Halloween Scarefest Blog Hop: “Bullet”

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I’m a day late on this, but thought I’d participate anyhow! The prompt is a 400-or-less word scene with a theme of “Fear.” I interpreted this a little differently, but you’ll see what I mean. I’m cross-posting this on Tales From the Hollow Tree. 🙂



I seem to hear the crack of the bullet before I feel it. And then I’m pushed back, slammed like I’ve been hit by a fist or a train—not a piece of metal smaller than my pinky toe.

It takes another heartbeat for the pain to hit, searing and screaming its way through me, my whole body on red alert, my blood racing to see what’s wrong, what’s wrong. Only to slip and drain out of me.

I can’t remember where I am or how I got here. Can’t remember the enemy who has shot me, even. Can’t fathom who could hate me so much. All I know now is that I am dying and alone—that there is a hole torn through me and that the poets are right.

My heart pounds harder than I can remember ever having heard it, as if it knows the blood running to leave my system isn’t enough and wants to help—stupid heart! I want to tell it to slow down, but my whole mind is in a panic.

I’m dying.

And that’s when the fear hits me. I’m not afraid to die—so much of my life has been spent on the run, it’s a relief to finally stop—but in that split second, I seem to see all the things that I’ll never do, never have a chance to do, and that scares me. All the time I’ve wasted, all the opportunities that I skipped out on, thinking someday…

All my somedays are lost now, and my foolishness in wasting them is what scares me now.

Maybe I’ll have to answer for it.

Someone screams, and I know I’ve been found. A woman hovers over me, uncertain, saying words I can’t understand in soothing tones. I want to shake her, scream at her. Tell her I’m already gone, not to waste her life. Tell her to go. LIVE. Tell her there’s no time not to.


Spooktacular Blog Hop: Book Swag Giveaway! (US ONLY)


Big thanks to I am a Reader, Not a Writer and The Diary of a Bookworm for hosting this GINORMOUS blog hop!

Over 400 participating blogs are offering a book-related giveaway and we are all linked up together so you can easily hop from one giveaway to another.  The hop runs from Monday, October 24th through Monday October 31st.

On my blog I am giving away a WHOLE BUNCH of book swag:

Look at those beauties! Altogether we have:

  • A Bloodlines/Vampire Academy Tote
  • A Love Never Dies DVD Book Sampler with sample chapters & exclusive content from TEN different books: Fallen  & Torment by Lauren Kate, Fairy Tale & Sleepless by Cyn Balog, The Forest of Hands and Teeth & The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan, Revolution by Jennifer Donnely, Give me a Call by Sarah Mlynowski, The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart, and Kiss Me, Kill Me by Lauren Henderson
  • Two Vapire Academy Graphic Novel promo cards
  • An Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon promo card
  • Two Twilight Graphic Novel postcards
  • A set of EIGHT additional book cover postcards including: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor, Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi, Sweetly by Jackson Pearce, The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch, The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz ZafĂłn, Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, Gossip Girl: Psycho Killer by Cecily Von Ziegesar (perfect for Halloween!) and Glee: Summer Break.

Sorry guys, but this one will be US only.

To enter to win this GREAT prize pack, fill out the form below. Must be subscribed to win:


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Dark C.A.R.M.A.

Before I jump into this, I have to send you to look at Tales From the Hollow Tree, because we have a big announcement up there this morning. Come check it out!


There are some very cool things going on in the publishing world right now. One major thing is that is really starting to change the face of the publishing world is the ever-growing number of self-published books—or Indie’s if you prefer—and especially the fact that self-published books are starting to get really, really good. I have a few friends that have ganged up to release their books together under the name Dark C.A.R.M.A. (letters from their first names). All the books are YA Paranormal and look GREAT!!! I haven’t read any of them personally, but I’ve heard such wonderful things about them. Here’s their joint trailer:

o.O right?! Here’s a little about each of their books:

Bound by C.K. Bryant

When a photo shoot ends in tragedy, Kira discovers her best friend, Lydia, has been keeping a secret. Knowing the truth, and accepting it, will change Kira’s life forever and thrust her into a world of ancient curses, magical objects, and savage enemies. What happens next will challenge everything Kira knows about her world, herself and the shape-shifting warrior she’s falling in love with. No longer the timid mouse her mother accused her of being, but a woman who finds the mental and physical strength to endure and survive.

BOUND is a heroic tale of true friendship, infinite sacrifice and untamed love.

Become by Ali Cross

Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she must face the evil she despises and the good she always feared.

When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is finding a reason to change—something she’s never had before—a friend.

