Sunday, November 7, 2010

Six Sentence Sunday: 11-7-2010

Here's another Six Sentence Sunday piece. I hope you guys like it. Please check out other great writers who contribute to this Sunday event by searching the hash tags #sixsentence and #sixsunday on Twitter.

Thanks y'all!


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Image Source: roleplayerguild.com



In time, he'd know...come to understand the ways of carnal desire – fulfillment. He'd understand the pleasure of pushing his flesh up against that of another. The moist, slippery way that his skin could slide against that of a lover's when covered in perspiration. The salty taste of skin as his tongue run's over a throat's throbbing artery. The way his fangs could slide so effortlessly into the tender meat of the person he's penetrated with his manhood. Yes, in time he would know...come to understand what it means to be a vampire.





Friday, November 5, 2010

OK, Blast From The Xtina Past!

OK, found my old youtube channel and my old videos (they're quite random )

Here's a video from Christina Aguilera's "Back To Basics" tour. I layered the song from the album over her actual live singing because my camera just picked up feedback and noise when I was taking the footage. Either way I hope you enjoy.

PS: I swear I'll post something more appropriate tomorrow :)

By appropriate I mean writing.





Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Author Interview/Guest Blog: A. F. Stewart

Here's a great read for your Tuesday! Author, A. F. Stewart, has kindly written a guest blog for this site's readers. She has a book out called Chronicles Of The Undead.


Please make sure to check out her site and give her book a read. And remember, author's love reader feedback. If you do go and grab a copy of her book, please go and give her some feedback...we rely on you to nourish our fragile egos :)


Without further delay, I give you A. F. Stewart!



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A. F. Stewart



Some thoughts on writing and publishing




I have always loved books and have been scribbling stories and poems since I could pick up a crayon to write. I gained an interest in fantasy and sci-fi young, when I found short stories by Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison in Scholastic (a Canadian publishing company for children) magazines. My love of all things fantastic was firmly established when I saw Star Wars at age ten and then discovered comic book writers like Frank Miller and Neil Gaiman; there was no turning back after that. What intrigues me most about writing fantasy is the whole “what if” factor. I like to ask and answer the questions of a supernatural world existing just beyond our own. Who, or what, would live there and what would their lives be like? And since I’ve always thought tragedy makes a more memorable story, I gravitate to the darker aspects of fantasy in my writing.


The idea of writing as a career came slowly. I dabbled with the notion, writing my first book (as yet unpublished) and sending a few stories in to contests and magazines, but life got in the way of writing as a serious pursuit. Then I found the concept of self-publishing. I thought “why not?” I could see if readers would be interested in my work and test the waters of the writing world. I self-published a book or two of poetry and story collections and began marketing the books. That’s when I discovered the whole “traditional vs. self published" controversy.


Now, I think the whole debate is silly. The fact is there are advantages to being traditionally published, but it is an exclusive club, hard to break into to, even if you are talented. And some well-written books just have little or no chance of being accepted by a publisher because they are not that commercially viable. Self-publishing is not a rival for the traditionally published; it is just another option for some authors.


The worst argument against self-publishing is the “all self-published books are bad” nonsense. Of course bad books get self-published, but so do good books. And you can say the same thing about traditionally published books. One advantage with self-published books is that it is easier to find online excerpts to weed out the bad from the good. I’ve reviewed several excellent independently published books on my blog (http://afstewartblog.blogspot.com/).


I’ve also found the independent writing community very supportive and they’ve received my writing efforts positively. Their encouraging feedback was one of the reasons I decided to publish my vampire horror novella, Chronicles of the Undead.






The book came about one day when the thought occurred to me, “what would happen if someone found out their neighbors weren’t what they seemed?” My mind went straight to the paranormal and I thought, “what if they were vampires, what would happen?”


I played with those ideas, setting the whole story in Georgian England (between the years 1795 and 1825) in the city of London. Then I got my brilliant (or ill-advised, depending on how you look at it) idea of writing the book as diary entries, from the point of view of three different members of the same family. It sounded good at the time, but I had no idea how complex it would be to write a novella length book of journal entries without a word of dialogue.


I started with the research, studying the historical facts, lifestyle, and calendar dates of both eighteenth century Georgian England and Regency England, and examining the folklore of vampires. Then I had to find the voices and motivation of three characters (including one intractable character) and work out the intricacies of the linked plotline that spanned decades. And all that before I even started trying to write enough diary entries to create a 168 page book. It was a challenge, but I think it turned out well.




Here’s the book blurb:


Chronicles of the Undead


Family Secrets.

Three generations of one family share their intimacies with the world of the vampire. Inside the personal journals of the Harrington family, a dark and dangerous odyssey unfolds. Three members of this tormented family, Samuel, his son Edmund, and Edmund’s daughter Charlotte, struggle during the 18th and 19th century in London, England, as the lives of this family intersects with supernatural forces. Two intriguing vampires befriend, manipulate and play with all three souls, altering their lives forever.


Their fears, private confidences and weaknesses are revealed as one selfish act ends in horrific tragedy, with far-reaching consequences.
Who succumbs to the seduction and danger of the vampire? Who grapples to combat the evil influence that permeates their lives?


You can find all my books (and some free excerpts) on my website:
http://afallon.bravehost.com/

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Here's a link you can use to find A. F. Stewart's books for sale http://afallon.bravehost.com/








Monday, November 1, 2010

Guest Blog/Artist Interview: Lauren Curtis

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all had an amazing Halloween and for my pagan friends, a blessed Samhain.

I have another guest blog/interview for today and I'm sure you all will find her fascinating. Her name is Lauren Curtis. She's a fascinating photographer/artist and her images invoke beauty out of darkness.

After you read her post, please be sure to check out her websites and artwork.

Without further delay, I give you the talented, Lauren Curtis.



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Lauren Curtis




Marcus: What inspired you to create art?

Lauren:My father started teaching me to draw when I was a child and ever since the 7th grade, I knew I wanted to be a professional artist. Initially I was inspired by nature and as soon as I started learning about art history and mythology in high school, ancient cultures such as Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Celtic have had a huge influence on my work.

Marcus: How do you visualize a concept so that you can "create" it? How do you bring an idea into creation?

Lauren: It all starts with an idea from something I saw, read, experienced. I then do rough pencil sketches (if it's a drawing, painting or mixed media piece) or I shoot photographs of the subject. It may then take months before I feel the right "mood" to create the final piece but sometimes it can be within days or weeks.



Marcus: Why do darker feelings/tones translate into your artwork so readily?

Lauren: I've been involved in the Gothic scene since I was about 17 and have been a practicing Eclectic Wiccan for 23+ years...these often misunderstood cultures value the mystical, mysterious and the Occult, although they in NO WAY represent the demonic sides of things for MOST practitioners. However, we do see that you need darkness in order to have light, and death to have life...these are natural cycles in nature and are to be respected so this translates into a lot of my work, especially my new photo collages series, "X-Rayted" & "Curio-cities" which utilize images photographed from x-rays, bones, Victorian woodcuts and more.



Marcus: Do you have a "Dream Project" that you hope to one day work on? If so, what does it consist of?

Lauren: I LOVE to travel and do so as often as I can afford to (which is tougher these days!) so it would be amazing to travel the world for a period of time shooting photos and sketching ideas. Egypt, Greece & Italy are 3 places I haven't been yet that I would really love to visit and experience their mythology and art 1st hand!

Marcus: Anything else that you would like to talk about concerning you, your artwork, and your field, or plans for the future?

Lauren: Two years ago I finally took the leap to do art full time. I've been doing freelance illustration and graphic work as well as exhibiting in a minimum of 2 shows a month across the US. I've been expanding my social network promotions and sales and hope to continue to build on my career, both in my personal work and commercial work. To me it is in no way "selling out" to do commissions for clients...I always do my on work as well and I'm honored that people like my work enough to pay me to create something for them! I also have a line of original greeting cards and T-shirts so those with smaller budgets can still buy artistic items even if they can't afford originals. It's a great way to get my work out there! You can view my work on:


http://www.LaurenCurtisArt.com (commercial & fine art)
http://www.laurencurtisart.mosaicglobe.com (fine art, photography, art updates)
http://www.laurencurtis.imagekind.com (cards, T-shirts, photography, illustration)
http://laurencurtis.wordpress.com (my Blog!)


Feel free to email me with any questions about my art!
Thanks to Marcus for inviting me to guest blog on his site...he will be a guest blogger on mine as well.


~Lauren Curtis






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I want to thank Lauren for allowing me to introduce my readers to her amazing talent and once again, I encourage all of you to check out her sites and to drop her a line about anything you may want to ask her or to inquire about some of her awesome creations.

Best Regards,

Marcus Twyman







Sunday, October 31, 2010

Six Sentence Sunday

#SixSunday / #SixSentence


His teeth sink deeper into the warm, tender, flesh of his victim. Moans escape him as he sucks at the hot, flowing, blood that streams out of the deep punctures. His tongue travels down the side of his victim and then back up, to circle around a hardened nipple. Lightly, he flicks his tongue back and forth across the tip and then he gently rolls it between his teeth. Unable to restrain himself any longer, he once again plunges his teeth down into the flesh – taking the nipple into his mouth and suckling on the blood that wells up around it like a demonic infant. He hadn't planned on bringing death to this one, but the blood is too sweet...too enticing to walk away from, so he draws every last drop from his prey as he's thrown into a sinfully delicious orgasm.

Author Interview: Jeremy C. Shipp

I recently had the honor of conducting an interview with the amazingly talented author, Jeremy C. Shipp. His list of publication credits include having short stories appear in approximately 50 publications which include Cemetery Dance, ChiZine, Apex Magazine, Pseudopod, and Withersin.



Some of his published books are Vacation, Cursed, and Sheep and Wolves. This November, Jeremy will have a new book hit the bookshelves called, Fungus Of The Heart. I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of this book and I must say that the stories are unique and keep the reader thinking.



Please read the interview with Jeremy C. Shipp below and go grab a copy of his book
Fungus Of The Heart when it comes out this November.



Hardcover and paperback copies are available for preorder now through Screaming Dog Press. Click here to preorder yours!




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Jeremy C. Shipp












Interview Questions:

Marcus: Why do you write? What is it that compels you to formulate a story and put it down on paper?

Jeremy: Writing keeps me sane. Writing allows me to use my imagination to connect with others in a fun and fascinating way. Also, if I stopped writing, my creative energy would go supernova, and that would definitely smart.


Marcus: What is it that inspires you to write about darker stories and subjects?

Jeremy: On a personal level, writing dark fiction helps me to process and cope with reality. Also, I believe that shining a light on the darkness is important, because problems are more dangerous when they’re ignored. That being said, my work isn’t simply about the evils of our world. I give my stories heart. The world may be a horrifying place at times, but it’s also a wonderful place, full of humor and love and friendship.


Marcus: What genre do you consider your writing to be a part of? I feel like you cross several genres and maybe even create your own to a degree.

Jeremy: When writing a story, I give myself as much freedom as possible and write about whatever world that forms in my mind. In the end, my tales tend to be some combination of horror, fantasy, Bizarro, mystery, and sci-fi.





Marcus: Can you tell me a little about "Fungus of the Heart" (the book) and how it came to be?

Jeremy: In my life, there’s nothing more important to me than relationships. And this reflects in my writing. I love writing dialogue and character interactions. With “Fungus of the Heart” I wanted to write stories that focus on the power of relationships. The power of respect and love. The power of disrespect and hatred.


Marcus: Why did you pick the short story "Fungus of the Heart" as the title of your book?

Jeremy: I’m one of those people who believe that human beings are inherently good. I believe that most people have good intentions. However, there are times when a “fungus” can grow in people’s hearts and souls. This “fungus” can take many forms, and can cause many problems. Sometimes we find ways to cure ourselves or to cure each other. And sometimes we don’t.


Marcus: I read the whole book and I must say, I loved "The Haunted House". What was the inspiration behind this story?

