Monthly Archives: October 2011
Once again, I’ve signed up for the crazy breakneck pace of National Novel Writing Month. This year I’ll be working on my new vampire series, and hope to have the first draft done my month’s end. I’m stealing the name from one of my fanfics, Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down. Apart from some similarities that are bound to come up in the transformation process, it’ll be a completely different story though. I was thrown for a bit of a loop at the end of last week’s Vampire Diaries when I saw they were making the Originals be Viking in nature, but I’ve decided to go ahead with my idea anyway. I guess great minds think alike!
I don’t have a formal synopsis written up yet, but the basic premise is this:
This series is about a girl in San Francisco who is turned by an ancient race of natural born vampires that are very reclusive. She remembers very little about being turned, the circumstances necessitated her maker leaving without explaining who he is or anything about the fact that she’s becoming a vampire, so it’s partly a mystery for her to figure out what’s going on. It’s set in a world where vampire society is very strictly controlled, and you need permission/papers before you can turn a human. There is an order of vampires set to uphold the laws and police them, keeping their presence a secret from humans and my MC is a little surprised when The Order shows up at her door, demanding to see her papers. Through a series of events, the fella who’s supposed to put her down for being an unlicensed vampire ends up helping her, forging documents and helping her be accepted.
She’s still clinging to her human life, so she’s trying to keep anyone from knowing she’s been turned and struggles with keeping her humanity in the face of how she has to live now. Because she was turned by such an old vamp, she is much, much stronger than typical newbie vampires, which leads people to believe she’s a few hundred years older than she is, and she has to pretend to be someone she isn’t in vampire society as well.
Out there somewhere is the vamp that turned her, his own reasons and motivations shrouded in mystery, and there are ties between all of them.
I’ve had a lot of fun coming up with mythos for the origins of vampires in this one, blending norse mythology with vampire lore, and I can’t wait to get started!
In addition to being available as an ebook, Pretty Witches All in a Row is now available in print through Amazon.com! As usual, here is another sample from the book between Detective Nick Gibson and his teenage daughter Veronica.
It was later than he would have liked when Nick pulled into the driveway of his home. The modest, three bedroom house was all ablaze with light, and he could hear the music all the way out in the car before he even opened the garage door. “Sounds like V’s home,” he murmured, leaving the car. The music swelled as he opened the door into the hallway, the music dark and throbbing.
Nick ventured deeper into the house, finding his teenaged daughter at the kitchen table, head bobbing to the music, bent over a textbook. How she could study with all that racket was beyond him, but he had to smile at the way her little spiky ponytails bounced, oblivious to his presence.
Not for the first time, he fretted over her appearance, thinking she looked more like a college co-ed than a high school girl in that get up. Her naturally wavy, medium brown hair was dyed a vibrant red color that didn’t occur in nature; straightened within an inch of its life so that the ends of her ponytails stuck out at odd angles making him think of a burst of fireworks. A black velvet choker wrapped around her pale throat, and her ears boasted three sets of piercings apiece. Nick flat out put his foot down on piercing any other part of her body until she was eighteen, and he had two years left to hope she grew out of that phase. As per usual, she wore a short skirt, not indecently so, but shorter than he would have liked on principle.
Her outfit du jour consisted of a black denim miniskirt, frayed at the bottom and no fewer than three visible shirts of varying lengths in shades of alternating black and red. Brown eyes that mirrored his own were heavily lined with dark gunk, and lips stained a vibrant shade of red. Veronica looked as if she was dressed to go to a club instead of sitting at home doing her homework. Though Nick had to consider; better to have her dressed for clubbing and home doing her homework than dressed like a librarian and out all hours of the night doing God knows what.
“Hi Daddy,” she called out without turning around.
Surprised, he set his briefcase down on the table opposite her. “I didn’t think you knew I was there,” he yelled over the music.
“Please, I could feel you standing there watching me.”
