Nix attacks Yelena and gets a nasty surprise!  The fight is very realistic – I’ve been taught when there is a knife at your throat the best way to stay alive is to grab the blade and wrist if possible.  I use this fight to teach writers how to write action scenes. So many new writers focus on the actions and dialogue, they forget the internal dialogue and emotions.  She also recalls Janco’s advice to “hit and git” (but we all know that comes from my karate teacher, Tom :).

This fight is also a pivotal moment for Yelena.  All her hard work and training comes to fruition – she is able to not only survive an attack from an armed opponent, but to leave as the winner.  Since age 16, she’s been victimized and this is a turning point for her.  She wasn’t the victim in this case and her comment after the fight sums it up nicely: “I bared my teeth and thought, Now who’s the rat?”

Later, when Valek bursts into the infirmary and demands answers (a clue that he cares), I enjoyed writing their exchange.  Especially when Valek asks, “So your training has been progressing to your satisfaction?”  And she answers, “Better than expected.”  And then when he asks if he should kill Nix, she says, “If I wanted him dead, I would have done it myself.”  Love that line!

The relationship between Valek and Yelena developed slowly and these interactions between them were so much fun to write. Yet, I still wasn’t sure what would happen, then Yelena visits Dilana for some warm weather clothes and their banter is what tipped the scale in Valek’s favor. There are clues that they both are thinking of the other as more than colleagues.

At the end, Yelena and Margg meet Captain Star and Yelena is excited to expose Margg as the leak. In what I hoped was a bit of a surprise, Margg turns out to be working for Valek.  Margg is equally disappointed--there’s no love between these two.  At least Yelena was able to show Margg she wasn’t going to meekly take her abuse anymore!  Another step in the right direction for Yelena.

I purposely made Margg appear to be guilty of treason so that when Yelena’s friend, Rand shows up at the end of the chapter as the real leak--it’s a surprise and a blow to her.  Plots resemble roller coasters—lots of ups and downs. And the hills get higher as the story progresses.

Question 21 – Where did Ambrose grow up?

Don't answer this question in the comments!! This is another chance to win! There will be 31 questions for each chapter note published. Collect the answers to ALL the questions (or your best guess) and then enter to win a T-shirt at the end of the month (I'll post the Rafflecopter on the 31st).


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