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


I haven't written in this book for a while, almost a full year! Well, I thought I'd pick it up where I left off.  Here is chapter 5 of my zombie book, untitled thus far. 

If you haven't read chapter one, click HERE

Chapter Five:

    “What’s the nest?” I asked.
    “It’s what you saw outside,” said Pane.  “We use it for fun and research, but mostly fun.”
    Against my better judgment I asked, “What sort of fun?”
    “Shooting, just target practice,” said Will. “You might not believe me, but before the whole ZA thing, we were just a bunch of obese couch potatoes.  All we did was play video games and chug red bull.”
    Gerald cleared his throat, “Then Nan comes to us with this crazy story.”
    “It’s not crazy. I’m a bioengineer. I was at a dinner party, a business related affair and I overheard something I shouldn’t have.”
    “Shit, you know why this happened.  It was biological weapons experiments, wasn’t it?” I said.
    I was all too eager to know why the world went topsy-turvy on us.  Why I woke up a little over a year ago to chaos. Loud long sirens blaring, people shutting themselves up in their homes with whatever they have.  My husband boarded up all the windows while I ran to the grocery store to stock up and my mom and dad watched Lady, only months old back then. We weren’t told much.  The news stations couldn’t seem to agree on what was happening.  Some said it was a disease spreading across America.  Other said bio-warfare from the Middle East, but their instruction didn’t make a lick of sense.  Handed down from the president of America himself; stock up on the essentials, board up your windows, stay indoors and hunker down until told otherwise. We did what we were told.
    A week after the initial announcement the radio went silent and the television stations went dark. A week later the house smelt heavy of diapers and garbage, the water ran out and the electricity ran out.  We could hear strange noises form outside, scratching and banging noises. It was scary times, but we had no idea just how scary, not yet.
    “No, I don’t. What I overheard was that there was a drug that rotted flush right off of living people that was being mixed with another that sent the users into a panicked frenzy. Together they called this drug Nezhit’ Kontsa.”
    “What is that?”
    “Russian, it means undead end,” said Pane.
    “Or, Zombie Apocalypse,” said Gerald.  He was helping himself to a third bowl already.  I was trying not to stare, but pigging out was something I hadn’t seen anyone do in a long time.
    “So,” I began, tearing my eyes away from Gerald’s massive appetite. “You overheard some of your coworkers discussing a new drug that basically turns people into crazy rotting ass-holes and thought to yourself, I’d better get my chubby grandson and his friends to help me build an underground bunker?”  
    Nan laughed out loud.  Will wasn’t laughing. He looked hurt.  I didn’t mean any offense.  I was fat before too.  I was still trying to figure out how to manage my weight with my new post-childbirth body.  Apparently worldwide chaos is the key to sustainable weight loss.
    “Of course not,” Nan said.  “But it did get my attention.  I did my research.  Nezhit’ Kontsa is a drug that you inject into your fatty tissue. It gives the user a speed-like high.  Cheap and easy to make, it became popular throughout Asia and Europe fairly quickly, even with such a devastating effect on the body of the user.  No, what got me scared was that even non-users who occupied the same living space as the user, or even lived near them were showing signs of rot and aggression. And then those living near them, began showing the same symptoms.”
    “Then you do know how this all started.  Drugs!” I said.  Lady had finished with her meal, and using the same bowl, I poured myself some soup.
    “No, I don’t know how.  How does an injectable drug become contagious?  I don’t know. How do those infected not die once their body reaches a certain level of decay? I don’t know that either.  Was it ever really a drug to begin with? Probably not.  My best guess is that the drug story was a ruse to cover-up experiments done on humans that went terribly wrong and got out into the general public.  It’s easy to point a finger at someone acting crazy and half dead and say, look at the druggy looser, than to admit fault.  To tell the public that they fucked up and unleashed some kind of deadly disease that turns normal human beings into violent, hungry rotting corpses.”
    “Nan came to us a few years back.  She told us what she’d found.  By then it was infecting people in Munich, German and Verona, Italy, China. It was only a matter of time before it reached Washington, either from across the country or over the Pacific Ocean.  This base was actually Derek’s idea.  We all collaborated on it.  We tried to think of everything, as far as sustainability.”
    “Meanwhile, I started looking for a cure or anti-virus, vaccine, anything,” interrupted Nan.
    “No luck?” I asked after swallowing a great big bight.  She gave a long blink and shook her head.
    “That’s why we have the nest,” said Will.  “its part lookout, part protection, part fun but it’s really for research.  We kill one, take whatever piece of it that Nan needs and she does her biology thing.”
    “Aren’t you afraid of infection?”
    “We were at first.  The initial idea was to barricade ourselves in and wait it out, but by the time Nezhit’ Kontsa-”
    “Just call it NA,” said Will.
    Nan gave him a single lifted brow.  “Fine.  By the time NA reached the Midwest it had evolved to blood contact only.  This is a fast evolving strain of…whatever the hell it is.  I still can’t tell.  For all I can tell it’s just the natural rotting process of the dead, combines with massive production of adrenaline and hormones responsible for aggressive behavior.”
    And at that moment there was a shout from the shower-room. “Hey!  Let’s talk!  I’m sure we can come to some kind of agreement!” Jensen yelled to us.
    Lady jumped in her seat at the sound of his voice and Gerald yelled for him to shut his trap, face all read.  Nan put a calming hand on his shoulder.  
    “So, the nest?  You plan on letting Jensen out and then shooting him as he leaves?” I asked.
    “No,” smiled Nan.  “I’ve never seen the disease take hold of a man before.  I’ve never personally witnessed it.”  I hated Jensen, but I knew where she was going with this and my heart pounded with fear.
    “You’re going to infect him?” I asked.
    “Yup,” said Derek.  “For the sake of science.”

Hopefully it won't take me a year to write the next chapter LOL

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.