“What if it hadn’t been me? What if I was a robber or worse? Then it wouldn’t make much sense to leave me standing there with your back turned,” he taunted her, but in a way he was serious. A girl at home alone, he hoped he’d raised her to have a little more self preservation than that.
“Then turning around and freaking out wouldn’t have changed a whole lot by the time he’s right behind me, would it?” she pointed out, her head tilting to one side. “Besides, I saw your reflection in the window when you came in, I knew it was you the whole time.”
“Why didn’t you say that in the first place?”
“I didn’t want to miss out on lecture number twelve, it’s been overdue,” she grinned cheekily.
Somehow or other, casting this one in my mind turned into “how can I fit the cast of Firefly into one book?”. Once I got started, it was easy to fit most of them in. So here you go, how I would cast this book as a movie or tv show:
Sgt. Nick Gibson – Nathan Fillion, because he can handle that glib, charming, borderline obnoxious sense of humor that Nick has so well, and you can still believe that he’s very capable of catching a killer at the same time.
Anneliese Cross – In my mind she’s actually been a blend between Evangeline Lily and Kate Beckinsale, if that makes any sense. Because I see her as down to earth and vulnerable sometimes, but with an inner strength when things get tough.
Seraphine Ryan – Morena Baccharin – with hair, thank you! While I see a lot of her attitude and mode of dress like Anna from V, she’s got the innate sensuality of Inara wrapped up in one package.
Rose Spencer – Melanie Lynskey. I’ve been a fan of hers since Ever After, and I think she’s capable of playing someone who you dismiss as one thing to begin with, but then reveals hidden depths.
Skye Mackenzie – an early Drew Barrymore because she’s so full of light and laughter, you can’t imagine why anyone would possibly want to kill her.
Noah Cahill – Sean Maher. A good looking man, but he could pull off that smug, self-righteous quality that makes you want to punch him in the face.
Veronica Gibson – Scarlett Johanssen from “The Perfect Score”. She’s a good girl in a bad girl’s body. I love the style she embodies in that movie, I think it suits Veronica to a T.
Detective Kip Brady – Seamus Dever. Love him in Castle, and he makes a great cop.
Detective Michelle Park – Grace Park. I think it’s funny that she’s actually on a cop show now, because when I wrote this, I only knew her from Battlestar Galactica.
Sgt. Michael Troyer – Adam Baldwin, because he has that gruff authority and I can see him being a little difficult to work with.
Libby Fielding, M. E. – Jewel Staite. Though more like she was on Stargate Atlantis than on Firefly.
Pretty Witches All in a Row has come out swinging, and I’m thrilled with the response so far! Because I’m so excited about this project, and because I’m already in the giving frame of mind (I have just started my X-mas shopping!), I’m offering a chance to win a free e-book through Amazon.com. You don’t have to have a Kindle to download the book, there is a free app that will let you read it on your pc, tablet or phone or even read it online if you have trouble downloading it. All you have to do is provide me with your name and email address below and you’ll be entered to win.
I solemnly promise not to do anything evil with your email address and no one else will view it, it’s simply the way that Amazon.com will deliver the book, via an email notification. All I ask in return for the winner(s) is that you actually read the book and leave a review on amazon.com if you enjoy it. Because I am paying for the book, it will list you as an Amazon Verified Purchase when you review it. And if you register with kindlegraph.com I can even send you an electronic autograph if you like! (I haven’t tried this though, so I’m not quite sure how it works) Please comment below if you have any questions or concerns, I’ll keep the giveaway open for about a week before I pick the winner(s). I haven’t decided how many copies I’ll give away, it depends on the response I get, I suppose.
Sorry, the Pretty Witches giveaway has been closed. Congratulations to our winners!
Five minutes with Samael from Angel of Mercy
Iris: Iris here, and I’m talking to Samael, the former angel of death, now one of the Fallen, who gave part of his Grace to Mercy at the beginning of our story, accidentally imbuing her with angelic powers. Wow, that’s a mouthful! Thanks for joining me today, Sam, I know you’re not always comfortable talking to people.
