Writing Update + Lady Gwen Collage

Hey guys!

Today I’m not going to be sharing a snippet from Lady Gwen; I’ve decided to share with you all a collage of photos from my Pinterest board for the project. Pinterest has been such a great help since I started using it for my writing, and I definitely recommend making boards for your own if you don’t already.

This collage is by no means every photo on the board, because some are mildly spoiler-y. I just picked my favorites to share with you all.

All photos via Pinterest; collage done on Canva.

Lady Gwen Collage

So Lady Gwen is currently with Rebecca Treadway for formatting and should be out by the end of July.

Camp NaNoWriMo is starting in July and I’ll be working more on the Nikolai Project (still no definite title…). I have a lot I want to expand in that book and before long it may end up epic fantasy instead of romance because I am absolutely insane.

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? Let me know in the comments!

-Clara

Advertisements

Lady Gwen Update

Good news!

Lady Gwen is finally edited, at long last. I sent it to Rebecca Treadway for formatting today. Once it’s formatted, I just have to go through a round of proof copies and then it’ll be out for you all to read (finally).

And I still don’t have a back cover blurb, but it’s coming.

As usual, here’s another snippet:

“I can’t leave them there. And don’t you dare argue with me.”

“Ignatius—”

“Gwendolyn.”

She gave a shaky sigh. “Come back to me.”

I’m also finishing school this week, and will therefore be able to get back into reading and blogging more consistently soon.

-Clara

So I Finally Saw The Last Jedi

*THIS POST WILL CONTAIN MAJOR SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS EPISODE VIII: THE LAST JEDI*

You know those movies that you just can’t stop thinking about? Well, The Last Jedi is one of those for me.

Let me just say this: after The Force Awakens, I’d lost my faith in the Star Wars franchise. I started watching the series when I was six years old (and I’m not sure, at that age, that I watched any of them straight through. They scared me half to death.) I loved Star Wars, and it still holds a special place in my heart.

When I heard about The Force Awakens, I rolled my eyes, wondering why Hollywood still hadn’t (and still hasn’t) realized that too much of a good thing is not a good thing. There were six wonderful movies in the saga already out; did we really need another trilogy? Nonetheless, I did see Episode VII—and I hated it. It felt like a remake of A New Hope, only with new characters and a few differences. And Kylo Ren—honestly, I’d never seen a worse villain in my life. The fact that they had a masked villain remove his mask in the first movie was just stupid to me. And he just didn’t feel like a villain that was, well, completely villainous (of course, now I believe that was by design).

Enter The Last Jedi. I was curious about this movie, because I’d been hearing about the popular ship Reylo (Rey/Kylo Ren), and the idea of a villain actually falling in love (and not in lust, as tends to be the case when such a thing occurs in fiction) was interesting. I was sort of a Reylo shipper for that alone, even though I remembered next to nothing about their characters. I saw TLJ on Saturday, and I haven’t had a movie stay with me like this since the third Pirates of the Caribbean.

To put it simply, I absolutely loved The Last Jedi. Sure, I had some issues, but I honestly think it might be my new favorite movie of the franchise, and that’s saying a lot, because I am very, very partial to Attack of the Clones (Obi-Wan, okay? He’s reason enough).

I loved TLJ for the characters, specifically Kylo Ren, who I prefer to call Ben. Character is the most important thing to me in fiction, whether I’m reading a book or watching a movie. Plot is interesting, plot is important, but I’m willing to deal with an awful plot if the characters are well-developed. And I did like the plot of TLJ; I liked it a lot, but if it hadn’t been for the character development I wouldn’t have liked it half as much.

As you can see, though, my opinions of Kylo Ren were substantially changed by this movie. Of course, you could probably blame part of it on the possibility of Reylo (and I’ll speak more on that ship later), but I was completely blown away by the way Kylo Ren was in this movie. The early removal of his mask in TFA makes sense now—having him destroy the mask in the beginning of TLJ was a crucial part of his character, and having him remove it for Rey in TFA was a way of setting up their relationship. Episode VIII made Kylo Ren human. It gave him a past, a personality, making him someone I don’t exactly like, but love nonetheless. It’s like my relationship with everyone in The Great Gatsby: I don’t like any of the characters, but I love them anyway.

