Monday, October 29, 2012

Guest Post by Mae Clair -- Werewolves and Time Travel


It’s a day away from Halloween and I’m delighted to be here! The month of October naturally inspires thoughts of things that go-bump-in-the-night. While the days are a cornucopia of color, kindled by gem-bright leaves, fat orange pumpkins, and golden fields waiting for harvest, the nights conjure shivers and goose bumps.

Why does everything seem more ominous in the dark?

I’ve been intrigued by tales of ghosts, mythical beasts and fantastical creatures since I was a kid. When I needed a hero who was controlled by a curse for my paranormal/time travel romantic suspense novel, WEATHERING ROCK, I dipped into that well of folklore and chose a werewolf.

I liked the idea of a hero battling a hex he couldn’t control. Enter Colonel Caleb DeCardian. He fought for the Union army during the Civil War. Shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg, he’s transported to 2012 by a freak shower of ball lightning.

Caleb is a commander, accustomed to having others do exactly as he says when he orders. A person who thrives on self-discipline, and who has spent the bulk of his life emotionally detached. Now, suddenly, he’s at the whim of a curse that controls him.

When the heroine of my novel, Arianna Hart, is unexpectedly forced to spend the night at Weathering Rock, an old home built in the 1800s, it’s more than creaking floorboards that disturb her sleep.

Arianna teaches American history and has a particular interest in the Civil War. She meets Caleb on a fog-drenched night, and immediately recognizes there is something different about him. The more time they spend together, his secrets begin to unravel. She realizes she’s falling in love with a man from another time who could be wrenched back to his own century at any moment.

To complicate matters, Caleb didn’t arrive in the 21st Century alone. The man who turned him into a werewolf—once his closest friend, now a bitter rival--is stalking them both.


If you like a hunky werewolf, sensual romance, rivalry, and multi-layered plots, I hope you’ll consider WEATHERING ROCK!

BLURB:
Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets--some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who'll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

EXCERPT:
“You’re where?” Lauren said into the phone, flabbergasted.

“Weathering Rock,” Arianna repeated.

“You mean that big old house off Blackberry Lane? The weird one that’s supposed to attract ball lightning?”

“That’s the one.”

Too keyed up to sit, Arianna paced the guestroom. “I had a small accident on the way home.” And met an incredibly sexy man with silver eyes and an old-fashioned personality. That part would keep until tomorrow.

Lauren drew a sharp breath. “Ari, you’re scaring me. Are you all right? Are you hurt?”

“I’m fine.” Walking to the window, she pushed the drapes aside and stared into the darkness. Her reflection leaped back like a disembodied ghost--raven hair, dark green eyes, her skin pale as milk in the night-blackened glass. The rain had arrived, pushed by a fury of wind and thunder. It pelted the windows, making her feel safe indoors.

I won’t hurt you, Caleb had promised. Why was it so important to him she stay?

She told her friend what happened, skipping her conflicting emotions about her blond-haired host.

“And you’re actually staying?” Lauren gave a cluck of disbelief. “I don’t care if it is raining, I’ll come get you. For all we know, one of them could have punctured your tire so you’d be stuck there.”

“You’ve seen too many slasher movies, Lauren. I’ll be fine.” She couldn’t explain why, but felt secure in the house, as if something sinister lurked outside. As long as she remained within the walls of Weathering Rock, she was protected from that unnamed threat.

By Caleb.

The thought shocked her. She eased to a seat on the bed, absently fingering the white eyelet cover. The furnishings looked plucked from a storybook, the bed dressed in a pale blue canopy and flirty skirted ruffle. The matching bureau was squat and old-fashioned with a standing mirror and gold-veined marble top. A walnut washstand with a pitcher and bowl was tucked into the corner.

“I’ll call you in the morning when I get home.”

“You’re sure about this?”

“Positive.” Arianna smiled, appreciating her friend’s concern. Lauren had been through a divorce eight months ago, the experience leaving her jaded when it came to trusting men.

“All right.” Lauren exhaled into the phone. “But I expect a call in the morning, followed by details in the afternoon. How about dropping by my shop after you finish your errands?”

“Deal.” Running Saturday errands was a regular routine for Arianna and she most always ended at Lauren’s boutique for a visit afterward. “I’ll talk to you soon.”

She said goodbye and set the cell within reach on the nightstand. Rain continued to batter the windows in fierce bursts, backlit by strobes of lightning. The intermittent flash made her think of the ball lightning she’d seen earlier, an occurrence Caleb had been reluctant to acknowledge. Yet another oddity from a man who excelled at them.

Yawning, she glanced at her watch. It was after one in the morning and the events of the night had finally caught up with her. She switched off the light and opened the drapes, inviting the frenzied dance of the storm indoors. She shimmied from her jeans and top and crawled into bed, the cotton sheets blessedly cool against her bare skin. Moments later, as she was drifting toward sleep, a rattling crack of thunder drew her upright.

