BLOG HOP MONDAY

Today I have the distinct privilege of introducing you to some fantastic authors by way of a Blog Hop. Becoming a writer is an incredible journey. When I first started, I spent a lot of time alone, staring at my computer screen, which I still do, but now I’m surrounded by all these authors who spend a whole lot of their time helping other writers. I’ve grown so much as a person and a writer thanks to the wonderful people who’ve given me and my work a chance to shine. I’m so grateful, and I still have a long way to go!

First, we rewind to last week, where Hannah R. Goodman posted about me on her blog.

Hannah R. Goodman, Founding Editor of Sucker Literary, Writer Woman, and all around amazing person.

Hannah Goodman, M.Ed, MFA, is the author of YA novel, My Sister’s Wedding, which won the first place award for The Writer’s Digest International Self-Publishing Contest, 2004, children’s book division. She published the follow-up, My Summer Vacation, in May 2006, which went on to win a bronze IPPY in 2007. The third Maddie book, Fear of Falling was released in the fall of 2009 and was praised by teachers and readers for tackling subjects like homophobia and coming out. She’s published young adult short stories on Amazon’s Shorts, in an anthology entitled Bound Is The Bewitching Lilith, and in the journal Balancing The Tides. She also has written columns for The Jewish Voice & Herald. Her newest endeavor is SUCKER LITERARY MAGAZINE, featuring undiscovered and new YA authors.

A former high school English teacher, she now owns her own small company, The Write Touch, offering a variety of services for clients of all ages–from tutoring across the content areas in writing and reading for elementary through college students to resume writing and career counseling for adults. She assists in the college application process, from SAT prep to writing the college application essay. Additionally, she is a writing coach and consultant to authors and would-be authors. She teaches her homegrown writing course Releasing The Writer Within, as well. Hannah is a member of the  Editorial Freelancers Association and SCBWI as well as a graduate of Pine Manor College’s Solstice Program in Creative Writing. She resides in Bristol, RI with her husband, two daughters, and three cats: Lester, Maisey, and Judy.

Contact Hannah:

Twitter: @hannahrgoodman
Now, for the authors who will hop after me. (Haha…that sounds amazingly hilarious.)
Let me introduce Justine Manzano. Writer. Blogger. Twitterer. Justine didn’t give me much to go on, so I became a super sleuth, finding out all about her in my spare time. (Stalker style. That’s right.)
Justine Manzano is a writer of many genres who lives in Bronx, NY with her husband, son, and a cacophony of cats. Her short fiction appears in the anthology Things You Can Create and Sliver of Stone Magazine and will appear in the upcoming inaugural issue of The Greenwich Village Literary Review.  She maintains a semi-monthly blog at JustineManzano.com and works as a fiction reader for Sucker Literary Magazine.  Her twitter account is at @justine_manzano, where she shares all of her news and views on writing and life.
Check out Justine’s story “Tunneling” HERE.
Next, we have Shannon Alexander.

Shannon Lee Alexander is a wife, mother (of two kids and one yellow terrier named Harriet Potter). She is passionate about coffee, books, and cancer research. Math makes her break out in a sweat. Love and Other Unknown Variables is her debut novel being released October 7, 2014. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her family.

Contact Shannon:
Blog: Wandering through the Words http://www.wanderthewords.blogspot.com
Twitter @shanlalexander

And most exciting of all, here is Shannon’s cover for her debut novel.
Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover the solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswerable problems. He’s that smart.The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She would rather sketch with charcoal pencils, sing in her pitch-perfect voice, or read her favorite book than fill out a college application.

Charlie’s future blurs the moment he meets Charlotte. She’s not impressed by the strange boy until she learns he’s a student at Brighton where her sister has just taken a job. At Charlotte’s request, Charlie orchestrates the biggest prank campaign in Brighton history. But by the time Charlie learns Charlotte is ill and that the pranks were a way to distract her sister from Charlotte’s illness, Charlotte’s gravitational pull on him is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second). 

