I’m happy to welcome award-winning author Maree Anderson, our first Magical December Giveaway guest. I read her YA ebook, Freaks of Greenfield High, which is one of those books that surprise and delight, so was pleased that she joined us. She and I are posting scenes inspired by movies (in her case) and TV (in mine). She’s first, and mine will be below hers. Here’s Maree to tell you about her inspiration:
In my paranormal romance, The Crystal Warrior, the hero, Wulfenite (Wulf) is an alien warrior from another world, who’s been imprisoned in his namesake crystal; a piece of wulfenite. He’s a very alpha male, who’s all at sea in the strange new world, and he’s just had his first encounter with a modern-day woman. Chalcedony (also named after a crystal) is a dance instructor, and Wulf has never met a woman like her. But Chalcey’s had enough of men, so when Wulf grabs her and plants one on her, she doesn’t take it too well. Let’s just say she definitely gets the better of him. For now. *VBG*
The inspiration for this particular scene came from a scene in the movie Still Breathing, starring Brendan Fraser and Joanna Going. I haven’t seen the movie for years, but I vividly remember Brendon kneeling at Joanna’s feet and carefully blotting her bleeding knee with the tail of his shirt until the wound stops bleeding. He gently blows on her knee to ease the hurt, and then he looks up, into her eyes…. (Note to self: must buy that movie!)
Here’s the excerpt from The Crystal Warrior that was inspired by that scene:
He was still staring at her, head cocked to one side, when she turned back to him clutching disinfectant and cotton swabs. No man had ever looked at her with such single-minded concentration before, as though he was trying to see inside her, to know and understand every little thing about her. Warmth bloomed on her face, in the pit of her stomach. Lower down. He mesmerized her. It took all the will she possessed to break his spell and rip her gaze from his.
What was she supposed to be doing again? Oh, yeah. Playing nurse. Despite herself, her gaze flicked to his face. Her eyes rounded when she spotted the bruise blooming on his cheekbone. “Uh— Did I do that? To your cheek?”
“Indeed you did.”
“I’m, ah, sorry. I didn’t mean—” Liar. She really had meant it. And from the amused quirk of his eyebrow, he knew it, too. “If it hurts, I can get you an icepack.”
“I, too, am sorry.”
“For dropping you on your rump. I did not wish to hurt you.” A pause and a gaze that glinted with amusement. “Too much.”
She opened her mouth and shut it again with a decided snap. He declined to comment. Smart man. “Sit there at the table and give me your hand,” she said.
Again, he did as he was told.
Nice! Chalcey resolved to practice that tone in front of the mirror. A girl never knew when instant obedience from the opposite sex might come in handy again. Pity she hadn’t made use of the same technique earlier. But then she wouldn’t have ended up with the best kiss of her life. Her face heated at that particular memory, and the blush crawled down her neckline. She ducked her head and concentrated on the task at hand.
Her teeth marks marred the tanned, callused skin of his hand. She tried not to feel too guilty for mauling him while she swabbed his palm with disinfectant. “Uh, bandage or plaster?”
He quirked a puzzled eyebrow then shrugged. “You are the Healer, not I.”
“Riiight. Whatever.” She opted for plaster because she’d never been that good with bandages. Whenever she had to do the Florence Nightingale thing her victim ended up looking like something from The Mummy. Without thinking, she kissed his palm before releasing it. “There, all better.”
“Is it your custom to bestow a kiss upon those you heal?” His voice was deep and husky. His odd accent rolled even commonplace words liquidly off his tongue, making them sound incredibly exotic.
Her face flamed again. Something about this guy really had the power to turn her insides all marshmallow-soft and gooey. “It’s, ah, something mothers do for small children when they’re hurt.”
“And you are likening me to a small child?” His blue eyes darkened and he eyed her in a purely masculine, let’s-get-naked-so-I-can-lick-you-all-over-and-prove-you-oh-so-wrong sort of way.
“Um…. No?” No way. Definitely not. Nyuh uh.
“Allow me to return the favor and banish your own hurts.” He took her hands in his, turned them both palm up and kissed the grazed skin on her left palm. Then the right.
