Tag: urban fantasy

Fallen Friday: Tea

Fallen Friday: Tea

Her name was Grace. She was the barista at my favorite coffee shop, and I saw her every morning on my way home from work. And every morning she gave me the same bright smile. “Good morning, Lisa,” she chirped as I walked in. I knew it was nothing but good customer service, but it always felt personal. Maybe it was because I was just lonely enough to believe it.

I smiled back. “Good morning.” I was usually the first one in the shop when it opened since I worked night shift and got off work about the time the shop opened.

“You want your usual?” she asked, already plucking a cup from the stack of them behind the counter.

My usual. A chamomile tea with a shot of sweet dreams. Sometimes having a fae barista makes your day just a little better.

“Yeah, please. It was a long one.” I leaned both hands on the counter and yawned.

“You catch the guy yet?” she asked while she put together my tea.

I’d told her the morning before that I’d been chasing after a killer. I sort of regretted it since a lot of the time people treat you differently when they know you’re a cop. Grace, however, had taken it in stride. Either she didn’t care enough about me that it mattered, or she liked me enough that it didn’t. At least now she knew why I liked the sweet dreams in my tea.

Grace bustled about, adding honey to my tea and humming while she did so. The sound soothed nerves frayed by long hours working overnights on cases that had no happy endings. In truth, happy endings don’t exist in homicide. The happiest ending we get is when we catch a killer, and even then we catch them only after they’ve killed someone.

It was then I realized I hadn’t answered yet. “No, not yet. I’m hoping we’re close, though. The magic division is on him. He left some spell components at the last scene. I think we’re closing in. I just hope we get him before he kills anybody else.”

“Me too. How long have you been on the case?” She set my cup on the counter and slid it toward me.

I wrapped my fingers around the paper to-go cup and sighed. “Few weeks now. He’s killed four people.”

Grace put her hands over mine on the cup. “You’ll get him. I’m sure of it.”

When I looked into her sparkling violet eyes, I almost believed her. I smiled some. It felt like my mouth should’ve made a creaking noise from disuse. I didn’t smile much. We don’t tend to in homicide. “Thanks, Grace,” I said, looking down at where her hands sat over mine.

“Hey, uh, just a random question,” she asked, releasing my hands and heading over to the cash register. “But I was invited to a party tomorrow. I was wondering if you might wanna go?” She didn’t look at me as she asked, but the detective in me read her body language. Blushing cheeks, hunched shoulders, fingers looking for anything to be busy with.

I sipped my tea. “I haven’t been to a party since college.”

“Oh, sorry. I just—”

“I’d love to.”

She lifted her head, a brilliant smile pouring across her beautiful features. “Really?”

“Yeah. Really.”

She jotted down her number on a napkin and slid it across the counter to me. “Call me when you get up?”

“All right. Will do.” The tea tasted better this morning. Or maybe I just noticed it more.

Grace smiled at me again, and it felt like sunrise all over again. Maybe everything in the world didn’t suck. “Cool. Oh, uh, I’ve got your tea. It’s on me, I mean. Well, not on me. You have it. But…” She sputtered a couple more seconds, and I let her. It was precious.

“I get what you meant, Grace.” I smiled again. She seemed to like it. “I’ll call you tonight.”

“Cool. Yeah. Okay.” She nodded.

I headed out to my car and climbed in, sitting for a minute in the quiet and sipping at my tea. She’d done something else to it this time. While, yeah, it definitely had that soft, ethereal quality I knew would help me sleep when I got home, would chase away the demons in my dreams, this time it did something else.

Or maybe it wasn’t the tea.

That day, in my dingy little apartment on the wrong side of town I dreamt of flower fields, of Grace laughing, and of sunrises. And when I woke up feeling lighter and like I could breathe again, I called the number she’d given me on the napkin.

E. Prybylski has been in the publishing industry as an editor since 2009, starting at Divertir Publishing and eventually partnering with her close friend Richard Belanger to begin Insomnia Publishing.

Ever since childhood, E. has been an avid reader and writer of fantasy. The first chapter book she remembers reading is The Hobbit, followed swiftly by most of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series. In high school, she perfected the skill of walking while reading without slamming into anyone. Mostly.

