Monday, January 26, 2015

The Revenge Artist by Philip Hoy

The Revenge Artist by Philip Hoy

A bullied teen embarks on a dark journey of revenge when she discovers the power to make bad things happen by drawing them.

Evelyn Hernandez is a high school junior who reads Shakespeare for fun, sews her own dresses, and keeps a sketch journal of her daily life. When varsity quarterback Garvey Valenzuela breaks her heart, she sends him to the emergency room with a busted hand.
Add black magic to her résumé.

The Revenge Artist is the story of a bullied teen who embarks on a dark journey of revenge when she discovers she has the power to make bad things happen by drawing them. The novel explores the emotional pain, isolation, and self-hatred caused by bullying and cyber-bullying in particular as it follows the self-destructive path taken by one teen attempting to defend herself from bullies.

Evelyn is temporarily empowered by her ability to hurt others, "Don't you know? I'm a witch... a real, honest to God, black-hearted, evil witch!" and this is what keeps her from seeing that her true power comes from her loyal and caring nature, the love and support of her friends and family, and most of all, her intelligence and creativity.

Philip Hoy, author of The Revenge Artist

Dana’s YA Book Pile Author Interview Questions:
1.   I write because…
I am a sponge. I soak up everything around me, from home, from my students, from the media, from books, until I reach a point of saturation and I must wring myself out onto the page. If I can’t find time to write…if I don’t make myself…then all of that input evaporates, and all those possible stories dry up and disappear. And wringing is really an appropriate image, because writing is difficult and almost never flows easily, but all of these influences are in the mix and what I think emerges is something I can call my voice, the same voice with which I speak, only far more polished.

2. If I were your favorite cookie, what would I be?
I would be the sugar cookies my wife makes during the holidays. I’m a light, crispy-crunch blonde with golden brown edges, filled with a buttery deliciousness that’s not overly sweet. You can keep a small pile of me nearby to nibble on while you are reading or writing, or you can put a handful of me in your coat pocket and take me with you to the movies, shopping, or wherever.

3. Plotter or pantster?
I imagine I’m a little bit of both. I work best with a rough outline, so I talk myself through the plot: first, next, later, finally, the next day, and so on, and then go back and write it. These are two very different things, though. The first is mostly planning, but the second is creating…and creating is the most difficult. You can plot and plot and plot some more, but sooner or later, you have to switch over from planning to constructing, and then submerge yourself in the world you are creating, and begin to write from the point of view of your characters. In other words, stop telling what your characters will do and start showing them do it. Once I begin writing, I guess I’m a pantster. I place the characters within the conflict and then see what happens. Even though I’m pretty sure I know what my character will do in a situation, I have to start writing in order to find out. Dialogue can be especially surprising. I may have certain lines in mind, things that must be said to develop the characters and the plot, but once two or more characters begin to speak, the conversation often takes on a natural, spontaneous rhythm that makes unexpected turns and arrives in unexplored territory. Writing can be as much an act of discovery as reading…sometimes maybe more.

4. What is your favorite type of character to write about and why?
I am attracted to characters that tend to drastically underestimate themselves. Characters who, for some reason or another, temporarily become their own worst enemies until they realize the strength they needed, or the answer they were looking for, was inside them all along.
Mostly, my high school students inspire my writing. My characters are teenagers. And like my students, they are just as much discovering themselves, as they are inventing themselves: still finding their voices, still realizing their powers, and still exploring their purpose in the world. In my novel, the high school dean complains, “You kids live in the extreme, in the moment, and why not when everything is happening to you for the first time?” I feel this is so true of young people; although, unlike the dean in my story, I believe this is exactly what makes teenagers so fascinating and so refreshing to be around.

5. Hamburgers or sushi?

6. Name three things on your desk.
Right now? My MacBook Pro, the hand-carved Maori wooden face my daughter brought back from New Zealand for me, and a bowl of oatmeal, my favorite late night snack. 

7. What books have influenced your writing style?
While I don’t think my style is necessarily similar to any of these writers, when I think of my choice to write for a young adult audience, these particular books come to mind: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, The Afterlife by Gary Soto, The Dead Father’s Club by Matt Haig, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

8. Tell us a little about your book.
The book is called The Revenge Artist and it is the story of Evelyn Hernandez, a bullied teen who discovers she has the power to make bad things happen by drawing them. The novel explores the emotional pain, isolation, and self-hatred caused by bullying and cyber-bullying in particular as it follows the self-destructive path taken by one teen attempting to defend herself from bullies.
Although there is a bit of the supernatural, or paranormal, in my book, it is categorized as a contemporary young adult novel. There is definitely romance, but the plot is much more concerned with the protagonist finding her voice than finding her man.

9. What advice do you have for new and aspiring authors?
Once you’ve finished that first book, begin submitting it to as many publishers and agents as possible. While you are awaiting responses, start writing your next story (never stop writing). If you are lucky, out of all the “no thank you” replies, maybe, just maybe, a publisher will include some notes along with your rejection letter. And even though specific criticism of your book may hurt a lot more at first than a generic, “it’s just not what we’re looking for at this time,” do not destroy or delete this letter…it is extremely valuable and rare. Later, after you’ve had a good cry, take it out and read it again. Chances are, it’s advice you can use.  

10. What is next on your writerly horizon?
I’ve decided to write a sequel to The Revenge Artist and I’m already half finished. Also, I’ve begun an author’s blog on my website that I really enjoy.  

Top 5 favorite movies: (I know, I have six…but narrowing it down to five was hard enough.)
1.      Indiana Jones
2.      Monty Python and the Holy Grail
3.      The Thirteenth Warrior
4.      Oh Brother Where Art Thou
5.      Galaxy Quest
6.      Zoolander


Hi, I'm Garvey."
Evelyn looked up at him through her bangs. "Evelyn," she said without lifting her head. But his hand stayed outstretched between them for an unbearably long moment until Evelyn finally gave him hers.
"Nice to meet you, Evelyn," he said with two perfect dimples framing his smile.
She turned and smiled at the other two guys now sitting at the table. Garvey followed her gaze and greeted the two with a smooth lift of his chin and some kind of half audible guy-grunt which they returned in a similar manner. Tito and Erick. The two were inseparable. Must be nice to get to sit with your best friend, Evelyn thought as she twisted around in her chair to make eye contact with Denise who had ended up on the other side of the classroom. Evelyn gave her a please-kill-me look. Denise just smirked and rolled her eyes.
"Hey, I have a cousin named Evelyn," Garvey was saying. "We're not related are we?"
Evelyn turned back to face him. "No."
"Are you sure? She likes to wear dresses too, just like you. You know with tights or whatever." He made a motion with his eyes like he was looking through the table top at her pink stockings.
She instinctively pulled her knees together.
"Have you ever done that?" he went on, leaning a little forward. "You know, liked someone and then found out they were related, your cousin or something?"
Oh...My...God, she prayed silently, please stop talking to me. Schwartz made an exaggerated clearing of his throat to get everyone's attention. "Okay!" he said, "Now that you've all had time to get to know each other, when I call on you I would like you to tell me three things you've learned about the person across from you." The class became noisy again. "Evelyn," he announced loudly over the din, and everyone stopped talking and turned to look at her.
Perfect, she thought, how can this day possibly get any worse?
"Stand please," added Schwartz. "Nice and loud."
Evelyn stood, tugging down on the hem of her dress. "His name is Garvey," she said, and then in one monotone breath finished with, "he plays football, and even though sports and school keep him very busy, he still finds time to keep in touch with friends and exchange pictures on Facebook."
Garvey looked confused.
"Okay, that's two things," said Schwartz. "One more."
"His name doesn't count?" asked Evelyn.
"No, that's too easy," he answered, obviously enjoying himself. "One more...something most people probably don't know about Garvey."
Evelyn sent Schwartz daggers with her eyes. He knows I can't answer that, she thought, he knows I wasn't even speaking to him. But when she opened her mouth it just came out. "He once had a crush on a girl until he found out she was his cousin," she said and dropped into her seat.
Someone laughed abruptly, like the bleat of a sheep.
"Oh...kay..." said Schwartz. "Garvey, what did you learn about Evelyn?"
"Well, her name is—" He stopped himself, remembering to stand up.
Evelyn slipped lower in her seat.
"Her name is Evelyn," he went on, "she's an artist and..."
Now it was Evelyn's turn to look confused.
"And she's always drawing pictures in a notebook she carries around."
Schwartz was nodding his head slowly, counting to himself while Garvey spoke. He stopped now, looking at Garvey expectantly.
"And...she likes to wear pretty girl's dresses to school because she wants to be original and have her own style."
He sat down again, flashing Evelyn his trademark smile.
"Okay, thank you Evelyn and Garvey for setting the standard with those introductions," Schwartz continued. "Now let's hear from someone in the back of the room."

Author Bio:

Philip Hoy is a high school English teacher. When he is not creating lesson plans or grading essays, he is writing. He lives in Southern California with his wife Magdalena, also a teacher.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Vengeful by Chantel Fourie

