Archive for the 'Whatever' Category



Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009
Demonology 101 (cross-posted)

…at least so far as the Elemental Witches series.

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I wrote this up for Cynthia Eden’s 30 Days of Demons contest. It’s still going on! Go on and take a peek, if you haven’t already. This piece gives you an insider’s peek into the demon portion of the worldbuilding in my Elemental Witches series.

Demons seem to be a whole new trend in urban fantasy and paranormal romance these days. Sometimes they turn up as the good guys, the bad guys, or sometimes a shade in between. The demons of the Elemental Witches Series are shade in between. Well, except for the Atrika. They’re pretty much all bad.

There are four demon breeds in my worldbuilding:

The Ytrayi (E-TRAY-EE) – The leader caste. Loyal and operating on a strict Code of Conduct, they rule things in their world. The leader of the leaders is called the Cae. His name is Rue.

The Syari (S-YAR-EE) – The scholar caste. They are the archivists, holders of knowledge and do all magickal research.

The Mandari (MAN-DAR-EE) – The builder caste. Responsible for creating and maintaining the structures in the capital city of Ai and in all of Eudae. The buildings are made of lavender and rose marble, sometimes black or gray, and are built in columns, gentle slopes and arches. The palace, called Yrysvront, is majestic in its architecture.

The Atrika (A-TREE-KAH) – The warrior caste. Genetically engineered by an unknown hand, they are brutal and unforgiving. They are also like passionate children, following their whims no matter the destruction they might cause. Their favorite food is rotting meat and they have a nasty habit of cannibalizing their enemies on the spot in battle.

In my series the elemental witches are a hybrid of human and demon. Long ago, during the early days of human civilization, the daaeman, (who reside in an alternate reality called Eudae), opened a portal to Earth and came through it to interact with human beings.

In the beginning, it was a free-for-all on humans. Some of the demons hunted them for sport, others respected humanity and helped them improve their societies, and still others fell in love with them. For the ones who fell in love and wanted to marry and have children, there was a problem since the basic difference in the genetic makeup between humans and daaeman didn’t allow for mating. Human women couldn’t carry daaeman babies.

Out of this need, the daaeman constructed a magickal solution, using the four elements as a base. The children born of these unions were demon/human halflings and their magickical abilities were tied to one of the four elements used in the spell—earth, air, water or fire. They became the elemental witches.

It was decided that the daaeman were interfering too much in the evolution of humanity and so they withdrew from Earth, closing all the portals. When they did this, it shrouded the origins of the elemental witches in secrecy. The elemental witches learn about how they came about only midway through my series, when the witches begin interacting with the daaeman once again.

There’s a little interesting side-effect of the hybrid demon/human condition. The elemental witches with an overabundance of Ytrayi genes tend to be the good guys—the coven witches. Those with the Atrika genes tend to be the baddies—the Duskoff warlocks, who have turned their back on the tenet of harm ye none and betrayed the coven.

But there are the quirky ones, like Micah, who definitely has a bunch of Syari in him. And there’s Jack McAllister whose father was the head of the Duskoff, yet Jack never inherited his father’s baddie leanings.

So there are no blacks and whites in this world, just shades of gray, which is the way I like it best. Makes it far more interesting, and, I think, more realistic.

In Witch Fury the threads I’ve pulled between the Duskoff, the coven witches, and the daaeman throughout the series will finally weave together in an explosive mix. The Atrika and the warlocks have things planned for the coven witches and it just might end them.

~*~*~*~*~

The winner of my contest (entrants from all places were compiled) from a couple weeks ago is…. Sara M., who said “I’m currently reading Street Magic by Caitlin Kittredge…..” Yay! You’ve won your choice of autographed title from my Elemental Witches series. Please drop me an email to anyabast(at)gmail.com within the next two weeks to collect.

Saturday, June 20th, 2009
Snippet Saturday: Seduction Fail

Hi All! Today’s Snippet Saturday theme is Seduction FAIL. My characters have many seduction fails, when one character (generally the hero) is trying his best to tempt the heroine into bed with him and she’s resisting. This is the first meeting scene between Daria and Alejandro of The Chosen Sin and the first of a few seduction fail scenes for them. (Daria has much more will power than I ever would.) Enjoy!

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In this sensuous and lust-filled otherworld, the Chosen are vampires fighting for their very existence.

