Monthly Archives: March 2014


Freedom of Will

So, I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately (again). I’m waiting on some feedback about Grow (which I’m super nervous about, in case it totally sucks) and I’m a bit stuck on Spellbound Haze (because I think the main character is a bit flat, and I trying to fill in some holes which are a bit boring).

To give myself a rest and a bit of a lift, I’ve been reading through Freedom of Will. It’s the third one in the Series with the Punny Titles and I love it. It’s not finished yet (LOL – nothing ever is) but it was another one that just flowed out of me. It’s fun to read through and immerse myself in those characters without the pressure of trying to get it done. But I decided to make a bit of a change to one of the main characters and as I was reading through I tweaked a couple of scenes to pull that part of his personality out.

And I thought I’d share a little with you.

Meet William and Jamie. They’re on a date that came about through unusual circumstances.


They made the long walk from school to McDonald’s and joined the queue.

“Order anything you like, up to…” William fished in his pocket and pulled out a handful of coins. “Nine dollars sixty.”

“I can pay for myself.”

“That’s not how a date works.”

“So the man has to pay?”

“The asker pays. Not the askee.”

“So if I asked you on a date?”

“You’d be buying me crayfish and champagne.”

At the counter Jamie ordered a chocolate shake, and William got a coffee, then he looked at the coins in his hand and added some fries. He led her to an empty table near the kids’ playground.

Jamie snagged a fry and pointed at his cup. “How can you drink that?”

“What? Black coffee?” He shrugged. “I guess you just learn to take it as it comes. Plus, I don’t need sugar.” He leant forward and his voice became a sexy growl. “I’m sweet enough.”

Jamie pulled back, then felt like an idiot. It wasn’t like she was scared of him. He wouldn’t try anything in a busy McD’s. He probably thought he’d scored a point.

“I’m not,” she said. “That’s why I need so much.” As far as comebacks went, it was totally lame, but she took a huge slurp of her shake to prove her point.

A shadow loomed over them. Jamie didn’t have to look up to know who it was.

“What do you want, Roger?” she asked.

Roger—broad, beefy, and not the brightest sparkler in the box—ignored her and spoke to William. “Is this chick bothering you?”

William’s eyes widened briefly before his cool, nice guy expression came back. “No, not at all. We’re on a date, actually.”

Roger leant forward, resting his meaty hands on the table. “Do you know what she is?”

William tuned to Jamie, his face neutral as he raised one eyebrow. “Beautiful? Smart? Brave? Am I getting warm?”

“She’s one of those magical freaks.” *

There was a flash of distaste in William’s eyes, but his expression remained unchanged. “Really?” He turned to Roger. “Filthy scum, they should ship them all off to a special camp. Nazi style.”

“Yeah,” Roger said. “Like in the war.”

Jamie was kind of stunned that Roger had even a passing knowledge of what the Nazis had done. He seemed to sleep through History.

William leant forward, fixing Roger with a hard stare. “Don’t worry, there’s only one reason I’m dating her, if you know what I mean.”

Roger let out a huge laugh that had the other diners turning to look at them. “Yeah, I getcha.”

William smiled, and it was only because Jamie was studying every expression, that she caught the calculated cruelty behind it. “Hey, mate, I’m a bit short on cash. Could you lend me five bucks?”

“Uh…” Roger took a minute to process that. Then he dug into his pocket and fished out a crumpled note. “I’ve only got a tenner.”

“That’ll do.” William slipped the note from Roger’s hand, stood up, and tucked it into his pocket. Then he held out his hand. “Nice to meet you, and thanks for the warning.”

Roger shook William’s hand and muttered a confused “You’re welcome?”

William pulled Roger in for a hug. Jamie sucked in a breath. It wasn’t a manly chest bump, or a solid thump on the back, it was a full-contact squeeze. He whispered something in Roger’s ear and Roger jerked back. William grinned, and gave Roger a smack on the arse to send him on his way.

Jamie didn’t know if she should laugh or run screaming.

William grabbed his coffee. “Let’s get out of here.”

Jamie shuffled out of her seat and picked up her shake and fries. William placed a gentle hand on the small of her back and guided her to the door.

When they got outside she shook him off. “So, what’s the one thing?” She tried to keep her voice even, unsure if she was mad or not.

“What one thing?” He cast a frown over his shoulder towards the restaurant.

“The one reason you’re dating me.”

He smiled, and it was full of genuine warmth. “Who says there’s only one reason?”

“You did.”

“That’s what I told Douchey McDouchebag.”

“So, there’s more than one?”

“Did you forget beautiful, smart, and brave? And that’s just for starters. I’ve only known you one day.”

Jamie told herself not to fall for a cheesy line like that even as she felt the warmth spread across her cheeks.



* This is urban fantasy — magic is real, baby!


photo credit: via photopin cc

Elizabeth Knox, A Talk

So, as part of Hamilton Book Month, I was lucky enough to make it along to a talk by New Zealand author Elizabeth Knox.

She’s very quirky (and I mean that in a good way). Dressed all in black, with this amazing, wavy, grey-white hair cascading over her shoulders. She was full of enthusiasm, and very approachable, and surprizingly honest.

She spoke about her two novels that came out last year, Wake and Mortal Fire, and what she was going through personally when she wrote them. She did a reading from Wake, and then took questions. I was even brave enough to ask one. 🙂

photo credit: gioiadeantoniis
via photopin cc / Text added

Even though I haven’t read any of her books, it was fascinating to hear about how and why she writes. She likes to write with pen on paper, and sees the stories like movies in her head.

Me, too!

Although, I’ve got her beat on writing multiple stories at a time. I’ve always done that. Not that I’m any good at actually getting them finished.

So, if you ever get a chance to hear Elizabeth speak, do yourself a service and make sure you go along.