Thank you so much for joining us on the Fall, 2012, Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! The hunt beings at noon (MDT) on Thursday, October 25, and ends at midnight (MDT) on Sunday, October 28. You have plenty of time to make all 31 stops, so relax and enjoy discovering some new authors and their new or soon-to-be-released novels.
- To be eligible to win one of the fabulous prizes, you’ll want to make all 31 stops and collect the clues in red on each post, beginning from Stop #1 http://lisatawnbergren.com/2012/10/scavenger-hunt-stop-1-2/). Then, at Stop #32, you’ll fill out a Rafflecopter form.
- If you are notified that you won, you’ll have 24 hours from the e-mail notification to provide the completed clue quote which you’ve gathered from all 31 stops. If you don’t respond with the completed clue quote within 24 hours, then another winner will be randomly drawn. Remember: there’s no need to e-mail or submit the quote unless you are notified on 10/29/12 that you are a winner.
· Grand Prize: A new Kindle Fire, plus 31 new novels!
2nd & 3rd Prizes: $50 gift certificate good at Amazon, B&N, CBD or BookDepository.com
· (Contest is open to international entrants. If the winner lives outside the United States, they shall win the equivalent in gift certificate funds to the prize in US dollars.)
Now I’d like to introduce you to author friend Vickie Hinze.
With over a million books in print and an impressive list of writing awards to her credit, Vickie also blogs about what she calls her “faith zone.” She’s insightful and thoughtful … I know you’re gonna love her!
It’s always fascinating to learn how other writers work, and Vicki is doing just that by letting us see a scene that was deleted from Survive the Night, which takes readers into the life of investigator Della Jackson who is trying to being again after losing everything. As Della is stalked and those closest to her are targeted, she must face her greatest fears and overcome past scars in order to love again—before it’s too late.
Lost Scene from LOST, INC., Book 1, SURVIVE THE NIGHT
By Vicki Hinze
People are always evolving. We’re not the person we were earlier, but not yet the person we choose to become—we’re somewhere in the middle, and the only way we can become the person we choose is to work toward our vision of all we can be.
The same is true for writers and their projects. Often an idea for a novel comes to the author’s mind half-formed, or in an early-stages state and the only way for it to become the story it’s meant to be is for the author to write to it. S/he starts where the idea is, trusting that if s/he keeps writing, the author will get to where s/he is supposed to get.
That’s what happened with Survive the Night and the whole Lost, Inc., series. When I first got the idea for the first Lost, Inc., book, Survive the Night, I titled it Dead by Dawn. That wasn’t quite right for a romantic suspense novel in an inspirational. J But I wrote it anyway, trusting that the book would morph into the book it was meant to become.
Some think an author can just sit down and spit out a book. It doesn’t work that way, but it’s a common assumption because books look so simple in their final form. Let me tell you, dear friends, it takes a lot of work and sweat to make that final form look simple. That’s true for all books. Creating something from nothing but an idea isn’t simple or easy—but it’s worth the effort for the opportunity to touch lives, and that’s the ultimate goal in novel-writing: to touch lives.
I thought you might enjoy seeing a deleted scene from Survive the Night. This is the first stab at the book, where I was working to get a nebulous and fuzzy idea into a clear-vision snapshot that would launch the story and the Lost, Inc., series in a way that plays fair with the reader and cues readers into what they can expect. It’s interesting to note (to me, and I hope to you) that the whole hemming the dress was reduced to a line about Della hemming her gown with dental floss in the final version. I have to sigh as I write that because I loved the insights into her offered by this scene. But it didn’t make it into the final book.
I hope you enjoy it!
To: All Staff of Lost, Inc.
From: Madison McKay
Date: October 8th
Re: October Fest and Open House
The North Bay Chamber’s annual October Fest is scheduled for Saturday, October 13th. This event coincides with Lost, Inc.’s fourth anniversary, so in honor of the occasion, Lost, Inc. will be holding an Open House during the street festival. All staff is asked to attend. Time is 7 P.M. Attire is formal.
