Whenever a writer revises his book, he’ll often remove scenes that serve no purpose, are too wordy, are counter to the characters’ personality, or just plain don’t belong. Or maybe they’re in the wrong place and need to be moved to earlier or later in the book. As bonus material for my readers, here are scenes I deleted from Warrior Lord, #3 in the Drift Lords Series.
“Congratulations, miss, you’ve won the jackpot.”
“Oh, my God! I’ve won fifty thousand dollars.” Erika jumped up and down and clapped her hands. Then she glanced at the man by her side. “How can I ever thank you? You’re my lucky charm.”
His dark eyes blazed. “Give yourself more credit. It was your choice to play roulette for the grand prize.”
“Yes, but you told me about the game. What’s your name, mister?”
She’d been seated at blackjack when he claimed the empty chair beside her. For some reason, his gaze had fixated on her wrist watch. The stranger wore a cape and sword like an avenging god and he had the physique of one, too, judging from the breadth of his shoulders. She’d thought he was one of the staff at first. Where else but Vegas could you wear such an outrageous outfit and fit in?
“Excuse me, miss.” A man in a business suit tapped her arm. “If you wish to claim your prize, please come this way.”
She bounced on her toes, still stunned by her good fortune. “Can you believe I’ve won all that money plus a new car? Wait until I tell the gang back home. I really do have you to thank for sending me over.”
She’d bet her bonanza his name was an alias, but lady luck didn’t want her to spoil the night by refuting him.
The attendant cleared his throat. “Did the dealer explain the rules? In order to be awarded your prize, you have to appear on our televised episode. It’s a live filming. I’ll show you the way.”
“Oh. Well, I guess that’s okay.” She sipped her drink, her mood soaring like bubbles in a glass of champagne. A giggle escaped her lips. Good lord, she rarely did that. It must be the euphoria of the moment causing her to feel so giddy.
They followed their guide toward a central stage ringed by seats. On the stage was a canopy covered by white carnations and roses. A white cloth carpet led up the steps. Camera and lighting crews were testing their equipment.
“Here she is, our lovely winner. ”The guide gestured to a curtained partition.“ If you’ll just step behind there, the justice of the peace will get your particulars, and we’ll get you prepared. The groom too, of course.” He beamed at them both.
“The groom?” She glanced at Steve, but he just shrugged.
“The contract states you’ll win the allotted cash, car, and three night stay in the honeymoon suite after your televised nuptials. So let’s get going, shall we? Our eager viewers are waiting.” He rubbed his hands together with glee.
“Nuptials?” Erika’s mouth hung open. “Oh, wait, I get it. This is a reality show, right? I mean, we put on a performance and it’ll be like an ad for your resort? People will think they can come here for their honeymoon and win big?”
“Exactly.” Her companion took her by the elbow and steered her toward the curtain. “You don’t mind if I play the groom, do you? Or are you here with someone else?” His voice deepened, as though he wasn’t be pleased by that notion.
“No, I came to the convention alone. I’m here with the Tree Conservatory group. What about you?”
“I’m on a mission, and you are going to help me succeed.”
Her lips parted involuntarily, and he took advantage by plunging his tongue inside her mouth.
Aware of his hard length beneath her, Erika wriggled against him. Her movement elicited a deep groan from his throat. As she wove her fingers into his hair, he slanted his mouth under hers in a frenzied kiss.
When she sucked on his tongue, he rolled her over until she lay beneath him, her hair spread on the rooftop. He gazed down at her, his eyes hot with passion. For a brief moment of insanity, she wished their marriage would last.
As a child, he’d played with bows and arrows. As a boy coming into manhood, he’d slain an eight foot ugron solely with a spear. As for his swordplay, he’d won every competition he had entered. Until his disgrace, he had been a revered warrior with more enemy kills to his credit than any of his tribesmen.
In contrast, the true Drift Lords didn’t realize their calling until puberty, when their ability to sniff cors particles manifested itself. That’s when they began their training at the Academy. And while their combat skills were admirable, they weren’t expert swordsmen.
Magnor’s stern profile gave nothing away. He’d drawn his sword and had gone suddenly stiff, like a hound picking up a scent. Why did he avoid looking at her? He dropped her arm as they got closer.
Maybe he didn’t want to let on that they were anything more than colleagues. That would suit his protective nature. Or, maybe he was shutting her out because he preferred to face trouble alone. After what he’d revealed about his past, she couldn’t blame the man. But didn’t he realize Erika would never betray him?
Oh, no? What about the need to remain married for a year to gain your inheritance? Wouldn’t he feel used when she told him?
Not if she convinced him first that she cared. And she did, didn’t she? While he was a mighty warrior, he was also a passionate lover concerned with her well-being. Having him as a husband might have been a lark at first, but now the notion warmed her. She didn’t want him to leave.
How could their relationship remain permanent under those conditions? And yet, the notion of separating from her had become increasingly painful. He’d grown used to her impertinent ways, her defiant eyes, and her gutsy resolve.
Confused by the longing plaguing him and the emptiness in his heart at the thought of leaving her, he hung his head.
“We’ve been obstructed by them wherever we’ve gone. Why would Algie need to convert humans to their kind when she controls them anyway?”
Nira responded, clearly the expert where the Trollek scientist was concerned. “Algie’s main goal has been to preserve her species. King Jorg invaded when their males were determined to be sterile due to contamination of their water supply. Plus they blamed humanity for expelling them from their true home years ago. But a clean water source wouldn’t offer a cure.”
She stood, brushing off her dark pants. Erika admired her soft waves of ginger hair. It must be easier to manage than her own corkscrew curls.
“Algie addressed the genetic defect,” Nira continued. “She knew humans shared a heritage with her kind and hoped to find a compatible strand of human DNA that she could splice into their males. But that proved too difficult and killed her test subjects. So now, she’s looking for a means to suppress human DNA altogether.”
Zohar’s mouth turned down. “No doubt the maug scientist envisions a new breed of Trolleks conquering the cosmos.”
“I can equip you with a few tricks in case you need a diversion.” Dal cracked his knuckles as though readying for a fight.
“Thank you, I appreciate the offer.” Magnor’s lips curved in a half-smile.
“Dal always gets excited over explosives,” Lianne remarked, casting the lean warrior a knowing smirk.
Magnor still wore his sword, while his uniform was stained with dirt. He brushed himself off and then unfurled his cape from the backpack.
“Let me help you with that,” Erika said, noting the strain around his mouth. The poor man must be exhausted after his ordeal with Hel. She hadn’t heard the whole story but didn’t want to press him when they had more urgent issues.
He handed the cape over, and she whisked it over his head. Remembering how he drew it together over one shoulder, she did the same but then hesitated.
“Here’s the brooch.” He offered her the gold pin he used for a fastener. His lips curved into a smile as he gazed down at her. “I am unaccustomed to having someone care for me.”
“I’m your wife. That’s my job.”
His gaze ignited. He tilted her chin, and her pulse quickened as he lowered his head toward her.
Warrior Lord by Nancy J. Cohen
A fantasy wedding in Las Vegas turns into a nightmare when contest winner Erika Sherwood realizes she’s married an alien.
Pottery sculptor Erika Sherwood has no idea her televised wedding in Las Vegas is for real until an official confirms she and the stranger she’s just met are legitimately wed.
A Drift Lord and warrior of the Tsuran, Magnor tricks the redhead into marriage because she’s one of six women prophesied to save Earth. But as he’s forced into her company in their race against the apocalypse, he wonders if he risks his heart more than his life.
Can a free-spirited ceramic artist and a fierce swordsman trust each other enough to prevent disaster?
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/91cdYSftbmU
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