Monday, March 30, 2015

Special Announcment: Giveaway!

Hey all! Just thought that I'd share that I'm doing a giveaway for my newest book, Kas! Five copies are available, and they will be signed. So, if you want to enter, please click on the details link below!


Also, don't forget to join the official launch party online!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Kas by Karlie Lucas


by Karlie Lucas

Giveaway ends April 27, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win  

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A Bit About Kas: Character Introduction: Christoph

The fifth character I would like to introduce you to is Christoph.


Christoph doesn't show up until about halfway through the novel. He was a fun one to write, though, and is full of surprises. Here's this description from the book.

He was tall, five or so inches taller than me, and slender but well built. He had the kind of shoulders a girl could cry on. His light reddish hair moved in the breeze in an almost mesmerizing way. But it was his eyes that held my attention. They were deep eyes, green and perfect, with little flecks of dark amber. A girl could drown in those eyes. 
He wore a tunic-like shirt over dark breeches, also green. He had a cap on his head with an emerald-green feather sticking out from the side, like a hatpin. He reminded me of the picture I’d seen back at the castle, the Robin Hood picture I noticed my first night there. The eyes were similar, but more alive.
I don't know if this is every girl's idea of "dreamy" but he sure is close to mine! Confession, I've always had a soft spot for red-headed people.

Christoph is as gentle and awesome a guy as any girl could want, at least any girl into fantasy/adventure stories. Though I'm sure any girl wouldn't mind getting to know him.

He's a protective kind of person, but not prone to overreacting, and is reasonable. He likes to take long walks and ride horses, a definite plus. Strong, without flaunting his strength, Christoph is the kind of guy a girl could rely on. Smart, sexy (without trying), wise, and just full of good advice, he's just one amazing guy.

And the absolute bonus? (though I can't remember if I mention this in the book or not) He's a prince. Yes, an honest to goodness prince. (I might have just given something away there.... hope not!) What's not to like about him?

Friday, March 27, 2015

As Yet Untitled - Chapter Five

I rolled out of bed, wondering why I'd dreamed about chasing some kind of intruder. It made no sense. As far as I knew, there was no way I'd do anything like that. Guess I don't know much about myself.

After shaking the sleep from my eyes, I exited my sleeping alcove and headed to the communal kitchen, where I could smell something wonderful cooking. I had no idea what it was, but it looked good, and that was good enough for me.

Sara stirred the pot on the stove. Whatever it was, it looked thick and yellow in color. But the smell was divine. I couldn't help but close my eyes and take it in, probably with some kind of funny smile on my face. "Good morning," she greeted me as I entered the kitchen area. "Breakfast's just about ready. Would you mind checking in on Garret to see if he's coming?"

I was more than happy to oblige. My curiosity had returned from the mid-night wakening he'd caused. What had he learned in the two weeks he'd been away? There was definitely something to tell. He'd said as much. but what was it? And did it have anything to do with me?

I took a circuitous course towards his sleeping cave, trying to be quiet, in case he was still asleep. At least that's what I told myself. I had no real reason. It just felt like it would be good practice, though for what, I had no idea.

I could hear Garret breathing as I crept up to the entrance of his room. Was he still sleeping? No. The sound didn't seem consistent with sleep. Don't ask me how I knew. I just did.Was he meditating? Maybe. His breath was deep and controlled. Maybe he was praying, though I had no idea to whom.

"Ahem," I cleared my throat, giving him warning that I was there. It seemed the proper thing to do.

I could hear him move, his clothes rustling like water. If I closed my eyes, I could hear every sound he made, from the slight creaking of his joints to the slight shushing sound of him sliding off the bed. I could even tell that he was barefoot, even though his feet didn't slap against the ground. He was used to walking quietly as well.

After maybe half a minute, he was there at the entrance, peering out. "Ah," he said in response to my tentative smile. "I'm guessing Sarah sent you to fetch me?"

I nodded. Did anything get past this guy? Was he even fully human? Or was he like me? Something more? What exactly was I anyway? "Breakfast," I confirmed.

Garret nodded. "Right. Be there in a minute."

It took me a second to realize, after he'd reentered his space, that he'd only been wearing the bare minimum of clothing. My cheeks turned slightly red as I thought about his sculpted abs. He had a nice six-pack. And his chest wasn't too hairy, a definite plus. I had to shake my head vigorously to get the silly notion out of it.

