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The Unborn – Book Cover!

Here is the cover for the third book in my vampire series. The Vampires of Soldiers Cove: The Unborn.  Release date: April 1st!

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00073]

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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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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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The Unborn (first teaser)

Hello minions! Book three comes out in March/April. Here is a snippet. The Unborn is written a little differently in that it’s divided into three sections. Section one: Rachel. Section two: Gavin. Section three: Rachel. Here is a little sneak peak from Gavin’s section of the book. Merry Christmas!

Snow had begun to fall on the journey home and with wet wings it was harder to fly. It took more effort but the thought of facing the intense pain that awaited him upon shifting back kept him in his crow form all the way home. Normally he would stop and rest at least once, but not this day. Finally, scoping out the backyard from the air and realizing he was home gave him no choice. He glided smoothly to the ground landing safely in front of the door of the small rebuilt toolshed and quickly slipped inside.

            Gavin dressed quickly with the extra set of clothes he always kept inside and was halfway across the yard to the backdoor when the weight of his conversation with Rachel started to sink in. The grief and anger consumed him and he decided to go for a walk in the woods instead. Alexander was inside and he knew he was going to disappoint him. He had promised to bring Rachel back but he didn’t know exactly how to break the news to his brother.

            Alexander still wasn’t speaking but in every other way seemed perfectly fine. He pined for Rachel, however. Almost as much as Gavin did. He missed her, probably because she was the only person who could truly communicate with him. He could of course write notes, but he seemed to very much dislike that and seemed lonely for her company. Alexander longed for the company of someone who could converse without being verbal.

            Gavin turned away from the house and made tracks toward the woods in the five or six inches of snow that had fallen in the last couple of hours. The familiar emerald of the woods with its tall pines and evergreens had been transformed to white by the snow that was still falling in large flakes, blanketing the ground and adding to the silence. Out here he could find peace.

            The sun was beginning its early winter descent and Gavin walked on, looking for his usual spot. He was soaked from snow but didn’t care. There was someone out here who needed him anyway, and if it could ease his own pain to ease that of his friend’s at least there was that. Sharpening his vision he crouched low and listened until he heard what he was after. There was a rabbit about twenty yards off, scurrying along, probably trying to make its way back to its burrow when he stopped, detecting Gavin.

            The two stared at each other for a moment, and then in a flash Gavin pounced, grabbing the small creature and snapping its neck. It was important to him that the creature didn’t suffer. He hated killing any living animal, but was wise enough to know nature’s way and so tucked the kill under his arm and headed to see his friend.

            Arriving at his usual spot he leaned up against the tree observing his friend sleep. He called out to him with his mind, waking the creature from its slumber and watched as the big cat stretched and yawned. The bobcat rolled over, locked eyes with Gavin and twisted his nose up, smelling the fresh meat. Gavin held the offering up and spoke slowly. “It’s for you. Come on now. You have to eat. You’re getting weaker.”

            The cat stood and limped its way over to Gavin, pain radiating through his old body with every step. Gavin could feel it and moved a little closer, meeting him halfway and sparing him any further discomfort. When the cat got close enough Gavin put the rabbit down and sat with his friend while he chewed on his dinner. He stretched out his hand scratching him behind the ears as he began to purr and chew at the same time. At one time Gavin knew he must have been a magnificent animal. His paws were the largest he’d ever seen on a bobcat and his coat, once beautiful and thick was now thinning. He ran his hand down the cat’s side, feeling ribs as he did.

            “At least someone listens to me,” he said, scratching him under the chin like a housecat when he’d finished his meal. “I’m afraid you’re not long for this world, my friend. I’ll miss you when you go. You’ve lived a long time though. As much as death is to be feared, you should fear a life without end even more, especially if you have to spend it alone.”

          

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Free for Black Friday!!

Please check out my author page today to see a complete list of my books. And ALL of them are FREE today!

http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-MacIntyre/e/B00CNF4LSM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

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JADE

Happy middle of the night to you! It’s 2:40 a.m. and here I sit, after just having finished another book. Therefore, it’s time for a blog post about me finishing a book. Are you sick of these yet? I’m doing it anyway.

This most recent book is a novella and will be part of, The Vampires of Soldiers Cove series. It’s book 3.5 if you will.  So here is the order of books that are either available right now or will be in the New Year. The series is as follows.

