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, August 25, 2009

A fantasy/murder myster...

Teaser Tuesday strives again. We've decided to write an actual fantasy/murder mystery using Shyndra, the Brethren (her two fav cousins and two childhood friends), and Alyn. Shyndra has a sordid past, of sorts that comes out in bits and pieces in the novel. The true 'mystery' doesn't occur until a few pages after this part. I'll probably post that next week, mostly 'cause it's too fun to not post. :-) If it isn't as tight as last week's, it's because I haven't edited it a million and ten times before posting. Which will come in the next week or so when I'm not writing. Feel free to tear it apart, too. :-) Without further ado.... : **** The last time, she had been returning from a contract and was waiting her turn to use the public toilet in the Thirteenth District of Fellhaven. She had been approached by Alyn and had agreed to accompany a group of other adventurers to go rid a fortress from a group that had taken it over. It turned out to be a group of kobolds that had claimed the fortress as theirs. They all had survived, but it had proven what she already knew: she was no fighter. Following the priest into the temple’s public toilet, Shyndra drew a steadying breath as she moved towards the stall where the priest was relieving his bladder. Removing a dagger from within her robes, she crept forward and drove the blade into his back, between his ribs. The priest’s arms flailed for a few heartbeats before slumping forward, his head thudding heavily against the stone wall. Pulling her dagger from the corpse, she wiped it on his robe before sliding it back into its sheath. If anyone ever said being an assassin was a glamorous job, she was going to cheerfully slit their throats. Typically, she would have agreed, but not when it came to killing someone in the bathroom while they were urinating. Of course, she was also just starting out as an assassin, having graduated from her guild only the previous year. Unlike the Guild Mistress and her husband, Shyndra did not have a powerful family to offer her better contracts. Perhaps had she been a dutiful daughter, it would have been different, but she wouldn’t have been allowed to make her own decisions, either. Shaking her traitorous and distracting thoughts away, Shyndra retreated from the bathroom, shoulders rounded and head bowed. She didn’t change her posture until she had exited the temple and was once more in the middle of the bustling bazaar. Shaking her hood back, she straightened and began looking around at the various booths surrounding her. There was so much to see and she had some extra coins she could spend frivolously. As her gaze swept through the crowd she paused in her steps. Her eyes grew wide as she noticed a man in dark brown robes moving through the crowds. It was impossible, though, she mused. There was no possible way any of them could be in Valpoor. It was simply impossible! But… if it was him, then the other three weren’t far away. She could not let any of them see her, let alone find her! Ducking her head, she chewed her lip as she crossed towards a booth selling magic supplies on the opposite side where she thought she had seen Aldryn. Any other time she would be intrigued by what the booth offered. This time, however, she was too preoccupied with trying to remember how the Brethren, as they called themselves, traversed cities. The last thing she needed to complicate her life was those four. Turning abruptly, deciding returning to Fellhaven was far better than remaining in Valpoor. She took two steps before colliding with a decidedly male chest. “Oh, excuse me!” She exclaimed in a soft, timid voice, stumbling backward only to have a pair of arms catching her. “Forgive me, good sir, for not being more aware of where I was going! My humblest apologies.” “Oh, dear lady, surely this is my clumsy error!” He lifted her chin until his eyes were looking into her own. “Now, let me take you to a wholly inappropriate tavern, dear ‘priestess,’ and make amends for my behavior.” Before she could answer, he turned smoothly on one booted heel, placed his arm intimately around her waist and began to lead her off. She had to leave, but her desire to stay with Alyn Kysis was far too tempting. Glancing around, she breathed a half-sigh of relief. Perhaps she was just being overly suspicious. “Really, sir, it was all my fault,” she assured him with a smile. “Though, if you are taking me to an inappropriate tavern, I must confess to wondering what else you have in mind.” “It is inappropriate for your guise.” Alyn winked. “As for what else I have in mind... such evil thoughts, dear lady! What you must think of me!” Shyndra laughed, her tension vanishing with his teasing. “I have a reputation to keep, good sir! As for what I think of you...” She trailed off, a smirk forming on her lips. “There are many reputations about you, the question is: are they true?” “Each of the bad reputations is correct.” Alyn sniffed, but she could swear he was repressing laughter. “Any good reputation you may have heard is a vicious lie spread by jealous competitors.” “Considering our last encounter, I’m tempted to believe that some of those ‘good’ rumors are actually true,” Shyndra countered. She glanced around quickly, not seeing anyone she recognized. “May I make a request?” Sighing, Alyn replied, “Very well, but I do not kiss women anywhere but on the lips. Not until the fourth lovemaking.”
Monday, August 24, 2009

Feeling Blah...

