It feels like a book takes forever to complete, and also no time at all. Even worse is this new phenomena called finishing a series. I just put the finishing touches on The Union today (well, almost finishing. It’s with my typo checkers right now). And now, the only storyline running through my head is Lexie’s–well, used to be. Now I’ve got plot bunnies.
I don’t like having so much space in my brain, because too much space gets filled up by unimportant things. So I like to have two or three alternate stories in my head. It also helps keep the main project fresh, because I’m not spinning my wheels on the same thing over and over again.
So I thought I’d chat a little bit more about some of the other plot bunnies waiting in the wings. A lot of these concepts are soft jello, and most aren’t even outlined. Let me know which one you’re the MOST excited about, and maybe it’ll get bumped up on the list.
Demon Spring Trilogy
Ben is a demon-hunter by birth, he’s slowly working to forgive himself for the death of his wife. A new job at the bureau in Atlanta offers a fresh start, but a new mystery arises. There’s a demon-like warrior who is killing demons, and no one knows who or what she is–and why she’s defying the demon king by taking out his best killers.
This series is the most fleshed out in my mind, and probably the next one I’ll work on for realzies when I finish Lexie. There’s some deeper themes about abusive relationships and forgiveness that I’m excited to explore in more detail. And since it’s an UF, that means I get to play with folklore and that kind of thing.
Here’s a snippet:
“Oh, fuck!” she cried, swiping her underwear off the ground and sliding it on. “Fuck, fuck, fuck. Fuck!” She punched the air in anger. “Fuck!”
“It’s all right,” Ben said, climbing out of the bed. “I mean—”
“No, you don’t understand,” she said, pulling on her pants. “I think…this might be one—or two…maybe three souls—”
“S-souls?” Ben blinked as she walked to the window, hooking her bra as she went. “What are you talking about?”
She paused, her hand on the windowsill. “It’s my curse. I can’t…I have to be good. I can’t go around breaking people’s hearts—especially widowers.”
Ben cleared his throat. “I mean, my heart’s not broken, but… Tell me about this curse.”
He watched her reflection in the window, surprised to see the indecision on her face. After a very long pause, she shook her head and pulled her shirt over her head.
“I have to go.”
“Wait…what was this?” Ben said.
She tossed him a catty look. “What do you think it was?”
“Honestly? I don’t know. Normally, my one-night stands don’t show up at my apartment first.”
She chuckled and unlatched the windowsill. “This was…an attempt to get you to forget about me.”
“So why haven’t you asked me to forget about you?” He grinned.
“Because I didn’t realize you had such baggage, and now I feel like an asshole for manipulating you.”
“Yeah, you’re so innocent. An innocent little church boy with a dead wife.” She tapped her fingernails on the windowsill. “And I just fucked you to try to get you to end your investigation. First girl you’ve fucked since your wife. Well, don’t I just win a prize?”
“I don’t understand,” Ben said, hoping to keep her around a bit longer. “Why do you care so much how I feel about it? Which, for the record, I’m not…I mean, I don’t…”
But he did feel bad about it. It wasn’t just moving on with another woman, it was that she wasn’t quite human. And Sara’s killers hadn’t been either. At the same time, something about the woman was alluring, perhaps because she seemed to be permanently adjusting her halo.
“Because I did a lot of bad stuff for a long time,” she replied. “And the curse that was laid upon me states that I have to repent for every single soul that I hurt over…over that time. And I’m pretty sure that what we just did doesn’t qualify. In fact, it might set me back a few.”
Ben didn’t know what to say to that, except to ask, “Can I at least have your name?”
Brynna Duology (maybe)
They have no name for her. She’s a ghost, a whisper in the night. Forcadel’s protector of the innocent. Until one night, the king’s men catch up with her and to reveal a shocking truth: the king is dead, as is his son, so Princess Brynna needs to hang up her hood and take the throne.
Brynna came to me last December when I was in Biloxi. I had this idea for a girl who had been hiding in plain sight from her family, and they came to her asking her to take over. It’s going to be a true Epic Fantasy, though I’m not sure if it’ll be a duology or a trilogy.
I clenched my jaw shut, inhaling then exhaling deeply. “How long have you known?”
“We’ve never not known, Your Highness,” he said, though my title was simply to infuriate me more, not out of respect. “After all, half a hood doesn’t hide much.”
“I only suppose my brother sent you?” I said casually. “He wants to continue what my father started, marrying me off to the most politically advantageous duke?”
“Your brother is dead.”
