Friday, November 16, 2018

Free Holiday short stories

Do you need a kickstart to get into the holiday mood?

Read my 2017 Holiday short story for free. Now on my website:

REMULLINS 


My 2018 Christmas story will be featured at TheRosesofProseblog
on December 14, 15, and 16th.

For other Holiday stories, by some really fabulous authors, don't forget to turn into TheRosesofProseblog 
everyday starting right after Thanksgiving.

They all start with the same line but the stories are completely different.
Christine DePetrillo
11/26-11/28
Rolynn Anderson
11/29-12/1
Alison Henderson
12/2-12/4
  
Jannine Gallan
12/5-12/7
Diane Burton
12/8-12/10
Vonnie Davis
12/11-12/13
R E Mullins
12/14-12/16
Leah St. James
12/17-12/19
Alicia Dean
12/20-12/22

Barbara Edwards
12/23-12/25
Margo Hoornstra
12/26-12/28

Thursday, September 20, 2018

QUICK: READ THIS VAMPIRE SERIES TO GET IN THE MOOD FOR HALLOWEEN

                                                 Books by R E Mullins
                                           

Paranormal romance: The Blautsaugers of Amber Heights Series
 
Book 1:  It's A Wonderful Undead Life
What happens when you pray for an angel

and get a vampire instead?



Blurb: It's been a rough couple of years for Cailey Kantor. Facing her first Christmas alone and bad financial news, she prays for an angel to fix her problems. Instead, a sadistic, sociopathic vampire, with the goal of starting a vampire war, attacks her and forces her to drink blood stolen from the Nosferatu Gabriel Blautsauger.

Gabe must complete Cailey's turning or she will die. In doing so he risks losing his yet unfound soulmate. But something about the lovely mortal speaks to his heart. Once her transformation is complete, he and Cailey find themselves embroiled in a battle that could cost them all they hold dear.
Faced with lies, abduction, and betrayal Cailey wonders if the vampire she is falling fangs over heart for is in it for love or if she's just a means to stop a war.

Book Two: Vampire In The Scrying  Glass
After a spell goes horribly wrong, Morgan must

learn to use her magic to save the vampire she loves.

                                          

Blurb: Rafe Blautsauger, vampire and enforcer, must put his feelings for the mortal Morgan Maguire aside. The Nosferatu council who employs Rafe strictly forbids their love. But he can't stay away from the beautiful woman who causes his blood to beat with new life. Yet, she hides a secret, one he must expose in order to protect her.

Morgan keeps her unique gift of magic under wraps due to a spell gone horribly wrong when she was young. She is haunted by a nightmare where two malevolent glowing red eyes stalk her. Can she trust the arrogant but oh-so-handsome Rafe with her secret as well as her heart? Can he help her regain her power in time to save the world of the living and the undead?

 

Book Three: A Vampire To Be Reckoned With
He was both her hero and enemy.

She was his best student and biggest regret.

                                                     

Blurb: Vampire Metta Blautsauger is known as the family airhead and she works hard to keep up the fa├žade. It’s the perfect cover as she goes from dispensing her own brand of justice as a vigilante to an agent for Orcus, the Nosferatu shadow agency.

Captured, tortured, and left for dead, she is forced to leave both the agency and Lucas O’Cuinn, the mentor she’s grown to love.
For the last century she’s struggled with regret and boredom.

Then her life is given new meaning when four mortal ministers ask her help in stopping a human trafficking ring. If Orcus discovers her unsanctioned involvement, they will brand her as a rogue. The penalty is death. It’s only a matter of time before Lucas arrives—stake in hand.

Lucas O’Cuinn has waited ninety-eight years for Metta’s return and he’s run out of patience. It’s time she remembers she belongs to him.

Book Four: Cold Hearted Vampire

An icy she-vamp and a red-hot human Detective make an explosive combination.

