Deleted Scenes

Click a chapter below to read its deleted scene or scroll through all:

Chapter Eight | Chapter Eleven | Chapter Nineteen |Chapter Twenty-three

Deleted Scene  from Opening of Chapter Eight:

One look at Laud’s grim expression and Rick knew he was in trouble.

A dark cloud crept across the sky, blanketing the construction site in a shadow as dark as his probable future.

Rick trudged behind his boss toward the portable office. Laud, attired in his usual Armani suit, walked with his arms away from his sides as though he might be wearing a shoulder holster.

A slow burn began in the pit of Rick’s stomach. He’d laid awake all night cataloging break-in suspects, and assessing their potential interference to this case. But maybe, Zach had been right.

If Laud was behind last night’s break-in, Rick had about ten seconds to come up with a reasonable explanation to disparage whatever conclusions Laud had drawn. His fingers itched to grab the Glock secured behind the seat of his truck.

Laud must’ve heard Rick’s steps slow because he turned and slid his hand inside his suit jacket. “Did you need something from your truck?”

Rick suppressed an instinctive urge to dive for cover, as Laud drew out a … pocket watch, and glanced at the time.

Rick found his breath and picked up his pace. “No, I’m good. I was just trying to remember where I left my thermos.” With a bit of luck, or divine intervention, Laud’s desire to see the group home finished might outweigh any inclination to neutralize the spy in his midst.

Laud pushed through the door of the portable onsite office, and waited for Rick to enter. “Shut the door.”

Sandra: Although I liked how this scene depicts Rick’s emotions, provides a brief sequel to his previous scene, and sets up the goal for the coming one, I needed to cut words to meet word count limits. Since most of these details were unessential, this prelude got the ax. The bare bones fix ended up reading:

When Laud motioned Rick into the portable onsite office, a slow burn ignited in the pit of his stomach. If Laud was behind last night’s break-in, Rick had about ten seconds to concoct an explanation to counter whatever conclusions he’d drawn, especially where Ginny was concerned.

Laud took a seat behind the desk. “Shut the door.”


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 Deleted from Chapter Eleven:

The sunshine splashing through the windows turned Ginny’s hair to gold, and her smile was so enchanting Rick almost hadn’t been able to stop at merely reaching for her hand. He’d teased her about courting to inspire Laud’s continued trust, but something inside of him had gone weak when she’d leaned close.

She looked delicious in a cotton-candy pink T-shirt. But the sight of her in faded jeans and hiking boots had sent his mind reeling to the last time he’d seen her dressed like that. They’d been hiking through the Allegheny National Forest. The scenery had been spectacular—the autumn colors a striking contrast to the deep blue sky—the kind of scenery that gave a guy ideas.

They’d happened upon a cardinal that echoed his very thoughts—purty, purty, purty—and drawn in by her radiant smile, he hadn’t been able to stop himself from gathering her in his arms. Her perfume had tangled his thoughts, silencing the warning voice inside. And he’d kissed her. She tasted of goodness, and patience, and happily ever afters, and he knew he’d found the woman he wanted to marry. He loved her. He loved everything about her, her smile, her laughter, her kindhearted spirit. He loved the way she lit up when he walked into a room. He loved the way she leaned on him, trusting him with her heart. He loved the way she made him come alive …

Laud cleared his throat with an I’m-still-here cough. “Well, my dear, it looks like I can leave you in Duke’s capable hands. I’ll speak with you after he takes you on the grand tour”

Sandra: This scene was at about 135 in my manuscript. My editor advised me that was too soon for the hero to admit to himself that he loved the heroine as that would kill the romantic tension.

Aside from the last line, all his thoughts were deleted and the meeting remained in Ginny’s point of view.


Here’s how it reads now:

Rick sauntered toward them, his gaze flicking from their faces to the documents.

“We’ll discuss this another time,” Uncle Emile said, giving the first page a cursory glance, before tossing the stack into his car. “Duke! My niece has been so busy courting rich businessmen for donations that she hasn’t had a tour.”

After one last glance at the documents, a mischievous twinkle lit Rick’s eye. “Hmm, I might be persuaded to make a donation if it comes with courting.”

Caught off guard by his flirting, Ginny shyly whispered, “Thank you for the flowers.”

He took her hand and threaded his fingers through hers. “And.”

He smelled of coffee, and sawdust, and an intriguing mixture of suntan lotion and pine. She leaned closer to savor it, and the pounding in her chest eclipsed the sound of hammers and saws. “And?”

“And will you go to the gala with me?”

Laud cleared his throat with an I’m-still-here cough. “Well, my dear, it looks like I can leave you in Duke’s capable hands.”


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Deleted from Chapter Nineteen:

“Well, what did you expect him to say?” Kim stood up from where she’d been helping Ginny pull weeds from the flowerbed next to the front porch, and planted her hands on her hips. “You said you were going to give him another chance. He told you his real name and why he changed it. What more do you want from the man?”

Ginny yanked out a fistful of weeds and slammed them into the bucket at her side. “The truth. I wanted him to open up to me. I wanted him to make me believe in him. I wanted him to tell me he couldn’t bear to lose me again.”

