Lords of the Dead: A Short Story

Happy Halloween! Here’s a special treat for Final Formula fans. Whether you’re new to the series, or you’ve read every book, this short story is accessible to all. There’s nothing to spoil later books for new readers, and established fans will gain added insight into a couple of familiar characters. Hope you like it! Update – If you would like a copy of this story, I’ve included it in Blood Gifts, a novella featuring the Nelson brothers as young men.  Read an excerpt here: Blood Gifts Pick up a copy of Blood Gifts at: Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple Lords of the Dead Chapter 1 Halloween, 1803 Lory knelt behind the tombstone, the weathered granite cold beneath his palm. Moonlight sparkled off the dew-laden grass, dew that would most likely be frost come morning. No surprise, considering that this was the last day of October. He wiggled his toes in an attempt to warm them and wished he had worn heavier socks. But his brother had sprung this idea on him without warning, so he hadn’t had a lot of time to prepare. He glanced over at where his brother knelt behind the tombstone to his right. Lex had closed his eyes, but he was grinning. Lory could feel him using his magic to animate the dead a few yards ahead of them, and marveled anew at his brother’s skill. It made no sense that Lex was so much better than he was. Lex was only ten minutes older. A low chant began, and Lory leaned around his tombstone to see what the dozen men and women in dark cloaks were doing now. He couldn’t make out their identities beneath the hoods each wore, and there was little more than size to distinguish one from another. Their only item of ornamentation was a belt holding a small ceremonial dagger. A lit candelabra and an open book lay atop the stone sarcophagus they were gathered around. He didn’t know if the grave held significance for them or if it just served as a table. Not that it mattered. Things were about to get interesting. It was the body inside the stone box that Lex had animated. “Now?” Lory whispered....

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Character Interview: Addie

Continuing with my month of fun, I’ve finally got my next character interview ready to go. Also, I’ve added a new item to the menu bar at the top of the page called FF Fans. I’ve gathered all the fun Final Formula related posts there. Things like character interviews, alternative point-of-view scenes, and (eventually) some short stories. It’s just an organization thing so fans don’t have to scroll through a bunch of old posts to find the fun stuff. Granted, it doesn’t have a huge amount of content, but I hope to change that. Now, on to the interview. Today’s victim is Addie Daulton, everyone’s favorite alchemist and smartass.   🙂   Becca: Hey, Addie. Thanks for taking time away from the workbench to talk with us today. Addie: I’m digging my introduction. (laughs) Smartass? Becca: If the shoe fits… Addie: Oh, it does. (winks) Thanks for having me. Now maybe Ian will shut up about what an honor it was to be interviewed by you. Becca: (tries not to laugh) Has that been a problem? Addie: Well, you know what a humble guy he is. He only brings it up about once an hour. Becca: Sorry about that. Addie: (waves away the apology) That’s just Ian. But I assume we’re not here to talk about him. Becca: No. This time, fans want to learn more about you. They even supplied a list of questions. (picks up a sheet of paper) Addie: Wow, that’s some list. Good thing I turned off the hot plate. Becca: You didn’t leave Ian to watch it? Addie: He’s out. I suspect he went shopping. He’s still looking to replace that smoking jacket. (rolls her eyes) Becca: Hmm. (tries not to look guilty) Shall we begin? Addie: Hit me. Becca: (turns to question list) The most popular topic is your past. Addie: I’m not sure how much I can tell you about that. The amnesia makes my recall a bit spotty. Becca: Ha ha. I believe these questions are about how you deal with that. For example, do you ever wonder if you have any relatives out there? Parents, siblings, or good friends who don’t know what became of...