Now, I’m supposed to introduce 3 authors, but sometimes things happen and people back out last minute. You know who you are. So I post their stuff anyway. You eat that slice of guilt pie.
LASTLY, I have my good friend and author, RLL.
Here is a picture of an ice cream cone. (It’s a long story…you should read it.)
I like to embarrass RLL. He’s a self-proclaimed curmudgeon, but he’s actually done a lot of things for me (the most prevalent of which is drive me crazy). He’s a smart guy. He teaches me things and forces me to see the world through Scottish tinged glasses. Plus, as you’ve probably already realized, I’m an excellent stalker.
RLL has published many a book, which he’s ridiculously modest about. I know that sounded sarcastic, but it wasn’t meant to. He’s seriously a nice guy. (I bet he’s blushing right now. He’s probably going to kill me. I should run…)
Contact RLL:
Twitter: @RLL_author
That’s all the blog hopping I have for today. I’ve promised myself that I will spend the day writing, and I fully intend to. Check out the above authors. Leave them some comments. Spread the love.
All the best,
Kacey
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IT’S READ TUESDAY!

My good friend RLL is participating in an exciting event called READ TUESDAY, which is taking place today, December 10th. Basically, this event is a HUGE SALE on our favorite thing: BOOKS! Go ahead and click on the image above to be taken to the READ TUESDAY site. You don’t want to miss out on this HUGE EVENT!

In honor of the event, RLL has been circling blogs, answering some very personal questions in that alluring Scottish accent of his. And while I haven’t had time to reciprocate and answer these questions myself (yet…*cough* work *cough* Nano *cough* winterguard *cough* Christmas), I’m happy to host him on my blog. And let’s be honest, since Antithesis came out, I’ve kind of gone into radio silence (*cough* Nano), it’s something I plan on working on in the near future…if I have time.

So here’s RLL. Feel free to read the following in your BEST Scottish accent. And be sure to check out READ TUESDAY and RLL’s sale books (they’re FREE today!): Neon Gods Brought Down by Swords and WITCHES.

**

In support of READ TUESDAY, I’ve been answering twenty questions on other people’s blogs. Writers chatting to each other on writing. I’ve given different answers to my own questions here:

   STEPHANIE STAMM.

   MISHA BURNETT.

   CHARLES YALLOWITZ.

   LISA CAPEHART.

   MARGO BOND COLLINS.

   THE RANTING PAPIZILLA.

   SUZANNA WILLIAMS.

   R.B. AUSTIN.

   ANASTASIA POLLACK.

   The next set of answers will go up here shortly: E.B. BLACK.

 

READ TUESDAY is a winter book sale taking place on the 10th of December 2013 – the inaugural sale. Get out there and find some bargains on the day. Spread the joy of reading and writing.

 

Time for some alternative answers…where possible. It’s getting tougher to answer these same questions…

 

1. Fire rages in your house. Everyone is safe, but you. You decide to smash through the window, shielding your face with a book. What is the book?

 

Unreliable Memoirs, by Clive James. If you are going to die, die laughing.

 

2. Asleep in your rebuilt house, you dream of meeting a dead author. But not in a creepy stalkerish way, so you shoo Mr Poe out of the kitchen. Instead, you sit down and have cake with which dead author?

 

Rather unsporting of me I know, but I feel like naming a writer yet-living – just to move that writer over to the dead list for the purposes of this answer. And then I’d have words.

 

3. Would you name six essential items for writers? If, you know, cornered and threatened with torture.

 

In no particular order. A weak floor. Untied shoelace. Shark in a bathtub. A pen, filched from my breast-pocket and held in my mouth. That old stand-by, a blown fuse. A woman with acute hearing.

   As the torturer enters the room, the fuse blows. I spy my chance and expel the pen from my mouth. It clatters to the edge of the weak floor. My torturer slips on the pen and then trips on his untied shoelace. The torturer’s impact with the weak-spot sends him falling into the waiting bathtub.

   A woman with acute hearing notices the crash and that scream, and it is she who rushed to my rescue. Shark and bathtub constitute one item for the purposes of this narrative. The water is thrown in, free.

 

4. Who’d win in a fight between Count Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster? If, you know, you were writing that scene.

 

Fiction is the real winner here. That’s a rubbish answer. Hulk SMASH!

 

5. It’s the end of a long and tiring day. You are still writing a scene. Do you see it through to the end, even though matchsticks prop your eyelids open, or do you sleep on it and return, refreshed, to slay that literary dragon another day?

 

I press the big red button that does all my writing.

 

6. You must introduce a plot-twist. Evil twin or luggage mix-up?

 

My plot-twist is…that there is no plot-twist. People speak of it for years.

 

7. Let’s say you write a bunch of books featuring an amazing recurring villain. At the end of your latest story you have definitely absitively posolutely killed off the villain for all time and then some. Did you pepper your narrative with clues hinting at the chance of a villainous return in the next book?

