Thursday, November 4, 2010

Chapter Nine--17K words!

Here's Chapter Nine. You guys are helping so much. This is really flowing fast now. I passed 17,000 words today. Who-hoo!

Pieces of yesterday's discussion got woven into today's chapter. Keep the questions coming. I love that.

I think this dive log stands on it's own as a whole chapter. I don't have a hard and fast rule about what needs to be in a chapter and if we get a poem, chat or dive log. I don't always alternate them. I try to put it in the POV of the most vulnerable character. That means Leesie tomorrow. Enjoy Michael and all his new diving buddies today.

Thanks for the names. Do you like what I picked? If you get any visions of what these guys could look like, please post them! I concentrate on the voices at first and then have to go back and add bits and pieces of description. I'll really describe them better when Leesie talks to Kim in the next chapter. Too weird to have Michael commenting on a guy's hair color and rippedness. He would comment on if they've got shirts on or not. I think I'll make Gabriel shirtless for this scene. Imagine that's in there when you read it.



Dive Buddy: Leesie
Date:  05/09
Dive #:
Location: East End, Grand Cayman
Dive Site:
Weather Condition:
Water Condition:
Water Temp: 
Bottom Time:  

            Felt bad dumping Leesie in that trashed apartment and bolting, but boats don’t wait. Maybe this isn’t going to work. She didn’t look happy when I left. Not that I expect her to look happy. She didn’t look content.
I thought about buying us our own condo down here or even a house, but we can’t stay there alone if we’re not married. She says that’s what she wants, but I’m convinced it’s because I’m off limits. Marrying me is as taboo as shacking up with me. I guess it wouldn’t be major sin, but it would be something close to it. When I asked her before Christmas last fall, she insisted I believe all her Mormon stuff and join up before she’d even consider putting on my ring. She’s so screwed up right now. She’s got to be thinking a lot straighter before we get married. What if she comes out of it in a year and hates me forever because I took advantage of her when she was desperate?
I don’t think she’ll ever be a hundred percent like she was before. I’ll take fifty—twenty-five. Maybe I’m crazy to think she’ll be close to that by the end of summer. But we’re waiting. It doesn’t feel right. Whenever I think of it, I get this dark, foreboding feeling. I’m not going to be her rapist. I’m not going to be the evil infidel who carries off the virgin. I’m not going to let her do drugs or smoke. Freak. I won’t even let her drink a stupid cup of tea. So what do we do? I had no idea.
And then all of a sudden these guys need me and Alex needs a roommate. Perfect answer. Almost. Me dumping her there and running off to dive—even if it’s work—is so not perfect.
I grab my bag of gear out of the back of the RAV, tote it down to the dock, and hand it into the boat to Alex.
“Have you got everything you need?”
“I have no idea.” I step down into the dive boat, take my bag, check it to make sure Claude actually sent all my gear. It looks good. I give Brock, an Aussie dude who’s captain today, a thumbs up, and Ethan and Gabriel, who will leave later on the other boat with Cooper, cast off the ropes. I catch one. Alex gets the other. And Brock motors towards the break in the reef and the wild three foot swells beyond it.
Brock guns the boat through the cut and we’re into. Our divers hang on tight. “This is calm for East End,” Brock yells down to them.
Alex and I get our divers geared up and thrown overboard. She gave me all the jocks. Nice. We go deep first dive.
