The Afterlife of Rebecca Ashford (TAORA) – The Ascension

This is the first in a series started some time ago called The Afterlife of Rebecca Ashford (TAORA). Rebecca is the main character in the Dark Ascension series. These posts are short stories (flash fiction), usually with drawings, sketches, paintings, etc. of things that Rebecca might have seen during the Dark Ascension series. All TAORA posts will be in Rebecca’s point of view and voice. Enjoy!

*****

I’m Rebecca Ashford, and this is my afterlife.

My first life ended the day my parents died and demons ascended from whatever hell they came from. I don’t know if it was the Hell or not, but I do know that creatures poured out of strange black portals in the ground and sky. On the news, Errol and I watched one of the portals open up over New York City. Black vapor and oily, black tendrils spilled from the openings as beasts large and small fell to the ground. The carnage was immediate. It was as if the drop and new setting hadn’t affected them. Clawed and rabid, the creatures slaughtered people in the streets.

TheAfterlifeOfRebeccaAshford1

I drew this a few weeks after the first portal opened above New York City. I’m not sure how many of them appeared, but they disappeared after some time.

Eventually, most news stations stopped showing the New York City maiming. But once everyone had realized that endless monsters were emerging from the portals, some people thought it was too important not to show. Thousands of home videos were posted online, and posted or texted photos went viral. Within a week, the event had been named the Ascension and the monsters identified as demons. This was also when most of the larger cities had fallen.

My family lived in the middle of nowhere, an hour away from the closest city, but we weren’t safe. When the Ascension began, Errol and I spent ages trying to call and text our parents and our grandfather, who lived in a cabin at a lake in Nebraska. Hours had passed before the local news showed cellphone video of a portal opening under Lillian’s, the biggest grocery story in the city and where our parents had gone that morning. Fat tears streaked my face, and I held my sobbing sister while we watched the grainy building break apart and fall in on its self. Beneath the rumbling and snapping, we heard people inside cry muffled screams of pain and terror while bystanders watched in horror. The demon portal swallowed Lillian’s, then the street, then cars from the parking lot. They slid into the glowing black hole, along with our family’s silver Ranger.

Our hometown became overrun with shadow creatures not long after our parents were devoured. Neighbors ran through the streets while little black creatures chased them. It was almost comical until the Scavengers and Scourge showed up. The people no longer fled in fear. Instead, they failed, and the eyeless Scavengers tore them apart. While the demons focused on their prey, Errol and I snuck to our tornado bunker at the back of our house. We heard our neighbors’ shrieks through the air vents as we held each other in the dark.

 

Cover Reveal: Numbers Game by Rebecca Rode

Today I have a special guest, Rebecca Rodes, with a cover reveal for her next book: Numbers Game. Isn’t it beautiful? Also, the story sounds awesome! It’s coming out in March, so get your buy fingers ready!

NumbersGame

 

Numbers Game by Rebecca Rode
Publication date: March 2015
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Treena can’t wait for Rating Day. Her high score will mean a life of luxury, showing the world that she’s a valuable member of society, not a pathetic waste of space. It won’t hurt her chances with her top-Rated boyfriend, either. But when the big day arrives, her true number shocks everyone.

To get her life—and boyfriend—back, she must go undercover and expose a military spy. Doesn’t sound too hard, except that someone seems to want her dead. And then there’s the mysterious soldier with a haunted past and beautiful brown eyes. Together, they discover a dark numbers conspiracy, one that shatters the nation’s future. They must band together if they are to survive the dangerous game of numbers—and the terrible war that rages within Treena’s heart.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24893016-numbers-game

 

RebeccaAUTHOR BIO:
By day, I’m a busy mom of four who struggles with housecleaning and cooking. By night…well, I’m still a busy mom of four. But scattered into those rare quiet moments is my life’s passion–writing. My first book, HOW TO HAVE PEACE WHEN YOU’RE FALLING TO PIECES, was released in March 2013. It’s a nonfiction quick-fix book for moms whose lives feel as crazy and out of control as mine does–and from what readers are saying, it’s fun and entertaining to read. I also write for Deseret News and KSL.com on occasion, and some of my articles have also appeared in Schooled Magazine. For a sneak peek at the first two chapters of my book, HOW TO HAVE PEACE WHEN YOU’RE FALLING TO PIECES, check it out on Amazon.com. Bye now!

Author links:
https://www.facebook.com/authorrebeccarode
https://twitter.com/@RebeccaRode
http://www.authorrebeccarode.com/

 

Brought to you by: ButtonXBT

Land of No Angels Aftermath

I was going through some of my work from grad school because I am going to apply for a PhD program later this year, and I found a couple of exercises related to Land of No Angels. It was so fun to read some things that didn’t make it into the book and things that I had written to help me understand parts of the book. I thought I would share a few pieces I wrote.