Jeremy: Every horror writer is required by law to write a haunted house story. So I thought, if I have to write such a story, I might as well put my own twist on the idea. I decided to write a story where the ghost isn’t the one doing the haunting. The ghost is there to help.


Marcus: This question is a little random, but what was the last good thriller/horror movie that you saw?

Jeremy: I’ve seen quite a few slinkster cool films recently, including Carrie, Sick Girl, Ink, The House of the Devil.


Marcus: What do you want your readers to walk away with after reading "Fungus Of The Heart"?

Jeremy: After my readers finish the book, I want their hearts, minds and spleens to tingle. I want my readers to feel both disturbed and heartened.


Marcus: How did you decide on which short stories to include in your book?

Jeremy: I wrote most of the stories with the collection in mind, though I did choose some older stories to include, such as “Just Another Vampire Story” and “Monkey Boy and the Monsters.” I felt that these tales fit with the overall theme and flow of the collection.


Marcus: What are you tired of reading about in present day fiction? What would you like to see more of?

Jeremy: Just when I thought I was tired of reading about vampires, I read Let the Right One In. And so, I believe that any archetype or topic can be written about in a fresh way. I’d love to read more dark fantasy and horror tales with a heart.


Marcus: What was the last book you read?

Jeremy: I read books in clusters. The last cluster of books I read included Little Women, Never Let Me Go, We, and The Hunger Games.

Marcus: Any advice for aspiring authors who want to see their work published?

Jeremy: Write every day. Read every day. It might take you a while to write publishable stories, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just keep writing and honing your craft. When submitting your work, be sure to follow the submission guidelines.

Marcus: Any advice you can give new/aspiring authors in regards to rejection?

Jeremy: Rejection letters are high in vitamin C, and you can also use them to create papier-mâché statues of Charles in Charge characters. Also, receiving rejection letters simply means that you’re on the road toward success. It’s impossible to travel such a difficult road without hitting a few potholes.


Marcus: Anything else you'd like to say? Any last words for our readers?

Jeremy: If an attic clown ever offers to give you a giggle massage, just say no. Trust me.


Marcus: Thank you so much for taking the time to conduct this interview and I wish you luck on your book tour. Please feel free to stop by anytime and discuss your work or to do a guest post even. Bye, Jeremy, and I can't wait to read your next book!




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To find out more about Jeremy C. Shipp and his writing, visit his official website: http://www.jeremycshipp.com/

Friday, October 29, 2010

Khet Chronicles: Sunset Over Bloodied Waters (Excerpt)



OK, I couldn't help myself. I just had to post a quick, brief, excerpt from the new Khet Chronicle book I'm working on.

This excerpt has Kalin and Kora in it. If you read the free sample that's posted online through Freado.com from the first book, then you'll know who these two are.

This passage is rough and unedited (the book is still in its first draft stages) but I hope you enjoy it anyways.

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Excerpt (Ch. 1)



I found Kora outside. She was sitting on the ground under a huge oak, playing with a small twig. I watched as she twisted it between her fingers and then slowly started to break it into tiny little pieces. Her gaze was focused on the ground in front of her, I don't think she even noticed my approach.

“What's going on lady?” Her head shot up in surprise. Yup, I'd caught her off guard.

Her irises swirled with small red streaks from the beginnings of her phase. With a visible shake, she disbursed her energy, letting it leak off into the surrounding air and then smiled faintly at me. Her eyes were now their normal dark blue.

“Oh, nothing.” Her voice said otherwise. There was a note of sadness beneath her words.

“Kora...seriously, you know you're no good at lying. What's going on K.T.? You look like somebody just called you the meanest name in the book and then laughed at you.” K.T. Was my nickname for her. Kora Twymkowski...K.T., get it?

I sat down next to her, leaning my back against the massive oak, noticing the huge shadow it cast on the grassy ground in front of me. I bumped her shoulder lightly with my own, getting her attention. She looked at me and I noticed the beginnings of tears. Oh shit...what can of worms did I just open?

She sighed visibly and reached up, wiping the tears from her eyes before they could fall. “I was thinking about my family—about my mother, my father...my brothers.” She glanced over at me from the corner of her eyes and then quickly back to the ground...








New Kim Harrison Cover: Pale Demon

OK, So I was stalking one of my favorite authors on their website (don't tell anyone), and I came across her new cover for the next book in the "Hollows" series that stars a spicy, red haired, witch, named Rachel, who doesn't mind kicking butt (human, demon, or other). Yes, I'm talking about the amazing Kim Harrison.




I am so excited! I love her books and her characters, and every time a book comes out I'm first to stand in line to buy it (slight exaggeration) and then I read it in a day and wind up feeling bad that I didn't stretch my reading over two weeks so that I could savor the story slowly *sigh*


From what Kim Harrison's website says, the new Hollows book should be released in February of 2011, which means I can convince someone to buy it for my birthday! Woowho!


Make sure you check out Kim Harrison's books if you haven't already, they're everything that a good Dark Urban Fantasy series should be.


You can find out more about the author here: Kim Harrison's Official Site

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vlog Update: 10-27-2010













Poem: Heart Break


The pain tears into me,
Pulling my soul out from beneath my body's flesh,
I'm tortured by the emptiness,
By the lack of feeling...the feeling of being loved,

Your face was my anchor,
But now the absence of your presence hurls me into oblivion,
There's no bittersweet ending for me,
Just the pain and lonliness of a heart still breaking.








Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Niteblade Submission

Well, just submitted another short story to an online magazine called Niteblade. I've heard some cool things about this periodical and, after reading it's current issue, felt that it would make a great home for one of my stories...now if I can only convince the creator/editor Rhonda Parrish of the same thing we'll be in business!


I'll give you guys a hint...the short story is one of the ones that have been posted on this site :)


Anyways, I'll keep you posted and hopefully my little bundle of horror will be picked up for publication.


OK everyone, sleep well (it's currently 12:12am where I am) and I'll try to post a vlog tomorrow to update you on what I did this weekend.

Best Regards,

Marcus

Monday, October 25, 2010

Guest Blogger: Raven Corinn Carluk, Author of "All Hallows Blood" and "Stories With Bite o,.,o"

Ok everyone, I have a special treat for you today! I want to introduce an author to you who really understands how to deliver a book with bite. :)

Please feel free to check out her site after reading her post and, if you haven't already, go grab yourself a copy of her book, All Hallows Blood.

Alright, without further delay I give you Raven Corinn Carluk.

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Author: Raven Corinn Carluk





Raven Corinn Carluk

Greetings and salutations all. I'm pleased to be here today, meeting new folks. Maybe even making some new friends.

I'm Raven Corinn Carluk, author of All Hallows Blood and Stories With Bite o,.,o. I write paranormal romance/urban fantasy, and dark fantasy stories. These were easy, and obvious, genres for me to slip into, because I'm way into paranormal and fantastical creatures. I'm also a romantic at heart. I enjoy people falling in love, and long for the happily ever after. But I also like bad guys to win, and the dark anti-hero.

So I'm all around a mixed bag.

I'm an indie author, and I support self-publishing all the way. Which is a completely different tone than when I was writing All Hallows Blood a couple years ago. Then, I was fully of the belief that if your story was good enough, it would be picked up by a publisher, and no need to self-publish.

So I finished my book, polished it up, and started working on getting a publisher. I signed with a small press, mostly ebooks, and I started looking into how the publishing industry really worked.

Now I regret signing my book away.

Being published, especially if you're not Stephen King or James Patterson or George RR Martin, is like becoming a rented mule; you do all the work writing and editing and publishing, then all the work getting a contract, and then all the work marketing. All to have someone else make way more money on the book than you, and take all the control away from you. It's painful and sad, and ton of work.

There's the same amount of hard work to do with self-publishing, but you remain in control. You can pay for your cover art and layout, or learn it like I have. As a creative person, I really enjoyed learning to do the formatting work, and had a blast putting stories with bite o,.,o together. And that book's success or failure is entirely on me. I set my price, I do all my marketing, and no one else is making money off my hard work and creativity.

I cannot advocate traditional publishing anymore. It's a giant machine that spews out only stuff that can make a profit, not writing that's skilled or artful or even mildly different. Nor does it support the new talents it chooses to pick up. If you're going to struggle, you might as well stay in charge of your own destiny, and go self-publishing.

The most important thing to self-publishing is to write damn well. Write a good story, and people will follow you. For me, a good story is well-written, without technical faults. It should be obvious, but I've seen it happen. Other than that, I just want something gripping. Totally subjective, I know, but I don't care if the story's totally unique, or if it takes place in the real world, or if there are pages of fight scenes. I just want to enjoy it, and that means so many different things depending on what mood I'm in.

For my own writing, I usually start with the idea. I don't force it, or sit and really brainstorm. Something will come to me when I'm listing to music, or watching a movie, or even reading someone else's stories. Sometimes it's even just a weird dream. Then I flesh it out in the first draft, all hand-written in my Orlando Bloom notebook. I'll usually edit as I go, choosing different words, or changing how a fight works out.

When I'm ready, I'll transcribe it into my computer, editing it further. If it's a short story, I usually just give it a once over. When it's a novel, it may end up with months of work spent polishing it. I just keep working it until I feel it's ready to do something with. All Hallows Blood, for example, took a little less than two years from first draft to submission.

Being a storyteller is damn fun. I encourage anyone with a tale to tell to get into it. Just don't expect anything right away. Even in this digital age, fame and fortune don't come at the speed of the internet. Boy, I wish they did. Not that I got into writing for the money, just for the fame. I want people to hunger for the worlds I create, and to get lost in my stories. I want to be the author that people get rabidly impatient waiting for the next book.

As such, I've got a bunch of free stories on my site, and I'm taking part in Twitter's #FlashFriday, so stop by my blog to keep up with those. Sure, I'm a little dark and twisted, but I'm also a little bit fun. I'll only bite if provoked. o,.,o


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Find out more about Raven on her "About Me" page! Also, make sure to browse the rest of her blog at http://ravencorinncarluk.blogspot.com









Sunday, October 24, 2010

Six Sentence Sunday: Dark Goddess

Here's another vampire Six Sentence Sunday post.  Enjoy!




Dark Goddess

by Marcus Twyman



His arms wrapped tightly around his mate – his deathly cold flesh pressed up against hers. They writhed in a crimson puddle of blood that their victim's body still pumped, even though its heart was finally beginning to stop. His tongue traced patterns in the blood against the ghostly pallor of her flesh, making her purr like a large, predatory, cat. Together, they had hunted...and together they'd feasted, making the man yell out in both pain and, as he had come closer to death, ecstasy. She liked letting them feel sexually aroused before their death...apparently she felt less monstrous – more humane. With her jet black hair and her ruby colored eyes, she was anything but a monster...she was a dark goddess, his eternal goddess – of death.





Thursday, October 21, 2010

Where Do You Find Inspiration?: An Answer To A LinkedIn Group Post

Linkedin Member, Darlene Quinn, posted a question on a writer's group page asking: "Where do you find inspiration?"

I posted this as a response to her post:


My writing inspiration comes from EVERYWHERE. Seriously, I could be driving and listening to a song on the radio. A line from the song's lyrics might really grab my attention...pulling the seeds of a story from my mind. Usually, after something like that, the story just avalanches and becomes something that demands to be written.

I also get inspiration from my daily feelings and experiences. I might be upset, or maybe I'm angry...infuriated even. I try to step outside of my "box" and view myself in the third person so that I can "see" how I look and react to these feelings and experiences. Then I might ask myself, "What can you turn this into? What can you turn these painful, hurtful, or happy emotions into?" This method has inspired many stories to be born in the cramped spaces of my mind.

I try to find my inspiration in everything. I want life to be inspiring and waiting for a "thing" to inspire can leave a writer waiting for something that may never come.

When your heart speeds up, or your stomach knots...when a chord is struck and you're saddened by something you've witnessed, use it! That should be your inspiration...Life.

Thanks for posting this question!

