*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

" The Geography of You and Me" by Jennifer E. Smith

I have been a horrible blogger as of late. I am going to try to get back into the grove of a post a day since several months of not writing is not okay. Can I use the excuse that I have been researching for my novel?

https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1375822538l/17735600.jpgWhen the power goes out in New York City, Lucy and Owen accidentally cross paths. The two meet when their elevator gets stuck. Once freed, the two spend the rest of the night together, but without power everything is little different. Things return to normal when power is restored, but the two of them will never be the same. Owen is adjusting to life without his mother who has recent;y passed away. He and his father are trying to figure out how to live in a world without her. Lucy wants to see the world. Her parents are often traveling, but they seem to prefer to leave their children out of the mix. The two have very different plans for their lives, but someone they just can't be apart. When both of their lives take unexpected turns, they do their best to stay together, but will it be enough? The Geography of You and Me  takes readers through the very realistic development of a love story and you won't be able to help falling in love with these characters.

I am beginning to adore Jennifer E. Smith. The scenarios that play out his books work so well that I can really see these characters and picture them actually existing. I really felt for Lucy and Owen. Though my teen years were very different from theirs, I could relate. Smith knows how to write teenage characters that you can't help but root for. I've said before how much I need to read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and this book has only intensified that need. I am certainly going to seek out Smith's future books as well.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"The Burnouts (Quarantine #3) " by Lex Thomas

*Note, there is going to be some spoilers if you haven't read the first two books. Unless you like spoilers, I suggest not reading this review.

http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1394061091l/18627443.jpgThis series actually surprised me. As it progressed, I wasn't sure if I was going to be happy with the ending, but am pleased to report that I feel that the Lex Thomas team took this novel in the right direction and gave it the ending it deserved. My only complaint about The Burnouts is that some moments were a little gorier then I would have liked, but I am the first to admit that I am a wuss when it comes to such things and it's there novel so they should write it the way they feel is necessary to tell the story. 

The last novel ended with the reveal that David was still alive (please tell me I am not the only one who saw that coming) and this one opens on he and Will being reunited. Will learns what has been happening on the outside during the quarantine. Lucy is still in the school, and is once again alone. She has no one to help her survive and is going to find out something that will change her life completely. This realization soon sends David and Will back into the school where absolute chaos erupts when those still in the school find out that they have a chance at revenge.

This series has a lot of suspense. I read all three books rather quickly and am a little surprised that all three were good. I have found that many trilogies start of strong and end strong, but become very dull in the middle. The Quarantine series did not do this. I can't help but assume that a decent amount of planning went into each book so that the authors knew where each of the characters were going to go and how they were going to keep their audience interested throughout that journey. Like mentioned before, some of the subject matter was a little darker than I generally enjoy, but it's nice to see a set of books that can appeal to this that like a grittier story. I certainly plan to keep an eye out for more by the Lex Thomas team and hope to see more novels in the near future.

Happy Reading!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Book Tour: "The Wolf Who Played with Fire" by Sarah Makela

The Wolf Who Played with Fire photo TheWolfWhoPlayedWithFire_zps3e80a7ed.jpg

The Wolf Who Played with Fire Cover photo SarahMakela_TheWolfWhoPlayedwithFire800-1_zpsb34b10e7.jpg
Title: The Wolf Who Played with Fire (Cry Wolf #2)
Author: Sarah Mäkelä
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance 18+
Publication Date: June 20, 2014
Publisher: Kissa Press, LLC
Cover Designer: Kim Killion
Event Organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.


