Thursday, July 28, 2011

COMING SOON: The Foxworth Coven, Book Two, Natural Urges




The Foxworth Coven, Book Two: Natural Urges

Kayden McLeod

Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance

Word Count: 76,561

Coming this summer from Solstice Publishing

Tag-Line:
Love conquers all...and evil seeks to destroy it.

Summary:
Arcadia Foxworth has no idea what destiny has in store for him. He thought his life as an elite Council Hunter of Rogues was his perfect career choice. But little does he know his fate truly lies in one little powder keg, Korbin Callows. She’s beautiful, graceful—and a stripper. After having woken up, remembering nothing about her old life, Korbin had to pull herself together and make tough decisions to survive a harsh world. And now people she doesn’t even know are out to kill her. She finds herself relying on Arcadia to manoeuvre the new dangers presented to her, as she starts to recall who she really is. A powerful being that could make every vampire in British Columbia fall to their knees, including Arcadia.

Excerpt One (Rated PG, with mild violence):

Chapter One
Arcadia
Surrey, British Columbia
July 16, 1994

“Ceanna, just kill the son of a bitch!” I really didn’t know if the Rogue’s Mother was a bitch, but her son was definitely one useless waste of space.

“In a minute, Arcadia,” Ceanna, my sister and fellow soldier in arms called over her shoulder.

My sister and I were Hunters who tracked outlaw vampires. This is what we did, we followed our orders to the letter to make the world better for humans and vampires alike. But Rogues just got on my nerves when they didn’t follow the rules, my rules. The most important rule of all, they should always die when I got tired of chasing them. It should just happen. I’d been doing this for over seventy years and they seemed to just get dumber and dumber as the decades moved forward.

The second rule, my sister should never “play with her food.” Fat chance of that happening any time this century.

I stood there and watched Ceanna in a meadow. She played cat and mouse with our target, Charlie, in the middle of the night. We had already run him down long enough to kill most humans, even Olympic long-distance runners.

“Charlie didn’t even do anything worthy of this show,” I grumbled to myself.

Ceanna shifted in my mind through our bond. A clear chastisement was evident, even before she spoke. “Charlie breaks our laws. He killed humans for sport. A lot of them, more than any vampire needs to feed. He gave them pain and terror. I owe him for such credulity. By this night’s end, he’ll know it.”

“Then kill him.”

“No, I want him to suffer for what those women went through. They don’t have anyone to speak for them. But I will.”

How could I argue that? So I leaned against my new friend, the tree, and left her to it. Ceanna is pissed, that was painfully obvious. Every time she cornered the terrified Rogue, allowing him to think this all over for him, she backed off just enough so he thought himself free. And then the game started all over again.

My fingers traced over the pattern of the bark, my mind wandering. I remembered the beginning of the night, when we had finally located Charlie’s home, if one could call such dismal and pathetic dwelling as such.

Ceanna had picked up a photograph lying on the box serving as a coffee table. For a long moment, my sister stared at it, before she released a scream so shrill, I had winced from the agony of it. I reacted to nothing, but whatever vision Ceanna had then, would have been terrible to the tenth degree.

She wouldn’t talk about it. Her only focus was making the Rogue feel pain and fear. I had no idea if the woman in the picture was dead or alive. Or what Charlie had done to the seemingly innocent woman. But if the reports the Council had handed us just this afternoon said anything, the victim had suffered unbearable pain.

“I saw her in a locked box in his home, badly abused and left there for when he was hungry. I felt her fright so acutely, more than I normally do in a vision. I also got the sense that she is very special, Arcadia. She needs us.” Ceanna’s voice shook in my head, something she never did. This told me she’d glossed over a great deal of what she had seen, and whatever that part was, scared her right down to her core.

