BACKSTREET BLOODBATH: Part II

Backstreet Bloodbath copy

Jess’s purse thudded to the ground at her feet and her entire body seized up. The eyes didn’t move even as her scream pierced the night.

Run! Run, you idiot! she thought, her heels scuffing against the pavement to turn.

A metal door clanked open nearby, throwing a stretch of eerie green light across the alley.

Jess scuttled behind some garbage bins nearby and hunkered down in the darkness they provided. She peeked out after a couple seconds.

The silhouette of a person closed in over the glow until someone stood at the entrance, a garbage sack thrown over their shoulder. With one single heft, the person hucked the bag into the dumpster where she had seen the eyes. A flurry of screeches rose up out of the bin. The guy kicked the dumpster and shouted, “Frickin’ critters!”

After a moment, the little bandit crawled out of the dumpster and down to the ground. It started lapping at the puddle of reddish liquid (in the new light revealed to be raspberry jam from a cracked jar).

The man vanished back inside and the door creaked shut.

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Backstreet Bloodbath: Part I

Backstreet Bloodbath header

“God, how late do you think they put their kids to bed?” Darlene shouted across the parlor as she swished a mop back and forth.

Jess slapped down a wet dish rag on the counter and didn’t respond. Just a few more minutes until closing time. You got this, girl.

Darlene shrugged and kept filling the silence. “I mean, who gets their kids ice cream at nine-thirty? The little shits should be in bed. Now they’ll be up for another three hours!”

“That’s not for us to worry about,” Jess answered, pushing through the kitchen doors to wash out the dish rag. “Let’s just get this place cleaned up so we can go home.”

The last ten minutes had afforded the girls an uninterrupted span of time to get Daisy’s Sweet Tooth ready for closing. Usually, they saw no customers after nine and were able to close early and skip out ahead of the usual ten o’clock closing time. In fact, over the last couple weeks, Daisy’s had seen fewer and fewer patrons past sunset. Tonight had been an oddity.

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Acquolina is now available!

Good morning everyone!

My first short story in The Monstrum Chronicles, Acquolina, is now available for download on Kindle here. At 99 cents, this 46 page story chronicles the tale of Sibyl, a year old fledgling of the Kume bloodline. The Kume are the water-dwelling bloodline of lilitu (vampires) from The Monstrum Chronicles. They have mutated from so many years spent in the water. They have blue tinged skin, black eyes, and scales, occasionally. These creatures are also extremely artistic. The bloodline was created during the Italian Renaissance in the 1400’s. The novel takes place in the late 1800’s in the Kume city of Vitoria, which exists in the Erebus, the dark shadow realm where the lilitu hold territories. Vitoria is the capitol and the home of the Artigianti di Alta. They are the group of highly skilled artisans who protect a collection of the most highly valued artwork pieces created by their kind.

As the novel opens, we find Sibyl preparing for the annual Festival Della Costola, a celebration where one Kume is picked to join the Artigianti di Alta and the various Houses (clans) celebrate their creativity. However, there are also civil tensions rising between various houses which are building toward a terrible possible outcome: war. As Sibyl finds herself chosen as the new inductee to the Artigianti di Alta, she will be pulled in opposite directions by two men: a mysterious outsider who might be her only escape from the rising unrest, and The Ghost, another outsider, who has a vested interest in saving Vitoria by using any means necessary. But do they have their own agendas as well?

Here is the cover:

Acquolina is written for those who want a taste of what’s to come in Aequitas: Book 2 of The Monstrum Chronicles. It gives the background story for two characters who play large roles in the series. The short story also gives further clarification to an event that is referenced in Book 2. Later this evening, I’ll have a soundtrack list up for the short story on my website, so stay tuned for that!

Also, (and I feel pretty bad about this) sorry I wasn’t able to get Inspiration Through Music up on Monday. It was a busy day, I was getting my new car (Izze 3!) and then the new car had a dead battery so I got home rather late. Yesterday, I was rushing to get the short story published and then spent the entire night reformatting it because I hadn’t done it properly. I’m hoping to write the blog this morning. If I’m not able to, I’ll have it up for you later tonight.

Right then! Stay tuned for new stuff! 🙂

~KSilva

Aequitas: Inspiration Through Music

Good evening, readers!

