Snippet Sunday AND cover reveals!

First off, a big thank-you to everybody who voted in the poll I put out on Friday. Some perhaps not-so-surprising results, lots of interesting comments, and food for thought on which direction I should go next with writing! I appreciate every response so far. 😀

Why am I doing a Snippet Sunday instead of Saturday? Well, I was waiting for a few things to come into my email Inbox, and they finally arrived not too long ago!

Yesterday (or rather, very early Saturday morning), I finally finished the rough draft for Castaway 4. The next week is the big push towards publication, and I’m trying to do as much as I can to make this a memorable occasion (although shh, don’t tell anyone, but there’s at least one more installment slated for this year!). One of my goals is something completely new to me. Nearly all the books I read nowadays are ebooks; it’s very rare that I pick up a paperback anymore. That isn’t to say I don’t love print books, in fact if I love a book enough I’ll deliberately find the paperback (or hardbound) version just to keep it on my shelf!

And when it has your name on the cover? Priceless.

So you can imagine my joy when the Cover Artist Of Awesome finally sent these babies into my inbox tonight. They make me squee SO BIG!! More information will come as I work on finishing touches but, yup, the individual serials are going to be out in paperback for a limited time. I don’t know about you, but I’m DYING to hold these pretty puppies in my hand!!!
Continue reading Snippet Sunday AND cover reveals!

Figuring out what the future holds

The closer I get to finishing the Castaway story, the more I start to think about what the future holds. I have, like most writers, a million-billion ideas in my head, and it’s tough to figure out which one to work on next. There are some projects already in the works that I’ll be announcing soon, but I’d really REALLY love some guidance over what the readers want next! I’m happy to say that there will be one more short installment of AHW coming out later this fall (just a short story continuing with my two favorite characters), but I’m curious what you the reader want.

Thoughts? Questions? I guess it’s hard when Castaway 4 isn’t out yet to make any predictions, but I’d love your input. 😉

The end is the beginning

I have a confession to make: whenever I have a book in hand that I’m not sure about, I’ll flip to the end to see if it goes happily ever after.

It’s a habit that for years earned me, at best, bewilderment, and at time outright derision. “You’re ruining the story” people would say, “why read it if you already know how it’s going to end?” But that, to me, was a price I was willing to pay.

When I was in middle school, I went through a horror-novel kick. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Saul – I devoured these books like crazy. But in doing so, it gave rise to a terror all its own, something I’d never realized about myself: I hated sad endings. I wanted the hero and heroine to win, save the day, destroy the bad guy.

That didn’t always happen, and as that phase (quickly) passed, I learned that other grown-up books also had similarly not-so-great endings. It was then that I started reading from the end first, making sure good triumphed and evil was vanquished. There have only been a handful of books I’ve read where I suppressed this urge, wanting to enjoy the process without “ruining” the final climax and resolution. The last Harry Potter book was one I remember, which was a series that really captured my heart. The final book was more of an “event” in my mind, the ending of an era, and I wanted to drag that out as long as I could.

So what does this have to do with writing? Well, I’m one of those people who needs to know the end of my story before I start. Years ago, I could start writing and just GO, get out thousands of words without knowing anything except interesting characters. But as my craft evolved, I started wanting something to strive for, a place that I knew would be The End. I’d do sprawling epics that meandered all over the place, and eventually lose interested in these stories because I had no idea how or where they ended.

There is a series of videos on YouTube by Dan Wells that I often go back to for inspiration. He explains structure for story, both for plotters and pantsers, and I think it’s a useful discussion for writers to see.

Snippet Saturday

Today I finally hit the climax of the story, which of course has me both happy and sad. While I can’t say that “Castaway” will be the last AHW story (it keeps going in my head, and I have ideas on how to continue the story), any time I come to the end of a book I’m both exhilarated that I finished and sad to say goodbye to my characters, even if only for a short while.

Plus, it usually means I have to start on edits. Least favorite part of writing for me because its so much WORK! 😉 (vs the fun of simply creating)

I’ve been told by several friends I should get online more often, connect with readers and others. I’m usually better, but life has gotten busy lately. Deadlines, buying houses (well, technically just one house), writing, life in general – it’s busy around Casa de Fawkes lately!

But never mind that. You came for snippets! I had a mind to thrown in the whole scene but it was rather long, and I didn’t want any TL;DR comments (which ill probably now get for mentioning that lol). 😉 We’re winding down to the end and amping up the action, which is always the most fun for me to write!! 😉

*~*
Continue reading Snippet Saturday

Snippet Saturday – on the west coast anyway!

Things are finally winding down with this story and I’m excited to write everything, but endings always make me freeze up. It isn’t that I’m unsure what happens, I just worry that somehow I won’t get it RIGHT. I’ve had this plot climax percolating in my head for months, but the actual execution is oddly stressful. Think of it like a speech you’ve been gathering information and data for, and right before the big night all your notes disappear. It’s in your head, but making the right words seems a daunting task.

Well, unless you’re good at public speaking. I’m a teensy bit shy in front of large groups. 😉

I sure do put these things off until the last minute! I had another scene planned for this weekend’s snippet, but didn’t get to it in time. The Dude distracted me most effectively today with a Greek festival here in town. (I’ll be honest, I definitely wasn’t kicking and screaming when he brought me there, it was fun!)

As always, these snippets may change in the final story: last week’s offering has already been tweaked a bit, and edits haven’t even started yet in earnest. Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

*~*

“There’s nothing you can do at this point,” Lucas murmured. “He either forgives you or he doesn’t.”

“But…” I swallowed back the bitter gall in my throat, knowing he was right. “But how will I know if he’s truly forgiven me?”

