Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Naming of Things - The Dems Trilogy


Do you remember the crazy debates people had about the pronunciation of the names of Harry Potter characters? Before the first movie, some of my friends were losing their minds. 

Bickering about 'Is it herm-eye-oh-nee or her-mee-oh-nee?' (both were wrong) and 'It's Dobby, like 'knob', not Dobby like 'globe'!" 


Which brings me to my point.

The Dems (and some of the humans) have uncommon names. Some are completely made-up and some are existing names. 

Between my editor and I, there has been some confusion on name pronunciation (even the ones I made up), so I decided to do a post on the meanings of the existing names and the pronunciation options. 

This is just for the sake of curiosity. You can pronounce them any way you like. :)

First, the Dems:

Farran - 

Pronunciation: FAR-in alternately FAIR-in or FUH-ron (I pronounce it FAIR-in)

Origin: English surname derived from Old French ferrant meaning 'iron gray'.

Lonan -

Pronunciation: LO-nin alternately LO-nan (I use the first one. It makes my editor cringe)

Origin: Derived from Irish Gaelic meaning 'little blackbird'.

Baraz - 

Pronunciation: BUH-raws

Origin: Means 'exalted' in Persian.

Motlin -

Pronunciation: MOT-lin

Origin: Made-up

Tradis -

Pronunciation: TRA-dis alternately TRAY-dis (I use TRA-dis. My editor and I have agreed to disagree)

Origin: Made-up

Eitad - 

Pronunciation: EE-tad alternately EE-tod (I use the first one)

Origin: Made-up

Dorin -

Pronunciation: DOR-in

Origin: Romanian form of Dorian, a name first used by Oscar Wilde. Possibly taken from the Greek tribe called the Dorians.

Hrim – 

Pronunciation: HUR-im

Origin: Made-Up

And…the Humans:

Sarah -

Pronunciation: SER-ah

Origin: Means 'lady, princess, noblewoman' in Hebrew. 

Rissa - Rissa is a little different because she has her birth name, Tamsin, and the name she goes by which is short for Clarissa.

Rissa pronunciation: RI-suh alternately REE-suh (I say RI-suh)

Clarissa origin: From Late Latin clarus meaning 'clear, bright, famous'.

Tamsin pronunciation: TAM-sin

Tamsin origin: Greek form of an Aramaic name meaning 'twin'.

Aya -

Pronunciation: AH-yah alternately AY-uh (I say AY-uh, but my editor hates it…)

Origin: Name is Sumerian (meaning unknown), but can be pronounced like the Japanese name meaning 'color' or 'design'.

Adela -

Pronunciation: uh-DEL-uh alternately ah-DE-lah (I use the first one)

Origin: From Germanic element adal meaning 'noble'.

John -

Pronunciation: JAHN

Origin: Derived from Hebrew meaning 'YAHWEH is gracious'.

So, there you have it. Those are names of the characters that show up in at least two books of the trilogy.

All name information came from the website Behind the Name. Which is awesome and extremely useful for coming up with character names.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Shadows Fall Cover & Blurb

I'm pretty excited to show you all the cover (and cover blurb) for Shadows Fall, the third book in the Dems Trilogy.


Where it begins. How it ends.
It is the beginning and the ending of everything. Shadows Fall.

U.S. Ambassador to the Dems, Aya Berk, has many reasons to resent King Baraz. She has thousands of them. He is a stubborn, hateful man who drags the rest of the universe into his misery. Some may fear him, but she never has and certainly will not start now.
King Baraz has hated humans so long the reason has become secondary. They are devious, plotting, and not to be trusted. He is certain of himself and his place in the universe. That is, until the one person he never expected to see again re-enters his life.
Aya and Baraz are two people separated by time and choices. But when an ancient evil threatens to destroy everything they have built, they are forced to set aside their differences. In the battle to hold on to what they love, can they find some spark of what once was? Or will it all fall into shadow? 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Pie Pans & Pippin

My aunt made pie today. In honor of Flag Day. I was not actually aware that Flag Day was a pie holiday, but I digress. So, she made pie. And it was awesome. Which brings me to the topic of my post.

Have you ever noticed that trying to be quiet never works? You end up making more noise than a 747 during take-off. Or is that just me?

