Posted in Guest Author, Guest interview, promotion, Uncategorized

Please welcome Chelsea Ichaso and her debut novel!

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. Today, I thought I’d give you a break and share some exciting news! A colleague of mine is getting published! Her debut novel is up for pre-order and I thought this would be a great time to share it with all of you! So, without further ado, here’s my interview with up and coming author Chelsea Ichaso. Take it away Chelsea!

 

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  • What inspired you to write this story?

I used to teach high school English, and one of the books in our curriculum was A Separate Peace by John Knowles. It’s about two prep school boys whose friendship is torn apart by jealousy. It’s such a painful story, but also one that I feel like everyone can relate to on some level. One day, I thought about what it might look like if a close friendship were destroyed by a crime, rather than jealousy. Eventually, this idea developed into Little Creeping Things.

 

  • Why did you choose this genre?

 

YA mystery-thriller was the genre that really lent itself to the type of story I wanted to tell. It started off as more of a suspense idea that took on twists and turns and a cast of suspects. At that point, I knew I had a full-fledged mystery on my hands. Luckily, mystery-thriller is one of my favorite genres to read and watch. Now, it’s also my favorite genre to write.

 

  • Tell us about your writing process.

Once I have a new concept, I take a clean notebook and scribble down all my thoughts in streams of consciousness fashion. I end up with anywhere between ten and thirty handwritten pages. Then I try to hone in on the valuable sections of those notes by making a more condensed version. It’s a complete mess, but it works for me. If there’s an evident piece of the puzzle that isn’t fitting, I find a clean page and list any and every solution until something sticks.

When I have a mostly fleshed-out plot, I get on the computer and type a chapter-by-chapter outline. I don’t use formal beat sheets, but my outline will hit on all of the important elements of story structure. I find it easier to add and rearrange parts as I go when the outline is a Word doc rather than handwritten. Once I’m happy with the outline, I save it as a new document and draft right on top of it, deleting sections as they go from bullet points to complete chapters. When the outline has completely disappeared, the novel is done.

 

  • Do you have a favorite place to write?

I love coffee shops for a change of scenery. My desk at home is nice, but sometimes being out of the house allows my brain to recharge because the normal distractions of home aren’t there. And good coffee certainly doesn’t hurt the writing process.

 

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

I have to be in the right state of mind to come up with an idea. If not, I just get frustrated and waste a lot of time trying to force it. When I feel ready, my process for attacking writer’s block is similar to how I begin a book. I sit and scribble in a notebook for hours until I land on something that excites me. There are also plenty of times that I’ve come up with ideas while traveling. Sitting in a car or on a plane is the perfect time to brainstorm. My husband is not a writer, but he and I will take turns pitching story ideas, the more bizarre the better. Sometimes, the tiniest grain of an idea will come out of those sessions and evolve into workable concept.

 

  • What are your hobbies?

I love to read (probably not a huge surprise). I also play soccer. My husband and I are on a co-ed team together, and all three of our kids play. Watching the little ones on the weekends is one of my favorite pastimes.

 

  • What are you working on next?

I’m in the editing stages of my second YA thriller. I can’t say much about it yet, but there will be plenty of secrets and lies. I’m also working on a few projects in different genres and age categories because I like to juggle manuscripts. When one draft goes off to my critique partners, I do a round of revisions or begin to draft something else.

 

  • Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m definitely a plotter. I find it very difficult to write thrillers without any plotting. My outlines aren’t extremely detailed, but I know the basic shape of my books ahead of time. I know the major twists. That said, I love it when a new character development or level to the story arises as I’m drafting, and I always allow myself room to improvise. Some of my favorite scenes and twists originated in the spur of the moment.

 

  • What is your favorite book?

It’s impossible to choose, so I’ll list a few. Bird Box by Josh Mallerman is my favorite horror novel. I’m hard to scare, but this one had me genuinely creeped out. I love The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins and Shadow and Bone (the entire Grisha trilogy, really) by Leigh Bardugo. A fantastic mystery I read recently was In the Woods by Tana French.

 

10) What is your favorite food?

In and Out Burger. I’ve heard this is a west coast thing, so if you don’t live out here and you get a chance to visit, you absolutely must try it.

Thanks, Chelsea! Now a here’s the cover and blurb of her debut novel and I must say, I’m going to be reading this one very soon!

