Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"I Recommend..."

When you're looking for a publisher, it's important to see what other authors have to say about the companies you're considering. Are that publisher's authors happy with their experiences? Are there any complaints? Do you see that the publisher is supporting its authors with promotion and marketing?

I host authors on my own blog, and several of the authors I've hosted over the past year or so were published with MuseItUp Publishing. All of them had good things to say about the company. I happened to have a manuscript searching for a home, so I decided, based on what my guests were saying, to give MuseItUp a try.

And I've had a good experience with them. My first book from MuseItUp, an adult urban fantasy (suitable for older teen readers; there's some strong language and sexual references), will be out this Friday! Vengeance Is Sweet started because I happened to catch part of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer rerun with the character Anya, and started thinking, "What if there were *real* vengeance demons who ran into skeptical humans because of this show?"

And it went from there...

Vengeance Is Sweet is available for pre-order now at MuseItUp, and will be officially available September 28.

 Omara is a demon of vengeance. Working for Hell, she deals with humans who have killed or harmed children and other innocents. When she bends the rules once too often, Omara is placed on probation, but is brought back to work after a battle between two factions, one of which wants to destroy the largest human city to prove a point, wipes out nearly half the vengeance department.
Omara’s first assignment after probation is to “venge” Alejandro Ruiz, a man who allegedly drove his ex-wife to suicide. But when Omara visits the human world to observe Alex, she realizes he is innocent. With the help of her friend Ghast, an angel who didn’t so much fall as choose to relocate, Omara must prove Alex’s innocence to save him and his six-year-old daughter Keeley–a child who holds the key to the survival of humanity.

A faint whimper sounded from down the hall. Keeley. Without waiting for Ghast, because I knew he’d stop me, I hurried toward the noise. He followed, making it clear to my senses what he thought of my choice.
The pitch blackness of Keeley’s room came from more than a mere lack of electric light. It was the total absence of light of any kind, other than a small spark in one corner of the room, which I realized came from Keeley.
My heart would have stopped if I’d had one. That spark was no match for the darkness. And in this room, I sensed more than three presences, none of which had Keeley’s best interests in mind.
Angels visited the child. So where the Heaven are they? Jochiel and his pals had sworn to protect her, and the fuckers, excuse me, the idiots had evidently fallen down on the job. Although at least one of the presences had an angelic nature, I doubted it was one of those that Keeley had mentioned. She hadn’t been afraid of those angels. Her fear of this one permeated the entire room.
Since I hadn’t bothered to try to hide myself, the others quickly realized I’d shown up. A piece of darkness turned toward me and snarled, “Leave.”
“Not a chance,” I said firmly, sounding pretty darn brave for someone who didn’t even have the power to defend herself, never mind anyone else. “She hasn’t done anything to you. She’s only a child. You tried to take her once and failed. Just leave her alone.”
“Omara?” Keeley whimpered.
“I’m here,” I told her, waving though I knew she wouldn’t be able to see me. I took a step toward the bed, hoping she hadn’t left any toys on the floor for me to trip over. I could only see her small spark.
“Not for long,” a threatening voice said. A bolt of blacker darkness shot toward me. I ducked and it missed, hitting the wall. The force of it shook the entire house.
Good thing I’d ducked.
“Omara!” Keeley cried.
From another room came the sound of Alex’s voice. “Keeley!”
“I’m okay,” I said to Keeley. Although I wouldn’t leave her, I desperately wanted to make sure Alex hadn’t been hurt. Thinking maybe Ghast would find out for me, I opened my mouth to call out to him and then closed it immediately. While the others had sensed me, they’d given no indication of awareness that Ghast had accompanied me. I didn’t want to let them know. I just had to hope he’d think to check on Alex, knowing that I’d gone to Keeley.
I took another step toward the small light. Greater darkness obscured it. “The child is ours,” another voice hissed. “You cannot help her.”
“Want to bet?” I snarled. I needed to shift to my true form. Scaring Keeley didn’t worry me. She wouldn’t be able to see me anyway, and even if she did, saving her mattered more than her finding out I was a demon. I doubted it would frighten her more than what had already occurred.
Concentrating as hard as possible, I tried to shift. Maybe I had some last residue of power. It didn’t work, of course. My form remained human.
I tried again, with the same result. Damn Ghast for this! If he hadn’t decided I needed to practice humanity for the day, I’d still have my powers. Whoever had stolen them from him wouldn’t have been able to take them from me. I’d have fought against it.
That hadn’t done me any good with Ghast, though.
Another whimper came from the corner, and I realized I didn’t have time to mess around trying to figure this out. I thought a few other choice words, though I managed to keep them in my head, and reached for the well of power common to all demons. It exists for us to draw upon if our own powers aren’t strong enough for what we need, which almost never happens. However, with no powers at all, I figured I’d take advantage.
Except I was totally unable to tap into it. Not even close. Not only had my own powers gone I didn’t have any backup. How the Heaven could I fight demons without powers?
Not that I had a choice. I had to take care of Keeley. It was my job. I didn’t know where Jochiel had wandered off to or why Ghast hadn’t followed me, but without them I had to do this alone.
One of the dark forms laughed. “You are a failure, Omara,” it said, in a voice I should have recognized. “The child is ours. The father… It doesn’t matter what happens to him.”
“Don’t hurt my daddy!” Keeley shouted. A muffled thump and a stifled exclamation of pain, in a voice much deeper than Keeley’s came from the corner.
“Leave them alone,” I commanded, barely keeping my voice steady. If Keeley tried to fight them, they’d hurt her. I needed to keep their attention on me. Maybe I’d distract them long enough for her to run away from them. After all, she knew the house well enough to escape even in complete darkness. “This is my assignment. You have no business here.”
“We have every right to be here,” the not-quite-familiar voice said. “The child is ours. You are nothing more than a human distraction, and you have no assignment. You aren’t even a demon anymore.”
It hit me before I realized the threat. Excruciating pain, worse than anything I’d ever experienced. It forced me to my knees. I didn’t even have the strength to cry out under the force of it. Then I knew the voice. Horath. Cursing myself for not recognizing it sooner, I tried to struggle back to my feet.
Suddenly the room brightened. The lights still hadn’t come on, but the intense, unforgiving darkness had vanished.
Along with Keeley. “No!” I screamed.


  1. Congratulations! Your words and all that hard work are turning into a real book! Yay!