YA

Rawls E. Remy

Brain to Book Blog Tour

Fast Facts

  • Author: Rawls E. Remy
  • Genres: Epic Fantasy, YA, Adventure, Christian, Speculative Fiction
  • Book: Misfits of Harlow Book #1 of the V Chronicles Series
  •  Official Site

Bio

Rawls E. Remy dwells in Rivendell and other imaginary worlds, and dreams of becoming an epic swordsmaster, learning how to ride a wild dragon, mastering the art of drawing/painting, and to one day fluently speak Tolkien’s language of the Elves. She lives off of chocolate, iced coffee, good humor and fantasy. When she isn’t writing or blogging, Rawls can be found either sitting outside in the sun with a book in hand, or pedaling away on her bike, or working to create that next piece of art. She is an Epic Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Steampunk, and Christian author in the making, with her first Epic Fantasy novel set to be released in 2016.


Blurb

The world fell to ruin long ago at the hands of the Vampiric Emperor, and according to prophecy he will soon return from the dead to finish what he started. There is only one power that can stop him, an ancient power of a soul reborn, only shedoesn’t know it yet…

Living with the enemy. That’s what happens to Cyrus Sole when her elven people cast her out for being a half-blood with Elemental powers—feared even by her own family. She finds herself in the capital of elven kind’s most hated enemy, at the only place able to teach her how to master her power over metal: the elite school of the D.G. League. But there are obstacles. It’s a school for “boys,” and they hate elves. In this kingdom, elves are slaves.

Cyrus must create a new identity for herself, praying she can hide behind it until her training is complete—and hope she can survive her unusualnew classmates:

Aken the dreamer and prankster; Hercule the broody, fire breathing noble; Zartanian the shy and blossoming swordsman; genii-like Bakaro of the desert sands; Lykale the suspicious genius; and Mamoru the mysterious puppet master.

Did her life take a turn for the better or the worse…?


Excerpt

“Hey!” she called out, “There’s no reason to throw rocks. Leave him alone.”

Did she just say that? Out loud? When she was only one person, and they were seven?

Oh crud. Too late to back down now.

“Well well, boys. Looky who it is!” The tallest elf gave an unpleasant grin.

“Hehe, I guess their kind come in packs, don’t they?” smirked a second. “Where one is, there’s bound to be more.”

All eyes fixed on her and they took a step near.

A frightened breath escaped her throat and she took a step back before catching herself. ‘No, I can’t let people bully me forever!’ She dashed forward, placing herself between the gang and the cage. The humanoid imprisoned within eyed her through narrow, shadowed lids. “They are people too! They have feelings, same as you,” she affirmed.

“Puh-leeze. Don’t try ‘n get us with the ‘they’ve got feelings and emotions’ bit. We don’t care!” mocked the tall boy through a sneer, and they edged closer. “Hey, I know~ How about you come play with us? You motherless tramp…”

Her hand gripped the iron pole by which the death-cage hung, steadying herself, her mind in a race for what she should do. She had to think fast as the gang moved close, circling her. How had she moved that spoon before? How had she manipulated the metal?

The scraping of footsteps ceased, and she looked up. The elves had stopped, suddenly motionless; eyes bulged wide and jaws slack, staring at something. Puzzled, she followed their gaze over to her left hand touching the pole—an ordinary iron pole, only pieces of iron were separating and peeling off, liquefying and elongating, reaching out like fingers bearing knife-point tips…fingers flying forward like thrown knives.

AaaaH!” They hollered, ducking and leaping aside.

“She’s a freak like them!”

“She’s a monster!”

“Quick, call the Hunter Elves!”

The seven boys split up, sprinting in all directions, off to get the Hunter Elves Corps—her worst nightmare.

‘Oh no, nonono! They’re coming for me; they’ll kill me; they’ll sentence me to a death-cage!’ Panic took hold. ‘Forgive me, Lord God, I should’ve kept it secret… My life is condemned—condemned to execution! They’ve been waiting for this chance to get rid of me.

This was the end. The end of everything.

“Girl!”

She jumped at a husky voice suddenly spoke at her back, and half turned toward the cage, raising her eyes up to meet the man’s intense gaze. Already tears of fright streaked her cheeks.

“Girl, set me free and I can take you away from this place.”

Away…what? How? They would track her down! They were called “Hunters” for a reason!

Despite her despair, she imagined the cage’s bars bending open—eyelids closed and right hand fingers outstretched.

Brrrreeee—kk!

The iron bended, almost snapping off, enough for him to climb out and drop down onto starved-thin feet. The gaunt humanoid stumbled from having gone who-knew-how-long without using his legs. But his blood’s Healing capability must already be working its rejuvenating power or else he couldn’t stay standing—the average humanoid would be wailing agony and require a wheelchair.

‘Woah, their resilience is amazing! Wish I had inherited that bit from Mom…’ Out loud she asked if he was sure he could make it.

He waved her concern aside. “I can handle myself without life-energy, missy.” He grabbed her arm and pulled her with him down the nearest alley. “You know this town better than I do. Guide me to the edge, and I’ll take matters from there.”

A sudden chill ran through her veins. She was speaking to one of her mother’s kind, and he was holding her arm.

Who was it that had killed Mother? Could these humanoids really be trusted? She swallowed. But then, what choice did she have right now? Her life among elf kind was over.

She nodded, taking the lead and making sure to keep to narrow and dim alleys and pathways. There was one place she had to stop by first. If she really was leaving Elvenstone for good, then there were some important things she had to bring with her…


 Connect with Rawls

 Chronicles: Misfits of Harlow will be available in print format and ebook format in bookstores worldwide 2016. Keep up-to-date via any of the links above.


Angela Interviews Rawls E. Remy

 Angela: I want to take a moment to welcome Rawls E. Remy, soon-to-be author of Misfits of Harlow (V. Chronicles: Book 1).

Thank you so much for speaking with me, Rawls E. Please take a moment to tell us about your book.

Thank you for having me, Angela.

Misfits of Harlow focuses on the lives of a group of misfits, foremost among them Aken-Shou and Cyrus. Much of Book 1 revolves around Cyrus the elf as she is chased out of her hometown and banished for the power she possesses. She finds herself in enemy territory—a people who hate elves—and creates a disguise she will have to live under.

She is of mixed blood: half elf, and the other half elves’ bitter enemy, and she is an Elemental Manipulation user. When her own kind turn on her because of these secrets, she is forced to run away and begin a new life in Draethvyle city—within the kingdom of elf kind’s enemy. But she has to hide her half-elf blood, hence the need for a disguise. As if that wasn’t enough trouble, the school she wishes to attend in order to develop her Elemental power with metal happens to be a school for “boys.” Girls with Elemental power are rare, and so the focus is on training males. She must pull out her tomboy side and hide her entire identity.

