Cover Reveal: FINDER’S KEEPERS

Posted March 20th, 2014 by Victoria

Whee!! Just got my new cover for my book FINDER’S KEEPERS, a short, sweet, contemporary paranormal coming April 5th from Liquid Silver Books – finderskeepers
Plagued by dreams about a cinnamon-haired beauty, Dean White is certain his spacy grandmother has something to do with it. As a P.I., Dean specializes in exposing frauds, especially those who claim supernatural powers. When his grandmother gives him Maggie Daniels’ card claiming she can find lost things, he knows he has to prove to his grandmother that this woman is nothing more than a charlatan. What he doesn’t expect is Maggie is the woman in his dreams—and she’s a real witch.
Maggie Daniels runs an occult shop in a small town. She has all the outer trappings of being a witch, but she keeps the reality off the radar. After all, advertising that little fact doesn’t exactly make friends. When the man she’s been seeing in her visions
shows up on her doorstep, she isn’t quite sure what the fates have in store for her.
Dean, head of White Knight Investigations, has something he needs found. In talking with him, Maggie realizes Dean is so
immersed in reality he’s forgotten he has abilities of his own. That fact hasn’t escaped the notice of another witch—one who’s got intentions of her own. It’s up to Maggie to stop the other one’s dark plans and convince Dean that there’s more to life than just five senses.
* * *

And don’t forget to look for WHO’S YOUR ALPHA? coming March 31st from Liquid Silver Books – available now for preorder!
Sunny isn’t the shy little shifter she was when she left town. Now back for her high school reunion, her classmates are in for a surprise. There’s a new alpha in town and the claws are out to see who will be top dog. WHO’S YOUR ALPHA is a new short, paranormal contemporary romance about letting go of the past and finding your future.Who's Your Alpha-600x800

Writing Process Tour

Posted March 10th, 2014 by Victoria

I was invited by Natalie Damschroder to do a Writing Process blog tour. It’s an international hop to showcase different authors and what they do. Natalie blogged about her process last week. I’m doing the tour this week with two of my friends – Misty Simon and Victoria Smith. Next week will be the ones I list below.

Here are my answers to the tour questions:
1. What am I working on? Right now, I’m working on the sequel to The Emerald Key. It will be called The Ruby Key and is the second book in the series. Though each book can be read alone, reading them all gives you the complete overall arc.

I’m also working on the next story in my futuristic series coming this summer from Ellora’s Cave Blush. Don’t let the EC label scare you off. I write for their Blush line which is the non-erotic side of the house.

2. How does my work differ from others of the genre? I have been told that I am an amazing world builder. I build my worlds first, then I add characters instead of the other way around. That way, there is a solid background for them to work in. Whether it’s today’s world (with paranormal elements) or a distant universe, there is depth that many futuristic and paranormal romances lack.

3. Why do I write what I do? Because I love the endless possibilities that are available in fantasy, science fiction and paranormal writing. I’ve always been fascinated by these types of tales and there’s no limit to what can be imagined.

4. How does your writing process work? For me, it starts with a “what if” question. I ask the questions – for instance, for my Crystal Keys series – what if Atlantis and Lemuria really existed and their people had magic? What if they didn’t like what they were seeing in the world and “shifted” their lands to other planes of existence? What if there were doorways to those lands – who would control the passages?

And so on. I ask the questions, then I do the “research” and find the answers. Since I worked on a paper for a while, I often “interview” my characters and ask them what happened. Yeah, I know, it sounds silly, but the answers I come up with get me started on the story and get it moving.

Unfortunately, because of the day job, I don’t get to write as much as I’d like, but I jot and make notes when I can and, eventually, it all works out.

Be sure to check out these authors next week:
Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with Ellora’s Cave, Midnight Books and Punk & Sissy Publications. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it into her characters. You can find her at her website: http://www.charityparkerson.com or her blog: http://charity-thesinners.blogspot.com

D.R. Grady  loves gadgets, books, plants, shoes and writing stories that resonate with others. You can generally find her in her “office”, a chair in the living room, hopefully writing, but sometimes playing Angry Birds or reading. You can find her at: http://drgrady.wordpress.com

Ups and Downs

Posted March 2nd, 2014 by Victoria

Last weekend, I spent the weekend with two friends at a little cabin where we concentrated on writing. We worked, we brainstormed, we talked, we ate, we laughed, and we wrote – a lot. It was an amazing weekend. I got my next book in the Crystal Keys series mapped out as well as the overall story arc for the series so I know what’s happening in all four books. I got a lot accomplished last weekend.

