Tag: indie

Awesome Indies: The Big Book of Post-Collapse Fun by Rachel Sharp

Posted November 20, 2015 by Emily in Awesome Indie, Uncategorized / 1 Comment

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For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page

Awesome Indies: The Big Book of Post-Collapse Fun by Rachel SharpThe Big Book of Post Collapse Fun by Rachel Sharp
on May 1, 2015
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Mab is an unemployed feminist blogger with a philosophy degree, a deathly allergy to bee stings, and the real-world experience of a domestic rabbit. When Portland, Oregon is evacuated, no one thinks to look for her in her unlabeled apartment. She can still get news from the outside world for days. All the news is bad. The planetary Tarantella dance has started, and the world is shaking itself apart. Volcanoes and earthquakes abound. Taking stock of her supplies, she finds that her best survival gear includes a 49cc moped and clothing that wouldn't keep a chihuahua warm in a Florida winter.

Left alone in the city, Mab fumbles along and documents her post-apocalypse adventures through the lens of mankind's greatest coping mechanism: Inappropriate humor. She learns from experience as she misinterprets survival tips, battles wild geese, steals cars, befriends a buffoon of a dog, and discovers the difference between instinct and cultural training.

When Mab learns of a geologically stable place in Canada, she leaves Portland behind. Vet, the world's dumbest remaining dog, goes with her, and while they try to navigate the wilderness, mountains become volcanoes. Strangers become bandits. Mab wasn't prepared for this, but she writes the book on how to improvise in case of apocalypse.

Rachel Sharp is here today to talk about the struggle of being an author and living with a chronic illness. She is a tough lady and that shines through in her writing. I love how she compares her writing to an escape. Thank you for this beautiful guest post!

Rachel Sharp

As a reader and writer, there is nothing that I cannot do.

I can fly with dragons and swim with dolphins. I can score winning goals and cast magic spells. I can even travel through time.

As an ordinary person, I cannot climb stairs without assistance.

This mind-boggling contrast gives me trouble sometimes, but itÂ’s the life of a disabled author. There are quite a few of us. Some live with the result of serious injury or an imbalance of brain chemistry. Personally, I live with an autoimmune disease, which means that my body is trying to kill itself and my job is to stop it.

My doctors have been tremendously helpful. Sometimes it does get a bit old, cycling through various clinics to have blood taken out, vitamins put in, scans scanned, and monitors monitored, but it is orders of magnitude better than going untreated.

While I am receiving treatment, I still have both pain and limitations. I canÂ’t go out drinking anymore, although as I close out my twenties, I realize that the novelty of public intoxication may have worn off even before I was diagnosed. IÂ’ve had to make radical dietary changes. The collection of assistance devices around the apartment grows slowly, but if you were to sneak in, you might guess that a little old lady lives here. ThereÂ’s a cane by the door, and a wheelchair for emergencies. There is a yoga mat, but no exercise equipment. My medicine cabinet runneth over. The whole living arrangement seems incongruous with the tall, skinny, twenty-something woman who uses it.

Likewise, when I go out in public, strangers don’t know how to react to me. About a month ago, I was in the elevator and the doors opened to let someone else on. He looked at my cane, then up at me, and said “Oh! Sorry.” I thought about asking “For what? Getting on the elevator?” but opted for twenty seconds of silence instead. Being visibly disabled means that, somehow, minimizing awkwardness becomes your part-time job. On the other hand, the cane does seem to discourage catcallers, so that’s a win.

Real life has been bumpy the last few years, ever since my doctors changed their tune from ‘probably nothing’ to ‘uh-oh.’ Fortunately, I only live in my body part-time.

The rest of the time, I live in my words.

I have always been a writer. Admittedly, I used to be a terrible one, but give a ten-year-old a break. Making the leap from Dr. Seuss to Tolkien can give anyone the writing-style wobbles.

In another life, I was also a manual laborer. I never stopped writing, but I balanced it in the cracks of ‘real’ jobs like forklift operation, dishwashing, and dog-walking. I liked to work hard. In the rural tradition of unflagging work ethic, I took pride in being able to haul bags of rock salt all day and still put down some words at night. When I got sick, it eventually put paid to one of those, but with the shady tree of respectable labor gone, the undergrowth that was my writing habit flourished. Over time, I finished a novel, then two. The short story ideas that always followed me around like will o’ the wisps were getting down on paper, revised, and even read. It wasn’t until later that I realized I had accidentally taken the leap of faith that so many do: I quit my day job to pursue a writing career.

