Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Everything in balance

I am a child of balance. Everything happens for a reason. Maybe not right away, but you will always get yours.

I was on a real up swing. I won Shield of Fire by Boone Brux. I have two short stories that were picked up for their anthologies. I was doing great.

Then I had a bladder infection jump into my kidney, and I wanted to die. It was quite possibly some of the worst pain I've ever had. It and my grease burn are tied.

Although, the grease burn didn't require antibiotics and anti-nausea medication. I couldn't keep anything down for a day, and lost nine pounds. My sister-in-law teases that violent infections aren't the best weight loss decision in the world.

Thankfully I'm well enough to be able to laugh about it. Yes, I'm a little miserable. Yes, I'm tired as all bloody hell. But I'm alive, with nothing majorly wrong with me, and I sold two short stories.

TWO SHORT STORIES! That's just so bloody awesome.

More details on them as they get closer to publication date.

Friday, February 24, 2012

#FridayFlash - Yoga Class

Another late start. Time is jumping and skipping around me, and I sometimes forget what day it is.

But here it is. Inspired by the opening scene of the Dawn of the Dead remake, actually. I really love the main  chick. She is bad ass.

***

What a way to meet the zombie apocalypse; in yoga pants and barefoot.

They burst into the gym, growling and seeking warm flesh, and I was in the middle of Downward Facing Dog. I was so relaxed, not listening to my surroundings, ready for the long hiking trek through the desert. The first couple screams didn't get my attention, and I moved on to my next pose.

When I looked up, I saw the yoga instructor's very limber limbs being ripped apart.

Shock froze me, made time stand still. My husband and I prepared for SHTF moments, never quite knowing what would happen. Not that we wanted anything so dramatic as the end of the world as we knew it to happen, but we'd rather live through it if we could. Cross-country hiking, stored food and weapons, barter items and old skills, and emergency plans. We had it all.

None of that was helping me in the middle of my yoga class. This wasn't supposed to be happening. When the CDC put up their zombie preparedness site, we'd seen through the joke to the valuable information. It was all a good idea.

But we hadn't thought the zombies would be real.

My shock would have gotten me killed if I didn't normally position myself in the middle of class. There were sixteen women between me and the rampaging dead. Their screams and panicked reactions drew the zombies, gave me the three moments I needed to gather myself.

The car keys were in my shoes by the door. I never used the locker room, hating the smell, and was ever grateful. With only one entrance, the lockers would have been a death trap. As it was, the big weight room and lobby had to be crossed to get outside and to my car. They'd likely be filled with stampeding people and hungry zombies.

Darting between milling women, I gathered up keys and shoes, hesitating only briefly to debate putting my shoes on. Those thirty seconds could make a big difference; I might be delayed and caught by zombies, but my feet would hurt less running across the parking lot.

I compromised by bolting from the yoga room into the weight room. A football field sized room with weight machines and grunting jocks, it was nothing but turmoil. Zombies had attacked a group by the treadmills, stopping to eat. Some of the big body builders were trying to fight, and seemed to be using the free weights to their advantage.

All I needed to know was that the lobby hadn't been overtaken. I had a mostly clear line to the parking lot, only a few panicky gym-goers struggling toward the door. Not enough people to be a mob yet. If I could just get them between me and the zombies, I should be able to get to the car and my emergency kit.

The emergency kit with my big machete.

Leaning against the wall, I slipped into my deck shoes. Thin little slip-ons, they wouldn't give a lot of traction, but they'd protect me better than nothing. Gripping the ignition key, I bolted, keeping my eyes on the prize. The blood and violence didn't matter. The monsters reaching for me didn't matter.

Get to the car. Get inside. Meet up with Hubby. Nothing else. Focus on nothing else.

Keeping my breath steady, I raced through the doors and through the parking lot. I was a natural sprinter, and had built up stamina over the last couple years. Maintaining this race wouldn't be hard, but the car was only fifty yards from the front door. In the blink of an eye, I was at my Impala.

None of the zombies were out here yet. It was almost too easy to start up and drive through the few people who'd escaped. My heart thundered in my throat, and I shook with adrenaline. I even screamed a little when my cell phone rang.

My husband's voice was cheery when I answered. "Hey babe. How was yoga class?"

"Where do I even start?"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Suburban Vampire: Spotlight on ALL HALLOWS BLOOD

Suburban Vampire: Spotlight on ALL HALLOWS BLOOD

Check me out, pushing my first book again. Figured now that there are three in the series, it would spark some more interest.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Midsummer's Unveiling on CreateSpace

Yes, physical books are a little pricey. If I could make them cheaper, I really would.

