Thursday, April 28, 2011

Letter X ~ eXtreme monsters & demons

I'd like to welcome and thank Author Rebecca Russell to Writers' Ally, who's offering her thoughts about the infamous letter X. **I won't be posting, tomorrow, because my daugther and I are in a show this weekend. Wish us luck. I'll share goodies next week!!**

Today’s letter is ‘X’. One might assume that to be a difficult letter to blog about. But if you’re the author of a book full of eXtreme monsters and even more eXtreme demons who shape shift into humans in order to confuse the residents of the planet into committing eXtreme evil, then it’s no problem. And thank goodness there’s an eXtremely talented group of teens called Vigorios to fight off those demons and help save the worlds.

In case you don’t know yet, I’m talking about Odessa of the Seraphym Wars Series for Young Adults. At 17, Myrna must confront fears of being ripped from family and home while adjusting to a reality she never knew eXisted. She discovers she is the focal point of a Prophecy and its success hinges on her survival and that of the other kids she has to locate and protect.

But if it was that easy, anyone could do it, right? That’s because it’s not that easy. Every step of the journey is fraught with eXciting dangers from carnivorous swamp plants, to sea monsters; from scaly, fire-breathing dragons to tiny elves carrying poison-tipped spears. And to top it all off, Myrna has to fend off a gorgeous, sexy Scientist who pops up along her trip; a sweet, sensitive Mentor who joins her quest; and a dark-skinned demon-hunter who wears only a loincloth and insists he was commanded to help protect her.

If those aren’t enough eXtreme characters, how about the black-scaled tyrant and Ruler of Tartarus, Narciss, who so loves himself he lays encircling a gazing pool in the middle of his den, admiring himself all day every day. But you don’t want to cross him because his witch Murrdred sees and knows everything. Or how about the tenacious and evil Nefars—Narciss’s three power-hungry demons who shape-shift between attractive men and colorful dragons. Narciss has no idea what’s in store for his future with these three, and another interloper who joins the party late, on his planning committee.

Sound eXciting, eXhilerating, eXhausting enough? Just reading it will wear you out. Try living it, like Myrna is forced to do in order to get back home to her family and life on Earth.

            Odessa of the Seraphym Wars Series is available wherever eBooks are sold.

Here’s a bit to whet your appetite. It comes from the middle of the book when Myrna first sees Conall, the demon-hunter.

I was no longer tired or sore. The four of us moved as one, holding and helping each other over the rough terrain. Still screaming, we scrambled madly across the swamp, looking back to check our progress but always finding that ugly gray muzzle full of sharp teeth right behind us, snapping at our heels. The closeness of the trees restrained his use of the gigantic wings folded at his side, but his long, strong legs had no trouble crossing and crushing the masses of tangled roots.

With my long hair pulled into a ponytail, I was sure I could feel his hot breath on the back of my neck as I scrambled across the swamp floor. Newly strengthened muscles in arms and legs served me well as I climbed over the rough terrain. We froze at the outer edge of the tangled roots, where the swamp gave way to muck again before giving way to the other river. We’d made it!

I screamed as a tall, muscular man the color of coal charged, screaming, from the shadows of the swamp, swinging a massive curved sword. He lunged at the dragon, slicing at one of the huge legs but barely opening a gash through the tough gray scales. The dragon turned his head and sneered at this new threat, then flicked at the man with his barbed tail. The man ducked as the tail swung around and shifted his sword to come up under the tail. The tip of the sword caught the tail between scales and black, acidic blood gushed from the wound.

The dragon roared. The water vibrated. The trees trembled and swayed. The black man dove and rolled, sliced and diced like a living shadow. He flicked the sword first at one gray leg, then the other. He was on one of the dragon’s sides, then instantly on the other. He was like a ghost.

Our attention was suddenly drawn away from the battle as we realized what had happened, because in front of Brigid and surrounding us on all sides were the tallest and ugliest plants I’d ever seen.

“Succulorps!” Brigid screamed. Worry lines etched her mud-streaked face. Her normally clean spiky blonde hair stood in muddy clumps. “Shrite! They’re meat-eating plants. Don’t let them grab you.”

