Monday, August 26, 2013

Housekeeping....projects...and freebies

Anybody who knows me knows how much I loathe moving.  It ranks up there somewhere between a root canal and jury duty.  But, sometimes it is necessary.  This time it was.  I had to move forward which meant relocating a bit. Everything else was put on hold while I completed the move - and celebrated  my birthday.

Now I am back at it and practically settled in the new place, however, I've been set back in a few areas.

All of the time packing and so on left my mind with plenty of room to drift which left me re-thinking my current WIPs.  To that end, I'm researching some more for IMMORTAL MACHINATIONS and I am even more excited for my first Steampunk novel.  I've also laid out some more of the story lines for my Moonbeams and *** series (the first installment is available on Wattpad - Moonbeams and ****).  I am hoping to have the next set of "choices" uploaded by the middle of September.

I also have a few upcoming engagements scheduled for September.  In a more casual capacity I will be attending Ohio Comic Con September 20-22nd.  It will be awesome to attend as a guest and not be working a table.  I am hoping this will allow me an opportunity for some exposure and a lot more fun!  The very next weekend I will have a vendor's table at Context 26 (September 27-29th).  This will be my second year at this event!

Finally, and perhaps most exciting, RYDER ON THE STORM will be FREE, that's right, FREE this Thursday (August 29th).  One day only, FREE.

And while you are at it, pick up the thrillingly amazing Treasure of Egypt by the fantastic and talented Barbara Ivie Green.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A second new project....

I do not think it is a secret that I work on several projects at once so I doubt it comes as a surprise that Ms. Violet Patterson has two WIPs going right now.  One is of course IMMORTAL MACHINATIONS and the other is this little baby with the working title Moonbeams and M*** - why the *** you ask?  Well, that's part of the mystery of it!  You see, Moonbeams has multiple possible outcomes and I am thinking that the three main veins with have three different titles.  I'm getting ahead of myself, why not just read what I've got and see what you think at the end...

