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Azrael

Azrael

Azrael, the angel is my YA series ‘Angelic Business’ is interviewed in N.N.Light’s wonderful blog. Come and meet him! And remember, book 3 is out next week!

Hi all:

Tomorrow, the 15th of July, the second book in my YA trilogy, Angelic Business, ‘Shapes of Greg’ will be published.

Just last week, author and friend Hans Hirschi posted this amazing review of the whole trilogy. I have to thank him for his kindness and I’m pleased to see it made such an impact on him. Here is the link. Don’t miss it.

http://www.hirschi.se/blog/angelic-business-trilogy/

I shared the video last week, but putting it at the end of the post I think most people missed it. If you didn’t, I’m sorry, there it is again:

 

I leave you a longer sample, when Pink meets and old acquaintance, although she doesn’t quite realise it at first:

On Friday, I thought I saw a guy I’d never seen before standing opposite my house. When I came out he started walking towards me, I thought, but Seth went by driving his car and offered me a lift. I accepted. When I saw the same guy waiting at a distance when Sylvia, Lorna and I came out of school, I didn’t know what to think. I thought he’d disappear while we were at the library. And I didn’t see him when we came out or on the way to the bus stop. But as soon as the bus left, I saw him standing on the pavement on the other side of the road.

I was getting a bit freaked out by that guy. I hadn’t told Lorna and Sylvia because what could they do anyway? Sylvia would start talking about stalking, as usual, and Lorna would wonder if he might be relationship material. Or to be fair no, not, actually. He was tall, skinny, pale, Goth-like looking, dressed to not impress…No, not what Lorna would consider relationship material. And he must have been in his mid-twenties at least. Why was he following us? Or rather, why was he following me?

The mysterious stalker

The mysterious stalker

I don’t think I scare easy, but I started walking faster. It was getting dark and I still had a bit of a way to go before getting home, and although the neighbourhood was safe…He also accelerated. “Don’t panic. Don’t panic!” I kept telling myself. It didn’t quite work. I was seconds from running when the said guy called out:

“Pink…Pink!”

OK, now that was weird. How on earth did he know my name?

“Pink….” I had now stopped walking. He caught up with me. “It’s me.” I looked at him. Me…

“Who are you exactly?”

“I still like Lindt truffles.”

“G?”

Original G

Original G

He smiled and nodded.

“I thought you’d been called back…home? I didn’t realise they were just going to give you another body.”

He shrugged.

“Neither did I. No, they have given me another mission.”

“I see. Here again?”

He blushed, extremely noticeable as he was now so pale.

“Not exactly.”

“Where then?”

“Dallas.”

“What? That’s quite far. Are you off today, or is your charge around here, or what?”

“Off? We don’t get time off.”

“You have a rubbish contract then.”

He laughed and shrugged.

“Not so bad as contracts go with my boss,” he added. Now it was my turn to smile.

“So what are you doing here?”

“I wanted to see how you were.”

Don’t you all go… “Oh, that’s sweet,” because we’re talking about a demon here.

“I’m fine. Thanks.”

“Good. Is Dashiell taking good care of you?”

“You could ask him. I’ve never been clear about what your lot are trying to achieve following me around. You’ve given me so many versions of the story…And Dashiell…he is more strictly business than you were.”

He sighed. His new body gave him a more vulnerable appearance.

“I miss being connected to you.”

Now he was taking things too far.

“If you remember the said connection was severed a long time ago. I should be going. It’s getting late.”

“I’ll walk you home.”

It was a very weird sensation to have G walking next to me, but looking nothing like he used to. Weird.

“How are Lorna and Sylvia?”

“Fine. Well, sort of. Lorna has decided it’s time she finds her perfect man, and Sylvia went all out to try to design a computer programme to help with that. And it produced a profile and even a digital portrait kind-of-thing. And it looks a bit like Dashiell, so now Lorna thinks he might be her perfect man. And he hasn’t helped much.”

“What has he done?”

Dashiell

Dashiell

I told G about his idea of a cover to keep in touch with me by getting us all to work on his project.

“They shouldn’t have taken me off the case,” he complained.

“Oh, I’m sure she’ll be all right. Lorna is a tough cookie.”

“And Sylvia?”

“I’m not so sure about Sylvia. She’s acting quite out of character these days. She told us she might have met somebody but won’t talk about it in any detail. And she seems preoccupied. I think there’s something going on, but for some reason she does not want to talk about it. I’m a bit concerned, although she’s usually very down-to-earth.”

He rubbed his chin that in his current body was quite prominent.

“I’ll see if I can find something out.”

“I’m sure you must be busy with your mission, whatever that is. I don’t want you to get into trouble with your boss for not doing your job and messing up with humans.”

He shrugged his shoulders.

“My “boss” as you keep saying, likes trouble. It’s what he thrives on. He can always find an advantageous angle in anything that at first sight seems to have gone wrong.”

“Very entrepreneurial. He sounds like a spin doctor.”

“You can say that again!”

I smiled and looked at him closely. Yes, it felt very wrong, because although of course, the voice wasn’t his either, and even the accent was very different —a Southern drawl the previous G didn’t have —to me he sounded like himself. Or maybe it was my brain playing tricks on me.

“Is your mission not keeping you very busy then? I assume I’m not allowed to know.”

He cringed. I’d touched a raw nerve.

“It is a bore. I’m supposed to be babysitting this young boy, he’s 7 or 8, because one of our analysts has come up with the suggestion that he has the potential to become a very dangerous guy in the future, some deadly and crazed leader of masses, or a supervillain, or master criminal…Something like that. To tell you the truth, so far he’s a very boring young child, not even particularly bad or naughty. Maybe Sylvia should come and work for us. Her programmes might be more useful than our research methods. Going through stories, legends, ancient books, looking at the stars… Hocus-pocus if you ask me.”

I had to laugh.

“I wouldn’t have taken you for a sceptic, after all that passion about the prophecy I’m involved in.”

“Well, one can’t take chances. And it is a very well-known and accepted prophecy, not some paint-by-numbers style of analysis.”

I looked at him trying to get to the truth.

“But it doesn’t matter anyway, because it’s not really about me. Isn’t that right?”

“Of course.”

Did he blush? He seemed to, but I wasn’t sure how much the host-body would show a demon’s emotions. Did they really have emotions? I did not believe him. I wondered if I would ever believe him again.

“Of course I trust your discretion with regards to the mission.”

“I have no details anyway. And I can’t see myself going to kill the young boy just in case.”

“You’d be surprised what some people might do.”

“Not really,” I thought. Instead I decided to try a different line of conversation. I was also curious.

“What name do you go by now?” I asked him.

“Peter Pratt.” I don’t know what I must have looked like, because he added: “Hey, it wasn’t my choice.”

“I can’t get used to how you look now.”

He looked at himself.

“Again, not my choice. Although I guess humans don’t choose how they look either, other than very rich people with plastic surgery and things, but even with that there are limits.”

I nodded.

“I know you’ve told me it’s not like in the stories and paintings and all that, but what do you really look like? Not when you take up a human body but as…”

“We don’t have horns, or a tail and pitch-fork and we aren’t red. We don’t have a physical appearance as you’d understand it. We are spiritual energy. A bit like the glowing light performance that Azrael puts on. Although in their case it’s that kind of bright light. In ours…it’s a darkness, a bit like a black hole. It’s not really a black hole but it’s that void, an absence of light, I imagine if I had to explain it.”

We were both quiet. We were very close to my street. He stopped walking.

“I’d better go now. Take care. And don’t tell Dashiell. This is not an official visit and he might not appreciate my coming here.”

“Bye.”

He squeezed my right hand in both of his and then left. It had been a very strange visit. And it would not be the last.

