Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday Word: Eldritch

(Loup - Zdzislaw Beksinski 2003)

eldritch |ˈeldriCHadjectiveweird and sinister or ghostly: an eldritch screech.ORIGIN early 16th cent. (originally Scots): perhaps related to elf.
I came across this word during my search into all things paranormal. It has a wonderful ring.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Charmed and Dangerous Update and Cover Reveal


A few months ago Jordan Castillo Price asked me if I'd be interested in contributing a short story to an anthology she was putting together. I didn't have to think about it twice—it was a no brainer. Especially, considering the other authors involved. 

The tricky bit was deciding on the story. Fortunately, I have a Moleskine notebook where I jot down stray ideas, disembodied dialogues, and other random bits and bobs. One struck my fancy right away: a comic take on the old trope of the narrator looking into a mirror and describing what he sees. In my version he does just that, but the visage in the mirror isn’t his own reflection.

This is how it happens in the final telling:

 A blond man with blue eyes and cheekbones sharp enough to etch crystal looked at me from the mirror. Even my regrettably caffeine-starved brain registered the wrongness of this image. I knew for a fact that my own coloration was dull brown and the less was said of my cheekbones, the better.

Mirror-man waited patiently while I stared. His good looks were as overdramatic as the sky outside. His left brow twitched in a familiar way. "Good morning, Detective Mulligan."

“Good morning, Leslie,” I said. “To what do I owe the pleasure?” I was aiming for sarcasm but I’d had too few hours of sleep to hit the bullseye.

He gave me a toothy smile. “I'm happy to see you too, Buttercup. Or should I say Teddybear?”

I scratched my—admittedly hairy—chest. “Whatever you want, Les, just get on with it.” Leslie Morland, assistant to Captain Karl Parker, my boss, had many excellent qualities. Short-windedness wasn’t one of them.

“The Captain wants to see you as soon as you get in.”

“You could’ve called on the phone, like normal people. Or, even better, leave a note on my desk.”

“Biannual test of alternate communications—Captain’s mandate.” His lips formed a lewd curve. “And I wouldn’t want to pass up my chance to see you in your morning glory. Besides, I wanted to be sure you actually made it in before noon.”

“I had a late night,” I grumbled, and it was true—I hadn’t gotten home from the stakeout till the wee hours.

“So I heard. Nonetheless, Captain Parker would love to see you in person, the sooner the better. I’ve been waiting for you to rise for the last twenty minutes. You should really put a mirror into your bedroom.” His leer deepened. “Over the bed would be ideal.”

“Not in your dreams,” I retorted. Departmental use of mirrors for communications was strictly regulated and safeguarded with multiple layers of security hexes, but nothing was ever a hundred percent safe. There was always a small chance one of those rogue hacker wizards—wackers for short—could get through. In over a decade on the Force I developed a healthy dose of paranoia.

Leslie pursed his lips—they got a lot of exercise. “I beg to differ. Everything’s possible in my dreams.” His voice switched to business—more or less. “Pleasantries aside, when can we expect you to grace us with your manly presence?”

“Forty minutes. Now go away; I need to shave.”

To get to this point, however, I had to figure out who was looking into the mirror and who was looking back and how all this came about. The process involved figuring out the man character’s name, job, his back story, and the world around him, where mirrors could do funny things. It was an exhilarating process, filled with possibilities and potential, and I succeed a little too well. One Hex Too Many is the first my story entirely set in an alternate universe/reality, but not the last one. I’m already working on the sequel.

If you like m/m paranormal romance and or urban fantasy Charmed and Dangerous is guaranteed to have something to tickle your fancy. It’ll come out on August 25, but is available for preorder on Amazon already. Have fun!

(Isn't that cover just sexy?)


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

BIG Announcement


I’M STOKED.

There’s this frakking big paranormal anthology coming out in a month and I can’t wait to read it. Oh, and I have a story in there too. It’s one illustrious company. Check out the official announcement:

Immerse Yourself
In TEN worlds of Magic

It’s magical. It’s man on man. And I promise you, my friends, it’s massive. I’ve put together an all new, all-star m/m paranormal anthology. It’s coming August 25, and I can’t wait to unveil it.

There’s something in this gigantic collection for everyone: ghosts and goblins, spellcasters and shifters. You’ll find a great mix of fresh new storyverses and riveting standalone stories from several popular m/m series.

Just check out our m/m rock star lineup!

Astrid Amara
KJ Charles
Charlie Cochet
Rhys Ford
Ginn Hale
Lou Harper
Jordan L Hawk
Nicole Kimberling
Jordan Castillo Price
Andrea Speed

And keep your eyes peeled for our cover reveal on July 21.

The antho is massive, over 180,000 words, I’ve been told. What happened is that some of us suck at following directions and flew way over the word count goal. And writing too much is not my usual problem. But Astrid was the worst offender.

JCP designed one smolderingly sexy cover, I can’t wait to show it off. STAY TUNED!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wednesday Word: Goblin

Common House Boggart, by Tony DiTerlizzi (From Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide)

goblin |ˈgäblinnouna mischievous, ugly, dwarflike creature of folklore.ORIGIN Middle English: from Old French gobelin, possibly related to German Kobold (see koboldor to Greek kobalos mischievous goblin. In medieval Latin Gobelinus occurs as the name of a mischievous spirit, said to haunt Évreux innorthern France in the 12th cent.
Lately I've been researching supernatural creatures of myth and folklore. To my surprise, I found a profusion of diminutive creatures, whose sole purpose in life is to vex humans. Kobold, goblin, hobgoblin, imp, and boggart are just a few of their names.

They go back all the way to ancient Greece where kobaloi—plural for kobalos—were messing with people's heads and property. They are called dokkaebi in Korea and duende in Latin America, and I'm sure there are many more.

Their range is wide—they live in fields, marshes, along streams or waterfalls, and often in barns or people's homes, though staying invisible most of the time. Their common characteristic is their mischievous nature. Even the benevolent ones tend to be temperamental. Goblins and pixies make the milk go sour or cause travelers lose their way. 

We don't believe in invisible fairy-creature anymore, but I suspect goblins and their cousins are exceptionally adaptable. Like urban foxes and hawks that nest on skyscrapers, they've followed us into the city. They are the ones who misplace our  keys and steal socks from the dryer. It's the only logical explanation.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wednesday Word: Feculent


feculent |ˈfekyələntadjectiveof or containing dirt, sediment, or waste matter: their feet were forever slipping on feculent bog.DERIVATIVES feculence nounORIGIN late 15th cent.: from French féculent or Latin faeculentus, from faex, faec- dregs.
I learn so man great words reading Terry Pratchett, I just can't always tell the real ones from those he made up.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wednesday Word: All

all predet.det., & pronounused to refer to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or thing: [ as predeterminer ] :  all the people I met | she left all her money to him| [ as determiner ] :  10% of all cars sold | he slept all day | [ as pronoun ] four bedrooms, all with balconies | carry all ofthe blame | the men are all bearded.• determiner ] any whatever: assured beyond all doubt | he denied all knowledge.• determiner ] used to emphasize the greatest possible amount of a quality: they were in allprobability completely unaware | with alldue respect.• informal dominated by a particularfeature or characteristic: an eleven-year-old string bean, all elbows and knees.• pronoun with clause ] the only thing (used for emphasis): all I want is to be left alone.• pronoun ] (used to refer to surroundings or a situation in general) everything: all was well | it was all very strange.• informal used to indicate more than one person or thing: a team of specialists who all know the patient.• dialect consumed; finished; gone: the cake is all.

Half a life time ago I was a cash-strapped college student with a penchant for growing herbs in pots. So when the local gardening supply store ran an ad stating all planters were 50% off I couldn’t resist. After much deliberation I chose two of the fancy flowerpots instead of a dozen of the plain ones—being sensible was never my strong point.

The cashier rang up my pots at full price. I pointed out her mistake. She informed me these planters were not on sale. I drew here attention to the ad, stating all planters were half off. She gave me a professional smile and said, “Yes, but not these ones.” I pointed out to here that all meant all.

I became the dreaded customer who holds up the line. It wasn’t the planters—those I could’ve walked away from—but the principle of things.


The cashier summoned the manager, and I stated my case. He instructed the cashier to charge me half price for the planters. However, I strongly suspected—and still do—that he did it only to get rid of me, not because he saw my point.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Tussock

tussock |ˈtəsəknouna small area of grass that is thicker or longer than the grass growingaround it.(also tussock moth)woodlandmoth whose adults and brightlycolored caterpillars both bear tuftsof irritant hairs. The caterpillarscan be a pest of treesdamagingfruit and stripping leaves.
DERIVATIVES tussocky adjective
ORIGIN mid 16th cent.perhaps an alteration of dialect tusktuft, of unknown origin.
The word came up when I was doing research into fantasy creatures.