Wednesday, August 8, 2012

NBC crosses over to the dark side...

Goodness, it's been a while since I've blogged!  Well, the important thing is that I'm here and I'm writing now.  Ahem. 

In the dark paranormal world, there is a lot going on!  If you follow my tweets (@RhiannonMills) or have friended me on Facebook, you probably already know, or at least have a sneaking suspicion, that I'm bat shit crazy obsessed with Jonathan Rhys Meyers.  You would also know, or suspect, that I absolutely love Dracula (from Nosferatu to Gary Oldman--and no further than that).  Well, it appears that NBC has a 10 episode series coming up called Dracula, starring none other than Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the lead role.  

A few old school horror fans may be rolling their eyes about this, but for every eye roller, I promise you there are a million other people out there taking a deep sigh as they hit up Google, Bing, and any other search engines they can think of just to try and find any and all information they can dig up about the upcoming series.  I'm one of those...

There are a gajillion reasons why JRM should play Dracula! He's perfect for the role, in my honest opinion.  He's played Elvis and Henry VIII, and now it's only fitting that he go for a much darker role.  As Henry VIII, JRM wowed me into a position of utmost awe and admiration.  He didn't look anything like Henry VIII--but with his attitude and the special tone of his skill, I was convinced that he was the king of England! Knowing what JRM's eyes can do to an audience, I'm ready for this series. I've heard nothing about a premier date for the series, but I do know that it's due out next year sometime.  The anticipation is absolutely killing me! 

With anticipation in mind, let's think back to some other really great Draculas from the past, shall we...

I'm going to give you my two favorites--Bella Lugosi and Gary Oldman.  Lugosi's Dracula came about at a point in time when people were not so used to seeing such dark seduction on screen, much less anywhere else.  He held audiences in the palms of his undead hands and made America, and the rest of the world, pine for more of his brand of dark seductions.  

Oh...need I say more?

Gary Oldman was Dracula in 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula.  Though the movie didn't follow bit by bit with the book (Yeah...Dracula was a book, for those who didn't know lol), it was an amazing film. The entire cast was great, but Oldman took the show, at least for me.  If any of you born after 1992 haven't seen it, you should hit up Netflix or something.  Oldman brought out the romance in the story in the best way.  He made you feel something for the old count and not want him dead, even though he was a monster.  

Oh, that Gary Oldman...What a handsome, incredible member of the undead!

"I have crossed oceans of time to find you...".... I don't know about you other ladies out there, but if a man tells me he's crossed oceans of time to find me, I'm his.  We'll deal with the whole undead issue later...Just sayin'. 

And now to tickle your funny bones... :D

You're welcome...

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Blah, blah, blah says the writer.

Over the last year or so, I've struggled with horrible bouts of writer's block, an extreme lack of inspiration, and a tad of depression thrown in.  I am proud to announce that this period of time in my life is over and I've begun the next chapter.  I know I've already discussed my latest project, but I also want to add that I have high hopes that this is not my last strike of inspiration this year.  As a matter of fact, I want to be sure that the very minute this book is finished, I get it edited, polished, and ready to roll by the end of this summer so that I can begin writing another novel.

There is no reason for this photo.  It's just here because I like it. 

Yes, another NOVEL. 

I don't think I ever want to write novellas again.  Demon Blood will likely be my last.  So, for you Demon King readers, this may be important to you.  My goal word count for Demon Blood is 50K-ish, which will be longer than The Demon King, but still a novella.  There may or may not be a third book. It depends on exactly where Demon Blood takes me and whether or not I can wrap my imagination and brain around writing a third or not.

 I will also definitely write an Elizabeth Bathory novel, but I've come to a firm realization that she's way different than I expected and I do not believe for one second that it will be just a horror novel. Elizabeth Bathory was a real person.  She had real dreams, real aspirations, real goals, and she met very real terrors, horrors, and tragedies in her lifetime.  She was so many things to so many people.  These people are the people who are often left out and forgotten from her story.  She was a healer to the villagers as well as their protector.  She was one of the first women on this planet who fought for women's rights--she often stood up for rape victims in a day and time when that just simply was not done.

Think about how terrifying a thought it must have been for her to stand up for those who could not stand up for themselves.  Women who were raped, usually women of lower ranks like maids and servants, did not have a voice.  Elizabeth did what she could, which meant that she had to stand up to men.  This is just one of many reasons why I feel like I must give her story a little bit more time before I can properly tell it.  I've already written so much in her book, but I have a feeling most will be scrapped.  I don't look at it as a waste of my time, though.  It was my practice. Writing the things that I've already written allowed me to get further into her head, which is a scary place to be, but it was necessary in order to understand her plight.

