Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Deju Vu is a Plot's Best Friend

Deja Vu or Alternate Reality?

A few years ago, I was putting groceries in the trunk of my car when a man called out, "Hi, how are you? Wow, I haven't seen you around in a long time!"

He was a nice enough fellow, not bad looking, definitely friendly, but he hadn't seen me around...ever. This has happened to me before. I have one of 'those faces' I guess so I just smiled and asked, "Who do you think I am?"

For a moment he looked puzzled. You could almost see the wheels turning in his brain. It was at that point that he realized his mistake and apologized, adding that I looked exactly like the woman he obviously thought I was. I assured him no harm was done. He ducked into the store, leaving me thinking about what had just happened.

I'm no beauty and my looks won't stop a clock. I'm maybe a teensy bit above plain. I'm sure there are many auburn haired women with blue eyes who are just a teensy bit above plain so it's easy to understand a momentary mistake. But this fellow had the light of recognition in his eyes and if he was speaking to someone he'd known for a long time.

Hours later, my writer's mind kicked into gear. What if...he'd stepped out of another time line? In that one, he knew me. I was a close acquaintance. Or maybe a friend. In this time line, I was a stranger, a person he knew nothing about. In his original time line, I could have been a doctor or nurse or teacher. In this one, I could be a thief, a scammer or, worse, a politician! And that made me wonder what could cause a different time line where I could be something totally different from what I am.

My favorite theory is that alternate time lines occur from yes-no type decisions. But that would give rise to an infinite number of time lines for each individual or being from the moment they got out of bed every morning. The universe is infinite but that's too much for my very finite mind to comprehend. I realized then that the Yes-No decisions had to be significant decisions, not ones based on what pair of shoes I'd wear or what kind of cereal I'd put in my breakfast bowl. True, these things might be important to me but in the sweep of the universe, I'm really pretty insignificant.

So maybe the Yes-No decisions have to be significant decisions for a large group of people. These would be decisions that would have the most effect on the most people. For example...Imagine the American Revolution failing. We'd still be part of Great Britain. Or imagine the Mongols sweeping Europe and maintaining dominion over the entire continent. Or imagine what would happen to our world if alien intelligence had arrived, not today, but several hundred years ago. What kind of world would any of these create?

My choice of breakfast cereal or whether I'd wear a blue shirt or purple shirt with my jeans kind of pales in comparison to that. (For the record, I'd probably go with my favorite color, the purple.)

Being a Science Fantasy Romance author, I naturally gravitated toward the arrival of alien intelligence for an instigating event for my novel, Altered Destiny. Well, sort of. In the alternate time line, the Qui'arel arrived, safely, at about the same time as the Jacobite Rebellion. But in this time line, they didn't arrive until our current time and they didn't arrive safely. The ship in our time had a malfunction (which is why it was so late) and slammed into our moon.

The resulting explosion catapults our heroine, Liane Gautier-MacGregor, newly divorced and disappointed with her life, right into a world filled with castle-dominated communities called Reaches, dragons wandering around the North American continent, humans in subjugation to aliens who look like Elves...and straight into the arms of her ex-husband.

But is he? He looks exactly like Devyn Alistair MacGregor...except for the kilt and the eyeglasses, things her ex wouldn't be caught dead wearing. Neither would her ex have a slight brogue. Or act like a decent and honorable man. No, her ex would do none of those things.

Understandably, Liane is confused and puzzled and downright terrified of what's happened to her. She can't live in a world where humans can be enslaved on the whim of the alien overlords. The more she learns about this new world, the more she wants to go home. And the more she learns about this new Devyn James MacGregor, the more she realizes he's worthy of her respect...and love. Can she find a way home or will she accept an Altered Destiny?

So, yes, Altered Destiny came about because of an accidental encounter in a parking lot and a face that looks like many others. It's a kind of strange way to get an idea but it worked and I love the story ;-) Hopefully, you will too.

Altered Destiny Excerpt

It took a certain amount of courage to leave a safe and comfortable life, to leap into the void, and risk failure.  Liane Gautier-MacGregor sighed–one sigh was all she would allow–then faced the slow, even swells of the Atlantic.  Normally, she loved the solitude of the narrow beach but, tonight, it echoed with loneliness.
Dreams, lies, broken trust.  She shrugged; they were all the same.  Take her ex-husband.  Please, she added with a snarky smile.  For a long time, she’d thought Devyn was the man of her dreams.  “Which just goes to show,” she said, shrugging.
Far out to sea, a pale line of fog rose out of the ocean depths.  High above the fog, a star pulsed in the indigo sky.
“Star light, star bright,” Liane began, then paused, unsure what to wish for.  A blast of cold air shoved her backward.  Pulling her jacket together, she braced herself against the wind.  What did ex-husbands and the weather have in common?  Can’t count on either of them.  Glancing at the star again, she muttered, “It’s probably a satellite anyway.”
From atop the bluff, the dull thump of her ex-husband’s car door, followed by the BMW’s throaty growl echoed off the trees and cottage walls.  She turned to see the top landing of the sea stairs.  Twin beams of light speared the darkness then angled away.
She was alone.  In the dark.  On a deserted beach.
Liane shivered.  Gautiers were never afraid.  At least, that’s what her father had always said.  She drew in a breath of salt-laden air, then turned to carefully retrace her footsteps.  She could see them clearly in the moonlight and for a moment wished she could as easily retrace her life’s footsteps.  Go back to a time before her marriage, before she’d become such a huge disappointment to her parents.  To herself.
A wave lapped over her left foot, filling her shoe with icy water.  She jumped sideways

