Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Holidays

Hello Everyone,

For the past week or so, I've been traveling on the road. We left our house on Dec. 22nd and began our 1000 mile drive home. We had our lab Morrigain with us who decided that after driving 5 1/2 hours to our friends house in Va, she didn't like the 17 inches of snow that they had on the back porch and decided to christian their floor. Being from NC she's not use to snow and not used to traveling so long in the car. We had great weather the two days that we traveled. The next day we ended up driving into Western Mass to spend with my inlaws which was awesome. Attended a Xmas Eve party with his relatives that ended up being over 60 people so it was overwhelming, but fun.

The next day and the main focus of my trip was to get to my grandparent's house on Xmas day which was anot 3 hour drive. My grandfather is dying of liver cancer so it's only days now until he goes so it was nice to get to see him. His body mught be gone, but his mind is still alert. Of course it was hard because I was close to them and they raised me while I was growing up. From there we ended up driving to NH to spend time with my father, 2 brothers, and step-mother.

I don't think we stopped until the next day. But the next day was spent traveling back to my grandparent's and taking pictures with my family. That was always good, but sad too since it is my grandfather's last. And living so far away now, I haven' t been home for Xmas in 7 years. My husband hasn't been home in over 10. We spent a few days back with my father and hanging out.

Of course I have gotten sick with a cold. The dog is doing great. She was trying to play with my father's poodle and kept barking at her. My brothers had a ball with her and my husband had to carry her up the stairs at the house because they were so steep and she sin't used to them since we don't have any at home.

Not to mention it's cold here. But I'm used to the weather in the south now so being 12 degrees here with the wind chill being -5 is great. Staying warm is my first priority. I haven't been doing much writing. Now we are back on my husband's side of the state and hanging out with his dad. We are heading out for a New Year's Even party if it doesn't snow too much. Of course I'm popping cold pills every few minutes and getting over pulling my hamstring which driving 18 hours doesn't help. We are leaving here on Saturday for another 8 hour drive back to VA to stay with our friends again. Then Sunday back to NC another 5 1/2 hour drive and then down the mountain back into the state.

I'm off work until Wend and then reality will hit again. So much fun. But for me I have a feeling i'll be settling into things and then flying back home for a funeral. Who knows at this point. Our biggest purchase on the trip is a GPS system which my husband finds amazing. It's really funny honestly because I've been telling him this and he finally listens to me. But of course that is the way of things.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Turning Ash out today!

Just in time for the new year. A great vampire novel to tantalize your senses.

After a year of talking, Ashling is finally going to meet Devlin in person. Devilishly handsome, he's haunted her dreams ever since she saw his picture. However, their first meeting doesn't go as planned. Nearly killed by a vampire hunter, Ashling is pulled into a dark world she never thought existed. One where vampires are real.

Devlin isn't the man he purports to be and Markus, his sire, has another agenda for Ashling. On the run from the hunters, she finds herself in a new city and a die-hard attraction to Markus that she can't shake. Trying to blend in and forget about vampires, she's dragged back into their blood soaked world. And then the hunters find her once more.

Will Devlin come to her rescue? Will Markus reveal his true intentions? Or will the hunters get what they really came for?