This brings me to my current project.  Unlike Elizabeth Bathory's book, I didn't have to spend forever getting to know characters because I've known these characters for over a decade.  Their story is one that I was always meant to tell and the time was just right, so I wrote it.  As a matter of fact, half of the story was written in less than a week.  Since then, I've written about 2k per week day and have a steady pace that I'm happy with.  After all, it's not easy to write when there are four kids home on summer break.  As a matter of fact, it's almost impossible and I have to get up at 4AM with my husband and write as he leaves for work until the kids get up.  It works for me, but it is not without difficulty.

On a much lighter note, my dog (Heidi Mills Demon Pup, Heidi for short) has just given birth to a litter of puppies.  There are five of them and they are the sweetest little things!  I'm quite amazed at how well Heidi has adjusted to motherhood and proud that she's doing so well with her babies.  There are two black and white puppies, two brown and white puppies, and one really big white pup with brown spots.  The big white one's name is going to be Bacon and we're keeping him.  The others are free to a good home, but I hate the idea of seeing them all go.

Now, I'm off to finish watching Two Week's Notice.  It's one of my guilty pleasures.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What does it mean to be an author?

There is a question sticking in my head today--it has been there for a while now, actually.  I hate it when that happens because I always have to think extra hard when I really just want to not think.  I know.  Makes no sense, but I was catching up with an old friend from high school and they inevitably asked me what I do.  A million things went through my head and we'd already discussed having all kinds of kids (I have four), so I replied, "I'm an Indie Author."

Her response was golden.  I loved the all caps she decided to use in the chat box on facebook.  

"What do you mean, you're an AUTHOR?"  I can imagine that, in her head, she was picturing something totally opposite from the truth.   In her head, she probably pictured Stephen King sitting at a type writer, staring out a window into a foggy storm and writing like a mad person. She probably pictured eight figure royalty checks and a celebrity status.  

If so, she was so far from the truth!  It's not her fault, though.  There is sort of a stereotype that writers get branded with. 

So, what does it mean to be an author or an indie author?  We all know that there's a few small differences between the two, so we'll get that out of the way.  An indie author is an author who writes for independent presses, like KnightWatch Press.  I'm an Indie Author.  Other authors have books published by bigger, more mainstream presses such as Simon & Schuster.  Stephen King is a way more mainstream author.  Or just an author.  Whatever.  Sadly, the biggest differences are the size of the audience that you reach and the ending payout. I is sometimes not so very pretty, is it. 

Whether you're a mainstream author or an indie author, I'm willing to bet your lifestyle is similar to mine in a few ways, though.  I'm willing to bet that, no matter what you write, we have a few things in common--probably a lot of things.

*For one thing, I'm willing to put money on the fact that you have bags under your eyes quite often because sometimes a story (or comic) just won't shut up until you sit down with your computer and write.  Sometimes it takes hours when this happens and other times, you just have to write down a few sentences to make yourself feel better and get it all out.  The bags under our eyes should be worn with pride, though.  Those bags say, "Yup. I was chosen to be an author and I spoke to the voices in my head...all night long." 

*Also, if you're an author, I'm betting that your fingers move faster than the rest of your body.  Gone are the days of writing everything in a notebook first--although there are some who still do.  

*If you're an author like me, I'll bet you buy ten times the amount of books that you can actually read in a month's time.  I'll bet that your to-be-read pile is more like a mountain that the rest of your family sneers at in passing because it takes up too much space in your house and while you love your books, everyone else wants to move them (or at least some of them) to the attic or basement and put a new big screen television in their place.  Or maybe you've put all the books that won't fit elsewhere into the china cabinet because you've run out of space and now everyone else wants you to put the dishes back in it (don't know WHO would do such a thing...*blushes*).  But, that won't do for you.  You want your books and bookshelves where you can see them because that's one of the smaller (or bigger lol) things in life that you enjoy and ENJOY IT YOU WILL! 

*You're an author when you want to play games on your computer and, when you settle down to defeat medieval war lords, you suddenly see a plot in your head and have to drop everything to write it down.  Sorry, war lords.  We shall meet again...

*Regardless of which genre you lean toward, I'll bet you've read at least a few how-to books about writing and I bet that you either follow that advice to the last dirty detail or you've totally disregarded the how-to advice for being total bollocks. There usually isn't a gray area here because by the time a writer has decided to be a writer, he/she already has developed their own style and those preferences are hard to break away from. 

And I should add that following a book to the last detail and taking advice from articles and other writer friends is totally not the same. 

*When an author hears a certain song, they think to themselves or burst out loud that the song lyrics would make a really great story plot...and then the writer disappears to his or her work space and isn't heard from for three days because they're working not disturb or you will quite possibly have one of  your limbs torn off and handed to you in a basket.

