Supero Omnia

I surpass everything.  

And I shall. I shall surpass this damn illness.  I shall surpass all obstacles in my way.  

hmmm… that reminds me of a song.  

😀

Rain forest on Vancouver Island

So Val went to visit family on Vancouver Island this weekend.  One of the most awesome things about the Island is this rain forest.  She showed me a busload of pictures she took of their tourist-kitsch day trip but this one struck a chord in me.  It made me want to write a spooky, creepy little story. A spooky, creepy little horror story.  A spooky, creepy, little erotic horror story.  

I think I’m going to have to write it before I completely lose the drive but it’s still percolating.

Speaking of writing, I wrote almost a thousand words yesterday. This was the best part though:

(Background: Anna was infected with Demon that changed her on the same level that the Wolf bite did.  Now she is Vampire, Wolf and Demon. She ran, scared, and when Liam brought her back he made her make apologies.  At this point she is also telling the pack that they are preparing to take down an enemy.)

Anna opened her mouth to speak then closed it again.  She was stuck finding the opening words until Chelle patted her on the thigh and smiled at her.  “I was scared. I have a new thing inside of me, a demon.  That means I live with three monsters now…” she held up a hand to quiet the denials that started.

“Yes, they are monsters. I am a monster and so is each of you.  But that doesn’t mean we have to be big and bad and scary, does it?”  Anna didn’t bother to wait for an answer to an obviously rhetorical question before she moved on.  “It just means that in purely human terms we have the potential to be big and bad and scary…” She trailed off, her mouth hanging open as she stared at Liam.

He nodded with a gentle smile and her face bloomed with joy and light before she spoke again.  “It doesn’t mean I have to be anything I don’t choose to be.” Smile and murmurs of agreement were coming from the Wolves around her.  “With your help I will learn about this demon within.  And quickly!  There is something we must do.”  The tips of her hair began to spark with tiny flames.  “We have learned who set fire to the house.”  She gestured at the renovations going on around them.  “We will be seeking justice.”

“Who!?”  The word was shouted by no less than a dozen people.  Other angry shouts mingled with growls of fury.

“Prince Skeena had some of her thralls do it.”  Liam raised his voice to be heard above the angry, hurt people in his kitchen.  “Our mission here is to remove that leech from power and put someone we can trust in her place.”

Someone muttered, “Is there such a thing as a leech we can trust?”

Anna cleared her throat and an apology quickly followed.  “I am a leech you can trust.”

“No you’re not; you’re a blood-sucking, black winged puppy we can trust!” The voice sounded suspiciously like Chelle but no one was quite sure.

Anna stood there with her mouth hanging open for a second then she burst out laughing.  “Alright, I’m a blood-sucking, black-winged puppy you can trust.”

Have I mentioned it gets tricky writing this stuff without losing the reader’s suspension of disbelief?  I think I need to send an update to my regular readers, the ones who tell me whether things make sense as I go.  They’re the ones who will go “OMGWTFBBQ!?” if necessary.  (Yeah, I’ve been wanting to use that for several days now *laughs*)

I think Anna’s going to learn about her new powers and it will be fun incorporating them in as she needs them but I think mostly she will remain about her Wolf, as she has been.  She was born a Vampire but her life is now among the Wolves that made her what she is.

And now that my taxes are filed, lunch is started and my journal is done I can perhaps get to work on planning their battle.  

Have a great day everyone!  

Wind in the Water

I have the 1812 Overture playing on my speakers, I’m at the cottage, The Boyfriend is sleeping in our bed, had a great cup of tea and therefore I am a happy camper.  Being sick doesn’t mean I HAVE to be miserable.  

Today is Saturday and therefore it is my photo blog day!  Without further ado, we will get to it.

I am posting some pics I took on Wednesday when Peter took me to the beach.

The raspberry bushes at the cottage are beginning to bloom with potential for succulent fruit. Yum.

I love the sharp, crisp blue against the greens. And the juxtaposition between the brilliant blue of the bloom (I swear the alliteration was an accident!) and the purple of the bud is wonderful.

And finally, we got to the beach…

...where we were greeted by a veritable army of flying rats!

Although Fred here doesn't seem to pose much of a threat, standing all cute and one-legged like that. He's actually missing half his foot, from what I can see. He's a regular at the beach, I've had time to study him before. First time I've been able to digitize him though.

A big wind and rain storm wiped the beach clean. Our kites were the only spot of colour in the sand. It's nice they looked pretty there, since they didn't make it to the sky...

...except for one (very brief) moment of victory!

I wanted to capture the wind in the water and the path of the wave as it crashed into the shore.  So I sat on the beach.  It was …wet.  It didn’t *look* that wet.  Pretty sure it didn’t help my health any but I got some beautiful shots!  I have the choice here to put them in order of the shots taken or the process of the wave.  I think I’m going to go with the latter.  

Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G goes well with this series. Here we have the beginning, as the power of the wave starts to hit the shore.

The wave is just starting to curl. I love the white against the sand in the water

The curl makes its way along the wave. And the music changes to Handel's Water Music. 😀

And at last the curl is complete! It's ready to beat the shore and rattle the stones.

The water is rushing for the shore (to the tune of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus no less). All that cold, cold water heading straight for me!

The waves are awesome to behold, even the small ones like that. I wish I could've managed pictures of yesterday's crystal clear white caps but the wind was just too cold for me to be standing facing it.

And my favourite picture of the day: 

Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue is perfect for this photo. Looking up at the love of my life as he prowls for beach glass.

All photos were taking with my Olympus 4x Wide optical zoom, (4.8-19.2mm 1:2.9-6.5 <- someone explain that to me please), 12 megapixel camera.  The flowers were shot on Supermacro, the rest on Landscape.  The gulls were captured with 4x zoom and were the only photos altered – cropped to readjust the focus.  

I love my little camera.  I would LOVE a Nikon D3200 or Canon Rebel T21 but I can’t see either of them in my future any time soon.  I love the lenses and filters and am intensely curious about it all.  I was when I was a kid but never followed up with it, lost the passion and now I have it back.   A photography course and the equipment to back it up would be wonderful.

I think I need new landscapes though.  The next time we’re in any of the 3 cities around us that we tend to haunt, I think I’m going to make it a point to change my focus and film other things.  

Have a wonderful day folks!

Writing again…?

It amuses me, so I had to share.  😀

Yep, definitely on couch/bed rest this weekend.  Lots of writing will ensue!

I hope.  

I will share.  

At the moment, Anna is trying to figure out how to tell the Pack they are going to war again in order to remove the despot Prince who burned their house halfway to the ground.  Plus she’s dealing with being part Demon now and trying to guide the Pack through the adjustment.

It’s fun trying to write this stuff and still make it believable enough that my readers aren’t going “WTF?  You have GOT to be kidding me!”

Lose the suspense of disbelief and you’ve lost your audience. 

I loathe being sick but I will try to make the best of it.

This one also amused me:

And with it I say adieu.

Ugh.

Ya know, I’d hit something if I wasn’t sure it’d fuck up my life even more.

Yes, I just swore.

I’m a LITTLE bit angry and pointlessly so.  It’s useless to be angry.  I am nevertheless.  Why?

Well, we all know I’ve been sick.  Thought I was getting better.  Last night it was like someone had flipped a switch from “Getting better” to “SICK!”

I woke up this morning after sweating through two nightshirts and almost the third. Everything hurt.  Felt like I’d been run over by a Mac truck.  Still, was breathing about normally.  Then I walked my daughter to her babysitting job.  Well, I fell short several blocks because my breathing got too difficult.  By the time I got home my chest was on fire, I was sweating (again, honestly I think I’m a little dehydrated) and I was having trouble breathing.  Inhaler didn’t seem to make much difference.  

There were a few other symptoms too but the main was the breathing and fatigue.  My ass was dragging on the ground and I think my eyelids were about there too.  That’s unusual for me.  I almost always have more energy than I’m capable of using.

Peter informed me he was coming to take me to the ER.  My objections (to the tune of “You need to rest today!”) were ignored.  So off we went.

Cute little redheaded 4th year resident.   Smart girl too.  Knew what she was on about.

In the end we got told that I have allergies (duh) that have resulted in a viral infection in my lungs, sinuses and – oddly – the bottom of my mouth. That last is f*cking fun. I’m supposed to be on a one-a-day allergy med (can’t afford) and my steroid inhaler (needs renewed) and chewing lemon drops to stimulate the saliva ducts because one is blocked (can’t find and we’ve been to 6 stores now).

She said too many more exposures to allergens and chemicals right now, things that make my nose run and my lungs want to cough, will probably drop me into a bacterial infection. I have a doctor’s appt on the 7th, we can fix some of those missing meds. But I’m exhausted and I’m going to have to miss Callie’s competition because it’s everything that I’m not supposed to be exposed to. I can’t even do her hair and make up beforehand. 

I am livid and depressed.

Working on the livid thing.  Good-naturedly picking on my son – almost voicelessly since talking hurts and makes me cough – is cheering me up a great deal.  

I think I shall offer all you patient, wonderful readers a glimpse into Lizendale, the book I’ll be giving away as part of the grand prize packages.  The section was offered up by Tee and it is a bit of a read.   Maybe tomorrow I’ll give you the background of the book.  For tonight, I’m going to crawl into bed and watch TV.  And count my blessings.

