Friday, September 30, 2011

Turning by Dawn Kirby

Changing of the Guard

“Ma’am, they say our resources are being wasted here,” the lieutenant said regretfully. He believed the son of a bitch was coming for her, but without so much as a sighting it was getting harder and harder to convince his superiors. “I’d rather not leave until he’s found believe me.”

“Its fine,” Alana said smiling nervously. “I didn’t expect y’all to hang out here forever. I’m sure if Ben had any intention of coming back here, he would’ve done it already. Please don’t worry about me. Y’all have a whole city to protect.”

“Your friend’s death doesn’t scare you?” another officer asked.

“Dude! Really?” Matt shouted. He got up from the couch and went to stand beside his sister. Only recently had she stopped openly blaming herself for Jennifer’s murder. “Damn man. Have you lost your mind or something?”

“Not at all,” he said. “It just strikes me a little odd that her best friend is laid out in the cold, hard ground yet she’s not concerned about how she got there.”

“Who says she’s not?” Matt seethed.

“Do you see tears?”

Matt never wanted to hit a man so bad in his life. “I’ve seen ‘em more than I care to. Most nights they’re non-stop.”

“Are they shed for the friend or for herself?”

“For Jennifer,” Alana said softly. Tears rolled down her cheeks. “Always for Jennifer.”

“Pardon me if I don’t believe that.” He looked Matt up and down. She could see the wheels turning in his head. “What about you, Bubba? Weren’t you her roommate?”

“Going on four years now,” Matt answered through gritted teeth. “What of it?”

“Maybe you got jealous? Maybe you made some kind of advance at some point and she pushed you away. This whole thing with Ben gives you both a window to take out just about anybody you want to.”

“You think I’d kill one of my closest friends?” Matt asked incredulously. Oh this was too much.

“That’s enough, Chris,” the lieutenant said.

“Maybe for you,” Chris snorted. “There’s something going on here. More than they’re saying and I’m gonna find out what it is.”

“I said that’s enough. You’ll have to excuse him,” the lieutenant said shaking his head. “He obviously has no couth.” He turned to the man and gestured towards the car parked across the street. “Why don’t you go wait in the car before you say something that borders on harassment.”

“It’s okay,” she said. “He’s only doing his job.”

“Like hell,” Matt mumbled.

“He should have read Ben’s file a little more closely,” the officer said. “If he had a problem with his detail, he should have spoken up.”

“Why would he need to do that?” Matt asked. “He’s already made up his mind. He’s just gotta try to figure out which one of us gets the blame.”

“Again, I apologize. He’s younger. Not as experienced as the rest of us. The fact that he needs to prove himself is a lot of what drives him,” the officers said. “Still he shouldn’t throw accusations like that around without some kind of evidence. We’ll be going now. If you need anything don’t hesitate to call.”

As he turned to leave he breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe now Nicholas could take care of Ben in his own way. It was becoming clear to her that human means of protection weren’t gonna cut it…Ever.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Turning Series by Dawn Kirby


              “You could leave,” Matt said to Alana. “Take the money Mom and Dad left us and leave. Go somewhere far away. Change your name. Do whatever you need to.”

               “Matt, that’s not gonna work,” Carly said. “He’ll find her no matter where she goes. She could run around the world and he’d still find her.”

Thomas may be dead, but now they were facing a young vampire without a maker there to reel him in. The fact that Ben had been able to kill him despite his age spoke volumes. This guy was more dangerous than five vampires put together.

“There’s gotta be somewhere,” he said, pacing the floor. His eyes fell on Nicholas. Anger welled up inside him. “You just couldn’t leave it alone. You had to go and stir the pot that much more, didn’t you?” He stepped up, his face mere inches away. “You know what I think? I think you want her trapped in here every night. I think you want her scared.”

“Matt don’t,” Alana said, pulling him away.

“Don’t what? He said himself he wants you. What if this is just some sorry attempt to get you?”

“He doesn’t need to make an attempt,” Carly told him. Her hand was on Alana’s.

Alana yanked her hand from Carly’s grasp and stepped in between them. “I know why he did what he did. I don’t like it, but I do understand it.”

“What’s to understand? And what the hell is she talking about? Are you falling for this guy?” Alana’s eyes found the floor. She couldn’t look at him. “Lana, have you lost your damn mind? He’s a vampire.  A vampire!”

