Friday, November 7, 2008

Another excerpt from my fourth novel-Tennis Anyone

Sorry I haven't written anything in my blog for awhile. We did the 90th Birthday trip to Utah and I've working almost everyday. One of my dear friends shared a wonderful, healthy recipe for a Pumpkin Smoothie with me. Enjoy:

Here's the recent recipe I received from my friends. It was cool and refreshing, right in step with the holiday season and charged my batteries:

Healthy Pumpkin Smoothy
½ cup canned or roasted pumpkin
½ cup vanilla soy, rice or almond milk
½ cup water
½ cup crushed ice
2 tablespoons pumpkin butter
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 scoop green drink powder
Dash of Stevia (natural sweetener or honey)
Blend & Enjoy

I'm also working feverishly on my fourth novel. I previously posted my second chapter of the same book. Well I'm on Chapter 38 now and see no end in sight. (Of course the chapters are only 4 pages long telling a segment of the story from the different character's points of view. Should be interesting. Anyway, I thought I'd publish another section of one of my chapters. This book features the woman who lost her husband. She's one of the two main characters. Claire is the hero who's gone to San Diego to be her Best Friend's Matron of Honor. But to complicate things, she falls in love with her friend's fiance, Alex. Trouble! Makes a great story. (At least I hope it makes a great story!) So enjoy the tennis match:

“How about a game of tennis?” She smiled shyly, a little challengingly. “You up for it?" Her lip twitched as she studied him.

“I wouldn’t want to embarrass you.”

“I can handle myself,” she grinned widely. “Afraid?”

“You’ve seen my trophies, little girl. Get prepared to weep bitter tears.”

He took her elbow, felt her stiffen slightly, and ignored the slamming pulse in his finger tips as he maneuvered her out the door of the club. There was a game of one on one taking place on the basketball court, but otherwise the tennis court was empty, available. Outside the gym there was a side door that held equipment in case people didn’t bring their own. Alex led Claire to the door, held it open for her and followed her inside. They walked around the racks of tennis rackets and choose the racket that felt best. When she was ready, he picked up a bucket of balls and walked through the door behind her.

“Should we flip for sides?”

“No. I’ll let you decide. Either way, you’re going down.” The light of challenge was in her eyes and he liked it. She smiled smugly and sauntered past the net and took up a position in the opposite court. She looked really good in pink bike shorts.

“You can still change your mind.” He laughed.

“Don’t bet on it pal,” she smiled and flicked her finger in a ‘come ahead’ motion.

He’d just played a few days ago. Beat the tennis pro here at the resort by seven games to three. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“Bring it.” She called gripping her racket in both hands, her feet wide apart. She moved lithely rocking back and forth, her knees bent in readiness. She looked confident, arrogant. He’d take extra enjoyment in beating her.



“Okay.” He arched his back, flung the green fuzzy ball high in the air. Half way back to earth he smacked it with all his might and watched it zip over the net with only inches to spare. What a shot, he admired. What he didn’t see, until it was too late, was the ball zoom back at him, sailing past as it bounced in the back court just inside the line. He turned to stare at her in dazed confusion. Had she really returned his ace serve? She still moved lightly back and forth from foot to foot. She didn’t even look winded. He felt old. “Nice one,” he grudgingly called out.

“Thanks. Try again.”

This time he thought he’d float one over, catch her off guard. Sneaky, he thought smugly. Again he arched his back, swung the racket behind his head, tossed the ball high and barely tapped it. It dunked over the net and shot back at him before he had a chance to duck out of the way. The ball grazed the back of his neck leaving him speechless.

“I didn’t see you move. How’d you do that?”

“Timing, reflexes. It’s all in the moves.”

“Well you’ve got them.” Like a tiger. She moved like a tiger. “Thirty love,” he yelled. Again he tried to zing one past her and had to put up his racket in self defense when it flew like a rocket at his head. Luckily his reflexes were quick, finely honed and the ball bounced back on her side. But before he could gloat, she dunked it back. He ran forward, but was much too late. “How’d you do that?”

She smiled sweetly and he wanted to tackle her--wipe that cocky grin off her face. “Just lucky I guess.”

Luck, schmuck he grimaced. She was a ringer sent to torment him. “That would be,” he cleared his throat choking on the words he rarely said. “Forty love.” This time he aimed for the back corner to her left. Back hands were always trouble to return for a woman. No strength. He let it fly, a bullet over the net and just as stunned, watched it come back just as fast, her racket gripped in both hands.

They went on this way for a few games. She had him four to one. It was humiliating. He was sweating like a cat in a yard full of dogs. She however, looked sweet and deceptively unaffected in the early morning blaze of sunshine.

He managed to salvage a couple of games and tied the score. Then decided a tie was better than defeat and offered to let it stand.

He watched her walk toward the net, suddenly shock registered in his brain as he watched the color drain out of her face, her eyes roll back in her head and her legs melt like butter. He was over the short net in a flash and caught her just before her knees hit the cement. “Claire!” He shouted, sweeping her up in his arms. “Claire can you hear me?”

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