When she isn’t reading or writing, E. is an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and has a B.A. in European history from SNHU. In addition to her many historical pursuits, E. is a musician of multiple instruments, a cat mom, and a loving wife to her husband, J. E. also speaks out for the disability and chronic illness communities being a sufferer of chronic migraines and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

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Fallen Friday: Thorny Theological Issues

Fallen Friday: Thorny Theological Issues

This isn’t a spoiler, since it’s on the cover, but my main character in Fallen is a fallen angel (like the title didn’t give it away, right?). As a result, I put a lot of work into considering how angels and demons work in the setting and how I want to address them. It took a lot of consideration because on one hand, I’m a Christian and want to do justice to my faith. On the other, this isn’t a Christian book series. Which will become apparent to you pretty quickly, and I am expecting some heat for the way I use angels. Just remember that this is fiction.

I did a fair amount of research on angels in the book of Enoch as well as in Kaballah and other sources before settling on which choirs exist in my setting and how they work. I still don’t have every single detail laid out, but the basic foundation is all present, and since my editor and some of my beta readers have been curious, I figured this was a good time and place to discuss exactly what I am doing! Also, some of this may be subject to some measure of change as I write the series, since it’s not all codified yet.

While studying, I learned there are multiple types of angels that are listed in various places, and I didn’t want to use all of them. Also, depending on which scholars you read, the hierarchy is different, and Jewish and Islamic folks use different names from Christians. I defaulted to using the Jewish names since it was as close to the source material as I could get and, being a history nerd, I like using the more authentic names rather than Anglicizing them. Also, there’s no Anglicized version of some of the types, so writing some in English and some in Hebrew and mashing them together didn’t appeal to me.

The angel types I went with are as follows, in descending order from most power to least powerful.

  • Seraphim
  • Cherubim
  • Ophanim
  • Erelim
  • Malakim
  • Ishim

The way I am using archangels is that it’s a position, not a separate species of angel altogether. I chose to go that route because there are only six of them (not counting those fallen like Lucifer), and it gave me the opportunity to work in their roles and their functions. Basically, I have it that the six archangels are more or less the top tier management who oversee the duties of those assigned to their purview. I’m not going to bore you with the exact details of what angels do what, and what each looks like when not adopting a human guise (though the ophanim are the wheels with eyes). I’m not writing an RPG, after all. At least not now. Though the idea has crossed my mind.

Demons are structured similarly to angels, though it’s far less organized because, by nature, they tend to be more chaotic and less likely to fall in line. I haven’t worked out all the various types yet and what I’d like to call them, but it’s more or less a broken mirror of heaven’s ranks.

However, for demons, an archdemon is a demon who was once an angel. There aren’t a ton of them, all things considered, and they tend to be excessively powerful. Their power, of course, does depend on what kind of angel they were when they fell. An archdemon who was once a seraph is obviously more potent than a demon who was a malak. I need to do a little more work on exactly who is what in Hell, but at this point in my novels the exact “structure” of Hell hasn’t been extremely important. All you need to know, for the most part is “demons bad.”

I also recognize that Islam has its own structure for angels, but I know nothing about the faith beyond the fact that it is similar in many respects to my own but distinct and different in many others. I don’t know enough about Islam to utilize their theology, and I don’t want to do them a disservice by trying. I know it’s present, and I respect it. However, as I say further on, the reason I chose my own religion to alter is because that’s what I know, and I don’t want to appropriate someone else’s.

Now for the parts that are likely to cheese people off because this is where my “this is FICTION” comment comes strongly into play.

The way I have the reality of God in this setting is that God is the creator deity. He is not the explicitly Abrahamic deity of Yahweh. The creator, which the angels just usually call “the Father” or “Father” is too big for any religion to understand and too big for human comprehension. While much of Fallen takes place in a Christian setting and dealing with Christian people (this is largely stemming from me writing what I know), the angels are servants of the creator, not the church, and as such they aren’t innately Christian, themselves. My main character would be just as comfortable in a Jewish temple, a Mosque, or in a Buddhist temple as she is in a Christian church. Angels are just as likely to quote the Bible as they are to quote another religion’s scripture beause all of them are right, and all of them are wrong.

In addition to that, the polytheistic religions actually have some merit.

God created more than just angels and the races of the Earth. He also created the elohim (note: different from reference to God as Elohim. Capitalization matters here). Elohim, in Hebrew, is a plural word for “gods” or “deities.” While we could dig into Christian theology here, I really don’t want to because, as I said, my series isn’t a Christian book series explicitly. It’s urban fantasy with some Christian overtones not dissimilar to Dresden Files or Supernatural, which both deal with angels and demons but aren’t Christian fiction.

So what are the elohim?

