3.26.2013

Excerpt: When the Silence Ends


Author’s note: Dee is an ordinary human surrounded by extraordinary people, including her brother Dum who is an empath, and their friend Jessica, a telepath and telekinetic. In a world where the lines are clearly drawn between what’s normal and what’s not, Dee will find that there is still lots of room for ordinary to grow into extraordinary. I hope you enjoy this excerpt that showcases the relationship between Dee, Dum, and Jessica…
~*~
Dee stalked over to her brother. For a long, silent moment, she stared into his familiar face as he bopped along to whatever music was blasting from his iPod. He did not even look at her. When had he become a stranger? She smacked him on the side of his head and remained unmoved when he raised his aggrieved gaze to her. “Are you saying that this place is okay for you?” she asked, raising her voice so that he could hear her through his ear pods.
He nodded.
“Are you sure about that? We’re moving here so that you can train with Danyael. I’d hate for you to feel inconvenienced about leaving the comfort and protection of the council for this dump.”
He frowned, his eyebrows drawing together, and turned away.
All right, so he understood sarcasm. How was she supposed to argue with a person who would not argue back, but who could hurt her just by walking away? Dee was still scowling and blinking back the tears from her eyes when Jessica returned with an armful of cleaning supplies. Dee ignored Jessica’s compassionate glance. “I thought Danyael said he worked all day. I didn’t think he would be around.”
“He isn’t.”
“You broke into his apartment?”
Jessica put the cleaning supplies on the grimy countertop in the kitchen. She tapped the side of her head. “I flipped the lock on his door. I did tell him, though.”
“Before or after you broke in?”
Jessica cocked her head to the side. “Why are you so uptight about stuff like that?”
“Because when I do it, I run the risk of being caught and labeled a criminal. You do it, and nobody cares.”
“Sure, they care. They just don’t notice.”
“And you don’t care?”
“Look, I got his permission. Who cares if I got it a microsecond before or after I flipped the lock? You need to chill out.” Jessica snatched up a spray bottle and a rag, and stomped off toward the bathroom.
With a sponge in hand and her teeth clenched, Dee scrubbed out the dirty brown spots on the kitchen counter. Jeez, I’m becoming my mother. Except that Mom had never been a nag. When she wasn’t sunk in depression, Mom had been cool, even though she had been a mutant. Dee cast a narrow-eyed glare at her brother, who was washing down the windows. Mom had not been an alpha mutant; she had not possessed the prerequisite weirdness that accompanied most alpha mutants.
I am not weird. Jessica’s irate voice snapped through her head.
Dee hurled the sponge into the sink and stalked into the bathroom. For a long and silent moment, she stared at the rag, apparently under the control of an invisible hand, as it scrubbed down the shower tiles. She looked back at Jessica who sat on the closed lid of the toilet bowl. “And that’s not weird?”
“No, it’s who I am, and I don’t like being called ‘weird.’”
“Fine, but that—” She pointed at the hardworking rag. “—is not normal.”
“What’s not normal is how gross the shower is. I’m not stepping in there to scrub it out.”
Dee’s passing glance at the shower became a hard look, and she chuckled. “Is that green thing in the corner alive?”
“Yes, and it’s really close to sentient thought. In a year, it might be able to talk.”
Unlike Dum.
Jessica’s gaze darted to Dum and then flashed back to Dee. She switched to a telepathic conversation. He can talk, you know. I asked Danyael. He said there wasn’t anything wrong with Dum physically.
I know. The problem is just in Dum’s head. What else did Danyael tell you about my brother?
Jessica shrugged. If you want to know, you can ask Danyael directly. It’s not like it’s a secret.
Who knew what other telepathic and empathic conversations were taking place around her? It sucked to be human in a world dominated by super-powered alpha mutants, and worse, she could do nothing about it.

Author Interview: Jade Kerrion (and an excperpt!)

