Bad Beat

So I have a few WIPs I’ve been working on. And tonight I’ve decided to work on BAD BEAT. It’s been a few weeks since I touched it last, but I just booked a trip to Las Vegas, a place I’ve lived over 7 times in my life, and even confirming my trip had me wishing I was already there.

Anyway, BAD BEAT is a YA Thriller about a girl who’s a poker shark and get’s caught up in the high life when she wins way too much money at the casinos with her fake ID. I grew up playing poker. My granddad’s Sicilian blood runs through me strongly, and by age 5 I could play most card games.

I love it. It makes me feel alive when I’m at the card table. Anyway, since it’s Friday, and I’m missing cards, my grandparents, and my youth I decided to post the first 5 pages of my WIP. Feel free to lemme know what you think 🙂

Chapter 1

 

I hate people who say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. I bet you any amount of money the people who say that don’t live here. They weren’t born here. And sure as shit, they don’t keep whatever extreme moment that called for such a dumb saying here.

My fingers tap a rhythm on the cool metal table. The clink of my handcuffs keep time with my digits. It soothes me. I’m getting used to it.

“Could you tell me why you started playing poker, Ms. De Spirito?” The Las Vegas juvenile correction officer asking me questions tries to pull off looking like she cares. She’s horrible at it, but I’ll humor her. Every minute spent out of my cell is one less minute spent in it. I’ll take as many seconds as they’ll give me.

“Why do we breathe? Why is the sky blue?” I shake my head. They’ll never understand. “I can’t tell you why I started, or even when. I could probably play cards before I could fully walk. My dad always called me a natural. Said I had a talent for reading people. You see, a lot of people play statistics, numbers. They are very methodical about pot odds and how that determines what hand they’re playing and why.” My fingers speed up, building to a crescendo. With a final tap I bring my hands away and gently place them on my lap.

“And?”

“And I’m not that kind of a person. I couldn’t tell you the first thing about pot odds. What I could tell you is how Big Bucks sitting to the left of me is holding a pocket pair of aces because his eye twitched when the board hit two kings and a five. He overbet to protect his hand and wouldn’t you know it, the little fella sitting next to him called it in about two seconds flat. That’s how I knew Shorty was holding the third king. The way he fingered his chips spoke louder than any pot odds could ever do. Made it pretty easy to throw down my jacks. Never was the kinda girl who liked two boys at once anyway.”

Officer Dean clears her throat. It looks like she’s trying to hide a smile, but I play nice and pretend I don’t see it.

“So, you don’t see anything wrong with the fact that you cheated multiple casinos out of one point four million dollars?”

Before I can stop myself, my hands shoot out of my lap and slap the table. I stand and look Officer Dean in the eye.

“I won that money fair and square.” I’m seething on the inside. It’s pointless, but I still try to calm myself by breathing slowly.

“Well, yes. You could say that under normal circumstances. But the fact remains. To gamble legally in the state of Nevada you must be twenty one or older. And you, my dear, are only seventeen.”

I sit down. The air rushes out of me until I’m deflated. Only seventeen.

“Thanks for the reminder.”

“Now, enough of the games. We both know underage gambling isn’t the main reason you’re sitting with me. Why don’t you start at the beginning? And tell me how you got to be here. I’ve got all the time in the world so there’s no point in stalling.”

“Stalling. Stalling? You think I’m stalling?” I wait for her to laugh, something. Anything. But she doesn’t even grin. Must not be a fan of Spongebob. Her loss.

“Fine. Well, it all started on the last week of school. You could say I was a fashion victim. Guess being overweight is a crime after all.”…

…The sound of my jeans ripping as I bend over should embarrass me. The fact that it’s happening in first period, only five minutes after the bell has rung, should probably have me melting in shame—wishing I was part of the horrid, orange and brown paisley carpet. I squeeze my legs together in the hopes that my white, “grandma” undies might have less of a chance to peek through. Carefully, I stand, and penguin-walk to the door.

Amidst the peals of laughter from my fellow oh-so-compassionate classmates I sketch a solute, and quickly hightail it out of class—Mr. Baldwin’s theory of the melting ice caps be damned. At least one good thing has come from this. The rip up my backside provides a much needed loosening along the whole waist area. Might as well go for glory. A sigh comes out of me as I give in, and undo the button to my jeans. It borderlines erotic. Yeah, soooo much better. I’m so busy looking down at the roll of fat now hanging slightly over my undone jeans it takes me a second to comprehend someone is talking.

“Hey, Sonja, you getting ready to enter a strip contest or what?”

Great. Not just someone.

“Oh. Hey there, Kai. How’d ya guess?” Without thinking, my fingers grasp the zipper and I begin to pull it down. A few flutters of my eyelashes, and a kiss blown in his direction, and we both break into laughter. I spin in a circle ballet dancers would be envious of—happily showing off my predicament.

“Ah, nice one. How in the world did you do that?” Kai raises his eyebrow.

“Well, I was trying to pull off this new parkour move. You know, show off for Billy. He’s really into girls that leap tall buildings and shit.” Silence greets me, so I continue on with my explanation. This time a measure of heat crosses my cheeks. “Or actually… I accidentally dropped my pencil when I got into class, and when I bent over to pick it up my jeans decided they were tired of being together. Think they wanted a break.”

Even though embarrassment courses through me I hold my head high, stare Kai straight in the eye, and dare him to laugh. To his credit he doesn’t even grin.

“Damn, Sonja, that’s booty.” The previously missing smile breaks through. “Haha. Get it? Booty?”

“Ugh. You so suck.” I shake my head.

“What are best friends for?” Kai wraps one wiry, muscled arm around my waist. As it touches each hill and valley that my body is comprised of I want to suck in my breath. Will his arm get stuck between the rolls? No such luck. Thank God for small favors.

His hand comes to a rest right on my hip. It’s in the place where a hipbone should be, but isn’t. Due to the extra padding my lovely body provides me any and all hints of bone structure are hidden. It’s like I’m supplying a pillow for his hand instead.

“Come on, songbird, let’s get you home.” Kai hooks a finger through my belt loop, and drags me down the hall.

Fractured Immortal Q&A with author E.L. Wicker

Good morning! As I promised, ok- ok- teased you, yesterday about hooking you up with a wonderful Q&A from the amazing E.L. Wicker. I think it’s high time I deliver the goods… don’t you?

Just in case you haven’t had a chance to read Fractured Immortal yet (and if you haven’t please go seek it out, like now!) Here–

http://www.amazon.com/Fractured-Immortal-Bearwood-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00POKZDNU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433509804&sr=8-1&keywords=fractured+immortal&pebp=1433509801317&perid=0CT3S3SKS1JJ1ZGWDTWZ

You really should be clicking, not only is the kindle version free–so freaking awesome– but the paperback feels pretty darn nice in your hands, and everyone loves the smell of a good book. Amirite? If you love vampire stories, especially ones with a different take on vampires, then I suggest giving this one a try. It gets a little steamy, so if you blush easily you might want to make sure you’re 18+

Here is a quick run down for you.

After a terrifying vampire attack in 1810, Ilia Rose spent the next two centuries hunting Sol, the man responsible for turning her and her friends into vampires.

When Ilia discovers he’s run to the one place she’s running from, she’s forced to face her most painful memories back in her hometown, Bearwood.

There, Ilia finds herself face to face with Nathaniel, an insanely hot vampire, and despite the evidence he’s working for her enemy, Ilia can’t fight her attraction to him, especially when he seems to show up whenever she needs him most.