*I'll bet that every single author out there can remember the first they read that made them want to write--we all have at least one of them burned into memory.  

*Can't speak for every genre, here, but I can say that if you write books and stories that have anything to do with vampires, even in the most  remote, vague ways, you've formulated a response in your head to use each time that someone asks you if your story is like Twilight.

Here's my formulated response--

"No.  Not at all.  My books have vampire characters, but they have fangs and do not sparkle. Also they like to drink blood.  It's fun for them.  Oh yeah and my vampires have balls. Big ones."

Usually my response is followed by a sneer from whoever asked the question. Sometimes that sneer is followed by a look of absolute relief, or a look of absolute disgust.  You'd think vampires never actually drank blood or anything...geesh.

In closing, I want to say that writers are all different people from every walk of life.  We each have our differences and each writer has his or her own voice.  BUT, we all have ONE clear thing in common.

We were all chosen to write.  We didn't just wake up one morning and sit at our desks and write a novel and decide that we're good at the whole author thing.  Something magical--albeit very weird--happened to us all and we were chosen.  We didn't choose this lifestyle.  It chose us.  We're very special and blessed in that way. 

In my head I see it like this...

One night, I was sleeping snug in my bed and, at that exact moment, the author fairy was crash landing from the planet Write-On.  He burst through my window, shook the glass shards from his uniform and picked little pieces of glass out of his beard, and looked at me.  He snuffed out his cigar and then whacked me over the head with a club.  Fairy dust flew everywhere and from that point on, I was a writer, well on my way to becoming an author. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Surprise Novel, "Willow Lake"

In the midst of writing the sequel to The Demon King, something miraculous happened.  I'll try to explain this as best I can, but understand that it's difficult for even ME to understand.

Ever since I was fifteen years old, I've had recurring dreams (some of them are nightmares) about a grand weeping willow tree that sits to the left of a big white house and there's a lake in the back yard with a fishing dock.  I know where everything in that house is kept. I know where the big rocks in the yard are that will make someone trip if they step on them wrong.  I even know where the matches are to light the cook stove. Yes, matches. 

Weirdness over. Moving onto "Willow Lake"...

There's also a man in these dreams.  Don't get your panties in a wad, he's not a hunk.  He's just a man in a dark blue uniform that looks very military.  I can never see his face, either.  Sometimes, he acts like he's my friend and we sit in peace under the tree, but sometimes he does weird things that make me feel like he's going to gut me and cut out my liver to feed it to the goats in the seventh circle of hell.  But, mostly he's alright until he decides it's time to get his chains out. 

Now, understand that I'm almost twenty-nine years old.  I've had these dreams for almost fourteen years.  You'd have thought I would have written a book about them before, but in honesty, I was afraid to.  I don't want the dreams to ever stop because they're a big part of me, as silly as that sounds. Besides that, it's hard to put a plot to a jumble of weirdo berserk dreams about a dude who has no face. 

Until a few days ago.  Just two and a half days ago, it all came to me.  I figured out the entire plot and all the characters (it wasn't difficult to figure out the characters because I already know them from the dreams).  

I'm 23,000 words into the story already.  For those of you who aren't writers--that's a lot of words to cover in just a few days.  My goal is 80,000.  But, just so you know what sort of book this is, I'm going to tell you about the things I've cooked up.

The story is centered around the life of a very lonely young woman.  She's twenty-six and she's lost nearly her entire family.  She buys a house in LaGrange, GA (not TX lol).  Her name is Celia and she's a writer--like me--and she has a lazy doberman named Barnibus (I once had a lazy doberman named Barnibus and we called him Barney for short). What Celia doesn't realize is that her new home, a place where she just wanted to disappear, comes with a former resident who died in 1947, Gray.

A friendship forms between Celia and Gray, although she sort of thought she was going nuts at first.  Eventually, it doesn't matter just how dead he is.  Celia is lonely.

Eventually, Celia learns, through chatting with an elderly neighbor and taking a job with a local paper, all about the former inhabitants of her place.  It turns out that Gray is the least strange of the bunch that once lived there and even though she's grown comfortable with the dead being her housemate, she realizes that she probably shouldn't be.

And this is where I stop telling you about the story for fear of spoiling it for you.  There is a good element of mystery and plenty of eerie scenes in the book.  Remember, this book came completely from MY dreams, so there will be yucky, nasty, horror too.

I feel very happy with the progress of this book.  I think it's just one of those things that I was just MEANT to write...

Until next time...thanks for listening to me chatter!  Thoughts welcome--leave them in comments below! :) 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

"Thread".... An Elizabeth Bathory short story.

