Posts Tagged ‘Fiction’

Friday the 13th, a Monster Movie and the Grave Digger, by Kevin Lazarus

Kevin Lazarus on the streets of Carthage Falls

Kevin Lazarus in Carthage Falls

From: The Dark Side of Carthage Falls, the Chronicles, by Kevin Lazarus

Finally, the humiliation was over and happily so. I was too old for a baby-sitter! I just couldn’t seem to get my mother to understand that. And to make matters worse, to my absolute horror, she would have Tammy–the girl next door–come over! Tammy, who wasn’t much older than me, who I liked a lot, was my baby-sitter! Worse than that, Tammy would complicate things even more by bringing her friend Susan with her. Ugh! Of course, the truth was that both of them were a lot older than I initially believed. But what can I say, love is blind. Right?

The luster finally wore off when Tammy brought her boyfriend with her. Okay, so he was taller than me–and her. And, he was kind of hunky–big wow! But I knew I was toast, when I saw them sitting together, hugging and kissing, while missing the best monster movie ever–Revenge of the Mummy!

While my love affair with Tammy was short lived, I still couldn’t be all that mad at her. She’d introduced me to Friday night monster movies–Fright Night Theater. The best scary movies I had ever seen. Of course, they were the only scary movies I’d ever seen. Truth is, if my mother had found out about the movies, it would’ve all been over for both of us. It was to be our big secret. The kind of thing you pinky swear about.

In the beginning, it was wonderful–our secret rendezvous. We had a system and put on quite a show for my mother. Tammy would come over and prepare me something to eat while mom got ready to go out on their date. My step dad would walk around looking at his watch complaining that they were “going to be late!” They were always late–really late, part of the reason they were always late coming home. Anyway, I would finish the last bite on my plate and bound down the hallway into my bedroom. Where I would hop into bed, and wait for my mom to come in and give me a kiss goodnight. After she would leave, I would wait, listening for the sound of the back door to shut; after which, I would sneak out of my bedroom, down the hall, to where I waited to hear the sound of the car pulling out of the driveway. When I was sure that they were gone, I would sprint into the TV room where I would wait for Tammy and hot salty popcorn. more »

Celeste and the Eyes of the Demon (Part Four), by Kevin Lazarus

I’m participating in the Bloody Hearts Blog Hop. Everyone who reads this blog receives a FREE e-copy of Celeste and the Eyes of the Demon, by Kevin Lazarus. FOLLOW THE LINK at the end of this blog!

(Excerpt CONTINUED From: Celeste and the Eyes of the Demon – by Kevin Lazarus)

NOTE from the author:  I’m sharing with you excerpts from my latest short story. Friday, we’ll have another guest blog about writing or the entertainment industry. Thanks and enjoy! K. Lazarus

Celeste carefully examined every inch of her appearance in the mirror. From her eyeliner to her dark costume made of black polyester, with webbed lace in all the right places. Black nylons, also decorated with webs, hugged the contour of her legs. She was determined to stand out above all the others–especially her friends. It was most certainly a contest and she was going to win!

Celeste mentally checked off everything. She’d had her shower, washed her costume and her hair was perfect. Lipstick–just right. A few extra goodies in her purse and she was ready. Everything was perfect. She was perfect. But she couldn’t stop staring in the mirror. She just couldn’t get over how fantastic she looked.

She’d been such a spindly little thing when she was younger. And of course, no one liked her back then. But look at me know, she mused. I’ve grown up…in all of the right places, and I’m the most popular girl in the entire school. She smiled wryly, almost a wicked grin. And look at who my boyfriend is!

Celeste removed a plastic container from her purse and opened it. Inside were a set of vampire fangs. Not the cheap kind! These were the best money could buy. She put them in her mouth and bit down. As she reopened her mouth, she couldn’t help but admire the long slender fangs, white and sharp. With a wide grin she almost giggled.