In my setting, they are more powerful than the seraphim. They were God’s first, his eldest creations. Creatures who interacted with the elohim saw them as gods in their own right, and many of the elohim didn’t try and dissuade them of the notion. To human understanding, they are gods, though they derive their power through their connection to the divine source, the creator Himself.

(Also, to note, I refer to the creator as male, but the reality is the deity isn’t gendered. This is, again, a case of “write what you know,” so I’m most comfortable referring to the deity as male pronouns.)

The point of the religion in these books is this:

Everybody is right. Everybody is wrong.

So, then we come to the question of why use the Hebrew words for things if it’s not going to be Jewish/Christian?

Honestly, it’s because that’s what I’m most familiar with. I am Christian, myself, and studied Christianity and the history of the Bible in college (in a non-religious sense). While it’s feasible to use another religion’s words for the concepts and such in my books, I admit fully that I don’t know enough about them to do them justice, and I don’t want to appropriate another culture’s living faith systems for my fiction. I’m okay using my own. It’s my belief that my religion is big enough to handle some fiction using our words.

Further, creating and imposing an entirely new and different religion as the “true” religion and laying it over the real world with all its religious and historical complexities didn’t work for me. It would be incredibly complicated, and it would require an incredible amount of world building to accomplish properly. Which would then require me to alter my characters into unrecognizability almost, and I didn’t want to do that. As such, I decided to use the framework I know and alter it slightly.

Beyond that, the angels speak an entirely different language. They wouldn’t call themselves “seraphim” or “malakim”; they’d use the Enochian words for it. My main character uses those words for herself because she’s mostly interacting with Christian folks in the first book, and it’s the easiest way to explain it.

As to why I didn’t write this to be explicitly Christian and be done with it, it was a choice based on the fact that my theology in the story didn’t work as being Christian alone. While the first few books about Cassiel are explicitly about an angel’s experience in the world, some of the other ones are decidedly more terrestrial.

Just as a teaser, I have vague ideas for some other themes:

  • A licensed necromancer dealing with ghosts and the undead.
  • A former CIA operative who had to retire but is still doing her work. Vaguely reminiscent of a supernatural Burn Notice.
  • A few books dealing with vampire politics and ancient beings.

My husband also has some ideas kicking around for novels in the universe that he’d like to write. We’ve worked on this setting together for years, and there are some stories from some perspectives he’d like to tell.

The meta-plot for the series, well…I’ll leave that for you to piece together yourselves. But I promise there is one. All these threads tie together in various places. There is a method to my madness.

This time.

E. Prybylski has been in the publishing industry as an editor since 2009, starting at Divertir Publishing and eventually partnering with her close friend Richard Belanger to begin Insomnia Publishing.

Ever since childhood, E. has been an avid reader and writer of fantasy. The first chapter book she remembers reading is The Hobbit, followed swiftly by most of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series. In high school, she perfected the skill of walking while reading without slamming into anyone. Mostly.

When she isn’t reading or writing, E. is an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and has a B.A. in European history from SNHU. In addition to her many historical pursuits, E. is a musician of multiple instruments, a cat mom, and a loving wife to her husband, J. E. also speaks out for the disability and chronic illness communities being a sufferer of chronic migraines and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Fallen Friday: How Do Centaurs Wear Pants?

Fallen Friday: How Do Centaurs Wear Pants?

When working on Fallen, I’ve come across a lot of these questions like the title of this blog. Do they wear pants at all, or do they just let it all hang out? Is that legal? Is it moral? Well, my solution was that centaurs aren’t usually in cities since they’re not comfortable there. They prefer large, grassy areas and dirt roads (better on their legs and feet), so since my books are set in Boston, I don’t need to know.

But, since I mentioned it, I’ve decided that they don’t wear pants since they couldn’t don them. Instead, they have small magical items (necklace, ring, etc.) which hides their bits away and makes them more or less a Ken (or Barbie) doll. Smooth.

It’s not that bits are offensive. They aren’t. But when we’re talking human-level sentience, if two-leggers need to wear things covering theirs, I imagine the laws involving four-legged creature like centaurs would have to be similar. And given the shape of a horse body and human torso… Well, I have enough trouble putting pants on as it is. I don’t want to think about yet MORE legs and booty, thanks!

Honestly, a lot of my world building has come down to the question of how magical races would integrate with modern society. Satyrs? Well, that’s easy. They just have pants designed for their leg shape. They could definitely wear pants like the human races do. That one was easy. Where do vampires get food? From consenting adults or blood banks. Also, your fae barista might give you an extra shot of glamour to help you get in the right headspace for a big interview. Things like that.

The thing that I’m really thinking about in terms of all of this is how magic intersects with police work. For example: there are many creatures who can change their physical appearance at will or shapeshift entirely. Now, a therianthrope’s DNA is likely the same whether they’re an animal, in their beast form, or in a human guise. So that would only confuse the visuals. You get a therianthrope bull in a china shop on camera, you won’t know what they look like as a human, but you might see some identifying marks. Plus paw prints, DNA, and so on would be traceable, I imagine.

Of course, I am fully aware that this stuff all flies in the face of real biology. A centaur could not exist, scientifically speaking. Nor could dragons or shapeshifters. I’m not even going to go there because, honestly, this is fantasy. I’m here for the magic. I love science, but this ain’t it!

Doing this kind of world building is a lot of work. There are a lot of intricate pieces to the series as I’m working on–more than just the cosmology of angels and demons. I have to deal with vampire politics, the laws around certain kinds of magic, and so much more. While the story starts from the POV of just one character, the series is actually much bigger than what it seems to start. I have plans for several trilogies, some stand-alone novels, and all of it ties into the meta plot, which is a lot. I’ll discuss a little of that in a future blog post (no spoilers, I promise).

However, this kind of daydreaming is one of my favorite parts of writing. A lot of us writers really get into the “what if” parts of our story crafting, and I’m no different. Using the modern world as a framework was the easiest thing I think I could have done because all the world building I do can exist on top of already-existing structures, which makes things easier. For my high fantasy novels, I have to create everything. Not only the magic bits, but the countries, factions, world, laws, and so on. It’s far harder than this. Or, at least, it’s more complicated in some ways. I still have to answer questions like how centaurs wear pants, but I have to do so on top of figuring out what the name and structure of the centaur country would be.

How do you think centaurs wear pants? No, really. How?

Fallen Friday: The Setting

Fallen Friday: The Setting

Welcome to another edition of “Fallen Friday!” If you weren’t around for last week’s, this is my new blog series where I talk about the journey I’ve undertaken to get here, my writing, and also about the novel itself as well as its setting! While you can learn this in the book, I figured sharing some of this stuff in advance couldn’t hurt. Fallen isn’t due out until December, and I don’t know if I can keep all this in for that long!

Like I mentioned last week, my novel’s setting is inspired by a mixture of the movie Bright on Netflix and Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series along with no small dollop of Holly Black’s Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside. While you may or may not recognize all the influences, the most obvious one at the first contact is Bright.

The setting of the Smoke and Magic series addresses a similar question to that movie: what if magic were commonplace, and fantasy races were all real? Now, unlike Bright, the world isn’t/ a post-modern dystopia where the elves live in the fantasy equivilent of The Aerium from Altered Carbon. (Yeah, I know, I’m a Netflix junkie. So sue me.) Instead, society is more or less like it is in the real world. Mostly.

My novels are mostly going to be set in the city of Boston, MA because I live quite close to the city. I haven’t spent a great deal of time there in person due to a combination of finances and physical disability, but if Google Streetview tracked steps like my Fitbit does, I’d have probably clocked several marathons by now. I have also been to the city a number of times (Logan Airport, the Boston Aquarium and museums and zoo, The Royale to see VNV Nation perform, and so on), and I’m a historian who is intimately familiar with the history of the city. I also live in New Hampshire, so the historical New England buildings are hardly foreign territory for me. My family church is with a year or so of the establishment of Old North Church in Boston.

So what does it mean that magic is commonplace in the world?

Well, for one thing, there are degrees in it from Harvard. While you won’t meet her until book two, there’s a character who has a degree in it. Magic is, of course, quite regulated. It’s commonplace insomuch as there are many people who can do it, how magic is used and by whom is tightly-controlled. Particularly things like necromancy (which will show up later in the series). Small things like illusion magic (the fae use it a lot) to alter hair color, eye color, and so on? Not considered much of a big deal in most circumstances, though it can make police work a nightmare if you have no idea what the person really looks like. They have special units for that.

Those with magic are considered “metas.” Some species are entirely comprised of metas (like the aforementioned fae) while others only have the occasional meta. Species like therianthropes are also considered meta since their shapeshifting, while a product of nature, is a form of magic. Metas are, generally speaking, broken up into two categories: active and passive. Passive metas are individuals like therianthropes whose magic is (typically) limited to shapeshifting and healing wounds or a vampire’s ability to exist.