But, it does look good. I'm holding it in my hands right now, and I'm so very proud and happy and overjoyed. It is always awesome to see all the hard work available to people.

So swing by and pick it up. And if you want an autograph, let me know.

#FridayFlash - Neat Freaks of the Zombie Apocalypse

This is an actual conversation I had with my sister-in-law. Fictionalized a little, but the jist is there.

And if you share the punchline with others, make sure you do so David Caruso style.

***

Dragon_lady: so what are you up to tonight?
rosemum69: trying to get these hinges
                     on my pantry...only thing dont have
Dragon_lady: /snerk oh noes, your food will get out
                      soup on parade
                      unsightly boxes on display
rosemum69: not that
                     it's chaotic
                     i cant have chaos in my life
rosemum69: "mom, where's the sugar?"
                     "under the table honey"
Dragon_lady: neat freak
rosemum69: that's the last thing you
                     could call
                     me. i just have to have order
Dragon_lady: you're going to be miserable come the zombie
                       living in the woods and out of backpacks.    
                       tripping over body parts.
                       scavenging and running and making do
rosemum69: not the same thing
                     there's no house there, nothing permnent
Dragon_lady: until we get a camp. then you;ll have issues
                      "why is that zombie head over there? do you 
                       think we ive in a BARN?"
                       "ummm....yes, actually."
rosemum69: *snort*
                     are you actally bringing your zombie gut covered
                     clothes in here?
Dragon_lady: heads go in that pile, arms go in that pile
                       and wipe your god damn feet before you go into
                       teh abandoned building
rosemum69: you can bring weapons
                     ill bring purell
                     and use it like NAPALM
Dragon_lady: yes, because we need flaming zombies
                       attacking us
rosemum69: and it'l be a clean kill
Dragon_lady: -.-
                       i hate you
rosemum69: but i lurves you
Dragon_lady has signed off.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Book Review - Devil Unknown


I received this story from Bewitching Book Tours and devoured it pretty quickly.

The very blurb called to me, made me want to read it. I mean, who doesn't like talking demonic crows? Once I actually got into it, I found it to be as awesome as the blub suggested.

Steena creates a tormented character in a short amount of space, and I was soon rooting for him and the choice he had to make.

There's romance, drama, magic, darkness...pretty much anything you could want in a tale of the devil and the pained priest.


Devil Unknown
By Steena Holmes

Genre: Supernatural Suspense
A Bandit Creek Thriller

Blurb:

“Each generation, evil takes form and steals the soul of the most devout.”

A long forgotten myth holds the key to the evil descending upon Bandit Creek. When the town turns to their beloved former pastor for answers, little do they realize he may be the evil they fear.

Nathan Hanlin is at a crossroads. His soul is in jeopardy, and he doesn’t know it. Yet. He thought leaving the church would be easy, but when demonic crows start talking and demons reveal a secret about his past -- he realizes turning his back on God might have been a mistake. A ripped page from a journal holds the key to discovering why the supernatural are appearing in Bandit Creek but it’s too late. The myth is real and the only person who knows the answer is missing. Can Nathan save the woman he loves...or is he the reason her life is in danger?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Character Love Letters

Vampire Book Club is doing a giveway based on love letters to our book boyfriends. Technically, my novels are my paeans to Varick, but I'm writing him this letter anyway. Less from me-Keila, and more from me-me.


***

My dearest Varick

Love is an odd thing, isn't it? I imagine someone your age has had plenty of young women who claim to be in love with you. I mean, that icy demeanor would call to any girl. My sex has some serious issues with wanting the unattainable.

I don't think I'm like the others, though. I'm not some vapid little twit who just wants you because you're hot. I want you because of everything else you are. The intelligence, the bravery, the age.

The Doc Marten boots and leather trench coat.

But I digress. Maybe because emotions are hard to deal with, especially with someone so intimidating. You aren't the easiest person to walk up to and say "I love you", but that's all part of your appeal. You don't seem to know how wonderfully loveable you are.

You're a gentleman, with a beast inside. You cook, you take care of a woman, you know how to braid hair. You're everything I could ever really ask for in a man.

And you're seriously hot. o,.,o Can I just curl up and live in your hair?

Forever yours,

Raven

Monday, February 13, 2012

Guest Post - Kenya Carlton

In cooperation with Bewitching Book Tours, here is Kenya Carlton to talk about her tribulations with getting erotic in 100 pages.






Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bewitching Book Tours

I signed up to be a host for Bewitching Book Tours. Figured it would be a nice way to give back to other authors, and drive a little traffic my way. o,.,o

Expect quite a bit of guest posts from here on out. And maybe back to some of the Keila serial. It's just nice to feel like I'm moving forward, and actually accomplishing things.

Midsummer's Unveiling on Smashwords

The conversion process goes sooooo fast in the middle of the night. Great for night owls like me.

So, while waiting on Amazon and B&N to finish converting their files, you can grab Midsummer's Unveiling on Smashwords right now.

Of the ones that are written, this is my favorite in the series. Number 5 will probably end up being my fave....if the world doesn't end before then. o,.,o

Waiting on the proof of the physical book. That'll take a week. CreateSpace said they needed to change the trim on the cover, and since I had a wrap-around background, I want to make sure it didn't get too boogered up. Otherwise, I'd just approve it now. I mean, I know how to do interiors by this point, and can trust my pdf file when I look at it.

Anyway, go check out the new book. Tell your friends. Jump up and down for me, and make sure people know my books aren't about sparklepires or mopey little emopires. Just the real bloodsuckers here.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cover reveal

I've been delaying and delaying, and making excuses, and I've finally gotten around to finishing the cover...

...and the book. I mean, I've just been sitting on it, not really working on getting it published.

Got things together, and submitted the print version to CreateSpace. So later today, I'll be doing the conversion for ebook, and get it up on Kindle and Smashwords.

There is something fantastic feeling about this level of creativity.

Friday, February 10, 2012

#FridayFlash - Rosebud

Here's something I did based on Eric Krause's prompt. An awesome prompt, especially when combined with my new rosebush.

***

Most people put their roses outside.

The tiny voice in my head caused me to look around in surprise. I don't know how I knew, but this wasn't from inside me. Squeeky yet growly, it made me think of an animal. Not that I owned any animals, let alone telepathic ones. "Who's there?"

A sigh accompanied the voice this time. Have you tried looking at your roses? I mean, I am talking about them right now.

Blushing with embarrassment, because I hadn't looked at my plant, I turned to the new bush. I'd just bought it last week, happy to have a lavender colored rose, and had recently settled it into its new pot. The new pot that was currently sitting on my kitchen table, a couple days from opening its first bloom.

Nestled new the bud was the tiniest dragon I'd even seen. Not that I saw lot of dragons in person, but I doodled them all the time, and looked at plenty of artwork online. Not one normally depicted them this small. It couldn't have been much bigger than my thumb, tail and neck included, but somehow it looked really fierce.

Finally. What is wrong with you? Took you forever to hear me.

"Do I know you?" I moved closer to the rose bush, frowning as I continued to stare. If my cat saw it, he'd be all about trying to chase it. Would it blow a tiny flame breath? Maybe those tiny spikes could get between my cat's paws, draw blood and make him cry.

It spread its wings, only a little wider then my fingers were long, and blinked ruby eyes at me. Not this again. I swear by my mother's scales, if you've lost your memory... It blew a tiny spear of flame, singeing one of the leaves, and fluttered its wings.

Cocking my hip, I stared at it, wanting so desperately to touch it. It was so little and cute, a perfect miniature dragon. It wasn't chibi or cartoony in any way. It was a spiky, clawed, scaly, dangerous dragon, but teeny tiny. "I have no idea what you're talking about?" I crossed my arms to resist the urge to touch it.

First, stop thinking of me as "it". I am a he, and you damn well know it. He swore in some language I didn't understand. Except you don't know it. You don't even know that you don't know.

"Maybe you could fill me in." Being talked down to outweighed the joy of a teeny dragon in my dining room.

He tucked his wings against his side, then wrapped his tail around the slender green stem. Every hundred years or so, you come down to Midgard and try to live a mortal life. Normally, you enjoy your little vacation and return to Alfheim with no problems. He lowered his head, sides heaving with a miniscule sigh. But sometimes, you get distracted. You lose your memories, lose your powers, and you end up hanging around too long. Then I have to come get you, return everything, and get you home.

I stared blankly. His words sounded somewhat familiar, like a dream only vaguely remembered. "Alfheim is the home of the..." I frowned, turning away. "Home of the elves?" My voice was weak and tremulous.

The dragon gave a trumpet, no louder than my cell's ringtone. Yes, Princess, exactly. Maybe you're not too lost this time.

"Princess?" That certainly got my attention.

The dragon leapt from the rose and flew toward me. I held out my hand automatically, and he nestled in my palm. Not too far gone at all. We'll get you home soon enough.

