WIP Excerpt

This is an excerpt from the story I’ve been editing, currently titled “Warder”. A contemporary fantasy with romance elements, this is the first story in my Niagara Falls Fae series (which is also a *very* tentative title).

Now this is a work in progress (WIP), and although I’ve been editing, I’ve been working on content, particularly planting seeds for events in later books as well as the dreaded conversion from first to third. Grammar and copy editing are not my strong suit.

That said, enjoy the tidbit! :-)

 

Mona stood behind the bar at Fat Louie’s and watched as another layer of snow piled up on the patio. Good thing they’d been busy the last few times she’d worked or she wouldn’t be able to pay her bills. Training to be Warder was fine, and all that, but being an apprentice didn’t put any cash in her pocket.

She ducked out from behind the counter and checked on her only customers, a pair of women on a date. Over the past three years Mona met quite a few of Francine’s first dates. Frankie also met the infrequent blind dates Mona’s brother seemed intent to set her up on as her coffee shop was a great first date spot. Not that Nic enjoyed any type of long-term relationship; no, he just thought he needed to see her settled.

“Hey Francine, you need anything else?” she asked, enjoying the subtle change to perfume from the usual odors of the bar. Very floral today, must be going for a more girly approach with her date.

“Not for me, Mona. Val, you want anything?” Frankie angled her head so that her straight red hair fell in a sweep across her cheek. She did glamorous better than anyone Mona knew and most of her dates were intimidated by it.

The statuesque blonde shook her head, amusement crossing her face. Mona realized the difference which had been niggling at her. Frankie’s dates these days were happy people compared to the Goths she’d first brought in. In more ways than one Mona was glad those days were over; the smell of patchouli, Francine’s choice of perfume then, made her nauseous.

“I’m okay. I’m looking forward to getting home and warming up in front of the fire,” her date’s husky voice caressed Mona’s spine and she don’t swing that way. Mona hid her smile; Francine might have met her match with this one.

Behind her date’s back Mona gave Frankie a surreptitious thumbs up. Frankie didn’t seem to notice, busy pulling out money to pay their tab.

Unsurprisingly they’d bundled themselves into their coats by the time she’d made it back to the bar. She called out a ‘be careful!’ as they headed towards the door. Francine gave Mona a smile and reciprocal ‘thumbs up’ behind her date’s back. Apparently she had caught Mona’s approval after all.

As they went out the door they ran into someone coming in. After a moment of confusion, they sorted themselves out. Her new customer stomped his way over to the coat hooks, dislodging snow with each thud.

Mona rubbed her forehead and glanced at the phone under the bar. The line out was still glowing a steady red; Vince hadn’t hung up from his conversation with his very pregnant wife yet. Mona’s cell reception wasn’t great here, so she’d given Raine this number when they touched base earlier. She’d forgotten her boss might tie up the line the whole night.

The new guy divested himself of his outerwear and sidled up to the bar. She looked at him and wondered why college kids thought she’d be so desperate for tips on winter nights that she wouldn’t check their I.D.

Hope you enjoyed it!

And, yes, I had written those two women, lesbian secondary characters, a long time before I set about writing Ginny’s Capture.) As I told KBGBabbles in my interview coming out next week, it was a trend I wasn’t even aware of until someone pointed it out to me. :-)

Wow, I have a 7+ book series in the works

Just sat down looked at the stories I have written in the paranormal world I created. As of now only one is complete, a couple close but not there, lots of starts/outlines, one which the only thing I can find is the synopsis.

Anyway, looked at these and thought about my timeline and my story arc. The big overall story arc which binds all the stories together. And realized I have a chunk of the first half of that story arc done.

VERY tentative titles (mostly main characters names which are subject to change) and word count/status:

Prequel Maven – 68.5K complete. Also known as the second novel I ever completed and may never see the light of day. In the first person.

Main story line:

Warder aka Mona/Monroe – 68K about 3/4 done. Concurrent with story in Maven from different POV.

Elodie – 11.5K – still at the start of this story. This was going to be a side story but looking at big plot, etc, it will morph excellently into the I-wasn’t-originally -planning-on-it step between Warder and Averill.

Averill (Current WIP) – 55K – about 2/3 done

Pearl – this is the one I only have a synopsis for, but I know there’s more somewhere.

Emily – outline only

Abilah – outline only

Maya – outline only

~~

Not that there can’t be more, and I definitely have side/short stories in the setting/world, but those are the main ones for the big story line I outlined today.

With that in mind, goals for the year:

1) Finish Averill. Even though, looking at the story arc, I’ll need to do plot line revisions

2) Go back, edit then finish Mona/Monroe. Big job as it is now in the first person and I want to switch it to third. Then..gulp…start subbing it. Or… maybe send it to a professional editor (see yesterday’s post), depending on a number of variables.

3) Outline then write Markie.

If I get all that done, go back and edit Averill. Looking for each piece to be about 80-95K complete.

Very excited!

To celebrate, here is a snippet/excerpt from Warder. Again rough, in the first person,which will be changed to third:

I stood and stacked our trash on the tray. “Not bad timing, on your part though, to wait. Most of the good winter things, you know the down coats and wool jackets – not that cheap stuff they sell at the beginning of the season as ‘back-to-school’ – will be on sale. That’s because stores are already stocking spring clothes. Can you believe that? It’s twenty degrees outside, a heck of a lot lower than that with the wind chill, and they have capris and sandals on display.”

I kept up my babble as I finished the cleaning and then as we headed on down the hall. I’m not sure Raine knew what hit her, since I didn’t let her get a word in edgewise until we where standing in front of a rack of clearance coats.

“Hmm, I think a little large would be smart, huh? Nothing like putting on layers and finding your coat won’t fit over them to make your day lousy.” Out of the corner of my eye I saw a faint sparkle as a coat I’d somehow overlooked moved slightly on the hanger. I took from the rack and held it up to Raine.

“What do you think about this? Nice color, kinda of classic style swing look to it.” I read the label. “It’s wool and alpaca; that’ll will keep you warm and dry.”

She had a dazed look and hesitated a moment before answering. Ah, yes, the power of inane babble on top of a full stomach strikes again. I had learned well at my mother’s knee.

Guess it’s obvious I’m still waiting…

Well, the good news is I’m now past the gore. The other news is… no news.

Now that I’m away from the icky stuff it’s travel time for my heroine, which lead to this little snippet. Enjoy!

Despite Frank L Baum’s expose, and for some reason unknown to the rest of the folk world, Kansas was still a mecca for witches. Actually, after seeing the power unleashed by the storm Averill had a bit of a better idea why they’d settled in tornado alley. She sorted through the stack. Yes! Some witch must have been by, because two with faint residual magic were tucked in the back. The blue one seemed a bit stronger which made it easier to choose.

Almost the end of the year. Time is flying..or is it?

Does it seem like the end of the year is coming more quickly at you than usual this year? I am amazed at how fast this year has seemed to have gone by.

Curious about my sense that time was flying by I began looking up information and I ran across several articles talking about perceptions of time. Basically I found out that as we get older how we experience time changes. Looking further, I found there have been many studies done on perceptions of time but these sentences, from an summary article on Suite101, get to the gist on current thoughts on perception of time:

The theoretical and most widely advanced answer for the subjective acceleration of time with aging says that subjective time is relative to a person’s lifetime. To a 5-year-old, for example, a year seems like a long time, specifically 1/5 of a lifetime. To someone 65 years old, however, a year is 1/65 of a lifetime and seems to pass so quickly as to be hardly noticeable.

Read more at Suite101: Why Does Time Speed Up as One Gets Older?

I’m certain I’m not the only one who can remember traveling as a child and sometimes it seemed like it took forever! to get places. Of course, in hindsight, given the amount of time I had already experienced, it *did* take forever.

Well then, that explained things. Time certainly was flying by at a faster rate than it had before.

As a writer, though, I think about this sense of the passage of time as I write, and even more when I read. Particularly when I come across a paranormal character who has lived for a hundred years (or more!). Part of me simply cannot imagine how these characters experience time.

Given what I’ve experienced, and what I’ve learned about perceptions of time, there seems to be a conundrum of how you would have a character who has lived for many, many years in the mortal world, particularly if they were once mortal, be able to relate to the sense of time a mortal experiences. How does someone, who has supposedly lived for three or four times as long as I have, deal with mere mortals?