It isnÂ’t all fun. Even now, my disease can hinder my writing. My joints ache, my food routine gets in the way, or a Big Bad Pain Day strikes and nothing gets done at all. Still, it would be impossible not to acknowledge the silver lining. Even filling out medical forms, I remember that I am, in a way, lucky.

Name: Rachel Sharp

Address: New York, New York

Occupation: Â…Novelist

It feels good.

Links

Website: http://wrrrdnrrrdgrrrl.com/
Blog: http://wrrrdnrrrdgrrrl.com/blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WrrrdNrrrdGrrrl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/wrrrdnrrrdgrrrl
Lnkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/wrrrdnrrrdgrrrl
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/WrrrdNrrrdGrrrl/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Sharp/e/B00XYOTKJ6/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/WrrrdNrrrdGrrrl

Book Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X0HSF0W, http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00X0HSF0W
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/948109.Rachel_Sharp

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Awesome Indies: Cloak of Deceit by Gwen Mitchell

Posted October 30, 2015 by Emily in Awesome Indie / 1 Comment

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For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page

Awesome Indies: Cloak of Deceit by Gwen MitchellCloak of Deceit by Gwen Mitchell
Series: Alex Moore #1
on January 30, 2015
Buy on Amazon

When her latest bad-boy lover accidentally turns her into a vampire, college senior Alex Moore discovers her latent telekinetic ability. Psychic powers mark her as one of the Grigori, the sworn enemies of the Undead. No one has ever been both. Caught in the middle of a war she doesn't understand, Alex's only hope for survival is a Knight of the Cloak – a sexy Undead enforcer named Julian. But will he give up his rank and cast aside old loyalties to save her? Can she harness her psychic powers and her Undead instincts while being hunted by both sides? And given her track record, can Alex really trust any man she's that attracted to?

Thrilled to have the chance to feature the first chapter of this one. I love Urban Fantasy and this one seems really exciting! Thanks to Gwen for letting me feature it.

Chapter One

Everyone has a vice — something they know is bad for them, but they do anyway. Since the third grade, mine had been boys. I managed to live up to my mother’s expectations in every other area of my life. I was a star student and athlete, accepted to a prestigious pre-med program, and spent too much time studying and working out to get into any serious trouble. Life was going according to plan, except that I couldn’t get past two dates with any of the duds Mom pre-approved. I had a craving for more edge, and it usually led me to the men that would hurt me the most.

The latest example was an on-again, off-again thrill-seeking hellion named Cody. According to my mother, he had a bad track record, bad manners, and no future prospects. According to me, he was exciting, easy-going, and we had wickedly hot sex. So it was really going to piss me off if she turned out to be right again.

He had dodged my texts and calls all week.

Most girls would hole up in their dorm rooms eating double fudge brownie ice-cream and watching a marathon of Jane Austen movies. Instead, I was spending my twenty-first birthday scouring the local freak show — some dark wave punk club called the Sweat Shop that featured an underground “dungeon” — for my supposed boyfriend. He’d been spending a lot of time there the past few months, drawn in to the bondage scene. I had been underage, until tonight.

In an attempt to shake my homegrown look, IÂ’d dyed my forgettable brown hair a glitzy, sex-kitten auburn. Add to that three-inch spike-heeled boots, a black leather skirt, and extreme make-up. As long as I remembered not to smile and show off my dimples, I was five feet nine inches of badass babe.

Cody wouldnÂ’t know what hit him.

I emerged from the main entry of the club to find myself on a narrow grated catwalk thirty feet in the air. My hand instinctively shot out for the railing as I hissed in a breath. I could deal with a new wardrobe, a new venue, even some extra kink, but I really hated heights.

The bass beats from below shook the railing, which I clung to with a white-knuckled grip. I couldnÂ’t see the dance floor. The strobe lights and fog machine distorted the crowd, but I could smell the mass of humanity below me, almost taste the unmistakable pungent mist of sweat and sex mingled with the sour reek of alcohol.

I gulped, fighting vertigo.

A gang of people clamored towards me, most of them wearing more tattoos and piercings than clothing. The grate at my feet shivered.

With a muttered curse, I pressed my butt to the railing, holding on for dear life and squeezing my eyes shut. I didn’t open them, even as hands skirted over my bare belly. I must have missed the “Prepare to be Groped” sign on the door.

Once centered on the platform again, I kept moving, dodging to one side or the other when people got obnoxious. I was almost to the stairs at the other end. The goal was in sight. Excited to be through the gauntlet, I sped up.

One of my heels caught the grating. I took three lunging steps and managed not to fall, but then I bumped off of a tattooed hunk of muscle like a pinball, staggered back, and lost my balance. I tilted backward over the railing. My arms flailed for something to grab onto. A scream of terror caught in my throat.