“I know exactly what he is,” she said. She turned to look at Nicholas. He gave her a reassuring nod, but didn’t say anything. “And no, I don’t know exactly what I feel for him. What I do know is he is the only one who knows how to help right now.”

“Brilliant since he’s the one who started this whole thing,” Matt mumbled. “How do we know this wasn’t the plan all along?”

“Do you honestly think, knowing my initial intentions that I would sacrifice whatever feelings she may have by killing or having ordered the killing of her dear friend?” Nicholas walked to the window, Alana trailing behind him and looked out into the courtyard. Sure enough Ben was there. “That man is the man you should be afraid of. He feels no remorse. Has no sense of right and wrong. He will kill us all if we don’t put our heads together and think.”

“Bullshit! All we need is a sharp stake and a diversion.” A sudden movement knocked him off kilter. Before he fell, Nicholas grabbed his shoulder. “What the hell, man?”

“You’ll need more than a diversion,” Nicholas said.

“Okay,” Matt said throwing up his hands. “You made your point. Now tell me how you plan on getting my sister out of this.”

“Bait,” Alana said softly. All heads turned to look at her. “It’s the only way. If I can keep his attention long enough Nicholas can do whatever he needs to do to take him out.”

“Not a chance, sis. I’m not letting you anywhere near that guy.”

“It’s not your decision,” she told him.

Nicholas looked at Carly and made a motion towards the window. She closed her eyes and forced her way into Ben’s subconscious while Nicholas prodded his mind. Before he said a word he needed to know Alana would be safe. 

“Lana, he’s not the same as he used to be. Christ! This time he has fangs…Fangs!! Does that not scare you?”

“More than you know, but you and I both know nobody else can do this.”

Carly’s eyes flew open. She nodded her head vigorously and smiled. Nicholas thanked her with a quick bow of his head and turned to face Alana. If she was gonna do this it would have to be his way. And it would have to be far away from here.

“Thoughts of you distract him. We can use that to our advantage.” Matt tried to speak, but Carly’s hand over his mouth quickly shut him up. “There will be rules. Rules I expect you to follow.”


“The first is this. Do not let him in your head. If he does the plan will come unraveled before it begins. The second. Do not let him close to you. I fear the mere smell of your skin will incite him. The third. Never take your eyes off his. The longer you hold his attention the better our chances.”

“Anymore?” she asked.

“Just one.” His lips played gently against hers as he took her soft hands in his. “I cannot live life wandering anymore. I beg of you please, end my misery.”  

Friday, September 16, 2011

Turning Series by Dawn Kirby

New Plan

            As far as Ben knew Thomas was still planning on handing Alana over on a silver platter. As far as Thomas was concerned that wasn’t going to happen. In fact his plan to use Ben to eliminate every person in her life has had a marvelous start. Dear friend was gone. Now on to whoever happened to walk out the door next. Elimination, alienation and solitude were all he needed to win this game.

            Nicholas held all the cards for now, but he wouldn’t for long. Once her brother kicks the bucket she’ll reject him and blame him for not doing enough to protect the people she loved. Carly’s death won’t hurt her much, but it will be one less body to contend with. Right now the only body he’s interested in is Alana’s.        

            “You realize it won’t be that easy, don’t you?” Nicholas asked. He stepped out of the shadows, nodding his head curtly.

            “Nicholas!” Thomas chuckled. He nodded back and smiled coyly. “My friend this has turned out to be a most enjoyable game. Who knew the pieces would land so perfectly?”

            “Perfectly?” he asked, his voice bordering on rage. “Alana is devastated by the senseless loss of her friend and you see it as a game?”

            “Come now. You can’t be serious. We have years, decades, centuries to look forward to together. Why let a woman ruin that? She’s worthy of you, but you and I both know she’ll never go for the kind of life you’d like to offer her.”

            “You know nothing,” he spat. Alana had turned down his offer, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t have something between them. “This is not a game to me. It’s not a game to her. I’ve come here to ask you to call off your dog. The death of her brother will only finish her. One more emotional blow is something she cannot live through.”

            “My ‘dog’ as you so cleverly refer to him is not under my control,” Thomas said coolly. He strode across the room and looked out onto the sprawling grounds below. Truthfully he wasn’t sure he ever was. “He has his own mind. He does as he pleases. There is nothing I can do to stop him.”

            “He’s your responsibility,” Nicholas reminded. His hand balled into fists. “You call the shots. Reign him in or I will.”

            Thomas spun around on his heel, glaring at his long time friend. “Have you seen that boy kill? Have you seen the rage in his eyes? I’d be a fool to try to stand in his way.”

            “Yet you think you can keep Alana from him?” Nicholas’s eyes narrowed. What was his plan?

            “She’s but one decapitation away,” he said smoothly. “I’m not an idiot. I will use what tools I have at my disposal to win this woman, but when said tool gets in my way he will be killed on the spot."

            “He’ll be killed sooner if he shows up on Alana’s doorstep again.”

Nicholas kept his eyes on Thomas as his body started to fade out of sight. He’d left Alana alone for long enough, but there was one more stop he needed to make. He mentally reached out to check on her as he sought out Ben. The steady sound of sleep met his ears. He could feel the presence of another in her room and relaxed. Bless Carly.

The connection between the two broke the second he found Ben. He kept his presence to himself as he stepped up behind him. Minutes passed until he was finally able to penetrate the killer’s thoughts. Not one was happy. Alana was simply a conquest. He wanted to break her; use her. But unlike most he didn’t want to leave her. She was a possession to him. A trophy wife so to speak.

Nicholas thrust the conversation he’d just had with Thomas into Ben’s head. His goal, like Thomas’s was elimination. Easier to deal with one determined man than two. The young vampire’s body stiffened. His heart, though slow sounded like a drum. Rage burned in his eyes. His tongue swept over his protruding fangs. Anger, possibly even hate was fueling him now. 

 Two live for now,” Nicolas thought. “But one will not survive the night.”

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Out There Bad by Josh Stallings

The first book (Beautiful, Naked & Dead) by Josh Stallings had me pole dancing in my dreams. In all honesty, I was hoping for the same night life while reading the second book. I mean, really... what girl wouldn't want to be flawless at pole dancing and possibly skilled in the art of... the lap dance?

Unfortunately, no matter how much I wanted those dreams to appear, I knew it wasn't gonna happen.

From the beginning, Out There Bad took on a different tone from the first novel in the series. Instead of nights dreaming of my life as a stripper, this second book had me dreaming about my childhood when I was living in Hawaii. The time when I would pray daily that my father would find me and bring me home, and mark each day off a calendar with an X. 

Sent to live with relatives after a my father and step-mother divorced - I was under the impression that my time there would be brief and stress free - I was forced to endure many things that are still not spoken of in my family. While reading Out There Bad, the second book in the Moses McGuire series by Josh Stallings, I became painfully aware of just how badly I wanted to be saved during that time.  I specifically remember how when the phone call came that my father was making arrangements for me to be on the next flight home... I didn't believe it was over. Even after the plane took flight... I didn't believe it was over. 

Thirty years later... it still isn't over.

At the end of Beautiful, Naked & Dead, Moses has taken revenge on the people responsible for brutally murdering the only woman that he truly loved, and he also managed to fall in love and out of love with her twin sister during his quest for vengeance.

When we meet up with Moses again in Out There Bad, he's working the rounds as a bouncer for the same strip club in LA, when he notices odd behavior and suspicious living arrangements with some of the new Russian women that have come to town to play. Soon Moses finds himself out of a job and blowing off some steam at another strip club after a beat down in the parking lot with a customer wanting more than the usual lap dance gets a little rough.

And that's when she walks in. The beautifully seductive, Anya.

Swaying those hips just right on the dance floor leads to some back room levi-lovin' between Anya and Moses.  And I'm not quite sure how it happened, but Moses fell in love. And he didn't fall in love with just any girl. Moses fell in love with a woman that has fallen victim to a scam that has left her and many others forced into a life of prostitution. Even worse, Anya's thirteen year old sister is on her own journey to a life of unfulfilled promises and training as a sex slave by the same men that has taken control of Anya's life.

In the story you'll read about Moses giving his heart and soul to another woman,  being betrayed by the man that's he's been loyal to for years, traveling to Mexico to save children being forced into a life of prostitution, and fighting alongside a kick-ass, female, tarot-card-tossing assassin.

But most importantly you'll read about Moses being tortured and forced to participate in acts that will forever alter his sense of being. A sense of being that has already been damaged by a past stained with violence, loss and betrayal.  And when the book is finished and Anya and her sister have been saved and Moses returns to LA... you won't believe it is over. When the next book in the series is written and the next memory is made... you still won't believe it is over.