Pink

Pink

Before I forget, I’ll better leave you the links to the book, just in case:

Angelic Business 2. Shapes of Greg

Angelic Business 2. Shapes of Greg

Amazon:

http://rxe.me/YHZ21O2

Apple:

http://apple.co/1AE2MQR

Kobo:

http://bit.ly/1eFYYVB

Nook:

http://bit.ly/1AGqNHn

And as I know you enjoy them, I thought I’d leave you a song with Angels. Probably the most popular song with angels of recent years:

Thanks for reading and watching, and you know, if you have enjoyed it, like, comment, share and of course, if you fancy it, CLICK! 

Hi all:

As you know, I’m on the way to publishing my first YA series (I’m getting there!) and I asked for help with sharing information about it. Blogger friends, you’ve been AWESOME (and I’m well aware some people dread the way the word is used these days, but in this case, it’s true. I’m in awe, thunderstruck… any superlatives you might come up with).

I’ll try and do a drumroll of everybody when the worst (or best) is over.

But I thought as thanks, I should give you something. The next few weeks I’m involved not only in promoting my own books but in blog tours for others (it seems to be the season) so I thought I’d take the chance today. I pondered, thought and finally, I decided to share a story, that I think can be enjoyed by all, writers, readers and dreamers alike. Some of you might have read it already but it’s never been officially published, and it’s light enough, to cheer people up. It’s not short, short, but… Ah, and I leave you a few links to other things that you might find interesting at the end.

Here it goes:

The Novel

Denver had never been the most attractive or lucky of girls. Brown hair, brown eyes, average height. Not a sculptural body either. She’d gone through Primary and High School without doing anything remarkable. She’d had a few dates, but she’d never had a formal boyfriend (or an informal one, for that matter!). She’d managed to move away from her parents’ house (nice people, but too conventional) nearly a year ago, and she’d expected her life to change completely. No more boredom! Excitement, freedom, recklessness! Maybe all that wasn’t her, after all, because her life had continued to be as boring as usual. Nothing new. She had a studio-flat to herself, but that was all there was.  It wasn’t even in a fancy place. Peaceful, quiet, and empty.

Even her friend Phoebe was living with someone. She’d always thought Phoebe would be the last girl in the world to get somebody. So shy, so prudish, she never dared to take any risks at all…And there she was. Phoebe had had her adventure, and Denver was still there. Waiting. What on earth was she waiting for?

If only things were like in the books or the films. Life would be so much easier to handle. If only she could discover what the plot to her life was, or at least what the genre of the novel she was living was. If life came with a book of instructions for its use and enjoyment everything would be so much simpler…

She told herself that it was all a matter of determination. She was going to take control. From now on, she was writing her own story. And she would decide what it was going to be like. She could hear the music of Carmen (‘Toreador’) as she went to sleep on the thought. Her name in neon lights. Her relatives and friends clapping at her performance. Her life was going to become a best seller!

The next morning, when she walked into her office, she’d made her mind up. A romantic story. That was what her life was going to be. A beautiful love story. The setting wasn’t perfect: tables, computers, doors, papers and more papers. But her reserve of imagination was larger than the Federal Bank’s gold reserve. She could blank out reality if she tried real hard. It was all in the process of creation. The plastic and cheap-looking tables could become mahogany, period tables. The lamps, crystal…Maybe something more intimate and less grand would be more romantic. She didn’t want ‘Gone with the Wind’ either. It was too much. Not so ambitious. Flowery pastel curtains on the windows; instead of the huge skyscrapers a lake and a little white house in the distance, a Cole Porter song…And soft light. Definitely soft light. It would go with her pink dress. And she had a hero. Mr. Spencer, Mark, her boss. He was tall, dark and handsome. Denver was well aware that there were many women interested in him, but deep inside him, even if he’d never showed it, she knew that the flame of his love for her burned really hot. She had got some flowers for her desk, to complete the scene, and she left one in his room.

Mr. Spencer came in and nodded at her. The music grew louder. He hadn’t said anything but Denver sensed that he was only feigning indifference. She waited for his call. He would call her any time to thank her for the flower, and he would acknowledge his feelings. She could picture the scene. She’d go in, and there he would be, in the centre of the room, hazy  background and a shiny smile on his face. Who needed Brad Pitt or Leonardo Di Caprio when she had Mr. Spencer? He would rush towards her, inflamed by his passion and taking her hand he would cover it with kisses.

”Thanks for the flower. It’s so beautiful and delicate as you are. I suppose you imagined I didn’t notice you, but it’s taken all my self-control not to approach you before, and now…”

“Mr. Spencer…” She would blush and flip her long eyelids that were one of her main charms.

“Call me Mark…”

One of the other girls, a newcomer, short and very active, shook her.

“Mr. Spencer is calling you. I wouldn’t make him wait. He’s been quite short recently.”

“He won’t be short with me.”

The other girl looked at her surprised, but Denver marched in the office with her notebook and a broad smile. ‘Our love is here to stay’ was playing in her mind.

“Mr. Spencer.”

He was sneezing like mad. No hazy background, no shiny smile.

“Was this your idea?”  He asked pointing at the flower.

“Well, yes. I thought it would enliven the office.”

“Nobody asked you to think. I’m allergic to flowers. Take that away from here. Quick!” His tone was dry and hard. He was not amused.

She grabbed the flower feeling mortified. She was only trying…

“And don’t come back in. Mr. Wingfield needs someone to help him. His secretary had an accident a couple of days ago. Take your things to his office.”

Mr. Wingfield! He was old, fiery, and not very nice. Denver could have cried.

“And take the flowers on your desk with you. Thanks.”

Thanks? Thanks? Who did he think he was? Not her hero, definitely not. A romantic hero didn’t behave like that. Men. One could never trust them to play their parts.

While she was filing documents in Mr. Wingfield’s office she concluded that, whatever it was, her life wasn’t a romantic novel. But, who wanted a romantic novel anyhow? There was no real adventure, no risk, and no danger. A detective story. A good detective story was what she needed.

Next day Denver decided on wearing a dark suit, and she even bought a packet of cigarettes on the way. She tried to smoke one, but it made her cough, and her eyes started to cry. She threw them away. She’d have to be a healthy detective instead.

Once in the office nothing exciting seemed to happen for a while. Selecting the mail, answering some of the letters, rearranging some appointments. Just before midday, Steve, one of the salesmen and Marie’s (one of the other secretaries) boyfriend went to see her. He was a nice guy, nothing outstanding, but kind and attentive. He didn’t have a dress sense though, red hair and a brown suit didn’t quite match, but he wasn’t like the other salesmen always flirting with the pretty girls and never talking to her. He was polite and he always told her about his adventures when selling their ‘wonderful garden implements’. Marie never let him talk about it; it was too boring for her. She only wanted him to adore her and talk about her all the time. Steve was far too good for Marie. Not Denver’s type, but he deserved better than Marie. She always had to act all high and mighty.

“ I wonder if you can help me with this mystery.”

A mystery! Eureka! She had the feeling this was going to be her lucky day. The music inundated her ears. Dark, slightly threatening, jazzy…

“Tell me.”

“I’ve been to see Marie…She’s not at her desk.”

Denver’s pulse accelerated. The trumpet blew in. A missing person. Always a good topic in detective stories.

“She’s probably doing something…photocopying?”

“I’ve looked. She isn’t there. Nobody has seen her go out either.”

“Let’s go and see.”

Denver examined Marie’s desk with utmost attention. A good detective had to be scientific and meticulous. Shame she hadn’t brought a magnifying glass with her. But, that was too old-fashioned. Now it was all DNA testing and sophisticated gadgets. She’d have to do with her wit. It was much cheaper. Observation was the first rule. Marie’s notepad was there, so it was unlikely that she would be in Mr. Spencer’s office. Unless she…

“Do you think she’s filing something in the office?” Steve asked.

