Sunday, February 23, 2014

Signs of Spring & WIP's

Hello, my pretties.
Well, the first real signs of spring have shown up this week! In fact today was the first spotting of the red-winged blackbird--a sure sign of spring for us. A robin showed up earlier, but these birds don't really go south for the winter--although if I were a robin, this year, I would have headed for Mexico!

My husband has been putting birdseed out for the birds, and squirrels in our snow-packed drive. Currently, and since the rain last week, we've got an ice pond. He put out some salt where we park and walk around the truck, but the rest of the drive is icy. But I saw that the mountains of snow along side the road by us has been visibly reduced to at least half of what it had been. The sun is traveling back north, meaning the length of days are getting longer, and the sun's warmth--even when it's only 20 out--helps with the melt.

That's the news on our weather here.

On my WIP's. Well I have a couple. One is my large granny-square afghan, which is about 75% - 80% done (that is the squares that are done--sewing it all up is another project that will take time, of course) I think I began working on this larger project at the end of December, or around Christmas time.

My writing projects still consist of working on over-all edits of the 4th novel in the Sabrina Strong series, which goes slowly. I'm now not seeing this finished until March or April. I don't like rushing a book these days to get it published. I simply can't do that.

Work on my stand-alone book Dhampir Legacy is still being written. I'm working on the last portion of this book--the climax. I'm guestamating this as being finished (written) at some point in March. And then I let it sit and I'll be working on editing after I get Vampire Caprice done and published to Amazon. I hope to also put it up at Smashwords for those of you who do not have an e-reader. You can go and buy the PDF version of it there.

I've had a number of setbacks because of the weather, and related problems, things like having to fill the washing machine manually (because of the pipes being frozen) was not a joy, and it took about 3 hours to do a load of laundry! Thankfully, the pipes haven't burst, and we're back in business, as they are all thawed out.

Although I may not have had to do much work outside, like my husband, I still had to drive in horrible weather, and driving a 12 ton bus in the winter is stressful. My route is an hour long, and the time points are extremely tight, especially when a lot of people ride and I have to stop at a number of stops along my route. I rarely have enough time to eat or hit the bathroom--but I make time. I've dubbed this route my "diet" route. I usually come home exhausted, and an exhausted mind is not easy to recover from. So, the signs of spring coming in is a wonderful thing to see.

And this year I'm calling my 60th  Jubilee (sounds better than birthday to me). When I come up with a few ideas of how to celebrate it, I'll let you know. I'll try and have some giveaways. More on that later on.

Hope you're having some signs of spring where ever you are today! I know I'm looking forward to not seeing snow out my window for a long, long while. But this will not happen any time soon.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Indies: Choose Your Fonts!

Hello, my pretties. How are you doing? I know. A long winter, depending upon where you live. We just had 6" of snow, and drifting, yesterday. Now... fog. And we'll see warming temps, rain later on in the week.

Well, you didn't stop by for a weather report, so I'll get down to it.

If you are Indie author you may be trying to find places that make things easy for your publishing experience. Some of you are doing your own covers, in some way or another. I know I plan on having someone to take a couple of pictures for me for my next cover--but I'm in no hurry.

The next thing you need is a font. You don't know what font to use for whatever genre you are writing, take a look here. It will give you an idea of what sort of fonts you might want for your book.

Now, you can pay someone to do this for you (like the guy above), or you can do this yourself. Here is the best FREE place that I've found to create not only a title for your book, but something for your blog, such as banners and anything you want, really. Something like this maybe...

There's no end to what you can choose to do with any font you chose at Cool Text.
When you get there you can see the many fonts that they have. Plus, under each font you will have a multitude of styles to choose from, and after you choose one, you have even more choices. You can even make them blink!


There are so many you'll probably spend half a day looking through them all.

Here's a sample of what I've done with these fonts:
Here is something I've been working on--my next novel called Dhampire Legacy.
It's a bit too fancy for what I want. There's also this one...


but you can see that there are lots of ways to go with Cool Text. If I can do this, so can you! Try it!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Bloody Valentine's Day!