1. I write because… Fictional worlds are more interesting than the real world.
2. If I were your favorite cookie, what would I be? An oreo! Yum!
3. Plotter or pantster? A bit of both. I’m not someone to sit and plan something. I’ll get an idea, think about it a bit (maybe write down a few important details), and then sit down and let the story create itself.
4. What is your favorite type of character to write about and why? Semi-villains! I just love a dark, mysterious kinda character that reveals a bit of good in the end.
5. Hamburgers or sushi? I’m more of a pizza person. I’ll settle for a pizza hamburger… If something like that exists.
6. Name three things on your desk. Computer, phone, tablet (now what about my cup of coffee?)
7. What books have influenced your writing style? Hmm… Good question.  If I have to choose, I’ll go with The Mediator by Meg Cabot, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling and Alan Wake (more for the game than the book, but the book is just as awesome) by Rick Burroughs.
8. Tell us a little about your book. The Vengeful is the first novella in a YA paranormal series. It tells the story of Zack, a teenage guy, fighting his way through an alternative dimension full of reaper-like creatures to save his brother’s life. In this world of deceit, he must put his trust in the right person, or end up dooming the human race.
9. What advice do you have for new and aspiring authors? Don’t give up! Writing is a learning process. No matter how much your writing sucks, keep on trying and you’ll eventually achieve your goals.
10. What is next on your writerly horizon? I have about 3 half-written books that I want to finish this year. But for now I’m just focusing on The Vengeful’s sequel.

Top 5 Movies:
View from the Top
The Karate Kid
Bridge to Terabithia
The Covenant

In a world where vengeful creatures battle humans, knowing who to trust could be the difference between losing his brother and saving the human race.

When Zack ends up in an alternate dimension and loses his brother to the Vengeful, the last thing he expects is that one of the soul-seeking creatures would save his life.
Vale, a Vengeful with human capabilities, needs his help to retrieve an orb from the last remaining human settlement. In return, he promises to help Zack save his brother and take them back to their own world.
In the settlement, he learns the truth about the Vengeful and the orb’s power. But it is only when he meets Shiro, the human leader, that Zack begins to have doubts. Can he trust Vale to keep his promise, or should he believe Shiro instead?
The fate of the human race rests on his choice.

As soon as the engine shut off, silence crept in. It pressed down on Zack’s chest, almost suffocating him. He needed to get out of here before he went crazy. His hand went for the door, but Jake grabbed his arm. Zack shot him a glare, brushing off his hand, wondering what the issue could be this time. But then he saw it too. His stomach dropped as he looked at the figures of three more of the strange cloaked people. He noticed these were different. They were bigger and cloaked in a darker shade of gray. The hoods shadowed each of their faces and their hands and feet were invisible. Two carried weapons. One held a sword, engulfed in a dark purple energy, and the other a giant hammer, surrounded by the same substance.
“I don’t think you should have stopped, Jake.” Zack gulped.
“I didn’t,” Jake said as he turned the key in the ignition, but the car stayed quiet. There wasn’t even a click. “It’s dead!”
The people hovered closer. The giant hammer-wielding creature stopped at the side of the car. Zack’s side. Blood drained from Zack’s face as it lifted the hammer high above its shoulder.
“Drive, Jake! Drive!”
“I can’t. It won’t start!”
“Oh crap.” Zack ducked as the hammer swung down. He waited for the pain to sink in... For the car to explode... Anything. But when nothing happened, he sat up slowly. The car was still in one piece. He checked his body for any changes and relaxed. The hammer did no visible damage at all. “What’s going on?” a bewildered Zack asked.
“Whoa, it went right through! Did you see that?”
Zack didn’t answer, because first, he didn’t see, and second, one of the other people moved forward. This one held no weapon. It stopped in front of the car, standing with its face cast downward for what felt like forever, and then let loose a terrifying screech. The frequency was so high it nearly pierced his eardrums.
“Cover your ears!” Zack yelled as he covered his own with the palm of his hands, but it didn’t drive out the noise or stop the pain pulsing through his brain.
“It’s not working!” Jake said, looking right into the screamer’s face.
Instead of looking, Zack shut his eyes, thinking it would help if he didn’t see it.
“Can’t handle this, my... brain...” Jake groaned.
Zack jerked his head at the click of the car door, catching Jake stumbling out. “What the hell are you doing? Get back inside!” Zack yelled. “Are you crazy?”
Jake ignored him. He stumbled down the road a few feet before he stopped and looked back. His face was stripped of all emotion, his eyes still fixed on the screaming person who moved closer toward him. The other people followed. What’s so interesting about that thing’s face that Jake wasn’t running! Zack got out of the car to jerk him away, but he was too late.
The people were upon Jake before he could move. Let go of my brother, you freaks! Zack wanted to scream, but his voice refused. The two carrying weapons swung them down through his body with sheer force. As Jake yelled, a wave of cold rushed through Zack’s body, chilling him to the bone.
“No!” Shaking, he stepped forward. “Jake!” He forced a yell as he gasped for air. His heart pumped wildly in his chest. This couldn’t be happening. Not to Jake. Not his brother.

Author bio:

Chantel Fourie is a YA author, specializing in Fantasy and Paranormal fiction. She lives in Despatch, a quiet town in South Africa.
Since a young age, she has treasured books and spent many afternoons at the local library. Even after the librarians suggested the adult section, she kept loyal to the Young Adult shelves.
Her first novella, The Vengeful, is published with Lycaon Press. She is currently working on various short stories and novellas, including the sequel of The Vengeful. When she is not writing, she is most likely absorbed in a world of fiction or playing online computer games with her friends.
You can find her on Twitter @darkwrld1021

Monday, December 15, 2014

Spark: Atthys J. Gage

People are dying downtown, their bodies shriveled away to almost nothing. The police are mystified and outrageous rumors are flying. Fifteen year-old Francy Macmillan listens, but says nothing. It isn't a comfort knowing that no matter how far-fetched the theories, the truth is even stranger.

For Francy, the truth wasn't very hard to find. It followed her home from basketball practice one night, a floating bauble of light that speaks inside her mind and shares her thoughts and her feelings. Is it an alien wanderer fallen from some distant star? Or a shard of some divine entity? Whatever it is, Spark seems to like her.

But as their friendship grows, a disturbing fact emerges: Spark knows who is responsible for those deaths. With Spark's help, it is up to Francy to stop them. Spark leads Francy into a strange alternate reality, along with her friends: beautiful Echo with the dragon tattoo; moody Brooke with the wicked jaw; and Owen Owens, the boy with the fascinating eyes who may just get around to kissing her one of these days—assuming the world doesn't end first.
And the interview...
1. I write because…     Cliff-diving is too scary. 
2. If I were your favorite cookie, what would I be?    I'm just going to go ahead and say it:  oatmeal raisin. 
3. Plotter or pantser?   Plotter. A plodding plotter. I spend a great deal of time sketching out exactly what is going to happen, scene by scene. Then, as often as not, I ignore half of what I've written. 
4. What is your favorite type of character to write about and why?     I like mouthy, opinionated girls. I don't even have to plan them. At some point, in nearly every book, one of them plants herself center-stage and starts stealing all the good lines.  In Spark, it was Brooke.
5. Hamburgers or sushi?    Depends on my mood. They might just be two great tastes that taste great together. A sushi burger could be terrific. Hamburger sushi probably isn't such a great idea.
6. Name three things on your desk.   A nearly empty cup of tepid coffee.  Two telephones.  Unpaid bills. 
7. What books have influenced your writing style?     It's less a matter of particular books and more a matter of certain authors.  Delany, Patchett, McCarthy, Russ, Tiptree, Borges, Nabokov, Melville… how's that for highbrow?
8. Tell us a little about your book.    Okay. Girl meets fleck. Together they save the world. All right, maybe not quite so flip. Spark is a romp—a tale of love and trust and friendship in the face of an impossible calamity. It's about basketball and gnostic philosophy and thermodynamics (did I mention it was a romp?)
9. What advice do you have for new and aspiring authors?     Get lots of rest. Eat nourishing foods. Try to get outdoors once in a while. If I did these things, I'm sure it would make me a better writer.
10. What is next on your writerly horizon?    There's a book called The Flight of the Wren. The protagonist is a painfully ordinary high school girl—disaffected, disconnected, utterly disinterested in school, family, even friends. She is, in short, a typical teenage mess. She has no special powers, no special insights, not even a belief in herself.  Because I am a benevolent (if inscrutable) god, I toss her a lifeline. A gift. An impossible gift: a flying carpet. But there are strings attached. With it comes both a community (the other members of her flock) and a purpose, a mission. 
Top 5 favorite (pick one) desserts, movies, things to eat, ice cream flavors, books.    Mandarin Chocolate Sherbert, Black Cherry,  Chocolate Oreo,  Peanut Butter Fudge,  Chocolate Moosetracks.  