 

Given that the villain succeeds in destroying existence…

 

8. You are at sea in a lifeboat, with the barest chance of surviving the raging storm. There’s one opportunity to save a character, drifting by this scene. Do you save the idealistic hero or the tragic villain?

 

In an appalling mix-up, I save the idealistic tragic.

 

9. It’s time to kill a much-loved character – that pesky plot intrudes. Do you just type it up, heartlessly, or are there any strange rituals to be performed before the deed is done?

 

Spaghetti, always the spaghetti. I feel that’s twice I’ve used this answer. Raspberry sauce, always the raspberry sauce…

 

10. Embarrassing typo time. I’m always typing thongs instead of things. One day, that’ll land me in trouble. Care to share any wildly embarrassing typing anecdotes? If, you know, the wrong word suddenly made something so much funnier. (My last crime against typing lay in omitting the u from Superman.)

 

Another bogus question – presumably, we type ALONE and somehow KILL the typo before that witty error reaches the pubic.

 

11. I’ve fallen out of my chair laughing at all sorts of thongs I’ve typed. Have you?

 

Well, it’s saner than falling out of a thong laughing at all sorts of chairs I’ve typed.

 

12. You take a classic literary work and update it by throwing in rocket ships. Dare you name that story? Pride and Prejudice on Mars. That kind of thing.

 

Double Indemnity: The Clone Wars.

 

13. Seen the movie. Read the book. And your preference was for?

 

Brunettes over redheads and redheads over blondes. That’s not a recipe for an orgy.

 

14. Occupational hazard of being a writer. Has a book ever fallen on your head? This may occasionally happen to non-writers, it must be said.

 

I once saw a book stalk and kill a tiger in the foothills of Fictionlandia.

 

15. Did you ever read a series of books out of sequence?

 

I read a book facing the wrong way. That came back to haunt me.

 

16. You encounter a story just as you are writing the same type of tale. Do you abandon your work, or keep going with the other one to ensure there won’t be endless similarities?

 

I’ve answered this question too often and need to lie down. Think I got away with that. Oh. Have I used this excuse twice? Damn.

 

17. Have you ever stumbled across a Much-Loved Children’s Classic™ that you’ve never heard of?

 

That unpronounceable story. If I could say it, I’d know how to spell it. No, I’ll give a proper answer. There’s that Harry Potter book sitting on my shelf, unread. You know the one. Hanging in Judgement: Religion and the Death Penalty in England from the Bloody Code to Abolition. By the Reverend Harry Potter.

 

18. You build a secret passage into your story. Where?

 

On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese.

 

19. Facing the prospect of writing erotica, you decide on a racy pen-name. And that would be…

 

Margarine Loube.

 

20. On a train a fan praises your work, mistaking you for another author. What happens next?

 

I spend twenty minutes discussing his favourite book – a treatise on stained-glass windows – about which I skilfully ad-lib. He leaves the train none-the-wiser. My knowledge-base is increased.

 

 

 

Here’s a blog post on READ TUESDAY. And here’s a funny one on CONTACTING PEOPLE FOR READ TUESDAY.

 

Featured in the READ TUESDAY sale on December the 10th, 2013Neon Gods Brought Down by Swords and WITCHES. Both will be free on the day. Pick up copies and READ them – please don’t just store endless free books on an electronic device. If you want to support me or any of the writers mentioned above, please leave reviews. We appreciate the effort made, whether one-star or five-star.

 

Note that Margo Bond Collins won’t have a sale on the day, but she will run a December sale. R.B. Austin and E.B. Black couldn’t make the sale day either – but check out their books anyway. And Papizilla hopes to publish one day. Thanks for your time.

 

MY AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE.

@RLL_author.

Signpost blog, RLL AUTHOR.

Blog, REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE. (THOUGHTS ON PUBLISHING BY AN AUTHOR ON THE RUN.)

MIRA E. by RLL

Today I’m featuring my good friend RLL and his recently published, Mira E. Take a look!

*

REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE. Welcome to my mini-self-publishing imprint for collected blog posts. These posts are bundled with fiction. Each volume contains a novel running to at least 75,000 words. Blog material runs to at least 30,000 words.

*

 VOLUME 1. MIRA E.

 I am known for my pyrotechnic ways. Fire is my friend. Though I have a long history of fire-raising, flame-creation, incinerating behaviour, and combustible mischievousness, I admit to being shielded by the fascist pig cop conspiracy at the heart of organised cop-robber crime in the parish.

