LUPA

Once upon a time….

A note from me

Lupa

The first book that was mine, really truly my own, was a book of fairy-tales that I’d received as a birthday present when I was about nine or ten—I think.  It included Rumpelstiltskin, Puss in Boots, Rapunzel, Jack and the Bean Stalk and Why the Sea is Salty. There may have been others but my forty year old mind doesn’t remember what they were. My love for stories goes back further than that. My mother read to me and my sisters long before that book of fairy-tales, which started the love affair for all her girls. We’re all mothers now and our children love to read. What a great legacy.

My favorite book fairy-tale is The Twelve Dancing Princesses and my favorite movie fairy-tale is Cinderella. I don’t care who made it or the different versions, if a movie has been made on the premise I love to watch it. Everyone knows the story of the kind girl forced to work in her own home as a slave to her evil step-mother and sisters, but not everyone has read about the dancing princesses.

I don’t know when I started thinking of Lupa as a fairy-tale, Now they’re called paranormal romances or contemporary romance. Is it because that sound more grown up? More modern? Well, let me be the first to call a spade a spade. I like the word and I’d be honored for anyone who reads this book to walk away and think of it as a fairy-tale. I do. There’s bad language and a few steamy scenes but anyone who’s read the original Grimm’s fairy-tales know that there’s a little watering down going on in the studios of Walt Disney. Not for language or sex, but kids being boiled alive and eaten by trolls and birds flying down and eating the evil step-sisters eyes is pretty disturbing too.

I started this story the summer of 2012. It was not a book about werewolf; it wasn’t even a paranormal book until I was about a hundred pages into the original writing. You see, I was obsessed with young adult paranormal romance novels when I decided to write my first book. This story started out the second story I’d ever sat down and tried to put to paper. I loved the first line. “I woke with humidity already wreaking havoc on my slightly overweight body.” It’s not the first line anymore but the whole story came from that one line. The sentence popped into my head and hours later I had the beginnings of a manuscript. I got side tracked, wrote a couple of other books and went back to this story after the new year of 2013. I still loved it. Loved it more than the other stuff I was writing and so I decided to dust it off and finish it. The only problem was I was now into werewolves, where when I’d originally wrote the book I was into fairies and had already incorporated fae mythology into the storyline. Silly person that I am thought I could just find and replace fairy with werewolf.

Wrong.

The manuscript was 78,000 words. I tossed about half and a werewolf story was born. It only took me a week to finish. 113,089 words in five days! What can I say, I love a good story, even if I’m writing it and this was so much fun. The story is fiction of course. I don’t know any werewolves personally. But some of the characters I may have borrowed from my childhood. The main character started out me (remember it didn’t start out a paranormal romance) and ended up a whole different person. I’m glad. I like Marie Elizabeth Josette Freeland.

Okay…so there are two things in the story that are really from my life. One is the story of Josette’s name screw up.  I love movies, books and am obsessed with all royalty not just the British one. And I wanted my son to have a distinguished and powerful name, which for me meant more than the measly two we’re ordinarily given by our parents. The formula was simple; a family name, a name from a character in a movie and one from a book. I named my son Reuben Thaddeus Osiris Odum. Reuben is my grandfather; Osiris is the Egyptian god of the underworld (I first read about him in Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice)…and Thaddeus? Thaddeus is the name of the father of the main character in the movie Boys in the Hood.  If you’ve seen the movie you know his name is Furious. What can I say? I should have done some fact checking on that one. I wouldn’t have named my son Furious anyway; although Hrothgar (Beowulf) and d’Artagnan (The Three Musketeers) were in the running. No shit.

The other true story is about the fork in the water with an electric charge. My sister called me in the kitchen one day and asked me to pick up a fork lying on the countertop next to the sink. I knew something was up. It took me a long time to reach over and try. But I did and I was shocked. After allowing me to try to figure out what the hell was going on for a few minutes my sister finally pointed to the frayed cord of our can opener lying in the puddle of water the fork was sitting in. I don’t know how we got the fork out but it’s a good memory I have of my sister.