“It’s possible, but Mr. Spencer doesn’t like us to do it while he is here, and he hasn’t gone out. You see? She hasn’t written anywhere where he was going. He must be there.”

“What about the toilet?”

“It’s been quite a while. And her handbag is in the drawer, so she isn’t making up or anything.”

“She can’t possibly have vanished.”

“Did she know you were coming?”

“No, she didn’t. I wasn’t supposed to be here today, I had to go out of town, but the client phoned saying he was unwell, so I didn’t go.”

“I see.”

An idea came to Denver’s mind. She didn’t like it, but it made sense. Why Mr. Spencer had seemed so crossed recently, why Marie had been wearing nicer and more expensive clothes, why he’d dismissed her with a stupid excuse. Her mental soundtrack died. It was solemnly silent.

“I think…” Denver pressed a button in the intercom.

“Oh Marie…”

“Mr. Spencer…”

“Mark…”

“Mark…Go on…Go on…Yes, yes, yes!”

Denver switched it off. It was too much. Steve’s face had changed colour.

“Bitch.”

“Don’t…”

Steve was flushed, shaky, but tried to smile. “Don’t worry. I won’t do anything stupid. Good luck to her. I can find somebody like her any time. Thanks all the same.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s all right. Not your fault. Bye.”

Denver wasn’t hard enough for the job. She didn’t like its results. The truth could be too hurtful at times and she wasn’t mean. Her life wouldn’t be a detective’s story either.

Denver didn’t admit her defeat as yet. The times weren’t right for romantic novels or detective stories. People wanted the impossible, dreams come true, progress…Science Fiction, that was the ‘in’ thing. A good Sci-Fi story. That was it.

On the elevator the next day she was trying to get herself in the right mood for her new genre. The building was better suited for that than for romantic novels or detective stories really. Metallic-looking doors, abstract paintings, mechanical sculptures, cameras everywhere, computer screens, and thousands of doors…Even the people looked grey and metallic that day. The elevator stopped without a warning between the tenth and eleventh floor. She didn’t know any of the other people stuck with her. They worked in other offices. One of the men, pale, bold, in a grey suit, seemed annoyed.

“I wonder what it is this time. These bloody things never work properly.”

“It won’t be anything serious.” the youngest, blondest and prettiest of the girls affirmed. She was wearing a grey skirt and a grey blouse too. Definitely a grey day.

“Shall we press the alarm button?” a very young man anxious, sweaty, and probably wearing his first grey suit for his first job, asked.

The lights went off. Maybe she’d made a mistake and it was a horror movie after all. Or a combination, like ‘Alien’. But, the only music that would play in her mind would be the band in ‘Star Wars’ bar. OK, they were all a bit weird in that elevator, but not as weird as the specimens in the film.

“What’s happening?” It was an unknown voice. A grey woman, no doubt.

“I’ll press the button” the young grey man said. No movement, no sound. Dead quiet.

“It isn’t working! What’s happening?” the same grey woman asked. The pitch of her voice was higher this time.

The elevator shook and there were noises. Everybody went quiet. Denver thought that it didn’t feel quite right for an abduction. She’d always heard about bright lights, and usually somebody driving along lonely roads, or out for a walk, not in the middle of town, in an elevator full of people. It didn’t make sense. Maybe it was a horror novel. But why that music? It wasn’t serious. Even the music of the ‘X-Files’ would be more appropriate, but no. The alien bar in ‘Star Wars’.

They could hear what seemed to be voices coming from outside. Perhaps it was an abduction after all. Aliens. Did aliens prefer people wearing grey in elevators? Denver hadn’t read anything about that. She shouldn’t have neglected her culture that way. If she wasn’t abducted she’d made up for it. If she was…well, she imagined she’d get to know, one way or another.

“Help! We’re trapped!” the bold grey man shouted.

The voices stopped and all went very quiet.

“Something is not right.” the very young grey man offered. “I think…”

They heard somebody or something walking on the roof of the elevator. One of the panels on top of them began to move. It was lifted and a ray of light flashed in. Denver had suddenly realised in a panic that she was wearing green! They were coming for her! Aliens couldn’t stand people who wore green! She screamed and the rest of the elevator joined in.

“They’re coming to get us!”.

When a head looked in, a loud thump resounded in the closed space. A spot of light fell on the body. It was the bold grey man. He’d fainted.

“What are you doing here?” the owner of the head asked. “We told the porter not to let anybody use this unit because we had to do some repairs, so we stopped it in a place convenient for us.”

“The porter never said anything.”

“Who did you think I was, anyhow? Why did you scream? Oh well, we’ll let you out. Sorry.” The repair man grinned. He was probably thinking it would make a good story to tell his colleagues. Panic in the elevator!

It was embarrassing. Even Denver looked grey after that. And if it wasn’t bad enough, the music carried on. But she could take it.  It wouldn’t be a Science-Fiction story, or a Horror novel either. Maybe try another old-style type of thing. Revival time. A good Western. Nothing could really compare to an old Western. And she’d always wanted to wear cowboy boots and a hat. With the central heating at full blast it felt like a dessert, and the cacti the company had bought to give the office a homely atmosphere helped the impression. Her name was appropriate too. Denver. The Denver Kid…The Denver Girl…Denver the Quick. Buffalo Denver? Decisions, decisions. And Mr. Wingfield bothering her about some copies. She’d choose her new name whilst making the copies.

When Denver reached the photocopier, strategically placed in the middle of the corridor that joined all the offices, she realised that she had forgotten her card. She left her things next to the machine while she went to pick it up. When she returned Marie had had the cheek to jump her place and start photocopying her own stuff. Who did she think she was? First her man, then the photocopier. What would be next? No, it shouldn’t be tolerated. There wasn’t enough space in that office for the both of them. The whistles in one of Clint Eastwood’s movies seemed to filter under the door at the end of the corridor. A very long corridor. Empty. Only Marie and her.

“Marie.”

“Yes?”

“I was here before you came. Didn’t you see my things?”

“You should remember to bring your card with you.”

Denver didn’t have a gun, but she reached for her belt nonetheless. She adjusted her imaginary white hat. At the end of the dusty street was her enemy, Marie, all dressed in black. They were approaching each other in slow motion. Did she imagine the clink of the spurs? Moving closer, a little bit closer.

“And you should remember you have a boyfriend before getting in the office with the boss.” She felt a slightly bitchy, but one had to use the best weapons available. She was ready to shoot. Fast, clean, no hesitation.

“What do you mean?”

“Have you seen Steve recently?”

“No.”

“I think he heard a very strange conversation between Mr. Spencer and you.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“One that went something like: ’Mark…Yes, yes, yes!’” she said, trying to imitate Marie’s high pitched voice. Did she hit the target? Marie was still standing, but she was sure she’d wounded her at least.

“You…!”

“Me…what…?”

Denver could see in Marie’s eyes that she was preparing to shoot. She looked like a good shot. Cool, calm, no shakiness.

“Do you know what Mark said to me, Denver? He said: ’That Denver, she’s such a pathetic creature. She always seems to be living in the clouds, she has no style, no sense of humour. I’m sure she’s a lesbian.’”

“He didn’t…” Denver felt the bullet straight in the heart.

“Do you want us to ask him?”

Denver retreated. Too much blood loss to try another shot. She wasn’t offended by Mr. Spencer calling her a lesbian. That wasn’t an insult, that was the same as calling her short or brown-haired. Only she didn’t feel attracted to women that way. But ‘pathetic creature’ ‘no sense of humour’. She’d tried so hard to make him like her and she had failed. She didn’t stand a chance with anybody else. She left the scene badly wounded. She’d lost her duel. She wasn’t made to be a gunwoman either.

