Tag Archives: Historical Fiction

Bennet and Associates

 

Bennet and Associates, writing by Marissa Campbell
Bennet and Associates, writing by Marissa Campbell

It could have been the way her voice poured over him like cream, or the way Mr. Bennet lapped it up, all but purring and rubbing against her calves, but Tom froze. Three HB number 2 pencils gripped in his left hand, a package of White 96 Bright, 20-lb. Bond paper in his right. He had stepped into the stationary closet to retrieve them, but when his boss walked in the break room with her, he had been unable to leave.

This is my response to the writing prompt … “An employee overhears a conversation between co-workers and is not happy with what he hears.” I had  a lot of fun with this one. 🙂 Please be warned there are a few swear words in the following paragraphs, so if you are sensitive please feel free to enjoy another post.

He peered through the small crack in the door, pushing up his glasses with the back of his left hand. They were sitting at the table now, steaming coffee in front of them, “Bennet and Associates” in white capital letters on the smooth black surfaces of each mug.

“I’ll be making the announcement about the Vice Presidency this week,” Bennet said.

She leaned toward him, her posture, her smile directed only at him. “Perhaps, I can sway the decision?”

Tom watched her red painted toenails leave the confines of her black stiletto and travel up and under Bennet’s pant leg.

“I think we can discuss this in more detail tonight, over dinner,” Bennet said.

She slipped her foot back into the shoe and stood, resting a French manicured hand on Bennet’s shoulder.  “I’d like that.” Her fingernails trailed along the back of his neck as she walked away.

Tom pressed his back against the shelves, his breath shallow and fast, his heart clawing at his breast. Her shadow passed. He gripped the pencils tight, the edges pressing into his palm.

He chanced another look. Bennet stood and adjusted his grey woolen trousers, a hungry smile fixed on his foolish face. She was just using him, the slut. Couldn’t Bennet see that?

Tom had been in line for that promotion, working his ass off, and for what? For that upstart little bitch to steal it from him? He had worked here eighteen years. Eighteen goddamn years. And her? One. One fucking year.

He pressed his back against the shelves as Bennet passed, then slipped out of the closet. He walked over to the table and looked down at the coffee mugs. He put the paper down, placing the pencils carefully on top so that they didn’t roll, then ran a finger over the bright red lip stick, a perfect imprint of her filthy mouth.

An image flashed in his mind. Those bright toenails severed, her swollen lips wrapped around the barrel of his gun. He smiled and adjusted his grey woolen trousers. There was so much to do before dinner.

The Next Big Thing!

I am participating in a funky writers’ movement called The Next Big Thing, which provides a sampling of upcoming and recent novels. Each person tagged answers a series of interview questions and posts them on his/her blog or website while linking to other writers. Many thanks to Rachael Jackson who tagged me from her blog: http://rachaeljacksonthetempleofindrajewels.blogspot.ca/2013/01/the-next-big-thing.html Rachael is a lover of romance and historical fiction and is currently working on a wonderful novel comprising both. The Temple of Indra Jewels is a story of a young woman cursed by a mystical family heirloom. Destined to be murdered in each life by someone close to her, she is forced to travel through time, embodying her past lives in an attempt to find her killer. Thanks again for tagging me, Rachael. 🙂

Below, I’ve answered some questions about my novel, and at the end I direct you to two other authors that will tell you their story next week.

 1)      What is the working title of your next book?

Raven’s Blood

2)      Where did the idea come from for the book?

When I finished all of Diana Gabaldon’s books, I started reading every historical fiction I could get my hands on. It quickly became clear that I was searching for something specific. I needed a story with a strong, feisty heroine, a passionate love affair, and enough twists and turns to keep me guessing and my knuckles white throughout, so I decided to create that story and set it in a time and place in history that intrigued me—ninth century, England.

3)      What genre does your book fall under?

Raven’s Blood is a ninety-one thousand word historical romance with elements of fantasy (since my heroine is a pagan high priestess who dabbles in controlling the elements).