Some magic can’t be unspun…
Meddling in magic… If Mia Brooks could turn back time, it would be to when she used her fledgling magic to craft a potion for an injured werewolf. It nearly killed the Pack Alpha, and now the lives of her witch mentor, Jessa, and her soldier boyfriend, Ethan Parker, have been changed forever. Jessa is in hospital after a vicious werewolf attack. And, Ethan, having being bitten, is becoming a werewolf himself.
A wolf at the door… Mia can’t turn back time, but she can try to make things right with the two people she cares about most. She’s keeping Jessa’s shop, Eternally Magick, open, and she’s there for Ethan as his inner wolf grows. But, by the next full moon, his transformation will be complete. Can she really be the mate of a half-man-half-wolf, living within the law of the Pack?
Under his spell… Struggling to contain his new lupine senses, Ethan goes missing on active duty. When Mia realizes her werewolf lover has been abducted, she knows must harness every magic power she possesses to get him safely back…


  Water slid over my body, and I lifted my face to the warm spray. Delicious soreness ached in my muscles as I reached for the shampoo. Crashing at Ethan’s house was dangerous, but the romantic rendezvous we’d shared had taken me to new heights of pleasure. However, not all good things last forever. My brother, Nolan, lived with Ethan, keeping an eye on the place while Ethan was deployed with the Army. Neither of us knew exactly when Nolan would arrive home from spending the weekend with his girlfriend, but he had work in a few hours. The chances of him swinging by were high. That meant I needed to leave as soon as possible. Part of me hoped I could slink away before Ethan woke up, but it was only a matter of time before he stirred. The fact he hadn’t yet indicated to me just how ‘active’ we’d been last night, since not only was Ethan a trained soldier, but now he was becoming more and more of a werewolf. That last part scared me. I leaned my forehead against the white tiled wall. Regret squeezed my heart like a vise. It would be so easy to blame Jessa, my friend and mentor, for pushing me into the werewolf debacle, and even easier to torment myself for having used wolf’s bane. If I’d gone with the common method of crafting the salve instead of making my own potent blend, then this would not have happened. Those thoughts led to madness. I balled my hands into fists. Neither Jessa nor I could’ve known what was going on. The supernatural world was one of magic and potions. Witches were real since I was one. Werewolves, on the other hand, were beasts of legend, not fact. That shocking revelation brought fear and pain crashing through my door and harmed those I cared about. Both Ethan’s and Jessa’s lives were changed forever, because I couldn’t protect either of them from the werewolf’s attacks. The ramifications of my failure were incomprehensible, especially for Ethan. Releasing a sigh, I focused on the bar of soap and reached within myself for my magic. Jessa made telekinesis appear so effortless. If I’d learned one thing recently, it was that I kept myself locked away, hoping others wouldn’t burn me at the stake. Being powerless wouldn’t help those I cared about, or me, when the time came to protect them. Fear and atrophy shriveled my magical muscles. While I still wasn’t convinced about using my power, especially not as openly as Jessa did, I refused to wait for the next disaster to hit before I acted. Something deep inside me knew we weren’t out of the woods yet. No matter how hard I concentrated, the soap remained rooted in place. Ugh. How could I measure up as a witch if I couldn’t even accomplish the basics? If my grandmother were here, life would be much easier. Instead, she rested in her grave. The bathroom door creaked open and my heart leapt into my throat. Panic pushed me to remain small and silent, even though the spraying warm water gave away my presence. If Nolan was home before work, I would be screwed. My brain scrambled for excuses about why I was here, much less why I was taking a shower. The mugging wouldn’t work anymore. Things had mostly gone back to normal. I spent more time at home whipping up potions for Jessa’s new age shop, Eternally Magick. With Jessa in the hospital, she couldn’t run the shop, and I needed to help. What family she had was several states away, and they couldn’t or wouldn’t take time from their lives to assist her. Besides, Ethan and I didn’t need to be as careful about Nolan coming around to my place. He rarely swung by these days, and when he did, he usually called first. “Mia? Everything okay in there?” Ethan nudged back the shower curtain, tension tight in his naked shoulders. Air whooshed from my lungs in a rush and my shoulders slumped forward in relief. “You scared me.” “Sorry, sweetheart. I felt a lot of energy buzzing in here. Just wanted to make sure you’re okay.” He let go of the curtain, and it fell back into place. The slightest twinge of sadness nibbled at me, but this was for the best. If he got in the shower with me, I might never leave.

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The Cry Wolf Series

The Witch Who Cried Wolf photo SarahMakela_TheWitchWhoCriedWolf800_zps6db62195.jpgTitle: The Witch Who Cried Wolf (Cry Wolf #1)
Author: Sarah Mäkelä
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Publish Date: December 2, 2013
Publisher: Kissa Press LLC
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.  

