Saturday, May 27, 2017

Illustrations and Story Time

Alright, I've decided to start a new blog series, not that I ran out of What Writers Do, but because I've shifted my focus a bit. I've been working with a friend of mine for a couple years on illustrating some of the characters and scenes from my books... This month (Today to be exact), I've decided to show them to you all. My readers. So, for the first in this series, we'll start with a snippet from Book III (that I have yet to start. I did make an outline for the last chapters of Book II though to keep me on track.) Also, this is a very rough draft, I just wrote it up for you guys. So, Enjoy.

This was a picture I've had in my head for a long time and decided to make. As I said, it takes place in Book III: A Fallen Angel. She is being held captive by the main Antagonist in the series. To the police, and the Preternatural and Mythical Creatures Agency, he's simply known as the Master. To Kalista, he is her soulenemy (The opposite of a soulmate). They are locked in a war that could go on endlessly. As he constantly reminds her: "You will never escape me, not until one of us is dead."

This picture symbolizes that and is from a scene in the book where the Master is showing off the girls he has for sale and, even though she isn't for sale, he puts her with them so he can watch her, since she has tried running away several times. Someone approaches her "cage" and the Master turns to him.

(Story from her POV... Warning: It does contain some Violence)

"How much for this one," the man asked. I kept my eyes down. This was degrading but I was too focused on the image of (bleeps)'s death that was burned into my mind.

"She isn't for sale..." The Master states, turning back to stare at me.

"I'll give you half a million," the man offered. I begin to comb my hands through my hair, sensing the Master's anger rising.

"She is priceless as is every angel in my possession," The Master dismissed him. The Master turned and I glanced up at the man. He was well dressed and he looked familiar.

"I'll go a million," The man insisted. The Master took one step away and the man grabbed his sleeve. I noticed a tattoo on his wrist and remembered seeing it before. It was the star group I knew as the Trident of Poseidon. 

 He's an undercover agent. I thought as tears gathered in my eyes. They haven't stopped looking for me. At that thought the Master turned and I dropped my gaze again. Ephraim approached the man on the right and my breathing quickened. Ephraim grabbed the man's  wrist and squeezed until he let go of the Master. The Master's glowing orange eyes turned to me and narrowed as Ephraim bent the man's arm behind his back until his shoulder popped. I cringed and my tears fell faster.

"It would seem that our little Angel has attracted the wrong attention. Dispose of him and leave a message for the Agency," the Master ordered. I stood on my knees and put pounded on the glass until they all looked at me.

"Don't do this," I pleaded. The Master's lips pulled into a smile and he grabbed the man's head in his hand.

"Oh, tell me, what is the punishment for espionage?" he urged me. The man's seafoam green eyes locked with mine and my tears thickened. That's what had started this mess. Me spying... but my sentence was much worse than death. "Tell me Kalista or another girl dies with this Agent."

"Death... the sentence for Espionage is death," I said almost too quiet to hear.  The Master grinned and twisted his wrist, snapping the mans neck. I turned away, knowing it could have been worse. He could have bleed him dry without leaving a mark. That was his gift from Death. The ability to kill and leave no evidence behind. Death was a cruel mistress.

"Take the body to a public place, leave a note, and take the Prophetess with you," The Master ordered Ephraim. Ephraim nodded and threw the body onto his shoulder like a doll. The Master turned to me and I sat back down on the floor of my prison. "You're a clever girl but not clever enough. I would never have known had you not recognized him. Oh well, I'll have to send my condolences to Missus Corve when I see her," he offhandedly commented. I snarled up at him and he grinned down at me. "Don't get too comfy. We have a date tonight." he reminded me. My blood went cold and I looked down at the floor again, remembering (bleep)'s bloody face as she reached her hand out to me for help while he kept me just out of reach.

"Cruel, Black heart," I insulted under my breath and he whirled around. He threw the door of the cage open and wrapped one large hand around my forearm, dragging me from the cage.

"Do you not remember that I'm being merciful to you? You should be dead. I should have killed you the day you the first time your Packana let me hold you..."

"Fast death isn't your style," I sassed. He backhanded me so hard my head snapped to the side and black spots darkened my vision.

