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Tuesday 29 March 2011

It aint heavy, it's my pitchfork

Between catastrophic computer failure and an almighty dose of the flu (I currently look, sound and feel like I've been ambushed by a snot troll) I never got to my weekly round-up. Hopefully get that sorted at some point this week, when my brain no longer feels like it was bent, folded, spindled and mutilated.
In between whimpering gently into a tissue and sleeping, all I had the energy for this week was a scroll through twitter. If you follow any of the writers forums out there, you know that an author had a meltdown of note on Big Al's Books and Pals.

The scariest thing was not watching someone destroy a career (over a fairly ok review). It wasn't even the backlash of comments on that blog and others, which was only to be expected.
It was the number of people who decided to go onto sites like Amazon and trash her on a personal level because of her comments. Without reading the book.

The viciousness is terrifying. One of the comments went something along the lines of "Howett has to be publically punished and ridiculed for her actions." Seriously? You've never done anything stupid and/or vicious in public or on a forum? Oh, no, wait - that post you just wrote....

Leaving aside the fact that the author has no doubt booked a 6 month ticket to Antarctica (or somewhere else with no internet connection), what gives any one of us the right to decide this? It's not like the woman recommending raping a puppy, people.

She channelled her inner Sith Lord for a few ill-chosen words. I'm not defending what she did; bloggers work damn hard for no compensation, and frankly, you send your book out and hope to hell they like it. And if they find a problem, you try to fix it.
 (If Scott from Indie Book Blogger hadn't kindly let me know about some of my formatting issues, WolfSong would still be trundling along on the first edition. And I'm still cringing over that.)

We just don't know why she re-acted this way. I doubt it was purely the review. But if this author was already stressed out enough to imitate Darth Vader with spelling issues, how is bullying her on Amazon or facebook or wherever you like going to help? And what makes you any different to the neighbourhood bully who beats the crap out of the kid with the stutter?

I'm not sure what is a sadder indication of the human condition - the fact that people find it acceptable to hunt others down on the net to abuse them (the little girl who recorded Friday will probably need therapy at some point) or fact that people want to hunt others down on the net to abuse them.

So far that hasn't happened to me (I'm thinking about naming the first troll I get and keeping it as a pet), probably because I'm not exactly high profile or well known. But I can't say I'm looking forward to the day it does happen.

And now, since I've sneezed something like 37 times while writing this post, I'm going to go bath and mainline flu meds.

Sunday 20 March 2011

Funds for Japan - stats

As promised, the stats for the copies of WolfSong sold for proceeds going to the Japan relief. For some reason the screen grabs are not co-operating though, so I've copied & pasted the figures.

First though, a massive thank you and a bit of a mini-rant.

Thanks to the bloggers and Indie authors who got on board, whether for this or similar projects, and blogged, face-booked and tweeted about this.

The mini rant is in two parts - one at the darlings who seem to think that No, Japan really doesn't need or want any help, thank you very much, including this post at Reuters titled "Don't donate money to Japan."
Let me know when your space ship lands, Mr. Salmon. I'd like to introduce you to Planet Earth. You know, the one we actually live on, where people realise that everything involved in helping out a country in this situation takes money. A lot of it. Whether the donations are earmarked for Japan or not is immaterial; the cost is still liable to outweigh the generosity of the givers.

The second part is partially aimed at myself. Why?

One of the comments left on Naomi Clark's live journal entry about this. To quote: "I'm not saying you're doing this for the same reasons, but be careful of using tragedy for your own ends."   

The link the poster attached leads to an article about a backlash against Microsoft and their campaign.

I'm sure the poster had the best intentions. But that comment left me feeling like I'd been punched in the stomach.
 Maybe the person who wrote that hadn't actually read the details of what we were trying to do. Maybe they missed the part where all profits went straight to the fund, & are somehow under the impression this benefits us.
Of course, now that I've thought about it, I'm not sure how this benefits me personally. I haven't sold a huge amount of books this week - I never expected to, and that wasn't the point.
The point was to try to give in the only way I knew how.

But the result was that I let that comment get to me; to the point where after I read it, I couldn't bring myself to tweet or facebook or blog about the fund raiser any more.
 And right now, I'm kicking myself, because I let someone put me in the same mental category as the scum out there who are scamming for donations. That nasty taste in my mouth? It's regret.

