Breaking Radio Silence

The plot to the second Kari Hunter book.
The plot to the second Kari Hunter book.

You know how it goes: you tell yourself you can skip a week of blogging, then another week goes by. And then the next, and the next… Before you know it, over three months have passed since the last time you said anything.

The scope of blogging for authors has changed anyway, I reasoned. Probably no one’s reading this blog. The first book came out over a year ago, and everyone’s forgotten about it. Right?

And then, on a whim, I popped over to my Amazon author page and realized I had seven comments of people saying they were checking religiously for a new Kari Hunter book, and when is the next one coming out?

And those were just the comments. Who knows how many others are just popping by to check?
So for those of you who are looking for the next Kari Hunter book, here’s the news. (I’ll make this the abbreviated version. Those of you who are curious about the personal and writerly details can check back later.)

Back in December, I posted an update with a plan for the second Kari Hunter book. I explained that I had never come up with a process for writing, so I was feeling my way through the new book, slowly but surely. I even hinted at a timeline, which I really shouldn’t have done. This new book has taken me through some amazing twists and turns. I reached some personal highs and incredibly low lows. I forgot how to write a book. And then I remembered again. I even figured out my own writing process. So that I don’t forget again, and so I can write books a little faster in the future, I documented my process.
Yes. There really is a document. Because that’s what a big nerd I am. Continue reading “Breaking Radio Silence”

Sci-Fi Pinups: Mr. & Miss January 2014

PinCushionHappy New Year, gang! I’ve returned to trot out a new year of sci-fi and fantasy hotties. If this is your first time joining us, welcome! The Sci-Fi Pinups is the monthly segment where I scar you for life with photos of hot space dudes in metal bikinis, three-breasted Martian hookers, and the Hoff in a Speedo.

Somehow, you guys keep coming back for more eye-searing action. (I’m beginning to worry.)

I hope you’re ready for the new year. We’re going to dive right in with the music edition! This month, we’re featuring the songs you know and wish you could forget love.

Miss January comes to us from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. As soon as you’re in her presence, you won’t be able to help but notice her lips and legs that seem to go for miles. She’s performed for tough audiences on planets everywhere, but currently rocks the house on Tatooine, delighting crime lords, bounty hunters, and scoundrels encased in carbonite.

She is… Continue reading “Sci-Fi Pinups: Mr. & Miss January 2014”

Where In the Hell is the Next Kari Hunter Book?

WindowSeatDecember 4 marked a very important milestone for me: the anniversary of THE FOURTH CHANNEL release.

When I look back on the last year, a scene from the movie “Tin Cup” comes to mind: Kevin Costner plays a golf pro at a small town driving range. When he enters the US Open, the attention causes him to develop a glitch in his swing and he’s completely unable to hit the ball. He manages to hide his problem, but privately he’s having a crisis, trying to fix his swing so he can play. At one point, he’s standing in his RV, decked head to toe in tacky, plastic golfing gimmicks that he once eschewed, when his love interest, played by Rene Russo, walks in and catches him in his most humiliating moment.

This last year has felt a lot like that moment.

Continue reading “Where In the Hell is the Next Kari Hunter Book?”

Sci-Fi Pinups: Mr. & Miss November

Pin Cushion Stop your grinnin’ and drop your linen—it’s time for the Sci-Fi Pinups!

If this is your first time joining us, welcome! This is the monthly segment where we celebrate the hunks and hotties of the science fiction and fantasy world—the strong men and women with the guts, guns, and green skin to prove they’re the best and baddest. They ain’t your momma’s pinups.

Unless you have my mom. She’s pretty awesome.

For more pinups, check out our previous submissions.

Since I’m late on the pinups once again (gah), let’s just jump right into it!

Miss November hails from good, normal British stock—and don’t you dare look down on her for that. She’s loyal, brave, and is a fast draw with her wand. She can do everything a boy can do, except figure out a magic spell for manageable hair. When you’re in a jam and don’t know how to get out, never fear—her love of libraries has made her brain an encyclopedia! There’s never a problem she can’t solve with her books and big noggin. But before you scream, “Nerd alert!” let me assure you that she’s seen quite a few fights and never backs down from anything or anyone. The only thing bigger than her heart is her patronus.

She is…

Hermione Granger

…Hermione Granger from Harry Potter!

If you’ve never heard of Miss November, you must have been living under a rock for the last fifteen years. You should make yourself acquainted with our Miss November immediately! She’s strong, she’s brave, and she’s smart—everything we like in our sci-fi ladies. None of that whining, crying, hiding under the bed for her! And if you try that kind of behavior in her presence, she’ll pull you out by your hair and turn you into something awful. Believe me, she can do it.

Here’s a little more in case you can’t get enough of Miss November:

Moving on!

Mr. November comes to us from Astoria, Oregon. Like Miss November, he’s locked and loaded and always packing for a fight. At first glance, you’ll think he’s dressed like a young flasher-in-training, but once he shows you what he’s packing under his trench, you’ll change your mind faster than you can say “Pincers of Peril.” When the chips are down and his crew’s in danger, he’ll stand in the gap and whip out his contraptions. Hopefully they won’t punch him in the face first. Mr. November sticks with his friends to the end and never says die.

He is…

Data - The Goonies

…Data from The Goonies!

I realize this movie’s super old and you probably haven’t seen it in a long time, but it’s so good. And Mr. November is great! He uses his brains and his heart to overcome adversity… and score some pirate treasure.

In case this just isn’t enough of Mr. November for you (of course it isn’t!) here’s a little more:

Thanks for joining me for another month of Sci-Fi Pinups. I hope it brought you a little smile. If you like what you see and want a little more, pick up a copy of my bestselling comic urban fantasy novel, THE FOURTH CHANNEL.

Subscribe to the site for more! The links are in the sidebar, and you can follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Pincushion photo courtesy of Lina-Sydney. Continue reading “Sci-Fi Pinups: Mr. & Miss November”

The Cure: Part Five (Vote Your Adventure)

IncubatorThis is the fifth part of an adventure series where YOU determine the next step in the story. If you’ve been following the story thus far, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t stuck to a strict schedule as I typically do. Unfortunately I’ve been dealing with other things that have kept me from being diligent about my schedule. So I understand if you’re asking yourself: where in the hell are we in this story?

The “parts” are short, so it’s not hard to catch up:

Part One: You and your team are on a suicide mission to infiltrate New Milwaukee. You don’t get the antidote you were sent for, but you do find the scientist responsible for the demon-human-hybrid virus sweeping through your city. You kidnap the scientist, then voted to head to the southwest exit toward the armory, medical suite, and garage.

Part Two: You exit the ladder shaft on the armory floor, hoping for some weapons. Unfortunately, you’ve exited into an ambush. You voted to run for it rather than jumping back into the ladder shaft.

Part Three: Your decision results in being trapped in a tiny room filled with occult training gear that you don’t know how to use. Before you can run out of the room to safety, the security forces outside decide the best way to deal with you is by unleashing a full demon to destroy you. You voted to stand and fight the demon.

Part Four: You shove a book into Tankwald’s hands and read the demon into submission. You make a hasty escape in the demon’s cage and set the demon on the security forces outside. You voted to escape through the quarantine zone.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, we continue with Part Five! Leave a vote in the comments below or on Twitter. Voting ends Saturday night.

You decide to head into Quarantine. You reinforce your grip on Tankwald’s wrist and yank him behind you, toward the closing emergency door on the right side. Tankwald, still in hysterics from the near-miss with the demon, isn’t helping you along. When you reach the orange striped area marked “Quarantine,” he pulls against you, trying to break free.

“We can’t go into quarantine! Even I’m not allowed inside!”

You don’t answer. There’s no time to argue. You need to escape this facility and you’re determined to bring Tankwald with you. Hopefully, New Milwaukee’s security forces are so occupied with the rampaging demon that you can make your escape unnoticed.

“Please let me go,” he pants. “I won’t tell anyone where you are. I’ll say you knocked me unconscious. Hell, feel free to do that if it makes you feel better!”

By the time you both reach the door, the armor plated slab is two feet from the ground. You dive for the narrow opening, pulling Tankwald with you. The slide through the door is a sloppy, painful affair, but you make it to the other side safely and pull the flailing scientist through. Just as Tankwald’s limbs clear the opening, the door seals, muffling the gunfire, shouts, and demonic tongue.

You stand and drag Tankwald to his feet. Before he can say more, you grab his wrist and start running. You see a security checkpoint up ahead—short posts bearing card readers. The security detail that should be standing guard is gone, probably recruited to deal with the demon.

