Of Fire and Roses by Danielle Belwater
Genres: YA, Paranormal Romance
Nathaniel West’s mother is dead, his father a lost cause. Anger has become a way of life, until he meets and falls in love with Cora Ewell. Only Cora has a secret, one that could kill them both.
An age old dark magic resurfaces and it becomes a race against time for Cora and Nate to find the long buried secrets to saving everyone they love and each other.
After a near fatal accident leaves Nate in limbo, he must find a way to get through to Cora before time runs out and she is forced into life eternal with the evil wizard, Elias Stafford.
I felt insignificant among the forest of tall, needle-like trees. Tree roots, covered in a thick green moss, erupted from the ground like long twisted fingers. A fine dewy mist hung low to the ground and rays of sunlight speared through the dense canopy. The path that had brought me to this point had now become nothing but a trail of crushed leaves and forest litter.
Which direction had I come from? Trees, mist, and fog enveloped me. My throat constricted. I needed to get out of there. I searched for my footprints to head back the way I’d come. I found them straightaway and was about to make for home when I felt a curious prickle on the back of my neck—that weird sense that someone was watching me.
While I couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary, my instincts told me something or someone had entered my little bubble of personal space. There was a familiar scent in the air, out of place in this earthy forest, the sweet perfume of roses.
I stood motionless, willing the entity out of its hiding spot. A movement, a blur, the rustling of leaves, then nothing. This place was messing with my head and I’d been here less than five minutes. Convinced my brain was playing tricks, I took one last look over my shoulder, then trekked back into the forest, not sure whether that was the right direction.
A flash of red whipped between two trees in front of me, stopping me in my tracks. I pressed my palms into my eyes. When I let go, tiny white flecks danced around my vision like fireflies. After a moment, my eyes regained their focus, but not before I stumbled, tripped over a tree root, and fell squarely on my arse. Something uncomfortable dug greedily into my thigh. I pushed the huge rock away and rubbed my leg furiously, knowing that was going to leave a bruise. Great.
The ground was cold and hard and dampness seeped through the seat of my shorts. I rolled to one side, ready to push myself back to my feet, but what I saw stole the air from my lungs and I fell back to earth with a thud.
Was it a girl or an angel? Surely, normal girls didn’t glow like that? I lay on the hard ground, transfixed and completely unable to move. Watching me from a short distance away was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen in my life.
Purchase on Amazon: Of Fire and Roses (Erlanis Chronicles)
Danielle Belwater adores the concept of true love and thoroughly believes everyone has their Prince Charming or Snow White out there somewhere, even if they have to fight demons, ghosts, and wizards to find it.
Danielle has been having a love affair with words since she was young and in primary school, writing some rather imaginative tales. This love has followed her into adulthood.
She lives in rural South Australia with her husband, young daughters and way too many animals to mention. She spends most of her time dreaming up characters, stories, ghostly tales, and watching Firefly re-runs. She also cooks the odd meal for her family to avoid them looking like skeletons at official author functions!
Danielle is passionate about reading and her interests include pretty much anything with words from rolling four volume epics to the daily newspaper.
FAMILY vs AUTHOR: DON’T TELL ME I CAN’T HAVE BOTH – I’ll bite your ankles.
Now that the short joke is out of the way, on to the serious stuff.
If I knew then what I know now, I don’t think I would have got past the first paragraph of the first draft. But perhaps my naivety (and possibly pregnancy hormones) worked in my favour.
So at 6 months pregnant, with a toddler and an office job an hour away from my rural home I decided to make number 1 on my bucket list a reality.
Some would call this heroic, others might refer to it as suicidal. “What are you thinking?” Their panicked voices rang out. My answer to that- there are 24 usable hours in every day.
So I embarked on writing the first draft of “Of Fire & Roses”. I was writing when I got up in the morning, during the day and the last thing I would do at night. On the bus on my way to work I had 45 minutes to scribble notes down on any kind of writing material I could find; the back of old envelopes, business cards, old shopping lists, even the odd napkin. In roughly 6 weeks, I had a full manuscript in my hands.
I received my first round of edits from my publisher the day my daughter came into the world. Throw in a newborn right before my first novel is published and things turn 500 shades of crazy.
It never occurred to me that I might fail. I have discovered if you want something bad enough, you will find a way.
However! That being said, there is a very fine line of doing everything and neglecting your family to the point of breakdown and this is where the balancing act comes in. It took me standing in the driveway of our beach shack at 1.30am when our 8 week old wouldn’t stop screaming, watching my husband drive off with said baby saying I was putting this book before my family.
I shut the laptop lid without a sound, unhooked the Ethernet cable, and re-evaluated my current goals. My babies were growing up before my eyes and I was missing it, not to mention a husband who was not feeling the love.
So how can you have a family AND a writing career?
First and foremost, your family comes first. You don’t want to miss your baby’s first smiles or other milestones because you have your head buried so far into your laptop your counting words in your sleep and burping adverbs.
There are 3 little words that I have printed in 72 point bold on my fridge for when my 2 year old is wailing at me and digging through the pantry at 3pm because she hasn’t had lunch yet.
It. Can. Wait.
The earth won’t stop spinning if you don’t finish that blog post right then and there. Not every single reader that is going to buy the book will do so the second it is released so you don’t have to do everything right now.
Utilise time when no one is around. Get up an hour or two before everyone else. These are golden moments when you can take your time. Have a plan so you know what you are going to do in those moments you do get to work and don’t waste those precious minutes.
Multi-task. God’s gift to you that allows you to do more than one thing at a time.
Finally, and probably most importantly, remember you are a writer, not a blogger. Make time to write. Everyday. Be it 5 minutes or 5 hours. Otherwise you can fall in to the trap of spending all your time writing blogs, trawling Facebook and Twitter and checking rankings when you should be penning your next masterpiece.
So I’ve made my peace with the craziness of life, learnt to chill out and not take everything so seriously. I roll with the punches and with the odd exception, try to take everything in my stride.
So these days, I can usually be found sitting on the lounge, computer resting on my lap, coffee within arms reach, rocking a baby chair with my foot juggling play doh in one hand, sending a text message with the other while using voice dictation on the computer.
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