Deadly Ever After

Archive for the month “September, 2012”

I Write Fiction And The Truth Follows

Today’s Brew: I’m cooking, so it’s shrimp in white wine and lemon butter and butterscotch rum brownies. I bet you wish you had a dinner invite.

Earlier this week, I told you about the sparkly combat boots I created for Immortal Dilemma coming into being. Well, kids, it’s happened again.

“What was he screwed up on this time?”
“I don’t know. He didn’t do anything in front of me. He seemed fine when he texted me, and when I got there he unsteady on his feet and…nasty.”
“Mmmm.” Taryn didn’t seem surprised. “Sounds like Venom to me.”
“What’s Venom?” I remembered the Venomtinis that were offered at the Immortal Dilemma show.
“It’s really strong alcohol. It’s lethal to humans, but it’s strong enough to get a vampire drunk. And it makes Tristan mean.”
“So you know about this?”
“Yeah, you knew he was screwed up even when he was still alive. You saw it on the island. We tried to help him then, but now that he’s…gone, basically, there’s no stopping him. He thinks he’s invincible. He’s probably right.” She looked down, defeated, and played with the saucer underneath her mug.
“I’m sorry, Taryn. I know I keep saying that, but I really am.”

Flashback to this afternoon. I’m standing in line at TJ Maxx, minding my own business, buying pillows for the back bedroom. And what do I see in the Halloween decor but this:

As you can see from the backdrop of my living room, this little trinket was a must have.

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Kristen’s Fashion Crystal Ball

Today’s brew: half hot chocolate, half starbucks dark french roast.

Janelle sighed deeply as if to scold me. “Oh, Callie. You should come to the Strip with us. Get your mind off of things for a while. There’s this girl, Amanda, I met her in Pre-Calc. I started talking to her because she had the coolest combat boots I’d ever seen. They were silver and glittery! She’s from here. Anyway, she’s got a fake ID! She’s going to SCVC tonight. She knows some people who work there. She can probably get us in…”
I think there was more but I was more distracted watching Janelle get dressed for the night. She pulled on a fishnet shirt over her tank top. They made shirts out of fishnet?

Immortal Dilemma

Doc Martens combat boots have been the go to fashion accessory for any comfort conscious goth or punk girl for as long as I can remember. I created Amanda in the image of a Gothic Barbie Doll, a group leader that someone who was as fan girly as Janelle couldn’t help but follow and envy. Amanda had to make a fashion statement, so any old combat boots wouldn’t do. When I wrote this last fall, I was channeling David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust when I chose the footwear that would seduce the less fashion savvy Janelle. So imagine my surprise when I accompanied Julie on a trip to The Children’s Place clothing store and found these puppies:

I later found them in adult sizes. To be honest, the silver was a little much for my needs, so I got them in black:

They’re a hit. Not only have they garnered compliments from rock stars, but I wore them to work today, and the whole crew was buzzing about my feet.

What can I say? I’m ahead of my time. I guess we should keep a lookout for fishnet shirts!

Next Post

G.T. Almasi is a real live published author right here in our hometown of Plymouth, which is also America’s hometown. For Kristen and I, it’s like having a born and raised American Idol finalist. Congratulations, G.T.!

Clay Stafford

Today’s featured book is Blades of Winter by G.T. Almasi.

Move over James Bond. There’s a new girl in town, 19 and unstoppable.

Why I chose this book:

Today’s Book of the Day is non-stop action and fits solidly in the alternate history subgenre of science fiction. The first line was enough to hook me and also make me chuckle: “Nothing pisses me off more than being shot at while I’m eating.” Half action story, half comic book tale this book reveals an alternate U.S. history set in our time, but with changes, such when we kicked Castro out of Cuba and made it a state. Don’t worry that the history is not matching our own. You’ll get history lessons along the way clarifying why things are as they are.

The story is set in the world that goes on without our knowledge (much like our real spy world). We…

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Another Country Heard From

Today’s Brew: There is not enough coffee in the world to keep me awake today. It’s 6:30 and feels like midnight.

If you are here as part of the #gutgaa blog hop, welcome! Click here for our pitches and first 150 words.

Immortal Dilemma didn’t start off as much of a dilemma at all. It started as a simple paranormal love story. My only dilemma was how I was going to make it interesting. I needed Callie to find Tristan. I had no intention of making it easy on her. Realistically, how could it be? She has little money, no close friends or allies, and has no idea what she’s up against trying to infiltrate a paranormal rockstar underworld.

Like Janelle suggested, Callie needed a few practice runs out in Vegas before she tried to approach Tristan. When Callie, Janelle, and Amanda went to the party after going to the Bite Marks night club, my only real intention was to show the gritty underbelly of the rock scene. My friends never wanted to go home after the club closed, and I found myself at many strange impromptu parties in the early hours of the morning when I was Callie’s age. The after parties were usually the best part of the night, where the action really happened.

That was true for this party as well. I had no idea Blade would show up and sit down next to Callie. But boy, am I glad I did.

Blade is just as pivotal to Immortal Dilemma as Tristan is. Tristan may be Immortal Dilemma, in every sense of the story, but Blade is the one who added the real conflict. He gets overshadowed by his undead opponent, just being a mere mortal mechanic from Canada, but he is the one who shaped the plot and solidified Callie’s inner conflict. Sure, Tristan isn’t what she expected, or how she last saw him, but without Blade, she might have been able to accept more easily. Blade is the one who shows Callie what she really wants, even if it’s not hers to have.

As feedback on Immortal Dilemma comes in, many readers have questions about Blade. What does he look like? When I first pictured him, I was thinking of him in more Bill and Ted terms. Just a goofy, nice, fun guy Callie met at a party.

But as Blade revealed more of his personality, it was clear he was more than that. I had such a crush on Blade as I wrote the book. I started to picture him more as Casey James from American Idol. Casey never particularly excited me on the show, but he was all I could picture while writing. He just happens to be playing in Boston tomorrow night, and I can’t go because I’m working on a movie this week. The hours are way too brutal to squeeze in an extracurricular trip to the city in the middle. Even if it’s for my book boyfriend.

The Reason NYC is the City That Never Sleeps

TODAY’S BREW: Hazelnut (the Kristen Killer)
If you’re here looking for the GUTGAA blog hop, click here.

In researching vampire sightings, I came across a story from May 1, 2006 on Dan Spencer’s blog, California Yankee. I dug in a bit, and found this too interesting not to share. You deserve to know.

Hillcrest High School in New York City is being sued by one victim of attack from a “vampiress” in what has become a series of odd attacks. Michelle Melendez told The Post that the attacker drew blood on her neck, face, jaw and throat while she was waiting by school for a bus ride home. The girl “started slashing my face with something sharp, and she bit me.” Melendez thought the attacker was going for her jugular.

Michelle was dragged to the ground, struggling, and the vampiress would not let her bite up. Blood was everywhere, reportedly.

“‘She just bites like crazy–she eats your flesh. For some reason, she just likes to bite.”

Michelle Melendez was able to escape, but not without multiple cuts, bites, bruises and a broken finger. The victim still suffers nightmares that torment her sleep.

Plastic surgery was required to restore Melendez’s features.

Wow. This may taint my desire to visit 5th Avenue this Christmas.

Hop To It!

Today’s Brew: Crystal Light something or the other. Anyone know a good Keurig repair person?

For those of you visiting Deadly Ever After for the first time, welcome to Julie and Kristen’s little corner of the web! We like to think of it as controlled chaos here.

Please stay awhile! We drink a lot of coffee here and wear a lot of sweatpants. Make yourself at home! If you like what you see, please subscribe for updates.
You can also follow us both on Twitter:
Kristen Julie
We’re on Authonomy as well.
Kristen Julie

Like many of you who participated in Gearing Up To Get An Agent (#gutgaa), we both just recently finished manuscripts and we are working on finding an agent who will love them and sell them so in turn the whole world can love our books as much as we do. Julie and I both wrote vampire books, which we are finding out is a little bit of a dirty word in the publishing community. Damn you, Edward, and your sparkly little family.

Not only do we feel that our vampire books offer something a little different than what’s available now, they are both very different from each other. I will post the pitch and the first 150 here for both Julie and I. Please feel free to leave your feedback! We’re all here looking to improve.

RUNNING HOME (Julie)
Paranormal Thriller
80,000 words

Query:

Ellie Morgan has done a good job of forgetting the pains of her past and is not eager to disrupt her life. Her vibrant friend, Kat, insists on dragging her to an event to introduce her to Chris Lynch, a too good to be true attorney that she has fallen for. Here she meets the mesmerizing Nicholas French, who seems to know too much about her restless soul.

Ellie soon finds that Lynch, Nicholas, and his brother Roman are dangerous company to keep. These newcomers to this small New Hampshire town are vampires.

Nicholas gives Ellie the home she has longed for. The cozy cabin in the middle of the woods that he shares with Roman is a safe haven for her. The “brothers” treat her like family, and let her live as one of them, but their secrets make her wonder what her place is. They show her a world where being Chosen can mean many things, not all of them good. Nicholas insists she is meant for more than the life she has made for herself, and she suspects that he is right.

This new life Ellie has found with Nicholas is separating her from Kat more and more. When Chris and Kat become engaged, Ellie is sent into a tailspin trying to protect her friend from the monster she loves. It becomes impossible as Kat severs ties with her long-time friend. There is not much that Ellie won’t do to make her safe. When Nicholas becomes the true threat to Kat’s life, Ellie realizes that part of the destiny that promises her greatness will also force her to destroy everything she holds dear. Ellie drowns in trying to reconcile the otherworldly connection with the vampire who would make her a hero, and being forced to make unthinkable choices.

RUNNING HOME is a paranormal thriller at 80,000 words.

First 150 words.

“I don’t want to dress like a human cupcake,” I pulled my arm away from Kat as she veered me in the direction of Katrina’s Boutique

“But Ellie, there’s a sweater sale.” Kat smiled, even as she pleaded. She was unaffected by the wind and snow we had to trudge through to navigate downtown Ossipee that day.

“I’ll be at–”

“Birch Tree. I know.” Widening her smile more, she fluttered away in a swish of lilac wool, sunset hair, and peony perfume. She knew it wasn’t in season, but would never wear a different scent.

I shook off the biting cold, my boots pelting the floor with snow. More wet clumps dropped from my hood, and I wiped sloppy, black strands of hair from my cheeks with mittened hands.

The string of bells on the door caught my sleeve, making them jingle too long. I felt loud, irritating the comfortable world around me that had been my go-to place since being an awkward teenager.

IMMORTAL DILEMMA (Kristen)
New Adult Paranormal Urban Fantasy
78,000 words

Query:
Tristan Trevosier had it all. He was the son of two pop culture powerhouses. That’s what made him so attractive to Talis de Rancourt. He was the only thing that could save her struggling Las Vegas real estate empire. Now Tristan is big business in his own right. His band, Immortal Dilemma, is in residence on the Las Vegas Strip and his vampire reality show is on constant repeat.

Eighteen year old hippie island girl Callie has no reason to question why everyone in her family tried to keep her away from her first love, Tristan. She’s used to being overprotected. Despite their objections, Callie has enrolled at Las Vegas State to reconnect with him.

Blade had a taste of the vampire rock scene and decided he wanted nothing to do with it. He seems to be everything that Callie wishes Tristan was and she begins to want him more and more.

Tristan is struggling with his addictions, and Callie is one of them.

Now Callie must weave her way through a world she had no idea existed; a stream of insatiable groupies, paparazzi, and wild after show parties to find her place somewhere between what she’s found with Blade and Tristan’s new afterlife.

IMMORTAL DILEMMA is a 78,000 word New Adult Paranormal Urban Fantasy

First 150:
All I could see through my haze was blonde hair. Even though I knew that what I was seeing and what was actually there were two different things, I didn’t care. I just wanted the pain to go away.

My post show ritual was always the same. A drink, a line, a girl. Usually in that order, but it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter what or who they were, either. Tonight, I already took care of the first two. This chick had my attention. She smelled like fresh air, sunshine…familiar.

“I can make you a star in your own right, Tristan,” she whispered in my ear as she ran her hand lightly down my chest. Her fingers were cool to the touch. I shivered.

I closed my eyes, moaning as she nibbled at my neck. I was sick of being billed as my father’s son. But what could this girl offer that my father couldn’t?

Homeward Bound

Today’s Brew: Free Starbuckian Goodness. It always tastes better when I don’t have to pay for it.

I just moved into a new apartment. I’ve been away from the blog for a bit trying to get everything organized. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and there was no way I could have boxes everywhere for weeks on end. I’ve been working really hard to make this place home. Maybe a little too hard. Everyone who’s been over says it looks like I’ve been here for months.

Making everything just right is important to me more for just the visuals. It’s peace of mind. Every good book deserves a sob story behind it, and here is mine: A good portion of Immortal Dilemma was written while I was functionally homeless. I say functionally because I always had a roof over my head, but I was never with my stuff, and I never knew how long I was going to stay.

If you told me a year ago I’d be telling you this story, I would have never believed you. So how did this happen to me?

I lost my mom at Thanksgiving. Even though she’d had a tough go of things in the health department for as long as I can remember, neither of us saw this coming. She had a sudden, serious illness. Because she had needed a little bit of help, I lived with her in a handicap accessible apartment. She was good company and I would rather do all the little things she couldn’t then have some stranger do it. Unfortunately, the apartment was astronomically expensive, even between the two of us with decent incomes, it was a stretch. For just me, it was out of the question. Because she’d been sick and in a hospital in Boston during her illness, I hadn’t worked in three months. Thankfully, I’m a freelance independent contractor, so I could take that much time off. But I had nothing to show a new landlord in the way of paystubs.

I had to go, but I didn’t know where to go, or what I wanted. I put most of my stuff in storage and moved in with some friends.

As much as I love the people I moved in with, I picked the absolute worst time to go from having a 1200 square foot apartment to a 200 square foot back bedroom. I needed space, not just physically, but mentally. So when another friend offered to sublet me the rest of his winter rental lease, I jumped ship. The winter rental was another tough adjustment, because I wasn’t ready to distinguish that not everything was going to be the way I wanted it. Once I got used to the place, I liked it. The interior decorating looked like the Gorton’s Fisherman puked in it, but it was beachfront property. I had room and Julie and I got some great writing done there. Most of Immortal Dilemma came to life at Captain Bill’s house.

The view from Captain Bill’s house

My time at Captain Bill’s was drawing to a close, and I needed to find a new place to go. I reconnected with an old neighbor was remodeling his condo and wanted to sell it. I wanted it! We had talked about a rent to own, which sounded perfect. Only problem: It wasn’t going to be ready in time. I was willing to wait a few weeks for a sweet place like this. I rented a spot at an extended stay hotel. The old neighbor wound up being full of hot air, and it became apparent he had no plans of getting this place ready for me any time soon. The hotel was getting old. So after 3 months at the hotel, I decided it was time to give up on him, and here I am. Across the street from his condo.

Around the time I was moving to the hotel, I saw someone with one of those signs at an intersection, proclaiming homelessness. I drove by thinking, yeah, me too, buddy. Then it hit me. I really was homeless. And at a time when I was at my absolute lowest, I managed to pick myself up by the bootstraps and make things happen. I’ve had my best year professionally with makeup work, and was able to function normally in the face of adversity.

I think my mom would be proud. I never had a chance to tell her that I was writing a book, as Immortal Dilemma was still in utero when she was well. You never think you’re going to run out of time. But I can guarantee she’s running around in heaven telling everyone I wrote a book just like she used to tell everyone around here that I was a makeup artist.

Phew. I got through this post without crying.

Mommy, Where Does Writing Come From?

TODAY’S BREW: Vanilla something or other

My Child has started Kindergarten this past week. I didn’t freak out until he actually was in class and giving me feedback. Immediately, I start wondering if this school is just too dumb for him. To be blunt. While Kindergarten was originally just a plan to get hyperactive 5year olds out of the house whenever God created it, now it is known that this is the age where a love of school, learning and community is either fostered or broken. Operation Helicopter Mom is in full effect.

I love school. I love school supplies, I love the time of year, I love learning. My child is similar to me already. As a kid, I was constantly playing school, complete with my own grade book, but when I think back to when this love of school actually came about, it wasn’t until 5th grade. (Oddly enough, this is also when I began to become socially awkward. Coincidence?) That was the year that one of the best teachers ever, Mr. Waterhouse, gave us the assignment of writing a book. I remember this story well, because even though it was 26 years ago, I obsessed over making that thing perfect like i obsess over Running Home and everything related to it. It was about an expedition, Lewis and Clark style, and there were wolves as pets, and the cover was flawless. I remember crumpling up dozens of pieces of little white school paper if the words didn’t look absolutely stunning on the page. It wasn’t lost on the glorious Mr. Waterhouse, who told my parents that I was gifted in the area. It is the one thing I remember from elementary school that a teacher said. That vote of actual confidence, not a pat on the back for coloring in the lines, sticks with me even still.

I wish that I felt this way from Kindergarten on, but that wasn’t the case. I didn’t have a bad time at school, but I tend to remember the time I got in trouble for not going outside with all of the other kids, and they thought I was lost. Or the time they wanted to keep me back because they didn’t think I could skip. I definitely remember when the school nurse, the awful principal, and both teachers were crowded around me, flashing crayons at me, wondering if I was color blind because I colored a fish green when they instructed the fish to be blue. I was just at the stage where all fish were green. (To this day when I think of a fish, I think of it as green.) I do recall Mrs. Freyermuth complimenting me on a drawing of a kid on a swing. She thought I drew it in 3D, and said she had never seen a child do that before. I just thanked her, but had not drawn it in 3D, I just drew it. All in all, I felt a little misguided from the start, when I look back on it.

Thanks to my 5th grade teacher, I found my spot in life, and it never left me. I found the thing that I could do well, no matter if I knew how to skip or not. Maybe before that I wasn’t enough of a real person yet to truly determine what I needed. Maybe in Kindergarten, all that needed to happen is exactly what happened.

And maybe if I had been sent to the world’s best school, the same results would have occurred.

The moral of the story is, my Kindergartener is strong enough to forge his own way without us doing it for him. What he needs from the adults in his life is guidance and support, and involvement. He will learn his way just like I did. And I didn’t always want hovering grownups to help me. Sometimes, kids just want to be kids, and they learn to challenge themselves. And when my boy realizes he’s good at everything, I want him to know we were there to help, not tell him he fit into the box that we created.

Now I have to go research programs for gifted 5 year olds.

Deadly Fashion

Today’s Brew: Venti Iced Sugar Free Caramel Soy Latte, as God intended.

It’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City, so we can have a little fashion of our own here at Deadly Ever After. Look at this fun little accessory I found while looking around on the internets! Feel like you must own this? Check out www.thefancy.com for this and more great ways to accessorize your life!

Welcome to 2012, Julie!

Today’s Brew: It’s noon and I am coffeeless. We probably shouldn’t talk about it until I get to Starbucks. Oh, and did you notice? Internet at home. Booyah.

Our little Julie is all grown up! My former internet hating friend not only finds awesome stuff online, runs this great blog with me, but now she’s got a Twitter account!

Follow her and make her feel welcome!


You can follow me too.
As long as you’re not a total creep, I’ll probably follow you back.

As always, thank you for your continued support of Running Home and Immortal Dilemma!

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