If Steve hadn’t walked in her office at that precise moment Denver would have cried, but she knew he had better reasons than her to cry(after all he’d been going out with Marie for nearly two years now and he seemed quite serious about it), and he was holding on. Whatever her life was, she didn’t want to make a big tragedy out of it. It wasn’t that bad.

“Hi Denver. You don’t look happy.”

“Hi Steve. I am not. But nothing important.”

“Tell me your sorrows and I’ll tell you mine.”

“It’s a long story, Steve.”

“It’s lunch time. Go on. Let’s go out and you tell me.”

“All right.”

Sitting on a bench in the park she told Steve her ideas about books and life and her failed attempts at living her life as if it were a book. He laughed.

“Do you think it’s funny?”

“I do. Haven’t you realised that your life makes a wonderful comedy?”

“It doesn’t. Not from my end.”

“I think it’s hilarious. A shoot-out with Marie. That’s a lovely idea. I wouldn’t mind myself. But I’d rather have real guns.”

“I’m pleased I’ve made you laugh.”

“You’ve made me feel better. But not as well as to make me change my mind. I’ve decided to leave this job. It was never for me in the first place and I don’t want to do this for ever. A friend of mine is getting a restaurant. I can’t remember if I’ve told you before but I trained as a chef. It isn’t going to be a big business to start with, but…”

“Here?” It would be sad to lose her only ally in the place. And such a nice person.

“No, in Boston. It’s a bit far but I am not leaving that much behind.”

“I’ll miss you.”

“Come to see me. I’ll miss you too. The only person I’ll miss in this hole. But you must remember, nobody can ruin your life for you if you don’t let them. You have enough imagination to survive anything.”

“Thanks. We must go back to the office. I still work there.”

“Let’s go back.”

Steve promised to say goodbye before leaving, and Denver promised in return that she would try to go and visit him. She sat back at her desk and her mind wandered back to the old themes. Life. Novels. Maybe books weren’t as powerful or as good a guide as she had thought. She didn’t want to live a comedy that was only funny for others. Whoever was writing her life hadn’t given her a very good part on it. And not much voice in the matter. Life wasn’t fair.

“Denver, Denver!” Mr. Wingfield’s voice woke her up from her reveries “Dreaming again? Come to my office. I have to dictate you some letters.”

Letters, letters…Maybe life was only writing other people’s letters.

Back at home Denver kept on thinking about her life. Writing other people’s letters? Was that all there was? No. It couldn’t be. If she couldn’t live her life like a book, maybe….

She sat at the table, got pen and paper and began to write:

Denver had never been  the most attractive or lucky of girls.

****

What do you think? I like Denver.

And, a couple of things, as I said at the beginning a couple of links to sites that I’ve been using recently that you might find interesting.

If you’re fed up with ads when you’re on-line, you can try this:

https://adblockplus.org/

It is free, it exists as an extension that you can download for most of the usual browsers, and although it does not block all ads (it does not block those they consider do not interfere with content and as just part of helping run the site) it does make the experience less annoying. You can also customize it to your own taste, as, for instance, I don’t mind the Facebook like buttons that much, but you can block those too. Have a check and see what you think.

For the authors amongst us, I think we know that if we publish our books with Amazon, we have the added problem of the many different stores, with multiple links to the same book. The answer is to create a link that sends the person directly to their store. There are a few options for this, with caveats about affiliateship extensions, etc (it can get complicated), but I’ve always tried to go for an easy option. Due to some changes in the site I used before, I looked for a new one and came across, Relinks.me.

http://relinks.me/

They provide not only the multi link, but also the shortened version (you don’t need to worry going to Bitly, owly or others… Yes, I’m sure you all know the links shorteners, that can be handy for Twitter), and the you can create an author one too (if you have your profile in more than one of their stores). If you only have one profile, what the author link does is direct people to a list of your books. (I asked).

They also provide a QR code for each book. I haven’t used them for anything yet, but if you produce your own promotional material, it can be handy. Apart from that, I’ve been in contact with them a few times, and they are prompt replying and keen on working with authors, so I like them.

One caveat I noticed. Evidently the system must work with localization for wherever the person clicking the link is, as when I was in Spain, those links would send me to the Spanish Amazon but my account is Amazon UK (no, the links are not that clever).

And something different. As I wasn’t busy enough (Ha!) I thought I’d try to keep my brain going by doing something different. And what better than learning a language! In a post somebody suggested a number of places to learn languages free online. And I tried the first, Duolingo and I liked it (it’s a community and other users from the original country add comments and answer questions, and sometimes the comments are priceless).

https://www.duolingo.com/

If you’re curious, I’m trying to learn German. I’ve been at it for over a month and the site tells me I’m 16% fluent in German. I’m not very convinced.

Ah, and for all  of you authors, those of  you who know or live with authors, and in general, anybody who fancies a laugh, I’m sharing this post by Kristen Lamb (her blog is a treasure trove of information for writers) that made me roar with laughter. And, please, please, follow the links to the Amazon reviews…

https://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2015/06/05/you-might-be-a-writer-if/

Thanks all for reading, thanks dear friends for your help (you know who you are) and I hope you don’t mind this rambling post. You know, like, share, comment and CLICK!

And don’t forget Angelic Business

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

Amazon:

http://rxe.me/YIHTW96

Apple:

http://apple.co/1Kuzdl8

Kobo:

http://bit.ly/1LU77jt

Nook:

http://bit.ly/1eLMTOG

Hola a todos:

Como sabéis hace tiempo os estoy dando la lata con mi nueva serie juvenil ‘Asuntos Angélicos’ y he estado preguntándole  a la gente sobre marketing para intentar organizar un plan para su lanzamiento. No sé si lo que tengo es un gran plan, pero en fin… Como tengo escritas las tres novelas, he decidido que usaré el sistema de pre-venta en Amazon para así tener las tres en la cola, listas para ser publicadas, con un mes entre la publicación de cada una de ellas (así también puedo incluir los enlaces a las otras al final). Durante la etapa de pre-venta las pondré en oferta y luego subiré el precio. Me estoy planteando lo de poner la primera gratis (sea una temporada o permanentemente), cuando haya publicado las tres, pero ya veremos). Aún no he decidido si iré a por el KDP Select o no. Puede que lo pruebe para empezar (hace tiempo que no tengo ninguna de mis novelas en Select) pero…

Después de los posts y las discusiones sobre marketing, me gustaría probar a contratar los servicios de alguien para organizar un blog tour (al menos para la versión inglesa, en español no he visto que se lleve), pero creo que será mejor hacerlo cuando alguna de las novelas ya esté a la venta. Así que, después de ver a gente que organiza tours para sus propios libros, he pensado que probaría a hacer lo mismo. Si alguien puede compartir un post sobre ‘Asuntos Angélicos 1. Alerta Pink’ en Junio, os estaría muy agradecida. Aunque no he puesto una fecha en firme para el lanzamiento (lo haré este fin de semana) será sobre el 24 o el 25 de Junio. Yo crearé un post en html que solo hará falta copiarlo al blog, usando la función de texto. No será muy largo o complicado. Si consigo crear un book trailer quizás lo incluya, pero si no, será la portada, la descripción, una muestra y el enlace.

Por supuesto si a alguien le apetece, o tiene tiempo, de leerse el libro y quieren hablar de él por experiencia propia, con mucho gusto. Lo puedo enviar en cualquier formato, aunque la conversión es mía y será la versión borrador del libro. Pero desde luego, si podéis encontarle un huequecito al post…

Ah, la versión en inglés de la portada ya la he compartido en un post, pero esto es exclusiva. Gracias a mi amiga Lourdes Vidal por su creación.

