Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Unborn – Teaser 2 – PROLOGUE

Hello blog followers! As promised on the fan page, here is a teaser from The Unborn, to be released April 1st. The following is the prologue for book 3 in it’s entirety.  Don’t forget to like, share and/or comment!

 

Prologue

            Craning her neck all the way around she stretched and tested the muscles, making sure they were still in good working order. There was only so much a body could take and the older this one got, the less pliable it was. Aging was unacceptable, but also inevitable. Vampires under normal circumstances didn’t age, but in this case, it couldn’t be helped. Twenty years ago when she’d looked in the mirror she had seen this body as the epitome of everything she wanted to be. Beautiful, strong, athletic. It had served her well, but the time was drawing near to jump.

            Over the last quarter century she had been careful, methodical. Cultivating many choices, a whole city full of choices in fact. Although now she believed this may be part of the problem. Too much variety at a banquet and one could end up starving to death while walking around with an empty plate. Time was running out. She had to decide soon who it would be and when she would do it.

            Catching a glimpse of her naked back in the mirror she froze, disturbed at the reflection. The green mark, which had been the mere size of a dime only yesterday, was now covering her entire back in one massive splotch. Instinctually her emotions turned to anger, but she quickly regained her demeanor, realizing that the sentiment would do her no good. She would need to act soon, but for now she could cover it up.

            Breathing deeply she closed her eyes and sucked hard at the air, taking as much into her lungs as possible. She held it there for a moment, the oxygen burning her chest as she felt the tell-tale markings begin to disappear, absorbing their way back into her body. Opening her eyes she inspected her skin once again, happy to see that it had returned to its usual milky perfection.

            Quickly she dressed and ran a brush through the long blonde hair that she had taken such good care of over the years. It had become such a habit, and at times a pleasure that she had consciously looked for a receptor with the same quality. After having acquired the soothing routine she was sure she’d miss it. If by chance she had to give it up to take possession of a man over a woman than so be it, but she really hoped to stay female. A pleasing body, especially a well-endowed one with large blue eyes and dimpled chin had entitled her to certain things. Beauty certainly opened doors, but of course, there were always other methods.

            The transition would be upon her soon, and there were many with the preferred qualities. Receptors that she had groomed and come to know well. Before she could make a final choice however, there was one more avenue she had to explore. Someone new to her. Someone she had been keeping an eye on for a few weeks who had seemingly come out of nowhere, and yet was familiar somehow. The early reports that she’d received had been promising. There were instances where this woman, a vampire, had appeared to start a fire with absolutely nothing. Lots of vampires had special abilities and talents, but fire, needless to say, was unique.

            The body was excellent as well. Only perhaps twenty-five. Long hair as desired, although dark and curly this time. She smiled at herself in the mirror. Yes, she could get used to that.

            Pursing her lips together one final time before turning away she put the finishing touches on her makeup. Her assistant would be back any minute with another report on this new addition and she hoped it would be just as impressive as the last. So far as she knew the woman had no idea she was being followed. Certainly someone who had committed as many murders as she had in such a short time would be more careful if she thought someone was keeping tabs on her. Her behavior remained unchanged, which was good news for them.

            The entire process had been fascinating. Not only did this vampire appear to be very young, but she also seemed to have an insatiable blood lust, murdering two, sometimes three men a week. She kept to the opposite gender, and when they wanted to know why, it hadn’t taken long for them to find their answer. It seemed the blood gorging young thing had an appetite for a certain kind of man.

            Sexual predators.

            She targeted them, watched them, played cat and mouse with them. She played their game so well that they never saw her coming until it was too late. If ever someone was an expert at being a snake in the grass, this woman was it. She wanted to know everything about her. What made her who she was? Why did she only hunt certain types? Why was she here? Where had she come from?

            So far they’d only gotten snippets of answers, not enough to put the entire puzzle together, but that was about to change. Soon she would make herself known. After all she was passing through their territory and one could only do that for so long without permission. Under normal circumstances she would be expected to introduce herself and ask for hunting privileges. She certainly hadn’t done that yet and it led her to believe that this one, for all her intelligence, might have less experience than she’d hoped. If she could provide what was needed all would be forgiven however. There would be no need to ask for permission for anything anymore once the girl’s body was hers. And if she wouldn’t or couldn’t explain the reasons for the things she was doing that wouldn’t matter either. Once the two had become one she would understand everything the young one was doing perfectly. It was just a matter of practicing patience, and after centuries of completing this ritual over and over again, patience was something she had in spades.

 

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The War of Art

“The professional learns to recognize envy-driven criticism and to take it for what it is: the supreme compliment. The critic hates most that which he would have done himself if he had had the guts.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

 

“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

 

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

 

“We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

 

“It’s better to be in the arena, getting stomped by the bull, than to be up in the stands or out in the parking lot.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

“To labor in the arts for any reason other than love is prostitution.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

“The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

“The artist cannot look to others to validate his efforts or his calling. If you don’t believe me, ask Van Gogh, who produced masterpiece after masterpiece and never found a buyer in his whole life.”
Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

 

If you’ve read all of those quotes you should have no problem figuring out what they all have in common. They’re all from the same book. A book called, (obviously) The War of Art.  It’s a book that I’ve recommended time after time to other writers and artists, although I have yet to hear back from any of them as to whether or not they’ve read it. While I can’t be certain, if I had to wager money on it I’d bet they haven’t because they’ve not talked about it. Here’s the thing about this book. Once you read it you are filled with a burning NEED to talk about it. Those who have read it, if the message has touched them, actively seek out other people who’ve read it or enthusiastically recommend it.

