Sunday, March 15, 2020

#136 Inside The Emotion of Fiction "BLUE VISION" by Marie Lavender

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****Marie Lavender’s BLUE VISION is #136 in the never-ending series called INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION where the Chris Rice Cooper Blog (CRC) focuses on one specific excerpt from a fiction genre and how that fiction writer wrote that specific excerpt.  All INSIDE THE EMOTION OF FICTION links are at the end of this piece.  
Name of fiction work? And were there other names you considered that you would like to share with us? My latest book is titled Blue Vision. I really didn’t know the name of the book until I finished writing it. That sometimes happens to me. So I just saved the Word file as ‘alien tale’ until I was done with the project. Then the title just came to me.
Universal reader link:

Has this been published? And it is totally fine if the answer is no. If yes, what publisher and what publication date? It was originally published in 2016 with Solstice Publishing, but now that I have the rights back, the second edition was released on December 1, 2019.

What is the date you began writing this piece of fiction and the date when you completely finished the piece of fiction? I am not sure when the idea came to me. Believe it or not, I have tons of works in progress going at once. But I know that with the first time, I finished writing and perfecting the book at the end of May 2016. By June, I’d submitted it to my publisher. In August, the book was offered a contract, and by September, all edits were finished. 
The book originally came out in December of 2016. This past November of 2019, I got my rights back, and I did my best to finalize edits once more. I was able to officially upload the manuscript to Amazon about a month ago. Now readers can purchase it!

Where did you do most of your writing for this fiction work? And please describe in detail. It was likely in my bedroom. I do a lot of my writing at night, just before I go to sleep. It gives me a chance to get the ideas out of my head so I can relax.

My bedroom is currently in a state of chaos – well, transition. I’m in the process of switching from Egyptian themed décor (Left) to something that is more inspiring for a writer.

What were your writing habits while writing this work – did you drink something as you wrote, listen to music, write in pen and paper, directly on laptop; specific time of day? Lots of dark chocolate and decaf coffee! I think I was in an electropop phase of music at the time. I wrote part of the story with a pen and paper (one of my professors always called me a Luddite because of that), and the rest directly on my laptop. When I wasn’t writing at night, I planted myself outside on our patio table (Above Right) in the afternoons and let the muse take over.
What excerpt of the book was the most emotional for you to write? This excerpt can be as short or as long as you prefer.I guess it had to be when Brooke is still dealing with the fallout of abuse from her birth father. This makes it harder for to trust people.
Here is an excerpt from the book:
A loud, growling sound snapped her away from her survey of his features. She gasped as Colin took her arm and drew her behind him. Peering around his solid form, she spotted the problem.
       A large animal stood in the middle of the path. It had brown fur, a long pale-colored snout and an enormous mouth with a set of intimidating teeth. Huge claws stood out on its paws as it stood on its hind legs. The belly of the animal’s pelt looked wet, pebbling droplets, as if it had been on the moist ground for some time or even in the water. Two long teeth stood out on the sides of its mouth as it continued to roar loudly. It was soft at first, a panting sound, then got deeper, more menacing, a hard growl. Dear God, she thought. It was a grizzly. They didn’t stand a chance.
       As Colin stood in front of her, he held his hands up. “Easy. What do you want us for, anyway? You’ll find some nice fish in the lake back there. Or a creek nearby.” He pointed toward the way they’d come from. “Why don’t you head on out, pal?”
       Brooke tugged at Colin’s jacket, tried to pull him in her direction. Running away seemed like a good plan right now. “Are you crazy? Talking to him won’t do a thing.”
       “Nah, he’s just as afraid of us as we are of him. That’s right. We’re going our way, and you can go yours. There’s no need for a fight.”
       As Colin spoke, she knew she should have been comforted by his steady tone, but she could barely breathe. The bear was huge, intimidating. She felt the fear creep in on her, climbing into her throat as it choked her.
Without warning, she was back in that room, hearing her father’s shouts, her Mama screaming. Sobbing.
Brooke pushed against the wall, easing her little girl’s body into a tight knee to chest position. She yanked at the coverlet until it surrounded her like a cloud. She prayed for the nightmare to end. Eventually, her mother would tiptoe into the room and cajole her with soft words, but now she had to be brave and quiet. Always quiet, her Mama had warned her of that, or her father would punish her for it. She prayed God would keep her mother safe. Could He? Maybe He had that power. Some kids at school talked about the Bible, but she’d never read it. She wanted to believe a force was out there that could stop this.
She squeezed her eyes shut, pressing her hands together. “Dear God, protect my Mama. She’s a good one, I promise. Please don’t let him hurt her anymore.”
She opened her eyes and still heard the sounds from the other room. She only hoped God received her message.
The voice was deep, distant, yet still roused her to consciousness.
“Brooke, open your eyes.”
The voice was masculine, but it wasn’t her father. Its cadence calmed her and she willingly followed. Light filtered into her vision and she shook her head, blinded briefly.
She glanced up to see Colin. Her head felt a little strange as she looked around the empty path, covered in snow.
Back in the present, it took more than a moment to realize what had happened.
This wasn’t the first time fear had imprisoned her. She’d been mugged once after she’d first moved to her own place, and it had happened then, too. When the cold, hard metal of the gun had pressed into her flesh on the dark road, she froze. Even her fencing lessons were forgotten. She’d come to her senses later, lying upon the ground. All of her money had been taken, and she was surprisingly alive. From that point on, she’d seen a reason to take a women’s self-defense course, to escape and even be able to resist violent attacks. Fencing taught anticipation, measuring an opponent’s skill and the use of a foil or sword. Other types of self-defense went a step further. She’d considered taking martial arts as well, but hadn’t had much time outside work.
“Brooke? Can you see me? Hear me?”
She nodded, her eyes seeking his features to ground herself. Breaths labored, she reached out, clasping his wrists where he held her forearms. The solid feel of him was a comfort, rooting her more in reality. “Is it…gone?”
“Yes, the animal walked off.”
“Are you sure?” Why did her voice sound so small? She felt detached from her body as he shook her gently.
“Stay with me, marghitippe.”
“Am I safe?” she whispered, hating the vulnerability she felt after all the work she’d done to try to empower herself.
“You are. I’ll never let anything or anyone hurt you. You have my word.”
Her gaze drifted to the blackness of his coat and clothing. Afraid the void would swallow her whole again, she reached out, brushing a hand across the dark sweater as his coat lay open to the air. She clenched a hand into the soft fabric there, just over his chest, desperate for a tie to the present.
“Look at me, Brooke. Stay here.” When she glanced at his face, his eyes were filled with concern as he cupped her cheek. “I’m worried about you, love.”
She didn’t feel like herself. All at once her knees weakened, nearly collapsing on her, and Colin caught her. Trembles began from her toes, tingling all the way to the top of her head. A hard ache tore at the back of her throat.       “I don’t know what’s wrong,” she whispered.
“You’re in shock. Lean against me.” He cursed, drew her tight against him, his arms wrapped around her body. “Breathe deep and let’s stand here for a bit.”
She nodded, taking in gulps of air like a man starved for oxygen after emerging from the sea. Her mind raced, and she was unable to hold onto any notion for long. She tightened her hands on Colin’s body, burrowing in.
The sobs came seemingly out of nowhere, broke through her carefully constructed defenses. The strength of his arms was an unspoken communication he’d keep her safe no matter what. She had a random thought she held to, the fact that her father had violated their trust. The one man who should have been a protector, like her stepfather had been, simply wasn’t. The tears flowed from her soul until she feared they had no end.

Why is this excerpt so emotional for you to write? And can you describe your own emotional experience of writing this specific scene/excerpt? Part of being a writer is to putting yourself in the character’s shoes – to fuel that empathy into emotions that jump on the page. And really, it wasn’t much of a reach for me to imagine how hard it was for Brooke to deal with past abuse. I went through a rough romantic relationship – complete with emotional abuse – and sometimes I think I still have issues from it. Writing is cathartic, though, and any time I work with these types of characters, it helps just a little more.
Were there any deletions from this excerpt that you can share with us? And can you please include a photo of your marked up rough drafts of this excerpt. No, I don’t think there were deletions or edits in this section. I looked at my past feedback from critique partners and my editor. (Left:  Marie's comforter occupied by her two writing partners)
Other works you have published? I think this is about the only way to describe it…A list of my books and pen names are as follows:

Marie Lavender: Magick & Moonlight; Upon Your Honor; Second Nature; "Lovers Like Us" (featured poem from the book anthology, Poets & Writers in Action); A Little Magick; Second Chance Heart; The Missing Piece; Upon Your Love; Directions of the Heart; Blood Instincts; Blue Vision; poems featured in Hearts’ Poetry book box subscription

Erica Sutherhome: Terror in the Night; Haunted; Pursuit; Perfect Game; Ransom; Leather and Lace

Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things

Just keep in mind that all the novellas that weren’t published as Marie Lavender will eventually be thoroughly revised and re-released as collections in specific genres. I did this with Directions of the Heart in 2017. It contains ‘Without You’, ‘Strange Heat’, ‘Memories’, and ‘A Touch of Dawn’, which were previously released as Erica Sutherhome books.
          Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and two cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 20 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, dramatic fiction, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. 

          She writes adult fiction, as well as occasional stories for children, and has recently started some young adult fiction. She has also contributed to several anthologies. Her current published series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Eternal Hearts Series, The Magick Series, The Code of Endhivar Series and The Blood at First Sight Series.

Readers may sign up for news on her book releases, blog info, and other author updates by subscribing to her monthly newsletter here.
. Voted TOP BLOGGER for 2018 on the Romance Lives Forever Blog. TOP 20 Authors of 2018 on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews blog.


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BLEACHERS Fifty-Four Linked Fictions
By Joseph Mills

#136 03 15 2020
Science Fiction Romance
By Marie Lavender

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