Monday, December 16, 2013

My "Santa Clash" steampunk short story

I was invited by the lovely Chynna Blue to participate in Santa Clash, a fun short story series where authors write a Christmas-themed short story in a genre they've never written before. I was assigned the genre steampunk. After picking my steampunk-liking husband's brain and recalling a steampunk written by my CP Jani Grey I came up with this short, My Brother's Christmas Wedding. Hope you enjoy.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Nature tracks for writing

For a while now I've been listening to a few nature tracks while I write. Sometimes I can't listen to music while I write but I don't like silence either (usually because it ends up not so silent in this apartment) so a track of the ocean or a thunderstorm is a great alternative. It also helps get me in a writing mood. I love writing while it's raining. Yesterday I discovered this awesome website where you can actually mix your own nature tracks using the site's library of sounds. So far I've made nine. Here they are:

Cricket River Campfire - It's a clear summer evening and you're writing or reading beside the campfire to the tune of the cricket's chirping.

Evergreen Falls - Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest you sit among the evergreens writing to the sounds of a river and its falls.

A Spring Storm - It's stormy spring evening and you write with the window open to the chorus of spring peepers.

Stormy Cabin Hearth - You're fireside in a cozy little cabin, reading or writing through the rain and thunder.

Snowy Cabin Hearth - You're in a cozy little cabin, writing or reading by the fire while the snow flurries outside the window.

Rainstorm Chimes - The rain is pouring outside. The wind makes the  windchimes sing while you write.

Seaside Cabin - Writing on the porch of your seaside cabin listening to the wind in the chimes and the seagulls call.

Seaside Bonfire - Quiet evening on the beach writing by the bonfire.

Simple Rainy Day - No-frills rainy day to help your writing concentration.

What do you think? Do you like writing to nature tracks? Did you try out making your own? :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Zombie Project

Today my short story went live for The Zombie Project, a chain of short stories put together by Chynna-Blue Scott. The rule of the project is that each story must take an element from the story directly preceding it. Many stories take elements from others as well.

#1. No Place For Strangers by Bobby Salomons
#2. Someone Knows Something by Jessie Devine
#3. Into The Maelstrom by Benjamin Gumbrell
#4. Rezerection by J.C. Michael (Explicit Violent Sexual Content/Trigger Warning)
#5. Two Red Flags and Three Black Bags by Bridget Shepherd (me)
#6. The Manhattan Marauders by Carey Torgensen
#7. Red and Dead by Ruth Shedwick
#8. Thinking Big by Julie Hutchings
#9. The Light by Jolene Haley
#10. Craving by Louise Gornall
#11. Firebreak by Cassandra Page
#12. One Girl One Shot by Kristen Jett
#13. Jerusalem's Peak by Chynna-Blue Scott
#14. Manic Missions by Jani Grey
#15. Hickory Dickory Dead by Kat Ellis
#16. Code Words by Leah Rhyne
#17. The Library At The End Of The World by Lauren Spieller
#18. The Halloween Virus by J. C. Gregorio

[I have updated this post will all known Zombie Project installments for your perusal.]

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Funds for Feaky

I'm sure you all reading this have heard of the flooding going on in the Calgary area right now. One of the writers in our wonderful twitter writer community, Tamara Mataya, has been effected by this flooding and her CP Jessa Russo has put together an array of auctions to help Tamara and her family cope with this difficult situation. Check out Jessa's website to see all of the listings.

You can bid here to win an anime-style character portrait by yours truly.

You can also bid here to win a FULL MS crit from the infamous beta Marieke Nijkamp.

And you can bid here to win a three chapter crit from my idol and BFF the brilliant Kat Ellis.

This writing community is welcoming, friendly, supportive, fun, sexy, smart, and I am so proud of everyone who is willing to reach out a helping hand to one of us in a time of need.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Interview on DiversifYA

Today my interview went up on DiversifYA. You can go check it out here. Be sure to check out the other interviews too. There are ones about sexual identity, racial/ethnic identity, living with mental illness and living with disabilities. Their hope is that by showing many different perspectives, YA authors will muster the courage to include more diverse characters in their YA novels. A worthy effort indeed. :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

DESTINY GIFT by Juliana Haygert

My author friend Juliana Haygert's DESTINY GIFT is only $0.99 for a limited time! Go get it!!
Thirty years in the future, a sinister New York City exists in permanent darkness. 

A student at the secured NYU, nineteen-year-old Nadine has visions of Victor Gianni, an imaginary guy she has real feelings for. Afraid of being truly insane, she explains the visions away as simple daydreams, but she can no longer deny them when she bumps into Victor in real life. But this Victor doesn’t know her, and turns her away. After the encounter, Nadine’s visions change to those of eerie fates, gods she’s never heard of, demons with sharp claws they are not too timid to use … and instructions.