That's because for them... it will never be over.

Out There Bad by Josh Stallings is an incredible addition to the Moses McGuire series. And if you ladies didn't fall in love with Moses while reading Beautiful, Naked & Dead, not only will you be in love with him at the end of Out There Bad, you'll be wishing for a part in his next novel as... his savior. 

Out There Bad is available in PAPERBACK, on the KINDLE and on the NOOK.

Josh Stallings is your average ex-criminal, ex-taxi driver, ex-club bouncer, film making, script writing, award winning trailer editing, punk. Over his time in Hollywood he wrote and edited the feature film “The Ice Runner,” a Russian/American co-production. “Kinda Cute for a White-Boy” an independent feature he directed and co-wrote with novelist Tad Williams, won best picture at the Savannah International Film Festival. He also wrote “Ground Zero Texas,” a best selling Sony video game with Edward Neumeier (writer of RoboCop). His first novel BEAUTIFUL, NAKED & DEAD is garnering great notice from readers and reviewers alike. and OUT THERE BAD (Moses #2) is receiving the same attention. He is currently working on the third Moses McGuire novel. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Erika, his bullmastiff Nelson, Lucy the lab pit mix and Riddle the cat.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Guest Post by Josh Stallings

When Sabrina asked me to write a guest blog I agreed instantly, I owe her that.  Inside I was full of dread, I have written many pieces and interviews in the launching of the two Moses novels; I felt I was out of things to say.  To repeat myself seems like a waste of space.  So I did what I always do.  I started typing; the tale below is what came…


            “Drop trow' and spread ‘em.”

Day one Pelican Bay.  I’m staring at five to twenty.  I’m scared.  They have a row of us lined up.  We all rode in together.  We all have our prison denims on.  A crew cut bull walks behind us.  Every man in turn spreads his ass cheeks so they can look for contraband.  I have never felt smaller in my life.  Not even when the drunken neighbor beat the six year old me.  I could hear my mother listening to the Christian TV preacher through the wall.  I would have called out her name if I hadn’t known she was too drunk to help.

In the hospital Luke sat on the end of my bed.  “Fuck him Mo.  Mr. beat-my little-brother fell down his front stairs this morning; should have seen the look on his face when I kicked his nuts in.”  He was laughing.  So was I.

            “I said spread ‘em, you deaf, new boy?”  The slap of the baton on my inner thigh got my attention.  Luke wasn’t in Pelican Bay.  I was alone as the day I was born.   Closing my eyes I pulled my cheeks apart. 

            “You think you gots it hard ‘cause some bull wants to look up your ass?”  I was in my cell staring into space.  Lost.  Benny had deep ebony skin and a fringe of white hair ringing his skull.  “Every time we come back from visitation, same deal.  Go see the dentist, they check your ass.  Go to court, they check your ass.  Rough?  Bullshit.  Rough is being the poor slob whose job it is to spend his days looking up other men’s asses.  That mother fucker has it rough forty hours a week.  I bet all he sees at night when he closes his eyes is one unending line of convict ass.”  That was the first smile I had since being sentenced.  Thing about surviving is learning to have some perspective.

            Next day I was walking across the yard.  It was balkanized into small nation states.  The free-weights were controlled by white convicts.  The bleachers and picnic tables were Mexican turf.  And the blacks owned the basketball court and surrounding area.  Benny was leaning against the chain link firing up a cig when I walked up.

            “Hey Benny how’s it going.”

            “Keep on rolling white boy, no room for you over here.”  I started to say something but he turned his back on me.  Fuck him.  I did three laps around the inner parameter of the yard.  As I ran my body started to relax, sweat ran down my back and soaked into my shirt.  Salt stung my eyes.  I'd been drunk when I stole the car that landed me in the slam.  For the life of me I couldn’t tell you why I took it.  A new BMW, the prick tossed me the keys like I lived to serve him.  He wrapped his arm around five feet of amazing curves and blonde hair.  She shot me a smile and he led her like a prized possession into the club.  His only mistake was thinking I was the valet. The babe knew I wasn't, but she didn’t tell him.  I knew a guy who knew a guy who was always looking for a warm car.  I heard he paid ok.  Never did find out.  I made it from San Diego almost to Hollywood before I was busted.  Judge looked up my army record, saw I was dishonorably discharged and decided to make an example out of me.  I was panting when I walked off the yard.  My thoughts full of the blonde and her smile.

