Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

Here There Be Dragons Giveaway!

Friday, May 27th, 2016

The Dragon's Call audiobook

 

Welcome to the H3R3 THERE BE DRAGONS GIVEAWAY!

For a limited time I’m giving away free copies of The Dragon’s Call –  and all you have to do to enter is watch a 2min video!

There are very few copies so hurry up for your chance to win – click HERE!!!

Good Luck!

Dawn of the Dead: Chapter 1

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

Here’s the next installment of Dawn of the Dead – Enjoy!                                                                                 Read Prologue HERE

 

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Dawn of the Dead

Chapter 1

Atonement for the Dead

“Dawn, get out of bed. I didn’t come back from the grave to spend my after-life watching you sleep your life away.”

I groaned. “Clyde, there are days I wish you had gone to that happy resting place in the sky. At least then I’d get more sleep.”

“That’s Uncle Clyde to you, wench. Now, get up, or else.”

I laughed and then moaned as sunlight hit my eyes and a world of hell burst open in my head. He’d pulled open the curtains. “Uncle Clyde!”

“I did tell your lazy ass to get up.”

No one should ever sound that smug. Especially not large black ravens inhabited by annoying spirits.

“Fine, I’m up!” Pushing my hair out of my face, I stumbled out of bed, groping blindly for some clothes. My head ached. I really shouldn’t have gone clubbing the night before.

Cracking my eyes open, I found a shirt, some jeans, and my shoes, and pulled them on. Pain stabbed through my head again and I moaned and headed out the bedroom door.

The beat of wings sounded behind me, following me to the kitchen. I ignored him. Anyone who opened a window to full sunlight on a helpless hung-over sod like me deserved no good-morning niceties.

“Hurry up.”

I grumbled under my breath and glanced at the clock on the kitchen wall. He was right. I was going to be late.

“Damn it, too late for coffee. And it’s Monday,” I muttered, grabbing my cell phone and keys off the counter and heading out the back door to the garage.

“Lazy ass.”

I really had to learn how to keep my complaints to myself.

My black 1980 Lincoln Continental sat crouching in the dark as I entered the garage. To be honest, it was ancient and looked a like a mini Hearse, but I liked it. It fit me.

After climbing inside I glanced at the side view mirror. My hair was a mess. It was jet black and pixie cut and wild from my restless night. I looked like one of those troll dolls. Except gothic.

“You look like crap.”

“Thanks, Clyde.”

“Uncle!”

I sighed, started the car, pulled out of the garage and headed for work. One could hope the day would get better.

***

I pulled up to the NCMEC satellite office and parked. The day was bright and hot in Tustin, California, and it would have felt awesome if I hadn’t looked at the clock on the dash: 9:47am. I was so late. I got out of the car and snuck in the building. As I passed through the front, I hunched my shoulders, hoping to get to my desk unnoticed. Uncle Clyde glided in behind me. He, unlike me, could be invisible.

“Dawn, while you were catching your beauty rest, we’ve had another disappearance – I’m going to need you out in the field on this one.”

Obviously, hoping anything invited karma to spit in my face.

I sighed and turned to face my supervisor, Dan Wilkins. “Another one? Who is it this time?”

“A little girl.”

“What’s so different about this one? I’ve been holding down the hotline for months now. You haven’t called me to the field since the Maguey Case.”

Dan grimaced.

That case had gone unsolved for nine years. I solved it in one day by following the little boy’s ghost to his buried body in his parent’s hunting range.

“The little girl is Sienna Whitcauf, daughter of Shana Whitcauf, the Departmental head of the Children and Family Services Department.”

“Isn’t that ironic.”

“It get’s worse.”

I gave a snort and headed over to the coffee table. At least the office always had coffee, which was great. My head was still killing me. “How much worse can it get? Her kid’s gone.”

“Her husband is the one who kidnapped her.”
One cup of coffee was not going to be enough. Mondays should be illegal. “And you need me to find the kid before it hits the local papers and the irony sets all the reporters panties on fire.”

“Exactly. The state has already cut over three hundred employees because of the budget. They’re just looking for reasons to cut more.”

