J.F. Posthumus

J.F. Posthumus

About Me

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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, November 9, 2010

Halloween and a Wedding

As I continue to write (really, I AM trying to write the murder mystery!) I keep being pulled away by family and fun.  Not just the ordinary everyday stuff like cleaning and shopping, but my vampire-hunter's birthday, the holiday --Halloween (my most FAVORITE holiday)-- and going to a wedding in the capital city. 

Three days of dressing up (I changed costumes for each day) and dressing up for a wedding.  Trick-or-Treating with the kids and seeing a few friends while having way too much fun at Short Pump.  (That, in itself, is a story for another time.)  All-in-all, it was a great time.

The gown I wore for the wedding was a success in many ways.  I'm also very happy with the fact I finally managed to do something fancy with my hair and it turned out amazingly well!  (The secret: lots of hairspray, hehehehehe).  Many thanks to a dear, dear friend who gave me tips on how to curl it!  One of the many highlights was when Mark asked me to dance, something he doesn't do very often.  Not that it was easy dancing with him and holding the hem of my skirt up so I didn't trip on it, but it was so very, VERY worth it.  (So was dancing around him later... hehehehehehehe)

For those wondering, I've managed to get a little over 7k written (about 24 pages, double-spaced) but I wouldn't trade ANY time with the family for anything.  My family will always be first, no matter what the future brings me.

Here are a few pics of Halloween and the wedding:

My vampire-slayer as Iron Man and his sister as Belle.

Mark & Me at the wedding reception

Me posing at the wedding before the ceremony & reception while waiting to help mix the drinks for our friend who was the groom.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010


What's Halloween without a little witchy magic? ;) 

So it isn't very much on the "writing" topic, but it's still a fun topic.  The research has been very fruitful, even if I didn't get to go to a local event due to a sprained ankle, but no matter.  A great friend (who was an officer for several years before becoming an EMT and who now works at a local hospital in the ER) has been VERY helpful.  I can ask him pretty much anything, and he has an answer.  He's also going to be one of the few who gets to read it it and point out all the inaccuracies. :)  No complaint there!!!

On the fun side, my little IMP has a slew of costumes to choose from for Halloween and my little Vampire Slayer is going to be getting a really awesome costume for his birthday.  Hopefully it will last until Halloween...  As for mommy, well, I've got plenty of costumes and am still debating which one to wear.  Batgirl, Poison Ivy, the sorceress, greek goddess, the Star Trek communications officer (think Uhura's outfit from the new movie)...  So many fun options and only three days to wear 'em.  :)  (Did I mention Halloween is my MOST favorite holiday???)  Since we have a wedding to go to the night of the 30th, I'll be wearing a tinker-bell-ish type gown complete with stilettos and (hopefully) will do something fancy-shmancy with my hair.  (Yes, I just made that word up.)

For those who are wondering about the ankle, I twisted it last Friday morning (the 15th), walked around on it all day, and realized it was swollen and bruised that night.  Our EMT/ER tech-friend advised getting it checked to make sure it wasn't broken Saturday evening, and I got it x-rayed at the ER Sunday.  I now have the nickname of "Gimpy" and "Hop Along" and keeping thinking I should be wearing a frog costume... 

As for my son's b-day, which is coming up, we're planning on taking him to Build-A-Bear at the capital (love saying that, hehehehehe) and a late lunch/early dinner at Maggiano's (aka little Italy).  Should be fun.  Especially since he has a coupon for Build-A-Bear since it's his birthday. 
Friday, October 8, 2010

Research and Murder

Murder and Mayhem.  Two lovely words that fit perfectly together. 

I've always been intrigued with murder mytseries.  You could probably blame my parents for that.  My mother and father, both, read mysteries and watched a variety of TV shows and movies about murder mysteries.  Perry Mason, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Columbo, McMillian and Wife, Murder She Wrote, Banacek, and way more than I can remember. 
    (Artwork copyright J.F. Posthumus 2010)

Me? I loved 'em.  I now watch Castle, Bones, and Psych.  I also adored Monk.  My daughter, who is only four, also loves Bones, Castle, and Psych.  She especially loves Bones (her favorite, I think, is the Man in the Bear). There's just something about solving a murder that keeps me entertained. 

Then, there's the stories about murders that took place before I was born, told to me by my parents and grandparents.  Of course, a few of those also include ghosts.  Do I believe in ghosts?  Yep.  If you don't, fine.  To each their own.  :)  But many stories of murder, especially those that took place in the past, include a ghost.  Typically of the person killed.  To me, that makes it even more interesting and spooky.

As for writing a murder mystery, trying to keep it semi-real isn't easy.  You can only find out so much online and through movies.  Fortunately, I have a friend who was a former police officer who I can ask questions.

But... who does one do when they don't have friends in the right career?  How do you get the guts to call up someone, be it doctor or detective, and question them on a crime scene or the symptoms of a deadly poison?  Or what poison can't be traced or the questions asked at a murder scene?

So many questions, so little time. 
Friday, October 1, 2010

A New Novel

So, I've begun a new novel.  It's something I've been wanting to write for a loooong time.  Not to mention, it'll be pefect for someone with a last name that translates, literally, to "after death". 

Haven't guessed  yet?  It's a murder mystery!  With a fantasy-ish twist.  Only because computers are from hell, gremlins live in said computers, and demons possess the living... as well as walk amongst us unknown.  Ok, so two out of three is fantasy. ;)  After all, everyone knows computers are from hell!

I have about six pages, or 1900-some words, written so far.  Another oddity is the fact I'm actually writing in first person.  The reason being: I'm writing something I know.  I'm using my own profession in the novel for the main character, so I have eight years of experience to pull from, not to mention the annoyances that can come from everyday use of a computer. 

Of course, I've still got a long ways to go.  From discovering the body, to finding clues and planting red herrings, to figuring out who dun it and why.

The best part of this novel?  The research.  I get to pick a co-worker's brain about golf (a game I abhor and mock happily), I'll be asking Mark's sister and mother about working at a library (yep, that's a part of it, too), and, of course, reading mystery novels.  Not just any, but murder mysteries! 

Who am I reading?  The Queen of Murder Mysteries, Agatha Christie as well as the every amazing Earl Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason novels.  Then, of course, there are the movies (Murder on the Orient Express, Perry Mason episodes) and tv show Midsummer Murders and Sherlock Holmes.  Ok, so Holmes isn't murder mysteries, but he is an excellent example of mysteries! 

If I could find copies of The Toff, I'd read those, too! 

Here's the first page, for those interested.  It needs some editing (Mark's supposed to go over it later), but what the heck? ::

“How was the golf tournament?” I asked Jamie, my co-worker and golf enthusiast as I booted my computer.
The game, tournament, had taken place that weekend and though I hated golf, I enjoyed hearing about my friend’s weekend. An important part of being a good co-worker was taking an interest in their lives. Or at least hearing who won and who lost.  I'd been off the week before and, though she'd posted a status on her Facebook page, there hadn't been any post about who won or lost after the update on the game. 

Jamie peered over the short partitions, a broad grin on her face. “We placed second. You would’ve loved it. It was on the weird side.”

