Not Your Grandma’s Vampire

I know… not a great title, but I wanted to be catchy.

My most recent novel released in print back in February. It is now live in eBook format. So for those of you who are like me and only order books electronically, the wait is finally over.

Enough propaganda (I’m sure we’re all sick of that with what is going on here in the U.S.) and on to the point. I’ve read many vampire stories. They are all very interesting, but it seems things haven’t changed with the rest of society. Most stories are the same concepts set forth by Bram Stoker in 1897. I think, Stephanie Meyer tried to make a more modern vampire with Twilight, but it was all very PG and cheesy (IMO, and before the Twilight fans come back at me, I’ve read all the books, and watched all the movies, and in all honesty, I enjoyed them). This isn’t a post to rip apart her work. I was entertained. But after a Twilight binge watching session with my wife (and not the first time we watched the movies), I gave her my thoughts on vampires. When I think of vampires, I think of sex, blood, alcohol, drugs, etc. But at the same time, I wanted to be different. This was the idea for The Vampire’s Curse.

I gave my wife my own ideas and she told me I should make it into a story. Two months later came NaNoWriMo and I said “Fuck it! Let’s do this.” I wanted to stay true to Bram’s original idea, but I wanted to modify it. In The Vampire’s Curse, the vampires are very similar to ordinary people. The sleep like humans, they don’t burn up from the Sun. They exist within human society and try to keep their identities a secret. They were created by Lucifer in rebellion of his fate. But God created his own minions to counter the vampire’s of Earth. I’m going on a tangent, but what I tried to create was a unique vampire story. They use magic. They exist, although hidden in modern society. They have even infiltrated the oval office. I wanted to create a non-PG vampire story and I think I was successful (although you all could tell me otherwise.) I wanted to create an MC that was a mix of Deadpool, but yet still a vampire. He’s not a superhero, and in fact finds trouble around every corner.

So if any of this sounds intriguing, please check out The Vampire’s Curse: Life Eternal. And there will be more. I’m currently working on the next book.

Here is a link to the physical book

And Amazon hasn’t linked the two versions yet, but if you are looking for the eBook, you can get a copy here

Also, don’t forget to visit my website and be sure to sign up for my mailing list.

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Short Story: Payback

So this isn’t perfect. It was one of my assignments in one of my classes. Went through about 4 revisions, and received much feedback, but I’d like to make it better. So please, offer me your thoughts. I do like the story, which is why I wanted to share.

Also, a note on my other books and WIPs. The second Vampire book is roughly 60% done for a rough draft (want to have it completed, revised, edited, and perfected by the end of August). I’m about the same (maybe a little further, like 65%) on the last Keepers of the Orbs Book (I want to release it by the end of the year). Also have a Sci-Fi WIP that is done, just needs revision and editing  before I release (hope to also have that out by the end of the year, although my priority is the next Vampire book, the final Keepers book, then this, and I will look to stagger the releases). I also have all 3 books from the Keepers series in the hands of an editor. It sounds like a lot, but with my Master’s program and my full-time job, I don’t have much time to write. I don’t go back to school until the middle of September, so I NEED to make the most of the next 3 months (and I will, now that my vacations are over with).

Also, the eBook version of The Vampire’s Curse: Life Eternal has been released on my publisher’s website. It should be live on Amazon and Kobo within the next couple days. If you were waiting for the eBook (as I know I would be since I RARELY read a physical book, unless we are talking about required reading for my Masters).   visit my Publisher’s Website

And like I said, Amazon and Kobo will have the eBook soon. Also, feel free to check out my other books. However, I would wait on the Keepers series until I say I have updated with the editor’s changes.

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Check out my website to learn more about my writing project. And be sure to follow my blog.

Enough talk, onto my short story: Payback.

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Normally the road is smooth. The county I live in takes pride in its city streets. However, tonight it seems I hit every single bump I can find. This wouldn’t be an issue on any other night, but tonight, I have the body of my nemesis in the trunk. It’s not like I killed the son of a bitch, yet his unconscious body beats and bangs against my trunk every time my car rolls over the smallest crack. Mason made my life a living hell ten years ago when we were in sixth grade. My parents moved us away, but I spent every year plotting my revenge. Now we’re graduates of college—although not the same college—and it’s time for him to pay.

***

Mason walked into the kitchen and something smelled good. “What are you cooking, Mom?” He kissed her cheek.

“Morning, Mason. I’m making steak and eggs for your father. Do want some too? The pans are already dirty.”

