Category Archives: I’m paid to tell stories!

Blood Doll – First Look

Good evening, my lovelies… it’s that time again!

Time to reveal the cover art and the first bit of PR for my newest endeavor.  This one is a bit on the creepy side, and just in time for Halloween.  It’s called Blood Doll, and it promises to be a fun ride through the vampiric underworld.

Lana Roberts has come to Boston searching for her twin sister, Sarah. The last place Sarah was seen is an underground club called The Mausoleum. Not realizing what she has gotten herself into, Lana enters, only to find herself in the company of a seductively frightening vampire named Christian Sterling—the only creature in the place that wants to help her. But there’s only one problem.

Lana is still human.

If she goes back into The Mausoleum she’ll be killed, but Christian has a plan…if he can only convince her to go along with it. Can a pair of Halloween costumes, the sexy stranger she has found herself falling for, and a little bit of unorthodox behavior save the day? And just how long can Lana keep telling herself she doesn’t want him?

~+~+~+~+~

I’m excited about this one.  The story was a blast to write, and my edits went so wonderfully thanks to Rory and her amazing talents.  And my cover artist, Heidi, is absolutely brilliant.

So, rather than go on and on about how much I’m in love with this story, I’ll leave you a little taste, which will hopefully have you coming back for more at the end of October.

~+~+~+~+~

“I won’t hurt you,” he said, but made no move to close the distance he had put between them. “I would never hurt you.”

“If you bite me, it will hurt.” His eyes closed and he nodded once. “I’m scared of the pain.”

When he reopened his eyes and focused on her, Christian smiled. The sparkling white of his fangs showed through his lips, making her heart skip in her chest. He chuckled.

“Of all things to frighten you, Lana,” he said with a laugh, “I would hardly expect my teeth to do it.”

“They’re sharp.”

“I can do much more damage with my hands than I can with my teeth, sweetheart.”

Lana wrapped her arms around her body and sank to the floor, drawing her knees up under her chin. There was no doubt from the throb racing through every sensitive part of her body that she wanted him. She’d known how this was going to end as soon as she agreed to come back to this house. By morning, she wouldn’t be human anymore. But now that it was here…the whole concept terrified her.

Christian took two steps forward and knelt in front of her. She couldn’t bring herself to look at him until he placed two fingers under her chin and lifted it. He leaned forward and softly pressed his lips to hers. There was no pressure there, no expectation, nothing but a gentle and chaste and heartfelt kiss that rattled her all the way to her toes.

“I can make it easier on you,” he said, holding her gaze with those strange eyes. While she watched, he lifted his other wrist to his mouth and drew his teeth across the skin. Blood pooled there, and with the tiniest of smiles, brought his arm up to his tongue, where he gathered the liquid. The fingers under Lana’s chin moved to her throat, then the back of her head as he towed her close. With his own blood on his lips, he brought her mouth to his. The bitter, metallic taste filled her mouth and her eyes drifted closed. For a moment Lana thought she would be sick, but then the world around her seemed to slow down. Her limbs grew heavy, yet at the same time she felt completely weightless. His arms encased her, and she felt like she was flying. Christian continued to kiss her, the steady back-and-forth swipe of his tongue over hers, teasing at her lips, his teeth nipping at her tongue as it ventured forward to tangle around his.

Her back hit something soft that she vaguely registered as the mattress. Christian broke the connection between their mouths only long enough to pull her sweater over her head and remove his T-shirt. She opened her eyes and reached out to touch the smooth hardness of his chest, drawing her index finger along the cold ripples of muscle. Beneath her touch he shivered, but he allowed her to explore as he removed his belt and reached behind him to tug at her shoes.

Leaning toward her, Christian drew one hand down the side of her face. The wound on his arm was nearly healed already, but drops of blood still lingered on his mouth. He leaned down to kiss her again, but she stopped him with a hand to his chest.

“Christian, I…I don’t want to be a scab.” She released a stuttering breath as the hand moving down her face traveled over her throat and down into the valley between her breasts. He paused there, as if feeling her heartbeat.

“I had no intention of letting that happen,” he answered, and kissed her again.

~+~+~+~+~

Like what you see?  Come back on October 27th for details on how you, too, can own a copy of this delicious, little story.

Catching Up

Busy, busy, busy… Siobhan hasn’t stopped moving in days now!

