Monday, December 8, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 12/8 edition

So I'm running a little behind, but here's this week's story. The challenge was to write a scenario that ended in the main character answering the phone. I was behind getting it written as I worked to finish up Another Day, Another Dollar, but I did get that done and now I'm on to the next one after I get an idea for a book running through my head down on paper.

I'd love to give more details on that book, but I'm off to take care of some errands. Have a great day/week everyone.

A Little Pink Bow

Sometimes the wrapping is as scary as what's inside

The package looked like any other package, but the pink bow on top of it scared Nyx. There wasn’t much that did, but something about the color pink had always disturbed her.

“I take it isn’t from someone who knows you,” Phee said as she took in the small box. There was a small smirk on her face that Nyx didn’t like.

Jake had gleefully brought the package in and announced it was for the mistress of the house, so there wasn’t any questioning who it was for. That didn’t mean Nyx wasn’t trying to wish it away.

“Who dropped it off, Jake?”

The only mail Nyx liked to receive was the packages full of weapons that were delivered on occasion. She highly doubted the package carried a knife.

Jake glanced around the room. His stupid smile appeared to be glued on his face. Nyx followed his eyes, but she didn’t think anything would be revealed by the six guys standing around. They were a mix of vampires and werewolves, and every single one of them looked almost expectant.

“Jake, I don’t have time to mess with you. Sophia is going to wake up from her nap soon and she’ll be demanding my attention.”

“I don’t think she knows, which isn’t really that surprising,” Walt said.

Nyx zeroed in on her uncle and tried to decipher what he meant. His face went completely blank, and if he hadn’t been related to her, she would’ve thrown a knife at him for being too good at hiding things. There was some sort of game being played and it annoyed Nyx.

“Don’t give me that look. It’s your birthday, so it’s not surprising someone would send you a present.”

The statement caused Nyx’s eyes to widen. Birthdays weren’t her thing, and she didn’t want hers to become a thing. It was bad enough Clyde was already counting the days to his, which was seven months away.

“No, it’s not. I don’t have an official birth certificate saying I was born, so therefore I don’t have a birthday.”

Sebastian and Alex had disappeared early that day, off to take care of business they’d claimed. Nyx hoped that business didn’t have to deal with picking up some kind of cake. They were going to turn into two dead mates if they thought they were throwing some kind of party.

Before anyone could say anything, the most annoying song in the world started echoing out of the box. Nyx glared at it and thought about grabbing one of the knives attached to her wrists and stabbing until the song ended.

“It’s not going to be as bad as you think,” Walt said. “They’re just doing something nice for you.”

As the stupid birthday song Nyx had never heard sung specifically to her before continued to play, she tore the lid off the box and stared inside to find a phone.

Picking up the phone, Nyx couldn’t hide the annoyance in her voice as she answered. “Hello?”

Sunday, November 30, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 11/30 edition

Tomorrow brings December, which I'm looking forward to. I should be mostly through the rewrite of Another Day, Another Dollar today and over the next week I'm hoping to get all the finishing stuff done with it so I can move on to book five. I was right that this book introduces my friend Eva. I love meddling characters with a sense of humor, and she definitely qualifies.

I've already read ahead and know how this book ends. I have to say it was my favorite ending, probably of any book I've written. The unknown of what's going to happen next left me barreling through the next book to figure it out.

Well, I'm going to get back to it and leave you with my short story of the week. The challenge was to write 500 words that opened with a door being slammed in the main characters face. You can imagine Nyx wasn't too happy about that.

Punishment is for the Dogs

There are certain things you just don't do

The doorframe vibrated as the sound of the slamming door echoed through the house. Nyx stared at the door for a split second, a little dumbfounded by how it was possible for Clyde to shut it with that much force. She tried to turn the doorknob, but it didn’t budge. The Hellhound had not only shut the door in her face, but he’d also locked her out.

“Open this door, Clyde. We weren’t finished talking.” She pounded on the door a few times, hard enough to let him know she wasn’t afraid to break it down.

“I’m aware of that, Mother. As soon as you stop screaming like a banshee, we can carry on the conversation,” Clyde mentally chided back to Nyx.

Nyx glared at the door, but before she could make good on her threat to break it down, Sebastian was there wrapping his hand tightly around one of her fists. She looked over at him, and a little of the tension ebbed out of her system. She hated that he had a calming effect on her.

“Let me deal with him. Sophia’s hungry and you’re the only one equipped to feed her.”

“Do you even know what he did? There’s teeth marks in one of my favorite knifes. I can live with him peeing on everything in the house, but when he attacks my weapons, I’m not going to stand for it.”

Nyx growled when she thought about finding her poor knife with divots scattered across the blade. The edge was still sharp, but it no longer matched its sister knife. She’d had those knives as long as she could remember, and they were a part of her family years before anyone else received that distinction.

“I know exactly what he did, and I’ll be happy to carry out the appropriate punishment for it. I think skinning the mutt sounds about right, don’t you?”

Nyx’s shoulders drooped a little as she thought about Sebastian’s words. She hadn’t really thought ahead to what she’d do when she caught up with Clyde. She’d chased him around the house, screaming at him until he’d managed to get to his bedroom.

“You know I don’t want him skinned.”

“I know, as much as it pains me. I keep a knife sharpened just in case you ever change your mind. I’ll take Clytemnestra to get her checked out. I’m sure we can find someone to repair her. Until she’s fixed, I suggest we take away his Internet connection. After the last time, I’ve found that’s way more effective than any other punishment.”

“No,” Clyde howled from the other side of the door.

The corners of Nyx’s lips turned up slightly. She lowered the raised fist that Sebastian held and rotated her hand so her fingers intertwined with his.

“Have I told you lately that I love you, Sebby?”

They both had smiles across their faces as they walked off to find their daughter, while Clyde’s begging for forgiveness followed them down the hallway.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 11/22 edition

The regular challenges were back this week and after putting the finishing touches on Working Through the Weekend, and uploading it to Smashwords, I got to work on the "imagine a dinner party where a secret may be revealed" challenge.

Thankfully it didn't take me too long to write a quick 500 words and get it posted. I'm ready to move on to the next Avery book. Things are getting intense and I'm trying to remember exactly where I took it next. I remember book five, and where book four took place, but I can't remember exactly what happens. I think it's the one that introduces a new female character who knows what's going on, but that could be book five.

Anyway, on to that for me while you take a look at my short story of the week or check on the latest Avery story. Have a great weekend, everyone!

An Unwelcome Demon

What do you serve a house guest who eats human hearts?

“Why did you agree to have him over for dinner? It hasn’t slipped your notice that his preferred meal choice is human hearts, has it?” Nyx didn’t bother muting her voice.

Nyx was pissed at Ben, and she didn’t appreciate the demon sitting in the next room, stinking up her house. It’d been months since it was revealed he’d known her mother was Lucifer, and he’d chosen to keep the information from Nyx.

That was about the same time he’d inadvertently had a hand in getting her pregnant, not that any of his DNA was involved. His magical birth control sucked, though.

“Can you please calm down a little? The stress isn’t good for the baby.” Sebastian had tried to get Nyx to sign up for meditation classes to no avail.

“He lied to me. I don’t want him around here.” Nyx clutched her fists together, trying to prevent herself from hitting something.

“Your mom seemed to know quite a bit about Peanut, and being a close confidant, Ben may have heard what exactly we’ve made.”

“We made a baby, Sebastian. Would you like me to describe how exactly that process worked? Our bond was severed and in a fit of desperation to reconnect, we threw our clothes off ...”

“As much fun as this conversation sounds, I think I’m going to stop it right there,” Ben said interrupting from the doorway to the kitchen. “I don’t like the thought of everyone knowing about that beautiful moment in your relationship.”

“I’m pretty sure everyone already knows. Why aren’t you out enjoying our substitution for hearts?” Nyx kept her eyes on Sebastian, looking at Ben made her furious.

“I’ve given hearts up for a little while. I guess that’s as good as any segue to why I really came in here to interrupt. I’ve cut ties with your mother, I thought that was pretty obvious after how things went down. Whether you like it or not, Nyx, you’re the most important woman in my life, and I’ll do everything I can to get back on your good side.”

Sebastian took it upon himself to fill a pause in the conversation. “So, you can’t tell us anything about our daughter.”

“Wish I could, but other than I’m sure she’ll be healthy and look like her mother, nope. Fatherhood is an amazing experience, Sebastian, not that I know personally. Don’t let the questions of what will be get in the way of enjoying what you have in front of you. I’ll leave you to finish your dinner without me. Remember, if you ever need anything, just call, Nyx.”

Ben disappeared from the room, without any fanfare. Nyx was left feeling a bit restless. Learning more about their baby was a great idea, but it seemed not many people had a clue what to expect.

