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The Holy Dark Excerpt

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We are but a few short weeks away from the final installment to The Black Parade series! If you aren’t caught up, here is an excerpt from Chapter 1 and half of Chapter 2. Below is the conclusion to Chapter 2. Enjoy!

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Vote in Cover Wars!

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That’s right, ladies and gents! The Black Parade was accepted into The Masquerade Crew’s monthly Cover Wars contest. Please be a darling, stop in, and vote for it as many times as you can. It would be wonderful to win Cover Wars right before The Holy Dark is released in a few weeks. Thanks in advance, lovely readers!

The Holy Dark Goodreads Giveaway

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Enter to win a free signed paperback copy of The Holy Dark. Deadline is April 24, 2015. Don’t miss your chance!

The Holy Dark Release Date

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April 24, 2015. Mark your calendars, my darlings. The Holy Dark is comin’ atcha.

Join the Facebook launch party for a chance to win a free copy and other prizes, or enter to win a paperback copy on Goodreads. Pre-order will be available soon, so stay tuned!

Additionally, Advanced Reader Copies are available by emailing me at theblackparadeseries@gmail.com. Keep in mind: do not ask for a copy unless you fully intend to leave a review. If you do not review it after receiving a copy, you will not receive ARCs from my other books in the future.

See you soon, adventurous readers!

Headcanon Exercise #1

I just happened past a Tumblr post with a list of headcanons that piqued my interest. If you’re not aware, a headcanon is basically an idea you have about certain characters that isn’t directly seen in the canon of a work of fiction. It’s usually used in the context of television shows, anime, movies, and such, but it happens with original fiction as well. I thought this would be a fun way for you guys to get to know more about the characters of The Black Parade, so here we go.

JORDAN

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  • can they use chopsticks: Yes.
  • what do they do when they can’t sleep: She reads “Bartleby the Scrivener” by Herman Melville because it is unbelievably boring and it always makes her nod off before she can finish. However, if she’s up because of a nightmare, then she pours herself some whiskey and it calms her down enough to sleep.
  • what would they impulse buy at the grocery store: Lindt chocolate.
  • what order do they wash things in the shower: Hair first (once a week), shoulders, arms, torso, legs, and feet.
  • what’s their coffee order: two creams, three sugars.
  • what sort of apps would they have on their smartphone: Kindle App, Words with Friends, and Tip Calculator (for any of her customers who can’t multiply).
  • how do they act around children: Jordan loves kids, thanks to spending a lot of time with Lauren’s daughter, Lily. She’s completely at ease around them.
  • what would they watch on tv when they’re bored and nothing they really like is on: Jordan loves terrible scary movies because she likes to riff them and talk about plotholes.

 

MICHAEL

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  • can they use chopsticks: Yes, but not that well.
  • what do they do when they can’t sleep: He’ll write songs or play his guitar until he starts getting drowsy.
  • what would they impulse buy at the grocery store: Knick knacks like laser pointers, Swiss Army knives, or any little things that might be useful on a mission.
  • what order do they wash things in the shower: Armpits, arms, chest, legs, feet, and hair last since it doesn’t take long to wash. He also shaves in the shower.
  • what’s their coffee order: He can drink it black, but he prefers a little cream.
  • what sort of apps would they have on their smartphone: Banking apps, Adobe Acrobat, Kindle App, iTunes, Excel, Flashlight, Navigator app, and Skype.
  • how do they act around children: He’s fine if there are other people around, but he gets anxious if he has to babysit alone because it’s a big responsibility and his life is pretty dangerous. He worries about putting them in harm’s way.
  • what would they watch on tv when they’re bored and nothing they really like is on: It’s a guilty pleasure, but he’ll leave on MTV or VH1 if it’s early morning when they play 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s jams.

