it’s out!

~~ blurb-y times ~~

Kaden Blackwell, known to the world as the nefarious Dr. Shadow, isn’t afraid of teaming up with his arch nemesis, Light Blade, to take down a threat. It’s the part afterward that worries him.

In his quest to take over the world, Kaden has uncovered Light Blade’s secret identity. While the city of San Montalban knows him as their hero, Kaden knows that beneath the mask he’s Liam Summers, a reporter who spends a lot of time arguing that the city’s resident wealthy playboy is Dr. Shadow.

Spoiler alert: he’s not.

At one time, Kaden thought he’d use his knowledge against his nemesis. Then Liam smiles at him and Kaden is torn.

World domination is easy. Dating is hard.

day 179

Words written: 2,547

Total word count: 5,285

Today’s snippet was the original beginning to Dr. Shadow’s Guide to Dating, my next release. After I wrote it, I decided to go in a different direction.

~~ snippet ~~

Never attack a dark wizard before they’ve had coffee.

In fact, you might never want to attack one period.

.

— From the grimoire of Kaden Blackwell

.

Kaden had really been hoping that the Plague had been kidding when he said he was going to unleash zombies on San Montalban.

It wasn’t that he had anything against the dead—he liked a good horror film as much as the next person in the Rogues Gallery Coffee Society—but it took the city forever to clean up after such attacks. The smell was going to linger for weeks.

Plus, you know, the threat to innocent life. That was important too.

Probably more important to the man that was currently getting the Plague’s attention.

“It’s over, Plague,” Light Blade said. He stood a few feet from Kaden, dressed in a silvery-white outfit that covered him from head to toe. It hugged his body like it was in love with him.

Kaden—Dr. Shadow to the rest of the world right now—couldn’t exactly blame it. Light Blade had a great smile.

Not that Kaden cared about such things. Well, he did, but for good reasons. He’d seen that smile… outside of the mask. Despite all of effort Light Blade and his precious League of Really Annoying Catchphrases had put into having secret identities, Kaden had uncovered his. He knew who Light Blade was.

He just had to decide what he was going to do with it now.

day 178

The flu hit me pretty hard this year. Every time I thought I was starting to get better, the cough would strike me down. It’s been a couple of days since my last cough, though, so I think it’s safe to say I’m doing better now.

Writing-wise, I feel like I’m starting over. After three weeks of no words, I’m finally able to write again, and it’s both exciting and all over the place.

So, fine; since this feels like a new beginning, I’m going to start over from zero (though, for the record, so far I’ve written 192,760 words this year. Go me!)

.

Words written: 3,354

Total word count: 3,354

.

~~ snippet ~~

In my experience, there are only three things more terrifying than facing someone who is more powerful enemy than you.

Watching ravenous zombies shuffle toward your city.

Watching ravenous robots march toward your city.

Dating.

.

From the grimoire of Landon Blackwood

.

.

The stars were bright above the city. The fact that they could be seen at all from the top of the Observer newspaper building was both a gift and a threat. The Plague was dead, his troops vanquished, and Landon Blackwell…
Was alive.

He hadn’t expected to be.

It wasn’t anything against himself. One didn’t rise to the upper echelon of villainy without merit.

Landon had faced the League of Good Intentions and Great PR countless times. He’d ruled the west coast for six months, before the League finally found a way around his little clockwork designs. He’d found several of their secret bases around town and delivered dead flowers to them every year on Valentine’s Day and always signed the mayor’s name.

They knew him, feared him, and, on occasion, were charmed despite themselves.

And, for all of the times he’d faced the supposed heroes, Landon—aka Dr. Shadow, aka he got his ass kicked out of the university, no one knows where he got his credentials from—always got away.

If the Plague had succeeded and destroyed San Montalban, Landon didn’t know if he would’ve wanted to escape.

Landon frowned. That wasn’t the sort of sentiment one could share with one’s acquaintances down at the Rogue’s Gallery Coffee Society. When one failed, one tried again. When one had their victory stolen, one tried again. When the city was destroyed, one moved. There were other cities.

Not for Landon.

No other city had this mix of tech and pueblo history. Hidden along the shadows cast by the silver windowed buildings in the downtown area were places where one could buy the latest gadgets and the oldest of charms. On the east side there was a white walled mission next door to a shopping center. On the west was a large cemetery with graves that went back to before California was even a state.

1850, if anyone was curious.

San Montalban had seen a lot since then. The gold rush, the 1902 earthquake, the rise of people like Landon and the League of Ohhh, Something Shiny. If Landon had his way, it would see more.

If people like the Plague had theirs, it would all end tomorrow.

Thankfully, people like the Plague would first have to go through Landon.

He scanned the area, feeling the warm summer air brush over his exposed skin, looking over the city he would’ve died for.

While Landon lived, the lights in the city did not. The world was dark, the sounds of sirens and cars silent. Very soon, the silence would break and people would race to bring light and sound back to San Montalban. The city that never rested would wake from its nap and life would go on.

In this moment, it was vulnerable in its darkness.

The Plague could shrug off his supposedly fatal wounds and rise.

His forces could escape the clutches of the League of Too Much Time on Their Hands and try to destroy what they couldn’t conquer.

The great and heroic Light Blade, the Observer’s Sexiest Man Alive of 2016, 2017, and, quite likely, 2018, might regret his alliance with Landon and try to terminate him before anyone found out about it.

Any of it was possible. Landon would stand there and wait to see what arose.

Footsteps crunched on the ground behind him.

Landon turned. In his efforts to stop the Plague—aka Norbert, aka a radioactive bug bit me, I have power, call me by a cool name—Landon had drawn in a great deal of power and sucked the electricity out of the city. The world was dark. Landon couldn’t see his hand, let alone the edge of the building.