03/05/2011WolfSongJ H SkedB004OEKG3E30335 %0.99N/AN/AN/A1.05
03/19/2011WolfSongJ H SkedB004OEKG3E40435 %0.99N/AN/AN/A1.40

03/05/2011WolfSongJ H SkedB004OEKG3E31235 %0.62N/AN/AN/A0.44
03/12/2011WolfSongJ H SkedB004OEKG3E20235 %0.62N/AN/AN/A0.44
03/19/2011WolfSongJ H SkedB004OEKG3E20235 %0.62N/AN/AN/A0.44

Nothing, unfortunately, on the other sites, although I've heard from other authors that there is sometimes a reporting delay. If anything changes, I'll update here:

ChannelSales Reported ThroughBalance Adjusted ThroughAccrued Sales
(reported, not yet payable by retailer)
AppleJan 29, 2011Jan 29, 2011None
Barnes & NobleJan 23, 2011Oct 31, 2010None
DieselFeb 28, 2011Feb 28, 2011None
KoboJan 29, 2011Jan 1, 2011None
SonyFeb 26, 2011Sep 30, 2010None

Weekly Round-up

I'm posting this a bit earlier than normal, since I'm going to try and get a bit of writing done as well as the next Uni project.
I got ambushed by the head-cold fairy on Friday, so the entire weekend has been spent feeling sorry for myself and whimpering into a pile of tissues.

Just London this week. My overnight bag is sulking in a corner, feeling neglected.

Technical Malfunctions for the week
Where to start on this one?
I haven't used the net book this week, so nothing to report there. The rest of the appliances in my life have tried to make up for it though:

iphone - decided to hiccup gently and give me hysterics about halfway through the week. The screen went black, with the Circle of Doom permanently revolving over it. No matter what I or LSH did, it would change. This included holding down the power button to try to switch it off, removing the sim card - you name it, we tried it.
 I thought it was broken. When I shuffled sadly into work the following morning and showed it to a colleague, he fixed it in about 20 seconds. By holding down the power button..
Home pc - not content with booting me off the internet for no apparent reason, the screen now suddenly pixelates and freezes. If I force a hard shut down & re-start, its fine. I've de-fragmented, run virus scans, the works. Any suggestions (Jeff! HELP!!) would be good here.
Work pc - Let's just say my entire IT department is currently avoiding me. (Maybe I shouldn't have asked for a machine that would cry if I slapped it?)
Work elevator - the last time I used it, it made a strange croaking noise and bounced when it reached my floor. I'm currently using the stairs.
Washing Machine - took a note from an old Stephen King story and tried to chase me across the kitchen last night. The bloody thing lunged at me. This is not something you need to experience at 1 a.m, while desperately needing to visit the bathroom.

Group work done. I'm now ploughing into the solo assignments. Been having some great philosophical debates with my brother via Skype over the different areas, which is really, really cool. Anything that lets my inner geek out is fun.

Writing and stuff
Had a bit of  a drive this week, along with a couple of other awesome indie authors, to try to raise funds for Japan. I'll post the stats separately, as promised - not a huge amount, but every little bit helps.
Fighting with the vamp story, so I'll leave that and come back to it later, have a couple of other shorts I'm playing with as well.
Indie book blog posted my interview yesterday. Gotta say - it's really weird reading an interview with yourself. It feels slightly unreal, like one of those dreams you have when you get a really bad dose of the flu. Really, really cool, but weird.

The best thing about the whole publishing experience has been the community involved - the writers, the bloggers, the readers.  I love what I do as an Indie author and the people involved, 99% of whom I'd never have met if I hadn't taken the step of publishing WolfSong this year. So many people who are all so supportive of each other, who want you to do well and hone your craft.  Where else do you get this?
So yes - I'm (usually) broke, frantically busy, and occasionally feel like I'm playing whack-a-mole to keep track of where I am. I also think I am very, very lucky indeed.  

Monday 14 March 2011

Funds for Japan - author update, and ChristChurch

C.E. Grundler has joined up to the #write4japan drive and is generously donating sales from Last Exit in New Jersey , her fast paced, off beat action adventure  - for the month so far as well as the next week. You can swing  by and pay her a visit at or follow her on twitter @cegrundler. You can also pick some really interesting info on all things boating related.

The amazingly talented Naomi Clark, author of Demonised, Night & Chaos and Ungrateful Dead is donating all of the income she receives from both Night & Chaos and Ungrateful Dead between now and Sunday 19th March to World Vision to help with aid in Japan. Follow her on twitter @naomi_jay, and swing on over to her site at . (A coffee alert on both might be in order, Naomi has a frequently evil sense of humour - just what you need to perk you up.)

