Type your search keyword, and press enter

About the Author

shilohwalker

Hitting some blogs…

Okay, so… Edged Blade comes out in…um, one day???? Eeep!

Justin and Tate

I’m hitting a few blogs with excerpts, Q&A, guest posts…and one of them will have the title for Kit #5.

I will also have prizes.  If you drop in and hit the blogs and say hi and be really nice to me, you can maybe win a Kindle Fire or a cool tea infuser cup & a tea mix like Kit drinks.  Okay, you don’t have to be nice to win, but seriously, I’m giving away goodies…why wouldn’t you be nice to me?

Feb 2:
Spotlight & Excerpt: That’s What I’m Talking About
Interview: Book-a-Holic Anon
Guest Blog: Under the Covers

Feb 3:
Spotlight & Excerpt : Hannah’s Words 
Spotlight & Excerpt : Analysis and Reading
Guest Blog: Literary Escapism

Feb 4:
Interview: Reviews by Crystal
Spotlight Blogging by Liza
Guest Blog: Smexy Books

Feb 5:
Spotlight & Excerpt : Books-n-Kisses
Guest Blog: Fiction Vixen

Feb 6:
Interview: : Rambling Reads
Spotlight & Excerpt : Confessions of a YA & NA Book Addict
Guest Blog: The Bookpushers

 

Claws…

Just a couple more days, guys!

chang

“Hello, Kit.”

“Chang.” I cocked my head. “Sorry to crash in like this…sounded like serious stuff. Am I interrupting?”

Chang had an innate courtesy. He’d brush it off. Of course not. How are you, would you like some tea

To my surprise, the only response he made initially was to sigh.

It was a soft, heavy sigh, one that carried a world of weariness. “I had to call a family up north with grim news. An awful sort of call to make.”

“I…” I stopped for a moment. “I’m sorry. Are there…problems?”

An odd question to ask, maybe, but the look on Chang’s face wasn’t one that spoke of somebody who’d lived to see a ripe old age and then died peacefully in his sleep.

From the corner of his eye, he watched me. There was a strange expression to his features, as though he wanted to say something, but then he sighed and said, “No. Sit. I’ll fix tea. You’ll tell me why you’re here.”

There was no point in arguing.

Chang had fallen back on his role of courtesy.

There was no getting out of it now—and no chance of tugging out any details about that phone call, either.

I waited until I had my tea in hand—tea was a personal addiction of mine, almost as bad as the soaps and lotions and other girly things I bought obsessively. Breathing in the sweet and spicy scent, I sighed. I doctored it with sugar and cream. I liked my tea, with just a little more sugar than most people. Or a lot more sugar.

“How you can drink it that way confounds me,” Chang said. “I keep trying to break you of that habit, but it doesn’t work.”

“To each their own.” I shrugged and took my first sip. Perfect.

Chang had a look of amusement and revulsion on his face.

“When you spend a good ten years of your life scrapping just to get enough water and food to fill the hole in your belly, you develop odd cravings.” I shrugged it off.

Chang’s eyes fell away.

I scowled inwardly, wished I hadn’t said anything. I’d dealt with more abuse in my life than most people had ever heard of—I’d come to grips with what my family had done and generally dealt with it, in my own unique sort of way.

Sometimes, I was even able to not be ashamed of it. But it made other people uncomfortable. Honestly, that’s just plain stupid to me—it happened to me—if I can deal with it, then why can’t they?

But then I had to deal with people looking away, or lapsing into silence…or just…fading away.

“Sorry,” I said, my voice tense.

“Why?” Chang said quietly.

I stared at him, opened my mouth—then snapped it shut. “Fuck it. Never mind.”

But he was too insightful, by far. Unlike many shifters I knew, he didn’t just go by what his senses told him. He looked at people. Saw beneath the surface. Sometimes, he saw so deep, it pissed me off.

“I’m not aggravated with you for speaking of your childhood,” he said softly. “In a way, it…humbles me. I know you don’t always speak freely of your past, Kit.”

He rose.

The languid way he moved couldn’t be called pacing, not by any means.

But Chang rarely made wasted moves and the way he moved from the window at the back of his office to his wall of weapons then to his desk to straighten the non-existent clutter there before repeating the circuit was nothing but wasted movement. And it was done with all the elegance, grace and speed he did everything else with. “At the same time, the thought that any soul could treat a child as I know you were treated makes me…”

He looked up.

