Deadly Ever After

Archive for the month “August, 2012”

Park Avenue Leads To…

Skid Row!

Today’s Brew: The Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher from Starbucks. Since I’m still squatting at Starbucks for internet, I decided I should mix it up a bit. If you haven’t tried this yet, do it. It’s so delicious. Done with the advertisement. Starbucks, you know where to send my check.

I’ve been going to see live bands longer than I care to admit. That little hobby of mine was a huge influence in my story line for IMMORTAL DILEMMA. I went to my first club when I was 12 years old with my downstairs neighbors to see a band called Mass. They had some notoriety in 19…yeah, forget about the year with their song “Do You Love Me.” Julie and I also had the pleasure of seeing Skid Row on their very first tour with Bon Jovi. Their album wasn’t even out yet. We were super skeptical about some unknown opening band, even if guitarist Snake had grown up with Jon Bon himself. On the last Bon Jovi tour, we’d been subjected to Keel and we still haven’t forgotten it. Skid Row was no Keel, and by the end of their set, they had new fans in us. We were on our seats cheering.

And both are still rocking it. Last Sunday night, I went to see Skid Row and Mass in a place called Wally’s in Hampton Beach, NH. It’s not quite as fancy as the Sin City Vampire Club, but it didn’t stop us from having a great time. Here are some shots from the show, courtesy of Janee Carroll of Orbit the Well Photography. And if it’s been a while since you checked out Skid Row, well, what are you waiting for? Do it now!

Happy Birthday, Crybaby Vampires!

TODAY’S BREW: coconut. as much as I can get.

As my birthday quickly approaches,(1 week from today!), I am faced with the fact that I will probably not live forever. I don’t look any older. I am not afraid of losing my looks all that much. (Side note: While one would think that only ugly people would say such a thing, I interject that I am not ugly. Just what an ugly person would say, you think. Well, you just go ahead and think that.) I would like to live forever because I love my life. It is not perfect, and I love it. I don’t ever want it to stop.

And this is probably why I like vampires so much.

On the other hand, I do like the concept of living each day like it is your last. Not in the skydiving/bungee-jumping/world traveling way, but in the enjoy-the-little-things way. You don’t know how long they will last, and they are all a part of your life. Love that first cup of coffee in the morning. Love those two minutes of complete silence while you’re getting dressed. Love that your baby calls everybody a monkey. Love the fresh air as you’re walking to your car to do God knows what. Love your kids singing too loud, and even arguing–it’s life. They are learning to love it every minute. Love watching repeats with your husband. Love cookies. Love your favorite t-shirt when it comes out of the wash. Love having zero control over your day because it reminds you that there’s always something to learn. Okay, that one is a bit of a stretch. But when everything seems to be hitting you about the head and neck with irritation, expectation, and general malaise, remember that tomorrow…what if it all ends?

This, my friends, is what vampires lack. They may look cool, and they may be rich, and they may have all the time in the world to do all of the things they want to do, but they lack this. They know that today is not their last day. I suppose that could get pretty dull. I mean, why would you ever finish anything? You could do it tomorrow. Probably makes birthdays suck for the most part, too.

However, whether or not you believe in vampires, and whether or not you believe that said vampires can or cannot only drink blood, I like to think that they actually get an eternity’s worth of birthday cake. Man, I love birthday cake. I love yellow cake with white frosting and yellow roses. I love chocolate cake, German chocolate cake, cheesecake, red velvet cake, you name a cake and I like it. And a vampire can probably eat as much as they want, right? It’s not like they will get fat. And even if they aren’t supposed to ingest anything but blood, if they get sick, it isn’t like it will kill them. (Chances are, if cake did kill them, they wouldn’t want to survive to experience the humiliation of that anyway.)

Cake for eternity trumps boredom with immortality any day. Crybaby vampires.

Red House

Today’s Brew: Sugar Free Rockstar. I’m not messing around.

Some of the fun of promoting our books is meeting amazingly talented people who share the same goals as we do. One of them is Dave Ireland, aka Casimir Greenfield, who not only is an author, but a musician as well. For our first ever guest blog on Deadly Ever After, I asked him to tell us how music influences his writing process.

I have two novels, hopefully close to print publication (does Amazon really count?) plus a third on the way.

Book Three has to be one of the most exciting projects I have embarked on.

Red House brings us haute couture, cult religion and the second coming, in a quartet of first person accounts of lives that become entangled to the point where only one can survive. But which one?

And then there is the music. I have recently released a new CD. It was during mixing that I came across the half-sized guitar at a local car boot sale. An hour later I was back in the studio, guitar and new song in hand. An open A tuning was inspiration enough. The song was Red House.

When I came out of the booth after a one-take session, I asked my partner in crime what she thought of my jolly little song. She looked pale and shaken. ‘Silence of the Lambs’ set to music was her opinion.

Since then, it has been oft referred to as ’the devil’s song…’
All I can say is, listen to the tune, and sign up for a copy of the new book…

http://timeaftertime.bandcamp.com/track/red-house



See what else Cas has to say at his blog.

Songs: The Ultimate Short Stories

Today’s Brew: It’s too late for coffee and anyway, my Keurig is officially in need of a hospital visit. So I’m drinking water and eating Smartfood. I’d like to point out that Smartfood and laptops don’t mix, but it doesn’t stop me.

I’d pretty much ignored short story writing since my creative writing class in college. I had enjoyed writing quick, quirky scenarios. Once I finished Immortal Dilemma, I joined a couple of writers groups to get to know other writers and work on my craft. One of the groups has a monthly short story contest that I started participating in. I forgot how fun short stories can be! It’s a fast payoff for the writer and the reader. Everyone wins.

One thing I’ve never ignored is music. I always have my ipod at the ready for my long commutes to work. I marvel at how someone can put together a piece of music. That is something I have absolutely no aptitude in. Not only can they create a language the whole world understands with one instrument, they can layer it with four, five…fifty if need be. Amazing.

The art of the well written lyric isn’t dead, either. Even though there are so many manufactured plastic pop princesses spewing crap, there are just as many amazing songwriters we should actually be paying attention to. One song that tells a complete story is Toby Keith’s Bullets In The Gun. You may not like country, you may not like westerns, but you can’t argue that Toby manages to paint a vivid picture for us in just a few minutes, complete with a chorus! (lyrics from elyrics.net)

They used to call me lightening
I was always quick to strike
Had everything I own
In the saddles on my back

I had a reputation
For never stayin’ very long
Just like a wild and restless drifter
Like a cowboy in a song

I met a dark haired beauty
Where they laid the whiskey down
In southern Arizona
In a little border town

She had to dance for money
In that dusty old saloon
I dropped a dollar in the jukebox
Played that girl a tune, yeah

Never see it comin’
It just hits you by surprise
It’s that cold place in your soul
And that fire in her eyes

That makes you come together
Like wild horses when they run
Now the cards are on the table
And the bullets in the gun, yeah

She was sittin’ on my lap
We still had shots to kill
When a man pulled up who owned the bar
In a Cadillac Deville

Grabbed her by her raven hair
And threw her in the floor
Said no free rides for the cowboys
That ain’t what I pay you for, no

She jumped up and grabbed my pistol
Stuck it in the fat man’s back
Said open up the safe
And put your money in the sack

Tied his hands behind him
And put a blindfold on his eyes
If you’re dumb enough to chase us, man
You’re dumb enough to die
[ From : http://www.elyrics.net/read/t/toby-keith-lyrics/bullets-in-the-gun-lyrics.html ]

Never see it comin’
It just hits you by surprise
It’s that cold place in your soul
That fire in her eyes

That makes you come together
Like wild horses when they run
Now the cards are on the table
And the bullets in the gun

We rode across the border
Down into Mexico
When you’re runnin’ from the law
Ain’t that where everybody goes?

We came to a town
With a name I couldn’t spell
She gave me what I came for
In that Mexican motel

I woke up to sirens
And the sound of runnin’ feet
There were 50 Federales
Locked and loaded in the street

She grabbed my 44
I grabbed the money in the sack
She kissed me for the last time
And we headed out the back

Every gun was on us
And every heartbeat poundin’
There’s only one thing left to do
When they got you all surrounded

She fired that old pistol
But we didn’t stand a prayer
Money hit the gravel
Bullets filled the air, yeah

Never see it comin’
It just hits you by surprise
It’s that cold place in your soul
And that fire in her eyes

That makes you come together
Like wild horses when they run
Now the cards are on my table
And bullets in the gun

Bullets in the gun
Bullets in the gun
Bullets in the gun

Sing along with Kristen on Twitter!

Speed Dating With The Dead

Julie and I decided to close out Vampire Week with a short story we wrote together. We hope you enjoyed Vampire week!

I always liked a bad boy. But when bad went to worse, and worse still, until bad plunged straight into Hades, I made a decision.

Go straight to Hades to start with. Start with the guys that would literally bleed me dry, and I would have nowhere to go but up.

Happy to be back in the game, I cruised into the posh hotel lobby like a Mercedes of women. The lights twinkled off of my gray glittery dress, making me a showroom piece. My chocolate brown hair was piled high on top on my head in a twist for three reasons:
1. To display my new red streak of hair at the nape of my neck.
2. To frame my face perfectly with curling tendrils.
3. To make every pulse in my neck visible to the many…men…I would be meeting.

My friends and especially my family always had something to say about my taste in men, and none of it was ever complimentary. He doesn’t treat you right, when is he ever going to grow up, is ever going to get a job? Their words bounced around needlessly in my head. They’d faint if they knew what I was up to tonight. For that reason, I was working alone.

A quiet looking guy in a sweater vest handed me my tag, number sixteen, and I sat down, waiting for the festivities to begin. The chair was a supple, soft leather, high backed, giving a bit of privacy at the cafe table.

Privacy was needed. There were at least twenty five other people here, all looking at anything but each other.

Quiet sweater vest guy tinkled a little bell, and everyone else just seemed to know what to do. I realized they probably did. The people here hadn’t come because they’d had an easy time finding a soul mate.

Who knows how many lovers a vampire needs to go through to find the one?

Bachelor number one slid into the stool on the other side of my table. He wore a confident half smirk which would have normally been off putting if it wasn’t totally overshadowed by his outfit. He was actually wearing a frilly high necked white shirt and a velvet cape. I shit you not. He leaned down, taking my hand as I sat in stunned disbelief and kissed it, his sandy blonde hair falling on my wrist. He then reached into his cape (it must have had pockets) and produced a red rose, which he handed to me as if it were The Hope Diamond.

“For the lady,” he announced.

Oh, this was going to be a long night.

My eyebrow arched in disbelief and I couldn’t stop it. “My Lord,” I said, giving the fool the once over.

“What is milady’s name?” he asked, waving his hand like a god damned magician. Everything he said was in an Ed McMahon style announcer voice.

“Zoe. And you are….”

“I am known by many names. Zephron. Calmix–”

“Okay,” I had to stop him. “What do you do?” I winced, already regretting asking.

“I am in IT support for a major corporation. I’d tell you which one, but I’d have to kill you.” He winked at me. Ugh. “I’m on the night shift.”

Wasn’t he just full of ’em.

“And you…must be a model.” So he was that guy when he was alive.

“I’m a CFO…of a minor corporation.”

He grinned. “Stunning and witty as well? I could sit here until dawn,” he said leaning in. He smelled like Polo.

Ding! Ding!

“Until we meet again–”

“Milady, yeah, yeah.”

I had exactly thirty seconds to catch my breath before my next customer sat his dead ass in the bar stool. My certainty of this plan was dwindling quick. What the hell had I thought I was going to find at a Vampire Speed Dating Service? Edward was already taken.

My second suitor swooshed in quickly and was staring at me hard. His eyes glowed with a barely bridled viciousness. His upper body was hunched over the table inhumanely, as if he was ready to pounce. He was a feral thing, not of this world, no trace of humanity about him. Head cocking side to side, sizing me up, he grumbled, “And you are?”

Anger and need hit me like a heatwave, and I coiled back, pressing desperately into the leather chair.

“Zoe,” I choked out. Fear rose in the form of bile in to my mouth. I was the mouse and he was the cobra. There was nowhere for me to turn.

His words punched me with their undercurrent of evil. “I have been looking for you. Only you. I could smell your heat miles away.”

“I think you’d better go,” I whispered.

Ferocious fangs gleamed in a cheshire smile that would never stop haunting my nightmares. I pulled my dress down to try to cover the goosebumps.

“I could kill you and nobody would ever see it happen. Your blood would taste better than the finest wine. And I will have it,” he spat, and was pinning me to the chair by both my wrists. I squealed and squirmed, but nobody seemed to notice. He buried his face in my neck and…

That was when door number tree opened.

“Buddy, didn’t you hear the bell? Time’s up.” My knight in shining….Oh, I didn’t even care what he was wearing…hissed at Dracula. As quickly as he had pinned me down, he was off of me and on to poor unsuspecting number seventeen.

My hero, as this man would forever be known, settled into the stool. He ran his hands through his dark hair and looked around the room before addressing me.

“This place is full of assholes.” He finally said, half apologetically, half in disgust.

I burst out laughing. “Yeah. So far I’m batting a thousand.”

God, this one was gorgeous. The shaggy hair that fell perfectly into place, the olive skin that hinted of some exotic upbringing, the black jacket and shirt that barely disguised a well chiseled physique. Whatever he had to say, I was listening.

What were you hoping for, coming here tonight, Zoe?” He caught me off guard, using my name. I hadn’t told him, but then again, I had no idea how long he’d been standing there, witnessing the last attack.

What did I want? It was a good question.

“If you were looking for danger, you found it and it didn’t suit you. You need someone who can take care of you.”

I scoffed. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

“Not like that,” Bachelor number three continued. “You are a beautiful woman, and I know just by watching you, you are smart and successful.” He leaned in, smelling spicy and unusual, in an enticing way. “You need someone who compliments you in every way. A worthy adversary.”

“And you think you’re that guy.”

“I would like a chance to show you that I think I am.”

I always did like a challenge.

Celebrity Vampires We’d Like To See

Today’s Brew: Diet Coke and water. Still staking out Starbucks parking lot, since Kristen lives in the stone age and still has no freakin’ internet.

We all love celebrities. We all love vampires. Here are some celebrities we think would make great vampires.

Robert Downey Jr
Hugh Jackman
Vince Vaughn
Keanu Reeves
Leonardo DiCaprio
James Hetfield
Jack White

Jack Black

Joaquin Phoenix
Steven Seagal

And for the gentlemen:
Angelina Jolie
Eliza Dushku


Charlize Theron
Bea Arthur

Suzanne Somers
Amanda Peet

And even though it goes without saying…Celine Dion.

God of Vampires

So I’ve mentioned my friend Rob before, he’s the one with the bad ass zombie calendar. He also directed this movie. As you can see, Rob is just kind of a bad ass. This is the artwork for the European film release.

Julie’s Token Twilight Day

TODAY’S BREW: Dunkin’s baby. This one’s all Julie.

You know you wanted it, and I wanted to give it to you. Put away grownup stuff for a moment. Enjoy reminiscing about staying up way past your bedtime and demolishing any chance of a productive Friday post midnight-movie-premiere.

Here, I share gratuitous photos of my favorite scenes in each Twilight movie…

Twilight: Edward leaning over Bella in the woods, between the rock walls. “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb.”

New Moon: Edward stepping into the sun.

Eclipse: The Jacob kiss before the fight scene on the mountain top.

Breaking Dawn, part 1: The first view of the wedding outside.

You’re welcome.

(Kristen’s take on Twilight…I read the books because my mall reading girls gushed about them. They thought I was crazy that I couldn’t stand Edward and routed for Jacob. Of course, this was pre movie and pre Taylor Lautner. Now they see my side of the story. I’ve read the books once and seen all the movies once, at midnight, with Julie. When she was working like a crazy person and had two super little ones, it was one of my only chances for Julie time. So I took what I could get! Now it’s our tradition. And even though I don’t get what you girls all see in Edward, Robert Pattinson, if you are looking for a new Kristen…call me.)

Even Bath and Body Works Celebrates Vampire Week!

OK, so they’re from their Halloween collection, but they are so cute I couldn’t resist picking them up. They’ll make a great addition to my makeup kit for the Halloween makeup season.

Suggested Vampire Reading

Today’s Brew: back to Mudslide. Julie tells me there is a K Cup store in Hyannis, but the Cape is too much of a pain to navigate in the summer time, with all the tourists bumbling about. With fall just around the corner, we are going to have to make a pilgrimage.

Julie’s Pick: SUNSHINE by Robin McKinley

I don’t want to say this is “recommended” by me—you could very much hate it. I’m not sure I didn’t dislike it. But I have never forgotten this book because it’s totally unique, definitely weird, and it’s voice is strong.
There’s a lot of talk of baking in this book. I liked it, and yet I couldn’t help but think, “isn’t this an awful lot of baking in a vampire book?” But I love the feeling that talk of baked goods gives a book, and I’ve got to say this is a point for Sunshine.
There’s a weird alternative dimension. It was a little too much, even for me. Now I like weird, so that made me mad.
The vampire main man, Con, is so mysterious, it’s hard to say if he’s cool or not, but I think he is. He is elusive like no other vamp I’ve read. I kept waiting for him to open up, but he never gave it to me. I don’t know if I like that or not.
I have to mention the line that I have never forgotten since I read this book years ago, and it scared the shit out of me: “My cunt ached like a bruise.” What? She went there! Robin McKinley said it, and it totally took me by surprise.
All in all, I mention this novel often, and I am aggravated to have lent it out never to be seen again. (Thanks a lot, Candy, if you’re reading this. I know you have it, and now I am going to have to find it from another source—Kristen) Because I need to read it again, to see how I really feel.
Sunshine is very entertaining at times, and totally nuts at others. People have said this of me also, and I would suggest hanging out with me, so I also suggest Sunshine.

Kristen’s Pick: The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series by Laurel K. Hamilton

A friend of mine who I’ve sadly lost touch with recommended these books to me years ago. Like more than ten years ago. She would shout from the rooftops how much she loved this series to our online chat group, and we didn’t listen. Finally, on vacation in Las Vegas, I would up picking up one of these books out of curiosity. I’d read my vacation pick totally on the plane and needed something to entertain myself with by the pool. The first thing I did when I had internet access again was apologize to Jany for not listening to hear sooner. Once I came home, I told my friend who I shared a part time job with at the mall how much I was enjoying the series. The next thing I knew, everyone at the mall was reading Anita Blake and loving it. It’s all we talked about. Jany was a mix of pissed and proud. What she’d been trying to do for years I’d accomplished in a matter of weeks.
Anita is pretty much a bad ass. She is necromancer and an animator, being able to call life like zombies from the grave to help solve crimes. She’s a federal marshal on the preternatural crimes unit and is usually packing an extraordinary amount of heat…guns, knives, you name it, she’s got it. She is also a vampire executioner, which causes a little bit of a problem when she starts hanging around with Jean Claude, who is the vampire Master of the City of St. Louis. Later, she meets and becomes engaged to Richard, a werewolf. Anita, Jean Claude, and Richard form a triumvirate of power. Richard quickly becomes a whiny dickhead and Anita winds up back with Jean Claude. And Asher. And Nathaniel…Anita acquires a vampire power called the ardeur, which allows Anita to draw power through lust but she must have sex several times a day to keep it under control.
And that’s when things get weird.
It’s funny how as readers we’re willing to accept vampires, zombies, and werewolves, but there still comes that point when you just have to sit back and say whoa.
The Anita that starts the series wouldn’t recognize the Anita that ends the series. The books get away from the mystery and hunting and veer almost exclusively into sex with a little plot in between. Around book eleven or so, I couldn’t read much more of it. Bestiality is what pretty much ruined this series for everyone I talked to. Still, the series is worth a read from the beginning as far as you can stand it. It’s a great primer for vampire and lycanthrope societies. There is a basic set of rules that we as paranormal writers all abide by, and Laurell K. Hamilton does a great job at clearly giving a good explanation of who is who and what is what. Even when she caves into complete whoredom, Anita is a smart, sassy main character who is worth reading.

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