"Well, we'll be waiting," I added lamely as I turned back to the kitchen. I didn't give him a chance to say anything in response, jumping to the nearest boulder in the path like an agile cat. Since I'd learned that I could move like some wild animal, jumping, running, and manipulating my body in grand acrobatic style, I took every opportunity to do so. But only when others weren't watching.

Before I reached visible space near the kitchen, I changed my romping stride for a more sedate one. My bare feet didn't seem to mind the occasional sharp stone. Maybe I should ask them for help in either finding or making a pair of flexible shoes.

I flounced into the dining area and took up my customary seat at the side facing the far wall. Since it was a square table, there really was no "head" or "foot", and no one seemed to care where anyone sat. Well, Lance liked his spot near the door, but that was probably because he could hear his forge fire best from there. "He's coming," I announced as Sara carried in the pot of yellow.  I noticed that bowls had already been brought out for the hot cereal.

Sara put the pot down and pushed some hair out of her face. "Good. This stuff is a pain once it cools down, Congeals like drying glue."

I tried to not laugh at this comparison, but it certainly was apt. I'd noticed several dabs of the stuff that had hardened on the stove. It did look rather like a puddle of dried glue. "If it hardens, we could always try frying it up like a pancake," I suggested.

It looked as though Sara was considering the idea. "And maybe serve it with some flavoring," she added, nodding. "That would be a good way to not waste any. I think we'll try it, if there are any leftovers."

I mused at that. There usually weren't, but who knew? She'd made a lot. Maybe she thought Garret would be extra hungry. Maybe she was expecting guests, though she would have told us if she were. At least I thought she would.

Lance came in from his forge, smelling like hot metal and sulfur. He'd obviously already been to work for some time. I wondered just what time. I didn't usually see him up before Sara.

Several minutes later, Garret joined us, though we'd already started eating the grainy cereal. Whatever it was made of was delicious, almost light and a bit buttery, with just the right amount of sweet to not make it overpowering. Perhaps I needed lessons from Sara on cooking.

Garret filled his bowl and began eating. I had already finished my second and had to refrain from bouncing up and down in my chair in anticipation. It would be rude, or at least that's what I told myself. He would tell his news when he was ready. And in the middle of a meal wasn't that time.

Finally, after what felt like forever, Garret pushed his bowl aside and leaned back in his chair with a sigh. "That was good," he complimented as he wiped at the corner of his mouth where a fragment of cereal had collected.

By this point, I was ready to go up to him and throttle the answer out of him. He'd certainly taken his time eating. I could tell he was amused by my impatience as the corners of his lips turned up. I wasn't sure if I felt like a kid in a candy store or like someone waiting for a potential death sentence.

"Take pity on the poor girl," Sarah intoned. "Haven't you drawn this out long enough?"

Garret shrugged as he took his bowl to the sink, helping to clear the rest of the dishes. "Probably," he answered as he rinsed out the big pot. There were no leftovers.

Taking a cue from Sarah, I moved towards the more comfortable sitting area out in the open, waiting for Garret to join us. Without so much as having to go for him, Lance came over as well. It was almost as if he could sense that something was about to happen. That or he had some kind of listening device installed near his forge so he would know when to come.

Garret settled down into his cushioned chair, hands resting on his knees as he looked around the small circle we made. "It took me a couple of days to get to the surface and find our usual contact," he reported, looking directly at Sarah and Lance. "He wasn't in the usual place so it took some doing, but I found him."

"I hope that doesn't mean anything's wrong," Sarah commented with a look of concern.

The younger man shook his head. "Hard to say. He did seem rather distracted. Said we couldn't talk right off and had me wait in a safe house for the night. Sometime in the early morning, he came to get me."

I had no idea what this safe house was, but I gathered that it had not been a fun place to wait. Garret seemed more than happy to have left it, whatever it was. Images of a metal bunker in the ground filled my mind, though I wasn't sure why.

Garret cleared something from his throat before he continued. "The government's gotten more bold," he announced. "They're sending out more and more automatons into the streets, using them as police and the such. They're eliminating human jobs and replacing them, as we predicted would happen. Not just medical and military, but all jobs. 'It's almost like they don't trust us to make decisions for ourselves,' he said."