The story follows Cyrus and her new group of misfit comrades through daily training and schooling they must endure to master their Elemental powers and to one day become a part of the elite guardian force: the D. G. League. We are also shown the sad state their world and kingdom is in, the tragedy of war, the resulting hatred between humanoid kinds, aristocracy life, abuse, and slavery. It is clear that things need to change, and Cyrus and Aken-Shou are determined to do just that.

Angela: How did you come up with the idea for your book?

It was a gradual process. But I would say that my time living in Italy was where the idea first began to blossom. European stories, their myths and legends of elves, fairies, vampires, trolls, etc. sparked my imagination, and this series is the result.

I must also say that Lord of the Rings and Narnia helped fuel the ideas running through my head, and classic animes grew my interest for Asian cultures and languages.
Angela: Stories always require some form of research. What kind of research did you do for your book?

A lot of weapons and combat research. Names and language research. Different peoples in V. Chronicles have similarities to cultures and languages of our world, so I studied some things about other countries. For example, Japan’s language and culture, Romania’s architecture and myths, Finland names, and Western European architecture and clothing.
Angela: Which scene or chapter was the hardest for you to write?

The chapter that details the harsh past of Zarren, who is a sub main character in the series, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write. He’s a survivor of abuse, and knowing that there are so many children and young people in the world suffering through the same thing is what made it so difficult to write.
Angela: Please describe your favorite scene or chapter in your book and tell us why it’s your favorite?

One of my favorite scenes is when Zarren and his twin brother, Elijob, are walking a long, dirt road, and they come across fields of wild flowers. It’s their first taste of freedom, and the world is beautiful and bright in ways they’d never seen before. It is also one of their happiest memories together, and it stays with Zarren forever.
Angela: Which of your characters do you relate to the most (or) who is your favorite character and why?

Such a hard question to answer! I feel that every character, in some way, is a part of me, and I like each of them for different reasons. Aken is entertaining and gets into trouble. Zarren is the sweetest thing ever, despite all that he’s been through. Mamoru is mysterious, wise, and a “big brother” figure. Hercule is a resilient noble, who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. Ellefsen, my favorite antagonist, who brings villain humor and cunning to a whole new level, is a character I have lots of fun writing. So basically, I can’t choose. :)

Angela: I once read that every author is simply a compilation of his/her favorite authors. Which authors have done the most to influence your writing and why?

In my younger writing life, my influences were mostly the places we visited as I grew up in Italy, and the shows I watched on TV. It wasn’t until high school that I really got into reading the big authors. Among my favorite were Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Masashi Kishimoto, Robert Jordan, and Brian Jacques. Their work showed me how to create the worlds I’d been wanting to. They showed me how to formulate battles and strategies, taught me of ships and sailing, and of weapons and combat. I also really enjoyed how much personality they put into each of their characters, and I liked all the different races they’d created. This influenced me to create my own races, cultures, and character personalities.
Angela: “Story” has always been the center of all human cultures. We need it. We seek it out. We invent it. What does “story” mean to you?

It teaches us something, tells us about ourselves, and shows to us both the bad and the good. To me, that is what “story” does, and why it has meaning.
Angela: Tells us about your next project.

Because V. Chronicles is a series, my next projects are book 2 and 3, and several novellas. Also, on the side, is my Steampunk Fantasy blog series: Madnes Solver. No that is not a misspell; go find out why and read it on the blog.
Angela: Where can we find you and your book?

You can find me at my author website and blog: Rawlse.wordpress.com. My book, however, is currently being edited. I will keep everyone up-to-date on my book’s status through the blog and monthly newsletter.
Angela: Thank you, again, so much for speaking with me.

Thank you for having me, Angela! It’s been a pleasure.

 See the Brain to Books Blog Tour Giveaways with Lu!

 A Brain to Books Production

Catharine Bramkamp

Brain to Book Blog Tour

Fast Facts:

  • Author: Catharine Bramkamp, Popular author/award winning poet/ podcaster/ champion of Newbie Writers everywhere.
  • Genre: YA/Time Travel/Sci Fi
  • Book Title(s): Future Girls from the Future Girls Series

BIO

Catharine Bramkamp, author.
Photo by Deanne Fitzmaurice

Catharine Bramkamp is the co-producer of Newbie Writers Podcast that focuses on newer writers and their concerns. She is a successful writing coach and author of a dozen books including the Real Estate Diva Mysteries series, The Future Girls series (Eternal Press) and editor of the Redwood poetry collection, And the Beats Go On. She holds two degrees in English, and is an adjunct university professor.

A California native, she divides her time between the Wine Country and the Gold Country.

She and her husband have parented two boys past the age of self-destruction and into the age of annoying two word text missives.


 Accomplishments:

Writing Coach, Podcaster for the Newbie Writers Podcast, University Professor – critical writing. Board member for WNBA-SF, member of Redwood Writers.


Future Girls Blurb:

October 10, 2145: eighteen-year-old Charity Northquest's whole future is ahead of her--and the future sucks.

October 11, 2145: she unexpectedly has a chance to fix it.

When her best friend is reported killed, but then re-appears the next day as an old woman, everything Charity has been taught is called into question. Even if she does not believe in time travel, she has little choice. So the ill-prepared Charity travels back to the mysterious and captivating 21st century where her single purpose of changing the future fades with the increasingly more urgent question of whether she can survive the past.


Book review:

By Betsy Fasbinder on February 15, 2015

Format: Kindle Edition

This book gets 5 stars from me because it's everything it intends to be. It's an interesting twist on the time-travel motif. The story lauds the influence and power of women and girls, but is also a cautionary tale against passivity and blind obedience to authority and the potentially dire effects of getting complacent and accepting what governments and the media say without question. This is a suspenseful story with a main character we can root for and villains that take a variety of forms. Lots of fun social and political themes (global environment, feminine power, corruption, sexualization of women, religion, media manipulation, , e.g.) addressed in creative ways without being overly dogmatic or preachy.

My very favorite thing about this book was that it didn't disintegrate into a corny romance where they guy fixes everything for the helpless girl and she has to give up everything important for romance. The heroine is necessarily naive because of the sheltered experience of her life in the future, but she's not a fool…and she learns and grows along the way. Guys are there as allies, partners, helpers, and sometimes villains, but they don't upstage the heroine's role.

The book is a stand-alone, but I can see the seeds for the series and will surely read those when they arrive on the scene. If Hollywood is looking for movie material, here it is. Katniss Everdeen, step aside. There's a warrior of a different sort on the scene and she gets to use her smarts and her heart as her best weapons.