      
                                     

Blurb: Dr. Michaela Blautsauger, a Nosferatu vampire, is considered an expert in her field of work. However, her skills when it comes to dealing with others and showing emotion is almost non-existent. When Detective Seth Whitehead barges into her lab, she discovers the human is just as interesting as the blood formula she is working on.
Seth's tenacity to find who is committing crimes in Amber Heights pits him against vampire aristocracy as well as Toltec vamps who are nasty to say the least. When the she-vamp he is falling heart over fangs for leaves the country to find the blood plant she needs, he follows and discovers his cold hearted vamp truly has a heart.

When they both fall into Toltec hands, Seth knows he will do anything he has to do to keep Michaela from suffering harm. But will he be able to keep his own life in the process?



  

R E Mullins' Books can be found at any online bookstore:


Keep up with what I'm working on at:

If you'd like a shirt with my logo, I'd be happy to send you one.



Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A Toad Joins The Menagerie

It seems as if two kittens, two dogs, and (between my mother's feeders and mine) about twelve cups of homemade hummingbird nectar a day wasn't enough.
 Image result for small frogs
For my mother's 92nd birthday, our handyman gave her a tiny toad or frog. I don't know the difference and, at the moment, I don't care. Mom was absolutely thrilled. One free and rather nondescript amphibian completely shaded the new TV my brother, sisters, and I pitched in to buy her for her bedroom. At her request, I might add, not that I'm salty about that.

Like any tech savvy lady, she headed her walker straight for the computer to research the little guy's needs. 
  
Terrarium. Check. Fine spray mister. Check. Small clay pot to make a little hidey hole. Mom decided her spare pots were too big. I managed to find a tiny one under my kitchen sink. Mom promptly took a hammer to it. 

I guess I'm not getting it back. 

Silly me, I'd envisioned her laying the pot on its side. At that Mom showed me some pictures she'd found on the internet. These showed the pot turned upside down with a rounded entrance cut into the side. I admit they were cute like little Hobbit houses. We turned to look at her handiwork. Her hammer blow had busted out a jagged triangular piece of clay. Hairline cracks suggested it wouldn't be prudent to hit it again.

She was disappointed. But after studying it for a moment, I told her it made the habitat look like she had a badass toad living there. 

The water dish was replaced six times before she settled on a lid possessing the perfect depth. Not too deep but just enough for him to sit in easily. The website further claimed the frog needed dirt from the area where it was found.

Fresh, loamy soil from the creek bank will have to do. The next requirement was living moss. Who wrote this stuff? And how do they know? Did amphibian pollsters go pond to pond?

It took me a bit but I found green moss growing under her outside water faucet.

Job well done...I'm ready to stamp the project finished.

Then she tells me, "the article said he'll only eat insects that are still alive. It has this graph and a toad his size needs about 3 bugs a day. Nothing with a hard shell so, I think, that lets out ladybugs and such. Oh, it also says that the back legs of crickets have to be removed. Something about them causing a blockage in his digestive system."

I suggest ordering live insects off the internet or buying some at a local pet store. She laughs like I've made the funniest joke. 

"Why pay for bugs when we've 34 acres filled with them? It shouldn't be hard. You could try checking piles of animal poop to find flies."

I stare at her in disbelief but she seems completely serious. I also know if I don't do it, she'll be out there scrambling around, with her walker no less, That leaves me to hunt out perfect dietal tidbits with which to tempt, what sounds to me, a very picky amphibian.

Outside, armed with long tweezers and a plastic baggie, I begin my search. Unfortunately, the trillions of bugs that live here must have been listening at the window. It seems they've all dispersed and gone into hiding. Not a single bee is droning. The ants have taken it a step further by sticking Go away, nobody's home signs on their hills. Reluctantly, I check the piles of doo-doo my dogs have left conveniently around but not one fly is decorating them.

It seemed to take forever until I finally capture the only three bugs either too inattentive or lackadaisical to heed the alert. One fly type thing, another bug I don't recognize, and a grasshopper.

Believe me when I say it's hard to catch flying/jumping insects with tweezers. However, I refuse to touch them with bare hands. I'm sweating by the time I hand the baggie over into Mom's waiting hands.

I suspect my grin is more than a little hysterical as I tell her, "Here. I don't know if grasshopper legs have to be removed like a cricket's. Your call." 

