Thanks for taking a look at my little hodgepodge of a blog. Take a ganger at the bottom of the page to see the Categories. That will help to make sense of my short journal entries. The format and subjects of my blog has changed through the years as it's my log of S.N.McKibben's writing journey. You've now been sufficiently forewarned, happy reading!
One, because I have completed the first draft of THE SILENT ROAD at 41,853 words.
Two, because I wrote the whole thing, outline included, in 122 hours within 60 days.
That is improvement for me.
If you've been keeping up with my updates on THE SILENT ROAD you'd be scratching your head saying... but Stephanie you started in October... four months ago. Last time I checked 60 days is only 2 months.
Yes, you'd be right. But my tracked time on the days I worked on this MS is 60 days.
I wrote an average of 358 words an hour with an average word count of 698 words daily. My daily goal was 1K words, so there's room for improvement. But this was an enormous break-through for me.
Normally, I'd write for 8 hours and get 2K words for that day. Not a bad rate, but I'm looking to speed up. At this new rate of speed in 8 hours, I'd write 2,864 words on average every day.
This new speed is due to having two-thirds of an outline.
I say two-thirds because I only outlined the beginning and the end and left many details to fend for themselves in the middle.
Just think what I could do with an entire outline!
The devil is in the details and I can get into the weeds a bit with middles. But enough of this blarg. You're saying, where's my effing excerpt, byotch.
Yeah, yeah. I'm getting to it!
Once I get over my excitement.
Okay... my excitement's over. Scroll down for one of my favorite scenes in the whole book!
♥ ~ Stephy
Please note: This is a Contemporary M/M Romance
Which means a romantic relationship between two men occur.
Here's the premise:
Heterosexual truck driving trainee must complete his training in time to send his daughter to college and finds love with his homosexual truck driving instructor.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted, with the exception of a reviewer who may quote passages in a review, without written prior permission from the publisher.
*PLEASE NOTE, THIS IS A ROUGH DRAFT. SPELLING, PUNCTUATION AND GRAMMAR ERRORS WILL BE CORRECTED BY A PROFESSIONAL EDITOR WHEN THE FINAL VERSION IS PUBLISHED.*
The Silent Road
“You’re exhausted, Mimi needs a potty break and we really should fuel up.”
I looked over at the gauges. We had a left and right tank. The right was empty when I started driving. But we still had half a tank on the left. “We can go for another five-hundred miles.”
“Um…” Jake tapped the glass. “That isn’t exactly true.” The needle dropped all the way until it hoovered just before “E”.
“What the hell.”
“It’s a quirk.”
“Why didn’t we fill up at Love’s?” I made a hasty right off an exit claiming to have an Exxon station and food two miles ahead.
His cheeks pinked a pretty as a Gala Apple. “Ummm… hmmm…I decline to answer.”
“What fucked-up-ness is that?” I mimicked Jake adding a high nasal pitch. “I decline to answer.”
But he squinted ahead. I set my eyes to the road and saw what looked like tumbling leaves crossing over the pavement.
Tabasco was considered aero dynamic for its’ time and she did well, but if we were in as much of a wind-storm the brick side of our cargo would toss us from lane to lane. As it was, the drive was smooth sailing. Not even a breeze.
“What is that?” I threw my chin in the direction of the weird leaves.
“We don’t have time.” Then I got a closer look at this column of leaves. Black blotches spanned terrain from the left as far as I could see, over the road, then to the right beyond the raised ditch in an unbroken line. Those weren’t leaves. It wasn’t two sides of fallen foliage spilling over the road. They were hairy spiders. What shimmered as if brown tumbled over yellow were their eight little legs. Millions of them. Hell, billions.
Too late. Tires and crunchy insects intersected. Law of physics proved once again, the greater the mass, the greater chances of not being squished. Tabasco rolled right over the spiders and through their ranks.
“Oh come on!” Jake held his head in his palms. “Those were migrating tarantulas.”
“Your truck is fine.”
“Of course my truck is fine. But those tarantulas. I love tarantulas.”
