Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Against the Gates of Hell: A Crack House Exodus by Mylow Young

Against the Gates of Hell: A Crack House ExodusAgainst the Gates of Hell: A Crack House Exodus by Mylow Young
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So this book arrives to me by mail. I crack open the book and the first thing that hits me is that this book does not have a table of contents, how odd is that? I liked how the book kept switching perspectives between Junior and Kerby it offered two different view points. Which really helped me to understand both Junior and Kerby's state of mind and their decisions. Between the two brothers I did not have a favorite I felt they were both responsible for the way their relationship was. Instead I prefered Rene as a character. Overall I really liked the writing style of the author, the plot, and the rekindled relationship.
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I was sent this book for free for a honest review.

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Thizz, A Love Story

Thizz, A Love Story
Genre- Contemporary YA with mature content
By- Nicole Loufas
Expected Publication Date- November 1st

In 2006, while the San Francisco Bay Area was immersed in the Hyphy Movement – Dani was fleeing the city for the small coastal town of Eureka. With a past she wants to forget and a future that may be out of reach – Dani finds Thizz and her world turns inside out.
Dani has a plan.  Get into CAL Berkeley.  All she has to do is survive six months in Eureka, California.  Her plan seems to be working until Matt, the boy she’s secretly crushing on, sets her up with his best friend.
Nick Marino is the star of the basketball team, grandson to the wealthiest woman in the county, and the town drug dealer. Nick introduces Dani to Thizz on their first date and suddenly smiling becomes easy, conversations are comfortable. Now if she can just figure out if the tingles she’s feeling are caused by Nick or Thizz. After a few weeks of both – she doesn’t care.
With Nick by her side, thizz flowing through her veins, and Matt keeping all her secrets – Dani settles into her new life; forgetting about the tragedy that drove her there, and the plan she had to escape.
Matt fell in love with Dani the first time he saw her.   He also knew whatever drove her from San Francisco to Eureka in her last semester of high school wasn’t something she wanted to share.  When she finally started to open up, Matt hesitated just long enough for his best friend Nick to swoop in. Forced to sit and watch their relationship grow, Matt also learns of Dani’s obsession with Thizz.  He secretly feeds her addiction in a desperate attempt to win her heart.

Pressured into joining Nick’s crew, Matt finds himself in the middle of Eureka’s own hyphy movement and the hit list of a local biker gang. When a school project uncovers a disturbing link between Dani’s parents and Nick’s uncle, Matt is torn between his loyalty to Nick and his feelings for Dani as he tries to convince Dani that her life is in real danger; while persuading Nick to turn on his uncle to save the girl they love.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Macyn’s Decision Macyn McIntyre # 3

Macyn’s Decision
Macyn McIntyre # 3
Genre-  Romantic Suspense
By- S.L. Stacker
Publication Date- September 29th 

A wedding day explosion, a family reunited, and a hunt for a killer are only a few of the things Macyn and her husband, Devon, will face after spending several long months being tortured by their nemesis, Frederick. After Macyn and her partners step up their game and form a plan to find the elusive man, it's then that she is faced with the realization the future of her family and loved ones is dependent upon the decision she makes. Will she continue and follow through with their plans to end this man’s life, knowing the reality of failure is a possibility? Or will she make the ultimate sacrifice and give herself willingly in order to ensure the safety of those she loves? The answer awaits in Macyn’s Decision, the final installment in the Macyn McIntyre Series.


Becoming: The Balance Bringer

The Infected (PODs #2) by Michelle K. Pickett

The Infected (PODs #2)
Release Date: October 12th 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

From the author of the award winning Unspeakable, and the best selling PODs, comes the highly anticipated sequel to PODs. A world where death stalks the unsuspecting, and this time even the PODs might not save them. 

A virus nearly wiped out humankind...

Months have passed since a human infection has been reported. Survivors of the deadly pandemic have finally started to build a life in a world left devastated by plague. 

Ironically, for nineteen-year-old Eva, life made more sense when she battled the deadly Infected than it does in the serenity of her new home in Rosewood. Separated from fiancé and former POD-mate, David, after an impossible ultimatum, Eva finds her life a little lonely and a lot confusing. 

