It’s not often that readers get a chance to see behind the scenes of the creation of a book. This week we have a treat as our honored guests share some deleted scenes from their book. It is with great pleasure that we welcome our guests of honor K.R. Hughes and T.L. Burns the authors of What She Knew.
For this blog, we were asked to write about a time when we had to cut a scene from one of our books. I know you may find this hard to believe, but K.R. and I have never had to cut a scene, ever. It’s crazy to say, but it’s true. Now, on the flip side, we have had to add to our books.
You see, K.R. is the kind of writer you would label as ‘sparse.’ She writes straight to the point, no flowery language or prose. She believes, and so do I, that we all know what an Italian restaurant looks like, so there is no need to describe it in detail in our novels. The only time she will describe anything in the book is when it is pertinent to the story line.
In case you didn’t know, our writing duo is structured so that I (T.L.) do the research and story outline and K.R. does the writing and pace of our books. We work excellently as a team. She and I both know our own strengths and gifts. We work hard to encourage and nurture them in each other. We’re blessed to know that playing off of each other’s strengths is how a winning team excells.
So, for today, we would like to share with you part of Chapter 2 of our novel What She Knew. In the first Edition of the book, we did not have the scene with Frank Sinatra and Lady Beatty. We hope you enjoy this juicy little tidbit.
August 4, 1962
With an almighty kick the door crashed open and Peter ran into the bedroom. “My God, oh kid.”
Kneeling beside the bed the stench of vomit assailed his nostrils even before he saw it staining the sheets and pillow around the woman.
“Marilyn, please wake up.” He shook her hard enough to force her to stir.
Picking her up, he carried her across the room and out of the house still unconscious in his arms. He pushed her into the backseat of his sedan and sped away.
“Hang in there kiddo, we’re almost there. You can’t die on me now.”
Dr. Ralph Greenson finished his book, set it aside and looked at the clock. Getting up from the couch, he went into the kitchen to prepare coffee.
The phone rang, picking up the receiver Dr. Greenson smiled. “Yes?”
“It’s done.” A deep male voice informed him.
“Good. I’ll let the boss know.”
Dr. Greenson hung up the phone and waited for the pot to finish brewing.
“Hey, Dr. Bunner, dead?” an orderly nodded at the covered body as they wheeled her past him in the hallway.
“Yes, she is. We’re taking her to the morgue.”
After the orderly passed, Peter grabbed the doctor’s arm, “We can’t let what’s happened get out. It will ruin her if we don’t protect her. Next time they’ll kill her.”
Frank smiled as he walked into the restaurant with Lady Beatty. The sleek beauty glided across the floor to their table.
“Here you are madam,” the waiter handed her a menu, then turned to Frank, “Mr. Sinatra.”
“We already know what we want.” Frank ordered steak, green beans and salad for both along with a vintage wine.
Several moments passed in silence between the couple before Lady Beatty placed her napkin on the table, “I didn’t fly across the pond to be with you to get ignored. What’s wrong with you tonight?” she pushed out her lower lip.
“I’m sorry Adele, I’m just jittery. I’ll make it up to you later.”
“Well, I hope so.”
“Don’t pout. I’m just a little concerned about a friend of mine.” Frank took her hand and stroked it with his thumb. “You know how much I like you.”
“Yes, because I’m not looking for a career and just want to be you’re trophy woman.”
“Well, that too.” Frank ran his fingers along her forearm. “Let’s get out of here.”
Peter helped Dr. Bunner get Marilyn’s bed pushed into place in the deserted wing at the hospital.
“I’ll be right back.” Dr. Bunner left the room.
“Kid, wake up.” Peter pleaded with Marilyn but she didn’t move.
Behind Peter the door opened, turning he saw a nurse.
“We need you to answer a few questions for us.” She came into the room with a clipboard and pen. “Patient’s name?”
“Age?” she questioned without looking up.
“Well, ask the doctor. How should I know?” He turned from the inert form on the bed and asked, “Where’s the doctor?” Peter paced the room, “I,” he ran his fingers through his hair, “found her like this.”
“All right. We’ll fill this out later.”
Dr. Greenson paced the room. The coffee pot was empty after two hours of endless waiting. “Why the hell hasn’t someone called me by now? What’s going on? We need to get this over with. Damn!”
Dr. Greenson paced over to the window and stared out at the moonless night.
“Damn it Kennedy call me!”
