Saturday, July 26, 2008

Guest Blogger: author Elyssa Lynne

Today the Grip crew welcomes guest blogger, erotic romance author Elyssa Lynne!

First, I'd like to thank Anny, Kelly, Regina, Cindy and James for letting me come and play today. It's been a delight reading about how they write -- and getting to read their excerpts.

I taught novel writing at a community college for six years. The first thing I learned from my students was that there were an infitine number of ways to write a book. Each writer is different from all others, from the hard wiring in our brains that direct how we think and create to our life experiences that shape how we view the world and express ourselves. And each book is unique, from the way it first springs into our minds to the way it takes shape as the words flow--or are dragged out--onto the page. No matter how many books each one of us writes, the odds are that no two will have gone through the exact same process.

So far, everyone here on Oh Get a Grip seems to be a pantser (or is that pantster?). I'm the opposite. I come up with a detailed plot that I regard as a road map. I know where I'm starting and I know where I want to end up. I also know which high and low points I want to visit along the way. But I allow plenty of leeway for unexpected sidetrips that my characters want to take. And I've been known to scrap the plot, usually when I reach Chapter Seven (out of about twenty-four) because the side excursions have become more interesting than the originally intended destination.

Because of that, I've learned I can't edit as I compose. I hate wasting time polishing sentences and scenes that wind up being cut. Books, until they are actually released, are living, breathing creations, unique and with a life of their own that frequently delights -- and frustrates -- their writers. And we never actually finish them. We just abandon them -- usually when we've reached, or possibly passed, their deadline. I know for me, each book has been a unique creative experience.

And I know each one has left its mark (sometimes those of a bulldozer) on me.

Jewels of the Nile -- Ruby
By: Elyssa Lynne
(click on cover for more information)

Blurb: For six years, Guerrin has become a mindless, killing werewolf every full moon. But one night he encounters Marya, and his Primal Urge to mate with her is so strong, he reverts to human form—thus beginning a magic spell that is his only hope of salvation.

If Guerrin and Marya can construct a collar of steel, silver and a ruby and fasten it about his neck at the moment he is both wolf and man, he will retain his own mind even in wolf shape. To complete the spell, each step must be accompanied by an enactment of the Primal Urge—a major distraction. Time is running out, and if they fail to succeed by the time the moon rises on the third night, Guerrin will die.


The wolfishness stirred in him, seeping through his bones, running along his muscles, racing through his blood, raising his hackles. His mouth ached with the fangs that strained to lengthen, sharpen, tear into flesh as his prey ran from him in terror. He shook his head in denial but it turned into the full body shiver of an animal.

“The moon,” he gasped.
Marya clutched his hand and closed her eyes. “It won’t rise for about another two hours.”
“The urge to change—it’s too strong. It’s taking me already.”
She rose and grasped his shoulders as if to hold him there, to force him to remain human. “This is the peak of the full moon.”
“But it’s never come on me before it actually started to rise,” he cried. He had so much to do still. And he had to run away, far from this town, far from anyone he might hurt. He needed to be many miles from here before he changed into a creature with the lust for blood filling his being.
“We’ve started a work of magic,” she told him.
She sounded so calm, so steady. So dependable. He wrapped his arms about her, holding her close, needing the promise of hope she represented. Needing her love to keep him human. But for that he also needed the collar secured around his neck, never to be removed. They still had hours of work. But already he could feel the claws on his toes rubbing against the soft leather of his boots.
“I’ve got to get away,” he breathed.
He lifted his head, sniffing the air with a nose that sensed far more than a mere human’s. Words sounded near him but they didn’t matter. Only the smells, only the need to run, to hunt, to kill.
She slapped his face, over and over, not hard but with persistence. “Can you hear me? Guerrin!”
He drew a shuddering breath. “We’ll have to finish tomorrow.”
“Go to my cottage,” she ordered. “Guerrin? Are you listening?”
With an effort he focused on her and covered her hands where they rested on his face with his own. They definitely had more hair on their backs than they should before the moon had crested the horizon. And his claws…
“Go to my cottage,” she repeated, “and eat something. Bread. Cheese. Carrots. Human food. Do you understand?”
He nodded. Would he even have time to get there before the change overtook him completely, left him running on four paws instead of two feet? Left him craving warm blood and raw flesh instead of baked goods and dairy products?
“If you eat,” she went on, “you won’t be hungry as a wolf. You might not hunt.”
Eat. I have to eat. Would he have time?
“Stay near my cottage.” She spoke slowly, one word at a time. “You must come to me some time tonight when you are fully a wolf.”

“I can’t trust myself,” he gasped. “Not tonight. The wolf form is too strong. If I come to you—”
“You must.” She broke across his protests. “And the primal urge is stronger even than the wolf in you. You’ll come to mate. Now go. Run. I’ll straighten up here and follow as soon as I can.” She pulled his head down and kissed him hard.

He dragged her tight against his body, savoring the feel, wanting never to let go. But a part of him that grew stronger by the second also wanted to rip her throat out. Not the best foundation for the life he wanted with her. His mouth sought hers for one last desperate caress then he dragged up the breeches he’d lowered and knotted them about his waist even as he sprinted for the door. It opened with well-oiled ease and he raced toward the nearest low wall. Several people turned to stare at him but he kept on, driven by his fear of what he might do if he remained. He laid his hands on the top stones, vaulted over and pelted across the field toward the forest beyond.
Check out more about Elyssa at her website:
Find her books at Ellora's Cave.


  1. Hi,
    I love your excerpt. Is Marya also a wolf? Brave of her to invite him back when he is in full wolf form. She might want to have a few snacks on hand just in case he didn't fill up on the cheese and bread. :)

    When you are forced to abandon your plot in chapter seven, do you scrap the entire book?

  2. Thanks for dropping by today Elyssa! I loved the excerpt!

  3. Hey, Elyssa!! Glad to have you on the Grip. I love this excerpt because it leaves me with so many questions.

    I can't imagine writing by outline. It's like trying to understand a language I don't speak. I just doesn't compute. But clearly it is a winning process for you.

  4. Ahhhh. A shapeshifter with a twist. Excellent!

  5. Great excerpt, Elyssa! Groan...another one to add to my never-ending list! I've really got to start buying them faster...


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