Saturday, July 27, 2013

Prelude

It was the night of the first full moon since their bond had been severed and something was wrong.
No.  Not wrong.
Different.

They fought, but that wasn't unusual. Their bond was based upon their mutual inability to properly kill each other, which is actually far healthier than most relationships.

Before most of her power was stolen, she was stronger and faster than he was. One ancient relic, a brainwashed priest, and a devious rival later and she was left no more powerful than a newly turned vampire.

But, she was far from helpless. The werewolf was stronger and faster, so she had to use weapons and cunning, but the result was the same--their fights still ended in a stalemate.  Often a bloody, painful stalemate.

As was often the case with them, the fighting was quickly replaced with carnal pursuits. On this particular evening, it was Lucifera's resolve that broke first, and she sank her fangs into Mickey's neck to greedily sap up his powerful werewolf blood.

She immediately convulsed and spat it out on the ground.

He looked down where she sat. He wanted to ask her what happened, but a growl came out instead. He tried to reach out to help her, but his fingers lengthened into claws. He wanted to feel horrified at what was happening, but he didn't.

Somehow it felt right.

"Wolf?"

Her word still had some meaning to him. The beast cocked its head to the side. The vampiress seemed familiar to him, but even that was fading.

She picked up her sword and stood slowly.

The monster eyed her curved blade with amusement. It laughed, but an even deeper growl sounded.

"Mickey?" Her voice held little hope that it would even know the word.

She was right.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Guest Post at The Vampire Review: Scoundrels Are Cool


Han shot first.

With that statement, I reveal myself as the nerd that I am. So be it. I am a geek who prefers to see a character with a dark side.

Scoundrels are cool.

Real people aren’t all sunshine and roses, even though they may pretend to be. Everyone has both good and bad in them. Make-believe people should be the same way.

Take vampires for example.
(Read the rest at The Vampire Review!) 

Big thanks to Tami Jackson of The Vampire Review for having me over to her blog!  Check out Tami's debut title "Ravena & The Resurrected."




Friday, September 16, 2011

New novel: Lesser - Now available!

Now available on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords in all eReader formats for $2.99!

Reviewers: Email me for an ARC if you are interested:  authormikemurphy(at)gmail(dot)com


Robyn has found the tomb of the most powerful vampire in the world. Now, different forces in the underworld either want to steal her secret or make sure it dies with her.

Two things stand in their way:

The vampiress Lucifera and her werewolf companion.

Whoever survives will find that the lesser of two evils is not always the right choice.
Coming in September 2011


And, what is on the tip of Lucifera's sword you ask?







Friday, September 9, 2011

Book Release: Here Be Monsters - An anthology of Monster Tales

For the past three months, I have been quietly working with several other authors and two artists to bring you all something special. Here it is.






Here Be Monsters
Eight tales of vampires, werewolves, demons, zombies, and other horrors:

M.T. Murphy - Blackmail & Spider Bag
S.M. Reine - Something Wrong
India Drummond - The Reaver
Anabel Portillo - Lux
Jeremy C. Shipp - Figs
Samantha Anderson - Deals and Demons
Sara Reinke - Periphery People


The book also includes several paintings by Dark Fantasy Artist Alissa Rindels and an original sketch by Spanish Artist Jose Manuel Portillo Barientos.

You will find horror stories, sci fi, urban fantasy, straight-up fantasy, and even a taste of bizarro fiction. They all have one thing in common: monsters.

What would you expect to pay for this monumental tome filled with literary masterpiece short stories?

$19.95?

$9.95?

$2.99?

How about $0? That’s right. This anthology is free on Smashwords. You can download the electronic file of your choice to read on your computer, iPad, Kindle, Nook, or Sony eReader. If Smashwords doesn't work for you, contact me at my email address below and I will be happy to email you a copy in the format of your choice.

Those of you who have read my debut novel, Lucifera’s Pet, will see some familiar faces in my stories Blackmail and Spider Bag. You will also be introduced to a new character who will play a bigger role in my new novel, Lesser, which is launching next week!  If you would like an advance review copy for your blog or in return for an honest review on Smashwords/Amazon/Barnes&Noble, email me at authormikemurphy (at)gmail.com. I will begin sending those this weekend.







I’m not the only author launching a book this month.

S.M. Reine launched the sequel to her debut teen werewolf novel today: All Hallows Moon.



Also Bizarro fiction pioneer and Bram Stoker Award nominee Jeremy C. Shipp has published a monstrous anthology of his own: Aberrations.



Go forth, read, and review!
~M

Monday, June 20, 2011

Final cover art: Lesser

Take a look at the final cover art for my second Bad Moon novel, Lesser.



Alissa Rindels is the amazing artist who produced this painting of the vampire Lucifera. Alissa also painted the cover and interior art for Lucifera's Pet. Check out more of her fantastic artwork at her website.

Lesser is scheduled for release in September 2011. Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Title and Cover Art - Bad Moon Book 2

After what has felt like a smurfing eternity, I am finishing up the draft for my follow up novel to Lucifera's Pet. Without further ado, here is the title:

LESSER - Bad Moon Book 2

The title, Lesser, has many meanings in the story. The most obvious is the old saying, "the lesser of two evils." While this comes into play, it has far greater significance. That's all I'm saying. Anything more would be spoiler territory.

I have also decided upon a title for the series: Bad Moon. Within the story, "bad moon" is a vampire slang term for a werewolf hunt--usually one in which the werewolf has virtually no hope of of surviving.

Now for the good part: the initial cover sketch.

I have once again had the great pleasure of working with Alissa Rindels on the cover art. She provided me with her initial sketch for the front cover this afternoon:


As you can see, at some point in the story, Lucifera has a pretty rough day. The back cover will continue the scene. If you want to see who or what is at the tip of her sword, keep on watching this blog.

Alissa will have an art booth at the 20th Annual Iowa Renaissance Festival and Gathering o' Celts this month, May 28-29-30, at Middle Amana Park (Medici Grove) - Amana Colonies, IA . If you are able to stop by, you might be able to see her working on this painting. Be sure to visit her website and check out her prints for sale. You can even purchase a hand embellished print, which is the next best thing to owning an original work.

