Sunday, February 26, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Lilith

        She gave him a curt nod of acknowledgment.  For a moment Jacob said nothing; he just continued to stare at her.  Finally he grunted, “Huh.  Hope you're tougher than you look.”  As a retort came to her lips he added, “I've seen Lilith, and you’re not much in comparison.”
“I can take care of myself,” Alex said with heat.

Under contract

Friday, February 24, 2012

First Five Friday - Lilith

Chapter 7

After Colwyn and Alex returned from the morgue with the corpse of Jack Willingham, Jacob commandeered it, wheeling the unfortunate realtor into the embalming room.  They waited for his report in Colwyn's office.  Alex was glad to see the glaring Marta had left for the day.
“She knows what y'all are,” she said to Colwyn, who sat behind his desk.  He thumbed through a catalog featuring caskets, making notes on a legal pad.

Under contract

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Five Fave Horror Movie Villains

As I put together this list, it occurred to me that the classics do it best.  The newest of these villains started playing his scary self 25 years ago.  Sure, there have been some pretty intense baddies in horror recently, but these guys just give me the shivers like no one else.

5.  Pinhead from Hellraiser

Just the look of this guy freaks me out.  And it’s no wonder since one of his creators was Clive Barker, one of the best horror writers I’ve had the pleasure of reading.  Part of Pinhead’s fearsome aspect is that he’s so reasonable and intelligent.  Arguing with this cold, calculated cenobite as you try to keep your soul will always be a losing battle.

4.  Freddie from A Nightmare on Elm Street

Who doesn’t love Freddie?  He’s so unrepentantly evil, you just have to give him his due.  I’m not usually a fan of the slasher movie, which tends to rely too heavily on blood and gore, but watching Freddie stalk his victims with such glee makes him a definite shoe-in for the list.

3.   Bela Lugosi’s Dracula

Bela is the original and definitive Dracula.  His methodical pacing, like that of a living corpse, is markedly different from the recent offerings of angst-ridden bloodsuckers.  He is a predator with no conscience, no feeling for his victims.  Even when he’s not speaking, he’s a riveting presence on the screen.

2.  Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein’s Monster

In turns poignant and terrible, the monster (his creator was Frankenstein, this was not the creature’s name) became one of the most enduring faces of horror since its debut in 1931.  Watching the creature reach for a beam of sunlight and happily toss flowers in the pond with a little girl only underscored his monstrous attacks on others.  Without speaking a word, Boris Karloff created an iconic character.

Jack Nicholson – The Shining

“Heeeere’s Johnny!”  With demented grin and ax in hand, Jack Nicholson’s delivery made that line one of the most heartstopping in horror.  While I’m usually a purist when it comes to movies based on books (especially Stephen King books), Nicholson’s portrayal of Jack Torrence was wonderful in its over-the-top performance.  He looked insane from the moment he showed up on the screen, and he only looked crazier with each passing frame.   My husband and I always watch The Shining on Halloween, and the main reason has to do with wacky Jacky.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - The Willow and the Stone

      "This probably sounds insane, but I have years of interpreting my visions, and I’ve achieved some accuracy in doing so.  I believe the deaths of those aliens are yet to happen.  Maybe not just the ones in my vision.  The rock and willow might hold the key to destroying all the aliens."
"Two people could be the entire planet's salvation?"
Leo didn't answer.

Coming March 16 from New Concepts Publishing

Friday, February 17, 2012

First Four Friday - The Willow and the Stone

Chapter 6

Adam's mouth tightened in a straight line.  Renee winced and braced herself for the coming explosion.  Somehow he managed a gentle tone as he called to the tiny blonde who had wandered off yet again.
"Carli, please come back here."

Releasing March 16

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Poltergeist Play – My Second Haunted House

If you haven’t read my first haunted house experience, you can go here to find out all about that.  My second encounter with the paranormal wasn’t nearly as traumatic as that first one, thank goodness.  It was rather benign, in fact.

When my family left the garage apartment that had held such terror, we moved to a much nicer house in Newport, North Carolina.  I was about five years old at the time, getting ready to start kindergarten.  The front and back yards were huge, giving me and my soon-to-be born brother plenty of room to play.  Not only that, but there were stalls and a fenced-in corral out back.  It wasn’t long before we had horses.  I even had my own little dappled-gray pony, a gentle mare named Glory.

