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Boomerang bonus content

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Ask any editor I've worked for and they'll tell you. I write too long. (Eight-inch stories were painful — I always had so much more to say!) So, writing novels? No problem. 

Below, you'll find bonus content — deleted scenes from Boomerang's first draft. My editor noted I needed to get to the point quickly. So out went some of the additional scene-setting content, to help hook readers earlier.

Below is a deleted scene from when Taryn, Boomerang's protagonist, leaves Chicago for Orlando.

I'll be posting other deleted scenes in the future, giving you a glimpse into the world of writing and publishing a novel. Read on. And feel free to let me know what you think. 

Chicago-Midway International Airrport

Deleted scene: Taryn departs Chicago

Flying into Orlando International Airport was just how Taryn remembered it — sunny, bright, promising. Much better than flying into her hometown airport of Chicago-Midway and its dreary skies. There, it was a sudden view of the skyscrapers once you cut in past the blanket of angry clouds. The feeling of being on top of rows of rows of bungalow homes, then, bam!, hitting the short runway with ferocious velocity. Praying that the mechanical beast she was on
would stop before plowing into the perimeter fencing that encased the one square mile the airport was shoveled into.


But Orlando was sunshine and Disney World and happiness. Or at least that’s what Taryn used to think, when she and Graham had traveled there for a quick weekend. 


It was April when Taryn left Illinois, and spring hadn’t yet made up its mind on whether it had sprung. But that was typical Chicago. One day, it would be overcast and frozen as fuck. The next, the sun shone brightly as the dirty, salt-crusted snow would melt. For some reason, Taryn always loved the sound of the trickle as the now-liquid snowflakes filtered into the storm drains. But now, she couldn’t stomach the thought of being in the Prairie State. 


Starting today, Taryn was in the Sunshine State — which Lynn had always referred to as “the wang of the United States” — with no real plan. She’d crammed everything she could into her two suitcases and a carry-on, had a concerned and wary Lynn drop her at the airport and found herself in a place she knew little about except from Graham’s tales of living there and her limited experience of the theme park capital of the world. 


From Graham’s unsent letter to the woman he’d sexually assaulted almost two decades prior, Taryn was able to piece together enough information to have a starting point. She’d checked his email to see if the document had been emailed to this woman, and it appeared he hadn’t.

Granted, he could have used a different email, but from her sleuthing through his computer, she was pretty sure the only one who’d seen the confession was her.


Evelyn, it turned out, was Evelyn Witmer. Formerly Evelyn Sanders. Thanks to his Google document with all of his usernames and passwords, Taryn was able to access Graham’s college alumni accounts and had deduced who she was by process of elimination, finding her on the friends’ lists of Sam Paxton and many of Graham’s other college buddies. 


Further internet sleuthing had revealed that Evelyn was 36, divorced and living in Gardenia Beach, a city on the East-Central Coast of Florida. It turned out she hadn’t needed the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work degree she’d earned after all. Evelyn, according to her Facebook profile, was now a bartender at the Wayside Watering Hole, the latest in one of many hospitality industry stints. Looking at her profile, it became apparent that Evelyn hadn’t stayed at ne job for long. Four months here, nine months there. There definitely was a pattern of instability.

 

Scouring Wayside’s social media accounts had unearthed the face of the woman who Graham had assaulted — a pretty but decidedly prematurely aged long-haired brunette who looked older than her chronological age. “Enjoy 2-for-1 Happy Hour with our stellar Thursday night bartenders Evelyn and Sheila!” one Instagram post beckoned, the two women hoisting up bottles of well liquor and smiling for social media.


That was when simply knowing who she was exploded into much more. Taryn needed to know what she had become. 


And if it was because of her husband. 


***

Just two days earlier, Taryn had found herself a seaside motel in Gardenia Beach and paid the deposit online before booking her plane ticket. Last-minute flights were never cheap, but she really didn’t care anymore. Nor did she care about the costs of renting a car for however long it would take. She just wanted to be there as soon as she could. And Graham’s handsome life insurance payout made it a non-issue, anyway. Squirreling away every last dollar for the future
didn’t even register. She wasn’t so sure she had much of one, anyway.


Taryn had picked up the Ford Fiesta right at the terminal, figuring it would at least get her to her now-new apartment and through the however many weeks she’d be staying.


“That’s a lot of luggage for a tiny girl,” the snaggle-toothed rental attendant said with a grin as Taryn clumsily wheeled her suitcases to the counter. He reeked of cigarette smoke, which actually smelled good to Taryn. She hadn’t smoked in 10 years, but the scent of burnt tobacco triggered a desire in her to run to the convenience store and grab a pack of Marlboro Light Menthol. 


“How long are you in town for? A month?” the attendant with the name tag of Gus asked, smiling and showing off his tobacco-stained teeth.


“Two days,” Taryn smarmily replied. The burly attendant’s face turned from a smile to a smirk. 


Gus caught her drift and got down to the business of getting Taryn into her rental, now devoid of chitter-chatter. Within 10 minutes, her luggage was piled into the trunk and back seats of the Fiesta, and Taryn merged onto the Beachline Expressway, toward Brevard County and, hopefully, some answers.

 

Though her gut told her they’d be the kind she really didn’t want. 

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