"For that, your time for tonight has doubled," he growled into my face before he teleported us from the warehouse Doll House to the Mansion of Horrors in the woods. "You will pay for your insults and your insolence."

(end Scene)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Character Introduction: Jericho Misery

“Kalista, may I speak with you in my office?” I asked from behind her. Her entire body went stiff and she stood with a nod. She turned around, her long ebony hair following a second behind her and I held the door open for her to exit the teacher's lounge. I gestured for her to walk beside me and our footsteps echoed in the too silent hallway. She didn't speak and her aura clouded with so many emotions that I was compelled to speak.

“Kalista, don't worry. You aren't in trouble,” I announced as we started down the stairs. A sense of relief flooded her aura and her small shoulders relaxed. She looked up into my face and I smiled down at her adjusting my suit that needed to be tailored. Her eyes flickered with doubt and a hint of cynicism crept into her body language. “I was informed that you might be just the person I'm looking for,” I almost purred. She tripped on the last step down and I gently caught her bicep to keep her from falling. She quickly regained her footing and her cheeks colored with blush.

“Sorry, Makumae says I'm going through another growth spurt,” she apologized. I nodded and a grin crossed my lips. I remembered when my own children were so clumsy and awkward. I shook my head of the nostalgia and continued my questioning. 

“Anya told me that you went into the library at nine this morning and was surprisingly absent without leaving the library from nine fifteen until the bell rang at ten o'clock,” I began and she paled. She nodded but didn't jump to conclusions. If she knew about the secret room that the rebellious students used, she wasn't going to give it up so easily. “You're a studious girl with a bright future ahead of you. I'd hate to see you fall in with the wrong crowd,” I furthered. We entered my secretary’s office and she wisely never said a word to us as we walked into my office. She barely even nodded and I nodded in return, leaving her to her work.

When the door to my office was closed, Kalista turned to me, holding her books to her chest. “I tend to stay as far away from the wrong crowd as much as I can, sir,” she explained, her petite frame suddenly rigid again. I nodded and she sat down. I ambled around my desk but didn't sit. I looked out the window behind the desk and tried to guide the conversation to a quick conclusion.

“And for the most part, you've done a good job. In your social circle, the only person with an interesting reputation is Zeldya Ptah. She seems like a loner, but she scores well on tests. If she'd sit down for class, she'd be an A-plus student, but that isn't the point. I believe you know about the secret room here on campus,” I came out with it and she shrugged. It wasn't something any good student would admit to, given the implications. I watched her carefully, waiting for an answer in her body language.

“Everyone knows about the unspeakable room, sir. Not many will admit they do know of it or that they hold a membership to the secret club but I'm not one of them,” she truthfully explained. I raised my left eyebrow at her careful wording and the wheels in my head began to turn.

“Then where did you hide from your step-father? He knows that library better than anyone,” I simply questioned, sitting down in my comfy leather chair. I leaned forward folding my hands on the desk. I watched her body language for any hint that she would lie but she remained passive and open.

“I'm very good at hiding and I know that library better than he does. I've read half the books in it and am prepared to read the other half before the time appointed for our return,” she recited the prophecy to me. I nodded, my professional guise still in place but I wanted to drop the act. She was Anna's daughter and one of my honor students. I was the Headmaster, I couldn't be unhinged inside the school walls.

“Sir, by all means, I'm no fool. You can speak to me about anything you wish. As a student, I am obligated to answer honestly or at least respond,” she wisely mused. I leaned back and smiled at her knack for diplomacy. She was one of the only students who ever saw me outside of the school and knew that I wasn't cold and unfeeling as I pretended to be. I pushed that thought aside and scrutinized her words, realizing what she'd admitted to. 

“You really were there then. It's not a myth?” I inquired and She nodded once. Finally, a break through. After fifty years of searching and asking, I had an eyewitness. The room had been as elusive as the Holy Grail and now here she was telling me I wasn't crazy. My grin widened at another stray thought and I couldn't keep it from spilling out.

