young adult fiction

Cyber Monday Giveaway Blitz!!!

HAPPY MONDAY!!
Enter Pavarti Tyler’s Cyber Monday Giveaway Blitz for a chance to win:
2 prize packs (US only)
5 ebook copies of Two Moons of Sera (International)

TWO MOONS OF SARA
In a world where water and earth teem with life, Serafay is an anomaly. The result of genetic experiments on her mother’s water-borne line Serafay will have to face the very people responsible to discover who she really is. But is she the only one?

You can find Pavarti online at Blog | FaceBook | Twitter

PRIZE PACKS:
A print copy of 2MOS
A canvas bag
A Pavarti T-Shirt
A copy of Hush Hush in one Fallen in the other
Shadow on the Wall Collectible Magnet
Shadow on the Wall Note Cards
Fighting Monkey Press Note Pad
Shadow on the Wall promotional post card

>Cyber Monday Giveaway Blitz!!!

>

HAPPY MONDAY!!
Enter Pavarti Tyler’s Cyber Monday Giveaway Blitz for a chance to win:
2 prize packs (US only)
5 ebook copies of Two Moons of Sera (International)

TWO MOONS OF SARA
In a world where water and earth teem with life, Serafay is an anomaly. The result of genetic experiments on her mother’s water-borne line Serafay will have to face the very people responsible to discover who she really is. But is she the only one?

You can find Pavarti online at Blog | FaceBook | Twitter

PRIZE PACKS:
A print copy of 2MOS
A canvas bag
A Pavarti T-Shirt
A copy of Hush Hush in one Fallen in the other
Shadow on the Wall Collectible Magnet
Shadow on the Wall Note Cards
Fighting Monkey Press Note Pad
Shadow on the Wall promotional post card

Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway with Catherine Ryan Hyde!!

>

I have a very special guest today–Catherine Ryan Hyde, multiple award-winning, bestselling author of 18 novels in mainstream fiction and young adult fiction. You may know her best from the book-turned-movie Pay It Foward. Since the blockbuster hit, she’s gone on to publish 12 more successful novels.  

She is giving away 3 copies of DON’T LET ME GO along with 3 custom handmade bookmarks pictured below today! Simply leave a comment or questions to enter.

Catherine and I live in the same area of California and met about a decade ago when Catherine gave a small, private course on writing. I don’t remember how I found the class and I didn’t know who Catherine was at the time, but it must have been fate, because Catherine gave me my first solid footing in writing fiction, a footing that has everything to do with how far I’ve come.

Catherine taught me how to write a query letter and synopsis and went on to show me how to immediately grab a reader and then hold their attention through the pages, and even after trying various other styles, I always came back to Catherine’s teachings because they were solid, smart and savvy.  Catherine’s instruction along with her industry knowledge was the foundation for the connection I made with my current agent and my first sale to an editor.

Moving forward, Catherine continued to inspire authors with occasional courses on craft-related topics and a “support-group” of sorts where authors from the area would get together and share their recent accomplishments or disappointments and talk over industry topics or problems. While I was in her class and mentioned my then-6th grader’s love of reading, Catherine arranged a visit to her class at the local elementary school to discuss writing. She has always been endlessly generous with her time, knowledge and experience.

Her writing is both poignant and breathtakingly real, her characters starkly realistic, her conflict biting and complex. I am particularly awed by her stellar craft in all aspects of storytelling and prose. If you haven’t read Catherine’s work, you haven’t witnessed raw, emotional storytelling at its finest.

I can’t say I’ve ever had someone I’ve considered a hero, nor have I ever admired any particular societal icon, but when it comes to writing, I’d definitely consider Catherine Ryan Hyde my mentor. And I’m thrilled to have her here today.

She releases her latest novel, DON’T LET ME GO today!  

GRACE
Ten year old Grace knows that her mum loves her, but her mum loves drugs too. There’s only so long Grace can fend off the ‘woman from the country’ who is threatening to put her into care.  Her only hope is…

BILLY
Grown-man Billy Shine hasn’t left his apartment in years. People scare him. And so day in, day out, he lives a perfectly orchestrated, silent life within his four walls. Until…

THE PLAN
Grace bursts into Billy’s life with a loud voice and a plan to get her mum clean. But it won’t be easy. Because they have to take away the one thing her mum needs most…Grace.

Catherine, tell us about your upcoming release, DON’T LET ME GO.

Don’t Let Me Go is the story of Grace, a 10-year-old girl whose mother has fallen deeply into drug addiction. Grace is almost entirely unsupervised when we meet her. She lives in a run-down, six-unit apartment house in a bad section of L.A., and she’s about to end up in the foster care system. Except one of her five neighbors, Rayleen, had some bad experiences in foster care. And she makes up her mind that Grace is not going there. And she pulls everyone else in the apartment house together to make sure nothing bad happens to the girl. And these are not the kind of people who would otherwise have been pulled together. They’re the kind of people who seem destined to live their lives apart. Even Billy gets involved, the neighbor no one besides grace has ever met, or even seen. Because he doesn’t go outside. And he doesn’t talk to people. And he doesn’t have a life, because he’s afraid of life. But Grace gets in where no one else can. And these five really disparate people team up to save Grace, but Grace saves them. Even though they didn’t exactly know they needed saving. But, looking back, it seems pretty clear.

What creates the biggest conflict between your hero and heroine?

I love this question, because I get to make a hero and a heroine out of a 10-year old girl and an agoraphobic ex Broadway dancer. But that’s Grace and Billy.

The biggest conflict between them comes in the form of Billy’s neuroses. Grace wants—needs—him to do these things that seem so basic to her. Like go outside. And much as she loves him, it’s hard for her to be patient with his shortcomings. But in time she learns to accept him more or less the way he is, though she never pulls any punches about the fact that she finds him weird. Well, most people would find him weird. But Grace doesn’t really mean it as an insult, which is why it works.

Why did you put these two together?

I just love exploring this oddball type of relationship. I love bonds between characters who become family even when they’re not related by blood. I love it even more when they’re not related by much of anything.

I like to explore non-sexual bonds, because they tend to be far quirkier. We know why people are drawn together if the people are two consenting adults. It’s a pull we all understand. But what forms a bond between two people like Billy and Grace? As a novelist, questions like that one give me a lot to explore.

Is there a message in this novel that you want readers to grasp?

The obvious novel (Pay It Forward) aside, I really try not to have any particularly overt messages in my work. I don’t want to be too didactic or appear to preach. I think it’s the novelist’s job to entertain, rather than teach. But, now, here’s the catch. I think it’s great when the reader learns something about the human condition from one of my novels. But I don’t want to be seen as teaching.

An old writing mentor of mine once said (regarding flashbacks, which many feel are to be avoided), “If you have to use a flashback, by all means do so, but don’t get caught.” I think that’s the point I’m trying to make about message. I want the reader to feel they discovered something in my books, not that I tried to force-feed it.

