Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Good Saturday Morning!





After our thunderstorm yesterday, we had another one during the night. Some people had power outages, downed trees, and so forth around the area. We were lucky to experience none of those!



We got more rain, and that is a good thing. Grass looked greener, the corn in the field across from us seemed to have shot up a half a foot. We had a terrible drought going, and if we did not begin having good soaking rains, we would be in a terrrible mess. I can almost hear all the plants, birds and humans sigh a big sigh of relief.



So, I'm able to place pictures here. I'm so happy about that. So happy I'm going to share something I've been working on. It's not completed yet, but I'm working on this in paints. I'm thinking of using it as a cover for a self-published story, but not sure what as yet.


I've been messing around in "paints". I do hold a degree in art and sometimes I miss being able to "paint". Using paints is a bit difficult, but I'm one who likes a challenge and this offers one.


Having had these two weeks off, and getting a number of things done/accomplished I feel as though I've made good value of my time. I had my very first short story put up on Amazon. It's a vampire story about Rasputin, just in case you missed this, here it is again. Holy Devil is available as an ebook for .99 on Amazon (world wide) at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008DIZGX2



I don't look forward to going back to work next week, but hey, gotta bring in the money again. Besides, I'll make OT on the 4th, and that will be nice, but driving a bus during the busy times is rough.


Hope you have a great Saturday!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Up-Dates on my blogging problems




I've gone into my settings a dozen times trying to figure out how I can somehow get an image in here on a blog. I finally tried "old editor". If I can't post pictures in the new settings, this will have to do. I have no idea why it's able to work fine this way.


So, kiddies, it seems to be working now. I don't know about how it will work later on. I'm staying at Blogger, so no need to find me on another website. At least for now.


I hope to give a review of Lara Parker's Dark Shadows: The Salem Branch soon.

















Frustrated

And so we have this new Interface on Blogger. Even before it went in I could not post any pictures. And now the Interface isn't very easy to work with. I can't even get the spell check to work, so, if you see something mispelled, well, that's the reason.

So, if I do any posts you'll have to forgive me for not being able to put any pictures up. This keeps up I may have to move away. I don't want to, but if I can't continue w/o problems then screw it!

Noo! I'm not going to up grade to Goggle Chrome. It would take too long, and after I did what guarantee will I have that things will work? I definitely don't like this at all. I hate this tiny window, and it covers up the options at the top you use for fonts and spell check and so on! I should not have to deal with this, nor should I have to up-grade to anything for it to work!

Blogger gets an F minus! They don't care that people complain, but I'm complaining. This is terrible, it's crap and I don't have to take it!

*sigh and deep breathing*

But I must report that I've had a very good 2 weeks off. I accomplished quite a bit, including getting a short story self-published. I got my flowers all in, and made a few smaller displays so that I can look out at them from my office window. Now, if only we could get some rain! It is crispy dry out here. No one has needed to mow (mow what?), for weeks now!

I think that I've also made new friend ships and have been asked to do guest posts--that I can do, and they can post my pics for me--haha!. I've got a couple coming up, and if I can I'll try and post the links. But they probably wont work, since nothing else is working for me.

So, if you don't see me posting much from here on, the reason is I can't use Blogger's interface. I don't know why anyone has to change anything. It doesn't work for me. So, I may have to get re-aquainted with my old blog on Word Press. I don't like that one much at all. But it may have to suffice for things I have to write about.

But in the meantime, if you can get along without my posting pictures inside my posts, then come on back, but be aware of my trouble.

Thanks to everyone for being wonderful and coming to check out my blog, and commenting once in a while!

Anyway, my Word Press blog site is http://loreleibell.wordpress.com/  (if this link doesn't work, I'm sorry. You can still get there, if you need to).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Teaser Tuesday ~ a page from Holy Devil

I'm definitely feeling lazy in my second week of vacation. But I did work in two new little flower/display gardens under the Colorado blue spruces yesterday and boy was I sore!

But today I thought I would share with all of you--and especially my Russian readers who are Rasputin fans, a page from my new short story that's out on Amazon (it is world wide,btw). This tidbit is merely a portion of the iceberg. The ending has quite a twist.