“You weren't there with a boy, were you? Your Packana would have my head,” I placed a hand over my heart as my wife, the strikingly beautiful brunette, Kalia slowly opened the door to my right. Kalista shook her head and scrunched her nose in disgust at my implication.

“No, this innocent flower is still uncut,” she metaphorically replied. I nodded once and Kalia set her hands on my shoulders and smiled at our model student. Kalia often praised Kalista to other teachers, students, and myself when the girl wasn't around and I was surprised that Kalista was so rigid around her. 

“I advise you to keep it that way. Too many of the girls in this school have already been cut and some by the same demon. You're in the minority for your age, if not for the whole school. It's an impossible burden for those who don't understand the implications. Your friend Zeldya is one of them. You're both barely fourteen human years. She doesn't understand where she could be in five years’ time.” Kalia offered, and Kalista sat back thinking about that statement as we watched her. We both waited for confirmation and understanding. If anyone could get through to Zeldya and turn her off the highway to hell, it was Kalista.

“I understand. I'll talk with her but her condition makes things complicated,” she vaguely hinted. We both perked up at the statement, waiting for more. “She isn't your average preternatural. I believe she is a spirit and a type of demon that's been lost for centuries if I'm reading the histories correctly,” she mused, pulling a notebook from her pack on the floor. she flipped through her notes and I sighed.

“You'd have to speak with Miss Teach about Demonology and Mister Anthony about the history,” I stated, my cold professionalism slipping back into place. Her shoulders slumped and her aura plummeted before she nodded and grabbed my bag from the floor, slipping the notebook back into it.

“May I leave now? I have to find Solomon or Lucifer and get the notes from our last two classes,” she politely excused myself. I ser one hand on top of Kalia's and nodded. 

“You’re right and you’re free to go. If you hear anything, please let me know,” I dismissed her. She dipped her head reverence and quickly left as if I would change my mind. When the door was shut again, Kalia set her head on my shoulder and placed a chaste kiss on my cheek. 

"She's a good girl, Jericho. I'm surprised she even knows about the room. It's a miracle that she was even willing to speak of it. She is so much like her father," Kalia began, moving to sit on my desk. I nodded, setting one hand to my chin and stroking my short beard that was now as white as my hair.  

"She is. Lucifer should be proud but he's skeptical. I just hope he doesn't do anything stupid." I expressed and she nodded. She pushed her long chestnut hair over her shoulders and her smile faded.

"According to Nathaniel, Lou is contemplating the dark rituals." She informed me and I stiffened. That wasn't like Lucifer at all. He had condemned them. What would make him recant?

"There is something going on, Kalia and Maker help me, I am going to find out what it is." I declared before there was a knock on the door. "Come in," I called and the door opened. The dark haired, stern face of Caleb Anthony poked inside.

 "We have a situation in the cafeteria."

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Story Snippet: Comic Book Page

I'm super excited to share this with you. As I promised on Saturday, here is that project I've been working on. It took a long time to make but I love the results (This is from Book III). If you want to share it please mention or tag me. The links to all my Social Media can be found here. Thank you!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

What Writers Do: Schedule

The title is a bit daunting for some but for me, it's imaginary. A Schedule is this fictitious creature that I can't figure out what realm it's from. It's like trying to find a white stag and you're in the wrong book. It's like looking for Harry Potter in Narnia. It's not going to happen. 

You're probably thinking I'm crazy but I'm serious. Keeping a schedule for me is like trying to turn a banana into a pear. There are only three things in my life that run on a schedule: Church, work, and... Nope, only two things run on a schedule.

I don't have a scheduled writing time (I write all the time). I don't eat on a schedule. I don't go grocery shopping on a schedule. I don't even have a proper sleep schedule anymore. Schedules and I are like oil and water unless you put in some brownie mix, we are not combining. 

I've always been amazed by people who do have and keep to a schedule. They are held to a high standard in my book because I can't keep a schedule to save my life. The last few weeks are proof. I didn't get my blogs out on time (they were either early, late, or skipped), I didn't have one full day at home in three weeks, and, to top it off, I didn't get a chance to clean anything in my house for three weeks. Yeah, that's right. My life for the past three weeks has been a rat race. 