You know a number of people try to brush the vampire genre off the face of bookshelves every ten years or so. Sorry. Vampires are just as popular now as they were when the first book was printed in the 1800's. There are thoughts about why the vampire lives on in popularity. I think it has a lot to do with his lusty needs. He fixates on the object of his desire--whomever it is. For the vampire it's probably all physical lust, plus his need for blood. For the victim she's too enthralled to know the difference. For Sabrina, it's a little difficult for a vampire to thrall her since she's got the Mystic Ring. However, Bjorn Tremayne has been working on a way to get around that. Oh, and drinking her dry (see excerpt below).

I'm joining in a couple of blog hops on Valentines Day. On Muse I am joining A.F. Stewart's The Bloody Blog Hop, and you can check it out here.

We will be celebrating heartbreak, love gone wrong, romantic mayhem and tragedy, hopeful with a little splash of humor and blood.

Naturally, if you've ever visited my blog here before, you know that I have always rooted for vampires/Dracula. I'm going to give you an excerpt in that area from the next Sabrina Strong eBook, Vampire Caprice where I've cranked up the romance and her troubles with male suitors. Not just two men, not just three, but four are vying for her attentions--and not all are vampires, but they are not simple humans. In this excerpt vampire master, Bjorn Tremayne has found a way to trick Sabrina into bed with him. The result? Well, I think you'd best read it. Tremayne may have to pay for this vampiric menage a trois.

