Sunday, December 29, 2013

Unmasking the Master

I wanted to take a moment to repost something here. Since I write a bunch of superhero stories, and this is kind of relevant to a lot of points in an upcoming story (working title, "Pathways").

This was originally posted on the Faction blog.


Edgar inspired me to write this. He is not a nerd by chance. He was crafted that way by careful choice. And he's backed up by our own Nerdy Tendencies. Simon has a weird love for Pokemon (and lentils) and I have a deep, timeless love for Star Wars.

Unrequited, really. Judging by my six fan-fiction books that will never see the light of a saber.

I am disturbed by something I read today about my beloved. Above and beyond me not liking the idea of a stand-alone Star Wars, and that is what they are saying, I am disheartened by the choice of focus for the movie: Yoda.

I can't tell you how little interest I have for Yoda. He's 900 years old in RotJ and he plays the wise old sage in the 6 movies. Everything I need to know or care to know about him is in there. I don't want a whole 2+ hours on him! If you focus on him, you will remove the mystery of the master.

One should never want to see beyond what the master presents you.

A master is someone who has gone through their own trials and tribulations and you shouldn't wish to see those. Once you see the blood on their hands, their mystique is gone, and so is some of the relevance of the wisdom imparted. 

You will, for example, never know more than what's relevant to the story with Catton or Lassard. (Ooh, is that a spoiler?) There is much much more to them, as Simon says (ha!), that goes on "between the panels". We have extensive information on both of them that you, the reader, and our heroes will never find out. But it shapes their responses and actions and words.

Trust me when I say, you don't want to see this stuff. Someone doesn't get to be a "master" by never hurting anyone, never screwing up, never being the fall guy or the sucker. When a Master is present in the story, it is not their past that is important but their present. If you unmask the master, you unravel the mythos. 

Do you really want to know about the people that Yoda has killed? Even though he carries the green saber, it's still a killing weapon. Do you really want to see him rushing in where he had warned Luke not to? Do you want to see all the blood on Catton's hands? Or all the bodies behind them?

What would you do if you found out that Catton wasn't the 'master' he had led you to believe? 

Luke finds out that Ben Kenobi isn't the person he thought he was. (And Luke, being the whiny douchecanoe that he is eventually names his son Ben, in what is clearly a chance for him to recreate his own Master in the unscared image he originally had). It does alter his view of him, no matter what you saw on the screen: Luke spends most of The Truce at Bakura wondering if Ben was really worthy of being a master. Because of that, Luke nearly turns to the Dark Side not once, not twice, but THREE times.

Unmasking the master introduced doubts into the lessons that were more valuable than the history of the teacher would allow them to be. Hence why the history of the master should be masked. 

I use this very device to get one of my future characters in Her master revealed more than he should have and introduced the subconscious doubts that undo her training for just long enough for the bad guy to catch her. 

So, I don't want to know more about Yoda. His students have enough flaws that they can find their own trouble without knowing about his problems from his past. You're taking away some of the mythos that makes the character so interesting by delving into his origin. We're not supposed to know.

And after Jar Jar Binks, I think that perhaps moving forward would be a good idea. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Holiday Sale (or I've Lost My Mind)

You know what stinks about the holidays? Getting caught up in the holidays! I so much did that I completely forgot to post this here-- It's a sale! Penumbra: Equinox is just 99¢ until the New Year. So go get yourself a copy and enjoy.

And if you enjoy? Please- leave a review. We love those. The more we get the happier we are. And a happy author is a motivated author!

Penumbra: Equinox

e-books available at:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Always leave a tip...

Here we are, once again, ladies and gents.

I'm here to ask for alms for the poor, starving artists. If you have read a book that you like and you enjoy, I would beg you to leave a review. Especially for us newbies.

Why leave a review? Well, there a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is: A good review makes us all peacocky. We spread our feathers and look happy and glorious in our delight. It encourages us to write more, that we're going something right with our words.

A review is a way of saying thank you, author. You've done a good job here, please keep up the good work. Kind of like getting that Gold Star for the day when you were first grade. We wear our reviews with pride.

If you're an excellent reviewer or want to be one, you can even critique our works to help us become better writers! (But please, go gentle. Don't just come in there and tell us we SUCK and should disappear from the planet. That doesn't help anyone.)*

But the hard truth is, we need your reviews to spread the word about our books. Did you ever notice the bar under you purchases on Amazon that say "Other's Who Viewed This Item, Also Viewed:"? Well, those aren't populated randomly. They rely on your metrics. And the only things that can get on there are items with 25+ reviews.

So someone who read "A Discovery of Witches" and enjoys reading about them, would never see "Penumbra: Equinox" as a suggestion until it's reached 25 reviews**.

More reviews mean more perks for us as well. Amazon has several levels of perks when it comes to reviews, and all of them benefit everyone.

So, please, dear readers. Leave a review. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads. Even here is welcome! It doesn't have to be complex, drawn out, and like you're reviewing Chaucer for your Freshman 101 English Comp class. Three lines? Five lines. Just a quick note to say, "Nice. I enjoyed this."

Thank you.

Penumbra: Equinox

e-books available at:
Createspace Direct by Amazon

* It's painful to read a 1-star review by someone doesn't even normally read the genre. "This book is not something I would read. I don't know why I did. It sucks." We don't know why you read it either; please just move on.
** Of course there is a big controversy about buying reviews. You can. I don't. I seek a genuine, organic audience who really enjoyed reading my work. I will seek out reviews from some websites and bookblogs, but they are not compensated in anyway save to receive a free copy to read. And the one that do, will tell you exactly that.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween sale!

You read it right. Penumbra is just 99¢ until Halloween. 

Get it while the gettin' is good! 

And guess what? Until Halloween, you can order the PRINT of
Penumbra: Equinox
at 15% off the regular price! 
Order through Createspace and use code
for your discount.

