Posts Tagged ‘YA paranormal’

THE LACHESIS PUBLISHING BOOK OF THE WEEK IS CROSSED OUT by Kim Baccellia (YA paranormal). 

YOU CAN GET IT HERE AT LACHESIS PUBLISHING

What it’s About:

Following the light can’t be that hard, right? So why don’t the dead just do it and leave Stephanie Stewart alone?

However nothing is ever as simple as it should be, as Stephanie learns when her hidden ‘gift’ becomes more than a nuisance, quickly turning unto a liability.

If she can’t learn to trust someone with her secret, the world as she knows it will go to hell. Literally. But if she doesn’t choose wisely, she might just end up learning firsthand how hard it is to follow that light.

Because she’s next on the list to be crossed out.

EXCERPT:

I couldn’t deal with Mom and her holier-than-thou attitude about decorating crosses. If she had any clue why I needed to do this, maybe she’d back off.

I pushed my hair aside and looked down at the wooden beams. My box of Sharpie pens lay close to my side. I had to get the design just right. Roses, or something plainer? It didn’t help that it was so cold in the garage.

Why was it so hard to help the dead go to the other side? It’d be a whole lot easier if they told me what they wanted on their crosses. Dead girl comes, asks for help, and tells me she’s into pink roses. Yes, that would make my job a lot easier.

But one thing I’ve learned is, life isn’t easy. Cliché, but true.

Figures, this was how I’d spend my time on a Saturday – sitting cross-legged on the floor in our garage, worrying about finishing a cross for some dead girl. In a few hours, Mom would drag me to Mrs. Swanson’s house for a sleepover. I didn’t really have time to decorate a cross.

And each time I tried to sketch, thoughts of the meeting drove any thought of the design out of my mind. I mean, how could I even think of helping others – albeit dead ones – when my own life was such a disaster?

I didn’t want to go. But Mom was using the whole sleepover as a way to get me to be around Hillary, whom she thought would be such a good example for me. But I couldn’t tell my mother the truth – I hated Hillary. Yes, we’d once been close, but it wasn’t as if we were BFFs anymore. No, Hillary made sure of that when I was stupid enough to trust her with my secret. A secret that was better left hidden. No one believed the dead could talk to you.

According to my last counselor, the only way that could happen is through serious Steven Spielberg special effects.

When I admitted to seeing one of my dead friends, he didn’t freak. No, he did something worse. He ended up suggesting to my parents that I needed to see a doctor – for serious psychological help. I mean, only crazy people see the dead.

And, I hate to say this, but the anti-anxiety meds and antidepressants don’t keep them away. Sometimes I wished the drug cocktail could just erase them. It sure would make my life a lot easier.

Sighing, I decided to go with pink roses. What girl didn’t like pink?

A sudden coldness permeated the garage. Jeez did Dad forget to close the back door again?

I pulled my hoodie tighter. Working in near darkness was bad enough without the drop in temperature.

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

I dropped my black Sharpie.

Over in the corner of the garage loose papers and dust whirled around – a funnel growing larger and larger.

A light shone next to Mom’s holiday plastic boxes, illuminating some Christmas ornaments, tinsel, and wrapping paper.

“Stephanie…careful….”

The childish voice grew louder. A chill went up my back. I know that voice!

I blinked once and when I opened my eyes I saw the girl. Her long dirty blond hair was clumped into two pigtails, and her bikini top and cut-off Levis brought back memories of the YMCA pool three years ago where I‘d spent my summers.

Allison!

Omigod! I pushed the wooden cross aside. A tingling sensation burned through my whole body. Once I helped a dead person cross over, that was supposed to end the whole rescue scenario. The bright light appeared and poof! Well, not this time.

I scooted away, over the rough, cold pavement. This didn’t make sense. Though I was used to visits from the ―other‖ side, having Allison reappear scared me. I didn‘t know what to do.

“Allison, why are you here?” My voice broke.

She took a step toward me. Her lips trembled. “Careful…danger….”

Danger? Did that mean her murderer was out of prison? Just the thought of that perv touching or killing someone else made me want to hurl.

“No… another….”

Someone else?

“Allison, what are you trying to tell me?” I slowly got up off the ground. “Is the guy who killed you, out?”

Allison shook her head. It still freaked me out how much the dead looked like us, not fuzzy or semi- transparent like they show on TV. The ones I helped still looked the way they had when they‘d been killed, complete with all the blood and stuff.

Yet here was Allison. She should be in Heaven singing in one of those heavenly choirs Mom always talked about.

I bit my hangnail, ripping it off. I couldn‘t deal with this. Not now.

“Careful….”

The wind picked up, tossing loose papers everywhere. None of this affected Allison.

I had so many questions to ask her. I missed her. I knew she‘d understand me, even when others – including my mom – were clueless.

“Allison, what‘s it like to be…?”

The wind howled drowning out her answer. And just as quickly, Allison left. I felt as if something had punched me in the stomach. I pushed back the sickness threatening to escape.

What was going on? But even worse, I didn’t know what to do. One thing had been made perfectly clear. The rules had all changed and no one bothered to give me the new players’ guide.

Like what you’ve read? You can get Crossed Out at Lachesis Publishing. You can also buy it on amazon, Barnes and NobleKobo, or iTunes.

Connect with Kim Baccellia on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow us on twitter.

New York Times Bestselling Author C. J. Redwine

C.J. Redwine is the New York Times bestselling author of YA fantasy novels, including The Shadow Queen, The Wish Granter, and the Defiance trilogy. If the novel writing gig ever falls through, she’ll join the Avengers and wear a cape to work every day. Visit her website: www.cjredwine.com 

Welcome C. J.!

You’re a YA fantasy author – tell us how you became a writer and how you first got published. 

I’ve been writing stories since I was in the second grade. By the time I was a teenager, I was filling spiral notebooks with stories, ideas, poems, and even lists of words that I loved. Book Nerd FTW!

