How many times have we asked ourselves THAT question?
Last week, a reader asked me how I came up with an idea for a particular scene in one of my books. After that, I thought it would be fun to do a series of RU posts explaining how some of my scenes came about and how they’ve changed under the watchful eye of my editor.
Welcome to the first post of “What was I thinking?”
This first scene from my romantic suspense, Man Law, was not originally in the book. During the first round of edits on the manuscript my editor asked me if I could show more of the history between the hero and the heroine. Gina (heroine) is a young widow with three children (including a smart-mouthed teenager) and Vic (hero) is her brother’s closest friend. Gina and Vic have been friends over ten years and after a moment of—um—spontaneous combustion, their relationship changes. Drastically. My editor suggested I do a flashback to show the exact moment when that change occurs.
For the flashback, I came up with an idea where the hose on Gina’s washer ruptures and the water valve gets stuck. I pictured her, at thirty-five, a widow battling grief’s hold while raising her children and forgetting about her own needs. For two years, she’d been working full-time, taking care of the kids, the house, the car and then the water valve won’t budge. Enter Vic Andrews, all six-foot-five of him. That, I decided, would be the flashback scene.
Leading into the flashback would be Gina and Vic having a conversation about their tendency to spontaneously combust around each other.
Now that you know what I was thinking, here’s the flashback scene:
Enough of this already. Because, really, she didn’t have time. She was getting nowhere with him when all she wanted was to get somewhere. And then he went and did it. He tilted his head and parted his lips just so slightly and a burst of heat exploded inside her. Suddenly, the hallway seemed tight. Closing in as his stare filled the space. At any second, it would occur to him that he should attempt to mask his feelings. The idiot hadn’t yet realized his ability to hide from her dissolved two years ago in her basement. That had been the first time she’d noticed the look and it still tortured her. Damn him for bringing it all back.
Her fingers twitched at the memory. Kneeling on top of the dryer battling the water that had shot from the pipe and doused her. And Vic staring at her in a way that made her miss having a man to curl up with.
“Holy shit,” he had said.
The words cut through the sound of gushing water and penetrated her focused struggle with the valve. “The handle is stuck.”
His gaze traveled along the ceiling, darting along the pipelines. Slow. Considering.
“Idiot,” she screamed, “the valve is here.”
He stepped around the large puddle forming on the cement floor and stormed to the back corner of the basement. “No kidding, but I’m not getting wet when I can cut the main supply.”
“The main supply?” What?
And suddenly, the river slowed to a trickle. She stared at the pipe, gave it a whack with the wrench. Bastard pipe.
For two years she’d been living as a single mom, dealing with appliances that failed, shoveling snow, getting the car serviced. Never mind raising three kids whose moods shifted like swings in the wind. She had been doing it all, hadn’t she?
Without a man.
Until the flipping water valve got stuck. With Michael not around, she’d been forced to call Vic when all she wanted was to take a bat and smash that stupid valve to a million little bits. Just destroy that piece of crap. She pounded her fists on the washer because she didn’t need this evil, blasted, hateful valve making her feel like she needed a man.
Vic stood a few feet from her, hands on his hips. Did his lips quirk? She swore they did. No, sir.
She flicked the wrench at him. “Don’t you laugh. I’ll come down there and beat you to death. You will be bloody if you laugh at me.”
He remained silent. One of his better choices, because she was just mad enough to let him have it. She tossed the wrench down, pushed her saturated hair from her face. “I’m sorry I called you an idiot. That was mean.” She held her hands wide. “Look at me! I’m soaked.”
“Oh, I’m looking.”
The rumble in his tone drew her attention and she found him, head tilted, lips slightly parted, eyes focused on her…chest.
The one encased in a soaking-wet tank top.
A white one.
With a sheer lace bra underneath. Lovely. Her very own wet T-shirt contest. She gasped and spun away because…well…Vic. Never before had he done this, and heat poured into her cheeks.
Two years she’d been without a man’s hands on her. Two long years without passion. Without sex that left her loose limbed and quivering. And he had the nerve to look at her like he wanted nothing more than to put his hands on her.
Wait a second. Why not? She deserved attention. Didn’t she?
Besides, he had great hands. Big hands that let a girl know he’d take care of her.
And then she lost her mind.
RU Crew, join me next week when I revisit a scene from A Just Deception. Thanks for stopping by!
Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and women’s fiction. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog. For more information on Adrienne’s Private Protectors series please visit http://www.adriennegiordano.com/. Adrienne can also be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AdrienneGiordanoAuthor and Twitter at http://twitter.com/AdriennGiordano.
- Part Two: What was I thinking? by Adrienne Giordano
- Part Three: What was I thinking? by Adrienne Giordano
- Excerpt Angel In My Arms by Victoria Gray
- Interview with Debut Author Adrienne Giordano
- Behind the Scenes: Editing