But Nathaniel is keeping secrets and as they begin to unravel, instead of running away from him, Ilia finds herself falling for him. When his last secret is revealed Ilia’s past comes together in a way she never imagined and she’s left with only one option: trust Nathaniel to help her kill Sol, or risk relinquishing her new found strength thus causing catastrophic and devastating consequences for her and everyone she loves.

Ilia begins a gut-wrenching battle to save her life and the lives of her friends, a battle which not everyone will survive.

A vampire tale like none other, love, pain, devastation and revenge, all weave together to create the first in a dark and unmissable new adult series.

Due to sexual content, this book is intended for readers age 18+

So now my friends, without further ado, please allow me to let you walk within the walls of E.L.’s mind for a spell 🙂

 FRACTURED IMMORTAL Q&A

 

Q–    Congrats on Fractured Immortal being your debut novel, Ilia is such a fantastic Protagonist. I love her stubborn streak and the way she wants to protect the people she loves no matter the cost. By the time I had gotten to the story about the way she was turned I was so invested in her that it was quite heart-wrenching to read. Did you know that was the direction you were going to go with her story from the beginning?

 

A–    Thank you! I’m glad that Ilia has come across to you the way I wanted her to. I absolutely did not have any idea that the story was headed that way. I don’t plot, so I just kind of let the story tell itself. I needed a big conflict in the past between Kyle and Ilia, and just walking away from her wasn’t enough – Kyle needed to have done something much bigger to fall from her graces, especially as she cherishes her friends. I also needed a big event leading up to that night, so the two tied in well. It is the darkest moment in the book, and was really hard to write, but I’m glad that I did. I think it gives the reader a bigger insight into both Ilia as a person and Kyle and Ilia’s relationship.

 

Q–     One thing I enjoyed that is different than other vampire books I’ve read is how human Ilia’s reactions to pain are. What is the thing that you think sets your vampires apart the most from the norm?

 

A–    Exactly what you said. I wanted to humanize my vampires as much as possible. I wanted to take a group of vampires and explore their inner circle, leaving humans out of it. But I also wanted to create a wider circle of magical beings. I think it’s the humanization of all of those beings and how they can all love each other to the point of risking their lives to ensure the others safety that sets it apart from others.

 

Q–    The scene in the woods with Kyle and Ilia is probably my favorite part of the book and nearly brought me to tears. You wrote the emotions so well and I totally got the feels. What part did you enjoy writing the most and which part did you have the hardest with?

 

A–    Oh, that was a difficult scene! I had to tackle it with such sensitivity while also revealing more of Kyle’s character. That part of the book is the turning point for him, the place where the reader is left to really make up their own mind about him. I also really enjoyed writing the interaction between Ilia and Nathaniel. Nathaniel is such a guarded character. He wants to keep Ilia safe, but he also wants to love her openly. She’s not quite sure what to make of him at first, but as he proves himself things between them begin to shift. The most difficult part is the scene at the compound with Maggie. At that point in the book, there are so many reveals it was difficult to write it without boring the reader to tears. That chapter was rewritten too many times to count!

 

Q–    I love the way you go back and forth from the past to the present so seamlessly. What do you think Ilia, Kyle, Lucas and Lana miss most about their time period or are they pretty content living in the future?

 

A–    Without a doubt, Lucas, Kyle, and Lana miss their families. Every single one of them would go back and change everything if they could. Ilia doesn’t miss much at all from their time period. Brought up in an abusive family, vampirism is her escape. As damaged as she is, going back is not something she would ever want to do—not if it meant having to live with her parents again.

 

Q–    Maggie was a great character, the young witches are super cute. Will there be a love interest for Max?

 

A–    Thank you! Maggie was fantastic to write with her odd sense of humor. Kate is personally my favorite witch, but I think that’s because of the way I’ve developed her in book two. I can tell you for definite that there is no love interest for Max in book two. He plays a vital role, but there are complications for him that means, at least for now, no.

 

Q–    The exchanges between the bad guys and good guys are intense throughout the book and make for great action. Sol, Selena, and Vincent are pure evil. When writing do you ever grow fond of one of your villains and then feel bad when you off them?