That peeked my interest. I turned around from my computer, giving Jamie my undivided attention. Sweet, friendly, and bubbly, she could have been a cherub. Wavy blond hair curled under her chin and at her neck, heart-shaped face, and bright blue eyes. She even had dimples when she smiled. Jamie also wore flattering clothing that showed off her blond-bombshell figure. I’d met a few cherubs and every one of them could have been a model. Of course, I also knew she wasn’t a cherub, but I always wondered if she had cherubic blood in her ancestry somewhere.

“Congrats on the win! How was it weird? What happened?” I asked.

“Thanks. Each player had nothing over a 53. They all had birdies or less. Talk about weird. I’ve never heard, let alone seen, anything like that before. They were all checked for ‘loaded’ clubs, but they came up clean. They won the pot with ease. It was almost eerie the way the balls seemed to zero in on the hole.” Jamie explained.

Great. A wizard that plays golf and cheats to win. That’s really original. Not that I could tell Jamie that, she’d probably think I was crazy. So, instead, I jumped on the loaded club comment. Especially since it made me think of a club rigged to be used as a gun.

“Loaded clubs? How do you make loaded clubs?”
Monday, September 27, 2010

It's been a while...

Yes, I know, I'm falling behind on my blog and keeping it updated.  Or semi-updated.  Nothing exciting has happened in the writing arena, at least not yet.  (Though I DO have a cool idea for a book of a different color.  More will come of that at a later time.)

I've been editing the plethora of novels (mostly Banshee, Heiress, and Betrayal, but also two others that are in the works) while dealing with the usual gammet of problems.  Like a certain 2nd grade boy who doesn't want to do his homework, a little 4 year old whose diva/princess complex tends to get her into trouble, and the start of a celebration to take place in two years that involves my co-writer.  Speaking of my co-writer, he also moved in at the start of June last year!  YAY!!!!! 

He now has a job at a place he was wanting to work when he went to college for psychology (we won't go there. At all.  Ever.) before realizing what he wanted to do, wasn't gonna happen.  So, now he's finally working there and loving it, for the most part.  The downside, is we haven't managed to figure out when or how to get our writing done.  It'll come.  Eventually.  Besides, we have plenty of time to get the novels written and edited.  Why?  Because we wrote Heiress for fun, for us.  Sure, we want to be published and have the really awesome title of "published author", but it isn't a requirement for us.  After all, how many people can honestly say they've written x-many novels?  It's not something EVERYONE can do, just like being published isn't something everyone can manage.  (Not including self-publishing here, etiher.)

On the bright side of things, I now have a kick-ass query letter and short pitch thanks to a VERY awesome friend out in LA.  (Thanks, Stan, for all your help!!!  It's greatly appreciated!)

I've been doing lots of crafts to keep me occupied and have fallen in love with doing crafty stuff with ribbon.  I've also been doing crafts involving ceramic tiles (think kitchen, bath, and floors), photos, and modpodge.  They make GREAT coasters (after you cover them with a stain of sorts) or even plate holders.  I'll eventually have a tutorial for it, complete with photos.  (I've already got a tutorial on May Arts for ribbon roses.  I still need to do the one for turning them into a bouquet, though...)

Halloween is just around the corner, so who knows what else I'll get into between now and then.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Writing is Like... Fishing...

Current update on me and the family:
School ends next week with the Vampire Slayer being out of school for the summer and the eldest (my stepson) graduating.  Mark will be moving in with me and the munchkins after the eldest graduates on the Imp's b-day. 
In the meantime, we've been window-shopping online at houses and looking into loans and stuff in the hopes of getting an acual HOUSE of our own with a yard for the dogs and (maybe... hopefully...) a cat.  Not to mention Kam (Kahmet) the bunny.  I miss my bunny, even if he is a tempermental brat at times.  (hmmmm... not the least bit like his owner *wink*)  And, of course, the fact that eventually we want another hellion to eventually turn loose on the world.  Three just isn't enough, after all ;)
The downside of things is Jammerz closed, which means no place local to go to for musical stuff.  It sucks, since Mark loved the place, I like the guys there, and the kids also loved going there.  Especially the Imp, who is very much her father's daughter in soooo many ways.
Oooooh, yesss... there IS one more thing for those who actually read and keep up with things....  We've figured out when we'll be getting married.  I'll post the exact date later, but at least we've most of the planning out of the way with the tentative where and who all will be there. 

Now, On the the Writing Stuff!!!

I think I finally figured out what writing and trying to get an agent is really like.... Fishing. 

Think on it. 

People love to fish, not just to GET the fish (and eat 'em afterwards) but because it's fun.  Even if you're fishing for sport and throwing 'em back, you can be sitting in the boat or at the edge of the lake or river trying to catch a fish, while others are reeling in big fat trout or salmon.  You, in the meantime, are pulling in nothing but an empty hook and maybe the occassional piece of trash.  Is it your bait? Your bobber?  Wrong hook?  Or just not your day to get a good catch?

Landing an agent is like landing a fish.  You have to be in the right spot, at the right time, with the right hook and bait (in this case query letter and novel).

So, what do you do?  Keep fishing!  (errr...writing...) and Keep trying.  Eventually you'll land something.  If not, you've still had fun in the process.  And at least in writing, you have a finished product and something you can be proud of: a completed manuscript.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010

No Teaser Today

Ok, so there won't be a teaser today or for gods know how long.  Why?  Simple: the novel writing is taking a break for other things... like making ribbon roses and planning of events and Mark finally moving in (it won't be till June, but it's not that long off).  We still writing when we can during my lunch and sometimes on the weekends or at night.  However, I'm not going to kill myself to write nor am I going to badger Mark into writing when we're doing other stuff.   

Spending time with the kids, the family, and doing other things is more important than writing, even if it IS our dream of becoming published.  Eventually we'll get back into a good pace for writing/editing/etc, but until then, we're going to write as we can, when we can, and not force it. 

On the bright side, the kids are doing well and plans are falling together nicely.  I've once more begun dabbling in crafts and, though I'm probably going to go crazy with trying to get my roses "perfect" then put together, I don't care!  I might even do an arrangement of ribbon roses to put in the fair... which reminds me... I've GOT to work on the art I'm gonna submit this year!  EEEK!!!  Times running out on that, too! LOL
Sunday, April 18, 2010


There's another contest out for aspiring writers.  It's located HERE and offers critiques by agents and, if for some lucky winner, a lunch date with two agents in NYC! 

Heh... if you "tell Oprah" you get "+100"... and yes, there actually IS a way to "tell oprah"... it's called "contact us" on Oprah.com.  Finding that link is a pain in the arse, so good luck!!!
Friday, April 16, 2010


So, some of you may have noticed there haven't been any teasers for a while.  Wellll... there's a good reason for that.  Okay, a few good reasons, lol.

One, being I've been trying to edit the novels we've got.  Another is I've been distracted with non-writing stuff.  Friends, summery-type events like being outside for the kids to play and visiting family.  And then there's the major reason:  My co-worker and fiance' is moving in with me in June, at long last!  (Chris is graduating this year then, if all goes as planned, he's hoping to join the Air Force.)  So, we've been rearranging A LOT of stuff in the apartment (closets, cabinets, etc etc).  A long, boring, ardous task that must be done.  And, of course, there's the usual cleaning required when you have two lively kids. 