On that note, I head home. It's only a few steps as my place is right next door. The heat has made me slow as I'm about halfway there when it hits me. I'm going to have to go through this every stupid day until fall. 

As much as I'm hating this internet site Mom has been reading with all the passion of a proselyte, it has given one piece of advice with which I heartily agree.

Amphibians should be released back into the wild while the weather is still warm. This will give them some time to dig a hole for hibernation.

Here in southern Missouri, this means I'll be wearing a bug hunter cap along with all my other hats until the end of September or early October. Locally, the first really cold day hits  Halloween. As a child, I was convinced this was Mother Nature's way of messing with trick-or-treaters.

By that time, I figure I'll be maniacally singing Ugly Bug Ball while fancy dancing with the fleas. It's either that or I'll turn into one of them like Kafka's Gregor in Metamorphosis. Hmm, between those two options I think I'll stick to my party pants.

The phone's ringing as I shut the door behind me. 

"Robin," Mom exclaims excitedly, "I've been reading some more and the males have a bluish tint to their necks while a female's neck is the same color as the rest of its body."

She pauses with all the drama of an expecting mother's baby reveal. Pink confetti seems to spill through the airwaves along with her voice, "You have a little sister! Oh, and next time? You better remove any legs. They're too hard for me to pull off."

Touche, Mom, I hang up. She's managed to insult me and turn me into a butcher for her pet - all in the same breath.

It's all summer magic at the farm.


Check out what I've written and what I'm working on at my website
remullins.com 


AMAZON 
THE WILD ROSE PRESS 

Or find me on FB at R.E.Mullins/author 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Ever Have One of Those Mornings?

                    Stepping into the kitchen this morning, I'm shocked to see I forgot to set up the coffeepot last night. It's an integral part of my 'heading to bed' ritual. It goes hand-in-hand with brushing my teeth. I do it so all I have to do upon rising is push a button. 

Scratching the side of my left knee, I pick up the carafe and step/stumble over the dog as I turn to the sink. I swear he wasn't there a second ago. His normally limpid eyes are filled with reproach. In his mind, I should be feeding him the moment I get up. Having to fix the coffee is a change in routine that is messing with both of us.
I get the pot going and quickly feed the pets.

I scratch the back of my neck.

I decide there should be enough time to start a load of laundry before the pot finishes brewing. I stuff dirty clothes inside, turn the machine on, and add liquid detergent. 
I stand there, squinting down into the tub as it fills with soapy water. Was that something glinting among the clothes? It disappears as the machine begins to agitate. 
I dismiss it as a figment of an under-caffinated mind.

I scratch my hip as the phone rings.

"Hi," I answer. Politely, I might add.
"You haven't had your coffee," My mother says accusingly and then hangs up on me. It's amazing how she can tell, with only one word, if coffee has socialized me for the day or not.
  She refuses to talk to me before I have a caffeine hit. I love (sarcasm here) how she makes it sound like I'm some addict that can't function without a morning cup of joe. Until my eyes have been opened with a coffee bean and water stimulate, she claims, I'm unable to carry on a sensible conversation. She also won't ride in a car with me until I've got at least 2 cups of caffeine flowing through my veins.

I scratch my thigh.

After pouring a steaming cup, I doctor it with a drop of milk and head to the shower. Naked, I find several new, red patches of broken out and bumpy skin. You see, the little slice of Eden I live on is bountiful in poison ivy, shumac, and oak. I find six new six chigger bites in a place I'd rather they not be.
I scratch at them. I sneeze as Queen Anne's Lace is currently blooming and I'm allergic. 

 Once clean, I look in the mirror and try telling myself I look rather fetching painted pink with Calamine lotion. I compound this lie by adding I'm much more Pink Panther and less Pepto Bismal Monster.

 The lotion does not stop the itching.

The tone for the morning has been set. So much so that, later, when putting fresh sheets on the bed, I stub my baby toe on the leg of the bed frame. And it hurts. My luck it's broken. I can see the tissue swelling and know I'll be limping for a few days.
I believe I hear the distant echo of bed frame designers everywhere  laughing sadistically.