So, how can I talk about scheduling when I don't do it. I can't. Plain and simple. Scheduling is hard for me. It always has been. Which is why I do what I can when I can. I write or am thinking about writing all the time. I have boards on Pinterest that have a scene for every pin on it. I have manuscripts that I haven't touched in years and I have almost 125K words in the current WIP. That's about 8K words more than the last time I updated you (which was last week). 

If you can keep a schedule, good for you. If you're like me and can't, join the club. We were going to have jackets made but that's on the bottom of the list of things to do and we haven't got to it yet. Anyway, that's all I really have to say about Scheduling. I hope you found this either relatable or completely hilarious. Go be awesome. 


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Character Introduction: Larock Healer

I silently opened my door and slowly shut it again. The glow of the harvest moon poured in through the large doors of the second story balcony at the end of the hall. I tiptoed toward them with my makeshift knapsack of food in one hand. One of the boards squeaked and I froze.

Please, Maker, don't let them wake up. I innocently prayed. I listened to the sound of my sleeping family members and sighed as I took another step, avoiding that board. I made it to one of the heavy doors before someone tapped me on the shoulder.

I whirled around to find my older brother standing over me with his arms crossed over his bare chiseled chest. Of course, I had to wake Nathaniel, why couldn't Anna be the light sleeper? I thought as he eyed my dark clothes and the knapsack.

“And where do you think you're going during the witching hour?” He whispered. I sighed and his eyebrows rose. “Is this about that girl you met yesterday? The one the Packshana (Grandpa) was looking for?”

“Keep your voice down Nathaniel. Please! She was skinny and she needs food,” I explained. Nathaniel rolled his eyes and rumpled my red curls. I pulled away from him and glared up at his own blonde hair that I envied for being straight.

“Alright, I'll cover for you until noon but don't you dare come back without a good excuse,” he countered, voice lower than before. I bowed my head to him and he opened the door for me.

“I have my fishing pole with me. I'll bring some fish back. Makumae won't think twice about it,” I offered and a smile curled his lips. My eyebrows squeezed together and he started to shut the door.

“Look at that, the good child has a knack for sneaking off and a plan too. I think they call that Premeditation,” he joked as I stepped onto the railing. I rolled my eyes and shook my head at his antics.

“I'm only good because I don't get caught,” I winked. I stepped off the railing and executed a perfect tuck and roll. I stood up again and smiled, proud that I'd managed to perform it properly without practice.

 I jogged toward the tree line that surrounded my family’s  brick house made of sandstone and clay. I didn't glance back until I was on the path that led toward the lake. Nathaniel was standing in the doorway shaking his head. He waved to me and I took off into the trees with a glance up at the moon's position in the sky. I needed to run if I wanted to reach the lake in time to meet Calypso.

I'd thought of nothing else all day. I promised to meet her at three and it was two-thirty now. I ran down the path, mindful of large roots that stuck out, and listening for any predators that might be lurking in the woods.

I burst into the clearing twenty minutes later, chest heaving and legs tired from the steady pace. In the middle of the clearing was the lake I fished and swam in on a daily basis, the same lake I'd met Calypso at yesterday. I walked toward the wooden dock on the far side of the lake and wondered where she was.

I looked up at the moon again and nodded. It was the right time. Has she been hurt? Did her brother keep her away? I asked myself. I pushed my sweaty hair from my face and shook my head. Calm down, Healer. She's fine, probably just took a long way or decided not to run.

I nodded at my sound logic and walked to the end of the dock. I set my knapsack down and I untied the knot, letting the four corners unfold. I smoothed the fabric and inspected the contents carefully, making sure none of the fruit was bruised in my fall. Once I was satisfied, I took the pole and extended it, then tied the hook onto the end of the long string. I cast out the line and sat still as stone as my thoughts drifted back to the young girl.

The way her tan skin glistened as she jumped into the lake was mesmerizing and the blue-green scales that covered her from collarbone to thigh was eye catching. She was a Comornicain, the last female of her kind or so Packshana had said at dinner after she left with Vretil.

