Posts Tagged "Christian novel."

Out-Takes from Within Golden Bands – Part One

Posted by on May 29, 2020 | Comments Off on Out-Takes from Within Golden Bands – Part One

Out-Takes from Within Golden Bands – Part One

Outtakes often appear at the end of television programs for viewers to see what ended up on the cutting room floor when the actors messed up. Outtakes from books live on in computer files as the back story that drove what readers see in the finished product.



Fabulous Fridays

Out-Takes from Within Golden Bands – Part One

Out-Takes often appear at the end of television programs for viewers to see what ended up on the cutting room floor when the actors messed up. Out-Takes from books are not always mess-ups for authors but beloved scenes that were cut either due to word count or plot issues. They live on in the memory and computer files as the back story that drove what readers see in the finished product.

Out-takes from books form the back-story for what readers see in the finished product... #authorlife #amwriting #books Click To Tweet

For those who have finished reading Within Golden Bands, I offer some romantic interludes in Kieran and Bonny’s marriage that were sacrificed in order to make the book start in the middle of the action (in media res), or to make my word count. I think you’ll enjoy this glimpse into the original beginning of the book. Here is one of my favorite scenes from Within Golden Bands, the beginning of Kieran and Bonny’s honeymoon in Albuquerque:

Out-Takes from Within Golden Bands

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Out-Takes: Let the Honeymoon Begin

What a way to begin a honeymoon.

Dehydrated and exhausted, Bonny MacDonell allowed herself to slide into a drowsy state of semi-alertness, her hand gripped tightly by Kieran. Her husband hovered over her the way an eagle hovers over its nest. Outside the little room, the clamor of the Presbyterian Hospital emergency room rose and ebbed with voices, phones, footsteps, and every now and then, a cry. The semi-hard surface of the gurney was preferable to the continual motion of the last twenty-four hours.

Bonny had entered the Albuquerque Sunport too weak to stand without Kieran’s support, exhausted from constant nausea all the way from Scotland. Liquid gratitude puddled in her eyes when Dan and Kari suggested the hospital as their first stop. What a relief to give herself over to the love and support of the MacDowells, best friends since childhood and adopted family since her parents’ deaths.

Metal rings clinked against each other, and she forced herself into wakefulness as Dr. Mason slid the curtain back and entered the small room. His brown eyes were kind as he smiled, balanced the chart on the side rail of the gurney, and riffled through the papers. “Mrs. MacDonell, I checked your old records. Dr. Carson had good reason to say the possibility of pregnancy was slim due to the advanced stage of your endometriosis, but you proved him wrong.” He pulled the blankets down, and cool hands moved over her abdomen, applying pressure here and there. “Any idea how long ago it might have happened?”

A behind-the-scenes glimpse at Within Golden Bands, a new romantic suspense novel... #RomSus #Christfic #backstory Click To Tweet

Endometriosis. Fingers of fear snaked through her veins at the sound of the word.

Oblivious to how her old nemesis held the power to turn this dream to a nightmare, Kieran’s sapphire eyes lit up like a child with his first Christmas tree. “We’ve only been married for six weeks.”

Dr. Mason smiled. “You can’t imagine how rare an answer like that is these days.”

“Well, it’s true for us.” Her gallant, Scottish knight’s defensive tone sent flutters through Bonny in spite of the nausea.

“But …” A kaleidoscope of emotions, fear above all else, whirled through her mind as she glanced back at the doctor. The only anchor to reality was the weight of Kieran’s big hand on her shoulder.

“It’s early, to be sure, but some women begin morning sickness right away. I’ll prescribe medication for nausea. It may settle down a little now that you’re on solid ground. I suggest you follow up with an obstetrician in two or three weeks. An ultrasound to assess the role of scarring and disease in this pregnancy is critical.” Dr. Mason reached across her to shake Kieran’s hand, then patted her shoulder. “The nurse will bring your discharge papers as soon as the IV finishes. Congratulations.”

Out-Takes WGB Part One 1

Kieran’s eyes danced with undisguised delight while why … how … what whirled through Bonny’s mind in a dizzying flurry along with the word baby.

He leaned close, elbows on either side of her pillow as his forehead came to rest on hers. “So much for Dr. Carson’s dire predictions. Six weeks. You must have gotten pregnant on our wedding night, mo gràdh. You’ll do nothing but rest and care for yourself and our wee bairn.”

My darling. The Gaelic endearment coupled with his tender smile and a sweet reference to an experience so far from her reality that it made her mind spin. “Kieran, I can’t …”

“God doesn’t listen to doctors, love.”

