Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
If you're easily offended, I'm thinking you should probably skip this post. Because quite frankly, I'm pissed off. I can explain why in one sentence and you'll probably understand.
I watched the news today.
Yep, I know, big freaking mistake.
For those of you that know me, and even those that don't, the title of this blog might surprise you. I'm not exactly known for being big on capital punishment. As a rule, I'm liberal enough to make my republican husband want to pull out all his hair and bang his head firmly on the bar while sucking down large quantities of alcohol just to blunt my message. We do this on a regular basis when discussing politics or social issues. It's usually fun for me. However, on this particular topic, we stand together, united and fully in agreement.
People suck and should be euthanized. Not all people, just the ones that really need it.
I'm not talking about the idiots that cut you off in traffic, or the bitchy chick behind the counter at the coffee shop. I would never be that arbitrary. Besides, if we get rid of the stupid people, who would we make fun of? No - I'm talking about social justice and upholding the moral order of the universe. I'm talking about ridding the planet of the scum buckets that hurt kids.
The world has gone to hell in a hand basket, folks. And for the first time in my life, I actually think I mean it. I'd love to say that it's probably the weather, which has been enough to make me want to sit down and sob, that's making people a little bonkers (Dallas is on Day 60 of 100+ degree days this summer). But it can't be blamed on anything other than the truth. They're just bat-shit crazy and should be put down.
In one thirty minute segment of the local news, our blank faced, neutral toned anchorman reported not one, but THREE instances of child cruelty or homicide. This is stuff that was reported in one single, solitary day, people. And it wasn't some lunatic pedophile that perpetrated these horrendous acts. The villains in these true crime stories were these poor, defenseless children's mom and dad.
Let me run them down for you, just so you can get a flavor what kind of madness I'm describing.
- A father snatches his two sons by yanking their mother out of the car and drives like a bat out of hell to the nearest body of water where he proceeds to drown them, one at a time. Reason cited: He didn't want another man to raise them. He readily admits this as soon as he's apprehended. Yeah, I'm thinking anybody is better than you ass-wipe. Have fun in prison getting raped every day. It's too good for you.
- A mother of nine left her 2 year old in the backseat of the car, which was parked outside, during naptime. In 100+ degree weather. The poor baby died within hours, probably excruciatingly. I get that nine kids is a lot to keep track of, but really. Really.
- A father and stepmother withheld water for five days from a 10 year old as punishment. The little boy died of dehydration. I'd like to make a flippant remark about this, but I'm utterly speechless. Utterly.
Maybe this is just the state of the world today and I need to just get over it. Or maybe because I'm pregnant I have an overabundance of hormones and I'm overreacting. Not sure. I just know I'm spitting angry…and I want to do something about it. No, I don't ACTUALLY mean euthanasia, though I'm sure my husband would be willing to offer his services pro-bono. (That's called sarcasm …. some folks use it to ease tense situations.)
No, I mean actually do something productive. I'm going to donate to a local organization aimed at preventing child abuse. Something I just found out is that Texas leads all states in the number of reported child abuse cases. This is NOT the distinction I want for my home state. If you're in Texas, hit the link below and join me in being part of the solution.
If you're not in Texas, simply Google child abuse prevention for your local area. Think of all the good we could do.
That's it for me. I'm spent and sad, and longing to go slip into bed with my little one and hug her all night. It'll tick her off, but it will be worth it. J
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Ok, I admit it. The handsome, hunky and altogether fabulous male lead character in my first book is a troll. Yes, you heard me. He's a troll. But before you judge, hear me out. There is a vast difference between the troll you may imagine, and the reality of Whit Blackstone, my personal hero troll.
Let me guess, when you picture a troll in your mind, perhaps you see the giant trolls in the final Harry Potter movie, inherently evil on the side of Lord Voldemort. Or possibly you imagine the short, squat cartoon troll in one of my daughter's favorite shows, Dora the Explorer. Even typing the words, I'm unable to suppress the chorus, "I'm a grumpy old troll, who lives under the bridge…" Can I just say, Ugh.