For one stretched out second of panic, a flipbook of all the stupid things IÂ’d done in my life played out in my mind. This one was right at the top: death by trampy boots.

But instead of letting me become a cautionary tale, someone encircled my arm with a firm grip and righted me.

I glanced over my shoulder at the drop that had almost been my untimely finale, and gulped, my heart thumping so hard I choked on my pulse. I took a deep breath and held it as I gazed up at my tall savior.

Yowza.

He was bronze-skinned, with glossy black hair falling carelessly over rich brown eyes, and sculpted features more towards the severe end of the scale. I forgot not to smile. His grip on my arm eased, wide lips curving ever so slightly at the corners.

“All right?” His voice was like thick, dark honey. If I hadn’t been watching his lips so intently, I wouldn’t have known what he said over the blaring music, only that the tone of it warmed the pit of my stomach and made my mouth water. Adrenaline and humiliation warred in my body, making my tongue too thick to speak. The hairs on the back of my neck prickled.

I nodded, and he let go of me.

“Try to be more careful.” He dismissed me and leaned over to rest his elbows on the railing, a watered-down drink in his other hand. He’d rescued me without spilling a drop. My hero.

“Th-thank you.” I temporarily forgot the part about being suspended in midair.

Mr. Tall, Dark, and Beautiful nodded once and then scanned the room at large as if it presented something far more interesting than me. I noticed a curved scar over his right cheekbone, and he instantly down-shifted from sexy to sexy-and-dangerous. Bad combination for me.

My heart went pitter-pat as I tried to think of something more to say, but he proceeded to ignore me. As the rush of adrenaline wore off, my body remembered I was still three stories up. I grabbed my pride by the boot zippers and slinked away. The twisting grated staircase down had me sweating, but I kept it together through sheer willpower.

When I finally got my feet on solid ground, I collapsed against a wall plastered with concert posters and panted out the rest of my nerves. What the hell was I doing there?

Oh right — Cody. Bastard.

If he hadnÂ’t been the only guy IÂ’d ever almost-loved, I could have hated him just then. Why hadnÂ’t he just answered my calls? I peered through the fog of bodies and black leather. How was I going to find him? I suddenly felt like a rabbit caught in a clearing, surrounded by hungry wolves. I had too much of my virgin flesh out on display. My jacket helped some, but my skin kept trying to crawl away from me and hide.

I glanced up at the catwalk — I couldn’t help myself. My savior still leaned in his ankle-length black coat. A world away, yet part of the scenery. How did people not notice him? I couldn’t decide if it was his looks or just how he projected himself, but to me he was the sort of eye-candy that could rot my brain out. As if he’d heard me, he turned his head. The intensity in his dark eyes, even from fifty feet away, made my neck prickle again. It could have been the danger part, or the sexy part. They both tingled the same to me. The feeling dissipated when his gaze slid away.

I shook off the feeling and shouldered my way up to the bar, searching for CodyÂ’s blue eyes in a sea of studs and rings and mohawks. Maybe a drink would help. Maybe several. Coming alone hadnÂ’t been one of my more brilliant plans. I should have pulled the female solidarity card and made Theresa come with me, but I knew she would turn it into an opportunity to point out what a waste of time Cody was. I got enough of the what-are-you-doing-with-your-life lectures from my mother. It was my birthday. I was supposed to be cutting loose. As the lightning-fast bartender zipped past me for the third time, I hollered for a tequila shot. It was the only alcohol IÂ’d ever tried before.

“She’ll have a Pit Viper.” A guy behind me slapped down a ten. His other hand slid under my jacket and across my bare lower back.

I gasped and jerked away, breaking out in goose bumps as I turned toward the newest target for my pent-up frustration. “No thanks!”

He smirked.

“Cody!” I threw myself against him. He caught me in a halfway hug, his fingers dancing over my sides. I gazed up at him, my brush with death forgotten. He looked gorgeous, as usual, in a tight black t-shirt and dark jeans. That mischievous smile. Cornflower blue eyes, with the familiar crinkle at the corners.

“Nice digs, sweetness.” He looked me up and down and twisted a lock of my new red in his fingers. “Do something with your hair?”

“You’re such an ass.” I hid my smile by burying my face in his chest. He deserved my ire for leaving me to dangle myself out on this limb, but now that he was here to catch me, I was so relieved I couldn’t be mad at him anymore.

Cody laughed. “Did you come all the way down here just to tell me I’m an ass?”

