Lon Varnadore Author

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Category: Janus City (page 1 of 2)

Day 69/ Day 7

So, I know this is weird, doing a post during the day.  I just wanted to let people know that I have just published the first in a serial of a fantasy noir that if you read my blog, have read a version of.

Janus City Part One.  Suggest you pick it up if you like urban fantasy noir with an odd twist.  Also, got another print copy of Blood for the Empress and as you can see, the cover and the trim size don’t match.  (Sigh)  I will work this out…

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Day 66/Day 3

I didn’t have a chance to update this blog yesterday, was exhausted and dealing with other things.  Didn’t get much writing done either.  But, today, I…well I got 1678.  Better than nothing.  But, I do need to step up the writing if I want to try and actually get close to my goal of 100k words this month.

But I have two GREAT pieces of news for you all.  I have completed two short pieces and they will be going out shortly.  One is the first of a new serial.  And, if you kept up on my blog last month, it will be familiar to you.  It is Janus City: Part One.   Yep, I am going to start up a serial of that.

The other piece of news is that I have finally finished my “book magnet” for the Empress Series.  It is called the Collector and I have shared the cover with you before.  But I will share it again because I love it.

And, just in the last hour or so, I had a thought to put together another bundle.  A sort of “starter set” for the serials I have out.  Now, if you already have all of them, no worries.  But, it is a thought and I might try it and see what happens.  Will keep you updated.  And yes, if I am going to push forward on the serial bundles, that means I have to get my writer butt in gear and start to finish some of these serials!

Here are the covers, enjoy…

 

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Day 57/Day 24/Janus City Update

Feel like I am running on fumes for some reason.  Brain isn’t working very well.  Only did 900 words today.  And, no gaming tonight.  But, I will be gaming with some friends tomorrow, which I am looking forward to.  Anyway, I am going to wrap this one one.  Night all.

 

Oh, one thing I guess…even though I might be distracting myself.  I have printed out some of Janus City and I might start editing a bit tonight or when I have a shot.  Thinking about making a short serial of it.

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Day 51/ Day 14/ Chapter 12

Hello all.

So, fifty-one days into this three month trilogy challenge.  I am doubtful I will make the complete thing, yet I will have most of Blood ready and working on Wrath throughout the month.  I am sure by August I will have a the other two ready to go.  Though, I do know I might step away from the trilogy to work on something else for a time to help me keep fresh.  It is my process and it is weird, but it is mine.

I have thirteen pages left of Blood and then I enter re-writing territory.  That I look forward to more than editing.  Editing is what I see as the vegetables of writing.  You HAVE to eat them, you HAVE to edit your manuscript.  It is a given.  Writing, that first draft, that is freedom.  That is dessert.  Re-writing is the meat and potatoes.  It’s the true meal of writing.  As the saying goes, “Writing is re-writing.”

Have I learned about the process more with these two concurrent challenges?  Yes I have.  One is that if I have a deadline, I will do everything in my power to avoid it until it is too late, see graphic below.  But, that is par for the course.  Two is that if I have a word count for the day, I will power through it as much as possible, but I sometimes have the attention span of a gnat and I can’t focus on one project.  Hence you all get to read the brain droppings that is Janus City.

 

 

Speaking of which…onward to Januc City…

 

 

Janus City Chapter 12

Typhon had heard the name somewhere. He looked at Grenden. Who is that?

Grendel chuckled. “I feel a little tremble on my chest. So you must be trying to talk to me. Haha. Not going to help. I will assume you are asking who it is. She is a woman who has stolen something from me. Something I very much wish to get back.”

Typhon narrowed his eyes. This is going to go nowhere. He hated what he was about to do. He worked saliva into his mouth, feeling the scars on the interior. He took breath and asked, “What did she steal?”

“Ahh, so you can speak Typhon. I had heard it was bit of a mystery if you could or not.”

“Not something I like to do.” He let out a low growl, his throat hurting from such a long time with disuse.

“I see. To your question, Typhon. She stole a piece of art work. Nothing to concern yourself with. I simply want her to be found and held for me to subject her to my own, hee, punishment.”

“Pay?”

Grenden smirked. “I am willing to offer you ten thousand for the finding of this Roxanne List.”

Typhoon walked closer to the large fleshy man and stuck out his hand. Ten thousand was enough for some time. He might even afford a ticket to Westside for a few days, spend some time at Eden Falls. “Deal.”

Grenden wrapped his fat hand around Typhon’s slender one and the Grenden jolted forms he contact. “What was that?”

