Monday, September 30, 2013

The Wrecker Museum

I can't think of what to write for y'all today, so here's a picture of the Wrecker Museum (actually the International Towing and Recovery Museum) in Chattanooga, TN.

We found this when we were wandering around Chattanooga before a big sales meeting.  We didn't have time to actually go inside, but I thought I needed to snap a picture of a museum devoted to wreckers - just cuz.

What's the weirdest museum you've ever seen?

(If you follow the link, you'll see this place has moved since I snapped this picture back in 2000.  Too bad.  This building's front was way more interesting.)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fabulous Photo Friday -- Fall

Fall is my favorite season. A few years ago I snapped this shot on my favorite path in my favorite park.

I love the pic so much I have it as a poster and on a mug.

Hope you like it too.  What's YOUR favorite season?


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Best Breakfast You Ever Had?

Did you know that September is Better Breakfast month?

Are you a breakfast eater? What's YOUR perfect breakfast?

JB: I'm not a big fan of breakfast, but there's a local place that makes amazing Dutch Baby pancakes. Light, eggy, and I sprinkle lemon juice and powdered sugar on top for the perfect sweet-tart flavor. Yum!  Here's a recipe:  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/dutch-babies-ii/

B.E.: I'm not a fan of breakfast either - at least not at breakfast time. I need at least a few cups of coffee in me and a start to the day before solid food hits this stomach.  Back when I was doing outside sales in Michigan, I would frequently arrive at whatever town I was due in way before my first appointment, and I'd find a spot to have breakfast.  There was this little roadside diner outside Ann Arbor that made this killer breakfast of eggs and grilled chicken breast - like steak n eggs.  And the hash browns...  OMG.  Everything was always done just right.  And now I'm hungry...


Tell us Killer Friends: What's the best breakfast you ever had? Do you have any great breakfast recipes? What (if anything) do you read during breakfast?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I should have seen that coming!

One of my favorite books of all time is HORSE OF TWO COLORS by Glenn Balch.

I'm sure you've never heard of it. No one has.

And yet it holds a very special place in my heart because I remember being seven years old and being blown away by the "twist" at the end.

I assume that's where my love of the unexpected and twists started.

Not "out of left field" or  "wtf?!?" twists, but the kind that catch you off-guard and then you think, "I should have seen that coming!"


I know a lot of people loved the twist at the end of THE SIXTH SENSE, but since I'd figured it out much earlier in the film, I was impressed.

This past week I watched a small, independent film AMBER LAKE. While it wasn't a great movie it did have an interesting concept, decent acting, and a twist at the end that made me think, "I should have seen that coming!"

I find myself less and less surprised by twists or unexpected choices in all forms of storytelling. I'm not sure if this is a result of simply getting older and having experienced more, or if it's because I can't turn off the writer part of my brain that's always dissecting a story.

Tell me Killer Friends: Do you love a good twist? Any favorites you'd care to share? 
(I'll say that the who-did-it in Turrow's PRESUMED INNOCENT (the book) left me breathless.)

ETA: I forgot to mention that THE HITWOMAN AND THE NEUROTIC WITNESS is on sale for only 99 cents for Kindle readers.

And can I just say that these numbers are just blowing me away. Thank you! Thank you to those who've helped make this happen!




Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: "Garden of the Dead" from That Ol' Black Magic by Silver James

Today, I'd like to talk a little bit about my friend, Silver James.

First off, Silver's a helluva a gal - always willing to lend a hand for other writers and the rest of the human populace, kind to furry friends and non-furry friends alike.  She's also a helluva writer.  I read her first published work - Faerie Fate - not long after it hit the shelves back in 2010.  And it's been a fun ride through her books ever since.