Last but not least…I hope.

I’ve been told I tell a good story. I’ve been told this by several people for awhile now so I’m going to have to agree. Anyone who know me knows that when I’m confident in something I’m the first to toot my own horn. Being told I’m a good storyteller makes me want to duck my head, kick the ground and say “Aww shucks,” while blushing a nice bright red. I’m not quite sure why.

But I do know why people would think so, or rather, why I am. It’s because I love a good story of course. And I when I tell a story, other peoples story, be it a book or a film or an episode from a TV show; I want people to get as excited as I was when I was watching or reading it. I want people to cheer the good guys, I want them to hate the villain and cry when true love is loss or found. I want people to want to go home and watch the move or pick up the book or research the subject matter, as I do all the time. Which leads me to—the story itself.

I like history and I like mythology and legend. I know as much as the next average man does about werewolves. But I wanted to add something else. Something that, for those people like me who like to read any and everything; would make a person go to their computers and pull of character names to read the real story.

Odin, Thor’s father, had two wolves Geri and Freki. If you want to know the rest you’ll need to read it on your own. You’re welcome.

 I can’t end without saying something about Stephan King. I’m a fan. Enough said

The List

50-guy-movies-collage

book heart 300 by 200

Inspiration – stimulation to do creative work; somebody or something that inspires; creativeness; good idea; divine influence.

I have always loved books and movies. The world of make-believe is where I belong. This will be short and sweet (the introduction; not the list). Below are the people, books and movies that make life a little brighter for me. Even on the worst of days. Below are the people and things that make me want to write something worthy.

Below are the reasons I still believe in magic.

Actresses

  • Meryl Streep: In everything she’s ever been in
  • Sally Fields: In Norma Ray and Steele Magnolia. Okay, for everything else too except for, Not Without My Daughter.
  • Holly Hunter: In the Piano, even without that amazing voice she moves you completely with the music she played herself in the movie.
  • Michelle Phieffer: She’s one of the most beautiful women in the world and she totally rocked in Scarface. And I don’t care what anyone says she was the best cat woman ever!
  • Halle Berry: Only in Frankie and Alice
  • Oprah Winfrey: Only in The Color Purple
  • Cameron Diaz: Because she’s so damned funny

Actors

  • Clint Eastwood: Enough said
  • Jaime Bell: In Billie Elliot
  • Samuel L Jackson: Who don’t like that motherfucker?
  • Mel Gibson/Tom Cruise/Will Smith: In any movie where they run
  • Ryan Gosling: Because there’s a little bit of Johnny Depp mystery in him
  • Johnny Depp: Because I’ve been in love with him since 21 Jump Street and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.
  • Brad Pitt: Brad Pitt…

Movies

  • Pride and Prejudice/Dangerous Liaisons/The Age of Innocence: Love stories that I have yet to tire of watching.
  • Sense and Sensibility: I love the end when Emma Thomas breaks down when she realize that no, Hugh Grant has not married.
  • The Sound of Music: Because who doesn’t fall in love with Julie Andrews every time she opens her mouth to sing.
  • Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer: Who doesn’t love Kung Fu? And if it’s you then you suck.
  •  The Curse of the Golden Flower and House of Flying Daggers: Pretty to look at and has Kung Fu? What more can you ask for?
  • Howl’s Moving Castle: Anime at its best and a wonderful love story.
  • The Piano: Ada and George love is second only to Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy’s

Directors

  • M. Night Shyamalan: The dialogue keeps me spellbound but I might have to kick his ass him if I ever see him for what he did with The Last Airbender.
  • Clint Eastwood: For every movie he’s directed.
  • Mel Gibson: For Braveheart. FREEEEEEEDOM!
  • Ang Lee: Have you seen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Brokeback Mountain?
  • Stephan Chow: For Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer – PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let him make the next Avatar movie. The real one, the one M. Night fucked up, not the one with the big blue aliens.
  • Hayao Miyazaki – Love what he does with Anime.

