My Books!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Name is Thank You



MY NAME IS THANK-YOU
by Kaizen Love

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

My Name Is Thank-You allows us into the worlds of two very different thirteen-year-old girls. Each girl’s voice carries its own unique tone, as the girls beckon us to follow magically into their lives. One is a joyous story of hope against all odds, the search for acceptance, and the longing for unconditional love; the other a sad tale of unspeakable abuse, constant rejection, and an overwhelming sense of loneliness. Thank-You and Josephine create around us a world rich with emotion, one that will leave you inspired, breathless, and yearning for more words.


EXCERPT:

"Everybody got a story. It don’t matter who you is or where you come from, as long as you got breath in yo body you got a story to tell. The more people start sharing they stories the faster we gonna learn to appreciate each other, and recognize how similar we all is. Every human bean is connected to the other, despite the color they was born wearing or the language they was born speaking."

 AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kaizen Love is an up and coming writer, spinning words into a beautiful web that should enrich the lives of all who read them. She has a positive and fresh take on life, and has mastered the art of storytelling. She grew up reading books by authors from every style, race, nationality, culture, and religious perspective; drawing inspiration from each one. Her greatest mission is to share love.

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LPLHQ3W

Website: http://kaizenlove.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kaizen-Love/1387506034846336?ref=hl

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KaiZenLove

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads


MY INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

1.Which of your books is your favorite?  Why?
"My Name Is Thank-You is the best novel that I have released! I should also say that it is my first published novel, so my opinion may be somewhat biased.


2.What should readers expect when they pick up your book?
Readers should definitely expect to be drawn into a world of despair, abuse, and loneliness, amongst other obstacles. They should also expect to be whisked away by the beautiful, poetic, and positively optimistic voice of Thank-You. This story takes twists and turns that I guarantee you won't see coming. Ultimately you should expect to be left with a smile, the memory of a tear, and a feeling of gratitude so intense, it may even shift your perspective, and have yourself asking, "how can I become a light?"


3.What has been your greatest challenge as a writer?
My greatest challenge as a writer has to be staying consistent within my story. I fear that if I walk away from a project too long, I will lose the essence, or original tone of it. I try to avoid doing that at all costs.

 Kaizen Love will be awarding a $15 BN/Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Use the rafflecopter link below to enter. You can find her schedule at http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/09/virtual-book-tour-my-name-is-thank-you.html 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shadows of Ghosts

Shadows of Ghosts
by Stefan Haucke

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Shadows of Ghosts carries readers to Enara, a kingdom at war with itself, where for centuries centaurs have been treated like animals because of their horse-like lower bodies; they've been forced to work as slaves in the southern agricultural provinces, and have been bought and sold like livestock. But a strong abolitionist faction has convinced many that centaurs' human torsos, heads, and intellectual abilities make them humans, who should be liberated from slavery and granted the same rights as any other person.

After four years of being forced to live in a remote village and having to keep his real identity a secret, Cal Lanshire, days away from his thirteenth birthday, is given the best birthday present he can imagine. He is told the war is almost over and he will soon be allowed to return home.

But then an old acquaintance unexpectedly arrives with news that changes everything. Cal's father, the king, has been assassinated.

Suddenly the outcome of the war and the very fate of the kingdom depend upon Cal being able to reach the capital where he will take his father's place.

With only his crafty best friend by his side and an escaped centaur slave to guide him, can Cal make it through an enchanted, hostile wilderness, past the assassins sent to kill him, and back to the capital before it's too late?

EXCERPT:

Cal walked on the bridge. With each step he took, he could feel the wooden planks under his feet gently bow from his weight, and he could feel the bridge casually sway like a dance partner each time he moved. The wind that was keeping the mosquitoes away seemed stronger now that he was on the bridge. Somehow he felt both afraid and overwhelmingly calm.

“Hurry up, slowpoke!” Mont shouted.

A beam of sunlight pushed through the clouds, and at the same moment Cal felt the planks disappear from under his feet, he felt himself being thrown to his right. One of the bridge’s rope handrails had suddenly snapped, and this caused the bridge to violently twist to one side. Cal had the strangest sensation that he was flying. He felt as if he was ascending to the sky, not tumbling downward.

The water slapped him, stinging his face, and then quickly engulfed him. He was blinded by the water’s murkiness; he could barely see the filtered light from above. His clothes absorbed the water and made him heavy. He felt as if invisible hands were reaching out in the darkness, grabbing his clothes, pulling him down. He was tempted to relax, to allow himself to sink. But no, he wasn’t ready for the darkness. Cal kicked his legs, bringing himself up toward the light.