But as troubled as Eva’s life is, it's about to take a turn for the worse as untold dangers watch and wait for the right moment to attack...

The virus refuses to die quietly.

Book One
(click on image for link)

About the Author

I can’t write without a hoodie. Yeah, I live it Texas. We all have our quirks.

I majored in accounting in college. I was required to declare a major, but I had no clue what I wanted to do, so I picked accounting because it was the first thing listed in the booklet the counselor gave me. Surprisingly, I graduated with a 4.0 GPA. Go figure.

Forget coffee. Hand over the Red Bull or Monster Khaos and no one gets hurt. Seriously, just set it down and step away. I will turn into a normal human after I guzzle my can of caffeine.

Ihate to cook, but love to watch cooking shows on television.

I paint my nails weird colors just to see my husband roll his eyes and make my 9 year-old twin girls giggle. Oh, and mortify my 13 year-old son.

I’m a hopeful romantic and love swoon-worthy endings that keep the butterflies going for days, but I don’t believe a HEA always ends with the boy getting the girl. Sometimes a HEA is an ending we don’t see coming, but is still best for the characters.

I write across genres in the young adult and new adult age groups while eating way too many peanut butter M&Ms (but we’ll keep that second part just between us).

I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, but now live in a suburb of Houston, TX with my very supportive family, a 125lb rescue “puppy” and a 12lb attack cat, also a rescue animal.

And last, (but certainly not least), I love my family with everything in me. Everything I am, is theirs. There are no words in any language known to man to describe my love for them. They are my center.

I’d love to hear from you. So drop me an email! Let’s chat. You tell me what you like in books, what you’d like to see happen in the writing community, what type of books you like to see more of...less of—I want to hear it all! So tell me, please. Because the one thing I wish I could put on my list, but I still haven’t figured out how to do, is mind-reading. But don’t tell my kids. I still have them fooled. :)

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Getting to Know Ana’s Crystals by Debra Kristi

n  Becoming:  The  Balance  Bringer  my  heroine  works  with  crystals,  cleaning  them,  wire wrapping them, creating jewelry for family or for sale. I may have had an interest in crystals at the start of this journey, but to better understand Ana I had to learn a lot more about the stones. I had to learn how she charged them for their various intentions. What I learned was vast and far too  extensive  to  bombard  you  with  in  one  guest  post,  but  let me  give  you  the  gist  of  how preparing a crystal works.  If you’re at all familiar with crystals and gemstones and want to get the most out of their energy, you need to cleanse and charge them. That’s what Ana would do before wiring any piece into a setting.  By cleansing your stone you’re washing away any prevailing negative vibes or clinging characteristics that may run contrary your motivations and goals. Cleanse your crystal: There are many options available to you. Here are three quick, easy ones to follow: Smudging: Smoke is commonly used in cleansing crystals. The burning of sage, sweet grass, cedar, frankincense, lotus, or myrrh can dissolve any ambient charge in a given environment. Avoid fanning the smoke with your hand. Use a feather, and if possible, burn your smoke from below your crystals so as to immerse the stones.  Flowing Water: Waterfalls, running streams, even kitchen faucets are marvelous sources to briskly cleanse your crystals’ energies. A mere ten minutes should be fine. Sea Salt: Popular because of its ease in method and ingredient acquisition, soak your crystal in salt water. Sea salt mixed with water is ideal. Weaker results will come from using Epsom Salt or Ionized Salt. Better yet, soak your crystals in real sea water. Activate your crystal: Introduce yourself. State your intentions and welcome the crystal into your home. This may sound silly to you. I assure you it’s not and this step is not to be skipped. Basically, you’re waking your stone up via spiritual connection. Do this by holding it, rolling it back and forth in your hands, sleeping with it, gazing at it, and focusing your thoughts onto it. Charging and programming your crystals: You’re now ready toappeal to the stone’s natural energy  inclination.  Anchoring  intentions  to  a  specific stone  is  called  ‘programming’  your crystal.  Ideally, you want to be as precise as possible in the programming. Generalizations may hinder or actually hurt your goal. Decide on the ‘charging purpose’ for each crystal, word for word, and program it as such.

