jana_denardo: (kept tears)
I just made it through finals week. I'm disappointed that I didn't write more while the students were testing but they like it when you grade things fast.

I've inched my way a bit more into a Steampunk Christmas story that I actually intend for next Christmas (i.e. send it to the themed anthologies and if they don't bite, self publish it myself.) I think it's 1899 and I've just realize I'll probably have to make up a war for my airshipman to have fought in. The Civil War was too far in the past and I didn't really want to set it in WWI (besides I don't want it to be in Europe). So was America fighting Canada or Mexico.... I still need to name the lead. I'm between Adam and Abel but realize that if I want the professor love interest to be Al I shouldn't use either of those. Literally just realized that while typing this. Excuse me while I beat my skull on the wall for a moment.

I know what the perfect gift he's bringing Al for Christmas: a Buffalo coat and a Blackhills gold accented pocket watch (Al thinks the perfect gift is Whatshisname being home for the holiday).

Hmmm maybe instead of a war he's lost a leg defending ships transporting Comstock and/or Blackhills gold.


I've nibbled around the edges of Behind Blue Eyes but haven't gotten far and I am getting more and more sure I'm bungling the rearranging of Blood Red Roulette. I'm just going to keep going and get a second pair of eyes on it.

Also I've been kicked in the muse by another contemporary which I think might be better to try than the one I was noodling with (I'll keep that one on the back burner as I like it but it's impossibly geeky). Or might it be paranormal? One of the characters hunts ghosts for fun and for that matter so do I...I'm not sure yet what to do with it but I do know this: Brendan has come to the hocking hills and has taken a cabin there ala Hocking Hills Cabins I'm trying to decide between this large one  photo hocking_zpsom2h0ldk.jpeg or this small one  photo hocking blue-cabin-intro_zps49jjazfx.jpg but it'll probably closer to the small with a loft.

Brendan is a successful YA author from Columbus who wanted to do a horror/ghost story novel next and has rented the cabin for a month while he investigates haunts in SE Ohio, most of which he's seen from a haunted ohio website. Brendan is dubious about being alone in the cabin as he's still, three years later, deeply mourning his son's death from brain cancer at age 5. His marriage has long since broken up and really he's never sure he's more than two steps from joining his child.

He meets the currently unnamed owner of the website who was going to be a naturalist but decided that was a tad too close to my friend whose job and website I'd be modeling this guy after. Also I just didn't want to deal with some of that so instead he's an environmental scientist at a local college (i.e. mine) doing research in the hills as well as being a guide for Brendan. Naturally they hit it off albeit rather slowly.

I do know Brendan wears a glass pendant forged from his son's ashes and I need to find the site I originally saw those one but have found others. At one point he nearly loses it which is probably how the professor learns of the boy.

Drop by tomorrow for a release from me! And since I forgot to share this last week I think have the wonderful art Lex Chase did of Tsela Zahni in Once Upon a Time in the Midwest which comes out in 5 days.

 photo Jana_WW_Fin_zpsntrigvof.png
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
As you might have noticed there was no What's Up Wednesday this past week. They've ended the blog hop. I'm a little disappointed and at the same time, not so much. It had a tendency toward being a bit repetitive some days. And there's nothing saying I can't keep you all updated without needing a reason. I should be doing it just because I want people to stay interested.

So that future I'm talking about. I've finished my first rounds of edits for Soldiers of the Sun. That should be out in late summer. I'm very excited for this. It's been a couple years since the novella came out. Geez, I need to be a faster writer (i.e. I need to quit dicking around on Facebook and the like and concentrate). I feel pretty good about this one. The first editor was very kind about her thoughts on the novel and really 98% of it was grammar but holy hell did that make me feel OLD! All the new grammar changes are wrong in regards to how I learned the rules. Seriously, if I had ever turned in anything the way CMoS has the rules now, I would have failed the writing assignment. I guess I need to go brush up but I'd rather sit in my dinosaur rut. It feels...bad to have to have so many changes made because I didn't know the rules had changed. I feel like a bother. The same thing happened to me with the very first story I sold to Dreamspinner when I didn't know the rule had changed about putting an 's on names that ended in S. Back in the day, you just put the apostrophe on the existing S. You wrote Jones' not Jones's. I should know. My actual surname ends in a S. That was a shock!

