** SPOILERS AHEAD**
If you don’t want spoilers for Cronin’s Key, please don’t read 🙂
Cronin’s Key has been out for a little while now and I wanted to shed some light on research; the fact and the fiction. As all writers know (or at least they should) research is a huge part of any story. And out of all my books (all 20 of them), I think I have done more research for Cronin’s Key than any other.
Cronin’s Key is a paranormal, supernatural, fantasy, sci-fi, action romance. So, by rights I could have ignored all fact and just gone with fiction. I could have taken creative license and created a world all it’s own and made it all up as I went along, and in many ways I guess I did.
But there is an awful lot fact in this fiction. And if you’re a history buff you might get the references as you read the book, but for those who aren’t, I wanted to outline some of it for you. 🙂
Never seen before excerpt of Cronin’s Key! <3
Enter my Pride Promotional giveaway!
Originally released within Wayward Ink Publishing’s anthology Stranded, in October 2014, my short story One Snowy Night is now available as an individual short story.
One snowy night, Keith Brambles learns that appearances can be deceptive.
After yet another disastrous date, Keith drives home much to fast for the snowy conditions. When his car skids and crashes, he thinks he’s going to spend the night freezing in his car, until a man in a white van stops to help him. But Keith fears his rescuer may not appreciate his rather obvious preference.
Another half hour went by, and at last Keith heard the sound of an engine. As he looked out of the window, headlights blinded him, and he blinked and squinted. He unfolded his arms and legs, and groaned as he tried to put his feet down on the floor. His limbs had stiffened and everything hurt. He fumbled for the door handle with numb fingers. As he struggled, suddenly the driver’s door jerked open, and a face appeared.
Keith stared at the hulking figure, stooped over to look into the car. He could make out a moustache and goatee, and bright eyes, but the rest was obscured by a beanie and the collar of a heavy winter coat.
“You alright, mate?” a gruff voice asked.
“Y-y-y-yes,” Keith stammered. He was shivering so badly, he doubted he could utter another word.
He shook his head in response.
“Can you get out?”
“I…d-d-d-d…” Keith meant to say I don’t know. He shoved the other door open, and extended one leg, until his foot reached the snowy ground outside. He groaned as he tried to move the other leg. His knee was locked and he couldn’t feel his foot at all.
“Fuck. Wait there.” The driver’s door slammed and seconds later, the man appeared at the other side of the car. Large arms reached out and scooped Keith up. He clutched at the thick neck of his rescuer, as he was plucked from the Audi and carried to a waiting white Transit van. White Van Man. Keith cringed, and hoped the man wouldn’t recognize him. His type probably wasn’t very tolerant. Then again, it wouldn’t really matter whether he knew who Keith was or not. Keith was wearing a purple silk shirt, heeled boots, earrings and eye makeup. He thought his preference must be fairly obvious.
“There you go.” White Van Man managed to pull open the passenger side door of the van and hoist Keith up onto the seat without much effort. He slammed the door closed, went around the other side, and climbed behind the wheel.
The heating in the van was blowing at full blast, and Keith leaned forward and placed his frozen hands over one of the vents. The interior of the vehicle was like a furnace, and he knew he would thaw out quickly, but painfully.
“What happened?” White Van Man asked.
“Um…I…um…I came up to the bend too fast and braked. Stupid.”
“Are you sure you’re not hurt?”
“Bruised, maybe, from the seatbelt. The airbag went off. I’m okay, just frozen.”
“How long have you been there?”
“An hour and a half, or thereabouts. Thanks for stopping.” Keith glanced at the man, as he unzipped his coat and pulled the beanie from his head. He had thick, dark hair and dark eyes. Keith could see something on his skin above the neckline of his T-shirt, which could have been a tattoo. Oh, God, White Van Man is probably a biker or a head banger as well.
Keith looked down, and took the plastic cup from the man’s hand. It held strong black coffee. Keith hadn’t noticed him pick up the flask and pour it.
“You’re Kent Brambles,” his rescuer said; a statement rather than a question.
Shit. “Uh…yes. Keith, actually. Kent’s just my…um…my…”
“Stage name?” The man grinned, but then grimaced a little.
“Yeah. I’m guessing my…uh…my music isn’t your cup of tea,” Keith said nervously.
“I’m into my rock and roll.” He smiled again and extended a large hand. “Mike Talbot.”
Friday 13th might be unlucky for some!
It’s release time again, so you know what that means? It’s contest time again!!!
This time, I’m giving away 2 x $25 Amazon Gift Cards and 5 x e-copies of Cronin’s Key!
Now, because Rafflecopter won’t work on wordpress (seriously, you’d think they’d fix that shit by now) please click on the little Rafflecopter icon to go to the Rafflecopter site to enter. OR go here http://gvwy.io/mc1qedf to enter!