“You made a deal, a contract,” Typhon said, moving his neck back and forth, his voice stronger. He stood up straighter and felt a renewed energy flood his body. Grenden collapsed back into the chair, weak as a kitten. “What…what did you—“

He was gasping, unable to speak completely. Typhon smirked. His tongue felt along his mouth and he felt the scars fading. “You made a deal in Eastside, Mr. Grenden. You said you knew what I am. You don’t. I will find this woman of you. But, you aren’t going anywhere. You won’t be able to move until I return with your item.”

“What—“

“I have taken your energy, a piece of your soul. You are going to help me with this case and I know exactly where you are while I am out and about.” He let out a sigh.  He stretched out his back, cracked his neck moving it back and forth a few times and then turned to walk away.

“You mean I am stuck?”

“Most assuredly,” Typhon said as he wlaked out the door.

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Day 50/ Day 13/ Chapter 11

Well, there went that streak of having my chapter and my 100k challenge day being the same number.  Oh well.

Last two days I have been taking it easy.  Haven’t written much, in fact at all.  But I did go out and have fun, and also stayed home and loafed around and recharged the old writing juices.

Today’s current total is 1,825 words.  And it is only 9:45 where I am.  So, I will be getting there for the day.  I am over 19k words in the hole.  But, still going to push forward with the challenge anyway.  It is fun.

I shall be going back to it after I post this blog entry.  So, until next time, another episode of Janus City…

 

 

Typhon stopped. He closed his eyes a second and tried to focus on the thought. He felt the strong surge of hate for a long moment, searching for the source. The rain started to fall, steady hard rain that Typhoon hated since it distorted his power, his gift.

The surge of hate vanished.

Dammit. He was stuck. Part of him wanted to wait again of the angry thought, someone wanted to kill people. It wasn’t a new thought, Typhon knew. He himself wished he could kill the city at times. Ye,t there wasn’t the spike of sudden anger in this thought. This was a deep hate for the world at large. Something that wanted to act on that hatred.

It was also something that he could usually track. Yet, the rain helped to retard his ability. And it would only get worse. Defeated for the moment, he went inside. Opening the door, he was knocked to the side by a teen girl as she rushed past him. She was thick, blue and pink hair flaring around her as she rushed past Typhon. She gave him a dirty look and walked off into the rain.

Typhon shook his head and walked into his apartment complex. He checked his mail, gave a nod to his neighbour Mrs. Gertz. She had been dead for five years, wasn’t a rez job. She was a ghost that still believed it was alive. Which happened often in Eastside.
He kept going up the stairs three flights to his small room. The door had been broken open. He frowned and concentrated, nobody was inside. He opened his door and found his small place had been ransacked. It was dark, and when he righted the lamp and switched it on, he was shocked to find a man sitting his chair, a smile on his flesh round face.

“Hello Typhon, I can see you are surprised I was able to be here?”

Typhon glared at the man.

“Yes, I also know about your small issue with not being able to talk,” the man said. “My name is Grenden. And, before you stress yourself more, this is the reason you couldn’t hear me.” Grendel took a thick meaty hand and pulled out a small pendant from under his shirt. The gray suited man smirked when Typhon’s eyes fell upon it.

“Yes, it is a mind shield. Not an inexpensive item.” He let out a small laugh. “Now, please have a seat on that wretched thing you call a couch.”

Typhon smirked at the man. He liked the couch. It was a paisley thing that was overstuffed and extremely comfortable. He flopped down on it, then looked at Grenden.

“I need you to find someone for me. Her name is Roxanne List.”

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Day 48/ Day 10/ Chapter 10

So, as of this writing, I have 3,500 words for the day.  I am rather happy about that.  I did my Janus City chapter, which I will talk about later.  I also worked on the third of the 4Pollack novels and worked on more of the trilogy I should be working on this whole time.  I will get back to that once I have finished up the blog post.

And, yes why I am working on the third when the second 4Pollack novel isn’t up anymore?  Well, it was up.  And, I do have Cryo in the queue for revision.  I might try and work it in if I can either; get done with the trilogy a bit more or if I stall on one of the other projects and I need something else to work on.  I suppose it would still count towards my goal of words, since it is a revision and not just “editing.”

Either way, it will get done way before I have a finished draft of book three.