His fingers found my chin and turned it in order to angle it up to face him. Being this close to Tremayne was not in any girl's best interest if she was trying to keep the blood in her veins, or her clothes on her body. This was as uncomfortable as I'd felt with him—since that night in his secret abode where he got me stripped and in his bed in ten seconds flat. But tonight, this was different. He was being purposefully slow, sly and knew all the moves, where I was inexperienced as far as men and such things.
Sounds very safe. Very innocent. If you want to go with Chris tomorrow, go ahead.”
You don't trust me?” I accused. “And by the way, since when do you tell me who I can or can't see?”
You're forgetting one thing,” he said, sounding trite.
What's that?”
Tonight I've got you all to myself.” His hands came up and cupped my face and his lips covered mine. A warmth began at the base of my neck and went south and settled in my groin. I tried to reach for my glove to get it off my right hand so that he couldn't thrall me. I couldn't reach my glove from around his wide shoulders. I moved my hands downward, between us and began to tug at the glove. It was as though it were glued on.
Realizing what I was doing, he grasped both my hands and placed them at his sides, and then filled the gap between us with his body, preventing me from doing something—I forget what I had been about to do.
Now, ask me again. What was it you wanted to do tomorrow?” he said, smile broad.
I-I don't remember,” I said looking up into his handsome face. The soft light in the room threw shadows across the contours of his face, making it look somewhat like a fine piece of artwork. I realized I had not had the opportunity to really take in the details of his high cheekbones, the curve of his lips, almost-straight nose, the arch of his brows.
I like that answer,” he said. His lips captured mine once more, then his kisses traveled down my neck. Naturally, I arched my neck and my back, his arms holding me to him. I waited for him to sink his teeth into me, super aware of the throb at my womanhood. This was becoming maddening. There was only so much I could take. Teasing me into a whirlwind of desire, his hands went down, grabbed my shirt and it was off before I knew what had happened.
There,” he said, his eyes crawling over my exposed flesh. “Much better. My turn.”
He unbuttoned his shirt. I focused on his fingers as they un-did each button. He moved slowly, and gave me a few inches of views at a time to his broad, heavy chest and the darker chest hairs there. Further down—his ripped stomach. Tremayne having been a Viking when turned, still had the look he'd had at that moment he became a vampire in the year of our Lord 947. Heath had told me the year Tremayne had been turned and for some reason that year was branded into the surface of my brain. Removing his shirt, he was now bare from the waistband of his jeans up. His hair fell past his shoulders, and the candlelight gave the impression it wasn't hair, but spun gold. His aqua eyes the most beautiful I had ever seen them. Old war wounds that branded his chest, sides (and I knew he had some on his back because I had seen them and felt them once), made me hot with desire. Warrior. Vampire. King. He was all of these things still. Looking upon him threw a wave of delicious desire through me. There was no question I wanted him. I wanted him bad.
Candle flames fluttered with his movements of tossing his shirt to the side. He allowed me to view him like a male peacock with especially fine plumage putting on his tail display. Damed if it didn't work.
My inhibitions seemed to have abandoned me as I moved my hands to undo the button of my jeans. I seemed to be all thumbs—but then, I was wearing gloves. Well, one, anyway. Tremayne's large hands came to the rescue. Fingers as large as sausages actually seemed more nimble than my own smaller ones inhibited by the glove.
He had the zipper down and was peeling my jeans off without haste. I wore slippers and they flopped off my feet. The chill of the room hardened my nipples. His hands went around my back and unhooked my bra. Kissing along my collar bone, he edged the strap of my bra off my shoulder, lips tenderly following the motion, feathering across my skin, giving me more goose flesh until the bra fell away. He did the same for the other side, and I was so into the feel of what he was doing, I hadn't even noticed when the bra actually came off. He kissed each breast tenderly, reverently.
His hands cupped my butt and lifted me and suddenly my bare legs were around him and we were moving. My lips were once again captured by his, and I had no idea where we were going. Not right away, anyway. At least we weren't spinning again.
Then I was dropping, falling back. When I landed I was on my back. Why was I surprised there was a bed down here? And it was round. And huge. With silk sheets.
We sank into the soft bed. Crimson silk surrounded us like a red tide. It was everywhere; draped on the walls, covering the bed, even the ceiling was covered in upholstered crushed red velvet. My eyes darted back to find something more shocking: A mirror above sent a reflection of Tremayne's bare back, with me peering over his left shoulder. It was like I was in some turn of the century bordello. Candlelight made the color richer somehow, and threw jumping shadows everywhere. My stomach fluttered from nerves. What was expected of me in here? I worried that perhaps there could be a hidden video camera somewhere recording our every move.
I stiffened each time he moved, but at the same time I craved his touch. Just like the other times. I wanted him, though more than I could ever remember.
Slowly, he went down on all fours and looked down at me.
Let's make a baby,” he said, and he hooked my panties with two fingers and slid them off.
Huh?” I said, my throat, lips and tongue going dry as desert sand.
Tremayne went up on his knees again and undid that huge belt of his. I realized this was the big moment of truth. I mean it was one of those things a woman is curious about—how large a man really is. This wasn't a matter of curiosity, but more whether or not I'd survive it.
Large belt buckle hanging, he undid the button. Then the zipper and suddenly he was unwrapped. Now, I'm not a prig, but also I have to admit that I find it hard to stare at a man's... essentials. This was Tremayne, after all. Giant among vampires, and most men. Of course I had to check him out. I have to admit I'd been curious about Tremayne's essentials. I'm here to report there were no surprises one way or another. I now knew exactly what they meant by the old saying, hung like a stallion. However, I felt a deeper dread about where he was going to fit that thing than I had when first I'd met him and he made it clear I was to be his paramour.
