On Writing: The Problem of Series, OR Why Isn’t This As AWESOME As The Last One?

It's happened to all of us: we find the first book in a new series and it's awesome – it's filled to bursting with cool imagery and characters and concepts, and we race through the book and then come to the end, saying "what? But I want MORE!". And then we get the sequel, and that's … a good book. I mean, maybe it's a really good book. But somehow there seems to be something missing, it's just not quite the slam-bang awesome you remember from the first book. But hey, authors can have off days, right, and this was still pretty good. So you [ Continue reading... ]

Princess Holy Aura: Chapter 33

In this final snippet, Procelli found he had been suckered... -----     Chapter 33.      Silvertail felt a cold, cold smile crossing his tiny face as he saw the Mirrortaint stagger back in disbelief. "But . . . how . . ." Seika's face was radiant with understanding. "It was you, not Cordelia's father! But he sensed the distress—" Silvertail locked gazes with Procelli, and he could see fear in the defiant Mirrortaint's eyes. "I merely allowed myself to remember the day I gave my daughter to this fate . . . and let my fear [ Continue reading... ]

Princess Holy Aura: Chapter 32

Things seemed to have taken a turn for the worse, and they were bad enough already...   Chapter 32.      Even as that happened, Procelli loomed somehow larger, though his physical form changed not a bit. "Another wish granted," he said with a slasher smile, turning to Holy Aura. She could see Cordy, now in her father's embrace, but her face showed only the shock and anguish and confusion of the impossible; even a father's presence could only do so much. "You . . . obscene . . . thing," she choked out, unable to even form a proper [ Continue reading... ]

Princess Holy Aura: Chapter 31

The tyrpiglynt was out and apparently so was their secret... -----     Chapter 31.      "Holly? Seika?" Tierra said after a few frozen moments. "Fuck," Seika said succinctly in the powerful soprano of Radiance Blaze. "But, that's the way the meme rolls, right?" Holly found she'd covered her face with one of Holy Aura's hands. "Yes. Yes, of course it is." Is Tierra going to be one of the Maidens? Or one of those ordinary characters that happens to learn the secret? If it was the latter, whether Tierra survived the [ Continue reading... ]

Princess Holy Aura: Chapter 30

The tyrpiglynt was now on the loose... -----   Chapter 30.      Silvertail felt the fur rising on his back even before his more conscious senses recognized the surge in power from within the building that the girls had run into. Oh, no, Lemuria's Memory, no . . . It was the merest flicker of motion, a motion only eyes like his own could have seen, but he knew instantly that the worst scenario was now upon them. A Mirrortaint was now free, and in a crowd . . . a crowd whose emotions and lifeforce would not only feed it, but mask [ Continue reading... ]

Princess Holy Aura: Chapter 29

They'd figured out who they needed to talk to... -----   Chapter 29.      Holly shivered a little, then pulled her coat tighter. "Jeez, I'd forgotten how cold it gets sitting in the bleachers." "Did you forget how boring this is?" Seika muttered to her, barely audible over the cheers and other shouts as Whitney High's White Lions contested with Columbia's Blue Devils. "You don't know anything about football, do you? This is a pretty good game." Seika gave her a scandalized look. "You call yourself a geek and you like football? [ Continue reading... ]

Princess Holy Aura: Chapter 28

Silvertail now knew what they were up against... -----   Chapter 28.      "A . . . tyrpiglynt?" Holly repeated. The word sounded somehow creepy in and of itself. "What is that, exactly?" "A Reflecter of Desire," Silvertail said wearily. "Also called a Mirrortaint. A being from far Outside, so far that it has a difficult time manifesting in our ordinary world and can do so—to begin with, at least—only as a projection that echoes an existing projection in this one. A reflection, in short, which is a projection of the features of the [ Continue reading... ]

Princess Holy Aura: Chapter 27

Silvertail had some investigation to do... -----     Chapter 27.      Silvertail wriggled harder, and managed to get his furry shoulders through the small hole near the foundation of the school. That accomplished, he could easily drag the rest of himself through. It is fortunate that rats can fit through any hole their heads can go through. He had parked the car at a nearby restaurant. Making his way to the school from there, mostly in rat form, was the real challenge. Proportionately, rats were faster than humans—but [ Continue reading... ]

Princess Holy Aura: Chapter 26

Holly had a new friend who was an old friend, and a new conundrum...   -----     Chapter 26.      "Okay, I like that," Nikki said with a grin. Tierra looked confused. "Is there a joke in Dex's character's name? I don't get it." "Seriously?" Holly said. "Geraldine 'Geri' Rigger? Never heard the term 'jerry-rig' or 'jury-rig'?" "Nope." "Basically," Dex began, then stopped as he realized Holly and Seika had already started speaking—both of whom stopped at the same time. After a couple of "oh, wait, sorry" [ Continue reading... ]

Princess Holy Aura: Chapter 25

Well, now that Seika's parents hadn't killed them, life had to go on...     Chapter 25.      "I can't believe it's this cold!" Holly said, shivering even within the thick, puffy blue coat she was wearing. "It was seventy three days ago!" "Welcome to New York," Tierra said with a smirk, shoving the door open ahead of her and holding it to let the others pass. A tall blonde girl zipped in between Holly and Seika, muttering a quick "'Scuse me!" and then sprinted down the hallway, causing one of the guards to call ineffectually [ Continue reading... ]