  

This collusion with the law was my shield. If you wanted a place torched for the insurance, no questions asked, I was the man. And if you wanted a place torched so the owners were under no illusions over the solid wisdom of coughing up folding green, hell, that could be arranged for a fee also.

   Outside the police jurisdiction in which I operated as a state-sanctioned arsonist, I murdered men and women who fell into my clutches. Acid was my stock-in-trade. I like to burn, whether by fiery means or foul – and acid is most definitely foul.

   Lately I’ve killed too many. An orgy of destruction could never sate my flame-filled lust.

 *

 Marisol waited for the cruisers to finish their wheel-spinning display in the small field next door.

   This pointless chase was on again.

   Grass-stained white sneakers faced the country cop cars. Marisol sensed a greening of her clothes in the immediate future. Hands on hips, breathless, she looked to her ankles for comfort. No luck. Grass and mud danced a tango across her socks. And over the lower half of her faded blue jeans. Her white short-sleeved T-shirt was in for a beating, then. Should have bought the green one, after all.

   She tossed her head, a retort to the approaching bulls, and wondered how much of her elbow-length black hair would stain green. The not-iron symbol at her throat jiggled on its leather thong. Two of the five points said hello to her skin as the starfish began a pirouette.

 *

 Zeke, slumping, pasted another body-dump story into his scrapbook with the loving care of someone who felt deeply for dead strangers. He sat back and popped the last square of white chocolate into his teeth. The ration rebounded and landed on the story of a woman found in shrubbery. Woman. Girl, really. Not much older than the crime-obsessed Zeke.

   He placed the chocolate inside his mouth, on his dry tongue, and let the food melt as he read the incomplete jigsaw. Detectives had high hopes. There were strong leads. High hopes wouldn’t bring the woman back to life. Girl, really.

   “Zeke.”

   This was his informal mother, who detested all maternal appellations with the sideswipe that appellation is not a mountain range.

   “We’re doing the cheese thing.”

   “Not fondue.”

   “Hell no. Scrapbook?”

   “The latest news. They think she might be Miriam, two towns over. The one who ran off.”

   “Surely they’d know.”

   “Yeah, I guess. They’ll want to let her parents know for sure, before it’s splashed all over the papers. Though if you read between the lines of what this journalist says…”

   “It’s pretty obvious. Well, don’t get too caught up in it.”

   “You said that about the President.”

   “He’s gone now, Zeke. We have a new President.”

   “Don’t get too caught up in the new President’s business either?”

   “After he just pardoned the last guy? I don’t see that leading to an election result worth mentioning.”

   “Okay. I’ll do the cheese thing. And I’ll still go around saying I like President Nixon.”

   “Not my favourite cake on the stand. Still, you have different tastes.”

 *

 An inquisitive young guy stumbles on an entirely different conspiracy in post-Watergate America. No one can find Mira E. Everyone wants to. As the decades unfurl, the real truth about aliens never quite comes out. Too many competing parties with conflicting interests see to that.

 190,000 words, plus notes. Previously-published blog posts account for 41,000 words, and the novel runs to 149,000 words.

SEE THE FIRST CHAPTER HERE.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON  KINDLE HERE.

 @RLL_author.

 Signpost blog, RLL AUTHOR.

 Blog, REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE. (THOUGHTS ON PUBLISHING BY AN AUTHOR ON THE RUN.) See the HALLOWE’EN INAUGURATION page for a free story – The Chalice in the Snow. Also available – TWICE AROUND THE LIGHTHOUSE. A complete Doctor Who novel, released as fan fiction on my blog.

 Author of…

 Neon Gods Brought Down by Swords.

 INCOMPLETE UNCOLLECTED SHORT WORKS.

 LYGHTNYNG STRYKES.

 REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE SERIES…

 REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE. VOLUME 1. MIRA E.

 And in the FICTION FACTORY line…

 THE MADONNA GAMBIT.

 WITCHES.

 WEREWOLVES.

 INSANITY.

 VAMPIRES.

 All for Amazon Kindle.

VAMPIRES, OH MY!

VAMPIRES.

Once again, I’m featuring my good friend RLL. Today, to complete Witches and Insanity, we have Vampires (oh my!)

FICTION FACTORY. Welcome to my mini-self-publishing imprint for short stories running around 30,000 words. These stories are not collected or bundled with other tales. If you buy WITCHES, you won’t suffer disappointment in later life by finding WITCHES reheated for a collection called TALES TO IMPRESS PALAEONTOLOGISTS. Be thankful for that small mercy.