Marcus

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Guest Blogger: Spotlight on Autumnforest




Here's my first guest blogger post. Feel free to read more about Autumnforest on her blog:

http://autumnforestghosthunter.blogspot.com/


Autumnforest:

I’m known as Autumnforest on my blog, “Ghost Hunting Theories” blog. I’m a ghost hunter, a psychic and a horror writer.

I write horror, but more specifically I enjoy writing atmospheric paranormal horror and erotic horror. I was a storyteller as a child, but later when I learned to type in my teens, I found myself writing fiction all the time. I couldn’t stop. I started out in romance and then went into doing a lot of published self help nonfiction, but then settled for the thing that has always been the constant in my life; horror.

I’ve entered a lot of short story contests and won a few at online magazines and a printed one, as well. I won the short essay contest for “Ghost Adventures” show last October having to do with their stay at Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. Right now, I’m in the semifinals of the Kreepy Krawlys essay contest. It’s a really exciting one. One of my things on my bucket list was to have a hand in a haunted attraction’s creation. That’s what this contest is about; an essay that will be the basis of a haunted attraction.

I grew up in a 250-year-old mansion in Northern Virginia. It was taken over by the North during the Civil War and used as a field hospital and then the South took it over again and used it for the same. The wood floors were still stained from the blood. I grew up digging up relics and NBC did a special on the house’s ghosts and mediums came to do séances and newspapers did articles. At one time, it was considered to be one of the most haunted houses in America. It was during that childhood that I not only experienced many paranormal happenings, but I also developed my psychic talent for touching objects and reading their history. It began with relics I dug up around the grounds. I never knew it was a psychic skill until I was well into adulthood. I thought everyone did it.






A Short Story By Autumnforest

Wolves At The Door


They raced the pathways through the woods by moonlight. The lunar cycle didn’t matter. Clouds or rain, snow or new moon, they owned the forest. In a pack, the beasts kicked up dirt, tore at hiking trails, and pursued the abundant deer and wild turkey. Their haunting howls resonated back and forth from hillside to hillside.


“Coyotes?” The hitman pressed his face to the cabin window to glance out at the murky moonlight outside.


He stepped away and finished off the glass of Jack Daniels as he studied the gym bag. He had to think clearly about where to hide the cash just in case he was followed.


Collapsing back in an overstuffed chair, the criminal turned on the TV. The local resort’s channel touted the Olympic-sized swimming pool at the main lodge and went on to brag about how it was a giant preserve where hunting was not allowed and wildlife abounded. They encouraged the visitors to enjoy the woodland paths in total privacy.


Privacy. He chuckled at that. The resort was a nowhere place, a dead end mountain no one knew about. The criminals knew that cabin #5 was a special location. It was not only completely isolated by the woods, but the resort had a policy. If you were willing to shell out the cash, they’d protect your privacy completely. They had no records of a #5 cabin and no housekeeping. They liked to say, “this is the place to get lost.” In fact, the key was sent to him in the mail so he didn’t have to go further up the mountain to the lodge and be seen in public.


The hitman’s associates knew the in’s and out’s. He was learning them, but admittedly he wasn’t the brightest of the batch. He was no alpha dog, but he could provide a service when requested. Making hits was easy. Cash was plentiful. He never made this kind of dough in construction.


He ran a meaty hand over his grizzled face and sighed. The howling outside the cabin reached a crescendo. It unsettled his already taut nerves. He had no guilt about the kill, but he sure had fears about the cops finding him.


He got up and flicked on the front porch light. It shone on the pine trees nearby. Something shuffled by the side of the cabin and thumped the wall. He flicked the light off and held his breath.


“Just a raccoon.” He told himself, but his mind was seeing that strange black car that was following his car the last 10 miles to the mountaintop resort. Sure, they kept going on to the lodge, but they did see him turn down this road.


“I should check.” He grumbled as the howling stopped outside and he cautiously opened the door. Thinking about the coyote pack and their calls, the killer felt a bit of nostalgia. He missed his gang in Philly. It had been a long time since he could go home and run with them, intimidating everyone on the streets. No, his work in Jersey took him away from there and it was too dangerous to go back.


“Yeah, I’m a coyote without my pack now.” He commented sadly.


The area near the cabin looked clear in the half moonlight. His car was tucked in behind the building out of sight. The cabin itself was completely engulfed by huge rows of wild bushes and brambles. No one would ever guess it was there. Even the ground was gravel strewn and showed few tracks. Just in case, he walked over into the circle of moonlight and kicked at the gravel to be certain no car treads could be seen.


The hairs on his neck tickled. He knew he was being watched! He spun around, squinting into the woods nearby, a bead of perspiration rolling into his eye and stinging him blind. He backed up towards the cabin, surveying the area cautiously.


“Who’s there?” He called out, his voice cracking.


Something thrashed the bushes nearby and the hitman backed up a step, squinting into the darkness of the shrubs.


“You’re not gonna catch me.” He vowed under his breath.


Without warning, something yanked his shirt, pulling him to the ground with a thud. Shaking off the stars in his head, the hitman studied the dark figures above him. The half moon settled between their heads, casting them in silhouettes. There stood five man-like figures, hunched over, long snouts sniffing, smelling of wet dog and snarling lowly in threat.


“What in the hell are you?” He cried out.


The leader stepped forward and lifted him up easily with one gnarled furry paw as if he weren’t a 6’2″, 250-pound man. Claws dug into the hitman’s shoulder and he winced. When he braved opening his eyes again, he looked straight into the fiery red eyes of the beast, fangs exposed and glistening in the light. For a panicky minute, the hitman remembered the cries of his last hit. The man had been on his knees, begging to pay him cash, do anything to just live.


He whimpered hysterically just as his victim had.


Behind him a beast snarled loudly, another howled. Then the leader bent, teeth sinking readily into the hitman’s shoulder with a crunch. As his knees went weak beneath him, the beast leader grabbed the hitman by the hem of his shirt and dragged him deep into the blackened woods as the criminal lost consciousness.


The resort manager came the next morning, grabbed up the bag of cash, the traces of the occupant, and used the car key to move the vehicle to his cousin’s car shop where it would be parted out.
It never failed; crooks were looking for an easy out. He provided it for them. The pack of other thieves-turned- werewolves brought the criminal into their fold. They had all the fresh deer and wild turkeys they could want and the resort manager continued to give them new members. It was an amicable situation that helped both sides, as well as cut down on the uncontrolled population of wildlife in the preserve. In fact, he was feeling pretty pious about his life mission as he drove off in the criminal’s Mercedes Benz at sunset.


A stealthy creature followed not far from the bumper, eyes of fire, fangs exposed. He wasn’t the brightest of the batch and he was no alpha dog, but he served his pack well as he stalked their next member.


http://autumnforestghosthunter.blogspot.com

Video Of Interview With Laurell K Hamilton

Just thought this was interesting. Enjoy!




WTF....The Vampire Song???

OK, so I should be asleep, it's freakin' 3:35am and I feel like my eyes are full of sand...but I did a search for "Vampire Music" and guess what came up!

Well...just watch the video below. I don't know what I just witnessed...all I know is that I'm tired and I'm going to sleep.

Enjoy this weird ass video y'all!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Six Sentence Sunday: Vampire Love



Image Source: Myspace

OK, so here is another #SixSentence/#SixSunday creation that I've linked to on Twitter. I hope you all enjoy it and please check out the other wonderful writers who post to this hash tag!

Best of Everything,

Marcus




*****************
Vampire Love


By Marcus Twyman


She savored the taste, rich and metallic. His arms squeezed her tighter as her mouth worked at pulling the coppery blood from the vein she'd tapped. His moans rumbled through his chest and he worked himself up to a faster rhythm, as her lower muscles squeezed him, bringing him close to experiencing euphoria. Their eyes shone with inhuman brightness in the dimly lit room as they took turns biting each other to savor the rich fluid that mere mortals could only taste in their dreams. True immortals, children of darkness...vampires. She placed her arms around his neck as they reached their climax, both of them ripping their fangs from the other's body to gleam wetly in the darkness of their den.

Vlog Update: 10-16-2010

Some updates for you guys. Talking about my blog posts, stories, etc.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Poem

Jealousy

by Marcus Twyman





It's the poison that stills the heart,
The violent memories that tear love apart,
With a chilling touch the blood will cool,
Reignited by rage, remade the fool,

Never happy, always a skeptic,
Strangers' eyes do wander, that's to be expected,
Though with you, possession is law,
They are yours, and for you they should crawl,

Then one day they up and leave,
Enough was enough, so they cut you free,
Couldn't stand your insecure tendencies,
So they washed themselves clean of your jealousy.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

CONTEST FOR BETA READERS!



Hello Everyone!

I'm holding a contest for people who would like to read my rough manuscript and provide feedback on it within a month.

The prize is a Sony DVD Camcorder. It has an extra battery and a leather carrying case. It is in top condition and records onto DVD as well as takes still photos.  


**********It is the same camera pictured on this post.**************


Let me know if you're interested in being a Beta reader. I need all contestants to send me an email to Marcus.Twyman@gmail.com by next Wednesday, October 13th, 2010. The contest will end on Nov. 10th and the contest winner will be chosen on November 17th.

Thank you all in advance for your help!

Marcus

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Khet Chronicles: Sunset Over Bloodied Waters

Very rough & unedited excerpt

I tried not to include any spoilers for the first book.


By: Marcus Twyman

Three mutts greeted me at the bottom of the stair's landing. Their nails clicking noisily against the hard marble of the floor. Che had found them running around out back in the woods that surrounded the estate. They had been half-starved as well as flea and tick ridden. She'd brought them in, cleaned them up, and made them the brats of the residence.

Chloe, is a large female pitbull with large dark brown spots that encircle each of her eyes, making her eyes stand out with their light gray coloring—giving her the impression of always being surprised. The rest of her fur is a fawn color. She weighs a little over eighty pounds—all of it solid muscle, thanks to Che's care and attention—but she is the biggest love-bunny you'll ever meet. She'd be more liable to lick a serial killer breaking into the mansion than attack him.

Bobo is a little terrier mix of some sort, standing no more than a foot at his shoulder. His fur hangs down in dark gray wisps, making him look more like an oversized, dirty cotton ball than a dog. He has bangs that cover his beady little eyes, and his tongue hangs out of his mouth every minute of the day, dripping drool in his wake.

Lobo, well—looks like a lobo. He looks like a damn wolf. His eyes are yellow-green, and the only thing that would make you think twice about his heritage is his fur color. He's the warm, blondish color of a yellow lab. He's huge standing three feet at the shoulder and weighing in at one hundred and ten pounds. I'm still up in the air concerning his lineage. I'm almost positive that he's a big, wild, snarly, beast of a wolf. His coloring is probably just a fluke. All I know is that as long as he doesn't eat me, I'm fine with him. He' extremely playful, and loves everybody in the house, but...sometimes I catch him staring at me—like he's thinking. Yeah, I'm gonna keep my eye on that one.

The three mongrels—I say this with compassion— were jumping up on me, making it impossible to move ahead towards the front door. Let me tell ya', half the time I had to move around the house using the inhuman speed of my race, just to get from room to room. They were adamant about having your full attention when in your presence.

“Shane!”, maybe he could take them outside or something. That would help them let loose some of their pent up energy. “Hey, bro! You around?” My voice echoed through the massive rooms of the mansion.

“I'm here, what's up loud-mouth?” Shane spoke into my mind using telepathy, or as he called it—as well as everyone else now that he's been pushing the term on people—brain-tapping.

Rolling my eyes at his name calling, I told him out loud, “Come take the pooches out, mutt!” Shane was half sape and half khet. Some of the other khet called him Half-Breed, I called him dork, boob, bobblehead, and lately, Mutt. He knew I wasn't serious, we always call each other names—we have a snarky relationship.

“Why can't you do it? I'm watching a cool show—some guy just got eaten by a shark and now his shipmates are tracking it through the ocean via the GPS on the dude's cell phone—Ooh...oh that's just wrong...Kalin you've gotta—”

“Shane!” God, he could be such a twit! Running my hand through my hair I shouted, “I'm leaving...take them out!” Before he could make an attempt at another mental rebuttal, I threw up my mental shields.