“I’m hungry,” Nyx said, stomping off into the other room. With as big as her stomach was, they’d learn soon enough if there were any secrets about their baby.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My weekly update, sans the short story

I'm not sure anyone noticed, but I skipped the writing challenge I usually post on the weekends this weekend. The challenge was different than the normal ones and happened to be something I do all the time, so I didn't find it that challenging. It was to take someone from your past and write them into a scene or a story.

I think I've mentioned it before, but people, dogs, dragons - they're all based on someone or something from my real life. Granted, I usually give them magical powers, or make them a Hellhound, but I take my inspiration from the looks and attitudes of those I've met over the years. I won't say what book my husband listened to with me while I worked on proofreading, but he's been heard saying something like "she sounds just like you", and it wasn't one of the Avery books where set out to make the character my twin. All my leading females take traits from me, which in some places is really scary.

I like to think I'm a little creative, but if I had to start from scratch with each of my characters, I'd never get any work done. I just finished doing the rewrite on number three of the Avery books and had the opportunity to revisit some of my favorite characters in the story. I so want to just move on to the next one before I do more proofing on this one. The story is heating up in just about every direction. I'm hoping to have a bow on book three and get it up on Smashwords around the end of this week.

Before I head off to busy myself in order to fight the urges to move on to book four, I just wanted to say a big thank you to those who have started reading this old/new series. Picking up books I wrote two years ago has been a lot harder than I thought it'd be. I write so different now and there are times I'm not even sure what I was trying to get across. It's process, but I'll get through it and we'll see who's alive when the dust settles, hopefully sometime in January.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 11/8 edition

Another weekend, another short story. This week's challenge was in 500 words write about a scenario where a character receives news they have long awaited for. In the world of Nyx, one thing immediately jumped to my mind. There's an item Nyx has always wanted and it's about time she got it, along with a reason for having it.

Best News Ever

Good things come to those who wait

“Is the blindfold really necessary?” Nyx wasn’t sure how they’d managed to get it on her in the first place, but she’d found her limit as far as wearing one went.

No one replied and Nyx felt the urge to punch the closest person to her. Since that was Sebastian, who happened to be carrying their daughter, she decided to save it for another time.

The day had started off pretty normal. Sophia woke the house up and Nyx had already eaten her two platefuls of bacon. With Sophia nursing, Nyx found she needed to eat more to keep her energy up.

It was just after she’d finished her last bite that Alex revealed they had big news for her, but in order to find out what the news was, she had to wear a blindfold. They caught her during a moment of weakness, when she was still a bit sleepy and had a full belly, and she went along with their game.

Ever since they opened the door out to the backyard, Nyx had picked up an overwhelming smell of metal mixed with oil. It was one of her favorite fragrances. She didn’t want to get her hopes up, but it was hard not to when she could think of only one thing that would give off that particular odor in large quantities, and it wasn’t a new car.

Before anyone could stop her, she ripped the blindfold off her face and stared at amazement in the direction of something she’d wanted for years. The few people in her way hurried to the side as she ran the twenty feet needed to reach her boon.

“It’s an M777A2. And you’ve even bought the 155 mm rounds to go with it.”

Nyx was a little surprised to find a pile of ten rounds next to the cannon. Not that the weapon didn’t need them to work, but she always assumed she’d need to provide the ammunition if she ever convinced anyone to buy her toy for her.

“That’s where the news part of this comes in. The cannon is a present, of course. You’ve wanted one since you were a little girl, at least that’s what we’ve heard over and over, and now you finally have one to call your own. The good news is we’ve got something picked out for you to use as target practice.”

Alex’s voice barely registered, even though he had moved to stand a few feet away from the cannon. Nyx was busy circling her gift. She’d studied the model enough to know everything there was to know about it, and she was just making sure everything looked in order.

“You’re telling me not only did you finally break down and get me this beauty, but you’re also going to let me use it?”

Nyx’s eyes met Alex’s as he nodded. Nyx didn’t care what they wanted her to target. Second to giving birth to her daughter, it was the best day of her life.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 11/1 edition

It was a busy week taking care of last minute Halloween decorations and changes at work. That meant I had very little time to work on Just Another Day at the Office. I'm hoping to finish up the initial reworking and editing this weekend, but with nine chapters left to go, I'm guessing it's going to go a day or two into next week.

As I continue working in Avery's world, I'm reminded why I loved her character so much in the first place. I think the stories are improving as I add details and clean things up. The first book ended up being an extra 15K words and this one looks like I'll add close to that. As I believe I mentioned, this series will be available for free on Smashwords as I go along improving the stories. So, even if you read them on wattpad, there might be some more details that you'll want to know when it comes to the last book, which will hopefully be out sometime in December now because my time has been so occupied as of late.

Anyway, here's what your probably here for, since the title indicates that's what this post is about. This week's challenge was a bit complicated, five-hundred word romance that had two components out of a list of six. I ended up using the fortune cookie and a stolen locket. The other options included a test tube of purple liquid, a pizza delivery person with a penchant for movie quotes, a hungover ghost and a Parisian cafe. The majority of those don't really work well in Nyx's world in a short five-hundred words, so I made due with the ones that I could see showing up.

Gift of Love

It's in the details

“What do you want, Alex?” Nyx asked.

It was bad enough she was saddled with two guys claiming she belonged to them. At least for her own sanity’s sake, she liked the other guy. Alex hadn’t exactly found his way to her heart, though.

“I know you weren’t ready for it when we were pushed together, but the connection between us has been there since we were born. Sebastian’s tie to you should be mild compared to what we have.”

His words only managed to confuse Nyx. “Are you telling me you love me, Alex? Is that the reason for this date night?”

“Maybe this will explain things,” Alex said, sliding a fortune cookie across the table to her.

She looked at it skeptically. “When was the last time you saw me eat carbs? Even before you brought out the wolf in me, I kept a strict diet of meat.”

“Just open it, would you?”

Nyx wasn’t sure why he sounded like she was pushing his buttons. They’d been in each other’s lives long enough that he should’ve been over the frustration she caused most people.

Nyx picked up the cookie and realized it was hard plastic, not baked dough. Whatever it was made of, it was heavier than she expected. She cracked it open, watching as a necklace and piece of paper fell onto the table.

The necklace looked tarnished and had a square locket amongst the links of the chain. Nyx picked it up and studied the oddity. She opened the locket to find a pair of pictures she was semi-familiar with, only because she followed any history that included a woman beating a man in a shooting challenge. Nyx rarely cared about human history, but Annie Oakley was almost a role model.

“I can see you know who they are, which is why I went the extra mile and stole the trinket for you. Sadly, my cash offer wasn’t enough. I knew you’d probably never wear it; I’m not na├»ve. I just wanted you to know, like the man in that couple, I understand there are things you can do that you’ll always be better than me, and I have no problem being the man behind the woman in those cases.”

“How much have you had to drink?” It was a rhetorical question. Nyx wasn’t really sure how to feel about what he’d said. If she kept a diary, she’d swear he’d been reading it.

“I just want you to know that I’m at the point where I can say I love you, and I know words mean nothing to you, so rather than bring you the head of your worst enemy, which I know is your preferred token of love, I went a bit more traditional.”

Nyx didn’t have words to respond, but she felt a little honored receiving the memento that Alex had procured in her honor. A severed head would’ve been better, but maybe he was keeping that in mind for a future anniversary.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 10/26 edition

Yes, I know I usually post on Saturday's, but this weekend has been nuts and I'm considering myself lucky that I got a chance to get the writing prompt down this week. This week the challenge was to write a story where a character second-guesses an important decision. Now that I've spent an hour or so cranking the story out, I'm off to make spooky Halloween decorations for trick or treating at my work.

I make new homemade decorations each year, and it'll be interesting to see how things turn out. I used to have a large space where I could make giant caves and castles out of my cubicle, which I loved. This year I'm going to be searching for a spot just to set up since someone took the spot I claimed last year. First I have to make the decorations though, so I'm off to do that while you enjoy the quick story below.

Night Awaits

The battle draws near

“How long have you been watching me?” Nyx asked the second she felt Gabe appear.

She was standing alone on top of a building, overlooking Night Owl City below her. Her home had moved to the edge of town, but she still felt a deep connection to the city itself and it was easier for her to think while looking down at the place she called home.

“Let’s just say it’s a favorite pastime of mine. They won’t let you do what you’re thinking. I know it seems like it’d be the easy way out, but the battle is going to happen whether you like it or not.”

Nyx hated that the angel could read her mind so easily. She was well aware turning herself in to the Collective wouldn’t do a lot of good, and would be downright impossible with the six men she had following her every move.

“I’m aware of my limitations. In the grand scheme of things, this war was never meant to be about me, and yet it feels like that’s what it’s turned into.”

