Posted: April 1, 2013 Filed under: Hunt | Tags: Hunt, Kitsune, Melissa Stevens, release may 17, Teaser
After spending the summer working ten-hour shifts, four days a week, I was used to waking early. Now that school had started, I didn’t have to be to work until eight o’clock. Plus, since Devon had to be up early in order to be at my folks place by five to start the day on the farm, I had more reasons to get up than to stay in bed. He had wanted me to sleep in, but I couldn’t let my new fiancé leave for work without saying goodbye. That particular Monday morning I sent Devon off to work and I was catching up on local happenings after having been out of town for almost two weeks.
The picture on the news bulletin was a surprise. Without reading a word, the face staring back at me caught my attention. I knew her, or I once had. Annette Bigler, Annie to her friends, had been in my class all the way through school. We hadn’t been best friends, but we’d been friendly. Since then, I’d seen her around town, enough to say hi now and then but I hadn’t spent any time with her since the summer we’d graduated, almost ten years earlier. She’d gone away to school, and though she’d returned, we’d never really rekindled our relationship. I scanned the headlines, trying to figure out why her picture was there.
“BODY OF LOCAL GIRL FOUND ON CAMPUS”
The headline shocked me. Today would to be my first day back to work after more than a week and I knew nothing about a body having been found on campus. Since I was the Dean of Student’s secretary, I should probably know something. I read further and found that she’d been discovered beaten and stabbed. She hadn’t been killed there, but her body had been dumped after she was already dead. The police had few leads.
Glancing at the clock, I picked up my Personal Communication Device, also known as a PCD, and dialed my brother. I hoped that as a police officer, he would be able to tell me more. I also knew anything he did tell me would be accurate, not rumors or twisted to be more sensational like often happened with the news.
“Hey, Sis. It’s awful early isn’t it?” Raine answered, his voice sounded tired.
“Sorry,” I hoped I hadn’t woken him. “I just found out about Annie. Can you tell me anything other than what was in the news?”
“Not much,” I heard him take a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I know you knew her.” His voice was full of sympathy.
“We were friends in high school but we hadn’t seen much of each other since.”
“A student found her body on Central Campus yesterday afternoon. That area’s pretty deserted on the weekend. You know what it’s like. We don’t know exactly how long she was there before she was discovered, but not more than a few hours. We figure who ever dumped her, wanted her to be found, but probably not until this morning.”
I knew what he meant, the campus was long and narrow, a block wide but three long, each block was identified by location, there was North, Central and South campus.
“Any ideas who could have done it?” I wanted to know as much as he could tell me.
Noise rustled over the line and I assumed he was shaking his head.
“No. She was severely beaten and stabbed several times, but we haven’t found the primary scene and we don’t have any leads yet.” He sounded unhappy about it and I didn’t blame him.
Violent crimes weren’t common in the area. I mean, yeah, there were domestic disputes, and the occasional bar fight, but something like murder? The last murder I remembered in the valley was more than five years earlier. This was going to shake the entire community.
“I know there are things the department holds back, keeps from the public, things that will help you find and identify whoever is responsible, but is there anything else you can tell me?”
“Not that-” He stopped mid-sentence and changed what he was saying. “Wait. You know she’s one of you, right?”
“One of me?” I was confused.
“You know, like you and Devon.”
“Oh.” I suddenly realized what he was trying to say, without actually saying, that is. Annie was Kitsune. She was a shape-shifter like I am. “No, I didn’t know. There are still so many that I haven’t yet met.”
“I don’t know if it’s going to be a factor, but I have to keep it in mind, even if I can’t tell the rest of the force.” His voice was full of reluctance and doubt. I knew that having to hide something about the victim from the rest of the investigators was hard for him, but I didn’t see how it could be helped, at least not now.
“I understand.” My mind was already churning with possibilities. “I’ll keep my ears open and let you know if I hear anything that might help.”
“I’d appreciate it.”
“You sound tired.” I changed the subject.
“I am. I ended up pulling a double, investigating this. I just got home and I’m on my way to bed.”
“I’m sorry. I’ll let you get some sleep.” I felt bad for keeping him up. He had to be exhausted.
