I found this perfect quote from Tom Clancy, and doesn’t it fit all of us?
“Two questions form the foundation of all novels: ‘What if?’ and ‘What next?’ (A third question, ‘What now?’, is one the author asks himself every 10 minutes or so; but it’s more a cry than a question.) Every novel begins with the speculative question, What if ‘X’ happened? That’s how you start.”
– Tom Clancy
Isn’t this how your stories start? It’s exactly how I come up with ideas. One day, out of the blue, I see this image in my mind or I dream it and then I take it to the next step – What if?
From there, the story starts to write itself as I wonder, What next? and of course, as Tom Clancy so well put it, every 10 minutes or so comes the cry of What now?
I’ve long believed that my novels and short stories write themselves with my prodding of these questions.
Isn’t that how your stories go to? So what are we waiting for? Let’s get back to writing before we forget the answers to these 3 simple questions.
Love, Honor, and Respect
“Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
― Mark Twain
Unfortunately, Weebly won't let me paste this time, but you can read the chapter on one of my blogs:
Love, Honor, and Respect
I just finished reading 'A Time for Everything' by Mysti Parker. I won this book in an Eary Revewer program and I absolutely loved it.
The book is a historical romance set after the Civil War, and it just made the book more intriguing to me.
The story is about a young woman named Portia who not only loses her husband to the war, but loses her 2-year-old daughter to Typhoid. Lost and grieving and living with her brother-in-law's family, she decides the best thing for her is to start a new life.
She accepts a position as teacher of a young boy in the home of Beau Stanford. Beau lost his wife during the war. He lives with his father, his friend Harry (raised with him so they're like brothers) and two servants.
Being a romance pretty much tells you what's going to happen to Portia, but the book also has a lot of action to it.
Ms. Parker builds her story and characters well. As I read the book, I felt I was right there with the Stanfords and Portia, and isn't that one of the most important qualities of a well-written book? That you get drawn into a new world by the author?
Mysti Parker has written several books, and if they're anything like this one, then they've got to be good reads. You can find this book at amazon.com for 99cents along with other of her works.
I'd recommend this book to any lover of the Romance Genre and give it 5 stars.
Love, Honor, and Respect.
I've mentioned that the Dimidiums, a fantasy romance series, is a five book set. The Dimidiums is a secret race, half vampire and half human.
Currently, only Book One Bound by love is published and available. I am, however, looking for Beta Readers for books 3 through 5.
Here are short excerpts from all five books:
Book One Bound by Love
(In book one Trevor falls in love with a human. There are rules about this, the main one being marriage is imperative, so Trevor's keeping it a secret from everyone. The thing is, Trevor and his father Stefan hunt the worst criminals and they've seen nothing good in humans. In this scene, Lainie, also a Tracker, is angry about Trevor's nonchalant attitude and hatred of humans.)
“You and Stefan are made out of the same mold. Someday, someone’s going to break that mold, and all the better for us.”
They took the elevator to the fifth floor.
“I’m glad to be back,” said Lainie. “I’m off for a nice shower.”
“Is that an invitation?” Trevor teased.
Lainie smacked his arm. “You have a reputation, you know. I won’t be one of your throw away girls.”
“What makes you think I’d throw you away? Maybe I’d want to keep you. You want to spar before we shower?” He threw a light punch at her jaw.
“The way you love to provoke me and treat others of our kind, especially our women, and your hatred of humans is frustrating. One of these days karma will bite you in the ass and it will hurt. Then you’ll be sorry.”
“Mm. I’m sure to enjoy that. Delightful. I hope she’s a good biter. Do you have her phone number?”
Lainie faced him and tossed her hair back. She stared him down with her hands on her hips. “You just watch. I bet your punishment will be to fall in love with a human woman and marry her.”
“Change the subject.”
“She’ll steal your heart, but you won’t want it back, and you’ll ache for the rest of your life. Everything she says and does that hurts your feelings will crush you, but even worse, everything she’ll do to gratify you will make you hunger for her even more. You’ll wish you never met her, but you’ll never want to let her go. And you know what? You’ll deserve every minute of that stinging sweet and sour pain.”
His face turned stone-like. “Perhaps karma bit me already.”
(In Book Two, Blood Lust Trevor's love Janna is attacked by a vampire and a Dimidium suffering from Blood Lust and she's barely alive. Lainie's upset because she was supposed to be guarding Janna.)
“Janna,” Trevor begged. “Please don’t be dead. I love you. Janna, wake up.”
“She’s in stasis,” explained Ivarr.
“Who are you? Go away,” demanded Trevor. “Family only. No crazies.”
“Trevor,” chided Karla.
“You let some foolish old Halbling in here talking about some ancient tale of stasis?” asked Trevor.
“I’m a Dimidium,” corrected Ivarr.
“Good for you. Go away,” warned Trevor. Suddenly, he turned on Lainie, furious. “I trusted you. What happened?”
“It’s okay to kill me, Trevor. I did this to her. First I bite her, now this. I’m not afraid to die. I deserve it,” whispered Lainie. “Go ahead, but make it quick. I won’t fight.”
“What’s the matter with you?” Trevor grasped Lainie’s arms. “I asked you what happened.”
Jeffrey snarled, ready to defend his wife, but Trevor ignored him. Instead, he looked at Lainie’s miserable demeanor, and gripped her into a tight hug.
“It’s okay, Lainie. You can’t control another person’s path in life. Isn’t that one of the first lessons I taught you?”
“You’re squashing the boys,” said Lainie.
When he pulled back, he spoke gently. “Janna forgave you for biting her. I explained about the babies, and she was looking forward to your time together. She bought you homemade things that the human women made. I’ve got them in a suitcase in the car.”
“You don’t understand. I left her unguarded.” Lainie bit her bottom lip.
“What?” asked Trevor. “Why would you do a stupid thing like that?”
Jeffrey snarled again.
“Quiet, ogre,” said Trevor. “I can’t hear anything above your noise.”
(In Book Three, For Our Love, Trevor feels his personality is too difficult and so he chooses to walk away from Janna and camp in a South American Jungle. He's done it, as he puts it, 'for our love'. An unscrupulous human latches on to her and Trevor hears about it but is unsure what to do. He's visited by his Shaolin Master,
Trevor sat in silence. His eyes showed his emotional suffering.
“I saw your wife a while ago,” continued Shīzi. “At least I think it was her. She looked different and has lost much weight. At first it was hard to tell, but then she smiled, glad to see me, and called me by name.”
“Where was this?”
“A restaurant in Japan. A very exclusive restaurant, and yet all that she had in front of her was a small salad and a glass of wine.”
“Was she happy?”
“She was sitting with a successful business man who was conducting a meeting. He made sure I knew I wasn’t welcome at their table. She greeted me with tears in her eyes. She dabbed them delicately away with a charming lace handkerchief, making sure not to smear her makeup or get a smudge on the handkerchief.
“After she greeted me, she asked me how you were. She supposed you were with me. She looked around the restaurant with eager eyes. When she didn’t see you, her face expressed severe sorrow and loneliness. I noticed an emptiness in her, as if her own soul had left her. Sadly, I had to inform her that you hadn’t visited me. Tears formed in her eyes again, but she patted them gracefully away with her handkerchief. The gentleman chided her for her improper behavior in front of his guests and me. He corrected her often during my short visit.”
“But was she happy?”
“Are you not listening? Didn’t I say she had tears in her eyes? She supposed you were with me. You presume that she’s happy because she’s with a human male. She looked neither happy nor sad. She simply appeared to exist.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Life is meant to live, to explore, to conquer. You here in this place are only existing. She under that human’s manipulation is also only existing. The Universe declared you lovers and you walked away, unbalancing your lives.”
Trevor shrugged. “What else did she say?”
“Little else. As I said, he made it obvious that he didn’t like me. He scolded her for calling to me across the room, correcting her that she may only speak when given permission. I left after that, but as I walked away, he reminded her that she’s to break all ties with her husband’s friends and family because we don’t meet his standards. He advised her, in an unkind way, that she isn’t to mention your name again, that he’d warned her enough times and that he was losing his patience. Funny. I sensed no patience at all in him. I guess he doesn’t know how well Halblings hear.”
(In book four, The Curse of Eutychus, the family encounters an ancient formidable enemy. Trevor battles him and almost loses his life. His mother Karla and his two brothers and their wives, Ulrich and Trinity and Jeffrey and Lainie greet him when he's brought in. Trevor's the youngest sibling.)
They had just crossed over the hill and were heading down to the chateau when Jeffrey bounded towards them, his face wrought with fear and worry. He was running so fast and had run so far that his tongue hung partially out of his mouth. He grabbed Trevor into a tight hug.
“Ogre, you looked like an oversized puppy dog with its tongue hanging out running towards us. I thought you were going to bite me. Put me down, puppy dog. I’m already hurt. I don’t need you crushing me.”