For the first time in all the time I’d known him, I saw a faint glow roll across his eyes.

The flash was gone so fast, I couldn’t even place it—just a glow of color too light to belong in that dark gaze, and then it was gone. “It angers me. Children should be treasured.”

“That’s how the world works sometimes.”

His eyes held mine. “And sometimes, the world sucks.”

“I’ve found myself thinking that a lot lately.”

“Yet another reason I like you, Kit. You are a wise woman.”

At that, I snorted. “I’m a lot of things—wise isn’t one of them.”

He chuckled and the tension in the air passed. He returned to his seat and faced me. “Let’s discuss why you’re here. Not that I’m not delighted to see you, of course.”

He’d never say it, but I suspected he had things to do, secrets to pass on and people who needed to kill or be killed.

That was his job, after all.

Since I respected that, I didn’t beat around the bush.

“I’m tracking down—or trying to track down—some information. I could use your help.”

He arched a brow as he lifted his tea cup to his lips.

He’d help if he could. I knew that. Just like I knew he’d stonewall me if he couldn’t.

“NHs are disappearing. I need to know about any shifters who have gone missing…specifically some in Georgia. I need information and if anybody has it, it’s you.”

The cup froze at his mouth.

Without taking a sip, he lowered it. Then he put it down and moved behind his desk to stare out the window. “Who have you been talking to, Kit?”

I started to move my knee back and forth. “Am I going to sound terribly childish if I say I asked you first?”

“Sound as childish as you want. But you’re more likely to get answers from me if you cooperate.” His eyes narrowed ever so slightly. Then a faint smile appeared on his face. “You can always ask Damon. However, if you wanted to do that, you would have. You often end up in messes that worry him, a fact I’m sure you’re aware of. This is likely why you came to me instead.”

“You’re telling me this because…” I drummed my fingers on the arm of the chair as I stared at him.

“Only two people possess the information you’re looking for—or possess an in-depth knowledge of it. That I know of. Damon hasn’t spoken to you—he wouldn’t, not about this. If somebody has spoken to you…” He let the words trail off.

“If you’re worried my source might be behind these disappearances, you can draw your claws back in, Chang.”

“My claws aren’t out.” A brow lifted. “Yet.”

Amazon | BN | iBooks | ARe | Kobo | Smashwords

Some news! Final Protocol

I’ll be having at least one more J.C. Daniels book out this year…but it’s not a Kit book.

It’s not urban fantasy, either.

J.C. is trying her hand at science fiction. SF with a splash of romance.

Here’s a snippet of FINAL PROTOCOL, due out from Samhain in July.

~*~

Some people said that this was what Old Earth would be like by now. Well, except for the population thing.  Aris still had a thriving population.  Disease and war had all but decimated Old Earth.  There were rumors that those who had remained behind no longer even resembled anything that we’d consider human.

Personally, I think human is just another word for animal.  None of us are worth much.  Me, included.

The ariste were a different beast altogether. Some of the kindest, most gentle people I’d ever come across resided here, on this hot, desert planet that travelled too close to its sun.  The people made me nervous and I wanted nothing more than to kick the dust of this planet off my shoes and leave it far behind.

Leave these smiling people far behind.

I had very little use for people in general.  If I couldn’t fuck it, then the only time I was likely to come in contact with anybody was when I was sent a contract to kill.

Like this old man, with his round, cheerful face and his silver eyes—ariste eyes, hidden behind the tinted lenses he wore.

I was here to kill him.

And he knew.

A smile creased his face as I moved into the room, not bothering to conceal myself.

He already knew I was there.  Why bother to hide?

Either he’d called for help, which would mean I had to move things along, or he thought he could handle me myself.

Neither would change the outcome.

He would die, because the alternative was that I would likely die and I didn’t plan on that being the case.

He nodded at the table where he sat.

“Would you join me?”

I paused, my hand on the darts I’d planned to use.  The problem was he hadn’t been on the long, narrow balcony taking his normal walk.  He was ariste, and one of the older ones.  They had a thing about the setting sun.  It was a religious fascination as far as I could tell.  All of the houses had balconies that faced the west, so they could watch as the brutal, burning sun sank below the horizon.  Even the poorest of families would struggle to get a simple opening so the family could face the death of the day.