*This is a short story that I just wrote about Elizabeth Bathory. I wanted to write something unrelated to Demon Blood or The Demon King and I know that I need to write SOMETHING since I haven't written a lot lately. Hope you enjoy it! This will not be a part of my Elizabeth Bathory novel, however.*

By: Rhiannon Mills

I first met her when she was in her last few years on earth, though I’m sure she didn’t know it at the time.  Radiance and sexuality dripped from this woman’s every pore.  Her eyes were dark, but alive with passion and life.  Her milk-white skin was a beautiful contrast to the red velvet robe that she wore.  Raven hair twisted in and out of an ornate dressing on top of her head caught my attention, but I tried not to stare at her.  It just simply wasn’t something you would want to be caught doing, especially in the dank, dark, repugnant dungeon.
She demanded the attention of everyone in the room when she walked down the stairs and took her place next to Janos and Ilona.  Her eyes, dark and demented, darted from me to the other girl that was with me in the dungeon, a young gypsy girl named Susanna.  
“That one is a bit pale.”  Erszebet frowned, pointing at Susanna.  Then she added, “but, she’ll do after a quick meal, I think.”
Ilona nodded and quickly ran up the stairs.  I had assumed that she was going after food for Susanna, but I wasn’t sure.  It was rumored that to work in the castle for the Countess was a great pleasure years ago, but that lately it was a game of pins and needles--one wrong move and you were done for.  I was suddenly worried for Susanna and myself.  
I wasn’t sure where Susanna had been picked up from, but I was the daughter of one of the late Count’s confidants.  Surely his widow would keep me safe, or I had at least hoped for as much.  
Ilona Jo waddled back down the stairs with a bowl of fruit.  Susanna gave me a worried look and pushed a few unruly locks of her curly dark hair out of her face, but she reluctantly took a pear from the bowl with Ilona’s taunting.
Janos Ujvary stood silently as the Countess whispered into his ear, but I couldn’t make out what she said to him.  The two were intimate friends, I could tell.  The way he moved her hair behind her ear when he whispered his response to whatever it was that she said and the way she smiled when he delivered his response was all I needed to know that the two were closer than the rest of us once thought--this was apparently no ordinary manservant, but if he was, you sure could have fooled me. I wondered if she were this intimate with the other manservants in the castle, but to inquire about it (even with other maids) could have dire consequences.
It wasn’t long before I found out for sure just exactly how intimate they were; all of them were intimate with each other, in one way or another.  Ilona Jo was not shy at all about helping the Countess out of her robes and into the large tub in the middle of the room.  It was customary for women and maids to help the heads of the household into a bath, but the way Ilona looked at her was unsettling and Erzsebet didn’t seem to mind it at all.
I was suddenly terrified.  Janos didn’t fill the tub with water as I’d assumed he’d do and Erzsebet didn’t sit down in the tub.  She stood in it, stark naked, and smiled at Ilona Jo, then at Janos.  
“Let’s begin, shall we?  I grow tired.”  The Countess said with a yawn and then she looked at Janos, who had immediately darted to her side.  “How many tonight?  I need more.”
“Only four.”  He said, smiling at her.  “But, there will be more soon.”
I was confused.
Ilona quickly lit several candles around the tub and then, swiftly, grabbed Susanna’s elbow.  Susanna dropped the pear core she’d had in her hands and shouted as a reflex to being grabbed.  
“Quiet, girl.”  Ilona smirked.  The laugh lines and wrinkles around her eyes and mouth showed as she spoke.  She whirled Susanna around the tub and pushed her into an iron cage full of spikes.  Susanna screamed in protest, but it didn’t matter.  No one would hear her from the dungeon.
Before anyone else made any other moves, Ilona had the cage shut tight and the two-inch long spikes that were spread all through the inside of the cage pushed into Susanna’s skin, piercing her body in a million places at once.  
Had it not been for the adrenaline pumping through my body, I might have tried to run, but outrunning Janos would be impossible.  He was faster than anyone I’d ever met.  That man could outrun any animal, person, or cart.  He was in charge of the horses from time to time and I’d seen him run after an unruly horse a few times.  There was no way I’d make it out of that dungeon unless I kept my wits about me and stayed sharp minded.  I would have to outsmart Ilona Jo, which wasn’t a big deal because she wasn’t so intelligent, but more than that, I would have to outsmart both the countess and Janos and that wouldn’t be easy.
Susanna’s screams faded, but her whimpers remained.  The spikes were not pushed completely in her skin, but Ilona held a rope that hoisted the cage over the tub in the center of the room.  My stomach sank when it dawned on me that she was planning on collecting the blood in the big tub.  

