Monday, September 28, 2009

Adding a Pinch of POLICE to Spice Up the Conflict

Some author ramblings… regarding Damascus Road The Corescu Chronicles: Book Two When the time came for me to consider publishing The Corescu Chronicles, I went back to proof, tighten up, and generally perfect each individual novel. When I began looking at Book Two, Damascus Road, it was the right length (actually too long at over 130,000 words), but it seemed to be missing one element. That element was POLICE. I needed a conflict—a non-vampire conflict for Tony and Paul. After all, Paul had killed a mortal in Book One, and then hid the body rather hastily. Wouldn’t it make sense that the body was found and the police began investigating? (The answer is YES). So we have our police detectives. I wrote them into the story, weaving them seamlessly through the plot. And I fell in love with them, so much that I would like to spin them off into their own novel one day. But I digress...
So when I was done, the book was so much better. Of course, then it was too long, reaching nearly 160,000 words! So when I began my now patented method of WORD-WHACKING and cut out a few unnecessary characters, it slipped to a comfortable (yet still too long) 133,000. So that’s where it stands today. I am going to go through it again and WHACK unnecessary phrases, adverbs, etc, and try to get it to 110,000-115,000 and be happy. Now I want to share a little bit about my new characters, the police detectives who are trying to find out what happened to the corpse they disinterred… These two characters grew into a wonderful couple. They worked well together, held secret affections for each other, and by the end of the story, whether or not they caught the perp paled in comparison to whether or not they ended up married. For kicks I have leaked the introductory chapter of DAMASCUS ROAD that introduces this indomitable pair, who do not believe in vampires…at least not at first. Introducing Jonah Miller and Jennifer Speltz. (This chapter has not been WHACKED yet, so may contain extra words and phrases that will be chopped out later.) CHAPTER TWO …Do not rebel against the LORD, Nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; Their protection has departed them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them. Numbers 14:9 Detective Jonah Miller rubbed his tired eyes and mumbled something unintelligible to his partner. The Whitford City Police Department was quietly buzzing all around them but all Jonah could think of was how nice it would be if the end of his shift would roll around. Then he’d grab a bite to eat and shuffle off to his lonely abode. Jonah mumbled his complaint again and his partner shot a rubber band his way.
“What? We speak-uh da English here, buddy. Say again?”
“I said we got nothing, Speltz. Nothing.” Jonah peeked out over his palms but they remained obscuring most of his face. Detective Sergeant Jennifer Speltz, his partner for the better part of five years leaned back in her chair across from him, her desk butting up to his, their corporate junk mixing on both sides. She was forty-seven, sturdily built but sexy in a matronly way. Jonah had never told her so, but he went to bed many nights with her on his mind. He continued to stare at her over his hands as she righted herself and began to flip through a file folder on her desk.
“Stop whining, soldier. We have quite a few good prints. One wound. A hastily chosen weapon of opportunity. A body and an ID on said corpse. How can you say we got nothin’?” She had a point. The corpse found behind the abandoned BP Station was six-months old at least, but the ME sent them a very detailed write-up.
“Okay, okay, little miss perky.” Jonah rubbed his face once more and then sat up to rifle through the ME report. “This guy lived a good three minutes before he expired. I think we can assume he fought his attacker. Any corroborative evidence on your end?”
“Well we’re half a year after the fact, so there was no tissue evidence found on the vic, under the fingernails, in or around the wound site. And after six months of rain, wind and frost, we didn’t get any footprints or express evidence of blood around the body…” Jennifer scanned the report in her hand. “The vic’s rental turned up months ago at the bottom of the pond, but since we’re just now finding the body, that part of the chain of evidence is not helping us at all. But there was physical evidence on the oak tree. Tree bark peeled from the scene definitely had traces of blood underneath it. Could be the perp just as well as the vic.”
“And do we have the report back on that yet from the lab?” Jonah dropped the file on the messy desktop and took a swig of his decaf. He usually covered the deadies and let his partner cover the CSU-ies. That’s what she called them at least. They had a system that worked. She never had to handle the corpses and he rarely had to deal with the obnoxious science geeks in the evidence lab.
“Not yet.” Jennifer replied just as a uniform rushed by to drop a clear vinyl folder on her desk before disappearing around the next corner partition. “Wait. I think this is it.”
“Perfect timing. What’s it say?” Jonah stood up, his back creaking almost as loudly as his knees as he did so.
“Making old man noises now, Jonah?” Jennifer raised her eyebrows as he approached her desk. “Is this what I have to look forward to when I get to be your age?”