There are a bunch of other authors out there trying to raise money, awareness of fund raising, or both. Their generosity is humbling, and gives an old cynic like me hope for the future of the human race.

New Zealand Update
Gordon Ryan, author of the Pug series, is raising funds for his home town of Christchurch via e-book sales. Although the New Zealand quake has been overshadowed in the media by the sheer scale of the Japanese disaster, the survivors in Christchurch also need support. Gordon has a number of books out, from political thrillers to historical fiction, so you can really sink your teeth into his writing. He publishes in e-book and tree-book format, so there really is something for everyone. Visit his website at

Raising funds for Japan - calling all other Indie authors

The images from Japan are heartbreaking. For all the problems we might have, the majority of us still have homes, clothing, and access to food, water and medical supplies as needed.
Despite being one of the most resilient nations on the planet, Japan is going to need a lot of help over the next couple of months, if not years. Being cash poor, I can't afford to donate money.
What I can do, though, is donate every sale from WolfSong for the next week (maybe longer if I raise some decent funds) to the Red Cross fund.

So that's every cent of author profit from the sale of the e-book (tree version is still way off, I'm afraid), from every site it's on, once the sites have taken their cut. If you're an author and you'd like to join in, please do. It doesn't matter if it's for a couple of hours, days, or the full week - every little bit will help.
Give me a shout in the comments or the join the twitter feed #write4japan.

I'll post the stats and amount raised here next Sunday - let's get the ball rolling a bit.  I'm keeping the price as is, simply because there are a lot of people in the same financial situation - unable to donate the amounts you want to, but able to fork out between under a dollar (0.99c) or pound (0.71p)  a pop.

The links to all the sites are below: - £0.71 - $0.99
Smashwords - $0.99
Diesel  e-book store- $0.99
Sony e-book store - $0.99

Sunday 13 March 2011

Weekly Round-up

Crazy busy (again!!) with university stuff, so let's get down to it:

Leicester, which is starting to seem like my second home. No other travel planned for a couple of weeks which is good - I love seeing my guys, but am totally exhausted right now. Barring something really evil happening, the next time I travel any distance will be April, when I'm flying to Australia - more on that later though.
I anticipated another evening of hunt the decent restaurant, so when my friend offered to take me home & cook a meal before I went back to the office I jumped at the chance.
Dinner was salmon with a slice of Emmental cheese, wrapped in pancetta and roasted. Followed by home made fruit crumble and custard. It was a very happy little Aries that waddled back to work later that evening. More than I usually eat in a week, and absolutely to die for.

Technical Malfunctions for the week:
Not too bad this week - my iphone is doing some weird stuff & I tend to suffer from Angry Bird rage, especially when the screen doesn't seem to recognize that I'm touching it. Since I read the screens are based on reading electrical impulses, and I wasn't wearing gloves, this freaks me out a bit.
The TV at the hotel was rolling - this is one of the reasons I hardly ever end up watching TV at a hotel; there is always something going pear-shaped with them. I'm actually not allowed to touch the remote control at home, as LSH reckons I'm the kiss of death. One day I'll post the saga of what happened to the computer shop when I went to buy my net-book..
The elevator at work tends to go in the opposite direction to the button I've pushed at the moment - a bit irritating, but I can live with it.
My home pc still insists on disconnecting from the net on a frequent basis. I have no idea why.


Making headway; I'm about to post my draft of the group assignment to the forums for review. Then we have a week to put everything together.
I volunteered to type everyone's notes into one document (it's called masochism. I also type pretty fast), and then one of my classmates gets to put the slides together.

Finished Night and Chaos, by Naomi Clark. Oh, my. This lady is good! Of course, it means she's going to cost me a lot of money in the future, since I'm going to be buying everything she releases..

Finished The Abbey, by Chris Culver. 5 stars all the way - from what I can tell this is his first book. I can't wait for the next one. Good, solid crime writing. At the moment it's sitting at 0.71p on Amazon - get it before the price changes. Hell, get it if the price does change. It's worth every penny & more.

Finished River Marked, by Patricia Briggs, the latest in the Mercy series. I love this series, and thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Haven't started anything else yet due to university work.

Writing and stuff
Time wise, I haven't had much chance to write this week. The deadline to get the uni stuff done is just too tight, and I desperately need to finish.
I get extremely cranky when I can't write, which is never a good thing.

