They messed with the wrong girl this time.
From heroes to villains, Femmes du Chaos sets out to show the world what the fairer sex is really made of. You’ll meet women of all ages and from many different walks of life… Warriors and schoolgirls, side-by-side in one place. One thing connects them all, and that is their ambition. Whether they use their ambition for good or evil, well that’s for them to decide. Gritty, fantastical and sometimes uncomfortable to read, Femmes du Chaos is a tour de force that holds nothing back. There will be violence and there will be blood.
Here are a few of the femmes you’ll meet in this thrilling collection:
Sylvia: The bounty hunter with a dark past who is hellbent on revenge. When the justice system fails her, she sets out to correct their mistakes.
Layla: The ballerina who wants to be a star who’s spent her life being overshadowed and under-appreciated. What happens when she stumbles across magic that makes her sister the star she’s longed to be for so long? Let’s just say, you’ve never seen sibling rivalry like this before.
Mallory: A young girl who can see the future in her dreams. She’s saved lives in the past, and her dreams are warning her to not return to the world they all left behind. Faced with starvation, no one wants to believe her about the multitude of horrors that wait for them above. After all, monsters don’t exist… Or do they?
Some will survive and come out stronger in the end… And some will let the darkness consume them. After all, no two girls are ever alike.
Here is Smashwords link for any ones that I missed. 😉
OR Goodreads for other links. 😉
“They came to me in my dreams. The people we left behind, I mean.”
“And what did they say to you, Mallory?” Dr. Russell tilted her head, paper and pen in hand as she took notes.
“My friend, Zora spoke to me. She told me that I should never come up again.” I refused to look the doctor in the eye as I spoke. “Or else.”
“Or else what?” Dr. Russell stared at me and let the silence fill the room as I deliberated whether or not I should tell her. Finally, the silence became too much.
“They’d eat me.” I lowered my voice before continuing, “she’d eat me.”
The doctor nodded as she wrote something down. “Tell me about the dream. Start at the beginning.”
“It all started at six fifty seven a.m. when the announcement was made to exit the shelter. Then my dad woke up and we had the last of our rations while everyone celebrated outside,” I said. I chewed on my fingernail, not sure if I should go on.
“What happened next?” she asked.
They opened the doors anyway of course.” I shrugged my shoulders. “And they were there. Only they weren’t the people we left behind, they were… monsters.”
“Mmm I see…” The doctor wrote something else down on her notepad.
“My dreams come true, you know.” I stared at her as she stopped writing and looked up at me.
A Fate Worse Than Death
Lisette was pulled to the edge of the pool first. Gag firmly placed in her mouth, her eyes were wide with fear as tears fell in thick droplets onto her favorite dress, the pink one with white lace at the collar. Lisette struggled as the guard effortlessly shackled her feet to the large weight. Kicking and squirming, she fought for her life, but her slight frame was no match for the strength of the guards.
The mechanism was as cruel as it was simple in design. Lisette’s feet were chained to the weights on a platform that would drop out from under her, dragging her down into the murky depths of the pool below. Chains were attached to both sides of the weight, and on a whim, the executioner could shorten or prolong a prisoner’s life for the pleasure of the crowd by simply raising or lowering the weight.
“Two minutes. I give her two minutes unless old Ira decides to have some fun with her,” the guards wagered amongst themselves as the one standing beside Meredith winked at her.
Meredith noted the attendance of the king in his usual front row seat, along with Queen Odelia who glared at her. A toddler dressed in blue ruffles played at their feet. The king nodded to the executioner who started his ascent up the stairs to the mechanism’s crank. The queen looked rather pleased with her king and reached for his hand as they shared a smile between them.
The Trails I’ve Walked
I walked along the beaten trail, breaking twigs of off the bushes I passed. Once in a while, I would see a rock that caught my eye and stick it in my pocket if further investigation proved to keep my interest. I really didn’t pay any attention to the scenery around me; Godzilla could have snuck up on me without me even noticing. If I focused too much on my surroundings, the desolation of the land around me would make me realize how utterly alone I was in the world. I preferred to be a part of something smaller, my own personal world instead. So that day, I just walked and tried to shut out the ugly voices in my head that talked about finding the nearest cliff to jump off of. I managed to shut them out and stopped when I heard something else.
Laughter. A little boy’s laughter.
“Who’s there?” I grabbed a stick that lay at my feet for protection.
More laughter echoed around me, the trees distorting the sound so I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. Behind me? I turned around. No one. Only trees and thick brush. The leaves on a bush to the left of me rustled making me spin with my stick raised, ready to attack.
“Who’s there? Tell me and maybe I won’t hit you!”
More giggling was followed by a voice that seemed to be all around me that said, “Silly girl!”
1. Do you play the What if game with a basic idea? Do you come up with your story idea first or do you come up with characters/who the main ones are before you can come up with the plot?