Gabe didn’t say anything in response immediately. Nyx had never been really clear where he stood on things, other than he wanted to help keep her on the side of good, and away from her mother’s influence. The task had to have been a relatively easy one for him, since Nyx wanted nothing to do with her mother.

“I know you’re well aware that there are things in life worth fighting for. I also know you don’t understand it, but you are one of those things. People will get hurt during this fight. There’s no way to prevent that. Just like there’s no way to stop the fight to begin with. Let things play out as they should.”

“Can you at least tell me who I should spend the most time with in the limited hours we have left? If you can see any part of the future, you can at least give me a hint about who might not make it.”

Nyx felt a large pit form in her stomach. Just the thought of someone close to her dying hurt, and she almost wished she could turn back time so she didn’t learn to use her heart. The dang thing made her feel more alive, but it also brought pain.

“You make your own future, Nyx, even the most gifted with the sight wouldn’t be able to accurately predict the outcome. I have to go, but I wanted to tell you not to doubt yourself. You are a strong woman and no matter what happens, you’ll be okay.”

Nyx didn’t share Gabe’s conviction, but she knew standing around trying to find ways stop the fight wouldn’t do her any good. She turned back to the three people who shared the roof with her and led them down to meet the other half, guarding the entrances of the building. It was time for her to get her battle face on.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 10/18 edition

Before I get into this week's story, just wanted to note that I finished up the major remix of Not in My Job Description - also known as the first book I ever wrote - and posted it for free on Smashwords (pretty little link here). I'm planning on moving on to book two and will make each book in the series available for free on Smashwords when I get done with them. Thank you for allowing that little interruption, now on to my weekly weekend short story.

The writing prompt for this weekend tried to kill me. That's what I'm claiming anyway. It was "pick a classic holiday story—for example: The Nutcracker, The Polar Express, “Frosty the Snowman,” A Christmas Carol—and turn it into a scary Halloween tale." Ack! Won't go into details about how my head exploded reading that. Thankfully, I read it before I went to sleep, and, well, those who know me can just imagine the fun dreams I had.

Nyx the Knife-Wielding Assassin

A different kind of 'Reindeer Games'

“Come on, Mom, it’s Christmas,” Clyde pleaded. He even started humming a Christmas tune he’d picked up somewhere.

“Just because we celebrated Halloween doesn’t mean we’re going to start celebrating all the human holidays.”

Nyx had been hearing about Christmas from everyone she lived with, but Clyde and Phee were pushing the most for some kind of celebration. They didn’t understand that for Nyx, not only was it a human holiday, but it was a day to forget.

“Please,” Clyde said, drawing out the word to make it eight syllables long.

“You want to know why I don’t like this time of year, Clyde? Fine, I’ll tell you. It’s no secret I was an outcast growing up. Pretty much everyone around me was a werewolf and had a real family that they could spend the ‘Holiday Season’ with.”

Nyx hated bringing up those particular memories, but for once Clyde didn’t look like he was going to interrupt, so she continued.

“You’ve heard about how they were mean to me and that I had to prove myself, much like that dang reindeer with the red nose did in that stupid story. Every year around this time the Collective would throw their own version of ‘Reindeer Games’. For years, I’d get my ass handed to me, but there’s one year in particular where I went up against an opponent who I can’t believe I’m even talking about again.”

Nyx hated reliving certain things, but that particular fight had its ups and downs. It was against her worst nightmare, a werewolf who had the hots for her and liked to take it out on her with knives.

They’d been fighting in the ring for ten minutes before she’d relieved him of both of the knives he started the fight with. It was the best she’d done and she was feeling pretty proud of herself. As she got a few licks of her own in, she made one of the biggest mistakes of her life.

The crowd around them had been cheering, so she took a moment to relish people actually rooting for her. She didn’t realize that they were cheering because her opponent had found another form of weapon, one Nyx couldn’t counter. The claws ripping down her back reminded her that she’d never be like the others around her.

When her opponent switched over to full-wolf mode, the fight was pretty much through for her. If she’d had more years of training, that wouldn’t have been the case, but she was still young.

“What happened to the guy?” Clyde asked, after Nyx had relayed as much of the story as she felt comfortable dishing out.

“What do you think happened, Clyde? Eventually, I killed him.”

Nyx walked away, hoping her story would put an end to all the Christmas talk. She knew the idea of presents would keep Clyde on his quest to bring Christmas to their home, but it bought her a little time to find the perfect gift for everyone.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 10/11 edition

This week's challenge was to imagine a scenario in which a character wrestles with a difficult moral choice. The story that unfolded contains some pretty big spoilers from the Nyx world, so read at your own risk. In other writing news, rewriting Avery is taking longer than I thought it would. I was sure I'd be able to cruise through the first books and be on to writing the last one, but I've already added over 10K words to the first one and still have ten chapters left.

Hopefully my work schedule will allow me a little more time on them and things get better as I go along, but I think I'll be spending the next two months in Avery's world. Once it's done, I'll be moving back on to the third books in my current three series. I'm already trying to decide which series to pick back up. What do you think?

survey solutions


I'm leaning one way and I'm curious to see if anyone else is too. Anyway, without further rambling from yours truly, here's this weekend's story.

A Changed Woman

To kill or not to kill

When you were raised as an assassin and had the devil for a mother, your moral compass didn’t always point in the right direction. For Nyx, the compass barely existed. She’d only recently learned the details about the maternal side of her DNA. It explained a lot when it came to how little she felt when she killed someone.

Finding and creating a family of her own had changed Nyx, and she wasn’t sure it was a good thing. A month prior, she wouldn’t stand around deciding whether it felt right to kill the sniveling weasel in front of her. She insisted it was the hormonal chaos that came along with being pregnant causing the dilemma, but at the same time, Nyx was still denying she was even pregnant.

“You’re going to be missed soon. I’d suggest making your decision quickly.”

Her mother’s voice wasn’t the one Nyx expected to hear. She knew it wouldn’t be long before Sebastian and Alex sent out everyone they could find to search for her, but Lucy wasn’t part of a search party.

“Please don’t kill me.” The werewolf Nyx had tracked down had made the plea a few times, so Nyx ignored him as she tried to figure out why her mother had decided to grace them with her presence.

“I’m not sure if I made this clear the first time we met, but I really don’t want to see you.”

Nyx didn’t bother turning around. She remembered the petite blonde with pale skin clearly. It was hard to forget the way it looked like you could watch her blood flow through her veins.

“I know, but I wouldn’t be who I am if I let other people tell me what to do. What are you going to do with him?”

The guy in front of Nyx rose up into the air. His legs and arms moved around frantically as he tried to fight off the force lifting him.

“I don’t know. He was sent after Alex and no one else has decided he’s a big threat, but anyone following around someone I care about is a threat in my book.”

“Then why isn’t he dead? You’ve been in this cute little alley for twenty minutes now and all you’ve done is point your gun at him.”

“He’s just following orders. Does that mean he deserves to die?” Nyx remembered when she thought killing the people the Collective wanted dead was a good thing. After her father and Alex made the list, she’d decided they were wrong.

“I’m not the person to answer that question. I think you’ve made up your mind, so why don’t you get back to your family. I’ll take care of making sure Lionel here is no longer a threat, and manages to live to see tomorrow.”

Having a solution that didn’t involve death, Nyx put her gun away. It wasn’t what she’d expected, but the excursion had made her hungry and somewhere there was a steak calling her.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 10/4 edition

This week's challenge was to imagine a scenario in which we discover what goes bump in the night. Not a hard task in the world I usually create, but still a fun one to start off the weekend. I have to run off to a day full of errands - otherwise known as me chopping off all my hair - but I wanted to get my post in before things got busy. Have a great weekend!



Night Revenge

Say hello to my little friends

“Should I ask where we’re going? Walking through the woods wasn’t how I thought we’d be spending the night.”

Nyx waved off Phee’s question. Marcus and Smitty knew where they were going, and what they were doing. Telling Phee would only send the teenager into hysterics. Nyx was already regretting allowing her to come along.

Developing a soft spot wasn’t something Nyx did often, and if anyone asked, she didn’t have one for Phee. That didn’t change the fact that Nyx let the junior werewolf get her way more often than not. In a way, Nyx hoped the plans for the night would wake Phee up a little.

Nyx couldn’t remember a time when she was as carefree and ditzy, for lack of a better word. Being raised as an assassin had always skewed the way Nyx saw the world.

“Do you happen to have any weapons on you?” Nyx asked.

In the world Nyx lived, most of the people used their own unique talents to protect themselves, but Nyx hadn’t always had the ability to change into a wolf or grow fangs, so she still relied on blades and bullets.

“I have the knife you bought me. You taught me not to leave home without it, and since I hope to be like you when I grow up, I’m trying to put everything you say into action. I haven’t had any reason to use the knife, though.”