When his head broke through the surface of the water, he inhaled and blinked the dampness from his eyes. Ellsben was waving wildly at him and shouting, “Swim! Cal, swim, swim, swim!” Mont was running toward the river, but Ellsben grabbed him by the back of the shirt, stopping him. Mont screamed Cal’s name.

Several long, black snakes slithered into the river. Once the snakes were in the water, Cal could no longer see them, but he knew they were coming toward him. On the other side of the river, behind him, he knew snakes were also slithering into the water.



 AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Stefan Haucke, driven by the desire to learn about other cultures and the need for adventure, has traveled to over twenty nations. He rode a camel near the pyramids in Egypt, swam with sea lions in the waters of the Galapagos Islands, climbed the Great Wall of China, hiked near the Acropolis in Athens, went dog sledding in northern Michigan, and photographed polar bears in Canada.

Along his many travels, Stefan has successfully worked as a deckhand, a shepherd, a dispatcher for an emergency services unit, an electric meter reader, and an office manger. He has also found the time to study the literature and history of ancient Greece, Russia, and the United States, and loves reading folktales, fairytales, and urban legends. He also enjoys astronomy, and on clear nights can be found gazing at the stars and planets with his telescope.

My website:

http://www.stefanhaucke.com/

My GoodReads page:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7567224.Stefan_Haucke

My Book can be purchased on:

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Ghosts-Stefan-Haucke/dp/0615902502

Kindle Edition

http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Ghosts-Stefan-Haucke-ebook/dp/B00H9XIJX6/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadows-of-ghosts-stefan-haucke/1117690625?ean=9780615902500

Indie Bound - Independent Bookstores

http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780615902500

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card at the conclusion of Stefan's tour. Use the link below to enter. You can find his tour schedule at http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/09/vbt-shadows-of-ghosts-by-stefan-haucke.html


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Good Faith

If you love chocolate, scroll on down to today's Beyond the Book Post, but why not enjoy this post first?



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Prizes will be awarded via Rafflecopter as follows:

GRAND PRIZE: Kindle Fire pre-loaded with all Liz Tri-Desitny titles
FIRST PRIZE: $50 Amazon Gift Card
SECOND PRIZE: $25 Amazon Gift Card
THIRD PRIZE: full ebook set of STEWART REALTY SERIES up to Good Faith (8 books in all including the prequel House Rules)

Strong personalities—volatile marriages—stressful careers—conflicting goals—difficult children.

Contemporary challenges facing close-knit families form the crucible that forges a new generation.

Brandis, Gabriel, Blair and Lillian emerge from the entanglement of their parents’ longstanding emotional connections, but one’s star will burn brighter – and hotter – than the others.

With a personality that consumes everyone and everything in its path, Brandis Gordon struggles to maintain control as he ricochets between wild success and miserable failure. His life proves how even the strongest relationships can be strangled by the ties that bind.

Brandis and Gabe Frietag are as close as any brothers, bound by both loyalty and fierce rivalry. The strength of their ultimate alliance is tested time and again by Brandis’ choices.

Companions from birth, Blair Frietag and Lillian Robinson share loner tendencies, but come to rely on each other through adolescence. As they mature, both are forced to confront their feelings for the men they knew as boys.

Somewhere between the tangle of good memories and bad, independence and addiction, optimism and despair, the intertwined destinies of the new generation finally collide, leaving some stronger, others broken, but none unscathed.

As a chronicle of three families navigating the minefields of teen years into the turbulence of young adulthood, Good Faith holds up a literary mirror to contemporary life with joys and temptations unflinchingly reflected. Its fresh, real-life voice portrays the sheer volatility of human nature, complete with the hopes, dreams, and unexpected setbacks of marriage, parenthood and “coming of age.”

Enjoy an excerpt:

That morning his father had roused him from a sound sleep. He’d blinked, confused, by the angle of the sunlight. He rarely slept much past eight since he usually had some sort of training or the other.

“Let’s go son. Time for lunch.”

Brandis had dragged himself up, his limbs feeling like they weighed a thousand pounds each. His brain buzzed with a strange sort of energy, his typical state, and not at all welcome considering it normally didn’t hit him until later in the day. The conversation his father began as soon as they were seated at their usual diner did not help.

“So, listen, Brandis. These girls…Katie’s friends from college….”

Brandis sipped his ice water, waiting for his father to finish the thought. His heart pounded, and his face flushed hot with embarrassment.

