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WeWriWa: Drink Up!

Published November 1, 2015 by admin

Since it’s the day after Halloween, I thought I’d stay with my creepy theme a little longer and give you some horror! Since I love vampires and I love historical fiction, here’s a bit of Mooner to help you recover from your Halloween! And remember – for a look at more authors, be sure to check out weekend writing warriors!

***

“What can I do for you for a drink, boy? I’ve got a terrible thirst.” His teeth glistened wetly and he waited in the middle of the room as if he had all the time in the world.

The entire saloon had gone silent and Bill looked at his feet, uneasy. He could handle himself in a fight well enough if he had to, but he hated to have to. “You’ve got two drinks right there waitin’ for you,” he mumbled.

“Aye, but I’ve got a terrible, terrible thirst,” Tom repeated. “Isn’t there anything you’d like to see me do? I’d do anything, anything for a drink. Anything at all.”

Mooner72dpi

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Like many young men at the end of the 1800s, Bill signed on to work in a logging camp. The work is brutal, but it promised a fast paycheck with which he can start his life. Unfortunately, his role model is Big John. Not only is he the camp’s hero, but he’s known for spending his pay as fast as he makes it. On a cold Saturday night they enter Red’s Saloon to forget the work that takes the sweat and lives of so many men their age. Red may have plans for their whiskey money, but something else lurks in the shadows. It watches and badly wants a drink that has nothing to do with alcohol. Can Bill make it back out the shabby door, or does someone else have their own plans for his future?

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Cherished Blogfest

Published July 24, 2015 by admin

Today I’m taking part in the Cherished Blogfest – a really excellent way for bloggers to get to know each other and  to share memories and thoughts. We’re supposed to post about a meaningful object, and this couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

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Last year, almost to the day, I lost a very close friend of mine. He was a friend, mentor, and someone who took belief in people just as they are to new levels. We worked together for years as puppeteers, in stage shows, and at events. I learned a lot from him, and he was always talking me up, especially when I found it hard to believe in myself or was self conscious about where I was at in life or about my own abilities.

When I got the contract for The Kingdom City Chronicles, he called me down to his office and gave me this necklace (as well as a corresponding ring, but it’s too big for my hand). He was so proud of his choices, expecting immediately that I’d know what they were from. After he had to tell me that this necklace was from The Vampire Diaries, I had the embarrassing situation of admitting that I’d never seen an episode of the show or read the books.

In typical Mark fashion, he just smiled and said something to the effect of “That’s fine. I’m giving it to you to wear as a trophy, because eventually your work is going to beat that series.”

No matter how I tried to protest that that was incredibly unlikely or explain how the business end of writing worked, he had complete confidence in me. Even in hospice, he was telling people about my books and the shows we’d done together. You know that song about the power of just one person believing in you? That was Mark all over, and he didn’t just do that with me. He did that with everyone he encountered.

It’s not the most expensive necklace in the world, and the color is starting to change along the back of it, but I love it. I wear it to a lot of conventions and events, especially if it’s something I’m nervous about doing. It not only carries his memory with me, but it reminds me that there are people out there that have utter faith in what I’m doing, so it’s worth it for me to keep moving forward, to keep doing all that I can, and to keep believing in myself, as well.

So, that’s my cherished object and the memory that goes with it! To check out other fantastic people, follow the list at the tour page!

Read & Vote: War of the Words!

Published April 13, 2015 by admin

I actually do plan to get back to doing my own content soon, but in the meantime, I definitely wanted to pass this along. A friend of mine has a story in a contest at Inkitt and would appreciate some votes if you’re so inclined. Her story is called War of the Words, and it’s a really lovely, fascinating piece that I’m sure will resonate a lot with you writerly types out there. So, all you need is to register an email addy, open the story, and either follow or click on the heart to cast your vote. Let’s show her some love, huh?

To read and vote for War of the Words, go here!

Writing Round Table Roundup

Published February 19, 2015 by admin

I’ve also tried to get back into the swing of taking part in the ever-awesome Sean Taylor’s writing round tables! There have been some really good ones lately, ones that you should definitely peek in on if you’re into writing. If you aren’t familiar with his blog, every Thursday or so he gathers a group of writers to discuss their thoughts on certain topics. This could be anything from themes and point of view writing to more specific issues like the below. It’s definitely worth a look-through, especially if you want to up your game or are interested in how a bunch of working writers perceive some of these topics.

Writing Through Nostalgia-Colored Glasses: We talk about the importance of nostalgia in writing, when it’s too much, when it’s useful, and why it can be a blessing and a curse for connecting with readers.

Pow! Right in the Viscera! Writing Prose with a Gut Punch: We discuss why visceral writing works and when it may not work. What is it about this type of writing that grabs a reader, and does it work for some genres or types of writers over others?

SJ’s horror posts around the web

Published February 18, 2015 by admin

So along with everything else, I’ve been getting out and about in blog-world this month, which has partially been what’s been holding up posts here. So instead of shoving a separate post for every link I have out there, I decided to take pity on you and give you a run-down in one easy, comprehensive list (Well, two. We’ll go by theme. Then I can still easily come up with content for another post without working too hard, heh, heh, heh).

Since it is Women in Horror Month, I’ve actually been doing some guest blogging about horror. Amazing, I know.

