Free Reading, what?

All you have to do is join my mailing list. Every other month, I’ll be continuing The Matriarch Saga in small, chronicled pieces. If you sign up for my mailing list, you get it free. Otherwise, you’re welcome to visit Amazon when it is finally placed up there and purchase it!


THE MATRIARCH SAGA
Eve and the Apple

By Lisa Vasquez

(All rights reserved, copyright 2017)

 

 

The best thing about being a vampire?
Everything.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

Men have ruled the world since the beginning of time. Funny, narcissistic creatures they are; prancing around like peacocks with their feathers in a fan of displayed pride. From the shadows, I was the first witness to all the atrocities man has committed. From its ability to slaughter their own kind for no other reason than to gain power or to exact revenge. To wars waged in the names of the Gods only to curse them in the next breath. When the world had been scourged by the Old Gods a new dawn came, and with it the birth of a new creature, called “human”.

The New God had fathered a child in his image from the dirt, calling him “Adam”. Little did the New God know, his human child would become spoiled fruit, withering on the vine. The primogen carried inside of him the seed of the original sin and with it he would infect his entire race.  Laying claim to the garden, Adam exalted his existence in the eyes of every beast below him. Even his wife, Eve.

I reveled in knowing soon … the tides would change.


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Snippets 001 (pt 1)

In Stitched Smile Publications, we practice our craft often. This is our way of exercising the part of our brain that translates other worlds into “ink”. I call them “snippets” because my time is limited for my own writing so you may get a few words here and there as I take a break from major projects and works in progress. Please keep in mind, these are not edited. They are off-the-cuff and raw.

Enjoy
~L

 

chud-photography-by-tina-enosThey were all sitting around the kitchen table for Corey’s birthday dinner. The scratching from under the door made it all the more awkward as did their best pretending not to hear it.  The boy, who’d been working on a piece of tough steak for nearly five minutes, would stop chewing when the scratching started, then start again when it’d stop.

scratch, scratch, scratch…

Letting out a sigh, he hung his head down in defeat. Ground up meat still stuffed in one cheek, the boy stared down at his plate. Mashed potatoes stared back at him. Pushing his fork into them, he watched as the starchy vegetable oozed through the tines.

“Don’t play with your food, boy,” his father said. The pasty faced man never looked up from his plate to chastise his son.

“Yes, Pa.”

It was his birthday today. He thought, if he was obedient enough Ma would let him listen to the old record player in the living room of their rickety home. Once in awhile, he’d be allowed to go out back to swing for a few minutes on the rusted swing. His mother, watching from the picture windows would whisper, “Don’t go too high, boy.”

Cory would nod respectfully, but once he started to pump his legs, the excitement of being out in the air coupled with the sensation of flying, it’d get away from him. Swinging as hard and as high as he could, he was free. The memory of the wind on his cheeks and the smell of the outside air pulled him in and swept him away … until it started again.

Scratch, scratch, scratch…

Still holding the bite of tough steak in his mouth, his throat constricted making it any attempt to swallow useless. Reaching for his glass, Corey took a big gulp of water to help wash it down.

Ma was watching him like a mother bird in silence, the lines of worry creasing her porcelain features. Leaning in toward him, Pa’s hand smacked down on the brittle wooden table sending a jolt through the both of them. Leaning back in her seat, Ma wiped her mouth with a napkin without a word.

Scratch, Scratch, Scratch!

Waiting until Pa finished the last bite of food on his plate, they all sat around the table in in painful silence. Whether they were finished or not, when Pa was done, they were done. It was just the way it was. Fixing her eyes on Pa’s hands, she waited for the cue. As soon as Pa rested his eating utensils on his napkin, Ma jumped out of her seat and collected them with his plate.

Tonight was different.

When Pa was done with his dinner, he lifted his bloodshot eyes and gazed at Cory’s mother. Using the tip of his knife, he used it to pick at his teeth, and sucking at them.

“G’on,” he said, “Get the boy his desert.”

Pa had a funny smile on his face that made Cory’s spine go soft. Ma tried to smile but Cory could see she was scared.


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Women in Horror: Donelle Pardee Whiting (Pt 1)

I’m not going to do an interview for this. I already know Donelle. Not only is she my Editor-in-Chief (so I’m probably going to get slapped around for doing this post without her final “OK”), she’s one of my best friends.