“THE CONTACTS!” she said. Celeste once more retrieved the curious little black container and unlocked it. With a slight grimace, she fingered through the amber jell until she had one of the contacts. Pulling it from the amber solution proved to be somewhat tricky as she worked to dig the contact out of the strange material. When she finally had it, the amber goo slithered back into the container. Her mouth wrinkled slightly as she held it up to her right eye. Tilting her head back while looking towards the ceiling she carefully placed the contact in her eye and blinked. more »

Celeste and the Eyes of the Demon (Part Three), by Kevin Lazarus

(Excerpt CONTINUED From: Celeste and the Eyes of the Demon – by Kevin Lazarus)

NOTE from the author:  I’m sharing with you excerpts from my latest short story. Friday, we’ll have another guest blog about writing or the entertainment industry. Thanks and enjoy! K. Lazarus

Another odd feature was a mysterious latch on the side of the container. To her surprise, she realized that it required a key to open it. She frantically searched through what remained of the box until she found the key taped to the inside of the cardboard. There was only a glimmer of realization that the key was fashioned with the same curious workmanship as the container.

Celeste carefully turned the key in the lock and opened it. The Amber solution inside wasn’t a solution at all, but more like jelly. With her long slender index finger she carefully pushed against it. Almost immediately it adhered to her finger, sticking and stretching as she pulled away. When it finally released, it snapped back into the container.

“Wow!” she exclaimed quietly, “these are the weirdest contact lenses I’ve ever seen.” She looked them over more carefully, with growing interest. “I am going to look so hot tonight!” she said.

Celeste glanced up at the clock. “Oh crap, I need to get ready!”

At that, she hurried out of the bathroom into the kitchen, where she grabbed the bowl her mother suggested; along with the bags of candy, hurrying to the front door. She tore open the end of one of the bags with her teeth, carelessly dumping everything into the bowl; candy bouncing everywhere–much of it falling on the floor. And then, not even stopping to pick up them up, she hurried back down the hall to her bedroom.

Halfway down the hall, she stopped at the laundry room. With a quick glance, to make sure she was alone; she unzipped the back of her vampire costume and slipped out of it, tossing it into the washing machine.

With laundry soap spilling everywhere, she dumped a handful of it in with her costume–then dialed the setting, hit the start button and turned to leave. As she did, she bumped into a dark figure and a hideous face–tongue hanging out of its mouth–eyes twisting and pointing in opposite directions. Celeste screamed until she realized that it was her little brother. more »

Celeste and the Eyes of the Demon (Part Two), by Kevin Lazarus

(Excerpt From: Celeste and the Eyes of the Demon – by Kevin Lazarus)

NOTE from the author:  I’m sharing with you excerpts from my latest short story. Friday, we’ll have another guest blog about writing or the entertainment industry. Thanks and enjoy! K. Lazarus

The cheerleader’s mouth dropped open. And with every ounce of anger she could gather she started spitting and sputtering. “You–you little–”

At that point Davin said nothing else, she just turned her back to Celeste, picked up her books and walked away–trying not to appear hurt. She gave Celeste another spiteful glance and then hurried out of site.

“What are you going to do Celeste–you can’t let her get away with that!” declared one of the other cheerleaders.

Celeste said nothing. She just stood there staring down the hallway, thinking about Davin’s comment, about them “once” having ‘been friends.” It was true. They had been friends in elementary school. She remembered the two of them sitting together during lunch, sharing their food. She grimaced. That was then and this is now, she thought. Celeste knew she couldn’t allow the others to see her showing any emotion. She turned and started laughing. “Tonight at the dance–” she declared. “I’ll get even with her somehow!”

One of her cheerleader friends, a snippy little brunette said: “What? Do you have an idea?”

Celeste glanced down the hall once more, but Davin was no longer there. “Nothing yet, but we’ll think of something,” she said, the corners of her mouth turning up slightly, a wicked glimmer in her eyes.

From the mass of students still milling about, someone whistled at the cheerleaders.

“H-e-e-ey, Celeste,–nice costume!” Someone said. Cam Wilson emerged from the crowd dressed like a football player, eyeing Celeste from top to bottom, acting tough as he put his arms around her.

“Oh Cam,” she groused, “is that the best you can do–your football uniform?” more »

Celeste and the Eyes of the Demon (Part One), by Kevin Lazarus

(Excerpt From: Celeste and the Eyes of the Demon – by Kevin Lazarus)

NOTE from the author: Wednesday and Monday I’m sharing with you excerpts from my latest short story. Friday, we’ll have another guest blog about writing or the entertainment industry. Thanks and enjoy! K. Lazarus

The moon hung low on the horizon–enormous and bright. Moonbeams so brilliant they lit up the darkness–casting shadows as the noonday.

