Til Next Time,
There's an expression that horse trainers use whenever a client's ride becomes difficult - "Keep riding through it." I've heard it at least a hundred times while riding my horse. It's a function of good horsemanship. If you give up or get off in the midst of difficulties, you might win the battle that day but lose the war in the long run. Learning to be really good at something takes persistence and time. Such it is with life; so it is with writing.
This is a "tree" that links all the characters in the Snow Blood family together. Just something to keep readers straight on all the characters. Not as bad as Game of Thrones, but lots to remember!
Til Next Time,
As you may or may not know, I love to meet and interview the characters from my books. This time, I was fortunate enough to request and was granted some time with Seth.
Seth is a long-time friend of Kane’s, the first blood son of Brogio, the original vampire. He was an angel who fell from grace for the love of a human woman named Emma. After Seth fell, Emma died in an accident. Kane and his family later discovered that Hecate, goddess of witches, murdered Emma so that she could win Seth for herself.
Grief-stricken over Emma’s death, Seth became a white witch so that he could help people in need. Kane dabbled in witchcraft, and that’s how they met.
Seth, along with his angel companion, Mathias, who takes the form of a winged Friesian horse, have been integral to both the Snow Blood and Moon Blood Series. So, I thought it important for you to get to know him a little better. He agreed to meet me in the forest near Kane’s Tuscany wine estate near Rome.
As I sat on a large fallen tree branch in the forest clearing and waited, the moon shone so brightly that I had to squint to observe it. I blinked and rubbed my eyes at the sight of the black shadow of a giant winged horse as it flew in silhouette across the face of the moon. The light from the moon grew brighter and elongated to a silver streak on the ground in the forest some thirty feet away from me.
I shook my head, rubbed my eyes, and felt his presence before me. Looking up, his face took my breath away. A man shouldn’t be that beautiful.
“But I am not a man.” The angel’s smile made the silver light around him glow brighter. He extended his large, white wings and then folded them behind him, where they disappeared.
I had never seen eyes so blue or such luxurious abundance of silver white hair. Seth was tall and broad-shouldered. No wonder Hecate wanted him for herself.
The bright light slowly faded from around him, and he sat next to me and adjusted his long white robe over his knees.
I stared at him for a moment, at a loss for words.
He laughed. “Well, you created me… you shouldn’t be surprised.”
I shrugged. “Okay, do you mind if I ask you some personal questions for my readers?”
His blue eyes scanned my face. “You already know the answers but go ahead.”
“Why did Hecate come after you… after… Emma.” I felt almost ashamed to ask him the question.
“Don’t be sad. Emma is with Mathias and me doing good work. We are all quite pleased with our existence now.” Seth smiled. “As for Hecate, every two hundred years, Hecate had the chance to woo and win a morally good man. Once they were mated, she could produce a demon seed and bring dark evil into the world. The witch disguised herself as a woman that could have been Emma’s twin. She called herself Trivia and almost had me in her clutches. Kane, Brogio, Selene, Snow Blood, and his pack were able to trick her into revealing her true self to me.”
I nodded my head. “Will you tell our readers how you became an angel again?
Seth looked off into the distance and shook his head absentmindedly. “Patience, Mathias. I see you lurking in the trees. I told you I’d only be ten minutes or so.” He turned to me. “He is so impatient, that one. He’s always on to the next mission. Such a slave-driver.” He scratched his alabaster chin. “Now, where was I. Oh, how did I return to God? He created me with special love. He wanted an angel that embodied his own love of mankind. Each one of us has a purpose of sorts. Michael is God’s warrior. Mathias is his timekeeper. He made me to love humans equal to His own love of them. Because I loved them so much, I became vulnerable to a human’s love for God. I fixated on Emma, a woman so pure of heart, and fell hopelessly in love with her. I gave up my immortality to be with her. When I fell from heaven so that I could be with Emma, God’s heart was broken. He sent Mathias to be my protector here on Earth. After my near-fatal encounter with Hecate and with some convincing from Mathias, God reinstated me because He wanted me back. I hope that doesn’t sound too vain. I don’t mean it to be. That’s just the truth.
Mathias snorted from the trees, and I could see his faint outline as it blended among the forest. He was the largest horse I’d ever seen. As he emerged from the trees and stomped the ground, his wings spread out over the clearing and appeared to overpower it.
“He’s still your protector, I see.” I glanced at Seth, who stood as I spoke.
“Always. We are paired by choice.”