Perhaps I am putting too much on this book, but I don’t think so. It’s no understatement that this book changed my life when it comes to writing and creating.  A few years ago I was in a place where I was unable to finish anything. I would start, stop, reread, tell myself it was all garbage and go back to either start something new, or not try at all. I was filled with fear of showing my work to anyone. I’d make excuses as to why I wasn’t doing it but when it came down to it, really, I was just plain scared. I would say things like, ‘my work is just for me’.  Translation: I’m too frightened of being judged.  I’m certainly no Shakespeare but I produce. I finish. I do my work and ‘let the rewards come or not come, whatever they like’.  

I don’t know Stephen Pressfield, although I’m obviously an enthusiastic recommender of his books, so nobody is coercing me to say this of course. But I see my fellow Indies struggling and I know that if a lot of them read this book they’d at least have clarity. An artist never stops struggling, but what you are struggling for can make all the difference. I know we Indies also have a thing about not paying more than $2.99 for an eBook for some reason. This eBook is $7.75 and worth every red cent of it. Honestly, you’ll read it and shake your head at what a steal that price even is. Don’t believe me? Go read all the five star reviews!

If you consider yourself an artist at all, please, go read it. If you don’t want to pay for it at least see if your local library has a copy. When you do read it, I’ll be here. Come find me and we’ll talk.

 

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

As another year comes to a close it’s normal to look back and reflect on what the past year has held, and what the goals or hopes might be for next year. I know some people poo poo this type of thing, but for me it’s always been something I’ve done. There are good years and bad years of course. As the saying goes, ‘you can’t win ‘em all.’ In 2013, while I certainly didn’t win ‘big’, I feel I had a lot of victories and a lot to be grateful for.

Around last January I started to think about music again. I had been dedicated to the idea of becoming a singer in my earlier years and had spent some time in my late teens/early twenties singing in rock bands. I lived for it. I decided I’d try again, this time with only the hope of finding people to play music with. The feeling of standing in a room making music with other people is not quite like anything else and unless you’ve done it, it’s hard to describe.

Terrified, I auditioned for a band. I hadn’t auditioned in years and wasn’t sure what was going to happen. What did happen was that I shocked myself. Sometimes a person does that.  I didn’t expect to get hired but I did, pretty much on the spot too. I can’t even tell you how good that felt. But as good as that feeling was, it didn’t last. I realized over the course of the six or eight weeks I was in the band that I simply don’t feel the way I used to feel about music. I once had a fire and passion for singing and would have done anything and put up with whatever I had to just to be able to get onstage, but as events began to transpire between band members (as they do with all bands, this was not unique to this band at all. All have disagreements and personally I think the biggest thing successful bands have is a group of people who gel. From there you can work with whatever challenges come along) it was evident it wasn’t a happy situation, or at least, I wasn’t happy with the situation.

I bowed out, which I think was the best decision for both me and the band, but became a little depressed. Music, while it’s something I love and can’t live without, is probably not something I’m going to be a participant in, and that’s ok. I came to the conclusion that what I was missing in my life was the act of being creative and so I turned to my other creative passion, which is of course, writing.

I threw myself into it and on March 23rd, The Vampires of Soldiers Cove went up for sale. I didn’t know if anyone would read it or even care. Since that day it’s been downloaded thousands of times and I’ve sold a respectable number of paperbacks, the book’s paperback edition even landing on Amazon’s top 100 in Fantasy books, ranking it’s highest at #74. The kindle version was #94 in the UK paid store as well. During one freebie weekend promo event the book went all the way to #1 in the free kindle store.

People, I’m sure, think, ‘big deal your free book was #1’.  I can understand that but if you knew how many kindle books are free on a daily basis, well, let’s say I was really proud that day.

I also had my first book signing, which was an epic hit! Followed by my second book signing, which was an epic failure.  I’ve also published three other books and had a setback with my illness. With every year there’s some good and bad. All you can do is appreciate the good, and cope with the bad.

Many, many people have contacted me both publicly and privately to say how much they love Rachel and Gavin. I love hearing that of course, but it’s still a little weird when people talk to me about the books. I lived alone with this story in my own head for so long that it’s still a little surreal to hear other people discuss it, but I love that they love it. As a writer that‘s really what I value. Not the praise, but the knowledge that other people get it. Not everyone has of course and some people are obviously not fans, but that can’t be helped. Nothing is universally loved, but it’s liked enough to spur me on.

As I look ahead to 2014 and the release of (hopefully, if all goes well) three more books and a brand new movie blog that I’ll be launching with my friend Tiffany, I want to say a special thank you to those of you who’ve supported me this year. I may not have won the publishing lottery but I’ve made lots of new friends and accomplished things I never thought were possible for me. All I want is to keep writing and entertaining. At heart that’s really what I am. The biggest thrill I get is being able to take people away from their lives, even if only for a little while. We all need that break from the mundane routine of life, and things like music, books and movies provide that.

So here’s to you, the readers. Thank you for reading and sharing and prodding me forward. Also here’s to the indie community. A year ago I didn’t even realize it existed but it’s proven to be a vast and supportive network from which I draw strength daily.

And here’s to 2014! It’s onward and upward from here.

I wish you the happiest of new years!

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