So you can read my books

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


{Small Note: I have ZERO reviews on the AUDIOBOOK of Victor  -- the 14 reviews are for the PRINT VERSION -- SO THERE IS STILL TIME TO ENTER FOR THE AUTOGRAPHED CAST PHOTO of THE AVENGERS!}

Pk Hrezro goes live today with her cover reveal!


Pk wants to know - Where and When you'd book your trip and Why...

"Camelot," I said.  "I wanted to go to Camelot."

Alice Wentworth, the ethereal Victorian ghoul, glared at Victor Standish.  "It is all your fault for wanting to go along."

Victor gasped, "Why is everything always my fault?"

Her skin transluscent moonbeams, Alice said, "Because it usually is."

I sighed, "I should have realized whenever you time travel, you go to 1834 New Orleans."

"Well," said Victor, "at least it is picturesque."

"It is hot, dark, and grotesque not picturesque!" snapped Alice.

The French Quarter of 1834 was … was beyond anything I could say would come close to giving you a true idea of it. 
 Torches, not street lamps, flickered the darkness away.  They were mounted high on all the businesses and hotels we passed.

The streets weren’t empty like I thought they would be.  Ladies of … ah, let’s just say “romance for hire” arched themselves under those torches. 
Prosperous businessmen walked pompously out of the hotels to make their acquaintance.  

Horse-drawn carriages clattered noisily past us on the wooden walkways.  Victor walked beside me like a born gymnast.  I walked cat-quiet.  Alice?  She flowed silent as a shadow on the other side of me. 

Slaves swept the porches of those hotels.  Others hurried about the streets on this errand or other.  Every carriage had a slave as driver.  Some better dressed than others.   All with that “owned” look hollow in their eyes.

Think I don’t know that “owned” look?  Think again.  I have seen the hopeless eyes of prostitutes, their faces bruised by their pimps. 
I’ve seen the same look in druggies’ eyes as they scurried about to get their next fix some way somehow. 

 I’ve seen that look in drug mules, knowing that their lives would never be theirs again.  Snitches for the cops, blackmailed into risking their lives for their “handler’s” promotion, had those terrible eyes.

And Alice?  Her own eyes glowed in the torchlight as she glared at Victor.  "I so wanted to see the gleaming towers of Camelot.  But, oh, no, you couldn't let me go off on my own."
The wooden sidewalk under our feet was a sight.  Not anywhere near the neat stone pavements of 2005. 
More like planks laid out on mud.  The street in front of the Bourbon Orleans looked to be no more than forty feet wide.  The sidewalk in some places was just one plank. 
I wrinkled my nose.  I smelled rotting garbage.  Along the edges of the sidewalks were wooden gutters.  They were filled with garbage.
Four slaves in iron collars and heavy chains had been in the midst of cleaning them out.  Probably at night so as to not offend the by-passing aristocratic lady or gent. 

They had dropped their buckets and shovels.  Their overseers had dropped their jaws.
Two slaves had their hands to their mouths.  The other two looked about to run.  The two overseers seemed confused at just what to do. I smiled bitter.
 Seeing three people just pop out of nowhere in the dark night had rattled them.  Seeing slaves under the gun of callous white men did more than that to Alice. 
She became mist and flowed over the screaming men.  Alice reformed, wiping her mouth as she stood over the bloody remains of the men.
 Alice frowned at the frightened slaves.  "Oh, do not be ninnies."
 She flowed to the panic-frozen slaves, tapping their collars and wrist chains with a misty, corosive forefinger.  The chains dropped heavy to the ground. 
"Off with you!  Scoot!  Or do you want to be dessert?"
The whole street was an eerie sight now that the blood moon had set.  Carondelet’s oil lamps swung lazily from projecting arms nailed to the wooden posts stationed at even intervals along the winding street. 
The illumination was awful slight.  But I saw how people walked without falling.
I saw clusters of people heading to the Bourbon Orleans.  They made for a rather eerie sight as they crept their uncertain way down the street. 
First, in front of them were the slaves, bearing lanterns.  And what was really strange was the fact the slaves were also carrying the shoes, silk stockings, and other articles of full dress which I had read were only donned by their owners when the destination had been reached. 
The streets were that muddy.  Each gentleman in every party carried their own personal lantern.
"Sfumato!" snapped Victor.  "Now, that we're here, I can transport us to a real Missisippi River Boat, the Aegean Queen." 
"Victor, no!" cried Alice.
Gambling on the Mississippi River had become an established institution.  Steamboats were floating palaces.  THE AEGEAN QUEEN all agreed was the Xanadu of them all.
Too late.  One heartbeat we were on the muddy street, the next in the gambling ship where money was the least of what you lost.
When we walked into the saloon of THE AEGEAN QUEEN, Alice hushed in a breath.  I couldn’t fault her.  The ceiling had to arch forty feet above us. 
Crystal chandeliers slowly rotated, shedding rainbows of light down upon us.  The elite of New Orleans aristocracy ambled among themselves.  There was a buzz whenever we passed a cluster of them.  Whispers poorly kept secret the fact that we were expected to die on board in some spectacular way. 