A simple yes would’ve been fine as far as Nyx was concerned. Nyx had asked her question in a hushed tone, but Phee didn’t bother keeping the conversation muted. The loud response had alerted the people Nyx was hunting and she heard them start to spread out around her group of four.

“Stay close to me. Marcus, Smitty, you know what to do. No one survives. Maybe that will send the message that killing three of our people won’t be tolerated.”

Nyx slipped her trusty knives, Helen and Clytemnestra, from their sheaths. Pulling out her Colt would’ve been more efficient, but Nyx felt the fight needed to be personal.

The first werewolf who broke through the woods was in full wolf form. Nyx preferred fighting humanoids, but had no problem taking on any version of scum that attacked her. The fight lasted twenty minutes, with Nyx battling five guys before the reinforcements stopped.

“Holy crap. You’re scary when you fight.” Phee stared down at one of the bodies Nyx left behind. Phee had her knife out, but Nyx and the guys had made sure none of the Collective forces made it to Phee.

“Yeah, well, when the humans tell their children about the scary things that go bump in the night, they’re talking about me.”

Nyx wiped the blood off her blades and walked away from the carnage. She caught the look of adoration on Phee’s face and considered it better than the fear most people would’ve had after seeing Nyx in action. At least there was some hope for the girl.

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 9/27 edition

Well, I was in for a surprise this weekend. The challenge was 2,000 words and the story needed to include rain, banana and acceptance. Yes, a banana.

No Returns Allowed

A tale of a devious hound

“Have I ever mentioned that I hate rain?” Clyde stared out the door leading to the wilds of Night Owl City.

“You don’t hate the rain, in fact you love it. You hate the fact that I won’t let you outside because I don’t want to deal with the mess that comes along with it. There’s not a patch of dirt for miles, and yet somehow you turn into a mud monster whenever outdoors and water is involved.”

“I hate to tell you this, but I do have to pee. Do you want to take a gamble on me being able to hold it until this rain is over?”

Nyx had to think about that one. Her options were giving Clyde a bath, which she’d probably make someone else do, or being stuck with the horrific odor she’d just recently gotten out the curtains, by buying totally new curtains.

The holes in the curtains necessitated the need for new ones even more than just the smell. There was dog pee, and then there was Hellhound pee, and there really was no comparing the two. The Hellhound variety could corrode through the strongest metal.

Looking back through the glass doorway, Nyx wondered how long the sudden downpour would last. Even if it instantly stopped, Night Owl City didn’t get a lot of rain, so she expected it’d be a while before things dried out. The drops of clear water almost mocked her as they pelted the glass.

“I don’t believe you have a lot of options here, Mom. You can take all the time you want to think it over, but we’re going outside.”

Clyde sounded so confident; Nyx hated hearing that tone in his voice. The Hellhound got his way too often. It didn’t help that they always found themselves in situations where there weren’t a lot of options other than letting him get what he wanted.

“Is it just number one?” Nyx asked considering her choices again.

Clyde looked back over his shoulder, the wrinkles on his face scrunching together as he considered where his mother’s mind was going. He wanted to go outside and he wasn’t above lying to do it. He didn’t really even need to go to the bathroom.

“I think you need to rethink wherever your mind is going. Not a single shoe in our house would be safe from me if we don’t go outside.”

“I really wish Ben didn’t have a no returns policy. I don’t think there’s been a day that I haven’t wanted to return you to him.”

“You know you love me. One of these days you’ll accept that, maybe even admit it. Are we going? You got all dressed up in your cute little workout outfit and we lost the guards at some point. If you stall any longer, someone’s going to find us and take away all our fun.”

Nyx wasn’t sure how they’d lost the guards, but Clyde was right. She wasn’t allowed to go to the bathroom without someone standing outside the door. Clyde could be considered a guard, if you decided to use the definition of the word loosely.

As a Hellhound he had built-in weaponry, like the fact he could bark fire, but that wasn’t usually enough for Alex and Sebastian. Nyx became really suspicious when logic started dawning on her.

“What did you do the guards, Clyde?”

“Crap.” Clyde knew he shouldn’t have mentioned the guards were gone. It was a gamble because he’d thought Nyx would be excited about being free instead of realizing there was a problem.

Clyde didn’t move a muscle and hoped Nyx would forget she’d even asked the question. He knew it wouldn’t work, but he wasn’t going to reveal what he’d done. He could feel the heat coming from Nyx staring at his head, and he wasn’t going to take a chance that she developed some kind of fire vision.

“Seriously? You’re just going to sit there. Ben!” Nyx yelled as loudly as she could. Even if the apartment complex had other occupants, she didn’t care if someone was a little disturbed by her raised voice.

Neither of them budged while they waited to see if Ben would show up. He was almost always keeping an eye on Nyx, so it was a mere second before they smelled his presence. To Clyde it was like being home, but Nyx couldn’t stand the sulfur stench and gagged a little.

Nyx turned to face the demon and rolled her eyes when she found him wearing a yellow slicker and goulashes. He even had a shiny yellow hat to match.

“Did I catch you right before you left for a costume party? Actually, knowing about the kind of parties you have down in Hell, I don’t think I want you to answer that.”

Nyx wanted to plead with Ben one more time to take the annoying Hellhound back. Nyx would never admit it, but messing with the guards put her in danger. Alex and Sebastian both had places they had to be, so she expected they were still safe, thankfully. If Clyde had done something to either one of them, Nyx would’ve taken him to the nearest pound, which was probably a hundred miles away.

“I heard there was a downpour and I thought I’d dress appropriately. You won’t believe how expensive the suit I’m wearing under here is.”

“As you can imagine, I could care less about your clothes, Ben. You’ve got to take him back.”

Ben studied Nyx carefully and then tilted his head to glance behind her at Clyde. Nyx watched his face closely, looking for any secret messages being exchanged.

“What’d you do this time? I don’t expect the rain was your doing, and currently that’s the only thing I can think of setting her off.”

Clyde couldn’t reply in a way Ben would understand, so Nyx had to decide if she was going to play translator. She should’ve run back to the penthouse as soon as she suspected something had been done to her guards. It was doubtful Clyde was capable of killing them, so trying to get rid of him took precedent.

“It doesn’t matter. You have to take him back. If you don’t, I’m sticking him outside and putting a ‘free to a rotten home’ sign on him.”

“Hey, that’s not nice. There’s nothing wrong with them. I just picked up something the last time we went to see Hilda and I decided to see if it would work. Surprise, it did. I thought you’d be happy to find a way to lose the guys.”

Clyde was working hard to backpedal. He found he had too much fun topside to go back down to Hell. Hell dwellers weren’t as easy to manipulate as the paranorms he lived with.

“You’ve got to be joking,” Nyx pushed Ben out of the way and broke into a run.

Checking on the guys became imperative if Hilda was involved in any way. Clyde was an idiot for using anything he found at SpellBinders. Hilda couldn’t be trusted when it came to the health of the people using her products.

“Hold up, Mom,” Clyde said nipping at Nyx’s heels. “You don’t want to go in there without a little knowledge of what you’re going to find.”

Nyx had to wait for the elevator doors to close, so Clyde was able to hitch a ride. Nyx thought about throwing him out, but that would take too much time.

“If you’re worried about me falling prey to whatever you did, don’t. After one trick too many being played on me by Hilda, I’ve enlisted help from an outside source to make sure I don’t find myself dancing for hours again.”

“You know someone who has that kind of juice? That’s so cool.”

Clyde was impressed. He didn’t know that Ben had the chops to take on Hilda. Knowing that, there wasn’t a lot of options for who Nyx got to help her. Nyx had to be pretty desperate to ask her mom for help.

“You’re already in trouble. I don’t suggest you ask any questions.”

“No questions needed. Look, I read the fine print. Nothing bad is going to happen to the guys. As soon as we deactivate the banana, things will go back to normal.”

Nyx didn’t understand what a banana had to do with anything. The elevator doors opened into their extravagant foyer. Nyx wished she could turn Clyde into another statue to place in the space. They already had David and Venus, a Clyde would go nicely with those two.

“Where are they?” There were three people who should’ve been in the apartment. The others had left to spend their time off as far away from Nyx as they could get.

“Jake’s room. I figured since it has a doggie door, it’d be easiest to set my trap in.”

As they turned the corner to Jake’s room, neither of them were surprised to see Ben waiting for them. Something as mundane as taking an elevator was beneath him. He hadn’t lost his fish sticks box getup.

“Nyx would probably prefer if I scolded you for this, but it’s amazing. If you’re not going to let him keep the toy, can I have it?”

Ben moved out of the way and Nyx’s eyes widened as she saw the banana for the first time. She couldn’t see any of the guards, so she walked closer, keeping her eyes on the weird dancing fruit as she moved. It looked like someone had stuck little hands, feet and a face on the banana and brought it to life.