Well, except for yesterday, when she was nearly dead to the world.  The being pregnant thing is not so much fun for her these days.

Ahem.

Morning, y’all.  It’s been awhile since I’ve been around here, and I have a lot to tell you.  So here goes, and let’s hope I don’t miss anything.

~+~

The After Dark Online Adult Community has been so kind as to accept a silly little thing from me, entitled Bathroom Stories.  It’s told from a little bit different point of view than most people are used to, but I am honored to be part of the project.  They are accepting Safe Sex stories in preparation for National AIDS Awareness Month.  If anyone feels so inclined, please take a look and join in.

~+~

The lovely Jean Joachim has posted this week’s Tuesday Tales.  There are some fantastic little stories up there from some wonderful authors.  Everyone should go read them right now.  I don’t have anything up this week, but I’m definitely going to try to jump in next week.

~+~

In addition to feeling totally rotten yesterday, I received a rejection letter from Harlequin.  *sigh*  I know they’re extremely busy, but I would like to know what I’m doing wrong there.  I’m not going to complain though… at least their form letter is a nice one.  I’ve seen some that aren’t very nice.

That just means that She-Wolf is up for grabs again.  I’ve got two options on my plate right this minute, and I’m trying to decide where I want to send it first.  Three options, actually.

On top of that, my phone died, and I kinda left Lexxx hanging on her first day back to work… And I feel so bad about that.  On Thursday, I’ll take the whip with me and allow her to take her revenge.

~+~

Backing up a little farther… Sunday night I was sitting at my desk when my phone started blinking.  There was an email, saying I’d received a payment from one of my publishers.  I honestly thought it was wrong… so as I pulled up my email to tell her I thought I’d received someone else’s payment by mistake, another email popped up… “Here’s your statement…congrats on this month’s sales!”

Needless to say, I just about fell out of the chair.  A first story – a short at that – has done extremely well.  I was also told that there are people asking for more of my stuff.  *gawp*  That… wow.  It was such a huge ego boost.  (Of course, the rejection letter the very next day put me firmly back on the ground.)

~+~

All in all, it wasn’t too bad a week.  I do wish I had more time to write, because my head is about to explode from all of the new ideas.  I’ve got two Halloween things in mind at the moment, the steampunk horror novel, and a full cast of characters, all of whom desperately want my undivided attention.  The lists and prioritizing don’t help… these people don’t seem to understand that they can’t all talk at once and still be heard.  *sigh*  I think they make drugs for this… don’t they?

Up and Down and Merrily Around

So I got the email this morning from Kindle saying “yeah, we’re gonna publish the book”… “BUT”…

“Please allow 48 hours for the system to populate your link for purchase.”

HUH?

Meanwhile it’s still in the “publishing” stage on the site, and I can’t even add in the cover I made for it.  Yeah, I probably should have done that FIRST, but you guys know me.  I never do anything the easy way.

The good news from yesterday is that I finally got my stickers from VistaPrint, so I can start putting together Con Swag.  *twirls finger*  Wooo.  I’m so excited.

About the con, yes.  About the swag, not so much.

I’ve already made three dozen of these silly little bookmarks… now I have to attach them to card stock and add stickers for color.  The only problem is that the bookmarks are longer than the card stock.  So now I have to figure out some cute, artsy way to attach them and not come off looking like the special-needs author.

Bookmarks for an e-book author… doesn’t make much sense, does it?  But again… I don’t do anything easily.

Really, the big challenge for the con is going to be figuring out how to market myself.  I’d thought about having a T-shirt made that says “I’m Pregnant.  Buy my book and help pay for my kid”….. but I didn’t think that would go over too well.  I’d also thought about just being myself, but that might scare people off.

I’ll put my foot in my mouth at least once that weekend, say something extremely stupid in front of the wrong person, and end up looking like a fool.  I know it’s coming, and I’m not really worried about it.  I look at it this way:  If people like me enough to buy my stuff, great!  If not, meh…I’ll try again next time, whenever that may be.

There was some discussion about the possibility of me showing up at MysticCon next year, but that would require me to take a one-month-old out in the middle of February.  And have the money to go.  And have the energy to make the drive and face people at the Con.

I’ll look into it, and as it gets closer to time then maybe I’ll sign up.

Moving on again.

I spent a good portion of yesterday looking at literary agencies.  I’ve set the romance/erotica stuff to the side for a bit (I’m just NOT inspired right now), and I’ve picked up Neverland Wars again.    I started writing it last year in Allen Wold’s writing workshop at ConCarolinas, and I do have a particular soft spot for it.  In my scattered little brain, it has the potential to do well… I’ve not believed in something of mine like this for a long time.

Once it’s finished and polished, it’s definitely going to be used to hook an agent.  Preferably one that works both the Sci-Fi/Fantasy angle AND the Romance side, because I am all over the place.  Yeah, it w0uld take a whole lot longer to get something sold and in print, but the fact remains that it would more than likely be in print, and there are few things I want more than to be able to hold a book in my hands that has my name on it.

It’s not about the money, or the potential for fame, or even the bragging rights.  It’s about being able to have something tangible in my hands that I can look at and tell myself “I did it.”  A major accomplishment and a personal milestone… it would be a way of proving to myself that I’ve reached my goals for myself.

And on another, totally random note…

I sent off the information last night to take a Medical Transcription class.  I figure that I need something to fall back on until the writing is enough to support me (please? maybe?), and when I go out in January, I really don’t want to have to come back to a full-time desk job.  I’d much rather work from home and take care of the kids the old-fashioned way.

And with that, I’m out.  Talk to you tomorrow, kids.

Tuesday: The New Monday

At least, this week it is.  After a long weekend with Monday as the extra day, we’re all scrambling to get caught up this morning.  Everyone is forgetting what day it is, there is a whole herd of people standing outside the door, waiting to pay their bills, and I am at a complete standstill because I did all of my Monday work on Friday before I left.

On Friday, I decided to experiment and try my hand at self-publishing.  Of course, I started at Amazon… only to get an email at five minutes to five saying that I had to prove with legal documentation that the work was mine.  Dude… seriously?

Are there really people dumb enough to try to sell other people’s work?  Really?  No freaking way.

So I replied to the email, as it requested and explained that I have a real name and a pen name, and that I’m still me no matter what way you stretch me, then I explained that I don’t have copyright certification YET, but I did apply for the stupid copyright (cost me $35 and didn’t get rid of the damn headache!) AND that the ECO states that the copyright is essentially effective the moment you get the email stating that they received the application and payment.  So I forwarded that email showing the submission as well.

It’s now Tuesday, and I won’t know anything for another 24 hours because they casually dumped that on me and CLOSED for three days.  Waiting five hours to spring that on someone isn’t exactly what I’d call professional.  If they’re going to require all of that, then it needs to be in the initial application process, not sent as some “oh, by the way” email five hours later.

HONESTY, AMAZON… HONESTY.

Bah.  If I don’t hear back from them by tomorrow morning, I’m yanking the story and taking it to the Nook store, because KDP is a little on the full o’ shit side right now.

In other news…

Sunday was Rooster’s birthday, and we didn’t really get a good celebration this year because a funeral was scheduled right in the middle of the weekend.  His uncle passed away Thursday morning, so we spent the better part of the weekend between the funeral home and the church.  But, we had hamburgers and hot dogs yesterday with Lexxx and Tally, and he got lunch at California Dreaming on Saturday, so it’s all good.

And because I’m rambling today, I’m going to end by saying that… again…

FANDOMFEST… Starts July 22nd in Louisville, Ky.  Come see me!

Marked Release!!!

GUYS! SERIOUSLY!

Two posts in one day, I know… it’s a record.  But this is sort of important.

Marked is being released this Saturday – 5/21/11 – through Sugar & Spice Press.
CHECK IT OUT HERE!

I now return you to your regularly scheduled lives.

Marked – The Teaser!

"Marked" by Siobhan Kinkade

Cover art for "Marked"

Once in a blue moon, a witch will find what she wants where she least expects it.

Events planner Tabitha Richardson had no idea what she signed on for when she picked up a job for Atlanta’s most eligible bachelor.  Russell, while gorgeous and the immediate star of her fantasies, also has a darker side.  He is a werewolf, and the full moon is fast approaching.  But he isn’t the only one with secrets to keep. Tabitha is harboring a big one right alongside her crush on Russell, and that secret is witchcraft.

When she decides to throw caution to the wind and indulge in her desires, she finds that she has bitten off much more than she can chew.  The only question is, will she make it out alive?


 ~*~*~*~*~

It’s almost final!  I have cover art.  My edits are done.  It’s all in the hands of Sugar & Spice now. When will it be available?

Not a clue.

I don’t have a release date yet, but I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that I’ll receive that email any day now.  I’m trying hard not to be impatient, but I have people about to chew my ears off wanting to know when they can buy it and read it.  I keep trying to tell them that it isn’t very good…but they just won’t listen.

But, I will let you be the judge.  Enjoy the little snippet below…  it doesn’t give too much away, and will hopefully entice you into buying a copy for yourself.

~*~*~*~*~

With a wave of her hand, the steamer lids vanished to reveal a beautiful array of meats—mostly medium-rare—and accompaniments that seemed more an afterthought than part of the meal.  Another huge, yellow flag had been waved right in front of her…near-bleeding meat, all over the place.  She should have seen it coming long before she ever got to this point.  As she straightened the last stack of plates, still berating herself for her utter lack of foresight, Russell seemed to materialize at her elbow.

“Well done, witch.”   His lips brushed the cuff of her ear, sending a jolt of sensation straight to her sex.  Gasping at the outward use of the term, Tabitha turned to face him and nearly suffocated.  He was almost on top of her.  Every muscle in his body was rippling with tension, and those icy, intelligent eyes also looked much, much wilder than before.  “You have a startling eye for detail.”

“As do you…,” she nearly choked on the last word, “wolf.”  She swallowed hard and held his gaze.  Calling a shifter out was a large risk, both personally and professionally.  In her limited experience, they liked their secrecy, and this could easily go either way…for more than just her paycheck.

“Touché.” His lips curved into a gentle smile, but even that sight did little to settle her raging nerves. He was too close to be anything but dangerous.  “I was right to hire you…you are quite the observant little minx.”

“Does that mean your henchmen will be coming to eat me now?” she asked with a quirk to her own lip. Playing coy was also probably dangerous, but when the sort of fear that choked her brain was present, she’d developed the natural reaction to laugh in its face.  Perhaps that’s why she’d been so lucky as to catch the attention of a male werewolf. An alpha at that.  He raised one eyebrow at her, but remained silent.  “Wrong word?”  A nod.  “Minions, maybe?”  He shook his head, the smirk on his lips turning into a full-blown smile.  “Either way, should I be worried about your pack ripping me limb from limb?”  The question earned a deep, hearty laugh.

“My pack has scarcely noticed you.”

“Yet you know everything there is to know about me.”

“Not everything.”  The way he looked at her, determined and hungry, caused a chill to run through her body.  The anticipation she saw in his eyes settled at the base of her neck, trickling through her muscles in a way that was both wholly inappropriate and deliciously wicked.

“But you…you smelled magic on me.”

“My kind have excellent senses.”  He leaned close, his lips nearly brushing her ear.  “I smell other things on you as well.  Fear first.”  He sniffed again, the tip of his nose brushing along the corded vein in her neck.  “Determination.  Arousal.”  His tongue followed his nose, leaving a cool, wet trail up her throat.  Tabitha’s smart response disappeared along with her breath and all coherent thought. She knew his intentions, felt his desires. And after that, she knew she wanted exactly the same thing.

“The…the buffet is ready,” she stammered.  “Are you…hungry?”

“Not for food.”

“Oh.”  Wise response, she knew.  “Me either.”  Even better.  But the innuendo was no longer subtle and she no longer cared.  She just wanted him, any way she could have him.  “So what do you want to eat?”

That’s good, Tab—taunt the werewolf.

The darkness that passed across his features was the closest she’d seen him to ruffled.  Tabitha didn’t have to ask to know what he was thinking; it was written clearly across his face.  And even though he did not speak, she knew the answer. “Won’t your guests notice that you’re gone?”

“Are you suggesting that I would not be allowed to go wherever I want in my own home?”  Tabitha glanced around—something to keep from staring at him—when she realized that every single occupant of the ballroom was making a large production of not looking back at her.  She could feel each and every one of them ignoring this scene with great intent.

“Excuse me a moment,” she whispered to Russell, and turned to face the crowd.  She cleared her throat.  “Ladies and gentlemen,” she said, forcing magic into her voice to steady it.  A few people sniffed subtly at the air, but most recognized nothing at all.  “Your dinner awaits.”  With a grand gesture toward the overflowing steamer trays, Tabitha motioned the guests to begin, and maneuvered herself away from Russell.  As people murmured their approval at the sight and began to pass between herself and her host-turned-predator, she ducked into the hallway for a breather.