“No, I know she was your friend and you’ll hear a different side of her life than I will. You might be able to help me out here,” he sighed, “but not now, I’m exhausted. I need some sleep before I can process anymore.”
“Get some rest, I’ll talk to you later.” We hung up and I typed a quick message to Devon, telling him that there had been a body found on campus the day before and I might be late getting home. He’d told me he would be on a tractor most of the day and I knew he likely wouldn’t hear his PCD ring if I called, but this way the message would be waiting the next time he checked them.
Even though it was still a little early, I finished getting ready and went to my job. I knew there would be a pile of paperwork to catch up on, and because of the murder, even more.
Arriving at the office, I discovered the Dean, Mr. Willowby, was already in his office, engrossed in paperwork. I let him know I was there then got started on the stack that had built up on my desk while I was gone. I spent the day trying to get caught up with everything that had happened over the last two weeks, but it was difficult to concentrate with the constant calls from the media, as well as local people, wanting to know details about the body found on campus. When the first call came in, I checked with Mr. Willowby for the official response, and afterward told the callers the same thing.
“I’m sorry, Eastern Arizona College cannot comment on ongoing police investigations. Please contact the Safford-Thatcher Police Department for more information.”
A few reporters were persistent and tried to get me to say more, but I repeated myself until they gave up.
I’m not sure I’d ever been happier to see five o’clock arrive so that I could leave. I hadn’t made much progress on getting caught up and the constant ring of incoming calls had me down to my last nerve.
For more HUNT, check your favorite ebook retailer starting May 17! For paperback, check Amazon or with the Author.
Posted: March 9, 2013 Filed under: Hunt, Odds and Ends | Tags: freezing, Hunt, long day, Melissa Stevens, sleepless, Tucson Book Festival
I’m exhausted. I was up late last night. I stayed up an hour later than I planned to get the last revision of Hunt done. It meant that I only got 3 hrs sleep last night, but it was worth it so I could spend the weekend at the Tucson Book Festival without having the last of that revision done. I got a little rest then got the kids up and hit the road.
The day at the Festival was good. It would have been better if it hadn’t been about 30 below (okay so it was about fifty, but it was freezing to my Arizona blood) windy with off and on rain, but I still learned a lot. I’m hoping tomorrow will have better weather, but either way I’m looking forward to it.
Posted: March 4, 2013 Filed under: Hunt, Odds and Ends, writing, | Tags: Hunt, revision, rewrites
At least it seems like it. For the last several weeks (pretty much since the first of the year,) I’ve been working on revisions of several projects. I move back and forth, rotating with whichever is on my mind at the moment.
I have had a couple of new ideas, I took careful notes and I’m letting them build, but they’re not quite ready yet. In the mean time, I have deadlines and a publication date to meet, so revisions it is. Revisions are just as important as drafting, as they’re where you make it good. First drafts are crappy, they’re supposed to be crappy, but through revisions and rewriting we turn crappy drafts into something that sparkles and shines.
To me, progress on revisions is less obvious. At the end of the day you don’t have a significant word count added to what you started with, and if, like me, you don’t work in software that gives you pages(except for the final revision), you don’t have a page finished count. That doesn’t mean it’s not just as, if not more, important.
So back I go into my seemingly bottomless pit of revisions. When I come out I’ll have at least one fresh, clean manuscript ready for the publisher.
How do you do it?
Posted: January 3, 2013 Filed under: Escape, Hunt | Tags: beta readers, Escape, Hunt, project, sequel, series, writing
I just sent Hunt out to my beta readers. Honestly? It feels great. I need to set a release date and work on the cover, as well as a couple other smaller details, but Hunt is mostly done. I need to decide which of my other ongoing projects to focus on next.
I’m seriously considering going back to my NaNo book, which is a longer sequel to Escape, not in the way that Fight and Hunt are sequels to Change, but still a series. The new book focuses on Steve’s story. Considering his position in the Chanat, we get to see quite a bit of Nick and Rebecca, to follow their continuing story, but they aren’t the main focus. I’m enjoying learning more about Steve and I hope you will too.