He sprinkled holy water over Anna who snarled at him. He made the sign of the cross over her. With that, she reared back and spat at him. Spittle hit him in the face and ran down his lips and beard. He immediately wiped the spittle with a sleeve. She grunted and laughed at him. Then she made noises like a pig. Obviously there was a very determined demon inside of her. His voice rose in one of his more powerful prayers, as it was in Latin. It usually worked, but the prayer may have to be repeated several times. Walking a clock-wise circle around the woman, he intoned his prayer. His voice thundered, determined to bring the devil out of her. His voice could be heard throughout the rest of the house, possibly outside, as well.
In the midst of prayer, he wet a finger in order to turn the page of the Gospel when the sound of voices out in the hall reached him. He had to ignore all while performing this exorcism, so continued to focus on his task.
Suddenly the door burst open and an excited looking older woman with a babushka over her head stood and took in the scene. The odor of dinner and the fresh outdoors were ushered in with her.
“What are you doing!” he protested.
“I have found him, Anna! I have found him! He is coming!” the woman announced in a rich, yet excited voice.
“Who is coming?” he asked the woman. “I demand you leave! Can't you see what is happening here?”
Ignoring him, she said to Anna, “The starets! The miracle-worker! He is here for you, my dear Anna!” She turned to look back down the hall.
Heavy boot heals tapped determinedly toward them.
“Oh, father, thank you! Thank you!” the older woman said to the tall, thin man who entered the room, and then backed out crossing herself.
The tall stranger stepped through the door wearing a kaftan over a mauve silk shirt, plush black trousers, and boots of the softest leather money could buy. Clearly the wandering wise-man—the holy starets—had traded poverty for a much richer life-style. Improvement of his social position while in the royal family's circle had endowed him with not only power but money from bribes to buy such things. He should be wearing a fur coat. The weather outside is bone-chilling. Perhaps the starets wasn't very far away.
“This is an outrage! What do you mean by this?” Father Sergei's eyes flashed when he got over his surprise. The red hair and beard and flushed face gave the impression that he might burst into flames at any moment. But his tirade was cut off by the man's watery blue eyes, fixed upon him in a stare that made Father Sergei's verve retreat. He swallowed whatever words had been inside him. This holy man's peasant features were unordinary—ugly, if truth be told—but his whole expression was concentrated in his blue eyes, which were at once penetrating and caressing. Then they became keen and piercing as if he could see to the very bottom of his soul.
Father Sergei took the starets in more properly. He had never met the man before, but rumors of him, and what he looked like, and what he did—especially what he believed in and preached—had been rampaging the countryside. He belonged to the Khysty sect. The very idea that one gained redemption through sin was the satanic lie itself! Weather-beaten face like that of a farmer in the harsh environments of the Siberian steppes, the wild brown beard, and the long brown, unkempt hair, carelessly parted—yes! This was he, the one they talked about endlessly. The one pampered, admired and worshiped by ladies from all classes of society from the highest ranking to the lowest of the low. The one who they say had experienced the miracle of the mysterious death after living a life of vagabondage for many years. His clothes were expensive because of the popularity and gain in his position in the court of the royals.
“Grigori Rasputin?” he muttered, his lower lip trembling with awe.
“Yes, little father, it is I. And I see you have cornered the market on frightening defenseless women in their bedrooms!” he said in a startling charismatic voice. His glance darted briefly to the Bible in his hand, but returned to pinion the Father's eyes once again. “Away with you and your scriptures! Can you not see real redemption is found by sinning first, and then repent! That is the only way we shall drive the evil from this one. The filth must be expelled, you hear, little father?” his voice thundered.
Rasputin's stare felt probing and disturbing at the same time. The room swam around him. Father Sergei's limbs seemed heavy as lead, even his eyelids became overwhelmed by sleep. He tried in vain to utter a sound or move, but could not. Before him he saw Rasputin's eyes. They shone with a phosphorescent glow; they seemed to become a fiery ring. His own eyes became heavier; his body leaned, almost falling over before he summoned the last remaining energy to resist. Father Sergei blinked. It was as though the power which held him so, had vanished.
©2012 Lorelei Bell

Friday, June 22, 2012

Holy Devil is up at Amazon now

As of this morning, my very first short story, "Holy Devil" is up on Amazon. I've had to go and adjust the price/royalties, so this will take another 12 hours before it is at a price of .99, instead of the $2.99. I don't expect anyone to buy a short story for that. So, by tomorrow the price should have been adjusted for something more affordable, and acceptable.