After seeing the gypsy girl having her flesh pierced, I knew what had happened to all of the other maids who had disappeared or died recently--and there had been dozens, maybe even hundreds of them.  
Perhaps, I thought, Ilona may actually benefit from the beauty regime of our countess...
The countess stepped out of the tub and approached me, but spoke to Janos.  “Where are the other two?”  Her beauty quickly faded (in my eyes) into evil.
I could hear Janos from elsewhere in the room.  I didn’t dare to look around to find him with Erzsebet closing in on me.  My eyes were locked on hers.  The fear was so thick around me that I’m sure she knew that she’d terrified me to pieces.  I shook uncontrollably.  
“Gone.”  Janos said, but his voice was fading from elsewhere.
The countess looked at me and rested her hands on her bare hips.  “She’s a good one, Janos.  You do have an eye for what I’m looking for.”
“I thought she reminded me of you.”  Janos answered her, but this time his voice was close.  He was behind me.
A tear ran down the side of my face, but I quickly stiffened my posture and sucked it up a bit.  No crying.  No whining.  Just take whatever they give me and act like it’s nothing...
I shuddered when Erzsebet reached her hand over my shoulder to touch Janos.  She cocked her head to once side and smiled at him over my shoulder, then said, “Janos, you flatter me.”
I wondered what they were going to do to me.  I looked up at Susanna and wondered what was going through her head as she was being hoisted to the ceiling in the blood caked contraption she stood in.  Only God knew how many other girls’ blood were on those spikes or if they washed them before using them again.  By the smell of the dungeon, I somehow doubted it.
“How old are you?”  This time, the countess spoke directly to me.  
“Nineteen.”  I told her, my lip trembling just a little.
“You are young, but why are you not married already?”  She asked me, her eyes narrowing.
I shook my head.  She’d hit a nerve.  “My intended has died, Countess.”  
“Fighting the Turks?”  She turned her head to the side.
“Yes.”  I told her.  I felt my feet slip a little beneath me.  I was light headed, but strong arms held my hips enough so that I was somehow still standing.  I could feel Janos behind me and it terrified me even more.  His fingertips were burning into my flesh through the simple nightshift that I had on.
“Her betrothed fought along Ferenc’s side, Erzsebet.”  Janos breathed over my shoulder.  “He was a soldier.”
The countess bit her lip and then stared at me.  “Then, it should be proof that she is still a virgin, yes?  The soldiers do not mess with their intended brides.  From my experience, they try to rape my maids instead!” 

