Excerpt: Here Comes The Son

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Excerpt:

Strapping on his bag, Iggy dragged a hand roughly through his short black hair. He winked at the librarian who grumbled at him when he leaped over a book cart in his path on the way toward the front entrance. She blushed, a response he was used to with his inherited looks and charm.

As one of his best friends from high school used to say, he had wickedly devilish good looks. He told her to stop reading Regency romances. From his jet-black hair to his deep brown eyes, he knew his face balanced the angelic with the roguish.

I’d do me.

Blinded by the bright sunshine, Iggy took a moment to adjust after stepping outside. Denver’s Central Library had always been a favorite of his for research, with its massive collection. Plus, he always thought the building seemed almost like a grouping of castle turrets.

He paused on the corner of Broadway and Thirteenth Avenue. Spring was supposed to have sprung in the Mile High City. Not that the weather had noticed; they’d only just thawed out from winter.

And judging by the crisp air and gathering clouds on the mountains, they’d be inundated with another blizzard before the end of the day.

Jogging down Thirteenth, Iggy skidded to a halt on Lincoln. He tilted his head, trusting his finely honed instincts. Half a block down, he spotted an alley between a parking lot and the Art Institute that was shadowed more than it should’ve been in the bright early afternoon sun.

One step into the gap between the buildings, and he’d plunged into nighttime. The smell of sulfur swirled around him. He slipped his bag around his body, reaching inside for a spray can.

“Ah, Son of the Morning Star. Half-breed. I hoped you’d sense my presence.” Rastran stood at the end of the unnaturally dark alley. He leaned casually against the industrial air conditioner with one foot resting on a body, completely disregarding the dirt now staining his designer suit. Demons always enjoyed life’s luxuries. “Ignatius Faber, we’ve saved you for last. Your father’s brightest light. A beautiful irony. All of his hopes pinned on the one offspring who matched him most in appearance and strength. Pity he can’t see the monster he created.”

With a hard kick, Rastran sent the body rolling along the filthy ground to land barely a foot away from Iggy. Titus. One of his many half-siblings. Iggy hadn’t seen his brother in weeks. They’d all assumed Titus was on a hunt.

They generally kept in close contact, particularly since hundreds of other half-siblings had been culled over the past eight years. Titus and Iggy were the only ones left. Rage erupted deep inside him.

“I’m the monster?” Iggy calmly stepped over Titus, shoving grief and anger viciously down to remain focused. He had a demon to deal with. His fingers wrapped tightly around the canister of compressed holy water in his pocket. It resembled pepper spray but worked to stun creatures of Hell long enough for him to send them home. “You should’ve stayed away from my city.”

 


Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2lcaCwN

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2JWcKXw

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2JWcUhA

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2litkmF

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2sYpraG

iTunes: https://apple.co/2le829J

Nook: http://bit.ly/2LUULhw

 

5 Ways By The Fire Surprised Me.

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I thought it would be fun to share five ways By The Fire surprised me.

1. The hilarious family interactions.

2. Ridge’s sense of humor.

3. Food. So much food. All the food.

4. Kaito’s ex, what a wanker.

5. The ending. It wasn’t the ending I anticipated, but I loved it.

 

 

NaNoWriMo 2019

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Post National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I’m often drained and exhausted. And while, I found myself tire and definitely in need of a break in December. It wasn’t the same.

I didn’t feel defeated or emotionally wrung out like I did in 2017 or 2018.

This NaNo, I reveled in writing for the first time in over twelve months.

Between November 2018 and November 2019, only two things  changed. I wrote a story I’d wanted to write for over a year and a half. But more importantly, I had more of an outline than I’d ever used before.

I read (well, skimmed) Save the Cat! Writes a Novel. I used a bastardized version of the beat sheet to time my chapters out. And I found it helped a great deal with pacing and not writing too quickly (one of my greatest sins as an author.)

I also outlined the who, what, where, why and when. I didn’t actually have an outline so much as putting down the details for the victim, several suspects, and the killer. It helped keep track of them all, which is important in a cosy mystery.

What I also enjoyed was writing an autistic, asexual main character who happened to have an asexual love interest. I’m going to enjoy exploring their connection more as the series continues.

I had the most enjoyable experience with NaNo ever.

And I definitely believe it showed on the page.

Did you take part in NaNo?

Gifts.

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I thought it might be fun to share the best gifts my characters have received–whether within a story or off the page.

  1. Woody (Pure Dumb Luck) – a signed football from his favourite professional player.
  2. BC (The Wanderer) – the news that Graham was cancer free.
  3. Bishan (The Grasmere Trilogy) – a piano, Valor had to do something with his inheritance.
  4. Ridge (By The Fire) – a 1936 Ford Roadster that needed work.
  5. Kaito (By The Fire) – a photo album filled with family photos.
  6. Ivan (Forged in Flood) – his grandfather’s motorcycle.
  7. Fie (At War With A Broken Heart) – Haggard.
  8. Gray (The Lion Tamer) – His restaurant.
  9. Francis (After The Scrum) – a signed first edition of A Study in Scarlet.
  10. Valor (The Grasmere Trilogy) – a Bishan gnome.

(Image by Yvette Fang from Pixabay)

Silent Night

It’s always fun to share music playlists.

I wrote By The Fire in July. I don’t recommend writing a holiday-themed book in the summer. It’s a real pain.

So, here’s the music I listened to all through the summer.

  1. Both of Pentatonix’s holiday albums.
  2. Sarah McLachlan’s Wintersong album
  3. Michael Brech’s holiday album
  4. Victorian Christmas by Heavenly Angelic Light Orchestra
  5. An English Christmas Cheer in Song and Carols

 

Aspen

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By The Fire is set in Aspen, Colorado.

I thought I’d share ten fun things to do in Aspen in December.

1. Ski. Obviously.

2. Take a sleigh ride.

3. Enjoy the festivities of Aspen’s 12 Days of Christmas celebration.

4. Have a burger at The White House Tavern.

5. Check out the John Denver Sanctuary.

6. Enjoy the view from the Silver Queen Gondola ride.

7. Snowshoe through some of the trails.

8. Visit the Wheeler Opera House.

9. See the exhibits at the Aspen Art Museum.

10. Have a drink at the Aspen Brewing Company.

 

 

(Image by skeeze from Pixabay)

Deck The Halls.

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When I start a story, nine times out of ten, I’ve already figured out the title. Every once in a while, I end up having to change it midway through. (Forged in Flood, for example, was The Blacksmith even after I’d finished it then I had to change the title. The Misguided Confession also went through a name change midway.)

My latest holiday short story definitely fit into the one time out of ten.

It went through several different titles.

First, it was Screw You Santa Clause, but the story changed enough the title didn’t fit.

Then came a few different ideas I bounced around with my beta readers: Dim The Lights, Broken Baubles, Holiday Heartbreak. None of those fit the story that was developing. I find it really difficult to write without a title. Almost every time, I have a title beforehand.

So, three chapters into By The Fire, I just hated Broken Baubles as a holiday title. It wasn’t working. Every time I pulled up the word document, the title annoyed me so much.

So much.

I spent an entire day looking through holiday phrases, listening to songs, etc.

And then, By The Fire hit me.

It was perfect.

It said what I wanted to say. I wanted this holiday novella to be about romance and comfort. What’s more comforting than sitting beside a fireplace?

If you’re an author, do you start your story with or without a title already decided?