Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Zyan Star Series, Character Profile: Pan

Hi, friends! A quick note before we dive into the juiciness of Pan: Martinis with the Devil Part 2 is now out! I will run some free days this week, otherwise it'll be 99 cents at all the retailers. Check my Goodreads links in the right sidebar. Also, if you missed my previous character profiles of Quinn and Riley, check them out.

Now on to Pan!

Name: Pan
Supernatural powers: The Faerie God of Nature
Appearance: Pale skin, long red hair, bright green eyes, tends to wear boots, breeches and vests
See my Pinterest board here for a pic. I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, they're all too young, but you'll get the general idea
Favorite drink: Faerie mead
Weapon of choice: Magic, though he does have a badass silver staff

Pan comes into the story in part two of Martinis with the Devil (so, perfect timing for release day - I actually didn't plan that). Zyan and Eli convince him to help them find some people that have been abducted and taken to the realm of Faerie (can't say more or it'll spoil it). But his help comes at a high price - they will each owe him a favor, any favor he desires. Pan would just as soon kiss you as kill you, and it merely depends on his mood. He's an incredibly fun character to write :)

Here's one of my fave Pan excerpts from the book. I had to modify it ever so slightly to remove spoilers. Zyan, Eli and Pan are in Faerie, and Zy has just fought in their gladiatorial competition.

“Since my champion has defeated the reigning champion,” Pan called for everyone to hear, “I invoke the right of victor’s challenge.”

A resounding gasp of surprise mixed with delight rang from the crowd. Apparently this was an infrequent treat. After a few moments of heavy silence, a figure walked to the edge of one of the balconies. I recognized him immediately. Taryn Blackflame.

“Our friend Taryn was the master of Jintara, who you have defeated,” Pan said softly to me. “And since I am the” he paused as I turned to glare at him, “Let’s just say ‘manager’ of you, I am entitled to challenge Taryn to a fight.”

“What are your terms?” Taryn called to Pan.

“I am here for the three that you abducted.”

“I have other plans for them,” Taryn said with a smile. “They are to fight in the stadium.” 

The audience cheered in approval.

“Am I to understand that you are refusing the right of victor’s challenge?” Pan called, pleasantly enough.

“I will battle you Pan, but my new toys are not available as the spoils.”

“Well in that case, I withdraw my victor’s challenge.” I stared at Pan as he gave a little bow to Taryn. His green eyes sparked. “If you won’t offer them as prizes in a fair fight, I suppose I’ll just have to take them.”

As the words fell from his mouth, Taryn’s face twisted in rage, the crowd began to yell in a mixture of excitement and disapproval, and the earth rolled beneath our feet. Sand flew up into the air as something sharp penetrated the floor of the arena. As it rose further up, I could see a point of stone, granite or something similar. It pushed further and further, a small mountain forcing its way out of the ground.

I saw Taryn gesture to several faeries I assumed were his guards. He was going to move his prisoners. I dashed forward and sprang up to the balcony, knocking a surprised Taryn out of my way. A rush of wings at my back told me Eli had joined the fight. At that moment I heard a gasp from the audience and turned to see what was transpiring in the arena.

The mountain now shimmered and moved, elongating in some places and shortening in others. After a moment during which my eyes struggled to see what shape it was taking, I saw what definitely looked like a head. And from that head came a deafening roar. The form rippled, and two huge wings stretched out. The gray stone glowed orange for a moment as if turning to molten metal, and then cooled back down to a glistening gray. A tail whipped around, bashing in one of the columns of the arena.

Holy shit. Pan had created a dragon.

Ah, I love Pan. Hope you enjoyed that, and have an awesome week. TTFN!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Zyan Star Series, Character Profile: Riley

Hello and welcome! My Zyan Star character profile series continues with Riley. If you missed the previous profile of Quinn, click here. These guys are from Martinis with the Devil, my urban fantasy that released on April 11th. Martinis and its prequel Black Magic and Mojitos are both FREE until April 25th on Smashwords and B&N. Without further ado, I give you Riley:

Name: Riley
Supernatural powers: Werewolf
Appearance: Black hair, hazel eyes, cocoa skin, muscular
See my Pinterest board here for a pic (swoon all you want ladies, but Riley goes for guys)
Favorite drink: Brimstone liquor
Weapon of choice: Teeth and claws

Riley is Zyan's other best friend, along with Quinn. The three of them are roommates, and work in Zyan's bar Noir together. He also goes with them on supernatural bounty hunts. He's a total exercise-a-holic and adrenaline junkie, often riding his motorcycle without a helmet and other daredevil stunts. He's gained mastery over his inner wolf, so he can change between human and wolf shape at will, not just on the full moon.

And now one of my favorite Riley excerpts. This is actually from Martinis with the Devil Part 2, which comes out on April 25th. So, a sneak peek! Riley is helping Zy learn to control her inner magic, which she's suppressed for over a century.

The next day it was Riley’s turn. When I woke up late in the afternoon, he was standing in the living room with an expectant look on his face.

“Let me guess—a training session for my inner beast is about to go down?”

Riley nodded. “You bet. Little witch isn’t going to have a monopoly on your training program.”

I simply groaned in response and sat down on the sofa. 

“What are you doing? This is not a lecture. We’re heading out into the field.” Riley started for the door.


He looked at me with his dark eyes. “Sitting in the house is not where you have a problem. It’s when you start to unleash your power.” He kept walking and I had to jog to keep up. “The last couple centuries since the incident with the village, you’ve only used the tiniest of bursts of your power, and mostly for simple, mundane things. Right?”

I nodded. Not to sound incredibly immodest, but my looks alone could lure any scumbag I wanted with no magical powers whatsoever. I’d kept my power under heavy lock and key when it came to hunting. Until the other day.

“So, what’s happened is that you’ve just suppressed your power so that it’s grown desperate like a starving animal. It’s not meant to be suppressed. You just need to learn a balance between nothing and everything. Let the racehorse out to run, so long as it understands that when you call it back, it’d better listen.”

“Okay, enough with the animal metaphors.” I rolled my eyes.

Riley ignored my comment and carried on. “You are the alpha, not your power. You just need to establish dominance.”

“You’re talking like it’s a completely different person.”

“It’s not a person at all. Your humanity is the person. Your supernatural side is the animal. They must work together.”

We’d reached the street now. Riley headed south. “As you know, being a werewolf I’m extremely compelled by the moon. When I was younger, I had no choice but to change on the full moon. My inner wolf would completely take over. I had to stay out in the middle of nowhere, or I undoubtedly would have killed someone.”

I nodded. That was all right out of the werewolf handbook.

“As you also know, I was in a pack in my early wolf days, the pack my family had been in for countless generations. Our alpha taught me over time how to control my wolf side without suppressing it too much. But even now, all these years later, I’ve not mastered things completely. Though I can resist the change on the full moon if I really need to, once I go wolf it’s still always a struggle to keep my human thoughts. When I’m a wolf, humans are just another animal to prey on.”

I glanced over at Riley as he spoke. Like me, he didn’t like to talk about his past too much. When I’d met him, he’d separated from his pack and was a loner. I knew his parents had been killed in some sort of pack fight, but he had never shared the details. We all had our secrets to keep.

Hope you love Riley as much as I do! Stay tuned over the next couple weeks for profiles of Pan, Donovan, Eli and of course Zyan herself.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Zyan Star Series, Character Profile: Quinn

Hi, friends! Since yesterday I released Martinis with the Devil, book one in my Zyan Star urban fantasy series (woot!), I am kicking off a series of character profile posts. I love these guys, and I hope you do, too! Today I am featuring...

Name: Quinn
Supernatural powers: Witch
Appearance: Long blonde hair, golden eyes (a characteristic of witches in this series), pale skin
Favorite drink: Pixie Dust Martini
Weapon of choice: Magic

Quinn is one of Zyan's best friends, as well as her roommate and fellow bartender and supernatural bounty hunter. She's a boy chaser, vegetarian, and usually a peacekeeper but can hold her own in a fight. Don't let her innocent appearance fool you. A powerful witch, she coaches Zy on controlling her untamed magical powers.

Here's one of my favorite Quinn excerpts from Martinis with the Devil. Zy has just told Quinn that she's going after her ex, Alexander, who is trying to assassinate the Holy Representative of Northwest America. FYI, if foul language seriously offends you, I wouldn't read on (or for that matter, read the book - there's a lot of it!).

“So, what are you going to do?” Quinn's golden witch eyes looked like glowing suns in the darkness.

“I’m going to find him. And I’m going to kill him.” I cast one last look out over Puget Sound, then headed for the parking lot.

“You don’t mean tonight, do you?” Quinn chased after me.

“It’s not even midnight. I’ve got the whole night. When’s a better time?”

She was quiet for a moment. “I’ve never felt a vamp as powerful as him. How old is he, Zy?”

“Let’s just say he may have known Jesus Christ.” I had reached the pavement and pulled out the keys to the Porsche. I pressed the unlock button and the car blinked to life.

“Holy shit! Don’t you think we need to think about this?  Come up with a plan to kill a vamp that’s almost two millennia your senior?” She stepped in front of me, blocking the door. Her black dress blended into the glossy paint like the car was absorbing her.

“I have a plan. Find that bastard, and kill his sorry ass. It has a beautiful simplicity, don’t you think?” I smiled a smile I knew was not pretty at all.

“No, I don’t think. Riley!”

Damn her. She knew he’d hear with his freaking super-wolf ears. “Listen, I’m not asking you to come with me. I know this isn’t your vendetta.” I caught her eyes with mine.

Riley pushed the door of the bar open and started towards us, Dan and a couple others on his tail. “What’s going on?”

“Tell him,” Quinn said, a stubborn set to her jaw.

