GOOD INTENTIONS? PSSSHHT! THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH CHOICE

It is said, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, but Heaven is full of good works.” And the biggest difference between the two is choice. That’s what this book, The Road to Hell, is all about.

The cost of choice. The consequence of choice. The power of choice. These were the themes I played with in the book and Lucifer gets the ball rolling early. He starts it all with a simple choice, with a want for something greater. He wants something for himself. He sees what he is and what he can and can’t do and wants something that belongs to him. Something just for him. It’s a small thing, really, and, as I was writing the story, it was the most personal of the choices I wrote about. Who doesn’t want something for themselves?

Now, you have the choice to read the rest over at Debbie Brown’s Amethyst Eyes blog. Swing by, check out the interview and the guest post, and leave a comment.

Also don’t forget, there’s a brand new Facebook page for the Heaven Falls series. Stop by, give us a Like and join the discussion.

And for my wicked little readers who are wading through these posts for more villainy goodness, Mommie Dearest will be gracing Crooked Letterz later today.

Making Heaven Un-Heavenly

Heaven’s not what you think. At least not in my book. And you’re either gonna love it or you’re gonna hate it.

I generally get questions about the world, about the version of Heaven, I built for The Road to Hell. It’s not a world of fluffy clouds and fat babies with harps. It’s not even a grass-covered meadow with wondrous waterfalls and hordes of wildflowers (well, not in the beginning), and there are absolutely, positively no diamonds or golden streets, rainbows or unicorns. My version of Heaven is kind of minimalist, kind of bleak. Kind of blah.

But there’s a reason for it…

You wanna know, doncha? Well, you gotta check out my guest post over at The AvidReader for the answer.

Then swing by the new Facebook page, Like Us, and join the discussion!

Festival of Fiendishness: THE VAMPIRE LESTAT

In the midst of this heavy promo season, I’ve come to a realization: as awesome as I am (and I am awesome), you’re not actually interested in all that. I know it; you can admit it: you want your villains, right? Still liking the darker stuff, are we? Well, as your Master of Malevolence, I am here to serve. And to get donuts—didn’t know donuts were part of the gig, did you? That’s why I’m in charge.

Anyways, today’s marvelous miscreant is the vampire who put emotion in the emotionless, who showed us being a vampire is not all blood and bad news—it can actually be powdered wigs and puffy sleeves: Lestat.

Now, I am admittedly not a vampire fan. I know, I know, I did a whole post on Dracula but truth is, I’ve never really been into the whole slightly-effeminate, let-me-bite-you-on-the-neck, turn into a bat bullshit. What you always got was a pale, gangly white dude with a funny accent who couldn’t figure out how to run when the townsfolk came. Note: when you see a mob with torches, RUN. It never, ever ends well.

Not that Lestat doesn’t meet that stereotype—he absolutely does: he is a gangly white guy with blond hair from France. What makes Lestat interesting or even relevant is his grander purpose. We are introduced to Lestat and Louis—a terribly effeminate Brad Pitt and a Tom Cruise in a horrible wig—on a New Orleans slave plantation in Interview With The Vampire and we see Lestat turn Louis into a vampire in a discussion over the value of life. Louis wants to die; Lestat gives him an eternal life that is dependent on killing others instead.

Kinda fucked up, huh?

So that earns my attention. But what I like about this character is that he makes us explore the darker side from the darker side. You never think about if it is good or evil to take a man who wants to commit suicide and turn him into a vampire. Or if vampires even consider good and evil. And I’m not talking about the current spate of eco-friendly, “vegetarian,” sparkly-ass vampires (you know what raggedy shit I’m referring to); I’m talking about the goodness or evil of saving a child from death, only to give her an immortal life as a murderous child. Lestat ponders these things, wonders if he has a soul, wonders if God exists and, if so, what He must think about vampires.

I’ll ignore his penchant for high fashion and the ludicrousness of a vampire heading up an 80s hair band (seriously? Nobody said, “Um, Miss Rice, this idea, um, SUCKS?”). I’ll just focus instead on his investigation of life itself. When you consume humanity, when you live off of it, you begin to look at it differently. There’s discussion of his sexual preference (highlighted by the abovementioned penchant for high fashion—in the books, Lestat is considers himself bisexual). From our perspective, this matters; from his, life is life. When you are eternal, you are able to look at things from a much larger context. From a more external perspective. I think that’s what Lestat gives us.

I’m still not a fan. I think Lestat is a cruel “prince” of a character who neither understands the full implications of his powers on others nor really cares about them. I think he’s awfully self-centered for something that has existed for so long. But Lestat gave me, as a writer, the ability to see from another’s perspective. I write angels from their perspective—I couldn’t have without his blueprint. For that, I rank him AWESOME.

That’s my word! Up next, the reigning champion of the Mother Of The Year award: Joan Crawford AKA Mommie Dearest!

You Asked For It, You Got It!

Nope this ain’t a Toyota commercial (‘amember that?) but it is me finally fulfilling a request. Santa’s paying what he owes (if you’re a Boondocks fan, you get it) . Anyway, I told you that I needed to reconcile the light with the dark side, right? That folks swinging by after reading my book were a touch “dismayed” at the villainous approach to life we take over here on Crooked Letterz. So, to that end, I made a new page.

A new Facebook page. Yes, boys and girls, friends and foes, there is a new Facebook page for the Heaven Falls series. Everything you wanted to know that I wouldn’t post here, you can find there. Want to know what I was smoking when I gave Lucifer creation powers? Ask me on the Heaven Falls Facebook Page. Think individuals floating around in metal armor with wings sounds awfully SilverHawks-ish? It should. And I talk about why on the Facebook page. You can too.