Mocha Memoirs Press Blog: I’m talking this month about some of my tender introductions to two powerhouse lady horror writers: Nancy A. Collins and Shirley Jackson. Yes, I have the wrong title for Shirley Jackson – it should be The Haunting of Hill House. This is proof that I am not perfect and need to remind myself to re-check things when I blog late at night. However, the sentiments are the same and these are two authors you need to know because damn, if they don’t get it right. Collins is master of the gory, the over-the-top uncomfortable, and probably an early-ish powerhouse of what would come to be known as urban fantasy.It’s rumored that her work was stolen/riffed on for Underworld, so if that kind of a vibe with a very graphic bent intrigues you, she’s awesome. And Shirley Jackson is a master at suspense, at the subtle, at the psychological that will still make you ungodly uncomfortable and think about what’s possible a little too much.

In celebration of Big Bad 2, I’m taking part in discussions about Bad Guys at Party Talk! Come see who we all think of as the consummate villain, the ultimate bad guy we’ve come across. My answer’s a little out of the box, but I stand by it, at least in terms of vampires, and I think I know a little something about vampires…

Speaking of Party Talk, we’re also talking about what type of a villain we’d be. Sure, I love monsters, I have a soft spot for vampires, but I think my answer might surprise you…

Plus, we also pow-wowed to talk about what makes a villain. Some of our answers may make you raise your eyebrows.

Susan has once again lost her mind and put me on her blog for Valentine’s Day, and I’m sharing one of my quickie horror shorts from Lost in the Shadows. That story took a particular inspiration from walking through the woods everyday on the island of Manteo, a city where there is a ton of history crammed into a small space. I also read a lot of horror that summer while hiding out in a little local bookshop, so somehow the two experiences fed off each other and The Invisibles is what became of that. So go read it and buy our book.

John Hartness has me on his blog to discuss the evolution of my new story in Big Bad 2: A Family Affair. I talk vampires, women’s roles, the fifties, and my one little gripe with one of my favorite movies – ever proof that even things you love can tick you off, yet you can still find inspiration from them. Also, while what he says is true, I’d like to point out that yes, I got lucky in having Real Wilde Childe taken by him…though I did email him repeatedly asking if he really wanted me to submit, warts and all. This is what happens when you’re an overcommunicator burning the candle at every end. Still, deadlines are there for a reason, and I do prefer to follow them. That being said, I’ll never stop blushing at his commentary on my vampire stories, because lord knows I love his series like none other.

WeWriWa: Holly and Ivy

Published December 7, 2014 by admin

Oh, why not? Let’s kick off December with one of my gentler pieces. I love this story – I can identify with both Holly’s cynicism and exhaustion and Ivy’s idealism and naivete a bit. Eventually I may come back to that world, but this story of two unusual friends – one human and one dryad – trying to make their way in the world was so easy to write. It was almost effortless, and definitely endearing. It’s also probably the closest to anything resembling sane chick lit I’ll ever get, so check it out if only for that accomplishment.

This exchange takes place when Ivy gives Holly a magical token that will help her put her life back together…but it also means that Ivy will be trapped in her tree – no small sacrifice for a dryad living in a Christmas tree farm.

***

“What do I do with it?” I told myself I was just playing along,
suspending reality to make Ivy feel better. Although if that was the case, perhaps I
should have examined the fact that Ivy was real and not my mind suspending reality
to make myself feel better.

“You hold it now until it gets to know you. You keep it safe in your possession
and it shall bring you ease and grace,” the tree sprite giggled.

“And that really works?”

 “How else would I have survived so well with murderers on the loose? It’s worked for a good long while.” I raised an eyebrow as a sly grin spread just a little too far across her face to make the smile look human. “

***

For more excerpts and snippets, be sure to check out Weekend Writing Warriors!

And you can find the complete tale of the human woman and the dryad here…

HollyAndIvy72dpi (1)

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After losing her job and her boyfriend, Holly returns to her parents’ farm. Embarrassed and hopeless, she doesn’t expect to bump into a forgotten childhood friend that wasn’t supposed to exist. Ivy is not only a dryad, but she lives in the pine trees Holly’s family grows to sell at Christmas. As the old friends reconnect, Ivy not only shares her strong oninions, but gives Holly a charm that will change both their lives. As days melt into weeks and the seasons change, Holly’s life magically turns around. Christmas not only brings surprises, but a choice for the human woman. What’s more important: stability, success, and love, or keepinga promise to an old friend?

WeWriWa: Mooner

Published June 29, 2014 by admin

I’m once more trying to get back in the swing of things after a fairly busy past few months. Today’s eight is from a re-release of my historical vampire story, Mooner. This bit is when Bill, the naive upstart in the lumber camp, notices Tom, a reclusive, down-and-out  fur-trader, in Red’s Saloon. While Big John and the others make fun of him, something about the older man seems off and not quite right. He’s not going anywhere, though, until he gets what he wants…

***

“What…what you want me to do for a drink?” At first it didn’t register that Tom had actually spoken. His voice was high and reedy and cracked the way the thinnest ice along the river did.

“Pardon?”

“What you want me to do for a drink?” His lips cracked when his mouth moved. A thin trail of spittle dripped off his lower lip and was quickly caught up by the tip of the derelict’s seeking tongue. The distant gleam in Tom’s eyes burned as his mouth formed the last word.

For More Snippets of Stories, Check out Weekend Writing Warriors!

Mooner72dpi

Kindle         Nook      MMP Store

Like many young men at the end of the 1800s, Bill signed on to work in a logging camp. The work is brutal, but it promised a fast paycheck with which he can start his life. Unfortunately, his role model is Big John. Not only is he the camp’s hero, but he’s known for spending his pay as fast as he makes it. On a cold Saturday night they enter Red’s Saloon to forget the work that takes the sweat and lives of so many men their age. Red may have plans for their whiskey money, but something else lurks in the shadows. It watches and badly wants a drink that has nothing to do with alcohol. Can Bill make it back out the shabby door, or does someone else have their own plans for his future?