Cutting Room Floor: Super 2

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Pants have proven to be a hot button for some of my beta reviewers, and this Super cut scene got dropped as a result. Two different beta readers informed me that no one as fashionable as Wyn would consider tights or pantyhose a necessity. One even held an informal polling of his female coworkers to support his position. So, the following got cut.

Super Cut Scene 2

“I’ve only one mask and there are three of us, so I need to go alone unless you know a place selling masks at one am,” Zita said, figuring it would end the debate. Pulling the mask from her pocket, she spun it on a finger by the elastic. The small, black plastic mask only covered eyes and maybe cheekbones, but it would work well enough, especially if she used the same face she had used earlier.

Pinning her hair back up with a pencil, Wyn speared her with her gaze. “You’re not going alone. If we have to, I’ll wear the mask and you can go in animal form. We can talk mentally or Andy can go. He’s bulletproof and only needs a way to escape. If you hide nearby, you can teleport the two of you here, and all you need is pantyhose on your head to hide your face. ”

Andy looked between them, and then back at the computer. The sounds of his tapping gained speed and strength. He shook his head.

A woman in tights“I hate not doing anything! And, umm, I don’t have any pantyhose,” Zita admitted. She gathered up leftover food and put it away, the wash of cold from the fridge a welcome respite from the sticky air of her apartment.

When she turned around, the other woman was staring at her, as if she had switched to another language. “How can you not have pantyhose? What do you wear to work?” Wyn said.

“Pants.” Filling a water bottle from the sink, she sipped the lukewarm liquid and planned, checking hydration off the lists of needs to fill.

Wyn made a derisive sound. “All of your pants are sweatpants or cargo pants. How can you not have any pantyhose?” she asked, as if Zita had not just explained.

Remembering their search for clothing to fit her earlier, Zita countered with, “I have exercise pants too! How can you live when only one or two pairs of your pants have pockets?”


What do you think? I’m not a fan personally of them, but I had thought them more of a necessity.

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Website Overhaul

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Plan for a website overhaul in the next week or two! It’s almost all about the art, baby!A smug cat with glasses likes the website overhaul

  • The cover artist should email some banners and the cover image for Super later this week. I will be updating the website to use the new images where appropriate. Since I can’t resist tweaking things, the Books page will be updated with the new cover and receive a slight reorganization to put things in chronological story order.
  • Another artist has created an adorable avatar (no, it’s not the cat) for me. If you’ve been hanging out with me on social media, that will be updated as soon as they finish and send it. They’ve also created a drawing of Zita and a drawing of Arca. Newsletter subscribers will get first looks at the Zita and Arca pictures before I post them on Pinterest.

Fun Fact: Subscribers also get exclusive access to Washout, an Arca short story. Have you signed up yet?

  • Social media sites, where appropriate, will be getting new banners and/or avatars too, once the art is available. Facebook and Twitter will definitely get both; most other sites just use an avatar.
  • The website overhaul will include a new links page, probably as a subheading under the About link. This page will allow others to find and hire the fine artists involved. In the future, I will add links to other vendors who deserve recommendations.

In less exciting news than a website overhaul, the sample first chapter has been updated to reflect copy editing changes. No real content changes occurred.

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Super – Free First Chapter Announcement

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This is the official free first chapter announcement for Super. In case you’ve forgotten what that is, here’s the blurb again. For your reading delectation, read the first chapter here!

What’s in the sample?

This sample is the complete, almost-final version of the first chapter of Super, and weighs in at approximately 4,700 words. Should any typos or grammatical problems occur between now and the release date (May 5, I’m looking at you!), those will be fixed in the final version posted at online retailers.

Simply, it introduces Zita Garcia, a bit about her world, and a touch of trouble to start things off right.

How long is Super anyway?

The novel itself is approximately 110,000 words. Samples at online retailers may be longer than this one.

Why the free first chapter announcement hubbub?

I’m excitable that way. Plus, how would you know about it if I didn’t tell you?

A little lop bunny

What goes well with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans?

Main character Zita Garcia would say “pretty much anything.” If you guessed the first chapter of Super, you’re right! Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates it. If you don’t celebrate it, you can still enjoy the sample.

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First Subscriber Freebie

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I just finished the draft version of the first newsletter subscriber short story. The first subscriber freebie is a quick read, only around 4,000 words, but fun. I’m going to send it to a beta reader, do a round of edits, and hopefully have it ready to send out next week.

In the meantime, here’s a puppy! Aww.

Cute chocolate lab puppy
Adorable, and probably needs a walk.

