Thursday, October 27, 2011

Quest for Believability

The hero in my current WIP is a bounty hunter. He needs a handgun for those occasions when he might find himself in a situation where he must defend himself. I want to make his choice in protection believable, but just how far should a writer go to allow reader's suspension of disbelief?

I happen to have a little knowledge about handguns. Okay, not a whole lot, but enough to make me a danger to myself and others. My limited knowledge of weaponry allowed me to narrow my hero's possible choice in handguns down to three.

The criteria my hero (Joseph Johnson) used for his choice included these demands:

  1. His handgun must be easily available, and common enough to be easily replaced should he lose, or have to dispose of his choice.
  2. His handgun must be chambered for 9MM (9X19 NATO parabellum) so that he could easily find ammo. There's no sense carrying a handgun if it is so unique that you cannot afford to load it. Also, someone in need of such a weapon must be able to possibly use ammo taken from a dead assailant.
  3. The handgun of choice must be within Joe's price range. Joe recently left the Army to take care of his sick mother. His mother has since lost her battle with cancer, forcing Joe to take on work in the only the only thing he knows, hunting others, in order to pay her medical bills.

Have I gone too far already? I hope not. My first thought is to the reader who may read this story. I would hate someone to become completely put off, or lose their suspension of disbelief because of an inaccurate choice in weaponry. After all, I am asking the reader to believe shape shifting werewolves actually exist and live amongst us all in today's world. I need some anchor of reality to help those completely realistic readers make the jump into fantasy.

My research led me to narrow the hero's choices down to three easily concealable handguns, the Czech made CZ-75B, The Argentinian made Bersa BP9cc, and the Australian made Glock 26.

The CZ-75B was the first choice for my hero, because he would have come across this weapon often in his former line of work. The CZ-75 is very common, small enough to conceal, and relatively inexpensive. On the downside, this handgun is rather clunky compared to the others, and it's weight is equal to or greater than the Bersa.

The Bersa is the least expensive of the three choices, but not as readily available. While it holds more cartridges than the CZ, the option requires extensions to the magazine.

The Glock became my hero's handgun of choice (pictured above from the television show "Justified') because it is the lightest, smallest, and easiest to conceal. It is the most expensive of the three, but it's reputation makes in well-worth the cost. It is solid, and holds about ten rounds with no funky magazine extensions. Another reason is because the hammer remains concealed, minimizing the possibility of cocking it while pulling it from concealment. Most of all, the Glock has a safety in the trigger which makes it easier and quicker to shoot.

I can tell you from experience, there is not a more terrible feeling than pulling a weapon in a hurry, only to realize when you try to shoot, that the safety is still engaged. That gives a whole new meaning to the term "The quick and the stupid."

So, Joe Johnson will carry the Glock 26, although he remains impressed with the utility of the CZ-75. Who knows, he may keep a CZ in a hide somewhere as a back up.

So, again, have I gone too far? All this research was done so I could form one sentence stating that Joe slipped his Glock 26 into a concealment holster in the waistband of his pants. I'm not even sure if he'll have occasion to actually use this handgun throughout the story.

But doesn't it make you feel better knowing that Joe Johnson made an informed choice in what handgun he carries?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sneak Peek

I've working on an in between novel recently. I know. I published Lovestruck Succubus nearly a year ago, and should have published the second book, Demon Among Wolves by now, but some minor characters have taken hold of me and demand to have their story told.

This will be the story of how Joseph Johnson and Alexis Califan met, fell in love, and became the pack's hunter team. Here's my very abbreviated synopsis:

Alexis flees the pack, refusing to be mated to the future pack alpha. He follows with the intent of killing her if he cannot convince her to join him. She falls asleep on a greyhound bus and finds herself in another state where she takes a job as a waitress in a seedy bar, and tries to lay low for awhile.