“Alright. Give me her information and I’ll start from there.”

As soon as he finished giving me Shana Whitcauf’s contact information, I headed out.

Saving children was what I did, but I could only attempt to save this child by meeting with her mother in person.

***

“The last time I saw my husband was about three days ago before I left for work.”

Shana Whitcauf was a tall, shapely woman. Her dark brown hair was pulled back in a tight bun and her makeup made her golden skin seem flawless.

“How long was it between the time you saw him and the moment he disappeared with your daughter?” I asked.

She sighed. “My husband, Michael, and I have a very…unconventional arrangement. He normally stays home while I work full-time. So it was always easier if he got her ready in the mornings and took her to school.”

I nodded, keeping the surprise off my face. The arrangement was different, certainly, but this was California. Different was the norm. “So he could’ve left any time after you left the house.”

“Exactly.” She leaned back against her desk, folded her arms and glanced at the clock. Her schedule was so full the only way I could speak to her immediately was by meeting her in her office at work. Still, for a mother who had just lost her child, she seemed a little impatient.

“Sorry, about the length of time. I know you’re pretty busy.” I wasn’t sorry at all, but when working with parents on these cases, I always practiced a brand of niceness I didn’t normally use outside my job.

“No, no. I’ll spend all the time you need, if anything, I’ll just cancel my meeting.”
I shrugged. “That won’t be necessary. We’re almost done anyway – we just need to schedule a time when I can meet you at your house.”

She stared at me. “At my house? Why?”

This part was always the hardest to explain without sounding like a Napa State Hospital candidate.

“It’s easier for me to track children if I visit their homes.” It wasn’t true, but she couldn’t know the real reason I needed to visit her house.

She frowned for a long while, doubtful, and then shrugged. “I don’t see what you visiting our home will do when the police have already searched everything, but that’s fine.
Tomorrow evening I’m completely free.” She scribbled the address on a sticky from her desk and handed it to me.

I took it and straightened, nodding a farewell. “All right, see you tomorrow evening then.” As I turned and left her office, Uncle Clyde, a silent, invisible shadow, followed me out the door.

“That woman didn’t seem too invested in your meeting with her.”

I glanced up at the large raven flying above me as we headed towards my car. “You know how it is. Once the police have gotten involved, no one ever thinks the NCMEC is relevant outside of their missing children’s hotline.”

Uncle Clyde dipped in the air irritably. “True, but still – something doesn’t feel right about her.”

Stopping, I crossed my arms and looked up at him. “Look, if you know something I don’t, then spit it.”

He landed with the beat of large wings and a hop on the ground. He was a large bird. Even for a raven. “No, I don’t know anything – not yet, but I’m telling you, something doesn’t feel right about her.”

“Well, if that’s all you have to say then you’re not much help. Maybe we’ll learn more when we check out her house tomorrow night.”

He hopped into the air in sullen silence. I knew he’d take his revenge in the morning.

But first we had to stop back at the office.

Dan was going to want an update on the Whitcaufs.

I walked back into the office, peering around for Dan. Cathy was the only one in the room holding down the hotline. She looked up, wrinkled her nose at Uncle Clyde sitting on my shoulder, and waved before going back to her call. I waved back and looked at the clock: 4:43pm. Dan must have taken an early day.

I sighed and headed home. Getting his take on Shana Whitcauf would have been nice, but wasn’t necessary. I’d most likely find out more than he ever could tomorrow evening at the Whitcauf home anyway.

“Dawn, wake up.” There was the whoosh of fabric, and light smacked me in the eyes.

I groaned. “Why does it always feel like my life is on repeat?”

“Because you’re too damn lazy to try something new. Like getting up early for a change.”

I groaned again and rolled out of bed. At least today there was no hangover to combat while stumbling out the door.

“Whatever,” I grumbled under my breath, and headed to the bathroom and got in the shower.

“You know, if you want to actually have food in the morning like a normal person, getting up early is really good for that.”

I jumped, banging my arm against the water knobs, and looked up. He was perched on the shower doors looking down.

