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.