Wednesday, 3 April 2013

New Release - 3 April: Cree Walker

Today I am really happy to welcome a friend and extremely talented paranormal romance author to my blog. You can check out her books at Naughty Nights Press.

Today however, Cree has something very special to talk about. It's her latest book which is hot off the press. A Winter's Grave is a must read and Cree has very kindly let us have an excerpt. Take it away, honey.

The initial idea for A Winter’s Grave came to me one night while I was out walking my dogs…yes I walk at night, you tend to be a little braver with a Doberman Pincher on the end of the leash. It was one of those weird summer nights when everything is foggy and quiet, with heat lightening flashing in the purple clouds overhead…as a paranormal writer how was I not to be inspired right? But I digress, I was out walking and my dog was really on edge and started to growl. When I looked up there was this guy walking towards me on the opposite side of the road wearing a black hoodie, then the street lights went out. I swear this really happened. I couldn’t have written it better. I kept thinking to myself, “I swear to God if he’s my Reaper I’m going to be pissed.” We both kept walking without incident and in the same moment the lights flickered back to life overhead the idea popped into my mind about a Reaper story and by the end of my walk I’d pretty much worked out the details.
Sometimes inspiration is as subtle as the scent of wild flowers swaying in a spring breeze and sometimes it’s like being hit in the face with a folding chair.
I was a little resistant to write a book about death but I had been wanting to integrate more humor into my writing and this seemed like a good book to try it on and though at times it was somewhat challenging, I think I pulled it off.

An excerpt from A Winter’s Grave,

Ceres, our main character is having a hard time adjusting to her new afterlife and an even harder time finding a day job. This is her first day working at a bottle redemption center.
The building stank of stale beer and mold from the bottles and cans. Even though everything was stacked neatly along the walls, it was an overwhelming amount of stuff for the tiny building to hold. She handed me a list of companies and brands that went into certain bags and sent me down to the basement. I was only halfway down the stairs when I had to step into the thigh-deep ocean of bottles and cans waiting for me there. I held the fistful of plastic bags and the list above my head as I waded into the center of it.
“You new?” someone screeched from the far corner of the room.
I jumped and looked over at the strange-looking, short, round bald man with pale blue eyes pointing in opposite directions.
“You new?” he yelled again. I was assuming this was his normal tone of speaking and I nodded numbly.
“Get to work!” He waded towards me, angrily kicking bottles and cans around like he was mad at them. “Gimme that!” He grabbed the list and pointed. “That’s Coca Cola!” He was looking at something, but due to the not so slight problem with his eyes I had no idea what… I actually thought he was still looking at me.
“That’s Coca Cola!” he screamed again.
I grabbed at something – anything to get him to stop screaming at me.
“No, stupid, that one!” He pointed with a big stick I hadn’t noticed before because it was mostly buried in the bottles.
I grabbed the bottle and stuffed it into the bag. Then I grabbed all the ones that looked like it until my bag was full. Then we started again. My nerves were rattled by his incessant screaming and I had to believe he was the son of the owner, or why else would she keep him? All he did was watch me work – like an evil little troll that lived in the basement, pointing his stick around and calling me names. Pair this with the jarring clatter of glass bottles directly overhead and I was starting to see why the basement troll was half deaf.
Titan, my tiny twelve pound hellhound, was okay with staying on the stairs until I wandered out of his sight; I watched the ocean of bottles move around as he made his way beneath them to find me. Unfortunately, I didn’t introduce the little man to Titan, and I wasn’t sure he’d even seen him since I had no idea where his eyes were looking at any given time. He screamed and lifted his big stick to spear it into the bottles. “Rat!”
I grabbed the stick from him and tossed it away. “That is my dog, stupid!” I threw the name back at him nastily. I reached into the mass of bottles and picked up Titan’s warm, furry body… I only realized my mistake when the creature squealed. “Ahh! It’s a fucking rat!” I threw the animal and immediately regretted discarding the large stick. I certainly wasn’t going to bludgeon the massive angry rat to death with a plastic soda bottle, but as it turns out I was certainly willing to give it a try.
The ugly little man had managed to waddle his way back to the stairs, gasping and heaving from the excursion. I stood stranded and motionless until I saw the bottles moving over the creature beneath them as he headed back in my direction. I swear I could hear the Jaws theme playing in my head. The rat was definitely headed my way, and from the sounds it was making, it was bent on revenge. I snatched a Pepsi bottle and started screaming as I swung it like an ax towards the moving bottles; panic danced into place in my stomach.
Another mound of bottles moved towards me and it looked bigger. I should have known a rat that big probably had combat training and back-up military reinforcements. They don’t get that big without help and good planning. I burst into tears. This was no way to go… again. I swung my useless bottle blindly when I heard a loud squeak. Then the bigger mound quickly retreated back towards the stairs and Titan emerged holding the dead rat between his teeth. Then he proceeded to eat it. Though I was grateful for his heroic rescue, I was rethinking our sleeping arrangements and wondering if there were doctors for Barghest in case he brought home the Bubonic Plague.
“Dog got it. Good dog.” The loud man patted Titan’s head and jumped back into the ocean of bottles. “Rat’s dead, Ma!” he called up into the chute where the endless mountain of bottles seemed to be coming from.
“Clear the chute! I’ve been yelling for ten minutes, but that damned girly girl was screaming like someone was chopping her goddamned head off!”
I kept the fact that one doesn’t scream very well without a head to myself but rolled my eyes in irritation.
“Yeah, Ma!” He waded towards the stick and tossed it to me with amazing accuracy despite his vision impairment. “Clear the chute!”
I was standing beneath the chute, so I quickly stuck the end of the long stick into it and poked around. Nothing happened.
“Clear the chute!” the man and his mother yelled together, as if I was trying to do something else.
I stabbed the stick into the chute again. Suddenly a shower of bottles rained down on me, along with the morning’s worth of their gathered miscellaneous juices. I stood dripping sticky brown liquid that stank of liquor, soda, and moist cigarette ashes. It mostly ended up in my hair and part of my face and shirt. I gagged.
“Don’t throw up! We’ll have to clean it up, stupid!” the bottle troll screamed.
I looked at the stick, then I looked at him.