            My head hit the brick wall an instant after my back.  There was a swastika tatt on the ham-sized arm that slammed me again into the wall.  A group of skins stood with their backs to us, blocking the guard's view.  My knees started to buckle.  I knew if I went down I was dead.  “Are you a race betrayer?  I seen you pal around with that nigger.”  When he blinked he had an A on one eyelid and a B on the other.  “You a tall little bitch ain’t you?”

            I lunged forward bringing my knee up.  He released me to protect his groin.  I slammed my forehead full force down on his nose.  Blood sprayed across his face.  He laughed.  His fist felt like a sledgehammer driving the air from my chest.  With fist and boot he drove me to the ground.  “Breeze is the name… and you are my mother fucking bitch.”  Was the last I heard as I fell into a dark place where he couldn’t touch me.

            Shards of pain split through my mind.  Light seared grey matter.  My arm was in a plaster cast.  Through the one eye I could open I saw Benny, he was leaning on a broom and watching me.  “Man you are one fucked up white boy.  Maybe you should get some Nazi bullshit tattoos and join the Brand.”

            “Fuck them.”  I was fighting to sound sure of my words.  “No one tells me who I can talk to.”

            “Then you best put a dress on.  Breeze is saying you his now.”

            “Benny, can I tell you the truth?”

            “Fuck no white boy.  This ain’t no place for truth.  No confession gonna' save your ass.  You hold your shit together.  Bury your feelings a mile deep.  Whatever you do don’t show no fear.  Son they will eat you alive.  Do you know who you gots to count on in here?  Not a goddamn person.”

            Friday I was released from the infirmary.  I had been inside Pelican Bay for six days.  In the dining hall they fed us in shifts.  I had the great fortune to go in with A group.  Across the room Breeze watched me.  He smiled and winked, and somewhere deep inside I snapped.  I charged.  I used my cast as a club, pain ripped with every blow.  I didn’t give a fuck.  Three of the Brand went down before I made it to Breeze. 

            When I woke up in the hospital my arm was reset.  My leg was in a splint and a tube drained fluid from my left lung where I had been stabbed.  Benny leaned on that same broom watching me.  “Glad to see you survived white boy.  Even if it did cost me a deck.”

            “You bet I would die?”

            “Seemed prudent.  Damn son, Breeze gonna' be one mad mother if he ever gets out of solitary.”

            “So?  Fuck him.”  Benny started to laugh and didn’t stop until tears ran down his face.

            “You may just make it.”

            “Or die trying.”

            “Yeah, or die trying.”

            I never did see Breeze again.  Some said he was poisoned in solitary.  That and the fact that Benny delivered the chow to solitary might or might not mean a thing.  The Brand thought it did.  We found Benny hanging by a sheet from the second tier.


            Does this short tale say anything about me or my writing process?  I’m not sure.  What I can tell you is I crank up the music and let words fly.  I type until I’m done.  It gets scary sailing without a chart or compass, three months into a novel and no land in sight.  But I know the only way through is by typing.  I am as I type this, struggling to find the thread of ONE MORE BODY, the third Moses book.  I can feel it lurking in the dark.  If I just keep pounding it will find form. 

            I am also polishing the final draft of a memoir; that in some ways is easier.  I mean hell I lived it, and in others it's the hardest thing I have written.  It is full of sex drugs guns and violence.  It is noir.  It is my life.  I want to get it right.  The problem is I was raised in a home where truth wasn’t honored.  What really happened in any given event is open to wide interpretation; unless you ask my mother then she will tell you the one and only true truth.  Wonderful except my mother makes up history before it happens.  She retrofits the narrative to fit her current views. 

            Growing up, myth was more important than fact. 

            “A lot of families have elephants in the living room,” my big sister Lisa said, “we had a herd of angry rhinos.”  And that was the truth.  We filled the space where the truth had been with mythic lies.  As teenagers my siblings and I lived life writ large.  We invented ourselves as baby gangsters and Robin Hoods.  We shot 8mm films and .38 caliber revolvers.  We created myths.  We hid from the truth.

