Monday Blog: Inside the Personal Lives of Characters

This month’s theme is New Fiction, and I’m currently working on three new books (technically four, but I haven’t started the draft for the fourth one yet; only notes). All three books explore the personal lives of the main characters featured in the story. This week, I wanted to talk a little about the characters.

JSarconi

 

Jon Sarconi of Biologicals

Jon only makes a few appearances in the Our Lady books. You’re introduced to him when he’s a toddler, and later, as a child and then as a teen, he only has a few lines. He receives his own chapters in Your Fame Will Destroy You, and even then, it’s limited. I started thinking about the idea of him being adopted, and how his relationship with his birth parents turned sour when he was young. I decided, there was enough material there to write a story. My first thought, was a shot story, then I decided to write a companion book. Biologicals gives readers a little insight into Jon’s life: his feelings towards his birth parents, his mother Amy Edwards, and his thoughts on being adopted. Like Novocaine, this book is written in Jon’s “voice”, so readers will get a chance to really get to know him.

Jo Fuentes of Jo Fuentes: Project Sleep

You already know a few things about Jo, if you’ve read the books in the Valentine and Valentine Apart series. She’s a Marine, who survived an attack in the Iraqi desert, which killed everyone in her unit, except herself and her friend Sully. She starts working for Kelly McCormick becomes a hitwoman for the Syndicate. Jo has a special set of skills, which saved her life and Sully’s life in Iraq, however, Jo can’t recall where she learned the things she knows. She’s adept at killing, and she knows a variety of methods. Little by little, Jo begins to have flashes of a white classroom, and five other soldiers, where she is being trained to kill. Kelly is able to do some investigating and learn that Jo was part pf a program called “Project Sleep”. The project was canceled, and Jo’s mind was supposedly wiped clean of any memories of it, however, the incident in Iraq triggered her memories. In Project Sleep, Jo finds herself digging deeper and deeper into her past, learning more about Project Sleep, and about herself.

Kelly McCormick of Young Kelly McCormick

Before Kelly McCormick made a name for herself in the Syndicate, she made a name for herself around her neighborhood, and with people who knew her. The Syndicate isn’t ready to accept a woman in a powerful position, but twenty-year-old Kelly is going to show them she deserves a seat at the table. Aside from working with the Syndicate. Kelly has several personal issues to deal with, including an uncle who gambles and gets himself into dangerously high debts. Young Kelly McCormick reveals Kelly’s life before her rise within the Syndicate.

 

See you next week….

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Sample from “Jo Fuentes: Project Sleep”

I‘m currently working on three new books. One of them is Jo Fuentes: Project Sleep. This is the fourth book in my Valentine Apart series, and it a sequel to Jo Fuentes: The Black Queen. Yes, my ass-kicking Marine turned hitwoman is back, and I’d like to share a small sample from the first chapter. Enjoy! 

            Remember why you are here. You are here to serve your country…

            It was the inside of a white classroom. Six of them stood in a row, guns drawn and pointed at the mannequins at the other end of the room. The idea was to shoot the mannequins, at center mass. The six of them fired at once. When they were finished, they lowered their guns, and awaited further instructions. This had been a simple task, with no real challenge. Using a handgun was easy enough. The real training would begin, when they learned how to use inanimate objects. There was a rumor going around, they would be trained to kill using something as common as a number two pencil…

            So you can shoot a handgun. Big deal! What would you do if a gun wasn’t available? What else would you use? It was always the same voice, barking from behind them. No matter how good you are, you can always be better! Let’s start with Fuentes!

            Jo’s eyes suddenly shot open. She stared up at her ceiling, furrowing her brow and trying to get a grasp on where she was. She slowly turned to her left, and recognized her alarm clock, sitting on her nightstand. She took a deep breath, and released it. Her room, in the same apartment she’d grown up in. The white classroom from her dream had faded into memory. She sat up and swung her legs over the side of her bed, and scratched the back of her head. It was Saturday morning. There wasn’t any place she needed to be today, so the day was all hers. She stood up, and stretched all five feet and eleven inches of her, and yawned. “First order of business,” she said out loud, “A shower.”

 

Monday Blog: New Fiction!

It’s July! It’s a new month! It’s time for a new theme! I’m thinking about having a dual theme, but for now, I’m going to focus on new fiction. I currently have three new books in the works (and I’m still doing research for a fourth). So, this week, I’m going to tell you about the three I’m working on. Warning: there may be some spoilers here!

