Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Song For Lugh and London

 If you've read Protector of the Light or Compelled then you've seen the start of something new between the series main characters Lugh, of the Champion of the Sidhe series, and London, of the Touched series. What's begun in those books will continue to build and take new shape in the books coming out soon. We'll pick up the story with London's fifth book, Captivated. It should be coming out very soon. The manuscript is going into the final stages of editing this week. And the story will expand in Lugh's fifth book, Keeper of Secrets.

 Today's Glamour Club video is one of the inspiration songs for the complicated relationship weaving between these two characters. It hints at Lugh's new darkness and London's desire to overcome her curse.

 Enjoy: Skillet - Whispers in the Dark

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Progress Report 11/24

 So Captivated currently stands at 10,873 words. I am about 2/3rds the way through on the mid level edits that are meant to make sure that everything flows and I've not left any holes in the story. And then I'll need a final edit to bring out more character voice and descriptions where it is needed.

And then.... Off to the beta readers and editor! Whoo hoo! Moving right along. I have quite a bit done on Keeper of Secrets and Uprising, so I hope to move into their editing phase fairly quickly. I've been working really hard on them, practically every waking moment when I'm not at the day job. Christmas might be too optimistic for having both of them done, but I would really like to have them by the end of the year.

Wish me luck!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sneak Peek - Compelled

Chapter One

"You screwed the pooch on that one, babe." Joe tilted back his beer bottle like that was the punctuation on the statement.

"Should I be thankful you didn't say 'I told you so?'" London picked up her cell phone from the bar. She'd set it out to show him the text message she'd gotten. We're coming for you. It still gave her the shivers, like she needed to keep looking over her shoulder. The number hadn't been one she'd recognized, but she had a good idea who sent it. Kieran had taken her business card. If the message didn't come from him, then it had to be one of the other Unseelie of the Glamour Club. There were two kinds of people in the world; the kind that dropped the chase when you outran them and the kind that would hunt you to the ends of the earth no matter how long it took. Wouldn't you know it? The Unseelie were the grudge-holding kind. "It's not like I got a manual on how to be enchanted when the Sidhe cursed me. I made a mistake."

"A bunch of mistakes," Joe corrected her.

"A bunch of mistakes," she agreed. "But I am trying to change." She dropped her phone into her jacket pocket. "Probably too late now. I've got a big target on my back and no way to redeem myself."

Joe slid a glance at her, eyes half-closed like he was debating something. The cold blue of his gaze made his attention hit with more impact. For a human, Joe Lansing was one hell of a guy. Tall, casually handsome in those worn jeans and Dallas Cowboys t-shirt, with an edge of toughness that could stare down a werewolf without flinching. The military and law enforcement background showed in his bearing, but he'd been out of them long enough to lose that clean-cut look a lot of guys kept for a while after the service. His sandy-colored hair looked finger-combed and the stubble on his face was at least a day old. It added to his whole 'don't mess with me' vibe. It was a trick that worked for a guy like him. Made him seem impressively badass without even trying. And yet he was just as enchanted as she was. Just another human cursed by the magic of the Sidhe. He said, "Don't count yourself out just yet."

"You're not thinking of introducing me to your boss. He's Unseelie."

"Donovan might run the show at the Glamour Club, but he doesn't speak for all Unseelie." When Joe smiled, he looked like trouble.

London shook her head, playing with her bottle of Guinness without any real interest in drinking from it. Amazing how living on borrowed time put a damper on the small joys of life. "But you said this Tiernan fellow is mates with Donovan."

"You wouldn't know it to look at him, but Tiernan's a businessman. He wraps himself up in the partying playboy image so people underestimate him, but he's wicked sharp. Trust me." Joe pointed at her with the neck of his bottle. "Your problem isn't that Donovan wants you dead. It's your reputation. Snatching one of Donovan's boys for your personal Touch slave isn't something anyone's going to soon forget. It doesn't matter that you came to your senses and gave him back. It doesn't matter that you fought your way through a bunch of werewolves to do it. Nobody even cares about that."

She winced. "Tell me again why I shouldn't count myself out yet?"

"You've got a bad reputation. A well-deserved bad reputation at that. But it happens. What you need to do now is prove yourself." Those blue eyes twinkled with wickedness.

