Monday, December 28, 2015

Wilder Returns~ An Excerpt from Come Into The Light

The grounds were different, he surveyed them from the sky. Someone preferred pink flowers and shrubbery scaped into animal shapes. He touched down on the front lawn as a flash of lightning lit up the sky. He strode purposely up to the front entrance. Directing a gust of wind, he blew the doors open while keeping his stride. He paused at the number of vampires congregated in the foyer. He counted forty-three. His original brood was only twenty-eight at the time of his departure over ten years ago. A tall blond woman approached him to take his jacket after he removed it. Her face was new, but he recognized her of his bloodline. “What is your name?”
“Cathy Mae. Daughter of Reva.”
“Reva? I am Wilder. I am very pleased to meet you, Cathy Mae.” She bowed and retreated back into the crowd. They were all dressed formally and held champagne glasses of blood. Fresh human blood. He walked up to a young man and took his glass right out of his hands and swallowed it down. Cathy Mae offered him her glass. “Thank you.” He gave her a smile before he walked deeper into the house, following the source of fresh blood wafting in the air.
He paused and turned to a familiar voice. A vampire with long black and gold plaits came forward. Her brown face was filled with trepidation as was most of the kindred around her. “Deborah,” he greeted her with a bright smile. “It has been a long time.”
“Yes, it has. Wilder!” She grabbed her dress, picking the skirt up from the floor, and rushed to get in front of him. “Where- where are you going?”
“The main ballroom. Is there a problem?”
“Wilder, it is Friday the Thirteenth and we are under an amber moon. Is she with you?”
“Do you really believe I’d bring Velvet among us tonight?”
“Since you allowed the Coven to denounce you, I don’t know what you’d do anymore.”
“Then you are not happy to see me come home?”
“Of course, I am happy. But what do you mean by come home?”
“This is my house, Deborah. I left its care to Jerome. He seems to have abandoned it and the brood.” He scanned the interested and curious faces. One bald head frowned openly back at him. Wilder decided to ignore the stranger for the moment. “If anyone is here without consent, get them out of here immediately.”
“Why would we do that?” The stranger spoke. He stepped forward, letting Wilder examine his tall, thick form. Imposing, Wilder thought if he had the stuff to back up his nerve and attitude. Before Wilder gave him his back, he spoke again. “As long as no one is drained, what is the problem? It satisfies the wishes of the local covens.”
“Who are you?” Wilder asked.
“You are not from Fairlight.”
“Then I will excuse you this one time- Carlos. The reason you will do as I say is because I told you. Do you understand that?”
“Wilder, Carlos is-”
“Deborah, don’t explain me to him.” Carlos brushed Deborah to the side, ignoring her eyes that implored him to be silent. “He is no longer your master. He is not anyone’s master. He has no authority concerning vampire activity. The coven stripped him of everything he ever had years ago, especially in Fairlight.”
Wilder glanced at Deborah. She held her head down. “Carlos, are you done?”
“No, Wilder. I am not done.”
“Be silent, Deborah,” he instructed with a tone of command. He took a step, shortening the distance between himself and Wilder. Sneering down into his face, Carlos said, “You were not invited. However, if you have nowhere else to go, you may stay for the evening. But you will keep your mouth shut.”
“Carlos, this is my house. More than half of this brood is of my direct bloodline. Fairlight has been my home for nearly three hundred years. Do you think you are vampire enough to force me away?”
“I am a master vampire. This house and this brood are without a master. I need a brood.”
“Then go create your own. There is no one and nothing for you here.”
“Well, I think the Coven might not agree.” Carlos smiled, showing off his sharp fangs and teeth. “Tell him, Deborah. Speak woman!”
