Excerpt Monday

April 13, 2009 at 3:24 pm (excerpt Monday) ()

Today is excerpt Monday over at Romance Divas, a writing group to which I belong.  So I thought it would be fun to participate.  This is a scene from the first book of my YA Soulguard series.  The heroine, Voirey Cruz, just moved to Denver from Albuquerque, NM because her father died and left them with nothing but a hotel they aren’t capable of putting on the market at the moment because of economic conditions.  They’re forced to live in it instead.

I pulled my earbuds out and slung them over my shoulder, putting my iPod in the pocket of my hoodie as we pulled to a stop, the gravel drive crunching under our wheels. Three cars rested in the drive. A shiny black SUV and two older model Ford trucks. My mom parked at the end of the row.

“Those other cars probably belong to Mr. Weeks’ sons. Remember I mentioned them?” My mother reapplied her lipstick. She’d become really into lipstick since she decided to become mega-mom. Like super moms all wore lipstick, and if she had enough on, it would keep the real world at bay.

Of course I remembered the Weeks boys. Like any girl worth her weight, they were the only thing that I found remotely interesting about this new arrangement. We couldn’t get out of this deal until the economy improved so we would be here at least a year. More likely until I graduated college. Assuming, of course, that I was able to get enough scholarships to pay for college since dad had also spent my college fund on this giant eyesore.

But the plus side was, as always, boys. Mr. Weeks had two sons. One biological and one adopted. There was no guarantee that either Cutter or Griffin Weeks were going to be attractive or interesting, but boys were boys and in the event of boredom it would give me something to do. And I anticipated a lot of boredom.

We pulled our supply of bags from the trunk and toted them onto the porch. We didn’t have any furniture. We’d sold our house and almost everything in it to settle the bills that we’d suddenly realized we had no money to pay. All we had left were personal belongings like clothing, pictures and the music and books that mom couldn’t force me to part with.

The door slammed open, hit the wall and swung back towards the entryway. But the giant of a man striding out wasn’t bothered. He just forced it open again. “Well, there you are. I was beginning to worry. The first storm of the year is rolling in and you don’t want to get caught in it. Not up here.”

He glanced at our car with thin lips, his disapproval evident. It wouldn’t suit for the weather but there was no chance of getting something else. Even my lame little Honda had been sold.

“You must be Josiah Weeks.” My mother’s neck was flushed when she offered Mr. Weeks her hand.

“Just Joe.” He shook her hand and then turned to me and did the same. “And you must be Jan and Voirey Cruz.”

Joe was large, tall and muscular in a rangy way. His hair was blond, turning white at the temples and slightly in need of a trim. He was pretty hot for an old guy but I wasn’t sure if that was why my mother was embarrassed or if it was something else entirely. Like her hair was out of place or she had a run in her sweater set.

In a flannel shirt and dark jeans, he was the very picture of a Colorado Mountain Man. At least the visual image I had. He didn’t, however, have the look of a stage magician. Maybe he had a tuxedo and a rabbit bearing hat that cleaned up the picture. “Boys, come and help with the bags.”

I didn’t know which boy was Joe’s and which was adopted but I only had to see them for a moment to know. One of them was tall and blond like Joe, though his hair was long, down to his shoulders almost.

He was actually taller than his father, lanky and curiously elegant as he crossed the porch and headed for our bags. His face was extraordinarily attractive, sculpted like the statues of angels I’d seen in art history class. His features, unlike his father’s, were delicately carved and truly breathtaking. His mouth was full and almost soft looking. He was so good looking he was like a male model. I would almost use the word beautiful. Certainly he was prettier than me.

“This is Cutter.” Joe beamed at his son like he was poetry in motion while Cutter scooped up an arm full of bags and nodded my way before trooping inside.

That meant the other, the one who was clearly not Josiah Weeks’ biological son, was Griffin. Griffin wasn’t as fast or seemingly as interested in playing bellboy as his brother had been. Nor was he as physically intimidating or beautiful. He wandered out the door and looked between me and my mom. His hands were in his pockets and he clearly wasn’t seeking an introduction.

He was Irish, somewhere down the line. His skin was pale white, slightly freckled across the nose, and harsh against his coal black hair. The white of his skin wasn’t helped by the dark eyeliner he wore or the black ball on the piercing in the middle of his bottom lip. He stared at me like he didn’t care that it was impolite, but he didn’t look mean or aggressive, just mildly curious.

I took in his long tight sweater and tight black jeans. He had a very impressive body for a kid about six months my senior. He wasn’t tall, not like his father and brother, but he was muscled from top to bottom, like an athlete. But I had a hard time believing that punk boy here was an athlete of any kind.