A single house on a large estate stood solitary in the magical glow–frost forming on the neatly manicured lawn. A Victorian porch, tidy and elegant, sat quiet as the night. Shadows through the railings–flowing down from pillars and posts–appeared stark and twisted against the siding of the house. A calico cat nestled in a white rocker slept as the chair gently teetered in an autumn breeze, its runners clicking against the wooden slats on the porch.

As if mist was gathering, a curious shadow gradually appeared against the porch stairs, slowly rising with each step–at first blending with other shadows on the porch.  Then, passing from post shadow to post shadow, as if it were longing for darkness, it stood directly before the front door.

A bony hand, leathery and pale, holding a small box wrapped in brown wrapping paper, gently placed it on the stoop. With a friendly tap of the finger on the box, the shadowy figure stood and quietly disappeared with the next gust of autumn air.

As Carol Chandler left her home, she didn’t have time to notice the incredible snow capped panorama surrounding her Denver estate. She was late for work. As she fumbled with her car keys and her briefcase in one hand, and a cup of coffee in the other–an overly stuffed file folder tightly under her arm–she nearly crushed the obscure package. With growing frustration, she set down her coffee cup and picked up the box. more »

The Basement (Part Three), by Kevin Lazarus

Kevin Lazarus on the streets of Carthage Falls

Kevin Lazarus in Carthage Falls

(From: The Dark Side of Carthage Falls, the Anthology – by Kevin Lazarus)

CONTINUED from Monday…Click here for Part Two and here for Part One.

Now I was worried. Especially if the basement door was open! My heart sank as I stared down into the dark stairwell, realizing that something could be there right now, looking up at me. I swallowed hard on that one. Worse, I couldn’t seem to move. I wanted to run back to my room, back to my bed where I could hide under my covers, but I couldn’t leave. After a moment, I decided that if there was something down there, it probably would’ve done something by now. I forced myself to move a little closer. Almost immediately, there was a sudden crash from below. Almost as if it could sense me and was responding to my movements. Every muscle in me jumped and then stiffened. With several measured breaths, I forced myself to move to the top step. more »

The Basement (Part Two), by Kevin Lazarus

Kevin Lazarus on the streets of Carthage Falls

Kevin Lazarus in Carthage Falls

(From: The Dark Side of Carthage Falls, the Anthology – by Kevin Lazarus)

CONTINUED from Friday…Click here for Part One

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to go back to sleep until I had answers. I went to the door and opened it as quietly as possible. Holding my breath, I looked out at a dark hallway. I’d expected to see some kind of light shinning from my mother’s room or some other part of the house, partially lighting up the hall.

I figured that this was a bad sign. But then, maybe he’d decided not to wake her by turning on a light. It was possible, I thought, he could’ve just gone down to the basement. Walking as quietly as possible, I started down the hall. Somewhere mid hallway, the noises from the basement seemed to become louder. I froze, thinking it was my stepfather coming back to bed. But, the curious sounds continued and he never showed up. With that I convinced myself to keep going. And as I got closer to their bedroom door I discovered that it was sitting wide open. more »

The Basement (Part One), by Kevin Lazarus

Kevin Lazarus on the streets of Carthage Falls

Kevin Lazarus in Carthage Falls

(From: The Dark Side of Carthage Falls, the Anthology – by Kevin Lazarus)

Somewhere between the silence of my bedroom and the darkness, I found myself staring at the ceiling. Disoriented, my eyes followed it across and down to my closet door, sitting slightly ajar. The long slender opening was apparent only because it was darker than the night in my room. I half expected to see the door move all by itself, opening further. With that image in my head, a chill flowed through me as I rolled over in my bed and hid my face. I’d been asleep for awhile, yet for some unknown reason I was now awake. Though being awakened in the middle of the night was not an uncommon experience for me. Often it would happen when my mother and my stepfather were having one of their many arguments, screaming and yelling at each other late at night.

Unable to sleep, I rolled back over and looked around my room carefully. The street light shining through my bedroom window gave me some light to see by, but it was of little comfort. Memories of that night and the shadow from that window were still fresh in my mind. I tried shrugging it off as I continued looking over my room. Everything was right where I had left it; my clothes hanging on the chair in the corner; my dresser–with several of the drawer’s partially open–untouched.

It seemed that there wasn’t much in my room or my life, for that matter, that didn’t have disturbing memories attached to it. I pulled the blankets closer grateful for the warmth–and buried my face in my pillow trying to hide my eyes.