4)      What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Amanda Seyfried as Avelynn (heroine), Chris Hemsworth as Erik (Avelynn’s love interest), and Ryan Gosling, with black hair, as Demas (the protagonist). Seriously dreamy cast! 🙂

5)      What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When Avelynn, the headstrong and fiercely independent daughter of a powerful earl, is forced into a betrothal with Demas, a man who only covets her wealth and status, she takes matters into her own hands, stumbling into a passionate love affair with Erik, a Viking—the sworn enemy of England, committing heresy by dabbling in pagan arts, and invoking the ire of several powerful men in the kingdom by leading men into battle, all the while walking a dangerous line as Demas’ tactics to possess her become more desperate and increasingly brutal.

6)      Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am currently shopping Raven’s Blood to agencies in North America, and the UK.

7)      How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

From research to final edits, the process took two and a half years.

8)      What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

This is how I envision Raven’s Blood: The passionate love affair in The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldon, marries the gritty and violent story line of The Saxon Series, by Bernard Cornwell, merged with the beautiful language and imagery of Anya Seton.

9)      Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My love affair with the time period, my love of historical fiction, and my wonderful writers group all contributed to my inspiration for Raven’s Blood.

10)  What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

How about the back cover copy?

For nineteen years, Avelynn, the beautiful and secretly pagan daughter of the Ealdorman of Somerset, has lived in an environment of love, acceptance, and equality. It is the year 869, and Somerset, England has flourished under twenty years of peace. But with the whispers of war threatening their security, Avelynn’s father makes an uncompromising decision that changes her life forever.

Forced into a betrothal with Demas, a man who only covets her wealth and status, Avelynn’s perception of independence is shattered. With marriage looming, she turns to her faith, searching for answers in an ancient ritual along the coast, only to find Erik The Blood-Axe and sixty Viking berserkers.

In a year of uncertainty that sees Avelynn discover hidden powers, stumble into a passionate love affair with Erik, and lead men into battle, Avelynn must walk a dangerous line as her deceptions mount and Demas’ tactics to possess her become more desperate and increasingly brutal.

Within the political turmoil of Alfred the Great’s England, Avelynn and Erik are caught in the throes of fate as they struggle to find the path back to themselves and onwards to each other.

Now, who wouldn’t want to read that? 🙂

In gratitude,

Marissa xo

Now, onto two exciting writers who will perform this interview. I am tagging Regina Glei, a brilliant fantasy and science fiction writer. You can learn all about her latest project here: http://www.juka-productions.com/newblog/ and Harrison Wheeler artist, author, and illustrator extraordinaire. You can find all about Harrison and his latest book Jester’s Incognito here: http://www.harrisonwheeler.ca/index.html

Tag! You’re it!

A Distant Bell

A Distant Bell by Marissa Campbell
A Distant Bell by Marissa Campbell

Luggage shuffled along the ground, edges grating on the concrete platform. Couples laughing and talking—a constant hum in the background.

The fog had burned off the land. Only a hazy memory silhouetted the grey shadows of the forest beyond the station.

My palms were moist, and I wiped them again, pretending to smooth down the soft velour of my yellow dress.

I lifted sleepless eyes to the large clock overhead, roman numerals black against a worn circle. The heavy hand moved. A minute closer. I could almost hear the click as it inched nearer to eight.

I gazed down the empty tracks. People clustered near the edge, craning to look. We all waited.

Was that steam ahead? I stood, my heart pounding in my chest, each beat a second of the clock.

Anticipation rose in the air around me.

A distant bell. It’s clang striking my stomach, a deep resonance in my soul.

The bell grew louder. Steam puffed in the air.

He was coming.

This was my response to a writing prompt at a workshop I recently attended … perhaps there’s a story in here somewhere. Who is she? Who is the man she’s waiting for? I may have to finish the tale to find out!

In gratitude,

Marissa xo