The Art of Storytelling

Just saw this morning where my bio is up on the FandomFest website.  I am simultaneously thrilled and terrified, because it will be my first con (as an author).  At least I’ll have Tally and Lexxx with me to keep me in line.

Now I just have to get this silly blog running since it’s in my bio information.  I’ve picked a theme from the ones on the site, and now I just have to figure out what to talk about.

Baby steps, here…

Actually, I do have a subject today.

Storytelling,
and the Talent For Doing It Well

*~*~*~*~*~*

My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Neal, gave my class a writing assignment.

“Choose your favorite fairy tale,” she said,  “and tell me what happens after your ‘Happily Ever After’.” I choose Beauty and the Beast, because I’m a hopeless romantic and I believe in the underdog being given a chance.  I was so excited about this assignment that I started crying.  I ran up to Mrs. Neal’s desk and asked her if I could rewrite the ending and then tell what happened next.  She said yes, and I think she was a little surprised by my fervor.

We started writing it in class.  It was a project, so we were given a week to finish it.

So the week passed, and I spent every waking moment working furiously on this story.  Then on the following Monday morning, we found out that we would each be given a chance to read our new endings. Most of my classmates wrote two paragraphs…or maybe a whole page if they felt really inspired.

I wrote sixty.  Sixty pages – as in sixty loose-leaf sheets of wide-ruled paper, front and back, in my scribbly little fifth-grader handwriting.  When it was my turn, I gathered my papers together and, beaming, walked proudly up to the front of the class, put my papers down on our little podium, and started to read.

It took me two days to read my story, and when it was over, everybody started clapping.  Everybody wanted to know how I did it.   They all wanted me to write another one.  And I knew in that very moment what I wanted to do with my life.

I wanted to be a writer.

I wasn’t really one of her favorite students – I was overweight and gawkish, and for the majority of my fifth-grade year, on crutches with a broken knee.  But even though she and I never really saw eye to eye, Mrs. Neal’s English class had the most profound effect on me.  She unknowingly gave me permission to express myself through words, to use them as tools to craft worlds, to let my imagination off of its chain and run free.

*~*~*~*~*~*

I tell this story for a reason, that reason being the point of this post:

Storytelling is an art.  It is a passion, a very reason for being.  It requires a certain command over language, to bend and twist the words into the shapes required to build the story.  It requires thought and foresight, and it takes patience, love, and effort.

I may not be the best storyteller ever to walk this planet, but I know my craft well enough to know that I am certainly capable of keeping an audience’s attention, at least for a moment or two.  Of the sixteen children in my fifth-grade class, I am the only one that has attempted to make a living with words.

Take this story, for example.  The fifteen others in that room that day would have told my story in the simplest way possible — “In fifth grade, I had to write a fairy tale ending, and I got a B”, or something of that nature.  Many of them probably don’t even remember that assignment, but I do.  It was a life-changing moment for me.

Later that year, I had two pieces of poetry published in one of those silly “Who’s Who” anthologies, and while it was sort of vanity press, it reinforced the ideas that I could be a great storyteller someday.  I still remember one of those poems word for word, and I wrote it eighteen years ago.

I constantly hear people talking about new or relatively unknown authors – they aren’t any good…they have no language control… they don’t use grammar properly… and I, too, find myself falling into that judgment trap.

I’m trying to do better, I promise.

I’m trying to do better because I know now that my style does not appeal to everyone.  In time, other people will say the same things about me (well, except for the grammar part, because I’m a little OCD about it).  People will disagree with my word choice or my phrasing, or even my story content.  I am prepared for that, and while it’s going to sting, I accept that it is part of the process of becoming a better storyteller.

I will take that criticism, and I will learn from it.  I will use it to make myself better.

No storyteller is a great storyteller from the start.  We all have to learn, grow, and change.  We all have to take our hard knocks right alongside our praise.  And no matter what we do, we have to keep doing it, because the worst possible thing for someone with an imagination as wild as mine can do, is keep it all bottled up.

Like I’ve said quite a few times already – Storytelling is an art.  And like any art, it is very much subjective.  Just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean someone else won’t.  And just because they do like it doesn’t mean I will too.

So in closing… like me or not, this is my art, and I’m here to stay.