Shiny Things and Summer Sign-Off

It’s that time, all. You know the time. The bright thing is in the sky for way longer than I’m comfortable with, and the Fahrenheit temperature outside is flirting with numbers starting with 7. (Shut up – it’s a big deal where I live!) The tourists are lurking, the shrieklings will soon roam unchecked, and it is time for me to go to ground until my beloved September returns.

DOg Drags Blankie Bed

I leave you with a parting gift to tide you over until the darkness returns. My enabler handler platonic murder wife and fellow evil author of awesome, Skyla Dawn Cameron, blackmailed me asked me to contribute to her short story anthology, Hauntings. Look at this shiny cover. LOOK AT IT!

Hauntings-kindle

Doesn’t that look awesome? Of course it was designed by Skyla. You should hire her for your graphic design things. Also, you should support her on Patreon, because without her, this story (and practically everything else of mine you’ve read) wouldn’t exist. You owe her, my darklings.

So what’s going on with that shiny thing up there? Well, here:

A drafty old house, or the steps of a creature lurking in the dark?

A trick of the light, or is the shadow in the corner of your eye something more?

A natural wind, or was that a whisper in your ear?

Read two tales of haunted houses that are not what they seem from (evil) paranormal authors Dina James and Skyla Dawn Cameron.

In RITUAL, a novella in Dina James’ Key to Hell series, Kyle Carillron knows every trick across the realms when it comes to dealing with the supernatural. Once a demon himself, the vampire has seen it all. When a divine assassin, half-angel Sebastian, comes to him with a scrap of paper discovered in a supposedly haunted house where some teenagers are playing Ouija, he can’t help but roll his eyes. But the paper has an unfamiliar symbol on it, written in human blood. Very little on the planes mystifies Kyle, but upon investigating the premises, he discovers evidence of a ritual with far with deeper consequences than humans attempting to contact the souls of the departed.

ASHFORD’S GHOST follows part-time adventurer and full-time mom Olivia Talbot in a novella continuation of Skyla Dawn Cameron’s Livi Talbot series. Four months ago, Livi successfully killed the afreet who abducted her family and tried to murder her. Then she took over his villa and made it her base of operations/home, as any respectable treasure hunter in need of better digs is wont to do. But this house is haunted, and she’s starting to think the ancient murderer she used the Seal of Solomon to destroy might not be entirely dead after all. Isolated in the house by a violent snowstorm, Livi is trapped with a dark force gathering strength by the hour, threatening not only the safety of her family but possibly her very sanity.

That’s right. Mine is a Kyle story. You’re welcome.

Right now, it’s up for ebook pre-order from your favorite bookish places: Kobo, iTunes, B&N, and The Evil Empire. It’s planned for release by the end of the month (May 2017).

For those who prefer print (I AM ONE OF YOU!), there will be a print edition as well, available sometime in the first or second week of June. I’d give you a firmer date, but it will depend on techy things that make my head hurt, so let’s just say “mid-June” and call it good.

This is the anthology promised to those who donated to my fundraiser. Those who donated $10 or more will be getting their ebook advanced copies before the end of the month, so if you want it early, you know where to go. You all have kicked ass when it comes to helping us out, but there’s still room for pennies and openings for some hats. (I’m up to 14 hats, ya’ll. FOURTEEN FUCKING HATS! HATS FOREVER! I can honestly say I did not expect this, but I am totally not complaining. It’s for my babies. I will knit ALL THE HATS for my babies.) If you missed the part about the fundraiser, clicky the piccy to see what the fuck.

YouCaringDina

Help Me I'm Poor

So that’s it for now. Go forth. Do shiny things. See you in September. (Possibly sooner. I have been tempted out of my reverse hibernation before, so you never know.)

Crow Pets Cat

Octoberness

So it’s October. Summer in the northern hemisphere is officially dead and gone, without even a hint of it on the breeze (FINALLY!). Everything now is pumpkins and apples and fleece and flannel.

I kicked off the month over at the Evil League of Evil Writers with a post about playing nicely with others.

