Desiderium, Monsters the First Ch 10

Desiderium

Desiderium

Exciting news everyone!  Desiderium is now available on Amazon and Kobo!  (It will soon be available on Nook as well.)  To celebrate, Magicless is on sale for only $.99 all week!

No, onto business, my #WedPeeks post for this week is chapter ten of Desiderium, is a dark fantasy/horror and is for mature readers.

*Warning: There is violence, sex, and a lot of profanity in these pages.

 

~ TEN ~

Lost

Not all those who wander are lost. I forget where I heard that, but I always held it to be true. I had certainly wandered enough in my life, with great intention and deliberation, turning my back on the conventionalities our culture told us to embrace in favor of traveling and seeing the world around me. First I had done it alone, and then later with Sophie. I wandered, was frequently lost, but always ended up exactly where I wanted to be.

But just as often it seems the opposite can be true. Some who wander are lost. Or will be soon, when the thing they seek finally allows itself to be found.

I am lost.

Sophie had been true to her word. By the time I got home from work all of her stuff was gone. It felt profoundly wrong and simultaneously so right. I had thought that I was going to spend the rest of my life with Sophie. But the woman…the night I had spent with her awakened something deep inside of me. Something I don’t think I ever knew was there. She had warned me, told me that humanity was nothing but a thin veneer over the heart of an animal, and I know she’s right. Despite the conflict I feel over Sophie leaving, there is an undercurrent of deep excitement and thrill about the path I’m on now. It’s unsettling and overwhelming.

I spent no time in the now-empty house after I got home. Instead I went in search of the dark-haired lady. I needed to feel again that certainty that I had felt the morning after our first night together, and I needed her body. After two days of nothing and my libido still elevated to a feverish pitch, I was aching for an outlet. I found her, finally, somewhere around midnight on that seedy ledge that first ruined, but now seems to have saved, my life.

When I woke up this morning I was glad to see I was in my own bed instead of a filthy trash heap. I was enveloped in that same sense of euphoria as last time, and I could still smell her ripe scent all around me. My body ached as if I had just completed a triathlon.

The sun was streaming in through the windows and I could hear birds twittering in the trees outside the house. I looked around my room, collecting my thoughts, and my eyes fell on that picture of Sophie and I in France, standing outside that cathedral with the rose-colored window and the labyrinth. She was beautiful that day. Is beautiful every day. Was. Is.

I looked at the clock and saw it was 6:00 pm in the evening. I thought briefly of work—another no-call, no-show isn’t going to go over well. Especially considering I have no real excuse, no emergency to explain away my carelessness. But then again, I am a rising star and a valuable team member, or so they frequently tell me. Two days would not kill my career. I didn’t really think about it for long, all I could think of really was Annabel. Annabel Lee, I’ve decided to call her. The dark beauty who captured my soul last night. God damn… I have never experienced anything even close to the heaven that is Annabel in all my life.

I thought back to the feel of her pushing me back onto a soft bed after climbing those endless steps. From there my memory is disjointed, flashes of disconnected images only. Damn good images, though. Despite my complete physical exhaustion I feel a stirring when I dwell on it.

I have never felt anything like what I feel when I’m with her. I thought I had had it good before, but everything before was like the brightness of a light bulb in the face of the sun. Completely eclipsed. Nothing will ever measure up now. Nothing compares to Annabel. I am bewitched, smitten, and madly in love with Annabel Lee.

The wonder of it makes me laugh; it’s ludicrous and fabulous all at the same time. Is this what they’re talking about when they talk about love at first sight? Can you love someone after two nights? After two nights with very minimal talking but a whole lot of fucking? We men are as simple as women joke we are…offer us the most amazing sex of our lives and we’ll eat out of your hands and declare undying love. What a joke.

I lean forward in bed and drop my head in my hands. Damn I’m sore. I feel hungover, even though I hadn’t even had a single drink. Just dehydrated from all the exercise I guess. I laugh out loud, the sound thunking solidly in the deep quiet of the room. My eyes stare unseeing at the carpet between my bare feet. Something catches my eye.

I lean forward for a closer look, and then lift my foot up onto my knee, a quiver of discomfort shooting through my gut. It’s a bite mark. A perfectly clear outline of two rows of teeth on the arch of my foot, a bite hard enough to have broken through my skin and left a smear of blood on the top of my foot. I flitted through those disjointed memories from the night before and couldn’t find one associated with that bite. I sat quietly for a moment, considering, and then shrugged it off. People have odd habits when it comes to sex. Some are silent, some scream, and some bite. It isn’t so odd, really. In fact, I find it kind of sexy, that she would feel so free to embrace this freaky side of herself in our fucking. It makes me want to, as well.

