Friday, December 31, 2010

#FridayFlash - The Rings

Here's a piece that came up from Icy Sedgwick's photo prompt 9.  Karl's on hold while I figure out what to do with him.  Nothing like having the person you were writing them for not care enough to read them. *sighs wistfully*  But such is life.  I have other readers, and other stories.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The world needs more ferret videos

The world always needs more ferret videos.  They're never not cute, never not charming.

This is my old man's Serendipity.  He loves packing peanuts.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Guest blog: VampirePhile

This went live last week, but the holidays just tied me up  Visit Soni at VampirePhile to read up on some of my attraction to vampires.  And say hi to my very nice hostess.

Still getting good feedback for All Hallows Blood.  That's always joyful.  Going through final polishing on Saint Valentine's Clash.  Have picked a blurb, and am working on the cover now.  More details as that comes along. 

And I'm starting a rewrite on the third book.  Decided the first draft had too many holes, and was easier to rewrite than to wedge in the needed scenes.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The ultimate bad boy

So who is the ultimate paranatural bad boy?  Werewolf, zombie, vampire, dragon, something else?  Let's find out.

Zombie can come right off the list, because ewwwww.  Seriously, even if they had a mind, which they shouldn't, ewww.  They're rotting corpses that desire brains.  They're not supposed to have powers or anything, so they're not like vampires.  Vampires are dead in a cool way.

Werewolves, or any shapshifter really, are rough, vicious, ready to go.  They embody the wild and untamed, and it reflects in their mannerisms.  By their very nature, they won't be well-behaved or socially acceptable.  That doesn't make them bad boy enough for me, because they're really just animals.

Elves aren't mentioned very often, but I love them.  Not the Keebler kind, and not the Dungeons & Dragons shorties.  Elves are neat, and magical, and inhuman, but they're never really thought of as "bad".  Even when they're killing, they're still elegan and graceful and beautiful.

Demons are always considered evil, so they should technically be the baddest boys.  But there's also a line where evil becomes not fun, and demons are definitely on the wrong side.  A little Chaos is all right; falling for a being of pure Chaos is dangerous.

Vampires are often ranked as top bad boys.  Cold, mysterious, powerful, puppetmasters, gorgeous, seductive, the list goes on and on.  They fit in so many roles, from businessman to biker to rebel, and they fit the roles so well.  It's no secret they're my favorite contenders.

Dragons have a very special place in my heart, and I really should write more about them.  Done properly, they hate humans, they're wild and brutal, they think drawing blood and fighting is foreplay, and they're very dominate.  Magical, powerful, capable of so much, they really take the cake.

In the end, I can't pick an ultimate bad boy.  No one can, because it's so subjective.  What race do you think is the ultimate bad boy?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Holidays

Today's the winter solstice, a traditional heathen holiday.  So I'm picking it as a middle ground to everyone's holidays.

Happy holidays.  May you be enjoying this time with friends and family.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Letting the bad guy win

I state about myself that I like the bad guy to win, and yet in none of my novels does the antagonist win.  (In the fourth Keila book, the antagonist kinda wins)  Only some of my short stories feature a triumphant bad guy.

Yet I stand by my statement.

I love movies like Arlington Road and Seven, or stories like "I Am Legend".  The antagonists clearly triumphed.  (I also like when the hero triumphs, for the record, but that will be for another time)  The protagonists did their very best, but they were outplayed.

So why don't I write about bad guys winning?

At least in my novels, I'm writing from the perspective of a character I really like.  They, or their love interest, happen to be a little dark, a little outside societal laws.  Not exactly villains, but not entirely heroes.

They win, but not because they're shining examples of what to do right.  That's kind of like the bad guy winning, right?  I say it is, and that's what I'm sticking to.  :)

In my short stories, I will have my villains win.  Dragon Hunter is a recent example.  The Sacrifice (in stories with bite o,.,o) has a spiffy twist before the protagonist takes a fall.  I'm much less attached to my characters in short works, and m ore likely to write something tragic or surprising.

So what are some of your favorite bad guy wins?

Friday, December 17, 2010

#FridayFlash Karl the wulfen - 7

He'd barely opened his eyes when Jenny was at his side.  "You really awake this time?"  Her slender hand rested on his forehead, and Karl recognized the feel of her bed.

"Maybe," the wulfen groaned.  The bedside made his eyes water, forcing them closed.  "How long-"  Pain surged, cutting him off.  Recovering from silver poisoning took time, and was never easy..

"Only a day.  You tried to get up after a few hours, but fell down."  Jenny traced his jaw.  "I've got orange juice if you're staying up."

Karl's head throbbed, his wounds stiff and achy.  Reopening his eyes didn't hurt, so he sat up.  Jenny supported him through a brief moment of vertigo. Once he was stable, she offered him a glass.

He chugged the pulpy juice, grateful for a considerate lover.  Sweet and kind hearted, she couldn't hurt a fly.  She'd accepted the beast that he was, even growing curious about his nature.  Jenny gave him hope that humanity wasn't a bad race.

"I'm sorry about showing up like this," he said, handing her the empty glass.  Karl was naked under her yellow sheets, his wounds wrapped in cotton bandages.  She'd managed him all alone, the petite woman somehow getting him cleaned and undressed.

"No problem."  She kissed his forehead, rising.  "Let me get you some more juice, and you tell me what happened."  Her hips swayed as she left the room.

Jenny lived in a small house, easy enough for his voice to carry to the kitchen.  "The clan was attacked.  Everyone is gone."  Karl suddenly needed to pee, and slowly rose from the bed.  "I'm tracking their killers."  Keeping a hand on the wall, he made his shaky way to the bathroom.

Family photos hung on every wall of the bedroom, and the wulfen looked at them to distract from the pain.  Jenny with grandparents, as a child, at a park.  Her dead aparents, her cousins, her older sister.

Just before he entered the bathroom, a photo of her as a teen with several teen boys caught his attention.  She wore pigtails, grinning as she knelt beside a young buck.  The youths around her had guns and knives, proud of their first kill

Touching her shoulder was a young Magazine.  He was huge even in his youth, imposing and muscular.

"It's will be easier if you don't fight," Jenny said, leveling a hunting rifle at his chest,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Praise for We Are Not Alone

I don't normally talk about the writing craft here.  I figure my blog is for friends and potential readers and fans.  There are plenty of other blogs out there that can teach you all about writing.

But Kristen Lamb's book We Are Not Alone made such an impression on me last night, that I've got to talk about it.

I've been following her blog for a while, trying to figure out other ways to build my author platform.  For those who aren't aware,  I really struggled with the idea of marketing and selling my book when I first got signed.  Everything was overwhelming, and a reality check, and it led to some very unhappy stressful times.

If I'd had WANA last year, I could have saved my family and myself a lot of stress.

Lots of people say go get a Twitter account, go get MySpace and Facebook, and all these other social networks, but no one ever says what to do with the accounts.  I've expressed frustration before that there seems to be a missing step, that having these accounts won't magically find you friends and readers.

Granted, Kristen doesn't tell you exactly what to do with your accounts, but she explains their uses, and how to set them up, and the kinds of things you need to do to build a platform.  She helps you get the tools you need to build the platform, and gets you started.  No one can do the actual building for you, but she gets you started.

So if you're looking to improve your social networking skills, or you're just starting out, or you know someone who could use the advice, go pick up We Are Not Alone.  Kristen's advice and humor and well done instructions will take the stress away, and will make it so you can focus on writing.

Bonus, she's a friendly person, and will talk to you.  She's not on a pedastel or anything, and that's great.  I've had a few exchanges with her on Twitter, and she always makes me laugh.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Saint Valentine's Clash

So I can finally start really working on the sequel.  Final push here, and I'm going to try and have it done for a February release.  Ya know, because of the title and everything.

But I'm so happy, despite the time of the year.  I don't like Christmas, but I am looking forward to Valentine's.

Hope you are too.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Beautiful Demons and other books

Finished more books, so lets get some thoughts on them.

Beautiful Demons by Sarra Cannon was pretty damn awesome.  It's a quick read, and I devoured it.  There's a good twist on the evil cheerleader, and you really want to find out more.  While the events of the story are tied up, there's a longer story arc that is just beginning.  I was pleasantly frustrated when the book ended without any answers, because it made me want to read the next one immediately.

