Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Odessa of the Seraphym Wars Series Release Party & Giveaway

To correlate with the release of my first novel, I am participating in the April Fool For Books Giveaway Blog Hop.  Although the official hop ends April 2, mine will be extended for the first week of April, ending midnight April 8.

The prize pack is AWESOME in celebration of my release.

In order to register for the prize, you must check back HERE on April 1. There will be a list of options from which you can choose to gain points.

At 15 Myrna was attacked by demons. At 17 she was sent to kill them, with the help of six other teenaged Vigorios. But are the romantic advances of three warriors demonic distraction or real love? How will she know in time?

So, Friday’s the BIG day!

For nearly 30 years I’ve thought about, dreamed, written chapters then tossed them, talked about, researched the product that releases Friday, April 1st. The irony of its release falling on April Fool’s Day has not been lost on me, either.

For 99% of those 30 years I was too busy teaching or mothering to take time to write. I got up at 5 am for a while and typed away on my portable typewriter, but that grew old and didn’t last long. But the story—the girl who would save the world from evil—never left me. It changed, grew, evolved, changed some more. But from beginning to end, the basic story stayed the same.

So now it begins. Officially. For all to see—or read. I hope readers will see the story in their heads as they read it. I did. It was plain as a movie during the writing. And as I reread, revised, tightened, edited and prepared it for public consumption, I thought it was a pretty darn good story. At some points I laughed, at others I cried. Lots of adventure, lovable and intriguing characters, some sexual tension, childhood and teenaged issues to deal with all set on a foreign world full of danger and creeping evil. Then there were the dragons. How could anyone NOT like a story with suspicious, evil, shape-shifting dragons? Right?

So why, as I write this, is my stomach churning and I feel nauseated thinking about others reading my story? For 30 years I’ve wanted this. I wonder if each book release will be this tension-filled. Do you suppose there comes a point when an author says, “I’m a good writer and I know it because I have a truck-load, no—not big enough--train-load full of fans.” And with every release they sit back and sip champagne? Somehow, I don’t see myself ever reaching that degree of calmness. I’ll always worry if it’s good enough, scary enough, well-written, intriguing, will hold the reader’s attention.

I guess I’ll know soon. It’s a blessing and a curse. But I’m glad I wrote it and can’t wait to write the next one. Even if I end up with only one person who really enjoys the story, it will be worth it.

