Friday, November 20, 2015

Catching up

Time for a long-overdue update. I haven't been active at all here for the last few weeks, and I'll try to briefly explain why without turning it into a "poor me" rant.

Basically, a few weeks ago, I was almost evicted from my apartment because I didn't have enough money to pay the rent, so as you might imagine, I've had too much on my mind to focus on writing any of my current works-in-progress or promoting Project Revenant. Over the past few months, my car's engine blew up and I couldn't get a loan to replace it, my hours at work were cut because it's a delivery job and I had to use my own car, then I couldn't make the next car payment and had to let them repo it. The manager let me work in the store, doing most of the dough prep for the next day, so at least I kept my job. Still, the paychecks weren't big enough and I fell behind on the utilities and the rent. At the beginning of November, I used my entire paycheck, plus what little I had left from the previous one, for the rent, and was still over $100 short. I hoped to cover the rest with the next paycheck, but got a 5-day notice to pay the rest or be tossed out.

The good news is, the day I got the notice turned out to be the day my workplace got a company car to use for deliveries. I'm still not sure how it'll turn out because, from what I was told, the car was going to be rotated through each store in the area, staying at each one for a few days. But it's been at my store pretty consistently since we got it, and I've been able to go back to taking deliveries and getting tips and going home with cash in my pocket at the end of each shift. Between that and a little money I was loaned from friends and family, I was able to pay the rest of the rent by the skin of my teeth, and also get caught up on the utilities. So if the company car remains available, I'll be able to hang on.

The company car they've got me driving, by the way ... well, there's something quite amusing about it. There's a car in Grand Theft Auto V that looks almost exactly like it, except the little rear windows are a slightly different shape.

The real car is a Scion iQ ... but I always think of it as "the Panto."

For extra laughs, here's a video someone made when the car was first added to the game. The one I'm driving for work doesn't have that paint job, but I kinda wish it did.

Anyway. I've finally been able to get back to writing now that the worries are kinda sorta over (until the next thing that goes horribly wrong ... and there will be another one sooner or later, because there always is). I had just started NaNoWriMo, and was ahead of the goal by 2,000 words, but fell so far behind due to the near-eviction that there's no chance of catching up now. Which is a shame because it did motivate me to keep working on Uncharted Territory, but now I'll just keep chugging along as best I can, and I'm hoping to have another chapter finished soon.

After getting past this latest bit of unpleasantness, I needed to get back to work on something fun and low-stress, something that didn't have any high-pressure stakes like getting accepted by a publisher. So I finished the latest chapter of one of my just-for-fun projects, Freelancers. Over 125,000 words now, and it's barely gotten started ....

Next I'll be getting back to work on writing Uncharted Territory and promoting Project Revenant. Once I get past the beginning of next month without falling short on the rent again, I'll be able to breathe a lot easier and get a lot more writing done.

Oh, one last announcement regarding my upcoming novel, Chaser. The cover art has been finalized, they sent me the galley (which had some technical glitches that have now been fixed), and as far as I know, it's passed the final hurdle. The publisher is hoping to get it out before the holidays. So I'll finish this with a look at the cover art.

Monday, November 2, 2015

NaNoWriMo Update

Just a quick one tonight. I managed to hit the word-count goal for NaNoWriMo earlier this evening. Probably won't be able to keep it up, but I'm off to a decent start.

To take a break, I made a quick video of my GTA Online character rocking her Evil Pumpkin mask, bitchin' hearse, and Edgar the Minigun. XD No real point to it, just showing off the mask. These days, I need all the laughs I can get, and I can't even look at that mask without cracking up.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sweet Ride

Another quick just-for-fun post. Yesterday morning I got my hands on the bitchin' hearse for my GTA Online character. Here's a few pictures, and later on I'll try to record a short video.

One little detail that cracks me up is the way the arm on Frankenstein's Monster jiggles and sways when I drive ....

