Archive for 'snippet'
Tuesday, October 13th, 2020
I’m typing away on The Elf Job. It’s the second Mission: Magic book. It’s going to be really fun (I’m nearly done), but I’m converting it from 1st person to 3rd person and that makes for a bit of a slodge because I’m constantly fearing I’m overlooking an I, me, my, myself, our, we, etc.
I thought I’d go ahead and share a little snippet from what I’m working on today. Here you go. Enjoy:
The new elf stood well above six feet tall, which was about average elf height. Her hair hung to her knees. Mal had never seen an elf with black hair, though even in the moonlight she could pick out hints of blue, green, and purple. Strands of gems and gold wove through the long tresses. Maybe all that weight gave her a constant migraine.
Her clothes were white on white on white. She wore gossamer-thin layers that floated up at her slightest movement. A train flagged in the breeze. The thing that caught Mal’s attention, though, was the circlet on top of her head. It was made of a bright blue metal inlaid with intricate designs. In the middle was a star sapphire the size of a plum.
Crowns on elves could only mean court royalty or a high priestess. Both of which were on Mal’s bucket list of ‘don’t do this ever.’
She continued to look and after a minute it occurred to Mal that she was waiting for some kind of obeisance. A curtsy or maybe groveling in the dirt. Not a snowball’s chance in hell.
“Why am I here?”
“I summoned you.”
Fucking elves. They even evaded direct questions. Mal bit back the urge to tell Lady Enigmatic Asshole to fuck off. She’d thought LeeAnne was obnoxious.
“Are you going to tell me why?”
“I wished to speak to you, of course.”
“Then can you say what you want to say? I’ve got things to do and not a lot of time to get them done.”
“Yes. The talisman of Cat Barf. You seek it.”
Once again name of the talisman was impossible to make out. “Like I told Merrow, I don’t know.”
Her brows lifted. “You don’t know?”
“I’m after a talisman. I have no idea what it’s called, and to tell the truth, I don’t really give a fuck.”
Just that and nothing else. She continued to stare. Unlike Paeteric, she had mastered the art of the bland expression. She also had the elven appreciation of time in spades. The concept of hurry was totally alien to her.
“Why do you care whether or not I’m after this talisman?”
“I don’t care if you are after it.”
Now it was Mal’s turn to be confused. “Then why do you keep asking about it?”
“It matters not if you seek it.”
Crap. Elf double-talk again. “Okay, if I find the damned thing. Then you’re interested, correct? Why?”
“It is not for Paeteric of House Yonnarlistral to possess.”
“He doesn’t seem to agree with you on that.”
“The Talisman of Cat Barf may not be used in this war.”
The smart ass part of Mal wanted to ask which war it could be used in, but she clamped her teeth on the comment and swallowed it back down. This elf just might answer and they’d end up so far off on a tangent she’d never get back to work.
Monday, May 6th, 2019
From the second Mission Magic book, a little chopped out snippet:
“So when Arcadia decides you’re a threat and starts lobbing magic bombs at you, you’ll what?”
He gave a knife smile. “I will open up the heavens and rain hell down on earth.”
I stared, trying to figure out if that was a euphemism or not. “What does that mean?”
“It means that no matter what happens, people are going to die. I can push the hatchlings toward Arcadia, but when they attack me, the hatchlings will go wild. I’ll be killing anyone who comes at me. The hatchlings will run wild and all these innocents will become the banquet the elves destined them to be.”
For a few minutes I’d had a slender hope that with So’la’s help, things wouldn’t go worst case scenario. Now I had to wonder if anybody could be saved at all. It was too much to hope that So’la would be willing to sacrifice himself for anybody else. He wasn’t the type.
“Do you have a point?”
“Get to it then,” I said curtly. I shoved my hands deep into my pockets, my body rigid with tension. What the hell was I going to do? How was I going to keep all these innocent people alive? And all the Arcadia personnel?
Tuesday, September 4th, 2018
Today is the release of Putting the Fun in Funeral, book 1 of my Everyday Disasters series. Click the link to read the first chapter.
I love this book. I had such a good time writing it. I let things happen that I worried wouldn’t fly, and yet they made the story so much better. I have unexpected twists, and a fun group of girlfriends, a mysterious handsome sorcerer, and a murder, a curse, a kidnapping, and best of all, a dog rescue. If I had to say what makes this book special to me, it would be the relationships between everybody. They feel so real to me, and so strong. There’s more to Beck’s story, and in time I want to get to Stacey, Jen, and Lorraine.
