Sunday, October 24, 2010

Excerpt Sunday: A Bit More of Strings Attached!

Here's a small bit of Strings Attached, my full length romance coming from Wild Horse Press in May 2011. Animals are a hugely important part of this novel and, as we can see in this clip, often allow the characters to see themselves more clearly, just as I believe they do in real life.
Just then, Theo realized that they were not alone. A scruffy mixed-breed dog was sitting outside the porch, staring at him.

“And who are you?” Theo asked.

The dog looked as if he’d flee, but Theo quickly found a bag of dog biscuits by the swing. Tossing one to Frank, he stood and waved one at the strange dog. The mongrel looked uncertain, but he licked his chops. He did not take his eyes off the treat. Theo knew that Josie had probably been feeding the dog on the side, and that he had come looking for handouts. Josie would not have been able to resist trying to help, for she obviously had a soft heart.

Theo went to the screen door and opened it. The dog pranced off a good four meters, and turned to stare again. Theo tossed the bone-shaped biscuit out onto the snow and closed the door. The untamed creature snuck forward, slowly. His eyes seesawed between the treat and Theo. Finally, he dashed ahead, grabbed it, and retreated.

There, he gobbled up the food.

The dog’s coat was matted and his tummy was concave. It was obvious he was homeless and growing feral.

“You stupid bleeder,” Theo shook his head. “If you’d only be less shifty, she’d feed you and bring you in.”

But Theo understood better than most how a hard life could make a dog, or a man, not trust again easily.

He leaned against the railing gingerly. What had happened to this dog? He wondered. What had caused him to fear and cower? He could only imagine.

Franklyn whined quietly, and Theo turned to him. Josie had told him that the retriever was the family dog, gleaned from a friend’s litter in town about ten years earlier. However, the others in the ark, such as the affectionate little black and white cat, had been foundlings. The cat had been rescued during Josie’s last year in Calgary. He was missing some teeth, though he was only young, and had been found almost hairless from a horrible flea infestation. So many of the animals were like that. Found, wounded and alone, in bad need of love and care. Josie had provided it, generously and freely.

Theo liked the girl. She was strong and independent, but caring and open, too. She had numerous romantic movies in her collection, but she did not seem to feel depressed over her isolation. She was, for lack of a more complete term, content.

That aura of happiness attracted Theo on a soul-deep level.

Physically, she appealed to him as well. Her glossy black hair made a dramatic contrast to her flawless porcelain skin. Her golden-brown eyes were framed with dark lashes that no paint could improve upon, and they shone with youth and often gleamed with a wicked humor that showed intelligence and charm. She had a wry outlook on the world, and a sexy way of taking life in stride. A subtle naughtiness shone around her at times. After all, what kind of woman named her cat after a pornographic cartoon feline?

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