“Yeah.” My hands slid into his back pockets, feeling the ass I was really interested in. “You wouldn’t pick up your damn phone.”

The humor dropped from his face. He pulled away from me to pat himself down, then shrugged. “Must have lost it.”

“You lost your phone? Seriously? When did that happen?” Maybe he hadn’t been avoiding me like I’d thought. I grabbed the Big-Gulp sized cup from the bar and took a sip of the vibrant red concoction. An explosion of sour fizzyness with a bitter cherry chaser rioted down my throat.

Cody took my hand and dragged me through the outskirts of the main dance floor.

“You do realize it’s my birthday, right?”

“Of course.” He squeezed my hand. “I have a surprise for you.”

I was still coughing as Cody guided us into one of the side tunnels of the club, leading to a set of attached rooms and several smaller dance floors. He pulled me down a narrow cement stairway.

“Where are we going?” The Pit Viper had less venom once your tonsils adjusted to the assault. Cody ignored me, moving through a maze of dark, sticky-floored hallways like he had a destination in mind.

Thumping bass shook the walls around us, but the crowd thinned. The music grew distant. We passed by two rooms guarded on the outside by club bouncers. I peered into one of them through a crack in the doorway and glimpsed a half-naked man chained to a wall, his bare back covered in welts and small cuts. The snap of something sharp hitting skin made me grip CodyÂ’s hand tighter. Where was he taking me? What sort of place was this, really?

My stomach fluttered with a punch bowl of nerves, excitement, and alcohol. I finished the drink and set the cup down.

Cody took me around another blind corner and then ducked behind heavy curtains and into an alcove. Shackles dangled from the wall. One bare red bulb glowed from the ceiling. My heart raced a little faster, my ears ringing. I wanted this, wanted Cody so much, but for a second I thought I might be in over my head. It wouldnÂ’t be the first time my libido had led me astray.

“Ummm…Cody?”

He yanked me forward and pressed me against the nearest wall, his breath hot against my skin. “I’m so glad you came, Lex. It’s such a rush. You’re gonna love it.”

His mouth on me was all the rush I needed. Cody was nothing like the Polo-wearing, tennis-playing bores my mother wanted me to date. He was all passion. Desire. Intensity. No consequences — he saw what he wanted and he took it. I’d never been with a guy like that before, and he’d uncovered a part of myself I wanted to taste more of. I felt like a different person when I was with him. Someone unpredictable and exciting. Free.

Now, with him so close, I didnÂ’t care if I was in over my head. IÂ’d wanted to celebrate my birthday with a bang, and I knew with him this would be a night IÂ’d never forget.

I pressed my hips against his. “I missed you.”

“I knew you would come to me.” His smile darkened in a way that made me shiver with anticipation, and maybe a little fear. Was I ready for this?

His lips slid over mine, a teasing caress. CodyÂ’s kisses were like a drug, and I was a junkie getting her first fix in weeks.

I ran my fingers through his soft, feathery hair, and hiked one leg around him. His tongue swirled in my mouth, a wash of tangy bliss. He pulled back, leaving me breathless, my lips tingling. His pupils dilated as he looked down at me. There was only a faint ring of blue on the outside, made violet in the red light.

That smile again, as his hands slid over my shoulders, shoving my jacket off, then smoothed across the tops of my breasts. “Have you ever had that dream where you’re falling?”

“Yeah.” I moaned as one of his hands dipped into my top and caressed me. The other grabbed my thigh and hauled me closer. So ready.

“It’s like that, but you don’t have to wake up, or ever hit bottom.” He ground me into the wall. I could feel how hard he was through his jeans. His licking and kissing grew into a devouring of my flesh, sucking and nibbling until I cried out and pressed back against him like the wanton sex creature I was pretending to be tonight.

“God, Lex, you’re making me so hard,” he growled.

All the heat in my body rushed to front and center at those words. My head swam, and I couldnÂ’t tell if it was the Pit Viper or the Cody-high. Either way, I wanted more. I pulled him closer. He throbbed against me through a scant two layers of clothing, still too far away.

His next kiss wasn’t meant to tease. It was full of the demanding intensity that walked the razor’s edge of obsession — exactly what I’d been craving. I whimpered as his grinding became more insistent. The sudden desire wracking through me bordered on an actual physical withdrawal. I didn’t care about anything else in that moment but getting as close to Cody as humanly possible. Maybe I should have been scared by the thought, but my logic was unraveling too fast under the influence of that drink and Cody’s attentions.

Not to mention the rush of giving myself over to it, of not thinking. That was the release I really needed. I usually thought too much. Never with him.