Books

  • Song of Solomon – It takes me to a place that is dark and mysterious. Her world is shades of grey and sepia.
  • The Blackdagger Brotherhood  Series– The writing style is like an action movie. It’s mindless fun and brilliantly done.
  • The Dark Tower Series – Roland. Enough said.
  • Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy– It was my first in the genre and I couldn’t get enough of it.
  •  The Long Walk / Rage – these are two short stories that are about teenage boys. They are as wonderful as they are terrifying in the things these two unrelated boys do. The stories, when I read them originally were so bizarre. Not so much now.
  • The Stand – Because I love a good end of the world book as much as I love an end of the world movie.
  • The Rae Wilder Series – Love the bond between Rae and Brennan that has the potential to destroy all if they are separated for too long.

Authors

  • Stephen King – Where to I start. The man can tell a story. He is the master of his craft. I don’t know if his own family loves him as much as I do. Yes I said it. And I know how it sounds. Stephen King’s It was the first book that I read that was my own. I spent a great amount of time reading whatever was in the house which was black authors and the occasional harlequin romance novel. At least that’s what I remember. I’m sure I had checked out a few books here and there at the library throughout my schooling but It was loaned to me by my then boyfriend and it was love at first word. He never fails and never lets me down. I am guaranteed to be captivated by each word from the first to the last. These weak meager words do not do justice for how I feel about the many wonderful works of the great man.
  • Toni Morrison – Reading Toni Morrison is like watching Japanese horror. There is something dark and spooky and hidden just out of focus. I find myself scared and excited and nervous and anxious when I read her books. Her work makes you have to take a moment. You exhale and close your eyes as you try to readjust your mind to bring you back to reality when you leave the world she has created.
  • J.R. Ward – The Samuel L Jackson of writing styles. I don’t know if she’s the first but she’s the first I read and boy do I love it. Written how I would talk myself, reading her books doesn’t so much take you to a different place, but rather show you your alternate life. Her vampires don’t sparkle but they’re also not the traditional blood-drinking, die in the sun, children of the night. The story behind their creation is second only to Anne Rice’s. I’m a romantic and these men love their women like none other.

For the love of writing

writer Anyone who knows me also know there’s nothing I love more than a project. My only problem is the lack of completion of said project. Examples include but are not limited to:

Silk ribbon embroidery – Seemed like a beautiful, eloquent and loss art. The original project was going to be a set of linen napkins for my mothers christmas present. This was four years ago. I made one napkin. But I did purchase about 100 spools of ribbon.

Sewing – This was not a total wasted project I did make two gowns for my newborn twin nieces and two dresses for myself. But I also purchased countless patterns (VOGUE no less) that are sitting in a drawer. The sewing machine purchased is covered and hasn’t been touched in a year or two.

I do like to make and complete custom gift boxes. So there’s that.

When I decided to write a book. I did weeks of research (The research is as much fun as the writing in my opinion) on the subject matter. In Found (originally Wila: The Mother’s of War Trilogy) I wanted to incorporate tons of folklore and religious custom and practices from all over the world. For me, a person who loves history, I love it when I come across something in a book that has me stopping to goggle something. Thank goodness for the nook table which allows me to do it right then and there.

In the last several months since Found. I started the second book titled Guardians, I write 2,000 words a day as per instructed by Stephan King. I also got on a reading jag that consumed my ever waking moment from October to December so I got a little sidetracked but I think I kicked the habit at the first of the year.

The problem is. In the middle of writing Guardians (I have about 70,000 words) I got an idea for a sci-fi book. It is based on HeLa Cells. For those of you who don’t know about HeLa Cells let me fill you in.

Scientist took cervical cancer cells from Henrietta Lacks. These cells were the first discovered immortal cells, meaning they can live outside of the human body. This allowed scientist for the first time to work with human cells. They are the reason the polio vaccine was finally made. Since then vaccines and medicines from Cancer to AIDS have been made using these cells.  They are the truly modern medicines miracle. She is without a doubt the most important person in history. I am astonished that I did not know of this woman before stumbling across the story. The injustice.

