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Preview — Butterfly in Frost by Sylvia Day
“Nice to meet you, Garrett.” She shakes his hand, then sweeps her arm toward me. “And this reckless lady is Dr. Teagan Ransom.”
Authors are so often asked if their characters are ever based on actual people in their lives. The answer is that all writers pull from reality and life to flavor their stories but in unexpected ways. An example of this is Teagan's name. I was once the patient of a Dr. Ransom, who deeply touched me with his kindness. Dr. Ransom was the anesthesiologist who administered the epidural when I was in labor with my son. I loved his name and while I wasn't yet a writer at the time, I filed it away in my memory. When it came time to write BUTTERFLY IN FROST, over twenty years later, the name fit and I gave it to Teagan.
The left side of the butterfly roof wings up and over the double-sided fireplace and dining room, with clerestory windows following the graceful rise so nothing blocks the majestic view.
A few years back, during an especially scorching summer in my hometown of Las Vegas, I decided my family needed a place to escape the heat and I settled on the Pacific Northwest as the ideal location. In the ensuing years, we've found our summers in the greater Seattle area to be especially wonderful. We rest and recharge in the natural beauty of a locale that is both a thriving, growing metropolis and a place that will always be just a little untamed. Family and friends visit us from all over on their vacations, so they too can take a break and recenter themselves. There's just something about the PNW that is very conducive to contemplation and healing. Because of that, when it was finally time to write Teagan and Garrett's story, settling her in my home seemed natural and perfect. Where is your favorite place to reset and recharge?
“I’m tired of hurting,” he says softly. “You remind me that my body can feel things other than pain.”
Over the course of my life, I've found that physical exertion can be a great stress and anxiety reliever. Garrett was originally of the same mind, but the self-care of fitness devolved into something more like self-punishment--a way to feel pain to remind himself that he could feel anything at all. There are many ways to deal with grief and Garrett's use of his body to tap into his emotions is just one.
At least that’s what I told myself when I opened the shopping app on my tablet and ordered a large bottle of San Pellegrino, Beecher’s Flagship cheese, honeycrisp apples, and artisanal crackers. I arranged the items in a cloth-lined wicker basket he can reuse, along with a decent knife and a pair of tall, slim drinking glasses.
When I first moved into my newly revitalized midcentury modern home on the bluff overlooking Puget Sound, my next-door neighbors came over with a welcome basket very similar to this. There was a bottle of white wine instead of sparkling water, and no knife or glasses, but the rest of the contents and basket were the same. This lovely gift introduced me to the wonder of Beecher's Flagship cheese and inspired me to place Roxy and Mike's home in the spot where my neighbors' home is. Roxy's house itself, both the interior and exterior, was inspired by a former home of my agent. Do you have a favorite housewarming gift?
“You have a son!” Roxy’s face beams. “How old is he?” Garrett takes a deep breath before answering. “David would have been seven this year.”
Writing a story about a character dealing with the loss of a child has long been on my mind, but I struggled with how to tell the story in a way that would do such a tragedy justice. In the end, it took a personal experience to bring Teagan and Garrett's story to life. It's a pervasive thought that a romance ends with marriage and children, but not every *happily ever after* lasts forever. Some love stories are more complicated. Some love stories, no matter how beautifully they begin, don't last. The person in my life who experienced a similar tragedy didn't have the happy ending I hoped for his marriage. With BUTTERFLY IN FROST, I was able to write one.
Drifting back to consciousness feels like being pulled from the bottom of a lake. I’m buried in mud and silt, the heaviness slowly sliding off me as I’m reeled back up to the surface. I fight the pull, turning to my side and squeezing my eyes shut. I’m still so tired.
Depression is something that everyone experiences at some point in their lives, in varying degrees. I've had the same ups and downs as most, with the deepest point reached shortly after the birth of my son. Can you relate to how Teagan feels at times?
Having experienced depression many years ago, I still could remember this feeling, like it happened yesterday. There’s nothing like it.
Depression is worse than anything I ever felt. It pervades your being. remains a mystery as to its source or remedy. It never lets up 24/7. It's so difficult to talk about even if you have enough stre…
“I still loved you,” I counter, standing by the island because I can’t sit down. It’s hard enough just trying to stand still. “I agreed to the divorce because I wanted you to be happier.
The song "Happier" by Marshmello & Bastille released during the time I was writing BUTTERFLY IN FROST and the lyrics so perfectly capture Garrett's feelings about his divorce from Teagan that I once broke down in tears while driving when it played on the radio.