It is Daria’s destiny to become one of them…

Daria Morris is a special forces agent with one obsession: to wreak vengeance on the brutal vampire who nearly destroyed her. Now she’s finally about to get her chance, on one condition. She must become something she detests: a vampire.

Her fate rests upon one man’s lethal bite. His name is Alejandro Martinez, and he can help her infiltrate a highly guarded group of the Chosen. But Alejandro is also a distraction for Daria. Because thirteen years ago, they shared a scorching night of passion neither has forgotten.

Now, while Daria struggles against her newfound bloodlust, the two must slip into the shadows to bring a monster to justice—even as their desire threatens to consume them. But under the cover of night, they’ll discover that it’s the darkness within that may stand in the way of their hunger for retribution…

Excerpt from The Chosen Sin ~ © 2008 Anya Bast

Daria pushed the door open and stepped into the Blood Spot. Her pupils adjusted to the dim light and her nostrils flared at the heavy odor–a combination of Darpongese booze, the bitter smoke from rashish cigarettes, and the metallic scent of blood. The pounding beat of the club’s music assaulted her eardrums.

There were vamps in here. She could feel them. This sleazy club in the outreaches of the Darpong was well known as a place where veilhounders, blood donors who were psychologically addicted to a vamp’s veil and physically addicted to the chemicals secreted by a vamp’s bite, hung out, waiting for a vampire to grace them with their presence…and their fangs. The edges of her mouth curled down in disgust.

If it was up to Daria, veilhounding would be illegal everywhere. She found the practice abhorrent, despite the supposed joys of having a vampire sink his or her fangs into you and unfurl their illusions within your mind.

There were addiction clinics all over the Angel System. For the love of the quad planets, you’d think people would learn not to get their kicks this way.

There were even isolated cases of vampires trafficking in the sale of addicted humans they called blood slaves. Sometimes they abducted veilhounders from places just like this one and sold them into it.

She shook her head, glancing around at the people that filled the building. The fools.

Daria’s hand rested on her patrol-issued pulse disruptor, a weapon capable of briefly preventing muscular impulses, or the cessation of synapses firing in the brain, depending on the setting. The weapon worked on most species, even the Chosen. She was not a willing blood donor and she’d be damned if anyone mistook her for one.

Her pupils finally adjusted to the dim light and she sought out Alejandro Martinez. She hadn’t seen him in over seven years. All the same, she spotted him right away since he still looked like sin made flesh.

A black leather dune-biker jacket sheathed broad shoulders and his muscular arms and chest. Thick black hair framed a face hewn in masculine lines, with a strong chin, chocolate-brown eyes, and a mouth made for kissing…and other things. She filled in from memory what she couldn’t see, since his face was currently buried in the neck of a tall redhead.

Daria hung back, watching him sway and dip the woman in his arms, a veilhounder most likely, his pelvis moving sensually against hers. The rhythm to which they danced was a lot slower than the music. They looked like they were in the throes of a slow, pleasurable fuck, oblivious to everyone around them.

Daria shook her head. It had been far too long since she’d had one of those. Everything looked sensual to her these days. Although, Alejandro had always exuded confident sexuality, even before he’d been Chosen.

What the hell was he doing biting a human? That was against GBC regulation.

She worked her way around the edge of the room, picking past entangled vampires and donors and stepping in sloshed beer and other substances she didn’t care to identify. Finally, she entered the crush on the dance floor and elbowed her way to him

“Alejandro?” she queried loudly, competing with the music. “It’s me, Daria.”

No reaction. Just that irritating sway and thrust.

“Alejandro,” she repeated, louder this time.

He raised his head. His dark eyes were heavy lidded, and a hank of black hair had fallen across his forehead. Dark stubble graced the square jut of his jaw and shaded the skin around his well-formed mouth. Those beautiful lips twisted. “Your turn?” he drawled in his Spanish accent.

He released the veilhounder redhead who stumbled back drunkenly with a smile on her face. Daria stepped away, but he grabbed her around the waist and drew her close.

Her protest died on her tongue as his hot breath caressed her throat. Some strange quirk of vampire chemistry made a Chosen’s breath consistently sweet. Their non-human bodies took the blood they drank and transformed it into pure energy, pure life. Scientists had hypothesized that it acted as a mild tranquilizer, lulling their human victim.

Daria held her breath, trying not to inhale it. Alejandro bussed his lips across the bare skin between her collarbone and shoulder. The hard rake of fangs followed the sensation.