I push my group to the edge to get down to my favorite swim through at this site. We wind through the coral cave that narrows into a tube. One of the divers gets hung up. I send the others ahead—fin back and help his useless buddy untangle the dude’s hoses. The group misses the turn that takes them up to the top of the reef. I get their attention banging on my tank with a heavy metal d-ring I keep hanging on my B.C. just for that purpose. I motion them to return and follow me. They maneuver around in the tight space, eventually we’re one by one carefully rising through a chute forty feet to the top of the reef.
We finish off the dive, toss around in the boat until we motor back inside the reef where it’s calm enough to wait out the interval without all the divers puking their guts up. So far no one’s blown chunks. Good day in the East End.
I change over all the gear while Alex cuts up fresh fruit and passes out bottles of water. I figure I owe her. I don’t mind doing the heavy work.
Second dive is shallow, surgey, and too short. A couple of my divers suck through their tanks too fast. I let the rest explore this easy site on their own, get the goons topside and safe on the rocking boat, and when I go back the rest are surfacing, too.
As the boat makes the dash through the break in the reef, I notice somebody lying on the beach. Nobody much uses this beach. It’s kind of there for show. Everybody who comes here dives all day long. We get closer, and I recognize Leesie.
I hustle heaving up gear bins and empty tanks. The other boat got in before us so there are lots of hands to help. Alex has amazing strength. She hands up tanks and gear almost as fast as I do.
I climb out of the boat, pick up my gear bag, and dump it in the soak tank. I’ll deal with it after I check in with Leese. She hasn’t moved since I first saw her.
“Hey, mate.” Brock calls after me. “When do we get to meet your fiancĂ©?”
I stop, turn back. “Now’s good. She’s down on the beach.”
“I’ll gather the mates, and we’ll present ourselves to your lady. See you in ten.”
“Cool.” I hustle down to the beach to warn her.
She’s sleeping in the sand wearing just that ugly T-shirt I bought her and the bikini bottoms. She looks way too sexy like that to meet her new apartment-mates.
“Hey, babe.” I nudge her with my toe.
She doesn’t stir.
I drop onto the sand on all fours hanging over her. “Babe.”
She opens one eye. “Hey.”
I sit next to her and speak low. “What’s with the wet T-shirt contest?”
She yawns and opens both eyes. “I couldn’t tie those stupid strings.”
“You could have left your bra on.”  
“My sling covers everything.”
“Not everything. Here.” I hold out my towel. “Use this. The guys will be here in a few minutes. They want to meet you.”
“You don’t want them”—she glances down at what’s showing through her damp T-shirt—“to see that?”
“You’re jealous?” She sits up and takes the towel.
“Protective. These guys seem nice—divers and all—but did you see the bathroom? Animals.”
“I can clean it up for you.”
“Don’t go near it. It’s toxic. You’ll end up back in the hospital.”
“I’ve cleaned up after guys back—” She closes her eyes tight and puts her hand over her mouth to hide her trembling lips.
I sit next to her, wrap my towel around both of us, loop my arms around her shoulders and pull her in tight.
She shivers and puts her head on my shoulder. “I found his T-shirt mixed in with my stuff.” Her whisper is so quiet I can barely hear her.
I chafe her shoulders.  “That’s why you’re down here half-naked?”
“I guess.” Her voice quivers. “I dropped it. Couldn’t pick it up. Isn’t that stupid? It’s still on the floor.”
I squeeze her. “Not stupid at all. I’ll go up and take care of it.”
A shudder runs through her body.
“Do you want to meet these guys later?”
“I already met one. Why didn’t you tell me there was a guy asleep in the other bedroom?”
“I had no idea. Was he nice?”
“Must be Seth. I guess he has a right to be grumpy. I heard Ethan and Cooper had to pull him out of some bar late last night. He must have been sleeping it off.” I start to get up. “I’ll go tell the others you’ll meet them later.”
She holds me next to her. “Too late. They’re here.”
I stand up, leave Leesie the towel. “Hey guys—this is Leesie.”