I looked behind Mathias and could see the faint outline of a feminine body leaning against a large oak tree. “Is that Emma?” I stood next to Seth.
“Yes. A choice we have been granted.” His smile lit up the dark sky, and his white light surrounded him.
“Wait, are you leaving? I have more questions.” I put out my hand to touch him, but he backed away and spread his wings.
“Another time, perhaps? Maybe someday you will write a story about the three of us, and we can spend more time together.” He rose from the ground, and Mathias joined him. They both disappeared, and a slender female figure shot up into the heavens behind them.
The forest grew cold and barren without them.
If you haven’t read the Snow Blood and Moon Blood Series, check out Carol McKibben’s author page on Amazon. Moon Blood, Book 5 will be released on March 13, 2020, and both series will be complete. More books involving characters from these series will be available at the end of 2020.
Get all 5 of the digital books in the Snow Blood Series Free from February 14-29th. It's my Valentine Gift to you!
That's right! Haven't read the series? Missed one or two of the books in the series? You can grab them today, along with other great Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books by simply clicking here:
WHY? Because I love my readers, and it's my Valentine's Gift to you.
That's it! Happy Valentine's Day!
Basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, and his 13-year-old daughter Gigi were killed in a horrific helicopter accident yesterday. Even those who don't care about basketball took to social media to mourn their loss, including me.
What really struck me the hardest was their ages. He was only 41. She was just a young teen. And most of those who perished with them were so young as well. I thought it so unfair that ones with so much life ahead of them could be taken away in an instant.
It brought me back to a time with my brother, who is now gone from us as well. I remember sitting in his room and conversing with him. He was 18 and I was nine. We were close, always were. He looked at me and smiled and said, "Remember this, Sis. Live each day like it's your last. Take all you can from life and never forget to tell those close to you how much you love them. When you leave them, or close your eyes at night, be sure that they understand how you feel about them."
I've carried those words with me all my life. I know he knew how I felt about him the last time he closed his eyes. It was one of his many legacies to me. I hope the rest of my family and friends know how much I love them.
Whether we live to 100 or only for a few years, life is precious. Every day needs to be treasured. So cease the day and live life to the fullest.
R.I.P., Kobe and Gigi.
Til Next Time,
Famous words from Yoda of Star Wars fame. I used to think I knew what that meant until I had my Listerine moment. What the heck is a Listerine moment, you ask?
I’ve always struggled opening “child-proof” Listerine bottle tops…or any bottle top for that matter. I’ve harbored this perception that I'm a physically weak person, until two months ago. I believed that I couldn’t get any jar or bottle open or safely pick up heavy items. To make matters worse, I’ve been a classical dressage rider for 21 years. That’s where the rider literally “dances” with the horse. It takes a lot of strength to sit up there and, through subtle movements, make a 1,300-pound horse do whatever you ask. And, in some instances, the strength difficulty factor blocked me from progressing.
So what happened to change that?
Simple, I had my Listerine moment. I was standing at the bathroom sink staring at the Listerine bottle. I took a deep breath, grabbed the top, pushed in the tabs on each side and twisted. Nothing. Suddenly it hit me. I’m trying, not doing. I can do this. Push past the initial resistance and open the damn bottle.
I shook my head and took a step backward. Then I marched forward, picked up the bottle, pushed and twisted the cap and off it came! The light bulbs exploded in my head. My mind had been holding my body back.
It didn’t stop there. I applied it to everything I’ve been doing. Those difficult dressage movements were mastered. Peanut butter jars were a piece of cake. I picked up heavy-duty items I had often not even attempted. The list goes on.
While my Listerine moment was applicable to my physical strength, yours might be something different. A project you can’t push through? Something you’ve always wanted to try but been afraid to attempt? Meeting that special person?
Whatever it is, just remember this simple rule: You can if you believe you can!
Until next time!
P.S. I struggled with what to write this morning and came across this piece that I wrote some six years ago. I thought it worth resharing and to remind me that I can if I think I can. I couldn't resist replacing the original photo of Yoda with a dog impersonating him.
As I am in the process of finishing up edits for Moon Blood Book 5, the last book in my First Blood Son Series to be released in February, I thought I'd share an excerpt from it. Hope you enjoy it, and I would truly appreciate your feedback!
Moon Blood Book 5 Excerpt:
Enzo’s black, shaggy fur shimmered in the Tuscany moonlight. His golden eyes transfixed on nothing. His body stood frozen in place. I knew the signs. My spirit-turned-corporeal wolf experienced another vision.