I loved the Force-Skype thing between Ben and Rey. It was honestly amazing. It forced these two sworn enemies to sit down and talk—and because of that, I do believe that Kylo Ren will go back to being Ben Solo by the end of Episode IX.

Also, that seen in the hut, when they touch hands…there is so much emotion in that scene and it is beautiful.

On that note, I would like to say a thing or two about Reylo.

I know there are some people who absolutely hate it, people who absolutely love it, and others who are rather indifferent. I happen to absolutely love it. As a matter of fact, it’s probably my favorite ship since Wolflet (and anyone who’s read my blog long knows that I am fiercely devoted to all of the Lunar Chronicles ships).

What I love is the way they’re both conflicted, lost, broken souls trying to find their place in the world. They both have the fight between light and dark raging inside them, and I think that’s what makes them so compatible. Both of them never had supportive adult figures in their lives, neither of them really know how to express their emotions. Personally, I think Kylo Ren is so extreme—extremely angry, extremely compassionate (excuse me, before you argue that, but he literally killed Snoke instead of killing Rey. He has so much compassion for her)—because of his never having had someone to show him how to properly express his feelings. Rey’s never had that, either, and she can be pretty extreme, too. But at the same time, they balance each other out. He brings out the dark in her (but not exactly in a bad way, if that makes any sense at all), and she brings out the light in him.

And can I just mention that scene where they fight the Praetorian guards? It was just amazing, the way they worked together.

that reylo fight

So yeah, I do really hope Reylo ends up officially canon (however, there are plenty of things in TLJ that make it seem pretty official already).

Also, I don’t think Rey’s going to be the one to change Ben—I honestly believe that’s going to be his decision in the end, and I think Rey realized that in TLJ.

On to the things I didn’t like, which is far less than what I did.

Finn and Rose. Not the idea of them as a couple—I just plain don’t like either of them. Something’s off about Finn; I have no clue why, but I just really don’t like him. And Rose annoys me. That stunt she pulled at the end, when she stopped Finn from sacrificing himself? That made me so angry. Not because I wanted Finn to die (I don’t dislike him that much), but because that was seriously such a heroic thing he was about to do and she completely ruined it. Ugh.

But anyway, as a whole, I loved The Last Jedi. A lot. I was pleasantly surprised, and I’m pretty sure if I were to go back and watch The Force Awakens, I’d find it to be a decent movie.

What did you think of The Last Jedi? Do you ship Reylo? Let me know in the comments!

-Clara

Lady Gwen Snippet #1

Good news! The major editing of Lady Gwen is finished! It shouldn’t be much longer before the Captain Guinevere sequel is available to you all.

I’ll be sharing a snippet a week from this book until it’s out, and here’s round one:

“There has to be a way. There just has to.”

“How?”

“I don’t know.” She was so, so scared, unwilling to acknowledge that unless the gods of Olympus decided to save them, there was no real way out of this. “I can’t lose you.”

-Clara

Lady Gwen Chapter One

As promised, here is the first chapter of Lady Gwen. Please note that this will spoil Captain Guinevere if you haven’t read it. 

Copyright (c) 2018 Clara Bennet

Chapter One: Future Monarchs

Gwendolyn Patience didn’t care about the rain. She didn’t care about her sopping clothes. She didn’t—she simply couldn’t care about anything. Her parents were dead. Her baby brother was dead. Her heart had been ripped to shreds.

How could she ever lead Elyondaya? She had, technically, already ascended the throne, and she’d inherited a war. A war to fight and an entire country to guide. And her father, Percival, had been such a wonderful king, respected by all. How could she live up to that? How could she ever be the elegant, graceful queen her mother had been, while still handling all the problems that came with being the head monarch? She was terrified, and even with a husband she knew would always be there, she couldn’t shake the feeling that she wasn’t ready for any of this.

