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A Deleted Scene from BURNED, A Donovan Circus Novel: Lucy and Gabriel

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It’s no secret authors have to be picky about their writing, especially when it comes to a full length novel. Sometimes we simply write so much that when we see the final word count, we have to agree to cut a few scenes in order to keep readers from turning 126 years old while reading. Today I wanted to share with you a deleted scene from the second Donovan Circus adventure, BURNED. I think the Lucy and Gabriel ‘shippers will like it! :)

This scene takes place after Lucy tells Gabriel that she can’t be with anyone right now due to all the chaos surrounding them (but before any murders or visiting the Grayson Circus.)

Deleted Scene – Lucy and Gabriel:

I went about the next day as any other. That evening after the show, Delia and I were caught in the crowd leaving the tent. I always liked hearing the astonished whispers and excited voices after a night at our show. Tonight was no exception and I smiled at two children in front of us squealing about the flaming motorcycles inside the metal ball.

I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw them: Gabriel, with his arm casually draped around some woman – excuse me, whore – with blonde hair and a smile like Barbie. His lips went down to her ear and whispered something; she laughed, batting her eyelashes up at him.

My blood ran hot and even though I knew I probably looked murderous, I couldn’t stop staring. Delia pressed up against me to get out of everyone’s way as they walked past. She gave me an uncomfortable look.

“Lucy, you are turning very red. Please do not catch fire in a human crowd, especially this close to me.”

“Sorry. Um, I’m gonna go change so I can give my suit to Sasha. Has a rip in it.” I didn’t look away from the train wreck in front of me. Someone bumped into us and I took the chance to bolt.

I mumbled my goodbyes, taking a sharp left to my camper. I kept my head down, hoping Gabriel didn’t see me and knowing I’d owe Delia cookies later.

After I changed clothes, I swung by Sasha’s office, her giant camper that threatened to explode with neon feathers and sequins galore. She sewed the tiny rip up in no time. After thanking Sasha several times for the last minute request, I went back to my camper to hang it up. I wouldn’t need it until tomorrow for the show. Done with that errand, I left my trailer to see if anyone needed any help with clean up. Between tents, I caught a lone smoker waiting for me.

Gabriel straightened up and met me halfway. “Hey.”

“Hey, yourself.”

“Where you headed?”

I stopped in my tracks to glare at him. “What does it matter? You have other things to do.”

He adopted a deadpan tone. “Oh good, you’re mad about something. Now what are you doing?”

“Me? What the hell were you doing? Hanging all over that whor – girl earlier,” I retorted.

“Oh, you saw that.” A lazy smile crossed his face and I resisted the urge to shove him into a tent.

“Something tells me I was supposed to.”

He shrugged and my hand accidentally caught flame. He spared an eyebrow raise at it while I shook it off and tried to get my jealousy under control. The fire refused to go out despite my shaking, like a cartoon flame from hell.

“Do I need to be worried about that?” he asked, pointing his cigarette at my hand.

“What happened to all that, “I love you, I won’t hurt you,” blah, blah, bullshit?” I asked, my arms now waving around in frustration. His eyes didn’t leave my still-flaming hand.

“You said you wanna go back to being the old us,” he said with a shrug. “This is the old us, dummy. We argue, we share secrets; you hang out with your friends and I find temporary ones.”

Heat flashed through me and I took a deep breath. “You’re going with the manwhore approach, I see.”

The infuriatingly sexy grin grew. “You said you’d be fine with that.”

Fire skittered up my arm and I sucked in a sharp breath. His know-it-all tone drove me mad. Yet another reason to avoid a relationship with Gabriel – nothing was ever easy with him, in any sense of the word. If we dated, I’d spend half the time wanting to kill him.

“You don’t really expect me to sit around and wait for you while you stubbornly make a point for some stupid reason, do you?” he asked.

“I thought you loved me.” Damn. I hadn’t meant to sound so sad. My fire went away at the serious mood swing.

Gabriel dropped his cool tone. “I do love you.”

“Then why would you sleep with other women?” I asked.

“I haven’t slept with her yet, you know, so drop the sad eyes.”

“I guess I hadn’t really expected you’d find someone that fast. Then again…”

“Do you want to be with me?” He gestured with his cigarette hand, the ashes floating to the ground.

I opened and closed my mouth a few times and he took my silence for the answer.