“If it’s not too much trouble, I’d love some.” Mason grabbed a cup of coffee and sat at the table.

“My word you got in late last night. What did you end up doing?”

“Went to the Beach Comber with Eddie and Todd.”

She shook her head. “It’s your last summer vacation. Shouldn’t you be doing something to get ready for the rest of your life? A job? An internship? You should be doing something other than drinking with your buddies. And you need to be careful when you come home. You let the door slam shut and startled your father and I. It sounded like someone was breaking into the house.”

Mason laughed. “Sorry, Mom. But I’ll be working for the rest of my life. I want to enjoy my last summer before I become a slave of a corporation.”

“But you have to know many other people in your position are working this summer. I spoke to Donna, and her son has an internship at a radio station. They’re all getting a leg up on you. It’s going to be difficult to get a job after school when you have nothing to put on your resume.”

“I’ll be fine, Mom. The market is really good right now. I shouldn’t have any problems.”

“Why do you always have a laissez-faire attitude about life? Your father and I just want what’s best for you. You’re a good kid with a lot of potential.”

“I know you do, but I just want to relax. I’ll find a job when the time is right. And if all else fails, Dad already said he can get me a job at the insurance company. He said they’re always hiring. I probably won’t love it, but at least it’ll be a start. So let me enjoy my summer.”

She placed a plate in front of him. It smelled delicious. “You won’t love it. Your dad has hated it for the last thirty years. I just want you to be happy and I worry about you doing something you hate. But you’re a big boy, and if this is what you want to do, by all means.”

“Thanks, Mom.” Just then his dad walked in.

“You going to do something productive today?” he asked. “And I don’t hate my job. I just don’t love it.” He laughed.

“I’ll probably clean my car and tidy up my room.”

“I’m glad you’re at least doing something,” Mason said. “But maybe you should take a break from drinking tonight. You can’t party every night of the week.”

His mom nodded.

“I’ll be fine. Like I told Mom, let me enjoy my summer.”

“I just don’t understand the appeal. If you were bowling or something, I’d get it,” she said. “Have you considered mini-golf? That new place opened up off Main and I’m sure you boys would enjoy it.”

“What’s not to get? Drinks, music, dancing, and girls. It doesn’t get any better than that. Bowling is for high schoolers, and don’t get me started on mini-golf.”

“That’s it? Why don’t you go to a movie?” she asked.

“There are no new movies I haven’t already seen. Besides, there are exciting moments in a bar that you just don’t get anywhere else.”

“Like what?” they both asked.

He took a bite of eggs before responding. “Well, I was out there on the floor dancing with this gorgeous brunette. I happen to notice this GQ douchebag who must’ve taken a whole bottle of steroids to get as swole as this bastard was. Anyway, he kept giving me the eye while I’m dancing. I asked the girl if she knew who he was. Said she didn’t recognize him. So the night continues, and both Todd and Eddie see him too. He’s staring at me like he hates me. So I get a few drinks in and decided to ask him what his freaking problem was. I got my boys and we walked right up to him. He just stared at me with no response, but I saw him tightening his fist. He’s about to throw down and I knew I needed to act first. I pulled back my arm, but he turned and left. I don’t know what his problem was, but if I ever see him again, I think we’re going to have a problem.”

“That’s terrible, Mason. Why would you do that?” his mom asked.

“You need to grow up,” his dad said before he left the table and kissed his mom goodbye.

“What? You’ve never been in an altercation before?”

Mason’s dad turned and said, “No… I haven’t. And I wouldn’t be so proud if I were you.”

He disappeared into the garage and his mom leaned in closer. “This is exactly what I was talking about.”

“I’m sure I’ll never see the guy again.”

“If you do, just be careful. There are crazy people out there and don’t forget where you live. It’s not Texas, but Colorado has some loose laws, and anyone can have a gun on them at any time.”

***

I turn down a dark street and approach the warehouse. My parents own this lumber yard in Colorado Springs, and fortunately, I have a key. No one will suspect anything because their business focuses on construction companies and they don’t open on weekends. This being a Friday, I know I’m in the clear. I kill the engine and quickly walk to the door, propping it open with a brick, before heading to the trunk.

With the key in hand, I reach for the lid, but pause for a moment, taking a deep breath. Mason has always been a quick thinker. I’m not saying he’s intelligent or anything, but he is quick to make a decision—good or bad—and will likely act on it. If he does that now, he’ll come out swinging, or some other stupid shit. I need to give the trunk a wide berth.

