Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
I wasn’t going to join Pinterest. I was just going to make fun of my mom’s newest obsession. But then my friend, Brandy Vallance, told me she’d made a Pinterest board for her novel after reading about the idea on agent Rachelle Gardner’s blog. I checked out her board for The Covered Deep and knew I had to make boards for two of my completed novels and an inspiration board for my work in progress.
Let me just admit right now, that yes, I get a crush on the hero of whichever novel I’m working on. It’s the nature of the game.
But as I compiled my board for Bran's Door, I took a moment, cleared my head of my work in progress, and savored the world of that novel once again.
Bran’s Door is about a young woman, recovering from an illness, who discovers a brounie living in the wall of her apartment. Brounies are house fairies. They do chores in exchange for small gifts of food. Bran, Elodie’s personal brounie, is human-sized and oh, so incredibly hot. From the get-go, actor James McEvoy inspired Bran’s looks. It’s amazing how much it helps to imagine a specific person’s face as you’re writing about physical expressions. In Bran/James’ case I became obsessed with the tiny imbalance of his upper and lower lips, with the upper being just a bit fuller. Naturally, the heroine, Elodie, dwells on this feature in delicious detail.
Perhaps because of the intense attention I gave to Bran’s physicality, or maybe because he’s a hot guy who does chores, his particular character stayed with me. Invariably, every woman who reads the story says, “I want one! Where’s my brounie?” This really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
But the novel is about more than a lucky girl who meets the perfect guy when he literally pops out of her wall. In Bran’s Door, I examined what it would really be like if someone showed up in your life with no other desire than to serve you. Of course we think that would be cake and roses! But really, how would you handle someone who waits on you, not in a sycophantic way, but out of an incomprehensible, supernatural love?
Elodie finds the effects of Bran’s devotion life-changing, but she struggles to accept what he offers.
Bellow is a passage from the novel showing Elodie’s turmoil. Would you react as she does? Would it be hard to allow someone to serve you and love you when you could never earn their devotion? And just for fun, what chore makes you desperate for a house fairy?
Excerpt from Bran's Door
Just before I lowered my aching limbs into the seat, I glimpsed a downward twist of his mouth. I paused, propped up against the frame of the car.
“What’s wrong, Bran?”
The words he ground out stunned me with their intensity. “It’s hard for me, Mistress.” He looked away, hiding his smoke-colored eyes.
“What you did today? Saving that little girl?”
“No.” He erupted into restless energy, shifting his weight, pulling the ends of his scarf, running one long hand through his shaggy hair. He winced, as though the words behind his lips pained him.
Finally, he whispered. “Being your brounie is difficult.”
Numbness permeated my heart. My body, already weak and drained, lost yet another measure of vitality. I turned my head as I mumbled a pathetic apology. “I’m sorry for the way I am. I wish—you don’t know how much I wish—that I was different.”
His violent reaction shocked me. He buried his hands in his hair, shaking his own head and groaning.
I grabbed his shoulder. “Stop! Don’t.”
Huge, tortured eyes locked on me. “I would feed you. Protect you. Carry you when you stumble. Hang flowers in the sky for you. If you would let me.”
Alex’s offer to take care of me echoed in the back of my mind, his commitment a flimsy shadow in the light of Bran’s utter devotion. But Bran’s impassioned words didn’t cover me in humiliation like Alex’s. Instead of feeble and useless, I felt precious, cherished—a treasure of fathomless worth.
There, supported by a car door, with the wind lashing my hair against my face, and a faerie creature’s eyes burning into mine, I transformed into a princess. But not any real type of royalty or even a fancy movie version. No, a Fey princess, wrapped in the warmest light, possessing a priceless magic, untouchable by any harm.
But then a thought niggled into my warm world. How could I deserve such esteem? What could I trade for this complete, beautiful acceptance? The answer, of course, was nothing. Even at my best, my talents would be mud compared to this blissful offer.
In Others’ Words: Diamonds in the Rough
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