Festival of Fiendishness: VICTOR KIRIAKIS

You didn’t know I could go all soap opera on ya, didja? Didn’t think I had it in me, huh? Well, I was a latch-key kid in the summers in the 80s and one of the benefits/penalties of that was my sister LOVED Days Of Our Lives. That meant, for one hour every day, I was immersed in the “I thought you were dead” – who is that baby’s father? – I have cancer – what happened to my man’s eye? world of Bo and Hope and the Brady family. I can’t look away from a story (or a Lifetime movie for that matter) so I was hooked pretty quick. In that time, I watched the host from the Biggest Loser grow up, learned to give a shit about what happens to Deirdre Hall (and pick her out of a line up) and was introduced to the coldest dude named Victor ever, Victor Kiriakis.

Over the last 25 years or so, Victor’s been busy. He started out as kind of a small time thug, running a prostitution and porno ring (and this was the 80s, mind you). He graduated up to building an international crime syndicate, “buying” a former CIA operative so he could fool with his memories and taunt make the Brady family think their son was back, and evading child support for Bo by forging a legal document stating he was sterile at the time of conception. As an aside, how do you get that document? How do you fake a fertility test on the off chance someone’s gonna hit you up for child support 20-some years in the future?

Now, there is absolutely no way I can sum up a 20 year run on a daytime soap opera in 500-600 words but there are some highlights:

  • Remember that drug/porno/prostitution ring? Victor discovered another dude had killed a woman and blackmailed the killer into taking responsibility for the drug/porno/prostitution ring
  • He ordered a woman to be shot when she came into town and then blackmailed her into leaving town AFTER she got shot. Doesn’t say much for the shooter though, huh?
  • Ran a number of campaigns in stealing people’s money including a jail break and a false kidnapping
  • Drugged his nephew to make him impotent
  • He framed another chick for a murder his daughter committed
  • Helped his son bury a woman alive—and tried to kill that same son in an elevator accident
  • Kidnapped a dude and then wouldn’t give him insulin for his diabetes

Victor has done a litany of foul stuff, from the petty shit like drugs and prostitutes to real shit like blackmail, kidnapping, and murder. BUT HE LOOKS SO COOL DOING IT! My man always got a drink, a 3-piece suit, and that lovely mane of silver hair. Even when you think he’s doing good things, he’s got that “I’m a cobra and you are my prey” look.

Here’s what I love about Victor: he’s the Godfather in a tiny little town in Portland and we got to watch him in action for the last 30 years. And he has wonderful hair. And he’s Jennifer Aniston’s dad.

That’s my word! Next up, Catwoman is gonna purr her sexy tail across the Festival.


It is said, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, but Heaven is full of good works.” And the biggest difference between the two is choice. That’s what this book, The Road to Hell, is all about.

The cost of choice. The consequence of choice. The power of choice. These were the themes I played with in the book and Lucifer gets the ball rolling early. He starts it all with a simple choice, with a want for something greater. He wants something for himself. He sees what he is and what he can and can’t do and wants something that belongs to him. Something just for him. It’s a small thing, really, and, as I was writing the story, it was the most personal of the choices I wrote about. Who doesn’t want something for themselves?

Now, you have the choice to read the rest over at Debbie Brown’s Amethyst Eyes blog. Swing by, check out the interview and the guest post, and leave a comment.

Also don’t forget, there’s a brand new Facebook page for the Heaven Falls series. Stop by, give us a Like and join the discussion.

And for my wicked little readers who are wading through these posts for more villainy goodness, Mommie Dearest will be gracing Crooked Letterz later today.

Making Heaven Un-Heavenly

Heaven’s not what you think. At least not in my book. And you’re either gonna love it or you’re gonna hate it.

I generally get questions about the world, about the version of Heaven, I built for The Road to Hell. It’s not a world of fluffy clouds and fat babies with harps. It’s not even a grass-covered meadow with wondrous waterfalls and hordes of wildflowers (well, not in the beginning), and there are absolutely, positively no diamonds or golden streets, rainbows or unicorns. My version of Heaven is kind of minimalist, kind of bleak. Kind of blah.

But there’s a reason for it…

You wanna know, doncha? Well, you gotta check out my guest post over at The AvidReader for the answer.

Then swing by the new Facebook page, Like Us, and join the discussion!

My Top Ten Heroes #OBSummer #Books

So the next magnificent miscreant in our repertoire is…wait, what? Heroes? Did I read that right? My Top Ten Heroes? Yes, friends and foes, after all this time pouring over the dastardly deeds of about 50 of my favorite baddies, it’s time to give a brief – and I mean BRIEF – introduction to my all-time favorite do-gooders.