I'd love to hear  your thoughts on the cover draft. Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Lucifera's Pet Cover Design

I am really digging the new eBook cover design for Lucifera's Pet by Robin Ludwig Design.


Big thanks to Alissa Rindels for the beautiful original painting Bellona Sleeps and to Robin Ludwig Design for turning it into a kickass cover!

I decided a revamp was in order to make it a little easier to see in the online bookstores. Let me know what you think.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Book Giveaway! - Win a Kindle copy of Blood Faerie by India Drummond and a signed print copy of Lucifera's Pet by M.T. Murphy


Read on for a chance to win a Kindle copy of India Drummond's new release, Blood Faerie and a signed print copy of Lucifera's Pet by M.T. Murphy.

Yes. I just referred to myself in third person. I love doing that. 

I mean M.T. Murphy loves referring to himself in third person because he is a great big weirdo. That's better.

To celebrate the launch of her latest urban fantasy novel, Blood Faerie, author India Drummond will give away five Kindle copies of her book on its release day, June 1, 2011.

Blood Faerie is the first in India Drummond’s new series, Caledonia Fae.



The blurb:

Unjustly sentenced to death, Eilidh ran—away from faerie lands, to the streets of Perth, Scotland. Just when she has grown accustomed to exile, local police discover a mutilated body outside the abandoned church where she lives. Recognising the murder as the work of one of her own kind, Eilidh must choose: flee, or learn to tap into the forbidden magic that cost her everything.

To enter to win a Kindle copy of the new book, all you have to do is sign up for her email newsletter. The email list is only used to announce book releases and important events, and emails are sent out infrequently. (It’s free, and it’s easy to unsubscribe after the contest date if you find it’s not for you.) Sign up here: http://eepurl.com/bTDfP

Five winners’ names will be announced on the India Drummond newsletter on June 1st, along with instructions for how winners can claim their free Kindle books. Only subscribers are eligible to win.

No Kindle? No problem! Anyone with a PC, Mac, or smart-device (iPhone, Blackberry, Android phone, etc) can read a Kindle book. Download free reading software here:

Want to quadruple your chances of winning? Simply tweet about the contest with a link to any participating blog post and include @IndiaDrummond in your tweet. Or, share the link on Facebook. (But be sure to add @India Drummond to tag her on the link so she will see it! – You can add her to your friend list here: http://www.facebook.com/india.drummond) And finally, add another entry to the list by posting about the contest on your blog.-- Tweet and share the link as much as you like, but only one additional entry per method, per person.

Win a signed copy of Lucifera's Pet!


For Werewolf Kibble blog readers, I am also holding a contest for a free signed copy of my novel Lucifera's Pet. To enter, post a comment below and sign up for India's email newsletter. For every ten people who enter my contest, I'll add another signed copy of Lucifera's Pet to the prize pool.

Good luck!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Zoe Winters: "...my demons are anatomically correct."

If I learned one thing from Rocky and Bullwinkle, it's that knowledge is power. Today, I am asking Paranormal Romance author Zoe Winters several seemingly random questions so that I may steal some of her power.

You're scoffing.

Don't scoff.

I can crack roasted pistachio nuts with my mind. Imagine what I'll be able to do after this interview.






MTM: What the hell is the difference between urban fantasy and paranormal romance anyway? Sometimes I wonder if a cover with cleavage + leather pants + tattoos (urban fantasy) is the only thing that separates the two genres. Then I slap myself and go watch Faith-heavy episodes of Buffy. There's a question in there somewhere.

Zoe: LOL. Faith was pretty hot. I always really liked Faith. I thought she was misunderstood. I bet... like a typical guy, you like those scenes where Faith and Buffy fight. Right? Because when they're rolling around in the mud like that... there is always that slim chance...

But... on topic... Urban Fantasy might have a romantic subplot, but it's not a primary focus on the story like it is in paranormal romance. The romance thread also doesn't have to have a happily ever after. And the heroine can be a real slut. Not always, but dude, these women seem to have a revolving door. Urban fantasy also tends to be told in first person more than paranormal romance is. (Or that's my observation, it could also just be the luck of the draw in the books I read.)

MTM: I have two rules in how I spend my time reading and/or watching movies/television: Absolutely no Lifetime movies and no rosy sappy romance stories. I like that in your books the storyline does not play second fiddle to the romance. Just how important is the plot in paranormal romance?

Zoe: You mean you don't curl up with popcorn with a woman-in-peril or a Hallmark Presents movie? My entire image of you has now changed. :P  I think plot is really important in PNR because the fascination isn't just boy meets girl, but the backdrop against which it all plays out and all the drama.

MTM: A werewolf, a succubus, and a vampire walk into a bar. Whose ego is the biggest? Who has the best hair? Who is most likely to eat the bartender?

Zoe: Unless this is a trick question, that's super easy. Vamp has all the ego, succubus has the best hair, and werewolf eats the bartender. I know I could have been creative and gone a different way, but it is what it is.

MTM: In your newest book, Save My Soul, demons take center stage. I remember in Kevin Smith's Dogma, angels and demons are revealed to be hung like Ken dolls in a shocking and heartwarming scene. Are your demons anatomically correct?

Zoe: LOL! Well, they don't stare dreamily into each other's eyes all day, so yes... my demons are anatomically correct, as are my angels (yet to be introduced but coming soon.)

MTM: My pet Schnauzer complains about sex scenes in novels, yet he reads all the juicy parts in books when I'm not looking. I think he forgets that Kindle defaults to the last page read. Plus, my phone ends up with dog hair all over it each morning. Should I confront him on this?

Zoe: The risk with confronting him is that you'll embarrass and stress him out, and he'll start peeing in your shoes. Probably you should ignore it and hope for the best.

MTM: What current projects are you working on?

Zoe: About to start writing rough draft for book three in the Pretverse. I'll be introducing a panther therian, an agoraphobic witch, angels, and the heaven dimension. I also might explain some stuff about guardians and what they are.