Across from where the banana was dancing around, Jake, Jonas and Smitty were staring intently at the fruit. Nyx wasn’t going to have to worry about what to do with Clyde, because they were going to kill him.

“I hope you’ve made whatever arrangements you needed to before you put this plan of yours in motion. Now, how do you make it stop?”

Nyx didn’t want to get anywhere near the thing. Lucy had made her immune to Hilda’s magic, but there was a chance Hilda had put some kind of rash inducing substance on the banana that wasn’t magical. Nyx had absolutely zero trust when it came to Hilda.

“It’s got a timer, so I think you just wait until it stops. The best thing about it is that they won’t remember a thing.”

Nyx was having trouble looking away from the cartoonish fruit. She knew it wasn’t influencing her like it was the others, but it was too peculiar not to watch.

“Ingenious. Do you think there’s still some in stock?” Ben asked, clearly eager to get his hands on one of the toys.

“I’ll give you that one if you take Clyde. You two can go laugh it up as you torture unsuspecting victims.”

“Why do you have so much trouble accepting that Clyde’s yours to keep?” Ben had probably posed the question thirty times.

“Because I don’t want him. Now take him and the banana and leave.”

In immediate response to Nyx’s demand, Ben left, forgetting both things he was supposed to take with him. Clyde walked over and nudged Nyx’s hand to get her to pet his head.

“Sorry to tell you, but I’m yours until one of us dies. You wouldn’t kill me, would you?” Clyde looked up with the most pathetic puppy dog eyes Nyx had ever seen.

“This can’t happen again, Clyde,” Nyx said pointing in the room.

“Promise. How ‘bout we go take that run we both really want. We probably have another thirty minutes before they’ll miss us.”

Nyx sighed, and Clyde knew he had her. If he could’ve rubbed his paws together, he would have, but he was going to have to be careful about revealing his deviousness for a while. He figured Nyx would forget all about the incident in a week or so, and everything could go back to normal.




Oh and yeah, I may have finished up the three books I was working on, and I'm doing a giveaway if anyone's interested in entering. Maybe I should've put that above the story, or at least mentioned it up top, but this way I can tell if you're really reading :)
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Saturday, September 20, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 9/20 edition

This week's challenge was a fun one for me to try to keep in Nyx's world. It was imagine a scenario in which a pirate discovers a trove of treasures. Without a pirate in Night Owl City, I had to play a little dress up, but there was a treasure trove somewhere in the five hundred words.



The Pirate's Booty

In the end, there be treasure

“You’re joking, right?” Clyde asked as he stared at an eye patch sitting on a pile of fabric. He could also see a black hat with an overly cute white Jolly Roger on the front of it, but the eye patch was what really caught his attention.

“Someone’s gotta dress up, and it’s not going to be me.” Nyx’s face indicated she’d made up her mind and Clyde wasn’t going to be able to talk her out of it.

“Out of all the holidays you paranorms could lift off the humans, why did it have to be Halloween? And why are you so into it this year? Sophia can’t very well eat whatever it is you’re giving out.”

Clyde wouldn’t go down without a fight, but as Nyx put the clothes on the ground and started dressing him, he refrained from biting her. Clyde liked fun and games as well as the next Hellhound, but playing dress up to amuse some little kids wasn’t high on his good times list.

The only bright side he saw in the whole deal was the fact that he’d seen what they were handing out as candy, and it wasn’t what humans considered candy. Paranorms didn’t mess around with sugary crap. Guys had been in the kitchen all day cooking up crisp slices of bacon. Clyde preferred his meat bloody, without grill marks, but he could dig a little sizzling pork every now and then.

“Halloween was our holiday first, we just celebrated it a bit differently before the humans made it what it is today.” Nyx paused to look at her handiwork. Clyde saw her scrunch her nose up and squint her eyes. “That’s going to have to do. I should’ve told Jake he couldn’t go on a date. He would’ve made a better pirate.”

The doorbell rang, causing Nyx to jump up and grab Sophia, who’d been sitting on the floor close to them. Clyde was sure the baby was laughing at him, which told him he had to look like a complete idiot. Thankfully, there weren’t any mirrors around for him to see just how bad things were.

The time passed by quickly as Nyx and Sophia enjoyed handing out treats to the kids who showed up. There were more kids than Clyde expected, a memo had to have gone out there was plenty of bacon to go around. Clyde was certain a couple of the little werewolves made more than one trip.

“Why didn’t you talk me out of that?” Nyx asked when it was all over.

Clyde’s eyes were on the leftover bacon calling his name. It glistened like moon rays over a tide coming up to shore. As far as Clyde was concerned, it looked like a treasure chest filled with diamonds and gold.

“Arrgh. I be just a pirate and it be a pirate’s life for me,” Clyde said as jumped into the bacon pile and swam around in his treasure. “Let’s make Halloween a daily holiday.”

Sunday, September 14, 2014

How I spent my Sunday

Now I know Sunday isn't over yet, but I've spent the day getting my head ready to revisit the world of Avery Clavens. I still have to finish up the three book twos I'm working on, which will more than likely be done in the next two weeks. I was feeling creative though, so I worked on remaking the Avery covers into something other than what they were. In doing so, I had to remember why I picked the drawings I did to begin with, and that meant laughing as I skimmed through some of those early words.

I can't wait to clean these up and potentially expand them a little bit to reflect where my writing has gone in the last two years. I'd love to be able to just write the last book, but I know I need to dive deep into the world before I write the things already playing out in my head. The ending has been hiding out in my head since I figured out what the twist in the books was going to be. I'm getting excited to finally get that ending out there.

So anyway, here are the covers I was playing with today, even the one for the book not started yet. There is a very high probability that these will all change as I work, but I'm sure everyone knows I love changing covers.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 9/13 edition

This week's challenge: imagine a scenario in which the only way out is to dance.


Just a Little Dancing

Payment for services

“You know I hate going in there.” Nyx had parked three blocks away from the store she was in no hurry to visit.

“I am well aware, but we brought Marcus for a reason,” Sebastian reminded Nyx.

Sebastian was the first to move, and after kissing Nyx on the cheek, he opened his door to get out. The two guards in the backseat wasted no time following him, while Nyx contemplated sending the rest of them in without her.

Marcus, who had been sitting behind Nyx, rapped on her window before opening Nyx’s door. Nyx got out of the car and made her way over to Sebastian. On the way to SpellBinders, Nyx kept everyone quiet. Hilda was sure to know they were on the way, but if she didn’t know until they were almost there, the chances of Hilda messing with them greatly reduced.

When they got to the door, Sebastian held it open for the group, and no one complained as Marcus entered first. Nyx followed after him while Smitty and Sebastian brought up the rear.

Hilda wasn’t out greeting customers, which wasn’t new. When Nyx showed up, if Hilda didn’t disguise the store altogether, Hilda liked to make her wait. It surprised Nyx on that particular trip, because they’d brought Marcus, and everyone knew Hilda had a thing for him.

“Hilda, we don’t have all day,” Nyx shouted as she looked around the shelves of weirdness, not reading the labels on the different bottles and vials.

“I’m so happy you came by today, Nyx.” Nyx couldn’t pick out where the voice came from, but the tone told her it was time to head for the door.

Before Nyx could take half a step, loud music started blaring and a thick fog rolled into the room. The weird smoky effect didn’t even have to get to Nyx before her toes started tapping. A second later, Sebastian had her in his arms and they were twirling around the floor.

Nyx hated dancing and she knew Hilda was at fault. She was going to kill the little evil witch, and it didn’t matter that said witch looked to be having a great time dancing around with Marcus.

When the music finally died down and the urge to dance came to an end, Nyx had every intention of strangling Hilda. Hilda saw her coming and put up a barrier between them.

“Calm down. I just wanted to test a new batch of dancing potion before I put it on the shelf, and it’s your own fault for bringing my favorite dance partner. You came to ask me questions, just consider the three hours of enjoyment a payment for whatever I’m going to tell you.”

Nyx didn’t think the payment was equal to the services she needed from Hilda, by any stretch, but Nyx knew she’d have to wait to get her revenge. Three hours of her life spent dancing was something Nyx would find a way to make Hilda pay for.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 9/6 edition

This week's challenge was imagine what happens when a rogue chicken enters the scene. It's getting harder and harder to get the story told in only 500 words.

Not Your Average Stakeout

Proof that you haven't seen everything

Nyx was a lot of things, but patient wasn’t one of them. Having to sit in her car while she followed a suspect’s moves wasn’t her favorite part of the job, especially when it led her to sitting outside a house doing nothing more than staring at said house. She wasn’t alone, but she pretended her two werewolf guards and the Hellhound sitting next to her were invisible.

