Saturday, February 15, 2014

About The McCall Initiative by Lisa Nowak

Please welcome the talented author and my friend, Lisa Nowak, to the blog today and learn about her amazing dystopian serial. I'm loving these books. I know you will too!

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Almost a year and a half ago, while my husband and I were driving to a friend’s house, he told me about a story he’d read in the Portland Mercury. According to the article, fifty years from now much of the United States will be devastated by climate change. The Pacific Northwest will remain relatively unchanged in comparison, which will result in an influx of climate refugees.

“That sounds like a great set up for a dystopian YA novel,” I said. Within minutes, I had the basic premise outlined. The Pacific Northwest, disgruntled over the population boom, secedes from the United States to form its own country with a closed border. Wealthy Americans want to buy their way in, so poor people begin disappearing off the streets. Naturally, I needed a romantic aspect, but I wanted to give it a twist. I decided my protagonist would be a girl whose family had disappeared, and the love interest would be the boy whose family had displaced hers.

Over the coming weeks, the idea grew to include an existing political movement to form a bioregion called Cascadia, Portland’s major league soccer team and its rowdy band of fans, the Timbers Army, and a rock star-turned-activist who becomes the first president of the new nation. My husband, friends, and fellow writers supplied me with myriad excellent ideas and educated me about the subjects of history, politics, computer science, medicine, and soccer.

Several writers I know have been experimenting with serialized stories, and this idea seemed perfect for that venue. I envision it much like a season of a television series. Each short episode gives you part of the story, with the entire plot-line playing out over a nine-book “season.” I currently have the first three episodes published, (you can buy them individually, or as a box set) and the fourth will be released in early March. If you aren't sure this is for you, fear not. You can try the first episode absolutely free at any of the retailers listed below.




What if the Pacific Northwest seceded from the United States?

The climate change that’s devastated all but the Northwest corner of the U.S. has been around since before Piper Hall was born. She doesn’t spend much time thinking about it, the secession that created Cascadia, or the closed border, erected to keep out climate refugees. All she wants is to get through high school and earn a medical degree so she can pull her family out of poverty. Piper’s sure her little brother’s stories about poor people vanishing are just rumors—until she comes home to an empty house. Losing her future, her family, and her freedom and forced into hiding, Piper has to find a way to get to the bottom of the disappearances. But the only one who can help might be the very boy whose family has displaced her own.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Did anyone say Still Nights?

I did!

Still Nights is now available for your entertainment pleasure. I did say December, didn't I? Whew! I actually made a deadline. Sort of. Well, a second deadline anyway.




Sammy's lost.

She's looking for a way out of the dark pit she's swimming in. A former police officer, she spends her days sitting on the couch and nights sleeping with her old coworker turned friend with benefits. She shot a kid. It wasn't intentional. He threatened her and she panicked. But that one mistake won't stop haunting her. It's destroyed her life, if that's what you'd call the daily routine she lived before that unfortunate event.

Sammy has never seen a ghost even though her estranged husband is the famous Walker the Ghost Stalker, ghost hunter extraordinaire. She used to want so desperately to experience what her husband and friends call a supernatural thrill, but that desire ended when her life fell apart. The only reason she continues going on investigations is to spend time with her husband.

One night, Sammy receives a worrisome call. She rushes out in a raging storm to locate her husband. What she finds instead would scare the shit out of anyone. And she regrets ever going on that last paranormal investigation. What has this ghost hunting crap gotten her into anyway?

Fan of American Horror Story? You'll enjoy the novella Still Nights, a horrific paranormal thriller for adults only.


STILL NIGHTS
a novella
by A.C. Davis
is now available from
for only 99 cents!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

HIDDEN by Megg Jensen - BOOK BLITZ


I'm sure you're aware that I'm a huge fan of author Megg Jensen, right? I'm also privileged to be her critique partner and friend. In fact, at this very moment, I'm helping critique an amazing fantasy novel she's written. Okay. I'll stop bragging. You want to know more about this epic fantasy, don't you? Yeah, I figured you would. Who wouldn't?

Megg was kind enough to provide us with a sneak peek and an excerpt. The first line is a killer. I love it! Check it out. When you're done, enter the Rafflecopter to win some pretty rad stuff!

Book Details:


Hidden by Megg Jensen
(Dragonlands #1)
Genres: Fantasy
Publication date: January

Synopsis:
The mystery enshrouding Hutton’s Bridge is as impenetrable as the fog that descended at its borders eighty years ago. Each year, three villagers enter the mist searching for answers. No one ever returns.
Then a dragon falls from the sky to the town square, dead—the first glimpse of an outside world that has become nothing more than a fairy tale to Hutton’s Bridge. Except to Tressa.
Tressa grew up with Granna’s stories of the days before the fog fell. When Granna dies, leaving Tressa without any family, Tressa ventures into the fog herself, vowing to unravel the foul magic holding Hutton’s Bridge captive.
What she discovers beyond the fog endangers the lives of everyone she loves.

