The Devil Inside the Details… See What I Did There? ;)

mock-00575We all do it… read through a book or series, then come back later to re-read and say, “OMG, I totally missed that before!” Even as I went back through the Bloodline Series books, I found little bits and moments that I’d forgotten or hadn’t noticed before… and I wrote the darn thing! So this week’s bloggeration will be dedicated to

The Top 5 Details Readers Miss in the Bloodline Series

  1. WHERE ARE WE? I always try my best to right the direction portion, i.e. the setting, where people are going, etc., as accurately as I possibly can. To do so, I rely heavily on guidebooks for the city. So theoretically, if you were in Manhattan and wanted to follow Sam and company Uptown, Downtown, all around the town… you could literally use the books and do it. Great example: Book two, QUICKSILVER, when Sam and Vincent are running around in Brooklyn… you could literally travel from the elevated subway platform to Havemeyer Street and beyond just running along with them.
  2. HELLO, DOLLY In addition to the trilogy, I also wrote a prequel story that details an early adventure of Sam’s grandfather, Ivan (this story is not included in the boxed set). A clue to that story is mentioned briefly in the first book, BLOODLINE: a set of matryoshka, or Russian nesting dolls. They belonged to Sam’s grandmother and… well, if you want to know more about the story, you’ll just have to read IVAN 😉
  3. ENDINGS AND BEGINNINGS In screenwriting, they recommend ending your story very much like it begins. You see that in a lot of the best films, whether it’s a location or a circumstance. In the Bloodline series, the story begins and ends at the southern tip of Manhattan.
  4. THE REAL REAL STUFF To me, the scariest, most suspenseful, best thrills are the ones based, at least in part, on reality. Science and history are scary as hell, and with the Bloodline series, I strove to stay connected to that and keep my stories rooted in that reality, that plausibility. Creating a retrovirus that causes lycanthropy, Operation Werwolf, and the abuse and proliferation of methamphetamine drugs by the Nazis are all examples of real stuff made fantastic in this series.
  5. WORD OF MOUTH The original title of the screenplay that started it all was THE DEVIL INSIDE, and that title makes a cameo of sorts during the course of book 1, BLOODLINE. Look for it… see if you can find it… and let me know in the comments below who said it and when.

 

Did YOU find any cool details when you read the series? Share them in the comments!

Peace, Love & Muchness to all!

download

Super Books and Irish Muses…

Keeping busy is certainly important now more than ever and, as always, I’ve been busy as a bee this week. Today, my latest venture went live on Amazon: the paperback “boxed-set” of all three Bloodline series novels. That’s right… three full-length novels in one mammoth book (823 pages, guys… sheesh!). So, in celebration of this wonderfulness, I’m going to share a little something from the first book, BLOODLINE.

Bloodline_2020 teaser 4

Though I’ve written several books, and hopefully will go on to write many more, BLOODLINE will always be my “first-born”. It started its life as a screenplay called The Devil Inside. Inspired by music from INXS and Def Leppard, as well as a re-viewing of The Lost Boys, the story was originally about a male cop in LA who gets attacked by a werewolf. After some valuable feedback from writing peers, Sam became a female cop and the location moved to more familiar territory: New York City. At the time I had never been to the city (it was a couple of years after the original script was finished before I actually had the opportunity to live there for a time) but with the help of some stellar guidebooks and a good imagination, I created a world that was so real people from NYC complimented the accuracy of locations and atmosphere.

849aa18ea22268bace8121286195b5c8

 

One of the biggest obstacles in adapting the screenplay into a novel was finding my muse for the character of Vincent Kremer. Vincent is the dark knight-mentor-love interest for the female lead, Sam Karolyi, and breathing life into this character proved difficult until I discovered a then-mostly-unknown Irish actor named Aidan Turner. He’s a bit more well-known now, thanks to a little show called Poldark *winks*

 

 

Anyway, here is a memorable scene from BLOODLINE… the first meeting between Sam Karolyi and Vincent Kremer… Enjoy!

The Hooded Man continued to watch the body until nothing remained but a darkened patch where the body had been. He holstered his weapon and pushed back the sweatshirt hood. He ran a hand through his wavy black hair, causing longish pieces on the top of his head to stand at odd angles. He looked to be in his early thirties, but a kind of dark maturity gave him an air of timelessness. His eyes were dark, a rich coffee brown that verged on black, with heavy black eyebrows rising above them. She’d been a little over-generous in her height estimation; with the hood back, he was tall, but his wiry build gave him an illusion of greater height.

He watched Sam for a moment before he stepped away from the melting site and joined her by the tree.

“You all right?”

Sam was silent, staring at the spot where Franco, or whatever he had become, had melted away.

The Hooded Man watched her a moment more, then reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of soft white cloth. He reached over, dabbing at the blood that had trickled down her neck from the cut Franco had made. He dabbed once, twice; as he reached to dab a third time, Sam shivered slightly, grabbed his hand.

She watched his face relax a bit as he released the cloth into her hand. “That was a little close, wasn’t it?” His voice had a bit of an accent, maybe Irish or something. That wasn’t going to help her concentration.

Sam blotted at her neck, glared at the handsome man in front of her. “Close, yeah, thanks. What was that?”

The Hooded Man glanced at the melting scene then looked back at Sam. “Some poor bastard infected with LV.”

Sam stopped blotting. “LV?”

“Lycanthropic Virus.”

Sam gave him a blank look. “I’m sorry, I left my medical encyclopedia in my other coat. What does that mean exactly?”