Snap! The air cracked like a cap pistol. Something bright flew across the room.
I wheeled around with my hand still full of hair.
"What the…?"
It flared orange—then red—a bright floating fleck of light. I watched it swirl, slowly stirring the air, rising like an ember from a campfire.
I dropped my hairbrush. My hair was on fire! I grabbed my head with both hands, pawing through my hair. "No, no, no...!"
But I couldn't feel anything burning. I checked in the mirror. Nope. Not on fire. Not even a little.
I turned around again. The fleck hovered at eye-level now. It wasn't orange any more. It was blue. I leaned in a little closer. It blinked white, then blue again.
"Okay, this is..."
But really, I couldn't think of a word that fit. I circled it in slow, careful steps. It stayed still, dangling in the air. I reached out a finger. The fleck flashed silver and spiraled upward, before settling at eye level again. Reflected in the dresser mirror, a second fleck performed the same maneuver.
"What are you?" My voice quavered a little. I wasn't scared—not exactly—but I could feel my heart beating pretty fast. I leaned in closer.
"What were you doing in my hair?" It made a tight vertical loop, pulsing green, blue, then green again.
"Why are you doing that?" I don't know why I kept asking it questions like I thought it could answer. I guess I was really talking to myself. I pushed my lips out and blew, just gently. The fleck flickered in the tiny draft, but it didn't blow away. If anything, it drew a little closer. I had the sudden impulse to run downstairs and get a jar from the kitchen and see if I could catch it, but I didn't do that. Instead, I put my hand out. The fleck danced in until it was barely an inch above my open palm. I braced myself and watched it settle into my hand. It was cool and tiny on my skin.
"Hey," I whispered. "What are you?"
It glowed and I heard a sound, low and metallic: bonk.
"Was that you?"
There was a chirp, and then a low warbling hoot like when you blow air over the top of a bottle. None of these sounds came in through my ears. They were just there, sounding inside my head.
Again, it went bonk. That seemed to be its favorite. A click, a whistle, a little wooden pop. Far-off thunder rumbled. Quiet at first, it rose up inside me, getting bigger and louder. The sound swooped up into a squeal, then dropped even faster to a sub-woofer grumble and faded to silence.
"Is this supposed to mean something?"         
It made a soft chugging noise, like a little toy train. The whole time, the thing just sat there glowing in my palm.
"I don't think we're getting anywhere."
It rose into the air until it hung just a few inches from my nose. I stared. It glowed blue, flashed silver, then paled to dull violet.
"It's okay," I said, and this time I was totally talking to myself. "This isn't really happening. It's a dream. I'm dreaming. A dream about a little fleck of light that floats around, making strange noises..."
Then, it flared bright crimson and flew straight into my head.

About the author:

Atthys Gage is a writer and musician with a lifelong love for myth, magic, and books. His second real job was in a bookstore. As was his third, fourth, fifth and sixth. Eventually, he stopped trying to sell books and started writing them. After studying classics at Haverford College, he developed an interest in the ways that ancient stories influence modern story-telling, and has always had a fascination for that cloudy borderline between the normal and the paranormal. He lives on the coast of Northern California with his long-suffering wife, strong-willed children, and several indifferent chickens.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


This post is part of a cover reveal for the re-release of Christine Manzari's DEVIATION. One randomly drawn winner will be awarded a $25 Amazon/BN gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Being a Sophisticate of the Program seems like it’d be a pretty sweet deal: a little genetic alteration and anyone can be smarter, faster, and stronger. It’s a dream come true. All you have to give up is your freedom.

Cleo is a Sophisticate and she has a bright future in the Program. But she has a secret. When she gets upset, bad things happen. Explosive things. Things she can’t control.

When her secret is discovered, she’s sent to the Academy to train in the military branch of the Program. She’s destined to be a human weapon in the war that’s been going on since Wormwood occurred nearly 30 years ago. She soon learns that although her ability is unique, there are others like her — other Sophisticates with lethal skills and odd code names like Archerfish and Mimic Octopus.

Immersed in a dangerous game of supernatural powers and dubious motives, Cleo doesn’t know who to trust. Ozzy, the annoyingly attractive cadet who has perfect aim in weapons class and deviant lips behind closed doors, begs her not to use her powers. He’s the golden boy of the Program, but can she trust him? Or will she find herself a target, caught in his crosshairs?

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Late on your first day?”

I turned to find the dark haired boy still leaning against the wall. The top button of his shirt was undone and his tie was slung over his shoulder. He wasn’t wearing his jacket and his shirt sleeves were rolled up, revealing his tan, muscular forearms. His tousled hair hung across his forehead, nearly falling into his eyes, and it appeared he hadn’t bothered to shave this morning.

“You’re late, too,” I pointed out. I also wanted to point out that his uniform was far from uniform or acceptable according to St. Ignatius policy.

The boy shook his head and then ran his hand back through his messy curls, trying to tame them into submission. “Not late. Sick.”

“Sorry to hear that,” I said, because I couldn’t think of any better response. It was obvious the boy wasn’t sick, he was skipping class. “Look, I really have to go. It was nice meeting you.”

“But we haven’t met,” he responded.

“What?” I asked, confused.

“We haven’t actually met yet,” he explained, pushing away from the wall. “Name’s Ozzy,” he said, holding out his hand.

I looked at his hand. “Is it contagious?”

He tilted his head causing the unruly curls to tumble back across his forehead. “I don’t follow.”

“Your sickness, I don’t want to catch anything.”

“Right,” he said, a wide grin dimpling across his face as he pulled his hand back and returned it to his pocket. “Well then, I should let you get to class I suppose.” He turned and walked down the hallway, the opposite direction from my classroom. “It was nice meeting you, Clementine,” he called back over his shoulder.

“I never told you my name,” I said calmly, even though I was a little unnerved that he knew my name.

“You didn’t have to.”

“Apparently, I do,” I retorted. “I don’t answer to Clementine.”

Ozzy chuckled without turning around. “See you around, Cleo.”

