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 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 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.