This particular piece was a writing exercise for a class (I believe the prompt originated from a book of writing prompts) and was supposed to be a short scene from the aftermath of Land of No Angels. In case anyone was wondering what prompted Fox to leave Crown Haven, this should explain it! Enjoy the Land of No Angels aftermath.

~~~~~~~~~

Fox slipped into the shadows of the altar room where he knew Errol to be. Even though she had only come out of her spell induced sleep three days ago, Errol had been extremely supportive to Fox in regards to his “little secret.”

“Why would he do this to me? To us?” a voice spat.

Rebecca. Fox had not seen her, let alone spoken to her, since curing Errol. Clearly she was still mad at him. He tiptoed behind the black curtains and maneuvered himself into a spot where he could see and hear them both better.

“I don’t think he meant to to hurt anyone,” Errol answered.

“He must have considering how little my feelings meant to him,” Rebecca said.

“You should talk to him.”

“Never.”

Errol sighed in irritation, “No wonder he kept it from you with how you’re acting about the whole thing.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“It means that you are being seriously ignorant! Don’t you think he feels bad enough?”

“No! No, I don’t think he feels bad enough! Not only is he…” Rebecca struggled with her words for a moment. She glanced from side to side, as though saying it out loud would jinx her somehow, and then whispered, “…a demon, but he also lied about it.”

“He’s only part demon. It’s not the same. Besides, he didn’t exactly lie… he just—didn’t tell you the truth right away.”

Rebecca scoffed. Fox thought for a moment; he wanted so badly to tell her that he should have explained himself the moment he found out. It was wrong not to, but the idea that he was part demon was not exactly an easy thing to cope with, especially during a time of crisis. Besides, was it really the lying that upset her or was it the fact that he had demon in him. It made him potentially dangerous and Rebecca did not like things that were dangerous, especially demons.

“That is the same as lying and you know it,” Rebecca said.

“Oh, come on! How would you feel if you found out you were half demon? I’m sure you wouldn’t go around announcing it to everyone either,” Errol replied.

“I would tell the people I cared about! The people who mattered to me. Besides, when have we met a trustworthy demon?”

“Don’t say that.”

“It’s true. Have we ever? No. Demons hunt us and kill us, or enslave us, but they do not love us, and they do not help take care of us.”

“How—How can you say that about Fox? He likes you. I mean, really likes you, and I know you wouldn’t be this angry if you didn’t like him too.”

Rebecca looked down; her face burned pink. As a few tears dribbled down her face, she said, “I—I can’t.”

“He saved my life. You remember that,” Errol said with vehemence that made Rebecca recoil. “He gave his blood to cure me, and he did it for you. Sure, he might not have wanted to see me die, but it was all for you. Don’t you dare forget that.”

Errol turned away and stormed off without another word. Rebecca sat with her hands in her face, sobbing and confused. Fox watched and forced himself not to try and comfort her. He didn’t want to make things worse, and Rebecca’s words stung him. After he couldn’t stand to hear her anguish any more, Fox slipped around the edge of the shadowed altar room and left unnoticed.

 

The Fated Soul Cover Process

Okay, everyone. I’m just too excited about this cover to keep it hidden anymore. I thought it would be super fun to show you all the Fated Soul cover process. I don’t know if you all know, but in a past life (or more like about five years ago), I was a graphic artist and illustrator. Now, normally, I contract out cover art because I simply don’t have the time for it. Honestly, cover art is my favorite part of publishing. I love buying premades, and I love working with artists on custom work. I’ve learned a lot about working with artists, which will be left for another post.

So, for this particular book, which is sort of a paranormal romance, I did hire an artist. In the end, I just felt that the cover didn’t fit what I wanted. Don’t get my wrong, the artist did a great job. It was more that it didn’t feel right. I’m going to use it for a tie-in story (short or novella), but I just wasn’t satisfied. I got inspired one weekend to design a cover myself. Again, I’ve done it professionally (as well as for some of my other books and stories), so it isn’t like I’m some noob.

FSoriginal

 

At any rate, I thought it would be fun to show the process. There was a lot of work and a lot of layers put into it. Starting off is the background (credited to Sirius_sdz) and the character. The BG is a combo of the same texture twice with some masking overlays. The model looks pretty red compared to the BG, but I’ll fix that later. The model is Ellena Wilcox, who was photographed by Cathleen Tarawhiti. Now, this model is gorgeous, but I did a little work to her, such as touching up the skin, lessening the stark highlights, and adding depth to her make-up and hair. Basically things to make her stand out.

FSstep3

 

So, here is the result of that. I brushed in some hair (mostly to cover up the areas that were too difficult to cut out from the original picture). On top of that, I played with the makeup color, too. It’s fairly subtle, so you may have to click on it to make it larger to see. You might have also noticed a small difference in the right arm (our left side).

FSstep2

 