Well, today I was trying to dispose of an empty pie pan. They are silent when full. When empty they are...not. I managed to drop it three times in the five feet from the counter to the trashcan. It hit the edge of the cabinet, the cabinet door, the floor, and rolled across the floor to hit another cabinet. Three times.

If there was anyone asleep in the neighborhood, they weren't after that. I turn into Pippin when I'm trying to be quiet. I trip over things, bang into things, knock things over. I'm not exactly graceful as a swan at the best of times, but it gets so much worse when I'm actively trying.

You know that scene with Pippin in Moria? Where he knocks the skeleton's head into the well...and the body...and the chain...and the bucket? That's me.

For your viewing pleasure, here is the scene I'm talking about.


That's me. Pippin all the way. By the time I was done, the dog was howling like we were under attack. But the pie was really good. So, there's that.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

More of the Story - Darkness Blooming

Just a quick little scene between Rissa and Lonan from Darkness Blooming. This scene takes place between the second and third book. Right after the second book ends.

###
“Where did you get those clothes?”

Rissa glanced up from tying her combat boots to give Lonan an amused look. “We’re about to go after your father and that’s your concern?”

Lonan raised an eyebrow at her.

“They’re Sarah’s.”

He looked more perplexed than before. “Why does the queen have tactical clothing?”

Rissa stood up straight and plucked at the tank top she had tucked into the dark green pants. “Better to be prepared?”

Lonan frowned.

Rissa sighed. “She got them from that Adela woman.” Lonan started to open his mouth and she cut him off. “You can’t tell your brother.”

He crossed his arms. “Rissa.”

“Sarah made me promise. Come on! Are you really going to sell out a new mom?” She was not above playing dirty.

At the mention of his niece, Lonan’s handsome face lit up. When the smile faded, he gave her a stern look.

“Fine.”

Rissa smirked. She could still feel his happiness even though he tried to keep a straight face. His voice was quiet in her mind, too faint to hear. Even if she could make out the individual words, she knew the pleasant rumble would be in his language.

“You’ll need to teach me your language,” she said, reaching over to grab the military jacket Sarah had loaned her.

“Yes.”

She looked up from the buttons at the tone of his voice. He was watching her closely. His eyes were dark as he took in the picture she presented. Rissa’s lips quirked and she reached up to tie her hair back. His eyes followed her movements.

“Eyes front, soldier.”

Lonan’s eyebrows rose and he turned to face her fully. “Giving orders, now?”

“That’s what I do. Or didn’t you know?” She gave him a cheeky grin.

He hummed. Lonan took a step toward her and reached out to slide his hand around the back of her neck. Rissa tipped her head back to look up at him. The playfulness of his expression had faded into worry lines. She shook her head.

“None of that.”

Lonan’s frown deepened. “Rissa, I would rather you stayed—”

“No,” she cut him off. “I’m going with you. It’s done.”

He gave her a pained look. “If something happened to you…” Lonan shook his head like could not even stand to say it.

Rissa sighed. “We’re fine. Both of us. As long as we’re together, nothing will happen. Okay?”

Lonan hesitated.

“Kiss me.” At his surprised expression, she smiled. “It’ll help.”

“If you insist,” he said. His mouth cut off her huff of amusement.

###

Thanks for reading! If you would like to read an excerpt from Darkness Blooming, click here.


Friday, June 5, 2015

5 Things You Never Knew About the Dems Universe

1. Motlin is Older than Both Farran and Tradis
I won't give away too much of this because it is explained in the third book, but suffice it to say Tradis is the baby of the trio.

2. No Light Takes Place in the Early 2020's
While No Light actually takes place in the near future, the city is stuck in the 1980's as far as technology is concerned. The city's status as being the black sheep of the world means it has been mostly shunned. As a result, most of the city is run-down. The Corridor's technology is the polar opposite and another reason why the citizens of Ameritat resent the Dems.

3. The Containment Technology in The Corridor was Based off Motlin's Design
While the actual work was completed by Motlin's engineering mentor, the idea for the technology came from Motlin. That is how he knew the tech was built to eventually fail. He designed the prototype and could see the weaknesses.

4. Sarah and Rissa are Distant Cousins (very distant)
While the family tree split a LONG time ago, not all of the family was taken to Sinmer. Several members of the family escaped capture and stayed on Earth.

5. Sinmer is the Name of the Planet and the Only City

Sinmer is the only city on the only continent. It was built to hold just over 100,000 people and is designed in a square with the palace at the center.

Bonus

6. Motlin's Marked is a Marine
After the land for the base was given to the Dems, the world sent (and continued to send) human military units to Ameritat as a sign of goodwill. About 300 years later, one of the U.S. Marines stationed there was Adela Ramirez. She was a sergeant at the time of her marking.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

More of the Story - Kingdom Come

There's a quote about stories that I have always liked.

“Stories never really end...even if the books like to pretend they do. Stories always go on. They don't end on the last page, any more than they begin on the first page.” - Cornelia Funke

Working off this principle, I decided to write up a little 'after the curtain closed' scene. This one is from the same universe as Kingdom Come. It takes place a few months after the end of the book.
###

"This is good."

Abby looked up from her plate to smile at her dad. "Caught it myself."

Alfred stared at her for a moment, as if trying to decide if she was being serious. When her smile widened, he glanced at Edric.

"She still goes hunting with you?"

Edric shook his head. "Only trapping for the past few months."

Alfred's gaze returned to her and dropped to her rounded belly. "Right."

Abby grinned at his expression. "I can't do anymore hunting until the munchkin comes."

Loreet looked up from her plate. "Of course," she said, as if the mental image of a pregnant woman setting traps in the forest was not odd at all.

Abby smirked at her dad. Even after spending several days a month at the palace in Ghadrik, he was not completely comfortable with how Abby chose to spend her recreation time.

"My huntress," Edric murmured.

She glanced at him and their eyes met. His Caribbean blue gaze swept over her face and landed on her belly. When his eyes met hers again they were heated. Abby returned the look, until Loreet cleared her throat. They broke away from each other like guilty teenagers.

The rest of the meal past with comfortable conversation and soon her father was taking his leave. Abby walked him to the portal outside the palace. Her loyal guards and friends, Limek and Konani, hovered near the door to give them privacy.

"This was…good. Thanks for having me, Bebe."

Abby smiled. "You know you're always welcome. See you in two weeks?"

"Yes. You sure you want me to bring your brothers?"

Abby smiled at his expression and leaned in to hug him. Her belly, five months pregnant, was round enough to push out the front of her shirt and place a small gap between them.

"Bring them."

John pulled back to hold her at arm's length. "Alright, then."

His eyes dropped to her midsection and he smiled. "Take care of that kid of yours."

"Will do."

Abby stood back and watched until he stepped through the portal and vanished from view. When she turned back to the palace, her guards were gone and Edric was standing with his arms crossed watching her. His lips curved into a smile, as he pushed away from the wall.

He prowled toward her and she took a moment to sweep him with her gaze. The midnight black hair, high cheekbones, and strong build were as attractive to her as they had been the moment she met him. She had given herself a hard time then, tried to tell herself he should not be as distracting as he was.

But he was. Still. Abby adjusted her stance and gave him an encouraging smile. His eyes turned molten. He stopped just inches from her, close enough for her to feel his breath on her lips. She tipped her head back and brushed her mouth over his teasingly.

"Did you want something, Your Highness?"

His eyelids dropped to half mast, eyes fastened on hers. "If I did?"

Abby pressed her lips against his for just a moment, too quickly to be satisfying for either of them.
"Depends what it is, Your Highness." She nipped his bottom lip and he let out a shaky breath.

"You."

Abby pressed herself against him. "Sounds like a plan." She squealed when he swung her into his arms.

He kissed along her jaw as he carried her into the palace, holding her close to his body. The workers they passed hid smiles and pretended not to hear her giggling.

When they reached the second floor, Edric nudged open the bedroom door with his hip and kicked it closed.

"Now what?" he whispered against her neck.

Abby grinned. "I'm going to take advantage of you."

He growled playfully and set her on her feet by the bed. "I am at your mercy, my love."

He bumped his nose against hers, before kissing her deeply. Abby let out a soft sigh.

Things has been difficult in the beginning, but she would go through it all again. To be with him. She said as much to Edric and he pulled back to look in her eyes.

"Nothing would have kept me from you. You are…everything."

She could not say it often enough, but she murmured, "I love you."

He smiled. "And I love you."

###
Thanks for reading! If you would like to read an excerpt from Kingdom Come, click here.