Then the week hit. And the flu hit. Fever, aches, headache, coughing, sinus… all the nasty stuff that goes with feeling yucky. And the writing stopped. I was barely keeping up with my editing work. My output tanked. All the impetus I had from the previous week and the weekend died.

But, as happens, I am slowly on the mend. Still achy. Still coughing and fighting massive sinus headaches. Still tired. But I’m getting there. And I’ve been looking at the stuff I did last weekend. And I still like what I did so that must be good. Maybe this bug was Mother Nature’s way of telling me I needed a break. I’ve been pushing pretty hard. Whatever the reason, I’m ready to get back down to it this week. Though I have a couple of work deadlines I need to meet, I’m also going to tackle the Ruby Key (the next book in the series). A little at a time. And sometimes, that’s all we can do – just keep plugging away a little at a time and, eventually, it will all come together.

In the meantime – take a look at my new cover art! My next book, WHO’S YOUR ALPHA, comes out on March 31st from Liquid Silver Books. The new cover art is for my futuristic story coming out from Ellora’s Cave Blush this summer.

turnofacard_msr

Guest Author: Kerry Adrienne

Posted February 27th, 2014 by Victoria

My guest today is Kerry Adrienne. I have to tell you, if you haven’t read her books, you are missing some amazing stories!

1. What made you decide to become a writer?
I don’t ever remember not writing. Deciding to publish came much later—I think a lifetime of reading cultivates a desire to write for publication.

2. What advice would you give an aspiring author?
It really is true that persistence and hard work are key elements to being successful. You can’t be an author if you don’t write. Not every editor will like your work, and that is okay—the world would be a boring place if everyone liked the same thing. Keep writing what YOU love, not what is selling or what everyone else is writing. Trends are just that, trends. They come and they go. If you aren’t enjoying what you are writing, readers aren’t going to enjoy reading what you wrote. It will show.

3. What (or who) inspires or influences your writing?
I’m inspired by people who take risks for their art, but never step on other people to get ahead. I’m inspired by people who stand up for what they believe in. I love romance because I believe in good and that love is worth celebrating.

4. Do you do an outline or just start writing?
The first book I wrote, I did a scene-by-scene outline. The book stunk. I’ve learned to lightly outline, draft the overall arc and maybe fill in scenes as they come to me—but I don’t think I’ll ever fully outline again.

5. What do you do for fun when you are not writing?
I costume (mostly anime costumes and historical), paint, draw, play guitar, and do just about any craft (except cake decorating, which I loathe) you can think of. I love working with my hands.

6. Do you have any appearances/book signings scheduled this year?
I’ll be at the Fated Desires Retreat in Chicago in April, RT Booklovers in NOLA in May, Book Expo America in NYC in May, Authors After Dark in Charlotte in August, and Romanticon in Ohio in October.

7. Please list website or blog site if you have them.
www.kerryadrienne.com

8. Can you share an interesting behind the scenes tidbit about your latest story?
Yes, I actually did model the looks of one of the characters (Kenon) on Adam Lambert.

9. So, what is your new book about? (New Book Release Blurb, etc.):
Artist’s Touchartiststouch_msr
The Guild, book one (Sculptor’s Desire and Guitarist’s Wish coming soon!)
By Kerry Adrienne

Blurb:

Every starlet wants master painter Kenon Alavi to do her portrait…and more. But Kenon prefers firm to soft and sates his desires with the boyfriends of the women he paints, enjoying the diversity of many lovers but shunning any attachments.

Wallace Harte’s English degree isn’t helping him find a job and working at a bar is the closest he’s gotten to being the Second Coming of Faulkner. Something’s gotta give soon or he’ll be out on the street.

Kenon zeroes in on the bartender at an art exhibition, intending to add him to his long list of conquests, but Wally bolts, initiating a heated game of cat and mouse. Kenon delights in the game until he discovers what Wally is writing. Feeling betrayed, Kenon swears off all entanglements until he reads Wally’s story and discovers true love is sometimes between the pages and not the sheets.

Inside Scoop: This book contains hot, sexy scenes of M/M interaction of an artistic nature. Who knew having your portrait painted could be so hot?