Dr. Bunner’s head appeared as the door creaked open. “Mr. Lawford, this is going to take a while. We need to run some tests to find out if her liver is in failure or if she will even recover.”
“You must save her, you must.” Peter’s anguish moved the doctor closer to his patient.
“I’ll do everything I can, Mr. Lawford. Try to relax a little.”
Peter paced the room, “I’m going to announce that she’s dead. After all, that’s what they wanted. We’ll see if the mystery can be unraveled once Marilyn has come around.”
“Whatever you think is best, discretion is my name.” the doctor agreed. “Of course this will be billed privately. Not through hospital records, to keep it quiet.”
“I appreciate your help Dr. Bunner. I’ll make certain you’re compensated for your efforts.” Shaking, Peter left the room. The sweat that beaded on his temples and palms had little to do with the August heat.
Bobby stood chatting with Bing Crosby and Judy Garland.
“Bobby, do you agree?” Bing asked.
“What? Agree to what?”
“Really, haven’t you been paying attention dear?” Ethel moved a little closer to her husband, “Bing was asking if you liked his new album or if you thought it was too modern?”
“Oh. Um . . . well.”
“Then Judy said she loved it and thought it was absolutely ring a ding ding.” Ethel smiled at her husband.
“Of course. First rate. Please excuse me.” Bobby walked down the hall. He turned into the guest bedroom and sat on the bed. “What’s going on? Where’s Peter?”
Getting into his car, Peter shook his head; I wonder where she put it. How long do I have to find it?
He arrived at the house in Brentwood, the newest in a long line of places that she never could settle down in, and went straight to her unkempt bedroom to look for any sign of it.
Ripping the drawers out of the night stand and dressers he searched through her personal things without finding the object he sought.
Where? In this house? The Strasberg’s?
Leaving the bedroom, he raced to the next one, throwing open the door he saw emptiness. Where? Damn it, where is it?
He looked at his watch as he hurried to the living room. In one of her books? She loves to read. In Tolstoy? Whitman?
Throwing her beloved books from the shelves onto the floor as he searched them, he found nothing.
Where? Does Eunice know? Did she beat me to it? I wouldn’t put it past Greenson to have his watchdog take it first. Damn housekeeper.
Marilyn must have hidden it where no one would think to look.
Racing to the bathroom, he stopped. Where? Unlike the other rooms in the house this one was pristine. Nothing out of place, nothing dirty. Trust Marilyn to keep her favorite place spotless. Every jar of potion, lotion and youth claiming cream lined up like soldiers fighting age.
He stood inspecting each piece of furniture, and then walked over to the vanity table and dressing chair. The soft cushion on the chair came off and there underneath the cover . . . the cherished item. He had found it. The incriminating little black diary that she kept in her favorite room.
Next, he could get on with killing her to her enemies. It was time to call Bobby for help. Would he be willing to do this awful thing, now?
Frank kissed Adele as she lay naked on his bed; she rubbed her body against his and moaned in pleasure. She was ready. He could feel the heat in her blood and knew the time was right for his grand entrance.
“Take me Francis, please take me now.” Adele writhed under him with insistence.
“Yes, kitten, I’ll take you.” Frank kissed her with all the passion he could muster but his body wouldn’t comply.
“Hurry I’m burning up with desire.” Adele grabbed him, “What the hell is this?”
She sat up on the bed, “Don’t I turn you on? I’ve never been so insulted.”
Frank grabbed his robe and jumped off the bed. “I’m sorry. This has never happened before.”
“Well why is it happening with me?” her lower lip came out, “Don’t you find me attractive?”
“My God woman, you’re very attractive.”
“Then why are we fighting and not getting it on?”
Just then the phone rang, Frank sighed with relief as he went to answer it. “Yeah?”
“Boss, there’s something I need to tell you.”
K R Hughes is a native Texan with a degree in English. She has written historical fiction novels under the pen name Kymber Lee. Treasured Love is published by Tate Publishing can be purchased at any major book seller. Look for other titles coming in 2013. Hughes helps with literacy programs and tutors college students.
T L Burns is from California and is the foremost researcher extraordinaire and historical guru in this adventure. Burns has spent the majority of her adult life working with at risk kids and adults.
Both authors currently reside in Atlanta, GA where they write and encourage budding authors to follow their dreams.
Burns and Hughes have just finished the sequel to the novel, What She Knew entitled, What She Knew Too…the saga continues due out in the Fall of 2012.
Visit the website www.whatsheknew.com for more information.
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