J’aret is a very, very bad creature of the Dark.  He’s a kind of psychic Vampire.  Thomas is a poor red shirt kind of character, doomed to die the moment we see him.  And, if you don’t know this already, you should: I am a master at killing creatively.  I have fun doing it and I do it well.

Enjoy!

Chapter Twenty-Four

 

    When Thomas opened his mouth to scream, J’aret’s hand snaked out and grabbed him by the throat, choking off the sound.  All that emerged was a squeak.  Thomas shut his eyes but the images of blood were burned into his brain.

“Come now, Thomas, open your eyes and look at me.” J’aret deliberately let his true self show, rotting teeth and one eye socket starting to melt down his face.  He wasn’t that old, hadn’t been Winnigo for very long, but the damage was enough to terrify Thomas.

Thomas whimpered as his eyes opened against his will.  He took one look at the horror that held him by the throat and threw his hands up in front of his eyes, the knife dropping to the ground with a soft thud.  J’aret found the source of the sound and grinned.  “How nice of you to offer your own blade for your destruction.”

A soft keening sound emerged from Thomas’s mouth.  J’aret crushed his windpipe a little tighter and the sound stopped.  He shoved Thomas against a tree and tried to hold him there with Power.  When that failed, J’aret’s hunger and frustration became mounting fury and he dragged the nails of his other hand over Thomas’s face, shredding one cheek into strips of skin that exposed his teeth.  Thomas’s eyes bulged as he tried to scream.  J’aret dropped him, satisfied at the wee bit of energy from the terror in the young mind, and sought some vines to bind him with.

He kicked Thomas in the ribs when he caught the boy trying to crawl away.  A loud snap echoed around them and Thomas dropped like a stone, curling defensively around himself with a whimper.  “Oh, I’m so sorry!  Did I hurt you again?”  J’aret’s voice was filled with mock concern and he kicked Thomas in the same spot again.  Thomas curled into a tighter ball.  J’aret laughed, then exclaimed in pleasure as he discovered several thick vines covering the forest floor. 

While his Power might be waning, his physical strength was not yet and he used it to tie young Thomas to four trees, bound around each ankle and wrist and suspended about three feet off the ground.  J’aret hung the boy face down then lay on the ground underneath him.  He crossed his ankles, laid the blade on his chest then clasped his hands behind his head.  He looked up at Thomas, dodged a tear that fell from the terrified boy’s face and smiled. 

“This was quite a feat wasn’t it?”   J’aret’s voice was conversational.  “You’re not exactly small.  But look at you now; you’re quite helpless.  Go ahead,” he waved a hand, “try and get out.”

Thomas began to struggle wildly, the fear in his eyes ramping up a notch when J’aret merely chuckled.  Thomas began to realize he was never getting away.  He still hadn’t figured out that he was a corpse, but he knew he’d never get away.  The second realization came when J’aret picked up the knife and stabbed upwards, plunging it into his stomach.  Pain burned into Thomas’s mind, leaving him nearly insensible as it mixed with the fear, becoming a thick stew in his mind. 

J’aret slapped Thomas’s unmarked cheek.  “Tsk tsk, stay with me now.  Can’t have you fainting already.”  J’aret pulled the blade out and moaned as the blood began to drip on to him.  He shed his clothing with a thought, revealing to Thomas just how wasted his body was.  Thomas tried to close his eyes.  J’aret wagged a finger in disapproval then reached up and cut off Thomas’s eyelids.  Pleasure filled him as his Power sparked into renewed life, rejuvenated by Thomas’s blood dripping onto his body and his face.  He opened his mouth to catch the drips then grinned at Thomas with bloody teeth, horrifying the boy.

J’aret made several shallower cuts, using his growing Power to keep Thomas’s intestines from sliding out of the deep cut in his belly.  J’aret stretched out under Thomas so that the blood dripping from him covered him everywhere.  Thomas watched in horror as it soaked into the monster’s skin.  

J’aret frowned.  “So you think I’m a monster do you?”  He slid out from under Thomas, hovering an inch above the ground and floating out, then moved himself upright until he was standing. 

He used a good deal of his renewed Power to untie Thomas, flip him over mid-air and retie him.  “I’ll show you monster.”  Thomas shook his head frantically as J’aret wandered down his torso, using the knife to draw a long line from armpit to pelvis.  “So you wanted to put this puny thing in Alexi, did you?  Did you think she’d enjoy it?”  J’aret toyed with Thomas’s limp penis before cupping his scrotum in his hand.  “There’s barely enough here to make you a boy, let alone a man.  Well, let’s fix that.”  J’aret castrated Thomas with one smooth move. 

Thomas’s eyes rolled back in his head as his body arched in pain.  J’aret sighed and slapped the boy until he woke up again.   Thomas started crying the second he was conscious.  The salty tears stung the wounds that used to be his eyelids but he couldn’t stop them.  The pain was too much and the humiliation and the hopelessness that had set in when the creature flipped him over combined to reduce him to a emotion filled mess.

