July 8, 2011

K.A. Tucker's Spin-Off, Short Story of The Causal Enchantment Series

Hey ya'll! First off, I have to say if you haven't yet read K.A. Tucker's Anathema (1st Book to The Causal Enchantment Series)...you are TOTALLY missing out!  See my review HERE!  Second, K.A. Tucker is one of the most awesome, sweet and by far one of my FAVE authors! She totally rocks! And to prove it to all of you, I asked K.A. Tucker if she would do something totally outrageous for my Blog Tour Stop! I asked her to use ME as a character in the fantasy world she created, back when humans were about to become extinct because of the vampire/human war, and write a short story about how I die in the war! AND...SHE TOTALLY DID IT! Even better, I could not possibly have imagined a better way to die! When you read my review of K.A. Tucker's Anathema, you may understand why this would be my death of choice...LOL! So I think you will all enjoy!

Here you go!  Enjoy!
“Stupid thing,” Mindy muttered into the darkness, rattling her flashlight furiously.

“Hush,” I responded, my eyes darting to the crack of light coming from beneath the dented metal shed door, watching for passing shadows. Mindy froze with my warning. The next few minutes dragged on as we sat in complete silence. Staring. Waiting.

No shadows passed by. No one had discovered us. Yet.

“I think we’re okay.” With a click, Mindy’s flashlight switched on, it’s dim light illuminating the six by eight garden shed.

“We could have picked a better place to hide,” I murmured, my eyes rolling over the shelves of soil-encrusted garden tools and tin containers plastered with skull markings. Looking up to the ceiling, I found a giant canopy of cob webs hanging over us, connecting all four corners. I cringed, wondering what kind of hideous third-world jungle insects could be lurking within the darkness. And then I remembered what was hunting us. I almost laughed out loud. Almost.

“Do you really think they’re out there?” Mindy asked, pushing a strand of her cornsilk-blonde hair back behind her ear, adding in a shaky, low voice, “the vampires?”

Only one month earlier, Mindy had been a complete stranger to me. We arrived on the same plane to New Shore to begin the same Habitat For Humanities project in a local village. We were both looking for the meaning of life then. Now, we were facing death together.

“I don’t know what to believe.” I shook my head, shock still numbing me to my core. “This can’t be happening.” From the corner of my eye, I saw a sharp-looking tool resting along a shelf. I scrambled to my knees and grabbed it, gripping it tightly in two hands. A weapon, perhaps. Or completely useless. We had no idea what to expect.

If only we had listened.

The rumours began two weeks after we arrived in New Shore, the locals whispering about vampire-led civil wars breaking out all over the world with high death tolls and no end in sight. Poor people, I remember thinking. So disconnected from the rest of the world. So delusional.

But a day later, the Habitat team discovered that no one could reach their loved ones by phone. Every line we tried to our home country was dead. We sought out Serge - the local politician hosting our team while we worked in his village – to check his satellite for any news. When we flicked on the television, grey static stared back. The internet connections were gone as well. It was as if we were cut off from the rest of the world overnight. Or the world was cut off from us.

Serge confirmed the rumours three days later. “It’s true,” he began, his normally dark skin looking chalky. I watched his Adam’s apple bob up and down as he swallowed several times before continuing. “We received a radio message only an hour ago. The world is under siege by… vampires.” His voice sounded hollow with that last word, in as much disbelief as the rest of us. “They’re multiplying at an alarming rate, beyond anything controllable. Governments started using nukes against them but… the results have been catastrophic. It got out of hand.” His gaze dropped to a spot in front of his feet. “Your families are likely gone already.” Gasps filled the room. Several people collapsed to the ground, unconscious. Serge continued, struggling, “We should be okay here though. We’re off the grid. I don’t expect that any vampires should have their sights set on a third world country.” That was a week and a half ago.

Twenty minutes ago, Serge was proven wrong.

The Habitat team was helping him weed his front gardens – busying ourselves in a pathetic attempt to forget what was happening – when two villagers ran by the gates of Serge’s two-storey white stucco villa, screaming, “they’re here! Run!” As if to confirm their warning, a chorus of blood-curdling shrieks sounded in the distance.

“Lock the gates!” Serge instructed the security guard in a rush, his voice shaky. But the security guard took off down the road after the two villagers instead.

“Into the house!” Serge ordered. Everyone stood up to scramble inside, myself included. Mindy’s tight grasp of my forearm stopped me. “That’s the first place they’ll look, don’t you think?” she whispered, her eyes wild with panic.

She was right. I nodded. “What should we do?”

“Come on. This way.” She took off running around the side of the house, heading through the massive backyard garden with me on her heels. “The jungle!” she hissed over her shoulder, veering off to the right towards the tropical thicket. It was only a hundred yards away. If we could make it… Shrieks from the house stopped us both dead in our tracks. They were too close. We didn’t have enough time. They would see us in the open ground if they happened to look. “Here!” Mindy whispered, grabbing my arm and tugging me into the nearest cover. The shed.

