Friday, November 29, 2013


When  'MAGIC’ isn’t enough of an explanation for you, writing fantasy can be hard as balls.
The only way I can allow a mythical creature into my books is by making them as real as possible. Take vampires for example…

              Chapter 21 from FATAL RETRIBUTION, The First Raina Kirkland Novel:

“Vampire blood is dark red, almost black, and the cells are crowded and deformed.  When the disease is introduced into a living host, it quickly spreads throughout the body through the circulatory system.  It violates every organ, changing their purpose or consuming them entirely.  The stomach develops a smooth, thick inner wall that no longer produces acid.  The small intestine is shortened and redirected to the heart, where it does somewhat the same job as a human heart.  The lower bowls are seemingly recycled by the body, as is excess fatty tissue.  This gives the vampire a leaner appearance.  The lungs are in good working condition.  Though, they seem to have the capacity to hold a great deal of oxygen, allowing the vampire to hold his breath for an extended period of time.  Their bones are denser, heavier and stronger.  The disease seems to affects the host’s ability to produce heme, a key element in hemoglobin.  This causes a severe case of Porphyria, normally a genetic malady.  Porphyria has many symptoms, but vampires only suffer from one, sensitivity to light.  The light sensitivity is amplified to a deadly degree, causing the vampires to burn through and through.” 
It's always a bit of a challenge to write fantasy for me mainly because I don't believe in such nonsense. Angles, demons, gods, devils, vampires, werewolves, mermaids...nah, I can't make myself even consider them...but I want to image a world where they're real and human and possible, so I have to make them possible. Gods are aliens from another planet, who have advanced to the point of interdenominational space travel.  Their minds are so advanced that they can manipulate matter on a microscopic level...but they have a weakness in their pious arrogance. Angles were created by the gods as servants.  They are sentience energy who can use that energy to create tangible illusions and manipulate matter to a lesser degree.  When gods and angels are cast out of the minority party, they are branded devils and demons... as for mermaids and other mythical creatures...well, that would be Earth A History:

Chapter 40 from GRAVE OMEN, The Third Raina Kirkland Novel:

             And, then there was Earth, a tiny, insignificant planet, a grain of sand in an ever expanding desert.  Life on Earth answered only to the chaos of nature, and it prospered.   But as beings of intelligence evolved, Earth gained the attentions of the gods.  These creatures: fish, reptiles, birds and mammals intrigued the gods.  They had unique qualities; most notable was their capacity for strong emotion. The gods joined them for a time and they learned of fear, anger, jealousy, lust, love, loyalty and greed.  They were as children in their understanding and self-control.  The gods became petty, lustful creatures.  They mated themselves with the Earthlings and in doing so created new life forms, half god and half animal.  These creatures were called humans; not completely animal, but not completely god.
             “Now, the gods had minions called angels, created by the gods for the mere purpose of servitude.  They were stoic creatures of pure energy.  The angels cared nothing much for life forms until they witnessed the creation of the human race.  Humans were as flawed as any other animal, yet held inside them a piece of divinity, a whisper of something greater.  The angels fell in love with them, and many of them mated with the humans.  What came of these unions were new races of humans, varied and terrible, monsters capable of great feats of power: witches, elves, fairies and so on.

I know I'm not brilliant.  I'm certainly no scientist...but I try to satisfy

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Zombie Book One
By Diana Graves

Copyright © 2017 Diana Graves
All rights reserved.
Kindle Edition
License Statement
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This book is a work of pure fiction.  Characters, places and incidents are creations of the author’s imagination, and any similarity to people, living or dead, businesses, events or places is purely coincidental.

To Erin, my best friend.

If you haven't read chapter one, click HERE

Chapter Five:

