Today Only $0.99 — Modern Fantasy with Twisted Mythos

TODAY ONLY Death Defiant, an action-packed modern fantasy novel with a twisted mythology, will be available for only $0.99!

When humans began hunting them thousands of years ago, demons locked themselves away in their own dimension, leaving their half-demon spawn to wander the earth. Abandoned, alone, and outcast from all societies, half-demons formed their own small cities or learned to live, mutilated and hidden, from the humans who wanted them dead.

After saving a stranger in a busy New York street, Cherifa reveals to the world her two biggest secrets: she’s a half-demon, and she can’t die. With humans, demons, and everything in-between wanting to harness her power, Cheri must go on the run with the eccentric person she saved. But her death has sparked waves of revolution in the half-demon community, and if she wants to stop an interdimensional war, she’ll have to go through Hell to do it.

As part of a Kindle Countdown Deal, the price will be going up to $1.99 tomorrow (1/1/14), and then back to it’s usual $2.99 the day after (1/2/14). Get this deal now before time runs out.

Death Defiant – Available Now

Bright light filled her vision. Dying had never felt like this. It dimmed after a moment, and she looked over. Bel stood over the man, who cowered with his broken arm—sharp turns, shattered, bent at more than one unnatural angle—tight against his chest. Only, Bel was glowing. Her flesh filled with white light, casting her body in shades of pink and red. It was as if a sun had formed inside her and was trying to burn its way out.

Let go.

“Let go.”

The words came from everywhere, and Cheri was sure time must have frozen, because nobody moved. To disrupt the stillness would mean death, but then the woman released Cheri from her grip.

Move.

“Move.”

The woman, shaking, scrambled to the man’s side, never daring to rise to her full height. She stayed crouched, staring at the ethereal form as it approached the one they hunted.

Hold on…

“…tight.”

Bel’s light faded, and she reached down to loop an arm around Cheri. Just like that, the world around them rushed past in a blur of light and sound.

My debut novel, Death Defiant, is finally released! Above I’ve provided an excerpt from the novel for you guys.

What’s that? You want to see a main character that is:

  • Bisexual?
  • A well-developed female?
  • A woman of color?

Then you should check out my book! It’s a full-length fantasy novel all about Cherifa’s attempts at preventing interdimensional war and a half-demon uprising. Enjoy!

Death Defiant goes live tomorrow!

Death Defiant - High Resolution

After saving a stranger in a busy New York street, Cherifa reveals to the world her two biggest secrets: she’s a half-demon, and she can’t die. With humans, demons, and everything in-between wanting to harness her power, Cherifa must go on the run with the eccentric person she saved. But her death has sparked waves of revolution in the half-demon community, and if she wants to stop an interdimensional war, she’ll have to go through Hell to do it.

Get hype!

Tomorrow my debut novel DEATH DEFIANT will be going live as an ebook! I’m really excited to share this with you guys, as I’m very proud of the finished work.

While the ebook version will be available later tomorrow (just in time for Halloween), the print-on-demand version is scheduled for release November 14th. Thank you to everyone who supported me through this, and I hope you guys enjoy the final product.

Monday Tropes: Beautiful Monsters

This is more of a modern occurrence than anything else, but something we have a tendency to see a lot nowadays is monsters – demons, werewolves, vampires, banshees, goo creatures – who are ethereally beautiful. This can either be in a human form or some other form they have, but chances are, they’re not going to be ugly.

Why this is bad: While it’s not necessarily bad, it has become almost assumed. From Twilight to Wicked Lovely, the paranormal romance genre especially is rife with creatures who are stunningly beautiful. When a monster reveals its true form, we assume it’s either going to be gorgeous in a typical way, or that the love interest will find beauty in the monster’s quirky appearance, thus justifying how easy it is to fall in love with such a creature. Lately, we can’t seem to have any monsters – especially protagonists – who could be deemed ugly in any way, and it helps cement an idea in the back of our mind that love and “ugliness” can’t coexist.

How you can fix it: Why is your character’s species so uniquely beautiful? While I give Twilight a lot of flack and I think the sparkling thing is dumb, the idea that vampires are uniquely beautiful makes sense; they need to lure in human prey, and that’s a good way to get close to someone. But what about the more beastly creatures? Or those that don’t rely on attraction? Why should they be so wonderful? In Death Defiant, my angels are crafted very particularly. They have two forms – one for basic living and one for battle. If they’re in the former, they essentially look just like humans, minus any sex characteristics. They’re not especially beautiful, and they’re as variant as humans are. And their battle form? One of the characters describes it as awesome, but it’s not because the battle form is beautiful. It’s terrifying, disgusting, sickly. There’s nothing pretty about it. Angels have no need to rely on physical appearance to seduce humans or anything like that, so there was no reason for me to make them that way. So, I didn’t. I made them as unique and normal and ugly and beautiful as any humans would be.

Bottom Line: Your monsters’ characteristics need to make sense. Don’t make them all beautiful just because. You need a reason, and honestly – beautiful is starting to get boring.