I cursed. “What the hell! Can’t I have a moment to shower? Alone?”

He ruffled his feathers, but disappeared from my view. “I’m your uncle and I’m dead.”

“Still!”

“I’m just saying. You’re looking a little bony. “

I rolled my eyes and finished up, glad that I’d hung the towel on the shower door. I reached up and grabbed it, wrapping it around myself before stepping out of the shower.

Uncle Clyde was perched on the toilet seat, head cocked, black eyes beady and serious. “You have to take better care of yourself, Dawn. Otherwise, what will you use to negate the cost the next time you have to use a spell?”

I stiffened. He was right, but thinking about cost always hurt. Four years later and my little sister’s death still rode me hard. “Fine, Clyde. Will you shut up if I eat?”

“Yeah, and while you’re at it, give your mom a call.”

I froze and then walked out the bathroom door. He’d gone too far. “Mind your damn business, Uncle Clyde.”

“Dawn, why do you do this? Your mother doesn’t blame you for Christy’s death. Her death wasn’t your fault to begin with.”

“You don’t know that.” My voice was raw. Thinking about the day my little sister died still hurt. I’d been fifteen and bitter at my powers. I hated dead things. While other little kids were asking their mommies why Frisky or Spot wouldn’t wake up – I knew why. They were dead.

The day my little sister died, I’d been avoiding Uncle Clyde, trying to smother my powers, trying to deny that I wasn’t like other teens. Trying to deny the fact that I wasn’t normal at all. If I’d accepted who I was, Uncle Clyde would have been with me that day. He would have warned me in enough time to save her. Christy died because I was too much of a coward to accept what I was: a necromancer.

Every day that goes by, I atone for her death. Every child that I save is payment for my guilt.

But her blood never washes off my hands.

Audio Available

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

musicalhair

 

 

For a short amount of time, I’ve placed up the audio version of the poem Hunger on Soundcloud and Google Play Music. Check them out through the links below.

Soundcloud

Google Play Music

Dawn of the Dead: Prologue

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

 

 

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I decided to post up the prologue to a story I’m working on – hope you enjoy!

 

Prologue

 
“Dawn.”

I lowered my head and walked faster. Maybe if I pretended I didn’t hear or see anything…

“Dawn.”

I bit my lip as my chest started to ache with the tug of power. It always felt like this. Always.

“Dawn.”

The feeling of maggots crawling under my skin made me shudder as the magic grew. I…didn’t…want…to…look.

“Dawn.”

I turned against my will. The bloody specter of a girl stood in the street, cars passing through her shadowed form.

“Hurry, she’s dying,” the girl whispered. Her eyes were black holes of sadness; the rank wind of death flowed from her shadow.

“What is the price this time?” There was always a price. Necromancy was thought dark for a reason.

“You will lose someone you love.”

I sucked in my breath, choking on a despairing laugh. The price was almost never this high. “What is the point, then?”

“You will save someone you love.”

I froze. Then I ran.

It took three hours for them to pull my little sister, Christy, from the wreck. I got there in time to save my mom – but the car had fallen on the passenger side, mangling the door, and crushing Christy. My mom would have bled to death if I had not appeared when I did, but Christy was dead. The specter had followed me all morning, calling me. I had ignored her, not wanting to pay the price our interaction would cost.

Never again will I ignore their call.

The price is too damn high.

Crit1Sub1: Week 2!

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

IWW2

Today marks week 2 of my Crit1Sub1 challenge!

So far, pushing myself to write a sub each week feels good. The max amount of words for each week is only 400 words, which is perfect. There is absolutely no way to feel intimidated by a writing assignment that tells you not to write more than 1/3 of a page!

It’s also a really great feeling to be able to connect with authors who are piecing together their own work.

Getting back into the writing rhythm has led me to think more on The Dragon Throne series, along with the best way to connect with more readers. Many of the ways that writers connect with readers involve connecting with book review blogs and doing book tours, but I really want to find out a more organic way of connecting – if there even is one. Toward this end, I listened to a conference which stated that the problem is how to market the product.