"Can I bring my roses?" I asked, pouting slightly.

He chuckled, revealing itty bitty teeth. Of course you can. You can add them to the rest.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bacon Shakes

I am such a bacon empress. I LOVE bacon. Delicious little meat candy. I even have a couple tee-shirts with bacon on them. I make brown sugar coated bacon as a tasty treat now and again. I devoured Denny's bacon sundae.

So when I heard that Jack in the Box had a bacon-flavored shake, I was all wound up and excited to have one. Jumped on the opportunity to get the family fast food today, just so I could have one.

And it is DELICIOUS. OMG. The syrup completely covered the ice cream, so it was like this cold piece of maple smoked bacon. *shivers* YUM. I was so pleased.

The little joys in life. Gotta love them.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Romance books need more romance

Even though I'm a romantic at heart, and falling in love is key to my characters's developments, I don't read a ton of romance books. Why not? Because I don't find many of them to be that romantic. So many authors confuse lust for love, and I get quickly bored of that.

Love does not come from a nice ass. Spectacular eyes or a superb kiss do not make for a soulmate. Physical attraction is a knee-jerk reaction, and doesn't make a good basis for a romantic relationship.

When you really fall in love, it works the other way around. Love makes the other person perfect, no matter what.

Yet, that's not what happens in books. Physical features are always what draws the characters together. "He's so sexy?" "She's so hot." Nothing about personalities, and rarely about any emotions beyond lust.

Take a kiss, for instance. Kisses are wonderful emotional, tasty things. In books, kisses tend to only address the physical. A great kisser is always appealing, but the warmth of love makes any mediocre kiss into a fireworks display of awesomeness.

I'm really looking for romance to become romantic. Giving a girl a stunning orgasm just isn't as heart warming as cutting her steak because her hand is wounded and she won't ask for help. Less shagging, more cuddles, please.

Friday, February 3, 2012

#FridayFlash - Predation

Better late than never, eh? Something I threw together because of something my sis-in-law said.

***

"Did you ever wonder why people don't eat predators?" he said, reading over her shoulder.

She sighed, looking away from the news article. Some actor had eaten wolf meat, and animal rights groups were bent out of shape. "Can't say that I have," she replied.

"Certainly, there has to be a reason. Creatures don't just pick and choose what to put in their mouths." He strode back to his chair, pushing his glasses up his thin nose. "Evolution must dictate the menu."

She wasn't going to get back to her reading until she addressed his issue. Once he started in on something, he needed to get it all out, needed to have an audience. "Well, evolution made predators and prey, so I supposed you're on the right track." Better to play along than have him bring up the you-never-listen-to-me lecture.

"And evolution had to have a hand in why some predators eat certain prey. It took time to learn which animals were worth catching, and which took too much energy. How to catch them, how to eat them, what were the best parts to eat.

"So I figure humans learned not to eat predators because they were too hard to catch. Not worth the time or effort. Especially as dangerous as predators tend to be. We've evolved to not eat predators."

"What about shark? Humans eat shark, and it's a pretty scary predator."

He shook his head, rolling his eyes slightly. "Americans don't eat that much shark."

"Are we just talking about America then?"

"Of course."

She suppressed an eye roll of her own. "Well, then, what about alligator?"

"That's so very niche. Not enough people eat it to count."

"Americans don't eat enough real food to count as having evolved anything." She turned back to her computer, trying to end his debate.

"Have you listened to a thing I've said?" His voice grew in volume as the tone grew shriller. "You're never really paying attention to me."

She sighed and buried her face in her hands. There simply was no avoiding him. She understood then why some animals eat their young.

Guest Post - Heart of the Hurri-Kane



Sensual, sexy, and sometimes sizzling, Heart of the Hurri-Kaine, is every woman’s fantasy of sex, drugs, and rock and roll with the most gorgeous men in music -- set in the late 1980s, London, England.

Holly Hill a California legal professional is running from a secret. Serendipity steps in and she wins and accepts a 7-day trip to London, England, to meet the world famous rock band Hurri-Kaine, launching their worldwide tour.

It is the perfect getaway. But the wicked hand of fate was on her as she meets two men that have climbed to the top of the music industry together, made millions of dollars together, and have had thousands of women fighting over them.

Luka Hunter is former manager/producer of Hurri-Kaine. He is well bred and the embodiment of an English gentleman. But he is also the always sensual, irresistible, and powerful executive at Cable Music Television.

Kaine Walker is a darkly charismatic, timelessly beautiful, brooding-poet. To some he is the volatile lead-singer, and namesake of the band Hurri-Kaine. But to the world, he is the greatest entertainer of his time.