The image I had in my head was of a girl holding an hourglass. She is an Exanimus, a keeper of the hourglasses of life. The story’s catalyst is a golden, glowing hourglass. I found the perfect model, but her arm was covered. It took me hours upon hours to find the right model and then again to find the right arm (credited to Mizzd-stock). With some photoshop magic, I was able to combine them into exactly what I needed.

 

FSstep4

 

And this is why I needed the correct hand/arm. The hourglass is one that I actually own and took photos of. I used a bunch of layers to make it look clear. It’s not as easy as you would think! Honestly, that was one of the more difficult parts of this project. The original hourglass was completely black, so I had to do a some photoshop magic to make it look gold. Also, it didn’t have a chain, and I always imagined the character holding the hourglass by a chain.

FSstep6

 

Notice there is now a chain in there? I had to add that since I didn’t have one of my own nor was there one on the hourglass itself. Basically, I used part of a silver chain (credited to Gothicmamas-stock) and made it gold and shiny. After all of that, I made the rest of the metal glow and gave it a halo effect. There is also some sparkling that is not pictured here, but you can see it in the final version. I even added tiny specks of sand falling because the ones already there were invisible.

 

Put it all together, and you get the final product! Now, some other things not pictured above include the step where I made the model blend in with the environment. Her skin now matches the background, and she feels more in her own space. Also, I changed a few contrast settings and gave the image a dark edge on the bottom. It’s probably not even noticeable, but I also gave her arm and waist a glow.

FSfinal

I do have the typography completed and all of that, but I’m saving that for an official reveal later on when I have a blurb that can go with it. Fated Soul is set to come out in late September or early October, and I’m so excited.

Work in Progress

I thought it would be fun to discuss my current work in progress and share some of the problems and successes I’m having with it. If you are wondering about the project I hinted about before (the one with the mermaids), don’t worry. I’ll be working on that one next. It had to be delayed for this current project because I couldn’t get this one out of my mind. I know, I know. Not the best way to determine what to write and when, but it was one of those stories that just wouldn’t leave me alone. I noticed I write much faster with stories like that.

My current work in progress has a working title of Sands of Fate. In the end, it will have a different title, but I’m the type who needs a title before I can start a project. “Untitled YA Paranormal Romance” just doesn’t cut it for me. That was actually the first place I struggled. Finding the right title is a big deal for me, but a placeholder title works okay for now. (Did you know that Land of No Angels started out as a working title and just happened to become the final version?)

This particular story has a strong theme of breaking free from an oppressive mold to do what is right. It also has a lot to do with death and coming to terms with it. Challenging our role in life and a lot of other things. Sands of Fate is still a paranormal romance, which is a huge change (and challenge) for me, and has a main character from late nineteenth century France who is now living in modern time. This has caused me a lot of headache. This character has watched people from all over the world since her death in 1906. So, she knows about a lot of modern things. How do I balance her original life between her modern one?

Honestly, I’m not sure. It’s tough for me to properly give her a voice. It can’t be a modern one, but how historical should it be? Balancing between a teenager who is out of place, but influenced by, the modern world is the key. I don’t know that I can really use things like having her require a chaperone when being alone around guys. Because of this character’s job, she has been alone around guys plenty of times. Her customs have been diluted by her job, so it wouldn’t make sense to have her insist on them.

One thing I have done is to have her interact with technology. Of course, that’s easy. It’s also fun to write about! On the other hand, there are questions that will come up: how can she understand English (Answer: her job)? If she doesn’t have parents, will people notice (yes, and it gets awkward!)? Will she have to go to school during her time on earth (no…that would be a different story)?  If you can’t tell, this story can get a bit complicated.

The last thing that I’ve had to think about is the character’s name. The idea for this story originated from an ink drawing I did a long time ago. It was of a girl-like creature who carried around an hourglass on a chain. The hourglass represented someone’s life. When I originally drew the picture, I named her Maeva. This is one of the reasons she became a French girl… But I quickly realized that this name wasn’t exactly used during the time in which she was born (1890). So, I went on a hunt for popular names of the time. The two I ended up with are Odette and Adélaïde. And now I can’t decide between the two. What do you all think?

Ebook Escapes Weekend Spotlight

So, Ebook Escapes has me on their Weekend Spotlight today in which I speak about the origin of Land of No Angels. You can also learn 5 fun facts about me, too!  It was really fun reminiscing about the behind the scenes of Land of No Angels. Interestingly enough, I was recently going through old blog posts, trying to find the old Dragon Dictate post, when I stumbled upon a bunch of really great entries I had written while earning my Master’s degree. For those who don’t know, I wrote Land of No Angels as part of my thesis project. Seeing these old posts made me think that my new readers would probably like to see some interesting thoughts and challenges I had while writing the first book in the  Dark Ascension Series. Below, I have linked to several entries that would be worth reading. Also, you should absolutely check out Ebook Escapes Weekend Spotlight. I’m not the only one there, and you might find another great author.

 