“Hah hah.” Jonah laughed sarcastically. “In three years, yeah, you’ll be as old as me. Better get to the gym before it’s too late.” He looked over her shoulder as she pulled open the lab report.
“I’m way ahead of ya grandpa. I bought a StairMaster last week. Haven’t missed a day on it. Twenty minutes a day three times a week for rock-hard abs. Or some other hogwash. Okay. Let’s see…” Jennifer traced the page with her finger. “Oh good. There was definitely blood on the tree bark, and it was definitely not the vic’s.”
“We got a blood type then? Too early for DNA?” Jonah tried to read ahead of her but even after adjusting his glasses, the letters remained out of focus.
“Well,” she began, her finger trailed down the page slowly. “That’s weird.”
“What?” Jonah squinted and still couldn’t make his eyes focus properly—it was time for a new prescription. Jennifer recommended contact lenses frequently enough but he never could get the hang of putting his finger on his eyeball.
“The lab has nada on this point. They don’t have a blood type or a DNA note here. I wonder if there’s a screw up?” Jennifer flipped the report to page two and it ended with a few lines of procedure but no additional information. “Have you ever gotten a summary from the lab that was incomplete?”
Jonah reached for the folder and brought it closer to his face. He could see the unchecked square that normally revealed the blood type of the donor. And the bottom of the page that was devoted to column after column of DNA information was completely blank.
“This is ridiculous. What kind of dog and pony show are we running here, partner?” Whitford City was a small town, to be sure, but he had always considered the police department to be first class. Jonah handed the folder back to her and returned to his chair to grab his jacket. “Get down to the lab and find out what the holdup is. This guy has a six-month lead on us and they send down shoddy police work like this? I can’t believe it.”
“They must have a reason. Don’t get your man-panties in a wad, Jonah. I know these guys. I’ll go get whatever they have. You can go down to that rental place and see if the rep remembers our vic. They are open ‘til nine. Maybe you’ll get lucky.” Jennifer stood up and heard a tiny pop from her own knees. She looked up and Jonah smiled widely at her. “Don’t say a word. That is the sound of knees getting stronger from riding my new toy every day. Not a word.”
Jonah laughed and shrugged on his brown suit coat. “I wasn’t going to say anything. Do unto others, my child.”
“Hah hah, Rabbi.” Jennifer shoved a few items into her brief case and shrugged on her light windbreaker. “I’ll check back with you at nine. Meet ya at Twirlies for a bite?”
“’Kay.” Jonah ignored the rabbi jibe and waved with his fingers as she turned to leave. When she had disappeared around the corner, he turned on his heel and headed for the men’s room.
Jenn sometimes called him rabbi because she once caught him carrying a Hebrew Bible to his car. He studied the Scriptures in his spare time, but he was a cop, not a preacher. Still, one could never know enough about God—so he kept the book in his locker. And he wasn’t Jewish either, not really. His great, great grandfather, Isaac Cohen was Jewish, but that was as close as he got to having Hebrew lineage. Although you wouldn’t know it to look at him.
Jonah made it to the men’s room and stopped to wash his face in the sink. He looked up at his reflection and stared into his own deep brown eyes through his wire-rimmed eyeglasses. He looked enough like his Cohen ancestor to pass as Jewish. He’d seen a silvery photograph once as a young man of the barber from Milwaukee, and like him, Jonah had almost no gray hair at fifty years old. He wore his dark brown locks a little long just so everyone would see that he not only had a terrific head of hair, but that he also had enviable curls. The only reason he was clean-shaven was because the one time he let his coarse beard and mustache grow, his mother accused him of going Orthodox. So he shaved.
Jonah coughed and hit his chest a few times for effect. It had been twelve years since he quit smoking, but when the weather was damp, it felt like he had never stopped. He ran his fingers through his unruly hair and his thoughts returned to the case and what Jennifer might find out from the geeks at CSU.
And then he thought about retirement. Again.
The captain had given them this very difficult case because he believed in them. Or so he said. Jonah had inkling that Captain Johansson dumped it on them because the rest of the detectives were busy catching the real bad guys. He and Jennifer had been on clean-up duty for over a year and it didn’t look like they were getting off anytime soon. Any case that the chief thought may never be solved he handed to Miller and Speltz. They worked quietly and efficiently, required very little departmental resources, and if they were ever successful in solving any of their impossible cases, they did it quietly and without media attention. The cleanup crew. No recognition. No promotion. Just work the cases as far as you can, stamp them closed or unsolved, and move on to the next. Jonah shook his head at his reflection and headed for the door. Retirement was looking better and better.
Maybe he could convince Jenn to come with him. It was a possibility. He was single, she was single, and they got along. It could happen, Jonah crossed the parking lot to his beat-up Cutlass. Nothing’s impossible…