Kim flung her arms up. “For crying out loud, Ginny. Rick, Duke, or whatever you want me to call him, may have told you sometimes things are grey, but trust me, when it comes to the way men think, they are black and white. If you don’t tell them exactly what you want, forget hoping they’ll figure it out.”

Ginny stabbed her trowel into the dirt and pried out a dandelion. “And what makes you the expert on men all of a sudden?”

“Three brothers and a dad. Have you forgotten where my mom’s hints landed her on their last surprise vacation?”

“They went to Houston, didn’t they?” Ginny wrapped her fingers around the base of a Burdock and jerked hard. The plant tore away from its roots and she toppled onto her butt, not unlike the way she’d tried to deal with Rick.

Kim offered her a hand up. “Yeah, my parents went to Houston, but Mom had told Dad she wanted to go ‘someplace warm that starts with an H.’”

Ginny brushed the dirt from her hands and bottom. “How could your dad not know she meant Hawaii?”

“He’s a man. I’m telling you, you have to spell it out for them H-A-W-A-I-I, or forget it. If a man says he understands, chances are he doesn’t have a clue.”


Sandra: I loved this exchange and really, really hated to cut it. But I had to cut word count and since this exchange didn’t advance the plot, it went. I love Kim’s spunky character. She is the heroine in Shades of Truth, Book 2 of Undercover Cops that releases in 2012. Since this scene never made it into Deep Cover, it doesn’t conflict with her new reality, which is that she only has one brother!

The scene actually went on for several more pages and included this other fun exchange that I hated to cut:

“Come over here,” Ginny whispered, eyeing the doorway, hoping Lori wouldn’t follow. “Look.” She opened the curtain a slit. “The truck’s back.”

Kim stood on her tiptoes and peered down the street. “I think you’re right.”

“That’s it. I’m going out there to confront him.”

Kim grabbed her arm. “Are you nuts? You don’t know if that’s Rick. It could be some psycho stalker.”

“Stalker? Are you listening to yourself? I do not have a stalker after me.”

“Oh, yeah. Then why did you run inside and lock the door?”

Okay, so she had considered the possibility. “Mr. Callaghan is out there mowing his lawn. Whoever is in that truck won’t try anything with witnesses around. Right? And once he knows I’m onto him, maybe he’ll leave me alone.” Ginny tugged her arm from Kim’s grasp.

“Wait. Haven’t you ever watched the horror flicks where the heroine goes up to the attic to check out a noise and everyone except her knows she’s crazy to do it? Girl, you’re that crazy woman.”

“My life is not a horror flick.”

“No, more like a soap opera.”

Ginny crossed her arms over her chest. “Remind me again why you’re my friend.”

“Because I am your voice of reason.”

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From Chapter Twenty-Three:

“Okay, I’ll admit I’ve been slacking off where God’s concerned. But my life is in His hands every second I’m out there. I know that.”

“Yeah, but are you willing to play it His way?” Zach twirled the leaf stem between his thumb and finger. “My niece told me the colors we see in the fall have been in the leaves all along. We just can’t see them because of the chlorophyll. It’s not until the tree stops producing chlorophyll that we get to enjoy all the other colors.”

Rick glanced at the tree in all its splendor. “Is there a point to this botany lesson?”

“You remember that day you and Ginny hiked in the Allegheny National Forest, and you realized she was the one?”

Rick closed his eyes and let the memory sweep over him. It had been a perfect autumn day. “The colors were brilliant.”

“I’ve seen glimpses of some pretty cool colors in you, too.”

“Huh?” Zach had obviously been spending too much time with the women. Next he’d be quoting poetry. And Rick hadn’t been any better at that in school, than botany. He snatched the ball from under Zach’s arm. “What are you on, man?”

Zach grinned. “I’m saying, there’s a lot more to you than just being a cop. You feed on your job like this tree feeds on its chlorophyll. But God wants us to feed on Him. Maybe it’s time to let go … and let God.”

“Now you’re quoting me bumper stickers?” Rick laid up a shot and hit the rim.

Zach grabbed the rebound. “You’d prefer Bible verses?”

“I’d prefer more playing and less jabbering.” Rick stole the ball and dribbled down the drive.

“You’re the one who asked why you were hanging onto your job.”

“That question was rhetorical.” Rick dribbled past Zach and finally scored. “Did your niece happen to explain what that means?”

“Ha, ha. Try to help and you get a comedian.”

“Yeah, well, as far as Ginny’s concerned, I’m beyond help.”


Sandra again: Although I liked Zach’s “botany lesson”, it didn’t sound like how a guy would talk, which Rick, of course, thinks. It also made the scene a little too long and preachy.

The Final Version:

“Okay, I’ll admit I’ve been slacking off where God’s concerned. But my life is in His hands every second I’m out there. I know that.”

“Yeah, but are you willing to play it His way? There’s a lot more to you than just being a cop. Maybe it’s time to let go … and let God.”

“Now you’re quoting me bumper stickers?”


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