Here’s the best part: I’m in the middle of Book 2 in the series, Come Hell or High Water, and I’ve gotten Rainy Kaye (from rainyofthedark.com) and Kris Wagner from Kris Wagner Design & Illustration to give me some sample cover images. Stop by and tell me what you think.

In the end, this page is for you: I want you to make it what you want, ask me anything, and tell me what else you’d like to see. See, I’m lost without you: you complete me. Yeah, enough of that jazz. Come check out the page at http://www.facebook.com/HeavenFallsSeries

Author Interview: J.A. Beard’s Unnecessary Musings

Like VISA, I’m everywhere you wanna be this August. And today, I’m hanging out with J.A Beard, author of The Emerald City, a 21st century take on The Wizard of Oz. J.A. knows his stuff and gave me one of the more in-depth interviews I’ve had.

Check it out at Unnecessary Musings. Your support for me and the bloggers who support us indies means the world–give J.A. (and all the others) a strong shout out for hosting this month!

And then swing back today–I know I’ve been heavy on the promo stuff but I’m gonna give you what you want, what you’ve been aching for: the villains are back, and the Vampire Lestat will be taking a bite out of Crooked Letterz today!

My Top Ten Heroes #OBSummer #Books

So the next magnificent miscreant in our repertoire is…wait, what? Heroes? Did I read that right? My Top Ten Heroes? Yes, friends and foes, after all this time pouring over the dastardly deeds of about 50 of my favorite baddies, it’s time to give a brief – and I mean BRIEF – introduction to my all-time favorite do-gooders.

But you know I’m not doing that nonsense here, right? Oh no! As part of the Orangeberry Summer Splash, the good folks over at WeFancyBooks are hosting my first ever Top Ten Heroes list. Swing by and pay them a visit!

Water (The Akasha Series #1) – Book Review #OBSummer

Let me get this out the way: Kaitlyn Alder is BADASS!

And now for the more subdued part of my review:
I read Water as part of the OrangeBerry Summer Splash Blog Tour and was introduced to Kaitlyn, her elemental powers and the eco-fantasy genre all in one fell swoop. And Terra Harmony, the author, doesn’t waste any time throwing you into the action. Some readers like to move into stories gradually—they want to learn about the sunlight, the intricate shapes the shadows make dappling on pavement, the sounds of children playing from the nearby park wafting through the air. Yeah, screw all that! Harmony introduces us to Kaitlyn as she’s snowboarding for her life, trying to outrun an avalanche.

She fails.

And that’s just the first chapter.

From here we learn that Kaitlyn is more than a globe-trotting, freelance photographer with intimacy issues: she’s a Gaia—a person with the ability to manipulate the elements (Air, Wind, Water, and Fire). Problem is Kaitlyn’s all power with none of the control. Where we’d love a light breeze, your girl is causing Hurricane Katrina. Not only that, she’s in the custody of an eco-friendly (but pretty freaking poor), shadowy group called The Seven. They lock her up, don’t tell her anything, vaguely answer her questions, are footloose and fancy free with sedatives, and promise to teach her about her powers.

What I like about Kaitlyn is that she takes none of this lying down: she puts a hurting on everyone until she gets the answers the wants or until her curiosity is peaked. And she’s got a smart-ass sense of humor. She’s all attitude, has great one-liners and a good right cross—it’s more like Captain Planet meets The Last Airbender with a little Firestarter thrown in there for good measure.

I’m gonna stop so I don’t ruin it: Water and its follow up, Air, are both available (you can get it on Amazon and Water is FREE!) and Book #3, Earth, is due out pretty soon. It’s a good, action-packed read. But I do have to say, Kaitlyn’s journey is no walk in the park: just because it has fantasy in the genre, don’t think this is Hunger Games. Harmony deals with some very adult themes in a very adult way and some of the sex scenes in this book are non-consensual.

I have a couple of cons. First, you know how I love my villains, right? Not a fan of this guy. At all. For all the crap he put Kaitlyn through, what he wanted was neither clear nor really all that deep. Ever. And the emotional component underpinning his actions and his goals was too little too late. I didn’t get the why of it all and, without that, I couldn’t get the point. Other than Kaitlyn learning her powers, the villain didn’t give me much to go on. Luckily, Kaitlyn’s story is strong enough to go on.

Beyond that, this is ultimately about saving the environment, right? Save the trees and feed the plankton and global warming stuff. It isn’t even that governments and companies don’t love their trees—it’s that they don’t want to pay to save them. So if you have a group of people who can fix the environment, through whatever means, who cares? Why be clandestine when you’re doing the stuff everybody wants? I couldn’t understand the bigger conflict; it was alluded to late in the book but never really clear.

That aside, would I recommend the book? Absolutely. Ms. Harmony is building a bigger story here and Water is only the beginning. It’s certainly worth diving in and seeing it to the finish line.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Terra’s Akasha Series is a set of FOUR contemporary eco-fantasy novels. ‘Water’ and ‘Air’ are available as e-books, and ‘Fire’ is due to release in October 2012. FYI: Water’s FREE! on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords.

Terra was born and raised in Colorado but has since lived in California, Texas, Utah, North Carolina and Virginia. She’s a former Marine (5½ years, people! We thank you for your service!), has her Masters’ degree and currently resides in the Washington DC area with her husband of 13 years and 3 children.

You can connect with Terra on Facebook or at her blog.

DON’T STOP READING!
Part of the Orangeberry Summer Splash is an awesome giveaway. Click HERE for your chance to win a Kindle FIRE!!