Where has my time disappeared to?

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It seemed only yesterday I was celebrating the release of my second book, ready to crack the whip on my third. Then life happened. It’s a simple tale with not so many simple twists and turns. I get started, I write a few chapters, and then another detour. How many years are we looking at? Google Maps would have a field day with all the road maps I’m certain.  Is any of it an excuse for not writing? No, not really. Am I ashamed that I haven’t finished my work? No way! Do I feel that everything that has gone on has enriched my world view giving me an extra depth I didn’t have before? Heck yeah!

At this very moment I am sitting in the bedroom of a house I used to live in. Nothing big has changed since I moved away. It looks the same, smells the same, and I fall into the same patterns as if I were a small teenager. The small town life never really suited me, not to say I’m all for Urban living. I just knew there was something more than this Tennessee county could offer me in life. Yet here I was staring at the same blue(not blue) walls and taking in the emotions. The biggest change for me, and the reason I rarely came back,  is that my grandmother no longer resides here. That was a tough pill to swallow the first step inside the door.

I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have to be. In the other room is an older man trying his best to sleep. Too much time in the hospital left him with a horrible schedule. My father’s health brought me here. One day he’s headed off to the doctor about the shortness of his breath and the next I am on my way across state lines to meet up with him in ICU only to chase an airlift to a hospital that was going to do a quintuple bypass surgery. A week in the hospital and almost a week in this house.  He doesn’t complain,  he doesn’t need pain pills, and he’s almost the model patient. Only I see his frailty; his fear. He lived alone and the worst cases flashed before him and, like me in the past, has faced Mortality.  So we take this one day at a time, me by his side through recovery. One more week and back across state lines to my home where he can recover and not be alone. I’m not saying the times won’t be trying, but we’ll at least have each other around.

Besides, wait until the stories roll in about my now teenage daughter,  the terror twins(miniature pinchers), and my aunt Birdy, who I have also become caretaker to.

So if I find time between all this chaos don’t think I wouldn’t jump at the chance. Got the muse juiced up and notebooks everywhere as something hits me. I’ll get through it all, and heck maybe it will help me in the long run.

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The Death of a Character: To Mourn or Not to Mourn

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I was asked a question earlier by someone I find both wise, endearing, and completely talented in all that she does.  Her question has been bouncing around in my mind and I realize that my answer to her was very swift and two dimensional so maybe I should expand a little on the subject.  The question happened after I was very pleased with writing a prominent character’s death.

I took it as someone who writes herself wanted to know if we had similar feelings.  She asked, “Do you mourn them? If you don’t, do you feel badly for not mourning them?”  

I responded simply with, “I’ve been juggling with this death, going back and forth whether I should or not and ultimately for the final book sets things to 11.  I do some more than others depending how attached I am. This one, yes. The great thing, though, is I don’t write in order so I will get to enjoy them for a while longer.” and “Some I am glad for their demise, though, and celebrate.”

If you happened to have read Rise of a Queen or Of Darkness and Light (heck, maybe even both) you realize something pretty quick.  I kill characters off quite a bit.  Not in a George R.R. Martin or even Steven Moffat way; the emotional trauma I might cause myself would be asylum worthy if I were to venture down that path.  Nonetheless, I do tend to find a great death scene to write.  Something I have said since the beginning and can shout from the rooftops…..EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.  No matter how lighthearted or gut-wrenchingly dark things get, there is a purpose for everything that I write and it may not even be clear until you reach the final book; I write for the long haul.  For some characters I realize that they are meant to have their demise as part of something highly entertaining or a need for vengeance that even the reader is screaming for.

Since we live in the land of spoiler alerts, I guess I should say if you have not read the first book SPOILER AHEAD….

Greco’s death serves the biggest purpose of the entire series.  I know people have told me they’re either team Greco or Team Isaac which I have to always answer, “Why not be Team Tessa?”  Both are what makes her who she is.  Greco’s death sets the stage for everything she becomes as the Queen of the Levé’s, the main reason I labeled the first book of the series Rise of a Queen.

