Thursday, November 11, 2021

Evoking Emotion in the Reader

As a writer, I always want to make the reader feel what's happening in the story. And that's no easy feat, but I've been working on it. 😉

An excerpt from... Ruby Hood, A Twistedly True Tale... the retelling of a classic fairy tale that takes a completely different path over the river and through the Wood.


Immersed in a moment of flux, Ruby hung in mid-nowhere before she landed with a thud. Blackness absorbed every inch of her space, and a deafening silence stifled her. Her senses roared into overdrive, and a panic rose in her chest. The empty nothingness of the room over-filled her lungs. Her pulse throbbed as she gasped for air. How could she have been this wrong? She was to die. Right here. Right now. 

Sunday, May 23, 2021

The Battle (part 4)

A retelling of a classic fairy tale that takes a completely different path over the river and through the Wood...

Are you caught up? 

*** In this excerpt, the names of the villains are replaced with Big Bad 1 and Big Bad 2. It is just a #sneakpeak after all. Happy Reading! 📚📖📚 
~Aspen Hite

An EXCERPT from
Ruby Hood, A Twistedly True Tale
By Aspen Hite

Ruby stood, steadying herself and readying her orbs, one in each hand. The strongest ones she’d ever made, then she felt his presence, next to her. He was back. He was okay. 

Ruby, take a deep breath. And let me help you.

Dylan? When she looked over, there stood Dylan with a flame thrower attached to his back. Her eyes pooled with gratitude and relief.

“Need a little help, Ruby?”

“I do, in fact.” That was exactly what she needed.

“Ella left me a stash of Basilisk Blood and this,” He tapped the flame thrower on his one side and pointed to several jars on his other side, all aglow with tiny red bubbles, “You throw it up in the air and I hit it with fire, and poof, mean old nastiness goes away.”

“Best plan I’ve ever heard,” She reached for two jars, adding her own orb floating element and hurled one forward, then the other. Each one sailed smoothly in the air, toward their impending target, the Big Bad 1.

Hatred filled his eyes, and he pulled the trigger of the weapon, spraying flames at the last gnarly Unnaturalness and lighting her up into an instant inferno.

Ruby picked up two more bottles and sent them sailing through the air, just in case. This unnaturalness had been unpredictable thus far. They couldn’t be too careful. As soon as Dylan fired, Ruby sent a protective bubble around the burning tree, containing the flames until there was nothing left but charcoal stump where Big Bad had stood.

When the Wood stilled, a breath of relief flooded Ruby’s lungs. They’d done it. It was over.  There were burnt trees everywhere, both gnarly unnatural ones and her sweet innocent ones, but they would plant more. They’d defeated the Unnaturalness and saved the heir, whoever she was.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Battle (part 3)

A retelling of a classic fairy tale that takes a completely different path over the river and through the Wood...

Are you caught up? 
 The Battle (part 1)
The Battle (part 2) 


*** In this excerpt, the names of the villains are replaced with Big Bad 1 and Big Bad 2. It is just a #sneakpeak after all. Happy Reading! 📚📖📚 
~Aspen Hite

An EXCERPT from
Ruby Hood, A Twistedly True Tale
By Aspen Hite

An angry, gray-eyed raven squawked and swooped in, pecking out the eye of the Big Bad 1 Gnarly Tree. The tree lurched around, flapping its branches.  Stomping around blindly.

“Down, Hood girl!” Ella roared.

Ruby ducked and covered, as Ella sent her shocky sparks searing into Unnatural Big Bad 1 creature. A squeal shattered the air around them when Big Bad 1 hissed and withdrew, taking several steps back.

The Lycan pack had Big Bad 2 surrounded. The mayor rushed her, but it only took a snap of her powerful branches to send him reeling backward. Landing on a rock, he yelped. The rest of the pack closed around her. And then Ella was there, waiting and ready. She was everywhere at once.

“You not getting out of this alive, Ella,” Big Bad 2 sneered.

“Not a problem,” The Mage said as the two circled each other. This confrontation had been a long time coming and could only end one way, “Neither are you.”

Ruby held a blue power orb in her hand to help Ella. She pulled her arm back to hurl a protection bubble around Ella just as her legs were knocked out from underneath her.

Before Ruby could catch her breath, she was strung up by her feet.  Her world suddenly upside down, she dangled, helpless. Opened her mouth to scream for help, dirt suddenly flooded her throat. Air escaped her. Panic engulfed her. Wide-eyed and voiceless, she had no choice but to stare up at Big Bad 1, beat-up, broken, and angry.