Asuntos Angélicos q. Alerta Pink

Asuntos Angélicos 1. Alerta Pink

Y aquí la nueva descripción:

Tú eres Pink, no la más guapa de las chicas, pero lista y con grandes recursos. ¿Qué haces cuando tu mejor amigo se ofrece a tener sexo contigo, porque cree que no tienes ninguna otra oportunidad? ¡Planeas cómo vengarte con tus dos mejores amigas, por supuesto!

Parece que has tenido suerte cuando un nuevo y misterioso estudiante se presenta en la escuela. Y por si fuera poco, parece estar interesado en ti. Podría participar en el plan. Pero, parece que tiene un plan propio… Insiste en decir que no es un chico corriente. Y lo que parecía fácil al principio, se complica más y más cuando el Cielo y el Infierno llaman a su puerta.

ALERTA PINK es la historia de Pink, una chica de 17 años, buena estudiante, elocuente y lista. Nunca ha sido el centro de atención ni ha estado entre las diez chicas más populares o atractivas de la escuela. Cuando dos tíos, ambos diciendo que son ángeles, insisten en decir que ella es ‘especial’, se pelean por conseguir su atención y cooperación y le dicen que ella es la clave del futuro del universo, no puede evitar preguntarse: ¿por qué yo?

Y por lo de pedir ayuda tantas veces, pensé que os dejaría un regalito:

Muchas gracias a todos por leer, y si podéis echarme una mano, dejadme un comentario, poneos en contacto conmigo donde sea, y hablamos. Y dadle al like, compartid, comentad, y que los angelitos os acompañen. 

Hi all:

You know I’ve been pestering you all about my new YA series ‘Angelic Business’ and asking questions about marketing to try and put a plan together. OK, I’m not sure it’s a fully-fledged plan, but I’ve decided a few things.  As I’ve written already the three novels, I will put them in Amazon in pre-order this weekend (with about a month in between the releases of each part), at low prices to begin with and then they’ll go up. I might later on make the first one free (either temporarily or permanently, but we shall see). I haven’t yet decided on the KDP Select thing. Might try initially (I haven’t had any of my novels in Select for a while) but…

I want to give a go at having somebody organise a blog tour for me at some point, but I think it’s probably best to wait until  the first novel is out already. So here it goes. I’ve seen people organise an unofficial tour for their books, and I thought I’d ask if any of you could share a post about ‘Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters’ some time in June. I haven’t set a date for the release yet (I’ll do this weekend) but it should be around the 24th or 25th of June. I will create an html post that just needs to be copied into the blog. I am not planning on making it too long or elaborate. If I can manage to get my wits about me I might try and create a book trailer of sorts, but otherwise it will be the cover, description, link, and perhaps a bit of a sample…

I had already asked if anybody would want to have a look at the book and had a couple of replies. If anybody has the time and feels up to it, do let me know and I can provide it in any format (although it will be a draft version and home conversion so…). But if you can just fit the post somewhere…

I’ve been saving a few appearances in blogs to try and time them up with the release, so I’ll be a bit busy but…

Oh, the cover of the first book was featured in this guest post, by the wonderful Sally Ember but of course, I also had to share it with you. Thanks to my friend Lourdes Vidal for her creation.

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

I’ve updated the description so…

You are Pink, not the prettiest girl, but smart and with plenty of resources. What do you do when your best male friend offers to have sex with you, because he thinks you’re a lost cause? You plot your revenge with your two best female friends, of course!

It seems you’re in luck when a new and mysterious student appears. And, to top it all, he seems interested in you too. He could take part in the plan. But then, he seems to have a plan of his own… He insists he’s not just an ordinary boy. And what seemed so easy to begin with, gets more and more complicated when Heaven and Hell come knocking at Pink’s door.

PINK MATTERS is the story of Pink, a 17 year old girl, good student, articulate and smart. What she has never been the centre of attention or made the top ten of the most popular and attractive girls at school. When two guys, both claiming to be angels, insist that she is, indeed, ‘special’, fight for her attention and help and tell her she is the key to the future of the universe, she can’t help but ask: Why me?

And now, as a treat, I thought I’d leave you this:

Thanks so much for reading, if you’re interested in featuring a post, I’d be eternally grateful, so please, just leave me a comment and contact me here or wherever, and of course, if you’d like the book, let me know, and share, like, comment… and may the angels be with you!

Hi all:

As you know on Fridays I like to bring you guest authors and/or new books. Today I do a bit of both. I’ve met Kathy Rollinson (K.J.Rollinson) through social media and realised she’s another author who is not constrained by genres or fashions, and whose muse takes her high and low.

Here I leave you what her Amazon page tells about her and then a list of her books. You’ll see there’s plenty where to choose from.

Author K.J. Rollinson

Author K.J. Rollinson

K J Rollinson born in Salford, Lancs. Published first book ‘Fallyn and the Dragons’ 2012. A trilogy – the second book, ‘Fallyn in the Forbidden Land’ was published June,2013. The third book, ‘Fallyn and the Sea Dragons’ was published in April 2014. They are fantasy books for any one who is a kid at heart, and enjoys reading about dragons. Because I think George and the Dragon gave dragons a bad press, most of my dragons are ‘goodies’, although, inevitably, there are some evil ones as well.

In complete contrast I have published on Amazon Kindle, ‘The Rode to Justice’ (John Rode, 1st grade detective, murder stories). The main protagonist, John Rode, has a droll sense of humour, into Shakespeare, and his sense of justice is sometimes in conflict with the law. In one of the stories he quotes ‘This is a Court of Law young man, not a Court of Justice.’

One of the writing groups I belong to Wordplay Writers’ Forum, Spain, has won the anthology award for their book ‘Shorts for Autumn’, awarded by the Writing Magazine, published in the UK, with worldwide distribution. I have three stories in the book.

If you are interested in learning more about my books and/or Wordplay Writers’ Forum visit my website at kjrollinson/author/weebly.com

I now live on the Costa Blanca, Spain. Interests when I am not busy typing – golf, swimming, line dancing, quizzes, and generally enjoying life in the sun.

Belong to various writing groups and enjoy mixing with people with imaginative minds.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/K-J-Rollinson/e/B009ATNOQO/

Fallyn and the Dragons by K.J. Rollinson

Fallyn and the Dragons by K.J. Rollinson

Fallyn and the Dragons (The Fallyn Trilogy Book 1)

Do you remember your dreams? Well Allan and his three friends remember theirs. They are transported to a dream world where dragons are their steeds. Come! Fly with them on their magical adventures when they meet a shapeshifter, Solo the abandoned dragon, together with Drablo, who bumbles, belches and burps his way along, and little Dracito, the smallest of the dragons. This book is suitable for anyone who enjoys an exciting fantasy adventure.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fallyn-Dragons-K-J-Rollinson-ebook/dp/B0092FSJFM/

http://www.amazon.com/Fallyn-Dragons-K-J-Rollinson-ebook/dp/B0092FSJFM/

Fallyn in the Forbidden Land by K. J. Rollinson

Fallyn in the Forbidden Land by K. J. Rollinson

Fallyn in the Forbidden Land (The Fallyn Trilogy Book 2)

Do you remember your dreams? Do you wonder what it would be like to live in your dream world?
Well, Allan knows what it’s like. What’s more amazing is that his twin sister, Eileen, and their two closest friends, Martin and Carla follow him into the dream world.
Come! Fly with dragons as they glide and swoop with Fallyn and friends, in this second book in the exciting Fallyn trilogy.
In the medieval dream world, on the Island of Nashta, the friends are Lord Fallyn, Lady Eila, Lord Merin, and Lady Kalla. The problems in their real world often reflect those they face in the dream world. They use teamwork to overcome the difficulties encountered in both worlds.
Dragons have had a raw deal throughout history, seen as enemies that need to be destroyed – not so in Nashta. There you find displays of affection, kindness, strong, distinctive, loyal dragons, showing courage and humour. There are evil dragons too who have to be challenged.
The book is not merely about how good triumphs over evil. The four friends, through the course of their adventures, grow closer and the sub-plots of romance between the four main characters provide added intrigue. They grow in maturity as they deal with their emotions.
Fallyn and company meet fascinating characters, including a mysterious race of little people called Chougans and their dragons. They learn to play their exciting game of Chouga.