Jack sighed, as if exasperated that Brandis didn’t pick up the thread on his own, leaving him to carry on with the awkwardness about to ensue. Then he leveled his gaze, his face open, not angry or judgmental. “I think that you may be in for some…I mean, they’re…shit.”

“If you are gonna tell me where babies come from again,” Brandis said, after deciding to ease his father’s obvious distress. He cocked an eyebrow and half a smile. Jack seemed to relax somewhat as Brandis continued. “Don’t bother. I already know.”

He flashed his brightest smile up at the middle-aged woman who stood at their table, coffee pot in hand. She blinked rapidly at him, and at that precise moment, Brandis got his first flash of…something…about his power. Up until now he’d merely been “Brandis the trouble maker, the causer of strife.” Suddenly, he felt strong, amazingly so, stronger than even the man sitting across from him, a taller, older version of himself. His body tingled all over, as he tested the smile out again on the woman, making her slop some coffee out onto the table. His father frowned, but then chuckled as the woman walked away after they gave their orders.

“Son,” he said, leaning back and cradling the coffee mug to his chest. “Your adventure has only just begun.”

“Huh?” Brandis picked up his cup but didn’t drink any. He hated coffee, but had ordered it in a burst of need to be more like Jack. As he sipped the bitter stuff, he was transported back years before when he and his dad would spend every single Saturday morning together, eating breakfast at this very diner. He had adored the man, he remembered distinctly. His chest hurt at the simplicity of their relationship then. He looked away from Jack’s deep blue, knowing gaze.

The subject changed of its own accord, and Brandis let it. Although part of him wanted to ask for advice, a much bigger part would not allow the words past his lips.

They ate, discussing the upcoming football season and Brandis’ part in it. The recruiting company Jack had contracted last year to video his every move would start up with the first game. He’d made varsity again, technically as backup quarterback to a senior boy. Brandis didn’t see this as a setback and had every intention of starting under center by the second or third game.

Finally, when they pushed their empty plates back and sat looking at each other, Brandis felt more comfortable in his father’s presence than he had been in a long time. Jack said, “I am pretty sure at least one of those girls sleeping in the basement is determined to change the status of your virginity for you probably as soon as tonight.”

Brandis choked on the last sip of lukewarm coffee. His face burned, and his body tingled again. “I’m…it’s…uh….” He clutched the napkin in his lap unable to meet his father’s eyes.

“No need to say anything. Let’s just say your mother is an astute reader of female intent. While I was busy admiring your sister’s friend’s ass, she apparently read the girl’s mind or something.” Brandis’ face flushed even hotter.

He resisted the urge to protest, to proclaim his innocence of such things. Because he wanted it back—those mornings between them, father and son, man and boy, not this awkward, man and almost-man bullshit. Because while the thought of one of his sister’s college friends popping his cherry remained a pleasant fantasy, it also made him feel older than he wanted to be right then.

“So, I bought a box of condoms this morning,” Jack went on. “Put some downstairs in the side table drawer and the rest in your room. Use them please.” He sipped the last of his coffee, looked as if he were about to get up, then leaned forward, touching Brandis’ wrist. “Have fun. Don’t be an asshole to women. Let every experience teach you…something. Because you are nothing as a man if you don’t learn from every woman you…love.” Jack looked out the window onto the nearly empty parking lot. Then he turned back, tightened his grip on his son’s arm. “God, you are so…young.” His face fell a moment, then he perked up again, his eyes twinkling. “Okay, so, your mother told me to tell you not to let them corrupt you. But all I’m gonna say is this: always wear protection, no matter what, no matter how much you don’t want to. And don’t let your mom catch you in the act. I’ll handle her otherwise.”

Then he let go, stood and smiled, draping a friendly arm around Brandis’ shoulders as they exited the restaurant.

“You really didn’t tell me you were admiring Katie’s friend’s ass, did you, Dad?”

“No, son. I most certainly did not. You obviously misheard me.” Jack winked as he stood by the passenger’s side of his classic Corvette convertible and tossed the keys to Brandis. “Remember what I told you. Don’t ride my clutch.”

About the Author:
Amazon best-selling author, beer blogger and beer marketing expert, mom of three, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe lives Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.

Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”). More recently she is garnering even more fans across genres with her latest novels, which are more character-driven fiction, while remaining very much “real life.”