Logos by Cheryl Anne Gardner was...different.  I liked the ending a lot, and the revelation of the characters.  But most of the book was full of heavy words for no reason, lack of details and grounding, and seemingly random meanderings.  There was no significant plot, and there also seemed to be little character work to drive the story.  Despite how much I liked the final chapter, I honestly can't say I liked this book.  Just a little too heavy handed and merely hinting at some higher philosophy without a payoff.

Half Past Dead by Zoe Archer and Bianca D'Arc was a couple of erotic novellas featuring zombies.  I was a little disappointed, because the plots weren't gripping nor was the sex fantastic.  Both were a little lukewarm, meaning I was bored.  The plot for Simon Says was intriguing, and I actually wanted more of the zombie attack and the science and the military screw up.  But it was just too introspective, and the first part is all the main characters reminiscing.  Zoe's story was better for the plot, but was just randomly sidetracked by sex.  One time, the characters detoured just to have sex, doing nothing to really advance the plot.

Cameo the Assassin by Dawn McCullough-White had some cool characters, and a cool premise.  They just didn't click for me.  Cameo was at times gloomy, at times carefree and playful, and there weren't always triggers for the personality switch.  Opal was hard to take serious in any manner; any ugly dandy highwayman who wasted every coin on his clothes.  The world seemed interesting, but the distances between landmarks wasn't handled consistently; sometimes it was a quick jaunt to a temple, other times it took all day from the same temple.  It was fun, in its own way, but the climax was too brief for as much time as we spent wandering around with the characters.

I tried getting through Varney the Vampire, and just couldn't do it.  Sometimes, I just don't get why classics are considered classics.  I was so bored, and started skimming, and then was still too bored to keep reading.  But I tried.  That counts for something, right?

Friday, December 10, 2010

#FridayFlash Karl the wulfen 6

Karl stared at the gun, panting and snarling.  Magazine's aim was steady, muzzle directly between the wulfen's eyes.  Karl would have the narrowest margin to escape death.

Magazine blinked, and Karl took his chance.  He dodged left, batting the gun to the right.  Wulfen were agile and fast, and Karl was no exception.  The gun barked, heat singeing fur, the muzzle flare temporarily blinding him.  He'd managed to escape unharmed.

Then Karl felt the blood and pain.

His oppenent tried to bring the gun around, and Karl swiped at his arms.  Magazine tumbled off the counter, firing again, and hit the ground hard.  Karl followed the human, aware of the blood spurting from Magazine's arm.  Even if the wulfen didn't finish him, Magazine was done for.

Not that Karl ever left a wounded enemy behind.

Magazine got off one more shot as Karl landed.  The silver bullet tore a furrow in his calf, the pain searing every nerve.  Roaring, the wulfen clamped jaws onto Magazine's head, crunching down.  Blood spurted, and bone chips scratched his gums.  Karl shook his head, tearing the dead man's skull free.

He roared and called out his triumph, claws gouging the floor.  Four more dead humans.  It wasn't enough to avenge his clan, but it was a start.

Elation ended in a rush of agony and fever.  Adrenalin had kept the silver poisoning at bay, allowed him to finish his task, but the fight was over.  Grunting, shaking, Karl managed to pull the bowie knife from his side.  Blood gushed, but he felt a moment of relief.

The poisoning wasn't bad yet.  None of the deadly metal remained in his flesh, meaning he would start healing if he could rest.  A store full of dead hunters was not the most secure place.  Vision swimming as his fever increased, Karl left, racing across the countryside.

He was on his last legs when Jenny opened her back door.  Whining once, Karl collapsed in her arms.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sketch - work in progress

Here's a preview of a painting I'm doing for my sister-in-law.

I'm working slowly on it, because my confidence in painting is still pretty much in the dirt.

And to answer Draven's question that I never posted in October: no, my art isn't done with a mouse.  I've got a graphic tablet, so it's like using a pen, without looking at my hand. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Story: Keila and Varick at the movies

This doesn't have a very good title.  But I have a self-proclaimed issue with making titles.  This story is going to appear in All Romance Ebooks at some point, but I have no solid date.

This takes place after the (currently unpublished) second book, and just before Keila's birthday.  Which is May.  Yay for Tauruses!

Enjoy, The Movies.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Zombie apocalypse - Take it or leave it?

I'm enjoying The Walking Dead, despite some of the (what I think of as) plot holes.  Like why no one's really acting like a survivor, or why everything seems like it's still in the outbreak stages, or why Rick's wife is such a bitch.

And I like the first Resident Evil, and the remake Dawn of the Dead, and definitely like Army of Darkness.  I like zombie movies to a certain degree.

But really only to a certain point.

Friday, December 3, 2010

#FridayFlash bonus - Doodles

Here's an extra treat for everyone.  Short little story, right to the point.

And yes, I am a doodler myself.  Used to draw crocodiles on my less than/greater than homework.  My teacher didn't dig it too much.


#FridayFlash Karl the wulfen - 5

Scrawny drew a shotgun from under the counter, while Riff and Raff came scrambling forward.  Magazine and Karl locked gazes, staring each other down.

"You're one of those fucking wulfen, aren't you?"  Magazine was more intelligent, holding back.  the other three kept edging closer, exuding a desperate odor, sharp with sweat.

Karl kept Scrawny in the corner of his gaze, ready to leap out of the line of fire.  A load of silver shot was not a pleasant way to die.  "You know the fiends who attacked my clan?"

Magazine grimaced, fists clenched at his side.  His voice dropped an octave, but remained calm.  "The beast calls us fiends?  We were just defending our families."

The age old reason for war between the races; protecting one's family.  It would never fail to inspire, because it needed so little justification.  Every race needed to defend itself, overlooking the extremes taken.

Karl wasn't going to get into an arguement.  He growled, changing to true wulfen form.  Scrawny fired, and Karl lunged as his body shifted.  His vision distorted, and his reactions were temporarily off, but taking his true form was easier than any other change.

Scrawn's first shot had gone way wide.  The second was much closer; they slug tore apart a display near Karl's head.  Plastic bits and puffed corn snacks pelted him, drawing his attention off Magazine.  Scrawny cracked ipen the gun, paling as he tried to reload the double-barrel shotgun.

Karl roared, the terrible sound filling the store.  He was lean and wiry in wolfman form, much like his human form.  Though smaller than many in his clan, he still towered over the four humans.  Razor sharp claws crooked, he lunged for Scrawny.

Riff and Raff were charging, weilding silver bowie knives.  They swung at Karl, but the wulfen was already over the counter, claws impaling the proprietor.  Scrawny shrieked, blood sprayed, and Karl snarled.

He didn't frenzy.  Karl was fully in control of his actions.  He ripped Scrawny's collar bones out, throwing the man to the floor.  Bloodscent filled his nostrils as the shrieks rose higher.  One man down, he gave his attention to Riff and Raff.

Raff vaulted the counter, heedless of how quickly Scrawny had been decimated.  Karl grabbed the man's knife arm and gave a quick wrench, tearing muscles.  Raff howled in pain, and Karl tore his throat out.

Riff threw his knife with a grunt.  Four inches of silver imbedded itself in his side.  Karl roared again, in pain and surprisem lashing out.  His long arm easily bridged the gap, batting Riff aside in a gush of blood.  Breathing heavily, Karl reached for the knife.  He was too full of adrenalin and battlelust to feel the pain yet, but he would.  Soon.

Magazine leapt onto the counter, kicking the knife, driving it deeper into wulfen flesh.  Karl howled, surprised to have a real opponent.  He rounded on the final man, and came face-to-face with a silver-plated pistol.

This man knew how to fight wulfen.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Confessions of a vampirephile

I love vampires, through and through.  I've loved them from a fairly young age, and it seems unlikely I'll ever change.  Especially not now that I'm a vampire author.

Give me those lean, mean, blood-sucking machines.  Let me be hunted and stalked, wrapped up, and bitten.  I'll freely give myself to the one I love, and trust him not to kill me.

Because that's part of the thrill for me; offering up my life and knowing it won't be taken.  The biting and the drinking take me right to the edge, and it's the trust that let's me play there.  Take all you need, because I will give it freely.

Since I'm such a vampire fan (or borderline blood fetishist, if you prefer), I have such a bad time dealing with vampires that won't drink from their lovers.  Or won't drink human blood at all.  It's a travesty, like the beast is being defanged.

I'm starting a mini-revolution with my vampires.  Foremost is Varick.

You will never hear him wanting to be human, or whining that he'll hurt Keila, or being too angsty to drink from people.  He's bold, stoic, sometime cruel, and expedient.  This hot German won't take guff from anyone, and does whatever needs to be done.