MADISON MCKAY, Owner
P.S. Della Jackson, this includes you. Be here—no excuses
“Della Jackson, if you don’t stand still, I’m going to shove a pin into your tush.”
Standing on a wooden chair with her stomach sucked in, Della looked down at the bent silver head of her next-door neighbor, Miss Addie. Perched seated on a second chair with a pincushion strapped to her thin wrist, she pinned and stitched the hem of Della’s red gown. “Sorry. My phone’s ringing.”
“Let it ring.” Miss Addie spared her a sharp glance. “I can’t believe you hemmed this beautiful silk with dental floss. What were you thinking, girl?”
“I didn’t have any thread.”
“You used a suture stitch on silk.”
Della resisted a sigh. “I learned to sew in the military. We didn’t have much call for hemming silk.” Suturing up bodies was another matter, especially during her tour in Afghanistan.
“Well, you ain’t in the military now, dear heart. Imagine. A grown woman using dental floss to hem a formal silk gown.” She tisked and muttered something under her breath.
Sure it wasn’t flattering, Della focused on an amused Gracie, Addie’s seven-year-old granddaughter. Sitting on the cabinet’s countertop soaking it all in, she swung her legs. “Don’t laugh too hard. It won’t be long and she’ll be fussing at you.”
“Not for that. I know how to sew.”
Della wrinkled her nose at the precocious little blond with serious eyes. “You’ll do something else, then.”
“Probably.” Gracie tilted her head, jumped down and tugged at her jeans. “How come your dress isn’t black?”
“Don’t you like the red?” It wasn’t Della’s first choice. She wanted black, but the only decent black dress she’d found was two sizes too small. Even if she crash dieted for another month, she couldn’t stuff herself into a size six.
“You look pretty in red. But you always wear black.” Gracie’s sober expression brightened. “Are you done mourning now?”
Della’s heart squeezed. Was any mother ever done mourning?
“Gracie, grief don’t work that way. You don’t get done. You just get better at living with it.” Miss Addie hiked her chin. “Why don’t you run out to the porch and keep watch for Mr. Mason. Otherwise, he won’t know Della’s here and he’ll go to her cottage looking for her.” Miss Addie tapped Della’s knee. “Turn left.”
Della rotated on the chair. Her phone rang again. Spotting Lost, Inc. on her caller ID, she bent to grab the phone. “Sorry, I have to take it.”
Miss Addie shoved the phone out of reach. “Let it ring, or I won’t get done before Paul gets here.”
Paul Mason, the Florida Vet Net founder who’d helped a newly separated from the military Della relocate to North Bay from Tennessee and get her job as an investigator at Lost, Inc., a small investigative firm that helped find the lost and reunite them with their families. Paul was an expert at helping veterans reintegrate into civilian life. He’d plodded with her through the tragedy and the breakup of her marriage after the death of her son, and they had been close friends ever since. If Paul Mason hung with her through three years of all that torment, he’d hang with her through a dress hemming. “He’ll wait.”
“I wouldn’t take a fine man like Paul Mason for granted. Half the women in Waloka County are chomping at the bit to step into your shoes. Best snag him quick.”
“I don’t want to snag him.” Della grimaced. After Jeff, she didn’t want to snag any man. She’d loved him with her whole heart, and he’d vowed to love her forever. But had he? No. He’d tossed her aside like yesterday’s trash and then added insult to injury, blaming her for their son Danny’s death. Continents away serving her country, and yet Danny’s death was her fault. “If I wanted to snag Paul Mason, I wouldn’t be in my shoes.” He would run from her as fast as he ran from other women.
Why did he do that? She grunted. After three years of friendship, she should know why, but she didn’t have a clue. You’re a lousy friend, Della.
The phone rang again, persistent.
She craned her neck to look. Lost, Inc. Again. “I’ve got to answer it, Miss Addie.”