And that caused me physical pain. It wasn’t fair some vampires thought they could get away with committing such crimes on humanity, seeing a superiority that simply wasn’t there. Our powers granted us nothing more than the ability to harness energy; not to rule over anyone else, and certainly not to bully them for kicks.
I hated Rogues for views like these. If Ceanna didn’t kill the Charlie soon, I would. My boredom of the chase had fled at the harsh reminder of why we were here. Now, like my sister, I wanted him to pay for what he had done.

Charlie ran through the trees toward me, his anxiety affecting him so much, he didn’t even notice me standing there. My foot came out the moment he passed, tripping the ignorant vampire, and making him stumble headfirst into a trunk beside me. He to the ground.
The Rogue looked up at me with a strange mix of defiance and panic.

“Where is the woman you locked in a box?” I said coldly.

“She’s dead.”

“No, I don’t think she is. Ceanna didn’t see her death, or she would’ve specifically told me. That woman is alive somewhere, and I want to know her location.”

“You’re wrong. It isn’t my problem if the futuristic sightseer can’t figure out what happened. Obviously she isn’t very powerful if she can’t tell the truth of something so simple.” Charlie sneered. 

“Maybe she’s lost her touch, or all the rumours I’ve heard about the Foxworth Council Hunters are myth.”

Oh, shit. That did it.

Ceanna’s infinite patience for this hunt had just run out. She teleported to the small space between Charlie and the tree, and picked him up by a fistful of cloth. “Don’t be stupid enough to lie to us, Rogue, because I will prove every ‘myth’ to your own person and make it a reality. I’ll take great pleasure in making you bleed.”

Her eyes blazed red, her anger snapping as her body dragged in energy from every natural source around us. I struggled not to gape at my twin and her loss of control.

Charlie didn’t answer, so Ceanna slammed him against the wide trunk hard enough to make the roots groan, partially uplifting them from the cold ground.

“Answer me.”

“A good place, Hunter.” Charlie’s twisted smile filled with the vilest promises any mind could conceive of.

Where?”

“I can’t tell you that. It isn’t part of my job.” Charlie’s smile wilted a little. It changed to calculation and cunning. “Did you ever consider that you were brought here, young-blood? That all you’re doing is a dance in a much bigger production than you’ve ever dreamed?”

Ceanna and I both refused to rise to the last jab. Many Rogues had similar things to say when they were nearing their end. Though Charlie hadn’t quite yet reached the true desperation part. But soon enough, he would soon enough.

They always did.

However, Ceanna did focus on the first statement. “And what is your job?” Ceanna asked curiously, brow shooting up as far as it could go without it flying right off her face. “Rogues do not have jobs in this game.” She paused, and thought that over. “Well, I guess they do. They die.”

“Of course, you’re right. That is part of my job. But not all of it.” Charlie needled. “Tell me, Ceanna Foxworth, if your powers were what you claimed, why don’t you know the answers to these questions already?”

Though I couldn’t see all of Ceanna’s face, I knew that remark had hit a nerve. “She probably already does,” I replied to fill her silence, but I didn’t feel good about it.

“No, she doesn’t.”

“He’s right,” Ceanna whispered. “His mind is murky. I see some things, like the woman in a box, what she went through before, but I can’t find it now. It’s like the Rogue wanted me to see it, and has control over what I can read off of him.”

“But he isn’t old enough for that,” I said.

“He has someone much older and adept protecting him. One who understands my power and doesn’t want me to know who he is.” Ceanna’s hand tightened on the Rogue’s collar. I thought she might strike him. In fact, I hoped she did.

Charlie tried to jerk away from her, but Ceanna wouldn’t allow it. She held him by her supernatural strength. “How do you know it’s a he?”

“I can feel the masculine presence attached to your life force.” Ceanna contemplated him for a full minute before continuing, while I stood there wondering if I should risk pissing her off and interfere. My sister was temperamental that way. “Fine, you’re a willing pawn set up to die. I get that. But that is only a small part of this.”

“A very small one in comparison to the bigger picture. Many of my people are willing to give up their lives in stopping the prophecy from coming to pass.”