I sighed. “Sweet Quinn is upset because I’m going to kill Alexander. Okay? Sharing time’s over now, let me get in my car.”

“He’s two thousand years old,” Quinn snapped. “She left that little detail out.”

Dan let out a low whistle and Riley’s face got stormy. “So basically, you’re just going to end your existence in a blaze of glory, going up against someone like that alone? That’s just dumb.”

“Alright, I’ve had enough of this.” I picked Quinn up, moved her, and slid in behind the wheel. And proceeded to become frozen in place. Except for my mouth. “God damn it, Quinn.”

“I’ll release my spell if you stop and listen like a rational person,” she said. Power rolled off her like a lightning storm.

“I don’t suppose you can be persuaded to give up your suicide mission?” Riley asked, his eyes hard.

I shook my head. “Fuck no.”

“Well, then let’s come up with some sort of compromise. Like, a little extra backup.”

“From who?”

“Well, I know a certain shapeshifter who’d be happy to help you out.” Riley’s expression was innocent.

“Are you joking? Sure, let’s just bring together all the ex-boyfriends I hate for one big night of fun.” I pushed hard against Quinn’s bonds with my own burst of power, but she had me locked down good.

Riley smirked. “I’m just talking about two of them, not a thousand.”

“Cock,” I said, crossing my arms over my chest.

“So, that’s a yes then?” he responded with a knowing smile.

I knew they were right. I could see the only thing I’d gain tonight was my own death. Which wouldn’t be so bad, other than hanging out in that hot-as-hell shithole smelling brimstone for the rest of eternity. But, then Alexander would just kill the HR, and keep taking advantage of other innocent girls. And nothing would come of my noble sacrifice. I sighed again. “Fine. But only so you guys will shut the hell up.”

Quinn smiled and released me. I started the car with my power and floored it in reverse. Ah, the looks on their faces. I smiled, then slammed on the brakes. “Just joking. Get the hell in.”

Hope you enjoyed that little nibble! I'll be posting Riley, Donovan, Pan, Eli and Zyan over the next couple weeks, so stop on by. TTFN!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Martinis with the Devil Release Day!!!

I am thrilled to announce Martinis with the Devil Part One is now available!! And it's FREE for two weeks on Smashwords and Barnes and Noble (99cents on Amazon).

Smashwords     B&N     Amazon

About the book:

When offered a job on the Holy Representative’s special security team, bounty hunter Zyan Star couldn’t be less interested – until she finds out it’s her most hated of exes that they’re trying to track down. He broke her heart and dumped her, which in turn led to the loss of her soul at the hands of an immortal soul thief. Now she too exists on a diet of souls, with the occasional martini thrown in for good measure, and she’s had over two hundred years to fantasize about revenge. She just didn’t quite imagine it playing out alongside the emissaries of Heaven.

Working with Eli, the uptight angel that heads up the HR’s security, is just about as much fun as Zy expects. He of course wants her vampire ex brought to justice through legal avenues, which is very inconvenient and incredibly boring. As she dives into the case, however, she realizes there’s more at stake than her plot for payback. Like, the free will of mankind, and preventing the minions of hell from taking over the sovereign dimensions.

This job is going to push her to the limits of her abilities, and there’s just a slight problem with that: the powers she’s suppressed for centuries after losing control of them are exactly the powers she’s going to need to save the HR, end her millennia-old ex and stop Lucifer’s little plot to join the party and invade Earth.

Savior of humanity? Not so much. Or so she thought.

Sound fun? If you like urban fantasy, kickass women with swords, foul language, cocktails, humor, and sexy bits, this might be up your alley.

So let's throw some confetti and raise a toast to Zyan!! Thanks for stopping by to celebrate with me :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Almost Here!!!!

Hi, friends! I'm posting with the IWSG (Insecure Writer's Support Group) today. And my insecurity of the month is classic. I have a book releasing Monday - how will it do??? Unless you're Neil Gaiman or something, I think all of us have that butterfly feeling in our stomach for weeks before and after one of our books releases. You're exposing a piece of your soul to the world and hoping everyone likes it. Plus, making a pinch of money would be nice, right?

Well, Martinis with the Devil is definitely a piece of my soul. It was the second book I wrote, and I wrote it in 2012. It went through a major rewrite and dozens of rounds of edits over the next couple years. It had some near misses with agents that liked it a lot, but urban fantasy is a hard sell in the traditional market now. So I decided to self-publish it last year. And then I got an agent for a different series, and postponed its release. But now the time is nigh - it's coming out Monday, April 11th!!

It's going to be free for the first couple of weeks, so if you want to stroke my ego, download a copy, check out Zyan's fan page (link on the menu above), or add to Goodreads. Or all of the above and you'll be on my rock star list forever!

Also, show some love to the other IWSG bloggers, and of course the IWSG captain Alex Cavanaugh. See the other posts here!

What's up in your literary world this month?