Sunday Snapshot

What would your emotions be if 25 years ago, you fell into an alien community (literally) and lived with them? Then, after 25 years, you’re returned home.

Aubrey is lonely and lost without those she learned to love, but she has no choice since the Yardanians left for war. She’s sent home to meet her family again, including her grown children, but her daughter isn’t that happy to see her.

I nodded my okay to Momo. “My handmaidens don’t frighten you, Jaden?”
“Nope, ‘cause they’re with you. My, what big eyes they have.” Jaden grinned.
His sentence caught me by surprise. And then we both laughed. Our laughs sounded the same, just like Tilmun’s, and that made me laugh even more, though I ended with a sniffle. His witticism had touched me and I felt a mother’s strong love awaken within me for this child.
A soft laughter had run through the room. I explained to my handmaidens the childhood fable and they laughed too.
“You’re still funny,” I said to him.
“Dad says I’m a lot like you.”
“I have a sense of humor?” I asked him. Then I turned to Imia and posed the same question.
“Your actions are in accordance with our principles governing consorts.” She patted my hand reassuringly.
Jaden smiled widely at me.
“Oh, ha, ha,” said Violet. “You think everything’s funny, Jaden.”
“Shut up Violet,” replied Jaden, still looking at me.
“You won’t get me near her or those things.”
I turned to the woman who spoke. “You are Violet?”
“What a surprise. You don’t recognize me, but you haven’t forgotten your precious Jaden. He was your favorite and I guess he still is.”
“I have no favorites. I love all my children.”
“All?” asked Violet. “You only had two. Or did you have several of those creepy things also? Where was your love these last twenty five years?”
“I gave birth to you. I’ll always love you.”
“That doesn’t make you my mother.”
“That’s enough.” The female sounded familiar from the tape recording and I recognized Betty’s voice. She looked sternly at Violet. “This isn’t the time. We have guests and we’re not here to give you attention.”
“Yes, mom.” Violet glared at me. Was she goading me to challenge Betty as her mother?
“I’m sorry that you’re upset,” I said. “This must be a shock to you. I left when you were small.”
“That’s right. Left, not died,” she retorted.
“Can it,” snapped Bill. “You remember the favor you asked of your mother and me? The big, perfect, fancy, expensive wedding you have to have with the honeymoon in the Carribean? Keep mouthing off and you won’t get a dime.”
“Bill, she’s facing a difficult moment,” said Betty.
“And we aren’t?” he asked. “Look at Aubrey. She can’t stop shaking. Can you see how afraid she is and how sad? This is a tough day for all of us. Besides, we have important guests in attendance. We don’t need our daughter’s negative attitude to make this day harder. Just remember what I said, Violet.”
Bill and Betty turned their attention to me. “I prayed for this every day over the years,” he said.
“I’m glad you’re safe,” added Betty with a smile. “What a wonderful surprise for us.”
I bowed my head to them, then turned back to my daughter. She showed no love for me. The years hadn’t changed her recalcitrant personality.
I wanted to say something to calm her, but I couldn’t think of anything, so I kept silent. Imia and Pintueen had been with me for so many years that they understood me as well as Rahzahn. Both rubbed my arms soothingly. Imia cooed, “Be calm, consort. We are with you.”

Love Honor and Respect to all.

Tuesday Teaser Opening Prologue to the Yardanians

The spherical black UFO emerged out of nowhere into the blue sky of Earth’s summery day. Remnants of the brilliant red and yellow glow from the fiery entry flared through the few billowy white clouds as the craft’s rapid descent slowed. U.S. fighter jets surrounded the alien scout ship, maintaining a safe distance from the craft’s heat. Pilot chatter filled the airways.
“Shit. Where the hell did it come from?”
“Did you see the flames upon entry? They gotta be baked inside.”
“As bad as that craft shook, I’m surprised it’s still in one piece.”
Their captain cut through the needless discussion. “Maintain silence. Stay in formation. Do not fire your weapons.”
Inside the craft the seven Yardanians listened and chuckled. Six of the tall aliens ducked to observe Earth out of the low front window. Scout ships were small and the Yardanians were crammed in, except for Prince Rahzahn, who occupied the only seat and operated the controls.
“Baked inside,” said Bayzar with a snicker. “Did we come in too fast for them?”
“Faster than their ships can handle,” replied Rahzahn. “Anyone uncomfortable on descent? Afraid? Need a hug?”
The others sniggered.
“They’ve got us surrounded,” joked Bayzar.
“Doesn’t that tell us all we need to know?” asked Rahzahn.
One of the guards regarded the jets. “They can do no damage to this vessel.”
“True,” replied Rahzahn, “but surrounding us tells us that they don’t trust us, and since they don’t, then they’re untrustworthy.”
“I agree,” said Bayzar. “That’s been my experience. Plus they’ve made a big mistake. They’ve shown us that our technology is beyond theirs.”
Rahzahn laughed. “I’m monitoring their weapons. This is their twenty-first century, but their equipment is archaic.”
Gardash, Second-in-Command Guard, feigned anxiety. “Don’t make a wrong move. Their fearsome power is scaring me. I’m quivering. Maybe I do need a hug.” He huffed at the planet’s backwardness. Rahzahn and Bayzar laughed.
“If that’s their only defense, I pity them.” Rahzahn continued to descend. “This country is supposed to be a leader in technology.” He landed on an abandoned airfield in a deserted hollow. Outside, heavily armed U.S. soldiers waited nervously.

