Beyond the Veil – Snippet

Happy Friday!  I have scheduled a release for New Year’s Eve.  I hope you can drop by.

Today’s snippet revolves around Logan’s POV.  He regrets the way his date with Aubrie ended.  He has intentions of apologizing.  He’s caught off guard when he bumps into her in Katie Tibideaux’s drug store.  Unable to find the words, which will show her how sorry he is for walking out on her, he flounders in the sensations he has when he sees her.  Hope you enjoy!  Thanks for dropping by.

Beyond the Veil

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A jingle came from the front door.

“Hello?”

The female voice sounded too familiar.

“Katie?  Are you in the back?”

“Be right there,” Katie called from the bowels of the store.

The voice had him frozen in his tracks.  Unwilling to admit he had a moment when he’d almost bolted for the door.  Prompted by the fact safety lay just on the other side, Logan scowled down at the bottle of fish oil – ‘one thousand count, made from the finest fish from the north sea.’  “Coward,” he growled under his breath.  Turning, he headed for the counter.

“Hey, Logan,” Aubrie greeted him as he approached.

Her faint smile reminded him of the reaction of the nurses at the VA after he awoke from an episode.  Their faces always registered detachment framed in caution.  “How’ve you been, Aubrie?”  His hands automatically went into his pockets.

“Fine, how about you?”  Her smile warmed a little.

His mind registered the look of long golden brown tresses hanging down her back.  Soft curls bounced as she shifted from one foot to the other.  By the gods, but she looked good.  “I’m fine,” he said with precision.  Lying was one of his better skills, he mused.  Her standing there made him crave the urge to reach out.  Logan imagined taking one of those long, satin strands of hair in his hand before twirling the silken smoothness around his finger.  Languishing in the soft, sensual length made his shaft harden.  No, there was no ED problem when it came to her.  Discounting the notion, he jerked his head in the direction of the garage.  “Gus is trying to kill me slowly, I think.”  Her gentle laugh eased the tension he sensed between them.

“Yes, I’ve noticed you guys are swamped most days when I go by.”

“You came by?  Wait, I missed you?” he questioned.

“No.”  Her brow furrowed.

Logan’s gut tightened.  Shifting, he searched for a calm he was not sure existed.  With Aubrie so close, his world went to general quarters.  Her nearness had his heart beating like a piston.  Afraid his head might explode, Logan took a step back.

“No, I just noticed when I’d drive by is all.”

The moment was broken as Katie stepped up to the counter.  “Hey, you.”

“Hey.”  Aubrie’s tone immediately shifted to intimate friendship.

Silently wishing her response to his question had been similar, his hand automatically went to his chest.  The familiar pain lodged there ached with a deep longing.

***

All work is copyrighted and the property of Catherine Wolffe, author.

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Beyond the Veil

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The end of 2016 marks my sixth year as a romance author.  I love the journey and look forward to many more tales of suspense and mystery within the genre of fantasy.  My latest book, Beyond the Veil, book 1 of the Shadow Company series, scheduled for release at the end of the year brings magic to life.  I plan on sharing small snippets of the book with you, the readers in the coming weeks. To begin, here is the synopsis.

Beyond the Veil, book 1 of the Shadow Company series

Aubrie Nelson wanted peace.  As a seer, she cherishes living alone with only her dogs and horse as companions on a quiet farm in the hills of northern Louisiana.  The solitude allows her to harness her gift and banish the unwelcome voices in her head.  Her world is turned upside down when she meets Logan Latimar, former Navy SEAL, and warlock.

Evil lurks in the fog.  Logan has seen the demons in his tours as a Navy SEAL.  Even his talents as a warlock can not rid his world of the danger, residing on the other side of the light.

Can his attraction to Aubrie be more than a mere fascination?  Or, are they destined to face the shadow walkers from the netherworld?  Together they embark on a spin chilling adventure as self-proclaimed saviors of the world.

***

Snippet I

“So that’s why you love it way out here.”  Logan scanned the darkness, examining the silhouettes in the burgeoning moonlight.  “I understand it now.  This place is your haven, your sanctuary.”  Turning, his eyes traced her features.  “You’re an amazing woman, Aubrie.”

“Not really.”  The laugh escaped unbidden.  Now, she gripped the rail.  Its strength she found necessary at the moment.  “Some say I’m crazy.”

Silence filled the air.

Funny, she had expected him to disagree.  She shot him a glance from beneath her lashes.  He started to laugh.  Starting as a bubble of amusement, Logan did not finish until he held his side.  “A stitch, sorry.”  Having trouble breathing, he clutched his middle.

She did not know whether to ignore the outburst or roll with the mood.  “What’s so funny, exactly?”

“I’m sorry.  Folks were calling you crazy.  I find that ironic is all.”  He smoothed a stray length of hair back from his forehead.  “You see the way the Army smothers a mistake is to cast aspersions on those involved.  If you find yourself under fire, cause a diversion.  We were labeled crazy by the shrinks once we got stateside due to our dispute over the call to disengage that night.  It’s so convenient for them to label you with PTSD and close the book on you.  Honorable discharges dished out all around.  Hoorah, team five.”  He waved a long finger in a circle above her head.  One pious general even mentioned how grateful we should be to have our pension intact.  He said how we could have been court-martialed for insubordination under fire.”