And in writing news, just a few minutes ago I put even more pressure on myself by signing up for NaNoWriMo. I'm using Uncharted Territory even though I'm already four chapters into it. I'm starting the word count in the middle of the current work-in-progress chapter, beginning with the next scene I'm about to start writing. I've been having a bit of writer's block combined with spending time promoting Project Revenant on Inkshares, and haven't made much progress on UT for several weeks. I'm hoping this'll motivate me to get back on track.

Now, I'm off to pour another cup of really cheap, really bad coffee, and then get started on the next scene. I'm hoping I'll be able to hit the required daily word count or even exceed it before I get to the video mentioned above ....

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween in Los Santos

Just for fun, here's my Grand Theft Auto Online character (and her new best friend, Edgar) getting into the Halloween spirit.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Free for a limited time ...

As part of the promotional efforts for Project Revenant's pre-order campaign on Inkshares, the previous three entries in the Neon City series, the novels Load and Fifteen Minutes, as well as the novella Downtime (which is set between the two books) will be free to download beginning October 29. For the next five days, the Kindle versions of all three books will be available for no charge.

Pick up the first three adventures to see how events led up to Project Revenant, then hop over to Inkshares to pre-order the newest story featuring the trio of Jack Hammer, Corona, and Taura, plus the ongoing subplots involving their friends Otto Fellatio, Shakira, Lola Ramirez, and the rest of the Justice Foundation.

Neon City: Home to fifty million cyborgs, genetically-engineered chimeras, robots, AIs, and plain old humans. Built from the ground up by a group of mega-corporations to push technology past the bleeding edge. Started off as the beginning of a bright, new future, but now the future is no longer what it used to be.

Jack Hammer: A surly young man with cybernetic eyes and a lousy job.

Corona Borealis: Jack's girlfriend, a bio-engineered bipedal dragon created for military use, who now makes a living as freelance muscle.

Taura Agenor: Their roommate, a bio-engineered minotaur who would rather hack software than fight.

One little mistake: A moment of poor judgment lands them in deadly trouble, and the way out could get them killed just as easily.

Jack, Corona, and Taura are ordered to lay low for a few days while waiting for the dust to settle after the events of Load. Set between that book and Fifteen Minutes, this novella offers a glimpse into their off-duty lives.

In the sequel to Load and Downtime, Jack, Corona, and Taura begin their first job for a dodgy government agency which not only opens a can of worms that they may not survive, but also lands them in the weirdest situation they've ever faced--an audience watching their every move. At the same time, their future-daughter tracks a fugitive wanted for a crime he didn't commit, and finds herself facing down an assassin who can't be killed.

All three books will be available for free from October 29 through November 2. See how these characters got to where they are now, and then pre-order Project Revenant to find out where they go from here.

"Chaser" promo poster

Just a quick one since it's creeping up on 2 AM and I'm barely keeping my eyes open ....

Last night I got the proofread copy of Chaser and a book info form to fill out. I went through the manuscript one more time and found a bunch of missing periods, missing spaces after periods, and several pages that had blank lines between paragraphs. I fixed the first two (and hope I didn't miss any), but couldn't do anything about the blank lines. For some reason, using the backspace or DEL keys didn't work. So I'm not sure what's going on there.

But I filled out the form and sent both back a couple of hours ago. Then I decided to whip up a promotional poster for the book. This won't be the actual cover, but I thought it'd work pretty well as a "coming soon" type of ad.

And here it is ....

Monday, October 26, 2015

Corona Borealis concept art

Here's something cool I found when looking through some folders filled with old files on my hard drive. Many, many years ago, back when I was working on my first novel, Load, I commissioned an artist friend (Mike Garcia -- damned good artist, but I lost touch with him several years ago and haven't been able to find him online) to do a drawing of one of the main characters, Corona Borealis. Back then, I had a very different idea of what she looked like, but Mike drew more than a half-dozen concept sketches and this one really caught my attention. The drawing was never finished, but this sketch completely changed my mind about what she looked like. I tweaked a few small details, such as retaining the spikes on the end of her tail, from the previous version, but for the most part, this image is the idea I decided to go with.