Researching the Post Apocalyptic World

Planning for the Apocalypse

What I Learned from the First Draft of My Thesis

Details, Details, Details

 

The interesting thing is that a lot of my thoughts on drafting, outlining, and even revising have changed dramatically since I wrote this book. There are still issues, of course, such as the fact that I still struggle with focus, but I have learned a lot about my own writing and the methods in which I complete the task of storytelling.

Win a Free Kindle Fire

I have some really exciting news! A bunch of awesome authors and I are sponsoring a giveaway, from which you can win a free kindle fire. Isn’t that awesome? So, if you want to win a free kindle fire, then I suggest you read this post and join via the Rafflecoptor at the bottom of this post. Before you go do that, though, you should check out a special guest and author of Soul Taken, Katlyn Duncan.

soulTakenSoul Taken

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After-life just got a lot more complicated

Maggie is a Soul Collector. It’s her job to transport souls from the Living Realm to the After – but during a mission to New England to find a stolen soul, she ends up stuck in a teen mean girl’s body.

Trapped, Maggie’s soul is catapulted into Ally’s life – and the human world she hasn’t experienced for one hundred years. But, as a descendant of the most powerful beings in the After, Maggie must rescue Ally before the girl’s soul dies…

To survive, Maggie must uncover devastating secrets – because with one soul taken by a terrifying enemy, Maggie’s could be next!

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Dragon Dictate Revisited

I’ve spoken about dictation software before in a previous post called Dragon Dictate and No Hands Writing, but I wanted to write an update because I have since upgraded to Dragon Dictate 3. Lately, I’ve been having some nasty pain in my hands and wrists, which are shooting up to about my elbow, so I pulled out my old copy of Dictate and thought I’d download it on my computer (it’s only about a year old). Yes, that’s how long it has been since needing to use Dragon.

Quickly, I discovered that DD2 was not entirely compatible with my current computer, and it was a pain to try to get access to the registration and serial number. So, after searching ebay for about two seconds, I found copies of DD3 were pretty cheap now with 4 just coming out. It was also compatible with my OS. Victory! I bought that like it was TP in the Apocalypse.

For the most part, some of the same issues from my previous review of the product have not changed at all. For example, certain things will NOT correct automatically, no matter how many times I try. In my current WIP, my MC lives in a place called Cava. I’ve tried training Dragon to type it right about 15 times and every time it messed it up differently. I’m only in the outline stage, too, so I can imagine this will bug me worse in the drafting stage. I almost threw a fit when it wouldn’t write my MC’s name. It’s Maeva. Not Maeve. Not “may have.”  Not “Maeve a.” THAT one was unacceptable. It’s the MC’s name. I can’t correct it every time otherwise it could be a LOT of correcting. Thankfully, Dragon was able to figure it out, and I haven’t had a problem since.

I have, however, found that the accuracy of everything else has improved greatly. I don’t think I’ve seen a single mistake that I didn’t caused myself. Huge improvement from when I used DD2. The other amazing news is that it works perfectly with Scrivener now. I’m not sure if it’s a combo of the two programs being updated or what, but I can now dictate directly in Scrivener without issue. It’s pretty fast, too. I did notice, however, that Dragon doesn’t like when I try to dictate directly in WordPress for blog posts. It works, and it’s really not THAT bad, but deleting is a pain because it deletes way more than whatever I had just written. Not a big deal, just a quirk that reminded me of DD2’s issues with Scrivener.

Finally, I’ve found that dictating for outlining is EXCELLENT. I outline heavily, and I can write between 50-200 more words on average in a 30 minute period, depending on how much thinking the scene requires. As I get back into the habit, it will probably get even higher. I’m not convinced that I will dictate directly from my brain to the page when it comes to writing the first draft, though, because the sentences come out clunky. But dictating is wonderful for my outlines. I can get out a lot more of my ideas without pain and with little effort. For the first draft, I will probably use a combo of writing by hand and dictating, if my wrists will allow it.

All in all, I’m so excited to get back into using Dragon Dictate. I think it’s going to make outlining a cinch and help my wrists heal. If you have health issues and typing for long periods of time really cause you pain, then I suggest trying it out. For those of you who have tried it or actively use Dragon, how do you like it and in what ways do you use it?

 

Getting Personal… The San Diego Fires

fireI don’t usually get this personal, but I felt like I needed to write about this… maybe to appease my own fears. Many people may have already heard that, yet again, San Diego is on fire. Why does this matter to me at all? Well, I grew up in SD, particularly I small-ish city in the middle of the county called Poway. For those of you who heard about the fire in Rancho Bernardo, I went to school at RB High, which is right next to where I lived and my family still lives.

