Friday, September 19, 2014

Sometimes, you have to make things fall into place by Alicia Dean

Don’t you just love it when things fall into place? You know, when plans fall into place, a job falls into place, kids fall into place, and especially when a manuscript falls into place.

As all writers know, some books are a struggle, some go rather smoothly (although I have never been lucky enough to have a book ‘write itself’). My upcoming release, Without Mercy, did NOT fall into place. As a matter of fact, I had to grab it, wrestle it down, beat it into submission, and SHOVE it, kicking and screaming, into place.

I started writing WM in 2009. I liked the idea, and the first half a dozen chapters came fairly easily. Then, I hit a wall. Hard. My characters were in a BIG PICKLE, and I didn’t know how to get them out of it. Over the years, I would pick it back up and write a little here and there, but I never progressed very far, and definitely not very quickly.

A few months ago, I picked it up again. This time, I was determined to finish it. Come hell or high water, bald spots and all. Even if it meant doubling up on the anti-anxiety meds.

Again, I struggled, but this time, I powered my way through, with a bit of brainstorming help from my CP’s. My writing style has changed some since 2009, so I had to ‘fix’ quite a few problem areas. Oh, and also, at one point during the recent rewriting, my flash drive became corrupted, and I lost all the progress I’d made. So that was awesome. (NOT) But, again, I powered through. Now, I am pleased to say, the book is finished and currently with a proofreader. (After a lot of help from wonderful beta readers, among them, Diane Burton, and with help from my critique partners, who always have my back.)

Yes, finally, it ‘fell into place.’ J

Is there a manuscript or project that has given you fits like this? Did you conquer it? Give up on it? Or is the jury still out on that one?

Below is a blurb and excerpt from Without Mercy. I hope at least some readers feel it was worth the trouble.
Available September 26, 2014 - Pre-order for an introductory price of only 99¢:

Click here to Pre-order for Kindle


How far will a mother go to protect her child?

When an apparently random bank robbery turns out to be a sinister plan, single mother China Beckett is thrust into a nightmare.  

A group of mercenaries take over her life, threatening her young daughter and everyone they love. Each time China makes a mistake, someone dies. She’ll fight to the last breath to protect her child, but with no idea what move will be the wrong one, that might not be enough.  

As the lives of China’s loved ones are jeopardized, she must take action, although she has no idea where to turn—and time is running out. But then, a startling truth is revealed and China discovers that the only person who can save them might be a ghost from the past.


The shrill alarm pierced the morning, jerking China from a dream about Aiden. He’d shown up at her door, dark eyes smiling. In his thick Irish brogue, he’d said, “No more worries, lass. I’m here now.” Relief and love filled her heart. She’d thrown her arms around his neck, clung to him tightly—she could almost feel his warm, strong body—and whispered, “Come meet your daughter…”
She’d been cocooned in sweet, safe warmth. Maybe if she stayed in bed and lay very still, the dream wouldn't leave.
It didn’t work. The illusion fled, and there was nothing left but to face reality. Annoyed and exhausted from another restless night, she stumbled from bed and down the stairs.
Gunnar was sitting at the kitchen table.
“Today is your first instruction,” he said.
“Oh, goody.” Did Gunnar recognize good ole American sarcasm? She jerked a mug from the cupboard and sloshed strong, hot coffee in it.
“You must find out which day the Norman, Oklahoma branch will have the most money on hand.”
Ice surrounded her heart. “You’re going to rob another bank?”
“I did not rob a bank.”
She let out a frustrated sigh. He was like some kind of robot, processing information in the most literal sense.
“Your gang is going to rob another bank?”
“It is not for you to ask questions. Only to follow instructions.”
Dread welled in her chest as she took a gulp of the hot brew. She couldn’t be a part of this. Couldn’t aid in another robbery. Another murder. She shook her head. “I can’t. I just…can’t.”
“You dare to refuse? Do you think we are playing?”
She remembered the web cam feed. The image of the couple she’d sentenced to death. “I know you’re not playing.”
“The deaths that have taken place so far have been those you are not particularly close to, true?”
She nodded.
“They will rob the bank no matter what. They wish to have information that will gain the most profit. If you do not get this for them, the next victim will be quite different from a boss you were not fond of. You are very close to your aunt, am I right?”
Fear moved through her, tingling along her scalp. “You won't... Please don't hurt Lucy.”

“Perhaps she will not feel much pain. Perhaps she will. I cannot make any promises about that. But I can promise you that she will die.” 


Jannine Gallant said...

Wow! I guess he's without mercy! Hey you got to kill off a "horrible boss." LOL So awesome you worked your way through the problems and finished this. I had the original of An Uncertain Destiny sitting around for over twenty years before I published it. A very good feeling indeed to finally conquer a story!

Alicia Dean said...

He is most definitely without mercy. He's the nicest one in the group of bad guys, though. :) Yes, a very good feeling indeed. Thanks!

Alison Henderson said...

I'm so glad you powered through! I have a couple of partially completed manuscripts waiting for me to come back to them, but not for the same reason. When I do, I hope (pray!) they won't require as much blood, sweat, and tears as Without Mercy cost you. Congrats on getting this one out there!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Gotta hand it to you for your determination. Your phrases said it best - 'beat it into submission' 'come hell or high water'. Your villain gave me chills. Nasty!! I love Norman, OK. Lived there for a time while my other half was going to school. Don't let them hurt Norman! And, yes, I too have a few manuscripts in the drawer that need to be brought out and wrestled to the ground. I can vouch for the work Jannine put into AUD.

Alicia Dean said...

Thanks, Alison. I hope yours don't take as much of a toll. :)

If I was that determined, I'd have finished it years ago. :) Norman survives, but it ain't pretty. haha. Glad my villain gave you chills. I love doing that! Thanks a bunch!

Leah St. James said...

Can't wait to read this! I'm so glad you beat it into submission. :-)

Alicia Dean said...

Thank you, Leah. I hope you enjoy it. :)

Donna Michaels said...

Congratulations, Alicia, on finally finishing your book! So glad things fell into place, even if you had to shove. WM sounds fantastic. Very best of luck!

Alicia Dean said...

Thank you, Donna. I thought I would never finish. It was a huge relief. :)

Diane Burton said...

I'm glad the story "fell" into place--even if you had to wrestle it into the ground. I liked the story and wish you well with it. (Thanks for the shoutout.)

Alicia Dean said...

Thank you, Diane. I appreciate your help!