Beep. Beep. Beep.
Trin groaned and pulled the blankets tighter over her head kicking out with her leg to rouse Max. 
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Her leg found nothing but cool sheets and dead air.  Trin’s hand fumbled outward toward the pillow beside her, searching for the mop of curls usually occupying the space.  Again she came up empty.  Pushing the blankets off her head and rubbing her eyes she blinked at the half empty bed.  No Max.  Numbly, Trin leaned over and pushed the cursed black box on the ground in an effort to silence it.  It landed hard on the wood floor and something cracked but at least it fell silent.  She had to think.  Max had not mentioned an early morning but maybe he got called in.  No.  Trin assessed the room; he had not even been home.  Panic bubbled in her chest as she reached for her cell.  No messages.  No missed calls.  Nothing.  Trin opened her contacts; right at the top was AAAMax., their personal joke that usually made her chuckle.  Not this morning.  She touched it lightly and his face appeared on the screen, grinning dopily with a beer in one hand and a shot glass in the other.  The call went right to voicemail.  Trin tried again.  And again.  And one more time for good measure, just in case before hurling the phone into the mound of blankets. 
“I’ve got a feelin’ that tonight’s gonna be a good night, that tonight’s gonna be a good good night.”
Her Black-eyed Peas ringtone reverberated through the oddly quiet room.  Trin scrambled to find her phone in the mass of blankets.  The caller ID noted “unavailable.”  She normally didn’t answer those calls.  Trin would remember that thought for a long time after she took the call.  Why did she answer it this time? 
“Hello?”  Trin’s voice sounded sleepy and shaky, as if afraid to hear what the caller had to say, or more appropriately, who the caller really was.
“Mrs. Kennedy?”  The voice on the other end was sort of raspy but not unkind.
“This is.”  Trin’s response came out in little more than a squeak.  She did not think this was a telemarketer.
“Mrs. Kennedy, this is Lieutenant Timmons, do you remember me?” 
Trin racked her brain, clinging to the remnants of rational thought as a whirlwind of crushing fears threatened to overtake her.  Rationality prevailed as she recalled the officer on the phone, drawing his thin, pointed face to the front of her mind.  He was a regular at the charity golf tournaments her firm put on, a volunteer at the area Safety Town, and a recent client of Max’s.  “Lieutenant Timmons, how are you?”  Trin tried to sound normal, tried to regulate her voice. 
“Are you at home, Mrs. Kennedy?”  Lieutenant Timmons’ voice changed some, taking on a tender tone, almost as if he hoped she was.
“Yes.”  Trin’s lip quivered.  A piece of her knew where this was going. 
“Is anybody with you?”  The tenderness in the voice was almost too much to bear.  Trin imagined the pitying expression accompanying it and cringed. 
“N-no. Max-“ Trin did not get to finish her sentence.
“Good, two of my officers are on their way to your home. Please let them in and I will be there soon after.”  The Lieutenant paused, waiting for a question perhaps.
“Why?” Trin didn’t want to know the answer, she knew she didn’t but it slipped out.  That happened to her a lot and she always cursed her curiosity. 
“I will explain when I get there.  I’m just turning on to Mercer now.”  Lieutenant Timmons paused then added apologetically, “I’m sorry.”
The line went dead and Trin found herself just staring at a black screen.  Her heart was in her stomach having a fiesta with last night’s leftover spaghetti.  Woodenly she slid out of bed, adjusted her pajama bottoms and pulled a t-shirt over her cami.  She didn’t bother with the bra.  Instead, Trin pulled her robe off the rocker and shuffled down the hall.  She hit the living room as the doorbell rang.  Through the front picture window she saw a police cruiser parked out front.  The lights were off but she was sure that her nosy neighbors, Mrs. Tweed and old widow McGee were pressed up against their windows watching intently.  They would be on their phones with each other speculating what that hippie girl had done now.  That’s what they called her.  That hippie girl.  From day one.  Even to Max.  They would ask how his hippie wife was doing.  She wondered what they were saying about her now.  On another day she would have playfully asked the officers to cuff her and lead her to the cruiser, just for shits and giggles.  But not today.  Today she strode across the room with as much control as she could muster and opened the door slowly.  The officers turned to look at her with mutual masks of neutrality.
“Mrs. Kennedy?” The taller of the two gentlemen addressed her casually.  “May we come in?”
Trin glanced at their gold name plates, Ball and Timmons.  She didn’t answer but opened the storm door and allowed the officers to step inside.  They moved to the middle of the living room and Trin was just closing the door when a dark sedan pulled into the driveway behind her Beetle.  She stood there watching stupidly as the driver’s door opened and Lieutenant Timmons emerged.  He raised a hand to greet her and strode up the walk, his long legs cutting the distance in seconds.  Trin gestured for him to enter and the Lieutenant stepped in to join his officers in the living room. 
“Mrs. Kennedy, I apologize for the secrecy but I wanted to discuss this in person.” Lieutenant Timmons looked tired, more than that he looked haggard.  Trin wondered what he’d been through, wondered how old he really was now that she could see his stubble and the hair he usually kept well covered by his officer’s hat or a Green Bay Packers ball cap.  Now she could see that his salt and pepper hair was now much more salt than pepper and it was noticeably thinning.  The lieutenant had fine lines at the corners of his eyes and mouth that were more noticeable now that he was not smiling. 
Forcing on her most pleasant expression, fighting against the gnawing concern, Trin offered her token response, “Please, call me Trin.  My mother-in-law is Mrs. Kennedy and we could not be more different.”  This was true.  They were nothing at all alike but in truth, being called ‘Mrs. Kennedy’ just made her feel old and matronly – two words she was not comfortable applying to herself. 
Lieutenant Timmons’ face tightened briefly but shifted into a half smile.  “Very well, Trin.”  At least he did not say her name with distaste like so many others of his generation tended to.  Not that she was trying to be ageist, it’s just the way things went for her.  It was even worse when she gave her full name, Moonbeam Trinity.  Her parents had been true hippies and at one time she’d hated them for naming her something so silly.  Not anymore.  Now she embraced it.  Though she wasn’t likely to go around asking to be referred to as Moonbeam, Trin had found peace with it thanks to Max. 
“Please, have a seat, gentlemen.”  Trin gestured toward the mish mash of furniture in their living room.  The men opted for the furniture and loveseat, arranging themselves in an almost protective circle.  Trin settled in her antique wingback chair, a thrift store special that she’d reupholstered in lime green chenille.  It made her feel like a new age Jackie O when she sat in it.  And right now, Trin suspected she needed to channel her inner Jackie.
“Trin, I’m here about Cormack.” Lieutenant Timmons’ face softened considerably into a frown making his fine lines into deep crevasses. 
She almost giggled.  Almost.  Cormack.  Nobody called Max that except for his great Aunt Aislinn who still lived in Killarney on the family farm.  “Max.  He goes by Max.”  Trin breathed the words as if somebody else were forcing them out of her.
“Yes, Max.”  Lieutenant Timmons nodded.  Out of the corner of her eye Trin noticed one of the young officers scoot down the loveseat toward her.  “Max was in an accident early this morning.”  Lieutenant Timmons paused allowing her to soak in that tidbit before continuing.  “He didn’t make it, Trin.” 
The officer on the loveseat reached out for her hand but Trin pulled her knees up to her chin wrapping her arms about her legs.  She did not want to be touched.  She wanted to scream at them that they were wrong that it was not possible.  She wanted to throw something, perhaps that hideous lamp Max’s mother had forced them to take off her hands and display in their house.  She wanted to go back to bed and wake up to Max’s alarm, make love to him and share breakfast in the garden.  She wanted a lot of things but what she did was ask a question.  “How?”
“He was crossing the intersection of Smith and 1st when the other driver t-boned him.”  Lieutenant Timmons’ answer was clear, resonating through the house.  “Max didn’t even know what hit him, Trin.  The other driver is in critical condition but we think he was texting.  Nobody else was involved.”
“Can I see him?”  Trin didn’t know if she really wanted to but the question slipped out. 
“Yes.  We came to take you in to identify him and I can release his belongings to you.  There is some paperwork to complete and I thought maybe you’d want to call somebody to go with you.”  Lieutenant Timmons nodded to the officers who rose, mumbled their condolences and left the house as suddenly as they’d come.  Trin wondered why they’d been dispatched.  In case she flew into hysterics?  In case she went homicidal?  She stared out the front window, past Lieutenant Timmons’ ear, as the two young officers walked across the line to their cruiser and slipped inside and drove off.
It took a moment for her to register Lieutenant Timmons’ voice again.  She trained her eyes on him, trying to comprehend his words but the room was closing in on her.  She felt very insignificant and very alone.  “I want to call my sister.  I want her to go with me.  Or rather, I can have her meet me there.”  Trin stood.  She was on autopilot now, having a sort of out of body experience.  “I left my phone upstairs.  I’ll call her and put some clothes on.  I need to find my keys.”
“l will wait and I’ll drive you.  I think it’s for the best.”  Lieutenant Timmons left little room for argument as he stood, asserting his presence.  She didn’t have the energy to argue. 
“Jen, just let it go.”  Trin threw the scrubber in the pot and whirled on her sister.  “I’m not leaving and that’s the end of it.”
“But why, Trin?  Why are you staying here?  It’s been six months and you haven’t even left your house.  You aren’t showering, you aren’t writing, you aren’t sewing, in fact, you aren’t doing anything productive that I can see and you need to move out of the house anyway.  You’re royalties cannot cover this place and you have no inventory left even if you managed to clean up and score a booth at an artisan fair.  Face it, Trin, one way or another you’re leaving.”  Jen pressed on from across the kitchen where she was actively scrubbing out the refrigerator, her sandy hair falling free from its bun.  Trin wanted to dump the dirty water in the pot over her sister’s head. 
“Drop it, Jen.”  Trin gritted through her teeth.
“No.  I will not.” Jen stood and faced her, eyes like steel.  “You cannot become a shut in.  You cannot give up your life.  Max would not have wanted this for you.”  Her voice softened with the last part.  When she said his name, Jen said it with all the respect she’d had for him.  Had.  Trin turned away.  She didn’t understand.  Nobody did.  Max was gone.  Trin repeated it every day, several times a day but still it was not real.  She could not accept that he was gone.  His mangled face still haunted her dreams but the funeral had been nothing more than a nightmare, a strange out of body experience at best. 