And so here we were. Like sitting ducks. Would they find us? I turned to regard Mindy’s youthful face. At thirty years old, she didn’t look a day over fifteen. I realized sadly that she may not live long enough to ever look thirty. “Do you think they can smell us?”

Mindy shrugged. “If they’re like all the stories… I don’t know. What if they do really drink blood?”

I shuddered, hugging my knees to my chest. “They must be hideous-” My words caught in my throat as the door flew open, two bodies blocking the entrance.

“Is there room in here for us?” a woman whispered anxiously before either of us had a chance to scream. She stepped in, her emerald green eyes wide as she scanned the cramped interior, her springy blonde curls bobbing with her movements. “Please?”

A small exhale escaped me. People.

“We’ll make room,” Mindy offered in her typical generous fashion, scooting closer to me.

“My name’s Amelie,” the young woman said, crouching down beside me. I gapped openly at her angelically beautiful face. She couldn’t have been more than sixteen years old. She gestured behind her. “That’s my brother, Caden.” At the mention of his name, the other body stooped to get through the shed entrance, closing the door softly behind him. I heard myself suck in air as his intense jade eyes glided over me before landing on Mindy.

He crouched down to sit beside her, his shoulder pressing up against hers. “Hi,” he offered in a kind, pleasant voice. “Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be fine.” Those jade eyes roamed Mindy’s face with interest.

Hi,” she murmured back, smiling dumbly, ogling his beautifully defined features. So many times she had complained that there were no good men left in the world. Maybe she had just found the last one. Maybe this would make a stellar ‘how we met’ story, years down the road.

If we survived.

“Where are you two coming from? You don’t exactly look like two people who should be wandering around New Shore-area villages,” I whispered, gesturing to Amelie’s designer leather jacket.

“Oh. We arrived on a plane this morning from Panamerica.”

Panamerica. Home.

“Really?” Mindy exclaimed too loudly, her catatonic state over Caden broken for the moment. “What’s happening over there? Are the rumours true? Is everyone… dead?”

“Pretty much,” Caden answered in a somber tone. “A few may have survived underground but they won’t last long.”

“Is it… vampires? Is it true?” I stumbled over my words, feeling foolish for asking the question.

Amelie’s head bobbed up and down, offering me a sympathetic smile. “I’m afraid so.”

“What do they look like?”

“Like intoxicatingly beautiful humans.” She threw a wink at her brother.

“Are they here? Have they come to New Shore?” Mindy asked in a rushed voice, her focus once again glued on Caden.

Caden nodded.

The light in the shed flickered then as Mindy’s flashlight gave out, throwing us into complete darkness again. She rattled it once, half-heartedly. It was no use. “Do you think they’ll find us in here?” I heard her ask.

Amelie and Caden chuckled in unison, their laughter like music from the harps of angels. I sensed warmth against the skin of my neck. Like breath. “They already have,” Amelie’s sultry voice murmured next to my ear.

Mindy’s shriek pierced my ear drum, a split second before mine joined in.


***


Don’t worry, everyone. Mindy’s not really dead. She was a very willing participant! Especially since it involved Caden!

Thank you, Mindy, for allowing me the opportunity to hang out on your blog for my Anathema tour and for your brilliant post idea! I had tons of fun planning our death-by-hot-vampire-in-the-shed scenario. Thank you also for all of your support behind the release of Anathema, for your help with organizing the blog tour, and for your kindness, in general. You will always be remembered <3


It's me...Mindy again! Wasn't that TOTALLY...awesome, fantastic AND amazing?!!! I can't even begin to tell you what this story means to me and how much K.A. Tucker totally rocks for doing this! Thank you Kathleen!!!

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25 comments:

Fiktshun said...

That short story was a huge pile of awesomesauce! Congratulations, that was an amazing read. It must be such an honor to be killed off in a short story.

Loved your Anathema tour stop!

Julie S said...

Sounds really interesting. How did you go about being published?

juliecookies(at)gmail.com

Kathleen said...

Hi Julie from Kiev. I'm an indie author. I chose to self-publish back in Jan, 2011 after investigating my options and realities tied with each. Once that decision was made, I set up my own company and hired some awesome professionals to edit my manuscript and design the cover and book format. After much deliberation between Lightning Source and Createspace, I went ahead with Createspace because it was less-complicated and faster. I'm impatient so the latter is extremely important :-) Thanks for the question and hope you enjoyed the blog stop! Keep following along for more info and chances to win

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me?!!! That story is even more than just fantastic!!!

I work with BookluvrMindy . . . and the part about:

"I turned to regard Mindy’s youthful face. At thirty years old, she didn’t look a day over fifteen. I realized sadly that she may not live long enough to ever look thirty."

is F.R.E.A.K.I.N.G. AWESOME!!! because it's a longstanding "thing" with her. Excellent job!

Not only that, but when she first read Anathema, she could not stop talking about it!!! And still can't! Which means, I'm eventually going to have'ta read another girly, romance book!! Damn you K.A. Tucker!!!!

:)

Joe P.

p.s. Oh yeah, since I haven't yet read Anathema, I'll have to think of some other questions to ask you . . . so, be prepared! Just saying!! :)

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

OMG- I got so sucked into that story.
Loved it!