That said…I think the point I was trying to make in Don’t Let Me Go is that fear keeps us alone. But we need each other. It’s so easy to avoid each other, because it’s so complicated to deal with people. So fraught with emotional and logistical landmines. But what we lose in being alone is so much greater than the trouble we avoid. It’s the kind of lesson that could go right over the head of a grownup, while a 10-year-old kid could grasp it easily.

How do you keep in touch with your readers?

Any way I can. Any way they want me to. I have my email address on my website. And it’s my actual address. The mail comes to me, and only to me. I don’t have an assistant weeding these out for me. I just like to hear from readers. So I correspond with readers fairly regularly by email. And of course there’s Twitter and Facebook, and that’s another way readers and I can interact.

What are you reading now?

Second Nature by Jacqueline Mitchard.

What would you like to tell readers?

That it’s not a line when I say I like to hear from readers. I really do. It makes this a far less solitary profession. I love to hear what readers did and did not like about the books. I love it when people tell me favorite lines. I love it even more when they tell me about their own life experience as it relates to what they read. It means a great deal when relative strangers give me pieces of themselves like that. It has value.

I also want to tell readers to never judge a book by its movie.

Where can we find you online?

My website: www.catherineryanhyde.com
My blog: http://www.catherineryanhyde.com/blog/
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/crhyde
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Catherine-Ryan-Hyde/55974126195
Twitter: http://twitter.com/cryanhyde

I could go on, but…I’m guessing, armed with that, you’ll find me.

Here’s an excerpt from DON’T LET ME GO:

“Who brought you home from school?” he asked Grace.

            He sat perched on the very edge of his sofa, watching her look around his apartment.  Watching her peer at all of his photos again, as if she hadn’t just examined them the previous day.

            He couldn’t focus away from his lack of sleep.  It left his nerves raw, and feeling as though they’d been recently sandpapered.

            “Felipe did,” she said.  “That way Yolanda wouldn’t have to take off from work.  Because they don’t pay Yolanda when she takes off from work.  She can take off.  But then she just loses the money.”

            “And Yolanda is…”

            “My mom’s sponsor.”

            “Sponsor?  What kind of sponsor?  What does she sponsor her to do?”

            “In the program.  You know.  Like an AA sponsor, except Yolanda is NA.”

            “Oh, good lord, that explains a lot,” Billy said, wishing after the fact he hadn’t said it out loud.

            “What does it explain?”

            “Forget I mentioned it.  That’s me in an Equity waver production of The Iceman Cometh.”

            “I understood the picture better before you told me that.”

            “So how did Jake Lafferty find out I was going to be taking care of you?”

            “Oh, that’s easy.  Rayleen had to go talk to him.  Because Felipe didn’t want to come pick me up at school, because he figured Mr. Lafferty would give him a hard time about it.  So Rayleen had to go talk to Mr. Lafferty, and I had to go, because otherwise I would have been alone with just my mom, who was asleep, and then if the county came to check on me, that would be bad.  So I went along.  And, wow, he was really mad.  But Rayleen didn’t act like she was one bit scared of him.  She just told him Felipe was gonna pick me up from school, and he better just stay out of it.  He didn’t like it much, but he just sort of said, ‘Why should I care?  Do whatever you want.’  But then he wanted to know where I’d be after Felipe went to work, which seemed weird to me, because, a minute before that, he’d just said he didn’t care.  I told him a lot about you.”

            “Oh.  OK.  That explains a lot.”

            “You say that a bunch, did you know that?  What does it explain?”

“It explains why he came down here and asked personal questions.”

“What kind of personal questions?”

“Well…how can I tell you…if they’re personal?”

“Right,” Grace said.  “Duh.  Sorry.”  

“What did you tell him about me?”

            “That you used to be a dancer and an actor and a singer…”

            That explains a lot, Billy thought, but he kept it to himself.

            “…and that your name was Billy Shine, but that your first name used to be Rodney or Dennis or something…”

            “Donald.  Actually.”

            “Oh,  Right.  Donald.  Sorry.  And I told him your last name used to be Fleinsteen, but you changed it to Shine, because Fleinsteen wasn’t a dancer’s name.”

            “Feldman,” Billy said, suddenly even more tired.

             “Oh.  Feldman.  Where did I get Fleinsteen?”

            “I wouldn’t venture to guess.”

            “There you go talking weird again.  I guess I told him wrong.  What’s this one?  Is this you dancing?”

            She held up a framed photo that had been sitting on the end table near the couch.  It was indeed a photo of Billy dancing.

            “Yes.  In fact, it’s me dancing on Broadway.”

            “What’s Broadway?”

            “It’s a street.  In New York.”

            “It doesn’t look like a street.  It looks like you’re dancing inside.”

            “Right.  In a theater.  On Broadway.”

“Oh.  Is that good?”
“That’s about as good as it gets.”

“Too bad you don’t do this anymore.  I mean, since you loved it so much.”

“Well, look at it this way, Grace.  If I were still dancing, I’d be on Broadway right

now, and then who would look after you?”

            “True.  But that’s another thing I was thinking we could talk about, because if you were still a dancer—”

            “Maybe we should play the quiet game,” Billy interjected.

            “What’s the quiet game?”

            “You know.  The one where we try to see who can go the longest without talking.”

            “Ugh,” Grace said, putting the Broadway photo back in the right place, but at the wrong angle.  “Sounds really boring.”

            “I’m just so tired, though,” Billy said, leaning over and fixing the angle of the Broadway photo.  “I didn’t sleep last night.  I’m just not sure how much more energy I have for talking.”

            Grace appeared suddenly in front of him, bouncing up and down on her toes, her hands on his knees.

“Will you teach me to dance?”
“That takes energy, too.”

Please, Billy?  Please, please, please?  Please, please, please?  Pleeeeease?”

Billy sighed deeply.  Wearily. 

“OK,” he said.  “I guess it takes less energy than listening to that.”





Don’t forget to leave a comment or ask a question to enter to win:
1 of 3 copies of DON’T LET ME GO
Each with a custom bookmark
*MUST* leave contact email to WIN!
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of 18 published and forthcoming books.

Her newest releases are Jumpstart the World (Knopf, Fall 2010) and Second Hand Heart (Transworld UK, Fall 2010). Forthcoming is Don’t Let Me Go (Transworld UK, Spring 2011) and When You Were Older (Transworld UK, Fall 2011).

Newer novels are Becoming Chloe (Knopf, 2006), Love in the Present Tense (Doubleday, 2006), The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance (Knopf, 2007), Chasing Windmills (Doubleday, 2008), The Day I Killed James (Knopf, 2008), Diary of a Witness (Knopf, 2009), and When I Found You (Transworld UK, 2009).

Both Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List. Jumpstart the World was chosen as a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards. Love in the Present Tense enjoyed bestseller status in the UK, where it broke the top ten, spent five weeks on the national bestseller list, was reviewed on a major TV book club, and shortlisted for a Best Read of the Year award at the British Book Awards.

Older works include the story collection Earthquake Weather, and the novels Funerals for Horses, Pay it Forward, Electric God, and Walter’s Purple Heart.

