Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat?

Happy Halloween!

What would Halloween be without a treat? I dug around the bottomless pit (my laptop) and found another deleted scene from Vampire's Forbidden Territory. The deleted scene was Beth's POV at the camp (before Katie and Jared arrived) when she first met Mitch.
NOTE: Some of the dialogue and other details changed in the final version. The scene was not edited.
 A deep growl echoed through the trees, deep within the Sídhí forest. The harsh sound promised a painful ending.
Beth ran toward the disappearing sound, quickly reaching a campsite nestled on the edge of a small meadow amid tall furble trees. Two mid-sized tents stood near each other, away from the approaching confrontation.
At the far edge of camp, a beautiful young woman extended semi-clear claws and methodically advanced toward a grinning young man. With each stalking step, her long white blonde hair swung around slender hips. Her ethereal features lacked all expression.
On the opposite side of camp, to Beth's right, stood a gorgeous hunk in a pair of red shorts and a skintight matching muscle shirt. Six and a half feet of pure muscle rippled with barely contained power as he flexed his arms, anticipating the coming fight. Light green eyes twinkled with excitement. The large mint green iris left little room for the surrounding white of his eyes, his elfin eyes.
The large elf encouraged the coming fight with a kissing smack of his lips, blowing the slowly approaching young woman a sarcastic kiss. "Come on, Sarah, that's it. Show me your true colors so I can prove to my naive twin you're nothing but a murderous dhark warrior."
Blurred movement, racing between the trees, caught Beth's attention.
An angry young man, with dripping black hair and no shirt, rushed into the camp area struggling to button a pair of tight jean shorts over obviously wet hips. "Dang it Sarah, sheath those blasted claws. Whatever Mitch said, you can't kill him."
His harsh order was not well received, not by either party.
Sarah's immobile face changed in an instant, reflecting her anger. She opened her mouth, revealing lengthened fangs and hissed at the dark haired guy who dared interrupt her fight. Not a smart move on the wet guy's side of things, not when you considered the bear-like claws she boasted.
Sarah shouldn't have had claws, none of the other vampires did. By order of the dragons, every camper wore a silver bracelet. The silver should've restricted her ability to extend her claws, but the thin piece of metal obviously didn't work the way it should.
Beth didn't doubt for a minute that a fight would occur, especially since most dhark vampires had no honor. They lived and breathed to serve their evil masters, the dhark overlords of the Dhark Empire. And Beth knew for a fact Sarah was one of the vilest vampires alive.
"Hey, who said I started it?" Mitch asked. The laughter in his deep voice countered his innocent words.
Mitch glanced toward Beth and dismissed her as unimportant, returning his gaze to Sarah. He froze then whipped his head around, staring at her in wide-eyed shock, unconsciously taking a step toward her as if drawn toward her.
His reaction mirrored most young men she was introduced too. They ignored everyone – and everything around him – except her. It was side effect of being Haven Valley's Alpha Prime; most unmated men were physically drawn toward her like a khatt in heat.
Thankfully, she didn't see drool dripping from his lower lip, and drool did happen. Lord Morkan's son had been her last drooler.
She shuddered, remembering the long slimy streaks he left behind on her beautiful green ball gown after a single dance. She absolutely did not want the drool experience repeated.
As Mitch stared at Beth, the large black pupils of his elfin eyes expanded, indicating either surprise or pleasure. From his pause and huge welcoming smile, she assumed the later. Like males who couldn't resist the pull of her animal nature, the muscle-bound Mitch thought better with the lower half of his body and not the upper half.
