Please join me in congratulation Chrys Fey on her newest novel A FIGHTING CHANCE. Chrys Fey is an advocate for ending domestic abuse and has used her voice to bring attention to this unacceptable horror. But Chrys’s books do even more than that. They give hope to survivors.
I asked her recently, “Chrys, what scene in A Fighting Chance was the hardest to write?”
Chrys: The scene when Thorn and Amanda make love was the hardest scene to write because of all the layers it contains. We have a man who adores this woman with every fiber of his being and wants to give her what she deserves and everything she’s never had. He’s also cautious. He doesn’t want to hurt her or cause her to regress. On the other side, we have a woman who is a sexual assault/domestic abuse survivor with a past that she’s trying to heal from. She wants to be with Thorn, more than anything, but she’s cautious, too.
It was important to me to write a romantic scene authentic to the situation. Thorn asks Amanda questions that all men should know to ask women, regardless if they’ve ever experienced abuse or not (which you may not even know if they have). Thorn is gentle, careful. And Amanda is curious because she’d never experienced the type of love and passion that Thorn is showing her. At the same time, she is fragile and experiences flashbacks.
As I said, layers upon layers in this scene. It was beautiful to write, but it took a lot of thought, a lot of care. That’s why it was the hardest scene.
EXCERPT: (Warning: This excerpt may contain triggers of abuse.)
She cracked open her fortune cookie. “‘Your happily-ever-after is coming.’”
Thorn pulled out the curl of paper from his broken fortune cookie. “‘Stay on your path.’”
She picked at her nails. “Last year, Beth and I had a hibachi lunch and my fortune read, ‘Give love a chance.’” She looked him in the eye, although her chest tightened and her heart thudded with excitement and fear. Fear because she had considered telling Thorn this many times before but had never had the guts. “I thought of you right away. I wanted to give love a chance, but I was scared. It sounds silly to admit that a fortune cookie helped me to be brave, but it did. Shortly after that was the Goldwyn Christmas party, when I had gathered enough courage to kiss you under that mistletoe.” She smiled. “I’ve kept that fortune in my wallet as a reminder of how I can give love a chance. With you. And, apparently, my happily-ever-after is closer than I realize.”
Thorn lifted his hand. His fingers stroked her jawline. “You make me happier than I have ever been.”
She covered his hand with hers and closed her eyes. Never before had someone told her she made them happy. For Damon, she only ever inspired negative feelings in him—wrath, jealousy, possessiveness, and dangerous lust. Actually, the one time he appeared happy was after he’d abused her in bed for his own sexual appetite. He didn’t know the meaning of intimacy. Or, rather, his meaning of intimacy was deranged and downright vile. She didn’t know anything else. She took Thorn’s hand. In her lap, she laced and unlaced her fingers with his. These weren’t hands that had ever hurt her. These weren’t hands that would ever hurt her. Before Thorn, she only knew hands that punched, dragged, slapped, choked, and stabbed.
“In a book I read a long time ago, the male character told the heroine he wasn’t going to make love to her but rather that he was going to make love with her.” She paused as her heart rate increased; she couldn’t believe she was saying this, but she wanted to more than anything. “Up until that moment, I had no idea there was a difference between someone making love to you and someone making love with you. What Damon did, and every time he did it, he did it to me, not with me, and there wasn’t any love in it at all. Not a drop. I don’t know what that’s like.” She stared at Thorn now. “Can you show me?”
He blinked. “Show you…?”
She answered in a whisper. “What it’s like to make love with someone.”
His lips parted. He inhaled, filling his lungs. “Are you sure?”
She lowered her gaze as her stomach jittered, and she nodded.
He lifted her chin with his fingers. “My eyes…”
His voice was little more than a breath.
Her gaze rose to meet his.
“I need to hear you say it.”
She swallowed. “I’m sure. I want this. I want you.”
Heat Rating: Hot
*A FIGHTING CHANCE is Book 6 in the Disaster Crimes series, but it’s a spin-off featuring a new couple, so it can be read as a standalone.*
Thorn has loved Amanda from afar, giving her whatever she needs as a survivor of abuse—space, protection, and stability. He yearns to give her more, though, to share his feelings, kiss her, love her, but he’s worried the truth will frighten her away.
And Amanda is afraid. She’s scared of her attraction for Thorn. Most of all, she’s terrified of her ex-boyfriend, who is lurking nearby where no one can find him. When she grows closer to Thorn, Damon retaliates, jeopardizing their happy ending.
Up against an abusive ex and Mother Nature, do Thorn and Amanda have a fighting chance?
***FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME***
THE DISASTER CURSE
Author’s Note: I wrote The Disaster Curse to answer a few lingering questions readers may have after reading A Fighting Chance, and to tie the whole series together with a neat, shiny, perfect little bow. Plus, there was one disaster that I hadn’t written about yet. *wink*
The Disaster Crimes Series:
*The Crime Before the Storm (prequel)
Hurricane Crimes (novella, #1)
Seismic Crimes (#2)
Lightning Crimes (free short, #2.5)
Tsunami Crimes (#3)
Flaming Crimes (#4)
Frozen Crimes (#5)
A Fighting Chance (spin-off, #6)
The Disaster Curse (short story, #7)
*Free exclusive story to newsletter subscribers.
***LAUNCHING A WEBSITE***
TheFightingChance.org is a website dedicated to domestic violence and sexual assault awareness. Inspired by the Disaster Crimes series.
Prizes: Hurricane Crimes (Disaster Crimes 1) and Seismic Crimes (Disaster Crimes 2) eBooks (mobi or epub), Hurricane Crimes Playing Cards, Girl Boss Sign, and a Volcanic Blast Scented Candle
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Chrys Fey is author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept that blends disasters, crimes, and romance. She runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads and edits for Dancing Lemur Press. https://www.chrysfey.com
Thank you, Chrys, for being my guest today. Thank you for giving voice to this domestic abuse.