She stays sitting in the sand, waves and even manages a smile. “Sorry I can’t get up. Both ankles are sprained.” She tips her head towards her blue post-op boots cast off beside her.
Brock squats down in front of her. “I’m Brock. These goons are Gabriel, and my Commonwealth brothers, Ethan and Cooper.”
Gabriel acknowledges her with a nod and a flashy smile and trudges through the sand toward the condo building, but Ethan and Cooper sit down beside her. I take up a proprietary station behind her, slip a possessive arm around her waist.
She glances from side to side at Ethan and Cooper. “Where are you guys from?”
Cooper, who has bleached blonde hair and a perpetual burn, smiles and says, “Guess.”
Leesie squints her eyes. “You don’t have an accent.”
Ethan tips his head close to hers. “Aye, he does lass. Get him to say ‘eh.’”
Cooper’s face gets a little pinker. “Guilty. And Ethan’s a loud mouth Scot.”
He leans forward so he can glare at Cooper. “She was supposed to guess.”
Brock settles cross-legged in the wet sand in front of her. “That leaves me. I’ll give you a hint. I’m not here to get out of the gloom and cold like these other two blokes are.”
“Braggart.” Ethan flicks sand at him.
I lean forward and whisper in Leesie’s ear. “He called me ‘mate’ like a thousand times today on the boat.”
“That could be English? No. Australian.”
Brock laughs. “No fair, mate. You gave it away.”
“Sorry, dude.” My arms tighten around Leesie’s waist. “I don’t like to see my damsel in distress.”
Brock takes the hint. “Well,” he stands, “we’ll leave you two to it.” He drags Ethan and Cooper off their butts. “Let’s give these two some peace.
“See you upstairs, eh?” Cooper exaggerates his accent.
“Glad to have you aboard.” Ethan puts out his hand and she takes it. “Alex is that pleased to have another lass in the place.”
Leesie smiles and let’s go of his hand. “Thanks. We’ll be up soon.”
She watches them out of sight. I watch her. “What do you think?”
“I like the Commonwealth Brothers.”
I nod. “Divers.”
“What’s with Gabriel?”
“Rumor is he’s a Latin playboy who will inherit half the known universe.”
“He is gorgeous.”
“Hey, remember who you came with, babe.”
“Well that are all a lot nicer than that guy upstairs.”
“He’s gross.”
“All guys are gross after they’ve drunk themselves numb.”
“You’ll never do that will you?”
“I can only think of one thing that would make me do that.”
“What do you think?”
“Me?” She snuggles her head under my chin. “In Thailand—when I accused you—what happened?”
“I became a work-a-holic.”
“I’m glad you had that job.”
“I should have blown it off—come right home and set you straight.”
“I should have believed you.”
I should never have stormed off in the first place. But freak, girl, you should have taken my ring. I still feel echoes of how angry I was even now.
She kisses my neck. “I’m sorry.” She finds my lips. “Things would be so different if I’d believed you.”
“What do you mean?” I murmur against her mouth.
“Nothing.” Her lips are on mine for a long time. “Why didn’t I trust you?”
“I don’t now, babe.” I scoop her in my arms so I can kiss her better. “It doesn’t matter now.”
I’m starving, and I’ve got all those tanks to fill, but I can’t let go of her. We make out with the ocean lapping at our feet and the sun setting behind us.
Alex interrupts us. “Sorry.” She holds out a paper plate with two sandwiches on it. “I’m not much of a cook.”
I grab a sandwich and take a big bite. “Leesie is.”
“Bonus.” Alex sits down by Leesie. “I knew I liked you.”
They start to jabber about clothes and stuff. I slip away, leaving the girls to get to know each other. I’ve got a date with about forty empty scuba tanks and big fat compressor.
As I walk down to the gear shack, I’m engulfed by a wave of intense emotion. It takes me a moment to figure out what it is. Freak, I’m happy. It’s tinged with ache for Leesie and her grief and pain. But we’re together. She’s mine.
And nothing can change that.
Ever again.


  1. I just noticed an typo that's bugging me. It's supposed to say, "Brock guns the boat through the cut, and we're into three foot swells." Sorry.

  2. I mean 'a typo.' Brother. Guess I need a wee break.

  3. Oooh I love this! This scene, to me, definitely shows Michael in a protective role when he tries to get Leesie to cover up with a towel (so adorable). I'm glad to see him get a little jealous too! I notice as well, especially in the beginning of the dive log, that the more Michael sees Leesie move away from her faith the more he comes to understanding it without actualy realizing it. The more her tries to convince her to go back to believing, the more he starts to believe.
    one thing though, do the other divers know about Leesie's condition before they meet her on the beach (besides Alex)? If not I think you should include a scene where Michael explains to them what happened.
    Thanks for using the name Seth!!!

  4. Good point. I should slip that in there. Thanks for catching it.

    I was glad to use Seth. Great name. And it starts with an "s". I'm always careful to make sure all the character's names start with different letters.

    I chose Dani and Kai--both suggested by Chaleese--for the couple who took off together. That will be in my revision of yesterday's chapter.

  5. Love ... Love ... Loved this chapter. It’s so funny and REAL the way that Michael’s redemption and change is coming to him. I think he doesn’t even realize that he is not the same. He knows that for him there will not be anyone after Leesie, but he ignores a lot of what is happening to him and I love it. What I think is happening here (again my perception as a reader) is that Leesie is a TRUE believer. she is in shame and her mind is playing tricks on her, but her heart knows the truth and the proof that God is with her and loves her (like her dad mentioned in a few chapters before) will come from the guy that anyone (Except ME) imagined that he could do it. It’s where the EVERYTHING will erase the almost (see how much I love Unbroken Conection /haha/). I just truly want Leesie and Alex to develop a true friendship. So far, what I’m reading from the ARC, I think there’s no space for jealousy and doubts of what they have. In the past novels (Taken By Storm and Unbroken Connection), the theme was explored and here in Cayman Summer they are beyond that. Did I made sense?

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  7. OHMYGOD. I know this is trivial in light of all the wonderful stuff that happened in this chapter, but I am DELIRIOUS! So many of the names I suggested are actually in! And Gabriel is exactly how I pictured him as! :D This is such a head rush-being able to contribute to a book I already love so much!
    This chapter has to be one of my favorites so far in Cayman Summer (Chapter 1 is definitely up there too). FINALLY, an almost pain free, entirely sweet and ROMANTIC scene between Michael and Leesie. I loved it!
    It's weird to see Michael so deep in introspection in his dive log. He's usually more detached, isn't he? Like, I just mean the second paragraph in the chapter. The rest is what I'm used to. He usually comes to 'conclusions,' per se in like, Leesie's poems, right? Through his dialogue. Like he doesn't ever seem to come out and think it to himself. Atleast until now. But maybe that's just me.
    Also, isn't it a little early for Michael to be happy to an extent that it surprises him? I mean Leesie is his entire life, is not even halfway rid of her grief, so Michael's happiness seems a little premature. Of course I WANT him to be happy, because he's so wonderful, but it seems to be a little early. I feel his concern for her should color his emotions more, and not just tinge his happiness. Mixed feelings seem to me to be more appropriate. Just a thought =D

  8. I love how Michael is feeling the things Leesie should be feeling...He does not even know what he is feeling? Or why yet...but he is feeling something!!

    The last two lines were perfect. I loved them.

    Thanks for using Dani and Kai!!

  9. Sana, You suggested all the great names--especially Gabriel . I had to create a guy just to fit that bill. But, you know, we actually had a dive instructor in Mexico that was exactly like him--the inheritance stuff and everything.

    I think Michael comes off as non-introspective in TAKEN BY STORM because I had to cut most of his deeply introspective, torn up grief scenes during the editing process. My original Michael was a lot more like who he is in UNBROKEN CONNECTION and in this novel. One way or the other, he's got to be thinking this stuff out now.

  10. Oh, and Sana, that's a good point about his emotion. Maybe he should actually feel guilty that he's overwhelmed with happiness. It does seem almost wrong. I kind of want that emotion to hit him out of the blue.

    And Chaleese, did you think the last two lines are kind of ominous?

  11. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS! I just got home from school, and I checked CAYMAN SUMMER right away! Even when I was going to fall of my chair falling asleep before reading! LOL! Turning on my computer took THAT much effort! BUT IT WAS SOOO WORTH THIS CHAPTER!!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE CAYMAN SUMMER!

  12. I just read the first two books and was SO happy to find this blog! I can't wait to read what happens with their story. Thank you for sharing!

    I would also like to see where Michael tells the gang about Leesie's situation before they meet her. Another thought I had while reading was how self-conscious is Leesie about her shaved head? When she meets the guys on the beach, is she wearing anything on her head? I don't know -- a shaved head seems like a big distraction for both her and people she's meeting (not sure if that makes sense).

    I remember Michael being more hurt than angry when Leesie gave him the ring back -- I need to go back and reread that. And one tiny observation in the second paragraph: "before Christmas last fall" seems a bit redundant. :-)

    Loving this -- thanks again for sharing!

  13. This is such a sweet chapter! I love the other guys! They seem soo cool!

    Reading through all the comments, I saw yours about the last two lines, and read back. And now it seems like there's something unspoken by... fate, or something. "That's what you think". And now you have me worried. Lol.

  14. Yes, I did think that....and Jo now I'm scared too.

  15. Dear Jo and Chaleese:

    I'm lost what are you worried?

  16. Reggie! It's great to hear from you. I'm glad the chapter was worth it.

    And Gayle, I'm glad you found us, too. How did you hear about it? I have know idea what's working or what's not.

    I agree about Leesie's shaved head. I left that detail totally out of the scene. I need Michael to comment on how young she looks asleep in the sand with no hair (or something like that) and then have her put her hat on when she hears the guys are on their way.

    And be worried. Novels thrive on conflict. Whenever a character says something like Michael does at the end of this chapter, be afraid. It's my job as an author to throw as much in between them as I can.

  17. Because, at this point of the book, Michael thinks he's going to be with Leesie forever - so you just know that Angela is going to throw a spanner in the works for them, and there are going to be problems. Things aren't going to stay as they are, I can feel it. They're going to get worse!

  18. Jo--I couldn't have said it better myself. I hate doing this. It's my natural instinct to patch things up and make it all better. But the book would be over in a couple more chapters if that's what I did.

  19. ahhh Jo has me worried too! But in a "i want to read more and am super excited to find out what happens next" kind of way. And Angela is right, things always get worse before they get better, otherwise there'd be no interesting story. I can feel the tension building and I LOVE it.

  20. Angela,
    I heard about your books and this site from a book blog I check. Suey of It's All about Books did a reivew and guest post from you about the second book. I was very intrigued, ordered the first two books and am greatly enjoying the unfolding of the third! :-)

  21. That Suey, she's great. She was one of TAKEN BY STORM's very first reviewers.

  22. I am some what content with how the book is going...even though Angela, you are starting to scare me a bit....:) But I know that something else has to happen between them before it gets better. That is what will make it a great book! And I am confident that it WILL get patched up in the end.

  23. I guess I should not say I'm confident, only that I am praying that they will be together somehow, in the end...

  24. Let's just say we've got a long way to go so a lot needs to happen.

  25. And Gayle, You're right. Michael is hurt. I'll change that. Good eyes. I'll fix that redundancy, too. Thanks for catching it.

  26. I can only imagine all that needs to happen...And I can't wait to read! Please don't make me cry too hard though. It already broke my heart once when I read the end of Taken by Storm. I swear, I could not get Leesie and Michael out of my head. It was insane how much I fell in love with the these two. :)

  27. No ... NO ... No ...!!! I want them together for ever and for always.

  28. Michelle!!! I agree 100%!! Forever and always!!!!

  29. Chaleese:

    I think that quote will look lovely in an icon ;)

  30. Ohmygod, I think I'm gonna really like these guys. Cooper makes me think of someone undeniably sexy, btw. Gabriel's one of my fave guy names.
    Oh man, I'm SO in love with this book. And I love the fact that now I'm getting to read a whole chunk of it at once rather than in parts.

  31. I am going to get all the guys confused, lol!
    I enjoyed the protective side of Michael :D

  32. I really respect how Michael is pushing for her beliefs when she can't do it for herself.

  33. I try not to EVER think about how a book or series will end but ever since the Temple scene in UNBROKEN CONNECTION I've secretly hoped Michael and Lessie will be sealed together for time and eternity ( I'm not Mormon but i realize a lot would have to happen before that would be possible )with so much of this book already written i worry that it won't go that way. but I'm breaking all my rules and still hoping! p.s. reading your books always as my husband says brings out my "utah accent" what the heck! oh my gosh and so on. i remember when i was critical of Michael using freak so much but after re reading unbroken connection it fits so well! ~myrrhaya~