So, writing has taken a back burner for real life, and, to be honest, I've been enjoying the hiatus.  We're still plotting along with "Warlord's Daughter" - a new twist that turning out really, REALLY well, and we're writing here and there. 

I've also been a bit distracted by other planning, that goes along with Mark moving in. :)  I'm sure most out there can guess! and, yeah, details will be coming in the coming months. 

Sooooo... there ya have it.  The reason for the lack of teasers (for those who have been reading 'em) and an update on what's going on. 
Monday, March 22, 2010

Another Teaser from Banshee's Daughter

So, I've been busy doing artwork and getting over being sick.  I am SO getting the flu shot sometime soon.  I've also got to see the printer version of the artwork I did for my workplace and it looks REALLY good.  I'm sooo glad it's done, though. 

Anywhos... Here's another teaser from Banshee's Daughter.  I'm currently working on a picture book for animals that come out at night and also attempting to plot out a young adult novel.  Urban Fantasy/Fantasy, of course, revolving around our beloved Xantos and his unknown daughter.  (that should sound familiar, since we were writing another called 'warlord's daughter' and we've subsequently changed it completely.) 

As for the teaser....  For those just tuning in, Iliana is the daughter of a banshee.  She's a retriever of magical artifacts between her world and Baradwys, which is a dimension full of beings that are only found in fairy tales and where magic abounds.  It's also where Xantos resides.  Iliana has so far managed to be intercepted delivering an artifact in Baradwys by Xantos (where the highest bidder always wins), be hired to retrieve Dante from a crazed dark elf witch, and banish a djinn.  Now she's got assassins coming after her, and Xantos isn't the guilty party!  After confronting Xantos, Iliana managed to concoct a mixture that keeps Xantos from trying to seduce her or take advantage of her.  This takes place the day after the first attack on her.


In all her banshee glory, which Iliana loved but refused to admit to her mother, Ceara stepped through and into Xantos’s office. Red hair danced about her head with a life of its own, her gown a pale green that swirled around her like mist as her glowing red eyes glared with intense hatred at Xantos. Her hands were claws and only her face remained human, though, considering her red lips were pulled back into an almost-inhuman snarl, Iliana wondered who would win a battle of the magics.

It wasn’t something she was going to wager on, either.

“Momma, I’m fine. Xantos wasn’t the one who sent the attackers and he didn’t do anything,” Iliana quickly said, her words practically running together. She turned to Xantos. “Did you?”

“Don’t bother spewing out a lie, Xantos,” Ceara growled. “I can tell by the sour look beneath that smirk you’re wearing it’s the truth. Pray tell me why, in the names of all the gods, you didn’t bother informing me my daughter was here before now?”

“Because she was sleeping against me, woman... and I did not wish to disturb what may have been her most peaceful sleep in ages. Surely, a mother can appreciate that.” Xantos rejoined.

“As though you could not have informed me prior to that,” Ceara countered, stalking forward. She turned to Iliana, eyes narrowed to what Iliana considered the ‘danger zone’. “You haven’t been sleeping well? Why haven’t you said something to me?”

“I’m a grown woman, Mother; I don’t need a babysitter! I sleep well enough. As for Xantos, I can handle myself,” Iliana interjected. “Xantos, I can’t thank you enough for everything you did, but may I have my weapon back so I can return home? You and mother remind me of a pair of bickering divorcees.”

“Ironic- considering we have never mated.” Xantos mused. “As for your advanced arquebus, I have it here.”

He opened the left top drawer of his desk. Her automatic was placed on the desk top a moment later.

Iliana’s eyes brightened as she picked up her beloved weapon and practically cradled it to her, stroking it almost lovingly. She glanced at her mother and winked.

Ceara rolled her eyes, folded her arms across her chest, and began drumming her claws against her biceps. “Nor do I have any intention of being another notch on your bedpost, Xantos. As for you, my daughter; despite your teasing, there would be no possible way a child could come of my coupling with any mortal being.”

Iliana turned her attention away from her weapon, which she was carefully examining for blemishes or damage from either Xantos or the bullets. “What do you mean by that?”

Eyes still glowing red, Ceara glowered at Xantos. Completely ignoring Iliana’s question, she continued, “If you’re finished here, we need to return to our home world. You’ll be staying with me until those responsible are caught.”

“Like hells I am,” Iliana snapped. “First, I am not staying with you. Nor am I staying with Roland; he’s worse with me than his own pack’s pups. Alesio is still angry with me, so he’s out of the question.” She paused, and then smiled slyly knowing exactly what would annoy Xantos and her mother, not to mention both Roland and Alesio. “Perhaps I could ask Dante? I’m certain he wouldn’t object.”

“My, my... instead of the lesser known evils, she pines for the greater unknown.” Xantos interjected. “No wonder men are drawn to your offspring, banshee. I find myself wishing there were more like her abouts... those that were not my relatives, of course.”

Ceara’s eyes flared and Iliana could have sworn she saw sparks. “Are you saying Dante would harm my daughter?”

“Wait a minute,” Iliana interjected. “I’ve accepted a date with Dante; why in the hells would he want to harm me if he’s been badgering me for a date since he met me?”

“Perhaps you’re merely saying this to try and keep my daughter all to yourself,” Ceara added darkly. “If I could, I would forbid her from crossing between the dimensions, but even I am not that foolish.”

“Oh, such importance you place on yourselves and kin.” snorted Xantos. “Still; I can understand the penchant and need to do so. I refer to... wait... you don’t know. Ah, I cannot spoil such a delicious surprise. I agree that Dante does not intend harm upon either of you. But... as is so often the result, don’t we men usually... heh... burn the ones we love?”

“I’ve already warned her about his horns,” Ceara retorted sharply. “I approve of him, but perhaps you are right.”

“What in the hells are you two talking about? I feel as though I’m in the middle of one giant riddle. Let me guess, the sphinx has the answers to your questions?” Iliana rolled her eyes, crossing her arms angrily. “Fine, I’ll go to Alex. At least if I snuggle with him, I don’t require protection of any sort.”

“Do as you wish. I shall enjoy the spectacle. I will be at your discretion should you need more obsidian ammunition, or advice.” Xantos said from his throne. “May I consider you available for further recoveries or similar works?”

Live Chat Event...

Just stumbled upon this: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=21397 -- It's a live "chat/blog" even with Carrie Vaughn, author of the Kitty series.  Great books, too.  She just came out with a new one for young adults, called "Voices of Dragons".  GREAT book, btw.  :) 

I recommend dropping by the site at some point and snooping around.  They have daily chats with different authors and even prizes, like signed books! 

check it out!!!
Monday, March 15, 2010

The Novel that Started It All

So, I figured I'd post something from the novel that started it all.  Of course, it's also a novel that needs A LOT of editing, rewriting... and, to be honest, it needs to be picked apart for the best parts and rewritten completely.  Yes, it's THAT BAD, lol.  However, we haven't done that (though we really should at some point), but we do make references to events that occured in the novel and characters that appeared in it.  We also have a few show up in other novels, one especially, because they were such great antagonists.  The novel, Love's Betrayal.  It's all about how Xolyn met Aly and, despite being a fantasy novel, has a thick romantic subplot.  Well, to be honest, it wouldn't be a novel without Xolyn and Aly falling in love, lol.  It is also not only the introduction of Aly and Xolyn, but Xantos, also. 