Happy Halloween! Blessed Samhain!

Penumbra: Equinox

e-books available at:
Createspace Direct by Amazon

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween winners!

Hey all--

Thanks again for stopping by and playing along! We have our three winners-- Watch your inboxes for my email!

Our runners up are Debbie and Holly!

And the winner is
~*~Vida B~*~

I love the Charmed ladies!
Thank you so much for stopping by; I'll get those emails out to you sometime today.

And in the meanwhile, I realized, I never posted the promised teaser from the second book. That was awfully rude and inconsiderate and disorganized of me. So, as promised yesterday, here is the excerpt from Penumbra: Solstice (currently slated for March 15, 2014).

Vincent calmly stood and turned around. “Inspector. I didn’t expect to see you so soon.” He offered his hand to the man.
DuPré took a deep breath, and didn’t take his hand. He motioned to the officers behind him. “I am sorry, Monsieur Morchause, but we are going to have to place you under arrest. There simply aren’t any alternative theories we can come up with that fit the circumstances. You were placed near the scene by two completely different sources, and we must assume the worst.”      
 The officer put a pair of handcuffs on him and said something in French. Vincent took a deep breath, and braced himself for action. Alia laid a hand on his forearm. “No. Don’t. You aren’t guilty, and therefore will not be convicted. Go with them, and we’ll get this all straightened out in a few days time.” Vincent nodded.
“He’s a murderer, Alia,” came another voice from behind DuPré. “He won’t be acquitted.”
DuPré made a fluttering motion as if to hush the person, and then quickly gave up when he walked out from behind all the officers.
Alia’s jaw dropped nearly to the floor. “Charles Berendorf!? YOU are the other source!? What in the name of the seven hells are you doing here? Accusing my husband of murder in a foreign city, making our life miserable?!”
DuPré looked at Alia askew. “You know him?”
“He tried to turn me away from my husband when we were in high school! He speared one of our friends through the shoulder with an eighteen inch long silver knife, and was mad he had missed Vincent!”
Another of the group, one of the other inspectors, spoke up. “C’est impossible. Monsieur Garmond has lived in Paris for twenty years. He could not have been at your high school with you.”
Alia, Coray, Coleen and Vincent all looked at Berendorf with their eyes wide open in disbelief. He didn’t look any different from the day of prom. He wasn’t backing down either this time; he stared at them with a cool expression on his face.
“Please escort Monsieur Morchause to the car, s’il vous plait,” DuPré said. “Garmond, please remain here while we settle him in.” Two officers and DuPré led Vincent to the waiting police car.
Alia turned to Berendorf. “I don’t know who the hell you are, Charles, or even what your real name is but I swear to you, you will not be able to keep my husband in jail. He’s innocent and you know it.”    
“I don’t know that,” he said. “What you do not seem to fathom is the dangerous creature your husband is. He murdered an old woman last night to satisfy his demonic urges. He is cruel, he is evil, and he is dangerous.”
Alia assumed her regal aires. “You obviously do not realize how dangerous I am.” She walked a little closer to Charlie. “You’ve tried this before. I know what my husband is. I know what his father, and his brothers and his sisters are. What you obviously don’t know is who I am. Well, now you are going to find out, Charles. Just as I will find out who and what you are, and destroy it.” 

Penumbra: Equinox

e-books available at:
Createspace Direct by Amazon

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Blog Hoppin' for Halloween!

HI!!!  Welcome -- or welcome back if you're not new here. It's a delight to have you!

So, allow me to introduce you to my world: witches, werewolves, vampires. Demons and daemons. Fae and strigoi. Superheroes, and superhumans. Masked avengers and heroes of all sort. It starts off simple. Well, ok not really, but you get the idea.

It starts in 1988, in upstate New York at a high school called Ulysses Grant Regional High School. And it all starts with a lice infestation. Yeah. Lice. Nothing like a few bugs to spice up your Halloween, right? Penumbra: Equinox is the way into this crazy world. You can meet all the big players: Alia, Coray, Vincent, Coleen, Billy and Rosa-- and of course the bad guy, Vaduva. You'll dislike him.

Today, October 23th-- Gift Card Fun!: I'll be giving away a signed paperback copy of P:E, a bookmark and a $10 Visa Gift Card. I'll also give away 2 ebooks for runners-up as well.-- Remember to check back tomorrow to find out who won and claim your prize!

So what's the question today? Tell me about your favorite movie monster. Mummies, zombies, vampires... you get the idea. Even witches and demons are welcome. Tell me who and tell me why. And I'll choose the 2 runners up and winner by tomorrow morning.  

And one other quick note: if any of you wonderful people out there have had a chance to read Penumbra: Equinox, could you be an awesome person and give me a review on Amazon or Goodreads? That would be incredible, thankssomuch.:)

e-books available at:
Createspace Direct by Amazon

Friday, October 18, 2013

Because, Science!: Penumbral Eclipse

It's like it was meant to happen! No, I totally did not know that there was going to be an eclipse the week I released my book. Nor did I have any clue that this wasn't just an eclipse, but a penumbral eclipse.

WEE!! How cool!

Penumbra's original story came from the science of blue moons. I found out that there was going to be a blue moon on a Halloween that fell on a Friday -- and I just needed to create a story to go with it. Hence, Penumbra in it's infancy.

And it's wicked cool that there's a penumbral eclipse the week I release it? I'm MAGIC!

Ok, I'm not. I'm scientific. And I love science. So watch the skies at moonrise in the east on October 18th. Enjoy our orbiting neighbor.

And read about what the deal is about penumbral eclipses here.

Because, SCIENCE!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October 16th Blog Hop Winners!

Well, thank you all for stopping by! I would call the day quite a success!