He reached under my skirt. One finger slid along my thong, and his palm pressed against me. The room spun. His touch had never felt so good before, like I was on fire inside and would burn up if he stopped. Any leftover inhibitions — not that I had many when it came to Cody and sex — disintegrated to ash.

In a move that surprised even me, I took hold of the chains on the wall and wrapped both legs around him, arching my back.

Cody hissed, rubbing my own wetness against me. “I want you so bad.”

“Then take me.” I threw my head back, pressing my breasts against him.

Please! I think IÂ’ll die if you donÂ’t.

Â…What the hell was in that drink?

One finger slid inside me as his mouth latched onto my neck.

A burst of sparkles exploded behind my eyelids. Fire raged through my veins, and only Cody’s ministrations seemed to cool it. I needed more of him, more than his mouth on my skin, more of him filling me up. I gulped for air. The room felt stifling. My skin broke out in a sweat. But all I could say was, “More.”

He dug his teeth into me harder. I felt a pinch of pain, and then the biggest head-rush ever pounded me. I was sucked through a vacuum into an alternate dimension of ecstasy. It was a full-body orgasm that echoed through every cell. And he was still wearing his pants.

Whoa.

Gravity ceased to exist, so did sound. Cody was everywhere. His cool, salty smell filled my nose. I felt him inside and all around me. My toes and fingers tingled until they went numb. I dropped the chains, but he held me there, his mouth locked on my throat. My head lolled to one side and I moaned, completely content, blissfully detached from everything that wasnÂ’t Cody. I blinked my eyes open a couple of times, but the room blurred and faded from black, to white, to red.

“Cody.” It wasn’t a question or a statement, just the only thought I could form. All strength seeped from my limbs. My heartbeat echoed loud in my ears. I tried to tell him when I saw a silhouette in the opening to the alcove, but then my vision flashed white again.

A loud voice struck my ears and bombarded the inside of my skull. Cody dropped my leg and backed away. I slid down the wall, slumping sideways.

My breaths were shallow and fast as I sat there wondering why I was on the filthy floor, and why it was tilting back and forth.

“You damned fool!” the voice rumbled overhead. Someone picked me up and propped me against the wall. One large hand pressed against my chest, another lifted my chin. I blinked my eyes open and found my mystery man from earlier studying me, an unreadable look on his face.

“Fancy meeting you here.” I smiled, lazy and euphoric. The rest of my body tingled now, not just my fingers and toes. Tiny shocks prickled over my skin, everywhere except where the warmth of his palm seeped into me. My stomach gave a giddy flutter.

I followed the strangerÂ’s gaze to see my sort-of boyfriend eyeing him with a mixture of anger and worry. Cody. He was so pretty, with his frosty hair, purple eyesÂ…red, red lips.

I didn’t realize I’d spoken out loud until the stranger said, “She’s in shock.”

“Nah, I think I’m just wasted,” I slurred. “It’s my twenty-first birthday and I’ve never been drink-drank…drunk before.”

“I could have your Sponsor’s head for this. I suggest you inform her of what you’ve done before I do. The punishment will be less severe.”

“I can take care of Lex.” Cody’s lip curled. “She’s mine now.”

“Cody?” I looked from one to the other of them.

The stranger wrapped an arm around my waist and hoisted me up higher, grumbling something too low for me to hear. I instinctively started to relax into his strong arms, and then snapped slightly more alert.

WaitÂ…who? What sponsor? Was Cody in AA? And why were we wasting time talking to this guy? I wanted to speak up, to reach out, but my voice was as wispy and thin as my train of thought, and my arms felt like Jell-O.

“It’s okay, Lex.” Cody glared back, the two of them locked in some silent macho bullshit. “He’ll get you home.”

He ignored my huff of protest and backed towards the curtained doorway.

“Home? But I just got here! We didn’t even dance yet!” A giggle erupted from my mouth at the thought of what we’d been doing instead. Damn Pit Viper. Why would people drink those voluntarily?

“I have to go, Lex.”

“Go?” I closed my eyes, swallowing hard as the world warbled. What the hell? Why did he always leave me hanging? When I opened my eyes again, Cody had gone. The mystery man pressed his hand to my forehead. Concern didn’t look as sexy on him as mysterious and brooding.

“What a killjoy.” I threw my arms over his shoulders in rebellion. “I guess you’re my dance partner for the night.”

He shook his head and tried to slide away. “There won’t be any dancing, I’m afraid.”

“You’re afraid?” I teased, locking my hands around his neck. “Of little ol’ me? I don’t bite.”

He paused, frowning down at me, his chiseled features gone stern.

