Coming Soon! A Slaughter Chronicles Short Story AND Another Slaughter Chronicles Novella!

NEWS

The Slaughter Chronicles is my horror/supernatural series involving various members of the Slaughter family and how I make their lives miserable.

Regina Slaughter is the protagonist and first person narrator of most of the books, however, some of my other characters, her friends, are too loud to ignore so they get their own stories.

To give you all a preview of the yumminess to come in the upcoming months, I am releasing the first Slaughter Chronicles short story on my and Mr. J’s 4th anniversary, February 13.

(OMG I can’t believe we’ve been married for 4 years now SQUEEE)

I wanted to give it to y’all on my birthday (later in Feb.) because I love giving presents as much as I love getting them but I decided I didn’t want to wait that long.

Free, of course, this story is my gift to you 🙂

It is set a few years before the start of Havoc’s Moon (book one, forthcoming October 2019) and you do not need to know anything about this universe to enjoy it.

This tiny publication will also include a sneak peek of Havoc’s Moon, the next book in the series.

So, without further ado, I present to you..

DEMON MOON!!!

A SLAUGHTER CHRONICLES SHORT STORY

The year is 2003 and Caleb Grimmet, high school senior and football superstar, is going to make all his dreams come true. Or so he thinks. All he has to do is catch and tame a demon.

When Caleb and his friends gather together to open up the abyss, they learn a painful lesson: dreams don’t always manifest the way you want them to.

And the abyss, once looked into, does more than look back out at you.

Isn’t the jellyfish demon adorable? Mr. J. made it. I just want to squeeze all the stuffing out 🙂 It’s SO CUTE!!!

Dead Girl Moon, Regina Slaughter’s backstory and A Slaughter Chronicles Novella, is available for free download in these various places.

Now, because I am an extreme masochist and whenever the muse strikes me I must respond, you will be getting not one but two cover reveals today.

I have the extreme pleasure of also presenting you with…

MOON SHINE!!!

ANOTHER SLAUGHTER CHRONICLES NOVELLA

What happens when the hunters become the hunted?

They make MOONSHINE!

Welcome to Silver Wolf Stills.

A fine distillery home to the best gin, whiskey, and white lightning this side of Cox Springs. Also home to the Gluttons, a werewolf pack made up of former vampire and werewolf hunters. All formerly employed by HADES, a supernatural extermination agency.

If you’re human, you’re welcome to stop by (if you can find us way out in the woods), enjoy a rustic tasting, and even take a few bottles home with you.

If you’re not human, the bar is open 24/7 and you are always welcome to unburden your soul—for a price. Just because the Gluttons aren’t hunters anymore doesn’t mean they’ve hung up their guns and melted down their silver bullets.

Vampire politics got you down? Hire a Glutton.

Demon kick you out of your territory? Hire a Glutton.

You get the idea. Even though they don’t work for HADES anymore, they still love their jobs.

But one day the Glutton’s Alpha, Atlas, brings home an eleven-year-old refugee from a HADES supernatural prison camp and throws the whole pack into turmoil.

Sometimes danger doesn’t come from the outside.

Between those who see the little girl as an innocent victim and the ones who see her as a major security risk, Atlas and his Beta, Tom, must decide whether or not to give her a home or, quite literally throw her to the wolves.

And if they decide to keep her, can they deal with the consequences?

*

This novella came into existence when Mr. J and I were talking about the Gluttons’ backstory and there was this one character who appears in “flashbacks” in Havoc’s Moon who just wouldn’t shut up in my head. So I had to give him his own story. Silver Wolf Stills is just one of the Gluttons’ many backstories and no doubt there will be many more to come.

Moon Shine will be published some time in the summer, stay tuned for that and a few other publications this year.

Thank you so much for reading! Have an awesome day!

Writing Advice #13

Writing Advice

DO THE WORK: RESEARCH!

In my humble opinion, it is the WORST IDEA EVER to make up something, especially for science fiction or fantasy and not put work into researching your subject.

Example:

I have a character that became a vampire in 6th century Britain. As I was working on his backstory a spontaneous cemetery scene popped into my head. I wrote it and then re-read it and something felt off.

Specifically, the setting. I got the clothes and the political climate right–because I researched them–but I had no idea what a 6th century Cornwall/Devon-ish cemetery looked like. I knew nothing about the burial customs of Anglo-Saxon England.

I do now.

Because I researched it. Cremation was a thing. Pretty cool stuff. Here’s a link. And then I had to go a step further and research battlefield burial practices in Anglo-Saxon England. Here’s another link.

Now you might be thinking: but if I’m writing science fiction or fantasy isn’t everything already made up? Why does it matter?

Because if your details, timelines, or invented technologies don’t add up your writing isn’t going to be strong and you might face a lot of criticism once you put your book out into the world.

Another Example:

As I was summarizing the plot of a science fiction novel A writer acquaintance of mine once commented, “Laser fire won’t work, you can’t have lasers as weapons in space. Light doesn’t hurt things in space.”

And while I told her the word “laser” was just a place holder for the IDEA OF THE THING until I figured out what would work as a super spacey technologically advanced weapon system that NO ONE ELSE HAS DONE YET (haha yeah right), I really appreciate her comment because even though it means more work for me, it also means that when I get the work done and figure out what would work instead of a generic and inaccurate trope.

I’m still researching and working on that one, by the way.

Helpful Hint #1:

I will often use Wikipedia as a starting place for narrowing the specificity of my research but I DO NOT take everything on there as fact. Anyone can add things to a Wikipedia page, it might not all be true.

I like to use newspapers and academic sites (.edu) for sources because they usually have to fact check, have additional source material, and have to adhere to some standard of quality and credibility.

Academic and research papers from sites like JSTOR are good as well.

Helpful Hint #2:

When you’ve finally found your source you want to make sure the information is presented in an objective manner. If you found a nifty academic paper with a thesis statement, that’s cool, but you don’t want to waste your time reading someone’s 20 page treatise on their OPINION of the subject when you want facts.

Objectivity is key. Look for facts, not opinions.

Helpful Hint #3:

This may seem like a time waster but you’ll be better off in the long run. VERIFY YOUR INFORMATION by finding multiple sources that say the same thing. If more than one person repeats the same fact/date/whatever, it’s more likely to be true.

My teachers in college always told me to do this and me, being a terrible student, was all like, “I am not wasting my time like that!” And then I got an F on the paper because I’d used fraudulent sources. Because I didn’t check to see if my source material was actually right. I was so embarrassed. Don’t let that kind of thing happen to you.

So to sum up:

1. Research your subjects

2. Use credible sources

3. Get concrete facts

4. Check those facts across multiple sources

Fact checking is so important, not just in research for your work in progress, but in how you conduct yourself as a creative person, especially on social media. Make sure you have all your information before you post that tweet or that blog post.

Follow up question:

How does researching treat you? Do you love spending hours jumping down knowledge rabbit holes or is it a necessary evil?

I want to write this letter to someone in particular but I can’t reach them because of reasons.

Everyday Life

Dear B–

I once asked you to describe containment in the hopes that words would become a tangible net or spell and I would be safe forever.

Now, instead of a chrysalis I want:

Emptiness

Extreme space

I want open sky

I want rolling storm clouds and I want to feel the sting of every piece of hail as it strikes the ground (it’s still cold here, still winter–mostly).

But even though I have room to run now my brain is still caught in this weird mind snare that maybe was always there, I don’t know how long I’ve been walking around not noticing.

I’m having some problems and creative outlets help but I still have this awful hollow feeling in my chest and maybe if my body dissolved in the river or the obscenely wonderful streaky pink sunset I’d feel better.

So I want to know, now, even though I don’t feel very proper asking you (it’s not about protocol it’s that there’s so much more going on in the world and it’s President’s Day) but I’d love to know your feelings about the open sky and how you would illustrate the opposite of containment.

Call it freedom if you like

Call it emptiness

Call it a void

Call it silence

Call it the loudest noise in the world, a volcanic eruption

Call it whatever it is that you need to feel a lack of containment.

Sincerely yours,

Jessica

Note: This is an open letter. I’d love to hear/read anyone who wants to answer. Thanks.

Anniversary

Everyday Life

So back in August 2014 I met my best friend. February 13, 2015 (Friday the 13th and the day before Valentine’s Day) we got married.

Shortly after my divorce and before I met Mr. J I made this list. I decided that if I was going to ever try to date again I needed to learn from my mistakes and do all the things better. And I wanted to find the exact opposite of my ex.

Funny thing: somehow we both forgot to ask each other what our political affiliations were until after we got married. Boy was that a surprise. I was all like: how did we go this long without having one political discussion? But it’s okay. Even though we disagree about some things, we still love each other, accept each other, and work together to make both of our lives better. That’s how respect works.

Henna for the civil ceremony.

It was a lovely, crisp, clear night when we got married.

In the morning it looked like this:

It’s was an awesome day! Today is awesome too! Here’s to this life and the next! Together forever! I love you Mr. J!

Demon Moon is LIVE!

Fiction, NEWS

Demon Moon: a Slaughter Chronicles short story can be downloaded as a FREE ebook at these lovely locations

Books2Read (kobo, iBooks, nook, tolino, google play, and more)

Smashwords

Prolific Works (mobi file for Kindle)

Or, if you don’t have an e-reader you can read it here, under the cut. But if you get the ebook edition you will get a sneak peek of Havoc’s Moon, The Slaughter Chronicles Book One (still on schedule to come out October 2019 🙂 )

The year is 2003 and Caleb Grimmet, high school senior and football superstar, is going to make all his dreams come true. Or so he thinks. All he has to do is catch and  tame a demon.

When Caleb and his friends gather together to open up the abyss, they learn a painful lesson: dreams don’t always manifest the way you want them to. 

And the abyss, once looked into, does more than look back out at you.

This story contains strong language and descriptions of gore. Reader discretion is advised.

Clarification (or a couple’s inside joke that I think is hilarious but you probably won’t understand)

Everyday Life

Me: (texts Mr. J. a list of things I want him to bring from the apartment when he comes to visit)

Mr. J.: (calls me three seconds later) What do you mean by cat brush?

Me: The cat brush. Like the brush for cats?

Mr. J.: Oh ok, I just wanted to clarify that it was the cat brush and not some weird cat shaped brush thing that you have.

Me: (Laughs)

Mr. J.: (Laughs)

Me: I’m laughing because I can totally see why you need clarification.

Mr. J.: Yeah.