Chess Desalls

Brain to Book Blog Tour

Fast Fact

  • Author: Chess Desalls
  • Genre: YA, fantasy, time travel
  • Books: Travel Glasses from The Call to Search Everywhen series
  • Official Site

 Bio

I recently authored the first two installments of the YA time travel serial series, The Call to Search Everywhen. I'm a longtime reader of fantasy and sci-fi novels, particularly classics and young adult fiction. There's nothing quite like a good fairy tale or fable. When I'm not writing I enjoy traveling, reading and trying to stay in tune on my flute.


 Accomplishments

 I work and write outside of my creative writing. My work has led to both academic and industry publications. I'm a contributing editor for my local writing club's monthly newsletter. I also received a first place award for best short fiction from the California Writers Club, South Bay branch.

(I wish I could say more, but I routinely deal with confidential information and prefer to keep that part of my background separate.)


Blurb

Calla Winston’s mobile devices sit in a corner of her room, covered in dust. Weeks ago, she shared photos and laughs with her best online friend. Now, after having felt the sting of betrayal, she prefers being hidden and friendless. She equates privacy with security and technology with pain.

Then she meets Valcas, an otherworldly time traveler who traverses time and space with a pair of altered sunglasses. When an ethereal being knocks Calla to the ground near her family’s lakeside cottage, Valcas uses the Travel Glasses to help her escape. He offers his further protection in exchange for a promise. Intrigued by Valcas and the possibility of time travel, Calla accepts. That is until she learns that his search for her was no mere coincidence.

Calla sets off on her own, taking the Travel Glasses with her. Torn between searching for her estranged father and reuniting with the rest of her family, she tracks down the inventor of the Travel Glasses in hopes of discovering more about Valcas’ past and motivations. The Travel Glasses take Calla’s mistrust of technology to all new levels. But without them, she’ll never make it back home. With Valcas hot on her trail, Calla hopes to find what she’s looking for before he catches up.

The Call to Search Everywhen is a serial series of novel-length installments. Travel Glasses is YA fantasy filled with metafiction and other literary twistiness. It's a thought-provoking narrative about trust, relationships, reality and illusion.


Review

"This book is really unique and unlike anything I've read" ~ Goodreads reviewer

"The sci-fi aspect of the novel was perfectly executed, everything was wonderfully explained and it felt real to me, it felt very possible, less fictitious. The TSTA, glasses, rules, bright light, nowheres and everything made sense to me. Best of it all, this is a theme I haven't hear of. Its not a copy of any other sci-fi novel I have ever heard of, and trust me, I've heard of a lot." ~ Goodreads/Amazon reviewer

"I also enjoyed the originality of the devices and means of time travel in this book." ~ Goodreads/Amazon reviewer

"The story of the travel glasses is very original and inventive, props to the author for coming up with this story and keeping it believable." ~ Goodreads reviewer

"Time travel, mystery, romance and plenty of adventure, this book captivated me with interesting characters and a plot that was unlike anything I had ever read before." ~ Goodreads reviewer

"Its a really fun read, very unusual and with some novels like this I’ve a shedload of questions that never get answered, but here – each time I think “ I wonder why/how/who/what?” the answer comes, and not through that horrible device so often used of simply telling the reader the answers, but by Calla thinking her way through, using logic to find them, or by looking at what’s happening to her, or sometimes just asking questions of another traveller. That makes the story so much more realistic, more interesting than what often happens, where we just read pages of text giving the reader the answer." ~ Amazon top reviewer


Excerpt

The fireplace glowed and crackled behind me as the light of the flames reflected off of Valcas’ lenses. I sipped tea while sitting cross-legged on a sleeping bag.

“Time travel is possible and has been in operation for a long time,” he began. “There are at least two known methods of travel. This,” he said as he removed his glasses and handed them to me. “Is my way.”

Valcas’ sunglasses did not look extraordinary. They were large enough to block light from the front and sides. Both the frames and lenses were of a similar black opaque material, light and smooth like plastic. The tops and sides of each rounded rectangular lens were shuttered. I turned the glasses in my hands, looking them over, expecting to see a power switch and control buttons. There weren’t any. Still holding the glasses in my hands, I looked up at Valcas—I was finally going to see his eyes. When I did, I froze.



Joshua Blum

Brain to Book Blog Tour

Fast Facts

  • Author: Joshua Blum
  • Genre: YA, NA, Fantasy
  • Books: The Thirteenth Hour from The Thirteenth Hour Series
  • Official Site

Bio

A child of the 80s, Joshua Blum, like many other people, remembers wishing he had Marty McFly's hoverboard from "Back to the Future 2" to ride to and from school. For awhile, he wanted to be an American Indian hunter and spent many a misspent day making bows and arrows out of tree branches, ultimately leading to a love of archery which continues to this day. After entering that penal colony known as middle school, he decided that he ought to learn to defend himself, leading to the wide world of martial arts and lots and lots of push-ups, both of which he enjoys to this day.

All of these elements were inspirations for aspects of "The Thirteenth Hour," which he wrote after finishing high school and edited little by little until the present day - in effect growing up with the characters. During this time, he was educated at Princeton and Penn State Universities. In total, he estimates having spent 23 years of his life in school (give or take). Despite that rap sheet, he still enjoys learning new things. He credits his mother for instilling in him a love of literature, music, and yard sales. He credits his father for teaching him to do, you know, manly things, like hit a baseball, ride a bike without falling over, and most importantly, never give up on the important things in life. He credits his younger brother for helping him stay young at heart.

He currently enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter. Although not surprising given the decade in which he grew up, he still enjoys breakdancing, though he will admit the bruises take longer to go away now that he can no longer consider himself a young adult. He hopes to forever avoid corporate middle management and is currently at work on a graphic novel for adolescents as well as a sequel to "The Thirteenth Hour." He hopes it does not take sixteen years to finish.


 Accomplishments

Finishing this book!


 Blurb

Do you remember those 1980s fantasy movies with the big hair and electronic synthesizer soundtracks - movies like The Neverending StoryLadyhawke, and Labyrinth?  If you can imagine those films in illustrated book form, you have some idea what The Thirteenth Hour is like.

It's essentially a fairy tale aimed at adults, chronicling the adventures of a young man named Logan who grows up in an orphanage with his best friend, Aurora.  When Logan is eighteen, he's drafted into the Imperial Army, where he is ultimately picked for a mysterious mission to find the elixir of eternal life for a petulant, immature, and thoroughly narcissistic ruler.  On the way, he is unexpectedly reunited with Aurora, and both characters have to reconcile adulthood with who they were as children.  

 One could classify the story as adventure or fantasy, though not a serious JRR Tolkien-style fantasy.  The book doesn't take itself too seriously, though there are plenty of introspective, psychological parts where the characters grapple with balancing that difficult no-man's land of feeling older than an adolescent but too young to classify oneself as an adult.