“What? They’re awesome hunters.”
“Except when they are crossing the road.” I chuckled, but a part of me did feel bad. Once a deer crossed my path and though I tried to avoid her… she’d landed and caught on my grill. I was mad at her, myself, my rig, the county for not putting up gates along the road all the while pulling her carcass off. I made a cross out of dead vine and two oak branches wondering if she left any calf’s behind. Sometimes I pass her grave and always give the site a nod.
He sighed. “And now guts are all in the undercarriage.”
In the middle of nowhere a huge Exxon with a Subway, a pizza joint, a knife shop and a truck wash welcomed all means of travelers. Convenient. As if this situation happened before. “We’ll wash them off, you big baby.”
“Pull in here.” He pointed to the end pump.
Parking at the last station I cut the engine and went to inspect the damage. It was bad. Spider crusties everywhere.
Jake slumped looking at the carnage.
“At least you’d know what your chrome would look like painted flat black.”
He closed his eyes and shook his head.
“Sorry,” I mumbled to the spiders.
Jake snorted. “Sorry doesn’t absolve you.”
“Wasn’t talking to you, asshole.” I turned back and let out a mournful sigh. One of the poor bastards still plastered to the grill twitched.
Mimi sniffed at the bumper while Jake went to fill the tanks. I did what I do. Blamed everyone. I should have stopped. He should have filled the tanks at Love’s. If we left on time, we might have missed them. We shouldn’t have been on that road. He should have told me sooner we needed fuel. I should have listened to Jake.
Once both tanks were filled, fifteen minutes later, we were in a washing bay. I had the soaping brush and he the water sprayer. Working as a team we started with the grill. Jake’s smile hadn’t returned yet. I decided it was my turn to use the puns.
“Hey, why did the spider cross the road?”
Jake shook his head. “My curiosity is peaked.”
“To get to his web… site.”
I got a chuckle from that one. Not that making him laugh mattered.
“Oh wait, no, here’s another, why did the spider cross the road?”
He flipped his wrist and added a lisp to his speech. “Oh, do tell.”
A grimace flashed over my face. Bastard. I’d get him back. “To get to his spin doctor.”
Reveling in his well-deserved groan, I continued on. “What do spiders eat in Paris?”
“Not listening anymore.”
Clumps of guts and legs fell from the undercarriage. The horror in his eyes twisted into sadness. He wasn’t kidding. Jake loved spiders.
“No! Mimi!” Jake set the spray over his dog. “Don’t eat that!”
The dog ran off, spider legs hanging from her lips. Her owner dropped the sprayer and chased after his dog. “No, no, no, no.”
She spit out half a tarantula and trotted around the cab, hiding under the belly of the cargo hold.
“It’s not Fall yet.” I kept soaping the front though tempted to wash Mimi’s mouth out. Gross dog. “Wait till October for more apple spider.” Yeah, that was pretty bad. “Get it? Apple Cider. Apple spider? No?”
Mimi sneezed in my general direction. Guess she wasn’t one for puns. “My witticism is tragically lost on you.”
The Silent Road will be coming out in 2019. Watch for details on the blog OR Join my Very Important Readers (VIR) Group for updates!
The First Blood Son (Book 4)
Devastating Evil Seeks to Control Kane and his Vampire Progeny.
Two strangers upset the balance of life for Kane and his companion protector, Moon Blood. Both offer kindness, but the nature of one is a mystery. The other’s interest in Kane’s lover, Zandra, is met with vampire rage.
Endless attacks from the undead force Kane, Snow, Zandra and her ten, hybrid vampire Lycan brothers to go into battle once again. This time, a magical friend joins to help defend them with the stated purpose of protecting Moon.
Ultimately, the most devastating evil of all time seeks to control Kane and his vampire nation, while Moon Blood falls under the spell of a mysterious warrior wolf.
As Kane faces the loss of his own existence and all he holds dear, only a Biblical wager and Moon’s self-proclaimed protector may be all that stands to prevent total annihilation of the vampire race.