Sorry about the little delay in announcing the winners. I got stuck in traffic jam this morning... Ok, that's a lie. The pillow and I had bonded so well, I didn't want to say good-bye.

The 2 runners up are--

Vida B
Lindy S

And our winner is - 
~*~Shirley Bastian~*~
for making snort-laugh and making my husband look at me cross-eyed. 

THANK YOU ALL! If you haven't heard from me, please email me at jrastevens at gmail dot com or just put your email in the comment below. 

Next week, we do it again! Except this time, I want my nook people to join the fun: The Gift Certificate will be a VISA so you can use anywhere-- including an actual bookstore. GASP!! 

Enjoy the book, ladies! 


Penumbra: Equinox

e-books available at:
Createspace Direct by Amazon

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Halloween Blog Hoppin'!

Click Here for
Penumbra: Equinox on Amazon!
Hey, all!  Welcome to the blog.

So, yesterday I released a brand new book, "Penumbra: Equinox." There's lots of Halloween in it. Lots and lots! I'm very excited that it's out there for every one to enjoy. Witches and werewolves and Vampires, oh my!

Today, October 16th-- It's AMAZON FUN: I'll be giving away a signed paperback copy of P:E, a bookmark and a $10 Gift Card to Amazon. I'll also give away 2 ebooks for runners-up as well! To the winner, in advance: please be patient. The paperbacks are on their way here! *happy dance*

So how do you win? Well, I would like you to find a Halloween themed quote, anything you can find at all: funny, scary, silly (like my witch hat up there-- I love that hat.), and post it for me. It can be from a movie, a book, or a song. Whatever. I'll pick my favorite and two runners-up and I'll announce the winners tomorrow by 9 a.m. 

If you want to keep with Alia, Vincent and the gang, please follow me! I'm on Facebook and Twitter @thekittylover42, and you're always welcome to follow my blog, right here.

And as promised- The Excerpt from Penumbra: Equinox.

“Vin, you were standing there with a tail,” Alia smiled. “I’m pretty much convinced. It’s just me being upset about people not telling us things, and not know what’s going on.”
Vincent took her hand, and stopped her. He turned her to look at him. “I know one thing, after what happened last night.”
“Oh? What’s that?” Alia smiled.
“That I love you.”
Alia froze. She was not expecting that, at all. She looked at him astonished for a moment and realized she felt the exact same way. “I love you too?” she answered, sounding confused.
Vin smiled. “You’re not sure?”
“I am sure, that’s the problem,” Alia laughed.
“I sat there last night thinking I would have to tell you,” Vin said, “I realized I would have to tell you one day anyway because I wanted to keep you around for a while anyway.”
“Very romantic, Vincent,” Alia smiled.
“But it’s true!” Vin said and leaned in to kiss her.
She jerked away and spun around; an icy cold wave of hate washing over her from behind her. Vincent was confused for a moment, but then had the rush of hate wash over him, and they both turned to look. Halfway down the block they could see Stacey standing there, looking absolute furious.
“Uh oh,” Alia said.
Stacey slowly walked toward them. There was a cold wind blowing around them, which while it was October, it was not the right kind of cool fall wind that would have been normal. Vincent looked at Alia, and clearly showed he was nervous about this confrontation.
“Uh, Vin,” Alia whispered. “Something you need to tell me?”
He swallowed. “Yeah, uh... all those rumors about the sabbat tables and black magic? Completely true. She’s totally a witch.” He glanced at her. “No relation.”
“Not even close,” Alia said. “Black magic.”
“Yup,” Vincent said. “She’s good at making my skin crawl.”
Stacey walked steadily closer, her words echoing oddly. “Well, well, well. Now I see what’s going on here.” She seemed to age before their eyes.
“What are you talking about?” Alia asked, trying to play dumb.
“Vincent, you’re walking away from all I offered?”
“Offered?” he asked. “You haven’t offered me anything. You just continue to make my life miserable. Go away.”
“I don’t go away, Vincent. Not after all you’ve seen.”
“All I’ve seen?” he asked. “How about we try, all you forced on me. All you dragged me into. I told you, I have my own problems, I don’t want yours.” Vincent said.
“Problems?” she laughed. “These aren’t problems. This is part of who I am, who I want you to be. I need you Vincent. I need you to be there for me, I need you in what I have begun.”
“I don’t want any part of anything that has to do with you,” Vincent said.
“You can’t walk away from this,” Stacey said.
“From what? There is nothing to walk away from!”
Alia grabbed Vincent’s hand. “Just watch him.” She turned around and started walking. Alia heard Stacey start yell something and a moment later, she felt like she had walked into a wall.
“You are not going to walk away from me, Vincent,” Stacey said. “You are not going to ruin what I’ve worked for all this time. I have your blood, I need your soul.”
Vincent glanced at Alia, and then turned around to looked at Stacey. “My what?”
“Your soul.”
Thanks for stopping by! And remember to pop back over to Sable's page!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Welcome to My World...

It's a world of witches, werewolves, vampires. Demons and daemons. Fae and strigoi. Superheroes, and superhumans. Masked avengers and heroes of all sort.

In my world, there are powerful men and strong women. There are other worlds and other dimensions. And it's not a simple tale.

It starts in 1988, in upstate New York at a high school called Ulysses Grant Regional High School.

And it all starts with a lice infestation.

Where did I say my world was normal? Things like that happen a lot in my world. 

Welcome to The Witchlands. Welcome to New York.

Welcome to my world.

e-books available at:
Createspace Direct by Amazon

What would you do to keep your friends from falling into evil?

It wasn't a question the group of friends at Ulysses Grant Regional High School wanted to think about. With Vincent trying to hide his werewolf side, Alia and Coray having to deal with the unanticipated news that they are witches, and Coleen getting slammed with the news she's adopted, they have enough to worry about.