Looking for Beta Readers

Last night, I finally finished rereading through all of Death Defiant and editing it. All that’s left now is to put the edits onto the computer (I did everything by hand) and then get it out to beta readers.

Which brings me to you.

I need beta readers! And if you’re the kind of person who is interested in new takes on demons and angels and queer characters, you should keep reading and see if you’d be interested.

Death Defiant Blurb:

Cherifa has spent the last twenty years living safely in New York City, but when she gets hit by a car trying to save a stranger, she reveals her secret to the entire world: she can’t die.

Now the half-demons of her past have revealed themselves to the entire world, and they’ve put a price on Cheri’s head. Together with the woman she saved, Cheri will have to go on the run from humans and half-demons alike. However, the only safe place to go is down, straight into Hell.

If this sounds like something you might be willing to beta read, then here’s what I’m looking for. Be aware: you don’t need to fulfill all of these. However, if you think you’d be a good fit, then you should definitely let me know.

What I’m looking for:

  • Attention to plot and character
  • Someone either from the Middle East or familiar with Saudi Arabian culture
  • Encouraging, but also critical
  • Lover of fantasy
  • Queer readers or readers interested in queer fiction
  • Able to get the beta read MS back to me within 4 weeks

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please send me an email at reiring.2 at osu dot edu. I’ll send you the first three chapters for you to do a test read on, and if we mesh, I’ll provide you a copy of the entire manuscript.

I’m very excited about my first novel, and I hope you are, too! Thanks to anyone who offers to help.

Saving People is a Stupid Thing to Do

This is a snippet from the first chapter of my upcoming novel, DEATH DEFIANT. I hope you enjoy it.

 

The woman crossing the street stared at her magazine, and the car speeding towards her paid no attention. Cheri froze for a brief moment, taking in the situation as Tyler tugged her arm to get her attention. If she ever dared to count the stupid things she had done in her life, it would be a very long, embarrassing list, but as she ran forward and shoved the woman out of the sports car’s path, she realized this would definitely be the number one Stupid Thing Ever Done.

The car hit Cheri’s knees. Her eyes locked with the driver’s for a split second as her tibia shattered. The driver stood on his brakes as she crashed into the windshield and rolled over top the rest of the car before hitting the pavement. A sick, wet thud cracked the air when her head took the brunt of the fall and her body crumpled around her broken neck.

Blood flecked the blacktop and the saved woman’s pant legs, her scraped palms nothing compared to the way Cheri’s limbs twisted at impossible angles. As he ran to her, Tyler’s eyes grew wide with terror. His huge hands tried to set her body up right, as if that would somehow fix her. Pedestrians on the sidewalk stopped, as did oncoming traffic, everyone staring at the broken body of the girl in the road.

The saved woman stood. Walking past her discarded issue of Vogue, she stumbled towards her savior’s body.

“Somebody call an ambulance!” Tyler said, trying to stop tears from crawling down his cheeks. He supported Cheri’s head and shook her, trying to wake her up. He looked around at the crowd gathered on the sidewalk. Many people had taken their cell phones out, but few looked to be using it to call anyone. Some focused their cameras on the two, and that only put Tyler into a rage.

He stood, entire body shaking. Just a few feet away, some teenager’s camera phone focused on Cheri’s body. Tyler stalked towards him with his fists clenched at his sides. Before he could get there, though, the driver’s side door of the sports car opened, and a man – a kid, really, who couldn’t have gotten his license more than a few months ago – stepped out.

Tyler turned on him, shouting, spit flying from his mouth as his hands balled up in the driver’s blazer, slamming him back into the car. The saved woman looked on, but then her gaze shifted to Cheri’s body. She knelt next to her and reached out…

Then she stopped, eyes transfixed as the body twitched. Limbs moved, realigning themselves. Blood splattered on the pavement dissolved into red smoke, and Cheri’s head twisted itself to a more natural position with a sick crunch.

Tyler stopped and turned to look at his friend’s body, just in time to see the worst of it: the curling, ice blue horns that grew just above her ears; the smaller ones pushing from her knees and elbows, ripping through her docent’s jacket and best pair of black slacks; the inch-long ones jutting from each of her knuckles, from discolored spots she’d always told her friends were old scars.

Bloodless and unharmed, she blinked, sat up, and the first person started screaming.

Tuesday Tropes: NaNo Edition #2

Because of NaNoWriMo, my posts are going to be pretty short this month, since I’m trying to devote more time to writing my novel (and still have time to sleep, eat, and do fun things). So what I’m going to do is identify possibly problematic tropes in my story for the month, talk about them, and write ideas for how to fix them (and maybe, in turn, give you guys some tips on how to fix your own bad tropes).

This week: Hell Gate

oblivion

So it’s not a “Hell” gate, but it’s definitely a gate to something evil.

You can’t have demons without Hell, and you can’t have Hell without a Hell Gate. Usually, this big portal into the abyss is used as a huge plot device, one that has the power to let in armies of the evil, corrupt badasses in to our world. Oh, and it probably also signals the end of the world as we know it.

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