I graduated from college with a degree in English and my teaching credential. Even though I loved to write and wanted to be published one day, I had no real idea how to accomplish that, and I needed a career that paid the bills. I taught high school for a few years, got married, had children, and life became one non-stop loop of no-sleep-keep-the-boys-from-starting-the-apocalypse-I-don’t-know-how-to-brain-anymore. It wasn’t until I was thirty and facing a cancer diagnosis that I stopped and evaluated what I was doing. I realized that I’d been waiting for life to slow down and give me the perfect opportunity to write books, but that’s not what life does. If you want something, you have to make it happen or move on to another dream. 

So I wrote my first novel, which is a monstrosity that no one will ever read. I joined writer’s groups. Went to conferences. And learned as much as I could about the craft of writing and about the publishing process. I wrote a second book, queried literary agents, and signed with my amazing agent. I expected that book would sell, but it didn’t. I wrote another book, and that book didn’t sell either. I’d been with my agent for over two years without a sale, while others sold in a matter of weeks. I kept picking my self-confidence up off the ground, dusting it off, and telling myself that I could do this. 

When I wrote my next book, I turned it in to my agent, fully expecting to hear a slew of “no’s” once it went on submission to editors. Instead, my agent called me to tell me the book was going to auction with four houses bidding on it. I just cried. It was so surreal. It took months for the fact that I’d sold a series to sink in!

You’re a NYT bestselling author – tell us which book hit the bestseller list first, what number did you hit, and what did you do to celebrate?

My book THE SHADOW QUEEN, which is a dark epic fantasy inspired by the Snow White fairy tale, hit the list at #5. I went out to dinner with my family to celebrate. 🙂

I know that you’re published with Balzer and Bray (a Harper Collins imprint) but you’ve also written a book and indie-published it – called Query: Everything You Need To Get Started, Get Noticed, and Get Signed. Tell us about that and why you wanted to write a book about how to break into the industry?

I’ve been teaching writing workshops for years. I love to teach! And I realized there were a lot of up and coming writers who’d never be able to attend one of my workshops. So I decided to put my query workshop into book form so that anyone who needed a step by step process for how to write a query letter that gets results would have it at their fingertips. 

  You also offer writing workshops and you organize an annual writer’s retreat tell us about that and is it just for YA authors or do you offer it for authors who write in other genres?

The annual retreat is open to any writers who register. We’re currently accepting names on a wait list for next year’s retreat C. J. REDWINE’S WRITER’S SANCTUARY WRITING RETREAT). It’s a fabulous event full of workshops, critiques, time to write, and delicious home cooked food. I also travel to conferences, book festivals, writer’s events, and libraries to give workshops.

You’re a busy mom – what do your kids think of their mom the author? What do you enjoy reading to your kids?

My boys are teens, and they think it’s cool that I’m a writer. Sometimes they even read my books (and then complain about how awkward it is to read a kissing scene written by your mom). My girls are in first grade and preschool, so they don’t really understand what it means to be published. But they do know that I write books, and they love to fold paper together and make their own books. 🙂

It’s very competitive out there with traditionally published authors and indie authors and authors who do both! Writing a good book is of course important – but aside from that – how can a newbie or emerging author find their own place in a sea of so many successful authors?

It’s important to figure out where your readers are and connect with them. One great way to connect is to make sure that your social media presence revolves around passions of yours that are also passions of readers who’d love your books. For example, I write fantasy. I love Grimm, Supernatural, The Flash, The Avengers etc, and I talk about those things. I’m part of the Harry Potter fandom. Of course I share other aspects of my life too, but I make sure to share the things that I know are shorthand for readers who love the same things I do. I also think networking with other authors and doing shared events or book festivals is a great way to meet new readers!

 What do you have coming up next?

My  next book is THE WISH GRANTER, a dark epic fantasy inspired by the tale of Rumpelstiltskin in which a bastard princess must take on a dangerous fae to save her brother without losing both her brother and her soul.

What do you love to read in your downtime?

Everything! I read widely. My favorite genres at the moment are thrillers, horror, and contemporary, and of course I always adore a great fantasy. I find so much inspiration in reading outside of my genre.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Literally everywhere. I’m constantly seeing interesting things that make me ask “What if …?” or I hear a piece of  music that sparks a conversation between characters or an image of a world … I carry a notebook at all times because my head is a very busy place.

Bonus Question: Who do you fangirl over and why?

I love character actors! My faves are Benedict Cumberbatch, John Noble, Tom Hiddleston, Johnny Depp, and Bill Nighy. Also I fangirl over fictional characters like nobody’s business. Batman. Loki. Iron Man. Wonder Woman. Dean Winchester. I could go on, but you get the point.

Thank you!

Connect with C. J. Redwine via her website, facebook page and on twitter, tumblr. and pinterest.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter.

Our BOOK OF THE WEEK is the YA Paranormal VANISHED by CHRISTINA HOLT.  Click on this link to purchase.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Ten years ago, Emily Miller went missing when she was only five years old. Everyone in town thought she had either drowned in the lake near her house, or had been kidnapped. Some even whispered that her father, Frank Miller was responsible.

No one suspected the old boathouse behind the Miller property, except Emily’s father. Frank Miller knew what had happened to his little girl. He knew the boathouse had her.

Ten years later, thirteen-year-old George Morgan wanders into the same boathouse and discovers a magical secret. At first he’s thrilled. He reveals his secret to his fifteen-year-old brother Eddie, thinking it will bring them closer together. After all, George and Eddie used to be best friends, before they moved to town, and before Eddie started hanging out with a bunch of older boys—the same boys who make it their mission to bully George on a daily basis. But, when Eddie tells his friends about the boathouse, everything starts to go wrong.

Suddenly the cool, magical secret of the boathouse isn’t a secret anymore, and the mysteries of the past come back to haunt them, putting their lives in great danger.

WHERE YOU CAN GET IT:

amazon: http://amzn.to/2dJovz7

kobo: https://goo.gl/hynJl0

iBooks: https://goo.gl/zotd05

Lachesis Publishing: https://goo.gl/DtIhC7

Award winning author Christina Holt has written two YA paranormals for Lachesis Publishing: Second Chance and Vanished. Her books delve into the supernatural world but are very grounded in what kids and teens experience growing up. Christina recently won the Darrell Award award for her YA, Vanished.