I had more, but I’m too busy purring about the fact that it’s October to think more.

evil laugh gif Tom

Oh, I suppose I could say something about how I have a Halloween freebie story I wrote last year up on the site. (It’s the same one as last year, so if you’ve read that one already, there’s nothing new. Just thought I’d throw out the reminder, because hey, Halloween and pumpkins, and that gorgeous cover by Skyla Dawn Cameron of IndigoChick Designs.)

TreatMeRigh-lg

So there you are. Now, back to October.

pumpkin-man

Five Evil Years – NOT APRIL FOOL’S

ELEW_logo

So yes. April 1 is by far the most evil day of the year, but it being the anniversary of the Evil League of Evil Writers was (almost) entirely coincidental. April just happened to be the closest upcoming month back when we were going public with the Evil League of Evil Writers, and what better day to celebrate eviltry than the day of trickery itself?

Loki Oh Yes

I realize this does come with the side effect of our celebratory posts being sometimes taken as April Fool’s pranks, but that’s not our problem. Evil does not care if you believe in it or not.

Having said that, five years of mayhem deserves special recognition, and today we have the honor of hosting a dark lord. No, really. Go and read the interview for yourself. There’s a giveaway included! (Spoiler Alert: It’s JIM BUTCHER! No foolin’!)

Speaking of giveaways, five years is a big deal, and we’re celebrating in style. There are fantastic gift packages with all sorts of shinies in them, including some things that are specific to giveaways. That is, you won’t see them anywhere for sale – the only way to get them is to win them. Books! Gift cards! More books! Click on the pic to see what’s up for grabs and enter!

Giveaway Pic

The Light Returneth

And with it, my hibernation looms.

It’s going to be April here in a few days, you guys. APRIL. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS? It means tourists and light and all kinds of shit I really, really don’t want to deal with.

Tom Hiddleston You Have No Idea What It Does To Me

It means I will go to ground soon and wait for September to return once more. I really need to become a reverse snowbird and go south for the summer like the ski-people do. I need a “summer home” in New Zealand or Chile or somewhere so I can escape the hot season and everything it brings with it. I never want to know a day that’s over 60 degrees. (15.5 for you Celsius people)

Until then, I’ll have to content myself with my dark curtains and air conditioning to get me through the bright days ahead.

I have been convinced to make one public appearance before I withdraw from the evil daystar for the next six months. Special thanks to author K.L. Bone for her kind invitation to join her for booze and books at a local vineyard on April 2.

SPN Sam Books Without Pics

Bethany Vineyards of Ridgefield, Washington, is hosting the second annual Words on the Vine book signing on Saturday April 2nd at 2:00PM, and I’ll be there along with her and a few other authors.

Bethany Vineyards
4115 NE 259th St. Ridgefield, WA

Other attending authors are:
USA Today Bestselling Author Sarah M. Cradit
NY Times Bestselling Author Brandy L. Rivers
Pacific Northwest poet Shane Chase
Special Guest Greg Wilkey
Blythe Ayne

There will be some special shinies available at this event that are exclusive to signings and giveaways. That is, they are not available (nor will they ever be) for retail sale, so I hope to see you there.

Despite what it says on some of the promotional materials, I have respectfully declined to read from my work at this event. It will be a signing only for me, but there will be plenty of excerpts being read by the other authors there if you’re into that kind of thing.

Come join me in bidding farewell to the light!

Crow Pets Cat

Vampires For The Holidays

You all know I’ve given into peer pressure (translation: “Skyla made me do it.”) AND how I feel about self-publishing. However, in response to those wishing to purchase my work, I have agreed to offer my previously-published short stories for sale in a new format. (I justify doing this by telling myself and being assured by others that it’s not really self-publishing because these stories have been previously commercially published, so this is a re-release rather than self-publishing. GO WITH IT. I NEED TO BELIEVE THIS IN ORDER TO LIVE WITH MYSELF/THIS DECISION I FEEL SO DIRTY OH MY GOD.)

Anyway.

Here is the second of three planned volumes of Legends of the Destrati (formerly published in the Mammoth anthologies and my Light In A Dark World collection, so if you’ve already read those stories, there’s nothing new for you here).

This volume features the next two stories, “With Great Power” and “Deliver Us From Evil.” The shiny cover was done by the lovely tyrant enabler Skyla Dawn Cameron of Indigochick Designs, as was the formatting of all the necessary files. Because she rocks. Go use her for everything you need done digitally. She’s amazing and worth every penny.

