Life as an Extreme Sport

written on a lark (or was it a dare?)

I recently discovered that Sarah, over at Smart Bitches, has a lot of the same taste in plots that I do. Two weeks ago, give or take, she was getting feedback via Twitter from folks about author pitches for reviews, and I joked with her that I knew the absolutely perfect summary to get her to pick up and read a book: “I’ve written a romance about a snowbound doctor – and the young man who steals her heart!”

Sarah, bless, immediately replied “Antennae just went all WHAT WHERE BOOK WANT WHAT IS THIS?”

And I thought, “well, why the hell not?” I’d originally planned on writing a chapter just to amuse Sarah, except then I had to go and make the bad executive decision to fall down a flight of stairs, and I opted for spending the weekend going “ow” instead. (Note: I did not actually decide this, so much as “discovered too late that I did not have on the socks I thought I had on.”)

But on the way home tonight, I thought about the hook and decided to write a small bit, just for the hell of it – in part, just to write.

So here ya go, Sarah – this is for you. If I ever actually write the novel, I’ll be sure to dedicate it to Smart Bitches everywhere… and to send you a great pitch asking you for a review.

Theresa wound her way up the road, eyes firmly forward and hands gripping the wheel at the classic “ten and two” position. This was a familiar drive, and its familiarity is what led her to her caution; with the steep canyon walls and burbling river beside the road, and the snow on the ground, conditions were perfect for a deep, thick, enveloping fog. Theresa was looking forward to sitting by the fireplace with a cup of cocoa, watching the fog swirl through the trees and — if she was lucky — the Northern Lights peek down from above.

But the fog that was so picturesque inside a still cabin could be fatal on the two-lane mountain road leading there, and the region was full of logging trucks that took turns too fast and lost control. She had rotated through the regional emergency department last winter and seen the results of the reckless driving firsthand.

Glancing at the clock, she allowed herself a small smile. Her sister had bet her that she’d be on the road less than an hour before she was thinking about medicine, some way or how, and her sister had been right. …not that Theresa would ever tell her that.

The whole point of this retreat up to the family cabin was to get away. To get away from school and work and to relax, in the brief few weeks that signaled the end of her formal education. Soon enough, she would be back down the mountain, walking across the stage, and starting her residency. But after four long years of work, all Theresa wanted to do was curl up in the cabin, watch silly Lifetime movies, cook, drink cocoa, and read for fun.

The very last thing she wanted to do, she planned to do, was to think of medicine.


The cold, Ryan concluded, was a good thing. The cold meant he couldn’t feel what he was pretty sure was a badly broken leg. The cold meant that he could just lay there, cushioned by the drift of snow he’d apparently landed in, and think about the hell he was going to get when his sister found out he’d gone skiing off-trail. Again. Of course, all the other times, everything had turned out fine, and this was the argument he would use against her when she tried to pull an “I told you so.”

Of course, first he needed to get out of this mess, and shifting slightly confirmed that in the last few minutes of admiring the setting sun and the fog, his leg had not become any less broken.

“Lauren, if you have any bright ideas, I’m all ears,” he said, even though his sister was tucked away in her NYC office with no idea that he was even out here. It was worth a try, wasn’t it?


“Damnit, what’s the use of having a big si-“ Ryan blinked. Were those lights? Was he hallucinating? Gritting his teeth, he pushed himself out of the snowbank he had landed in and squinted. He knew there was a house around here somewhere — was this actually going to be his lucky day?

The beams of the headlights grew brighter as they neared. “Well, I’ll be damned,” Ryan grinned. Perhaps this evening wasn’t going to be so bad after all.