There was the Faerie Trilogy: Faerie Fate, Faerie Fool, and Faerie Fire.  Then she had the wildly popular paranormal romance Moonstruck series: Blood Moon, Bad Moon, Hunter's Moon, Wolf Moon, Bride's Moon and Rogue Moon.  Now she's gracing the world with her first foray into urban fantasy with The Penumbra Papers - a gritty look at the really wild side of New Orleans as seen through the eyes of Sade Marquis.  She's a tough investigator for the paranormal side of the FBI.  And along with her werewolf partner, she's ridding the big easy of crimes against and by supernatural creatures.

In short, Sade kicks ass.  And without further ado, here's a taste of the first glimpse of the Penumbra Papers...

"Garden of the Dead" - a scene from That Ol' Black Magic (on sale now at Amazon and Smashwords)

The body, like a macabre art exhibit, hung splayed along the wrought-iron fence. Spiked finials penetrated the fae’s chest. Even in death, he conveyed his otherworldly magnificence. Sade knew him. Sort of. He’d been a guard in Queen Titania’s household. Alvin. She’d teased him, comparing him to the chipmunk. He’d hated her guts.

“Fuck.” When Caleb didn’t call her on the curse, Sade knew things were bad.

“Call Ariel. He’ll need to notify the Court.”

“I can’t.”

Caleb stared at her. “What do you mean you can’t?”

“He can’t be involved.”

“The decedent is a fae, Sade. Ariel is a high-ranking member of the Court and therefore their representative.”

“I know what the fuck he is, Caleb. And the protocol.” She whirled on her best friend, her anger barely under control. “I have to be the one to notify Titania.”

Caleb stared at her, his anger a match for hers. It was bad enough Ariel was in town but then to learn that he’d known Victoria, had slept with her, cared about her? He turned away, fought to get control of his emotions. Once upon a time, Deacon Smith, Victoria’s father, and Romulus Jones, his alpha, had negotiated a mating between him and Tori.

Immature and selfish, they’d defied tradition. Ran off, had a brief affair, and then called it quits. Tori had been wild back then. He wasn’t surprised she’d fallen for the King’s Seducer. But she’d matured, grown. And she’d been in New Orleans for one last fling before settling down with her mate.

Ignoring the urge to hunt and blood whoever had murdered Tori, Sade’s words sunk in. “What do you mean you’ll have to notify the Queen?”

The local cops looked way too interested in their conversation. Sade snagged his jacket and yanked him several paces away. “Alvin and Ariel. The Court can’t know Ari is here in New Orleans.”

“Why?”

“They have—had a blood feud.”

Caleb rocked back on his heels. Within the magick realms, it didn’t matter what flavor you were. A blood feud crossed all boundaries. But what concerned him most was that this was the first he’d heard of it. “They’ll think he did it.”

“Yes.” She glanced back at the scene. “Make sure the locals don’t touch anything. We need pictures but they aren’t to touch the body. Fuckin’ politics.” She wanted to slam her head against the nearest wall—which happened to be Marie Laveau’s tomb. On second thought, that probably wasn’t a good idea. Not smart to piss off New Orleans’ premier voodoo queen—alive or dead.

Her next problem was in contacting Ariel. Under normal circumstances, she thought about him and he showed up—especially when she didn’t want him around. Of all the magick races, fae had the most trouble with modern technology. Cold iron was the bane of their existence and even with gold, silver, or copper components, cell phones were an iffy proposition. ‘Can you hear me now?’ took on a whole new meaning with the fae.

Sade glanced around the cemetery. With all the activity, the person she’d hoped to meet wouldn’t be caught dead within miles of the place. Unless…

“Any chance your informant did this?”

She glanced at Caleb. “I was just wondering the same thing. But it’s daylight and tourists are in and out of here all the time. My guy is shifty—” She cut her eyes toward the werewolf. “No pun intended. He’s slick but violence isn’t his thing.” She leaned in closer. “See a raven anywhere?”

“Bwarck-arck-arck.”

Looking up, she glared at the raven perched on the top of the nearest tomb. “No need to make fun of me.” Ravens weren’t the most reliable messengers in the preternatural world but sending one beat trying to reach Ariel by cell phone. And they could be bought cheap with anything shiny.

