Tuesday, June 25, 2013


My friend and co-worker, Justin Pletsch goes on storm chasing adventures. This is done with a professional storm chasing group. This particular one was a 15-day storm chasing adventure, he reports there were storms every day. They take pictures and some take videos. Well, this year was quite an adventure. His group happened to be in El Reno, OK and were in the line of the path of that very tornado that tore through that town.
Justin Pletsch's photo of the El Reno, OK storm at it's peak 2.6 miles wide!
Storm's peak - this was 2.6 miles wide at this point. Picture courtesy of Justin Pletsch
In his words, he says:
"...we had an EXTREMELY close brush with death. If we would have waited 10 seconds more to get the hell out of there, I would not be here right now..."

Please go to this site to see these extreme pictures of the tornado and other cloud formations. These people do risk their lives to take this, so this is one of those things where you do the disclaimer: DON'T DO THIS YOURSELF! Scroll down the page to May 31, 2013 El Reno, OK tornado.

A small part of video that was shot by one of the other drivers in this group made it on the Weather Chanel, and you can click on the link for this here.

I'd like to thank Justin for giving me this opportunity to write about this. I'm so glad he is safe. These are people who go on these tours. This one is called Tempest Tours, for those interested in weather-related events. Storm chasing is extremely hazardous and is not something I'd advise anyone to do, unless you are with a professional group... and are crazy enough to do it.

We were under the gun last night. A bow echo on the radar showed the power behind a storm that approached us. Within moments the sky that had not looked threatening at all, became black as pitch. We were already under a thunderstorm warning, and our weather band radio made another alarm--meaning this was a TORNADO WARNING. I'm not sure if it ever touched down. I only know that the report was that rotaion in the clouds was spotted by a professional spotter (may have been from police). But we only got side-ways rain, some wind and in about ten or so minutes it was okay again. We did go to the basement for a few minutes until it passed. Being out in the country, we are not near enough to hear a siren, and the weather band radio is better than just watching radar, or waiting for someone on the radio or TV to tell you what's going on. They can't be that specific. I recommend a weather band radio to anyone who might have such storms. It could save your life!

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Hello, my pretties.

I do have some news, but we'll get to some updates first.

I'm still working on the seventh book, and I'm not rushing this one, folks, because I realized last year I'd written 2 (#'s 5 &6) in the Sabrina Strong Series. I'm still working on the edits of #4, and do need to get back to them this weekend.

Kittens are growing and my husband built a little fenced-in play area, but the bolder ones are determined to break out of jail, and they need a constant watch, they are only about 5-6 weeks old. Too darling. Two steel grays one black-as-coal, and one dark tiger.

We're getting the rain/storms for now. It's very wet out. Wish I could send some rain (not the lightning, though), out to the western states. There's fires all over. I fear Colorado is going up in smoke. A whole town, South Fork, Colorado, is burning to the ground. This isn't an unknown town to movie makers. One of the Vacation movies was filmed here, and "The Lone Ranger" was also filmed in the area.

My next work, I hope to get done quickly, is my memoir about the cats--which began with one and we wound up with 6 in total, and now we've got the next generation. I won't spoil the story, and promise that "The Cat Whisperer" is not just about cats, it's also about my husband who has a tender heart, and has always tended to feed strays that came into the yard, even as a child, and took care of them above and beyond what most people would do.

But, I won't go any further with that, as I don't want to spoil the story for you.

Now to my announcement: I'M GOING COMPLETELY INDIE.

The other day I sent off something to my publisher for his blog to post--I'm required to post something at least once a month. He got back to me telling me he is quitting publishing fiction with all his authors, reverting all our works back to us. Plus his blog site crashed. He seemed to think this was grim news to me. But it was not. I was wanting to strike out on my own, anyway. I didn't want to try and pull away from him by saying I wanted to take these works back. Something told me that things were about to change and change in a good way for me.

He will be helping all of us take our work back and publish into Amazon, etc. I asked if I could use the covers. He said yes. And that was a relief, because I really didn't think I could scramble to find 3 covers that would be as good as the originals.

So, by June 30 these three books, Vampire Ascending, Vampire's Trill, and Vampire Nocturne will no longer be under Copperhill Media, but under my own publishing brand Dark Castle Publications. My hope is at some point in July I will take total control of all three of these works. I'm only going to have ebooks, and I don't know that I'll have them elsewhere, but they will definitely be available through Amazon. I hope to adjust prices to my own needs. The newest work, Vampire Nocturne, will be reduced in price. But this is a few weeks away. I'm trying to come up with some sort of launch. If anyone is interested in hosting me in this indeavor (like welcoming me to the fold of the Indie World, or some such), and I'll try and figure out how to do a giveaway of all three eBooks to one person on each blog I'm on. This would be great for anyone who may have won one and want the rest. How cool is that?

