Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “new vampire books”

Excerpt from “Running Home”

I shook off the biting cold, my  boots pelting the wood floor with snow.  More fell from my hood, which was apparently useless in keeping my hair dry.  Clumsily, I pulled sloppy, black strands from my cheeks with mittened hands.  The string of bells on the door caught on my sleeve, jingling long enough to make me awkwardly laugh to myself. Definitely, I was beyond loud, irritating the comfortable world around me that was the best book store in history.  Birch Tree Books had been my go-to place since awkward teenagerism.  It was the cable knit sweater that, today, literally melted the winter off of me.  I loved the battered wood floor that had never seen a coat of polish and creaked underfoot like it remembered every time I had visited.  It had the same character that the mess of shelves had, and the used, dusty books that lived on them.  Some of these books had been on the yard sale shelves and in the hodge-podge piles for so long that they had become landmarks to navigate the shop by.

Finally gaining some composure after braving the Ossipee wind and snow, I put my head up to take in my happy place before I started browsing.  Right away, I noticed that theformerly broken Birch Tree Books sign that had been collecting dust behind the door had been re-purposed into a table with freshly carved legs supporting it.  Nothing was on the surface, giving away its newness to this place, where every flat surface held books.  I looked to the checkout counter to see which of the three familiar introverts was holed up, hiding there today, but the little stool sat empty.

Making an involuntary sound of surprise under my breath, I headed for the poorly organized Sci Fi/Horror section.  I always managed to find something to read there.  Something about wooded New England towns created a large turnover of horror and science fiction.  Thank you, Steven King.  Bumping into woman in Romance, I tried not to knock anything or anyone over with my super bulky coat or general clutziness.  I let out a breath as I took in the first shelf of paperbacks, and pulled a creased binding down.

Then, the intoxicating scent of warm brownies and peppermint washed over me, sending chills down my spine and leaving me in an inexplicable fog.  Nobody had made brownies at a book store…the scent was just in the air somehow.  I inhaled deeply and shyly stole a glance at Romance Novel Lady, but she clearly hadn’t noticed anything except me looking at her, sniffing.  With an awkward laugh, I put my nose back down into the book, a Simon R. Green novel.

“You don’t belong here.”

I gasped.  The statement was as clear as day–in my mind–totally at odds with the inviting smell around me.  And it was in my head.  I knew it.  The voice was a little harsh…no, surprised.  Confused, yet not unpleasant, despite the cruelty of the words.  The scent soothed me while the words frightened me, said in a voice I wanted to hear again.

“You don’t belong here.”

I dropped the book, my head snapping up, still wet hair slipping into my mouth.  Unsure if the words were an echo in my mind, or said again, I spun wildly around, searching for the source of this impossibility.  A very clean-shaven man was eyeing me with concern from the end of the aisle.  I felt myself blush, knowing how nuts I was coming across, but unable to mask my confusion.

“Do you smell that?” I asked him stupidly, and a little too loudly.  He frowned, slowly shaking his head.

I left the aisle, stumbling over a footstool, making more of a ruckus with every step, and shakily peered into the next row.  Books, on shelves, and in stacks, looked back at me, their musty scents briefly cutting through the haze of brownie-peppermint.  No people.  Even as I thought it, I was confused by the absurdity of the idea.  How could a person be the cause of this…whatever this was…that had sent me into a not-so-quiet panic?

“Who are you?!” the same silky voice...in my head…asked.  I stopped, dead still, breathing hard and heavy in my fear, but propelled by that unbelievable scent.

I continued to the next aisle, becoming heady with the now overpowering deliciousness and my own panic.  I had been holding my breath in, and forced it out, getting the attention of a blonde woman and her little girl.

“You don’t belong here.”  Again, stronger this time, no uncertainty, but not threatening, just stating something I needed to know.

A gasp throttled the tiny scream that escaped me.  Whipping around, I backed up, knocking over a stack of hard covers.  I could not answer the “Miss?  Are you okay?” from the blonde woman, child clinging, frightened, to her leg.  I clasped my hands to make them stop shaking.

I raced to the door, heart pounding, the bells on the handle clanging noisily, but not loud enough to drown out those words that followed me out.

“You don’t belong here….”

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I Can’t Work Under These Conditions!!

Today’s Brew:  French Vanilla for Kristen, Hazelnut for Julie’s Hazelnut kick.

Here is an account of what most of our early (and late) writing adventures.  Kristen has texted Julie early in the day to say she is effing stuck and needs help.  Julie gets managerial.

Enter, stage right, Captain Bill’s summer rental on the beach, where Kristen is staying.  Julie is toting a White Stripes tote bag full of notebooks and a laptop, as well as the laundry of a small family.

Kristen:  Wanna put laundry on first?

Julie:  Yes.  Let’s get that over with, then you can make me some coffee.

Kristen (as we walk down the dangerous spiral stairs):  You know where the coffee is.

Julie:  I am a guest in this house.

Kristen:  I want you to feel at home.

Julie:  I don’t want to feel at home.  I have too much to do at home.  I want to feel like a guest.  Make me some coffee.  Please.

Kristen makes the coffee.  Julie requests use of the half and half she keeps here so she does not have to drink soy milk.

Julie:  So what’s the issue?

Kristen:  I don’t know.  Read what I wrote.

Julie reads what Kristen writes.  Julie gives Kristen some fabulous ideas.

(switch today’s brew to Godiva Cinnamon Gingerbread Truffle)

Then this happens….

Julie:  (moves away from laptop) Okay, go!

Kristen:  Now?  I can’t write like that.

Julie:  You asked me to help you fix it so….

Kristen: But I can’t just write when you say “go!”

Julie: Then why did you ask me to come over?

Kristen:  To help me.  I don’t know…I have to walk around, get a cookie or something.  What are we watching?

Julie puts on Storage Wars.

Kristen:  Oh my God, not that!

Julie:  (insert anything here about old people TV, such as Chronicle or Wheel of Fortune)

Julie:  Fine, I’ll do the laundry.

Inspiration strikes Kristen and something fabulous gets written.

The Hardest Paragraph To Write: The Synopsis

Trying to sum up 300 or so pages of months and years worth of blood, sweat, and tears in one paragraph is not an easy task-especially when the purpose of that paragraph is to entice people to want to read your book.  That is exactly the task at hand when writing a synopsis, what you find when you read the back cover, what is probably the driving force behind whether or not you decide to commit to reading the rest of the novel.  Therefore, it needs to be a concise and well-oiled machine.

Julie and I struggled with these single paragraphs more than we did writing any other parts of our whole books.  We have always prided ourselves on being able to work through writer’s block, singlehandedly or together, but finally, we seemed to meet our match!  We’ve spent so much time with these characters, and now in just sentences, we need to make you love them as much as we do.

So, here are our sales pitches–do they make you want more?

Immortal Dilemma
(Kristen)

College freshman Callie can’t wait to leave the confines of her sheltered life on Martha’s Vineyard to reconnect with her first love, Tristan.  Finding him is easy–he is the face of the explosive Vegas vampire rock scene and the star of his own reality show.  Getting close to this larger than life rockstar is more of a challenge.  Callie must weave her way through a constant stream of insatiable groupies, security guards, paparazzi, and all the other complexitites of Tristan’s fame to try to save him from himself.  She finds herself drawn to him by some inexplicable force, and finds what she’s looking for where she least expects it.  What is she willing to do for her happily ever after?

Running Home
(Julie)

Ellie Morgan is used to losing everything.  She thought she was comfortable with her life as an advertising executive, until she and her best friend both became captivated with newcomers to their secluded New Hampshire town.  When fate connects her to Nicholas French, she is enthralled by his supernatural allure and his belief that she is meant for so much more.  Ellie struggles to reconcile falling in love with the vampire who gives her the home she longs for, while being forced to make impossible choices, and sacrifice the unthinkable.

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