I wanted to tell a story where good can conquer evil; where evil, even when it’s strong, can be overcome by good people working together. I also want to tell a story of someone going through a hard time and coming out the other side. Maybe there are a few cracks and chips, but she’s whole and optimistic. I wanted to tell a story with romance and with a happy ending. I wanted something with a lot of humor, even though there’s darkness in it. I wanted a story of hope.
I can’t begin to say how much I want all my fans and everybody else to read this book. To pass it along. To want to talk about it. I just adore it.
Finally, I’ve got two words for you. Two words to tantalize: banana buddha.
And then a snippet:
I was a little surprised she wanted me dead. She’d spend my whole life controlling me and making me suffer. So why was *name redacted* so certain I was dying? Had mom fucked up her curse? Maybe she didn’t know shit about magic either. Or maybe it was me. I’d never let her know I could do magic. I’d done all I could to keep it a secret from her. I’d probably made it go haywire somehow. Plus, I’m pretty sure if Mommy Dearest had wanted me dead, she’d have found a horribly painful method, not death by coma.
Okay, then. She probably hadn’t wanted me to die, but she’d accidentally sent me on the way to my coffin anyhow. She’d cursed me without knowing I could do magic and that could have caused a bad reaction. Sorry, Doctor Witch. I had a bad reaction to the curse. I’m allergic. Note that on my chart, would you? Can we try a different one? Maybe get me an anticursetamine? Benadrylahex? Benakillacurse? Calacurse lotion?
Thursday, June 28th, 2018
Because the center cannot hold, a fun snippet:
The snake venom from the magical snakes tended to have magical consequences, making their bites dangerous in whole new ways. Most people avoided the area, and those who traveled the river used magic shields to protect themselves.
As they passed through, snakes lunged at the boat, some launching up into the air almost like they had wings. They struck viciously at the boat. Several landed on top of the boat shield, slithering in midair above and snapping their ire at the intruders. Ray couldn’t help but watch them warily, even knowing they could not break through.
“Sometimes I wonder if they have their own witches,” Annette said as she watched them slither and slide off the shield and drop back into the water. “If some of them can do spells.”
“That’s comforting,” Ray said.
Wednesday, February 14th, 2018
I is helping, Momma. Will you pet me now?
Why is it I keep coming up with new novel ideas–especially first in a series books, or stand alones? I have other things I need to be focusing on and yet . . . . My mind just keeps producing more and more new things and all I can do is take notes and get everything I can down on paper and try to make time later to write. I need to write faster, obviously.
A little WIP snippet from my Horngate world novel:
Even after the nightmare of the Witchwar, even though nobody trusted a witch, people still swarmed into the Night Market looking to buy spells. Some witches had gone so far as to open up shops in the city, despite the continuing hatred for their kind.
His aversion rooted deeper than that, though. He didn’t like that some invisible force could come out of nowhere and create havoc or save the world. He didn’t like that you couldn’t see it coming and had no idea when it might show up. It was like relying on God. Send up your prayers and maybe you’d get a miracle or maybe you’d be damned, or more likely the bastard would just ignore you. Only magic came around a lot more often than any god or devil, and it fucked things up. It fucked people up.
Friday, February 3rd, 2017
Because it’s Friday and because I can!
From book 4 of DCM (which is yet title-less)
I pulled back my wandering mind to focus on the task at hand. The difficulty in this situation was me. Null magic in particular. It didn’t want to weave together with other magics. It wanted to kill them dead. Suck all the juice out of them and leave them dried husks of nothingness. That wouldn’t be all that bad, except that the result was a little bit like setting off a nuclear bomb. I don’t know why. It’s like the magics went to war, though it would have made more sense if the null power just sucked up the other one.
That’s the reason why you didn’t get a lot of null magic crossovers. I probably should have mentioned that to Price, but what he didn’t know couldn’t stop me from trying. The good news was that if things went wrong, the backlash would come at me, not him.
Wednesday, December 21st, 2016
A taste of my sneak project: (no context for you!)
“Are you saying Damon doesn’t get you hot and bothered?”
I flushed. “Unfortunately, no. He does. And now that I have a little better idea what’s going on, I have even less reason to trust him.”
“Because for all I know, he’s thinking about how sexy my DNA is and how he’d like to contract the hell out of me.”