Corona also appears in the sequel, Fifteen Minutes, and the third volume, Project Revenant -- which is open for pre-order on Inkshares. The first five chapters are posted there and can be read for free.


In other publishing news, this evening I received the final edit for Chaser and a form to fill out and send back. Just waiting on cover art. So the book is finally getting into the home stretch.

One last quick thing. Earlier this evening I uploaded another video in my How Not to Tell a Story series. This one ends rather abruptly because the game crashed (again). If I didn't know better, I'd start to think it's doing this deliberately because I'm criticizing it so harshly. O_o

Thursday, October 22, 2015

An End and a Beginning

Well, the Kindle Scout campaign for Project Revenant was a total failure. It closed on Oct. 19, the book was in review for a couple of days, and then they sent me the email telling me that it wasn't selected. I checked the stats and there was a burst of nominations on the very last day that finally put the book on the Hot & Trending list ... for eleven hours. Better than Game Over, which never made it on that list at all, with nearly twice as many page views ... but still.

So I decided to try something else with Revenant. I posted the first five chapters on Inkshares and launched the pre-order campaign. If it gets 750 pre-orders, it'll be published by Inkshares as an ebook. 1,000 pre-orders will get it published as an actual, physical, paperback as well as an ebook.

Given how these things almost always work out for me, I can't help being pessimistic about my chances. But all I can do is keep trying. At least this one runs for 90 days instead of 30 (well, now there are 89 days left). So I'll be advertising this wherever I can find a place to plug it.

The first five chapters are posted and are free to read. If you like it and want to see it published, it can be pre-ordered right there on the page. If you'd like to see more sample scenes, there are a few in previous blog entries further down this page. The final draft is already finished, so it can go straight into the publication process after the campaign ends, provided it gets enough pre-orders.

Meanwhile, I'm still working on chapter five of Uncharted Territory, despite running into writer's block due to having too many worries on my mind. I'm hoping to have the latest chapter finished and posted within the next couple of days, if nothing goes horribly wrong. I'm posting this one on Inkshares as well, but I'd prefer not to launch its campaign until I at least have the rough draft finished. Ideally, I'd finish that, launch the campaign, and then revise and polish it over the next 90 days, and have the final draft done before the campaign ends.

I'll post more updates as they happen.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

One more action scene from Project Revenant

One day left in Project Revenant's Kindle Scout campaign. Here's one last bit of business from the book before the countdown hits zero.