“It’s obviously him, right? Let’s just go in and see if the girl’s in there,” Jake suggested from the backseat.

“I guess it won’t hurt to go knock on the door. You guys have to stay here, though. Showing up in force won’t loosen the guy’s lips.”

There were noises of protest, but Nyx ignored them. Nyx was to the front door by the time she heard car doors opening and closing behind her. She hurried to knock before the others could join her. She had no background information on the guy they’d been watching, just the fact that he owned a van like the one they were looking for. It wasn’t much, but Nyx had worked with less.

Nyx tried opening door normally, but the knob didn’t turn. As she moved to put a little shoulder power into it, she was picked up and transported out of the way. Nyx watched as Jonas made opening a locked door look easy.

Before anyone stepped into the house, a chicken flew out at them. White feathers went everywhere, as the deranged-looking chicken went on the attack. Nyx wasn’t ready for it, and with its trajectory aiming right at her, she reached for her guns. She got both of them up, but a gray blur beat her to taking care of the chicken.

As soon as Clyde got his jaw clamped down on the chicken, it morphed into the body of a full-grown man. Nyx had seen a lot of crazy things, but a chicken turning into a man was up towards the top of the list.

“What do you want to do with him?” Jonas asked as he lowered down Nyx’s arms, which were both still ready to shoot something.

“He’s a chicken. How in the world is that possible?” Nyx watched as Clyde tore into the man’s ankle with his fangs.

“When you figure out how we turn into wolves, I’m sure you’ll have your answer. I suggest we just leave him. It’s going to take him a while to heal from that bite, and by then I’m sure he’ll realize kidnapping werewolves is just stupid.”

“Fine. I’m going to go get back in the car, and I expect the rest of you to join me. Clyde, let’s go.”

Jake had gone into the house and returned with the woman they were looking for. Nyx could see some burns on her body, but she was sure she’d live. Nyx thought the more scarring part of the situation would be the idea that a chicken shifter was possible, but that was just her.


I haven't been sharing the little simple covers I've been making for each story, because I'm mean, but here they are. I clearly got on a black streak after Clyde's book. I'm thinking about changing his to match the other ones.



Saturday, August 30, 2014

My weekly weekend short story - 8/30 edition

So it's another weekend and I took on another weekend writing challenge. Still 500 words, this time it was "imagine what happens when a sudden surge leads to a shift in balance". I revisited another favorite Nyx Slaughter character for inspiration this week. I'm starting to think 500 words is a lot harder to write than 50,000. I started off with about 800 and had to cut it down to make it work.

I hope you enjoy. Time for me to get back to The Dragon's Fire - really hoping to get that first draft done during this long weekend.

A Little Extra Firepower

What are friends for?

Nyx needed him, even if she didn’t understand why her problems concerned Ben. As a demon, events above ground rarely did, but Nyx was special.

Finding ways Ben could help were hard when he didn’t always want it to be known he was helping. His desire to assist is what led him to lurk in the dark, outside a warehouse in Night Owl City. Nyx was inside. Her independent streak had gotten the best of her, and she’d gone out with only one of her guards.

The sounds of fighting, and Nyx’s guns being fired off frequently, had gone on long enough as Ben stood outside deciding how to help. Slipping through the door in front of him, Ben got his first look at what the sounds looked like.

Marcus, Nyx’s vampire guard, had taken on the Collective’s vampire, and was working to fight him and three werewolves at once. He was good, but versus four of the Collective’s better fighters, he had a few issues.

Nyx was working through the ammo she had, shooting to wound instead of kill. Once Nyx’s guns ran out of bullets, she threw them to the side as she went to grab another set from a belt she wore around her waist. Before she got them out, a werewolf, who was in the middle of changing into his wolf form, jumped her. That was enough for Ben.

He gathered a ball of fire energy into his hand, fire was what he knew best. Once the glowing orb made it to the size of a soccer ball, Ben chanted a few words over it and threw it out into the center of the room, where it hung in the air for a second before sending out a pulse that caused the Collective’s forces to scream horrifically and fall to the ground.

Ben didn’t need a whole army to provide the surge Nyx needed to make it through the fight. Just a quick surge in the opposing forces’ brain waves was enough to change the tides. The look on Nyx’s face didn’t exactly show gratitude, but she did pause to give Ben a glare.

“Tell me you didn’t kill them,” Nyx said as she looked around the bodies. When she found who she was looking for, she walked over and dragged the body towards the door. “This is their third in command and we were hoping to get information out of him. We didn’t expect him to have a full team with him when we got here, obviously.”

“He’s not dead, and you’re welcome,” Ben said as he winked at Nyx.

“Thanks, Ben. Don’t think for a second this means I’m going to have your baby.”

Nyx didn’t stick around to have a conversation. Ben slightly regretted asking Nyx to have his baby the first time they’d had a real conversation, but it was a good cover for him when he wanted to help her just because they were friends, whether she knew that or not.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lots of distractions

Another week's gone by and I still haven't caught up on The Dragon's Fire. Work seems to want to follow me home, but I should be over the halfway point this weekend, and I know where I'm going with things, so as soon I get done with this work project, it should be smooth sailing. In the back of my mind, I want to say the fist draft will be done by the end of next week, but I'm not that crazy.

I did decide that when I finish the three books I'm working on, I'm going to take a quick break from those series to finish the one that started it all. I was reminded this week that I never wrote that sixth Avery Clavens book, so I'm going to write it and clean the first five up and then publish them all on Smashwords for free. It's been something that I've wanted to do for two years and it's about time I do it.

Just a quick note of thanks to the two of you that commented on my last post. There's a reason why you two get acknowledgments when it comes to my work, and thanking me for thanking you goes to prove that.

So, I'm going to get back to The Dragon's Fire now, but since I love you all so much, I decided to share the really, really short stories I wrote the last two weekends for challenges given to me. They couldn't be more than five hundred words and they both had a theme. The first one's theme was what happens when a valuable object is found to be replaced, and the second one was what happens when a situation that was going well takes a disastrous turn. Both are set in the world of Nyx Slaughter, so some of you may recognize the characters.

Clyde's in Trouble

Hey, that's not my priceless painting

Clyde was a Hellhound, and according to him, he was the smartest Hellhound in existence, but the people he spent most of his time with didn’t exactly agree. Finding trouble was practically a calling for the young, wrinkly mutt, and even though he thought that made him smart, the others didn’t.

Clyde lived in a house full of vampires and werewolves, which was a little uncommon for a Hellhound. Most resided in Hell, but Clyde had been gifted to a vampire, werewolf mix named Nyx. His life was pretty easygoing, so he didn’t have a lot of complaints.

However, he did have a lot of explaining to do, on a daily basis.

“Clyde, where did The Scream go?” Nyx asked, with her hands on her hips as she tapped her left foot angrily.

The rest of the group that had gathered were staring at a portrait that was clearly not The Scream where the original, priceless piece used to hang on the wall in their home. Sebastian was a pretty old vampire, who had gathered a massive art collection and loved showcasing it around his many homes.

“Why do you always have to blame me when it very well could’ve been one of these other yahoos that you spend your day with?”

Clyde tried to act innocent, but everyone in the room knew he was the culprit. Figuring out how a Hellhound, who only stood three feet tall, could reach up and move a painting that was hung six foot in the air was the only part that confused anyone.

“You put a picture of a dog Mona Lisa in its place. I think it’s pretty obvious who was involved. Where is the original and who helped you change the paintings?” Nyx was clearly mad, but Clyde knew his mistress loved him, so he wasn’t too worried.

“I knew I should’ve gone with the cat Mona Lisa,” Clyde whispered under his breath.

Everyone in the room had perfect hearing, so no one missed his words. Clyde sighed, overdramatically. He didn’t want to throw his partner in crime under the bus, because there were only so many things a Hellhound could do without opposable thumbs. Deciding to keep mum on who’d helped, Clyde weaved a quick tale of a possible reason for the painting’s disappearance.

“Okay, you got me. I was running around chasing that electronic ball thing you got me last week and slammed into the wall. Sadly, The Scream came crashing down and glass shattered, causing the canvas to get a giant tear right down the middle of the scary guy’s face. Personally, I thought it was an improvement, but I didn’t think you’d see it that way, so with a little help from one of the kitchen chairs I made the switch.”

So it wasn’t quite the wild tale of what really happened, but it was a lot safer than telling Nyx that he and Jake had had a massive food fight and mustard really didn’t wash out.

Jake's got a Date

At least the steak is good

Jake was a ladies’ man. There was no denying the fact. He loved the ladies, and they demonstrated time and time again that they loved him. He’d been trying to change his ways, to prove to some of his friends he could, and the woman sitting across from him was the first one he’d taken out in weeks.