If you like my storytelling, check out my books. They can be found wherever ebooks are sold.

Love Honor and Respect

Saturday Samples

My Dimidiums series will be a 7 volume set. What started out as one book continued to grow. Today I’m giving samples of the main character Trevor Dittmar.

Book One: A stocky fellow swooped down from a nearby tree in front of them and Chester immediately sized up the newcomer.
The man stood about 5 feet 7 inches tall, muscled and tanned. His salt and pepper hair was short, worn in a butch cut. A braid hung from the back to just shoulder level with a brown leather strap woven through it, a strange hairstyle for any normal man, thought Chester.
Trevor’s piercing brown eyes, set wide apart, regarded his prey. His thick black brows drew together while he studied the men. He took in a long whiff and his aquiline nose wrinkled as if they stunk. His full lips puckered.
He was dressed a perfectly pressed, long sleeved denim work shirt and clean navy blue jeans that looked brand new. Heavy duty steel-toed work boots completed his outfit.
“What you dressed for, a party?” Frank snickered. “What’s with the braid? You a fu-fu or somethin’?”

Book Two: “I didn’t ask you. Quit interfering. Why are all of you putting up with him?” asked Trevor.
“It’s like looking in a mirror,” mused Ivarr with a smile.
“You’re taking your anger out on him,” said Ulrich, “but I’d suggest you leave him alone. You’re no match for him.”
“We’ll see.” Trevor pulled out his Shaolin double daggers and assumed a basic fighting stance. “Come on, old Warrior, show me what you have. None of you find it strange that he just happened to be there at the right time?”
Ivarr waved his hand, but the daggers remained positioned in Trevor’s hands. He tried again. The daggers still didn’t move.
“There is only one Dimidium who’s strong enough to resist me,” said Ivarr. “He was a famed Shaolin monk during the Vampire Wars. Why is it you can do the same, unless you were trained by him?”

Book Three: Shīzi took a sip. “Better. Relaxing, don’t you think? Why are you here?”
Trevor looked away sadly. “I left her.”
“That I know. Ivarr informed me. Why are you here?”
“I wanted to be alone. I’m always hurting her.”
“You know me.”
“Do you know why I named you Little Tiger? Tigers are reclusive, solitary and elusive. They don’t like to fight, but they will if they have no choice. They’re riled easily and thus their enemies’ deaths are ensured. You reminded me of a young untamed tiger, and you’re much like Ivarr, who is also a tiger. So, why are you here?”

Book Four: As Trevor and Thomas were nearing the house, Trevor turned on his music player loudly to Japanese Drums beating out ancient war music. “Something to inspire us and catch their attention.” He skipped and twirled.
“I’m not dancing with you,” said Thomas. “I think the music psyches you out more than your enemies. You’re a bit scary, you know that?”
Trevor hopped and skipped as he moved forward and Thomas danced forward like a ballerina. Trevor burst out laughing.

Book Five: Trevor spun in place, his daggers at the ready, but the Cursed moved aside, again with the whisk of his hands, suddenly fearful of his nemesis, and although Trevor sliced into the Cursed’s arm, the vampire managed to break away and disappear.

Book Six: “Chloe!” came Trevor’s voice.
They heard Chloe running. “What is it, Uncle Trevor?”
“Your Ogre clan’s king phoned from Ogreville. He said you’re too irritating to take back.”
“Ugh! Well, everyone you know called and begged me to keep you here, that you’re the most irritating Halbling alive.”
Trevor snorted. “Impossible. You’d be on the phone day and night. That’s how many Halblings I know. How many can an Ogress possibly know? Don’t the villagers run away from you?”
“Ugh!” Chloe walked away.
“Chloe? I forgot to tell you. Your Ogre clan said you won the prestigious award, Most Irritating Ogress in a Lifetime.”

