Monday, September 27, 2010

~ Author's Note ~

Photo of the graphic designer, photographer and author of 'Scent'

The day I decided to self-publish ‘Scent’, I received my thirtieth rejection letter from a Literary Agent but won my first gold trophy for my novel on the writing website; Storywrite. It’s winning more awards in different competitions in this creative community which you’re more than welcome to visit;

I used to be a huge fan of Vampires, however my obsession has switched to Werewolves. My motto has become, “why go for something cold and dead when you can have something hot and panting?” ;-) However my heart will always belong to sci-fi which is represented by my creation of time travellers called Circulators. So I truly hope you enjoy my sci-fi, supernatural, romance novel in the Circulate Series…

Sunday, September 26, 2010

“I think when a human changes into a Werewolf for the first time, their bloodlust has to be controlled.”

(‘Scent’ Excerpt Chapter 2)

My indigestion grew worse, as the discomfort was harking on the painful side. But then I wondered if it was indigestion, as I felt my mouth water and I craved something. It was as if my stomach was experiencing was hunger pains. I’m not hungry AGAIN am I? I don’t get it, pasta always fills me up and I only ate an hour ago. What’s going on here?

I stopped walking to pry the lid off the tupperwear container I was carrying. I sniffed at the tiramisu, tempted to eat some right now. But then my stomach lurched in an objectionable manner. My taste buds told me that my body didn’t want something sweet, but it wanted to eat something savoury. It wanted something like – like - like a huge thick piece of red meat that was cooked at such a rare state it was still bleeding freely…

Now that IS weird! Usually I prefer my meat well-done. Where the hell is all of this coming from? Why do I feel this way? My shoulders were tense and I could feel my heart begin to race. I felt like sprinting the rest of the way home, so I did.

I shut the lid on the tupperwear container before I broke into a run. I easily ran the rest of the way up the hill, not breaking a sweat let alone becoming breathless. I ran up my driveway, easily high jumped over my veranda railing and I threw open my front door to go inside.

Mum looked up startled from reading a book on the couch.

“Has Dad gone hunting?” I asked as I walked past into the kitchen, to put the tiramisu in the fridge.

“No, he’s at your Uncle Ian’s place.” She answered.

“Why is he there?” I walked back into the lounge room.

“With Jack’s death, the pack thinks it’ll be Ian’s son Leaf who is going to change instead of Jack’s grandson Meadow since he’s only 9 years old.”

“Ah,” I raised my eyebrows, “and the pack want to be ready to initiate him or something?”

“Yeah, something like that.” She sighed. “I think when a human changes into a Werewolf for the first time, their bloodlust has to be controlled. The pack want to be ready to help Leaf so he doesn’t take off from the tribal lands and into Alma, to try to eat a townsperson or something.”

“Eugh!” I shuddered at the thought. “But mind you, after what happened to Uncle Jack? Maybe we should let Leaf go nuts, particularly on the bad element of town.”

“The Tribal Elders along with the pack have decided to help the people in Alma remove the bad element.” Mum looked up from her book again. “This will be the first time that the Lokoti will be policing off their land. The people of Alma have always had suspicions the Lokoti Werewolves existed, with the odd eye-witness report here and there. When the invaders tried to take over our land when I was pregnant with you? That confirmed their existence.”

“So the people in Alma aren’t scared of the Werewolves?” I asked curiously.

“They are wary, yes. But since no good townsperson has ever been attacked by a Lokoti Werewolf, they trust them. The only time they’ve injured a townsperson was if the they were on our land, doing something they shouldn’t. The people of Alma know this. It was one of the reasons why they asked the Tribal Elders if the Lokoti Werewolves would remove the trouble makers.” Mum went on.

Her eyes widened in worry when she noticed I was slumped over the back of the easy chair, rubbing my tummy. She asked, “B are you alright?”

“Cramps.” I flinched.

“Go to bed and I’ll bring up the hot water bottle and some pain killers.” She put aside her book to stand up.

“It’s not those kind of cramps.” I said weakly. “I feel like I’ve got indigestion or something like it.”

She frowned as she walked over to my position to put her hand over my forehead. “Right now your skin does feel rather hot.”

“I’m going to go lie down.” I turned away. “There’s tiramisu in the fridge that Aunt Susan told me to bring back for you and Dad.”

“Thanks.” Mum watched with concern as I slowly walked over to the staircase.

Whilst gripping onto the banister hard, I slowly made my way up to my bedroom. I didn’t even bother to shower or change into my pajamas. Instead I simply lay down on top of the covers as I curled up into a ball. I started to tremble as I experienced hot flushes whilst the pain grew worse.