J’aret worked to keep the boy conscious while he sawed through hips and shoulders, feeding off the pain and terror.  He left the limbs attached by the tendons then lovingly stroked Thomas’s face.  “I do not normally thank my prey but you have done so well, and fed me so nicely, that I feel I must.  Your life has not been a waste, young Thomas.  It has gone to helping me be strong enough to kill again.  I think I’ll go for your mother next.  Raping her before I kill her will only add to my Power.”

Thomas started to frantically shake his head as the weight of his torso tore the tendons in one shoulder apart and his body dropped down as his arm swung away from him.  The rest of his joints could no longer support the movement and weight.  There was a sickening noise as the remaining shoulder and his hips gave way.  His torso landed on the ground with a squelch and a thud.  J’aret laughed as Thomas died in pain and fear.  He absorbed Thomas’s soul as it left his body, making the boy one with him and increasing his Power.  J’aret’s last act against Thomas’s body was to call the carnivores in the forest to him.  He walked away, leaving them feasting on the parts littering the ground.

J’aret killed four more times before leaving town, three women and one man; he abused all of them as badly as Thomas, with the addition of raping the women.  He shifted into the form of a large raptor and flew in circles above the woods, sniffing for the faintest scent of the Tenochs.  Then he shot off east. 

My, My, My

So Peter came home yesterday after being gone for nearly two weeks.  We’re a very touchy feely couple.

There’s been a lot of touching and feeling going on most of the last 22 hours.  

As Mr. George Takei would say, “Oooh myyy.”

He’s gone from my place to his so here I am.

After the eco-friendly discussion with Val, Peter and I had a further discussion on creating the kinds of merchandise that would make people stop and go “what is that from?”  Also we continued where Val and I left off about guerrilla marketing.

“Guerrilla marketing?”

Sure.  Apparently a good example is sneaking wandering  around a big bookstore like Chapters and putting bookmarks into books in the same genre as mine.

We talked about the merch and one of the things we discussed was apparel.  T-shirts, long sleeve ones. A logo to emrboider discretely upon jackets.  An image to create into shopping bags.  

One of the other things we liked was this amazing idea I saw yesterday of notebooks with cutouts where a pen would fit in.  Awesome, right?  Never lose a pen again.  And, when the notebook is full, you still have the pen, with my name on it.  😀

In short, it was talking about turning me into a brand.  It was talking about some serious marketing to put me out there. And it showed me that I’m not alone in this, that there are people willing to help and make me a success.

Better make the writing worth it eh? 

So now I’m looking at custom printed products somewhere that the prices per item are cheaper in the long run.  New numbers to find and new numbers to crunch.

It’ll be fun.  Shopping.  Sort of.

On an amusing note….

“Let’s all stop judging people who talk to themselves. New research says that those who can’t seem to keep their inner monologues in — raving bus station denizens, for the most part, excluded — are actually more likely to stay on task, remain focused better and show improved perception capabilities.”  ~Tim Newcomb

Since I do this all the time (although I will say I’m talking to the cat) this is good news!

See you lovely people tomorrow.  

Back!

Hi! 

Still somewhat sick but I seem to be improving rapidly.

I have spent the last two hours crunching numbers and gathering info and I am nowhere near done but after an in-depth discussion with Val I have finally, fully, finalized my giveaway stuff.   So now I’m searching for numbers and trying to decide what… omg I still have to see about my taxes too!  Damn there are WAY too  many numbers in my head.  

Erm.

Trying to decide what quantities to order.  

Everything is cheaper in bulk but honestly, what do I need 250 of anything for?  Besides slipping bookmarks into related books in Chapters.  *looks all innocent*   

I blame Val for the trouble I get into.

Nah.  She’s good.  Together we decided that posters and postcards are out.  She suggested staying as eco-friendly as possible and I agree. Instead I will be doing journals, mugs (maybe, have to look at the pricing) and other stuff.

But I am confused so I am going to go do some housework and perhaps go back to this later today.  In the meantime, I will share with you what I have FINALLY decided to do. 

Book release: Grand prize: Autographed copies of HW1 & Lizendale, thermos, journal, bookmark. For Amazon release, the same except an eReader skin (or equivalent for those without) in place of the thermos.

Second prize for book release: (and amazon release) Autographed HW1, t-shirt, bookmark.

Third places: bookmarks

For 50 blog followers: Autographed copies

100 likes: one autographed copy of HW1

100 followers: autographed book, buncha bookmarks/postcards

200 followers: autographed of hw1 and lizendale

Random because I feel like it giveaways: bags, t-shirts, journals, posters.