Connect with Christina on her website and on facebook and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow us on twitter.

Catrina Burgess author (aka Cat Brown)

Catrina Burgess (aka Cat Brown) is an author and blogger based in Arizona. When she’s not writing, she loves to bake and spend time with her husband and three rescue dogs  Coco, Trouble, and Ashy and their cat Shitty Kitty.

Welcome Cat!

When did you launch Romance Junkies and what made you decide it was time to step back from running it?

I started Romance Junkies back in 2002. At that time I was a freelance web designer and aspiring romance writer. I’ve always been a big reader and in between working a day job and writing I was doing a lot of reading. I thought it would be fun to start doing book reviews with some of my friends. And since I was a web designer I decided to whip up a little website where we could post the reviews. I thought the site was going to be a small weekend project, but the first week we were open, I got a very nasty email from one of the big romance review sites. The letter had a very threatening tone and was telling us we couldn’t feature certain authors that were apparently “their authors.” I remember reading the email to my husband and afterward saying in an astonished tone, “Who knew there was a romance mafia.” I’m pretty laid back, but I don’t like bullies. I decided that day to spend all my free time working on the Romance Junkies. My goal was to try to make it as big as possible, for no other reason than to annoy the “Romance Mafia.”

After 13 years of running the site, I decided it was time for a change. I wanted to spend more time working on my writing, and I wanted to try some new projects. Some new challenges.

Are you still involved in the Romance Junkies site?

Marie Harte, who writes contemporary romance for Sourcebooks publishing, is the current owner/operator. She is a good friend, and I know she is going to do a fabulous job with the site. I have stepped down from all Romance Junkies management, site decisions, and actual work, but I’ve stayed on with the site as a reviewer. I plan to do a few reviews here and there.

When you founded Romance Junkies back in 2002 what was the online world like for romance authors/novels and how has it changed since then in your opinion?

Big review sites and big blogs filled Romanceland. I remember I would hit my favorite sites and blogs each week to get news and gossip about what was going on. Over the years, social media has expanded with things like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Now I get a lot of my Romanceland news via Twitter and Facebook. Rather than blogs run by a big group of people you see a lot more small, individually run blogs. A lot of young book reviewers are doing their reviews on YouTube.

You’re also an author – when did you start writing and why?

I started writing back in 2001. When I turned 36 years old, my husband lovingly told me, “You need to start working on that writing dream you’ve had since you were a kid, because let’s face it time is running out.”  I told him I had no idea how to write a book, and he gave me one of his no-nonsense stares and told me, “Stop whining and go figure it out.” Now in his defense, he does tend to be very straightforward in the things he says. He will tell you the honest truth, whether or not you want to hear it. He is also the most supportive husband—he is one of my main critique partners and has really helped me over the years become a better writer.

I started working on that first book in 2001. It took me eight months to write that first book and five months to edit it. While writing that book, I realized how much I loved the whole writing process. Yes, it’s crazy hard, impossible some days, but so much fun. There’s nothing better than battling through and writing a book and getting to those sweet words—THE END. Nothing cooler than seeing the characters you have in your head become walking and talking entities.

What genre do you write in and why?

I started out writing romance. I have four stories that were published with one of the big epublishing houses. I’m not going to name them since my career with them ended when the house blew up with a bunch of crazy drama.  Around that that time I got very sick. So sick I had to give up my day job—I was teaching computer classes and doing freelance web design. My husband, who had always helped me run Romance Junkies, took over the bulk of the work on the site. He also had to take on an extra job since I was no longer able to work. The poor boy had a sick wife at home, was working two day jobs, and was putting up features on Romance Junkies during the wee hours. I told you he’s a very supportive husband. Every year I got a little better and after two years I was able to get back to working on Romance Junkies. Though sadly I was still too sick to go back to working a regular day job.

When I was really sick, every six months I would try to write. The first two years the fatigue was so overwhelming I just couldn’t write. I didn’t have the mental clarity to get words down on paper. And then after year three of being sick I saw that author Candace Haven was offering a fast draft class. I decided to give it a try, even though I knew there was a very good chance I wouldn’t be well enough to participate. To my surprise suddenly I could get the words out. The tips I learned about fast drafting in that class really changed the way I wrote. Instead of editing as I worked, I started just banging out a fast, rough first draft. It was so freeing to allow myself to be creative and to turn off the editor in my head. Of course with no editor on duty, that meant my rough drafts were incredibly rough, and it would take me as much time to polish and edit a manuscript as it did to write it.

Before I was sick, I wrote romance, but now the stories coming out of me were much darker. Even more surprising—they were YA. Working on that first young adult book Awakening was a life saver. When your life is full of fatigue, your world becomes very small. You mourn the high energy person you used to be. You have so many limitations on the things you can do you get depressed. I took all that depression, all those dark thoughts and I poured them into my story. I spent the next two years writing the four books in the Dark Ritual series under the pen name Catrina Burgess. Those characters in the book, the Scooby gang as I call them, kept me entertained and I truly believed helped me get better. I’m still sick, and I still have a lot of limitations on the things I can do, but on a good day I can think clearly. I’m mentally 70% there, which is a huge improvement. More importantly, I’m well enough to write. I never realized how much I loved writing until I couldn’t do it anymore.

You’re published by Full Fathom Five – the publishing company launched by James Frey – who shot to fame years ago with his bestseller A Million Little Pieces – how did that come about and how is it going so far?

I’m with the infamous James Frey publishing through the Full Fathom Five Digital house. I wrote the first three books in my Dark Ritual series and posted them on Wattpad. Wattpad is a teen writing community. I honestly didn’t think anyone would be interested in reading my YA books. I was writing them to entertain myself and my teenage nieces. I was shocked when the series started to get a lot of traction on Wattpad. Before I knew it, the first three books had over 3 million reads. I was getting fan email from teens from all over the world. I decided to enter Awakening, the first book in the series into a Wattpad writing contest. To my amazement, out of 3,000 entries, Awakening was picked as one of ten winners of the Wattpad 2014 Prize. Awakening was named best suspense book. After winning the contest, I was contacted by Full Fathom Five.