Her head jerked up. “Wilder,” she paused and swallowed. Looking him in the eyes, she finally spoke loud and clear. “Since Jerome is not in residence, the coven ordered us to acquire a new master. I suggested Carlos.”
“Did you now?”
“Yes, she did,” Carlos retorted. “Tonight every vampire and human in this house will drink of my blood and pledge themselves to me. It is a mere formality for it has already been blessed by the Coven of Fairlight. Do you understand what I am telling you, Wilder?”
“I understand you are a fool if you think the Coven controls me.” Wilder spun around meeting every pair of vampire eyes trained on him. “None of my original brood, or Jerome’s line will drink any of your blood. I forbid it.”
“You impotent little runt,” Carlos laughed. His laughter bellowed to the ceiling.
“Carlos,” Deborah started as if to warn him that Wilder was not amused, but his laughter kept booming all over the house.
“Carlos!” Wilder snarled, using the master power of his voice. Carlos sobered up at the force of it. “I won’t take your rudeness or your audacity any longer!” He snatched Carlos by his bald head, pulling it down to his fangs and tore into his throat. Carlos struggled, and pushed Wilder off and against a wall. Blood spurted steadily from his raggedy wound. Wilder stepped back, wiping his mouth with the back of his wrist. Vampire blood, Wilder never liked the bitter taste of it. Unfortunately, he had more work to do. Carlos backed into bodies, stumbling to stay on his feet. Wilder swiped his nails, slicing him open from ear to ear. Carlos turned to flee, Wilder raked him across his back and brought him down to the marbled floor.
“Wilder!” Deborah screamed. Wilder held her eyes as he sat on the big vampire’s back. He grabbed Carlos’ head up and tore it off his shoulders. “Oh my stars!” she wailed then dropped to her knees. “Wilder, what have you done?”
He stood and let the head slip from his hands. “I’ve killed this son of a bitch,” he said. “Now, you all get this straight. I am the only master of this house. If you are mine, you will not serve anyone else. If you don’t share my blood, you may leave in peace. Am I clear?”
“Yes, Wilder!”
“Deborah?” He walked over to her sobbing on the floor and knelt beside her. He took her shaking hands away from her face. “I’m sorry if you loved him.”
“Wilder, you killed another master vampire. The Coven will punish you! They will punish us all!”
“They won’t spend much time looking into this matter.”
“But- but you went against their wishes!”
“Deborah, you must trust me.”
“Wilder, what has come over you? You used to respect the Coven so much.”
“Yes, but that was then,” he replied, taking her hands firmly in his and rose them both to their feet. “And this, ladies and gentlemen, is now.” He viewed the mess he made of Carlos on the shiny and bloody floor. Lord, it had been ages since he let loose like that on another vampire. There was no remorse or fear. It felt wonderful. For the first time in decades, hot and pure excitement ran through his veins. He glanced at Deborah, who lowered her eyes, putting her arms around his neck. The shaking of her body ceased when he hugged her back.
“The rest of you go back to your party.” He waited for the brood to leave before he spoke to her again. “I am sorry if he meant something to you.”
“I know you had to kill him. Besides, my heart is not exactly broken.”
“But there was something between you?”
She got off his neck and sniffed behind her hand. After regaining her composure, she shook back her hair and looked him in the eye. “He chose me to be his mistress. I accepted.”
“I will make this up to you if you allow me the chance.”
“All you have to do is promise to never abandon us again. Forsake the witch who led you astray. I still can’t believe you chose to leave us for Velvet.”
“My dear, I won’t discuss Velvet with anyone. Please, respect that. We have more important matters to concern us now.”
Matters like getting Carlos’ body out of the house and burned to ashes.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Coming 2016!