"Well, hello Short Stuff.” He gave her a million dollar smile. “Jeez, for such a tiny thing, you are stacked like Jessica Rabbit: big boobs, teeny tiny waist, and hips I can grab hold of.”
Great, just her luck, she had to share a cabin for four months with a wannabe comedian who thought he was Casanova. The thickheaded moron was exactly the type of guy she avoided: a gorgeous, brawny idiot with the brain of a skrivett. She choked back a snort of disgust, hoping she could keep her mouth shut.
Several feet away, a young woman who had been silently combing her hair, snorted. She expertly flipped the long mane of black hair into a ponytail and jumped off the blue surface of a long dead furble tree. "Mitch, you're so full of it.” Without pausing, the girl turned toward the half-dressed vampire. “Nick, it wasn't Sarah's fault. Mitch asked her if all female exiles... well, never mind, I'm not repeating it. He was being a butt head, acting like a five year old, instead of seventeen."
With the speed of the Hummingbird, the dark-haired girl turned and smiled at Beth. "I'm Emily, unofficial peacemaker for the next four months."
Beth murmured a polite greeting, while keeping Sarah and her deadly claws in view. From the moment Nick stepped between her and the big elf, the young woman hadn't moved.
Like pulling nails from wood it took Sarah several tries to pull her eyes from Nick's glistening shoulders. Her cool features remained emotionally frozen, but her eyes reflected a sense of betrayal. For a split-instant, moisture seemed to pool in the vampire's eyes then just as quickly it disappeared.
The split second glimpse of emotion floored Beth. She knew Sarah's violent history and it didn't match what her eyes just saw.
Beams of bright sunshine broke through the thin morning cloud-cover, turning Sarah's blue eyes bloody red. The solid red gaze of an exile met Beth's and she wished Sarah had left her hungry gaze on the half-naked vampire. If there was one thing in life Beth truly detested, it was blood suckers who enjoyed hurting other people. From every report Beth read, she knew Sarah fell in that evil category.
As Alpha Prime, Beth had access to the portfolios of many Dhark Valley residents. Lady Sarah Trellick's folder was very thick. She was a blood thirsty piece of filth that took extreme joy in torturing her victims. The hideous white-haired monster needed to be exterminated. If Beth could've attacked and killed Sarah without major repercussions she would have.
Emily shifted from foot to foot, drawing Beth's attention to her eager face. The girl's deep blue eyes grew bright with barely suppressed excitement. “Oh! You smell human! That means you're a shifter! Oh my gosh! I've been wanting to meet one so bad. I mean, I know dragons are shifters, but that's different. What kind are you? Can you turn into more than one shape? Does it hurt?”
Brianna shoved past Beth. She barely had time to stifle her groan before her best friend snapped at the inquisitive girl. “That's rude! You don't ask someone what kind of shifter they are.”
“Oh,” Emily said, a red flush of embarrassment crossed her face. Like taking candy away from a toddler, the teenager's lower lip drooped and all the air seemed to rush from her body.
“No harm done,” Beth said, looping her arm through Brianna's. She gently tugged, silently reminding her BFF to behave herself. Sometimes Brianna took her duty as unofficial royal guard way too seriously.
She briefly touched the girl shoulder. “It would be impossible for anyone outside of Haven Valley to know our customs and such.”
“Yeah,” Mitch said harshly. A snarl lifted his firm upper lip, revealing the sharp fangs of a vampire.
Beth blinked in surprise. He wasn't an elf, not with those wicked looking teeth. Elfin eyes and vampire fangs made him a halfling. His next words made him a halfling with a mega-sized attitude problem.
“I know all about shifter customs. They include torturing and eating their prey, their human prey. Do not ever touch Emily again.” Mitch demanded in a harsh guttural voice. “You got me?”
Until next time,
Jodie B