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

www.lizcrowe.com
www.brewingpasssion.com
www.facebook.com/lizcroweauthor
www.facebook.com/groups/lizcrowefans
www.twitter.com/beerwencha2
www.a2beerwench.com
www.amazon.com/Liz-Crowe/e/B00573TC7M

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beyond the Book: Chocolate

Welcome to Beyond the Book. My name is Kara Cochrane. I was Elaine's heroine in Her Kind of Man. One thing my husband Ross loves is chocolate so I thought I'd tell you a little bit about the history of chocolate.



Chocolate’s always been a favorite.  The first recorded use of chocolate dates back to 2000 BC in the Amazon region.  The Indians there knew about cocoa from which chocolate is made.   By the sixth century the Mayas knew about it.  They called the cocoa tree cacahuaquchtl… "tree," and the word cocoa comes from the Maya word xocoatl which means bitter water.  To the Mayas, cocoa pods symbolized life and fertility.   Stones from their palaces and temples revealed many carved pictures of cocoa pods.  In the Yucatan they cultivated the first known cocoa plantations and referred to cocoa as “food of the gods.”

The Aztecs took cocoa to a whole new level.  They believed that one of their gods Quetzalcoatl descended from heaven on a beam of a morning star carrying a cocoa tree stolen from paradise.   In both the Mayan and Aztec cultures cocoa was the basis for a thick, cold, unsweetened drink called xocoatl.  They thought that drinking it was good for you.  They even used it as an aphrodisiac.  The Aztecs didn’t have sugar, so different spices were used to add flavor, including hot chili peppers and corn meal.

The last Aztec emperor Montezuma dyed the drink red and drank it out of golden goblets that were thrown away after one use.  (So wasteful.  I’d have taken those goblets in a snap.)  They also used cocoa beans as money.  

When the Spanish conquistadores came to the New World they encountered cocoa for the first time, but nobody paid too much attention to it even though they gradually discovered how much the Indians prized it.  It was the explorer Cortes who figured things out.  He mixed cocoa with sugar and other spices, and a new craze was born.  

Europeans loved it as much as the Indians did.  The first European chocolate factory opened in 1819 in Switzerland, and in 1828 the Swiss invented the cocoa press which led to reduced prices and helped to improve the quality of the beverage by squeezing out part of the cocoa butter. This gave the chocolate smoother consistency and made it taste better.  

The British were the ones who started making solid chocolate in 1830.   

A major step in the evolution of chocolate came in 1875 when Daniel Peter of Switzerland introduced milk chocolate, thus making Switzerland the chocolate capital of the world.  And in 1913 Jules Sechaud of Switzerland introduced the process for filling chocolates.  Personally, I still think Swiss chocolate is the best you can buy. 

Americans loved chocolate too.  In 1765 the first American chocolate factory was founded.   Did you know that in World War II cocoa beans were shipped to the soldiers as part of their gear?  Today, the government gives them chocolate bars instead.  It just goes to show how wonderful chocolate is.
Er, could you excuse me?  I want another piece of chocolate cake.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Up the Tower: Dystopian Fiction

Up the Tower
by J. P. Lantern

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:


Disaster brings everybody together. A cloned corporate assassin; a boy genius and his new robot; a tech-modified gangster with nothing to lose; a beautiful, damaged woman and her unbalanced stalker—these folks couldn't be more different, but somehow they must work together to save their own skin. Stranded in the epicenter of a monumental earthquake in the dystopian slum, Junktown, there is only one way to survive. These unlikely teammates must go...UP THE TOWER.

EXCERPT:

Before anything else—before the riot, before the flood, before the gap and the deaths and the fires and the pain—before all of that, Ana just wanted to get the hell out of Junktown.

But she was stuck there with Raj, and Raj had all the bodyguards, so she couldn't very well leave on her own. Walk into Junktown without any protection? No, thank you. She had a knife on her, but that was hardly enough. The knife fit neatly in a small, luxury Cardion-brand sheath at her side.

The rest of her outfit was direct out from a fashion magazine. She wore tight black Cardion slacks, her patent leather Aushwere ankle boots sexy and stylish and perfect for inner-city walking. Her dark blue blouse was Cardion again (there had been a sale); already she had noticed the way Raj had been hugging his eyes to how it cupped and clung to her body. He would have been looking a bit more, perhaps, but she wore her favorite Kadaya Sarin-brand leather jacket, allowing her a bit of modesty with the long sleeves and tight collar, despite the thinness of the material. She was a woman dressed to impress, but also was no whore—she had her man. He liked her dressed attractive, but not like some slut. Ana knew what he wanted, because that was her entire life, as she saw it, from now on.

