Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors select thematic excerpts from their work and share them on Saturday mornings. This Saturday's snippet is small towns. I've written a couple pieces of fiction that take place in an imaginary small town in Tennessee, Tallwood, that may or may not be based on a lot of experience LIVING in small towns in Tennessee! In fact, I have a new Tallwood contemporary romance coming out from Entangled Publishing at the end of July!
In celebration let's learn a little bit about Tallwood from the novella What She Deserves, a high school reunion romance...
“Bottoms up.” Peter tinked his glass against hers. “Then we can dance.”
“Are you trying to get me drunk?”
“Not this early in the evening. I’ll work on that later.”
“In your dreams, Duvall.” Upon closer inspection, she could see the boy she’d known in his features. All he’d done was grow several inches, fill out, get a tan, lose the glasses and acne. Same cleft in his chin. Same hazel eyes. Same dark blond hair.
Same…personality? Or had he matured? What if he started with that competitive crap again? Lord knows she’d avoided people like that since graduating high school. Four years of feuding with Peter had been enough.
He lowered his head like he was going to tell her a secret, and his breath wafted across her face. Champagne and toothpaste. He had the most incredibly long lashes.
Winnie licked her lips and felt something inside her come alive at his proximity.
“Winnie,” he said, his voice almost a whisper.
“What?” It was like he’d cast a spell. She couldn’t move. A couple inches closer and he’d be touching her. Kissing her.
And then he was touching her. His hand slipped beneath her wrap, brushing her skin. “I’ve waited ten years to tell you something.”
“That sounds heavy.” Winnie backed away before he got any closer. Before she got any closer. “Let me guess. You cheated to get valedictorian, and it was supposed to be me.”
He chuckled, but it didn’t break the mood that had settled over him. “I’m serious. If you hadn’t come tonight, I was going to look you up.” He had the expression of a man about to confess something earth-shattering.
She wasn’t sure she wanted her world shattered right now. Not by Peter Duvall. She was a woman on a mission, and it didn’t include her former academic rival.
“If you waited ten years,” she said with forced gaiety, “you can wait a couple more hours. I want to mingle before I get sentimental and teary. I worked hard to look this good.”
“You’ve got things to do and people to impress. I understand.” Peter drained his champagne glass and set it on the bar.
She couldn’t tell if he was frustrated or relieved. “Promise me one thing.”
“Just one?” he asked, his hazel eyes unreadable.
“If I get nominated for any awards tonight, don’t run against me.”
“Aw, but I wanted to be Reunion Queen. Is that the one you’re hoping for?”
She giggled. Had he had this sense of humor in high school? “I’d rather win ‘Most Likely To Succeed’. I kind of wanted that one in high school.”
“Me, too. But our scholarships came in more handy than an award. And I’d say we both succeeded, wouldn’t you?”
“I suppose we did.” Neither of them had had a lot of money growing up, but neither had most of the kids in Tallwood. Contrary to high school movies, income hadn’t been the primary factor in who was welcome in which cliques.
She and Peter and the other nerds—they’d been invisible. Unless somebody needed a whipping boy or help on an essay.
In a fit of insanity, Winnie shifted towards Peter, her wrap slipping down her back. If she didn’t confide in somebody, she’d never know if she was nuts or simply shallow. “It would be nice to be noticed. Don’t you enjoy how everyone is noticing you?”
His gaze roved up and down her body. “I think you’ll be noticed. I’m sure you can bring all your high school fantasies to life in that dress.”
“Do you think it’s too much?” She tried not to blush and failed. Peter Duvall was checking her out. Admiring her. Instead of it being gross, it stirred her blood.
He cupped her bare shoulder, his thumb rubbing the skin. “It’s a lot. But it’s not out of place.”
“It must seem like I’m fishing for compliments.”
His fingers toyed with the beaded strap of her gown. If he pushed it down her shoulder, her dress would slide off. The straps were the only thing holding it up.
“You’re not fishing,” he said. “You’re just asking my opinion. I’m happy to give it. I think you look sexy as hell.”
Her blush deepening, she ducked her head. He thought she was sexy.
Should she tell him he was too?
Places you can buy What She Deserves:
All Romance Ebooks
Barnes and Noble
Books on Board
Author, Cat Person, Amigurumist
http://www.jodywallace.com * http://www.meankitty.com
Mandy M. Roth