J.F. Posthumus

J.F. Posthumus

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Virginia, United States
A computer tech and artist that thrives on writing fantasy to escape the harshness of reality.
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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

I'm trying this by emailing to my blog (since it's currently blocked at my workplace). Let's hope it works!!!

Today's teaser, as the public demanded, is a fight sequence. :-D It's the first, fairly short fight sequence of the novel. The big fight is towards the end between the MC and a Therian, but I doubt that'll be posted. It would give away too much of the story.

Hope everyone enjoys this!


"I regret to say that you have gathered the interest of those who would see you dead, and have hired us to make it so." The speaker answered, his tone conveying some small regret, which Ilario almost believed. "As for the Circle of Thirteen, our number will rise again; no matter if only one of us survives."

Sighing in an exaggerated, defeated manner, Ilario slumped. As he did so, his stowed his left hand beneath his belt. There, his fingers grabbed two slender, silver throwing-blades. "So be it," he cried loudly, as if in meek acceptance.

Spinning to his left, he threw the two blades safely past the horses and driver of the carriage, striking the two women warriors on the other side. He struck one cleanly in the throat, a killing blow, but the other hit lower than he'd intended. She was bleeding freely from the neck, but it would be a while before the fight was out of her.

"Take the horsemen ahead of us- leave the mounts!" He hissed to Akiela. Praying she would have the skill to manage this, he charged the dark-skinned speaker.

Issuing an ear-piercing shriek, almost but not quite a howl, Ilario threw his dagger while running. It struck the warrior to his left in the back of the head, but he had thrown badly in his anger. The blunt end of the dagger hit the warrior, a thin male with short brown hair and a scraggly goatee, at the base of the neck. Not dead, unfortunately, but stunned enough to stagger. He fell against the middle attacker.

Placing his left foot against the falling warrior's back, Ilario pushed off and tackled the final standing attacker. As they rolled across the ground, he hoped he had given Akiela enough opportunity to gain her feet and initiative.

The broad-featured warrior Ilario had tackled was trying to get to his feet. Ilario snapped the man's neck and hurried to his own feet; looking to see what had become of Akiela's situation. Akiela was pulling the twin of his own weapon out of the warrior he had stunned with the dagger throw. Now both of the warriors were dead at her feet. She smiled at him, nodded, and then turned to face the remaining Circle members.

The two of them charged in, cutting through the remaining warriors without uttering a single word. Ilario was too much of a professional to take his attention away from the battle for long. He did it often enough to know that Akiela did not require further help- she was dispensing death efficiently.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

General Ramblings

Wellll.... We're over half-way through with the current WIP and I have a writer's critique group meeting tomorrow. Since I've been assured romance scenes in the current YA genre can get a bit, um, edgy, Akiela's age is being dropped to 18 or 19. That way we can query either way. :) Nothing exciting going on, yet. Still eagerly looking forward to the ComicCon in San Diego! Yay! My first Convention! We're going to the beach while out there.... Yay! First time to the beach! (yeah, pathetic... but oh well.) Hopefully we can fulfill our agendas while there. ;-) My fellow purgies know what it is, lol. Either way, we're gonna have a great time and the kids will get to see CA and have fun, too. Oh, yeah, did I mention this will be my FIRST VACATION EVER?!?!?!?!? hopefully July will bring less stress (yeah, right, lol), and good news to everyone. Me, I'd settle for finishing the novel, ComicCon (obviously), and starting the querying for the current WIP. editing might be a pain, but at least it keeps me busy, out of trouble (ok, only so much *wink*), and speeds up the querying part.
Monday, June 22, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