As promised, I’ll be talking about a few of the songs I’ve listened to that have inspired key scenes in “Aequitas”, the upcoming sequel to “Vox”. I’ve also decided to make a permanent “Inspiration Through Music” weekly post in order to focus on one song and/or musical artist that has inspired my writing in some way. I will be creating a page where all of the links will be posted. It will be located on the blog roll in the right hand column. I have also placed my “Food Adventures” page there for you to find the links to those. [I’ve decided to try making a cheesecake for this week’s project! Hopefully it goes better than the pastitsio…]

I will be discussing five songs which I listened to in order to help inspire certain scenes in “Aequitas.” All of them are very different from one another, but are incredibly expressive and always drop me into the scene with ease while I listen to them. I don’t want to give too much away as to what happens in these scenes so I’ll be doing something that my favorite writer, Anthony Bourdain, did for a chapter in his book “Medium Raw.” The best way to do this is to open the link in a separate tab and listen to it as you read the vignettes below. Once you’ve read them, feel free to check out the corresponding youtube videos (especially the one for #3).

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Aequitas! A sneak peek at what’s ahead!

Good Morning!

The last two days, I’ve been able to do get out of bed. Migraine, head cold, sore throat… it’s been a miserable time. Even today, I’m still not back on my feet completely. I’ve successfully used up two boxes of kleenex, drained a pot of chicken soup, and was successful in making my cat sympathetically sick as well. He left little presents for me on my carpet yesterday.

Dreadful as I feel, I have returned to the blog to do what I said I was going to do, update you on what you can expect to see in “Aequitas”.

I don’t want to give too much away but I do want to give you a brief synopsis of who will be returning, the new characters you’ll meet and some of the bloodlines that feature prominently in book 2.

MAIN CHARACTERS RETURNING!

A few times, I’ve mentioned that Reid and Torrent will both be back in the sequel. Unlike “Vox” where we went back and forth between three pov (Torrent’s, Eileen’s, and Sean’s), “Aequitas” will slingshot between Reid and Torrent, whose stories will come together eventually. Torrent was the major protagonist in “Vox” and it was his story that we got to know the most. In “Aequitas”, it will be Reid who we learn the most about.

Aside from Reid and Torrent returning, we will see the return of Eileen (though not as a principal protagonist), Vinh (Akane’s childe), and the Councilmen. Sean and Jill will both return for a short period.

NEW CHARACTERS!

An old ex-Council friend of Reid’s will join him in his adventures. Sassy, charming, and dangerous, Cardea is a Nephythys not to be trifled with. Will she and Reid be able to trust one another after the terrible events that shattered their friendship years ago?

Harper is Torrent’s first fledgling and the one who reported him to the Council of Thema after he destroyed Seraphim City. Harper has been elected as the replacement Citius judge on the Council. But does he have more sinister intentions with his new post?

We’ll also meet Reid’s sire, The Artigiani di Alta, a group of Kume artisans with connections to both Reid and Torrent, and the mysterious Leach, a figure with connections to a series of macabre murders occurring all over the globe.

LOCATIONS!

For fans of “Vox”, you already know how I love to send my characters globe-trotting in my books. In “Aequitas,” the characters will travel to several exotic and dark locations including but not limited to:

Linz, Austria

 

 Montreal, Canada

 

Istanbul, Turkey

and finally,

MAINE!!

(P.S. Epic stuff happens here.)

BLOODLINES!

In “Vox,” we learned allot about the Citius, Amalric, Savaric, and Haru bloodlines because the characters spent a bunch of time in their home territories.

In “Aequitas,” we will learn more about:

The Elias (Reid’s bloodline)

The Kume

The Nephythys

and The Rain!

AND THAT’S JUST THE BEGINNING…

A dangerous monstrum unlike anything Torrent and Reid have faced before, zombies (or as Torrent would say “Aegruses”), giant man-eating fish, an underground red market, big guns, more blood, lots of water, and plenty of fire…

Oh yes. It’ll be one thrill-ride of a book.

Next week, I will reveal a few songs from the Aequitas Soundtrack! I’ll also treat you to the “If The Monstrum Chronicles were to be a movie, who would play the main characters?” post. And I’ll be sure to keep you updated on tips, tricks, and other writing-related blog posts as I see fit!

Now, off to revise (and then probably nap!) Hopefully this cold will mostly gone by the end of the week!

KSilva

[EDIT: There was apparently an issue with the source of some of the pictures that I posted. Everything should be fixed now.]

Inspiration for “Home”

Good morning, folks!

Hoping everyone had a wonderful and safe Christmas! It actually snowed here… quite a bit. I ended up staying at my parent’s house and was without my computer for a full 24 hours… (which almost never happens!) Still, it was a pleasant day unwrapping gifts and spending time with my family. Among many fantastic gifts, I received some new video editing software for my laptop. Hopefully now, I’ll be able to experiment more with making some more professional looking book trailers! I’ll take a look at everything this Thursday when I have more time!

Since I am once again pressed for time this morning, I would just quickly like to thank those people who read “Home” and enjoyed it. The idea for the story had been trapped in my head for several days and that morning I literally dumped it from my noggin onto the blog. I wrote it in an hour, so any mistakes I made I apologize for. I was trying to get ready for work, too!