 

GABRIEL

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  • can they use chopsticks: Yes, since he schmoozes with wealthy people a lot. Better than Jordan and Michael at using them, in fact.
  • what do they do when they can’t sleep: Goes over financial reports from his company.
  • what would they impulse buy at the grocery store: Cologne, nice watches, lint roller, breath mints, and candy.
  • what order do they wash things in the shower: Gabriel is very particular about his hair, so he probably washes it first and conditions it, then moves from head to toe.
  • what’s their coffee order: Lots of cream and sugar. He doesn’t actually like coffee that much. He prefers tea whenever possible.
  • what sort of apps would they have on their smartphone: Pretty much anything your average multi-millionaire businessman would need. When he can’t be around a laptop, he uses his phone.
  • how do they act around children: He adores them. Can’t get enough. He always tries to bring Lily a toy or trinket if he visits.
  • what would they watch on tv when they’re bored and nothing they really like is on: C-Span.

 

BELIAL

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  • can they use chopsticks: Yes, proficiently.
  • what do they do when they can’t sleep: He’ll go to a bar and find himself a date.
  • what would they impulse buy at the grocery store: Condoms. Because he can never have too many.
  • what order do they wash things in the shower: Like Gabriel, he is very particular about how he takes care of his hair. He also goes from feet to head in washing order.
  • what’s their coffee order: Cappuccino or espresso. He doesn’t like plain coffee much.
  • what sort of apps would they have on their smartphone: Anything that helps him keep up with his scores and scores of floozies, but also financial matters. He also loathes any form of social media and won’t indulge in it no matter what his company says.
  • how do they act around children: Hates them all.
  • what would they watch on tv when they’re bored and nothing they really like is on: He’s a fan of trashy reality shows. He’s also a closet fan of True Blood and Game of Thrones, so he’ll put on the DVDs if he gets bored enough.

Stay tuned! I might do a few more, if it’s not too dorky.

Happy(ish) Valentine’s Day

In honor of Singles Awareness Day Valentine’s Day, I’ve written a little short story for you, my adoring public. Enjoy! (Spoilers through the end of The Black Parade.)


 

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If there was one thing being a Seer taught me, it’s that nothing in life is ever simple.

Take my personal life, for instance. After six long months of God-mandated separation, Michael returned to me and proposed. I said yes after some careful consideration and then we had a sweet little courthouse marriage with the immediate family—Gabriel, Lauren, Lily, and Raphael. We promised to do an actual ceremony when things were less hectic, which was reasonable considering how much trouble the two of us get into on a regular basis.

A couple weeks later, I was in the kitchen peeling carrots when Michael snuck up behind me—a habit he developed because he thought it was hilarious when I jumped in surprise—with an idea.

“I just realized something,” he said, pressing a kiss against my nape.

“You’re secretly Batman?”

He chuckled. “No. We’ve never spent Valentine’s Day together.”

I paused, my nose scrunching as I thought about it. He was right. We met in August of last year and were with each other for a few months before he was sent away. “Guess not.”

“Well, I had an idea,” he continued, resting his chin on my shoulder, his muscular arms wound about my waist. It was so terribly comfortable I almost stopped peeling the carrots. “The fourteenth is next week. What if we have a late celebration?”

“Michael, it’s April.”

“So?”

“So that’s two months after the fact. You don’t want to just do it next year?”

He shrugged. “I thought this could be fun. Plus, it’d be easier to get you stuff since the holiday passed.”

My ears metaphorically perked up at the mention of stuff. I wasn’t a material girl, but I did like to eat. “Don’t suppose any of said ‘stuff’ would include chocolate?”

He angled his face towards my hair, his lips brushing my ear, dropping his voice to a seductive tone. “I’ll get you a Lindt chocolate basket.”

I shuddered. “I love it when you talk dirty.”

He laughed and kissed my cheek. “It’s a date then.”

Fast forward to a week later with me curled up on the couch blowing a quart of snot out of my nose.

Like I said. The life of a Seer is never simple.

“I cannot believe this,” I moaned through the tissue. “I should be up to my ears in chocolate! And sex. But mostly chocolate. And some sex.”

I could hear Michael’s rumbling laugh from the kitchen. “I know. I’m sorry you caught a cold, baby.”