(Never mind Vincent's and Alia's crazy exes, Coray's mother, Coleen's father and the magical creatures someone is sending after them to kill them. There was enough to keep anyone busy right through prom.)

But the day Vladimir Vaduva shows up at their school and people start turning up both dead and drained of blood, and Coleen very nearly goes mad because of him, it becomes a question they have to have ask.

As Rosa and Billy get pulled into the vortex, they realize they need an answer...

And they have the feeling they aren't going to like it. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Good Book Always has Villains...

Buttons were pushed.
Links were linked.
And we're down to hours, people. Just hours. I am fairly vibrating with excitement.

So, any good book needs some villains. I'm not going for the subtle baddies here. Mine are cruel, evil and obvious. Let's start there.

Stacey Grohs

born March 10, 1971. She's a complete extrovert and she's over loud. She wants Vincent all to herself, and she doesn't want him hanging out with Coray. She's not a very good match for Vincent.

Stacey was originally just the annoying girlfriend I put in there for a little conflict. So that Vincent wasn't hanging out as some hot guy who never dated. Her original position was to get into an argument Alia and disappear. And for now... that's all you need to know about her. But watch her when she's there. Mark what she says. I'm giving you clues.

Vladimir Vaduva/ Vladimir Ubiecz

Origins are unknown. He has an agenda, and he plans on eliminating anyone who gets in his way.

Vlad has always been Vlad. He's always been a baddie, and over the years, he's gotten more and more sadistic as I've grown up and learned more and more about the shades of gray in the world around us. I can't say I love this character, but I understand his function in my world. And it's a doozy.

And with that, ladies and gents, we are at the end of your introduction to my world.

Tomorrow-- you can open the door and walk in, and read all about the people I've only barely just introduced to you.

Previously, on Jenn's Blog:
Alia Bronson
Vincent Morchause

Coleen L'Etoile
Coray Logan
Billy Masters
Rosa Santos

Add it now! On Goodreads: 
Penumbra: Equinox

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Prettiest Flower Can Be the Deadliest

And I'm still tweaking. At least this time it had to do with cover size from CreateSpace and I wasn't tweaking the story anymore. It's the part that takes the longest when it comes to the publication. Getting everyone else to say that book is OK and ready to go.

Before we get to the next character, I just want to let you know that tomorrow is going to be a double feature: we're going to talk about the two baddies in the story. I don't know that if there will be pictures, but there will be blood.

I mean bios.

Today, let's meet

Rosa Graciela Santos

born March 22, 1971, to Miguel and Liliana Santos. Long dark black hair and dark eyes, she's a slight girl with a big heart and a funny disposition. She has been friends with Alia and Coleen for years, and while she had other friends, she definitely prefers to hang out with them. She is from the ultimate broke home: after her step-mother made claims of abuse against Miguel, he lost his full time custody.

Somewhere around the fifth revision, I realized that Coleen's original purpose had been ripped away. I needed a character like Rosa: everyday. Simple, straightforward. I needed someone sweet and kind and fun and funny. Which was what Coleen was supposed to be originally. Someone else made editorial decisions that overrode mine (at the time) and after so many rewrites by that time, I was just to used to Coleen the way she was, and I liked her that way.

So I had to come up with a new character to fix the same plot point I was trying to create. There was a minor character, named Rose, who hung out with the friends in the first few versions. I changed her name, and pumped her up. And she's become a great, expansive character in my universe.

Yes, that's Jessica Alba. That's what Rosa looks like. Make her hair black and we're on the right track.

And don't disregard the title of this blog. You may want to return and review for a later book... 

Previously, on Jenn's Blog:

Alia Bronson
Vincent Morchause

Coleen L'Etoile
Coray Logan
Billy Masters

Add it now! On Goodreads: 
Penumbra: Equinox

He's a

It's almost time. I'm still tweaking. I'm ridiculous.

In the meanwhile, let's meet Vincent and Coray's other buddy...

William John Masters

born July 16, 1971 to wonderful parents, he has black hair, and brown eyes. He's a awkward, average height guy who makes a great catcher on the UGRHS baseball team. He and Vincent work so well together it's nearly scary. He's fascinated by sustainable designs and loves science of any sort. He knows that he's kind of third wheel in the Vin-Coray-Billy triangle, but doesn't mind. He knows that if he needed their help, they'd be there.

Billy Masters. A totally unexpected character. He was barely a mention in even the fourth and fifth revisions. I would say that it was probably only in the last four, five years that Billy came to life. And I like him. He's my other Billy (you'll meet Billy Babij in "The Art of Dying"), and I wasn't doing him justice until this most recent revision. He even comes back much later on and in another story.

I don't think I'll ever do a "Billy" solo novel, but I will have him cropping up everywhere.

And if you don't know who that is on the left, representing Billy, you need to get off your butt and learn all about Matthew Lewis. Start with "Harry Potter and the Socercer's Stone." Oh, yes, I stole him right out of the movie. And Billy really emerges like Neville in the story. The underdog who wears a sweater to a sword fight with a deadly snake. The other hero.

Oh, did I say that outloud? *grin*

Previously, on Jenn's Blog:
Alia Bronson
Vincent Morchause

Coleen L'Etoile
Coray Logan

Add it now! On Goodreads: 
Penumbra: Equinox

Friday, October 11, 2013

BFF's Hottie Boyfriend. Not a bad thing...

Three days people. Just three more days. I'm getting ants in my pants!

And today, you get to meet Coleen's hawt boyfriend--

Coray Eion Logan

born January 24, 1971 to Yvette Dupre and Duncan Logan. Bright, baby blue eyes and dark, straight red hair, with an impressive stature well over six feet, he was raise alone by Duncan after his mother got herself in trouble with just about everyone from Duncan's family and was kicked out of the house. Mathelete, honors student and all around good-guy, he's always had a pretty typical life- cars, friends, dances, weekend fun and Coleen. 