Joseph Johnson is working as a security guard at a local car manufacturing plant and moonlighting as a bounty hunter, trying to pay off his mom's medical bills after she lost her battle to cancer. He is layed off at his security job so he must take on riskier skips in order to make ends meet. Chasing a skip brings him in contact with a beautiful young woman, but he's not the only one that's taken notice of this woman. The local thug leader has taken a shine to her as well.

Their attitudes and independent streaks soon land the both of them in hot water with the local thug leader, and neither one of them know that Lexi is also being pursued by Leonidas. The very thing that brings them together exposes Joe to Lexi's secret.

I'm posting the first scene below, but I'm thinking I might have a WIP Wednesday, and post new scenes each Wednesday.

"I just will not do it, and there is not a soul on this earth that can make me ..." Alexis stood up straight and stared her parents down for the first time in her life. "... And that includes the two of you." She immediately shrank back down, tears welling in her eyes despite her best efforts.

"We know you don't understand now, Lexi," her mother said, reaching up to stroke her dark hair. "But, in time you'll understand that you being mated to Leonidas will be the best thing for our family, and the entire pack."

"What about what I want?" Alexis asked, as she swatted at her mother's hand. "Why did you let me go to college if you planned all along to enslave me to that self-centered weasel?"

Alexis's father stepped in, pointing a finger at her. "That self-centered weasel, as you call him, is going to be the pack alpha, probably sooner rather than later, given his father's condition, and since we didn't have a son to challenge him, we must offer a daughter to better our place in the pack."

Alexis tried to put up a defiant front but even as she narrowed her eyes at her father, she felt the tears trailing down her burning cheeks. She knew her father was gruff, but she felt like he just told her that he wished he had a son instead of a daughter.

"I can take care of myself," Alexis said. "Maybe I'll challenge him myself, then we will be the alpha family in the pack."

"Don't be ridiculous," her father said, waving his hand as if swatting at a fly. "Keeping your secret through four years of college is not the same as fighting another to the death. Besides, there has never been a female alpha in any pack that I know of."

"Well, maybe ours will be a first," Alexis said. She planted her feet hard on the floor at her bold statement. She thought back to all the times Leo picked on her when they were children. She thought about all the times he threw rocks at her, or tried to stick his hand up her dress. She'd always hated him for that, even though she never did anything about it, clear up to their junior high years. She remembered fighting him off on more than one occasion when she started developing into a woman, and he mistakenly thought she was his for the taking.

Then, her mother crushed her daydreams. "Lexi, this has been planned since you were both children. You know there's just not that many naturals of our kind left. You have a chance to keep our bloodline clean and true."

Alexis had nothing to say in response to her mother. She knew she was losing and needed someone to agree with her. Alexis looked over to see her Grandfather sitting in an armchair, listening to the whole conversation. He started shaking his head "no" but it was too late. She was going to bring him into this argument as her only ally.

"What about you, Grandpa?" Alexis asked, feeling more positive at the possibility of his agreement. "Don't you think I should have the right to make my own decisions? Don't you think—"

"Alexis," her Grandfather said, cutting her off, mid-sentence. "I think that you should understand that your parents are only trying to do what's best for you. They are doing what is best for the pack, preserving the purity of our bloodline."

"Screw you." Alexis said, and stomped her feet for emphasis. It was all she could think of to say. Without her Grandfather's support, she was alone and defeated. Tears dripped off her cheeks wetting the fabric over her breasts, and her heart sank into the pit of her stomach. She tried to say something to appear strong, but as she opened her mouth, a wailing sound escaped, exposing her defeat. She ran out of the house, slowing only long enough to snatch her purse off the hook by the door, and continued through the apple orchards, swearing and wailing all the way to the storage barn.She ran inside and found her dark corner behind stacks of apple crates. The storage barn was a place she’d gone many times before. It was a place she considered safe when she felt defeated. She vowed to herself, in the dark corner, she would never mate with Leo. She couldn’t fathom spending the rest of her life partnered, and subservient to him. She would take him out or leave the pack before she would allow that to happen.
Hope you enjoyed this opening scene. I will concentrate on Alexis for awhile and do not introduce Joseph Johnson until chapter 3. By then, all the major characters, and most of the minor characters are introduced and the two major plotlines will begin weaving around each other until they finally come together by about chapter 14. I've outlined 20 chapters.

