Thursday, 6 October 2011

Challenge 22 - Rock Candy!- snippet from previously published novel.

Today I’ve chosen a snippet from a previously published contemporary romantic thriller, one I’m seriously thinking of putting out on Kindle and as a paperback at Amazon! 
Brief: it’s early afternoon, and Mac (an American secret agent) is on a mission, and Cassie (English businesswoman) his prey for reasons relating to US National Security. They’re lounging on a lawn in an English country garden while the others in their company continue playing croquet. They’ve spent a night away and slept together . . . This scene is a pivotal point in the story, for the hero is treading a minefield of female emotions he thought he could cross without getting into difficulties, but he’s in trouble and can’t afford to let loose his guard.  Male POV.

O.K, word count 372: code MPA.

“Mac, you do realise we’ve been awfully wicked in lying to everyone. That we were not where we said we were.”
       “Yeah.” The way she chopped a rod of lettered rock candy to bite size pieces caused him to wince. “Guess they know now, with that hideous pink candy in bits.” He watched her pluck a sticky piece from the chopping board and slip it between luscious red lips, and the way she licked sticky substance from the tips of her fingers blew his mind. He rolled over onto his stomach to shield manly arousal, her perfume intoxicating. He closed his eyes, the heat from the afternoon sun adding to the warm glow of contented male, as he recalled the sound of distant seagulls . . .
      He revelled in the sensation of hot grains of sand sifting between toes.  Savoured sparkling waves swelling and surfing onto the beach then receding through burrowed rivulets in the wet sand. With shoes in one hand, Cassie’s hand clasped in the other they idly ambled to the waters edge and strolled along through the gentle surf. He glanced over his shoulder; their indented footprints fast filling with seawater just as he would again vanish into obscurity.
      They strolled on, avoiding larger incoming waves. Sometimes leaping sideways, bumping into one another, their closeness enjoyable. She paused to pop seaweed, and again to pick up shells. He was dangerously on the edge of declaring something but instead stole a momentary kiss in passing. He clasped her hand and led her away from the waters edge. 
      Just to sit and stare out to sea bliss in itself. But they lounged back resting on elbows raising their faces to the sun and the pull between them too strong to resist. He rolled over, his mouth on hers potent, lustful and declaring his intentions. But it sure couldn’t go on forever. He had a job to do.
      Whoa. He stirred, conscious of a hand on his back. Sense of danger overwhelmed him. His gun was locked in the glove compartment of the car. With air of caution he opened his eyes: long shadows casting across the lawn and Cassie kneeling beside him. Could she be the enemy? Hell, he hoped not.
 To see entries by other participants go here.


Adura Ojo said...

If you put this on Kindle, I would buy and read. Love the secret-agent on-a-serious-mission angle. I like very much the rock candy too;) And yes, you're spot on with the lustful male POV, IMO.

Not taking part this week but I'll be around to read and comment.

Margo Benson said...

A faulous excerpt! I was immediately drawn in - such great descriptions. The lust and the intrigue. I'd also buy it on Kindle.

Madeleine said...

Absolutely loved the description. Many Kindle readers would snap this up for sure!

Ruth Madison said...

Yum, very sexy! You should definitely put it out for Kindle. Backlist is a great thing to use on there!

N. R. Williams said...

Lots of tension and sexy too. I loved this scene and if I had an e-reader I too would buy it. Soon I hope.
N. R. Williams, Fantasy Author

Beverly Diehl said...

This is lovely, and very romantic. If you rework at all, one small suggestion - stretch out the place in between where she is chopping the candy and eating it, perhaps one sentence...? IMO he goes just a little too quickly from being intimidated by the chopping to being aroused. Have her put the knife safely away, then tease him with the luscious way she eats the candy. (I'm not a guy, but I've been told they are very sensitive to those kinds of danger, for some odd reason.)

Beautiful flashback scene; I want to stroll the beach with Mac!

Lady Gwen said...

A dangerous situation, however you look at it! But he left in gun in the car?! Shame on him, lol!

Also, could I get your top 6 votes for the Judge & Jury Blogfest? Please email me at Thank you!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I believe Adura is right. This would sell on Kindle. What kind of agent leaves his gun in the car. James Bond just took away his merit badge! Great job, Roland

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi everybody,

I'm doing an all inclusive thanks to you all for stopping by to comment, with exception of Beverly and Roland!

Beverly: Yeah, I get your point, but men are apt to wince at one thing and go wild for something sexy all in one breath!

Roland: I'd agree on the James Bond merit badge, in normal circumstances! ;) Thing is, it's a family setting, a hot day, and he knew he couldn't keep his jacket on. Plus he doesn't want anyone else to know what he is, even though Cassie has already sussed him! He also has to convince her that he's no threat to her or her family. It's a complicated plot.


Scheherazade said...

I like that he feels vulnerable, torn, and unsure. Nice touch.

Anna said...

Dear Francine,
Lovely text! Your story snippet is very sexy and exciting. I like the chess-like play between these two. Sensuous flash-back!

Yes, put it on Kindle! I'd read it if it were in paperback! (I don't own an electronic reader yet.)

Give Beverly's suggestion a try. Otherwise, maybe Cassie's chopping of the rock candy works as a foreshadowing of her real identity as his enemy(?).

I like the name 'Cassie'. I almost used 'Cassie' for one of my characters for 'Rock Candy', but changed it to a more typical Swedish girl's name because they are Swedish girls studying English in a resort area like Brighton.

Best wishes,
Anna's RFWers' Challenge No. 22-'Rock Candy'

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi Linda,

Thanks for dropping by. We can't have all tough guys with no conscience and no heart-strings to tug at. ;)

Hi Anna,

Yeah, I would take Bev's comments on board if it the rock candy featured in the original story but it doesn't. It was slotted in for Rock Candy theme. :o


L'Aussie said...

Hi Francine ole pal. I think this is one of the best little snippets I've read of yours. It really appealed to me for some reason. Why not? It's got it all - sexy characters, a little intrigue, suspense, glorious setting - what more could a reader ask for? I'd give you FW again you clever stick!


Francine Howarth: UK said...


I do admit to having a great big soft spot for Mac. I guess that's because he's not an absolute fictional character! He (the real dude)was chuffed to bits to know Mac was based on him. ;)