Ta-da!   This is what you have to look forward to.

Giveaways will be limited to blog followers and Facebook followers – if you aren’t going to follow, why would you want something?  And they will take the form of quizzes, random draws and something Krissy suggested -> hide & seek.  I will NOT be “click this, follow there, like here, follow that” in 15 different ways to get you to enter.    That drives me crazy as someone trying to enter a contest.  I happen to think that wanting to read your blog doesn’t necessarily follow that I want to be a part of your Twitter, etc.  (Of course, I hardly pay attention to mine, so maybe that’s why *laughs*)  Or maybe you’re a blog follower but don’t have Facebook.  (Don’t laugh, I know people.)  You shouldn’t be forced into trailing me around EVERYWHERE just to be a part of my celebrations.

That’s just my opinion.

But I have to go.  Peter’s coming home today – stopping here for the night 😀 😀 – and I need to clean up after my kids and me, sick days and bake sales destroy my house.  My daughter’s class is hosting a fundraising bake sale (Breast Cancer Awareness) today and we made Jello Mini-Mimosas.  Although we used Sprite instead of club soda.  

Muah!  Have a great day!

Sick Day #2

I really am determined to do everything I intended to do this weekend but it seems like I have bronchitis and I’m operating REALLY slowly.  Hence the blog that hasn’t happened until supper time.  I had it planned this morning but I’m slow, then my ex-husband showed up and too me to the grocery store.  Everything’s been downhill ever since.  

So here is what I had planned this morning.  🙂

I am a happy camper!  I am at the cottage.  I have my little friend:

Pholcus phalangioides. Living in the kitchen. Gods know why since I'm terrified of spiders. It's a little fuzzy, sorry.

 

I have food in the slow cooker (which I should get to eating):

A ham bone surrounded by chicken broth, a variety of beans and dried peas, other pieces of ham and seasonings. It's been in there for HOURS. Smells great.

 

I had the perfect cup of tea – the first cup from a brand new package.

The ONLY orange pekoe worth drinking. Except Tim Hortons. Dad will disagree with me.

 

I had toast, carefully done under the broiler like Dad used to do hot cross buns.  Why is toast important?  Because for months and months I couldn’t have yeast and now I can again!  😀  It’s progress and it means I’m healing.

The only gluten free bread worth eating. And the toaster is busted.

Banana bread is imminent! Gluten free of course.

Yesterday I got outside a little bit.  Short walk since I was breathless really quickly.  But I saw my little friend here:

Rob here has a mohawk. I thought it was kind of ironic. And apparently I'm full of fuzzy pictures.

 

And this pretty: 

I like flowers. I like trees. I love flowering trees.

I wanted to go for a walk on the beach yesterday (and today) but yesterday I got short of breath, as I have all week, and had to come home.  Less than halfway home (which was a short block) I was wheezing and couldn’t get it under control.  Then the coughing started.  And the pain in my chest.  I recognize bronchitis when I taste it.

And yet, I am determined to get everything done this weekend.  

Peter will be home early this week!  For this I am ecstatic!  Happiness will explode and work will go swimmingly.  Which will produce less whiny blogs and a sharing of fresh, warm banana bread. 

Have a good Saturday and Sunday, my friends.  I shall see you on Monday.  (Mandated day off now.)

Sick Days and Sneak Peeks

 Okay, yes it is a sick day.  I have a headache and I feel like my body has a migraine.  I am at the cottage so recovery should be swift but for now I feel like shite.   Instead of an insightful bit of prose, I offer you the prologue for Witch Hitlist, the first Highland Wolves novel.  

It was a hell of a lot of fun to write, difficult though.  To get the imagery down I had to try and figure out what the Astral Realm might look like for other people.  For those who can travel astrally it tends to appear as they wish to see it.  There are basic landmarks and things to be found but I think the colours and… erm… fabrics of the landscape are individual.  

Anyway, here’s the prologue.  Enjoy!

Prologue

 

Some called it the Astral Realm, some called it the Ether and still others called it Purgatory.  Some had no idea what to call it.  But to Anna Conner it had always been Home.  Her stay in the human Realm was temporary.  A long temporary to be sure, going on five thousand years now one life after another, but it was still temporary.  Many people had come and gone in that time, very few had hung around for more than a couple of centuries.

She had hoped, long ago, that she’d find the One who could stick it out with her.  Who would understand her, stand beside her, fight at her back, fight for her and mostly, finally, love her.  Anna had been wrong before but she thought she had finally found that One.  It was a Romeo and Juliette situation though.  She was a Montague, a Vampire, and he was a Capulet, a Werewolf. It was he she was standing with in her Home now, in a large field outside her Father’s keep, lit only by the full moon above.  They were surrounded by his pack.  Only he and his Beta, his second in command, stood in the circle of Wolves with her. 