(\___/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

April X said...

LOL loved the story XD

Kathleen said...

Aha! my buddy, Joe P! Thanks for all the intel you provided to Mindy! Isn't Mindy awesome? I think she may be my #1 fan. If I ever make it to California, I must hunt...er... visit her!
And don't worry, my husband is a 'manly-man' and he got through it. You'll probably not share the same love of Caden as the average female reader but... :-)
And questions... bring it on!

Kathleen

Kathleen said...

Lisa and April - glad you enjoyed it!! it was really fun to write. I've never killed a real person before... hmmm... wait. That wasn't fun. Not at all. Please don't report me...

:-)

K

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathleen!

Thank you for the kind words! I'm very excited for your success and I hope it continues to grow!

OK then, if your husband got through it . . . I'm in. But I refuse to put my hands over my heart and flutter my eyelids like Mindy does every single time she or anyone else mentions Caden! I think that's probably why she's your #1 fan...and I know she would love for you to hunt...er...visit her!

So, here are my question(s):

1. How long have you been writing?
2. When did you first get started in your writing career and why?
3. Who's your favorite author?
4. What does your writing day look like? (i.e., When do you do most of your writing? How many hours do you write? Do you write in spurts, or do you have a disciplined schedule?)
And, finally...
5. What do you like most about writing?!

Whew! OK, I'm done...for now that is! :)

Joe

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah . . . and what part(s) of Anathema did you most enjoy writing?

Joe

Anonymous said...

Wow! Great stuff. Now I need to read the original!

Dustin S.

Darlene said...

Mindy, you must be so honoured!

Now I have got to read Anathema!!

GFC appears to be acting up because the widget is empty, so I'm following by email subscription.

My email address is darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Darlene said...

+1 for tweeting

http://twitter.com/#!/DarleneBookNook/status/89468116253409280

I'm following by email subscription. I'm pretty sure I'm also following by GFC but can't check because the widget is empty so it must be acting up at the moment.

My email address is darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Kathleen said...

Whoa... you weren't kidding, Joe
:-) OK, you know what? I'm going to play a game of 'answer in 10 words or less' for each so this isn't the world's longest blog comment.
1. I started 'really' writing fiction almost 2 yrs ago
2. Career? Ha. Not there yet. Moonlighting still and that began when I cut my first cheque to my editor. For better or for worse, I was in it with both feet
3. George R.R.Martin. Hands down.
4.All my writing is done at night when my kids are in bed, after a full day at the office. Every night, seven days a wk, vacation time and regular days. Every spare minute i can find. I've become a night time hermit
5.I love entertaining people
6. The climax scene in the atrium was the BEST scene to write.

There, more than 10 words each but not too bad. Who said writers needed to know how to count, anyways... :-)
and LOL I just had a mental picture of a guy running around, fluttering his eyelids over Caden.

BookLuvr Mindy said...

Joe and Kathleen! You are totally cracking me up over here.

Anonymous said...

Kathleen, I loved all your "almost 10 words or less" answers. Man...your answer to No. 4 shows you really love to write!!!!

Yeah, that mental picture is the only way you'd see that around me. Hmmm...wait-a-minute...I do dearly love to harass my co-workers (aka, Mindy), so maybe the next time I ask her about what's-his-name, I'll flutter my eyelids for her! Hahahaha!

Oh yeah, and I forgot to say you're welcome for the intel!

Joe

Tore said...

Thanks for the great story. Tore923@aol.com

Kathleen said...

Joe. I DARE YOU!!!!

Tore - you're welcome. Glad you enjoyed it!

Anonymous said...

Aaaaarrrrgggghhhh!!!

Kathleen, I had a plausible way out before you DARED ME in public on your blog tour!!

I coulda told Mindy, "I was just kidding," or "I was just making a smart-alecky comment to make Kathleen's blog tour memorable."

NOW I have NO WAY OUT. Hmm...kinda like you and Mindy in the shed in New Shore!

NOW, I gotta do it! How's this sound? "Joe now realized, SADLY, that he would NEVER regain enough dignity to ever look directly into Mindy's youthful face again."

"Damn," he cursed to himself in a shaky, low voice, “the bloggers.” "I wonder if they can smell my fear?"

:)

Kathleen, I hope you have the best blog tour ever!

Joe

Kathleen said...

LMAO. I love it! Awesome! And I'm going to make Mindy hold you to it :-)

Thanks for the well wishes, Joe!

Kathleen

AuthorTiffany said...

Holy crow bear I LOVED IT!! That Kathleen is a vampire writing God ;)

Patricia M said...

Hi guys,

I don't know what happened but I JUST now got around to reading this. I LOVED IT!! Fantastic idea, Mindy and totally awesome job, Kathleen.

Caden...*sigh* ;)

Kathleen said...

Lol- Patricia and Tiffany- thanks. Was fun rereading this just now. :-) kathleen

Fiktshun said...

Oh yeah, WAY better knowing Caden! :) #FullOfWIN

Edd Writer said...

You're talented. The story I've read above is a good piece of literature. Keep writing.

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