  JENSEN stood as I moved into the room.  My hand was still tight around Derek’s arm.  Jensen was giving everyone his best ‘good old boy’ smile, but between the fear in my eyes and Derek and Pane’s new hostile postures, Karen seemed to have gotten the clue that something wasn’t right, because before anyone could say another word she pulled a gun out from a cabinet and pointed it at Jensen.
“Hey now,” Jensen said with a voice just dripping with patronizing fret.  His sandy-brown hair was a mess and his clothes were ripped and bloody from fighting the zombies, yet he still exuded authority, like his father. 
Everything about him, from his height to his handsome face, from his likeable voice to his kind brown eyes told you to trust him, to follow him.  That would not bewise.  He was a sociopath. Just for shits and giggles he liked to get you under his control and then push you to the point of your death or the death of your blood innocents.
I watched him take a father under his wing once.  He came off all ‘brothers in arms’ bull shit, swapping horror stories.  But he quickly turned the man against his wife and kids.  I watched Jensen poison his mind with thoughts of male dominance and the innate evil of women, and spoiled children.  The man came into the church a loving father, scared for his beautiful family, who had made it this long in our devastated world, and within a couple of weeks he was whoring his wife out to Jensen and the other men, to rape and beat as they liked.  He sent his two sons to Finn’s room to learn to be men. What he did to his little girl was too monstrous to think about. I wasn’t a religious woman, but to me, he was the devil.
Jensen didn’t look scared, even with a gun pointed at him.  He looked calm and almost amused. “Let’s just all calm down,” he said, playing the reasonable one.
“Karen, put the gun away!” shouted Will, as he stood up beside Jensen. 
Gerald said nothing and he made no obvious move, but his right hand was tucked deep between the couch cushions.
“Step away from the couch, Mister,” Karen said.
“Or what?  For what reason do you point your gun at me?” Jensen asked, and his voice and face said two things that his words didn’t.  They said that she was being a stupid woman and he was in charge here.  He was the sort of person who was always in charge, even in a stranger’s home.
“Don’t push me boy.  I know trouble when I see trouble.  I’m no fool.”
“You didn’t have a problem with me earlier,” and he turned and looked right at me.  “Has she been telling lies?” he asked them, referring to me with an incline of his head in my direction.
“We saw the bruises you gave her,” said Derek.
Jensen ignored him. “Did they tell you, Karen, that she tried to kill one of your men, Gerald here?  They told me they had to knock her out, because there was no reasoning with her. You can’t trust what she says. I was just defending myself from this mad woman. I don’t blame her, though. People are losing their minds out there.”  
Karen didn’t look my way.  Her eyes were glued onto her target. “That true?” she asked no one in particular.
“Which part?” I asked.
“Did you try to kill one of my boys?”
“Yes. I’ve learned to kill first when it comes to both the living and the walking dead.”
     “You see?  She is out of control,” Jensen said.
     “Men like you taught me that,” I tried to say calmly, but I couldn’t stay calm. He was trying to manipulate them and I’ve seen him do it too often not to know that it works, it fucking works every time!  “Men that rape, men that kill, men that think the chaos we’ve been thrown into gives them license to do whatever sick and evil things that come into their morally deficient minds!” I yelled. “You and your father are disgusting monsters!
Jensen threw his hands in the air, as if my outburst proved his point. Shit! Did it?  Arrogance was painted so thick on his face, the fumes made me sick. He gave me narrow dark eyes and the room seemed dimmer for it.
     “You see!” he roared, and he sounded so like his father. He was trying to hide it but his face was distorted and discolored by his anger.
He moved closer to me but Karen moved up to him with her gun.
“Hay! Gun, remember?  Everyone, calm the fuck down!”
     Christopher sat up on the couch, finally unable to sleep through our yelling. When he looked up and saw Jensen standing over him, he let out a blood curdling scream. Truth from the lips of babes...
     Gerald finally let us know what he was palming between the cushions as he brought his hand up and pointed a tiny gun at Jensen’s head. 
     “Take the baby, Will,” Gerald said, and Will cautiously bent down and grabbed Chris.  He fought him like mad, screaming and kicking and squirming, but he managed to get to me.  Will let go and Christ ran into my arms and buried his little head in my neck.
     “Look, I don’t know what bad blood you two have, but one of you is staying and one of you is going, and I think you know which is doing which,” Karen said.
Jensen smiled wide.  It was a scheming smile. He looked around the room, not at the people but at their resources. Shit. “I think that’s best.  I’m sure I can find my way back to my people, no problem.”
Karen waved her gun toward the entrance and Jensen walked around the couch. He flashed angry eyes my way and started on down the hall toward the hatch with Karen at his back.  
“You can’t let him go or he’ll bring back the others,” I said to Pane.
“WAIT!” shouted Pane, and he began running after Jensen. “Wait, he can’t go!” 
 Jensen started to sprint for the hatch and Karen stood her ground and shouted at him, “Stop or I will shoot you!” but she didn’t and he kept running with Pane at his back and gaining on him.  The guy could run!  Jensen reached the hatch first but it was no use to him.  He climbed the steps and found the handle stuck and the door immobile and Pane tackled him down.
I looked to the dining table and found Will behind a laptop. “It’s locked,” he said.  “He’s not going anywhere.  Now will someone kindly explain to me what’s going on?” he asked with flared nostrils and a creased brow.
I watched the hall, where Derek had joined Pane in holding Jensen while Karen loomed over them with her gun held loosely in her right hand.  There was no way Christopher was going to calm down enough for us to talk with Jensen here.  Thankfully, Gerald went back to the bathroom and grabbed Derek’s utility belt.  He ran down the hall and with a long brown straw, he blew a tiny arrow at Jensen. It hit him in the cheek and he fell asleep instantly, just as I had.  The three men carried him to a storage room and tide him to a support column so we could talk in peace in the dining room.
I told them what kind of man Jensen was and what type of place I just escaped from.  “I’ve encountered a lot of horrible people in the past few years, but nothing like Finn’s church. It’s a place of violence, rape, cannibalism and torture. Pane was right to stop him from leaving.  If you let Jensen go, the first thing he’d do is tell Finn that he found a place in need of spiritual cleansing…which is be bull shit for kill us all and take your resources.”
“No wonder you tried to kill me,” said Gerald.  He and Will were fresh from the showers and looking much more relaxed out of their zombie killing gear. Will was wearing a flannel shirt and jeans while Gerald was sporting a Star Wars T-shirt and pajama bottoms.
“It has been a long road of ass holes that brought me here,” I almost smiled; not because what I said was particularly clever.  It’s just been a long time since I’d seen Christopher eat so heartily.  Sure, the church had its big feasts every couple of days, but it was human meat.  I couldn’t let him eat that, and the food their garden yielded was sickly. No, we were half starved the entire time we were there. But now he sat on my lap eating his fill.  I hadn’t taken a bite just yet-I always let my boy eat first- but it smelled amazing; hearty potatoes, veggies, spices and chicken broth.
     “So,” began Derek.  “What do we do with him?  He can’t stay, he can’t go.”
“I have plans for him,”Karen said into her bowl of soup.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Prologue for Deadly Encounters (Raina Kirkland Book 4)