Anna stared into his eyes, seeing the love glowing there along with a fierce determination.

Liam Taggart was a Wolf.  He wasn’t a Wolf ‘spirit’.  He wasn’t one of those whose animal guide is a Wolf.  He wasn’t a wannabe Wolf.  Liam was a Wolf.  A full blown, gets furry and toothy once a month, Werewolf.   And he was in love with a Vampire. 

That Vampire was the only reason he was standing in this godforsaken Realm with her.  He hated it here, it was too vague.  He had to rely on her vision to see it.  He was learning but right now the only reason it was worth it was her.  He got to touch her here, be with her.  He felt helpless being in Scotland while she was in Canada and constantly under attack.  There was only one way he knew to protect her better.  The reason they were standing here in the middle of his pack with her facing him and his Beta at her back.

They were going to bite her.

Time stopped for all of them and the world went still as Liam stared into Anna’s eyes and she stared back.  His gaze shifted and he looked her over.  She had done as he asked and worn a gown that left her neck and shoulders bare.  It was ruby red, edged in black, gold threads sparkled as she breathed, her family’s colours.  The bodice went straight across below her collar bone and onto her biceps.  Tight fitted sleeves hugged her arms down to her wrists where black lace draped over both hands.  The skirts flowed from a dropped waist to the ground in tiers, alternating red and black.

Liam thought he’d never seen anything more beautiful. But then, Anna thought the same thing about him in his formal long kilt of red and blue, the crisp white shirt open at the throat and even the hose, flashes and Ghillie brogues.  His Sgian Dubh was slid into the outside of his right sock and now he reached down to slowly pull it out. 

The entire pack watched as Liam unsheathed the short blade, tucking the sheath into the chain belt of his sporran.  He took Anna’s right wrist in his left hand and lifted it up to her shoulder level.  Then he lifted his eyes to his pack.  He slowly turned the two of them in a circle as he spoke, so he could meet the eyes of every Wolf gathered.

“We are all here tonight for one reason, to induct my Mate, the love of my life, into our pack.  We are here to make her one of us.”  Each Wolf stared back at them, their faces marked with a small red symbol, painted on with Dragon’s blood.  “Tonight she will share of our blood, for my blood is your blood.  And we will share of hers, for her blood will be your blood.”  Liam paused.  Every Wolf howled and stamped their feet in agreement.

Anna blushed and smiled, joy blooming in her heart.  

Almost faster than she could track, Liam sliced the palm of her hand open, then his.  He slammed their palms together and light flashed as Vampire blood hit Werewolf, as her raw power hit his and their blood began to mingle.  He dipped his head and took her mouth in a savage kiss as the Wolves around them shifted form, their marks ending up on the insides of their ears.  Marcus and Liam were the only ones that retained their human shape. 

Once he felt Anna melt into the kiss, completely involved in it and not their surroundings, he opened his eyes and looked at Marcus.  The Beta nodded then lunged forward.  He pinned Anna between their bodies and managed to shift only his mouth.  He bit into her shoulder, deeply, fiercely, where neck curves to shoulder.

Anna’s body stiffened and she screamed into Liam’s mouth.  He broke the kiss and held her bloody hand tightly with his as Marcus tore the bite wide open.  Marcus stepped back, staggering as Anna’s blood trickled down his throat.  He spit the rest of the blood and the meat of her shoulder to the ground and dropped to his knees as her Power hit his and forced him to shift.  He growled then howled his approval of her.

Liam watched her as Anna’s eyes flickered, changing from green to blue to black to amber and back again.  She screamed again as her Vampire fought the Lycanthropy and the Wolf fought to find a home in her body.  Anna fought Liam wildly as an internal battle raged in the landscape of her mind.  Finally, after she drew deep gouges down his face, he was forced to let her go. 

Anna dropped to the ground as Liam and the Wolves watched helplessly.  She looked possessed, writhing against an unseen foe.  Her back arched; every muscle taut, then they contracted again suddenly and she wound up in the fetal position.  A low keening noise came from deep within her. 

Tears rolled down Liam’s face and Marcus came and pressed against his side as the sounds of tearing flesh and popping joints mingled with fresh screams from Anna.  Her gown tore and blood flowed from fresh wounds as her body ripped itself apart.  Clouds drifted across the moon, blackening the night.  She seemed torn inside out, her blood mingling with the remains of her gown, indistinguishable in the darkness, even to the Wolf eyes locked on her form. 

Her heart stopped beating and Liam’s voice ripped through the night in a wail of absolute anguish.  He fell to his knees, landing in a pool of her blood as he sobbed uncontrollably. Almost as one, the entire pack dropped to their bellies and crept closer, keening mournfully.   For several long moments there was nothing but the despair of the Wolves.