Anywhos, this is the last bit in what should have been the prelude, instead of the first chapter. 


Alyssiana walked silently through the tables, her cloak still pulled tightly about her. Her eyes swept the room, knowing that though she didn’t see any guards, they had to be there. As she neared the farthest dining room, the voices became louder. She could see a light beneath the doorframe. She paused before the door and glanced down towards the floor, one hand on the doorknob, the other on the dagger at her waist.

Head held high, she opened the door and stepped inside. Shutting the door behind her she brushed the hood back to reveal her face. All the men in the room turned to see who had dared to interrupt the meeting. Her grandfather sat at the head of the table, his silver hair pulled back with a leather strap. None had expected her save her grandfather, Xantos Davoryn Zaurahel, High Lord of the Royal House of DiSendra. She stood silently, as one of Xantos’s servants removed the cloak from her shoulders and withdrew from the room.

“Stop standing and sit, child. You’re wasting time.” Xantos’s voice was cold and emotionless.

“As you wish, Grandfather.” Alyssiana nodded once then walked around the table, aware of the eyes that followed her. Each man in the room had a gleam in their eyes and, though she knew her abilities, she was thankful for her position as Xantos’s granddaughter and not just another hireling. She slid into the vacant seat to the right of her grandfather.

Xantos raised his eyes from his ledger and glared around the table at the men before him. His expression was cold and daring. The men lowered their eyes back to the papers before them as Xantos slid a note to his granddaughter.

Alyssiana remained silent throughout the rest of the meeting and remained seated after they had left. The note remained on the table beneath her folded hands.

The silence that ensued was more than Alyssiana wanted to put up with. “Why did you summon me here, Grandfather?” She waited for a response, certain that it wouldn’t be something she would want to hear.

“You realize that by doing this…task…you are playing into his hands. My enemy: Your enemy. And he will exploit you further, given the chance.” Xantos made no effort to hide his displeasure.

“Considering all that I know you to be capable of, Grandfather, I can see why you are enemies. You are so similar in how you live, and do business.”

The elder Docelfar smiled coolly. His constant air of knowing more than everyone else, even if she had used that character flaw to her advantage from time to time, irritated her. Alyssiana braced herself, not sure if he would continue, or if she had finally found the breaking point. He could kill her, here, and no one would make a gesture to stop it.

“Even if your presumptions of me were correct,” Xantos began, “there is one divergence between us: I care for you, and consider your death to be an unpleasant event which should be avoided. He has no such discretion.”

Abruptly, she stood. How many of the deaths that haunted her were by his hand? If not his own, then someone from the massive host in his employ or servitude? Her teeth were bared, gray eyes blazing down at her grandfather. The questions and accusations wanted to pour from her lips. She had come to accept and honor her heritage; what more did he want? Must she try to kill him before he was satiated?

The cold smile stayed put. Alyssiana considered her options, and sat once more. Let him finish what he has to say. I will not be goaded from my position. She promised herself.

Speaking once more, Xantos lowered his voice to a secretive whisper. “In a year’s time, perhaps less, I will move against the dahnri, and he will be mine. You can find other obligations to serve until then, or take your place at the House of DiSendra. I would even fund a personal quest. Take your pick, my child.”

“I have made my decision.” Alyssiana countered. She got up again, and this time, she moved next to Xantos. The smile had faded from his lips, just a bit. He clapped his hands, and the servant returned, bearing her cloak. The man held it out for her, and she slipped into the comforting folds. Alyssiana moved to leave when her grandfather’s voice stopped her a final time.

“Consider all that has come before, Aly. Think of what you know, and what the possibilities are. You may find yourself realizing what I have tried to warn you of.”

His words rang in her ears during her walk to the inn. The voice did not cease to echo in her mind as she summoned another portal and changed at Xantos’s house. Memories played in her dreams as she slept in the rented bed at the inn. In the morning, she thought she was, at last, free of those words. After a meal, she packed and began to travel once more. It took very little time in the quiet outdoors for her mind to unlock the hated door Xantos had built.

Consider all that has come before…there is so much…
Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A bit of Romance....

Here’s something from “Gifts of the Gods”. Our fantasy novel with a romantic storyline. Of course, we’re still trying to cut out about 48k from it, so it’ll be interesting to see what all ends up getting nixed. (We were having a bit too much fun with this one! LoL.) Anyways, I thought I’d post something completely different. (That’s what I get for reading the current fantasy novels I have – like Karen Chance….)

Backstory: Aeryn is the daughter of Shamazu, goddess of fire and lust, and a mortal. She’s been banished after arguing with her mother about Sham’s attitude and treatment of the mortals so she can get to know the mortals better. Aeryn takes a job as a hostess at a casino in her mother’s city, Blysia Caer; a city devoted to fulfilling one’s every desire. Aeryn has not only inherited her mother’s beauty, but also a great many of her mom’s immortal abilities. The casino is now one of the most influent and prosperous hotel/casinos in Blysia Caer and the majority come to see the hostess who is as beautiful as a goddess but far more gracious and kind. Baudin has his own reasons to seek out Aeryn, and they’re not all good intentions.

The below takes place after Baudin meets Aeryn initially and a few sparks (of the good sort) fly:

"Shall we wait for the bath?" Baudin asked innocently. "I would hate to be interrupted if you have... specific plans for tonight..." His eyes held hers in a smoldering, lustful gaze.

Aeryn inhaled sharply and her eyes closed halfway at his words. "I have no specific plans for tonight," Aeryn replied huskily. "A bath sounds very... enticing."

Shifting her weight from one foot to the other, she watched Baudin from the doorway, wanting to go to him, yet her nervousness kept her feet from moving.

He lifted one hand to her. "May I invite you to join me? We may relax while we wait for the servers to bring the hot water for the bath..." He smiled at her. "You may keep your clothing on, if you wish."

"I... that is..." Aeryn suddenly found herself unable to articulate her words. She closed her eyes and drew a deep breath. Opening them once more, she took slow, silent steps towards him, keeping his gaze as she slowly took his hand. She whispered hesitantly, "Do you want me to keep them on?"

"I want you to be at ease, Aeryn." Baudin said, and his eyes showed nothing but concern and truth. "I will remain covered by these exceptional sheets that Daun has provided, and you may keep your clothing on, until and unless you are comfortable removing it. I have no interest in pushing you, or attempting to force you. I don't wish to be cooked, after all." He gave her a playful wink.

Aeryn blushed deeply as she said softly, "I wouldn't 'cook' you, Baudin. I couldn't." She knew she was being shy, but she couldn't help it. She lowered her lashes and smiled at him from beneath them. "No one else has ever affected me like you do."

"Nor have I been touched by anyone as you have touched me." He blushed a little, and amended his statement. "Touched my soul, I mean, not... well, you know...” he blushed deeper.

Aeryn giggled softly. "I will warn you," she said shyly, turning her gaze from him as she sat on the edge of the bed next to him, "it... has been a while since..." She trailed off, her face growing warmer and uncertain of how he would take her admittance that it had been a while since she had taken a lover.

"I do not care." Baudin said soothingly. "Not of your past, nor how many lovers you have or had. I care about spending time with you, and pleasing you. Is that weak of me to admit?" His hand slid into her right and squeezed gently.

