Deadly Ever After

The Writing Adventures of The Undead Duo–Julie Hutchings and Kristen Strassel

Archive for the month “December, 2013”

One Last Longing Look At Las Vegas

Today’s Brew: Pumpkin Spice

by Kristen

***BECAUSE THE NIGHT is still 99 cents! Grab it before it goes back to full price!***

I’m still kind of jetlagged, but otherwise everything’s back to normal and my trip seems like a dream. My intent had been to share photos with you as they happened, but Twitter doesn’t always like to upload my photos, and my computer decided to have a Jim Morrison style blackout halfway through the trip.  I’m also the world’s worst photographer.  So even though I tried to break my bad photography habits, it just didn’t work.

Better late than never!

The gondola ride at the Venetian.  Callie and Blade’s first date.  We had a delightful Mexican lunch and watched couples feel awkward as they were serenaded through the mall.

My favorite schlocky attraction and the second part of the date is the Bellagio water show.  The hooker card people would not give me cards! Bastards! But Liz got some.  I have that picture on my Twitter page. I was so tempted to call one of them just to talk to them. The research! That would be worth the $35!

I basically took Liz on all of Callie and Blade’s dates.  Here’s the Hoover Dam.

 

 

Another of my favorite attractions in Vegas is the Neon Boneyard. It’s no secret that I love old stuff, and I love Vegas, so all the old Vegas signs?  Heaven. I visited the museum a couple of years ago, and if you saw it before it was up and running in The LaConcha, go back!  It’s much more organized, and night tours are available.

Believe it or not, there are things I’d never seen before in the Las Vegas area.  We took the Camaro out for a road trip and visited The Valley of Fire.  It’s only about an hour outside of Vegas, and it might as well be on the moon.

So now I’m back high atop Whiskey Tango Boulevard, full of inspiration and research to edit and create.

Getting My Life Back and Other Things That Might Save The World

TODAY’S BREW: 47 gallons of Chocolate Cappuccino laced with NyQuil.

By Julie

BOOOOOO, CHRISTMAS IS OVER.

I love Christmas, and am never happy to see it go. Ask my husband who will beg me to take the tree down, only to receive visions of me clinging to it, wailing. But I have to admit, today seems a little back-to-normalish in a really good way already.

THIS HAPPENED.

Sam, my three year old, who we also call “Frats” due to his Belushi hours and the inevitability of him wearing a beer hat long before he ever should, FELL ASLEEP BEFORE 9 LAST NIGHT.

This is a godforsaken miracle. I have been up with Frats until well after midnight, sometimes until 3 in the morning EVERY NIGHT for over a month. It happened around the time we introduced the Big Boy Bed. This made bedtime, normally a lovely routine for six year old Bennett and I, become a RAGING HELLFIRE DESTRUCTO DEMON PARTY THAT THREATENS TO CONSUME THE NORMALCY WE ALL KNOW AND LOVE.

So, if Mama is staying up until the wee hours of the fucking morning, that means I’m not waking up until way too late. Which means my day is starting without me, complete with kid breakfasts, dishes, laundry, Things To Do, kids to enrich, not to mention holiday here and theres to handle. So, yeah. NO WRITING A SEQUEL FOR YOU, JULIE.

I’m so close to the end of the sequel to RUNNING HOME, it burns little cigarette holes in my psyche. I long for my 5Am Writer’s Club and starting the day before anyone else knows it showed up. Last night, I hit the wall and lost my shit over the impending idea of spending another night up with Sammy and losing another complete day of writing.

Then, he fell asleep.

So, as fast as I could, I got my ass in bed, set my alarm to the tinkling sound of little chimes for 5 this morning, and I buckled down, showered and caffeinated, to work on RUNNING AWAY. Though I may be ever so slightly behind the schedule of my own making, I am back and invigorated to get this first draft done, and see the return of normalcy in my not so normal life. I’m dying to get this book into the hands of readers, and I want the first draft finished and tucked away by the time I leave for ConFusion in Michigan on January 17th. So, that is fucking happening, and two weeks too late, I may add.

