Thursday, June 30, 2016

#TBT: Kory Talks #interview #Thursdaythoughts

TBT of an interview that ran in June of last year:

When did you know that you were really a writer?
In college I kept changing my major: theater, biology, psychology, English, and so on. Throughout all of that, my minor stayed the same—creative writing. It took me a while to figure out that the reason the writing part hadn’t changed was because I loved it most—it was the core of me. So after I realized that, I committed to it.

What would it take for you to quit writing?
A billion dollars—and even then I’d likely do it in secret when no one was looking…

Favorite music for writing?
NIN, Florence and the Machine, Lana del Ray

Favorite music for working out or waking up or partying (whichever of those three you do the most)? Of the three, I suppose I “wake up” the most, considering I have so far, in the last 30+ years done so every day, often more than once a day. And I don’t listen to music when I wake up unless you count my ringtone, which is usually some kind of somber classical music. Like Satie’s gnossienne no 1.

What things in life make you feel most alive?
Walks in the rain. Kissing. Exploring foreign cities/travel.

What is the deepest relationship you’ve had with a fictional character (yours or another author’s)? The deepest relationship I have with fictional characters are my own. I get to know them and love them and sympathize with them as I tell their stories. Telling their stories is incredibly intimate.

Whose fiction did you enjoy the most growing up? Anne Rice and Laurell K. Hamilton. Though my first love was Madeleine L'Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet—both serving as my introduction to science/survivalist fiction.

What new author (first published in the past 5 years) do you admire the most, and why?Uhhh. A brand-new author that hasn’t been published before 2010? I’m struggling here. I honestly can’t think of an amazing writer who hasn’t been doing their thing for more than five years.

If you could gather a dream team for life or business, what kind of people would you surround yourself with? People who say “how do we do make this happen?” Rather than “this can’t be done.”

What do you secretly wish would happen to you someday?If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret, now would it?

Tell us about a tender moment with a family member.
When I was younger I lived with my mother and we were moderately poor. She never finished school (dropped out in 8th grade to sell drugs for her father) and so the best job she was qualified for was factory work, when it was available. As you can imagine, it didn’t pay well. By fifteen or so, I was already well into my own addiction problems—books. And my favorite author at that time was Anne Rice. I was desperate for her latest vampire chronicle, The Vampire Armand I believe, but our little library in Coffee County didn’t have it and wouldn’t for a while. I fully expected that I would have to wait a long time to read it or at best, scrape up the coins for the paperback by the time the mass market edition was released.

Imagine my utter surprise when one night—late because my mother always worked late—I heard a soft knock on my bedroom door. It’s my mother, telling me she had a surprise for me. The surprise was the hardback copy of my heart’s desire, which I knew for a fact having drooled over it at the racks of the local bookstore, was nearly $30. $30 was a helluva expense for us. After all, do you know how many boxes of macaroni and hamburger helper could be bought for $30? (About 30 because we shopped at the dollar store).

I turned the book over in my hands, loving it with my fingers: the smell of it, the cool feel of the dust jacket, the unforgiving stiffness of its spine. I was really touched. Really touched because when my mom made a joke about just read your book when you start to get hungry—I was old enough to hear the truth behind her smile.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

#Tuesdaybookblog: Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill #Review

First in a brand new series about a Chicago graduate student's introduction into a society of vampires.

Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn't exactly glamorous, but it was Merit's. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.

Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she's traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan 'Lord o' the Manor' Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries' worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan's attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone's still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago's nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war and there will be blood.

Kory's Thoughts:

ERMERGERD! Where the hell have I been? I know this book came out years ago, but I'm just now discovering this series and I LOVED this book. It had super sexy stuff, which was fun (of course), but mostly it was the voice! Merit was sassy and smart and her chemistry with the BFF and her transition into vamp life was flawless. The whole time I read it I kept thinking "If I was going to write a story like would be like this!" Anyone who has read the Jesse books KNOWS I love some snarky girls and snappy dialogue, so this resonated with me immediately.

So much so that I picked up books 2 and 3 in this series and plan to tear into them immediately.

Five out of five sassy stars.

Friday, June 24, 2016

#Fridayreads: A Poem by Alice Notley

Perhaps Not For You

Related Poem Content Details

There is
there is
no audience.

So if you speak only to
imagined beings
what does "only" mean?


This building formerly a restaurant . . .
this small room has been scraped of its paint 
and denuded of most former furniture: but 
also it has grown in size—can a building be 
enticed to grow? Because it is now as big as an 
airplane hangar.


          beautiful face 
unbloodied beneath

Mother of flies your
to turn to. If only 
the audience
could see how
you are peaceful and the
languid, glossy

But the audience will still bring
          its own feelings 
to these 

not seeing you
               not seeing 
what I 
am present for.