"No, not weak at all." Aeryn replied warmly. She leaned forward, her eyes searching his as she lowered her lips to his in a soft kiss.

"I'm glad you agree." He whispered, and met her lips with his own.

The kiss enveloped all of her senses, and when she felt her mouth open, inviting his tongue to explore with her own, she was only a little shocked at her boldness. The deeper kiss felt even more natural to her than the beginning, when their lips only pressed together. As the kiss continued, and her hand found its way into his soft hair, she let herself drown in the warmth and pleasure.

When the kisses finally ended, she fell back a little bit from him, breathless and swooning. Her half-lidded eyes took Baudin in, and she saw that he was the same as her; breathing hard, almost disoriented, and trying not to fall over.

Reaching up with a slightly trembling hand, Baudin stroked her cheek. "Perhaps we should just lay here and talk until the bath arrives?" He asked in an uneven voice. He slid a little away from her and patted bed. "Please, just lay here, atop the sheets, and we can talk... and recover from that kiss!"

Aeryn leaned into the caress, drawing several deep, equally shaky breaths. Slowly reclining onto the bed, she swung her legs onto the mattress and snuggled closer to him. A playful smile curled her lips as she laid her head against his chest.

"What shall we talk about?" She asked with an impish smile.

"Tell me about your day, Aeryn." He asked still breathless. "I would know how you wiled away the hours until you came to this room." Aeryn heard his words, but once he had begun to speak, she had snuggled in closer, and her eyes had drifted towards the foot of the bed. Her gaze had stopped, however, when she noticed how aroused he had become during their kiss, and was still aroused. The soft, silken covers outlined his body perfectly, showing the gentle, slight movement of the covers as his hardened manhood touched and slid against the black satin sheets. It was as though it had a life of its own; which, in her opinion, it did.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

No Teaser This Week...

No teaser this week, so instead, I did a New Blog Layout!!! WOOT!  I discovered a nifty program called "Artisteer" that I downloaded and played around with and decided it was worth the investment.  Mostly 'cause I hate plodding along in Dreamweaver and LOVE programs that let me take my art and turn it into something awesome.  :-D  It took a little smacking around to make it do what I want it, but it finally surrendered.

The trip to Short Pump was a lot of fun, even if it was FREEZING.  I got a nice (VERY NICE) pair of Giani Bini shoes that were on sale, a corset-type blouse from Hot Topic, toys for the tiny terrors, and a shirt for our eldest.  Mark also got a t-shirt (Rob Zombie, lol), a cd (Rob Zombie to go with the shirt), and a cool bag (one of those shoulder thingys similar to a tote bag).    Maggiano's, as always, was AMAZING with service and food (for what it's worth, I do not have a love for beef and Italian is no exception, as Mark discovered).  The little IMP also decided that chicken fingers and the beef dish wasn't to her liking, but Mommy's Rigatoni D WAS.  She also decided that Mommy's raspberry lemonade was MUCH better than her drink, too.  No need to guess what SHE will be getting next time we go! LOL!  And, of course, I can't forget the fact I got to see a friend who joined us for lunch. :)

All in all, it was a great weekend and I hated it having to end.  Ah, well.  There will always be a next time.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Teaser Tuesday... Banshee's Daughter, again.

Ok, so the kids are happy, Mark's got a toothache, and I've FINALLY gotten over strep.  What a fun time it's been.  On the good side, bills have paid, fun stuff has been bought (mostly required stuff), and a trip to Short Pump has been planned for this weekend.  YAY!!!!  Build-a-bear for the two tiny terrors is a must. (Our little IMP is going to get a sheep... maybe she'll stop wanting the puppet from the library if we can con her into getting one...)  And, of course, Maggiano's, cause it's THE BEST Italian restaurant.  And I'm gonna go searching for a strappy, sexy pair of silver stilettos... time to break away from the plain old black. :)

Anywhos, hopefully we'll remember the camera (hopefully).  If not, we've got our phones. :)

And, on to the teaser!!!

p.s. the novel is done at just under 85,000 words!  YAY!!!!

“If I enjoyed the boredom inherent to mixing up my concoctions, I’d have a wealthy life with little excitement. However, I don’t; which is why I’m a hired retriever of inanimate objects”

Something about that statement made Xantos chuckle.

“Yes... such as we cannot confine ourselves to a single outlet of one’s personality, can we?”

“My mother always chastised me for growing bored too quickly; she always claimed I’d find trouble. I suppose she, and you, are right.” She chuckled and gestured towards the flowers around them. “Most of these are indigenous to your world, aren’t they? Do they have any specific use other than beauty?”

“Most within my private garden are for beauty’s sake.” Xantos agreed. “But as you are aware; many of these flowers and bulbs have a use other than looking beautiful or swooning a heart.”

Iliana slid her fingers away from the petals, startled. “This is your private garden?” That certainly changed things a bit. A very big bit. “What uses do they have? Or is it a trade secret?”

“Look about, and tell me what you would use any of the specimens for,” he challenged. “Surely, you have already noticed a few that you would use.”

“It doesn’t work quite that way,” Iliana replied, blushing. “The lavender and red clovers could be easily used to make a mixture for ‘ensuring’ a prosperous, passionate marriage. I could concoct an unlimited amount of mixtures from the herbs and flowers of my world. Those from your world? I could only follow my instinct and hope something comes out of it other than a pretty flame.”

“How do you know that you didn’t produce something more than a ‘pretty flame?’ You often mix ingredients blindly, ignorant of possible outcomes?”

She plucked the blossom of the yellow rose, the strange hyacinth cactus combo, and the leaves of another unusual bush laden with deep, blood red blooms with black centers that reminded her of tiny daggers.

“I follow my instincts. Most of my combinations come from allowing my sixth sense, if you will, to take control and tell me how much of each to use.” As Iliana spoke, she placed the blossoms and leaves in a pile in her hand and breathed upon them.

The ingredients began to twist into a funnel shape; growing in speed and intensity until a tiny tornado traveled upon the palm of her hand. The tornado twisted faster and faster, until a sextuplet of tiny black points, like black arrowheads or the tips of daggers, flew from the tornado. Wherever these projectiles hit, frost spread rapidly in a radius of six feet. The tornado blew out on her hand.

“That certainly wasn’t expected,” Iliana commented, her cheeks burning with embarrassment. “Perhaps I should not create any other mixtures here.”

She looked at Xantos, who was looking at the frost damaged bushes and flowers with a mixture of anger and shock. Finally, he glanced at her and steadied his expression. He seemed to gather himself before stretching his hands out before him. Magic surged in the very air around her, forcing her eyes shut. When she could open them again, all signs of the damage her little experiment had caused were erased. Xantos was smiling at her.

“Why don’t you explain to me how you did that?” He requested pleasantly.

“I didn’t know what the combination would produce, otherwise I wouldn’t have attempted it,” Iliana quickly stated. She considered the flowers and what she had felt from them. “The rose created the base, the kindling for the tornado. The blossom from the hyacinth-like flower gave it the power and also is the cause for the frost. It was the third that created the projectiles and kept the frost contained until it touched a surface.”