Ah. Coray. My Irish lad. What a strange and interesting path this character took of all my main characters. He didn't even exist until about 2nd rewrite (mind you, second rewrite was 22 years ago). He was merely a passing suggestion so that the character of Coleen wouldn't be left out of the boyfriend/dating fun.

Coleen's real life paradigm wanted more. She didn't want just a suggestion of a boyfriend, she wanted a real character and she wanted him to be older than the main characters and hotter than Vincent. Well, ok. So I wrote the guy in in a big way. Huge. But it was one of the most bizarre sequences I'd ever written.

Originally, Coray was a follower and worshipper of Echo of Silesia. (Honestly, she didn't even have a place name like that until 2 years go.) They caught Coray in the middle of one of his rituals, asking Echo for power. And that's when they found that Coray was Rebekah's great-great grandson and that Echo was her sister who was killed in Salem and that he was a proximal witch.

I've eliminated that proximal witch. There is another character (waaaaaay later on) who has power through an object, but not through the veneration of that object. That just started to get way too creepy and existential for me. Some of the characters that Katherine Rhodes handles later get a little existential, but I'm going to avoid most of that.

Anyway, they find out that Coray is this proximal witch and he's nearly as powerful as Alia. This causes a problem because back then, Rebekah hated the Bronson family because when she went wilding, Margeau was the regent Princess Witch. When Rebekah came back to herself, she and Margeau had it out. A good old fashioned magic battle so Margeau could show Rebekah there were things she had to learn from her.

The fourth rewrite (20 years ago) saw the elimination of Echo, the proximal witch, Rebekah's resentment and Coray being integrated into the regular witch population. The next rewrite saw him bumped to his original title of Prince Warlock, which word-flopped a few rewrites later to Warlock Prince. And it was only this last rewrite where I finally just opted to call him the Prince Witch and make him as big a character as he needed to be. Which is HUGE.

When I started writing this story, back in 1987, (yes, that long ago), my focus was totally on Alia. Even later on, the focus stayed on Alia and Vincent. But now, after so many years, the tapestry is richer with the weavings of all these other characters coming in. Coleen is a force to be reckoned with, and Coray is her fierce protector without being overbearing.

And while I have grown to love Coray, here's a little secret: I have never loved his name. I didn't pick it, and if I had, I don't think I would have spelled it this way. But he's just so Coray now, so interwoven into the whole forthcoming series, that I can't and won't change it. I can't imagine him being anyone else.

Now, who's the hottie up there? None other than Jared Leto. But, dear readers, it must be THIS Jared Leto. Not the nutter with the beard (though, appropriately, Coray does lose it in the distant future and ends up with beard and bad body odor), but for our story here and now-- this Jared is the one you can plunk into Coray's place.

Previously, on Jenn's Blog:
Alia Bronson
Vincent Morchause

Coleen L'Etoile

Add it now! On Goodreads: 
Penumbra: Equinox

Everyone needs a BFF

Really, you do. A girl should always have a best friend to talk with, and someone who -- even after months of not talking or hanging out -- can pick it up right where you left. Like nothing ever came between you.

Alia's lucky. Meet her BFF-

Coleen Claudia L'Etoile

born December 18, 1971 and adopted just hours after birth by Henri and Susan L'Etoile. Dark black wavy hair and bright green eyes, she's a sweet, kind, gentle soul who loves Coray with all her heart and adores her parents and her simple life. She and Alia have been best friends since Alia's family moved to the Saratoga Springs area when Alia was seven. She plans on going to college, being a teacher, maybe one day running her own school. She and Coray have been dating since he asked her to the Fall dance in sixth grade.  

Coleen was a character I didn't plan on. Or, I did, but I had a very different direction for her originally. She was a secondary character at best, and if we're still talking about the other, really old version of this, her name was Ariel. I think. it's been way too long. She was also an alien and she didn't live on Earth.

That whole story was a buggery mess.

Coleen seems to be the most frail of all the friends, but she had a quiet strength that no one really expects. She was originally based on a real person, but she has evolved far from that original paradigm, you wouldn't even recognize the original person in the new Coleen.

Katy Perry is the best parallel for her; dark hair, bright blue eyes and pale skin. She also has that wild side, and while Coleen hides hers a bit more than Katy, it's still there.  

We're down to 4 more days!! Woo hoo!
Previously, on Jenn's Blog:
Alia Bronson
Vincent Morchause

Add it now! On Goodreads:
Penumbra: Equinox

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Meet the Hot Neighbor...

Six more days.
*Happy Dance*

So today, let's meet...

Vincent Michael Morchause

Born May 5, 1971 to Richard and Sharon Morchause. Shaggy brown hair, deep chocolate brown eyes, tall enough to be a very effective starting pitcher for the Ulysses Grant Regional High. He's his father second oldest son, and has 3 younger siblings: Ellen, Scott and Olivia. He's dating Stacey and doesn't want to be anymore; she's overbearing and wants to control him while being sickly sweet. Brilliant mind, but lacking in confidence, he thinks that Community College is as far as he's going to be able to go. 

Vincent's original name was Scott. Scott was ripped right out of Teen Wolf. Ladies and Gents, if you're not old enough to remember Teen Wolf, go get yourself a copy and enjoy this wonderfully cheesy 80s flick. THAT is the way I imagine werewolves. And I would like to clarify right now that Vincent and his family are werewolves. At the full moon, they do not turn into wolves. Those are shifters. Werewolves are a breed between human and wolf, and have super natural strength and speed.

Vincent's name was taken over from another story (that you'll get a chance to read not too far in the future) where the main character is actually a baseball player. I couldn't use Vincent there because ... well that Vincent is actually based on a real person- Vincent my cousin.