I want to thank John and Carole Gill who helped me with the whole thing.
I was unable to get my document to up load, as well as a picture to go in. So Carole enlisted her husband's knowledge in all of this, who also did my formatting for me. A round of cheers for my British friends!

I can't post pictures still at any of my posts, so this is really frustrating for me, but I'm adding my short story's cover to the side here, that way it will be up there for sure. Here is the link for any of you interested in it:  Holy-Devil-ebook

I will have to figure out how to do this on my own. It was very frustrating when nothing went right, but hey, I have a great friend in Carole Gill! Thanks hon, you're the best!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gonna Take the Plunge

Hi all! Hope your Wednesday is treating you well. Hey! Hump day!

So, tomorrow I'm going to up-load a short story to Amazon. I'm nervous. I've looked through what I'm supposed to do. Sort of took notes on things so I won't panic when I get to that moment, but probably will!

The first and only time I self-published was my Spell of the Black Unicorn book (which is going to become an ebook, eventually and I'll put that out too!), and I paid a publisher to do that for me. However, I did have to format it myself. So, I'm glad I didn't throw out the book which has instructions on how to go about this!

My short story "The Holy Devil" is something like 5 pages long. It is a vampire story. It's star vampire? Rasputin. I sent it off to a publisher for anthology, but they didn't pick it up. I'd already had in mind to self-publish it myself if they didn't. So, I'm not very upset about them not picking it up. I hope to do a few more like this in the future. In fact, I may go on to do novellas, which are partially written. I hope it works out, any way.

Meanwhile my inability to post any pictures within a post still plagues my blog. I don't know if it will continue to do this, or if something is going on behind the all mighty Oz's (blogspot's ) curtains and maybe suddenly things will straighten out. Probably mad at me for not going with the updated interface. I'm fine with what I've got, don't need an update, thank you.

So, by about this weekend I hope to announce the publication of the short story, and put in a link for those of you who might be interested.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Teaser Tuesday ~ Dark Shadows: The Salem Branch by Lara Parker

Hello, my pretties. Well, since I cannot put up a picture of this book cover [or any picture] on my blog, I hope you will forgive me. However. I picked up this wonderful book Dark Shadows: The Salem Branch by Lara Parker. In case you are not familiar with the original Dark Shadows, or you've forgotten, Lara Parker played Angelique, the nasty witch, in that original show. She is now a writer. She has written two wonderful Dark Shadows books, with a third pending. I found this one at my local grocery store, and had to grab it, fearing I'd not find it again.

Laura's writing captures Barnabas, as well as all the characters of Dark Shadows with the precision of a surgeon with a laser. Her prose are to be not only admired, but envied. She's done a splendid job and I've chosen one paragraph on page 78 to share with you today on Teaser Tuesday.

Set-Up: We are with Barnabas, who has become mortal again thanks to Dr. Julia's "cure".

~ It had been many months since his cure, and still the light of day was for him a miracle to behold, the sun a golden orb, buttermilk skies with clouds as soft as clotted cream. The first sight of spring had tormented him with its beauty: flowering trees, new grass, and the silken air fractured into rainbows. He would often sit and stare at nothing else, only the air, and the prisms of light dancing within it. But during the height of summer, the unbearable heat of his cure drove him back into the coolness of his dark bedroom with curtains drawn, beneath the canopy of his bed, as though he were once more within the tomb. Now autumn had arrived with all its splendors, and its heartbreaking hues.~

Her second book: Angelique's Descent is also available, and there will be a third one, unless it too is already out. This first one was published originally in 2006.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Offically on Vacation (stay-at-home)

Hello, my pretties. It's warm this morning. I believe it's around 69, maybe at this early hour of 5a.m. I woke at my normal hour of 4 - simply can't get out of that habit, but it might get better as my two weeks off kick into my sub-conscious.