Doesn't mean he's not passionate, or loving, or capable of taking care of Keila.  He can still be a vampire without being a slavering beast.  Nor does he have to give up anything to fall in love.

These are the same traits I use for all my vampires.  None of them are going to be any less than what they are.

Join me in this revolution to vamp up the vampires.  Let's get them to stop sparkling and whining and turning into little wusses.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New buy link page

Finally posted a complete listing of buy links for my books.  Huzzah.

All Hallows Blood:

stories with bite o,.,o:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Where do your ideas come from?

This was original going to be a post on a different blog, but that one appears to have fallen through.  So I'll just keep the idea to myself.

Authors get asked where their ideas come from all the time.  I've been told I'm so creative, and asked how I come up with my stories.  If we were still a more spiritual or heathen society, I could easily say from the Muses, or that I'm just channeling the story of the universe.

But we can't really claim that unseen spirits inspire us, can we?

Ethereal voices might be easier for some people to understand, though.  Because authors' inspirations come from everywhere; song lyrics, movies, overheard conversations, vivid imaginations.  Anything can spark that moment of creativity, and send us careening down a potential story line.  I'm especially prone to random moments of creativity.

Dreams are one of my most common sources for writing material.  I have very vivid dreams, and they're quite often surreal, and usually pretty adventurous.  Most of them are too weird in the way dreams can be, and don't transalate well to stories.  But they serve as a starting point, and get the storytelling juices flowing.  But that's not the only prompts I get.

Sometimes it's an obvious prompt.  Like the movie Legion making me wonder where Lucifer was.  With a title like that, I expected the first angel to be protecting his baby.  What would another war be like, and how would he protect the Antichrist?

Other times, it's something more obscure.  Like typing up role-playing rules for psionicists and finally clicking with a character.  Going from "these powers are cool" to planning out five novels for Keila to endure.

In the end, a lot of it becomes a game of what if.  What if Keil had all these cool powers, but was alone?  What if she had the self-confidence and strength from her gifts, but were out of her elements?  What if an elf came to Earth and became a drug addict?  What if a dragon hunter underestimated a dragon's skills?

And it keeps going from there.  It's really kind of crazy, when you look at it.  Crazy, but undeniably fun.  Awesome too, because no one really knows where the next idea is coming from.

Friday, November 26, 2010

#FridayFlash Karl the wulfen - 4

Karl pulled the pickup into the fuel stop, parking at the far end of the lot.  He didn't need gas; the fuel gauge displayed half a tank.  What the wulfen needed was directions.

He knew the town listed on the truck registration; it was fifteen miles north of his human lover.  Outside of Jenny's house, Karl wasn't familiar with human settlements.  He was counting on the proprietor having at least a map.  Maybe even enough spare tech to have an electronic display.

Glancing around the sparse lot and shabby building, Karl doubted the latter.  The last of mankind's precious tech was being hoarded in capital cities.  Anything useful here had been stripped long ago.

A battered cowbell clanked as Karl opened the door.  He stood in the entrance, letting his eyes adjust as the rest of his senses took everything in.

There were four humans;one behind the counter, two back by the cooler, and one flipping through the magazines.  It wasn't a very big room, maybe thirty feet on a side, and felt even smaller with all the shelves and products.  It would hamper fighting, forcing mostly one-on-one combat.

His eyes became accustomed to the gloom, and he looked at the four men.  They were as ratty as the fuel stop, with a mean look in their eyes.  It took effort to keep his hackles down.

"Do something fer ya?"  The scrawny man behind the counter hunched on a stool, straggly hair hanging down into his eyes, face unwashed and splotchy.

The scent of danger became overwhelming.  Karl smiled, trying not to provoke them.  "Is this the way to Green Valley?"  The wulfen knew it wasn't; Green Valley was Jenny's town.

Scrawny jerked his head to the road.  "Go back four miles.  Take the other fork."  He turned his attention to the scarred counter, dismissing Karl.

"Thanks kindly.  Must have misread the sign."  He turned to leave.

"How's Matt?" asked the one at the magazines.

Karl's blood chilled, and his shoulders scrunched.  Matt was the name on the registration.  There would be problems.  "Pardon?"

Magazine was a big man; six and a half feet tall, built like a linebacker, and intelligent hazel eyes.  He glared perpetually at the world, and narrowed that fierce gaze on Karl.  "Matt.  The man who owns that truck.  How is he?"  Magazine took a step closer.

Everyone's attention was on him.  He could abandon the truck, make a run for it, find Matt's house on his own.  Karl's hand clenched on the door as he prepared to do so.

Then he smelled the silver.

Karl growled, stepping away from the door.  "Matt's feeding the crows."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving all.  Happy belated Thanksgiving to the Canadians.

This month has flown by, in a year that has flown by.  So very strange.  Especially the changes I've gone through that seem like they happened longer ago.

So, on this day of thanks, let me say what I'm thankful for.  Not necessarily in the order of thankfulness or importance.

I'm thankful for my family.  I need their support and love.  I'm thankful to have my husband, because we've spent too many years apart, and we need each other like nothing else.

Thankful for having a job, and not having to worry where tomorrow's meal will come from.

Thankful for fans and readers and supporters.  Finally being a published storyteller is amazing.

Thankful just to be alive, and to see the wonders of the world.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Writing sequels

I've been a little behind on everything because of annoying little spirits.  Bad things, keeping me away from my work.  But now they're eaten, and leaving me alone.  Joy!

I'm working on a couple sequels right now.  One is the sequel to All Hallows Blood, of course.  Saint Valentine's Clash is looking good. 

I'm also writing a sequel to my short story Necro.  (It's the first story in stories with bite o,.,o )  When I first wrote it, my beta-reader was longing for more.  She thought the story should have been so much longer, with lots and lots more to it.  And now I'm making that.

Of course, she also wants a follow up to The Opening.  Said the ending left her all jaw-dropped and immediately wanting to know what happened next.  Squeed and plead with me to make more.

That longing is a fantastic feeling; people wanting more because they liked it so much.  Not because I didn't give them enough for their investment.  But because my seed has blossomed in them.

I don't plan sequels to my short stories.  I often write them to be little snippets, purposely dynamic and without a hard end.  Makes the world seem more alive, and will let you make up what you want to happen next.  I definitely planned sequels for Keila and Varick to adventure through, but I've tried to make sure each story arc was complete within one novel.

Though, I have developed a couple of underlying plots to tie multiple books together.  Uber bad guys pulling the strings are awesome.

So, look forward to those.

Friday, November 19, 2010

#FridayFlash Karl the wulfen - 3

The man didn't hear Karl, his attention focused on the magazine he held.  Powerful muscles bunched, propelling the wulfen forward, a snarl erupting from him.

Karl was upon the guard before the man looked up.

They tumbled to the ground, Karl nimbly remaining on top.  The hunter screamed, bringing his hands up to protect his face.  Fangs shredded fabric and tore flesh, sinking all the way to the bone.  Blood filled his mouth, and Karl growled happily.

The screams, the bood, the tension all combined to send him into a frenzy.  Wulfen were precariously balanced; they sought calm, yet blood and violence quickly overwhelmed them.  They avoided situations that might cause them to lose control, but this was something Karl needed.

His frenzy wasn't entirely a fugue state.  He was aware of every mouthful of flesh, of every severed blood vessel and cracked bone.  The man's screams became burbling moans, his struggles weakening.  Karl continued to savage him, ripping the human apart.

The blood had cooled by the time Karl came back to himself.  His fur was soaked in gore, and he ached with weariness.  There was too much to do to give in to sleep, so he remained moving.

After a roll in the dirt to clean up, Karl changed back to his human form.  Even though he was naked, he didn't feel the chill in the air.  Staring at the dead hunter, he gritted his teeth.  He should have questioned him, should have left him alive, but he hadn't.

Sometimes being passionate and wild was a drawback.

Karl rifled through their trucks.  Silver ammo, more weapons, food, spare clothes, but no identification.  He dressed and fed himself, then took another pass searching through the trucks.

And found a vehicle registration in a glove box.  Karl smiled, now armed with a lead.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Some book reviews

Not reviews of my books, but me having thoughts on other books.  I know, it seems like I never talk about other books.  Unfortunately, I haven't done a whole lot of reading in the last year.  Probably read more in the last few weeks than I did the rest of the year.  :(

A shame, considering how much I've always loved reading.

