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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

KRACKEN - Character Introduction: Mike Stone

It's January and Kracken has just cleared its final edit. To help introduce Kracken to the world, I started a series of character introductions a while back. The first post was of our protagonist, or the as we say in the common tongue - the star of the show,  Mike Stone.

Here's the scene I chose to give you a hint of the journey Mike takes in the story: ( I hope you enjoy it.)

Mike kissed her forehead. “I will be back.” As Mike crept closer to the sound of the falling whip, he suddenly began to understand what Rosemary knew—only too well.

A man’s voice, stilted with callous disregard, spoke over the sound of crying. “Four more of you worthless whelps are missing,” The angry voice continued, dripping with undisguised hatred. “I’m going to beat you one by one until either you tell me where the others are or until you’re all dead. Don't matter to me one way or the other.” The angry voice flicked his wrist and the whip jumped as if alive, snaking out and biting the exposed skin of a child’s thigh. Another lash answered by another cry.

You sorry excuse for—” The angry voice withdrew the whip, wet with blood, and began his forward motion. The whip froze mid-strike. “—what the…” He turned and looked into Mike’s burning gaze.

A shot fired.

Two more C-men, laughing while holding the teenage boy who was being beaten, looked up in sudden surprise, then bewilderment, and finally fear. Their gaze traveled to the hot anger in Mike’s face to their comrade lying dead at his feet; a fist sized hole still smoldering in his chest where the laser blast terminated his protest. 

This was posted on Face Book back in December, but not here so I thought to bring it back arround.

A scene from Kracken due for release Feb2015. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

KRACKEN - Character Introduction: Ted Waters

So now we come to the bad guy, the antagonist, Ted Waters himself. I mean what would our protagonist do if he didn't have a bad guy to slap him around and push him a little bit.

But before we get to that, how about an update. The last proof is almost done and then our editor will do her last sweep through the manuscript; finally the layout artist adds his magic touch. Poof! Pow! and we're done. Then the pre-readers will get the first shot at Kracken then its out to the public. I don't think I've ever been this excited for a book releases as I am for Kracken.

So  without delay, I introduce you to Ted Waters, CEO of The Company:

Excerpt from Kracken by Ray Ellis:

“Look at them,” a male voice said to her.
Ted Waters stood with his back to her, staring out the wall-sized window. The vista that was Millennium City, formally Uptown Manhattan, seemed to go on forever in every direction. Much of the Hudson River now channeled underground and what had been New Jersey was now encompassed within the new city. With over a hundred million people, Millennium was the largest city on Earth, rebuilt on the ruins of old New York just after the final skirmishes of the last world war over a hundred years prior. “We built this city brick by brick, layer by layer. Reconstructing it from the fragments left after the rebels and religious fanatics had finished killing each other. Feral dogs!”
Iona had heard the speech before—many times. She watched as Ted Waters stood motionless in the charcoal gray suit that was his staple, his hands clasped behind his back. She admired that he maintained his excellent physical condition, looking only a third of his sixty-plus years.
Waters continued talking, taking no notice of her. “They are small-minded individuals, fighting amongst themselves without the foresight to see beyond their own petty issues. They are animals, ignorant as children, threatening the very structure of civilization itself with their insignificant ideals.” He shifted his gaze, but still looked out of the window. “We saved them from themselves.”
Iona stood quietly, knowing better than to interrupt, knowing that Ted Waters would acknowledge her when he was ready.
“The Company brought an end to the chaos, and in its place inserted order. We have taken control, removing or reducing the variables of their meager existence giving them stability and peace.”
He turned to face Iona. He walked over and sat behind his oversized desk. “In the old world, more than a few generations back, my family were shepherds; did you know that, Ms. Bowers?”
Iona still said nothing; she was not expected to.
Waters continued, more talking at her than to her. “People are like sheep. They need a leader—a shepherd.” He spread his hands toward her. “I provide that service; I am the shepherd.
“I protect and care for the sheep, and in turn, the sheep produce a certain standard of living for the portion of society”—he smiled sardonically—“that provides that care. By this industry, the shepherds enjoy a certain standard of living. A perfect balance.” Waters finally looked directly into her eyes, “Ms. Bowers, that balance has been disturbed.”
The office felt dark. Even though the curtains stood opened, very little light seemed to filter into the room. A feeling of heaviness lingered in the office like the smell of a burnt meal after the ruined repast had been discarded. Smokey-bronze light fixtures built into dark leather wall coverings, set against a blood red carpet with over-sized elaborate furnishings reflected the man whose office it was. His throne-like desk sat in the center of the space, very large and made from rich, lunar marble, its subtle veins of dull color teasing the eye with suppressed hues. The large leather chair, with its polished brass spike mounted at the intersection of the shoulder blades, above the juncture of the intercostal nerves, stood in stark contrast to the dark leather wall coverings. 

Ah, now you have had a brief view of Ted Waters, I am looking forward to your getting to know him personally; or perhaps we shouldn't make it too close.  Smile

Friday, January 9, 2015

KRACKEN - Character Introduction: Mary Stone and Iona Bowers

Hi there again.