Ashling stared at the pale stranger before her. If she hadn’t seen a picture of him, she never would’ve believed that Devlin was standing there. She wouldn’t have committed to meeting him in person unless she had talked to him on the phone first. Before that, there were hundreds of text messages and emails where she had spilled her heart out to this man. He didn’t judge her for the choices she made. Moreover, their long talks had blossomed into a good friendship. Finally, he suggested they should meet.
Half shrouded in shadows, Devlin leaned against the glass of the empty coffee shop. His shoulder-length hair was caught back in a ponytail. The illumination of the lights made his skin even paler than in his snapshot. A strand of hair, escaping the binding of the elastic, played along his high cheekbones in the gentle breeze. He was even more beautiful in real life than staring at his photograph. Ashling had committed his image to memory just in case she woke up and the photo was somehow gone.
She stood on the corner, still in the shadows, feeling the energy of the environment playing on her skin. She drew in the strength of the night, letting it warm her and feed her deep hunger. This man was also a psychic vampire. She licked her lips. Part of her wondered if she blinked would Devlin disappear? My nerves are getting the better of me. Maybe I shouldn’t do this. There were many stories of women meeting strange men from the Internet, and the women were never heard from again. She gripped the sides of her skirt and wiped her sweaty palms on the fabric. She sucked on her tongue ring, pushing it up and down inside her mouth, and clinked it against her teeth. Even her toes shook. This is ridiculous. He won’t hurt me. I’ve been talking to him for over a year now. I know him.
“Yeah, but how much do you know him?” Christa’s voice echoed in her mind.
More than I ever knew you before I told you what I was. And that didn’t stop you from hanging around me. Ashling dismissed her friend’s statement and drew in a breath. She pushed up her glasses. Car headlights blinded her, so she threw up her hand to protect her eyes from the glare and withdrew further into the velvet darkness concealing her even from Devlin’s eyes. Her eyeteeth tingled. A slow burn unwound in the pit of her stomach. This isn’t good. It meant her hunger was unsatisfied. The energy of the night wasn’t helping. Ashling had fed before she came to meet Devlin. Christa had allowed her to draw in some of her energy before she left. Normally, Ashling liked to feed while she was asleep and dreamwalking, but tonight her nerves were burning through the energy. She ran her tongue over her teeth and willed the hunger away. At times like this, when her hunger raged, it seemed she possessed actual fangs.
Smoothing the fabric of her skirt one more time, she stepped into the dim light of the café. Devlin wasn’t there. Somehow he had disappeared in the few seconds she blocked her eyes from the oncoming headlights. She turned and searched Massachusetts Avenue for him. If he was playing with her, there were too many shadows for him to be concealed in. Shit. He must have thought I wasn’t going to show and left. Regret consumed Ashling. Maybe it was all my imagination. Maybe I didn’t really see him.
A deep laugh erupted next to her ear, a velvet purr; she wasn’t sure it was coming from a human throat. Ashling spun around and found Devlin now resting against the telephone pole, gazing straight at her. A wide grin spread on his sensuous lips. The smile made him more breathtaking than the dark brooding photo he had sent her. A ladder of silver hoops hung in both of his ears. His smoky eyes were surrounded by long onyx lashes. A sprinkling of stubble ran along his chin. In the picture, his face was angled down so she hadn’t seen his eyes that closely.
Her throat went dry while she struggled to find the right words. Here was the guy, her savior sometimes, who had listened to her and helped her through the horrible bouts of hunger she’d had, the depression, and the rejection she’d experienced over the past year. It wasn’t easy being a psychic vampire in the world. Most of the populace thought she was insane for being what she was. When she finally found a small niche to belong to, a whole new world had opened up. She had discovered kindred souls among the online communities. There was always the possibility they were yanking her chain, but she was good at reading people. Just as she’d read Devlin the first time she had gotten a personal IM from him.

* * * *

When Devlin’s instant message box popped up, she was browsing some threads on a message board. She had almost ignored it, but something in the way he phrased his question intrigued her. His icon on the forum was a smiley face. Most of the logos reflected something of their owners’ dark personalities. Hers was a little picture of one of her Living Dead Dolls, Lilith to be exact. The smiley face should’ve turned her off, but staring at the blinking cursor while he waited for a response, Ashling studied his introductory question. It read:
“Are you happy, Ashling?”
Was she happy? What an inane question to ask. Of course she was happy. Her fingers poised on the keyboard of her laptop ready to make some snide reply, but the query echoed through her thoughts. Was she happy? She had a boyfriend. She was keeping the hunger at bay. She had a job she liked. Her roommate was great. There were no problems in her life and the online community was revealing more psychic vampires every day. Even though she was finding them, a small part of her never felt they were completely like her.
So she typed her response. “Most of the time.”
“What about right at this moment? If you could capture it and freeze it, would you be happy?”
“Yes,” she replied, but doubt lingered in her mind.
There was a pause, as if he was laughing. A low chuckle echoed through her darkened bedroom. I’m hearing things. It’s my imagination giving this crazy guy a personality.
“I’m not so sure about that.”
“Why? Can you make me happy?”
“I don’t know. I was only posing the question. I love to make people think.”
Ashling snorted when she read the response. He certainly made her think. “Well, are YOU happy?”
“Of course. I’ve just met you.”
Blood rushed to her cheeks. Why am I blushing? I don’t know this guy from a hole in the wall? He could be a depraved serial killer for all she knew. “Well, that’s nice of you to say, but you don’t know me.”
“But I want to know you.”
“Well, I don’t want to know you.” Ashling closed the lid of her laptop, shutting off the contact with the mysterious IMer. For the rest of the day, their small conversation stuck in her head. Even while she was at work pouring drinks, the band on stage couldn’t pull her mind off the conversation. When she arrived home that night, exhausted, smelling like cheap beer and cigarettes, she opened her laptop. The little white box remained, waiting for her to reply. She shook her head and closed the computer again. If the guy really wanted to talk, then he would have to wait until she had showered and gotten a little shut-eye.

