Sunday, April 29, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday – Lilith

Colwyn led her towards a garage behind the funeral home where three hearses lined up, gleaming grills pointed outward.  “If Lilith is behind this death, I'd think she's being rather sloppy.  Is it always this easy to find her out?” he asked.
            Alex had to trot to keep up with his long stride.  “No, it's not.  Last time, which was during World War II, the Segreto figured she must be back what with the bloodshed and all going on, but no one could pinpoint her exact location.”

Releasing May 11

Friday, April 27, 2012

First Five Friday – The Willow and the Stone

Chapter 12

            Four weeks after Carli was dragged to the plantation as a pitiful invalid, a remarkable change had occurred.  Dawn had made her a project, vowing to make her the kick-butt woman she insisted lived within Carli’s soul.
Dawn volunteered them both for progressively harder work as the blonde regained her strength.  Occasionally Carli rebelled when her sore muscles demanded a break or when her dependent nature manifested itself.  If she became stubborn, Dawn refused to allow her to back down and alternated between cajoling and bullying until she got her way. 

Available from New Concepts Publishing

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just Pure Silliness: Ancient Aliens

You know I’m a geek.  So I’ll own up to absolutely loving the television show ‘Ancient Aliens’ (airing on History 2).  It has spurred more than one creative idea when it comes to my sci-fi writing.  I often think some of the arguments it makes for our planet being visited by extraterrestrials in the distant past are not too far out there.

But sometimes the proponents are just a little too eager to blame everything on out-of-this-world visitations.  And what the heck is up with Giorgio A. Tsoukalos’ hair (besides his hair)?  With this in mind, I submit the following images I found on the Internet that made me chuckle:  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - The Willow and the Stone

            Elijah returned to consciousness by degrees.  The first thing he noticed before opening his eyes was the pain.  It pulsed from his jaw throughout the rest of his head in sickening waves.
            His eyes flew open as something wet and cold pressed against his jaw.  Startled, he tried to sit up.  A gentle hand pushed against his chest.

Available from New Concepts Publishing

Friday, April 20, 2012

First Four Friday - Willow in the Desert (WIP)

Chapter 4

            “A new breed of alien, brought about by a combination of radiation sickness and the Becoming procedure.  A species that can walk during the daylight and groups in the hundreds to overwhelm its prey.”  Arner’s stiff pad of close-cropped hair seemed to have whitened since speaking to the Gulcher now resting in the clinic.  He alone paced up and down the war room. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Ghost Who Followed Me:My Third Haunting, Part 2

(Link to Part 1)

A frequent visitor to the house on Ellis Street was my stepbrother Blair.  He lived with his mother in Baxley, Georgia, but spent every other weekend and a few weeks through the summer with us.  Two years younger than me, Blair and I got along pretty well.  With our similar coloring, we even looked like brother and sister. 

It was during a summer visit that the next major bit of weirdness happened in that house.  My stepfather was working the three-to-eleven shift.  My baby brother Joe was asleep.  Mom and Blair were watching TV.  I decided to wash some of the South Georgia sweat off in our old-fashioned claw tub.
As I mentioned in Part 1, the bathroom and enclosed back porch/laundry room were at the back of the house.  The bathroom doors opened to that back porch and my brothers’ bedroom.  Because we didn’t have air conditioning in the house, it was the norm for me to close the door to the bedroom, as well as the door between the kitchen and the back porch.  The porch’s wooden door that opened to the outdoors was left open with the screen door latched and allowing evening breezes in.  The position of the bathtub meant I had plenty of privacy.

I took my bath, enjoying the break from the hot, sticky humidity that hung on even after sundown.  Finished, I stood up, facing the back porch.  And froze.

Grinning so hard that every tooth in his head showed, his eyes on me, Blair walked across the back porch.  He crossed from the kitchen to the back exit, his slight frame disappearing behind the open wooden door.  He didn’t make a sound as he trod the wood plank floor.

“Hey!” I yelled, grabbing my towel and wrapping it quickly around myself.  There was no answer.  And that unpleasant leering smile Blair had given me chilled my veins.  He was a practical joker with an offbeat sense of humor, but this was really out there for even him.