Pay It Forward was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The mass market paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. It is still in print, and was rereleased in a trade paperback edition in April of 2010.

More than 50 of her short stories have been published in The Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, The Sun and many other journals, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog is my Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O’Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.

She is founder and former president (2000-2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation. As a professional public speaker she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with Americorps members at the White House and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.

>Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway with Catherine Ryan Hyde!!

>

I have a very special guest today–Catherine Ryan Hyde, multiple award-winning, bestselling author of 18 novels in mainstream fiction and young adult fiction. You may know her best from the book-turned-movie Pay It Foward. Since the blockbuster hit, she’s gone on to publish 12 more successful novels.  

She is giving away 3 copies of DON’T LET ME GO along with 3 custom handmade bookmarks pictured below today! Simply leave a comment or questions to enter.

Catherine and I live in the same area of California and met about a decade ago when Catherine gave a small, private course on writing. I don’t remember how I found the class and I didn’t know who Catherine was at the time, but it must have been fate, because Catherine gave me my first solid footing in writing fiction, a footing that has everything to do with how far I’ve come.

Catherine taught me how to write a query letter and synopsis and went on to show me how to immediately grab a reader and then hold their attention through the pages, and even after trying various other styles, I always came back to Catherine’s teachings because they were solid, smart and savvy.  Catherine’s instruction along with her industry knowledge was the foundation for the connection I made with my current agent and my first sale to an editor.

Moving forward, Catherine continued to inspire authors with occasional courses on craft-related topics and a “support-group” of sorts where authors from the area would get together and share their recent accomplishments or disappointments and talk over industry topics or problems. While I was in her class and mentioned my then-6th grader’s love of reading, Catherine arranged a visit to her class at the local elementary school to discuss writing. She has always been endlessly generous with her time, knowledge and experience.

Her writing is both poignant and breathtakingly real, her characters starkly realistic, her conflict biting and complex. I am particularly awed by her stellar craft in all aspects of storytelling and prose. If you haven’t read Catherine’s work, you haven’t witnessed raw, emotional storytelling at its finest.

I can’t say I’ve ever had someone I’ve considered a hero, nor have I ever admired any particular societal icon, but when it comes to writing, I’d definitely consider Catherine Ryan Hyde my mentor. And I’m thrilled to have her here today.

She releases her latest novel, DON’T LET ME GO today!  

GRACE
Ten year old Grace knows that her mum loves her, but her mum loves drugs too. There’s only so long Grace can fend off the ‘woman from the country’ who is threatening to put her into care.  Her only hope is…

BILLY
Grown-man Billy Shine hasn’t left his apartment in years. People scare him. And so day in, day out, he lives a perfectly orchestrated, silent life within his four walls. Until…

THE PLAN
Grace bursts into Billy’s life with a loud voice and a plan to get her mum clean. But it won’t be easy. Because they have to take away the one thing her mum needs most…Grace.

Catherine, tell us about your upcoming release, DON’T LET ME GO.

Don’t Let Me Go is the story of Grace, a 10-year-old girl whose mother has fallen deeply into drug addiction. Grace is almost entirely unsupervised when we meet her. She lives in a run-down, six-unit apartment house in a bad section of L.A., and she’s about to end up in the foster care system. Except one of her five neighbors, Rayleen, had some bad experiences in foster care. And she makes up her mind that Grace is not going there. And she pulls everyone else in the apartment house together to make sure nothing bad happens to the girl. And these are not the kind of people who would otherwise have been pulled together. They’re the kind of people who seem destined to live their lives apart. Even Billy gets involved, the neighbor no one besides grace has ever met, or even seen. Because he doesn’t go outside. And he doesn’t talk to people. And he doesn’t have a life, because he’s afraid of life. But Grace gets in where no one else can. And these five really disparate people team up to save Grace, but Grace saves them. Even though they didn’t exactly know they needed saving. But, looking back, it seems pretty clear.

What creates the biggest conflict between your hero and heroine?

I love this question, because I get to make a hero and a heroine out of a 10-year old girl and an agoraphobic ex Broadway dancer. But that’s Grace and Billy.

The biggest conflict between them comes in the form of Billy’s neuroses. Grace wants—needs—him to do these things that seem so basic to her. Like go outside. And much as she loves him, it’s hard for her to be patient with his shortcomings. But in time she learns to accept him more or less the way he is, though she never pulls any punches about the fact that she finds him weird. Well, most people would find him weird. But Grace doesn’t really mean it as an insult, which is why it works.

Why did you put these two together?

I just love exploring this oddball type of relationship. I love bonds between characters who become family even when they’re not related by blood. I love it even more when they’re not related by much of anything.

I like to explore non-sexual bonds, because they tend to be far quirkier. We know why people are drawn together if the people are two consenting adults. It’s a pull we all understand. But what forms a bond between two people like Billy and Grace? As a novelist, questions like that one give me a lot to explore.

Is there a message in this novel that you want readers to grasp?

The obvious novel (Pay It Forward) aside, I really try not to have any particularly overt messages in my work. I don’t want to be too didactic or appear to preach. I think it’s the novelist’s job to entertain, rather than teach. But, now, here’s the catch. I think it’s great when the reader learns something about the human condition from one of my novels. But I don’t want to be seen as teaching.

An old writing mentor of mine once said (regarding flashbacks, which many feel are to be avoided), “If you have to use a flashback, by all means do so, but don’t get caught.” I think that’s the point I’m trying to make about message. I want the reader to feel they discovered something in my books, not that I tried to force-feed it.

That said…I think the point I was trying to make in Don’t Let Me Go is that fear keeps us alone. But we need each other. It’s so easy to avoid each other, because it’s so complicated to deal with people. So fraught with emotional and logistical landmines. But what we lose in being alone is so much greater than the trouble we avoid. It’s the kind of lesson that could go right over the head of a grownup, while a 10-year-old kid could grasp it easily.

How do you keep in touch with your readers?

Any way I can. Any way they want me to. I have my email address on my website. And it’s my actual address. The mail comes to me, and only to me. I don’t have an assistant weeding these out for me. I just like to hear from readers. So I correspond with readers fairly regularly by email. And of course there’s Twitter and Facebook, and that’s another way readers and I can interact.

What are you reading now?

Second Nature by Jacqueline Mitchard.

What would you like to tell readers?

That it’s not a line when I say I like to hear from readers. I really do. It makes this a far less solitary profession. I love to hear what readers did and did not like about the books. I love it when people tell me favorite lines. I love it even more when they tell me about their own life experience as it relates to what they read. It means a great deal when relative strangers give me pieces of themselves like that. It has value.

I also want to tell readers to never judge a book by its movie.

Where can we find you online?

My website: www.catherineryanhyde.com
My blog: http://www.catherineryanhyde.com/blog/
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/crhyde
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Catherine-Ryan-Hyde/55974126195
Twitter: http://twitter.com/cryanhyde

I could go on, but…I’m guessing, armed with that, you’ll find me.

