Friday, July 25, 2014

Virtual Ebook Fair!

It's that time again! I'm participating in the Virtual Ebook Fair (check out the website here). That means you all benefit from sneak peeks into LOTS of different books to find the perfect next read for you!

I'm doing a two for one today, a bit of RYDER ON THE STORM, and if you read on, a preview of IMMORTAL MACHINATIONS my upcoming release.


Storm sighed and brushed the memory away.  Looking around, she realized everyone had left.  Storm was the last one standing – in more ways than one.   Aunt Trin was gone.  Aunt Trin who taught Storm about the visions, how to track and interpret them, and most importantly how to recover from the pain of one.  Aunt Trin who’d taught her the craft and raised Storm after her mother gave up on life.  Aunt Trin who was being lowered into the ground, the grinding of gears echoing through the graveyard.  The stargazer lilies on the top of her coffin were wilting in the heat.  Sweat dripped off Storm’s brow.  She wondered briefly if the sheen gave the appearance of tears.  Trin would have liked that.  The tears simply would not come, they never had.  Most people thought her heartless.  She didn’t understand it, couldn’t change it, wasn’t even sure if she wanted to.  Aunt Trin had told her time and again that there was a reason for her emotional paralysis.  Storm just wished she could summon a few tears for the only person she’d ever cared about.

Two caretakers emerged from a truck with shovels and began filling the grave; burly men with sweat stains under their arms that spread in all directions across the gray polyblend jumpsuits.  The larger man even had sweat lines down his back.  Storm refrained from sneering as she approached them, her heels sinking into the soft soil with each step.

“Could I have another moment, please?”  She loosed the belt of her jacket revealing the navy sheath dress beneath.  As expected the caretakers’ eyes bulged slightly at her defined curves and nodded in that stunned manner Storm had become accustomed to long ago.  Once they were out of sight, she knelt beside the grave and took a handful of dirt from the pile.  With the other hand Storm reached into the pocket of her jacket and withdrew a vial.  She cast them both into the grave, stood up, brushed herself off, and nodded toward the caretakers to proceed.  Storm felt their eyes on her as she walked away and pulled her jacket tightly around her, in spite of the sweltering heat. 

In the driver’s seat of her VW Beetle, Storm exhaled.  It was done.  Everything she’d been asked to do.  She was free.  Sort of.  The visions would still plague her.  Unless she could break the curse.  Storm started her car and flicked the radio on, this one’s for you Aunt Trin, as Jim Morrison blew through the speakers with her namesake song.

And, from the upcoming Steampunk release IMMORTAL MACHINATIONS

The music continued.  The maddening thrum, a cacophony of sounds striking images and thoughts in a melody only Dorian could see and hear.  Nobody could see the world as he did. Nobody could hear the way it rolled and clicked. Nobody knew the mechanical nature of all things. Dorian did.  He saw it all and he knew how to improve upon it. Blasphemy though it may be, Dorian could improve upon the world around him, could create machines and medicines. If only he knew how it would be his undoing. If only Dorian could have seen what his very existence would come to mean in the War. He may have let the villagers hang him after all.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Struck speechless

It's odd, when I'm really into writing for a WIP I find that the words don't come in other forums. I have been working hard on a new WIP and filling in the breaks for Immortal Machinations. Unfortunately, that leaves me, well, speechless when it comes to other things. Still, I have to say that I am loving both of these WIPs so being a bit quiet in other forums is only temporary. 

I CANNOT WAIT to share these pieces!!! Immortal Machinations should be ready to go by Imaginarium in September, that is my goal and I think the perfect forum to release it. The other WIP is going to have to remain a big secret but I am SOOOO pleased with it. Completely outside the realm of what I've written up until now - in every possible way.

Anyway, I am unbelievably excited to share these new things with you so I will drop in a little snippet from Immortal Machinations...whatever could Dorian be up to??

Pardon the rough draft quality....

They turned left and just as Katerina said there were two hulking sentries flanking the largest doorway Dorian had ever seen.  Even the massive sentries were dwarfed by the stone columns bracing the door frame.  As they approached the guards, Dorian was awed by their size.  He was not a small man, one of the tallest in his village, but these men were more than a head taller than Dorian and thrice as broad.  Each wore a long black robe with wide hoods covering all but the tips of their noses.  In their hands, the men held longswords, blade down and palms resting on the hilts.  They nodded at Dorian as he approached the threshold, their ragged breathing the only sound until they stepped into the room.

Easily as large as the work room he’d seen earlier but twice as tall.  The ceiling was rounded and covered in paintings depicting a night sky.  It seemed to move, to swirl and pulse with the beat of the music.  Dorian tried to take it all in, eyes flitting from one thing to the next, fountains at either side and an enormous black marble hearth at the far end of the room.  Square tables were set about the room, each with plush chairs and extravagant place settings.  People were milling about in small groups, laughing and talking with such gaiety.  At the far end of the room some people were dancing near a set of instruments that seemed to be playing themselves.  Dorian chanced a glance at Katerina but she remained stoic, glancing about as if not seeing a thing though he knew she was seeing everything. 

“They are enchanted.”  Katerina’s lips barely moved as she breathed the answer to his unspoken question. 

“Ah, Dorian, you have made it.” The cool baritone set Dorian’s teeth on edge.

Katerina pressed his arm lightly giving the appearance that they were turning in unison.  Dorian immediately recognized Edward as the silent half of the pair in front of him.  A head shorter than his apparent partner, Edward seemed nothing more than an ornament this evening.  The taller man spoke again, his words measured and precise.  “Please, allow me to introduce myself, I am Constantine.  It is a pleasure to finally meet you in person.”  Constantine inclined his head slightly.  He wore gold brocade and fur with heavy jewelry offsetting his deeply tanned skin and jet black hair. 