“Give me that annoying contraption.” She snatched the phone from Della’s hand.
“No, wait! Don’t. It’s my boss.”
Miss Addie speared her still with a glare and punched the button. “Madison McKay, I’m trying to hem Della’s dress. Paul will be here any minute and I can’t get done if you keep calling. Now what is so important it can’t wait until she gets to the festival for your office’s open house?”
Pausing to listen, Miss Addie huffed. “Yes, she got the memo. She’s coming. Didn’t I just tell you she’s coming with Paul?” Another pause and then Miss Addie snorted. “Well, I’d say when she gets there is gonna depend, dear heart.” Yet another pause, then, “On whether or not I get this blasted hem straight with all these interruptions and mostly on how long you keep me tied up on this infernal phone.”
Della groaned, looked skyward. Spare me her good intentions. And don’t let me get fired. Fortunately, Madison knew Miss Addie well. She ran Addie’s North Bay Café, which was Lost, Inc.’s next-door neighbor. “Miss Addie, give me the phone.” Della held out her hand. “Right now, and I mean it.” Whack a hornet’s nest, why don’t you, Della? “Please.”
“What for?” She plopped the phone onto the enamel-topped table. “Ain’t nobody on it.”
Della cringed, groaned. Great. “Madison’s going to be totally peeved.” Della had seen Madison peeved. She wasn’t eager to see it again, especially not peeved at her.
“Oh, quit your fretting. She was laughing, Della.” Miss Addie dipped her head and returned to her needle and thread. “If you got the memo—that’s all she wanted to know. “ Miss Addie whipped through a couple quick stitches. “You really should read your memos. If you did, then Madison wouldn’t have to call.”
“I read them.” Della’s neck burned and heat scorched her face. “Eventually.”
That remark earned her another glare.
Her face got hotter. “Some of the time.”
Della frowned. “Okay, I stick them on the bulletin board in my office and if Mrs. Renault or Jimmy or Doc mentions something I need to know, then I go read the memo.” Her coworkers were reliable. That admission earned her a third stop-a-clock glare so she swallowed down a flimsy excuse and just bit the bullet. “You know I hate social stuff. Madison’s always doing something at the office or at her house with one of her groups—I’ve got work to do. I can’t be messing with social nonsense all the time.”
“You’ve got a life to live too, dear heart. Social nonsense can be some of the best part.”
She’d had that kind of life once. It was good while it lasted, but it was over. Work was her life now. And she was doing her level best to live it well and make a difference. She owed that to Danny. It was all she had left to give him.
“There.” Miss Addie tied the last knot and snipped the edge of the thread with the scissors. “You’re done.”
“Della! Della! Mr. Mason is here.” Gracie barreled into the cottage’s kitchen, her eyes stretched wide. “He’s wearing black, Gran. Is he in mourning now, too?”
“No, darlin’.” Miss Addie told her. “Men wear black to look snazzy when they dress up.”
That clearly baffled Gracie. Her eyebrows puckered. “How come men look snazzy and women mourn? That doesn’t make sense.”
“Most in life don’t, child.” She waved to the door. “You run tell Mr. Mason to come over here.”
She turned to the door. “He knows. He’s coming up the sidewalk.” Gracie made the announcement though the women could see him clearly through the sheers hanging at the living room window.
“My, my. Now ain’t that a site?” Miss Addie stood up, folded her arms and cocked her head, studying Paul. “Looks like Tim McGraw in a tux. Don’t see Paul often without his cowboy hat. I have to say, he looks as good out of it as in it astride a horse.” Miss Addie let out a wistful sigh. “If I were thirty years younger…”
“You’d snag him. I know.” Della frowned deeper.
“So would you if you used your good sense.”
“He’s gorgeous—in a tux or on a horse, okay? But we’re just friends. That’s it.” How many times did Della have to tell her?
“Friends do make the best spouses.” She ignored Della’s glare. “I’m just saying . . .”
“I had a spouse. I don’t want another one.” They promised to love you forever, but they lied. What difference did what she wanted make anyway. Paul was out a friend or out of bounds. “Neither does Paul.”
“Girl, what you don’t know scares me. Paul Mason ain’t never been married, and I ain’t meaning just any old spouse. I’m meaning a good one—the right one.” Miss Addie swatted Della’s thigh. “Oh, quit your glowering, get down and get your heels on. He’s at the door, for pity’s sake.”
Della scrambled into her shoes, smoothed her skirt. “You reminded Gracie not to get my mail anymore, right?” Della had asked three times just this week but she couldn’t risk Miss Addie or Gracie forgetting. Her mouth went dry. “I know you think I’m overreacting, but—“
“I reminded her.” Miss Addie saddled Della with a loaded look. “Have you told Paul crazy Leo Dawson is on the loose again?”
Leo Dawson. The mental patient who’d killed her son. “Not yet.”
“Well, why not? He needs to know, Della. Dawson came after people close to you before. He could again.”
“Paul and I are not close—not that way.” She’d never be close to a man that way again outside of her dreams. There it was safe. “But I am going to tell him.”
“As soon as I know something for sure.” She didn’t want to look like a scared idiot jumping at shadows.
“Best not wait, dear heart. I know you two ain’t close that way, but to someone standing on the outside, it sure could look like you are.”
It could. They had dinner, saw movies, attended functions together like the one tonight. More than a few in North Bay mistook their friendship for more. Lacking a reassuring comeback, Della revisited the mail. “The thing with Gracie is a precaution. There’s no evidence Dawson even knows where I am.”
“There ain’t ever any evidence of something until there is.” Miss Addie sniffed.
That truth cut too close to the bone. Especially in light of all that had happened in the past six weeks. If Miss Addie knew about any of it, she’d pitch a fit and tell Paul herself, which is exactly why Della hadn’t told her. She needed to find out the truth and handle it—without having to work around Paul, who would insist on planting himself right in the middle of things, trying to protect her.
Was Leo Dawson her stalker?
She just didn’t know—yet.
Paul came in holding Gracie’s hand. He greeted Miss Addie, then stilled and slowly studied Della. Her heart beat fast and furious, and she reminded herself to breathe. Miss Addie was right. He did look like Tim McGraw. In or out of his hat, the man was a walking violation—gorgeous from the heart out. Would he like the red?
It did something special to her deep brown hair, which she’d pulled into a loose twist. And she liked the tint the red gave her skin. Being pale in North Bay’s beachside community was akin to a criminal offense, but he’d never said a word about her wearing black all the time . . .
Maybe he hadn’t noticed. Or maybe he couldn’t care less. That stung, but fortunately for her woman’s ego, the look in his eyes disputed it. Pure male appreciation . . . or maybe curiosity. She couldn’t be sure which. Waiting to find out, she resisted the urge to fidget.
The gleam in his eyes warmed and his infamous lazy smile curved his lips. “Well, Miss Jackson. I see you got the memo.”
She smiled. He liked the red.
* * *
You can purchase Vickie’s novel, Survive the Night at
Amazon http://astore.amazon.com/vichinaut08-20/detail/0373445091, Barnes & Noble Paper: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/survive-the-night-vicki-hinze/1110313567?ean=9780373445097 KINDLE: http://astore.amazon.com/vichinaut08-20/detail/B008ENGRH0
or at your local bookstore.
THE SCAVENGER HUNT BASICS:
Now before you go, write down this STOP #27 clue: from
Your next stop is Vickie Hinze’s own blog! http://vickihinze.com/scavenger-hunt-stop-28
Thanks again for stopping by. I hope you enjoy the Fall Scavenger Hunt … and I’d love it if you’d visit my author page at www.Facebook.com/stephaniegracewhitson and click “like” … or subscribe to this blog so that we can get to know one another better.