You may recall that I have a ball busting writing regimen, and wonder how I’m handling that it did not go according to plan FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY WRITING HISTORY. Well, I’m actually perfectly cool with it. Sequels are hard, yo. I’m okay with the plan falling to the wayside so that this book gets the attention it deserves. I want to do it right the first time. I don’t want to rip up half a crappy manuscript. So to have my routine screwed with is pretty okay. I’m a writer, rules aren’t really my deal, even if they’re my own.

Rules are, however, Sam’s deal. And that little walking Frat party will have his ass in bed before the sun goes down if that’s what it takes for me to finish this book by January 17th.

Back in the Burbs! News and My Gift To You!

Today’s Brew:  After making sweet love to my Keurig (having to get totally dressed before going downstairs for $7 coffees loses its charm), I am drinking all the water since I am as dry as the Mojave.

by Kristen

I’M BACK! My computer revolted in the middle of the trip, so the caps refer more to my ability to use my computer than the fact I’m back in Massachusetts. Massachusetts is not any more exciting than when I left it.  I’ll share photos in an upcoming post.

Do you ever have a vacation epiphany? The thing in your life that suddenly becomes clear?  That’s the thing I look forward to every vacation. Trips to places like Vegas contrast with home pretty vividly. There’s no reason to stop living and having fun just because the plane brought me back. We all need to make every day as exciting as possible. It’s easy to be lazy when we’re home.

Find reasons to wear fishnets.

Before my technical difficulties, I’d promised you a whole bunch of events and news connected to Because the Night.  I didn’t forget!  It’s just all going to come in one post now. So without further ado….

  1. Because the Night is still 99 cents on Amazon!  Not much time left, so don’t miss out!
  2. Because the Night is going to be available on Audio!  I’m pleased to announce that Audible has purchase the audio rights to the book.
  3. And here’s my gift to you!  When the Night Comes! It’s a short story that expands on a behind the scenes Callie and Blade ahem, interaction that some readers said they wished they were able to see. You guys are dirrrrty! It’s available on Smashwords.  My apologies for not having it on Amazon.  I tried for 2 weeks to make it free on there via price match, but they weren’t having it.  If you love it, jump right into Because the Night!

When-the-Night-Comes

Click on the cover to get your free story from Smashwords!

2013 has been a great year for both Julie and me.  Julie is coming over tonight so we can start planning 2014!  Thanks again for all your support! None of this would happen without you!

CHRISTMAS DAY!! – MIDDLE GRADE: What Money Can’t Buy by Kristen Strassel

Here’s my middle grade story from Christmas Day. Yup, I wrote middle grade! The point of the showcase was to write in a genre you never had before.

the midnight type

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IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY AND YOU SHOULD ALL BE DRUNK ON EGG NOG! Hope you are all having a WONDERFUL day, and here’s your present from me: a story by one of the best people you could ever meet. I love her. Kristen usually writes adult urban fantasy and horror, but today she channeled her inner child and wrote a story for children. Read this in between rounds of Trivial Pursuit.
 


 
What Money Can’t Buy
Kristen Strassel
 
“Don’t sit with me, Maddie.” Katelyn put her backpack on the bus seat. She used to be my best friend. This year she was more interested in being friends with the cheerleaders. Everyone laughed as I turned around, looking for a seat at the front of the bus. I didn’t cry until I sat down in the front seat, my face plastered against the window. They said worse things when…

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1 DAY ‘TIL CHRISTMAS- YOUNG ADULT by Julie Hutchings “Christmas Magic”

Due to Technical Difficulties! We weren’t able to share these two stories with you. Julie and I participated in SantaClash on the writing site we both contribute to, The Midnight Type. Julie’s story went up on Christmas Eve, and she wrote YA.

the midnight type

CHRISTMAS MAGIC

by Julie Hutchings

“Oh, that’s a terrible present. Nobody wants that.”

I’d been so happy to find this terrifyingly realistic sleeping cat figurine thing, covered in what was surely fur from some skinned rodent. It looked like it might come alive at any emotionally scarring second.

My little sister Bethany had come along for the hot, bright and loud shopping trip. She was only in third grade, and had no idea just how offensive forced Secret Santa could be in high school.

Now here it was Christmas, and she was still grilling me about it. “Why would you want to get your friend something ugly?”

Sigh. “Secret Santa is so spectacular because you can give crappy stuff to people you barely like and they have to think it’s generous. So awesome. It’s all part of Christmas magic.”

The doorbell rang, and the kid sprang to her feet to…

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Absinthe: A Walk On The Wild Side

Today’s Brew: Not Absinthe.  Frozen Hot Chocolate. Which was twice as good as it sounds.

by Kristen

***BECAUSE THE NIGHT is on sale this week for 99 cents! Merry Christmas!****

Still in Vegas.

It’s hard for me to talk about the book I just finished, We Own the Night, because it’s so spoilery if you haven’t read Because the Night. And with this week’s sale, you now have no friggin’ excuse for not owning it. There’s more change of the floor of the rental Camaro than that. But anyway, I digress.

Just before Halloween, I contributed a story for The Dark Carnival called Heaven’s on Fire, which introduced two new characters: Cash Logan and Holly Octane. After I finished that story, they wouldn’t leave me the frig alone until I included them in We Own the Night.  Cash is a magician, and I wanted him to have a bad ass magical show the only the likes of Vegas could host.

Of course, I placed The Cirque Macabre at Circus Circus. There is nothing cool at Circus Circus, and I know this to be fact. My friend Jason, the one I told you I ran into the other night, suggested we go see a bad at yet another of Vince Neil’s bar located at Circus Circus. What a nightmare that place is. The low ceilings trap the desperation like a fog.

Not to mention on the way out of that place, a 13 year old grabbed my ass. But I digress.

Tonight Liz and I went to see Absinthe at Caesar’s Palace. I wasn’t sure what to expect, all I knew was it was some sort of variety show with burlesque and roller derby, which if you know me, you can imagine the intensity of my lady boner hearing those two things together.

Imagine my surprise when I found Absinthe to set in a circus tent, just like my Cirque Macabre. And it was decorated all steampunk, similar to Cirque Macabre.  Kind of like my pinterest board come to life.

The performers were incredible! There was many different aerial and acrobatic acts that did thing with their bodies I could only hope to be able to move again if I attempted.  I love that shit. I’m still convinced that someday I’ll be able a little bit of it. No one set themselves on fire, like Holly.

A Vamptastic Welcome

Today’s Brew: Starbucks is 32 floors below me. So close yet so far.

by Kristen

Liz and I have safety arrived in Vegas!  Traveling takes 16 times longer than you ever expect to, and we got in kind of late. I hold Detroit completely responsible. Before you Michiganers get all up in arms by my finger pointing, remember that fog you had yesterday? Yeah. We almost had to land in Cleveland. And this week is not Christmas in Cleveland. It’s Christmas in Vegas!!

Oh, and we might have upgraded our rental car to a convertible Camaro.

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Still, I INSISTED we go to the vampire bar I’ve been having a fit over all week. We didn’t get there until midnight, which sounds like, well, midnight in the suburbs, but in Vegas, it’s the perfect time to arrive. I’d planned to shoot ya’ll a video of our arrival, but:

  1. God damn, I was tired until we got in there.
  2. Party clothes can be only expected to compensate for so much of a full travel day.
  3. We’re totally going back.

By the way, ventiicedsugarfreecaramelsoylatte is now all one word.

After pouring some vodka down Liz’s throat, we settled in to the packed Count’s Vamp’d to watch Jake E. Lee perform. If you’re not an old rocker person, you might not know who the hell he is. Back in the mid 80’s he played guitar for Ozzy, like Bark At The Moon era Ozzy, and he also had another hairband called Badlands. So, right up my effin’ alley.

So here’s the best part about Las Vegas: all the old rocker dudes can’t afford to live in LA anymore, and they all moved here. So that bar was like my frigging Disneyland!  Put about 1o years on all the guys on my Pinterest boards. The place was lousy with long hairs. I may have whiplash.

I have one friend who still lives in Vegas, and we’re facebook friends but we haven’t seen each other since I moved.  I had a feeling we might see him at the show. I kept looking, but didn’t see him.  Liz just happened to zig instead of zag on the way out, and who was standing there but my friend Jason!!  So that was an awesome surprise, too.

OK, enough internet for me right now. Still on the hunt for Tristan I have to go raise hell in a Camaro.

A Slutcracker Saturday Surprise!

TODAY’S BREW: Broke down for a Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha

By Julie

Thursday night The Undead Duo with accompaniment had the extreme pleasure of seeing The Slutcracker, in which our beyond perfect friend Ludella Hahn performed. (If you don’t know this picture of perfection, find her here. http://t.co/rI9YKEENry and like her on Facebook http://t.co/w7ZhhsTDo9 .)

Photo: Sorry Santa...I think all the cookies are for me. (I'm a naughty elf.)<br />
Photos by Evan Smith Photography. Shot for my cover feature last December in Drive-In Magazine.</p>
<p>www.facebook.com/LudellaHahnFanPage

Because I’m all filled with holiday joy after the “sextravaganza” of The Slutcracker, I’m prickly to present an excerpt from the sexy novel our good friend Jillian Marques is working on.

DISCLAIMER: IF YOU ARE JILL’S MOM, SHE REQUESTS YOU READ NO FURTHER. Everyone else, enjoy some Sextastic Saturday…..

When I had finally calmed I told him the whole story. I could see he was struggling not to get up and find the fiend responsible. But instead he sat and held my hand. Staring intently into my eyes I felt whole. This is what I needed. With a silent signal, he knew.

He undressed slowly… Smirking with a sexy grin, like this is what he had really been expecting. I went to sit up and make room but he shook his head. He stood at the end of the tub and spread my legs. He stepped in slowly and knelt down. I didn’t realize he was hard, or wanted me right now, like this. He laid his chest on top of me not letting his full weight pull me under. He looked so deeply into my eyes; I swear he found my soul. The deepest darkest place inside me was yearning to be found.

He kissed me, slowly at first. But the smoldering embers started to blaze with fire as I felt his tongue, his breath reach inside me. We sank into the water, completely submerged. For once I wasn’t worried about the mess we were making and just let myself go. We breathed in and out with each other. Embraced in this ridiculous position I would never able to move away. I didn’t feel suffocated. I felt free.

I felt his fingers slowly move down my breast to my road to heaven. He slipped in as I let out a moan. He gently massaged and moved his way around as I wiggled to control myself. I needed air so I slowly started to move us up. He never stopped touching me. I let out a gasp as the water dripped down my hair and face. He nibbled my ear and kissed down my neck to my collar bone. He grazed his teeth there and I quivered with anticipation. I don’t know where it came from but I whispered “I’m a beast, unleash me.”

He looked at me, his eyes on fire. He started to move away, getting out of the tub. He wrapped himself in a towel and held a hand out to me. He lifted me, still wet, and I wrapped my legs around him. We bumped into everything on the way to the bedroom. Walls, tables, a lamp, pretty sure its broken. But I didn’t care. It was the here and now. My hair let droplets fall down my body as he laid me down. He unwrapped his towel and lay next to me. I wanted him…

He held my hands down so I couldn’t touch him. I wanted to grab his cock and shove it inside me so I could find my bliss. He lifted his body over me and slid down, his face at my belly button, his hands gripping my ass. He stopped there, using his tongue to trace the line of my hips down to the gates of heaven. He worked his smooth tongue in and out, spreading my legs and squeezing me closer to go deeper. He started to hum, vibrating everything his face, his lips, his tongue touched. I grasped the pillow.

“Fuck!” I let out.

“Oh, really?”

I reached down and pulled him towards me. He softy grazed my body with his and once his lips were close enough to mine I swiftly flipped him over so I was straddling him. I had waited long enough; it was my turn to be in control.

I rubbed his chest up and down as I took in every muscle, every wrinkle, and every hair. As I leaned down I let my nipples brush his chest, his arms, his neck. I put them over his face so that he was surrounded by my overflowing breasts. He squeezed my ass to bring me closer. His hands made their way around my hips underneath my cheeks and he gently started to massage me as he his tongue found my collarbone. He traced the line of it up to my ear and ever so gently nibbled my lobe. How did this man know exactly how to drive me crazy? I let out a heavy sigh, I didn’t want any of it to stop. His hot breathe was in my ear as he whispered “I want you.”

I slowly sat up. He removed his hands from my ass and moved to my front, one on a breast, the other continuing to massage. I lifted ever so slightly and let him fall into me. His shaft filled me and it was excruciatingly pleasurable. I groaned. He kept massaging as I leaned back giving him a better view of all aspects of my womanhood. I could feel the stretch in my thighs and the small of my back. He grabbed my thighs and thrust in to me so hard that I let out a yelp of pain, a good pain and I wanted him to do it again… and again…and again.

He could see how I was enjoying this moment so he gave me exactly what I wanted. He squeezed my thighs harder as he thrust with every hip movement into me. I could feel the intensity building together. I could see the fireworks as the heat flowed from inside me. He quickly sat up to bring me close and without ever losing his touch pulled his knees underneath for more leverage, my legs wrapped around him. He brought himself up with every thrust and I was weightless. I pressed myself against him so I could feel every muscle, every breath. My arms wrapped around his back and let my nails graze the skin next to his spine. His breathe caught and he shivered… success. I smiled to myself as he kissed my neck in a million places. I couldn’t hold on much longer like this but I didn’t want it to end.

I pushed him back and lay completely flat across him. There was not a single part of our bodies that didn’t touch. Our hips gyrated in a single motion as I found myself saying “More! More!” He thrust harder until my groans felt as if they would shake the walls. I exploded with ecstasy feeling him shake beneath me. The joint release was so powerful that we breathed in unison until we could catch our breath. I kept flexing my muscles from the inside and each time his breath caught and he held me closer.

I gently slid to the side, leaving my arm across his chest. He gently stroked my hair and kissed my forehead. I closed my eyes to enjoy this warm, blissful place I had found. This man was real. He made me feel more alive, and more woman than any individual before. I was fairly certain I had completely fallen for this man as I drifted into sleep.

I woke with a start when I could feel Adam slipping his arm out from underneath me.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you.”

“Stay.” I whispered. He stared at me intently. “Stay.” As I said it my eyes started to well as the reality of the day had come crashing down on me.

He climbed back into bed and laid down facing me. I was embarrassed, but I couldn’t stop myself.

“I won’t let anyone hurt you Janie.” He brushed my hair from my face. “I’ll stay forever if you want me.”

I let the tears flow. I had never felt so free to be this emotional. He wrapped his arms around me and let me extricate myself of these fears.

Christmas in Vegas is Here!

Today’s Brew: Golden French Toast and then Starbucks in every frigging time zone

by Kristen

Today’s the day!  Liz and I are going to Las Vegas!  I’m so excited it feels like Christmas! Wait…

Anyway, to tell you more about Christmas in Vegas (which even has it’s own hashtag #christmasinvegas, so be on the lookout) is me!

Yes, people, I vlogged.

Julie’s Bookie Gifty Recommendations

TODAY’S BREW: Pumpkin Spice. Because I will love it forever.

By Julie

CHRISTMAS IS COMING! IT’S PRACTICALLY HERE!

Today I shall give you my book recommendations for when you inevitably screech “OH SHIT I NEED TO GET AUNT TRUDIE A PRESENT AND SHE’S SO RACIST AND SO MEAN AND SHE COOKS LIKE SHIT! WHAT DO I GET A PERSON LIKE THAT?!”

You’ll get that bitch what I get everyone on earth, or wish everyone would get for me. BOOKS. I give books that I like. Period. Don’t be afraid to get someone a book they might not get themselves, but that you love. Fucking discovery and shit. It’s science. I shall give you both paperback and eBooks. Commence reading!

These books, in particular:

  1. Oh yeah, it’s happening. RUNNING HOME. Seriously, it has snow, and Christmas, and romance, but weird romance, and betrayal and blood. And more Christmas, and even Christmas ornaments. And it smells like peppermint brownies. http://t.co/wXBPE87nMX. And the cover is so pretty!
  2. SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve read this series over and over. Again, beautiful snowy feel to it, but with a dynamic cast of characters and a fantastic, intriguing storyline, written by a true poet. Gorgeous. http://www.amazon.com/Shiver-Wolves-Mercy-Maggie-Stiefvater-ebook/dp/B002JWD6AS/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1
  3. THE SHINING, Stephen King. It’s a classic holiday horror, and even if they’ve read it before, fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke. This book is worth reading every year. http://www.amazon.com/The-Shining-Stephen-King/dp/0307743659/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387466695&sr=8-1&keywords=the+shining
  4. SHADOW AND BONE, Leigh Bardugo. This book took me completely by surprise with its stunning imagery, complex relationships, incredibly original plotlines and worldbuilding. One of my favorite books of the year by far. http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Bone-Grisha-Trilogy/dp/1250027438
  5. NEVERWHERE, Neil Gaiman. You can’t go wrong giving someone who’s never read Gaiman this book. If they don’t like it, they don’t get any present next year at all. http://www.amazon.com/Neverwhere-Neil-Gaiman/dp/0380789019
  6. BLACKBIRDS, Chuck Wendig. I’m in love with Miriam Black, her story, her mouth, her abilities, and I’m in love with the attention Chuck gives to making sure there is a complexity to this story. Holes Black gets herself into that you pray she can find her way out of. An incredible read with endless possibility. http://www.amazon.com/Blackbirds-Chuck-Wendig/dp/0857662309/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387467578&sr=1-4&keywords=chuck+wendig
  7. DISCOREDIA, J.C. Michael. Brand new author who’s been poring over this novel for a long time. I have waited over a year for the paperback of this book to come out to hold in my grubby little mitts, and now I can have it. And it’s set at New Year’s, so winning. http://www.amazon.com/Discoredia-J-C-Michael/dp/1927112214
  8. AGENTS OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS, Simon R. Green. I’ve given this book to so many people, I might be on Green’s PR staff now. He’s my favorite author and this is my favorite work of his. I can’t say enough. http://www.amazon.com/Agents-Light-Darkness-Nightside-Book/dp/0441011136
  9. HOLIDAYS ON ICE, David Sedaris. I read this book years ago, and it never left me. Perfect for this time of year, and it’s a sure winner with any reader. http://www.amazon.com/Holidays-Ice-David-Sedaris/dp/0316078913
  10. DEEP KISS OF WINTER, Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter. I’m reading this right now, and really enjoying it. I wanted something with bite, but light enough to feel like an escape at the end of the day. This is it. It would be a great gift. http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Kiss-Winter-Kresley-Cole/dp/1451600054

AND FOR THE PEOPLE YOU DON’T WANT TO SPEND MORE THAN 5 BUCKS ON, E-BOOKS.

  1. BECAUSE THE NIGHT, by our very own Kristen Strassel will be under everyone’s E-tree this year. http://www.amazon.com/Because-Night-The-Songs-Collection-ebook/dp/B00GFCRJRO
  2. ON THE LIPS OF CHILDREN, by my brother at Books of the Dead Press, Mark Matthews is only 99 cents right now, and wow, what a goddamn read. I love this book so hard. http://www.amazon.com/On-Lips-Children-Mark-Matthews-ebook/dp/B00D71FE0Kv
  3. BOUND, by J. Liz Hill. For Chrissakes, the cover is so goddamn pretty. http://www.amazon.com/Bound-Mirrors-Bershan-Elizabeth-Hill-ebook/dp/B00A92CWOQ
  4. SINGULARITY, by Joe Hart. I love the way the man writes, and impatiently await my copy of his new book in the mail. http://www.amazon.com/Singularity-Joe-Hart-ebook/dp/B00B7CI62Y
  5. UNTETHERED, by Katie Hayoz. “Sylvie isn’t comfortable in her own skin.  In fact, there are times she can’t even manage to stay inside it.” That’s all I need to hear. http://www.amazon.com/Untethered-YA-paranormal-ebook/dp/B00C7A8YW2/

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