My muses, it seems, have been sleeping or vacationing somewhere without me. Nothing draws to me in poser, despite wanting to do something creative. Even writing seems to be dragging, unless I'm writing with Mark. Then it goes ok. At least the editing is done, at long last. Of course, the big question with that is: do we have what anyone wants to sell? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, we've still gotta get the synopsis done (procrastinating isn't always a good thing, but it IS fun...). Anywhos... the first week of school for the older terror (Hunter) has gone good. So far. But then, it WAS only three days.... Yes, yes, I know. Give him time. Seriously, though, he's a pretty good kid. When he isn't driving me insane. and now back to my regular scheduled program of work....
Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Weekend and Teaser Tuesday

Ok, first off, I had a wonderful time over the weekened. My parents had the kids again and that left me free to go to Richmond with my beloved sans kids. I walked around Short Pump windowshopping for about two hours and loved the exercise (I admit it!) while Mark went to a micro-bachelor's party for a friend. We went to Maggiano's together (as always, service was excellent and the food just can NOT be surpassed by any other restaurant...) before leaving for home. I then got to go to a mutual friend's house (Ed's is one of Mark's best friends...) and game there... Ok, well... it was more me, Ed, and another friend of Mark's and Ed's annoying the DM (dungeon master) by going off on our own tangents, lol. I then stayed to watch the UFC (UCF?) games on ShowTime. lol, it was actually fun, which I attribute to the company more than the show. Well, here's what I've been playing with as a way to keep sane. We finally got our query letter together and done, so we're testing the waters with it to see how it goes.... Keeping with tradition, we've recieved a rejection already. Shyndra is a character I play during game nights (AD&D, btw). We've got the cast of main characters already, but we're still toying with the plot. In the meantime, I'm playing around with her introduction. :) **** There was something to be said about a temple dedicated to Dridean, god of light and knowledge, in a city where crime and filth abounded. It showed a dedication to a belief and stubbornness to not let the darkness overshadow everything. Or so the dedicated followers believed. It was a challenge for the clerics to cajole their followers into changing their way for the 'greater good', to coerce them from their evil ways and step into Dridean's ever-knowing 'light'. In reality, the High Priest and many other temple clerics were simply using it as a method to fill their personal pockets and, for the High Priest, a means to enjoy the brothels only a few buildings away from the temple. It was why Shyndra, in her usual black priestess robes, was now traversing the hallways in search of the High Priest. Head bowed, hood pulled low over her brow, she kept her arms folded at waist level. Her hands were tucked into the opposing sleeves, well hidden from view. Though she had not grown up as a religious zealot like many in her family, she knew the basic layouts of the temples of the various deities. Only Dynisseik's devout followers changed every hallway and room from temple to temple, making traversing them nearly impossible without a map. One of the reasons Shyndra claimed herself as a follower of the goddess of lies and deception. Nearing the High Priest's private sanctuary, the door opened and she ducked into the shadows of an alcove. As he stood in the doorframe adjusting his robes and belt, Shyndra studied the man dispassionately. An inch or so taller than her petite five-foot three-inch frame, he had white hair circling a balding head. Pale blue listless eyes made her question if he used one of the many remedies sold amongst the fares in the bazaar. It would certainly explain his renowned erratic behavior and his violent temper. Not to mention the glaze that covered his eyes. His face was smooth, with wrinkles around his mouth and eyes. The High Priest turned and strode down the hallway towards a heavy wooden door. Shyndra groaned silently, her shoulders dropping as she heaved a sigh. Why the bathroom? Nothing good ever happened when it came to her, a contract, and a bathroom.
Monday, August 10, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - A snippet from "Death's Heiress"