We bunched back to back, realizing we had been herded into a trap like cows. And just like cows we were about to become a meal. The circle of Succulorps closed in.

The black man continued to engage the dragon in battle. I could hear the sword scraping scales and the roars of pain when it found its mark. I also heard the grunts of pain and exertion from the man and wondered how long he could keep at this.

“You trying to communicate?” I asked Tien, recognizing her stare.

“I can’t get through. Dram brains are too small if they have them at all. All they know is hunger. Although I understood from one of them they had been told to wait here and expect food. The dram flying monster had told them.”

 Tien ducked quickly as one of the plants lunged at her, toothy mouth open wide. With growing horror we saw tiny arms with hands emerging from the thick stems. The plants, if that’s what they truly were, could now grasp and hold their prey.

“What now? They’re too close to use the swords. I can’t even get to mine. Shit! I wish I’d thought of using it earlier on the dragon,” I yelled while bending backward to avoid grasping hands. “I forgot all about it. Why didn’t you remind me, Michael?”

“You have to do this quest on your own terms. I can’t interfere that much. They’re so strong and tall,” Michael yelled back.

“Well, someone is helping. Who is that black guy?” I yelled.

Rebecca Ryals Russell writes MG and YA Dark Fantasy and Horror while living with her family in a Victorian house on five acres of North Florida countryside. She also runs a Vacation Rental Log House on the property: Florida Black Bear Cabin. ( )

She is a fourth generation Floridian. She was born in Gainesville, grew up in Sunrise, lived in Orlando and Jacksonville before moving outside Lake City to care for ailing parents. The family now wishes to return to Jacksonville, which is why the house is for sale. ( )

The daughter of an Elementary-school principal and secretary, for fourteen years she taught Middle Grades, preferring English and Creative Writing. She had several students’ works published in anthologies as well as her own poetry, photography and stories. Her main interests are her four children ages 22, 19, 16, 11 and Irish hubby of 35 years. She enjoys spending her time writing, drawing, going to movies, reading, discussing philosophy with her 16-year-old son.
Over the course of the next few years she has several books being published.

April 2011-Odessa, Seraphym Wars YA Series-available at Amazon
July 2011-Zarena, Stardust Warriors MG Series
September 2011-Guardian, Seraphym Wars
October 2011-Don’t Make Marty Mad (adult Horror story)

November 2011-Jeremiah, Stardust Warriors
January 2012-Harpies, Seraphym Wars
February 2012-Laman, Stardust Warriors
April 2012-Mercy, Stardust Warriors
June 2012-Magaelbash, Stardust Warriors


  1. Whoa. Cool excerpt. Good luck to you and your daughter, Sheri!

  2. Very awesome Rebecca. Your book sounds great. Good luck. And Sheri, good luck in the show. Hope your daughter and you have fun.

  3. Hi, Rebecca. *waves madly* I'm so looking forward to this read. Glad to see you here. :)

  4. awesome! And I'll have to share this w/my cousin... Odessa! :D She always complained about her odd name. And can't wait to hear about the show~ :o)

  5. Love the eXtreme!! Awesome sounding book. And Yay for you supporting other authors!!

  6. Sheri, thank you so much for hosting Myrna and me today. And we wish to thank all of our visitors as well. Myrna hopes to see each of you between the lines of Odessa.

  7. Loved the excerpt. And I think Succulorps is my new favorite word.

    Have a good weekend, Sheri!

  8. Sounds eXcellent. Thanks for the eXcerpt! :)

  9. Woo hoo! That is just awesome!

  10. That book sounds great - I love all the eXtreme characters!

    Best of luck to you and your daughter, Sheri!

  11. Oooh, sounds intense! Good luck with your show!

  12. This sounds really good! The exerpt hooked me right away. I'm putting this one on my list.

  13. Sounds like a fascinating book. I remember meeting the author at a conference last summer.

  14. Sounds like a fun story. Can't wait to read. Thanks!

  15. Here's to making this far, congratulations! I have an award for you!!


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