EXCERPT:
Another day, another drink for those who had dollars. Wally slipped the candied cherry into the Manhattan and handed the glass to the tall brunette leaning against the bar. With barely a nod, the woman slinked away as if on skates, joining one of the clusters of patrons waiting on Kenon Alavi’s arrival. The artist, notorious for being late, probably wouldn’t arrive for another ten minutes at least. Light jazz floated through the air from the ensemble set up in the far corner and spots of colored lights beamed up the walls to the tall ceilings that arched over the studio space. This would make a great setting for a novel, Wally mused. Too bad he didn’t have the plot to go along with it. His creativity had hit an impasse as cliché as the proverbial brick wall.

“Martini. Wet and stirred, no olive, no twist.” The man put his hand on the bar and looked over his shoulder toward the gallery door. “I’m tired of waiting. Don’t care how special Alavi thinks he is, my time’s important too.” He tapped his fingers on the bar. “Annoying bastard. Wouldn’t be here if my wife wasn’t so keen on having him paint her.”
Wally pulled out the glass for the martini, not speaking to the customer. He’d been hired to make drinks, not socialize. The man was just complaining anyway. He wasn’t really expecting a conversation, especially from the bartender. Plus, tonight Wally had to remember all the different highbrow cocktails. He rarely served anything but beer and frozen drinks back at the Cellar Bar. He poured the vermouth into the sloped glass, then stirred the concoction. As long as Mr. Alavi paid his wage, who cared when he actually showed up? His gala, his schedule.
“Told her we could get a portrait done for a lot less but she insists on this guy.” The finger tapping grew more vigorous. “He’s refused her calls for two months now. Arrogant bastard.”

Wally nodded and set the drink in front of the man. Mr. Alavi sounded like a typical snobby artist. Big surprise. “Here you go, sir. Wet and stirred. No olive, no twist.”

“Top shelf?” the man asked, raising an eyebrow. He toyed with the rim of the glass, running his finger around it as if he was checking for chips.

“It’s all we serve,” Wally mumbled, wiping up a few drops of condensation from the top of the bar. Alavi’s guests were snobby too. “Only the best.” Bottles of fine alcohol that could pay off his student loans with cash left over for a few months of rent. He looked out over the room of people. Wealth and privilege as far as he could see, well, except for the musicians in the corner. He smiled. At least they were making a living off their art. One day he would too—if he could ever shed his writer’s block.

The man shrugged and tipped up the glass, finishing off the cocktail in one gulp. He held the glass to the light and examined it, then set it on the bar. “Good thing Alavi has an open bar at this reception. Otherwise, I’d leave right now, no matter what my wife said. I’ll take another, please. The same.” He resumed his tapping.

Wally took out a new glass and prepared the man’s drink. The jazz music was making him sleepy. He’d much prefer something a little more lively. Having spent the previous night out on the town dancing to a club beat didn’t help. But he couldn’t refuse the extra money this bartending gig would put in his pocket. He pushed the glass over to the man and tried not to yawn.

Silence hit the entire room at once, echoing off the vaulted ceiling in thick waves. Someone gasped, then the patrons broke into applause. Mr. Alavi had arrived. The large front doors banged closed and the music softened.

Drink forgotten, the man strode off to join the mass of bodies that now moved as one as they pushed toward the door where Mr. Alavi waited to be greeted. Wally squinted to see what the excitement was but the crowd blocked his sightline. He’d heard the artist put on quite the spectacle and with the number of people and amount of money spent on the reception tonight, he didn’t doubt it for a second.

The crowd parted like the Red Sea in front of Moses and a man walked toward the grand doors that led to the open studio in the back of the room.

Wally stared.

Mr. Alavi’s stopped to shake hands with a tall gentleman and then moved on through the crowd. Light glinted like a beacon off the silver brooch at his throat. Murmurs filled the room—whispers, really. Like a creature of the night, Mr. Alavi was dressed in black from head to toe with a few flashes of silver sparkle sprinkled here and there. God, why did all the handsome men have to be rich and unattainable? Alavi was probably straight too. Life was definitely not fair.

Wally reached for the two martini glasses and bumped one over. He caught the stem of the second one just as the glass bowl shattered against the bar. His heart pounded and blood rushed to his ears. When he looked up, Mr. Alavi was staring at him, looking him right in the eye with a piercing gaze and unreadable expression. Everyone in the room watched. Wally’s face flooded with heat and sweat trickled down the back of his tuxedo shirt.