Possibly it was when I grasped the sheets, trying to rip them off the bed, and a little scream escaped me that tipped him off that I was really not looking forward to this. But he remained cool. He was out of his pants and boots, and covering me in a matter of seconds—because vampires can move quicker than the wind when they want to. Yes, there was no awkward waiting for any vampire to get the rest of the way undressed. If I had looked as stunned as a deer that was about to be hit by a semi, I was. A sound, a little cry for help, seeped out of my trembling lips.
There, there, Sabrina. I'm not going to hurt you. I'll be gentle.”
Right. There's nothing gentle about that,” I said with accusation.
That was when he must have upped the pheromones, because suddenly I felt a wave of desire sweep me, and I was panting, and writhing, I was so worked up.
That's better,” he said moving into position.
I let out an explosive cry when he entered me, and it just didn't get much better the further he pushed into me. His thrall really didn't help the pain much. Yeah. The old act a woman might put on that she's enjoying it, but really, really isn't—I'd had a few episodes with my ex, Jack—this was one of those times where there was no way I was that good of an actress.
After several minutes of his grinding and pounding into me his head went up and he let go some primeval sound that if I weren't already scared half to death, I would have fainted by this time where it not for the pheromones keeping me hot for him.
He said in a long, drawn out way, “No-o-w... ” past huge fangs.
I felt a subtle movement to my left and before I could comprehend what was going on a bountiful head of black hair moved into my periphery. The ebony tresses tickled my skin at my neck and shoulders as the woman—I realized it was Cilia—gracefully slid her head back across my chest. Well, excuse me?
I looked up to see Tremayne's huge fangs were fully extended, large as a jungle cat's. Another horrifying, animal sound issued from his throat, and the fangs darted toward Cilia's neck. She made a muffled cry, but that was all. Initially we both jerked at the moment his fangs slid into her flesh. I watched, horrified and, at the same time, traumatized, that we had suddenly become locked in a vampiric three-way orgy. Blinded by the huge orgasm that took me, I suddenly didn't care. Tremayne's arms went around me and he lifted the both of us a little bit off the mattress. While his fangs were in Celia, his thrusts became ruts that I thought might just chisel straight through me. His groans of pleasure—and by the way mine and Cilia's—wracked the room. That was when the room tipped. A few seconds later Celia was gone, and Tremayne's face was blurred. The vision ripped through me: I was in a cave, and the cave was falling in on me.
I screamed.
Sabrina.” Tremayne's voice troweled through my mind. I blinked, looked up and saw Tremayne's face. I was no longer in the cave. I wasn't dying. Thank God! But the hand of the man with the spiderweb tattoo moved toward me, then the vision blurred and was gone.
My heart pounded in my chest, as though about to explode. Dizzy and disoriented from the vision, I was unable to comprehend anything beyond five or six inch radius around me at the moment. Tremayne's face and naked torso hovered above me. Celia had moved away—off of me. Thank you!
Take a breath, for crying out loud! It's done,” he said, anger spilling from him. Then he added, “It's done.” It may have looked as though I were holding my breath waiting for him to 'finish', but he wasn't the reason behind why I was suddenly more traumatized than before—if that could be. My fists clenched silk sheets fearing that if I were to let go I might slide off the edge of the world because it had tipped and was having a hard time coming back to level. The vision had been clear and pronounced: me in a cave with people I knew. And I wondered what Bill Gannon was doing in it. What future moment was this and why was I in a cave?
Dizzy and spent, I gulped in a breath. Letting it out, I took another. Finally the tiny stars across my vision abated. My eyes swam taking in red surroundings. My gaze darted toward the ceiling. Naked people were plastered on the ceiling. Oh, shit the mirror. It showed myself, Celia and Tremayne on the big round, red bed. God, I looked like crap! Smears of blood ran over my chest—where the frick did that come from? Celia was off to the side of me, curled up in a ball, shivering. She was the only one who had clothes on. Tremayne's blond head, broad shoulders, and naked Viking butt made up the rest of this picture that my eyes would not, or could not move away from. Long black hair fluttered at the edge of the mirror, and one brown leg, then gone. What the hell? No one else was here in the room with us. Just the three of us. Then I understood who that might have been hiding in the mirror, watching us, and not here in the physical world. Crap. Dante?
Finally, I blinked, turned my head away from everything—as if dismissing or denying that had been me up there in the mirror. It wasn't me! It wasn't! I didn't have sex with Tremayne! No way!
As the dopamine fed to my pleasure center by Tremayne's pheromones eased from me, my reasoning returned. The realization that I'd been duped filled me. New anger rose to the surface. I wasn't sure how this was set up, but I knew why. Tremayne's lust for my body had been the whole reason I was here. Now he could check screwing me off his Things-To-Do list. It had been slated for tonight, whether I wanted it or not. Some how he'd choreographed and planned it and I was stupid enough to fall for it.
As I lay there bathed in sweat—mine and Tremayne's—the scent of candle wax, blood and sex heavy in the air, I made feeble attempts not to cry of both embarrassment and anger. Absolutely exhausted by the rut I'd been given, I found some strength left in me to push the blood doll, Celia, away from me with a grunt. It was mean spirited, I know, but I had to release my anger on someone, and she was smaller than Tremayne, and closer. The bed was large and round, but I wrangled and pushed her so violently she fell on her ass to the floor. I heard her little screech of protest as she landed. I nearly laughed, but I squelched it the last second, anger overriding every other emotion.
It was the next louder, very male scream that caught me by surprise. Startled, I jumped, and pushed myself to a seated position. One second Tremayne was on his knees gazing down at me thoroughly satiated, his lips covered in Celia's blood; the next his face became contorted and his hands were clutched at his chest as he let loose the most horrible scream I'd ever heard a man make in my life. It was almost a roar, but more like that of some large animal in great pain. My eyes shifted to where his hands were. Blood gushed from a wound where a dagger had plunged into him left of center. The offending dagger was none other than the Dagger of Delphi. WTF?
I screamed too and somehow got to my knees, my knuckles pressed into my cheek bones, hoping this would all go away like the horrible nightmare it was. Whatever was going on I couldn't wrap my mind around it quickly enough to do anything about it. I realized I couldn't do anything about it.