 VAMPIRES.

 Crashing parties used to amuse Vance. He hurled himself into a world of no commitments. When the synthetic blonde offered more of the same, guided by brusque phone texts, he didn’t see the harm in another meaningless fling.

 “Rule 1. If I text and you are busy, that’s fine. The rule runs in both directions. No pestering.”

 He was okay with that.

 “Rule 2. We never attend social functions. I don’t do weddings, though I will crash parties.”

 Suited him, just fine.

 “Rule 3. No gifts.”

 Saved money.

 “Five rules. Rule 4. If we see each other with strangers, no questions. No introductions to family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, serial killers…”

 Vance had no problem with the fifth rule. He thought his problems began next day.

 There, in red lipstick, she’d left a mirror message.

 WIPE THIS OFF. STICK TO THE RULES. SEE YOURSELF OUT.

 The bar? Reasonable. Didn’t try too hard to be trendy. He knew no one here – not on a Wednesday night. Vance watered at the venue on the odd weekend. Open the door on a world without strings. In.

 Scene. The jet minx in front of him shook hailstones from her bobbed coiffure. Melting pellets bounced off his heavy coat. By contrast, she appeared to be wearing a black plastic bag for no protection from the night.

 He eyed her tight black jeans. Painted on. Sheathed legs stopped at bare ankles and shiny stab-me black shoes. Hang about…

 37,000 words, plus notes.

The Prologue:

This prologue is best-read while listening to Pretty in Pink, by the Psychedelic Furs.

VAMPIRES.

“What the fuck’s this?”

“That’s self-evident.”

“Oh yeh? Do me a favour, love. Next time you declare something self-bleeding-evident, make sure you know it’s self-bleeding-evident to me.”

“This is an invitation to a masked ball.”

“Very similar to a dropped ball. Sounds a bit hairy.”

“We have been cordially invited…”

“Invited as cordial.”

“To. A. Masked.”

“What?”

“You were being flippant.”

“I parked on yellow lines once. What a crime.”

“Don’t believe you.”

“It’s true. I was lying about parking.”

“Are you finished?”

“No.”

“Please do go on.”

“When’s this masked ball?”

“Are you still being flippant? You CAN read the time on the invitation.”

“I wasn’t being flippant a moment ago. Am being now, though.”

“FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF…”

“Don’t do the eff-thing. I hate that.”

“You swear all the time.”

“Not word after word, love. Fuck fuck fuck. I don’t do that. Apart from just then.”

“Neither do I. I use the word off as a stress-reliever. Are we going to this fucking party or not?”

“Were you invited?”

“YES. HERE’S. THE. INVITATION.”

“I’ll consider going.”

“You are going. I’m bored. Bored bored bored. Existence is boring. I want to party. You haven’t been to a party since…”

“The last time. What was the last party you were at? Oh, I remember. The Nazi Party.”

“Don’t judge. That was 1933. I look stylish in black boots and a peaked cap.”

“Seen Adolf lately?”

“He’s back with Eva.”

“Yawn. Heard it all before. Quiet night in with the Hitlers.”

“They are now the Goldstein family.”

“Learning Yiddish, is he? Blending in?

“He’s clean-shaven. And he stopped wearing brown shirts. Hebrew. He’s learning Hebrew.”

“Yawn again. What do they get up to, of an evening?”

“Stuff. You know. Things.”

“Wall-to-wall history shows. He foams at the mouth every time someone mentions Churchill or Stalin. Come midnight, Eva blacks up and does her minstrel cabaret act. His heart’s not in the playbill.”

“She sings all the wrong songs. Won’t listen to advice.”

“Then it’s some half-arsed bloodsucking from the bags in the fridge. She spends her time on the world’s largest jazz cigarette.”

“That alleviates the tension.”

“He stays up until dawn writing letters to the party faithful and trying out new speeches in front of the laptop. Computer wallpaper? Freeze-frame shot of a rally. Massive crowd. Look closer and you’ll see it’s a photo of the London Marathon. All the colours of the rainbow represented, but someone’s cropped the rabbinical contingent from the happy event.”

“Bormann’s a Microsoft engineer. He dabbles in desktop publishing. Admin’s more his thing.”

“You can say that of a lot of Adolf’s friends. I thought Bormann was declared dead in 1973.”

“Marty still had friends in government then. Called in a Bundes-favour or two.”

“Night in with the Hitlers, eh. Timeline? Five minutes until cock-crow. Adolf suddenly remembers he’s a vampire and reluctantly returns to the bunker. Am I wrong?”