Lance and Sarah exchanged dark looks. Apparently they'd discussed something like this happening before now. I wondered what all they'd said about the matter, and how it related to everything now.

"I also heard," Garret continued, "about an unusual phenomenon that occurred not too long ago." He looked towards me. "It would seem that there was some kind of explosion in one of the outlying districts. Our contact wasn't sure if it was from something industrial or what, but he was sure no one had seen the like before.

"Trying to dig up more information, I moved on to that are and went to investigate. With more automatons on the streets, I had to resort to the tunnels, but I did come in contact with some of the other outposts underground. As far as they could tell, they were still secure."

Sarah breathed a sigh of relief, putting one hand to her heart. "That's a relief," she said and fanned her face. "With more automatons out, it's possible that they will discover one of the tunnels, though I hope not."

Garret shook his head. "Though they're sophisticated, and I did get to see one they'd captured and deactivated, I don't think they're quite up to that par just yet, but we can't be too careful."

Everyone seemed to be thinking about this prospect while I sat in my chair, trying not to squirm. Did that explosion he'd mention have anything to do with me? I did remember a bright light before waking up in that pitch black tunnel. Were the two incidents connected?

"What about the explosion," Lance spoke up, his voice as gruff as ever.

Garret's brows rose. "Ah, yes. I was able to determine that it was actually caused by some kind of crash, though no one seems to recognize the configuration or material of the ship. It seems to have burst apart on impact. Some witnesses claim it fell from the sky, like a great meteor falling to earth, but without the same blast radius one would expect from something that size."

He then went on to describe what others had told him about the ship. It had been silver, like liquid silver in color, and ovoid in shape. And when it impacted with the earth, witnesses said it seemed to splatter apart, which made it impossible to identify any components. Maybe it was designed that way. Maybe it wasn't a ship at all. Maybe it was just a giant hung of liquid rock that collided with our planet. Anything was possible.

"But I don't think it was just some meteor," Garret went on, negating my potential theory. "A few humanoid corpses were found inside the blast radius. They know they weren't human because their skin was an odd tint, and not from oxygen deprivation. They were a bit on the purple side."

Sarah looked surprised at this announcement. "But how is that possible? We've not had visitors from other planets in years, not since they put out that edict.

to be continued.....

Cover Reveal: Kas

Hey all! I'd like to give you the official cover reveal of my newest book, Kas.




But first, a bit about the book.

Most teenagers don’t have a voice talking in their heads, but that’s pretty normal for Kas. It’s been there her whole life, giving her directions, keeping her from harm. When the voice advises against the family picnic in the mountains, she’s sure there’s a reason, but convincing her mom is another matter.

While in the mountains, Kas accidentally stumbles on a gateway to another dimension. Almost immediately, her life is in peril. From a disembodied man known only as Milord and a hoard of hooded men who want her soul, she doesn’t know who to trust in this strange place where dreams become reality. As Kas learns more about who she is and how she came to the Waymeet of Worlds, it becomes clear that someone is lying to her. But is it the voice she’s known her whole life or the new friends she finds in Milord’s castle. Choosing the wrong people to trust could cost her soul and prevent her from fulfilling her destiny.

And now for the cover!

Here's the front.

And the full cover, because that back section is just awesome!

What do you think? Did you find the guy on the back?

I'd like to offer special thanks to those who helped me with this cover.

Helen Taylor for doing the photography for the front.

Hannah Manzanares for being my front cover model.

And Brent Law for being my back cover model.

Also, a special shout out to Recycled Books in Downtown Denton, TX!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Bit About Kas: Character Introduction: Huntsford

The fourth character I would like to introduce is Huntsford. Though not exactly a "main" character, he is still as important as any of the others.


Huntsford is the Master of the Horse. An older gent, Huntsford is an amazing individual.

He was about six feet tall. His face was clean-shaven and tanned.
Kas comes to rely on his companionship for at least a part of the story. He teaches her how to ride a horse, giving her valuable knowledge, while helping her adapt to her new life.

I was desperate to remember everything he so patiently taught me. And his patience surprised me. He answered my stupid questions, repeating instructions when I was overwhelmed. Something told me that he must have been a wonderful father. He was old enough to be mine, after all.

Compassionate, caring, and ever patient, Huntsford makes the perfect teacher, and the perfect person to care for animals. But he is not without his own sense of amusement and fun. He is also a demanding teacher, in that he doesn't take things by halves. You give it your all or not at all.