But Jeffrey picked him up into his arms. “Make me. I’m carrying you, you big idiot. The rate you’re going, it’ll take you until next winter to make it to the door.”
Trevor lifted his Kon to smack his brother, but it clanged to the ground. Shīzi retrieved it and closed the two sides then handed it to Trevor.
“Thanks.” He whacked Jeffrey in the head.
“Couldn’t even feel it. You must be pretty weak.”
“Come on. Put me down. This is embarrassing.”
“Nope, Little Bro.”
They entered the chateau where Karla and Trinity were waiting anxiously. They kissed Trevor’s face over and over and clasped his hands and his arms, not letting go of him, their eyes filled with tears. Then both felt his stomach, head, arms, and legs.
“Mutti, Trinity, I’m fine. Stop groping me.”
“You big dork,” yelled Lainie as she smacked his arm. “You could have been killed.”
“Everyone, quit mauling me.”
“Trevor,” said Ulrich calmly, standing in front of him.
“Ulrich, you’re not going to hug me or grope me, are you?”
“Of course not.” Ulrich grabbed Trevor’s forehead and kissed it making a loud smacking sound.
“I’m not a baby,” complained Trevor, but his eyes rolled in his head again and he fainted.
In book five, The Tempest Tiger, changes are coming to the Dimidium race as the battles between vampires and Dimidiums come to an end, but not before loss and sadness grip the family more than once.)
Stefan observed his wife, who was visibly shaken. She blinked away the tears. “You have something to tell us that’s going to upset us about Trevor, don’t you?” asked Stefan carefully.
Karla squeezed her husband’s hand. “Yes, and it’s a dreadful secret that I’ve held all this time. It’s tearing me apart these days. I warn you to keep your voices down. No one can know, especially not Trevor. He’s got that explosive temper. I really never gave it much thought for years since there wasn’t a war and I didn’t think there ever would be one, but things are different now.”
“Ah, we’re discussing Trevor Ivarr and his future?” Ivarr had just entered the home. He pulled his chair out and sat down.
“This is not for you to hear,” said Karla curtly.
“Would it surprise you to know that Shīzi and I have known for longer than you have?”
“What is it?” asked Jeffrey. “My little Bro better not be dying or something.”
“It’s worse,” answered Karla. She sucked on her lips. “He told me that before Trevor turns one hundred, he’s to be sacrificed.”
Trinity inhaled sharply.
Janna grabbed her stomach. The wind was knocked out of her. It felt like she’d been punched hard. The resulting ruckus of objections from below was loud.
“Quiet. Keep your voices down,” begged Karla.
“Ain’t no way my little Bro is going to be sacrificed,” boomed Jeffrey.
“Jeffrey, please. Speak softer,” warned Karla.
“Well, I’m mad. How could you agree to it?” asked Jeffrey.
“Karla?” asked Stefan. “Something this important, and you didn’t ever mention it to me?”
“Or to any of us?” asked Ulrich angrily.
I hope you enjoyed these excerpts. I'd love to hear what you think, so please leave a comment below.
Book One can be purchased for 99cents from the following sources:
Samples of the book can be found at all the above sources. If you'd like to review the book, please let me know.
Love, Honor, and Respect to all of you.
The Dimidiums: a Five Book Series Book One Bound by Love for 99cents through amazon and smashwords which distributes to Barnes&Noble, Kobo, iPad, and others.
(cover by Joleene Naylor)
Where have I been? Besides the usual family matters and health matters, for over a year I've been obsessed with writing 'The Dimidiums' - all five books.
The Dimidiums is a secret race of half human and half vampire.
But how did they come to exist?
I'll let my lead character Trevor Dittmar explain to Janna, the woman he loves:
He bit his finger and held it up. “Taste?”
He chuckled and sucked it until it stopped bleeding.
“How old are you?”
“Nearing 100. Stefan and Karla are way over 200. We don’t count years so much when we’re adults. Centuries are what’s important. We can live 300 to 500 years. I’ve heard of those even older.”
“Do you have souls?”
“Do you have a soul?”
“It’s just that I’ve heard….”
“You must forget all those stories. Would you like me to tell you about the first one of us and how we came to be?”
She nodded yes.
“This happened a long, long time ago. His name was Eutychus. It means fortunate. People with this name have a strong urge to inspire others, but he was a weak, small human so his parents apprenticed him to the only man who would take him - a wizard. He spent years with him. The wizard was a cruel man and finally Eutychus could take no more. He ran away. As luck would have it, he met an alchemist named Angelos – messenger or angel. Eutychus considered him an angel because of his caring nature. Very intelligent too. He took Eutychus on as his assistant and taught him everything he knew.”
“Wizards and alchemists exist?”
“Shh. Let me tell the story. Together, they practiced alchemy for years. Now, during this time on the Earth, larger towns and many villages were developing. The Accurseds hid and attacked solitary victims, but when they were discovered, they were hunted and killed. They never became smart enough to know how to fit in with societies, and they still haven’t.”
“Accurseds? You said that word before.”
“Original vampires.” He hunched his back and puckered his mouth, holding his hands limp up to his shoulders. “They’re weakening over the years. It’s become difficult for them to maintain their archaic ways. Most have little hair. White strands hang to their shoulders or longer. They’re very thin and almost translucent with the worst breath possible that smells like old blood.”
“So you call vampires Accurseds?”
“There are two types of vampires. Both awake during the night, but one group remains unnoticed by your kind. The Silent Ones, as we call them are healthier. They can come out during the times between night and day if the sun isn’t at its fullest, but they rarely do. They wear hats to distinguish their status in their groups. They feed on animals and humans, but they give us little trouble.”
“So there’s three types of you?”
“Again,” he said patiently, “we’re not vampires. Way back in Eutychus’ time, the vampires divided into these two groups. The smarter ones that we call the Silent Ones were willing to adapt. We have special Halblings that work with them when needed. Johanna’s husband Frederik is one. These vampires continue to adapt to modern life. The others, they refuse to change. They’re dying out, and we’re helping them.” He grinned at his joke.
“You were talking about those vampires in Las Vegas?”
“They don’t like us much and we hate them.”
“I thought you hunted animals. Do you wish you were human?”
“Do you wish you were a Halbling? I’m proud of my heritage.”
“What happened to Eutychus and Angelos?”
“They worked for years on many tonics to heal any sickness, to turn themselves into different animals and back to their own forms again. They only wished to help humanity to live enhanced lives. They were closer than brothers.”
“But one of them got bit, right?”
“Yes. One night they were stumped by a difficult formula, so Eutychus went for a walk in the cool air. This often cleared his head and helped him discover the solution, but he was attacked by an Accursed. You see, the Accurseds were losing their numbers and they tried to convert humans faster than ever. He left Eutychus in pain. They often do that.
“Eutychus crawled under some bushes and throughout the night and the next day he suffered greatly. He woke late in the night with a terrible thirst that burned his throat. He understood what happened to him and hurried to Angelos’ lab for help. He hoped they could make an elixir to cure him or perhaps he could be turned into an animal and disappear into the wild.”
“It hurts that much?”
“To be bitten, yes, if you even survive.”
She felt around her neck.
He shook his head. “We rarely use that method, except in fights. Anyway, when he entered the lab, Angelos was asleep. Eutychus, overcome by his thirst, attacked his master, drinking, drinking, drinking until he was full, but he drained his mentor, who died. Eutychus was racked with guilt and still in pain, but he wasn’t one to give up. He began working on a potion by himself, mixing the blood of his master with his, and experimenting with many different elements, meticulously taking notes.
“Still, he needed to feed. He’d wait until he could stand it no longer, but he suffered greatly from guilt when he killed. In time, he developed a formula that did change him, but part of him remained a vampire. He could never do away with that part, but now he also needed food. Mostly he hungered for meats. He didn’t have to eat much, but he did require water again. He needed blood and water, but combining the two and trying to drink it that way made him sick, so he worked to improve his cure. It’s our life saver and we refer to it as nectar, the drink of the gods. Eutychus chose that word. Our nectar is indeed precious to us.”
“Is that what’s in your flask? That nectar? The one you claimed was a health drink?”
“Actually, we drink them in vials like this one. Sometimes I carry mine in a flask if I’m going to be out where people can see me. We’ve enhanced them. Eutychus still needed the blood of others to stay alive, so he set to work to improve what the concoction, a solution that would nourish him with the least amount of blood and stop the constant sickness he felt. Eventually, he succeeded, but he was lonely. After all, he was the only Halbling. He wondered about reversing the first formula to change a female into what he was. He set out to find a woman. By now, he was quite old, but in a nearby village there lived an ugly girl that no one wanted to marry named Agatha. He kidnapped her, fed her the potion, and it worked. He called themselves Dimidiums, Latin for halves.
If you've enjoyed what you read, please visit the Amazon link above and read more of the story.
Love, Honor, and Respect to you.
Believe in yourself and dream above the clouds. I do and I believe in you.