I spent a good deal of time researching the new house and their management. It’s always a risk to go with a new house, but I decided to take the risk. It took six months to negotiate a contract we could both live with. Once I was on board with the house, I got to know the staff as I worked with them. And I really enjoyed working with them.

The toughest part of the whole process was the eight months of publisher edits. Since I signed in January and the first three books all came out the month of October, I was under very tough deadlines. But somehow I survived them, though I don’t remember much about last summer, it seemed to have whizzed by in a blur of edits.

I love how the series turned out. I adore the covers. And I would have happily continued working with FFF, but unfortunately the digital house this year decided to downsize. They are not taking on any new submissions. I plan to write a half-dozen books set in the same world as the Dark Rituals series, but now I’m free to do whatever I want with those books. It’s a bit scary having an orphaned series. It’s very unlikely another house will pick up the rest of the series. At the moment the plan is to self-publish the rest of the books. Nowadays when you self-publish you have to consider covers and edits. Those expenses come out of your own pocket. You cross your fingers and hope that the book sells enough to repay the money you paid out of pocket. There is no guarantee it will. There is a risk, but there is also quite a bit of freedom having full control over your book. It allows you to take more risks with the story and the characters.

Given your background at Romance Junkies – what do you think are some key things that every author should do to promote their books?

If you asked me this question three years ago, I would have had a pat answer for you. There seemed to be a roadmap that authors could follow to find success and sales. But in the last three years the publishing industry has been in a free fall. Suddenly authors who had been making a great living writing are having a hard time surviving.

I’ve given a lot of thought to why there has been such a drastic change in Romanceland in the last three years. Is it because Amazon changed its algorithms?  The fact that so many indie authors are now publishing romance? Has the avalanche of free books turned readers off from buying books? Could it be that the middle class is shrinking, and people seem to be working more which leaves them less time to read and less money to spend on books? I think it’s a combination of all of the above.

So what can an Author do that will ensure she/he sells a zillion books? If I could answer that question, I would be the most popular person in Romanceland. I think it’s still important to try and get your name out. It helps to be active on social media. Book blog tours, Facebook ads, reviews—I think these things still help with book sales. But when it comes to the big sales I think it’s lightening striking—the combination of timing and luck. If you are lucky enough to have a project that hits big with Amazon rankings and somehow gets found by the readers and those readers spread the word about the book to all their friends–you get this grass roots buzz happening. The rankings and readers interest gets the blogs all talking about the book, and the big sales seem to follow. I don’t know that anyone has found a guaranteed way to make all of those things happen. If they did, I’m sure the whole of Romanceland would be talking about it.

Personally, I’m going to try a few non-writing projects see if I can raise my Author visibility. In the fall I’m going to start doing YouTube videos about paranormal topics. Hopefully, I can make the videos informative yet zany enough to entertain my teen readers.

Let’s say your book has been out there for six months, and the shine is off the apple – what are some key things that an author should do to keep their name out there?

Another good question. The answer seems to be write more books. It’s a tough time in publishing—authors are expected to write multiple books a year and, at the same time, do a ton of social media and marketing. You see many authors struggling to find time to write with all the marketing they are doing. Some authors seem to be able to juggle the two seamlessly. I’ve seen authors who are somehow on Twitter all day long interacting with their readers and yet they still find time to write. I wonder when they sleep.

What do you love reading and who are three of your favorite authors?

I love Jennifer Estep’s spider series. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is on my “auto-buy” list. I just discovered Calia Read, and I love the books in her new series–Unravel and Unhinge.

You have chronic fatigue syndrome – how does it affect your writing and daily routine? What are some things you do to help keep yourself balanced?

Chronic fatigue is a dreadful thing to have. Most people don’t realize how debilitating fatigue can be. There are days when I feel like I have a house sitting on my shoulders and getting up and putting a load of dishes in the dishwasher seems like an impossible task. I’ve always been a type A personality, but no amount of mental strength or willpower can fight through that much fatigue.

I found what works for me, is if I set a weekly page count. I try to write every day, but that’s not always possible. I find with the weekly page count it helps me push myself to get pages done on those days when I feel well enough to write. But there are many days during the week when I’m too sick even to sit at the laptop. Especially if I overdo it.

Last Olympics the women’s volleyball team had a mantra they used—breath, battle, believe. It’s a mantra I’ve adopted to help me get a book done. I breathe and take it easy on days I can’t work. I battle and work on the book on days I feel good. And I believe that if I keep working away the book will eventually get done.

Bonus: What are you really good at and why? (can be something silly) J

I can crochet afghans. It disturbs and amuses my friends that I can crochet. I’m someone who lives in graphic t-shirts, jeans, and vans, and I guess crocheting is something that people always think of grandmothers as doing.  I’m good at it thanks to my very own grandmother who taught me how to crochet.

Thank you!!!!!

Connect with Catrina Burgess (aka Cat Brown) via her website and via facebook, goodreadswattpad, and via her blog

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook. Follow us on twitter.

This week’s DEAL OF THE WEEK is YA time travel Dawn of the Sentinel by Richard Blackburn (book 1 in the Guardians of the Gate trilogy).

GET IT HERE FOR ONLY .99 CENTS!

What It’s About:

Jenny has no idea what it means when she stumbles through a magical “gate” at Stonehenge and travels back to the year 1347. She has no idea that the “old lady” who travels back with her is actually a sorceress protector, and a Guardian of the Gate. Most shocking of all, she has no idea that she has powers of her own just waiting to be discovered.

Gwenelda, the Guardian, intends to hide Jenny in the safety of a secret cave until the next time warp, but fate works against them, and Jenny is thrust into the society of the time. She disguises herself as a young man in order to protect herself, but when she discovers a sinister plot master-minded by a former Guardian named Rudigor, who has turned to the dark side—it becomes a race against time as Jenny tries to stop the sorcerer, and rush back to Stonehenge to get back to her own time.