Exiled by Rashelle Workman

Stubborn, sixteen-year-old Princess Venus of Kelari wants one thing, to become immortal, that is, until someone exiles her to Earth, kills her irrihunter and takes her family.

Now she wants revenge.

First she’s got to get home. But before she can return to Kelari, the Gods have commanded her to help an arrogant boy named Michael find his soul mate.

Only she doesn’t know the first thing about love.

Breathe by Melanie McCullough

Life’s hard. People make it harder. They tether you to them. Make it difficult to breathe, and damn-near impossible to leave…

Seventeen year-old Abby Rhoades knows this all too well. Born to a mother who could never love her and who vacillates between a sloppy drunk and a suicidal maniac, Abby’s never had it easy. But Abby can swim. And Abby has a plan–win the state championship, earn a free ride to Penn State, and leave her small town and suffocating mother behind.

But then the body of Tom Ford, her mother’s latest boyfriend and a man Abby adored, washes up along the shore of the Susquehanna River. His injuries suggest murder and suspicion quickly falls on Abby then on her best friend Garrett Scott, both of whom saw Tom the night he died.

They both know what happened that night, but neither one is talking. There’s too much at stake and the truth could tear them apart.

Pigments of my Imagination by Angela Kulig

From the moment Lucia steps into Bayside Art Academy, she is fed a steady stream of lies, but it’s not until she meets Michael that she begins to question the people she trusts. Unraveling fact from fabrication seems impossible until Lucia finds her first painting, and discovers the dead do not lie–at least not to her.

A dozen lifetimes ago, Lucia started a war. Not a war with armies or guns, but a bloody war nonetheless. The path leading Lucia to the truth is hidden within lovely art that spans the ages. In this life, however, Lucia doesn’t know where to look. Lost, she turns to the one thing she knows with certainty–she is in love with Leo, and has been before.

Go forth and add these to your “to read” lists on Goodreads!!! And if that’s not enough, they’re giving away awesome stuff on their joint blog:

The Good Karma Giveaway :: Party Over Here Giveaway :: Hot Fall Releases Giveaway



Don’t forget to check out Tales From the Hollow Tree!

Deep Blue Secret by Christie Anderson

California teen, Sadie James, thinks her life couldn’t get any better. She has great friends, an energetic mother she adores, and the beach practically in her own backyard. But her carefree life is turned upside down when she’s rescued by a mysterious and strangely familiar boy who won’t even tell her his name.

Each time the boy appears, Sadie’s unexplainable attraction to him deepens along with her need to unravel his secrets. The boy is there to protect her. But as wonderful and exciting as it might be to have an irresistible boy with crystal green eyes protecting her every move, every minute of the day…why does Sadie need one?

As Sadie finds answers, she realizes her life isn’t as perfect as she thought. Not only is she caught in a world of dangerous secret agents she never knew existed, but it turns out her true identity may be the greatest secret of all.

This book has an interesting idea behind it. A group of otherworldly agents who travel throughout the world healing the sick by means of special healing waters. Sadie is connected to healing water in a way she’s never known and certainly doesn’t understand, but she knows something isn’t right. Then a mysterious stranger—a boy from her dreams with crystal green eyes—shows up every time she’s in trouble and somehow makes things okay.

This book had a lot of potential, and I admit I was very excited to read it. The cover, the copy on the back, and the great reviews on Goodreads were all great.While it had the fairly common normal-girl-falls-for-mysterious-newcomer-boy outline, the “secret agent” aspect was intriguing and seemed to promise something new. Unfortunately, the book didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

It had some definite strong points—a few pieces of “technology” that I thought were interesting, some very true-feeling friend drama, and some nice descriptions of landscapes*, to name a few. But for the most part, I felt like this book just wasn’t finished. The background story needed flushing out, as did the characters themselves—there was very little that made Sadie Sadie, very little that distinguished her from any other teenage girl. We don’t what her interests are, what her weaknesses are—we don’t even know what her favorite subject in school is. All we know is that she thinks her life is perfect—but she gets sad for no reason, and that she’s never felt much of anything for any guy—until her mystery man shows up, and then she’s so head-over-heels in love she can’t control herself.

I have to admit, the writing was very much like stuff I scribbled in my journal at seventeen, so in one sense it was very real… but at the same time, it too felt underdone. Details are skipped over and many things are told rather than shown. The whole story seems to be happening to Sadie—instead of being an active part of the story, she lets Rayne take her by the hand and lead her down a path. Her slowness to question red flags often left me frustrated.

