Ritual Dreams

Ritual Dreams will be written by the end of January as long as I can write 400 words a day. So far so good on it. I put 2,000 on it Monday night. It is scheduled to go to the editor in mid-February and release on April 1, 2019.

Pre-Orders are available (links below).

A few things to know about Ritual Dreams. It does involve ritualized sexual abuse, nothing that I get into details about though. Even I have my limits and severe mental illnesses beyond ASPD and BPD.

That paragraph above is part of the reason it has taken a year to write. I realized I needed to learn more about cults and broke out the research, even interviewing one of my readers who grew up in a cult (turns out I have 5 readers that were raised in cults, which is kind of unsettling).

The mental illness I picked was incredibly complicated to write, both from the perspective of the person that has it and as someone who didn’t have a ton of experience with it in real life. And since I did pick a mental illness as a complication of my killer, I had to get those parts right. I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I hadn’t given the mental illness every bit of authenticity I could muster.

Every time I wrote one of the Killer’s Chapters, I had read and scrutinize it and then do it again a few days later. And then I had to find ways to discuss the illness without info dumping, which was exceptionally hard as there was a lot of information that needed to be included.

Of all the killers I have created, this one is the scariest and most sympathetic in my opinion. As Ace dealt with her own existential crisis of not being able to just label the killer a “bad guy,” I had to overcome some of my own demons. And I had to struggle to make Ace not feel sympathy towards the killer, since she is supposed to be incapable of such a complex emotion.

There were nights I went to bed and dreamed of the killer. There were days I stared at a killer’s chapter I had just written and agonized over whether it was “accurate enough.” Then there were other times, I just stared at the blinking cursor and wondered “what the hell was I thinking to tackle this?!”

But once the Lyrica was out of my system, the writing was so much easier. And so much more concise or as concise as any Cain novel ever is, she is rather wordy even in her thoughts.

Dark Legacies

Dark Legacies, the final Strachan novel has released!  Get it at Amazon, Nook, or Smashwords… Coming soon to iBooks.

Here’s an excerpt:

Less than one hundred feet from my front door, the magic became stronger.  It prickled the hair on the back of my neck.  If I’d had arm hair, it would have stood up.  Whatever it was, it was right behind me.

I turned and the scream became lodged in my throat, resulting in a gurgling noise issuing from my mouth.

The creature before me was at least ten feet tall.  A large, long, muzzle-like mouth protruded from a mostly human skull.  Its skin seemed as though it had been stretched over its skeletal frame.  Large teeth were set in the muzzle and it constantly chomped them together with enough force that I thought they would shatter.  If it had been wearing a black hood and carrying a scythe, it would have looked like Death.

Taloned fingers grabbed hold of my arms.  Blood red eyes that glowed, stared at me.  It moved in close, its breath was hot and smelled of decay.  Aside from the chomping, it made no noise.  It moved closer, brushing my hair back with its muzzle.  A large, demon-like horn brushed my face.

Whatever spell I was under, broke.  The scream finally exited my throat, creating a shrill, panicked noise like a dying rabbit in the dark.  I shoved magic into the thing and it backed away.  Blood was dripping from its arms.  It hadn’t been my doing.  The wounds didn’t look fresh.  As I stared, it bit into its arm, tearing out a chunk of meat and swallowing it whole.

It lunged at me again.  Gnashing its teeth as it sunk its claws into my flesh again.  The magic flowed from it, pushing against me as if it were trying to possess my soul.  My natural defenses lashed out.  I kicked with one foot, catching the gaunt figure with claws and tearing away the skin at the knee.  It felt leathery and dry.

Dark, thick blood seeped from the wound and the air filled with the smell of decaying flesh.  I shoved magic at it again and felt it push its own back.  The feeling was overwhelming.  I was struck by panic and horror.  As I turned to run, I felt it sink its teeth into my shoulder and hit my collar bone, snapping it.  We tumbled to the ground with it on top.  It flipped me over as if I was as light as a feather.  Sharp teeth struck my throat and tore it out.  My lungs stopped working on instinct.  Blood gushed from the wound, spilling onto the ground, creating a huge pool of shimmering darkness.