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A NOVEL IDEA that will tickle you to pieces

I know that sometimes you wish you knew MORE about the characters you read... Especially if the book is character driven. You fall in love with them, and it is natural because they are real. I'm not saying they're flesh and blood or 3-Dimensional, but trust me... my book characters are ALIVE. So many people have agreed with me on this. So--I have a novel (pun intended) idea...
Soon* you will be able to Visit to explore the Lost Books of RABBIT: Chasing Beth Rider. Your web address for: · Deleted Scenes · Character Studies · Character Histories · Story Insights · And more entertaining items that did not make it into the final printed version of the novel Plus, Readers are encouraged to submit ideas for the next Lost Book to be posted, so if you finish the book and want to know something regarding a character or relationship---submit a suggestion on the website and wait to see if it is chosen! *SOON means by the 1st of October... The novel itself will be available, God-willing, by December.
For more information on other works by ellen c. maze, visit or email the author at

Friday, September 25, 2009

BLOOD SPLATTER makes all the difference in the world...

It is a huge blessing to have an artist on staff who works for free. Well, she actually works for pizza, room and board; but it is still wonderful having a daughter who can create book covers for mom for FREE. My teen daughter created this cover for me months ago and just this week, we added the one missing element-- the blood splatter. See, without it, one might see the book cover and think it is a children's book. But just a little of the red stuff and SHAZAM! we now have a gothic horror feel to a novel that has more than its share of blood-letting. The road of the righteous is often sprinkled with the blood of sacrifice, and in this novel, such is the case for righteous character Beth Rider. As she moves forward in her mission and some of the vampires take up her cause, she is not alone on her journey. But unfortunately, anything easy is usually not worthwhile. I will be posting some random short prose soon. I don't want to leak anymore of RABBIT because it might ruin some of the book for you before you read it. But I have tons of work in a similar vein (ha ha ha) that will tickle your fancies... RABBIT: CHASING BETH RIDER will have it's own web site soon (by Oct.1) and I'm looking forward to launching that puppy. I will then make an author web site as per my husband's advice. For now...let's get to writing!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

RABBIT plans coming together...

I love it when a plan comes together...
This weekend, my husband and I attended the Gulf Coast Writer's Conference in Panama City, FL. I met some really cool people; authors, writers, editors, publishers and an agent. I gathered as many contact numbers as I could, and all of them are on FaceBook. How convenient!
So what am I blogging about today, you ask? I have a few ideas regarding RABBIT:CHASING BETH RIDER that my readers may be interested in.
First, I am looking into starting a new website that will be dedicated to this one book. I want to do this because RABBIT is coming out soon and people will be able to find it easily if it has its own domain name. I'll try to get or something like that...
AND I would like to post chapters from the story that are not in the novel. For instance, the one I posted here earlier regarding how Jesse Cherrie picks up blood donors. I have so many ideas for 'lost chapters' that don't fit into this plot/story, but readers will really enjoy them because their just FUN to know and to read. So when the new website is up next week, I will have a tab for 'RABBIT:THE LOST BOOKS'. This seems like a great idea to me :-)
I feel like writing one now so I'm going to my Word Processor.
Have a great night and keep reading!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I am a fine artist.
Artists sketch when they're bored.
Writer's also sketch...but their pictures are made up of words.
I have been sketching a little story I call DEVIL'S MOXY (sorry, the title is mine now, don't try to steal it! I know it rocks!), and I have no idea where it is going so far. I have a fantastic couple of characters that have come to life on me. A woman named Shannon (goes by Tink) and a really cool vampire named Peter Van Willows (Nune). And the story takes place in 2 different times, and 2 different countries. 10 Years ago in Vienna, Austria when Shannon was a 17-yr old on holiday, and then in Athens, GA ten years later.
And Tina lives on a Horse Farm and rides at the Olympic level.
So let's review: beautiful girl, devilishly handsome vampire, lots of horses...
Plot? Hey, back off, this is still just an exercise, a sketch. The author is working on another project seriously (Rabbit:Chasing Beth Rider), and this one is just for fun...for now. But one day it will become the CURRENT PROJECT...
For now, it is good, clean fun.
If anyone reads this blog, they will peek into DEVIL'S MOXY a good 2 years before it goes to print. Have fun and if you want to see the next chapter, you'll have to leave a comment. Otherwise, the sketch-artist won't know the sketch was enjoyed...
DEVIL'S MOXY word-sketch, pre-novel by ellen c maze
Chapter 2 (probably) Tink stroked the Belgian’s thick neck and hopped off his broad back. Turtle was not a particularly slow animal, but his back was the widest part of his body. She grinned as she rubbed her sore thigh muscles.
“You’re killing me Turt!” She reached for the reins and pulled them over his poll with effort. He was seventeen hands and not likely to lower his head and help out. Tink turned to lug the fuzzy giant back to the barn and waved at the youngster trotting her way.