So, as for Janus City.  I am trying something.  I am going off of John Gallic for the moment and bringing in a new character.  Name is Typhon.  We will be following him for a little bit before going back to John.  Or, we will see John in a different way.  Either way…Janus City…

 

Chapter 10

Typhon leered at the woman grinding around on the pole. He peels off another double sawbuck from the roll in his jacket and slide it towards her. The catgirl gave him a happy squeak and crawled towards him, her yellow cat eyes staring at him as she did. She leaned forward, arching her back as she did to show off her ass in the to small thong that blended well with her soft yellow furred body. She opened her mouth and took the bill in her mouth and jerked backwards to sit up, reveals her fur sheathed body. Her small pert breasts revealed as the yellow fur faded to a thin fuzz that disappeared a scant inch from her aureola.

Always my favorite, he said to her.

She gave him a confused look.

He shook his head and started to get up. She crawled forward again and gave him a mewling whimper. He peeled off two more bills, pressed them to glowing dance floor and slid them towards her. She gave him a large smile, her smile more human with only the incisors more cat-like.

Again, she gave him a squeak and happy meow.

He gave a look at the bounce, Xer. The thick shouldered brute grunted at Typhon as he left. Then settled a thick meaty hand on Typhon’s shoulder. “Don’t you usually leave after her set?”

Need to get back to the wife. Typhon looked at Xer’s strange twist of his face hearing Typhon’s voice in his head. Xer let him go and Typhon took the opportunity to leave the strip club.

Outside, the perpetual umber of Eastside of Janus City was lit with neon signs of the red light district, and a few actual red lanterns hanging outside of several apartments and homes. Typhon walked along the street, his mind unable to contain the thoughts that streamed into his. In the club it had been easy to wall off his thoughts from everyone else. Attention was elsewhere and focused on the girls. Out in the city of Janus, it was harder to push away the stray thoughts that he could garner from walking down the street. He wanted to get home, and soon.

There, he had his sanctuary. His place where he rested and slept and was able to sleep. The small apartment mounted with thick plates of silver and gold. Costing him a pretty penny, yet it was worth it for him to have a place to rest his head and not experience other’s thoughts, dreams and nightmares.

But then, Typhon also needed those thoughts at times. It was his stock and trade.

Other people’s secrets.

As his steps found the Wraith Hostel he was stopped. One sentence slammed into his head.

“I will kill them all.”

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Day 47/ Day 9/ Janus City Chapter 9

Well, back from my gaming night.  Always helps me recharge.  This was a different one than the usual pirate game we have been playing.  The DM needed a break so we are doing a two-part game called “Dark Run.”  The DM is very new, and those of us who have played for awhile helped her as best we could.  Looking forward to the next session and see what transpires.

As for writing, well…622 words today.  All of it on Janus City.  Part of it was trying to finish up the last excerpt.  And this one is pretty short.  Not sure exactly what I am going to do.  There are more than a few stories in Janus City and I might go on to one of them instead and leave the story of John Gallic on hold.  Or not.  Depends on how I feel tomorrow when I get ready to write the next part of the serial.

I have to say that there is a weird melancholia that has settled over me as of late.  The feeling that somehow this is all pointless and I should stop and go back to what I was doing before trying for the full-time writer thing.  However, I know it is just my own fear of failure/success that is trying to cause me to stop what I am doing.  Not going to work.  I am going to press on.

Anyway, your next dose of Janus City…

 

 

Chapter 9

The glow of the glasses pulled my attention away from the wraith. When I turned back, the wraith was gone. “Good riddance,” I muttered to myself, crossed the street and headed towards the glowing building. My hand strayed to my gun, not wanting to pull it yet.

As I moved closer, I felt the first few splatters of rain. First it was a misting, then it turned to rain. Which annoyed me, yet didn’t stop me from continuing to creep up onto the building. It was an abandoned storefront with a large boards in front of the glass walls and a gate across door. When I got closer, I saw the gate had been forced open enough that the chains and broken and hung on the door gate. I pushed myself through and when my hand touched the door, the glow flared.

I’m on the right track. I yanked open the door.

Two bullets zinged by me, breaking the glass of the door. I dropped into a crouch, pulling out my gun and felt the thrum of the runes in my wrist. I fired off a shot towards where the shots came from. It glowed a dull red as did the runes around my wrist. Yet, the light wasn’t enough to cut through the gloom. There was a scuffle from he darkness and the sound of a door popping open. I took a quick shot for the door, missing the form by an inch.

The glasses had switched off the moment I was in the storefront. With he danger gone, they flickered on for a few seconds. They showed a set of footsteps heading out of the door. Well at least that is answered. I charged forward towards the door, the gun coming out first.

I swept right to left, dropping to one knee as I swept to the left around the door. Good thing, the guy waiting there fired at where my head should have been. I slammed the barrel of the gun into the guy’s stomach. He grunted and doubled over. Helped by his momentum, he was slammed spread eagle on the ground. I pressed the gun barrel to his forehead and blinked.

