WIP Wednesday — Share What YOU Are Up To!

WIP Wednesday Bryn Donovan

Hey friends — it’s WIP Wednesday! (I usually do WIP Wednesday on the first Wednesday of the month, but this month got a little off kilter because of the holiday and vacation.)

This is a chance for you to share a paragraph or a page from the story you’re working on. Don’t worry if it’s rough. This isn’t Final Draft Wednesday, which I don’t even do on this blog. We’re not critiquing at this point, though encouraging notes on other people’s work are welcome And remember, no apologizing for your work!

I’m sharing an excerpt from my summer project, A Knight Restored. Emily is a conservator at the art museum in Kansas City. They’ve acquired a sculpture that is actually a medieval knight who was turned into stone by a sorcerer centuries ago. In this scene, Emily’s photographing the sculpture, like they do with all new acquisitions prior to restoration.

 

 

“First things first,” she said. “Let’s get your face lit up a little more.” She went over to the far wall and touched a panel there, and bright light streamed onto Gryffen’s face, blinding him. His eyes, which could never close, took a few moments to adjust.

The beams emanated from the metal cones hanging from the ceiling. She strode back over and reached up high to adjust one. The movement pulled her white shirt taut over her small, delectable breasts.

Gryffen cast his mind out to her. See me. I am here.

Emily bent her face to the black boxlike contraption that balanced on steel rods. It made clicking noises. She set the object down again, her gaze on Gryffen thoughtful.

What compelled him to try to reach her, he did not know. It was a hopeless cause. Still, his mind called to her with all of its strength. See me. It is not stone that stands before you, but a man.

A line appeared between her eyebrows—for all the world as though she had heard him. If he had still possessed a heart, it would have beaten loudly enough to echo off the black walls.

She walked over to him. His soul cried out to her. For Christ’s love, my lady. I am here.

“Am I losing my mind?” Her chest rose and fell with a shaky breath. He strained to hear her voice, hardly more than a whisper. “Why do I feel like you’re talking to me?”

God in Heaven. She could hear him. Never, in centuries, had he ever been able to reach anyone except in their dreams. Hope and longing shuddered through him. Please see me. Please touch me.

She raised her hand, hovering close to his cheek.

Then she lowered it, shaking her head. She turned and left the room. The light went out and when she closed the door, Gryffen stood in complete blackness, alone.

 

WIP Wednesday Bryn Donovan

 

I hope you’ll share something of your own, and if you want to link to your blog or website, that’s totally fine. Whether you’re sharing or not, if you’re writing something, I hope it’s going great. Thanks for stopping by!

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WIP Wednesday — Share What YOU Are Up To!

WIP Wednesday - Bryn Donovan

Hi, and welcome to WIP Wednesday, where we all share a chunk of whatever we’re working on! Though encouraging words are welcome, this isn’t a space for critique. We’re usually sharing stuff that’s too rough for beta reading.

Here’s what I did in the past month!

I completed the final story edits on my Southern gothic romance novella (and oh my gosh, I love it!)

I wrote a climactic scene for book 3 of my paranormal romance trilogy, because I was obsessed with it, even though I only have book 1 complete plus a third of a draft of book 2…

And then I had a sudden realization that the whole trilogy needs to be in third person, not in first person.

Yep. I need to rewrite the entire first novel as well as book 2 so far.

It will be a bunch of work! I don’t even mind, because it’s going to make it so much better, for several different reasons.

Here’s part of the book 3 scene I wrote, already put into third person. Ordinarily I wouldn’t share a scene like this because of spoilers, but I figure by the time everything’s completed, y’all won’t remember, anyway!

In this scene, Nic is trying to get to a Shifter meeting in time for his execution. Why is he so worried about being late for this? Because the pissed-off Shifters have his friend Tristan, and if Nic doesn’t show up in time, they’ll kill Tristan in his place.