Friday, March 20, 2015

A quick word

I need to apologize to those reading "As Yet Untitled". There will not be a chapter this week as I'm focusing on getting my book cover for Kas finished. Hopefully, the wait will be worth it to you. And, as always, feel free to offer up suggestions for the story! I'm open to any and almost all ideas!

In general, I have cover reveal party for my book, Kas, happening next week, Friday, I believe. You can join up here, or just check my blog/website for the cover reveal.

Also, the official launch party for Kas will be happening in April, on the 17th.... Check out the event HERE.

And don't forget the blog tour happening the week after!

Did I mention there will be a giveaway with each of these events?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A bit about Kas: Character introduction: Milord

The third character I would like to introduce you to from my upcoming book, Kas, is Milord. 


First introduced as the Master of the castle, Milord is the "invisible" man. 

Here is an excerpt from the book when Kas first meets him:

“Don’t turn around. I don’t want to frighten you.” The voice was definitely masculine.

I turned around anyway, excepting to see someone, anyone. I saw nothing, nothing but bookshelves with more books. “Where are you? Who are you?” I leaned against the nearest shelf, glad that it was sturdy, as unmovable as a mountain. I hoped I wasn’t too obvious about doing it. My heart was pounding so fast now that it made breathing difficult and I felt somewhat dizzy because of it.

“Look down, near the end of this shelf. You will see my shadow. Don’t be afraid.” His voice was gentle, maybe a tenor. His words were careful, caressing. It was hard to not trust that voice. It was like a gently flowing stream filled with sunlight.

I did as he asked and almost stepped back in shock but controlled myself. There it was all right. And if my mind was processing things right, he should have been standing in front of me, no more than a foot away. The space was empty. I took a deliberate step back, feeling claustrophobic, even though I couldn’t see anything.
Since you can't actually see Milord, it's rather hard to describe him. But, if this were a true "Beauty and The Beast" tale, he might fit in the shoes of the Beast, minus the fur and animal qualities. He's as human as the next guy.

A bit standoff-ish at first, Milord does truly care about Kas, but has to follow the rules of the Waymeet and can't let her see him. He also has the difficult task of trying to not become too attached to her, while protecting her from all the dangers she can't see coming.

Friday, March 13, 2015

As Yet Untitled: Chapter Four - A History of Waiting

Chapter Four - A History of Waiting

A week had passed since Garret left and there was no word. At least I think it was a week. It could have been longer. It was hard to tell time while underground.

Sara and Lance had accepted me, more or less. Lance usually was too busy working his forge. I liked to watch him work the giant bellows, pour melted medal into molds, hammer whatever he was making on the large anvil. I had no idea why he would use such archaic means, but it kept him busy. He never offered any explanation either. In fact, he didn't say much of anything.

Sara was my main source of information. She seemed to think it her duty to tell me about things going on above us, or what she knew of them. She admitted that her information was rather outdated. It had been some time since they'd last made contact with the upper world.

But what she told me was strange, and a bit magical. Most of the streets seemed to be crowded with automatons, from vehicles that drove themselves, to robotic creatures that roamed to keep the peace. Regular humans seemed to be in the minority, subdued and corralled like sheep. I wondered what the point was. If they were as docile as sheep, why the mechanical guards?

It was when I voiced this opinion that Sara became more animated. Apparently her small group was  not the only one out there. How many there were was uncertain, but there were more. Some were connected. Some were not. But each thought that the current course of the government was wrong. Those in control controlled the masses with the automatons. Unless the automatons had taken over that control. With all the talk, I couldn't help but wonder if that wasn't the case.

What really surprised me was her explanation of how this had all come about. I guess it had only been within the past fifty years. Slowly, corporations looked into ways to make life easier and easier. Artificial intelligence was created. Then it was spread throughout society. To "protect" people from themselves, artificial intelligence replaced human police and military forces. Apparently the change was so gradual that no one protested.

But there were pockets of people who opposed this transition. People like Sara and her husband. People like Garret. And many others. Then, just like movies from their parents' generations, the automatons began taking over more and more, with a central intelligence hub that maintained the collective consciousness of all the mechanicals.