Hi everyone! Jade Kerrion is the author of When the Silence Ends. As part of her blog tour for her book, I get to share with you an interview with the author and an exceprt of her book!
Jade Kerrion, an award-winning author, got her start in fan fiction. She developed a loyal reader base with her fan fiction series based on the MMORPG Guild Wars. She was accused of keeping her readers up at night, distracting them from work, housework, homework, and (far worse), from actually playing Guild Wars. And then she wondered why just screw up the time management skills of gamers? Why not aspire to screw everyone else up too? So here she is, writing books that aspire to keep you from doing anything else useful with your time. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with her wonderfully supportive husband and her two young sons, Saint and Angel, (no, those aren't their real names, but they are like saints and angels, except when they're not.)
Connect with Jade Kerrion: Blog / Facebook / Twitter 

 Enjoy!

1. Tell us a bit about your book.


On the one hand, When the Silence Ends is the story of an ordinary girl, Dee, facing ordinary challenges. She holds down two jobs to pay the rent, makes sure her twin brother gets to his speech therapy class, and wonders how to pay for college. Dee, however, is an ordinary girl in a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution—a world that is struggling to deal with the social and political repercussions of human derivatives: the clones, in vitros, and mutants. What chance does “ordinary” have in a world of “extraordinary” people?
 
2. How did you come up with the title?
Silence is a key theme in the novel. Dum, Dee’s twin brother, has not spoken ever since a shattering event destroyed their family when they were five. The novel is the story of Dum’s journey out of silence. A secondary theme is that of secrets. Danyael Sabre, the alpha empath who trains Dum, has secrets of his own, and as the story unfolds, the silence around an eighteen-year old secret comes to an end.
3. What inspired you to write this book? 
Young Adult novels abound with extraordinary protagonists. I’m sure that in your travels through books, you’ve met the child of destiny who’s fated to end a war and unite two worlds. You’ve probably also met the quiet kid who doesn’t quite fit in, who discovers his amazing super powers and uses them to save the world. Of course, there’s the protagonist who stumbles upon a mysterious world that coexists alongside her reality, populated by sparkly vampires and handsome werewolves.

I’ve found two major themes running through most YA novels: the first, as I noted above, the extraordinary teenage protagonist, and second, the adults are frequently the enemy, ranging from indifferent parents to murderous despots. Neither of those observations particularly aligns with my observations of life.

So, when I set out to write a YA spin off my award-winning Double Helix series, featuring Dee and her twin brother, Dum, I wanted my readers to appreciate adults in more roles than that of the enemy. Some of them are, of course, but like the real world, there’s a vast spectrum of them; some adults even become Dee’s friends and mentors. More importantly though, I wanted my readers to appreciate the power of “ordinary.”

 4. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I’d like my readers to realize that “extraordinary” is within all our grasps, and it has nothing to do with destiny, superpowers, or being loved by a vampire. Dee is the embodiment of ordinary, but she still manages to change her world for the better. If she can do it, there’s no reason at all the rest of us can’t.

3.21.2013

Guest Post: Author Heidi Garrett Plus a Giveaway!

Why Do I Write Fantasy? or: You Never Know Who Might Show Up at Your Front Door
 
 
As long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with the truths that my physical senses cannot explain: the mystical things occurring on this planet. Writing fantastical stories is my testament to these other layers of reality.
 
There are many ways of looking at our world. Imagine sitting at home, perhaps in your living room. There’s a knock on the door. When you open it, a funny little woman is standing there. She is about half your height, and a plaid crimson kerchief—knotted under her hooked chin—covers her head. Her dress is sack-like over her square body. She’s wearing an apron that could use a good ironing and she’s carrying a battered brown suitcase that’s almost as big as she is.
 
“As long as you’re staring, a glass of water would be nice,” she says.
 
Despite her gruff manner, you sense something mysterious about this stranger, and to be honest, you’re dying to know more about her. When she crosses the threshold of your home, a strong wind slams the door behind her. You both jump. There hasn’t been a breeze all day. In fact, it’s sweltering and heat waves have been rising from the melting pavement for weeks.
 
When you offer it, she almost grabs the glass from your hand, and you can’t stop your staring—even though you know it’s rude—as she drinks in noisy gulps.
 
“What? You’ve never seen a spring faerie before?” she asks.
 
Before you can answer, she wipes her mouth with the back of her hand. “Guess not, there aren’t many of us left. And I haven’t been to the Mortal World, since…”
 
She stops. Her deeply etched face softens. Something like sorrow pools in her dark brown eyes. She waves her hand. “That’s not what I’m here to talk about.”
 