I'm thinking about adding this prologue to the forth book in the Raina Kirkland series, just to get some background out there without slowing the story down.  What do you think? SPOILER (reveals information from book 2 & 3)

Nick was a rambunctious toddler.  Stories of his mischievous actions were still told and retold at family gatherings, always followed by hearty laughs. He was adored, what with his great big brown eyes and untamable red hair.  Unlike his studious, quiet older brother, Tristan, Nick was a wild child; bare foot and loud. That was until his baby sister was born.  He was calm around her.  She was his double, same crazy red hair, same big brown eyes.   He looked at little Raina with such wonderment and love.  She was the smallest person he’d even seen and he instantly felt the need to protect her.  He guarded her well from anyone or anything that could harm her or make her cry.  He even gave his own mother a stern word or two for being late for Raina’s feedings.

“Bad Mommy,” he would say with the cutest furrowed brow and grimace.

And at night, Nick would get out of bed and watch her sleep.  Peering in on her through the bars, he’d reach his tiny hands in and stroke her back ever so gently.  In fact he was doing just that the night Raina died.

A monster came to Raina’s window as Nick stroked her back.  The great beast blocked the moonlight from lighting the room and Nick looked up, startled to see it leering in with hungry eyes and malicious intentions!  Nick cried out.  He grabbed at his baby sister, but she was too heavy for him to lift and he was too short to pick her up and out of the crib.  She was trapped!

The monster broke the window and Nick and Raina screamed frightfully.  Scared beyond reason, Nick ran out into the hall as the monster advanced on Raina. Nick screamed and screamed for his mommy and daddy.  But Daddy was gone on a fishing trip with Tristan.  Even though Tristan, being an elf and all, refused to fish. Mommy was home though!  He banged his body against her bedroom door, scratched at it and eventually she did open the door.  Tall and elegant, young Anna picked up her screaming child.

“What’s wrong?!”

“Ray-ray!” Nick yelled over and over again.  Anna walked with Nick in her arms down the hall to Raina’s nursery, but there was no monster.

“She’s fine,” Anna said as she walked to the crib, but she could not deny the feeling of dread building in her gut.  For each step she took closer to the crib the less sure she was of that statement. Together Nick and Anna looked down on the baby.  Raina’s eyes were closed, lips parted, body very still. Anna adjusted her hold on her son to get a free hand. Shaking and scared she lowered that hand to her baby’s mouth, but she felt no breath.

“No,” Anna said.  She could feel panic taking hold, but she managed to set Nick down gently, before grabbing at her baby.  At the feel of her lifeless limbs something in Anna broke. “RAINA!”

“Ray-a okay?” Nick asked.

Anna grabbed her baby up into her arms, wiggling her limbs, patting her face, trying to wake her up. She held her close in her arms. “Come on baby, get up, wake up, wake up!”  Being a witch, her mind raced through what magic she knew, but there was no spell that could bring her baby back from the dead…and not be a rotting living thing…

Anna held her tight to her, bouncing her gently to the sounds of Nick’s cries.  Confused and scared, Nick never left his mommy.  He held onto her legs.  He wanted to hold Raina too, but he knew Mommy wouldn’t let him.  He cried himself to sleep at Anna’s feet instead.

