Monthly Archives: October 2014

New Directions

No, not the New Directions of Glee. Although, they are pretty awesome. You know, for a ton of professionals pretending to be amateurs, that is. Can you guess what I mean? Of course you can. You’ve read this blog more than once, lol.

Of course I have changed directions again. It’s so ridiculous. I spent all that time working on creating an outline. I wrote like 40,000 words. And I realized the sequence of events did not make ANY sense. And I know why. I’m not much of a planner. I’m not much of a pantser either as that never gets me anywhere. I’m somewhere in between – is that a plantser? Whatever.

So, I stopped what I was doing and sat myself down with the Seven Story Beats as outlined by Kaye Dacus. I love that site. If you write romance, I suggest you check her out. It’s worth it.

(ANYWAY)

As I sat down and focused just on these necessary points in the story, I realized I was no longer in love with the setting or the story itself. Now, I have seven beats that can logically be connected to each other.

I have one beat left to write (yeah, I’m writing out of order. it’s awesome), and that is the final scene – Joyful Defeat. I will probably knock that out tomorrow.

So far, the best part of this has been how other scenes have naturally shown their necessity. I love that – nothing forced.

But, I promised some friends a teaser. So, here is a snippet.

“What are you going to do about her, then? Will you really marry someone you believe helped plan Phin’s death?”

“I will marry her because I have to, but that is it. The day after tomorrow, she will be on her way to the Welsh coast, back to Blackpool Estate. She will live there until she dies, but I will never set eyes upon her again.”

“What about heirs?”

He really meant to ship her off to some mouldering estate? Of course he did. He truly hated her just that much. Stifling the tears that threatened to overwhelm her, Helena attempted to sneak back up to her room only to run into a small table by the library door. With a cry, she fell to the ground.

“What was that, Blackpool? I believe the library might have grown ears.” Footsteps sounded then, growing closer as the men came into the library from the hall.

“Well, this is interesting. I do hate to miss this, but I believe my bed finally calls. A pleasure, Miss Billings,” the blond haired man said. This must be Freddy.

“Did I not tell you to not invade my private space, madam?” Anger radiated from the duke. As Helena looked up at him, she could see the haze pulsing around him, coating his aura in a viscous red.

“I – I needed something to read, sir. I could not sleep.” Helena hated the sound of her voice, faint and pleading. She owed this man no explanation. He could not barr her in her rooms, keep her prisoner.

“I told you this is not your home. No one invited you to make yourself comfortable. I begin to believe my original assumptions were correct. You are simple.”

Leaning over, Blackpool grabbed her arm and roughly pulled her up. His touch was rough, almost brutal, and still, her traitorous skin revelled at the touch. Her pulse quickened, heart thumping against her chest. Butterflies tickled at her stomach, tingles going lower. This was lust. How could she lust after such a brute? Did he feel the same?

The duke did not appear to be similarly affected when she looked at him through lowered lashes. As soon as she was steady, he dropped her arm like it burned his skin. He refused to look at her, instead staring at some point just beyond her, to the left.

“I suppose you heard everything, creeping around in the dead of the night? Were you hoping to find something to steal? What were you really doing in here?”

Helena was incensed. She could not allow this man to continue to treat her so cruelly. They would be connected for life soon, whether either of them wanted it or not.

“Which is it to be, sir. You can only use one insult, so pick one. Am I a fraud, a whore, a murderer, or a thief? I tell you once more: I was merely looking for a book to read. I fell asleep in the chair.”

“Where, then, is this book you came for?”

“I put it back before attempting to leave the room in the dark. That is when I hit this table and fell.”

“Damn you, Miss Billings. I want nothing to do with you, do you not understand that? How dare you stand here before me claiming innocence while looking so inviting.” With no warning, the duke had once more grabbed her arm, this time to pull her into a crushing embrace.

Certain the pressure would leave her lips bruised and purple the next day, Helena tried to pull away. As she pulled away, the duke pulled her closer. The touch of his lips grew gentle and then his tongue was working its way into her mouth. And she caved. Allowing every bit of lust she had felt since first she lay eyes upon him, Helena melted into his kiss, meeting each thrust of his tongue with one of her own.

