Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mindy Ruiz's ENCHANTED HEART (Guest Post/Giveaway)

Please give a warm welcome to author Mindy Ruiz, who is joining us with ENCHANTED HEART. This is the first book in her YA fantasy Game of Hearts Series!

Guest post: Deleted Scene and Author Insights 

Wow! Thank you so much for letting me sneak in and guest post today.  I thought I’d go with the always-fun unedited deleted scene post! I live about twenty miles from Hollywood so I always find it fascinating to see what makes the final cut and what ends up on the editing floor. This is the hospital scene that’s currently residing on a cut floor: 

 “Is she going to be all right?” A.J. whispered over the hazy fog that had me tied down.  I tried to open my eyes but even being awake seemed to take too much energy.  

“She’ll be fine…” the words from a male voice ran into mush the harder I tried to listen. 

“How long will she be here?” a woman’s voice -- A.J.’s mom-- asked. I felt the sides of my mouth try to pull in a smile, but gave up when even that action hurt.  She’d promised me a new pair of Manolos. 

The door clicked shut and silence crept up around my ears.  Quiet shouldn’t be tangible but, I could feel it, feel it was trying to drag me back into unconsciousness because it was heavy.  

Heavy on my neck.

Heavy on my body.

Heavy on my mind.

It was like tar from the La Brea tar pits once it was on you there was no way to shake it loose.  

It just clung to you. 

A ray of light shot across the darkness of my closed eyes.

“She’s going to be fine, son.”  A.J.’s mom was close to me.  My body wanted to roll into her warmth and kindness. I had to be lying down, but I had no clue where I was.  The familiar texture of A.J.’s hand covered mine.  I wanted to turn my palm up and squeeze his, but my body hurt too badly. 

“You like her.” 

“You know that’s impossible,” A.J.’s voice bit back. 

“I know it may seem that way,” his mom’s voice had that there-there tone most moms seemed to be born with.  “A.J.,” his mom’s voice was a temporary lifeline from the black tar gob of silence attacking me.  “I know anything worth having will often have a steep price tag attached.”

Her voice echoed in my brain like a child screaming in an empty parking garage, but even that noise couldn’t stop the black tar gob of oblivion as it pulled me under.

And then…quiet.

So, why didn’t the hospital scene make the cut?  

Enchanted Heart, the first draft, came in at 135,000 words.  It needed a massive word count reduction.  The final version is around 98,000 words. There were two reasons why the hospital scene got the axe.  
The first and super gigantic one was I wanted readers to question Cassie and A.J.’s relationship right along with Cassie.  The hospital scene gave away too much of A.J.'s emotions for Cassie away.  In this seen we know he like her, we know there’s a problem, and worse so does Cassie.  Cassie needed to be tortured a little bit more by A.J. before we find out his true thoughts. 

The second, I wanted the reader to feel as discombobulated about time as Cassie was.  This really is her journey and I felt giving the reader even a glimpse at how much time had passed in the hospital wouldn’t be fair to Cassie and her telling.  

It’s so hard figuring out which scenes stay, which go, because each of them can be rationalized as moving the story forward.  That’s where great critique partners, beta readers, and hand-holding friends come in.  Earlier in this scene Cassie is visited by what the reader thinks is a shadow, that ‘flashback’ did make the cut in the second Game of Hearts book. 

A bunch of the other deleted scenes are sitting in my cuts folder.  I have several that are already working their way into Book two, but this one.  Sadly, this one will only be read here. 

Thanks for letting me come and take over.  I hope you enjoy Enchanted Heart and be sure to look for Book two in The Game of Hearts series mid-October.

Enchanted Heart 
(Game of Hearts #1)
by Mindy Ruiz
ebook, Published June 6th 2014
Cassandra Vera never ever broke the rules.
She’s also had a nonexistent social life since her best friend moved to Vegas. Armed with a new set of resolutions, the promise of a hot date, and her adoptive parents out of town, seventeen-year-old Cassandra agrees to a road trip, which is the perfect way to celebrate her birthday and ring in the New Year. After all, she’s headed to Vegas, the city where secrets are meant to stay hidden. Little does Cassandra know her past is buried there as well.
Cloaked in the shadows of the glitz and gaudy lights of Vegas lies a power struggle centuries old. One wrong step and Cassandra could destroy the delicate web of secrets. Now an enemy she never knew existed is after her, and the one boy who may be the missing piece to the puzzle — and her heart— is the one person she can’t afford to trust.

About Mindy Ruiz:
Mindy Ruiz lives in a sleepy Beach Town in Southern California. When she’s not writing, she spends her time chasing after three boys, making flirty eyes at her hunky husband, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Dallas Cowboys, and hanging out at the beach with her very large and loud Italian family.
Her career in publishing started in the 4th grade with a story about a magic, museum-hopping, chair. Now, Mindy writes young adult, new adult, and adult paranormal romance. Her books always include tormented heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of swoon-y moments that will put a smile on your face or make your heart race. Mindy is the lover of a good romance, the underdog and John Hugh’s 80′s teen movies.
When her toes aren’t in the sand or her mind isn’t in the clouds, Mindy loves hearing from readers.

Facebook  www.Facebook.com/MindyRuizBooksTwitter  www.Twitter.com/MindyRuizInstagram  Instagram.com/MindyRuizAuthor Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8282908.Mindy_RuizPinterest  pinterest.com/MindyRuizBooks

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