Accusations, Free Short Story, & Cover Reveal

I have to admit, that after a busy couple of weeks during the holiday season and finally this equally busy weekend, it’s nice to get some decent writing time in. It’s been a little while, hasn’t it? I think the last writing update I had was November 28th, which really tells you how busy I got there with work and family after NaNo. I plan on doing a post in a couple of days about my overall wordcount for 2011 – a total of 137,158 – I’m quite proud of it, even if I only won one out of the two NaNo’s I participated in.

On the fanfiction side, I have quite a few pieces I need to post around, probably over at Archive of Our Own and FF.net, so if you follow those places expect some new stuff posted soon. I’ve signed up once again for Part 2 of the Werewolf Big Bang over on Livejournal. If you’ve never participated in a big bang before, it’s great practice for writing longer pieces, which I’m trying to get better with since I’ve started self-publishing some pieces.

Yes, Clawbinder is now free to download on most of the eBook stores you can find. Amazon is still being darn slow in recognizing that it should be a free eBook, but if you have a Kindle you can easily download a copy on Smashwords. The short story is already free online, but the eBook version contains a preview for my western novelette that should soon be released. If you do get a copy, please leave a review as well!

Clawbinder

Saira has been trained from birth for this: to battle one of the Great Ones and retrieve that precious prize. But Rajani is old and clever, and like the Great Rocs before her, she is wise to the ways of thieves. A fantasy short story.

B&N | Smashwords | Kobo | Diesel | Amazon (waiting for price drop) | Sony (coming soon!) | Apple


Night Feeders

In the old dusty town of Clarkville, the ruthless Sherriff Ritters keeps a tight hold on the townsfolk. They fear him not because of his followers, but because of the supernatural jewel he wears around his neck, and the creatures he keeps. When a stranger comes looking for one of the victims, he finds that Ritters is far more dangerous than he imagined.

Coming Soon!

Finally got to bring two parts of the storyline together in a meeting that’s far more awkward than I had imagined it would be when I decided to put this trio together. It is a pretty stressful situation though for all characters involved, so I can’t say I’m very surprised. I’ve been itching to get some writing in on this piece, so being able to make some progress really makes me pleased!

Summary: Leekston is an unassumingly quiet southern town, but it hides many secrets. An unusual government entity that studies the strange supernatural activity in the area is only one of many. Six years after the incident at the Kayak Hills subdivision, Suzie once again must protect her family from the creatures of the night and help to prevent a tense situation from taking more lives.

Project: The Secrets of Leekston (Working)
Deadline: April 2012 (Updated Deadline)
New words written: 1,162
Present total word count: 53,392

Total Word Count for 2012: 1,162

Night Feeders is Alive and Kicking

A western tale with a supernatural twist, Night Feeders is a difficult story to pin down. It resists staying put in a proper genre, and dances around somewhere between a horror and western, with bouts of humor taking hold along the way. Humor in my stories tends to veer along the lines of American Werewolf in London. One minute you’re horrified, then next you crack a smile because laughing after that scene just wouldn’t seem right in a way.

The story follows the sad decrepit town of Clarkville and the ominous secret Sheriff Ritters keeps hidden below. If you’re a fan of the supernatural, and enjoy a good western such as The Quick and the Dead, then this story ought to please.

Now available at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords.

By the way, I’m still trying to get Amazon to put Clawbinder up for free as well. If you have a moment, and want to help me get my free book up properly on the site, try the following:

  1. Scroll down to “Tell us about a lower price”
  2. Choose Website
  3. Give the link for Barnes and Noble or Smashwords (where it’s free).
  4. Set the price and shipping cost to 0.
  5. Click Submit Feedback.
  6. Thanks in advance! 🙂

The reason for this is kind of long-winded, but good to know in my opinion. I used to have this listed to be distributed via Smashwords since it allows for a free publication like this to be pushed around to multiple venues. However after a few weeks of waiting for the status to change from “Fixing conversion problems with Amazon” I discovered that this was not my fault. Apparently there are a bunch of authors who had to give up on Smashwords’ distribution to Amazon, and were then forced to upload directly instead.

To be honest, I’m not sure which company is to blame. All I know is that as an author, I’m missing out on potential readers because free eBooks are a challenge to post.

Six Sentence Sunday – Judge & Executioner

I haven’t done a Six Sentence Sunday post in quite a while it seems! I looked over my previous entries and realized I hadn’t done one yet this year. So I thought I ought to remedy that. This bit is from Night Feeders, a western horror novelette now available on most eBook platforms.

Setup: Motley wandered into the wrong town, and Sheriff Ritters wants to make an example out of him. Of course, Ritters is always looking for an excuse to do that.

Ritters sought to handle legal matters his own way: criminals were tried in the open street, and the speed of his pistols served as both judge and executioner.

Above them, the giant town clock ticked the seconds by with little remorse. Once, it had been the symbol of the adventurous frontier spirit in this small, dusty town, and now the fact that it even worked at all against the dirt and wind which tore through town year by year was a tiny miracle. It hammered the seconds out like a horse being driven by a cruel master, until finally at the strike of noon it released its out-of-tune chimes.

No sooner had the first chime rung than Ritters let loose a series of gunshots. The first bullet lodged in Motley’s shooting arm—he’d barely gotten his gun out of the holster before he was struck.

The full story is now available as an eBook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Be sure to drop by Six Sentence Sunday to see what other action-packed teasers have been posted!

Not Used to Being Dumped, Are You?

The last few days have been pretty darn productive, I’m happy to say. Even with going to a LAN party yesterday, I was still able to squeeze in a good amount of writing time. So far Ghosts of Pikes Peak is flying. One of the benefits of figuring out the plot while I write is that I get a lot of amusing scenes. Getting out of town is proving more difficult for these two than they expected. Rennick gets ambushed, then he has to deal with a very bitter Mary Silva, a wronged ex-lover. Colton is beginning to wonder if this mission would be faster if he was doing it solo instead of having to help his partner leave town.

At first I really had no plans for Mary to be anything more than a minor character in the grand scheme of things, but she actually turned out quite entertaining. I may decide on bringing her back in later depending on how the plot unravels. Although it takes them forever to get out of the city, it certainly isn’t all humor. Colton is faced with a very bleak view of life and death, and finds himself questioning his role in the agency and on this mission. A lot of soul-searching is scheduled to come up as our duo hits the road, as well as some explanations for Rennick’s hectic love life. When you’re on the road, difficult topics are bound to come up.

Here are a few updates for the day:

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak (working title)
This is a working sequel for Night Feeders, and will be continuing Colton Fen’s adventures as he works for the mysterious “agency out East”.

Summary: An old abandoned shack just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned a vampire partner this time to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town.

Current total words: 9,516
New words written: 4,555

Total Words for 2012: 19.097

Snippet: Here’s a bit from Mary’s tongue-lashing, though truth be told, Rennick deserved it and then some. She turned into a regular firecracker.

“Don’t do this, Mary. Come on, don’t treat me like this.” He was getting angry, and he wasn’t entirely sure why. This wasn’t how it was supposed to end. She was supposed to believe him, to trust him, so that he could leave and feel comfortable while he traveled to the next town. As it was he felt an increasing sense of guilt, and he didn’t like it in the least.

“Get out of my house. I don’t want to have to get the Sheriff out here, but I will if you make me.”

“Damn it, Mary!” He growled making her jump. “You can’t – you can’t leave me!”

She laughed, “That’s more like it. Not used to being the one dumped, I take it. Not too nice, is it?”

“This is not funny. Quit laughing!”

“Oh Ren,” she chuckled. “You’re nothing more than a boy, are you?”

My Muse is Demanding

You all are going to get sick of these updates, I just know it. When the muse hits you though, you’re a fool to just ignore her. It’s not like she comes everyday when you call on her or anything.

After picking up a pair of horses, Colton and Rennick are finally off on their assignment. It looks like for once, things are going smoothly for them. You know that can’t possibly last though. Rennick spies something he shouldn’t and spends the rest of the evening jumping at shadows. Colton tries to figure out what he saw, but Rennick won’t utter a word.

Today’s updates. Writing taken from my lunch break and some bleary-eyed mashing of the keyboard this evening. If only every day was the weekend, I might be able to keep this pace going.

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak (working title)

Summary: An old abandoned shack just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. On top of that, there may be far more dangerous creatures lurking within the caverns outside the city.

Current total words: 11,743
New words written: 2,227

Total Words for 2012: 21,324

 

Pressbooks

In other news, I’m subscribed to a newsletter by Jane Friedman who mentioned a bit about Pressbooks. Apparently this is a new online collaborative writing environment that looks pretty darn promising. Me being the paranoid techie that I am, the first thing I did was go out and look up a few reviews. A publishing website that claims to allow collaborative writing, access control for editing & reviews, eBook publishing options, and even a print publishing format? This simply seemed too multi-faceted to be accurate, but the reviews are pretty impressive.

Thought I’d share and see what you all thought. Here’s one that goes into quite a bit of detail on all the features from start to finish. The layout is based off of the WordPress design (WordPress.org, not WordPress.com – though I’m sure it’s still similar). These are a few other reviews that gave some interesting information here and here.

It’s still a new system so it’s likely to have bugs, but it looks promising. I’ll probably be getting an account at some point just to see what I think of it. I have to admit, it would be nice to have a one-stop shop for all your self-publishing format conversion needs. 😉