I hope you like it.

 

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Book Two, Isobel’s story

Lately, I have started working on plotting and planning for the next book in the series which features Isobel, the younger of the 2nd set of twins. Odd that I’m doing the first book on the younger of the older twins and the 2nd on the younger of the younger twins…Heh. Of course, this is only the order in which I am writing them 🙂

Anyway, as I wrap up a scene from Book 1 I am doing a bit of work on Book 2. Tonight, I whipped up this little scenario which serves as both the hook and the meet. I have to be honest – I think this is really good. I hope you do as well.

Stepping into the crowded Fitz-Patrick ballroom, Lady Isobel Sellinger immediately noticed the conversation coming to a halt. She stood there, suspended in the eternal moment of humiliation, fighting the tears threatening to break free.

Unfortunately for Isobel, eternity only lasted about 20 seconds. And the room was once more awash in conversation, this time accompanied by pointed looks in her direction. Steeling her spine, she moved from the doorway to the side of her friend, Freddy, ignoring the whispers and the glares. She could not allow doubts to sway her from this mission – no doubts, no fears.

“You dare come here, Lady Isobel? And without a chaperone, I see,” hissed Freddy, grabbing her arm cruelly to drag her to the floor as a waltz started up.

“I had to come, Freddy. You know I had no other choice!” whispered Isobel, matching the anger of his accusation.

“That’s Lord Fredric to you, Lady Isobel. Let there be no informalities betwixt us.” Freddy was snarling, no longer the friend of yesterday. No, this stranger was no one she knew.

“Freddy – you can’t mean that,” she begged, once more fighting the tears.

And then, her world came to a crashing halt.

Lord Fredric gave her a pitying look before dropping her hands and stepping away from her. Eyes burning with the threat of tears, she stepped toward him.

“Please do not make more of a spectacle of yourself, Lady Isobel. It is unseemly,” he said, every inch the aristocrat.

“But Fre – I mean, Lord Fredric,” she cried.

“No, my lady. No more lies, no more denials,” was his response, slightly louder than polite.

“What? What are you talking about, Freddy?”

“No my lady. No, I will not stand idly by and allow you to pawn another man’s child off as mine. How dare you ask such a thing of me?” He asked, this time loud enough that his voice carried across the crowded ballroom, ensuring everyone was watching as he turned away from Lady Isobel and walked across the floor.

The weight of their stares became too much, and she crumpled inward. Barely able to breath, Lady Isobel made her way through the crowd, hunched over, face down to avoid the glee of their faces. Once outside, the dam broke and her tears finally fell. Finding the Sellinger coach, she did the only thing she knew to do.

“Take me to the station. I wish to go home.”

 

Is Every Bad Guy (Girl) a villain?

No.

At least, not in my opinion. Just as every villain is not exclusively bad, not ever bad person is a villain.

Again, this is just my opinion. Perhaps your opinion is different?

I am thinking about this because I have a character in my book that is purely a bitch. And yes, I mean she is mean-spirited, petty, jealous, and frankly, just plain mean. So far, she has not learned that actions and words have consequences. She is the only child of a fairly prominent and old family. And a shifter to boot. She is also just plain fun to write.

She isn’t the villain of the current project, although she is the catalyst that sets the ball rolling for the next book. I am toying with a redemption story for her. We do love a good redemption story, right? But it isn’t very realistic, is it? I mean – let’s be realistic here. There are tons of nasty people in the world who live their entire lives as a nasty person without ever being “redeemed” or becoming a better person. Yet they still find love and happiness. You know, at least their own version of it.

So I suppose Lady Eloise could have her own story without ever being redeemed. Now that sounds like a challenge. As writers – we know she will only get a story if she wants it.