Iliana shrugged helplessly, clasping her hands tightly together. She didn’t trust the pleasantness of his voice; it was far too similar to what he used with the captain. Her mother always said, the first reaction was the true reaction, especially when dealing with ethereal and magical beings. It was often the same with words; what was first spoken was often what the person meant, not what they wanted you to hear.

“I’ll refrain from any other mixtures, I swear,” Iliana promised.

“I would simply prefer such experiments were conducted in a less fragile environment.” Xantos commented. He walked away from her, towards where the projectiles had done their now deleted damage. He inhaled sharply, and smiled back at her. His hands spread wide in a gesture of offering; but she noticed his fingers fluttered slightly as they grew apart.

“It would bring me pleasure to provide a private room to conduct such experiments... that would appeal to you, yes?”

She felt a tingling of unexpected desire; accompanied by an upsurge in some flower’s scent. She had to swallow and gather herself before answering: Her first impulse was to tell him she wanted to please him, and a private room would be perfect!

“I’ve no doubt it would,” she replied uneasily, looking towards the flowers, trying to figure out which one was the culprit. “Perhaps we can discuss that possibility at a later time. After I’m no longer a target for assassins, would be most ideal.”

Xantos tilted his head and pursed his lips.

Damned if he doesn’t look like the late Michael Landon playing the Anti-Christ when he does that. She observed. She was startled when he spoke again in the pleasant tone.

“As you like. Shall we continue the tour?”

As long as you don’t try to seduce me again, she thought as she crossed to him. Aloud, she agreed, “Certainly.” 
Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - Xantos shows his bad side...

Another Teaser Tuesday snippet. A bit longer than usual, but well worth it, I think. Up till now, Xantos has shown his "nice" side... sooooo... here's the true side of Xantos. :) ENJOY!!!!

oh, and it's not quite as gory or graphic as some we've written.... ;)

backstory for those just dropping in:  Iliana is a retriever of all-things non-living.  Magical and not, she finds it and returns it to whoever has the highest bid.  After being hired to rescue Dante from a crazy docelfar witch, she becomes the target of assassins.  She immediatly suspects Xantos, someone who's famous for pulling such acts.  So, visiting him in nothing but her extra-large nightshirt, she discovers it's not him.  So, after a little magic and having Xantos show up unannounced, they head off towards Xantos's gardens.  This is what happens next.


Her musings kept herself from worrying about everything that had happened prior and what was sure to come when she returned to her home. Or, in the very least, her home world.

Xantos kept a slow pace, allowing her to be overwhelmed by the beauty of the architecture, paintings, and statues that lined the hallways and corridors. All were beautiful and breathtaking.

As they turned a corner, she noticed another being with snow-white skin and hair dressed like a warrior moving towards them. She couldn’t suppress a shiver as evil rolled off him like the air from an opened freezer. Perhaps it was the glee mingled in it that caused her to glance sharply at Xantos, imminently thankful for his presence and the robe.

Even were it not for the fact the newcomer’s eyes were the same glowing orange as Xantos and had pointed ears, Iliana would have known he was a docelfar. Xantos, however, didn’t seem to share the other elf’s delight. Instead, his expression darkened and she felt the same sense of evil wavering around her host as she did from the warrior.

Somehow, she got the idea that being here wasn’t such a bright idea, anymore.

A slightly smaller male, dressed in similar garb, stepped in from behind the first. Both men bowed to Xantos.

“Captain, Sergeant... report.” Xantos acknowledged and commanded.

“My eminence,” the shorter male replied. “The village stands no more. No one will question the wisdom of giving you the proper tithing from profits... especially those who have reaped a life from your generosity.”

Iliana took a step back, her eyes widening in shock. She shivered again, pulling the cloak tighter about her. Dearest gods. Xantos ordered such an attack? Alright, she’d happily admit he was an evil son-of-a-bitch. All for money. Why was she not surprised? Even if she was disgusted.

“Yes... it is so very disheartening when I choose a village to grow something, and even though I only require thirty percent of all profits, and the rest go to the people... they still feel they have the right to expect the rest,” said Xantos.

The captain smiled wolfishly. “None shall be foolish enough to attempt such blasphemy... not after tales of our deeds have spread.”

The whole village, though? She wondered. Did that also include the children and innocents? The women? Wasn’t there an unwritten law that said women and children were to be left alive?

Iliana slid back another step. There had to be a way to sneak out of here. Her room, she decided, had plenty of mirrors. She’d go to Alex; he wouldn’t turn her away.

“Perhaps you plan to spend the remainder of your days going to every tavern within a three day ride, spreading the tales yourself?” Xantos said with a pleasant tone. “You did not, after all, leave any survivors. This is contrary to my orders... and to my doctrine.”

The dark, bitter tang of anger wafted to Iliana from Xantos and she wondered if the pair could sense it as well as she could. She doubted it, since she could just barely notice it. Still, Iliana took another couple tiny steps away from the trio, she didn’t really want to be in the middle of what was to come. She’d rather be another dimension away.

“Your doctrine of not slaying anyone who does not attack.” the sergeant offered. “Children, women, any males who do not offer resistance while we weed out the guilty.”


“Well... the men became...” the captain began.

“The men followed your orders; which were, as stated, contrary to mine. I was observing you,” declared Xantos. His voice had not waived from the calm, pleasant tone.

Iliana glanced at Xantos. Okay, so he wasn’t a totally heartless bastard. Xantos had a code of honor... sort of.

“Still; this way of thinking that you present intrigues me, captain.” Xantos continued. “After all... I have never killed indiscriminately... only acting upon an urge to kill... no regard for what usefulness a being may represent; save the satisfaction of ending a nuisance or imbecile.”

“My...my eminence...” the captain said, and he looked decidedly sweaty to Iliana.

“I must try this... to discover if I have been foolishly following a useless code. That would be to my benefit; would you not agree?” Xantos said, looking from the captain to the sergeant.

Despite Iliana’s overly curious nature, she slid back yet another few steps. Maybe if Xantos was too preoccupied with the pair, she could sneak away?

“Of course... of course!” The captain agreed eagerly, obviously trying to please Xantos. Xantos made a minute nod towards the sergeant. The sergeant moved swiftly to block Iliana from making further progress.

Damn it. Why did she always end up involved these stupid power games? She doubted Xantos would use her, but did he have to insist on keeping her there to witness his next move?

“I am so glad we agree!” Xantos nearly cried. His left hand flew up, fingers splayed and palm towards the ceiling.

The captain cramped up in pain, and started to scream. Green fire flew from every orafice for two horrific heartbeats, and then the captain was consumed in an explosion of green light.

“My apologies for impeding you from exiting this ugly scene,” Xantos said as he brushed a fine soot from the front of his lavish robes. “But there are many dangers to be found along this hallway, and I did not want you to fall prey to them while trying to avoid the role of witness.”

Despite the sergeant, Iliana stumbled backwards, her eyes wide as fear and shock swept across her features. Okay, if Xantos thought she’d sleep after this, he was insane. She kept her back to the wall, with Xantos in full sight. The only weapon she had at hand was her magic, and she suddenly doubted she’d be powerful enough to counter anything this docelfar did.

“I... I...” she stuttered before drawing a deep breath, and immediately regretting it due to the pungent odor of burned flesh. “Perhaps the beauty of your garden will supplant the ugliness of this scene? If you still wish to take me there. If not, I completely understand.”

Not bloody well likely, she added silently, but she sure as hell wasn’t going to tell Xantos that.

“I was thinking that the garden’s beauty would help suppress the memory of this.” Xantos said with a patronly smile. He looked to the sergeant. “Captain, you will gather your crew and inform them of the change of command. See the lord of arms for your rank insignia. I shall talk with you and yours after the afternoon meal.”
Saturday, January 30, 2010

Zazzle Store

Yes, I finally opened a Zazzle store.  There will be an eBay store, eventually, but I figured what the heck?  Might as well broaden my reach, right?  My stuff is also over at CafePress and I'll post the links to there later, for those who prefer CafePress. 

Anywhos, here's the link for those interested.  Docelfar Designs. I also posted a store panel below so you can see what all is in the store. Of course, it's all my artwork. And nothing uber creepy either, so no fear there. Well... the cauldron IS at CafePress, but it lacks the scary skulls....

If anyone's interested in posting a link on their site, just let me know and I'll send you the link. :)

Oh, yeah, and I have strep throat. Got meds for it Thursday and am feeling better now. amazing how fast antibiotics can help one feel better fast... and SLEEP. geez, they make me sleepy...


create & buy custom products at Zazzle
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - Something different...

To keep from boring everyone with "Banshee's Daughter", I thought I'd post a snippet from the fantasy muder mystery that's currently on a back burner. It might get brought out later, but for now, it's simmering in the back.

Anwyhos, the backstory is thus: Shyndra is an assassin from Fellhaven, Deltheya (Xantos's world aka Baradwys.) She learned at Xantos's guild and is younger than Xandra. She's just completed an assassination contract and was enjoying herself with Alyn (a good friend of Xandra, tolerated by Xantos, and whom she has a smidge of a crush on) until her cousins show up. Though only two are blood-related, all four of the "Brethren" are considered family to her. The Brethren have just informed her that her beloved uncle was murdered.

Here's what happens next:

The walk to her room seemed to take far too long. She felt giddy, but a black sadness kept sweeping over any excitement she felt about taking Alyn to her bed.

When she reached her door, and was unlatching it, Shyndra did not know why she had asked Alyn to her room. It would be the height of hypocrisy to try and dismiss him, now.

Chewing her lower lip, a fault her mother had constantly scolded her for; she drew a deep breath and stepped inside, closing the door after Alyn. Gods, the man was handsome and charming. She wanted to forget the misery that kept trying to claim her yet she knew this could only be a short term affair.

Unclasping her outer robes, her lips curved into a seductive smile. Even a night of pleasure was better than days of unhappiness. More than anything, though, she wanted Alyn for at least one night. Tossing the robe to the side, she removed the leather armor she wore beneath, leaving only her simple white gown.

Crossing to Alyn, she pressed up against him, his arms enveloping her. Despite his strength, he was so very gentle. A surprising, yet very pleasing discovery. Nuzzling his neck, she felt tears welling up in her eyes and her lips trembled.

Gods, she was not going to cry! She wasn't... so, why were there tears leaking from her eyes? And... why was her chest tightening to the point where she thought she couldn't breathe?

Swallowing, Shyndra blinked back her tears and forced air into her lungs, willing her grief to leave her. She was not going to cry, not when she wanted some pleasure in her otherwise dismal life.

Brushing a kiss along Alyn's neck, she tightened her arms around him. She was stronger than her grief. She had to be. There were no true paladins in polished armor who would rescue her from the life she had made for herself. So, gods be damned, she was not going to cry and she was going to enjoy her night with Alyn.

That is, if she could stop her eyes from filling with water before trickling down her cheeks.

Alyn lifted her head up, and immediately she could tell, even with her vision blurring, that he knew she was trying not to cry. He immediately bent and kissed the water from her eyes.

"Alyn," she whispered, her voice cracking even with the single word. She choked back a sob, even as her eyes burned. The tears broke free and she melted against him, leaning her head against his shoulder as she wept. It wasn't what she had planned, or wanted, but it seemed her feelings were going to win this battle.

He shushed her and held her against him. The sobs were becoming worse, but she did not seem able to cease them. Alyn did not even attempt to pull away. He just continued to hold her tightly against him.

Shyndra leaned into his warmth, letting him comfort her. A small smile kept trying to form on her trembling lips. Closing her eyes, she snuggled closer, taking solace in the fact he was everything the rumors proclaimed, and more. Her lips twitched again and she pressed a trembling kiss to his shoulder. His lips pressed against the crown of her head and a smile finally broke through her grief.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Teaser Tuesday - Late Night Attack

We're about 10k-15k from being finished with Banshee's Daughter!!!  YAY!!!!!  Hopefully we can get it finished in the next week or so.... hopefully sooner...  

Anyway... I figured I'd jump ahead some and post what happens a little later... which is also the first attack on Iliana in her own realm.  And, like any true hot-tempered red-head, she goes after the one she thinks sent it, rather ticked off.


            Peeking into the kitchen, Iliana slid around the corner, keeping her back near the wall.  Not seeing anything humanoid, she glanced to the tops of the cabinets and the fridge.  Nothing huddled in the shadows ready to leap down to attack her.  Or at least, nothing she could see.  Iliana glanced downwards at Layla who slunk into the kitchen and stared into the living room, her dark eyes glowing an eerie red. 
            Alighty then, whatever it was, was playing in the living room.  Iliana wondered briefly if it hated the light and contemplated turning on the living room lights with a spellword, but decided against it.  No need to inform the nosy neighbors about her uninvited nighttime menace. 
            Drawing a deep breath, Iliana reached out with her magic, sending it trailing through the wall she was leaning against and adding a barrier of magic that soon pulsed throughout the walls, ceiling and floors.  With luck, that would keep the shots from the gun from waking not only the neighboring tenants, but also those in the houses near her.
            The last thing she needed was to explain why she had fired her handgun in her apartment.  If there was a body also, things could get a bit dicier.  Especially if it were another playmate sent by Darkflower or, worse yet, one sent by Saldone. 
            Shoving the thoughts to the side, distractions were the last thing she needed, Iliana crept towards the doorway to the living room.  Glancing around the corner, she checked the top of her entertainment center, but saw nothing.  Gliding to the other side, she checked the other cabinet nestled in the corner opposite her entertainment center.  Nope, nothing.
            So where in the hells was the damned thing hiding?  It wasn’t like she had a lot of shelves; in fact, she had none in the living room.  Stepping into the room, she heard a slight rustle and she looked up at the ceiling above the window. 
In the corner, perched with a foot on each side of the wall that converged together, was an ugly little creature with a triangular face with an oblong nose, wrinkled skin, a thin lipped, curving mouth and two tall pointed ears.  A tuft of hair more like a small patch of burned weeds sat between his ears on his fat, otherwise bald, head.
            A pair or large, yellow eyes watched her as she stared back at the otherworldly creature.  Short and plump like a mutant frog; it had proportionate arms and legs that were as pudgy as his body.  The face, also proportionate with his body, kept her from snickering overly much at the odd being.  Had the head been bigger, she would’ve thought it resembled a child’s bobble-head monster toy.  However, when it smiled, all amusement vanished as Iliana got a good look at the long, sharp teeth that reminded her of a piranha.  Except a piranha didn’t have six-inch long incisors or talons that put gaping holes in her walls.
            Taking aim, Iliana fired at the nasty fey.  One shot landed in its leg as it leapt across the room from her and landed in the opposite corner.  Taking aim again, she fired once more.  The creature howled in pain and leapt towards her, blood streaming from a shoulder wound.
            Stepping back, Iliana swung the gun up and fired, blasting another hole in the creature’s chest.  It dropped to the floor, mouth open in a death scream.  A scuttling sound followed by a snarl and a snap of bone had her swirling around, gun aimed towards the noise.
            However, as a true marksman, Iliana didn’t fire until she had her quarry identified.  A good thing, too, since Layla was contentedly washing her paws beside what looked to be a small rat, except the ‘rat’ had wrinkled reddish skin beneath bristles, was about two feet long with a ratty tail, and vampire-like teeth protruding from its squashed pug-like face.  A pool of blood poured around its throat.    
              Not taking a chance, Iliana called Layla over to her and promptly shot the bogle in its head and heart.
            “Right, so that was a fun time, wasn’t it?”  Iliana asked, finally lowering her gun.  She waited, listening, but didn’t hear anything else.  Crossing to the door, she put her ear against it and listened.  Nothing.  She peeked through the eyehole and saw only the darkness of the hallway.  “Well, at least we didn’t wake the neighbors!”
            Layla purred as she wound herself through Iliana’s legs.  Iliana turned once more to the bodies and gestured.  The duo vanished from sight. 
            “Time to find out just why in the hells this pair was sent,” Iliana said, scooping Layla up and stalking towards her bedroom.  “Care to come with me to visit someone, Layla?”
            Layla coughed and rubbed her head against Iliana’s cheek before wrapping herself around Iliana’s neck. 
            Speaking a phrase in Gaelic, the mirror flared to life and Iliana cocked the gun and stepped through the mirror. 
Holding the weapon directly in front of her, aimed perfectly at where the heart would be, she stated evenly, “Let’s see if the bullets you gave me work as well on you as it did those… things in my apartment.”  She stalked forward, the gun never wavering.  “Pray tell why in the hells you sent those two after me?”
She ignored the odd fact that the oversized t-shirt she wore for a nightgown didn’t change to something else because she was too pleased with the fact her gun hadn’t shifted either.  The last thing she needed was to lose her only useful weapon against the ancient warlord sitting behind his desk starting at her with a calm, almost bored, expression.
            “Your presence and overplayed threats indicate you would prefer me to claim I sent them to test you.”  Xantos spoke mildly, as if he were dismissing a pesky servant.  “But you will find no satisfaction in that regard.  I did not send anything nor anyone after you.”
            Not pausing until she stood five feet from him, she kept the gun leveled with his chest.  “How do I know I can believe you?  Your reputation isn’t exactly one that screams honesty, honor, and believability.”
“What is my motivation for sending anything after you that you could defeat?”  Xantos countered, and he sounded bored to her.  Bored! As if women stormed into his office demanding he answer for grief in their lives on a regular basis!
Monday, January 11, 2010

Something A Little Different...

So, I thought I'd do something a little different. I was playing around with something I did and ended up thinking the picture needed a story. Will it turn into a novel? Who knows? But I had fun writing it! I'm thinking that I should make it available when my ebay stuff goes live towards the end of the month.  (I'll post the link when it's available...).  And no, I'm going to add the story to the picture if I decide to offer it.  :)

Anywhos, let me know if you think the story matches the picture. 


There had to be a way out of the mess I’d gotten myself into. The only question was which option was worse. Being banished from not only the island, but this world, also? Being chased by Royal Assassins of the

Fey kind who could follow a particular offensive fly for miles just to swat it? Or releasing the legions of undead and giving them to the crazy queen to rule? Decisions, decisions. It didn’t help any that Mom was a druid dedicated to the nutty queen and her spineless king to a sickening degree or that my father was already banished to another realm. The realm where demons lived, thrived, and tormented both the living and dead.

I’d been there once and I didn’t really want to go back. Sure, hot drinks and s’mores were easy to come by, but the torture, chaos, and spell of brimstone kinda outranked the coolness of smoking marshmallows over a fire; especially when the fire was actually a burning corpse. Fortunately, Daddy dearest was higher up on the food chain there and could visit often. I loved him, but that didn’t mean I wanted to live in his world, especially since I didn’t get my kicks out of torture. Well, maybe I would have if he’d had let me torture a few people I hated and were current “guests”, but apparently that was against the rules, damn it.

The sky was growing darker and waves near the shore were growing choppy. As always, the barely-there breeze that could almost ruffle dandelion fluff was biting. Considering I wasn’t wearing much more than my usual ‘sorceress’ clothes that reminded me of a few costumes I’d seen last time I’d gone to visit the mortals’ lands, it wasn’t surprising.

My birthday was nearing and I had to give the Crazy Queen of all Fey a reply to her question. Sitting on the rock that held the skeletons of an ancient tribe that had been ensconced by powerful mages millennia ago, I could feel them trying to break free of their prison.

Why couldn’t I have just remained the weird girl who breezed through her guild classes without worrying about studying? A forgotten member of this world who could paint and create delicate crafts? Oh, no, the damned Fates simply couldn’t let me go by unnoticed. Not when Mom worked for the royals, keeping their forests and orchards vagrant free, growing vibrantly, and bountiful fruit and game.

Dad, fortunately, was still an unknown. Everyone thought he came from the mortals’ realm or another dimension. No one knew he was a demon, despite the fact I could unleash the undead, summon imps and ifrets, and raise the hounds of hell. Quite literally, and they weren’t cute and cuddly pooches, either. More like canines with elongated heads, grotesque emaciated bodies with leathery skin. They always reminded me of a dried up mice Mom and I would find in crates or in the barn every so often. Even their tails were rat-like, except with barbs like a stingray.

The queen, losing followers like rats fleeing from a sinking ship and having been the target of a few so-far ill-fated assassination attempts, had learned of my paltry talents last year. Mom kept her at bay, saying to wait until I was twenty-five when my powers would be fully developed. I kept hoping someone would kill the crazy bitch, but none had succeeded and Dad didn’t dare. It would break some promise or vow he’d made. Figures. I have a father who can kick major ass and he can’t do a damned thing because of rules and regulations.

Yet I can release a legion of blood-hungry skeletons eager to slaughter without repercussions from anyone in this world, or probably even his. I was fairly certain he’d warn me if I’d spend life in eternal damnation, and not as a family member, either.

I sighed heavily, staring at the cattails and hoping maybe I’d catch my death from the cold, as the mortals often said. Not likely. The worse that would happen is it would start raining and I’d be soaked to the skin, freezing cold, and have muddy feet since I hated wearing shoes, slippers, or sandals of any kind.

Why couldn’t I just go back to the way life was before? Where no one remembered my birthday, except for family and a handful of friends?

A few drops splattered on my head and shoulders, trickling down my bodice, leaving icy snake trails wherever it went. Shoving off from the rock, I could almost hear the skeletons screaming in outrage, I trudged dispiritedly back towards my mother’s small cottage. Behind me, I could hear the howl of the wind turning over the ocean. Or was it the howl of the undead, promising to kill me the moment they were free? One could never be sure about these things.