I'm thinking this might be the last I post of the current WIP. Don't want to give away too much, after all. Anywhos, another scene with Gardev, this time with Giada.
Three hours later, Gardev stood in the reception area of Warlord Vittore Giada’s office. He stood stoically, wanting nothing more than to bite and run, but that certainly wasn’t about to happen. Not when he was required to hand the warlord Akiela’s report and answer whatever questions Giada had for him. Akiela, he reminisced, was a beautiful, sultry woman with more secrets than an alchemist. The warm blood that flowed through her veins and reddened her lush, full lips would make any man desire to feast from them. There was a softness hidden beneath that world-weary, hardened pale-turquoise gaze of hers that enticed and teased. Ilario was smitten with her, it was obvious in the way the merchant looked at her and spoke her name. He might have cared for Tiziana, but Gardev suspected Ilario was falling for his copper-haired spy. That wouldn’t have worried him, had it not been for the fact Akiela had heightened senses no mortal could possess. She wasn’t one of the undead or a dhampir, nor was she a Therian. She didn’t resemble the diwaryns he had known in his lifetime. They had mostly been dark-haired, dark-eyed with athletic builds and were anything but reclusive, secretive spies. Nay, they had been hardened warriors, almost from the day of their birth. He contemplated what else she might be as he studied the map that covered the entire wall. Half-gods were known to possess the same traits she claimed. As did half-demons and half-jinni. If she were either of those, she could, indeed, be a valuable asset. Yes, he mused as he waited, she must be the offspring of a jinni and a human. That would certainly explain her unusual eyes and hair, as well as her peculiar traits. His lips curved into a smile. Ilario could certainly benefit from courting her. Fresh blood was always welcomed amongst the clans. The door to Giada’s inner, private sanctum, more commonly referred to as ‘his office’ opened, breaking into Gardev’s thoughts. Turning to face the secretary, he discovered the warlord himself standing in the doorway, a brooding expression filling Giada’s features. “Gardev Akaash,” the warlord said without preamble, which in Gardev’s experiences was never a good sign. “I should have known Ilario would have sent you. I presume you have kept your fangs out of Akiela’s neck?” “As well as her wrist,” Gardev replied evenly. “I’m surprised you aren’t concerned about her being alone with Ilario.” “Vedette has a reputation for being a gentleman. You have a reputation-” Gardev broke into Giada’s sentence, finishing it for him, “-for being a womanizer who enjoys their sweet blood; yes, I know. I worked hard to obtain that reputation. It is much preferable to that of ‘cold-hearted and blood-thirsty vampire’, don’t you think?” “Barely,” Giada growled, stepping back into his office and gesturing for Gardev to enter. “Where’s the report?” Gardev flashed his fangs in a wide smile knowing it would annoy Giada as he stepped into the warlord’s office. As tempting as it was to bite into Giada’s neck and tear out his artery while feasting upon his finely aged blood, he knew it would never happen. Urshad needed the hard-hearted warlord and killing him, no matter how appetizing it might seem, would only cause more damage than it would solve. The dark growl that followed him as he continued to the warlord’s desk could have matched Ilario at his worse. Gardev would have found that amusing, had it not been for the fact the warlord had bested him not once, but twice in the not-so-distant past. He didn’t wish to attempt a third battle with the man. Especially not when Ilario needed him and there was much work to be done if they were to prevent the Consortium from overtaking the Protectors and wrecking havoc on all Urshad.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Right... It's Tuesday again and I have yet another teaser from The Shiftless. Ok, so maybe I shouldn't be posting so much, but.... it seems to be going over good and I'm leaving out A LOT of stuff. A lot of rather important stuff, too, lol. Anywhos, I figured I'd throw out my world-building bit on the vampires and Therians and see what you guys think of it. Now, I left out an important tidbit here, that tells which one she is, sooo.... no guessing here!!! If you wanna guess, post over at AW... :D