“Kelly! Where’s the fire?” Her histrionics were well-documented and Tink was not taken in. The teen reached her side breathing hard.
“Tink! Mrs. Tankersley’s looking for you! You need to go see her right away. The buyer is here and she wanted you to show him around the property!” Fourteen-year-old Kelly spoke in short, excited bursts and Tink shook her head and smiled.
“Okay, okay, Kelly. Calm down. I’m going.” Tink tugged three times on Turtle’s reins before he made any forward progress. Kelly kicked her mare into a trot and was tracking left along the rail, pigtails flying. “Kelly! Heels down! Eyes up!”
Tink laughed at the kid’s enthusiasm and led her giant Equine pal toward the barn. The covered arena was situated across the driveway from the stables and Tink noticed an emerald green Lexus parked beside Mrs. Tankersley’s Jeep. So the new owner drives a luxury car. Point one. Tink was collecting facts for the boarders; they would inevitably pester her for information in tomorrow’s lesson.
Tink stopped in the barn entrance and looked up to the wide metal sign that hung above her head. WILLOW’S WEEP FARM. She had named the place herself. Evelyn Tankersley bought the property fifty years ago and converted the unused fifty-acre pecan grove into a highly functioning boarding and training stable. Evelyn called it ‘Tankersley’s Belgians’ until Tink came along five years ago and added Olympic level instruction in jumping and dressage. Today, the elderly Tankersley sold it lock stock and barrel, and Tink was only one of thirty-two people who were directly affected. What would the new guy change? Will he close the Boarding Stables? Will he hire new personnel? Not knowing plagued the lot of them. Tink set her jaw and towed Turtle past the threshold.
“Here I am Tink!” Lucy, a fourteen-year-old Pony Clubber jogged up carrying Turtle’s giant blue halter. “I got him!”
Tink handed her the reins. “Okay, Luce, but I’m going to check his feet. Don’t forget his feet.” She watched Lucy nod and tug the horse’s reins looking like an ant pulling a building. “Tinkers! Get over here!”
It was Mrs. Tankersley. Tink hopped to and comically jogged to the office door. She had a good rapport with the old horsewoman and she would miss her a lot. The office door was open and Tink stepped just inside and waited; hands behind her back at casual attention. She could see that a man sat at the desk, his back to her, and she wanted to make a good impression. After all, her future employment rested squarely in his hands. Mrs. Tankersley stood up from her chair and gestured toward Tink in the doorway.
“Mr. Nune, this is Tink Hattering, my barn manager…”
Tink stepped forward and smiled broadly for her new employer as he stood up and turned to face her. As soon as their eyes met, her expression fell and white spots filled her vision. It was him; the first man she had ever loved.
No…it was the vampire. And he had come back for her.
Peter stepped to the young woman’s side and caught her as she collapsed. With his arms wrapped around her, her body right up against his, he was rushed back in time as the memories of a decade ago flooded his mind.
Ten years ago, Vienna. The woman in his arms was a child of seventeen that year and he had already seen six hundred birthdays. She was a visitor to his country, on a very short one-month visa. But together, they had stretched the days into eternity.
Peter forced the memories away for the moment fought to remain expressionless. The old woman did not need to know any of his past, even if it included her barn manager. He carefully placed her on the office sofa and arranged her arms across her chest. She was even more beautiful now. As a child, she was all legs and arms, exuberance and audacity. She was fearless with wild eyes that flashed with whims even he did not understand. Now, although he got only a small glimpse of her before she recognized him and lost consciousness, he saw in her eyes maturity and compassion.
Mrs. Tankersley made it to his side and began to fan the young woman with her hand and call her name loudly. Peter smiled and patted her wrist gently, indicating that he had the matter well in hand. She frowned, indignant but returned to the desk, her face flush with surprise and unease. She was seventy-two if a day and Peter knew she battled pancreatic cancer—he had a knack for smelling cancer. Always had.
His fainting friend stirred and he rocked back on his heels stooped next to her. He whispered her name—the one she used back then.
Her eyelids fluttered and she opened her eyes.
“Peter?” She spoke his name as if she hoped he’d shake his head. But he nodded and stood to his feet. She did not make any move to rise but she never took her eyes from his.
“Oh thank goodness, Tink! You ‘bout gave me a heart attack! What is wrong with you? Be sure you get enough fluids when you’re riding all day!” Mrs. Tankersley at her desk slurped from a bottle of water as she shouted.
Peter paid her no mind. He would not be the first to break visual contact. He looked into Shannon’s stormy blue eyes and waited. If she was anything like her old self, she was good at the game. Two or three long seconds passed and her lips parted to whisper to him.
“What are you doing here?”
Peter thrust his hands into his trouser pockets and tilted his head toward the old woman. “I am buying a horse farm.” He matched her tone and watched her delicate hand travel up to her throat. She pressed it there protectively. Peter shook his head, “I just came for the horses, dear. Just the horses.”
“Get up silly! I need you to show Mr. Nune around. Come on!” Mrs. Tankersley came around Peter and pulled Tink to her feet.
Peter smiled, his lips pressed together and watched her gather her wits.
She was going to be fine. She had always been a hardy and resilient type.

Monday, September 14, 2009

RABBIT resolution made author VERKLEMPT

Yesterday I recieved the resolution (ending) of my current project and it made me verklempt (for non-yiddishites, 'choked with emotion'). is incredibly sweet; especially after everything I put these characters through, to see them end up this way---only my writing Partner could come up with such a wonderful ending.
I can't wait to share it with you.
God-willing, it'll be by November 1st.:-)

Sunday, September 13, 2009


[This is a photo of actor Oded Fehr, and this is who I would cast in the role of Jesse Cherrie]
Sometimes a character has more to say than will fit in the novel. Hey, I have a word count limit, and I can only include chapters that will move the plot forward . I can't just go willy-nilly, sticking in every little thing each character wants me to say about them; inserting scenes of their love lives or distant history that have nothing to do with the current story-line. This is where blogging comes in.
Like the scenes that end up on the cutting room floor, here is a scene in the life of RABBIT:CHASING BETH RIDER character Jesse Cherrie. Jesse belongs to the race of vampire-like wraiths, called Rakum. In this scene, he picks up a woman with the intention of having her over for a drink. Implied vampire activity intentional!
This scene fits into the novel, with all references to my other characters and their motivations, but alas, this scene takes place weeks before our novel begins... so let's sit back and enjoy a few words to Jesse's honor. He loves to be the center of attention...
Jesse Cherrie and the Tennis Pro
Jesse opened his eyes to watch Atlanta fade into his past once again. Like clockwork, every Tuesday at sundown, he left his comfortable apartment in New York City for JFK, hopped a 747 to Atlanta, and then a regional jet to Montgomery. All to check his holdings in the Southern Companies, and of course, to visit Michael Stone.
Jesse and Michael went way back, practically to the beginning. They were dumped in the same Lair-House at the age of five and paired up soon after by the Group Proctor. They were a perfect match with Michael’s natural brawn and Jesse’s mystical gifts; there was nothing they couldn’t accomplish together. Delivered over to Elder Jack Dawn for Ritual training, they were made tough and successful. The duo graduated First Ritual at the head of their class over a century ago. Of course, those days were thankfully far behind them. Since then, they settled into separate and comfortable lives, co-existing with the cattle that populated the planet; enjoying what mankind had to offer in the way of luxury and comfort, while avoiding the traps that befell the humans as a matter of course.
Jesse smiled to himself and turned up the volume on his iPod. It wasn’t so much the music, he’d listen to almost anything, but it was the distraction. He had an hour-long flight ahead of him and if no one spoke to him or vied for his attention, he’d be on cloud nine. Tonight, it so happened he was listening to the Moody Blues and he cranked up the volume to nine, readjusting his briefcase in the seat next to him. He always purchased two seats to assure his privacy and he always flew first class.
Jesse nodded his head along with the second tune and thought about the night ahead. He would try to get Michael to hit the town with him again. Last week, they’d gone to a bar frequented by dozens of twenty-somethings sipping dainty cocktails and fruity wine-coolers. What Michael saw in the place, Jesse couldn’t fathom, but it was more than boring. Mike probably liked looking at the girls—he was a bit of a horn dog. But none of them were touchable and none of them reliably alone. Jesse made him promise they’d avoid that place in the future. So tonight, what could he talk his old friend in to?
The song ended and in the quiet break Jesse heard someone clucking at him. He opened his eyes, turned to the aisle and pulled out the ear bud on that side.
“I’m sorry to disturb you sir, but we’ve had a little accident two rows back. Would you be so kind to allow this passenger to sit with you for a few minutes while we clean up her seat?”
It was the petite blonde flight attendant who’d seated him with a gigantic smile only minutes before. She was seriously not Jesse’s type, and he made an irritated noise but pulled his case out of the seat and to tuck under his knees. Blondie smiled, all dimples blushing bright pink, and stepped aside for another person to pass.
Jesse was rearranging his case and checking the floor space when she stepped in, and so the first thing he saw was a toe to knee cast on a woman’s leg. The woman maneuvered carefully into the space, crutches, purse and briefcase making the job a truer challenge. When she collapsed gratefully into her chair, Blondie left them alone.
“I am so sorry to barge in on you like this.”
The woman stuck out her hand and Jesse shook with her, easily masking his distaste. He did not welcome physical contact, but to fit the role he played, shaking with them was expected.
“My neighbor spilled his coffee in my seat when I stepped out to the restroom. How he could be so clumsy I’ll never know.”
Jesse nodded his head and offered her a tight smile, but did not meet her eyes. If he could survive the intrusion for ten minutes without getting to know the woman, that would suit him best.
“Pardon me, but, I notice you wear your watch on the right. Are you left handed?”
Jesse stifled a sigh. “Yes.”
“I thought so.” She replied and held up her right hand to show that on her slender wrist dangled an expensive and feminine Rolex.
Jesse smiled, appreciating her taste in watches, as he wore the same brand and she had already noticed the coincidence. She was about to make more small talk with him and he prepared for it, now allowing himself to study her eyes, her face, her mouth. Why not? She was barging into his private world now and fair game to a little scrutiny.
The woman had copper-colored hair, cropped close and spiked on top with product, and she looked at him with confidence with her sea-foam green eyes. Because of an organizational emblem on her purse strap, Jesse surmised that she was a tennis player and maybe a pro by the looks of her athletic build. But today she was dressed in a business suit; dark gray slacks, matching blazer and a low-cut deep red silk shirt. A diamond and white-gold tennis racket adorned her lapel and her briefcase was very similar to Jesse’s. She made a comment about it as soon as she noticed his interest. He nodded and she launched into more conversation.
“I am buying a restaurant in Montgomery. Is that where you’re headed?”
Jesse smiled and shook his head. As he expected, he’d spent enough time with the woman now—a good four minutes, sitting close enough to reach out and touch her—that he wanted to try her out. She wasn’t wearing a wedding ring, and that was a good first sign.
“No, I am going to see a friend.” He offered, slowly taking in her figure in such a way that she would notice. But she didn’t cringe or seem offended in the least. She waited until his eye landed on her obvious injured leg and she placed her hand on her bare knee, just above the plaster.
“I was in a car accident last week.” She rearranged the folded pants leg that made way for the cast and when Jesse met her eyes, she was watching him the way he was watching her. As far as she knew.
“What is your name?”
“Oh, sorry.” The woman laughed and put her knee hand now to her breast, knowing Jesse would follow with his eyes. “Kelly Jacobs. Where’re my manners!”
Jesse smiled wider and she blushed. He had her now.
“Jesse Compton. Nice to meet you Kelly.”
It was alias he used with women often enough. Jessie Cherrie was a man you could Google. Jesse Compton was nobody he knew.
The woman accepted the name and batted her eyelashes as she looked away. They were so easy, the mortals. And he was the luckiest Rakum he knew. Unlike Michael who situated regular voluntary blood donors all over town, Jesse had only two where he lived. He preferred to pick up his dinner on the fly. The variety and excitement gave him more satisfaction, which was of course his main goal.
Blondie the Flight Attendant returned just then and offered to help Kelly Jacobs back to her seat. Jesse held up his hand and invited her to stay with him.
“Oh thank you Jesse.”
Jessie sent the irritating tot away and relaxed into his seat, stretching his long legs. The tennis pro watched his every move, as he knew she would, and he could see he was her type.
“When we land in Montgomery, will you join me for a drink?” Jesse asked her, giving her a glimpse of his killer smile.
She interpreted his gaze as a come-on and blushed again. Jesse waited until she consented with a tiny nod. She was playing innocent and coy, but she’d been around. She’d never been with one of Jesse’s kind, but she was accustomed to picking up men wherever she went.
Jesse listened to her small talk with one ear, and the end of the Moody Blues album in the other; his plans for the night set. Take Kelly Jacobs to his hotel room and get that drink.
Then he’d send her on her way, his stomach full.
He was the luckiest Rakum alive.