To discover if she’s losing her mind, Nadine follows the vague directions—with the real, rude and reluctant Victor—leading to a man who knows it all: Nadine can restore an ancient creed by unveiling the clues on her visions, and bring sunlight and peace to the world again. But that’s only if the demons and the other evil forces behind the darkness don’t stop her first.

**New Adult PNR/UF novel (73k words)**

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Eyre House Cover Reveal

I'm so excited to show off my CP and twitter bestie Cait Greer's cover for her amazing New Adult novel, Eyre House. I feel privileged to have read Eyre House and anyone reading this should prepare to buy it in June of this year and add it on Goodreads. You can also read the original reveal post over on Cait's blog. And of course follow Cait on twitter.

Check it out!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Awesome Characters: Elena and Raphael - Guest post by Kat Ellis

Today I have the happy privilege of presenting you with Awesome Characters: Guest Post Edition! My CP Kat Ellis is here to tell you about two awesome characters who I am definitely going to check out and you probably should too!

Check out Kat's blog and Kat on twitter. She's brilliant.

First of all, thanks so much to Bridget for inviting me to write a guest post for the Awesome Characters series.

I’ve chosen two characters from my all-time favourite series: Elena and Raphael from Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. I also have to say at this point that Nalini Singh is my favourite author, and if you enjoy PNR/UF and haven’t read any of her books, DO.

This is the blurb for ANGEL’S BLOOD, the first in the series, on Amazon:

“Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she's the best - but she doesn't know if she's good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, only one thing is clear - failure is not an option . . . even if the task she's been set is impossible.

Because this time, it's not a wayward vamp she has to track. It's an archangel gone bad.

The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other . . . and pull her to the razor's edge of passion. Even if the hunt doesn't destroy her, succumbing to Raphael's seductive touch just may. Because when archangels play, mortals break . . .”

The story begins with Raphael – the Archangel of New York – hiring Elena to track a rogue angel on a killing spree in his territory. Elena is a Guild Hunter, a tracker with scars in her past and a natural ability to hunt vampires – not angels – and she is at first put to the test by the Archangel to see whether she is up to the job.

The first scenes where Elena and Raphael meet are just electric. She has a healthy fear of the powerful Archangel, and isn’t stupid enough to think she can beat him if she tackles him head-on, so uses her cunning and lots of verbal sparring to get her own way.

Raphael is ruthless, cold, and the sexiest character I have ever read about. Every word he says is deliberate, calculated and meaningful, and it makes it all the more exciting seeing the two main characters clash mentally as well as physically before the sparks flying between them become an absolute inferno.

I won’t spoil the ending to Angel’s Blood, but I will say that throughout the series Elena becomes even stronger as she develops and continues to do battle against various enemies alongside the Archangel. And that’s a key point – they fight together, and Elena holds her own even when in the company of much more powerful beings.

This is the only book I own which has become dog-eared, because I keep recommending it and lending it to friends. I hope you read it and fall in love with Raphael and Elena as much as I did.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Awesome Characters: Heero and Relena

Today's Awesome Characters spotlight shines on Heero Yui and Relena Darlian from the anime series Gundam Wing.

Gundam Wing is, in literary terms, a YA science fiction. It premiered in Japan in 1995. The main characters are all teens who end up with incredibly important roles in a near-Earth space war (roles which are rather implausible for real life teens to have but do we care? No :D This is YA gold.) As usual, there are spoilers ahead.

The setting is Earth in the future. People have built space colonies at the Lagrangian points. There is political friction happening between the colonies and the Alliance--the centralized government on Earth. A group of scientists have constructed gundams, a special kind of "mobile suit" aka giant robot weaponized space suit, which are superior to any possessed by the Alliance, due to the fact that gundanium must be tempered in space. They send five teenagers to Earth each in a gundam, each having no knowledge of the others, and all with the intent to sabotage OZ (the Order of the Zodiac) a group hidden within the Alliance military who plan to stage a coup.

