christmas novella

Unpublished Excerpt from The Computer Tutor


I’ll be around for the next week working and blogging, but it might be sporadic. I’m finishing up a new novel and when I’m not working regular hours the novel always comes first.

But I wanted to share an unpublished excerpt from The Computer Tutor. In this scene, the two main characters are getting to know each other, and one is showing the other how to bottle feed a newborn puppy.

If you celebrate the holidays, I hope you enjoy them. If you don’t, I hope you have a great weekend.

He placed the puppy up against his chest and
cradled it in his arm. “I never had to do this
before. Mindy is a great mom. She usually does
all the work.”

I smiled and lifted another pup out of the box.
“That’s the first time you’ve mentioned her name.”

“I’m sorry. It’s been so overwhelming. I’ve had
Mindy since she was eight weeks old.”

I handed him a baby bottle and said, “Don’t
worry, because you’re going to have plenty of
forms to fill out as soon as we’re finished feeding
these guys. You’ll be writing her name more than
you ever dreamed you would.”

He seemed willing and eager to listen to
everything I said about bottle-feeding newborn
pups…almost curious. When I told him it was
important to turn the baby bottle upside down
and be sure there was a slow drip instead of a
constant stream, he did exactly as told and asked
why. When I told him if there was a flowing stream
instead of a drip and that formula could get into
the puppy’s lungs and cause pneumonia, he
turned the bottle upside down and doublechecked
to be certain it wouldn’t harm the pup. I
explained small details about calorie intake and
how important it was to feed them every three
hours. And he listened, almost without blinking
at all. I was glad to see he wasn’t as stupid as I’d
thought he was. I was, also, glad the puppies were
easy to feed. I’d seen cases where they had to be
finger fed, which wasn’t easy.

By the time they were ready to be fed a second
time, Allan made the preparations and I watched
him do all the work. I wanted him to know what
to do when I wasn’t around. The first week in a
pup’s life is the most important week. It’s a good
thing all the pups were strong, even the so-called
runt, which was my personal favorite. They drank
the formula a second time without any problems,
which didn’t always happen.

Before we knew it, Christmas morning had
arrived. Hours had passed since Allan had first
brought Mindy into the clinic, and she seemed to
be doing very well in recovery. She even lifted her
head up the first time she saw Allan and licked
his hand. It tugged at my heart to watch him bend
over and rest his cheek against her neck. He’d
been so strong and stoic since he’d arrived, it was
as if a flood of emotion overtook him and came out
all at once. He cried so hard and so quietly, his
entire body shuddered. I turned in the other
direction and left him alone with Mindy for a few
minutes.