EXCERPT


Death lurked in the air that afternoon. Tressa sat by Grannas bedside, clasping hands with the woman who at ninety-three had outlived her entire generation.
“You are leaving tomorrow, yes?” Grannas liver-spotted hands shook. The rough-hewn walls seemed to close in. Tressa knew Granna didnt have much time left. She wanted to squeeze out every second she could with her.
The smell of tonic and medicine hung in the dark room. When the curtains were drawn, Grannas eyes watered. Adam, the village healer, said sunlight would help Granna, but Tressa knew the truth. Granna would leave her soon, leave the village, taking the only first-hand knowledge of the outside world with her. The tales of the outside world – a place no one in Huttons Bridge had seen since Granna was just a child. Not since the fog had descended on the borders of their village.
“Yes, Granna. You chose me, remember?” Tressa stroked Grannas hair with her free hand. The silver strands were still soft. “Me, Sean, and Connor.”
Granna nodded. “Yes, yes, I remember now.” A gasp preceded each breath, struggling against the inevitable finality of life. “Youre the only girl eligible this year.”
Tressas eyes dropped to the floor strewn with straw, the hem of her long, cotton dress sweeping it every time she moved. She was eligible only because shed never conceived. After three years of coupling, not one baby to show for it. Not even a failed pregnancy. The girls who did achieve pregnancy were never forced to leave. They were safe, protected. Tressa had felt the cold breath of death breathing down her back every time she didnt conceive.
“But, Tressa, it is your destiny to leave the village.”
Tressa held back a sigh. Granna was about to die herself. Why would she want her only great grandchild to follow her in death? No one who ever entered the fog returned to the village. It was as much of a death sentence as Grannas failing health.
Tressas palms began sweating. A tremble skipped up her arms to her chest where her heart pounded out an irregular, nervous beat.
Granna took another deep breath. Without looking at Tressa, she said, “The fog. You must leave. It is your destiny.”
Tressa managed to force out a small laugh. Grannas grave expression didnt fool. “Granna, dont you want me to live a long life, like you have?”
Granna shook her head. “Beyond the fog there is a life for you. I have seen it.”
No one had the gift of sight in her village. Granna claimed once there was magic. It was one element of her stories that made the outside world seem so desirable. Tressa would give anything for a magical potion to save her great grandmother. Instead, they could only rely on Adams knowledge of healing.
“But I was supposed to live to watch you leave. I saw it. I believed it would happen.” She took another breath, shallower this time. “I don’t know if I can hold on until tomorrow.” Grannas eyes flashed with anger. She held out one frail hand. An owl flew through the window, landing on Grannas fingers. The fogs undulating fingers caressed the trees limbs.
“Thats my Nerak.”
The little owl hooted in response.
“You take care of Tressa, Nerak. Help her to see the truth.”
The owls head bobbed, then it flew out the window and sat in the tree.
Tressa leaned down, kissing Granna on the forehead. Granna always said the downy owl had magic. Tressa had never seen it do anything other than the other trained birds in the village. Tressa sat up again. Granna was cold, too cold. Her skin paled into a gray pallor. Her blue eyes lost focus, gazing somewhere over Tressas shoulder.
“I love you, Granna,” she said.
“I love you too, my sweet Tressa.” Her voice rattled. Grannas eyelids fluttered, then closed with a finality only accompanied by death. One last breath expelled, but her lungs didnt take in another whiff of air.
Tressa laid Grannas hand on her stomach. Taking a step back, she took one last look at the woman who had loved her every moment of her life. Tressas mother died in childbirth and her father had left through the fog. Like all of the others, three a year for the last sixty-seven years, none of them returned. Two hundred and one souls lost to the fog.
Tressa was next.

_________________________________________________________________

AUTHOR BIO:
I've been a freelance parenting journalist since 2003 and began writing YA novels in 2009. I live in the Chicago suburbs with my husband, two kids, and our miniature schnauzers, Ace & Tanu.

For more information on me please visit my website at http://www.meggjensen.com

Author links:






Enter the Rafflecopter below!





 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Introducing A.C. Davis!




Introducing

A.C. Davis

A.C. Davis has spent most of her years examining the dark folds and crevices of humanity. She's a people watcher who creates a fictional bio for everyone she watches or meets. She once met a man who was responsible for slaughtering over fifty women nearly two-hundred years ago. Of course his body has long ago rotted away, but his essence never caught on.

Some people she has watched have disturbing secrets they buried so deep in hopes of being forgotten forever. But A.C. Davis sees them and she writes them down to share in novella format for all to enjoy, to think about, become frightened, horrified, aroused, and even entertained by for just a few moments in time.




Available on Amazon:

Jenny's Blue Velvet
by A.C. Davis

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EN0MLCS/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d10_i4?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0Y7XKK5YPK2BG49N6Q58&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1630083462&pf_rd_i=507846



Jenny's stuck.

