30 April 2015

Z is for Zeroth

I learned a new word today: ze·roth ˈzi(ə)rōTH,ˈzēˌrōTH/adjective 

Immediately preceding what is regarded as first in a series. 

In other words, a prequel. I happen to have one for News From Nowhere, a steamy romance novella that my main character, J. Lindsay Calhoun, compelled me to write before I started the first book in the Morristown Mystery series. Apparently he needed more sex than I was willing to write into the murder mysteries. It gave me an opportunity to not only get comfortable with writing love scenes, but also to explore family interactions with the main characters, even as they were developing their own relationship. Here's a tame excerpt from the zeroth book, From This Day Forward:

A tenuous silence hung between them. Megan had no intention of filling the void with mindless babble. Let one of the men break the tension. She knew how to play this game as well as any lawyer.

As it turned out, the silence was broken by a waiter with menus.

 “Welcome to the Flagstaff House. My name is Steven. May I offer you some libations before dinner?” He looked at Megan first, then Lindsey. Megan noted the other Calhoun men at the table had already ordered drinks, no doubt single malt Scotch from the look of the glasses, all served neat.

“I believe I’ll have water for now, thank you,” Megan replied.

“The usual for Mr. Calhoun?” Lindsey nodded in agreement. No surprise that the staff would be familiar with the desires of the whole clan. Of course not.

“You are a very beautiful woman, Dr. MacGregor,” said the elder Calhoun, piercing her with a look.

So he was going to take that tack, was he? “Thank you, Mr. Calhoun.” She looked directly into his eyes and gave a slight nod of the head in acknowledgment. Lindsey gave her thigh a small squeeze under the table. He knew a drama unfolding when he saw one, and for now, he’d let it do just that. Megan seemed to be totally under control, and not the least bit intimidated by his father.

“What an interesting brooch you’re wearing. Is it my aging eyes, or is that a spider?” The sterling silver legs on Megan’s lapel pin extended delicately from a shining orb set with a round yellow topaz cabochon.  “I understand you’re a child psychologist. Isn’t jewelry of that sort a bit intimidating to your young clients?”

“It depends on the age of the child, Mr. Calhoun. Very young children most often haven’t been influenced by their parents’ own fears, and therefore are fascinated by all kinds of creatures. This is just one bug in my jewelry collection. I wore it today because the little boy I was working with happens to like spiders. He also finds my vintage VW, Dr. Doodlebug, quite entertaining.”

“How charming. And how else do you entertain your small clients, Dr. MacGregor?” His belittling tone was palpable.

“I juggle balls, Mr. Calhoun.”

©Dani Greer 2014
(First published here on October 5, 2014)


Sherry Ellis said...

I hadn't heard of that word, either! Thanks for the definition.

Paula Kaye said...

Loved the story. Would have liked to see the look on his face...."I juggle balls". What a charming broach I am visiting on the A to Z Road Trip. Hoping to see you out and about!

Cindy Scott said...

Like the snippet!

Learn something new everyday. I knew prequels existed, but not what they were called.

Visiting from the Road Trip A to Z

Entrepreneurial Goddess said...

Hello there.
Congratulations on completing the challenge! Just popping over today from the Road Trip.

Entrepreneurial Goddess

Random Musings said...

Never heard of the word zeroth but it makes a certain kind of sense now you've defined it - zeroth I see it in my head as 0th, 1st, 2nd, etc
Popping by on the A to Z Road Trip

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