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20 April 2011

Feeding the Imagination - Traci Bell

I'm delighted to welcome Traci Bell to my Blog today.  Traci's Fantasy Romance 'Entangled' was released on 1st April.  We'll have an excerpt later, but first, draw up a chair, make yourself at home, take a sip of mead and a chunk of chocolate and enjoy what Traci has to say about 'Feeding The Imagination.'
Over to you Traci

In high school, I attended a banquet where my fellow classmates awarded me with a gag award.  The award was a picture of the moon.  They gifted me with this prestigious award because my mind was always in space.

Fast forward *!$#%@ years and not much has changed. (Pardon the characters, my mind refuses to acknowledge the passage of so much time.)

Being a writer, I’m often asked where I get ideas for my stories.  My answer - EVERYTHING gives me ideas.
For example, I read an article several years ago that described how in the weird world of quantum physics, two linked particles can share a single fate, even when they’re miles apart.  Being a romance author, my mind ran with the idea of two lovers being linked, sharing a fate, and feeling a connection, even when they’re miles apart.  The end result is my fantasy romance, Entangled.

I have a friend who loves Ghost Hunters.  LOVES IT.  She talks about it at work.  Subsequently, my current WIP has a ghost searching for redemption.

I took my kids to school the other morning, and I watched a mother walk with her daughter across the school yard.  What if I wrote about a single mother who walks her daughter to school every day?  What catalyst might happen to make the mother miss such an important part of her daily routine?

Sometimes I observe the driver in the car next to me at stoplights.  On the way home yesterday, I saw a man talking heatedly into his cell phone.  I wondered what he was discussing.  Maybe an argument with a spouse?  A business deal about to fall through?  A defiant teen son or daughter on the other end of the line?

For years, I thought my imagination was just a guilty pleasure, a place my procrastinating mind ran to when I had to do a particularly undesirable task, or where I would escape the everyday.  Now I know differently – my imagination feeds my passion.  Here is one of my favourite quotes:

“Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.” ~ Lauren Bacall
So tell me - what feeds your imagination?

Traci lives near Dallas with her husband, children, and clumsy but lovable 75 lb. boxer named Rowdy. She enjoys reading and writing fantastical or paranormal stories with a twist, where supernatural elements serve as metaphors for the actual struggles people face every day. An avid romance reader, she believes happily-ever-afters do happen in real life, if one is willing to work for it. You can learn more about Traci on her website http://www.tracibell.net

Her fantasy romance, Entangled, is published through Crescent Moon Press and is available in print and e-book versions through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

When divorced teacher Cassie Miller dreamt about meeting her soul mate, her happily-ever-after didn't include threats of abduction to a parallel world to help him save his people from imminent destruction.

Alexos de Werner, exiled prince of a land now under Republican rule, is searching for the woman that can help stop the disasters devastating his home province of Ennis, in his world of Caedmon.  Alex will do anything to save his people, even if they don't want his help.

Unnerved by the connection she feels with Alex and the new abilities awakening inside her, Cassie refuses Alex's request for help as ludicrous.  A demonstration of his otherworldly abilities convinces Cassie her only choice is to help him.

Once on Caedmon, Cassie must learn to trust Alex and accept her gift before Ennis is lost.  Can she open her heart and mind and become the student instead of the teacher?

Cassie returned to her classroom and made her way to her desk, pushing chairs back under desks and putting away supplies as she crossed the room. She sat at her computer and decided there was enough time to work on next week’s lesson plan before she had to pick up her friend, Grace, from the cancer center at four-thirty.
The computer screen blurred, and Cassie rubbed her eyes.

When she opened them, a gray mist filled her vision, just like it had in her dreams the night before.
Not this again.

Unable to stop herself, Cassie ran through the mist, now a dense, billowing fog, just like she’d done before. The moisture clawed at her, stinging her skin. She sensed another presence, but the faster she ran, the more the darkness squeezed her, making it harder for her to breathe…
Cassie blinked, startled.
The classroom. Her computer. All was as it should be. 

She ran her hands over her face. The urgency with which she ran, even though only in her mind, made her pulse race like a metronome gone haywire. She swallowed. Glanced at the clock. Four-ten.
She’d lost almost forty-five minutes that time.
The trances were getting worse.

Papers she needed to grade in one hand, purse and bag in the other, she ran from the classroom and bolted out the side entrance to the elementary school, attempting to stuff the papers into her bag as she did so. She missed, and papers scattered across the sidewalk.
She bent to gather them up. The sudden stop and drop caused her vision to black out. Blood rushed to her head, a squalling white noise in her ears.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, afraid she might pass out.

“Are you all right?” a rich, masculine voice with a strange accent asked her.
Everything inside of Cassie came to attention at the sound of the voice, all of the strange sensations inside of her hit a crescendo and just… stopped. The compression in her chest eased, replaced by a sudden sort of knowing.

She opened her eyes, both curious and afraid.
A man crouched down beside her. He breathed heavy, as though he’d been running. Hazel eyes, framed by dark brows, reflected her own astonishment. A five o’clock shadow softened his square jaw and framed lips that were not too thin, nor too full. His black hair was just a tad too long, the ends curling slightly against his forehead.

Cassie stood. Wonder—and a deep sense of rightness—cleansed the anxiousness and restlessness from her body. She knew this man before her. Was connected to him on some fundamental cellular level.
How quick was her progression from crazy to certifiably insane.

He stood when she did. Well-built, he wore brown boots, blue jeans, and a red long-sleeved button down cotton shirt. Despite his casual dress, power radiated from him.
“Do I know you?” she asked.