Something in her eyes changed for a moment as she looked me up and down.  I felt isolated, trapped, and ultimately doomed, but I was determined.  I would live through this, whatever this was.
“And what of you now, girl?  What is your plan for your future?”  She looked at me again.
“I have none.”  I said.
She didn’t respond to this, but walked away from me, still completely comfortable being nude in front of her maid and manservant.  She picked up a candle from a table against the far wall and brought it to me, then raised it to my face.  “Her skin is flawless.”
Janos released me, but still stood behind me.  I was sure then that it was only so I couldn’t escape.  “I told you she reminded me of you.”
“You did well, Janos.  Now, tell me what she’s done.”
“I’ve done nothing!”  I snapped.  I don’t know why I did it, but I couldn’t hold my tongue.
The countess stared at me harshly.  “I wasn’t talking to you.”
Janos moved to stand next to me, shifting his weight and folding both of his large arms over his chest.  “She has been accused of wanton behaviour unbecoming of a maid in your household.”
“What has she done, Janos?”  The countess laughed.
Ilona Jo approached from the shadows, a few blood drips from Susanna’s cage had dropped onto her shoulders and face.  “This one keeps flirting with your stable boys.”
My heart began to race.  One of the boys in the stable was a lifelong friend.  We did speak from time to time, but I would never consider it wanton behavior.  I wouldn’t even let him hold my hand as we took our nightly walk through the stable to check on the horses.  I wouldn’t even allow him to inquire of my lack of a husband!
“A loose woman, then?  Ah--I should have known that a girl with such flawless skin, such a pretty face, could not be trusted.”  The countess then turned to me.  “As a woman, you have to present yourself in such a way that no one knows your secrets.  You can’t just give them away, young woman.”
My heart was nearly breaking at that point.  I wasn’t sure whether or not I should give up and resign myself to an iron cage--like Susanna had so willingly done--or if I should defend myself and my own honor and reputation.  “I have a friend in the stables, but I promise that I have not misbehaved in any way.   I would never blacken your name in that way, Countess!”  I protested, but she only laughed at my attempts at redemption.
“If Janos says that you misbehaved in my household, I believe him.  He has never lied to me before.”
Janos smirked.  His face was childlike, but he had a contradictory body.  He was built like a tree, strong and stout.  I’d never thought before that there was anything evil about this man, though.  I’d always assumed that he’d kept his place as manservant to the countess and her husband for so many years because of his strength and good character.  I never would have guessed that she kept him in her employ because of her own dark deeds.  
I didn’t have to wonder about the rumors anymore, though.  Perhaps he was helping her destroy bodies and evidence of whatever dark deeds she was guilty of.  Perhaps he really was one of the lovers she kept.  None of us knew, but I could take a really good guess at that point.  
I couldn’t figure out why Ilona Jo was kept, though.  She was older, ugly, and didn’t have a very pleasant disposition.  It was doubtful that she and the countess were actually lovers, as many others had speculated.  Ilona had been in the employ of the countess since the countess was born.
“I promise you, Countess, I have done nothing wrong.”
“Did you have sexual intercourse with this stable boy?  Perhaps we should ask him.”  The countess laughed.  “Which one is it?  Ilona can fetch him if we need him here.”
My stomach sank.  I couldn’t let that happen.  My friend, the stable boy, had been sickly from birth.  He was always so pale and if he were to bleed, he would cover the ground in his blood.  To say that he was a free bleeder would have been an understatement.  He wouldn’t last long in one of those cages.
As if on cue, I heard Susanna cry out as Ilona pulled a rope and the cage closed in on her body just another inch more.  Blood spurted and fell into the tub below.
I realized that they didn’t ask about what Susanna had done wrong.  What was the difference between she and I?  The only thing I could think of was my birth and hers.  She was just a gypsy girl, not born of the same high blood as I was.
“Please don’t!” I called out.  “I did it.  I seduced him.  It was not his fault at all.”  
“Out of the harlot’s mouth.”  Erzsebet smirked.  “The punishment must match the crime, Janos.”
He shrugged.  “What do you say?”
Ilona Jo pulled the rope again and the contraption tightened in on Susanna.  Her screams filled the dungeon for a moment, but she quieted into sobs and pleas for release soon after.
I choked a bit, but then pleaded with her.  “Do whatever you must to me, but leave him alone.  He did nothing wrong.”
“I’m not interested in him.”  The countess laughed.  “But, you--I must find a way to make you understand that you cannot conduct yourself in that way if you intend to stay in my castle.”
“Yes, of course.” I told her.  My knees began to wobble just a bit, but I felt Janos grab my elbow and yank me back up.  
“If you wish to make a display of yourself,” the countess started, “We can help you with that.  If you wish to become a spectacle and for the men to see every single part of you, worry not.  I will make a spectacle of you and you will not have to do it yourself.”
Janos cracked a smile and stared at the countess.  “What did you have in mind?”
“Make her a spectacle, Janos.”  The countess pointed to a stack of round wooden poles lying on the floor in the corner.  “Push the pole into the ground where everyone can see it.”  
“Right now?”  He asked her.
“Yes, right now.”  The countess snapped.
Janos shrugged, but obediently picked up the pole and carried it, with no trouble at all, up the stairs.  As soon as she was confident that Janos was gone and that no one else could hear her, she grabbed the neckline of my shift and ripped the thin, white material completely down the front until it was open.  With another short yank, she’d pulled it off and it fell in a pool at my feet.
I trembled as she traced my collarbone with her fingertips.  “You are not a virgin, then?  You seduced this stable boy?”
“I am a virgin.”  I told her.  “But, I did have an unsavory relationship with the stable boy.”
“You should have known better.”  The countess told me.  
I was hoping that Ilona Jo was looming somewhere near us, but she was busy with Susanna, draining the poor girl of whatever blood her body held.  I wanted so badly for someone to intervene and demand that the countess stop with this.  I wanted someone to say that the countess had gone too far and that the king would hear of this.  Unfortunately, I was alone with the beautiful monster that she was.
I followed the countess with  my eyes as her gaze fell over my body, one part at a time, as if she was assessing what I had.  She stared from one breast to the other, then down my stomach and hips.  She put her hands on my waist and turned me around.  I couldn’t see what she was doing, but I felt her hot gaze on me.  When she forced me to turn around again, I was crying.