Friday, October 26, 2012

Vampires & Trolls (A Ghost Story)

My name is Emily Andrews and I'm a vampire. I'll start out by telling you Jodie forced me to write this. She wants her characters to become involved in the blog.
Well, I for one don't agree with her. Don't get me wrong, I love to talk, but writing is just not my thing. Anyway, she said if I didn't agree, she'd give me a gnome for a mate. Hello! That is just totally gross! They eat bugs and stuff. How nasty is that?
Jodie is adding new stuff to the blog, including a new type of article named Character Flash Fiction. The deal is she picks a character and they write a blog article about their past or whatever. Dumb, right? That's what I told her, but does she listen to me? No, of course not, I'm just a secondary character.
My story is about trolls. I can't believe she made me tell you, because she knows how much I hate trolls.
Last summer, when I was still a scrawny pre-pub, we went camping in the Ozarks, the Ozark Mountains inside Ozark Valley, not the mountain range on Earth.
Jared (my brother) and Nick (my cousin) had already gone through puberty. They had fangs, claws, and could teleport among other things. As a pre-pub, I didn't have any Sídhí abilities. I was a vampire in name only.
The three of us were playing Hunter. It's a game created to sharpen a person's tracking ability after they go through puberty.
I'm sure you guessed it - I was the prey.
The rules of the game stated the hunters could not teleport or use telepathy, as if that would level the playing field, giving the prey a chance to escape.
One evening, we decided to play Hunter the next day so I knew about the next day's activities. That night I packed a small fairy bag with enough food to last me all day and then some. (For any of you mundane humans, a fairy bag keeps food fresh.) I got up at the crack of dawn and went down to the creek, like I always did.
I didn't dawdle. I headed down the edge of the creek, staying in the water. I made several false trails by pretending to leave the creek then following my footsteps back into the water.
Three hours later, I climbed-out of the creek using a low-hanging tree limb near the base of a washed-out area. The dirt was crumbling, dangerous looking.
Once I reached stable ground, I started running. As a pre-pub, I wasn't very fast, but I knew my limits. I kept a steady pace, aiming toward a towering wall of rock called Devil's gorge.
That was my first mistake.
The gorge had a bad reputation from years earlier. Supposedly, a pack of trolls herded a young pre-pub (a vampire) into the gorge. They attacked the girl, ripping her to pieces. Most people stayed away from the gorge, saying it was haunted.
I wasn't worried. The area was one of the safest in all of Ozarks. There hadn't been a troll sighting in years.
I reached an area just south of the gorge, where the walls of the gorge started shrinking. I hoped to trick the guys into thinking I had headed into the gorge, while I sat on the rim, watching them search for me.
I heard a twig snap. Well, crap. Jared (or Nick) had tracked me, even after all my hard work.
I wasn't going to give up, so I pretended like I didn't hear them and headed around the lip of the gorge, following the rim. I circled around a large bunch of markles (a nasty goo spraying bush) and hurried toward a tumble of boulders.
I heard a scattering of rocks and then another branch broke.
I started climbing the smaller boulders, heading higher. I knew the game was about over. The guys were herding me toward a dead end. At least for me it was a dead end. There were boulders twice and three times my mere five feet in front of me and to my left was the edge of the gorge.
That's when I smelled rotten eggs.
Fear froze me. My chest constricted and I knew I was a dead girl walking.
Among Sídhí animals, trolls are one of the worst smelling of animals.
Neither Jared nor Nick were hunting me, trolls were.
If I could smell them, it was already too late to try running from them. I opened my mouth and starting shrieking at the top of my lungs. "Trolls! Help me! Trolls!"
I ran toward the nearest bolder and a huge, eight foot monster stood on top of it. The forest troll, with brown and green splotches covering its nearly hairless body, jumped from foot to foot. Bulging arms hung way past its waist, nearly to its knees. Long, lethal black claws matched sharply pointed horns.
The troll screamed at me, a bellowing sound that ending in hyena-like laughter.
The edge of the gorge was quickly approaching. I had two choices, jump and get splattered on the rocks below or face them and get torn to shreds as they fought over my body.
Great choices.
Inches from the edge, I skidded to a halt. My heart felt like it was going to explode straight-out of my chest.
Turning, I faced a nightmare. A dozen trolls stood scattered, less than twenty feet from me. Not a single troll was less than six feet tall. I started praying.
Nick appeared between the trolls and me. Semi-white claws extended, he roared a challenge at them.
Jared appeared next to me. He grabbed my arm and teleported me back to the safety of camp.
Nick appeared a moment later.
"Are you okay?" Jared demanding, his solid black eyes looked even darker as he shouted at me.
I choked on a sob and threw myself in his arms.
"Ah, sorry, Emily." Jared's body shook. "I didn't mean to shout at you."
"You scared the wits out of us." Nick wrapped his arms around me. "We were still at the creek when I heard you mentally screaming for help."
"Huh?" I looked-up at him in question. I shook my head. "I'm still a pre-pub." Pre-pubs didn't have telepathy; he knew that.
He snorted. "I guess you started puberty through the night and a good thing you did."
I tried arguing with them, but neither of them listened.
Hours later, we were at the guardian outpost filling-out paperwork about the attack, when a guardian with white-blond haired walked in. He had a slight smile on his face. "I heard Maggie saved your life."
"Maggie?" I'm sure I looked as confused as I felt.
"Yep, little Maggie Smith was a young vampire that got lost out here some forty years ago. Trolls trapped her up in Devil's Gorge. They killed her, ripping her in so many pieces there weren't enough for a proper funeral. Anytime there are trolls around, she starts shrieking in someone's head until they help her." He nodded at me and walked away.
You can either believe me or not, but I will tell you this, I didn't start puberty until a year later.

