Sunday, September 8, 2013

STEALING FIRE Excerpt #3

Here's the third and final excerpt from my latest novel, STEALING FIRE, about unlikely soul mates in 1980's New York:



Excerpt #3


Oh, God, it was him, the bastard who had upset the switchboard operators and bellowed through the lobby loudly enough to alert all five boroughs. At three o’clock in the morning, asking for room service. Unbelievable.
Amanda leaned back in her chair. Her stomach was tightening inexplicably. “I’m sorry,” she said finally, when she could control her voice. “Room service closes at midnight.”
There was a pause. “Oh. What time is it now?”
She looked at her watch. “Ten after three.”
Another pause. He seemed to be thinking that over. Well, let him. The small desk lamp at her elbow cast only a faint yellow light, and the switchboard was quiet. She hadn’t spoken to anyone in almost two hours. “Then whom am I speaking to?”
“I’m the night operator. This is the main switchboard.”
“Well, main switchboard, you must all sound alike down there. I could swear I talked to you earlier tonight.”
Well, how about that. “You’ve got a good ear, 704. I was on duty earlier.”
“Good Lord. How long are the shifts around here?”
“Eight hours for everybody else. I’m working a double today.” A red light was flicking on somewhere else. “Can you hold a moment?”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
“Okay.” She dealt with the other call, an elderly man asking for directions to a building in Greenwich Village. It took a long while, not only to explain, but to repeat at the top of her lungs and spell out the names of several streets. She was surprised to see the light still flashing when she was finished. She thought the creep might have hung up.
She pushed the button for 704. “Sorry. You were saying?”
“No, main switchboard, you were saying. About working sixteen hours in a row. Why? You own stock in the place?”
“Maybe.” She sensed encouragement in the silence and decided to plunge on. “Maybe I just love it here.”
“I guess you do. But I hope you’re well compensated.”
Trust a man to think of money first. “That’s not my major concern.”
“Glad to hear it.”
Okay, enough’s enough. It’s been a long day, made even longer by him. No reason to shoot the breeze with this guy. “Excuse me, I have other callers. Sorry I couldn’t help you.”
She thought she heard an odd, disjointed chuckle at the other end, but dismissed it as impossible. Spoiled babies don’t laugh; they have gas attacks. That’s what she was probably hearing.
“Well, better luck with them.” His voice dripped sarcasm.
“Look, if you’d called earlier—”
“Absolutely. My fault entirely, for falling asleep after a cross-country flight, a time change, and a screw-up in hotel administration, not to mention business meetings all day. Forget I even mentioned it.” The phone clicked off in her ear.

She sat for some moments before she noticed she was trembling. This was the second time he’d undermined her—and it bothered her.


Hope you've enjoyed these excerpts from STEALING FIRE - a story about unlikely soul mates in 1980's New York and L.A., with a backdrop of the Broadway musical theater. It's the first time I've been to a virtual party, and since the alcohol was also virtual, guess I'm still okay to drive! 

Feel free to visit me at my own website and please, leave me a comment for a chance to win my STEALING FIRE notebook/journal!

5 comments:

Hayson Manning said...

Oh, this looks so good. I have to buy your book now. Off to Amazon.

susansloate said...

Funny, that's how I felt about your book! And it's the best comment any author could ever hear! Hope you had a great day here, Hayson!

Hayson Manning said...

I hope you had a great day here as well, Susan. I am looking forward to your book arriving from Amazon Prime. Yay.

Hayson x

kaisquared said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kaisquared said...

Thanks for the great excerpts!


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