I've got a number of things going. First of all, fifth book wants to come out of me. I realize that last summer I wrote the first draft of 4th book, and did so in 3 months, including all the research for it as well. I believe that's a record for me. I don't intend on trying that again, but if it happens, then it happens.

I'm also going to get a short story self-published, and as I mentioned, I'm still working on that, with help of another author, Carole Gill. *waves*

I've got flowers to water early, need to begin taking walks early, too. We have terrible pesky deer flies that are horrible and will draw blood from you, if you aren't vigilant. I slapped on on Dennis' arm he wasn't eve aware of biting him. Lots of blood all over. Worse than a mosquito--which are not around because of the drought.

HELP:
I'm unable to post any pictures on my blogs, and if anyone knows how to fix this I'd love to know. I think I have to go into the account upload limits and do something, but what I don't know. It's very confusing. If any of you have come to this wall (I believe it's 1,000 pictures limit), let me know if you had to fix it too, and how you did that.

And the stray cat which we began feeding is preggy. She's gonna be a momma, and we will probably inherit a bunch of kittens. Want one? *chuckle*

So, this is where I'm at. I have also been having trouble with a sluggish Internet later in the day, so, I may not be around after this.

Hope you all are having a good day!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Vacation Time

Not everyone gets one, I realize, so I feel grateful for getting one. Especially in my job, when I take time off I don't get paid, so there will be no money coming in for these two weeks I'm off. And this is a stay-at-home vacation. Vacation is vacation, no matter if you go anywhere or not.


I'm taking time off to regroup, relax, and get a few things done I might otherwise never get to. The things I plan on doing may not get done, but I have a mental list, and some of it involves a real mop and soap *wink*. Since my flowers are all in, I only need to keep them watered in this terrible drought we are having. Weeds seem to take off in this sort of weather, too, so there will be some kneeling on the ground to pull the pesky things out of my flowerbeds. I can't wait to see the flowers flourish and fill in. I use Miracle Grow on anything I plant. It really helps make them grow better.

But my husband needs time off too, and he's going to take some days off--he is able to be paid, up to the hours he's earned. There will be shopping on some of those days we're together--for clothes, and I need new glasses. We need to hit a few antique shops in the area, too. Oh, and some places for lunch that we have not tried. We want to go shopping in a nearby town (Sycamore), and want to pop in and see what's new. There's a new wine shop that opened up, and an antiques shop, as well. I don't know about you, but I love to look at old stuff and old photographs.

I've been working on short stories lately, and since one was not picked up, I'm going to self publish it (which makes me happier than you can imagine!) It will be my very first attempt at this, and I'll certainly post about that when the story is up. More on that in another blog post.

My current WIP: Well, it was number 4 book, but lately number 5 book wants to come out of me. I've got scenes in my head. I see this one individual who gets on my bus everyday, and thought he would make an interesting character, and I had to write a scene, and figure out how adding him would be beneficial to the story. I don't like to write too much on something that I'm not sure about. And then, this guy wrote himself in. He's American/Japanese, and his name is Cho. To quote another new character, "He's lethal". And I'm working on how Sabrina sees something from the guy's past where he has killed an opponent during a Martial Arts tournament--by accident, of course--at age 15. Well, naturally, I need him for the book! Sabrina could use a human to protect her during the day, when the vampires are away.

A lot of holes to fill in it, and so I'm writing scene descriptions on note cards and pondering where they will be placed. That's the only "outlining" I will do. It's actually called "story board", and it works for me. I've got the plot-planner taped on my wall. Looks like an odd M, with an extension going up in front of the M. If anyone needs this, send me an e-mail (loreleibell4[at]gmail[dot]com). I'll gladly send it to you. It's really good for plotting a novel. I've drawn mine large so that I can tape it on my wall, and tape my post-it notes, or note cards to it, so that I can see how I want things to progress. It's the handiest thing I've ever found for plotting.

So, for my very first day of my vacation, although I have been busy, I'm enjoying the thought of not getting up early--unless I have a scene slam into my head and I have to get it down. Happy Dance!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Teaser Tuesday ~ Dead Woman In The Street

Hello, my pretties. Yes, it's Teaser Tuesday and I've chosen the beginning paragraph from Chapter Four, from my next novel, Vampire Nocturne. Hope you enjoy!