LSH finished her copy of WolfSong and wanted to see what happened next. Made my day, although the first draft is nowhere near ready for beta reading yet, so she is currently sulking a bit.

Smashwords downloads took off this week thanks to e-book week. The site was incredibly slow up until Friday though - if you were trying to download a copy and couldn't let me know, I'll make a plan for you.

On I hit the top 100 under epic fantasy for 2 days. I have no idea what, if anything, this means sales wise - I think you need to hit the top 100 overall for this to be a sales thing. But it sure felt good.

There's been some discussion on different blogs about being able to write full time. I'd love to. The thought of making a living from my writing, and not being so broke I have trouble paying attention (which is my usual state) is wonderful. Since to date I think I've made around $5 in total, I'm keeping that under the Sweet Dreams file. However, should the gods of Kindle change their minds and decide I'm about to become a mega-seller, I won't complain at all.
Considering most authors work a day job their entire lives, and in the current economy I'm actually happy to have a job at all.. Shrug.
 I don't write for the money, which is just as well. Even if I never sold another book, I wouldn't stop writing (although I would be a bit depressed about it).

 I'd love to end up like Amanda Hocking or J A Konrath, two of the top e-book authors out there. Maybe it will happen. But keep in mind that guys like that worked damn hard to get to where they are; nobody waved a magic wand at them and said "Okay, snookums. You're rich."
Too many new indie authors seem to think they'll be rich and famous in a matter of weeks. Unless you hold a winning lottery ticket - um, no. No matter what genre you publish in, (or how you publish for that matter) this is the real world, where you have to pay bills, and rent, and buy food. Stuff like that.
Word of mouth takes time to build up, your Amazon check won't come through for a while, and quitting your day job on Monday because you published your first e-book on Sunday is a horribly bad idea.
Please don't do this to yourself.  Reality bites, and sometimes she has rabies.

Saturday 12 March 2011

Strange Days

The last couple of months seem to have been one disaster after another, either natural or man-made.

Egypt rumbled, Libya is going up in flames, Somalia right behind it. Zimbabwe has been sliding into it's own private hell for a couple of years, thanks to the mad man running the show, but started to escalate again this month. These little horror-shows are man-made, and part of what humans have done to each other since we figured out how to walk upright and, oh look, here's a big rock. Let's see what happens if I hit Og on the head with it..

Then we have Mother Nature, apparently suffering from the worst case of PMS in history.
The quake in New Zealand, wild fires in the USA, snow storms that killed dozens -these are just off the top of my head. Now Japan, wounded and bleeding while the rest of us watch in horror.
Lately, it feels like the planet is scratching itself like an itchy dog, and we are the irritant.
 All we can do, if we are lucky enough not to be in the impact zone, is send aid, sympathy and care to the survivors, thank any god we believe in that we are not the ones suffering - and wonder when our turn will come.

It kind of puts the walking suicide known as Charlie Sheen into perspective - although it doesn't say much about us as a species that we've spent a couple of weeks watching someone self-destruct as entertainment.
 I keep wondering what will happen the day that man finally gets it right and over-doses - are we going to have the hysterical finger-pointing that happened after Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith left this world? Because if any charges are made, the entire damn planet is culpable - we are all just following the story on our t.v screens and twitter feeds, giggling at someone who is playing a pretty public game of Russian roulette.

Sunday 6 March 2011

Weekly Round-up & first fun contest

My home pc is still channelling it's inner Regan MacNeil. So far, though, it has not managed to throw up on me, for which I am incredibly grateful. I'm not really a fan of pea-soup, anyway. However, in honour of my history with electronics, and considering the fun I had with them this week, they've now earned a place of their own in the weekly round-up.

It was a pretty busy week, and both really, really good and frustrating ..

I hit Scotland this week - Glasgow on Monday evening through to Wednesday morning, and Edinburgh Wednesday and Thursday. If you ever travel to Edinburgh, I thoroughly recommend the Hudson hotel in Hope street, and a great little seafood place called the Mussel Inn in the Rose street area. For once, Scotland was warmer than London - arriving back on Thursday evening was a nasty shock, temperature wise. London on Friday.

Technical Malfunctions for the week (also known as Computers Hate Me)

Home p.c. is possessed and has consistently booted me off the net every time I try to log on. Either that or the entire screen turns into a pixilated nightmare that won't budge, forcing a hard shut down and copious amounts of swearing.  However, seems to willing to let me complete this blog and do a bit of posting to university forum, so right now I'll live with it.