I'm scratching and sipping coffee as my morning ends with the outbreak of WWIII.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me explain that these canine and feline hostilities are rooted in the fact I live out in the boonies and bought a new car last March.
 Stay with me here. 
Who knew that somewhere, somehow, someone decided it would be a good idea to use a soy based coating on new engine wires.

That's right. Just like in the Princess Bride, a R.O.U.S. (rodent of unusual size) took it upon itself to have a wire snack. Its gnawing caused over three hundred dollars worth of damage.

 Everyone said I needed a cat. I don't do things halfway.
So, last week, I took in two kittens. 
Here is Kif, the dog, seeing Calico Andie for the first time. As the internet suggested, I let the dog and kittens get to know each other through closed doors. When the dog is inside, the kittens stay in the guest bathroom. They sniff at one another through the space at the bottom of the door.
  As you can see, one swipe of Kif's Gene Simmons-esque tongue could drown a tiny kitty.

I call this one, Marley because, I think, she looks like gray, marled wool. I find I have to repeat this a lot. I guess it was a bad name choice as, evidently, most think her name is a drug reference.
 It is not.


This morning, before I've ingested my normal pot or two of coffee, I discover the kittens have Houdini-it out of the bathroom. 
Canine and feline sleeping peacefully. 
So cute. So precious.
I start singing the Beatles, "All together now."
Either my singing or grabbing the camera wakes them up. And, all h...heck breaks loose. At first, Kif frantically wags his tail. He thinks it's playtime and he's been desperately wanting them to play with him.
However, the kittens snub him. Marley rather rudely puts her hind leg over her neck and starts grooming. I tell her that, at the very least, she could have turned her back before washing those bits and pieces.
 Kif's feelings are hurt. He responds by barking and attempts to jump up on the tea cart. 
Backs arching, the kittens hiss and spit with adorable ferocity.  Which, understandably, Kif doesn't take seriously. I didn't either until Andie makes this weird growling sound that causes the hair on the back of my neck to prickle. 
Andie and Marley reward them for picking them up out of canine reach by puncturing my skin with forty tiny but razor sharp claws.
 I yelp. This inspires Kif to repeatedly jump against my side. I'm almost knocked over by the ramming force of fifty, sturdy pounds. 

I'm done trying to referee. I'm tired of scratching.

  Poor Kif is put outside. I tell him that, when the kittens are old enough to look after themselves, they will take their turn at being banished outside for misbehaving.


 Right now, the kitties are too little to be outside where hawks, owls, and turkey vultures patrol the skies looking for tasty little morsels. Yet, Kif is a pampered pooch and it's too hot to leave him out during the heat of the day. It's not like he doesn't have shade trees, a pond, and a spring fed creek to keep him cool. No, he stubbornly stays on the deck. He stares longingly inside and, somehow, manages to make me worry he'll get heatstroke.

I scratch as I reconsider living in the country. 
I reconsider being a 'pet' person.
I think I need a more robust coffee bean.

Oh, and when transferring wet laundry to the dryer, I found my reading glasses. I guess they slipped off my nose when I was loading the washer earlier and that's what I'd seen glinting among the clothes.

 All this and I haven't even been up for three hours.

REMULLINS
author of paranormal romance
Keep up with what I'm working on at







 

Separate title novella written for Kindle worlds.



 Amazon 
TheWildRosePress 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Curse of the lawn mower

I picked this gif because I thought it was cute, and then I started feeling a little resentful...How does she make it look so easy?

gardener GIF

Sunday, May 20, 2018

#Nurturing Weeds

Image result for pink evening primrose
pink evening primrose







Image result for milkweed flowers
milkweed
Related image
Daisy Fleabane
Image result for photos black eyed susan
Black-Eyed Susan


Oxeye Daisy
Oxeye Daisy
Cornflower
Blue Cornflower


Lythrum Salicaria, Purple Loosetrife, Purple flowers, Pink flowers
Loostrife or Lythrum

Flowers or weeds? I guess it is in the eye of the beholder. I admit that I let these untamable wildflowers grow in my garden despite the fact some gardeners consider them obnoxious, invasive, and undesirable weeds. 

I've been warned to dig them out by the root before they have a chance to, horror upon horror, take 'hold' and edge out more desirable specimens like roses and hydrangeas.




 





Not, of course, that there is anything wrong with roses and hydrangeas. Indeed, if you were to ask my favorite flower, I would say it is whatever is in bloom. 
Now, stick with me here as I go through a rather convoluted theory about how gardening can relate to writing. It came to me yesterday as I was working outside.
Imagine each flower as a person in your story. That each bloom is a character both unique or stereotypical. It's undeniable that plants possess their own strengths and weaknesses much as we do. Some are aggressive and try to take over the bed. Some are delicate and temperamental. Some are bold and some dainty. 
Others, like the hybridized rose, might create a gorgeous and showy splash of color but they've lost that original, deeply haunting, and sweet scent in the process. They put me in mind of the handsome or lovely character that is all surface charm with no inner substance.
Can't you see children or childish characters in the tiny daisy fleabane? Milkweed is maternal. Attracting butterflies like a magnet and essential to the Monarch's diet, milkweed is the comfortable, older woman. Sweetly pink or butter yellow Primrose is the secondary female lead. This character is usually the heroine's best friend. On the other hand, you have to see that purple lythrum is the male best friend. 
Or do plants radiate gender to you as they do me?
That's why I see the Black-eyed Susan or Oxeyed daisies as great heroines. They're plucky, fun, cute, and bright all at the same time. While the masculine blue cornflower is perfect as the hunky, strong, and brave hero.
Now, every grower knows they must nurture each plant to their individual needs of water and fertilizer. So must the author nourish the story. But beware. Suspenseful drum roll. No matter how well tended a garden, black-spot, spider mites, or root rot might invade at any moment. 
The thought makes me shiver just as much as when suspense drives the plot. 
Even among the flora, there are few bad flowers. Queen Anne's lace tops my list as an undesirable. I didn't realize I was allergic to the intricately woven bloom until the summer of snot. That was the year it grew along the fence line and my little sweeties lovingly brought me a stem or two each day. I, in turn, dutifully placed them in vases around the house. And sneezed my head off as my nose ran and ran and ran. 
It's embarrassing to say how long it took me to figure out the cause of my 'summer cold'. It goes to show that Queen Anne's lace is the epitome of a complex character. Pleasant and interesting to look at but hiding a sinister motive.

See? Everything you need for writing inspiration can be found in your garden. There are blooms that are lovely, sweet, spicy, pungent, bold, pastel, or shyly hidden among the foliage. I bet you can find an annual or perennial that uncannily resembles someone you know.
Nature even comes with bad guy-flowers - like Queen Anne's lace and goldenrod. These nasty little buggers sprout each spring looking like every other tiny green speck. It's how they hide out and go unnoticed as they shove their roots deep into the soil.
It's the same when you write. Hidden threats provide conflict and suspense. Fear and worry keeps the main characters moving along. 
To get back to these sinus inflaming plants that burst from the soil, a shoot of innocent green in a green sea. They are the evildoer hiding in plain sight. It isn't until the leaves uncurl or sets a bud that it becomes identifiable. Only then is the gardener able to spot and weed them out. Much as a writer grooms the plot, elaborating on a character's internal and external struggles. The main characters must recognize and accept the problem before it can be defeated.
And so it goes. A story line forms like a garden reveal. Characters struggle to find and keep their place in the world much as shade and sun seeking plants. They must guard against others that try to crowd or overtake them. Defend against rivals that would kill them by hogging the soil's nutrients. 
But, sometimes, even two vastly different plants manage to harmoniously exist side-by-side. These are the lovers coming together in an explosion of colors and complementing hues.

And this is the road my mind traveled as I dug and planted in the dirt. You might say, I spent too much time in the sun. I don't know.

Either way, I'll leave my thoughts on seeds for another time.
R.E.Mullins
author of paranormal romance

My latest work is a novella bridging the gap between the original Blautsaugers of Amber Heights series and my new Vampires of Amber Heights series. 