Here’s the OFFICIAL Blurb. Hope you like it.
“Did anything…uh…traumatic or horrifying happen to you lately?”
            I shuddered, nodding.
I sat cross-legged on one end of the sofa, facing Michael at the other end.
“Yeah. You could say it was horrifying.”
I was so glad today was Saturday. It was the one day of the week I didn’t have school or work. I sat cross-legged on the sofa, watching my favorite classic movie, The African Queen, and munching on a bowl of popcorn resting in my lap. Suddenly my body went rigid. I sat bolt upright. My vision spun in circles. The room became kaleidoscopic. A rushing roar echoed in my ears. Then I saw my brother Quinn running around in circles, screaming. Wide-eyed, I stared, transfixed and mute. A boy with blond dreads, wearing a black leather jacket and ripped jeans, chased him across a field. Once close enough, he threw some kind of liquid from a small red can on Quinn.  A smaller boy with spiky red hair tossed something small that glowed in the dusk. It landed on Quinn’s chest.
Flames shot high into the darkness as he screamed and continued running around the grassy enclosure. Insane laughter echoed in the still darkness. The crackling and popping of the flames snapped like firecrackers. Quinn’s arms flailed wildly, like he was trapped in a giant spider web. My hands balled into fists, wadding my skirt in my hands. I smelled the acrid, sour stench of burning flesh and hair but couldn’t scream. I was frozen—watching. Three teenaged boys, all wearing black leather jackets, surrounded him, laughing hysterically and pointing. An oddly metallic odor of sweat mingled with the bitter odor of searing flesh. Trees closed in like spectators, hovering in the blackness of night. Mute. Unemotional. Uncaring.
Quinn rolled on the grass, screaming a banshee wail while trying to put out the flames. Then he lay still. Silenced. The red-haired boy poured more of the flammable liquid onto Quinn’s back. The black-haired teen threw a match and Quinn flashed into flames again. This time there was no movement. There was no screaming. The laughter and pointing stopped. The three boys sneered at the flaming, blackened corpse at their feet.
“Too fast,” the smallest boy said, his hair the color of fire.
             “Too easy,” the black-haired boy declared with a kick at Quinn’s head. “Whatcha  gotta say fer yerself? Shoulda paid me back, slacker.” His voice slithered slowly like the snake his boots were made of.
 “Not enough fun,” said the third. He stared at his feet, his long blond dreads falling across his face until he turned his head to look at the smallest boy. A port wine birthmark covered his cheek and part of his neck.
            “Yeah. What video game did ya buy anyway? Sumthin’ with demons, I hope!” the small boy squeaked, his high-pitched voice grating on my nerves. All three of them roared with laughter.
            “Loser,” the black-haired boy said. A wad of spittle flew onto Quinn’s back and sizzled.
            Finally I screamed. As though released from bonds, I leaped up from the sofa. The stainless steel bowl of popcorn flew through the air, scattering kernels across the beige carpet and clattering upside down on the coffee table. Tears streamed down my face. My parents ran into the TV room. “Oh, my God! NO! This can’t be happening again…” I wailed, holding my head.
            “What’s the matter?” my mother, Ashley, said, as she pushed my long hair back from my sweaty face.
            Gasping with hiccups, I took a deep breath and, between bouts of crying, told them everything I’d seen. In unison they turned their heads and looked at the television. A Katharine Hepburn film danced on the screen.
            “Are you positive?” Dad asked.
            I stared my dad in the eyes and nodded. “Absolutely. You know my visions are always right. Mom.” I looked at Mom’s white face. “We have to try and find him. Maybe it didn’t happen yet. Usually it’s a warning. Remember Jarrod? And Marcy when she was three?”
Dad’s face went ashen and Mom’s hand, still resting on my back, began to tremble as it flew to her mouth.
“Oh, my God,” Mom said, “we would have lost both of them had you not seen.”
            “I’ll try to call him on his phone,” Dad said, leaving the room in a hurry.
            Moments later he returned. “No answer. Should I call the police?”
            “We don’t even know where he might be,” Mom cried, holding her face in her hands and rocking back and forth on the sofa beside me.
            Dad knelt down and made eye contact with me. At first I didn’t see him. I saw Quinn again, running across the grass in flames.
            “Where was he? Could you tell?” he asked.
            His eyes, too, were already red-rimmed, as if they knew the truth.
            “All I saw was grass. Like a park, maybe. But it seemed small. They took their time.”
             I hiccupped, crying again as images of Quinn, much younger, flashed through my mind. Trying to pedal his red bicycle as I held it steady for him. Crawling into my bed in the middle of the night because he’d watched a scary movie. Rolling around on the grass in flames, screaming.
            “I can’t just wait until we hear something. Cops won’t do anything based on a vision. I’ll drive around and see if I get lucky.” Dad looked at me, his face long and eyes sad. “I hope this time you’re wrong, hon.”
            “Me too, dad. Me too.” I shook my head, rubbing weeping eyes.
            Still hiccupping, I sat on the sofa and shut my eyes. Maybe there was a detail that would direct Dad. My head throbbed and my nose was stuffed up from crying. I hoped another migraine wasn’t starting. The scraping sounds of Mom scooting around on the floor picking up the popcorn irritated my brain. I’d noticed before that my hearing was super acute during and after a vision. But I knew she had to be doing something, so I pretended not to notice
            When Dad returned without news, we all sat in a huddle on the sofa, crying and praying. Jarrod, eleven, and Marcy, fourteen, came home and learned of my vision. Since I’d seen him die, they knew there was no hope. My visions were always true.

If you’re still interested and want to read more, click this link to buy this awesome story in eBook form (a print version will be out later in the year)

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