Jane Blond International Spy By- Brianna Schatt & Stan Schatt

Jane Blond International Spy
By- Brianna Schatt & Stan Schatt
Genre- Middle Grade
Expected Publication Date- October 19th

Fourteen year old Jane thought getting through high school was difficult enough with her dad in prison and her mother dating. Throw in being bullied by the popular girl who has everything- it’s completely unbearable. But when terrorists kidnap a boy she cares about, she knows she is the only one who can save him. International Spy, Jane Blond, must prevent terrorists from blowing up her school during the President’s visit. She’ll need all of her courage along with the help of a teen with CIA secrets, a friend with Asperger’s and a parrot with an attitude.

Overwhelm by Layla Messner

Release Date: November 13th 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

The living crystals that feed elemental power to Atlantis are exhausted. They give and give,but the Altantians just want more energy to fuel their magical city. Sixteen years ago, the crystals came up with a plan to make it all stop, a plan that revolves around three teens:

KALIOPE is a soulsinger, an empath with the power to sing the souls of the dead to their next lives. She just wants to grow up, but her mother won't let her. 

DANICA is Kaliope's whipping girl. She gets punished whenever Kali disobeys. 

CHIARAN is a firestarter, so reckless even his family considers him a monster. 

When Chiaran arrives in Atlantis, he's the first fire person to set foot on the island in a hundred years. Kaliope naturally considers him an enemy and uses the last of her depleted power against him. But the battle reveals that the two have more in common than anyone could have guessed. 

Anyone, that is, except the crystals. 

Three teenage antiheroes, a bisexual love triangle, and an island about to sink. 

Overwhelm is a darkly sensual fairy tale about growing up against all odds.

About the Author
Láyla Messner is a young-adult author and the founder of Chrysalis Sanctuary for healing childhood sexual abuse. She has an M.A. in embodied writing from Goddard College and her novels provide New Sexual Mythology for teens.

She believes that love is real. She does not believe in unsolicited advice or the word "impossible." 

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The Finn Factor by Rachel Bailey

The Finn Factor
Release Date: 09/28/15
Entangled Embrace

Summary from Goodreads:
A new adult romance from Entangled's Embrace imprint...

Sometimes all a girl needs is a little practice...

It's been twelve months, three days, and eleven hours since accounting student Scarlett Logan made it past a second date. A pitcher of mojitos in hand, she employs her supreme graphing skills to narrow things down to one horrifying explanation. Kissing. Clearly someone needs to teach her how to kiss properly. Like, say, her best friend and roomie, Finn Mackenzie. He's safe, he's convenient, and yeah, maybe just a little gorgeous.

Finn knows exactly why Scarlett's boyfriends are disappearing quickly. Him. Not a single guy she's brought home is nearly good enough. And he'll be damned if he lets some loser give her "kissing lessons." No. He'll do the honors, thank you very much. The moment their lips touch, though, everything turns upside down. But Scarlett deserves the one thing Finn can't give her. And if he doesn't put an end to the sexy little shenanigans, he'll teach Scarlett the hardest lesson of all...heartbreak.

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About the Author
As a teenager, I was a voracious reader of science fiction, until one day when I was 16, I saw Pride and Prejudice on television. The old version with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson. I adored it. I’d seen it in the TV guide and, since I had a crush on Laurence Olivier after seeing him in Henry V, I’d taped it.
I watched that tape so often I can still recite most of the dialogue by heart. I sought out the book, devoured it, then found every other Jane Austen book and read and reread them frequently. I only discovered romance as a genre as an adult. Imagine my delight when I first read modern versions of Jane Austen!

Now I read most subgenres of romance, from category to historical to romantic comedy. Such a banquet!

