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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Promo tour: The Black Lotus by Claire Warner

Book: The Black Lotus
AuthorClaire Warner
Release Date: June 29th 2014
....though I would dearly love to play court to you, I would hurt you more than any other. 

It is 1752. The year that will change the life of heiress Melissa De Vire. As she makes her first fumbling steps into society, she meets the handsome young cad Justin Lestrade and his world tears h
er perceptions apart. For Justin is more than he appears and his secrets and enemies are manifold. Drawn irresistibly to him, she finds herself sinking into a realm of feuds, magic and old curses and her life will never again be the same.

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“Justin?” He turned as she spoke, “I think you should pursue Melissa De Vire.”

He dropped what he had been holding and walked towards her.

“What?” Utter shock permeated his tones and he stared down at her as though he could not believe what he had just heard. “You must be mad.”

“No, just practical.” Unconcerned by the anger on his face, Emily reached down and pulled the gold bracelet back onto her wrist. “You like her, that much is obvious and she seems to have some interest in you, despite her transparent denials.”

For a long moment, Justin said nothing, stunned by the words that were coming out of Emily’s mouth. “Haven’t you just convinced me that this existence is so much hell, that you would lie with someone you don’t care for just to rid yourself of it? Why would you ask me to pursue someone I couldn’t be with? Do you hate me that much?”

Emily turned away and sat down in one of the chairs. “I don’t hate you Justin, but if you don’t take her and make her yours you will regret it.” She picked up her bonnet and began pulling at the flowers set into it. “Alistair already knows about her, give it a little time and she will be linked with us. I’d much rather you drag her along rather than leave her to be fodder for John.”

“So how does my brother know about Melissa?” Justin’s voice was dangerously quiet as he stood opposite her. “Have you stirred the pot again?” He turned and slammed his fist into the wall. “I thought you were past these petty games. Real people are at stake.”

“Yes.” She stood and faced him. “Real people are at stake and if you do not act this time, John will merely take her from you in the same way he took Anna.” She grabbed his fist and brushed the drops of blood from the knuckles. “Do you not realise yet that there is nothing that you can do to hide her from him.”

“I’ve spoken to her once.” He hoped that she did not see through the lie, “And that has been all. God curse it Emily, she may only be intrigued, do not turn this into a grand love affair on the basis of one conversation.” He pulled his hand free and seized the back of her neck. “If you start this, you’d better be prepared to face the consequences.”

Emily laughed in his face. “Don’t threaten me darling, I won’t take it.” Her hand snaked around his wrist and she pressed hard on the joints, causing him to gasp in pain. “I will not spend the next few decades suffering from your ill temper. Don’t forget love, that I know you almost as well as you know yourself.”

Justin allowed his hand to drop from her skin and whispered. “Then why would push this? I am interested yes, but I know that I can’t have her. John need only know that I flirted with her, as I do with many women.”

“I push because John will know regardless. He has his spies and he will find out.”
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About the Author:

When I was a child, I made up games and characters when my sister and I played with dolls. As I grew older, I would make up scenarios and scenes, fully intending to write them down but never finding the time. In my late teens, I discovered the world of role playing and settled into an avid ‘geeky’ life of D&D, comics, sci-fi and fantasy fiction. Years passed and I finally gave voice to the stories in my head. I write romance, fantasy, action and adventure. I love tales of steampunk and history, tales of magical powers and dark curses lurking in the shadows. Though The Black Lotus is not my first attempt at a novel, it is the first I have finished.

And some fun facts about me:
  • I sew.
  • My favourite Disney film is Atlantis.
  • I’ve been a film extra and stood 5 feet away from Sam Rockwell.
  • Babylon 5 is my fave sci-fi show.
  • I cried at the end of Toy Story 3.

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Guest Post: What Jupiter Ascending taught me as a writer...
I think the utter shambles (though it looked good) that was Jupiter Ascending has brought up something quite interesting to my writer's brain. Jupiter Ascending had so much potential, there was so much it could have done. I think the reason that I am so disappointed by this movie, is that I loved the concepts, the cast (Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne, a 'living' Sean Bean and a very sexy Douglas Booth) the visuals and the ideas behind it. The film, however, is so poorly executed that I wanted to find the writers and cut off their hands to prevent them ever writing again. 

I think the issue lies with the fact that the writers didn't let the characters speak. By that I mean, when I write I listen to my characters, I let them breathe. If the people that live in my head didn't want to do something, I didn't make them do it. As an example, Justin was originally going to curse Melissa in a fit of anger. It would have made for future angst and trouble and I would have had so much fun with it. However when writing Justin, I realized something. Justin would not curse another, not for any reason. He spoke very clearly to me about that, so I had to think of something else.

In Jupiter Ascending, Jupiter and Caine end up together, purely because the plot said so. Leaving aside the 'we spent two hours together and now it's love', there is very little chemistry between them and every bit of dialogue they utter on the subject seems forced and unnatural. I could have got behind sexual attraction (not that there was any signs of that) but not 'love'. Hell Jupiter even seems strangely okay with what's happened to her. I could have got behind building interest (see Replacement Killers for how you write growing attraction) Christ even Terminator managed to pull off a relationship that seemed natural. Possibly because Sarah Connor was confused and angered by the whole experience and she did step up and actually find her own salvation.

So what I'm really saying, if you genuinely want something to happen in your plot, don't force the characters into it. Actually step into their heads and work out how they would get there, don't make them walk where it makes no sense for them to walk.

And I know I'm a self published author but I would never do what the Warchowski's did. They could have had a brilliant sci-fi movie. They could have had a surefire hit on their hands, but they fluffed it. The writing is sub par, the 'romance' is risible and they waste plot threads.

What has Jupiter Ascending taught me? It's taught me to be logical and listen to my characters, not to get so carried away with my original idea,that my writing tanks out.