Shark River

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Dindi is kidnapped to be the bride of a shark... To escape she must untangle a terrible curse caused by a love and magic gone wrong.


This stand-alone novella is set in Faearth, the world of The Unfinished Song. Available here ONLY.


The Unfinished Song - This Young Adult Epic Fantasy series has sold over  70,000 copies and has 1,072 Five Star Ratings on Goodreads.

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December 20, 2012

Excerpt – A Vampire Carol, Part 2

FREE right now on Amazon and Kobo.

A Vampire Carol

The last thing Alex wanted was to become a vampire for Christmas…


Alex stayed in the dumpster until nightfall. He crept out and stood in the alley, trying to understand, trying to believe, and failing. He recognized the back of his office building.
His car was still parked in the parking garage, on the fifth floor. The keys were in his jacket pocket. Dazed, he opened the car, but for a long while, he sat in the driver’s seat, with his key in the ignition and his foot on the pedal, without turning on the engine. His mind refused to work.
He knew he should go home because Lynn would be worried, alone with baby Bradley. Lynn would have questions though and a long list of ways this was his fault. He couldn’t fight with her right now. He needed support. He needed a friend.
Justin lived with his brother, two years younger, who attended school part-time and worked part time, in a pale blue house at the end of a cul-de-sac. Justin had his degree and was a sys admin, like Alex, at a different company. Alex and Justin had been buddies since college, although since Alex married and had a baby, and Justin stayed single, they had found themselves divided by the secret segregation that keeps Married Couples apart from Single Guys.
Alex knocked at the door. No answer. He pounded.
Gary, Justin’s brother answered the door.
“Hey, Alex.” Gary took a swig of a beer. “Justin’s out.”
He was the first person Alex had seen since waking up in the dumpster. Gary looked…strange. A faint but hot mist steamed from his skin, creating a ruddy glow around his body. The aroma was savory.
Gary turned and padded down the hall, leaving the door opened. Alex tried to follow, but when he tried to cross the threshold, it was as if he were trying to walk through invisible taffy. It wasn’t like walking into a wall, but it repelled him all the same. He couldn’t follow Gary.
And he wanted to, very, very badly.
Gary looked back at him. “You okay?”
“I….” Alex licked his lips. He clenched and unclenched his hands. His stomach hurt, and his throat felt as though he had swallowed broken glass.
“I’m thirsty,” he whispered hoarsely.
“Come on in,” said Gary.
The invisible taffy dissolved so abruptly that Alex, who had been leaning into the force, stumbled forward. He caught himself against the wall, panting. His vision narrowed to a tunnel, focused on the red mist around Gary. Alex could hear Gary’s heart beating, and the gurgle of his blood pumping in and out. The delicious smell, the throbbing sound as loud as music at a rave, the hot, red mist…
Gary rummaged around in the fridge and pulled out another beer, which he held out to Alex.
“Would you like a drink?”

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December 19, 2012

Write Like the Wind

I know from personal experience that fans get grouchy if they have to wait for the next installment of an epic fantasy. Granted no one has made me a YouTube video yet… or an HBO show. *grin* I like the part where they go over how long various authors took to write various projects. Also, the dueling drumsticks.

And, yes, I am working on Blood!

December 19, 2012

A Measure of Rice (Short Christmas Story)

Rice in North Korea was distributed by the government. Despite the official Communist ideology of “equality,” everything, even the daily ration of rice, was regulated by a strict caste system.

During the 1990s, rampant corruption and government mismanagement of the country’s resources resulted in a terrible famine. Rice rations were cut across the nation, but especially for the less “desirable” castes.

The Kwons were one such couple. Every day, while her husband watched carefully, Mrs. Kwon distributed their rice into equal amounts….equal amounts of less and less.

Mrs. Kwon stared at the small amount of food and despaired.

I can survive on less because I am a woman, thought Mrs. Kwon. But my husband cannot. Better that at least one of us survive.

As soon as her husband left the room, Mrs. Kwon took one measure of rice from her bowl and added it to her husband’s bowl. Then she went outside to fetch water.

As soon as she was gone, Mr. Kwon, unaware of what she had done, looked at the small bowls of rice and despaired.

I can survive on less because I am stronger, thought Mr. Kwon. But my wife is so slender to begin with; if she tries to live on this she’ll waste away to nothing. He took one measure of his rice and added it to her bowl.

This became their custom every morning. Neither of them could understand why the amount of rice never seemed less.

But the famine grew worse. Once again, the ration of rice was lowered. When Mrs. Kwon tried to put a measure of her rice into her husband’s bowl, there were only a few grains of rice left in her own.

“Where is your rice?” he asked, when she handed him the bowl.

“Oh,” she said. “I ate it already.”

“That was fast,” he said.

“Rice runs away so fast these days,” she said. “Mine ran out the door before I could eat it!”

He laughed, as she meant him too, but as soon as she went outside to fetch the water, he scooped all his rice back into her bowl.

“What is this!” she cried when she saw it.

“You were right about the rice!” said Mr. Kwon. “It did run right out the door, but it was only doing a lap around the house for exercise. It ran right back in and jumped into your bowl again!”

They looked at each other and each realized then what the other had been doing for so long. They realized that they could not continue like this any longer, so that night they made the decision to escape to China.

It was a long, perilous journey, made all the worse because they had to cross in winter, when the river that divided the two countries was frozen. But eventually they made it, and once in China, they were able to hide in an embassy until a church in the United States sponsored them to come to America. Even after they were safe and prosperous in their new home, however, every Christmas they would each exchange a spoonful of rice, to remind themselves of the love that had endured the worst hunger.

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December 19, 2012

Excerpt: A Vampire Carol

About A Vampire Carol

This is not, despite the title, another re-telling of Dicken’s classic. (There are already several vampire and zombie versions available, if you want one, don’t fear!) It’s a story I’ve had knocking around my brain bins for a while. But I didn’t know what to do with it.  Vampire vs Werewolf would be trite on its own, if there were not some other interest, but this story was too brutal for the comic My Three Werewolf Sons story I was originally contemplating. (I haven’t given up on that idea either, however.)
Most authors have half-finished stories which languish, abandoned, on a drive or in a drawer, because the author has no idea how to complete it. Then suddenly, and brilliant idea brings everything together—like how about spicing up an overripe premise of vampire-werewolf rivalry with a fiber optic Christmas tree and a life-size nativity set?
For copyright reasons, this is available as a stand-alone only on non-Amazon sites. For Kindle readers, it can be found as part of the Christmas Tales anthology.

Back Cover:

The last thing Alex wanted was to become a vampire for Christmas… or to feed on his best friend’s brother. His friend will do anything for revenge. Even become a werewolf.

Can there be such a thing as forgiveness for monsters?

This is an urban fantasy novelette, with some romance, some violence, some Christianity and three Christmases.


Last Christmas (Year One As a Vampire)

Vivian from Accounting cornered him in the copy room, at the office Christmas party. She wore a red dress that looked as though it had been spray painted over her voluptuous body, a Titanic-sized ruby heart necklace, and scarlet lipstick. From the minute she’d walked into the party, Alex began committing adultery with her in his heart.
“Take my advice,” said a man next to Alex. “She wants to sell you something you don’t want to buy.”
A song throbbed in the background: Last Christmas, I gave you my heart…
Alex didn’t know him. The man had the face of magazine model, and wore all black: a black silk suit that was much too Italian for any employee of their fashion-challenged tech company, over a black shirt with a black tie and an onyx cross tie pin. He pulled out a bottle of tiny pills and popped one, just as Vivian hurried reached them.
…but the very next day, you gave it away, crooned the song.
“You weren’t invited, Michael,” Vivian said with undisguised hostility.
“Obviously I was.”
“You don’t work here.”
Michael shrugged elegantly. “I was just leaving.”
This year, to save me from tears, I’ll give it to somebody special
Michael waved to Stacy, a three hundred pound sys admin with eczema, Alex’s good friend since forever and fellow sys admin. When Michael took her arm with a suave gesture, the mismatch was obvious to everyone, even Stacy, who blushed, star-struck, and made no argument when he made their good-byes even though they had just arrived. He led her away. Alex bristled.
Poor Stacy. Her best hope was that Michael was just using her for sex.
“Wow,” said Alex. “What was his problem?”
“Can I talk to you in private, Alex?” Vivian asked.
once bitten, twice shy, I keep my distance but you still catch my eye
She touched his arm and sauntered away, and he followed like a puppy. It occurred to him that Vivian outclassed him as much as Michael. Michael was probably Vivian’s ex. Michael was probably a martial arts expert—he moved with that kind of self-assurance, everything manly that Alex lacked—and was waiting in the parking lot to kick Alex’s butt even now. The thought made Alex rebel. Screw him. It wasn’t like Alex had done anything with Vivian. He hadn’t even kissed her.
As soon as they reached the copy room, Vivian shut the door, pushed Alex up against the copy machine and kissed him.
Alex pushed her away. “No…no…You’ve got the wrong idea.”
Damn. He was a little drunk, she was sexy as hell, and this could go south fast, so he fumbled in his pocket for a picture. It was a nine-month-old baby with big blue eyes, sitting in front of the Christmas tree. Lynn had taken it just last week, to put on their holiday cards. He held this between himself and Vivian the way a priest would hold up a cross at an exorcism. Even if his marriage to Lynn had been a mistake, which they had both realized too late, Alex wouldn’t cheat on her, or desert her, for the sake of that little boy.
“That’s my son,” Alex said. “His name is Bradley. So we can’t… you can’t… I can’t….”
“Aw.” Vivian took the picture and tucked it back into his pocket without looking at it. “That’s so sweet.”
She grabbed his suit lapel and pulled him closer. “It just makes me want you more.”
“Look, Vivian…”
Her grip was surprisingly strong, and he couldn’t break free when she began nuzzling against his neck. Alex thought she was giving him a hickey, until he died.
…and this year won’t be anything like last Christmas.

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December 4, 2012

Jess Hearts Books: A New Genre: New Adult – What is it?

Jess Hearts Books: A New Genre: New Adult – What is it?:

New Adult is a new genre for books that don’t quite fit as either YA or Adult Literature. But mostly from what I understand of it they are a more mature version of the YA books that I love now, about people my age, venturing out into the world for the first time on their own and with more mature themes too. I’m so glad that publishers have realised there is this huge other market out there that need books they can relate to and already there have been some exciting new novels released into this genre that seem to be taking the blogosphere by storm.

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