I stared at the woman lying on her back. She wore a beautiful red dress with black lace and fringe along the front, sleeves worn off the shoulders. A corset gave her an hour glass shape, allowing a view of cleavage. Her black hooded cape with white satin lining spread beneath her like angel's wings. The dress style, from my educated guess, might be something like women would have worn on our world in the late 18oo's. Her fancy hat with fluffy feathers was slightly askew but still pinned on her head. My Knowing told me she had been placed here. My Knowing also told me she worked in a tavern of some sort. Her auburn hair, pinned up off her neck cascaded off one side of her face. Coppery coils draped over her shoulder and across the cape. Glittering jewelery suggested she was a bit more than merely a saloon slut—possibly a real party girl, from the many flitting images coming to me of her with men. One man in particular was prominent in the many scenes that flitted through my mind.
Clumsily, I tried to gain my feet without touching the dead woman too much. This proved to be next to impossible since I was sprawled on top of her.
©2012 Lorelei Bell

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cat With Nine Lives Comes Back From The Dead--?

Living out in the country, you will get the stray animal that comes along, and since we don't have a dog, they tend to stay. Cats mostly. And we welcome these feral cats, and never feed them, as they are too wild and really are patrolling the area for rodents.

Well, we had a dark-striped tiger cat that had begun to show up in our yard. Like all the rest, it ran whenever it saw us come out of the house. But we welcome it to keep the rodents at bay from the old foundation of our house.

Then one day, last week this cat stuck around the picnic table and she seemed hungry. We had just grilled chicken leg quarters, and it had been on the table, next to the grill, and Dennis came out and it ran off into the long grass and bushes that surround our house.

I suggested we feed it, because it seemed hungry. So we kept back skin and other portions that we thought she would eat, and to top it off, Dennis put out some milk for it. And just so you know, my husband is not a cat person, he's a dog person. For him to take pity on a cat was a big leap. However, he is an animal lover and so I've a feeling it wasn't that difficult for him to take pity on a starving cat.

The cat devoured the chicken, and then drank half the milk. At some point she finished the milk.

Next evening, it returned. I saw it licking the ground where the chicken had been left for her. I told Dennis that cat must be starving if it's doing that.

So, Dennis decides to give her a packet of tuna... and more milk. She dove on the tuna, and drank nearly all the milk this time. She didn't run too far and watched him from twenty feet away. So, she ate well again.

Next night, he fed her again. The next day said that he would get canned tuna (cheaper), instead of cat food, just in case the cat doesn't come around again. Because that's been the case with these "wild" cats, who come around for a while and then disappear. Who knows what becomes of them. We have a lot of traffic down this road, and the winters are usually harsh.

The next morning I drive to work and see some road kill. Oh no, it's a cat. A dark-striped tiger cat! In my head I thought that this was a really long way away from our house--maybe a half a mile or so. I knew I had seen another striped cat down this way, and in fact I'd slowed down in seeing it running down the middle of the road before it darted off into the ditch. I thought to myself that cat won't be alive long if it doesn't learn to get off the road when cars, trucks etc. come along.

Later that night Dennis said he'd seen it when he'd gone into town. And this cat--which Dennis had named Katie--had not shown up as was usual. We hadn't gotten attached to the cat. She never let us near it, but we decided to accept the fate of the death of the cat on the road.

The next day vultures were feeding on it. Dennis put it all in perspective that the animal's death didn't go to waste, and fed something else (in other words, it wasn't just a carcase sitting in the road to decay). The idea that nature takes care of things on their own terms is something Dennis and I accept.

This was the second night after seeing the dead cat. The writer in me thought (in a Stephen Kingly way), what if the cat showed up again at our house? The thought haunted me each time I saw the dead one in the road.

Later that second night--Friday--I was coming out of my office when Dennis called to me in a strange way: "You have to come and see this!" He said it low, and like maybe he was spooked. He directed me into the kitchen, and out the window to the picnic table where that cat always liked to lay.

There it was. It looked rather tired, as though it had come back from some long journey. Not a ghost, but Katie, and sure as heck was similar to that dead cat on the road.