Then, at last, a small movement.  With it was the loud, wet sound of a joint sliding apart.  And another.  Along with it there came a soft moan of pain and an explosion of light.  The Wolves were all blown backwards, some of them landed with yelps and whines.  Anna screamed again from within the light and Liam lunged forward, trying to reach her.  He bounced off the light again and again, shouting her name. 

His pack growled, uncertain as to what was going on but distressed by their Alpha’s anger and pain.  One after another they leapt at the light surrounding their Alpha’s Mate, trying to break through.  Anna’s cries finally stopped and the Wolves stood warily, waiting.

As suddenly as it came, the light vanished and in Anna’s place stood a large black Wolf with silver streaks in her fur.   

Before my Soul taught me, Love was for me a delicate thread stretched between two adjacent pegs, but now it has been transformed into a halo; its first is its last, and its last is its first. It encompasses every being, slowly expanding to embrace all that ever will be. ~ Khalil Gibran

Love, Romance and Sex

This is on the brain today.

A friend is talking about someone she  met – a romantic at heart who, in the last 10 years, has been broken-hearted just one too many times and has sworn off ever loving again.

She is stuck on whether she should help him.  I asked what she meant by “help.”  She said, “i just want him to not give up on love, help him to see that he’s not alone in how he feels, but that it will get better…again.”

I can understand that completely.  It’s hard to see someone hurting so bad without wanting to do something.  Especially someone as loving and nurturing as she is.

Then there was LSAM’s post about the seven sins.  But she also posted links to several articles (the cost of a vagina was hysterical) and it included this one. The tips there about happy couples got me thinking about typical romance book couples and my couples versus real life couples.

It got me thinking about Peter and I and then the couples I write about.

Peter and I aren’t quite ‘real’.  I mean, we’re a true enough couple, we fight, we love, we cook dinner together (well, I cook, he cleans, I love the arrangement *grins*), we do laundry, sleep without sex and go for a week without sex.  Sometimes two. We never go without the touches.  The kisses, the hand holding and the hugging.

But on the other side of it, we’re touchy feely, we kiss a lot, talk a lot, love a lot.  We finish each other’s sentences, say what the other one means, say what the other has just opened their mouth to say.  We love each other unconditionally, leave room for each other to grow, accept one another for everything that person is.   We are the couple most people envy.  (I’ve been told this last part, it’s not an assumption I’d make on my own.)

We work to keep it this way.  We talk when problems arise.  We talk about fantasies.  We talk about dreams and goals.  We talk about what we need.  We talk about our values.

It has taken both of us a lot of heartbreak and stupidity to get here.

And these are the ways and thought processes I try to instill in my characters.  At first it was because that’s the way I wished things were.   I knew that that’s the way things should be.

With Naia and Rian it was mostly all lovey dovey.

They met the night of the twins’ 18th birthday.  There was a masked ball and the twins decided that that was the night they were going to lose their virginity to men.  They set out to find a man and Naia found Rian.  Their first kiss left her flustered and breathless.  Jestin found T’aalia and together the foursome went through that particular hymen breaking journey.  And the girls, who had slept with nearly every female on the grounds at that point, stopped sleeping with anyone else.  Naia and Rian found they were meant to be together.

Anna and Liam met at a conference.  For them it wasn’t a thing where love grows out of contact.  The love was a blinding meeting of souls and hearts.  They knew instantly that they’d found what they had been craving.  Their love deepened and continues to mature and grow.

Both couples work at it.

I try not to make the relationships too unrealistic.  Keep them away from the soap opera type relationship.  But the sex… The sex is glorious.  Sure, there are quickies, like Liam slamming Anna into a boulder as he fucks her, (while they’re supposed to be waiting for others to join them), and there are some seriously romantic gestures, (a bathroom full of candles and flowers) but there is also a lot of kink.

In the end, though, the love my couples share is probably a tad too lofty, a tad too ivory-tower and fairy tale.  And I accept that.  It’s what fiction is supposed to be, isn’t it?  Just a little too far out of our reach?  Something to take our minds off our every day.

I’m lucky in that I have almost a fairy tale love affair with my Peter.  We work our asses off to keep it that way and we have fun doing it.

A personal note:

I know my editing of these blogs isn’t 100% perfect.  I have trouble focusing on the written word sometimes, whether it’s on a page or screen, so I don’t always see everything when I preview.  Thanks for your patience.

Mazrakir Characters

So today I’m going to introduce to you to Mazrakir main characters.   The intros will be short because it’s been a long while since I read the book.  I like the story quite a bit though so reading it again will not be a hardship.

We have Naia/Caity, T’aalia/Lara, Jestin, Rian, Arielle and Valdreth.

There are a couple of others who play important roles like Narmer, the first Pharoah of a united Egypt.  Also there is Arwia, the twins’ Aunt and twin to their mother Arielle.