“Your sweep of the details is broad. Though that sweep is, lamentably, correct.”

“Are the Hitlers going? To this ball…”

“Don’t know. Should I call and ask? Oh, what if they haven’t been invited? Does it matter, either way?”

“Depends. Wouldn’t be the first party Hitler crashed. Does it matter to me, you mean?”

“You may imagine from my impending silence that I am mentally repeating FUCK OFF in a loud angry manner. Inside my head.”

“Well that saved a bother of repeating it outside your head, next mine. What was the question?”

“Which side were you on, back then?”

“When?”

“World War Two.”

“Was there a second one? Bloody hell.”

“Are you being flippant? Before you answer, you should know that I am being flippant in asking.”

“I can’t remember. Things were quiet at first. Then there was a load of bombing. I’d wander the war-torn streets at night, picking up tasty nibbles. Could have been anywhere.”

“Were the nibbles speaking German?”

“I didn’t give them time to speak, love. You don’t talk to the food.”

“That’s nonsense. I always do.”

“You are the chatty type.”

“So from 1939 through to 1945, you managed to survive in some war-torn landscape. Without ever having a conversation.”

“Don’t remember. What’s there to talk over? Someone bombed my house. You’ve had a rough day, mate. And the night’s about to get rougher. Fang you very much.”

“Crap. You were in London in 1941.”

“Maybe. It’s all a blur.”

“You still have that accent. Go by landmarks. Transport. Music of the time.”

“Nothing. Accent. Yeh. Where did you dig up that American accent, exactly?”

“Concentrate. Fashion. Slang. News items. THE LANGUAGE.”

“Oh.”

“Yes. Finally. The language. Goes with the accent, I’m guessing.”

“I remember wandering choice sewers. Built to last.”

“Victorian engineering.”

“Yeh. London, then. Going by the sewers. Had to be.”

“Well, I strolled in Berlin. For a time.”

“Where did you go, after?”

“I lived in Moscow. That must have been 1942. Mix-up. Commie phase.”

“Looked stylish waving a red flag, did we?”

“If we meet Hitler at this ball, and he starts waxing lyrical about his vampire superspy deep in Soviet territory…”

“Stroll on. Seriously?”

“The story may surface. Let’s ensure it surfaces as I’d prefer to tell the tale.”

“Are we going?”

“Yes.”

“Right. Dress inappropriately. Then you’ll match me.”

Here’s the link:

BUY VAMPIRES

neon gods brought down by swords cover 61Neon Gods Brought Down by Swords. FREE TODAY AND TOMORROW.

Visit RLL in all the following locations:

@RLL_author.

 Signpost blog, RLL AUTHOR.

 Blog, REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE. (THOUGHTS ON PUBLISHING BY AN AUTHOR ON THE RUN.) See the HALLOWE’EN INAUGURATION page for a free story – The Chalice in the Snow. Also available – TWICE AROUND THE LIGHTHOUSE. A complete Doctor Who novel, released as fan fiction on my blog.

 Author of…

 Neon Gods Brought Down by Swords.

 INCOMPLETE UNCOLLECTED SHORT WORKS.

 LYGHTNYNG STRYKES.

 And in the FICTION FACTORY line…

 THE MADONNA GAMBIT.

 WITCHES.

 WEREWOLVES.

 INSANITY.

All the best,

Kacey

WITCHES AND INSANITY

Today I am presenting some works by my good friend RLL. You may remember him from such posts as: AN INTERESTING TURN OF EVENTS and MEGATRON BEARS GIFTS.

Want to stalk him? He’s Scottish, so that makes him totally STALKABLE. CLICK HERE to live out your every stalking desire.

And if you hurry, you can get one of his books FREE on Amazon today.

RLL and I struck up an unlikely friendship when he decided to bludgeon me with a baseball bat. Sounds harsh, I know, but the best of friendships come out of beatings. sometimes we all need to hear things we don’t like.

First, we have WITCHES.

WITCHES cover for plug

FICTION FACTORY. Welcome to my mini-self-publishing imprint for short stories running around 30,000 words. These stories are not collected or bundled with other tales. If you buy WITCHES, you won’t suffer disappointment in later life by finding WITCHES reheated for a collection called TALES TO IMPRESS PALAEONTOLOGISTS. Be thankful for that small mercy.

 WITCHES.

