About Me

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A writer by predilection, an aunt by blessing and a friend by choice, Shelley has spent many years journaling before sitting down to draft her first novel. She has a B.A. in English discourse and is currently working on her third romantic-suspense, the title of which will be announced soon pending publication. Shelley is a member of the Romance Writers of America as well as her RWA state chapter of the Maryland Romance Writers.
"I love story-telling. It's a way to live an experience through the eyes of a character." - Shelley N. Greene

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Hi and welcome to week seven of the Summer Love Blog Tour!

          There’s only three weeks left before my debut novel THE FIRE WALKERS releases! I can’t believe it. And throughout June I’m giving you the bonus features on how the story came to be.

          Last week we talked about how I set my theme of astrology, leaving me with a cranky hero and nameless heroine.

          From the beginning, I knew who my couples were, their personalities developing in my head like photographs in the stop bath. The fire heroine came naturally to my mind; an optimistic, smart girl, while the hero stood as a bit of an enigma.

          I got the first chapter written in a surge of inspiration, which is always a good thing, but the point of view was my heroine’s, and every attempt to “talk” to my hero resulted in the cold shoulder.

          After I established the sun sign outline (all of them are much more than just their sun archetype, but that’s a multi-post Astrology lesson for another day), I figured out why my hero was eluding me.

          He’s cardinal fire.

          To give a brief background, astrological signs are broken down several ways; by element, as I described last post, and by function, which in Astrology is called triplicity.

Triplicity is categorized as:

·        Cardinal – Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn
o   They are the starters, leaders, the initiators.

·        Fixed – Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius
o   They are the doers, the fixers, the finishers.

·        Mutable – Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces
o   They are the communicators, the speakers, the verbal grease and glue that keeps everyone connected.

I knew by first glance that my fire hero was an Aries. They are the baby of the zodiac, the first everything: first element (fire), the first sign (Aries). As I'm a cardinal air sign with a Virgo ruler and a heckofalotta cardinal water mixed in, my temperament opposes and squares his. Because of that, I admittedly jumped to conclusions about his character. Add in my fire deficiency, and I felt intimidated.

I’d found ways to relate to my Sagittarius heroine, but my hero was particularly stand-offish. Which struck me as odd.

If an Aries meets challenge head-on, why is my hero avoiding me?

Aries are tough, they have to be. As the first everything, and a cardinal-leader, they have to pioneer things. First is one of their favorite words. They like a contest, love to win, and have to be the first one to try anything new. The old adage “Act first, think later” applies to this sign, big time.

And true to all fire signs, they’re bluntly honest. Unlike water, they don’t conceal what they’re feeling, they’ll tell you to your face and wear it in their facial expressions. And Aries men exhibit the positive and negative manifestations of the sign: Brash, courageous, arrogant, bold and cocky.

Bossy, too. As cardinal leaders, they tell you what to do.  

As an independent, modern woman with a fair share of leader in my own chart, I'll admit, I was afraid he’d get too alpha with me. And fighting with your hero is not good for any book, much less your first one.

And there was that word again: first. Aidan was holding me hostage.  
So I started to think about what I knew personally about the sign.

I had a female boss years ago who embodied Aries to a tee. Confident, tall, and blonde, she wore fire engine red suits and ruby lipstick like a diva. Her face would flush deep crimson whenever happy or frustrated, and she always came at you in the most direct way. If she wanted something done, she’d tell you as well as put a timeline (typically a fast-paced one) on when she expected the task to be completed. If she promised you something, she’d deliver, on the same brisk time scale that she required of you.

Another image that represents Aries is the ram, and I’ve noticed that every Arian I’ve ever met emulates their animal in the same way:

They head-butt you.

Not in a literal way, but in an interpersonal one. They’ll be gruff or blunt on purpose to gauge your reaction. If you stand your ground, you’ve passed the test. They respect you for having the same guts they do, prove that and they’ll treat you as a worthy adversary. Once they've left the room, then you can hold your bruised forehead and shoot them the Are you crazy? look through the closed door.

And even if you piss them off, be grateful you’re not dealing with a Scorpio. Aries anger is ruled by Mars, and it’s like an open fire. It flares up, but once over, it dims, and no grudges are kept. They are the type that right after a knock-down, drag-out fight, they’ll start up a casual conversation as if they hadn’t just singed your eyebrows.

Scorpios are ruled by Pluto—and well, I’ll get to them in book four. Be afraid.

As I sat at the gate of chapter two, I recalled all this Aries knowledge and wondered why my fire hero Aidan was acting so withdrawn. As a writer, I watch, like a fly on the wall. And I stood there with him, outside of Sophie’s door, as he refused to go in. He was unwilling to let me observe their conversation. But why?

A shy Aries?  Heck, no. That isn’t it.

Hurt?  Fire signs bounce back. It takes a heavy blow to scar them. 

His flame-throwing glare said that I was getting warmer, but that he didn’t want me to come any closer. I was sure it was because he thought I was too soft. Not tough enough to hang with him. I needed an in. I’d have offered him a head-butt, but he didn’t seem to want that. He didn’t want to engage at all.

I wanted to fuss at him. I’m no mushball! But that wouldn’t help my case.

A little voice held the answer: 
What if I’m not the only one with weak fire?

But from what I could see of Aidan, he wasn’t weak. Far from. The very insinuation would probably get my butt kicked.

Not naturally weak fire, but hindered fire.

That hit on it. Aidan was born fire-strong, but had had something happen that squelched the element in his nature. Something detrimental. An event that would be discussed if I followed him into Sophie’s office.

The pain in his eyes confirmed my suspicion. And that he’d call an end to all of it if I dare come near him with a hug.

So we laid down the ground rules then and there:

-   Rule Prime: No embracing or physical gestures of the mushy variety. EVER.

-         No judging and NO GETTING IN HIS WAY

-    From there on out, I was playing with fire. If I got burned, it was my problem, not his.

We shook on it, and I’ll confess, I nearly cried leaving that office. The last line of chapter two says it all. But I sucked it up and kept my mush to myself. 

Fire walking isn’t for wimps.

        I got reminded of that a year later when Aidan sat down next to me to go over some copy edits. He wanted to change a part in a scene and I told him no because, while it made him look good, it wasn’t true to the story.

          With a heavy ogle, much lighter than the glowers I got in the beginning, he said, “Where’s the mushball? Bring her back, I miss her.”

          To that, I stuck out my tongue and retorted, “She’s long gone, Pal. You scared her off months ago.”

          And that’s when he did the unimaginable. He smiled.

Next Week:  My heroine gets a name. MEET KELLY

See you then!        ;0)


  1. I can totally see you having those conversations with Aidan. Great meet-and-greet!