“Exactly,” he said. “I’m not going to stop being who I am. That’s not exactly fair to make me wait it out if you’re not going to make a decision, is it? Whenever you decide you want to be with me, I’m yours. But until then, I’m being the old Gabriel you said you needed.”

Steam might leak from my ears at any moment. It had happened once, when I was a seven-year-old tantrum-thrower. And even worse, I realized as my heart sank and the heat simmered down, Gabriel was right. I couldn’t pull a bitch move like that. If I wanted to keep him in my life, I had to let him live how he wanted. I’d made a choice and now I had to stick with it.

I cleared my throat and gave a short nod. “Okay. Yeah, I understand. You’re right, I’ll readjust. We’ll be us again.”

As I turned to walk away, I thought I saw his expression fall with disappointment. “So that’s it?”

“Yeah…I mean, you’re right,” I said, shrugging. “That’s not fair and I want you to be happy.”

“You’re what makes me happy. Or whatever. Those girls are just…filling the black hole in my chest,” he called after me.

“I don’t think that’s up to me to fix,” I replied. “But I’ll see you later. Promise.”

SAVE THE NIGHT: Help Courtney Cole with her book, NOCTE

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SaveTheNight

Guys, I need your help – or rather, my friend Courtney Cole does. She is one of my first true author friends – those of you who have read GIFTED know I wrote the dedication to her. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t think GIFTED would’ve ever become what it is, because she tirelessly answered my questions, coddled my anxiety, and helped me through the entire process. She’s an amazing person and writer who somehow magically makes time for everything and everyone.

If you’ve been interested in reading her latest book NOCTE, now’s the time to help her out. She’s had some author bullying going on, and while we won’t go into details because ain’t nobody got time for that drama, maybe we can help her out and fight back.

If you’re able to tweet about this, you can copy this message here with the Amazon link:

Please help Courtney Cole SAVE THE NIGHT!  Her book NOCTE was pulled from Amazon, but it’s back today! Let’s un-do the damage and SAVE THE NIGHT!  Buy NOCTE today, and enter the Rafflectopter to WIN! 

The Amazon link is:  www.smartURL.it/NOCTEAmazon

The rafflecopter is for anyone who sends their purchase receipts to thenoctetrilogy@gmail.com or shares my blog post.  Winner gets a signed NOCTE paperback and a St. Michael’s medallion (like Finn’s).  Open internationally.  The Rafflecopter link is:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/22bd3a2a42/

 

A REAPER MADE Now Available!

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Let’s keep it short and sweet: I feel like I’ve been waiting to release this one for a while and I’m so glad to say today’s the day. A REAPER MADE is now ready for your reading pleasure on several platforms.
ReaperCoversm

Kindle I Nook I iBooks

I’m beyond excited to celebrate with you. Plus there’s still time to RSVP to the online release party if you’re interested in sneak peeks, giveaways, and more. Thanks for all your support and have a great (and safe) Halloween weekend!

Special First Look in A REAPER MADE: Rhys

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We’re approximately 2 weeks away from release day for A REAPER MADE. I’m suddenly remembering that this is a real book, that real people will hopefully read and enjoy. Maybe my nerves are a little tight. Maybe I’m stress eating. Maybe just read this new little excerpt and let me know your thoughts…! :D

Some context: This is part of Chapter 4. Grace, her mentor Tully, and best friend (and witch) Tessa visit a supernatural bar named Luther’s in order to meet one of Tully’s contacts. Luther’s is the big introduction to how this fictional supernatural world works. Grace’s mentor has had suspicions about souls being taken, so he’s called someone who can help. This is the introduction of Rhys, a Shapeshifter ally I had fun getting to know. Writing characters is such a unique process, their very beings coming to and sort of bossing you around with what they’ll do. Rhys is one of those characters. Hope you enjoy!

CHAPTER 4

Luther’s was dark and smoky, the shadows shifting as their owners got comfortable. Music played in the background while murmurs of conversation floated between the tables. Supernatural beings (supes) knew they were safe here; no dark magic or demons were allowed. Anyone else, however, was welcome to spend their money here, including the two vampires at the bar, a suspiciously hairy guy to the far right, and several others who appeared human but I knew would be anything but.

Inside Luther’s everyone got along, no matter how many of us went bump in the night. Tully said it was actually humans with their fairy tales and bedtime stories that made people think supes couldn’t get along. Like that old vampire versus werewolf stigma – provided they stuck to their own territories and didn’t attack each other, they had no beef. They were happy to ignore each other, while other supes got along just fine. We all knew that demons were the ones to fear.