 Selena Salem spins tales o’ witchcraft, and worse. Mystified strangers are invited to her kitchen table to hear uncanny stories. Fanning the blood-spattered cards, Selena casts her storytelling spell into the rainy Scottish night.

 Tonight’s tale is one of war between greedy clans. The clan o’ the Hand hires the man in the scarlet cap to do the clan’s bidding. His task? Destroy the clan o’ the Eye and the clan o’ the Tongue. No easy feat for mortal man. A difficult job for a warlock.

 Enter Rory: bandit-killer and lover of married women. The Laird o’ Tongue sends Rory to redress the balance of power by hiring witches. Rory stands on the brink of destruction at the cottage of Selena – prentice witch. Selena’s uncle may be too tired for the fight to come. All the while, the clan o’ the Eye keeps watch. Who will triumph, in this devilish tale of magic gone awry in the service of mortal men?

35,000 words, plus notes.

RLL is such a curmudgeon nice guy that he’s also included the prologue for your perusal.

The witch Selena Salem, named for the moon-goddess and a place in New England, leaned across the kitchen table with the bloodied Tarocchi rectangles fanned. She was always in a Hallowe’en frame of mind. The apostrophe in Hallowe’en has faded in some quarters. In Scotland the apostrophe must be fixed in the word. That is a point of law.

“Ach, are ye no’ in the muid fur a wee readin’…”

Her visitor wondered whether he might be in the mood for a reading. He looked over at the sink, glanced across at the microwave, and finally took in the blood-spattered cards thrust before him. Selena Salem was in the mood to offer a reading. Or something more.

“Nae fortunes tae be dished oot here, mind. Ah’ll read ye frae the past, eh. The past is aye mair interestin’ than the future. Wan informs the ither.”

“Is it the future informs the past, Selena?”

All she could do by way of reply was cackle. When in doubt, play to the cliché. She shuffled the deck without looking. Her brand of magic was locked deep in the cards, and she knew the order in which they were fated to fall.

Her phone beeped.

“Ach, that’s my new app. Witchfinder. Locates like-minded lunatics. A moment. Oh. Her. We’ll bring back the Witchcraft Act for her. Whaur were we? Hmm. Witchfinder. Aye. Here’s a tale o’ witches, then.”

INSANITY.Next we have INSANITY. (I think he won’t kill me if I say that I LOVE THIS BLURB.) Really. Read it. It’s amazing.

“Get out of hand, and we cut the air. Try to entangle your neck in the cord, and we cut the air. Attempt to smash the glass – impossibility – and we cut the air. Try to force the hatch open – impossibility – and we cut the air. You’ll be knocked out and removed for evaluation once in a little while. Try not to lie your way out of therapy. This is for your own good and the safety of others. If you vomit, we’ll flush you out and suck the debris away. So that’s no avenue for an escape-attempt. Thumbs are twitching. Slide her in, Burt. Don’t want her beating you up. That would be an embarrassment.”

 Dark hair wafted in the underwater equivalent of a breeze. The current. Caused by? Machines keeping the water fresh, he supposed. She twirled and moved, sleeping, nearer the glass. Dark hair swept back from her face. He kept expecting her eyes to pop open, but those stayed shut.

 “They begged her to stop digging. The aliens. Her shift-mates were murdering the baby aliens, and a whole species was at risk.”

 “She ever show an interest in ecology before that?”

 “No. The workforce doesn’t have to be dolphin-friendly up here.”

 Left floating in the psych-tank, her life is over. Declared violently insane, she can do little but widen her eyes in response to her surroundings. She wants out. Escaping from the tank is the start of an impossible journey. Do it. Emerge from the tank.

 All you need do then is escape from the asylum. Reach the train. Take that to the main hub. A journey of an hour. Transfer, undetected, to the train through the accommodation blocks. Head for the space shuttle landing area. Another train journey of an hour. Hang around for the monthly shuttle. Board.

 Travel from moon to planet. Three days. Remain undetected in all that time.

 Piece of cake. Except for that tricky part about killing Doctor Bell and everyone on Doctor Bell’s side.

 46,000 words, plus notes.

GET INSANITY.

Interested? Find RLL lurking in all the places listed below.

Signpost blog, RLL AUTHOR. Link – http://rllauthor.blogspot.com/

 Blog, REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE. (THOUGHTS ON PUBLISHING BY AN AUTHOR ON THE RUN.) Link – http://rll-reportfromafugitive.blogspot.com See the HALLOWE’EN INAUGURATION page for a free story – The Chalice in the Snow.

 @RLL_author.

