Friday, April 5, 2013

Bewitching Book Tours Guest Spot: Shereen Vedam w/giveaway

The death of a scene…

I’m guilty of killing scenes.

At work, they call me the Delete Queen, because I’ll have barely finished reading an email before it’s sent to the trash. Not so much with my writing. When I first began to write, I was overprotective of every word, every scene and every chapter.

I still have a “keeper” folder for discarded drafts, even though 9 times out of 10, I never go back and look at what was taken out. In A Beastly Scandal, over the years, both publishers and agents told me time and again that the opening had to be shortened. I couldn’t understand why. It was perfect just the way it was. Every chapter was an absolute necessity.

When this book finally sold, it was after part of the original Chapter One and all of Chapter Two had been deleted. I still love those missing scenes, especially the one where the heroine goes to the stable in the small hours of the night and meets up with the ghost of a murdered blacksmith.

Yet, I finally understood why those scenes had to go. They were dragging the book’s opening, the time between when the heroine and the hero meet again, when the story really gets going.

That is the reason for deleting a scene, whether in movies or in books. To pick up the pace, to move the story forward, to get on with the action. But that doesn’t mean an author doesn’t mourn a deleted scene.

Here’s a small part of the dearly departed Chapter Two of A Beastly Scandal, from my “Keeper” folder.

“Dog?” Belle called and raised her lantern. Ahead, the crackle of fire sounded and she started. Someone must be awake in this vast barn. Should she go back? Worried that if the unruly hound she had rescued caused trouble during the night, the stable hands might throw him back out into the snow, she had come here to collect the stray and return to her room without discovery.
A brown pony in a nearby stall shied, his steamy breath misting the air. She bit her lip with indecision. A whimper echoed in the dark and she shook off her unease and hurried toward the unhappy puppy. Before the last stall, an opening led off to her left. She paused to glance at this passageway. The straw beneath her calf boots ended at the doorway to this new area. Past that boundary, not a blade of straw could be seen on the hard packed soil.
The wolfhound whined again. She went over to the last stall and leaned to look over the slats. There you are. A chewed rope hanging by the dog’s feet attested that he had freed himself long ago. So why did he still cower against the wall?
“Why did you not answer when I called?” she asked in a stern voice.
“Perhaps he was frightened.”
Belle jumped and let out a little shriek.
Not two feet away stood a tall hefty man with gray hair and beard. He was clothed all in black with a worn leather apron overtop and he carried a big hammer. For bashing innocent girls over the head? Her nose wrinkled at the smell of burnt charcoal and her vivid imagination took her to the steps of Hades.
The dog whimpered again and wedged himself into a corner of the stall.
Belle nodded cautiously at the stranger. “Good evening, sir. I did not hear you come in.” Her voice was strong and surprisingly calm considering her trembling body.
He swung his arm with the hammer to indicate the area that led into the straw-less passageway. “I reside there.”
“Oh.” She backed up a step. Perhaps coming here had not been her best idea. He stood between her and the door. Behind her was the only living thing she could call friend, and he cowered, no doubt ready to relieve himself if she turned to him for help.

A Beastly Scandal
Fairytale-inspired Regency romances
Book 1 of 4
Shereen Vedam

Genre: Regency Romance

Publisher: ImaJinn Books

ISBN: 978-1-61026-124-1

Number of pages:  216
Word Count: 90,000

Cover Artist: Josephine Piraneo

Book Description:


Lady Annabelle Marchant was a belle of the ball in London until she used her psychical senses to save a man’s life.  She failed miserably, leaving him dead and her disgraced.  All she wants now is a chance to comfort his widow by cleansing the woman’s home of her husband’s restless spirit.  But the widow’s son, the beastly Lord of the Manor, accuses her of coming to the wilds of Cheshire to snag him as a husband.  Thoroughly disgusted, she is bent on proving him wrong.


Lord Rufus Marlesbury, the Earl of Terrance, is suspected of murdering his father.  He has come home to clear his name by finding the real killer before the new year or the king has promised that Rufus will be called in front of the House of Lords to answer for the crime.  He does not have time to waste fending off a marriage-minded miss who has inveigled an invitation to his home by playing on his grief-stricken mother’s worst fears.


With an unruly manor ghost terrorizing the occupants and corpses piling up in the village, Belle must find a way to see the man beneath the beast and Rufus must learn to believe in the love of a woman who has no reason to trust him.  Only by working together can they stop a vengeful ghost before it torments the guests or before the killer strikes again.

Short Excerpt:

Lord Terrance may have forbid her from coming to his manor house, but she was determined to clear his country home of its resident ghost.
“That is a desolate looking house, is it not?” Winfield said. “I would have it torn down and rebuilt in a more flattering style, but Terrance seems fond of this monstrosity. So what brings you so far north, my lady?”
She faced the gentleman. “I have come for a visit with Lady Terrance. She is my grandfather’s friend.”
“I had heard the countess still wore dark colors.”
Before she could respond, a loud crack sounded. She sensed danger stab from above. With a shouted warning, she pulled Mr. Winfield out of harm’s way just as an icicle crashed and shattered where they had stood. She protected her face as splinters flew in all directions.
Mendal screamed. The owl fluttered its one good wing and screeched. The dog barked ferociously.
Mr. MacBride spoke first, his voice quivering and eyes wide with terror. “It is an omen, ah tell ye.”
“He is right,” Mendal said, sounding unusually timorous as she crossed herself. “We should leave. Bad luck comes from going where we are not wanted.”
The front doors opened then, and a footman descended. Immediately, the dog raced up the stairs and inside.
“Dog!” Belle called out in alarm. The animal might wreck the place. This was not how she had hoped to introduce herself to the countess.
An older woman, dressed in black, moved to the open doorway. Belle recognized her from a drawing her grandfather had shown her. This was Lady Terrance. She gave off waves of fear as she looked toward the roofline.
Belle’s worries drowned beneath the lady’s emotional assault, leaving her head pounding with a headache. Through that onslaught, Belle’s purpose became crystal clear. This is why she had come here. Lady Terrance needed her.

About the Author:

Introduced to fantasy at a young age, Shereen's reality is merely a starting point to other realms. 

Her world is populated with little people with agendas, elements that talk and spells that rarely work as designed. Her heartwarming historical tales have a healthy dollop of mystery mingled with heart-melting romance, all stirred with a pinch of magic. In her brand new fairytale-inspired Regency romance series, she brings you four beloved fairytales, with a new twist. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Shereen Vedam said...

Thanks, Andrea, for hosting me on A Chick Who Reads.

Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs using images from the Tea Time kit and the Saturday Night kit by MK-Designs