Yours Truly,

Emily Andrews
Clan Vampire
Until next time,
Jodie B Cooper

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Vampire's Forbidden Territory: Deleted Scene

The following is a deleted scene out of Vampire's Forbidden Territory, released 10/17/12. 

Take note, if you haven't read the book, you will find spoilers! (Scene was not edited.)

Chapter - Fire!

Clarabelle flew silently, passing over the Basilisk Preserve, an area deep within the Sídhí forest.
Snarling, her gray lips curled tight above dagger-sized teeth. She knew her long, beautiful snout bore little resemblance to its normal elegant appearance, but she couldn't help it. Her throat ached to release pent-up dragonfire. The deadly fire bubbled deep in the pit of her gullet, a special side-pocket connected to her throat.
She didn't dare release the tinniest wisp of her deadly fire. A single lick of her potent flame and the rubber containers filled with fairy water would burst before she was ready.
She had wanted Harry to fix his own mess and hopefully learn a much-needed lesson, but quenching the forest fire, before one of the interfering guardians showed up, was more important than training her younger brother. How he managed to live to be a hundred twenty years old was beyond her understanding.
She was cutting the rescue of her bumbling brother much too close, but it had taken time to snatch several containers of the expensive fire retardant. During the summer months, the large rubber balloons containing fairy-water were stacked three deep at the forest rangers storage facility located near Basilisk Pass. She thought she got in and out of the facility before anyone noticed her. Trying to explain why she was not at the Peace Camp and doing her assigned duty would be irritating.
Not that anyone would connect her sleek gray body with the traitorous member of the Khr'Vurr who kidnapped and tortured Guardian Alexander. To put it simply, she was hiding in plain sight. A trick easily accomplished since she was a throwback to the powerful Vürst dragons, a dragon clan thought to be extinct long before Sídhí appeared on Earth. The only way other dragons might guess her true heritage was by the strength of her dragonfire, but that wasn't something she could control. Anyway, people only noticed her elegant gray scales.
Clarabelle was a true Vürst dragon. A Vürst dragon of Sídhí lore who could tap into the synth crystal of her blood, extending her lovely back and tail spikes any time she wanted. Only her mate knew the truth of her bloodline and he would never betray her. He had been the one to encourage her current plan of action as they soaked in the hot springs beneath his castle.
She snorted in derision, remembering the conversation. Certain members of the Khr'Vurr were becoming too chummy with non-dragon members. The non-dragon members had been added for two reasons, a way to extend the Khr'Vurr's power into the other valleys and a way to search for Ancient ruins. She chuckled evilly. Non-dragon members were also a way to create scapegoats among the Khr'Vurr. Yes, she had a lovely supply of disposable members.
She sighed disgustedly, knowing she would soon hand over several dragon members of the Khr'Vurr to the guardians. She didn’t regret her decisions. A few prissy – modern thinking – dragons needed to be culled from active duty. They'd forgotten the true purpose of the Khr'Vurr.
In a way, the modern thinkers were worse than the stagnate Dragon Council.
The Dragon Council thought they were so smart, gathering hundreds of dragon together, dragons who were suspected members of the Khr'Vurr, a righteous group of freedom fighters. The council and guardians had stumbled happily along with Clarabelle’s plans as they hosted the Peace Camp in an attempt to hunt down the members of the Khr'Vurr.
Ha! She loved it! The council was actually making her job easier. It helped that her own beloved mate was a member of the council.
Hiding under the guardian's snouts, keeping them in the dark was highly entertaining. She hadn't felt this alive in hundreds of years. Yes, she walked a very fine wire, where one wrong move and years of planning would blow-up in her face.
She wasn't concerned.
A member of the Fore’Syth clan (a clan gifted with foresight) had 'seen' Clarabelle’s success. Failure was not an option. She was assured a victory against the council.
With one exception, her plans were perking along nicely and her rise to power was slowly falling into place. She growled deep in her throat and a tiny lick of flame curled around her snout as her mind centered on the one disaster. No, not everything was going as planned.
It would take the wrinkly, little gnomes several weeks of digging to reach her sister. Fury engulfed her. For the past few days, she had grieved for her dead sister.
Once Clarabelle healed from her serious chest injuries (and once she calmed down), she remembered one simple fact of life: Dragons were incredibly tough, nearly impossible to kill, even among the other Sídhí races.
