“Montana Maverick” Deleted Scene and Giveaway!

MontanaMaverick-300dpiThe Cutting Room Floor


Debra Salonen 

We’ve all heard about the Cutting Room Floor–that purgatory-like place where wonderful scenes go to die a death of so-close-and-yet-so-far-away. Maybe you’ve read such scenes in first drafts you’ve been privy to, or possibly an author you follow on Facebook impulsively shared something prematurely that leads you to believe a certain scene will appear in her next book, Montana Maverick. (Sorry, about that.)

Regrettably, not every great idea is a good idea. Feel free to quote me on that.

This is where editors come in. Editors who know and love your work, who share your passion for your characters. Editors who are dumbfounded when you suddenly introduce something that doesn’t quite jibe with your book’s tone. Like say…writing the prologue in the hero’s late daughter’s point of view.

A ghost, you say?

Two, actually.

Here’s the prologue that I loved while I was writing it. I cried. I could feel the spirit of Laurel, my hero’s dead daughter, reaching out from beyond to help her family in their time of dire need.


“What you’re planning is very risky. Are you certain this is a good idea?”

“I don’t see any other way for them to meet.”

“What if something goes wrong? There are four children aboard that mechanical beast.”

“That beast is a helicopter. She’s willing to help. My father has been very good to her over the years, and she’s grown weary of this physical incarnation. Her soul is ready to move on.”

Her soul mate let out a long and pensive sigh that probably added to the angst of the storm raging in the atmosphere just beyond the shimmering white line of light. Not below, as most living souls perceive heaven to be, but beside, in a plane not meant to be crossed until the day one’s soul left the corporal body behind for good, as Laurel had done a few months earlier.

But, when souls had unfinished business, as she and Jacob did, exceptions were allowed.

She looked at her other half–the one she’d followed too soon, which had created many problems for their loved ones. Problems that only could be solved by the love of a man and a woman brave enough to defy the odds and join each other on a great and important adventure.

“I can’t do this alone, my heart. Will you help me?”

Jacob had never been able to deny her, except when he died, taking a piece of her soul with him. In lieu of an answer, his love and light enveloped her. Together they breached the membrane. Their combined energy touched the rotating blades of the helicopter–a slight nudge to signal the great metal beast with a giant heart. Some small and seemingly insignificant part shook loose. It made a loud pinging sound as it struck a whirling blade before being tossed into the wind to be lost in the blowing snow.

“Land with care, gentle friend. Thank you.”

The helicopter made a sound that seemed to say, “You’re welcome.”

Its passengers–and anyone awake on the ground–may have interpreted the sound differently.

What happened next was up to the living–the ones Laurel loved more than life.

“At least–we tried,” she told her beloved as they slipped back into the light.

She focused her love a moment longer on the sweet baby she’d barely gotten to hold and love. “They’re in your hands, darling Mystic. Do your best.”


I knew–even before my editor expressed her concern about the scene–that I’d written this for me–not for the book. Meg’s and Henry’s story doesn’t need a helping hand from beyond. These two characters are so strong, so evolved, they could handle anything–even a ghost, but this way, nothing distracts from their journey.

2-23-15 DebObviously, the scene didn’t make it into the book, but I’d love to hear your feelings on the subject. Thumbs up or thumbs down to the supernatural? One commenter will receive a Book Girl reader prize. If you picked thumb’s up, I’ll include a backlist book with a hint of paranormal. If you pick thumb’s down, I’ll choose a title without a single hint of the supernatural. Thanks for reading.


Winner to be announced Thursday, February 26th!


    1. I like to honor the creative process by writing whatever comes into my head, but I don’t want to put someone off the story by making it too off the wall. This book winds up with a “little” hint of supernatural.

  1. I am both thumbs up and thumbs down! I like it in certain situations but not in others. It did work here however!

      1. Flor, siempre tienes esos detalles maravillosos para nuestros hijos y para nosotras…un abrazo a todas desde el corazón con ese abrazo largo y cñalido en este día, tan triste, como todos los días….


      2. mamabatranafarabraudelanavreau si eu….. ! daca nu acolo, macar la Sinaia…..! macar in Herastrau!………….. de fapt vreau tihna si curatenia din pozele voastre.chiar trebuia sa plecati de acolo?…. bine ati venit!

  2. thumbs up if it makes sense in the story, don’t add it just have a paranormal genre selling point! Thanks for the chance!

  3. Thumbs up. I don’t go for a lot of paranormal, but a bit of supernatural is ok. I probably think in terms of God’s providence instead of Ghosts, but then we don’t really know how God works :)

  4. Thumbs up! I believe there is more than what’s in the physical world! I can’t wait to read this! Going to check it out on Amazon now! :)

  5. I like it, I’m quite fond of supernatural stories, I also had an experience after my dad passed away. I was 13 at the time.I remember waking up and seeing my dad sitting in his rocking chair. I just stood there staring and remember talking to him but just like that he disappeared. That memory is stuck forever in my heart. Thanks for all the wonderful stories.

  6. Thumbs up in small quantities. This deleted scene was great, Deb! A little push from beyond is fine if it doesn’t take away from the romance storyline.

  7. I’m not usually a fan of supernatural, but I enjoyed your “story”. I’m not sure how it would have fit into the story, but then I haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

  8. Thumbs up from me. I am so glad you shared this with us anyway. Yesterday I started reading your book immediately and just could not put it down. A great finale to a great series. I cannot wait to re-read it :-)

  9. Sweet scene and I like to think of Laurel watching over her father and her children but I agree with your editor. The cutting room floor is its proper place. Henry and Meg manage very nicely indeed without any help from outside.

  10. Your writing is phenominal! Each time I start to read, one word after another I am hooked, it is like I cannot look away in fear I will miss something. The feelings are so strong that you swallow them whole inside of you as you read about the the lives of those you became while venturing into the book. I say thumbs up, but the again that is because I love your writing. I normally do not read paranormal stories but once in a while I will. Great job as always!

  11. I say “Thumbs up”. As a person, who HOPES for an “Afterlife”, I find the prologue endearing. I think the Supernatural twist is refreshing, though not neccessary for the book…as it’s void of any further Supernatural content. Still–who’d not want a loved one, that has passed, to be watching over us in such a way? Fantastic job! Thanks for the opportunity!! ♡

  12. Sorry, everybody. I’ve had this problem before with certain blog programs. It only lets me reply to a couple before I get bopped out. Makes for slow going to reply to everyone–especially since I’m running around like a crazy person, anyway.
    I appreciate every answer. I’ll be out of town on business when the winner is picked, but I’ll be home on Monday and will send you the prize then.
    In the meantime, please keep the answers coming. Thanks for your interest!!
    Happy reading!

  13. I’ve got mixed feelings about the supernatural–it can work beautifully (which it seems like it would here) or it can feel out of place or throw me out of the story. In this case, I think it would have been a poignant touch, but it clearly also works fine without this scene :) Thanks for sharing it, Debra!

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