I stand off to the side and put my key in the lock, turning it ever so slightly, before the lid pops open. As I suspected, he lunges out of the trunk, probably expecting to knock me off balance. All he manages is a face-first tumble onto the ground. I want to laugh so bad, but again, stifle it and do my best to keep a straight face.

I pick him up and guide him up the four metal stairs leading to the warehouse. I can’t keep the smile off my face. Now the fun can finally begin.

***

“This place is jumping tonight, Mason.” Nick said.

The music was loud and he could feel the bass thumping in his gut. Just the way he liked it. Bright lights danced around the room. The air was ripe with sweat and spilled booze. A wave of euphoria flooded his body. This was his stomping grounds. This was his life. He tapped Eddie on the arm and headed for the bar to grab a drink and surveyed the scene. Todd was busy with his girl, so they brought another buddy, Nick, in his place. The ladies were out in full force and he targeted several for a conversation and dance later. All he had to do was show them his dimples and they became putty in his hand. Of course, it’s easy when you’re the star high-school quarterback. Yes, this was the life. But he was torn out of it when Eddie tapped his shoulder and spun around.

Eddie pointed across the bar. “Do you see that son of a bitch?”

He nodded.

Nick looked confused. “Who’s he?”

“Remember that douchebag we were telling you about?” Eddie asked. “That’s him.”

“We going to mess him up?” Nick asked.

He remembered his mom’s words from earlier. Maybe he was being childish. “No, it’s cool. Maybe he has a beef, but I’m not going to worry about it right now.” He turned around and watched the ladies dancing and tried to figure out who to watch first.

“Well he’s headed this way,” Eddie said.

Mason spun back around and sure enough, he was walking directly toward them with anger in his eyes. This was one cold bastard. “Be ready for anything,” Mason said.

He walked over with three beers in his hand. In a deep voice, he said, “I just wanted to apologize for staring at you last night. You reminded me of someone, but I don’t think it’s you.”

“I thought you really had a problem with me.”

“That’s why I’m here tonight. I wanted to apologize and make it up to you by buying you and your friends a round of beer.” He handed over the three bottles and we accepted. “No hard feelings?” he asked.

Something in his smile told Mason he wasn’t being serious, but he wasn’t one to turn down a free beer.

“Thanks, I really appreciate it. We won’t have any hard feelings so long as you don’t,” Mason said.

“No. We’re good.” He looked around the room. “I’m going to get out of your way. I hope you gentlemen enjoy your evening.”

“Thanks. And thanks for the beer.”

“That could’ve been ugly,” Nick said.

“Yeah. The way he looked at you the whole time he was walking over here. I thought he was just going to lay you out,” Eddie said.

Mason smiled. “Crisis averted. Shall we?” he asked and slammed both beers.

They walked out onto the dance floor. The song was lit and he started moving along with it. A couple of girls huddled together. They made their way over and asked the ladies to dance. The six of them grooved their way through the first song. The second just started up when a wave of nausea made its way through Mason’s body. Sweat ran in rivers down his forehead and his vision blurred. His legs felt rubbery and he wobbled. They gave out on and he collapsed on the floor. The last thing he remembered, his vision went black.

***

The warehouse is dark and I know he’s conscious. The time is finally at hand. People don’t understand what bullying does to a person. It gets into your head—into your very psyche—it messes a person up for life. Countless years of therapy, and for what? I’m still in the same place mentally as I was at twelve years-old. It doesn’t matter. Mrs. Tongren gave me good advice. I didn’t listen and instead worked out. I muscled up for this moment. Mason is a douchebag and made my life a living hell. Now is the time for him to atone for his actions.

Each of my footfalls echoes in the vast expanse of the warehouse. A can’t hide my glee. I hope he’s crapping his pants right now. It’s all very mysterious, which is how I envisioned this moment. When I brought him in, I tied him to a chair and left him in the loading dock. I didn’t want him to recognize where he was. I want him in a state of confusion, unable to recognize anything, and this setting is as vague as can be. I step closer and come just into the light. I hope my face is reminiscent of a friend sitting around a campfire telling ghost stories.

“Why are you doing this to me? I thought you said we were good. I don’t understand.” He’s crying and spittle runs down his chin.

Wetness covers the front of his pants and I smile. “Oh, we were good for a moment. I needed an opportunity to drug you.”

“You drugged me?” he asks.

“And your friends.” I can’t hide the smile as it creeps across my face.

Mason looks around for his friends. “Where are they?”