“That’s for you two to decide.” I kept staring at my fingers, and the silence stretched between us. “Lucy, look at me.”

I dragged my gaze up reluctantly to see him watching me, head cocked to one side. The scar across his face stood out in stark relief to the pale skin, but his blue-green eyes were as alert as ever. The dark hair was no longer combed back, but shaggy and pasted to his face with sweat. Gone was the suave, sophisticated look I’d equated with the former smuggler; here was someone who looked every inch like they needed to be in a hospital.

Unbidden, I leaned forward and smoothed away a strand of hair stuck to his temple, pushing it back behind his ear. His throat worked soundlessly at the gesture, his eyes boring holes into me. He looked ready to ask something, but someone knocked on the door behind me, startling us both.

Swallowing, I opened it a crack to peek outside. The lady agent who I’d spoken with earlier stood outside the entrance. “I thought you should know,” she said softly, only loud enough for me to hear. “I’ve received word from Agent Gautier. The team left at the cabin hasn’t checked in for over an hour. We don’t know where they are.”

Snippet Sunday – just barely!!

This is embarrassing! I’ve been so busy with travelling home that I forgot this week’s snippet!! Apologies to anyone east of the Rockies, I’m cutting this almost too close to properly call it a “Sunday” snippet!!

*~*

I subsided, watching helplessly as the doors slid shut. “Will he be okay?”

“Who can say, but these doctors will do the best they can.” She indicated my ankle. “You should have somebody check your leg.”

To try and prove her wrong, I flexed my foot, laying it flat on the floor. It was stiff from the swelling, and while the pain was still high it was no longer excruciating. “I’m fine. What about Jeremiah and the other agents?”

“His group checked in thirty minutes ago that they were on the road heading this way.”

My shoulders sagged, the breath I hadn’t realized I held whooshing from my body. I wouldn’t feel safe until Jeremiah had arrived, but it was good to know he was on his way.

“We were never able to talk fully about what happened to you after you left London. Perhaps we can catch up?”

The agent was being almost friendly, and I stared at her suspiciously. “We were cuffed and under guard the last time we talked.”

“You had just shown up at a protected location, in the middle of a major operation. So we were understandably a bit suspicious.”

*Point taken*. “I’ll tell you everything you need to know,” I said, then sighed. “I’m more than a little tired of adventure at this point, ready for a boring life again.”

“Be careful what you wish for, it might not be enough after what you’ve been through. While I certainly understand the sentiment, you’ve fallen in with company that may never give you peace like that.”

“No kidding,” I muttered, but one side of my lips tipped up. “You have someplace where I can prop up my foot?”

Snippet Saturday – hope this works!

If you’re reading this, then the cabin where we’re going doesn’t have Wifi and the first “scheduled” post for my blog has gone through. My family is spending the weekend at a nearby lake, borrowing a friend’s cabin, and we don’t think there’s going to be internet.

I don’t know how I’ll survive!!

As I don’t intend to forget another Snippet Saturday, I decided to set it up ahead of time. It’ll be the first scheduled post for this blog and I only hope it goes through correctly. I’ll miss you!!!

Hope you enjoy!!

*~*

“Jeremiah,” I said in a firm voice, “you’re coming with us, aren’t you?”

“Doesn’t look like it,” Lucas piped up, not moving from his spot against the hood. His teeth flashed in the darkness. “My guess is he’s going to stay behind and play hero again.”

No! I looked over at Jeremiah, but it was too dark to read his expression. “Is this true?” I asked, my voice tight.

When he still didn’t answer, I reached out and grabbed his sleeve. “Are you staying here?”

“Only for a little while.” The words sounded ripped from him, as if he hadn’t meant to tell me. “I’ll help with the third car and be right behind you.”

“How long will that take?”

“It shouldn’t be long. But we have more wounded who need to get to safety. I’ll be right behind you.”

I want to stay with you. The words stuck in my throat as my breathing grew ragged, anxiety threatening to overwhelm me. The idea of begging went against every aspect of my being, but right then it was the only option I could imagine. I kept my lips tight however, staring at him silently as he helped the last few people inside. “What about the other car?” I asked

“It was too small to fit any more people, and is carrying most of the equipment as well. Both vehicles will be taking different routes home in case you’re being tracked, but you should reach it at the same time.” He closed the door and leaned against the open window. “We’ll get this other car running, and then meet you at the final destination.”

Something told me there was no changing his mind, and that made me want to hold onto him all the more tightly. Out here was too dangerous; who knew what lurked in the shadows. But I swallowed my doubt and fears, knowing they wouldn’t help, and laid a shaky hand against his cheek. “Be careful.”

He grabbed my hand and kissed the palm. This close, I could see the approval and gratitude in his eyes, as if he were proud of my response. I ran my fingers along his face, memorizing the textures and shape, then reluctantly pulled my hand inside. I wanted to cry and argue, plead and beg, but it wouldn’t do anything except make me look pathetic. Swallowing my fears, I pulled my hand in the car and sat back in the chair, biting the inside of my cheek to keep from crying.

“Come on, Lucas,” Jeremiah said, signaling to his brother to follow.

Lucas shifted against the hood. “I’m…” He trailed off, his head turning to catch my eye through the windshield. “I don’t think I can.”

“What…”

I gave a strangled cry as Lucas slid sideways and collapsed into a heap beside the wheel. Immediately, Jeremiah was at his side, and I craned my neck around the window to see what was happening. Lucas’ breathing was shallow, and he gave a small moan when his brother’s fingers pressed against his abdomen. Jeremiah jerked up the shirt and, even in the dim light, I could see the dark bruising along his belly.