Think about it, if the character has supposedly lived two hundred years, a day is 1/73,000 of their life experience. If, as the author above notes, a year is hardly noticeable to someone at sixty five, day to a 200 yr old is a blink of an eye. How can they function and live, even be effective among the necessary time constraints mortals have (and writers place!) on their time?

Of course, then I start thinking solutions, because otherwise my disbelief is no longer suspended and I can’t go on with the story. Given the amount of paranormal stories I read (and write!) I have to come up with some solution to deal with this odd conflict I’ve raised on my own.

One thing which might happen, then, is perhaps their perception of time at whatever age they became paranormal simply halts. Simple and elegant, however there are instances, say waiting interminably in a line, when I’m glad my sense of time has changed. And, personally, I can’t reconcile how someone could experience all those years and not have their sense of time affected. Plus, think about it, there’d be some radical changes in attitude with teenage vamps complaining ‘are we there yet?’

No, for me, personally, that didn’t work.

Hmm, an elegant solution is found in High Fantasy. In most stories long lived characters reside in the mortal world, but their sense of how time runs is influenced by an external world, one which their rhythms are in sync with. In this scenario the long lived paranormal character is both living the days faster (say a month in mortal time is equal to a week of their time, then day is experienced as if it were one quarter of a day) and slower (using the same parameters as above, during one year in the mortal world they will only age three months).

Examples of this are stories of characters who have only lived a season in ‘Elf havens’ coming back home to find years have passed in the mortal world. For me, this then becomes easier to understand that an ‘immortal’, in this situation, experiences time at different pace than mortals do, in part because their ‘clock’ runs at the pace this external location does.

But when you remove this external location, as is frequently (but not always) the case in contemporary paranormal literature, and have former mortals living in a mortal world for hundreds of years, I can’t jive things at all.

For now, I’ve simply let myself agree to suspend my disbelief, but in the back of my mind I still mull it over. Clearly there is no one ‘right’ or correct solution to this, and I’m not sure that anyone but me thinks there needs to be one. It’s just the way my mind works.

On the other hand, those hours long, all night sex sessions some authors include? Well, they make a lot more sense to me now. :-)

Wednesday Words – Snippets!

Okay, now that I’m rolling along with favorite books on Monday, Songs and Videos on Friday, it’s time to add a new feature: Words on Wednesday!

For today, I’m including a snippet/excerpt of mine from a work in progress which I’ve been referring to as Camille and the Zombie (this is unlikely to be it’s final name!). Other weeks I may have quotes from favorite authors, excerpts from other writers and anything else which strikes my fancy and I think fits the theme.

Unlike my post New Story, Somewhat Different this is much more of the type of story I typically write.

Hope you enjoy it!

He wanted to know she was?! What the hell was he? And how the heck had he learned to use magic with such control? Frank had not just used magic but seemed comfortable and knowledgeable about uses and spells she had no clue about. All kinds of worries and questions and wonderment hit her. Camille refrained from any response, knowing there wasn’t any sensible answer she could give.

“What in tarnation is going on?” Andrew’s voice cut the tense silence. Tarnation? Clearly he was trying to convince the group he was a good old boy. Accompanied, no, restrained by, a large, lethal looking man in black, he came around the corner of the warehouse. For some reason they hadn’t bothered to take away his gun. Given his fury, she was glad he couldn’t aim the carbine in his hand at her. “Camille, you’d better have a good explanation!”

Andrew had dressed the part with his stomach hanging out over torn sweats and his boots only half laced. He wretched his shoulder out of the man’s grip – something the escort clearly allowed to happen – and looked around, stopping at the abandoned truck. The back door had swung open and several caskets were cantilevered out, precariously hanging over the edge. Andrew’s arm holding the rifle jerked and his face turned red. His rheumy blue eyes were fixed on her.

Camille wondered why the hell they hadn’t disarmed him when they had him. He stalked over to her, his body shaking in fury. The escort followed but did nothing. A quick glance and she was slightly reassured to see the safety was still on his gun. But really, these guys!

“Holy mother of Elvis, that’s my goods that are being ruined! Camille you – you – you’re fired!” Andrew’s voice roared like an auctioneer’s at ‘fired’. “And I don’t know who the pretty boy is, but you can be sure as there’s mud in the Mississippi I’m going to be suing both your sweet asses for damages.”