Kaine and Luka are normally resilient, and indestructible. However, when an obsessive rivalry for her sets them against each other, lines are drawn and all bets are off … as they battle for Holly's love.

Will Holly survive the turbulent storm of her emotions as these alluring men pull her heart apart? Her time in London will determine the outcome while she tries to keep up with Kaine and Luka, only to surrender to a blinding, whirlwind, headline-grabbing love affair. Holly becomes the envy of all women, while she exhausts herself with her all access pass with the rich and famous.


***

Book One: Heart of the Hurri-Kaine (Romance)
Book Two: Blood of the Hurri-Kaine (Suspense, Romance)
Available anywhere ebooks are sold.
Book Three: Eye of the Hurri-Kaine due 2012. (Suspense, Thriller, Romance)

A rock and roll series that crosses genres with Holly, and two gorgeous men, Kaine the singer, and Luka the manager, and their story of finding
romance, suspense, and love.

Why I love Rock and Roll.
Yes, it started during the 50s and the 45 rpm records. Couldn't wait for them to come out each week. I had to save my money cause they cost a whopping 25cents.

Later, I lived in Hollywood, California, and every one that was anyone in the music business came here. I met them all. I started with interviewing the Beatles at LAX for ABC Television and days later was a cub reporter for ABC News backstage at the Hollywood Bowl when the Beatles played. I was a mere 15 years old.

After them came the Rolling Stones. I met them their first time here, and that was when it all began. I met, hung out and dated a number of the band members from the British Invasions, and some of the local musicians such as the Byrds, Love, Doors, Buffalo Springfield, Beach Boys, Standells, Flying Burritos Bros, and then a hog poge of bands as band members changed groups. Even auditioned as a singer for Jimmy Page from Led Zepplin. Naturally, nothing came of it, I wasn't discovered, or you'd of heard of me.

One memorable boyfriend (with limos, recording studios, finest hotels, best service and tables, and all the perks of fame and money) was with Bill Wyman from the Rolling Stones. In fact he added a snippet about me in his book Stone Alone: the Story of a Rock 'n' Roll Band - Bill Wyman, Ray Coleman - 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 640 pgs. "Brian's behaviour was bizarre that night and Kathy (West) Townsend, a girlfriend of mine at the time, recalls that he had been 'dropping acid, .."

It's true, I have some great stories about hanging out with the 1960s and 70s bands during my tender, and formative years.

And being in Hollywood did make things a bit easier. I came into contact with them all. I was a professional dancer for a few years and on the Sunset Strip where the bands frequented. I did some concert dancing with bands like the Who. I worked at the exclusive Daisy Club in Beverly Hills where all the popular actors frequented. Later, I worked at the most exclusive and state-of-the-art recording studio of its time, The Record Plant West. Boy I've remembered jacuzzi stories from there.

Yes, those wonderful years were a dream, and so much fun. They are where I draw my stories from for Holly, Luka, and Kaine. Of course there wasn't any fighting over me, at least that I was aware of...but I had a great time.

I will add more rock and roll stories as time goes on.

But now you know, it was my tender years that are the source for the stories in the Hurri-Kaine Series. I was there, and I know what it was really like.

Where to find Kathleen West-Townsend online:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/KathleenWTownse
Facebook: Facebook profile
Blog: http://thehurri-kaineseries.blogspot.com/

The Blood of the Hurri-Kaine (Book Two Hurri-Kaine Series)
Ebook Price: $2.99 USD. 196530 words. Fiction by Kathleen West-Townsendon December 29, 2011
Kaine Walker is in Paris. Holly Hill is in Los Angeles. The rock and roll fairy tale ended. Unemployed, and hounded by paparazzi, emotionally wounded Holly tries to rebuild her life. Luka Hunter arrives to take Holly from a scandalous tabloid sensation to a prevailing celebrity. But Holly's carrying an unbreakable love and bond with Kaine, that supersede any duplicitous deception, blood or death.
The Heart of the Hurri-Kaine (Book One Hurri-Kaine Series)
Ebook Price: $2.99 USD. 200570 words. Fiction by Kathleen West-Townsend on December 17, 2011
Sensual, sexy, and sometimes sizzling, Heart of the Hurri-Kaine, is every woman’s fantasy of sex, drugs, and rock and roll with the most gorgeous men in music. Set in the 1980s Holly Hill and lead singer Kaine Walker surrender to a whirlwind, headline-grabbing love affair that is threatened by Luka Hunter the powerful CMT representative.