MTM: Word association time! Please respond with the first thing that comes to mind.

MTM: Vampire  
Zoe: Yes, please

MTM: Shiny
Zoe: bright

MTM: Romance
Zoe: chocolate

MTM: Mustache
Zoe: ewww

MTM: Captain Mal Reynolds:
Zoe: I am a leaf in the wind (I know, that's not who says that line, but you said first thing that came to mind.)

MTM: Thanks for another great interview, Zoe! My Schnauzer grudgingly thanks you, too.






Zoe Winters writes quirky and sometimes dark paranormal romance. She lives with her husband and two cats, and her favorite colors are rainbow and clear. For more information visit http://www.zoewinters.org or her blog at: http://zoewinters.wordpress.com

Save My Soul is available in Print, Ebook, and Audio, go here for more info: 

http://zoewinters.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/save-my-soul-now-available-in-ebook/

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Save My Soul by Zoe Winters


From the Amazon.com product description:

"All he’s asking for is her soul.


After buying the antebellum home she’s fantasized about since childhood, Anna Worthington discovers Luc, a dangerously seductive incubus who has been trapped in the house by a fifty-year-old curse. To rid herself of her problem house guest she’ll call on a priest, gypsies, ghost hunters, and the coven of witches from lust bunny hell. All she has to do is resist him long enough to break the spell so they can go their separate ways. If she doesn’t, she could die. And that would be the best case scenario."
 
I had planned to read the first chapter and then finish another book in my to-read pile, but Save My Soul would not go down without a fight. It started as a haunted house mystery, morphed into a steamy paranormal romance, and finished strong with an ending that wrapped up all the plot threads in a nice, neat, sexy bow of snarky and surprising fun.


The plot is engaging. The sex scenes are hot and full of tension. The prose is tight and laugh-out-loud funny in places.

My only regret is that I tore through this book in barely two days and now have to wait for the next book in the Preternaturals series.
 
Physics. What a pain.
 
Forget the stars on this one. Remember that scene in Buffy the Vampire Slayer in which Buffy and Spike have crazy sex so hard that they destroy a fucking building? Yeah you do. That was a great scene. I give Save My Soul five of those.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Public Display - Flash Fiction Dare

Through an odd twist of events on Twitter, I found myself on the receiving end of a dare to write a scene containing an inappropriate bit of intamacy in a public place. This is my somewhat tardy entry for said dare.

Read this and let me know what you think. Then, be sure to visit the other guilty parties and their naughty short stories:

Anabel
http://nemone7.livejournal.com/

Monica
http://tinyurl.com/3cosltt



Public Display

Bruscetta’s was not an exclusive restaurant; it was an impossible restaurant. There was no sign outside, no number in a phone book, and a minimum one-year waiting list. Only twelve tables filled the dining area.


Lucky patrons met with the chef, Alberto, when they entered. He would speak with them for a moment and then bring them the best meal they had ever eaten with no guidance or menu whatsoever.

It was like magic.

On this particular evening twelve enchanted couples feasted on dishes of exotic duck, eggplant, steak, pasta, and seafood that had been swimming only hours earlier. They drank white and Merlot wines that were older than they were. They savored the food and tried to forget about the sobering bill to come.

It was a typical evening at an atypical restaurant.

That changed during the main course with the opening of the front door.

A woman stepped into the dim candlelight of the room. She was pale with long, black hair that flowed down her shoulders. Her simple yet elegant black dress draped just above her knees. She was beautiful with an air of fierceness that showed through her emerald eyes even in the darkness.

Her escort closed the door behind her and glanced around the room with the kind of steely indifference with which a wolf surveys a flock of sheep. Where she was beautiful and elusive, he was wild and aggressive. From his shaggy sideburns to his old leather jacket, he did not seem like the type to accompany the woman, especially to a place like Bruscetta’s.

Alberto greeted the pair with his melodic accent that had somehow remained unaffected by many years away from his homeland. He immediately placed a thirteenth table against the wall.

The two sat and stared at each other, oblivious to the rest of the room.

Given the usual difficulty in obtaining a table, there were a few murmurs of discontent among the other patrons at their arrival, but they kept their dissatisfaction as quiet as possible.

After a few moments, Alberto returned and placed a rack of lamb in front of the man and a single glass of blood-red wine in front of the woman.

The conversation among the other couples changed from delight over the food to open speculation about the newcomers. They weren’t famous. They didn’t seem to be foreign dignitaries or local politicians. It was finally decided that they must simply have been friends of the chef.

While reaching this consensus, the others continued to observe the couple. The pair spoke low and stared directly into each other’s eyes, smiling and laughing occasionally. The man ate the rack of lamb, quite savagely, never offering any to the woman.

She didn’t seem to mind his poor manners. In fact, at one point, she reached across the table and touched his hand while he ate. With her eyes closed, she giggled and licked her lips slowly. He chewed purposefully, savoring every taste of the succulent meat and watching her reaction. She closed her mouth and pouted, then touched her chest when he swallowed, urging him to take another bite.

She gulped a bit of the wine, spilling a little on her cheek. The man wiped it away with his fingers and she grabbed his hand and licked the wine from his skin while staring into his eyes.

A few of the other couples looked away.

She pulled his finger into her mouth and a drop of crimson ran down the man’s hand. Blood?

The woman’s surly companion groaned as if in reply to the unspoken question on everyone’s mind.

Yes, blood.

The couples who looked away before, now looked on without hesitation.

The man reached under the table and grasped the woman’s chair. She released his hand with a purr and he effortlessly dragged her chair around until she sat right next to him.

He put his arm around her and leaned closer. She looked away and took a sip of wine. He smiled at her avoidance and touched her knee. Fingers slid up her alabaster skin and under her silk dress. A hint of smile crossed her lips as he leaned closer, brushing his oddly sharp teeth against the nape of her neck.

She turned back to him and shifted her body to face his. She crossed her legs and then brushed the calf of her dangling left leg gently over his groin.

The man growled audibly.

Then, they kissed. It was no quick peck of affection. It was the long, slow, lingering kiss of two lovers who knew what they wanted and were prepared to take it if necessary, regardless of the audience.

When they stopped, the man placed a wad of hundred dollar bills on the table and stood, still staring at the woman, feasting on her with his gaze. She smiled, relishing in the power she seemed to have over him.

She stood as well and rubbed her shapely backside against the prominent bulge on full display in the front of his trousers, drawing another growl from him.

They quietly left, leaving a room full of gaping jaws. A husband growled playfully at the wife. A girlfriend crossed her legs and brushed against the boyfriend.

Alberto returned and asked if anyone was ready for dessert.

Instead, twelve different couples all requested their checks as they suddenly had far better places to be.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

India Drummond: Eight inappropriate questions with the Ordinary Angels scribe


Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing India Drummond. Her debut novel, Ordinary Angels, is now available in eBook form everywhere.


Poor India. She agreed to answer my questions. Little did she know how little I know. I took this opportunity to ask her highly inappropriate questions about the angels in her story. Let the awkwardness commence.



India: I said I’d answer anything, and I meant it! Bring it.

MT: Your book brings angels down to Earth and puts them in the dirt with the rest of us. Do angels get tired of being thought of as chubby little winged babies flying around in cloth diapers or do they, in a freaky way, get off on it?

India: Understanding what angels are is a big part of the story. Zoe, the main character, has all the preconceived ideas, and Alexander, the main angel dude, has to tell her to forget everything she’s been taught, myths and Bible stories. I intentionally made angels unlike any human mythology. They’re part angel, part demon, part dragon… they are their own creatures and what humans know about them are all wrong. I love this because it let me write my own rules.

MT: How do angels feel about vampires? Do they watch reruns of Buffy or do they agonize over whether they are "Team Edward" or "Team Jacob"?

India: Alexander would probably like television! He’s fascinated with all things human. In my books though, there are no undead. There are ghosts, but these are human souls who got lost when they should have transitioned back to where they came from. The Higher Angels frown on human souls not being where they’re meant to be, and sometimes round them up. Scary thought, especially considering some of those spirits are Zoe’s friends.

MT: Will you be revisiting the Ordinary Angels world, or is this a stand alone novel?

India: The next novel in the series (which I think will be a trilogy) is called Familiar Demons, and it’s on the books for a 2012 release. It’s outlined and has a few chapters written, so it’s well on its way. This won’t be my next release though! I plan to release fantasy books in a couple of other worlds before I get to this sequel. I’m mean that way.

MT: Do angels poop? Wait. Don't answer that. That's a terrible question. Do they have sex?

India: Oh, do they ever have sex. Smouldering, saucy, and delicious. And something quite… unusual happens when they, ahem, reach their peak. This is definitely not a book for kids. Strong language and supernatural sizzle. It’s not classed as erotica, because the language used isn’t graphic. But the scenes themselves are quite spicy!

MT: Do angels have sideburns or other facial hair? I picture the archangels as having Sam Elliott paintbrush mustaches, even the female angels. Is this accurate or wishful thinking on my part?

India: They can change their appearance, so yes, they could have sideburns if they wanted to. Their basic physical structure stays the same, but they can wear their hair long or short, and change superficial things quite easily. That said, it is most definitely wishful thinking on your part!

MT: What is your next project after Ordinary Angels?

India: On June 1st I’ll be releasing Blood Faerie, an urban fantasy set in Perth, Scotland. It’s already back from the editor, so it’s just waiting for the proofreading and formatting stages! Later this year I plan to release Haywire Witch, the first in a series I’m calling “The Charms of Gerda Graves.” 2011 is a very busy year for me!

MT: Fuck it. I have to know. Do angels poop?

India: I never address it directly in the book, but I suppose I can give you the scoop. Eww, I wish I hadn’t said scoop.

At one point Zoe asks Alexander if he eats. He replies that he can, but he doesn’t have to. His friend and lawyer, a fallen angel named Thomas, runs a bar in realm outside the human world. So, we know for sure they drink too. I would say it’s safe to assume that the answer to the poop question is the same as the food question: they could if they wanted to, but I doubt they’d have to. Eating, like sex, is purely recreation for them (since they reproduce with each other differently than humans do—you’ll have to read Familiar Demons to find out more about celestial procreation), so it’s safe to say pooping would be, erm, purely recreational?

You win. Weirdest interview question ever. But I said I’d answer, and I’m a chick of my word.

MT: That you are! Thanks for playing along and best of luck.

India: Thanks so much for having me here today. It was great fun!



Highly offensive image of India as a werewolf angel. Note halo.

Author Bio:


India Drummond knew from age nine that writing would be her passion. Since then she's discovered many more, but none quite so fulfilling as creating a world, a character, or a moment and watching them evolve into something complex and compelling. She has lived in three countries and four American states, is a dual British and American citizen, and currently lives at the base of the Scottish Highlands in a village so small its main attraction is a red phone box. In other words: paradise.


The supernatural and paranormal have always fascinated India. In addition to being an avid sci-fi and fantasy reader, she also enjoys mysteries, thrillers, and romance. This probably explains why her novels have elements of adventure, ghosts (or elves, fairies, angels, aliens, and whatever else she can dream up), and spicy love stories.


Author website and blog: http://www.indiadrummond.com/


Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/india.drummond.author


Twitter: http://twitter.com/IndiaDrummond


To arrange an interview or contact the author, please email: author@indiadrummond.com

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kiss Me, Kill Me Paranormal Anthology out now

Much like Elvis, I have been taking care of business in a flash, as such:




Remember that time The King exploded out of a FabergĂ© egg? Yeah. Neither does he, but you can’t deny how fucking awesome it would be if he did.

I haven’t been mounting a comeback tour. I have been finalizing a short story for this anthology.



Head on over to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords and check it out. It’s only $0.99 and the proceeds go to GreaterGood.org.

You’ll find shapeshifters, vampires, superheroes, demons, faeries, men and women of mystery, and leprechauns!

Okay, I’m lying about the leprechauns, but these stories contain all those other things and then some, all for less than the cost of a single can of Guinness.

Voyage into the realm of the paranormal with this nine author short story anthology. Sink your teeth into:

A Ghoulish Valentine by H.P. Mallory:

Dulcie O’Neil can’t help her attraction to Knight Vander, much though she tries to fight her feelings. When she begrudgingly accepts his invitation to dinner and a movie, the last thing she expects is that she’ll be defending herself against a cemetery full of hungry ghouls and one incredibly sexy man.

Cat Fight by Zoe Winters:

Cat Fight takes place in Zoe Winters’ “PretVerse”. Greta is a cat therian (shifter). She’s been involved with Dayne, a local sorcerer since she sought his protection from her murderous tribe. After a fight, Greta shifts into cat form and refuses to come back out.

Impulse Control by Susan Bischoff:

In the world of the Talent Chronicles, kids born with supernatural powers are taken from their families and forced into government research facilities called State Schools. At one such school, a group of Talents must work together to stop a dangerous experiment that’s already killed two of their peers and threatens others. If they’re caught they face Detention, and Detention at a State School has a whole different meaning.

Wild Passion by Lori Brighton:

James is a treasure hunter intent on collecting a deadly, priceless statue. Then he meets Adelaide, a stubbornly beautiful and mysterious woman who knows more about the statue than she admits. Suddenly, James is tempted to give up everything for the one treasure he can’t seem to own … Adelaide.

A Fairytale Ending by M.T. Murphy:

An unlucky actress discovers that there is no good and bad when it comes to vampires and werewolves, only bad and worse.

Blind Sight by Kait Nolan:

Isla’s ability as a Seer has made her a life-long captive of a paranormal crime lord. Fae assassin, Ransom, offers her a chance at escape, but when she touches his hand she sees only blood, horror, apocalypse. What reason can Ransom have for wanting to rescue her, and can she possibly trust a man who deals in death?

The Sacrifice by Toni LoTempio:

After a chance meeting with the mysterious Alfred Barstow, Jennifer is swept off her feet by his whirlwind courtship of her, so much so that she accepts his proposal of marriage. Leaving her boyfriend Peter behind, she heads off to start a new life in California, unaware there’s more to Alfred than meets the eye – and a sinister plot behind his proposal. The Sacrifice is a story about what happens when the man of your dreams turns out to be your worst nightmare…and then some!

Until the Breaking of the Day by Daniel Arenson:

The Underground. A realm of flame, blood, and knives in the dark.When its prince returns from exile, a young demon girl will learn his secrets.

If You Leave by Stacey Wallace Benefiel:

Despite their devotion to one another, Gabrielle and Jorge have been living separate lives. That is, until Gabrielle’s life ends. Reunited and it feels so…complicated?

Monday, January 31, 2011

"When in doubt, rip off Shakespeare" Interview at Para Your Normal

Check out the audio archive of my Blog Talk Radio interview at Para Your Normal.

Why did I decide on the name Lucifera for my main character?

Is it it true that leprechauns have a restraining order against me?

Exactly how large is my head?

Hear me answer these questions and more with Para Your Normal hosts Andrew Mocete and Kelli McCracken.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Exterminator - Flash, bizarro fiction

I’m the best. That’s why they call me.

I knock. Ed opens the lid and ushers me inside. This is the second time I’ve paid him a visit.

“Thank you so much for coming out on a Sunday.” Ed says it like I’m doing him a favor.

“Thank me by paying me when the job is done.” It’s meaningless, but I say it anyway.

“You are one rude octopus,” he says.

“I’m not an octopus, you hippo,” I reply. “I’m a squid. Now show me what you’ve got.”

He takes me to the refrigerator.

“I keep hearing them in there. Every morning I find empty bottles and open snack wrappers strewn all around. Yesterday, I found a tiny dirty magazine out there, still open to the centerfold.”

The fridge is empty, but I hear it, too—tiny voices slurring and swearing. I was afraid of that.

I grab his droopy hippopotamus ear and drag his head down. The sound is louder there.

“What are you doing?” he screams.

“My job.”

It takes a minute, but I find the seam. Then I unzip his head. Five tiny little green-clad men are in there, laughing and kicking his tiny hippopotamus brain around like the terrible guests they are.

I slowly zip the head back up. Better safe than slimed.

“What was that, Joe?” Ed looks worried now. He damn well should be.

“Do you have whisky?”

“Yes.”

“Pour a shot.”

He does, spilling some on the counter with his clumsy hippopotamus hands.

I take the glass and smell it. It doesn’t burn any less now than it did when I used to swim in the stuff. I don’t miss the restaurant. Not even a little.

“You know, you are the spitting image of your—”

“Don’t mention my lazy brother, Ed. Do that and the deal is off.”

He wisely shuts up.

I place the dripping whiskey shot in the fridge and close the door.

“Now, do not open this door.”

“For how long?” he asks, already afraid of the answer.

“Forever.”

It is exactly what he doesn’t want to hear, but that is not my problem.

“I’ll take my payment now.”

He pulls out his oversized hippopotamus wallet and flips through, finding an arm. Then he digs in his pockets and locates a leg.

It takes a little shoving, but I fit them in my coin purse with the others.

“What happens now, Joe?”

“If you’re lucky, nothing. Bury the fridge in your cellar with the others, but keep it closed.”

“And if I don’t?” He wants to open it more than he wants to tap dance, and that’s a lot.

“Then one day somebody else will call me to exterminate a big, dumb hippopotamus wearing an ill-fitted green leotard. Is that what you want?”

His eyes cut away from mine.

“Maybe.”

“Do yourself a favor, Ed. Find yourself a nice girl or a tree and settle down. Have some babies or maybe some soup.”

Ed smiles. He closes his eyes and purrs like hippopotami often do.

I hit him across the head with a mackerel. He falls, dead.

I step back out of the shoebox. My client is there with all fourteen pairs of hands clasped in anticipation.

“Is it over?”

I nod, handing her the arm and leg.

“Here.”

She hands me a shrimp.

“This is too much,” I say.

“You are the best. I definitely received my invertebrate’s worth.”

I toss the monstrous thing on the back of my bicycle. It’s nice to be appreciated. I try to leave before she kills the mood.

“You know,” she says, “you look just like your brother.”

Great. I look just like my lazy, good-for-nothing, sleeps for eons in other people’s basements, cult of followers having brother. She not only killed the mood, she ran it over, helped it up, then dropped a grand piano on its cold, moldy corpse. If she weren’t a customer, I’d squirt ink in her eye.

“I leave you with a piece of friendly advice, Countess: Don’t open that fridge.”

Friday, December 17, 2010

Author Interview: Martin Millar - On lonely werewolf girls, vampire slayers, and the peril of wrestling Elizabethan playwrights




Recently, I had the extreme good fortune to interview one of my favorite authors, Martin Millar. What follows is a rare treat. He was able answer my thirteen questions in a way that makes them seem as though they were actually intelligent, worthwhile queries. Though this is solely due to Martin's quick wit, I do not hesitate to take full credit for the quality of this interview.

Enjoy!

MT: First, an easy one. Which of these Internet created holidays do you prefer, "Talk Like A Pirate Day" or "Speak in Third Person Day"? And please demonstrate how one might ask for directions to the rest room on your chosen day.

Martin: Speaking in the third person would probably take less effort than talking like a pirate. All these 'Arrhh me hearties' would wear me out. Third person wouldn't wouldn't be that difficult to manage - 'Could you please show Martin to the rest room? He's in need of some freshening up.'

MT: The title of this blog is Werewolf Kibble, which is a reference to the things werewolves eat, such as tacos, ham sandwiches, small mammals, disagreeable vampires, and the occasional bowl of miso soup. I make no secret of the fact that Lonely Werewolf Girl is my favorite werewolf novel. While everyone else in the literary and film industries is neck deep in vampires, what is it about werewolves that captured your interest?

Martin: The first thing I thought of was the title, Lonely Werewolf Girl. The phrase was enough to get me interested. It started me wondering what a lonely werewolf girl might be like. It also struck me that, in obvious contrast to her loneliness, I could also write about a lot of other werewolves in a social setting, namely a clan, which was ideal for setting part of the book in Scotland, which I was also pleased to do. The book very quickly became a large saga, because of the amount of characters, and I liked that too.

I think werewolves have the capacity to be more human than vampires, which for me is more interesting. But really, the driving force was mainly that I thought I could write a good book about werewolves, whereas I'd have a difficult time coming up with anything original to say about vampires. I doubt I could come up with a better vampire than Spike.

I've never really seen why werewolves would necessarily be savage killers, unable to control their emotions when they change into werewolves. That doesn't really seem to follow along logically to me. I thought it quite likely that werewolves could manage to fit in with the rest of society, which most of my werewolves attempt to do.



MT: I have it on good authority that you are both a Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Spongebob Squarepants fan. Please rank these characters in order of who you would most want on your side in a barroom brawl:

Angelus, Patrick Starfish, Faith, Larry the Lobster, Squidward Tentacles, and Joyce Summers.

Martin: Faith - she's really tough and maybe we could go on a date afterwards. In fact, Faith was sexually aroused by fighting, and once practically dragged Xander into bed after she'd been involved in some violence, so she'd obviously be a good person to be in a fight with. Faith was so attractive. As, of course, is Eliza Dushku.

Angelus - Also tough, though I wouldn't want to be friends afterwards. I never really loved Angel as a TV show.

Patrick Starfish - he's practically invulnerable. I've seen terrible things happen to him in the cartoon and he just bounces back every time.

Larry the Lobster - He does weight training, but I don't think he's got the stomach for a fight.

Squidward - I sympathise with his intellectual leanings and artistic endeavours, though I can't see him being that much help in a fight.

Joyce Summers - Does have some hidden toughness - she did hit Spike with an axe on one occasion - but she was never that attractive a character.

(But really, we're missing the best option from SpongeBob - Sandy the underwater Squirrel. She's really tough)

MT: Through a twist of space and time, imagine you met William Shakespear in a pub one evening. After the inevitable wrestling match (It is a known fact that Shakespear had a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu and liked to demonstrate his wrestling prowess in an attempt to impress the ladies whenever possible), which of your books would you suggest to the Bard for a rainy weekend read?

Martin: I'd be wary of wrestling an Elizabethan playwright, it could be dangerous. Christopher Marlowe ended up being stabbed through the eye. And in those days, in the shadowy theatrical and literary world, you never knew who might be a government spy.

I'd suggest to William Shakespeare that he never, ever looked at any of my books, so as he'd never know how inferior my writing was to his.

MT: What is the next book in your own "to read" pile?

Martin: Epictetus - Discourses and Selected Writings. Epictetus was a Greek stoic philosopher in the 1st century AD.

MT: The characters in Lonely Werewolf Girl and Curse of the Wolf Girl listen to an eclectic mix of music. If I were to sneak a peek at your current music playlist, what would I find?

Martin: T Rex, Slade, David Bowie - various English glam artists from the 70s. Also I listen to classical music on the radio.



MT: A friend told me that an open can of Guinness will draw leprechauns out if you have an infestation of the little buggers. Have you found this to be effective?

Martin: Well, this is more of an Irish question than a Scottish one, I have no real expertise in Leprechauns. Guinness may work in Ireland, but it would be an alien substance in Scotland, and might produce unforeseen consequences.

MT: If you could write a tale featuring any character at all, what character or characters would you write about? (Doctor Who episode, Batman comic, Sherlock Holmes story, Bleach story arc, Great Expectations sequel, etc.)

Martin: I'm having trouble answering this. Nothing comes very strongly to mind. I think I may have outgrown the enthusiasm I once had for many characters. Although I would still like to write a Buffy story.

To answer a slightly different question, if i was a writer at another time, I'd like to have been an Athenian playwright at the time of Aristophanes.

MT: In 200 years, a literature class is studying the collected works of Martin Millar / Martin Scott. What is the title of that course?

Martin: Minor Scottish Authors

MT: In Lonely Werewolf Girl, the title character is rude, brooding, self loathing, insecure, and neurotic, yet she still comes across as quite lovable. What was your inspiration for Kalix MacRinnalch, exiled daughter of the werewolf ruling family?

Martin: All of the rude, brooding, self loathing, insecure, and neurotic women I've had relationships with.

But seriously. She is just a figure from my own imagination. She has no real inspiration. However, most of her problems, neurosis and addictions are based on those of various people I've known.

MT: I love Anarchy in the U.K. by the Sex Pistols and I love the U.S. rock band Motley Crue. The Motley Crue cover of Anarchy in the U.K., however, makes me want to jam chopsticks in my ears. Why is that?

Martin: It just wasn't a suitable record for Motley Crue to cover. I think it was too far away in style and culture for them to understand it properly. Motley Crue singing about girls in LA is fine. There, they know what they're talking about. But Motley Crue trying to do justice to a record which really depended on it's 70s background of poor London council estates, strikes, inflation, and so on, filtered through the Sex Pistols' childhood in a country still affected by the post war poverty of the 50 and 60s, and then filtered again through the early 70s English music of The Faces, pub rock, and glam rock, was a big step too far for Motley Crue to manage.

Actually, Motley Crue make a spirited start in their version, but quickly run into trouble because they can't resist adding in flashy guitar solos. This is something you really can't have in 'Anarchy in the UK,' it destroys the whole concept of the record. After listening to Anarchy in the UK for the first time, you're meant to feel that you can immediately start your own band and make music, even if you don't know yet how to play an instrument. That feeling vanishes if the record is blighted with complicated guitar solos.

By extension of the above, listening to Anarchy in the UK can also make you feel that you can also go and write your own books, something it did for me.

MT: What is next for you on the writing front?

Martin: A Graphic novel set in ancient Greece, and probably a third werewolf book about Kalix.

MT: (In lieu of writing a response let the record show that I just did a backflip with a double twist at the mention of a third Kalix book. Hooray and ouch.) In closing, here is your chance to either reinforce or dispel a widespread stereotype about Scottish cuisine. Have you ever consumed a deep fried Mars candy bar and, if so, is it as wonderful as I imagine it would be?

Martin: No, I'd be scared to try it. I moved to London a long time ago, and while I remember Scotland as keen on it's deep fried fish and chips, I don't think the mania for frying such things as mars bars had arrived when I still lived there. I understand that anything can now be deep fried in Scotland, from chocolate to pizzas, but I've never tried any of this. It all sounds like a very bad idea to me, but I am ridiculously picky about the things I eat. My relationship with food is strained at the best of times, so I couldn't go around risking dangerous items like deep-fried mars bars.

MT: Thank you very much, Martin. On a scale from Angel Season 4 to Buffy Season 2, I rate this interview a Buffy Season 2 all the way.

Martin Millar is a critically acclaimed Scottish writer from Glasgow, now resident in London. He also writes the Thraxas series of fantasy novels under the pseudonym Martin Scott. He won the 2000 World Fantasy Award for the first book of the Thraxas series.

Connect with Martin on Twitter, his blog, and his website. Also, don't forget to pick up Lonely Werewolf Girl and Curse of the Wolf Girl.

If my endorsement isn't enough for you, see what a gentleman named Neil Gaiman has to say about Martin in the introduction he wrote for The Good Fairies of New York. Apparently, Mr. Gaiman dabbles in writing, too.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Afterlife: A bizarro tale of life, love and the hereafter or something.

I lived a good life. Never hurt anyone. Minded my business.

I ate. I swam. I spawned.

Then, I died.

I can’t remember the details. The old memory isn’t so good, even now. I know I have crossed over, but I’m not sure where I am.

The water is cool and clear. There are no men with poles and hooks lurking about, so that is a huge plus. The stream is flowing and I have plenty to eat.

There is only one explanation for this: I am in Heaven. Salmon Heaven!

I will swim and eat forever. I bet the spawning grounds are just over the hill, too. I am going to fertilize eggs until I go cross eyed. Then I’ll eat and do it some more. This is exactly how I want to spend eternity.

I don’t see the bear until he has me in his paws, snatching me from my paradise.

“Wait,” I scream.

The bear holds me inches from his drooling mouth, puzzled.

“What’s wrong?” he asks.

“There has been some mistake. You shouldn’t be here.”

The bear scratches his head.

“What do you mean?”

“This is the afterlife, yes?”

“Obviously,” they bear replies.

“I was swimming along, minding my business and heading to fertilize some eggs and you snatched me right out.”

“That I did. What’s the problem?”

The bear is obviously mentally deficient, so I spell it out for him.

“There are no bears in Salmon Heaven. I am not asking, I am demanding: Put me back in the water and leave at once.”

If I had a foot I would stamp it on the ground for emphasis. As it is, I slap his paw with my fin. The effect is the same.

“Mr. Salmon, there has obviously been some mistake.”

“Obviously,” I reply indignantly.

“I concur that, in Salmon Heaven, there should be no bears. You should be free to swim and fertilize eggs to your tiny salmon heart’s content.”

“I’m glad you see the issue. Now if you could just—”

“However,” the bear retorts, “you are not the injured party in this dispute.”

“Explain.”

“Though you are correct in your assumption that the likelihood of a bear being in Salmon Heaven is virtually nil, there is a fundamental flaw in your thinking.”

“And what might that be?” I ask. The bear fancies himself a thinker, this should be amusing.

“You, sir, are not in Salmon Heaven. I have been sitting in this spot for nearly twenty years eating your delicious brethren. In a few minutes I will make my way over the hill and spend the next twenty years mating and the following twenty years hibernating as I have done for as long as I can remember. Therefore, I can say with utmost confidence that this is, with no doubt whatsoever, Bear Heaven.”

“Oh my.”

“It’s pretty obvious.”

“Quite obvious, yes.”