            I have been writing most of my life, but it wasn’t until the last few years that I stopped writing crap and started being honest.  The truth is not my natural angle of repose.  The messy way I write, stumbling in the dark, I do because if I slow down enough to work out a solid plan I will make shit up.  Call it what it is, I will lie to try and make myself look good. 

            And so here I am.  Pounding more words.  All that I write I do so to discover truth.  The fact that I created Benny, makes him no less real to me, no less heroic.  If I could write him a better ending and still tell the truth I would.  Sorry Benny.

Josh Stallings is your average ex-criminal, ex-taxi driver, ex-club bouncer, film making, script writing, award winning trailer editing, punk. Over his time in Hollywood he wrote and edited the feature film “The Ice Runner,” a Russian/American co-production. “Kinda Cute for a White-Boy” an independent feature he directed and co-wrote with novelist Tad Williams, won best picture at the Savanah International Film Festival. He also wrote “Ground Zero Texas,” a best selling Sony video game with Edward Neumeier (writer of RoboCop). His first novel BEAUTIFUL, NAKED & DEAD is garnering great notice from readers and reviewers alike. and OUT THERE BAD (Moses #2) is receiving the same attention. He is currently working on the third Moses McGuire novel. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Erika, his bullmastiff Nelson, Lucy the lab pit mix and Riddle the cat.

You can read more about Josh Stallings at his website HERE!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Master of Shadows by Angela Knight

Master of Shadows by Angela Knight is the next book in her Mageverse series. This book brings to light the world behind the court seducer, Le Belle Coeur. Also known as the Whore of Avalon, Belle spends most of her days seducing and breaking in new recruits and killing those that turn mad.  Although it's possible that some might find her assignment in the Mageverse exciting, Belle isn't able to find in any of these men the love and partnership she truly desires.

When one of the new vampires Belle is responsible for ends up as a suspect in the murder of a teenage werewolf, Belle finds herself investigating the case with Tristan, a member of the Knights of the Round Table. Together they not only fight the evil werewolf wizard Warlock, Arthur's known enemy, but they fight each other in an attempt to resist their desires and love for each other.

This is actually my first look inside the Mageverse series written by Angela Knight.  I have to say that I was a little worried about reading this book since the series is so well established and the world so incredibly developed. I decided to go in fresh with no known back story, and I resisted the urge to Google everything and anything about the Mageverse so my thoughts about the series couldn't be warped by anything I might have stumbled upon. No preconceived notions are found in this review. 

Angela Knight gives enough back story throughout Master of Shadows that it was easy to determine that she has created a world using the legendary stories of Author and the Knights of the Round Table, that  her world consists of vampires that are not evil, and that the Mageverse also consists of Werewolves, Dragons, and Fairies... all living together in the City of Avalon.  I could follow along quite easily and never felt like I was missing a piece of the story.  Even though I didn't know what characters came from previous books, I was still able to find them all engaging, and I was able to develop an emotional bond with quite a few of them.  So much so, that I plan to read this series from the beginning.

Oh, wait. Did I mention the love scenes? They be HOT! Most importantly the relationships in the book never seemed forced, and the sexual content is actually an integral part of the story (meaning the love scenes aren't just thrown in to sell books). With this being the first and only book I have ever read in this series, I think it is safe to assume that those that read this series have a vested interest in the series as a whole and are not reading it for the steamy love scenes alone.  In fact, for many reading this series, they probably see the City of Avalon nightly in their dreams; a true sign of brilliant writing. 

For other book recommendations and wonderful reviews check out The Season E-Zine Website ---->>>> HERE.

This review was first published at The Season.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Turning by Dawn Kirby


“You should have been there with her,” Alana sobbed. Matt cradled her, stroking her hair gently. “You should have been there, not here.”

“I never thought he’d go there,” Matt admitted chocking back the tears. He and Jennifer had been roommates for years; friends for longer. He felt her loss just as deeply. “There was just no reason for him to go after her like that. None.”

Alana pushed off his chest and glared at him. “No reason?” she asked. Her throat was raw from a day’s worth of crying. Her eyes red and puffy. “How about to get my attention? He knows what y’all mean to me. I’m sure he’d kill you if he gets the chance. There’s no stopping him now.” Her angry gaze fell on Nicholas. “He’s a damn monster that can’t be stopped thanks to him.”

“That’s not-” Matt stuttered. Nicholas held his hand up and approached the couch.