 In some ways, the book grew up with me, since I wrote a very early draft of the book the summer after I finished high school.  I'd drawn from some of my favorite novels and (mostlty 80s) sci-fi and fantasy films as inspiration for the narrative and illustrated a number of black & white and color pictures to add visuals.  Although I'd written the story because it was the sort of thing I'd always wanted to read but never found, I never really intended to publish it.

 So life went on - going to many years of school, working to pay the rent, getting married, changing diapers, etc.  But the story wouldn't let me go, and I kept working on it, little by little, over the next sixteen years, reworking and editing the story and characters until I felt like they, too, had grown up.

 If you're interested, there are two short stories that serve as bookends to the novel that are available free on Smashwords that may serve to whet your appetite, available here:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/writejoshuablum


 Review

 "The Thirteenth Hour by Joshua Blum is one terrific book! This science fantasy has a detailed, creative, fast-paced adventure with a quest for immortality and well-considered musings on life. The tongue-in-cheek humor is just wonderful. Darien IV is a king mortally afraid of dying. His father was “the king of all things stingy, prejudiced, and cruel…and he lived long enough to instill some of these fine characteristics in his son.” The clever illustrations capture the essence of the story and add to the value of this book.

Logan is an orphan who joins the army when he’s 18. The social commentary is perfect. “I don’t think I was ever quite able to reconcile how a city full of people and possibilities could leave me feeling so grimy, dejected, and alone at the end of the day.” He’s inept and a misfit, younger than the other soldiers in his group, which made me root for him to succeed. Finally he begins to find his place. “I began to dance with the wind, sword in hand. I leaped and turned, kicked and swung, lunged and dove. The wind was my partner, and I was following her lead.” Aurora, another orphan, is his best friend. The quest is filled with deadly dangers and magical beings; the ending is as satisfying as a good dream remembered. Definitely worth reading, for all ages." (from Amazon.com)


 Book Excerpt:

In this section, the main character, Logan, has become lost in the King's castle and finds himself in the women's quarters by accident.  The society he now lives in is very conservative in terms of gender relations, and there are stiff penalties for breaches in conduct.  But nothing ventured, nothing gained, and it's during this adventure that Logan finds something of a fabled treasure ...

...I had to find a way out fast before one of the female guards found me and had me castrated or something.  Naturally, at that very moment, I heard footsteps.

So, I did what anyone would probably do when faced with such dire straits.  I panicked.  I started running around, trying to open all the doors.  They were all locked except for one, a janitor's closet. I ran inside, closed the door, and waited for the guard to pass.  When the footsteps abated, I breathed again and turned the knob of the door.  It wouldn't budge.  Great.  I tried it again.  And again and again and again.  Somehow, I had picked the one janitorial closet in probably the whole castle that locked.  It was pretty dark inside, and of course I didn't have any matches to see if there was a latch or lever that could spring the door.  I felt my way around the doorframe.  Nothing.  I sank to the floor to think.  And then I saw it, and it all came rushing back.

 * * * * * * * *

 In order to understand what I was thinking, I must first digress.  There was a running rumor among all soldiers in training about a stash of treasure hidden somewhere in the castle.  Not the King's treasure vault; no, this was different.  This treasure vault contained all the things that we soldiers wanted but couldn't afford, since no one was paid until after all training had been completed.  Nobody was entirely sure what was in there, but there were plenty of speculations: gold coins and jewels, alcohol, tobacco, and dirty magazines, exotic weapons, fine clothes, and fancy preserved foods ... the possibilities were endless. 

There was even a whole legend that had been built up around the rumor.  No one knew how much was true, but according to the story, long ago, when times were stricter, the King would send his soldiers out across his realm to make sure no one was selling or harboring any illegal substances.  If they found any, they were to confiscate them immediately and bring them back to the castle for inspection.  What constituted an “illegal substance” was a hotly contested point whenever the legend was told, but as the story goes, a few bored recruits decided to turn pirate, hijack the convoy carrying these contraband materials when it returned back to the castle, and then disseminate the goods among the rest of the soldiers.  Thus, they had the support of all the troops, who went out of their way to make sure the ringleaders had every spare moment free to plan the attack, their method of transporting the goods, and where they would hide everything.  On the night the convoy returned, they attacked.  The convoy guards were caught completely by surprise, and everything went as planned.  The stash was hidden, the location known only among the enlisted men, who had to swear upon the penalty of death to keep the location a secret. 

The raid had been so successful, in fact, that the next time the convoy returned, the recruits tried again.  They almost got away with it, but their luck ran out as they were carrying the last bit of contraband to their hide–out.  They were caught, a fight broke out, and one of the recruits was killed.  His name – Ian McCroff.  And ever since then, the stash was known as McCroff's treasure.  No one involved would talk, and eventually, the matter was forgotten.  Over time, even the secret of the treasure's location was forgotten.  But the story lived on, passed from one generation of soldier to another, all the way down to me.            

I was as curious as anyone else, but the whole thing had always sounded like a crock to me, something somebody had made up and spread around to see how far it would get, just to pass the time.  It was a nice idea – hidden treasure always was – and it put some mystery and hope back into our lives.  In that sense, it was a good thing.  But like a lot of other folks, I found it hard to take seriously.

Up until that moment, that is.  When I’d shut the door to the closet, another door to my back had popped open.  You had to squat down to see it, and when I sat down on the floor of the closet to think, it caught my eye.  By then, my eyes had adjusted to the dark, and I found that I was staring into a passageway.  A faint glimmer of light emerged from its depths, allowing me to just make out a little plaque someone had mounted on the inside of the doorframe.  “MCCROFF – WE REMEMBER,” it read.

Could it be?  I crawled in the direction of the light.  I eventually came to a fork in the path and chose the one that seemed brighter.  It was getting really hot in there, and though I couldn't see too well, I felt all grimy, like I was covered in dust and dirt.  But I kept crawling, and finally, the air seemed to get cooler.  I found myself looking down into a large storeroom.  The faint glimmer of light I'd seen all the way at the other end of the tunnel was due to a small window near the ceiling that let in some light from outside.  It didn't exactly make it bright inside, but I could make out stacks of boxes.  I lowered myself down from the tunnel opening onto a few of the boxes and stepped onto the cool floor of the storeroom.

I pushed the lid off one of the wooden boxes.  Inside, packed in hay, were several dark bottles.  I opened one up and sniffed it.  Wine.  I popped the lid on the next box.  More wine.  Then I peered around the room.  The boxes, some of which had blankets thrown over them, seemed to be grouped into piles.  Perhaps some kind of organizational system?  I ran to the pile across from me.  Those boxes were filled with little vials that contained powders that seemed like spices.  The next was forks and knives.  Was this just a storeroom for the castle kitchen?  My heart sank a little at the thought, but I ran to the next pile of boxes and was trying to pry the lid off when I heard the sound of a match striking.  The sound of hard heels against the stone floor reverberated off the walls.  I froze.