EXCERPT:

Jenny started to tremble. She remembered her last glimpse of Stonehenge. In that flash of lightning she’d seen a dark liquid running from the slab above her head. She looked down at where it had splashed onto her arms. They were stained with blood.

“You saw what was on the altar stone?” the old woman whispered sympathetically.

“Yes,” Jenny answered in a quavering voice. “A . . . a human sacrifice.”

Despite the warning to keep silent, Jenny had to whisper the obvious questions.

“Who are you? What have you done to me?’’

In reply the old woman leaned her face close to Jenny’s ear.

“My name is Gwenelda. I’m one of the Sentinels who guard the time warp, what the ancients called The Gate. And all I did was to try to stop you from standing near that stone,” she whispered, more resigned now than angry. “You were on the actual site of the ancient Druid altar. I’ve guarded it for centuries during the few brief seconds each year it becomes a gateway into the past. But hush!”

As they listened, they could hear sounds of the men searching nearby. Someone prodded the thicket where they were hiding with a stave, but Jenny had curled into a tight ball, her arms protecting her head. She knew that if she made a sound, it would be her last, so she kept absolutely silent.

After a few minutes the searchers moved on.

“Those fools are trying to act like Druids, hoping to stumble upon the secrets of our ancient sect. It’s a dangerous business, though. The Church will burn them at the stake as heretics if they’re caught, so they’ll kill anybody who witnesses their secret meetings. Now they know we’re here, they’ll be desperate to find us.”

Trying not to rustle the leaves of the bush, the old woman looked out carefully.

“When they’re searching on the far side of the columns, we’ll have to run to the ditch over there,” she said, pointing to the opposite edge of the ruins.

Jenny felt as though she’d just been through one round in the boxing ring with Muhammad Ali and was in no shape for even the shortest sprint. Fit though she was, her mental condition had taken a considerable battering, but when Gwenelda croaked urgently for her to run, she somehow found the strength. The memory of her first, close look into the dead eyes of the pagan victim spurred her on. She threw herself the last few feet into the ditch.

“Well done,” Gwenelda whispered.

Jenny couldn’t imagine how the old woman got there first, but she didn’t really care.

“Can I say something now?” she pleaded weakly.

“Not yet,” Gwenelda said. “We’ve got to get well away from here. We can relax later, when we’re sure we’re not being followed, but even then we must stay alert. We have to avoid human contact like the plague. I’m going to take you to a cave I know. It’s nearly a day’s walk from here, but you can hide there until I can return you to your own century. So up you get. The coast is clear. We must get away.”

Twenty minutes later they were able to slacken the pace and walk side by side.

“Please tell me what happened,” Jenny begged. “I’m sure I’ll be of more use to you if I know what’s going on.”

“All right. I’ll tell you the little you need to know for now and when we reach safety, I’ll fill you in on the rest.”

Jenny could hear in her companion’s voice the coldness of a seriously dangerous situation. As they followed the winding path across the lonely moors, Gwenelda told her a story so incredible that, had Jenny not been physically involved, she would never have believed it.

“There are a few places on the face of the Earth where it’s possible to walk through time into the past,” the old woman explained. “They only occur on significant occasions and in very special places. The Egyptian Pyramids, the Easter Island statues, and the Inca temples are just a few of them. Oh, and Stonehenge of course.

“Not many people these days would know how to invoke the magic to travel through time, but in Stonehenge it’s different. Every year the words of the ancient incantations are chanted exactly when the time warp occurs—at dawn on the mid-summer solstice.

“But modern Druids don’t know what they’re doing. It’s just by chance today that the right words were said at the right time. That was the command for The Gate to open at the site of the original Druid altar . . . and you fell into it.”

Jenny was still puzzled so Gwenelda continued to explain.

“If you look at any really old painting of the ’Henge you’ll see that the columns used to be scattered all over the place. It was in Victorian times the authorities took it upon themselves to put the stones in an order they thought was right—but they were wrong. The real place for the altar was exactly where you were standing.

“When I couldn’t get there in time to move you away, I had to come with you, not just to help you, but to preserve the past. So now I’ll have the pleasure of your company until The Gate next opens, the hallowed eve of All Saints Day. That’s in about four month’s time.”

“Four months! You must be joking. I can’t—”

Once again Gwenelda had to silence her unwilling companion.

“Keep your voice down!” she whispered furiously. “We may appear to be alone, but you can never tell. Things aren’t as bad as they might sound, but I can’t explain now. We’ve a long walk ahead of us, so we’d better get a move on. It would be dangerous for two women to be found out alone after nightfall . . . particularly here and now.”

Before they continued, however, Gwenelda seemed to find one spark of amusement in their plight.

“By the way, Jenny,” she said with mock dignity. “Welcome to the year 1347.”

Like what you’ve read? You can get your copy of Dawn of the Sentinel right here at Lachesis Publishing.

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Our Deal of the Week is the YA Paranormal VANISHED by CHRISTINA HOLT. ONLY .99 cents! Right here at Lachesis Publishing. Click on this link to purchase.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

Ten years ago, Emily Miller went missing when she was only five years old. Everyone in town thought she had either drowned in the lake near her house, or had been kidnapped. Some even whispered that her father, Frank Miller was responsible.

No one suspected the old boathouse behind the Miller property, except Emily’s father. Frank Miller knew what had happened to his little girl. He knew the boathouse had her.

Ten years later, thirteen-year-old George Morgan wanders into the same boathouse and discovers a magical secret. At first he’s thrilled. He reveals his secret to his fifteen-year-old brother Eddie, thinking it will bring them closer together. After all, George and Eddie used to be best friends, before they moved to town, and before Eddie started hanging out with a bunch of older boys—the same boys who make it their mission to bully George on a daily basis. But, when Eddie tells his friends about the boathouse, everything starts to go wrong.

Suddenly the cool, magical secret of the boathouse isn’t a secret anymore, and the mysteries of the past come back to haunt them, putting their lives in great danger.