Che had been teaching me how to guard my thoughts. Living in a household full of telepaths and having other telepathic beings around who knew my energy signature—like the Sidhe and some of the witches—I had needed to learn how to deflect unwanted intrusions. One time Saru had reached out telepathically from New York and entered my mind while me and Krysia were...occupied. Needless to say, that was the equivalent of a parent walking in on you doing the bump unexpectedly. He was the one who requested that Che teach me how to block against intrusions. He was like an uncle to me and Shane and finding not-so PG thoughts flying at him like that must have been just as awkward as it had been for me. Krysia still blushes when I bring it up.

Shutting the door quickly so that the dogs didn't push past me onto the walkway, I tossed my keys into the air, catching them as the gravity pulled them back down towards the earth...

Six Sentence Sunday


I'm bad about making time for this but I wanted to make sure that I posted something this Sunday.  Here is my contribution to "#SixSunday" as they say on Twitter.

I hope you all enjoy it and if you do please feel free to contribute as well by posting on your blog and then labeling the post with the hash tag "#sixsunday" on your Twitter account.

Best Regards!

Image Source: xiongdudu.com

***************

The force is shearing through my being-- through my very essence. It's intangible blades hot against the fabric of my metaphysical mind. His attack is relentless but I am not so easily subdued. I am the darkness that the night imitates, the bitter cold that has made hunters huddle close to their camp fires for millennia. I am the fallen, the sentry that has prevented the light from burning through the darkness for all remembered time. There's a reason they call me “Devil” and now I'll have to show this pigeon-winged fool why his kind should stay in the light where they belong.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Old Journal Entry: February 15th, 2003

Poem:  Untouchable

If you touch my spirit, you've accomplished a miracle,
My eyes have cried and my voice has erupted,
I could cut a diamond with the sharpness of my soul,
Life's pains haven't made me stronger...they've made me meaner,
Take a glance into my eyes and you will see not a glimpse of emotion or pity,
You will only feel the heat generated by lies and deceit from experiences long past,
You reach for my hand and I'll reach for your throat,
Trust, I give to no one,
My tongue shall spit acid words at any would be rescuer,
For, you can't rescue what has already been lost.

Finished February 15, 2003 6:53pm

Random Journal Image & Dry Rose Petals

Just a random sketch from 2004:

Old Journal Entry: February 13th, 2004

February Wind

by Marcus Twyman



I feel each cut as if it were the most sensual touch of a lover,

My eyes strive to focus through a slowly encroaching cloudiness,

The mud oozes around my cold, mutilated body,

My mind is searching for a way to put this wrong to right,

My body is twitching with an unconscious struggle to survive,

But death's power is too strong to fend off,

The cold has taken refuge in the marrow of my bones,

And the creatures of the woods have begun investigating my corpse-like body,

The only thing I am still able to acknowledge is the cold February wind,

Each year as I return to this spot for my eternal death, the wind is the only thing I am able to remember with clarity,

As the blood begins to slow its descent into the frozen, rock-like ground I feel the last pitiful beats of my failing heart,

For 20 years I have died on this night....maybe next year will be different.

Old Journal Entry: January 22nd, 2003

Old poem from my journal.

Burning Candles
by Marcus Twyman


Do you know what it's like for the dark to touch you?
I appreciate the quietness of midnight's virtue,
When the light comes in the morning, will I still be alive?
For, my soul's in eternal mourning no matter how hard I try.
Could it be that I'm unknowing of how my love should be released?
No one knows how I feel, maybe that's why I can't reach for peace.

*I have three dried rose petals pressed between the pages where this poem is written.

Old Journal Entry: December 26th, 2002

Old song I wrote on December 26th, 2002.

I Thought
by Marcus Twyman

I thought I heard you walking in the hall,
But when I looked, I knew I hadn't heard anything at all,
It must have been my mind playing tricks on me,
Life's been hard, keeps giving me grief,
But your perfume's scent still lingers on the air,
That's impossible since you aren't even here,
And why do I feel a gentle breeze?
Like someone just brushed past me,

Chorus:

Is it your spirit floating past me?
Clinging to the love it feels in me?
I know you'll always be near,
In this life you left so easily,
Late at night while I sit quietly,
I feel you there, but your image I can't see,
I tell myself that this can't be,
But it's true because your spirit lives on in me,


I never completed this one...it's only a partial entry in my journal.

Old Journal Entry: December 25th, 2002

A song I wrote on Christmas in 2002. 

Hold Me Close
by Marcus Twyman

I'm tired of waiting,
Tired of sitting by myself alone in the dark,
Tired of hiding,
Hiding my eyes and hiding my heart,
Which road should I of taken?
The one in the shadows or the one with a spark,
This is something I had no choice in,
I was thrown into the darkness that's corrupted my heart,

Chorus:

I'm clawing my way back up,
I'm tearing through my early gravestone,
Tried to break me, had some luck,
But the light's been captured, now I know where I'm goin',
I've lived before,
That life was a poisoned dose,
For this life I have the cure,
It's when your arms hold me close,


For years I've been dying,
Dying from the loss of my soul,
Life was full of hating,
And cryin' for a life that had nothing to show,
Then I met you,
A being who could set me free,
I found the missing clue,
Now I'm the person I was meant to be,

Chorus:

I'm clawing my way back up,
I'm tearing through my early gravestone,
Tried to break me, had some luck,
But the light's been captured, now I know where I'm goin',
I've lived before,
That life was a poisoned dose,
For this life I have the cure,
It's when your arms hold me close,


I'm getting through the pain,
Slowly but surely I'm on my way,
I'm feeling no more shame,
A bright future is on the way,
Please stand beside me,
I know I can't do this on my own,
You won't ever lose me,
You're the only good I've ever known,

Finished at 2:13am

Writing Contest For Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy Writers!

Hey Everyone!

I want to share a cool contest available for all Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy writers.  Check it out at the link below and feel free to visit the main site for cool writing info.

Best Regards!

Link for the contest :  http://tinyurl.com/269x8u7

Link to main site:  http://www.guidetoliteraryagents.com

Monday, September 13, 2010

Polish Song I Re-Wrote To English



I love this song.  The title is "Żałuję" which means "I Regret" in Polish.  The artist's name is Ewelina Flinta and she became popular in the Polish version of the show "American Idol", where she came in second.

This song was released in 2003 I believe, and it made a huge impact on the Polish radio charts.

As stated earlier, I love this song.  I love it so much that I decided to translate it into English for those of you who do not speak Polish.  The only problem I encountered (like with any translation) is that the Polish words do not translate exactly as they are meant, which means I had to improvise with parts of the song and re-create some verses in order for the song to make sense.  I kept as much of the song intact as I could.

I hope you enjoy  the English version of this song and, if I can find the time, I will try to record the song to music so you can get the full feel for it.  Until then, you'll have to make do with the original video!!!    :)



Żałuję
By: Ewelina Flinta


Zacieram ślady twoich ust, ukrywam żywy ciągle gniew,
Udaję, że to już nie moja sprawa
Obdzielam sobą każdy dzień, sprzedaję myśli byle gdzie,
A wszystko po to, by upewnić się, że umiem
Sama sypiać, sama spędzać każdy czas, spojrzeć sobie w twarz

Żałuje, że cię znałam, żałuję, że kochałam,
Bo nie wart jesteś żadnej łzy, nie chciałeś wierzyć im
Żałuję, że cię znałam, żałuję, że ufałam
I powiem to, choć szkoda słów, że będziesz kiedyś sam
Całkiem sam i bez żadnych szans
Całkiem sam, tak jak kiedyś ja
Całkiem sam...

Znowu szare dni dopadły mnie, ciało snuje się jak cień
Słowa bolš dziś jak dawniej, idę
Ślady ust zmieniajš się, ślady stóp, co depczš mnie
Choć zacieram je, upewniam się, że umiem
Sama sypiać, sama spędzać każdy czas, spojrzeć sobie w twarz

Żałuje, że cię znałam, żałuję że kochałam,
Bo nie wart jesteś żadnej łzy, nie chciałeś wierzyć im
Żałuję że cię znałam, żałuję ze ufałam
I powiem to, choć szkoda słów, że będziesz kiedyś sam
Całkiem sam i bez żadnych szans
Całkiem sam, tak jak kiedyś ja
Całkiem sam...

Mogłeś mnie dla siebie mieć,
Mogłeś, ale czas nie ten
Mogłeś wszystko, tylko jedno słowo twoje
Mogłeś więcej niż byś mógł
Mogłeś być na zawsze tak
Mogłeś być...
A teraz bądź ze sobą sam...




All Alone
Original by: Ewelina Flint (Polish)
Redone by: Marcus Twyman (English)


Faint are the traces of your mouth, I'm still alive but in doubt,
I pretend you're not my business, but I fail
I readily gave to you all this time, I pass on thoughts that say you're mine,
All this to make sure that I can sleep at night,
I spend all day, trying not to see your face, in the shadows of my mind,

I'm in pain 'cause I knew you, I'm in pain 'cause I loved you,
But you're not worth these bitter tears, You'd only laugh at them,
I wish I never knew, the pain that comes from trusting you,
I'm moving on, but know this thing, one day you'll be alone,
All alone, no more chances for love,
All alone, the same as I was,
All alone ...

Again, a gray day falls on me, shadows trace along my body,
Today holds the same pain, but I know,
Parts of the story have been changed, the footprints of life lead away,
The past grows blurry, as does your face, it's comforting
I spend all day, trying not to see your face, in the shadows of my mind,

I'm in pain 'cause I knew you, I'm in pain 'cause I loved you,
But you're not worth these bitter tears, You'd only laugh at them,
I wish I never knew, the pain that comes from trusting you,
I'm moving on, but know this thing, one day you'll be alone,
All alone, no more chances for love,
All alone, the same as I was,
All alone ...

We could have lived in each other's arms,
We could have, but now that's gone,
Thanks to you and your selfish, cruel ways,
With me you had so much,
Now your left without your crutch,
Now your standing all alone...

All alone, no more chances for love,
All alone, the same as I was,
All alone, no more chances for love,
All alone, the same as I was,
All alone ...all alone

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Six Sentence Sunday


OK, I'm gonna try to keep up with this little experiment each Sunday. We'll see if I can stay focused enough to write roughly six sentences each Sunday that can relay a compelling story and catch a reader's attention.

*Sigh*

Come on creative brain cells...fire up damnit!

Oh, well. Hopefully you enjoy this little morsel of fictional nonsense :)

********************************************

Six Sentence Sunday

By: Marcus Twyman


That last hit was a real wallop. I could still hear the ring sounding through the tight confines of my skull. Pushing myself back up into a standing position, I took my fighting stance, feeling my weight distribute evenly across the balls of my feet. Fucking Fae, they always cheated with magic...well, if they couldn't keep their word then I wouldn't either. I felt my power trickle into being, warming a spot deep within my body. Several pair of power laden eyes were fixed on me, waiting for me to make my move...I didn't keep them waiting for long.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chapter From 2nd Khet Book!


image source: strongphysics.wikispaces.com

Here's a rough unedited chapter from the second Nebu Khet book, titled Khet Chronicles: Sunset Over Bloodied Waters.

It's rough and unedited and I tried to pick a chapter that didn't give away too many details about the first book (spoilers).

Have fun reading!

*****Material on this site may not be reproduced in any way or form without written consent from myself to do so*****


****************************************************


Khet Chronicles: Sunset Over Bloodied Waters
Chapter 2

By: Marcus Twyman


Chapter 2

As expected, the paparazzi were waiting for us outside of the mansion's giant iron gates. I pressed the button on my sun visor that signaled the gates to open and putting my dark aviators on, I slowly crept out onto the street, trying to avoid running over the legs of the clambering men. Kora already had her big lensed, red, Dolce and Gabbana shades on, anticipating the bright flashes of the psychotic crowd. That's right, psychotic—what would you call them?

