Thu
Nov 21 2013 6:00pm

Wild Child: Exclusive Outtake!

Molly OKeefe

Wild Child by Molly O'KeefeToday we've got a special treat—author Molly O'Keefe is here to share some deleted scenes from Wild Child, her latest release. Wild Child's heroine is a child-TV-star-turned-author, and she returns to her hometown to write another book. Of course, then she meets the hero, and things happen. Here's Molly's explanation of the exclusive outtake, followed by the scenes themselves:

Wild Child was a novel written in revisions. In the first few drafts Monica was in Bishop to write the movie screenplay based on her best-selling book about her father's murder. And Jackson didn't have a sister, but a mother in the early stages of dementia.

One of my FAVORITE series of scenes that were eventually cut from the book was the following outtake with notes being passed between Jackson and Monica. While the scenes didn't stay, the chemistry between them was started in these scenes and only made more potent in the finishing product. I hope you enjoy.

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H&H Presents an Outtake from Molly O'Keefe's Wild Child:

Scarlett O’Hara was going to make an appearance.  Monica was sure of it.

Any minute, wearing a dress made out of curtains Scarlett, or a Scarlett reinactor, or some relative of Margaret Mitchell was going to come strolling down the grand curving staircase at the Peabody Bed and Breakfast and say “fiddle dee dee” or whatever the hell it was she said.

The foyer of the Bed and Breakfast looked as if it had been made for just such an event.

Monica poked around inside of herself, trying to find a reaction, something that was charmed, or appreciative. Something that cared, just a little about anything. But after searching under every stone in her heart she had to face facts.

Nope. Nada. Nothing.

Xanex had salted her soul.

The silence suddenly registered and Monica realized that the woman checking her in and giving her a tour of the restored plantation house was watching her, probably waiting for her to say something.

“It’s beautiful,” Monica said, pushing her sunglasses up higher onto her nose. And it was, she could see it. She just couldn’t feel it. All she felt was bone-deep panic.

She had three days to write a 120 page film script based on her bestselling novel.

No problem! Piece of cake! She’d taken the on line courses, studied the books, had long in-depth conversations with screenwriters and directors. She should be able to sit down and bang out a rough draft.

Except she hadn’t.

It would seem she couldn’t.

“We’ve reserved the Cotton Blossom room for you, with views out on the southern fields.”

“How…”antiquated and weird. “Charming.”

“Have you seen a cotton field in bloom?” Brandy asked, her voice indicating that there was nothing as magical in all the world.

“Is that the smell?”

“Lovely, isn’t it?”

“Smells like lotion.”

Brandy seemed slightly stricken and Monica internally winced. Way to make nice with the natives, she thought.

“Not a whole lot of cotton growing in New York City,” Monica said, hitching her laptop back pack high on her shoulder. She was being rude, she totally understood that. The sunglasses, her tone, even the torn collar of her Sex Pistols shirt seemed boorish.

The social anxiety settled over her like a hair shirt, and she wanted to crawl out of her skin.

I’m sorry, she wanted to say. I know I’m not what you expected, and I know I’m disappointing you, but I don’t know  what anyone expects from me anymore and trying to figure it out has made me crazy. 

“Oh, look at this, you have some mail.” Brandy held out a piece of thick ivory stationary.

“Me?”

Brandy nodded, shaking the paper as if she couldn’t believe the excitement of passing her a note.

Monica carefully unfolded it, wondering if maybe snakes might jump out. Or Rhett Butler. Though that actually, she could handle. They could not give a damn together.

Welcome, the note said, I would love to personally welcome you to Bishop. After you’ve settled in please accept my invitation for a light dinner at my home. Sincerely, Jackson Davies.

“Who is Jackson Davies?” She asked.

“That’s from Jackson?” It was nearly a gasp from Brandy, like Tom Cruise had left her his grocery list.

“Is he the mayor?”

Brandy nodded, her blue eyes all lit up with delight. Honestly, Brandy might be the happiest person Monica had met in years. 

Normally, she would find a nice way to decline, her mother after all had instilled some manners in her, some feminine charm, but raw, travel weary and the Xanax she’d taken for the flight, wearing off Monica had no wherewithal to couch her reply in pleasant terms.

She grabbed the pen next to the leather bound book where she’d signed in.

Sorry, she scrawled across the bottom of the paper. I am not in the practice of dining at the homes of men I’ve never met.

Let them think she was rude. Let them do anything they wanted. Just let them get her into her room.