“Fair?” Nicholas finished. Matt nodded. “No, it is fair. Benjamin is a monster. I did, in a way help create him. I may not have given him blood, but I did give Thomas an opportunity he obviously could not pass up. I only hope it backfires on them both.”

“Backfires?” she snorted. “How does anything backfire on y’all? You have the world at your fingertips. You can bend anyone to your will. Live through things humans can’t.” Her eyes filled with tears again. “Kill whoever you want and get away with it.”

“Know this; I have never killed at will. There have been times when my hunger gets the best of me and accidents have happened, but I have never killed just to kill.”

“Killing in any way is enough,” she said. Nicholas nodded curtly knowing there were no words that could comfort her.

“Lana,” Matt said, forcing her to look at him. “You gotta stop blaming everything on him. It’s not his fault Ben’s a crazed psychopath. It sure as hell isn’t his fault some other vamp decided to make him his dog.” Her lips moved but he quickly covered them with his finger. “The pity party we’ve been wallowing in all this time? Sis, it’s time you grew up. I know he did some pretty bad things to you, but staying locked up inside this house all the time. Being scared of your own shadow. Girl, it ain’t good.”

“So what? You want me to just walk out there and challenge him?” This was too much! He’d been there. He saw what Ben was capable of.

“No, I want you to live again. I want my sister back.”

Alana sunk to the floor, her hands in her hair, tears running down her face. She wanted to be normal. She wanted to get up every morning and go to work like everybody else does. She even wanted to go to a nightclub now and again. Meeting a man was out of the question, but a little contact with someone other than her brother would be nice. The only thing stopping her was the paralyzing fear that her past would become her future.

Thanks to the blood he’d been feeding her, Nicholas felt the fear running through her mind. A peek inside let him know how much Matt’s words had affected her. He knew then there was hope. Maybe, just maybe he could give her the life she wanted.

He knelt down beside her. Matt mouthed good luck and left the room. Something told him he didn’t want to know what the vamp had to say. Carly had already warned him Lana could possibly be killed or worse; turned during all this. In fact she was sure Ben had every intention of turning her himself.

Nicholas took a deep breath and sighed. His future with her hinged on her reaction. “I can’t make all this go away. I can however make it easier.”

She looked up at him. For the first time there was no hate in her eyes. Only exhaustion, grief and curiosity lived there now.

“How? I’m only human. I’m no match against any of you.”

“As a human, no. As a vampire you’d be a strong as any of us. You’d have abilities you don’t have now. If I turned you, you’d belong to me. No one, not even Ben could touch you unless I said so.”

Stunned didn’t even begin to describe her feelings. Had she heard him right? Had he just proposed a fate worse than death? Did he seriously think she’d fall at his feet and beg to be drained? The anger rose out of the confusion, but then she saw his face. The sincerity there touched her. Suddenly she realized he was only doing what he thought was right. Suddenly she knew she could trust him.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I Wrote A Little Thing Over Here...

In early summer I received an e-mail from Matt Potter, editor of Pure Slush, requesting that I submit a story for their Travel series. It was a very nice e-mail. Apparently a post I had written made its way around Facebook and Matt thought I'd make a great addition to Pure Slush.

I was quite certain his request for me to write and submit a story was a mistake- that perhaps he had read a guest post written by one of the many wonderful authors that have been kind enough to stop by My Friends Call Me Kate, but... it wasn't a mistake. Matt wanted a story from me. Me.

So I set out to write a story. And it wasn't easy for me.

I started and deleted and started and deleted and started over again and stopped. I'd never written a story before, I've only written blog posts. So I sat down to write a blog post and things went much more smoothly for me.

Many of you know that I have a tendency to dream about the books I read so it shouldn't be a surprise to any of you that my story for Pure Slush involves a dream... and books.

This dream happened after reading Frank Sinatra in a Blender by Matthew McBride and after I had purchased a series of books and read numerous tweets by an author that I follow on Twitter.

It's totally me. And it's my very first story submitted and accepted for publication for an online zine. Thanks, Matt for sending me an email encouraging me to write a story and for your kindness during the editing process.  You've been too kind to me. And to Fiona and Joelle... your support has really meant a lot to me. Without sounding too mushy... I love you.

Excuse Me. Have You Seen My Shirt? written by... me,  can be found on Pure Slush.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Deadly Sins by Kylie Brant

When a federal judge is gunned down at the flower stand outside his office after a late night of writing motions, his widow looks to good friend and private consult extraordinaire, Adam Raiker,  to solve the crime.  Using her connections in DC, she is able to secure Adam a spot with the FBI team working the case.