But I'm catching up, and shall start sharing more of my booky opinions here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

#FridayFlash Karl the wulfen - 2

Flames reached for the sky, consuming the longhouse and the dead wulfen.  Karl watched mutely, shoulders stiff, fists clenched.  Guilt still filled him, leaving little room for anything else.

Time passed.  The sun set, and the fire continued to rage.  It consumed only the buildings, ancient magic protecting the forest.  Long after the fire died, and the clan hold was completely gone, the magic would remain, defining borders between trees and home.

No longer home.  Karl looked bitterly away, ending his vigil.

he turned his back on the clan hold, putting away every happy memory.  He had a heavy task before he could be happy again.

The human bodies were piled outside the clan hold, weapons beside them.  Karly didn't fear discovery; the wulfen were good at hiding, at being away from human civilization.  It was no accident these slayers were here.  And no one was going to stumble upon their remains.

Using the light of the blaze, Karl began searching the remains for anything to identify the killers.  No wallets, no IDs, not even car keys.  Frustration welled, and Karl growled.  Rising, he kicked a head into the falling night.

Times were troubled, but not so much that humans would invade the Shadow Lands to hunt wulfen.  Even trolls had left humans alone in this decline of technology.  And if mankind was up in arms, why come so deep into the woods after the Blood Hills clan?

Karl would have to get his answers the old fashioned way; track them back to their homes and investigate.

Taking a deep breath, undressing, he settled himself for the change.  For eighteen years he'd been able to harness the beast in his soul, and for eighteen years the shift had hurt.  Time had given him the ability to ignore it, but had never lessened the strain on his body.

Bone lengthened, torqued, shortened.  Joints creaked and popped.  Ligaments strained to their limits, tendons and veins standing out against fever-hot skin.  His skull throbbed as it shifted, teeth withdrawing into his jaw.

The pain grew worse, white hot across his nerves.  he began to growl, collapsing, thoughts dispersed.  Intolerably.  Like always, Karl survived.  Sometimes he didn't want to.

When the change ended, so did the pain.  Nothing lingered, leaving no hint of the agony he'd undergone.  Karl rose on four long legs, a lean silver wolf.  He shook himself, settling into his furry self, then set to his task.

The clan hold was intensely different to wolf senses.  The world lit up with scents and sounds, feeding his brain vast amounts of information.  As wulfen, he was able to process all the sensory data of the animal and understand it as the man.

Death and fire made him edgy.  Karl's hackles rose, but he quelled the instinct to run.  He nosed the dead humans, getting their scents, then began circling the hold.

The woods smelled richly of the clan, and he whimpered as he made his search.  Ignoring traces of his friends and family, he sought only the sour tang of human and weapon.  A single pass around the clearing told him much, none of it pretty.

The humans had come from downwind, skulking along a dry stream.  This deep into the Shadow Lands, the Blood Hills had no need for guards.  Would that they'd remained vigilant, as in the old times.

Nose to the ground, Karl followed the trail miles down the bed.  The slayers had been determined to make a trek like this.

After an house of travel, he found their vehicles.  And one man left on guard.

Karl growled, and began to charge.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mackey the wonder cat

I love my cat.  I have a wonderful cat.  My last one was very magical, and a great familiar.  This one was never meant to be a familiar, but he's slowly worked his way into that position.

He's still got a lot of kitten aspects, and he mews and whines more than actually meows.  It's charming, and he's a chatterbox.  Except when he won't explain what he's whining about.

One of his more charming aspects comes about at winter time.  We've had a long fall, so it really only got cold in the last week.  I always shower before bed, and sleep on a towel to let it dry.  In the winter, Mackey sleeps on my hair to help me dry.  Only during the winter, and only until it's dry.  It's so cute.

The other neat thing about him lately is the ferrets.  He's always been a little confused about Temerity, the first ferret.  She smells fluffy, and she moves fast, but she's definitely not a rodent.  So she's not for eating, but she's not quite for playing.  He plays with her sometimes, but is wary.  There's a new little boy ferret, and Mackey is in love.  They play, and get along, and the cat is so gentle with him.

It's precious.  I love my cat.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Walking Dead

That's what I feel like right now; all mind-broken and bumbling and off.  Daylight Saving Time always throws me off, no matter spring or fall.  It is seriously time to do away with this retarded convention, and let the clock stay in place.  Arizona has the right idea.

Probably another week or so until I feel less worn out.

Big welcome to my new followers.  Amazing feeling, getting new readers.  *waves to everyone*

So, I am liking The Walking Dead.  Too bad it's only six episodes long.  I didn't realize that until today.  But there will be a second season.  So, joy on that.

Still waiting for the next seasons of Burn Notice and Breaking Bad.

There's a very wonderful feeling when you help a friend, when you make them happy.  To know that exact moment when their heart lights up.  It's great.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Guest Blog - Backseat Nightmares

My guest blog at Backseat Nightmares went live last night.  YAY!

I gush about blood.  My roommate said I almost sound like a blood fetishist.

*wipes lips*  Who, me?

Friday, November 5, 2010

#FridayFlash Karl the wulfen - 1

This is the start of a serial story I'm starting. A friend at work suggested he be a werewolf character in one of my works, and I finally seized on that idea for the #FlashFriday. It will certainly keep me working on the storyline.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Getting into the editing

I know, I've said that I'm editing Saint Valentine's Clash for a while now.  But I'm serious.  I'm working on it right now.

Just to prove it, here's an excerpt:

"Liebchen, relax."

 I sighed at the familiar voice, and panic fled, taking darkness and pain with it.  I opened my eyes to another dream, this one immensely better.  I lounged on a velvet divan, dressed in a silk and fur robe, one leg bent and raised.  A fire roared in a massive hearth, smelling of pine.  Candles dotted the walls, tiny sparks in the darkness.

 Standing before the fire, dressed in leather and mail, hair braided back from his face and full of bones, stood the vampire.  Varick looked over his shoulder, eyes cutting across the distance, boring into my soul, sparking fires deep inside.  I bit my lip, absorbed entirely by this dream, the German dreaming with me.

 He turned fully to me, resting a long sword on a side table, removing his gloves.  I sat up, the robe parting across pale breasts, my hair curling around my face.  I licked my lips slowly, unable to look away from the feral man before me.  The scent of blood and smoke and death filled the air, along with his ozone musk of predator.  My heart rate jumped, instantly aroused.

Varick threw his gloves aside, growling underneath his breath, eyes possessively locked on my neck.  "I was not expecting you so soon, mein liebchen."  Clawed hands rose to the lacings on his armor, working them loose.  His growl continued, wrapping around my soul, seeping into my heart.  I finally noticed the blood staining him, and I squirmed as my arousal rose.  "I had thought my Valkyrie would still be on her quest."  His shirt parted, pale torso exposed to my lusting eyes.

Even in a dream, the sight of his milky scars caused my throat to clench.  His voice rattling through his chest made every nerve ache, made heat race from my center.  I loved his growl.  "Every hunter needs a break," I whispered, drawing back from the vampire.  He stalked closer like a conqueror coming for his prize.  Me.

Varick loomed over the divan, nostrils flaring as he scented my fear and arousal.  "Or is it that she has not been properly hunted?"  His claws flexed, and I trembled, knowing he was going to pounce on me.  Wanting him to pounce on me.

I shuddered, laying my head on the cushions, my heart racing.  The vampire's sapphire eyes traced the curves of my thighs, his mouth parting ever so slightly.  "And am I suitable prey, my hunter?"

"Always," he growled, falling upon me.  Our mouths met, tongues wrestling against each other.  His claws raked through my hair, grabbing a fist full at the base of my skull.  I cried out as he wrenched my head back, his mouth seeking the pulse in my neck.  I writhed beneath him, sliding my hands up his back, caressing his scars.  My legs locked around his leather-clad hips, holding him close to me.

 I pressed my neck against his fangs, the sharp points teasing my skin.  He was holding back to bring both of us to fever pitch.  I started moaning, begging him to feed in fevered whispers.  My hands went to the back of his head, and I pressed him down, nails digging into his scalp.

Varick yanked my head back farther, driving his fangs deep into my neck with a fierce growl.  I screamed, my entire body shaking, pain racing with ecstasy across my nerves.  My spine arched, and I tried to meld my body with the vampire's.  I wanted him deeper, completely consuming me.

