I’m baaaaaaaaack

Temble, my lovelies. Tremble, for I’m back. Ever since my last post a year ago almost to the day, a lot has happened.

I’ve learned to knit. I’ve travelled to Japan. My spouse has been very, very ill. I’ve grown my hair. My books have started to appear in iTunes. My cover designs are doing dementedly well, for reasons I still can’t explain. It’s been a busy, busy year.

But no writing.

I’ve always told myself I’d never be too busy for writing. Well, it’s happened. I have been. Plus, to be completly honest, writing is hard, and I had been doing it for many, many years. Nights at the computer, days spent on too little sleep, getting stuff lost and walking around yawning and making no sense (or less than usual, eh). I was tired in every sense and every way. After a while, it became easier to just not write. No more. I want to write again. My hands get itchy every time I put my fingers to the keyboard, even if it’s to write a quick email. So two weeks ago, I made a decision to come back to my first love. And wouldn’t you know that I sat there, afraid and nervous and completely rusted, and stared intently at the blank screen for a good half hour. Page blanche is never something I struggled with. But that first time two weeks ago was the hardest. My best friend said don’t try to plot or make sense, just write. Write anything. Write the first thing that pops into your mind. So I wrote this (unedited, rough and scruffy, but there you have it):

Tufts of grass flew behind her heels as she jumped over the rocks and roots. Treetops seemed to meet above the trail. Like gnarled hands steepled in prayer. Above, clouds rolled on, oblivious to the events below. She had been running for what felt like years. Maybe it had just been minutes. Branches whipped her across the face, caught in the sleeves of her open jacket. She had half a mind of just tossing the damn thing but thought better of it. She would need it that night. As she had the night before.

Always look back. Never stop running.

The sound of water gurgling proved too much to resist and she angled her shoulders to the right, let gravity partially support her as she stumbled-jogged down a slight decline. Pushing through thick undergrowth, she reached the river edge. More like a brook. Ten feet wide, if that. But the current looked strong and the water clear. She gratefully sank to her knees and cupped her hands. Ice-cold water burned her lips and stung like an electrical shock to the gums. But it felt so good. She drank until her belly ached, then drank some more. It had been the first source of trusty-looking water she had come across since…

Don’t think about him.

Wiping her hands on her jeans, she put the river to her left and resumed a slow, careful trot along its soft, sandy edge. No use getting hurt or doing something stupid. A large fallen tree required that she slow down a bit, taking measured steps to avoid dangerous and sharp stumps. She already sported a collection of bruises and cuts from various run-ins with trees and other obstacles. Plus the marks he had left. Those were more than contusions though. They said mental wounds never really went away. She rubbed hair out of her face. While she had been with him, her hair had grown past her shoulders. She wondered if her friends would recognize her. The thought made her smile. She missed them all so much. Tears stung her eyes. Focus. Just keep running. That river ought to lead somewhere.

Eventually.

Maybe this is going somewhere. Maybe this is the first zombie-shuffle of a story. Or maybe it’s just so I re-learn all my tricks (folks say you never forget to bike once you’ve learned…yeah, maybe, but you fall on your face a lot the first few times you come back to it). I’m at that stage. Falling on my face.

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Joyeux Noël and a Happy New Year

I wish you, my beloved readers, an awesome 2012. May all your eyeballs and your wallets hold out for another year. I sure hope mine do! Thank you for the support and encouragement over the years. You make this writing business a hell of a riot (the good kind, not the pitchfork/torches kind).

See you on the other side!

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Apocalyptathon!

Moira Rogers is hosting a group of authors who write post-apocalyptic romance. I’ll be their guest author on the 10th of November. Funny because if you look at the covers, I did a lot of them. I hope you enjoy them!

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Gridlock’s first review is up!

Gridlock, my latest release, has a brand new review (its first!). Read it here at Jeanette Grey’s blog. “The writing is visceral and the pace breakneck in the very best of ways”. Thank you Jeanette!

***

Find below and exclusive excerpt from Gridlock.

Copyright © 2011
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Dante reached the top landing and leaped the ten-meter divide between the final step and the highest part of the observatory’s domed roof. He landed running. Rain mixed with snow and wind pelted and whipped him, turning his crimson garment into a felt flag. Beyond the glistening underbellies of the hovercraft, the sliver of freedom shrank by the second.

He would have to start over. Again. Dante leaped.

Speed and height made air whistle in his ears. His cloak flapped like wings. The sting of freezing snow bombarded what portions of skin were exposed. He soared, high, higher than he had ever jumped before—the landing would probably break both his legs—but he would crawl to safety. As he had once done. He was used to it by now.

From the corner of his eye, he saw blue lightning strike the portion of dome he had occupied a second before. Teasingly close to his apogee, the whip of light touched him, almost gently, as would a kiss from a static-charged angel. Blinding radiance. Sense-numbing energy.

A snarl tore from him. Intense burn then numbness. He plummeted to the ground, hit once in a sickening crack, rebounded once, twice, a third time to roll to a stop a mere step from the alley at which he had aimed.

Agony lanced up his legs and back, along his neck. Dante somehow managed to flop onto his back. Rain congealed into icy pellets, which landed on his face, in his eyes, but he could not blink. The drops reminded him of Steel’s piercings. Tiny silvery tears. He wondered why she had betrayed him, even if intellectually he had suspected she would. Necessity, desperation. The Grid had turned man against man.

Dante smiled when he tasted blood. He would not survive this time. His only regret was not to have seen her again.

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Cyberpunk *and* romance?

Why, yes, my dears. It’s a rocking combination, as displayed by the bestsellers list over at Samhain Publishing. Under the awesome tutelage and most excellent leadership of Sasha Knight (editor and ruler of all things good), the Cybershock anthology is showing some truly fantastic biceps. I mean, I could be wrong, but I think it’s the first time a scifi anthology rules the bestsellers chart this way. I’m proud to be part of it, and feel honoured (and quite a bit scared in a good way) to be riding the wave of successful cyberpunk romances. Readers, this is all because of you. You took a chance when it would have been easy to choose something else, something safer, something more familiar. So thank you, in my name and that of Stacy, Barbara and our editor Sasha. We luvz you.

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Whoa!

Gridlock has only been on sale for 2 days and it’s already on the bestseller list (at #3).

Dudes. You make my day.

And I’m not alone on that list of Things Awesome and Crazy. My fellow authors, Stacy Gail and Barbara J. Hancock also occupy positions 1 and 2, respectively.

What makes my inner Chihuahua want to chase her tail with savage glee is those stories are cyberpunk romances. Readers dig cyberpunk romance. That makes me so, so happy.

Keep on reading, and if you’re so inclined after reading the blurb and free excerpt, buy a copy. Keep cyberpunk romance floating!

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I’m baaaack!

Just in time to squeal about my new release, Gridlock. Come on, you know you want it. In the meantime, have a blurb. Even better…have an excerpt!

Dante knows the price of rebellion. The Grid created him in its likeness, turning him into a killing machine—tested, modified and enhanced to be a “better citizen”. Years may have passed since he escaped that freak show, but the scars are still fresh.

Without the mandatory implant, Steel scrapes by, living free of the Grid’s control. When a job goes bad, everyone around her dies, their minds crushed by the notorious Cardinal. But he doesn’t kill her. He takes her to a secret lair filled with fascinating, forbidden pre-Grid knowledge. Who is this man—ruthless murderer or eccentric loner?

Bad-mannered as she is, Dante can’t bring himself to silence the abrasive, cigarette-addicted Steel. Something about her calls to him, though trusting her could be a mistake. Should she betray him, it would wipe out years of patient waiting. Waiting while the Grid hunts him for the priceless information he carries within his living data vault. Waiting while his dish of revenge turns ice cold.

For Dante intends to go back. And this time, he intends to be the only one left standing.


Product Warnings
Contains violence, offensive language, a tattooed woman, a man who’s ready to light a few fuses, several variants of the F-word, machines behaving badly, thugs and PVC fashion. But no ninjas. That’s for the next book.

EXCERPT (warning, loooong excerpt containg bad language!) Continue reading

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Hiatus

I will be spending the summer with my little guy, which means:

1. no writing

2. no cover work (I create book covers as Kanaxa)

3. and no online presence, except for emails because I love my readers and will always have time for them

Have a great summer. See you all in September!

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The Race Before and After

So I survived the 2011 Ottawa Half-Marathon. And I have the pictures (and medal!) to prove it.

Me, all fresh and ready to go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then here I am now, less fresh, but accompanied by a handsome gentleman, one of two who were waiting for me when I arrived.

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Pre-Race Jitters!

Tomorrow is D-Day. Why did I sign up for this?! Why did I ever think I could actually run for a half-marathon at 21 kms?! Madness, I tell you. Madness.

I guess we’ll find out tomorrow morning. Because tomorrow morning, comes THIS. Ottawa’s run weekend.

To the right, behold! My race kit consisting of a time chip to be tied to my shoe, a bib (on which I may or not vomit), and a technical shirt. Notice the green rectangle to the left of the bib, which indicates I belong to the Slow Poke category. And that’s where I have the most fun. It’s not as if I have sponsors who’ll get pissed off if I don’t shave a second off my personal best. Not that I have one.

In the meantime, my checklist is almost all done.

Pasta supper: check.

Lots of water: check.

Lots of rest: *soon*

Gear/kit out and ready: check.

Time chip on shoe: check.

Wish me luck!

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