Posted: December 2, 2012 Filed under: Hunt, NaNoWriMo | Tags: edits, Hunt, Nanowrimo, November, rewrites
I did manage to make my 50k words, though, it was only due to some marathon days at the end. I’m glad it’s over and we’ll have our TGIO party next week.
Now, however, it’s time to go back to Hunt and finish my rewrites. I started today and I already have several chapters done. I’m eager to finish this so I can send it out for edits and then get it out to you. I’m hoping you’ll find it as intriguing and absorbing as I did… Now I just have to get it done so you can find out.
Posted: October 21, 2012 Filed under: Hunt, Odds and Ends | Tags: Hunt, knitting, life, ML, musings, Nanowrimo
I’ve been pushing hard for the last couple of weeks to finish the first draft of Hunt before NaNoWriMo gets here. At the same time, nothing else has stopped happening, in fact, I’ve added even more.
In addition to my every day life with a family, school, extra-curricular activities, etc. I’ve added in Book tour host, (as you can see from the rapidly filling schedule to the right,) as well as working on scheduling all the events for NaNo, as I am the local ML.
It’s been a little stressy and a little crazy and some days I don’t know if I’m coming or going. I must say that my Cozy calendar has saved my butt, more than once. Because I’m able to put the entire family’s schedule in there I can see what everyone is doing, and here’s the big one, have reminders sent to my phone, aka, my brain. On Sunday it sends me an email with the week’s calendar so I can plan important things, like dinner, around what’s happening each night. Let me tell you, with three kids, on three teams in two different sports, that practice on opposite ends of town, that’s sometimes harder than you would think.
Where was I again? Oh, yeah. Downtime. Since finishing the first draft of Hunt (yes, there’s still lots of work to be done,) I’ve been taking it kind of easy. No, the rest of my life really hasn’t slowed down, but I’ve not pushed prepping for NaNo either. I know I can do NaNo totally seat of my pants, though it’s a lot easier with some planning. I do have some planning done, as I plan on working on a concept I’ve been putting together for a few months now, in the background. But it’s different, I’m not intently focused on what comes next. I’ve picked up a new book and starting to read it, and I spent all day yesterday sitting on the couch, watching TV with the Other Half, and for the first time in months, knitting. Yes, I knit, but in working on my writing, I’ve lost the time I spend on knitting, I love it. Knitting relaxes me and puts me in that zen place like nothing else I’ve ever found, I just flat haven’t had time.
All in all, I’m enjoying a little downtime before my next big rush. I know it’s coming and I’ll enjoy it when it gets here, but in the mean time, I needed this.
Posted: July 22, 2012 Filed under: Hunt | Tags: distractions, family, writing
After nearly two weeks of nursing my other half, he’s back to the point of nearly being able to care for himself. He can get up, move around, do what needs to be done, though he milks it for all the attention he can get. It’s time for me to get back to work. Back to working on the next installment in Nickie’s story.
Getting back to work is easier said than done. My house still has 4 other people in it all the time. School doesn’t start for another nine days for one kid, and sixteen days for the other two. The other half will play invalid for another month. All this adds up and the distractions can be difficult to ignore. Thankfully, I have headphones and can turn my music up loud to ignore them all. While the kids are still home they can run errands for their father. I’ll deal with having to do them myself when they’re back in school. In the mean time, I’ll get as much done as I can.
Posted: June 26, 2012 Filed under: Change, Fight, Hunt | Tags: camp, Change, editing, Fight, Nanowrimo
Well, my train has officially been de-railed. A day of cleaning and packing, 2 days of travel and a day of recovery and I’m around 8,000 words behind. Could I work hard and catch up? Yes, I could do it. However, in today’s mail I received the copy-edits of Fight, and another for Change. Instead of working to catch up on my Camp NaNo project I’m going to work on getting my edits done.
Getting all the edits done will mean two things. Number one, I can publish Fight, get it out there for those I know are eager to see it. Number two is that I am hoping to get the paper editions ready to go to print. We all want paper copies, right?
So off I go, not to write but to input edits. But in the end it’s still progress. Psst.. How long will it take to do the edits on 2 books?