Don’t worry, they are fine and haven’t been evacuated, nor are they even worried about anything like that. It doesn’t make anything less scary, though.

There’s fire in Carlsbad… which is where I worked only a few years ago. And, of course, the fire in San Marcos… where I went to junior college and even met met my husband. It’s just crazy.

I remember some years ago that the fires were so bad that people were asked to stay inside to avoid smoke inhalation. We were also encouraged to spend time in our cars or other places with filtered air. It was THAT bad. I also remember the one year my family and I had been dangerously close to being evacuated. Behind our neighborhood is a series of small mountains (bigger than hills, but not huge mountains). I was coming home from work, and I could see an orange glow creeping over the hilltops. Smoke billowed from the top and filled an already dense, gray sky. Thankfully, the fire still had to burn through the second set of smaller mountains behind us, so we had plenty time and security… but anyone who has lived in a place with fires of this nature can tell you that they have the uncanny ability to become deadly within minutes.

I remember a family friend’s entire house burned down… and some of the houses in this area are worth millions of dollars… but the kicker was that the fire fighters had literally been in front of the house when the family was evacuated. The fighters must have been called away or the direction had changed. But the result was heart-breaking.

I mentioned on twitter that fires are a lot like tornados. There are cases when a fire will burn every house on the block to the ground, but one will be left almost untouched. Fire can burn and grow at a rate that is impossible to predict or even comprehend. The aftermath can be absolutely gut-wrenching and tear-worthy. I remember one time, my mother took me and my siblings to check a couple of neighborhoods where my siblings’ friends lived because they had been evacuated and didn’t even know if their houses were still there.

This is one of many, MANY reasons my husband and I left California. A small reason, but it still was a reason. The ironic thing, though, is that we moved to the Midwest. Yep. Right into tornados. However, where we live now hasn’t had a tornado directly hit in a very, very, VERY long time. Sadly, there are very few places that are complete devoid of natural disasters in this country.

I guess I’m done rambling about this. Also, I feel a lot calmer, too.

Guest Post: V.J. Chambers Compelled

I have a really awesome guest today! V.J. Chambers is one of my writer idols. She’s an amazing storyteller and an awesome lady. There’s this killer book set she has out today called Compelled. It contains EIGHT complete books for $0.99! Isn’t that amazing? I’m not talking short stories here, guys. I mean full-blown novels of epic proportions. (Okay, maybe the books themselves are epic, but I’m exaggerating on how huge they are. lol) Also, the box set includes the first book in my two favorite V.J. Chambers series: Dancing Days (The Helicon Muses) and Breathless (Jason and Azazel). I also highly recommend Out of Heaven’s Grasp, which is another one of my favs. So, pick this box set up ASAP because it’s great and so is V.J Chambers.

 

boxedsetsmBuy it Now, $0.99 for Eight Complete Novels

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COMPELLED: a V. J. Chambers collection

Eight complete novels for only $0.99!! (You save $19.)

Dark. Raw. Provocative. Sexy. Tortured.

Are you ready to go to the edge?

In a V. J. Chambers story, love is searing… but it cannot be resisted. Stakes are high. Danger is imminent. Morality is gray. And characters aren’t perfect.

Read the first books in five different series. And get three standalone novels as a bonus!

For $0.99, you get:

Vigil (Standalone): NA Superhero Romance
A journalist intern finds herself falling for a mysterious, sexy masked man, but then discovers his secret identity is a rich playboy—who she hates.

Out of Heaven’s Grasp (Standalone): NA Contemporary about a polygamous cult
A young couple is torn apart by the elders in their strict polygamous community and must find their way back together.

The Killing Moon (Cole and Dana #1): Werewolf Urban Fantasy
When rehabilitated werewolves go astray and kill again, a tracker seeks insight from a man to whom she is perversely attracted—the werewolf serial killer who nearly murdered her.

Slow Burn (Assassins #1): NA Romantic Thriller
A college junior, in hiding from a corrupt shadow wing of an arms corporation, finds herself saddled with a restrained, no-nonsense bodyguard—who also happens to be jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

Frenzy (Standalone): NA Romantic Thriller
A college freshman moves into a dead girl’s dorm room and finds herself thrust into a murder mystery, owing money to the biggest ecstasy cook this side of the Atlantic, and involved with an attractive drug dealer with a secret.

Breathless (Jason and Azazel #1): YA Paranormal
A mysterious boy races into a teenage girl’s life—and soon she must choose between this boy and everyone she’s ever trusted.

Dancing Days (The Helicon Muses #1): YA Portal Fantasy
Fifteen-year-old Nora Sparrow has always relied on Owen to protect her and get her back to her home, Helicon land of the muses. But when they make it there, Owen’s protectiveness begins to seem… obsessive.

The Toil and Trouble Trilogy, Book One: YA Urban Fantasy
A young girl struggles to take over as boss of her mob family—while questioning the truth about her mother’s death.

Buy it Now, $0.99 for Eight Complete Novels

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Guest Cover Reveal: Relinquish

