N is for Nyx
Vivian Sinclair’s, the antagonist in Order of Fear, had a horse named Nyx. Vivian feels a special connection to this horse to the point she has delusional interactions she is sure, in part, guides her thoughts and emotions. Her past plays an important role in her association with this horse. Below is an excerpt from Order of Fear:
Nyx’s death while birthing Titan haunted Vivian but she hadn’t bothered to have the blood stained barn stall cleaned. The agony Nyx had suffered remained cemented in Vivian’s memory. Wild black eyes had bored into Vivian’s as if Nyx understood her death was near and wanted Vivian to carry on. Vivian, too, had understood the pain of childbirth and the agony of death. They had been kindred spirits, and although she cared for the horse, in order for Vivian to grow more powerful, Nyx’s death was inevitable. The horse had understood, and passed her perceptive powers on to Titan.
O is for Opening Line
The opening lines are tough. As a writer I want to capture the reader's attention and as a reader I want to be intrigued enough to venture further into the story. Many, many iterations later and after much input from writer friends and beta readers the opening line of Order of Fear was done!
By the end of this day I will no longer be a bride about to marry.
Marissa Nash’s day begins on her way to the Salt Lake City Airport after a successful business meeting. During this quick business trip she made an important decision—calling off the wedding to her unfaithful fiancé. But as she arrives back home in Virginia, horrifying events throw her world in even more turmoil and landing her in a fight for her life.
P is for PTSD
Dr. Justin Tanner is an Army doctor. While deployed in Iraq, his war hospital near the front lines, came under attack. The attack was severe, resulting in the deaths of many of his team members and his best friend, Lauren. While Justin was able to help several soldiers escape, he couldn’t save Lauren. Hurt himself, eventually Justin came back to the U.S. but guilt and symptoms of PTSD followed. From flashbacks to dulling the pain with alcohol, Justin's struggles kept him from moving forward. When the story starts, Justin had progressed to a point many of his PTSD symptoms were under control and he lead a stable, productive life, although he continued to process internal battles from his ordeal. As the events of the story unfold, Justin was forced to face his fears head on or risk the deaths of those he cared for most.
My research into PTSD, specifcally related to veterans and active military proved fascinating. Several treatment modalities and specialized programs such as the use of therapy animals, physical training, counseling, breathing exercises, and many more.
Below are a few websites I found interesting: