Sunday, February 28, 2016

Snippet Sunday


Today I'm sharing the last snippet from the fourth Venom novel, Angle Play.  I typed The End on this book a few days ago so next week we'll have a peek into my next book--as soon as I decide what I'm working on! My muse has two projects that she's anxious to begin so it will be a surprise for all of us which one she chooses. 

In Angle Play we get to know the Venom goaltender, Stephanie Huschuk, better. While Stephanie struggles to carry the burden of being the starting goalie, her attraction to Greg Blue Blanket, her goalie coach's divorced twin brother, is only adding to the weight the young woman carries.

For this week's snippet we get to enjoy some dialog between Stephanie and Alice. This book primarily deals with a lovely May/December romance but it also shows the changing relationship between two women - lover and sister - who love Greg Blue Blanket a great deal. 

This excerpt is hot off the presses and has not been professionally edited. I've done my best to make it as tidy as I could but there may be some misplaced commas or other mistakes. Please be kind about any flubs you may find. When you're done reading today's snippet, skate on over to Cathy Brockman, Misty Harvey and Ellie Mack's blog to see what they've been up to recently. 


"You're here early, Huschuk."

"Yes Ma'am, Greg had a class at seven so I thought I'd come in and do some work."

Coach glanced up from placing those orange cones where she wanted them. She looked pinched. Well, more pinched than usual which is pretty damn pinched.

"I like to see that kind of dedication. Aab should be back on her skates by tomorrow."

"Glad to hear it," I said and meant it. Judith and I might be competing for that starter's spot but I wouldn't ever wish a teammate ill. Not even Whitney who, now that I had roomed with her, didn't seem to be a total bitch. Maybe just three quarters bitch or something. "I like afternoon games," I called out as I plunked my mask down onto my head.

"At least we had a day or two to recover from that road trip. Since you're here, let's work on some rebound control."

"Sure thing," I said as I shoved my hand into my blocker. Coach tossed some pucks out onto the ice and started taking low shots. She would remind me about visual attachment or steering the puck away from the net with my stick. I lost count of how many times I deflected shots into the corners. We hardly ever talked about personal stuff during our one-on-one time. Usually it was strictly hockey.

"Looking good. Your right knee tends to float a little. You need to get that connected to the ice. Let's work on that," Coach called and I gave her a brisk nod. More shots, more deflections by leg pad or stick. Finally, Coach decided we needed a break. I tugged off my mask and reached for my water bottle. Every time I grabbed my water bottle now I remembered that note from Veikko and always got a little jumpstart of self-esteem. I turned with my water bottle in hand and found Coach sitting on the Venom bench fiddling with something. My skates just kind of led me over. She looked up from her phone then pushed the door to the bench open. I opted to go over the boards instead of squeezing my padded self through that narrow gate.

"Bruno's lost his keys again," she told me as I sat down beside her.

"He does that a lot," I commented and offered her my water bottle.

"Yeah, he does. Thanks but no, I'll jinx it."

"No, you're good as long as you don't touch lips to it. The germs will jinx it, not the sharing of water."

Coach snickered as she texted. "See, I always refused to let anyone even touch my bottle."

"Yeah, I read about that in that book you were in." I squirted some water into my mouth.

"You read that?"

I met her surprised look then pushed the bottle into her hand. "Yeah, like fifteen times. It was a bible to me when things got bad at home, or I was trying to make a team. I read about you, Dolores Chapel and Ivana Petrovich the most. I think because you all come from poor backgrounds and yet made it big in women's hockey."

"If you're a fan of Petrovich, go talk to Coach Shevenko. She and Petrovich played on the same team for years. She can give you some insight that you'll never find in a book about female goalies."

"Thanks, Coach, I'll for sure do that." I tapped my stick against my skate and Coach returned to texting her Bruno.

"Is the fact that Greg is financially secure part of the draw for you?"

I stopped skate tapping and pondered the question for a second or two. "Yeah, probably it's part of it. Growing up without a dime to rub against a penny you look for men who aren't stupid with money. It's not the only reason. I'd still love him even if he were poor."

"So it's love now, is it?" She lowered her phone to stare at my profile. I gave her a quick glance then bobbed my head.

"Yeah, it is."

"I figured that would be the case soon. I could see it in his eyes. The man is crazy about you."My insides glowed like a toaster oven. "Thanks for being honest with me about all this. I think if you were some flighty little twit who was only after him for his money I'd be having some trouble with you two."

"Some trouble?" I asked with a snort. Coach made a gruff sound.

"More trouble then," she corrected. I tapped her skate with my stick to say it was cool. "I'm still not one hundred percent behind this relationship but I guess there's nothing I can do to stop you two. If I push him too much he'll turn away from me. I can't have that, Huschuk. He's my twin. He and I grew up sleeping in the same skinny bed by a window with cracked glass that leaked when it rained. Greg was the one who kept me sane when my son died. Shit, he's the biggest reason that I'm still in Philadelphia."

"What about Bruno?" I asked. She smashed her phone between her hands as if she were praying. "Isn't he special and keeping you here?"

"Bruno and I are not giddy goodness like you and Greg are. It's complicated with him. There are days that I wonder why I pursued him like I did."

"And then there are days that you're glad you chased him around, huh?" I prodded and she gave me a stern look. "Or not," I hurried to say. "Sorry if I stepped over the coach/player line."

"It's okay, Huschuk. I guess we're more than just coach/player now, although digging into me and Bruno is off limits. I do reserve the right to grill you about your relationship with my brother. It's the twin clause and it's in effect until one of us dies."

"Wow, that's a tough clause," I said while tapping away at my skate.

"Toughest one in existence following marriage vows," she commented dryly. "Now get back to your crease while I get Bruno situated. We're going to do some paddle work."

"Got it, thanks Coach." I pushed to my skates and left her to situate Bruno. 

Don't forget to drop by Cathy, Misty and Ellie's blogs-


Jean Joachim said...

Great dialogue! Love how they're dancing around each other, getting closer, getting to know each other on a more personal level. Coaches and players have to end up more personal, I think. Since so much can affect a player's performance. Great piece! So looking forward to this book.

Misty Harvey said...

I love it! I can't wait to read this series. It's aiming up to be one of my favorites from you again. So many great books to enjoy.

Cathy Brockman said...

Great post. I loved the dialogue