I tossed the tissue in the wastebasket next to the couch, pulling the comforter I’d stolen from Michael’s bed tighter over my shoulders. The television blared the second season of Castle—my go-to viewing in an attempt to cheer myself up—but my pounding head, itchy throat, and congested sinuses eradicated any sense of enjoyment.

I flopped over onto my side, sniffling. “Why? Is God punishing us because we boffed like ten times in the first 48 hours of being soul-married?”

“I don’t recall there being any commandments against sex marathons,” he answered. “Besides, you work at a restaurant. There’s no telling how many people you come in contact with on a daily basis, so someone was bound to get you sick.”

He finally returned from the kitchen with a white ceramic bowl and a spoon. I sat up and he handed them to me, revealing what he’d been cooking for the past hour. Rotini pasta floated in hot chicken broth amongst chunks of boneless chicken thigh meat, carrots, and celery. I couldn’t smell anything thanks to the congestion, but my mouth watered at the sight of non-canned, non-preservative-stuffed soup.

“Thank you,” I mumbled, shoveling in a couple spoonfuls. Heavenly stuff. “This is so good I wanna divorce you just so I can marry you all over again.”

“Thanks, that’s sweet.” He kissed my forehead and sat down next to me.

I squirmed, trying to put some distance between us. “Not too close. You’ll get sick.”

Michael arched an eyebrow. “I’m an angel, you dork. I don’t get sick.”

I frowned. “Want some hot soup in your crotch?”

He bit his bottom lip, trying to hide a smile. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to rub it in. I just meant you don’t have to quarantine yourself because I won’t catch it.”

“That’s my point, though,” I said, putting the soup down on the coffee table. “This is two weeks into our marriage. You shouldn’t have to see me all gross and disgusting yet. I’m supposed to be your smoking hot wife. This stuff doesn’t come until way later.”

He shook his head. “Our lives have never been normal. I wouldn’t expect our relationship to be either. You’re still my smoking hot wife no matter what. I’m in it for the long haul, remember? ‘Til death do us part.”

The honest sincerity in his words made me glance down and fidget with my shirttail. “I’m not used to this.”

“Used to what?”

“Being taken care of,” I whispered. “Someone making me soup and saying nice things to me. Even when I was with….” I swallowed, trying to say his name without my voice cracking. “Terrell, I always hid at my place when I caught a cold.”

He didn’t say anything for a moment. Then he caught my chin, lifted my face, and kissed me very gently. “You are such a freaking killjoy, woman.”

I laughed. “Sorry.”

“You are forgiven. Now eat your soup that I slaved over a hot stove for all day.”

“Yes, sir.”

I stretched out on the couch and picked up my bowl, eating quietly while watching Richard Castle break down the door to Kate Beckett’s exploded apartment. Michael tugged my legs across his lap and started massaging my feet. Maybe it wasn’t a fairytale fake-Valentine’s-Day like we planned, but this would certainly do for now.

 

Five days later…

“I hate you.”

“I know.”

“I really, really hate you.”

“I know.”

“I’m an archangel of the Lord. How did you get me sick, Jordan? How?

“I don’t know, babe.” I sifted my fingers through his dark hair, smoothing it away from his sweaty forehead. About half of his upper body was curled up in my lap. He wore a stony expression, his nose as red as Rudolph the Reindeer’s, his eyes bloodshot, his skin a couple shades paler than normal. I wasn’t surprised that he was this grouchy. Angel or not, a man-cold was a man-cold.

“You want anything?”

“To breathe through my nose,” he groused.

I rolled my eyes. “Not what I meant, Captain Sassypants.”

He paused. “I mean, I wouldn’t be upset if you took your shirt off.”

I flicked him in the ear. “Food. I meant food.”

He sighed. “Green tea. Make like a gallon of it.”

“Okay.”

“I’m gonna pour onto my head and melt my face off so I can’t feel anything.”

I bit my lip to keep from smiling and gently slid out from beneath him. “Yes, dear.”

I walked towards the kitchen. His voice reached me before I got there.

“…seriously, though, do you have to be wearing a shirt right now?”

“Don’t make me hurt you, pretty boy.”

 


Thanks for reading! Have a happy!

 

Cover Reveal: The Holy Dark

You’ve been patient and now it’s finally here.

Cover design by Gunjan Kumar and Chris Cold.

Cover design by Gunjan Kumar and Chris Cold.

Sarcastic demon-slayer extraordinaire Jordan Amador has been locked in a year-long struggle to hunt down the thirty silver coins paid to Judas Iscariot. The mere touch of these coins is enough to kill any angel.

Jordan’s demonic opposition grows more desperate with each coin found, so they call on the ultimate reinforcement: Moloch, the Archdemon of War. Moloch puts out a contract on Jordan as well as her estranged husband, the Archangel Michael. Now Jordan and Michael will have to find a way to work together to survive against impossible odds and stop Moloch’s plan, or else he’ll wage a war that will wipe out the human race.

The Holy Dark will hit shelves April 24, 2015. You can get in paperback right now, pre-order it on the Kindle, add it to your Goodreads To Be Read shelf, like my Facebook page, or sign up with the mailing list to find out more about the series. While you wait, there are two excerpts available to read. Please spread the word!

Kyoko

New Year’s Resolutions 2015

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For the record, I almost never make New Year’s Resolutions. I think it’s a bit of a tired practice and pretty much are only done by people who don’t intend to see them through in the first place. However, I was delighted to see that I actually managed to reach the goals I set for myself last year, which were the following:

  1. Make a name for myself as a self published author.
  2. Get my cat Tyger back from my brother’s place (he was staying there after I had to move again.) He’s adorable and evil, just look at him:

    Pictured: the demon of famine and pestilence.

    Pictured: the demon of famine and pestilence.

  3. Read more than five novels.
  4. Finish the last novel in the Black Parade series.

So I feel kind of confident about making some new goals for 2015 (and praying to God or Satan or Cthulhu that I catch a frickin’ break in the employment department finally) so here they are:

  1. Reread and write reviews for The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
  2. Finish writing and publish my upcoming YA high fantasy novel
  3. Publish The Holy Dark as well as a box set for The Black Parade series
  4. Sell 500 paid copies of my books
  5. Try to get to 500 Facebook likes
  6. Read at least ten novels

See? Sounds kind of doable. Nothing unreasonable up there. Fingers crossed for me, my darlings!

Happy New Year to you all! I hope things are going well for you so far and I look forward to spending even more time with you in 2015. Stay tuned for upcoming release dates for The Holy Dark. Don’t forget you can still read excerpts for the book at the end of She Who Fights Monsters or on my blog.

Christmas Sale 2014

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Happy holidays! In the spirit of Christmas, She Who Fights Monsters is free to download via Amazon all day long! Please grab yourself a copy or share it with a friend or loved one. My gift to you, dear readers.

The Holy Dark Excerpt

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Are you excited for the final installment to the Black Parade series? You should be! If not, here’s another sneak peek of what’s to come.

Read The Holy Dark Chapter 1.

CHAPTER TWO

JORDAN

Hospitals gave me the creeps. All of them, no exceptions. Part of the reason was an inherent childhood fear thanks to the psychiatric hospital that had abducted my mother when I was five years old. The other part was thanks to two archdemons who kidnapped me and tried to kill me two years ago inside a hospital. Still, I ignored the tiny voice inside me that screamed for me to get the hell out and continued my way through the hallway of the Outpatient medical center. Every time a doctor passed by, I flinched and tried not to look at their bright white lab coats. It was ridiculous. I had killed bloodthirsty monsters from another plane of existence and saved the world twice yet a stupid piece of clothing made me want to run and hide.

I reached the room in less than a minute; mostly because I had been walking so fast to the average person it looked like running. My hand froze on the doorknob. I stood there, breathing heavily, remembering the last thing Lauren said to me a year ago. She’d hung up on me, her voice icy as she told me goodbye. Was she still angry? How badly was she hurt? What could I even do about it? What was I doing here, truly?

I took a deep breath. You’re just checking on her, Amador. Man up and do it.

I opened the door. The room was freezing cold. I had to resist the urge to button up my duster to shut out the chill. There were a couple of other patients dozing in their beds. I walked past them, searching for her. She was in the last bed to my right.  My chest constricted as I saw her for the first time in almost a year.

Lauren was a couple inches taller than me with straight black hair that used to make me envious. Mine had to be treated to get that perfect glossy look that fell around the shoulders, but hers was natural. She was Korean, buxom, obnoxious, and hilarious. Her nails were painted blue this time instead of pink or purple. She’d been in the hospital for several hours so they’d cleaned her up a bit, meaning she had no makeup on. She looked years younger than her age of twenty-seven.

Her right arm was in a cast and a sling, resting against her stomach. There was a bruise on her cheek as well. They said she got mugged. I hoped they caught the bastard. Hell, I hoped I caught the bastard so I could teach him some manners.

Lauren opened her eyes, sending a sharp jolt of fear and surprise through my gut. I’d hoped she wouldn’t wake up just yet. Her gaze wandered around for a few seconds, probably a result of the painkillers, before settling on me.

I offered her a weak smile. “Hey, Lauren.”

Her voice came out hoarse. “Jordan?”

“Yeah. I, uh, hopped on the first thing smoking to get here. It was shitty, by the way. The carry on alone put me back eighty bucks. Don’t ever fly with—”

“Get out.”

I managed to cap my nervous verbal diarrhea, staring at her. “What did you say?”

She raised her voice, glaring a hole through my head. “Get. Out.”

I stepped forward, imploring her. “Lauren, I know you’re mad, but please, just let me explain—”

“I’m not going to tell you again. Get out!” she shouted, scaring the guy in the bed across from us awake. I had never heard her sound like that, not to me, only to her scumbag ex-husband. Guilt gnawed through my insides. I had been right. She was still angry, and understandably so.

“Okay. I’ll go. I just…wanted to check on you,” I mumbled, turning away from the fury in those brown eyes. I shuffled out of the room and collapsed in a chair in the hallway. I squeezed my eyes shut and buried the pain inside me as deep as I could. I felt ashamed of myself. I wanted to go back home and crawl under the covers and hide. But that wasn’t going to happen. It didn’t matter if she had disowned me. I still had to make it up to her, somehow. Too bad if it ripped a new scar in my hide. I had plenty as it was.

Time dripped off the clock. I stayed where I was, mentally constructing a speech that would hopefully get me back into her good graces. Sometime during this process, a nurse tapped me on the shoulder.

I glanced up to see a pretty black woman, mid-thirties. “She’s asking for you.”

“Huh?”

“Ms. Yi. She wants to see you.”

I checked my watch. Holy hell. I’d been here four hours and didn’t realize it. I nodded too many times and stood up, wobbling on account of my legs falling asleep. I opened the door and made my way back to her bed, expecting the worst.

“Um, you called for me?”

Lauren stared me down for at least a minute. I tried my hardest not to fidget. At last, she spoke and her tone was still disapproving.

“Why are you here?”

“I had to make sure you were alright.”

“Oh, so now you care?”

I shut my eyes for a second. “Yes. I do.”

“What do you want me to say? Are you expecting me to forgive you?”

“No, not really. You’re pretty stubborn. Besides, if I were in your ridiculously high Prada heels, I’d be mad too.”

The ghost of a smirk touched her lips. I almost felt better. I wasn’t much of a friend, but I could make jokes until the end of the world. Which, come to think of it, might one day be my fault.

“Well, I didn’t call you in here to forgive you,” she said, sitting up a bit against her pillows. “I called you in here to ask you a question.”

“What?”

“Why did a man claiming to be a demon follow me home and break my arm?”

TO BE CONTINUED…

Want to be the first to see the rest of Chapter 2? Sign up for the mailing list and get the next chapter right in your Inbox. You can also add it to your Goodreads To Be Read shelf.

Stay tuned for more announcements coming soon! In case you missed it, the official plot reveal is here.