But you know I’m not doing that nonsense here, right? Oh no! As part of the Orangeberry Summer Splash, the good folks over at WeFancyBooks are hosting my first ever Top Ten Heroes list. Swing by and pay them a visit!

Water (The Akasha Series #1) – Book Review #OBSummer

Let me get this out the way: Kaitlyn Alder is BADASS!

And now for the more subdued part of my review:
I read Water as part of the OrangeBerry Summer Splash Blog Tour and was introduced to Kaitlyn, her elemental powers and the eco-fantasy genre all in one fell swoop. And Terra Harmony, the author, doesn’t waste any time throwing you into the action. Some readers like to move into stories gradually—they want to learn about the sunlight, the intricate shapes the shadows make dappling on pavement, the sounds of children playing from the nearby park wafting through the air. Yeah, screw all that! Harmony introduces us to Kaitlyn as she’s snowboarding for her life, trying to outrun an avalanche.

She fails.

And that’s just the first chapter.

From here we learn that Kaitlyn is more than a globe-trotting, freelance photographer with intimacy issues: she’s a Gaia—a person with the ability to manipulate the elements (Air, Wind, Water, and Fire). Problem is Kaitlyn’s all power with none of the control. Where we’d love a light breeze, your girl is causing Hurricane Katrina. Not only that, she’s in the custody of an eco-friendly (but pretty freaking poor), shadowy group called The Seven. They lock her up, don’t tell her anything, vaguely answer her questions, are footloose and fancy free with sedatives, and promise to teach her about her powers.

What I like about Kaitlyn is that she takes none of this lying down: she puts a hurting on everyone until she gets the answers the wants or until her curiosity is peaked. And she’s got a smart-ass sense of humor. She’s all attitude, has great one-liners and a good right cross—it’s more like Captain Planet meets The Last Airbender with a little Firestarter thrown in there for good measure.

I’m gonna stop so I don’t ruin it: Water and its follow up, Air, are both available (you can get it on Amazon and Water is FREE!) and Book #3, Earth, is due out pretty soon. It’s a good, action-packed read. But I do have to say, Kaitlyn’s journey is no walk in the park: just because it has fantasy in the genre, don’t think this is Hunger Games. Harmony deals with some very adult themes in a very adult way and some of the sex scenes in this book are non-consensual.

I have a couple of cons. First, you know how I love my villains, right? Not a fan of this guy. At all. For all the crap he put Kaitlyn through, what he wanted was neither clear nor really all that deep. Ever. And the emotional component underpinning his actions and his goals was too little too late. I didn’t get the why of it all and, without that, I couldn’t get the point. Other than Kaitlyn learning her powers, the villain didn’t give me much to go on. Luckily, Kaitlyn’s story is strong enough to go on.

Beyond that, this is ultimately about saving the environment, right? Save the trees and feed the plankton and global warming stuff. It isn’t even that governments and companies don’t love their trees—it’s that they don’t want to pay to save them. So if you have a group of people who can fix the environment, through whatever means, who cares? Why be clandestine when you’re doing the stuff everybody wants? I couldn’t understand the bigger conflict; it was alluded to late in the book but never really clear.

That aside, would I recommend the book? Absolutely. Ms. Harmony is building a bigger story here and Water is only the beginning. It’s certainly worth diving in and seeing it to the finish line.

Terra’s Akasha Series is a set of FOUR contemporary eco-fantasy novels. ‘Water’ and ‘Air’ are available as e-books, and ‘Fire’ is due to release in October 2012. FYI: Water’s FREE! on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords.

Terra was born and raised in Colorado but has since lived in California, Texas, Utah, North Carolina and Virginia. She’s a former Marine (5½ years, people! We thank you for your service!), has her Masters’ degree and currently resides in the Washington DC area with her husband of 13 years and 3 children.

You can connect with Terra on Facebook or at her blog.

Part of the Orangeberry Summer Splash is an awesome giveaway. Click HERE for your chance to win a Kindle FIRE!!


I told you I was doing the Orangeberry Summer Splash Blog Tour, right? You were paying attention, weren’t you? Well, aside from me dropping my super-villainous knowledge on unsuspecting bunny-themed blogs and letting Lucifer darken Seryniti’s doorstep, I get to present to you some of the talented, innovative authors I come across. I am honored to have today’s guest, Terra Harmony. Terra’s here introducing the themes in her novel, Water (which I am reviewing later today).

In the Akasha Series, my characters possess abilities with the four classical elements of water, air, earth, and fire. I know what you’re probably thinking: ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’.

