When this blog first published, it went out with “DO NOT CLICK ON THIS LINK.” Why? Because I wanted to hide the Meme tag element from my readers. I thought some readers might have an emotive EEK! meter reaction.

But, did I really want that in my archives?

Obviously not. I changed it. Besides, it is an honor to be a serial “it” in the tag game.

Word to the tagaphobics: I cheated. You get to tap yourselves on the shoulder.

With that, I return you to regular programming–the original blog content.

I am serious. Serious about my intent to get past the length of the normal introductory blurb. Past the blurb that will force you to make a conscious decision. Do you read this post, or do you heed my warning?

Waiting…

Waiting…

Are we there yet?

Yes?

Good.

You couldn’t help yourself, you say? The one thing you’re cautioned not to do becomes the one thing you most want to do immediately? I have one thing to say to that…

I love you guys! You are my kind of peeps.

So. Here’s the deal. I have received four. Count them. I’ll wait…

One, two, three, FOUR LUCKY SEVEN Meme tags.

RULES, RULES, RULES. LET THERE BE RULES!

  1. Go to to page 77 in your current manuscript or work-in-progress.
  2. Go to line number 7
  3. Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences or paragraphs, and copy them down as they are written.
  4. Tag 7 Authors and let them know.
  5. Modify or ignore the rules as you deem appropriate and/or necessary.
  6. Admit to your readers that item #5 is a BFL (Big Fat Lie)

WHO DO I THANK FOR THIS HONOR? PINGBACKS!

Jennifer M. Eaton, Tagline: Take a Step into My World. Jennifer lives up to the quote on the homepage of her blog: “You are only limited by the size of your imagination.” She shares tons of writerly advice

Tami Clayton, Tagline: Taking Tea in the Casbah. Tami and her teenage daughter are on a volunteer trip in Morocco with Cross-Cultural Solutions. She shares incredible photos, details about the organization, and their adventures. Tami also posts SNARK. Definitely worth a visit.

Hildie McQueen, Tagline: Writing by Moonlight. I had the pleasure of meeting Hildie at the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference in Atlanta last year. Hildie is the author of the published paranormal romance novel, Desperate Betrayal, rated 4 out of a possible 4.5 by RT.

Mike Schulenberg, Tagline: Realms of Perilous Wonder. I met Mike through the recent Blogging to Build Brand (Go WANA112!) and quickly learned his voice is a winner. He’s funny, quirky and knowledgeable. BONUS! He is doing a guest blog here next week.

NOW ON TO THE EXCERPTS

All of these come from my current manuscript-in-progress titled All Inn (fka Color my World)–a Contemporary Single Title Romance (non-category).

Since I was tagged four times and have only ONE line 7 start point on page 77, I made a decision to break bend the rules. I chose to start at line seven on each of the first four acts and give you a snapshot of each in seven lines, sentences or paragraphs.

Yeah. Go ahead and count. One has eight. The lady in front of you in Express Checkout also has 2 items over the limit.

SCENE ONE, LINE 7

SET UP: When we meet protagonist Molly O’Malley, she works as a Vegas casino hostess.

At precisely ten a.m., Molly knocked on the door of suite 4711, elite digs reserved for coveted high rollers—the whales—the Fat Cats whose bet levels earned them personal greetings to start their day. It was day two with Molly’s current client, a self-important blowhard who looked like a beer keg on spindle legs. For the duration of his stay, her job demanded she become The Keg’s concierge, grief counselor, financial adviser, libations procurer, cheerleader, anger management coach, arm-candy, and walking-knocking alarm.

Molly timed the requisite two minutes and knocked again.

Approaching squeaks from a wing off the main corridor preceded the appearance of a bellhop pushing a cart stacked with designer luggage. He nodded in her direction.

“How’s it going?”

“Just happy to be here,” Molly said, bouncing on the first part of happy with such energy she almost fooled herself.

“Great, great.” he mumbled then squeaked into a waiting elevator. Alone again in the cold, deserted corridor, Molly knocked a third time.

Now, she had choices. She could wait and knock again, leave and expect an irate call, or she could avoid the hassle and shoot herself.