With the last pronouncement he shook his empty fist in Camille’s face. Okay, he had a right to be pissed, but this was going too far. Camille drew back her arm to slap his hand away only to find Frank stepping in the slim space between them forcing them both back up a step. Okay, not a problem, probably a good thing she didn’t hit him given there was still a slight chance she’d have a job at the end of all this, no matter what Andrew had said. Camille peered around Frank’s shoulder.

Andrew was muttering and using his free hand to pat the many pockets of his fishing vest, which he’d thrown on over the quilted flannel shirt he wore through out the winter. Likely looking for his cell phone.

“Sir,” Frank said. Andrew halted his movements and looked at him with a wary eye. “We need you to come down to the station to make a statement.”

“What? I didn’t do anything wrong. No sirree. I’m an innocent party here. Nothing to do with those Zombies taking them caskets.” Andrew, the idiot, was gesticulating wildly with the rifle with one hand and still trying to locate his phone with the other.

Frank grabbed the stock of the gun and yanked it out of Andrew’s hands. Camille found the gun thrust into her hands as Frank twisted Andrew’s arm up behind him. Okay, Frank might not have the training she’d had, but his move was as smooth and as quick as she’d ever seen. She removed the ammo clip and put it in her pocket, since these guys seemed likely to hand the damn thing back to Andrew.

“That’s an interesting statement. Care to repeat it?” Frank asked.

“I didn’t have nothing to do – oh hell.” Andrew clammed up after that. Frank propelled him back to the warehouse the escort following. There he deliberately turned his back to exclude her from the conversation. He even went so far as to walk them around the corner of the building, out of sight.

Camille didn’t know if she was more annoyed or relieved. Either way she took advantage of the opportunity and ran back to the far steps. She set down the gun and, with a jump, she grabbed the top of the fence and quickly clambered over.

Wonderful interview of Amber Green by KevaD

Great interview by KevaD of Amber Green. Love her stuff! Be sure to click on the link for the full interview.

If Amber Green wrote bistro menus, each would convey a variety of suspense and intrigue within light pastry folds of premières, quick wit.

She is the living definition of wordsmith and undoubtedly rivals the CIA in her knowledge of people, cultures, and traditions.

A born and bred Southern girl, she continues to make her home in the Deep South. Only the sun can match the size and warmth of her heart and on any day, numbers of friends and relatives can be found milling about her home enjoying her hospitality and home cooking. Most stray animals in the area wind up on her porch for a free meal, a warm bed, and a bath. She is a woman devoted to family.

Woo-hoo, things are rocking here!

I am at 8.5 K in my current WIP!! Very, very happy with how this is shaping up.  And :blush:  it’s definitely in the ‘hot’ category. LOL< pretty hard NOT to be when the heroine has a succubus for a grandmother. :-)

A rough draft of the first two chapters already received some great feed back from my crit partners at ERA. Always nice to hear!

Right now, I anticipate this’ll end up being a shorter piece, probably 20k. I never know until I write ‘The End’ just how long it’s going to be.

Okay, off to mentally ‘fix’ myself in the H’s POV for this next part. Good thing I have lots of mindless cleaning up to do while my brain wanders.

Query: how not to write one.

Okay, I’ve discovered how not to write a query. Actually first attempt wasn’t *that* bad, but it wasn’t good either. On my fourth (?) draft and I think this is better. Shows a bit of character arc, where the plot goes and what makes my story unique. Thanks Cherise!

Here’s what I learned:

The middle paragraph should sound very back of book blurb-ish, not a dry recounting of the beginning story line.  Tell a little about the two main character’s conflict and what obstacles they are facing. Set up a little of the world they are in to show it is different and unique, particularly if it impacts their interaction.

Once I have it done, I may post that part here to get feed back, see if you would be interested in the book.

Right now, though, the current plan is to send everything off tomorrow. Hopefully my head cold will cooperate and I’ll be able to concentrate tonight on wrapping things up.

OMG!!
Today’s the day….
I’m the topic of conversation over at
Some Write it Hot !

Ali Katz says:
Apart from the fact she’s a busy lady with three school age children, I suspect the only reason Ellie’s not published is she’s a little shy about submitting her work. One of the things we, as a group, try to do is help each other past those initial hurdles. Ellie’s conquered the biggest of them; she’s already finished two novels and several short stories. Maybe she needs a little push to get that manuscript ready and hit submit. Care to help?

So, go! Let me know!