I’m sorry to say that I didn’t particularly like this book. I wanted to. I really wanted to. I even feel badly that I’ve been asked to write a review, because I don’t want Ms. Anderson to be discouraged by what I say—I just want her to know that her book could have been better. It could have been more fleshed out, and it could have been sharpened.

Funnily enough, what I enjoyed most about the book were the things that Sadie couldn’t wait to get away from—the normal teenage things. I thought that the dialogue and the jealousies between the teens Sadie hung out with were very true to teenagers, and felt very natural. I almost wish the book had been a straight contemporary about the difficulties of high school. It would have been interesting to read a book about a teen who had bouts of depression even though she thought she had a great life—more interesting, I think, than having most of her emotions influenced by things outside her control.

But that’s just my two cents.It really does have great reviews on Goodreads.

You can buy Deep Blue Secret here, and find more about Christie Anderson at her website.

*Though I have to say, as a San Diego native I thought her version of California was sadly TV-version stereotypical, but I suppose Anderson grew up where the stereotype was the rule? My high school was nothing like a “sea of blonde,” personally. Just sayin’.

I was provided with a copy of  this book for review. It did not influence my review in any way.

Music Monday: “Ashes and Wine” by A Fine Frenzy

“Ashes and Wine” – A Fine Frenzy

My Song History: This is a song about giving up on a relationship, or rather, being right at the point where you realize that things aren’t going to work, so giving up might be the best option.

According to my last.fm, this is the most commonly played song on my laptop. I’m not too surprised. I use this for writing on repeat constantly. Somehow it always puts me in the mood for writing Daughter, even though the lyrics and the story of the song are nothing like the story it inspires me for. I just love A Fine Frenzy, from the first time I heard “Almost Lover,” and something about the music and the ups and downs of Alison Sudol’s voice inspires me and makes me want to write.

Favorite Line: “Is there a chance/a fragment of light/at the end of the tunnel/a reason to fight?”

(I also LOVE “All the same/I don’t want mudslinging games”)

What Drew Me In: Quite honestly, the title. Such a delicious promise of wreckage. Something beautiful that’s turned into something desolate. And desolation is a feeling music does help me with…

For my Writing: As I said, this song is an inspiration for my WP, Daughter of the Falling Leaves. Surprisingly this was actually the key to unlocking a big conflict/fight scene in the story for me. Since then it’s become a general inspiration for the overall story. Even though the song is about a relationship ending, its general feeling of melancholy and wanting desperately to fight for something that you may not be able to win is perfect for this story. Because maybe it’s worth it, even if you can’t win.

Five Things that Surprised Me About Texas.

Last night I got home from a nine-day trip to various parts of Texas. It’s a long story… but it was a longer drive. So, my blog has been abandoned a little bit this past week and a half, but I’m here to post a mini

1) Asian food! I had some really, really yummy Asian food in Texas. Specifically, Sonny’s Diner in Fort Worth, and the decadent Hong Kong Buffet in El Paso. Sonny’s Diner had fantastic Vietnamese, and the Hong Kong Buffet had lots of seafood and sushi—I had a whole plate full of sushi! Also, they had bacon-wrapped shrimp. I think that says enough.

2) There is wifi on the Interstate! Most big chain roadstops like TA or Flying J’s have wifi nowadays… but you have to pay $2.99 for an hour. You can also buy 24 hours worth of time or a membership, so you can check in at various stops as you drive. I however, didn’t really have the money to do this, so I stopped at various McDonald’s in the morning and/or evening to use theirs free.

3) There’s a yarn store in the small town I may or may not end up living in. This both surprised and relieved me, because I LIKE my yarn, folks. And sometimes Joann’s and Michael’s just don’t hit the spot. Yarn shops are hard enough to find these days, so finding one in this small town was nice… sadly it was closed the day I was there!

4) Texans like their flag. A LOT. Okay, this really didn’t surprise me, since I’ve spent my fair share of time in Texas before, but it always makes an impression.

5) There are a lot of undercover cop cars in Texas. And by that, I mean I saw a lot of them with their lights on, chasing after people at high speeds. I wasn’t there that long.

Seriously, though… my favorite thing might have been that plate of sushi and the bacon-wrapped shrimp. De-lish.

On Vacation…

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, the worry over my hands has forced me from the computer a little bit, and now I’m headed out of town for a week or so on business. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to post whilst I’m gone, so I’m putting this up just in case. I will come back ready and raring to get back on schedule, though, trust in that!

Meanwhile, I do have a story set to go up on Tales From the Hollow Tree tomorrow, so don’t forget to check that out!