What I felt at that point was a good mix of shame and fear.  When she looked at me, her eyes serious and her mouth parted just a bit, I wanted to gag or vomit, but I couldn’t allow myself to do that.  
I looked over the countess’s shoulder and saw that Susanna was no longer alive.  Her body was limp in its cage and her eyes were void and lifeless.  Blood continued to spurt into the tub below.
“It’s going to get cold.”  Ilona mumbled to herself, aggravated with her job filling the tub.  
The countess pulled my arm and led me to a table.  “Climb up.”  She told me.  
I did as she said and I pulled myself onto the table.  The countess rested her hands over my knees and did a quick assessment of my legs.  
“Are you going to kill me?”
Throwing her head back, the countess released a loud, hearty laugh.  “Of course not.  I’m just going to show you what you’ve done wrong.”
“How?”  I asked.
“If you can’t keep your legs shut,”  the countess flashed a sly smile, “then we’ll have to go straight to the source of the problem.”
I was confused.  
“And that is?” I asked her.  “Unruly girl!  You should know.  It’s the part of you that you can’t keep to yourself.  Just as soon as Janos is back, he and Ilona and I will show you.”
A million things went through my head, but none so horrible as the thing that was actually to come to pass.  It didn’t take Janos long to return to the dungeon, though when he did he was covered in wet mud and dirt from pushing the pole into the ground.  When he saw me sitting on the table, he looked at me through squinted eyes.  “Is she ready?”
Erzsebet shrugged.  “I need you and Ilona to hold her down and I need my needle and thread.”
I was hoping that Ilona would suddenly forget where the needles were kept or that a flood would suddenly crash into the castle and we’d all be wiped away, but no such luck was to be mine that night.  Instead, Ilona quickly materialized a perfect rusty needle and a spool of dark thread and handed them to the countess.  
Before I knew it, Janos rested a hand on each one of my shoulders and pushed me backwards onto the hard wooden table as hard as he could until my head and back slammed into the planks behind me.  The splitting headache was instant and I got a few very large splinters in my back.
“Ilona, hold her there.”  Janos instructed the older woman.  At first it made no sense to me why he’d have the elder of the three of them holding my shoulders.  He was bigger and stronger.  Shouldn’t he be holding the part of me that would undoubtedly be the hardest to hold down?
Then, I realized that I was right about one thing.  He would be holding down the hardest part to hold, but it wasn’t going to be my shoulders.  When the countess pushed my knees apart, exposing the most intimate part of my anatomy, I cried out with my shame and it all became clear.
Janos held my legs apart and the countess threaded her needle as she sat at the end of the table.  
The first painful prick of the needle into the softer outer lips of my parts caught me a bit off guard.  I had no idea that this was what she had meant to do to me.  My screams were laughed at as the countess sewed me up.  Ilona Jo occasionally told me to hush or pushed my forehead back down when I tried to raise up, but other than that, the three of them ignored me.
It was done in minutes, but it had felt like hours to me.  I could feel and smell the blood that had spilled because of my new injuries, but I was too ashamed to ask for them to help me--it was a lost cause anyhow.
When the countess was done sewing, she ordered Ilona Jo to push me into a sitting position, which hurt almost as much as the sewing.  My body throbbed and I wanted to die. What worth would I have now that I was permanently mutilated in the one part of me that a husband would surely inspect?
For a moment, I looked up and saw Janos staring at me through his green-gray eyes and I thought I saw a smidge of humanity in his gaze.  It looked like sympathy to me, but there was really no way to be sure.  Could it be that he was under the countess’s spell, too? Just like the others who fell at her feet at the bat of a damned eyelash.
His sympathy did not last, however, because it was he who wrapped me in his arms and carried my shaking, bleeding body up the stairs.  
“If you scream, we’ll kill you now.”  The countess told me.  
She didn’t immediately follow Janos, which worried me a little bit, but as he quickly carried me to the front of the castle and stood me up, he whispered into my ear, “It will be over soon enough.  Don’t fight it.  It’ll be worse if you do.”
I didn’t say anything.  That was enough for me to know what was really going on, the real story.  Our countess was batshit crazy.
Janos stood me up in front of the pole he’d pushed into the ground earlier.  We were to the front of the castle, but far enough into the trees that no one would find me or hear me. Half an hour later, when he saw that the countess and Ilona had come outside to make sure that he was doing everything the right way, he hardened his expression again and tied me to the dreaded thing so that my hands were bound behind me and my feet were bound together, which did not make my bleeding parts feel any better.
It began to sprinkle tiny droplets of rain at that point and I’d lost all the fight inside that I’d ever had.  It was hopeless.  I couldn’t escape her, the countess I’d once--very long ago--looked up to.  I didn’t fight Janos as he tightened the ropes so that I couldn’t escape.  I didn’t look at the countess as she covered me in honey from a jar that Ilona held.  I didn’t look at Ilona as she pointed out all the little bits of my skin that the countess may have missed.  
In my head, I was thinking of all the ways I could escape.  I could scream, but it was unlikely that anyone would hear me.  I could try to pull the pole from the ground, but seeing as Janos had put it there himself, it was unlikely that it would be a very easy thing to do, particularly for someone in my shape.  
“You wished to be a spectacle, young girl, so now you are one.  You can be a spectacle for all of the insects that fly around, looking for something sweet.  You can be a spectacle for the wild animals looking for something to eat.  The wolves, the bears...You can be a spectacle for everything in these Little Carpathian mountains.  You can be a spectacle unto yourself.”  With that, the countess smiled at me.  “And when there is nothing left of life inside of your harlot’s body, we’ll come and get you while the blood is fresh.  I’ll bathe away the sins that you’ve committed.”
Janos winced at the countess.  “Should someone stay and keep watch?”
The countess laughed.  “We’ll check on her every few hours, Janos.  In the meantime, meet me at my tub."
Janos, Ilona, and the countess left me there in the Little Carpathians.  A lone wolf’s howling in the distance startled me, and then I heard its pack answer.  Mosquitos flocked to me and it took little over six hours for my body to become a cushion for the insects to penetrate however they liked.