I stand up and walk over to the picture of Sophie I had noticed earlier. I pull it off the flat-headed nail it was hanging on and look at it for a moment. I feel a flutter of guilt, brief and slight as a wisp of cloud on a hot summer day, and then I put it face down in the top dresser drawer. I was done with that part of my life, and moving toward something entirely new and different. I didn’t need Sophie staring down at me as I slept at night, and I sure as hell didn’t want her picture there if Annabel ever came to my place. She probably wouldn’t be bothered by it; she might even like it, but I just didn’t want it around. It made me feel uncomfortable, conflicted. Guilty.

I walk to the shower, turn the water to scalding, and once the steam starts billowing out of the glass enclosure I step in and let the hot water run down my sore body. It stings in several places, and each inspection reveals another bite mark or a scratch, not just small scratches but the kind a pissed-off cat might leave behind. Deep and long, frequently deep enough to draw blood.

A small, quiet snake of fear slithers deep inside my belly, but I push it even further down and smile, thinking of our next encounter. I like this animal inside me I’m starting to get to know. I feel like a stag in rut, powerfully male. We all need to get back in touch with this side of ourselves, and I am grateful to Annabel for showing me, for opening this door and giving me the opportunity to step through.

If you’d like to read more from Desiderium you can find it here.
Ch 1
Ch 2
Ch 3
Ch 4
Ch 5
Ch 6
Ch 7
Ch 8
Ch 9

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Naming Your Website – Adventures on the Interwebs

Choose well grasshopper. The name you choose for your website has far reaching implications for your author platform.

Before rushing out to buy a domain and splash up a site it is important to pause and consider your future as a writer.  Do you write in a particular genre or do you write in multiple genres? Do you want to write under your real name or a pen name? Do you write in a single age group or in multiple age groups?

Many authors enjoy writing different kinds of books and they may decide to write different types of books under different names. Consider Robin Hobb as an example.  Robin Hobb is a pseudonym for Megan Lindholm,  and Megan chose to adopt a pseudonym when she realized she was venturing into a different sub-genre than what she’d been writing as Megan Lindholm (you can see more about this here: http://www.meganlindholm.com/faq/).  She has different websites for each ‘author’ and maintains separate brands though she makes it clear they are the same person.

What you want to write and how you want to market your work will dictate how you name your site.  Joanna Penn chose a company name (The Creative Penn) rather than her own name, and she houses both her fiction and non-fiction under one site (www.thecreativepenn.com).

I am and independently published writer, I write fiction and nonfiction, and I write YA as well as fiction for adults. I chose to write all of my books under the same name, K. Ferrin, and to have one platform for all of them.  The name I chose for my website reflects my author name.

There are pros and cons to every approach and the key is to find the one that works best for you. I wanted to maintain only one blog and keep all my social media work under a single name, but this may not work for you and the work you do. There are many excellent resources exploring branding for writers and it might be worth your time to do some reading before settling on a name.

Here are some links to get you started. For more simply Google “branding for writers” and you’ll find plenty of reading material.

The Book Designer (http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2014/07/6-branding-tips-for-writers-and-authors/)
The Creative Penn (http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2012/03/20/branding-author-platform/)

Now, to throw a wrench into the gears. As you likely know website names (domains) are all unique and once someone has slapped their name on it you can’t use it. You may decide you want to use your name as your domain name only to discover someone else already owns it.  Don’t panic! You are an author. You create for a living. Come up with a few options that might work for you.

Some authors add a hyphen to their name. So instead of www.firstnamelastname.com they go with www.firstname-lastname.com. Others chose to add ‘author’ to the domain, www.firstnamelastnameAuthor.com or www.authorfirstnamelastname.com, both of which work fine. Others go with a nickname or a shortened name.  Karen Mahoney writes YA urban fantasy, publishes under Karen Mahoney, yet her website is www.kazmahoney.com. You can also chose a domain with a .net (or any other) instead – though be careful of this.  It can create real problems for your branding efforts.