Be careful what you wish for… A potion gone wrong: Mia Brooks is a reluctant witch, with powers that she tries to hold in check. But when her magic gets mixed up, supernatural forces are unleashed and suddenly she’s being pursued by werewolves—that she didn’t even realize existed… Hidden emotions: Ethan Parker, Mia’s brother’s best friend, is home from deployment for the holidays. Mia’s not only hiding from werewolves, she’s trying to keep her feelings for Ethan secret; it would be a disaster if he knew she’s been nursing a long-time crush… The power of love: Things take a terrifying turn when Mia and Ethan are attacked by a werewolf. Ethan is amazed when Mia reveals her paranormal prowess as she tries to shield them from danger. But can she really protect them from the darkness that lurks? And how can he tell her that, for ages, he’s been denying what he really wants? Mia...  

Purchase Links

 photo SarahMakela_ColdMoonRising1400_zpsf08316da.jpgTitle: Cold Moon Rising (Cry Wolf, #1.5)
Author: Sarah Mäkelä Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Publish Date: Feburary 17, 2014
Publisher: Kissa Press LLC
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.    

  Passions flare when the cold moon rises…   Kelly: a normal college girl, who knows what she wants—to survive her final exams, and find someone to share her life with. Studying with Jacob is becoming too hot to handle; she’s falling for him, but he’s going too fast…   Jacob: a not-so-typical frat guy, who hides a secret—he’s a werewolf. Whenever the moon is high, he’s driven to shed his human form and satisfy his powerful desires. He craves Kelly, but she’s pushing him away…   Fallout: Jacob can smell Kelly’s arousal, but she insists she doesn’t want sex. A wolf can only take so much before his natural instincts win out. When the tension between them explodes, Jacob has no choice but to walk…   Kidnapped! Kelly is abducted by evil scientists who’ve mistaken her for a female werecat and, despite their differences, Jacob has to try and find her. But it’s a race against time and the lunar tides. The scientists have taken Kelly to their lab and turned her into a shapeshifter for real. The full moon is rising, and soon neither Kelly nor Jacob will be able to control their inner beasts. Who knows what the consequences will be when they are consumed by unquenchable animal lust…

Purchase Links


About the Author

Sarah Makela photo SarahMakela1_zps4cedd93d.jpg
Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author, but she’s written all over the romance spectrum with cyberpunk, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy… even a sweet contemporary romance!
A life-long paranormal fan, she still sleeps with a night light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies and Ghost Adventures, and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.
Connect with the Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Blog

Monday, June 30, 2014

Release Day for "The Primordial Dust" by Sarah Daltry

young pretty kissing wedding couple against sky
Book Info:
Title: Primordial Dust
Author: Sarah Daltry
Genre: Fantasy (Romance/YA)

A princess, trained to behave. An assassin, betrothed to her. A thief, whose eyes she dreams of at night. A kingdom at war, torn apart by the suppression of magic and truth, as well as family secrets that threaten to destroy decades of peace. Questions of loyalty, of morality, and of free will culminate in a fantasy novel about forging one’s own path and choosing one’s own destiny.
Buy Links:
Amazon: Coming June 30
Amazon UK: Coming June 30