Time distorted in the way it can in dreams.  It seemed both forever, and yet not long enough, that the vampire ravaged me.  I was completely sated, though, when I found myself cuddled in his arms, weak and trembling, riding high on rapture.  I traced the lines of scars along his chest, wanting to remain like this.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Final e-winners, and BIG GIVEAWAY winners

This should have been up earlier, but I was too busy enjoying my long wedding weekend.  So sorry.

So, my final e-copy of stories with bite o,.,o goes to blogger HayleyK

Final e-copy of All Hallows Blood goes to Tweep Evelyn_in_ID.  You followed just before I actually drew, and since I wasn't keeping track of when anyone joined this weekend, you were in the drawing.  Yay!


Winners for autographed copies are...

...for stories with bite o,.,o........  Gorilla Bunny!

....for All Hallows Blood..........  jpapenfuss!

...for Fem-Fangs........              Phantom Paragrapher!

Email me, and I'll get you your copies.

RavenCorinnCarluk @

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Finally married

I've never hidden that I'm in love, that I have a fiance who loves me very much. Soulmates. Twelve years together now, and no signs of ever stopping.

Well, today, after twelve years, we're finally married. Husband and wife. Mrs. Carluk.

*does a tiny little dance*

It's not that big a change. It's not like we're only now having sex, or living together, or like I'm suddenly going to turn into a housewife.

And yet it is different. I get to say husband now. He gets to say wife. It's like Raven is becoming all grown up, or something.

*giggles* Yeah right.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Guest Blog - Bookin' It

I'm talking at Bookin' It today, reminiscing about how vampires used to be vampires.

It's also my first public acknowledgment that I'm a married woman. Or will be, in a few hours. After twelve years, we're finally making it true. I'll talk more about it tomorrow.

EDIT:  Make that, tomorrow the post will be up.  Talina had some family issues come up, and I'm fully behind family coming before anything internet.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sketch - doodles

The first time I've really worked in Photoshop since I reformatted.  I have CS5 now, and they have some new brushes that do some really painterly things.  Could be much fun to work with.

So here's some doodled beasties.  I may not write about zombies, but I like drawing them.

#FridayFlash Dragon Hunter

"Hail, traveler," he shouted. The woman in leathers at the well looked up, eyes narrowing as he approached. Marko was built like a barn, head and shoulders above most people, and he'd learned to try his best not to startle people.

"Hail, Hunter," she replied, stepping away from the water. Her accent was thick, but understandable. Marko kept his hands away from his various weapons, maintaining his distance. He noted her wariness; like a wild animal, standing on the balls of her feet as she backed farther away.

"What news?" he asked, casually reaching for his water skins. Her eyes never left the pike head looming above him, and he acted as normal as possible. Even those who needed his services regarded him with a mixture of fear and awe. This was nothing new.

Approaching the well, he examined the woman. She wore no weapons, only reinforced traveler's cloths. Black hair was cropped short, and her skin was strikingly pale. Marko wondered if she'd been on the road long, but returned his eyes to the water bucket.

"Are you hunting the dragon?" she asked after a moment.

The Hunter met her eyes, pausing. "Has it come so far west?"

Hands on her hips, she stared at her backtrail. "The last village I passed through were taking their livestock to the caves. The elder swore they'd seen the dragon, but hadn't been attacked yet."

Marko grimaced, quickly refilling his skins. "When was this?"

"Two days now." She crossed her arms, gaze falling heavily on him. "I've not seen any dragon sign."

He swore to himself. On open plains like this, a dragon would have a difficult time hiding. Anyone would have noticed the big beast. Scanning the horizon, he figured it was following the mountains inland. If it wasn't digging the cattle out of the caves.

This was the wiliest creature he'd ever hunted. Even the face stealer of the Black Forest hadn't been so elusive. Three months the dragon had been terrorizing the republic, and not a single Hunter had gotten near it. Even the army legions sent out had found nothing more than corpses and temporary lairs. It stayed in place long enough to wreak havoc, then moved on.

"Do you really think you have a chance?"

Marko sighed heavily, adjusting his pack. Even foreigners knew of their troubles. Trade suffered, and the surrounding countries watched with greedy eyes. The entire sea board had been ravaged, with many ports shutting down. "I have to try." Nodding his head, the Hunter proceeded east.

"Trying just won't be good enough." Her words slurred, and the air hummed with magic. Hot air gusted around him as Marko turned.

In place of the traveling women was an inky black dragon, large than a church, wings spread and blocking the sun. Silver eyes narrowed, spittle flying from curved teeth as the beast hissed.

Adrenalin dumped into his veins, heart rate trebling. Marko gained his killing clarity, weighing his odds in an blink. Staying close would put him in range of her claws, but backing up left him open to fire breath. Hand axes wouldn't get through scales, but his enchanted pike would take too long to get off his back.

The dragon laughed, flames dripping from her muzzle. "Fooolssss," came a sibilant taunt. Claws dug furrows in the hard ground, and she drew a breath.

Marko charged. Leaning forward at the waist, he angled his pike for the dragon's belly. He wouldn't be able to get it deep, but it should distract her from spraying fire.

She rose on massive hind legs, belly now out of reach. She didn't release the gout of fire, beating her wings to maintain balance as Mark changed his target to her feet. Dust and debris rose, and he narrowed his eyes.

The dragon leapt, taking to the air. The Hunter barely dodged the whip crack of her tail, rolling to one side. Following the arc of her flight, he drew his pike, magic tingling through his hands.

She was doubling back, not fleeing. Marko laughed to himself. The dragon couldn't leave him alive, not now that he knew how she was avoiding everyone. She would have to stay and kill him.

Marko set the pike, speaking its command word. Power flared under his touch, magic unleashed to reshape the weapon. The haft doubled in length, thickening, bracing itself against the ground. The head widened, grew barbs, and gleamed brightly in the sunlight. Marko had only used it once before, on a dumb brute dragon ten years ago.

Weapon readied, the Hunter watched the dragon dive, waiting for her to impale herself as the other had. Then he could go home a hero.

The dragon roared, wind shrieking around her horns and wings. Her shadow fell over him, and his heart chilled. The magic in the pike would protect him, but still he feared the massive body descending so quickly.

She unleashed flame over him. The pike launched itself like a ballista, aiming for the dragon's heart. A curtain of fire surrounded him, cutting off his escape. The dragon rushed past, the wind of her passage spreading the fire.

Dry grass was quickly engulfed in high-reaching flames. Heat sucked the air from his lungs, and Marko struggled to breathe as he looked for a way out. Finding one area with slightly less flame, he leapt for freedom.

Sweat evaporated from his skin as he passed through. Marko landed on the very edge of the fire, and his leather boots immediately began to smolder. Cursing the heat of dragon fire, he rolled away.

Laughed, cold and menacing, filled the air. "Did you really expect your magic to work against me?" Marko looked up, insides turning to ice. The dragon stood in human form again, holding the pike, not a drop of blood on her. "Silly Hunter."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

An interesting week

The last week has been interesting, and the upcoming week is only going to get more interesting. I won't be live this weekend, though I've got posts scheduled. (I love that aspect) So much to do, and I'm kinda running in circles as I do them.

Work's been a stress, but when is the day job NOT a stressful thing? It's been taking my mind from my writing, so I've been reading. LOVE that Kindle is on the Android.

I've done more reading in the last ten days than I really have for most of the last ten months. Sad, really. Though, now that I'm really focused on writing, I find myself a lot more critical of writing. Unless I get really invested in a book, I end up spending most of my reading time editing the book, and figuring out how I would make it better. It's quite distracting.

Having fun on Twitter. The writing hashtags I've found have been inspiring me to write more shorts. This is good, because I nearly exhausted my cache with stories with bite o,.,o. Building back up is good. And it's a challenge to do things like ten words stories, or just tell a quick story in just a Tweet.

And I never thought I'd become a Tweep. Boy, how times change.

One of my friends decided he wanted to write a novel, and turn his comic ideas into a book. So I've kind of got a writing protege. It's scary and neat at the same time.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Guest spot at Marcus Twyman's blog

I like doing guest spots. They're fun.

This one came up out of no where. Marcus emailed me, and I agreed, and I really like his blog. So check him out after you read my piece.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

More book winners

Two more winners, my friends.

openbookemptycup, you've won stories with bite o,.,o

mishkash, you've won All Hallows Blood

Email me, and I'll send you your files.

RavenCorinnCarluk @

Friday, October 22, 2010

#FlashFriday - The empath

I've decided to join up with Twitter's #FlashFriday.  Time to reach out to even more potential readers, and get more writing samples up here.