“I haven’t forgotten we kissed, obviously, but I can’t remember details, like what the most effective elements were.” I shifted in my seat. Every second of that kiss was burned into my memory bank. It seemed that hadn’t been as mutual as I’d suspected. I blew out a breath and focused on being a teacher in the situation, not a man who’d been carried away with his own lesson. “I think you’re over-analyzing this. The elements don’t matter on their own. It’s more about the big picture.” 

“Would you say that to your undergrads? Don’t worry about the specifics of the aqueducts, or which emperor came to power in what year. It’s more about the big picture of knowing there was a Roman Empire?” “Well, no, but it’s completely different,” I said, looking down the hall and wondering if I could escape the conversation by simply leaving. “How?” she persisted. “In both cases, you’re teaching something. So the student needs the topic broken down into bite-size pieces.” At the word “bite” all the air left the room. Scarlett must have interpreted my silence to be disbelief because she grabbed a pen and a sheet of paper. “Here.” She smoothed it out on the coffee table in front of us. “I’ll graph it for you.” That snapped me back. “You’re going to graph our kiss?” She drew an X and Y axis, then a line that went up across the page, but not smoothly—there were spikes and bumps along its progress. “So, here, for example”—she pointed to a sharp rise in the line—“you did something and the kiss took off. What was it?” “Seriously?” She wanted to talk as if it had been a clinical experience? “If this had been a kiss for kissing’s sake, then, sure, we could leave it alone. But it was a lesson. How am I supposed to learn if I don’t remember the stimulus that caused the response?” “You don’t need to. You were great. There’s nothing more to learn.” Better than great. Her kissing had been phenomenal. “Again, if an undergrad wanted to learn more about the Roman Empire than they needed to for the first-year exam, would you tell them they were fine, or would you point them to more resource material?” I blinked. “I’m resource material?” She threw her hands up in the air, as if she was the one who was exasperated. “You’re the one who offered the lesson in the first place, so yes. You are my resource material on kissing.” I looked over at the array of empty beer bottles on the coffee table. “We really need to make it a rule that we don’t talk about kissing after we’ve been drinking.” “You’d rather have this conversation stone-cold sober?”“I’d rather not have this conversation at all.” “Oh.” Her face fell. “What?” I asked warily. “It’s just occurred to me that although I thought the kiss was good, you might not have enjoyed it at all. That’s why you’re fighting so hard against a follow up lesson.” She scrunched up her nose. “It was awful for you.” I rubbed my temples—I was getting a headache trying to keep up with her thought processes and keep us out of dangerous territory. “It wasn’t awful.” Amazing would be closer. “Then why are you so against a follow-up lesson so I can focus on the bits I’ve forgotten?” Something in the way she said “forgotten” made everything inside me rear up and protest. Maybe it was vanity, maybe it was neediness, but whatever it was, I didn’t want to be considered a forgettable kisser. Especially by Scarlett. My gaze zeroed in on her mouth as I wrapped an arm around her and tugged her closer, but not quite touching. Her eyes widened and her pink tongue darted out to moisten her lips. I groaned. “See if you can forget this,” I said, and lowered my head.

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

You Can't Text a Tough Conversation by Mike Bechtle

You Can't Text a Tough ConversationYou Can't Text a Tough Conversation by Mike Bechtle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a communications minor student I found this book to be rather interesting. This book had a lot of useful information about communications. It goes in to how to avoid communications problems and how to resolve the problem once it has happened. I found this book as knowledgeable as any textbook without any of the normal dryness that comes with a textbook. I appreciated the real life stories as they helped demonstrate the usefulness of these techniques.

I was sent this book for free for a honest review.