I'm still waiting to hear about the series status of this one though. It's complicated. It's actually a short story (now out of print) a novella and now the novel. In order it should be read Novella, Short Story and Novel (plus there are a couple other freebie shorts in there somewhere). And since Soldiers of the Sun makes for a good series name, I'm going to have to change the title. My favorite part, titling something. Gah.


I finished the first round of edits for my short story A Wolf in the Fold for the Wayward Ink press anthology Of Heaven and Hell which is due out just a few days before my birthday in June. I'm waiting on the second round. Much like the first, it was mostly those newish grammar rules. I feel pretty damn good that neither story needed major revisions (especially after what I went through with the last novella).

And that's what I know will be out in 2015 but obviously that's not all I'm working on.

I'm still working on my Vampires in Vegas. They're my camp nano project. I have to get them done. I simply have to. It would be a shame if this flounders now. It's more than halfway there but this one seems to fight me. Vampires. Vegas. Sounds like it should write itself. Maybe I need a trip out there...

I have that SF story with Kaleo and Aneurin still perking away in my head. It would be a duology if nothing else. I have enough for that. In this one, Aneurin is part of the wealthy upper class in the quadrant. He's a geneticist by trade, not really having much to do with the business side of the family. He's given what his friend thinks is a willing courtesan for his birthday. To Aneurin's horror, Kaleo and all the other Toys are actually sex slaves. Aneurin joins up with the movement to ban the practice and in the meantime, loses his heart to the vulnerable but at the same time hard young man who has been given into his care.

I recently discussed the merman idea I have and you can find it here

I have so more ideas on tap but I think I'll save those for another update.

What I desperately need to do is a website. I was thinking of Wordpress. If anyone wants to share the pros/cons of wordpress (or whatever DIY website you're using) I'd appreciate it.
jana_denardo: (senile)
And they keep multiplying. Rather than concentrating on anything I'm currently working on my brain took the long drive back home to come up with something new so here's my new project (not that I'm saying I'm working right this second on it but I am noodling around with it). The beginning of it was something I've been wanting to write for over a year and I can blame Shira Anthony and her Mer-Cave group on Facebook for it.

Last year I saw this picture there  photo bettamerman_zpsq96fe2ve.jpg (btw it's by Itsmar so go to their page and check out their work)

I knew I wanted to do a captive merman at a sideshow story (there was another similar picture to this but I believe it really was drawn as a sideshow but I can't find it right now). So for months I carried around the idea but had no plot to go with it.

Then last week or so this picture got posted  photo mermaid in tub_zpsjg99bwhg.jpg (the artists is Zwierzodudle. Thanks [livejournal.com profile] octoberland for that information!) and thought,'this needs a hurt/comfort sort of story.' But still it went nowhere.

On the drive back to Ohio, I was trying to work on my Vampires in Vegas story in my head and instead this story gelled. I can easily see it being a novella with what's in my head now, maybe longer.

I see it being steampunk/fantasy. Not really Earth but around 1880s tech level. I see a brother and sister from a wealthy seafaring family (tea importers? spices? something) but these two took to the air. The sister was an airship captain but head trauma with damage to the occipital lobe left her almost completely blind. Her brother is leaving the service in stages so he can spend more time with her and setting up his medical practice (he's ship's doctor).

He sees the captive merman in a circus. I'm thinking the old fortune teller taught him how to write because he doesn't speak. He communicates more like a dolphin. Doctor feels a great deal of pity for him because he sees in the merman's eyes he's not just a man in a suit and he really is chained. Air pirates or something bomb the area and Doctor makes off with the merman who can grow legs to be on land (because otherwise the story would be a bit weird sexually, just saying).