She's tried just about every occupation she can think of and will be digging out of student debt for a very long time, but has nothing to show for it. Her everyday routine feels like a prison. And her marriage? Well, let's just say it's been a little one-sided lately and the money she threw down on the toys from Lover's Erotic Store was well worth it and then some.

Jenny decides her next big step is to become a romance writer. Romance books are flying off the virtual shelves, after all. This will be her big break, her escape from the prison, and a way to freedom. Self-publishing is all the rage these days. She'll be a best seller in no time.

When Jenny makes friends with a woman named Cassandra from the gym, she instantly decides that her new friend will make a perfect main character in her upcoming book. After the first chapter, real life begins to resemble the fiction she's writing. Her friendship blossoms, sex with her husband turns into a daily feast, and her job gets more interesting with each chapter written.

Out of the blue, a person who is a close friend with her husband and who is dating Cassandra disappears. As the mystery behind the missing person unfolds, Jenny wonders if she might be responsible for his possible death. And if she is, what will be the consequence? What has this writing business gotten her into?

JENNY'S BLUE VELVET, a novella, is a psychological thriller for adults only due to sexual content.


Coming December, 2013:
Still Nights
by A.C. Davis

Sammy's lost.

She's looking for a way out of the dark pit she's swimming in. A former police officer, she spends her days sitting on the couch and nights sleeping with her old partner turned friend with benefits. She shot a kid while on duty. It wasn't intentional. He threatened her and she panicked. But that one mistake won't stop haunting her. It's destroyed her life, if that's what you'd call the daily routine she lived before that unfortunate event.

Sammy has never seen a ghost even though her estranged husband is the famous Walker the Ghost Stalker, ghost hunter extraordinaire. She used to want so desperately to experience what her husband and friends call a supernatural thrill, but that desire ended when her life fell apart. The only reason she continues going on investigations is to spend time with her husband.

One night, Sammy receives a worrisome call. She rushes out in a raging storm to locate her husband and friends. What she finds instead would scare the shit out of anyone. And she regrets ever going on that last paranormal investigation. What has this ghost hunting crap gotten her into anyway?

Fan of American Horror Story? You'll enjoy the novella Still Nights, a horrific paranormal thriller for adults only.


Coming 2014:
Woman in Black Lace
by A.C. Davis




 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

4 Reasons Why Tony Graff Loves Participating in NaNoWriMo



4 Reasons why I love everyone participating in NaNoWriMo
(A guest post by author, Tony Graff)

            It's that time of year again, and once again my wife has kissed me on the top of my head and told me she'd see me in a month. That's right, it November, which means it's National Novel Writer's Month. Where the literary have a planned burst of insanity and creation (I've already gotten more than my daily goal completed) in the thrill run to write 50,000 words in one month. I tip my hat to each of you, and here are six reasons why:

  1. You've mastered a great fear. I have a friend who has told me a brilliant story idea about a SWAT officer who takes over for Thanatos, the Greek god of Death (Hades is the god of the Underworld, not death. He had to point that out to me). It was an absolutely fantastic idea. He had stuff written down and illustrations and research, yet he never made it to the word processor. That still bugs me do this day. How many other stories are remaining untold because of this fear? NaNoWriMo participants have to bite the bullet and write, no matter how it turns out. And that's a leap of faith. I know it was for me, and I didn't even have the help and support of fellow writers to get me on the right track.
  2. You're making a great sacrifice. How many of you are sacrificing your favorite TV show? How about video game? How many already know how many hours of sleep they're going to be losing to get this novel written? I'm waking up at 5:30 every morning just to make sure I have enough time to get my word goal and not sacrifice my grades in college for it. Everyone's looking at you crazy, but you know the sheer joy of getting that idea out there and creating that story. Will it become a NYT bestseller? Does it even matter? You did what you love, and I'll gladly raise a glass to you for that.
  3. You embrace the insanity. So you're plugging along, making headway and maybe even getting ahead. Then, out of the blue comes a thought that becomes dialogue that turns into a completely unplanned seen that is pure brilliance on paper and the moment is nigh unto sacred and only a few get to know about and only you know how enlightening that feels.
  4. You read a lot. Now, I'm just guessing on this one, but I've always heard that great writers are great readers. The two are symbiotic. You've got a long list on Goodreads of stuff you've read and the list of stuff to read is perpetually growing. Every book you've read added a few grains of thought to this moment where it all flies onto paper.
           
            To everyone participating this year, I salute you, and I'll see you at the other end.

Tony Graff is the author of the recently released Hallow Terrace.



My name is Kora Allred and I am an Isis. I underwent an operation that swapped fragments of my genetic code with genes from a lion. I even have the tail to prove it.

The operation is still a new technology that garners a lot of gossip and glares. There's even an organized group of Anti-Isis who are actively picketing and rallying to make the operation I had illegal. My fiancée, Garret, was never really impressed that I got the operation, or that I display it like a badge of honor.

But, here's the thing: I'm pregnant. Garret's the father. And scientists can't even tell me how my operation is going to affect my child.

Get your copy on Amazon today!

For more information on Tony Graff, check out his website.