Excerpt: Alusia smiles wanly. “What happened in Kooram?” she asks. “There was a party. We were dancing. Seamus and I were celebrating our engagement...” I pause, ashamed. He sits beside me, unaware of my role in this, oblivious to my own deception. “It was my fault.” Seamus takes my hand. “Alondra, stop. You know this has nothing to do with you.” “It has everything to do with her,” Alusia interrupts. “And her mother.” “Look, although Alondra seems thankful for whatever you want to share with her, I don't care what these secrets are. This is not her fault and she does not need you blaming her.” Seamus's anger is new to me. I have been so amazed by his calm, his kindness; he is more like a Demorian now than I have ever seen him, and I have watched him cut a man's throat. Alusia sighs. “I do not mean to assign blame. But we can no longer pretend that this was a rogue attack, that these events have not culminated in bringing you here, that fate has not worked its magic to get this book into her hands.” She runs her fingers along the book on her lap. “It's fine,” I say. “But it was not fate. Maybe I did not make the only bad choices, but choices got us here. And I, for one, am tired of hearing about fate.” “The attack,” Seamus continues. “It was sudden. A siren spell warned us before the mages were slaughtered. I don't know how they breached the Demorian guard, but without the dying spell of an elder mage, no one would be sitting here right now with you.” “So you ran?” Alusia asks. “I don't run,” I argue. “In fact, I am only here because someone kidnapped me in my sleep.” “It was her father's wish,” Seamus mumbles. “The forces came quickly. We spread the word to meet in the caves and Kooram split into two groups: those who were running for the caves, and those who would stay behind. My parents were with those running, but I stayed. Ereditus, our commander, rallied the troops. Seamus was already by my side. My friend, Lormander...” I stop and think of that moment. Sanara's face, broken by the choice he was making, is etched into my memory. I watched her fingers slowly fall from his hand and the agony in her glance as she turned back to see him one last time tore me asunder. And now, somewhere, are they reunited? Did she lead everyone to Tallagut? Did he stay behind in the caves to face his death, remembering her kiss as the blade entered his heart? I choke on the images and tears rest on the precipice of my eyelids. “We stayed,” I repeat. “There were so many of them. It was chaos. Smoke billowed from the streets, from our homes, from everything that was my childhood. I saw young boys, thinking they were brave, split in twain as the attackers stepped over the corpses, trailing death. What I remember most was the sound. The crash of swords, the screams of the fallen, the crackle of burning. The details are hazy. We left Kooram in ruins when we saw that we were outclassed. I walked through fields of carnage to the caves, only to wake on the other side, in a mirror world, yet untouched.” “The king, he asked that we come here. He said you had the answers, the only weapon we could use against him,” Seamus adds. My shattered body sits beside him, but my mind and my soul are still with the dead. “I am an old woman, and a forgotten mage,” Alusia says. “I am also the keeper of secrets and memories. I do not forge steel. My only weapon is knowledge. But that I have in abundance, and I believe it is time Alondra take her share.” She rises from the dusty chair and approaches. I sense my hands as they lift to take the book she offers; the leather cover is hardened, but smooth to touch. I run my hand along the spine and trace the embossed seal. “Please take this to your room. You will need time, and you will need privacy. When you are done, I will be waiting for your questions.” Dream Cast: alondra Alondra A princess of a kingdom lost in time and wrapped in secrets. Snarky and difficult, because life has always been easy, she is unprepared to be the leader she needs to be when her city falls. seamus2 Seamus: A trained assassin tasked with keeping his own city, and all the cities of the kingdom, safe. Betrothed to Alondra for diplomatic reasons. Much kinder than his profession reveals. layla Layla: A young girl trained to be an assassin, sent to kill the son of the king. Her hopes rest on succeeding in her quest, because if she fails, there is no alternative but death. tevlin Tevlin: The mysterious man who captures Alondra’s heart on a night before the world fell apart. His eyes whispered secrets, but they may be secrets that led to the ruin of everything she held dear. About the Author: Sarah Daltry writes about the regular people who populate our lives. She's written works in various genres - romance, erotica, fantasy, horror. Genre isn't as important as telling a story about people and how their lives unfold. Sarah tends to focus on YA/NA characters but she's been known to shake it up. Most of her stories are about relationships - romantic, familial, friendly - because love and empathy are the foundation of life. It doesn't matter if the story is set in contemporary NY, historical Britain, or a fantasy world in the future - human beings are most interesting in the ways they interact with others. This is the principle behind all of Sarah's stories. Sarah has spent most of her life in school, from her BA and MA in English and writing to teaching both at the high school and college level. She also loves studying art history and really anything because learning is fun. When Sarah isn't writing, she tends to waste a lot of time checking the internet for pictures of cats, shooting virtual zombies, and simply staring out the window. She has written several books, most notably Bitter Fruits, an urban fantasy in the Eden’s Fall series, Backward Compatible: A Geek Love Story, and the six book New Adult Flowering series, including Forget Me Not, Lily of the Valley, Blue Rose, Star of Bethlehem, Orange Blossom, and Ambrosia. Social Media Links: Website: http://sarahdaltry.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorSarahDaltry Twitter: http://twitter.com/SarahDaltry
Top Ten:
Sarah’s Favorite Fantasy Movies:
  1. The Princess Bride
  2. Labyrinth
  3. The Neverending Story
  4. Brave
  5. The Wizard of Oz
  6. Shrek
  7. Pan’s Labyrinth
  8. Harry Potter (all of them)
  9. Bridge to Terabithia
  10. Mirrormask
Win a signed paperback of the novel or a $25 gift card to Apple, Amazon, or B&N!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Free Book: "Piggy" by Brit C. Ward

Emma James was the last victim of the child molester named Paul Peterson, aka "Piggy." For years, she has lived with that horrible night haunting her memories. But just as she's coming to terms with her pain, she meets Justice Peterson, Piggy's daughter. Eight years after Paul "Piggy" Peterson's death, Emma is reminded of her past. But is it possible that she's found an unlikely friend in Justice? And who out there would disapprove of this new friendship?

Looking for a new book to read? Brit Ward's "Piggy" is currently available for free on Amazon. This is a great book! Check out the review I did of "Piggy" (and feel free to write one too when you read it) and an interview with Brit. And enjoy and excerpt from the book below: 

Chapter One  
     The James family walked along the beach, young Emma James between her parents, her hands each held in one of theirs.
     Emma rushed ahead, letting go of her parents' hands and laughing. Barefoot, she took a big jump, letting her little feet plop into the water. This made her giggle. She enjoyed the feel of her feet hitting the soft, wet sand. She loved the sound of the water rolling up the beach. She could feel the wet sand push up between her toes. She wiggled her toes because it felt like the only thing to do at that exact moment.
     She looked back at her parents who both watched her with approving eyes. She gave them a big smile. Emma was only just old enough to understand the concept of a family vacation, but she was enjoying every minute of it.
     She couldn't imagine being sad right then. She wanted to live on the beach, even though she knew she couldn't. If she could, she would have a big house, so huge that she could have a gazillion parties in it, not just her birthday party, but a birthday celebration for everyone that she knew, and hopefully they could have a party every day. They would just fill the empty days when there weren’t enough birthdays to go around. They could all go to the beach and run around after cake and presents. It would be amazing.
     Oh, well, she thought. She would enjoy the beach while it lasted. She would enjoy being in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Or at least that she'd seen for all of her six years. Nothing could go wrong on a perfect family vacation.

*    *    *

     “Please don't cry,” he says to the young girl. He moves to sit next to her on the bed, but she sits absolutely still. She tries to go to find a happy place in her mind. She tries to remember what the beach sounded like. She loves the sound of waves and water. She likes the size of the ocean, how much space it had.
     She wishes he would turn the faucet off completely. The sound makes her fear worse.
     He puts his hand on her shoulder and she wants to throw up. She wants to scream, but doesn't. She wants to call for mommy and daddy but they aren't close enough to her to save her. No one can save her.
     She’s confused because she knows all of this is wrong. But she doesn’t know how to act.
*    *    *

     His name was Piggy. His actual name was Paul Peterson, but no one remembered where the name Piggy came from. The thought was that, in high school, someone started calling him Piggy and it stuck. His only memory of this was that it might have had something to do with Lord of the Flies. Piggy was overweight like his namesake in the book, so he figured for the better part of his adult life there might have been a connection.

*    *    *

     “I brought you this book. It'll make you feel better. It'll make you feel much better.” But she doesn't believe him. She just wants to leave.
     He decides he's going to read it to her. He realizes she's not listening.

*    *    *

     Of course, he had a hard time imagining any of his high school class actually reading any of the assigned books in English. Most of them engaged in the sort of activity and behavior that he himself was never able to do during that stage of his life, even if he'd wanted to. But Piggy never watched his fellow students with any need or desire to join in their youthful depravities. He'd save his own problems for later in life.