Well, there's my news, my pretties. Do have a wonderful weekend. Again, if anyone wants to host my going Indie and the giveaway, whenever it's convenient, of course, in mid-July, say. Let me know in the comments here.
Lorelei Bell
Lorelei has been crafting stories all her adult years
(yes, too many to count!) Author of the Sabrina Strong series,
"Spell of the Black Unicorn", poems, articles and short stories, and about to go Indie.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cats in a Cradle

Waking up to a nice morning. Birds are singing, cats were fed.

Last night I had to look back on my journal from last year and see when the female cat entered our lives. It was in June. She had her kittens in a hollow of a catalpa tree around July. Eventually these kitties were large enough to come out and explore their world. There was five of them. Now only 3 are left. But they are the closest-knit kitties I've ever seen. The males protect the smaller female and she has her own brood of four in an old dog house my husband has set up for them. We are awaiting the day these little dumplings come out into the world. They won't be as skiddish as the original 5 where.

I'm compiling my notes from last year and this year. I'm going to do an eBook (non-fiction) about them, things that happened, and my husband who is quite the animal lover. It is called "Cat Whisiperer". Dennis, my husband, has a way with animals that just amazes me. He's had deer come up to him in a drought and drink from a hose. Sorry. I don't have camera that can take pictures at the drop of a hat. I would have needed film for this instance. You'll just have to trust me it happened.

The three that survived are named: Halfpint, Tango, and Bashful (or sometimes we call her "Miss Kitty"). Two kittens (one at one time, another at another time) simply never showed up again after the mother took them all into the woods on a long exploration.

These are not your domesticated, finicky cats. They do not come inside. They don't mind light rain, they sometimes dab their feet into the water bowl and lick the water from their paw that way. They survived harsh cold temperatures of the winter months. They have learned to come to my husband's whistle like a dog. The only one that first came up to me was Halfpint, the smallest of the group, and he wound up being the leader who went out and found his brother and sister after the mother tried to loose them in the woods, and he brought them back. He's the hero of the story. There's so much I have to put down on this, and you'll just have to wait, as some of it amazes me the way these three stuck together through the dangers of the elements, dogs and other cats.

Since I'm having issues with getting photo in here, I'll just post as is. Sorry. I'm lucky to be able to do what I do on this blog. I have to place pictures on my facebook in order to put them up here. Silly, isn't it? But that's the only way I can place pictures here. And this morning facebook is being unkind to me.

Please stay tuned to the developements of "Cat Whisperer" anyone who owns/loves cats, or any pets, should enjoy this book. (Yes, no unicorns or vapmires in this one, it's all true content).

Monday, June 10, 2013

What Makes A Heroine?

Well, last week I wanted to find out what makes a hunk for you ladies. I was surprised what the answer was and still, it was a great way to find out what women find attractive in a man. If it means he does the laundry or dishes, while looking good doing it, why not?

But today I'm going to answer my own question: What Makes a Heroine?

No one likes a dim-witted woman. I don't like seeing a woman walk out alone at night, unless, of course they're Buffy Summers, of course, and I know she can whip anybody's ass.
Photo: working on a post today. Back to put it up later (^;
Buffy fighting Angel in season 2
When I created my Sabrina Strong, I needed her to have some realistic issues--like money issues--so that it made perfectly good sense that when offered to work for vampires, she couldn't turn it down. I mean, her biggest problem is keeping or even gaining employment. It would you too, if you were a touch clairvoyant and anything you touched, or came in contact would put you into a coma for a week.

While I enjoy other books in my genre, Sookie Stackhouse comes to mind. She has virtually the same problem as she is a telapath, and every man she might try to date she can hear their very thoughts. Sort of kills the moment when you know exactly what a guy is thinking about you.

I like Buffy because she did have a couple of falts, like falling in love with a vampire. Well, who wouldn't fall for Angel? And then she had to kill him because he became evil. That was a thrilling show, let me tell you. The build up of how they fell in love, had a few fights along the way, she had to fight and kill him. I got all tied up in the overwhelming grief over the fact she had to kill her boyfriend. And, of course, save the world, at the same time. That Josh Whedon, gotta love how he can blend humor with  horror, and know exactly how to hit the emotional bar juuuust right.

Sookie Stackhouse Books:

With Charlaine Harris's character, Sookie, we find a young woman who never has gone on a date, let alone had sex, and is introduced to both through Bill, the vampire. Their on/off relationship is steamy, wild, and at times she's fed up with it because she just winds up in the hospital, or gets beat up, or is staked. I think her first novels, Sookie is black and blue and bleeding all over the place. Sookie eventually goes from Bill to Eric, and then she's in and out of relationships with a werewolf, a tiger-were, and then back to Eric. NOTE: I have not read the last book, so do NOT tell me what happens, please!