When Raina’s body began to feel stiff in Anna’s arms, Anna set her down in the crib. She knelt down to her son and did something she told herself she would never do.  She prayed. Out loud, Anna begged the world, the universe, any creature in all of creation who could bring back her daughter.  She made bargain after bargain, promised anything and everything to whoever, whatever.  Until her voice was spent and her eyes could cry no more, she bartered her life away for her daughter’s, but no one answered…

With the sun rising through the window and reality setting in, Anna had given up.  She began making a list in her head of what she needed to do.  She had to keep her mind busy, or she’d break down again and she couldn’t do that.  She had no more tears, no more strength for it.

“I need to call the police and then Dan.”  She imagined telling her husband that their baby had died.  What words could she use?  What reason could she give him?  She looked up and the window was broken, but nothing in Raina’s room was disturbed in the slightest. “How did this happen?” Anna asked.  She looked down at her son, sleeping on the floor.  She shook him awake. “How did this happen!?”

Half awake, Nick pointed weakly at the broken window. “Monster,” he said.

“Monster?” she said softly. As Anna stared out the window the sun rose and shined into the room, making it too bright for her mood. But something was off.  The light was growing brighter and brighter still, until Anna couldn’t look at the light any longer.  She and Nick both looked away and hid their eyes from the light coming in.

“Mommy!” Nick called out.  He climbed into her lap and wrapped his arms around her neck. 

There was a sound that could not be identified, a smell they could not recognize, a presence too hot, too bright to stand.  Anna shielded her son from the heat as they tried to run out of the room.

“STOP!” called a voice too loud to bare. Anna and Nick fell to the ground, holding their ears in pain, but they did stop.  With their backs to the presence, they winced when it spoke next, though its words were softer. “You beckoned me?  You spoke of a deal?”

Anna slowly turned toward the creature.  The creature had taken a human form of a woman with long dark hair and red eyes.  She was well over seven feet tall, muscular and nude. Though the look and sound of her was pleasant, her very presence was a strange alien thing, breathed in unspeakable power that Anna feared like nothing else! She couldn’t even speak, but she didn’t have to.  The alien knew her and Anna knew that she knew her.  She could feel the thing searching her mind, penetrating every private memory, every dark corner. It knew Anna better than Anna and it knew what Anna would give for Raina’s life, what any mother would give for the life of their child.

The woman shaped alien stepped up to the crib and picked up the small baby.  Raina’s body looked even smaller in the hands of the alien.

“I am Melpomene, a muse god.  It is within my power to bring Raina back.  She is not long dead.  Give me your son-.”

Anna looked down at Nick for only a second before letting go of his tiny hand.  Nick trembled at her side, too scared to move.

“Don’t fear me,” the creature said, as though that was such an easy request for a small child to grant. “If you want your baby sister back, come here Nicholas.” Slowly Nick approached Melpomene. “Take this appendage…my hand” He did and its flesh was hot in his, but not scalding.  “You love her most in this world.  Call to her.”

“Ray?” asked Nick quietly.

“Yes, call her name.”

“Ray-a! Ray-a! Ray-Ray!” he called to the baby in the god’s hands.  “Wake up, Ray-Ray!”

“Good, she hears you. Now give her a kiss.”

Nick didn’t question it.  Anna did, but she kept her thoughts to herself. The god bent down to the toddler and held the baby out to him.

“If you kiss her, you will give her a part of yourself.  Do you understand?  She will have a part of you inside her and you will feel bound to her. You will be her most loyal friend and protector.”  Nick nodded, though he didn’t truly understand then the gravity of his actions.  He leaned in and kissed his sister on her forehead. A bite of static electricity hit his lips and he jumped back a little, putting his hands over his mouth.

The god smiled. “And now that Raina’s with us again, I must repair her.  I too will give her a kiss, though through my kiss much more will be transferred.  My kiss will give her a piece of me as well, but it will also restart her heart and heal her body.”

Still Anna could not bring herself to talk, but she didn’t have to.  Melpomene knew her mind, she saw the question on Anna’s lips. She wanted to know what the details of their bargain were.

“Our bargain is simple, Annabella Selena Kirkland.  Raina is ours, our daughter.  I am destined for banishment for the great deeds I’ve done.  Raina will be an extension of me left behind; she will be my vessel on Earth.”

The god stood tall and brought the baby’s body in close.  Anna looked on in utter fear as the god kissed her baby’s tiny lips, but her heart leaped as Raina began to move!  At first just a little, but soon her arms and legs were kicking in full strength, her cries were loud.  Her wild red locks changed to sleek dark auburn hair. Her eyes turned a deep red color and what natural magic she might have wielded was all but gone, replaced with something a tad more alien.

Nick stretched his arms up, begging to hold his sister.  The god bent down and handed her to him and he held onto her tight.

 “Keep her safe, Nicholas. She needs you.”

Nick was too young to really understand what the god was talking about, but those two sentences would stay with him.  They would play over and over again in his subconscious, shaping his life.