“Sorry,” he stammered to no one in particular.

Before anyone could respond, Mr. Alavi moved in his direction and Wally’s throat tightened. Would he fire him on the spot? He began picking up pieces of glass and dropping them into the bar wastebasket, avoiding Mr. Alavi’s approach. Way to go, Wally, blow your chance to earn some extra cash. The one glass probably cost more than the night’s wages.
He bent to drop a large piece of glass into the trashcan, still holding on to the marble bar with his free hand. He squeezed his eyes closed. He’d get through this. Bile rushed into his throat. Why did he always screw things up? He took a deep breath. What was the worst thing that could happen? He’d been fired before and for worse offenses.
A warm hand covered his, sending a wave of fear up his arm. Wally stood, coming face-to-face with Mr. Alavi. Wally wanted to pull his hand away and run but fifty wealthy snobs would stop him before he made it to the front door and onto the New York streets.

He was trapped.

“Everything okay?” Mr. Alavi asked, his voice as smooth and dark as his slick black satin shirt.

Wally met the man’s gaze—green eyes lined in kohl, set in warm skin that shimmered in the bar light. Black spiky hair dusted with glitter.

Mr. Alavi squeezed his hand and Wally shivered.

“I said, is everything okay?”

“Y-y-yes,” Wally stammered. Even from over the bar, he could tell that Mr. Alavi was tall, well over six feet. His shoulders broadened and then tapered to trim hips. Wally’s mouth filled with saliva. The man was hot. Even if he was about to fire him for breaking the barware.

Avoiding eye contact, Wally studied the black leather jacket Mr. Alavi wore. It was no rental but made to slip around his body like water, hugging the right places, with a few silver studs and spikes on one shoulder. Designer-made, no doubt. In place of a tie, he wore a silver serpent brooch pinned at the neck, its eyes made of tiny rubies and its forked tongue licking out.

Wally gulped and his already-warm face burned. The man must think he was an idiot, drooling and fumbling like a fool. The crowd had gone back to chattering and mumbling but a few people still glared toward the bar, probably annoyed that Wally had taken the artist’s attention away. Mr. Alavi lifted his hand and pulled Wally farther down the bar, away from the rest of the broken glass. The artist looked out at the crowd. Wally didn’t see the look he gave them but anyone staring suddenly turned away and ignored the scene at the bar. The man had the power, no question about it. This was his scene and his alone. Wally’s pulse quickened. At least he wouldn’t be totally humiliated by stares when Alavi fired him.

“What’s your name?” Alavi asked, squeezing Wally’s hand.

“W-w-wall…Wallace Harte, sir. I’m sorry I broke the glass.”

He brushed away Wally’s comment with his free hand. “Ah. An unusual name. Wally for short?”

Wally nodded and gulped down the panic in his throat.

“Call me Kenon,” the artist said, stretching out his name in a French-sounding accent. He ran his thumb over Wally’s knuckles in a slow circular motion and Wally closed his eyes.

The scant hairs on his arm stood erect and he hoped Kenon couldn’t feel how damp his palm was beneath his grasp or how his pulse beat a frantic escape rhythm. From the corner, the music started playing again and the low murmur of the crowd drowned the silence in his ears. Deep breath.

“Thank you, sir,” Wally said. He opened his eyes and met Kenon’s gaze. For a moment, he stared into Kenon’s green eyes, pausing to fully examine them. Enhanced with dark eyeliner, the artist’s eyes almost glowed with feral sparkle. Predatory. Waiting. Wally looked down, not daring to move his hand. Mr. Alavi must be quite the lady-killer. Who wouldn’t want to be with him?

“Time to open the show, Mr. Alavi,” a gallery aide said, sidling up to Kenon at the edge of the bar. “Everyone’s getting impatient.” Wally had seen the aides milling around, making sure things stayed perfect. It must cost a fortune to produce an event like this.

“This is my show. Let them wait,” Kenon growled and clamped down on Wally’s hand.

The aide looked at Wally and smirked. “I’m sure the bartender won’t mind talking to you after the show.” He emphasized the word “bartender” as if it were a dirty word.

Kenon snapped his head and turned to the man. “I said I’m busy.” This growl was louder and deeper and the aide’s eyes widened and his shoulders tensed.