Award winning author Christina Holt has written two YA paranormals for Lachesis Publishing: Second Chance and Vanished. Her books delve into the supernatural world but are very grounded in what kids and teens experience growing up. Christina recently won the Darrell Award award for her YA, Vanished.

Connect with Christina on her website and on facebook and twitter.

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THIS WEEK’S DEAL OF THE WEEK IS  CROSSED OUT by Kim Baccellia (YA paranormal). 

YOU CAN GET IT HERE AT LACHESIS PUBLISHING FOR ONLY .99 CENTS! THIS WEEK ONLY. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE.

What it’s About:

Following the light can’t be that hard, right? So why don’t the dead just do it and leave Stephanie Stewart alone?

However nothing is ever as simple as it should be, as Stephanie learns when her hidden ‘gift’ becomes more than a nuisance, quickly turning unto a liability.

If she can’t learn to trust someone with her secret, the world as she knows it will go to hell. Literally. But if she doesn’t choose wisely, she might just end up learning firsthand how hard it is to follow that light.

Because she’s next on the list to be crossed out.

EXCERPT:

I couldn’t deal with Mom and her holier-than-thou attitude about decorating crosses. If she had any clue why I needed to do this, maybe she’d back off.

I pushed my hair aside and looked down at the wooden beams. My box of Sharpie pens lay close to my side. I had to get the design just right. Roses, or something plainer? It didn’t help that it was so cold in the garage.

Why was it so hard to help the dead go to the other side? It’d be a whole lot easier if they told me what they wanted on their crosses. Dead girl comes, asks for help, and tells me she’s into pink roses. Yes, that would make my job a lot easier.

But one thing I’ve learned is, life isn’t easy. Cliché, but true.

Figures, this was how I’d spend my time on a Saturday – sitting cross-legged on the floor in our garage, worrying about finishing a cross for some dead girl. In a few hours, Mom would drag me to Mrs. Swanson’s house for a sleepover. I didn’t really have time to decorate a cross.

And each time I tried to sketch, thoughts of the meeting drove any thought of the design out of my mind. I mean, how could I even think of helping others – albeit dead ones – when my own life was such a disaster?

I didn’t want to go. But Mom was using the whole sleepover as a way to get me to be around Hillary, whom she thought would be such a good example for me. But I couldn’t tell my mother the truth – I hated Hillary. Yes, we’d once been close, but it wasn’t as if we were BFFs anymore. No, Hillary made sure of that when I was stupid enough to trust her with my secret. A secret that was better left hidden. No one believed the dead could talk to you.

According to my last counselor, the only way that could happen is through serious Steven Spielberg special effects.

When I admitted to seeing one of my dead friends, he didn’t freak. No, he did something worse. He ended up suggesting to my parents that I needed to see a doctor – for serious psychological help. I mean, only crazy people see the dead.

And, I hate to say this, but the anti-anxiety meds and antidepressants don’t keep them away. Sometimes I wished the drug cocktail could just erase them. It sure would make my life a lot easier.

Sighing, I decided to go with pink roses. What girl didn’t like pink?

A sudden coldness permeated the garage. Jeez did Dad forget to close the back door again?

I pulled my hoodie tighter. Working in near darkness was bad enough without the drop in temperature.

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

I dropped my black Sharpie.

Over in the corner of the garage loose papers and dust whirled around – a funnel growing larger and larger.

A light shone next to Mom’s holiday plastic boxes, illuminating some Christmas ornaments, tinsel, and wrapping paper.

“Stephanie…careful….”

The childish voice grew louder. A chill went up my back. I know that voice!

I blinked once and when I opened my eyes I saw the girl. Her long dirty blond hair was clumped into two pigtails, and her bikini top and cut-off Levis brought back memories of the YMCA pool three years ago where I‘d spent my summers.

Allison!

Omigod! I pushed the wooden cross aside. A tingling sensation burned through my whole body. Once I helped a dead person cross over, that was supposed to end the whole rescue scenario. The bright light appeared and poof! Well, not this time.

I scooted away, over the rough, cold pavement. This didn’t make sense. Though I was used to visits from the ―other‖ side, having Allison reappear scared me. I didn‘t know what to do.

“Allison, why are you here?” My voice broke.

She took a step toward me. Her lips trembled. “Careful…danger….”

Danger? Did that mean her murderer was out of prison? Just the thought of that perv touching or killing someone else made me want to hurl.

“No… another….”

Someone else?

“Allison, what are you trying to tell me?” I slowly got up off the ground. “Is the guy who killed you, out?”

Allison shook her head. It still freaked me out how much the dead looked like us, not fuzzy or semi- transparent like they show on TV. The ones I helped still looked the way they had when they‘d been killed, complete with all the blood and stuff.

Yet here was Allison. She should be in Heaven singing in one of those heavenly choirs Mom always talked about.

I bit my hangnail, ripping it off. I couldn‘t deal with this. Not now.

“Careful….”

The wind picked up, tossing loose papers everywhere. None of this affected Allison.

I had so many questions to ask her. I missed her. I knew she‘d understand me, even when others – including my mom – were clueless.

“Allison, what‘s it like to be…?”

The wind howled drowning out her answer. And just as quickly, Allison left. I felt as if something had punched me in the stomach. I pushed back the sickness threatening to escape.

What was going on? But even worse, I didn’t know what to do. One thing had been made perfectly clear. The rules had all changed and no one bothered to give me the new players’ guide.

Like what you’ve read? You can get Crossed Out at Lachesis Publishing FOR ONLY .99 CENTS THIS WEEK! You can also buy it on amazon, Barnes and NobleKobo, or iTunes.

Connect with Kim Baccellia on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

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Our DEAL OF THE WEEK is The Possession by J.D. Spikes.