Any who, The book covers a hundred year time span where a scientist working with the newly discovered immortal cells anciently creates the first immortal human through cloning. Sounds good? I think so. I just hope I can do the story justice. The title of the book is The First Immortal. I have about 10,000 words so far.

But.

I also had an idea for a contemporary romance novel that involves a love triangle were the main character falls in love with two best friends, while having an office affair with her boss who turns out to be an all drug cartel assassin. This book I finished writing in a week, and currently has about 90,000 words.

Three books. Stories. plots. characters. research. All bouncing around in my head. So many things to write, I wish I had that machine from the Tommyknockers. The main character, Bobby, finds a spaceship on her property. Bobby is able to create a contraption that allows her to write while digging out the space ship. It sure would be a handy little sucker instead of digging I need something to write one book while I work on another.

I like reading. I’ve always loved a good story. I love what a good book does for the soul. I also discovered I like writing. Okay, I love writing. I use to tell other people stories and I am delighted to find I have my own to tell. I just hope that my new project doesn’t end up like so many others.

I received my email from a reader on Jan 3rd. I’m ecstatic. As soon as I finish proofing the new romance which I have yet to title. I will go back to Guardians. The First Immortal will have to wait.

 

 

Back to the Basics

the gunslinger
I read over 60 books  in 2012 (I read several multiple times bringing grand total to 85).
In October I discovered the series The Blackdagger Brotherhood, written by J.R. Ward. I read all 10 novels in six days and when I finished, I read them again. It took me about two weeks before I got my fill. If you are a fan of adult paranormal romance I can’t say enough READ THIS BOOK.
For three months I read. I ignored my husband and son to read, I hardly ate and never cooked to read, I barely bathed to read. My nook has 320 books on it and hasn’t been turned off in four months. I’m a reader. I could be worst.
In the middle of reading The Breed Series by Lora Leigh (26 books in this series some are short stories), I had an idea for a book. I stopped reading and start writing. I wrote for a week straight. I wrote like I had previously been reading, ignoring all, in order to get the story told. I’m finished and doing first proof reading.
So in between looking for a new job and writing books (I stopped writing a Sci-fi novel about an immortal created from Hela Cells) I read. But the adult paranormal romance novels I have been stuck on for the last three months are not doing it for me any more, neither is the re-reading Fifty Shades of Grey or Bared to You which were among my favorites of 2012. So I’m going back to where my love began.

Stephen King.
No matter what your genre or favorite writer. You can’t go wrong with Stephen King. My love is long and goes deep for Mr. King (I’d be completely start struck if I ever see him. A crying, blubbering, hysterical mess I will be). I have read every one of his novels and the majority of his short stories. His novels I’ve read several times over the twenty-five years since I discovered IT.
I wish I was more like my husband. He likes sci-fi but also reads a lot of non-fiction aka smart books, mainly about science. But I like to be entertained when I read not smarter. I want to escape when I read not think. I want to cheer on good guys, hate bad guys, cry, laugh, mourn when I read. So I will read THE DARK TOWER SERIES.

Not my first, but my favorite. It’s long, which I love and it’s inspiring. I cry at the lost of Eddis beloved brother and stand up and cheer him has he fights naked to escape a drug lord after first meeting Roland. I hold my breath when  Jake and Oy  Roland looks a lot like Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven. He is the man. I don’t love or hate him. I don’t cheer him on. He simple is, a constant, a given. He will not fail. I never doubt it… ever.

 

Things I read this year

I read 68 books in 2012 that I can remember. 85 if you count the books I read more than once. For the full list check out the page 2012 Book list.

I did not start the year keeping track of the books that I read. But in October I found myself mesmerized by the great Blackdagger Brotherhood novels. This new find of mine lead to a reading frenzy of sorts. I would stay up long stretches of time, upwards of 43 hours at a time as I refused to even sleep while I read. So at the end of the year on line there are list everywhere. Top this or that of 2012 so I decided I’d compile my own list of something near and dear to my heart.