If you’d like a chance to win an electronic copy of The Crystal Warrior, please leave a comment and if you’d like, please share the name of a movie that sticks in your mind—yanno, just ‘coz I’m insatiably curious. *g*
For excerpts, reviews, buy links, and more information, please visit:
1) Maree’s website: http://www.mareeanderson.com/books/the-crystal-warrior
2) The Crystal Warrior landing page: http://www.thecrystalwarrior.comhttp://www.mareeanderson.com/books/freaks-of-greenfield-high
Edie here. Regular readers of Magical Musings know that I based the personality of Noah Long, the dragon-turned-into-man in Dragon Blues, on Leonard Nimoy’s Spock in the early Star Trek series. I love so much about Spock – his calm, Zen-like presence, his deep voice, his “logicality” (where I’m more like Captain Kirk, driven by instinct – or maybe Gibbs in NCIS, who’s driven by his gut), and of course, there’s his low-pitched voice. (I’ve got a thing for men’s voices.)
Here’s a short excerpt from the first scene that shows Noah’s character:
The man entering Noah’s shop may as well have had THIEF carved into his forehead. He slunk in, back hunched, eyes darting, hunting for the most valuable items. Noah stood from behind his raised desk in the corner, the cool of the Chou Dynasty white jade dragon warming in his palms. Not worried, but watchful. He’d been robbed once.
A shadow behind the thief quivered. The thief stepped aside, revealing a woman, slender and vulnerable as a rose in a snowstorm. He looked into her eyes and his breath hissed in.
He went cold. Numb. He’d never seen this woman before. Yet he recognized her in a way he couldn’t explain or understand. Looking at her, he saw another woman with a different shape and a different face from a different lifetime. A woman he’d never wanted to see again.
And he knew they were one and the same.
She looked at him, her eyes as big and frightened as ever. But not of him. Not this time. Not like all those years ago, jumbled together with revulsion and fascination. This time, her fear was reserved for her thief companion, peeking quick glances at him, her body shrinking. Like a beaten dog, making herself smaller, less of a target.
A meow cut through the air. Mystic arced off of the top of the bookshelves next to the window, a black streak. Her dismount deserved a perfect ten, but Beauty jumped and squealed, and the thief jumped and cursed.
“May I help you?” Noah asked, hearing his voice roll out like a low A on a tenor sax.
The two jumped again.
“Fuck,” the man said. “You scared me.”
Noah arched his left eyebrow and waited. The woman stared at him. He kept his gaze on the man, but he saw her, all right. The numbness still clamped hold of his body, his emotions in lockdown, his mind whirring like a super-computer.
She didn’t recognize him in this life. Didn’t remember what she had done, what he was. She didn’t have his advantage—or disadvantage. Unlike him, she’d always been human.
Besides, he was different now. After the last couple thousand years in this ungainly and unbeautiful body, he was almost wholly human. No longer the “other.” The Beast she’d once named him.
In Nashville, the Buckle of the Bible Belt and the Music Capital of the U.S., Noah was an anomaly with his sharp features, angular body and hair black with seal-like sleekness. But despite his unusual looks, he fit in. His shop, Dragon’s Lair, fit in. His cave in the middle of the pulsing city with his hoard of treasures and his music.
That’s why he’d returned for the third time in sixty years. The music called him. The one true love of his life.
It was the most he could hope for.
A short explanation: When I wrote this, I worked hard to show Noah’s character and even his looks in a way that didn’t seem “telling” or having him look in the mirror. Usually I don’t describe the character when the scene is in his point of view. I wait for a scene in which another character thinks about his looks. But in this case, I thought it was important to get this in early on. I wanted the reader to ‘see’ him and get a feel for his character. I also set up the action that will be coming shortly, the tone of the book, and even dribbled in bits of backstory. And it was important – paramount! – to do all this in a way that was entertaining and would make the reader want to read on.
I’ll give an e-copy of Dragon Blues to a commenter. I’ll announce the winners of both books here on Wednesday morning. Just tell us what movie stuck in your mind or a character from a movie or TV show that you’d like to see in a book. You never know, Maree or I might use your choice in our next book.
We have winners! Florence Fois won an ecopy of The Crystal Warrior by Maree, and Pamk won an ecopy of Dragon Blues. Happy reading, Flo and Pam!