“I trust you to keep your word to Giada, Ilario,” Akiela replied calmly, though she felt anything but calm. Ilario shrugged as the vampire raised a questioning brow. “I had to assure Vittore that she would be unharmed. It was the only way he would allow her to spy for us.” “Just when were you going to tell me that?” Gardev groaned. “Wait a moment,” Akiela interjected, her frazzled mind focusing on her beloved adopted uncle. “You know Giada? Why would Giada making Ilario promise to keep me safe be a problem?” Gardev barked a laugh. “Warlord Giada may not be a dhampir, but his reputation for being a vampire hunter is widely known, as is his pension for surpassing even the worse necromancer when it comes to dealing death. He has the skills and means to flay a man alive and he has done it, quite literally, on more than one occasion.” Gardev gave Ilario a dark glare as he added, “Vittore Giada is also known to hunt anyone who crosses him, or breaks a vow. He doesn’t care who or what that person is, either.” “Concerned for her, now, are you, Akaash?” Ilario chortled. “I would have told you later, before you tempted to enthrall or feed from her.” At Akiela strangled wordless exclamation Ilario assured her, “Strigoi turn only those they desire. Simply feeding from a person will not do it.” “It will, however, create a dhampir, if we feed from a woman with child,” Gardev intoned. “It’s why few of us ever feed from a pregnant woman. Once a century or two, there are dhampirs born by a vampire who has not yet transformed into their undead state. That only happens during intercourse and within a six-hour period of time. Some claim that there are vampires that can sire children even after their transformations, creating dhampir in the process. There supposedly hasn’t been one for over five hundred years. It’s very, very rare and those dhampir can sense therian and vampire, alike, as well as any other undead creature." He paused, seemed to consider his next words, then continued in a calm, dismissive tone, "You don’t strike me as a diwaryn, either." “A what?” Akiela asked, her unsettled nerves finally calming down to where she didn’t want to run away screaming. The more Gardev spoke, the calmer she felt, as though a part of her knew he wasn’t a danger to her or Ilario. Ilario glared at Gardev as he answered her question, “A diwaryn is the therian equivalent to a dhampir. Therians can only mate with others of their kind, other shapeshifters, in order to procreate or by turning people through their bites. Typically, if one is bitten, they die. The only way a diwaryn can be born is if a mortal has been bitten and manages to survive the bite. If that miracle occurs, then they can spawn a child within twelve hours, even then, more often than not, a child is rarely sired. As with demigods, a mortal woman must have a strong constitution to not only carry the child to full term, but to birth it.” “Who was your father, child? Perhaps we know of him,” Gardev said, his eyes glittering like gems. Akiela found herself staring at them, intrigued by their brightness. Gems, nothing, they’re like green stars in the midnight sky, she thought. She glanced at Ilario, finding his eyes to be like dark pools that were more sinfully delicious to drown in. “I honestly don’t know who my father was. My mother never spoke of him.”
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - Gardev's Intro