They were inside the ground floor of a tall building. Cleanbots rushed around them, sweeping up dust, guided along by retrofitted eyebots that spied out areas of dust and disrepair.

 “Here's where we'll have the lobby,” said Raj, opening his hands out wide to the open space.

Ana had presence of mind to hold her tongue.

What she wanted to say was, “Really, dear? Here in the first possible place that someone could enter from the street? That's where you'll have the lobby? That's so inventive. You're so smart.”

What did she say was, “Oh! It will look beautiful, I'm sure.”


A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR: What does dystopia mean?

So, a dystopia is a spin on the word “utopia.” Sometime during the Enlightenment, Utopian Fiction and Philosophy came into being, because large amounts of people were becoming rather well educated for the first time in history. Because of this, a great many folks started to believe that the “perfect society” was just around the corner. This made sense, in a way, because the formation and success of the United States—and then the French Revolution—made it seem like human history had forever changed course into toward something that would heavily favor peace and rational thought.
Well, this wasn't the case.

After The Great War promptly trounced most of humanity's dreams for a decent future, a new kind of fiction and philosophy started sliding around—dystopian fiction. This was fiction about how, despite all our education and good intentions, humans are basically prone to being completely terrible (due either to systems of government, technology, or some other trapping of civilization), and how we can't escape being inhuman to our fellow humans.

After World War II, this intensified further, because all of a sudden, for the first time in the history of civilization, we had the ability to absolutely wipe out every trace of all life on earth with nuclear weapons. There have been lots of times in the past when a civilization has been completely wiped out due to plague, or war, or famine, but never before had we been positioned to utterly destroy even the possibility of life across the entirety of the globe in just a matter of hours (if we wanted).

So, with the belief that we're all kind of idiots fueling this tank of destruction, dystopian authors figured it would be sort of inevitable for us to destroy almost everything. Or, alternatively, they figured the fear of destroying everything would destroy all our fundamental concepts of freedom (the thought being that the more rights you take away in order to protect life against some shadowy threat, the more you've destroyed the freedoms of a given country). This is why so many dystopian novel—like 1984 or THE HUNGER GAMES—focus on totalitarian governments being in charge.

I like to write in this genre for several reasons. For one, I like to explore science-fiction worlds and ideas because it gives the author a little more allowance to just fabricate things out of pure thin air. The only thing keeping a science fiction author from being a fantasy author is the joined belief by the audience that the science fiction possibilities posed might exist someday (with fantasy, the understanding is more along the lines of the world might exist somewhere, be it in another dimension, planet, or time).

For another reason, though, back to this idea of incidentally or purposefully destroying the world, I feel like we're not out of the woods yet. I think it’s important to consider that with the world so close together these days, it only takes a small amount of decisions to really start to unhinge everything. Dystopian fiction allows us to hold a mirror up to the world with everything distorted just the right way, so that the problems are more problematic and the extremes of opinion and thought are just scary enough to (hopefully) initiate some change.


AUTHOR INFO AND LINKS

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

J.P. Lantern lives in the Midwestern US, though his heart and probably some essential parts of his liver and pancreas and whatnot live metaphorically in Texas. He writes speculative science fiction short stories, novellas, and novels which he has deemed "rugged," though he would also be fine with "roughhewn" because that is a terrific and wonderfully apt word.
Full of adventure and discovery, these stories examine complex people in situations fraught with conflict as they search for truth in increasingly violent and complicated worlds.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7171112.J_P_Lantern

The author is giving away a backlist ebook copy to a randomly drawn winner at every stop during the tour and a Grand Prize of a $25 Amazon GC will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during this tour. Use the rafflecopter link below to enter. You can find the author's tour schedule at http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/07/virtual-nbtm-book-tour-up-tower-by-jp.html

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Vanished from Dust

Vanished from Dust
by Shea Norwood

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

A CHILL RUNS THROUGH HIS SKIN AS THE PHANTOM APPEARS.

HE SEES THEM EVERYWHERE . . .

Eric Stark is not insane. Or at least he doesn’t think so. He wishes everyone in Dust, Texas, felt the same way. But that’s not going to happen since the whole town thinks he’s crazy. Why didn’t he keep his mouth shut?

No one understands. Eric is alone as he battles his sanity in a town of tormenters. Suddenly a new friendship emerges after the new kid, Kyle Barrett, moves to town.
Eric reluctantly reveals his secret. Is it a curse or a gift? He isn’t certain, but with Kyle by his side he finds the courage to seek the truth.