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Grief through Character Development by Debra Kristi

My sister left this world eighteen years ago, but it would not be the only time I would lose her. I had a journey to take – a path of grief to follow, one of which I had skipped lightly around in the year  following  her  passing.  The  same  years  my  muse  became  active.  Flooding  my  head  with stories and, while I lightly entertained the notion they presented, I made no serious move to do anything about them. Not until they started yelling at me a decade later. It would seem my muse didn’t care  much  for  being  ignored. Soon, the story was talking to me every waking  moment, giving me no peace at any time of the day or night. They say the squeaky wheel gets the oil, and so it did. I eventually put pen to paper, bringing life to my manuscript, and beginning my journey of grief. I started to feel something I hadn’t felt in years and  it encouraged  me to continue. The words and  story  flowed with undeniable  strength and my sister’s presence filled the room whenever I wrote. So intense was the soul of my story and the characters breaking through that one character actually captured the essence of my sister, pulling  her  into  my  manuscript.  She  came  alive  as  Crystia,  a  player,  in  my  ongoing  Balance Bringer Chronicles. Through Crystia I have traveled  my path of grief and  found my place of tranquility.  And  it  is through her that I will once again lose my sister when I put the story to bed upon its completion. Only this time it will be different. There will be peace and understanding in the loss. And I will always have that part of her with me, on the pages of my.  Until then, I will savor every minute.

Grief through Character Development by Debra Kristi My sister left this world eighteen years ago, but it would not be the only time I would lose her. I had a journey to take – a path of grief to follow, one of which I had skipped lightly around in the year  following  her  passing.  The  same  years  my  muse  became  active.  Flooding  my  head  with stories and, while I lightly entertained the notion they presented, I made no serious move to do anything about them. Not until they started yelling at me a decade later. It would seem my muse didn’t care  much  for  being  ignored. Soon, the story was talking to me every waking  moment, giving me no peace at any time of the day or night. They say the squeaky wheel gets the oil, and so it did. I eventually put pen to paper, bringing life to my manuscript, and beginning my journey of grief. I started to feel something I hadn’t felt in years and  it encouraged  me to continue. The words and  story  flowed with undeniable  strength and my sister’s presence filled the room whenever I wrote. So intense was the soul of my story and the characters breaking through that one character actually captured the essence of my sister, pulling  her  into  my  manuscript.  She  came  alive  as  Crystia,  a  player,  in  my  ongoing  Balance Bringer Chronicles. Through Crystia I have traveled  my path of grief and  found my place of tranquility.  And  it  is through her that I will once again lose my sister when I put the story to bed upon its completion. Only this time it will be different. There will be peace and understanding in the loss. And I will always have that part of her with me, on the pages of my.  Until then, I will savor every minute. Meet Crystia: Junior in High School, living in a small desert town Drives an old, weathered 80’s Ford Mustang Shops thrift stores and retro fashions for her look Long, straight, very light blonde hair
Heterochromia eyes with bright blue contacts 5’6” with wafer thin build Personal theme song: Sky Fits Heaven by Madonna There’s a lot more to learn about Crystia in my novel Becoming: The Balance Bringer. I hope you love her as much as I do.  ~ Thanks so much for letting me share this bit about my sister and her inspired character on your blog. I truly appreciate your time and help in spreading the word about my novel. And thanks a million to the readers! It’s for you that we write!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Moonchild Dreams by Nadia Gerassimenko

Moonchild DreamsMoonchild Dreams by Nadia Gerassimenko
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Moonchild Dreams by Nadia Gerassimenko is a book filled with a wonderful collection of poems on love, hope, enlightenment, and wisdom. I truly enjoyed reading almost all of the poems in this wonderful little book, the few I did not enjoy were not for any lack of writing skill or poetry ability. Rather they were just poems that did not call to me on an emotional level or poems that I was left pondering the meaning of after I finished reading them.

I enjoyed reading Lock it up the most, though Time was a close second. Time focuses on a pair of lovers who yearn for time to stop so that they may forever be together and enjoy the company of the other without worrying about time running out for a an eternity. I can understand the want for time to slow or stop if even only for a little while so that one might be able to enjoy the moment without worry of it ending too soon.

A read through of my favorite poem is here:

I was sent a free copy of this book for a honest review.