Your heart tugs. You want to pull her from that sad place. “What’s in your suitcase?”
 
She points to the table. “I’ll show you.”
 
The suitcase is filled with eyeglasses. There are so many. Some have square black frames, others have round wire frames; there are a few speckled frames with octagonal lenses. You spy a pair of purple ones.
 
She shoves a pair of thick black glasses into your hand. “Put these on. Tell me what you see.”
 
With the eyeglasses settled on the bridge of your nose, you can’t see anything but yourself. You blink. You can see your hands and feet, your legs and toes. But the spring faerie—if that’s really what she is—is just a blur. You pull them off. She trades them for a pair of wire rims. With these glasses you can see her and your home.
 
“What’s your name?” you ask.
 
“Flora.”
 
“Like flowers blooming.”
 
 She nods and looks away with that whiff of sadness.
 
Again, there is something about her that pulls at your heart. You think of the miracle of spring after a long hard winter, and that she shouldn’t be sad—if she really is a spring faerie.
 
“But...you don’t have any wings,” you say.
 
She smoothes the wrinkles in her apron. “Not all faeries do.”
 
“But—”
 
She almost jerks the wire-rim spectacles from your nose. You reach for that purple pair. She doesn’t stop you. Now, you can see down the street; your eyes travel the highway. Your view elevates, as if you are a bird. Soon you see the entire city you live in. With each pair of glasses, you see the bigger world.
 
When Flora tucks the temple arms of a pair of red frames behind your ears, perspective zooms around you. It’s like the lens pulls you into outer space, and you can see the entire world and all the billions of people who live on Earth.
 
Your heart flutters in your chest; it’s a lot to take in.
 
“Now—” Flora hands you a pair of fuchsia glasses with tiny rhinestones embedded in the frames. “Try on these.”
 
When you put them on, you’re able to see beyond the physical entirety of the world into the things that you’ve always known exist, but since you can’t see, touch, smell, or hear them, sometimes you’ve doubted. But you’ll never doubt again, because now—with these special glasses—you can actually see the bonds of love that death can never sever, the strings of fate that wrap the brown paper package of all our lives with twine, the tide of time that alters us, even as we never change...
 
But most importantly, you’ve seen that you belong here, on this planet. And you know—without a shadow of a doubt—that everything fits. Including you.
 
“I dont ever want to take these glasses off,” you say.
 
Flora is already cramming the rest of them back into her bag. “Then don’t.”

3.13.2013

Teen Author Boot Camp Winner


Hello readers! Thanks to all who participated in this giveaway! The winner is:
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Go check your email!

3.08.2013

I'm in Italy!

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that I'll be in Italy for the next nine days, so I won't be posting, emailing, Tweeting, approving commetns, etc. I have one post scheduled about my current giveaway (go check it out, it's really cool!) but that's all until I get back.

So happy reading!

3.07.2013

A Few March 2013 Releases

There are TONS of exciting YA books coming out this month! Here's a sneak peak at just a few of them:

1. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
 
LOOK at that cover! It's GORGEOUS! I would buy this book just for the cover! Also, I'm pretty excited about the actual book too. I can't wait to get a copy of this one! Check it out on Goodreads here.
Release Date: March 19th 


2. Poison by Bridget Zinn
 
I love the cover for this one too, and the premise sounds amazing! I've seen quite a few good reviews already. I'm also very curious about the cute little pig behind the girl. Find out more about it on Goodreads here.
Release Date: March 12th




3. Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
 
I have actually already read this one! I was chosen as an Ambuzzador (through Random Buzzers.com) and it's been a lot of fun spreading the word about this one. It was really good, and a unique retelling! Check my Facebook or Twitter page for more info about this one. You can also read about it on Goodreads here.
Release Date: March 12th 
 
 
These are just three of the many fabulous YA books coming out this month. What do you think of them? Which books are you most excited for?
 
Thanks for reading!