Friday, September 11, 2009

BOOKS ellen really digs...

Here are some human writers that have inspired me over the years and their books listed here that I recommend wholly without reservations!
THIS PRESENT DARKNESS, by Frank Peretti made a huge impact on me and my understanding of the spirit realm. It was the first Christian novel I read when I was saved and I recommend it to everyone who has met Messiah and believed in Him.
THE FACE OF GOD, by Bill Myers, touched me deeply and I think I had a vision of heaven along with his characters!
THE ISHBANE CONSPIRACY by Randy Alcorn, a must read. I loved it and my 15 yr old daughter loved it. There is a scene of a young man entering heaven that I could print out and frame. BEAUTIFUL and so filled with truth! THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN by Paul Bortolazzo really turned my life and faith around. I was so moved in encouraged in my faith that I contacted the author and have since kept in touch with him and his wonderful wife.
There are probably more, but these are the ones that really touched my spirit, and when I write, I pray the Father would use my work for His glory!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Do VAMPIRES ever think about GOD? (RABBIT is leaking again)

Book Launch Date Dec. 2009
Chapter Two Javier didn’t ask Simon for his blood tonight. Instead, he spent the entire evening discussing a book the kid was reading. He didn’t understand it all but he enjoyed the passion in Simon’s voice and the sincerity in his eyes as he gave his dramatic narration. Somewhere in the house, a clocked chimed the hour. Javier glanced at his watch as Simon looked at the digital read-out on his bedside alarm clock.
“It’s only three. You’re not leaving are you? You haven’t heard the best part yet.” Simon’s expression was open, his tone hopeful. Javier’s stomach grumbled uncomfortably, but he did not want to interrupt the telling to fill the void. His young friend was sharing with him the strangest tale he had ever heard, often reading right from the book, and so far they had only covered two-thirds of the story. He put both hands into his wavy black hair and massaged his scalp and gave Simon his most winning smile.
“No, I’m not leaving. Go on. What happened next? Did that preacher and his friend escape while the doctor was gone?”
A huge grin spread across Simon’s face and Javier leaned back in his chair beside the youth’s bed to rejoin the tale.
With no true human experience, the plot was difficult for him to comprehend. But the main character’s personality traits mirrored in many ways those of his own people and thus he felt a kinship with him.
In the incredibly strange story, a man who had been a priest was transformed into a vampire by the devil himself. The story took off from there; centuries of killing, pillaging and drinking the blood of hundreds of thousands of men and women—all the while thinking he was doing the will of his God. That is until the priest-turned-vampire met up with the female protagonist and her seminary-going friend.
More than anything, Javier was intrigued by the spiritual struggles of all of the story’s players. The preacher counseled the vampire, but more intriguing than that—he talked to his God all the time. He believed in Him so fiercely, that nothing shook him up. Javier watched this character and marveled at him. Did such faith exist in the world? Did mortals pray to their God so often and with such fervency? And most bewildering of all, did their God pop in to save them as He did in this novel?
Javier didn’t know.
In fact, he didn’t know any gods. He had never been to a church, synagogue, or temple nor had he ever uttered a prayer in a time of need. Yet as his favorite donor sat on his lumpy bachelor’s bed, reading to him from this mortal woman’s novel, something deep inside of him fluttered. For the first time in his long life, Javier experienced a desire to know this God. The sensation was indeed strange but he did not resist.
Instead, he watched Simon’s lips move and concentrated on the words, the syllables, and sentences that built the suspense and cadence the author must have intended. And Simon held nothing back as he recited the passages, allowing his voice to fluctuate with the emotion of the scene. When he reached the Epilogue and turned the last page, it was five-thirty in the morning, and Javier was stunned into silence.
Simon was thoughtfully quiet and he closed the book, set it aside, and fell back onto his bed lengthwise. Javier chewed his thoughts, absently watching Simon watch the ceiling. Only when the clock in Simon’s kitchen rang in the quarter-hour did either of them speak.
“Sun-up in forty-five minutes. Do you want to stay over? I got it all ready for you.” Simon rolled his head to the side to meet his pal’s gaze but Javier’s face was red and his mouth a straight line. Simon sat up and threw his legs over the side of the bed. “What? Is something wrong?”
Javier clenched his jaws together but was losing the battle with the words that wanted so badly to exit. Rakum were not permitted to speak of mortal abstracts. There was no religion among the Brethren. Yet something deep inside of him was proving stronger than the ancient tenets of his people. He looked into Simon’s bright blue eyes and took a deep breath, ready to relinquish the fight.
Javier leaned forward, took his longtime donor and friend by the forearm he normally drew blood from, and asked him point blank.
“Simon, will you tell me about God?”
There. It was out and Javier was mortified. His people did not hold such frivolous and foolish notions. To do so would contradict everything his forefathers had taught him. To do so would nullify his own deity, of which he had always been certain.
Until now that is.
Simon rubbed his eyes. “Well, sure. I mean, I never said anything before because I was pretty sure you weren’t interested in that stuff. Do you want me to start from the beginning?”
“No…” Javier sighed sensing the unpleasant nudge of the sun headed for the horizon. He was exhausted, disgusted and disappointed altogether that he would have to leave without finishing what he had started. But time was up. “No, Simon. I have to go. I’ll come back tomorrow. Same time. Will you be here?”
“Yeah, I’ll be here.” Simon answered softly. “Be safe going home.”
“Yeah. Okay.” Javier stood to his feet and turned for the closed bedroom door.
“Hey, Javier, you didn’t…” In the same soft voice, Simon started to remind his visitor why he had come in the first place, but Javier held up his hand to silence him.
“I know. Don’t worry about it. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
And without another word, Javier slipped soundlessly out of the room and then out of the house, headed for home. He lived only two blocks away and he was grateful for the close proximity as he raced the sun.
At home and preparing to bed down for the day, he thought about the characters from the novel. He thought about the question he had asked Simon at the last. But mostly he thought about the answer…and what it might mean for him, his future, and that of his entire race. It meant something, he was certain. But what? Had any of his brethren read the story? Did it move anyone else and wake something hidden deep inside of them? And was it ultimately going to be a bad thing to wake that part of him up?
Javier slept fitfully and longed for the evening to roll around. To finish what he had started. Perhaps to learn about a God he had never even known existed. One that would care for him and give him purpose. Ironically, he never knew he desired those things until he sat and listened to that silly woman’s book.
Beth Rider’s book.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Judge the THE JUDGING's newest promo Book cover!