There was no sound at the back door.  Wrapped in my towel, I crept out to the porch.  As I neared the door, I noted the kitchen door was closed, just as I’d left it.  It was an old house and everything creaked, especially the doors when they were opened and shut.  There had been no sound when Blair had come through.

I had the sudden suspicion I had not seen my stepbrother.  I didn’t know what that had been grinning at me, but I felt sure it wasn’t him.  I looked around the open back door and there at the screen door was … nothing.  No one.  The door was still latched from the inside.

I got dressed in a hurry and headed to the front of the house where my mother and Blair stared at the television.  “Did anyone go to the back porch just now?” I asked.

You guessed it.  The answer was no.  They had both been in the living room the entire time.  And there was no way I would have mistaken my dark-haired (and slumbering) toddler brother Joe for long, lanky, towheaded Blair. 

Creepy?  Oh yeah.  And then some.  But the freakiest thing had yet to happen, and it didn’t happen in the Ellis Street house.  What was there followed me all the way to my dad’s house in North Carolina.

But we’ll get to that next time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Excerpt from The Willow and the Stone

            Elijah kept his voice light.  "Now Mrs. Short, I'm sure you've heard of doctor-patient confidentiality."
            She crossed her arms over her chest and frowned.  "If it concerns the well-being of the Rock, then it becomes my business.  The United States of America and its laws are only a memory."
            He adopted his professional manner.  "I assure you, Leo is no threat to health of the people here.  He's not contagious."
            Her eyes narrowed.  "I wonder, Dr. Webb.  You’re close friends, aren’t you?  Unless Mr. Black Elk heeds God’s mandate, I think any association with such a man could be very dangerous to your health."
            Anger awoke in a tiny spark, but he chose to ignore the veiled threat.  "He came in here to seek my services, which I rendered.  Now it’s your turn.  What can I do for you?"  He gestured to the chair vacated by Leo.
            She shook her head.  "You must refuse to associate with Leonard Black Elk for any reason.  I want you to sever your relationship, personal and professional, with him.  Now tell me what your conversation was about."
            A wave of unreality washed over him.  He opened his mouth then closed it again.  Finally he croaked, "I beg your pardon?"
            Concern replaced her cold expression.  "For the sake of your immortal soul, Dr. Webb.  That man is in league with Satan himself, and I‘m not sure I can save him or anyone he pollutes with his ways.  He performs unthinkable rites in that abandoned ranch house.  He hopes to destroy us all."
            Elijah shook his head.  "You're terribly mistaken.  Leo simply follows the rituals of his ancestors to honor his people."
            "So he would have you believe, but let me tell you what I've seen."  Her voice dropped, and she looked about the room as if she expected Leo to reappear.  "I've seen the 'ceremonies' he conducts in that basement.  Do you know he actually vanishes from the room?"
            "Mrs. Short—"
            "Listen to me!"  At her cry, his mouth snapped shut.  Geraldine's eyes bulged, and the color drained from her face.  "I’ve seen that – that devil's imp completely disappear!  As if the earth opens up and drops him straight into hell!”
            He decided against reproaching her for spying.  Instead he said, "Leo’s told me it gets very smoky in that basement and he can't see two inches in front of his face sometimes.  The smoke just blocked your view."
            "He wasn't hidden by smoke.  One moment he was there, the next he wasn't.  Part of the room itself disappeared and was replaced by a landscape.  It was like a huge picture window appeared there, looking out on a view."
            "Landscape?" His brow wrinkled.
            She grinned at him, a sight that made his skin crawl.  "You think I'm crazy, don't you?  Yes, I saw an outdoor scene, but not one like around here.  There was a tree in the distance, one of those weeping willows, with a boulder next to it."
            Elijah gripped the arms of his chair as the room rocked around him.  She leaned across the desk, her avid eyes searching his face.
            "You do know something about Black Elk."  She rushed around the desk to him.  She grasped his chair and swiveled him to face her.  Her breath buffeted his face in short puffs.  "Doctor, it's not too late to turn back from that fiery path he's leading you down.  You can still repent and return to the flock.  Tell me what he came in here about just now."
            He barely heard her.  "You saw this tree and stone?"
            She patted his hand.  "It's all right, Doctor.  The Lord is kind and loving.  You will be forgiven for aiding the works of Satan.  Together we can bring Leo back into the fold."
            He pulled his hands away from her eager grasp.  He felt sick and angry with himself for being taken in so easily.  He pushed his chair back and stood.  Let her look up at him for a change!
            "How long were you outside that door before you knocked?"
            Geraldine's eyes narrowed.  "What?"
            "Were you listening in on my private consultation with Leo?" he asked.
            She flushed, her face hectic with red blotches.  Her upper lip curled back.  "How dare you!  I offer you a chance to reclaim your immortal soul!"
            He strode to the door and opened it.  "This conversation is at an end, Mrs. Short."
            She glared at him.  "Not quite.  You and your friend Black Elk may laugh in the face of the Lord, Dr. Webb.  How long will you laugh when the Rock casts you out of this haven?"
            Elijah tried one last attempt at reason.  "Neither Leo nor myself are devil worshipers.  You know the Rock needs its doctor."
            "We need none of your medicine," she answered.  "The Lord will keep us safe and healthy.  Will the unholy one you follow do the same for you?"
            "Good day, Mrs. Short.  I'm sorry you find us to be such a threat."
            "With God on my side you're no threat to me whatsoever.  But I am a threat to you.  Do not doubt that."
            She stomped out, her footsteps crashing echoes down the empty hall.  He closed the door and leaned against it.  He sighed.
            That woman!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Willow in the Desert (WIP)

     He could now get to one of the shelters, the easily defensible places where Gulchers had hidden days’ worth of supplies in the event of an emergency.  The closest one was in the basement of the school’s gym, down the stairs at the end of the hall.  It wasn’t far.  If he was careful, he’d make it okay.  He turned, his gun clasped close to his chest.
A sore-blistered alien pincer came out of the darkness, knocking the gun from his hand.

Friday, April 13, 2012

First Five Friday - Lilith

Chapter 10

Two days after she and the Planter brothers dug up Holly Hutchins’ body, Alex visited Father Luis on the playground of the Segreto compound.  They watched the children romp, unmindful of the December chill.
The compound’s primary purpose was well hidden.  A private school and an orphanage spread in a semi-circle of red brick buildings.  At the center stood a three-story building with a modest sign that identified it as Administration.

Under contract, release date TBA

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Interview with Alex Williams of Lilith

Yes, I am interviewing another one of my fictional characters.  No, I’m not on medication.  Why do you ask?

Lilith is under contract to be published, with the date still to be announced.  It is a horror novel about the mythical first woman created (yep, Eve came second according the Hebrew legend).  Seems Lilith still has a few issues with being supplanted and has her eye on regaining supremacy on Earth.  One person stands in the way of destruction of mankind:  Alex Williams, the lone female warrior of the secret sect, the Segreto.

Q:  First question, Alex.  Why are you the only female in this organization?

A:  Oh, the Church has a bunch of weak reasons, but let’s be frank here.  It’s a patriarchal institution, and they don’t like ladies in charge.

Q:  It sounds as if you don’t quite approve.

A:  You could put it that way.

Q:  So why have even one female in the Segreto?

A:  Because Lilith is a succubus.  She has power over men via her sexuality.  They can’t resist her, so she kills them with ease.  Only a woman can fight her.

Q:  Wow.  So tell me more about the Segreto’s mission.

A:  I’ll have to give you a bit of history to answer that.  When Lilith left the Garden, she encountered the Fallen … the angels who rebelled against God and were cast out.  It was with them that she got – shall we say – frisky.  The resulting children were her daughters the succubi, who in turn gave birth to demons.  The Segreto was formed by the Church to fight and destroy demonkind.

Q:  And Lilith.  Why hasn’t she been destroyed yet?

A:  She’s immortal.  Lilith can’t be killed.  She can only be fought to a stalemate and sent between realms to a place we call the ether.  There she recovers her strength and plots for her next attempt to exterminate us.