Are the Chougans responsible for the band of red dragons attacking Nashta? Or are the dragons led by Prince Bato, banished to the Forbidden Land. Could Bato be Colin Bates, Allan’s archenemy in the real world?
In this fascinating, fast-moving book, all is revealed, and the interweaving of the two worlds produces a magical adventure.

http://www.amazon.com/Fallyn-Forbidden-Land-Dragons-Book-ebook/dp/B00DENS2UU/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fallyn-Forbidden-Land-Dragons-Book-ebook/dp/B00DENS2UU/

Fallyn and the Sea Dragons by K. J. Rollinson

Fallyn and the Sea Dragons by K. J. Rollinson

Fallyn and the Sea Dragons (The Fallyn Trilogy Book 3)

This third book of the ‘Fallyn’ trilogy continues the adventures of Allan/Fallyn, his twin sister Eileen/Eila, his girlfriend Carla/Kalla and their friend Martin/Merin, as once more they enter their medieval dream world on the Island of Nashta.

At first, Carla ventures into the dream world on her. She receives a plea from her dream mother Anala when three of the Chougans are missing. It is time for Allan and friends to enter their dream world to find them.

They meet Captain Black Bert a charismatic, handsome pirate captain, who has morals of sorts; he boasts he only robs ships that are enemies of his country.

When the pirate ship is wrecked on Guano Island, four sea dragons rescue the three Chougans and the pirate chief. The pirate crew meet Prince Bato and his henchman, Andralo, banished to the island following another thwarted attempt to overthrow his younger brother King Rudri.

Has Prince Bato changed? His evil rages seem more controlled. On the other hand, is he just biding his time and scheming to escape from the island?

The plot again moves between the real and dream worlds. Colin Bates, Allan’s archenemy is in prison, but is allowed to go on holiday to Pembrokeshire, Wales, at the same time as Allan and friends are going to the same area. Their paths cross when Bates escapes to Ireland – or does he?

Allan and Martin find their sub-aqua training in the real world an asset in the dream world. They have to dream to their subconscious personas to ‘invent’ a diving bell and other diving equipment so they can find the lost Chougans. Fallyn and Merin also have to take careful warning of Kalla’s vision when she foresees ‘tangled arms waiting to ensnare,’ as they enter the mysterious underwater world.

In an exciting climax, all dilemmas are resolved in both the real world and the dream world, and so we bid farewell to Lord Fallyn and his dragons in this final fantastic fantasy fable!

http://www.amazon.com/Fallyn-Sea-Dragons-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00JTDJU1Y/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Fallyn-Sea-Dragons-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00JTDJU1Y/

The Rode to Justice by K. J. Rollinson

The Rode to Justice by K. J. Rollinson

The Rode to Justice

Detective John Rode knows New York like the back of his hand. He also knows that around every street corner is a homicide waiting to happen. When the call comes, Rode and his rookie, Gina Morris, are the ones called for. When murder is the main course, Rode makes sure the perpetrators get their just desserts.

Four stories of murder that will beg you to read more.

http://www.amazon.com/Rode-Justice-K-J-Rollinson-ebook/dp/B00DEEL6V6/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rode-Justice-K-J-Rollinson-ebook/dp/B00DEEL6V6/

I’m sure we’ll have plenty more to come for K.J. Rollinson and I’ll keep you updated.

Thanks to K.J. Rollinson for her books, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know the drill, like, share, comment, and of course, CLICK!

Hi all:

As you know, apart from a writer, I’m also a reader and when I have time, I read. I’ve been reading many indie books of recent and being a writer I know how important it is for writers to get reviews for their books. I also try and share them here and see if people who might have missed them find the books interesting.

Today I bring you two short and very different reads. One is a distopian YA novella and the other one a non-fiction book about relationships.

The Ivory Tower

The Ivory Tower

Review of Kirstin Pulioff’s ‘The Ivory Tower’

A sharp, shiny and precise jewel of a dystopian novella.

I read The Ivory Tower very quickly some time ago and have finally managed to catch up with a review. This dystopian story is brief but hides a good punch. I’m always in two minds with regards to shorter stories. On the one hand I want to know more, but on the other hand, the best of them are like perfect jewels, nicely shaped, shiny and precise. Sharp with no rounded edges. I suspect some of that precision and the effect might be lost if they were longer.

The Ivory Tower is one of those stories. The reader is given some details but not the full story behind the situation or the reasons why the characters live as they do. And that makes you think and imagine. It also works because when the main character finds herself in a situation that she cannot quite understand, you are in her shoes and as astounded as her by what happens. The sense of menace and threat increases as one reads and the writing helps create an atmospheric and intriguing tale. Although there are no unduly lengthy descriptions, the reader knows where s/he is. And the ending…

If you only have a little time and want a good story (not a feel good story, though) go and grab The Ivory Tower, quick!

http://www.amazon.com/Ivory-Tower-Kirstin-Pulioff-ebook/dp/B00FJ3A58A/

After "I Do!" A Marriage Map

After “I Do!” A Marriage Map

After “I Do!” A Marriage Map by P.J. LaRue Common sense advice about relationships, from the heart.

Before I write the review I must confess something. I’m not married and I’m not in a relationship at the moment. I’m not sure if that qualifies me more or disqualifies me completely from writing this review, but I’ve already warned you. If you want to read on, it’s up to you.

Having said all that, I have to confess I loved the book. Like all advice, one can take it or leave it. And Oscar Wilde already told us that the thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. That one should never use it oneself. I don’t agree although understand the sentiment.

P.J. LaRue explains her reasons for writing the book. She is aware of the statistics on the survival of relationships and observes that although her marriage seemed to have many numbers for not working, it has (so far for over thirty years). As people kept asking her and her husband for the recipe, that got her thinking, and as she is a writer, she thought she’d write a book about it.

The author’s advice is common sense, but not for that less valuable. She reflects on what she calls ‘Starter Marriages’ and observes that if there is no true commitment to a relationship from the beginning you might as well not even bother. If you’re going to give up at the first hurdle, don’t get in the race. She also emphasises the importance of communication, true communication, and she highlights the elements she thinks are necessary for such communication to exist: honesty, be open, listen, never trash talk, don’t play games, whisper sweet nothings, choose your words carefully, change requires self-awareness, change takes effort, compromise, tone, body language, golden rule and R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Other than ‘whisper sweet nothings’ I’d say they are very good principles to follow in any communication, but even more important when the communication is with your loved one.

If the advice is sound, as I say, what I found more touching (and it is a touching book) was how the author uses her own relationship as a yardstick and example of both the things to do and the possible pitfalls, the type of problems that relationships experience. She is candid and honest when talking about her personal difficulties and the trials that they have had to go through (and they’re still coming to terms with).