 

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Blurb/Praise:

PRAISE FOR LITTLE CREEPING THINGS
“Everyone’s a suspect, and no one is safe, in this twisty debut from a compelling new voice in YA, Chelsea Ichaso. Don’t miss it!”–Kit Frick, author of See All the StarsAll Eyes on Us, and I Killed Zoe Spanos

Little Creeping Things is a stunning debut in every sense of the word. From the chilling opening pages to the jaw-dropping final reveal, the pacing is relentless, the twists dizzying. Cass is the best kind of unreliable narrator, delightfully acerbic and hopelessly sincere even when she isn’t telling the truth. Chelsea Ichaso has without a doubt written the breakout thriller of the year.”–Dana Mele, author of People Like Us

Little Creeping Things, with its cast of creepy and untrustworthy characters, will satisfy the appetites of all manner of mystery fans.”–Booklist

“The reveal…is both well earned and eerie.”–Kirkus Reviews

“Ichaso’s debut is a riveting whodunnit… a psychological thriller worthy of mystery aficionados.”–School Library Journal 

When she was a child, Cassidy Pratt accidentally started a fire that killed her neighbor. She’s pretty sure she didn’t mean to do it, and she’d give anything to forget that awful day. But her town’s bullies, particularly the cruel and beautiful Melody Davenport, have never let her live it down. In Melody’s eyes, Cassidy is a murderer and always will be.

Then Melody goes missing, and Cassidy thinks she may have information about what happened. She knows she should go to the cops, but she recently joked about how much she’d like to get rid of Melody. She even planned the perfect way to do it. And then she gets a chilling text from an unknown number: I’m so glad we’re in this together.

Now it’s up to Cassidy to figure out what’s really going on before the truth behind Melody’s disappearance sets the whole town ablaze.

To order Chelsea’s book, click on one of the links below.

 

Chelseaichaso.com

 

Amazon Link

 

Thanks Cheslea for being a guest today! I’m looking forward to reading your book!

 

 

Posted in Guest Author

Please welcome Su Williams as she shares her Novel “Dream Weaver” with us!

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’ve got Su Williams here today and she’s telling us a little about herself and her writing process and then we’ve got an excerpt from her novel “Dream Weaver”. Let’s give her a warm welcome!

Take it away Su!

me n tink 
1)    How long have you been writing, Su?
I’ve written little things most of my life. Poems, short stories, Sunday school lessons…but I never believed I was capable of writing a book until about five years ago. I finished the Twilight Saga and said, ‘I can do that.’ So I did.
 
2)    Where do you get your inspiration to write?
Life. What I write is paranormal, and not like ghosts and poltergeist. My immortals aren’t traceable by electromagnetic devices. But I wanted them to fit into the contemporary world as though they could possibly truly exist. I like to take life experiences, and people, and put a paranormal twist to them. I might hear a word or phrase that triggers something in my brain and I run with it. My family loves to give me ideas, though I don’t use very many. My Dream Weavers are able to lift  memoryprints off of objects much like forensics lifts fingerprints. That idea came from my son Josiah.
 
3)    What sets “Dream Weaver” apart from other books in the genre?
No vampires. No werewolves. No zombies. I consider myself fairly well-read in YA fiction. I wanted my immortals to be different from anything I’d read before. So that’s what I set out to do. Now, I have no issues with reading about vampires, werewolves and zombies. As a matter of fact, I’m on a bit of a zombie kick right now. I’m reading ‘Rot & Ruin’ by Jonathan Maberry and recently finished Angela Scott’s ‘Wanted: Dead or Undead.’ I just wanted to create something that I hadn’t seen done yet.
 
4)    As an author, Su what is your writing process?
I love this question. I’m what I call a ‘puker.’ Sorry, I know, nasty. I tend to come up with a scene and just throw it up on the computer…or receipt slip or post-it note. Then, I tie all the scenes together. That may not seem logical, but it’s a bit of fun for me. I may think the story is going to go one way based on one scene, only to find out, the scene goes somewhere else and the story is taking me in a different direction.
 
5)    How long did it take you to start and finish “Dream Weaver”?
I’m a little embarrassed to admit this…but Dream Weaver took me five years to write. I pitched the 62k word manuscript four years ago at the PNWA conference here in Washington (the state) and got 3 requests for partials. Looking back, I can’t believe I thought the story was anywhere near being ready for anyone’s eyes. The novel launched to 104k words and I pitched it again and got more partial and full requests, but it still wasn’t ready. So over those five years, I gleaned all I could about writing: how to ‘show don’t tell’; using active verbs; cutting the flab. I’m glad I have all this knowledge now to share with other indie authors that might not be able to make it to a writer’s conference . And I’ll have all that knowledge already as continue my story through the next two books.
 
6)    Do you have any advice for other writers?
Edit. Edit. Edit. I’ve seen so many self-published writers that haven’t. It’s obvious they have story telling chops, they just haven’t done the whole job. The biggest thing a writer can do is ask themselves ‘am I telling a story here or am I showing it?’ Anton Chekhov said, Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. Huge difference.
 
I’ve read several times that the two things self-published authors should pay for are a good editor (and not your high school English teacher) and cover art. And I agree whole-heartedly. You need a second, educated set of eyes on your manuscript to ask you the pressing questions. And you need a cover that stands out among covers and looks professionally done, because, as we know, the cover can sell your book. The story about my cover art for Dream Weaver can be found here.
 
7)    What’s next for Su Williams, the author?
Rock Star has been in the works for a couple of years. It’s the second book in the Dream Weaver trilogy. I hope to release it by the end of 2013.The research for it so far has been a blast! I got to interview band members of the all-girl AC/DC tribute band, Hell’s Belles. Such a great group of ladies.
 
Also, I’ve discovered I enjoy connecting and working with indie authors and encouraging them to be the best they can be, or reviewing a manuscript for them. I’ll be continuing my blog Dream Weaver Novels/Tyro Writer and conducting indie author and best-selling/award-winning author interviews; and connecting authors with info and giving them one more outlet where people can find their books.
 
8)    Who are your favorite authors and why?
I LOVE vivid, original imagery. I love it when writing is beautiful and poetic and heart-wrenching. The authors that I believe do this for me are Lisa McMannMaggie Stiefvater,Annette Curtis Klaus and Richelle Mead.
 
9)    If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?
I can’t imagine living anywhere without my Mom and Dad. And since they aren’t going anywhere but here in good ole Spokane, WA, that’s where I’ll be. That may sound strange to some…I’m no spring chicken…but in the last several years I’ve realized how precious and awesome my parents are and just can’t imagine going somewhere they aren’t.
 
10)           What’s your favorite hobby besides writing?
I absolutely love to take pictures. I have over 3000 shots I’ve taken over the years, most of which suck. But as I’ve learned how to use my camera, my shots have gotten better. I even got one picture published in a book called ‘Red Dog/Blue Dog; When Pooches Get Political’ by Chuck Sambuchino. And I love to take shots of normal objects from abnormal angles. I’ve gotten some pretty cool pics that way.
 
Thank you, Lisa for allowing me to visit on your blog on this crazy ride they call a book blog tour.
 

Now, take a few minutes and check out an excerpt from “Dream Weaver”!

Dream Weaver cover cropped final“Dream Weaver”
By Su Williams

Prologue

Nick
Incorporeal I drift, camouflaged against the shimmering snow, no more than a sparkling flurry in the wind, dancing just on the precipice of light shielding me from her–and them. I am her aegis, her defense from the darkness that presses in on her from without, evil cloaked from her eyes. I feel her inner darkness’ pull on her; hear it call her name.
Vivid images whose birth I cannot fathom–whether from within her heart, or tailored for her torment–still, after all these months accost her sleep and crush her soul. Yet, her screams tear the night and my heart less often than before. Surely, she is strong enough to endure some terror; no lifetime is without it. Such a gentle soul so tethered and weighted by so much loss, so much grief. I have mended what I can of her damaged mind without wholly purging her memories. At least I can dull her pain, callous her tender heart.
I know the unwritten code: ‘There are mortals, and there are immortals, and never the twain shall meet.’ Still, I find myself here, hovering on the fringe of the woods just outside the halo of light that wreathes her home. And they haunt the darkness, hidden within the shadows. I sense them, though not how near. I shudder at the consequences if they discover my presence. They would kill her, or at the very least brutalize her–just because they are able, just for my torment, the fresh nightmare of her torture a delicacy on their lips as they devour my memory.
They are changing, such aberrant evolutions we have found in their kind of late. Creatures so like us, spoken from the same heavenly breath, yet worlds apart. Their sustenance makes them monsters, even evil. They grow stronger pillaging the gifts of our kind and using them as their own and leave us worse than dead. For this cause, I feel powerless, mortal.
She knows nothing of my world, few mortals do, and it is only because of a promise and her safety that I enter hers. I vowed to protect her at any cost, with my life if necessary. And something of her draws me in, her heart to mine. It wakens an ache, a passion that long ago I laid to rest, deep beneath the sodden earth, entombed in company of my mortal life.
My heart aches with indecision. Should I go to her, risk her life perhaps to save it, or leave her be to strengthen from the terror?

CHAPTER 1 Going Under

Night terrors stalk my sleep and haunt me through each day. I am never free. Macabre phantoms, twisted metal, flames and the sound of my parent’s screams, their cries for salvation. And I would give it–if I could, were the realm in which I live and the terrors in which they died equal.
In time, my gasps for air and life abated. I learned to live without the press of suffocation on my lungs. At the least I was treading water with some hope of survival. But monsters strike even in the shallows, even when you’re feet from shore and almost standing on solid ground.
The subtle bumps of a predator, like a shark in the deep, reawakened the terrors. And I lived in fear of the jaws ripping through me and dragging me under, lost again to the darkness of terror. The darkness that has nothing to do with light or sleep.
I am Emari Sweet, sole survivor of a crash I was never in. The crash that claimed the lives of my beloved parents Zecharias and Jane Sweet. The crash that left me orphaned at 17. The crash I foresaw in the eyes of the State Trooper before the words formed on his tongue. Cold and hard, the words turned my
blood to hardened steel and eviscerated me. My soul twisted and shredded.
I lived with the terrors for many weeks after that. My best girl, Ivy, kept my body functioning, the basics for sustenance of life. She kept me Earthbound and alive when I’d rather have been neither. She guided me through an icy summer that tumbled into autumn like the leaves off a tree.
Adrian Rovnikov, my father’s best friend, my shrink since the crash, brought me drugs–antidepressants. But they are only safe in the right hands. In mine, they are death. So, before I caused irreparable harm, the pills went the way of dead fish.
Dreams of an angel with eyes of obsidian wound their way through the darkness until they finally displaced the terrors. His gentle hand calmed my writhing body, drew out the poison of the chimera, and guided me back to life. The dark-eyed angel faded as my darkness dawned into light. Yet, even when the terrors diminished, the torment hovered nearby, stalking my sanity, prepared to strike at any show of weakness.
Winter’s chill cast a mantle of white over Spokane. Trees wore shimmering nacreous cloaks that rivaled the grandeur of their summer dress greens and fall’s autumnal oranges, reds and yellows. The city lay calm and peaceful under winter’s frigid embrace and my heart still ached under the frost of grief. I hid it from all but the most discerning eyes.
The tumble of seasons brought more than cold; the real monster lurked in dark corners and phoned me at work, promised me pain and fear.
* * *
Daylight masquerades as dusk, the clouds heavy-laden with snow. An arctic blast extends its arm, balling its fist to bludgeon the car from the road. Brake lights flash a glaring red. The tires whir and whine on the frozen asphalt seeking elusive purchase. The wind flings the car across three frosted lanes. Panic twists my father’s face as the car fishtails out of control. His frantic hands, hands that can do anything, build anything, grapple uselessly at the wheel. My mother’s face is fear-white, her mouth a perfect ‘o’ that disappears beneath her small, stark hand. A wall of white emerges out of the flurry before the windshield, but not of snow. Cement. Massive and merciless. The shiny new sedan plows into the bridge abutment, lifting Mom’s side of the car into flight. Giant sparkling snowflakes of shattering glass fly into the air as the car rolls over and over. Metal screams and moans in protest. Finally settling on its top, the car slides across the icy black tarmac, a path of broken scattered pieces in its wake.
Upside down, my mother’s pallid face appears at her window. Violent crimson drenches her hair, a severe contrast against her spectral skin. Her dazzling emerald green eyes, my own eyes staring back at me, implore for my help. Pounding hysterically, her knuckles split and bleed, smearing the window in a web of red. The roar of fire drowns her cries, flames that now return the light to the day, and vanquish the masquerade.
Driven by panic, I plunge through the whirling eddies of snow. But I can’t get to them. I have no traction, my steps falter. I am prisoner to the freezing storm, powerless to save them; held at bay by the fireball that lights the grey gauzy day cotton-bright like summer, and sends seismic shockwaves that undulate the ground beneath me. Shrapnel of rocks and glass rain down upon me.
Exhausted and useless, I collapse to my knees on the caustic, sub-zero ice. The acrid smell of smoke and gasoline grows heavy in the air, searing my throat and nostrils. Like a pin-hole camera, the light etches the panic and fear on my mother’s face onto my retinas and deep into my brain. The blaze scorches my eyes, bringing my tears to a boil. Searing heat and the horror of looking into the faces of my mother and father as the flames devour them forces me to look away. My body finally crumbles onto the cold freeway, in exhausted agony. I crush my ears with my hands to block out the maelstrom. Their haunting screams reverberate in my ears, echoes of the torment resounding throughout my body.
The reality of my own screams awoke me. I bolted upright and clutched my head. My body trembled and rocked, soaked in sweat, as I manically searched for a thread of truth. My breath rasped from my raw lungs that thrashed against the smoke-that-wasn’t.
Comforting gazes from my black and white movie monsters centered my thoughts. Bela Legosi, both Lon Chaneys, Boris Karloff and even Vlad Dracul himself, with his large round piercing eyes, crowded the walls of my black and white bedroom. Vlad was the only true monster there, but somehow I found a strange compassion for the man, given his tortured history. My glossy companions brought my heart an odd comfort.
* * *
Ninety minutes later, I sat in Adrian’s office and debated with myself just how much to tell him. I didn’t need the ‘Emari, you should come stay with us’ lecture again. I’d proved to the Spokane Courts that I was capable in every way to be considered an adult, and was granted emancipation.
“Nightmares again?” Adrian asked.
“Ya think?” I wasn’t being disrespectful. We were just beyond fluff and formality.
“Any idea what the stress trigger is this time?”
“Um…” I squirmed against the soft red leather of his couch. “There’s this guy…”
A small conspiratorial smile crept onto Adrian’s face while I paused, contemplating.
“Uh, no. I mean a bad guy. He’s calling me. At work. Like phone stalking me.” I hated admitting even this little bit to him, but most of the time his psycho-babble really did help.
Adrian leaned across the desk. His eyes narrowed and deep canyons grooved his forehead. “And just what is being done to stop him?”
Great! Just what I need. ‘Protective-daddy’ mode.
“It’s all good.” I waved him down. “My friend, Jesse, escorts me to and from my car every day and Collin keeps one of the Loss Prevention guys in the department as much as he can.” Despite playing it off as no big deal to Adrian, a cold uneasiness squirmed through me like night crawlers.
“Is he only calling you at work?” The Doc was in full-on interrogation mode now.
“Yes. Only at work. But it’s weird. It’s like he’s watching me but the LP guys never find anyone.”
“Tell me you’ve called the police.”
“Sure, sure. Nothing the cops can do unless the guy actually kills me or something, though.”
Adrian sat back in his chair with a harrumph of frustration, the ‘daddy-look’ still plastered on his face. “Emari…”
“Adrian. Don’t even start.”
“Then why are you here?” he retorted.
“The night terrors? You’re supposed to say a bunch of ‘shrinky’ kinds of things to make me feel better.”
So he did. And when he was done, he walked me to the door. He gave me the usual ‘be careful’ and ‘buckle up for safety’ speech; something he and Dad must’ve gone to school together to learn.
Then he gave me his best fatherly hug. I had to admit, his arms truly did feel like the safest place in the world.
“See you for Thanksgiving?” he asked.
“Sure, Uncle Adrian. Kiss Celeste and the kids for me.” He wasn’t really my uncle. Just my father’s closest friend in the world.
“Of course. See you then, Emari.”
“See ya.”
I shambled into work after my meeting with Adrian. Ivy saw me for the zombie I was, so in contrast to her perky pixiness. Her ornery smile wavered as I drew nearer but she reined it in. She’d given up months ago with the ‘you look like hell’ comments. Visine and Covergirl couldn’t wreak miracles that big. She opened her arms and I stepped inside.
“You okay?” she whispered.
I stepped out of her embrace. “Sure, sure,” I said with a grin, and a quote from one of our favorite books. The marbled blue of her eyes softened into limpid pools, so vast any guy could swim in them. I tucked a wisp of her soft brown hair behind her ear. “Let’s get to work.”
She pinched my arm playfully as she released me. “Collin’s got LP scheduled in an hour, but Blake came early, off the clock,” she informed me as we sorted children’s clothing to reshelf. “Jess’s gonna be pissed you didn’t wait for him.”
Jesse DeLaRosa was the closest thing to a real life Prince Charming in my world. He was instantly likeable, flirtatious in the sweetest way, easy at being a fast friend, faultlessly kindhearted. His ingenuous smile lit up any room, a constant feature that graced his lightly bronzed face. He sang or whistled while he worked, no matter how mundane or dirty the job, a lingering accent, from his days as a child in Puerto Rico colored his speech. He was a couple of years older than Ivy and me, but he clicked with our dorkiness and we’d become best friends. He’d taken it upon himself to be my daily escort–even on his days off.
“He’ll get over it,” I told her, but inwardly I hoped he wasn’t too mad at me.
Every time the phone rang, it jangled our nerves. Ivy’s hand lashed out with the speed of a viper to
protect me from innocuous callers.
“You can’t field all of the calls, Ives,” I said after the fourth call.
“I can try,” she replied with a smug half smile.
The stalker wouldn’t call with Ivy present, and we both knew it. He would wait until she went on break, as though he had a bird’s nest in the middle of the department. He wanted me alone, separated from the pack, vulnerable.
Ivy reluctantly took her break and Blake haunted the racks. Despite my anticipation, adrenalin shot through me like an ice river and my heart banged against my ribcage when the phone rang. I watched Ivy’s shadow disappear from sight as I reached a quivering hand to the phone.
“Children’s Department,” I choked out. Collin instructed us not to give our names until this ‘situation’ was resolved.
“I see you,” the voice purred gruffly. I envisioned a lion crouched in tall grass. Rigid, poised for attack. His words were soft and succinct, as though masking something from me, but the smooth lacquered surface didn’t camouflage the menace that roiled underneath–like the delicate crust of cooled lava veiling the molten lake beneath.
Blake’s eyes locked on my face as he lurched away from a rack of boy’s jeans. They followed the silent nod of my head. The muscles of his line-backer physique hardened as he prowled the department.
“I’m sorry. What was that?” I delayed. My voice quivered with anger, to my dismay. I wasn’t scared. I was pissed. But I knew he would read it as fear–just what he wanted.
“Your rent-a-cop won’t catch me.” The lion’s throaty warning growl. His voice turned acerbic, his need to induce fear sparked electrically through the phone. “Nah. He’s not even a rent-a-cop. Not even a pathetic mall cop. Just some punk kid they hired to baby-sit the store.”
Baby-sit? Either this guy’s full of crap or he’s freakin’ huge. I was betting on full of crap.
He chortled at my unease, and I heard something familiar but untouchable in his voice. Like I knew him from somewhere–and that pissed me off even more. “What the hell do you want?” I demanded.
“Just you,” he said slowly. He sniggered again with a ghoulish glee and the line went dead.
“Damn it!” I slammed the phone down and turned with a start. A customer, a woman with a little boy about five glared at me with righteous indignation. “Oh. I’m so sorry. I just…it was…there was this guy.”
She harrumphed and stormed away, towing the boy in her sanctimonious wake. No doubt to complain to my manager.
So. Let her.
Blake shuffled up to the quad, what we associates at Cash’s Department Store called our customer service desks. “Sorry, Em. No luck.” He looked every bit the defeated athlete, his hands stuffed into his jeans pockets making his shoulders and arms bulge.
“It’s all good. He’ll get bored eventually and go away.” I hope.

