Brenda, welcome to The Musings of Many!
I am thrilled to be guesting on Olivia’s blog today. Thanks so much!
I am always fascinated by other writer’s writing processes. I read once that Diana Gabaldon (Outlander) write out of order. She’ll sit down to that day’s writing and wait for an image to come to mind. Then from that image she extrapolates out into a full scene. It’s only after she’s written a number of scenes that she decides what order to put them in, and how to connect them.
This sort of process scares the bejeebers out of me. I am much more comfortable with spreadsheets and outlines and a firm, straightforward approach. But if I’m honest, those things only give me an illusion of control. Stories have a way of switching and swinging—those scenes I thought were vital to the book are no longer necessary, because of something my characters did spontaneously.
As I hold down a full-time day job, and I am NOT a night-owl, I can only spare a couple of hours each day to write. So it takes me about eight to ten months to complete a full-length novel. Then I usually let it sit for a month or two before going back to do revisions. It’s only after that second run through that I send it to beta readers and critique partners. They always come back with great suggestions, so that’s the next step. And the final step is to send it to my editor for final, final comments. So all in all, it could take me a year and a half to two years from start to finish.
That’s why a new release is so exciting! I starting writing When Time Falls Still in March 2014, and all that sweat and effort and pain-staking work is finally available to share. Thanks to Olivia for letting me bring this story to you!
Professor Charlotte Girardet is focused on one thing – securing tenure at a large, prestigious university.
Her career is firmly on track, but her life is complicated by her attraction to rough and rugged security guard Justice Cooper. It isn't only Charlotte's heart in danger, however. Tensions blaze on campus after several students are viciously attacked.
Struggling to balance her ambitions and her growing passion, Charlotte takes a leap of faith, and trusts Justice with her deepest secret. But when the assailant's attacks escalate to kidnapping, will Charlotte have the chance to decide between her long-held dreams or a new life with Justice?
Charlotte braced herself against the motion of the elevator, but not before her breasts, protected only by thin fabric and thinner lace, brushed Justice’s chest. He was standing so close she felt overwhelmed. Not intimidated—he didn’t scare her—just...swamped by his nearness.
Or maybe it was the heat in his eyes.
Ocean depths had nothing on the blueness searing into her, she thought wildly. Vertigo weakened her knees, but she couldn’t look away.
"I—" She broke off, swallowed, and tried again. "I don’t know what to say." He toyed with the end of her braid, and she swore she could feel the touch of his fingers fizzle up the strands, down her spine and into the soles of her feet.
"Did you honestly think I wasn’t attracted to you?" His voice rumbled, low and sexy.
The doors slid open. Thank God the hallway was empty. Her legs felt disconnected from her body, but she managed not to stumble. She unlocked her office, seeking refuge inside. Justice followed.
He wasn’t going to let it go. Perseverance was his greatest strength—and his most irritating habit, she thought peevishly. "I threw myself at you and you walked away."
"I just about took you up against your front door." Frustration coloured his tone. He scrubbed his hands over his close-cropped head.
"Fine. Maybe you were right." She lifted her satchel off her shoulder and tossed it into a nearby chair. "Maybe I wasn’t thinking clearly enough."
"Maybe." He crossed his ankles and leaned against the wall, the casual stance belying the tension evident in the fists jammed in his pockets, the set of his shoulders. "Now what?"
"I don’t know." The collar of his uniform jacket had kinked up on one side. Without thinking, she stepped forward to smooth it down. He caught her hand and held it. Her fingers curled into his.
The connection felt good. It felt right. Maybe she should stop thinking altogether, and just go with her gut.
She never did that. She planned and researched and debated and planned some more. Trying to regain her equilibrium, she tugged away and escaped behind her desk.
"Let’s look at this rationally," she said. His scarred eyebrow arched and amusement flickered in his face, but she battled on. "We are both healthy, single adults. For some reason, we seem to have strong physical chemistry."
"Some reason?" The amusement was uppermost, now. His lips remained firm and straight, but she could see it in his eyes, as usual.
"Don’t take this the wrong way, but you are not the kind of man I ever thought I’d be attracted to."
He lowered his lids and regarded her through narrow slits. "Right back at you."
She bristled, but took her own advice and let it go. "Regardless, we could take advantage of this mutual appeal."
"There’s the professor I know and...admire," he murmured.
She ignored the sarcasm. "I’m only here for a few more months." The exam today was the last she needed to invigilate. As soon as they were marked and the results submitted, she was flying out to spend Christmas with Sonny and family, returning a few days before the start of the winter session. "Are you in any of my classes next semester?"
He shook his head, watching her closely.
"Would you consider a short-term, exclusive relationship, with a predefined end date?" There, she thought. That sounded mature, sensible. No need to let emotions colour what promised to be a satisfying adult affair.
He straightened from the wall, looming to his full height. "Would this so-called relationship be strictly physical? Or could it involve social aspects as well?"
Once again, she sensed an underlying current of laughter, but she ignored it. "I can’t see why not."
"And it would come to an end the same time as your contract?"
"Or earlier, of course, should either of us find it no longer meets our needs."
"I thought English professors were supposed to be romantic."
Romance. Love. That’s what hurt you. Sex, on the other hand, was just sex. "Not all of us."
If you're looking for a great contemporary romance, WHEN TIME FALLS STILL is the book for you. The romance between Justice and Charlotte was full of ups and downs but their connection, friendship and attraction a constant. A fantastic introduction to a new-to-me author, I will happily browse through the Brenda Margriet's backlist.
The Romance Reviews - 4 Stars
Margriet’s voice produces a smooth flowing narrative, intriguing sexual tension, and a well-plotted romance that takes it’s time developing as Margriet sets out to address and resolve the internal issues of the protagonists while flirting with a light suspense filled subplot.
Smexy Books - Grade B
Website (with all other links): http://www.brendamargriet.com/when-time-falls-still---where-to-buy.html
Brenda Margriet write contemporary romances with heroes you'd meet at the grocery store. And by that she means real-life men – sexy, smart and looking for the love of their life. Her heroines are bold, savvy and determined to accept nothing less than the man they deserve.
A voracious reader since she was old enough to hold a book, Brenda's idea of the perfect holiday involves a comfortable chair near the water (ocean, lake or pool will do), a glass of wine, and a full-loaded e-reader.
She lives in Northern British Columbia with her husband, three children (all of whom are taller than her) and various finny and furry pets.
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Amazon Author Page
One of the ways I’m hoping to connect with readers is through my brand new newsletter! You can find the sign up form on the front page of my website and on my Facebook Author Page.
As a thank you for signing up, I will be pleased to send you a copy of my short story, The Life She Had Before.
And one more thing! I’m giving away 5 copies of When Time Falls Still.
Enter here by April 15th for your chance to win!
About the Author
Olivia Night's novels keep readers on the edge of their seats. Her first series,The Men of FTI takes place all over the world with Alpha men who will capture your heart.