END OF SPOILER

Through all this, I still have to say I haven’t really answered the true question beyond the basics.  YES, YES, YES, I mourn my character’s deaths….the ones that I have cultivated and molded for years until their very last breath.  The necessity sometimes breaks my heart and for some people, they want to deny that death understandably.  I have been working on this series since the early 2000’s when I wrote a small bit, set it aside and didn’t pick it up again until a dear friend prodded me with such tenacity it had awaken something inside of me.  With guidance and suggestions Tessa became who she was and The Vampire Realm became so real I could close my eyes and see everything inside of it.  It has consumed me ever since and as I am working on this final book of the series I believe I will mourn The Vampire Realm itself, but at the same time feel pleased and accomplished for giving my baby the life and excitement it contained.

To all the villains that I happen to not mourn…….all I can say is I have raised many a wine glass in your demise and take solace in the fact that I can feel better by simply going back and turning to those pinnacle pages at any time I feel the need.

 

The Wait is over Of Darkness and Light is on sale today

The wait is finally over, Book two of the series The Vampire Realm: Of Darkness and Light is finally live for purchase on your e-reader.  It has been a great road putting a hat on and becoming each of these characters and I can’t wait to finish the series with a bang!!!

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For Sale at these locations:

Amazon/Amazon UK/Amazon CA
Barnes & Noble
iStore
Kobo
Smashword
Scribed
Overdrive

Of Darkness and Light is the follow up book to Rise of a Queen, part of The Vampire Realm series. Where Rise of a Queen tells the tale of Tessa’s struggles and defeats, the introduction of Tessa’s family brought forth a new tale to tell.

The rise of her empire came at a cost

Tessa’s vision of a future where vampires and humans lived united had all but disappeared. Her family, torn by the wars that ravaged her land, had to choose a side. Her sister and Emma with the rebels and Jason growing into his future by Tessa’s side. Emma’s struggle with her own choices, as Jason moves forward towards a life of service to his aunt, neither one sure of the outcome. The journey that the family takes will force the evolution of life as a vampire to the forefront, forever changing Tessa’s perspective on the world she thought she knew. Can Tessa survive another daunting war while ensuring the future of the vampires? Will Jason and Emma make the right choices and not be swayed by the childhood they once knew? Can either side of the war overcome what stands in their way, even when what they love is what they will lose?  Or will there be a beacon of hope; shining brightly in the world that has fallen so dark…..

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The Vampire Realm

We’re releasing tomorrow!!!

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The wait is just about over if you’ve been waiting for the e-release Of Darkness and Light.

An entire family; an entire kingdom on the brink of change.  Our protagonist, Tessa, starts a journey that could change everything we know about vampire history and it’s future.  Emma runs into her mother’s arms; reality surrounds her.  The war with the Krones may be over but it is only the beginning for Tessa and the Levé’s; maybe even the vampire race itself.

Jason’s responsibilities intensify and he has many a choice to make.  With the rebel’s attacking constantly he does everything he can to protect his ward.  When all things turn dark will Ariana be the beacon of light that guides them?  Find out more….

e-book pre-orders available at Amazon (US, but check your country’s site), Barnes & Noble, iStore, KoboSmashwords.  

Just 3 more days…Be Careful What You Wish For

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Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it. Every rose has its thorns. Emma learns the true nature of war and what being with her mother entails.  Read More…..

We’re launching this week!  Book 2 of The Vampire Realm Series: Of Darkness and Light is coming closer to being on your e-reader.

e-book pre-orders available at Amazon (US, but check your country’s site), Barnes & Noble, iStore, KoboSmashwords

We’re counting on one hand now with 5 days remaining

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Only five more days until the bloodshed begins.  As Melinda leads the Freedom Fighters into battle, Emma at her side, she tempts a fate that cannot be undone.  Two sisters on opposite sides.  Tessa against Melinda; vampires versus humans.  Who will prevail?

e-book pre-orders available at Amazon (US, but check your country’s site), Barnes & Noble, iStore, KoboSmashwords.  