* * * *

“Are you daydreaming?”
Ashling blushed and looked away. She had completely tuned Devlin out. “Sorry.”
“No need to apologize. You’ve always been so down to earth when we talk and not up in the clouds.” Annoyance peppered his voice. Devlin lived a few hundred miles away in New York City, while she was in Boston. They had arranged the meeting a few weeks ago when they both had a few days off, so she didn’t want him to think his trip was a waste of time.
She shook her head. “I’m not, really. I was just thinking about the first time we met. When you IM’ed me and asked me if I was happy.”
“Are you?”
He smiled this time, which lit up his dark eyes. Ashling bit her lip harder, tasting blood. Fantasies of her and Devlin threatened to overwhelm her, but she had a boyfriend. She and Evan had dated for three years now. They were good together. He was a normal college student, but underneath his Polos and khakis lived a rocker with some outrageous tattoos. Ashling hadn’t told him about her nature, and he wasn’t pleased when she informed him that Devlin was meeting with her.
“Why don’t we go inside? It’s getting a little chilly out here.”
She nodded and headed toward the café. Ashling reached for the door, but Devlin got it first. Blood seared her cheeks, hurting her face from blushing so hard. She’d had butterflies in her stomach on the subway ride over, but those fluttery little insects had morphed into dive-bombing hawks, churning her stomach. She ducked inside, glad the interior of the café was dim. There were plenty of nooks and crannies where she could hide, especially upstairs. They walked to the counter. She got a hot chocolate with shaved dark chocolate on top of the whipped cream. Devlin ordered peppermint tea. He didn’t seem the type who went with tea. She assumed he was a hardcore kinda guy who drank his coffee black. Devlin followed her up the winding staircase to her favorite spot next to the window. Tonight she paid no mind to the bustling street below because she was too enamored with having Devlin here in the flesh. Part of her yearned to reach out, touch him and fling her body against his to feel if he was solid. Devlin slid into the chair across from her, careful for not even his boot to bump her knee under the small table.
Ashling poked at the dark chocolate slivers with her spoon, not able to meet his eyes yet. She tried to keep her hands steady. What do we talk about? I’ve told him all my secrets. He knows so much about me. Even more than Evan. Devlin could be my best girlfriend. She tried to place her spoon on the rim of the saucer, but it clattered and spattered her with hot chocolate droplets.
“Shit,” she muttered. Her right eye started to twitch. Ashling grabbed a napkin, dabbing at the spots on her cheek and then on the table. Devlin’s fingers landed on the white napkin, pinning it to the wooden surface still leaving centimeters between them.
“Ashling, focus.” His voice was soft yet commanding. She dared a look into his smoldering eyes. They reached into her soul and captured her. She drew in a breath, nearly choking on the air. The heat from his fingers brushed against her flesh and enticed the hunger. The temptation to pierce his aura and drain it slowly, savoring it, pressed on her mind. Her teeth ached again. His gaze held hers, but she regained control and finally looked away.
“Sorry, Devlin. I’m normally not this discombobulated when I meet new people.”
“I don’t bite, Ashling.”
She laughed. “You could if you wanted too.” Devlin also professed to drinking blood on occasion, but mostly he got by on energy the way she did.
Devlin flashed her his perfectly white teeth. His canines were long, giving him natural fangs. “You’re absolutely correct. I could bite if I desired, but there’s no one appetizing in here at the moment. Except you, of course.”
Ashling snorted. “Now I know you’re lying.”
His eyes and his expression darkened. “I’m not kidding. You don’t give yourself much credit. I’ve been typing to you for over a year now, and you always come off as this cocky, self-sufficient woman who has her shit together. Maybe I was wrong about you. They do say meeting people in person can squash the preconceived ideas we have of them and what they will be like. Do I have the wrong idea?” He drew back in the chair, crossing his arms over his chest, putting up his guard again.
Ashling closed her eyes and gathered her wits. His words stung, but she didn’t want him to get the wrong impression. Sure, she was freer to talk on the Internet because there were no walls, no inhibitions. Fantasies were created and enacted through chat rooms or online games every day. A sudden chill wrapped around her spine from the draft. She opened her eyes and stared down at the passing pedestrians. They were near Harvard Square, only a few blocks from the illustrious college. Most of the walkers were students and weren’t plagued day by day with an incessant rage burning through their veins. They didn’t believe in vampires. They focused on term papers and grades. Each mind, each aura, was like nails in her flesh. On the nights she was particularly pissed off, she could barely be around anyone. Sometimes Evan thought she was anti-social, but he didn’t know the half of it. She had confided everything to Devlin, and now he was questioning his judgment. Why did he come out here then? He must think I’m a total ditz.
