Thursday, June 11, 2015

Murder and Mayhem!

Murder and Mayhem is live at Evernight Publishing!
It's an urban fantasy with a dose of romance and a zest of humor. If you liked Buffy the Vampire slayer, you'll enjoy May, the vampire killer!
Blurb
Meet May, the vampire killer. She's quick, clever, and deadly, and she takes life very seriously having been killed once before by a mob of rogue vamps. Her father, a powerful necromancer, brought her back to life. She's M.U.C.I.'s (Mutant and Undead Criminal Investigation) best man, er, woman, well, zombie actually, for catching and killing rogue vampires, so when two kids show up with all the signs of having been killed by a rogue, May gets the case.
Clues lead straight to a certain Bartholomew Aelfrith, a vampire, whose sense of humor and tall blond good looks are enough to convince May he needs killing, even if he's not the killer. If he makes one more joke about her chop-sticks, she's going to stab him through the heart with one. The problem is, Bartholomew is probably the only person who can catch the real killer, so May has to put up with his insouciance and his wise-cracks, and his penchant for picking up strays of all kinds.
But if he says, "I've got a plan" one more time, she's going to scream.

Teaser

May stepped outside and opened her umbrella. The burst of hail had changed to sporadic, slushy rain. It was a glowering, bitterly cold evening. Clouds moved sullenly across the dark sky.
From her street on the hill, she could see the river curving in its gentle S, the two bridges, Christmas Junction where the sky scrapers glittered, and downtown, where she could hopefully find a taxi. The clouds were so low that they hid the top half of the skyscrapers in Christmas Junction. A train, far in the distance, looked like a brightly lit caterpillar crossing the busy downtown area below.
The street she lived on was in a quiet residential neighborhood with old trees and a large park behind a tall, wrought-iron fence. The buildings, trees, and fence all leaned together, conspiring to keep the riffraff out. The sidewalk was clean and the cars lining the road gleamed. No riffraff here tonight … unless that shadow was up to no good.
May tilted her head to get a better look. In between two cars, on the opposite side of the street, huddled a shadow. The hair on the back of her neck prickled. Something was not quite right. The shadow was too small to be a human, but too large for a dog. It slid around to the far side of the car to hide as May drew even.
What was it hiding from? And what was it? May was curious. She closed her umbrella and hooked it over the fence on her left, and then she darted across the street and peered behind the car. Crouching near the rear bumper was a small, skinny boy.
Hi there. Are you all right?” May started toward him.
He bared his fangs and hissed as she drew near.
May’s step faltered. A vampire child. An abomination! Who the hell had made him? The prickle of fear turned into a full blown shiver. Poor creature. Too young to fend for itself, but dangerous nonetheless. As soon as it realized its powers it would go on a killing spree, and nothing living could resist it. Slowly, she eased her hand into her purse to get her cellphone to call for backup.
Don’t hurt me,” he whimpered, cowering against the car. His eyes were huge with panic. Blood on his neck and a wet, brown stain on his T-shirt showed he hadn’t changed his clothes since it had happened, and that it had been recent. That was a blessing, at least. The more recently he had been killed, the weaker he would be. She might be able to handle this on her own.
Staying well back, she examined him. He wore no jacket and one of his shoes, May noted, was missing. “I won’t hurt you. Where’s your other shoe?” It was best to stick to unimportant things. Or at least, things that seemed unimportant. At times like this, anything could be crucial. Anything could set him off. She had to be careful. A rogue vampire had made this creature, and its saliva was deadly for anything other than a full-blooded vampire.
My shoe?” He glanced down at his foot and flinched. “I don’t know.” He looked back up at her, his eyes pleading now. “I don’t know. I woke up nearby, I think, in a park. I woke up when the hail hit my face. I don’t know where I am. I don’t know who I am. Can you help me? I should be cold …” His voice trailed off. “I’m dreaming. Is that it? Is this a dream?”
May nodded, forcing her lips into a smile. “Yes. It’s a dream.”
Poor creature. He’d been badly made, hastily made, and made against all the laws and rules that governed the vampire clan. Not that they had many rules, and not that they really cared. They followed the rules only because they feared the consequences of breaking them and not from any moral obligation. May moved very slowly, so as not to startle him into attacking her.
I can help you,” she said, crouching in front of him. “It’s a strange dream, isn’t it? I can help you.”
I just want to wake up.” His voice was hoarse and his fangs, sharp as needles, glittered with bloody saliva.
All right.” May eased her hand into her purse. “I want you to stand up straight. That’s right. Now, close your eyes and say, ‘There’s no place like home.’ Say it three times, and you’ll wake up.”
All right.” He nodded, pathetically glad to obey. He screwed his eyes shut. “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”
May took careful aim and drove the stake through his heart.
There’s no place like … home.” The creature opened its eyes, but they were empty and saw nothing now. He was so slight he fell like a ribbon to the sidewalk, landing without a sound. His bare foot pointed at the sky. It started to rain again, harder.

About the Author

Jennifer Macaire lives in France with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating French chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modeled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

Find Jennifer on the Web

Buy the book at Evernight Publishing 

May's traditional zombie stir fry recipe:

Honey Lemon Chicken and Asparagus
Serves 4
Ingredients
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons soy sauce (reduced sodium)
1/4 cup chicken both – (May uses chicken bullion cubes)
1 teaspoon chilli sauce or a pinch of cayennne pepper
1 clove garlic, grated
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Directions
- Mix honey, lemon juice, soy sauce, broth, chill sauce, lemon zest, garlic, ginger and set aside in a bowl.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken and stir fry until cooked through and browned a bit.
- Add the asparagus and stir fry until it turns a brighter green, about 2 minutes.
- Add the honey, lemon juice mixture, stir
- Whisk the water with the corn starch, stir in to coat and cook until the sauce thickens, about a minute.


