A rant about some I once worked with

There’s been something picking at my mind for a couple of years now. It’s dragging me down and, worse, making it difficult to write. Here’s the sequence of events that caused it and my reaction to it.

 

I was working with another author on a trilogy of vampire books set in Europe at the time of George III. Her name is Celina Summers.

 

The project wasn’t easy for me. I’d never worked on anything that big before and big things make me nervous. Enough so that my depression started to manifest so for a short time I wasn’t contributing project as well as I could.

 

But I got restarted on my meds, the depression cleared up and I got back to work.

 

But I was also enjoying the project quite a bit. It was challenging both my imagination and skill.

 

Now Ms. Summers and myself both hang out at the Absolute Write forums, and we both participate in the Politics and Current Events sub forum there. Our political views are quite different but it’s a free country. She has the right to hold her views and I believed she thought I had the right to mine.

 

I was very, very wrong about that.

 

One day I posted this. Now let me make it very clear. I like capitalism. It’s the best economic system we humans have come up with yet. However I don’t believe capitalism, the economic system, cares much for democracy, the political system. It’s far more comfortable with advanced authoritarian systems that are not opposed to capitalism. I know many people disagree with me but I have the right to believe that and the right to say so.

 

Which is why it was such a shock to receive this e-mail from Ms. Summers.

 

* * * *

Rob,

 

You need to remember that everything you say online can and will come back to haunt you.  When you complain about how the writing of a book is going, I know about it.  When you inform the world that due to ‘circumstances with other people’ the book release is delayed, potential customers see it and assume we haven’t done our job.  When you bust forth with anti-US sentiments on a political section of a writer’s board, those posts show up on Google AND IT TURNS PEOPLE OFF FROM BUYING THE GODDAMN BOOK.

 

Look, I personally don’t give a rat’s ass what your political opinions are–you can just keep them away from me and we’ll be fine. But, when your behavior starts to affect my pocketbook it really pisses me off. As far as that goes, you can argue to your heart’s content if you just support you contentions with reliable sources–not op eds or Wikipedia. But above all, you have to treat people with a modicum of respect and the way you’re behaving at AW is not respectful. When I start getting PMs and comments about my writing partner’s behavior, things have gotten a little out of hand. AW is a strong customer pool of mine and you’re pissing all over it.  Use the helpful sections, the writing sections.  Play in Office party.  Post in P&CE with good source material and a more respectful tone.  And for God’s sake, stop stomping all over the customer base.  Whether you like it or not, the majority of book buyers are American and there’s nothing you can do to piss them off quicker than to equate them to fascists or spout off bullshit about slavery being the high point of capitalism.

 

Seriously.

 

Celina

 

* * * *

 

As you can see Ms. Summers decided that she had the power to tell me what I could and couldn’t say on-line. If she had a problem with what I said she should have dealt with it there, with the same guidelines she laid out for me. Instead she lays down the law about how I can and cannot act.

 

The only reason I could think of that she could get away with doing that is that she believed the power of our professional relationship and friendship (We had been friends up to this point) could let her get away with that. Also was the sotto voce threat that she would go to our publisher and kill the project. She’d bring up ‘my behavior’, meaning my saying things she disagrees with, and then ‘my behavior’ would be spread around and kill my writing career. All because she doesn’t like what I say and has no trouble using any power she has over me to get me to STFU.

 

I loathe bullies and that’s what she did, bully me.

 

I tried to explain to her how I felt in an IM conversation, but she wasn’t having any of it. She even made it clear she felt no obligation to stop posting her political ideas on-line because apparently hers wouldn’t cause the problems mine did. Her were right and wouldn’t make anyone angry. Picture me rolling my eyes here.

 

I stayed with the project but my heart wasn’t in it. I left after the second book was finished. I no longer trusted Ms. Summers and you can’t work with someone you don’t trust. I’m sure she was relieved to see me go.

 

I’ve found it very difficult to write since. Quite simply Ms. Summers fucked me up but good.