You’re right…sort of. But instead of tween martial arts masters, think of hippies, in a cult-like environment who use their powers to provide balance to Earth’s ecosystems.

I love the idea of elemental powers. Combining them with wiccan traditions, a paranormal romance, eco-friendly tips, and an antagonist that readers love to hate has led to one awesome writing adventure. The possibilities really are endless when it comes to the elements. Each element has its own personality, and represents different characteristics, seasons, colors, and directions of the compass. Pitting them against each other makes for a great battle scene, but when they combine forces and work together, it is pure magic.

The fifth element, what some call spirit, aether, or Akasha, is the prime element present in all things. It connects and balances all the elements together, allowing them to exist. Throughout my series, the characters begin to seek Akasha. They learn that the only way to achieve Akasha is to perfect self-balance.

Along the way, we meet important characters called Elementals, who specialize in just one of the elements. Below is a description of each; which one best represents you as a person?

Earth: The earth element is the most dependable, steady and practical. Earth magic operates at a slower rate, but it is more likely to persist and endure. The Earth elements represents North, the color green, midnight, and winter. It signifies stability, order, birth and death, and fertility.

Air: Air expands your consciousness and represents truth. It is also associated with thought and language, the breath of life. The Air element represents East, the color yellow, mornings, and spring. It signifies intellect, reason, science, and youth.

Water: Water elementals can be described as timid and shy, though some of the most dangerous natural disasters are water based. The water element represents West, the color blue, twilight and autumn. It represents emotion, intuition, healing, and wisdom.

Fire: Fire is the purest element in the sense it cannot be polluted – though it depends on other elements to exist. The fire element represents South, the color red, noon, and summer. It represents strength, passion, energy, and transformation.

In reality, we don’t have to be blessed with elemental powers to make a difference, though how cool would that be? If given the choice, I’d go with fire (even despite my first name). I am a Leo after all! Leave a comment with your element of choice and tell us why!

What would I choose? The element of SURPRISE! Okay, fine…I choose Air. Thanks for swinging by, Terra! Remember, Terra’s Akasha Series is a set of FOUR contemporary eco-fantasy novels. ‘Water’ and ‘Air’ are available as e-books, and ‘Fire’ is due to release in October 2012. FYI: Water’s FREE! on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords.

She’s a former Marine (5½ years, people! We thank you for your service!), has her Masters’ degree and currently resides in the Washington DC area with her husband of 13 years and 3 children.

You can connect with Terra on Facebook or at her blog.

Part of the Orangeberry Summer Splash is an awesome giveaway. Click HERE for your chance to win a Kindle FIRE!!

What the Hell Was I Thinking? Part 2: My Ford 99 Test

So one of the things from the Orangeberry Summer Splash is a Ford 99 Test. Now I know you’re what you’re thinking–what the hell is a Ford 99 Test? Here’s what it’s based on: “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” –Ford Madox Ford. So it goes like this, find a book at your local bookstore or in your library, open it up to page 99 and it should give you a good idea of the quality of the writing.

As part of the blog tour, we were asked to comment on our own page 99 and Mommy Reviews was gracious enough to post mine. This is a little peek inside my mind–check it out here.

Still Talking: Orangeberry Summer Splash Author Interview

So friends and foes, you may not know it but August is the MONTH OF PROMOTION! I’m trying to do it like Visa and be everywhere you wanna be so I’m participating in the Orangeberry Summer Splash–hence the lovely badge in this post and on the site. The Summer Splash is a blog tour of 100 magnificent authors and 106 books. I strongly, STRONGLY (this is me saying Pretty Please With Sugar On Top!) encourage you to check out these folks and their works.

Tomorrow, I’ll be haunting My Seryniti with another interview, a guest blog post (still all about villains) AND a book review by Seryniti herself. But wait, there’s more! There’s a TwitterView on August 8–a TwitterView is an interview via Twitter (yeah, I never heard of it either) sponsored by the Hostess With The Mostest, Pandora Poikilos, bestselling author of Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out. And there are more stops along the way: On August 12, I’ll be breaking down Page 99 of The Road to Hellover at Mommy Reviews. If you haven’t, start reading now! On August 18, I’ll stop by We Fancy Books to deliver my Top Ten Heroes (I like a couple of the good guys). And on August 22-23, Pandora will blow me up on Twitter and plaster my pretty face all over her site at Peace from Pieces.

But the party starts today with an author interview by lil ol’ me over at The Bunny’s Review. Check me out!

And if you wanna learn more about the Orangeberry Summer Splash and the authors in it, check out the press release!