Society of YA Storytellers: Villain Takeover


How to RULE the World
by Jersey Clifford

I am not writing this article as a recommendation that you should try to conquer the world.  That would be ridiculous.  You, a mere mortal, building an army strong enough to rule the earth?  I think not.  If you knew anything worth knowing, you would know that human beings are near the bottom of the food chain.  There are vampires (which I loathe), shifters and wraiths (both make good servants), and my kind.

I am a werewolf.  Being the first in any species gives you a unique perspective.  Ordinary werewolves are notoriously stupid, some illiterate, and they cannot control their rage.  I, on the other hand, have become quite zen over the centuries.  I can stand back, assess a situation, and know exactly what to do.

The first thing someone in my position needs to do to prepare for taking over the world is to build an army.  Yes, I am turning mortals into werewolves right and left.  They may not be smart, but they are ten times stronger than people.

The second thing I need to do is make a treaty with vampires.  Yes, I know.  It sounds unappetizing, but vampires aren’t all bad.  Take my new friend Jack, for instance.  He may have recently lost his fangs and can’t remember who I am, but he stirs something deep inside of me.  Is it compassion?  Loyalty?  Love, even?  I have no idea.  Doesn’t matter.  When the day comes, I will fulfill my destiny and kill Jack… again.

He is sweetest friend or hardest foe,
best angel or worst devil.
I either hate or love him so.
I can’t merely be civil.

                  Elizabeth Barrett Browning

This is how I feel about him, torn in half.  Part of me wants to save him, while the other part wants to rip into his chest with metallic claws.  Jack would understand the quote above.  He cherishes the written word as much as I do.  Perhaps if I had someone else to discuss literature with, I wouldn’t be that drawn to him.

In any case, my army is nearly done.  I am going to approach the vampires soon.  Together, we will enslave the people.  They will call us master.  They will call us gods.

Jersey Clifford

K.C. Blake

Rule series/Vampires Rule, published 2011

Amazon link:

Also available at B&N, Smashwords, and other online ebook retailers

Blogger Book Fair: Lauren Grimley

July BBF button copy

This week I am on the Blogger Book Fair Tour. For more information on the fair, you can visit their site to learn what it is, who you’ll meet, and the great giveaways and sales on our books. I wrote my introduction for it, so the rest of the week we’re diving in to meet my new friends and authors!

Today’s guest is Lauren Grimley and I need to first say how fun it’s been getting to know her. I can’t wait to check out her books, but in the meantime, read her guest post below, learn more about who she is, what she writes, and just why she loves writing vampire books!

Confessions & Explanations of a Vampire Chick

I write vampire books. Now, if you’re already an urban fantasy or paranormal romance fan, that may not sound like such a terrible confession. If, however, you’re a writer who finds herself in a room of other writers, most of whom are twice your age and read and write only literature with a capital “L” or self-absorbed memoirs, it can be a difficult thing to admit. I’ve been in this situation more times than I care to recall, and I’ve always wanted to slap myself afterwards for sounding so apologetic when I’ve shared my genre.

Writers and agents will say vampire stories have been overdone or that their popularity is a fad on its way out. While both of these hold some validity, the real reason other writers and their agents have contempt for vampire books is simple: jealousy. Writers like Stephenie Meyer, J. R. Ward, and Charlaine Harris have made a fortune writing stories that the masses have enjoyed. Like me, most writers at writing conferences haven’t. I’d like to chastise these aspiring best-selling authors for belittling something simply because their own works haven’t sold as well, but (confession #2) I do it as well, as evidenced by my snide remark about memoirs. Instead, I’m here to explain for those who just don’t see (or don’t want to admit) the appeal of vampires which has kept readers coming back since Stoker’s time.

Top Five Reasons Vampire Stories Never Die

1. No two vampires are alike. Some sparkle in the sun, while others meet the true death in just a little UV light. Some feed off each other. Some feed off unsuspecting humans. Some eat chocolate and bacon as a main course and simply suck a little platelets on the side. Point is, saying vampire stories are all the same is like saying all books in any other genre are the same. Sharing similarities is what constitutes a genre; that’s a far cry from saying they’re merely retellings of the same tale.

2. Few readers can resist a story with difficult moral dilemmas. Whether it’s musing over whether to bite your neighbor’s neck, brooding over the issue of immortality, or deciding whether to sleep with the hot guy with unusually large incisors, most books in the genre are surprisingly more focused on characters’ internal struggles than with the external enemies so many contain.

3. Sex sells and fangs are undoubtedly phallic symbols. Sure, you can have a vampire novel without sex or the allusion to it. You can have cake without frosting, or tonic without gin, too, but nobody’s buying either of those by the millions.

4. Violence sells almost as well as sex. Combine the two well and you have an instant best seller! Love without danger, either physical or emotional, isn’t actually all that interesting to read about. Most vampire stories feature bodily risk in addition to the emotional turmoil that makes for great romance stories. Many also contain storylines aside from the romance that are action-packed enough to draw in even non-romance readers.

And the 5th reason vampire stories never die…well, because vampires never die, or more precisely, perhaps, because they don’t age. It’s easy to claim you wouldn’t want immortality, that you’d be satisfied living a long and full life. But no one’s going to buy it if you claim you never wished you could halt the aging process. There is nothing appealing about adult diapers, sagging skin, and aching joints, all problems vampires never have.
So go ahead and be jealous of the vampires who save hundreds of dollars on wrinkle cream and Advil, live dangerous and exciting lives with little fear of actually dying, and who have superb love lives. But don’t hate on their authors who just happen to adore writing about such interesting and varied creatures!