“You’re not wrong, Devlin. Sometimes, being what I am, what we are, I forget that I’m still a person. I haven’t been bullshitting you all these months.” Ashling switched her gaze from the window and met his. She wished she could read his eyes. They were so cold. “I’m sorry if you thought I was a flake. Look, I’m ecstatic that you drove here to meet me, but you’ve never told me what you’re like in person either. We’ve talked on the phone, yeah, but that doesn’t mean that I get to watch your expressions when you talk. Have you been jerking me around this past year?” Now it was her turn to sit back in her chair and cross her arms over her chest, mirroring him.
Silence hung in the air between them. The clanging of spoons and the din of voices from the lower level of the coffee shop filtered up to their table. Her fists were clenched. Devlin’s face twitched, and then deep, rich laughter tumbled from his lips while more strands of dark hair escaped his ponytail.
“Ahh, Ash. You’re something else and you’re correct. I’ve never hinted at my moods. I know more about you than you do about me.”
“Well, then, why don’t you impart some of your glorious history to me?” Ashling picked up her mug of hot chocolate and finally took a sip. The destabilized cream had melted into the hot beverage. The sweet and tart flavors of the dark chocolate lingered on her tongue after she swallowed.
Devlin played with the tag on his peppermint tea. His long fingers wrapped around the ceramic cup, and she noticed he wore an onyx ring set in silver on his left middle finger. The stone matched his eyes. “I have too many secrets to tell you all in one night. Some of them you wouldn’t believe.” Devlin’s right hand left the warmth of the cup, sliding across the table. His fingers remained a hairsbreadth away. She wondered why he still didn’t touch her.
Ashling leaned across the table feeling her hair sweep over her shoulder, blocking her view of anyone coming up the stairs. She didn’t touch him, respecting his space. “Devlin, you can tell me anything. I won’t judge you. You haven’t judged me.”
His gaze flicked to the stairs. He inhaled, struggling with whatever he desired to tell her. Before he answered, her hot chocolate splashed her face, dropped into her lap, scalding her legs and messing up her glasses.
“Ouch! What the fu—” A whoosh of air went past her head. Suddenly she was shoved to the floor and had her glasses knocked off. Screams erupted around her, and there was the clamor of feet on the stairs. Squinting, she tried to make out what was going on, but without her glasses, everything was blurry. There was more commotion downstairs, the sound of breaking glass and a very human groan. Dark laughter. She felt around the floor for her glasses until her fingers latched onto something soft and squishy, not her glasses.
Heavy footfalls pounded on the stairs again. She strained and saw Devlin’s blurred, black form in the corner with someone else behind him. Her fingers found her glasses. Drawing herself up, she sat on a cushioned bench, wiping her eyeglasses on her shirt. She settled her glasses on her nose and discovered one of the lenses was cracked. Thankfully, she had another pair at home, but then she saw her friend. Devlin had a man pinned against the far wall, with his hand wrapped around his neck. A terror-stricken look adorned the man’s features. Devlin’s long black hair tumbled to the middle of his back and hid his face. Her gaze darted to the table where they had sat. A large silver knife protruded from the spot where her hot chocolate mug had been. Trails of drying chocolate ran down the walls and the window next to the table. White porcelain was scattered all over the table and the floor. There was another knife embedded in the wall a few millimeters from where her head had been.
What the fuck is going on? Who the hell is that guy? Why did he attack us? She got up and walked toward Devlin.
“Stay back, Ash!” he growled.
Ashling nodded while backing up a few steps. Her gaze locked to the man Devlin held.
“You’re pretty. It’s a shame you have to die too.”
Before she could respond, Devlin punched their attacker in the stomach with his free hand. The assailant barely flinched. “Who sent you?” Devlin asked.
The man grinned. “I’m only the welcoming committee. More will come.”
Devlin said something under his breath, and a look of terror washed over the man’s face. Devlin released her attacker and stepped back, but the man was still pinned against the wall. Ashling froze. An unseen force descended over the room. Purple energy crackled around the man. Suddenly the air was ripped from her lungs. She tried to pull in a breath, but was too focused on the horror before her. Her attacker’s chest was smashed in by some invisible force. The cracking of his ribs echoed in her ears. The sound reminded her of someone popping bubble wrap. Blood spattered all over the wall, dotting her glasses and landing on her cheeks.
Blue energy gathered around Devlin. He was the one unleashing the power that was covering the man. Devlin pulled on the energy again. This time, he pierced her aura. Her hands flew to her throat. She gasped for air, but she was choking. She couldn’t tear her gaze away from her assailant. His face was flattened. Sirens and shouting erupted outside. Devlin smiled, dipped his finger into the blood covering his victim’s torso and licked it. He drew in more energy. This time, it seemed someone crushed her windpipe. Her limbs grew cold, and darkness crept in on the edge of her vision. Ashling desperately tried to draw in a breath, but Devlin didn’t notice. She fell to her knees and reached out to Devlin. Right before she passed out, her attacker’s brains exploded on the wall, mixed with the crimson of his blood.