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Alternative POV Scene: Rowan in The Final Formula

As promised, here’s a new alternative POV scene from The Final Formula.  Like the first scene I did, this one is also in Rowan’s POV.  If you didn’t get to read the first one, it’s offered as a bonus when you sign up for my newsletter.  If you’d like to learn more about my newsletter, I did a post about it here. *** The Element and the Alchemist   The door closed and Rowan slumped in his chair. Just one more petitioner to go. God, what a long morning. He leaned his head back and rubbed both hands over his face. Normally, this aspect of his job didn’t bother him. He actually enjoyed talking with his people and helping them settle disputes, or work out some magical anomaly. But he just couldn’t get into it today—and deep down, he knew why. He shoved himself to his feet, and tugging up the hood of his gray robe, walked to the nearest bookshelf. He pulled down a book at random and began leafing through the pages, hoping something would draw his attention. Something to make him stop thinking about last night, when he found an intruder in the kitchen right here at the Elemental Offices. An intruder he had ended up kissing. “Don’t go there,” he told himself, though it was too late. He was already thinking about the little thief in the skin-tight body suit he had caught pilfering one of his glasses. At some point, he had lost his mind and let her take a glass in exchange for a kiss. Clearly, he needed to take his brother’s advice and date more. A knock sounded at the library door and Rowan’s heart beat quicker despite himself. She wouldn’t be knocking at his door. Hell, he would probably never see her again. No doubt, she congratulated herself on the successful heist of one of the Flame Lord’s glasses. It would impress her friends, or maybe the handsome young stud she was dating. The double doors opened and Bradley stepped inside. The young man stood at attention, looking every bit the polished servant in his black livery. Rowan still found it a surprise that people of this...

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My Favorite Time of Year

October Treats and a Giveaway Fall has arrived here in southern Ohio, and though the leaves haven’t begun to change, I can feel the difference in the air.  I love this time of year.  The weather is awesome and at the end of the month, we celebrate my favorite holiday: Halloween.  (I bet you didn’t see that coming.) But Halloween isn’t the only thing I’ll be celebrating this month.  The Final Formula just turned two.  (It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since I released it.)  In celebration, I’m putting together a few fun things to share on my website this month.  I’ve got a new alternative point-of-view scene from The Final Formula.  This scene is in Rowan’s POV and immediately follows the last scene I did in his POV.  I’ll be posting it as soon as beta readers give it a look for typos.  (If you didn’t get to read the first one, it’s offered as a bonus when you sign up for my newsletter.  If you’d like to learn more about my newsletter, I did a post about it here.) I’m also putting together another character interview.  I’ll be chatting with Addie this time, so if you have a question for her, please leave it in the comments section below.  I’ve also been soliciting questions over on my Facebook page if you like to hang out there. During the final week of October, I’ll be doing a giveaway over at The Fussy Librarian.  Five winners will get their choice of a signed paperback copy of The Final Formula or an ebook copy of my bundle, The Final Formula Collection.  The giveaway goes live on October 25th and runs through October 31st.  I’ll post a reminder when it gets closer. Finally, I’m working on a Halloween themed short story.  I hesitate to even mention it because sometimes these things don’t come together like I envision, but if it does, I would love to share it as a Halloween treat for all my awesome fans.  Wish me luck! Oh, if you’re wondering about the picture…  That’s a shot of the pumpkin growing in the middle of our sidewalk.  Apparently, a stray seed from one of last year’s pumpkins made it...

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A Sweet Ride

The great thing about writing fiction is that I get to do things, go places, and own things that I will probably never do, go, or own. One of the things I have the most fun with is picking out cars for my characters to drive. Sometimes, the character’s personality or circumstances dictates the car, but when I get to choose, I lean toward my love of the old American muscle cars. I come by my love of those old cars honestly: I get it from my dad. He used to take me to car shows when I was a kid. He would know the make and model of every car in the place. I got pretty decent at naming a lot of those old cars myself, but never as good as Dad. Even now, if we see an old car on the road and none of us can name it, my son points out that Grandad would know. (Now that Dad has a smartphone, I just text him a picture and ask.) My first car was a 1966 Ford Mustang. I had been wanting one for a while when Dad found one in Columbus (two hours away) that was in good shape and mostly road worthy. Not a bad find considering that the car was almost twenty-five years old at the time. We brought it home and Dad worked on it for a month replacing the entire braking system until he felt it was safe enough to drive. I was so excited when he finally gave me the keys. I could’t wait to drive it around town. The second day I had it out, I wrapped it around a tree. Those were the days before cell phones, and as luck would have it, my mom was at my sister’s ballgame, my boyfriend (now husband) was out of town, and Dad was working at a new house that didn’t have a phone installed. I had to have my best friend’s mom drive me to him. That was the longest ride of my life. When I told Dad, he just looked at me and said, “You didn’t.” And that was the end of it. He...

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