Why? Because this is very typical of how things go in my life. People always ‘move the goal posts.’ Here I thought creating a book is all about writing but now I find out it’s about propriety; proper talk and proper beliefs and proper behavior. And I’m afraid propriety is not something I’m good at. I never have been and I never will be. I’m the propriety equivalent of dyslexic. My mind just simply cannot comprehend the subject. It makes no sense to me.

 

So I have trouble writing these days. I’m too sure that I’ll step over some line somewhere that I’m not even aware of and then I’ll be back to square one with any hope of a career. I keep thinking “Why bother? I’ll be judged on the things I’m not good at rather than the things I am good at.”

 

It’s really tough to do anything when you believe that ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you do. It’s going to end in failure.

Once In A Lifetime Cover Reveal

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Limited Time Offer!
This bundle will be on sale for $0.99
Regularly priced at $9.99

Love fairy tales… with a twist?
Dive into 4 different worlds of fairy from four amazing authors of the genre. Read about a descendant of the brothers Grimm fighting to break a curse, Snow White who craves blood, fairy tale creatures buried in dreams whose true stories are written in the book of sands, and a Captain Hook who’s thirst for Peter’s blood is more than the stories have made it out to be. Whether you’re looking for sensual romance, nail-biting fantasy, a new and sexy Snow, or a mysterious curse, check out this amazing boxed set from four bestselling authors of twisted fairy tales.

4 Full novels plus never before published bonus material from Bestselling Authors:

Chanda Hahn
RaShelle Workman
Marie Hall
Cameron Jace

Release Date – December 1

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Book Blurbs:

UnEnchanted (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale #1) by Chanda Hahn

Mina Grime is unlucky, unpopular and uncoordinated, that is until she saves her crush’s life on a field trip, changing her High School status from loser to hero overnight. But with her newfound fame brings misfortune as an old family curse come to light. For Mina is descended from the Brothers Grimm and has inherited all of their unfinished fairy tale business. Which includes trying to outwit a powerful Story from making her its next fairytale victim.

To break the fairy tale curse on her family and stop these deadly events, Mina must finish the tales until the very Grimm end.

Fairest (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale #2) by Chanda Hahn

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall,
Who is the Fairest of them all?

In the sequel to UnEnchanted, Mina Grime discovers that all is not fair when it comes to the Fae and their tales, especially when they don’t all play by the rules. Barely surviving the Story’s first fairy tale quest, Mina still has hundreds to go before she can end the curse on her family. But a new player arises to challenge Mina while new rules revamp the game she has just barely begun to understand.
All the while, people are mysteriously disappearing, including Jared, whom Mina must finally determine to be friend or foe. And with the loss of her greatest weapon, Mina must try to outwit a deadly hunter. Can Mina survive the most difficult quest yet while protecting those she loves from falling victim to one of the lethal tales of all? Or will she become a pawn when she strikes a bargain with the Queen of Fae?

Blood & Snow Vol 1 – 4 by RaShelle Workman

“Lips red as rubies, hair dark as night. Drink your true love’s blood, become the Vampire, Snow White.”

EVERY THOUSAND YEARS THE VAMPIRE QUEEN SELECTS A NEW BODY, ALWAYS THE FAIREST IN THE LAND, AND THIS TIME SHE’S CHOSEN SNOW WHITE.

BLOOD AND SNOW: Snow White isn’t an ordinary girl. She doesn’t know that yet.

REVENANT IN TRAINING: Snow has become something not quite human. She must discover how to live with the changes, hopefully without killing anyone.

THE VAMPIRE CHRISTOPHER: Snow White craves blood. Especially the blood of her Hunter. But will drinking from him save or enslave her?

BLOOD SOAKED PROMISES: Snow White must come to terms with her bloodlust. It’s one thing to drink the blood of her Hunter, something else entirely to drink the blood of a human.

Cindy Witch (Vol 1 – 2) by RaShelle Workman

Cinderella is a witch destined to save the world and make out with her boyfriend.

Hook’s Pan (Kingdom #5) by Marie Hall

Trishelle Page has known pain in her life, but instead of it making her weak, she’s stronger. Confident. That is until the day a fairy kidnaps her during her staring role in Peter Pan’s play and tells her not only do fairy tales exist, but that she’s the soulmate of the pirate they call Hook, making her question everything she ever thought she knew.

Captain James Hook is a man at the end of his rope. He’s not the villainous bastard tales have made him out to be. So when the curvaceous blonde drops, literally, at his feet he aims to prove it to her. If only to get her into his bed.

What neither one knows is that fate and magic are conspiring and they can deny the attraction all they want but the end is already written, it’s just a matter of getting there.

Grimm Diaries Prequels (1 – 6) by Cameron Jace

This Grimm Diaries Prequels are a number of short books in the form of epistolary diary entries. The diaries are more of teasers for the upcoming series: The Grimm Diaries, allowing you to get a glimpse of what to expect of the series. The 6 diaries are told by The Evil Queen, Peter Pan, Little Red Riding Hood, the Devil, Prince Charming, and Alice Grimm.

1:Snow White Blood Red, narrated by The Snow White Queen 2: Ashes to Ashes and Cinder to Cinder, narrated by Alice Grimm 3: Beauty Never Dies, narrated by Peter Pan 4: Ladle Rotten Rat Hut, narrated by Little Red Riding Hood 5: Mary Mary Quite Contrary, narrated by the Devil 6: Blood Apples, narrated by Prince Charming.

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About the Authors

Chanda Hahn

Chanda Hahn takes her experience as a children’s pastor, children’s librarian and bookseller to write compelling and popular fiction for teens.
She was born in Seattle, WA, grew up in Nebraska and currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband and their twin children; Aiden and Ashley.

Learn more about this author visit her website chandahahn.com
Follow her on twitter: www.twitter.com/chandahahn

RaShelle Workman

RaShelle Workman is the international bestselling author of the Dead Roses series (“Sleeping Roses,” book 1 in the series, has been translated into Turkish and is NOW available wherever Turkish books are sold), the Immortal Essence series, the Blood and Snow series, the Cindy Chronicles, and Touching Melody (A Forever First Novel). She’s sold over three hundred thousand copies of her novels worldwide in the past year, including Japan, Canada, and Europe. You can find RaShelle all over the web, but the best place to start is on her blog: rashelleworkman.com.

Marie Hall

Marie loves books that make you think, or feel something. Preferably both. And while she’s a total girly girl and loves glitter and rainbows, she’s just as happy when she’s writing about the dark underbelly of society. Well, if things like zombies, and vampires, and werewolves, and mermaids existed. (Although she has it on good authority that mermaids do in fact exist, because the internet told her so.)

She’s married to the love of her life, a sexy beast of a caveman who likes to refer to himself as Big Hunk. She has two awesome kids, lives in Hawaii, loves cooking and occasionally has been known to crochet. She also really loves talking about herself in the third person.

If you want to see what new creations she’s got up her sleeves check out her blog: www.MarieHallWrites.blogspot.com or contact her personally at mariehallwrites@gmail.com.

Cameron Jace

Here’s my biography below, where I’m supposed to say something cool about me, which I’m really terrible at.
Things you might want to know about me:
I write books that I can’t find elsewhere, basically to amuse himself. Everything I do is for fun, so don’t take me seriously, and never call me a writer. I hate that. I prefer the word: Storyteller. I am also full of flaws, but I’m improving everyday. If you like my books, horaaaay! I luv ya too. If ya don’t, hoooray! Now we know in advance that this relationship isn’t going to work.
Although my books are ordinary on the surface, they hold many secrets that I might reveal one day. What matters the most to me are characters struggling to find their identities in the world.
Things you don’t need to know:
I celebrate my birthday twice a year, the day I was born and Friday the 13th. I want to live in a bubble house, and I thinks circles are way cooler than triangles. I like boats, beaches, bears, beards, bears, bananas, bars, barfights, beans, bikes, bones, butter, babes, bakery, blizzards, and pirates ( I thought it was spelled Birates when I was a kid. )

Follow me:
www.facebook.com/camjace
twitter.com/cameronjace
www.goodreads.com/CameronJace

On the Far Side of Darkness Giveaway!

Enter to win R. C. Graham’s book On the Far Side of Darkness.

Enter to win!
Enter to win!


On the Far Side of Darkness Giveaway!

Available for 0.99¢ if you preorder from B & N, Kobo, or Apple.

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On The Far Side of Darkness is an anthology of stories about Georges Belleveau, a vampire since The Terror and his human lover, Diane Patterson. It is now available for pre-order from Smashwords and will be released on Halloween. The price will be $0.99 until that day. Here is an excerpt to whet your appetite. It’s adults only and very hot.

____________
It’s three in the morning and I am in Diane’s bed.

My hands stroke her auburn hair and my lips caress the fair satin skin of her forehead. She shivers in response.

I need to use little of my power with her these days. She’s become accustomed to and desirous for my touch. But for her pleasure, I push some fire into her, make the shimmering heat she feels rise.

I pause to make sure my mask is in place. Diane can never know what I am. The consequences would be too grievous for me to bear. For a moment my body stiffens at the vision my imagination creates of that moment, of Diane in terror of what I am.

“Georges?” my love asks, puzzled at my sudden hesitation.

“Nothing, cher. Once again I’m awed by how I feel.” Which is both true and very frightening.

My mouth moves down, covers hers, works at her hungrily. She answers with the same passion. Her hands rove, teasing my skin. As always, to my amazement, I react. Shimmering emotion fills me. This isn’t my usual hunt. I’ve come to care for her.

My arms go around her back and I hug her close. Breaking my face away from hers I look into her eyes. “Sweet Diane,” I exhale.

Her eyes glitter at me, lust providing the sharp sparkles and warmth a deep glow. “Georges,” she whispers back.

My face lowers to her neck. For a moment, my hunger screams at me to feed, drain her dry, leave a cold corpse lying here to spread fear in the world. I easily ignore it. Monster I may be but not all the time, and especially not now.

Instead my tongue teases with soft, quick licks. I use my power to push Diane’s passion a little higher. She sucks in a sharp breath and a tremor runs through her. Her fingernails dig softly into my arm and back.

I chuckle against her throat and move on. Playing, I lave her shoulders and chest, sweep up her small breast and take a nipple in my mouth. It pops into stiffness and I feel her aureola crinkle under my tongue. With my canines I lightly nip the tender nub. A slight hint of the ecstasy feeding creates washes into her. Diane gurgles, grabs my dark hair and pulls me close. I suck hard at her. The sound of her legs running over the sheets as she spreads herself comes to me.

I play over to her other breast and gambol there for long moments. Her body begins a steady tremble as I do.

With mischievous kisses I move down to her tummy. My power propels her emotions, raising her joy higher still. As I come to her hips I run the edges of my teeth over the skin above her joints. Her muscles jerk, then jerk again. “Georges” she whimpers, “no more teasing, please.”

“D’accord,” I tell her. I drape her left leg over my shoulder so that her labia sit in front of me, quivering and lustrous. The sweet, rich aroma of her arousal stuffs my nose.

My tongue runs out and licks up her soaking outer lips. Diane hisses and her body lurches as I do. I run around and around her, sopping up her taste. The hiss becomes a moan and her movements rhythmic. More lusciously flavored fluids dribble from her to be swallowed by me.

Gently, I work a finger inside, pushing slowly. I run in and out with a steady beat. Her hips match my cadence and her inner muscles squeeze my digit. Her moan becomes syncopated with sharp gasps. Diane’s heated odor grows more intense.

I add a second finger and my pumps increase in speed. Diane’s moan rises in volume, nears a wail. “Ah!” she huffs, “God! Please!” Her skin heats, I can feel its glow on my own.

My fingers rotate in her, press hard against the spongy spot on the ceiling of her channel. Her body stiffens and she gurgles, moments away from ecstasy.

I cover her stiff clit with my mouth. A little suction and I pull the little bud in, lap at it softly and rapidly. Diane falls away from the world as I do.

A loud stutter rushes from her lungs. Her hips blur back and forth, driving my fingers in and out. She clamps on them, her joy demanding I stay inside her. Her skin colors and sweat runs over her.