That broke her momentary stupor. She pushed him away and hooked her leg around to sweep his legs out from under him. He went down hard on his back, scattering the bar’s patrons around them.

Daria knelt beside him, drawing her pulser and pointing it at his temple. It whirred up, readying to fire. The light on top that was connected to her brain wave patterns flared red. “I told you, Alejandro. No fangs.”

Want to read more? These authors are also participating in Snippet Saturday today. Check them out.

Cynthia Eden
Sylvia Day
Leah Braemel
Shelli Stevens
Michelle Pillow
Jaci Burton
Anya Bast
Juliana Stone
Moira Rogers
Vivian Arend
Shelley Munro
Lacey Savage

Saturday, June 13th, 2009
Headed Into My Cave

If you’re expecting something in the mail from me, it probably went out yesterday. I sent out a mountain of contest prizes yesterday. The post office people should have learned to run and hide every time they see me coming, but they remain sunny and friendly as ever.

I have set myself with deadlines for two books that are right on top of each other. I want to get the first draft of Cruel Enchantment done before I leave for France in mid-July on vacation. (Wheee!) That means I need to head into my cave and write like a ravaging wildebeest…er, or something like that. Then I can set Cruel Enchantment aside for a bit and work on Jeweled, the other book I’m writing. Then I can go back to Cruel Enchantment, revise/edit and not miss my deadline (which is a good thing!).

Okay, like 95% of you probably just went to sleep.

ANYWAY, this is just a note to let you know that my blogging will be spotty and I might not be on Twitter all that much (my internet addiction of choice these days), ect, because I’m headed into my writing cave for some intensive work.

I’ll be announcing the winner of my current contest on Tuesday, June 22nd (the next time I blog at the Bradford Bunch).

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009
Contests, contests, everywhere

Cross-posted from the Bradford Bunch blog.

Hi all! I’m back from a trip to Minnesota to visit a very good friend of mine. While I was there I slept with my daughter (two, almost three), who likes to put her knee up my nostril at least five times a night. So I’m pretty much a walking zombie this morning. It’s going to take me at least a week to recover sleep-wise, I think.

We had a blast, though. We went to the Mall of America, to a cool little zoo, and to an outdoor street festival. My daughter had a great time and so did I. Spending time with people I love always recharges me.

So, Witch Fury came out last week. Yeeeeha! Normally I have a bunch of book release anxiety when I have a book release, but I gotta say, it wasn’t there with this one. I’m all cool as a zen cucumber. I’m really thankful for this. As I mentioned I was trying to do, I think I’ve finally found a good spot in my head with this stuff (book releases). It makes my contentment with my “job” so much higher.

Thank you to the most awesome Ann Aguirre for offering a chance to win Witch Fury! 🙂 (Go here to enter that one) I’ll offer you another chance. Well, actually, this is a chance to win one book from the series–your choice. Winner can choose from all the books in the series. So, if you’ve just read Witch Fire, this is your chance to get Witch Blood and continue on. Or if you haven’t started the series yet, here’s your chance to start it.

Here’s another chance to win Witch Fire — Stumbling Over Chaos is offering a chance to win a signed copy. I think the contest ends on Thursday.

So, what on your reading list for the summer? What books are coming out that you can’t wait to read? Or what’s in your current TBR pile that you can’t wait to get to (or are reading now)? Let’s talk books, people. Leave me a comment and you’ll be entered for a chance to win.

If you’re reading this on my web site blog or on my LJ, you can leave a comment here to enter and I’ll compile them all.

Saturday, June 6th, 2009
Snippet Saturday: Fight Scene

Hi all and welcome to another addition of Snippet Saturday. Today’s theme is a fight scene. I’ve got lots and lots of those in my book, but I chose to share one from WITCH HEART today. Enjoy!

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Excerpt from WITCH HEART © 2009, Anya Bast.

Adam noticed women. All the time.

Even when he’d been deeply and insanely in love with his wife, he’d noticed them. He’d never been unfaithful in his life, but no woman escaped his eye. Claire was very attractive in a pixie-like way. She was small, which made him instantly want to protect her.
His stomach tightened. He wondered what she’d had to endure in her life. It couldn’t have been easy to survive as the only elemental witch on Eudae.