Cree Ru was far from poor.

Yet he hadn’t taken his sunset walk.

“Come.” He smiled at me.  “Sit.”

I said nothing. I knew better.  My voice could be used to track me, pin me to the crime, if anybody was successful at hunting me down.  I’d evaded capture on a dozen planets in four different systems. This was an amateur’s mistake.

Just like walking in that open door was an amateur’s mistake, I chided myself.

“You will not sit then.” Cree nodded.  “Very well.  I’ll speak a bit.  I’ve time yet.”

He must have sensed something because he slid me a small smile.  “No.  The authorities weren’t alerted.  I sensed you three days ago and had the time since then to decide on the actions I’d take.  First, I had to think about who must have hired you.”

That wasn’t an answer I could give him.

I accepted the money, the job, all from my handler. There were other things I took from him, and some things he forced on me, but he never told me who hired me.  It was essential, he’d once told me, that he protect his clients.  Names were never given.

Cree didn’t let my silence stop him as he leaned back, steepling his fingers together as he looked out into the night.  He had thick, floor to ceiling walls of what the locals called plaris.  It made me think of the pilastene, a manufactured material that was used in almost everything for those who’d settled the New Earth colonies.

The NE colonies weren’t home to me, but many of my tools were NE made.  It was what I was familiar with, what I was used to. Pilastene was nearly unbreakable, safe to manufacture and inexpensive.

Plaris, like ‘stene, was durable, and nearly unbreakable, something that served this volatile planet well, designed to endure quakes that could have leveled cities.  His entire home was made of plaris, and the windows were the clear stuff, the most pricy form of it out there.  Eyes on the night sky, he studied the twin moons and said, “I hated to admit it to myself, but there are only two people who would have done this. Only two who would benefit.  My son and his wife.”

Arching my brows, I edged in closer, searching for weapons.  So far, I’d yet to see a single one.

“I cannot tell if the look on your face is curiosity or merely an attempt to distract me.”  He sighed and then reached out, pushed a plate toward me.  “If you are any good at your job, you’ll recognize this.”

My eyes moved to the plate, a thin disk of what looked like hammered gold.

The sight of the three small berries there made my belly clench, even if I was there to kill him.

Death’s seal, the most poisonous plant in three systems.  Deadly, and outlawed on almost every planet in those three systems.  Just the touch of it on the tongue was enough to kill a child.  Half of a berry could kill a woman my size.  Three berries could kill three men.

“I’m going to make this easy,” he said quietly.  “My son seeks to kill me, thinking he’ll inherit.”

Cree reached for a berry.

“Wait,” I said, the word ripping out of me despite my intention not to speak.  “Why?  If you wish to fight him, then why do this?”

“I don’t wish to fight him.”  He smiled, rolling the berry between his fingers.  “I wish to deny him what he tries to take by betrayal.”  Then he shrugged.  “And I refuse to let him use another in his endless vendetta against me. Do you know…it’s our belief that for every life you take, you must save two more if you want to leave this existence with your soul intact.”

I inclined my head.  “I have no soul left.  You do this for nothing if you try to spare me.”

“If you had no soul, it wouldn’t concern you to see this berry in my hand.”

He smiled at me as he tossed it up in the air.

I don’t know why I did it.

It should mean nothing to me.

I could easily claim his death as my own.  Poison wasn’t unknown to me.  I suspected I even knew who had provided him with those three priceless, deadly berries.

But my hand moved, almost as though it had a mind of its own and the sliver-thin dart stole the berry from the air and I quickly used two more darts to destroy the other two berries.  He could still lick the plate, I supposed, but somehow I didn’t see this regal, elegant man choosing that route.

“Why?” he asked, his voice puzzled.

Staring at the plate, at the thin stalks of the darts, I shook my head.  “I don’t know,” I murmured.  Then I looked at him.  “Do you count now?  As one half of a life?”

By Special Request…Edged Blade

Due out in just a few more weeks, guys!

 

By the time Justin had finished wrapping his mind around what he’d just learned—or at least shoving it into a box until he was ready to deal with it—we were ready to go.

“We’re just going to have to drive through the night,” Justin said, tossing his bag into the car.