Generally speaking, about 40% of the population is meta, with the bulk of the non-meta population being made up of humanity. While there are many other species in the world, humans reproduce the fastest. Some of the long-lived races, like elves, have few children and typically at more or less a replacement rate since elves can live for centuries. Biology saw fit to ensure they wouldn’t over-populate the world and kill off life on the planet. Most of the species with excessively long natural lifespans have similar parameters to their biology.

So what about things like dragons?

Yes, well, dragons certainly existed, though they were in fact hunted out in the Medieval ages so far as anyone knows. Any who weren’t slain by knights have long since gone into hiding. And just as well for the most part–they were extremely powerful creatures known to cause a great deal of trouble for folks. What with the hoarding and such. Not exactly ideal neighbors a lot of the time.

So what does that mean for the day-to-day?

Well, you still have computers and cell phones and Internet. The world still exists as we expect it to on average. However, there are folks with heating and cooling handled by runes instead of forced air. They still require charging and maintainence, but it’s cheaper that way. Also, there are flight rules for winged creatures communting. And there are cars designed for bigger creatures. And, you know, centaur standing room on trains and busses.

Some things like World Wars are also a little different, but I don’t want to get too far into that in this installment.

E. Prybylski has been in the publishing industry as an editor since 2009, starting at Divertir Publishing and eventually partnering with her close friend Richard Belanger to begin Insomnia Publishing.

Ever since childhood, E. has been an avid reader and writer of fantasy. The first chapter book she remembers reading is The Hobbit, followed swiftly by most of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series. In high school, she perfected the skill of walking while reading without slamming into anyone. Mostly.

When she isn’t reading or writing, E. is an active member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and has a B.A. in European history from SNHU. In addition to her many historical pursuits, E. is a musician of multiple instruments, a cat mom, and a loving wife to her husband, J. E. also speaks out for the disability and chronic illness communities being a sufferer of chronic migraines and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Fallen Friday: The World of Smoke and Magic

Fallen Friday: The World of Smoke and Magic

With the upcoming release of my novel, Fallen, I am going to start writing blogs about the setting, the characters and more things about me as an author and a person than just my usual fare of writing advice. That’s not going away, of course. This is still my editing blog. But I am expanding.

Okay, so, on to brass tacks.

Fallen is an urban fantasy in a world that was inspired by a combination of re-reading the Dresden Files and watching the movie Bright. I’ve been a lover of the genre for ages, and after watching Bright a few years ago, my husband and I were spit-balling about the movie and talking about what we’d do if it were our world. Which then turned into us creating some stories in the setting.

Now, I’m going to admit here in front of the whole world that I’ve been doing text-based role-playing since probably the late 1990s. I started on a forum dedicated to the Gargoyles television show (shout-out to my friend, Brynn, who got me into it), and then I continued from there into AOL chats (Rhy’din, Red Dragon Inne) and even ran one myself for a few years (Silence Falls Inne). I met some of my lifelong friends there. I even met my husband through text-based roleplay.

If you don’t know what it is, the long and short of it is you have people taking on the roles of characters and, usually through a chat medium or a forum, telling the stories of their adventures in a cooperative fashion. It’s sort of like Dungeons and Dragons without the dice.

So my husband and I, as is our wont, started building up this world with some amazing characters and stories, and it lived there between us for awhile. I have literal hundreds of logs of it on my computer.

And as we played, and as we developed this world, we started agreeing that writing a novel in the setting would be cool. Now, my husband is also a writer, but he hasn’t done much more than short stories at this point in his life, and has his eyes set on a different story. That’ll be for him to talk about, though.

With it settled that I’d do the writing, I got down to it.

I started writing the novel during the lockdown in 2020. I didn’t have much editing happening that year (or much anything happening that year except all the D&D ever), so it seemed like a good time to do it. As I wrote, of course some of the characters changed from what they were in the roleplay, and through all of this my husband has been my coach, cheerleader, and sounding board. I’m constantly pestering him to read passages where I’ve written his characters to see if I did them justice because, well, I love them. Though the stories I’m writing here are different from what we’ve played out. Even if some do have the same beats.

I started writing the novel during the lockdown in 2020. I didn’t have much editing happening that year (or much anything happening that year except all the D&D ever), so it seemed like a good time to do it.

E. Prybylski

While I’ve written several novels in the past (not including the “novels” I wrote in high school), this one felt different. I had always intended to publish a different series and setting first and have actually rewritten that novel from the ground up about three different times now. But something stopped me. This time, when I put my hands to the keys, the story more or less just fell out of me all at once. It wasn’t as fast as NaNoWriMo–it still took me almost a year to write. But unlike the other books I’ve written in the past, when I read this one, I didn’t feel the urge to strip it to the outline and try again.

In fact, I have the audacity to think it might actually be good.

Part of what kept me going was my writing group, I’ll be honest. I was posting drafts live to them to keep myself accountable, and one person in particular (Elly, you’re a rockstar) kept me going. She’d talk about what I’d written, express excitement or worry. Or ask me when the next chapters were coming out. It kept me going through the hard parts, and when I got to the end, she was so excited for me.

I finished actually writing the first draft sometime in April, I believe. I spent May revising and sent it in to my editor a couple weeks ago. We’re about halfway through the first pass because before sending it to her I ran it through SmartEdit several times long with PerfectIt and had Word 365 read the entire thing aloud to me. While it butchered some of the names in a hysterical manner, it worked well enough for what I needed.

Now, of course, the real work has started.

As I’ve talked to my authors about for years as their editor at Insomnia and the publishing house I started at, I am gearing up to do my pre-release marketing. I’ve got my street team assembled, I have been putting together a list of blogs to submit ARCs to, I’m working on a “press kit” for my book as iWriterly suggested in her brilliant marketing video. In addition, I’m in talks with my amazing friend at Pop Fizzion to make a special bath bomb to as a raffle prize to give away to people when I get closer to release (or during my release party), and I’m going to be looking into commissioning art for some stickers to send out. I don’t have a lot of money for prizes, but I’m working on fun ideas to get people engaged.

It’s honestly surreal to be going through this process for a book that’s mine. In some ways, I feel arm’s length to it because a lot of these motions are familiar and based on advice I’ve been giving to authors on and off since the first release I was part of in 2010. It’s a collection of short stories (I don’t get anything from you buying it at this point, so you can or not if you feel a yen to). It’s published under my maiden name, but that really was me. Same with this book that I published in 2011. I didn’t write all of these stories, but I did edit them, and I do have a story in there. I also have a piece of flash fiction in this collection and another two short stories in this one. (It’s been a long time since I looked at those. Wow.)

I know that’s a whole stack of links, and I apologize.

Despite having been published in multiple short story collections and having had a number of articles in The Mighty get good reviews, finishing a novel somehow feels more real to me. It’s not that I don’t think short stories or articles are valid–I absolutely do–but my heart has always been in long form fiction, so the shorter pieces never quite felt complete to me in the way finishing a novel did.

Well, this has been a long ramble for a first post in this new series, but this is where we are.

Holidays and Versitile Blogger Award

VBA

 

jiiiiiiiiiiiiku (My cat says hello by way of walking on the keys). Apparently Natasha McNeely has awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award! How kind of her. 🙂 Thank you very much for sending this my way! It was very kind of her to send it to me! Now, apparently there are some rules regarding it and while I know this is usually a professional blog, I

figure a little fun around the holidays can’t hurt!

The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award state that I must:

Thank the person who gave it to me and link back to them in my blog.
Share seven things about myself.
Pass this award on to 5 other recently discovered blogs and let them know

I’m not sure about passing it on to other blogs, since I don’t read too many, but I can certainly share seven things about myself!

The first thing I’ll share is something I mentioned earlier: I’m a cat lover. The cat that so kindly (and in holiday spirit) said hello to you is one that I raised from when she was abandoned by her mother at two days old. She is now over a year old and is a feisty little monster. Her name is Chase (short for StormChaser) but we usually just call her “Monster”. I’ve had cats all my life and can’t imagine living in a home without them.

Next is the fact that I (like everyone else) am writing a book. A series of books, actually. My fiance and I are working together to write an urban fantasy series that really gets me excited to talk about though I won’t spoil the details here! The setting is in Boston, MA and it involves any number of supernatural creatures and should be an exciting ride for anybody that decides to step on.

The third, and final fact, is that I am late in writing this blog. No, I’m kidding. Sort of. The final fact is… jeez, I’m trying to come up with something useful here. Oh, I know! I made mint hot-cocoa cakes with marshmallow and buttercream frosting as Christmas gifts. I’m po’ so it’s the best I can do right now.

This blog isn’t obviously my usual fare but with Christmas being later this week, I’ve been crazy busy baking for the last two in order to keep up with the holiday. Whatever holiday that you and your family are celebrating this year, I hope you have a joyful one!

She knows when you are sleeping
She knows when you’re awake
And if her food bowl’s empty
Fill it for goodness’ sake!