Naia: Known as Caity in the 2005 reincarnation, Naia hasn’t changed all that much through the years.  She’s become wiser, more knowledgeable and a better warrior, but she is essentially the same person.  It is still her duty, along with T’aalia, to return the world to the proper balance of Light and Dark.  She is more balanced in the Light & Dark than her sister.  She is kind, loving, compassionate and loyal to a fault to her family and kingdom.  Running away from home nearly did her in.  But she is adaptable.  Once she, T’aalia and Jestin landed she took her love of herbs and other plants and built a large garden for healing and feeding.

As a teen she fell in love with a stable boy named Rian.  Her love for him was unending and through to the soul.  He was the other piece of her heart and it broke her heart to leave him behind.  One day, when she had someone in her garden  and was convinced to go to his camp, she grew to love those people too, just as she did the people in her kingdom.  She was fierce in this devotion  and it only seemed natural that she would develop an affection for the man who led them – Sekhmet. She wasn’t in love with him and he knew it, but she is the type of woman who needs human touch to thrive and she wasn’t happy continuing to be part of a sex triangle with her sister’s man.

(Yes, these are the kind of sisters who played together.)

Naia is the rock in her family.  She is the pragmatic one.  The strong one.  The diplomat and rule-keeper.   She is the soft touch and the one who will listen before acting.  But she is also capable of taking your head off if the situation warranted it.  She is fierce in her defense of her family, but not as violent in it as her sister T’aalia.

T’aalia: Like her sister, T’aalia’s present day incarnation, Lara, hasn’t changed much, although she might be a little Darker.  She is completely devoted to her sister.  Others inspire her loyalty, like her Momma and her Mate, but it is her sister who gets the unswerving dedication.  Without Naia T’aalia succumbs to the Dark and goes mad.  She is a shoot first, ask questions later kind of gal, tempered by Naia’s insistence on finding the truth/cause of things.  She melts at the sight of Naia’s smile and her ire fades away at the touch of Naia’s hand on her arm.

Running away is her idea.  She refused to accept a man who would take her from her twin and try to change her into something she was not.  It was against her better judgment to go to Sekhmet’s village but because her ‘Twinny’ wanted it, away they went.  She wanted to kill the suitors that intended to marry them but because Naia wouldn’t, she didn’t.

As Naia shows joy in other people in her life T’aalia begins to give into the Dark within her.  She begins to heed the insidious voice in her head that guides her towards stronger, more destructive spells.  The voice convinces her to build the ultimate spell to save her sister, their children and their kingdom.

Jestin: Is a Dragon.  He is passionate, sexual, sensual, loyal and dedicated.  He loves the twins with everything he has.  T’aalia is his Mate, bound to him at the soul.  He was tasked with protecting them both and does so.  He gives up his home world to protect them and learns that the sacrifice is worth it.  He stays with them from one life to another, going into status between their lives.

Rian: Rian is only with Naia for a few centuries but he falls in love with her in that first life hard and remains that way until he is taken off the Wheel of Life.   He is a strong and true man.  He loves Naia from their first meeting and continues to love only her while she and T’aalia are gone.  He is loyal to her, faithful, for all the years they are missing.  When she returns pregnant with Sekhmet’s baby he claims both her and the baby as  his own and loves them both.

Arielle: Arielle is the second strongest female character I have ever written.  She suffers her husband’s jealousy and rage, his fists and fury, his infidelity, treachery and poisons.  She suffers the loss of her daughters.  And through it all she remains positive and determined to rule her kingdom with fairness, faith and strength.  She is a powerful witch, touched by the Goddess and the Matriarch of the most powerful Coven in Sumer and Egypt, one of thirteen in the world.  She is the head of one the covens charged with watching over the balance of Light & Dark.

Valdreth: …is a small, mean man.  He has a large amount of power of his own but he still does not compare to his wife and daughters.  The jealousy burns within him.  It makes him violent and vicious.  His death does not come soon enough.

Those are the main characters of the first Mazrakir book.  We will get into each one more as I go along.

On to business:

A quote from my facebook yesterday:

Oh my lordie I feel stupid!

It suddenly hit me, like a lightning bolt to the forehead, that I can publish with Lulu.com AND accept my Dad’s offer to print out copies of my books. I can take Lulu’s distribution package and NOT pay them for the copies of my own book that I want for promotional services.

So I can do EVERYTHING without having to worry about the ISBN and distribution worries.

*does the V8 smack*

It was a total facepalm moment for sure.   So I think that’s what I’m going to do.  I looked at that publishing company I mentioned last week, Carina Press, and they only do ebooks.  I want print copies as well.  So I think I will do it this way.

And, a poll:

Have a great day everyone!