Today I redesigned the promo cover for THE JUDGING Book One. I will be spending the day polishing my novel RABBIT:CHASING BETH RIDER, so please read some previous blogs here. You'll find plenty of leaked chapters and interesting tidbits from the author.
Have a great day!
-ellen c maze, author of THE JUDGING

Monday, September 7, 2009


(NOTE:after I published this Blog, I noticed that you can click on the above photos and either (1) check out my pores, or (2) read this new chapter on RABBIT...)
Discussing my vampire novel:
"Who would have thought that writing a best seller could be so dangerous?"
New York Times Bestselling author Beth Rider has a problem. Jack Dawn, a supernatural monster belonging to a race of vampire-like beings called Rakum, has taken exception to her novel series "The Corescu Chronicles" and has vowed to hunt down and kill the young writer; punishing anyone who gets in his way. Aided by Jack's Rakum Lieutenant who doesn’t understand his infatuation with the young novelist but is compelled to help her anyway, Beth takes the fight to their world. In the face of peril and certain death, Beth and her new supernatural allies carry an unpopular Truth into the darkest places of man’s soul. Finally kidnapped and taken to the shadowy underground they call The Cave, Beth will face the ten Fathers of the Brotherhood, alive since before Christ walked the earth, and state her case with bravado only the Spirit of God can provide. Who will live and who will die is always up for grabs, but Beth knows where she is headed, and she wants to bring as many of the Rakum with her as possible.
For you just tuning Christian Fiction/Vampire novel series THE CORESCU CHRONICLES, Book One: THE JUDGING has been mailed to an agent for consideration. While I wait on God's timing for this exciting and no doubt world-shattering work to be published, I am bringing out another project, entitled RABBIT:CHASING BETH RIDER. Basically, Beth Rider is a best selling novelist who has written a series very similar to mine (cheeky!) but she falls into danger as her work is noticed by a race of beings living under the radar who have vampiric tendencies and they take violent exception to her work.
Now I am putting some finishing touches on the manuscript and polishing some dull egdes. I included a few pics of me doing that, and my newest author pic. Now-- my methods for editing/revising/self-editing differ from some authors, but we all do basically the same things before we send the finished manuscript to the publisher...
ELLEN'S METHOD: 1. As soon as I write the final chapter, I like to go to the beginning of the document and read it all the way through, on the computer monitor, making changes and editing along the way. This is what I call my First Edit. This takes about 3-4 days usually.
2. Next, I print out a copy for my BIGGEST FAN to read (my sister Marty) and she will go through it as a 'reader'. She also gives me ideas and pointers, and lets me know if she sees any slow spots of areas that need tweaking. The document is usually too polished by now to have any plot errors or inconsistences, but if there are any-- she will find them. Example? In THE JUDGING, I was at the last edit, and she found a place where a man was wearing a different outfit in the same scene! I am very happy to have her help!
3. Next I print out a copy for ME to read. I will then take a red pen, or pencil, and read the entire document aloud; making adjustments in grammar and/or punctuation--writing corrections directly on the printed document.
4. Next, I go to the digital document and enter all the necessary corrections.
5. Print another copy with latest corrections and give it to my husband to read. He will read it as a 'reader' and also check the spiritual content. I will also give it to another spiritual person to read (a woman), and get one more opinion from someone who is not very religious. I want opinions from all walks of life, because I wrote these books for everyone-- not just Believers...
6. NEXT make any corrections my husband finds.
7. NOW IT IS FINISHED as far as I can take it. This process can take anywhere from 2 months to a year. If the novel is to be traditionally published, I would then send it to my agent who would search for a great book deal...
RABBIT:CHASING BETH RIDER is slated to be published by a friend of mine, so now that the document is finished and as clean as we can humanly get it, we will submit it to the publisher. Then we'll wait 2-3 weeks, and offer themf for sale!
Now...I have babbled long enough. I am finsihing Step 3 today, so I better get to it. My sister was desperate to have something to read last month, so she actually read RABBIT before it was done-- she read it without and ending -- but she loved it to pieces. So I better get to it!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Judging character PAUL BLACK so sweet and such a BUG