They shouted questions through the glass of the car's windows like, “Are you going out to battle other Nebu Khet?” or “Kora—is it true that you are an ancient Grecian goddess? Do you have a lover, a consort?” I'm telling you, they're like a plague. Kora is only twenty six years old. Where the hell did these rumors start? Ancient Grecian goddess? Oh, please...seriously?

Once I was sure we were safe from the onslaught of sape photogs, I lowered the windows and opened the sunroof, letting the air circulate through the car. I reveled in the smells and sights of summer. After a moment, Kora said while looking out of the windshield, “I honestly don't know if I'll ever get use to them.”

Them? Oh, the paparazzi, “Yeah I know what you mean. I swear one day I'm going to run one over and claim it was an accident. Maybe then they'll stay away...who am I kidding? They'll never stay away, they're like sharks on a blood trail.” Glancing in my rear view mirror I noticed a dark SUV trailing us. I clenched my jaw, these bastards were worse than sharks—they were The Apex Predator.

With a slight grin she said, “You see them trailing us don't you?” She laughed and then looking over at me said, “Your highness is a very important person.”

I felt my eyebrow creep up high on my forehead as I looked at her saying, “Um, OK Grecian goddess.”

She snorted with laughter as she said, “I'm not even Greek.” She sighed loudly before stating, “At least they can't follow me into the cafe.”

I thought about that. It was true, there were laws dictating where they could venture but...I still felt apprehensive about trusting completely in the law. Laws were broken all of the time. All it took was for one jerk to overstep that boundary and someone could get hurt. We're not immune to death, hard to kill yes, but a direct hit to the heart or brain—and no more khet. Krysia was even more susceptible to injury. She was only a witch, she had no superhuman healing abilities. She was stronger than a normal person—three times as strong at least—and she had amazing supernatural abilities, but if she were attacked in the cafe, would she react in time? Would her guard be down while serving customers and running her business? I decided not to take that risk.

“I'm sending over some bodyguards. Just two of them. I don't think it's safe for you and Krysia to be walking around without some sort of protection.”

She looked over at me, both eyebrows arched high in surprise, “You think someone will try to hurt us?”

“No—I'm hoping not. But you never know. Things are different now. We're out in the open, we're vulnerable because so many eyes are on us now. We no longer have the anonymity that we are so use to.” Sighing, I continued, “The last thing I want is for something to happen to either of you, especially if I could have prevented it.” I looked over at her and caught her smiling at me.

“You are such a guy! Me and Krysia could kick someone's ass before they knew they'd wanted to kick ours'. But...if it helps you sleep at night, by all means, send out the watchdogs.” She patted my hand saying the last part of that statement.

“I think Krysia's personality is rubbing off on you.” I laughed at her brazen, playful remarks.

“No...I've always been this way, I'm just able to be myself now...thanks to you and Krysia.” She smiled widely as we turned in to the parking lot of the shopping center.

I maneuvered my way through the busy lanes avoiding shoppers as they crossed through the street to get to their vehicles. I approached the cafe seeing several paparazzi already awaiting our arrival out front. I'm telling you, they're like gum in your hair—you just can't get rid of them. I didn't bother parking and just pulled up as close as the feeding frenzy of photographers and pedestrians would let me. Thankfully, I'd remembered to roll up my windows before pulling into the shopping center. Cameras were pressed up against the glass of the windows, flashing annoyingly into our faces. Even the glasses didn't protect our eyes from all of it. Behind us the SUV that had been tagging us pulled to a screeching stop and more paparazzi tumbled out of it to join the growing mass.

“Do I really have to do this?” Kora asked, her expression grim as she took in the sea of wolves waiting for her to open the door. I couldn't help it, I laughed. She just looked so miserable at the thought of facing off with all of the picture snapping lunatics that it became funny to look at.

My laughter did it for her. With a slight raise of her chin, and a tightening of her jaw, she commented, “I don't see you braving them to go in and say hi to Krysia.” With that she swung the door open, nearly knocking one man to the ground as she swung her legs out of the vehicle and stood up. Instantly she was swarmed by the mob, flashes going off inches from her face. Using one hand she flicked her waist length hair back over her shoulder and smiled like she was on a red carpet. Then she moved forward, a writhing mass of people moving with her as they shouted questions and snapped photos.

Half of the crowd still hovered around my vehicle shouting questions at me through the windows as I thought about what Kora had said. Yup, I was sooo not as brave as her. Hell no I wasn't going to wade through that mess of humanity to say hello to Krysia. I'm sure she'd understand. I'm not too proud to admit when I'm scared. Those crazy, camera happy jerks scared the crap outta me. I watched as Kora made it to the cafe's entrance, pulling the door open and disappearing into the dim interior. OK, that was my cue to get moving. I slowly started to pull away from the curb, moving carefully until there was an opening that I could fit through. I sighed with relief once I made it back to the main road. I drove down 355, headed south towards DC.

I had an important meeting today with some government officials. I had been granted ambassador status by the president himself. They figured that having me as an ambassador could smooth the public's transition into acceptance of the supernatural races. It also gave them a source to go to for advice on all that wasn't sape. I'd gotten a call last night, from the head of the CIA asking if I could meet him for a brief lunch. He'd said that he needed some advice on a situation that could potentially be linked to supernatural roots. Me—give advice to the CIA. Yeah, life was weird—but hey, it's better than life being full of death and fear. I could work with weird.

I passed the state line leading into DC and took in the beauty of the day. Man, I hoped I could find a parking spot. I hated trying to park in DC.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Poem I Wrote Last Night

Was slightly depressed last night so I wrote my feelings onto a piece of paper like any good writer would.

Don't worry I feel much better now, but I still decided to share my little depressing bit of creative flair with you all.

Best Regards



When My Light Goes Out
By: Marcus Twyman

When my light goes out,
Will there be relief?
Will the pain cease to bite?

In my darkened state,
Will I find my way?
Will I finally find it bright?

In life I hurt,
I put up a fight,
But fate tore into me,

When my light goes out,
The tears will stop,
Because I'll finally be free.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How To Write A Fiction Book / Novel In 6 Months


By: Marcus Twyman
Image Source: ralphmag.org


OK, this is by no means a rule book, it's simply a guide...a way to help those that have problems starting a book and writing it to completion.

Writing a Novel is a major project that demands dedication and discipline. The thought of writing three hundred plus pages can seem very daunting to most, which is why I don't think about how many pages my novel is going to be while writing. I write, I don't focus on an end target, I focus on getting the best possible story out onto the digital pages of my laptop and then I move forward from there.

Here's a quick breakdown of my writing process, this may not work for you or it may help you the same way that it helps me.



First, I take my journal and I write a basic non-detailed listing of events that I want to take place in the book. For example, my book, Khet Chronicles: Blood Ties aka The Nebu Khet's Cry, was sequenced via short remarks like, “Kalin has a dream about his deceased family> Kalin wakes up, senses enemy in home> Meets with Shane> Meets Krysia> Attends meeting; it's a trap> Saru saves them and kills ancient> etc, etc...

By placing a sequence of events on paper I ensure that I don't get off track while writing. You want to steer clear of rambling and unnecessary narrative that can take place when a writer is not focused.

Next I sit down at the computer and I start typing. I don't re-read what I write, I don't over analyze the dialogue that my characters use. I just write and focus on getting my main scenes down on paper as well as reaching a set number of words or chapters per day.

Once I finish with my first draft—which I consider the skeleton of the story—and all required scenes are present, I go back and start reading it from the beginning, typing more details where needed and filling out storylines and character descriptions, etc. I add the “meat” of the novel at this stage.

Once I've finished filling the story in and giving it substance, I go back and start line editing it. Then after the line edit, I start reading the story again after a week of letting my brain rest so that I can edit out any unnecessary parts and add others that may give the story more structure.

Once I've completed the main edit, I print a copy of my story and let a TRUSTED source read over it so that they can write recommendations and dislikes on the hard copy. This gives me a different, fresh perspective on the novel. I may or may not take into consideration what this reader says, but it enables me to understand how people who aren't biased towards the story will react to reading it.

After any edits are done that the beta reader remarked on or asked for, I go back for a final read through fixing last minute punctuation issues and overall creating a nicely polished finished product.

That's pretty much it...that's my process. Like stated earlier, this may or may not work for you. Good luck on your writing and please let me know if you have any questions.

Best Regards,

Marcus Twyman
Twitter: NebuKhet
marcus.twyman@gmail.com


Tags: fiction novel, writing a manuscript, urban fantasy, science fiction, scifi, syfy, general fiction, book writing, editing a book, manuscript editing, writing tips, nebu khet, sidhe, fae, fey, faery, fairy, unseelie, seelie, vampires, dragons, werewolves

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Winter Springs/Orlando Area of Central Florida

Hey everyone,

Still enjoying my vacation here in Florida even though I am working on some freelance assignments and still writing chapters for both of the new book manuscripts. I'm currently writing in a Starbucks right outside of Orlando, Florida and waiting for my mother to meet up with me (yes, she's a Floridian). Today is both her and my father's birthday, so what better present to give a parent you don't see but a few times a year than to show up on their birthday? :)

Anyways...I am already missing home, what the hell's wrong with me??? Torrential rainfall, earthquakes, flash floods, and responsibility! Blah! I've been corrupted by the charms of the DMV (no, not the department of motor vehicles- I mean District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia).

Well, I've gotta go. Take care of yourselves and I'll try to keep everyone posted on my Twitter account and Facebook.

Best Regards,

Marcus

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Link To More Chapters

Here's a link to more of the novel's chapters. I hope you all enjoy and remember to rate the story once you've read it.



Best Regards,

Marcus Twyman

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rough Unedited Prologue and First Chapter

Copyright 2010 Marcus Twyman

The Nebu Khet's Cry



This is a rough, unedited portion of the story. This is to allow you to understand the world of the Nebu Khet and get a sense for the world that the story's protagonist lives in.


***********************************


Prologue

I know my limits have been reached tonight. As I stare at the angry, pale face snarling at me from the room’s shadowed walls; I can feel the last of my strength dwindling down to nothing. My body keeps bleeding out its life’s blood and I can feel it gathering in pools around the spread fingers of my bruised and battered hands where I am crouching on the concrete floor. I feel the weight of the humid air increase as my assailant hunches down into position for one last lunge, and my gut tells me that this cold, dark, cellar may become my eternal resting place. In this moment there is an overwhelming sense that my life has become forfeit.

The rules have always been the same, stretching back to the beginning of my people’s known history, “Khet and Sapes can not mix.”

Unfortunately for me, I was never good at following rules, nor had I experienced what I can only label as Love. That’s the one thing that really did me in.

In this dreary place, where all odds are against me, I envision her face one last time. Lifting my head slowly from the floor, I stare through the blood soaked strands of my hair at my opponent. His face is contorted into a mask of rage. His teeth glisten in the darkness, and there is no mistaking the bloodlust in those ancient glowing, yellow eyes.

I go back to picturing her face again—the image is so vivid I can practically reach out and touch her. I remember her sweet scent, and the sound of her voice. I can feel her soft skin as I reach up to place a hand on her cheek.

I can not die here, I can not leave her to fend for herself against my kind. I have to survive this. I focus on my body and begin to concentrate on channeling my energies so that I can make the change. The inky darkness of my surroundings starts to spasm with bright bursts, the color of magma, as my reformation takes place. I feel the moment that my hazel eyes slide into the fiery colors of orange and red.

If I can just maintain my energy levels then I may just have a chance to win this battle.

The moment that he decides to attack, I know it. As if in slow motion, his muscles begin to flex beneath the skin of his forearms and shoulders. He rocks forward onto the balls of his feet like a cobra ready for the strike.

For a moment all I can register is the sound of my own heart beating, and that’s when he launches himself from his side of the room towards me. In response, I propel myself forward with my own teeth bared and my claws fully extended. A low vibration rocks through my chest and explodes from my mouth. The awesome power of the roar is like no other on this planet. It’s the sound of a Nebu Khet's cry, and it always means death.