I realized too late that I was rubbing against him, my inhibitions and common sense still on hiatus. Good riddance, I thought, leaning closer to my sexy rescuer. He felt warm, and smelled like whiskey and leather, with an under-layer of spicy male deliciousness.

His hands gripped my waist, and my stomach did a happy flip, but then he pushed me away and stared at my face.

“I’m not afraid of anything,” he answered in a low, warning tone, “but you should be.”

“You’re probably right. But I don’t feel anything at the moment.” Which was what I had wanted, wasn’t it? To escape my predictable little world for a night? I leaned my head against the wall and slumped down. A part of me still wanted to party all night and burn off the tempest of un-tapped lust Cody had conjured, but my body was clearly not going to cooperate.

He caught me and slid a knee between my legs to brace me up. His hands brushed lightly up my arms, making me shiver, then pinned my shoulders. He turned my head to the side, baring my neck. I felt a dull ache with the movement, but stayed boneless in his grip, like a kitten grabbed by the scruff.

“Maybe it didn’t take,” the stranger whispered from inches away. “You haven’t passed out yet. You might make it.”

I tried to open my eyes and look at him, to ask him what was wrong, and what that meant. It was too much effort. I slumped forward onto his shoulder.

He shook me back upright. “Lexi, is that your name?”

“Alex.” The answer fell out of my mouth. I felt like my head might roll off my body if he shook me again.

“Alex, you have to get out of here and go home. Can you walk?” He let go of me in experiment.

I started to sink down the wall again. “Maybe later. I just need to lie down for a minute.”

He caught me and hefted me into his arms.

I wrapped mine around him, tucking my head under his chin. My whole body was shivering now, like I was burning up with fever. Where was my jacket? I squinted, only half-aware of the music growing louder. I let my eyes flutter closed and swallowed down the dizziness as we wound our way up and up the curvy stairs. Had there been that many stairs on the way down? The rumble of my saviorÂ’s voice lulled me as he carried me through the bustling crowd, across the catwalk of death, and into the cold fresh outside air. I didnÂ’t know what he was saying, but just the tone could put me in a trance.

He set me down on a soft, comfy cushion, and then searched through my pockets.

“Prewitt Hall in the university district,” he said from far away. I heard a loud bang.

“Hey, that’s where I live.” I snuggled deeper into the musty-smelling cushion and fell asleep.

 

 

“Prewitt Hall, miss. Miss.” A cold hand shook my knee. I shot awake and scrambled back from the driver who was leaning over his seat. Both of his heads swam in my vision.

Head — ouch.

I squeezed mine, feeling like two hot pokers had been embedded in either side. I fumbled for the door handle, lurched out onto the sidewalk, and fell flat on my ass.

Pit Viper? They should call it the Sledge Hammer. I was going to kill Cody for giving it to me, and for leaving me like that. Dirtbag.

The door slammed, and I opened my eyes just as the black sedan screeched away from the curb.

“Jerk.” I crawled on hands and knees towards the dormitory steps. I only made it halfway before puking my guts up in a bright red puddle.

This was one of those moments where youÂ’re supposed to re-think your choices in life. Unfortunately, I was too close to passing out to think about anything but my bed. An eternity later, I reached the second floor hallway and sank to the matted carpet outside my dorm-room.

I searched my pockets, banged my head against the door, then regretted it.

“Fuck!” No keys on me. They were in my jacket, lost somewhere in the den of depravity. I either had to wake Theresa up, or sleep in the hallway. I would never hear the end of this.

Happy Birthday to me.

Check out Gwen Mitchell’s other Awesome Indie, Rain of Ash!

Website/Blog: http://www.gwenmitchellfiction.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GwenMitchellFiction
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Gwen_Mitchell
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gmfiction13/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Gwen-Mitchell/e/B00T3FXT3I
Book Links: http://myBook.to/RainofAsh
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4810795.Gwen_Mitchell

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Awesome Indies: Soul of the Blade by Brenda J. Pierson

Awesome Indies: Soul of the Blade by Brenda J. Pierson

For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page I feel like Brenda and I would be great friends. She likes RPGs, fantasy novels and camping. We are basically twins already. She has a way of expressing herself that is very down to earth and approachable. I hope you can get to know her and find out about her book with this interview. What were you like in school? It took me a long time to figure out who I really am and proud of that. I had no clue where I fit in school, so I hung around the edges. I was one of those annoying kids who never had to work hard to get good grades. I was the weird one who lots of people knew, who wasnÂ’t hated or picked on, but no one was really friends with either. I was mostly invisible and thatÂ’s the way I liked it. What writers influenced you the most? The first book I read that made me go “I want to write a book like this!” was The Demon Awakens by R.A. Salvatore. IÂ’d always loved books but I wasnÂ’t a huge reader when I was younger, and I didnÂ’t start getting heavily into fantasy until I was almost 20. Once I did I was hooked, and I started reading everything I could get my hands on. It was […]