As things stand right now she is having fun being a bitch and stirring the pot as much as possible. Here is a little taste of her cattiness:

 

Not bothering to knock, Lady Eloise swept into the grand room that she would occupy before year’s end. “Well, this is just hideous. I cannot wait until I am Mistress of this home, and can change the furnishings to better suit my delicate nature,” she said out loud, startling Helena who was lounging on a couch in front of the large bed.

“Why yes, you may come in Lady Eloise. How kind of you to stop by and wish me a good rest.”

“Are you mad, peasant? I wish you no such thing. In fact, I would dearly like it if you were to find yourself at the bottom of the ocean. I do not know what you think to accomplish here, but Duncan will not be swayed by your loose ways for long,” stated Lady Eloise, coming to rest in a chair near the fireplace.

“My apologies, but my what?” Putting her book down, Helena spared her a momentary glance before looking away.

“Don’t bother with the charade of a proper little virgin. I know you for the slut you really are. Did you think to seduce my fiance while I was here, under the same roof?”

“You cannot be serious, my lady. Come, where is your audience? Are they hiding in my dressing room?” Jumping up, Helena moved toward the large bathroom, clearly expecting to find people hiding there, anticipating her newest degradation at the hands of Lady Eloise.

“Oh no, this is between you and I. There does not appear to be an immediate need to let your lack of morals become public knowledge. At least, not yet.” Lady Eloise lounged in the chair, entirely at ease despite the grotesque colors of the room. Soon, this would all be hers and she already felt comfortable.

“You are delusional if you believe I am sleeping with that neanderthal you seem so attached to, Lady Eloise.”

“And you are a simpleton if you think I believe your denials. Just remember this, Duncan and I will be announcing our engagement soon. We’ve been intimate for quite some time. If you thought to warm his bed after inveigling an invitation to my intimate little party, well… You will not do so.”

Across the room, the peasant stared at her before snorting indelicately. “You really are delusional, Lady Eloise. Such a shame. Do try to keep the madness in reign. I’ve heard awful things about the conditions of the madhouses in Lower London.”

Eloise wanted to scream with rage; she wanted to swipe this dirty little peasant out of existence. Oh, she wanted revenge for this… Standing up leisurely, not allowing her emotions to gain control of her actions, she said only, “Let me make myself clear, peasant. Duncan is mine. If you do not stay away from him, I will make you pay.”

Exiting the room as quickly as she had entered, Lady Eloise quickly found the room of Lord Milne. She knocked, but did not wait for a response. Entering, she found the older gentleman enjoying a brandy with Therese.

“I do apologize for interrupting your little tryst – or whatever this is. Milne, I want you to arrange a meeting with Collins for me.”

“You cannot be serious dear girl. He will never agree to meeting with you!” Lord Milne proclaimed.

“Tell him if he does not agree to meet me at Kirke’s temple here on the estate tomorrow night, that I will tell everyone he and I have been meeting in secret for the last two years. I will force his hand only if he makes me.” Threatened Lady Eloise before slipping to the room she was forced to share with Lissandra.

 

From the journal of Helena Marie Billings

Today has been absolutely wretched. I am not even sure where to begin, it is all so jumbled in my head. 

Oh, that blasted man! How he infuriates me. I wish I could forget him – rinse him away with the falling rain. But I cannot – not even in the face of so much hatred and distrust! Not even when another man shows his interest so plainly as does Adrian. Dear, sweet Adrian. 

He is not a part of my anguish, of course. Not this time, at least – though eventually I must face the truth of that situation. 

As if the Duke’s behavior yesterday was not reprehensible enough, what I was subjected to today was unconscionable. To think, that pompous ass and I used to be friends. How did he hide his disdain for me as we grew up, spent almost every waking moment together?

Well, he made it perfectly clear today that we are no longer friends; that we never truly were. In fact, he made it clear he sees me as less than. I believe he might think better of his precious sheep than he does of me. 

And still, my heart races when he enters my sight. His voice is velvet across my skin. And my brain swears all my problems will melt away if only he will turn those steely eyes upon me. 

This is a problem, one I do not know how to resolve? And no one with whom to discuss it!