Coming together to solve the crime are former colleagues, and ex-lovers working long days to find  a serial killer targeting high-profile individuals in the DC area leaving calling cards referring to the Deadly Sins at the crime scene. Trying to break the case and deal with personal emotions and romance could prove difficult for most, but Adam Raiker and Jaid Marlowe manage to do both quite nicely. While never losing focus on the case, Adam and Jaid manage to deal with past relationship issues and rekindle that spark that was never really extinguished.  And just when they think they are one step closer to finding the killer and moving on with a new chapter in their lives, an unexpected and surprise killing leads all the evidence pointing at Adam Raiker as the suspect

This is the first book I've read in The Mindhunter Series, and even though it was obvious that I had missed information on so many of the key characters in this book, Kylie Brant manages to recall the past history in a way that never left me feeling confused or overwhelmed by the back-story. The tension between Adam and Jaid is such that you can feel the tension when reading about their past, yet feel the excitement as they reconnect and give hope to all couples looking for a second chance.

Although knowing the back-story between all of the characters would have been beneficial, the character develop was such that I felt like I knew enough about the characters to not be distracted about not knowing all of the history.  Deadly Sins is a highly entertaining read and I look forward to reading all the books in The Mindhunter Series.

For other book recommendations and wonderful reviews check out The Season E-Zine Website ---->>>> HERE.

This review was first published at The Season.  

Friday, September 2, 2011

Turning by Dawn Kirby


Jennifer stepped out of her car and walked towards her front door. She sighed when she saw the lights were off and noticed Matt’s truck was still gone. She didn’t mind him staying with Alana, but she hated taking his money when he clearly wasn’t living here. She honestly felt like she was stealing when he’d given her a check for his half of the rent and utilities this time.

As she slid the key into the lock a cold hand slipped around her neck. She froze, realizing whoever it was was far from friendly. Jennifer looked around, searching for help. She knew better than to expect to see somebody out this late, but there’s always that slim chance. Unfortunately tonight wasn’t her night.

“I’ve got you now,” Ben said. He spun her around to face him and smiled. The smell of fear infiltrated his nostrils. “Good to see ya again, Jen. Bet you never thought you’d be here.”

“I’m here every day you jack ass,” she snapped. “I live here.”

“You forget what am,” he growled. His hand tightened around her throat. “I could snap your neck like a twig.”

“Do it then,” she spat. “Make Alana hate you even more than she does right now. Maybe it’ll even give her the push she needs to let Nicholas in.” She smiled up at him, knowing she was playing with fire. “I think they’d make a lovely couple, don’t you?”

“She’s mine,” he told her. “MINE!!!”

Before he could stop himself his fangs ripped into her neck. Blood filled his mouth. She could feel it dripping down her neck unto her clothes. She tried to fight him off, but the blood tasted so good he held on as if his life depended on it. Maybe it did. His heart beat fell into a rhythm matching hers. Her memories flooded his mind. Her feelings transfer to him. Her strength filled him. He was, in a sense becoming one with her.

Jennifer scratched at his face desperately trying to break free. All she could think of was getting loose and driving straight to Alana’s house. She planned on showing her friend once and for all that she could trust the vampire staying with her.

Ben laughed as her thought crossed his mind. He wiped the blood from his chin with the back of his hand and smiled. “That’s not gonna happen. She knows I won’t let it.”

“She also knows what a monster you are.” The last thing she saw the glint of madness that flashed through his eyes. The last thing she felt was the numbness and odd sense of peace that accompanied death.

He yanked her head back and sank his fangs deep into her jugular vein, taking pleasure in the sound of her slowing heartbeat. Her body went rigid. She could feel the life leaving her body. As hard as she tried to hold on, his will to kill was stronger. Her heart pounded in her ears. The slower the beat got the harder he sucked. He wanted to drain her dry. She’d been such a thorn in his side she deserved to die this way, he thought.

When her heart stopped he tossed her limp body to ground in front of her door. Who would find her? He didn’t care. Who would mourn her? He didn’t care about that either. Would Alana hate him more? Probably, but she’d get over it. He’d make her. One thing was clear, dear Jennifer was out of the picture for good and now only Matt stood in his way.