Her eyes popped open to find his in the rearview mirror. Their gazes caught, locked. Adam almost fell into the power of her blue eyes. Oh, there was a lot to this woman…much more than he’d seen so far.

“They’re near,” she whispered. Her voice in the quiet sent a shiver up his spine.

Theo straightened and Adam snapped to attention, glimpsing the slow moving headlights of a car on the road behind them, just barely visible through the foliage.

“Fuck,” he murmured. They were trolling for them. The demons knew they’d gone to ground. The car rolled slowly past them and he let out the breath of air he’d been holding.

Then the car stopped.

Claire turned in her seat to watch through the leaves. They could see nothing but swatches of light, but the low idle of the SUV’s engine reached their ears.

The vehicle backed up a little and stopped on the road parallel to their position.

“Out,” said Theo in his low, gravelly voice. “We need to get out now.”

He was right, there was nowhere for Adam to move the car. He’d gone all in for this poker game, tried for a bluff. Apparently he’d lost. “Yeah.”
Quietly, they opened the doors and slid out. Claire grabbed their sword sheaths and handed them over to Adam and Theo once they were clear of the car. Behind them, the SUV’s engine stopped.

Leaves and dead plant matter crunching under their feet, they made their way into the darkening gloom. The chill in the air kissed their skin and showed their breath white in the early spring air.

As they hunkered behind some brush, Claire shivered beside him. Adam channeled a little heat, the seat of his magick in the center of his chest pulsing a bit, and sent it through his arms, hands and chest. Then he pulled Claire toward him, wrapping her in a close embrace. She stiffened against him at first and started to push away, but then melded to his body like warmed candle wax.

More footsteps on the winter dead Wisconsin ground. Demon footsteps. Growing nearer and nearer.

Motionless, Claire in his arms, Adam watched through the brush as the demons approached the car. One had his hand on the trunk. The other one, the tall blond one, was nearing the driver’s side.

Pulling away from Claire, Adam stood and shot a fire bolt in the direction of the car’s gas tank. It hit in a white hot explosion.
Thomas’s ninety thousand dollar car blew up, the demons along with it.

“Oh, Houses,” Claire breathed, shooting up to stand beside him.

Adam didn’t know what houses had to do with anything.

She cringed against him, covering her eyes from the brightness of the blaze, and Adam held her close, protecting the side of her head with his hand.
Theo’s lips curved in a rare smile. “Nice shot. Don’t know how the bossman will feel about it, but nice shot all the same.”

Adam grinned cheerfully. “Thanks. Let’s just hope those bozos left the keys in the SUV. Otherwise, we’ve got a long walk.”

Theo’s grin deepened. “No. I can hot wire it.”

Adam cast him a sidelong look and mocked, “Why Theodosius Winters, I declare! You shock me!”

Apparently Theo’s short stint of verbosity had come to an end. He simply strode forward, toward the crispy demons.

Adam and Claire followed. They had to get out of here before the fire was noticed.

As they skirted the vehicle, Adam increased the heat of the fire. He wanted no trace of that car left to lead back to Thomas Monahan or the Coven.
“God, demon magick is putrid,” said Theo. “I had hoped to never again have that stink in my nose.”

“You’re not the only one,” Adam answered.

Theo raised his hand, also expending magick to clear a ring around the sedan with his earth abilities. It ensured the fire couldn’t jump to the nearby trees and bushes. True, this area had received a lot of moisture recently, but better safe than sorry.

The authorities would no doubt wonder about the strange ring, but humans were notorious for finding plausible answers for implausible occurrences.
The two demons had been thrown back in the explosion and now lay burned and smoking not far from the vehicle. Damn it. Adam had been sure they’d been mostly incinerated in the initial blast. One of the demon’s legs was on fire. Both lay at unnatural angles, eyes open.

Maybe this whole thing would be over before it had even begun and they could get back to the Coven. Although they needed to do something with the bodies. Humans found answers for the implausible, sure, but if they decided to do an autopsy on these guys…. There wasn’t any explaining away acidic blood.

“They’re not dead, Adam. Even though they look it,” said Claire as they passed. “They’ve gone into a type of coma that happens when their kind sustains a bad injury. They’re regenerating right now and they’ll probably recover.”

Adam stopped short, remembering Thomas and Isabelle telling him of the motorcycle crash that Isabelle had initiated in an attempt to kill the last Atrika. Erasmus Boyle had lain prone on the road for a time too–thought dead before he’d woken up and poofed Isabelle right out of Thomas’s arms.