We have another great author here on today’s blog. Amy Thompson is the author of the Lost Souls series and is ready to reveal a beautiful book cover for the second book in the series, Relinquish. Check it out!

RELINQUISH(1)Relinquish (Lost Souls #2)

Regan had a life in Georgia. She was going to school, managed to make some friends, and even found a new love interest in Colter. So what happens when she can’t hide what she is anymore? When do all the lies become too much to handle? And how much longer can she hold onto her sanity, when Agro pushes her closer and closer to the edge of no return, her ascension to Elite?

Colter is beautifully oblivious. Wanting so much to believe that Regan is safe and Agro was halted, he ignores Finn’s constant skepticism at the risk of their friendship. Ignoring what is so clearly right in front of him, Colter passes off Regan’s outbursts of emotion on her recent trauma. Colter can feel Regan, his one exception to his retribution, slipping out of his arms, but fighting her to stay with him may not be an option.

With Colter and Finn at odds, and the newly formed alliance between Kaiden and Exile Max, will this group of Collectors be enough to fight off the new enemies and old threats that emerge in the battle for souls when Regan is broken and their group is on the brink of self-destruction?

The lost will be found, the Collectors will be exiled, and the Elites will reign.

 

amyThompsonAuthor Bio

Amy Thompson graduated from Randolph-Macon College with her B.S. in Biology. She currently works as a high school mentor and has just earned her M.S. in Higher Education from Drexel University. Amy is a self-published author of Retribution, a new adult paranormal romance novel that is the first in the Lost Souls trilogy. She lives in Southern Virginia with her family and two lazy cats. Amy Thompson is currently working on the next book in the Lost Souls trilogy, Relinquish and continues to be an avid reader of all things books.

 

Author/Book Pages
Website: http://amyrthompson.wix.com/author-amy-thompson
Goodreads Page for Relinquish: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21846685-relinquish
Goodreads Page for Retribution: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16170719-retribution
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amy-R-Thompson/127480004100347

Live Links for Retribution (Lost Souls #1):
Barnes and Noble (Nook Book):
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/retribution-amy-thompson/1115716599?ean=2940016653495

Amazon (Paperback):
http://www.amazon.com/Retribution-Lost-Souls-Volume-1/dp/0615734847/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1371660591&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=amy+thompson+Retribution

Amazon Kindle (eBook):
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DJA6FPC

Smashwords (eBook):
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/327433

Guest Post: Fractured Truth Blog Tour

 

It’s finally here!

Fractured Truth, the final novel in the paranormal, YA Fractured Light trilogy, was just released! Follow the blog tour to find out more about Fractured Truth and enter below for a chance to a signed copy or a $25 Amazon gift card!


Llona is determined to end the fight with the Vykens once and for all. All she needs is to find and destroy the Shadow—the ultimate source of dark power. But when she makes a startling discovery about someone she loves, Llona has to fight the toughest battle yet in this exciting conclusion to the Fractured Light series.
 
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Click the pictures below to find out more about Fractured Light and Fractured Soul, book one and book two. 

 

Click here to sign up for the Giveaway!

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http://www.amazon.com/Fractured-Soul-Rachel-McClellan/dp/1462111807/ref=la_B005RFFM9M_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396458040&sr=1-3

Special Guest: Yasmin Shiraz

On today’s blog, we have a special guest: Yasmin Shiraz! Her newest book, Accused, is the sequel to Retaliation, which is a gritty young adult novel. Here is a little bit about the novel:

 

Accused-CoverAn easier and more peaceful life seemed to be destined for Ahmed and Tashera when they left Washington, DC and entered Georgia Atlantic University. But when Ahmed is accused of a crime that he didn’t commit and begins to be tried in the media, his popularity plummets, his self-esteem suffers, and his dreams of playing college basketball disappear.

Meanwhile, there is a serial rapist on campus who has been attacking freshman girls at record numbers and forcing them to keep silent. As Tashera learns about the girls, she begins to close in on the rapist. But is the attacker too crafty to be caught? Will the state prosecutor ignore key evidence to instead focus on the fame that comes with convicting a high profile basketball star?

Tashera is beyond stressed as she divides her time between trying to find enough evidence to clear Ahmed while at the same time stopping the rapist who roams the campus of Georgia Atlantic. Ahmed and Tashera’s journey into a new life away from home is more challenging than they ever thought that it would be.

 

I quested Yasmin with explaining what her main character, Taresha, would choose in her Apocalypse Survival Arsenal. Here’s what she said:

 

Bottled Water – an unlimited supply that has been stashed someone safe like under a house.

Dried Fruit – especially dried apple and bananas. She wants to maintain her regularity and get some potassium.

An All – Weather Jacket & Pants – Tashera hates being cold.

Flashlight – Never know when there will be no lights. Plus Tashera may way to find other people who need her help.

Tent – Just in case all the houses have been destroyed, she’ll like to sleep in a tent.