Well, I thought I'd post the intro of the vampire, Gardev, today. He's a delightful chap, not the typical cold-hearted, blood-thirsty type that goes with the typical mythos... not exactly the sweetheart of your typical romance, either. No back story required for this one, so hopefully this will keep you curious as to what comes next.
Chapter Four
Twilight. The time between day and night when neither moon nor sun has set or risen in the sky. It is when the therians and vampires start to prowl the night looking for their next victim. Cloaked in darkness, a figure watched as the pirate Corentin, more commonly known as the Fox, shuffled drunkenly towards a side alley. Corentin was widely despised in several lands, especially Urshad. The Fox was a first mate on the Wicked Siren and often took a month away from his duties to enjoy entertainment found only on land. It was fortunate that he had found the Fox as he awaited his compatriot. He had a personal vendetta to settle with Corentin and the fact no one would care if this lowly pirate met death only made it that much sweeter. Well, people might not hate the fact the Fox was dead, but he doubted anyone would be thrilled with the method if it was discovered. Shrugging the possibilities of being caught or his methods discovered he followed the drunken pirate silently into the alley. The sharp tang of rum flowed behind the pirate and the man licked his lips. He hoped it had been decent rum; he’d hate to not be able to enjoy his forthcoming meal. The pirate paused and lifted the empty bottle, letting the last few vestiges of the drink drip into his open mouth before throwing it against the brick building. Glass shattered, breaking the air and the Fox’s assailant took that opportunity to sweep forward with an inhuman speed. Gripping the man’s throat with one hand, he jerked the Fox’s head backwards as his other arm snaked around him in an iron-tight grip. Hissing softly, he bit into the pirate’s neck, his fangs sinking into his flesh. Despite the pirate’s thrashing and struggling, Gardev drank deeply from the man’s throat. The rum added a tasty tang to the man’s blood; one reason why Gardev enjoyed praying upon drunkards. Unlike most of the Strigoi from the Shades of Death, Gardev only preyed upon those who were deserving of death, like the pirate he now fed from, or those willing to give him the blood he needed to survive. That wasn’t to say he couldn’t be evil and cruel enough to take what he wanted, when he wanted. Gardev believed he was civilized and above such depravity. Instead of drinking all the blood from him, which would have been far too suspicious, he drank his fill and then snapped the man’s neck. Sliding a dagger from his belt, Gardev sliced the man from ear to ear, being certain to cut through the fang marks. Dropping the body to the ground, he licked the last few drops of blood from his lips and sauntered off into the dark. He wouldn’t feed for another night or two, a distinct advantage since he was to be traveling with his compatriot for the next week. Perhaps if he were fortunate they would be stopping in his favored villages where he had a few ‘donors’ who enjoyed the benefits of being fed from by a vampire. A sly smile curled his lips as Gardev made his way to the inn where he was staying. Despite the fact most feared and hated the Strigoi, there were those who enjoyed pain and bleeding while having enjoying a romp in the hay, as the old adage went. It didn’t hurt that simply being fed from by a vampire would not turn one into a vampire, despite rumors. Though, feeding from a pregnant woman did affect an unborn child. No one truly understood why. Such was the mystery of life and the undead. He also wasn’t going to complain about the few brothels that catered to the Strigoi, courtesy of a truce made centuries ago. The Strigoi would protect said brothels from all harm and danger. In return, they could feed without fear of being killed. Of course, said brothels were forced to keep that bit of information secret. A pity the therians didn’t have anything similar, but that was their choice. Glancing around the darkness one last time, Gardev entered the inn, a wide smile on his lips. Music drifted to his ears along with the distinct stomping of feet and feminine laughter. Ah, the dancing girls have finally arrived! He thought cheerfully, striding towards the lounge. I do hope Rio takes his time arriving. He enjoys interrupting my fun far too much.
Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Pleasant Surprise