[We're in the garage,] Hoshi said over the comlinks. [We'll take cover and make our stand here. No chance of bystanders being hit. You come in behind the hostiles and we'll catch them between us. Once we've dealt with them, we'll escort Winslow to a safe place before they send another wave after us.]
"Got it," Jack said, keeping his voice low as they crept down the stairs from the ground floor.
Corona glanced at the camera feeds in her HUD. The men in black jumpsuits had reached the small parking garage under the building and were fanning out to cover more ground.
"What about Lefty and Mickey?" she whispered. "And the bots?"
[The enemy hasn't hit Lefty's workshop; they're all coming to back us up. So is Boiler.]
"Good. We're almost there." She glanced at the video feeds again and counted ten hostiles. "Well, on the bright side, once we get rid of these guys, that's ten fewer we'll have to face when we hit ADS later."
"Great. Take whatever we can get, I guess."
The sound of gunfire made Corona jump slightly. It was muffled but loud enough to be heard from the garage two levels below the ground floor.
"Better hurry," Taura whispered, and all three of them increased their pace.
[The hostiles aren't wearing armor, but they're still functioning after we've pumped multiple bullets into them. They're either cyborgs or the Revenants Winslow told us about. Be sure to use armor-piercing or incendiary rounds.]
"Got it."
The gunfire grew increasingly louder until they reached the garage level. Taura dug her computer out of her pocket, gave one side of it a double-tap, and a hard-light interface appeared in front of her. She pocketed the device and the display remained in front of her as she took a position beside the door. Corona and Jack took the opposite side of the door.
Corona reached out and grasped the handle. She pulled the huge mecha rifle from her back and glanced at the camera feed again to locate the hostiles.
"Ready?" she whispered.
Jack and Taura nodded.
Corona pulled the door open, charged through, and took cover behind Rocky's truck. Jack and Taura crouched behind her, and all of them winced at each deafening, echoing gunshot.
"Scanning them." Taura touched a button in her holofield and watched lines of info appear in a new window.
Corona leaned around the front of the truck for a peek at the action. Ten hostiles stood out in the open, hosing down the team's position behind Machiko's car and a pair of vans. Their bullets tore into the vehicles, shattering headlights and windows and blasting chunks of metal across the ground.
Each of the Revenants had cybernetic eyes that glowed like red LEDs.
Suddenly, five of them stopped. Moving in unison, they turned and stared directly at Corona.
She ducked behind the truck just as they opened fire, pulled her wings in tight and covered her head with her arms.
The driver's-side front tire exploded and her heart almost launched through her chest.
"They detected my scan." Taura gaped at her holofield, shook herself out of it, and tapped another button. "Let's see if I can jam their targeting systems."
Corona waited for the shooting to stop, peeked around the front of the truck, and found the cyber-zombies standing still, glancing around and shifting their aim hesitantly. She grinned and aimed at the nearest one. A target reticle appeared in her HUD, tracking along with the movements of her arms and hands. She moved the crosshairs onto the dude's head and fired a single shot.
The bullet blew half of his head off. Metal and plastic shrapnel sprayed through the air, along with chunks of skull and brain. He staggered, but remained on his feet.
What? Corona ducked back under cover, eyes wide and muzzle hanging open, and flinched as more bullets ripped into the truck. Just … what?
Taura frowned at her display. "The cyberization process must be more thorough than we thought. I'm picking up multiple redundancies as well as a secondary control unit in the abdominal area, behind extra armor plating. Bloody hell, what they did to those poor people –"
An enemy round punched through the truck and drilled into her left side. She let out a brief shriek, then sighed with relief when she realized it hadn't penetrated.
"Taura!" Jack reached out to her, but she waved him off.
"I'm okay, my armor stopped it." She took another slow breath.
Corona growled. "That's it. Let's take 'em out!"
Jack nodded and scooted over to the truck's rear. He lunged out, popped off several shots, and ducked back.
The Revenants blasted away, spraying the wall in front of the truck, but none of their shots hit less than a yard away from him. Whatever Taura had done, it hadn't worn off yet.
Corona took a slow breath, released it, and poked her head up over the truck's hood. As she took aim at the damaged zombie, Machiko appeared from behind one of the vans and drilled another zombie in the back with her plasma rifle. She blazed a steady stream into its back and burned through its spine before it could turn and acquire a target. It took a few stumbling steps and collapsed, but continued moving its legs as if trying to walk.
Jack shuddered. "Oh, that shit ain't right." He blasted half his clip into the Revenant’s head, and finally it stopped moving.
The rest opened fire on Corona again, but none of their shots came close.
Then, suddenly, their aim steadied and a hail of bullets peppered her chest plate. She squeaked and dived behind the truck. A damage report appeared in her HUD and she sighed. "I'm okay."
"They cut off wireless access," Taura muttered. "I can't hack their systems now."
"Guess we'll just have to use brute force, then." Corona rolled out into the open, staying prone to make herself a smaller target, and emptied her rifle into the nearest Revenants. Each shot punched through their bodies and blasted huge pieces out of them. The one in the middle was nearly cut in half by one shot, and toppled over. The torso propped itself up on one arm and continued firing.
Corona's last bullet took another's head off, bursting it like a rotten watermelon. She scooted back behind the truck and holstered the empty rifle.
A quick burst from Hoshi's gun drew the remaining zombies' attention back to her, but did little actual damage.
Jack shoved a fresh clip into his gun and stood long enough to fire several rounds into the nearest zombie's back. It faced him and aimed its rifle. Jack dropped back under cover, glanced at Corona and Taura, and shook his head.
"We're gonna need bigger guns."
Last chance to nominate the book. It costs nothing, and gets you a shot at a free copy if it's picked up for publication.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Action-packed excerpt from Project Revenant