“Yes.”

“Well, you can imagine my embarrassment.”

“I’m sure.”

“I am very sorry for my rudeness, Mr. Bear.”

“Think nothing of it,” he says. Bears are really quite civil once you get to know them.

“I suppose there is nothing left but to get on with it.”

“Quite right. I do apologize, but this might hurt quite a bit.”

“No apology needed. I am the injuring party here. Carry on.”

To his credit, the bear eats me as gently as such a thing can be done.

I can’t remember the details. The old memory isn’t so good, even now. I know I have crossed over, but I’m not sure where I am.

Now I am swimming once again.

Another stream, another chance. This surely the right place.

A human stands up ahead wearing those silly rubber pants they are so fond of, but he doesn’t worry me. I am far more interested in that delicious egg suspiciously drifting in the water in front of him. Any other time, I might be worried. Luckily, I am in Salmon Heaven.

I think I’ll take a bite.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nonfiction: December 9, 2008

Note: This is a departure from my usual satirical rambling, book and movie spotlights, and author interviews. My father passed away on December 9, 2008. This is what I remember about that day and his funeral.

***

“We did all we could. There is only so much the human body can take.”


The doctor kept talking but I zoned in and out after that. He was a nice guy. Friendly yet professional. At some point as he explained how kidney failure and the resulting toxin buildup in the blood—along with the half-dozen health problems Dad had—eventually caused his heart to just stop. That’s the real life definition of that fancy term “cardiac arrest.” After he said that, he laughed. I think I laughed and nodded, too. The doctor is the fast food chef of health care, and my Dad was a hamburger that couldn’t be salvaged.

I made the two hundred and sixty mile trip to Providence Hospital in a little over three hours when Mom called the night before. I cried the entire time because once I got there I would have to be the rock, and rocks don’t cry.

They let me in to see Pop after hours. His blood pressure was barely registering and he was already on a ventilator. It was the third time that I remembered him being on a ventilator. In the back of my mind I figured he’d wake up and snatch it out of his throat as he had done once before. Or, maybe that never happened. The mind goes to weird places when faced with something it doesn’t want to accept.

We were supposed to go into the intensive care unit and see him early that morning, but they asked us to wait outside for a few minutes. While we waited, a calm voice announced over the intercom that there was a “code blue” in intensive care. That’s more hospital talk for “somebody just died.”

By the time they let us back, the group of nurses and doctors who tried to save him were walking out, joking about what kind of crap they would be serving in the lunchroom. Dad was laying there, hands by his sides and eyes closed. His bed linens were neatly drawn up and tucked under his arms and sides. He would have looked like he was asleep, but nobody lies that still and straight.

Mom cried. I hugged her. She kissed Dad on the forehead and I did the same. I remember thinking he had only died a few minutes earlier but he was already so god damned cold.

We went to a little room by intensive care where they take people when a loved one has just died. A couple of nuns came to sit with us until the priest arrived. When he got there, he asked if he could say a prayer and we said we’d like that.

Some time in there, the rock broke and I cried a little. It didn’t last long. I couldn’t let it. I had to track down my brothers.

I called my older brother. He and Dad had their problems and he and I weren’t that close anymore either. I left a voicemail on his cell phone asking him to call me right away. Then, I called his office. The receptionist would give me no information whatsoever other than to say he was out of the office. In his rather public position there had to be some buffer, so I tried not to get offended, albeit unsuccessfully. I told her I was his brother and asked if she could convey a message. Her tone actually seemed to grow a little colder. Finally, she unenthusiastically decided she could give him a message. “Tell him his brother Mike called and our father just died,” I said. I can’t be sure, but I think I at least ruined her day. I really hope I did.

I called my eldest brother after that at the last cell number I had for him. Either it was out of service or I had the wrong number. We would later find out that he was getting ready to leave the country on a work assignment and coming to Pop’s funeral would have been a real inconvenience. I guess a phone call would have been just as inconvenient. He did send flowers though. Who sends flowers to their own father’s funeral? He does, I guess.

My older brother came as soon as he found out. It was good to see him and he was a big help. We talked like we did years before. We haven’t spoken since after the funeral.

The day before the funeral, we found out that one of the pastors we hoped could speak wouldn’t be able to attend. After a brief discussion, I decided to speak in his place.

I made a bunch of notes but never took them out of my pocket. I talked about how Dad was the most honest person I had ever met. He’d tell it like it was even if the truth wasn’t pretty, which was often the case. He served in the Navy during the Korean War and became a state trooper a few years after he returned home. To the day he died, more people knew him as Lieutenant Murphy than Tom.

I mentioned that he wasn’t fond of drawn out sermons or prayers, noting a funeral we attended when I was a kid. Halfway through a painfully long and sorrowful prayer by the presiding pastor, I heard someone start snoring. A split-second later, I realized it was Pop and elbowed him in the ribs. Those in attendance got a kick out of the story.

I thanked everyone for coming: all our friends and family, my friends and co-workers who shut our company down for the day just to make the trip, the Alabama State Troopers who had never met my dad but still felt compelled to make the trip to salute the fallen brother they had never met, the pastor who had come with my aunt to visit Dad in the hospital numerous times just because that’s what she did.

The Alabama State Honor Guard attended the graveside service. A trumpet player played Amazing Grace and seven troopers gave him a twenty-one gun salute. The local Freemason lodge performed a graveside service as well. Because we live in the digital age, the Honor Guard has a video crew that taped the service. Mom gave me a DVD a few weeks later. I still haven’t watched it.

The last time I spoke to Dad, we got in a fight over politics. We still said our I love you’s before we hung up, but we both were a little exasperated with each other. As was often the case, it eventually turned out that he was right and I was wrong. He wasn’t perfect, but he did the best he could and I loved him for it.

I’m not sure why I wrote this. I made peace with dad’s passing long ago. Maybe I just needed to see it in black and white, or maybe I still have a demon or two to exorcize.

Thanks for reading. 
 
Now, back to your regularly scheduled leprechaun bashing, booze, and werewolves.