Well, I was playing in MySpace last night checking out the lastest blogs that have been posted and decided to read Kevin J. Anderson's blog on contest winners wondering who the lucky ones were... and one of 'em was ME!!! This is THE FIRST time I have won anything from a contest like this! I've entered, I've wished, and I've lost. And, the coolest part isn't just winning an autographed HARDCOVER, but the fact it's Enemies and Allies, the newest Batman/Superman mash-up by KJA. (Who I'm hoping to actually MEET while in San Diego at the ComicCon!) Speaking of ComicCon, the zoo is out due to budget restraints, but we're still taking the little ones around Little Italy for lots of pictures and window-shopping and the beach, so it's not a completely loss. We can always take 'em to the Washington D.C. zoo next year... maybe before we go to New York? ('cause I really want to go to New York next year, too!) It'll be interesting to see if we can pull New York off since we're hoping to get our own house next year, too, lol. But I have faith that we'll manage to make it happen. :-D
Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Silver Phoenix

Well, this is a bit late coming, but Cindy Pon's debut novel, the Silver Phoenix, is out in stores now! Go buy your own copy!!! Or check it out from the library! Here's the linky to her blog post : http://cindypon.com/silver-phoenix/
the blurb : on the day of her first betrothal meeting--and rejection--ai ling discovers a power welling deep within her. she can reach into other people’s spirits, hear their thoughts, see their dreams…and that’s just the beginning. ai ling has been marked by the immortals; her destiny lies in the emperor’s palace, where a terrible evil has lived, stealing souls, for centuries. she must conquer this enemy and rescue her captive father, while mythical demons track her every step. and then she meets chen yong, a young man with a quest of his own, whose fate is intertwined with hers. here is a heart-stopping, breathtaking tale for fans of action, fantasy, and romance--of anything with the making of legend.
Monday, June 1, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Word count on snippet: 849 (total word count in WIP so far: 15,329) Currently on "the Shiftless": Akiela has been assigned the task of spying for the merchant guild known as "The Protectors" in an effort of discover who is killing the Protectors off. After being escorted to her home by Ilario (the Protector who asked her guardian and her employer for assistance) he becomes an unwelcomed houseguest. The following morning he gives her a necklace with a charm that she is forbidden to remove. They depart for Leishii in a comfy carriage. It's a two week journey and Akiela is now wanting answers. writer's request: is the information I put in about the Consortium (towards the end) too much backstory and more 'telling than showing'? I was hoping to have it where she's kinda going over it in her mind, so let me know if it needs reworking??? Many thanks ahead of time and hope you enjoy it!!!
The glass windows returned her reflection and she stared at the necklace. It was an unusual emblem, to say the least. From the delicate gold chain hung a griffin poised in a typical heraldry stance on the bottom tip of a crescent moon. The griffin she understood to represent the Protectors reputation to be guardians of the merchants; it was one reason they were so powerful. The moon, however, baffled her. Regardless, it was rather pretty and at least it wasn’t silver. She’d never been too fond of silver. “Will you now tell me what you know of the murders?” Akiela asked, her voice soft as she continued to stare out the window. Ilario sighed and Akiela glanced back to him. The conflicting emotions of anger, grief, and despair warring on his handsome features took her by complete surprise. It also caused her to turn completely to him, ignoring the passing countryside. “There have already half a dozen murders and even more attempted assassinations. I won’t bore you with the details,” he paused and Akiela frowned darkly. “Very well, I will tell you the details. All were killed in grisly manners. Two were beheaded before being slashed to ribbons, their entrails placed in a circle around their bodies then burned. Another was dismembered, beheaded, and their torso branded with a six-sided star within a triangle.” He paused, leaned across to the window and pulled the thick curtain closed. He explained softly, “It is a ritualistic symbol of the undead covens that claim the Shades of Death as their home. Do you truly wish to know about the last three?” “Yes, as well as what weapon you believed was used in these gruesome murders,” Akiela replied, crossing her feet at her ankles. She felt pity and remorse for Ilario’s friends and fellow Protectors. No one should die in such horrific ways. She added softly, “I’m sorry.”A small smile crossed Ilario’s lips. “Thank you, Akiela. The last three were staked to the ground like a child would pin a butterfly to a piece of wood. All were beheaded and burned. As for the weapons used? We don’t know. All but two were men.” “What of the attempts? Did no one see their attacker?” Akiela asked. Ilario shook his head. “The attempts were made either at night while they were sleeping or by way of poison or gas.” “So essentially, I’m there to spy on everyone; servants, accolades, and apprentices as well as other merchants, traders, and the occasional guard? Do you not have any idea on who could be trying to destroy the Protectors?” Akiela pressed, leaning forward slightly. “We… have our suspicions, but without proof there is nothing we can do,” Ilario conceded. “That is why we need you.” Akiela snorted delicately. “Suspicions? If you have suspicions, I want to know who they are, Ilario. Otherwise, I’m going to be walking into a den of angry hydras and I’m going to be a mighty tasty treat. That isn’t a very appetizing thought. I’d rather know who you think is the behind the murders and attempts so I can either prove or disprove your theory.” She paused and leaned calmly against the back of her plush seat. “Otherwise you can just send me back to Marzwin and I’ll explain to Giada you aren’t the least bit concerned about my safety or well-being.” Ilario, Akiela could tell, considered her words as he chewed the inside of his lower lip. His dark eyes betrayed no thoughts or emotions; they were flat and calculating. “Very well. We believe it to be the members of the Draugar Consortium. The Strigoi, to be exact.” Akiela inhaled sharply. She knew of the Draugar Consortium. Who, in Urshad and most of the lands surrounding the Shades of Death, didn’t? It was a loose allegiance comprised of vampires, leiches, and therians. They had a sort of compromise amongst each other that divided the Shades of Death up into territories and, of course, the vampires claimed the largest section with the privilege to invade any other part without prior warning. The leiche, magic users whose use of dark magic allowed them to live even after their mortal deaths, kept to the caverns and tunnels deep beneath the mountains of the Shades of Death, content to prey upon the dwarves and vast array of unsuspecting miners. Sunlight was a leiche’s worse enemy. The vampires, favoring the title of Strigoi, held themselves in a very high regard. They claimed the cave entrances and preyed upon the unwary and unsuspecting travelers that dared the Shades of Death during the night. Of course, they also fed from the villages, towns, and cities that surrounded the edge of the Shades, being careful to not be caught or followed. The shapechangers typically lived on the outer most edge of the Shades, or in the Great Swamp, their own meals consisting of not only the frequent mortal, but the farm animals and wildlife, as well. If the Stigoi, worse yet, the entire Consortium, were now trying to destroy the Protectors, the situation must be dire, indeed.