The forest around us just outside my master Kane’s Italian wine estate was silent save the laughing voices of Zandra, her brothers, and James, her newly turned hybrid vampire Lycan, as they hunted for prey in the far distance. They had no need to be quiet as their vampire speed allowed them to take down the fastest prey. Through my preternatural connection to Kane, I alerted to my sire taking down a large bull moose and sating his thirst at the beast’s jugular. I longed to have a taste.
Instead, I padded to Enzo and pressed against him until his eyes focused and he shook his head. I sat back on my haunches as he gazed into my eyes.
We will have little rest. The worst approaches.
His warning shook me to the core. I twisted my head at the one I loved only second to Kane and wondered, what could be worse than what we have experienced? Enemy werewolves, Flesh eaters, shifters, and zombies have attacked us repeatedly. Lilith, the original succubus, has tried to control us. Satan has tried to destroy us. Prior to ever meeting you, human greed captured and tried to use us.
Before he could telepathically respond, we both lifted our noses to the air and took in the stench of danger lurking around us.
An arrow whizzed past my right ear. A sharp sting and the whiff of deadly silver alerted me as a chunk of white furry ear sailed through the air.
Enzo whirled and placed his backside to mine. We circled as some twenty men dressed in brown leather pants and boots surrounded us. They carried axes, crossbows, and swords. Their faces and bodies reeked of hate.
My injured ear stung. The insidious burn of it seeped inward from the minor cut. Liquid fire ran down the rest of my injured appendage numbing everything it touched. I feared silver poison but ignored it and sprang just missing the sharp side of an axe intended for me. I went for the hunter’s wielded weapon arm and bit down.
The man screamed, convulsed, and foamed at the mouth. He died before he hit the ground.
Behind me, I heard Enzo tear into several others. Skin and cloth ripped. Screams of humans being devoured rang through the air. The spirit wolf’s throaty growls and gnashing teeth mingled with their cries.
A few of the enemy backed off momentarily in surprise at Enzo’s ferocity and their comrade’s death from my one bite. They must not have known that I inherited my biological father Snow Blood’s deadly bite. I took off to my right, grabbed the extended arm of one man and ripped it from his shoulder. He shuddered and fell face first into the budding spring ground cover. I whirled, and this time bit into the leg nearest me. Knowing I had killed again, I moved on and sprang, tearing out the throat of a third victim.
The screams of those Enzo attacked were short-lived. His powerful jaws ripped throat after throat. Dead bodies littered the forest ground. The smell of their blood incited me. The blood lust within me overpowered my senses.
I leaped for another would-be victim but got taken down by a silver arrow to my spine. The pain shot through every nerve ending, and the deadly metal surged through my core paralyzing me. Four more attackers surrounded me and began to slash and hack at me with both swords and axes. A blade bit deeply into my shoulder. I yelped in agony. The pain became intolerable.
Enzo instantly jumped them and became a killing machine. Body parts flew in the air. A head rolled next to me. The man’s blank, dead eyes stared at me. An arm plopped down just next to the head. A headless torso took flight and smashed against an oak tree.
I struggled to stand as another blow landed on me from behind, taking my hind legs out from under me. I whirled and took off the offending hand with one bite. The soft appendage still wiggled. My body began to morph into my inner demon, but blood poured from me. I fought to keep my eyes open and was sinking fast. I felt my life slipping away.
So, hope you enjoyed a taste of what's to come. Let me know what you think!
Til Next Time,
Anticipation... it's a feeling we've all experienced. It involves waiting for something about which we are anxious - going on a first date; counting down the days until a wedding; waiting to get that new puppy; sitting by the phone after an interview to see if the job has been secured; sitting on a horse waiting to go into the arena to be judged; or expecting word that the new baby is on the way.
The latter is what I am anticipating these days. My granddaughter is about to have her first child, and I'm to go be with her during labor as soon as I get the word,
What, Carol? You're old enough to be a Great Grandmother? You betcha. My son made me a grandma at 43... and it was a great feeling and has blessed me with one of the most beautiful human beings I've ever known.
But I have to confess, the anticipation for my great granddaughter has me on edge. I worry that everything will be all right... both mother and daughter. I worry that I won't get there in time. You know how anticipation works. It grinds on you and makes you imagine all the worst things that can happen.
I have the same feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I launch a new book... what if my readers don't like it? What if we didn't catch all the typos? What if it gets bad reviews?
