Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tour Stop: Channeler's Choice by Heather McCorkle

Releasing (officially) February 27th in hardback and eBook, Channeler's Choice, the sequel to Heather McCorkle's earth-conscious urban fantasy, The Secret Of Spruce Knoll. To celebrate she's doing a blog tour from February 27th through March 15thalong with a giveaway. Here are the prizes:

Winner #1:
An eBook of Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper
An eBook of Running Wide Open by Lisa Nowak
An eBook of The Secret Of Spruce Knoll (if you don’t have a copy yet)
A paperback of Born Of Fire & Dies Irae (novella combination by Heather McCorkle and Christine Fonseca released through Compass Press)
And of course, Channeler’s Choice swag (bookmarks, postcards, etc.)

Winner #2
An eBook of Beautiful Demons & Inner Demons by Sarra Cannon
An eBook of Bound by C.K. Bryant
An eBook of The Secret Of Spruce Knoll (if you don’t have a copy yet)
A paperback of Born Of Fire & Dies Irae (novella combination by Heather McCorkle and Christine Fonseca released through Compass Press)
And of course, Channeler’s Choice swag (bookmarks, postcards, etc.)

If you don’t have an eReader then you’ll definitely want to stay tuned on Heather’s blog for a HUGE giveaway taking place at the end of the Channeler’s Choice tour.

To enter stop by her blog for official details. http://heathermccorkle.blogspot.com  

Here is a bit about Channeler's Choice:

With her parents’ murderer’s dead, Eren can finally concentrate on fitting in at Spruce Knoll High, not to mention figuring out what it means to be a channeler. If only it were that easy. It turns out she isn’t normal even among channelers - she may be a legendary warrior meant to protect the earth in a last great battle. 

But Mayan prophecies are the least of her worries as she involuntarily starts to gather her own Society, another girl moves in on Aiden, her powers rage out of control, and worst of all, someone is stalking her. To top it all off, Eren discovers she doesn’t have to be a channeler after all - she has a choice. 

As an old threat closes in and she risks ending up like her parents, she is forced to decide. Be a normal teenager and leave the legendary warrior stuff to someone else, or embrace a dark destiny?

It can be found here:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Don't Fear The Reaper by Michelle Muto

Today, I'm helping to spread the word about a wonderful new book by fellow Indelible author Michelle Muto. I don't think it will take you long to see why this is my kind of book. First chapter below.  Happy Reading!

Grief-stricken by the murder of her twin, Keely Morrison is convinced suicide is her ticket to eternal peace and a chance to reunite with her sister. When Keely succeeds in taking her own life, she discovers death isn’t at all what she expected. Instead, she’s trapped in a netherworld on Earth and her only hope for reconnecting with her sister and navigating the afterlife is a bounty-hunting reaper and a sardonic, possibly unscrupulous, demon. But when the demon offers Keely her greatest temptation—revenge on her sister's murderer—she must uncover his motives and determine who she can trust. Because, as Keely soon learns, both reaper and demon are keeping secrets and she fears the worst is true—that her every decision will change how, and with whom, she spends eternity.

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Chapter 1
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for they are with me. 

I repeated my version of the psalm as I watched the ribbon of blood drift from my wrist. I’d hoped it would be a distraction—something to stop me from wondering what my sister’s dying thoughts had been. Exhaling slowly, I let the emptiness consume me. 

Jordan had kept my secrets and I had kept hers. In the end, it came down to just one secret between us that took her life. Now, it would take mine. I should have said something, but nothing I said or did now could bring her back or make anyone understand what she meant to me.

Are you here, Jordan? Are you with me? Tell me about heaven...

I told myself Jordan was gone, never coming back, but her memories continued to haunt me. I had no idea if there even was an afterlife. If God existed, I was convinced he had given up on me. Not once did I sense he’d heard a single one of my prayers. I wasn’t asking for the world—I only wanted to know if my sister was safe and at peace. What was so hard about that? 

She should still be here. It wasn’t fair. 

I’d been the difficult one—much more than Jordan. For a while, I’d even gotten into drugs. Mom and Dad had worried I’d get Jordan into drugs, too. But I wouldn’t. Not ever. Besides, that part of my life had been over long before Jordan’s death. A small gargoyle tattoo on my left shoulder was all that remained of my previous lifestyle.