Trolls, as opposed to other mythical creatures, haven't experienced the popularization of other breeds, such as vampires and werewolves. Those characters have gone from starring in horror flicks ala Bram Stoker to being elevated in current fiction and motion pictures as well-meaning, beautiful, mysterious sexy male leads. Case in point, the Twilight Saga. Don't get me wrong. I'm a card-carrying Twilight fan and have been known to stand in line with truant, class-skipping teenage girls in order to see New Moon on the day of its premiere. In my defense, I did it in another city, so technically, it doesn't count. My story; I'm sticking to it.
Of course, creatures with the polar opposite of the troll reputation would be fairies. I'm not ashamed to say this phenomenon irritates me greatly. I largely blame Walt Disney, who in his ultimate brilliance, served up Tinkerbelle as the end all- be all of fairy land. Tink is yet another favorite of my lovely daughter (groan). In reality, fairies are not sweet little winged creatures spreading happiness and love with sparkling dust guaranteed to make you giddy. No. Not at all. Truth be told, fairies are scary as shit. You want proof? I challenge you to dig any deeper than an animated cartoon and you will find example after example of interactions between fairies and humans where let me tell you, you'd rather make a deal with the devil than have a conversation with a fairy. Don't believe me, do you? Ok…then consider Jenny Green Teeth – a notorious fairy that delights in snatching human children and drowning them in the nearest river. See, told you. Scary as shit.
But I digress…I was speaking of the misunderstood troll. In my research for the perfect main character, Whit had to fit certain criteria. How surprised I was to find that trolls are quite powerful. They have the ability to shape shift into anything..animal, vegetable or mineral, largely to escape detection from the passerby. They're quite shy really, and who could blame them? Trolls have a bad rap. We accuse them of eating babies, for God's sake. How mean are we? Another skill they have perfected, again in the name of hiding from we horrid humans, is the thrall. Trolls have the ability to stare us in the face and make us forget we saw them. Amazing.
Just like people, they come in all shapes and sizes, and various clans have different abilities. The Kajsa clan, for example, is Whit's clan. They are a Wind clan, which is somewhat inspiring on principle alone. Go on, link on over to Wikipedia and search Kajsa wind troll, I dare you. It's real, people. Honest. Plus, much of the folklore surrounding trolls is based in Sweden, Scotland and Ireland. And let me say, I worked really hard to finagle a research trip for the book to Ireland, but the vagaries of life unfortunately stood in my way. I'm still bitter that I never got to sit in an Irish pub over a warm pint with a gorgeous dark haired, black Irish rogue to regale me with all the local lore, his eyes bright with genuine belief of all the stories he grew up with. Sigh. I haven't given up yet. I'm going to write more books, and Gods help me, I'm going to need the research. Again... my story; I'm sticking to it.
So – given the powers my main character needed to have…powers of Air and Wind, the thrall, able to shape shift, descended from ancient powers with formidable strength and noble character, a troll ended up being the perfect man for Eve.
I continue to discover more and more fascinating creatures in my love affair with folklore and myths, and hope to continue to challenge popular opinion with the research I unearth. Because let's face it, everyone loves an underdog. And one of my favorite things to do is to contradict and argue the point of just about anything. Just ask my husband, he'll vouch.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Eve stared at the man with the enormous freaking knife in his hand. If she weren't completely wiped out from whatever it was she had been doing to find the vision of that couple, she would have heard him approaching sooner. She might have had a chance to hide. As it was, exhaustion from the mental effort of searching rendered her deaf and dumb. She felt depleted, like a wet towel wrung out too hard. It was all she could do to invent the lie about the boyfriend, but the man didn't look like he believed it for one second.
The panic which provided her the small shot of adrenaline she used to bolt away from him waned, and she struggled to remain standing. Unable to do anything else, she crossed her arms over her chest and kept her mouth shut, waiting for his next move. They stared at each other for a long moment. His biceps bunched as he clenched the knife. Eve's eyes widened as they settled upon the blade, and he moved it behind him, obscuring her view of it.
Her gaze moved from his arm to his chest, which was exceptionally solid, down to his stomach which would have made a washboard look like a pathetic piece of wood. The guy was seriously ripped. He wore a pair of buttonfly jeans which hung low on his hips, no shirt, and he carried no backpack. He looked like he could have been lounging around the house, not tramping through the woods.
An image sprang to mind of him lying draped back on a sofa with a remote control hanging loosely in his hand. She beat it back swiftly, admonishing herself for such a ludicrous thought. Maybe it was dehydration. A more rational train of thought would be suspicion. After all, what kind of person goes hiking this far into the woods with no supplies? He could be dangerous. Like, Unibomber dangerous. She repeated warnings to herself, but now that she couldn't see the knife, she didn't feel scared.
His eyes conveyed something…not kindness exactly, but definitely not danger. And his muscles were relaxed now, not coiled tightly like they were when he burst through the trees. Eve's heartbeat began to dance as she considered touching those muscles to see if they were as hard as they looked. No, she chided herself. She should be thinking about her own safety, not how luscious this man looked. And probably tasted. Stop it, Eve. Think. Where were the rest of his clothes? Not that she wanted him to put on any more of them. His bare chest was perfect, thank you very much.
"Um, is your camp right around here?" she asked innocently.
"No," he replied simply.
A very sexy muscle ticked above his jaw, and then his head cocked to the side. That's when she noticed his eyes. They were deep pools of bright blue. He had heavy brows, currently scrunched up in a tight formation with an expression that was a mixture of irritation and impatience. Her eyes wandered down the perfect features of his face. On anyone else they would have been feminine, but the strong line of his jaw prevented any pretense of femininity. It was hard, and at that moment set in a very stubborn expression of intense concentration. There was a rugged, tough quality to him and she felt herself respond physically to his stare.
His nostrils flared as he inhaled deeply, as though scenting something. Her gaze dropped to his lips, which looked as if they might be soft and kissable, but she couldn't tell because they were set in a thin, angry line. She unconsciously licked her lips.
"How are you doing that?" he asked harshly.
"How am I doing what?" What the heck was his problem?
He huffed an annoyed sigh and leaned over to embed the long edge of the machete into the log with a loud whack. Long wavy brown hair spilled over his shoulders. The diagonal twist of his body as the blade sliced down gave her a full view of his broad back, narrow waist, and an interesting tattoo on his left lower back. At first glance, it looked like a Celtic knot, but the lines of the tattoo seemed to shift and flow with movement. As if the tattoo itself were curving, creating its own shapes as the wind blew through the trees.
His eyes never left hers, but she was visually feasting on every square inch of the sun-kissed olive skin he bared to her. Eve dragged her eyes from his body with a monumental effort. She had to get a hold of herself. That sexy memory clearly affected her more than she'd like to believe. She was totally lusting over a complete stranger with a huge knife in the middle of a deserted forest. She had, without a doubt, lost her marbles.
"How, exactly, are you not looking into my eyes?" he asked her incredulously.
Eve snapped to attention at the question as a wave of embarrassment crashed over her. He was obviously aware she had been checking him out and wasn't flattered in the least. It was time to backtrack.
"Look, it was nice to meet you and all, but I think I'll be on my way now," she said, lamely adding, "I need to go look for my boyfriend." Dropping her eyes to the ground so as to not offend him further, she walked over to the log to pick up her backpack. The air seemed hotter around him, and she kept as much distance between them as she could, but the backpack was beside his boot. As she reached for the shoulder strap of her bag, the man grabbed her upper arm, turning her toward him roughly.
He dipped his head to capture her gaze, and stared intently into her eyes. Her heart seized in panic and she jerked against his grasp. His grip was like a band of steel.
"Look at my eyes," he said roughly.
She did, and then stilled in his arms. No matter how hot he was, this was weird. Make no sudden movements, she thought. Crazed killers hate sudden movements.
"Please let me go," she whispered. He didn't respond, but looked at her harder, his expression at first hot and angry, eventually turning into confusion. Dropping his hand from her arm, he released her with a gentle shove.
"I don't know what you are, but apparently you're immune to me. Since you're not human, you can find your own way out of the woods."
He turned his back to her as he reached for his machete, but before his hand had closed on the knife or Eve could ask what the hell he meant by "you're not human", Michelle burst through the trees and sent the yummy looking crazy man flying across the clearing.
Monday, August 15, 2011
My debut novel is the first to be published in the "Four Realms" Series and combines adventure, suspense, romance and sizzling passion! Want a teaser? Well, of course you do....
Mark your calendars for Halloween, my friends! Let the downloading begin!
Check back soon for an exciting excerpt of Murdering Eve, Official Book Reviews, and for updates to future release dates on the next book in the series...Battle Heat!