Sabrina Strong Series:

My heroine of this series had to be strong willed enough to resist the vampires the best she could. In the first book Vampire Ascending, she certainly meets up with some handsome vampire dudes (Vasyl, Tremayne and Nicolas), and one shapeshifter dude (Dante Badheart). Who wins her heart in the end? Well, she falls for Dante. Resisting and later on rejecting Nicolas for the things he has done, or was part of abducting her best friend, Jeanie, who almost dies, and she asks the vampires to save Jeanie by turning her.

Sabrina is hired to find out who has killed Tremayne's life-time mate, in the first book. In the second book, she's involved in learning more about Vasyl, who has been seeking her--the sybil--for centuries. He saves her from a car wreck, takes a bullet out of her and proceeds to tell her all about why he has been waiting for her. And, because Dante has distance himself from her (because Tremayne has forbidden him from being intimate with her any more), she naturally becomes infatuated with Vasyl.

Her mission in this second book, Vampire's Trill, is to rescue Tremayne from imprisonment, and get him to his trial on Dark World. Easy? Not really. While there she makes a few enemies. Well, she sort of kills a designer pet and cuts the tails off a demon (he grows them back, but he's pissed). But they all return to Earth okay. But she is later abducted and tortured because Jeanie's mother wants to know where her daughter is. Jeanie's brother just wants to cut her up. Sabrina winds up in the hospital at the end of this book, and the two Mrs. Woodbine and son, Mark, are put in jail.

Meanwhile, Sabrina's guy troubles have mounted. New guy across the road, Bill, Gannon, wants to date her. Vasyl proposes, and Dante has died.

The third book, Vampire Nocturne, continues with Sabrina becoming Vasyl's bride, and then because she is still mourning her loss over Dante (who she still loved), he gives her time to grieve. But she learns that her cousin, Lindee, has disappeared, and when she goes to investigate, Sabrina winds up on a totally different world where vampires rule, in fact, Drakuyla (Vlad Teppes), is king and a number of other men want to become her lover, or taste her blood. I enjoyed witing this one where I place Sabrina into a world stuck in the Victorian age.

In each book I've manage to put Sabrina up against some nasty vampires who want to do her in, or taste her blood. I've always wanted to put the real Dracula into a story and Vampire Nocturne has him in there as the unlikely hero in the end, and my little surprise ending cures readers curiosity as to what is going on with Dante and that stone he gave her.

More adventures for my heroine is in store, so either check out those you've missed, or stay tuned for updates on the next book in the Sabrina Strong Series.

Curently, Lorelei is working on
fourth book in the series.
Vampire Ascending (Sabrina Strong, #1)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

What's Your Hunk?

Hi, my pretties! How's the day going for you. It's beautiful here and I just wanted to get a post in for the weekend. I need to go outside and enjoy the day before it slips away!

When I sit down and work on a novel, there's going to be some sort of love interest. My main character is usually a woman. Although, as of late I've been working in the POV of men. But today I'm concentrating on HUNKS.

I put out the question to a number of ladies who follow either my facebook group Fans of Vampire Ascending, or another group I belong to asking them what they liked for hunks.

Well, it sort of surprised me. Handsome was one that was chosen. Well, that's not so surprising. But some like their hunks to do housework, cook or do laundry. Another says she likes the nurdy types. One woman put up quite a list: "wit, intelligence, sense of humor, and blue eyes". Well, okay!

When I write hunks into either of my series, they may turn out to be vampires. I can't hardly see a vampire doing the laundry or housework. But if they did, that would be a plus to having them around. But then again, they'd have to do all that work at night.

I noticed no one chose the "vampire, werewolf, shiftchanger (dangerous)" selection.

But maybe I forgot to say "In books you like to read what sort of guy is your hunk type?" 

So, if you are reading this today, and would like to add to my little list of what you like in a hunk (in a book you like reading), go ahead and put it down. Now, if it's no different than the above answers, go ahead and tell me that too, in comments below.

Oh, and just a heads-up. On June 12 (this coming Wednesday), I will be on Leanna Harrow's blog promoting my newest release, Spell of the Black Unicorn. Uh, yeah, I've got at least 3 hunks in this book. One's a policeman, one is--well--a vampire, and the third is a very nasty demon. I plan on doing a price reduction on the book that day, so do watch for it!
Chronicles of Zofia Trickenbod, sorceress is
going to save her world... whether she wants to or not!
Thank you's to: Shelly Arkon, Charlotte Henley Babb, Quinn Cullen, Krisztina Williams, Nellie Batz for stopping by and taking part in the questionaire!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Partner's Progeny by Shelly Arkon

Shelly Arkon, my fellow writer and friend is about to release her next story.
Today I'm helping her out with a cover reveal for a short story she'll be putting out there soon. Here's her great cover! The Partner's Progeny will be available as an ebook at Amazon in July. For only $.99

The Partner's Prodigy (1)

Okay. Here's the story blurb:

Bullies rule... or do they?
For seventeen years, Victoria Sheek has been a paralegal supervisor at the Law Offices of Pereene, Carr, and Sevino, specializing in injury law. Rumors portray her as a bully. She remains confident that her position will never cease because of close relations to one of the founding partners, Mr. Carr.