“Probably still at the club trying to figure out what happened and where the hell you went.”

“I don’t get it. Why me?”

“Look at my face.” I step further into the light.

“Should I know you/”

“You should, but you don’t remember me, do you?” I ask.

He stares at me for a moment. “No. Who the fuck are you?”

“Oh, you made my life a living hell in elementary school.”

“Elementary school?” He tries to figure out who I am while tears continue their trek down his face. “You’ll have to tell me more.”

“You broke my glasses, shoved my head in a toilet, snapped my suspenders, knocked me on the ground, and kicked dirt in my face. This happened weekly. I had black eyes. One time you even broke my arm. You made my life a living hell.”

“Adam?”

“No, it’s Shawn, you dick.”

It takes a moment, but I see clarity in his eyes.

“You were the one who left after elementary school and never came back.”

“Yeah. My parents were afraid for my life, so they pulled me out and we moved away. I spent all those years making sure no one would ever do that to me again. I changed my diet and hit the gym, vowing to one day come back and make you pay.”

“Look, Shawn, I’m sorry for everything I’ve done. We were just kids. I know I made it rough on you, but you were a skinny little twerp and had it all coming.”

I punch him. Not hard, but enough to get his attention. He barely remembers who I am. How can he be sorry?

“Look, you were a twerp. Guys like me are supposed to treat you like I did. It’s a rite of passage.

“A rite of passage?” I laugh. “Who’s the twerp now?” My voice rises in anger.

It takes a moment, but he finally responds. “I’m sorry for everything I did to you. I’m sorry for my word selection a minute ago. I’m sorry for everything. Is there something I can do to make it up to you?”

“No! You made me suffer and I’ll do the same to you.”

I walk over to a table and grab mini sledgehammer. I bounce it off my hands for a moment while he pleads for his life. It feels heavy, like it knows what it’s about to do.

“Look we can work this out. I’ll do anything,” he says, squirming in his seat. He yanks his hands, trying to break the plastic ties, but all he manages is cuts to his wrists.

“I’ve waited for this for ten years. All my plotting—I’ve watched you for over a year, even followed you at college. But you never noticed. You’re too into yourself for that. You haven’t changed one bit. But it’s fine. I’ve waited for the right time to get my revenge.” I hate this guy, and while violence is never the answer, this guy will never understand. People like him need to be rid from this Earth.

“I’ll do anything. Please!” he says while sobbing.

“You won’t do anything.” I bring the sledgehammer over my head. “Payback’s a bitch.”

I bring the hammer down and it crashes into his head.

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What’s Going on With J.G. Gatewood

The Broncos Suck!!!

The Nuggets are on a Tear!!! (Although, don’t get me started on the last game against Memphis)

It’s almost Thanksgiving! My favorite holiday as I love to eat (I have gone low carb, so we’ll see how the turkey day holiday treats me this year)

I’ve lost 20 lbs.

I’m letting my hair grow out… some…

That’s exactly what you wanted to hear, right? Why you clicked on the blog post? I’ve been shaving my head for the past 15 years. Not because I was losing it, oh no, that isn’t it at all. I wore a hat every day and it was just easier. So now that I’m not wearing a hat every day, decided to try growing it out a bit longer to see how it goes.

Haha, but enough with my sports teams and hair. That’s really not why I created this post. I haven’t put out a lot of writing lately. There are a couple reasons for that. Many of you know, Vampire’s Curse will be releasing soon. Don’t have an official release date, but will definitely post when I do. This is the first book being published by a publisher and not by me. It has been difficult to give up the control, but I am excited to see how that goes. The edits and updates for this book have taken a lot of my time. Hopefully it will all be worth it.

I also decided to go back to school. So, since August I have been working on my Masters of Arts in Professional Fiction Writing from the University of Denver. It is very exciting, but also time consuming. I’ve never had any formal writing training, I have a Finance Bachelors after all, so this is an exciting time for my family and I.

The bottom line, I don’t have much time to write. That will change in one week when I finish my current class, and I don’t begin my next two classes until January 7th. So I will have some time. I know people are waiting for book 4 in the Keepers of the Orbs Series. I am currently about 50% of the way complete on the rough draft. But I also promised the publisher I would have the second book in my new Vampire series done by the end of the year. Once I finish my class, all my effort will go into finishing that. But once I am done, I plan on working on book 4. Expect the release at some point in 2019.