It depends. Many of my stories came to me in dreams, with the characters and plot already ready to go. I just had to write them down and translate them into a story others would understand. Sometimes, I hear a name and a story comes to me about the person – who they are, what they do, what type of world they live in, etc, and then I come up with the plot. There have been times I’ve had a plot idea, but I realize it’s been done before or something doesn’t feel right… which I then play the “What if” game and consider other points of view or plot twists that could mix things up.
2. How do you pick out names that you feel fit your characters and do you try to tie most if not all your characters from different books together?
Most of my characters come to me with names. It’s strange, but the name is usually the first thing that comes to me. I don’t think too hard about it. If I am struggling with a minor character, I may do a search of baby name sites until something sounds right, but that’s not a common occurence.
3. Do you use any special programs to write or just word? (examples like Writeway, yWriter, Scrievner etc). do you do all of your writing by the computer or are you crazy like me and you write it in a notebook you can drag around and then add it to the computer later?
I don’t have any special program, just Open Office on my laptop. However, I will often write on my phone too. Especially when an idea hits me and I’m not near my computer. I will just start writing in the little notes section of my phone. I’ve written entire short stories there, and then later e-mail them to myself to edit on my computer. When an idea hits me, I often have to write then or lose it for good. So I write with whatever I can, even if it’s typing it out on my phone.
4. Are you a plotter or panster? Do you need complete silence while working or do you like listening to music?
I don’t use a formal outline, but I often have the plot mapped out in my head before I write. Most of the time something happens that flips that all around though, and I always keep myself open minded enough to let the story unfold naturally.
I usually write in silence because otherwise I’d get too distracted changing up my playlist to write.
5. How do you deal with rejection and when the muse rejects to help, what do you do about it?
I remind myself that to be a writer means you will be rejected countless times before you’ll ever be successful. I look at J.K. Rowling and know that she was rejected countless times before hitting it big. So was Stephen King and many other greats. If they quit because they took it personally, where would they be now? It’s part of the writing world and I’m willing to accept it. Sure, I get bummed out, but I don’t let it destroy me. I don’t let rejection scare me away from putting myself out there. It’s something every writer must go through, it’s a rite of passage of sorts. I don’t take it personally and I move on. And I keep submitting. And then I get accepted somewhere really cool and forget all about the rejection for a bit.
When my muse doesn’t want to help, I often try to listen to it. Most of the time it’s fighting me because I’m fighting it. I may be forcing a story to happen a certain way instead of listening to my gut instinct. Sometimes just changing the POV from 1st person to 3rd person helps, sometimes changing who’s telling the story helps. Or sometimes, I have to change something bigger. My muse is almost always right, I just have to learn to trust it more.
I rarely get writer’s block, I almost always have some idea percolating in the back of my head. If I don’t feel it in that moment, I write anyway. NaNoWriMo has helped a lot with that. It taught me that I can always edit later. Even if something doesn’t feel right in the moment, I can always come back and fix it. You can’t edit a blank page.
6. Have you ever felt like giving up on writing or stopped to question yourself of why your are writing?
Early on, yes. I used to suffer from severely low self-esteem and I’ve always wanted people to like me. I wanted everyone to like me and my writing even though I knew it was an impossible dream. I wanted to please everyone. Once I realized that wasn’t possible and stopped aiming for that, I found confidence I never knew I had. I no longer question myself. I write for me. I love it when people enjoy my work, but that’s icing on the cake… I write because I love it.
7. What will you be writing next?
I’m writing a story that I call “The Princess and the Piper”. That’s a cheesy pun as I don’t have an official title picked out yet. It’s a utopian Prince and the Pauper with lesbians and genetic engineering. It’s a lot lighter than my book of short stories, but it still has some darkness lurking beneath the surface.
8. Who is your go to author when you are looking for something to read?
Either Ray Bradbury, Stephen King or Neil Gaiman.
9. What got you into writing and what made you write this book?
I’ve been creating stories for as long as I can remember, long before I knew how to write anything down. It’s just part of who I am.
The reason I put this book together is that I realized I had so many fun short stories, I wanted to share them with the world. It’s pretty simple really. The stories were written long before I considered publishing a book of short stories, I just needed to clean them up and put them together.
10. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That women kick ass? That’s about it, really. But I would like that message to come across and hopefully it does 🙂
About the Author:
Kristen Duvall is a writer of tales both real and make believe. Born and raised in the Midwest, she now resides in Southern California with her boyfriend, her Great Dane and her rescued calico kitty. She’s been writing and sharing her work online for several years now, and has decided to take the plunge into publishing her work for the world to read. She dabbles in horror, science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction. She enjoys both Adult and Young Adult fiction and loves to write strong female characters. You may follow her on Facebook or visit her website.
The Princess and the Piper (title may change) – A utopian version of The Prince and the Pauper, only with lesbians.
The Caged Girl – A romantic tale of a girl, a boy and decapitation. First in a forthcoming sci-fi/dystopian series.
Here There Be Dragons – YA or possibly middle-grade story of a girl on a mission to do the impossible.
The Devil’s in the Details – A horror novella about the devil’s right-hand man.