It all sounded foreign to me. And even with all this history spewed at me, nothing connected inside my head. It was all like a story someone tells for a laugh. Only this kind of story wasn't funny. It was sick. Humans degraded to mindless minions who can't, won't, or weren't allowed to care for themselves anymore. Sara had been one of the last group of humans allowed to be trained in the medical field. And she was forced out with replacement automatons. They were quicker, cleaner, had more precision than a human. Or so she was told.

So, with her husband, they escaped the cities and found an underground community that took them in, trained them in basic survival, one that didn't depend on machines to do everything for them. Some machines, like medical devices, were necessary. But they were older ones, not connected to the massive hub of information.

After a time, they'd moved on to find their own place. Lance, having learned the skills of a blacksmith from another in that colony, built his own forge in this cavern. Every now and again, other underlanders would come, looking for his expertise with something. Anything he made could be trusted to not be connected to the hub. I had no idea what all he made though.


As the second week came to a close, we finally had some news. Garret came back during one of our sleep cycles. I still hadn't gotten used to the idea of the time pieces they used to determine when things needed to be done.

I woke with a start, hearing the odd shuffling sound of someone trying to be quiet. Almost as if programmed, I jumped from my bed, grabbed the nearest possible weapon, and almost decapitated him with it as I ran out into the common areas.

"Whoa! Whoa!" he called as I stopped just in time, my metal blade next to his throat. "You could kill someone like that."

I took a step back, lowering my knife. It was normally used for eating. "Sorry," I muttered as I turned to let him pass.

Garret's outcry had woken both Lance and Sara from their slumber and they came running from their sleeping room with wild looks in their eyes. I noticed that Lance had picked up some kind of weapon I didn't know the name for, but he set it aside when he realized who was there. He grunted a welcome, then returned to his bed.

"Well, I'm sure you're hungry and tired, in that order," Sara began, bustling towards the kitchen cave. It was still weird that every part of this complex was considered a "cave". But then, it made sense, considering that each area was separate from the others, like individual man-made caves in the larger cavern. "Just let me whip up something quick for you."

Garret let out half a chuckle as he shook his head. "Never change, do you," he teased. "But it has been a while since I last ate. Nothing heavy, though," he called after the woman.

I stood rather awkwardly with my knife still dangling from my fingers. "So..." I stared at the ground. "Any news?"

I heard Garret sigh. "Plenty, but I think it can wait until the morning, when everyone's more awake. I'm sure Lance will want to hear as well. And he gets awfully grumpy when he doesn't get his sleep."

Laughter bubbled up inside of me at that comment. I couldn't help it, because it was true. I'd learned very quickly that unless Lance got his full eight to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep, he was an ogre to deal with. There were a few new dents in the cavern wall from misshapen lumps of metal he'd heaved away from the forge in his furry. I never wanted to be on the receiving end of that temper, that was for sure.

I rubbed the toe of my boot against the hard ground, still not looking up. "Okay," I said, feeling a bit disappointed. I knew I'd been hoping to find out what I wanted right up front the moment he returned, but reason dictated that it was necessary to wait. Garret looked exhausted. I needed to be more patient.

"Here," Sara called out, coming back over with a covered dish of the same soup we'd have for dinner. Hardy but not overpowering, it was the best to fill your stomach on before bed. If there was nothing else I'd learned, I knew that Sara could cook like a master. She'd been embarrassed the first time I'd commented on it, but I knew she was pleased.

"And off to bed after that," Sara mothered, even though they weren't blood related. "And you," she looked my way, "back to bed as well. There's plenty of time in the morning for stories."

With an air of reluctance, I returned my knife to its place on a low shelf near the door of my sleeping quarters. From there, it was back to my bed, but sleep wouldn't come. My mind was awake now, and wanted answers. But I wasn't about to go against Sara's edict to leave Garret be for the night. She'd set Lance on me faster than I could jump across the forging stones.

So, instead of sleeping, I contented myself with examining the insides of my eyelids. After some time, I must have dozed off because the next thing I knew, my borrowed chronometer was pinging the wake alarm.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Bit About Kas: Character Introduction: The Voice

The second character I would like to introduce you to is the Voice Kas hears throughout the story.

The Voice

As his name implies, this character is just a voice in Kas' head. In Kas' words, here's a bit about this mysterious Voice.