Biologicals

Another side-story in the world of Our Lady of Righteous Rage is emerging. This one is all about Jon Sarconi, Amy’s adopted son. Written in the same style as Novocaine, Jon’s life is one it’s way up: his band is finally becoming serious about their music, he’s getting help from Nick and Mike, and he’s about to start his first year of college. Nothing can spoil any of that, right? Then he receives a visit from a pair of unexpected guests: his biological parents.

Jon’s parents haven’t participated in his life since he was seven. Amy and David adopted him, and after their divorce, Amy won custody of him. As far as Jon is concerned, Amy is his mother. But his birth parents (or biologicals, as he calls them) suddenly want to get back into his life. Jon can’t help but wonder why. Biologicals will be available later this month.

 

Jo Fuentes: Project Sleep

Valentine and family have moved out of New York and on with their lives. Kelly McCormick is running the Syndicate, and Jo is her left hand man (Hugo is still her right). Jo begins having strange dreams about classrooms and training sessions, which lead her to think about how she learned to become such a skillful killer. But Jo’s not the only one thinking about her skills, and the more she begins to dig, the more she finds herself in serious danger. In this fourth installment of the Valentine Apart series, Jo will finally learn who she really is…

 

Young Kelly McCormick

Everyone has to start somewhere, right? Before she was running the Syndicate, and before she became one of the most fearsome women in New York, young Kelly McCormick had to work to make a name for herself. And, being one of very few women in the business, she certainly wasn’t going to be the one to schedule meetings and make coffee for everyone else. Kelly makes bold moves to show everyone around her, why she deserves a place in the Syndicate…

I’m also doing research for the sequel to The Witch of Fulton Lane, which should be out by October (hopefully in time for Halloween!). I’ve been reading a ton of material on Witchcraft, Wicca, and Paganism, and I’ve come across some truly fascinating information I want to use in the sequel. The working title is The Age of the Daughter. I’ll tell you more about it, as I continue to work on it.

Until next week…

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Monday Blog: The Boys of Our Lady

 

 

 

We’ve arrived at the final blog post for the month of June. To close out one of this month’s themes, this one is all about the male characters in the Our Lady of Righteous Rage series. I won’t lie: this is my favorite W.E. series, and I’ve sort of been looking forward to this post.

Our Lady follows Amy Edwards and friends as they start a business, a band, and try to keep up with both, while jumping over hurdle after hurdle. What sets this series apart from the others I’ve published so far, are the characters: they are anthropomorphic cats. However, when you’re reading the books in this series, you may find yourself completely ignoring that, and just enjoying the story. Another difference: stream of consciousness. Each chapter is narrated by a different character (think William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying). On the surface, that may sound confusing, but I can assure you it’s not. The chapters are short, and there aren’t that many characters to keep up with. So, let’s get to the boys, shall we? (SPOILER ALERT AHEAD!)

David Sarconi: He and Amy start out as friends, then they become boyfriend and girlfriend, then they get married. And then, it all changes. David tries to be passionate about music, but he just doesn’t seem to be his thing. On top of that, he doesn’t think it should be Amy’s thing, either. He’s also Nick’s cousin, and while the two start out just fine, David changes and begins to distance himself from his cousin.

Nicolas “Nick” Lianetti: Born in Sicily and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Nick is the lead singer and primary song writer for Our Lady of Righteous Rage. Music has been his passion since he was young. His father wasn’t around very much while he was growing up, but it helped shape him into a mature and responsible young man (or cat). He’s very even-tempered; he remains calm in situations that would send any other person into a rage (such as a cheating girlfriend…).

Aidan Sirci: Okay, I’ll just say it: Aidan is my favorite male character in the series. Life knocked him down more times than not, but he just keeps getting up. He’s generally cheerful and in a good mood, cracking jokes and making sarcastic remarks. He’s Nick’s best friend, and Amy’s non-biological big brother. Tall, blond, and green-eyed, most of the band’s female fans tend to gravitate to him, even though he’s deeply in love with his wife, Dee.

Rob Zickye: He’s half Scottish and half German, and the tallest member of the band (six foot five, btw). He’s been in love with Amy since they met in high school, but the two don’t get together until later on. Rob is a self-taught drummer, and can play nearly any song by ear. He’s also my second favorite, and another character who’s father wasn’t in the picture (a common theme in this series). He’s protective of his family, especially his older brother, who happens to be bipolar.

Mike Murnsen: Mike knows his way around audio and recording equipment. He’s been helping his father at his store since he was young, and when Our Lady opens a studio, he helps them produce their first album. Later, he becomes their manager.  He’s married to one of  the founding members of  the Urban Collective, Vanessa. The two of them constantly bounce ideas off one another. Mike is quiet, but he has no problem standing up for himself, or the band.

