Sunday, February 7, 2016

Snippet Sunday

Hello and welcome to Snippet Sunday! 

 Today I've got more from the fourth Venom novel, Angle Play.  In this book 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.  

In this week's snippet Stephanie is about to have her first taste of the public relations whirlwind that is Viviana Land. I just love being able to have my Wildcat characters dropping into the Venom books! I hope you do as well. 

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 and Ellie Mack's blog to see what they've been up to recently. 


       To that end, here I was on Saturday morning, trying to find a greater purpose and stop striving for my own fame.  Having twenty-some special needs kids surrounding me, vying for attention and help sure did keep my mind from the competition between Judith and me. I found Veikko at the other end of the ice. He saluted me with a two-finger tap to his brow and I did the same back.
     "There she is! Stephanie!"
     I glanced up from tying a young boys skate to see Viviana Land, Alain Lessard, that Bruno guy who was always tight to Lessard's side, and a tall black man in a bright yellow beret heading my way. I patted the boy's head after getting his laces situated then I rose to greet the group. It felt like everyone in the rink was looking at me. I wished I could melt into the ice.
     "Hey Ms. Land," I replied sheepishly then skated over to the Wildcat bench.
     "You look perfect." Viviana pecked Alain on his scruffy cheek. The Wildcat star gave me a lopsided smile then joined the kids on the ice. "Wish we could do something with that hair. It's not really what a poor coal miner would wear. What do you think, Oscar?"
     "I think she is just precious," Oscar the beret man said. Was that a half-moon beauty mark by his left eye? "And what an upbeat hairdo! It's what all the young ones are wearing, Viviana, which is probably why you're not familiar."
     My eyes flared at the dig.
     "It's too early for sassy gay banter," Ms. Land replied as she zipped up her thick plum coat. "Bruno, would you be a love and go find us something hot to drink?"
     I thought to point out that there was hot chocolate right inside the Zamboni door, provided and served by some of the Wildcat and Venom spouses with proceeds going right back to the Special Skates program, but Bruno made me too leery to speak. The man looked like he'd sooner chew off my head than talk. He turned away from the free cocoa. That seemed odd to me. Probably he just wanted to be spiteful and spend his money in a machine. He seemed the type.
     The massive man went off silently. I jumped when someone tapped my shoulder.
     "You scared the living daylights out of me," I panted after I spun around to find Oscar smiling down at me.
     "I'm sorry, dumpling," he said then took my hand and led me off the ice. "Let's have a seat here on the bench."
     "Try to look less hip and more introspective. Oscar, can we do something with her hair? It's just not working for the poor Pittsburgh girl."
     "Karrie suggested it," I said as Oscar began fiddling with my hair.
     "That figures," Viviana commented then sat down beside me. "So, I've been working on a few Tweets and Facebook posts. You do go on social media?"
     "Not really." I winced when Oscar gathered up the mop on top of my head and pulled it into a small ponytail. "I thought we were supposed to stay away from social media."
     "Oh no, no, that looks like she's some sort of cartoon samurai or something," Ms. Land told the photographer. Oscar rolled his blue eyes dramatically and let go of my hair. I had to work hard to cover my laugh. "Just tuck it behind her ear. As for social media, we in PR have never said to stay away from it. Social media is like the press. You have to know how to use them. Oh thank you, Bruno." She reached up to take the Styrofoam cup from the grumpy ex-defenseman. "Now, take Alain for instance. He abhors the press and never visits social media sites. While we all know he's one of the best players in the league he's hurting his marketability by being so reclusive. Veikko, on the other hand, works the press and social media to his advantage, which is why he has so many endorsements and a cameo in a movie coming up."
     "Oh okay."
     Oscar gathered up my hands and folded them on my lap. Bruno shoved a Styrofoam cup of hot chocolate at Oscar who shook his baldhead.
     "Unless that's sugar free I'm not allowed. I do not want to gain any weight. I have a wedding tuxedo to fit into," Oscar told Bruno. The "Bruiser" held the cup out to me. I reached for it then remembered that I was already in a pose. My hands went back to my lap.
     "Let me hold it," Viviana said then removed the cup from Bruno. "You did well on the choice of clothing. It's very subdued and meek. We do not want any of the Venom to be seen as looking too wild or tacky."
     "Shouldn't how we play hockey be the most important thing?" I asked before Oscar tipped my head upward slightly. "I mean, is what we wear really all that important?"
     "In an ideal world, no, our clothing should not have any impact at all but we don't live in an ideal world. We live in a world where a woman is damned is she does and if she doesn't," Viviana flatly explained. Bruno had the good grace to stare at the ice during Ms. Land's little speech. I wondered if the man ever smiled. Oscar held up some sort of light sensor contraption. "I personally don't care if you wear a sack around town or sleep with a squid although I will say that the man you're dating is a much better choice than a squid. He's such a handsome, well-established older man."
     I opened my mouth to reply but a flash going off stunned me into silence. 

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


Jean Joachim said...

Gotta love the appearance of the Wildcat folks. They add so much to the story. Love Stephanie already. This new series has pulled me in. I can't wait for the next book to come out!

Cathy Brockman said...

I love the cameos and getting to see more Vivianne and Oscar. Looks like this is going to be a fun book! I can't wait