But, that's the chance you take when something that's wonderful to you is about to happen. Isn't the anticipation really what makes it exciting? Makes life worth living? We don't know the end result, but it's a thrill ride just the same, and one we all hope will be positive and beautiful.
So if you are somewhere, sitting on the edge of your seat (like me), and waiting... think only positive thoughts. You know the saying... if you put what you want out into the universe, it will give it back to you.
Til Next Time,
Being negative is like sitting in a bathtub full of dirt. It certainly doesn’t make you clean and probably just pisses you off. Right?
I have a friend who is so negative that she never tries anything new, complains about everything, and isn’t willing to listen to anyone else’s opinions. The problem with this is that she lives in her own little world and is miserable. Nothing makes her happy. And, I mean nothing.
To me, finding fault with everything translates into living in fear. It means holding back from those very things that might and probably will make you happy.
Let’s look at it from a practical standpoint.
Negative: If I get on a horse, I might get hurt.
Positive: Riding a horse might be the most fun I’ve ever had.
Negative: I already have a job. Why should I follow up on this other job offer?
Positive: I’m not really looking for a new job, but it never hurts to talk to new people and pursue potential opportunities.
Negative: Nothing I can do will ever change my situation.
Positive: One voice, one opinion can change the world for the better. Because of those first fearless women, all women now have the right to vote. A few voices changed everything.
Negative: I don’t want my kids to go out and play, they might get dirty and track all in on my clean floor.
Positive: I love for my kids to play outside in the sunshine and fresh air. It’s so healthy for them. Who cares if I must mop the floor again? Their health is more important than any floor.
I could go on with more examples, but I think you get the point. Being negative just requires an adjustment in attitude and looking at things from a different perspective… For instance, in all my books, my characters are riddled with bad fortune, beleaguered by those who would harm them, and can’t live their lives the way they desire. Instead of moaning about it, they tackle their problems headfirst, find solutions, and win the day.
Moaning and groaning about life won’t change it, but positive action will. Be like the Lab in the photo and maintain an indisputably good attitude.
So, erase negativity by putting a positive outlook on it. If you don’t like something, change it. You’ll find that attacking issues head on instead of sitting around in fear and complaining about them will rock your world.
Til Next Time,
Last January, the muscles in my left leg and groin tore while I was riding my horse, Okido. I ended up face planting in the dirt. I had to have help to get up and limp out of the arena as my poor horse stood there staring at me in total surprise. What happened? he seemed to be saying.
Needless to say, my leg and groin hurt like hell for about the next month. Riding was out of the question. Walking around was a huge chore. Finally, after a few months I was back riding again but I wasn't myself. I thought I'd never be me again.
My trainer recommended physical therapy after a second fall, due to lack of balance, landed me in the dirt again. (Even though I actually felt more normal after. The fall must have been the chiropractic adjustment I needed!)
Anyway, off to PT I went. I stayed with it for two months, and the therapist gave me a bunch of yoga-like exercises, as well as work with weights in the gym to do on my own when he determined I had graduated.
Throughout all this, I felt like my riding was sliding backward until I realized that we had gone back to the basics, and I started seeing the benefits. As a result, I'm more centered in the saddle, balance from my seat and legs instead of my hands (well, most of the time), and am more relaxed. I continue, to this day, and probably for the rest of my life, to do the exercises my therapist gave me. I'm also content to focus on the basics which is making me a much better rider and from which I will begin to advance at a faster pace in the future (one can only hope).
My point in sharing my little fiasco with you is that it never hurts to take a step back... no matter what it involves... riding, making a relationship work, perfecting your career, or just about anything.
"Pausing to refresh" comes to mind. So, take stock of the things you're hell-bent on accomplishing. Reflect a bit and make sure you aren't rushing it or going about it in the incorrect way.
You'll be glad that you did.
Til Next Time,
Most of us hate to wait. It's frustrating. But, if you look at it from the perspective of what you get at the end of waiting, it's really terrific.
So, what do I mean? Let's look at the things we wait for most in our lives.
I hope my readers look forward in anticipation to the last book in my Moon Blood Series coming out in February 2020. I hope it gives them entertainment and satisfaction. In the meantime, if you haven't read all the books in the series, you can catch up here: http://mybook.to/MoonBlood1 (I know. Shameless plug. Sorry.)
No matter what any of us await, focus on the end result, not the waiting. It will bring you satisfaction.
Til Next Time,