Right! So I decided to post a snippet from "Death's Heiress" which will need a rewrite before we begin querying it again. Which, isn't too big a deal to us. It'll give me something to do while trying to query "Prize of the Providers". Anywhos, here's the snippet that I love that I think I wrote out really well. It probably needs better editing, but... oh well. :-) The setup: This is pretty much when everything starts falling into place for the premise of the story. Things have been going fairly smoothly, except for the teacher at Xandra's guild being tortured by Xantos. Enjoy!!! ***** This place is alive; in more ways than one. The thoughts came unbidden to the blond-haired, blue-eyed ruler of Faedale, Tolrien Galvryl Runestar. It was also, undoubtedly, very unnerving; Tolrien had ridden, trekked, and hiked practically every forest and mountain in Faedale and this forest was alive in ways they were not. Senses that had not been used were brought to life and used; smells were inhaled and sounds were heard that would not have normally been noticed. The Great Forest brought to life the senses that would have otherwise remained dormant. The ruler of Faedale was not alone; he was accompanied by a full contingent of well-armed guards. However, all were aware of being watched. Their keen elfin sight helped only so much in the ever-darkening forest. Tolrien raised his eyes to the completely-covered canopy; not a trickle of sunlight slipped through the dark leaves above their heads. His horse side-stepped skittishly; Tolrien pulled back on his reigns. The horse’s head dropped further. “It appears even our mounts are fearful of this place,” a guard commented off-handedly. Crystal blue eyes glared down at the guard. Of course he wouldn’t be perturbed by the strangeness of this place; if rumors were to be believed, he had been raised in Drakeshire, the sister forest to this place. “Indeed,” Tolrien replied coldly. “Do you have a suggestion or are you simply attempting levity?” The guard raised a brow, not the least concerned by his king’s dark mood. Drakeshire had the same effect on any who dared to enter. “Actually, there is no way to calm them save a rather speedy exit.” Tolrien’s expression only grew darker and more sullen. The singular amusement and easiness found in his guard’s every move only added to his ire. Why did my sister have to return here? How is it she can traverse this strange, foreign place without fear when I, her eldest sibling, cannot fathom what the darkness holds? His thoughts were cut short as the same guard murmured, “Fog ahead, milord.” “I see no—” he broke off sharply. Fog swirled before them, hanging in the air and seeming to slither up their bodies, animal and elf alike, until it completely surrounded them. They were rendered blind; even with their keen inherent sight, they were only able to see a few inches beyond their noses. This is bad, Tolrien thought, this is very, very bad. His thoughts were proven correct when the fog parted to elves with skin the color of milk and hair a glistening holding the reins of their horses. The fog receded until it curled around them at the same height as the knees of Tolrien’s walking sentries. The suddenly ability to see immediately caused Tolrien and his guards to wish for the mystery of the fog; for each rider there were no less than four sentries. The ability to not see was, he thought, rarely a gift. He would have given anything for the lack of sight. Each sentry, save the ones holding the horses, held a sword or spear in their hands. Their features were covered by black cloaks. Their faces were covered by macabre masks; only their orange eyes seen, like burning coals. A strange blue light, as though it were reflected through ice, glimmered in the darkness. “Speak fair or pay the consequences of trespassing.” The words came from a solitary elf who stepped forward. A mask of grotesque proportions covered his face, hiding any feature. As the sentry stepped forward, Tolrien could see red strands mingling with white and he had the unfortunate impression of white hair that bled. Drawing a breath, he kept his voice steady, though more than anything he wanted to turn and ride fast and hard from this forest of death. “I am Tolrien Runestar, ruler of Faedale. I have come to seek an audience with my sister, the granddaughter of Lord Xantos Zaurahel.” Orange eyes flickered; Tolrien could not decipher what message lurked in their fiery depths. “The king of another land dares the dangers of the Great Forest and its denizens?” Cruel humor filled each word spoken. Tolrien frowned. He’d never had to deal with the docelfar before and he envied Aly her knowledge. “It is important that I speak to the favorite child of our grandfather.” He paused, choosing his words carefully. “He would, I believe, be greatly disappointed and angry were he not able to receive the information I carry.” “A message has been sent to the lord you speak of. If it pleases him, you will speak to the Lady you desire.” The reply was curt. Tolrien heard the unspoken words that hung in the air between the sentry and himself; if it did not please Xantos, he doubted he would be leaving this place in one piece; if at all.
Thursday, August 6, 2009

Quick Mix Cake Recipe

For all ya'll who want my grandmother's recipe, here it is. You can add whatever you want and change the flavoring however you like. Chocolate chips, fruit, whatever. This is the perfect basic recipe for cakes and/or cupcakes. Especially for all the bakers out there. :-D It's copied word-for-word, so don't blame me for spelling! lol. I used the sticks of butter or margerine and it always worked great. Enjoy!!!
Quick Mix Cake 3 cups all purpose flour 4 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt 1 3/4 cups sugar 3/4 cups shorting 3 eggs 1 cup milk 1 tsp. vanilla Sift baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl. Add shortening, eggs, milk and vanilla and beat on low speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes; increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Pour into greased and floured baking pans.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Comic Con Pictures!!!

A few of my favs... I'll post more later.
Cindy, me, and My little IMP.
My Fan Club - Seriously, the kept showing up everywhere we did....
Me and Chris Marie Greene - She's a great writer and a real sweetheart. Go buy her books, the Vampire Babylon series. Great stuff.
I HAD to have this one... just didn't realize where the hand was until AFTER I saw this pic! lol
It was lots of fun and I had a lot of fun. Enjoy the pics!!!!
Monday, August 3, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - Scene from unfinished novel

Well, this was an idea we had for a novel involving Xandra's eventual daughter, Antaa. Antaa had the usual problem found in a medieval evil society - she had an unwelcomed suitor way too old for her whom she didn't like.... unworthy suitor had been told to stay away (did I mention she's a young teen and he's way older??) and he ignores that and touches her. She retaliates by putting a dagger to his throat (trained from walking by two assassins and family of fighters...) then runs scared to her mother. Xantos happens to be there at the time, too... here's what happens after they go hear what happened to Antaa... ***** Alyssiana’s smile faded into a frown that grew as she moved through the hallways and corridors of the guild. There was a cloud of death and fear that seemed to seep into her skin and all those around her. Stopping just outside the door to the main room for the students, she frowned as the noise-level of that was considerably less than what it should have been. Little laughter and jesting met her ears this day and she was growing concerned. Her sharp gray eyes searched the room for her two grandchildren, but neither was seen. Turning, she took two steps only to run into Alden Everyn, a Guild Master and dear friend. “Where are Antaa and An’odd?” Aly asked bluntly. “Segav took them out for lunch and has not brought them back,” Alden replied easily. “Xandra is in her office.” Aly’s eyes narrowed. “What is going on, Alden? This is mid-term; they have tests that they need to complete.” “They have been given a reprieve from Xandra and Xantos; I was told to inform Segav to keep them away until tomorrow.” “Why?” Alden smiled slightly. “That is a question best left for your daughter, Aly. May I escort you to her?” “Of course,” Aly smiled. “I’d never turn down a request from you!” The half-elf chuckled and slid her hand through his arm and together they walked the corridors to Xandra’s office. As they neared the administration wing, the smell of death and the metallic scent of blood wafted to Aly’s nostrils. When they turned the last corner that gave way to the entrance to the administration offices, Aly saw the source of the smell and silence: Hanging by the use of ebony chains was the skinless body of a humanoid void of all genitals. It, Aly could not think of this abomination as anything else, had been male; the cuts of where the genitals would have been made that fact obvious. Hanging like one would the skinned carcass of a deer; the bound, outstretched wrists were the only thing holding it up. The skin of the face was the only thing left for identification. The face had been pinned, Aly could not fathom how, to the chest of the corpse. His genitals were not the only parts that had been removed: His eyes had also been cut out, leaving only empty sockets. “Alixandra Myriata Runestar Dredborne Dryzmella!” Alyssiana’s voice thundered as she stormed past the corpse. A door opened and Xandra stepped out to raise silvery brows at her enraged mother. “Mother? What have I done to garner your ire this time?” Xandra asked pleasantly. “You left that…that…” “Corpse?” Xandra offered. “Yes, corpse,” Aly snarled, “For the students and adults alike to see and smell!” Xandra glanced past her mother to where the corpse was hanging. Though she could not actually see the body, she knew what it looked like. She had been surprised upon seeing it herself. “I’m not the one responsible for that, Mother. Great-Father is.” She glanced past her mother again. “Though, I’m almost tempted to ask Great-Father how he did it.” “Alixandra!” Aly exclaimed in pure outrage. “I swear, child, it seems you are growing more like Grandfather with each passing year!” “That is not so!” Xandra exclaimed in disbelief. “I am still far more compassionate and loving than Great-Father! Despite the fact he loves Saporia! I’m not nearly as ruthless as he is! Are you going to condemn me for embracing my heritage? Something you and Father have always encouraged me and Caritas to do?” Aly’s eyes flashed with anger, but she relented slightly, “That may be, daughter, but I do not approve of such a display. Or your participation in such brutality.” Xandra shrugged as she stepped into her office, her mother following her. Dropping into her chair behind her desk, she smiled darkly, “I merely removed his genitals, eyes, and tongue. After which, Great-Father told me to acquire the chains and leave him. I did not argue.” “You…removed his genitals?” Aly asked in shock. Xandra gestured towards a shelf behind and above her mother’s head. Aly turned and her eyes widened. Sitting on the shelf was an ornate glass jar filled with two testicles. “I thought I’d start a collection,” Xandra stated simply. “If Great-Father can collect eyes, I thought it only fitting I keep my threat to many a man and start collecting their testicles.” Aly closed her eyes and drew a deep breath, “I shall never understand your strange way of thinking, my daughter.” Opening her eyes, she turned and asked flatly, “What did this man do to garner such treatment?” “He dared touch your granddaughter, Aly, as well as state falsehoods about her,” Xantos stated, stepping through a silvery portal. Turning to face Xantos she suddenly smiled malevolently. “Well, I would say from what I have witnessed inside the guild, Antaa will not have to worry about such any more. In fact, I doubt there will be any who will dare anger her for fear of what she, or her family, may do.” “What brings you to the guild, Alyssiana?” Xantos asked, smiling mirthlessly. Aly raised a brow. “Cannot a grandmother wish to see her grandchildren without a superior motive?”