So here you go. I’m not quite sure when the next one will be out, but probably right around the New Year. Plan, mind you. It might not work out that way. But here to kick off your December are some lovely, lovely vampires. You’re welcome.

Trick or Treat!

I’ve spent the last few weeks brewing up this Halloween treat in my cauldron of doom, just for my mischievous readers. I’m not going to blurb what goes on in this story, because Halloween is about spooky surprises and scary monsters. And candy. And pumpkins.

Enjoy!

Click the pic below to download the PDF. (As this is a free story, this is the only format it’s going to be available in.)

TreatMeRigh-lg

Cover art and formatting done by the wonderfully talented IndigoChick Designs.

Introducing Sadistic Crits!

Logo by Indigo Chick Designs

Logo by Indigo Chick Designs

After speaking with my cadre of enablers, I have decided to open my own special brand of writing critique services. Keep in mind, this is not your average feedback. This service is for those writers serious enough about their craft to brave the merciless blade of the Gothic Goddess Herself.

You really think you have what it takes to be a professional-grade writer? Because this shit ain’t for the thin-skinned. Professional writing is a tough business and, to survive it, you need to be even tougher.

Think of the toughest person you know. You’ll have to be TOUGHER THAN THEM.

I do not use a red pen. I use a flail and scalpel. Your work (and through it, you, personally) will bleed, and possibly die. If you survive, you’ll come out better, stronger, scarred, and without any illusion at all about your work.

Having said that, do keep in mind I am not purposefully cruel. I am honest, and honesty can (and should) be absolutely brutal. If your writing is solid, I will say that. I do not intentionally look for things I can pick at. That means more work for me, and while I don’t shy away from hard work, the less I have to do, the better I like it.

So, if you’ve the courage and fortitude to enter my lair, have a look at the options below. A great deal of thought and consideration has gone into this price guide, so I don’t want to hear any whining about it. If you whine at all, this is not the place for you. As the credo of the Evil League of Evil Writers says, I do not tolerate whining, crying, sniveling, whimpering or bawling about writing, publishing, or any aspect thereof.

Still here? Very well. Here is how much my time and attention will cost you. I am open to any genre (including erotica).

(Please note I require a 50% down payment for all services below.):

Query Only – $25.00

Query + 1st Chapter – $45.00

Query + 3 Chapters – $100.00

Query + 5 Chapters – $150.00


Choose Your Query Package (Down Payment)



The balance will be due upon completion of the crit. You can also pay by credit card through Paypal if you don’t have a Paypal account.

Chapters Only – $25.00 PER CHAPTER (up to 20 pages per chapter – limit 10 chapters). Email me at crits [at] dinajames [dot] com if you wish to purchase this option.

Whole Manuscript – $500.00 or $1.00 per page, whichever is greater (125,000 word limit)




Note: If your full manuscript ends up going over $500.00, the balance will be billed to you upon delivery of your crit.

Refund Policy
If I cannot complete your crit for any reason other than your manuscript sucking so bad I can’t read another word without vomiting blood (in this case, I will send it back to you with a “fuck this shit” note and keep your money), you will be entitled to a full refund of your down payment. Other than that, all sales are final and no amount of whining at me because you don’t like what I said will avail you.

What You Get Back:

Your crit will include comments and a 1-2 page summary of my thoughts. If you did well, you’ll get a kitten picture with your crit summary.

All materials submitted for critique are required to be in manuscript format (double-spaced, 12 point font, .doc file).

Turnaround Time:

This depends on my schedule, how many people are ahead of you in the queue, and what package you choose. You’re welcome to email me at crits [at] dinajames [dot] com and ask about my current availability.

Your material will be returned to you with one of the following grades:

A-GradeReady. The Force is strong with you. You are ready to take the trials. Go query an agent and stop wasting time and money on pats on the head.

 

 

B-GradeCoherent. I can see what you’re trying to do here. Clean yourself up and you’ll be ready.

 

 

 

C-GradeLegible. You can make words, I’ll give you that. They don’t make any sense put together, but you can make them.