Here’s an excerpt from DON’T LET ME GO:

“Who brought you home from school?” he asked Grace.

            He sat perched on the very edge of his sofa, watching her look around his apartment.  Watching her peer at all of his photos again, as if she hadn’t just examined them the previous day.

            He couldn’t focus away from his lack of sleep.  It left his nerves raw, and feeling as though they’d been recently sandpapered.

            “Felipe did,” she said.  “That way Yolanda wouldn’t have to take off from work.  Because they don’t pay Yolanda when she takes off from work.  She can take off.  But then she just loses the money.”

            “And Yolanda is…”

            “My mom’s sponsor.”

            “Sponsor?  What kind of sponsor?  What does she sponsor her to do?”

            “In the program.  You know.  Like an AA sponsor, except Yolanda is NA.”

            “Oh, good lord, that explains a lot,” Billy said, wishing after the fact he hadn’t said it out loud.

            “What does it explain?”

            “Forget I mentioned it.  That’s me in an Equity waver production of The Iceman Cometh.”

            “I understood the picture better before you told me that.”

            “So how did Jake Lafferty find out I was going to be taking care of you?”

            “Oh, that’s easy.  Rayleen had to go talk to him.  Because Felipe didn’t want to come pick me up at school, because he figured Mr. Lafferty would give him a hard time about it.  So Rayleen had to go talk to Mr. Lafferty, and I had to go, because otherwise I would have been alone with just my mom, who was asleep, and then if the county came to check on me, that would be bad.  So I went along.  And, wow, he was really mad.  But Rayleen didn’t act like she was one bit scared of him.  She just told him Felipe was gonna pick me up from school, and he better just stay out of it.  He didn’t like it much, but he just sort of said, ‘Why should I care?  Do whatever you want.’  But then he wanted to know where I’d be after Felipe went to work, which seemed weird to me, because, a minute before that, he’d just said he didn’t care.  I told him a lot about you.”

            “Oh.  OK.  That explains a lot.”

            “You say that a bunch, did you know that?  What does it explain?”

“It explains why he came down here and asked personal questions.”

“What kind of personal questions?”

“Well…how can I tell you…if they’re personal?”

“Right,” Grace said.  “Duh.  Sorry.”  

“What did you tell him about me?”

            “That you used to be a dancer and an actor and a singer…”

            That explains a lot, Billy thought, but he kept it to himself.

            “…and that your name was Billy Shine, but that your first name used to be Rodney or Dennis or something…”

            “Donald.  Actually.”

            “Oh,  Right.  Donald.  Sorry.  And I told him your last name used to be Fleinsteen, but you changed it to Shine, because Fleinsteen wasn’t a dancer’s name.”

            “Feldman,” Billy said, suddenly even more tired.

             “Oh.  Feldman.  Where did I get Fleinsteen?”

            “I wouldn’t venture to guess.”

            “There you go talking weird again.  I guess I told him wrong.  What’s this one?  Is this you dancing?”

            She held up a framed photo that had been sitting on the end table near the couch.  It was indeed a photo of Billy dancing.

            “Yes.  In fact, it’s me dancing on Broadway.”

            “What’s Broadway?”

            “It’s a street.  In New York.”

            “It doesn’t look like a street.  It looks like you’re dancing inside.”

            “Right.  In a theater.  On Broadway.”

“Oh.  Is that good?”
“That’s about as good as it gets.”

“Too bad you don’t do this anymore.  I mean, since you loved it so much.”

“Well, look at it this way, Grace.  If I were still dancing, I’d be on Broadway right

now, and then who would look after you?”

            “True.  But that’s another thing I was thinking we could talk about, because if you were still a dancer—”

            “Maybe we should play the quiet game,” Billy interjected.

            “What’s the quiet game?”

            “You know.  The one where we try to see who can go the longest without talking.”

            “Ugh,” Grace said, putting the Broadway photo back in the right place, but at the wrong angle.  “Sounds really boring.”

            “I’m just so tired, though,” Billy said, leaning over and fixing the angle of the Broadway photo.  “I didn’t sleep last night.  I’m just not sure how much more energy I have for talking.”

            Grace appeared suddenly in front of him, bouncing up and down on her toes, her hands on his knees.

“Will you teach me to dance?”
“That takes energy, too.”

Please, Billy?  Please, please, please?  Please, please, please?  Pleeeeease?”

Billy sighed deeply.  Wearily. 

“OK,” he said.  “I guess it takes less energy than listening to that.”





Don’t forget to leave a comment or ask a question to enter to win:
1 of 3 copies of DON’T LET ME GO
Each with a custom bookmark
*MUST* leave contact email to WIN!
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of 18 published and forthcoming books.

Her newest releases are Jumpstart the World (Knopf, Fall 2010) and Second Hand Heart (Transworld UK, Fall 2010). Forthcoming is Don’t Let Me Go (Transworld UK, Spring 2011) and When You Were Older (Transworld UK, Fall 2011).

Newer novels are Becoming Chloe (Knopf, 2006), Love in the Present Tense (Doubleday, 2006), The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance (Knopf, 2007), Chasing Windmills (Doubleday, 2008), The Day I Killed James (Knopf, 2008), Diary of a Witness (Knopf, 2009), and When I Found You (Transworld UK, 2009).

Both Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List. Jumpstart the World was chosen as a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards. Love in the Present Tense enjoyed bestseller status in the UK, where it broke the top ten, spent five weeks on the national bestseller list, was reviewed on a major TV book club, and shortlisted for a Best Read of the Year award at the British Book Awards.

Older works include the story collection Earthquake Weather, and the novels Funerals for Horses, Pay it Forward, Electric God, and Walter’s Purple Heart.

Pay It Forward was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The mass market paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. It is still in print, and was rereleased in a trade paperback edition in April of 2010.

More than 50 of her short stories have been published in The Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, The Sun and many other journals, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog is my Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O’Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.

She is founder and former president (2000-2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation. As a professional public speaker she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with Americorps members at the White House and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.

Kick Ass Heroines & Giveaway with Beth Barany

>I’d like to welcome Beth Barany to the blog today!  Beth is not only an author, but a certified Creativity Coach and an EFL-instructor.  She is driven to help writers and authors get their message out into the world, gain confidence in their self-expression and discover how they can get noticed and sell books to their audience.

Today I continue my exploration of the characteristics of Kick Ass Heroines, like Xena!

Before I go there, I just wanted to say that I do value softness and vulnerability in women and girls. There is absolutely a time and a place for these characteristics.

I also believe we are all resourceful, and sometimes asking for help is the most resourceful, brave and courageous thing we can do.

More Characteristics of a Kick Ass Heroine (Other characteristics listed here.)

  • Can rally her friends behind a cause
  • Is brave enough to ask for help
  • Stands up and speaks out against injustice
  • Helps those in need
  • Isn’t afraid to do what it takes even if what it takes is a stretch, new, or scary. Especially if it’s scary.
  • Faces her fears
  • Honest to at least herself
  • Searches for the truth to best of her abilities
  • Owns up to her mistakes and uses that awareness to improve; feedback not failure!
  • Works hard to cultivate and maintain her abilities

I’d love to know what you think! Did I leave any out?! And what would you add to this list?

