Pretty much every book I’ve ever written has had scenes removed from it. For instance, the version of Chased I first sent to Angie had an entirely different first chapter. But, Angie correctly pointed out that it felt as if the book didn’t really start until the scene where Liv opens the door for her friends and they see she’s been crying.
Sometimes, I cut storyline threads I feel just don’t fit. For instance, in Taking Chase, originally it had been my plan to have Cassie be a hometown girl come back after getting rid of a jerk ex-husband who’d been abusive. Weight had been an issue with her and she’d worked her way up from sweeping up hair at a salon in Dallas and had become a top notch hairstylist. If you’ve read my Chase books, you know that Tate from Making Chase is the hairstylist with some body image issues and a totally messed up father. Cassie ended up being the girl from out of town on the run from a crazy abusive ex. It’s always funny how this stuff works out.
In my Cascadia Wolves series, when I wrote Enforcer I’d orginally had it as a menage book with the Tri Mate Bond instead of just the tri bond and Cade being the anchor. The truth of that one is that I don’t feel comfortable writing brothers who share a woman full time that way. But I liked the idea a lot and ended up using it in the second book, Tri Mates. I think it worked out way better!
Originally, Laid Bare was not a menage book. I didn’t sell it that way, I didn’t plot it that way. There was a single menage scene and not even with Ben! It had been with Cope, Ben’s brother and it was not meant to be anything more than a one-off event. But as I wrote the book and got to that scene, I realized Ben was a far more integral character than I’d thought and he kept showing up in scenes and it was him in bed instead of Cope and nothing about it was casual. Sometimes, you have to let the story have a lead and see where it takes you. In the end, Laid Bare, while unexpected to me for the menage aspect, is one of my personal favorites of all the books I’ve read.
Most of the time I think the book is better after I do the cutting or changing. Still, it sucks to get rid of an entire chapter or to have to go back and cut a storyline and re-write around it to make the book seamless again. It wasn’t really until I started writing that I began to understand all this stuff that goes on behind the scenes. I’m sure other authors don’t cut because they plot more detailed than I do while some are in the same boat with me and do cuts here and there to make the story tighter. The goal is that the reader not have any idea that before that book went to be formatted it had been in pieces on a screen or on the draft manuscript in a binder with red strikethroughs and a hundred post its to mark changes to be made. But what the heck? I’ve attached that opening of Chased that didn’t make it into the final manuscript.
Excerpt after the jump – don’t forget to click the links at the end to see what the other Saturday Snippets participants are up to this weekend!
Deleted Scene from – CHASE BROTHERS: CHASED by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2007, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Samhain Publishing
Marc Chase walked into city hall looking for his brother. Shane had just returned from his honeymoon the weekend before and Marc needed his signature on an anniversary card. Their parents were getting ready to celebrate their wedding anniversary at party that night.
He took the long way, looking at the long legs of the pretty women rushing around to get their work done on a Friday afternoon. He got a kick out of the sweet smiles they sent his way.
“Hey, Marc. What brings you to City Hall today?” Sue Ellen Allicot sent him a look that was supposed to be coy but instead just scared him to death. Sue Ellen had more than just a few weeks of fun on her brain and he didn’t.
“Oh here to see Shane. Gotta go. Have a nice weekend, Sue Ellen,” he called out as he kept walking. She’d get the hint soon enough and he’d be able to flirt and chat with her again. Until then, it would be wise to keep his distance so she didn’t get the wrong idea.
He’d been on dates with most of them and would quite happily take ninety percent of them out again as long as they didn’t go getting attached. He didn’t need any attachments and the last thing he wanted was to walk around dumbstruck like Kyle and Shane. His sisters-in-law were mighty fine women, but he didn’t need to be married when there were so many women to sample. No siree, he didn’t need one when he could have three.
Coming to a halt, he took a nice slow perusal of one woman he’d be quite happy to take out but hadn’t gotten around to just yet. Part of it was that she’d been with his brother Matt for a year and he wanted to let some time lapse before he pursued her. But the year mark had already passed some time ago so that was one barrier eliminated. The rest of it was that she just didn’t seem interested. Sure she flirted and smiled but she didn’t take him seriously, even when he made more serious inquiries into her dating status.