 She'd looked so scared of that man but Packshana didn't seem too worried. Couldn't he see the fear in her eyes or the way she jumped when he set his large pale hands on her tanned shoulders?  I wonder if she's okay. She had bruises on her arms and she was so thin.

“Larock?” A small voice called to me like wind chimes stirred by a light summer breeze. I turned to find her standing on the grass at the end of the dock. Her long brown hair was tied back away from her face, showing off a black and blue bruise around her left eye. I stuck my pole into a notch I'd carved years ago and jumped up.

“Calypso, what happened?” I asked. She wore a simple brown tunic and breeches that barely covered her from shoulder to knee. My eyes drifted over every inch of her visible tan skin noting the bloody handprint that wrapped around her left wrist and the red streaks that ran down the inside of both legs.

“I-I don't… I can-can't say,” she stuttered, bringing my attention back up to her face. Tears streaked her cheeks and my eyes traced the edge of an angry red handprint on the left side of her face. I stood in front of her and she pulled her hair over one shoulder. My eyes fell on a raised burn mark on her neck and I tilted my head to see it better. She turned her head to hide the scar and I met her scared ocean blue eyes.

“Did Vretil do this? Did he hurt you?” I asked. A warmth burned in my chest as she nodded and I reached one hand out to her. She cringed back and stopped for only a second before she took my hand. Her knuckles were red and bleeding. “You fought back.”

“That's when he branded me. Like some common slave,” she growled and the burning in my chest intensified. My vision went black until her small hands rested on my lanky shoulders. “Larock, please, promise me you won't say anything to anyone… not even Findibar.”

“Why? Packshana should know what he-”

“Promise Me!” She shouted and I stared at her for a few minutes.

“I promise. I won't tell anyone.” I reassured her, wishing I could stand up to that monster. We stood there in silence for a few minutes as she wiped her tears and I watched her, trying to figure out what to say next. My eyes wandered over her injuries and then back up to her face. “Come, sit down and let me bandage your wounds.”

Saturday, May 6, 2017

What Writers Do: Reading

I don't think I've covered this before but every good writer has done this and having recently finished an amazing book, I decided I needed to talk about this. I know very writer's that were not first readers of their chosen genre before writing. In my opionion, this is one of the greatest way you can better your own writing.

This should be a no brainer. Reading is the first step most writer's take on their journey to being an Author. Reading sparks the brain, inspires the imagination, and enraptures the soul. It brings with it joy, laughter, sadness, and love. Reading is one of my favorite hobbies and I haven't sat down to read anything this year until last month.

I bought a signed copy of Eve the Awakening by Jenna Moreci and from the moment I started reading, I couldn't but the book down. I was captivated by every line. The characters were so real and sarcastic (My favorite type of character), the arc was epic, the storyline was jam packed with conflict, resolution, and butt-kicking comedy. I loved every page and I can't wait for her new book to come out!

After reading that book, I've decided to read, at least, one book a month and I'll take a Saturday to review the book here. This month, I'll be reading and reviewing Hunted by Meagan Spooner. I got the book back in March but I was too stressed and too anxious to sit down and read. Now, I'm making it a priority.

There are a few good reasons that every writer should be a reader and I'm not going to list all of them.  One of the main reasons is that it gives you a glimpse into your chosen genre. You can't exactly write a Sci-fi fantasy when all you've ever read are paranormal horror novels and you can't write a romantic adventure book when all you've read are Sci-fi futuristic novels.

Reading is part of research. You need to read books from the genre you have chosen to write in, plain and simple. Reading was my gateway to writing. It was where I was first inspired and it continues to drive me forward.

If you're reading this and haven't read a book in awhile, let this challenge you. Go grab a good book, take a few days and get lost in that world. Reading was my favorite thing to do from the moment I could read at all. I was absorbed in reading but recently I've been lost in writing and, don't get me wrong, I love writing. It was nice to sit down, read a great book, and absorb some words instead of giving them all the time.

Now, go grab a book you've been wanting to read and step into a world beyond this one.

The Writer's Life: April/May 2017

so, this blog comes to you all after the usual time because I slept in... Shocker. I stayed up much too late last night (Or rather this morning) and didn't I set the wrong alarm to wake up. That being said. Let me jump into the monthly blog.