Astronaut Food – Tashera is totally up for trying new food. She’s as tough as any astronaut.

Matches – She’s a total girl scout and could rub two pieces of wood together, but she doesn’t want to show off and would also like to use matches.

Hiking Boots – She likes protecting her feet.

Wool Socks – Keep your feet warm and dry.

Sleeping Bag – In case she sleeps outside, she wants to be warm.

Sunscreen – She wants to protect her great skin.

Sat Phone – She wants to be able to call people or be called in case she is needed.

Hat with a Brim and a string – Wants to protect her head from bugs, or protect her skin from the sun.

Bottle of aspirin – Just in case she has an ache.

A swiss army knife – She used to carry a switchblade as a tool for self-defense, she prefers the swiss army knife now for survival.

Lip balm – She doesn’t like chafed, chapped lips.

Pink Nail polish – She wants to remember what it was like to be a carefree girl every now and then.

The Bible – Since it’s the apocalypse, I guess Tashera will need to pray! She wants to learn about the miracles just in case one happens during the apocalypse.

 

YasHBD2013

 

Yasmin Shiraz is the author of The Blueprint for My Girls as well as The Blueprint for My Girls in Love. She is an empowerment speaker and program developer who has delivered programs and keynotes based on her books.

She is the author of the ALA’s Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers selection, Retaliation. She has spoken at over 100 colleges nationwide on topics such as empowerment, black history and hip hop culture.

She is an award winning film director as her film, Can She Be Saved? won 4 film awards including Best New film.

When not writing books, she produces documentaries for her company, Still Eye Rise Films.

Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads  | Google +

 

Accused-Banner

 

Resources from Write the Dream

I had the greatest time speaking at the Write the Dream conference today! My topics were about Cover Art and Layout & Design. The attendees had some awesome questions, and it was wonderful to meet everyone. As I mentioned to everyone, I have compiled a huge list of resources for both of the topics I spoke about. You can find the pages they are on linked below. If you attended the conference and gave me your email address, I will also send it to your personal email. And finally, if you have any questions regarding anything we discussed in the session, (or any other topic) please feel free to contact me through the contact page!

 

Cover Art Resources

 

Layout & Design Resources

 

I hope to see you all publishing in the near future! Good luck!

 

 

March 8, 2014

Write the Dream Conference

Coming up in March, the Write the Dream conference is happening in Kansas City. If you have always wanted to write a book or you are interested in getting your book in the hands of readers, then this conference is perfect for you. I’ll be there talking about covers and formatting, but there are tons of other authors who will be there to share their wealth of information. There is still time to register, so don’t miss this awesome event.

Write the Dream

Next Project Hints

undineAtSeaSo, I’ve been sending links to images that hint at the subject of my next young adult novel project. It will be a stand alone novel, which I know is a risk. As I work on it, I’ve been inspired by two of my favorite artists: Arthur Rackham and John William Waterhouse.

undineCrystalVaultThe first piece of inspiration is the story and art of Undine, illustrated by Arthur Rackham. He is a well-known artist who illustrated books like Undine and Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland. He is also known for fantastical and whimsical illustrations of the fae folk as well as fairy tales. His artwork reminds me of the ocean, and it is magical. This particular story, Undine, is about a water nymph who is taken in by a fisherman and his wife. She wishes to gain a soul, but in order to do so, she must marry a human. It’s considered a romantic fairy tale of sorts.

 

waterhouseMermaid

After Arthur Rackham, I am also drawing inspiration from John William Waterhouse. I enjoy his artwork so much that I even tried to replicate this particular painting during an art assignment in school. We were supposed to emulate a master painter’s work, and this mermaid was the painting I chose. I wish I could find the old painting, but it has been lost in my recent move. If I find it, though, I get a picture posted. At any rate, Waterhouse is so inspirational because he paints a lot of beautiful, flowing women and water.  (Can you sense a theme?) I love his mermaid, and the way he treats water is just so pretty. These are a couple of my favorites, but I do love Lady of Shalott and The Siren.

waterhouseMiranda

 

Another hint, and this one is really sad, but I never realized that The Prince and the Pauper was not actually a fairy tale, nor did I realize that it was written by Mark Twain. Please don’t think any less of me. I just never put two and two together. So embarrassing!

 

 

So, there are my hints and inspirations. Can you guess the subject of my next YA book yet?

 

Guest Post: Cover Reveal for Eating Sarah

Eating Sarah CoverEver since Sarah was young, all she could dream about was participating in The Hunt — a monthly event in which her people sneak into the nearby cities and villages to gather food. And in Sarah’s world, the food they feast on most is human flesh.

In the deep forests of the Rocky Mountains, Sarah lives in a community of man-eaters. With Fall ending and hunger running rampant, Sarah and her cannibalistic community are forced to change the rules of their Hunt. And with these changes come new risks. When her first Hunt ends in catastrophe, and one of her only friends is lost, Sarah is sentenced to work in the slaughter shack.