Not sure if this will be a spring or summer release, but it is my current project and it will be my next release. Western romance fans this is going to be an explosive ride! You'll see a grittier Caine, and a few surprises and changes among the townsfolk.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

A Wife's Short Story

From this shortie, I wrote my novella More Than A Feeling and got an idea that helped me finish writing Just Like My Coffee. I thought about sharing this on a whim just a few minutes ago. I hate tossing out stuff, but I can't be keeping every single thing I write. Can I? Well, anyway, I'm not tossing this out. I'm going to just sit it here.

Mama and Daddy

A shorty

By Sandra Hall

I was having a hot mug of tea when Robert came home early. The phone rang and I heard him pick up in the living room. A few minutes later, he came into the kitchen and placed his hard hat on the table in front of me. He was so quiet, I immediately became alarmed. I wondered had someone had a tragic accident at the dam building site. I also thought about Robert’s great aunt and my parents. After he slowly raised his eyes to meet mine, I rose and held him around his waist. The way he looked at me, I knew it was Daddy. I don’t know how, but I did. Just like that I knew Daddy was dead.
He’d had another grand mal seizure and fell, Robert told me. His head hit the edge of the foot board of his bed. He never woke up.
When I was in junior high, I convinced myself Daddy wasn’t going to live past forty and I wasn’t going to cry about it either because he’d be better off dead anyway. I thought about that and burst into tears, hitting the floor on my knees. I held onto Robert’s legs and sobbed until he collected me in his arms. The tears kept flowing, but I was in control of myself.
I dreaded the thought of going to the hospital. I didn’t want to see Daddy with a busted head and not breathing. But the girls and Mama, were expecting me. I tore myself from Robert’s arms and went to the sink to wash my face. In the process, I splashed so much water on my face that the front of my dress got soaked. Robert hugged me up again as I shook and cried out loud. My poor daddy had died and left my mama alone. I thought what if instead it had been my husband? How would I survive the rest of my life? After twenty five years, I’d already spent more than half my life with the most wonderful man I ever met. All I wanted was to stay in his arms, knowing he was alive and safe with me. After I stopped shaking, Rob held my face in his hands and kissed me softly on my lips and told me how sorry he was about Daddy. He asked me if I felt up to going to the hospital. I got the feeling he thought it would be too much for me to handle.
“I have to go, Rob,” I told him. He hugged me up again briefly, then he took me upstairs and chose a dress hanging in the closet for me to change out of my wet clothes.
We found Mama and my sister Patricia sitting in chairs pulled up to Daddy’s bed staring at him. Patricia kept wiping her face with her fingers. Mama held his hand. Her face was dry, and looked as though she expected he’d wake up. Maybe he wasn’t dead after all. The doctors had made a mistake. I looked up at Robert, not sure why though. There were no words to utter that could change the fact that Daddy wasn’t coming back from this one. I came forward and went to the opposite side of the bed. Except for the bandage on his head, he d looked like he was asleep. Daddy, I wanted to say, open your eyes.  I kissed his cheek and had to leave. Once in the hallway, I broke and ran out of the exit.
          At our car, Robert pulled me back to keep me from going further into the blurry world before me. I got in the car and doubled over, feeling weak and sick. “Poor Daddy. Poor Mama,” I sobbed over and over while Rob somehow managed to rub my back and drive us safely home.

I took a shower and got ready for bed though the sun was still burning in the sky.  Robert messed around in the kitchen for a while. He came up with a tray for me. He knew I wasn’t hungry, he just needed something to do. I took in a few spoons of the chicken soup sitting on the side of our bed to please him before I got under the covers. Lying on my side, I immediately found I wasn’t washed out enough to sleep. I heard Robert in the shower, I knew he’d be out soon. He rarely stayed in the bathroom more than three minutes.
When he climbed into bed with me, he put his hands under my arms like he usually did, grabbing my breasts. It was such a comfort- and more arousing than ever. I turned over putting my arms around his neck and kissed him. If he was surprised at my renewed vigor, he didn’t show it but returned my kisses with the passion of the young Robert I met when he was twenty six years old. We made love into the night. Maybe we were trying to make a lasting impression on each other to never doubt or forget the love we shared in this life.
Mama moved in with us because I couldn’t stand the thought of her alone in the house missing Daddy so much. They’d been together since senior year in high school.  I was twenty when I met and then married Rob. So I understood the pain of losing such a long and tender bond. She seemed to bounce back some as she took her place in our family. She really loved Robert, always made a fuss over what he liked to eat and how to starch his shirts, and making sure he got the last slice of pie. I think maybe he reminded her of Daddy. Or maybe taking care of a man made her feel needed or gave her a purpose to get out of bed each day. Whatever it was, I’m glad she found some joy living the last three years of her life with us.
When she started talking about Daddy all the time, and had to catch herself to remember he had died, I began to wonder about her health. Eventually, I got her to see her doctor. She listened patiently, but didn’t ask any questions. I knew she’d already known what was ailing her. And had known for a long time.
I told Robert a few weeks later, when I was able to calmly speak of her choosing to not take treatment for her heart disease. He loved Mama as if she were his own and they’d gotten closer during the time she lived with us. He didn’t say much, neither did I. We both understood she was looking forward to dying because loving and taking care of her husband had been her singular joy in this world and how she chose to die was up to her.
As her time grew nearer, she began to live in the past, often asking about Daddy’s whereabouts. I told her he was on a business trip out of state and would be home in a few days. “Good. I sure miss him. My Douglas,” she’d reply and either cry or smile.
That last night from her bed, she told me to tell Daddy to come on in because she couldn’t hear a thing he said to her from the doorway. I froze when she began trying to reach out her hands as if to grab hold of something. Then I jerked around to look over my shoulder. “Daddy,” I cried out, expecting in that moment to see him standing behind us. Mama weakly mumbled his name. Robert, bless his heart, stepped up to grip her hand and said her name in a loving voice. She looked right at him and called him her love before she took her last labored breaths. When I caught my own breath, I stared at Robert leaning over Mama’s still body. His hand still held her death grip, his eyes were locked on her face. I wrestled his hand loose and hugged him resting my head on his trembling back as he began to cry over Mama.

I miss her so much but I feel good believing she left this earth holding Daddy’s hand. Thanks to Robert. I know when we are parted that it will only be a temporary condition for I believe our bond is just as strong as my parents’. I believe she loved Daddy more than us, and welcomed death to be with him.  I asked Rob one morning in bed if he thought I was wrong about it. It got quiet for a few minutes as he went off into his own thoughts. We’d talked about our departed loved ones all the time but never Mama’s death scene.
I had the feeling Robert thought I identified with Mama too much. Yes, I feared his death more than anything. But I’m not like Mama. I know I’d want to learn to enjoy life again, cherishing the time left with my children.  However, I can’t judge, or measure another woman’s love for her husband. She and Daddy’s life together was so much different than mine and Robert’s. Because of the seizures Daddy was so dependent on Mama taking care of him so early into their marriage. I wonder if Mama still knew where she ended and Daddy began.
After a few minutes of more silence, I blurted to Robert that I loved him more than our boys. I hoped he understood I loved our boys very much but I felt so much closer to him. Always had. I needed him more. I felt his body tense beside me then he turned on his side and pulled me so close that our faces touched. He kissed my eyelashes then my lips letting me know, I didn’t need to explain my guilty emotions. Then I asked him if he believed Daddy was among us when Mama passed. He hugged me tight and said, he hoped so, and believed it with all his soul.
  He did understand. It all began with the two of us and would surely end with the two of us. Just like Mama and Daddy.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Just Do It The Best Way You Can

I'm going to go ahead and toot my own horn here. 
In three years, I've written, formatted, and published ten full length novels along with six shorter features I call my shorties. In order to save money, I learned to design my own book covers and create my own book trailers to go with them. Though not sophisticated, my biggest personal triumph is managing to put up a decent looking website. 
Why am I so proud of myself over stuff people do everyday? 
Well, for one thing, I'm at a  certain age where the digital era has left a few of us behind. For the sake of fulfilling the one dream I had since seventh grade, I've learned to adapt and catch up. I put aside my fears and self doubt and jumped into the playing field. A second thing is, I want to inspire other artists(not just writers) to seriously take up their crafts and let their talents shine on their own merit. Not what a reviewer has rated her work, or what an agent said was the reason he can't sell her. An artist, even a poor one, doesn't need someone else like a publisher or producer to validate her worth. The public will decide if a product is worth buying. Most of us don't need to be told what to like, contrary to what the industry seems to believe.
If one has a story to tell, a song to vocalize, a painting to display, or anything her mind, spirit, and hands have crafted- show it and share it. Publish and/or produce yourself. Believe in yourself even when family and friends forsake you. Come out strong when peers and associates try to scorn or ridicule your talent and commitment. Toot your own horn when it seems like no one else will. After a while other people will believe in you too. 
The last three years have been full of ups and downs, but the one thing which inspires me to continue working are my constant readers. Though not a big community, they have proven to me my time and effort spent on my writing is worth it. I have readers who appreciate what I do and actually have taken the time to contact me to relate  how much they like my style or my stories. 
And that ladies and gentlemen is what has made my writing and publishing  endeavors worth the aggravation that came with choosing to put myself out there with millions of others who are hoping like hell their product will catch on with the public. Though my sells are usually modest, this writing thing is well worth it and it has indeed been a dream come true. 
Never give up on yourself. Your success is what you want it to be, not the ideal of someone else who probably isn't rooting for you anyway. 
Just do it the best way you can and be proud of yourself.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Featurette Of My Short Stories

An author friend, awhile back suggested I write shorter stories. I don't really see what difference it makes as a story is a story to me. But I guess some readers might prefer short and simple. Anyway, I did an assortment of the genres I usually write, including, westerns, paranormal, and adult contemporary. They are all good stories, you should give them a try.