Monday, February 29, 2016

Carry On, Jack, Carry On

Excerpt from TAKERS, and this classic song. I can't wait to see them in concert in two weeks!

Where is everyone?
I raced down the hallway toward the gym. The powerful hum had lessened, but it was still so loud I could hardly focus. I wiped a trickle of blood from below one ear. A whistling sound echoed deep inside my head. Did my eardrum burst?
A muffled scream yanked my attention toward the front of the school. At least I thought it was a scream. With the vibrations threatening to rattle the flesh off my bones, I couldn’t be sure.
Heart pounding in rhythm with the hum, I came to a halt, trying to decide what to do. Shelter in place. Hide until the police come. That was our school policy. It had been drilled into us every time another nut with a gun made the headlines somewhere. But where is everyone hiding?
I looked for an open door. The floor shook beneath me. I knew I should hide, but my feet kept moving toward the empty foyer. Soon I found myself running. I had to find someone, anyone. Maybe they’re outside.
Slowing to a trot, I held my breath, listening. The hum had been replaced by something else, something worse.
Not one scream, but many.
I stopped in front of the cracked glass entrance doors.
My mouth fell open in disbelief.
The sky appeared as tattered as a paper snowflake
. “The fabric between our
dimensions is shredding—” Dr. D’s words echoed in my head as I stared through the window. Many of the sky holes were little more than slits. Others were huge, ragged,

gaping. Through each opening elongated globules of matter oozed down like strings of cloudy rain. The matter fell harder and faster until the ground was covered with slick, writhing puddles. From those puddles strange humanoid creatures arose, hissing. When they left their pools of muck, the sound was like a thousand leeches being pulled from wet skin.
As they emerged from the glassy soup, the area was flooded with watery-gray, garnet-eyed creatures. Everything in sight dripped; even their black-slashed mouths and jagged silver teeth oozed with slime.
Dr. D was right. I had to get underground. Back to the basement!
I wanted to run, but my feet felt glued to the floor. The syrupy downpour coated power lines and broke branches from the sycamores as surely as if they’d been covered with ice. I saw people crumpled on the pavement, dead. Others hung from stalled car windows, moaning. As I watched, one of the gray creatures picked up a man and dragged him, screaming, across the street.
As quietly as possible, I backed away, determined not to attract attention. I wanted to turn and run, but I was terrified, afraid to turn my back on the huge, naked creatures that were now headed toward the school. The sound of their bare feet sliding across the wet ground matched the shushing sound of the rain.
I blinked and rubbed my eyes as they came closer.
Strange blue-black tattoos pulsed beneath their glistening skin.
I spun around and sprinted down the hallway toward the basement. Yanking open the

doors, I tripped back down the stairs into the darkness. 

In this chapter, Jack is on the run, but when he stops to take stock, Kansas blasts their iconic song into his head. "Carry On, Wayward Son."

Does anyone know why the title of the song is "Carry on Wayward Son," when they obviously sing "Carry on MY wayward son ..."  I really don't know. Do you?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I Miss You - Excerpt from COPPER LAKE

Played this song a lot while writing scenes like the one below:

Kendra Goes Missing

Amazon Link
He strode to the kitchen and immediately noticed the coffee maker still on. He turned it off and opened the door leading to the garage. Try as he might, Woody couldn’t dispel the feeling of ghosts looking over his shoulder—the living ghosts of her children as they’d been at Thanksgiving. It was as if they were all there with him, urging him to hurry and find their mom.

Her pickup was in the garage, the engine as cold as the coffee.

He dashed back into the living room, grabbed up her handbag, and dumped out the contents. When he spied her key ring, he plucked it up and hurried back to the garage to make certain she wasn’t slumped over behind the wheel of her truck. The tinted windows made the cab seem like a cave. Woody unlocked the driver’s door and climbed inside.

The clean, crisp smell of her perfume lingered in the fabric of the seats.

Woody inhaled deeply, remembering how he’d once breathed in her whispered words in the hallway of a Holiday Inn.

His heart thrummed inside the cage of his ribs.

She’s off on a hike, his mind insisted. She went for a hike and went farther than she intended. She’ll come bursting through the front door any minute and proceed to chew my ass from here to Kingdom Come for jumping to conclusions.

But that idea didn’t ring true.

Ken would never go hiking and leave her phone at home, and the front door unlocked. Especially not at night. Not when she was supposed to meet me over an hour ago. No way.

He closed and relocked the pickup and made his way through the rest of the old house checking every room, every closet, and under every bed.

He even checked the attic.

Still nothing.

Nothing out of place, nothing overturned. No sign of a struggle. No sign of life.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Contest Winners!

Yay! The winners of my "Become a character in my next novel" contest are ROSE FREEMAN and GABRIELLE KELLY. Yes! You read that right, while I was running the contest on my blog, someone else was running one for me so now we have TWO winners. Yay!

Rose won the contest by being one of the subscribers to my new (and very random) Newsletter. Of course you can still sign up, I have contests all the time. The next one will be coming up SOON.

 Gabi won by entering a Rafflecopter. Now, I can't say the names of the novels they will be in, that would bring down the JuJu gods and we can't have that, but I will say that I cannot wait to see where these two characters will take me!

Friday, February 5, 2016

5 Things New Author's Should NOT Do

This is what you should NOT do when you're starting out in the writing biz ...

1. Don't assume everyone loves you or your work

2. Don't enter a contest against your agent's wishes -- yes, I actually lost mine when I entered a contest against her wishes

3. Don't assume you know what's best for your book just because you wrote the darn thing -- see #2

4. Don't assume your editor will catch every little mitsake in your writing -- fine-tooth it yourself

5. Don't rely ONLY on your and your editor's fine-toothing abilities -- use beta readers -- every time

There, those are just a few things you should NOT do in this indie press business.

Now, what should you do?

Here's the main thing...

When you DO find someone who loves you and/or your work, cherish them and never let them go -- especially agents, editors, publishers, and most important of all -- READERS!

The Phantoms Are Now in Kindle Unlimited!

The Phantoms are now in Kindle Unlimited - READ for FREE if you're a member of KU. 
Kewl, huh? 

The Phantom Series – ghost stories with heart!
"Don't go in the spooky old house. No matter who dares you, no matter what lures you, do not go in!"
Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot ~ Book One ~

Stevie-girl and the Phantom Student ~Book Two ~

Stevie-girl and the Phantom of Crybaby Bridge  ~ Book Three

All three are also available on