Hope you all take a moment to check it out.
Huggs and Happy New Year

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Life Thus Far

Many people have asked me how Im doing, or what's going on in my life at the moment. Some are wishing me Merry Xmas and happy Holidays. But me...well I'm not really in the mood this year for cheer and presents. It's not that I' hate the season, but I just have other things to worry about like I'm sure a lot of others do.

Work is busy, but ehh that is a good thing. It drives me insane at times, but good to be working.
I pulled my hamstring so besides the pain and not sleeping,  I've been stressed. Now I have drugs that are helping a little. Still not sleeping well.

The worst of it is that my grandfather is dying. He has days to live or maybe hours. I'm not really sure. The plan is to be there on Xmas and hope to see him since our drive is 18 hours. AFter being diagnosed with liver cancer several years ago, it's finally caught up to him. I know everyone has to go through death of a loved one and that people have said he's going to a good place, lived a full life, yada yada, but it stll sucks and it hurts.

He has been very much a father to me over the years. Even with the years I lived with him. He even officiated over my wedding which was awesome. I've been in NC for 8 years and the one thing that sucked was leaving my family behind and friends.

I was lucky to have my mom move closer and meet my husband. Over the past year, I've had some crazy things happen to me. I've met some wonderful people and lost some good friends. But hey, move ever onward and all that.

So now I wait for my phone to ring. The death toll that it will bring.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Fur and Feathers in Print!

 Fur & Feathers is in Print!

