Big Bad II – Available Now!

Here at last for your reading pleasure… Big Bad II, now with bigger, badder villains! Gorgeous cover, beautifully disturbing stories, and a nice, healthy dose of WTF. John Hartness & Emily Leverett have really outdone themselves this time, folks. This is a serious cast list author-wise, and I’m honored to be included among such talented people. The very idea of an anthology filled with stories about bad guys makes me happy.

This book… and all of us in it… we are the reason why YOU should be afraid of the dark.

HORROR

Publication Date: February 24, 2015 Dark Oak Press

Everybody loves the bad guys, and this second edition of The Big Bad brings you more to love! A collection of best-selling fantasy and horror writers brings you twenty-four all-new tales of vampires, demons, ghosts, zombies, and the most terrifying monsters of all – humans. Crack open the pages, if you dare, and explore two dozen tales of humor and horror by some of the brightest names in the business!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | B&N Hardcover

The list of authors includes:

John Glover                 John Hartness
Selah Janel                  Gail Martin

Jason Corner               S.H. Roddey
Kasidy Mansico           James R. Tuck
Sara Taylor Woods      Eden Royce
Sarah Adams              Jay Requard

Riley Miller                  Edmund Schubert
Stuart Jaffe
                 Emily Leverett
Bobby Nash                Nicole Kurtz
Lindsey Lewis             Eric Guy
Matthew Saunders      Neal Litherland
Misty Massey              M. B. Weston
David B. Coe

My contribution is called “Skippin’ Stones”, and here’s the first part of it:


Skippin’ stones down by the crick…

That was where any momma could find her little boy on a Saturday afternoon in Rock Mountain, Tennessee. We would line up, one by one in even spaces all up and down the loamy crick-bed, searchin’ for the best, shiniest river-rocks to thump across the surface of that little offshoot of the Tennessee River. Sometimes we would all huddle up together and compare stones before havin’ a contest to see who could skip the farthest, or who could drag the most jumps outta our rocks. There weren’t no television or nothin’ like that, so us kids had to entertain ourselves. Skippin’ stones meant we got to throw things without getting’ in trouble.

Me, I always liked the little, flat ones. Perfectly round, and light-colored. Sometimes I picked up ones with veins of dark sumthin-or-other runnin’ through ‘em, but most of the time I went for the white or light gray ones. Call it superstition, but those light colors always did me good. I still believe it, too, ‘cause the day I met the Devil, I was skippin’ rocks with dark streaks in ‘em.

Me an’ Jimmy Tanner was out by the crick one afternoon when we was six and Jimmy’s momma came lookin’ for him, mad as a wet hen and armed with her favorite whippin’ stick.

“Get yo’self back to that house right his minute, Jimmy-boy!” she screeched, wavin’ her hands around like her tail was on fire. That skinny little stick wobbled around in the air, but we knowed better than to think it would break. Them green wood switches she picked would bend into all sortsa knots before they’d up and break. “Yo’ daddy is gonna ring yo’ neck for what you done gone and did!” The boy took off runnin’ like his tail was gonna be on fire…and it prob’ly was, too, cause his momma really liked her whippin’ sticks. She caught me ‘cross the knees one time for smartin’ off to her. I never did it again, I tell you what.

After Jimmy run off and left me standin’ knee-deep in the cool water with my shoes up on a sunny rock, I bent down and picked up somethin’ outta the water. It was a stone; the flattest, shiniest one I ever seen. It was bright white, but it had a streak of sparkly black runnin’ right down its middle.

I’m gonna have your soul, Mickey.

I felt the voice, like a cold chill of goosebumps up my back and my arms. It sounded like the wind, like nature had found her voice and wasn’t too happy with me.

You can’t run, and you can’t hide, Mickey. I’m gonna take your soul straight to Hell.

“Who’s there?” I called out. Now, don’t get me wrong…I was scared. So scared I didn’t notice the warm trickle down the inside of my right leg ‘til long after I’d gone screamin’ home and crawled up cryin’ in my momma’s arms.

You know who I am, Mickey. Don’t play dumb.

“Now you listen to me, you dirty ol’ Devil!” I screamed. I know I sound a lot braver than I was, but when you’re eight years old, you ain’t got the good sense God gave a wet paper bag. “You gonna turn right back around and you is gonna go straight back to Heck!” I couldn’t say Hell yet. Momma woulda washed my mouth out for sure. It didn’t matter. The Devil knew what I was talking about.

Tell me, Mickey… what’s it like to be afraid of something you can’t see?

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Coming Soon to a #Horror Shelf Near You!

I’ve been waiting for the go-ahead on this one for quite some time. I’m finally ready to show off now.

Remember how I had a story featured in The Big Bad: Anthology of Evil? Well, Volume 2 is almost here, and I’m in it again! This book just happens to house one of my favorite things I’ve ever written as well. The story is called “Skippin’ Stones”, and it’s the product of a sleepless night after meeting the devil in a dream. My brain works in some pretty strange ways.

The book is due out on 2/24, so everyone should be ready to run out and buy it right that minute. It’s a great collection, and one I’m proud to be part of. But since the book isn’t here yet, I’ll leave you with the awesometastic and super-creepy cover. I have to say…I’m in love.

Big Bad 2

Resolutions…

I don’t make them. And I don’t for one very simple reason: I don’t like letting myself down when I don’t keep them. Every year I swear I’m going to do all these things – to lose weight, to be a better writer, employee and overall person, to do this or that… the only way I’m going to keep a resolution is if I vow to quit smoking.

And the only reason I’ll keep it is because I don’t smoke. Sad, isn’t it?