 

 

Nic glanced at the speedometer. Over 100 miles per hour. Next to him, Sophie dug her fingers into the seat. He didn’t dare go any faster. An accident would cause a fatal delay, and the possibility of injuring Sophie was yet another horror. At least at this late hour, they had the remote Arizona highway to themselves.

They should be close. He couldn’t think about anything else. Speeding through the blackness to his death took all of his concentration.

Something flickered on the left — torch lights. They were here. Nic took his foot off the gas and swerved off the road. The SUV jolted over the desert terrain, and he braked as they approached the circle of Shifters in human form. Please, please, please, repeated in his head like a drumbeat, although he had no god to hear it.

Several people in the circle jumped and turned around, their astonished faces illuminated by the headlights, as he brought the vehicle to an abrupt halt. He threw it into park and vaulted out the door and past the Shifters, roaring at the top of his lungs, “Stop! Stop!”

Everyone stared at him, some of them with mouths hanging open. He remembered that the side of his head and his shirt were covered with blood. Either they hadn’t brought Tristan out to be executed yet, or – Nic‘s throat closed up. He looked around wildly.

Capitán Renaud and the Wolf Queen stood side by side, faces grim, a little apart from the rest. “Where is he!” Nic shouted, taking steps toward them.

“Nic!” A voice behind him called out in return. “I’m here! I’m fine.”

Nic spun around. Tristan emerged from the shadows.

Relief crashed over Nic so hard he swayed on his feet. He bowed his head, closing his eyes. After drawing in a deep breath and letting it out, he lifted his head again.

Two Shifters flanked Tristan — guards. Their Queen held up a palm to them, and they fell back as Tristan strode over to Nic. Only the crackle of the fires broke the silence. Tristan appeared unharmed, and his hands were unbound, as Nic’s would be. One did not need to bind a willing sacrifice.

A deep line etched between Tristan’s brows, and his eyes glistened. Nic had been ready to apologize for being late. Instead, he managed a smile and said, “Good to see you.”

Christos, Nic.” Tristan’s voice was rough as he pulled him into an embrace. Nic gripped him tightly, grateful to feel him warm and breathing, and honored by his grief.

Had Sophie joined the circle? Nic had to make sure she didn’t see him die. Tristan could look after her. The thought of parting from her felt like it was tearing a hole in Nic’s chest, even now when he had completed everything he needed to do, and nothing else in the world had power left to hurt him.

 

WIP Wednesday - Bryn Donovan #paranormal romance

 

For June, I’m working on another project entirely! My goal is to re-work the 23K I’ve got so far on the story and then get the word count up to 50K. My Southern gothic novella is also going through final copy edits.

Please share your own work in the comments! Or if you just want to talk about how your writing is going, or your goals for June, that’s great, too.

And if you always want a heads up on WIP Wednesday, be sure to follow the blog — there’s a place on the lefthand side of the page that you can sign up. Happy writing!

WIP Wednesday — Share What YOU Are Up To!

WIP WEDNESDAY Bryn Donovan

Hey friends! It’s the first Wednesday of the month, and you know what that means… time to share a chunk of whatever it is we’re working on!

As always, it’s fine if it’s rough. This isn’t a time for group critique — it’s just for sharing.

I did not get as far as I wanted to on book two of my trilogy. However, I added 14,000 words in April, and progress is progress!

My heroine and narrator, Val, is an empath. This unfortunately means she can tell when Tristan  is attracted — even briefly — to someone else. In my excerpt this month, Val and Tristan have just gotten romantically involved, and she’s with him when he runs into someone he’s hooked up with in the past.

 

“Tristan!” a female voice called out.

We all turned on the stairs to see a woman I didn’t know coming in the front door. She was petite, with delicate features and dark hair piled in a messy bun on her head. Her black tank top and olive utility pants would have identified her as a Knight even if she hadn’t had a gun at her belt. She strode over to say hello.