Who has left me 
here, I have.

Who are your 

            into the 
page if you dare


     Because he invented 
your shape I do mean 

because he invented you badly 

           everything is still hidden.


I was to impale myself on a
steel rod, with a blunt end
                     with a blunt end 
which would make puncture
      more difficult 
and I tried—it's too hard. I can't 
Okay said the voice. I can't 

then I was weeping
                              But it's blood! I'm 
crying blood! I 

That's part of it
said the voice.


I think this is hard.
(That's part of it)

How they prefer him must go.

I think this is difficult singing

Length and repetition 
         create power

If this voice can return like 
         a body

It resembles something that's already been, 



Chestnuts broken
autumnal fungi
so you will remember, that
          it's fall 
         falling. you'll go down

this is no story for the puling
          social classes 
No not at all 
it's for us my familiars say 
who let me weep blood on their ground.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

#Thursdaytreat: Here's What You Missed: #Blog Tour Recap and #Giveaway

Did you miss this week's fun posts?

We've got an interview over at Mello and June, It's a Book Thang.

What would happen if Jesse Sullivan met the Winchester boys? Find out.

A guest post for who I'd cast in the Jesse and crew movie, over at Urban Fantasy Investigations

And a book spotlight to boot.

Don't forget that all of these posts have a rafflecopter giveaway attached. I hope you'll play along and satisfy my sick desire to give you ALL THE THINGS. ;)

Until next week,


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016

#Fridayreads: A Poem by Eileen Spinelli

First Saturday in June

Related Poem Content Details

Fifty-nine days to go.

I can't find my purple beach towel.
I can't even get to my closet
without walking across
a sea of dirty socks.

Mom pokes her head into my doorway,
“Time to clean your room, Sophie.”
And I have to admit
she's right.

And it's not that cleaning my room
is the worst thing to do.
It's just that there are so many other
better things to do,
painting my toenails Strawberry Pink,
eating a huge stack of Uncle Joe's pancakes,
dreaming of riding the Ferris wheel,
thinking up a story to tell
around the campfire
on Scary Story Night,
painting shells,
riding waves . . .
all the fun, wonderful,
sandy, sunny things we do
at Summerhouse Time.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

#Tuesdaybookblog: Happy Release Day! #Amwriting

Knowing what you know now of writing, publishing, and putting your art out into the world, if you could go back to the day you sat down to start typing in your very first manuscript, what words would you offer to yourself? Words of encouragement? Words of advice? Caution against certain pitfalls? Would you change anything about how you got to where you are today? 

The publishing community is so much bigger than it was before the self-publishing boom and it continues to grow exponentially every day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a handbook or support group. #AmWriting is a collection of letters written by authors from all different corners of the publishing community. The letters provide words of encouragement or advice to those just starting out or those who have become discouraged in their art. 

100% of the net proceeds of #AmWriting will be donated to The Wayne Foundation, a charity dedicated to offering aid and services to young women victimized by illegal sexual exploitation and the sexual trafficking of minors. For more information about The Wayne Foundation, you can visit them on the web at 

#AmWriting features letters from more than 70 authors, including Jeaniene Frost, T.J. Michaels, Kendall Grey, yours truly, and many more! 

Get your copy here.

Monday, June 13, 2016

#Mondayblogs: The Tour Continues!

Here we are! Still plucking away at this month's blog tour. In case you missed it, last week kicked off the Worth Dying For tour, complete with awesome content and your chance to win books, money and fun things in between. 

For those of you following along, this is our line up this week:

June 14 Jesse Sullivan Meets Sam and Dean Winchester
I Smell Sheep

June 16 Spotlight
BookwormBridgette's World

June 17 Interview
Mello and June, It's a Book Thang!  

and if you're late to the party, here are the links from last week:

June 6 Cocktail recipe to really raise you from the grave!
Roxanne’s Realm

June 7 Spotlight
The Recipe Fairy

June 8 Spotlight
Hart's Romance Pulse

June 9 Spotlight
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, and Sissy, Too!

June 10 "5 Things You Should Know about Jesse Sullivan"
Brayton's Briefs 

Friday, June 10, 2016

#Fridayreads: A Poem by D. Nurkse

The Chime

Related Poem Content Details

When death stands in your doorway, you must show no weakness. If he points at his watch, answer “in five minutes.” If he insists, murmur “just a minute.” When he bridles, whisper “half a minute,” 
“a second,” “half a sec,” “one moment.”

You mustn’t look him in the eye. But don’t avert your gaze. Glance decisively at the bridge of the nose or the moist place right below 
the lips.

If he unfolds a map, please don’t express a preference for the seashore or the mountains. Betray no longing or anxiety. You might tap the margin nonchalantly, if there is a margin.

There’s an old superstition that death is a healer, he brings peace, 
escape from corruption. On the contrary: he is not a person, an animal, an insect, not even a pebble. Not even a name. Not an event. Not a whiff of night air.

So why, ask yourself, does he fidget there, with that peevish “can’t we meet each other halfway” expression, in those absurd Goodwill clothes, baggy corduroy suit, pants and jacket the same color but different wales, so often folded the seams are white as chalk lines, fat two-tone white-and-beige golf shoes with cleats, nylon argyle socks, like someone’s idea of an encyclopedia salesman from the nineteen thirties?

And why is the street behind him so fascinating, empty as a stage set, a few vans double-parked, a cat hiding under one, sometimes the flicker of the tip of a tail, sometimes the glint of the eye itself, 
voracious, ecstatic?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

#WIPit Wednesday: Louie's Novel #amwriting

So most of you know me because you love (or hate) a snarky young lady by the name of Jesse Sullivan. The novel I'm currently working on has nothing to do with Jesse though. 

*ducks the soda cans and beer bottles and mismatched shoes*

I know, I know! You just want me to shut up and write you another Jesse book. Well the next one is coming in November, okay? Gah! So demanding! 

In the meantime, I happen to be writing about another totally bad ass novel. This novel is super weird so far. It's got three third person POVs and its more of a crime thriller than the Jesse books, which is more fantasy.

Anyhoo, I thought you guys might want to know what I was working on, so I've included a rough (emphasis on rough) chunk of the story here for you to enjoy.

So what do you think? Could you ever love Lou as much as you love Jesse? Could you dig a crime-thriller with light fantasy vibe?