*    *    *

     “We can be friends. Good friends. Don't you trust me?” She shakes her head.
     He looks angry for a moment, but he doesn't yell. Instead, in this small room that seems too small for a man as fat as him, he gets up and walks to a different wall. He puts his hand on the wall and looks down at the floor.
     Is he crying?
     She still doesn't look at him. She doesn't want to. Because she knows everything that has happened was horrible.

*    *    *

     Piggy had a daughter named Justice. There were pictures of he and baby Justice, along with his wife, and from all accounts they must have been a happy family. He and his first wife, Annabelle, were married only a short time before he'd commit a horrible act that led to their divorce, when Justice was still very young.
    Much later, he'd start seeing a woman named Suzanne. There was a point, while with Suzanne, that Piggy would work hard to try and fix his life. But it never worked. His life would end when he put the barrel of a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

     *    *    *

     “You're such a pretty, little girl.”
     He keeps saying it like he’s he trying to remind her to make her feel better.
     “You didn't do anything wrong, you know? You're so full of life and so amazing. So you shouldn't cry. You should be happy.” He keeps talking, but she doesn't stop crying. She is scared of him and hurt and scared of what just happened. She wants to leave so very badly.

*    *    *

     Piggy was once convicted of child molestation, an act that far outweighed the moral failings of any of the sins of his peers when they attended high school. But he was convicted in a state where the state legislator was eager to try out more compassionate laws, laws that would try to rehabilitate the damaged criminal mind. Piggy was amongst the first test “subjects” for this little program. In lieu of jail time, he was able to undergo therapy.
     He immediately opted for the therapy, hoping that one day he would be able to see his daughter again and legitimately become a better person. He spent long nights during the course of therapy dreaming of the day when he could become a good father, someone to raise Justice without fear of his darker side.
     Upon completion of his therapy, he was heralded as a great success story. All parties involved made sure that the media was aware of his success. It was big, at least on a local and state scale, and the political machine involved was eager to make sure everyone knew what happened with this man. This brand new man.
     This was when he met Suzanne. And the connection was instant. She was a believer in his salvation, in his becoming a better person. They had a great relationship for several months.
     At a party featuring many political types, polemicists, and others eager to rub shoulders with important people, Piggy was invited to be shown off to all the eager eyes who joined in the chorus of singing for compassion over punishment.
     “Paul Peterson. Brave for taking this chance. A remarkable story of redemption amidst a horrible tragedy.” There would be those at the party that remembered state senator Jackson Willis' words, and would remember even then that his words almost sounded like he had no idea what Piggy had actually done, but was happy to take credit for Piggy's recovery since Willis' name was on the bill he co-sponsored.
The Willis family, an institution in their town, loved being a part of the spotlight, already heavily entrenched in everything going on, and in all levels of government in town and state level politics. Jackson Willis wore the smile of a man who had achieved a great victory. Compassion was the buzz word of that political cycle.
     Politicians always use compassion as a magnet for the votes of constituents. But politicians rarely know what it is that they fight for, even when their advisors hand them bullet point lists of the things their constituents would like them to say.
    Hollow words were spoken that night, hollow words spoken through clean, smiling teeth.
     Willis' own young daughter, Henrita, was there. And Piggy couldn't keep his eyes off of her the entire night. He put it out of his mind, as often as he could, but her image was in his eyes even when he wasn't looking at her. At one point in the course of the evening, he broke into horrible sweats as he kept staring at her.
     He knew it was wrong. He knew he shouldn't be thinking the horrible thoughts going through his head. But he couldn't stop himself from imagining.
     Would it be so wrong? He knew the answer to that thought. And yet…
     Henrita was precocious for a ten year old. She was open-minded and very curious about the world. She approached Piggy when he was standing away on the other side of the room. He nearly jumped when he saw her standing before him, her deep blue eyes staring into his.
     “You're the one everyone's celebrating, aren't you?”
     Piggy never answered her. He gave a few head shakes and nods at her deluge of questions. Eventually, he pardoned himself.
     He found himself in the guest restroom of this massive house. He wept uncontrollably. He prayed. He pleaded. He found himself talking to no one, asking for that invisible entity's advice. Then, he wrote a note to his daughter, with the letter titled “To Justice.” He found the senator's gun room, found a gun that felt right in his hands, and ended his life, as well as the party.
     The note was a very honest one, telling his daughter that people have to be held accountable for their actions and that he knew she could grow up to be a better person than he ever was. And it also destroyed the horribly flawed system of supposed compassion that Willis had been building.
     It was argued, by those who opposed the law and had found new voice, that little compassion was shown for those victims that were irreparably harmed by Piggy's actions. It was argued that there had been no justice at all until he ended his own life. Thank goodness, many proclaimed, that no one else got hurt.
     Rhoda James was a person who celebrated Piggy's death. She watched as the system in place, the system that was supposed to protect the innocent, failed the innocent, protecting him when her young daughter had been his last victim. Her rage was unmatched in her fight against the Willis law. Though there were many on her side, no one really matched her fervor, her passion, her hatred of Piggy and the people in power for the failure of the government to do what it was supposed to do.
     When Piggy killed himself and left that damning note, Rhoda was given the stage like never before. She was given a voice and she chose to use that voice as a tool to empower the system to protect her daughter and other young children from this sort of predatory act. She gave many speeches and addressed many people, telling them of the things she was thankful for.
     She was thankful that after the justice system couldn't deliver, the monster saw fit to do it himself. The fact that even he seemed to understand how horrible his actions were was very indicative that we all needed to embrace that same realization.
     “Quite frankly, I'm offended that people would even think to try and defend such a deplorable action.” She couldn't be more right, with there never really being much public support for the bill in the first place. But with a real life event that affected many lives sitting heavily on the public mind, there was no stopping what Rhoda was going to do to establish her cause.
     And she wouldn't start small, either. The support for her and her push was instant and incredible. Opposing politicians and normal, everyday citizens jumped aboard her push, and she found herself heading an organization that would push these ideals forward. Rhoda’s message to all was to protect the innocent victims. Her person message was something else entirely.
     It was the message she thought about every time she heard the name Piggy.
     “People don't really change. People just don't change.”

*    *    *

     He had asked her, “One more time?” He was pleading.
     She didn't answer, and now she sits very still. She waits for him to do something. She hopes he doesn't. He's crying now. He lays down behind her as she sits on the edge of the bed.
     Another drip.
     One more.
     The final one hits and she's suddenly filled with an urge that takes her.
     She runs. She gets to the door of the small trailer. She swings the door open and runs outside of the trailer, tears running down her cheeks, fear filling her chest.
     She hears him scream out for her.
     She doesn't turn.
     Don't turn around.
     She hears him stumble and curse. But she doesn't stop until she finds herself outside of the trailer park and into a residential neighborhood.
     There are no cars. There are no people walking around. No one to scream to. But she's not sure she can scream. She hurts, not just in her throat but all over her body. She tries not to think of why.
     Instead, she keeps running, hoping for something that will help her. She can't hear that man behind her anymore, but she's too scared to stop. To even turn and see.
     But eventually, she can't help herself. Her breathing is burning her insides. She's tired. She can't run anymore.
     She finds a dry ditch and curls up in it. She cries until she can't anymore. She can't sleep, so she just lies down until a bit of the sun starts to peak its face over the edge of the horizon. But it's still dark enough that she doesn't really notice anything going on around her.
     She doesn't see the police officer until his flashlight beam hits her. She doesn’t feel him pick her up and carry her to the police car as he calls in for an ambulance.

*    *    *

     “People can change. But they usually don't.” He’s whimpering to himself, all alone now.

 ©Copyright 2012 by Brit C. Tullis. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Author Interview with Sarah Elle Emm, Author of "Prismatic"

Who or what inspired you to start writing? 
I’m not sure of the moment I was first inspired, but I have so many memories of watching my mother write on her typewriter or on yellow, legal pads, and I recall having an intense desire to create my own story.  I was probably around seven years old when Mom loaded up her typewriter with paper and let me have my chance.  I didn’t get very far on that first story, but soon after, I wrote a few poems and then started journal writing until I finally wrote my first novel in my twenties.  Another inspiration was listening to Mom tell stories.  She has the gift of storytelling, whether she’s entertaining the people gathered around her dinner table or whether she’s writing words on paper.  Sometimes, Mom would tell us about the storytellers in our family, including my great grandfather, who had written down his memories of spending time with Mom and her siblings in journals.  In my twenties, I finally got to see those journals when they resurfaced in an attic.  It was really inspiring to see words my great grandfather, a man I never even knew, had written from so long ago.  Mom’s father, Grandpa Lloyd, was a writer also, and though he mostly wrote about politics and history, he wrote poetry as well, and he was a big inspiration for me.  I’m thankful to all of the storytellers in my family who’ve encouraged me to follow my heart and write.