In review:

-My Health goal was to not stress about appointments and to make some tough decisions. The decisions were made... but there was a tone of stress. Let's face it. When Doctors are involved, I get stressed out.

-Book Goal.... Yeah... This didn't get done. I wanted to be five chapters into book three and I haven't even finished book two yet. I'm at 117k and I have a few key scenes to get down still. So this didn't happen.

-Blog goals... Yeah, I didn't post on time all the time and I have no one to blame but my stressful, forgetful self. Let's move on, shall we?

New Month. New Goals:

To relax: This is a big thing because of the decision that was made last month, I'm taking a new medication and it's causing some wacky mood swings and emotional outbursts that I am not used to at all. I'm not a highly emotional person so this happening has thrown me way off guard. So, I'm dedicating this month to relaxation and relearning my emotions.

This is a no brainer. I'm going to finish book two.

-Blog: Okay, this seems like a normal goal, to post on time, but I'm already not doing this... That being said, from here on out, the blogs WILL be on time. Also, stay tuned on Wednesday's as I am still alternating Story Snippet Blogs and Character Introduction Blogs.

That's it for this blog. In about half an hour, I'll be giving another blog. So sit tight or go be awesome for half an hour and come back. Your choice.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Story Snippet: A Broken Redeemer IV

First off, sorry for not posting on Saturday. Things have been busy this week and i didn't have time to write up a blog. Anyway, here is the normal Stroy Snippet for Wednesday. Also, this is the very last Stroy Snippet for A Broken Redeemer. I know I've said it before but this time is different. Two chapters is all that separates me from finishing this book. Alright, here's the Stroy Snippet.

“She’s nothing more than a child, Ramah. She had no idea what she was doing,” Justin argued with his superior. I sat in the stiff chair behind Justin, trying to keep my quivering lip from being noticed.
I was barely six years old and Claire had accused me of stealing some crucial evidence. It was in fact a bold faced lie. She’d given me the trinket as a gift and it just so happened that it was missing from the Court House evidence locker.

“She was seen on Camera with the object we’ve been looking for. Explain to me how she got it, if she didn’t steal it.” It was an accusation if I ever heard one. Justin went rigidly stiff and Director Highest peered around him to me.

“Claire gave it to me.” I piped up. Justin turned to me and I cleared my throat. “She said it was a gift.”

“Well, I’ll have to speak with my daughter…”

The dream changed mid-sentence and I stood in a dark room. I lifted my hands but couldn't see it in the darkness. I took a step forward and a door creaked open to my left. I swiveled to it and saw a soft light emanating from the doorway.

I crept toward the door and peered inside as a babies cry echoed in the quietness of the moment.

“It's another girl Annie.” My Packana’s soft whisper stated. I reached my hand out to push the door open but stumbled through it instead. I caught my balance and froze. A large bed took up most of the small space and on it was My Packana, holding Makumae’s hand and Beryx sat at her feet with a blonde baby in his arms. Beryx climbed off the bed long enough to step to the crib that sat against Makumae’s side of the bed and I followed him.

He set my sister down and I peered into the crib. There was two more babies in the crib with my blonde sister. A girl with flaming red hair and Aiden, my older brother. The fiery haired girl looked straight at me and cooed as she took her sister’s hand.

Beryx looked from her to me, seeing right through me. Makumae groaned and he ran through me to the bed. I turned but I blinked and I was back in the hospital.
I sensed someone beside me and sat straight up. I groaned as pain laced the wound and I doubled over in pain.

“Kali, It’s just me, Freedom. You were sleeping so peacefully that I didn't want to wake you.” She reassured from my right and I looked up at her heteromorphic eyes with one eye open. “You used to have so many nightmares so I thought you deserved the sleep. I was just about to leave when you woke up.”

“It's ok, just help me sit the bed up,” I reassured her. She jumped to my side and used the foot petal to raise the bed to a decent sitting position. I slowly uncurled and took a shallow breath.

“I would give you more medicine but that would slow down your abilities.” She rambled, caring eyes scared that she'd hurt me. I set my hand on my abdomen as I lay against the stiff mattress and sighed.