“Could you see he gets that?” She asked and Brandy, wide-eyed, nodded.

***

Friday afternoon Jackson sat behind his father’s mahogany desk, in his father’s book-lined library and felt nothing like his father. 

“Excuse me, Jackson,” Marianne came to the door, a vision in grey and brown. He wondered if he could make it a job requirement that she come to work NOT looking like a servant. She blinked when she saw him.

“Why are you all dressed up?” she asked.

“I can’t wear a suit?” He ran a hand over the silk of his pink and lavender tie. A little much, that tie, but Mother had picked it out. And he secretly loved it.

“Sure you can, just never seen you do it outside of church. Who you trying to impress?”

“You?” he grinned. But she didn’t even blink. Marianne was flirt proof.

“It’s those movie people,” she said.

“Guilty.”

“You really think that writer is coming for dinner?”

“Hope springs eternal.”

Marianne stepped around the bookshelf with the family bible on it, past the globe his grandfather made by hand. “Someone ran this over from The Peabody.”

“Thank you, Marianne.” 

She vanished and he pulled open the note.

I am not in the practice of dining with men I don’t know.

For a moment he gaped at the implied insult, the deep paranoia. New York City, he reminded himself. And then he wrote a reply, called Marianne and bent back to work.

***

Monica stared at the cursor, chewing on her thumbnail. Her knee bounced and she wondered if the pot of coffee wasn’t a bad idea.

Interior. Simone’s bedroom. Morning. Simone and JJ are in bed making love.

Monica was stumped. Because it was so damn weird writing a sex scene for her mother. Maybe if she had something to eat…

NO! Stop. Focus.

A quick game of Angry Birds to clear her mind?

There was a sound like something tearing and she lifted her head, smelling distraction on the air.  A piece of white stationary glowed on the dark carpet in the half-light. Intrigued and unable to sleep she swung her bare legs over the edge of the mattress and went to investigate.

You are an internationally best-selling author. The eye of the world is on you. What exactly do you think I’m going to do to you?

Respectfully,  Jackson Davies.

Not bad, she thought, but not nearly enough to force her to put on pants and have dinner with him.

She grabbed the pen from the Cotton Room’s lovely antique writing desk (thank god they had all these writing desks around) and scrawled her own response, before calling the front desk.

Brandy, if the girl’s sigh was anything to go by, was more than happy to arrange the delivery of the note to the Davies’ house.

***

Friday night the dining room glittered, from the chandelier down to the cut crystal wine glasses. There were flowers, heirloom china, all of it carefully selected to impress a guest who refused to come. 

How the hell was he supposed to keep an eye on this movie nonsense, if the only contact he had with them was passing notes like they were in Junior High? 

“Excuse me?” It was Marianne again, hovering around the edges to the dining room. A white slip of paper in her hand. Another note. 

His heart hammered once, hard in his chest, a punch against his ribs and he stood to take it from her. 

You’re right, I am an internationally best-selling author, which means I can imagine lots of terrible things. Did you know that most serial killers come from the South? Again, thank you for the offer but, how do y’ all say it down here? I must decline.

He laughed, once, a bark of surprised mirth. Who the hell was this woman?

Stepping over to the banquet, he fished his pen from his pocket and flipped the note over, the inside already too used.

This is Arkansas, you are confusing us with Mississippi. I assure you you are safe in my home. Perhaps you’ve written a few too many movies? If it eases your mind, my  mother will be in attendance. It takes a man much more nefarious than I to plot against a woman with my mother watching on. Tomorrow night, dinner at six?

Smiling for no reason he could pinpoint, he handed the letter back to Marianne.

They were onto dessert when Marianne came back with another note.

Clearly, you’ve never seen Psycho. I’m not sure why you are so keen to have me. I’ve proven myself rude and suspicious and ungrateful. Trust me when I say these are my finer qualities. Please. Please, leave me alone.

***

Copyright © 2013 by Molly O'Keefe

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Learn more or order a copy of Wild Child by Molly O'Keefe, out now:

Buy at AmazonBuy at Barnes & NobleBuy at Indiebound

 

 


Molly O'Keefe is a RITA-Award winning author with 24 novels in publication. She's won the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award for Best Flipside in 2005 and Best Superromance in 2008. Her new series The Boys of Bishop will begin in October with Wild Child. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her family and the largest heap of dirty laundry in North America.

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1 comment
Kareni
1. Kareni
That was fun to read. I've alread read the book and enjoyed it, so it was intriguing to learn how things might have differed.
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