I can’t talk books without talking Stephen King. I read only two books by the great man. 11/22/63 and Under the Dome. I’ll say up front I’m bias. So no one will be surprised when I say these were two great books. Both page turners that I couldn’t put down until I was finished with them. In the case of Under the Dome I don’t think I took a break other than the bathroom breaks. This includes bathing and cooking (My husband’s a real trooper).

Like everyone else I got caught on the Fifty Shades Of Grey train. I fell in love, was smitten, spellbound. I read the books and then read them again when I finished. I took a break and read a different book and then picked up Fifty again. I couldn’t get enough of Christian Grey and Ms. Steele. I accepted them as a couple but fell in love with Christian. I tolerated Anastasia, Oh my!

Can I say enough about J.R Ward and her world of vampires? The rules are not standard but there’s nothing sparkly about this band of brothers and their journey to find love. I read 10 books in one week staying up 43 hours at time. When I did sleep it was for no more than 3 hours. I ignored my husband and my kid. I ate less and cook nothing. I didn’t bath and cut back on smoking. I was enthralled, I AM addicted. I AM IN LOVE with this series. I know read Ms. Ward’s website religiously for the snippets she post from Lover At Last.

The other series I read were
J.R. Ward – Fallen Angels
Sylvia Day – Crossfire
Larissa Ione – Demonica Series
Lora Leigh – Breed Series
Karen Marie Moning – Fever Series
Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush Hush Series
Cassandra Claire – The Mortal Instruments
Amanada Hocking – My Blood Approves

Single books were Kate Lauren Final which is the last book in the Fallen Series.

Edward Cullen vs. Stephen King

While my great love for reading came as a child and my first memory are those of fairy tales and the first books I read after those were the novels that featured busty maidens with windswept hair being held by a bare chest Fabio on the cover (that’s what was lying around the house). My first love is Stephen King.

I’ve read a lot of authors and a few different genres. Toni Morrison will have you spellbound. Please if you haven’t yet picked up or download Song a Solomon. It’s phenomenal. Ernest Gaines, A Lesson Before Dying is also at the top of the list as all time favorites. To Kill a Mockingbird, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo even my beloved Twilight, but nothing, and I mean nothing, will take the place in my heart that I have for a good old Stephen King novel.

In the last three or four years I have been consumed with a new love of young adult paranormal romance novels, triggered by Twilight. I’ve downloaded, and read, over a hundred in these last few years, some repeatedly. Everything else seemed dull and boring compared to them until four days ago.

I opened Under the Dome on my nook tablet and didn’t look back until I was finished this early afternoon. Glad that my son is in Alabama with family and completely ignoring my husband I was unable to put it down.

Forgotten were sparkly vampire, forgotten were demon boys and girls with an unbreakable bond, forgotten were nephilim warriors and the girl with the bow and arrows.

I’ve been suck in a small town that’s been surrounded by a mysterious dome and was unable to get free until just today. I’ve been trying to escape the shenanigans of a politician that looked a lot like Boss Hogg (if you’re too young to remember the Dukes of Hazard, Google him). I’ve been with Julia, the owner of the local newspaper, who looks like Jody Foster and the recently promoted Col. Barbie a traveling ex-soldier, who looks a lot like Daniel Craig. They aided in my escape. I have been secretly cheering on Chef a local meth addict, who looks a lot like Brad Pitt in Snatch and Mr. Sanders, the until the end spineless first city councilman who looks a lot like William H. Macy, almost destroyed us all. After four days of nail bitting suspense, fear, terror, laughter and tears, the dome has now lifted and allowed the few of us that lived release.

Be still my cheating heart. Forgive me Mr.King for the adulterous affair I’ve had these last few years with the new younger love I’ve discovered. Know that it is but a phase, and I, your ever loyal reader, will never leave you that long again. My heart is big enough for the two of you. I know you understand.

Your #1 Fan 😉