LegionMarked Chapters 1 & 2

–I–

Talking business over steak and glasses of bourbon should be straightforward, right? Well, maybe not always but it should be when the client’s one you’re familiar with. My strategy has always been to stroke the client’s ego (those are always bigger than you could imagine), tout my wins then go for the kill—tell him how my law firm can advance his interests.

This meeting with Terry Andrews, the CEO of an insurance conglomerate, should have been smooth sailing. Instead, from my seat by the curved, floor-to-ceiling conservatory windows, I was distracted by three men who made the hairs at the back of my neck stand. Monsters in human skin, they sat casually amid the draped tables, the crystal light fixtures, and the brick walls with paintings of cattle ranches and cowboys.

To the average person, they seemed like any other group of Washington, D.C. power players. However, I saw right through the glamour they projected. They were nothing more than demon spawn and they had me in their sights. Continue reading “LegionMarked Chapters 1 & 2”

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FFJ’s Freebies, May 13th, 2018

While buying books to read this week, I came across a couple of freebies.

Here they are, ripe and ready for picking.

Don’t forget to read your books and leave a kind review for the author when you’re done. That is always a great way to ‘tip’ and author. That and buying their books 😀

Enjoy!

Continue reading “FFJ’s Freebies, May 13th, 2018”

#Writinglessons: Tomb Raider & the ‘status quo’

For writers, the first part of their book typically shows the main character’s ‘Status Quo’. By that, I mean a snapshot of what their life is like at the beginning of the story. From there, things typically go to hell or at least that’s what I aspire to do in my books.

I was recently watching the latest installment of Lara Croft–Tomb Raider starring Alicia Vikander–and the opening scene (which I’d equate to the opening scene and ‘Status Quo’ segment of a book) was an eye opening experience for me. No, not because the movie was an exquisite example of film making or storytelling, but simply because the filmmakers did something that I found instructive.


Now, if you are yet to watch the movie and don’t want it spoiled for you, I suggest you walk away right now and come back when you’ve watched the flick. If, however, you simply want to learn a storytelling technique, then forge ahead!

Back to what I learned. In the beginning of the movie, Lara Croft is in a boxing match. She faces a stronger, more skilled opponent and yet in the face of certain defeat, she doesn’t give in. She rather lose than capitulate.

The filmmakers used the status Quo segment of the story to highlight a major characteristic trait of hers. This stubbornness, or as her father later said to her in a video, “I know you don’t like being told what to do”-plays a major role in the decisions she makes later in the film. (Sort of).

For me, the lesson is to use the status Quo section to not only show the character’s life but to show who the character is. What makes them who they are. Plant the seed of an important part of their story that influences the plot later on. That should arguably help for the creation of a satisfying read for the reader.

As to whether I learned anything else from the movie, the answer is yeah. However, in my opinion, I learned what not to do. For instance, when a character does something that doesn’t make sense, expect a readers suspension of disbelief to abate. (I feel like I notice this more than anything in books and film because it is a problem that terrifies me as a writer.)

Specifically, Lara Croft boxes and when she gets to Hong Kong  (spoiler!) She is able to chase down a petty criminal and retrieve her stolen bag. Then the thief pulls out a switch knife and all of a sudden this boxing, bike racing (yeah, she lives for a thrill) chick is running away from some punks? She didn’t even try to put up a fight.

It didn’t jive well with me though I assume the filmmakers wanted to show an uncertain Lara Croft before she became the adventurer and kick ass Lara Croft fans expect. Maybe I’m just having a hard time adjusting to a Lara Croft that isn’t baddie Angelina Jolie.

Nah, the filmmakers didn’t realize that making Lara Croft scared one minute then able to swing herself off a crashing boat in the middle of a storm the next, would throw a viewer (me) out of the story.

Anyway, now I’m yearning to watch Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Lara Croft: The Cradle of Life. Maybe after I’ve re-watched John Wick and John Wick Chapter 2. I’ve got a beef shawarma and a bottle of Riesling. Yup, that’s what I’m about to do tonight!

FFJ’s Freebies, April 29th, 2018

This week’s list is brought to you by LegionBorn

LegionBorn final ebook cover F F John

My name is Vaughn Prentiss and my whole life was a lie.

I’d had one goal–prove that an orphan from Baltimore could become the youngest partner at my law firm.