My mother came into my bedroom carrying a glass of water as she came to sit on the side of the bed to help me drink from it.

“Drink lots of water.” She advised. “Maybe your body needs to flush out a toxin of some kind.” I nodded weakly, but then I emitted a small smile in appreciation as she began to rub my tummy to ease the pain. She continued, “if you don’t start to feel better in a couple of hours, I’ll take you to the Medical Lab at Circulate Headquarters. I’ll get Vincent to do a scan and check you out.”

I gave a final nod, before I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to concentrate on the massage instead of the pain itself. I could feel a layer of cold sweat appear over my hot skin, which made me feel worse…


Thursday, September 9, 2010

“You won’t be able to trade in dead moose or caribou to pay your way through.”

(‘Scent’ Excerpt Chapter 2)

Suddenly there was a loud knock and Declan’s voice suddenly boomed out, “hey, pipsqueaks!” He had knocked once and then walked into the bedroom.

“DECLAN!” My best friend yelled as he quickly released my waist.

I jumped up from the bed embarrassed! It was almost in light speed, I leapt to my feet with my face burning bright red.

“Dinner’s ready.” Declan gave a steely-glare, before he turned around and walked out again.

Has it been half an hour already? I had lost my appetite, but I was the first to walk out of the bedroom as I went straight into the bathroom and shut the door behind. I used their sink to wash my hands as I suddenly felt really unhygienic. I even washed my face and neck where Derik’s mouth had been. Then I dried off using the hand towel before I took a deep breath and opened the bathroom door again.

Frickin’ hell, I wish Declan hadn’t sprung us… the worst person in the world who could have seen that, would be him.

When I walked out to the dining table, I saw he was sitting on one side of the table glaring at Derik who was sitting on the other, glaring back. Aunt Susan sat at the head of the table as the matriarch of the family. I sat at the place setting beside my best friend where my plate of spaghetti bolognaise was waiting.

Derik and Aunt Susan hadn’t started eating yet, as they were waiting for me to sit down but my enemy was already shoveling food into his mouth.

“Declan.” She glared at her eldest. “It’s polite to wait until everybody is seated before we begin our meals.”

He threw his mother a tired look, but he dropped his fork and sat back into his seat as he chewed on his mouthful. Er, I was sitting down now so can’t he eat? Aunt Susan smiled at Derik and I and then she picked up her cutlery which prompted us to follow suit. Declan glared my way next, as he picked up his fork and continued on feeding his face, not even stopping for air!

Whereas the humans politely cut up the spaghetti, the European Werewolf was merely swiveling his fork through it, picking up a huge amount and shoveling it into his oversized mouth. I looked on in disgust… and Mandy finds THAT attractive? He noticed my unimpressed look as he raised his eyebrows. I shook my head as I looked down at my plate.

“B’s got a point, Declan.” His mother commented.

“Oh yeah, like B’s the picture of politeness and morality in this tribe.” He sneered.

Derik dropped his cutlery loudly onto his plate as his objection whilst he sent his older brother the look of death.

I quickly changed the subject. “Aunt Susan, do you still make your own pasta? I noticed that the Store never has any.”

“Ah yes I do B.” She answered. “Speaking of which, I’ve got some extra lasagna sheets you can take home to your mother. She told me that she wanted to try making lasagna soon.”

“Cool.” I gave a nod.

“Your Mom said your Gran has an old family recipe of lasagna. But when she was telling me about the method, I didn’t think there was enough cheese in it. Now, I know we can’t get any parmesan cheese around here, as the only cheese that this tribe makes is tasty. However I recommend that you put extra cheese into the b├ęchamel sauce as well as on the top of the dish.” Aunt Susan instructed.

“OK.” I nodded, before I turned quiet for a minute or two as I thought on how Aunt Susan and Great Grandma were alike. “You know, you and Great Grandma are the only two women I know who has a list of old family recipes. I mean, Gran has the recipe for lasagna and toss salad dressing from her Australian family, but that’s it. I don’t think the Worthall’s passed down any recipes to Gran, as before the War the family had Housekeepers or Cooks and chose from different menus.”

“Cooking is an important tradition in many Italian families.” Aunt Susan pronounced. “When my family as well as Anthony’s left Italy after World War Two, they brought the recipes with them. In the old culture, cooking was a family activity as well as social ritual.”

“Mom told me that in the old days, they would let the bolognaise sauce stew all day, whilst they made the pasta by hand.” Derik turned my way.

“Really?” I looked on in surprise.

“It’s true.” She verified then she smiled on her sons. “Derik isn’t really interested in that part of his heritage, but Declan’s got a gift for it. Declan and I can sit at this table for hours, making spaghetti, fettuccine, lasagna sheets or pasta spirals.”