“Freeze!  You've seen enough,” came a female voice.  My heart sank even lower.

The guard carried a lantern and a spear.  She hung the lantern from a hook in the wall and walked towards me, spearpoint first.

“Where did you come from?” I asked forlornly.

“That's none of your concern.  How long have you known about this?”

“About five minutes,” I said.

She studied me over.  “You used the closet entrance, didn't you?”

“I ... I guess,” I said.

“Yeah.  You're filthy.  Alright, enough gaping.  Get down from there.”

In trying to avoid the spear she had poked in my side, I sidestepped and slipped on a dusty blanket.  Flailing my arms to regain balance, I fell right on top of the next pile of boxes.  The boxes and I hit the floor with a crash.  I landed on my side, but something soft kind of eased my fall.

“You clumsy idiot!  Look what you've done!” the guard shouted.

I was going to say something when I realized what I was lying on top of.  A pretty woman's picture stared right back at me. And another and another.  A broken box lay near my head, and from it spilled volumes and volumes of old, yellowed magazines.

“Whoa,” I think I said, as my virgin eyes, suddenly less so, stared in a mixture of confusion, curiosity, revulsion, and admiration at my latest find.  Maybe this really was McCroff's treasure after all ...

“Hey!  Quit stalling!  Get up!” yelled the guard.  She walked over with a lantern and peered down at me.  She gasped.

“Hey!  Gimme those!  They're mine!” she yelled and kicked me off the pile of magazines.  She carefully picked them up, one by one uncreasing bent pages, and stacked them neatly back into the somewhat injured box.  “Nosy good–for–nothing–grumble–grumble–grumble ...” was all she said as she worked.  I couldn't help but shake my head in amused bewilderment.

“Umm ... sorry I busted the box,” I said.  “All those are yours?”

The guard glared at me, then in a flash, drew her dagger and grabbed me by the throat.

“You tell one person what you found here today, and I will personally hunt you down, cut your balls off, and toss them in the moat.  Do you understand?”

“Gurrghhh ...”

She loosened her grip a little.

I panted for air.  “Alright, I won't tell anyone about your dirty magazines, okay?”

“No, no, I mean this whole place!”

“You mean ... this really is McCroff's treasure?”

“Yes, you idiot!  Didn't you see the sign?  Or can't you read?”

“Well, yeah, I saw the sign ... but all I found was some wine and some cooking stuff.  Well, and that your porn collection ... how come you keep it locked in here?  Kind of inconvenient to get to, isn’t it?” I couldn’t help blurting out.

Her grip tightened again.

“Okay, okay, I promise not to tell.”

She let go and eventually succeeded in clamping my hands behind my back with heavy chains despite my struggling.

“Jeeze, take it easy.  How come you get all this stuff, and no one else does?  In the story, this junk was for everyone!” I protested as she led me out at spearpoint.

“Don't believe everything you hear, kid.  Like you said, that was just a story.”

“Where are we going?”

“You'll see.  Or rather, you won't.”

A sack was tossed over my head, and all the guard could hear were my muffled protests.  I kept stumbling ahead blindly, lead only by the point of the guard's spear and her gruff commands.  At one point it became light, and we kept walking awhile before I was ordered to stop.  I felt myself being pushed down and stumbled onto a pile of hay.  The sack was removed from my head.

“Open your eyes.  I have too much to lose by killing you,” said the guard.  “An investigation is the last thing we need right now.  But I need to be sure you're not going to talk.  That 'treasure,' as you put it, is the only thing worth keeping in this castle, as far as we're concerned, and its secret stays with us.  It's been safe for hundreds of years – as long as we've been around, and it's going to stay that way.  That entrance you found – it won't be there tomorrow.  The one I led you out of – that won't, either.  As far as you're concerned, it won't exist.  Gone, vanished,” she said, with a snap of her fingers.  She paused.  “So, what did you really see?  The truth this time.”

I looked around.  We were standing in the royal stables, near the back.  I could see daylight ahead.  I could make a run for it.  I looked at the guard.  She'd whipped out the dagger again and was flipping it around in her hand.

The dagger was at my side in an instant.  “Just because I said I wouldn't kill you doesn't mean I can't make the next few minutes very, very uncomfortable.  Are we clear?”  The dagger moved down and hovered at my groin.

Oh, boy.  What a day.  “I told you already.  Just the kitchen stuff.  The magazines.  Honest.  That's all I got to see.”

The guard paused and considered this for a moment.  Then she straightened up, taking the dagger with her. 

“Oh.  Well, then it's nothing to you.  Just another overblown rumor.  You know what the penalty is for being caught in female quarters?”

I nodded.

“Say anything about any of this, and you get that and worse.  Now look up at the watch tower.  Wait till the guard isn't looking, then hightail it to the wall.  She can't see you there.  Then go back to your camp.  If all goes well, no problems for either of us.  I don't wanna explain this to my commanding officer.  Or it won't be just your body parts in the moat.  Now go on, run, get out of here!”

 * * * * * * * *

 That night, after dinner, I was walking back to the barracks when a hand reached out from the shadows and yanked me into an alley.

The now familiar face of the female guard that had caught me that morning greeted me.

Oh, boy.  Not her again.

“I didn't say ...”

She pressed a strong, gloved hand over my mouth.  I looked up into the shadowy face of the guard, which spoke of tension and worry.

“Don't worry, kid.  Your nuts are safe.  But it's trouble.  On my end.  Someone overheard us in the stables.  One of us.  Word got around.”  The guard sighed.  “Let's just say that things within the female guard aren't as rosy as I made them out to be.”  She uncovered her hand and let me go.

“What does this ...”

“Have to do with you?  Simple.  The word's out now that you were seen in the female quarters.  Nothing official.  Just a rumor.  Figured I’d let you know.”

I sighed.  “I guess it's just been one of those days.  Hey, what's so bad about being caught in the female quarters anyway?”

“Ah, you're not from around here, kid, you wouldn't understand.”

“You know, where I grew up, boys and girls lived together in the same room for years, and it was never any big deal,” I said, shaking my head.

“Really?  I didn't know there were places in the world like that.  Never would have guessed!   Good for you.  All men could take a lesson from you.”

“Well ... I doubt that very much.”

“Ahh, modesty.”

“No ... it's not that,” I said.  “I mean, there were always plenty of girls around when I was growing up.  And sure, there were plenty of people fooling around, but ... I never really did.”