... Plus a couple of videos.

First, the feature presentation, a bit of explosive action from Project Revenant. In this one, the three protagonists have engaged a combined force of a mercenary corporation and the titular cyber-zombies, while trying to protect a person of interest.

"They're right behind us," Taura said, facing the rear and staring out the window at the four approaching SUVs. She gripped her gun tighter to steady her shaking hands. "Coming up fast."
A man in armor and a helmet leaned out of the lead car's passenger-side window and aimed an assault rifle at the back of Jack's hearse.
Taura sucked in a quick breath, flopped onto her back, and threw her arms across her face a split-second before a hail of bullets drilled into the back of the car. The window exploded and showered her with tiny pieces of glass.
Jack cursed and glanced into the rearview mirror. "Taura!"
"I'm okay." She brushed the glass off, sat up, and pointed her gun at the SUV. The guy with the rifle ducked back inside. Taura growled softly and held her fire. They were surrounded by midafternoon traffic and pedestrians who could be hit by a stray shot, and the SUV very likely had armor plating and bullet-resistant windows. Even with her armor's targeting-assistance software, she didn't want to risk innocent bystanders being hit by a ricochet.
"Gotta get to an uninhabited area," Corona muttered.
"Trying," Jack grumbled.
A dozen more bullets slammed into the back of his car. He swerved into the oncoming lane and barely missed a freight van before swerving back.
Winslow moaned and gripped the back of Corona's seat.
"Who the hell are those guys?" Jack snarled.
"Private military contractors, I'd guess.” Corona glared through the blown-out window at the pursuing vehicles and bared her fangs. “You'd think they'd give a damn about hitting innocent civilians, though."
"Could be more of the Revenants," Taura said.
"Oh, fantastic." A bullet tore the rearview mirror off and Jack flinched. More bullets ripped into a nearby minivan and it veered into his path. He hit the brakes as it crossed in front of him. He shifted down and punched it. In the corner of his eye, the van got T-boned by a truck in the oncoming lane.
Winslow squeezed his eyes shut and whimpered.
"Bastards," Taura growled. Her huge muscles tensed up and she raised her gun, but hesitated again.
"Machiko," Jack said into his helmet mic, "we're gonna need ambulances and –"
"We're on it. Mickey and Hoshi are monitoring traffic cameras at your location; they saw what just happened. Fire department and ambulances are en route."
"Thanks." He spun the wheel to the left, sending the hearse through the next intersection and almost crushing the front end of a station wagon under its huge tires. "I think we're coming to a clear area."
"I'm giving them something else to shoot at." Corona threw the passenger-side door open and climbed onto the roof.
Jack gaped at her. "What the hell? Corrie!"
"Just get 'em into a place where it's safe to return fire!" She spread her wings, caught the wind, and launched.
Taura caught a glimpse of Corona gliding overhead before returning her attention to their pursuers.
"Oh, shit," Jack muttered. He whipped the car around another turn, slowing just enough to prevent it from rolling, and punched it again. "We're almost there."
Taura nodded, braced her hooves on either side of the door, and aimed out the shattered window. The driver of the lead SUV swerved, clearly expecting her to open fire.
Jack turned another corner and a few seconds later Taura noticed the houses growing more run-down and spaced farther apart. She scanned for heat signatures and found only a few small animals here and there.
Good enough. She lined up a shot on the windshield, directly in front of the driver, and squeezed the trigger. The twelve-millimeter round cracked the glass, but didn't penetrate.
The crosshairs in her HUD moved as she shifted her aim and fired again. This time, the bullet punched through the window and into the driver's face. The body slumped over and the SUV veered off to the right and plowed into a rusted-out station wagon parked on the curb.
Her stomach churned at the thought of having taken a life, but she did her best to push her feelings aside and target the next car. They're trying to kill us. We do what we have to do.