The series opens with Heero's descent to Earth. On the way, he sees a civilian shuttle and unwittingly contemplates killing Relena who is on board with her father, Vice Foreign Minister Darlian. There is a theme toward the beginning of the show that no one who sees a gundam may live to tell about it. Before he has the chance to decide, an Alliance patrol intercepts him. Zechs is aboard the Alliance ship and he and Heero have their first of many battles, which Heero loses even though Zechs is in one of the mook regular mobile suits. Heero falls to Earth and lands in the ocean. He flees his gundam and washes up on shore only to be discovered by none other than Relena, who goes to school nearby and has called him an ambulance. He knocks out the ambulance crew and steals the ambulance, leaving Relena surprised but intrigued about him. They meet again when Heero enrolls at her school as his cover. Relena tries to invite him to her birthday party but he rips up the invitation in front of her. She is distraught and demands to know why with tears in her eyes. He wipes away one of her tears and leans in to tell her that he's going to kill her, then abruptly walks off. Relena finds out more about Heero from Doctor J, the scientist who built Heero's gundam, who rescued her after OZ had her father assassinated. Doctor J says that deep down Heero is actually a kind hearted person, and Relena says that she already knows he is. However, Doctor J also warns her that Heero is single minded about his mission and will do whatever it takes, so she would be better off staying away from him. Relena is not deterred by his words, nor by Heero's death threats, and on multiple occasions she insists to him that she wants to be in on his secret mission. Even when he has a gun pointed at her and one of the other gundam pilots shoots him in the arm, she takes Heero's side and tends to his wound. She may be a little crazy, but I think she's cute. :3 She ends up dancing with him at her birthday party after all, which is attacked by OZ who considers her a loose end after she had witnessed the assassination of her father. Heero, despite his protests that he also considers her a loose end and plans to kill her, saves her from OZ with his gundam. He himself is shocked by this and he runs away.

Relena has some major character development, she goes from being a whiny (though brave) schoolgirl to a major political figure. Part of this comes about after it is revealed that Relena Darlian, daughter to a vice foreign minister, is really Relena Peacecraft, the long lost princess of the Sanc Kingdom, a pacifist fictional European nation which was sacked when she was a child. It is also revealed that Zechs, right hand man to Treize, the leader of OZ, is really Milliardo Peacecraft, her older brother, creating an interesting dynamic between Relena, Zechs, and Heero.

At one point in the series, Relena speaks in front of the Romafeller Foundation, the group that had been backing Treize, the leader of OZ, and she speaks out against OZ. Heero shows up in the wings and is going to assassinate Relena because her death would be more politically useful than her ineffectual speech making. Relena even agrees with him, she spots him with the gun and closes her eyes, accepting, but they are both shocked when the Romafeller people give her a standing ovation. This marks a serious turning point in her political career and Heero sees her differently than he had up until then. Relena also goes from being vengeful (she tries to shoot the woman who assassinated her father) to being a total pacifist (when she takes her role as being leader of the Sanc Kingdom before she has to surrender again) and finally toward the end of the series she renounces total pacifism and takes a more balanced view of working for peace.

Heero is a complex character. He has been trained to act emotionlessly in battle, to care nothing about his enemies. Yet his philosophy in regular life is to live by his emotions. He also seems to have little regard for his own life and takes failure hard. He considers his initial defeat by Zechs a failure and after another gundam pilot helps him escape an Alliance facility they jump but Heero doesn't pull his parachute, he wants to die. However, he suddenly hears Relena call his name and without thinking pulls his parachute, saving his life. Later, when it's a choice between self detonation and handing over his gundam to OZ, he chooses self detonation and is in a coma for a while. He carries the guilt of accidentally killing a little girl and her dog who had befriended him while he was waiting around during the day, casing an OZ facility. He was fighting OZ even before he acquired his gundam and in this case he had planted explosives at the OZ facility. Something went wrong with the explosion and some of the OZ equipment smashed into the adjacent area where the little girl was. During the last arc of the series he is fighting another gundam pilot who had temporarily switched sides, despairing that an end to war is even possible, and Heero demands of him "When does it ever end? How many more times do I have to kill that little girl and her dog? Tell me, Wu fei!" He also shows extreme remorse when OZ tricked him into destroying a shuttle full of Alliance peacemakers who opposed OZ. He went around to all the members of the peacemaker leader's family, handed them a gun, and told them what he had done. Being a family of peacemakers, they all spared him. To cover all of Heero's interesting moments would require explaining a lot more about the other characters and plot than there is room for here, but he has a big impact on the lives of many of the other characters in addition to Relena.

An image toward the end of the series that best sums up the progress in the relationship between Heero and Relena is when Relena is boarding a shuttle on her birthday, Heero sneaks on board and leaves her a birthday card and a teddy bear. Relena spots him out the window, he looks back at her, and she rips up the birthday card, mirroring the time he ripped up her birthday invitation. Another image is when Relena is giving a speech and Heero is again in the wings, this time just watching her speak. At the very end of the show (mini series which happens a year after the end of the original show) Heero breaks into the compound where Marimeia, the supposed daughter of Treize, is holding Relena captive. He pretends to shoot Marimeia and says "I have killed Marimeia Kushrenada, I don't have to kill anymore" and collapses into Relena's arms. Killing Marimeia's power was enough, he spared her life.