Until Mr. Pereene, the head partner, hires Monica Bowman. Smitten with her because of her resemblance to his deceased granddaughter, Melissa, and hie memories of her, she can do no wrong.
Which one of the two girls will keep their position at the firm? It takes an unexpected event to decide the outcome of this rivalry.

Oh, wait, here's Shelly Arkon now! You know she's the author of Secondhand Shoes, a delightful novel you should really check out!
My Photo

When Shelly isn't cooking, doing the laundry, cleaning, chasing grandkids, or listening to her daghter drama (5 of them!), or lopping heads of hair at the salon, she's writing beside her two fur-peeps, Sir Poops and Hair Ball, popping an occasional chocolate while her hubby is flipping through TV channels.
Shelly lives in New Port Richey with her husband and two dogs. She's also a member of Florida Writer's Association and Writers of Mass Distraction.

My Vampire is in the Bathtub, and he can't get up!

Zofia Trickenbod is about to save her planet from the dark ex-wizard, Vesselvod
Blood, whether she wants to or not!

Hello, my pretties. Well, yes. There's this vampire in my tub! Why? Because he says that he woke up smoldering in the attic and needed a windowless room in which to hide. Poor fella. Well, I just couldn't leave him up in the attic with the threat of being burned up, so I went along with his request.

I thought I would share with you a portion of chapter 4 of Spell of the Black Unicorn, today. Enjoy. Then buy!

Zofia charged up the steps. “It’s probably your father,” Zofia informed her, as she passed Blanche in the stairway. Who else could it be?
But—he’s in the bath tub!
Zofia opened the door to find Dorian lounging back in the tub, fully clothed and propped up by many pillows, looking very comfortable. Zofia also noticed with irritation some of those pillows had come off her own bed.
Sorry about that,” he said, glancing up from the book he was reading, tossing her a nonchalant smile. “Didn’t mean to frighten her. I didn’t have a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign to put out. Whoever she is, make my apologies, please.”
Whoever she is?” Zofia said. She stepped into the room, one fist claiming a spot at the curve of her waist. “That was your daughter, Blanche.”
Blanche?” He looked startled. “No. Can’t be. Last time I saw her she was this tall.” Palm facing the floor, he indicated how tall his daughter had been when last he’d seen her.
She was eleven—then—and that was five years ago. She’s going to be sixteen this summer. You’ve missed a few birthdays around here.”
I’ve missed a few of my own,” he said with a sarcastic sniff.
Tillie’s form appeared in the open doorway and eyed Dorian with a look of disdain. “Not all of us can claim we’ve missed a few birthdays.” She snorted for good measure.
Dorian squinted as though he didn’t recognize her at first. Then, the spark of recognition came with a hesitant smile. “Ottillie?”
Why is he in the tub with a bunch of pillows?” Tillie asked Zofia, ignoring Dorian.
Good question.” Zofia turned back to Dorian. “Why are you in here? I thought you were up in the attic taking a nap.”
I woke up smoldering. Not a pleasant thing, that,” Dorian said scowling. “There’s a small window in the ceiling, apparently.” He now scanned his surroundings. “This is the only windowless room on the second floor. This should suffice me.”
But, this is the bathroom!” Zofia cried, her face squeezing into a tight frown. “You can’t just claim it like a-a dog.”
He frowned at her metaphor, then said, “You’ve no other to use?”
Well, yes, but—”
Then I can take this one for shelter during the day. I won’t require it at night.”
How typical of a Knight of the Witenagemont,” Tillie said, sneering.
His expression went from mild annoyance to one of discombobulation.
I’m not certain what that means, but for your information I haven’t been a Knight in five First World years, Ottillie. I’d hold my tongue were I you.”
Or what? You’ll turn me into a toad?” she said, looking unimpressed. “Fat chance!”
No,” he said. “But maybe I could give you a pair of wings, you old bat.”
Okay, stop it, you two.” Zofia had to break it up before it went on and on. She'd nearly forgotten how terribly they'd gotten along. She gave them both looks of annoyance. “Just because there’s bad blood between your families—”
Bad blood?” Dorian’s brow raised beneath an untamed wisp of jet-black hair.
You don’t remember?” Zofia said, dismissing the suggestive tone he’d used. She didn’t know if he could go into relapse at the mention of blood, or if he’d be fine. She watched him warily.
No, I can’t say that I do,” he said as he straightened up in the tub.
Good. Maybe your memory lapse will ease the tension for the time being.”
Tillie’s gaze begged an explanation.
It seems that somehow Blood took his memory as well as his soul,” Zofia said.
Flying lizards!” Tillie said, returning her gaze to Dorian. “Blood can’t have done all this to you. He has no powers!”
However he did it, it doesn’t really matter, does it now? I am what I am.”
The Heathweian Council of Wizards and Immortals took away his powers ages ago,” Tillie continued. “He must’ve had help in this.”
Must we go over something that’s been pummeled to death all ready?” Dorian said wearily.
But, I mean, how could he turn you into a vampire? He’s not one himself... not that it would hardly make any difference at all, as he's so into evil and darkness,” Tillie said, sliding her eyes back to Zofia.
Couldn’t he have used The Key of Dr. Faustus? Or some other dark Grimoire?” Zofia wondered aloud.
Might have,” Tillie said looking thoughtful. “Ever since he escaped Hamparzum’s there’s no telling what he’s been up to or who he’s been hanging with. Once he escaped, he went totally off the grid.”
Unless he used the Lesser Key of Dr. Faustus,” Dorian said offhandedly. “What does it matter how he’s done it? I only know I’m doomed to remain as I am—a blood-drinking, night-vision vampire.” He gazed up at Tillie. “Unless, of course, you know of a spell that might reverse this curse, Ottillie?”
Tillie eyed Dorian. They stared at one another for a long moment. Zofia wasn’t sure if they were putting hexes on one another, or just trying to win a staring match.
Just when Zofia thought she should intervene, Tillie spoke up. “I, on the other hand, have in my possession two Grimoires,” she said, her snowy eyebrows dancing high.
Zofia took in a sharp breath and stared at her. To have even one Grimoire in one’s possession on Euphoria was against The Code of Ethics, big time. Zofia and Dorian both stared at her dumbfounded.
You do?” Dorian broke the stunned silence. There was a dark, conspiratorial glint in his eyes to go with his crooked grin. “I would never have guessed you, of all people, to possess such a thing.” His sarcasm wasn’t lost on Zofia.
Where on Ugwump World would you come across two Grimoires, Aunt Tillie?” Zofia asked, astonishment washing through her.
I’ve my sources,” she said, one hand flicked in the air dismissively.
On Ebay?”
The look of superiority deflated on Tillie’s face. “Yes,” she hissed.
I don’t suppose you could look through them to find some sort of counter curse, or spell, could you?” Dorian asked.
Knobby finger tapping her chin, she hummed in thought. “I might.”
Please, Ottillie? I’d be forever in your gratitude.”
Tillie smiled with a sinister gleam in her eyes. “A Grandier showing me gratitude—and pleading to boot! I’ll be a Troll’s aunt! I think I like that. I like it a lot. But you’ll owe me, Grandier. And much more than mere words of gratitude, I’m thinking. After all, besides Zofia with the Stone, I’m the only one on First World who can perform any complex spell which might return your soul, and change you back into a wizard again.”
I-I can’t use the Stone to—” Zofia started, but Dorian interrupted.
Anything, Ottillie. Name it. If it’s within my powers, I promise I’ll grant it,” he said, rising a little bit out of the tub.
Seal of Katowice?” Tillie held up her left hand, palm out to him, index and middle fingers crossed as were the third and pinky in the sacred pledge.
Dorian held up his hand in the same way. “Seal of Katowice.”
Clapping her hands, Tillie jumped up and down, her braids became lively white ropes. “So mote it be!” She stopped jumping. “Tonight I’ll look through my Grimoires.” She pointed at Dorian with her crooked finger. “Mark my words, Dorian, you’ll not regret this, and neither will I.” She turned and left them.
Youthful voices filled the hall.
Blanche said Dad’s in the bath... tub.” Elton appeared in the doorway, his mouth falling open as he took in the sight of his father in the tub. “Dragon buggers! It is Dad!”
Not certain I like being mentioned in the same breath as ‘dragon buggers’,” Dorian said, squeezing his eyes.
Mom?” Blanche’s voice made Zofia turn to find her peering into the room from the hallway. Wearing a deep scowl, arms crossed, she was in one of those mutinous teenager stances. After all she thought this was her bathroom.
It’s all right,” Zofia said, unable to come up with any other soothing words to offer. “It’s just your father.” She turned back to the room, not quite ready to handle the next storm over the Grandier bath.
Come in! Come in!” Dorian said, stepping out of his comfortable lounge, pillows plopping to the tiled floor as he did. “Don’t worry, I don’t bite.” He chuckled lightly. “Really I don’t.” Zofia noticed his fangs were retracted, thank wizards for small favors.
These can’t be my children!” he said, stepping slowly toward them.
This is Elton, and Blanche.”
Dorian's eyes narrowed at Zofia. “I thought we named him Eltony.”
We did. But, we had to change it when we came here because he got a lot of teasing his first year in school,” she explained.
It’s a sissy name,” Elton said with contempt.
Sissy!” Dorian was aghast. “I’ll have you know that my great-great-great- grandfather’s name is Eltony, and he isn’t one bit embarrassed by it.” Dorian’s eyes lifted to engage Zofia’s. “He just turned two hundred.”
Really?” Zofia said, not sure how to react to that. She’d never cared for the old sourpuss.
I know he’ll go on to live at least another two-hundred-and-fifty more, easy!”
Wow!” Elton gasped, impressed.
He can exorcise demons, evanesce in a snap, and—”
Evanesce? What's that?” Elton asked.
Evanesce,” Dorian said. “You know, eh, vaporize. Disappear.”
Also, he can transmute any metal into gold with the Philosopher’s Stone. He’s also an expert necromancer, and is the Administrate on the Heathweian Council, and has been for the last one hundred years, now. Not everyone is chosen for that, you know.”
Cool!” Elton said, looking impressed.
I’m to take that as a colloquial for something good?” Dorian asked, eying Zofia.
Yes. Cool is good,” she assured.
Are you really a vampire?” Elton asked, still goggling Dorian as though he were an exotic snake.
Again with the vulgar slang.”
Why is it so good that your father’s a vampire?” Zofia wondered.
Elton shrugged and said, “How many other kid’s fathers are vampires?”
Not something we’re allowed to speak about to anyone. Understood?”
Elton made a disappointed whine, “Aww--I never get to tell anyone anything!” Dorian cuffed Elton on the back. “It’s for the best, son. Here, the Ugwumps rule. But, on our planet, we rule. Sorcery is a way of life on Euphoria, not something to be ashamed of.”
We aren’t ashamed of it!” Zofia blurted.
It’s as though you are,” Dorian argued, hands going to his slim waist. “The boy should be proud of who he is. How much have you told him about our world, exactly?”
I know that it’s the first planet in our solar system,” Elton said quickly. “Antares is our sun, it’s orange-red—I remember that. We’ve twenty-five months, three moons, plus an asteroid that only we can see, called Achamoth. That means wisdom—”
That’s marvelous, son,” Dorian said, patting him on the head.
I can name all the months. You wanna hear?”
Not just now—”
Amber, Bethany, Cyrillus, Durazo—”
Yes, yes. That’s very good—”
“—Esaddaeus, Formalhunt—”
That’s fine, Elton,” Zofia intervened, grasping his shoulders, turning him toward the door. “You and your father will have a chance to chat later. Meanwhile, I need a moment alone with him first.”
Elton gave her an indignant expression, looking as though she’d just told him to gargle with vinegar.
We’ll talk later, son, and you can tell me everything you know about Euphoria,” Dorian attempted to ease that sour expression on his son’s face.
Yeah, yeah,” Elton pulled away from both of them. “You always send me out of the room when you want to talk about something interesting,” he grumbled, trudging out the door.
Dorian chuckled lightly. “At least he’s curious.”
A little too curious,” Zofia said with a half-smile.
Dorian regarded her silently, and then gazed past her to take in Blanche. “And she’s got her mother’s features, this one has,” he said, grinning. “Sixteen? You must be able to transvect by now and do some easy spell casting?” Transvecting was being able to levitate and fly without aid of a broom—as was often misinterpreted here on First World.
I’ll turn sixteen next week, and yes, I can transvect,” she informed in monotone. Turning to Zofia she said, “Is he really going to be staying in here? All my things are in here. My make-up, hair dryer, shampoo—just everything!” Her hands went out with exasperation.
Noticing the deflated look on Dorian’s face, Zofia said, “I know. We’ll get your things later, but for now go back down stairs. Please?”
But, Mom—”
I know, I know,” she said, shunting the girl back out into the hall. “I’ll get your things later, and put them in my bathroom. Okay?” she said through a three-inch crack, before shutting the door.
Sorry about that.” Turning, Zofia gave Dorian an apologetic look. “She’s a teenager. They tend to be territorial.”
So I see,” he said. “Alone, at last, my darling,” he took a step toward her. She brought up her hand and stiff-armed him.
He stopped and gave her a wounded look. “I’m not going to bite you, if that’s what you think.”
That’s not what I was afraid of.”
Folding his arms, he stared at her. “And snogging is definitely out of the question, apparently,” he said with a disappointed expression.
Was he kidding? Kiss her, where would that lead? Bite her? That was the last thing she was afraid of. Well, maybe not the last thing. She rolled her eyes at him.
Nice tan,” he said, thrusting his milky white arm up next to hers.
Thanks. From gardening.”
Are you like that all over?”
Can I see your tan lines?”
NO!” she said, giving him an exasperated look. His fangs were fully extended. They looked as sharp as ice picks. She cringed, her insides going cold. The thought of kissing him made her heart thump and stomach flip-flop. She also noticed that he’d fixed her with his sapphire gaze. A picture of him kissing her, him touching her in intimate places, them doing it right there on the bathroom tiled floor, filled her mind.
She shook her head and broke eye contact. She realized these were his thoughts, not hers, and he had been broadcasting them to her in order to bend her will.
Stop it!” she barked. But it was too late to cover her sudden hot flash. The warmth spread all the way down to her collar bone, and points south.
Can’t blame me for trying,” he said, giving her a sheepish grin.
She tried to achieve an angry glare, but couldn’t quite pull it off. Somehow he looked too guileless, as though he was joking around with her, like always.
I must say, though, you’re still as lovely as ever, my goddess.”
Please,” she said, her face still warm under his smirk. “Are you joking? It’s been five First World years.” She turned to the mirror and raked her fingers through her bountiful mane. “We age faster down here. Heart beats faster. I must look at least ten years older!”
I wouldn’t know about the heart beating faster,” he said glumly.
Not to mention how different things are here, on First World,” she continued with her thoughts. “The technology—the cars, planes, TVs, phones—things are done at the push of a button.”
Exactly,” he agreed. “They’ve almost caught up with us,” he chuckled.
Yeah, right,” they both said in unison.
Well, you definitely look the same,” she said, taking him in. She had the sudden urge to run her fingers through his thick, black hair. Oh, yeah. Touching him would be the worst thing she could do at the moment. She could see it in his eyes. He was waiting for her to make the wrong move—right for him, wrong for her.
He stood beside Zofia and turned toward the bathroom mirror to gaze at his own reflection. Zofia looked in the mirror at him. Funny how the vampire lore had it that vampires had no reflection. They certainly did.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Use of Highfalutin Words