The glossy bird opened its beak but closed it as Sade made a shut-it motion with her fingers. She pulled a short string of shiny beads from her pocket. “Find Ariel. Tell him to get out of town now. And to call me when he has the chance.”

The raven bobbed its head, stretching toward Sade. She held the string up and the bird grasped the beads in its beak then launched into the sky. Turning back to the crime scene, Sade jammed her hands in her pockets and sighed deeply. “I so do not want to talk to the Queen.”

“Why do you have to call Titania? Why not Oberon?”

“Because Alvin was one of hers.”

“Then call her social secretary.”

Sade opened her mouth to reply. Closed it. Opened. Closed. And added a few blinks for good measure. “That’s freaking brilliant!” Due to that whole technologically challenged thing, the fae court relied on human employees. She wouldn’t have to speak to Titania at all.

Ten minutes later, with a call to Las Vegas and Titania’s human secretary made, Sade only needed to subdue the locals while explaining representatives from the fae court would arrive to retrieve Alvin’s body and that she was taking over the investigation.

“Look, I know how you feel, detective. Trust me, I’d rather be anywhere but here and I wish like hell there wasn’t a dead fae courtier hanging on the fence.”

The NOPD homicide cop looked like a bad caricature—jowly face, sweat-stained armpits, and a paunch hiding both his belt buckle and his holster. At least he didn’t have the stub of a cigar jammed in the corner of his mouth. “Look, cher—” He swallowed what he was about to say as five warriors in full court dress arrived in a cloud of faerie dust.

Caleb immediately retreated behind the nearest crypt, leaving Sade to face them on her own.

“Agent Marquis.” The oldest offered the barest incline of his head in acknowledgment. Anyone else would have felt slighted.

“Baron Korred. I didn’t expect you to come yourself.”      

The fae’s expression altered as he stared past Sade’s shoulder. A flicker of anger disturbed the boredom inherent in the fae’s countenance. “This was not an accident.”


-----------------------------------------

If you think that's awesome, go buy a copy.  If you think it's really awesome, leave a review or two around the interwebs.  And then wait for the first full-length novel in this series: Season of the Witch (due out later this fall). 

And I almost forgot.  One lucky commenter will win either a copy of That Ol' Black Magic OR a $5 gift card to their choice of Amazon or Starbucks.   So get commenting.  Got any questions for Silver or about Silver?  Want to know more about the characters in The Penumbra Papers?  Have a burning desire to know whether Caleb sleeps in the raw or in fur?  Ask away and enter for a chance to win.  =o)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Short Attention Span Theater

I'm feeling a little ADD today.  The little things are pulling my focus in a million directions and I can't focus, so here's a little short-attention-span-theater for you...

Yesterday morning I was on the phone with my daughter.  Sometimes I wander while I walk and as I passed the north-facing window in our sunroom, I saw a bobcat slowly stalking a squirrel.  The squirrel was so focused on chowing down on the deer feed, she didn't see the danger.  I whispered to the Kid to hang on and went toward the front of the house searching for my husband, so he could see the bobcat, too.  So, there I am, walking around going 'Bobcat! Bobcat!'.  I finally stopped to gaze out the bedroom window at our resident bobcat - who I've named Mittens.  Just as Hubs came up behind me to look, too, the squirrel saw the bobcat and took off - for the tree right next to the bobcat.  She made it onto the tree, but the bobcat knocked her off.  She tried to race for another tree, but... Alas, it wasn't to be.  The bobcat made quick work of the squirrel and then walked off into the woods with the prey in its mouth.  (Not an easy feat considering the size of the fox squirrels around here.)  And that's when I noticed that this bobcat wasn't Mittens.  This one was much smaller.  Son of Mittens, perhaps?  I think I'll call him Whiskers.  (Partly due to the Kid's suggestion.)