Chapter 2 Haunted

I was prophetic, if not pathetic. The calls ceased and my stalker fell silent, not so much as a heavy breather. Perhaps he’d moved on to some other prey. Poor girl. Everyone around me breathed easier. But a specter of black ice lingered under the surface, chilled me to my core. Deep down I felt a dark and malevolent storm brewing. I wondered if I’d manage to survive it unscathed or if my entire world would shatter with the velocity of its fury.
* * *

Thanks Su for being my guest today! Su’s social media links and buylinks are below:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dream-Weaver-Novels/


http://www.dreamweavernovels.com


http://dreamweavernovels.blogspot.com/

Here are the buylinks for “Dream Weaver”:

Posted in Guest Author, promotion

Please welcome Author Rita Monette as she shares her debut novel with us!

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’ve got Rita Monette here today and she’s sharing some of her thoughts and her debut novel with us! Take it away Rita!

Rita-studio pic cropped-cropped

The Truth Behind the Legend

By Rita Monette

I read somewhere that almost every author’s first attempt at writing is personal. Perhaps it is a story from their past that has haunted them and needs to be released. But it also said that most of those stories don’t make it into the world. Once written, they sit on a shelf, while their creator moves on to more adventurous and exciting projects. I read this after completing my middle grade novel, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, and thought perhaps this was my cathartic tale that would go unpublished.

The Legend of Ghost Dog Island is indeed a personal story. I wanted to tell the story of the Louisiana Cajuns. Ask a child today about Cajuns and they may tell you that it is about hot food, or about shooting alligators (Incidentally, I started my book long before Swamp People over took the History Channel.) I figured there was no better way to tell the story than to start with my own childhood.

I was raised in the Louisiana bayous. My father trapped and fished crabs for a living, and moved our family three times a year in search of better fishing spots. Being new in school was common place for me. My father was also fond of telling legends about what might be living in nearby swamps. Perfect for a children’s story, right? My historical fiction novel, set in the 1950s, is told through the eyes of my ten-year-old protagonist, Nikki Landry. But it would be rather boring if she’d stuck strictly to my routine, so Nikki (braver than me) sets out to discover the truth behind one of the legends she feels poses a threat to her dog, Snooper. She gets herself into trouble more than once, and has many spooky mishaps and adventures, but in the end, Nikki discovers the truth and solves the mystery behind the decade old legend.

However, being true to my mission, I made sure to inject some of my father’s stories about the lifestyle and treatment of the Cajun (Acadian) people of his day, and about learning a new language… something today’s immigrant children might relate to. Heads up librarians! I’ve included an author’s page, which encourages more reading about the history of the Acadian people and their exile from their homeland in Canada.

I wish to thank Musa Publishing for believing in me and my debut novel The Legend of Ghost Dog Island.

Thanks Rita! Now check out her book!

legend coverMoving is nothing new for ten-year-old Nikki Landry. Her fisherman father relocates their raggedy old houseboat several times a year in search of better crabbing spots. However, their latest move has brought her to a mysterious bayou where she feels something is watching her from a nearby island.

Nikki learns of a local legend about something sinister inhabiting those swamps, stealing the souls of dogs…which would explain the strange howling sounds. Papa reassures her there’s nothing on the island but gators and snakes. He would know. He’s spent his whole life trapping and fishing those bayous and swamps. But Nikki and her new friends uncover strange happenings from years ago that may have started the old legend, and town folks aren’t talking. Then her beloved beagle goes missing.

Join Nikki as she seeks to discover the real truth behind the legend of Ghost Dog Island…before it’s too late.

Behind every legend lies the truth…but what is the truth behind the legend of Ghost Dog Island?

But wait there’s more! Here’s an excerpt!

Mama closed the door behind her. She knew once Papa got going on one of his tales, there was no stopping him.

The last traces of daylight seemed to disappear in a hurry, as if Papa had ordered it away. The glass globe of the kerosene lamp clinked. He touched a match to the wick and adjusted the flame until it filled the room with pale light and gray shadows. He motioned me to sit next to him on the worn sofa.

I hurried to his side, not knowing what spooky legend he was going to tell this time. But as scared as I’d get, I always enjoyed hearing ’em.

Mais, there’s a legend told around these parts.” That was how they always started out. He leaned down so the light from the lamp made eerie shadows across his face.

I rolled my eyes, determined not to get spooked this time.

“Folks say there’s something living out yonder,” he went on. “Legend has it the monster lures dogs to the island using evil spells. Then at the peak of the full moon, they’re turned into hollow spirits with glowing eyes.” Papa put on his eeriest sneer. “That there’s Ghost Dog Island.”

“Ghost dogs?” I pulled my knees up against my chest and wrapped my arms around ’em tight. My mind conjured up images of a huge monster with drippy fangs and dogs with bright yellow eyes. I thought about the feeling I had of something watching us. Was there really a creature out there? Did it have its eye on my best buddy? I shuddered.

IEEEOWWWOOOO-oooooooo! The howling sound echoed again across the bayou.

Thanks Rita for being my guest today! Your book sounds wonderful and it’s on my TBR Pile!