Mom and Dad started treating me differently after Jordan’s funeral two months ago. She and I were twins, so I understood how hard it was for them to look at me and not see her. Sometimes, they wouldn’t look at me at all. Mom went to the psychiatrist, but no one asked if I needed to talk to someone about what happened. No one asked if I needed sleeping pills or antidepressants. Yeah, sure. Don’t give the former addict pills of any sort. 

Not one person saw the all-consuming suffering that gnawed at my soul. Why couldn’t anyone see? Jordan had been more than my sister—she’d been my Samson, my strength. I would have done anything for her, and yet, I’d failed her. I wasn’t the one who’d killed her, but I might as well have been. How could I ever live with that? My heart had a stillness to it since her death. 

I shall fear no evil.

I couldn’t very well recite the first part of Psalm 23 because it said I shall not want, and I did want. I wanted to go back in time. I wanted my sister back. Clearly, goodness and mercy were never going to be part of my life ever again. In my mind, I saw myself walking through the iron gates of hell with demons cackling gleefully all around.

I didn’t want to die. Not really. I was just tired and didn’t know of another way to stop the pain. Doctors removed a bad appendix. Dentists pulled rotten teeth. What was I supposed to do when my very essence hurt, when the cancer I’d come to call depression made every decent memory agonizingly unbearable? 

Before I’d gotten down to cutting my wrist (I managed to only cut one), I’d taken a few swigs of Dad’s tequila—the good kind he kept in the basement freezer. I’d used another swig or two to chase down the remainder of Mom’s sleeping pills in the event I failed to hit an artery or vein. Then I’d set the bottle on the ledge of the tub in case I needed further liquid encouragement. Instead of using a knife or a razor, I attached a cutting blade to my Dad’s Dremel. The Dremel was faster, I reasoned. More efficient. 

It would have been easier to OD, I suppose. But I felt closer to my sister this way, to suffer as she’d suffered.

I recited the line from Psalms 23 again. It had become my personal mantra. 

The words resonated in my parents’ oversized bathroom. I’d chosen theirs because the Jacuzzi tub was larger than the tub in the hall bathroom. Jordan and I used to take bubble baths together in this same tub when we were little.

Innocence felt like a lifetime ago. I searched the bathroom for bubble bath but came up short. Soap might have made the laceration hurt more so it was probably just as well. Besides, the crimson streaming from my wrist like watercolor on silk was oddly mesmerizing. 

The loneliness inside proved unrelenting, and the line from the psalms made me feel better. I prayed for the agony inside me to stop. I argued with God. Pleaded. But after all was said and done, I just wanted the darkness to call me home.

I tried not to think of who would find my body or who’d read the note I’d left. I blamed myself not only for failing Jordan, but for failing my parents, too. 

My lifeline to this existence continued to bleed out into the warm water. Killing myself had been harder than I’d imagined. I hadn’t anticipated the searing fire racing through my veins. I reached for the tequila with my good arm but couldn’t quite manage. Tears welled in my eyes. 

Part of me foolishly felt Jordan was here. The other part feared she wasn’t.

Give me a sign, Sis. Just one.

I imagined seeing my parents at my funeral—their gaunt faces, red-eyed and sleepless. How could I do this to them? Wasn’t the devastation of losing one child enough? 

No. Stop. A voice in my head screamed. Don’t do this. Don’t. Please...

I shifted my body, attempted to get my uncooperative legs under me. I could see the phone on my parents’ nightstand. I could make it that far. Had to. The voice was right. I didn’t want to do this. I felt disorientated, dizzy. Darkness crept along the edges of my vision. Focusing became difficult. A sweeping shadow of black caught my attention. Someone stood in the bathroom—not my sister. A man. Had I managed to call 911? I couldn’t remember getting out of the tub. And why’d I get back in? Did I use a towel? 

Mom is going to be pissed when she sees the blood I’ve tracked all over the bedroom carpet. 

“I’m sorry,” I told the man in black. 

“It’s okay, Keely. Don’t be afraid.” Not my father’s voice. It was softer, with a hint of sorrow. Distant. Fleeting. Later, I’d feel embarrassed about this, but for now I was safe from the nothing I’d almost become. My teeth clattered from the chill. My eyelids fluttered in time with my breaths. The tub water had turned the color of port wine. The ribbons, the pretty, red watercolor ribbons were gone.

Dull gray clouded my sight.

A voice whispered to me, and my consciousness floated to the surface again. 

“—okay, Keely.”

Cold. So cold.