I wrote a post yesterday about my disappointment with the weekend's college football, if you're interested.

Today is my mom's birthday, and I thought about writing a tribute post for her here, but she'd kill me.  I've done plenty of posts over the years for Dad, but he's passed.  So we'll leave the living alone - and hopefully it'll be a long long time before I can actually write a tribute to Mom.  (But she is pretty damn awesome and deserving of all the tribute I can give her.)

I'm trying to find a new title for my genie novel.  At this point, I'm hating everything but this one partial quote of a saying my father used to use.  Which I guess makes it fit better - because Jo quotes her Dad a lot.   But the complete phrase is kinda crass.  We'll see if I end up using it.

Saturday I caught a picture of an osprey.  It's not the best quality, but he was flying above me, so I took what I could get. 





How are you today?  Anything going on in your life?  How was your weekend?





Friday, September 20, 2013

Fabulous Photo Friday - Snow Dogs

Because I've been missing my dogs lately, here's a shot of them in the snow after the blizzard of December 2000 (in Burton, MI).  The one in the foreground is Sheba - my daughter's dog - and by the tree is Tutter.  (He was my baby puppy and despite the size he's only 9 months old in this pic.)



Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Do you have a thing for pirates? Do you have any desire to talk like one?

B.E.: Pirates are cool.  The best ones, for me, are in Muppet Treasure Island, though.  There's a whole musical number called "When You're a Professional Pirate" that slays me.  Plus, Tim Curry as Long John Silver... My other favorite pirate is the one I wrote into my genie series.  Mary Killigrew was one of the few actual female pirates in history and while I did take some major liberties with history there, I think she turned out the way a lady pirate ought to when she finds herself in the 21st century - as the owner of a pawn shop in Las Vegas.  =o)


JB:  I must admit that I've never gotten the appeal of pirates. I don't even like Jack Sparrow. I assume it's because of my lifelong fear of Captain Hook....tho the Hook on ONCE UPON A TIME isn't so hard to look at....


Tell us Killer Friends: Are eyepatches and wooden legs cool?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Book Nerves

There was a time, not long ago, when my favorite part of writing a book was writing those first couple of pages. A blank sheet of paper (yes, I'm old school and still write quite a bit by hand) was my idea of heaven.

Not anymore.

Now I'm consumed with doubts when I go to start a new book. (Specifically a new Hitwoman book... other stories are a different beast altogether.)

I panic that I won't be able to make the new book better than the previous book.

Then I worry that I won't be able to make it as good.

Then I worry it'll just plain suck. This can be a paralyzing concern.

I feel like I owe readers a wild, funny, frenetic, emotional ride. I'm no longer just writing a story. I'm holding up my end of the bargain of a relationship with those who are invested in Maggie, God, and the gang.

So I worry over the opening sentence like you wouldn't believe. Seriously. It took me SIX DAYS to come up with the opening line of the next book THE HITWOMAN HUNTS A GHOST.

Six days??? Some might say the entire world was created in that time.

Six days to come up with: You know it's going to be a bad day when God tells you to call in sick.

And half that sentence was already predetermined. (All the books begin with "You know it's going to be a bad day when...".) So it took me six days to come up with "God tells you to call in sick." That averages out to just over a word a day.  And they're all single syllable words!

So yes, I'm battling a massive case of New Book Nerves.

On the flip side, it's been so gratifying to see how much readers are enjoying THE HITWOMAN AND THE NEUROTIC WITNESS.  I guess IT doesn't suck.  ;-)

Tell me Killer Friends: As a reader, how important is the first line/paragraph/page of a book?
As a writer, does it take you six days to write seven words??

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

First Page of the next Hitwoman Book -- Teaser Tuesday

Hey there Killer Friends!

Now that THE HITWOMAN AND THE NEUROTIC WITNESS is out, I thought it would be fun to share the opening of the next book in the series THE HITWOMAN HUNTS A GHOST. I'm still writing this one (and this is unedited) but it'll probably look something like this:




You know it’s going to be a bad day when God tells you to call in sick.
Not that I was getting messages from an all-knowing deity or anything. No, I was being told to call in sick by a smug, entitled brown anole lizard who sounds an awful lot like Alan Rickman. His name is Godzilla…but he prefers God for short.
“Call in sick and get me a new place to sleep,” the demanding reptile boomed as I sleepily turned off my alarm. “I’m tired of slumming it and living like a hobo.”
Rolling over, I glared at him with my best who-dares-speak-to-me-before-I’ve-had-my-coffee look.
He wasn’t impressed.  Jutting out his chin, he puffed out his dewlap, the orange flap of skin beneath his jaw. In the animal world that might seem intimidating, to me it was just amusing.
“Are you going to huff and puff and blow my house down?” I asked with more than a hint of sarcasm.
“Fight no,” my grammatically-challenged Doberman Pinscher interrupted. “Gotta. Gotta.”
While the lizard’s demands hadn’t been enough to stir me to action, the threat of the dog emptying her bladder indoors was enough to have me jumping up.
“Sure,” God drawled from his perch atop the television. “Do what she wants. Take care of her needs while you ignore mine.”
Ignoring him, I pulled a blanket around my shoulders and snapped the mutt’s leash on.
“Gotta. Gotta. Gotta,” she panted as she pulled me up the flight of stairs and out of the basement.
I’m living in the basement of my aunts’ Bed & Breakfast because my apartment was blown up (not to mention my Lady of the Night sister Marlene has returned to the family fold and commandeered my old room) but that’s another story.
Thankfully there was no one in the kitchen and we were able to get outside without interruption. Then of course, the dog, who’d carried on like she was going to die if she didn’t pee immediately, took her sweet time finding a place to do her business.
Finally she found her magical spot. While she did her thing, I shivered and watched my aunt Leslie, in the far corner of the back yard, move through a series of yoga poses.
I don’t know anything about yoga, except that I have no interest in contorting myself into unnatural positions, but Patrick, my murder mentor and almost lover, had told me that Aunt Leslie did something called sun salutations.
I’m not a morning person, so I have no desire to greet the sun.

 THE HITWOMAN AND THE NEUROTIC WITNESS is available on Amazon, Kobo and B&N.

Tell me Killer Friends: Are YOU a morning person? Do you do yoga? Do you have a dog like DeeDee?

Monday, September 16, 2013

What Do You Mean 'Batshit' Isn't a Word??

I don't know about other writers, but I tend to make words up as I go along.  Or use words I'm absolutely certain are words, but Word says differently.  Well, screw them.  I have the power to add things to my dictionary... so there.  =op

Writing this post, I wish there was a function in Word that let you see a list of all the words you've added over the years.  Since it doesn't, I'll just try to remember a few so you know what I'm talking about.

batshit - I added this one the other day.  As in 'she was batshit crazy'.  Sure, I could've said 'bat-shit crazy' or 'bat shit crazy', but it has more impact as one word, I think. 
Ginsu - it's a brand name and a cultural reference, so why the heck can't it be a properly spelled word?
shitstorm - who among us hasn't weathered one of those.
writerly - because sometimes it's just easier saying 'I was doing writerly things today' than 'I was writing, editing, working on the querying letter, researching agents, networking (i.e. reading blogs...)'
sunuvabitch - I was saying it this way long before Lily on How I Met Your Mother, and if it's said as all one word, why can't it be all one word?

Of course, not all words are recognized in Word anyway.  But as good as Microsoft is, it can't think of everything.  And who, in the course of their normal lives' needs to know how heterotopic ossification is spelled?  (It's fine with the ossification, just not the heterotopic.)  Or djinn?  (Genie, yes.  Djinn, no.)  I add those words as I go - after verifying that I am spelling them right beforehand.

And yeah, I know, some editor somewhere is going to want to string me up by my short hairs someday.  When that day comes, I may be swayed because there's like a publishing contract on the line, but for now, I'll just continue making things up as I go along.

What about you?  What words have you added to your dictionary? 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fab Photo Friday - The Scenic View

The other day, Hubs and I got a wild urge to go for a drive.  We set our course toward a little town west of here that we hadn't visited yet.  Of course, there are no roads that go straight west of here, so it was more a west, then north, then west, then south kind of drive through the Ozarks.  Everything was lovely.  (Well, except for the town which was disappointingly bland.)  On the way back, we stopped at a scenic turnout and I captured this:

Click on it.  It gets larger.

That perspective kinda just sucks you right in doesn't it?  It does for me.  I feel like I could fall right into that picture.

I love just getting in the car and exploring.  How about you?



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Have a Brilliant Idea You'd Like to Share?

Earlier this week it was Swap Ideas Day. Do you have anything you'd like to share? A writing tip? A book recommendation? A recipe? An inspirational quote? A great bit of advice?

B.E.: Well, I started the week with a story of romance.  I don't write romance, so any of you who got sparked by that idea are welcome to it.  (And if you need more details from those obits, write me privately and I'll pass them along.)

And since I'm always good for a recipe, here goes one I found, tweaked and made the other day.  The original recipe called them something like 'Best Ever' but I wasn't about to go that far.  Hence, the name...

Kinda Good Variation on a Chocolate Chip Cookie

1 c butter or margarine
3/4 c white sugar
3/4 c brown sugar (packed)
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
2 1/4 c flour
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 c chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
1/2 c flaked coconut
1/2 c walnuts

Preheat to 350F. In large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in eggs. Beat in vanilla. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add dry mixture to wet mixture. Fold in chips, coconut and walnuts. Drop by very rounded spoonful onto cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. (And watch out, they spread.) Makes about 30 large cookies.




Tell us Killer Friends: What are you willing to share? Who do you swap your best ideas with? 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Writing Is a Solo Pursuit BUT....

A writer works alone for endless hours and then a book magically appears.

Okay, that's not what really happens. It goes more like this:

A writer works alone for hours. 

And then the Doubt Demons strike.

So the lonely writer bemoans her fate. Loudly. 

And if a writer bitches and moans and there's no one to hear....

But there's always someone there to hear....family, friends, online writing buddies, or critique partners.

Buoyed by their support the writer goes back to work.

Alone.

For hours.

And by the time she reaches the end of the manuscript, she may never want to see the story again.

But she shares the draft with a loyal reader or two or maybe a dozen.

And suddenly it's no longer a solo project. Others are invested in the success of the work.

And the writer works on it some more.

And shares it with an agent and/or editor.

And now multiple people have their imprint on an individual's work.

And then if the solo writer is very lucky, readers find the story.

And they become just as invested in the world and characters the writer created when she was all alone.

And the writer starts a new book....but this time she knows she's not alone. She's got a team. A team of supporters and readers and fans.

My thanks to all of you who make this job less lonely.

(and for any who are suffering on this terrible anniversary: please know that you are not alone)


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Teaser Tuesday - A Writing Comparison

Hey all.  Today I'd like to try something a little different.  This is my stuff again, but this time I want to show you a comparison of my work - first draft vs final draft.  I don't know how many of you write, but as a reader, I find it interesting to see what changes a writer might make to their work before it hits the shelves.  (And yes, my work hasn't hit the shelves, so this might not actually be a 'final' draft.)

So, here's the first three pages of the first draft of what was originally called "Manhunter", but which some of you might recognize as Dying Embers...