I know Doc spends time trying to figure out the merman's physiology and anatomy. I know he has gills and lungs. As a merman, he has a cloacal opening. Yes, my brain went there. I know, I know. I told it to stop being a doctor/biologist for five minutes and it told me to go to hell. I asked if that meant he had a shifting colon blending with the urinary tract when in fishy form. It decided two cloacal openings and I contemplating just driving into the Ohio river....

I know that Doc's place is ocean side with a cave/lagoon. Merman makes a decision to stay and even goes with Doc into an airship just to see what it is like. I know there will be an ocean rescue.

What I don't know is when in the world I'll find time for this because dammit, I'm finishing that Vampire in Vegas story come hell or high water (which I shouldn't mention either because work is the former and the creeks around my place are a-rising).
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
My Urban Fantasy set in Pittsburgh, Kept Tears has been on my mind a lot in these last few weeks, coming to a head today with the news that my university didn't get the grant we had applied for to help our veterans. It is terribly disappointing to say the least (though not unexpected given the competition for the money). We are a veterans approved school and I am proud of that and of my role in the veterans commission.

What some of you may not know, before my career-ending injury, I spent time as a VA doctor and I am proud of that. Most of my family are (or in my case, should have been) veterans. So it's something that means a lot to me. Many of you know that when I wrote Kept Tears I wanted it to be real, as real as I could make it, in spite of it being urban fantasy. Aaron (dark haired fellow on the right in my icon) is a disabled veteran and current grad student.

In spite of the fact my field of experience is on the opposite limbs, I made him transhumural amputee (You can see a hint of his prosthetic arm in the icon). It required a lot of research on my part (much of which isn't readily available) and in spite of some people thinking there's a bit of Star Wars in Aaron's "Luke Arm" it is real and just moving into the market. It's an arm that is functional, developed in part by DARPA and Deka labs (among others). It's fascinating stuff and as the prosthesis improves which I'm sure it will now that the basics have been worked out, it will return a good deal of functionality to upper limb amputees. That's amazing stuff.

So how did I come up with this for Aaron instead of a lower limb amputation which I'm much more familiar with (sadly as part of limb salvage teams I've been scrubbed into many amputations)? A couple years ago I had to have a rotator cuff surgery on my left arm and had to have my biceps muscle's origin actually moved which required a year of therapy. In my mind, I had the thought of wow, this is SO hard and painful. There are so many things I can't do like pull on my shirt easily or zipper and button my pants or tie my shoes. How in the world do upper limb amputees get by? Aaron's story took off from there.


I always did plan a sequel and that's what's in my mind right now. I'm still trying to coalesce the plot. Why now? Because I didn't just blow out my left arm. This year we tackled another rotator cuff tear, stabilizing ligament tear and glenoid labrum tear on my right arm. I'm back in therapy for many months. All I can think about is 'it is worse for people like Aaron, so I can't complain.'

People have enjoyed Aaron and Rhys's story and for that, I'm very happy. Here are the links to the novel and hopefully soon I'll have the sequel under way.


Kept Tears is published with Dreamspinner Press. find the ebook here & the paper back here
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
I did put in for the Rainbow Awards as I've mentioned before. You just never know. If nothing else, it'll get other eyes on the title and maybe someone will be interested. It's up on the list now here

I haven't spoken about Kept Tears in a while. I had hoped to go around PIttsburgh some to get ideas for a sequel but when I was home, I just didn't have enough time before my surgery to do it (not to mention the traffic nightmares from where I live). I'm not giving up on a sequel, of course. I have scenes for it and I've already started it but it's not much.

I think the problem is as it always is, my villains. One day I will have a perfect villain who does all sorts of villainous things and scares people spit-less and makes us wonder if our heroes will survive. Right now, I don't have that villain.