The guard laughed at first, then did a double take.  “Wait, you're joking, right?”

“No.”

“Why?”

I shrugged.

“Maybe you prefer men?”

“No, I like women.”

“So, you mean you never had a sweetheart?”

“No.”

“Didn't you ever want one?”

“Sometimes.”

“Then why didn't you get one?”

I thought about it awhile then shrugged again.  “I dunno.”  When she continued staring at me, I blurted out, “I was busy with ... other things, I guess.” 

“Geeze, kid.”  The guard stared at me curiously then said, “Well, at least you're honest about it.  Most men think they know more about women than they really do and end up looking like jackasses.”

“Yeah.  Well, thanks for the compliment,” I said, not without bitterness.

“Ha!  You're still pretty pathetic, but hey, you're just a kid.”

I shrugged.

“But seriously, what a shame,” she said.  She actually sounded like she felt sorry for me, which was probably the last thing I needed.  “All those opportunities you might've had when you were growing up – all gone, never to be had again.  And goodness knows you won't learn much in this dump.  Aren't you at all curious?” she asked incredulously.

“Yeah, I guess.  But why are we talking about this?”

“Hey, it's none of my business, but I'm just looking out for you, kid.  What would your mama say if she knew you were out here all alone with no one to look after you?”

“My mama's dead ... but ... thanks, I guess, maybe she would've appreciated it.”

The guard's face softened a little, and she said, “I'm sorry, kid.  Well, your dad then.”

“No, I'm an orphan.”

“Geeze, kid, you're full of great news.  Don't you have anyone?”

“Well ... I have this one friend.  Far away.”

“Do you pray?”

“No.”

“Well, maybe it's time to start.  Though I can't say I blame you.  You got dealt a lousy hand.”

“Are you religious?” 

She snorted.  “Me?  Are you kidding?  Gave that up a long time ago.  But still ... at one time, it was ... nice to have something to believe in.  Anyway, the world's a strange place.  You grow up with girls, and that's not what you think about.   Here, men and women live separately all their single lives, but that's all they can think about, know what I mean?  You'll see.  Things are different here.  You may have it tough for a few days.”

“Maybe it'll just blow over.”

“Well, hopefully it will.  You know, I was watching you.  You didn't talk.  To be honest, I was surprised.  Is it just today?  You didn't seem to talk much to anybody.”

I shrugged.  “They're older.  I dunno what to talk to them about.”

“Well ... we all gotta have a few friends.  It's tough to go through life all by yourself.  That's all I'm saying.  Anyway, I gotta go.  Sorry, kid.  I never meant for all this to happen.  Just thought it would be a stand–up thing to do if told you first.”

“Thanks.  I appreciate the risk you're taking.”

“Forget it.  Here, I brought something for you.  For not talking.   Entertainment for most soldiers, but, in your case, I'd lean more towards education.”  The guard held out something for me to take.

I laughed when I looked at what it was.  It was one of her prized adult magazines from the treasure trove.

“But it's one of your magazines,” I said, laughing.

“No big deal.  I've got doubles of this issue.  Besides, what are you, eighteen, nineteen?  If I knew then what I knew now ... believe me, if your folks were alive, they'd thank me.  All I'm saying is that you need to get with the program.  You're not exactly in a profession that comes with a pension, you know?   You'll be lucky if you make it to thirty.  You gotta get out there.  In a way, you guys have it lucky.  We become women whether we're ready for it or not.  But you guys ... well, it's never too late to learn to become a man, you know?”

I nodded even though I didn't really understand.

“And while you're at it, sow your oats.  You might not be around to do it tomorrow.”

“What, have kids, you mean?”

“Why not, I got three, how many you got?”

“Well, none, I ...”

“Hey, you gotta grow up some time, kid.  Might as well start today.  Just take the magazine.  Read it, look at the pictures.  The drawings in that one aren’t the best, but maybe you'll get some ideas.  Hey, it worked for me.  Anyway, I gotta scram and get the kids in bed.  Later.”

Then she winked at me, and just like that, she was gone, leaving me standing alone in that dark alley.  I stood there in shock for a minute before realizing that the magazine was still cradled in my trembling hands.  I looked down at the cover.  For a moment, society's voice chirped in, and I felt like throwing it out.  But curiosity got the better of me.  What did “society” (whatever that was) know anyway?  The hell with them.  This was part of McCroff's treasure, and how many soldiers could lay claim to even a little part of that?  Besides, it was probably more educational than anything else around here.  I stuffed my hard–earned treasure in my pocket and walked out of the alley.


Elizabeth A. Cooper

Brain to Book Blog Tour

Fast Facts

  • Author: Elizabeth A. Cooper
  • Genre: YA, Fantasy, Fiction
  • Books:
    • Numbers: Where Their Story Begins from the Numbers Series
    • Terrible Me
  • Official Site

Bio

Elizabeth Cooper is the author of the Numbers series as well as her short story Terrible Me. She currently works as a nurse, while writing in her free time. She lives in southern New Hampshire with her husband, one year old son and boxer. To learn more about Elizabeth and download a free copy of Terrible Me visit www.intentionalfamilylife.com


Accomplishments

Elizabeth loves helping those around her, this inspired her to become a nurse. She has worked at various levels in the nursing field Sent from my iPad


Blurb for Where Their Story Begins

Destiny Sojourns is a senior in high school who has lived her life on the run. The Number on her side marks her difference and gives her good fortune. The Necromores want to take away the Numbers abilities and claim them as their own by drinking their blood.

 Destiny discovers that fate has placed her as the salvation for the Numbers. She must find the Sacred Garden, a place neither seen nor heard of in centuries. Can she save her race before the Necromores find her or will she be too late?


 Blurb for Terrible Me

The Emerald Thief holds your gaze, turning your thoughts into her own. There's no stopping the string of robberies that follow her. Until she meets Rebecca, a detective, someone with the same emerald green eyes as her. She can't understand why Rebecca's  trying to help her and not just arresting her like she should. What are Rebecca's plans for Emerald Thief? Will she survive them?


Reviews

Written by Kimberly Murphy

Numbers takes you on an action packed adventure, tangled with mystery and romance, you won't want to miss. Cooper leaves you on the edge of your seat yearning for more. This is a must read!

Written by Pamela Lyon

 Excellent book. Once I started reading it, it was difficult to put down. I had to see what happened next!! The characters draw you right in! Enjoyed it a lot! A must read!!!


 Excerpt from Numbers

My feelings explode from my chest as if I can't contain them anymore. Chris, it's as if I am seeing his features for the first time, the soft scar that spreads across his cheek, the shimmer of his lashes in the sun, the way his muscles flex as he's holding the clock. I want to run to him, hold him, never let go, but I can't, my feet are frozen in place. I can't do this, I would be going against everything that I've learned, everything that makes me a Number. But Chris, what would I do without him?


