April. I wrote that scene he was so adamant about, and then put that book to the back of my mind where, lo and behold, it sat and stewed over itself, turning into something resembling most of the plot for the second book without me having to think too hard about it.
I shared it in my newsletter last week, and now I’d like to share it here, for you to enjoy. Also, if you want to get these little gems first, feel free to join my newsletter group. You’ll have the first peek of whatever new thing has pushed it’s way into my brain since last month, and the opportunity to reply to that email if you’d like to join my ARC team.
Here’s the link
Now on to the good stuff!
Ozwald stared at the front door. Made from heavy, dark mahogany, the thing weighed a ton and hung solidly from heavy, wrought iron hinges. It had looked intimidating and prohibitive three months ago when he’d stared at it, just like this, but from the outside.
Now it represented a safe, solid barrier between him and everything out there as he contemplated the carved wooden flowers from the bright foyer.
“You’re ready.” Annalee’s voice, soft as it always was, still startled him. He jumped at everything. Always had. Felt like he always would, now. Maybe trying to ease his nerves, she ran a hand in a circle over his shoulder blade.
“Shouldn’t you be running a group therapy session right now?” he asked. He’d chosen this time to leave for just that reason. Good byes had never been his thing.
She smiled. “Kiki needs the practice.” She waggled her cell phone for him. “She has me on speed dial if she needs me. I have a moment to see you off.”
“Maybe I should stay for just—”
“This is not a home, Ozzy. This is no one’s home. You have a place to go, right?” For a moment, concern wrinkled her delicate brow.
“Yeah. Sure. Just, I haven’t seen Lucky in so long. What if he doesn’t remember.”
“He wouldn’t have offered you a room if he didn’t remember. I spoke to him. He seems nice.”
“He is nice. Very nice.”
“So this isn’t about him.”
Ozzy sighed. “It’s big out there.”
Her smile lost the concern and turned kind. “You can do this.” She rubbed his shoulder again. “Trust yourself.”
On the other side of that comfortingly solid door keeping the rest of the world at a safe distance, a horn honked.
“That’ll be your ride.”
Ozzy took a deep breath. “You’re sure.”
“You’re not my therapist anymore, right?”
“So I can give you a hug? To say thanks.”
Annalee grinned at him. “Of course.”
The hug bolstered him. She was a good hugger. Something he’d always suspected about her. Much stronger than her willowy frame implied.
“Keep in touch,” she said as she stepped back. “We always like to hear how our success stories are doing. It helps the newcomers to see life at the other end of the tunnel.”
“And we are always here if you need us. You know that.”
“Good. Now go get ’em.”
Ozzy snorted again, but he nodded and reached for the door handle.
As his fingertips contacted cool metal, the knob shifted, unlatching, letting the door swing open under its own initiative. It had done the same to admit him when he’d arrived months ago. Now it opened to release him back out into the world.
He’d never mentioned this kind of odd phenomenon. No one would believe him if he told them the house had welcomed like that. But it had given him the confidence to go in, to believe that this time, the rehab might stick.
He’d almost convinced himself then that it had been his imagination, but it had only been the first time the house had ‘spoken’ to him. Certainly not the last. Now it was telling him, quite clearly, that he was ready to face the world again, for once, completely sober.
“You’re sure about this?” he whispered.
The curtains on the side lites fluttered, as if motioning to the open doorway and the cool winter sunshine beyond.
“Okay, okay.” He glanced over his shoulder, but Annalee stood quietly, watching and smiling. “I’m going.”
He would miss this house, almost as much as the people in it.
Below is a link you can follow to some other author blogs also sharing links to sneak peeks and snippets. *(If you’re not a fan of M/F pairings, a warning that this particular hop has a lot of them.)
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