       The place seemed fit for Queen Victoria.  White marble vaulted ceiling, a marble dome pierced with scarlet stained-glass, and polished oak walls, adorned with gold-trimmed runes and patterns from Assyrian myth. 
Long, white clothed tables, lined with plush, thick cushioned chairs.  Mirrors, ornate and glittering from the spinning chandeliers, gleamed from the freshly varnished walls.  Shelves of liquors, wines, and other beverages dotted the spaces where paintings from old masters left them room.
The room was enormous, at least 50 feet wide and a 100 feet long.  The walls I would have guessed to be ten feet high.  Their dark, polished wood were lightened by windows, mirrors, and vertical nicello panels.
The white marble ceiling soared up into a long, rectangular vaulting arch, peaking at what seemed about 25 feet.  I studied the Renaissance-styled stained-glass windows which curled up and down across the arch. 
They depicted much too graphic scenes of the war in Heaven, Lucifer being cast down, and fallen angels having rather a good time at the expense of mortals.  Gas lights between the inner and protective outer windows gave them a nightmarish life of their own. 
Alice hushed in a breath in fright.
Her jade mask gleaming creepily under the shifting lights of the chandeliers, Meilori Shinseen, Empress of the heartless Ningyo Empire, seemed to glide up to us.
"Ah, Roland, you who have taken my name in vain so often.  How excellent of you to walk into my web so that I might repay you in kind." 
I had a feeling her "in kind" had no kindness to it.
Alice glared at Victor as he made a face at me.  "What can I say, Roland?  Time travel ain't what it used to be."

Here's the list of all those participating in today's theme. Hop around and see where they'd pick their time trip to. Should be very interesting and loads of fun!

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  1. Camelot and 1834 New Orleans would both be interesting trips, but I think I'd choose Camelot. :)

  2. Chris:
    Yes, me, too. But thanks to Victor, I got stuck in 1834 New Orleans! Rats! :-)

  3. Love the story snippet, Roland! How fun! No one has said New Orleans yet, but Camelot has been mentioned. I also like the idea of visiting Nawlins during the birth of jazz.

    Thanks so much for participating today!! Great to have you along! :D

  4. A pleasure as always.
    Was Sam in New Orleans during this time?

  5. Nice trailer, Roland. Liked the streetcar shot and everyone wearing hats.

    Congrats to PK! Good Luck.

    Time travel is something I like in theory. The premise of seeing our past is always tempting. (I believe)the future is better kept hidden.

  6. David:
    Yes, but he was a sergeant in the Texas Rangers. You can read his FIRST meeting with Victor in THE RIVAL along with Edgar Allan Poe becoming enamored with Alice, too!

    I thought the trailer to be a form of time travel for everyone visiting me. As I tried to point out in my snippet, the past wasn't very romantic for so many oppressed minorities!

  7. I'm ALL for Camelot.

    Thanks so much for the Amazon gift! I can't WAIT to read it.

  8. Camelot would certainly be lovely. There are just too many things I'd like to see...

  9. Thanks Roland, I've read Burnt Offerings, and am currently in the middle of HER BONES ARE IN THE BADLANDS.
    I feel like I have a connection with Sam. Then it might just be that he and I are from Texas!

  10. S.L.:
    You're welcome!

    I'm afraid I would get caught in the crossfire of court politics at Camelot!

    Sam tips his Stetson to you. He's partial to fellow Texicans. :-)

  11. Sorry about the lack of response from the audio books. I'm not interested in downloading audio gadgets for my computer - especially ones that will charge me later. I don't read much - and I have problems paying devout attention to an audio media. So often I watch a series and still don't remember what the story was about b/c I'm blogging, writing, reading, or just playing a game. My attention span doesn't allow me to "listen attentively."

    This was a fun excerpt. Is it incorporated into one of your books? A very fun, cultural glimpse into New Orleans.


  12. Very clever, Roland.

    Your descriptions were STUNNING... I felt totally there... Beautiful....

  13. New Orleans is another place I have not yet been to but would love to visit. After the hurrican though it will never be the same. Camelot is an interesting choice, didn't know we could go to fictional places. If so I choose Atlantis!