Everyone asked me back at New Year’s what my resolutions were and they looked at me like I was nuts because I said I wasn’t making any. If I swore to be a better blogger, I’d have failed already. It’s the 15th and this is my first non-publicity post of the year. I haven’t actually finished a story since the calendar change, but that isn’t because I’m not trying.

I’m busy. Really busy.

Work + Toddler = EXHAUSTED.

I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate to do on this end, too. I have to get back in gear and start with promotion again. I have to plan out my convention season. I have to keep blogging. But first and foremost, I have get my head on straight and figure out which direction I’m going. If I don’t do that, then all is lost. Pretty sad, ain’t it?

I’m also sort of agonizing. The edits have started to surface for the Big Bad Anthology… and from some of the comments I’ve seen, our dear editor is a bit on the tough side. If some of the awesome people in that anthology are having red-pen nightmares, I’m terrified to see what mine is going to look like. When I get mine, I’ll only let the hissy fit last 30 seconds. I promise.

Plus some friends and I have taken on a new project – The Wyrde Sisters. The training wheels are still on this one, so be patient with us! It’s going to take some time to get it going the way we want.

So… In lieu of resolutions, I’ve set a few personal goals that I’d like to keep this year. If I don’t quite make it, I won’t be letting myself down because there isn’t a time limit. Well, on the first one there is…

1. Finish the Sword & Sorcery submission for Seventh Star Press’s anthology call.

2. Write up a proposal on the gianormous space opera/epic fantasy/sword and sorcery mashup.

3. Start on the epic fantasy series.

4. Get moving again on the soul collectors series.

5. Get all of my beta-reading / review projects read and returned to their respective owners.

6. SLEEP.

I still don’t get enough sleep, you know.

Getting The Words Out

The last six months have been… let’s say…trying. Real life has come down on the top of my head in a big, nasty way and for a very, very long portion of those months, I wasn’t doing anything at all but playing mommy, driving all over Hell and half of Georgia, and trying to sleep when I could. In the past six months I’ve had a baby, lost my father, buried two cats (one of mine and one of my mother-in-law’s), attended the funeral of my husband’s best friend’s grandmother, and lost two other friends, one under extremely suspicious circumstances.  It hasn’t been easy.

The good news?

I’m finally writing again. FINALLY.

I’ve told you already about Devil’s Daughter, scheduled to hit eShelves in September and Rock N’ Roll Angel, scheduled for the Splatterpunk Anthology Release sometime in October, right?

Well hold on to your hats, kids.  There’s more.

Something about Fandom Fest really inspired me to get off my duff and do what I love again. I have been, and it feels great. In the last 30 days, I have submitted three stories:

 

1. Easy as Pie went to Necro Publications’ Into the Darkness Anthology Call

2. Wolfy went to John Hartness and Kerlak Publishing for the Big Bad Anthology Call

3. Skippin’ Stoneswas just packed up and sent to the Deep Cuts Anthology Call. I did it ten minutes ago.

 

They’re done, filed, and off my writing plate. It feels fabulous.  Pushing those off on someone else has opened up my writing world to all these other crazy projects. So here’s what’s next on my plate:

 

1. James R. Tuck’s Sword & Sorcery Anthology Call through Seventh Star Press. I have two ideas for this and they’re battling like mad in my head.

2. My Soul Collectors Series. Devil’s Daughter is the first taste of that series, and I can’t wait to really get going on it.

3. The Steampunk Horror Novel. I’m 30,000 words into it, have no title, and don’t have a clue exactly how I’m going to end it… but I’m having fun with it. Over the last few months it has turned into a bit of an homage to Frankenstein, which is hands-down my favorite horror novel of all time.

 

There are all manner of other fringe projects, but those are my three priorities. If I can get them done and out of the way my IN PROGRESS folder will shrink considerably.

I guess that means I should stop stalling on the internet and get back to work, huh?

Getting Better All the Time…

Or I would be if I weren’t fighting a massive head cold.  Summer colds are the worst, too. Not only do you feel rotten, but it’s hot and humid outside and it’s an all-around miserable time.  I don’t like it.

Shoving that to the side, let’s talk about fun things, shall we?

I know I promised an update on Fandom Fest – it’s coming, I swear.  The posts are written but are so outdated that I can’t publish them without a few rewrites.  So that funness will come a bit later.

Let’s see…what else is going on around here?

Well, in the last twenty-four hours I’ve submitted stories to two different anthology calls.  I’m about 98% sure BOTH will be rejected, but I’m okay with that.  I have to try, right?

Easy as Pie was submitted to Necro Publications’ Into the Darkness Call.  It’s pretty gruesome, so they’ll probably be bored by it.

Wolfy was submitted this afternoon to the Big Bad Anthology call.  I’m sure John will just love me for adding one more thing to the to-be-read pile.  At last count I think he was over 100 submissions.  Poor guy… but honestly, he asked for it.

Now that those two stories are out of the way it means I have to get back to work on something else, doesn’t it?

On the “already contracted” front, both Rock & Roll Angel and Devil’s Daughter have been through edits, and the cover art form for Devil’s Daughter has been returned.  Plus I got some really positive comments on a beta read for Devil’s Daughter today that made me very happy.

I think I’m up to date with all of my contractual obligations.  Next stop… catching up on blog posts.

Like this one, for instance.

I keep telling you guys that I suck at blogging.  I’m one of those weirdos that would much rather be writing books.

I also agreed to help a friend of mine with another project, but there will be a whole post dedicated to that later.

That’s about all I’ve got for now.  Well, unless everyone wants to know that it’s raining cats and dogs outside and in about five minutes I’m going to get very, very wet.  So I’ll leave you all with that.

Stay cool and dry, everyone.