[I notice right off the bat, he sits with perfect posture, eyes a little wide with uncertainty maybe]
Sam: I do tend to avoid people, it’s true. I am pleased to be here though, but I’m not entirely sure what it is you want from me.
Iris: It’s okay, Sam, I won’t bite, I promise. I’ve never interviewed a fallen angel before, how long have you been living among the regular folk?
Sam: It has been close to two millenia since I was… since I began to dwell here on Earth.
Iris: That’s a long time. What do you do all day long every day? I understand you don’t sleep either, what do you do to keep busy?
Sam: I tend to my books, and there is much need for judgment among your kind. Though I no longer serve in an official capacity, I do mete out justice when I have the opportunity to.
Iris: How do you do that?
Sam: I can see the quality of their souls.
Iris: Really… what does my soul look like?
A little sample of my latest book, Pretty Witches All in a Row to start your day with.
This is set close to the beginning of the book, after the first murder when Sgt. Rick Gibson pays a visit to Annaliese, who owns a local witchy shop. It’s early in the day and the shop isn’t open yet, but finding the door unlocked, Rick lets himself in anyway…
The store wasn’t as freaky as he’d thought it would be; no cobwebs or demonic symbols. It reminded him of the sort of place an old explorer would have, furnished with knick knacks from his world travels. The big rooms with high ceilings and lots of rich mahogany moldings gave it an airy feel, with plenty of comfy chairs tucked into little nooks and crannies. Clearly the owner didn’t have a problem with people loitering, and he took that as a good sign, venturing deeper.
Inside a large glass cabinet to his right were dozens of little glass vials, in neat rows. By twisting his head to one side he could read the labels, each sporting the same Argent Flame logo along with descriptions like ‘come to me’, ‘prosperity’, ‘good luck’, and ‘purification’. On the open shelf below sat a small brass container about the size of an apple, similar to the one he’d seen at the victim’s house. Curious, he lifted the lid.
The music cut out suddenly, a feminine voice calling out to him from the rear of the shop. “Is there something I can help you with?”
“Sweet Jesus…” he gasped, rattling the lid to the incense burner, having trouble replacing it properly with the sudden rush of adrenaline coursing through his veins. The owner of the voice didn’t look very witchy, or wicca-y; whatever the term was supposed to be. Nick guessed her to be in her late twenties, dressed in soft pajama pants in a lavender flannel, with a matching tank top; a long gray sweater coat completed her ensemble. Her eyes were a soft mossy green and a light spray of freckles kissed the bridge of her nose. Long, mahogany hair hung loose over her shoulders, falling down her back in softly tousled waves, and bare toes peeped out from the bottoms of her pants. Either her boss had the laziest dress code ever, or she lived there. Pretty in an understated, natural way, he could imagine seeing her at the grocery store or the dry cleaners and never once have guessed she ran a metaphysical gift shop. She was staring at him with one brow raised, not looking particularly amused at the prospect of finding him in her store.
“Nope, just me. It’s a little early for breaking and entering, isn’t it?” Her head canted to one side as she studied him.
“Technically it’s just entering, the door was unlocked,” Nick flashed a sheepish grin.
“But the closed sign was still up,” she set down the remote, keeping the counter between them.
“I heard the music, I figured someone was around.”
“And this morning you were struck by a powerful need for incense? So powerful, you decided to chuck convention and let yourself in?”
Cute. “Not exactly.” He reached into his inside coat pocket and withdrew his ID, the little gold badge gleaming against the leather. “Sergeant Gibson, I’m here in a strictly professional capacity.”
He’d clearly managed to catch her off guard with that one, as her brows rose with a measure of surprise. “I’m Annaliese… Cross,” she added belatedly, studying his identification with interest. “What can I do for you, Sergeant?”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Cross.” At least he thought she was a Miss, a quick check revealed her ring finger to be bare. “I was hoping you could answer a few questions for me.”