Photo: Working on 7th book in Sabrina Strong series. It's hard to keep up, as the ideas keep on bombarding me.
"The ring's powers may have been compromised when Naamah accosted her." (from WIP)
I get the complaint from my husband that I use big words he just doesn't know the meaning of, and he'll skip over them. I just thought it was him. But I came across something in one of my reviews on my first Sabrina Strong series book Vampire Ascending, that I over-used the thesaurus, and they complained about authors who do this where they have to stop and look up words (I did get a 4-star review from her, despite her other complaints about it). Maybe I'm trying too hard to impress? I don't know.

If I'm doing dialogue I want my characters to sound natural. Some characters (vampires), are from another time all together. Like Nicolas, who is from the 16th century and from time to time uses out-dated words.

Truly, I had no idea that my vocabulary was such that others placed me in a category with authors I've grown to enjoy. You see, I've had the same complaint about certain authors myself. I remember reading Anne Rice's "Interview with the Vampire", and I would high-light some of those highfaluin words, and used them myself. I don't think learning new words should be viewed as such a bad thing. I understand someone not wanting to stop reading to look up a word. But you know, you might want to know that word just in case someone else uses it in another book, you think?

The following is an excerpt from chapter four of Vampire Ascending.  I hope you don't need a dictionary to help you along, but if you do, complain directly to me through the usual means (in comments,my gmail or facebook). (You may find a little of the influence from Anne Rice from this and other sections of my book. One other reviewer stated my writing "...delves into the gritty, violent, dark and sexual world of Anne Rice's vampires..." ~ Tony Martin, Northern Star 2011--I was so thrilled by his review!).