London laughed, and not the amused kind. It was the I-know-I'm-going-to-regret-this kind. "Why do I have the feeling that you have just the very idea about how I can prove myself to your boss?"

He grinned, and somehow it managed to be both sexy and sly at the same time. "Because you're perceptive."

"You want my help for something and that's why you called me." London finally put two and two together. That evening she'd driven all the way to this pub in Dundalk to meet him, since it was halfway between Dublin and where he was staying outside of Belfast. Catching up over a couple of pints and bending his sympathetic ear was all she'd expected. After all, Joe was the only other person she knew who'd been cursed. The only person who could really relate to what she was going through. The only person who might clue her in on how to survive as an enchanted human. "It wasn't just that you'd heard about my death sentence and wanted to give me a friendly pep talk."

"I never have been much of a pep talk kind of guy."

"And you reckon Tiernan will take me on if I prove myself?" The possibility seemed valid. Joe hadn't a pristine reputation, either. They'd met on a nasty job for a Changeling. Turned out that the Sidhe the Changeling claimed to work for was actually his captive. London hadn't figured it out at the time. From the things he'd said, she was pretty certain that Joe had. So if Tiernan could overlook Joe's sordid history, maybe he could overlook hers.

"Honestly? I haven't a clue." Joe shrugged, all casually blunt. As if it wasn't her life or her death that they were discussing. "But couldn't hurt to try. What else have you got to do?"

"You're a prat, you do know that, don't you?"

"Pretty much." He set down his beer. "So that's a 'yes, I'd love to risk my neck to help you,' right?"

London snorted. He was right. What other choice did she have? Wasn't that the story of her life since becoming enchanted? Not having any choice but the one that fed her addiction to the Touch, no matter how dangerous or morally questionable? "Just tell me the job."

"I need to check out some guy who's come to Tiernan's attention."

"Why do you need my help? You've got skills." And wasn't that the truth? The man handled a gun like the Marine Corps Special Forces that he'd been. All focused and professional, even in the heat of a firefight.

"But not the right equipment." He winked with a randy flirtatiousness that was altogether delicious on him. "This dude's a real ladies' man. You could probably just do the hair-flip thing and get him to spill his guts."

"My hair's too short to do the hair-flip thing." She slid her fingers through her close-cropped, dark hair. The style looked good on her, she thought, but more importantly, it kept it out of the way. One time having her ponytail snatched in a scuffle was enough for her. And since she frequently worked for vampires, she could imagine one using her hair like a handle to force her to arch her neck. No point in making it easy.

"Then do the sultry batting-eyelids thing. Work it, girl."

"This is the part where I slap you, right?" she joked.

"Nope. This is the part where you think it's an easy gig and if it gets you in good with a Sidhe, then it's worth admitting for five minutes that you're a sexy woman."

She smirked at him. Admittedly, she might be somewhat attractive by human standards. But compared to the fey, she was the epitome of average. Even if Joe thought she was easy on the eyes, she knew this flattery was all about leverage. "You're so full of it."

"Part of my charm." He dug a folded bill from his pocket, tossed it down on the counter for the bartender, and then extracted a slip of paper and handed it to her. "Meet me at the pier in Newcastle tomorrow. The arrangements are all set up."

London watched him walk out. Nothing wrong with the way his jeans fit when he swaggered. The cocky chap hadn't for a minute doubted that she'd agree to this job. In truth, she'd not at all been offended by the suggestion of sex appeal to get an advantage. It was nice to know Joe thought she had some.

Smiling a little to herself, London unfolded the paper. It was a flier for some bloke claiming to be a druid. He was having some kind of a ceremony at Cashtal Yn Ard, an old burial site on the Isle of Man.

London's smile vanished. The Isle of Man. Wizard territory.

Read the full story!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Progress Report 11-18

 So I have the word count for Captivated now at 7376, which is shy of my goal but that is OK at this point in the process. The important part is that I have the framework in place and I can build on it. So that is my next phase that I am going to start today, which is to flesh out Captivated. This will probably involve working with scenes in both Captivated and Keeper of Secrets, since they are so closely tied together. I feel on track and I think it may be possible to have Captivated, and possibly Keeper of Secrets, out to the beta readers and editors by the end of November, which would rock big time!

Meanwhile, Ravynheart has been doing the covers for the series collections that will eventually be coming out, and I am really excited about that! They are coming out very cool looking. I can't wait for him to reveal them.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

New Release! Compelled - Touched #4

  London’s made mistakes. A lot of them. Enough so that she’s been marked for elimination by a powerful Unseelie Sidhe. As a human cursed with an addiction to the Touch of the Sidhe, her life and her future depends on finding a Sidhe who will hire her on a permanent basis. The only way to put her reputation for causing trouble behind her is to prove herself by tracking down a powerful druid who’s endangering the Sidhe. But when old enemies resurface, can London trust the man she was sent to investigate? Or will this finally be her fatal mistake?

Now Available on Amazon!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Progress Report 11/6

 At this moment, Keeper of Secrets stands at 10,412 words. I have a few scenes to finish fleshing out, and then I need to work with Ravynheart to work on the parts involving Donovan. My hope is to have the first draft completed by the end of this day.

The cool part is that the first draft is coming out very powerfully in Lugh's voice, so I don't anticipate needing a lot of edits.

I've not touched the other two stories since the last update, although completing certain scenes in Lugh's book will make writing the companion scenes in the other two much easier. In story discussions with Ravynheart, we've worked out some of the details that will be going into Captivated. Once I have Keeper of Secrets complete, I will be hitting Captivated hard.

The reading order for these final three books will be Captivated, Keeper of Secrets, and then Uprising. Writing them so that each book nicely concludes their individual series, without giving away too much of the revelations in the other two books, has been an interesting challenge, but I think we've got it worked out. Readers of the complete The Sidhe series, who have been reading all the books on all three story lines, will see some major revelations building through these final books.

Some readers have expressed that they will miss the series and the characters after these three series conclude, but fear not! All this has been back story leading into the next 'season' of The Sidhe. Stay tuned for more details!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Sidhe Podcast 4

 In this podcast we talk about Compelled, the next book in the Touched series. With our usual antics and laughter, we discuss the promises that we make to the reader, and how we try and fulfill those promises in each book. The characters are alive in our heads, and we chat about who talks to us most and how we try and stay true to their voice and their personalities.

Due to technical issues as YouTube was going through upgrades we weren't able to post this sooner. But now it is appearing to be running fine, so we hope you don't encounter any problems with viewing it.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Progress Report

 I haven’t been on the blog or Twitter as much lately, and I apologize for that! I’ll be trying to interact more in the next few months.

Compelled, Touched #4, has been through the beta readers and editing for a bit, but due to some technical issues the release was held up. I am hoping to have it out within the next day or two to Ravynheart’s Sidhe Elites, and then in a week or so to Amazon. (Listen to this podcast to find out about the Sidhe Elite and how you can become one!)

That leaves us with book 5 in each of the three series, Rise of the Unseelie, Touched and Champion of the Sidhe. All three series are going to ‘end’ with the fifth books, but the story is not ‘over’ with the completion of those series. The characters will combine into a new 3 book series which will bring a lot of action, suspense, and answers to some lingering questions. We are in the planning stage with those three books, and we have the overall story arc worked out.

But in the meantime, we are finishing up the writing on books 5 of the current series. All three books will crossover heavily, as the story lines collide, which is why I am working on them together. My goal is to have the drafts of all three books completed by the end of November. So, to have a little fun, and to keep myself on track, I thought I’d keep a running update on my progress here on the blog!

With each of the fifth books I am aiming for a word count between 10,000 and 20,000, but as always, the stories take as long as they take. I never want to include fluff to reach a word count goal. At the same time, I won’t cut any of the action or character development short to keep it ‘on budget.’ The Rise of the Unseelie books have been tending to run longer than the others because there is so much character work going on.

So here is where things stand at the moment:

Captivated, Touched #5 is only at 3205 words. I have the beginning and a couple of key scenes written, so I still have a lot to do here.

Keeper of Secrets, Champion of the Sidhe #5, is at 7884. This is my current focus with my writing at the moment. I have the beginning and the end pretty close to final form, and some middle scenes that will need rewritten. There is also a major fight scene yet to be written. I also need to finish the scene where Lugh and Donovan finally meet after all this time.

Uprising, Rise of the Unseelie #5, is mostly written and is currently at 11,889 words. I’ll have Donovan’s side of the encounter with Lugh to write. There are some bridging scenes to complete that link up the current scenes. Also Malcolm has a big discovery scene that I still have to write as well.