My mother beamed at him. I had no idea why. Cutter was way more her type. For a brunette who’d married a Latino, she was curiously impressed by blonds. She also violently hated piercings. But here Griffin was with a big old obvious one and she didn’t seem to care. Maybe she would be willing to bend about my eyebrow if Griffin impressed her that much. But probably now wasn’t the time to bring it up.

Finally he seemed to finish his evaluation of me.He nodded in my direction, grabbed the rest of the bags and headed into the inn.  Joe’s glance at his other son wasn’t nearly as approving.  But who knew why.

So, here are some links to others playing at except Monday.  I only included those which are something I wouldn’t mind you guys linking too.  Or myself, either.  (I’m very sensitive, you know 😉 )









Have fun reading!




  1. Excerpt Monday « Perhaps Magic said,

    […] Amber Gilchrist’s Excertpt Monday Mel’s Excerpt Monday Jeannie Lin – Butterfly Swords Kate Willoughby – Asking For It (excerpt is PG, site is not) Christa McHugh – A Soul For Trouble Vivienne Westlake – A Halloween Novella(17 and above) Kinsey Holley – Rocky Mountain Howl Bria Quinlan – Cami’s First Kiss Stephanie Adkins – Resisting Kane(Excerpt: PG-13, Site: NC-17) RF Long -The Scroll Thief Lynne Chandler -Inheritance A Run for the Money by Gina Ardito Eden Bradley -21st Century Courtesan(Rating: PG-13) Dying Embers by B.E. Sanderson The Chancellor’s Bride by Kirsten Saell (Rating: NC-17) Scenting Cinnamon by Ella Drake (Rating: NC-17) Excerpt Monday by Evie Byrne (Site Rating: NC-17) Del Fantasma by Becca Sheridan-Furrow […]

  2. Adventures in Romance » Blog Archive » Excerpt Monday: His or hers? said,

    […] First in the Soulguard series by Amber Gilchrist […]

  3. B.E. Sanderson said,

    Sounds like an interesting and well-written story. I’d like to see what happens and pass it along to my daughter. Thanks for giving a peek of it. =o)

  4. Gina Ardito said,

    OMG, I love your voice!!! I could so see my daughter in your heroine’s head. What a terrific excerpt!

  5. R. F. Long » Blog Archive » Excerpt Monday: The Scroll Thief said,

    […] First in the Soulguard series by Amber Gilchrist […]

  6. eden bradley said,

    Great voice, as RF said, and really tight writing. Love the line about her mom and the lipstick! So-when do we get to read the whole thing…?

  7. Jeannie Lin said,

    Wonderful, thoughtful and sarcastic teen POV. From what I know of teens, very authentic. 🙂

    Sounds like you’ve put an interesting set of characters together here. Can’t wait to see what happens!

  8. kate willoughby said,

    I would not kick either of the Weeks boys out of bed for eating crackers. 🙂 Nice excerpt.

  9. talesfromthecrit said,

    Thanks guys. I love the Weeks boys. Some of my favorite creations ever. And, Eden, hopefully the answer to that is “soon.” I’ve had requests for a full on it from some really great agents and I’m hoping that I’m going to find a home for it before too long because I think these kids have something to say that is definitely worth hearing. I’ve enjoyed hearing every word of it during the writing process.


  10. Excerpt Monday « Kinsey W. Holley said,

    […] Amber Gilchrist – First in the Soulguard series […]

  11. Twisted Fairytale » Blog Archive » Excerpt Monday: Surfacing said,

    […] First in the Soulguard series by Amber Gilchrist […]

  12. C. said,

    Love the contrasts in the characters and the way you’ve captured a teen’s voice — very snarky. Good luck with the agents.

  13. Vivienne Westlake said,

    I really enjoyed it. It was easy to put myself in the heroine’s head and it made me easily slip back into my teenage years. Good job!

  14. Ella said,

    I see lots of potential issues set up in this one scene! The characters are so well drawn and compelling. Lovely!

  15. briaq said,

    You know how I feel about these guys 🙂
    *hint hint hint*

  16. talesfromthecrit said,

    I don’t take hints well. I was born without the subtlety gene. You want it? It’s yours. If that’s not what you wanted, well, you shouldn’t have hinted at me. I told you it all could go horribly wrong.


  17. Babette James said,

    I enjoyed the excerpt. Great description of the characters.

  18. Excerpt Monday! | Ansha’s Blog said,

    […] Amber Gilchrist-YA […]

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