Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A New Year!

Isn't it nice to pretend we can flip over to a new untarnished sheet and start all over?

Yes, maybe that's what we should do. We've learned some lessons in the past year (we hope), and are moving on to better things--if not bigger. Let's try not to overtax ourselves.

Since my year was so full of both disappointment and overwhelming projects, I'm looking forward to a new year where I hope I'm not having to go back three steps and try to correct a lot of errors, and then do the job that someone else screwed up. Trying to get out all three books that my publisher dropped was a job, but I did it! Plus put out the one I had been planning on as well.

Having gone Indie over the summer was freeing, but also putting a great deal of pressure on me, because now I have to promote. This isn't always easy. Especially if you are busy doing other things, including working outside the home in a job you don't really relish--sound familiar? A number of you out there do the same thing. We're all in this boat together. And take care of a home and family, as well.

My hope is to merely get two books out in 2014. Period! I'll be working on other projects as these things get done. I'll continue my Sabrina Strong series--since I've got the 4th one Vampire Caprice, coming out in 2014, and have #5-#7 written, and need to work on those in order.

So, as things settle down with the confetti, and I get over the hang-over (just kidding!), my work will continue on these projects. I think the key word for next year will be MODERATION!

What are your plans for 2014?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Flying Fingers

The clock on the mantle announced the hour of one a.m. with a delicate bong.

Seated on one of the more comfortable silk-covered Regency couches, Phil gazed down the hallway. How many times had he and his friend, Herb Rubin, encountered the undead's evil? Too many to recall. Nearly ten years worth, he guessed off the top of his head. During that time they had kept close vigil on odd occurrences of cluster disappearances, monitored anemic victims in hospitals, learned of strange stories of corpses vanishing from morgues and mortuaries, and of the freakish phenomenons of instantaneous combustion mostly by newspaper accounts and through their covert investigations, which usually turned up vampiric attacks on a whole community. Some of these attacks had been on acquaintances, and they could operate with the victim's blessings. Others, and there had been many, were on people who didn't even know them, and yet they had been successful in snuffing out the lair--either quietly, or in a big way--and had to flee the area in order to keep themselves out of jail and continue to do their important work to fight this evil. They hoped to, someday (along with others doing the same work all over the world), eradicate this terrible plague from the world, once and for all. 
~from Vampire Legacy 2005, by Lorelei Bell

Hello, my pretties. The above is a sample paragraph from the older mss., which I'm working from. I've renamed it Dhampire Legacy. As I go through I am editing out things/characters/scenes, and deciding where, if at all, any portion of a chapter (or all), I can use in the new version, and where it will go. The "edited out" pile is pretty large. The "entered" pile is large, but then, I had two or three drafts to look through and choose what I wanted to use.

I've run across a number of files where I've written notes for it. This thing took on gigantic proportions at one time. I've mentioned to you that at one point it was over 800 pages, and I honed it down to 400 in a month's time. I can see now, as I go through and discard certain chapters, where this thing got out of hand. The need to "kill" my darlings has become like a slaughter, in this case.

Nevertheless, I have just reached over 60k words--yesterday it came to 62,350 words and 191 pages. I'm nearly at the 200th page and I'm working to get my mss to the climax point of the book. It's easier if you have a diagram of a plot and know how to implement it. (If you need one, just ask. I have something I can send you via email.) It was something I discovered through the various places I go to learn how to write and plot.

As you may have guessed this is a slightly different sort of vampire book, it is more on the order of a police procedural, mystery, and supernatural suspense sort of novel. It is pretty much the opposite of what my other books are like, and borrows from novels such as those written in the 1980's, before vampires became sexy and got into the bedroom and became objects of women's sexual fantasies. I used to read novels such as 'Salems' Lot by Stephen King, They Thirst by Robert R. McCammon, and various others which had vampires seeking human doctors to either explain their condition, asks for help or tell the true story of their existence (before Anne Rice), like Vampyr by Jan Jennings, and By Blood Alone by Bernhardt J. Hurwood, and there was The Dracula Tape by Fred Saberhagen, among the few I'd read. Some I wasn't too impressed with, but these weren't too bad. They Thirst being among the better of these for suspense and action where the vampire was strictly evil and blood thirsty--which as it should be! I'd have to re-read 'Salem's Lot, however, as I keep getting it confused with the ridiculous movie rendition. They simply could not keep from messing with, and changing (screwing up), King's books on the screen.

