Monday, August 16, 2010

Blog Chain: What's Up? and a Snippet

It's blog chain time again! And I'm a slacker and almost forgot I was supposed to post today. :O My excuse? Um... I spent my life savings on school supplies today and was totally traumatized? Does that count? ;)

This chain was started by the fabulous Cole. She asked:

Are you querying? Gearing up to go on submission? Writing? Revising? I'd love to hear what's new with you. And if you'd like to share a snippet of your WIP, even better!
Technically, I'm drafting and revising, because the two are pretty much inseparable for me. And though I haven't written anything new in MSWord for several weeks, I do have a notebook I've been doing some scene mapping in. (I know! Me, outlining! Craziness! :)) I have the ending all mapped out, so once the kids go to Arizona on Saturday for a whole week, I think I can get the rest written. I'm so excited to be so close to finishing this draft. I'm dying to be querying this baby, and for me, revising is the easy part. Ask me about that in a few months and we'll see if my feelings about revising have changed. ;)
Now for my WIP snippet. I had a hard time finding something I hadn't posted yet that didn't give too much away and wasn't a million words long, but I think this scene is okay.
This is the end of chapter two of Embrol. If you're interested, you can read the first chapter here.
Just needs a little setup...
After a car accident, Olivia finds herself in a dream. Or maybe she's dead and now she's in Hell. Kole, demented bad guy, seems determined to convince her of the latter. She makes several failed attempts to wake up, but it isn’t until her mother's voice comes to her and tells her to focus on finding him that Olivia is finally able to escape. This is what happens next. (I hope that’s not too confusing. :))


There was a tangible shift, and a warm breeze stirred my hair. A sweet, floral scent wafted up around me as I fell to the ground, leaves rustling around me. I stretched, surprised to find the bindings gone and the ache in my shoulders and back all but a dull memory. My fingers curled around the soft foliage beneath me. I smiled at my success, opening my eyes to stare up at a deep purple sky, illuminated by two moons. One was large and blue, the color of the Arizona sky at noon. The other overlapped it, dark red and much smaller—maybe a third the size of the first, similar to Earth’s moon.

Tall, blue stalks topped with strange, seven-petal flowers surrounded me. The light from the moons filtered through the translucent petals, casting shadows in a myriad of shades. Careful to keep the pressure off my broken arm, though that pain had faded as well, I rose to my feet and brushed my dress down, surprised to find it clean and unwrinkled.

The field of flowers stretched in every direction, but from this angle they reflected the light, giving the illusion I stood, waist deep, in the middle of a glistening sea. At the edge of the field, I could just make out what looked like three identical dome-shaped hills surrounded by odd-shaped trees.

Between me and the hills, something moved—a tall figure slowly making his way through the field. My brain screamed at me to run, but something held me there, nudging me forward, toward him. I resisted, taking small steps, searching for some way to escape. He stood well over six feet with broad shoulders and thick arms. At a distance, his features were barely distinguishable in the dim light, but the unruly curls covering his head shone like spun gold in the moonlight. As he came closer, he smiled, and his eyes caught the light. Familiar blue eyes. My angel.

“You’re here,” I whispered when he was close enough to hear.

He stopped directly in front me and lifted his hand. All thoughts of Kole and the preceding nightmare faded as warmth trickled into me from his fingertips, slightly rough but gentle on my face. I laid my hand over his, pressing his palm to my cheek. Heat and an almost overwhelming sense of fullness radiated from his touch. The world seemed brighter, though it was still night. Absently, I realized my broken arm moved freely, all traces of pain gone.

He leaned down and rested his forehead on mine. “Of course I’m here,” he said. “Just as I promised.”

Promised? Before I could ask what he meant, he raised his other hand to hold my face and pressed his lips firmly to mine. The heat from his touch held nothing next to the fire from that kiss. It was brief, only a few seconds, but my heart fluttered and my knees threatened to give out as he released my lips and lowered his hands to my shoulders.

I opened my mouth to protest the kiss, to tell him he had no right, but there was something so perfect about that moment, I couldn’t form the words.

“Olivia? You okay?” He wore the tiniest hint of a smile on his full lips, his eyes warm and inviting.

I could lose myself in those… I forced my gaze back to the flowers. “What is this place?”

“Hielos.” He said the strange word slowly. Hee-lohs. “Our home. You know that.”

I do? I studied the world around me. It felt familiar, like I should know it, but I was sure I’d never been here before. When my gaze returned to his face, he was watching me so intently, I couldn’t think. I said the first thing that popped into my head. “Is this Heaven?”

He laughed. “You’re messing with me, right…? Okay. I’ll play. No, it’s not Heaven, but sometimes, it feels that way, especially when you’re here.” His arms wrapped around me, pulling me tight to his chest. He smelled of spearmint and soap, and something I couldn’t put a name to—something deliciously unique to him. I took a deep breath, wishing I could bottle that scent and carry it with me always. He kissed the top of my head. “I wish you could stay.”

I wanted to stay, more than anything else, though I didn’t understand why. “I’m not going anywhere.”

“You must go back.” He stepped away from me, his hands sliding down my arms to wrap his fingers around mine. “Time is running out.”

Memories of Kole and pain came rushing back. My fingers tightened on his, and I shook my head. “Please, I want to stay here with you.”

“You must go back.”

Tears sprang to my eyes. “I can’t.”

He smiled and leaned down, brushing my hair back to whisper in my ear. “It’s time, Olivia. Wake up.”

Thanks for reading! So, what's up with you? Where are you in your writing process?

Be sure to check out what's up with Shaun. And I'm the last link in the chain this round, but Eric starts the new chain tomorrow. I'm sure he'll have something awesome to ask us. :)


  1. Hi,

    Very touching scene - the missing link yet to materialise for Olivia. The perspective of her state of confused mind fitting perfectly with the subconscious mind set!

    And no, the snippet is not enough to reveal overall plot.
    Loved it.

    Like a lot of other writers I'm waiting replies on two subs, another on fast-track to editor: not banking great things on this - naturally suspicious mind that it's a bit of ruse to acquire new ideas for jaded/already listed authors! :o

    Other than that posting snippets for blogfests! That's my writing days, along with bashing away at new novel.

  2. Intriguing snippet! I wonder how she feels when she sees this place that isn't Earth and yet is supposed to be familiar.

  3. Oooh, nice excerpt!! I wanna read more!

    I'm gearing up to query soon too--good luck!!! :D

  4. Very nice snippet. So much description, wrapping us into your world. I think you did a pretty good job here. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  5. Abby, that was beautifully written.
    I remember it this story - it is haunting.
    I'm querying.
    It is out in full. I'm waiting.

  6. Ooo, enjoy your upcoming writing week!

  7. Oooh, really enjoyed your excerpt! And your title is really cool too!