Not a Prologue. Really.

I have no one to blame but myself. I knew it was a mistake, yet I did it anyway. After all, I read that book “If You Give a Moose a Muffin” to my kids many times, I know what happens next. So now you all want a glass of milk. No, that was the Mouse book. The Moose wanted jam. But it won’t stop there, will it? Next you’ll want an entire meal. And then dessert. And a sequel with brunch the next morning. Sigh.

So I knew better. And now I’m going to make it worse. Because once you give in, it’s a slippery downhill slope. Before you know it, you’ve given the kids the credit card and sent them to the store for groceries with permission to stop off at the mall for a few things first.

But just so you know, there will be no more after this and here is why. The part that comes after this was originally the beginning. Until I realized it wasn’t the right place to start. It is the first part I wrote, a long time ago. Frankly, it sucks– um, no, that’s not true. It needs a lot of work. It will be substantially re-written, maybe even completely deleted, once I finish the book. Which is absolutely normal. Expected. As a matter of fact, I’m convinced that if you don’t go back and re-write the beginning after you finish the story, you have no idea what you’re doing. Either that or you’re so damn good it is beyond my ability to comprehend. Whichever, I am not going to give you that part no matter how loudly or how often you whine about it (yes, OH, I am talking to you). You’re going to have to wait until I finish the story and go back and do clean up.

I’ll get back to working on that just as soon as I copy and paste here. Keep in mind that even this part will change. Probably.

So here it is (why am I doing this?), the part that is not a prologue:

Excerpt from Tangled Webs, by Katherine James

Eugenia Westbrook was more than a little put out, to put it mildly. She stared at her tightly knotted fist and the edges of the crushed note that stuck out from the sides. She didn’t see the wrinkled, age-spotted skin and had she noticed the slight tremor of her hand she would have attributed it to rage rather than age. The note had taken her abruptly back to another time and place, a place she didn’t particularly want to revisit, a time when she had been an entirely different person. It was a life she had deliberately left behind.

She had committed the contents of the note to memory by force of long habit, deciphering the encrypted message with ease. The code was old and deceptively simple, one she’d not seen used in more years than she cared to count. The message had been clear and yet she was confounded by what the sender hoped to accomplish.

She thought of herself as retired — as well she should be at her ripe old age — though she knew it was a business from which one never really retired. Certainly, she was no longer active. In truth, she was no longer sure who was a player these days and who had chosen, or been forced, to take a more passive role.

And yet it seemed someone was trying to drag her back into the game. Or trying to make damn sure she stayed out of it — permanently.

We’ll just see about that, she thought, turning to the desk and picking up the remote control for the fireplace gas logs, clicking it to start the flames. She waited while they flared to a full roar, adding heat to the already stifling early summer afternoon, then walked over to toss in the crumpled note. Waited longer to watch as it was consumed by fire and dissolved into ash. The words, however, remained etched in her mind.

Loyalty ensures silence. So does death.
Your choice.

As she clicked the button to extinguish the flames and turned to leave the room, she couldn’t decide whether she was more offended by the implication than she was enraged by the not-so-subtle threat. It was time to consider her options and plan a course of action.

Whoever had chosen to poke this old, tired bear would do well to remember that she was, after all, still a bear.

Yes, I can already see things that I’ll change. But not yet. First I have to finish the story.

Don’t make me regret doing this.

Never mind. I already do.


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17 responses to “Not a Prologue. Really.

  1. Mary

    The trouble with your writing, m’dear, is that it makes the reader want to turn the page.

    Not put the book down and wander off for a glass of milk. Not put the book down and find something to watch on T.V. Not put the book down, is the point I’m going for here.

    You make the reader want to turn the page and find out What Happens Next. If I picked up a book in a bookstore that started out like this, I would have kept reading.

    I stand by my original conclusion: you are a tease.


  2. Louis

    Yes, BCB, you are a tease…I want to read the rest of it, find out who is disturbing the olde bear’s peace.

    Keep on writing!


  3. Wapakwoman

    We want more. That is AWESOME! I want to know how they found her and why they are dragging her back in it, and what will she do and what do they know and so forth.
    Meaning, I , too, want to turn the pages.
    Keep writing….PLEASE!


  4. orangehands

    ha, i knew she’d cave. 🙂

    you are talented, so anytime i read somthing about you doubting yourself i’m going to smack you upside the head. just think of it as my contribution to the story. 🙂


  5. GatorPerson

    More! I want some more. Gimme! Pretty please with sugar on it?


  6. me

    You better finish that story, because now I want to read it. When are you posting Chapter 2? 🙂


  7. Anonymous

    First, thank you for sharing with us just a glimpse of your story. Sharing is really a very good thing to do.
    And we do not want to put any pressure on you to show us any more then you want to.
    Eugenia has already made an impression and we want to know what happens to her. We already care about her and now we wait. And wait. And wait.


  8. McB


    Please????? Please???? I’ll be good. Please????? May I??? Huh??? HUH???? PLEASE????

    I did say before that I thought you had a natural rythym for words, didn’t I? You just went and proved me right. We both win, isn’t that nice?



  9. orangehands

    *elbows MCB out of the way*

    ME, PICK ME!


  10. McB

    Watch it, kid. Remember what the scene said about bears. *places hand on OH’s face and shoves*

    BCB – don’t listen to the child. You need someone with many more years of romance reading experience.


  11. orangehands

    *elbows MCB in the stomach*

    no, she needs someone with a fresh look, an eye that can see beyond the before and look toward the future. someone with experience but not enoguh to cripple instinct.

    so out of the the way, lady.


  12. orangehands

    of course, she needs someone who can spell. i am better than this. MCB, let us share.

    (see, BCB? so much more mature than her? *sticks out tongue, making sure no ice is around for MCB to throw* and i think ahead)


  13. McB

    Fine, we’ll share. And since you’ll be busy figuring out if you have too much enoguh (although it sounds like you had plenty already) I’ll go first. *grabs some ice (which is plentiful since last week’s storm)*


  14. andi

    *bonking both OH’s and McB’s heads together, then stepping elegantly over their prostrate bodies* When the pages are ready, I’ll take them, Thank-you kindly.

    BCB – you are very talented, and should really continue. Do you need any meals sent or a coffee can to pee in while you stay chained to the keyboard?


  15. Mary

    Andi the firm-yet-fair editor spake thusly:
    Do you need any meals sent or a coffee can to pee in while you stay chained to the keyboard?

    {shudder} Geez, BCB, and you thought I was mean…

    njepolo: a type of polo favored in New Jersey

    okfcsj – the “I’m okay, you’re… well, anyway, I’m okay” festival celebrated in San Jose


  16. rssasrb

    I can’t wait for the rest of the book. Thanks.


  17. Lou

    BCB – you rock!! I am so looking forward to your (YOUR, yes yours) book!!!