Thursday, July 23, 2015


*this originally appeared on Mundie Moms 4/15

A book goes through a lot of changes in the editing process and sometimes you are forced to cut a favorite scene.  The scene below did not make the finished copy of The Secrets of Attraction. While I was disappointed to get rid of it, it made sense because the scene doesn’t move the story forward.

I loved it because I thought it showed how nervous Jesse was before he picked up Madison for their road trip.  It also involved “Bart – the guy who could make Darth Vader and Yoda in foam” and I have to say, I loved this guy.  Sometimes a character just pops into your head fully formed, and that was Bart.  I’m not sure why I was so fascinated with him – he’s not even a secondary character, just one of the background players, but I loved his interaction with Jesse.

So, for your reading pleasure, here is a section from the original beginning of Chapter Sixteen in The Secrets of Attraction. It begins as Jesse walks into Mugshot to pick up some provisions for his road trip with Madison. Enjoy!


Bart, the guy who could make Darth Vader and Yoda in foam, was sweeping the floor when I stormed through the front door. He stopped mid-stroke.
“Dude, what are you doing in so early? I have the morning shift.”
The place was empty, the first readers and walkers and neighborhood regulars not even out yet. Bart had the roaster going and the smell of coffee was strong and smooth, filling the café.
“I’m not on today, just came by to get some drinks. Road trippin’.”
“Awesome, where?”
“Um, Pennsylvania. Kind of a birthday picnic sort of situation.” Behind the counter I could not for the life of me remember how to start a Mexican hot chocolate. Or should I make her a chai? My hands shook. I wasn’t even with her and my hands were freaking shaking. Jess, for real?
He looked blank. “Picnic?”
“This girl is—”
“Say no more. I get it.” He leaned on his broom and smiled. I stood in front of the cappuccino maker, hands in my hair.
“What are you trying to do?”
“Mexican hot chocolate, her favorite. Or chai? Can’t decide.”
“Cold, crisp morning . . . go for the chocolate . . . elixir of the Mayan gods . . . you can’t go wrong.”
“Okay.” I grabbed the milk. Bart put the broom aside and shuffled next to me, holding out his hand for the steaming container.
“Jess, let me. Breathe, dude.”
“It’s that obvious?”
“Nah, what else are you putting together in this breakfast . . . picnic . . . thing.”
“What have we got?”
I looked in the bakery case. We had the usual—three types of muffins with healthy-sounding names, croissants made with a stick of butter, and an array of pastries that could induce a sugar coma five minutes after being consumed. Not that I was looking for healthy, just . . . I had no clue what Madison liked to eat.
“What kind of bagels do we have today?”
“No, you are not eating a bagel with this drink. You need something . . . delicate.”
I almost laughed, but he was serious. I’d rarely worked with the dude, but he never struck me as someone who would have opinions either way on what sort of food was delicate or not. Watching him make the hot chocolates with the same care and concentration I used to tune my guitar, made me think otherwise.
“Ohhkay, what’s delicate? Croissant?” I said, taking some wax paper and getting ready to grab one.
“Nah, too prosaic. I’d say beignets, but they’re best when they’re hot. With this? I’d go with . . . the brioche. Plain. Simple. Perfect.”
I grabbed two brioche, and a croissant just in case. Then I grabbed some of the to-go containers with crackers, cheese cubes, and grapes.
“What do you think of these?” I asked, holding them up.
“Add a bottle of San Pellegrino and you are in like Flynn.”
“Um, what?”
“The girl will love it,” he said.
I packed up the baked goods and the containers into a paper bag and grabbed a drink tray. I started tallying it up on the register. Bart stopped me.
“Dude, that’s about thirty bucks’ worth of stuff.”
He smiled. “I got it. Just go. Enjoy the day.”
“Thanks, I owe you.”

WANT A SIGNED COPY OF THE SECRETS OF ATTRACTION?  Enter the Goodreads Giveaway now through August 16th!!

No comments:

Post a Comment