Diane’s climax fades but doesn’t draw back far. My thumb replaces my tongue and tickles softly. She sounds an “Oh!”, pauses to gasp, another “Oh!” and she’s gone again. She keens her pleasure and shivers with an ague of ecstasy.

While she’s distracted, I place my mouth on her left thigh, drop my fangs and puncture her femoral artery.

This is my climax. The rich taste of her blood runs into my mouth and my awareness is almost lost under it. The rush of life fills me with an abandoned glee. Nothing tasted as delicious when I was alive.

Adding even more to it is the fact that I care deeply for this woman, and she cares for me. It adds an exponent of elation I’ve not tasted in far too long.

That joy radiates out from me and into Diane. It slams into her orgasm, pumps it up into a bright flame that blanks out her mind. She grows stiff as a board. Every few seconds she twitches and a tiny click sounds from her throat. I’ve taken her far from the physical world.

I pull my mouth from her with a quiet hiss. I’ve had enough. What I am wants it all but I’m full. I don’t feed until death. I’m forced to drink, not to kill. Pain shimmers through me as I recall the times I did kill. I don’t like being a monster.

Diane relaxes, her bliss releasing her. Before she can notice, I lick my punctures and they vanish as if they never existed.

I move myself next to her. Leaning in, I kiss her cheek, swipe at the salt liquid slicked there. Pulling back, I watch her, one hand gently petting her stomach, calling her back to reality. Her face is blank and her chest heaves.

Again I feel amazement that I’m here with her close, in more ways than one. I don’t want to but I wallow in the sensation. Once more, I almost feel like a man again.

____________
Visit my website.

A short treatise on the vampires of R. C. Graham

Here’s a little inside info about vampires in the world I have created for Georges Belleveau and Diane Patterson, the two central characters in On The Far Side of Darkness.

The most important thing is that vampires work very hard to keep their existence a secret. They’re outnumbered at least ten thousand to one, and they know how mortals react to different. Most have been around for at least decades and to them events like The Holocaust and The Trail of Tears aren’t something they’ve just read about in books.

No one is sure what the odds are though. There’s never been a census of the world’s vampires. But no matter what, the odds can’t be good. So vampires stay out of sight.

Their main ability towards this end is that they can hide themselves. A vampire’s natural form is a terrifying beauty. They can change that appearance to look merely human. A touch pale perhaps, and an observant mortal might suspect something is odd about them, but a vampire won’t cause panic if they hunt in a crowded bar.

The other major ability is that they can mesmerize people. This is less powerful than you would think. A complete memory wipe or personality change is impossible. But subtle effects can be more effective. The suggestion that “it was just a shadow,” or, “that person was just very angry,” will be enough. The human mind will take such hints and build new memories around them.

Vampires are, of course, undead blood drinking monsters. They can be cheerful, well read generous and loving. Georges Belleveau tries to be these things But vampires are undead blood drinking monsters and to be treated with care at all times.

Since they are predators that hunt at night vampires are stronger and faster than humans. Their senses are sharper as well. Their eyesight is equivalent to the most modern mortal night viewing instruments with commensurately heightened senses of hearing and smell on top of that.

They can use the blood in their bodies to enhance their abilities even more. Increasing their senses requires only small amounts of blood. If they augment their strength to the point where where a tempered steel bar can be snapped, that takes more. A vampire will be starving in a few seconds if they move at a speed too fast for the human eye to follow.

Any wounds a vampire suffers can be healed in seconds, if the vampire takes the time to concentrate and if they have enough blood to do so. Severe wounds might take most of the blood in a vampire’s body. Which leads to one of the most dangerous things in existence; a hungry vampire.

Another power vampires possess is the ability to draw a cloak of shadows around themselves. As long as they stay out of bright light they appear as a dark mist at best. From inside this they can stalk their prey with ease.

They have weaknesses of course, with exposure to sunlight being the worst. If the sun falls directly on a vampire they’ll have barely enough time to scream before they are dust on the wind. Indirect sunlight, as in a bright room, will kill them slowly. So a dawn or sunset is something a vampire will never see.

A wooden stake through the heart doesn’t kill a vampire. It merely paralyzes them. But considering your average vampire’s reflexes and how hard it is to hit the heart in a melee, good luck with that.

If a vampire is staked then destroying them is fairly easy. Beheading works. Cutting off a vampire’s will end the magic (enchantment? illusion?) that maintains their existence. Be prepared to deal with a mess though. Time will catch up to the body in an instant.

A staked or otherwise helpless vampire can be incinerated. By which I mean shoved in an incinerator and reduced to ash. A simple dousing in gasoline and throwing a match on them simply won’t do it. Plus if the stake burns away you’ll have a vampire in a great deal of pain to deal with.

Vampires do sleep during the day. Not entirely because sunlight is fatal. Just the fact that the sun is in the sky drives them into unconsciousness. They find a dark place to sleep at dawn and stay until sunset. They can wake to defend themselves so don’t think it’s much easier to destroy them during the day.

Barring the methods listed above vampires are very hard to kill. Shooting or stabbing them will simply make them angry. As noted previously, this is not a good thing.

One famous vulnerability is in reality, uncommon. Icons of faith such as crucifixes can only affect a vampire if the wielder has honest-to-God, bone deep faith. Belief isn’t enough. Without faith a vampire will just laugh at a mortal acting like a character from a Hammer Horror film.

So these are the vampires of which Georges Belleveau is numbered. It’s a dark, hidden world where mortals are not allowed. But, very occasionally, love grants an entrance.

On The Far Side of Darkness is available for preorder at the cost of just $0.99 until the release date of Halloween. You can buy all of R. C. Graham’s books by clicking on the covers in the side bar.

Concerning the events in Newtown

Here’s a story I read many years ago. Considering the horrible event that occurred on Friday, and the debate it reignited I think it’s quite germane.

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Many years ago there was an old samurai who had decided to retire and become a priest. Before he could do so however he had to decide which of his three sons received the family sword.

After pondering for a bit he decided to set a test for them. He went to a room in his house and placed a small wooden block on top of the shoji, the sliding door through which the room was entered. When the door was slid open, the block would fall and strike the person in the door.

He called his youngest son to him first. This son was a swordsman. He constantly practiced. He was fast, precise and deadly.

This son came to the room and slid open the door. The block fell and hit him. The son’s sword was out of his scabbard and the block was in two pieces an instant after that.

The old samurai stood up, enraged. “Get out of this house!” he shouted. “You are disowned. You will never be worthy of the sword! You do not know what it means to be samurai and you never will be!”

The old man replaced the block and called his middle son to him. This son spent a great deal of time on sword play, but it was not his only interest. He made some, small effort to study other things as well.

The middle son came to the door and slid it open, with the expected result. This son, however, caught the block before it hit the ground. He then bowed to the old samurai and asked, “You wish to see me, father?”

“I did,” the old man replied, “and I have discovered you are not yet worthy of the family sword. I can see that some day you will be though.”

The block was replaced yet again and the old man called for his oldest son. This son spent some time on swordplay but it was only one of many subjects that he studied.

This son came to the door, started to slide it open…and stopped. He then reached up to remove the block before it fell. He slid the door the rest of the way, entered the room and replaced the block in its position over the door. Bowing to his father he asked, “You wished to see me, sir?”

“Yes,” the old man told him. “you have shown me that you are the one most worthy of receiving the family sword.”

———————————

This story has stuck with me for many years. I’ve thought about it a lot, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the oldest son received the sword because he was the least likely to use it.

The youngest son never saw the trap and reacted inappropriately. There was no need to use a sword on the block.

The middle son didn’t see the trap either, but he reacted appropriately, proportionate and proper to the threat.

The eldest son was the only one who saw the trap and he acted to prevent it from activating.

So when it comes to violence and weapons I try to be the oldest son. It’s much better to see where there is a problem and act to prevent it, without violence and with a minimum of effort. Violence, quite simply, is a poor solution to a problem.

Unfortunately, too many people are like the youngest son. They never see the problem and their reaction is inappropriate violence.

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P.S. Sorry there has been no posts for a while. Both angel and I have been either busy or ill, or both. We’ll try to get back into posting regularly again.