 

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Beta Readers Are Awesome

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I don’t have very many beta readers… but when I do, they are awesome! My beta readers are awesome, in case you missed that point.

They got the latest draft of Super last week. So far, one has completed reading and handed in all their comments, a second will be giving their comments tomorrow, and the third has started and will be done soon.The comments they’ve made so far – and all of them have said a few things – have been invaluable.

So things are steaming along on schedule! Many thanks to my brave beta readers!

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Super Progress Extraneous Exclamation Points

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Things! Things are happening! Woo! Admiring my grasp of language yet? It’s late here, so forgive me. Here’s the latest Super progress and a bit more:

  • If things work out, Super will release on May 5, 2016. It seems like an auspicious date for Zita Garcia. If it misses, I will post the new release date and make it as close to then as possible. The most likely reason for it to miss is if I have trouble converting it to the necessary formats.
  • The cover artists have the details of Super in their hands, and have told me to expect the cover in mid to late April. I can’t wait to see how they interpret the book; they’ve received excellent reviews from other writers. This site will also receive a style update when those cover images come out.
  • Additionally, my friendly neighborhood beta readers will be getting the latest draft of the book at the end of the week. With any luck, they’ll have some feedback to make it a better book.
  • I’ve hooked up a newsletter for anyone interested in keeping track of the latest updates, and getting some freebies specifically for my subscribers. I’m outlining a free short story now for those who sign up – if people sign up before I finish it, it’ll be available in the first newsletter after completion.
  • Book Two is getting the final touches on its outline. Writing will begin during the beta reader review period. I’ll switch between writing that and the freebie short story dependent on which is progressing better. I’m trying not to get distracted by a Halloween novella, but that might happen too.
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Cutting Room Floor: Super 1

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With regret, I had to reduce one character’s role – he was fun, but did not add enough to some scenes. He’ll show up more in later books in the series. However, here’s a snippet of a Super cut scene from the first draft. Be gentle.

Warned through their mental link, Wyn had the car ready to go when they piled in.

“My sword is crooked,” Jerome complained, plopping into the front passenger seat. His saber caught the light as he held it up to check it.

“Dude, things we don’t need to know,” Zita said. Leather stuck to her leg through one of the rips in her pants. She declined to think too much about the stupid grin sitting on her face.

Beside her in the cramped backseat of the Porsche, Andy concurred. “I’m with her on that one.” Being thrown through that window had not been kind to his clothing, and he tried to arrange the tatters to conceal more.

Wyn shrugged, both hands on the steering wheel. “Some women like that.” She giggled.

Opening her mouth and then closing it, Zita considered. “I suppose it depends on the angle.”

“The girls are on their own now.” Andy retreated, but not before poking her in the side. His question was silent. Am I flying us home?

A snort came from the front seat. “I meant my saber, perverts.” Jerome’s tone held the laughter his words lacked.

“You should clarify these things,” Wyn teased. “So did you get the notebook?”

His voice glum, Jerome answered first. “No. And I don’t know how much of the computer drive was wiped, but at least I had it deleting the medical files first, so hopefully those are gone.” The big man shifted position, and must have given up his examination of the weapon, as light no longer reflected off the blade.

I’ll get us back to my place once we’re clear of Jerome’s surveillance setup. Zita offered silently.

“It could have been worse,” the witch offered, “at least you destroyed the relevant data. If someone has the notebook, but no data, all they have are some names other sources would have given them anyway. The hospital conflagration destroyed enough that it might be sufficient to keep us from involuntary confinement.” Wyn changed lanes and took a merge onto the Beltway.

He let out a bark of amusement. “Oh, that doesn’t bother me. Plans are just wishful thinking. T-Bird, though, I’m disappointed in you, man. You need to bone up on what a real friend is.”

“What?” Andy asked. “What did I do?” He looked at Zita. OK, but I prefer flying, he sent mentally.

She shrugged. Then we’ll get you out to do that again soon.

The other man sulked, missing the silent byplay. “A real friend would’ve gotten me as soon as the chick fight started, especially once clothing started getting torn off.”

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Releasing Summer 2016!

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Aww… The first blurb for my urban fantasy novel. It warms the soul.

Adrenaline junkie and almost-respectable accountant Zita Garcia would not know a superhero from that guy down the street getting the mail in his pajamas. The second-to-last thing she expected was to wake from a spontaneous coma, quarantined, and with super powers she needed to hide from everyone, including her family. Now Zita must master her new abilities while dodging kidnappers, evading government inquiries, and finding her missing brother. Keeping her clothes on all day would be a nice bonus. The only thing weirder would have been if the blind date had gone well.

Super is the first in the Arca series and will be releasing summer 2016.

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