July 21, 2014

99 Cents Through 7-22-14

Some secrets are darker than witchcraft.
The Witches of Dark Root. Just 99 cents today.
Read it for free with Kindle Unlimited.

July 17, 2014

Excerpt: The Witches of Dark Root

Excerpt from The Witches of Dark Root.

Sister House, Dark Root, Oregon
December, 1995

Maggie stood before her mother, knees shaking.
Miss Sasha had her firm face on, the expression she wore when there was no debating the matter. Maggie looked to her sisters for help. Ruth Anne and Merry were already pleading her case, while Eve twirled the ends of her hair nervously. Maggie glowered at Eve. It was her fault she was in this mess in the first place.
“Now, don’t you think I’d know if there was something haunting my own house?” Miss Sasha put her hands on her ample hips and the layers of excess flesh caused a mild wave that rippled from buttocks to breasts. “Are you saying I’m not that talented? Is that what you are saying?”
“Leave da girl alone, Sasha,” Aunt Dora chimed in. “She’s jus’ a kid wit an active imagination. As I recall ya had an imagination like dat when ya was little.”
Miss Sasha turned towards her younger sister and narrowed her eyes. “Now, now, Dora. I’m not in the mood.”
“But there is something in there,” Maggie insisted, pointing to the nursery door. “Ask Eve.” Maggie nudged her younger sister but Eve just lowered her eyes and said nothing. She was probably more frightened of their mother than of anything that might live in her bedroom.
“I'm getting this out of you once and for all,” Miss Sasha said, grabbing Maggie by the elbow. Maggie planted her heels into the carpet, trying to make herself immovable, but her mother outweighed her twice over. “You will stay in there until you’re not afraid anymore. When you can tell me, honestly, that there is nothing inside the room I will let you out.”
“No, Mother!” Maggie’s eyes grew wide as Miss Sasha threw open the door.
Ruth Anne and Merry begged their mother to stop while Eve cowered behind Aunt Dora.
“It’s just a room...you’ll see. And you’ll thank me for it later.” Miss Sasha continued to drag Maggie into the nursery, past the crib, the toddler bed, and the old rocking chair. With one hand still on Maggie’s arm, she partially unscrewed the light bulb overhead, so that, except for the light coming in from the hall, the room was dark.
Maggie could make out the shapes of the toys around her––dolls, teddy bears, and blocks. A clown doll on the top shelf seemed to smile at her, causing goose bumps to rise on her legs. Maggie dug her nails into her mother’s arm and begged her to reconsider.
Miss Sasha shook her head. “It’s for your own good.”
With that, she marched out of the room and locked the door from the outside.
“What are you doing?” Maggie could hear Ruth Anne in the hall. “You’re crazy.”
“Please, Mama, let her out,” Merry pleaded. “I’ll talk to Maggie. She won’t make up any more stories.”
“I’m done discussing this. That child’s imagination needs to be reigned in.”
Maggie stood in the dark room, listening as her family’s footsteps disappeared down the hall. She gasped as the temperature dropped, the cold air closing in around her.
“Maggie,” Eve’s voice said from the other side of the door.
Maggie rushed towards the door and lay down, peeking under the large gap. She was nose to nose with her sister. “Evie...please tell Mother I’m not lying. Please tell her about the voices you hear in the nursery. Or about how you wake up bruised sometimes.”
“Mom says they are just nightmares,” Eve said. “If I tell her again, I will get in trouble.”
Maggie was exasperated.
She was here because she had been trying to convince her mother that Eve needed to be moved into the attic with the rest of them. There was something ‘bad’ in the nursery and it was getting worse since Maggie had moved out of the room. But under their mother’s inquisition, Eve wasn’t brave enough to back her up. And now Eve was free, while she was trapped.
Without warning, the room began to vibrate. Maggie could feel her cheeks rumble against the bedroom floor. She widened her eyes as she pushed her hands down to make it stop. Instead, the trembling increased, sending small waves across the room.
“Do you feel that?” Maggie whispered.
“Eve, unlock the door. Please. Please.” The entire room was shaking now, knocking toys onto the floor. Maggie could hear the crash of dolls and blocks around her and she covered her head with one hand to protect her face. “Unlock the door!”
Eve stood and Maggie could hear the jiggle of the doorknob. “Hurry, Eve, hurry.”
A book bounced off the wall above her, dropping down just inches from Maggie’s face. The jiggling on the handle continued, then suddenly stopped.
“Did you unlock it?”
Eve began to cry. “I can’t. I’m afraid...”
Maggie’s heart stopped as her sister’s soft footsteps raced through the hallway, and down the staircase. The light in the hall suddenly went out, and except for a dim light coming in from the small, high window, Maggie was in the dark.

July 14, 2014

Vegas Baby

I just got back from Vegas. It was a five day trip and my husband's idea to go in Mid July. I felt like a toaster strudel all weekend.
We did have fun though. Had an AMAZING time at a Irish Pub in the walkway between the Luxor and Mandalay Bay. We stopped in for a drink and had six. Luckily, the only concerns we had getting home were in trying to master the escalator. We also had fun in The House of Blues in MB. Great 90s band rocked the house all night.

It is with a heavy heart that I announce I lost 167 dollars in ones that I had made during our summer garage sale. It all went bye bye in the slot machines. At one point I was ahead 11 dollars and I felt on top of the world. But Vegas will rip your heart out. It will give you just enough to think about buying that wristband at an all-you-can-eat buffet before sending you back to the 3.5 star hotel room you are staying at with nothing but the cute shoes you are making your husband carry for you in between casinos.
By far the most interesting experience of the trip was ending up in an 'adults only' pool. We paid 50 bucks for my husband to get in and I was free. The pool opened at 11 and by 1 nearly half the women there had their tops off. I havnt seen that many red boobs out in public since the nursing sit-in at Target 5 years ago. Eventually, even my husband got bored and went back to reading his book. I never took my top off. I thought surely there must be equity in being different. Nope. It doesn't appear so. One of the least attractive women I have ever seen poured vodka down the crick of her behind and invited men to suck it out (granted she had a nice butt. There was huge speculation that she might be a man because women just don't have butts like that). There were celebrities in the pool that obliged, celebrities that play wholesome fathers on TV. This was enough to ruin TV for me forever and before I got rid of Comcast entirely I told my husband we had to go.
The best thing about the trip was finally being off my diet. I really don't know why I restricted my calories and did cardio every day for the last six weeks just to have strangers silently gauge my worth. But truth be told I'd do it again.
All things said it was a tame trip, which is a good thing for those I came into contact with.
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas may be the motto, but that's only if you don't have a camera or run into a writer looking for a good story.

All I Need to Know I Learned from an Online Video Game

Gearing up mentally for EQNext and I realized how much of what I know as a human being is what I've learned from playing MMORPGs. Here are some of my favorite lessons:

1. It doesn't matter what your personality is like so long as you sort of resemble a naked, female elf.
2. Everyone needs to feel special.
3. Even the most exciting adventures can get boring if you do them all the time.
4. Making money creatively is fun!
5. Publically making someone feel like an idiot is the best revenge you can get.
6. Boobs are more powerful than the sword.
7. Everyone can find a way to become a hero.
8. Even if you are scaly and green and have horns sticking out of your head, if you are female someone will give you free stuff.
9. A castle is lonely if you live there alone.
10. If you keep at something, you will eventually accomplish your task.

July 6, 2014

The 24 Experience

I've been watching a lot of Netflix this summer and I finally went back and watched a few seasons of 24.

Here's a brief synopsis of the first three seasons, as told by Jack Bauer.

Season One: My name is Jack Bauer. I work for the Central Terrorist Unit (or something like that) and there is going to be an assassination attempt on one of the dudes running for Presidency. Some of the people at my job are kinda skeevy and may be in on it. I'm not sure who to trust. Oh, yeah, my wife and daughter have been targeted too for some reason too and have been kidnapped. I keep rescuing them like every hour and they keep getting back into trouble. Women. Go figure. Anyway, to make a long story short, this is the longest f'ing day of my life.

Season Two: Hey guys, its me again. Jack. Jack Bauer. It's been a while but I've been pretty bummed about my wife and stuff, so I left the CTU. She wasn't terribly bright but I still kinda miss her. Anyways, trouble seems to follow me and now, Ive got a nuclear bomb to deal with and some father- daughter issues to resolve. When I said that last day was the longest day of my life I misspoke. This is REALLY the longest day of my life. Its like 32 hours packed into one day. Seriously. A long day. Jack, signing off.

Season Three: Sooo...Jack here. And yeah, talk about your longest days. Those other two days I told you about was long, but when you are really talking about long days nothing tops a day filled with biological terrorism, heroine addiction, and more daddy-daughter issues. To top it off, I had to kill my ex-lover. She was kind of a bitch, you know? So really, when you are talking about long days, I think today was the absolute longest. It was like a long weekend rolled into one day. Never again!

Season Four +: More very long days

Meditations on The Shadows of Dark Root

I may have gotten a bit metaphysical during the creation of The Shadows of Dark Root. I always knew I wanted Maggie and her companions to j...