Monday, October 29, 2012

Dance on Fire: Flash Point Release Day


Hello, Fire Enthusiasts and Coffin Hoppers. Thanks for stopping by. This is a big day for me and I appreciate you having taken the time. My first novel, Dance on Fire, took twenty years start to finish. That, however, is a very long story. If you just met me, you may not know my story, but we’ll save it for another time. My second novel, which is having its big release today, also had its share of drama. Suffice it to say that I was unsure that this second book in my crossover vampire series would ever see the light of day. I am overjoyed that it has, and I hope those of you who have read my first novel, or simply like this genre, will share it with me.

I may have written it, but I was not alone in the production. I want to thank the artist and author, Sue Midlock, for her work on the cover; my old school mate, Mike Graham, and the author, Adriana Noir, for their beta reading. And I want to thank the editor and author, Natalie Owens – who never would have allowed me to begin this sentence with “and”. When you discover that this novel “sings”, I assure you it was because of her hard work. I also thank the authors Marissa Farrar and Carole Gill for their endless support and encouragement. There are more people to thank, too, but this post is long already. It’s a fantastic community of writers and readers out there, and I thank all of them (you).

During Coffin Hop 2012 which ends at Midnight on Halloween, I am giving away several copies. In order to entice you to ask for one or to surf over to Amazon.com (US or UK) and buy one, I offer the following tease…

“Nathaniel!” came a bloodcurdling scream. It was an ancient voice, one Nathaniel knew all too well. It seemed to shake the very foundation of this sad, dilapidated barn which had served as his home.

Nathaniel pushed away the layers of old musty blankets and, taking one for himself, climbed to his feet. The sun wasn’t yet strong in the early morning sky, but it was more than enough to destroy him. Using the blanket as a shield, he approached a broken window that had fallen into disrepair and, in fact, been neglected just like the abandoned barn. He glanced outside and then quickly moved away, processing the gathered information from the safety of the second floor shadows.

He had seen nothing of significance. Instead, hearing only the early buzz of the new day, Nathaniel turned and headed down to get a better look. Draping the blanket about him like a cape, he leapt from the loft and nearly fell in a heap amongst the shadows at the foot of a rickety ladder.

Rising to his feet, he turned toward the place in the barn where he had left two sabers embedded through the wall. Vincent, the great beast, was on the other side of that wall, the two blades piercing his horrid flesh and pinning him there to await a terrible end.

Only, there was nothing there where the scarred blades should have been poking through.

Nathaniel felt something inside him sink into the pit of his very bowels, as if it were still possible to feel such things, and he absently dropped the blanket. With little regard for his own safety, he ran to the spot, literally throwing himself upon the wall. It shuddered as if it might give away, but didn’t. Frantically, he searched, willing his vision to penetrate the many cracks in the old boards and beams, but unable to see anything except the outside world.

As if sensing the presence of undead flesh, the sunlight—like tiny yet powerful laser-beams—prodded him, singeing whatever flesh they happened upon. Skin snapped and cracked open, revealing gray meat; hairs fluttered into tiny plumes and floated off into the morning air.

By the time that Nathaniel realized what was happening to him, he was already in awful shape. He winced at the pain and the smell of himself coming undone, but didn’t immediately retreat to safety. Numb to the destruction, he worried about more devastating concerns. His thoughts quickly turned to Barbara, Michael and their children, not to mention Vanessa and Mark.

Ultimately, he did retreat, but not for self-preservation. He was still hunting for Vincent.

Nathaniel could pick up no trace of Vincent’s presence. He could only smell the horrible odor of his own flesh burning about him. He moved right and left, still frantically looking for any sign of the other vampire, yet finding none.

Eventually, Nathaniel’s panic led him to another neglected window. It was covered in thick cobwebs, but not enough to keep him from seeing the sign that tore into him far worse than any measure of sunlight.

In the clearing, which had once stood as a driveway to the old barn but was now overrun with weeds and dead tree branches, lay the US Calvary Sabers. They had been cast aside. Nathaniel threw himself upon the window frame, letting a wave of sheer horror wash over him. The stained and filthy glass cracked, but he took little notice of it.

There was no sign of Vincent.

How he had managed to get free, Nathaniel didn’t know. He only knew that he was. It had taken the combined strength of many to subdue him, but apparently it wasn’t enough to slay him. Perhaps the vampire couldn’t be destroyed, and there was nothing standing in his way. He would kill them all, to be sure. He would avenge himself upon each and every one of them.

And he would savor doing it.

 

            You don’t know how much of a tease I really was just now, but I hope you will get your hands on a copy at some point and see just what I mean about that.

 
            This has been a crazy trip, getting to this day. Thanks for sharing it with me. Thanks for being supportive and encouraging, or for just being a friend.
 

            We’ll talk soon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Coffin Hop 2012


Hello, Fire Enthusiasts and esteemed guests. I am overjoyed to have you stop by this particular week. There are two reasons for this. As you can see, and no doubt already knew, it is Coffin Hop time. We did this last year and it was a blast getting to know new ghouls and goblins (had to throw that in there). I hope not to take too much of your time as you will not want to miss out on eveything that everybody has planned. In case you need to locate the other participants, here's the link to the CoffinHop Site as well as the list.

The second reason is - as fate would have it - my second novel is finally ready.

It has been two years in the making. During this time we've had delays, the loss of my small publisher and the decision to make whether or not to proceed full Indie. In any event, the second installment of my crossover vampire series is ready to be released this Monday, October 29th. It is called Dance on Fire: Flash Point. You can find the e-book on Amazon.com, along with my debut, Dance on Fire. However, as a special Coffin Hop promotion, I am prepared to offer several copies.

In order to whet your appetite I have chosen a teaser from the new novel. In the story, one of the villians from book one returns to enact revenge upon our heroes. She did not come alone, but brought four other vampires with her. They took hostages and our heroes once again team up to save the day...


Luis waited until the vampire had moved several houses away before he risked whispering into his police issued radio. He had to be careful not to alert him to his position; however, every moment that the monk delayed brought potential harm the chief’s way. “Coming your way, Chief Daniels,” the monk finally warned, from his vantage point in the bushes across the street from the Rosen house.

***

Erich saw the man walking toward the same corner that he was headed for, and then grinned to himself as he continued along the sidewalk, heading in a collision course with him. With each subsequent step, the kill appeared easier as it was revealed that the man was thin and in his golden years. The vampire’s fangs began to protrude from his mouth in anticipation.

Suddenly, the old man before him spun and ran back the way that he had come. Erich stopped and watched him for a moment, and then began to chase. From this close distance, he could predict exactly how many steps it would take him before he caught the man from behind, how many feet the man would roll when he yanked him backward, and just how salty the taste of the man’s blood would be.

It would be all too easy.

The man ran as hard as he could. Under the circumstances, he was doing quite well, considering his obvious age. He abandoned the sidewalk and suddenly cut across a corner yard.

Erich didn’t feel it necessary to go to his full speed. He wore a grin as he turned the corner, continuing to anticipate that rush of warm sustenance. He set aside his concerns about finding that blouse in the yard. When he had run across the yard and back onto the sidewalk, just as his quarry had done, something pricked him the wrong way. The old man was still running down the sidewalk, but now another figure stood between them. The other man’s expression seemed to indicate that he had been waiting there all along.

Erich hit his brakes and stopped twenty feet before him.

“You are correct. I’ve been waiting here for you,” the figure spoke.

Behind him, the old man stopped his running as well, and had begun to carefully walk back. “Oh?” Erich said. He stood tall and imposing before him, unconcerned as of yet.

“I am Nathaniel,” he said and began to slowly walk toward the vampire. “And this here is Chief Daniels.”

The old man breathed heavily. “Haven’t … run like … that in a … while.”

Erich ignored him and kept his eyes fixed on the new man, the tall one. “Nathaniel?” he repeated. “Nathaniel?” Now, he was concerned. That was the name of the vampire that Tiffany had told them about. It was he who had thwarted her master’s efforts, and himself who had been made a vampire by him in the first place. They had expected to run into him on their trip to Kingsburg, and were disappointed when they hadn’t.

He should not be here! he realized and began to backtrack. Before the vampire reached him, Erich turned and began to run.

Nathaniel had him immediately and slammed him face first into the grass in the corner yard. He dragged him hurriedly, not allowing him to get his balance, and slammed him repeatedly into a nearby tree.

“What do you want?” Erich yelled between blows.

“I want to know what happened to the two women?”

“Why?” Erich asked, weak from both the body damage and because he had yet to feed.

Because I do!” he yelled. “They mean something to me.” He pulled the vampire close to him.

“I don’t understand,” Erich groaned. He began to wilt. If not for Nathaniel holding him, he would have fallen. “Both you and Tiffany going to so much trouble. Who was this Victor who caused so much to bear?”

Nathaniel paused, wondering whether he had heard him correctly. “What did you say?’ he asked, releasing him. The idea was simply too incredulous to be believed. “Did you say, Victor?”

“That was his name, wasn’t it?” Erich said, glancing up from a seated position there in the yard. “Victor?”

***

Feeling a sharp spike of anger beginning to swell within him, Nathaniel reached back down, grabbing the vampire by the hair and quickly hauling him to his feet. He brought his face close as he snarled through gritted teeth. “His name was Vincent! You have committed murder and brought ruin to two families and do not know the name of the monster that caused all of this to be!” Blinded by fury, Nathaniel brought his hands over the vampire’s head and slammed it repeatedly against the tree. It did little to appease his anger. Eventually, he gripped the vampire’s ears as if he were about to rip them off of his head. Instead, he gave them a turn, and twisted Erich’s head around.

Chief Daniels came walking up as Nathaniel released the vampire to the ground at his feet. He wasn’t dead, but would be soon enough. He spun. The chief raised his hands quickly in fear. Nathaniel saw the look on his face and waved him off.

Did you hear?” Nathaniel yelled. The chief raised his hands again, this time motioning for him to watch the loudness of his voice, but the vampire would have none of it. “They don’t even know why they are doing this!

Having said this, he turned back around, grabbed the body at his feet and proceeded to drag it behind him as he walked with a renewed purpose down the sidewalk toward the Rosen house.

Chief Daniels watched the incredible sight before him, but quickly went over to the fence and fished for his radio. “Michael,” he said when he had it back on. “Two down, but I think Nathaniel’s just gone off the reservation!”


Thank you for taking the time. I didn't want this post to be too long, so I didn't post the full synopsis. I will do that next Monday which is the day of the big release. In the meantime, I have several copies of the ebook to give away. I would love for you to follow all of my pages, etc, but want to keep this as painless as possible. If you would simply join my Facebook Event Page and then share it with your friends, that will be more than enough. Just leave me a comment that you did and wish to be included in the giveaway. Leave me your e-mail address in a way that the spambots won't find it. Mine is rapture22 (at) hotmail (dot) com for example.

The giveaway will last through the end of the Coffin Hop. I will then contact the winners.

Thanks again for stopping by. We'll talk soon.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Climbing Out of the Cave...with a New Book

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. I want to thank you for your support and patience as I have been underground these past few weeks. I have missed my blog friends. I have seen your comments here over this time, and I thank you. Perhaps as early as this week you should see my return to regular blogging.

I have been prepping my second novel, Dance on Fire: Flash Point. The manuscript has been extensively edited by the wonderful Natalie G. Owens. I received it back from her with her final walk thru last week. In the meantime, I had been spending the past few days reading it aloud as I try and make it as perfect as possible. This weekend I made all of the necessary corrections and worked on the formatting. It was hard work, but it appears to be finished.

This week I will make certain that it looks good on my trusty Kindle and prep for the big release. Monday, October 29th will be the day. I have already been making arrangements with media outlets in my area and you should begin to see me reaching out to you on the social networks. I want to thank you in advance for your support and encouragement as I release another baby out into the world. I hope you'll like it, and find that it is a worthy successor to my debut.

For now, I am going to sign off. I literally spent every waking moment this weekend working on the project. I wouldn't have worked so hard these past few months - and certainly these past few weeks - were it not for the fact that this book has sat on a virtual shelf for nearly two years. At long last, she's ready.



We'll talk soon.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Can You Believe I'm Vlogging Again?


Good Lord! It's never easy, is it? Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. I was lazy this weekend and thought I would just do another vlog. Can you believe it? You know it's really bad if I decided to do this again. Right? *laughs* If you've seen my previous attempts at this, you know how nervous I can get. Would you look at that expression! Everything went great, but this is the shot that You Tube chose to feature. *sigh*

Trust me, my friends. This is the low point of the entire thing. The video actually came out rather well, considering I did it on one take. Anyway, check it out and either beg me to do more or offer to send money if I'll never do another. ;)

We'll talk soon.

Monday, October 8, 2012

News From the Writer's Cave


Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. How is everyone? Thanks for all of your kind comments concerning my new photo which I revealed last week. That was very nice of all of you. Yeah, that serious-looking photo I had been sporting for two years was a bit much. This one is more me.

Well, if you saw any of my Facebook posts from this past mid-week, you might know what’s coming. For the month of October (hopefully not all of it), I will be stuck in the writer’s cave. Sadly, I won’t be writing, but editing and producing paperbacks.

I completed my second novel (Dance on Fire: Flash Point – book 2 in my vampire series), heard back from the wonderful beta readers, carved it up a bit and then sent it off to a professional editor. I just received it back and am in the process of fixing what needed fixing. I will then format and post on Amazon. This may be as soon as next week sometime.

That sounded odd, didn’t it? My plan is to get it on Amazon and then send out review copies before having a big event/release extravaganza, which should be the week after that. Certainly, if any of you out there would like to get a copy for review purposes, please let me know.

Once that is done, I must turn my attention to the paperback versions of both books. I did have a paperback of Dance on Fire once before; however, it is a second edition now and must be replaced. The reason why I am spending that time doing that is because my series takes place in my real-life hometown and I am still working on tapping that market. I have already begun reaching out to the media outlets, especially those who covered the first book in 2010. I also haven’t done any library events or book signings in a while and am excited to get back in that game.

What does this mean for you, my friends? Well, it means I will not be blogging for a while. I promise you that I will miss that, and will endeavor to get through this period as quickly as I can, so I can get back.

Speaking of which, I’d better get back to my cave.
We’ll talk soon.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. With my second novel set to drop any week now, you'd think that I might be coming to you to promote it; however, instead, I am here to discuss the novel after that. I guess I'm weird that way!

Not really. Well, yes, I am, but that's not what I mean. You see, one of my sweetest pals on the planet happened to tag me with something they call The Next Big Thing. I do have a book coming out this October, the sequel to my debut vampire series, Dance on Fire. The sequel is called Dance on Fire: Flash Point, but you probably already knew that. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to speak of that one. I'm supposed to speak of the next one...

1)  What is the working title of your book?

The book is currently entitled Ghosts. It deals with both the literal as well as the figurative kind that can haunt us.

2)  Where did the idea come from for your book?

I love a good ghost story and have always wanted to write one. You may have read previously from me that I only take on one writing project every year or so, due to my schedule. Call it my muse, the gears in my head or an idea I caught out of the air - which is where I usually tell people my ideas come from - but I finally have something worth proceeding with.

3)  What genre does your book fall under?

I write horror, but one of my true loves is the Romantic Comedy. Therefore, you will find that I am leaving vampires momentarily to enter the paranormal romance arena. The book will be loaded with frights, but will delve into the sad suffering heart of our protagonist and see whether he might be able to love again.

4)  Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

My friends, I'm skipping this one. I don't want to get in trouble for using photos, nor do I have the time to dig some up. Perhaps when I get closer to publication this might be something worth doing, but for now, we're moving on...

5)  What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Alone for a week in an old mysterious house he just inherited, widower Paul Herrera finds himself surround by ghosts, both ethereal and those that haunt his memory, as he struggles to hold onto the only thing that he has left in this world: his sanity.

6)  Will your book be self-published or represented by an agent?

Now that I am on my own, I will continue to press forward as an independent.

7)  How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I wrote the first draft of the novel in about three months or so. It currently sits at about 72,000 words. My two vampire novels came in at the 110,000 word mark, so it didn't take that long.

8)  What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Sadly, you've caught me on this one. I don't really read this genre, so I'm afraid I have committed the sin of not knowing the competition as well as I might otherwise. However, having told you that, I know the names of the authors out there and the books they write, and I think I'm pretty safe. Although I am struggling to find the audience for my vampire series, I am very excited to get this novel out into the marketplace.

9)  Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Once again, my heart loves to be engaged with a book or film as long as the subject doesn't come off as sappy or melodramatic. Since I like to be scared and have my heart-strings tugged on, it seemed like the perfect pairing to me. There was no one person or event that inspired the book. It is simply something that I would like to read, so I'm writing it.

10)  What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

If you know how I write, you know I like the elements of horror that put an audience on the edge of its seat. What I don't appreciate is blood, gore or torture for the shock value. I also do not need to be in the bedroom with the characters. I've been in my bedroom and have fathered a couple of children, so I understand how it works. *laughs* With Ghosts you can expect to be scared, feel great sadness and hope that love will ultimately have its way.

Thanks for stopping by, everyone. If you feel like playing this particular game, then consider yourself tagged. I also need to thank Adriana Noir. She's a great friend, exceptional writer herself, invaluable ally and a lovely human being in every sense of the word. Hugs to you, Adri, as always. You can visit her at her website and really should.

Oh, before I go, you may have already noticed that I am changing things up a bit. I don't know about you but I'm sick of the same old "author" photo. I've been flying with it since early 2010. I can't stand it when the shampoo bottle changes seemingly three times a year; however, I haven't sported that beard in two years thanks to staring at the photo for so long. Lol! What do you think about this one? My wife took it, as you can well imagine. I think it's more faithful to the person I really am than the serious leather-jacketed one I've been using. I hope it works for you.



We'll talk soon.