It sounded like a whisper in my ear, familiar somehow. After a moment, I realized that I recognized it. I had heard it several times before, warning me about things. I’d always listened to it before

There isn't really a whole lot I can say about this character, other then that it's one you need to "keep an eye on", if you know what I mean.

*** small point of clarification:  In this story, there are several different "voices" that are used. The Voice, above, is the one that has always warned her about things. The other voices are both masculine and feminine, but I'm not going to give away which is which. Let you guys figure it out!

Friday, March 6, 2015

As yet Untitled: Chapter three - What To Do?

Just a quick note: if you have any suggestions, questions, etc, about where this story is going, or where it should go, please feel free to comment! I need all the help I can get!

Chapter Three - What to do.....

"What's the last thing you remember," Garret asked as I sipped on a cup filled with some kind of stew.

I tried to think. It was difficult as my thoughts were all a bit cloudy. "I remember seeing a bright light," I responded. And it was true. Before I'd found myself in that tunnel, I'd remembered a light, but after, between, or before was a big blank. It took a bit, but I finally conveyed all of this, and what my past recollections entailed. It wasn't much.

Garret listened like I was telling him the secrets to the universe. His companions, the blacksmith and his wife, whose name I learned was Sara, also sat nearby, listening. I felt a bit self-conscious as they seemed to all peer into my soul, evaluating what they found. I wonder if they found me lacking anything important, aside from my memories.

After I was finished, there was a bit of silence. They all looked rather thoughtful as they contemplated things. I just sat there, wondering what they were thinking. It didn't show on any of their faces. Finally, Garret spoke.

"It's highly unlikely that the automatons, or those controlling them, did this to you," he mused. "If that had been the case, they would never have let you go. Unless you somehow managed to escape. No. Someone else must be responsible for this happening, but I have no idea who that could be. It takes a great deal of skill to do what has been done, without leaving any visual scars behind."

Sara agreed. I learned she'd once been a medic, before her small family had been forced underground. Her husband, Lance, had once been a mechanic. And Garret... he was a jack of many trades. Both husband and wife seemed to look up to him, though, for answers.

"Wish I knew who that was," I muttered. This was getting us nowhere, and fast. What I really wanted to know was why someone had done this to me. What was the point? To prove that they could? And then what? Just throw me out like trash? That didn't seem right.

Garret sighed, then slapped his thigh as he stood from the wooden stool he'd been sitting on. "One thing we can do is reach out to our contacts on the surface. See if they have any information to pass on."

Sara and Lance nodded their agreement and I squirmed on my bench. "So, how does that work," I asked, looking at each in turn.

Sara glanced at Garret, then back at me. "One of us will go up top and contact our person, give them the details. Then we wait."

I pursed my lips. "Sounds very unproductive and time consuming," I commented.

"It's the best we can do right now," Garret responded. "Until we know who you are, what kind of threat that might entail, and if anyone is after you, we can't bring you to the surface. For all we know, there's someone up there looking for you. They could be right on top of us."

I sighed. "Fine." I didn't have to like it, but it did make sense. None of us had a clue who or what or anything about me. I felt like a sulking child, though.

"Now that it's settled, I'll be off," Garret announced as he grabbed a rough looking pack. "It might take me some time to find our man. In the meantime, maybe you should look through the stuff in your pockets and belt. That might ring some bells."

I'd totally forgotten that my voluminous pockets, and utility belt, had contents as yet unexplored. Having the reminder, I looked around for the belt. Seeing my probing eyes, Sara pulled it out from a corner of the room. "Here," she said as she handed it over. I nodded my thanks and moved over to empty out the contents. Neither of use noticed when Garret made his exit.

The belt contained an plethora of dehydrated rations. Now I understood why Sara had said they could use them. Food did not look like it was easily obtained here. I did notice something strange about the rations, though. They had a military looking stamp on them, like they'd come from a specific location. Maybe they had.

There was also an odd looking piece of metal that I couldn't identify. Neither Sara or Lance had a clue what it was either. It was long and thin, like some kind of antennae, but not like any I'd seen before. Maybe it had some other uses. It also was retractable, collapsing down to three-inches long, and just under a centimeter wide.

Turning to my cargo pant pockets, I unearthed more rations, a few odd sprockets, a few tools, and a smooth metal disc. I felt as though this disk had more to it than what appeared, but had no idea to open or activate it so I set it aside. The last item was a rather odd looking stone. It was crystalline in nature, but like nothing I could even hope to recall.

