Perceptive perusers of this periodical will have perceived a paucity of posts of late. OK, enough alliteration. I haven't been posting as much lately, so on the occasion of this, my 200th post, let me tell you what I've been up to instead.
I've finished The Witches' Cauldron, the fourth book in the Halos & Horns fantasy saga and am looking forward to the eBook coming out in late April and the paperback the following month. I've completed the first chapter of Fangs & Fur, the second arc in the series. This arc will focus on the vampires and werewolves introduced in Halos & Horns. The first chapter, The Pandora Chronicles, reveals Pandora's origin and the secret of the psychic bond she shares with Sharon Mordecai. We also learn how Pandora and Sharon became vampires and how old Pandora really is. It's a poignant and exciting flashback populated by gangsters and vampires.
I've also begun work on my long-promised Young Adult novel, The 25th Hour. Mackenzie Mortimer is a typical junior high geek. He’s shy, awkward, a bit clumsy, doesn’t finish his homework and is always late for class. There’s never enough time to do everything he needs to do; after all, there are only 24 hours in a day. But when Mac finds his grandfather’s pocket watch buried inside a trunk, he discovers his days have an extra hour. According to the eccentric inventor’s journal, the pocket watch can add up to 60 minutes to a single day by freezing time around whoever holds it and presses its stem. At first, Mac uses the watch for childish pranks on friends, revenge on the school bully, and to spy on his crush, Vanessa, daughter of the wealthiest man in town. But when deranged teens show up at school with rifles, Mac realizes every second is one tick of the clock away from his class halls becoming a kill zone. Mac saves the day, but discovers using the watch takes its toll on the holder: each extra hour is subtracted from the holder’s lifespan. He resolves to dispose of it so neither he nor anyone else will ever be at risk from it. Just as he finally builds up the nerve to ask Vanessa on a date, she is kidnapped in front of him. The kidnappers give Mac their ransom demand to relay to Vanessa’s father – one million dollars in cash, in 24 hours. Vanessa’s father refuses, saying paying the ransom will only encourage more kidnap attempts. As the only witness, Mac pieces together the clues to track down the kidnappers. Should he tell the police what he has deduced and hope they take a teenager’s detective work seriously; risk a police shootout that could leave Vanessa wounded or killed; or retrieve the pocket watch and lose another hour of his life? Time is running out… but fortunately, Mackenzie Mortimer has few more minutes than anyone else.
Additionally, I've been compiling material for Cub, my nonfiction book filled with celebrity interviews and photographs. I expect to be working on this project throughout 2014. Additionally, I'm researching new material for inclusion in the next edition of Issues In Internet Law: Society, Technology, and the Law. I've written a number of new short stories that I anticipate will be released in a paperback collection in late 2013 or 2014.
I'm about four chapters into my science fiction time travel novel, Justin Tyme. In a desperate bid to stop the government from shutting down the overbudgetted time travel program, the headstrong, young assistant scientist sends himself back in time to prove the project is viable. Unfortunately, the project crew hasn't solved the problem of bringing chrononauts back yet. Fearful Tyme might inadvertently change history, the Defense Secretary orders his own agent be sent after Tyme. Elizabeth Madison, a 26-year-old historian and martial arts expert, is under secret orders from the secretary: if Justin Tyme attempts to change history through some well-intentioned act fraught with inconceivable consequences, Madison must dissuade him if possible; interfere with his attempts to do so; or, as a last resort, terminate him. They're a time traveling team, where he's the brains, she's the brawn, and their survival may depend on each other... if she isn't forced to kill him first.
Finally, I'm working on a new urban fantasy novel featuring Esme Trout, an amoral succubus who feeds off the life essence of humans. It replenishes her strength and vitality, heals her injuries, and preserves her eternal youth. However, her meals sometimes leave loose ends to resolve.
In a somewhat ironic side note, during the time I've been posting less, my blog’s readership has increased, with older posts getting lots of new hits. Perhaps readers like the new "less is more approach". Or maybe they need their daily fix and are willing to scrounge among the archives for reruns. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the idea of gaining more readers by writing less ;)