 Author of…

 Neon Gods Brought Down by Swords. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Neon-Gods-Brought-Swords-ebook/dp/B006L3NE94/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354528693&sr=1-1

 INCOMPLETE UNCOLLECTED SHORT WORKS. http://www.amazon.co.uk/INCOMPLETE-UNCOLLECTED-SHORT-WORKS-ebook/dp/B0070TT30W/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354528693&sr=1-2

 LYGHTNYNG STRYKES. http://www.amazon.co.uk/LYGHTNYNG-STRYKES-ebook/dp/B007H9VPRO/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354528693&sr=1-3

 And in the FICTION FACTORY line…

 THE MADONNA GAMBIT. http://www.amazon.co.uk/MADONNA-GAMBIT-FICTION-FACTORY-ebook/dp/B009Y6ZSM6/ref=sr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354528693&sr=1-5

 WITCHES. http://www.amazon.co.uk/WITCHES-FICTION-FACTORY-ebook/dp/B009UFHBPS/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354528693&sr=1-4

 WEREWOLVES. http://www.amazon.co.uk/WEREWOLVES-FICTION-FACTORY-ebook/dp/B00A5SICMK/ref=sr_1_6?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354528693&sr=1-6

 All for Amazon Kindle.

 Also available…

 TWICE AROUND THE LIGHTHOUSE. A complete Doctor Who novel, released as fan fiction on my blog. http://rll-reportfromafugitive.blogspot.co.uk/p/doctor-who-fan-fiction-twice-around.html

All the best,

Kacey

LOOK!

The amazing Stephanie Diaz tagged me in a game called Look. I figured, I’m not doing a darn thing, so why not share? Here’s the rules:

RULES:

If you are tagged, do a search for the word “look” in your work in progress. Copy that paragraph, along with surrounding paragraphs, to your blog, to keep the game afloat. Don’t forget to tag others.

So, I checked out my two WIPs. The first, Through the Reflection Pond features ‘look’ in the second paragraph. I deemed that boring, so I headed to the sequel to Through the Reflection Pond, Shade of the Poison Tree, which also features ‘look’ in the second paragraph. Hm. Gave me a WTH moment. I decided on Poison Tree, even though it’s unedited, even though it’ll make no sense.

Here’s your tidbits!

            Even with my back turned to him, I felt Nate’s eyes on me, as if I was Santa Claus and it was Christmas morning, as if he couldn’t believe it was really me. He’d cried. Actual tears, heavy with months of fear and grief, had fallen from the corners of his hollow eyes and trailed down his cheeks. I’d done this to him. The dark smudges from lack of sleep? Those were my fault. He’d lost weight, his cheeks were sunken, his body gaunt. My fault. My fault.

            “Callie?”

I lifted my head. We’d stopped at a red light. Ahead of me, the dark road stretched for miles and miles, disappearing into the trees in the distance. It was the last traffic light in town. I glanced at his face and away, staring out the window, at a spot just beyond Nate’s head where the sun was trying to make an appearance, unable to bring myself to look at him. It was one thing to leave—I’d done that, quite successfully and completely by accident, it was another to come face to face with the person you’d left behind and realize that you’d destroyed their life in your absence. My stomach turned to ropes, thick and heavy, making me ache.

“I’m sorry.” The words were just the barest whisper. I coughed, trying to make my voice fit beside the guilt. He touched my face, the callused planes of his palm felt foreign even though it’d been mere months since I’d seen him. The light turned green and reflected in his eyes. He was waiting me out, wearing me down with his infinite patience. I leaned out of his touch and pressed my back to the door. Hurt flashed across his face.

“Are you hungry? Cold? Should I take you home?”

            Home. It was ironic, really, that word. Home.

 

Now I must tag some people.

1. Missy Biozarre (You are my dearest writer friend. Do it. Take a chance. Let it all hang…out…er…you know what I mean.)

2. RLL (Oh yes YOU!! You read that correctly.)

3. Chris Stocking (You won something off my blog, that means I stalk you now.)

4. Martha Allard (Because I CAN!! And I love your writing. Seriously. Love. It. And if anyone would EVER listen to me, I vote for the werewolf story.)

5. Melissa Keir (Does this really need an explanation? Yes? No? No…?)
Now, listen up all of yous. You don’t HAVE to participate, it’s not REQUIRED by LAW, but what else are you doing right now? Nada? Nothing? That’s what I thought. Share some writing. It’s amazing an you know it.
All the best,

Kacey