Dreaming about Ann Bruce

Today’s guest blogger’s bio could be mine. Except for the part about the snowboarding (I’m seriously unco-ordinated and would break a leg or an arm (or both) if I tried going down hill with a board strapped to my legs). And the PS3 controller. (yeah, not a game player unless it’s something like Bejeweled) And I didn’t have nine jobs before I turned twenty-five; I had…(whips off socks to count toes…seven jobs and three careers. But everything else about Ann is just like me (oh, and I SWEAR I’m Pinky from Pinky and the Brain! Narf!)

Meet 
Ann Bruce
Ann Bruce is the pseudonym for a self-professed computer geek who, in between snowboarding, reading comic books, and wearing out the buttons of her PS3 controller, writes because it’s an acceptable means of explaining all the voices in her head.

You want more? Really? Well…

I have wanderlust; I called five countries on three continents home.

I switched majors five times in university…and still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

I had nine jobs and four careers before I turned twenty-five.

I watch mainly cartoons because they have better storylines than sitcoms and reality shows. (Pinky and the Brain trumps American Idol any day!)

One day I want to be a full-time writer. Maybe. Still haven’t decided. I hear it doesn’t pay very well. Being a superhero, sans cape and tights and decoder ring, is still an option. (Pay sucks for superheroes, too, but I’d have cool toys!)

And I’m easily amused and dis– Ooh, shiny!

 

After seeing a very vivid scene in my head, I began writing Dark Side of Dreaming. Completed and polished that first scene in less than an hour. Loved it. Loved the mood, the characters, the beginnings of the story. I put it away to work on another WIP because an editor asked for a full. I wrote a page, deleted a page and half, wrote a paragraph, deleted another page, then figuratively threw up my hands in frustration.

Thinking the words would flow once more, I went back to DSoD. It didn’t. The story that was so sharp in my head weeks ago was now as clear as mud. However, I forced myself to write because I kept thinking I could edit a bad page. (Little did I know there are some bad pages that are beyond editing.) I wrote a paragraph, deleted it, wrote a few more paragraphs, read them to myself and wondered what the heck was I thinking? The plot was convoluted and made as much sense as Jim Morrison on acid; my characters were acting…well, out of character; and I was using a trope I didn’t like.

Ugh!

I slept on it. Slept on it some more. Completed yet another WIP. Went back to DSoD. Finished it, was still uncertain about it, but submitted it to my editor anyway and begged for her feedback. Awesome person that she is, she liked it and accepted it. Yay! I completed DSoD…and it only took two years.

Morals of the story: When inspiration strikes, go with it; and never submit an unfinished work because an editor might request a full. Imagine that.

Dark Side of Dreaming is about a former cat burglar who discovers that coming out of retirement is not as easy as she thinks–especially when she finds herself at the mercy of a mark who wants something more than her professional expertise.

The Excerpt

She liked bondage as much as the next girl.

Cleo, however, didn’t think her current bound state was a prelude to more enjoyable things.

She yanked on the rope that secured her hands together and tethered them to something above her head. There was some give as the cloth-covered rope stretched, but not nearly enough. Stubbornness being a trait of all Moran women, she tried again. And again. And again.

A small noise of frustration escaped her throat.

Despite the dull, throbbing pain in her head, she decided more leverage was needed and twisted on the bed and sat up. And noticed the man seated in the armchair in the far corner of the room. He was immersed in the shadows that swathed the room so she saw nothing but a menacing outline blacker than the surrounding darkness. His silent regard felt like a thick blanket suffocating her senses.

Fear made her mouth go dry and her skin prickle with heat and sweat.

It was a full minute before she found her voice, a little hoarser than usual, but she lifted her chin to compensate. “Did you enjoy the show?”

No response. Not even so much as a muscle twitch. Her chest noticeably rose and fell with each shortened breath.

“Are the police on their way?”

More silence, and the lump in her throat grew.

“I need that statue more than you need another dust collector.” She was babbling, knew it and couldn’t stop herself. “It needs to be returned to its rightful home.”

The silence continued and agitation flickered through her, slicing past the fear.

“Look, I tried the legal route, but you flatly refused all of my offers. I had no other choice.”

A whisper of cloth on leather. He’d moved. Finally. She was beginning to think he was a statue himself. Then he rose, an imposing shadow that made her very aware of the pulse thrumming in her throat. He came toward the bed, stopping at the foot, and moonlight, stark and chilly, spilled over him.

He’d never be labeled handsome, but she couldn’t tear her eyes away. Formidable frame, dark hair, deep-set eyes, broad face with rough-hewn features that looked as if they’d been carved of the same stone as the statue. Unlike the statue, his face was mask-like with its lack of expression. It took a concerted effort to ignore the tiny voice that urged her to cower against the headboard.

“Cleo Moran.”

The sound of her name spoken by that deep, cold voice sent a jolt through her. Of course he knew her name. His administrative assistant had passed on enough messages from her in the past three months. And the man was reputed to be a shark, so he would remember the name of the woman who’d tried repeatedly to buy a relic for several times more than its appraised value.

“If I wouldn’t sell the statue to you, what makes you think I’d just let you steal it?”

Absurdly, she winced. Steal had such an ugly ring to it.

“You weren’t supposed to have a say in the matter.”

A corner of his mouth quirked up and she was amazed his face didn’t crack. In fact, it sent a shiver of sensation snaking along her spine.

“I’m the one who should be angry, not you,” he said, the ice in his voice thawing. He slid a hand inside the front pocket of his trousers and his regard changed, feeling almost like a touch.

Jittery, but from more than simple fear, she brought her hands up and pulled back the strands of chin-length hair that fell over her eyes and clung to her lips. “You weren’t supposed to come back here tonight.”

A dark slash of a brow lifted and, without a hint of pique, he drawled, “So, the enthusiasm in my date tonight was faked.”

She cursed her babbling tongue. Well, she’d never encountered this situation before and there wasn’t a For Dummies guide that covered it.

“Unfortunately for you, I need more than a pretty face and man-made assets to entice me.” A degree of heat wrapped around his voice. “Then I come home and you waltz in.”

She had trouble filling her lungs with oxygen. “What now?”

His eyes glittered darkly. “Since the woman you hired to distract me didn’t do her job, why don’t you?”

She licked suddenly dry lips. “I’d rather you call the police.”

Copyright © 2010 by Ann Bruce. All rights reserved.

Want to know more about Ann Bruce’s Dark Side of Dream or Ann’s other stories? You can visit her website.

6 thoughts on “Dreaming about Ann Bruce

  1. Inez – definitely! Ann's describing my writing method for the next in the Hauberk series. How could I possibly not love/protect my cyber-writing twin?

  2. Wow, this book sounds great! Can't wait to get it.

    I wanted to head over to the website, but can't get the link to work. I know I could go online and look it up…but it's Monday…and I haven't had enough coffee…

    Thank you

  3. Ooops, thanks for pointing out the error in the link, Donna. I've fixed the link–it'll work now!

  4. Leah, thanks for having me.

    Inez, if you feed me you'll never get rid of me.

    Donna, I'm currently running a contest to giveaway 3 copies of DSoD before July 9.

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