I have a net-book that travels with me. I need this little darling, both for working remotely and studying when I'm out of town. On Tuesday evening it started making a howling noise and got so hot I thought the key board was going to explode, and wouldn't switch off. When I finally got it off, and cooled down, it sat there and sulked. Cue me rolling on the floor and biting the carpet - no remote work possible, no study possible.

I tried it today - no problems. GAH!

My phone kept switching itself on & off, including on the plane.Since I'd physically switched the phone off - not to silent, off - this was disturbing. (Two weeks ago I woke up in Bristol to find the charger socket twisted and black - the phone had only charged to around 80% so that wasn't the issue - and I currently have to rely on computer charging.)

The possible highlight, though, was triggering the alarm at Edinburgh airport. I had no metal on me (not even a belt), and although I have metal plates in my leg they are titanium and shouldn't trigger anything. The end result though, was a very thorough pat-down by security. It's the closest I've come to a full body massage in months - strangely soothing. Although the woman doing the pat-down got the giggles when I told her I couldn't afford to tip..

Frustrating due to technical hiccups. And finance still leaves me in a gibbering heap. I just want to pass that section. I do not want to have to repeat it, ever.

I was lucky enough to win an e-copy of Naomi Clark's Demonised. If you read fantasy, urban fantasy, or horror, get hold of her work. As yet she doesn't write full-time, but if she finds the right audience I reckon she might start giving the big boys a run for their money. Talented lady. I'm halfway through Night and Chaos and loving it. She has a blog over at, swing by and give her a shout.

I also finished William Meikle's The coming of the King - loved that too. Another alternative history/vampire combo, and a great ride. You can find him at Much though I enjoy a lot or urban fantasy, I'm thoroughly enjoying the return of the totally evil vampire as a character. Nasty, but fun.

I'm still on Protector, by Laurel Dewey - reading slowed up a lot this week from sheer exhaustion. Text books don't count.

Writing and Stuff

Indie Book Blogger listed me in the top 3 books for February. I had a grin on my face all the way to Glasgow.

I got my first ever 5 star review on today - I'm so chuffed. I've commented on each review so far, and will continue to do so no matter what the review says - nothing major, just a thanks for the review. If someone has taken the time to read my book and put their opinion out there, I just feel it's polite to thank them. So far, no bad reviews yet, although I'm sure that will come, and when they do I'm hoping I can pull on my big-girl panties, and thank the reviewer for their time and trouble in the same way.

The best part of the reviews is reading that people like your work. The most useful part is where they point out issues; so far two people have commented on introducing new characters, so it's definitely something to work on. If they hadn't mentioned it, I'd never have known, so I'm even more grateful.

Indie book blog has a  free coupon announcement for Jeffrey Pierce up, and an interview from Andrew Warwick, author of Tears of the Mountain and Winter Wolves.
Also worth mentioning again is Jeffrey Poole over at - author of The Bakkian Chronicles. He is offering technical help for converting books to e-format, and unlike me, knows exactly what he is doing.

Fun Contest

If you'd like a character in the new vampire short story named after you or someone you know, post in the comments.
I have three names available - one male (semi-traumatised immortal with issues), female (spoiled, sadistic rich bitch) and boyfriend (busy sugar-daddy to spoiled rich bitch and a very small walk-on part).
The story is for the collection I'm releasing in May, and I'll send you a copy of the story as soon as it's done.

You can nominate yourself or a friend, or yourself and a friend - first come first served. If you don't want your name in the story but still want to comment, feel free - just state "no name please" in the comment.

PS: The roast was brilliant. Table 7 in Chingford - worth the visit.

Sample Sunday - Chapter 13 from WolfSong

In honour of Sample Sunday, I've pasted Chapter 13 from WolfSong below. Enjoy!
LSH has Declared An Intervention and is hauling me away from the studies for a roast dinner at a little restaurant down the road..

Chapter 13

Amber sat bolt upright, staring at the others in shock.
“You have got to be joking,” she said.
Her captain shook his head, grimly. “We checked with Ricky. When Vianna told me she hadn’t seen him amongst the dead –“
Amber leaned forward and stared hard at him.“Tell me you did not show that boy what was in the village, Ariaan.”
“Not all of it,” Garliaan said hastily. “Just the faces.”