before the next wave hit.  Waves shouldn’t reach this high on the little beach.  She puzzled over it for a moment.  Maybe a storm was coming?   But the sky was clear, filled with stars and a brilliant full moon.
In fact, her wishing star, or satellite, twinkled even more brightly.  “Star light, star bright.  First star I see tonight.”
She chuckled.  Well, it was the first star she’d noticed that night at any rate.  “May I have, may I wish–”
She paused again, and thought.  “What I wish tonight.”
The BMW’s engine noise faded in the distance.  She shivered at the sudden stillness.  “I wish for a new beginning.”
Okay, so that was going to happen anyway now that her divorce was final.  "I wish for a good new beginning."
Vague, that was too vague, she decided.  Maybe-- "I wish that I'm brave enough to succeed at a new beginning."
Fear of failure, fear of didn't matter what you called it.  The fact was, she was a coward in so many different aspects of her life.  And so much would be different if she had been a tenth as brave as her mother or father.  Her head lowered as grief rolled over her.  Her chest tightened, constricting her breath.  But, her head jerked sideways in a negating gesture, she wasn’t brave and her parents were dead because of her cowardice.  Because she’d let her father drive when he wasn’t familiar with icy roads.  She cast a sad, longing look at the star.
Her wishing star jinked sideways, then elongated.  Was it a comet?  So much for wishes.  “Should have wished for a telescope.”
As she watched the comet-star, a buzzing, tickling sensation swept over her.  Her scalp tingled, her hair lifted.  She looked around uneasily as the wind died.  Even the waves, so restless moments ago, hesitated, stuck in mid-curl.
Her gaze, drawn to the sky, settled on the not-star as it sped toward the moon.  Liane’s throat filled with dread as, with a flash of blinding whiteness and an utter lack of sound, the moon exploded.
She gasped in terrified awe as fragments whirled silently through the sky.  Get inside! screamed the primitive part of her mind, inside, inside, inside
Obeying the silent command, she sped toward the sea stairs but the wind came at her like a battering ram.  She stumbled, fell back, and caught herself as her shoes filled with cold ocean water.  The tide surged, slammed into her knees. 
With a supreme effort, Liane dragged herself forward then–
The sea, the beach, the moon and stars–all spun in rapid circles around her.  A queer, sideways slide, a wrenching shift, threw her off-balance. 
From somewhere came her ex-husband’s startled yell followed by the deep mechanical growl of his BMW.
She flailed as a kaleidoscope of color burned across her eyes and drummed through her skull.  Swept up, she clawed empty air.  Tiny zaps, electrically charged, sizzled over her, around her, through her.  Then, as if a giant hand reached out to snatch her from the maelstrom–

Liane reeled in broad daylight, the sun beating over the waves and blinding her with its brilliance.

About Lynda: In her family of Kentucky 'ridge runners', oral tales were a tradition that even the children participated in. She spent many nights with her brother, cousins and friends telling tall tales to excite the imagination. Now she creates award winning science fantasy romance filled with despair, hope, love and courage.


By Lynda K. Scott
Mundania Press
Science Fantasy Romance

Eric d'Ebrur is out of time. He must fine the legendary Heartstone and fulfill the ancient Gar'Ja bond he shares with the Stonebearer. But when he finds her, he discovers that love can be more dangerous than the Gawan threat. Eric can defeat the mind-controlling Gawan but will it cost him the woman he loves? 

After terrifying episodes of hypersensitivity, Keriam Norton thinks she's losing her mind. When handsome shapeshifter Eric d'Ebrur saves her from the monstrous Gawan, she's sure of it. But insane or not, she'll find the Heartstone and, if she's lucky, a love to last a lifetime.

Available in print and ebook format
Buy Links: Mundania Press (use MP10 at checkout for 10% discount)


Altered Destiny 
by Lynda K Scott
Science Fantasy Romance
Available in ebook formats

Stranded on an alternate Earth, architect and Jill-of-all-trades, Liane Gautier-MacGregor must find her way back to her homeworld before she's enslaved...or falls in love with a man who is the exact duplicate of her ex-husband. 

Devyn MacGregor's alter ego as the Reiver Lord is the only way he can fight the Qui'arel and their nefarious Bride Bounty, a tax paid with human females...until he meets the oddly familiar woman who claims he is her husband. And who sets in motion the rebellion that will either free his countrymen or destroy them.

Buy Links: 

Have a Blessed Day!

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