Speaking of 2019, I plan on revising my Sci Fi Novel, Saukarian Children. The rough draft is complete, but as my critique group pointed out, it needs a lot of work. I will basically be doing a complete rewrite on that book, but I also plan on releasing it at some point in 2019 (probably later in the year). And I’ll be excited to put all my new skills from school to work on this manuscript.

I will also be enrolled in a short story writing class. I plan on posting all of that writing to my blog, which I’ll be excited to share with you all.

What’s on the docket for the weekend you ask? My wife is also working on her Masters (her 2nd). She is a 5th grade teacher who has been teaching the gifted and talented children for the past five or six years. She decided she should get trained in it and is almost done. But, she has class all day tomorrow. So I’ll be hanging Christmas lights on the house while the weather is nice. Don’t worry, I won’t be turning them on until after Thanksgiving, but in case the weather turns (which I really hope it does, last year was very dry here in Denver) I want to have it done.

We’ll also be decorating the inside of the house tomorrow night when my wife gets home from school. Those will be turned on. We usually decorate the first weekend of November, so we’re a bit late this year. We put up so much stuff, it doesn’t pay to have it up for only a couple weeks. And let’s face it… my wife loves Christmas. Anything to make her happy, I am on board with.

My youngest is celebrating his 8th birthday (actually on Thanksgiving this year) but we are having a party on the 17th. Pray for me. Twelve 8 year olds, running and screaming through my house.

Anyway, just wanted to throw out an update. Expect more from me in the way of books in the next year. And I know it’s early, but I’m getting in the holiday mood, so I’ll leave you with this.

Shitters

Don’t forget to check out my books by clicking on the Books link above.

 

My Writing and My Books Free From Amazon 10/27-10/31

Hello Everyone.

So, I self-published my first book, The Unknown Man, (Book 1 in the Keepers of the Orbs Series) back in 2012. I had no idea what I was doing and the book was nowhere near ready, as I quickly found out. However, this turned out to be the best learning experience I could’ve ever imagined. When I published it, I was in a unique spot in my life. I had just started working again after being unemployed for 2 years, had my second child, and was in school full-time working on my Bachelors Degree. My wife and I literally had no money and I couldn’t afford to pay an editor. I relied on family members to edit the book who were much better at it than I was, but they’re not professional editors. I think this is reflected in my books. Regardless, I spent the next 2 1/2 years revising that book (I think I’m on version 20 something now) and finally reached a point where I couldn’t do anything more to it, other than send it to a professional editor.

Since then, I have published 3 more books (the next two in the series and a standalone) as well as a short story, but considering that when I finally got a job half way through 2011, I went with the best organization to offer me a job. However, it was in a new industry for me and I accepted an entry level position that only paid roughly 60% of what my job paid me pre-2009 when I was laid off. It didn’t matter, my wife and I struggled for a couple years, but were able to remain afloat, not lose the house or cars, and have some semblance of discretionary funds so we could afford to eat out or go to a movie every once in a while. As a result, when I published the next 4 books, they were also self-edited. I think the books and my writing have improved, but I still need that professional touch.

Anyway, I’m sure you’re wondering why I am going on this long diatribe. Two and a half years ago I accepted a new position that allowed us to pay off the small amount of debt we accumulated while I was laid off/starting over in an entry level position and I’m finally in a position where I can spend some money. My next book, an Urban Fantasy/Vampire book, is currently with…. a PAID EDITOR and will be the first book to receive this treatment. I am so excited, but it is only the beginning. I plan on submitting everything else I have released to the editor as well over the course of the next several months. So I was just looking at my Amazon account and noticed I hadn’t done a free promotion on any of my books in almost a year. Since they’re all eligible, and since I am going to be paying for an editor for all of them before I re-release them all anyway, I figured I would just go ahead and list all of them for free for the next 5 days (10/27-10/31). It may not be the best marketing strategy, but what the hell, right?

So if you’re interested, feel free to hop on over to my Amazon account and download a copy of one or all of them. They’re not perfect and will get better, but I know this and just gave you a heads up. 🙂 Click Here

Koto Series Image

I should hopefully have some news on Vampire’s Curse by the end of November. I planned on releasing Book 4 (the final book in the Keepers of the Orbs Series) in December, but now I am going to wait until books 1-3 are edited first. So that will be early 2018 now. After that I will focus on my Sci-Fi book, Saukarian Children, which is completed, but I will re-work it and submit it to an editor before I do anything with it. Then I have about 12 other ideas, so stay tuned.

Thanks for the support, and please check out my social media sites to stay up to date.

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