This is the second to last book in the Moon Blood series! Carol has not confirmed nor denied a follow-up series of the vampire saga! Though she has countless characters that could branch off into their own series.
Chapter 1 was tense at first.
Ha-ha! Chapter 1... at first! Get it? Get it?
Yeah, I know. I'm not that funny. But I was laughing by the end of the first chapter.
Like all the other books, you don't have much time to rest.
*BE PREPARED FOR SPOILERS BELOW*
All the characters majorly grow in book 4. I've noticed Kane growing into and becoming much more like Brogio. It could be the weight of having all the coven in his head. It could be the responsibility but by the end, there's nothing left of the carefree vampire we saw in Snow Blood. He's grow up.
A surprising revelation about James abound in this book too.
While Zandra and her brothers try to cope with what they've become, we get to see a vulnerable side to her crew.
I don't know how the next book will heighten the stakes, but I know we're in for a final terrific ride!
I Would Recommend this book to Fans of:
Vampire Origin Stories
Twists on Biblical Stories
My hackles rose. Adrenalin coursed through every fiber of my being. My paws unconsciously propelled me backward. Samil, or Satan in wolf form, faced me. His shaggy black hair did little to hide his immense size. His golden eyes held no aggression, and his expression projected kindness, not threat. Wait… golden eyes, not glowing green ones. Was this not the demon but another similar wolf?
Relax, Moon. I mean you no harm. His deep voice with its rough edges invaded my mind and tried to soothe, but I trusted no outsider, especially one who could communicate telepathically with me.
No good could come from him. I snarled and leaped.
Before I could reach him, he disappeared.
I landed on the loose pile of logs upon which he had been perched. They scattered and flipped around me, and I stumbled and planted face-first in the dirt. Springing up, I swirled to find him sitting in a nonchalant manner on a nearby boulder.
No need for that, Moon. I am no longer possessed by Samil.
What do you mean? Who are you if not the Satan wolf that aided Lilith in trying to harm my family and me?
He set a tentative paw on the ground, then another. He moved with caution. His sorrowful eyes never left mine as he sat in front of the large rock. The angels, Seth and Mathias, released Samil’s hold on me when the demons attacked you and your sire, Kane, his mate, Zandra, and the Shadowhunter, Magnum, at the entrance of the Nephilim’s city.
My tense body relaxed a little, and I searched the wolf’s golden eyes. Who are you, then?
I am Enzo, short for Lorenzo. Samil possessed me a few days before I first met you and your kind at the Lucca Summer Festival.
I snorted. Why should I believe you?
Enzo started to stand but tensed, and then crouched.
I took a few steps backward to ensure good traction as I met his attack. Before I could, he flew over my head.
I swirled in time to see him take down a creature that could only be described as all bones, spikes, and teeth. Shock surged through me that I hadn’t felt it approach. Enzo crushed the hideous apparition to the ground so hard that I would have thought the skeleton-like creature would have broken into a million pieces. Alas, it sprang up and slashed with razor-sharp claws at the black wolf. Enzo deftly dodged, swerved, leaped, and sidestepped each attempt.
I backed away and marveled at this magnificent wolf’s almost magical ability to evade.
The attacking creature rattled as it began to grow larger. Additional sharp spikes emerged from each connecting bone joint of its structure. It swept a leg under Enzo’s body and tried to hook his underbelly.
Enzo sprang straight up and did a somersault over the creature’s head and landed easily behind it.
The skeleton whirled around and went in for Enzo’s jugular vein. The wolf swerved and grabbed the monster by its boney throat with his sharp fangs and ripped its head from its body.
Several of the skeleton’s sharp spikes cut into Enzo’s shoulders as he severed its spinal bones from its hip area.
The skeleton remained silent, no cries of agony, as Enzo pulled off each of its appendages one by one.
The wolf then devoured every bone as he scooted from one piece to the next, cracking, crunching, and chewing.
I sat down in disbelief. I’d faced evil and trickery from those who would stop at nothing to destroy me and my family. But it was hard to deny—Enzo had saved me.
He took his time, almost like a human enjoying a gourmet meal.