Man-oh-man did he love to look at her. Tall, long legs, big brown eyes that always looked like she had a very naughty secret and hair as black as a raven’s wing. Straight and glossy and always in some short, stylish â€˜do. Her clothes were always just shy of outright sexy but it was clear she was a woman who knew what looked good on her body and she dressed accordingly. Not too tight but certainly clingy enough to highlight the high, round ass and the legs, heels high enough to show off nice hard calves and tilt ass and breasts out just right. The blouses and sweaters lovingly showcased her perky B cups.
He adored her smile. One of those smiles women had when they knew something delicious. Her accent was nice and thick—sexy, soft southern sin—and she always sounded on the verge of laughing.
Liv Davis was just an all around package. Funny, intelligent, independent, very feminine but capable too. She never ceased to make him smile when he thought about her. And she was the only woman he knew who flirted as well as he did. He had to admire that.
Her big cat eyes caught sight of him and a slow smile broke over her luscious mouth. “It’s Marc Chase. Hey there, studly. My goodness what a sight to meet my tired eyes at the end of a very long week. What kind of trouble are you about today?” Her head cocked, one hand on her hip, he noticed the perfectly manicured nails and the feminine charm bracelet on her wrist.
He grinned, unable to help himself. “I’m searching for Shane but I came the long way â€˜round so I could catch sight of you. I need him to sign this card. You’re coming tonight aren’t you? To Momma and Daddy’s party?”
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Forty years is cause for celebration most definitely. Plus your momma would hunt me down if I didn’t come.” Liv grinned.
“Good. Well, I’ll see you and Brody tonight then.” Marc didn’t like the flash of hurt in her eyes at Brody’s name. “Liv?”
“It’ll just be me.”
Her voice sounded teasing but the look on her face showed him different. “That fool Brody mess up and let you go?”
“I was apparently cutting into his sex schedule with Lindsay Cole.”
Marc’s mouth dropped open. Brody was a fool. And a man who needed a good ass kicking. “I’m sorry to hear that. I didn’t know Brody was such an ass. Well, if you need a dance partner tonight, you better come find me.” He winked, glad of the smile that reached her eyes.
“I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks. Now you go on and find Shane. As fun as it is to flirt with you, handsome, I have to get back to work.” She picked up a stack of files and came around the desk, lordy but he loved it when she wore skirts.
“Olivia Davis, you do have some mighty fine legs. You’ve just made my Friday. I’ll see you tonight.” With a wink and a last, lingering look at her, he headed around the corner.
He saw his oldest brother standing in his doorway, tanned and looking as happy as a man could be.
“Marc, how’s it going?” Shane smiled as he saw his brother.
“Clearly not as well as it’s going for you. I take it the honeymoon went well?”
“Two weeks on a private beach with Cassie in a bathing suit all the time? Yeah, it went well all right. You here to see me?”
Marc pulled the card out of the folder he carried. “Yeah, I need your signature on this. The bench is being delivered later today and installed in the garden. Kyle is putting the finishing touches on the alcove and Maggie is going to keep Momma occupied when that happens.”
Shane signed the card and handed it back to his brother. “Good. While Maggie’s on Momma duty, Cassie is off dealing with the food and the setup back at the house. Kyle and I are lucky in our women.” Shane smiled and Marc rolled his eyes.
“Yeah, yeah. Mmm hmm, as long as she’s not cooking. Maggie and Cassie are hot and all, but you look kinda dazed. Marriage makes you that way. I like a clear head.”
“I’m dazed because a very warm woman woke me up in a very naked and friendly way this morning. And I’ll take that over clear headed any day. I frankly cannot wait to see it when you find that woman who’s gonna take you down, Marc.” Shane chuckled.
Marc snorted at that idea. “Don’t hold your breath on that one. Matt picked up the album yesterday and he’ll bring it over tonight. I’ll see you and the missus in a few hours then. Tell her to wear red, I love your woman in red.”
Shane looked at his brother, one eyebrow slowly rising. “Oh did you talk to the bank yet?”
“I’m going in next week to talk to them. Dad offered me the money but I’d rather do it this way if I can. If I fail, I’d rather fail the bank than Dad.”
“Marc, you’re not going to fail. But I understand your wanting to deal with the bank. I’ll be your first client. I can’t afford to get flabby with the job and the hottest wife in the state. I have to keep up.”
Marc laughed. “Don’t think I’ll work you easy just because you’re my brother, Shane. I’m a harsh taskmaster.”
“I can take it. Now you best get that scrawny ass on out of here before I kick it.”
Laughing, Marc hightailed it out of there, before his brother lost his good mood.