The remaining three SUVs surged ahead, as if their drivers were enraged at what had just happened. A man in a black jumpsuit leaned out the passenger-side window and aimed his rifle.
A metal ring flashed down from above and took the guy's head off. Corona's chakram, Taura realized a split-second later. She continued firing at the vehicle, finally managing to put a bullet through the driver's-side front tire.
The SUV lurched to the right and skidded. Taura unloaded the rest of her clip and blew out the other front tire. The vehicle slammed over the curb and rolled. Taura let out a long, relieved sigh.
Then she gasped and leaned forward.
The driver and another man climbed out of the vehicle. Both wore identical black jumpsuits instead of armor. The last time she'd seen someone dressed like that …
"It's the Revenants, alright." She groaned as she watched them walk over to another parked car and open its doors. "Oh, no, they're stealing someone's car!"
"Those things are starting to piss me off." Jack hit another left turn almost fast enough to flip the car over. Winslow moaned again.
"They're in a red sports car," Taura said. "Gaining fast. So are the other two SUVs." She spoke into her helmet mic. "Corona, keep away from the crashed SUV. The body inside it could blow any moment."
"Got it," Corona replied. "I hope no one is within range."
"Me, too," Taura said softly, almost whispering. Her muscles tensed up as the red car surged toward her. "Jack, they're almost –"
"Taura," Jack yelled, "get up here and hold onto something!"
"What are you doing?"
"Hurry! I've got an idea." He waited for her to take the passenger seat, then he hit the brakes and wrenched the steering wheel to the left. The car skidded and shot into an alley.
He jammed his feet down on the brakes and the car slid to a stop three car lengths into the alley.
"What the hell're you doing?" Winslow moaned.
"Hang on."
Taura braced her hands against the dashboard.
The red hotrod screeched around the corner and into the alley – and slid right under the hearse's left rear tire. Jack grinned, shoved the gear shift into reverse, and backed over the hotrod's hood. The two men bailed out just as the windshield shattered under the huge tire. They immediately charged, one on either side of his car.
Jack shifted back into first and popped the clutch before either of them could reach the doors and yank them open.
Taura glanced over her shoulder in time to see both men raise their guns and start blazing away again. She flinched as more bullets sprayed the back of the hearse.
"Those fuckers are fast." Jack grimaced and shifted up. "I was hoping I'd squish 'em before they could get out."
Taura caught a glimpse of Corona gliding over the alley as the two pursuers ran after the hearse. Taura put her crosshairs on the nearer one's head and squeezed the trigger. Her shot punched through his left eye and ripped the back of his head off.
He staggered, but remained on his feet and continued the chase.
Taura shuddered and lined up another shot.
In the distance, a pair of sharp thumps shook the ground – the zombies she and Corona had taken out, exploding and taking all the physical evidence with them.
Another SUV skidded into the alley and smashed the hotrod aside.
Corona dropped down behind the second zombie and tackled him. Taura's heart tried to jump into her throat.
Jack glanced into the rearview mirror, gasped, and stomped on the brakes.
Corona lifted her opponent, spun, and threw him into the SUV's path. He cracked the windshield and the vehicle swerved into the side of the building on the right.
A third SUV appeared at the end of the alley.
The damaged zombie turned to face Corona.
Jack hit the release on his seatbelt and threw himself out of the car. He ran full-speed toward Corona and the zombies, and Taura followed, overtaking him easily and tackling one of the Revenants as it approached Corona.
Corrie whipped her katana out and held it in her right hand while gripping her pistol in her left. She blasted a round into her zombie's head, taking the rest of it off, and her muzzle dropped open when it continued marching straight at her. She pumped four more rounds into its chest and it finally collapsed.