This flash is about a young empath who just doesn't know how to shield herself against others, and her journey to the grocery store.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Guest post - Vampire Wire

I'm over at Marta Acosta's Vampire Wire today, being slightly less than my serious self.  I've got an open letter to all the big bad vampire men out there.

Funny anecdote before you head over there.  The night Marta posted about guest bloggers, I sent her a witty and clever email to try and get on there.  She said be funny, and wanted her attention.  And it beats the standard "can I come guest blog?" emails.

Next day, she asks why people haven't read her books yet.  I answered because I'm too broke (or you can read that cheap) to try books outside my normal genres.  Comedy or quirky books fall outside my regular tastes, so I haven't tried Casa Dracula yet.  (That's changing.  Have Happy Hour right now)

As Marta pointed out, it's rather a cognitive dissonance that I would use humor to get the attention of a humorous author when I don't read humor.  Full of contradictions I am.

And easily amused by my behavior.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Book review - Draculas

I'm an indie author now, and so I'm interested in new techniques to get readers.  When Joe Konrath and his co-authors thought to give away ARCs of their new book so hundreds of reviews could hit the web at once, I had to help with their experiment.  (Not that I have hundreds of readers yet, but it could happen.)

Book reviews are probably not going to become a habit of mine.  I'll save that for Goodreads.  But this was a book that really caught me, and I'm not just saying that.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

This weekend's winners

For stories with bite o,.,o, it's a Twitter follower.  Yay.  @craftycmc, message me.

For All Hallows Bloos, it's Lu, of Lu's Book Blog. 


RavenCorinnCarluk @

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Movie time, Including Piranhas

Ahhh, the movies.  I can learn so much from them.

Like when I watched Sharktopus.  Other than punishing myself, it was a clear demonstration of what NOT to do in a monster story.  There was nothing redeeming in the movie, other than picking up some pointers on how to do better.

But then there's Piranhas 3d.  Even in 2d, it was still enjoyable, and you could see all the pop-out moments where it was supposed to be just fun.  And it was fun, in a real gorgy.  (Gore + Orgy = Gorgy)  The plot was the barest excuse to keep the murders coming, and the science was questionable, but not so completely outrageous as to ruin the rest of the fun.  It was a riot, but only to those of my sort of twisted mindset.

They Live is being remade, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.  It's so classically bad, that I don't know if anyone can pull off redoing it.

When I heard about They Live, I also heard The Thing was being remade.  I was trying to be neutral, because John Carpenter's Thing is my one of my favorite movies.  Classic, awesome, and the image of the dog's head blossoming stayed with me since I was teeny tiny and first saw it. 

Before I could get upset with the prospect, I found out it's actually going to be a prequel.  It's going to be a movie about what happened at the Norwegian camp when they first found the beast.  And I got excited.  Because that will be awesome.  In a brief article about the director and writer, they sound like real fans, so my hopes are high.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ebook winners

Oops.  Forgot to announce last night's stories with bite o,.,o winner.  Silly me.

So, thebookishsnob, email me to get your copy of stories.

Jen Daiker, you are tonight's winner.  So email me for your copy of All Hallows Blood.

RavenCorinnCarluk @

Friday, October 8, 2010

Guest spots around the web

The next couple weeks are actually pretty busy for appearances for me.

Today, I am at the Frazzle Book Nommer.  *nom nom nom*  Kristina's pretty cool stuff.

October 19th there will be a giveaway spotlight at Happily Ever After Reviews.  And again for a Halloween event on the 27th.

My publisher is doing another event at Bitten By Books, and I'm sending in a character blog.  Chances to win books!

For the writerly types, I'm at the Muse Conference next week, and a guest blog for the Future, Fantasy, & Paranormal chapter of the RWA.  I forget what day that is, though.  Ugh for planning something six months ago.

Going to send out a slew of review requests shortly, so there will be more listed guest posts.  Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What would I do different about my debut?

I'm not big on double posting, but talking about my book going to the Nook isn't really a post.

I was recently asked on Twitter (by @JanalynVoigt) what I would differently about my debut, if I could.

Honestly, I would never go with a publisher.  I would self-publish all the way.  Keep the control, reap the benefits, make my own way.

Granted, I learned a lot because of the publisher.  I had never looked into the publishing industry before, or thought about marketing myself.  Those have been valuable lessons.

But, really, the majority of the work has been done by me.  My guidance was minimal, just shoved in the general direction.  I've learned more from fellow authors, and places like the Indie Book Collective.

So, I'd be way indie from the start.  I would make my stumbling, bumbling start with no one else profitting from my work.

swb o,.,o now on the Nook

Joy joy joy.  Barnes&Noble came out with PubIt for authors to self-publish to the Nook.  Great, because it can accept the same files as the Kindle.  I only need to make one file for both platforms.

And then I can have stories with bite o,.,o available for Nookers.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another way to win my books

Night Owl Reviews is having a Halloween graphic web hunt.  Like a scavenger hunt, in which you go to a bunch of different sponsors's sites, and look for the NOR graphic.  Pretty cool.

There's a bunch of prizes, so I suggest you go check it out.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Another interview, and catching up on tv

I've got another interview up at Daniel L Carter's blog.  Stop by, learn a little more about me, maybe check out his Unwanted Trilogy.

And to avoid spamming people, I'm going to take a moment to talk about my tv watching habits, and some of my favorite shows.

I'm not the most avant garde tv watcher.  I love movies, and am pretty quick to go watch the ones I like.  But with tv, I'm almost always behind by a season or so.  It's just hard for me to catch on, and I often avoid things because they're insanely popular.

Means I miss out on things right when they're happening.  I mean, I didn't even get into Battlestar Galactica until the start of the third season.

So, I hadn't started watching Dexter until last month.  And kinda kicked myself for not having watched it before.  I love everything about the show.  I loved to hate Rita, and laugh at Masuko's jokes.  It's well written, it's intelligent, and doesn't rely on coincidences.  It's a good show.

And I stayed up until 3 in the morning last night to finish watching season 4.  And was completely stunned at the ending.  Can't wait to start up on season 5.  Though the week to week part will kill me.  That's one of the reasons I like being behind; I can watch the whole season at once.

Are there any shows you've discovered after the crowd?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

All Hallows Blood winner

Tonight, Tina (BookCouture), is our lucky winner.  Huzzah!

Email me so I can send you your file.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tonight's stories with bite winner

@jesscscott of twitter

*applauds*  Yay.  Cheers and things.

Friday Follow

Another Friday Follow from Parajunkee here.  Welcome Hoppers.  Don't forget to look at my Big Autographed Giveway.

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. Follow our Featured Bloggers -
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!  
  8. If your new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog! 
Sorry, no LinkyThing.  You'll have to stop back by Parajunkee to see who else is hopping.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Never thought I'd be one of THOSE artists

You know.  THOSE artists.  The ones that shun anything commercial, vaguely selling out, or mainstream.

Sure, I dislike a lot of the trends, and things that are just plain stupid.  Because there is a lot of art/cinema/books that are aimed for the lowest common denominator.

But I really never disliked an industry for being what it was.  I don't bad mouth all Hollywood films for being mainstream.  There are some good ones out there.  I don't hate all commercial art, don't hate all books, don't hate all trends.

Until tonight.  I read a post at Pimp My Novel that asked what you would change about the publishing industry.  I've slowly been growing fed up with the Big 6, and a lot of publishing policies.  Today's post, and some of the supporting comments, just really turned me off.

Everything is a business.  All about the bottom line, and getting the most profit.  Not about the art, or the quality of the product, or about telling a good story.

Because I don't write to be rich.  I don't write to be famous.  Well, any more famous than it takes to get people to read my work.

I just want to be a storyteller.  I want people to be entertained, and enjoy the twisted delights I bring.

I want to be the next Stephen King, or Danielle Steele, or Anne McCaffrey.  Not for big paychecks, but for the fans.  For the readers.

Because I write for the people.  Not cash.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Big autographed giveaway

Yes, autographed copies.  Pretty neat, huh?

There will be three books total, and three winners.  Autographed copies of All Hallows Blood, stories with bite o,.,o, and Fem-Fangs.

Deadline is this Halloween.  Drawing will be held Monday the 1st, some time after I wake from my anniversary.  If you've already won an ebook in one of the earlier drawings, you will not be disqualified from the physical copies.  I'm not going to be that mean, or anything.  We can always pick someone else to give it to.

