Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Critter Creation

Part of world building in an alternate universe is the flora and fauna. What kinds of creatures will the new world have? How do you describe them? Are they dangerous or benign?

In Kama Sutra Lovers, I have sharcrabs...

When she eventually woke, Giosetta opened her eyes to a row of glowing eyes and sharp teeth. Shrieking at the top of her lungs she rolled from the bed and beat feet for the open doorway before she was completely awake. Hart led the charge down the short hallway so he was the first to catch a glimpse of the fascinating critters crowded around the window.

While Arik calmed Giosetta down, Hart went over to the window for a closer look. Bright orange and blue stripes ran the length of creatures that looked like a cross between a mini-shark and a crab. Two sets of claws on each side of the body opened and shut like a pair of scissors. Filmy glittering fins fluttered behind the claws and a long flexible tail slowly oscillated to and fro.

“What are they?” Giosetta demanded in a trembling voice.


And of course, there are the shadowdancers...

In the darkness, he heard a faint skittering noise. He froze, holding his breath as long as he could. There! It was in the corner behind him. Frantically, he rolled over to face it, but no…

It was behind him. No, on his right. Gradually, it dawned on him that the faint scratching noises were all around him. And then he shuddered with the full horror of his doom. The shed was infested with the big carnivorous shadowdancers, Elyria’s only spider.

Lester screamed and screamed and screamed.

And then there was only echoing silence.

In Mystic Valley there were a whole host of animals--dintis, packits, bohras, grimahrs, drangs, and firkas...

Trav scowled. “Wrenna’s doing something with pots. Everyone else is busy. I thought I would be really careful just this once.” He sighed. “I am so tired of being in this bed!”

“Well, you’re not going to try tonight,” Llyon replied absently, intent on searching out something under his shera. In a moment, he pulled a wriggling gray firka from the soft folds, muttering, “How many times have I told you that the hair on my chest is attached and therefore not the best material for nesting?” The firka cocked its head to one side as though in serious thought, before diving back under his shera. Llyon sighed. “No matter how many times I remind her, she still forgets.”

Trav laughed. “So that’s a firka? And what’s her name?”

Llyon grinned. “She’s a firka. Papa says they’re like your hamsters. Her name is Ladypuff.” Reaching up, he lifted Trav down. “Come on, let’s get you to the bathing room. When you’re finished, if you want to, you can come out and sit in the living room.”

Imagination is the only limit placed on creating fascinating new critters for your new worlds.


Woo-hoo! As part of the celebrations for our new releases, Amarinda and I are launching The Amarinda and Anny Contest

What could be better than kicking back with a good book? Winning two books - one from Amarinda Jones – Knock Three Times and one from Anny Cook – Kama Sutra Lovers. Fantastic. You want more? Be the envy of all with two hand made hair piks to adorn your locks. But wait – there’s even more! How about munching on a delicious care pack of Aussie treats? One lucky reader will win all of this.

How do you win this fantastic prize? Go to www.annycook.com and
www.amarindajones.com and answer an easy question -

If trapped on a deserted island what two things could Anny and Amarinda not live without? The answers can be found on the websites. As soon as you have them email

amarinda_jones@yahoo.com.au with your answers – there will be 4 in all.

The contest starts 18th July and closes midnight 23rd July 2008 (USA EST). The first correct entry drawn at random will win the prize. Good luck.


  1. Oh yeah, those sharcrabs are scary arsed things...what a crazy, warped mind you have Ms Cook

  2. I dunno. I think it's fascinating, following along, trying to figure out how your mind works. I'd love to listen in on the things you don't include in your books.

  3. Creating new ecosystems--what could be more fun? And Anny's are more fun than most.

  4. I often wonder...what the HELL is she smokin'??? LOL.

  5. I believe there are levels of creativity. There's the kind where you can write and there's the kind where you write in a way no one else would think of. It's distinct and completely you. I bet you have some nutty dreams.

  6. Actually, I seldom dream...or if I do, I don't remember them.

  7. I love the way you put your worlds together. It's truly a gift to give us something that would have to be different in a different or isolated world, but make it familiar enough for readers to instantly imagine.