Do you have a routine when it comes to writing?
I like to get started first thing in the morning, right after I have exercised and taken the kids to school.  During the school year, I’ll write most of the day, right up until I have to pick the girls up from elementary school.  This past school year was the first time I’ve had so much time to write since my youngest daughter started kindergarten.  When the kids were younger, I’d write during nap time and after they went to bed.  These days, I go back to writing after they’ve gone to sleep also, but when my kids are around, I try to give them as much attention as possible.  I do homework with them, play games, read stories, and play outside.  I want them to look back on these years and remember me being involved.  I’d hate for them to think I ever put my writing before them.  So basically, my routine revolves around them.  When I am really involved with a story and trying to finish it, I don’t take time to exercise or do any real relaxing.  During those times, I use every moment I’m alone to write, occasionally breaking for more coffee and snacks or to take my dog outside for a walk.

What is your favorite snack when writing?
When I get absorbed in a story, I have a difficult time pulling myself away from the computer.  I’ll set a cup of hot coffee down on my desk, start writing, and the next thing you know, five hours have passed, and I haven’t even taken a sip of the coffee.  When I forget the world around me and lose myself in my writing like that, it’s the best feeling ever.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen very often.  On normal writing days, I’ll get up for coffee and food every few hours, and I don’t have a favorite snack.  I’m vegan, so when I’m writing I prepare batches of beans and grains in advance, so I can just hop up, heat something up, and get right back to work.  I make a lot of smoothies and fresh juices, too.  Sometimes, I’ll prepare a few things in the morning, so when I want something, I can just grab it out of the fridge and keep writing.  Besides the foods and drinks I’ve prepared in advance, you might see me grab a handful of vegan chocolate chips, Doctor Kracker Seedlander crispbreads, or hummus and pita chips.

Who are your books marketed to?  Have you ever had a reader that surprised you (for instance, someone that you never dreamed would read your book)?
The Harmony Run Series is marketed to young adult and teen readers, however, I’ve felt strongly from the start that this series is one adults could read as well.  Fortunately, adults are reading a lot of YA books these days, so I’ve received some pretty interesting emails from adult readers around the globe.  I love it that people from age twelve and up are reading this genre.  The biggest compliment I think I’ve received to date, which was certainly a surprise, was my sixth grade reading teacher, Mrs. Carver, read my books.  She sent me the nicest email, and I had no idea she even knew I was writing.  She was my favorite sixth grade teacher, and I never forgot her.  My high school choir teacher, Ms. Miller, read my books as well, which was also very flattering!

What are you currently reading?
Well, I am getting ready to begin Braxton Cosby’s Protostar, the first book in a young adult series called The Star-Crossed Saga.  I just finished reading Corrie Ten Boom’s In My Father’s House, which I absolutely loved!

About the author:
Sarah Elle Emm is the author of the HARMONY RUN SERIES, a young-adult fantasy and dystopian series, released in May 2012 by Winter Goose Publishing. (PRISMATIC, May 2012, OPALESCENT, February 2013, CHATOYANT set for release August 2014, NACREOUS release TBD) Her debut fiction novel, MARRYING MISSY, an Amazon Best Seller in marriage, was published by Bird Brain Publishing in October 2011. Sarah is a graduate of The University of Evansville, she has lived and worked in Mexico, Germany, England, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has traveled extensively beyond. Her love of journal writing, travel, and multicultural experience have all influenced her novels. Sarah lives in Naples, Florida with her family. When she’s not walking the plank of her daughters’ imaginary pirate ship or snapping photos of Southwest Florida scenery, she is writing.

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