“Really? Fuck.” He pushed a hand through his hair and tried to mask his disappointment. “That sucks. I guess thinking this could be over quick was too optimistic. The Terminator has nothing on these guys.”

Claire just frowned at him and he realized that pop culture references were a little lost on her.

He drew his sword from the sheath he carried. “Then let’s make sure we give them a wound they can’t recover from.” He grinned. “These fuckers might be immortal, but I want to see one try to re-grow its head. Theo, please take Claire to the SUV. I’ll be right there.”

Theo guided Claire away and Adam turned toward the prone demons. This wouldn’t take long. Just a little chop here and one over there, heads would roll, and he would duck the spraying acidic blood. Then he would puke, and they could all go back to Chicago. It was a great plan.

Simple. Clean. Efficient. Perfect.

The thing blinked and his eyes focused on him. A hand snaked out and grabbed his leg.

Sword grip clenched in his hand he approached the one whose leg was doing its best to burn to ash and tried not to gag from the stench of baked demon. Ironically, according Micah’s sources, they would love the aroma of cooking aeamon. Probably serve it up with chutney and a nice white wine.

He stood near Demon One’s head, feet spread, and readied his sword for a death blow. The thing’s blue eyes stared blankly up at him. He sure as fuck looked deceased. Adam raised his sword. Damn it! He’d betrayed a cardinal rule of horror movies and now he paid for it! Never go near the monster, even if it looked dead.

Adam brought his sword down fast and hard, but the demon let go of him and rolled to the side. His blade bit soil and dead leaves. From his left, movement caught his eye. The other demon was moving too.

Damn short comas.

Tires slid on the ground behind him. He whirled to see the back door pop open and Claire, pale-faced, motioning to him. “Come on! Get in!”

Want to read more snippets? Here’s a list of other participating authors:

Cynthia Eden
SJ Day
Jaci Burton
Mandy Roth
Michelle Pillow
Juliana Stone
Moira Rogers
Sacha White
TJ Michaels
Maura Anderson
Jody Wallace
Eliza Gayle
Kelly Maher

Friday, June 5th, 2009
I’m not here…this is a recording.

I’m out of town right now, so I’m pre-posting this with WordPress’s nifty pre-posting thingie. I wanted to let you all know that I’ll be guest blogging over at Romance Reader at Heart today. Please stop by.

This is also a reminder that I’ll be signing WITCH FURY at Uncle Hugo’s bookstore in Minneapolis, MN on Saturday (tomorrow) at 1-2pm (central). MaryJanice Davidson will also be there signing Undead and Unwelcome.

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009
Stuff and places to go

Today I’m over at Bitten By Books for a release party for WITCH FURY. Head on over there to read my post, make a comment, and enter a contest for a $50 GC to B&N.

Also Lauren Dane is giving away a copy of WITCH FURY over on her blog!! So you should definitely stop over there and say hi too.

It is sort of sticky and rainy where I live today. Cooler than yesterday, which is good. It was like 90 degrees yesterday. YUCK. Today I’m packing to head up north to visit with a good friend and her family. A little vacation for my daughter and I. I plan to spend time with people I love, relax, and do fun things until Monday. I’m really looking forward to it. Beside packing, I’m also working on Cruel Enchantment today.

I’m writing two books at once right now, not my favorite thing to do. I’d rather concentrate on world at a time, but I’m not complaining. I far prefer to have too much work than too little. I’m balancing it by choosing a story to work on every day and sort of switching off. It helps that they’re so different. Cruel Enchantment is contemporary paranormal romance/urban fantasy. Jeweled is erotic historical fantasy. They both come from different parts of my writerly “voice”.

So I’m off to do a little writing now. My heroine ends up in hot water on page one and it just gets worse for her from there. I’m going to go stir the pot.

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009
Guest Blogging Today — Better Late Than Never

I’ve been out all day going around to local bookstores to sign stock and drop bookmarks, but I wanted to let you all know that I’m guest blogging at two different places today.

Romance Writer’s Revenge

I Do Not Want to Wait, I Want the Book Now (hey, me too!)

I’m giving away prizes at each, so go on over and say hi.

And TOMORROW I’ll be over with Rachel and the awesome bunch at Bitten By Books for a Witch Fury release party! You’ll definitely want to head over there for some fun. I’ll be giving away a great prize.