That gray-eyed raven swooped in and made another pass at Big Bad 1, but a large branch sent the bird sailing, “I’m going to kill you, Hood.”

This was it. Ruby closed her eyes and braced.

To Be Continued... 

Sunday, May 9, 2021

The Battle (part 2)

A retelling of a classic fairy tale that takes a completely different path over the river and through the Wood...

Missing The Battle (part 1)?

*** In this excerpt, the names of the villains are replaced with Big Bad 1 and Big Bad 2. It is just a #sneakpeak after all. Happy Reading! 📚📖📚 
~Aspen Hite

An EXCERPT from
Ruby Hood, A Twistedly True Tale
By Aspen Hite

Ruby was ready. This was her home. With blue power orbs gathered in both of her hands, her cloak tightened around her waist. The Lycan army stood rigid, poised to attack. Mage or not, none of them were going down without a very serious fight.

The Wood flashed. Bolts of light and flames erupted everywhere. Then the wind roared, picking up leaves and blowing debris around, just as Ella, hairy and crazy eyed, entered the fray. She whirled around with golden sphere’s in her hands, lashing out as she saw fit. At last, she bound upon Big Bad 1.  “It’s time to pay you, foolish fiend…AAAAAAHHHH!”

Swept up in the kerfuffle, Ruby charged Big Bad 2. “The first time I hurt you is for my Grams. The second time is for the mess you've brought my Wood.”

“Come on then,” A smirk curved on Big Bad 2's lips as her face contorted. Her teeth grew, longer and sharper, and her fingers sprouted into spikey weapons of wood. Her tall thin frame filled out, growing bark armor, and she turned into a lethal vial Gnarly Tree right before Ruby’s eyes. Her wooden teeth jutted forward, and she screeched. Swiping her spiny fingernails, she slashed at Ruby’s flesh.

The Guardian ducked but faltered. Catching herself, she flung blue spheres from her palms. They fizzled mid-air. Ruby's chest tightened. 

“Tell me, that’s not all you’ve got, Ruby Hood. Otherwise, this might be too easy, Big Bad 2 closed in, “You know, I didn’t like you from the first moment I laid eyes on you and now, I’m going to enjoy killing you. How about death by splinter?” Big Bad 2 held up her wooden stake of an arm. “It’s going to feel so good to plunge this into your soft, delicate body.” 

Sunday, May 2, 2021

The Battle (part 1)

A retelling of a classic fairy tale that takes a completely different path over the river and through the Wood...

*** In this excerpt, the names of the villains are replaced with Big Bad 1 and Big Bad 2. It is just a #sneakpeak after all. Happy Reading! 📚📖📚 
~Aspen Hite



An EXCERPT from
Ruby Hood, A Twistedly True Tale
By Aspen Hite

A cold chill started in Ruby’s toes and flooded into every fiber of her being. It couldn’t be. How could this get worse? Was it possible? Wasn’t that the voice of…

            “Because Ruby Hood is going to die tonight. I’m going to kill her.” The voice of Big Bad 1 reverberated though the Wood. Another large gnarly tree morphed into a human figure and sent wooden spikes flying through the air.

Ruby lurched backward as a shard of wood grazed her cheek. Lycan, all around her, howled in pain. Frozen in a ball of emotions: surprise, fear, rage, frustration. She snapped. There was no more time for stalling or pretending or cowering. Now was time for action.

Shaking until she couldn’t control it anymore, Ruby held on. Tension rising, the wolves surrounded. Low growls emanating from them. “Attack,” she whispered to her pack, her allies.

 The four-legged Lycan army lunged, teeth bared, toppling Big Bad 1.

Big Bad 2 only had eyes for Ruby. Atop her in a moment, with a look of pure hunger on her face. Grabbing a tuft of Ruby’s hair, Big Bad 2 yanked and then shoved Ruby to the ground.

She twisted and stumbled, scrambling away as best she could. If she could just get enough space between her and the trees, she could wing some protection orbs in their direction. That might buy her a bit of time. Where in the hells was Ella? The Unnaturalness was upon them.

Big Bad 2 held up her hands. Her fingertips morphed into long spears, and she licked her lips, “I can't wait to stab you repeatedly until your dying breath gurgles in my ear, Ruby Hood.”

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Entering the Battle

 

A retelling of a classic fairy tale that takes a completely different path over the river and through the Wood...


An EXCERPT from
Ruby Hood, A Twistedly True Tale

By Aspen Hite

The darkest shadows stretched for miles. No moon. Not a spec of light anywhere. Just pitch blackness enveloping the Wood like a worn blanket, filling every corner and every crevice. The air was thin and cold. Sharp.