As a reader and writer the very idea of thinking of books in that way hurts my bookworm soul, but that’s exactly how the traditional publishing companies think.

That’s even how Amazon thinks.

Why, as authors, don’t we think this way?

 

 

Crit1Sub1: Week 1

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

IWW2

 

So this is week1 of my Crit1Sub1 personal writing challenge, and so far I’ve critted twice and subbed one flash fiction piece I call Halloween Horror.

Feel free to read it below!

 

Halloween Horror

Bump… Bump… Bump…
Seth strained to hear the footsteps he knew were coming after him in the dark, but all he could hear was the drum beating in his chest and the sound of far off whimpers fading into silence.
He shuddered, exhaling as quietly as possible, his breath a soft cloud whooshing into frigid night.
The shadowed ground just underneath him glinted, strewn with a bright array of scattered candies. His knuckles ached as his fists clenched around the crumpled orange and black paper bag. Somehow, though he’d left Samantha behind, he’d been unable to let go of the bag.
Did that make him a bad person?
No, he thought.
But the secret relief that it had been her, and not him, did.

Crit1Sub1: 4 week challenge!

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

IWW2

IWW1

 

 

So, today is the beginning of my four-week challenge to myself to Crit1Sub1!

 

After being stuck in a rut, I realized that the only way to get out of the rut is to get out of the rut.

 

Facilitating me in this endeavor is the Internet Writing Workshop where I regularly go to get my writing projects critiqued!

 

Of course, nothing comes without some type of give-take, and so in order to get crits, you must also give ^.^

 

Right now I’m pumped and can’t wait to get started.

 

If you’d like to join me in the 4 week challenge to Crit1Sub1, then click HERE and join in the writing fun ^.^

 

Wish me luck!

The Great Big Block

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

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So.

 

I’ve been trying to turn on the desire to work on The Dragon Throne since I first posted about it HERE.

 

And…

 

Nothing.

 

That’s right.

 

Nada.

 

Zero words, no count increase, I don’t even have an additional scene springing up in my mind.

 

I hit…

 

THE BLOCK.

 

It’s that space of absolute nothingness that all writers dread.

 

I want to write.

 

I even want to want to write.

 

No such luck and no cigars.

 

Do you know how frustrating it is to have an urge and be unable to fulfill  it?

 

Ugh.

 

Here’s hoping THE BLOCK ends soon.

 

Wish me luck.

 

 

Priests of Piracy?

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

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So, while scanning the internet for interesting reads, I stumbled upon one of my works posted up on a random free-to-download site. I felt somewhat conflicted at first. I mean while the site had not asked for my permission, to view my novel posted up for everyone to see essentially giving me free advertisement was, if you’ll excuse the play on words, novel.

 

While mulling over this turn of events, I googled piracy sites and eventually came to the most interesting article on piracy I have ever encountered. In it the writer of the article interviews the priests of a religion focused on piracy.

 

Piracy as a religion?

 

The idea seems tongue-in-cheek at first, but if you continue reading you begin to wonder if the members of such a church are in earnest.

 

And if so, what does this mean for the writers and creators of the content being pirated?

 

The religion claims that these self-proclaimed priests of piracy a.k.a. “kopimists,” believe in no god…

 

But if their religion is the spreading of information then aren’t we, the authors of such information, either avatars – or gods?

 

Interesting to say the least.

 

Check it out HERE.

 

 

 

Site complete!

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

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The site is finally up and ready!  There are still some links missing here and there, but for the most part the site is functional.

 

I’ve also placed up the word count on The Dragon Throne, and started rereading over the manuscript to get back in rhythm with the storyline.

 

The word count so far is over 105k words total. The editing and rewriting process will decide whether I split the story into a trilogy instead of making it a duology. I’m leaning toward splitting the story into two small novellas since this is a YA storyline, but once the story arch is completed I will know for certain.

 

Meanwhile, the cover artist Mihaela Voicu is working with me on the second cover. You can see the first cover she designed HERE.

 

In any case, after a long hiatus, I’m cranking myself back into gear.

 

Wish me luck.