And then I understood. I understood the whole damned, ugly thing all in a matter of three or four seconds: The Dagger of Delphi had somehow broken away from the drawer where Tremayne had stashed it. It had slid out of the confinement of it's sheath—somehow—and came to my rescue—about ten minutes too late.

FOURTH BOOK OUT IN 2014!

If you have not yet read the first three books, you may want to get caught up! See links on left!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

SNOW, SNOW, SNOW!!!!

Yeah. In case you haven't heard we've been hit by the winter from hell here in the mid-west. But we are dealing.

The water pipes in our laundry room have been frozen for about a week--which meant we had to fill buckets and gallon water jugs up in order to fill the washer. Interesting note: the thing takes at least 16 gallons each fill and will not do a partial load.

My husband has plowed at least every other day these past weeks. Did I mention that there is no where for the snow to go anymore? We've thought about doing snow sculptures just for the hell of it, except it keeps getting too cold to do much of anything outside.

This morning we had to drive our transit buses in this crap. Well, I simply decided I would not be able to keep my bus on time. At least our company is understanding about that. There were no good roads until much later on. And I was happy to see that for the most part everyone knew to go slow. The ones who didn't, the ones who thought they could drive like they always do... well God save anyone in their way. I saw plenty of those today. One guy couldn't stop for the red light and slid right through the light I was waiting at. I know not to jump the gun at the light. These guys are nuts.

We have begun putting out seed for the birds and critters. Today one of the squirrels was sitting by the truck on it's haunches looking into the picture window, his head moving to eye the porch. That they are looking for us to feed them is both cute and almost sad. The snow is too deep for them to dig in to find anything to eat. Besides, it's fun to watch the different birds and squirrels come in to eat.

I've been busy on the manuscript. It's a slow go. I get home, have lunch, and try and get a few hours in, if that's possible, of writing. Then, I'm brain dead, or just dead from my day. But I'm having fun getting this book put together. Realized I was still on the "crisis" part and I'm building toward the climax. I've decided that I'm going to be like warm weather, and come late. Maybe in May we'll see this snow all melt and be gone. So, there isn't much time for much else. Including blogging.

My treat of the afternoons has become a mix of hot cocoa with a half teaspoon of instant caffeine free coffee and vanilla flavored creamer. It almost makes my day. That and my hot bath were I can warm up and see my toes turn pink again.


But we are at the crux of winter, now. The days are getting longer, and the sun's angle is better. So, there's hope.

And my granny afghan is coming along. I need more yarn but I'm working on the colorful squares. I've got 148 so far and I need 324 for this large afghan. I do this in the late afternoons to relax. It doesn't require much brain power and I'm not straining my eyes reading something. I've actually become crochet happy. I've actually discovered a whole community of crocheters and a bunch of FREE sites where I can grab some patterns. I downloaded a free ebook for these things. I don't know if I'll make them all, but there's a few in there I'd like to try.
This one is pretty. I'd like to make it some time. But mine is
more on the traditional colors.
I haven't had much time to come around to get to everyone's blog, and afraid that facebook has also been a similar experience as well. I simply don't have time to do it all.

So, until things warm up, and I'm back in my office, or something else happens. I'm just going to ride out this winter wrapped up in my afghan, sipping my cup of warm cocoa/coffee, working on the vampire books.