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Legacy by Ellery Kane Excerpt

Chapter Four: Freedom 
Leaving the library was a risk, but after seeing the tattooed man for the second time, I began to feel a sense of urgency. My mother warned me to guard against my impatience, but it was growing more and more difficult to wait. “Remember,” my mother had chided, “they will come to you.” The Resistance, wherever, whatever it was, wasn’t to be sought out. After my mother began to speak out publicly about the dangers of Emovere, she was contacted by the Resistance. By then, the government had placed significant restrictions on the public’s use of emotionaltering medications, including Emovere. Still, for a price, it was accessible to those who wanted it. And many did. I peered cautiously out of the library door into the street. It was nearing twilight, and a light rain had begun to fall. Papers blew into the doorway around my feet, most of them posters promoting the Resistance. I clutched my jacket tighter around me. I had no plan. I felt tentative, like a caged animal that had just discovered freedom lay beyond a broken latch. Uncertain, I stepped into the rain, leaving the library behind me. I headed south. The rain was coming down harder now, stinging my skin. The air felt electric, as if my apprehension was a tangible, steady buzz. I passed familiar streets. At Powell Street, a cable car was overturned, branded in red spray paint with the mark of the Resistance: The Bowl of Hygeia—the Greek symbol of pharmacy—cracked and turned on its side, with a skull tumbling from within it. It was a striking image, both derisive and foreboding. Most of the stores in this part of the city had been vacant long before the Resistance began. People could no longer afford luxuries. One of the shops was familiar: a toy store where my father had taken me while we waited for my mother to finish a meeting. Back then, itseemed we were always waiting for my mother. After her role in developing Emovere, she became somewhat of a celebrity, appearing on news shows and chatting with her supporters on social media. At home, my mother never boasted about her success, but she didn’t have to. It was as apparent and ever-present as her shadow. As I peered into the toy store’s rain-fogged windows, I had a flash of my father,swinging me by the arms in a circle, both of us laughing. I had few memories of him, so I guarded them preciously. He left when I was ten. The last time I saw him, I was lingering in the doorway of my bedroom, looking out into the kitchen where my parents stood, arguing. “I don’t think you know what you’re doing—what the consequences could be. Do you even care?” My father’s face was red with anger, but he looked defeated. Their arguments had grown more frequent, yet each was the same as the last. My father wanted my mother to resign from her position at Zenigenic. “Of course, I care.” My mother lowered her voice. “You know I care.” “I don’t know anything about you anymore.” My father turned from my mother. When his eyes briefly met mine, I saw that he felt satisfied and then, ashamed. When I returned from school the next day, he was gone. In the years that followed, I came to understand why he left my mother. She could be distant and selfish at times. But I never forgave him for leaving me. It was almost dark by now, and the remaining light cast shadows around me. They danced eerily at the edges of my vision. I walked faster. I had hoped that by leaving the library, I would discover something to direct me to the Resistance. I saw now that there was nothing here. What if my mother had been wrong about everything? How could she let me come here alone? For the first time in a long time, I allowed myself to feel angry with her. I turned back toward the library. The rain had subsided, but I was wet and cold. I started to run. As I ran, I caught broken glimpses of myself in what remained of the store windows. I looked wild, careless. Fear began to tug at me, whispering at first, then speaking urgently. I could hear the soft, methodical thud of what sounded like footsteps behind me. I ran faster, not daring to look. By the time I reached the library, I was certain that at any moment someone, something, was just a fingertip’s length behind me. As I approached the door, I took one quick look back to ready myself. The street was empty and blanketed in darkness.
Chapter Five: The First Time Whoosh! 