Now, you've heard me say that this is my oldest story. It actually started out quite differently. Vincent was Scott and Scott was a werewolf. Right, fine. But Alia was named Brenda, and Brenda was an alien, not a witch. Fun facts about the prepubescent mind of me.

Don't go much further. It gets ugly in there.

So, who's that hottie up there? Kinda funny: his name is Scott Eastwood. And the instant I saw him, I knew that he was exactly what I imagined Vincent looked like. Enjoy that.

I sure do. 
Previously, on Jenn's Blog:
Alia Bronson

Add it now! On Goodreads:
Penumbra: Equinox

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

So close you can smell it...

(Or, Perhaps J. Rose Should Take a Shower...)

Seriously. ONE week people. I'm so unbelievably excited! This is a story that I love to read and read over and over. Because I love Alia and Vincent and Coray and Coleen and Rosa and Billy...

So, how about if I do a mini bio of each of my characters? Would that be cool with you? There are 6 main characters and I'm going to tell you a little about each one. And if there just happens to be a celebrity or model out there who happens to look like what I think they look like. Well. Bonus, right?

Let's start at the top, and meet our main protagonist:

Alia Suzanne Bronson-

born January 23rd, 1971 to Isabel and Darius Bronson. Long wavy brown hair, bright green eyes, not too tall, not too short. She's an all-around honor student and has gaggles of friends going into her senior year. Her boyfriend, Mike, is a sports fanatic and he sucks at being her boyfriend. She is an only child, and the apple of her father's eye. Her mother... another story it seems.

Alia's name was stolen, outright, from another book. I read Frank Herbert's "Dune" and fell in love with the name and the character. Ultimately, Alia of the Knife, in Herbert's world, succumbs to the darkness that hides inside her. But the character was so strong, so much a victim of her birth and circumstance that I needed to give her a different incarnation, one where she could be strong, fierce, and flawed and have a real chance to win the day.

It was strange that when the SciFi (now SyFy, natch) channel put out their Children of Dune movie, they nailed what I imagined both Alia Atreides and Alia Bronson to look like. Except for the green eyes. I would recommend you either read Mr. Herbert's books or go see if you can find SyFy's "Dune" and "Children of Dune" -- because Alia rocks, the stories rock and you will NOT be disappointed in them like you will if you watch David Lynch's version.

Seriously. Stay the HELL away from the David Lynch version. You will never be able to forgive yourself for those 3.5 hours of hell. Not even in Sting in iron underwear can save it...


As an aside, after reading a letter of reorganization, I've decided that I will give Goodreads another chance. It never did me wrong; I hope I don't regret this.

So, add it now!
Penumbra: Equinox

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Penumbra: Equinox Cover Reveal


You wanna see, don't you? It's right there on the right. But there's more, isn't there? And you want to see the whole thing...

Well, I want you to check it out. 

I'll show you. Hang on. I hope that your curiosity is piqued by this and you'll end up falling in love with these characters the way I have. 

This story is just the beginning of my world. There are many, many, many stories to come.

Fair warning, everyone. I got stuck in beta reader tie-up with rubbernecking delays; I *may*might*possibly* have to push the release date back a tad. It shouldn't be more than a week, and for sure, no later than Halloween. I will absolutely let you know if it's moving. For now, we'll still say October 15th...

And now, without further ado, here's your sneak peak.

What would you do to keep your friends from falling into evil?

It wasn't a question the group of friends at Ulysses Grant Regional High School wanted to think about. With Vincent trying to hide his werewolf side, Alia and Coray having to deal with the unanticipated news that they are witches, and Coleen getting slammed with the news she's adopted, they have enough to worry about.

(Never mind Vincent's and Alia's crazy exes, Coray's mother, Coleen's father and the magical creatures someone is sending after them to kill them. There was enough to keep anyone busy right through prom.)

But the day Vladimir Vaduva shows up at their school and people start turning up both dead and drained of blood, and Coleen very nearly goes mad because of him, it becomes a question they have to have ask.

As Rosa and Billy get pulled into the vortex, they realize they need an answer...

And they have the feeling they aren't going to like it.  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

October 1st-- Cover Reveal

So, I'm pleased to announce that on this very page on October 1st, I will reveal the REAL cover for Penumbra: Equinox. That one ~> over there is the temp holder.

Just wait until you see the real one. I'm THRILLED with it, and I have to give a shout out to my buds, Rainbow, Orry and Staci. Their honesty and input really made this even more than I was expecting. THANKS, YOU THREE. You rawk.

So, Tuesday, at noon, you get to see the cover of the book that started everything!

Just 15 days later, you get to READ it-- I'm so excited!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Blather: The Case Against Twilight

My passionate hate for "Twilight" that burns with the fire of 1000 suns is not your run-of-the-mill, Gee-that-book-sucked, my-cat's-a$$hole-has-more-personality-that-Kristen-Stewart hate. It runs far deeper, to a personal level. Let's see if I can explain why I feel the urge to burn every single copy of the book and film, and the person who signed Meyers. It's really not a complicated reason.

I'm a writer(Newsflash!) and it is a passion. It has defined my life. I have been writing since I was 7 years old; my very first story was a 13 page story scribbled on unlined paper called "Telephone Terror" staring my brother as the antagonist. I am currently in the process of writing NaNoWriMo, and trying to get four books e-published. I would rather spend my night parked on my couch writing than doing many other things.

I have been trying to get published since I was 14. While I'm glad I didn't at that age, the fact remains that I have been trying.

One of my favorite things to write about is the supernatural: Witches, Werewolves, vampires. I've branched out into demons lately as well. I get to lose myself in the mythos of fantastic worlds-- either hidden in our or obvious in others.