My gun was pressed into the forehead of Kenneth, my client.

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Day 46/ Day 8/ Janus City Chapter 8

I know this is later than I usually post.  Had to finish up the chapter for the serial.  Didn’t get much more writing than that done.  But I was close to scratching the 1k mark.  904.  Again, not a sprint, a marathon.  I should have a few days coming up where I will be just writing and writing.

And now, the next installment of Janus City

 

Janus City Chapter 8

I looked at the note, unsure of what to do. I didn’t think calling her right now was the way to go. She was with Vince and who knew who had the burner phone info. He could be calling Vince. I pushed the note and the cell back into my pocket.

Touching the glasses helped to focus them if I thought they were going off the rails as it were. There was a very faint glow that came from the middle of the city, along the border of the vast Wall. There wasn’t much there. But it was a start. Walking wasn’t the best, yet I had to do it.

Strolling along the streets of Westside got me the usual dirty looks from the people who lived here. Let them stare and gawk at me. I was in a shabby coat and pants, still had blood on me from the demon from earlier this morning. Already felt like it was a week ago. But, I was able to muddle through and get closer to the Wall. As I approached the Wall down Main Street, the glow came from the right.

I was focused on getting to the glow that I didn’t notice until it was to late someone following me. I happened to look into the reflection of a the local Gimble’s department store and saw a form following me. It wasn’t a man or woman, only a shadow.
I wasn’t sure if it was real or if it was a trick of light, yet something about it made me turn around to confront it. I wasn’t prepared for coming face to face with a wraith.

Wraiths are the guards of the Wall. They are supreme dicks and have zero sense of humor. And they also hates those who were of the recently deceased, like myself.

“What are you doing here, thing?” It hissed out in my brain. I looked around and realized no one was going to see this interaction. The wraith and I had somehow become alone on the busiest street in the city.

“Following a clue,” I said touching my glasses. “Do we have an issue?”

“You are no allowed—“

I tapped my temple twice. “Wrong, on the clock. I’m a bonded agent. I have full authority in the city boundaries.” It was a shaky leg to stand on, since the closer one got to the wall, it was less the City of Janus then the Wall. It had its own rules which interacted with the two sides of Janus in odd ways.

“You are close to being outside your jurisdiction,” it said. It then moved a little closer to me, so close I could see the red eyes and the flare of red coming from where the nose was suppose to be. “Be quick about your business and leave this area. Dead man.”

The last few words rang in my head for a few moments. Something I was doing was bothering the wraith.

Terrific. Fucking terrific.

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Day 45/ Day 7/ Janus City Chapter 7

Another slow day of writing.  But, feeling good about it.  Then, I read this post.  Finish it?  29 books and nine hundred short stories!  DAMN, and only in seven years.  But, I can get that much done.  Just might take longer than seven years.  I see some potential with Janus City to be more than just John Gallic.  But, not sure if that will be enough for that much.

Yet, one thing I know about writing is you don’t compare yourself to someone else.  Going to just keep moving forward with the writing.

Without further ado…

 

 

Janus City Chapter 7

“So what you doin’ here, Johnnie?”  Vince Chung asked, looking down at his notepad.  Though, his pencil hadn’t moved much while I gave him my story.

“Workington a case.  Stumbled onto the heavy.  Poked him once, had a seizure and he died.”
“Uh huh.”  Vince looked at his partner, and shook his head.

“What we mean is,” Elissa Montez said, coming up beside me, “Why are you in Westside?”

I looked over at her.  She flashed me an easy smile, one she knew I still liked.  About six months ago, she and I had had a weekend.  Then came back to her husband and partner Vince Hughes.  I’m sure, he knew.  But hadn’t done anything.

Yet.

“In Westside seeing the ex, if you must know.”  I then pushed the glasses up on my nose.  “And getting a few things I left there.”
“That she didn’t torch?” Vince asked, a small smirk on his face.  The wisp of a moustache on his face made him look more creepy and pathetic than usual.

“Shuddup,” I said.  “Look, I tried to help the heavy.  Can I go now?”

“No, you need to come with us,” Elissa said.

“Why?” I asked, turning to look at her.  “What is the charge?  Am I being detained?”

“Whoa, whoa,” Vince said.  He pulled Elissa’s hands away from my arm.  “Nothing like that, Johnnie.  No, we aren’t detaining you.  How about you go along.  But keep your cell on.”

“Don’t believe in ‘em,” I said.  It wasn’t that I didn’t.  I just had a habit of forgetting them and crushing them when I sat down.  Or sometimes getting pissed off at who I was talking to and crushing them in my hand.