What was that?
Enzo crunched down hard on a bone, snapped it in half with his powerful jaws, and chewed it thoroughly before swallowing. Evil sent to harm you.
His actions mystified me. I took a step back. Why are you eating it?
He snorted after finishing off the other half of a large leg bone. So it won’t reanimate.
It can come back after being torn to shreds?
The black wolf ignored my question, picked up the bones of a hand, and demolished it. Then, he licked his chops and looked me in the eyes. Probably. Didn’t want to take any chances.
He turned back to the remaining bones and worked steadily on them. This went on for the time it would have taken me to lope around the perimeter of Kane’s massive estate.
I sat fascinated and wordless as I watched him.
After finishing his kill, Enzo licked his chops and sat back on his haunches. Looks like they sent something that your poisonous venom couldn’t affect.
I’m afraid more evil awaits you and your kind, Moon.
What is coming? I stood in anticipation of his words.
When I was possessed… perhaps a better word is “enslaved” by Samil, I shared the demon’s thoughts. However, he was able to mask his future intent from me. All I can say is that I know more evil awaits all of you. He stood and moved cautiously toward me.
I took a step back. Why are you here?
He took another step forward. To protect you.
Why do you care? I backed up even more. Why would you protect me?
The wolf cocked his dark head from side to side like an inquisitive pup. Can you not see the good in me?
I gave him a slight nod. I could see good and evil fighting inside you when you were part of Samil.
He took a step closer. Did you not feel the connection between us, even when Samil possessed me? Can you not feel it now?
I steadied myself. This Enzo unnerved me. I felt attraction to him, and its allure captivated and repulsed me at the same time. Yes. I feel it.
Carol's love of animals, especially dogs and horses, is obvious in everything she writes. When Carol isn’t feeding her horde of canine rescues, she’s out riding her beloved Friesian on the plains of Texas. Her love of animals leads her to write through a dog's eyes. Carol’s message is clear. "If a dog can love us unconditionally, why can't we do the same with each other?" And, her paranormal stories are often filled with characters that might be the most difficult to love.
Carol's writing career began at 14 years of age when she started telling her stories to Labrador Retrievers, Basset Hounds, and any stray that happened by. It wasn't long before people stopped to have a listen as well. Now, Carol writes for people and speaks to large audiences, dogs included.
Contact Carol at http://www.carolmckibben.com
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It's a sign! Valentine's Day is the same day that I post my blog, so I can't help but fool around!
By the way... my Pin-up name is
Lola Twinkle Divine
Tell me yours in the comments!
Happy Valentine's Day!
Suddenly finding herself in feudal Japan, schoolgirl Kagome teams up with half-demon Inuyasha to retrieve the scattered shards of a sacred jewel.
What we have in this story is the "traveling angel" plot. Like Michael Landon in Highway to Heaven, there is/are "angel/s" character/s going around solving Other People's Problems.
In addition to InuYasha solving OPP, the collection of travelers are set on revenge on this one guy AND to collect shards of the four souls jewel... that was shattered by one of the main characters. It has a lot of good plot going on which creates a good enough series to keep me involved in the two seasons of the tv show.
If you're interested more about the meaning of his name, I found this wonderful Fanon:
There are many opponents and henchmen InuYasha and his crew come against but there are two main guys the pack goes after.
It was my guy who started watching InuYasha and got me interested in it.
The first 15 minutes of the show I was at my desk trying to work. I noticed he'd been trying to satisfy his samurai craving but this was the first anime he started watching on Netflix.
One thing I loved was the English dub was available. Anime is so much better when I don't have to read it. AND I love the voice actors that play the characters. Many times I don't like the voices and listen to the Japanese version and read the sub.
So right off the bat & a smile from InuYasha, I was hooked.
It's classic traveling Angel plot, collecting allies, barely defeating one foe in a surprisingly entertaining saga.
I'm on to Season 2 and it hasn't gone off the rails yet, so I have high hopes that this serial has closure. I'm looking forward to finding out.
I Would Recommend this to Fans of:
Swords & Samurai's