Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sweet Saturday Sample Oct 29th


This Saturday I'm participating in Sweet Saturday Sample. My post is the introduction to the heroine, Natalie, in my WIP. The working title is The Heart Doctor, because the hero is a cardiologist. That will probably change.

Hope everyone is having a great fall day!  I love this time of year.   Check out other samples by clicking here:  Sweet Saturday Samples


I won’t die here today.  Natalie Layton whispered those words to herself, thinking that maybe if she said them enough, they would come true.  She managed to crawl out of the overturned Land Rover, which contained the bodies of a French diplomat and a British colonel.  Bullets splintered off the metal and the scent of the melted tires almost overwhelmed her.
“Incoming,” a solider yelled.
After that explosion, Natalie could no longer hear the melee surrounding her on the dirt road to Kabul.
            She fumbled with her camera case.  Her camera was her livelihood.  One picture is worth a million words.  She had that motto framed and hanging in her office at MacKinley Media in London.  Sitting on the ground, she felt strangely numb.  She could see her photographs.  Those she had taken of the destitute and dying all over the world.  Disasters, both natural and man-made. Serbia,  Iraq, Indonesia, Dafur, Sudan, Mumbai.  She had photographed what most people were lucky enough to never see. 
She lifted the camera from the case.  Her hands trembled.  This was supposed to be her last assignment in dangerous territory.  She had not wanted it but Ian MacKinley had asked her because she was his best. This was to be a short trip where she would be in the company of diplomats and dignitaries. 
The earth rocked with more explosions.  Crawling, she made her way to the rear of the Land Rover and looked through the clouds of smoke and dust.  Trapped beneath the wreckage from an armored vehicle, a young soldier screamed for help.  Three of his comrades braved flying bullets to rescue him.  Valor.  Yes, that would be the name of the photograph that chronciled their unselfish efforts.  She pushed to her feet and started taking pictures.  The shutter release snapped as sudden pain seared through her left shoulder.  Blood soaked her khaki shirt and she dropped to her knees.
I won't die here today.  Her scattered thoughts were old memories of home.  Or what was once home.  Lafayette Springs, Mississippi.  Sunrooms and weeping willows.  Azaleas in the spring and pumpkins in the fall.  Home to the Layton family, small-town aristocrats.  She was the black sheep of the family.  The one who had left over ten years and never returned. 

17 comments:

Sherry Gloag said...

Powerful sample, with millions of questions waiting for answer. got me hooked.

Patricia Preston said...

Thanks Sherry!

sarahballance said...

The exact same word came to my mind as did Sherry's: powerful. Amazing excerpt and, as I come from a military town, it hits so, so close to home.

sue said...

very well done and even some back story thank you

Patricia Preston said...

Thank you Sarah and Sue!

Sandy Nachlinger said...

Oh, I love this character. You've done a great job of showing the scene as well as telling us a little about her history. Can't wait to get to know her better.

Jennifer Lowery (Kamptner) said...

Welcome to SSS!! You're off to a great start with this sample. Very action-packed and full of emotion. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

Miss Pickles (alias Sandra Allen) said...

This is a realistic view of an extremely dangerous situation. Your heroine is one I'd root for!

the1940mysterywriter said...

An excellent portrayal of combat photojournalism. Welcome to #SweetSat, by the way.

Lindsay said...

That is a powerful introduction to Sweet Sat Samples. The realism is scary

Jenna said...

The determination and professionalism of this woman is aweinspiring. But the best do exactly that--go for the shot even when being shot at. Very realistic. Great start for Sweet Saturday!

J P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elaine Cantrell said...

Very intense excerpt! Great writing.

Patricia Preston said...

Finally I'm home and thanks to everyone for the great comments.

mirriamsmyth said...

Amazing sample. Intriguing and intense. There's so much going on yet the sample isn't crowded. Make sense? Can't wait to read more or this WIP.

diannehartsock said...

Fantastic sample. I felt myself in that scene with her, though I don't think I could have stayed that focused. Some really good writing here!
Thanks for stopping by my site today. :)

Marsha Ward said...

Great sample, Patricia! What a way to break into #SweetSat! I love the mantra, I won't die here today. Natalie is a strong woman, and I want to know her better.