As she approached the twisted wreckage, a bent Mercedes logo winked in the moonlight and a sickly, wet gurgle filled the air.
She didn’t know if the sound emanated from the vital fluids dripping out of the engine, or from her husband and his mistress.  Maybe it was the tree as its sap oozed from a wide gash where the metal had ripped away the bark.  The car was dead.  The other three would die soon enough. 
She only felt sorry for the tree.
Her intention had only been to send them down the embankment to the gully below.  If she’d known a tree would stop them partway down, she would’ve planned the whole thing better.  If she’d planned the thing at all, this would’ve gone so much smoother. 
Whatever Will had done, the tree didn’t deserve to pay for it.  Only her husband did.
“Hello?” a harsh voice rasped in the still night air.  It was filled with pain and the wet sound of too much spit or too much blood.  It was almost too soft for her to tell who had survived the impact, but she knew the cadence deep inside her, even before her brain had time to register it consciously.
“Hello, Will,” she whispered back.  With a slow deliberateness, she nudged a rock down the steep hillside.  It bounced off one of its many brethren with a loud clack, and her smile widened.
“Hello?” he said a bit louder, terror filling the air as his words echoed off the jagged crags.  “Is someone out there?” 
Her lips curled into a sneer as she bent to pick up a rock.  With a deftness born of many summer softball games, she tested the weight of it in her hand and then hurled it against the only unbroken pane of glass left. 
The sound of its shattering came only an instant before Will screamed like a little girl.  Or maybe it was his cheap hussy. 
If she was lucky, they were both alive.  Their heartbeats would mean her plan hadn’t completely failed after all.  Oh, she wanted them dead, but not too quickly.  If she was going to spend the rest of her life suffering from his betrayal, the least they could do was spend a little time suffering themselves.
Above them on the road, a semi chugged its way up the hill and she froze.  Everything would be ruined if they were discovered now.  Truck drivers could see too much from their perches, and she needed time for her tormentors to die.  In the morning, the skid marks would be visible on the asphalt, or the sun would glint off the car’s mirrors, and they would be found. 
Too late.
“Whoever you are, please help us.  My wife is bleeding badly, and she’s having trouble breathing.”
The smile left her face.  His wife?  His wife?  So the lies were to continue even unto death.  Bastard. 
“She’s not your wife,” she said into the darkness, each word drawn from her like a stake pulled from her heart.  Step by merciless step, she crept toward the vehicle; each foot crossed another millimeter of her perfect white teeth glowed in the moonlight.  She was snarling as she finished, “And she never will be.”  When she reached the back bumper, loose rocks slid beneath her feet, lurching her against the trunk.  The car wobbled precariously. 
Good.  Better than she hoped for, actually.  If the car tumbled into the ravine, days would pass before anyone found the bodies.
“Emma?” her husband called with a new kind of fear soaking through his tone.  “Is that you?”
“Yes, Will.  I’m here.”  Even as she spoke the words, though, she knew Emma Sweet was gone forever—lost to the gaping hole inside her.  For more than a decade, Will had been her world, and like an asteroid’s impact, this event had left her burnt and lifeless.
“Go get help.”  His command shook her out of her misery.  He had no right to command her anymore.  Still, her hand closed around the phone in her pocket.  It was within her power to save him.  He’d be grateful for his life…
But it wasn’t just his life hanging by her will.
“For you?” she said sweetly, and then let her words fill with the hate she was now so full of.  “Or for her?”
“For both of us.  Please, Emma.”
“I don’t think so.”
“Please.  I know what you’re thinking, but I can explain.”
“I don’t think so,” she said again.  The cold sound of her words almost shocked her back to sanity.  She was the woman everyone loved and admired.  Emma Sweet wasn’t just a name; it was a persona she’d wrapped around herself for years.  Anyone who knew her would insist she couldn’t hurt a fly…


And here are the first three pages of the 'final' draft...