Gundam Wing is a very well thought out anime. Heero and Relena are great characters, and not only that, but there is a whole cast of other great characters which I've barely touched on here. I highly recommend this show to any fans of YA science fiction who are interested in anime.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Liebster Award

Thank you Cait, for nominating me! <3
Check out Cait's twitter and blog

Here's how Liebster works:

1. I list 11 random facts about myself.

2. I'll answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated me.

3. I will then nominate my 11 picks for the award, along with my 11 questions for them to answer when they post a response.

4. If you’re nominated, your name/link will appear at the bottom of this post along with the questions I come up with.

5. Follow the same format; paste the award badge to your blog, give us 11 random facts about yourself, answer my 11 questions, and choose your nominees…but you cannot nominate the blog who nominated you.

A lot of my more obvious random facts were listed here.

My 11 random facts:
  1. I was raised by people who are not my biological parents and I have long lost siblings.
  2. I have a little-known spiritual side. I've studied a lot of comparative religion.
  3. I was a "goth" in high school. I do have some photographic evidence.
  4. I can bend my thumb back behind my hand so it's over my knuckle.
  5. I am in love with Leon Kennedy from the Resident Evil games. My husband has cosplayed as him.
  6. I am also in love with Shane from the L Word.
  7. The only time I ever won NaNoWriMo it was by writing 20k of steamy romance scenes in the last couple days.
  8. I have not recovered from David Tennant leaving Doctor Who. I'm really trying to like Matt Smith. I am. o_o
  9. The only thing I've ever had published (no pay) was in my university's LGBT literary/arts magazine. It was a contemp short story about two girls falling in love in orchestra.
  10. I love every single song on Powerman 5000's "Tonight the stars revolt" album.
  11. I have a lot of regrets. I identify with Florence + the Machine's "Shake it out" more than anyone knows.
Now for Cait's questions:

What category/genre do you write, and why?
I've written a variety of genres in the past but right now I'm focusing on YA. Specifically fantasy. More specifically "science fantasy." If you've ever played the Final Fantasy games I could compare it to those. Airships, cities, magitech, but not steampunk.

What category/genre do you wish you wrote, but just doesn't speak to you?

I wish I wrote historical romance or historical fantasy, if I ever get an idea that really seems like it would fit there, I'd do it, but so far my ideas tend to come with their own crazy worlds.

Tattoos/piercings/hair dye?
I have no tattoos. I have three piercings in my ears, two on the left, one on the right. I dye my hair all the time, right now it's near-black brown.

Big 5, Indie, or Self? And why?

I'll think about this more when I actually have something ready to query. Right now I'm sort of assuming I'll try for the Big 5 unless I find a reason not to.

What's your weirdest/most interesting talent?

I think karaoke is my most interesting talent. It certainly seems to entertain the most people at parties.

Dog or Cat?
Both. I grew up with two cats and one of them still lives at my parents' but Jeff and I are thinking when we get our house we're going to get two puppies. He grew up with a dog and I have never had a dog and do like them too.

What inspires you to write?
Music. When I listen to music I see characters doing things, I seriously can't stop it. It's probably due to watching a great deal of anime music videos from a young age.

What is your favorite character you've written?
Lucifira. She was an anti-hero, one POV character in a book with multiple POV's. She wasn't meant to be the main character but she stole the show and stole my heart. She is one source of inspiration for a character in my current WIP.

What is your favorite character you didn't write?
I started listing some but I realized I was just going through my Awesome Characters list, so if you want to know, go read some of those. I will give a shout out to Mason, Kat's character, because I'm not allowed to do an Awesome Characters post on him until he's published, but he is waaaay up the list and would already have one if he wasn't under wraps.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
I honestly have no desire to leave the Pacific Northwest. I wouldn't mind living in a mansion somewhere here though. :)

What is your favorite book of all time?
I can't choose. I tried to decide and I just can't!

My questions for my nominees (shamelessly ripped off from Cait and Kat mostly)
  1. What category/genre do you write, and why?
  2. What music are you listening to the most right now?
  3. Plotter or pantster or what?
  4. Big 5, Indie, or Self? And why?
  5. What's your weirdest/most interesting talent?
  6. Dog or Cat?
  7. What inspires you to write?
  8. What is your favorite character you've written?
  9. What is your favorite character you didn't write?
  10. Which book do you wish you'd written?
  11. Name three things you will do this year.
And the nominees are (drumroll please)...
I don't know who else to tag, lots of people have already done it so you get 3 not 11.