About the Author:
The first thing Christine does when she's getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She wholeheartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She's addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. Books, books, books. She also has a weakness for adventure, inappropriate humor, and coke (the caffeine-laden bubbly kind). Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books.


Buy the book at Amazon, Smashwords, or Smashwords.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Awakening: Print Release

Forget everything you ever thought to be true about our world. Angels are real. And they are fighting for control over the human race.

What would you do if you learned everything you knew about the world was wrong? Microbiology student Elena Michaels is about to find out. After a few chance encounters with Alexavier Edmunds, a strange but intriguing student on campus, Elena is on the run from an ancient organization of angel-like beings. Strange things are awakening within her, and there is only one with the answers—the Elder. But can she make it to him in time?
Buy Link

Elena's face felt cold as the blood drained from it. She had not seen the woman's mouth move while she spoke. She sobered almost instantly, the hackles on her neck rising as she stared at the woman's cold smile. She recognized the voice in a moment of lucidity as the one she had heard at the airport, their tail, their stalker—one of the Opposition.
My mistress was right, the woman's voice continued. She told me it would be a matter of time before one of you two slipped up. The amazing thing is you both slipped up at the same time. The woman turned to Elena.
The woman stood nearly a whole foot shorter than Elena and appeared much more fragile. Elena tried to gauge whether or not she would be able to handle this woman on her own. She knew from experience Daimon men were quite powerful, but never expected such strength from females.
Let me clue you in on some secrets. First, Daimon men cannot handle their liquor. In fact, all Daimones are very quickly undone by alcohol. The woman eyed Elena up and down before saying, Second, you could never take me on. To illustrate her point, the small woman gripped the countertop and crushed a small section of it into powder.
"What do you want from me?" Elena asked.
The choice is simple, the woman replied mentally. Either come with me to see my mistress. Or...
"Or?" Elena asked, realizing she would regret this decision.
Or you and your companion die, the woman replied. A placid and sickly happy smile spread across her face as she said it.
The woman's evident pleasure at making such a dire threat sent a chill down Elena's spine. She conjured up the most severe feeling of pain she could imagine and directed it right at the Daimon woman as she had done to the other Daimon in Canada. However, instead of the anticipated effect of crippling pain she had seen in the Daimon man, the woman's eyes flashed, and then she laughed.
Silly girl, the woman said to her mentally. I am no mere weakling. Your foolish mind games have no effect on me.
Alec...I need your help! Elena cried out, hoping beyond hope he would hear and come to her aid.
The woman started laughing even louder. A terrifying grin crossed her face. He can't hear you. Alcohol impairs Daimon abilities. And Alec has had a few too many. I guess I shouldn't have bought him so many rounds!
Elena didn't wait for the woman to move. Filled with blind rage over being trapped by this woman, she pressed her attack. If her death was on the menu, then she would take this woman with her as dessert.
Elena bowled into the small Daimon woman, throwing all of her weight into the attack. To her surprise, the woman fell backward with her arm clutching at the sink.
She didn't stay down for long, though and responded by pushing back at Elena with startling speed, shoving her back a few paces.
Elena responded as fast. She threw her hands up in anticipation of the Daimon woman's attack. However, she couldn't fathom what kind of attack to expect coming at her.
The small woman was lithe. She maneuvered herself underneath Elena's arms and thrust upward with both arms like lofting a volleyball lifting Elena off of her feet and throwing her into the far wall. Elena managed to turn herself sideways in order to absorb her impact with the wall and push herself off into a counterattack.
Elena rushed across the room. The woman crouched at her approach. Instead of missing her target, however, Elena lowered her center of gravity and leapt, flying over the woman's back. While sailing over her opponent's body, Elena stretched out and grasped the woman around the waist.
Elena's momentum carried her forward, and she tucked her head and rolled, pulling the Daimon woman off her feet and flipping her onto her head with startling force. The Daimon's legs flailed and slammed into the large wall mirror, shattering it.
But she did not stay down for long. Before Elena could right herself, the woman leapt up and moved back across the room. Elena stood and whirled to face the woman but was caught off guard as a fist struck her across the face. Surprisingly, it did not carry much force. Elena brushed the blow off and delivered her own to the woman's chest, forcing the woman back several feet.
The Daimon crumpled, winded by the force of Elena's attack. When the Daimon stood again, she clutched a large shard of the broken mirror, which she wielded like a knife.

Author bio:
Scott Wieczorek is a professional archaeologist working in the American Middle-Atlantic region. He has written numerous short stories and several full-length novels ranging from science fiction, to paranormal mystery, to horror. In addition, he writes reviews of books by Independent authors. Samples of his work are available on his blog at

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

No Light Super Book Blast

This post is part of a book blast organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter will be awarded a $20 Amazon/BN gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Dems have been held captive since before the world was made. They are the darkness only spoken of in whispers. As much as they are hated and feared, those who guard them are even more so. The pariahs of society, they live apart from the rest of the world in a settlement called Ameritat. That is where The Dems Trilogy begins. An unlikely and dangerous love between a human guard and the most feared of all the Dems. It will be the beginning or the ending of everything.