It was a lovely house that saw much laughter and anguish.  It would be the last place we lived together as a family.  My parents would split up and divorce two years down the road.

As I said, the not-of-this-world activity in this house was of a playful, benign nature, that of a poltergeist.  For those of you not acquainted with this phenomenon, the word poltergeist translates as ‘noisy ghost’.  Objects tend to disappear or move about the room.  The activity can be as mild as a knick knack falling from a table to the floor, or as terrifying as a dish violently sailing across the room to crash into a wall or person.  Poltergeist activity usually occurs around adolescent females, leaving some researchers to conclude the extra energy and angst of rampant hormones might be partly to blame for the phenomenon.

I was between the ages of five and seven during this time, my mother twenty-five to twenty-seven, neither of us anywhere near puberty.  Was it the disintegrating marriage and heightened emotions that incited the strange happenings I experienced?  Or did some unseen entity simply want to play tricks on me?

All I know is that time after time I would be playing with a toy in my bedroom, usually something very small like a plastic Indian or horse figure.  I would turn my back on the object for an instant and when I went to grab it ... it was gone.  I would look everywhere for it to no avail.  After a few minutes, there would be a soft thump on my bed, as if something had fallen from the ceiling onto the mattress.  And there on the bedspread would be my missing toy.

I couldn’t fathom how this was happening.  Still jumpy from my experience in the previous house, I thought about ghosts.  But nothing else ever happened.  Certainly no headless entities or independent shadows wandered my new home as they had in the last. 

After awhile, I was no longer fazed by my disappearing/re-appearing toys.  It got to the point where if the toy I was playing with went missing, I would call out with all the righteous indignation of a wronged tot, “Give it back!”  And though I never saw it fall, the telltale thump of the object landing on my bed let me know the game was up, the toy returned.  And so it went until my parents broke up.  Interestingly enough, after my mother moved out and my stepmother and her two adolescent daughters moved in, the activity ceased.  My playful adversary stole no more toys, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the paranormal for the next four years.

But that’s another story.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Lilith

Colwyn folded his arms over his acre-wide chest and stared down at her.  His face remained an emotionless mask, but the venom in his tone made up for it.  “You're not quite what I expected.  I guess I should thank you for not charging in here spouting scripture verses and flinging holy water.”
“Don't give me a reason to.”  Alex injected enough malice in her own voice to match his.

Now under contract, publication date to be determined.

Friday, February 10, 2012

First Four Friday - Lilith

Chapter 6

In the house she'd rented just hours before killing the young man who'd leased it to her, Lilith settled on the stained sofa scrounged from another victim's home.  She picked up the remote control.  With the tap of a red taloned fingernail, the television blared to life, casting its blue light on featureless walls.  The drawn shades kept the room dark and secretive despite the sunny day.

Under contract and coming sometime in 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Interview with Carli Dixon of The Willow and the Stone

Obviously I’m not so crazy as to believe I’m actually sitting down to interview a fictional character.  I just thought it would be fun to share a little more about my upcoming book through one of the heroines’ eyes.  So just roll along with me on this and enjoy.

Q:  Hi Carli. 

A:  Keep it down.  If any aliens are around, they might hear you.

Q:  Sorry.  I guess things have gotten pretty bad for humans since the Black Pyramids landed?

A:  Besides my friend Renee, I hardly see people anymore.  I think we must be nearly extinct.  But you see those damned monsters all over the place. 

Q:  So tell me about survival since the aliens came.  From the looks of you, it hasn’t been easy.

A:  Food is hard to come by.  We forage around for anything edible during the day.  Once in awhile we come across an old farm or garden that’s grown wild and still producing, but after two years those are getting far and few between.  Sometimes you can catch fish.  Every now and then there’s a grocery store that hasn’t been looted for all the canned stuff.

Q:  So daytime is still safe?

A:  Aliens can’t come out during the day.  I’ve seen a few of their bodies here and there, all charred from the sun. 

Q:  So you have to keep hidden at night?

A:  You’d better believe it.  If one of those things catches you, it’s all over.  They’re stronger, faster, and they inject you with some sort of poison that paralyzes you while they feed. 

Q:  What do these things look like?

A:  Unbelievably horrible.  They’re kind of like giant insects.  They have these arms like you’d see on a praying mantis, with bristles growing out.  They don’t have noses or mouths.  Instead, there’s a siphon that can narrow down to a needle point.  That’s what they use to drain the blood from their victims. 

Q:  It sounds pretty nightmarish.

A:  You know what’s the worst part?  Their eyes.  They have eyes like ours.  I know you wouldn’t think that would be so awful, but to see human-looking eyes on such inhuman creatures is just insane.  It’s wrong.

Q:  Tell me about your friend Renee.

A:  She’s tough.  A lot tougher than me.  I think I’d be dead without her to keep me safe.  I try not to mess up, because if she left me I’d be in a world of hurt.

Q:  Why would she leave you?  You are friends, right?

A:  Yeah.  She’d probably put up with me no matter what, but I’ve really been getting on her nerves lately.

Q:  In what way?

A:  I keep having these dreams.  She doesn’t want to hear about them though.

Q:  What kind of dreams?

A:  You’re going to laugh, but I dream about this Native American man who calls me Willow.  I think he’s real.

Q:  Why do you think that?

A:  I’ve had dreams before that came true.  I know, I know, it’s weird.  No one believes me, but this stuff is for real.  Anyway, this guy I’m dreaming about, he keeps asking me to join him.  I think he’s hiding with a bunch of other people in a mine shaft somewhere in Pennsylvania.  But winter is on the way, and Renee says we have to head south. 

Q:  So you’re not going to look for him?

A:  How can I?  Renee won’t go, and I can’t survive by myself.  Wait – did you hear something?  Sort of like a really loud cricket?

Q:  I don’t know.  I wasn’t paying attention.

A:  It could be an alien.  They make this cricket-like noise – there it is again.  I have to go and tell Renee.

Q:  Good luck to you, Carli. 

A:  Thanks.  I need all the luck I can get.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - The Willow and the Stone

     Carli straightened from her slumped posture, the blonde's faraway look replaced by outright fear.  Renee’s confusion chilled to terror as Carli extended a shaking finger and pointed at the street running in front of them.  A man on the other side of the cracked asphalt stared at them.
"Oh shit," Renee whispered.
The disheveled creature, his long dark hair tied back in a ponytail, walked across the street and hurried up the sidewalk.  His gray T-shirt and jeans looked new, perhaps from recent scrounging in a store.

Coming March 16 from New Concepts Publishing

Friday, February 3, 2012

First Four Friday -The Willow and the Stone

Chapter 3

Leonard "Leo" Black Elk sat before a fire, his reddened eyes streaming.  He stretched to feed green wood to the smoking fire. The warmth enfolded him, and he welcomed it in spite of his smarting eyes.  The worn but clean flannel shirt and jeans offered little protection from the cold snap that had hit that morning.

Coming from New Concepts Publishing March 16

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Five Fave TV and Movie Aliens

I love sci-fi, and the aliens that are dreamed up.  Some of these picks are better known than others, and I know many would disagree with my list.  But when I think awesome aliens, these are the ones who come to mind:

5.  Debbie Lee Carrington in Total Recall

Okay, so technically she’s a human living on Mars and not an alien.  But she’s so cool and absolutely badass that I had to put her in.  When they said big things come in small packages, they must have had Debbie in mind.  Come on, guys, you know you would (wink, wink).  And speaking of alien women men secretly think, “Yeah, I’d hit that”…

4.  Lursa and B’Etor, the Duras sisters from Star Trek:  The Next Generation

Trouble is, they’d hit back.  And probably crush your skull.  Tough gals, not very nice, but ultimately I have to give them props for being such terrific villains. 

3.  Predator

Yes, he’s ugly as sin under that Boba Fett wanna-be mask, but the guy is sporting awesome dreads.  Tough even at the point of death, he laughed in Ah-nold’s face as he committed suicide.  It doesn’t get better than that.

2.  Quark from Star Trek:  Deep Space 9

Conniving and comedic, Armin Shimerman made Quark the character to follow on this show.  Quark’s conscience constantly got in the way of his greed, and I loved watching him thwart his own attempts to get rich.

1.  Yoda

Not the wisdom-spouting Yoda, sitting cool as a cucumber as he dispenses pithy sayings to would-be Jedis.  With that Fozzie Bear voice, I kept expecting him to add “Wakka wakka” at the end of each sentence.  I’m talking the somersaulting, saber-wielding, Count-Dooku-butt-kicking Yoda.  Very cool.