Chapter 1:

I know I’m asleep, but that doesn’t stop the panic that’s flowing through me. I’m dreaming again, and lately my dreams have taken a nasty turn. Sometimes my dreams are so pleasant I want to stay asleep forever, just so that I can escape the cruelties that surround my life. At other times, I pray to God for deliverance from my trance so that the voices of the dead will leave me be.

Right now is one of those times. I can see the many faces of my deceased family all crying out to me with tongueless mouths. Some are missing their eyes and stare blankly ahead with empty, dark sockets. Yet, even in their blindness, I still know that they are looking at me.

Those dusty corpses that still maintain true vision, are peering at me through Nebu Khet eyes. Their irises are no longer the plain browns, greens, and grays of normal humans (Sapes), but are the dazzling shades of silver, gold, and emerald that appear when our energies are at their peak. I am backing into a corner of my old childhood home while at least thirty family members move towards me with outstretched hands. My mother is leading the pack and when she is no more than four feet from where I cower, I hear her voice. Even though her vocal cords have become nothing more than food for the worms and other critters that crawl through the cold ground, she still manages to speak—her voice carrying the sound of love and strength that I remember from child hood.

“Hey baby, don’t be afraid. It’s just me…mom. You remember me, I know you do. You look just like you did when you were still just my little boy.” You can hear a note of joy in her words.

Hearing her long dead voice brings tears to my eyes, but I don’t believe it’s truly her. She reaches out to me and I cower back from the touch of her long elegant fingers. “Oh, hun.” Her eyebrows pinch together in sadness. “You know I would never hurt you—hell I can’t hurt you. Sweetie...I’m dead, you know that—and actually, that’s why I’m here.”

Her hands clasp together as she kneels down to peer at me from a few feet away. “Kalin, you remember how we all died.”, she said gesturing to the shambling crowd behind her. “You were there...I know you were young, but you were there—hiding in the debris.”

I did remember…

My family had been genetically stronger than any other Nebu Khet, aka “Khet”, clan for the last couple of thousand years. That pretty much meant we were considered royalty by default. The strongest always ruled, and those that wanted to overthrow the ruling party, well—they'd better hope they had the manpower to pull it off.

See, Khet Politics are quite different from Sape Politics. There are none of those boring elections, or legislative guidelines, and so on. Nope, the Khet are ahead of the game. See, when we think a new power is needed to keep our best interests in mind, we politely ask the ruling family for our desired changes. If this fails, which it usually does, we begin a search for the strongest families within our communities and then…we kill the royal bloodlines—at least that's the goal. Works like a charm.

I guess you can pretty much guess where this is going.

My family was the ruling party fourteen years ago. For the most part, the American clans were content. Everyone was treated fairly. My family always tried to work in the best interests of our people, but there was one major event that had ripped through the foundation of our society ten years before what would become the most pivotal point in my life.

A Nebu Khet female had fallen for a Homo Sapien. This isn’t to say that something like this never happened before. The difference with this scenario was that the khet girl was pregnant. Not only was she pregnant, but she was in her third trimester. See, usually when a khet female gets pregnant by a sape, she miscarries sometime within the first month. The same thing happens if a khet male gets a sape female pregnant. The chromosomes just don't match up, and the fetus can't survive...it isn't viable.

This time it was different, everything was going just as it should through the pregnancy. BIG PROBLEM.

The Sapes out number us 6,000 to 1. You should also take into account that in the past, sapes burned us at stakes and called us witches—they even slaughtered large numbers of their own in reaction to their mass hysteria and prejudices. They are notorious for fearing what they don’t understand. Obviously we had the upper hand in these battles—using our abilities. But, the sapes had their sheer numbers.

They caused our population to plummet significantly. Many people within the court saw this pregnancy as a stab in the back and as a “means to an end” for our species. Many saw this unborn hybrid as a weakening of our bloodlines. My family, the Moshires, saw it as a way to merge our world with that of the sapes and unite our two subspecies.

With our family trees tied together by a common relative we would ensure that the prejudices of the past never happened to either the sapes or the khet again. We would ensure that our two branches of humanity eventually merged back into one. As one race, there would be no need to fear one another.

A few clans across the U.S. decided that our vision made perfect sense, however, some thought of our ideas as heresy. However, eventually the turmoil that had grasped our communities faded and died off… at least that’s what my relatives thought.

At the time of all this confusion I was only eight months old. By the time the hybrid child was born into this world, I had reached my first year of life. My mother was adamant about ensuring that this frail half-breed child survived into adulthood. She truly looked upon his tiny little form with utmost consideration, she saw him as a way to mend the gap between the world’s majority and minority populations.

The child was named Shane, by his ever-adoring mother. With large eyes always wide and wondering, he would constantly stare at the world around him as if he expected it to show him something entertaining at any second. Shane and I were like opposites—He, with his pale complexion, dark hair and light eyes, me with my blood-red hair, olive complexion and hazel eyes. Yet from my earliest memories I always thought of him as my sibling.

My family moved the infant and his mother into our home and guarded them. They were pulled into the warm fold of my family's protection and love. Shane and I were always with one another, and we always defended each other whether in school or around our people. We had grown as close as any brothers could. We always had each other's back and we always stuck by each other's side. It was uncommon to spot either of us without the other somewhere in tow.

Around, our eighth and ninth years we found out why my mother had taken so many precautions with Shane and his mom. Like I said, we thought the fires surrounding Shane's existence had been doused...we were so wrong.

It was a beautiful, warm, summer night and my mother had just walked me up to the third floor of our house to lay me down to sleep. Our home was a beautiful, three story, colonial inspired, piece of art. A huge mansion. This was the safe-house of our clan. With over 20 bedrooms throughout, anyone who was in need of a safe-haven was welcome. Windows were present on every side of our home and the stretched from the floor all the way up to the ceiling. The summer breeze would filter through their open panes to cool us in our sleep and carry the sound of the singing cicadas to our listening ears.

I still remember the way I had curled up in my bed under my sheets, all the while listening contentedly while my mother hummed some indecipherable tune.

I remember staring at her face, seeing the way her eyes reflected the light of my bedside lamp, with their odd shades of green and gold tones. Her hair was a mane of gold, orange and red tones that hung past her waist. She smelled of freesia, and happiness radiated from her. As she leaned down to kiss me goodnight I felt the air around me grow heavy with power.

Her eyes instantly morphed into liquid fire—red swirling with orange and yellow. She reached down and grabbed me by the arm and then lifted me as if I weighed nothing, letting the sheets fall back to the bed from around my small form. She placed me on the ground beside her and ordered me to run down stairs and hide. I froze, unable to make my limbs respond to my thoughts—I was still stunned at the abrupt change in her behavior.

“Run Kalin!”, she yelled. With no warning, she was flung from my side and slammed into a wall ten feet from where she had been.

“Mom!” I screamed for her and tried to run to her, that’s when I myself became airborne. My world had suddenly become a blur as I spun through the air and hit the side of my bed. I tried to cry out but the air had been knocked from my lungs. As I inhaled between ragged coughs I started to crawl to where my mother lay on the floor. Burning tears blurred my vision, and blood ran from a shallow cut on my scalp. Before I could reach her I felt an iron grip tighten around my neck and lift me from the ground. Kicking and swinging blindly at my assailant, I never landed a blow. The massive arm swung me around to its owner’s face and I froze.

I knew that face, it's image was burned into my retinas. Everyone in my family knew who this man was. The face belonged to Michael Twymkowski, another powerful Nebu Khet leader.

The Twymkowskis originally descended from Eastern Europe and had married Nebu Khet from African and Arab decent. Their family had a well known hunger for power. Twice, my family had fought them and failed their attempts at claiming the throne, but my family hated violence and had refused to follow standard customs which called for the death of the challengers. Apparently the Twymkowskis held grudges.

He smiled as if he was the nicest man in the world. “Hello little one. You’ve gotten so big since the last time I saw you.”

He reached up with his other hand and wiped some of the blood from where it was trickling onto my forehead.

I felt the beginnings of anger form under the thick layer of fear that was nestled securely against my spine. He had hurt my mother, he was trying to hurt me and my family.

“It is unbelievable how one family has become so well bred—just as it is unimaginable how that same family with its strong genes, and ultimate authority would be content to allow mongrels to fill ranks within our society.

“Young one, you carry some powerful genes in your little body. You could have been great...you could have been a true ruler. But, your mother has sealed your fate as well as the rest of your family's.” He smiled at me, and then quickly replaced the smile with a frown.

“I apologize little Kalin...but I must finish this.” My breath caught at his words, leaving me with my heart pounding so hard I could feel it pushing against my chest.

A sound came from behind me, and I knew it had to be my mother. Hearing her, he took a step toward where she lay motionless. I'd never made the change before—most khet children didn’t phase until their eleventh or twelfth year, but on rare occasions some make the change before they reach puberty. Apparently I was one of those rare occasions.

I caught Michael off guard. One moment I was staring at my “would be killer” with fear, the next moment I was filled with a rage like no other I had known before. How dare he threaten my mother! The thought left me fuming.

A small warm spot began to grow in the core of my body and spread to my limbs. My vision became so clear that it was like nothing that could be explained. The shapes and colors took on such a detailed aspect that I felt as if I was looking at everything from beneath a microscope. My body prickled as if static electricity had gathered all around me. I was suddenly aware of every living thing within the vicinity. I could see in my mind’s eye all of the people that were on the property. I could feel the power levels of every individual. Some were incredibly strong. In my mind they glowed bright like stars.

All of these changes happened in a fraction of a second. Michael spun around to look at me with a kind of horror. It was as if he was playing hot potato and got caught with the potato sizzling into his hand. With the hand that was holding me he reached back as if he was throwing a football and prepared to hurl me into the closest wall.

Instinctively, I reached out with my own hands toward his face and grasped each side with more strength than I should have had. I then did a damn good impression of a cat on a scratching post and dug into the soft tissue of his face—feeling the bones start to give under the pressure I was exerting.

He roared with rage and anguish and tried desperately to pull me off, but I was enraged and the power riding through my body gave me a kind of high, one that I didn't know I'd been craving until I'd felt it.

Suddenly his eyes started to brighten in color and I knew from experience that this meant he was beginning his own phase.

I pulled my feet up and placed them against his chest, then pushed off as hard as I could, launching myself backwards away from his rising power. I landed in a debris pile next to my mother’s prone body. I was terrified, all of the anger that had filled me with molten fire sizzled away to an icy spear of fear as I felt his phase take over.

“Apparently, I was wrong—your pedigree has made you powerful...even now, at a much earlier age than usual. You cut me up pretty badly little one.”

He let out a low menacing chuckle, using the front of his shirt to wipe the oozing blood from several deep lacerations that showed the gleaming white of his facial bones. “To think, you and your mother are some of the strongest blood I have ever beheld...what a waste of potential.”

He walked slowly towards me shaking his head from side to side as if in disappointment, razor sharp claws were slowly extending from his hands, turning them into murder weapons.

In my small voice I yelled at him, “Leave us alone! Don't touch her.” Tears flowed over and started running down my face again. The sobbing, shook my small body and I pulled my knees up to my chest, wrapping my arms around them.

When he was only three feet from my spot on the floor he flexed his fingers wide apart and said, “Sleep now child.”

Quicker than I could follow, his talons were whistling towards my face, but they never met their target. For a moment he stood shocked, unable to process what had stopped his strike, then he took notice of the slender hand that had his arm in a powerful grip. My mother was still laying on her stomach but was holding the front of her body off of the ground with her right arm in a sort of one armed push up, while holding Michael’s wrist in her left hand. Her eyes were the color of the pits of hell and her energies made the air smell like ozone.

“Next time you intend to kill someone, make sure that your deathblow has done its job Michael.”

Without moving any other part of her body she flung him by his arm to the left side of the room like he was nothing more than a rag doll. No sooner than he hit the floor was he back up on his feet—but so was my mother.

She let loose a guttural growl that made the air vibrate with angry energy. She moved towards Michael with malicious intent. Her movements reminded me of those of a leopard—her walk was like water rippling over rocks in a stream.