I started Stitched Smile Publications in January of 2016. I’m proud to say that in a genre-world dominated by men, this company is mostly women. It was not intentionally created that way. I was merely blessed with finding that many talented women who wanted to help me. I put out a call, the women answered. (By the way, men. There’s always a call for help out there if you’d like to even the playing field!)

Donelle is not only a fantastic editor. She’s an awesome writer. She co-authored Strigoi: The First Family and Strychnine, with Michael S. Freeman. She also has a short story in Unleashed: Monsters Vs. Zombies, and will have more coming up this year. I’m excited and honored to have her, and her works as part of the Stitched Smile Publications catalog.

One of Donelle’s strongest points is how good she makes the rest of us look. Indie publishing is filled with editing snafus and with Donelle’s help, we ensure that all of our books get combed through for all the nits and bugs. No one’s perfect … but bestie comes damn close.

Donelle has worked as a investigative journalist in the past and it gives her that curious edge that I love about her. She’s constantly poking for the “Why” and the “Who” of our work. She analyzes it down to the basic word structure, but also loves it from the reader’s point of view. She listens to the author’s voice and helps them fine tune it until the voice is strong and polished.

At SSP, we call Donelle, “The Gate Keeper” (better looking than Zuul, by a landslide) because nothing passes until she’s got every nook and cranny shined up, cleaned up and ready for print. That amount of pride and respect, not only for the author, but for me and SSP as a whole, is hard to come by. It is one of the million reasons I love her.

Editors don’t get enough credit. So I’m beginning this February’s Women in Horror with an homage to the amazing Donelle Pardee Whiting. Keep tuning in and find out more and if you can’t wait here’s a link to keep you tied over.

DONELLE PARDEE WHITING

See you Feburary 1st! Keep it scary.

 

NEW RELEASE! “The Unfleshed: Tale of the Autopsic Bride”

This is LIVE, NOW! Paperback is coming in a few days but it is live for ebook from these two links.

The first link will have universal carriers as they are added (but may take a little while)
http://www.books2read.com/unfleshed

The second is your typical Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MR8L757

paperbackunfleshed

Roller Coaster Muse

I realized that it’s almost August and once more life caught up with me. Each time it does, I’m reminded of the Ferris Bueller quote, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Such is the life of an author turned publisher. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but that means sometimes my own projects take a back seat. If it weren’t so rewarding I would’ve thrown in the towel by now.

In the last six months, I’ve been involved with over 40 authors within my own company (Stitched Smile Publications, you can find the link here) and seen the growth of almost all of them since coming in contact with the company. It makes me feel proud. I’m doing something for other authors out there just trying to chase a dream that isn’t too far out of reach with a little guidance. We’re by no means making them millionaires, but we’re making them rich with experience and I’m OK with that.

As for me, I’m nearly finished with my next novel, “The Unfleshed”. I had hoped to have it out by the end of July but that crazy thing called “Life” is like a roller coaster with three wheels. It’s so close I can feel the pages in my hand. Thanks to Jeff Brown (A.K.A. A.J. Brown) pushing me, the story is even better than I originally thought it could be.

Other than that, I’ve dealt with my two younger siblings’ health issues. Both within a month of one another. Very scary, serious things that made me take a wider look at my life. I’m only 43. I have an entire life ahead of me if I take care of the one I have. I’ve always eaten right, usually pretty good about working out and staying active…but there are times when Life is just a hag and I can’t push through a day, a week, or even a month without some kind of thorn in my side.

I’m trying to juggle a few things, and while some people think I should not be doing that, those are the things that make me happy. I take care of everyone else, so it is my firm belief that there has to be things that make me happy, too.

I design book covers for Indie Authors while looking for that golden ticket to the big house names (of course, that’s where the real money is), I started my own publishing house and it’s growing by the day, I write, and sometimes I even sit around and do nothing just to clear the cache from my brain. It doesn’t leave much else after my daily duties are done but it’s my little slice of heaven.

You see, I do this because I Love it. Not for the money or the fame. If you’re doing anything for those reasons, you’ll find out on your own how empty that really is. I’m lucky that my personality is such that I’ll never do anything I don’t love whether it’s accounting, working out, filling out spreadsheets, meeting new authors, formatting books, orientations for new hires, etc. Everything I do, I have to love or I’ll move on. I won’t waste mine or anyone else’s time, and most people appreciate that. (Admittedly, there’s been some that would rather push me through things that I don’t enjoy. It never works out in the end.)