Author Information:

Author website
Twitter: @legrimley


Lauren_GrimleyLauren Grimley lives in central Massachusetts where she grew up, but her heart is on the beaches of Cape Cod where she spends as much of her time as possible. After graduating from Boston University she became a middle school English teacher. She now balances writing, reading, and correcting, all with a cat on her lap and a glass of red wine close by.

Unforeseen, the first novel in the Alex Crocker Seer series, was Lauren’s debut novel, and she’s thrilled to be continuing the series with Unveiled. To learn more about her or her writing or to connect with her online visit her website at

Book Information:

Unforeseen (Alex Crocker series, book 1)
Genres/tags: urban fantasy, paranormal romance, vampire series
Available formats: ebook and paperback
Publisher: Malachite Quills
Website page:
Trailer link:
paperback cover


Alex was quite sure gifted was a term delusional parents applied to their strictly average children, vampires were gorgeous dead guys in her eighth-grade girls’ novels, and Seers was a middle schooler’s misspelling of a department store known for power tools. Teachers, however, don’t know everything–it’s Alex’s turn to be educated.

Running alone the night before school ends, Alex is violently attacked.  Regaining consciousness, she finds herself in the home of the Rectinatti Regan, the leader of one of two covens of vampires battling nightly on the streets of her city.  If that discovery wasn’t enough to make her think she’d gone insane, she realizes she’s sensing the emotions of another of the vampires as strongly as she feels her own.  Discovering these creatures have the answers to what she is and why she was attacked, she decides she wants to stay, despite knowing it is a dangerous, possibly deadly desire.

Purchase links for Unforeseen, book 1:

Barnes & Noble

Unveiled (Alex Crocker series, book 2)

Genres/tags: urban fantasy, paranormal romance, vampire series
Available formats: ebook and paperback
Publisher: Paramance
Website page:
Trailer link:

Goodreads –

Unveiled cover

With strength comes vulnerabilities. With love comes loss. With power comes pain. The world Alex now belongs to hinges on such balance. Her every step seems to be lurching her precariously closer to one wrong side or another.
Alex had known her life as a Seer wouldn’t be easy. She knew her gift would be difficult to control and constantly sensing others’ emotions would be overwhelming. She even knew she’d be hunted for the power it would provide whichever coven of vampires controlled her. What she didn’t foresee were the difficulties she’d have with the parts of her life she ought to be able to control: her decisions, her actions, and her relationships.

It isn’t until she’s botched every facet of her new life that the opportunity arises to make things right. Rocky’s lover has been abducted, and Alex’s gift is the best shot at bringing her home alive. But even that will require tipping the scales in a direction no one but Alex can understand.

This sequel to Unforeseen is a darker tale of the battles Alex continues to fight against her enemies, her gift, and even herself. This time victory might cost her sanity, her lover, or her life.

Purchase links for Unveiled, book 2:

Barnes & Noble

“Unknown” a short story from book 3 of the Alex Crocker series:
Genres/tags: urban fantasy, paranormal romance, vampire series, young adult
Available formats: ebook only
Publisher: Malachite Quills
Website page
Purchase link for “Unknown”

%22Unknown%22 cover


Middle school is supposed to bite. Middle schoolers aren’t.

Alex simply wanted to do a favor for a friend while taking a much-needed reprieve from her far-from-average life and returning temporarily to her teaching position. Torie was just trying to trudge through another day of middle school surrounded by naïve peers who had no idea what she was to become. Neither teacher nor student expected to glance across a classroom of normal human teenagers and into the face of their enemy. Neither Seer nor Knower could have understood how their gifts would leave them second-guessing everything they’d been taught to believe about the other side.

Coming Soon:

Unbridled, a collection of connected short stories from the Alex Crocker series
Genres/tags: paranormal romance, vampire series, urban fantasy, short stories
Expected release: September 2013
Available formats: ebook & possibly paperback
Publisher: Grimm Sisters
Website page:

unbridled cover 2Unbridled, is a novella-length piece comprised of four connected short stories focusing on the female characters from the Alex Crocker series. It is about unlikely friendships and less likely lovers. Some parts are dark, others steamy, and still others humorous. Even in it’s lighter moments though, it’s meant to honor all women who have fought the good fight, whether they have survived physical or sexual assaults, abuse, deadly illnesses, or the seemingly more mundane, but still intensely painful experiences of love and loss. Alex may be the first female warrior in my fictional world, but she is preceded by scores of real-life everyday women warriors.

I plan to self-publish this one because I’d like to donate a majority of the proceeds to women’s charities. Around the time I was finishing the first draft of this project, my mother had just been diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. If ever there was a compelling reason to honor women who bravely fight all of life’s battles, this was it. Luckily, Mom kicked cancer’s ass all over again and did it with a sense of humor (epitomized by her “Save Second Base” t-shirt!). Unfortunately, though, everyday more women have to join Alex as warriors to fight their own battles. The over-arching story in this collection focuses on females who were victimized by the Vengatti, but I make it clear that none of these characters are merely victims; they’re fighters and survivors, as are so many of my readers.

Also by Lauren Grimley:

“Apply Liberally” a short romantic comedy/chick lit piece:
apply liberally coverTeaser:

Lissa had decided when she left the stale air of her classroom that afternoon that she was not going to wallow. She would not give Tom, Mr. I’m-just-not-ready-to-commit-right-now, the satisfaction of devastating her summer the way he had destroyed her confidence and sanity the previous four months. No, she decided she would bask in the freedom of her single status. Or at least drown her sorrows in a pitcher of Margaritas, a torrid romance novel, and a package or two of Oreos enjoyed on the nearest vacant stretch of beach.

That’s when it started raining.

Still, a single woman on a mission can not be deterred. And who doesn’t need a little sunscreen even in a thunderstorm?

July BBF button copy