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Archive for January, 2011

Tomorrow is RELEASE DAY for My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters (woohoo). SO can’t wait. I’ll be posting links for interviews, as well as giving information on where to purchase your copy, and as promised CONTEST information.

So stay tuned…

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Hey everyone, I’m blogging at Totally 4 YA today! Make sure to drop by! Oh, and next week, I’ll be hosting another contest to celebrate my debut YA book My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters (which comes out on Tuesday) from Astraea Press. So stay tuned!

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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

 

Cool air blasted me as I pushed into the post office, carrying a package for Mom. Already a small line wound through lobby. A toddler kicked his brother in the leg, while their dad attempted to pull them apart.

“And this, Kasey, is why I don’t want kids,” my sister Mia said, nudging me in the ribs.

I rolled my eyes. “Please, you and Mr. Perfect will have beautiful children. Don’t tell me you’re getting cold feet?”

Mia twisted her wedding ring and chuckled. “No. But if that’s what I have to look forward to, I’m not sure I’ll can handle it.”

The line moved forward and I glanced at the posters hanging along the wall. Missing Persons. The first was of a golden haired guy, standing in front of a seventies car. His smile was enticing. I moved closer to read the print. Broxton Leeland, disappeared June 21, 1977 at age seventeen. Okay, so that made him WAY older than me. But he was hot. Next to that was another poster of a sixteen year old girl, named Dawn Sommers. She’d also disappeared on June 21, 1977. My mom’s older sister. I shivered.

“Kind of a coincidence,” I whispered.

The cashier shot me a bewildered look. “Yeah, it’s sad. Broxton moved here to Beggars Way right before summer that year. All the girls in town fawned over him. But it was Mayor Sommers’ daughter he took a liking to. The two of them went to a party on June 21 and were never heard from again. Such a sad story. The whole town searched every inch of town for them. But they were never found.”

I sat my package on the counter, while the clerk rang it up. My eyes flicked back to the poster again. What happened to you?  I handed over a few wrinkled bills for postage then waited for the receipt.

“Here you are. Have a great day,” the cashier said.

“I’ll wait outside,” I told Mia. Shielding my eyes against the sun, I stepped into the sweltering heat. Steamy waves glistened against the blacktop, like a mirage in the desert. Maybe I should’ve opted to stay in the air conditioning.

I plopped down on a wooden bench, staring across the street at park. In the shadows of the maples, I noticed a figure leaned against one of the trees, watching me.

Rays of sunshine burst through the tree tops like heavenly swords, illuminating the boy’s golden hair. A slow smile spread across his lips. I gasped.

Oh. My. God. He looked just like Broxton. Okay, maybe the heat was making hallucinate. I mean, there’s no way it was him. He’d disappeared over thirty years ago. And I’m sorry, but no one looked that good for their age.

“Kasey, did you hear me?” Mia touched my arm.

“What?” I jumped, my pulse practically choking me as it leapt into my throat.

“I said, c’mon lets go home.”

With a deep breath, I glanced back across the street only to find the park empty. Great. Nothing like an overactive imagination. I climbed into Mia’s sedan, and turned on the radio.

***

“We’re home,” I said as we came into the kitchen. Mom sat at the table, a large glass of lemonade sweating onto the oak wood.

she glanced up from her book. “Lacy called a few minutes ago and wants you to contact her.”

I opened the fridge door and pulled out a pop, then hurried to the phone. “Hey Lace, it’s Kasey.”

“Oh, my god. Keith Hardman stopped by today and invited the two of us to his bonfire tonight. You’ve got to go,” Lacy squealed on the other end.

“Are you kidding?” Keith was flipping hot. And an invite from him, meant you were going places.

“No. The party starts at 9:00. Do you think your parents will let you go?”

“Hang on.” I set the phone down. “Hey Mom, Lace wants to know if I can go to a party with her tonight over at the Hardman’s.”

Mom’s brow furrowed as she gazed out the window and into the backyard. “Honey, I don’t think that’s a good idea. Bad things always happen at parties. There’s drinking, and drugs, and sex…”

“C’mon, I’m like the only girl in my class who’s never been to a bonfire.”

She put her book down. “No. It’s not a good idea.”

I gritted my teeth, and stomped back to the phone. “Sorry, Mom’s in dictator mode.”

“I can help with that.” Lacy giggled. “Climb out your window around 9:00 and I’ll swing by and get you.”