 During the Civil War, Union soldier, John Alden took a musket ball to the gut. As he gasped his final breath, he was turned into a vampire and started life anew in Amber Heights, Missouri. For over one hundred and fifty years, he's lived a rather solitary life as a vampire Enforcer.

Young single mother, Joann Clarkson, needs a job and fast. Hoping to be rehired, she returns to Dr. Michaela Blautsauger's lab prepared to eat a hefty helping of humble pie. She comes to regret that decision when she's taken hostage. Things look grim but she'll never stop fighting to escape. Her son needs his mama.
As an Enforcer, John must hunt down the vampire who kidnapped Joann. In his search, John winds up babysitting her toddler Cody. Changing diapers might be worse than getting staked, but nothing compares to how he feels when both mother and child fall into danger again.


 
The Blautsaugers of Amber Heights series. Each novel features a member of this vampire family as they deal with loving interference from family members, wacky members of the human community, danger, and their own personal hangups to find their soulmates.

Kindle Worlds novella, Vampire Girl: Back to Hell was a lot of fun to write. I hope you enjoy it.
Eli Grayheart, vampire demon, lesser Lord of Inferna was banished to the mortal realm. For a decade, he has been reduced to working the night shift for human employers and little pay. As he desperately seeks a way back to his homeland, he has plotted his revenge. The pink Fae, known as Keeda Weranseer is going to regret the part she played in his exile. Ever more graphic plans for revenge fuel his life, and, he swears, if it takes forever and a night he will find his way back to Hell.
Contact me, read a free Christmas short story, or see what I'm working on at:  remullins  
Or find me on: FACEBOOK
 




Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Tale of Three Tails

     A Tale of Three Tails or Three Dog Night In The Country

                    My Family Grew When I Wasn't Looking

First there was Zap. He came into my life about a year and a half ago after I discovered him on a pound puppy website. He'd been abused, starved, and dumped outside their shelter. I was interested as I didn't want a puppy but the ad claimed he was two or more years old. 
Later, my vet would say he was more likely only a year old. 
It took a while to win his trust and he's still skittish around strangers. He also retains an almost pathological aversion to pickup trucks and large men.
However, he loves women and children and is a real sweetheart.
                           


About six months after adopting Zap, I learned about a four-month-old pup. Bred as a Cowboy Corgi (Corgi/Heeler mix) this little guy didn't fit the desired standard. Although a Cowboy Corgi can be long or short haired and all colors, their legs have to be Corgi short.
 

Here, on the left, is Kif with legs twice the accepted length. The breeder  planned to take him to the pound unless he found someone to take him off his hands. And that's how this boy joined the household. 


Image result for Cowboy Corgi
I added this picture on the right so you can see how tall a Cowboy Corgi ought to be.





It didn't take Kif long to warm up to his new digs.                                  
 
Though training is slow things were going smoothly enough when three days ago this sweet fellow walked up on the deck, opened the screen door, and walked right in.
After I got over the surprise of finding a strange dog in my house, I gently ushered him back outside. Back on the deck, he stared in at me, grinned as if we'd just shared a marvelous joke, and furiously wagged a barely-there tail. Then he simply opened the door and came back inside. 

At least this time I got to see how Houdini accomplished his skillful breaking and entering. Using his nose, he bounces the wire meshing until there is enough space to get one toenail inside - after that it's a quick slide open. He had that sliding screen door open in seconds flat.

No collar and, beneath all that silky-soft hair, I could feel the outline of every bone. So, of course, I fed him. His tummy had shrunk so much that he wasn't able to eat even half of what the other two consume.



Three days later and he's also making himself at home. 
The spot on the couch without the red cover is where I sit and the space is getting smaller and smaller. 


Here they are one big family.
 


Checking out the new guy's pearly whites, I can tell he's also a youngster. So much for planning. I now own three furry juveniles where I'd originally planned on a single teenager.

While Zap and Kif are a little jelly, they've also started teaching Bender (yes, I've named him) the ropes. Their first and most vital task each morning (after lifting a leg) is to check out the pond. You never know when there might be a Canada Goose, Duck, or Heron to bark at.

As for this crazy dog lady? I'm headed back into town for more dog food.