You blow through the checkpoint, setting off another alarm that warbles an excruciating, high-pitched howl at regular intervals, accompanied by purple warning lights that flash against the orange walls. But no one else comes. This section has been evacuated. You continue to run down the long, narrow hall and pull the resisting Tankwald behind you.

You find the first door about thirty feet from the security checkpoint. Three large windows are set in the wall just after, to provide viewing from the hall. The door looks like an interior door but you make no move to open it, in case you catch a weird disease. Besides, all you want is an exit. As you run past the windows, you see a large, dimly lit room crammed with incubators. And babies. Wall-to-wall babies. Maybe this is a sick ward?

You continue on, pulling Tankwald behind you. His energy is waning, dragging you down like dead weight. The emergency alarm is still going, throbbing in your ears, and the lights are flashing. But you still see no one. There’s no one here but you, Tankwald, and those weird babies.

Sixty feet from the checkpoint, you pass a second door identical to the first. You’re so focused on finding an elevator or stairwell that you barely notice the windows.

A startled cry from Tankwald snaps your attention to the window. The room is larger than the first and crammed with incubators, though these are larger to accommodate the toddlers sleeping inside. You immediately see what Tankwald was reacting to. The sleeping children all exhibit deformities you’ve seen before: sharp black talons, small horns the color of new and flushed flesh, small leather wings, and more. You realize they’re grouped by the strains of disease that Tankwald created.

You aren’t surprised by the sight, just sickened. Humans have birthed so few children since the initial demonic invasion that they’re a priceless treasure. You can’t help but think of your niece who suffers from the same affliction, and you reaffirm your goal to bring Tankwald home and force him to create an antidote.

As you pull Tankwald past the windows and continue down the hall, you hear him sob. “They’re children…” His voice trails off for a second. “The virus I created was for soldiers—willing participants who wanted to become the next great evolution of mankind. They promised—”

You cut his sentence short by stopping dead in your tracks and whirling on him. His red-rimmed eyes widen in fright. “Do you know why I’m here?”

“T– t– to kill me?” he stammered.

You shake your head. “To find a cure to your disease. My six-year-old niece is morphing into one of your demon-hybrid freaks.” You lean in close and fix him with a cold stare. He shudders. “I was advised that this was a suicide mission but I volunteered anyway. I didn’t find the cure, but I’ll do them one better and deliver you—” You turn away and clamp down on Tankwald’s wrist again. “—if I can find the way out of this damn place.”

As you continue down the hall, the alarm shuts off with a snap, leaving cold, startling silence in its place. The purple lights continue to flash incessantly. You pass by two more rooms but you don’t look inside. Tankwald says nothing about them, though you sense his horror and despair.

Just beyond the second room you spot a service elevator on the left wall. Relieved, you make a beeline for it and pound the up-button with your fist repeatedly. You can’t leave this hallway of horror soon enough.

“Wait.” Tankwald’s voice struggles to be heard, choking through tears and labored breath. “Look!”
You glance over your shoulder and look at a metal door that you thought led to another incubation room. A small sign reads “Control Room.”

You shrug, turn away, and resume pounding the elevator button. Just how damn long does it take for the elevator to get here? If you’re lucky, it will take you straight to the garage so you can get an armored vehicle and get the hell out.

“Please,” Tankwald says, trying to pull his arm away. You hear him trying to wrestle the control room door open, but it sounds locked. “Help me,” he says. “There’s a self-destruct code built into the machines.”

You pause, fist in midair by the elevator button, and you turn to him. “Pardon?”

“In case of invasion,” he explains. “We don’t want the technology falling into enemy hands. We can destroy all the machines.” Tankwald starts throwing his thin body against the door, trying to break it down. The desperation in his voice is clear. So are his tears. “Please help me.”

Behind you, the elevator chimes. The doors open.

Tankwald throws himself against the control room door again, but a thunderous sound overshadows the one he’s making: the demon is pummeling the security door. Another deafening slam suggests it will be through within minutes.

What do you do?

A. Help Tankwald destroy the machines, and then get into the elevator.
B. Forget the machines! Jump into the elevator.

Don’t forget to vote! Leave your vote in the comments below or send me a message on Twitter. Thanks, guys! Hope you’re enjoying our latest adventure.

Incubator photo courtesy of Silent Observer. Continue reading “The Cure: Part Five (Vote Your Adventure)”