If any of you wondered what my inspiration was behind this story, I’ll say right now that it was a combination of a couple things. One is a unique book trailer that someone posted for the novel, “Going West” by Maurice Gee. The trailer is a stop-motion animated piece which runs for about one and a half to two minutes. The narrator brings life to Gee’s stunning imagery through the course of the video. You can find that video here.

The second inspiration is a new song released by Puscifer this year (fueling my James Maynard Keenan obsession), which is called “Tumbleweed.” I listened to that song while I wrote “Home”. You can find that song here.

This week, I’ll be posting some interesting factoids about “Vox” and “Aequitas”, specifically where I get my inspiration from while writing those books. I’ll also be posting more writing tips in general!

Til then, enjoy the day!

KSilva

Home, a short story

By metro, the man found himself soaring over the dark city he’d inhabited for nearly a year. The train rumbled as it passed by the silhouettes of abandoned railway cars and the shadows of drunken individuals too far gone to see where they were stumbling to. In the late hours of the night, the only light came from neon yellow streetlamps which lit the streets in strange splotches, highlighting a rubbish bin here and a beat-up stop sign there.

As the metro traveled deeper into the tangles of the city, the man reflected on the night. He reflected on things he wished he could forget. There were images of women varied and yet still hazy, their faces never quite clear enough to his minds eye. There were scenes of bars and brothels, the glasses lining the high varnished counters like posts on a fence and a red glow bathing the room around him. Cards in his hand, but never good ones. Then came that sick crack of self-realization. It had tumbled down on him like bricks and he’d stumbled out of the places where he’d wasted most of his nights away in.

The metro glided high up over the city. The gloomy tenements that housed the city’s poorer families and the darkened doorways, which always housed one or two lonelier individuals. It curved down toward the suburban squalor, a place where the houses stretched on in perfect unison. The front lawns were a blanket of green, even in the night. The communities seemed to vanish like smoke in the air as the metro plunged back down between several high-rises.

Then the city rose up, buildings like children’s building blocks, wielded by men who wished them higher and higher. The man could smell money on these streets, like the ever-present stench of garbage. It reeked here. The people who clumsily made their way through the alleys and backstreets were much like he’d been. Too lost in their own minds to see what was truly around him. Oh, he’d seen the error in his ways eventually. But it had left him hollow. How he’d even been able to board that metro, he wasn’t sure. But he knew it would take him somewhere far from this corruption, if even only for a day. Escape was necessary.

As the city slipped back into the blackness, the forests sprung from the earth. A mixture of conifers and bare limbed trees congregated with a harmony he’d not seen in that city. Beneath the twinkling stars, the woods roamed the hills, a fur coat over the cold terrain that did hardly a thing to keep it warm.

He rode in silence. The other passengers on the car were escaping the city, too. They didn’t want to speak about the terrors they’d left behind. Neither did he.

It wasn’t long until the night began to give way to the day. Pink light burst out from below the distant trees and clawed its way across the sky. Then he saw the snow. It was hard to say when it had first started, but now it was impossible to ignore. It fell across the forest and the ground in sheets. The longer he looked at it, the more the man felt his memories of the city pass away. He was moving somewhere innocent. Somewhere that didn’t need to know about all he’d seen. Somewhere where he could forget about all of the mistakes.

The metro stopped in a tiny station, nearly a quarter of the size of the one he’d been in when he’d boarded. The man summoned a taxi with a quick wave of his hand, the only taxi in the village in fact, and it took him away. They drove by a quiet stretch of streets; the houses donned with lights of every color. In the front yards, snowmen sat contentedly with scarves around their icy shoulders and carrot noses poking into the early morning light. Even the air smelled sweet and spicy and he could imagine a mug of hot buttered rum in his cold fingers before the sun was fully up.

He got off at a little house half way down 4th street. It was much plainer than the ones around him. Candles glowed in the windows and a wreath shook on the door, the wind trying to pull it away. Slinging his bag over his shoulders, the man approached the front door and timidly knocked.

Commotion inside. A dog barked somewhere in the house. Chairs scraped against the old wooden floors and after a moment, the door opened a crack. Then wider.

An older woman, her dimpled cheeks growing red within moments, her blue eyes giving way to a kind of intense delight that he hadn’t seen in over a year. She reached over the threshold and wrapped her tiny arms around his shoulders. She smelled like warm apple pie. Her touch felt so welcome against the cold.

“Welcome home, dear.” she whispered in his ear.

He pulled away to look into her eyes once again. “Mom.”

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Merry Christmas, everyone! I won’t be posting a blog post for the next couple days! Everyone have a safe and happy holiday! And thank you so much for supporting me this holiday season once again!

~KSilva

“Home” is copyrighted to Katherine Silva.