Book Seven: “Trevor.” Barkley gave him a huge grin and a pat on the back. “Glad you’re able to fight again.” Trevor stood to shake his hand, but before he could do anything, Lainie jumped on his back and wrapped her arms and legs around him.
“Idiot!” she yelled. “Giddy up.”
Trevor snorted. “Pregnant yet?”
“Nope. The big guy said no more kids.”
“I can help you with that. My offer still stands. I’ll give you all you want, one at a time.”
“I’m going to be too busy these next couple of nights, but thanks.”
Trevor twirled around. “Same thing as wrestling and you wanted to wrestle.”
“Funny thing about that. That’s how Janna describes your love making.”
Trevor laughed and spun faster with her.
“Trevor, quit teasing Lainie,” said Stefan. “Besides, Eberhardt wants you ready for battle. Lainie, get off him and find a seat.”
“Just like old times, huh, Sir Bossman?” asked Lainie. “Except there are no cell floors to mop.” Trevor leaned down and tumbled her off him.
“No, but there are plenty of sand grains for you to count one by one,” said Stefan. “I’m sure I can find containers for each grain. Now take a seat.”

And that’s Trevor the Tracker.

Love Honor and Respect

Wednesday WIPs

Ugh! I’m editing and revising 3 books at the same time. Have you ever had to do more than 1 book at a time? Whew. A lot of work.

I’ve been doing minor grammar corrections to Always, my first published novel.
A tale of a man who loves his uncomplicated life. Leave it to a 16-year-old girl to complicate it.

Dixie’s enthusiasm wore on him and he hated when they argued, which was often. He could never be what Dixie desired. She wanted more from him than he could give. She yearned for marriage and children, and to share joint ownership in his business, but he refused. Outside of England he could be wild. If she accompanied him, he couldn’t let loose. He wondered if she ended their affair because she suspected his behavior when abroad.
Last year Dixie broke off their relationship, sobbing for hours, gasping for breaths, while Simon shed not one tear.
They remained friends and stayed in touch, but he hadn’t heard from her recently. It seemed strange to him that she hadn’t mentioned her upcoming wedding or her work. He couldn’t picture Dixie earning a living or settling down as a housewife. He turned the conversation to James and Miranda Duff. “How are your parents?”
“They’re getting on in years. Mum still talks about how she wanted to raise her grandchild here, but Lucy is buried in the States. And she still goes on and on about you and Dixie’s break-up. Both Mum and Dad hoped you two would mend your differences. They love you like a son.
“I’m just as fond of them.”
“After your parents died, Mum worried whenever you went out of the country. Yesterday, she remarked how she wished you’d come by; it’s been ages. She also mentioned your mother as the kindest, most talented person she had ever met, how much she misses her, and what a shame she had to die.”
Simon thought of his mother, Amelia, a capable intelligent woman, who doted on him. “She was special. My father too. He taught me about the important things in life. I’m honoured to be named after him.” Simon turned his attention to the landscape.

I’m revising and editing The Dimidiums Book Two, Blood Lust. The name says it all.

“I wonder if Trevor’s door will open for me.”
“It has to. It must recognize you by now. You’ve been opening it, haven’t you?”
Janna looked at her confused. “The door can recognize me?”
Ina giggled. “I meant that father probably swiped your DNA on the door and said the incantation.”
“Like a spell? Like witchcraft?” Janna shuddered.
“Kind of.”

And, of course, I’m still chugging away on Betrayed, a three volume dark and steamy Scifi.

Gardash stared miserably out her window. “I may not blame you, but I’ll never forgive you. Rahzahn was abused by his father too, but instead of becoming like you, he refused to practice certain privileges with those beneath him. And with Aubrey? He’s specific about my conduct with her and I guaranteed him I’d comply with his demands.” He snorted. “As you’ve often said, I’m devious and a liar. When I’m in charge of her, I take advantage of the situation. I learned from you, but I’m smarter than both of you combined. I’ve tricked him into trusting me.”
The queen looked to me, begging, motioning towards the door. I took a step in the hopes of getting help, but Gardash pulled me to him.

Back to work…

Love Honor and Respect

Friday Fantasy

If you ask me why I write fantasies, I can only say because I love to read that genre.

The Dimidiums is the story of a race that is half human and half vampire. In fantasy, you get to create your world. Here is how the Dimidium race came about, in the words of the main character Trevor Dittmar.

