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Tessa Stokes

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Member Since: Apr, 2011

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Blogs by Tessa Stokes

How I found the title for book one of The Seven Spell Saga, Spellbinding
5/11/2011 3:02:23 PM
Chloe goes to find Tristan and describes her meeting with him. This is where the title of the book "Spellbinding" comes from.
She struggles to describe the intense encounter and uses the word, spellbinding.

I had several titles for the book before I found the one I liked. I was using 'The Ring and the Sword' for a long time in my drafts, and then the name of one of the major male characters. I floundered around for weeks, before on reviewing what was to be the final draft of my book, I realized Chloe had named the book for me.

Excerpt from Chapter three, Spellbinding, Book One of The Seven Spell Saga

"The next greenhouse was a few meters away, I stepped across a big puddle and still got water in my shoes, but it had totally stopped raining now and the air felt warmer. The other greenhouse door was ajar; opening it further I went in to find the place was heavy with the scent of roses, although many were just buds as far as I could see. I walked along intrigued, now these flowers were lovely and such a range of exquisite colours, some were pale green with antique rose coloured or deep rose coloured bands at the very top of their petals it was as if they were about to open their buds. They were so beautiful, but I was stopped from looking at them when a familiar voice asked,

“What are you doing here now?” it was Tristan.

I turned around he was virtually behind me, and I hadn’t heard him approach at all, spooky, I thought. Then answering as honestly as I could I said, “I came to look for you”.

This clearly surprised him on some level because a few expressions passed over his face before he settled into his usual impassive mode. He had looked happy, sad, slightly surprised. Now he had that look of tolerance on his face, but he said “Really and why’s that? Do you need a better photograph?” his sarcasm was surprising, he even seemed bitter. I wanted desperately to either please him or at least befriend him somehow, this was the first time I had seen him in real light, he looked younger than I had first thought now, and he looked almost vulnerable here with the roses as background. His denim shirt was open over a dark blue T-shirt and the usual jeans he wore.

“I came to find you to ask you about the waterfall, I thought you would be the best person to ask, what with being in the garden staff and looking after the grounds and so on”, I was almost babbling.

He looked at me with what was intense disquiet “What about the waterfall?” his voice was almost a whisper.

“Well I found a postcard in the museum shop that has a picture of what I am sure is the waterfall”. I began, I wanted to put him at ease, was he scared?

“I was thinking I would do some design work around the theme of waterfalls, rivers maybe I don’t know, but if I want to get into a college here I need to put together a portfolio I think…..” I tailed off. Was this as transparent to him as it sounded to my ears? He looked relieved; I thought he must believe me. I went on, “ I read in the museum booklet that there was a legend surrounding the waterfall and I thought you might know it and that it would be great to weave the story through my designs, you know background and so on. Plus I really need photographs of the waterfall and I hoped you would take me there, just so that you don’t find me there almost a trespasser again”. I managed to smile at him, though my heart was beating very fast as I looked at his lovely face and realized I cared very much that I was telling him a lie again. I really did want to just get to the truth with him and be there for him, well if he wanted any one to be there that is.

“I don’t know if I can help you with the legend”, his voice faltered, and then he sighed. “I will take you to do the photography”. He had put his hands in his jeans pockets, now he took one out and ran it through his hair.

This time I really smiled at him and when I thanked him and asked if it could be tomorrow, I decided I really was going to do it, the design I mean. I would make that not a lie, his relief at my ordinary excitement was tangible, and he almost smiled.

“I would like to photograph some of these roses too” I added, “Because they are incredibly lovely”.

He did smile at that and it made me so happy to see him smile. I turned to the white, green, and deep pink roses, “These are just the best roses I have ever seen; did you grow them?”

The look of pleasure on his face and the broad smile he had for this comment was like sunshine on me.

“I did but I didn’t breed this rose or many of them in here, they are special hybrid roses. I get them delivered dormant and grow them from what look like sticks”. He walked a few steps down the greenhouse.

“I really like this one at the moment, I kind of have a favourite for a while then another will start to bud and I will fall in love with that one”. He picked up a pot with a rose that had several closed buds a few half open and one virtually open, they were the most delicate shade of lemon and cream and off white. I went to him and looked at the rose more closely; our heads were close as we both looked at this lovely thing. I moved my head slightly and could feel his closeness; we both knew that if we turned slightly we would be face to face. I had never felt anything so intense; I supposed that this must be what love songs and poetry was about, it was like a spell; just the way they sing about it. Our closeness was spellbinding for a few seconds.

He broke the spell; putting down the rose he turned away, and said in a soft voice, “It’s very calming in here.”

Looking at me again he said more normally, “Tomorrow around ten I can drop by the restaurant, if you can be there, then we can go to the waterfall”.

It was good to see him without that impassive face, good to be near him and good to hear the warmth in his voice as he said this. I told him that was great I would look forward to it. I meant this sincerely and I know I looked at him longingly; it seemed this look was enough to have him walk towards the door saying he had work to do and would see me tomorrow.

He sort of showed me out the door and I walked into the day as if I had woken from a dream. You might know what I mean, it was like when you go to see a really engaging movie, at the end when you walk out into the real world it’s just as if you have left another world behind.

The rain was completely gone and there was a patch of blue sky up there where the sun was about to peek out from surrounding clouds. I decided to go straight to my desk and do some work, make what I had said to Tristan less of a lie as soon as possible. As I walked along suddenly the sun came out and the whole countryside lit up, all the puddles, the rain on the leaves, the wet tree trunks, and every droplet on blossom shone in the sunlight, it was magical. Just like Tristan."


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More Blogs by Tessa Stokes
• Oliver's song sneak preview and excerpt from The Sealed Door - Thursday, August 25, 2011
• Thinking of changing my book covers - Thursday, July 28, 2011
• Out and about in ancient places taking photos for my book covers - Monday, July 04, 2011
• That Cryptic Little Note from Tristan in The Spell Breaker, book two of The Seven Sell Saga - Monday, May 16, 2011
•  How I found the title for book one of The Seven Spell Saga, Spellbinding - Wednesday, May 11, 2011  
• Genre Blending - Saturday, May 07, 2011
• An introduction to the three main characters from The Seven Spell Saga - Sunday, April 17, 2011
• The sooner a child is introduced to books the better - Saturday, April 16, 2011


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