Blurb File Friday

Today, another excerpt from Totem. The heroine, Harper, is racing to tell her dad that her art teacher is recommending her for a scholarship as this scene begins.

[Copyright, common decency, mine mine, don’t steal, don’t copy, link if you will, yadda yadda…]

Twenty minutes later Harper raced up the stairs of Lander Hall, not bothering to knock on her father’s partially open office door in her excitement. She pushed open the door, “Dad, I have the best news! I…”


He looked up from where he sat and smiled before inclining his head to point out his visitor.


“Oh sorry. I didn’t know you were with anybody.”


“No problem. Harper, this is Ethan Roarke. He wants to be an undergrad research assistant for me. Ethan, my daughter. I was just telling Ethan about the dig we did in South Dakota at the Lakota settlement. “


Her father’s guest swiveled in his chair, and Harper lost her breath.


In her blood she felt again the beat of drums, saw the flicker of flame across the planes of his face. His eyes, those glittering silver wolf’s eyes, pinned her in place, a captive. The native tongue fell from her lips in a murmur. “I know you.


“Harper?” The voice—she didn’t know whose—gusted like a cold wind, snuffing out the vision of flames.


She blinked, shook her head a little. What the hell?


Harper realized with utter mortification that she was staring at Ethan Roarke like a love struck loon. How long have I been standing here? she wondered frantically, feeling the blood rush to her cheeks. Oh my God…


“You’re in my anthropology class.” Ethan broke the strained silence, but not eye contact. “Cultural anthropology with Dr. Burke? That’s probably why I look familiar.”


Harper pounced gratefully on the excuse, noting the twitching in his right cheek as he tried to keep a straight face. I will wear a bag over my head the rest of the semester.


“Of course. I couldn’t figure out where I’d seen you before. It’s, uh, nice to meet you, Ethan.” She didn’t dare look at her father to see his reaction to her odd behavior. Curiosity or amusement would be equally embarrassing to deal with.


“Your point about [blah] was brilliant. Burke totally didn’t see that coming.”


Whatever color had faded from her cheeks rushed back, this time in delight.




He noticed me. Oh God, my hair looks like crap today. Why am I worried about my hair? I never worry about my hair. Besides he thinks I’m smart.


Harper was desperate for her sketchpad, for despite the modern clothing, he was rugged and beautiful. Glossy black hair fell across his temple. Straight dark brows highlighted the warrior eyes. He was muscular and lithe as a jungle creature and looked every bit as dangerous. A black T-shirt showed his flat muscled chest to advantage. She couldn’t help but imagine him in a loincloth…


With some effort she jerked her attention back to the conversation.


“…correcting your professor?” asked her father.


“He was wrong,” she stated, shrugging. “It’s probably been at least a decade, if not two, since he’s been in the field. If he’s going to be teaching the class, he should at least be up to date on current research.”


At this Ethan’s lips quirked into a smile. Harper felt her temperature spike a few degrees. Man, if he turned that smile full wattage it’d be lethal. In her peripheral vision, Harper saw her father shaking his head.


“I look forward to an interesting semester,” said Ethan, grinning. A dimple winked in his left cheek.


Oh yeah, lethal weapon.


Harper felt an answering grin tugging at her lips.


Her father cleared his throat, and she jolted.


I have got to get out of here before I embarrass myself any further.


“Dad, I’ll see you at home. Ethan, it was nice to meet you. See you in class.”  She began backing out of the office.


Ethan inclined his head and lifted his hand in farewell. “Until we meet again.


Harper shut the door behind her before she fled down the stairs and out of Lander Hall.


“Stupid, stupid, stupid,” she muttered.


It wasn’t until she was almost to her car that she realized Ethan’s last words had been in the language from her dream.


Please sign Mr. Linky, as I’d love to visit your snippet! Hope you enjoyed.

15 thoughts on “Blurb File Friday

  1. Not bad. The “loincloth” line was witty. I would experiment with 2 things:

    1. Increasing the continuity of the scene. I thought it read very choppy… er… choppily? It was choppy, all short paragraphs, subject changing at a moment’s notice, sometimes hard to follow the conversation.

    2. Adding more sensation into the scene. Since this scene is being told from Harper’s POV, what does she smell? What sounds does she hear? What feelings does she feel?


  2. Thanks for the suggestions Tim. Also I tried commenting on yours, but couldn’t seem to get past the spambot detector. I tried “no” “No” “NO” and several more snarky replies, but none of were apparently valid. You might check your settings.

  3. I loved the bag over the head bit. I felt that it flowed fairly well, personally. Maybe clarify the transitions from her thoughts to what is happening a bit but for the most part I could clearly picture this and felt the tension.

    Wouldn’t her father have a bit more of a response to the obvious flirting happening in front of him though? Might want to add a bit of that in for color.

  4. Thanks, seanachi, and sorry for the spambot-detector not working. That blog is on a relatively new site, and I don’t have all the kinks worked out yet. It seemed to be getting confused intermittently. For now, I’ve just disabled it. Thanks for the heads-up.


  5. Loved this bit. You’re a VERY talented writer! I was right in the story with the very first line, and that is really something that takes some skill. Loved the deathly dimples. We’ve all been there! 😉

  6. Nice! Very nice!

    I only have one observation. If the two of them are speaking something besides English in those two phrases, I think Dad might notice and make a comment or ask questions.

  7. That is actually something that’s addressed elsewhere in the story. Harper has a gift for languages. She’s led an unconventional life going from dig to dig with her father until he decided she needed a more “traditional” education this last year before college. So her busting out into a random language isn’t unexpected. And the rest of it does get dealt with. 🙂

  8. Wow – I adored her reaction to him. And man, is he pretty. We must see more of him. *hearts* Also, her comments about correcting her professor were hilarious, but I wanted her to pull her foot out of her mouth! 😀

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