Author Event October 29th, 2015

I am very excited to announce a special author event that will take place at the end of October.  Since we are gearing up for the release of my second book, Of Darkness and Light (e-book October 8th, paperback October 22nd), this is just another goody to add to the bag.  I am very happy to announce that I will be appearing at Scuppernong Books  (304 South Elm Street Greensboro NC 27401) to discuss, sign, and maybe even read from my newest book.  I’m grateful for this opportunity and anybody in the North Carolina, I would ever so pleased to see you there.

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e-book pre-orders available at Amazon (US, but check your country’s site), Barnes & Noble, iStore, KoboSmashwords

Get a taste of what’s to come; preview the beginning Of Darkness and Light

Can’t wait till fall to take a peek at Of Darkness and Light?  Why wait?  You can read on my website the Prologue and Chapter One or simply download it for later.

Or Darkness and Light Chapter One (doc) Of Darkness and Light Chapter One (pdf)

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COVER REVEAL: Of Darkness and Light

Book 2 of The Vampire Realm is on it’s way.  I’ve given you release dates (October 8th e-book, October 22nd paperback) and even an e-book giveaway. Since I’m on a roll I thought I would bring out the cover I’ve been teasing about if you’ve taken notice to my facebook and twitter.

e-book pre-orders available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iStore.  More coming soon!

new cover august 2015 option 1

Of Darkness and Light is the follow up book to Rise of a Queen, part of The Vampire Realm series. Where Rise of a Queen tells the tale of Tessa’s struggles and defeats, he introduction of Tessa’s family brought forth a new tale to tell.

The rise of her empire came at a cost

Tessa’s vision of a future where vampires and humans lived united had all but disappeared. Her family, torn by the wars that ravaged her land, had to choose a side. Her sister and Emma with the rebels and Jason growing into his future by Tessa’s side. Emma’s struggle with her own choices, as Jason moves forward towards a life of service to his aunt, neither one sure of the outcome. The journey that the family takes will force the evolution of life as a vampire to the forefront, forever changing Tessa’s perspective on the world she thought she knew. Can Tessa survive another daunting war while ensuring the future of the vampires? Will Jason and Emma make the right choices and not be swayed by the childhood they once knew? Can either side of the war overcome what stands in their way, even when what they love is what they will lose? Will Jason and Emma make the right choices and not be swayed by the childhood they once knew? Can either side of the war overcome what stands in their way, even when what they love is what they will lose? Or will there be a beacon of hope; shining brightly in the world that has fallen so dark…..

in

The Vampire Realm

Temptation hence forth…

While J.S. Riddle is working away to bring you the next in her tales of Tessa et al, we know you are dying for another taste of their world. Here is it, darlings… enjoy.

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   The sloshing through the depth of the sewer felt heavy on Emma’s lanky legs. Every step felt as if ten pounds were being added each time. Her breath deep; her body tired.
“Faster! We can’t risk for them to catch up to us.” The strapping man in front of her said, he did not turn to look back, only showing the brown hood that covered his head.
“I’m going as fast as I can.” She wheezed in between words. “I have to rest.” She stopped, leaned against the cold concrete wall, and bent over breathing heavily.
Her liberator sighed and stopped to turn around. “I will not risk my life for you. As much as I hold allegiance to your mother, my life is still my priority.” When she saw his face she tried her hardest to not stare at the burn crossing three quarters of his face.
Emma sat up, leaned her head on the wall, and caught her breath slightly. She wiped the sweat from her brow and noticed a foul stench just before she realized that is was coming from her sleeve that was soaked in the putrid sewer they had been traversing through for what seemed like hours. “Okay, I’m ready.”

 […]

Once emerged from the sewage pipe the brightness of the sun felt like burning lasers on Emma’s eyes, leaving her blind for a few moments. Her leader extinguished his flame and helped pull her out of the slimy waters. When her sight became much clearer she was shocked at her surrounding. As she walked through the dirt and gravel she looked around at the rubble of what must have been houses at one time. She saw people sitting on the ground, children were playing quietly with a beat-up ball, men were sitting on buckets playing cards on a tree stump. They all wore raggedly torn clothes, looked dirty, and each one had emaciated bodies, some looked like they had not eaten in weeks. This was not the world that she envisioned.