God. When was the last time she prayed for healing? Resigned to Dr. Carson’s diagnosis, Bonny never allowed herself to dream of bearing Kieran’s child. His cheek, scratchy under her hand, drew her attention back to her new husband. At the sight of such complete joy, the bubble of gratitude in her chest threatened to burst. “If your smile gets any wider, your face will split.”

The nurse entered, handing Kieran papers to sign while she discontinued the IV. Bonny turned away at the painful memory of telling her then-fiancé, Adam, that Dr. Carson’s surgical procedure was ineffective, making children impossible. Unbounded darkness eclipsed her world in disappointment and incompleteness from then on. Worse was the day her hard-confessed revelation crushed Kieran’s hopes of a family. Now, the sunshine of his delight bathed the small room in beauty.

The door closed behind the nurse, and Kieran reached for her clothes. Bonny allowed him to steady her as she sat up to dress, raising her arms as he held her sweater. When her head slipped through, his warm, soft lips settled on hers and heightened the dizziness of an upright position.

She shut her eyes and breathed deep as a wave of nausea washed over her again. The sooner they left the antiseptic odor of the ER behind, the better. “Let’s only tell Kari and Dan, at least for now. I’ll call Dr. Carson since we’re here and get his opinion. He said I would never carry a successful pregnancy. Kieran, I’m afraid. Too much can go wrong.”

“Careful. Let me help.” Kieran’s grip gave security but failed to halt the swaying sensation when Bonny bent to put on her shoes. “It’s up to you whether we tell anyone now or not. You’re twisting your hair in knots. Don’t be afraid to accept a miracle. We’ll choose to trust, not fear.”

“I’ll try. Best not to tell your parents yet. It will make a great Christmas present when we get home if nothing goes wrong. By then, I’ll be a little further along. We can’t hide it from Kari and Dan. They’ll guess something’s up when I’m this sick, but you have a huge grin plastered on your face. You need to take this seriously. Things that appear too good to be true usually are, and I’m scared.”

Wheesht, I have a right to smile. My new wife is carrying our child, and you’re both miracles. Don’t give in to fear, Mrs. MacDonell. We’ll face them if they become reality, not borrow trouble.”

Don’t be afraid. Perhaps Kieran was right. Things changed.

A brisk knock signaled the nurse’s return with a wheelchair. Brakes set, Kieran half-lifted Bonny in and planted a firm kiss on her lips in the process.

“Let’s get you out of here so you can celebrate.” They wheeled through the double doors and into the hubbub of the waiting room.

What a way to begin a honeymoon... #RomSus #Christfic #WithinGoldenBands Click To Tweet

Out-Takes: It’s Really Happening

The hospital atmosphere took on a dreamy quality. They were going to tell her best friends a miracle had taken place. Perhaps trust might come easier now with Kieran at her side.

Kari MacDowell, Bonny’s best friend since they were fifteen years old, stood and moved toward her as she and Kieran entered the crowded lobby. Kari’s sleek black ponytail swayed as she walked. Blue eyes glittered under the sharp contrast of ebony lashes against alabaster skin sprinkled with tiny freckles. Her tightly pressed lips revealed concern and surprise. “Dan went for the car. That has to be one of the shortest emergency room visits on record. You must not be too sick.”

“Not too.” Kieran winked and headed for a water fountain. “Ach, New Mexico air makes me thirsty.”

Kari bent and clasped Bonny’s hand. “I’ve never seen anyone get such rapid attention just on their husband’s insistence. How did he do it?”

“You don’t know my husband very well. Did you notice how much stronger his accent got? Works every time, even in Scotland. If blue eyes and charisma don’t melt them, the imposing size and Scottish burr will. It’s ten times more effective if he’s wearing a kilt. And believe me, my man knows when to turn on the charm. I’ll give you all the details in the car.”

After planes, airports, and hospitals, the clear New Mexico air smelled wonderful. Kieran assisted Bonny into the backseat of Dan’s Suburban and climbed in after her. She nestled into the delicious warmth of his arms.

Kari buckled her seatbelt and turned around. “You delayed your honeymoon by six weeks for Kieran to recover after an insane poacher tries to kill him, and now you have a stomach bug? Are you two jinxed?”

Kieran’s chest expanded under her cheek so far, Bonny expected buttons to pop off his shirt any moment, but he remained silent. The choking sensation in her throat threatened to prevent her from saying the words aloud. “I … I’m pregnant. Six weeks.”

“Whoot!” Dan pounded one hand on the steering wheel. “I guess doctors don’t know everything.”

Kari reached back for her hand. “Bonny, our babies will only be six months apart. It sure didn’t take you long.”