Q:  So it’s your task to defend all of humanity against her?

A:  It was.

Q:  Past tense?

A:  I’ve been thrown out of the Segreto and excommunicated.  It’s no longer my fight.

Q:  Why?

A:  It’s complicated. 

Q:  You don’t seem too upset about it.

A:  It’s been a year since it happened.  You want to know the truth?  I’m glad to be out of it.  It’s not my problem and I don’t have to pretend to be something I’m not anymore. 

Q:  But who is standing watch with you gone?

A:  The Segreto is training my replacement.  I think she’s five or six years old now, so they better hope Lilith doesn’t show before then.

Q:  So you’re out of the demon fighting business then?

A:  I didn’t say that.

Q:  Would you care to elaborate?

A:  I don’t need the Church’s permission to use her rites.  And there are other weapons outside of crucifixes and holy water.  If I find a demon, I kill it.  They are evil, foul creatures that need to be wiped out.

Q:  I take it there are no such things as good demons?

A:  Just the ones I kill.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - Lilith

     Colwyn smirked.  “Friends in high places, Segreto.  The kind who will ask questions if I disappear.  Good luck in your search.”
     Alex scowled at his confidence and abrupt dismissal.  If the Planters had those kinds of connections, exterminating them would indeed be a little tricky.

Under contract

Friday, April 6, 2012

First Five Friday - The Willow and the Stone

Chapter 8

The red haze of the morning sun coaxed Carli's reluctant eyelids open.  She burrowed deep into the ragged quilts, unwilling to brave the early morning chill and trying to ignore her empty stomach.  The quilts were rancid with filth, but the insulation far outweighed the stench.
Her bladder insisted she get up.  She groaned, defeated.

Now available from New Concepts Publishing

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Favorite Sci-Fi Television Shows

Boy, am I ever showing my age with this list!  And no doubt I will irritate many by leaving out some big favorites like Stargate and Battlestar Galactica (the newer version, not the 1970’s cheese-fest).  I’m sure they were awesome as well, but I never saw either of these.  Hey, I’m a busy chick.  I don’t have much time these days to watch television.

But I watched plenty back in the day, so without further ado, Tamara’s Five Fave Sci-Fi Television Shows:

5.  Alien Nation

I have yet to see the film that inspired this one.  The television series dealt heavily with racism (as in humans vs. aliens) and the attempt to find a balance between fitting in and remaining true to one’s culture.  It was a little preachy sometimes, but also captivating and entertaining.

4.  Babylon 5

I got swept up in this one when I worked in a television station that showed it.  I absolutely adored the first four seasons of this show.  Sometimes it even overshadowed my addiction to Star Trek:  The Next Generation.  The characters were wonderful in their flawed personalities.  The fifth season with the new commander didn’t do a thing for me, however.  I still don’t know how the series ended because the line-up changes were simply too much for me to swallow.

3.  The Twilight Zone

Ah, Serling’s masterpiece.  Whether it was Shatner screaming about critters on the airplane’s wing or Billy Mumy being the creepy kid with telekinetic powers, you never knew where this show would take you.  The classic still holds its own today.

2.  Star Trek:  The Next Generation

“Make it so.”  Yeah, it started a little slow.  Starfleet was a little too stiff and self-righteous.  But moments like the Borg assimilating Picard and Worf insisting, “I am not a merry man!” gave it shining moments that even the original couldn’t approach.

1.  Star Trek                                                            

And speaking of the original … I grew up on this show (in syndication – hey, I’m not THAT old!).  The adventures of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy will forever hold a special place in my heart, no matter how dramatic the pauses between lines, no matter how many chicks Kirk boffed, no matter how many redshirts died horribly.  It was fun to watch and cheer the crew of the Starship Enterprise.  This will probably remain my sentimental favorite forever.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday - The Willow and the Stone

"Not everyone is as fanatical as Mrs. Short."
"We're in the middle of the Apocalypse."  Leo looked around at the others.  "The people are looking to be led out of Hell.  All eyes turn to a savior, usually someone with the right words.  Mrs. Short is that savior to many of these people."

Now available from New Concepts Publishing