Ruby walked at the helm of a pack of Lycan, all shifted and ready to fight. Mayor Wolf, a lean, black wolf with tiny tufts of gray around his snout, and Kassandra Wolf, a petite, light, shaggy wolf, flanked Ruby as the pack followed. Their heads all hung low, swinging left to right, as they scanned and sniffed their surroundings.

Taking a deep breath, Ruby tried to feel more confident like them, but fear screamed within her soul. Reaching under her cloak, she caressed the new labradorite crystal that hung around her neck and willed her pulse to calm.

Alert and aware, she listened to the wind. Noise and doubt crept into the corners of her mind, like scurrying beetles, but she pulled her cloak tighter and picked up her pace. They were getting closer.

Blue power orbs tickled at the tips of her fingers, ready to be unleashed. Even though that wasn’t part of the Aarush Mage plan. Ruby had a back up plan of her own, just in case.

The ground shook and a wall erupted, sprouting up in front of them. Ruby stumbled backward. The trees inched toward them, closing in. Blocking even the faintest glimmer of seeable darkness.

A Lycan yelped, then poof he was gone, snatched up by one of the meanest gnarliest trees Ruby had ever seen. Startled, she stifled a scream as a different tree came to life and gobbled up another creature. Right in front of her. Was she next?

The space continued to close around them. This was it, Ruby shuddered at the thought of the trees chomping on her bones. The small group backed into one another. Wolves growled, hackles raised, ready to go down fighting if it came down to that.  Ruby hands tingled. Would her power orbs even make a dent?

Suddenly, snippets of light broke through the space between the branches. The trees squealed and withdrew several inches. Ruby took a deep breath, happy for any reprieve. The light grew and grew, until it shone brightly.

Bringing her hand up to block the blinding light coming at her, she couldn’t see, but she could hear. Trees thumped, grunted, groaned, and screamed. The light disappeared and the darkness blanketed them again, but the trees were gone. So were the walls around them.

Ruby’s eyes adjusted, as the Lycan pack spread out, sniffing up a storm. There sitting in the middle of the Wood, far from its normal spot in the clearing, was Ruby’s cabin. Broken, battered and dilapidated. Ruby opened her mouth to speak, but the cabin belched out its windows and exploded. BOOM.

They all stared, speechless, there was nothing left but tree limbs and broken glass. Had the cabin just saved them?

The mayor yipped at her as the rest of the pack filed in behind him. There was no time to worry about the cabin. The path was clear now. Ruby fell in line with her army and together they continued through the Wood, toward the river. 



Sunday, April 18, 2021

A Bit of Sweetness Before Battle

A retelling of a classic fairy tale that takes a completely different path over the river and through the Wood...



An EXCERPT from
Ruby Hood, A Twistedly True Tale

By Aspen Hite

“What about your mom, Lily and her dad? Are you sure they aren’t going to ask questions while you’re gone?”

“They shouldn’t. They’re immersed in an Aarush Mage time-loop dream state in the kitchen. They’re having a great time sipping hot chocolate and playing board games. They have no idea what is happening outside of that room,” Ruby didn’t like it, but there wasn’t much of any of this she liked, “It’s supposed to keep them safe and out of harm’s way.”

“Well then, you need something to keep you safe and out of harm’s way.” A smile skirted Kellan’s lips and there was a lightness to his voice Ruby hadn’t heard in a while.

“Oh yeah?” Her dark eyes danced. He was so cute when he was being sweet.

“Yeah,” He pulled a tiny bag velvet bag out of his pocket and rested it in her palm. “It’s for you.”

Ruby bit her lower lip to hide her smile and untied the bag. Her eyes widened as she took in the beauty before her. He had taken the labradorite crystal she’d given to him and turned it into a pendant. Her eyes welled with emotion as it dangled before her, “Oh Kel, this is perfect I love it.”

“I’m glad,” He leaned his cane against a chair and steadied himself as he helped Ruby with the necklace, “It kept me safe when I was poisoned, and you gave it to me. I hope me giving it to you now will keep you safe.”

“Thank you.” A tear escaped and streamed down her cheek. Ruby wasn’t sure if it was a sweet tear from the gift or a tear of terror about what she knew came next. She threw her arms around his neck and kissed him. Hard and quick. Then she nuzzled her head into his neck as more and more tears escaped.

“Rue?”

“I’m scared, Kellan,” She rested against him, wishing this feeling of safety would last forever.

“It’ll be okay.” Kellan pulled her tighter.

“I hope so.” 


Evoking Emotion in the Reader

As a writer, I always want to make the reader feel what's happening in the story. And that's no easy feat, but I've been working...