Ignoring me, she turned her attention and sparkle on Tristan. “You’ve been through a lot since Manila.” Her erotic interest was so strong that it could hardly be lost on anyone.

Tristan gave an affable smile. “We went through a lot then.” His own attraction sparked, like an answer to an animal’s mating call. “How are you, angel?”

My throat tightened and I could feel my ears burning. He had used that endearment with me, more than once.

Goddess, she was pretty, with an easygoing, confident manner. I felt like an overfrilled lump.

“I’ve been good,” she said, her dark eyes laughing, as if at the absurdity of making small talk. “We should catch up later.”

“Yeah, definitely,” Tristan said. “Hey, I don’t think you’ve met my girlfriend. Valentina Vega, this is Angel Cheng, she was at the presidio in Manila.”

Angel. He called her that because that was her name.

And he had called me his girlfriend. Was that what I was? His reflexive attraction to Angel Cheng was already gone—just another blip, like when he first met Javier Cruz.

Her eyes widened slightly, but she didn’t miss a beat. “Salam. It’s nice to meet you.” She did a dead-on impression of warmth, even though she only felt surprise. “Your name sounds familiar.”

“Val’s a Mage at El Dédalo,” Tristan said before I could respond. “She does debriefings.” Pride mingled with his warmth and, yes, attraction toward me. We all talked about the information I had garnered from the dying man, and about our assignment at the Catholic high school.

It would hardly be the last time I would meet someone that Tristan had slept with. For that matter, I was on friendly terms with a few of them at El Dédalo.

Should I talk to Tristan about this later?

No. Why make things difficult? He scarcely seemed aware it was happening, himself. It wasn’t his fault that he had gotten involved with someone who could feel everything that lay beneath the surface, so that an unremarkable encounter put her through the drama of a three-act play.

 

 

I expect to add a little more to this story this month. My writing goal for May, though, is to do another revision of my Southern gothic romance novella, which goes to a copy editor June 1.

If you feel like it, please share some of what you’re working on… or your goal for May, or both. Thanks so much for stopping by, and happy writing!

 

 

WIP Wednesday — Share What YOU Are Up To!

WIP Wednesday

Hi friends! It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time to share a little of your work in progress (IF you want to!)

Remember, it’s absolutely fine if it’s rough. Mine always are! Although encouraging comments are welcome, this is just for sharing and not for group critique.

In March, I made great progress on book two of my paranormal romance trilogy. My heroine, Val, is an empath. Tristan, her friend from childhood, is a warrior in the same secret society, but as a result of a magical battle, he can’t remember anything about his life. I am having trouble finding segments that aren’t huge spoilers, but I’ll go with this scene, where he’s talked her into dancing at a party.

WIP Wednesday #Bryn Donovan #paranormal romance

“I haven’t done this for a while,” I told him. “But you showed me how in Cairo.”

He perked up, the way he always did when I talked about our shared past. I added, “I was just a kid.” I had been a teenager, actually, old enough to love being in his arms.

He didn’t say anything. It wasn’t like him to be quiet, and I looked up to find him studying my face with a slight frown. “What,” I said.

“I can’t sense things like you do, but I know you like me.”

My face heated. What could I say? I couldn’t exactly deny it. He asked, “So what is it, you’ve got a boyfriend? A girlfriend?”

“No. It’s hard for empaths to form relationships like that.” Some of them did, though. Two empaths in Paris had been married to one another for a few decades. It was ridiculously romantic, but not many people got that lucky.

“Why is it hard?” Tristan asked.

This, at least, was easy to discuss. “We’re really emotional, for one thing. We cry all the time. Nobody likes that.”

“Well yeah, it makes people worry about you,” Tristan said. “But—”

“No,” I interrupted him. “It disgusts people.” My bitterness bled through in my voice. I knew this from experience. As a child and a teenager, I had struggled to keep friends.

“That can’t be true of everyone,” Tristan said, his voice quiet.

I was being childish now, holding onto these wounds. “Most adults are better. I had to officiate Cassie’s initiation, just the other week. Afterward I was a mess, but everyone was really nice about it.”

“Wait,” he said. “Why were you upset?”

It was so easy to forget he didn’t know our ways any more. “An initiation always involves a painful physical ordeal. For this one, she had to hold onto a burning coal—”

“What? What the hell is wrong with you people?”

I winced. “It was magical. It didn’t actually do damage.”

Christos.” Tristan shook his head.

“Cassie’s pretty tough,” I said. “I’m the opposite.”

He drew me closer still. “There are lots of ways to be strong.”

Of course in this story, Val will wind up being a badass in her own way. 🙂

My goal for April is to get to 50K on the first draft of this story. I’ll let you know next time how it goes!

Please share some of your own work if you feel like it! Or if you just want to set a goal for this month, that’s great, too. Happy writing!

WIP Wednesday — Share What YOU Are Up To!

WIP Wednesday Bryn Donovan

Hey friends! It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which is when I invite you to post a segment of whatever you’re writing. I discourage critical comments and suggestions on other people’s work, because I want people to feel free to post things that are quite rough (the way I do!) This is just for sharing. Encouraging words are always appreciated, though!

Last month I got a draft of my Southern gothic romance novella to my beta readers, and my goal this month is to complete 25K words on book two of my paranormal romance trilogy. Although I haven’t really started yet, I do have a few random scenes of this project scribbled down in notebooks, so I’m sharing one of those!

My heroine, Val, is an empath who can go into other people’s psyches. Her romantic interest here, Tristan, is someone she’s known from childhood, but he has retrograde amnesia as a result of a magical battle.

 

WIP Wednesday

 

We walked a few more steps on the beach and Tristan suddenly stopped, a stricken look on his face. His confusion zigzagged right through me. I tightened my hand around his. “What is it?”

He shook his head. “I don’t know, I just—”

He fell on his knees on the shore as if someone had knocked him down. The intensity of his distress bored through my skull and my heart jumped into double time. I couldn’t even tell exactly what he was feeling. He was like ten televisions tuned to different channels, all turned up to a deafening roar.

I knelt down in front of him. Waves splashed around our knees. I looked into his eyes and he stared straight ahead, unseeing.

“Tristan!” I shook his shoulders. He made no response. The frequency of his emotion felt as though it might decimate me. It was too strong for anyone to endure for long. I panicked. He is dying.

I forced myself to take care as I ghosted into his psyche. Whatever was the matter with him, a rough invasion might be too hard to take.

In his soulscape, we knelt in the middle of the city street. The sky above him teemed with movement and color and loud voices spoke in a cacophony. My insides wrenched. His psyche was disintegrating again, and not in a way I could imagine how to fix.

He stared up at the sky with wide eyes, his mouth parted. As I looked up, I made out an image of myself, at about the age of six. And then a monster, humanoid, but with rows of tiny shark teeth—something he had killed on a mission.

A naked girl in what looked like a college dorm room. A man yelling about something. His mother as a young woman, reading from a picture book.

His memories. Each of them came with their own emotional responses—fondness, disgust, anger, love. They had all flooded back, and he was experiencing them all at once. It was too much to bear and I wanted to retreat, just for a moment, and escape the painful onslaught.

~

Share whatever you like, or if you just want to chat about how your work’s going lately, that’s great, too. Happy writing!

It’s WIP Wednesday — Share What YOU Are Up To!

WIP Wednesday Bryn Donovan

Hey friends! Welcome to February and another edition of Work In Progress Wednesday, where I invite you to share a segment of your current writing project! I always love seeing what other people are up to.

As always, it’s fine if it’s rough. Mine always are! Supportive comments on other people’s work are absolutely encouraged. Unsolicited criticism, even with the best of intentions, is not, because this is really just for sharing.