It might be that some of the ideas exposed in the book (yes, I’m talking about her stance on sex in relationships) might sound old-fashioned, and she herself acknowledges that, but just because something is old or has been said before it doesn’t mean it is wrong. You can always decide what parts of the advice you think should apply to you, but if you can be as selfless and insightful as the author is after you read it, I guarantee you will have a much better chance at making your relationship work.

http://www.amazon.com/After-Do-Marriage-Map-LaRue-ebook/dp/B00LIGL9FK/

By the way, very recently I’ve joined the BTS-e Magazine team of reviewers (I’ll let you know when my reviews come up and give you a link to the magazine), so I leave you links to it for you to check and explore.

Thanks so much for reading, and you know, if  you’ve found it interesting, like, share, comment and of course CLICK! Ah, and if read any books and enjoy them, remember to review and recommend them to your friends!

Tour Banner

Today I’m taking part in a blog hop for one of my author-friends from ASMSG. She’s kindly agreed to bring us an interview  with one of her character. And don’t miss the rafflecopter giveaway at the end!

First, here is Kirstin:

authorphoto[1]

Author Bio: Kirstin Pulioff is a storyteller at heart.   Born and raised in Southern California, she moved to the Pacific Northwest to follow her dreams and graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Forest Management. Happily married and a mother of two, she lives in Oregon, and enjoys being a stay at home mom.  When she’s not writing, she is busy with her kids and church. This is Kirstin’s first venture into YA Dystopian, her other published work includes a middle grade fantasy series.

If you want to know more about Kirstin and get in contact with her, here you have a few of her favourite links:

Website:  www.kirstinpulioff.com

Facebook:  KirstinPulioffAuthor https://www.facebook.com/KirstinPulioffAuthor
Twitter: @KirstinPulioff https://twitter.com/KirstinPulioff
Amazon: Author & Book Page http://www.amazon.com/Kirstin-Pulioff/e/B00A2498Z2/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Goodreads: Kirstin Pulioff https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6558842.Kirstin_Pulioff

Next, a great character interview from her new work ‘The Ivory Tower’. Simone answers….and she’s a bit worried…

Simone, thank you for joining me today for a short conversation. I know the doctors have been keeping notes, but the Colonel and I have a few more questions for you.

Hi *shyly shaking hands, hiding the scarred hand beneath the table.* Questions from the Colonel? I assume this is my exit interview? I can go back home after this?

We’ll see. I am here to ask you a few questions, document my case files, and see if you are ready to be released. None of that has been decided yet. So tell me, what are you most looking forward to? What do you do for fun in the camp?

Can this get me in trouble? *glancing back at the ever present guard*

No, please don’t worry, this is all confidential.

Ok, well, I am excited to see Christine again. She’s my best friend, and she’s been back in school while I’m here. I’m looking forward to seeing her, and trying to have some fun before the factory starts.

You’re almost ready for the factory, are you excited?

Yup, almost of age. This winter I’ll begin, only a couple more weeks. I wouldn’t say excited is the right word. While it will be nice to get out of school, I am not in a hurry for the factory. With school, I can easily escape, and enjoy a day of semi-freedom.

Semi-freedom? What do you mean?

Well, a couple hours between third bell and fourth bell. Maybe not freedom, but at least an hour or two without expectations. *watching the furious scribbles* But it will be nice to produce something you know, feel more productive in the camp.

*Smiling* I like that attitude. I have a feeling you will be very productive. What do you think about life in the camp?

I try not to think about it. There isn’t much to think about, it’s routines, restriction, rations, repeat.

Ready for some quick fire fun?

Quick fire? *glancing to the guard’s gun*

No *laughing*, just some fun questions. Favorite drink: Water? There’s no real options here.

Favorite Game: Hide and seek, there are some great hiding spots in the forest.

Hmmm. I think that is what brought you here in the first place. Favorite Color: Burlap brown *sarcastically*

Favorite number? Really? I will say 277 and leave it at that.

Any message you want to give to people?

I’ll give them the same message I have been given. This camp is here to protect me. This is all for my own good.

Good Simone. Thanks for joining me today. I will let the Colonel know your answers, and I am sure we’ll get you back home, and back to the factor sooner than you know it.

I hope the Colonel is happy with the answers.

And if this has made you as curious as I am (It’s on my list), a bit more information on ‘The Ivory Tower’.

The-Ivory-Tower---large

The Ivory Tower- a short story, by Kirstin Pulioff

Genre: YA Dystopian

Blurb: 277 –the number sewn into Simone’s shirt. The number that dictates her life at the protection camp. Regulated by a system of ringing bells, fortified cars, and rations, the survivors are protected from residual contaminates on the other side of the wall.

Breaking the monotony of the highly structured camp, Simone and her friend skip school to enjoy one of the last nice days of fall.  An afternoon game leads them to a new part of the forest, uncovering more than they expected.  All thoughts of protection and rules are shattered by the appearance of the ivory tower.  A tower riddled with a history of danger and death.

When her friend shows up with a bruised face and thinly veiled threats, Simone has to decide how much she is willing to risk to find out the truth of the tower.

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Ivory-Tower-Kirstin-Pulioff-ebook/dp/B00FJ3A58A/

 AND NOW, DON’T MISS THE FANTASTIC
Giveaway:
Prize 1: $25 Amazon gift card
Prize 2: ebook
Dates: midnight EDT October 21 – 11:59 pm EDT November 1
Rafflecopter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed, remember to like, share, comment, click and play!

Ah, if you have to follow the full tour, check the schedule:

Oct. 21 Sarah Aisling http://www.sarahaisling.com Review & Top Ten List

Oct. 22 Mom With A Kindle http://momwithakindle.blogspot.com Book Promo

Oct. 23 To Taste Life Twice Http://jamieadamswriting.wordpress.com Review & Top Ten List

Oct. 24 Down the Rabbit Hole http://www.LeighaLCraig.com Review & Character Interview

Oct. 25 OlgaNM http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com Character Interview

Oct. 26 Larkin’s Book Bloggers http://blogs.ellingtonschools.org/larkin/ Review & Top Ten List

Oct. 27 Cabin Goddess http://cabingoddess.com Weekly Shorts

Brooke Blogs http://www.brookeblogs.com Review & Top Ten List

Oct. 28 Girl Who Reads http://www.girl-who-reads.com Author Interview

Oct. 29 Jenn’s Review Blog http://www.jennsreviewblog.com/ Review

 

Hi all: Today it’s Friday and that means, guest author. I’m very pleased to introduce Nicole D. Fergusson who’s come to tell us a bit about her Young Adult novel Gothic. She’s kindly agreed to leave us not only the description and the great cover, but also a fragment of the novel that will leave you wanting more. And here she is:

Description:

Dahlia is starting a new life. New university, new home, new friends. This time, she’s not going to be surrounded by werewolf packs and vampires. She has fought against a life filled with supernaturals since she was eight years old. Does it matter when she’s more attracted to the vampire in her class than the normal university boyfriend she picks up? Or when her werewolf kin start gradually start to go missing? Of course not. A normal life is what she wants. What she’s always wanted. A normal life. This is exactly what she’s been waiting for.
Isn’t it?

And now an excerpt from the novel:

Gothic%20cover[1]

“That’s… strange,” Elliott paused.

“What?” But then Dahlia caught on. Though she didn’t have a werewolf’s sense of smell, she did have a human’s sense of hearing. And a low growl was coming from somewhere in front of them.

“Hello?” she started, inching forward. Elliott grabbed her arm and pulled her behind him. “Whaa?” Dahlia began.

The aggressive sound had doubled. Dahlia realised, with shock, that Elliott was not growling so much as hissing, or snarling. She was glad for Elliott’s walking her back to her dorm. Usually there were people milling around the university colleges but, right then, there was a distinct lack of anyone.

Elliott had dropped to a fighting crouch, like he expected violence.