What I need is some good horrible Unseelie fairies. Anyone have a terrifying fey they'd like to see (especially one we haven't seen a thousand times)? I'm very open to suggestions.
jana_denardo: (kept tears)
Because authors can't ever have enough of these. I often have too many of them but I really wanted to participate in this challenge. It seemed like fun (I even thought about putting in a prompt of my own but wasn't sure how many authors did that or was it more just readers. Now I see it's both.) Competitions for prompts was stiff but I did end up with one I liked.

I hesitated a bit wondering if I should. I actually already have a demon hunting series that is m/m/m but this is much different (my Soldiers of the Sun series has no vampires, werewolves etc. Just demons and demon hunters). I like that the characters are just a bit older and it sounded like a fun prompt. It had a nice bit of meat on the bone without being so exacting that it's daunting. You can check it out below.

Here's the picture. It's the guy in the middle that caught my eye. I'm actually not a blond fan (I love dark hair personally) but he has presence.

 photo dontreadinthecloset_zps90ff2dae.jpg

Three alphas will probably end up with head butting. I see an organization bringing all three groups together, sort of like the Watchers from BtVS. I'm not sure what to name it because I've done this sort of organization in several places and I've run through all the names that easily spring to mind for me.

Not really sure how the fire fighting is going to get worked in yet but I at least know how it opens and what the roles of two of them are. The werewolf is alluding me but I'm thinking he'll be the youngest, maybe fresh back from Afghanistan.

I'm setting it locally which should be fun.

The thing that scares me most (besides time crunches) is coming up with a title and character names early. Oh the wailing there will be. I hate putting titles on things.

I did decide to go with mage (Druid in particular) over fae since the idea of the three is a powerful symbol and since it was part of the prophecy (which I like and plan at the moment to use as written by the requester) I thought that would be more fun.

Now to inform the boys they need to pick their damn names up front. No going through the story as XXX until I can pin them down (seriously, Geminis don't make decisions easily some times. We're of two minds).

In their way, the boys will function as a 'rescue glove' for the Athens area.

Love's Landscape prompt )
jana_denardo: (darkest midnight)
I did get all my pre-production stuff from DSP and have sent it back. YAY. The worry remains (and I suspect I should just email them) that if I'm not starting anything until Nov 4th and my publication date is Jan/Feb and I have to have freed up 12-16 weeks for this process, is there a time loop I should know of. I suspect the publication date is going to have to be pushed back or I might end up with really short turn around time. Either way one step closer to the novel being out. YAY.

Also another idea flashed in my head for a story so just jotting a bit of it down here. It'll be YA. It opens with a young mage in a cell. He's the captive of a seditious faction. I'm thinking he's to be the prince (princess?) mage and has been raised along with him. They plan to either torture him to the breaking point and send him back as the royal's killer once they've remolded his broken brain. Failing that, they've still deprived the royal of his/her friend. His captor is a vicious snake of a woman who delights in his pain.

He escapes somehow (the brain is thinking on that). He is either busted out or met with a group loyal to the royals. He meets a young man with them, another mage. Naturally they fall for each other but only later does he realize his new boyfriend is his captor's son (not loyal to her). That's all I have at the moment.
jana_denardo: (darkest midnight)
Just putting them here so I have a record somewhere. These are just some vague ideas that have pushed into my head just in time for Nano because I chose to do something else (under my other pen name) for nano. Heck I've even plotted out the first two chapters.

Idea one - YA, fantasy. I had considered making it historical urban fantasy, looked at my schedule and said you DO NOT have time for the research. Go world build, it's good for you. It's got a touch of mystery, a woman has been killed and one of the princes, a mage, might have done it (He's probably like son #7 or something, not really in line of succession unless he plans on killing two-thirds of his family or more.), his guard and her mentor who is investigating the death and the love interest would be a bard new to the scene (and another possible suspect).