This is the second in my Raven Saga Series out with Amira Press. I'm so excited for this to be in Print because the Ravens are dear to my heart. Actually their tattoo is the next one I plan to get next year.


An ancient and dark predator stalks the pack. Alena has been hiding from her heritage for years. She left behind her past after the death of her uncle. Now her estranged family has found her and begs her to come home. 
Darius has been assigned to investigate the death of two werewolf children and granted a semi-reprieve from his Raven Warrior curse. Not happy with his new mission, Darius discovers the pack's killer is not the hunter he thinks it is. 
Will Alena face her past before the hunter kills again? Can Darius face the ancient evil and live? 
Alena launched herself off the ground as fury rode her thoughts. She didn’t care if they hurt Darius or not. Right now she wanted to hurt someone. She balled her fist and gathered the energy of her mind and swung both at the same time. The dark stranger caught her fist and then blocked her mental onslaught so it rebounded on her. She would have fallen to her knees, but Darius caught her as she fell into him. Her head felt like it had been slammed with a concrete slab. Her forehead fell against his chest. As, it did silence stretched before them as she caught her breath. It seemed her body was meant to be next to his. He smelled vaguely like the forest and something else she couldn’t place. Her anger washed away as he made her feel safe. She even forgot what their conversation was about. He had shunned her while they ate, not even saying thank you when she handed him a plate of food, but he had eaten it greedily and seemed to enjoy it. He was a mystery. Gruff to the point he wanted to keep her at bay and yet, like now, and in the kitchen he seemed to desire her to be close. She couldn’t figure him out. He was an enigma and when she tried to read his emotions all she got was a blank wall.
Finally, he let go of her wrist and tentatively placed his on the small of her back. Very lightly as if he were afraid she was going to break. All his muscles were hard like a steel frame made up his body. Gently, he rested his head on the top of hers. Alena heard him inhale. She swallowed, not wanting to break the moment. Just being in his arms was satisfying enough. Her emotions were as confused as him. The burn inside her gut reawaken a little, but it was held at bay as were her own feelings. She broke the moment and looked up, staring into his deep eyes.
“Who are you really, Darius?” she asked softly.
He closed his eyes, but didn’t relinquish his light hold on her. Their bodies shared warmth as she inched slightly closer into him. Alena wanted him to sweep her up in his arms and open up his mind so she would know how he felt, but he was being cautious. “Does it matter who I really am?” he whispered.
“No, I guess not. But why do you make me feel this way?”
“What way?” his eyes questioned her, searching her face for the answer.
“One minute you’re and asshole. And the next I want to be in your arms and feel your mouth on mine. I want—”
Darius didn’t let Alena finish her sentence, because he demanded her lips at that precise moment. Once their mouths met, she felt the moon’s power zing down her spine. Her hands wrapped around his neck as the fire burning in her belly ignited her soul. Even now, as she drowned in his embrace, she couldn’t read his mind. She wanted to. The kiss was passionate, yet chaste. It was opened mouthed with no tongue. Slow and yet frenzied at certain moments as if he couldn’t make up his mind on what to do with her or what she wanted. It was obvious he had seen Vincent kiss her, and maybe he was jealous which was why he lashed out in the first place.
Minutes ticket away as Alena lost herself in Darius. Time stood still. It felt like she was in a fairy tale. Here was her knight rescuing her from the evil ogre named Vincent. But even as he was liberating her, the dragon was breathing fire inside her belly. The longer he held her, the more the fire in her soul began to spread outward, wrapping its arms around her just as she wished he would do tightening his grip. The burn was not bad, and she couldn’t ignore it, but the longer she was with him, the stronger it got.
Finally, time caught back up to them. Darius didn’t say anything, but stepped away and turned to look at the lake. Alena tentatively put a hand on his shoulder after a moment of him being quiet. She tried to read his emotions again and only came away with a void, like he wasn’t even there. He turned slightly when her hand rested on his shoulder. She felt his muscles bunch under his T-shirt. It seemed he was afraid to be touched as much as he was afraid to touch her as well.
“You don’t have to hide whatever it is you’re trying to keep secret from me, Darius. Whatever it is we can work through it.”

Thanks so much.