“I have a burner you can hold onto for a time,” Elissa said.  She walked away from us, his thick hips swaying.  Both Vince and I enjoyed the view as she went to the squad car, leaned in through the passenger side door and retrieved the burner.  I pulled my eyes away from her a moment before Vince did by asking me something.

“Huh?” I asked, turning to watch the elf being placed in the black van of the coroner.  I had a feeling that the elf wouldn’t get more than a cursory look and then a tossed in a potter’s field.

“When did you stop fucking my wife?”

I snapped my eyes back to his.  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He leaned in close.  “I let the first weekend last year slide, Johnnie.  But the last two months, not cool.  Stop hunting.”  As Elissa came back, he smiled at his partner and wife as she slipped the burner phone into my hand.

“You two alright?” she asked,d looking between the two of us.

“Fine,” I said, giving her a smile and taking the sleek little phone from her hand.  The contact of her hand on mine was electric.  Then I blinked because the phone flared with an orange light from the glasses I was wearing.

“Good, we’re done here.”  He said, taking Elissa and guiding her towards the car again.  He looked over his shoulder at me and gave me a glare.

I decided to walk awhile to clear my head, yet my eyes kept going to the phone.  Finally, I grabbed some wall by an alley and pulled it out.

It was the old school flip phone kind.  Images of the old Star Trek show came to mind as I flicked the phone open.  A small note fluttered out.  It grabbed ahold of it.  It was Elissa’s handwriting.  It was a phone number and four words in her loopy hand.  “I need your help.”

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Day 44/ Day 6/ Janus City Chapter 6

Well, I decided to take a jump and get a cover for this Janus City thing I have been doing on here.  It is from a cover designer I use for almost all of my books.  I will put it in before the chapter.

As for writing today, it didn’t go well.  I was dealing with one annoyance after another.  I have 700 words today and that might be all I do.  500 of those is the latest chapter of Janus City.  The other 200 is for a serial I am trying to add to so I can get it out and try some bundling options.

I know it happens, and that this challenge is a marathon and not a sprint, but still gets and nags at me.  Who knows, maybe later I’ll get a wild hair and start writing a little bit more.

Without further wait, the next installment of Janus City…

 

 

Janus City Chapter 6

Once outside of the complex, I turned to business.  Finding Kenneth’s leg.  Soon as the thought came to me, there was a soft orange glow that settled over the glasses and I saw a ribbon of orange extend out away from me.  The glasses wouldn’t solve the case for me.  But, they were keyed to his DNA and would lead me to where he lived and his daily routine.

There were dangerous a if I ran into Kenneth, hence the reason I told him to stay home.  Otherwise, I’d end up blind.  Or worse.  The perks of the job I guess.

I wondered to the cable car and hoped on.  One good thing about the cable cars was the price.  Anyone could ride one anywhere in Janus City.  One of the few perks of the city.  There was an elf sitting by himself, or herself, you never know with the Fae.  And this elf was one of the “heavies.”  It had become part of this world more than say Moira or Mick.  They could head back to the Fae whenever they wanted.  Granted, I knew both of them would prefer to die then ever go back and deal with the Shadow Court.
The elf looked haunted, his eyes sunken and clung to a thick wooden blanket which he wrapped tight around himself.  The thing that drew my attention to the elf in the first place was the orange hued aura around him when I got on.  He was connected to Kenneth and his missing leg.  Somehow.

I settled down across from him.  He avoided eye contact with me.  Soon, it was he and I, and the golem car driver who might as well have been gone with the way the cable cars worked.  Yet some regs stated there had to be one.

“Nice day,” I said to the elf.

He said nothing, continued to stare into space.

“Hey, buddy, I’m talking to you,” I said reaching out to poke him in the leg.

When I touched him, two things happened.  First he let out a keening that caused me to grit my teeth and wince.  Second, he collapsed onto the floor of the cable car and started to have a seizure.  I got to my knees and pulled out my wallet to jam it between his teeth so he didn’t bite his tongue off.  His eyes grew more unfocused as the seizure took him.  He bit down so hard on my wallet, it started to buckle.

“Dammit, stop this thing!  Call emergency services!”  I shouted out at the golem.

The cable car was already slowing when I shouted.  The things big burly head turned and looked at me.  The constant open mouth glowed as it spoke.  “They have been summoned, please remain calm.”

The elf grabbed me by the arm, spat out my wallet and said, “Valhalla.”  Then, his eyes closed and I felt his spirit leave his body.
And, with his spirit went a lead for me to follow.

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