On sale for.99 cents. This week only! Click here to purchase.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Daphne Wentworth is almost seventeen, definitely a red head, and most likely the tallest girl in her class, which is awkward to say the least when it comes to dating boys in her school. But she doesn’t have to worry about school for the next two months since she’s spending the summer at her aunt Dwill’s lighthouse in Maine. What she does have to worry about is seeing ghosts in the lighthouse cemetery, having strange dreams, and hearing the voices of star-crossed lovers who lived two-hundred years ago. And then there’s a local boy named Zach Philbrook who works for her aunt. He’s too gorgeous for his own good. He’s also very tall, with midnight black hair, and the most beautiful indigo blue eyes Daphne has ever seen. Zach is treated like an outcast by the local teens in town. He’s Micmac and therefore not “one of the gang”. Daphne can’t help being drawn to his strength, especially considering that he’s had to live his entire life dealing with ignorance. But the local teens aren’t the only trouble-makers in town. As Zach and Daphne get closer, the lighthouse ghost lovers begin haunting them. When Daphne and Zach try to figure out how to fight them, the spirits get bolder and more dangerous.

EXCERPT: The cemetery wasn’t far and wasn’t scary. Not to me. Just a scattering of old stones with ancient memories written on them. People long gone to another life and no one here who remembers them. I dropped my canvas shoulder bag of goods on the ground near the gate. Wrought iron and rusted, it leaned into the cemetery boundaries at a precarious angle. Thank God I didn’t have to push it open . . . I’d have probably landed on the ground with a rusted spiral in my gut. This place was unfamiliar to me, except in passing. Though I’d known of the cemetery’s existence, I’d never gone in. I had too much to do in the land of the living for my short time here. No one ever came out here, so what difference did the overgrowth make? Aunt begged to differ and insisted I clean the place up. The lighthouse was two hundred years old this summer, she reminded me, and the cemetery belonged to the lighthouse. So, on a bright June day, I found myself alone in a somewhat decrepit cemetery in a clearing in the woods. I made my way around the ancient stones in an attempt to put off the start of my project. Most were upright and clear enough of the tangle of brush that a portion of the inscription could be read. One small stone, nearly buried in the overgrown grass at the north corner, caught my eye. I flattened enough of the green to reveal the single word Sarah, and beneath it Age 3 Months. Sadness flashed through me, unexpectedly. There were babies buried here? I slipped the hand pruners from my back pocket where I’d stuck them and carefully snipped the grass down in front of the headstone. I pulled viney growth from the top corner of the stone, revealing a W. and a P. Sarah W.P. My hand cramped as I diligently snipped away at the grass, clearing the plot. The screech of the gate would have warned me . . . had the gate been in better repair. With its useless tilt, however, I never heard him coming. The bag dropping next to me on the mixed pile of living and dead debris announced his presence. I flipped to the side, tripping myself with my legs, but managed to keep the pruners in front of me. I pointed them into the air in front of my face. Blue-black eyes studied me, one hand hooked into his pants pocket by the thumb, the other paused in front of him, fingers splayed where it had dropped the bag. In books you always read about these moments. Crickets clicked, or birds called, or someone’s watch ticked, marking time. Maybe all three. In real life, the only thing you really hear until you recognize that person is your own heavy breathing, that being indicative of the fact that you are in the middle of nowhere with no possible help nearby. So how do you protect yourself from something that isn’t really there?

Like what you’ve read? You can get your copy of The Possession by J.D. Spikes right at Lachesis Publishing for only .99 cents (this week only) or on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or ARe

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Research and School Field Trip at the Pompeii Exhibition

I never thought I’d homeschool. I taught for a combination of fifteen years in two different public school districts. I ‘used’ to believe the stereotypes that homeschooled kids were isolated and were ultra conservative.

Then I had issues with my son’s elementary school and had to come to a decision. Either keep him in a school that was failing him or take him out and homeschool through a charter school.

I had to make an adjustment by finding more creative ways to get my writing done.

One way to do this was to combine research for my projects with son’s science/history classes. For his world history unit, we attended the Pompeii Exhibition at the

Munchkin and Mom on Roadtrip to the Grand Canyon

California Science Center in L.A.

Kim Baccellia at the Discovery Science CenterScience Center in LA.

This research also helped with my GODDESSES series.

For his science unit, we went to the Grand Canyon. The terrain is very similar to the setting in my futuristic thriller.

I couldn’t resist the Biodome at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, California. This center has great science topics for kids and more research for my futuristic thriller.

Sacremento Cemetery – spooky and inspiring.

A trip to Sacramento, and the Sacramento Historical Cemetery helped with some background in my upcoming sequel to CROSSED OUT

How else do I get any writing in?

Marlene Perez

One piece of advice I took to heart came from fellow YA author Marlene Perez. She had a number of deadlines to meet plus she just had twin girls. She told me, “You need to seize every opportunity you get to write.”

I figured if she could get books out with twins? What was my excuse?

Mar has been and continues to be a big inspiration to me.

I’m lucky as my son’s enrolled in a charter school that has a student center with other credentialed teachers. I drop him off at the center and go to the coffee house to write. I’m there for around 3 hours or more twice a week.

The coffee shop aka the writer’s office away from home.

So this is my latest writing place:

Image: www.fastcompany.com

I have Spotify Playlists for each of my projects. When I’m at the coffee house, I put in my earplugs and listen to the music. This gets me in the character’s mind and also tunes out the other people inside the coffee house. Though I do admit, I’ve stolen some great dialogue from conversations I eavesdropped on!

I have a planner that I schedule in writing time and check it off when I complete it. I also give myself little ‘rewards’ like an extra latte, colorful pen, or a new YA novel when I accomplish my goals. I figure I used incentives with my first graders to help motive them to complete tasks. Why not me?

In my purse I carry notepads and pens. This gives me no excuse not to write.

I think the biggest thing is giving myself permission to write. Some think that just because I homeschool, that means that I’m available 24/7. I’ve learned to say ‘no’ a lot more too.

I believe that if something is important to you? You’ll find the time to do it. Writing is important to me. I’ve just learned to find more creative ways to do it.

Kim Baccellia is the author of the YA paranormal Crossed Out.

You can get Crossed Out at Lachesis Publishing or on amazon, Barnes and NobleKobo, or iTunes.