I was very surprised, and relieved. I told Dennis about this idea, or vision that I "saw" this exact thing happening: Dennis calling to me and showing me the cat still alive out the window, sort of a deja vu thing.

Dennis chastised her for leaving us and making us worry about her. In fact he refused to give her anything last night. She sat on the table, looking as though she felt bad about it. Even let out a feeble "meow". But Dennis said "No. That won't work on me. In fact, I'm shutting you off." He cranked the window closed and closed the curtains. Talk about tough love.

So, Katie is still with us. Still runs when we come near. She still hunts the chimp monks that have holes around the yard, and make their loud chipping sounds from their high perches. She likes to lie next to a hole out in the yard, as if waiting for one to pop it's head up. I swear, it's like a damned cartoon!

So, Katie, if she has nine lives, she didn't use one up, and she's out there this morning, keeping an eye on the varmints.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Teaser Tuesday: Human Hard Ass Meets Vampire Hard Ass


Hi everyone! It's that time again! I thought I'd grab something out of the up-coming third book, and give you a tease. Here I have Sabrina seeking help from Tremayne. They are discussing how to best get into a park without anyone noticing them. Their argument is put on hold when a cop shows up.

Headlights and then flashing red, blue and white lights brought our little discussion to a halt. A cop pulled up along side us. Not one of DuKane's finest, but a state trooper.
Shit,” I said under my breath.
Tremayne turned casually toward him and leaned against my car looking as though he'd stepped away from a luxury high-rise party wearing the latest from his own line of clothing. The state trooper emerged from his vehicle. Reassuringly he touched his gun and the night stick, on his lean sides, and strode up.
This was going to be interesting. Human Hard Ass meets Vampire Hard Ass.
Hi folks,” he said, all traces of personality wiped off his face, and totally vacant from his voice. I'd heard that if a state trouper pulled you over, be ready to be dragged through the coals if you got one toe out of line. “'S there a problem?”
No,” Tremayne replied, smiling. His voice had much more carry than the trooper's. “We're acquaintances.”
That right, ma'am?” The state man's flash beamed in at me.
Yeah,” I said, blinking and turning my head away slightly. “We know each other.”
So, every thing's okay?” he asked, moving the flashlight off of me and up into Tremayne's face who towered over the guy. Tremayne had to turn his head away quickly too. I could feel him holding back a hiss of revulsion and a need to pulverize the trooper for such a infraction. “Sir, have you been drinking?”
Drinking what?” Tremayne snarled through gritted teeth.
Can I see your driver's license, sir?” he asked Tremayne.
Sure.” Tremayne eased his hand back to his pants pocket, eyes on the trooper's face, who trained his flashlight beam on where Tremayne's hand had gone. “There's nothing going on here. You got a call and you need to go,” Tremayne said in an even tone.
The knuckles of my hands on the wheel had turned white. Sweat slipped down my underarms tickling me and soaking my bra. The squirt gun filled with holy water in a shoulder holster that I'd decided to bring along, instead of the Dagger of Delphi at my side suddenly felt ridiculous. I hesitated carrying the dagger because I knew I would be meeting Tremayne. I'd seen it plunge into a vampire's chest in my living room without my toughing it. I didn't want that to happen to Tremayne. At least, not this night. A scene of myself spread eagle on my hood popped up inside my head as I listened to the exchange outside my window. I cringed imagining the officer finding the water pistol on me like a loaded revolver—Ooo, dangerous woman.
The state trooper blinked up at Tremayne, turned, then stepped around his car, got in, and drove off.
I released a huge sigh of relief. “Thank God!”
Which one?” Tremayne chuckled obnoxiously. He leaned into my window again. “I could have gotten rid of him before he got out of his car, but this was much more fun. I loved seeing your expression, as if we were doing something we shouldn't be.”
Yeah. Glad you had so much fun,” I said without humor, powered up my window and slid out. I shut my door and locked up. “Give me a ride into the middle of the park, and let's get hunting.”
Piggy-back, or side-saddle?”
You are full of it tonight,” I lashed out. “Carry me.” I held out my hands ready to grasp his shoulders. I would need a stepladder to reach them.
Mmm, like over the threshold?”
Not funny!” 

© 2012 Lorelei Bell