We are so close! The first proof is in and the editor is doing her magic. The second proof will be done by early next week, then the last stage, the clean up, and finally to the layout and we will be live. Can you believe it?

A few weeks ago, I introduced you to Mike Stone, our hero character, but in this second intro, I thought I would present the women of Kracken;  Mary Stone, Mike's wife; and Iona Bowers, their nemesis.

Mary is a young mother of three, two boys 7 and about 5 and a baby girl under two years old. Here's a clip showing Mary and Iona together, just another day in the world of Kracken. Enjoy.

Excerpt from Kracken by Ray Ellis:

“As you were, lieutenant.” A stern voice came from just outside the front door. The blow stopped mere inches from Mary’s face.
“But she—”
“I said, as you were. Besides, I really don’t want to see you get beat up in front of your men by a woman holding a baby.” Iona Bowers walked slowly into the room. Just inside the door, she stood, feet spread shoulder width apart, and her hands hanging relaxed by her side. She looked coolly into the face of the officer. He trembled with rage at the perceived offense to his authority.
With great effort, the man brought himself under control. “Yes, ma’am.”
Taking his obedience for granted, Iona said dismissively “Wait outside,” and walked past him without so much as a second glance in his direction. Finally turning her attention to Mary, she said, “So this is what you’ve come to.” She looked around the small home, a sneer turning the corners of her lips. Iona smiled; it was not pleasant.
Mary looked down at her children. The baby had gone from fussy to crying, twisting and pulling in her arms. Travist stood hugging her leg, his tear-streaked face pressed against her thigh. And M2, how he reminded her of Mike, stood heaving angrily, his small hands fisted, stared after the uniformed men.
Mary watched helplessly as the officers first violated the privacy of her home, opening and checking cabinets; even pulling clothing from the closets. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, they left.
Feeling violated and very much alone, Mary turned to face Iona. “So, Waters sent you to do his dirty work again?” Then shifting the crying baby in her arms, she stooped until she was face level with her sons. “You guys were great. Now be a big help to Mommy, go to your room and start cleaning up the mess those bad men made. Mommy has to talk to the lady.” She kissed each of their cheeks and foreheads before dismissing them.
“Well, Mary, is this really the best you could do?” Iona said, indicating the modest home. She drew a manicured finger along the wall, checking her hand for dust. She rubbed it clean on the back of the sofa. “Doesn’t seem like much for the once best and brightest The Company had to offer.” Her words dripped with sarcasm and were intended to cause pain.
Mary did not respond.
Iona walked around Mary, appraising her. “I can't believe just how much you’ve let yourself go.” Iona’s voice was silky, her tone condescending. As she moved, her hair poured over her shoulders like fountains of liquid fire, green eyes sparkled with barely contained energy. Wearing a black body suit beneath a short emerald jacket, she stood in stark contrast to Mary, who in sweats and one of Mike’s old shirts had been relaxing with her children just before being broken in on.
They were friends once. They had shared a deep and rich history, once. Now all that existed between the two women was jealousy, hatred, fear, and pity.
Iona stared at Mary, loving her position of dominance. “You thought you’d beaten me, didn’t you?” She laughed.
Mary still said nothing.
“Everything you worked for, I have. I have your living quarters. Of course, I had to have it redecorated. I even have your old office.” She sighed. “What? You got nothing to say? Oh, I’ve dreamt of this day. The day when little Miss Mary Perfect, with everything just so, would have to come begging to me.” Laughter erupted from her. “Everything you ever worked for, I have; it’s all mine.”
“I have his children,” Mary said snidely and regretted it the moment she did. “I’m sorry,” she said reaching out toward Iona.
Anger swelled in Iona. “How dare you?” She stepped menacingly toward Mary. “How…dare…you!” She slapped Mary, the blow catching her full across the face. “Don’t you dare pity me.”
Mary turned with the blow, positioning her shoulder between her daughter and Iona. “Iona, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that.” She adjusted the baby in her arms, nuzzling her neck, and she spoke around the agitated child. “You and I were friends once, closer even…” She hesitated, kissed the baby’s face and looked back to Iona. “Mike chose me. It doesn’t mean that  we—”
Iona stepped toward Mary. “Sorry? Oh, you will be sorry. Before I’m done, Mary Stone, you will be very sorry.” She spun and stalked out of the house.
“Oh, God,” Mary cried, sinking into the chair behind her. “Oh, God, I keep saying the wrong things.” Her emotions broke on her like waves crashing onto shore. Curling her legs beneath herself, she rocked absentmindedly, hugging her daughter to her breast and silently wishing her husband was with her to comfort her. The baby, quieted, rested her face against her mother’s. Looking upward, Mary cried softly, “Lord, Jesus help me. I can’t do this by myself. I’m not strong, Lord. I’m just not.”
Looking out the opened door, Mary watched the small parade of vehicles float away. She spoke again, “I’m scared, Lord. Help me not to hate her.” Turning, she saw her sons who had come upon hearing her cry. Then with silent tears, they embraced and sat quietly, staring at the russet sky.

I hope you enjoyed this and are anticipating the release as much as I am.

Next week I'll introduce you to our true antagonist, Ted Waters.