“Declan?” I looked on the great oaf sitting across in further surprise.

“How do you like your pasta tonight, B?” He returned smugly. Then he shot off a look to his little brother. “If Mom, heaven forbid, dropped dead tomorrow… Derik would be screwed. He can barely boil an egg!”

“Yeah well Declan, there are more important things to life than just thinking with your stomach.” Derik said coldly.

“You and your books,” he sneered, “like THAT’S going to get you anywhere!”

“How about Cambridge?” Derik said smugly.

Declan paused in his eating to look on in surprise. “Say what?”

“Derik?” Aunt Susan gave her youngest an inquiring look.

“Cambridge University is open again and B will be applying to study History there.” He boasted, causing Declan to throw me a shocked look next.

“You’re leaving?”

Huh? Why is he taken aback by this? I was expecting a smartass retort like, ‘good riddance’ or something from him.

“B says I could go with her and do an Undergraduate’s course in Medicine.” Derik told his mother. “I don’t need to do a Masters or a PhD because Grandpa Wisetail said he’ll take me on as an apprentice Medicine Man.”

“Say what?” Declan’s mouth fell open as he looked back at his little brother.

“Derik!” My Aunt beamed proudly on her youngest son.

“Since the War, not many schools are open so kids like us, can complete their High School Certificates. But we’re able to submit assignments with our application papers to be reviewed on a case by case basis.” He went on.

“I’ll help you pick your best work to put together.” She quickly agreed. “Your biology essays were always the best in the tribe, especially your last on the immune system. I don’t think we can submit them in your handwriting, but we could borrow Arabella’s laptop and portable printer and type them up -”

“Hang on hang on hang on!” Declan interrupted before he strangely laughed to himself, “Mom, I’m sorry to be the slap of reality here, but how exactly are we going to pay for all of this?”

She looked on her eldest as if his words really were a slap and her face fell.

“No problem.” Derik said coolly.

“No problem?” He arched his eyebrows. “I don’t think the University operates on a barter system like we have here in the tribe, Derik. You won’t be able to trade in dead moose or caribou to pay your way through.” He looked coldly my way before he looked back on his brother. “B as I understand, has English relatives that live in a castle full of rich and expensive old things that can pay her way. But what have you got, Derik? What has this family got which will pay for all of this?”

His little brother looked away to tell their mother, “B showed me this website for a company called Hodge Endeavor which will pay my way.”

“Hodge Endeavor?” Her eyes widened with recognition. “They will pay for your tuition, like a scholarship or some such?”

“We came to Alaska to live because a letter from our Great, Great Grand Uncle told us to. He was a Circulator in the Circulate. The Circulate run Hodge Endeavor. Because of Mike Sabre, B was telling me that we have access to Hodge Endeavor money. They’ll pay for Cambridge.” Derik explained.

“Who’s Hodge Endeavor?” Declan asked skeptically.

“They’re one of the few multinational companies which survived the War.” Aunt Susan said, before she looked my way in confusion. “B, I understand that with you being a Circulator in the Circulate along with your Mom and your Gran that Hodge Endeavor will pay for you. But why will they pay for Derik?”

“Because of who you are.” I told her. “Your late husband Anthony was Mike Sabre’s Great Grand Nephew. Because you’re related, you have his access to Circulate funds through Hodge Endeavor.”

Declan dropped his fork loudly onto his plate and pushed it away, looking cranky for some reason.

“So, my brother is a millionaire because of a distant relation?” He asked in disbelief. “Well, I don’t need my job at the Garage anymore!”

“You have access to that money too Declan, if you should ever need it or even if you had some kind of inkling towards bettering yourself!” I snapped.

He stood up in a rage so suddenly, his chair fell backwards onto the floor! I blanched as his blue eyes flashed glowing green, with his circular pupils turning into narrow slits. Then he growled under his breath before he turned around and stalked out of the room…

… BAM! I think he slammed his bedroom door behind him so hard that the wood started to split! I looked guiltily to Aunt Susan, who actually didn’t seem surprised by her eldest’s temper tantrum, but just a little sad instead.

“Sorry.” I said uneasily, then I looked to Derik. “I just thought he was wrong to put you and your dreams down like that.”

He smiled appreciatively as he put his hand over mine.

“No B, it’s alright.” She sighed. “I think Declan is jealous. Not about Derik’s education, since he’s never been one for school or homework. But he can’t leave Lokoti tribal lands, like Derik is being offered the chance to. Being a Werewolf, there aren’t many places he can go where he can change and hunt freely like he can here.”

Now I really felt bad. I pulled my hand out of Derik’s grasp to stare down at my plate as I lost my appetite.