“You think I’m running don’t you?”  Aubrie watched him carefully.

“What?”  He shook his dark head.  “No! Why do you say that?”

Extending her arms, she encompassed the dark space before them.  “You see a coward who had rather live alone than face the world.  You think I believe you’re a coward.”

His eyes deepened to forest green.  Sparks of amber sizzled around his pupils.  “I don’t believe any such thing.  Quit putting words in my mouth, woman.  That’s not the way it is.”  Shoving back, he turned his back to her.  A moment passed.  Slowly, he turned to face her.  “I see what you’re up to.  You’re goading me aren’t you.  Trying to remind me, I’m not a victim here.  Am I right?”

She glanced out at the new moon’s gleam over her tiny valley.  “A man needs to remember why he’s fighting and for who.”  She turned away, walking down the length of the deck.  As she did, she glanced back.  “Small minded people will always believe what they want.  It helps them sleep at night, I suppose.  You and I believe in truth and justice.  I guess that makes us off kilter for some.”

“You had me going there for a minute.  Of course, I don’t believe the talk or the diagnosis.  We know what we were put here for, and that’s all that matters.”  Logan narrowed the distance between them.  Sweeping Aubrie up, he kissed her hard.

***

Beyond the Veil, a work of fiction and the copyrighted material of Catherine Wolffe, the author is not eligible for reprint or sharing except with the permission of Catherine Wolffe.

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A Rough Year

Creative writing is like taking flight.

Sometimes in life, things assail people that catch them completely off guard.  This year has seen some of these road blocks in this writer’s life.  Reality is a rough place to reside when you face the ugly side of our existence on earth.

I wish I could tell you the answer for me was to escape into writing.  But dealing with health issues and denial of your own mortality overrode my creative nature.  Sorry, but that’s truth.  Does that make me weak?  I do not have the answer to that one.  Today I opened my story file to work on the tale of a witch with PTSD in love with an empath kidnapped by a narcissistic demon.  The contents could mirror my mental state at this point.

The good news is I am closing in on the end of the story, and I am sure of one thing.  Life goes on.  I will survive.  I will not make promises.  Everyone has the promise to offer, so I will not compete.  Instead, I will seek the creativity to heal my battered soul.  The story will end when it is time.

For those of you who have patiently waited, here is an excerpt of my latest work in progress, Beyond The Veil. Thank you for your continued support.

Rockets whistled overhead.  Gunfire erupted all around Logan’s unit.  He blinked away the vision of Luke’s lifeless body lying in a pool of blood.  “Gotta stay here.  Gotta focus.  Just a vision.  Nothing more.”  Logan raked fingers through his hair.  Snarling at the noise, he crouched low.  The feel of his mind slipping from reality made his breath come in quick pants.  Gas fumes and burning rubber assailed his senses.  “Gotta get out of here.”  Logan closed his eyes and covered his head with his fists.

The sound of a chopper sitting down reminded him he had to evacuate.  Sweat popped out as he took a couple of steps toward the door.  There was not the time for the sense of dread, which enveloped him.  Still, the image of another person standing behind Luke frazzled his nerves.  Logan cursed low under his breath.  The sense of De Ja Vu whirled in his head.  He stumbled before clutching the doorframe.

He had struggled with the image ever since he returned from the ‘sandbox’.  Figuring it was a figment of a battle weary brain or some psychotic meltdown did not stop Luke’s form from popping up at the worst times, like now.  He could not see ghosts now – not now.  Shaking out the kinks, Logan forced one foot in front of the other.  “Stay in the present,” he murmured.  Willing away the thoughts, Logan forced his brain to think of Aubrie.  She was safe and out of harm’s way.  The crystals he had given Gus to use would keep Aubrie safe until he could stop this disaster from happening.  Her alter ego; Valcura was going to be pissed.  Logan grinned at the image of her flying off the handle and gathering a head of steam to dump on his ass when he returned.  A quick prick of guilt reminded him of the trick he had used to keep her out of the action.  So what if she was pissed at him for holding her hostage until he could eliminate Absol and his band of merry warriors.  The eye roll brought back the headache.  Tension gripped his neck.

“Time to rock and roll, bro.”

Logan wiped away the dirt.  The voice reminded him of Luke.  Searching behind him, he confronted his buddy standing much as he had the day they’d left for Afghanistan.  Luke, the boy from back home, the quarterback and hero, stretched to his entire six foot two frame and grinned for Logan.  Gathering his wits, the former Navy SEAL shook away the memory.  “Gotta focus.  Can’t go in halfcocked.”

                                    ***

Thank you for sharing with your friends.  Your support means so much.

This excerpt from Beyond The Veil, book 1 of Shadow Company is copyrighted material and the property of Catherine Wolffe, author.

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Eliminate Filter Words For a Immersive POV Experience

This post is well pressed from Writers in The Storm.  Check out this valuable information from Janice Hardy, who shares writing resources on her blog The Other Side of the Story.