Taura emptied her clip into another zombie and let out a shuddering moan when it didn't fall. She backed up and shoved a fresh clip in.
A third Revenant got within Corona's reach and she swung her blade into its neck. The blade sliced clean through – until it struck the alloy-reinforced spine and stopped dead. She fired a bullet into its left eye socket, braced her foot on its chest, and pulled her sword out.
Jack punched a half-dozen shots through the one advancing on Taura, turned as it fell to its knees, and drilled the one Corrie had just tried to decapitate. "Get back to the car! I'm gonna try something."
"Not without you," both of them said.
"I'll be right behind you." He pulled a grenade from his belt. "Hurry!"
They glanced at each other and backed away slowly, keeping their guns aimed at the remaining zombies.
"Whatever you're gonna do," Corona muttered, and Jack pulled the pin before she could finish.
He chucked the grenade under the SUV that had plowed into the building and turned to face them.
They bolted back to the hearse. Taura glanced over her shoulder just as the grenade ripped the SUV apart and blew what was left of it into the air. The concussion knocked the zombies off their feet and slammed Taura into the back of the car. She shook her head quickly and pulled the back door open.
Jack climbed in and gripped the steering wheel. Corona squeezed into the shotgun seat and turned to stare out the rear window.
"I'm not sure if that high-pitched whine is the zombies' self-destruct or just my ears ringing from the explosion," Taura muttered as she pulled the door shut.
Jack popped the clutch and the hearse screeched through the alley. "We're not waiting for 'em to start going off like popcorn."
Taura glanced through the rear window as one of the zombies climbed over the wreckage of the SUV.
Seconds after Jack spoke, the first disabled Revenant blew, shredding several others and sending them tumbling across the pavement.
A second one blasted a hole in the building on the left.
Several more explosions shook the ground. Taura hadn't counted how many were still active when the first one had gone off, but all were within each other's blast radius. They had to be toast, by now.
Jack slowed to check for pedestrians and traffic before easing out of the alley and accelerating. Taura kept listening for sounds of pursuit, and finally allowed herself to relax. She sighed and slumped against the wall.
"You okay, girls?" Jack said softly.
"I'll be better when this is over," Corona muttered, "But yeah, I'm okay."
Taura took a deep breath and glanced at her shaking hands. "I'll recover." She looked at Jack.
Corona put a hand on his shoulder.
He nodded. "I'm hanging in there, I guess." He patted her hand, met Taura's gaze in the mirror and smiled, and focused on the street ahead. "Let's get to the safe house before anything else goes wrong."

Only three days left in the campaign to toss it a nomination and receive a free copy if it's picked up for publication.

Now for a couple of videos. I ended up not making one for Project Revenant because hardly anyone ever watches my videos. One of them from a few weeks ago finally hit four views, and most of them get one or two. So I realized there was no point. If I can eventually build up an audience, then it'd be worth doing, but for now, there are more effective things to spend my time on.

Such as the writing discussion video I mentioned in a recent post, which I finally managed to upload. I've got another in the same series and one in the How Not to Tell a Story series, but I still need to convert the raw files into a smaller format and do some editing before I upload them. Coming soon, though.

For now, here's the latest one I've been able to upload.

And here's the one mentioned in the previous post, which I did just for fun. After finally hitting level 120 in GTA Online and unlocking the minigun, I just had to play with my new toy for a few minutes. The audio quality is still horrible. I keep setting the volume down, but it still drowns my voice out. Maybe I'll get it right one of these days. Anyway, here's my character taking care of business with her new best friend. She calls him Edgar. XD

[Edited to actually add the video in. Forgot to do it before posting this. *headdesk*]