Among the dead and dying, Sarah is introduced to Troy: a man she knows she will be forced to kill. As her life crumbles around her, her feelings for Troy grow, along with the knowledge that, if anyone discovers her secret, she will find herself in his place.

With nowhere to turn, and Troy’s time running out, Sarah becomes set on leaving. But, in accordance with their laws, to leave would be to dishonor the family name and, in turn, cause their deaths. As suspicions of mutiny within the colony rise, everyone is watched and every move Sarah makes could be her last.

And then there are the bodies–the ones that are unmistakably their own, complete with missing limbs and markings that oddly look like bite marks.

Boundaries are pushed, allegiances broken, and the very question of what it means to be human is called into play.

SIGN UP FOR RELEASE NOTIFICATION for your chance to win a FREE copy at the novel’s release or to snag a copy at $0.99 during the New Release Sale!

Now Available: Becoming the Night

I know I’ve been MIA since shortly after Halloween, but it’s because I was working really hard to get this novella out into the world before December. Well, I was successful! It ended up having a Thanksgiving release date, but I messed up. Right after I published, the holiday happened, my five-year wedding anniversary happened, and then work slammed me with two fourteen-hour shifts a week. Insanity is my middle name, though. (Actually, it’s Rhiannon… but who’s keeping track?)

The point I’m trying to make, though, is that my efforts paid off, and Becoming the Night is now ready. It really turned out well, and I’m just so proud of it. Kit is my Eponine, and it feels great to tell her story. So, without further ado, Becoming the Night!

Becoming the Night
Becoming the Night
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With exceptional strength and the ability to heal ten times faster than an average person, Kit Cartwright has never felt like a normal teenage girl. Despite her best efforts to fit in and the constant prodding into social activities from her best friend Sky, Kit keeps witnessing weird phenomena wherever she goes, which doesn’t help her feel any more normal.

One night, she and Sky are awoken to the world going to hell with monsters that fall from the sky and ravage their city. Kit must journey through the chaos to reach her father’s fortified laboratory and evade a demonic hunter who wants her to embrace her dark side and join him.

This novella is part of the Dark Ascension series and features Kit, the tragic and feisty half-demon. It spans from before the demon apocalypse to the events that took place in Land of No Mortals.

 

Now Available: Nine Levels

Nine Levels is the story that I had planned originally for a Halloween blog post. Instead, I posted a short, unedited excerpt. The story just became too big for flash fiction. It was something pretty dark that I had been inspired to write based on some fond memories I had of my teenage years during October. The short story is now available at all major retailers, so please enjoy!

Nine Levels by N.R. Wick

Nine Levels
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Kelsey and her friends are spending Halloween night at the Haunted House on Main Street, their town’s biggest spooky attraction. They visit every year, but Kelsey never seems to find the thrill that she wants. This time, she convinces the others to attempt the Nine Levels of Hell, which is rumored to be so terrifying that no one has ever made it all the way through. When one of her friends is kidnapped and another is found dead, Kelsey and her remaining comrades must escape before they are caught by a crazed chainsaw man.

**Nine Levels is a young adult short story of approximately 3,700 words or 13 pages.**

 

YA Week of Creep Giveaway Winner!

tombstones

I hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween/Samhain on Thursday! I spent the evening teaching and gave my students a themed writing prompt. The posts were really fun to read! Because I live in an apartment, we really don’t get trick or treaters or anything like that, but it was a nice evening to watch some horror movies and relax with my Husband.

I realized that I didn’t post the winner of the Week of Creep giveaway, even though I did contact her. So, without further ado, the winner is…

Natalie E.K.

Her prizes have been sent and shipped! I want to thank everyone who participated, though! I hope you all had fun, and I’m thinking that next year, I may have a super huge giveaway with an epic grand prize… like an actual Kindle, or something. So, I hope you all will join in next year!

On a completely different note, while I wait for my editor to return the Nine Levels manuscript to me with mass amounts of corrections, I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo. If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it’s basically a contest where writers try to complete a 50,000-word novel in one month. I’ve tried to “win” off and on for quite a long time, but never seem to reach the goal. Usually, I found excuses to stop half way through, or I’d get behind right off the bat and just ignore it the rest of the month. Terrible, really. This time, though, I’ve been keeping it somewhat to myself and just plugging along with my word goals. It’s only been two days, but I’ve reached my goals and then some. On top of that, I’ve been fairly motivated and consistent, which is probably because I’m working on a project that I know I will eventually publish. This is the first year I truly feel motivated and that I might succeed.

Let me know if you are joining NaNoWriMo and if you want to be buddies on the site!