I had no idea why I was awake. And though I couldn’t put my finger on it, there was something off about my surroundings. It was almost as if in the twilight everything in my room had a strange shine to it. It was then that I realized that this was one of those times, when weird stuff would happen.

I glanced back at the closet door and cringed. The words quietly slipped out of my mouth. “Please don’t move.” more »

Fostering Multiple Revenue Streams, by David Farland

David Farland

David Farland

(From David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants)

You probably know that I’ve trained a lot of successful authors over the years. I was listening to some of them teaching at a writing seminar last week, and it struck me that those authors who have succeeded best in this field are those who learned one of my first lessons best: Foster Multiple Revenue Streams.

What does this mean? Well, many authors, the ones who fail, typically publish a novel and sell the North American rights to it, then try to write another novel and do the same, again and again and again. Eventually something happens and their revenue stream gets blocked—either they can’t deliver a manuscript on time, or a publisher squeezes them in harsh negotiations, and the author suddenly runs out of money and has to go back to work in another field.

But successful authors look for ways to create several revenue streams. Very often, this means that the author might write in two different fields. For example, I write adult fantasy and middle grade books. If one revenue stream gets blocked, I’ve always got another.

You can have all sorts of revenue streams. For example, selling foreign rights can be very lucrative. Many authors who don’t make a lot of money in the United States, for example, might be very popular in other countries—the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and so on. I’ve known authors who don’t even publish in the United States anymore, but who make a living on foreign sales.

Authors can make money in a host of other ways—through speaking fees, by teaching, by writing in different mediums (for example, if you’re writing a novel about an entomologist, you might do some research on ants, and write articles for magazines on the topic in order to gain some expertise in the field).

So each year, I keep track of my anticipated revenue sources. Here are my sources for the coming year:

1. Screenplay sale for Runelords. (I’ve been approached by a producer to write the screenplay and put the film into production.) more »

Dark Whispers, by Kevin Lazarus

Kevin Lazarus on the streets of Carthage Falls

Kevin Lazarus in Carthage Falls

(From: The Dark Side of Carthage Falls, the Anthology – by Kevin Lazarus)

The sky looked dark, even menacing. Happily, the driveway was empty. Of course, I couldn’t say that I was sorry he wasn’t there–the man with two faces.

I was home from school at what should have been the normal time, because, according to my teacher she had some kind of emergency and had to leave early. So I didn’t need to stay for my usual after school sessions.

As I opened the back door to my house, I called out my mother’s name and listened in vain. I knew she wouldn’t answer–she wasn’t there–she was never there. But, like many children, hope is often the only companion they have, so I called to her anyway.

The silence was stark but expected. I slipped the house key hanging around my neck back beneath my shirt and closed the door behind me. The loneliness was all too familiar. By now, I had gotten over feeling cheated or angry–at least I thought so. Having no one there once in awhile is a blast, even fun, but all of the time. Eventually you begin to wonder if anyone really gives a damn about you. Then throw in a messed up freak that wants you to call him dad, and this unfortunate place called Carthage Falls, and its way more than anyone deserves in ten lifetimes.

The clock on the wall in the kitchen told me that I had at least several hours before he came home. Hopefully, mom would get there first. My heart sank at that thought. “Come home first mom–please–” With that whisper, I quietly grimaced. I found myself wishing that I could go over to my friend’s, but they had some family thing planned and it didn’t include me.

The fridge didn’t have much to offer. But, things being the way there were, I had learned to be resourceful. In the butter keeper was a cube of butter. Yes, I thought, a treat! I flipped open the cover and took it. With that, I opened the bread box and retrieved the half loaf of bread in it, and then–a bottle of Maple syrup.

A long ribbon of dark Maple syrup slowly flowed out over the plate until I was satisfied it was enough. I hacked off a large hunk of butter and began smashing it into the syrup with a fork.

A sudden gust of wind rattled the windows and shook the house. I grabbed my plate along with several slices of bread and hurried to the kitchen table near the window, from where I could watch the gathering storm outside. Tearing a piece of bread apart, I pushed it around in the mixture, sopping up as much butter and syrup as I could; soaking the bread so thoroughly that it would ooze syrup when I squeezed it. It was like biting down on a soft squishy sponge that just melted in my mouth. Outside great gusts of wind blew flurries of snow in every direction. Little white flakes sticking against the glass would slowly melt as they slid down into a droplet. Within seconds everything outside was a blinding white–and I watched in awe. It was a total whiteout. more »

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