“Yes, sir,” he said and backed away, hands up.

Wally began to shake. He tried to tell himself it was from the air-conditioning but he knew it was from a mixture of fear and longing to be near this mysterious man. The artist must always have a rapt audience. Despite his growling, everyone seemed to be taken in by his charm. Kenon milked Wally’s finger in a stroking rhythm and Wally clenched his thighs together, willing his dick to be still. Kenon was too close and it was a good thing the bar was between them or things could get embarrassing.

“Now,” Kenon said. He tugged Wally’s hand close to his chest, tightening his grip once again. “Lean in so I can whisper what I have to tell you. Privacy you know.” He smiled, a tight line of control.

Wally leaned toward Kenon, drawing in a deep breath of what was likely the most expensive cologne he’d ever smell, combined with a fresh scent that could have been makeup or fine-milled soap. Underlying everything was an all-male scent of danger combined with sex and power. The bar was cold against his chest but the man’s breath was hot in his ear. “Yes?” he asked, voice trembling. “I’m sorry I broke the glass.”

“I said I’m not worried about the glass.”

“What, then?” Wally squeaked out.

“Why are you shaking?” Kenon touched his nose to Wally’s earlobe and Wally tensed. “Am I too close?”

“I…I…don’t know,” Wally said, his breath stuttering in his throat. Why was he shaking? He’d not had a boyfriend in ages but had never responded to man’s presence so strongly and so urgently before. Especially a straight man. At least not while he was sober.

Kenon pressed closer and his warmth radiated over Wally’s neck and face. Wally stood statue-still under the assault of heat. “I want to see you after the show,” Kenon whispered. “Will you stay around? To…talk…”

Wally nodded. Was he in trouble?

“Goooood,” Kenon blew. “See you then.” His lips brushed Wally’s ear and then he nipped it gently, holding on to the lobe for a second before releasing it. Wally shuddered as heat jolted straight to his groin. Why was Kenon flirting? Wasn’t he straight? And why was he so close? Wally squirmed as his pants tightened and his dick disobeyed the order to stand down. The ruby eyes of the serpent brooch glinted as Kenon pulled away.

Viper.

Just as quickly as Kenon had latched on to Wally’s hand, he dropped it. Turning, he sauntered off as if he were strolling along a promenade without a care. The crowd, cued into his movement, followed him through the open doors to the main exhibit hall. Wally stared after him, watching the people meander into the larger room where Kenon’s latest paintings would be unveiled.

What had just happened? And why had he agreed to meet Kenon after the show? He knew better than to tempt fate with an employer, especially one he was so attracted to and who was so out of his league. He always screwed things up. He adjusted himself and sighed. What did he have to lose?

About the Author:
Kerry writes about love in its many forms, and enjoys exploring the dynamics of relationships and the quandaries people get themselves into. She lives in suburbia, but is making plans to escape to the ocean and NYC, as both places hold a piece of her heart.

Spring ahead – maybe

Posted February 15th, 2014 by Victoria

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve had enough of winter. Oh, I don’t mind the crisp, cold days. Nor do I mind the first snowfall. In fact, I get as excited as the kids when I see those first flakes in the late fall. But after having almost two feet of snow dumped on us, along with ice and sleet, in the last week, I’ve had enough. Especially since the **** snowblower doesn’t work. And these last two snowfalls were the heavy, wet stuff that is no fun to shovel. And I know the kids are almost as tired of snow days as the adults are. I know some schools are contemplating having classes on Saturdays just so they can get the required days in by the state-mandated deadline.

Don’t get me wrong – it is pretty to look out my window and see all that white. But I think the robins shivering around my birdfeeder are contemplating heading back south. And I’ve got friends who are still without power from a week ago.

And yes, my Minnesota-resident sister is teasing me about this being normal for her. It may be normal for Minnesota, but it’s not for southern Pennsylvania. And I really feel for the people in the southern states who aren’t used to this stuff at all!

So I am looking forward to spring. To flowers blooming and warmer days and being able to go outside without boots and a shovel.

I’m also looking forward to my newest books coming out! WHO’S YOUR ALPHA? is a short shapeshifter (sweet) romance that will be available March 31st from Liquid Silver Books. And FINDERS KEEPERS – a short paranormal (sweet) romance that will be available also from Liquid Silver on April 5th!

So here’s to spring!

Vicky

New Covers, New Books

Posted January 27th, 2014 by Victoria

I’ve got two stories coming out this spring and recently got the cover art for both. I am so excited to share them with you.

The first story, a short contemporary paranormal with shapeshifters – not werewolves. WHO’S YOUR ALPHA is a reprint – but completely Who's Your Alpha-600x800re-edited and with new work. I think you’ll like the new version better. It will be out from Liquid Silver Books on March 31st, 2014. It’s a sweet romance that will leave you panting for more.

 

Sunny always thought she was the only shifter in her hometown. What a surprise when she discovers not only is the majority of the town like her, but so is her childhood crush. Can they overcome the remnants of the past to make a new future?

There’s a new alpha in town and the claws are out to see who will be top dog.

The second storyturnofacard_msr – THE TURN OF A CARD – is a short futuristic romance coming from Ellora’s Cave Blush (the non-erotic side of the house).

When the turn of a card seals your fate, you need to stack the deck.

Jessica Windemere loses her freedom when her father bets her in a poker game. But she isn’t willing to accept her fate without a fight. To have her revenge, she first must survive an unknown world while contracted as some stranger’s wife. She wants nothing more to do with men until a huge, dark god rides into her camp. Can she risk losing her new love on the turn of a card?

Kiernan Randall is on his way home from a trading mission. The group of abandoned women he finds were definitely not expected, especially their feisty, red-haired leader. She is contracted to his enemy, but gives herself to him and firmly entwines his heart. Can he trust her enough to let her wager their future together on her skill with cards?

The Emerald Key

Posted December 17th, 2013 by Victoria

Whoot! I got an early Christmas present. My book, The Emerald Key, is now available for pre-order! If you pre-order, you get a 20% discount. It officially comes out on Dec. 23. You can pre-order, or purchase here:Liquid Silver Books

Bound through time to protect the key to magic, Nic and Cass discover that true power lies in the magic of love. Vicky Burkholder weaves an enticing tale of passion and suspense in The Emerald Key, book one of her exciting new series, Crystal Keys.
TheEmeraldKey_VickyBurkholder_600x800
Excerpt:

“Send me back. I have to save her.” Nicodemus’ boots clicked on the dark tile in the small room.

Three women watched him pace from where they were seated on their stools in front of a large backlit loom. No other light shone in the room. Though his voice did not echo, he could see neither walls nor ceiling, only the three women and their work. He’d been here before and each time, felt both closed in, and open to the universe.

“I must return,” he insisted.

“What you ask is not possible,” the oldest of the three said. “Her spirit has already moved on and the guardianship of the key has passed to another, though still in her line.”

“But you weave the threads. You can send me to her. You can ensure I’ll find her.”

“We weave as we must,” the second sister said. “You have been granted more than any other Protector.”

The third took up the narration. “Twice have you been sent and twice have you failed in your duty.”

His head hung. “I know I ask a lot. Don’t doubt my appreciation. But I didn’t fail in my duty to the key. The key is safe.”

“Which is why you live,” the first said.

Nic paused.

Why I lived?

“The doorway must remain closed,” she said. “The keys will be scattered. Though each contains its own power, together they hold the secret to the realm of magic. A realm that must remain closed to humans. You must always protect the key—even if doing so means sacrificing the Keeper.”

“I can’t protect against an unknown. Who is the shadow following her?”

“We do not know,” the three said together.

His breath caught. “You don’t know? That’s impossible.”

“And yet, true,” the first said. “We know there are more of those who claim membership in the Brotherhood of Ahmit, but not the leader. Even if we put a name to each, it would be from a different time and place, of no use to you. This will be your last chance. If you fail this time, there will be no reprieve. Your thread—and hers—will end.”

“But she is the Keeper of the first key.”

“And when her thread ends, a new Keeper—and a new Protector—will be chosen. The Council of the Immortals has set the boundaries for your return. Your connection to her is too close. You have lost your objectivity. When you return to humanity, you will have no memory of your past lives, nor will she. You will have no help from any of the Immortals. You will live as a human.”

“The boundaries are impossible. I’ll never find her without help.”

The eldest sister pulled a thread from one side of the tapestry and introduced it to the pattern. As she wove, she smiled at Nic.

“Trust, Nicodemus. And love.”