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Image; www.gettyimages.com.au

I really enjoy giving talks to students. I’ve been invited into scores of high schools because my three published books have been accepted for the New South Wales Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC). This is a popular initiative in Australian States, where students sign up each year to read a certain number of books and receive certificates if they attain set goals. Their teachers question them before they submit their claim for a certificate, to make sure they have actually done the reading. The books, for the New South Wales Challenge, are set out in lists for each age group but it is not easy for an author to have a book accepted by the PRC committee. It cannot be self-published and must adhere to their standards of language, content and things like that. It also must be well written.

Image: stratfordlibrary.org

So, very early in my writing career, I made the conscious decision that I would write for teens and early twenty year olds (even though I have had ‘fanmail’ from youngsters up to eighty years of age). I didn’t read when I was younger. There were no books in my house. My parent were members of the local library but the few times I was taken there I had to sit on a hard wooden bench and not say a word. I’m so happy that things have changed and modern libraries encourage young readers and invite authors like me to give talks to the young readers’ groups.

But I’m getting off my original subject, which is the joys of giving talks to young writers. I always discuss the students’ needs with their teacher and tailor my talk to suit their requirements, but if I have a free hand, I like to talk about writing historical adventure stories.

I tell them that it is possible to gloss over facts and use generalities, and you could still tell an exciting tale, but if you want to sound professional and take your reader into the past with you, beware. You have to do a lot of research. If you get one thing wrong, there are re-enactment groups out there who look upon the past with almost religious zeal. Write anything wrong and they will want to crucify you!

Image: www.todayifoundout.com

So where are these pitfalls? The first is to think that something very normal to us today was always like that. Take sitting down to a meal. You might think a family in medieval times would have plates, knives, forks and spoons on the table. Wrong. Most peasants carried a knife at their belt at all times. They might need to cut honeysuckle vine to make rope or peel bark from a willow tree to crush to make a pain killer. So they would not need a knife supplied at meal times. And forks were not used in Europe until the eighteenth century. In England, the Royal Navy would not let sailors use forks even into the eighteen hundreds; they said it was effeminate!

Image: cookit.e2bn.org

And plates weren’t used either. At a noble family’s table, four day old rye bread would be cut by the panter. No, not the bloke who had trouble breathing. French was the main language used in England for about three hundred years after the Norman invasion, and the French for bread is pain. So this servant’s job was to cut pieces of stale bread so the noble family and their guests could use them as plates. The higher you were up the social ladder, the more ‘trenchers’ (from the French tranchier – to cut) you were given. So the Lord didn’t have to have his desserts on the piece of bread now soaked in cold, greasy gravy but the knight might have to.

I try to make my talk as amusing or gruesome as possible, so I like to quote from The Boke of Karuying (The Book of Carving) by Wynkyn de Worde. In the section on good manners, he talks about table manners. It is not polite, he says, to spit on the tablecloth or over it. Also he suggests not to blow your nose on it, either, which, of course, you might never have thought of. He discourages spitting a long way but says the polite thing to do is cover your mouth with your hand and spit on the floor near your chair. With many noblemen having at least fifty people to each meal, I wouldn’t like to be the servant who had to wash the floor after each meal.

Image; www.wickedhappyfuntime.com

And the choice of words used in your historical novel is important. If a person is speaking in the fourteenth century, he wouldn’t use modern expressions. There are also many words that just weren’t invented then. The word POSH comes from the letters chalked on luggage of wealthy people travelling to India in the days of the Raj. The cabins on the port side of the boat would be shady therefore cooler going to India and the starboard ones cooler coming back. So the mnemonic POSH, for Port out, Starboard home, was used. Flash in the pan, going off ‘half cock’ were expressions based on the use of the musket, a weapon not invented until after the period of my books. But a ‘cock up’ did happen in those days. An arrow usually has three feathers, with one of them sticking straight out of the shaft (the cock feather) and the others at an angle to the nock (the notch for the bow string). If you shoot the arrow with the cock feather on the side of the bow, it will send the arrow off course, thereby causing a ‘cock up’.

Image: www.reddit.com

There are so many more aspects of medieval life that differ from today. The food they ate and the fact that most of them drank beer all the time. Students are usually amazed to find out that part of a servant’s wage was ‘small beer’ and a page boy would receive half the beer ration given to an adult. Then there are the clothes they wore. Kids like to hear how King Edward III ordered his soldiers to pad their codpieces when fighting the French, to look more manly. I like to take along a chain mail joupon and helmet and invite students to put them on, so they could feel the weight and try to imagine what it would be like to fight a battle dressed in armor.

Image: www.williamcowley.co.uk

And when I’m visiting England, I visit as many castles and stately homes as possible. Actually seeing the rooms used by nobility and the things they used in daily life is very interesting to me. Unfortunately I’ve never found a medieval hut still preserved, with the artifacts of the poorer people, but I read as many contemporary books and documents as I can find and search for paintings of the period. As I tell the students I talk to, it took days to clean a lamb’s skin and stretch it out on tenter hooks to make parchment. Each skin would make about eight pages which would be scored with feint lines using a pen knife; the tool used to sharpen the goose feather used to write with. And the best ink was made by finding oak apples with wasp holes in them. These would be crushed with a copper oxide and thickened with gum Arabic for the best writing consistency. So, having gone to all this trouble to make the materials, very few authors would waste their time writing about common people, who couldn’t read anyway. So I put a lot of work into making my writing as close to the real life of those days as possible. I hope my readers enjoy the results of my labors because I’ve really enjoyed doing it.

Richard Blackburn has written a three-book YA time travel/adventure series for Lachesis Publishing, called Guardians of the Gate, featuring a university student who travels back to Medieval England only to discover she has some amazing powers she never knew she had. Book 1 Dawn of the Sentinel and Book 2, Return of the Sentinel, are out now. Book 3: The Gatekeeper Rises will be out in 2016. You can get both books for only .99 cents right here at Lachesis Publishing during our Black Friday/Cyber Monday ebook sale! 

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