Author_Stephannie_BemanMy name is Stephannie and I’m a writer whose worlds are populated by people who live in the distant times and exotic lands, who travel through fantasy landscapes and the dark of space, whose magical quests reveal dark secrets and possibly defeat an evil overlord, whose sexy heroes and strong heroines often plunge head-first into a forbidden love that threaten all, and whose relationships are meant to be, even if they fight it.

The Writer’s Journal is my journey. Every post is a short update that gives you insight into a writer’s day, keeps me accountable to my readers who are waiting breathless for the next book, update you on how my current book projects are progressing, and share a snippet or two from story for the day. I might even throw in a little extra information here and there about the books if your lucky. 😀

Welcome to my Worlds!


Reading & Light Editing of The Scout’s Captive & The Rebel’s Bride

Last week I started reading through The Scout’s Captive (Book 1) looking for the information I needed to write the next chapter of The Rebel’s Bride (Book 2). I’d already planned to remove the info dump that I had at the first of Book 1 so it was more a matter of finding what I needed to remove and adding it where it belongs. While I was at it I decided to read over what I had of The Rebel’s Bride. What I found was a few things that needed to be moved to Book 1 as foreshadowing. So it for the last two days I’ve been lightly editing both books.

This is something that I usually don’t do as it breaks the writing flow, but with some problems with my health at the end of this week, the lighter  work of layering over creating from scratch was far more beneficial to me. I should be able to get more work done of The Rebel’s Bride this next week.

Total Words Count over the last few days: 7,361
Total Book Word Count for The Scout’s Captive: 68,805
Total Book Word Count for The Rebel’s Bride: 30,093

Disclaimer: These snippets are unedited and might be entirely different in the final version.

The_Scouts_Captive_1_webimageShe entered, looking everywhere else, except him. She set the jug of fresh water on the low table in the corner. She busied herself in the corner for several seconds before lifting the chipped plates, making him wonder once again why this place was so well-stocked if she lived in the village.

As a child living on the streets, he would have loved to live in such luxury as this cave. It was well hidden from prying eyes and easily defensible. Her home in the village had to be even better than this place.

“Why are you helping me, little kitten?”

She glanced over her shoulder at him and shrugged. “My father would say my kind heart has found another wounded creature to care for.”

“And you?”

She stared at him for several seconds, her brow furrowed. “I guess it’s because you needed my help and the healer in me wants to heal you.”

Cynel snorted at the naiveté of the girl. “How do you know I won’t hurt you?”

She glided toward the fire. “Because you could have killed me the day we met.”

“Did it ever occur to you that I might have needed you then? That now that I’m healed, I don’t need you alive anymore?”

She stared down at him with large black eyes, studying him in a way that made him feel as if she could see into his soul. “Would you kill me as you did the soldiers?”

He frowned. “What?”

“When I first found you, I thought you might be a scout for them, but now I’m not so sure.”

“And why is that?”

She glanced at him and then away. He could see the struggle taking place inside her on her too expressive face, and before he could tell her to save herself and keep whatever she wanted to share with him to herself, she said, “Because Angeloi soldiers don’t work with Nyfeli.” She stared at him, unafraid, which either made her too brave for her own good or stupid. “They kill them.”

The_Rebels_Bride_2_webimageMina stared down at the encampment below them, shocked by what she was seeing. “You’re one of the Rebels,” she said, turning on Cynel and ignoring the Demonii around them. “I thought you were a raider.”

Cynel’s large hand was warm where it rested on her waist. “Sorry to disappoint you, but no, I’m not a raider seeking a bedmate.”

Mina blushed. She’d made the assumption and he’d never corrected her. “So you were Rebels seeking bedmates? Do not the Demonii have enough women for that?”

The men around her tensed, their anger plain in their faces, but Mina ignored them. She’d had enough of Cynel’s small omissions. The life of a raider was dangerous enough. The life of a Rebel was nearly as deadly as being a Nyfeli. Both had a Council sanctioned death sentence hanging over their heads.

“Yes. But there is one difference between an Angeloi woman and a Demonii woman.”

“And what is that?”

“Demonii women are more dangerous to kidnap.”

Mirth danced in his eyes, the blue darkening several degrees. For a moment she thought he might be playing another part for the men around them. The Demonii were chuckling and more relaxed. However, the tension in Cynel’s body was only increasing. He was lying to her again.

Mina’s jaw tightened. “Do not for a moment think that Angeloi women aren’t as dangerous.”

{Writing Journal} Day 15-16: Snippets from The Rebel’s Bride

I’ve been working on trimming down Chapters Three and Eight from The Scout’s Captive (Book 1) the last two days. Usually I wouldn’t bother except a large part of the information I need to write in Chapter Eleven of the The Rebel’s Bride is found in those two chapters. So some of my word count below is part of The Scout’s Captive and the rest is The Rebel’s Bride.