 

The Vampires of Soldiers Cove

Book 1: The Vampires of Soldiers Cove                                           (Currently available)

Book 2: The Vampires of Soldiers Cove: One Crow Sorrow            (Currently available)

Book 3: The Vampires of Soldiers Cove: The Unborn                      (To be released April/May 2014)

Book 3.5: The Vampires of Soldiers Cove: Jade                              (To be released July/August 2014)

Book 4:     The Vampires of Soldiers Cove: Drown                           (To be released Nov/Dec 2014)

 

The title is subject to change on that last one. Now I am leaving first draft mode. Since August I have written three first drafts. Brotherhood of Man, The Devil and the Dirt Road, and now Jade.  It’s time for me to flip into rewrite mode. I haven’t been there in a while, but the rewrite of, The Unborn is up next on my to do list. I enjoy writing first drafts because for me, it’s all about the wild creativity in that mode. You just unleash and go. Now I’ll have to be a little more focused, but that’s ok. Rewriting is good too. I enjoy making things bigger, better, clearer.

So I bid you all goodnight for now. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter expect to see lots of status updates about Starbucks in the next little while. If you don’t, but want to, please click the ‘about’ section at the top. You’ll find links to all of that there, as well as the buy links for the books that are currently available.

Thanks once again for your continued support. It seems every day I get a message from someone new who has read and enjoyed the books and I appreciate each and every one of you. It’s been a hell of a ride so far, and with more to come. See you soon!

 

 

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Thinking about rating your own book? You might want to think again!

Hey everyone! So like any writer, especially the indie ones, I like to skulk about on Goodreads. Not just checking to see my own reviews but looking at different books friends have added to their TBR lists to see if there’s anything that might tickle my fancy. Like most writers I’m a huge book fan and as such I’m always on the hunt for something good.

I’ve noticed what I consider to be a disturbing trend among the indies, and also the writers from smaller publishing houses which I want to talk about here today. I may get some flack about this from my fellow indies and please know that I don’t mean to offend anyone. I’m a proud indie but what I see happening, I personally believe is something that is not helping our reputation.

What is it? We’re rating our own books! Every time I see this I cringe. We don’t need to be doing this at all. It’s bad for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is how it looks.  Do you see Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, or Anne Rice on Goodreads rating their own work? You don’t and with good reason. It’s not because they’re rich and famous, it’s because they know how it would look, and that’s amateurish. “But I am an amateur,” you say. “I’m an indie writer.” No! Amateur or pro has nothing to do with if you’re with a publishing house or not. Don’t believe me? Go read, “Turning Pro” by Stephen Pressfield. He outlines everything a pro writer does that an amateur doesn’t and none of it has anything to do with fame or money. Those things don’t make you a pro. It’s your attitude. It’s your work ethic, and it’s largely your ability to take one on the chin from strangers who aren’t going to like you.

Over the summer another writer asked on her author page whether or not she should rate her own book. The comments were many, and varied. A large number of people said no and an equally large number of people said yes. The reason most of the writers in the yes camp gave for doing it was that they, ‘wanted to show how much the book meant to them’ or they ‘had something they wanted people to know about the story.’

There’s an old saying in comedy and that is, “If you have to explain a joke, it isn’t funny.”  I’d take this and apply it to your book. If you have to give a big long tome about the book to preface it before people read it perhaps you need to look at your book again. Your readers should be able to pick up the message you are trying to convey in your book….BY READING YOUR BOOK!

If you do have something to say about your book there are many other avenues you can take without giving yourself five stars in the process. A blog is a great communication tool. When, The Vampires of Soldiers Cove came out I wrote a blog post about why I wrote it and why the book is, to me at least, more than a vampire book. It’s supplemental and people can read that blog post or not. It in no way contains any information you ‘have’ to know before reading it. You can simply pick up the book and have at it with no knowledge of who I am or what I’m all about. In fact it really shouldn’t matter who I am or what I’m all about. The only thing that matters is the reader’s experience while reading it and my own personal experience while writing it.

Rating your own book makes you look, in my opinion, either arrogant (I’m such a great writer I’m giving myself five stars!) or insecure (I’m so afraid nobody will give me five stars I better give them to myself.)

Right now The Vampires of Soldiers Cove is sitting at 3.96 stars on Goodreads. Would I like it to be at least over four? Yes, and if I rated it I might even be able to bump it up there, but 3.96 is pretty standard (go look at Anne Rice’s books. Some of them don’t even rate that high) and it is what it is. I look at the standings but largely, I’m on to the next thing. I’m writing other books that need my attention.

If you are a new writer and you’re saying to yourself, “I wonder if I should rate my own book. Other indies are doing it. What’s the harm?” Trust me, it’s harmful. If I am looking at books to read and see that the writer has given themselves five stars I am much less likely to take you seriously as a writer, in fact, I may even skip your book all together. If you don’t have the confidence in your work to let it stand or fall on your own, how can I have confidence in reading it?

I know there are varying view points on rating your own book and this is just mine. But I would encourage you to think long and hard about doing it. You’ve worked so hard on your book, don’t negate it by possibly making yourself look amateurish right out of the gate. I feel that’s what it does.

Just my two cents of course.

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