“We’ve waited so long for everything. I guess God decided to bless us all at once.”

With hands on her rounded abdomen, Kari smiled as Dan merged onto northbound I-25. “We have news too. We’re having twins.”

“Twins! If I wasn’t totally out of it, I might have noticed how big you’ve gotten. But shouldn’t they have discovered that sooner?”

Kari’s face reddened. We knew at your wedding but waited to tell you. It was your special time.”

Dan reached over and patted his wife’s expanding midsection. “My little beach ball.”

Bonny laughed at the thought of Dan, combat-hardened Marine, sheriff’s deputy, and her best friend since the church nursery as a father. She nestled deeper into Kieran’s arms. The strong, solid bond eased the sensation of floating in a dream. “Don’t tell anyone. After all my problems, we plan to be cautious. I’ll see Dr. Carson while we’re here.”

Dan’s blue eyes twinkled in the rearview mirror as he took the ramp from I-25 toward I-40 east. “Sure, Bon. It sounds as if you’ll have a quiet honeymoon, Kieran, old buddy. You and I might need to go fishing for a few days while these two talk babies.”

Favorite scenes often end up as out-takes, the backstory of a book... #backstory #amwriting #NEWRELEASE Click To Tweet

“We could use little downtime.” His chest vibrated with baritone resonance under her cheek. “Our lives have been a wee bit out of control, in case you hadn’t noticed. I can think of no better way to spend our honeymoon.”

God was giving her new husband a second chance for the family he longed for. He’s shown her the grave in the Fort William kirkyard where his infant son Liam rested in Bronwyn’s arms, both dead from complications of childbirth. The depression caused by his first wife’s death had ceased, but sadness lingered in the farmhouse where her touch remained in every room.

Kieran’s smile of adoration set Bonny’s heart kathumping in a rapid rhythm. One calloused thumb stroked her cheek, and he planted a warm kiss on her forehead. The scent of his woodsy, Scottish cologne didn’t affect her stomach, and she inhaled again. He was hers. They were a family. God was good.

The majestic and rugged Sandia Peak, rising over 10,000 feet east of the city, caught Bonny’s eye. Painted in brilliant shades of pink by the afternoon sun, these were called the watermelon mountains. Recollections of her childhood home on the other side of the mountain added to her flood of emotions. The loneliness of living there after the death of her parents and a broken engagement sent her to Scotland—and Kieran. Hot tear swelled up. This trip would decide whether they kept the house or not. Sharp pain stabbed deep in her heart at the idea of selling her childhood home.

Out-Takes Part One 2

“What is it, love?” Kieran bent forward, his face close.

My heart’s in the highlands … The Robert Burns poem echoed in her mind, and she pointed. The Scottish sheep farmer and soon-to-be-pastor holding her in his arms was now her life, but the sensation overwhelmed her, nonetheless. “Home.”

“Do you miss it so much, then?”

“No. I mean I do, but not the way you think. This time you’re here as my husband, and I’m a total mess today. I’m sorry.”

His cobalt eyes clouded to steely gray, and lips thinned to a tense white line as his arms tightened around her. Memories of a sunny day in the hospital garden after the car accident played in her mind. The day she refused his marriage proposal and sent him home to Scotland alone still haunted her. Did he doubt her commitment when their newly conceived child grew beneath the hand he rested on her abdomen?

What happens when favorite scenes are cut from a book? #amwriting #authorlife #backstory Click To Tweet

Out-Takes: More to Come

Next week I’ll offer another a peek into Kieran and Bonny’s honeymoon. If you haven’t read the book, I hope this makes you curious to see what happens next!

About the author:

Norma Gail - AuthorNorma Gail writes Fiction to Refresh Your Spirit. Her contemporary novels, Land of My Dreams, which won the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award, and Within Golden Bands (releasing May 19, 2020), explore the theme of women whose faith triumphs over trials. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at, the Stitches Thru Time blog, Inspire a Fire, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Historical Writers of America, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 44 years. They have two adult children. To connect with her, you can follow her blog, or join her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, BookBub, or Amazon.





Two cover images

Read More

You’re the Cream in My Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo

Posted by on Oct 13, 2017 | 7 comments

You’re the Cream in My Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo

You’re the Cream in My Coffee is the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Carol Award-winning debut novel of Jennifer Lamont Leo. I know you’ll enjoy being transported into Marjorie Corrigan’s world of 1920’s Chicago with Jazz and Prohibition. Leave a comment as your entry to win a print copy of the book. Sign in on the Rafflecopter at the very end to increase your chances of winning! 

Read More

Pin It on Pinterest

%d bloggers like this: