Category Archives: blood & rubies

plot bunny #5: blood & rubies

no Pinterest board – yet.

The 1920’s have always fascinated me (let’s face it…all time periods of history fascinate me), and I enjoyed watching Downton Abbey for this reason (I didn’t adore it like so many people do, but it was enjoyable enough).  And, surprise, surprise, it inspired me with a story idea.  This particular idea was first realized as a short story (which you can read here, at the end of the post), and I had a lot of fun writing it.  Then, I decided to use it as a project for the Plot Bunny challenge, and ideas started pouring in thick and fast for a full-length novel.  I can honestly say that, so far, it’s the plot bunny that’s intrigued me the most.  Writing the snippet gave me a writer’s high (even if it may not look that good to you), and I get happy shivers every time I look at the above collage.  Basically, there’s a ruby ring with a history, blackmail, a thief/murderer (although not who you might think), and a gorgeous love story.  It makes me fangirl just thinking about it.  I miiight be doing this novel for NaNoWriMo, but I’ll have to work on the plot beforehand, since mysteries/thrillers still aren’t my forte.

The thief stared at her nails and shook her head.
“Ragged,” she muttered.
It was true, they were ragged. The late nights, endless days, fear of being discovered, and the need to keep up a constant pretence was wearing on her nerves, which in turn wore on her fingernails. Her usually polished look was starting to slide away, and it was only a matter of time before others started to notice.
Especially the person she most wished would never find out.
Her husband.
With a restless sigh she stood up from where she sat on the side of her bed and walked over to her tiny vanity. She threw herself into the elegant chair that sat in front of it, her flowing gown billowing around her. A nail file was in one of the drawers, and she pulled it out and set to returning her nails to their former glory.
The whole thing was a facade, really.
Being a dutiful wife to the best of husbands – Robert was that, certainly. Telling the servants what to do. Conversing with her mother-in-law with a guise of politeness. None of them knew what she was planning, or what she was capable, but the time was fast approaching . In truth, she would have to act swiftly to keep all of them safe, whether she really wanted to or not.
But, oh, how she wanted to act.
Right now, with decision, no hesitation.
The door opened with its usual creak, and in her mirror, she saw Robert enter the room.
“It’s almost dinner,” he said. “Just thought I’d come up to remind you.”
She smiled. “Thank you. I’ll be right down.” She kept her hands firmly in her lap and replaced the nail file. She was finished, anyway. Finished with hiding and waiting and not doing anything. Robert nodded and was about to leave when she turned around and caught his hand in hers. There were so many things she wanted to say, but she swallowed them all down, and instead said, “I’m ready now.”
“We’ll go down, then,” he said, smiling.
His eyes were so full of love and admiration and pride in her that she could barely stand it. Him discovering what she would do had never figured into her plans, but if he ever did, she truly believed she might kill herself. To see that look go out of his eyes and have it replaced by sadness, or even hatred would be more than she could bear. She was sure of that.
It did nothing to dissuade her, though. ~Blood & Rubies

I’m really happy with this snippet.  You?



Posted by on June 19, 2014 in blood & rubies, june crusade, snippets, writing



I have a huge amount of writing news to cram into this one post.  And all of it is big.  Really big.


All in all, it’s been a great past few days for me.  LEY ended up being about 25K words less than I Will Repay, but I can live with that.  I’ll probably be mercilessly chopping both books down before I deem them ready to be ‘hard edited’.  My plan for editing the trilogy is this: I’ll cut down all the un-needed scenes/points of view, get everything down to a manageable level, and then start fixing plot holes and strengthening characters.  All the stuff I delete will be dumped in a ‘delete file’, in case I need to use it again (a little trick I learned from one of the numerous writing books I’ve read).  Now, I’d already written a plot outline for NGL (because I didn’t want to get to book 3 and be completely stuck), but I wasn’t happy with it.  One character’s death, in particular, seemed really contrived and just…dumb (it was Aaron, btw).  Also, I didn’t think I had enough material to do a third book, so I’d just be filling in the word count with fluff.  Then Something Happened.  I was washing dishes (which, according to Agatha Christie is the best place to get writing inspiration), when I realized I’d been doing everything wrong.  See, I have a main character for each of the three books, even though the whole thing is really about Nathan’s journey.  Aaron was the main character for book 3.  Not anymore.  Dylan got quite a lot of ‘screen time’ to book 2, and I’ve realized he needs his own book.  So he’s the new main character.  Aaron will still be a big subplot (particularly his unrequited love for Lily), but everything is working out so much better now that Dylan is the focus.  There’s still a death, but it has meaning now.  And a real purpose.

I entered Blood & Rubies into my library’s March Break short story contest.  I hate writing short stories (mostly because the few I’ve written besides this one are terrible), and there were so many limitations to what I had to write (it had to be a mystery, it had to start with ‘The old woman turned and smiled…’, it could be only two pages long, and the font had to be 12 pt. or bigger).  But there was something about the whole thing that captured my interest, so I brainstormed with my sister and decided to try it.  I wrote it, sent it off to beta-readers, revised it, proofread, took it to the library, waited for two weeks and THEN I WON.  I was going to post it on this blog, but my mom already did it on hers, so I’ll just direct you there (it’s at the bottom of the post).

Last thing…the adorable scene in Betrayal.  I wrote out the plot thingy for book 3 of VIM, and I’m not going to start it for a bit, but I still had to write.  So I pulled up the document that I’m writing random scenes from Betrayal in and started writing.  I meant for the scene to be Samuel (the hero) telling Alexia (the heroine) all about his brother, Matt, who had died a long time ago.  And he did that (a bit), but then this ridiculously cute/melt-worthy thing happened that I totally didn’t plan.  I hadn’t meant for their relationship to go so far so soon, but it did.  And I’m perfectly fine with it.

“Matt showed me the textures and colours of music. How to completely immerse yourself in the tune and just play whatever comes to mind. As for painting, he taught me to look beyond the outward appearance of the subject and capture the spirit.”

His face glows as he relives those memories.

I feel as though I’m intruding on something personal and private.

But there is one question I have to ask.

“That-” I begin.

He looks at me, the spell broken.


“That day you sketched me. Did you, you know, look beyond me?”

He holds out a sheet of paper, face down. “You never saw the sketch, did you?” he asks, extending the paper even more.

A flush of red comes up my face, remembering the day I snuck into his studio, hoping to get a peek at it, frustrated that he wasn’t showing it to me. But Annie had discovered me, and I’d left without once getting a look at the sketch lying face down on his messy desk.

I accept the paper, hesitating just a moment before turning it over.

What if he hasn’t captured me?

It’s not a vain question.

If he has, I’ll know that for a brief moment, there was a small something.

If he hasn’t-

I turn it over and gasp, covering my hand with my mouth.

Tears come to my eyes.

“You-how could you do this?”

The sketch shows him and me, dancing on a rainy summer day.

I’m laughing, he’s grinning.

And in that one moment, us is perfect.

It’s only a sketch, but I feel like I’m living that moment.

“We-we never danced in the rain,” I say, my voice shaky. “We never danced.”

“I know,” he says, laying a warm hand on mine. “But I imagined it.” His voice cracks ever so slightly. “Oh, Alexia, I’ve imagined it so many times. Do you think I gave the moment justice? If you don’t, I’ll burn it and make a new one.”

“It’s perfect,” I say. “It’s beautiful.”

“Do you-?” He clears his throat. “Do you want to make it a reality?”




P.S. They do make it a reality.  But this post is long enough.