Saturday, December 3rd, 2016
I’ve got sidetracked onto working on something I shouldn’t be because of *fun*. Don’t know if it will ever see the light of day, but if you want a taste . . . here you are! Oh, but first, A HOLIDAY SPECIAL!!! If you’ve not read The Incubus Job, you can get it for just $2.99 at BVC in your preferred e-format. Check it out.
“Tell me about your mother.”
The detective gave me a studiously bland look. “I’m aware. Do you think this is funny?”
I pretended to consider. “Funny–no. Ironic? yes.”
“Do you care to explain yourself?”
“Because I get to plan her funeral.” I already was. It would have to be the tackiest, white trashiest, low-rent trailer park sort of affair for kicking off the dearly departed. I’d definitely serve beer. Oh, and champagne. With Funions and pork rinds and pigs in blankets and deep-fried twinkies. And confetti. Maybe fireworks. Oh! Should I go with a viewing? Dress her in a K-Mart special with blue eye shadow and crimson lipstick? Regret slid through me. No. She’d need to be cremated. I needed her cremated, just to be sure she couldn’t come back as a zombie or vampire. Maybe I’d be allowed to light the match on the fire.
“Miss Wyatt?” The detective said, tapping my knee and interrupting my happy daydream.
I focused on her. She could have used some under-eye concealer. Maybe a little lipstick. And some rouge. The woman looked like death. “What?”
“I asked how you would categorize your relationship with your mother?”
“She pretty much hated everything about me and I tried my damnedest to earn her malice.”
Her brows rose at my candor. “So you didn’t get along with her?”
Was she deaf? Or just stupid. “Didn’t I just say that?”
The detective needed her ass kicked. “Yes.”
“ . . . relationship contentious . . .” she muttered as she wrote in her notebook.
Such a mild word. Like my mother hadn’t been the wicked witch of the west. Like she hadn’t spent every minute of every day criticizing and castigating and moaning over my flaws and failures, which is all I was to her. I don’t even know why she’d had me. Or kept me.
“Did she have any other family? Do you have siblings?”
“Don’t know and no.” Because if there was one thing that was true about my mother is that she kept her life a secret from me.
“What about friends? Or enemies? Anyone you can think of who might want to hurt her?”
“Grab a phonebook and start with the A’s,” I suggested.
Saturday, November 26th, 2016
So as you might have heard (because I’ve been shouting about it), I have a short story, Ashes and Dust, in the soon-to-be-released Trials: A Rogue Mage anthology. Faith Hunter wrote three novels about Thorn St. Croix. She’s a neomage in a post-apocalyptic earth where seraphs have killed most of the earth’s population. There are those who believe the seraphs are messengers of God, sent to punish people for sins. Others believe they are aliens (though those people hide because just saying so is sinful). There are a variety of magics and evil in the shape of the Dark–demons and fallen seraphs. Humans and the human world are the battle ground between the Light and the Dark.
Thorn is a neomage–which means she is forbidden to exist, except in what amounts to internment camps for neomages. She lives under the radar as a jeweler, but all too soon, bad things start to happen and she has to take serious risks.
I love this world. It’s so rich and strange and amazing. So I was excited to get a change to play in the world. I was also a little bit panicked. It’s one of the reasons I’ve never even considered anything like fanfiction–playing in someone else’s world means knowing everything about it, and writing in such a way that you’re faithful and don’t break it. I really loved the books, though, and I absolutely wanted to try. It helped that there’s an RPG game based on the world, and I could use the books for that as a reference. And of course, Faith herself.
The conditions of the story were that it could be set in any time pre, during, or post-Rogue Mage stories. I set mine slightly later, and across the country on the west coast. I had a pretty specific idea of what I wanted to do, and thought that it would be easier (and less likely to break the world), if I created my own place in the west where I didn’t have to worry all that much about previously described areas or people.
Writing the story was terrific fun. It flowed out of me fast and was too long. I did my best to cut a lot, but it still ended up on the longish side. Luckily there was room. I think the coolest part of the Rogue Mage world is figuring out how to fit in the world and still bring your own creative ideas to the table. You have to color within certain lines, but there’s still a lot of room for crazy colors and textures and shapes.
Mistral is my main character and what I like about him is that he doesn’t fit well anywhere. I’ve felt like that a lot in my life, and then I found my tribe. He’s looking for that, too, only he doesn’t quite know it. He wants to define himself and choose his own path. The thing is, others don’t exactly want to let him. His story is about standing up for himself and choosing the kind of person he wants to be.
Mistral is an unusual being, which accounts for why if anybody discovered what he is, he’d be dead meat. He’s born of a Dark Mage mother and a captured seraph father. He’s kylen, with unique neomage powers. There’s no other like him in the world and that’s a tough thing. He knows he’d be hated by everyone if they knew, and so he has to hide. But others also want to use him as a tool for their ambitions. He despises both the Light and the Dark. For much of the year, he travels as a ti
nker and trader. For the rest of the year, he suffers at the hands of an evil master.
When I got to the end of the story, I loved it for approximately 5 seconds. Then I was sure it was a big pile of stinky poop. I was sure it moved slowly, that it wasn’t any good, that it was a dumb plot, and that the whole thing needed to be scrapped. (All of which is pretty typical of finishing things for me). Faith, though, seemed to think it was pretty good. I had some kinks to work out where I’d crossed lines I couldn’t cross–world facts, for instance–and I had to revise my prose, but mostly the story in the anthology is as it was when I finished.
I was also really happy with the ending. A lot of the time writers tell stories by feel. What I mean by that is we are searching for that ending that clicks and says more than just the simple plot. That it delves into character and makes the story robust and interesting in ways that weren’t clear until the end. It’s like going through maze and looking back to see that
all those little twists and turns were really a glorious pattern.
Now I need to go back to work on finishing my fourth Diamond City Magic book, which remains untitled. It’s so close to done, but I’m looking for that ending that clicks, and I have a feeling that a little farther away than I hope it is. I feel the story coming together toward that finish, though, and I’m super pleased about it.
I also am working on the second Mission: Magic book, and I just turned in a Horngate Witches story for an upcoming anthology. It jumps about four years after the end of the last book. And then I got blindsided by a dream last night that is parlaying itself into a book idea that I think is pretty awesome, but needs to be fleshed out a whole lot more.
Here’s a little snippet from the story:
They’d not gone much farther up the rutted road — perhaps a mile — when Ebet emerged from the shadow of a tree. He moved into the center of the road to face Mistral, his movements flickering fast. The daywalker was inhumanly beautiful, with black hair that hung to his waist and a lithe, muscular body. They were all of a kind — black hair, slender, piercing eyes, and Michelangelo faces. And evil.
“You are late for your lessoning,” Ebet said, his voice sweet as a clarinet. “The master grows anxious.”
“The roads washed out south of the delta. I was trapped on the wrong side.” The floods and delay were not news. Nor did they make the delay forgivable.
Ebet dipped his chin, a slow, vicious smile curving his mouth. “I am to remind you to hurry.” He lifted his hand and held it out. Dangling from his fingers was a collar.
Mistral blanched despite himself.
If you’d like to order Trials, here’s a quick link to Amazon. You can preorder now, and it releases on November 28. I’d love to hear what you think about it.
Thursday, November 17th, 2016
I’m working on a Horngate story for an anthology. It is a Giselle/Shoftiel story–no Max. I cut this today and figured you might like to see it:
Salt Lake City still looked like itself, though now the sulfurous stench of the lake was replaced by fumes of tar. Shoftiel rolled down his window, sucking in deep breaths as his deprived senses rejoiced.
The closer they came to the city, the more he realized that in fact, it had changed. One of the biggest changes came in the shape of jewel-colored drakes circling above, some carrying riders. Vines climbed up every building and dripped in curtains. Other plants clung to whatever surface they could find. Trees grew sideways with leaves from every color of the rainbow.
Many of the building had turned into giant trees or tall pillars of salt. Others look like melted candles, some of which had molded together. While he watched, a squat brick lump of a building got up on seven thick yellow elephant-like legs and walked off toward the shimmering rainbow mountains, settling down on top of a broad, flat-topped place covered in brilliant scarlet fur. Or perhaps it was some kind of fairy grass.
On the right, the tar bog spread out like a great, black quagmire. Heat waves rose from it, distorting the air. Hummocks and islands scattered thickly over its gleaming surface and boats poled through the tarways between.
They continued south, passing the former airport. This was now a field of bushes. They were heavy with long, fuzzy pink fruits. Or vegetables.
“What are those?” he asked, no expecting an answer.
“They call ‘em pinktails. Pretty good. Tart. Green on the inside like kiwis but with big red seeds running down the middle. The fuzz is used to make cloth. It’s a lot like cotton.”
Giselle continued to play tour guide. Shoftiel’s curiosity was insatiable and he peppered her with questions.