They soon realize that something sinister is descending on the residents of Dust.
Is it caused by Eric’s phantoms or is it something else? Is it connected to the mysterious death of hundreds of townspeople over sixty years ago? One thing is certain—only Eric and Kyle can save them.

They set out on a heart-pounding adventure and find themselves transported to a disturbed and deserted version of their small southern town. They quickly discover that this new world has mysteries of its own to uncover. What they find could prove more than they bargained for, and it only leads to more questions. Eric and Kyle must face a horrifying fact—they may never get out alive.

“We’re gonna die here,” Kyle muttered.

 “I don’t believe that,” Eric said. “And neither do you.”

Will they survive their encounter with these dark and mysterious beings?

Will they find a way back home?

Or will they be lost forever?

The Vanished from Dust series is perfect for anyone who craves a hair-raising thriller packed with mystery and suspense. This paranormal story for young adults can be compared to Stand by Me, mixed with Odd Thomas, and a twist of The Dark Tower.

EXCERPT:
“I’m not crazy,” Eric Stark shouted at the crowd of seventh graders as they surrounded him. He looked up from the ground, which consisted of patches of grass and dirt, to see the sunlight glinting off of the metal braces of a girl with pigtails as she pointed and laughed with the rest of them. Another boy kicked him in the stomach, causing him to retreat nto a fetal position to guard against another blow.

“Oh yeah?” Greg Coffey asked as he towered over Eric. His lip was curled, showing his crooked, heavily stained teeth. “What happened last week in class? You said, ‘They’re watching
me.’ Remember that, loser?”

“I didn’t say that.” Eric tried to get up, but Greg pushed him back down and kicked dirt in his face. Eric rubbed his burning eyes with both hands. When he opened them he saw four more kids sneering over him, all laughing at his expense. Where was a teacher when you needed one? The hot Texas sun was high on the horizon, almost blinding him as he stared back at his tormentors. Sweat was pouring from his brow, mixing with the tears that streamed down his face.

“Yeah you did,” Adam Marshall said with a smirk. “You’re going off the rails, crazy train.”

“I like that—crazy train. Just like the song,” Greg said. He laughed and gave Adam a high five. “That’s your new name. Like it?” Greg kicked another pile of dirt at Eric.

Eric tried to spit it out, but his entire face was covered in a muddy film. He wished that he’d just kept his mouth shut about it, but it was too late now. News traveled fast in a small town, and he was sure everyone thought he was insane by now.

He didn’t know what he was.

“Leave him alone,” a kid said. He leaned over to help Eric to his feet. “I don’t like bullies.”

“Stay out of it, new kid.” Greg said and gave him a scowling stare.

“Or what?” The kid got closer.

“Let’s go,” Adam said. “There’s a teacher coming.” He slapped Greg on the shoulder.

“This ain’t over,” Greg said as he walked away.

“Thanks,” Eric said.

“I’m Kyle Barrett,” the kid said, extending his hand.

Eric shook it. “Did you just move here?”

“Yeah, this is my first day,” Kyle said. “It’s hard being the new kid. No one talks to you.”

“No one talks to me either, except to make fun of me,” Eric said.



 AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Shea Norwood is a West Texas native that currently lives in the DFW area with his wife and son. He's an avid reader and enjoys the craft of writing. The fictional town of Dust is loosely based on a small town south of Odessa, TX.

Facebook:

Twitter:

 Handle: @sheanorwood

GoodReads:

Amazon:

 Shea Norwood will be awarding a $25 PayPal, Amazon or BN GC via rafflecopter. Use the link below to enter.  You can find the tour schedule at http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/09/book-blast-vanished-from-dust-by-shea.html


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 17, 2014

Saturday Sample, Snippet Sunday, and Weekend Writing Warriors

Today's sample comes from Rest Thy Head which at present has 8 five star reviews and 2 four star reviews. You can get it at Amazon and most other online retail outlets. In this excerpt my hero and heroine have gone to a farmer's market, and she hears an ice cream truck and wants an ice cream.


She grabbed his hand before she thought what she had done, but she had grabbed his scarred side. He jerked away from her as if she’d burned him and fished in his pocket. He handed her ten dollars and turned his back. “Get whatever you want.”

Oh, poor Jake. Peyton’s heart burned for him. She had a sudden urge to put her arms around him and whisper in his ear that he was okay now. Afghanistan was behind him, and he was home where he belonged, home where no one cared if he had scars or not.