Interview with Elizabeth Cooper

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Cooper: Well no one really calls me Elizabeth, all my friends and family know me as Liz. I grew up knowing I wanted to help people, so I put myself through nursing school and currently work full time int eh medical field. I have always enjoyed reading young adult novels and I woke one morning with an idea. I wrote the idea down and couldn’t stop writing, i kept having new creations and ideas flow through my mind, by the time I was down I had my first novel Numbers in my hands. I live in NH with my husband, one year old son and my boxer mix. When I’m not writing I’m usually hanging with my family, wrangling my one year old and entertaining the dog.

Is this your first book?

Cooper:  Yes! Numbers: Where Their Story Begins is my first released title. I have since completed a short fiction story, called Terrible Me, about a teenager battling the addiction fo power and greed. I am also working on the second and third books in the Numbers series as well as a short on the origins of the Numbers.

What genre do you enjoy writing the most and what is this book about?

Cooper: I enjoy writing young adult novels, it seems all the stories i have written fall into that category, they also tend to be fantasy, about magic, time travel and powers.

Numbers follows Destiny Sojourns a high school junior who has lived her life on the run. The Number on her side marks her difference and gives her good fortune. The Necromores want to take away the Numbers abilities and claim them as their own by drinking their blood.

Destiny discovers that fate has placed her as the salvation for the Numbers. She must find the Sacred Garden, a place neither seen nor heard of in centuries. Can she save her race before the Necromores find her or will she be too late?

What inspired you to write this book?

Cooper: I was inspired by all of the other great young adult authors there are. I have discovered so many amazing stories from indie authors to big time. I love reading and I wanted to create an amazing story of my own.

How did you come up with a title for your book series?

Cooper: The title Numbers came form the Numbers marked on each side of the members of the race. They end up calling themselves Numbers when they discover that the roman numeral is not just a symbol or lettering but an actual Number. Since the them of the stories revolve around them as a race, I wanted the title to clearly portray that. As for the subtitle where their story begins, I thought this was fitting since this was the first book in the series as well as Destiny’s first time discovering who the Numbers truly are and the race she is part of.

Tell us about your cover.

Cooper: The cover was designed on a website called Fiverr, after a few botched designs an amazing artist under the name jeshart. I would give her the description of the book and a few details that were really important. Based on that informations he designed a cover that she felt portrayed the story. After that I was able to work with her to tweet and add images that I wanted portrayed on the cover such as the sword in Destiny’s hand.

Destiny being the main character in the story I definitely wanted her to be a part of the cover, the sword being the most important object also needed the spotlight. I wanted Destiny to look fierce, yet still the childish heroine she is. The background of the school portrays how Destiny had to break out of the school routine and take on the challenge of saving her race.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaption who would they be?

Cooper: Destiny, I feel would best be portrayed by Dakota Fanning, someone strong and confident, as well as younger in age. Chris I think would be best portrayed by Jamie Campbell Bower, someone also with strong confidence but can show his emotional side.

What does your writing process look like?

Cooper: Usually every morning I get up around 4 am. I write for an hour and edit for an hour. I have a nice office and desk upstairs, for some reason i always prefer to sit at my kitchen table and write.

What book do you wish you could have written?

Cooper: I wish I wrote the Mortal Instruments Series. I love love love those books. There incredibly captivating and always keep me wanting more. I love the relationship between Jace and Clary, I love how they have to struggle like a normal couple would. they learn each others ups and downs yet love each other despite that.

What so you consider your best accomplishment?

Cooper: Until recently I had always though my greatest accomplishment was completing nursing school. I never thought about really doing anything else with my life. Now that I have written and completed a few novels I would definitely say writing and publishing my first book is my greatest accomplishment. I have never faced a bigger challenge, one that I have to continue to fight through, learn and grow. i’m incredibly proud of myself for with standing the failures and choosing to fight despite loosing a few battles.

Do you have any other talents or hobbies?

Cooper: Yes, my husband and I enjoy snowboarding in the winter. Living in NH we get quite the snow storms around here. Sometimes I feel as though I live in a perpetual winter like Narnia, snow boarding helps me stay sane during the winter months. I also play piano, I started when I was 15, I play in my churches band.

What are your current projects?

Cooper: I am currently working on the second and third books in the Numbers series. I am hoping to make a trigly. I am also writing a short story that explains the original origins of the Numbesr, how their race first began. I am hoping to release the second numbers book- Legacy of the Necromores at the end of this year. Tune into the blog for sneak peeks.

If anyone is interested in beta reading I’d love to give you a copy, send me a message at contact@intentionalfamilylife.com

What do you wear while writing?

Cooper: Um… it’s early in the morning so usually Pjs like sweat pants and a t shirt.

Do you have a pet?

Cooper: Yes I have a dig named Remy. He is a boxer mix, our vet seems to think he’s mixed with grey hound but who knows really. He’s brindle with a long lean body and big floppy goals on his face.

What is your biggest fear?

Cooper: To not succeed, this is something I’ve always wanted to be, a writer and to fail would mean to start over and I’m not ready to do that yet.

What is the one place you want to visit that you haven’t been to before?

Cooper: I really want to go to Hawaii. I don’t know if that’s because I have friends that live in Hawaii and I have to constantly look a their beautiful pictures on my news feed or because I actually want go there.


Interview with Destiny Sojourns of Where Their Story Begins

Destiny, as a junior in high school did you ever imagine your life would turn out this way?

Destiny: “No, of course not. I thought I was going to take a year off from college, get a decent job and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I’d never imagine I would be stuck facing down fate.”

 You have a Number, what does that mean?

Destiny: Numbers have good fortune placed on them, they beat odds they shouldn’t. Many Numbers are in high ranking positions because of there good futures.

 That must be amazing to be Number, I wish I had one!

Destiny: Being a Number comes with a lot of great rewards but many of us have lost family and friends. We are being hunted by the Necromores, they want to take our good fortune away, they want to destroy us. We constantly have to live on the run, hiding and defending ourselves.

What about Chris, didn’t you land the handsome side kick for this heroic adventure?

Destiny: Yes! Chris’s green eyes, short styled hair and even the cute little scar across his left cheek made me head over heels. If only I could be with him, if only I could tell him how I really feel.

Do you think you will ever be able to be with Chris?

Destiny: No, there are details I can’t say right now, but there are rules and if we were together we’d be breaking a lot of them.

What was the most dramatic change for you int he book?

Destiny: Finding out my family’s secret, the Sojourns family being named the ones to save the Numbers from the Necromores. I didn’t know what to do, I still don’t know how I’m going to save them. My mom gave me a giant sword, come one, what am I supposed to do with that?