That all changed the day I started seeing monsters. Nobody else noticed these mami watas, zwarts and other demon spawn. With the help of a former witch, I discovered Lucifer was my uncle and that a prophecy foretold I’d bring about his downfall. Unless he killed me and took my soul.

I have a lot to live for and I don’t like the idea of Lucifer using my soul to bring humanity to its knees.

My name is Vaughn Prentiss and I’m going to fight to take my place as LegionBorn. Lucifer has no idea what’s in store for him.

LegionBorn is the first book in the LegionBorn series. If you like action-packed urban fantasy where fallen angels, nephilim, and witches face off with nasty netherworld creatures, buy this book today.

Buy or Borrow at Amazon for only 99c today and tomorrow!

 

Your freebies lie ahead …

Continue reading “FFJ’s Freebies, April 29th, 2018”

FFJ’s Freebies! April 24, 2018

This week’s freebies are brought to you by May Freighter and her book, Demon Gate.51uqlpdmhbl

It is the second book in the Helena Hawthorn urban fantasy series. If you receive my newsletters, then you heard all about book 1 — Russian Roulette — earlier today. Here’s what it’s about …

Uncertain whether she is human or not, Helena is forced to undergo new nightmares while her mental battle continues with a demon called ‘Lazarus’. Without her guardian angel to protect her, she is left to rely on vampires who have their own reasons for everything.

The attraction between her and Lucious grows, whether it is a side effect of the soul-bond they share or of their own volition. Yet, how can they be certain? 

With the help of her new friends, they must seek out a Demon Gate and enter the Demon Realm to stop Lazarus from claiming her and Lucious’ souls. But, will they succeed or perish as the only weapon that can kill a demon has been lost centuries ago.

For readers who enjoyed The Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith, Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer, or A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest.

Get Demon Gate for FREE at Amazon today!

Get Russian Roulette, also FREE at Amazon today and read Books 1 and 2 in the series!

Now keep reading for all the freebies on tap…

Continue reading “FFJ’s Freebies! April 24, 2018”

Improve a scene: Urban Fantasy story

I’m currently reading an urban fantasy tale. It’s all part of developing a stronger understanding of the expected Tropes in that genre so I can write stronger stories.

Anyway, the book is super fast-paced. WOW! As in if a story is supposed to have peaks and valleys, this one is all peaks. There’s very little time to breathe. I know authors are told to pace their stories and the action in their stories but something tells me breakneck tales are beloved by a large number of readers.
giphy2 Continue reading “Improve a scene: Urban Fantasy story”

FFJ’s Freebies! April 17th, 2018

I was in cave mode last week and neglected to put up a list of freebies. For that reason, this week’s freebie list is twice as long! Here’s hoping you find something of interest and enjoy some good reads.

That being said, FFJ’s Freebies are brought to you by The Paragon, Book 3 of The Nome Chronicles series. Available for sale on Amazon and free for Kindle Unlimited users.

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When love turns to hate, is there a way back?

Since her father’s death and the subsequent betrayal, Neith trusts no one. She has learned to be ruthless and will do whatever it takes to defeat anyone in her way. Having once loved Invier only adds to her determination to crush him.

Invier can’t believe the girl he sacrificed so much for wants him dead, and he’s desperate to convince Neith he’s not her enemy. But her threat is not his only concern, nor is she the only one he needs to save. In the end, finding a solution might require him to resort to the very tool he hates—violence—and, he may need to kill the one he loves.

Invier and Neith’s struggles will bring them head to head in a final and deadly showdown as The Nome Chronicles come to a thrilling conclusion in THE PARAGON.

Buy or Borrow Now!

Read on for this week’s jumbo sized FFJ’s Freebies!

Continue reading “FFJ’s Freebies! April 17th, 2018”

LegionBorn: trilogy or longer?

Sigh.

As a writer, there is no end to the stories I have in my head. The main hindrance to those stories coming to be is time. There just isn’t enough of it.

Oh, and money. There’s never enough of that either. And if I’m to be honest, money becomes the most important factor when I consider how deep a series will go, sadly.

You see, if the book isn’t pulling it’s weight then that’s an indicator that the book doesn’t have an audience and thus doesn’t deserve to go on and on and on.

And so, here I am wondering whether or not my current baby–LegionBorn–should go past book 3. Continue reading “LegionBorn: trilogy or longer?”