“Trin, you have to make a move.  You have to live your life.”  Jen’s hand was on her arm, soft and warm.  She squeezed lightly, reassuringly, encouragingly.  “Trin, I’m not going to just watch you fade away.  I’m not saying run out and get married again but you have to do something.  Come live with me downtown or move out with Mom and Dad, hell, go to Ireland with that crazy aunt of his who loves you so much.  It doesn’t matter where you go but you have to go, sis.”  Jen pulled her into an embrace, somewhat awkward since Trin’s hands were still soapy and wet but it felt good.  It felt like a little piece of normal had drifted into her splintered existence.  And in that instant, Trin knew her sister was right.  Max would never let her live it down if he saw her like this.  But where would she go?

This is my take on an adult "choose your own adventure."  I used this excerpt to apply for a job (which I apparently did not get) but have every intention of using it in some capacity.  Our unlikely heroine, Trin has several choices before her and I intend to write them all!  First and foremost, where does she go?  With her house and current lifestyle well beyond her grieving means (financially and emotionally), Trin must decide where to go next - 
a) With her younger sister to a stylish, modern loft downtown where her former boho roots may not be as accepted (working title Moonbeams and Martinis)....
b) With her deceased husband's eccentric aunt in Ireland where she'll have to embrace a completely new lifestyle (Moonbeams and Malt Beer)...
or c) With her still-hippie parents who have been unable to relinquish the lifestyle they lived in their 20s (Moonbeams and Marigolds).
One thing is certain, there will be many opportunities for Trin wherever she goes....

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sample Saturday - A lil bit of Storm....

RYDER ON THE STORM.....just a little excerpt showing a bit of Storm's reason for running in the first place.  

One horrifying vision, one moment, changed everything about her, made her hate herself in ways that did not make sense, made her miss her mother and most of all, made her want to apologize to Sophie for the tears she’d wept at that first vision.  Storm understood everything after her death vision, understood even among Seers she would be an anomaly, hunted by her kind and coveted by the Immortals as a weapon.  The Seer’s Circle would imprison her or kill her to prevent the Immortals from collecting her.  The Immortals would track her and imprison her to be their fortune teller.  Either way, she would not be allowed to remain free.  No matter how strong her family’s influence.  So, Storm ran.  To save herself and her family she left.  In the end, it merely delayed the inevitable.   

After years without answers, Storm stood in the place where it all began.  She dropped her bags on the bed and peeled off the sweat-drenched clothing.   A cool shower would set things right, at least for the moment.  Destiny may be unavoidable, but it certainly could wait a little while longer, until she had a shower at least.