Crimson Pact, Vol. 4

Crimson Pact Vol. 4 Cover Image

The fourth volume of Paul Genesse’s Crimson Pact anthology series, featuring my short story “Return to Sender”, has hit the shelves. “Return to Sender” caps off my friend Gloria Weber’s inter-connected shorts, “Crimson Mail” and “No Mail”, which were published in the first two Crimson Pact anthologies. When a scheduling conflict prevented her from completing the trilogy, she passed the torch on to me. Many thanks to Gloria for letting me take her characters and spew my own issues all over them.

Here’s a brief excerpt,which I hope you enjoy. “Return to Sender” was a lot of fun to write.

Return to Sender
Leigh Dragoon (that’s me!!!)
“We need to talk.” The sentence glowed up at me from my phone.

I reached over and turned on the secondhand lamp perched on my nightstand. I winced away from the glare.

It figured. Six months without a peep, and as soon as I let my guard down, my ex-boyfriend messaged me.

I stomped to the apartment’s galley kitchen and tossed the phone down on the table. We need to talk. About what? As far as I was concerned, Matt and I had said everything we’d needed to right before I’d pointed my sky-blue Corolla west on I-80 and sped out of Ohio. I’d blocked his number once I reached Sacramento, but technology could only do so much against a determined mage.

I opened the cupboard, shoved aside a half-empty bag of flour, and reached for the burgundy-and-white box of Kosher salt. Just as effective as sea-salt but much cheaper. I’d have to weave protections to block any further messages, at least until I could change my number and maybe get a new phone.

The box felt too light. I peered inside. Empty.

Great. Just . . . great.

How had I missed running out of such a basic component? Salt and spring water formed the core of my magic. They were immutable, therefore incorruptible, and they lent that strength to whatever spells used them for a foundation. No matter what was done to them, they reverted back to their true selves every time.

I glanced at the microwave. Three-fifty AM. There was a 24-hour Wal-Mart a few miles from my apartment. I scooped my keys and wallet off the counter, shoved my feet into my sneakers and grabbed my jacket.

I crammed my left arm into the jacket and was groping behind me for the other sleeve when I opened the door and there he was. Matt. My ex, the professional demon hunter, who hadn’t wanted my help before, and I damn well knew wouldn’t need it now.

“Hey, Veronica,” he said. At least he had the decency to look embarrassed. “I just want to talk.”

I thought about slamming the door in his face. Better yet, walking past him, getting into my car, and driving to a bar.

Instead, like an idiot, I let him in.

Oooo, will Matt get a bittersweet come-uppance? Will Veronica crack, take him back, and make him waffles?! Buy it and find out what happens next!!!! (Seriously, buy it, I get royalties on this one) ;)

The Crimson Pact – Volume 4

As mentioned in my friend Sarah Kanning’s excellent post, my short story Return to Sender is going to be in the forthcoming Volume 4 of Paul Genesse’s The Crimson Pact anthology series. Return to Sender is a sequel to two flash stories, Crimson Mail and No Mail, written by Gloria Weber. Bunches of thanks to Gloria for trusting me with her characters! I had an incredible amount of fun writing the story.  I’ll update as soon as I know the official release date for Vol. 4.

Vampire Academy GN – Pre-Order!


The first volume of the Vampire Academy graphic novel is available for pre-order on Amazon. I wrote the script adaptation and Emma Vieceli was selected as the book’s artist. I can’t wait to see her interpretation of all the characters!

I was a bit hesitant when I first heard about the project (vampires? In a school setting? So it’s like Twilight crossed with Harry Potter?) but the book surprised me. The main character, Rose Hathaway, is a rough-around-the-edges bodyguard-in-training who never once devolves into a Sue (she screws up ALL THE TIME and has to face serious consequences for her screw-ups; I’ll also be the first to admit that I have a soft spot for characters with anger-management problems *cough* jo, little women *cough*). The core of the story centers around a strong female friendship, and I found Mead’s treatment of this friendship to be a welcome change of pace from the passive aggressive back-stabbing and bickering over the menz typical to many YA books. Though Rose and Lissa have their disagreements, at the end of the day they ALWAYS have each others’ backs.

I consider myself lucky to have been tapped to handle the script-writing for this project, and I hope fans of the novels are happy with the adaptation. I’ve been given the go-ahead to begin the adaptation for the second novel in the series, and I’m looking forward to the experience.

Off to Kansas

I’m packed and ready to leave, at a truly ungodly hour tomorrow morning, for two weeks of fun at the writer’s workshop in Kansas. Wish me luck! :)