 

 

D-GradeSordid. You can spell your name, and you’ve got some words written down here. I think they’re words. It’s hard to tell.

 

 

F-Grade – Disgusting. You’re not capable of writing your own name, let alone a novel. Stop abusing the keyboard until you learn to not make it cry.

 

 

 

Who Are You To Offer This?
If you have to ask, you really shouldn’t be here.

 

Have a question I haven’t answered here?

Email me at crits [at] dinajames [dot] com.

Bite Me: A Stranger Things Story (Free)

As promised, one man-wolf (not wolf-man), free for your viewing pleasure.

It’s hard not to be resentful when someone comes along and takes everything over, and Billy has had enough. Just because someone saved your life doesn’t mean they own it.

Set between Time Heals and the unpublished Death Knell, this story focuses on Billy the man-wolf (not wolf-man) and his uneasy relationship with Noth, the young hellhound with whom he must now share all that’s dear to him.

BiteMeST

Bite Me: A Stranger Things Story
(Note: This story is only available in PDF format for the foreseeable future. If you would like another format, I’m sorry. You’ll have to make do.)

Here is the promised story I wrote for the Dina Wants A Shiny Thing “fundraiser.” I put “fundraiser” in quotation marks because this isn’t really about raising funds. Raising funds is a side effect of this story. Why a side effect?

Because it’s completely up to you to toss some pennies my way for this story.

This story is for you. Absolutely and totally free. Go on. Open it. Download it. Save a copy to your hard drive for your reading pleasure. All I ask is that you not upload it to pirate sites/torrent it. Why not? Because pirates are assholes and THIS IS ALREADY HERE FOR FREE. Also, you can’t upload the “donate” button to a torrent site, and it’s right here on this page with the story for everyone to see. Pirates don’t pay for things. Because they’re pirates. You get it. However, if you want to sacrifice your daily latte to the Shiny Thing fund today, I’d be appreciative.

Now, I’m not going to suggest an amount – I’m going to leave that up to you. I would remind you that the average price of an entire paperback novel is somewhere around $8.00US while a hardcover runs about $25.00US, and this is a short story. This is maybe a tenth of a novel here. When I talk about donating pennies, that’s exactly what I mean. However, your pennies are exactly that – yours. I’m not going to tell you how to spend them.

Here’s the button to do that:

Now, what’s the shiny thing I want? This. I want this:

Image by Design Toscano

Image by Design Toscano

You expected it to be yarn, didn’t you? I can understand that. Tell you what. If this little story makes enough, I’ll get the statue AND some yarn. Hell, I may go wild and buy yarn AND tea with my newfound riches. You never know what no-goodness I’ll get up to with cash in hand.

But I don’t expect something for nothing, so here’s your story. If you want to read it before you dig through the couch cushions for loose change (no old M&Ms, please – they are not accepted currency in my country. Don’t ask how I know this.), go right ahead. This story is free to everyone. Should you decide at some point that you wish to fund the Shiny Thing, click on the “donate” button you see up there and put a few coins in my tip jar. And hey, if you can’t or don’t want to fund the shiny, that’s cool. The story is there for you to read for free.

When the shiny thing comes, I will remove the donate link and print out every donor’s name on a sticker and affix it to the bottom of the statue, so that I will always remember those who made it possible. It will rest in a place of honor by my desk and inspire me to write more.

Thank you all in advance for your pennies. I very much appreciate each and every one of you.

Something Shiny This Way Comes

So, remember this post from last year where I talk about how Dina Wants A Shiny Thing and I did a poll to see if there was any interest in a Billy short?

Yeah, that.

Well, stuff and things happened, and the short got pushed to the side, and more stuff and things happened, and now, well….

Let’s just say Something Shiny is on the way. I don’t have an exact date yet, but it shouldn’t be long now!

Why am I posting this here?

Because I feed on your sweet, sweet torment, that’s why!

The De-Gothening Part Six

No, really. “Six” in French is spelled exactly the same as it is in English, only it’s pronounced “sees.” So this is part six.

Click their names to see parts Un, Deux, Trois, Quatre, and Cinq. You can also click on the “adventures in remodeling” tag to see the collection of horrors on the same page. Also why I label these posts in French.

Got all that? Onward to Part Six, then! Continue reading