My readers have the most fun with Paul Black, assistant and confidant to the magnanimous vampire Dr. Mark Corescu. The doctor has two servants, Paul and a young man named Reuben Stuckey. Paul is definitely the favored one, although Mark doesn't give that much thought until the end of the story when circumstances force him to acknowledge the inequality. (This photo is my idea of what Paul looks like)
Here is a little scene where Paul and Reuben lock horns. They are at each other's throats a lot because Reuben is extremely unhappy with the forced slavery and Paul, although also a servant, loves his master and wouldn't have it any other way. Check it out and have a little fun imagining what in the world would make these two hate each other so... Novel Excerpt THE JUDGING by ellen c. maze Reuben ran a chamois cloth over Dr. Corescu’s bronze Porsche. He rarely drove him anywhere on Fridays which freed up the day to wash every car. It was nearly noon and he had not seen the Boss or his lackey all morning. He smiled appreciatively at his reflection in the car’s rear quarter panel. He stood up and his grin fell immediately. In the mirrored skin of the sports car he caught a glimpse of Paul posed behind him, arms crossed, and his expression sour.
“Is it too much to ask that you clean my truck too? It is your responsibility. Or don’t you care?” Reuben clenched his teeth, his chest tightening. But he had to obey. He made a wide berth around Paul to collect his kit and then answered him as calmly as possible, satisfied that his ambivalence would be evident regardless.
“My mistake, Paul.” Reuben pulled a clean sponge from the box and made his way over to the new Chevy parked just outside the garage door. “I’ll get right on it.” Reuben mumbled curses under his breath and hoped Paul would return to the house and mind his own business.
“Hey Reuben, Mark told you months ago to rotate the cars through the shop. I haven’t seen you take any of them to the shop in months. If anything ever goes wrong or wears out on any of these vehicles, he’ll take it out on your hide. You know that don’t you?” Paul stood square, hands on his narrow hips and his chin down.
Reuben slapped the cloth onto the hood of the truck and took a deep breath. He was no doubt on probation for how he behaved toward Paul at the car lot. He balled his right fist around the rag and forced a smile.
“No, Paul, you might not have noticed but the schedule works perfectly. So perfectly that every single car is tuned up and filled with gas all the time. You never notice because I do my job.”
Reuben paused and realized with relief that his scarcely-bottled rage was dissipating.
“Well, if you’re sure…” Paul began uncertainly; Reuben interrupted him, his voice edgy.
“Look Paul, I got this under control. Why don’t you do us both a favor and trot back inside?” Reuben hooked a thumb toward the house without looking up. “That is your domain. The house. Make a cake or vacuum the floor or fluff some pillows. Go do whatever it is that you do in there all day. And leave me alone.” Reuben met Paul’s eyes at the last. He had him spooked and he waited for his slight superior to return meekly to the kitchen where he belonged. Momentarily, Paul sighed and nodded briskly.
“Very well.” He turned away and walked to the front yard. When he was out of eyesight but still within earshot, he called to Reuben loudly. “We’re going into town soon. I need your help at Lowe’s…”
Reuben hit the truck with his fist and shouted obscenities across the lawn until his throat was raw.
Paul scooted inside and leaned against the closed front door. Reuben scared him badly and always had. That bully is getting meaner and meaner. Mark needed to reprimand him. No longer interested in bringing Reuben on his errands, Paul trotted to his room to change. Perhaps Mark heard his suggestion regarding the insolent driver. Their telepathic link was strong, and soon enough, Reuben would get the scolding he deserved. Moments later, he heard the reply he expected.
“Paul. You will see your justice.”
Paul smiled. Life was good.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

VAMPIRES in the church! Grab a Stake Brother!

Today I learned that Ted Dekker’s next novel (August 2010) will feature vampires. I had a sneaking suspicion that was the case when 2 months ago he said a few words about bloodlust in his FaceBook dialogue. So all of his fans (including myself) are wondering what he is going to do with it. About 20% of the responses were negative—people worrying that he was caving into popular culture—but most people said they trust him and are anxious to see what he comes up with. What do I think? I think he will do a great job. As I posted in his FaceBook fan feed, Ted will show how vampirism is evil. He will not glorify bloodlust as our mainstream culture has done. So I say, “Go for it, Ted!”
Now what about MY books? I had hoped beat Ted to the vampire punch, but God’s timing is all important. I will trust Him with the timing of my book release. Curiously, the agent I pitched THE JUDGING to works for the agency that handles Ted. So right now, my manuscript is sitting in their office under consideration, and they have a green light on a Christian Fiction Vampire Fantasy already by Ted Dekker. I’m curious to see what Adonai does here. I’ll tell you what; every day I think I might get a call from the agency asking me for more info, or asking me to fly up there for a sit-down… And although I have not received that call, hey—I also haven’t received my MS back in the mail. So this is in God’s capable hands. This is why I am working on my next novel and not thinking too much about THE JUDGING. God has that one…now He is helping me write the new one.
So let me get back to it! I’ll blog more tomorrow on my inspiration for THE JUDGING and other novels…