He could see the figure approaching him.

Surrounded by velvet dark, Light Blade—aka Brady Summers, aka that which doesn’t kill me had better run very quickly—stood out like a beacon. He was tall, with obsidian hair, an angular face, and a pale gray costume that hinted at supple muscles. Brady was handsome. Strong.

And glowing.

At one time, Landon thought it was simply a side effect of Brady’s power, a powerful and, if one were at the receiving end, unpleasant pyroclastic ability that could burn a single spot or explode a building.

Landon still thought that. Only now, he had to grant that there was also something inside of Brady. A strange mix of hope and fear, idealism and cynicism. Brady had known the only way to stop the Plague was to kill him. His white gloved hands were bloodless but he would’ve done it.

Landon’s own gloves were black. They hid a lot of things. A little more blood wouldn’t be noticed.

When Brady was three feet from Landon, he stopped. The luminance from his body crept over Landon, revealing tears in Landon’s black coat. The goggles hanging around his neck were missing a lens. Skin peek out from places in his shirt and trousers. His auburn hair, which he usually kept hidden beneath a top hat, had partially escaped.

Brady’s clothing, meanwhile, was fine.

“Dr. Shadow.”

“Light Blade.” Landon smiled. He was tempted to call Brady by his given name. A few days before, Landon had thought it was his greatest triumph to discover it. Now…

It would also tip Landon’s hand. He should keep that information until he needed to use it.

now available


In Victorian London, people lament over dreadful news in the paper. Give them a scandal, though, and they want blood.

An outspoken reporter, Thierry Barnes is used to keeping his desires silent. When he encounters a handsome and mysterious man, he’s tempted to step out of his carefully structured life. For one night, he will follow his passions. One night is all the man needs to change him.

The story was previously released under the name Luisa Prieto and has since been revised.

day 151

Words written: 1,100

Total word count: 58,589

While I was sick, I decided to revise a couple of older stories for re-release. Here’s a peek at the first of them, Written in Blood.

~~ snippet ~~

Bloody hell. His friends had lied.

Thierry Barnes glowered at the two men sitting across from him in the cab. One could hide a thousand secrets in the shadows of the horse-drawn vehicle’s interior but his friends’ smiling faces weren’t one of them.

“I thought we were going to a pub,” he said.

The two men sitting opposite Thierry chuckled.

“You need a different kind of vice tonight,” Franklin Caldwell said. Beside him, William Harrison nodded.

“What I need is a drink.” Or two. Thierry would normally never turn to spirits to escape a problem but after that day he was tempted. The story he’d spent the last week investigating had twisted, turning from an expose on a secret brothel that offered children to one on that offered men.

Surprising, yes, but not terrible. By day people shunned such things but at night, when no one was looking, they took their pleasures were they willed. Most chose women, a few men. As long as their partner was older than fifteen and not being pressed into the service, Thierry didn’t care.

Half truth; he would prefer they be at least twenty but that came from seeing how intimacy effected his fellows at university. After their first bedroom adventures, they’d thought of nothing else for months. In his view, it would have been better if they’d waited.

In their view, meanwhile, he was a wet blanket.

Wet blankets or not, Thierry had had a story to write, even if it wasn’t the one he’d first hoped for. So Thierry had written it up and expected the story to be buried deep within the paper.

In the morning, he found it on the front page.

By midday, he found that issue had spread to every corner of London.

And by evening, it was quoted everywhere he turned.

If the brothel had offered women, people would’ve tittered over the news, perhaps lamented about loss innocence, and then moved on. If the brother had offered children, people would’ve been aghast. They would’ve demanded action, wanted t scoop every single child and save them. They would’ve wanted the perpetuators punished.

When it was men?

People wanted names. They wanted details, who did what, to whom, how much. They wanted to know that the police were arresting all of those sodomites and whoever dallied with them.

And they wanted more information.

London, Thierry realized, might be dismayed over children in peril but give them a scandal and they wanted blood.

Harrison leaned forward and caught Thierry’s eye. “Barnes, you need more than a drink. What you need is some company of the feminine persuasion.”

Sharp laughter blossomed inside Thierry. Feminine persuasion. God, the irony.

“I actually do see women in my day,” Thierry said. “A couple live in the townhouse besides mine. There are a handful on my paper. I even see some on my way to and from the paper. What I don’t see very often is a drink.”

Caldwell raised an eyebrow. “They didn’t serve drinks in that brothel?”

“I was working. I don’t mix investigations and spirits.”

“Well, you’re not working now,” Caldwell said. “You can get a drink here. Or a bite to eat. Or–”

“Syphilis?”

“That’s extra,” Harrison said, his tone light. He offered Thierry a smile. “I know your current story has you feeling maudlin but I’d wager it’s gotten your paper more readers.”

Likely.

“I’m sure there’ll be a nice murder next week to distract you,” Caldwell said.

Harrison grimaced. “I’d prefer scandal. Less blood.”

coldmageddon

Word count: 0

Cups of chicken soup I’ve enjoyed: 23

Coffee: 0

Tea: lost count

Number of times I kicked my blanket off because I was too hot: 48

Number of times I wanted my blanket back because I was cold: 49

Brilliant writing thoughts that came to me at three in the morning when I was in a drug enfused haze: 3

Brilliant writing thoughts that came to me when I was in a drug enfused haze that turned out to actually be brilliant: waiting to find out

cold versus the writer

Cold: 1

Writer: 0

I’m afraid I’m going to have to postpone this week’s Hannibal rewatch. I’m feeling under the weather and there’s no one one around to make me over the top chicken soup (this comment will be hilarious in a few episodes).