Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Guest Blog- A Heart of Salt and Silver by Elexis Bell

First and foremost, thank you to Fang-Tastic Books for having me and to you for reading.

Now. Many authors listen to music while writing, and I’m no exception. Unless I’m out and about and I’m just writing notes on my arm, I tend to have music playing. The entire playlist for A Heart of Salt & Silver is down below. There are a few songs that played a pretty big role though, and they definitely got more air time than the rest.

Hurt for Me by SYML is 100% Nolan's song. Though, The Curse of the Fold by Shawn James is more like something he would sing.

Anti-Gravity by Glory Oath + Blood (which isn’t available on Spotify, so is not in this playlist) was pivotal in writing a scene where it becomes obvious just how much of a badass Ness truly is, even if she doesn't believe it herself.

Hands on the Bible by Local H was fantastic for action scenes. (Oh, yeah. There's definitely some action.)

And then, there's Various Storms and Saints by Florence and the Machine. That freaking song...

Okay, story time.

When I was writing this book, I made it about 33,000 words in (the complete total is somewhere around 80,000), and realized something was wrong. I didn't know what, and I kept writing because I knew it could always be edited later. One day, I was listening to music at work, like I do, and Various Storms and Saints came on.

And something about it just... clicked. It resonated with the story in a way that I didn't quite understand yet, but it just worked. So I put it on repeat and listened to it for hours, trying to tease out whatever I was missing.

And, boy, was it a big problem.

At first, I thought that this song was Ness' song. The emotion of it, not even the words, the way the song felt just fit her. But if it was Ness' song, it meant I had her motivations completely wrong.

Which would mean a total rewrite. By this point, I was 36,000 words deep. A rewrite was daunting. So I did the dumb thing, and resisted the story.

I tried telling myself, "No, it's Nolan's song."

But it wasn't.

Well, not entirely. The song fit both of them.

So, at 40,000 words, I went back and did a complete rewrite. I cut entire chapters (and saved them in a deleted scenes document) and replaced them with new ones. Every chapter that remained had to be completely redone to accommodate Ness' true motivations. How she acted, talked, thought... all of it had to change.

And every problem I had with the story before that was fixed by one revelation about Ness' feelings.

Of course, you'll have to read the book so she can tell you how she really feels. I can't just spoil it for you.

Here’s the Spotify playlist:

Songs that are in my playlist on my phone but aren’t on Spotify:

Anti-Gravity by Glory Oath + Blood
Radio Lust by The Blancos
Best Behavior by Beach Season
Hold on to Something by The Crystal Method ft. Teflon Sega and Delila Paz

Here’s the YouTube Music playlist (It has all the songs but the one by The Blancos)- this link only works if you subscribe to youtube music.

Thank you so much for your time, and thanks again to Fang-Tastic Books. I wish you all happy reading, whether it’s my book or someone else’s.

A Heart of Salt and Silver
Elexis Bell

Genre: Dark supernatural high fantasy romance

Date of Publication: 11/3/2020

Cover Artist: Elexis Bell 

Tagline: With eternity on the line, is love worth the risk?

Book Description: 

Ness, a demi-demon with a conscience, just wanted a peaceful afternoon in the Forest of Immortals. But Elias, a reckless mortal, went and spoiled it. Not that he wanted to be chased by psychotic vampires.

After saving his life, Ness agrees to help him find his estranged father and his Pack. But that means facing Nolan, the werewolf ex that holds her heart.

Now, Ness must decide. Use Elias to forget Nolan at the cost of his soul or crawl back to her ex and hope he still wants her even though she broke his heart.

But in a world sprinkled with immortals, broken hearts might be the least of their worries.

Fans of gritty fiction, compelling romance, and imaginative takes on magic and the afterlife will love this dark supernatural high fantasy romance.

Excerpt 2:

With my good arm, I pull my leg up to bend the knee. Hiking the hem of my dress up, I reveal torn muscle and shredded skin. I wince as the fabric moves over it, tugging flaps of skin in directions they aren’t meant to go.

Elias’ hands set to work, scooping water up, and pouring it over my thigh. Each drop, gentle as the administration of them may be, pulls a moan of pain from my lips. Wrapping fingers tightly around a stone, I do what I can to bear the pain without making Elias feel worse.

The blood washes away, revealing the true devastation wrought by the dead wolf’s jaws. My leg hangs open, dark muscle showing itself to the sky as it was never meant to do.

“Itand have mercy,” he whispers, calling on the goddess of fortitude.

But she’ll spare no blessings for the likes of me.

“What do I need to do?” he asks. His eyes roam over me, and one hand finds its way to my cheek. Brows knitted together, he clearly longs for something to do, some reassurance that I’ll be ok.

Does he want me to be alright for the sake of spending more time together? Or merely for the sake of having an escort for the rest of the trek?

I hope for his sake that it’s the latter. But the well of loneliness within me wishes for the former.

Either way, there’s nothing he can do.

“My body will mend itself,” I tell him. “It’ll hurt, but it’ll mend. It’s already started.”

His eyes drop to my arm, my leg. The bleeding has stopped, and the cuts aren’t as deep as they were mere seconds ago. Had he seen it when the wounds were first inflicted, he likely would’ve been sick.

“I wish you would’ve let me help,” he murmurs, sliding his hand along my jaw until his thumb finds my earlobe.

Exhaustion pulls my inhibitions low. Despite myself, despite the guilt churning within me, I lean into his caress.

Nolan won’t want me back, anyway.

My heart shrinks from the thought, and I close my eyes, nuzzling my cheek into Elias’ palm.

“Letting you help would’ve been a terrible idea. They could never kill me. They had no salt, no silver. They couldn’t say any incantations.”

I pause, squeezing my eyes tight against the horrid images which flash before them. I don’t want to see the ways they could’ve hurt him. I don’t want to watch them tear him to shreds. I don’t want to see his blood on the ground.

“They could’ve killed you, though,” I whisper.

Suddenly desperate to see him alive and healthy, to ease my conscience just a bit, I open my eyes. Sure enough, he’s there, face inches from mine. The moonlight glows in his magnificent eyes, but the blood of the Howlers still adorns his face.

Reaching for his sodden shirt, I lift a corner of it to his face. Wiping away the dried blood, I memorize the strength in his jaw, the kindness in his eyes. I trace the small kink in his nose, a remnant from a previous fight.

From a distance, it’s almost impossible to notice, but this close…

My eyes drop to his lips, full and soft. They part, but only to speak.

Confusion wrinkles his brow. “If they couldn’t kill you, why were they sent after us? To maim you and kill me?”

“No,” I say, shaking my head. I stifle a groan as my thigh stitches itself together. “They sent them to find us. They know where we are, now. They know which way we were headed. They’ll find us.”

Those words sew our lips shut, for we both know. This won’t be the last of the vampire and his pledge. And if this was just the search party, what awaits us down the path?

About the Author: 

Elexis Bell is a quiet nerd with too many hobbies, including everything from gaming to shower-singing and even archery, weather permitting. She specializes in sarcasm and writing stories that make people feel. She's made a home for herself with her husband, their dog, and a small army of cats.

She writes dark, gritty stories, sprinkling gut-wrenching emotions over high fantasy romance, thrillers, post-apocalyptic romance, and science fiction.

For further information, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, or check out her blog on her website.

Website: www.elexisbell.com 

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17807452.Elexis_Bell

Nanowrimo: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/elexisbell

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1 comment:

Debby said...

Thanks for the great post. I enjoyed reading about the book.