Idea two - YA, UF, set in Wales, young man in college a few years early (one of those, it's more common now than in my day. Half my class is still in h.s. I'll have to find out how they handle that in Wales). He's interested in the Standing Stones (yes, because I AM writing a paper on my own research there so I won't have to do any OTHER research. Sue me, I'm lazy sometimes). And his lady friend who is probably in the same history class and the love interest, I think maybe he's a wanna be architect with an interest in old churches. I'm not even sure beyond the characters what will be happening.
jana_denardo: (darkest midnight)
mostly writing them down so I don't forget but feel free to input on this. Like it? hate it? let me know.

I did have an idea for the hurt/comfort anthology. Sort of riffing off the personalities from some FMA characters. I see a fantasy world, magic and dragons and that sort of thing. I see the mage coming out of the war damaged in several ways. He has helped his friend, the princess, win the throne against...an aunt maybe (I have a similar thing going on in a non-erotic novel. don't want them to be too close). While recovering, he meets his bubbly optimistic, always up friend and dragon rider. I know the dragons are smallish, like maybe not much bigger than a camel or elephant and they do like water. I know water plays a role (something a fire wizard might not like).


The other idea rolled into my head today while contemplating if Andrew Zimmern would like paw paws since he's said he dislikes custardy fruits. I was thinking of a murder mystery where a celebrity foodie is at the Paw Paw fest and dies after eating candy from paw paw and Aztec sweet herb. The guy who made it also runs a greenhouse while working on his ph.d. at Ohio University. The love interest naturally would be the detective. Might be fun to set something here. Might be able to work in the Mothman fest while I'm at it.
jana_denardo: (darkest midnight)
I've been without internet for a week and I have so much to catch up on. I'm mostly using this as a place holder for some research I wanted to do but thought, hey my readers might enjoy it too. I got a great prompt for the [livejournal.com profile] spook_me challenge. I'm going to do something in the 1930s demon hunter universe (points to icon), a freebie for my readers.

I took the prompt of demon and one of the tarot cards I was given uses demons and art so I thought, yes that's my story right there. So I googled demons associated with the arts (If you can think of any more, let me know other than the Liansidhe, I've used her before and I suppose she's fey not demon).

Paimon a leading contender

Naberius unlikely


Bifrons maybe

Dantalion for the name jokes alone.


I just took a gander at DSP's 2014 open call and was rather relieved that almost none of them are calling my name. Don't get me wrong, I don't think they're bad. Mostly they're just not me and that might be a good thing. I have NOVELS to finish. I keep getting distracted. I do like the daily dose 'mended' because well I like hurt/comfort and my usual beta loves it. She might enjoy me doing that (I can see it being fantasy) But it has such an early deadline that might make it impossible especially with nano, novel edits and that steampunk novella I'm trying to work on right now.
jana_denardo: (Default)
The People of Peace, the Sidhe, the Faerie, whatever you want to call them, I have loved them forever. Some of my very first stories were about elves (or vampires). They were never very popular. In college, I started a story about Tam Lin (since I loved that ballad) but my professors and my fellow students talked me out of it.

That was in the 1980's. In the 2000's I started seeing Tam Lin stories and now faeries in general all over the place. If I could go back to the 1980's one of the things I would do is not let people talk me out my story ideas (I had psychic detectives, vampirism as disease instead of truly being undead, and I had the fae and was told repeatedly the ideas were dumb and no one would want them. Yeah, right.)

I recently wrote a story for an anthology with my oldest Elfin creation (it wasn't picked and I DO need to sit down, reedit that and try elsewhere) And I was reminded just how much I liked using the fae.

I had thought about making the one character in the Scar story a vampire when I first wrote the ficlet but now I'm thinking that wouldn't be that exciting. He could however be one of the fae. Now that would interest me a lot. Scottish or Irish versions. hmm...

granted I have no real plot for the dumb thing

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