Before I could say something inarticulate, the waitress was back to take our order, and to give me one of her best acid looks, as though she hated my guts. I really didn't know why. Did she think I was his date?
Dismissing this little distraction, I went with the lobster, ordered the salad with French dressing, and rice, not potatoes. The waitress made a wine suggestion. Something from Napa Valley, and something I couldn't pronounce—even after she'd said it. Because she was being so snotty, I went with the opposite. I chose a slightly sweet champagne, (it had said “slightly sweet” on the wine menu). I'd learned from Jeanie, when you're with someone who tells you the sky's the limit, you go for the most expensive food and drink, and eat like you'll never eat again. I waited to see what Nicolas would order—or rather how.
The waitress turned to Nicolas. “And you, Nicolas?”
I'll have the Real Red,” he said smoothly, as though he were ordering the best wine in the house.
I watched the waitress's expression. Smiling tightly, red lips curved up at the ends, she said, “Of course, whatever you wish, Nicolas.” She paused. Nicolas looked up at her.
What is it?”
She cast me a strangely nervous look, and then flicked her gaze back on him. “Later tonight? You're place?”
Eh . . .” Nicolas cut his eyes to me. “Not tonight. I'm . . . working.”
In a huff, she snapped up my menu and darted away. So quickly, in fact, I think she merely vanished.
Is she your girlfriend, or something?”
No.” He said forcefully.
Really? I mean she really looked angry at you, and jealous of me.”
Nicolas' eyes had a strange cast to them. His gaze broke away from me for a second looking past me, then it slid back onto my face.
Other than my needs, she holds no interest for me.” His fingers drummed absently on the table.
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to pry,” I said, fingering the cutlery, and pulling it out of the napkin ring.
She is a human donor. On occasion,” he added, looking distractedly at his cell phone readout.
Yours, though?” I don't know why I cared.
Eh . . . yes. One of my regular donors.” He breathed wearily. “She, like all of them, becomes slightly jealous of one another, or any other human who happens to be within my reach. It's so ridiculous, these human emotions.”
But I'm not a donor. Right?” I paused just long enough to straighten the flat wear on my black linen napkin. “I don't want to donate my blood to you, or any of the others.”
Never fear, Sabrina. You are a super-sensitive. You are not on the same level as a donor, or any of the other humans who work for us. You are more special.”
Special. Because I'm a super-sensitive?”
That, yes. But also because, you are my ward.”
Ward?” I repeated. “What does that mean?”
You are my responsibility while you are here, in Tremayne Towers. Plus, you live under my jurisdiction,” he explained patiently. “I oversee a one hundred mile radius. You are inside that area. Therefore you are my ward.” He paused. “It is difficult for you to understand as you do not know our world, our codes, and laws—yet. You do not know our ways. Because of that I must advise you in everything you do while you are with me, or among others like myself. You must do as I say, or—”
Or?” I became wary now. I wasn't especially crazy about what he'd just told me, as if I now belonged to him, or something so eighteenth-century. My great-great grandmother had been an indentured servant. That's about what this felt like. I worked for them, therefore they owned me.
You are my responsibility, Sabrina. Whenever you are at Tremayne Towers, or on an assignment, you will have to remember our rules do apply to you as well, and your being here requires the utmost caution. Do I make myself clear?”
Yes. Crystal.” I was so not liking this situation. “Am I in danger, I mean, if I wander off without you? Not that I would, but just in case there's a fire or something, I have to be prepared.”
There are certain things that will help keep you from becoming an unwilling victim.”
Okay,” I said hesitantly, leaning forward to listen on his every word.
Never walk in front of a vampire.”
Why?” I had walked in front of him when we came inside this restaurant tonight.
The vampire will automatically become the pursuer. The fact that you walk in front of us can trigger the hunger centers. You must think of yourself as prey, and we the carnivore, if that helps.”
My skin suddenly crawled. I had figured there would be some perils in working for vampires. But this was very scary.
So, what you're saying is the vampire behind me will want my blood?”
That, yes, or—” he paused, eyes slipping shut briefly, then he blinked those obsidian pools open. His voice going lower in a seductive whisper, he said, “Our sexual cravings are equal. In fact they are dual needs for us. Any vampire who believes you may welcome his advances will pursue you. We are ruled by powerful primeval forces that cannot be ignored, or denied. Once we are locked into this roll of pursuer, we cannot easily be stopped.”
You mean that I could be raped, or my blood taken against my will?”
Believe me, Sabrina,” he purred low, his voice intoxicating, “it would take so little effort to make you think you wished to be bitten. Once bitten, your pleasure centers couldn't refuse more. Our pheromones are designed to set your human desires on fire and, and depending upon the vampire, on how well he can control it, he can make you become fatigued, listless, so that he can advance on you at his leisure. Or for some vampires, simply with a look can make you feel as though he had just made love to you without ever having touched you at all.”
I had lost the grip on my serrated knife and it clunked to the table making the exclamation point of my evening. I stared at him. His explanation gripped me like a cold hand around the neck.
Another thing you must remember—and this is very important—do not look directly into our eyes. Eye contact makes you very vulnerable. It also is an invitation by you to be enthralled.”
Realizing I was staring right into his eyes, I dropped my gaze. This wasn't going to be easy. “Okay. No eye contact and I'll follow you from now on.” I flicked my eyes up. I realized his gaze had a rapacity of its own.
You will be introduced to the others, in good time. My—eh—scent will be on you, and the others will know you are my human.”
Hang on,” I said. “What makes you think I'll even take this job? Just my walking into this building sounds dangerous.”
It pays fifty thousand a year. Plus bonuses. Much like the one I've just given you?” he reminded.
I nearly choked. “That's an offer I can hardly refuse,” I muttered. I spied the bonus check still on the table. I stuffed it into my purse.
Exactly.” He smiled.
The waitress slithered back, ladened down with our food—well, mine, anyway. She delicately placed Nicolas' goblet down on a round, lacy paper doily. The goblet was dark glass—better not to see what was in it. “Your Real Red, Nicholas,” she said sweetly, almost as if she'd opened her own vein to fill it. She came around to me and served up my salad and lobster and all the trimmings, along with the champagne, and left us alone. It was a good thing I wasn't in charge of tipping her.
Starved, I began eating, while Nicolas sampled his drink, and set it down, his hand draped over the rim while it resided on the table. This would take a little getting used to, knowing I was having dinner with a vampire. Out of all my daydreams about someday meeting a vampire, I had never once envisioned this. ~© 2010 Lorelei Bell

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