My love for such things is not limited to my writing; I have a degree in literature and enjoy reading and researching these myths as well. I did an extensive paper in college called Dracula Was Schizophrenic: A Study of Clinical Vampirism So do not make the mistake of thinking that I'm just a fan. I have researched the origin myths of vampires and am well versed in lycanthropy and it's manifestations as well. Hypertrichosis-- look it up. I can discuss the influence of Goya on the modern interpretations of the witch. So I am not the casual observer.

That being said, I am more than willing to bend the rules for a good story.

Example 1: JR Ward has an incredible vampire myth going in her Black Dagger Brotherhood. But people-- they eat dinner. They don't sleep in coffins. They can only feed off of other vampires of the opposite sex. I still love these stories more than I can I put into words.

Example 2: The Vampire Diaries, the books. (I haven't been able to keep up with TV show.) Stefan and Damon can go out in the sunlight with the proper charms. I still loved those books.

Of course I can go on. There are a lot of variations on the myth. Nosferatu is nothing like Louis. Damon is nothing like Wrath or Rehvenge. And there's no one who whines quite as much as Louie. It's a bendable myth; it should be as it's a myth.

But even in different myth, the ultimate story stands. Medusa is still ugly. Werewolves still change at the moon. Witches still cast spells. Vampires can't be exposed to sunlight.

Please, read that line again.

Vampires can't be exposed to sunlight. Across the board. Even in TVD, they can't go out with the charms. Sunlight will still kill them. There's none of this sparkling BS. And anyway, how does something dead sparkle? Can you imagine sparkling zombies? They shimmer in sunlight, but that's because of the gore hanging off them. You know, intestines and other such things.

Now, please, keep reading. Because this isn't just about sparkling vampires, bottled in Falls, Washington. This is also about Pants; -- I mean Bella.

I have never met a character as complacent and dis-interesting as Bella Swan. Seriously. I couldn't care less about her if I tried. I've stepped in puddles deeper than her. Have you seen the memes out there comparing her to other characters in other books? There are many that just rip Bella into shreds. She is shredable, too. There is nothing deep or enduring about her. She bases her whole worth on her proximity to Edward and the worth he places on her. Now, while I have not read beyond the first book, it is my understanding that Edward leaves her in order to protect her (what now?) and she basically goes catatonic.

What a FANTASTIC reaction to someone leaving you. What a wonderful thing to teach our girls. No man? Curl up in a ball and lay there. He's not dead and neither is she. She just feels that she has NO worth if Edward isn't there.

Let's explore the Victorian side of the myth: Wilhelmina Murray, Mina to her friends. She is a typical Victorian woman of some means, with a fiancé who does not want to marry her until he has the means to make her life comfortable. When Jonathan, her fiancé, takes sick in Transylvania she does not curl up and die. She travels to find him at an abbey in Budapest and helps to nurse him back to health. They are married there.

The story wanders on, but Mina eventually is tricked into taking Dracula's blood after he takes hers and creates a bond between them. She's still not curling up in a corner here, people. She goes with her husband to fight this creature. Of course he insists that she stay home, but guess what? She's too strong of a spirit to stay and take it laying down. She wants to fight for herself and her husband and her friends. She lost her best friend to Dracula and she didn't want to lose herself.

Doesn't sound much like a Bella, does it?

I would rather my daughter imitate Mina rather than Bella any day. Mina had real guts for a Victorian woman, for a woman before Woman's liberation. Bella just whines in the world where she can do practically anything. Talk about taking your position for granted.

And Edward. Well, for him I'm going to have to go to Vampire diaries and compare him to Stefan. Both are older than the woman they are interested in, Stefan far older than Edward. Yet Stefan blends in with the high school crowd. He's not popular, he's not stand-offish. He's just there. I believe that the whole deal with Stefan was that he had seen Elena and wanted to get to know her better. Where Edward, and the entire Cullen clan, just kind of haunt the halls because what better to do with 100 years than play high school?

I can't get into villains because I never got to the Volturi. Though just reading the wiki on them, my ire was raised again. It says that they are a coven of vampires. Vampires are not covens. So even the terms aren't right.

Jacob and his ilk are referred to as werewolves-- which is incorrect as there is no hybridization of the wolf and human. They are either wolf or human. Therefore they are shifters, not werewolves. Though reading again on the wiki it appears she tries to correct this. But why correct when it should have been correct if she had done just a touch of research.

Which I suppose brings me to my last point.

I am more than happy to read a new take on the vampire mythos. I have even bent my own rules and absorbed some others, created my own and tossed other ‘rules’ out the window.

But some rules, some traditions, should never be tossed out the window. People love vampires  because they can’t out the light. People enjoy reading about vampires because they have  the flaw of needing blood. People like werewolves/shifters because they are controlled by the moon. Flaws are what makes the character.

If Meyer had done her research, she would have discovered that there is a real disease that most psychologists and medical doctors point to as the origin of the vampire myth. It’s called porphyria. There are two forms: Erythropoietic Protoporphyria (EPP) and Congenital Erythropoietic Porphyria (CEP). They are real diseases, and the second is a link to a support group!

Now, keep in mind, they didn’t know what caused these disease and certainly didn’t have a clue to the cure or control of it. People who EPP and CEP had no choice but to stay inside during the day lest their skin blister and peel due to the over abundance of ferrochelatase which is used in the creation of porphyrin. Porphyrin is poisonous to our bodies and sunlight triggers the poison, which the causes the necrosis (death) of the skin cells.  Sufferers also lack heme, a critical blood component derived from porphyrin necessary to transport oxygen around the body. These two things can cause pelvic and shoulder girdle muscle weakness.


  • Well, if you go out in the sun, your skin blisters and dies. (The sun component to the myth.)
  • You don’t produce enough heme to get the oxygen around your body. (Deathly white pallor myth)
  • You don’t have enough heme, which is blood, so wouldn’t it make sense to replace it? (Blood drinking myth)
  • Muscle weakness. (Hunched or shuffling part of the myth).
And there my friends you have your origin myth of the vampire.