For Jake, going weeks without a date was akin to years of celibacy. As a werewolf, he had what some would call a very healthy appetite for certain things. Food was one of those things, and the New York strip steak in front of him was helping keep the appetite best saved for the bedroom at bay.

“So, are you going to tell me anything more about yourself?” Jake asked the beautiful brunette sitting across from him. They’d been having a very pleasant conversation, but Jake didn’t think he’d learned a single thing about the woman, other than he loved her bright green eyes.

“Things are going so good, Jake. Why do you want to ruin it by getting serious?” Cybille queried back.

Her crimson lips curved up to reveal perfectly straight white teeth. The relaxed feeling Jake had had through the fifty minutes they’d been sitting at the table started to fade. There was something in the smile that made him believe whatever she said next was going to make him lose all his appetites.

A sulfur stench came from nowhere. Jake had always prided himself with having a good nose, but some beings had an even better ability to cover their scent. He’d wondered why he couldn’t pick up what Cybille was, and quickly realized there was a good reason, she was hiding it.

Jake cursed, not just one word, but a whole string of obscenities. Thankfully, Jake saw someone he wasn’t expecting coming straight for the table, followed by a few other people he was happy to see. Cybille must have felt them, because she stood and turned to face them, while Jake remained seated.

Nyx, a woman who was very rarely not prepared for everything, brandished a pair of guns and started firing. Jake didn’t know what kind of bullets Nyx could possibly have that would do any damage to what he was fairly certain was a succubus, but they were enough to make everyone else in the restaurant either take off running or hide under their tables.

Cybille laughed, a very unladylike, menacing laugh. “I’m going, I’m going. It was nice meeting you, Jake.” Without further delay, the succubus disappeared.

“Thanks. I’m not even going to ask how you knew I’d need some assistance. You might want to go tell the people who scattered the fun’s over,” Jake said as he picked his fork back up.

“What are you doing? Let’s get out of here,” Nyx insisted, looking around at the empty and disheveled tables.

“Now that she’s gone, I can’t very well let this perfectly good steak go to waste.” It was a really good steak.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Trying to work, but work is getting in the way

So, I spent last week prepping books for paperback editions. I think they're in really good shape, but I'm like terrified to hit the approve proof button. I've said many times having paperback version is supposed to make you somehow more legit as an author. I've prepared almost every one of my books as a paperback, I just have never actually hit the button.

With the three most recent ones, they are in the best shape now than any of my books have ever been, and I'm still being a giant chicken about it. Maybe I'll spin around really fast and see if I don't fall down on the approve button this weekend. We'll just have to see how fast I can spin.

Something that was added to the paperbacks, and now the ebooks, were acknowledgments. Since they weren't in there originally for these three, I thought I'd go ahead and post them here.

Daughter of Gaia - A big thank you goes out to Nori, who was brave enough to take her first trip into the craziness that goes on in my mind before the rest of the world got a look at this book. Her questions and insights were out of this world as far as how helpful I found them. I hope she isn’t easily scared, because there will be many more twists and turns coming to these characters’ lives, and I’d be forever grateful to continue hearing her opinion along the way.

A Witch's Web - I want to say thank you to Danielle, whose continued support is one of the reasons I keep writing. Knowing there’s at least one person out there who enjoys my take on mythology is a great feeling. It’s a subject I’ve found myself fascinated with, so I hope there are many more interesting adventures to come.

The Nightwalker Knocks - I just want to take a moment to send out a big thank you to all of those who have ever read one of my books. I love writing, and seeing that there are people out there who enjoy reading the things that I’ve written is what makes me wake up each day, ready to come up with the next twist in a story.

As far as The Dragon's Fire, which is the follow up to The Witch's Web, it's started, but the day job has kept me really busy this week. I'm hoping to spend some time over the weekend to get at least six or seven chapters into it. Once I figured out what it was going to be called, I got a pretty good idea what was going to happen in it. I've posted a version of the working cover on Facebook, but chances are good it's going to look more like this one...



As always, if you're interested in beta reading either Queen of Aquima, the Daughter of Gaia sequel, or The Nightwalker Teaches, the The Nightwalker Knocks sequel, send me a note at amberlynnbooks@gmail.com. I'm just looking for testers to see if the plots make sense more than anything else.

Also, if you haven't checked out the interview I did over on readwritelove28.com check it out. There's also a giveaway for some of my ebooks you can check out.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Nightwalker Teaches

It's that time once again, where I give myself a good hard look in the mirror and ask myself, "How in the world did you let this set of characters run all over you, yet again?" I seem to find myself doing that at the end of every book, and the follow up to The Nightwalker Knocks proved to be no different. The good thing about the book is that by the end of chapter twenty, I finally figured out where the series was leading.

I'm looking forward to start editing and seeing what exactly I ended up writing. I know I really like where I ended things, and hope the beginning works with where things ended up. I'm going to have to skim the first book and make sure I didn't end up causing myself grief. I don't think I've totally contradicted myself, but a little refresher is a good idea.

It seems my head and nose have decided a summer cold of some sort, or allergies, sounded like a brilliant idea, so I'm going to keep this short for now and go make some decaf tea. Hopefully soon I'll have some kind of synopsis, for now, all I have is a preview of the cover I've been working on.



Before I go, one of the amazing beta readers that read Daughter of Gaia for me started a new site recently, and happened to post an interview with me yesterday. Check it out here.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Queen of Aquima

A little bit ahead of schedule I finished the follow up to Daughter of Gaia this week. You won't hear me complaining about that, but I've got the editing done and the first round of audio proofing too, which is all at least a week ahead of my imaginary schedule. That's all a little surprising as I had no idea where the story was going to go when I started it. Good news for the third book in the series, I left off with an obvious point to pick up on, so there won't be too much questioning where I want to take it.

I really hope the sequels to The Witch's Web and The Nightwalker Knocks go just as well. I'm going to be writing all three of them before I publish them, and I planned on that taking about three months. I may start the Nightwalker one this weekend. Since I've done one proofing of Queen of Aquima - if you couldn't tell by the title of this post, that's what I'm calling it - I want to give a few days before I do another. I think and hope I heard most of the funnies during the first go, but later this week I'll listen again and probably just before I publish in a couple of months.

I've been posting daily updates as I write on my Facebook page this month. I'm trying to post more there and turned on the sharing with Twitter, so if you follow either of those accounts, you can get an idea of what's going on as far as my writing. I didn't think I really liked using my Facebook page, which showed in my lack of updating after the first day or two of shininess wore off, but it's turning out to be my happy medium between posting a blog or Twitter post. Blogs I've always felt need to be long and I always have trouble condensing things down to a tweet.

Anyway, Queen of Aquima has a couple beta readers going to read it, but it you want to get your hands on it early, let me know via one of the numerous ways on this page to contact me, and I'll send it your way. It seems like such a short time since I published Daughter of Gaia, that I'm a little worried about posting a synopsis of Queen of Aquima that would ruin the end of that book.

Hmm. The Twins are in it. There might be a wedding. Tali runs her mouth a lot. Some interesting familial relations are revealed. A therapy session with Gaia happens. No one will allow Tali anywhere near weapons. There might be a traitor. Various tattoos and their meanings are described. And we find out how powerful love can be.

That pretty much sums it up I guess. Everything else would probably ruin the other book, and I'm pretty sure I've already said too much, so this is me signing off for now.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Another week's past and another book's started

So I hadn't heard a word back from the publisher I submitted The Witch's Web to and after two months, I decided I didn't want to wait any longer. That led me to withdrawing the submission and publishing all three of the books I've been working on last night. As you can see, I do absolutely no build up and marketing before days like this, but I like to write and not hype things up. Even though these are my new favorite books. I think I say that at the end of every single book I write, but Daughter of Gaia is quickly moving to be my favorite.

While I worked on the audio proofreading of these three, the strangest thing happened. My husband finally listened along with me. Those of you that have been with me over the last two years while I figured out my voice as an author, know I've been promised for a very long time that he would read my books. Listening isn't exactly the same thing as reading them, but he was honestly intrigued by the books and could really see where I put parts of myself in each book. The computer generated voice and choppy reading kind of drove him crazy, but he's married to me, so he's already been driven way past the point of crazy.

I've just gotten through the first chapter of the follow up book to Daughter of Gaia. I've been told I need to get it written immediately before my best friend ends up going Kathy Bates a la Misery on me. As much as I like to torture said friend, it is the easiest second book for me to write, so I expect we'll be seeing Queen of Aquima in a rough form by the end of July.

Well, I'm going to get back to writing, but here are links to the books on Amazon if you're interested in checking them out. Currently, they are only on Amazon as I've enrolled them in KDP Select for a little while. I didn't have a ton of success with the program the first few times I used it, but we'll see if it doesn't work better this time.