"Neither of us could identify that one," Sara admitted as she noticed me looking at the orange stone. "It's not made of any elements we're familiar with."

I set it aside for further investigation, then reloaded my pockets. As far as I knew, there was nothing there to tell me who, or what, I was. It was disappointing.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Bit About Kas, from my upcoming novel

Greetings all. I thought it would be a good idea to introduce you to some of the characters for my upcoming novel, Kas, which is scheduled to be released April 17, 2015. So, without further ado, here's a bit about the main character.


Kas is a 17-18 year old girl who has always felt like she stuck out like a sore thumb in her family. The third of six children, she has always been the odd one out. In her words, here's a bit about her siblings.

There were six of us kids all told. I was the second girl, the third child in the family. There were two boys and one girl under me. The youngest was Russell. He was a two-year-old nightmare waiting to happen. If there was anything he could get into, he did. Without any hesitations. His favorite past time was taking apart Dad’s gadgets and Mom’s computer.

My older brother, David, [...] had a habit of forgetting that he wasn’t the only person in the place. His own apartment was a single, occupant him.

My older sister, Sara, was the opposite of David. Mostly. She was the favorite child, the privileged child. She was always the one who got the car when she had an important date with Mr. So and So in secondary school. No questions asked. Mom and Dad would just hand her the keys, tell her to have a good time, not worrying about it. She got home when she wanted.

The next child in line, Allisa, was trying to catch [Russell]. She had a comb in her hand, for decided use on her prey. She looked like she needed the comb far more than he did. Her hair was a rat’s nest of yellow. Talk about total bed head.

My other younger brother entered next. His hair wasn't quite as bad as Allisa’s. Not that that was saying much. But then his hair was shorter. He still needed a haircut. He flopped down onto a chair and yawned, showing off teeth that had far more damage than a fourteen-year-old deserved. Cavities galore.
From this passage, it's pretty easy to tell that Kas is like most typical teenagers, feeling out of place and disenchanted with family life. That or she is just jaded about life. But what teenager doesn't struggle with family relationships, jealousy of other siblings, etc? I don't think I've heard of a single one who doesn't struggle with something where they feel out of place.

(Author's note  here: I must confess that Kas' siblings are modeled a bit after my own brothers and sisters. My youngest brother really is a technological genius, especially for his age. And yes, at the age of two, he was taking about various gadgets, and somehow managed to erase crucial data on my mom's computer. His name isn't Russel. Gotta protect the innocent, after all.
Dan is also modeled after one of my younger siblings, an easy going kind of guy who doesn't say much, but doesn't miss much either.
Sarah, admittedly, is a combination of my two older sisters, but mostly my eldest sister. And from my, way back when, teenage perspective, got away with a lot that I never did, got a lot more privileges than I ever did, and all that other stuff younger siblings are jealous of.
Allisa is a combination of both my younger sisters, both who were blond and... in some cases, silly and flamboyant. (They have since grown up since I'm basing Allisa after their younger incarnations.)
And then there's David, who isn't really based off of any siblings, but if I had to say anything is similar, it would be a combo of both of the two eldest younger brothers, since I don't have any brothers actually older than me. But if I had had an elder brother, I wish he'd be like David.)

As for what Kas looks like, I offer this:

I think that I'm the only member of our family who doesn't have light colored hair; something I think went back to my great-grandma. Every picture I could find of her suggested black hair. But then, they were black and white photos, which wasn't all that helpful. My hair was dark brown with red highlights. Mom called it auburn.
 Kas is of average height and build, not overly skinny, but not overweight either. She's of fair complexion, a great reader, and a fan of fairy tales and older stories. Tending to be a bit on the romantic side, Kas has often fantasized about living in some of her favorite stories, including damsels in distress, heroic princesses, and the like.  She just didn't expect to be tilted into one willy nilly.


In general, I think Kas is a character that most teenagers can relate to, in one way or another. I know I did when I was her age. But who doesn't feel lost a bit every now and again? Who doesn't wonder if there is more to life than the mundane existence so many of us get stuck in? Don't we all wish for some kind of adventure, at one point or another, something that tells us that we are more than what we think we are?

Kas is a story of redemption, in a sense, but more, I think, a coming of age and realization that we are all more than the sum of our supposed parts. We each are more important than we think we are.