 SCENE TWO – LINE SEVEN

SETUP: Jake Burke has just landed a private jet in Vegas. I’m giving you the first line because I want to it establishes a character trait you may later recognize.

FIRST LINE: Jake Burke rolled a toothpick across his tongue—his oral fixation since the day he quit smoking.

BEGINNING AT LINE SEVEN

“Hey! Take it easy up there, flyboy. Champagne cork almost knocked my eye out.”

It was the Tennessee whiskey-smooth voice of  Victor Natale, Grandpa Vic, The Vicster—three handles that rolled into one man—his maternal grandfather and a pain-in-the-a$$ since they went wheels up in Gatlinburg.

Grandpa Vic opened the door to the cockpit, stuck his head in. He swirled a flute, released Dom Perignon’s signature citrus aroma. “Want some?”

Jake shook his head. “Not while I’m flying.”

“Driving.”

The Vicster raised the flute.“To Vegas.” He took a sip, then a slug, then downed the whole glass. “Damn! This is good stuff. You get these perks all the time? Even when whozit…Dexter…”

“Decker.”

“Whatever. Even when big shot Dickster isn’t on board? What’s the speed limit around here anyway? Two?”

 SCENE THREE, LINE SEVEN

SET UP: Molly is playing blackjack (and counting cards). Her cousin, Michael, has just hit her up for a $100 stake.

“Meet me at the Craps table after you lose this hand. I’ve got news from the home front,” Michael said.

“Your home front. Not mine. And, don’t tell me what to do.”

Michael and her black chip were gone.

Fernando dealt the ten she expected. Bust.

Odds were in her favor, damn it! She bet again—big—picked at her lower lip with thumb and forefinger and glanced around.

 Beyond the pit, a man leaned against a slot, studying the tables—his stance as nonchalant as the day-old stubble on his enigmatic face. There was something predatory about him—something in the way his grey eyes studied the faces, studied her. He acknowledged eye-contact milliseconds before she did. His tongue shifted a toothpick along his lower lip—his only movement. Those eyes locked and held—as if a spider had spun a thread between the bridge of her nose and his. One side of his lips twitched, revealing a lightning-bug-flash dimple.

Fernando cleared his throat.

Oh, right. She was playing blackjack.

Thanks to the interlude with Predator Grey Eyes, she hadn’t seen the cards played before her hand. She’d lost the count.

ACT FOUR, LINE SEVEN

SETUP: Molly was rushing to exit the casino, and ran into a circle of slots. She dropped her bag. She’s on all four on the floor retrieving contents.

Something entered her peripheral vision. Molly turned, hit her head on the stool, and squinted at the tips of a polished pair of boots, topped with blue jeans. She sniffed, smelled the same damn sexy cologne she’d detected after her meltdown with Michael.

Molly sat back on her heels. Nice boots—western. His jeans weren’t tattered, but they weren’t new—faded at the knees, crisp, creased, ironed. North of the knees, muscled thighs stretched the crease into a pale, worn line. Molly realized where this was headed—to the four-way stop of double-stitched seams.

Nope. Not going there.

He took her there when he squatted, knees separated.

Get your mind out of his crotch.

Stubble. Yup, he could still use a shave, especially now, with his testosterone creating a riptide in her celibate life.

Eyes. Eyes are good. Safe. Look at his eyes. Oh, crap. Clear, grey-blue predator eyes. Predator, meet Prey. I bite.

THE END

Squee!

It’s fun to type that even if it’s only at the end of the excerpts post. I’ve done it twice before. I can do it again. Big difference this time? I’ve studied the craft.

So. What else, what else, what else…

Oh. Right. I’m supposed to tag seven other authors.

You know what? I’m exhausted. I shouldn’t have to do all the work around here. If you’d like an opportunity to showcase an excerpt from your book or a writing/critique buddies book, use the comments section to nominate them.

Or, use the comments section to treat us to one of your own excerpts.

Or, use the comments section to say “hey there, howdy!”

Are you seeing a trend here. Use the comments section. I love to hear from you guys. You pop my kettle corn. [A phrase I’m trying to turn into a cliche so I can say I invented one.] Thanks for visiting and reading this far. Off to finish that WIP now.

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