As she approached the twisted Mercedes’ wreckage, its cracked side mirror winked at her as if they shared some unspeakable secret.  The wind blowing through her mousy-brown hair made the leaves of the grand old trees waver and the moonlight dance across the pine straw.  All around her whispered the soft hush of the forest and faint noises from the road.  So peaceful.  She could almost forget what she’d done, if not for the sickly, wet gurgle.
Standing beneath a tree a few yards above, she couldn’t tell if the sound emanated from the vital fluids dripping out of the engine, or from her husband and his mistress.  Maybe it was the tree as its sap oozed from a wide gash where the metal had ripped away the bark.  The car was dead.  The other three would die soon enough. 
She only felt sorry for the tree.
Her intention had only been to send them down the embankment to the gully below.  If she’d known a tree would stop them partway down, she would’ve planned the whole thing better.  If she’d planned the thing at all, this would’ve gone so much smoother. 
Whatever Will had done, the tree didn’t deserve to pay for it. 
“Hello?” a harsh voice rasped in the night air.  It was filled with pain and the wet sound of too much spit or too much blood.  The noise was so soft anyone else wouldn’t have been able to tell who survived the impact, but she knew the cadence deep inside her, even before her brain had time to register it consciously.
“Hello, Will,” she whispered back.  With a slow deliberateness, she nudged a rock down the steep hillside.  It bounced off one of its many brethren with a loud clack, and her smile widened.  Except for the poor tree, she picked the perfect spot. 
“Hello?” he said louder, his terror filling the air and echoing off the jagged crags.  “Is someone there?” 
Her lips curled into a sneer as she bent to pick up a rock.  With a deftness born of many summer softball games, she tested the weight of it in her hand and then hurled it against the one unbroken pane of glass left.  
The sound of its shattering came only an instant before Will screamed like a little girl.  Or maybe it was his cheap hussy. 
If she was lucky, they were both alive.  Their heartbeats would mean her plan hadn’t completely failed after all.  Oh, she wanted them dead, but not too quickly.  If she was going to spend the rest of her life suffering from their betrayal, the least they could do was spend a little time suffering themselves.
Above them on the road, a semi chugged its way up the hill and she froze.  Everything would be ruined if they were discovered now.  Truck drivers could see too much from their perches, and she needed time for her tormentors to die.  In the morning, the skid marks would be visible on the asphalt, or the sun would glint off the car’s mirrors, and they would be found. 
Too late.
“Whoever you are, please help us.  My wife is bleeding badly, and she’s having trouble breathing.”
The smile left her face.  His wife?  His wife?  So the lies were to continue even unto death.  Bastard. 
“She’s not your wife,” she said into the darkness, each word drawn from her like splinters from a stake in her heart.  Step by merciless step, she crept toward the vehicle; each one bringing her closer to her goal. 
“She never was your wife.”  With each step, another millimeter of her perfect white teeth glowed in the moonlight.  She was snarling by the time she slid the last few feet.  
“And she never will be.”  When she reached the back bumper, loose rocks slid beneath her feet, lurching her against the trunk.  The car wobbled precariously. 
Good.  Better than she hoped for, actually.  If the car tumbled into the ravine, days could pass before anyone found the bodies.
“Emma?” her husband called with a new kind of fear soaking through his tone.  “Is that you?”
“Yes, Will.  I’m here.”  Even as she spoke the words, though, she knew Emma Sweet was gone forever—swallowed by the gaping hole inside her.  For more than a decade, Will had been her world, and like an asteroid’s impact, this event had left her burnt and lifeless.
“Go get help.”  His command shook her out of her misery.  He had no right to boss her around anymore.  Still, her hand closed around the phone in her pocket.  It was within her power to save him.  He’d be grateful for his life…
But it wasn’t just his life hanging by her will.
“For you?” she said sweetly, and then let her words saturate with the hate she was now so full of.  “Or for her?”
“For both of us.  Please, Emma.”
“I don’t think so.”
“Please.  I know what you’re thinking, but I can explain.”


See the difference?  I hope so.  I hope I took the scene and made it more vivid, more clear...  :shrug:  But that's a writers' fear I think - whether the editing we're doing is actually making the work better.