  • Five entries for being or becoming a follower here.
  • Five entries for following me on Twitter.
  • Three entries for recommending someone else follow (they have to post a comment you sent them), here or on Twitter.
  • Two entries for being a fan of my Facebook page.
  • Three entries for a blog post about the giveaway.
  • Five entries if you host me for a guest blog.
  • One entry for every Tweet (though I discourage you from becoming a nuisance ;) )

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Giveaway month of October

So, it's almost October.  My favorite month of the year, with my favorite holiday ever.

To celebrate, I'm going to be doing a whole slew of giveaways.  Yes, a slew.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Follow Friday

It's Friday.  Time for another Parajunkee Follow Friday.

This week's question:

My question for you guys, what is your high fashion book? --- translation --- best book cover ever.

This is kind of maybe a trick question for me, because my favorite covers aren't from urban fantasy or paranormal romance.  My favorite covers are honestly just about anything done by Michael Whelan.  Especially the covers for C.S. Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy.  LOVE that series.

Who can help but love Whelan's colors, and the expressions?  He's a genius of an artist.

So on to the rest of the blog follow. 

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

  1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. Follow our Featured Bloggers -
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!  
  8. If your new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Is blood sexy?

I wrote a guest post for Romance in the Backseat about if blood was sexy or not.  Hasn't been posted yet.

But while I'm waiting to finish fixing my computer (rotten hard drive), I thought I'd post the question here?

Is blood sexy?  And why, or why not?

For the record, I most affirmatively say yes.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Clash of the cover

Embrace the Shadows does a weekly Clash of the Cover meme.  I vote from time to time, and there are some pretty awesome covers up there.

Imagine my blushing surprise when I found my cover up there this week.

So, if you get a chance, swing by, and vote.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Favicon changing, because I can

I like customizing, making things uniquely mine.  And I'm a little late in finding out you can change the little favicon (that icon by the address bar, and on the tab).  Tina at Book Couture has a post talking about changing your favicon.

Which I've now done.  On all my sites.  Blog, homepage, and official page.

And I did it using  You can upload, design, preview, publish, all of that.  I did my soaring raven with an upload from some clip art I had.  Quick, easy, and I left it for others to use.

Ah, the fun of the internet.  It's like painting your mailbox, so you stand out on your street.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Surprise sicknesses throw off schedules

So annoying.  Got sick Monday night, completely out of no where.  So sick I had to miss a couple of days of work.  Spent Tuesday in bed, sleeping.  Lots of sleep.

This also means my writing got really behind.  Barely managed anything this week, and that's almost as frustrating as being sick.  (I hate being sick)

But this month is passing really quickly.  Almost to the Muse Conference.  Almost to October, when I'm going to give away a bunch of copies of my books.

One sadly amusing thing I did hear when I got back to work: "So, do snakes, like, poop?"  I was almost ashamed for the state of general knowledge.  Do snakes poop.  Really now.  Really?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Quick Wednesday update

First, I've been sick the last day and a half.  Spent almost all day in bed sleeping yesterday.  When I wasn't sleeping, I was watching Dexter.  I'm glad I finally started watching it, though it would have been nice if I could have sat up.

Second, I made my way out of bed today to a very awesome review at Happily Ever After Reviews.  If there ever comes a time when I don't squee and get bobble-headed (I should probably explain this term) over a review, someone jab me with something sharp.

Third, I created my Facebook fan page.  Though, my brain was not into much, so I didn't do a whole lot to it at this point.

Fourth, I hate being sick.  I was asked if anyone liked being sick, and I said hypochondriacs and Munchausen by proxy people probably do. 8P

Monday, September 13, 2010

stories with bite o,.,o print copy

And here it is, in all it's physical glory.  Live, for sale, ready for me to send you a bookplate.

I'm very proud of this.  I love the stories in it, and all the fun of editing.  Good times to be had.

And you can enter discount code UEQ86YDS to get five dollars off.  But only if you go through my create space store.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

stories with bite o,.,o book trailer

Huzzah!  I managed to create my first book trailer.  It was a tiny bit of an ordeal to learn how to work with a video editing program, basically on my own.  It's a teeny bit amateurish, but it starts to get the point across.

Now that I've learned more, I have plans to make one for All Hallows Blood.  And some for the individual stories in stories.

Making the trailer was quite fun.  Enjoy it, please.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Who wants a tiger that doesn't hunt?

This came up in conversation with my sister-in-law the other night.  (Right after she read Talina's excellent review of my book.  She squeed so hard for me, and I couldn't stop smiling.)  We were talking about the fact that everyone likes Varick.  And she asked who wouldn't like him?

My first answer was fairly smart assed.  "Super sensitive anti-racists who would be bothered by him being German and me saying Aryan."  Because, honestly, that was one tiny fear I had when making him German.  There aren't a lot of German vampires out there, and I wanted to help break a mold, while calling on my own heritage.  I also didn't want anyone to ever think of him as a Nazi, but I tucked that little fear aside.  So far, no accusations of that.

My second, more serious answer: "Women who like the monster seeking redemption, the vampire who wants to be human again."  I know these type of vampire fans are out there.  They don't want a monster, they want someone they can fix.  And that's all well and good.  Sometimes it's good to heal someone, to let your love fix them.

I just don't think vampirism is something that needs to be fixed.

So while we were talking about saving the monster, I stated "Who wants a tiger that doesn't hunt?"  I repeatedly compare Varick to a tiger in the book(s).  (I love tigers.  So huge, so sexy, so powerful.  They fit the image of perfect predator to me more than wolf.  Especially for a single predator.)  I thought she'd get it, and realize I was making it up.

Instead, I had my Confucious hat on, because she thought I was quoting a real proverb.  Maybe I should make it into some kind of viral proverb.  Get other people to say it.  Make it a tag line.

But, seriously, who wants a predator that isn't a predator?  It's like wanting a bad boy to start wearing cardigans and going to pottery classes.  I love vampires because they are vicious and dark and might eat me.

Of course, I have a touch of a victim complex.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Follow Friday Blog Hop

Yes, I'm joining some blog hopping goodness.

My question for you guys, eBook or Print?

For this weeks question: Yes.  I just love reading books.  Ebooks go great on my phone, or physical books for when I can't get them.   Doesn't make a difference, so long as I get to read.

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

  1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. Follow our Featured Bloggers -
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!  
  8. If your new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog! 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Saint Valentine's Clash

I put out a bunch of copies of my book for review.  That's been going really well.  I've gotten nothing but good responses so far.  And authors need to be reminded they did a good job.

I just got this review back.  Awesomeness!

Once more, I was asked about the sequel.  I've been slacking on the rewrites on it, so shame on me.  This is most certainly going to be changed.

As I type, I'm concentrating on the next book.  Don't know for sure when it will be out.  I'm suspecting February.  February sounds good, yes?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Book Review - Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider

Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider got me hooked pretty early on.  The blurb certainly had me, because it was different.  Then the prologue set up something mysterious and a little dangerous, and I had to keep going.  It was an absolute must that I find out what else was in store.

And the term Rabbit for a victim of the vampires is just great.  It immediately puts you in the right frame of mind, and immediately gets you to sympathize with the title character.

The uniqueness of both the story and the origin of the Rakum are the biggest parts that make this a compelling read.  I love vampire books, so I've seen a lot of different takes on the birth of vampires, and their powers, and how they're stopped.  Ellen has brought a new light to the legend, making a new being with her Rakum that is still somehow very familiar.

I loved the consistency of Beth Rider.  She has her faith, and her peace, and that is what keeps her going through the worst of her adventure.  Her perseverance and unshakable core are enviable, and not something I see in a lot of characters, let alone real people.  It was a nice touch that she didn't have to be superhuman to be able to cope with a dangerous world.

The progress of the characters, and the evolution of an entire race, are what made this book, and what makes me look forward to the sequel.  I really want to see how everyone copes with the new paradigm they've found.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Got to look through the author's proof of Fem-Fangs from Pill Hill Press today.  It's so neat to see my story in print.  Soon to be in print.  Joy!

Still working on the proof of my short stories.  Totally goofed up the files.  Grrrrrr.  Learning self-publishing is fun.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Last Exorcism

Went and saw The Last Exorcism last night.  I really enjoyed it.  It was fairly intelligent, paced well, and had an AWESOME ending.  Absolutely loved the ending.

