Good morning, everyone! Before I forget, I want to thank Pam for letting me come and play in her corner of the blogiverse. It’s a pleasure to be here.
I’d been racking my brain trying to think of a subject for this blog post that you all would find interesting. I considered writing about a plot idea I’ve been mulling over, about how I began my writing career, about my inspiration... and realized I’d done those posts about a dozen times each.
Even my alien kitten, Wookie, was no help (Mostly because she wanted Greenies and petting and why was I wasting my time on writing when I could be doing something worthwhile? Mrrphh?) Obviously she was not going to help so I took a large swallow of burning hot, hazelnut flavored coffee. Large swallows of hot liquids are never good ideas and you’d think I’d know better by now. But as I swallowed and promised myself I wouldn’t do that again, I actually read my coffee mug.
I’d picked this mug up at a RWA conference a few years ago and I’ve used it as my primary travel mug/coffee mug ever since. This one is from Lake Country Romance Writers and reads ‘I kill off my enemies in my book. You’re on page 12!’
And I thought how many of us actually do that? Put people that we’re annoyed with in our novels and kill them off? I confess I’ve done it. ..but only to people who’ve frayed my very last nerve. I’ve sent them drifting in the vacuum of space never to be seen again. I’ve had alien carnivores consume them...slowly. I’ve stabbed them, electrocuted them, washed them away in a rushing river.
In fact, these ‘Page Twelvers’ are rather like the ‘Red Shirts’ on the old Star Trek series. You know the ones. Since you can’t kill a major character and you have to show how dangerous the situation is, you call in the young, expendable, good-looking Red Shirts or, in my case, the Page Twelvers. They die so that your major character may live.
Now...Many of the ‘Page Twelver’ death scenes were eventually cut because they pulled attention away from the main characters. In other words, they weren’t absolutely necessary to the plot which was a real shame since I’d had so much fun annihilating them in varied and bloodied ways. :-)
Which proves a point...All these scenes really did was act as a cathartic and that’s not a good enough reason to stay. I’ve included an excerpt that shows how bad I can be to the main characters. You can imagine what would happen if Eric had been a ‘Page Twelver’.
I’m sure that makes me sound like a blood thirsty, dangerous woman. I’m not. Really. I’m a pussycat. But, like all writers, I have a vivid imagination. You really don’t want to get on our ‘last nerve’.
As writers or readers, what do you do to the ‘Page Twelvers’ in your life?
Eric d'Ebrur is out of time. He must find the legendary Heartstone and fulfill the ancient Gar'Ja bond he shares with the Stonebearer. But when he finds her, he discovers that love can be more dangerous than the Gawan threat. Eric can defeat the mind-controlling Gawan but will it cost him the woman he loves?
After terrifying episodes of hypersensitivity, Keriam Norton thinks she's losing her mind. When handsome shapeshifter Eric d'Ebrur saves her from the monstrous Gawan, she's sure of it. But insane or not, she'll find the Heartstone and, if she's lucky, a love to last a lifetime.
Excerpt: (Eric, the hero, is recovering from an attack by a giant lake creature called an oorgh. Keriam, the heroine, is trying to nurse him back to health. Froggy, the linlie, is a small, flying critter that took a liking to Eric while he was unconscious.)
Eric cranked his eyelids open over eyes that felt full of grit. The suns’ light filtered through the forest canopy, lending a hazy green glow to everything he could see. He could hear the muted roar of the waterfall and the linlies odd laughing song. Wood smoke and a sweet, hot odor filled his nose and made his mouth water. His stomach rolled, then grumbled and he would have laughed at the conflicting messages his body sent but he simply didn’t have the strength.
Then he tried to sit up and thought he was going to die. What had happened to him? Clearly, he’d been injured. Why was he in the woods? Why wasn’t he in a med-center? He turned his head to look around. But the least movement sent shafts of torment racing though his body. He moaned, shut his eyes again.
He heard movement. A cool hand touched his forehead.
Keriam! The battle with the Gawan-spawn rushed back to him. Without opening his eyes, he rasped, “How long?”
“How long have you been unconscious? Two days.” Her voice faded as she moved away.
Two days? “What happened?”
“We were attacked by Gawan-spawn, the big green guys. Remember?”
She sounded unnaturally loud. And far too cheerful. Had she no sympathy for a wounded man? He cleared his throat and whispered, “What happened to me?”