“But…” A blinding flash and deafening thunder tore the words from his throat, and he knew no more.

New Cover Art

Posted November 10th, 2013 by Victoria

Here is the cover art for a new book coming soon from Liquid Silver Books under my alter-ego name, Vicky Burkholder. THE EMERALD KEY is an urban fantasy and is the first in a four part series (each is a stand alone – no clipped threads from me!). Check back often or check the Liquid Silver Books site for the publication date!

Happy Halloween

Posted October 30th, 2013 by Victoria

The year, 1993.
The place – a small, public library in south central Pennsylvania.

I was working as the cataloguer for a small public library in south central Pennsylvania. The library is housed in an 1880 mansion that was donated to the town for the purposes of establishing a free library. The office where I did my cataloguing was in what used to be the butler’s pantry – what we would today call the kitchen. The shelves were deep, to accommodate what was originally china and serving dishes. They were perfect for storage of the books that I worked on.

When I was hired, my boss jokingly told me that when I came in each morning, I needed to say hello to Mr. Stewart, the resident ghost – and former owner of the mansion. I chuckled, but waved vaguely in the direction of the shelves and what would be my workspace and said “Hello, Mr. Stewart. It’s nice to meet you.”

Then I got to work.

Being the superstitious sort, as I came in each morning, I greeted Mr. Stewart, chuckling to myself, but still… I did greet him.

Then one morning, I didn’t. It was a bad morning already with sick kids and deadlines to meet and all the stuff that goes with life. Things that can make a person cranky in the morning.

And my books fell off the shelves. Puzzled, I picked them up and set them back on the shelves and brought up my computer. I chalked it up to a heavy truck rumbling by outside – though usually that didn’t cause books to go flying. A few minutes later, they all fell off the shelves again. This time, there were no trucks rumbling by. I checked the shelves to make sure they weren’t wobbly – they weren’t. And that there was nothing slick on the shelves to make the books fall – there wasn’t. I replaced the books once more and got back to work.

Then they fell again.

By this time, I was beyond frustrated. My boss walked in the door and looked at me sitting on the floor trying to put all those books back in order and she chuckled.

“You didn’t say good morning to Mr. Stewart, did you?”

I stared at her from my spot on the floor. “I… um… no. I guess I didn’t.”

She helped me replace the books on the shelves and I turned to the room. “My apologies, Mr. Stewart. May you have a pleasant day.”

The books stayed put for the rest of the day. And I never forgot to greet Mr. Stewart after that.

What’s your Halloween story?

Be nice to your editor

Posted October 16th, 2013 by Victoria

I am a writer. No big news there. But what many of you don’t know is that I’m also an editor. I’m the content editor for one of the larger online publishers. I’m not an acquiring editor (I don’t buy the manuscripts or offer contracts), but I do all the rest of the work. I go over the manuscripts I am sent line by line, word by word. I look for misspellings, inconsistencies, plot holes, grammar, etc. I go over each manuscript I do a minimum of four times, with the author. I research things I don’t know, or ask the author (in bubble comments) for clarifications. I’m the person who looks for your mistakes.

I’m not infallible. I make mistakes too. Which is why we have a second editor – a line editor – who goes over it another time to find anything we (the author and I) missed. Though I attempt to make your book the best book it can possibly be, I am human. Things slip through.

But there are times…

I recently was working on a manuscript that the author had previously self-published and it had now been bought up by my publisher. No surprise. It happens every day. I went over the book with a fine tooth comb and found some issues that needed to be addressed. I pointed them out to the author.

And got royally creamed by the author’s higher than mighty attitude. Her comments to me were belittling and, in one case, cruel – basically that I didn’t know what I was doing, etc. I will cede one of her points. I’m not fluent in the language she was using (some European dialect) and though I googled the term, I could not find it in any online dictionaries. So I questioned it. And was taken to task for my stupidity and given a link where to find it. She was correct and I admit to my error, but degrading me for an error does not endear you to me.

So to all the writers out there – I ask you this – please be nice to your editor. We work hard to make your books better. Yes, we have off days (everyone does!) and we make mistakes, but we do our best. We do this job because we love stories, not because we’re getting paid well (trust me, we’re not!). If your editor has made an error, discuss it with him or her nicely, don’t malign them. It is possible to point out your reasoning without being nasty. We could all use a little more nice in our world these days. Help an editor out. Be nice.

 

Vicky