On instinct, Dorian bowed his head slightly lower before responding, “Thank you for your invitation, this evening.”

Constantine cracked a half smile and arched one very defined eyebrow.  His eyes flashed golden as if reflecting his robes.  “You have either been taught some manners or you are more adaptable than we thought.  Which is it?”

“I could not say, my lord.  I was not certain that my response was appropriate.”  Dorian spoke honestly as if he could not lie if he’d wanted to. 

A chilling laugh broke from Constantine’s mouth.  “Truly, you are a delight, Dorian.  I look forward to watching you evolve.”  He waved a hand toward the festivities, “Please, enjoy yourself this evening and we will talk again soon.”  Constantine offered one last grin before drifting away with Edward in tow.

“Well done, Dorian.”  Katerina’s whispers barely just registered in Dorian’s ear before Constantine’s place was taken by a short, squat, balding man.

“Greetings, Dorian.”  The man bobbed his head though it was difficult to notice given the girth of his neck and chins.  “I am Lord Reginald and this,” he gestured with fat, heavily jeweled, sausage-like fingers toward a young woman less than half his age standing just behind him, “is my wife, Lady Isolde.”  The young woman curtseyed and it was then that Dorian noticed her to be in a delicate state.  Though she attempted to hide it with the folds of her elaborate emerald robes, Lady Isolde was clearly well into her confinement period.  Dorian had delivered enough babes into this world to know how close the Lady was to term and at her size it would not likely be an easy delivery.  Still, the lovely young girl glowed, cheeks rouged to a lovely pink offsetting a pair of brilliant blue eyes and golden blonde hair.  Lord Reginald was very wealthy to have such a bride.  Katerina squeezed his elbow lightly spurring Dorian to respond.

“A pleasure to meet you, my Lord.”  He bowed formally to Lady Isolde, “and my Lady.  You are ravishing.”

Lord Reginald beamed even wider, his pudgy face flaring red.  “We expect great things from you, Dorian, great things indeed.  I understand you were somewhat of a physician for your village for a time.”

Dorian nodded, “I was called upon at times, my Lord.  But I was never formally educated in medicine.”

“Would you wish to be educated in medicine?”  Lady Isolde’s voice was little more than a whisper but her eyes shone brightly and with such curiosity that Dorian realized she was a bright girl, far brighter than her husband.

“Aye, my lady.  If it were possible, I would be educated in all manners of science.”  Dorian tipped his head toward her. 

Lady Isolde tugged at her husband’s arm, “My Lord, can we see that Dorian be granted a tutor so that he may master the practice of medicine?”  She spoke so sweetly, batting her eyes at Lord Reginald.

The plump Lord patted his wife’s hand, “would that please you, my Lady?”  He did not wait for her response but turned his face toward Dorian, “I will see to it that you be given everything necessary to study medicine provided you continue to do what is asked of you.  Do you accept?”

Dorian nodded but before he could say more, a rather voluptuous woman pushed in front of Lord Reginald, “You are taking too much time with our guest, my Lord.  You must share with the rest of us.”  The new arrival towered over Lord Reginald and Lady Isolde, her curves seemingly poured into her shimmering sapphire ball gown.  She trained her eyes on Dorian, nearly standing eye to eye with him, “welcome to our family, Dorian.  I am Rohesia but you may call me Lady Ro.  This is my consort, Galen.”Lady Ro pulled her partner close to her, edging Lord Reginald and his wife completely out of Dorian’s vantage point.  Galen inclined his head stiffly toward Dorian, his eyes flicking about the room never seeming to stop on anything for more than a moment.  “Darling, you are simply stunning.” Lady Ro purred at him and Dorian noted that her eyes had a very feline appearance that was exaggerated by thick charcoal lining her lids and extending to points at the corners.  She leaned in close to him, “We supernaturals must stay close; I am not like them anymore than you are, my friend.  They seek to own us, to keep us all leashed like beasts.  Do what you must but be wary of gifts; they seldom come without strings attached and at times, heavy iron manacles.”  Lady Rohesia backed away, speaking in an exaggerated voice once more, “Come, Galen, I need wine.”  She winked at Dorian and almost imperceptibly dipped her head in acknowledgement of Katerina. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

It's been awhile....but here's a little snippet....

I've been neglectful. I've been absent.

It's been a crazy couple of months and I think they are finally settling down. I've been juggling three projects plus transitioning to a new job which has allowed me to spend a lot more time with my kids. All in all, it's been a lot of change but all  moving in a positive direction and that's what matters, right?

I still feel guilty. I hate that I've neglected my blogs and my social media in general. I know how important it is to be consistent and I enjoy blogging and tweeting and Facebook-ing (is that even a word?) but sometimes it is equally important to take a short break and I am so glad I did. I feel refreshed and ready to roll. I've got so many ideas but I am working on Camp NaNoWriMo this month so some of them will have to wait for next month when Camp NaNo is done!

Oh! And I am competing in the Iron Writer Challenge this week - #72 so make sure you pop on later this week and check it out at The Iron Writer

In the meantime, how about a little snipped from IMMORTAL MACHINATIONS???


The music continued.  The maddening thrum, a cacophony of sounds striking images and thoughts in a melody only Dorian could see and hear.  Nobody could see the world as he did. Nobody could hear the way it rolled and clicked. Nobody knew the mechanical nature of all things. Dorian did.  He saw it all and he knew how to improve upon it. Blasphemy though it may be, Dorian could improve upon the world around him, could create machines and medicines. If only he knew how it would be his undoing. If only Dorian could have seen what his very existence would come to mean in the War. He may have let the villagers hang him after all.