My heart raced. I’d be dead if my parents found out. But I was sick of missing out on everything. Ever since my aunt disappeared in the 70’s they were paranoid. “Sounds good.”

***

At exactly 9:00 I said goodnight to my parents, then hurried to my room to change. I waited five minutes then crawled out my window. The sun sat low on the horizon; traces of pink and purple painted the sky. My hands trembled as I ducked beneath the living room window and hurried across the yard. Lacy waited for me, and gave a cheer when I plopped into the seat next to her.

“Oh, my god. You actually did it. And here I thought the good girl would bail.” She put the car in drive and headed out of town.

“Yeah, well, let’s just hope we don’t get caught.”

We followed a dirt road into the woods and parked. People were already passing around cans of beer and cigarettes, which I declined.

A bonfire blazed in the center of the clearing. Flames licked and devoured the dry wood. Keith snagged Lacy almost as soon as we got there, leaving me to stand on the outskirts, tapping my foot to the loud rock music.

A figure stepped from the woods, and I inhaled deeply. There, across from me, stood the boy from earlier. His gaze met mine and he smiled. Broxton. It had to be him. He waved for me to join him. At first, I hesitated. Okay girl, live a little.

Sucking in a ragged breath, I moved to his side.

“Hi,” I said.

“Hi.” His voice sounded deep and inviting. Up close, I noticed his eyes were the color of ivy. The scent of honey clung to the air. “I’ve been waiting for you.”

My eyes widened. “Who are you?”

“You already know.” He held out his hand, and I swallowed hard.

Impossible. It couldn’t be Broxton. A part of me wanted to back away. But the other part wanted the excitement. I took his hand, and warmth spiraled up my fingers.

“Broxton,” I whispered.

He smiled, leading me into the woods. Shadows reached out from the trees, darkness growing closer. Sticks and pine cones crunched beneath my feet as he pulled me to a stop near some briars. There, entangled in the weeds was the car I’d seen in the poster.

My chest tightened, fear blanketing me for the first time. As if sensing my discomfort, Broxton pulled me closer. His fingers traced my face.

“I always come back when I want something, Kasey. And right now, that something is you.”

His lips met mine, and my blood blazed like molten lava. Something snagged my ankle and I pulled back. I watched in horror as vines ensnared us, wrapping us together like a cocooned larva.

“We’ll be together forever, Kasey.”

I tried to scream, but the brambles, and weeds, and vines closed around us. Covering us like dirt tossed on a grave. Broxten held tight, his cheek brushing mine.

“I won’t be alone anymore…” he whispered.

His flesh disappeared, and I found myself entangled with a skeleton.

***

Mia hung the poster of her sister up in the post office. Kasey Sommers missing, June 21, 2010. Last seen with a blonde young man.

“Such a shame,” the cashier said. “The girls around here should know better than to sneak out. He always gets them.”

 

Don’t forget to stop by my fellow YAFFer’s sites to check out their stories too! Make sure to leave a comment…

Miranda Buchanan

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

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I’m blogging at Totally 4 YA today, so if you get a chance pop over and read my post. If you’re a Star Wars fan, I think you might like it.

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YAFF Muse is back!!! Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

Raygun by wintersixfour

I adjusted my Princess Leia, Battle of Endor costume, and applied a layer of Cherry Kiss lip gloss, before sliding from my rusted pick-up. The summer heat practically fried my skin as I hurried toward Dr. Z’s Sci-Fi Museum.

Yeah, I was the victim of “get a summer job because I’m broke epidemic” otherwise known as, my parents think I need to learn responsibility and they’re not going to keep paying for my gas and insurance problem.

So every morning, I got up before dawn, showered and donned some sci-fi heroine costume, while my friends lay tucked away in bed. They went swimming; I gave talks about the swamp monster. They took bike trips and partied, while I played tour guide.

Totally unfair. Although, there was one perk and he stood six-foot two, with shaggy blonde hair and blue eyes to die for. Muscles, abs, bronze skin. In one word, yummy, that’s what Caleb Zenson was.

I took the museum keys from my purse and unlocked the main entrance. Cool air wrapped around me like a cape. Flipping on the lights, I hurried past the space ship display, complete with working doors and smoke.

Once in the office, I slid my things into a locker then gathered pamphlets to refill the display case. As I turned around, I ran into a solid form. I squealed, dropping the brochures.