“I’m right here.”

There was no fear in me as the man bent forward, his face inches from mine. He was my father’s age, and yet strangely older. His eyes were so...blue, almost iridescent. The irises were rimmed in a fine line of black, and the creases etched at the corners reminded me of sunbeams as he gave me a weak smile. The oddly. Dressed. Paramedic. A warm hand reached into the water and cradled mine. My fingers clutched his. I sighed, feeling myself floating, drifting. Light—high and intense exploded before me. No! Too much. Too much! I shuddered and labored to catch my breath, but it wouldn’t come. 

Finally, the comfort of darkness rose to greet me.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tour Stop: It's a Little Haywire by Elle Strauss

The Fog Train

IT’S A LITTLE HAYWIRE is a contemporary story with a twist of magic realism. The trains don’t run through Hayward WA, aka Haywire, anymore since the Mill shut down. Nothing much is moving through Haywire anymore, it’s a dying town hit hard by the recession.

Owen True lives on the other side of the metaphorical tracks and hasn’t personally encountered the effects of financial stress until he spends a summer month with his Gramps, where he meets a homeless man for the first time and witnesses the breakdown of his friend’s family.

It’s a Little Haywire is actually a major re-write of a book I wrote years ago when I first decided I’d like to try my hand at writing. It was horribly executed but the core of the idea was still salvageable. It was inspired by an experience I had, I think in a near dream state, where I woke up to the sound of a train whistle, much like I used to as a child in the small town where my grandparents lived. Except we didn’t live near the tracks at the time.

That’s where the idea for the mysterious fog train first materialized. Why would someone hear a train whistle when there wasn’t a train?

The first time Owen True encounters the fog train, he’s pretty shaken up. He sees it several times over the month he’s in Haywire and each time it transforms, until it finally gives him a clue to how he can help the struggling citizens of Haywire.

Download It's A Little Haywire at Amazon FREE today only!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

5 Quick Things

1. Return to Eden is Coming! - The third book in the Soulkeepers Series is with beta readers.  Once they are done with it and I've made any necessary changes, it's off to my new copyeditor Dani Crabtree. Still on target for an early March release. Tour schedule is in development.

2. Cute New MG Books - If you have a middle grader with an ereader, check out these new MG books by authors I admire! I'm really excited to see more eBook options for this age group.

Gabby is a disgruntled tween angel who has just been assigned to protect her school nemesis and ex-beffie. Problem is her ex-beffie is dating Gabby’s longtime crush. Instead of protecting Angela, Gabby pranks her (since when is sticking toilet paper to her shoe or spinach in her teeth a sin?) Soon, Gabby gets out of control and is put on probation by her SKYAgent, who has anger management issues of his own. Determined to right her wrongs, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to Earth for just one day. Without knowing, she kicks off a series of events and learns what can happen when you hate someone to death. 

Available on amazon and B&N

Owen True is eleven and eleven twelfths and has been “exiled” to the small crazy town of Hayward, WA, aka, Haywire, while his mother is on her honeymoon. All he has to whittle away the time is the company of Gramps, his black lab Daisy, and his Haywire friends, Mason and Mikala Sweet. They don’t look so hot this year, in fact, the whole town has gone to pot since the mill shut down.
Owen has his first encounter with a real life homeless man who ends up needing Owen’s help in more ways than one. But how does a rich city kid help the small town’s suffering citizens?And what is Owen to make of the fog train and its scary, otherworldy occupants that appears out of thin air on the old tracks behind Gramps’ house? Do they have the answer Owen is looking for?

Available on Amazon.

3. I'm not ignoring you- I've been ill but I'm better now.  Sorry if I was not as responsive as usual this last week. Here's my favorite new video of what I SHOULD have been doing instead of being sick.

4. Personal Appearance- I'll be at Illinois State University, February 25th 11:30-5PM  as part of the Author Showcase. I'll be signing paperbacks and answering questions.  If you live in the area, I'd love to meet you.

5. Buyer Beware - With the recent popularity of The Soulkeepers Series, the books have been pirated on a multitude of sites. BEWARE.  Because these sites do NOT have my permission to sell my books, they are not getting the latest file updates from me.  The files may not be current, complete, or free from viruses and I can't guarantee that the seller hasn't modified the book in some way. In other words, you may not be getting the same book! The only retailers authorized to sell my ebooks are Amazon, iBookstore, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Sony, Kobo, and Diesel.