Deleted Scene from HoA: Fortune’s Favor

It’s totally true that authors have to cut certain scenes or chapters in order to make a book’s plot tighter or more concise. Happens all the time! In which case, if they’re publishable, you should definitely use them in other ways, like a newsletter exclusive or on social media.

SO, I thought I’d share it here on my blog with you 🙂 This was actually my original first chapter from Heroes of Arcania: Fortune’s Favor, which takes place immediately after the cliffhanger in the first book. (I eventually cut it due to the story being told from 2 perspectives, and this, while entertaining, would’ve distracted from the POV).

In this short snippet from the second book in the trilogy, Henry Wheeler, Nova’s best friend and the high school’s nosiest newspaper reporter, was kidnapped from the big Homecoming dance…by none other than Fortune himself. Read on to learn a bit more about what he endured while hoping and waiting for the #HoA to rescue him!


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DELETED SCENE FROM HEROES OF ARCANIA: FORTUNE’S FAVOR 

The tall man eyed his captive in the chair. The teenage boy had resisted, forcing his men to knock him out and duct tape his wrists and ankles to the wooden seat. The kid was finally coming to, and had the good sense to look scared.

The boy looked up at him through the cracked glasses on the brim of his nose. Blood trickled down one side of his face. His split bottom lip was thanks to a man’s backhand.

“Wheeler,” the captor said, drawing out the boy’s last name with delight.

Henry Wheeler looked up at his kidnapper, fear coursing through him. He fought the urge to look around, making out a warehouse of some kind in his peripheral.  That meant he was on the far east side of the city. Why had Fortune, the city’s notorious villain, brought him here? The last thing Henry remembered was the school dance. He, his best friend Nova, and her new boyfriend Cole had been laughing, having a good time when someone screamed. Chaos ensued and men had come for Henry, seizing him upon first sight. They’d thrown a bag over his head, ignored his thrashing and shouting, and finally knocked him out before loading him into a vehicle.

“Do you know why you’re here?” Fortune asked.

Henry’s brown hair fell into his eyes when he frantically shook his head. “N-no, I don’t.”

Fortune’s upper lip curled back. He came in closer to the boy, his words slithering into the teen’s ear. “You’re here because you’re investigating me. You’re foolish enough to believe you can find something on me.”

A cold ball of fear formed in Henry’s stomach as he considered the situation. Fortune knew he’d been following the cases, the bank robberies. Henry knew what Fortune was capable of, how he murdered people – even children – in cold blood, for no reason other than because he enjoyed it. Henry desperately did not want to be next.

When Henry remained quiet, Fortune frowned. He ticked his head to one of his men, who held out a backpack. Henry glanced up, shock crossing his face when he realized it was his bag. As in, the bag he’d left in his bedroom.

“You were in my house?” Henry asked without thinking. He didn’t recognize his own trembling voice.

The corner of Fortune’s mouth pulled up. “Yes, I know where you live, Henry Wheeler. I know who your parents are, too.”

The blood drained from Henry’s face and Fortune nodded. “That’s right. You know how much trouble you’re in. Now tell me everything or I’ll leave your body on your mother’s doorstep.”

Henry shook his head again. “I don’t know anything. I mean, nothing besides what you already found in my bag.”

“I think you’re lying,” Fortune said, his underlying tone murderous.

“I’m not,” Henry said, thinking quickly, “I’m just a high school newspaper reporter.”

“Who visited the DMV and the city courthouse scouring records, in hopes of discovering my identity I assume.”

Henry gulped. Fortune was watching him? That couldn’t be good. “I don’t know anything about you other than what everyone already knows. What else do you want from me?”

Fortune put a hand eye-level to Henry’s face. After a second, Henry swore sparks spit in Fortune’s palm. A blue electric current crackled off his hand, lightning bolts peaking off his fingertips. A ball of blue energy gathered in his palm, reflecting off Henry’s cracked glasses. Fortune’s smile did nothing to quell the ice-cold fear in Henry’s belly. He leaned in, making sure the boy’s cheeks felt the heat off his gift.

“Tell me what you know about your so-called Heroes of Arcania.”

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

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.”