Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “Callie”

Lost Scene From The Fire Dancer

The things I find when I go through my notebooks!  This would’ve never fit into The Fire Dancer, but it was a fun little exploration piece when I was figuring out Holly’s relationship with Callie and Tristan.  Holly travels back to the Seasons in the Sun days for this one, so this was cool for me to see how these two characters, the first I ever came up with, have grown!
(please remember this is raw and unedited, straight from the scribbles in my notebook)

fire couple

Fourth of July weekend and the Vineyard was packed. I threaded through the crowds on the sidewalk, seeking refuge in a colorful coffee shop. It reminded me of my favorite café in Santa Fe, and I knew this kind of place would have some funky brew of iced tea. Never sure if it was a dream or if I was time traveling at first, I needed to find a place that would ground me.
Women swarmed around the barista station even after they’d picked up their iced lattes. Trevor George’s son, Tristan, was behind the counter. My heart pounded when I saw him, he was the one who brought me here. I went up on my tiptoes to get a better look at him. Looks and charm ran in the family. Waiting in line to place my order, I was captivated. His dark eyes glittered when he spoke, his lips curled up in a slow, easy smile. The things that mouth could probably do already.
“Can I help you?” A girl too young to be working asked with enough force to make me believe it wasn’t the first time she tried to get my attention. She rolled her eyes when I jumped, then shot a quick glare over to Tristan, knowing who’d stolen my attention away from her. Not in a jealous way, but a don’t even bother because he’s mine way. That wasn’t the only reason she caught me off guard. I didn’t expect to give Callie, the future mistress of the most powerful vampire clan in Las Vegas, my drink order.
No, she was the one who brought me here. She had no idea who I was, just another girl staring at her boyfriend. This was a hiccup for me, a trip of five years or so. I always had trouble in my time travels, not blurting something out that would scare the hell out of people. But this time, saying something would change everything. For me. And it was tempting.
“I’d like a large pomegranate orange iced tea, please.” If I didn’t get this tea I was going to explode. Traveling back to another time didn’t make my fire go away. Chaos would break out on the island if I dripped even a spark here.
Waiting for my drink, I had an excuse to watch him. He was just a boy. Jailbait. No matter how good looking he was, it was disgusting to watch women old enough to be his mother flirt shamelessly with him. He took it in stride, born to celebrity through and through, smiling at each one of them like he’d come to work just to make their latte.
Callie joined him to thin the crowd. He softened when she came over. The show didn’t stop, but it changed. Young as she was, she was awfully cute. Tawny skin, green eyes, honey colored hair escaping from a braid. She already had fire inside her, too. Good. She was going to needed it. I smiled as she whipped through the line.
She grabbed Tristan’s arm. “Why didn’t you tell me we were out of soy?” She pushed a honey curl back into her braid.
“Who drinks that shit, anyway?” The smile he gave her was like the sun breaking through the dark sky at dawn. Pure adoration, everyone disappearing around them. The other women waiting for their drinks might as well have had their picture taken with a cardboard cutout. How could they not notice that? I was actually envious of this little girl. She had everything I wanted.
“Half the island does!” Callie threw her arms up before stomping into a back room.
“Holly!” Tristan called out, still snickering from Callie’s outburst. “Pomegranate orange iced tea.”
Our fingers brushed as he handed me the drink. No sparks. Our eyes locked but the moment was cheapened because I knew I’d never believe his lie. He’d never be able to love anyone but her.
I wondered if I told him his future, if it would change a thing.
“Thanks.” I turned and pushed past the crowd. I needed air.
Even though in many respects Tristan was already a man, with Callie he could be a boy. Their fates were already hopelessly intertwined, floating together above the earth in a bubble. When it shattered, it would rain down on everyone. And no amount of fire would alter the outcome. I needed to fight my battles in the present, not the past.
Taking a cool, fruity sip of my drink, I was glad I kept my mouth shut. Even if it wasn’t what they expected, they both got what they wanted. Each other.

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Happy Book Birthday, We Own the Night

Today’s Brew: Mimosas

by Kristen

Please join me in welcoming WE OWN THE NIGHT to the Night Songs family!  Callie and Tristan are back to resolve the issues they created in Because the Night, and Melanie and Ryder are joining forces with the Las Vegas crew, so to speak.  We even have a happily ever afterlife.

While the series will continue, WE OWN THE NIGHT wraps up this particular story line.  That doesn’t mean that these characters are done forever, they’ll just have fresh issues to deal with in the future.

We-Own-the-Night-print-FOR-WEB

 

 

AMAZON    iTUNES

EXCERPT

I heard the door open softly, but I didn’t turn towards Tristan. He slipped under the blankets and pressed his body against me, draping his arm around my stomach. I didn’t say anything, but I snuggled against him.

“So many nights, I carried you in here and watched you sleep until I almost burned myself with the sunrise.” He murmured, playing with a curl of my hair. “I miss that.”

“That feels good,” I said softly. “I used to hate it when I woke up in here, alone. Now this is where I come to get away from you.”

“There are things I can’t explain to you about this world, but you’ll understand it once it happens to you,” Tristan continued twirling my hair between his fingers, and I wrestled with consciousness. “I know it drives you crazy.”

I turned towards him, resting my head in the nook on his shoulder. “What do you know about Cash?”

“Not much.”

Shouldn’t Tristan know something about the other vampires in town? Maybe that was asking too much. It’s not like they handed out an updated directory every year. “Do you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing?”

“I’m sure we’re going to find out.” Something about the way he said it, he seemed a million miles away.

Before I had a chance to ask anything else about Cash, our lips met and we were speaking a whole other language. Tristan pulled me in close, his fingers so tangled in my hair I thought we may have to stay like this forever. My hands found their way down to his ass, his hips grinding against me in a way there was no question what he was thinking about.

I couldn’t think anymore tonight. And I just didn’t care.

March Madness! Seasons in the Sun on Sale!

Today’s Brew: Hot Marshmallow Madness, or something like that? Basically peppermint hot cocoa with fluff. And probably diabetes.

by Kristen

Only 99 cents through 3.31.14

Only 99 cents through 3.31.14 Click on the photo and make it yours!

Seasons in the Sun is on sale for less than one dollar for the month of March.

Ten Reasons for you to spend your hard earned dollar on my book:

  • It’s set in the summer. It’s been 20 degrees forever. Reading this book will make it warmer outside. I promise.
  • No one can actually afford to vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, so you can pretend you’re vacationing with celebrities.
  • You get to see Callie in her awkward, home-schooled glory.
  • Human Tristan. Surfing.
  • Callie and Tristan work in a coffee shop. Tristan with a job. Somehow this will justify your coffee consumption.
  • Callie’s mother will make you feel like Mother Of The Year.
  • If you read Because the Night and didn’t quite understand what Callie saw in Tristan, you will get it now.
  • Night Moves comes out in three weeks, and Callie, Tristan, and Taryn all make appearances.  Oh, you don’t know who Taryn is? Read Seasons in the Sun and find out.
  • Callie follows her heart, meaning she does more dumb shit.
  • This is as close to a sweet romance as I’m ever going to write.

And the official blurbage:

Summer has finally arrived, along with a boy who will forever change the life of fourteen-year-old Callie. After growing up hearing stories about Tristan Trevosier and his famous family, Callie finally meets him when he spends the summer on Martha’s Vineyard. Seventeen-year-old Tristan is a hurricane of destruction and rebellion, and he quickly blows a hole right into Callie’s sheltered life. Callie sees a side of Tristan that he doesn’t show anyone else. She’s determined to make everyone see what she sees in him.

Callie defies her parents by leaving the island with Tristan. But when his ugly habits rear their head, Callie realizes maybe she’s the one who’s wrong about him. He’s beyond her help. But it’s too late for her to walk away. This summer, she learns that love can be stronger than reason.

A dollar! It’s floating around in your purse. You’d give it to one those homeless guys with the cardboard. A whole evening’s worth of entertainment for a dollar. You can’t beat that.

 

Let’s Pretend It’s Summer

Today’s Brew: Gingerbread? Pumpkin Spice? Honestly I’m not sure.

by Kristen

Even though it’s so freakishly warm in Massachusetts today I walked around outside in just a light sweatshirt and capri pants, the rest of you are freezing your unmentionables off. So let’s tell the Polar Vortex what it can do with it’s frostbite and use the power of visualization to transport ourselves to a summer vacation on a warm island.

Can you tell I’ve been doing yoga?

Seasons in the Sun, a summer romance, released on December 4. Let me tell you, December is a weird time to promote a book. Everyone’s all wrapped up in Nano in November, then Christmas. No one wants to think about summer yet. Winter is still fun until you have to dig out from eighteen inches of snow like we did this weekend. One snowstorm is all it takes. Now when I say SUMMER, heads turn.

Six months til Bkini Weather!

Six months til Bikini Weather!

Summer, to me, has always been one of those magical times where anything can happen. I love the warm weather, and I love being outside in it. There’s nothing I like better than sitting by the water, devouring a good book. When we were kids, summers were awesome.  Julie and I, if you didn’t already know this, grew up in the apartment complex that I live in now. It wasn’t always Whiskey Tango Boulevard, it used to be quite nice. We had an awesome pool, and there were tons of kids our age around to hang out with, play Marco Polo and Sharks and Minnows. We tortured the life guards by either hating them or loving them. At night, we’d play four square or have games of hide and seek so big the entire street was in play.

As we got older, we’d all sit outside and talk. I love being outside on summer nights as much as during the day. Of course, we started to venture off Whiskey Tango. Sometimes we told the truth about where we were going, sometimes not so much. Summer meant relaxed responsibilities. I had a job since I was fifteen, but I usually worked at night, so I didn’t have to be up early. Staying out all night was a right of passage.

If you’ve read Because the Night, you know that Callie came to find Tristan after meeting him a few years back. Seasons in the Sun chronicles the summer they met. I used a lot of my experiences as influence for the story. The beach side setting, the sneaking out, even the concert, because what’s better than a summer concert?

So if you need a way to escape the cold, or if you want to live vicariously through my crazy past life, Seasons in the Sun might be the fix you need.

Seasons is in the Sun is available on Amazon, Kobo, and Smashwords. I don’t know what the hell is going on with Barnes and Noble, but you can get the correct format through Smashwords.

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.

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!

Happy Book Birthday, SEASONS IN THE SUN!

Today’s brew: I will blow bubbles in my coffee and pretend it’s champagne.

by Kristen

Today SEASONS IN THE SUN comes out into the world. It seemed like just a month ago I was releasing my first book, Because the Night

Seasons in the Sun available 12.4.13

Seasons in the Sun available 12.4.13

Seasons in the Sun is the prequel to Because the Night.  It wasn’t part of the original plan. Hell, who am I kidding, there was no original plan. I just wanted to complete a book. I never thought it would snag me an agent, or become a thing. Seasons in the Sun came to life when I asked my friend Liz to read Because the Night. It was the first draft, and of course it was absolutely perfect and nothing like the version available to you today.  Liz was a tough critic.  She liked it, but she saw holes. It was the first real criticism I ever got and it was a reality check.

Her biggest beef? She just didn’t buy that Callie would be so hung up on Tristan that she’d go searching for him years later.

Oh yeah, Liz?  Instead of weaving some details into Because the Night, I wrote a prequel based on Callie and Tristan’s summer together.

Now she buys it.

So if you run into Liz Washer, makeup artist extraordinaire, somewhere in the wild, you can thank her for inspiring me to write Seasons in the Sun.

A little Night Songs Collection inside info for you.

All the titles are song titles. Seasons in the Sun  doesn’t have “night” in the name because there are no vampires.

BUY ON SMASHWORDS!  OR BUY Seasons in the Sun ON AMAZON! DON’T LET ME TELL YOU WHAT TO DO.

And here’s a little hot first chapter action:

My bike skidded into the alley beside the café.  I knew I was late.  I leaned it up against the building, pulled my damp braid away from my neck, and fanned out my shirt.

“Where have you been, Callie?  Your shift starts at nine.  No excuses.  I’m not going to treat you differently than anyone else on the staff.  It sets a bad example.” My mom was rolling out dough on the table. There was flour on her apron and in her hair. It had obviously been a busy morning. She barely looked up from her work as she acknowledged me.

I looked at the clock on the wall.  9:15. “Sorry.”  I mumbled as I grabbed my apron.  “Where do you want me today?”

Mom sighed, pausing for a minute to think strategy.  “Barista station.”

Not so bad. I figured she’d give me something I hated to punish me for being late. My mom ran a tight ship. The Magnolia Café was her dream in action and she wasn’t about to let anyone, including me, screw it up. But I loved making the coffee. It was what we were known for. I liked helping the island wake up.  The regular faces became more recognizable each day.

This was my first summer as an official employee.  I’d worked behind the scenes for years.  I was thrilled to be old enough to be a real part of the team. Even if it I was working for my mom, I wanted to make a good impression.

“Guess what?  I met the twins.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Caroline’s niece and nephew.  Taryn and Tristan.”  We rented the guest house on Caroline’s sprawling property.  I’d been hearing stories about Caroline’s family my whole life.  Her sister was a model, married to a movie star.  Did it get any more glamorous than that?

“Oh.”  Recall was written all over her face.  My mother found Caroline’s family less impressive than I did.  We didn’t even have a TV in the house, that’s how much she cared about Hollywood. “Were their parents there as well?”

“I don’t know.  I just saw the twins.”

“Did Caroline say anything about the party?”

“What party?”  I had no idea what my mother was talking about.

“Never mind.  She wouldn’t say anything to you, anyway.” I felt like a little kid for the second time this morning.

I headed out front to relieve Olga, the early morning barista.  Keisha, my cousin, was tidying up behind the counter and restocking the muffins and bagels. She came every summer from Jamaica to work with us at the Magnolia.

“What’s going on, girl?  You’re late.”  She hip checked me playfully as I walked passed her to the coffee station.

“So I hear.  Good morning to you, too.”

“Ha!  You were fired, you know.”

“Yeah I’m sure.”  Where else was my mother going to find such willing, well trained, underpaid labor?

“You missed the hot Australian dude.  That man can eat his croissant in my bed any day….”

I giggled and swatted at Keisha. “Oh!  That reminds me.  I met the twins.”

“What twins?”

Apparently I was the only person who was excited about this.  I was starting to feel a little foolish telling everyone so enthusiastically about my meeting.  “Caroline’s niece and nephew.  Tristan and Taryn.  From California.”

“Oooooh, the movie star kids.”  Now I had Keisha’s attention.

“Yes.”

“Tell me all about them.”

“I don’t know, it was quick.  We didn’t say much.  But Tristan is really good looking.”

“Oh yeah?  How old are they?”

“Gosh, I don’t know…Caroline said they weren’t much older than me, but they looked like they were about twenty five.”

“All those famous people have botox and nose jobs and boob jobs…did the girl have a boob job?”

“I didn’t know I was supposed to check out her chest for you.”

“God, I’d love a boob job.  Instead I got a big ass.  So how good looking are you talking?”

I blushed a little bit as I started making a nonfat caramel latte for Janis, one of the regulars.  “Really good looking.  Like I didn’t know it was possible to be that good looking.”

I could still feel where Tristan squeezed my hand while he looked me right in the eyes, making my knees knock.  I could still smell the spiciness of his cologne.

“He must be gay then.”  I was a little mortified by that.  I shot a quick look at Janis, who was smirking at our conversation.  I added her extra whipped cream before she even asked.

“What?”

“Anyone from California who’s that good looking has got to be gay, girl.  Get used to it.”

“How many people have you met from California?”

“None.  But I know.  I read Perez Hilton.”

Who? “Is he on NPR? Because that’s all I ever get to listen to and you know it.” My mom ran a tight ship at home too. We didn’t have cable and I got homeschooled. My pop culture knowledge was embarrassingly nonexistent.

“Oh yeah, I forgot I was back in the stone ages for a minute.” Keisha rolled her eyes. “I’m just saying, that’s how it is.”

It was just easier to agree with her. “Whatever. He didn’t seem gay.  Not like I’d know if he was anyway.  But I don’t think so.”

“I guess between the two of us, we’ll find out, right?”

Because the Night Character Expo: Callie

Today’s Brew: I’m praying for Starbucks. I’m coming to you from the Independent Author Symposium in Warwick, RI today. I wrote this post in advance.

by Kristen

I’ve seen so much through Callie’s eyes in the last two years, it’s almost as hard to tell you about her as it would be to tell you about myself. You know when someone asks you that question and you hem and haw and can’t come up with anything because to you, it’s all so obvious?

"The Muse" SO Callie. SO. Callie.

This picture came with the “muse” caption already on it. And this is EXACTLY what I picture Callie to look like. The coincidence is almost eerie.

Simply put, Callie is a hopeless romantic.  It’s love that brings her to Las Vegas, love that keeps her there, and love that does her in. She thinks with her heart rather than her head sometimes, and it always gets her into trouble. It’s something that can be frustrating to watch, but hindsight is 20/20. We hate her decisions, but we’d all do the same exact things in her shoes.

Callie marches to the beat of her own drummer in all aspects of life. A homeschooled kid from a hippie family, she doesn’t have the pretense of celebrity and fashioned obsessed girls. Callie takes chances and trusts too easily. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, but don’t think for a minute that makes her a pushover. She loves to create things, from her own clothes to food that won’t kill you. She doesn’t fit into the stereotypical groupie mold. She wears tie dyed skirts, peasant shirts, and china doll slippers.

It was truly a coincidence that I named her Calliope, after the muse of lyric poetry. Some girls just have something that makes the boys in bands stop and notice, and Callie’s got that thing. It’s not a tangible quality. It’s the sum of many parts.  There’s nothing sexy than inspiring someone else to create art, and that’s what the muse does.

Callie will always have a special place in my heart. We learned a lot about writing books together. We got knocked down, then stood up, dusted ourselves off and said “eff you” together.” It makes my heart swell when readers say they sympathize with her actions or that she seems “real.”  I’m not sure what the future has in store for Callie (I’m currently working on We Own the Night), or the books, but so far, it’s been a hell of a ride.

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