In my new novel, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, we first meet Henrietta after she’s become a hero, and worked hard for it, but she’s tired of that life. Persistence has definitely been a key characteristic in her success. And she’s going to need lots of stubbornness and persistence to accomplish what feels like an impossible task in this story.

Read an excerpt of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer here.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. Henrietta worked her a$$ off from the time she was a little girl to become a dragon slayer. Because she wanted to be a hero. But that seemed out of her reach. So she aimed for engaging in the King’s Army.

She didn’t know that’s what she’d become. She only knew that she had to go for what she wanted, because certainly no one was going to hand it to her.

ABOUT

Henrietta, the legendary Dragon Slayer of the Kingdom of Bleuve, can’t stomach the thought of one more kill. Yet, in order to save her dying mentor, she must go on one last quest. But will misfit companions, seasickness, and an ego maniacal king derail the quest for the healing stone? And will she be able to cut past her conscience and kill the dragon?

What are some characteristics to kick ass heroines that you like to see in the stories you watch, read or create? Thanks!

All who answer the question orc omment on this post are eligible to enter Beth’s July book giveaway for a copy of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer (print or ebook — your choice!) and the blog tour Grand Prize, Henrietta’s necklace.

Novel available here: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Nook, Smashwords.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, author Beth Barany has been making up fantasy and adventure stories all her life. It only took her thirty years to actually start writing them down, then grit and determination to whip them into shape. She writes to empower girls and women with her kickass heroines who have to save the world against great odds.

In her off hours, Beth enjoys cardio kickboxing, stick yoga, reading and watching movies with her husband, author and musician Ezra Barany, and two cats, Kitty and Leo.

For school visits and special presentations, Beth Barany can be contacted through her site at www.bethbarany.com. She loves to hear from her readers: beth@bethbarany.com.

You can find Beth online at:
Blog: http://www.writersfunzone.com/blog/
Website: http://www.bethbarany.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Beth_Barany
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Beth-Barany/102635213105386

>Kick Ass Heroines & Giveaway with Beth Barany

>I’d like to welcome Beth Barany to the blog today!  Beth is not only an author, but a certified Creativity Coach and an EFL-instructor.  She is driven to help writers and authors get their message out into the world, gain confidence in their self-expression and discover how they can get noticed and sell books to their audience.

Today I continue my exploration of the characteristics of Kick Ass Heroines, like Xena!

Before I go there, I just wanted to say that I do value softness and vulnerability in women and girls. There is absolutely a time and a place for these characteristics.

I also believe we are all resourceful, and sometimes asking for help is the most resourceful, brave and courageous thing we can do.

More Characteristics of a Kick Ass Heroine (Other characteristics listed here.)

  • Can rally her friends behind a cause
  • Is brave enough to ask for help
  • Stands up and speaks out against injustice
  • Helps those in need
  • Isn’t afraid to do what it takes even if what it takes is a stretch, new, or scary. Especially if it’s scary.
  • Faces her fears
  • Honest to at least herself
  • Searches for the truth to best of her abilities
  • Owns up to her mistakes and uses that awareness to improve; feedback not failure!
  • Works hard to cultivate and maintain her abilities

I’d love to know what you think! Did I leave any out?! And what would you add to this list?

In my new novel, Henrietta The Dragon Slayer, we first meet Henrietta after she’s become a hero, and worked hard for it, but she’s tired of that life. Persistence has definitely been a key characteristic in her success. And she’s going to need lots of stubbornness and persistence to accomplish what feels like an impossible task in this story.

Read an excerpt of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer here.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. Henrietta worked her a$$ off from the time she was a little girl to become a dragon slayer. Because she wanted to be a hero. But that seemed out of her reach. So she aimed for engaging in the King’s Army.

She didn’t know that’s what she’d become. She only knew that she had to go for what she wanted, because certainly no one was going to hand it to her.

ABOUT

Henrietta, the legendary Dragon Slayer of the Kingdom of Bleuve, can’t stomach the thought of one more kill. Yet, in order to save her dying mentor, she must go on one last quest. But will misfit companions, seasickness, and an ego maniacal king derail the quest for the healing stone? And will she be able to cut past her conscience and kill the dragon?

What are some characteristics to kick ass heroines that you like to see in the stories you watch, read or create? Thanks!

All who answer the question orc omment on this post are eligible to enter Beth’s July book giveaway for a copy of Henrietta The Dragon Slayer (print or ebook — your choice!) and the blog tour Grand Prize, Henrietta’s necklace.

Novel available here: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Nook, Smashwords.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, author Beth Barany has been making up fantasy and adventure stories all her life. It only took her thirty years to actually start writing them down, then grit and determination to whip them into shape. She writes to empower girls and women with her kickass heroines who have to save the world against great odds.

In her off hours, Beth enjoys cardio kickboxing, stick yoga, reading and watching movies with her husband, author and musician Ezra Barany, and two cats, Kitty and Leo.

For school visits and special presentations, Beth Barany can be contacted through her site at www.bethbarany.com. She loves to hear from her readers: beth@bethbarany.com.

You can find Beth online at:
Blog: http://www.writersfunzone.com/blog/
Website: http://www.bethbarany.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Beth_Barany
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Beth-Barany/102635213105386

Welcome Dale Mayer with Two Releases!

>Welcome, Dale Mayer!!

Freelance writer Dale Mayer lives in the beautiful Okanagan valley in British Columbia, Canada. She’s multi-pubbed in nonfiction but her true love is the stories that weave through her mind. For the past nine years, she’s written around the daily responsibilities of being a single mother of four and still squeezes in time to produce new fiction manuscripts each year.

In fiction, she writes taut psychological suspense with romance and paranormal elements. She has recently branched out into both mystery and urban fantasy books for young adult with the occasional vampire book thrown in just for fun.

Dale is here today with two releases in two different genres: romantic suspense and young adult.  She is providing excerpts from both as well as one Ebook of each as a giveaway to two random commentors.  Contest ends midnight 7/3/11.  So tell us which genre you prefer, what you liked best about one of the excerpts or ask Dale a question — any comment to qualify for the giveaways!

Young Adult: DANGEROUS DESIGNS

Description:

Drawing is her world…but when her new pencil comes alive, it’s his world too.

Her… Storey Dalton is seventeen and now boyfriendless after being dumped via Facebook. Drawing is her escape. It’s like as soon as she gets down one image, a dozen more are pressing in on her. Then she realizes her pictures are almost drawing themselves…or is it that her new pencil is alive?

Him… Eric Jordan is a new Ranger and the only son of the Councilman to his world. He’s crossed the veil between dimensions to retrieve a lost stylus. But Storey is already experimenting with her new pencil and what her drawings can do – like open portals.

