I have finished the first draft of Book 4 of the Catahoula series. Now for the rewrites… And then the editing… Meanwhile, I have here included a short excerpt from the book. This scene takes place in St. Louis when Ethan and Angel are checking into the hotel there. We see Ethan quick to be irritated by the clerk’s mispronunciation of his name and it draws out his sense of humor.
I cleared my throat, and the clerk looked up. “Oh! May I help you, sir?”
“Yes. Name’s Joubert. I telegraphed for reservations three days ago.”
He pushed his glasses up his nose and went to shuffling another stack of papers. “Oh, here it is. Mr. Ethan Joe-bert,” he said reading my name off the reservation telegram.
“It is Joubert,” I replied, using the correct French pronunciation.
“Joe-bert,” he repeated, not even coming close.
“No, Joubert. Draw out the ‘J’ sound, and the second syllable sounds almost like ‘bear’, not ‘bert,’ except more tongue out front and an almost silent ‘t’ on the end. Try it.”
The clerk bravely tried to follow my instructions and failed with a hard sounding “Joe”. “No,” and I reached out and pinched his cheeks to pucker his mouth. “J-j-jou…like jew with a long ‘J.’”
Another hard “Joe” came out, but this one sounded more like it was uttered by a duck being strangled. Angel snickered behind my back. I looked around and glared at her. She pinched her mouth closed in an attempt to hide her amusement, but her laughing eyes gave her away. Turning back to my new friend, I repeated, “Joubert. Try it again.”
He failed once more. Angel couldn’t hold it in any longer and burst out laughing. “Give it up, Poppa.”
Resigned to my fate, I said to the clerk. “Very well, just call me Joe-bert.”
He was much relieved. “Oh, thank you very much, sir!”
I shrugged in resignation.
The working title remains If Ever I Cease to Love for now. More on the book here.