Friday, May 25, 2012

Research widens the plot


A continuing part of writing is doing research. An reviewer asked about the information I used in Ancient Awakening and I had to assure her that I had researched the facts I used. Building a novel takes more than one fact. I took information from many areas and used my imagination to recombine the ideas into my plots.
In my paranormal Ancient Awakening, I used the obsession with immortality to add layers to my villain’s character. The individual’s desire to live forever is recorded throughout history. 
Several decades ago, the world was amazed by the discovery in China of an immense grave site. Thousands of terra-cotta figures stood in ordered array.
Archeologists discovered that Emperor Ching Shi Hwang-Di spent his life hoping to avoid death. He commissioned doctors to concoct potions and sent ships out to sea in search of islands where immortals supposedly lived.
Fearful that his efforts might ultimately fail, he conscripted more than a half-million men to build a magnificent underground tomb. He had the tomb surrounded by over seven thousand life-size terracotta soldiers in military formation.
Upon the emperor's death, he ordered his living servants buried with him.
I was fascinated by his creation.
The idea of being immortal is common in fiction. In the ‘Lord of the Rings,’ Sauron is immortal.
Many fictitious characters are said to be immortal if they cannot die of old age, even though they can be killed through other means, such as injury. Achilles was such a character. He had only one place where he could be hurt and was ultimately killed.
Another example of this obsession is in the first know writings of man. Gilgamesh, the hero of ancient Mesopotamian mythology, searches for the magical plant or herb of immortality.  He provides one example of how stories use plants as symbols of life and of the healing power of nature. I used this idea in Ancient Blood. My hero searches for the way to use Wolf’s Bane to cure his curse.
Ancient Blood
Lily Alban escapes a murderous stalker, but his vicious attack leaves her with the ability to see auras. She finds safety in the tiny hamlet of Rhodes End where a stranger stands out like a red light. Try as she might to deny her growing desire for Cole, she seeks his help but soon discovers the man she loves is not a man at all.
Werewolf Cole Benedict resists his attraction to Lily. A botanist researching the healing herbs to find a cure for Lycanthropy, he’s determined to protect Lily from her stalker as well as himself even in human form, but instinct takes over when he changes to his inner beast.
Together they must use their extraordinary gifts to catch Lily’s stalker before he attacks again, but revealing their secrets to one another could destroy their growing love or save them both.

Excerpt:
“Lily?” His strong hands gently cupped her shoulders.
“Don’t, please don’t.”
She pulled away, fully intending to flee. Her resistance shattered, and she turned into his embrace. It was too late to escape. Pressing against his strength, she wound her arms around his neck and pulled him closer. His erection prodded her stomach, and she moaned. A heavy groan filled his throat as he lifted her from her feet. He kicked the bag aside as he sat her on the counter.
“I can’t wait,” he growled. His flaring aura spiraled with colors she couldn’t name. She caught her breath. One hand burrowed through her hair, keeping her still as he stepped between her thighs. “You’re all I could think about all day.”
Clasping her bottom, he slid her to the edge of the counter. With his lips claiming her mouth, he unbuttoned her slacks, than lifted her slightly to push them down and off.
The cold surface only made her more aware of his scorching heat. His rough denim pants scraped her inner thighs in contrast with the silky hair under her palms. Her pulse leaped, and she gasped. His male scent mixed with hints of the wild forest filled her nostrils. When his fingertip explored the heated moisture gathering at her juncture, she tightened her thighs around his hips.
Barbara Edwards
The Wild Rose Press: Ancient Blood, a Black Rose
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