“I have a place,” Abraham offered, walking alongside me.

It was somewhat disconcerting to realize his nearness didn’t bother me. It wasn’t any more disturbing than having Scott standing next to me, or Chang.

“We’ll make do,” came Justin’s terse reply.

“You should let me help you,” Abraham said, his voice flat. “You agreed to share information with me. I’ve shared information. You’ve withheld it. That’s not like you, Justin. I can be of help and you know it.”

Justin opened his mouth only to shut it without saying anything.

Abraham pushed his advantage. He looked back at me, then at Tate. “Three of you. You intend to do this with only three of you.”

Justin lifted a shoulder. “With the plan I have, I could do it with two, but I like to be prepared.”

Abraham lifted a brow. “A fourth would be better. I know where you’re going. Don’t be foolish.”

“I got this.” Neither of them looked at me as they argued.

That pointed avoidance had me narrowing my eyes, because I had a feeling I knew why Justin was refusing the offered help.

“We have a mutual interest.” Abraham was one stubborn son of a bitch.

“Yeah, we do.” Justin opened the door, but lingered, eying Abraham. “Look, you wanted us gone, so we’re going. But listen up, I’ve worked with too many vamps before. Once you get the man you want, you’re just as likely to bail and I plan on getting all of them out.”

“I will help you with that—you have my word.”

“Not the issue.” Justin went to climb inside.

“Justin.”

He stilled.

“Do we need another set of hands?” My own hands were slippery with sweat.

“We can handle it,” Justin said. The words were completely and utterly devoid of emotion. He didn’t sound confident but he didn’t sound doubtful. That worried me more than anything.

“That’s not what she asked,” Tate said quietly, moving to stand at my shoulder—not a place I’d ever expected her to be.

I didn’t look at her. “Yes or no, can we use more hands on this?”
Amazon | BN | iBooks

On Christmas…A Damon POV for you

May you have a joyous and blessed Christmas.  God bless.

Christmas

From the end of Night Blade

There were things in my life that had haunted me, but there would never be anything like that day.  I deserved every awful, miserable second and I’d taken a thousand more days like this—if I could take it from her.

She was thin, like it had been months instead of weeks since she’d disappeared.  Kit was so mouthy and arrogant, half the time she made a person think she was bigger than she was, but under all that attitude, she was slender, almost delicate and now, she looked it.  Her skin looked paper thin and her cheekbones were too sharp, jutting up against the hollows of her face.

And she was bruised.

Even though she was clothes on now, I could remember the area of every fucking bruise. Every mark put on her.

The worst of all of it, though, was her eyes.  There was no life in them—almost as if Greaves hadn’t acted in time and she had gone over that edge.

I wanted her to look at me, wanted to find some way to strip that loss of…everything…from her, but she wouldn’t look at me.

Standing there, lost in the trees, I looked at her and waited, watched for some sign that she even knew I existed, knew I was here.  If she gave me any sign, I would have crawled over the frozen ground, broken glass and through the fires of hell.  If she said, kill…I’d storm that fucking fortress and everybody inside it would be dead in a moment.

 

But all she did was sit there, huddling behind Doyle and clutching a borrowed coat around her narrow shoulders.  Doyle had saved her, so I throttled down the need to grab the kid and beat him bloody for daring to be at her side when everything inside me said it should be me with her.

I’d lost that right.   Nobody knew that as well as I did.

But nothing could drag me from that spot there.

If somebody breathed too loud, she flinched and I couldn’t stand it.

This was the mean, ball-busting little bitch who’d once pulled a blade on me.  When she was afraid, she kicked people in the teeth.  When she was nervous, she mouthed off.  And if she was pissed, you better check her hands for sharp objects.

And now…

Red flooded my vision.  A furious roar flooded my head—the one I couldn’t voice.  No matter how many times, I tried to block it out, I kept seeing her as she came tearing out of the big pile of stone behind us.  I’d thought…

No, man.  Don’t go thinking.

 

If I started thinking, I was going to remember what she’d almost done.  She kept darting looks out through the trees and my gut told me if she thought she could, she might still try to just…end it.

And if I kept looking at her, I thought maybe I was going to be the one to lose my mind.  I couldn’t do this. But I couldn’t walk away from this place, either.  Shifting my attention to the fortress in the mountains, I stared at it.  The monster in me stretched his muscles, claws outstretched, teeth bared.  He wanted to come and play–destroy.  He was a mean bastard even under the best circumstances.  And when another broken gasp came to me on the wind, I had to admit…these weren’t the best circumstances.

 

She wouldn’t look at me.  Wouldn’t let me get near her and any time I tried, she backed away like she thought I might hurt her.  The bitch of it all…I even understood that.  If I didn’t do something, I was going to explode.  The monster raging inside me saw to that.

I didn’t bother stripping out of my clothes as I slid off into the night.  The shift took care of them.  They fell in shreds around me and I paid about as much attention to them as I did to the snow blasting again my skin.  I knew it was there, but I didn’t fucking care.

There were only two things that mattered—one of them was behind me…and she didn’t want to see me.

The other was in that huge mausoleum of a house and as soon as he came out, I didn’t care if he was under guard or not, I was going to rip him apart.  I’d bury my claws in his gut and then rip him apart.  I could already smell the acrid, rotting stink of his blood and the burn of anticipation was the only thing that had made me feel good since this nightmare had started.

Hiding myself in the shadows, I looked back at her.  She huddled against the tiger and I whispered, “I’m so damn sorry.”

But it didn’t matter.  I hadn’t protected her.  The one thing I’d promised her and I’d failed.

No wonder she didn’t want to look at me.

I didn’t think I’d ever be able to face myself again, not after this.

Edged Blade

EdgedBladeDraft4

In the year since her life was torn apart, Kit Colbana has slowly rebuilt herself. There’s a promise of hope in the relationship with the alpha of the local shapeshifters and she no longer comes screaming into wakefulness. Life’s not perfect but then again, when was it ever?

When her best friend Justin comes to her for help, there’s little question as to what her answer will be. Witches are disappearing and Justin won’t rest until he has answers. Soon, they learn that it’s not just witches who’ve gone missing, but vampires and shifters, too.

Unlikely alliances are forged as Kit and Justin found themselves drawn into a twisted web of lies and betrayal. As the clock counts down and the culprit behind recent disappearances is revealed, those Kit loves the most become the target of somebody who will kill to protect an ugly secret.

Amazon | BN | iBooks

~*~

There are some people who could get in trouble with a wet bag and a rubber ducky.

I know.

I’m one of them.

There I was, standing with a wet bag, eggs oozing out of it, half of my groceries for tonight all over the ground and a rubber ducky in my hand. I’d dropped one of the bags when a small tornado had almost bowled me over.  I’d held onto the other, although thanks to the smashed eggs, the stuff in it was probably ruined.

Sighing, I looked down at the bag and then the ducky.

 

Read more!

CIncinnati Comic Expo

So.  My weekend included this…

instaquote-_temp Batman & Robin

We went to the Cincinnati Comic Expo.  Sheila with Circle of Seven invited me to join her and I had a great time.  We had a panel on sexy heroes and we had a booth where we sold books and chatted with attendees and gaped at awesome costumes.  C.L. Wilson had the brilliant idea to grab people and have them posing with our books.

Which I think is awesome.

Several cosplayers were more than happy to play along and we got some great pictures.

These are just a couple of them.

Blade Song, back in print & Cincy Comic Expo

Blade Song is available in trade paperback again. Some people have/had it priced at $60-$90 on Amazon. Eek. Not necessary. It wasn’t out of print permanently. It was originally published through a small publishing house owned by a friend of mine, because I didn’t want to handle i~I got the rights back and it’s back in print now for a whopping $9.99. It’s only on Amazon right now, but over the next month or so, it will matriculate through Amazon/Createspace’s system and be available be libraries, etc.

The ISBN is  978-1500343750 and it’s up at Amazon now.

 

Also…

Excitement!  I’m speaking at my FIRST EVER COMIC EXPO!

Come see me!

Cincinnati Comic Expo
Cincinnati, Oh
September 19-21
Click on link for panel info.
Signing Saturday at 2pm
Info

I’ll have swag and I’m selling the Kit books and stuff.  The panel time and info is listed above, and I’ll be signing & selling my Kit books at 2pm.

Also, please see the updated appearances schedule down in the sidebar. 🙂