He lunged himself at her aiming his deadly claws at her throat. She easily caught his hands before they were close enough to do any damage, and with a powerful tug yanked his arms down to his sides. It was odd seeing my mom’s willowy frame effortlessly keeping Michael’s bulky body from moving beneath her hold, almost like restraining a child throwing a tantrum. He snarled at her and jutted his face towards hers with his teeth bared trying to use them as a weapon. With a loud snap his jaws closed just fractions from her nose. She laughed like she was enjoying a good joke, the sound was eerily cheerful considering the circumstances, and then she cocked her head to the side, staring at Michael with a pitying expression. It was like a painting of a Greek Goddess restraining Hercules.

“You know—”, her voice had a sharp edge to it, “I wanted to ensure that our people could be guaranteed a future in this ever-changing world. I tried to help us adapt to the modern times, but you and your clan have never understood the importance of the sapes, your family acts like Homo Sapiens are less than yourselves—then again so does a vast majority of our kind.

“Yet, all advances in our own sciences have proven that both the sapes and the khet stemmed from a common ancestor. Now, when the inevitable has finally happened, instead of understanding the importance of the child’s birth you try to snuff it out. I can’t let you do that Michael.”

She said this last part with narrowed eyes that held nothing but promises of pain if he dared to contradict her on her wishes.

“And you know I can’t let you live Shara.” Hearing him use my mother’s name sent a cold chill down my spine.

“For too long you have done nothing but try to ensure the extinction of the pure blooded Nebu Khet.”

“And I suppose that your European clans have tried to ensure the vitality of our species by forcing your subjects to inbreed and produce generation after generation of weak, short lived children.” The disgust she felt was written all over her face. A sneer pulled her upper lip up, making her look feral.

Her anger oozed out, lacing her words with power, “Almost every nation under your control has a life expectancy of merely one hundred years of age, while here our clans still live to be five to seven hundred years old! It’s not uncommon for a Sape to reach the age of one hundred now Michael, and they don’t have a third of the immunities and healing abilities that we do. What kind of hypocrite are you to say that my family is weakening the gene pool, when in reality you've already done a bang up job of that on your own?”

The hatred that rolled off of Michael was thick enough to take your breath away. He started to shake with anger and slowly I began to feel power wash through the air.

“What do you think you’re doing Michael?”

He hissed his words at her, “Ending your reign, your majesty”

All of a sudden my bed lifted off of the ground and flung itself in my direction. Before I knew I'd done it, a scream ripped from my body and I ducked my head waiting for the impact that never came. I opened my eyes to see my mother holding the bed up off of the ground, her fingers creating indents in the heavy wooden frame. She looked over to where Michael was half submerged into the drywall of one of the room’s walls—she must have thrown him at the same time that she came to my aide. She hurled the bed at Michael, but before it could connect, he'd moved with the speed of the Nebu Khet.

Faster than I could follow, she was across the room grappling with him accompanied by a lot of growling and yelling. They moved so fast that you could barely keep track of their positions in the room. They became blurs of motion that left red stains on the walls and floor where ever they went.

My mother was notorious for being one of the most powerful of all known Nebu Khet. Every time the blur that was Michael would back away, you would see a red puddle left in the spot he'd been in. He was bleeding really bad and not healing—that meant his energies were being used up too fast and there wasn't enough left to heal the damage his body was taking.

After a couple more well planted strikes from my mother, Michael fell to the floor, panting and oozing crimson on to every inch of floor within a two foot radius of where he was kneeling. He looked up at my mother with alarmed eyes, almost like he couldn’t believe she had wounded him so bad.

“You know I will hunt you down and kill you Shara! I will cut you open from belly to sternum while you’re alive, and I’ll choke you to death with your own intestines! You bitch!” Spittle flew from his mouth to hang from his chin in frothy blood stained strands.

“You are weak”, he continued, “if not physically then mentally. You won’t take my life, you’ve had similar chances in the past and you’ve always failed when it came to the deed. I will get you, you bitch! I will get you, and make you watch as I tear your sweet little boy limb from limb!”

She approached him, a teeth baring sneer etched onto the cold, angry canvas of her face, and squatted down in front of him with a grace that I’d only seen in our race.

“You know what’s sad, Mikey boy? You're so arrogant that you don’t even know when to admit you’ve lost. Babes...you’re not leaving this room alive.” She turned her sneer into a smile that would have scared the devil himself.

Michael tensed to lunge but before he could even get an arm up to attack, my mother back handed him into the wall. Mother glided over to him and smashed his face several times into the hard floor where he'd fallen. Then standing while lifting him up by his shirt, she held him out at arm’s length and looked at him with her lava filled, swirling eyes.

His head lolled from side to side as he tried to get his bearings. His face was a mess of red tissue and pale flesh. Teeth were missing from the front of his mouth, leaving dark little windows that dark blood flowed through.

She tossed him slightly into the air and before he had time to react, she side kicked him back across the room where he ended up landing in the same debris pile that she had crawled out of earlier.

“Life is precious to me Michael, that's the only reason I let you live for all of these years. You tried to rally against me, you tried to kill me, but you had never attacked my child…that was your biggest mistake. I am old...older than you by far. I've walked this earth for over 700 years, and I have only had one child. I am well past the normal life expectancy for most Nebu Khet, and honestly, I didn’t take too much offense to you and your family’s petty tantrums, but what you did tonight—” She shook with anger and held her arms down to her sides where her hands were balled into fists, a miasma of swirling, deadly, blue power swirled around them like tiny serpents. “This is not excusable.”

She clenched her fist and you could hear every knuckle crack like a branch breaking in a storm. She walked towards him slowly, one foot in front of the other, like a stalking lioness. Slowly, large claws started sliding out of her finger tips replacing her nails. “You attacked a child Michael. You tried to slaughter an innocent child...my innocent child.”

You could literally feel the energy ripple across your skin as she slowly approached the bleeding khet. The colors in her eyes were swirling with malevolence, and every muscle on her arms and bare shoulders rippled taught beneath her pale skin. Her hair started to stir in an invisible wind created by eddies within the energy emanating from her being. She was as gorgeous as she was horrific. An angel of death if ever there was.

Michael moved to make the first strike, a large dresser flew towards my mother, she didn't even move. Once the dresser got within the range of her aura of power it simply shattered into millions of splinters.

“I've often times found myself wondering if you have a heart Michael...I guess now is as good a time as any to find out.”

Quicker than the strike of any snake she moved to where he was standing and plunged her hand into Michael's chest. All you could hear was the cracking of bones as her arm slid into the cavity up to her elbow. Without removing her arm she leaned in towards Michael's shocked face until their foreheads touched. Any other time and you would have mistaken this seemingly intimate display as kind and loving. She smiled the most vicious smile I'd ever seen her wear.

Suddenly she retracted her arm as quick as she had plunged it in. She leaned back and sat in a one knee kneel in front of where he had fallen. She brought the still beating heart up right in front of his face. He stared, gawking as the light in his eyes slowly began to dim.

“Who would of thought...there was a heart in there. Maybe you should have made better use of it while you still had the chance.”

Standing, she tossed the now still hunk of muscle into the dead man's lap and wiped her hands against her torn and filthy t-shirt. She looked around the room seeking me out amongst the debris and blood. Carefully making her way over to where I cowered in a corner she slowly knelt down to my level, all hardness and anger that had sculpted her face instantly melted away into the kind, loving expression I was accustomed to.

“Honey, we have to go, right now. Do you understand?”

I nodded my head once while looking her in the eye.

“There are more people here who want to hurt us baby. We have to go find Shane and his momma and get to safety, OK?”

Another nod from me. “OK, momma.”

I'm not sure why I didn't cry. I would like to say that it was because of my knowledge that it wouldn't help with the situation, but in reality it was most likely because of shock. I let my mother gently pull me to my feet, and lead me out into the main corridor of the upper levels of our home. Shane and his Mother's quarters were located on the mid-level of the mansion.

We slowly and quietly slipped down the corridor towards the massive staircase that joined all three floors. What we couldn't hear while mother had been battling with Michael, we now heard in crystal clear clarity. Screaming. It was coming from the second level—the only other female in this house was Shane's mother, Dalia.

Inching closer to the stair's huge polished oak banister, I started to notice a strong scent...blood. As we reached the banister and looked down the black marble steps, we saw where the scent was coming from.

On the steps and landing were four bodies. They were my cousins. Four of my cousins, all around my age, lay dead against the cold, dark marble of the steps. My mother let out a sound so heart wrenching, you could barely tell it was human. As I stared at the pale hand of the cousin who lay closest to me I finally let the tears fall free.

It looked like the hand was reaching out and waiting for someone to take it. It looked as if in my cousin’s dying moment he had reached out for help. That hand was the one that once used to hold mine while we ran through the fields out back. What once held warmth now held the iciness of death.

It took me a couple seconds to realize I was shaking uncontrollably. As I cried in silence, my mother slid to the ground and crawled carefully over to the first step and slowly slid down the steps in a sitting position. When she reached the first body she rolled it over and pulled the still child into her arms. She used one badly shaking hand to smooth the hair back from the child's forehead, and gingerly planted a kiss on his brow. She repeated this display with the other three children as well. Lovingly, she arranged all of the bodies in a row on the landing. They looked peaceful now that she'd lined them up as if they slept rather than leaving them in the contorted poses they had been in when they'd fallen dead to the ground.

For what felt like a long while she just kneeled next to the bodies tears sliding one by one from her still human-looking eyes.

Down on the second level you could still hear the crash of furniture being broken and the screams that ripped forth from Dalia. Every now and then you could even hear a roar come from outside of the house. Apparently, the fight wasn't only taking place inside. We probably had only been on the landing for no more than four minutes since leaving my room behind, but it felt like an eternity.

I was so scared I didn't know how to react. I slowly made my way down the steps to where my mother was and slid down next to her. I reached over and clung to the arm nearest me. That's when we heard a different scream, not the scream of a fighting woman, but the scream of a terrified child. That is what finally broke my mother's trance.

Her breath came out urgently, “Shane.”

As quick as a cheetah, she stood and jumped the remaining steps from the landing to the second level. I raced after her as fast as I could, terrified to be left alone. She was a blur ahead of me, nothing but a flash of Sunset hair letting me know that she had ducked into the room that belonged to Shane and his mom.

The screams raised in volume and more crashing was coming from ahead of me. Running as fast as I could down the long corridor, with tears blurring my vision and sobs making it hard to breathe, I finally reached Shane's room and turned to enter. What I saw stopped me dead in my tracks.

The first thing I saw was Shane sitting curled up in a corner, much as I had been about fifteen minutes earlier during my mother's battle. The next thing I saw was Dalia shimmering with energy and bleeding from several deep gashes. Her khet eyes were the color of emeralds. Her hair was a shade of black as dark as night. She was much more petite than my mother, and she was as pale as the moon. She was holding her left arm close to her body, where it swung at an odd angle, as if it were boneless. She was half growling, half sobbing and trying in vain to keep the two khet men facing her away from the corner where Shane was pressed against the wall crying.

The next thing I noticed was my mother. Once again she was locked in battle but this time with a male and female Nebu Khet pair. I recognized the female instantly. It was Michael's wife, Shondra Twymkowski.

Her dark brown hair was braided into hundreds of tiny braids. Her skin was the color of honey and her eyes were a shade of hazel just one step below gold. She was gorgeous...and deadly.

The male I didn't know. He was the opposite of Shondra. His hair was a mass of blond, chin length curls. His eyes were the color of arctic ice. His face was set in hard lines and angles, that made you think that he may have come from a Nordic race of people. He was absolutely huge. Power rolled off of him in electrifying waves.

Neither of them would have stood a chance against Mother if they had been alone, but together they amounted to what could be a deadly opponent.

Mother had Shondra by the throat. She'd managed to cut a long, deep gash that stretched from Shondra's left shoulder all the way down to her forearm and blood poured from the wound like a faucet had been turned on. As mother cocked her right arm back in a fist aimed for Shondra's face, the pale man struck her with a blast of energy.

