Monday, November 4, 2019

Talkin' Heads #6

TITLE: Cat and the Dog
GENRE: Adult Romance

Officially, Riley, the dog, belonged to Seth’s roommate, Brandon, but Seth was the one who loved her and took care of her. When Brandon moved out, he left Riley behind.

Seth opened the door to a young woman, dressed in jeans and a blue hoodie. Her dark hair was pulled back from her face, with a curly pony tail bobbing behind. His roommate search prospects suddenly looked brighter. Her sharp, dark eyes took him in and he felt analyzed and categorized on the spot. An engaging smile spread across her face and Seth couldn’t help but return it.

“Seth Woo? My name’s Catrina Gomez. I’m a friend of Brandon’s”

“Sorry, Brandon’s not here. He moved out a couple days ago. Can I help you?”

“Maybe.” She craned her neck slightly, as if to see into his apartment. Seth instinctively inched the door closed a bit more.

“What’s this about?”

“Brandon left a few things here and he said I could have them. That brown suede chair he’s always despised?” Seth nodded. He knew it. “And some dishes with moons and suns on them.  We bought them together at the LACMA gift shop. And, oh yeah, he said I could have his dog.”

Seth peered at the interloper. “What do you mean?”

“The dog. Riley. Brandon doesn’t want her so he gave her to me.”

The woman whistled and called the dog’s name, and the little traitor came running, whimpering and scratching at the door, until Seth had to let Benedict Riley out. The dog covered Catrina’s face in sloppy kisses and wagged her tail so hard, Seth was sure he’d have welts on his legs.

Obviously, these two knew each other.

“Ms. Gomez, you can send movers for the chair and I don’t give a damn about the dishes, but Riley is my dog. Brandon left her with me.”


  1. "No way can you have MY dog! I have receipts to prove I'm the one who took care of her! But dang, you're cute, for a dog snatcher..." Oh yeah, I'd totally read this! Love fun romances!

    I wonder about the first sentence. Is she in jeans and hoodie or is he? While I assume you mean she is, I'd still change it up, to make it clear. Simply removing the comma might do it, or you could "She was dressed in jeans and a dark hoodie, her dark hair pulled back in a curly ponytail."

    You use the word "dark" twice to describe her looks in that paragraph, so you might want to switch it around, brunette hair, chocolate brown eyes, something like that. I'd probably go semi-colon here:

    'Her sharp dark eyes took him in; he felt...'

    And maybe instead of 'Seth peered at the interloper.' What about 'Seth went cold. "What do you mean?" he said.' Adds more tension, and we need tension between these two! (Yay for sexy tension!)

  2. I thought the dialogue flowed very well between these two, but I wanted to see a little more internal dialogue (or emotion) when she says she's taking the dog. Also-initially, he seems pleased that this young woman has showed up (thinks she might be a new roommate?) but things change pretty quickly when she peeks inside the apartment. If he thinks she might be a roommate, would he care that she's looking inside? (or did I interpret that part wrong)? Either way, great excerpt!

  3. Felt dialogue authentic. Built from initial Seth's feeling of "why are you here?" to "how dare you claim the dog?" I thought Catrina a bit audacious to think she could whistle right off for Riley. Clearly some effective tension set up that would be interesting to know more about. Well done.

  4. Overall I found this an interesting situation, and good dialog. I like how he has to trust her because he knows / recognizes the things she is listing. I didn't really care for the "oh yeah, he said I could have his dog". Was the dog really an afterthought for her? If she already knows and loves the dog, and she thinks the dog is now hers, wouldn't that be like the first thing she asks about? And wouldn't she say "Riley" instead of "his dog"? Like "he said I could have Riley." The way she talks about the dog doesn't seem to match up to the relationship shown. Other than than striking a false note with me, I did like the rest.

  5. I enjoyed this scene, but I agree that there should be some introduction about Riley before she whistles for him. Maybe she could have a note signed by Brandon that gives her permission to take the dog. I know I wouldn't give up my dog easily to a stranger.