With this post, we are looking on a brand new year and I hope to get two brand new books out in 2014. The first one will be #4 of the Sabrina Strong series, and I'm working on the edits while beta readers are still working along, chapter by chapter. And I am definitely slating Dhampire Legacy for a 2014 release! Hopefully with nothing else on my slate, I should be able to get these two books out next year.

Until next time, my pretties!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

.99 NOW! Count Down Deal on 3 Books!

Hello, my pretties! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying all your presents. But if you have an Amazon card, and still have a few $ left over, why not check out a few of my eBooks? I've got three books that are .99 today, tomorrow and the next day. The price is going to go up one dollar every few days, until January 4th with Amazon's Count Down Deal. So, why not click on one or two titles. You may not see these prices again until next year!

Vampire's Trill

Vampire Nocturne

Spell of the Black Unicorn

Thank you! We'll see you next year!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Bit of This 'n' That

Merry Christmas to all my pretties!

 I wanted to give you some up-dates what's been happening with me, and my husband and my writing.
This has been a heck of a year! I went Indie, as you may know. That was a busy summer! I got all three of my Sabrina Strong books out as an Indie with the help of my friend/formatter, John Gill (Carole's husband). He was also instrumental in helping me get "The Cat Whisperer" formatted for both Amazon and Smashwords, as well as helping me with the cover.

I finished my husband's afghan. I never realized it, but I've never made him his own before. I've made others just to go over couches, but this one is his.

As you know we had to give up the kittens so that they would go to a good home. This is a picture of Peewee, the smallest kitten in the 5 that were born under the porch steps in the fall. She was so small, she snuggled in between her two bigger brothers, and hid. I was the first one to see her, small as a mouse, but there. I had been very worried about her. Well, here she is. A healthy little kitty, now 2 and a half pounds of spunk! I'm so happy my sister has her, she's delighted I must say, and I'm very happy that this little bundle has given her such pleasure.

This is Peewee ("Sadie") the smallest kitten
in the group of 5 kittens we had to raise and then
give to shelter, but my sister has this one!
I've been told the gray kitten went to her sister-in-law, and that was good news. I hope to hear what happened to the others. But I'm sure they'll all get great homes.

While I sit and look out the window at the melting snow, we are under a winter storm warning for tonight, and so I'm getting this post up just in case I can't do this tomorrow. Christmas has snuck up on me! I didn't have much time to get cards out and forgot to get more stamps, so I just didn't do it.

I am still working on getting the fourth Sabrina Strong book done, with the help of friend and author, Shelly Arkon.

I am currently working on another WIP. As a matter of fact I've almost got 50k words done with it. If I had pushed it, I would have gotten that much done within the 30 days usually set aside for NANOWRIMO. I'm about 4 days over it, but that's okay, as this is a new achievement. And it's nowhere finished at all. Anyway, in case you aren't familiar with what I'm working on, this is something I had written many years ago, and I've decided to dust it off and breath new life into it. I've renamed it "Dhampire Legacy". I've got plans for the cover and two co-workers have agreed to give me a hand in making the cover. I'm not going to reveal any more about that right now, but I will when things begin to move along toward making it and then I'll have a big reveal. But that's a long way away. Next year at some point.

This year I have done what I said I'd do: enjoy life. I did not push myself too much. I went for walks, I crocheted in the afternoons, and read something after dinner before going to bed. And the naps in the afternoon have been wonderful!

I wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas and we'll see you in the new year! I'll be lurking around my other blogs and usual places in the next few days as well!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pitting a vampire against a leprechaun...

Good evening, dawlings!
Well, I've been sooo busy working on another WIP, and I've been neglecting things here. *sorry* I don't want you to forget my fourth Sabrina Strong book is still being worked on. I'm slating it for a possible February release--but don't hold me to that. I'm doing my best working on it along with everything else that's been going on in my life.
Here is the book's cover:
My friend Lucy Pireel helped me with this cover!

With that said, let me give you a sample from the book. You know, what I love to do is place one loose cannon (character) with another. You just never know what the outcome might be. It could be exciting, volatile, might be funny and at the same time crazy. The two in this scene are my big handsome, seven foot tall vampire mogul, Bjorn Tremayne, and the other is Rick, the leprechaun who has a birth defect and left him with almost no arms, but hands situated at his shoulders. Well, these two are such complete opposites in stature and in mannerisms, and I love to throw the two together and see what comes of it. 
Let's go check in and see what Rick is up to right now...

While holding the brush with the toes of his right foot, Rick brushed his hair and aimed the hair dryer with his left foot. His toes were long, and nimble. He could write with both hands, and both feet, sometimes at the same time, but not when he was drunk. He tried that once on a dare and had fallen off his stool—in Tom's Tavern. It had the whole place guffawing. Besides, he thought his handwriting was much better when he held a pen in his right foot, than the left foot, or either of the hands. It was mainly because he could see what he was writing. The kind sisters at the orphanage of Our Lady of Perpetual Grace had helped him develop and work on his disability when he was old enough to learn to read and write. Sister Fred was his favorite nun. She had the disposition of a saint, and put up with his horseplay, as well as the magic he could do. Plus she'd kept his abilities a secret. She thought his magic was a “gift from God”. Well, maybe they were. But he was merely a leprechaun, and not a rich one either. The pile of money had dried up a long time ago from the settlement for the birth defect he was born with because of the drug his mother had taken while pregnant. But he would be fixing that real soon with the deal Tremayne had offered him.
Seated on the toilet, using his hands to keep himself steady holding on to the corner of the sink and the corner of the toilet tank, his hair was nearly dry. He'd slept the whole day, and when he woke up, he felt refreshed—and no longer needed to worship the porcelain god from altitude sickness. It was dark out, too, he noticed. Chris had shown him his room, earlier, and since no one was using the shower, he had ducked in here with his shower supplies. He loved the multiple shower heads, as he could aim the lower ones right where he needed them. He didn't think he'd been so clean in all his life—he felt squeaky clean. He was pretty sure he hadn't sung that well in a long while, either.
I wonder what they might eat for dinner.
His relaxed thoughts were jolted when someone suddenly materialized in the bathroom with him. He cried out. The hair dryer flew out of his toes and clattered to the floor. Rick wound up there with it; the towel that had been wrapped around him, now flopped open leaving him as exposed as a flasher. The headache he'd gotten rid of was now back after hitting his head on the vanity.
SHIT!” He leaped to his feet, magicked the towel back around him and stared at the huge vampire who had materialized out of nowhere. “What the fuck are you doing? You scared the crap-olla outta me!”
It didn't work,” Tremayne said, seeming unconcerned about the situation, and chaos he had caused. He gazed down at him, then offered a hand to help him up. Rick took it, but wasn't happy.
What?!” Rick's face had gone hot and he imagined it redder than it had been a moment ago from the hot shower.
Tremayne sighed and rolled his eyes. “I said it didn't work. That thing you did to keep me from wanting her blood.”
What do you mean? I did like you told me. You two looked really cuddly-smoochy when I walked in there the other night.”
I couldn't be close to her without feeling the desire for her blood.”
Well, you're a vampire. What do you expect?”
I thought you said you could do something about that.”
If I take away your need for blood, totally, it would be total. I don't know if I can bring it back. You don't want that, do you?”
Tremayne paused in thought.
You don't want that. Right? You'd never want blood again.”
No. That wouldn't work either.” He let out a frustrated sigh, raked his fingers through his golden locks.
You might as well face it, dude. You need to find a different way.”
I do have a few ideas, actually. I've just implemented one, and now I need you to go and get me some virgin's blood.”
You're shitting me. Right?”
No. I'm not. And I'm giving you less than an hour to get it to me.”
Rick sighed. “How much?”
How much? Ah...” Tremayne's eyes darted away from him in thought. “A couple of ounces, if you can't do a whole pint.”
That might cost me.”
My credit's good. You know that.”
Done. What will that do—the virgin's blood?” Rick wondered.
Take my mind off her blood.”
Tremayne gave him a side glance. “You're kidding me? Virgin anything for a man is heaven.”
Ah. Right, right.” Rick nodded. Vampires, shit.
Also, I've got to have you get her to cover her ring up. I can't thrall her if she has the ring uncovered.”
Okay. What if I make it so that she doesn't uncover it? She just thinks she did.”
Tremayne slid his eyes to the leprechaun. A smile bent his lips. “Now I know why I hired you.”
Yeah, yeah. Now get the hell out of here so I can finish up.”
Tremayne turned to go, but stopped. “I wondered how you managed to... you know, without... you know?” He made hand gestures toward the hair dryer.

