From chapter six (beginning page 90) of Cursed Hearts. Christopher, Cat, and Anton are finishing dinner at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego:
“Brother,” Chris ventured, liking the sound of it, “does not the sea look odd to you, this night?”
In Anton’s exhale before turning left to look, Chris guestimated their host’s level of drunkenness.
“Hmmm!” Anton narrowed his eyes. “For the security of the state, I shall investigate this!”
He stood, not at all unsteady, and began walking purposefully toward the beach. With a glance at one another, Chris and Cat did, too. They wound their way through the few outbuildings of the hotel, catching up with him just at the sand. Leaning on a lamp post, Anton shucked his shoes and peeled off his socks.
“Follow me!” He called.
They did similarly. Not knowing if Cat saw, Chris did note the driver about eight paces behind them. They trotted to catch up with Anton. The tide was in, so he was only a dozen yards ahead.
“What… what’s with the surf?” Cat asked.
Each small breaker that came in was foaming in an odd, almost electric blue. Lines of the same blue were flashing up and down the strand, as if parts of the sea were sending messages to itself.
“Amazing!” Cat breathed. “What’s going on? Anton! Wait!”
He was rolling up his slacks to his knees. Was he thinking of going out in that?!
“Bioluminescence,” Chris said.
“This is a rare event: a type of algae-bloom that emits light.” He pointed right to where a wave seemed to crackle in with blue fire. “Wait for that to withdraw, then run and jump hard on that spot!”
With enough wine in her to follow anyone’s orders, she sprinted the fifteen feet then jumped into the air. Her feet came down hard onto the wet, compacted sand.
A bright pulse of light blue light surged up and down the beach.
“Oh my God!” Cat cried. “That was sooo cool!”
Bioluminescence in the sea off San Diego. Who would write about such a thing?
At long last, I am very pleased to announce the release of my fourth book – and third novel – of Machine Civilization: “Cursed Hearts.” The paperback is available via Amazon and Goodreads.
To make it easier for y’all to celebrate along with me, all three novels, in their ebook form, are available at Smashwords for only US$0.99 each! (note: you might need to toggle Adult Content: On in the upper right to see CH)
Thanks for everyone’s support and encouragement!
Having recently published my flash-fiction that was the genesis of Cursed Hearts, the folks at Uprising Review were kind enough to follow on and request I submit to an interview. They seem a sound lot, so I do not think I’m violating Vox Day’s dictum about aiding the enemy.
The interview is here. After that, please look over the rest of their site: lots of good stories and commentary; bookmark them and come back often. I do.
I really would like an answer to the question I posited: what is it about horror, specifically, the notion of being eaten, that so fascinates people?
Self-publishing is a fantastic byproduct of our modern age. But, when someone approaches you and says, “hey, your stuff’s pretty good; can we publish it?” that’s wonderfully gratifying to a writer’s ego.
A year ago I came up with a short story called “It’s Just Business.” Today, it was published by Uprising Review.
That short was the genesis of the idea behind “Cursed Hearts.” Is it a coincidence that a week to the day when I finished writing CH, someone wants to publish the source material? Of course not:
There are no such things as coincidences!
Coming to around 1000 at my day-job, I had a moment of clarity: for the last seven months, all my waking moments had been filled with Chris, Cat, and Maya somewhere in my mind.
For the past 36 hours: all quiet.
The mental moment was this: I was in a darkened – but not dark – older church, alone. A place that was just recently host to a hundred, and soon will be again, but now preternatuary still.
At the end of T4L, I’d already seen the sequel. The close of EFL was a ‘LOL’ moment, as kids would type.
Alone, looking at three graves of those that have been, not a part of me, but me… well… it’s very quiet, now.
Don’t like it.
I’d really like to say that RealLife(TM) has been really busy. And, I’ve been working hard on finishing ‘Cursed Hearts.’ Plus, there’s this new story idea I’ve been playing with….
It’s all a lie: I’ve been a lazy drunk for a month. I come home from my day job, make dinner for the family, drink shitty wine and watch anime. My wife noticed immediately (my ‘jerk’ factor goes up rather quickly when I don’t write – my girls think it’s funny: ‘daddy’s on another alt-right rant again!’). So, in a moment of clarity (and a quiet house with no-one to bother me) I braved Writer’s Fear and sat down with Nichole and…
Wrote a way to get Maya onto Miramar Air Station…
Wrote Chris and Cat taking a tour of a C-130H… but, God help me…
I STILL HAVEN’T STARTED KILLING MY MAIN CHARACTERS!
Continue reading “Lies, tanjed lies, and blog posts.”
Here I go to the time and trouble to kill Anton, only to realize at lunch what a conundrum that makes: sure, Maya now knows the entire plan to try to save Chris & Cat, but that still leaves her at UCSD, miles from Miramar Air Station and at the mercy of their passive and active defenses – to say nothing of the ‘boss battle’ in the hanger. It’d be 5k words, minimum, to get through that.
Soooo… Anton doesn’t die. Maya (and her riders) tempts him, instead. Fits the theme of the story better, really. Anton accepts, calling for his bodyguard/driver, Manuel. He promises to get her through Security. I’m not sure if he’s scared for his own pampered, aristocratic life, or if he’s sincere. We’ll see.
Personally, if a demoness was resting her teeth on my neck, after killing my soldiers, and having leeched about 10% of my life out, so long as it wasn’t about my wife & kids, I’d talk a deal, too. Buy time. The horse might learn to sing.
Continue reading “Re: Animated”