It’s easy peasy, just a few clicks. No purchases necessary, and GOOD LUCK!! 🙂
Great perspective on why we self-publish 🙂
The Cast and Crew
With release day just 9 days away, I’d like to introduce you to the cast and crew of Cronin’s Key.
First, we have Alec. Alec is a typical 21st century New York City guy, 29 years old, a cop who, in his own words, has always been good with weird.
Then there’s Cronin. A twelve hundred year old vampire, quiet and unassuming, yet respected and a little bit (or a lot) feared. He’s also the only vampire in all of histories to be fated to a human.
Next is Eiji. Older than Cronin, Eiji is a Japanese vampire who calls himself brother to Cronin. Always smiling, always laughing, Eiji has been one of my most favourite characters to write.
And finally there is Jodis. Roughly the same age as Cronin, Viking by heritage and fated to Eiji. She’s a kickass woman who has basically spent the last thousand years keeping the boys in line.
After a minute or two, Alec turned to face the glass wall. He could see nothing inside, only himself and the city mirrored back at him. Though he knew they were watching. He could feel Cronin’s eyes on him and as much as it annoyed him, as much as it infuriated him that Cronin was watching him, it was oddly reassuring.
Nevertheless, he turned around to allow the sun to wash over him. The warmth of it on his skin, after days of hiding, felt heavenly, and he stayed that way until the sun had almost disappeared.
Alec knew the moment Cronin left, because he was barreled by sudden wave of unease; restlessness and agitation sat heavy in his chest. He spun to face the wall, and the door opened. No one came out, but Eiji spoke. “He’s gone to feed. Your dinner is here also,” he said.
With a sigh, Alec crossed the patio and stepped inside. “Thank you,” he whispered.
Eiji smiled at him. “Please don’t be mad at him. The conflict you feel, how your mind and heart push and pull, is the same for him. He has been alone a very long time, and he only wants you to be happy. You will have to adjust together.”
“I know.” Alec winced. “Has he gone for long?”
Eiji shook his head. “No. Even if you weren’t being hunted by seekers right now, that unease and fear you feel won’t keep him gone long.”
“He feels it too?” Alec asked, pushing the heel of his hand against his heart.
Alec frowned and pulled the takeout container and chopsticks out of the bag, not sure he could eat, despite how hungry he was.
“Alec,” Eiji said softly. “Don’t disregard his concern for you. I don’t think you grasp the severity of what could happen. His concern is not only for you because of what you mean to him, but for what you mean to all vampires, and humans for that matter.”
Alec swallowed hard. He was embarrassed that he’d acted so childishly. “It’s just all been talk so far. I get told I’m the key, I’m important, but it doesn’t mean anything because it’s just fables and stories, you know what I mean?”
Eiji blinked. “Not really, no.”
“And Cronin,” Alec continued. “God help me, that man does my head in.”
Jodis walked into the kitchen and smiled. “Cronin is…” she seemed to search for the right word.
“Stubborn,” Alec prompted. “Sexy as hell, frustrating, he smells so damn good, he’s funny and so serious, and he completely does. My. Head. In.”
Eiji laughed, his eyes crinkling at the corner of his eyes. “That’s funny,” he said. “Cronin said something similar about you.”
“He did?” Alec asked, probably a little too quickly. “I mean, not that I care.”
“Hmhmm,” Eiji hummed. “Of course not.”
Jodis put her hand on Alec’s arm. “Cronin is very smitten with you. He falls deeper every day. It’s confusing for him, but it’s equally wonderful. Be patient with him. He’s worth it.”
Alec’s head lolled back and he let out a deep breath. He didn’t dare admit that he’d passed smitten like it was standing still. Instead, he collected his takeout and chopsticks and walked back to the door. “I might eat out here. The sun is almost gone.”
Alec was distracted, his mind in a dozen different places, he was so hungry but had no appetite, and Cronin’s absence twisted in his gut. He’d barely crossed half the patio and wondered briefly how much sunlight, or lack thereof, was required for vampires to walk around in the day when two vampires suddenly appeared in front of him.
Dark, hulking and menacing, their sneers did little to conceal their fangs and they both took another step toward Alec.
Everything happened so quickly, yet in slow motion at the same time. Eiji and Jodis were in front of him in an instant, defending him, protecting him. Just like it was happening in slow motion, Eiji snatched the chopsticks Alec had on top of his takeout, and spun around at the vampires in front of him. Jodis turned too, her long white hair twirling around her like ribbons, her hand went out and both vampires were still, frozen. Eiji used the chopstick like a stake, spearing one vampire in the chest, then the second vampire turned to dust as well. Alec was picked up and removed, back into the safety of Cronin’s apartment, all before his takeout dinner could hit the patio floor.
I will post buy-links when I have them. Release date is March 13th 2015. <3