I slammed the library door shut, sending leaves and papers swirling about the room. I pressed my back into the wall, breathing heavily. In the library, it was as dark as a cave. I reached for the light switch, flicking it on and off and on again. Nothing. It’s just a blackout, I told myself, squinting into the blackness. The government reported that California’s frequent power outages were caused by the country’s crumbling infrastructure. My mother, on the other hand, was convinced that the blackouts were manufactured to keep us in a constant state of uncertainty. I wasn’t sure what to believe. From above my head, a familiar brown bird swooped past me. I squealed with surprise and began laughing. How was I ever going to be worthy of the Resistance if I couldn’t manage a bird? “You almost gave me a heart attack,” I said aloud, my words echoing in the empty room. I removed my jacket and left it in a wet heap near the door. I turned on my flashlight, sending a thin yellow beam of light through the room. Though my brief adventure had been unsuccessful, I felt a small sense of accomplishment. I had stepped out into the world and returned intact. Just as my body began to relax, I felt a sudden, sharp impact to my side. I doubled over. The flashlight slid across the floor, striking the wall with a thud. Run. Run! RUN! My brain screamed at me, but, for an instant, I couldn’t move. Finally, instinct took over. I scrambled to my feet, trying to reach the gun concealed in the back of my pants. I heard a man’s heavy breathing and felt him reaching for me through the darkness. He struck me again, this time in the chest. I felt dizzy. He grabbed at my shirt, and there it was—the black-inked badge on his inner left forearm. A Guardian! He pulled me closer toward him. I landed a solid kick to his knee, then ran toward the back of the library, hiding in a small alcove. He followed. I waited. The man moved clumsily in the dark. As he neared the alcove, I could see he wasn’t who I thought he was. He had long blond hair and was heavily muscled. He wore a dark uniform and carried handcuffs and a weapon at his side. Unlike the other tattooed man, he moved without concern as if he couldn’t be harmed. Though I couldn’t be certain, I suspected he was under the influence of Emovere. His lack of fear was a weakness. He wouldn’t anticipate danger. Time seemed to slow, my senses heightened by my terror. I saw only the man, plodding toward me, his boots causing thunderous echoes in my ears. Tunnel vision, I thought to myself, remembering my mother’s description of the body’s response to fear. I steadied my breathing and considered the gun in my hand. What choice did I have? I squeezed the trigger, and the man fell back.
 Chapter Six: Found
 Ten long minutes later, I found the Resistance. Or rather, they found me. I hadn’t moved from the alcove. I felt heavy inside, my stomach a churning pit of rocks. I had never killed anything larger than a spider—until now. My eyes were drawn to the dead man. He lay face down with his head turned unnaturally to the side. A river of blood snaked its way from underneath him. It was painful to look at him, yet I found it hard to look away. When my mother told me about her research with criminals, most of them murderers, I hung on every word, waiting for the why. The why fascinated me so much more than the how. Each case was a riddle I needed to solve, to understand how such things were possible. But I was always disappointed—the why never completely satisfying me. Now I understood. I was a murderer . . . no different from the men my mother had studied. In the distance, I heard the rumble of an engine. It steadily grew louder and then stopped. I knew I should be afraid, but I felt numb. The library door creaked as it swung open, and I heard the click-click-click that had awakened me nights before—along with the sound of approaching footsteps. “Where are you?” The man’s voice was gruff and demanding, almost a growl. I said nothing. I tried to be as still and silent as a stone. I could hear Artos sniffing the ground feverishly. “We don’t have much time. In case you didn’t notice, you killed a Guardian.” His words surprised me. Wasn’t he a Guardian? “Okay,” he said. “It’s your choice. They’ll be here to arrest you any minute now, but I guess you can handle it.” Strange, but his sarcasm made me smile. “Who are you?” my voice croaked. “I’m here to help you. Right now, that’s all you need to know.” I thought of my mother. She had sent me here. She had trusted me. I had to trust myself. I stood slowly, steadying myself against the wall. My legs felt like rubber. “I’m here,” I said, taking a step from behind the alcove. “I’m here.”