 Did you like the ending to the book?

Destiny: I wish I had all of this figured out by the end of the book, now there are new threats, new challenges I have to face to save my race, to save the Numbers. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to finish. I’m glad Chris will be sticking around to help me save the world.



Josh de Lioncourt

Brain to Book Blog Tour

Fast Facts

  • Author: Josh de Lioncourt
  • Genres: Epic Fantasy/YA/NA
  • Book: Haven Lost (Book #1 of the The Dragon’s Brood Cycle series)
  • Official Website

Bio

Josh de Lioncourt was born and raised in California and enjoys writing projects in a wide variety of fields, including fiction, music, software, blogging, and tech articles. As a blind enthusiast of Apple products, he has written on Apple accessibility for Macworld and Maccessibility. He hosts or participates regularly on several podcasts in various genres, and writes and records music with Molly, his other half. Josh enjoys the works of Stephen King, the music of George Michael, Masters of the Universe, and Los Angeles Kings hockey.


Accomplishments

As a blind technology enthusiast, I try to raise awareness of accessibility options and issues for visually impaired users, with an emphasis on Apple products. I host the Maccessibility Round Table Podcast to that end, as well as Masters Cast, a podcast devoted to the fandom of Masters of the Universe.


Blurb

Legends never die; they just go into hiding …

Sixteen-year-old Emily Haven, heroine of the girls’ hockey team at Lindsey High, has spent her young life keeping two secrets: her rapidly deteriorating home life and the seemingly supernatural power that makes her a star on the ice. When she begins seeing visions of a lost and ragged boy reflected in mirrors and shop windows, a series of events unfolds that tears her from twenty-first century Minneapolis and leaves her stranded in another world with horrors to rival those she has left behind. Lost amidst creatures of fantasy and legend, she is forced to confront the demons of both her past and future to unravel the riddle of the mysterious boy and embark upon a journey to uncover long forgotten histories and the dark, cloaked figure in the shadows behind them all. Caught between opposing forces of a war she does not understand, Emily must find new strength within herself and, above all, the will to remember her friends.


Book Review

Emily is a high school hockey star in Minneapolis with an extremely dysfunctional family life. For the most part, she is a typical teenager, except for her strange ability to know when and where another player on the ice is going to move. One day it all changes when she starts seeing the reflection of a boy in mirrors and windows and, when she gets home, she finds her mother dead of a drug overdose. She runs away and when she awakes she is in another land, another time, another world? Haven Lost is the tale of Emily's discovery of what is important to her and her life in this strange place. She makes friends, decides without any prior knowledge of people who is good and who is evil, and sets out on a quest she doesn't understand. Along the way she picks up a best friend in Celine, a ward in Michael, and someone who just might become more than a friend in the future, Corbbmacc. Together they travel the land, looking for the answers that they need to understand what is going on. Josh de Lioncourt has done a wonderful job of mixing history, fantasy, and magic together into a tale that is compelling and exciting.

Haven Lost is set to be the first book in a series titled The Dragon's Brood Cycle. This first book sets the story up very well; you have a grand adventure, and it is not a short adventure either. It takes time to tell, yet the story never seems to get bogged down or drag; it is always moving along and begging you to turn the next page and keep going. The answers always seem to be on the next page. Josh de Lioncourt is a wonderful storyteller in that he is able to keep your attention and have you guessing the entire book. I never saw the reveal from the last three pages coming until I got to them, and that is not usually the case with most books. This book and series has the potential to sky-rocket into the forefront of youth and teen reading, possibly becoming the next Harry Potter series.

—Michelle Randall, Readers’ Favorite

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LRe4rv76J0


Read an excerpt

She fell to her knees in front of the mirror, unable to tear her eyes away from the strange boy with the pony-tail and the torn and ragged clothes. She could see every minute detail of his attire, from the thick red and black thread that had been used to mend his jeans and jacket, to the filth and tarnish on the old-fashioned fastenings.

He reached out toward her, and as he did, her own reflection in the mirror winked out. Only his face stared out of the dusty glass. His eyes were full of hope and sadness, and seemed the eyes of a much younger child. Those eyes spoke of suffering and loss, and Emily’s heart called out in recognition. She thought she saw the flicker of flames behind the boy, and then she was reaching out to him as well.

Their fingers met. She clasped his in her own, feeling their warm, rough reality, and wanting to give comfort as much as receive it. Such a simple action. Such a mundane, human gesture. And with that ordinary decision made, two worlds changed forever.

“Yes,” she whispered, and watched as the breath of that word fogged the glass between them, spreading until it filled the world with a cloudy, white mist.



Ryan Guy

Brain to Books Blog Tour

Fast Facts

  • Author: Ryan Guy
  • Genre: YA Humor/Sci-Fi/Fantasy
  • Book: Atomic Aardvark
  • Official Site

Bio

After several years with the Royal Military Police, Ryan Guy was attached to the SIB (Special Investigative Branch), the plain-clothes branch of the RMP. He left the military in 2003 and has been working since then in the civilian security ind-- wait a minute-- this is someone else's made up backstory for their pseudonym, and it doesn't add any credibility to the themes addressed inAtomic Aardvark. Let me try again.

In his youth, Ryan Guy was raised by a feral pack of aardvarks which roamed the Midwest, particularly the upper climes of the Rocky Mountains. His tenure with the nomadic animals was his inspiration for Atomic Aardvark. 'Ryan Guy' is a pseudonym because people tend to butcher the name his aardvark clan gave him-- a name which, unfortunately, cannot be accurately represented with any combination of ASCII characters.

Author Accomplishments: In addition to having written a book, Ryan Guy contributes to the online website YA Love Magazinewhere all things YA (including Indie Books) are discussed.


 Blurb

The good, the bad, and the Surly.

Q. What do you get when you cross an aardvark, a skunk, and a couple of star-crossed lovers with technology and a series of cataclysmic events?

A. Atomic Aardvark-- An exciting, comedy-action-suspense-with-a-little-bit-of-romance fantasy novel. Guaranteed to be the best one I've ever written. Read it! It's better than this summary. Much longer, too.


 Reviews

To simply say I adored Atomic Aardvark is an understatement. I've never read anything quite like it. And I never expected to be reading in an animal's pov, let alone two of them, but it was done extremely well! The flow between all points of view was seamless and the mini cliffhangers at the end of each chapter were expertly done. The writing it witty, humorous, and flows so well I was immediately immersed in this surreal world. The characters had depth and distinct individual voices that I am a stickler for. My only complaint would have to be that I craved more physical detail during some scenes, but this fast-paced funny bone tickler does not disappoint! - K.D (review posted on Amazon.com)