Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Snippet: Fuel for the Fire

I tend to open my Sunday Snippet blog posts with 'My Week in TV' run down and I realized I've never really explained why. It goes back to one of my big reasons for writing in the first place—what if? Television, GOOD television, always makes me ask things like: what would happen if… or what could this character do if that character did [insert random scenario here]. Seriously, the 'what if' possibilities are endless, which when it comes to writing, provides a crap ton of fodder for the imagination, right?

Of course, the definition of good, great, and awesome TV is subjective. The shows I love may be something you hate, so apologies if this part of the blog is mucho boring. J

Quick recap for the past week: The Walking Dead delivered, as mentioned in my last snippet post. Bitten and Lost Girl both made for brain eating material. Almost Human had a solid episode, and I really forget how much I kind of love that show until I'm watching it, you know? Arrow finally returns this week and I sooooo can't wait. All in all, the Olympics are great and all, but I'm glad my favorite shows will be back.

Tonight's post is from Fuel for the Fire, a novella rather near and dear to my heart since it involves something I'm close to—the fire service. Half my family is members of fire departments and works and/or teaches in the field.

Here's the tagline:

An arsonist wants arson investigator Sadie Kyle's attention and burns the home and business Greg DeSoto to get it. When Sadie shows up to investigate, she hits it off with Greg, which only adds fuel to the fire for her pyromaniac. When Greg gets hit a second time, Sadie digs in and calls the burner out.

And a snippety peek…

Greg Desoto heaved a sigh. Five years of work spread out in smoldering ashes, the only remains of the bar he'd built inside a former sewing factory. His shoulders slumped and the stinging wind whipped around, blowing snow in his face. The cherry on top of the entire fubar mess—homeless in the middle of winter.
A firm hand landed on his shoulder. "Mr Desoto?"
He angled his head, his eyebrows rising. "Greg. And yeah." He fought back a shiver but couldn't keep his teeth from chattering.
The speaker had turnout gear on, but looked clean compared to the other fire fighters milling around the scene. She had her helmet pushed back and didn't have a mask. The long tail of her braid snaked around her neck and draped over her shoulder. He wondered why she'd sought him out.
She gave him a grim smile. "I'm Sadie Kyle, arson unit." She draped a heavy wool blanket around him. "Please don't shrug this one off. The temperature is dropping rapidly and if you're up for it, I'd like to ask some questions."
He nodded. "I've got nowhere else to go at the moment. I lived above the bar." He blew out a long breath. "What do you need to know?"
Sadie laid a hand on his and nudged him toward one of the ambulances. "Let's get out of the wind. Have the paramedics looked you over yet?"
His head jerked. "I'm fine, really. Got out before the building really got fully involved." He stepped up into the back of the rig, glancing over his shoulder. "I don't understand why the sprinkler system didn't kick on." He sat on the edge of bench, avoiding the cot, and glanced up in Sadie's direction. "I had a new one installed two months ago." He frowned.


Sadie's gut churned. A new sprinkler system. Greg Desoto's bar made the third fire in six months to have a similar set of circumstances. An aide worker walked by with a carrier of coffee and Sadie snagged two. She needed a moment to get her head wrapped around the possibility of a serial arsonist before she sat down with Desoto to get some answers.
Handing one of the cups to Greg, she angled around and perched her butt on the floor of the unit, leaning back against the open door. Her bulky bunker pants would make maneuvering around a huge pain in the ass. She placed her coffee on the floor under the cot and reached into her interior pocket for her small notebook and a pen.
She flipped to the first empty page then glanced in Greg's direction. "Mr Desoto, Greg, do you have any enemies who'd want to see you or your business harmed?"
Greg snorted. "Not likely. I've worked hard to establish good relationships with the other business owners around here. I picked this neighborhood because the majority of the owners live within a few blocks of their shops." His mouth twisted. "We pull together and sponsor block parties in the summer and a big holiday stroll on the weekends between Thanksgiving and New Year's. This doesn't only hurt me, it hurts them."
Sadie nodded and jotted down a few notes. She'd look into the other business owners as a precaution, but she had a strong feeling they'd all be cleared.
She stopped writing. "You mentioned a new sprinkler system. Who installed it?" She crossed her fingers, hoping her instincts were off base.
Greg answered. "Five Alarm Sprinkler Systems."
Shit. Shit, shit, shit.
Sadie closed her notebook, fighting the urge to snap her pen into pieces. "Thank you, Greg. I've got enough to get started and I still need to investigate the interior of the building." She needed to get the hell out of the ambulance and do her job. "Can I contact you through your insurance company?"
Greg nodded, his eyes narrowing a little. "I use a local agent—"
Sadie jumped in. "Kyle Addy?"
Greg's eyes widened. "Yeah, how did you…"
She cracked a brief smile. "I grew up in this neighborhood. Kyle's the best there is."
Greg's lips quirked. "He's a good man. He's actually on his way down. He wanted to make arrangements for a place for me to stay."
Sadie reached out, placing her hand on Greg's forearm. "We'll find whoever did this. I'm sorry for the loss of your business."
Greg gave her a twisted half-smile. "Not your fault, but thank you."
Sadie eased out of the unit, tucking her notebook back inside her pocket. Greg had it so wrong. The destruction and devastation of his livelihood might not be her fault, but she'd bet her pension part of the blame would land at her doorstep.
Sadie had a damned good idea who the culprit would turn out to be… and who he really had it in for.
*cue dramatic music* LOL Seriously, I have a ton of research to do, but it's been so much fun to dive into this story.

That's it for this week. Happy reading!


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