It … The stylus is a soul-bound intelligence from Eric’s dimension on Earth and uses Storey’s unsuspecting mind to seek its way home, giving her an unbelievable power. She unwittingly opens a third dimension, one that held a dangerous predatory species banished from Eric’s world centuries ago, releasing these animals into both dimensions.

Them… Once in Eric’s homeland, Storey is blamed for the calamity sentenced to death. When she escapes, Eric is ordered to bring her back or face that same death penalty. With nothing to lose, can they work together across dimensions to save both their worlds?

Excerpt:

When she couldn’t keep her eyes open any longer, she dropped the book to the floor beside her, clicked off the light and dropped into a deep sleep – a sleep full of weird dreams and voices calling to her.

“Storey, come and get me.”

“Storey, come.”

“We need you, Storey.”

Disturbed, she bolted upright gasping for breath as she stared wildly around the room. Who said that?

No one. She was alone – and clearly losing it. Her heart banged in her chest as a film of sweat covered her skin. She took several deep breaths and tried to calm down. Talk about nightmares.
She shuddered and lay back down. It took several minutes to get her breathing under control and when it did, she started to get pissed.

“What the hell do you want with me?” she snapped in the direction of her backpack, the drawing safely secured inside. “Crap. This is too freaky, even for me.”

“Storey, is that you, honey?”

Her mother knocked on the door and poked her head around, the light from the hallway lighting the silver streaks in her otherwise dark hair. “Can’t you sleep?”

“Sorry, if I woke you, Mom.” Storey sat up, brushing her own jet black hair back off her face. “Just a bad dream.”

“That’s because you didn’t have any dinner. I checked up on you after the meeting finished only you’d fallen asleep.” Her mother’s fingers twisted around a dangling lock of dark hair, stepping further into the room, her Wiccan robes dragging on the floor. She bit her lip. “Storey, you have to eat. You’re already skinny enough.”

Bone rack is what a jock had called her last month. Looking down, Storey realized they could be right. Her hip bones stuck out to match her big elbows. And her body had developed to the point she just barely missed the skinny scarecrow look. Too bad. She might have been able to make that work.
“I’m eating, Mom. They had pizza in class today, so didn’t need my lunch. Ate that on the way home.” She had more important things to worry about anyway.

Relief washed over her mom’s pretty face. “Oh, I’m so glad to hear that. Sometimes, I worry about you.”
Sometimes? Didn’t she mean all the time? Was that was normal for moms? Then again, there was a world of difference between normal moms and hers.

“What time is it?” Storey looked out the window. Blackness stared back.

“It’s just about 12:30 am. Please get into your pajamas. You don’t want to be sleeping in those jeans.” She backed up to the open door. “If you’re alright, I’ll say good night. It is witching hour after all.” With a carefree grin, her mom closed the door.

Witching hour. Right. Only in her house. Sighing at her mother’s antics, Storey collapsed down on her covers and fell into a light, troubled sleep.

“Storey.”

She sighed. “What now, mom?”

No answer. She sat up and glanced at the closed door. Weird. She could’ve sworn she’d heard someone call her. Lying down again, she pulled her blankets over top, not bothering to get changed.

“Storey.”

She bolted upright. That’s it. Who the hell was playing games with her?

“Storey.”

Throwing back the blankets, Storey kneeled on her bed. “Who said that?” she hissed into the early morning air. Not trusting the gloomy light, she flicked her bedside lamp on, quickly scanning the room. Empty. “I am so losing it. This is nuts.”

Her gaze landed on the backpack on her floor. Her gaze widened. Oh no.

‘No, no. Hell no.” She shook her head, slowly at first then more wildly. “This can’t be happening. It’s a picture. Nothing more. Nothing less. I created you. I can destroy you.”

That’s exactly what she was going to do. She dragged the backpack onto her bed and opened it. The knot defied her first and second attempts, before she managed to pull the laces apart and yank out her book. “I don’t know what’s going on here, but enough is enough.”

She flipped to the last page she’d been working on and grabbed it at the top left and ripped. It wouldn’t tear off. She tightened her grip and tried again. It refused to budge. Scared now, she threw it on the floor and in a fit of defiance, she jumped on it.

And fell through the picture, through the floor even.

She went right through the doorway in her picture.

Romantic Suspense: TUESDAY’S CHILD

Description:

What she doesn’t want…is exactly what he needs.

Shunned and ridiculed all her life for something she can’t control, Samantha Blair hides her psychic abilities and lives on the fringes of society. Against her will, however, she’s tapped into a killer—or rather, his victims. Each woman’s murder, blow-by-blow, ravages her mind until their death releases her back to her body. Sam knows she must go to the authorities, but will the rugged, no-nonsense detective in charge of tracking down the killer believe her?

Detective Brandt Sutherland only trusts hard evidence, yet Sam’s visions offer clues he needs to catch a killer. The more he learns about her incredible abilities, however, the clearer it becomes that Sam’s visions have put her in the killer’s line of fire. Now Brandt must save her from something he cannot see or understand…and risk losing his heart in the process.

As danger and desire collide, passion raises the stakes in a game Sam and Brandt don’t dare lose.

Excerpt:

The shepherd’s low growl warned her halfway.

“It’s okay, boy. It’s just me. I’ll be taking care of you. Give you food, fresh water, and friendship. The things that help us get along in life.” Although she kept her voice quiet, warm, and even toned, the growl remained the same.

She couldn’t blame him.

He might be able to get along without friendships, but she wanted them. She’d never had that elusive element that others took for granted.

Sam approached the dog’s cage with care. According to his chart, he’d had surgery to repair internal bleeding and to set a shattered leg. On top of that, he’d suffered several broken ribs, a dislocated collarbone and was missing a huge patch of skin on both hindquarters. Written in red and circled were the words – aggressive and dangerous. The growling stopped.

Sam squatted down to stare into his eyes. The dog should have a name. He didn’t give a damn. But a name gave the dog a presence, an existence…an identity.

“How about…” she thought for a long moment. “I know, how about we call you Major?”

The dog exploded into snarls and hideous barking, his ears flattened, and absolute hate filled his eyes.

“Jesus!” Sam skittered to the far corner of the room–her hand to her chest–sure her heart would break free.

“Is everything okay back here?”

Sam turned in surprise to see one of the vets standing behind her, frowning. “Sorry,” she yelled over the din of the other animals that had picked up the shepherd’s fear. She waited for the animals to calm down before continuing. “I’d thought of a brilliant name for the shepherd, but from his reaction, I think he hates it.”

The vet walked over and bent down to assess his patient. “It could have been your tone of voice or the inflection in the way you said the name.
He’d been abused even before this accident.” After a thoughtful pause, he added, “I’m not sure, but it might have been kinder to have put him down.”

“No.” Sam stared at him in horror. “Don’t say that. He’ll come around.” At his doubtful look, she continued, “I know he will. Give him a chance.”

That she seemed to be asking the vet to give her a chance hung heavy in the room, but she didn’t think he understood that.

