Thursday, July 7, 2011

Win a free e-book: tell me where you'd rather be!

Some days get hectic. Sometimes responsibility tires you out, and you just wish that, for one day, or a few simple hours, you could be away. Carefree, careless, self-indulgent, even pampered.
When I wrote Beside the Darker Shore, I wanted carefree time away. I created a vampire named Arturo who loved to indulge, and had him extend an invitation to his villa in rural Spain. The arrival to his villa appears in the excerpt below. But I'm wondering where you'd like to go? Imagine no job, no family, no duties to fulfill, just a day somewhere--from your own backyard, to an amusement park, to another planet. Where would you like to go?
I'll be drawing names to win a free e-book of the novel from the entries here and on my other blog and live chat as Beside the Darker Shore is launched today. Please join in. I'd love to hear where you'd like to be!
AND if you'd like to join me in a chat about the novel, along with other authors today, please visit me here at 1:00 p.m. CST (2 p.m. for East Coasters). (Login only requires whatever name you choose to be shown as, no registration.)

Buttoning his cuff, Arturo returned his stare. “I can’t ease the world for you forever. You are vampire. You need blood. You will kill.” He pointed to the window. “For now, look. The Picos de Europa.”
They had entered a dark gorge with jagged cliffs rising like castles, mottled limestone, veined in blue-gray, black, and streaks of pink. Water gushed through a rocky cleft, catching the skittish moonlight.
The land had turned savage, David thought, although in the valley at his right, he could make out a small hamlet run with what appeared to be orchards. “Cherry and walnut orchards mostly. There is little wealth here,” Arturo said, “but Tomas has brought food and wines from all over my country. For the festival. Red Riojá, Cariñena,Valdepeña—you will taste these wines on our humans’ breath."
... in the distance, the villa materialized. It appeared at first as a natural rock formation, running unevenly across the valley, but then David could see how the stone wall arced and dipped along the wave of the valley. In one low dip was a higher arch, with iron gates. The entrance.
He turned a smile at Arturo who hadn’t spoken a word since the car. Then he hurried to the gate. Not rock, but marble created the arch over the stonework, and words were carved into the arch: “La mejor salsa del mundo es el hambre.” Arturo stood hands on his hips before the entrance. “My angels recite Cervantes: ‘Hunger is the best sauce in the world,’ they say.”


  1. Hi Patricia
    I do like a good vamp book. Good luck with yours. If you want to hop on my blog, feel free. just check me for dates

  2. I had to use my other email addy as my writers one refuses to get past google. Email me at margaretwest(AT)hotmail (dot)com

  3. Thanks so much, Margaret. I'll be in touch with you. I appreciate the offer. And I'll be doing guest blogs on mine as well, if you'd like to post something (here or on some of my other blog spaces). I'll email you after the launch!

  4. I thought I'd commented earlier. Apologies if you see double.

    I am in northern Thailand, but I'd rather be in Virginia with my significant other. How's that for a switch?

  5. Where would I rather be for a day? The planet Saturn. The astronomers say there's a storm brewing there now that's as big as the whole of Earth. I'd like to ride that storm through ammonia clouds and see lightning bolts as big as cities. I'd like to skim along the ice rings, fall through the cloud tops of Titan and ride the geysers of Tethys. It would be nice to just get away from Earth with all its conflicts and cruelties for one day.

    Congratulations on Darker Shore! I will definitely be checking it out.

  6. Donaya, that's switch says something pretty important! When we're mired in our daily lives, with all the people we love, we want to escape, but to really be away? No, then there's nothing more important than getting back. Thanks for the reminder :)

  7. Tom, that's absolutely wonderful! I'd just been reading about the Saturn storm, but not in the way you describe it :) --skimming on ice rings, falling through cloud tops, riding geysers: wonderful!

    Thank you for stopping by. Your escape plan put a smile on my face. I'm looking forward to reading your novel and hope to get back on the EP readers group and blog to catch up with everyone!

  8. The number one place I want to go to is an underwater city. Atlantis isn’t real you say? Not yet it isn’t; that’s why we have to build one!

    Instead of unsightly and unnatural scars on the land that are roads and buildings, the underwater city would have much more tastefully designed round pods. Pressurized tubes would link all of the pods, eliminating the hassle, pollution, and traffic of driving. Of course, all of the pods’ exteriors would be glass, allowing one to see the rare flora and fauna of the undersea.

    You know how people like to keep fish tanks in their terrestrial dwellings? Well, underwater that doesn’t make quite as much sense (just look outside if you want to see fish!). People would have ‘air tanks’ in which they would keep land and air animals. Unlike fish tanks, which are usually crowded and filled with nasty water, these aviaries and arboretums would be nice and big. Think like a biosphere, just a giant pod that’s sort of a nature preserve. When you get bored of watching fishies, sharks, whales, and crustaceans/squid swim past your window, you go to one of the nature pods to see the ‘normal’ land animals and birds.

    In Atlantis, all the cool stuff that people do on resort vacations are things to do on days that end in ‘y’. Snorkeling with coral and rare fish or riding dolphins would cease being amazing.

    You’d be like, I want to go to the beach. And in contrast to the coasts where it’s crowded or the Midwest where the beach is lame and non-Oceanic, in Atlantis you take the elevator to the surface to a platform of sand, where they have chairs and umbrellas and drinks already laid out for you.

    Questions of sustainability: space would be a constraint, even worse than on land. Even there, we keep cows and pigs in terrible conditions. I don’t have the stomach to do that to them on Atlantis. Aquaculture, however, would yield many edible plants and vibrant gardens.

    Most likely, people would have to enjoy fish, chicken, and lots and lots of vegan stuff (since for some reason everyone thinks they don’t have feelings like animals).

  9. That underwater city would be amazing! It sounds gorgeous--being surrounded in that way, by those colors and the soothing flow of things. I love the idea of a topside beach. It sounds remote because I'm imagining it in the middle of the ocean, like a desert island, yet it would be part of this city ...

    Why does it all sound clean too? Because it's still in design stage? Because if we're smart enough to create an ideal world, hopefully we'd be smart enough to preserve it well?

    So weird to think about terrariums, lol. Weird to reverse the world.

    I'd love to go. But first I have to get rid of my fear of being underwater :)

    Thanks for this morning's trip; I'll be imagining this for a while!

  10. 'preserve it as well.' Fuck no! We're going to fuck up the ocean just like we fucked up the land. But this time, there's a lot more of it, so hopefully it will take longer.

  11. :( No, we're going to learn from our mistakes. Right? Right? Right? ... We're so stupid.