Next week we’ll cover how to select and register your domain with a registrar and a hosting company. For earlier posts in this series see:

The Importance of a Website for Your Author Platform
Why You Need a Self Hosted Website

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Havoc’s Cry, Loren Weaver

Havoc's Cry - BookTitle:  Havoc’s Cry
Author: Loren Weaver

Synopsis:
The only living Sorceress, Victoria Novak, finally earned a peaceful, normal life. But with one howl on a full moon, her whole life crashes back into paranormal chaos. The FBI show up to recruit her to the Federal Paranormal Division, the very first all paranormal police force and she can’t decline. Tori must train a new team of special agents in paranormal etiquette in the middle of solving a crime that’s leaving ravaged bodies twisted into grotesque shapes. Caught in the middle of a werewolf fight for dominance, Tori can’t let personal emotion interfere with solving a crime. Until the crime becomes personal. With her life spinning into chaos, the real question is how far is she willing to go to answer Havoc’s Cry.

Review:
Havoc’s cry takes place in a world much like ours, but paranormals have come out of the wood work and are living amongst humans. The author went to great lengths to build a complex paranormal world and clearly defined a variety of types of paranormals, the kinds of powers they had, even a bit of a hierarchy amongst them based on their strength and power (though this might be hotly debated amongst the paranormals themselves!). I appreciated the level of detail and thought that went into defining the paranormals of this world.

The protagonist, Tor, had a great dry wit and sarcastic approach that I liked and found very relatable. The story was good, the primary plot being the need to solve a string of brutal murders, with the political dynamics of a werewolf tribe driving the subplot. I thought both story lines were interesting and compelling.

That said, the heavy exposition throughout the book really slowed the storyline down for me. There are large sections where the characters are all standing around getting lectured by the protagonist about paranormals which frequently became boring for me. I would have personally preferred this information be shown instead of told by using the action and unrolling of the story to reveal this information rather than lecture.

While I liked Tor, for the most part, but I found the other characters to be little more than straw-men, figures for Tor to talk to and tease with but none of whom had any real value to the story outside of being props for the protagonist. I really enjoy character driven stories and Havoc’s Cry is definitely more plot driven than character driven.

If you enjoy the paranormal, and particularly if you enjoy plot driven stories, I’d say pick up Havoc’s Cry and give it a read. If you prefer stories that are more character driven this might not be the story for you.

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Desiderium, Monsters the First Ch 9

Desiderium

Desiderium

My #WedPeeks post for this week is chapter nine of my new novella, release date is Monday (10/20/14).  For the week of 10/20 – 10/27 both Magicless and Desiderium will be only $.99!

Desiderium is a dark fantasy/horror and is for mature readers.  *Warning: There is violence, sex, and a lot of profanity in these pages.

 

~ NINE ~

The Fight

She never came.

Despite my crushing disappointment, the city was spectacular tonight. It was cold and a light, misting rain was falling. I was entranced by the way the raindrops flashed in the puddles of light streaming from the streetlights and largely abandoned buildings. The alternating pattern of light and dark as I stalked through the streets transfixed me. I lost all sense of place or time. My world shrank down to nothing more than the next patch of light or the next patch of dark. My worries about my brother and concern about Sophie shattered into bits smaller than the glittery drops of illumination dancing with the rain. So small now, they ceased to matter overmuch to me. How could they matter, when there was a patch of light just a dozen steps ahead, and another patch of dark another dozen after that?

Many years ago Sophie and I took a trip to France and stumbled into the Chartres Cathedral on a day folks were walking the labyrinth. There were a half-dozen people slowly shuffling along the worn pathways, their faces glowing pink from the sunlight gleaming through the rose window. It was cool inside the cathedral despite the warm summer day outside, and very quiet. You could hear nothing beyond the murmuring of hushed voices and the soft shuffle of steps.

Those walking the maze seemed mesmerized. Their eyes firmly on the pathways before them, oblivious to the handful of folks standing or sitting on the sidelines watching. Sophie wanted to give it a try, but I was disinterested. A cynic, she’d called me.

I took a seat in a folding chair and stared up at that rose window while Sophie took her turn in the labyrinth. I found the patterns and contours in the stained glass far more mesmerizing than the lines on the floor.

They say labyrinths have a long spiritual history, and the unicursal pathway, with no alleys or dead ends to concern yourself with, allows you to lose yourself, to open your mind to creativity and intuition. A metaphor for the journey deep into yourself and then out again. Returning a bit wiser, perhaps. At least when it comes to knowing thyself.

After walking it Sophie was a firm believer. Hokey is what I called it. But tonight I felt what she must have felt that day in the cathedral. The mindlessness that comes with losing yourself in some gently repeating pattern with no apparent beginning or end.

I snapped out of it only when I realized that as I was walking I was repeating a phrase out loud. Truth is coming to me, easily and effortlessly, truth is coming to me. I don’t know how long I’d been repeating it, but I had been walking most of the night once it became apparent I wasn’t going to see her. It creeped me out that I could have been wandering the streets for so many hours straight, mumbling these words repeatedly as I went. People must have definitely thought I was a cracked nut.

Regardless, in my distraction, I had lost track of time, and I realized I would barely make it home before Sophie’s alarm went off. I couldn’t go another day without dealing with her. She’d call the police if she hadn’t done already. I didn’t need that kind of trouble. I cut through an alley to shortcut back to my car, stepping on a homeless guy lying in the gutter in my haste. He didn’t make a sound even though I had trod right on his leg. The feeling of something soft and squishy rolling under my foot scared the shit out of me. But worse, the guy was just lying there, staring up at me with wide unblinking eyes. I couldn’t tell if he was alive or dead, but either way I couldn’t leave him there, so I hunted down the nearest pay phone to call 911. Turns out pay phones are tough to find these days, but I didn’t want to use my cell to make the call. I didn’t want anyone knowing where I was that time of the day.

I was already cutting it short, and by the time I walked in the door Sophie had the coffee brewing and was in the shower. I had hoped I could sneak in and lay down on the couch, acting as if I’d slept there all night, but no luck. I was caught. There was no sense in trying to lie my way out of it. Sophie knew me too well, and I never could lie to her anyway. I just couldn’t tell her about the other woman. I poured a cup of coffee, sat down at the dining table, and waited for Sophie to get out of the shower.

The look on her face spoke volumes. Her lips were a tight thin line, not from anger, but from the effort of not showing their shaking. And though her beautiful blue eyes were shiny with unshed tears, they were also flat and hard. The look of a woman trying desperately to distance herself from the man she’s losing. She poured herself a cup of coffee in silence, stirred in cream with intense focus, took her first sip, crossed her arms, and then looked me squarely in the eyes. I couldn’t help but notice the way her crossed arms pulled her robe askew ever so slightly, exposing the soft curve of her breast. How I loved that woman. My heart broke a little and waves of guilt crashed over me. What the fuck had I been thinking the last two nights? But I said nothing.

Truth be told she didn’t have to say a word—I knew what she was thinking. Why are you doing this to me, Terryn? Why are you doing this to yourself? Why can’t you just let it go? He’s gone, there is nothing you can do to change that. You need some help, Baby, let me help you, please. We’ll go together.

We’ve had these sorts of conversations so many times now I’ve lost count, and the message is burned into my mind like a brand. In the beginning I tried to explain my behavior. I told her about my certainty that someone had killed Blake, and that they were out there still. I tried to tell her how haunted I felt, and how helpless I had become, and how I despised myself for all of it. She was supportive then, back before the nightmares began and the all-night wanderings became so commonplace. For five years she’s put up with it, and loved me just the same despite it. But it’s wearing on her, has been for a long while. I am not being fair to her, I know that. Images of me with another woman flashed before my eyes, and I couldn’t look Sophie in the face.

“I’ve tried, Terryn. I really have. I love you, you know that. I want to spend my life with you. But you’re leaving me behind. I don’t understand why, but this…”

She gestured to the kitchen around us.

“… this seems to have lost any meaning it had to you once. I would have gone with you, Terryn, I would still if you would only let me. But you’re determined to do this alone, and I sure as hell don’t understand.” She paused, took another couple of sips of coffee.

“So, wander. Wander as you’re compelled to do. Spend your nights alone, going wherever the hell you go, doing whatever the hell you do. But I can’t stay here and watch you self-destruct this way. I’m moving out. I’ll be gone by the time you get home from work today.”

My guts turned to ice. Some part of me—a big part, even—still did not want to lose her. Some part of me believed that she was the one thing that had allowed me any level of focus, the one thing that had kept me attached to this daytime world. I realized in that instant that not all of me wanted to drift away and embrace the darker side of myself. At least one small part wanted to retain my humanity. But I had driven away the one thing that allowed that small piece of me to survive.

A thought came suddenly, almost from outside of me. If I drove away that last little piece, I was free. I was free to become the beast.

I felt at war with myself. I stared at her, saying nothing. I wanted to tell her so many things, things to keep her and things to drive her away, but none of them held any real meaning. I knew in my bones that I could not stop searching, and that I would not stop seeing the dark-haired woman. This was the only sane thing she could do, the only choice I was giving her. I wanted to scream, I wanted to tell her about fucking the stranger two nights back and watch the pain spread across her features, I wanted to beg her to stay, but in the end I said nothing.

“Just promise me one thing, Terryn. As you wander through those dark streets, to wherever they take you and for however long it takes; think of me. Think only of me. Don’t get lost, don’t forget. See my face, feel my embrace, and remember always that I love you. I love you still. And when you finish this…this thing… when you come out on the other side, I’ll be waiting for you.”

She stepped across the short distance between us and pulled me into her softness. She kissed me then, long and gently, and the conflict I’d been feeling since yesterday morning expanded exponentially inside of me. I wanted to lash out in frustration and confusion. I loved her, and I also felt I couldn’t live without the dark-haired woman. How could two such conflicting emotions exist within one man? Then she pulled away, grabbed her mug, and went back upstairs.

I fell into a chair at the table, exhausted and confused. I sat at the table we had shared so many meals at. I could hear the echo of laughter from family dinners, and the intense debates with friends, a smattering of empty wine bottles scattered along the center of the table. It had all seemed so bright once. So filled with promise and potential. Now it was all in shadow and tasted like dust. It was all ending. And once again I was helpless to stop it or change it.

No. That isn’t the truth of it. I chose this path. I could have taken the path that Sophie had laid out before me, and maybe in time things would have worked out that way. But night after night I chose the isolated path instead. I knew as soon as I saw her sitting on the ledge that woman was trouble. And she warned me of it, too. I can show you, but only if you want to see she had said. She had made it clear, I had to choose, I had to want to go with her. I chose the shadow, I chose to follow in Blake’s footsteps once again and try to solve the mystery of his death.

I got up and went to work.

If you’d like to read more from Desiderium you can find it here:
Ch1
Ch2
Ch3
Ch4
Ch5
Ch6
Ch7
Ch8

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New Releases in Fantasy, Week of 10/13/14

woman reading books

We’ve got quite a few releases this week in fantasy. I am particularly excited to read Of Bone and Thunder, and The Time Roads!

Clariel, Garth Nix
The Abhorsen, #4

Clariel is the daughter of one of the most notable families in the Old Kingdom, with blood relations to the Abhorsen and, most important, to the King. She dreams of living a simple life but discovers this is hard to achieve when a dangerous Free Magic creature is loose in the city, her parents want to marry her off to a killer, and there is a plot brewing against the old and withdrawn King Orrikan. When Clariel is drawn into the efforts to find and capture the creature, she finds hidden sorcery within herself, yet it is magic that carries great dangers. Can she rise above the temptation of power, escape the unwanted marriage, and save the King?

Mortal Gods, Kendare Blake
Goddess War #4

Ares, god of war, is leading the other dying gods into battle. Which is just fine with Athena. She’s ready to wage a war of her own, and she’s never liked him anyway. If Athena is lucky, the winning gods will have their immortality restored. If not, at least she’ll have killed the bloody lot of them, and she and Hermes can die in peace.

Cassandra Weaver is a weapon of fate. The girl who kills gods. But all she wants is for the god she loved and lost to return to life. If she can’t have that, then the other gods will burn, starting with his murderer, Aphrodite.

The alliance between Cassandra and Athena is fragile. Cassandra suspects Athena lacks the will to truly kill her own family. And Athena fears that Cassandra’s hate will get them all killed.

The war takes them across the globe, searching for lost gods, old enemies, and Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever seen. As the struggle escalates, Athena and Cassandra must find a way to work together. Because if they can’t, fates far worse than death await.

Of Bone and Thunder, Chris Evans

Of Bone and Thunder is the story of Thaum Jawn Rathim, whose idealized view of the war clashes with its harsh realities and his realization that victory may cost him everything…of conscripted soldier Carny, awash in a hallucinogenic haze of fear and anger…of Breeze, the red-haired graduate from the Royal Academy of Thaumology, certain she can transform the very nature of warfare—if only she can win the trust of the man holding her fate in his hands…and of Ugen Listowk, a veteran crossbowman who finds solace in the darkest shadows of the jungle and whose greatest fear is failing the men he leads into battle.

Plunging deep into the heart of a moral and mortal darkness, these reluctant soldiers struggle for survival and for meaning amid a blazing drama of blood and magic. They will duel a ghostly enemy, fight to understand their roles in a sprawling maelstrom, and ultimately wage the war their way—not for glory or the Kingdom, but for one another.

Stitching Snow, R.C. Lewis

Princess Snow is missing. Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all. Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines. When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. In her enthralling debut, R.C. Lewis weaves the tale of a princess on the run from painful secrets . . . and a poisonous queen. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

The Time Roads, Beth Bernobich

A fantastical nineteenth century alternate historical steampunk romp from Beth Bernobich, the critically acclaimed author of the River of Souls trilogy.

Éire is one of the most powerful empires in the world. The Anglian Dependencies are a dusty backwater filled with resentful colonial subjects, Europe is a disjointed mess, and many look to Éire for stability and peace. In a series of braided stories, Beth Bernobich has created a tale about the brilliant Éireann scientists who have already bent the laws of nature for Man’s benefit. And who now are striving to conquer the nature of time.

Strike, D.J. MacHale
The SYLO Chronicles #3

#1 New York Times bestselling author D.J. MacHale is back with the third book in the SYLO Chronicles. Once again, Tucker Pierce and friends must fight for their lives against the better-equipped SYLO. All bets are off in Strike—with twists so big readers will never see them coming—while the action and pulse-pounding suspense remain as high as ever. Fans will be sure to devour this incredibly satisfying conclusion.

The Terminals: A Novel, Royce Scott Buckingham

In The Terminals, Royce Buckingham tells the riveting story of a covert team of young, terminally ill teens who spend their last year alive running dangerous missions as super-spies for an organization that may not be all it seems.

When 19 year-old Cam Cody is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he expects to spend the rest of his shortened life in an adjustable bed. Then one night, a mysterious man offers Cam one chance to join a covert unit of young “terminals.” They are like him, only they spend the last year of their lives executing exciting and dangerous missions to make the world a better place.

With nothing to lose, Cam is in.

The Free, Brian Ruckley

THEY ARE THE MOST FEARED MERCENARY COMPANY THE KINGDOM HAS EVER KNOWN.

Led by Yulan, their charismatic captain, the Free have spent years selling their martial and magical skills to the highest bidder — winning countless victories that have shaken the foundations of the world. Now they finally plan to lay down their swords.
Yet when Yulan is offered a final contract, he cannot refuse — for the mission offers him the chance to erase the memories of the Free’s darkest hour, which have haunted him for years.
As the Free embark on their last mission, a potent mix of loyalty and vengeance is building to a storm. Freedom, it seems, carries a deadly price.
Snow Like Ashes, Sara Raasch
Snow Like Ashes #1

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. The Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been searching for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild their kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, Winter’s future king—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again. So when scouts discover the location of half of the ancient locket that can restore their magic, Meira decides to go after it herself—only to find herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics, and to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

The Accidental Highwayman, Ben Tripp

In eighteenth-century England, young Christopher “Kit” Bristol is the unwitting servant of notorious highwayman Whistling Jack. One dark night, Kit finds his master bleeding from a mortal wound, dons the man’s riding cloak to seek help, and changes the course of his life forever. Mistaken for Whistling Jack and on the run from redcoats, Kit is catapulted into a world of magic and wonders he thought the stuff of fairy tales.

Bound by magical law, Kit takes up his master’s quest to rescue a rebellious fairy princess from an arranged marriage to King George III of England. But his task is not an easy one, for Kit must contend with the feisty Princess Morgana, gobling attacks, and a magical map that portends his destiny: as a hanged man upon the gallows….

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Weekend Writing Warriors Blog Hop #4

This post marks my one month anniversary with Weekend Writing Warriors! Ok, only four posts, but I’m still pretty excited.  You can check out other amazing 8 line snippets using the link below.

I have exciting news!  Desiderium now has a cover!  You can see it below the 8 down toward the bottom of this page.  What do you think?

This snippet is still in chapter 1.  After talking Sophie loses most of her anger about what has just happened and pulls Terryn back into bed with her.  This snippet is him thinking over her offer and coming to realize his dream of a white picket fence life with the woman he loves is no longer in reach.

The 8

I was disturbed at the desire I’d felt, at what I’d wanted to do.  The thought of what I’d done to her while dreaming left a cold metallic fear at the back of my tongue.  She deserved better from me.  Deserved more than I could give her. She deserves the white picket fence but it is no longer a possibility for me.  It was as if the vision, that fantasy, was being pulled abruptly away from me, like a fast zoom out in a film.  All I could see of it now was a tiny white speck in the distance.  That possible future died with the ring of a telephone.

You can find the full chapter on my blog, chapter one is here.  And now, the cover!

Desiderium

Desiderium

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Why You Need a Self Hosted Website

image of a city in a cage

Why do you need a self hosted website? In a word – control.

Awhile back I started an online retail store.  It had a very catchy name with a very specific niche.  I was new to the world of websites and hadn’t done much design work so I decided to use a third party hosting company.  Setting up the store was a snap, I had the store up and running within one day.  The platform was slick and the interface was very easy to use.  But I hit a problem immediately.

The website address had to be a subdomain to the hosting company.  I’ll use my own website as an example to illustrate.  I self host this site, and you can see that the website name (the URL, or the domain) is www.kferrin.com.  If I were using a third party hosting solution though, that address would be something like www.kferrin.wordpress.com.  This isn’t necessarily a problem, but it absolutely dilutes your ability to establish a brand and a name.  Your brand is nestled within the larger brand of the hosting company – not great.

At the time though I thought it would be too hard to figure out how to do all that fancy schmancy stuff on my own, so I decided to swallow the frustration with branding and push forward.  I figured my product and my hard work would overcome that issue.  But it wasn’t very long until I ran into a second problem.

I decided I wanted to have a blog alongside my business. The niche I was targeting was perfect for a blog and I felt the brand needed it.  It would allow me to deepen the brand and build a community around the product.  But come to find out I couldn’t have a blog as part of the store site.  Or more accurately, I could have a blog over at WordPress or Blogspot or some other third party hosted blog, and I could add a link to it from my store, but I couldn’t have a blog that was a part of my store.

See, when you self host a site you can create any type of pages you like, and they all fall within your main website address.  Again, looking at this site you can see I have a blog (you’re reading it!), and I also have a store where I sell my books and book related swag. All of these have www.kferrin.com in their title which gives me consistent branding through the store, my blog, and any other pages I choose to add.  With the third party hosting company I couldn’t do that.  I would have had to use www.kferrin.someothercompany.com as my store domain, and www.kferrin.blogspot.com as my blog name (assuming kferrin was even available at Blogspot).

Another reason to self hosting your site is that it also allows you to move without losing customers. I use Bluehost for my hosting company and I love them.  But if I didn’t love them I could move to Hostgator or Dreamhost (or anyone else) and still have www.kferrin.com as my website name.  All the hard work I’ve done to build a readership and establish my brand comes with me.  When you use a third-party to host your site you can’t do this.  When you move to another hosting company you have to change the name of your site as well.

It can be very intimidating to think about self hosting a website.  You are a writer after all, not a web designer. This series will walk you through step by step how to get your self hosted author website up and running.  I’ll walk you through picking a name for the site (the domain), purchasing that domain, finding and selecting a hosting company and getting your site beautified and ready for readers.

Don’t let your worlds of wonder get stuck behind bars.

 

The first article in this series is The Importance of a Website to Your Author Platform.  If you are not the DIY sort I can help you get your website up off the ground quickly and with minimal expense.  You can find the details for my web design services here.

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Desiderium, Monsters the First Ch 8

Architecture

My #WedPeeks post for this week is chapter eight of my new novella, scheduled for release this October. Desiderium is a dark fantasy/horror and is for mature readers.

*Warning: There is violence, sex, and a lot of profanity in these pages.

~ EIGHT ~

Back for More

I woke up this morning in a pile of garbage behind the club. I have to admit, that is not something I ever dreamed I would say about myself, or imagine ever doing, but it’s the truth. My cheek was actually resting against a partially eaten and somewhat moldy burger patty, and a cat was sitting next to my head, licking its chops and staring at me as if to say it would eat through my face to get to that patty if I didn’t move soon.

Despite waking up in a pile of garbage, I feel strangely good. Satiated in a way I have never known before. I don’t remember everything about last night, but I definitely remember the sex. I had no idea it could feel like that.

I feel relaxed, too. I haven’t felt like this since the day Blake died. The sun is out, and I feel like everything will be OK. The dark weight is off my shoulders. Even the haunting certainty about the sinister circumstances of Blake’s death is diminished. Today I feel certain, for the first time, that he just fell victim to some incredibly odd but perfectly natural phenomenon. Nothing to worry about—grieve over, yes, but not worry about. And I certainly don’t need to hunt anymore. Or worry that I’m being hunted.

I may have almost gotten my face chewed off by a hungry stray cat, and I need to wash mustard off my cheek, but all is good in the world. And all of this from one night with one strange but incredible woman.

Thinking of her, I feel a twinge. I cheated on Sophie. Something I had never done before, especially not on Sophie. I stayed out all night and had glorious sex with a stranger. Someone whose name I don’t even know. Repeatedly.

I don’t regret it. How can you regret something that’s been so clearly good for you? That woman did something Sophie was never able to do. Actually, she did a lot of somethings Sophie was never able to do, or any other woman I’ve ever known. But what I really mean is she healed over my wounds in a way I never thought could happen. How can you regret that?

But it will kill Sophie if she finds out, and I feel awfully about that. Thinking about the look of hurt and fear so often found in her eyes these days is already more than I can bear, and the accusation growing there drives me crazy sometimes. And I know I’ll regret the hurt this will cause if she finds out.

I’ve been growing away from her for quite some time, and she’s been hanging on because she loves me, because she believes we’ll work through it, but that’s surely all over now. Hell, if she knew some of the things I did to that woman last night that would probably be enough to kill whatever feelings of love she still has for me. Still, we have loved one another for seven years, and it’s hard to think about the fact that I’ve hurt her this way.

I should have handled this better. I should have left Sophie once the dreams started again. I should have left her after they turned violent. I’m no good for her. I’ve never been good for her, really. At least ever since Blake.

The more I thought about it and the further I got away from that garbage pile, the worse I felt about it. Guilt nestled itself into my chest, settling in for a long stay. I couldn’t tell her, obviously, so it would stay my little secret. And to be completely honest with myself, I plan on finding the dark-haired beauty again. And soon. One night was most definitely not enough.

It was late by the time I got home. Sophie had gone in to work already. I thought about calling in to work for myself, and just decided to say fuck it. I had other shit to take care of.

A couple years ago I had bought Sophie an engagement ring. Two weeks after I bought it Blake had died and turned all my hopeful dreams to ash in my mouth. I had kept that little golden circle of hope buried in the back of my jean drawer, a small chance that things would come out right in the end. I know now that I’ll never use that ring. I want the woman of the dark, not a woman of the light like Sophie is. I want a woman who will take me for the debauched and damaged man I am, let me revel in my deviant passions, and enjoy them with me.

I took a quick shower, pulled the ring out of the drawer, and drove to a pawnshop downtown and traded it in.

I felt oddly exhausted and sad when I handed it over in return for the cash. I actually had a hard time parting with it. Deep inside, part of me felt like this was wrong somehow. The whole thing is wrong. I should be with Sophie, not fucking strange women I meet in alleys. But the memory of last night overrode that small voice, and I handed over the ring.

I went for a long walk afterwards, my thoughts roiling around each other, and as the afternoon waned I decided it was time to find her again. Everything had seemed so clear when I’d woken up this morning. Without question, another night with my dark-haired woman would clear up this conflict. Plus, thinking about our activities from last night was getting me wound up again already. I couldn’t wait to get under her again.

I made my way to the alley, and settled on the ledge as the sun sank in the sky. Sophie would be worried—she’d probably called a hundred times today when she found out I didn’t come home last night, but now that I was here I really didn’t care. My cock was hard already, just sitting here where I had seen the nymph last night. I considered jerking off, but no, I wanted to save it for her. I needed to keep my energy up. I didn’t want to disappoint her. I felt certain something bad would happen if I did.

 

If you’d like to read more Desiderium you can do so here:
Ch1
Ch2
Ch3
Ch4
Ch5
Ch6
Ch7

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The Writing Life – Where oh Where do the Words Flow?

Working from home as a writer is one of the best gigs ever. Everyday I wake up and wonder how I got to be so lucky. But working from home has it’s challenges too… this is a common one for me.  Follow the words! I tell myself.  It’s not always so easy!

*Disclaimer: Kelci was nice enough to draw me in ‘grown-up’ clothes instead of my PJs.

Artwork by: Kelci Crawford

Artwork by: Kelci Crawford

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Weekend Writing Warriors Blog Hop #3

Weekend Writing Warriors is a fun way to join a great community of fantastic writers and share your work by posting an excerpt (eight sentences) on your own blog on Sunday, then spending the rest of the day (seriously, it happens) reading and commenting on the excerpts of fellow authors.  Click this link and check them out!

This week I’m submitting another excerpt from Desiderium. We are in the same chapter as last week, continuing the conversation started there.

The 8:

I sighed deeply, so tired of the struggle my life had become since Blake had died. Always trying to convince everyone I was fine, trying to convince Sophie I was fine. Trying to maintain some semblance of what we had before when the cold hard truth is that what we had was gone. That beautiful golden time died with Blake. I want to let the struggle go, to embrace this new darkness bubbling up inside me. I just want to sink into the dark despair that’s been lurking at the edges of my reality since that phone call on a bright Tuesday afternoon.

“Please Terryn.”

I’d forgotten she was standing there, watching the thoughts flit across my face. I flattened my lips in grim determination and then forced a smile. That cold empty smile that seemed to be the only one I could muster these days.

Cover design for Desiderium is underway (I love this part!) and I will hopefully be able to share with you all in a couple weeks! You can read the story fully here.

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