He stared at her, shrewdness and wisdom in his eyes.

Then again, maybe she’d misjudged him. She shifted, uneasy under the intense gaze.

“We’ll see. We’ll have lots of opportunity to assess his progress as he recuperates.”

Sam had to be satisfied with that. She knew the dog was worth saving and so, damn it, was she. Her salvation and that of the dog’s were tied together in some unfathomable way. She could sense it. She’d fight tooth and nail to keep him safe.

In so doing, maybe she could save herself.

Dale is a talented multi-genre author. Leave a comment to enter the drawing for a free Ebook of either DANGEROUS DESIGNS or TUESDAY’S CHILD.
  • Contest entries end midnight 7/3/11.
  • International giveaway (Ebooks)
  • MUST leave an email contact address

>Welcome Dale Mayer with Two Releases!

>Welcome, Dale Mayer!!

Freelance writer Dale Mayer lives in the beautiful Okanagan valley in British Columbia, Canada. She’s multi-pubbed in nonfiction but her true love is the stories that weave through her mind. For the past nine years, she’s written around the daily responsibilities of being a single mother of four and still squeezes in time to produce new fiction manuscripts each year.

In fiction, she writes taut psychological suspense with romance and paranormal elements. She has recently branched out into both mystery and urban fantasy books for young adult with the occasional vampire book thrown in just for fun.

Dale is here today with two releases in two different genres: romantic suspense and young adult.  She is providing excerpts from both as well as one Ebook of each as a giveaway to two random commentors.  Contest ends midnight 7/3/11.  So tell us which genre you prefer, what you liked best about one of the excerpts or ask Dale a question — any comment to qualify for the giveaways!

Young Adult: DANGEROUS DESIGNS

Description:

Drawing is her world…but when her new pencil comes alive, it’s his world too.

Her… Storey Dalton is seventeen and now boyfriendless after being dumped via Facebook. Drawing is her escape. It’s like as soon as she gets down one image, a dozen more are pressing in on her. Then she realizes her pictures are almost drawing themselves…or is it that her new pencil is alive?

Him… Eric Jordan is a new Ranger and the only son of the Councilman to his world. He’s crossed the veil between dimensions to retrieve a lost stylus. But Storey is already experimenting with her new pencil and what her drawings can do – like open portals.

It … The stylus is a soul-bound intelligence from Eric’s dimension on Earth and uses Storey’s unsuspecting mind to seek its way home, giving her an unbelievable power. She unwittingly opens a third dimension, one that held a dangerous predatory species banished from Eric’s world centuries ago, releasing these animals into both dimensions.

Them… Once in Eric’s homeland, Storey is blamed for the calamity sentenced to death. When she escapes, Eric is ordered to bring her back or face that same death penalty. With nothing to lose, can they work together across dimensions to save both their worlds?

Excerpt:

When she couldn’t keep her eyes open any longer, she dropped the book to the floor beside her, clicked off the light and dropped into a deep sleep – a sleep full of weird dreams and voices calling to her.

“Storey, come and get me.”

“Storey, come.”

“We need you, Storey.”

Disturbed, she bolted upright gasping for breath as she stared wildly around the room. Who said that?

No one. She was alone – and clearly losing it. Her heart banged in her chest as a film of sweat covered her skin. She took several deep breaths and tried to calm down. Talk about nightmares.
She shuddered and lay back down. It took several minutes to get her breathing under control and when it did, she started to get pissed.

“What the hell do you want with me?” she snapped in the direction of her backpack, the drawing safely secured inside. “Crap. This is too freaky, even for me.”

“Storey, is that you, honey?”

Her mother knocked on the door and poked her head around, the light from the hallway lighting the silver streaks in her otherwise dark hair. “Can’t you sleep?”

“Sorry, if I woke you, Mom.” Storey sat up, brushing her own jet black hair back off her face. “Just a bad dream.”

“That’s because you didn’t have any dinner. I checked up on you after the meeting finished only you’d fallen asleep.” Her mother’s fingers twisted around a dangling lock of dark hair, stepping further into the room, her Wiccan robes dragging on the floor. She bit her lip. “Storey, you have to eat. You’re already skinny enough.”

Bone rack is what a jock had called her last month. Looking down, Storey realized they could be right. Her hip bones stuck out to match her big elbows. And her body had developed to the point she just barely missed the skinny scarecrow look. Too bad. She might have been able to make that work.
“I’m eating, Mom. They had pizza in class today, so didn’t need my lunch. Ate that on the way home.” She had more important things to worry about anyway.

Relief washed over her mom’s pretty face. “Oh, I’m so glad to hear that. Sometimes, I worry about you.”
Sometimes? Didn’t she mean all the time? Was that was normal for moms? Then again, there was a world of difference between normal moms and hers.

“What time is it?” Storey looked out the window. Blackness stared back.

“It’s just about 12:30 am. Please get into your pajamas. You don’t want to be sleeping in those jeans.” She backed up to the open door. “If you’re alright, I’ll say good night. It is witching hour after all.” With a carefree grin, her mom closed the door.

Witching hour. Right. Only in her house. Sighing at her mother’s antics, Storey collapsed down on her covers and fell into a light, troubled sleep.

“Storey.”

She sighed. “What now, mom?”

No answer. She sat up and glanced at the closed door. Weird. She could’ve sworn she’d heard someone call her. Lying down again, she pulled her blankets over top, not bothering to get changed.

“Storey.”

She bolted upright. That’s it. Who the hell was playing games with her?

“Storey.”

Throwing back the blankets, Storey kneeled on her bed. “Who said that?” she hissed into the early morning air. Not trusting the gloomy light, she flicked her bedside lamp on, quickly scanning the room. Empty. “I am so losing it. This is nuts.”

Her gaze landed on the backpack on her floor. Her gaze widened. Oh no.

‘No, no. Hell no.” She shook her head, slowly at first then more wildly. “This can’t be happening. It’s a picture. Nothing more. Nothing less. I created you. I can destroy you.”

That’s exactly what she was going to do. She dragged the backpack onto her bed and opened it. The knot defied her first and second attempts, before she managed to pull the laces apart and yank out her book. “I don’t know what’s going on here, but enough is enough.”

She flipped to the last page she’d been working on and grabbed it at the top left and ripped. It wouldn’t tear off. She tightened her grip and tried again. It refused to budge. Scared now, she threw it on the floor and in a fit of defiance, she jumped on it.

And fell through the picture, through the floor even.

She went right through the doorway in her picture.

Romantic Suspense: TUESDAY’S CHILD

Description:

What she doesn’t want…is exactly what he needs.

Shunned and ridiculed all her life for something she can’t control, Samantha Blair hides her psychic abilities and lives on the fringes of society. Against her will, however, she’s tapped into a killer—or rather, his victims. Each woman’s murder, blow-by-blow, ravages her mind until their death releases her back to her body. Sam knows she must go to the authorities, but will the rugged, no-nonsense detective in charge of tracking down the killer believe her?