My boot dropped to the floor with a loud thud. “What? When? How?” My brother and I were not particularly close, as there was nearly ten years between us. But, more importantly, with my father gone, he was to be king.
“No,” I said, standing up. “I’m not—”
“Please, sit down,” Felix said. “I know this is a shock to you.”
I did not sit. “The shock, I feel, is coming. How did my brother die?”
“The plague that killed your father also felled your brother. He grew ill shortly after your father and died two days ago.”
I spun on my heel to face away from him while I considered this news. My brother dead, my father dead, my kingdom without a Lonsdale to rule it for the first time in three hundred years.
“And now you want me.” I figured my odds to run. Felix was formidable in this small room, but I saw two guard flanking the door. There was a window out the side, but—
“Your kingdom needs you.”
“In case you forgot, my father was willing to marry me off to some aging duke for the sake of the kingdom, so I’m not all that obliged to it at the moment.”
“And yet you stayed in Forcadel as some sort of half-assed vigilante.”
“My mistake. Had I known that you knew I was here, I would have run much farther.”
“I would have found you.”
I did not appreciate the challenge in his eyes. “So what now? I just walk into the council’s meeting room and become queen? And what are you planning to tell my father’s court about my whereabouts? I’m sure they don’t know.”
“When you disappeared before your wedding, your brother informed the court that you’d gone to study abroad.”
I snorted. “And they bought that?”
“To be frank, Your Highness, they don’t give one shit about you, not with your father’s ailing health and your brother’s tenuous grip on the council. His death is…untimely in more ways than one.”
“Yes, death usually is.” But he told me all he needed to. My brother had been murdered, or so he suspected. Which meant I would be in the same danger.
“Before you will be crowned, we will need to work on…” His head tilted to the side. “All of this. You are not fit for the throne as you are.”
“Are-th thou insinuating that I have-eth forgotten-eth my manners?”
“I’m saying that the council will destroy you the moment you set foot in the royal chambers,” Felix replied. “You have no idea how—”
“Oh, I don’t know, perhaps the five years I’ve spent keeping the streets civil might have taught me a few things.”
“I would love to see how far you get thrusting your sword at the council, especially considering most have raised their own security guards in the absence of a strong king. You are good with a sword, I’ll give you that, but even you can’t defeat ten trained swordsmen at once.”
“This is all presuming I agree to go back with you,” I replied after a moment’s consideration. “I could run.”
I narrowed my eyes. “And why is that?”
“The same reason why you didn’t leave this city when you had the chance.” The chair scraped the ground as he stood up. “Shall we?”
Super Hero Duology (maybe)
This one is the least fleshed out of the three (though I have others). Evie is a superhero–The Angel–but she’s just trying to “have it all” with life and relationships. This is my swan song to every single horrible Tinder date I’ve ever been on, including the excerpt below. At first, I’d wanted to make this a stand-alone, but it might make a good duology. Maybe a trilogy, we’ll see. Or hell, maybe even a series!
He walked in, definitely shorter than 5’11” and with a slight limp. His face was decidedly more lumpy. But I put a smile on my face, perhaps there was something about this guy that might make me not regret waiting twenty minutes for him.
“Evangeline?” he asked.
“Evie,” I said with a smile. “Just Evie.”
He sat down at the table and I could tell he was sizing everything from my breasts to the size of my nose.
“So…where were you?” I asked.
He shrugged and swaggered down. Minus one. “Just taking care of stuff.”
“Oh?” I pushed my phone between my hands. “Not stuck in traffic or waiting for the metro or…?”
“Nah, just screwing around.”
My phone stopped moving. “What?”
“Yeah.” He sat back. “So you wanna order or what?”
“I was about to leave,” I said. “You were twenty minutes late. For a first date.”
He shrugged. “You weren’t gonna leave.”
I considered that if I punched him, I might kill him with my super strength. So for the sake of my secret identity, I kept my hands on my phone.
“You wanna order or what?”
I wanted to leave, but there was some voice that sounded an awful lot like my late mother that told me to stay put. Give him a chance. Perhaps he wasn’t such a douchebag as his twenty minute tardiness and cocky smile would suggest.
But five minutes in and I began to pray for another ooze monster. At least then I could hit something. I wanted to hit something.
I glanced to the television over the bar, hoping to see a breaking news story about Return of the Sludge, but nada. I was out of luck on this shitty date until I called it quits.
When he sat back and made eyes at every other woman in the bar, I squinted and put two fingers up to cover the top half of his face—just to be sure. I didn’t think that Doug Douchebag was really my arch nemesis, The Raven, but you know, just had to make sure.
So that’s them! Which one are you the most excited about?