“A virus which causes Lycanthropy.”

“Lycanthropy, I see.” Sam moved away from the tree and began to make big circles as she scanned the ground searching for her phone. She stopped suddenly. “Wait a minute. Is that, like, werewolves?”

“Like, yeah. What are you looking for?”

“My phone,” she groaned, resuming her search. “Werewolves, huh? Not to antagonize the crazy person or anything, but when was the last time you had a CAT scan?”

“Six months ago.”

Her phone appeared in front of her face. Sam looked up at the Hooded Man, took the phone from him. He raised his other hand; Sam’s Lorcin pistol hung before her eyes.

Sam hesitated a second, then took her gun, tossing him a small smile in thanks. “Uh-huh, well, you need another one.”

Want to read more of Sam and Vincent bantering? Curious about this mysterious virus and what happens next? You can find BLOODLINE on your favorite e-book platform HERE.

Peace, Love & Muchness

download

“Snakes” and Druids and Cinn Faur… Oh my!!!

As St. Paddy’s Day approaches, THE COLD ONES is slipping into a five-day freebie period on Amazon. (Check it out HERE) Not sure you want to read it? Alright, alright, let me tempt you…

A Story is Born…

I grew up with my grandmother, a staunch Catholic of Irish ancestry, so Saint Patrick was always a very present part of my life. One of the most iconic images associated with him is that of the gray-haired, mitre-wearing bishop pointing at a small “herd” of snakes, the implication being that he drove them out. Now we know, based on scientific evidence, that there never were any actual snakes in Ireland… some kind of Ice Age glitch that spared the Emerald Isle from these slinky residents. Some claim it was always meant to be a metaphor for driving out the “evils of paganism”… but I started thinking in a fantasy story vein… what if the serpents driven out of Ireland were a different kind of evil? What if the most revered and respected cultural icon of Ireland faced something more terrible, and had to fight side-by-side with those of the Old Ways to defeat it?

And that’s when THE COLD ONES was born…

The monster could have been a human… once. Its head was hairless, and even in the darkness there was a reflective glow to its skin… a white glow, bloodless, lifeless. Oh, but it was most definitely alive, though perhaps not in the sense that we are. Its eyes were black empty spots on its head, as if the eyeballs themselves had been scooped out, leaving nothing but the nearly-smooth crater where they had once been. The nose was almost non-existent, nothing but two slots I assumed served as nostrils. The most terrifying portion of the face, however, was the mouth… A gaping chasm of teeth, rows upon rows, all surrounded by tube-like tentacles, as if sea anemones had thought the creature’s mouth to be an ocean tide pool and decided to settle in on its rim. Four longer fangs protruded from the top and bottom of the mouth, and they were as sharp as needles by the look of them. — Excerpt from THE COLD ONES

TCO2020 teaser 2

2020 and Goal!

Most authors… we do it at the end of the year, or shortly after the New Year begins. We plan-out the coming year’s writing goals. Me? I do this constantly, it seems… Sketching out when I’m going to things and when I’m going to finish them. It’s a malleable outline that changes often and is always jammed with creativity and work. So, what do my readers have to look forward to this year? Well, a lot, to come right to the point.

new-years-day-4707619_1920

Last year, I joined in a rather spectacular anthology, Voyages of the Heart (Venice). I’d never written shorter stories (under 20k) before and doing it was a unique and challenging experience. I think I might be addicted, though, because this year I’ve signed up for a number more, with stories ranging from a couple thousand words to 10k, and in genres from western to mythology to wounded veterans and everything in between. Those will be coming out periodically this year, so stay tuned to my pages for teasers and info as I get them.

I’m also going to be part of an amazing paranormal boxed-set coming out later this year. I’m joining several other authors and we will be producing some fantastic stories featuring a host of creatures and a very unique world.

As for my own unique worlds, This year will see the release of the next Kate Gardener Mystery in April. Book 8, WHERE DEATH REJOICES, is my longest KGM yet and there is plenty of action, suspense, intrigue, and (yes) romance to satisfy fans. Now is a great time to check out the other mysteries and catch up on the story because I’m telling you the revelations and shocking surprises in this one will leave you breathless!

I’m also making plans for a new three-book series. I can’t tell you a lot about it yet except to say it is a shifter series (but not werewolves); it is historical (because I love writing in the past); it will be legendary. I’m in the notes and plotting stage right now, but will be diving in to write this summer and hope to be able to debut these books next year.

And that’s where I’m at… A jam-packed year to look forward to. Thank you all for joining in and being part of the journey! I’ll catch you all back here next week when we’ll be talking about book inspiration and some of the things that inspired my historical fantasy, THE COLD ONES.

Until then,

Peace, Love, & Muchness

download

The Blog is Back in Town!

You totally sang that, didn’t you? LOL

Hello, Muchlanders! We are relaunching the blog as of… now! Crack the champagne bottle over the bow, ’cause this baby is sailing! And we are starting things off with some real excitement… an exclusive blog-debut right here of the brand-new cover for THE COLD ONES!

mock-00678

You see, THE COLD ONES has gone through a category change (took me two years to realize what it is… Christian Fantasy… you know, like LOTR or Narnia). So with a new category comes a new look… Let me know in the comments what you think and feel free to share it whenever you see it. Also, watch my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages this month for the debut of new teasers and lots of cool stuff.

Next week we’ll really dive into some juiciness… like what the heck I’ll be writing this year! Save the page and don’t miss it!

Peace, Love, & Muchness to all!

download