“Do you have souls?”
“Do you have a soul?”
“It’s just that I’ve heard….”
“You must forget all those stories. Would you like me to tell you about the first one of us and how we came to be?”
She nodded yes.
“This happened a long, long time ago. His name was Eutychus. It means fortunate. People with this name have a strong urge to inspire others, but he was a weak, small human so his parents apprenticed him to the only man who would take him – a wizard. He spent years with him. The wizard was a cruel man and finally Eutychus could take no more. He ran away. As luck would have it, he met an alchemist named Angelos – messenger or angel. Eutychus considered him an angel because of his caring nature. Very intelligent too. He took Eutychus on as his assistant and taught him everything he knew.”
“Wizards and alchemists exist?”
“Shh. Let me tell the story. Together, they practiced alchemy for years. Now, during this time on the Earth, larger towns and many villages were developing. The Accurseds hid and attacked solitary victims, but when they were discovered, they were hunted and killed. They never became smart enough to know how to fit in with societies, and they still haven’t.”
“Accurseds? You said that word before.”
“Original vampires.” He hunched his back and puckered his mouth, holding his hands limp up to his shoulders. “They’re weakening over the years. It’s become difficult for them to maintain their archaic ways. Most have little hair. Yellowish white strands hang to their shoulders or longer. They’re very thin and almost translucent with the worst breath possible that smells like old blood.”
“So you call vampires Accurseds?”
“There are two types of vampires. Both awake during the night, but one group remains unnoticed by your kind. The Silent Ones, as we call them are healthier. They can come out during the times between night and day if the sun isn’t at its fullest, but they rarely do. They wear hats to distinguish their status in their groups. They feed on animals and humans, but they give us little trouble.”
“So there’s three types of you?”
“Again,” he said patiently, “we’re not vampires. Way back in Eutychus’ time, the vampires divided into these two groups. The smarter ones that we call the Silent Ones were willing to adapt. We have special Halblings that work with them when needed. Johanna’s husband Frederik is one. These vampires continue to adapt to modern life. The others, they refuse to change. They’re dying out, and we’re helping them.” He grinned at his joke.
“You were talking about those vampires in Las Vegas?”
“They don’t like us much and we hate them.”
“I thought you hunted animals. Do you wish you were human?”
“Do you wish you were a Halbling? I’m proud of my heritage.”
“What happened to Eutychus and Angelos?”
“They worked for years on many tonics to heal any sickness, to turn themselves into different animals and back to their own forms again. They only wished to help humanity to live enhanced lives. They were closer than brothers.”
“But one of them got bit, right?”
“Yes. One night they were stumped by a difficult formula, so Eutychus went for a walk in the cool air. This often cleared his head and helped him discover the solution, but he was attacked by an Accursed. You see, the Accurseds were losing their numbers and they tried to convert humans faster than ever. He left Eutychus in pain. They often do that.
“Eutychus crawled under some bushes and throughout the night and the next day he suffered greatly. He woke late in the night with a terrible thirst that burned his throat. He understood what happened to him and hurried to Angelos’ lab for help. He hoped they could make an elixir to cure him or perhaps he could be turned into an animal and disappear into the wild.”
“It hurts that much?”
“To be bitten, yes, if you even survive.”
She felt around her neck.
He shook his head. “We rarely bite, except in fights. Anyway, when he entered the lab, Angelos was asleep. Eutychus, overcome by his thirst, attacked his master, drinking, drinking, drinking until he was full, but he drained his mentor, who died. Eutychus was racked with guilt and still in pain, but he wasn’t one to give up. He began working on a potion by himself, mixing the blood of his master with his, and experimenting with many different elements, meticulously taking notes.
“Still, he needed to feed. He’d wait until he could stand it no longer, but he suffered greatly from guilt when he killed. In time, he developed a formula that did change him, but part of him remained a vampire. He could never do away with that part, but now he also needed food. Mostly he hungered for meats. He didn’t have to eat much, but he did require water again. He needed blood and water, but combining the two and trying to drink it that way made him sick, so he worked to improve his cure. It’s our life saver and we refer to it as nectar, the drink of the gods. Eutychus chose that word. Our nectar is indeed precious to us.”
“Is that what’s in your flask? That nectar? The one you claimed was a health drink?”
“Actually, we drink them in vials like this one. Sometimes I carry mine in a flask if I’m going to be out where people can see me. We’ve enhanced them. Eutychus still needed the blood of others to stay alive, so he set to work to improve the concoction, a solution that would nourish him with the least amount of blood and stop the constant sickness he felt. Eventually, he succeeded, but he was lonely. After all, he was the only Halbling. He wondered about reversing the first formula to change a female into what he was. He set out to find a woman. By now, he was quite old, but in a nearby village there lived an ugly girl that no-one wanted to marry named Agatha. He kidnapped her, fed her the potion, and it worked. He called themselves Dimidiums, Latin for halves.