3.04.2013

The Teen Author Boot Camp

Hi everyone! Today I'm posting about an AMAZING opportunity for all you teen writers (me included)! I'm super excited about this, and I hope you will be too! I've had the opportunity to attend a teen writer's conference, and I learned a whole lot and had tons of fun, so if you like writing this is something you should definitely look into. The best part? It's available online! And it's extremely inexpensive (some parts are even free). (Also, the wonderful people who organized this awesome Teen Author Boot Camp are giving away a free subscription to the live broadcast OR a $5 off coupon to the cost of an all-past). SO. Keep reading to learn more about this awesome experience and possibly win a subscription!

Are you teenager? Do you LOVE writing? I mean, almost as much as hanging with friends or eating tons of junk food? (which you should always do when you are young, because I’m telling you, once you turn thirty, it sticks to the hips).

The Teen Author Boot Camp could possibly be the most amazing writing conference ever. What makes it on beyond extraordinary is that it is a “no adults allowed,” “be as geeky as you wanna be,”  “learn a whole stinking lot about writing in one day” conference geared exclusively to teenagers.  Seriously, no one younger than thirteen or over the age of nineteen can make it through the doors.
Until now.For the first time ever, the founder of this conference, Writers Cubed, an amazing writing group based in Utah, is opening the conference to anyone who wants to attend. Of course, it won’t be the same as standing in the same room with New York Times Bestselling authors Shannon Hale or Kiersten White and drinking as much free soda as your stomach will allow before it explodes, but it comes in a darn close second. With classes ranging from ‘Plotting like a villain’ to “Writing Dialogue that Pops” to a screenplay class taught by the guy who actually designed the first iron man costume, there is something for everyone. Not truly convinced yet? What if I told you that attending online is less than five bucks? Seriously! I’m not kidding!
Interested in attending? Here are the Deets!



When: Saturday, March 16, 2013From: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (MST)Where: Worldwide via the InternetWho: Teens, teachers, librarians, book loversCost: $4.99 for the Live Broadcast; $9.99 for the All Pass


The keynote address by Shannon Hale will be free for anyone to watch. A subscription to the entire Live Broadcast costs $4.99 and includes the following: (Remember these are all Mountain Standard Times, so adjust to where you live.)

9 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.—Writers Cubed: Welcome  

9:15 a.m. to 9:55 a.m.—Keynote by Newbery Award winner Shannon Hale (Princess Academy)

10 a.m to 10:45 a.m.—Tyler Whitesides (Janitors)  Class: Imagine and Create. 

10:55 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.—Janette Rallison (My Fair Godmother)  Class: Bad dialogue can kill a story.

12:50 a.m. to 1:35 p.m.—NYT bestseller Kiersten White (Paranormalcy)  Class: Plot Like a Villain. 

1:45 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.—J. Scott Savage (Farworld)  Class: Finding Your Voice. 

2:50 p.m. to 3:25 p.m.—Journey to Publication Panel: Agent Amy Jameson & authors Chad Morris, Tess Hilmo, J. Scott Savage, Cindy Bennett

3:35 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.—NYT bestseller Aprilynne Pike (Wings)   Class: World-building is the invisible foundation to your book. 

4:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.—Writers Cubed: Closing remarks.

If you just can’t get enough of TABC, there is also an All Pass Subscription to the rest of the conference (including more than fifteen awesome presentations, including mine--haha). That only costs $9.99 and, as if it wasn’t a sweet enough deal already, you can watch the whole conference whenever you want for an entire year.

To register to watch Shannon Hale’s Keynote for free, visit www.teenauthorbootcamp.com and click on Livestream. It only takes a minute. While you’re there, check out the other presenters who will be teaching at the conference under the tab “Drill Sergeants.” 

Stay tuned for details on how to win a subscription to the TABC Live Broadcast for FREE on this blog.



Margie Jordan is a co-founder of Writers Cubed, a group of Utah writing activists who createdthe Teen Author Boot Camp in 2010. In her spare time, like when she isn’t writing, she is a Literacy specialist for her local school district. Please visit her website at www.writerscubed.com.

SO. If you'd like to attend via the Internet, here is a fantastic opportunity for you! All you have to do is click "Enter" on the Rafflecopter form below. One extra entry for spreading the word! Good luck to everyone! The form will run until March 13th!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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