A voice snapped me out of my people-watching. “Didn’t think you’d actually come, Tully.”

“Why is that?” Tully asked the tall shadow in front of us.

The voice became clearer as its owner stepped in front of us. “Reapers don’t spend a lot of time in bars.”

I looked up to see him standing at our table, a handsome man that had plenty of eyes following him to our table. The brown bomber jacket and navy henley shirt couldn’t hide his broad shoulders and chest. His dark hair fell in a neat sweep, trimmed on the sides and just tousled enough to be fashionable. Dark eyes flashed beneath his brows as he scanned the room over his shoulder. I was surprised at his good looks; most shifters chose not to stand out in crowds, instead choosing average and forgettable appearances. This guy would catch attention standing next to movie stars.

“Rhys,” Tully greeted him. “Have a seat.”

Rhys had already caught the waitress, a cold beer bottle in his left hand. He slid into the booth next to my mentor. He gave me a nod, but his eyes lingered on Tessa. “Hi there.”

She bobbed her head in greeting, more interested in the why than the who. “Hey.”

Rhys looked at Tully, motioning to Tessa. “How come you didn’t tell me about her?”

“I did,” Tully said, his reply short, “she is the witch.”

“Usually when they’re her age, they’re covered in warts,” Rhys said.

Tessa’s brown eyes narrowed over her drink. “Keep your comments to yourself and your tongue will stay in that shifty mouth.”

I bit my lip to keep from laughing, used to Tessa’s aggressive stance to strange men, supernatural or otherwise. Tessa had been around long enough not to trust just anyone, especially someone who could change their appearance at will. Rhys grinned at her, taking no offense at her statement. Talk about a heartthrob; his straight white teeth would’ve dazzled me had I been a living teenager.

“Thank you for meeting me here,” Tully said, bringing us back to the topic at hand. “If you don’t mind, I would like to dive right into why I needed to speak with you.”

“By all means,” Rhys said, his face becoming businesslike. “Did you bring what we discussed?”

Tully gave him a sharp nod, passed a blank yellow envelope to the shifter. I hadn’t even raised an eyebrow before Rhys slipped it into his inside jacket pocket. I didn’t miss Tessa’s nudge to my leg as we both wondered what the hell was in that envelope. It wasn’t like Tully to make sketchy deals; doubt began to build in my chest. Tully didn’t see my worried expression.

“What did you find out?” Tully asked, his voice so low we had to lean in to hear him.

Rhys shifted so that his back was to the outside of the booth to prevent outside listeners. His eyes flicked to us and back to Tully.

“It’s what you suspected,” he said. “Souls aren’t passing over. Half the state’s been deposed of Reapers and no one’s got a clue as to where they went.”

A gasp escaped me; I hadn’t known what to expect but that certainly hadn’t been it. Tully shot me an annoyed look before turning back to Rhys. Tully looked, for lack of a better word, puzzled. I’d never seen his face so curious or lost.

“Are you certain? I have noticed there are more living than not as of late,” he said. “Souls are not crossing over the way they should.”

“Couldn’t that be an overpopulation problem?” I asked, my eyes going back and forth on the men. “You know, make more Reapers and solve the problem?”

Rhys shook his head. “My girl ‘H’ is a solid resource. Says there’s been rumblings of a magical entity, something outside of the usual stuff. Could be someone’s harnessing power.”

“Like who?” Tessa butted in.

“Dunno.” Rhys shrugged. His eyes twinkled as he smirked at her. “Maybe witches.”

She scoffed at the dig. “Or a greedy shifter.”

Rhys almost smiled at her return, clearly enjoying the dynamic. Tully stuck his hand in the middle of the table to get between them.

“Now, now,” Tully said, “if we had to guess, I would insist on the obvious choice of a demon.”

A shadow seemed to come over our table, our expressions sour at the mere word. No one liked demons. Both the witch and shifter paused long enough to consider the Reaper’s statement. When the silence continued, Tully nodded to his confidante.

“Thank you for your help, Rhys,” Tully said.

Rhys drained his beer bottle and nodded, slipping out of the booth. “If you need anything else, you know where to find me. Ladies, here’s my number if you need anything. Anything at all.”

He dropped a piece of paper across the table and gave us a nod. He snuck in a wink to Tessa, who rolled her eyes. I looked down at the table to prevent Tully seeing my grin. Rhys made his way to the exit, slipping out the door without another glance.