Total Word Count for Today: 2,293
Total Book Word Count: 29,805


Disclaimer: These snippets are unedited and might be entirely different in the final version.

A short distance away from the other Demonii, she made a single bed for them. She sat on the blanket, pulling him forward. “Come lie with me, Cynel.”

He knelt on the blankets, cupping her face in his hands, and kissed her, tasting her mouth. She opened to him, her hands stroking the skin of his abdomen, lifting the hem of his shirt.

He drew back. “Mina…you don’t have to…I don’t expect you…”

The words died on his lips as she unclasped the cloak, revealing the dress of a Demonii scout beneath and his mating band around her arm. His mating instinct flares up at seeing an outward sign of her being his.

She clasped him around his neck and pulled him down to her. “I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t want you.”

{Writing Journal} Day 14: Snippets from The Rebel’s Bride

I’m shifting toward my winter routine when my most productive time of the day is after everyone heads to bed instead of while everyone is at school or work. Today I had the kids the whole day since they didn’t have school. Good thing there was snow on the ground to occupy them with snow forts and sledding.

Total Word Count for Today: 1,625
Total Book Word Count: 29,529


Disclaimer: These snippets are unedited and might be entirely different in the final version.

“How is she in bed?” Gerit asked Cynel, interrupting the conversation.

The talk around the fire instantly stopped, and she took the chance to look around at the other ten people, judging their reactions. Most of the faces were turned toward Cynel, their faces curious. Two of the men were staring at her with speculative gazes.  Gerit was leering at her, making her skin crawl.

She glanced at Cynel and almost leapt away from him. He looked ready to commit murder and his gaze was locked on Gerit.

“I don’t believe that is any of your business, Gerit,” Cynel snarled, rising to his feet, hand on the hilt of his dagger.

“I’m just wondering if you want to sell her—”

Gerit sailed through the air, slamming into a tree with bone crushing ease. Mina had barely seen Cynel move, and by the looks around her, no one else had either.

{Writing Journal} Day 13: Snippets from The Rebel’s Bride

I haven’t been writing the last few days between life and series ideas for the urban fantasy I want to write sometime in the future bombarding me. I wrote down a total of 32 book ideas. Now whether or not I write all those ideas will depend on the characters.

Total Word Count for Today: 1033
Total Book Word Count: 28, 097


Disclaimer: These snippets are unedited and might be entirely different in the final version.

“Leave it, Mina. It was will heal in a few hours.”

She lifted the hem of his tunic, pulling it over his head, and inspected the fresh marks high on his shoulder among the older scars. “Mayhaps, but until then you will bleed, weakening you and endangering us both. You should have told me that you were hurt.”

“I’ve been hurt worse. It will heal like all the others.”

She grunted. “Stop being stubborn and let me heal you.”

He turned, swiftly, and caught her hand. “Wait. You said there is always a cost for healing. What does it cost you, Mina?”

{Writing Journal} Day 12: Snippets from The Rebel’s Bride

Not much to say about today. I wrote The Rebel’s Bride this morning and had a break through with Cynel realizing he cares about Mina more then he realized. I almost reached the half-way point toady, maybe tomorrow. I didn’t have as much time as I hoped to write as I had some cover designing to do this afternoon.

Total Word Count for Today: 1,877
Total Book Word Count: 27,264


Disclaimer: These snippets are unedited and might be entirely different in the final version.

He caught a glimpse of the two men standing over a groggy Mina. A third man crouched down beside her, far too close for Cynel’s comfort. He appeared to be the only one interested in playing with the woman before him.

The smaller of the three men stood toe to toe with the crooked nosed man. “I found the little whore. I should get her first.”

“I don’t want your sloppy seconds. I’m the leader. I get to taste her first,” Crooked-Nose shouted.
The giant reached out a meaty hand, opening the torn edges of her clothes.

{Writing Journal} Day 11: Snippets from The Rebel’s Bride

I had a lot of catching up to do with other work this morning. Stuff that I couldn’t put off until later as some of it is coming due soon. Otherwise I would have pushed it back instead of my writing, as my writing time has always been more productive in the morning and evening hours rather than the bulk of the daylight hours.

Anyways, these looming deadlines meant that I had fewer hours to write than I would have liked. I’m hoping to make up my word count another day when I’m more inspired. 😀

Total Word Count for Today: 793
Total Book Word Count: 25,742


Disclaimer: These snippets are unedited and might be entirely different in the final version.

She glided toward him, a goddess come to life. “What if I don’t want to be saved?”