I walked into the house an hour before sunset. No one was able to pick me up from work since Ezra didn’t drive and Gavin, Ash and Stacy were all at work. Ezra met me at the door. “Don’t move!”
“Don’t fucking scream at me!” I sobbed. My nerves where frazzled and I was still twitching from the spent adrenaline of the rat attack.
“I’ll get you a garbage bag to put your clothes in… Then we’ll burn them.” He ran into the kitchen and returned a moment later carrying two big plastic bags. He carefully laid one down for me to stand on and held the other out to me. “I’ll give you some privacy. Um, you’re not going back there, are you?”
“I don’t think so.” I sobbed and laughed hysterically. “Titan ate a rat the size of a toy poodle, I’m pretty sure I was working with Frodo’s reject brother who always seemed to have one eye on my ass and one on Texas, and I found out what plug is… Why do people spit used tobacco in bottles? Don’t they know that’s disgusting? Anyway, I sort of quit… Well, actually, I think I was technically fired, but if you hit the boss’ son with a big fucking stick it’s kind of like quitting. I mean, I knew what was going to happen, right?”
Ezra nodded and backed away slowly. “I’ll be in the kitchen. Maybe you could take a couple of showers before supper. I’ll have Stacy bring you some clothes when she gets in.”
“Do we have any bleach?” I asked, shivering.
“I don’t think it’ll save your clothes,” he said sadly.
“It’s not for the clothes… It’s for me.”
Well it's definitely on my must buy list. But I'll need the buy links.
Sure thing

I wish you the greatest success with it and it's been a pleasure having you here.


  1. Thank you for having me on today Naomi :)

  2. Your description of a rat infested bottle basement and troll were horrific but humorous. You have a winner of a book. Best wishes for a huge success.

  3. You know how parents tell you that your first job is a character building experience? Well in this case it was true. My first job really was at a bottle redemption and there really was a basement troll that screamed at me all the time. :) I lasted two weeks before I freaked out on the troll.


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