Write What You Know by Debra Kristi

When people ask me how I write like I do, the answer comes down to those four words you’ve probably heard before -“Write what you know.” And no, I don’t have any experience hearing animals talk to me, but I do have a vivid imagination.  Writing what you know is one of those things that is often misunderstood, especially when a writer  is  first  starting  out.  When  you  stop  and  think  about  it,  if  it  were  taken  literally  the bookshelves would be filled with biographies. There’d be noDracula or Frankenstein. I don’t know about you, but that’s not a world I particularly want to live in.  Writing what you know is about those things we can all relate to. The emotion you felt when you experienced your first kiss, when you discovered your boyfriend was cheating on you, or when someone close to you died. It’s pure, raw emotion brought to the page and the characters.  But writing what you know also goes beyond the emotions.How many of you have warmed your hand by a bonfire, felt the nip of the blaze? Writing what you know encompasses touch, too. The dew in the fog, the bite of ice, and the tingle of the sun warming your skin.  It’s relationships between people―lovers, strangers, co-workers, and enemies.  You don’t need to be an immortal or magical being to know how these things make you feel. Pull from your everyday life, add your fantastical twist, and Shazam, you have yourself a story written from experience.  ~ I want to thank you for having me here and allowing me to take up a bit of your blog space. I had so much fun writing this book and I appreciate the opportunity to share. Thanks to the readers and fans, because you are the most important part of being a writer―seriously. May you all have a truly magical week.

Why ‘The Right’ Critique Partners Matter by Debra Kristi

It’s an honor to be here today, to talk to you a bit about my writing path, and about what I learned regarding my writing partners along the way.  Writing is subjective. What you or I may think is the best story ever written, someone else may shrug at, or worse yet, mark as absolute rubbish. Every great author has their negative reviews. If you doubt what I’m saying, simply take a look. Dr. Suess, Stephen King, if an author has written enough to find an audience, they have gathered negative attention.  That’s okay. Honestly, it really is. If you are writing from your heart, finding your voice, it’s not going to please everyone, and that means negative reviews will come. But how do you find that voice and bring it to a place where it’s ready to meet the world?  You write. And you write, and write, and write. Obvious, right? Except, writing alone isn’t enough.  As writers, we  need to open ourselves up to the voices of constructive criticism. Through the sharing of work and feedback we become better writers and storytellers. We hear that all the time. Except, not all criticism is worth your time. It’s through experience we learn which voices to listen to and which to dismiss. Long ago, I was in a cozy little critique group. Wonderful people, but they wanted me to change and cut so many parts of my story that eventually my voice became jumbled and my confidence obliterated. My story no longer knew what it wanted to be. I couldn’t see the path through the rubble of words remaining. That story got filed away (for what felt like an eternity), waiting for my head to clear.  Writing partners are a lifeline in your journey. The relationship not only has to be cohesive, it has to spark―encourage your muse and energize your soul. If it’s not, it’s probably not be the right one for you. Don’t be afraid to walk away from an unhealthy writing relationship. I did and it turned out to the best choice I could have made. As difficult as it may be in the moment, in the end it will make you a strong writer.  How do you find the right critique partner for you? You might strike gold right out the gate or it might be an evolving process. I suggest making a list of what matters to you regarding your writing and then looking for those same traits in another. Start there and expand your list as you grow. No matter what you do, never forget that your words have value and how others critique them makes a difference.
~ A huge thank you for having me here today! It has been a pleasure, and all the support is truly awesome. Thank you to the readers and fans! You are the most important part of being a writer.

Seven Things You Didn’t Know About Becoming: The Balance Bringer by Debra Kristi

This young adult fantasy started as one book and quickly turned into so much more as the story unfolded. The framework for a prequel revolving around Ryland and Kaia is already being sketched out. The  sister  relationship  between  Ana,  Crystia,  and  Kaia was  the  driving  force  when  I  started writing the first book, although I didn’t fully realize it at the time. This  story  was bouncing  around in  my  head  for  thirteen  years  before  I  decided  to  commit  to putting pen to paper. It blossomed considerably during that time. The free-spirited sister of my protagonist captured the spirit of my real sister, bringing her to life in my story as the character Crystia. It  may  come  as  no  surprise  that  I  use  music  as  inspiration.  I  currently  have  an  incomplete soundtrack for the first two books consisting of 83 songs. That does not include character theme songs. Yep, I listened to a plethora of music while writing this particular story.  I had the character Dohlan walking one path through the story,  but he explained to  me that  it wasn’t going to be that simple. As a result, his character arc changed considerable. You’ll have to wait and see where that takes us.

~ Thanks for having me on the blog. I appreciate your time and effort in spreading the word. Big thank you to the reader, too. Readers are the reason we writers do all that we do.