“What do we have here?” a man said from behind her.

She straightened, twisting around to face that man, drawing the armload of wood closer to her body. The sticks were a poor shield against the man leering at her.

His oily smile widened, and fear shivered down her spine. There was cruelty in him, a terrible monster that lurked at the surface, waiting for the chance to hurt another. There would be no reasoning with him.

She backed away from him. She could fight him, but all she had were sticks and a small knife, not much against a trained Hunter. She could try to outrun him, but she’d seen his type before and knew it wouldn’t save her. He was a Hunter, an orphan trained from birth to track and hunt down his prey without mercy.

Depending on his contract he was either here to kill her or return her to Council. From the sparkle in his eyes, she doubted it was the latter.

Two more Hunters slinked out of the darkness, grinning. 

{Writing Journal} Day 10: Snippets from The Rebel’s Bride

I’m excited with the progress this book is making despite the two days I spent tweaking the order and rewriting those scenes, and the nearly 8,000 words I’ve deleted from the story, I’ve added a total of 17,479 words to the manuscript. That’s roughly 1,750 words a day. Not bad progress for me. 😀

Okay, done patting myself on the back.

This morning I realized there are some things I need to change with book 1, The Scout’s Captive, to make book 2 work. So after extensive note taking by hand, because there was no way I’m going to go back to make those changes at this point, and if I hopped on the laptop to make digital notes I would make those changes. I decided to tweak the scene I finished yesterday, tightening the end, before working on the scene between Lord Darton, Mina’s father, and Lord Bych, Mina’s betrothed. The scenes tense because the two men hate each other with good reason.

Total Word Count for Today: 2,083
Total Book Word Count: 24,949


Disclaimer: These snippets are unedited and might be entirely different in the final version.

Lord Bych shivered, his face twisted into a grimace of dislike. “Why do you employ such impertinent savages?”

“I raised the twins after their father died in battle and their mother was murdered. The others have found their way into my employ and I find their loyalty quite refreshing. Many of them are like brothers to my daughters. They would die and kill for them.”

Lord Bych frown, straightening in his chair. “Are you threatening me?”

Darton laughed. “Why would you think that, Lord Bych? I was merely telling you why I employ such impertinent savages.” Pulling the map out from under the books on his desk, he laid it out on the messy top. “Now to answer your other question, I have men scouring the countryside looking for my daughter and the other women who were taken.”

“I don’t care about them, I only care about the Lady Laramina.”

Darton arched a brow at the disgusting man, and smiled despite the urge to blast his nose across his face. The man was a pig and unworthy to ascend the throne of his esteemed Lord. The High King would have care, if only because by caring he inspired the men who gave him aid. “Some of those men are looking for their sisters and daughters. They are helping because it helps them.”

20 Things You Might Not Know About Stephannie

Kids don’t have school today, which translates into “I’m not going to get much written today”, so I decided to post 20 things about me that few people probably know. Kinda like the meeting-and-greet stages of dating, only without the dating, free drinks, dinner, or a movie.