Happy reading!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My newest obsession

So, it may have been mentioned before that the New York Rangers are my favorite hockey team. Sadly, they didn't end up winning the Stanley Cup. I was a little depressed last night after the double overtime goal for the Kings, but with how the year started for the team, second place isn't bad. There was a time we sat round in my house and wondered who we'd have to cheer for instead.

I'm still paying attention to the AHL Calder Cup playoffs, mostly because I'm a hockey nut and I'm hoping next year my local team will be there. The local team's season has been over a while now and I'm anticipating the start to next season. It's only like a hundred and twenty days a way. I guess to buy some time I'll have to keep busy writing.

Anyway, I actually didn't start this post to talk about hockey. It just tends to be on my mind. I wanted to talk about Penny Dreadful and ask if anyone out there was obsessed with the show as I am. Sunday's cannot come soon enough for me. I hate that it's only an eight episode season. I've seen that it's picked up for a ten episode second season, and I'm ready for that one to start like two weeks ago.

The only thing I'm sad about is that it's on Showtime and I don't know anyone else that I'm friends with, I'd settled for an acquaintance, to talk about it with because my usual TV watching mate doesn't have Showtime. I have to replay all the scenes in my head and talk about them with myself. Okay not really, the dogs are usually involved. Now that I'm back to having a bit of an online presence, I'm hoping to find others that have fallen in love with the show and need to discuss what happened each week.

This is kind of fair warning if you for some reason keep up with my Tweets that tomorrow night is going to be full of "OMG I can't believe she just did that" (because Vanessa tends to cause that reaction with me) and "Victor is in some trouble, but he remains my favorite male character" and "Come on. I want to see the Dorian Gray painting". Maybe if I just list everything now, I'll be able to get it out of my system. Probably not, so I better get back to watching some DVRd Pawn Stars and prepare to still have a full day to wait for Penny.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Happy Friday

So you would think after radio silence lasting so long, I'd have a ton to post about. Sadly that isn't really the case. I did decide to put together some excerpts real quick from the three books I've been working on. Here they are:

The Witch's Web
Daughter of Gaia
The Nightwalker Knocks

In case you missed yesterday's post that has a description of each book, here they are again.

The Witch's Web
A day can really change your life. If Molly was honest with herself, her life changed in just one night. The one time she decided to be a little reckless turned out to be a blessing, and everything that happened afterwards couldn't take that away from her. That one night a miracle happened and Molly's daughter was created. The Witch’s Web tells Molly’s story right after she gives birth to her daughter. In it, Molly finds her life spinning out of control when it’s revealed that the father of her little miracle isn’t just an average guy out looking for a beer after a long day at work. He’s really Jason from the Greek mythology stories her mother told her as a child, and he’s got a witch for an ex, who's determined to make sure he doesn’t have a family of his own.

Daughter of Gaia
No one ever expected Mother Nature to purge her planet when the living conditions got to a certain point, but two hundred years after The Wrath, as it’s commonly called, life goes on. Tali is one of the five-hundred million people left alive, and she’s what most would call a loner. Between going to class and fighting off unwanted affection from one of the most eligible bachelors around, Tali meets an intriguing newcomer and things get a little crazy when he turns out to be not as human as he pretends. Kidnapped by a man who grows gills when he’s in the water, Tali learns there’s a whole world out there that no one on the surface realizes.

The Nightwalker Knocks
For Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Denning, life couldn’t be more perfect. She’s working on one of the biggest cases in her career and her wedding is just around the corner. Other than the occasional sleeping through an alarm, there wasn’t a lot of drama going on in her life. Then in one day, her case is taken away from her and she finds she’s being followed by a sinister being, who even the local mob boss won’t speak of. The perfect life Ellie knew is over, and she has to learn to pick up the pieces without the support system she was used to depending on.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

So...It's been a while

It hasn't been quite two months since I've posted anything, but we're getting close. There's a few reasons for it, all of them superstitious in nature, and even though I'm still trying to be superstitious, I need a little change of luck for at least one of my superstitious things going on. Lucky everyone, that means I'm posting something today.

I think the last I left you, I'd finished The Witch's Web, which seems like forever ago now. By finished, I mean it's written and edited, not proofread. Not much has changed about that one. It's still hanging out while I wait to hear if someone likes the story enough that they want to publish it rather than just self-publishing it for myself.

During the down time I've had, I wrote two other books. All three of the books hanging out are the first in three different series. I guess I have the rest of my year cut out for me continuing on three series. There is no overlapping going on as far as paranormal elements in any of the stories, and I like to think they're pretty unique.

Here's a short description of each of the books:

The Witch's Web
A day can really change your life. If Molly was honest with herself, her life changed in just one night. The one time she decided to be a little reckless turned out to be a blessing, and everything that happened afterwards couldn't take that away from her. That one night a miracle happened and Molly's daughter was created. The Witch’s Web tells Molly’s story right after she gives birth to her daughter. In it, Molly finds her life spinning out of control when it’s revealed that the father of her little miracle isn’t just an average guy out looking for a beer after a long day at work. He’s really Jason from the Greek mythology stories her mother told her as a child, and he’s got a witch for an ex, who's determined to make sure he doesn’t have a family of his own.

Daughter of Gaia
No one ever expected Mother Nature to purge her planet when the living conditions got to a certain point, but two hundred years after The Wrath, as it’s commonly called, life goes on. Tali is one of the five-hundred million people left alive, and she’s what most would call a loner. Between going to class and fighting off unwanted affection from one of the most eligible bachelors around, Tali meets an intriguing newcomer and things get a little crazy when he turns out to be not as human as he pretends. Kidnapped by a man who grows gills when he’s in the water, Tali learns there’s a whole world out there that no one on the surface realizes.

The Nightwalker Knocks
For Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Denning, life couldn’t be more perfect. She’s working on one of the biggest cases in her career and her wedding is just around the corner. Other than the occasional sleeping through an alarm, there wasn’t a lot of drama going on in her life. Then in one day, her case is taken away from her and she finds she’s being followed by a sinister being, who even the local mob boss won’t speak of. The perfect life Ellie knew is over, and she has to learn to pick up the pieces without the support system she was used to depending on.

So I have these three books kind of sitting around and I'm to the point I think I'd like to have some beta readers take a look at them. If you're interested in one or more, you can email me at amberlynnbooks@gmail.com with what format works best for you and which book(s) you're interested in checking out.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

First line/last line

Well it's been a long month of writing. Life was so busy that I'm a little surprised I was able to write the ending lines of The Witch's Web today. It currently sits as 61K words, which puts it in the 60K-70K that I was aiming for. After I get done editing things, I foresee it being at least 64K. I've made lots of notes where I plan on expanding on what I've written. As things develop as I write, that always tends to happen.

I don't know the twists before they jump out on the page, and there are some twists I love and have to go back through and add hints that they are happening so they don't come out of nowhere. Sometimes it's fun if they do, but I like to have moments of revelation where a reader can piece together things and say that something actually made sense.

The two things I know are set in stone are the first and last lines. The first line is - "Shh. I promise life with me won't be that bad." A bunch of stuff happens in the middle, and then someone says - "How do you expect it to end, Jason? I see it turning out like all my favorite stories do, happily ever after." - and the story's over. I will say that it isn't the same person talking in both instances, and that sharing the last one might actually spoil something now that I think about it, but I haven't written a really depressing book yet, so we can assume the male lead isn't going to die.

And now that I say that, I feel the need to go kill him. See this is what happens when I start thinking about things. I'm going to go pretend we never had this conversation.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Good-bye to an old friend

So, I felt it coming last night and sure enough this morning my netbook, which has been with me at least five years, finally died. I've written part of every book I've wrote on my little buddy and am sad to see it go. Thankfully, I realized it was short-lived and transferred my files to my network. I had been working on The Witch's Web solely on the netbook, so I didn't have a copy anywhere else until the file transfer - yes, it would appear I like to live life dangerously.

As far as The Witch's Web goes, I'm down to the last two chapters and am hoping to wrap it up this weekend. It will be exciting to read through it next week and see how things all come together. I'm still going back and forth whether I submit it to a publisher. I've written it to the length required for the one I'm thinking about, which makes it shorter than my last seven books. I think the story is still interesting, though.

One thing I'm really happy about is I was able to work the title I came up with even better into the plot than I originally thought possible. We'll have to see exactly how the web ends up working out for everyone involved. I'm going to be looking for beta readers, so if your interested in reading my latest tale, email me at amberlynnbooks@gmail.com. After I finish the initial edit, which will most likely be done by Tuesday, I'll be ready to share it with anyone that wants to be a beta.

Well, I'm still getting used to this new laptop that has replaced my beloved Nettie, so I better get back to it. Windows 8 has taken some getting used to, but I think I've finally got things figured out.