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Decades ago, a detached, omniscient point of view was all the rage. Readers wanted to be told a story, so the stories read as if someone was indeed telling them. That style faded as readers sought a more immersive read, and tight points of view became popular.

Regardless of who the narrator is, that’s the person the reader experiences the novel through. A tight first person narrator, an omniscient third, a limited third, it’s all filtered through somebody’s eyes. Sometimes this filter is invisible and the reader doesn’t feel any distance between her and the point of view (POV) character. Other times the filters are obvious and the reader feels the wall between her and the characters. One style looksthrough the eyes of the POV, the other looks at the POV.

What adds this layer?

Filter words.

Filter words distance the reader from the POV character. They remind readers they’re reading, explain things that are obvious, and often lead a writer into telling. Even worse, filter words are frequently found with their passive, telling cousins, pushing the reader even further away.

If you’re after a tighter and more immersive POV experience, you might try looking for and eliminating these filter words.

Redundant Filter Words

The easiest fix is to get rid of words like, saw, heard, felt, knew, watched, and looked. What makes these words feel detached is that they’re explaining that a character saw or heard something, and then the narrative goes right ahead and shows it anyway. POV characters by definition are relaying everything they sense, say, and think. If it’s described, readers know the character experienced it in some way. It’s like saying, I’m going to look at something, and now I’m telling you what I looked at.

Let’s look at some examples:

Lisa wandered through the field and saw three crows sitting on the fence. Their black feathers glistened in the morning sunshine. She heard them caw the way crows do, and watched them take flight and soar across the bright, blue sky.

I could hear cars whooshing past. The sound of horns blared against my ears, muffled by the morning fog. It felt cold and clammy, sticking to my skin like a layer of wet cloth. It smelled musty, though I knew fog couldn’t possibly be musty.

Notice the extra layer. The character is relaying information in a detached, after the fact, watching-me-do-this tone. There’s a feeling of an outside person describing what the character sees and hears rather than experiencing the same things through that character’s senses.

Look at these same paragraphs without the filter words:

Lisa wandered through the field. Three crows sat on the fence, their black feathers glistening in the morning sunshine. They cawed the way crows do, then took flight and soared across the bright, blue sky.

Cars whooshed past, their blaring horns muffled by the morning fog. It lay cold and clammy against my skin like wet cloth. Musty, though fog couldn’t possibly be musty.

Now the POV character is describing what they experience without telling the reader that they’re looking or hearing or smelling. The reader feels closer to the POV, and can imagine themselves in the story instead of watching the story from afar.

Revising to eliminate filter words is an easy way to achieve a tighter POV, and even fix any told prose in the process.

Do you prefer a tight or a distant point of view? Why? What about it captures you as a reader?

BIO:
Janice Hardy always wondered about the darker side of healing. For her fantasy trilogy THE HEALING WARS, she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her books include THE SHIFTER, and BLUE FIRE. DARKFALL, from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. She lives in Georgia with her husband, three cats and one very nervous freshwater eel. You can visit her online at www.janicehardy.com, chat with her about writing on her blog,The Other Side of the Story, or find her on Twitter @Janice_Hardy.

Friday Fatigues Edition

Friday Fatigues Kick Start – for your muse, a writing picture prompt, or just a visual treat.  Thanks to my writing pal, Candi Wall for this post.

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Love a man in fatigues? This prompt is for you.

Tell me about our soldier. Who is he? Where is he? In enemy territory? What’s with the intense stare?What’s he thinking? Is he a mercenary? Did he just complete a secret operation? Speaking of details, what do you think the rope is for? Why is he dirty? And more importantly, is he going commando?

Come on, you clever little devils, you. Let’s hear your take.

Share your ideas in the comments.  Don’t be shy!  Here’s my muse’s idea of Charlie Walters –

A Free Swingin’ D**k from Alabama

Charlie Walters, a second tour sergeant of the USMC, is taking a PT to get the rocks and dirt out of his boot and expose his tired ass to some air. ‘PT’ is personal time for you civilians. Yes, he’s going commando, not only because the air feels better on his parched hide,  but because he’s always been a free swinger as his ‘bros’ would call the preference.

Sergeant Walters has seen his share of combat while stationed in Afghanistan, however, he’s been lucky so far and dodged the bullets flying at his unit.  The wind blows with a vengeance through the canyons and down the slopes of this desolate country.  He wears it like armor against the unrelenting sun to protect him from the enemy as well as the elements. The rope is for climbing and securing a man when the trail is twenty feet straight up. To Charlie, the climb is just another part of his sixteen hour days on patrol.

He wears the look of a man who’s been through hell and emerged by the skin of his teeth.  Unscathed physically doesn’t include what he’s seen, heard and felt.  Those wounds will live with him from now on.  Given the opportunity, he’d rather not share the pain, nor would he hide from the memories.  Yeah, Charlie’s just a free swingin’ d**k from south Alabama clocking off his time until he can hop that bird that will see him home.

“Roger that and out.”