Amber rose from her chair and stalked over to the window, hugging herself.
“You bastards,” she said softly.
The males in the room winced. They would have preferred her screaming at them. Amber angry and loud, they could deal with.
Angry and quiet tended to be a problem with a hawk - especially this one.
“Amber-“ Garliaan tried, but she overrode him, still speaking in that low, icy voice with her back to them.
“Every member of this squad has had nightmares about Five Hands village, and we weren’t much more than a mop-up team. You decided to show a child who lived through that scene the dead faces of his family and friends? Sweet Mother!”
“We had no choice!” Ariaan snapped, his own temper beginning to rise. He felt badly enough without her rubbing salt into it.
Garliaan looked at his captain, who nodded curtly.
“I went into his house, before we torched the village. The things in there..” he trailed off, then changed track. “Amber, he’d been planning a change for a long, long time.”
She turned to stare at him. “Go on.”
“The books and paraphernalia found were all indicative of someone who was trying to become a werewolf. Most of it was crap, but the incantations, exercises – all were geared towards a change.“
“Wait – he was trying to curse himself?” She shook her head in disbelief.
Apart from an exchange of a bodily fluid, the only other known way for a human to become a lycanthrope is a curse.
 There are reasons why it is not a good idea to piss off a black magician.

 “That’s insane!”
“I don’t think his sanity has been an issue for some time,” Ariaan said.
Garliaan snorted in agreement.
“But why?” Amber shook her head. “What human would voluntarily do that?”
“Power,” Garliaan shrugged. “If you’re a human it gives you that. You’re faster, stronger, a lot more dangerous. From what Ricky said, he enjoyed having people fear him. Most humans are terrified of werewolves.”

“Then the girl-“
“No, she was clan. We’ve contacted her people already.” Garliaan sighed. “I think what happened was, Scrout had been making all of these attempts, and he was getting desperate.”
“No good at magic either?” Amber guessed, and the big hawk hissed and tossed his head.
“The house was filthy.”

You cannot invoke serious magic in a dirty living area; it just will not work.
The grime and debris of human existence interfere with the vibrations of the natural world at the best of times. Add several layers of dirt on top of that, and you haven’t got a hope of something major happening.

“So when the girl passed through, he saw his chance and took it,” Amber said grimly. “That doesn’t explain his survival.”
“Actually, it does,” Garliaan contradicted her. “What’s the first law of survival?”
“Will power,” Ariaan answered.
“Exactly. He wanted this – he willed this. The others never stood a chance – the reason most infected victims don’t survive a change is because they truly don’t wish to. They consider it a curse worse than death.”

Amber closed her eyes briefly.
Oh, Seiren.
“So he took the form to fit the inner being. How charming,” she said bitterly. “But the thaarn virus should still have killed him in a matter of days once he changed.”
“Not if that was what he willed,” Garliaan answered softly.

They stared at him in horror, as what he was really saying finally dawned.

“You’re telling me we have someone out there capable of going thaarn and staying rational,” Ariaan said slowly. “Of spreading this willingly – and surviving?”
“Why didn’t you tell me this earlier?” The captain finally sat down, mainly because his legs would no longer hold him up.
“I didn’t know. I’ve had to lean on my sources in the clans pretty hard to come up with this much, and I’ve only just managed to put the pieces together.”
“This has happened before.” Amber said flatly.
“Generations ago. It was contained in the clans, so we’d have no record of it.”

Ariaan stood up. “I’ll send messages to the rest of the squads. This bastard could be anywhere on the Crescent by now.”
“No.” Amber said quietly.
“We have to warn people, Amber.” He could feel the beginnings of a headache.
“Not unless you want to start a bloodbath.” She folded her arms, looking even grimmer, if such a thing were possible. “Unless you can guarantee that no human gets wind of this.”
“They’re the ones most in danger!”

 Amber unfolded her arms and brushed back a lock of her hair, then tapped a finger against her chin.
“What do you think will happen to the clans if the human population on the Crescent decides they’re a definite threat, Ariaan?”
Garliaan’s face paled as she continued, speaking softly and urgently.
“We can’t even make them see reason about us – and we can’t infect them.”
Her captain stared at her, then swung over to the door and kicked it. Several times.
“Shit! Oh, shit on this!”
“Yes,” she agreed.
“What, in the name of the four hells, do we do now?” He rubbed his face with his hands.
“Well, first, you’re getting me a new door,” Amber quirked an eyebrow at the splinters on the floor.
“And then?” Ariaan’s mouth twitched.
“Then we hunt,” she said, and her voice was very quiet and very cold in the heat of the room.