She’d sat through her parent’s funeral, even managed to give a short speech without sinking to the floor in a mess of tears, but she was losing control now. She was grateful for everyone who’d come, the lords, ladies and their children, the major business owners, rulers of other countries, some allies, some enemies who had, despite the differences, come to respect King Percival and his country. Some had spoken to her, others had said nothing, only looked at her sadly. Ignatius’s family had come, and they were more of a comfort than anyone else. Heidi and Stella, Ignatius’s aunts and her dear friends, had grasped her hands and told her they loved her and would be there to help with anything they could. Aldric had simply pulled her into a tight embrace. Eira, Gwen’s sister, had been with the Loyal princesses for most of the funeral, but she and Gwen had spent the whole morning before crying and talking, revisiting all their memories of the parents they loved so dearly.

The sky was clouded over, rain pouring down. Ignatius, her husband, was beside her, his arm tight around her. Everyone else, save for Gwen and Ignatius, had left the funeral. And the tears would not stop falling.

If only there was no Ravenoth. If only she had never run away from her betrothal. None of this would have happened. Her parents would still be alive. Niccolo would still be alive. But she had run from her betrothal to Ignatius and found herself wrapped up in a mess with the evil faerie, Ravenoth, the universe’s enemy. But Gwendolyn would defeat her, if it was the last thing she ever did.

*

There was an important council meeting the next morning to discuss the best course of action for the war against Glondaya. Gwen woke up early to Ignatius kissing her cheek, and she was already nervous about what the meeting might bring.

She bathed and dressed, wearing a simple black gown that symbolized her mourning. The traditional period of mourning would last until the yet unplanned coronation.

The day’s meeting was absolutely crucial to her country’s future. It could determine whether or not Elyondaya lost the war. And if Glondaya was victorious, Ravenoth would be victorious. Gwen could not allow that to happen.  

Her people would not become the faerie’s slaves.

“You’ll be fine,” Ignatius said as they walked down to the council room.

Two guards opened the doors when they arrived, and the people inside rose from their seats. Gwen’s eyes immediately found Isolde, who was to be Gwen’s chief advisor. Isolde had been a queen once, ages ago, and she knew more about Ravenoth than anyone else in the palace. She was essential to this fight.

The chateau’s council room was one of its crowning glories—Elyondaya was a country that considered the council one of the most important aspects of politics, despite being a monarchy. The room was large, with a round table in the center. Centuries-old tapestries hung from the walls, depicting the most memorable events in the land’s history. There were tall, sweeping windows to allow the utmost possible amount of natural light to fill the room.

“Please, sit,” Gwen said as she took her own cushioned seat. “I’m not officially the queen yet.”

Everyone obeyed. The lords of the cities were there, along with a few ladies and knights.

“Let’s get right to it,” Gwen said. “Have you all been informed about Ravenoth?”

Most nodded, a few shook their heads. Gwen did her best to quickly explain.

“Ravenoth is the child of Hecate, the goddess of magic, and Tempere, a time spirit. Therefore, she’s the most powerful being in existence. And she’s the one behind the war with Glondaya. Sir Florent, whom some of you will know, is working with her. Ravenoth aided in my kidnapping a couple of years ago. She killed King Percival, Queen Sofia, and Prince Niccolo.”

“How do we defeat her?” asked the Lord of Perle.

“We find her half-sister, Rosianna Scarlet. Most know her as simply Rose,” Ignatius answered.

Gwen nodded. “No one knows the location of Rose, however, and finding her is no easy task.”

“There’s no other way?” This came from Lady Aimee of Oeil-de-Chat.

“No,” Isolde said. “Only Rose is powerful enough.”

“So saving the country depends on whether or not we can find this Rose,” said Sir Landon.

Isolde’s voice was clear when she answered, “Yes.”

*

Unnoticed by anyone, a peasant girl stood in the council room’s overlook. She had eyes for no one but Gwendolyn. She pulled an arrow out of her quiver and nocked it onto her bowstring, and then, with flawless, unchallengeable precision, she aimed at Gwen, and released.

*

“Get down, Your Majesty!” a knight screamed, just as an arrow seemingly flew out of nowhere.

But it was too late. The arrow spiraled towards Gwen’s heart, about to strike her and end her life-

There was a burst of light, and for a moment Gwen was so surprised time seemed to stop—and suddenly a woman was standing in front of her, trying to gain her balance until the arrow pierced her heart.

Gwen sunk to her knees beside her. “Get the healer!” she screamed. She looked into the women’s eyes. “You saved my life.”

“Gwendolyn,” the woman whispered. “Thank you for taking care of me for so long. But I’m afraid I’ll need you again. Soon.”

And then she was gone. Vanished.

Gwen thought she heard gasps from the council, but the sound, if it had even been there, was replaced a moment later.

“Rose.” Isolde’s voice rang out as she rushed over to Gwen. “She was inside of you.”

“Rose?” Gwen asked, shaken and bewildered. “That was Rose?”

“The very same. Ravenoth’s half-sister. The only one who can defeat her,” Isolde replied.

“We have to find her,” Gwen said, her voice shaky.

“Your Majesty.” It was one of the knights.

Gwen spun around. In between the soldiers was a young, dirty black-haired girl, bound at the wrists.

“We found her with a bow and arrow on the balcony.”

“You’re Ravenoth, aren’t you?” Gwen asked.

The girl only laughed.

“Aren’t you?” Gwen repeated.

A soft nod, almost imperceptible.

“Lock her up,” Gwen commanded.

The knights held the girl by her upper arms and began to march her out of the temple.

And then the girl vanished in front of them.

Gwen sighed. She’d expected this.

“What? Where’d she go?” she heard a knight exclaim.

“She’s gone,” Gwen said, walking towards the knights. Her next words were spoken in a quiet, reverent tone. “I can’t defeat Ravenoth, not without the help of the woman who just saved my life.”

Copyright (c) 2018 Clara Bennet

I hope you enjoyed it and I will do my best to post a few more excerpts here as I continue working on Lady Gwen. 

-Clara

My 2-Month Hiatus + Lady Gwen

Hello. It’s been a while. I really didn’t mean to take a two-month hiatus, but it happened. I just haven’t really had the time or, sadly, the desire to blog lately. I’m back now, hopefully, but I won’t be able to regularly post until I get done with school and/or get Lady Gwen out. And about that…

I know I said it would be out in April. Well, here we are, April 30th, and it’s not. I can’t tell you how much I hate that it’s not finished. I’m tired of not having it out and I’m tired of working on it. It’s not that I don’t want to work on it; I do, because I know the only way to be done with it is to finish it. And I’m also ready to write book three already.

I will tell you all that I have worked on barely anything else for the past 2 months. And it’s coming. There were a lot of major things to fix, though, and my editor and I didn’t realize that when we said it would come out in April.

So, with that being said, my editor wants you to know that it’s partly her fault as well. Both of us have learned a lot through this process and I firmly believe that book three will be much easier and will be out when we say it will be.

So, starting tomorrow, I will be posting excerpts from Lady Gwen on here for you all to read, starting with the first full chapter. I want to give you something from the book if I can’t give you the whole thing yet.

Something I want to do is answer your questions about this book: the characters, world, the writing process, anything (well, anything that won’t spoil the plot). So please ask me questions in the comments, or if there’s a specific post you’d like to see, let me know.

Once again, I am so sorry I don’t have this book out yet. It is coming, I assure you.

Love you all and thank you for your support,

Clara

Lady Gwen Cover Reveal!

Hello! I am so excited to finally be writing this post!

If you’re new here (welcome!), I’m the author of Captain Guinevere and have been working on the sequel for quite some time now. I had hoped to release its sequel, titled Lady Gwen, last November, but this book has really been difficult and that didn’t happen. But today I’m sharing the cover with you all!

This book has been a hard one; middles are notoriously difficult and I have to agree, but once this one’s done I can move on to the end and I am seriously looking forward to all the drama that will go down in that one.

But without further adieu…

Lady Gwen_300dpi

I worked with the lovely Rebecca Treadway (atrtinkcovers.com) again on the cover and I love it! I’m so excited to have my two leading men there. Aldric (the dark-haired one) was actually based on one of my fellow cast members- I officially introduced myself after my mom asked him to model so that was interesting.

Lady Gwen will release in April and I will let you all know the exact date as soon as I figure that out.

Have you read Captain Guinevere? What do you think of the cover?

-Clara