Thursday, May 18, 2017

National Scrapbooking Month: Cropped to Death Excerpt

“Since we're in the middle of National Scrapbook Month, I decided to share an excerpt from Cropped to Death, the first book in my Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery Series. In this section, Faith is teaching homicide detective Ted Roget a few basics of scrapbooking.

“Are you asking what is your project or what is cardstock?”
I let out a huff of breath. “The project is up to you. The cardstock I can show you. It’s a type of paper we carry. It’s down this aisle.” I pointed.
“How would I know cardstock from wide ruled paper?” He asked, humor lacing his words.
“For one thing, we don’t sell wide-ruled paper. We’re not a stop for back to school shopping.”
“I’m a guy. Paper is paper.”
Gesturing toward the multitude of color paper, I stepped aside. “This, Detective Roget—”

“Can you call me Ted?” He gazed into my eyes, the green of his a vivid forest. “The detective title sounds out of place.”

Flustered by the intensity in his eyes, I looked away. “Sure. Why not, that’s your name isn’t it?” What is it about Roget—Ted—that caused words to start flowing before the mind engaged?
His lips twitched into a smile and then slipped back into a straight line.
“This is cardstock. It’s heavier. Paper. Acid-free…” I clamped my lips shut and stopped the stumbling speech. Hard to inspire confidence when a person sounded like they didn’t know what they were talking about.
“I’m supposed to choose one from all of those?” He looked terrified at the prospect.

“It’s just paper.” Why did men get so bent out of shape by hues? I stood in the middle of the aisle and pointed at the reds and then the blues. “What color is predominant in the photo you’re using for your layout?”

He grimaced. “This was a spur of the moment decision. I had nothing else to do tonight."

"I figured that.” I refrained from rubbing my hands in malicious glee. It was time to turn the tables. Let him feel uncomfortable and out of his league.

He reached forward and pulled out a burgundy sheet, the color closest to his reach. The best way to know a person was to see what their private life was like. And this was my opportunity, so I went through the wide open door. "If you’re not going to enter into the contest, I’m willing to waive the subject of the photograph for your layout. Do you have an idea of what kind of picture you’d like to put on the layout?"

"Not really.” He returned the burgundy and removed a sheet of Christmas red. 

"Please don’t tell me you’re not a picture-taking kind of guy." 

"Not too much in life to take photos of." 

I gaped at him. “Of course there is. Everyone’s life is worth documenting. What about holiday celebrations, mile-stones in your life, your work, or family?" 

Sadness appeared in his eyes. He pivoted and continued down the row of paper. “My little girl loves green. The brighter the better." 

Questions tumbled through my mind about his daughter, but it was none of my business. Besides finding out what shade of green his little girl preferred. A jade green color caught my eye and I pointed it out to Ted. 

With a blinding grin, he shook his head. Squatting down, he grabbed a handful of neon green cardstock from the bottom slot of the paper rack.  
"This is Claire.” He waved the stack at me. “Can I use this as the major color and then use tan as the mat? Or whatever is the technical term you used. I’ll make something for her to hang in her room.”
The love in his voice for his daughter touched me. I felt my attitude softening toward Ted. Maybe his ulterior motive for stopping by was a good one. Not that I had any clue what it would be.

1 comment:

Linda O. Johnston said...

That's an enjoyable excerpt! It really introduces the characters--and makes me want to read more.