Posted October 16, 2015 by Emily in Awesome Indie / 0 Comments
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Awesome Indies: Viral Airwaves by Claudie Arseneault

Awesome Indies: Viral Airwaves by Claudie Arseneault

For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page I’m happy to have the chance to interview Claudie Arseneault about book Viral Airwaves. I love how she talks about how she connected to her own experiences when she was writing this book. Also, the way she talks about her main character, Henry, reminds me a lot of how Bilbo Baggins is at the beginning of the Hobbit; happy and complacent until forced into an adventure. That alone makes me want to read this book! Author Links Website: claudiearseneault.com Blog: claudiearseneault.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/claudie.arseneault Twitter:  http://twitter.com/clh2oars Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Claudie-Arseneault/e/B00SZ0IGA8/ 1. How do you develop your plots and characters? I always start with characters. Long before IÂ’ll have a book idea, I will have a rich character in my head, with a voice and story and desires. Usually the plot starts to appear when I think about what this character wants, or how he comes into conflict with another character, etc. “How can I ruin this characterÂ’s life?” is a very fun question to ask. I do sometimes have the barest idea of a plotline (in the style of “IÂ’d like to write something where X happens”) but when that happens, the first thing I do is develop the characters involved in X. I find it a lot easier and organic this way, as I really enjoy character-driven stories and plots. […]

Posted October 9, 2015 by Emily in Awesome Indie / 1 Comment
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Awesome Indie: What Lies Within by James Morris

Awesome Indie: What Lies Within by James Morris

For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page   Please welcome, James Morris! In this interview he talks about his research style, throwing out a book and starting over and his love of taking pictures of his dog on instagram. I love these kind of interviews because James shows what a funny guy he really is. Check it out! How long did this book take you to write? I try to aim for writing one book a year, most of which is spent just thinking. I spend a lot of time on the concept alone: have I seen it before? WhatÂ’s unique about this story? Why does it need to be told? And what about it will continue to attract me as I climb the Mount Everest of writing, when it is so easy to simply not write, or get distracted by other ideas. So, about a year. Thinking, outlining. But once I actually start writing, itÂ’s about three months. And then of course, the notes, and revisions for another 2-3 months. What was the hardest part of writing this book? Every book is hard, in that they all present the same problems just with different faces. How to make a scene interesting? Am I giving the reader too much information, or not enough? Am I telling the story in the right order, at the right pace? Does the story continue to build, or does it plateau? The hard […]

Posted October 2, 2015 by Emily in Awesome Indie / 0 Comments
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Mini Review: Against All Odds by Patricia Vanasse

Mini Review: Against All Odds by Patricia Vanasse

Against All Odds by Patricia Vanasse, Angelle Pilkington Published by Pants On Fire Press on September 25, 2015 Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance Format: ebook Source: Free for Review Buy on Amazon Sometimes boy meets girl, and the stars align, and their future is laid out neatly before them. Together forever. Meant to be. But Max and Loren are not one of those couples. Seventeen-year-old Max DuPont is on the verge of becoming a ward of the state and foster kid. Contrary to expectations, Max is not from the “wrong” side of town. He’s from a good home in a nice neighborhood, but his mother left after his father lost his job and turned to drink. Max has been struggling to keep his head above water ever since. All he wants is to survive his senior year, play hockey, and move on to college. When his dad lands himself in jail, Max has no choice but to accept an offer to live with his father’s do-gooder attorney, Mr. Larssi. The only contingency is that Max must stay far away from Larssi’s beautiful teenage daughter Loren. Loren is aware that she’s had every opportunity in her young adult life—at least, that is, every opportunity her parents designed for her. She excels in academics at a competitive prep school, she never parties, she never dates, and she’s a budding ballerina and […]

Posted October 1, 2015 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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Awesome Indie: You are Mine by Janeal Falor