Monday, March 26, 2012

NEW From Knight Watch Press!

I haven't forgotten my blog. I really haven't. I've been pretty busy and haven't been able to post lately, but I'm back today and that's all that matters, right? RIGHT.

Anywhooo---there are a few new developments from Knight Watch Press that I thought I would tell you all about.

Number one development is a new YA release called "Charming Incantations" by Monique Snyman.  If the author sounds familiar, it should.  Monique is the editor of The Demon King. She is awesome on a million different levels and you should all rush right to Amazon and BUY CHARMING INCANTATIONS because if you don't, you'll regret it and then you will cry.

Another new development is that The Demon King is now neck and neck in sales with KWP's Code Z anthology.  Soooo many great authors have stories in that one! I'm so proud to be an author at Knight Watch right now because so many of KWP's authors are doing so many awesome things.   That's about all that I have for right now, but you can all join me for my video blog/vlog (whatever) tomorrow. I'll be discussing vampire books! And this time, I promise to turn off the tv before I turn on the webcam lol.

Also, you can still buy kindle and print copies of THE DEMON KING if you haven't already done so.  As a matter of fact, you should...right now. :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sims Break

Some of you may already know this, but for those of you who do not, I have a really neat hobby that I use as a good distraction from writing, and today, for fun, I decided to share it with you guys because I'm a dork like that. 

I built this Sims House, but have long since removed the bright red porch light after I realized that not only does a red door signal that the building is a whore house, but a red light does, too lol.  This house consists of two bathrooms (both large), two LARGE as ever bedrooms (for my Sim's baby and adopted son) and master suite.  There is also a roomy kitchen and bar, living room, hot tub, pool, playground equipment, fountain, parking for 2 cars, and a really neat grilling area and fire pit. 

I play Sims.  Between my daughters and I, we have the following Sims games:  Sims Life Stories, Sims Pets, Sims 2.  For Sims 2, we have FOUR stuff packs:  H&M Fashion Stuff, Teen Style Stuff, Bed & Bath Stuff, and Ikea Home Stuff.  

I also just bought Sims 3.  I ordered one expansion pack (Night Life) and one stuff pack (Town Life) and am thinking about ordering the expansion called World Adventures because it takes you to China and France and other Egypt and one other place (forgot where lol).  
This is the adopted son's bedroom.  It was only added after my sim decided to adopt.  His room also has a fish inspired bathroom on a really neat platform, sort of fenced off from the rest of the room, but it isn't in this shot. 

I use this video game as a good distraction from writing because you can basically write a little story while playing the game.  Sims 2 and games made before Sims 2 were great for that, but Sims 3 takes things to a whole new level.  In Sims 3, you can pick 5 main characteristics for your sim to have, choose their favorite food, favorite music, favorite color, and also their zodiac sign.  You can get them jobs, make them bums, or whatever you want to do.  You can keep them home and use the money cheat codes to make them filthy rich or not.  It's all up to you.  You can even build an underwater house (which takes skill, let me tell you) and then put one of your sims in there and the fun part of this is picking "hydrophobic" as one of their five  
Another one of my houses :)

Building and designing the sims houses, however, is probably my favorite part of the game.  EA games has a site set up with an "Exchange"where sim players can upload some of their creations from the game (furniture, hair colors, cars, houses, etc) and other members can download these creations for free and add them to their own games.  Soooo, I'm thinking of building a few more sim houses to upload to the exchange.  It's not a normal hobby for a housewife, but damn if it doesn't take my mind off of the world.  
Totally, completely built and customized by ME :)
My sim (the mom), cooking on her grill in her back yard... :)

And besides that, I'm good at building houses lol.