Her grip slipped from Shondra's throat and she was cart-wheeled through the air and slammed into a wall. Before she could pull herself up from the ground the blond warrior focused another crippling wave of energy into a compact projectile and levitated it in front of his massive torso, it appeared as a whitish-blue spear head, with swirling eddies within its tight form. There was so much power within the small space in front of him that the air started discharging static electricity off of everything in the room. Small blue sparks danced across my skin causing the hair on my head to stand on end.

Mother glared at him through a curtain of hair the color of flames and raised her own power levels in response. Slowly she got up from the ground balancing herself against the wall. The Nordic frowned causing a deep crease to form between his eyebrows. Apparently he wasn’t as well versed in the strength of our family as the Twymkowskis were. The frown became a sly grin as he took in the image of my mother.

“Your are a strong woman… and beautiful, very beautiful. Why waste your beauty and potential on such a petty thing as this half-breed and his bitch mother?”, indicating the battle taking place behind him.

Shane’s mother, Dalia, was down and almost out. She'd gotten lucky and caught hold of one of her assailants. There was a long jagged, gaping wound from where the man’s throat used to be all the way down to his groin—like a pig ready to be roasted. His insides lay in long shiny coils along the ground, along with a mix of blood and something darker with a stringent odor. His eyes were vacant of life, staring blindly towards the ceiling.

Unfortunately, there was still one bad guy alive and he wasn’t fazed by the absence of his comrade. He lunged for Dalia, in that same instant she tried to backpedal out of his way, but she was too slow. He connected with her, his shoulder hitting the center of her chest. Quicker than a snake he struck out at her neck with his teeth. Dalia had her arm up in front of her throat just in time to block the blow.

Instead of the soft, vulnerable tissue of her throat he ended up with her forearm in his mouth. It was the same arm that she had already injured before. Not a second after he'd latched onto her arm, a sickening crack echoed through the room and her arm bent into a ninety degree angle. Her scream was ear piercing.

Instinct took over as I phased once again. My vision took on the same eerie clarity that it did earlier. I felt my strength accumulate in my limbs, like a coil wound tight to the breaking point. Before thinking, I lunged at Dalia’s assailant. He must have seen me out of the corner of his eye because he moved just before I reached him. One moment he was holding Dalia’s arm in his teeth, the next he was standing ten feet away by a window with a smear of red covering his chin like some sort of tribal paint. Dalia wasted no time in getting back to her feet. She cradled her mangled arm to her and went to stand in front of Shane.

Mother was once more in the midst of battle with Shondra and The Nordic. My opponent looked like he was debating the reality of such a young, fully phased Nebu Khet existing. The bloodlust built up in me so quickly that I wasn’t even aware of the growl emanating from my throat. The man started to grin and moved a step closer to where I was still crouched on the ground. Apparently I wasn’t very high up on his danger list. His mistake.

On his second step he made his move… so did I. He came at me like a bullet. The second before he could grab me I moved, spinning like a miniature tornado. He went right past me I took the opportunity to latch onto his passing shoulder. I clamped onto his back and started tearing into him with my teeth. I used my fingers like blunt claws. I pressed them through his skin, into the spaces between his ribs. He screamed in agony—inside my head I was screaming with joy. I was the hunter, and this was my first prey. I pulled on the ribs like handlebars, and heard the audible snaps, like tree branches breaking under the weight of snow. Once the ribs were out of the way I dug deeper into his body cavity. Soft warm things slid against my hands and arms like slippery water balloons. I punctured everything that I came in contact with. The man kept spinning and twisting, trying unsuccessfully to throw me off of his back. After a couple more seconds, he collapsed to his knees, then fell to his face. I still didn’t stop tearing at his unmoving form.

All I could see was a blurry landscape, it took me a second to realize that I was crying and that my tears were disrupting my vision. The bloodlust I had felt a second ago ebbed and was replaced with anger and sorrow. I stopped mutilating the body beneath me and just sobbed, letting my gore covered arms hang limply at my sides while kneeling on the back of the dead khet.

Dalia moved up beside me and pulled me into the corner where Shane was staring at me with a kind of awed expression. Her arm had already mended itself, but she was still favoring it. “Stay here boys. I need to help your mother, Kalin. Please keep Shane here with you.” She leaned forward and kissed each of us gently on top of our heads.

She phased so quick that I didn’t notice when her eyes slid into the color of sparkling emeralds from their normal blue shade. She flung herself into the air, flying towards the seemingly unsuspecting back of The Nordic, but in mid-flight a piece of wooden debris few straight up into the air to meet her. It slid straight into her abdomen and part of it exited through her back. She just went limp, like a marionette puppet that had been cut loose, and instead of landing gracefully on the ground, she hit it hard and slid into a wall.

Mother cried out, “No, Dalia!”

Shane screamed, “Momma!”

Mother rushed The Nordic at full speed, but he was waiting for her. He side-stepped her and planted his knee into her stomach. All I could hear was the “whoosh” as the air escaped her lungs. She fell to her knees, and before she could react, Shondra stepped up behind her and grabbed a handful of my mother’s hair. She used it for leverage, pulling Mother's head back, revealing her throat.

“You always thought you were the baddest bitch on the block, didn’t you Shara? Well say hello to the new queen bitch.” She arrogantly looked down into my mother's face.

Shondra still had a grip on Mother’s hair but something crucial had changed. The Nordic who had been standing directly in front of Mother glowed with an eerie blue wave of energy and fell down, splayed across the floor. Shondra had a look of pure terror in her eyes and was staring at Mother with a look that reminded me of seeing a mouse holding a cat by the tail and realizing how absurd the idea was just a little too late.

Mother yanked her head forward so fast is was like seeing one of those photos of something in motion; you just saw a blurred line that indicated the path her head had moved in. Shondra had forgotten to let go in her terror and was yanked over Mother’s shoulders. She landed on her back with a hard flop blue energy danced along her body, holding her struggling form to the ground.

I thought of moving towards Mother but one look at her face stopped me dead in my tracks. She looked like the predator she was, and for a moment I wasn’t sure if she would recognize me as her own child.

Her eyes were blazing, and the bones of her face stood out from beneath her skin like the sharp peaks of a mountain. Every muscle was tight and appeared as tough they were whip cords sliding beneath her flesh. The air thickened with her power as she slowly climbed to her feet. She didn’t say a word, she just stared at Shondra with more malice than one person should have been able to harbor within their being.

She turned her attention from Shondra, to the now unconscious Nordic. He slowly began to levitate, the blue energy forming around his body, moving like a transparent phantom around his bulk. His head, arms and legs dangled towards the ground. As if being summoned awake he snapped his eyes open and instantly tried to right himself. That’s when he realized he was floating about 12 feet above the floor. He lifted his head to look at mother and instantly adopted the same expression that Shondra still wore. One of pure terror.

Every time he would try to use his own energy to break free I could feel it. It was like getting shocked. He was getting frantic and tried desperately to escape, but he'd lost too much energy from whatever my mother had done to knock him out. I had never seen one Nebu Khet hold another with such ease. Only the strongest could do it, and even then they struggled.

Mother slowly raised her left arm up to stretch out directly in front of her; her palm facing The Nordic instead of the floor. As quick as lightning she swept her arm across the floor in front of her in a half circle flooding the room with power of the sorts I had never felt before.

One moment The Nordic was twisting and kicking trying to break invisible shackles that were keeping him suspended in the air, the next he was screaming as his muscles and flesh was cleanly torn away from his body, leaving what looked like a skeleton wearing the torn and shredded remains of its body like a ripped shroud. The scream lasted no more than a second before it died along with its maker.

The mutilated body hit the floor with a sound equivalent to that of dropping a load of sticks onto concrete. The Nordics intestines and other organs slid out of the gaps between his ribs and the hollow where the stomach muscles should have been. Then everything burst into flames. These were not natural flames, these flames were a deep blue in color and were the creation of my mother’s rage.

She turned her attention back to the cowering Shondra, and said, “Looks like this bitch has reclaimed her throne.”

With that, the same blue-white flames engulfed Shondra and she began screaming in agony. She rolled on the floor, spasming as the unnatural fire burned her to a crisp.

Mother came over to me and Shane, still looking as frightening as ever. She reached her hand out to me and I actually hesitated before taking it, unsure of the creature who stood before me. She felt like stone, her body was like a living statue that was warm with life. She took my hand in an iron grip and then looked at Shane.

“Shane, I need you to take Kalin’s hand. We have to get you two to safety hun.”

If her appearance wasn’t reassuring, her voice still was. He slowly reached up and wound his fingers together with mine. My senses instantly picked up the frantic heartbeat coming from within his frightened body. I helped him stand, and once he regained his legs, my mother quickly led us from the room. We went down the rest of the stairs, down to the main level.

There were more bodies spread throughout the desecrated house. Nothing slowed Mother, she just kicked the dead and the remains of furniture from our path and sent them tumbling through the air to land yards away. She went straight for the front doors and used power to blast the mighty, 12 foot tall, solid wood giants outward to shower across the expanse of the front yard in six inch long splinters.

The scent of power rolled along the night air, raising the hair on our arms. Around us stood what remained of The Twymkowski’s army. The front yard was filled with what looked like tiny, glowing orbs. In reality they were the flaring eyes of our enemies. I felt every muscle in my body knot, and my stomach started doing flips. There didn't seem to be a way for us to escape this siege. Mother could probably take on up to 8 on her own, maybe ten, she was, after all, one of the most powerful of us. I just couldn’t see her taking on the crowd of what had to be thirty or forty. Somewhere in the recesses of my young soul I knew this was the night we would die.

Without a word an iridescent film materialized in front of my eyes and caused me to let out a squeak of fright. My eyes followed the shimmering colors up into the sky for about twenty feet. I realized that it wasn’t a wall of color but more like a giant soap bubble that had us on the inside. The iridescent, oil-like patterns slowly glided along the sphere’s surface like they had a mind of their own.

“Come boys, walk behind me.”

We followed her, pressed so tightly to one another that me and Shane almost tripped over each other's feet several times. Mother walked ahead like there was no army standing before us ready to cut us down. As the barrier surrounding us made contact with a lunging khet, it emitted a flash of bright blue-white light that incinerated him on impact. I watched in horror and fascination as his ashes sifted through the night sky, drifting off on the winds.

“When I tell you to run, you must do as I say and not look back. The barrier will move with you both but it will disperse soon after you leave my side. I need to know that you will both run as fast as you can. Do I have your word boys?”

With fear constricting my throat, I croaked out, “What about you mom? If it moves with us, what about you? I don’t want to go, I’m scared.” Tears fell as I looked into her burning red eyes and pleaded. “Mommy please! I don’t want to…”

“Enough! You need to listen to me! Shane needs you—and I need you both to be safe.” Softening, she said in an urgent voice, “Baby, you must do this for me. I know it’s asking a lot hun, but you are my everything—”, looking at Shane she continued, “both of you are—and I have to do what I can to keep you safe. If I try to get away I will be sentencing us all to death sweetheart, and I can’t do that to you. I don’t have the energy needed to run and fight. I must fight them here to keep them from following you. Now, promise me, you will run and you won’t look back. Promise me!” Her voice broke into a sob as she said the last.

The tears sliding down my cheeks, were a match to my mother’s own. Her sorrow swelled around us on tidal waves of emotion.

“I love you hun, and I love you too Shane. You both are the future of our people, you both are the answer to all of the pain that the sapes and ourselves have inflicted on each other throughout the ages. That’s why I'm doing this, that’s what all of this is about, remember that boys. This can be just another painful moment in time, or it can be the beginning of the end of all the pain.”

She leaned forward and wrapped her arms around both of our shaking, sobbing forms and planted a kiss on each of our foreheads.

“Please remember that I love you...”, and with a subtle smile she said, “now run.”

We took off through the lawn, me pulling Shane along behind me. The barrier followed us as my mother said it would.

Behind us came the sound of more screaming and blood being spilled...