“What prophecy?” I demanded. If there was one thing I hated more than anything, it was foretelling of people’s lives by some otherworldly entity that had no business forcing anyone to do anything.

Charlie’s mischievous, evil stare shifted to me. “You should know, Hunter, better than anyone. It’s to prevent the true Heir and her key from joining.” He lifted his hand and playfully slapped Ceanna across the face.

Oh, he really did have a death wish. 

Ceanna gripped his neck hard enough to crush a human, pulled him a few inches forward, only to throw his weight backward against the tree. The thick, deep rooted trunk lifted right out of the ground, until it hung precariously in the air. Only one more hit, and it would fall to the forest floor.

He speaks gibberish,” I snapped through the link I had with my sister.

He speaks the truth.” Ceanna responded.

“Then what Heir does he babble about? Like an Heir to the Coven, or something?”

“No. Someone much more powerful than just a normal vampire, and I think this woman in the box is the one. She needs to be found and protected immediately.” Ceanna glanced back at me, her blue eyes dark with worry.

Then get the information from the Rogue and we will do just that.”

Ceanna took a step back from Charlie, giving him breathing room. Why, I didn’t know, but this was my sister. She had something planned. She stood still as stone when Charlie observed her with a wary expression.

Charlie smirked. “Got you scared now, don’t I?”

She didn’t even flinch. The Rogue took a tentative step sideways. His eyes never left her. Then he took another, slow and steady, half turning. Charlie was about to run.

Ceanna’s foot came up so fast even I had trouble keeping up with the streaking movement. The strike connected with Charlie’s lower back, sending him careening into a wide oak tree close to one I leaned against.

The poor trees. They didn’t deserve to be touched by a vampire so vile, let alone be abused by him. In fact, I swore I heard them screaming from the violence. I blinked, confused by it, but only for an instant as the fight drew my attention back to my sister and her opponent.

Ceanna gathered power from every source around her, until her body cracked and popped with the sheer amount of it. Birds flew from their perches high in the air, squawking at the disruption of the natural flow of the atmosphere.

Charlie laughed with a maniacal edge, as he got to his feet, body quivering from the harsh blow. “Kill me, Hunter. It won’t do you any good.”

Ceanna threw her unrefined energy in the form of a crackling bluish-white sphere. It hit him in the chest, and he broke into immediate seizures. Charlie fell to the ground.

And then, my sister did the worst thing she possibly could. She leapt through the air, and came down upon him. Her eyes were bright red, glowing in the darkness when her head jerked forward with the grace and swiftness of a cobra. Her fangs sunk into his shoulder without a shred of mercy, tearing and ripping his flesh.

The smell of blood became heavy on the misty night air. It wafted to my nose, but I remained unaffected, for I had fed earlier. My sister, as a rule never fed before a hunt. She was determined it honed her senses, bringing out the animal instead of civility.

I took the smell into my lungs nonetheless, sensing something off beneath the metallic odour. There was a polluted quality about it.
To make the scene more strange, Charlie didn’t fight her at all. Like he welcomed her feeding from him, had planned for it to happen.
The last piece of the puzzle clicked a minute too late.

I bound forward to grip Ceanna by her long blonde hair and ripped her back from the Rogue. Long thin strands of flesh and gore still connected them. Blood arched into the air from an artery Ceanna had ruptured.

“Stupid, arrogant Hunters.” Charlie muttered as he coughed up phlegm that was thick with blood.

The trap was sprung.

I threw Ceanna as far away from him as I could. I winced at the awkward angle she fell in. I launched onto Charlie and held him, my eyes flashing crimson as they bore into his feverish ones.

“What was the spell in your blood?” I demanded. I refused to show the fear I now possessed for my twin, who still hadn’t realized what had happened. I saw Charlie with new eyes.

“Don’t know,” Charlie stuttered. “Didn’t ask. Was only…told…to make sure…the Hunter…drank it.”

“Why would you kill yourself for that? It’s eating you alive! Are you that much of a zealot to whoever pulls your strings?” I couldn’t keep the frantic tone out now. I couldn’t believe I didn’t see it before! Charlie’s sickened pallor, how thin he was—he must’ve been carrying this spell around within him for days, ever so slowly killing him from the inside out. I had just assumed it was from him being on the run.

“I broke Coven laws. Leader condemned…me…to death. This was the better option…for me.”

Ceanna cried out behind me, and my head turned just enough to see her writhe on the ground as the magic took hold in her body. Her eyes glazed over, and her tanned skin began to lighten, shade by shade. Like she lost valuable nutrients every second it was in her system.

Charlie tittered. “So it does…work faster within her than me. Good news to go to my…grave with. Faster she dies…” Charlie coughed up more blood. “Less time for you…to save her.”

*****

Coming Soon From Solstice Publishing

Book One, Death of Innocence can be purchased here: 

Cheers,

Kayden

Monday, July 25, 2011

CONTEST: Win The Foxworth Coven Necklace!



Dear Reader,

Welcome to the “Vampire Kisses - Foxworth Coven” necklace contest. You can find the full details on Wiccan Wear Jewelry’s website:


"Vampire Kisses - Foxworth Coven" is composed of blue beach glass and black faceted hand-cut Czech crystal. It has Victorian styled filigree spacers and cross that have been artificially blackened with age. The lobster claw and chain are made to adjust in length. Burgundy freshwater pearl droplets on an aged chain complete the piece, a symbolic impression of a vampire’s kiss.  

To enter the contest, answer the following to questions, by going to Wiccan Wear Jewelry and Kayden McLeod’s website to locate the answers. Once you’ve found them, e-mail them to:


In your entry, please include your full name and e-mail address, so we may inform the winner after the drawing, and obtain shipping information.

Contest Drawing Date: August 13th 2011

Question One

Answer found on Wiccan Wear Jewelry’s website: http://www.wiccanwearjewelry.com/

On WWJ’s website find the piece named Necklace of the Dreamer, and tell us what the past wearers of this necklace series have commented on.

Question Two

Answer found on Kayden McLeod’s website: http://www.kaydenmcleod.com/


How long has the Foxworth Coven resided in British Columbia, Canada?




Good Luck, and we look forward to your enteries!

Cheers,

Kayden & Rhonda

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Last Round Of Edits

Dear Reader,


I am sitting here, trying to focus on my last round of edits for Natural Urges (Book #2 for the Foxworth Coven), which will be coming out by Solstice Publishing in the next few weeks. 


I'm finding it so hard to concentrate. I need sleep, coffee and motivation, in equal doses. I love this book--as I do all of them, or I wouldn't have written them, and certainly wouldn't have submitted them to publishers in the first place. But the last edit is always the hardest for me. By this stage, many author have read their book so many times, they can recite it backward, in their sleep.


Not only that, it can be frustrating, because this is the last time an author gets to see it before publication. Nerve-wracking to the extreme doesn't even come close to what I feel today. I want to rush, get it over with, "rip it off like a band-aid." But, I can't. I need to go through it, make sure there isn't any last minute changes that need to be made. 


And now, the questions begin.


The worst part has to be that I start to doubt myself, and my book. Is this sentence is as it should be? Should I change it--and risk the flow sounding worse than I THINK it does now (because I liked it just fine during the first-round edits with my editor)? If I do change it, what if I put an error into I won't catch before it leaves my hands? Would my character actually say this? Will the reader even like this story? Is this scene believable--what was I thinking?!


When I set out to write a book, prior to submission of the product, I think none of these things. After publication, and I can say I AM DONE, I forget I'd ever had this turmoil and doubts. 


This will be my eleventh published story--and no, it doesn't get any easier. Which begs the question; will it ever? 


My answer?


No, it won't. Not as long as I actually care--it's when I stop caring that I have to worry about whether or not I should be writing any longer. Like all artists who wish to perfect their craft, to become better, and honestly stress about the reaction to their product, this is a common phase to go through. This industry is not an easy one, just like music, television, movies or any other entertainment field.


Now that I think about it, I go through the exact same thing with my graphic art projects and cover art.


Cheers,


Kayden McLeod 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blame It On The Maid Of Honour

Dear Reader,

This morning Brigit and I were discussing blog posts and dress hems; which should she do first? I told her both, kill two birds with one stone. And alas, she did.


Wait—I’m getting married. I suppose, I should’ve mentioned that, lol. On August 27th, in Vancouver, British Columbia. The soon-to-be-groom is Trent Kinsey, horror author, and terrorizer of my FB. HeHe.

And since we’re on the topic of dresses, I found this the most interesting dilemma of all the choices in my wedding. When the planning had begun, we had decided on a beach wedding. So I started to look for beach wedding dresses. Something beautiful, but affordable. Between Trent, Brigit and I, we’d narrowed the selections down to two or three, all no more than two-hundred-fifty dollars. But then, we changed the venue to a yacht. And that too, was a no go. The price + what you got = are these people crazy? If I am going to pay several thousand dollars for this venue, shouldn’t it look like it?

So now, my sister hooked me up. Big time. We are *borrowing* the mess hall for one of the army’s establishments in Vancouver. It is huge, gorgeous and right across the street from the beach, and a pond filled with ducks, a quaint bridge and weeping willows. Hello? Can we say awesome photography session? *Bows to Jen* you are my goddess!

Anyway—back to the dress. My mom suggested I take a look at some websites to get more ideas for a wedding dress, before the *big* shopping day. I did—and what did I find a thousand dollar designer dress, that just hit the season this year. I knew it was expensive, but I kept going back to it, thinking—nooo, I can’t, can I? Turns out I couldn’t. A designer dress means, not off-the-rack. It would take 20 weeks for the dress to be made, and to put a rush on it, would cost even more. So, I said screw it. I went back to the beach wedding dress.

But then, my niece (other bridesmaid), sister, mom, her boyfriend and I all went to the same medieval themed dress shop my sister took me to for my graduation dress. All of the dresses here are had made, custom or one-of-a-kind.

I found my dress. Medieval inspired corset wedding dress, in blue, black and white, with a floor length periwinkle blue velvet cape, traditional petticoat, wispy sleeve things—the whole nine yards, which ended up costing more than the designer dress—but who cares! It’s gorgeous and unique. How much more can I ask than that?

My maid of honour and bridesmaid also got their dresses from here, in varying shades of blue, black, white and cream.

And then—the jewelry; my second favorite. A very good friend and jewelry online-store owner and I discussed our options. She made the entire wedding party jewelry to match their dresses. They can be seen here, at the bottom of the page:

Wiccan Wear Jewelry:

Rhonda has made most of my jewelry in the past year, and everything is of top quality, original, custom-made pieces.

Since our colors are blue and silver, everything is fitting into this theme—right down to my hair, which will be dyed black and blue, possibly even silver. My engagement and wedding ring are white gold, with diamonds and sapphires.

And the flowers—oh-my-gosh. I said right from the beginning, when my sister asked what was the most important thing I wanted—FLOWERS. Between the florist and my mom, they will be everywhere. Hydrangeas, dyed blue roses, calla lilies, orchids and ivy will be everywhere. Even on the wedding cake.

More to come as the event draws closer…

Kayden McLeod

Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy Dancing!

Dear Reader,


It has FINALLY happened. Death of Innocence, the first installment of the Foxworth Coven has been released by Solstice Publishing! 


Buy-Link: http://www.solsticeatnight.com/products/The-Foxworth-Coven%2C-Book-One%2C-Death-of-Innocence.html


Stay tuned...I have some event announcements to make soon, like contests for signed print books, another for an e-book copy of Death of Innocence, blog dates at Fang-Tastic Books, and chat dates at Talking Two Lips Yahoo Groups!


Cheers,


Kayden