Though, you couldn't tell by the reactions of the older teens that were there.  That wouldn't shut up.  That were too busy being stupid and loud to properly enjoy it.

It reminded me a lot of Rec and Rec 2.  The pacing, the horror, the creepiness.  The way the camera was used like people documenting weird things would happen.  Like running through a wood, and the camera's hanging at their side.

Only drawback, and I'd allowed myself to forget this; those style movies invoke motion sickness in me unless I'm far enough back to see the edges of the screen.  It's been so long since I saw Blair Witch, and I've seen several movies in that style at home, I didn't even think about it when we naturally migrated to the third row.

And I almost threw up in the last twenty minutes of the movie.  Made it pretty hard to sit still for the conclusion.  But I did.  Somehow I even managed to get home without losing it.

Rewatched The Expendables.  I still really like that movie.  It's like an 80s action flick grew up, and realized things had been rough in that decade.  So it's trying to do one redeemable thing.  Much like the plot of the movie.  And the action was spot-on fantastic.  Love it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sketch: Jasper

Here's Jasper, Bhaale's brother.

Still haven't done Jackson yet.  *shudders*  Still gone be bad.

When I showed this to my friend, I called it a half-assed sketch.  I didn't put a whole bunch of effort into it.  Just a teeny bit of effort.  It still looks pretty good, though I think it could be a whole hell of a lot better.  More details, better perspective on the books.  Especially the one in his hand.

but it still made my friend smile.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Guest blog: New Kids on the Writer Block

There's a wonderful new blog stop for new writers.  Check it out.

And I'm not just saying that because I did a guest blog yesterday.

I seriously feel there's a good thing starting for the up and coming.  And maybe it's just my own shyness, but I don't find a lot of bonding in the author ranks.  The ladies over at New Kids are really trying, and I support that.

Friday, August 20, 2010

stories with bite o,.,o

And then it goes live!!!!

My short story collection

A few weeks ago, I started formatting a collection of my short stories to self publish.  It was really fun working to make it ready for CreateSpace and Kindle.  Hunting widows was one of my favorite things, followed by picking fonts and making my cover.

Twenty-some stories later, and hours of editing, I've got the manuscript uploaded, and am waiting for the final processing.  The Kindle should be available first, followed by the print in a couple weeks.

I'll try to time it better with my next book.  Which is coming along.  I'm trying to have the first draft finished by the end of the month, but I might be a tad ambitious.

So, I should have a book of stories available very shortly.  Kindle is in the last steps of the process.  As soon as it's available (at 2.99), I shall let everyone know.  Lots of wonderful stories in there, that are finally going to see the light of day.

Did I mention I'm excited?  I'll need to update my sites with it once its out.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The (mis)adventures of Peepers the great-tailed grackle

I've had a little project over the last month.  We fostered a baby grackle, raising her until she was strong enough to be out on her own.  It was a lot of fun, and we just released her yesterday.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sketch: Varick

When I was writing All Hallows Blood, I had an image of Varick in my head, but he wasn't based on anyone.  Unlike Maksim in my current work (who looks like Orlando Bloom), Varick was just himself.  Tall, gorgeous, Aryan, I love my Varick.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Movie updates

A handful of movies to talk about here.

First is Martyrs.  I'd heard people at work kinda ranting and raving about it, and "omg, have you seen it yet?"  I ignored it for a while, and finally watched it last week.  I was thoroughly not impressed.

It starts off as a revenge slaughter, and was fairly unimaginative as that.  But it was gory, and the girls were crazy and kind of in love, and that was fine.  Then the secret agents arrive, and the movie takes a bit of a twist.  But when it takes that twist, it slows down, and drags, and just starts sucking.  it wasn't horrific, or shocking, or demented.  It just ran on and on and on, and reminded me how bad zealots are.

And the ending didn't even redeem it.

Then there was The Human Centipede.  I knew it was bad, but everything about it was kind of surprising.  The production value was fairly high, and the acting was decent, once the bimbos shut their mouths.  Because the production value was higher, when the movie took itself serious, it wasn't hokey.

And it was horrific and repulsive.  It did its job.  I mean, days later, my fiance quoted a scene, and I shook and shuddered again out of revulsion.  So, in that fact, it was a good movie.  Because it did what Martyrs couldn't.

Watched something called In The Loop.  When it was recommended by coworkers as "really funny", they didn't say anything else about it, other than that it was British.

It was quite funny.  It was a bit satirical, and a bit biting, with a long look at politics, and how things are swung to get what you want.  In that, it was scary.  But very enjoyable to watch.

The House of the Devil (or something along those lines) was crappy and good at the same time.  It was long, and boring, and not very surprising, and rather dull.  But it was good, because it was trying to be some early 80s horror/suspense movie, and it came across as it.  If you didn't know it had a 2009 release date, you'd have guessed 1985.

I just don't know why anyone would want to do that.  Or maybe it's just marked 2009, and it really isn't.  Who knows?  It doesn't make it suck any less.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sketch: angels

More sketches from the distant past.

All right, maybe only about twelve years.  Back in time when I was going to be a fancy artist, and do art that had that art touch to it.  *dons beret*

But then I grew out of that.  Still have the sketches from back then.

I was going to do a whole line of angels.  Angels doing various things.  And juxtaposing fallen angels doing good things with high angels doing bad things.

Never got around to doing them.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

More on reviewing

So I set up my messages around the web this weekend, looking for reviewers for my book.

Got chided about the RWO PRO boards for self-promoting.  Was hoping to get some answers from fellow authors, but apparently that's self-promotion.  *shrug*

Heard from a fellow writer on the AW boards that she had a review take eight and some months.  Phew!  Not for the impatient is this career.

Did get a link to Night Owl Reviews from Maggie Jaimeson.  She also looked for reviews about All Hallows Blood, so that made my day.  Put a smile on my face, thinking that this isn't just a crazy lonely world.

(One of the Amazon reviews on my book says the cover is stupid.  I applauded.)

Also decided that I'm going to do my first self-publishing foray as an anthology.  So I'm going to dust off some old stories, polish them up, and put them out.  Look for that!

And for great advice about promoting self-publishing, there was this article about marketing your novel.  I went and joined Ellen's group and everything.  Which also means I got back into Facebook, a bit.  Even created my own group.  Seems a little egotistical.

Though, a friend did tell me that as artists, we should enjoy our ego.  Maybe I could learn something from him.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Want a review copy?

Months and months have passed since All Hallows Blood came out.  And I sent out a bunch of review copies, and haven't gotten a darn one back.

This makes me a grumpy Raven.

So I'm taking things in a different direction.  I'm going to go past the reviewers, and go straight to the readers.  And fellow authors.

To do so, I'm giving out review copies of my book.  I'll send you an electronic copy, and all I ask is that you review and post about the book.  Amazon review, blog, links, word of mouth.  Recommend it to your coworkers.  Let it be known, so that this storyteller can feel she's reaching people.

In return, I can review your book, or promote your site, or just be your friend.  Whatever appeals to you most.

Contact me, and let's get this word of mouth started!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Forgot about an interview

I was interviewed for Sapphire Phelan's Yahoo newsletter, and I forgot about it.  that's how hectic and annoying work has been.  *shakes fist*

So, take the time to go check out the July newsletter, and see my interview.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Story: The Morrigan

Here's another story that just didn't make it for an anthology.  Since I wrote it for a specific book, I don't feel like shopping it around for others, in an attempt to get it sold.  I'll leave it here to be enjoyed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sketch: Bhaale

A sketch I did for my friend of his character.  He's a blind fighter; eyes are all coated in some cursed material.  Doesn't stop him from being a bad ass warrior.

Bhaale here also has two brothers I'm gonna try.  Though one is a big hulk of a man, so I don't know how that will go.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Went to see it tonight.  I was expecting some awesomeness, because Christopher Nolan is great.


It's brilliant.  It's great.  It's probably the best Nolan movie to date.

And it's so mind blowing in its complex simplicity.  I know, what a paradox, but it's true.  You can just watch the movie, and enjoy it on a visual level, or you can dig and explain as deep as you want.  The movie loses nothing if you do either.

There is a lot of room to take it beyond if you wish.  LOTS of room.  We came up with four or five different interpretations just in the first fifteen minutes of being out of the movie.  All of them viable, none of them too far fetched from the presentation.

Great god damn movie.  I LOVE it.  And I can't wait to see what Christopher Nolan does next.

Though, I have to watch Following now.  It's the only movie of his I haven't seen so far.