Jon Sarconi: Amy’s adopted son. He’s actually David’s younger cousin, and the two of them adopted him shortly after they got married. After their divorce, Amy had to fight to get custody of Jon. He idolizes his mother, and wants to be a rock star, just like her. The older he gets, the more assertive he becomes.

Next week is the first week of July, so it will be time for a new theme. I’m considering running 2 again. One of them will be New Fiction: I’m working on three new books, and my mother is working on one, too! If you’re an indie author and you’d like to share what you’re working on, please contact me. I’d love to post some info about you and your work! Until next week…

A Moment Between Mother & Son

I sighed. “Nick wants to start finalizing the tracks for the album, but I wanted to squeeze two more songs on. I just can’t seem to come up with anything worth recording.”

            “Don’t push yourself so hard, Jon,” Mom said. “You’ll come up with something; I know you will. You have no idea how extraordinary you are. You may not be able to see it, but I can.”

            I cocked an eyebrow at her. “How?”

            Mom smiled at me. “Because you’re my son,” she said, simply. “Because you’re mine. You were mine, even before you entered the world, because the universe declared it.”

This moment brought to you by “Biologicals”, coming soon from Woolaston Entertainment

Monday Blog: The Boys of Valentine & Valentine Apart

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New cover of Valentine

 

When you read the Valentine series, you may be under the impression the female characters are the most important. No offense to any of my male readers, but this is actually true. However, it doesn’t mean the male characters aren’t important, because they are. For one thing, the villain of the story is John Rafferty. It seems most of the problems in both the Valentine series and the Valentine Apart series, can be traced back to him. So, let’s meet the guys, shall we?

Vincent Entienne: He’s just a man, trying to take care of his family. Working for Rafferty is dangerous work, but it pays well. Vincent’s wife leaves him without any warning, and he finds himself alone with a young daughter to raise. He makes a poor decision, which has tragic consequences, which change the course of his and his daughter’s lives forever. But he means well. He only wants what’s best for his daughter Val and his nieces, Veronica and Victoria.  

Victor Entienne: You meet him briefly in Her Name is Lola Vencent , but I wanted to mention him here, because he is important to the series. Victor is the younger brother of Vincent, and he’s Veronica and Victoria’s father. Rafferty’s nephew Damien, placed a hit on Victor on Rafferty’s behalf, when he believed Victor was trying to cheat Rafferty by withholding money. His daughters weren’t raised together, because Veronica didn’t learn of Victoria’s existence until much later on. Why Victor kept Victoria a secret, is completely unknown.

Jacob Price: He’s been working for Rafferty since he was a teenager. He used to be Vincent’s partner, until Vincent left the Syndicate (the network of criminals, hitmen, mob bosses, etc). He always seems to have his own agenda when it comes to Val: Rafferty gave him specific instructions regarding Val’s drive to L.A. in the first book, and Jacob ignored his orders. He’s supposed to keep tabs on Val, but he seems to look out for her instead. He knows a lot of people in the Syndicate, and can always find out information.

Allan Avery: A hitman for hire, who freelances. Allan is protective of his little sister Mackenzie, loves Lola Vencent, and enjoys his job. Allan has creative ways to carry-out his hits. When he spends more time around Val and her family, he becomes attached to them, and becomes protective of them as well. He is known as one of the best hitmen in the Syndicate.

Michael Aldus: He’s a liaison to the Syndicate. He arranges meetings, and hires outside contractors, when necessary.  He, much like Jacob, seems to have a hidden agenda. He’s like a glorified assistant, but he has aspirations of becoming so much more.

Lorenzo Entienne: Vincent and Victor’s father. He approaches Val and offers to take her to Italy, where the Entienne family is originally from. He comes across as a loving grandfather, but he has plans to put Val and her reputation to use.

John Rafferty: The man at the top of the Syndicate. He doesn’t care who he steps on, destroys or kills in his quest to run the entire Syndicate. He sees Val as his archenemy: she’s the first person to challenge his power, and live to tell the tale. He’s involved in several criminal enterprises, including drugs (there’s a hint to this in the first book, when Val opens a box in Rafferty’s warehouse. He’s interested in having a romantic relationship with Lola Vencent, even though she makes it very clear, it will never happen.

Next week, the boys of Fortune’s Wing, and I’ll tell you all about my trip to Virginia for a reunion with the staff of my high school’s lit-art magazine, Polaris!