Serve over rice. (May likes to drink ginger beer with this, and finish up with lychees and her father's smoky moon-shadow tea.)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Dubai

Dubai! 
I had such a great time in this city. I loved the architecture, the sea, the people, the shopping, and the singing fountain. The food was wonderful, in short, I had a fantastic trip.

Here I am, in front of the man-made lake where the singing fountains are played at night.



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Fairies in the wood

It's bluebell season in France. The woods are full of sky.
 My daughter dressed up in a thrift shop ballgown and posed with her horse, Kalin for some pictures. I added some wings and shifted the color a bit and voila! Fairies in the spring forest!



Monday, May 18, 2015

I's Alive!

Jack the Stripper is out - let's make him a star!


Here's a little excerpt:

As he walked down the street with Mama Hoya, Jack couldn’t help thinking about Brianna. He’d remembered her, but nothing specific, like, had they made love? She’d invited him to stay at her apartment, but maybe she was counting on him sleeping in the guest room. He could recall her apartment, but for some reason, only the living room. Had he even been in her bedroom?
By the time they got to the bus station, several ways of casually asking her if they’d slept together had crossed his mind. “Did the earth move for you when we made love?” No, that sucked. How about, “Do you feel the same about me as when we first made love?” Even worse. The only way to ask was straight out: “Did we ever make love?” and it would be embarrassing to both of them no matter how he phrased it.
When they got their tickets and climbed on board the uptown bus he’d decided that the less he said, the better off he’d be. He’d let Brianna take the initiative. Another, more sobering thought crossed his mind. If he really was dead, would Brianna ever want to sleep with him? Would anyone? Would it be …What was that word described to making love to dead people? Necro-something-other? Necro-romance?
His stomach lurched at the thought. No. It wouldn’t be the same at all. He might be technically dead— but he felt alive. All right. He didn’t have a heartbeat. But his skin was warm. According to the journal, his body burned food as fuel. Most everything functioned as it used to. But with a strong spell, not with … his thoughts were interrupted by Mamie Hoya’s words. She leaned forward and took his hands in hers.
What you got to know, child, is that the man who made you is your master. You will feel an irresistible urge to obey him. But you have to fight it. If you don’t, you’ll become his slave. My guess is he was waiting for you to be born so he could intercept you at the graveyard. Something must have gone wrong, and you were left on your own. He’ll be looking for you. It’s lucky you came to see me. I can help you resist him.”
Is all this in the journal?” Jack asked.
Oh no. That book was written by a zombie still very much under the control of his master. They don’t want their slaves to be free. He’ll be tearing his hair out right now, mark my words, Jack. When you see him, he’ll try his best to bend you to his will. And you’ll see—you’ll feel as if you won’t be able to withstand him. But you have to stand up to him. The fight won’t last long. Once a zombie defies his master, he’s free. Remember that. You must not let your spirit be cowed.”

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Phosphorescence

When I lived in Saint Thomas, one of the most magical things I experienced was the phosphorescent plankton that would appear in the secluded bay where we lived. On nights when the waves would crest with pale green light, we would go to the beach and swim surrounded by beads of green-blue light.
It happened on the hottest nights of the year, and when the sea was calm. The plankton gives off light when it's agitated, so it glows just at the edge of the ocean where the waves wash onto the beach. Walk along the wet sand, and your footprints glow. When you swim, the plankton lights up all around you. You can smear the plankton on your body, and leave luminescent tribal tattoos. Once, on a boat at night, the plankton lit up in the boats wake. We leaned over the railing, the starry sky above, the dark water below, and it seemed we were floating along the milky way.
Of course, that's when my glasses dropped off into the ocean, and we couldn't afford to buy new ones. I didn't get another pair of glasses until I'd lived in Paris for a year.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Jack the Stripper




Jack the Stripper *

Welcome to The Purple Dee. Pull up a chair and get settled in, the show will start soon! Our featured performer tonight is Jack the Stripper. He's Jack Severn, newly back from the dead. He's magical, he's hot, but evil he's not!
Jim Ling-Li, Necromancer extraordinaire, brought him back to life, gave him some extra features, and, as you'll see, made him irresistible --Especially to Jack's ex-girlfriend Brianna. Jack's sexier than ever, and they're better together. But she doesn't want to risk her heart, not again, and definitely not with a zombie.Jack also has a mission. He's back to catch the Heart Taker, the mutant that's been terrifying human and undead alike. His current obsession's none other than Jack's Brianna.So give a big hand for Jack...he's going to need all the support he can get to catch his own murderer.

"...The story is really enjoyable as Ms Winston deliciously brings on the zany dark humor in a manner that really appeals to the fan of the macabre in me. The humor is not too overpowering or too farcical - just enough to keep me laughing. There is already a beautiful kind of poetry in the premise, what with a hero who lacks a heart, but is in love, and who is supposed to be dead but ends up a hero instead. The story doesn't disappoint in delivering a fun Tim Burton kind of romantic adventure where I am concerned."
~ Mrs Giggles eBook review

* Jack the Stripper was originally published by Loose Id as "Zombie Jack". It has been re-edited and re-issued by Evernight Publishing. 



Sunday, February 22, 2015

History, books, and gifts

I'm pleased to welcome historical author Tom Williams to talk about his books. And soon, "'tis the season to be jolly"...