Awesome Indie: You are Mine by Janeal Falor

For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page Find Janeal Falor on Facebook and Twitter I hope you enjoy this excerpt as much as I did. The world sounds intriguing. If you are a fan of Glass Arrow, this is one you might want to check out!   Chapter One My blood will entice warlocks to ask for my hand in marriage, so of course Father wants it spilled. The sooner the magic within it is measured, the sooner he can sell me off. According to the laws of Chardonia, there’s no escaping it. For me that day has come. From the way Father’s bulky frame lounges on the couch in the men’s waiting area as he casually smokes his pipe, one would think my testing doesn’t matter. I suppose it doesn’t, as long as I have enough magic to make him a beneficial connection. The greater the level of magic flowing in my veins, the better the marriage offer will be. And of course, whatever my owner wants, I must deliver. Only, I can’t control how much magic is in my blood. I shift my weight trying not to think about things I can’t change, but it’s hard to think of anything else as I stand in the cramped women’s corner of the testing center. A soft tut sounds from mother. If anyone has reason to be uncomfortable it’s […]

Posted September 25, 2015 by Emily in Awesome Indie / 0 Comments
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Awesome Indie: Doc Graystone and the Red Runes by Nicholas Olivo

Awesome Indie: Doc Graystone and the Red Runes by Nicholas Olivo

For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page I’m happy to share this interview with you today. Nicholas Olivo shares some interesting facts about his writing process and his favorite authors. Enjoy! What is your favorite book? The Stand, by Stephen King. When I was in high school they released an uncut version of the book with a bunch more characters and scenes that werenÂ’t included in the original. Each of the characters has a unique personality and motivation and you can tell whoÂ’s speaking even without dialog tags. What writers influenced you the most? Stephen King, Terry Brooks, Jim Butcher and Lester Dent. King for his characterizations, Brooks for his fantastic plots, Butcher for introducing me to urban fantasy, and Dent for the structure I followed when writing the Doc Graystone Adventures. What book are you reading now? IÂ’m listening to the audiobook of The Harvest, by Chuck Wendig. ItÂ’s the final book of a trilogy, and even though I just started, I can tell itÂ’s going to be a heck of a ride. Do you have a set writing schedule that you adhere to? I usually spend a few days sketching out what will happen in a story (or a few weeks if itÂ’s a novel). Once I have the plot and characters established, I write 2,000 words a day, every day, until itÂ’s done. If […]

Posted September 18, 2015 by Emily in Awesome Indie, interview / 1 Comment
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Awesome Indie: Rain of Ash by Gwen Mitchell

Awesome Indie: Rain of Ash by Gwen Mitchell

For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page     I’m so happy to be able to share an interview with Gwen Mitchell today. Her book, Rain of Ash looks like a great mix of fantasy and romance. Best of all, she has an entire series planned to go with it. Enjoy! 1. Tell us about yourself. I work an office job to pay the bills and try to balance my free time between adventures with my friends/boyfriend and writing. When I’m stuck on a story, I cook, craft, and paint (or read!). Health and nutrition are my other passions, and I plan to go back to school for my MS in Nutrition. In the meantime, my life is about travel and experiences – filling the well. 2. What is your favorite book? If I have to pick just one, it’s still actually a trilogy: the first 3 Kushiel books by Jacqueline Carey. I love getting lost in the depth and richness of her world and characters. I’m on my 2nd or 3rd copies of them, and they are still well-worn because I reread them often. 3. Tell us about your book. Rain of Ash is about a reborn Zyne witch who has tried to escape her painful past, but gets pulled back in when she becomes the target of her family’s curse and her Oracle powers are […]

Posted September 11, 2015 by Emily in Awesome Indie, interview / 4 Comments
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Review: Haven Lost by Josh De Lioncourt

Review: Haven Lost by Josh De Lioncourt

Title: Haven Lost Author: Josh De Lioncourt Genre: Fantasy Format: ebook Publishing Information: 6/16/14 by Bookbaby Source: Free for review Librarything | Goodreads | Amazon Synopsis Sixteen-year-old Emily Haven is the star of her hockey team at Lindsey High. She believes her success comes from an innate ability to see the future right before scoring a goal. Hockey is her first love and her escape from her chaotic, deteriorating life with her drug addicted mother and her motherÂ’s live in, drunk of a boyfriend. The day she misses a shot that she knew without doubt she would make, is the day everything changes. She begins to see a dirty boy in torn clothing looking out of reflections at her. When disaster strikes, she runs towards her vision and away from her school, hockey team and life. Waking up in a new land, she finds herself torn between two factions in the middle of a rebellion she knows nothing about. Thoughts I really liked the setting in this book. Emily is pulled into a different world and I love discovering the rules of a world different than our own. She quickly becomes a candidate to be a SorceressÂ’s apprentice and meets other girls with special abilities like her own. The magic in this world seems to be organically based. There were no fireballs in sight, but lots of growing vines like in Sleeping Beauty. Josh De Lioncourt […]

Posted July 7, 2015 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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