Dahlia watched keenly for whatever it was from her vantage point behind Elliott, glancing over her shoulder a couple of times just in case attackers came from behind. There was someone targeting werewolves, and she had grown up with a whole bunch of them.

Her heart dropped to her stomach when she saw a honey-blonde wolf pull out of the bushes and start stalking towards them. She would have recognised him anywhere, but that didn’t incline her to feel kindly disposed towards him. She did not appreciate the panic he’d just put her through.

“Luca! What the hell are you doing?” This in a harsh whisper, before Dahlia looked behind her again, this time to make sure there were no hapless students about to walk up and find themselves face to face with a werewolf. Luca was much larger than any domestic dog she could think of, and he wasn’t on a lead, which meant that Dahlia would be in trouble either way if another student happened upon them. “You know better than this!”

Elliott didn’t relax his position, didn’t allow Dahlia to push past him in her attempts to chastise the ’wolf, which didn’t defuse the situation at all. It just made Luca growl louder.

Looking between the two men, Dahlia’s jaw dropped as she realised what this was about.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake! Really?”

Dahlia righteously slapped Elliott’s arm down and strode past him. Standing directly in between Elliott and Luca, Dahlia stared them both down, daring either of them to make another territorial move.

Elliott looked from her to the ’wolf, until eventually his gaze settled on her. Luca eventually stopped growling, relaxing the ridges on his nose, but not at all looking contrite. Dahlia just stared at them both in disgust.

“You,” she informed Luca, her tone offering no room for refusal. “Find somewhere private to change and get to my room.” She bared her teeth. He wouldn’t instinctively accede to her words, but the snarl would make an impression.

Luca stared back at her for a while, trying to assert dominance, but Dahlia was too incensed to play into werewolf games. After a moment, he emitted a wuffle sound, turning tail and disappearing back into the bushes.

Dahlia didn’t give Elliott time to make something of any of this. She just grabbed his sleeve, dragging him to her dorm, and thus guaranteeing that Luca would not be dallying about his change before rushing to her room.

There was silence for a minute, then Elliott said, “So, why don’t you ever give me the, ‘Bad boy! Go to my room’ spiel?’”

She almost stopped when he said that, but instead settled for dragging him towards the dorm, nearly overbalancing him in the process. “Are you really going to try that on me now, Elliot, considering that display of testosterone fuelled idiocy? I’ve a mind to send you both to the naughty corner.”

Elliot sobered a little at that, and instead said quietly, “I’d heard you had werewolves in your family…” as they strode through the hall.

“Oh?” Dahlia asked. “Then what was that back there?”

Elliott frowned. “I thought you were in danger.”

“I’m not in danger from my own foster brother,” Dahlia snarled.

Elliott smiled grimly. “He didn’t exactly come with a sign proclaiming that.” He stopped at her doorway and. For a second, Dahlia thought he was doing it as just another thing to piss her off, before she realised that he needed an invitation.

That recognition took some of the wind out of her sails. Both Annabelle and Meredith had impressed it upon her not to ever utter the words, “Come in,” when a hand gesture or assumption would do, unless it was daylight. Hand gestures and assumptions weren’t strong enough invitations to let a vampire into a new residence.

But this was Elliott and, even though she was pissed at him, Dahlia intellectually knew that he would never do anything to harm her. He hadn’t when she’d been at his private residence, and that was almost like inviting a vampire to drink from you.

“Elliott, would you please come in?” she said, and at the same time heard the sound of Luca thundering through the double doors that marked the entrance to her building.

“Dahlia! No!”

Luca reappeared, and in human form no less, just in time to watch Elliott take the step over the threshold to Dahlia’s room. He threw himself into the room with a growl, and grabbed Elliott by the throat. Elliott was taken off guard by the sudden attack, but his reflexes worked faster than Luca moved and, before the ‘wolf could take advantage of his hold on Elliott, he was propelled into the opposite wall by the vampire’s shove, jolting the couple of wall hangings she had nearby.

“I am not a danger to Dahlia,” Elliott informed him in quiet, well retained, words that virtually mimicked Dahlia’s assurances of Luca just before.

“Luca, Elliott, don’t,” Dahlia echoed, which was when Elliott stepped back from Luca, having made his point.

Luca stayed by the wall for a second longer, catching his breath and glaring at Elliott. His gaze turned to Dahlia.

“How could you invite him into your room? You know the rules!”

“You don’t know Elliott,” Dahlia informed him flatly. “If you did, you’d know he was about as likely to hurt me as Annabelle.”

The two foster siblings stared each other down for a long time. Elliott stood to the side but, after a time, stepped back and settled himself on her bed content to wait them out. Luca saw this and scoffed.

“He looks fairly comfortable in here.”

“And that might be a problem, if you hadn’t just seen me invite him in.” Dahlia crossed her arms, shaking her head. “Seriously, Luca. I’m not sixteen anymore. You and the pack have no control over who I do or don’t invite into my room.”

Luca’s teeth were gritted. He wasn’t letting this go. “Someone is killing werewolves.”

“And I’m not a werewolf,” Dahlia said blithely, completely ignoring the fact that she herself had been worried about confusion due to her connections to the pack just a few minutes before.

Elliott, in a moment of self-preservation, chose not to bring that either.

“And I thought I would come here and surprise you, since I didn’t get to see you last night.” Luca’s teeth were still gritted, but now he looked sad as well. That sadness deprived Dahlia of the ability to offer some sort of snark regarding how much of a surprise it had been to come back and see a wolf around her building. He continued, as though almost reading her thoughts. “It surprised me when I could smell a vampire coming my way. I can do more damage as a ’wolf than as a man.”

Elliott nodded his head in an acknowledgement.

Luca saw it, even if Dahlia didn’t. Looking at Elliott now, Luca asked grudgingly, “So, who is he?”

Dahlia sighed. Older brother types were supposed to be annoying, weren’t they? Hadn’t she heard as much from at least a dozen girls during high school? At least she got along with hers the majority of the time. “This is Elliott. He’s a friend. One of mine—and Annabelle’s—friends,” she said, making it clear how Dahlia had gotten to know him. Luca knew his Auntie Annabelle didn’t suffer fools and had never been a cruel woman, for all that she was a vampire.

Luca flicked another glance in Elliott’s direction. “Okay then.”

Dahlia turned to Elliott. “Elliott, this is Luca. His father was basically a father to me after mine… ran off.” There was still that lump in her throat whenever she mentioned him. She went on quickly. “Luca pretty much adopted me as a little sister.”

Elliott inclined his head. “And you’ve been looking out for her ever since. Very commendable.”

Luca narrowed his eyes at Elliott, trying to judge if there had been anything facetious in the compliment. Elliott just looked back at him. Eventually Luca offered him a stiff nod. “Thanks,” he murmured.

Dahlia heaved a relieved sigh. Her relief was short lived, however.

“As entertaining as this unexpected gathering is…” was all Dahlia had time to say, before her phone went off.

Both boys jumped. Elliot hissed, Luca snarled, as both immediately went to their fighting stances.

“Oh Jesus. Right, nobody move. I don’t want either of you to kill my phone!”

Both boys copped a look of, ‘Can I take my attention off you for two minutes without coming back to a fight?’ to which they each had the good grace to look somewhat ashamed. She wasn’t sure whether that was because of their boorish behaviour or the realization that they nearly ended up going in to a boxing match with something that could only be considered a lethal weapon in the hands of Russell Crowe.

Click here to buy it in Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Gothic-ebook/dp/B009UVPUU0/

To contact Nicole: In Twitter: https://twitter.com/faerywhimsy

To follow her blog: http://nicole-d-fergusson.blogspot.com.au/

And her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NicoleDFergusson

Don’t forget to click!

Thanks Nicole for sharing your work with us and thanks all for reading!

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