Get the fuck out of here!” Rick snarled and pushed him toward the door. Tremayne ducked out into the hall, and Rick slammed the door as soon as Tremayne was out. He reached down to pick up the hair dryer. He saw bits and pieces of it scattered on the floor. “Aw, fuck.” He shook his head slowly. With a snap of his fingers the pieces flew back together. The dryer came to life and he magically floated it toward his head. “I knew I shouldn't have gotten mixed up with a vampire. I just knew it.”

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Cat Whisperer now available on Smashwords!

Before I get into this I want to up-date on the kitten situation.

If you've been reading about these cats/kittens/kittens from the original feral cat (in this story), they have been taken in by Tails, here in DeKalb. My sister wanted and took home the smaller black kitten. Her husband knew we wanted to get the rest of them (there were 5 all together), into a shelter, or give them away. We worried that they wouldn't take them, as sometimes they don't. But the reason we wanted to get these cute little guys in was because we didn't want to have the same cycle happening--the mating and resulting kittens again. Since their mother went missing 4 weeks after they were born, we had assumed responsibility for their well-being and up bringing and care. They were entertaining as well. We put them on our porch, and kept them safe from whatever predators who got the last three cats in this story "The Cat Whisperer". We needed help, and help came. It's amazing what people will do for animals, and I have to say, they came through wonderfully!

I had no idea that my nephew, Brett Paul (who has a photograph business on the side), donated a lot of money to this shelter for animals. He and his wife have 3 cats, in fact. So, when my brother-in-law told me about this over a phone conversation about Tails, and that my nephew was very much involved in Tails, I got an email off to Brett. He, at the time, was in Florida, but he still coordinated things with Tails, and we were soon scheduled for a time to go to Tails to drop them off. Brett and his wife came home the night before--with head colds--and met us at Tails. The lady who took them in explained that they would be given shots, wormed, and neutered, and they would be ready to adopt in 2 weeks!

After trying to get people interested in coming out and taking a kitten at our house, this worked out much better. I'm sure anyone looking for a sweet kitten when they see these guys they'll have no trouble taking one or two home with them.

So, this is the true ending of the Cat Whisperer--the story, and my husband's care taking of cats. He has officially "retired", he said to me after we came home and cleaned up the porch where the little guys played and did their mock battles--giving us something to watch. Teary eyed as the day ended, we missed them, but we knew this was the best thing for them--especially as we went into extremely cold weather, and they would have froze on our porch. It wasn't what we wanted, it was what was best for the kittens. I hope that someone will find a new kitten under the Christmas tree this year!

And now, for those of you who are new to this, or have been following along. This true story is now available at Smashwords.
A special thanks to John Gill, who did the formatting for this, as well as helped me with the cover. Look at those cute guys!

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