Now, over the years we have called them the undead, given them speed and strength and more recently, sexual appeal. These components have been added over the years out of our misunderstanding of the disease and of the fear of the dark. (A psychologically innate fear that we all have.) Authors have further corrupted the myth by changing some of the basic myth as well. My vampires can’t eat anything except deep red food and raw meat, JR Ward’s can eat anything, Anne Rice’s live on blood alone. It all works because the blood is still there. My vampires can use Moonstones created by Strigoi to go into the sun. Ward’s can’t even watch the sun rise. Rice’s can run like hell on a cloudy day and live. But they all work because again, the fear of the sun is there.

Researching  a little on the psychology of vampires and lycans would reveal why people enjoy them. Would Lestat be more enjoyable if he could go out in the day? Hell, one of my favorite lines from him is, “Madam, my days are sacrosanct!” Or would Claudia’s death have any impact at all if she didn’t turn into that pile of ash in the sun?

By not researching, by not finding out why these myths came about and just tossing it out there that this guy can’t go in the sun because he *sparkles* takes away the character’s flaw, decreasing his personality and appeal. Yes, Louis is whining bastard, but he nearly dies to get revenge on those who killed Claudia because he dashes into the sun after setting the Theatre des Vampires on fire.  That’s something! What happens when Bella get the shit beat out of her in Arizona? Well, there’s Edward. Yawn. Knew that was going to happen.

I really wish that Meyer had not written those books. So many other books are far more worthy of such fame. Please see my book blather post on The Elemental Mysteries for one of them.

I hope that this will also go towards explaining my vampires, my mythos and where they come from. You’ll find that my vampire in “Penumbra: Equinox” is not sexy, not someone you want to know, and loves his blood. He’s a cold hearted bastard, based on some of the finest literary traditions out there.

*insert evil laugh here*

Monday, September 23, 2013

Eight Rules for Writing Fiction

Kurt Vonnegut

Eight rules for writing fiction:

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things -- reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. Now matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them -- in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

"I have been a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labeled 'science fiction' ever since, and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal."
-Kurt Vonnegut

One might get the idea that I like Vonnegut... would not be incorrect. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Halloween Blog Hop!

I’m participating in Sable Hunter’s Halloween Blog Hop!

Click me to go to the BlogHop Post!


OK, y'all*, I'm doing to do a blog hop! You're going to have to play along with me, because I'm new to this stuff. But since Penumbra:Equinox is ALLLLL about the Halloween, what better way to learn and play!

If you've been paying attention, you'll know that Penumbra: Equinox is due out on October 15th! I'm very excited to bring this story to you. These are some of my favorite characters and the start of a very very long series that has several series in it, as well as tons of fun shorts and not so shorts.

To celebrate, I'm going to be doing two days giveaway days!

1. On October 16th, It's AMAZON FUN: I'll have a  teaser for you from P:E, and I'll be giving away a signed paperback copy of P:E, a bookmark and a $10 Gift Card to Amazon.

2. On October 23rd, It's BARNES & NOBLE FUN: Another teaser for you-- from the sequel Penumbra: Soltice, and I'll have a signed bookmark, a ecopy of P:E and a $10 gift card to Barnes & Noble.

So stay tuned kiddies! It's gonna be fun!

Courtesy of Sable Hunter, it's a Halloween Blog Hop ALL October- and join her, Jess Hunter and Ryan O'Leary on October 26th for a real party. Check it all out here:

*I lived in Virginia, I'm allowed to use it.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Penumbra: Equinox-- It's coming!

So, after much thought and no word (yet) on Shadow in Glass, I've decided on a new manuscript to offer up to the readers. Currently, I'm hoping to release on October 15th, but this is my baby. The one I've been working on for 25 years. The one that needs a hard edit and soft edit and a good beta read, and copy edit.

It is one of my favorite stories, and coming back to it I remember why. Alia rocks. She's one of my faves. No one messes with her and gets away with it. And the way Vincent is her balance? Awesome. Just the whole story is so much fun for me.

Now, if you were to click on the image that I'm using for the cover (which will change, probably), you'll pop over to a page called the Witchwolf Chronicles. You might get the idea that there is going to be more than one story in this series.

You'd be right: there's going to be 4.

But wait! There's more!

Penumbra is just the first story in my enormous universe. Equinox will be first. Then you will be introduced to Beth, in The Art of Dying, which is part of the Origins stories, then The Art of Living, and then we'll come back to Alia in Penumbra: Solstice.

There's even more, but right there we have at least a year of books, so we'll see where we go after that.

Meanwhile, I hope to haunt your Halloween with the most evil vampire since 28 Days of Night. Trust me-- this guy does not sparkle. Not. at. all. He was written long before Those Books. He's damn evil. And I like it that way.

Penumbra: Equinox

So, two witches, werewolf and a white witch all walk into a high school... 

Except for these high school students, it's no joke.

Alia thinks her biggest problem is how to break up with her jerk boyfriend so she can starting dating the hot but extremely private Vincent. Vincent has been fawning over Alia since the day his family moved in down the street from her. But he's never been brave enough to break into her world. 

Coleen, Alia's best and oldest friend, is a sweet, kind, gentle soul who loves Coray with all her heart and adores her parents and her simple life. Coray has always had a pretty typical life- cars, friends, dances, weekend fun and Coleen, a girlfriend he'd just about kill for. 

But everything gets ripped apart when Vincent and Coray get into a massive car accident and all kinds of new truths are forced to the surface. Vincent is forced to share what he thinks is a terrible secret with Coray; Coray finds out things about himself and Alia that dwarf anything they've faced before; and Coleen's life comes crashing down around her the day Mr. Vaduva shows up in the school. 

With Billy and Rosa, they have a lot to learn about themselves, the world around them, and the magical world they never knew was there.