The point to all of this is, I suppose, is that I sit back and wonder where the heck all the time has gone. I wanted a relaxing summer by the pool, soaking up rays. I think I’ve gone a total of 4x since the end of May and it’s already August! The pools are starting to wind down and close for the winter (although, hello? I live in Texas! Why are they closed???)

It’s August. And I’m panicked.

Did I accomplish everything I wanted with my writing?
With my Pub House?
With my Family?
With my Book Design Goals?
With my Friends?
With my Personal Development?

Ugh. Someone stop this crazy ride. Just for a minute so I can throw up on the side of the car and get back on.

I keep taking a slow deep breath and whispering, “I can do this.” I know I can do this. I know it because I won’t allow myself to fail. I won’t allow anyone else who sits in the roller coaster with me to fail either.

So here I sit, staring at the horizon of this big, crazy world from the top of the ride. Around me is everything. I can see it. From here it’s small and attainable. Do you know what they call this in Physics? “Maximum Potential.” And every three months or so, I start back at this point. It doesn’t matter what you end the first ride at, the point is that you get back in line and you start here, at the Maximum Potential, again.

Then you ride that first loop! The thrill, the excitement, the confusion…all of it tossing you around as you watch the world whirl by you with your stomach in your throat and your hands in the air!

You take a deep breath, wipe away the tears of exhilaration and pass through the bottom of that loop: Maximum Kinetic energy. Kinetic Energy:  the energy that it possesses due to its motion.

Stop.
Re-Read that.

“The energy that is possesses due to it’s motion.”

Are you busy looking back? Shoulda’, woulda’, coulda’? Or are your eyes on the next turn and twist of the ride? Are you going to be taken off guard? Are your eyes closed? What’s coming next and are you ready for it?

Each loop of a roller coaster is slightly less exciting than those first two. Sure there are a few surprises, but as the car moves, it loses energy so that it can coming to a stopping point without catapulting you out into the stratosphere. A stopping point is a good thing. Because it let’s you catch your breath, re-assess, and redirect where necessary.

Like now. I’m reflecting on my year. What was great, and what was not-so-great, so that I can aim for the future…remember that first gaze at the world from the beginning of the roller coaster? What was it that caught your eye? Do you still want it?

You see that’s where most people get caught up. They see the shiny in the distance, they reach for it but there’s no plan for after they’ve either acquired it …or missed it. There’s no plan for whether it was really what they thought it was going to be upon closer inspection. The ride may have ended there for you and there is no desire to go for another round. You’ve lost steam and “energy” because you burned it off and there’s nothing left.

My life is definitely a roller coaster and I choose to change the ride, not the scenery. What does yours look like? Do you get back in line? What is it you see when you’re at the top, at the beginning, and reaching out?

Now That I Have Your Attention

That title always seems to draw people in.  It’s like a magnet. The piper leading the parade.  For some reason we all want to know, what is it that should hold your attention?  

Well duh! A new book! 

It’s already been on Amazon’s top 100! Congrats to everyone else featured, especially those debuting. 

A special thank you to the fans, and stalkers that boosted traffic, enabling the site to hit the top of the search engines, so others could see and buy my books.  It’s been a great week!  You guys rock! 

Trying to Keep it Up

fb_img_1458961349994.jpgAs you all know, the past month (at least, I lost track) has been filled with storms, rain, flooding, rinse and repeat, here in Texas. It has been gloom, to say the very least. I suffer from severe migraines and have, up until now, had them under control until this weather began. The entire month is a blur and I have to refer to my notes to figure out where I am and where I left off. I’ve been trying to truck through and keep my head up, but then I got some weird cold or plague, whichever. (laughing) My head is pounding and I’d like to rip my own tonsils out. This blog has suffered a little for it, so I apologize. I was doing so well in keeping up with it.

Regardless of how I feel, life still goes on around us. I’m grateful for that because it keeps me from slipping into the dark abyss that is my bed, where it’s nice and warm and gives me a reason to emerge every day. It may only be an hour or two at a time, but it’s progress!

One thing that I look forward to is writing. I promised myself I would write a little everyday. Even if its ideas for other books. I set a little time aside for me to  be creative and purge the ideas that were backlogged in my head.

La Plaga is creeping up on me again, so I will bid you all a good day until I emerge from the lair again. Until then, keep writing.

Post the first line of chapter one in the comments below, let’s inspire one another!