In January I finished Wicked Garden (the title may change), my Southern gothic romance novella about a haunting. It’s still a hot mess and I have a lot of editing to do before I hand it over to my beta readers. And I’ll have a bunch more editing to do after that!

Last month I shared a scary part with my heroine singing, so this month I’ll share a romantic part when she sings a different and much less creepy song.

Continue reading “It’s WIP Wednesday — Share What YOU Are Up To!”

It’s My Birthday, and My Book Is On Sale!

Happy Birthday to My Blog! bryndonovan.com "tell your stories - love your life"

Hey friends! Today The Choosy Bookworm is featuring Master Lists for Writers. It’s the first time I’ve done a promotion like this, and I’m really interested to see how it goes. The Kindle version is on sale for only $2.99 for a short time, so if you were thinking about getting it before, now is a great time to check it out!

If you already purchased Master Lists for Writers, thank you so very much! I know a few of my blog readers have left positive reviews for it, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that — it’s the best gift of all.

Honestly, the book wouldn’t even exist if I hadn’t gotten encouragement and compliments in the first place on this blog. Thank you for your positivity, and thanks for reading!

Master-Lists-for-Writers-2500x1563-Amazon-Smashwords-Kobo-Apple-2

Tiny Brag: My High-Tech Picture Books!

Hey friends! I don’t discuss my day job too much on my blog, but every once in a while I get excited about something and want to tell you about it. I have two books for little kids in the Hallmark Gold Crown stores right now!

How are they high-tech? On each page, the kid swipes their finger across part of the illustration, which brings up all kinds of sound effects and extra dialogue. I’m really impressed with what the team did — the sound quality is high, and it’s much longer and more elaborate than I expected.

That action is written into the story, which made writing these a challenge: for each spread, I had to think of things like catching a monkey in a net or throwing a pizza at an alien, But I think the stories came out really well!

The first one, Ava the Animal Rescuer, features a little girl who helps all kinds of animals out of dangerous situations. Yes, she’s kind of young to be flying her own helicopter. In the first draft, she had a grown-up pilot, but he wasn’t bringing much to the story. As the owner of two rescue dogs, this project is near and dear to my heart.

In the second one, Intergalactic Treasure Hunt, space twins Hydro and Jen (see what I did there?) hunt for treasure, outwit a big bad space pirate, and solve the problem of their broken gamma ray oven. I love outer space stories, so this was so much fun to write.

I’m really pleased to have two books out in which little girl characters are essentially action heroes. I can’t wait to show some of my nieces and nephs!

WIP Wednesday — Share What YOU Are Up To!

Hi friends! On the first Wednesday of every month, I share an excerpt of what I’m working on and invite you to do the same. It’s okay if it’s rough! Mine will always be!

It’s great to leave encouraging comments, but don’t critique anyone’s work, unless they specifically request it. This is sharing time, not uninvited beta reader time. (It is never uninvited beta reader time.)

I am working on the first draft of Wicked Garden, a romance novella about a haunting set in Savannah, Georgia. I’m hoping to have the draft complete by Monday! This is near the beginning of the story.

Continue reading “WIP Wednesday — Share What YOU Are Up To!”

Happy Birthday to My Blog! THANK YOU SO MUCH For Reading!

Happy Birthday to My Blog! bryndonovan.com "tell your stories - love your life"

I just realized today that 1 year ago yesterday, I published my first blog post!

I had, of course, zero readers. I didn’t know a lot about how to blog, and I wasn’t sure what this was going to be about. The only thing I knew is that I wanted it to have some useful content, so I (somewhat randomly) posted a list I had made for myself of good Regency-era names. (Little did I know that my lists for writers would get popular, and that I would wind up making a whole book of them!)

When you start a blog, you feel like nobody is reading, because they aren’t. It seems to take forever for anyone to care. I think with blogging, the key is just keeping at it and being consistent. Looking back, I realize that my blog has come a long way for only a year.

Continue reading “Happy Birthday to My Blog! THANK YOU SO MUCH For Reading!”