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 @ gmail.com

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. 

Enjoy!

RavenCorinnCarluk @ gmail.com

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 @ gmail.com

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.

RavenCorinnCarluk@gmail.com

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 { Parajunkee.com } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. Follow our Featured Bloggers - http://www.bookswithbite.net/
  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.