Detective Brandt Sutherland only trusts hard evidence, yet Sam’s visions offer clues he needs to catch a killer. The more he learns about her incredible abilities, however, the clearer it becomes that Sam’s visions have put her in the killer’s line of fire. Now Brandt must save her from something he cannot see or understand…and risk losing his heart in the process.

As danger and desire collide, passion raises the stakes in a game Sam and Brandt don’t dare lose.

Excerpt:

The shepherd’s low growl warned her halfway.

“It’s okay, boy. It’s just me. I’ll be taking care of you. Give you food, fresh water, and friendship. The things that help us get along in life.” Although she kept her voice quiet, warm, and even toned, the growl remained the same.

She couldn’t blame him.

He might be able to get along without friendships, but she wanted them. She’d never had that elusive element that others took for granted.

Sam approached the dog’s cage with care. According to his chart, he’d had surgery to repair internal bleeding and to set a shattered leg. On top of that, he’d suffered several broken ribs, a dislocated collarbone and was missing a huge patch of skin on both hindquarters. Written in red and circled were the words – aggressive and dangerous. The growling stopped.

Sam squatted down to stare into his eyes. The dog should have a name. He didn’t give a damn. But a name gave the dog a presence, an existence…an identity.

“How about…” she thought for a long moment. “I know, how about we call you Major?”

The dog exploded into snarls and hideous barking, his ears flattened, and absolute hate filled his eyes.

“Jesus!” Sam skittered to the far corner of the room–her hand to her chest–sure her heart would break free.

“Is everything okay back here?”

Sam turned in surprise to see one of the vets standing behind her, frowning. “Sorry,” she yelled over the din of the other animals that had picked up the shepherd’s fear. She waited for the animals to calm down before continuing. “I’d thought of a brilliant name for the shepherd, but from his reaction, I think he hates it.”

The vet walked over and bent down to assess his patient. “It could have been your tone of voice or the inflection in the way you said the name.
He’d been abused even before this accident.” After a thoughtful pause, he added, “I’m not sure, but it might have been kinder to have put him down.”

“No.” Sam stared at him in horror. “Don’t say that. He’ll come around.” At his doubtful look, she continued, “I know he will. Give him a chance.”

That she seemed to be asking the vet to give her a chance hung heavy in the room, but she didn’t think he understood that.

He stared at her, shrewdness and wisdom in his eyes.

Then again, maybe she’d misjudged him. She shifted, uneasy under the intense gaze.

“We’ll see. We’ll have lots of opportunity to assess his progress as he recuperates.”

Sam had to be satisfied with that. She knew the dog was worth saving and so, damn it, was she. Her salvation and that of the dog’s were tied together in some unfathomable way. She could sense it. She’d fight tooth and nail to keep him safe.

In so doing, maybe she could save herself.

Dale is a talented multi-genre author. Leave a comment to enter the drawing for a free Ebook of either DANGEROUS DESIGNS or TUESDAY’S CHILD.
  • Contest entries end midnight 7/3/11.
  • International giveaway (Ebooks)
  • MUST leave an email contact address

H-O-L-Y S-H-I-T…what a deal!

>

I was browing the most recent Lunch delux from Publishers Weekly. I always like to see what things are selling, to whom, by whom and of course, how much they’re going for.

For those of you who don’t subscribe to PW or get their free Lunch every Tuesday, they break down the reported sales figures by $ amount. Here’s the scale:

“nice deal” $1 – $49,000
“very nice deal” – $50,000 – $99,000
“good deal” – $100,000 – $250,000
“significant deal” – $251,000 – $499,000
“major deal” – $500,000 and up

I, personally, think its a little screwed up. I think the “good” and “nice” should be switched — to me, a “nice” deal sounds better (like bigger bucks) than a “good” deal.

But…that’s beside the point.

As I’m scanning through romance and then general fiction, I see a lot of “nice deal”s. A “very nice deal” or two.

Then BAM–I hit this:

Sarah Rees Brennan’s debut urban fantasy trilogy starting with THE DEMON’S LEXICON, about two brothers hunted throughout England by a powerful magician’s circle after their mother steals a charm and when the eldest is marked by a demon, the younger uses swords and dark arts in an effort to save him but unwittingly uncovers the darkest of secrets, to Karen Wojtyla at Margaret K. McElderry Books, in a major deal, at auction, by Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency (world English).

The key words in here are DEBUT and MAJOR DEAL.

Translated that is her FIRST BOOK sold for over HALF A MILLION DOLLARS.

Okay…excuse me, but H-O-L-Y S-H-I-T.

Wow. That kind of thing just leaves me gapping. All kinds of things flip through my mind–God, she’s lucky. Man, that had to be one frigging amazing book. What–they think they found the next Harry Potter series? She’s got to be excited out of her skin. Oh, but, man, how do you top that? How do you earn out that advance?

I can’t even begin to imagine the whirlwind of emotions involved.

All I can manage is a deer-in-the-headlights H-O-L-Y S-H-I-T.

And here I am trying to knock out those words everyday, which leads me to today’s word count: 1216.

>H-O-L-Y S-H-I-T…what a deal!

>

I was browing the most recent Lunch delux from Publishers Weekly. I always like to see what things are selling, to whom, by whom and of course, how much they’re going for.

For those of you who don’t subscribe to PW or get their free Lunch every Tuesday, they break down the reported sales figures by $ amount. Here’s the scale:

“nice deal” $1 – $49,000
“very nice deal” – $50,000 – $99,000
“good deal” – $100,000 – $250,000
“significant deal” – $251,000 – $499,000
“major deal” – $500,000 and up

I, personally, think its a little screwed up. I think the “good” and “nice” should be switched — to me, a “nice” deal sounds better (like bigger bucks) than a “good” deal.

But…that’s beside the point.

As I’m scanning through romance and then general fiction, I see a lot of “nice deal”s. A “very nice deal” or two.

Then BAM–I hit this:

Sarah Rees Brennan’s debut urban fantasy trilogy starting with THE DEMON’S LEXICON, about two brothers hunted throughout England by a powerful magician’s circle after their mother steals a charm and when the eldest is marked by a demon, the younger uses swords and dark arts in an effort to save him but unwittingly uncovers the darkest of secrets, to Karen Wojtyla at Margaret K. McElderry Books, in a major deal, at auction, by Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency (world English).

The key words in here are DEBUT and MAJOR DEAL.

Translated that is her FIRST BOOK sold for over HALF A MILLION DOLLARS.

Okay…excuse me, but H-O-L-Y S-H-I-T.

Wow. That kind of thing just leaves me gapping. All kinds of things flip through my mind–God, she’s lucky. Man, that had to be one frigging amazing book. What–they think they found the next Harry Potter series? She’s got to be excited out of her skin. Oh, but, man, how do you top that? How do you earn out that advance?

I can’t even begin to imagine the whirlwind of emotions involved.

All I can manage is a deer-in-the-headlights H-O-L-Y S-H-I-T.

And here I am trying to knock out those words everyday, which leads me to today’s word count: 1216.