Let me know what you think so far, and please, do not be shy about voicing your opinion on the work as I post new scenes. Lastly, I've yet to find a suitable title for this project. I know this is unusual for me, but this story grew out of another story idea. I may run a contest or simply ask for suggestions on a title. Again, please feel free to offer title suggestions as I post scenes. The original title was Her Delicate Curves, but the premise of the story has changed since.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Getting the Groove Back

I must admit I've been neglecting everything lately. I've been neglecting my website, facebook, twitter, and even my writing. Truth is, I've been stalled on a current WIP and could not figure out why.

Then, last night I had an epiphany. I was stalled on chapter three where I introduced a new character, Joseph Johnson, to the story. For those that have read my novel, Lovestruck Succubus, you may already know Joe Johnson as the male half of the hunter team chasing Raif Lungren as he pursues Azra Barsonus. This WIP is the story of how they met.

I realized last night, the reason I was having such a difficult time introducing Joe to the story was due to a lack of background for him. He was just kind of making an appearance - not good for a main character. So, I gave Joe a background of his own, and this accomplished two things for the story.

First, It provided some motivation for Joe to move into the story. His background now includes a short career in the military in some unit that exists echelons above consequence. We're talking super top secret, underground, black ops, hero kind of stuff. I thought I could provide more background and explain why he is not still there by adding in that his mother was in ill health and he had to leave the military to care for her. She was his last living relative. Although she lost her battle with cancer, Joe was still left with the bills, so he took a job at the Hyundai plant as a security guard and supplemented his income rounding up bail jumpers for a local bail bondsman. I will begin the scene with him being called into his supervisor's office and told that they are letting him go because of cutbacks. He simply does not have enough seniority in his current job.

Now, I've added some immediacy in his decision to take on more risky skips. This action will put him on a path to meet Lexi. Also, I think that this will provide Joe with his own subplot within the story.

I'm considering posting portions of this story on my website as I write with some notes to provide insight into my thinking. What say you? Would you like to read this new story in small bits, or would you rather wait until it is completed and read the whole thing?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mary and Her Dragon

I dug this poem out of my files and thought this would be a good time to post. It is important to be careful what you say about others. Just remember that there are some crazy people out there that may overreact, and burn down your house.

So, remember, in the spirit of the season, be careful who you associate with. And, be careful who you talk about, because sweet little Mary may just have a fire-breathing dragon supporting her, no matter how insane people think she is.

Mary had a little dragon
Its teeth were sharp and white
The dragon followed everywhere
It was quite a sight

So, Mary one day went to work
Her dragon close in tow
The boss said, like an insolent jerk
“That dragon’s gotta go”

With Mary this did not sit well
In fact, it pissed her off
So, she said to her little dragon, “sit”
And took its collar off

Its collar gone, up it came
And pounced upon the boss
Snapping teeth and spitting flame
It gave the man’s head a toss

In smoke and flames, the building went
From dragon’s fiery breath
And when the dragon’s lungs were spent
There was not a damn thing left

The moral of this tale, I think
It should be easy enough.
You might call a woman a dragonlady
But just try not to piss her off.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I know this does not make me a bestselling author or anything, but it does give me the positive feeling that there are people out there actually interested in reading my work.

My latest FREE read, Fantasy League has climbed the charts at All Romance eBooks all the way to the first page! Yes, it's made it all the way up to number twenty in the erotica listing.

Here's the link: Fanasy League.

The timing is great because I'm preparing to release the next storyin this series, Tight End, soon. And, remember that Fantasy League is also available free on smashwords.

I certainly hope you enjoy this free read. I am also offering my short historical fantasy, The Fifth Beauty, free everywhere. If you enjoy these stories, feel free to read my other stories as well.