 

A–    Funny you should ask this! Vincent originally played a minor role in Fractured Immortal, but as I redrafted I felt the need to add more of him. Nathaniel was supposed to kill him for hurting Ilia, however my attachment to Vincent and the way he developed ended up paving the way for him to take a major role in book two. There is certainly a lot more to come from Vincent.

 

Q–    Nathaniel and Ilia’s relationship is steamy to say the least, but a part of me wants her and Kyle to work it out. Will Kyle ever give up on Ilia? Will she be sad if he did?

 

A–    Book two see’s Kyle continue to pursue Ilia, despite her being deeply in love with Nathaniel and devastated after the events of book one. I can honestly say that, as of now, I haven’t decided if they will end up together or not. Their relationship suffers further complications when more about the night Ilia was turned into a vampire is revealed, but the effects of this won’t be explored until book three. I can say that Ilia does love Kyle in some way, whether it’s enough or not remains to be seen. She is deeply in love with Nathaniel.

 

Q–    You left us with one heck of a cliffhanger is there any hints you can give us on what we can expect in the next installment in the Bearwood series? Will we learn more about Nathaniel and Alex’s past? 🙂

 

A–    You can expect a whole heap of Alex in book two as his character is developed. He was fairly quiet in book one, however the majority of the feedback I received pointed toward Alex as one of the favorite characters. Therefore, he takes up the majority of the first third of the book with Ilia. He talks a little about his and Nathaniel’s past, but there will be no historical chapters in book two. Book two see’s both Alex and Ilia on the road to ruin, relying heavily on each other. They are not, nor will they ever be, romantically involved. I can reveal that there are several events that leave Ilia shocked and shaken, one of which the reader will have no idea is coming.

 

Q–    I like the way that you have vampires, shifters and witches in your story. If you could be any of the three which would you choose?

 

A–    My daughters ask me this all the time! I always say a vampire, preferably the same type of vampire as Ilia. Immortality is definitely the most appealing part, but their strength and speed wraps them into a package that I want some of!

 

Q–    Lastly, What was your inspiration for the story, and now that you’ve created the world of Bearwood do you see us getting many adventures through the lives of Ilia and her friends? *hint hint*nudge nudge* 😉

 

A–    My inspiration came from a scene that played out in my head (when Nathaniel and Ilia meet for the first time in the present day) while listening to the song Let Her Go by Passenger. Just listening to that song now takes me back to the very beginning when Fractured Immortal was a sketchy concept in my head. There is definitely a trilogy planned. Book two is written and is due to be released shortly. I haven’t decided if there will be any more books after that. There’s still a lot of conflict to tie up in book three, so it depends whether this will all fit or not. That being said, I don’t want to drag it out. Each book is rammed full of action and events that just lead to more events. The pace of book two is much faster—the characters barely have time to breathe before they’re facing their next problem. If I reach a point where I’ve exhausted the story, I will stop. However, there will most definitely be a book three.

So there you have it. Hopefully it answered a few of the questions swimming around in your head about Ilia and her friends, it did for me. If you have any more leave them in the comment section below and maybe we can get E.L. to do another round of Q&A 😉 Thanks once again, now if you haven’t clicked on that link and started reading Fractured Immortal yet you really should, Ilia may be immortal, but alas, we humans aren’t 😉

Teaser3

I’m such a tease. Q&A with Fractured Immortal author E.L. Wicker tomorrow!

You know you want it. You can’t wait. Well… you’re going to have to. I Promise you it will be worth it. Author E.L. Wicker reveals everything you wanted to know about Fractured Immortal. From where the inspiration came from to write the story of Ilia and her friends, to who she would rather be if it came right down to it; a vampire, witch, or shifter?

Since I know you’re thirsty for a taste I will leave you with this teaser until tomorrow…Teaser3