Sarah Mackenzie was never meant to be a guard, never meant to descend into the bowels of the earth, but The Corridor is where she is sent. With little information and even less training, she is thrust into her position as a Dem handler. She walks a thin line between life and death, as she tries to uphold her family honor and unlock the mystery of the Dem’s captivity. The pursuit of truth will drag her deep into a world of corruption, hatred, and greed and she will have to decide where her loyalties lie. With the humans who have mistreated her or the Dem who could destroy them all.

Enjoy an excerpt:

"Dem, can you hear me?" She stepped to the door and gasped.

"Yes, human. I hear you." The Dem pulled open the door and reached for her. "Rule one. Do not disengage the locks when the prisoner is not restrained." His tone was full of dark amusement.

Sarah stared at him with wide eyes, too terrified to move. His fingers circled her arms. He jerked her forward and a choked gasp left her throat, as her toes skimmed the floor before it fell away. Her mind raced, but she forced herself still as he lifted her until they were eye to eye.

"Name?" he demanded.

"Sarah Mackenzie." She swallowed hard. She would be like the ones who had fallen, her remains something to be cleaned from the floor.


She tried not to tense when he brought his face to her neck and inhaled deeply.

"Twenty-two." The lie tried to stick in her throat.

He pulled back and gave her a dark look. "Try again."

"Eighteen," she whispered, tensing when his lips pulled back from his teeth in a shark smile.

"A lie, Sarah? How nice that you are not as innocent as you look."

About the Author:
Writer of cross genre romance, Devi Mara, grew up in rural Missouri. An avid reader and writer, she found inspiration in the people and places around her. The result, a fluid concept of the romance subgenres.

Her debut novel, No Light, was released in January of 2014 and is the first book in the Dems Trilogy. It was followed by her first stand-alone novel, Kingdom Come, in May. The second novel of the Dems Trilogy, Darkness Blooming, was released in August of 2014.

Devi is a lover of coffee and chocolate and partakes in both daily. She lives in Missouri with her family. Including two dogs too human for their own good.

She loves hearing from readers and encourages them to message her on Facebook or contact her on Twitter. She is always open to questions and comments.

Twitter: @devimarawrites
Buy the book at Amazon

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Aegis Rising

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter will receive a $40 Amazon GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Over a remote northern forest, a small plane carrying five teenage friends flies into a freak storm. Struck by lightning, the aircraft crashes and the passengers find themselves cast into a life-changing adventure.

In a hidden valley, a mysterious people gaze at the stormy sky as a glowing object with fiery wings disappears behind a mountain ridge. The astonishing sight reignites an ancient prophecy foretelling the arrival of five chosen ones destined to become bearers of light against a dark storm gathering on humanity's horizon.

In a distant city, a secretive organization led by a shadowy figure initiates a sequence of cataclysmic events designed to wreak havoc across the planet, beginning with a remote mining site in northern Canada.

As the three worlds collide, unlikely heroes arise. Armed with powers entrusted to them by the ancient prophecy and the resilience of their life-long bond, the five teens take a stand against a malevolent foe.

REVIEW: "Astonishingly imaginative and thoughtful. Aegis Rising sets a festive narrative table and makes the reader eagerly anticipate a sequel." ~ Samuel F. Pickering, Professor Emeritus of English, University of Connecticut & Inspiration for the film Dead Poet's Society ~

Sprinting like a madman, he soon reached his house. Smoke and flames shot out from the roof as he barged through the main door. Fumes and ashes began to choke his lungs. He coughed as he called out to his family.

No answer. Terrified, Mokun tore through his abode. His eyes teared up so terribly from the smoke that he could hardly see where he was going as the unbearable heat weighed down on him. His heart pounded as he struggled to breathe. He couldn’t find his family anywhere. Then a thought struck him: the cellar! They may have panicked and sought safety below ground.

He ripped off the hem of his tunic and tied it around his nose and mouth. The smoke was so thick he was forced to feel rather than see his way to the cellar. He found the door to the cellar opened and tripped over the steps in his haste, falling to the ground. He pulled himself up and called out again to his loved ones. He got no response and stepped forward. His foot bumped against something and he jumped back.

With growing dread, he knelt down in the darkness, squinting to make out three huddled shapes. He froze in horror, oblivious to the danger around him. His five-year-old daughters were huddled against their mother, and his wife had her arms wrapped around the twins. They didn’t move.