“You mean where are you hurt?” Her voice was close again. “You’ve got cuts and bruises over most of your body, particularly on your chest and left thigh. There’s a nasty bump on your head so you might have a concussion. I think you may have a bruised or broken rib. And you have a mild fever. All in all, Wolfgang, you’re a mess.”
He felt like a mess.
Struggling to get his mind past his injuries, he squinted through barely open eyes. “My sword?”
“Here,” she said, indicating its silver length on the ground. “And no. No sign of the Gawan-spawn. I think they all died in the lake.” She turned to glance away, toward the water, pensively. “There’s something in there, something big. I think it got them.”
“Oorgh,” he rasped, understanding her fear and wanting to warn her about the creature. “Dangerous. Don’t go in.”
“I know.” Her shuddery sigh was audible, then, briskly, she said, “I’ve made dakka soup. Do you think you can eat?”
Maybe it would ease his throat. “Please.”
She lifted his head, a movement that sent unbearable agony through his body. Voice filled with sympathy, she said, “Go ahead and growl, sweetheart. I know it hurts.”
Keriam sounded honestly contrite and, perversely, that made him feel better. She held a hollowed dakka gourd to his mouth. The soup, a thin broth, eased his throat but settled on his stomach like a rock. He hoped he could keep it down. Vomiting held no appeal at all.
He was perspiring heavily by the time he had swallowed half the contents of the gourd. He ground his teeth together to keep from crying as she gently lowered him. Fervently, he hoped the oorgh had killed all the Gawan-spawn. In his current condition, he would be hard pressed to battle an infant linlie.
A moment later, she wiped his face with a cool, wet cloth. It felt wonderful but he wondered where she had gotten a cloth. Curious, he opened his eyes in time to see her head toward the fire, her arms bare to the shoulders. Apparently, she had sacrificed her shirtsleeves for his benefit. He muzzily promised to buy her a new wardrobe when they got home. Something fit for a High Born female, for his mate.
His eyes closed and he drifted off to sleep.
When he awoke, the light was different. A different time or a different day? He didn’t know. He blinked, slowly. A whispery breeze tickled the hair on his chest, arms and legs.
Rottinghell. Was he naked?
There was a soft, warm weight on his stomach and that startled him. Lifting his head, he was surprised to see the purple linlie curled into a ball. Its wings were tucked around its body and covered its tiny head. His folded shirt covered his genitals, a very good thing considering the sharp linlie claws.
Where was Keriam? Had she left him at the mercy of the elements and the linlies? He wiggled his buttocks, trying to dislodge the small creature. It furled its wings, and then raised its head to glare balefully at him. “Get off.”
The linlie yawned hugely, eyes glinting with nearly human amusement, and put its head down.
If Eric had had any strength, he’d pitch the insolent creature against the nearest tree. Then he admitted that he wouldn’t do that. Not unless it decided to tromp across his bare flesh. This seemed unlikely given its obvious indolence. He lowered his own head, feeling rather indolent himself.
The next time he woke, Keriam was bathing him and arguing with the linlie. The air was marginally cooler and judging by the soft light dancing on his eyelids, he had the feeling that it was early morning. Keeping his eyes closed, he listened curiously.
“Find yourself another perch, frog face.”
“Well, what are you going to do when Eric’s up and around, huh?”
“Yeah, I know. You’ll be on his shoulder like a parrot.”
“You need to find other friends, Froggie.”
As she continued down his legs with her gentle ministration and her teasing banter with the linlie, Eric felt his penis stir. He must be feeling better. Experimentally, he tightened his muscles and discovered that he didn’t have nearly as much pain. He also discovered that Keriam had realized he was awake when she flicked cool water in his face. He opened his eyes to find her grinning at him.
He blinked, not sure what a game of possum entailed but decided he felt good enough to tease. “I will if you tell me how.”
She snickered. “I think you’ve got a handle on it already, Wolfgang.” Her gaze drifted toward his groin. “And you’re feeling pretty optimistic, aren’t you?”
HEARTSTONE is available in both print and ebook format from Mundania Press. You can find it here: http://www.mundania.com/book.php?title=Heartstone
If you buy Heartstone through the Mundania site, you can use the code LSCOTT10 at checkout and receive a 10% discount on your total purchase)
Heartstone is also available in print from Amazon.
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I’d love you to go to my website and check out the prologue for Heartstone. My editor and I decided that the novel was just fine without it but I thought readers might enjoy reading it for free.