  1. I love to sing but I really shouldn’t. Not even in the shower. Not ever. More often than not, I’m off key.
  2. Storytelling and writing got me in trouble with teachers a few times throughout my school years. Sadly, they started catching on that I wasn’t writing notes through their whole lecture, but taking notes in one notebook while writing a story in a second notebook.
  3. I was bald for the first 3 years of my life. When my hair finally grew, I refused to cut it and it has been long ever since, except for the one time I had to cut it. For me, short hair is really bad.
  4. The first night I stayed up late to read a book was when I was three. My grandma told me to turn off the light at 1am and go to bed. Strangely, I didn’t know how to read, I just knew the stories by heart so I could look at the pictures and tell myself the story.
  5. My idea of a good time is staying home to read a book, write, or watch a movie while doing either of the first two or one of my craft projects.
  6. When I go on vacation I hate visiting the big cities or even small cities. Since I am the navigator, I usually put us on the scenic roads and stick to small towns and the outdoors. I love forests, ghost towns, and mostly empty beaches along the Oregon and Washington coast in the US, and the coastline in British Columbia, Canada. Although, one day I will make it further East and possibly see the Atlantic Ocean.
  7. I wrote my first stories in 2nd grade. One was about a poor girl who wanted a doll, the other was about a man meeting Christ. I realized years later that the story about the man was based off of Ben-Hur. See how TV forms the young mind.
  8. Every year I read the 1st two books in Lisa Ann Norman’s Sholan Series, Turning Point and Wheel of Fortune. I sometimes read the rest of the series, but not always.
  9. Lisa Ann Norman, Anne MacCaffery, Laurall K. Hamiliton, and Alice Borchardt are among the writers who first inspired me to write my own stories. The list only increased with age.
  10. I’m not a full-time writer, I would love to be, but at the moment that isn’t an option. Maybe one day.
  11. I’m Irish-German with a hint of Viking in my blood. I love to laugh, play, drink, screw, and fight (usually in that order). Although most of my drinking these days is reserved to apple cider, although a few shots of whiskey isn’t unheard when the occasion arises.
  12. I don’t have pets. This doesn’t mean that I hate or mistreat animals, I actually love them, but I’m aware that I would make a really bad pet owner based on the fact that I might forget to feed them when writing my next book and I don’t keep them company. They seem to be very aware that I don’t want them around and plot to make me like them.
  13. Rather than pets I have a ton of wild birds who eat my vegetable/fruit scraps, a handful of barn cats to keep the rodent population at bay, a roaming watch dog to warn me when anyone comes down the road, and some cows to keep my hubby occupied with a hobby. I don’t consider them pets.
  14. I’m not much for social interaction or social media. It’s not that I’m anti-social or an extreme introvert, I just don’t know what to say. Or you could say that what I say will result in the Brennen effect. If you’ve seen Bones you’ll understand. Only I don’t sound so technical and smart. LOL
  15. I don’t do subtle. If you want something from me, don’t hint at it, ask me. Otherwise I’ll miss it and not realize that you were asking me for something. Just be aware that I have no problem saying “yes” or “no” to requests.
  16. I prefer to read romance and romantic fantasy novels, or stories with a romantic subplot, to reading most other genres. This means that most my stories will have a romantic subplot in them. You’ve been warned.
  17. I don’t like to watch romantic movies. I like fast-paced action flicks, supernatural horror, police procedural, and dark paranormal.
  18. I worried my mom in the 6th grade when I wrote a story about a girl going to her aunt’s house to live after the death of her parents. After a few obstacles, it ended with the girl finding her own grave and learning she too had died in the car accident with her parents. After that I wasn’t allowed to watch scary movies. No more The Last Unicorn or Ghost for me. Now that my age is the equivalent of an adult, I watch all the scary movies I can, which sometimes makes it hard to sleep at night.
  19. I love to cook, I preferred cooking on my wood stove to my electric range. Somehow cooking on a wood stove seemed to be a more intuitive way to cook, and I burned less food. I’m having more trouble burning food on the electric range but I’m getting back into the swing of how it works.
  20. I hate cleaning. I will find any way to get out of it that I can. It doesn’t mean my house is a mess. I just try to clean only what has to be done and leave the rest for another day.

Your turn: I love getting to know new people and would love to know more about you.  Tell me a little about yourself?

{Writing Journal} Day 9: Snippets from The Rebel’s Bride

Busy day cleaning house and working on my websites so my word count is lower today then most of this week. i might get to write tomorrow, maybe not. The kids will be home from school so its iffy.

Today’s word count: 805


Disclaimer: These snippets are unedited and might be entirely different in the final version.

Cynel wasn’t sure who tried to escape first, but the men around them leapt into action. Very few seemed interested in sticking around and Cynel was glad. He’d seen the speculative looks many of the soldiers had thrown toward his lovely wife and if they thought of touching her he was going to kill them.

Mina met his eyes and shrugged. “Was it something I said?”

He shook his head. He’d ask her what she was thinking later when he didn’t have to worry about the men overhearing them. He just hoped they didn’t have one of those rare talents that could see passed his glamour, otherwise they were in trouble.

{Writing Journal} Day 8: Snippets from The Rebel’s Bride

Today was a good day, both in the writing and health department. Not only was I able to clean house I had a chance to clean up some scenes that were bothering me. I had to switch a few scenes today as one seemed out of place so early on and another happened too late in the book. Of course, this took some time. But I was still able to finish one scene and write a second. The Rebel’s Bride is moving right along now. 😀

Today’s word count: 3,002


Disclaimer: These snippets are unedited and might be entirely different in the final version.

Mina grabbed his arm, her nails digging into his skin, her gasp far too loud. He waited for her to scream at the soldiers for help. He didn’t need the weapon to tear them apart, but he couldn’t risk Mina in the process.

“What are ye thinking scaring decent folk?” she scolded the soldiers. “I’m sure yer dear mamas taught ye better manners? Ye should have announced yerselves before jumping out at travelers and scaring a pregnant woman into dropping her babe.”

Several of the soldiers around them blinked. Cynel struggled to keep the look of shock from his face and look at her too. He wasn’t expecting her to do that anymore than the soldiers. He was sure it had to be a novel experience to be berated by a woman who was barely five feet tall speaking in a nasally, country accent he could barely understand.