About the Author:
S.S.Segran spent a good chunk of her childhood exploring the enchanted forest of a million tales in the mystical land of books. In her early teens, she began crafting intriguing new worlds and conjuring up characters who came alive with the flick of her wand... err... pen. With the publication of Aegis Rising in her senior year of high school, she was surprised by the abundance of time that magically appeared right after graduation. She plans to use this newfound resource to expand the arc of the Aegis Series. Her future plans include studying Cognitive Science at university and helping youths in developing countries realize their potential through the non-profit organization, Aegis League (

When not devouring a book or writing one, S.S.Segran can be found standing behind the cauldron of life, stirring a potion made up of chores, parkour, gaming, drawing, horseback riding and—having recently jumped off a perfectly fine airplane at fifteen thousand feet – perhaps skydiving.

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• Buy the book at Amazon.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Eternal: A Guest Post from CC Hunter

All her life, Della's secret powers have made her feel separated from her human family. Now, she's where she belongs, at Shadow Falls. With the help of her best friends Kylie and Miranda, she’ll try to prove herself in the paranormal world as an investigator—all the while trying to figure out her own heart. Should she chose Chase, a powerful vampire with whom she shares a special bond? Or Steve, the hot shapeshifter whose kisses make her weak in the knees? When a person with dark connection to her past shows up, it’ll help her decide which guy to choose–and make her question everything she knows about herself. 

From bestselling author C.C. Hunter comes Eternal—a must-read for fans of the Shadow Falls series—and the sequel to Reborn.

Three Tips for Writing a Young Adult Paranormal Series

1.       It doesn’t matter if you are writing vampires, shape-shifters, or hunchback dragons, if you are writing for teens you need to get in touch with your inner teen. 

I didn’t set out to write young adult novels.  I was dragged here kicking and screaming.  LOL.  I was writing humorous romantic suspense novels, when I was approached to write a YA series.  You see, it had been quite a few years since I’d been a teen.  Did I know what was important to today’s teens?  Did I know what they wanted, what they feared, what made them laugh?  I worried I’d fail at trying to write from a teen’s perspective.  So the first thing I did was take a stroll down memory lane.  It wasn’t a walk in the park either.  You see, I didn’t have what I would call the ideal teenage life.  It wasn’t until midway through that mental journey that I realized this was going to work in my favor.  I decided right then and there to plagiarize.  From my own life, of course.   Along this path, I realized that everything that had been important to me as a teen was still relevant to teens today.  As a young adult I’d dealt with sex, alcohol, drugs, and negative self-esteem.  These issues are still what our teens deal with today.  And to write a novel that will resonate with teens, you need to be able to remember how you related, feared, longed for and dealt with those four things. 

2.       Don’t attempt to write a message to the young people. 

It’s important to remember that your job as a novelist is to entertain.  Definitely not to preach.  Not to teach, or even to inspire.  Now, before you start getting your backs up, let me explain.   Preaching is out.  Completely.  Today’s teens do not want to preached at.  Nor do they read novels to be taught something.  They read text books to be taught.  They don’t pick up fictional books to be inspired to be a better person.  They read to be entertained. 

That said, books can be fabulous tools for teens to learn from and can offer tons of inspiration.  But it’s not you who should do this.  It’s your characters.  Whatever problems your characters face and the lessons they learn from them will offer an opportunity for the reader to learn as well.  Whatever inspires your character is a chance to inspire your reader.   Almost all story characters have arcs.  They will grow within a book’s lifespan.  Find your character’s arc, show them struggling to overcome hurdles, show their growth.  And while your readers turn those pages, enthralled with your story, your book will have offered them not only entertainment, but something that may help them as they journey through their own lives.

3.       Never give up!

You have to love to write.  You have to love to learn.  The journey from unpublished author to published author can be difficult.  More difficult for some than others.  Each of us starts this journey with our strengths and weaknesses.   Some writers were born knowing what a dangling participle is.  Some are comma impaired and terrible spellers.  Some are natural storytellers.  Some have learned pacing and conflict just from reading.   Others have read all their life and still need to learn the tricks of the trade.  The truth is, more important than what you know is your willingness to learn.  And how long you are willing to persevere.  

Being dyslexic, I struggled with the written word all my life—still do. The day I decided to become a writer, I had to learn to spell it.   If I had any natural talent, it was storytelling, but it was a long road from there to finishing a rough draft.  It was ten years from the time I started writing to the time I published my first book.  That might sound tough, but it got tougher.  It was thirteen more years before my second book was sold. Some people think of me as an overnight success, and I want to ask them, “Exactly what night was that in those twenty-three years that it happened?”  

It was not one night.  It was a journey.  As rejections rolled in, and I have thousands of them, it would have been easy to give up.  But being a writer was my dream.  I was willing to take this journey even knowing there were no guarantees.  Why?  Because I loved writing.  And that is my parting advice.  Write because you love it.  There is nothing wrong with working toward publication and financial gain.  But if that had been the reason I was writing, I don’t think I’d have hung in there for twenty-three years.