Welcome back to another edition of Section Sunday!
Today's section is from my curent work-in-progress. It's a full length romantic suspense, which means it's over 250 pages. I actually wrote the rough draft back in the summer of 2011 and only now have I worked out the time to play around with it. I'm already in love with the hero, Cole. The heroine, Amanda, is growing on me too. Hope you like this first peek!
Amanda Williams' ankle throbbed, her head pounded and she desperately needed a cookie.
For every mound of snow she shifted to one side of the driveway, it was as if three more fell back onto her path. But if she had any chance of getting out of this ridiculous town, she had to keep shoveling.
She blew her bangs out of her eyes, flexed her frigid fingers around the shovel handle and pushed the metal into another pile. Last night’s storm had dropped a foot of snow over the car and every other surface. Thankfully bright sunshine glanced off the pristine snow this morning. The scent of burning logs from somewhere close by mingled with the crisp, clean smell of the pine trees separating her rented home from the only neighbor for miles. Okay, so this place wasn't so bad...for someone else.
She couldn't stay here. She didn't feel safe.
She’d escaped to this remote part of New Hampshire to avoid the coming holidays and all the festivities that went with it. Amanda had no reason to celebrate Christmas and she definitely didn’t care that a new year was right around the corner. All she wanted was to run away.
Run. Right. Like that would ever happen again. A madman had taken that chance away with a three-inch blade six months ago.
She blew out a deep breath and went back to shoveling even with the chill running ragged over her spine.
A slow creaking noise seeped into the air.
Amanda gasped and jerked upright, but quickly gritted her teeth. It wasn't Corling. He was serving a hefty sentence in jail for trying to kill her. No, the noise belonged to her neighbor’s front door.
“Morning,” the man said as he walked toward her. He stood well over six feet tall with broad shoulders. His dark blond hair fell too long below his ears and he had a beard. Snow crunched under his construction worker boots. The thick, brown winter coat he wore created sparks of jealousy rumbling through her cold body.
“Who are you?” Her fingers flexed around the shovel handle.
“Cole Alexander.” He held out his hand. “Your neighbor.”
“Not for long.” She ignored his hand and braced the shovel between them, as if that alone could protect her. He didn't wear a hat, but in every other aspect he reminded her of Paul Bunyan.
He dropped his hand and squinted against the sun behind her. A hint of annoyance flashed across his handsome features. “Contrary to popular belief I am one of the good guys.”
She narrowed her gaze at him. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
He shook his head. “Nothing. So, you’re renting that cabin?”
“That was the plan.” She glanced toward her supposed sanctuary.
“You really should wear gloves to work out here.”
“I hadn’t planned on shoveling.” The snow that dropped through the night had been an unwelcome surprise when she woke up.
“If you need something in town I’d be happy to pick it up. Or you can come with me.”
Granted everyone she'd run into in this town had been very kind so far, but she wasn't about to get into a vehicle with a strange man. Especially not one who looked as tough as he did. “I don't think so.”
“Are you sure?” He tossed his thumb over his shoulder. “I’m heading out there now.”
“Thank you, but I’m not shoveling to get to town. I’m trying to get out of here.”
“I was promised this place would be out of the way.”
“It is. Town’s three miles away.”
“I was also told I’d be alone.”
“Well, I’m not living with you. I’m only next door and our cabins are fifteen yards apart.”
“Not good enough.” She shoved the shovel into another random mound of snow. “Look, it’s nothing personal.”
“Of course it’s not.”
“I just...” She stared out across the woods. “This wasn't what I had in mind when I came up here, that's all.”