The guardians never searched the collapsed cavern, assuming her sister was dead. But until Clarabelle held her sister's lifeless body, she wouldn't believe it. Her sister was twelve hundred years old. And old Sídhí were nearly impossible to kill. Her body could've been crushed and mangled, but as long as Ella’s head stayed attached, she might be alive.
A thrill of anticipation raced through her sleek body, running from her head to tail. Clarabelle had a special reception planned for Guardian Alexander and those two wretched teenagers responsible for her sister’s untimely accident. The fact that the teens were now bonded lifeMates would intensify her pleasure each time one of them screamed in agony.
The pungent smell of burning furble needles pulled Clarabelle from her enjoyable dreams of retribution.
Good thing Harry mentally called for help the moment the fire started.
Her sharp eyes searched the treetops, looking for the telltale plume of smoke. There. Of course, the doofus had picked the meeting area in plain view of any dragon passing overhead, right smack on the crest of a hill.
She grimaced as smoke spiraled beyond the tops of furble and pine trees. The entire area was littered with last year's pine needles. Add in the – highly flammable – furble needles and it was a firebug's dream.
Sending Harry to set-up the next step in her plan had been foolish. She knew it, but she kept thinking her younger brother would grow-out of his weird affliction. Sídhí were not perfect, not by any stretch of the imagination, but Harry was sadly lacking in every area. Whoever heard of a dragon choking on his own smoke? Maybe once in a while, but not every day.
She angled downward, skimming past blue and green treetops. Harry appeared below her, hopping up and down like a hibbet in heat, dashing from one blossoming blaze to the next. His flapping wings sent gusts of oxygen to the greedy flames, increasing the size of the burning area.
She flew lower, preparing to drop the six desk-sized balloons of fairy-water. One by one she staggered the balloons down the length of the grassy area. The moment the fairy enhanced rubber detected the warmth of fire its molecular structure changed, disintegrating the thick red rubber like a drip of water hitting a hot iron skillet.
Once the fairy water touched air, the synth enhanced water expanded until the nasty liquid quadrupled its original mass.
A high pitched wail erupted from below. The furious shrieking nearly drowned the sound of Harry's antics. Clarisse, the traitorous Clan vampire, dashed from her hiding spot behind a cluster of large furble trees, shaking her fist in the air and screaming obscenities at Clarabelle.
The young vampire’s threats came out spluttered as Clarabelle dropped her last balloon. The foul smelling liquid crashed around Clarisse, soaking the angry vampire. Under a face full of fairy water the girl shrieked in fury.
The horrid fairy-water, laced with synth crystal, smelled nasty and tasted worse. The compressed liquid filled balloon-like spheres that helicopters and dragons dropped on forest fires that plagued the area during the dry season. The horrific smell was something out of a nightmare, crossing spoiled milk, dog crap, and sulfur. Whatever the twisted fairies actually did to the altered water was anyone's best guess.
The murky water clung to Clarisse like slime, turning her fair colored skin a sickly yellow and her brilliant red hair into a rather splotchy orange color.
Clarabelle circled the open area between the trees, assuring herself all the fires had been put out. She landed. One clawed foot crunched in hot, blackened grass while the other sank in an area drenched in fairy-water.
Harry ducked his head, refusing to meet her angry glare.
Clarisse stomped up. “Look at me! I'll never get this slimy mess out of my hair. It's horrid!”
“Silence,” Clarabelle said, snapping her jaws a hair's length from the girl's short orange hair that lay matted around her head.
Clarabelle hissed at the girl, throwing scorching heat in the girl's face without expelling any dragonfire.
The girl shrieked and stumbled backward, squalling that she could've died.
Clarabelle ignored the teenager's foot stomping temper tantrum and turned to Harry. “Did you give her all the instructions?”
Harry quickly nodded his head, his mottled frog green scales not looking any worse for being drenched in the fairy water.
“You,” Clarabelle said, turning to the girl, “leave before I decide to add a little flame. A few holes in your body certainly wouldn't kill you, but it would teach you not to question your betters.”
“You aren't my boss,” Clarisse said, shaking her finger at the gray dragon. “You can be sure that my father will hear of this atrocity.”
Clarabelle snorted. “He has been paid for your troubles, but your continued wellbeing, as well as that of your sister's, relies on a job well done. Now leave!”
Clarabelle watched the girl flounce away, stomping through the surrounding forest as if she owned the place. The girl had an attitude, a snotty attitude that reminded Clarabelle of her younger self. Given enough time, the hateful little teenager might grow on Clarabelle.

Vampire's Forbidden Territory is available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords