Unnormal Normalcy

Just News and Ramblings From Your Average Author

Writing Something New

So, yes, I am doing exactly what the title says I am doing. I’m writing a novel about my favorite foursome; Coulta, Wildas, Myri, and Anil. And I’m posting it as I go, which is totally, completely new for me.

So, where can you find this?

At my page on GA. It’s a really cool site, by the way. Lots of excellent writing goes on there.

And no, I’m not doing a November book haul post, only because I just got one book. It was Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. And, because there are now exactly zero bookstores where I live (unless I want to drive forty minutes) it was a hassle getting it the day it came out. I went to K-Mart and it wasn’t there. I had to backtrack to get to Target, and there it was, on its nice display. Took my forever to find it, though. Barnes and Noble, why you no take over empty store left by Borders? I feel such sadness, having no bookstores here. I shouldn’t have to buy my books at Target if I don’t want to buy online! Sigh, and end rant.

Clearly, I’m exhausted and should get some sleep. Wait, what is sleep?


December 3, 2011 Posted by | Book Haul, Vows From Darkness, Writing | Leave a comment

Time for a Teaser!

Here is yet another fun feature I decided to add: Teaser Tuesday! I’ve noticed this around other writers’ blogs and thought “Hey, I’m gonna do that too!” (So, no, not an original idea of mine). This is only going to happen on the first Tuesday of the month, though. So don’t expect this every week!

Anyway, the first feature is Chapter 10 of Vows. Enjoy!

Vows From Darkness – Chapter 10 Excerpt

The day that the envoy was expected to arrive, Coulta waited at the city gate, sitting atop the wall and gazing out over the land beyond. It was a long wait – he saw no signs of the approaching group of horsemen until dusk had begun to set in.

Coulta watched them enter the city gate below him, and counted twelve men in total. Eleven of them wore red uniforms, and one of those eleven wore a golden cord of rope tied from his left shoulder across his body to his opposite hip – clearly, he was the captain. Riding beside this man, at the head of the group, was a man dressed in blue and tan. He also had a cord of rope draped across his body, but it was thicker and there was blue braided into the gold – a mark of higher station, Coulta assumed. All the soldiers, even the captain, wore helmets of silver metal, but the envoy did not – his chestnut hair shone in the setting sun. He was also the only man in the group who was clean-shaven.

Coulta couldn’t help staring with wonder at the site of them. They must have stopped before reaching the city to groom their horses, because they all gleamed far more than any steed ridden for a week could have. They were clearly there to remind Varin who was truly in control of the city.

The group moved down the street and Coulta followed silently on the rooftops. As he had expected, they stopped at the best inn the city had to offer. Coulta knew the layout well. There was a tavern on the ground floor, above which there was a floor with two large group sleeping rooms, and on the top floor were two smaller group rooms that could fit five men each, and two private rooms. He was fairly certain the group would take the top floor.

He waited and watched from the roof across the street, crouching in the shadows and willing himself not to be seen. The men stabled their horses in a public stable beside the inn, and made their way into the tavern. Coulta slipped soundlessly from his post and found a place where he could watch from a closer vantage point, still hidden in shadow.

He could see a large portion of the tavern from his new location – the shutters were wide open – and, as he had expected, the soldiers were already busy getting drunk and flirting with the girls working inside. Though he kept track of what the soldiers were up to, his gaze returned frequently to the envoy – Wildas – and the captain, who were speaking to the innkeeper.

Moments later, coins changed hands and the two guests made their way upstairs carrying several traveling packs with them. The captain had removed his helmet, and Coulta saw a graying head of hair that had previously been covered.

As they went up the stairs, Coulta climbed easily onto the stable roof, which allowed him to see into the window on the second level. As expected, the men did not stop there. So Coulta grabbed the handholds he had planted in the wall the night before. These allowed him to climb up to just below the window and rest almost comfortably there to listen.

Luckily for him, the men chose to enter that room and not the other private room at the opposite end of the building. Coulta heard them enter and glanced up to see the window gradually grow lighter as candles around the room were lit with one they had brought with them from downstairs.

“Oh, let the men have their fun,” the older man was saying. “They’re soldiers, Wildas. They’ve spent a week on the road, away from the comforts of ale and female companionship.”

“If what I have been told of these Arren whores is true, they’re likely to be leaving a part of themselves here when they leave,” Wildas grumbled.

Coulta could hear them moving around, as if they were getting their things organized while they conversed.

“Soldiers make hard choices.”

“I’ll pretend you never made that pun.”

There was a laugh from the older man.

“Uncle Decus, do you think Varin knows we’re here?”

The captain was serious again as he answered, “I’m sure he has his spies. We won’t know until you speak with him tomorrow. And if he does know, there’s nothing we can do.”

“I suppose you’re right.”

“I’ll keep an eye on the men, you get some rest, Prince.”

Coulta’s eyes went wide and he nearly gasped out loud. Prince?

He knew then that he couldn’t make himself kill the man. Even knowing that Varin had ordered it, he couldn’t make himself climb up through the window when the man was left alone. Instead, he climbed back to the stable roof and ran back to the castle, springing from roof to roof effortlessly as he tried to escape his own shock and horror at what was being asked of him.

When he got back to the castle yard he paused to catch his breath, then climbed up the castle exterior and through his window. In his room again, he went straight to the door separating his room from Teeya’s and knocked several times before walking in.

Teeya was getting out of bed, dressed in her nightshirt. “Coulta, what’s –“

“Damn it!” Coulta exclaimed. “He’s a damn prince!”

“Who?” Teeya asked, looking confused from sleep still.

“The envoy I was sent to kill! This Wildas. He’s a prince!”

Teeya’s eyes went wide. “Wildas? Oh, no, no Coulta. He’s not just a prince. He’s the prince.”

“What do you mean?” Coulta demanded, throwing his hands up in frustration. Nothing was making sense to him.

Teeya was looking truly disturbed. “He’s the Crown Prince, the oldest prince, and heir to the Grand King’s throne. Coulta…”

Coulta sank to the floor, burying his head in his hands, feeling like something was stabbing into his chest and ripping into his soul. “I can’t. Teeya, I won’t kill him. I won’t assassinate the Crown Prince. I can’t have that on my conscience with all the other lives I’ve taken.”

The voice of the young man in the inn came back to him. He was guilty of no crime. He cared for his men. Death was not what he deserved, least of all a death by Coulta’s hand.

Teeya sat down beside him and lay a hand on his shoulder. “Coulta… You went against Varin’s demands tonight?”

He shook his head. “He told me I could observe the first night, let them settle in.” He swallowed a lump in his throat. “Tomorrow…”

She hugged him tightly. “I think, Coulta, that it’s time for you to take control from Varin.”


If you want to see what happens next, find out where you can buy the book!

April 5, 2011 Posted by | Teaser Tuesday, Vows From Darkness | Leave a comment

Oh, Hello Life

First things first, Vows is now available in paperback – I just checked. Happy dance time! And link!

So, I’m still reading like a machine, but much less frequently than I had been. School has gotten obnoxious. Yes, the worst part about being an author and a full time college student is that being a full time college student comes first. Sadly, I have long ago accepted that writing will not be my career, so grades are my priority. I’m majoring in accounting, and now that the Phi Theta Kappa honor society has inducted me, I have to keep my GPA above 3.5. And, on that note, I have four tests this week – one earlier today, two tomorrow, and one on Thursday. Then, on Friday I am meeting with an admissions counsilor at RIT to ask about transferring. That will kill me more than community college.

I haven’t been able to write anything in weeks and it’s killing me. Well, my characters are turning murderous against me. I have Spring Break coming in April, but I’m getting my wisdom teeth out that week. Yet, I have to wonder if maybe the Vicodin might improve my writing… Ha, we shall see. It gets me a few days off from the cashiering job, that’s the good thing.

Alas, I should be studying. Someone get me off this computer!

March 22, 2011 Posted by | Life, Vows From Darkness | Leave a comment

Soundtrack Sunday

Time for another edition of Soundtrack Sunday! And once again it is a song for Vows!

Okay, so apparently it’s not going to allow me to post the video at the moment. I bet it’s because it’s a Vevo one. Go find it on Youtube. It’s Bring me to Life by Evanescence. And while you’re there, tell Vevo to jump off a bridge.

March 20, 2011 Posted by | Soundtrack Sunday, Vows From Darkness | Leave a comment

Vows is Here!

Vows From Darkness is finally published! Well, mostly. It is still in review for Amazon Kindle, and it will take a couple of weeks to make it up on Amazon to purchase in paperback, but I also published it via Smashwords. For anyone who is unfamiliar with Smashwords, it’s an online service where you can publish and sell ebooks, and where readers can buy directly from the website. The books are published in a number of formats including HTML, JavaScript, mobi, and epub, just to name a few. This means you can buy a book and read it on your computer, your Kindle, your Nook (I think), your Sony Reader, or pretty much anything. Not sure about iPads yet, though. I think I need to use a specific channel to get into the iBook store, and, frankly, I’m not sure I even want to – but I shall refrain from ranting about Apple’s foolish censorship ideas for now.

Here is the description for Vows:

Coulta has only known one life: the life of a slave, forced to carry out the cruel commands of a power-hungry lord with generations of anger raging behind his every action. The only friend and family he has ever had is the servant who raised him like an older sister would. The only things he has ever been able to count on are the orders to kill, and the agony it causes him.

But everything changes when he is ordered to assassinate Phelin’s Crown Prince. For the first time, he has the ability to make a choice, the right choice, and change his life for the better – but with that comes the risk of losing the only friend he’s ever had, and everything he stands to gain. His very choice may spark a civil war.

If you would like to buy the ebook, the price on Smashwords is $2.49. The Amazon Kindle will be $2.99 and the paperback will be $12. I will announce when the last two options are available. But really, if you have a Kindle I suggest the Smashwords edition. It’s the same thing, and it’s cheaper, and it’s available now. Hint hint, wink wink.

Buy it now!

And in honor of Vows, this week’s Soundtrack Sunday is a song for Coulta:

March 13, 2011 Posted by | Soundtrack Sunday, Vows From Darkness | Leave a comment

Short Story Saturday

Time for another edition of Short Story Saturday! This time we have the first part of a short series I wrote for my creative writing class a few years ago. In it, you will find some characters who are major players in Vows (though I eased up on their strict adherence to tradition in the novel). Enjoy!


Saga of an Outcast; Part I

The room was darkening with the setting sun, and the flames from wall-mounted torches danced eerily in the Grand King’s office. Grand King Deandre was pacing before the darkening window, his hands clenched in tight fists that swung dangerously as he moved. The torchlight made his tight jaw and scowling brows more frighteningly defined. Second King Shelton stood watching him, fingering his nearly non-existent beard as thoughts moved rapidly through his mind the way they always did. Queens Xiao and Yvona were standing beside each other, hands over their mouths. Yvona was crying.

It was young Prince Evant that all the fuss was over. He stood, arms crossed, as his brown eyes followed his father’s movements. No matter what any of them said or did, he was not going to give in. It didn’t matter to him that he was still only eleven years old, or that he was attempting to sever tradition. His happiness was what he valued.

Deandre stopped pacing to turn his tall, powerful frame to his son, locking his brown eyes upon him. “Tell me how you came to this conclusion,” he demanded.

Evant didn’t fall under the intended intimidation. “I won’t follow the traditional customs of marriage,” he replied levelly, “because I don’t understand how it is right to do so.”

“What do you mean it isn’t right?” his father demanded. “The people of Phelin have followed this tradition since the first royal family took power three hundred years ago! No member of the royal family can rightfully refuse this tradition!”

The prince was beginning to feel annoyed. “I refuse,” he declared.

“You are a Phelin prince!” Deandre bellowed. “You will not refuse!”

“I already have!” Evant snapped.

The Grand King took a great step forward, hands outstretched as if to grab the boy. Xiao grasped Yvona’s arm so violently that both their bodies swayed a moment before they stood perfectly still, wide eyes fixed upon their family before them. Shelton acted swiftly, jumping into Deandre’s path before any harm could be done.

“Don’t touch him,” he warned, gripping the other man’s wrist. “Be sane.”

Evant swallowed hard, for the first time losing his nerve. Deandre had never acted so threateningly towards him before.

Deandre took one look at the Second King’s lavender eyes and turned away. He went to sit by the window, a look of anger still plastered to his aging face. Shelton glanced over at the wives, who were still holding each other in fear. “I think Evant should be allowed the right to speak,” he said, “without any of us interrupting.”

It took a moment for Evant to remember what was going on, but as he watched the rest of his parents sit, he felt his old determination slowly trickling back to him. He sat down on a cushioned wooden chair and thought over what he would say.

“Speak,” Deandre ordered him.

Evant built up his confidence and began, “I do not wish to take part in the traditional marriage custom. I don’t think it right, in my own opinion, to take two wives and a husband. I don’t believe it possible for me to love three equally.”

“We do,” Deandre replied sharply.

“For the most part,” Shelton added in a grumble.

The Grand King’s eyes flashed to him, but the Second King merely shrugged. “Then what do you intend?” Deandre demanded of his son, looking back at him.

Evant stared straight into those brown eyes identical to his own. “I intend to marry only one person, the first man or woman I find I love.”

Deandre made a sound that was something of a snarl and rose again to his feet. He would have gone for Evant if only Shelton and Xiao hadn’t grabbed his violet robes. “You must follow the tradition!” he yelled, straining against the hold and causing Yvona to put a protective arm around their boy. “You’re a prince of Phelin!”

“But I’m not the heir!” Evant yelled right back. “Wildas is! And even if he dies I won’t take his place!”

“If your bothers could hear you say such things! You are much too young to make a declaration such as this!” his father argued.

The prince rose to his feet in protest. “I am not!”

Deandre glared at him. “This sin is punishable by death,” he reminded him. “By choosing this, you have chosen to be hanged.”

Xiao and Shelton jumped in front of him, both pressing their hands to his chest. The Grand King struggled to push them away, but though his body was more massive than his two tall and thin spouses, they easily held him back from attempting to reach Evant again.

“Don’t you dare put your son to the death!” Xiao hissed at him while Shelton continued to tell their husband to relax.

“Deandre!” Yvona called, raising her voice over the others as Evant sat shocked beside her. “If you take his life from him I refuse to remain your wife.”

They all looked at her, wide-eyed.

“If he dies under your control, I leave,” she went on. “No matter how I love you, I cannot tolerate a man who kills his son for choices he makes. Shelton and Xiao may be able to forgive, but I cannot.”

“If you must be rid of him,” Shelton added suddenly and quietly, “banish him from the country. Please, allow him to live.”

Deandre locked eyes on his son, now nearly trembling. “All right,” he responded. “Evant, you are to pack what you can carry. This is your last night in the castle of the royal family of Phelin.”

With slightly shaking legs the prince got up and left the room. For a moment he considered begging for forgiveness and agreeing to his father’s demands, but he knew he couldn’t bring that show of weakness to himself.

March 12, 2011 Posted by | Short Story Saturday, Vows From Darkness | Leave a comment

Too Much Going On

Looks like I won’t be writing much tonight. Next up is a major scene and I want enough time to do it justice. School nights just don’t allow that. Stupid educational institution that will get me a good job eventually.

That’s pretty much why I completely forgot about Soundtrack Sunday yesterday – SO MUCH bloody business homework. Well, I shall post a video a day late, at the end of this random post.

I managed to finish reading two books today: Staying Power by Anne Somerville while waiting for my business law class to start – on my wonderful Kindle – and Lessons in Love by Charlie Cochrane when I needed a break from studying. Somerville’s book I loved, just like all her books, but Cochrane’s not so much. Don’t think I’ll be keeping with that series. And now I have my reading stats update:


Total books read: 9

Total pages read: 3954 (Kindle ebooks not included)

Days in the year: 66

Average pages read per day: 59.9


Yikes, I’m a machine this year. Anyway, time for some music! This song is for the main character from Vows. Enjoy.

March 7, 2011 Posted by | Life, Reading, Soundtrack Sunday, Vows From Darkness, Writing | Leave a comment