Outside, lightning transformed the night into surreal-whitened day, silhouetting the bulk of a large animal against the window. Arianna recoiled from the touch of its eyes, yellow in the flash-fire burst of the storm. The image lasted only a pulse-beat before it was swallowed by darkness.

She shoved from the bed, hastily pulling on her blouse to cover herself, and threw open the window. The night had bled into a cauldron of shadow and patchy fog, making it impossible to see more than a few feet. The air was redolent with wet grass and worm-rich soil, an odor that made her think of swollen riverbeds and bogs. Rain pelted her face and left her shivering in her skimpy bra and panties. The animal--if animal it had been--had been swallowed by the storm.

She closed the window, careful to secure the lock.

It’s not safe tonight, Caleb had said.

She shook away a chill, convinced she’d been dreaming. The animal must have been a figment of her sleep-hazed mind. The events of the night, Caleb’s mysterious warning, and the legends surrounding Weathering Rock had taken a toll of her nerves.

Yet as she crawled into bed, she couldn’t help thinking the animal had looked very much like a wolf.

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:




Buy WEATHERING ROCK at:




Thursday, October 25, 2012

Five Star Redneck P.I. Review

Redneck P.I. -- Engrossing and Compelling -- a Must Read

Trish Jackson pulls out all stops in this fast-paced action and romance thriller, weaving the stories of her characters into perfect unison. Twila, a hard-headed girl from Alabama is no Southern bell transplanted to Boston. She met her match with the private investigator, Harland. What starts as a smoky spark erupts into passion will plenty of villains for the romance mystery reader. Redneck PI is a must read for those who want a book that will keep them turning page after page! Ms Jackson's novel is a delight for all!

Cynthia B Ainsworthe
IPPY Award-Winning Author, Front Row Center
Click here to buy "Front Row Center" now
Words and Passion
www.wordsandpassion.com 

Thank you Cynthia, I'm thrilled!!


The sequel, Kick Assitude is due for release by my publisher, Uncial Press in March 2013.  



Here's how it starts:

Kick Assitude

PROLOGUE
             Strangers who happen to pass through Quisby, Alabama are often heard to express their curiosity about the weathered sign with the faded words "Cyder Hill" still just legible, hanging crookedly on one of the imposing stone pillars. A strong padlock and thick chain bars access through the heavy iron gates.
Their questions always remain unanswered--hanging there like the fog hangs over a swamp on a fall morning…

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Words for Impelling Oneself

As a writer, the words you use for impelling the people you write about can tell the reader a lot about them. 

"Walk" is such a generic term, and there are so many descriptive words you can use in place of it. 

Does the agitated mother walk to her children who are fighting with one another again? Or does she stride?

Does the killer walk slowly up to his unsuspecting prey, or does he stalk them?

Would a laid back man walk along the road, or should he amble?

Did the terrified girl walk quickly away or did she bolt?

The following list is a gift my screenwriter sister was given by Screenbrokers (http://screenbrokers.com/) and I'm passing it on to my fellow writers to show how much I appreciate you all. I'm confident you'll reciprocate somehow, sometime, by sharing a tip of your own.

Ambles
barrels
bolts
Bounces
bounds
bowls
Canters
clambers
coasts
Cruises
dances
darts
Dashes
dives
dodges
Drifts
edges
flies
Flits
gallops
glides
Hightails
hikes
hobbles
Hoofs
hurdled
hurries
Hustles
inches
jaunts
Jogs
locomotes
lumbers
Maneuvers
marches
moves
Navigates
oozes
paces
Plows
prances
promenades
Races
rambles
retreats                       
Roams
roves
rushes
Sashays
sails
saunters
Scampers
scoots
scuttles
Scurries
shambles
shoves
Shuffles
sidles
slogs
slip/slides
slithers
skipped
Snakes
sprints
squeezes
Squirms
squishes
staggers
Steamrolls
steams
strolls
Stomps
swaggers
sweeps
Swishes
toddles
traipses
Tramps
travels
traverses
Trots
trudges
veers
Waddles
walks
wanders
Weaves
wends
wiggles
Worms
wriggles
zigzags

Here are some more offered by Betsy Riley who said she couldn't comment: angles, blasts, careens, detours, escapes, floats, gyrates, hurtles, insinuates, jets, kicks, lurches, meanders, nitpicks, oscillates, parades, quivers, rolls, scuffs, tiptoes, undulates, vectors, yaws, zips
Thanks!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Cover's Ready


Just in time for Biketoberfest in Florida -- this week I received the cover of my next novel, Kick Assitude from my editor, Jude. I love it!!


I love this story too—it was just so much fun to write, and I know it will make for wonderful entertaining and relaxing reading. I just wish the publishing process didn't have to take so long!

Here's an excerpt:

 I parked the bike and un-clasped the leash. My dog jumped off the seat and ran over to Pops' old coonhound. Coots was almost blind and crippled with arthritis. He sniffed my dog's butt then walked away and peed on a nearby bush.
Pops came to the door and I explained my problem to him. "This is my new dog. He sort of adopted me, so I'm keeping him, but I need something for him to ride in on the bike."
Pops didn't talk much since Mama was killed, but I saw something in his eyes light up. "Go inside and wait," he told me, and I watched him head over to the barn. It seemed to me that he was standing a little taller and walking a little faster than I had seen of late.
The dog followed me into the house and came face-to-face with Piggy Sue, Aunt Essie's miniature pot-bellied pig. They sniffed noses, and I was idly wondering if a dog and a pig can be friends when Piggy Sue turned tail and ran around the sofa, squealing and oinking, with the dog hot on her heels. They crashed through a side table, spewing the contents of the ashtray all over the carpet, and just kept going.
"What the--" Aunt Essie appeared at the doorway from the kitchen, wiping her hands on her apron. "Whose dog is that and how did he git in here? Here, help me chase him out."
She handed me a broom. I went behind the sofa and lunged at the dog but he just nipped at my hand and jumped over my arm and carried on chasing the pig. They disappeared into the kitchen, then the bedrooms, where we heard stuff crashing all around them.
"Stop them," Aunt Essie shouted. She went into her bedroom and came out brandishing her revolver.
"Wait," I shouted, "Don't shoot my dog."
"Your dog? Since when did you have a dog? If he is yours you'd best get him under control." She waved the gun around and I ducked. The way her hands shook, there was no telling how much control she had over her fingers on that trigger.
"I'll get him," I panted, and tackled him and got him by one leg. He growled and made like he was going to bite my hand, but before he had done any real damage he released his jaw, stood quite still, and licked my face. I held onto his collar, silently thanking Doc Zerelda, and led him out the back door to my bike, where I retrieved the leash. I tied him to a tree beside my bike, where he stood crying and barking.
Aunt Essie had shut the pig in her bedroom, and I decided I should probably do some cleaning up. There was stuff all over the floor in every room. In Pop's room, I noticed Mama's things were all still in the house, her clothes in the closet, her sewing stuff still piled on the table in the corner, just as it had always been, when she was alive. I stood there staring at it.
"Your pop wouldn't let me touch anything of hers. I reckon he tolerates me being around because he knows he can't take care of himself, but he drew the line here."
I couldn't face going through it all and packing it up yet, but I knew the task would be mine and I promised myself that I would get onto it within the next month.
I had just picked up the last of the potatoes off the kitchen floor and mopped it when I heard Pops calling me.
Strapped to the back of my bike's seat was a welded aluminum basket, about one foot by one foot, with sides around eight inches high. I went back into the living room and grabbed an old cushion that had seen better days, like everything else in that trailer, and placed it in the steel basket. I untied the dog, and before I could snap my fingers, he was standing on the seat poking his nose into it. He stepped carefully into the basket, turned in circles and dug up the cushion a bit, then curled up on it, quite obviously pleased. "I think you've done that before," I said. "Maybe your previous owner, whoever that was, also had a bike.
"So what's his name?" Pops stroked the dog's head and played with his ears.
"To tell you the truth, Pops, I haven't thought about it--I just call him Dog. I paused and thought for a moment. "I think, maybe I'll call him  Scratch, 'cause that's what he did on my door when I first heard him."
Pops nodded approvingly. "Well, Scratch, you're a pretty smart little fella." He had always liked dogs. They liked him too.
Scratch barked twice in agreement.

To be released in March, 2013 by Uncial Press. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Next Novel is Completed!!

My next novel is completed. Yay!!! I am pee-in-your-pants excited about my "Zodiac Project", a series of twelve novels, each one featuring--and exhibiting the personality traits of--a heroine who is a different birth sign. I started with Capricorn as that is the first sign of the year,  and will end with the December sign, Sagittarius. 

"The Capricorn Killer" is about Riley Shaughnessy, a small town Colorado veterinarian with a dark past that she hides from people. 

When a serial killer murders her assistant, the safe life she has created for herself is in a tailspin, and she finds herself falling for hunky Powell Stewart despite the fact that everything points to him being the murderer.


Read the first chapter here: www.trishjackson.com

My next step is to find a literary agent to represent me. I have not used an agent before, because they like to see that you are not a one time wonder, and are really serious about your writing career. I do believe they are important. Every literary agency seems to have a different set of instructions for submitting your work, but I have sent requests to several of them. I hate playing the waiting game, but it cannot be helped.

Meantime... I've started on the next novel in the series, "The Aquarius Arcanum". This one looks like it's going to be my first romantic suspense/mystery, and I am having so much fun writing it! 

Spirit medium Arlette Xylander is frustrated when she cannot communicate with the ghosts she hears in the dining room of her hundred-year-old New Orleans mansion on Bayou Le Gue,  left to her by the aunt she was never allowed to meet...