He wailed and fought her hold, throwing a blind elbow strike which she ducked easily, given the difference in their heights and his sluggish movements. Fortunately, she only needed to hold onto him for a heartbeat.
She pulled him through the dark.
Once the fresh air hit her, she stopped clinging to Castle and let him tumble to the grassy knoll at the edge of the lake.
His drunk ass hit the dirt and he cried out.
The crickets fell silent at having their concert interrupted. The other night sounds swelled oblivious to their intrusion. So far into the wilderness, scuffles happened all night long. Beasts tearing apart one another wasn’t news worthy. So the night went on.
An owl hooting. A fish jumping up before belly flopping the surface of the water.  Something on the opposite shore slid into the water, a silver trail cutting the surface behind it. Ducks maybe. She wasn’t sure. Surprisingly, despite all her gifts, Lou’s night vision was unremarkable.
Castle pulled himself to his feet, clawing at the small of his back.
“Looking for this?” Lou asked, pointing his gun at him. Mosquitos buzzed in her ears.
Castle stopped slapping his lower back and his jaw fell open. “Oh fuck. It’s you.”
That stopped her.
“You’re Konstantine’s bitch.”
She grimaced. “I’m no one’s bitch.”
“No, you’re her. I’ve seen the fucking pictures. I thought he was just jumping at shadows and shit but look at you.” He waved a hand up and down her body. “Oh fuck, are you going to kill me?”
She should’ve said yes. That was her intention. But she was hung up on the words fucking pictures.
“God, I’m too high for this right now.” He ran his hands over his face. Then he dropped down by the lake and started splashing water on his face. His white cowboy hat with the fancy plume fell off of his head and into the water. He fished it out and shook water off of it before laying it aside. A strange expression seized his face.
With a dawning horror, she realized he was going to puke.
She lowered the gun. This was new. Usually when she came across a hired hand from the Martinelli drug ring, it had a predictable pattern. It began with threats.
There was the name calling.
The threat to kill off her family.
Too late, she said to that one. You’ve already killed my parents. I’m here to return the favor.
Or some variation. It was all pretty much the same. These men only had so many things to say.
When they found her unmoved, they tried to strike first. Then she killed them and shoved their bodies and all the evidence into the water.
The end.
No one had ever recognized her before. Mentioned pictures before. Collapsed to their knees and started vomiting before the first threat was even made.
“Jesus fucking Christ. What did I ever do to you?” he sounded as though he would cry.
Lou lowered the gun even more. She kept the pistol cupped in her hands, ready to raise and shoot at any moment. She thought the best way to proceed in an uncertain situation was to check her facts.
“You worked for the Martinellis. You were a mule, pulling large shipments across the borders wherever they sent you. You were in Galveston but you’ve migrated north.”
“What does that got to do with you?”
“You’re still selling drugs even after I wiped out he Martinellis.”
“Why you got to kill me?” He turned and heaved in the lake again. When he stopped heaving, he added, “Like you said, I’m just a mule.”
“I don’t like drugs.”
“Fuck, then don’t do them!” he said with a wild shrug. “I never held you down and forced you, did I?”
“Good point.” Lou forced a smile. “I’ll cut you a deal.”
The man begged. Literally begged on his hands and knees. Hands clasped.
“You stop muling and I won’t kill you.”
His Adam’s apple bobbed in the moonlight.
“You don’t like my deal, Jimmy?”
Jimmy ran his hands down the front of his pants. “Come on, man. Be reasonable.”
She pistol whipped him.
Castle touched two fingers to his bloody cheek. It was swelling a dark purple in the moonlight. “If I quit I’m as good as dead. Konstantine will cut off my balls and stuff them up my ass.”
“Whoever he is he’s just another roach that’ll run under the fridge when the light comes on. I’ll get to him. Maybe I’ll get to him next.”
His bald head gleamed in the moonlight. “He’s no roach. He’s the new Martinelli.”
“There’s no Martinelli,” she raised her gun and pointed it between his eyes. “I killed every last one.”
“You’re wrong,” he said. He seemed soberer now with all his alcohol floating as a film on the lake’s surface. “Konstantine was some bastard from Greece. Piero’s illegitimate son or some shit. When you killed off his father and brothers, he stepped right up to the plate and took everything over. He’s running the game now. And he’s scarier than any fucking Martinelli. The things I’ve heard about him, you wouldn’t believe it. Truly fucked up shit.”
“And he has pictures of me?”
Castle tugged the damp hat back onto his head. “He sent them around. I thought it was a story to keep all the good little mules in line. But here you are and you look just like your fucking pictures.”
Keep the good little mules in line.
Because they hadn’t been in line. Lou saw the infighting herself. But she thought the chaos was simply the result of her murdering everyone in charge. She’d cut off the thumb holding them down and now every dealer with an ounce of ambition was vying for his position on top.
Of course this Konstantine would have to be a bloody bastard. He’d never reestablish the pecking order and fist of power his family had built with a soft tactic. The clans and other crime families would eat him alive.
Her eyes narrowed on the man at her feet. This was too much to think about now. Too many angles to consider. She had to think.
“Get up,” she said.
“Oh come on.” Castle pulled himself to his feet. “Please don’t fucking kill me. You want money? I’ve got—” his voice broke and his face screwed up like he was going to burst into tears.
“Don’t cry. It pisses me off,” she said.
“I’m not going to kill you,” she said, announcing her decision.
“You’re not?” Castle’s face lit up. “What’s the fucking condition?”
“The condition is you never saw me,” she said. “If you tell anyone you saw me, I’ll come back for you. And I’ll have time to think of something worse than cutting off your balls and stuffing them up your ass. Thanks for the idea, by the way.
She stepped into the shadow of the tree and slipped, leaving Castle with wide glassy eyes.
She didn’t go far. Across the way she peered from beneath a Sitka pine. He turned a circle, searching. He went to the tree where she’d just been and looked beneath it as if expecting to find her there.
When he seemed satisfied that she had left, he ran lifted his hat and ran a hand over his gleaming bald head again, before walking south, away from the moon-filled water.
She wasn’t going to let him go far.
If he kept wandering his current direction, he wouldn’t last two days. There was nothing but Alaskan wilderness that way. If he’d managed to stumble east by accident, he’d find the town three miles away and wonder how he’d gotten from Austin to Alaska in a single bound.
She loved this spot. It had taken her a long time to find one that fit her travel criteria so perfectly. And if she let him find the town he might be able to find his way back.
She slipped through the trees, staying on his heels as he navigated the forest. Coyotes yipped nearby catching her scent and no doubt Castle’s. It didn’t matter. As soon as he passed beneath the next shady limb she was going to grab him.
The arm of a mighty fir stretched overhead. As soon as the shadow passed over his body, she grabbed him. He yelped, as expected. And was still yelping when she dropped him on the sidewalk beside the downtown alley.
She ducked out of sight before he could turn and look for her.
Let him think she’s a ghost. Or a bogey of some sort.
Power was only powerful when no one knew how much you really had. It was better if they believed her to be invincible. She was in trouble if they realized just how many limitations she had.
From beneath an awning across the street, she watched Castle clamber to his feet and turn in all directions. He peered into the dark alley, searching for her. Some of his friends called from the club’s entrance and he turned, wide-eyed and bewildered. He lifted his hat and ran a hand over his bare head.
Lou smiled.

Run rat run, she thought, watching him disappear into the throng of sweaty people feeding on the night.