“Kayla, hey, I’m sorry,” Caleb said, leaning down to help me pick up the mess. I bent at the same time, whacking my head on his chest. My earring snagged his shirt. I attempted to stand, but realized I was stuck.

My face burned. “Um, I’m caught on your shirt,” I said.

Caleb chuckled. “Here, hold still and let me help you.” His hands brushed my hair from my face and I inhaled the scent of his spicy cologne. My legs wobbled beneath me as I tried to stay balanced. His touch made me imagine lots of rated “R” things.

“Ah, it’s Han and Leia,” Dr. Z said from behind us. “I see you’re both getting into the roles.” He laughed, his cane tapping against the marble tiles.

“We’re kind of attached,” I said.

“I see that. It’s about time Caleb got the courage to ask you out! Cheerio, I say.”

Wait, what?

Caleb went still, and cleared his throat. I wished I could crane my head to see if he was mortified. Or if he was happy. But no, my head was stuck to his Han Solo shirt. Although, there were worse places to be. Like anywhere. Damn, I was the luckiest girl in the universe.

I imagined the school papers I’d write about how I spent my summer vacation. Wrapped in the arms, er…shirt of the king of hotness himself. Inhaling his masculine scent, his heart beating against my face, his…

“There you go, we’re officially unstuck.” Caleb glanced down at me.

“Thanks. Sorry about that.” I backed away then hurried to pick up the brochures.

 “I didn’t mind,” he said. My gaze flashed to his face. Oh my God. His perfect smile was beaming like a spotlight on Broadway. “Actually, I’ve wanted to ask you out all summer.”

And one, two, breathe. Come on girl. Talk. To. Him.

“Seriously?”

He fidgeted with his plastic laser blaster, strapped at his side. “Yeah.”

I opened my mouth to say more, when Dr. Z burst into the room. “Hurry along; we’ve got a big crowd today. And you both have tours.” He wore a space commander suit, complete with fake jet pack. “Make sure you keep an eye on things. I’ve got a strange feeling.”

Caleb and I exchanged looks, because Dr. Z always had a strange feeling. He believed it was only a matter of time before aliens attacked us. So not only did he horde Sci-Fi memorabilia and gadgets, but he insisted everything was real. The guy was a fruit loop, but hey, he paid me well. And his grandson more than made up for the weird comments.

“Don’t worry Grandpa, Kayla and I will handle things.” He ushered the aged man toward the theatre room, while I finished setting up.

By noon, the museum was packed. I shuffled backward, microphone in hand toward the large glass display case of weapons.

“And if you’ll turn your eyes to our display, you’ll see the raygun that was used in the movie Aliens Amongst Us 3,” I said.

A boy raised his hand in the back. “Do these things actually work?”

I smiled, catching Caleb’s eye with another group ahead of us. He winked and nodded his head yes. Chewing my bottom lip, I turned back to the boy.

“It sure does.”

For several more hours, I led different groups through the museum. I showed them costumes from Sci-Fi sets, weapons, fake space ships, information about alien landings and abductions. I answered questions about how things worked, if I was available after my shift (which I said no, pervy old man anyway), and how Dr. Z obtained the items.

Taking a swig of my ice water, I adjusted my Leia costume and got ready to take my last tour through the museum.

“Hello, and welcome to Dr. Z’s Sci-Fi Museum. I’m Kayla. I’ll be your pilot and guide today. If you have any questions, please feel free to stop me and I’ll do my best to answer it.”

A guy who looked close to my age, grinned. I dreaded what might come out of his mouth as we headed toward the space dome, complete with dark night sky and blinking stars. The familiar scent of “space ship” fuel burning and smoke filtered in the air.

“Kayla.” Dr. Z rushed me, his eyes wide with terror. “They’re here. Get these people on a ship, and grab a weapon.” He raised his cane, and struck the case with weapons in it. Glass sprayed everywhere, and the tourists screamed.

“Dr. Z,” I said, placing a hand on his shoulder. Caleb came running toward us.

“What’s going on?” he asked.

“They’re here old boy. Get your group on the ship and grab a gun,” Dr. Z said again.

I opened my mouth to protest, when I heard the loud rumble of something outside. Taking a deep breath, I accepted the raygun Dr. Z handed me and hurried to the entrance. A huge shadow, splayed over the ground, like someone parked a giant semi in front of the sun.

“Oh. My. God.” Dr. Z wasn’t crazy. Overhead, a large spaceship hovered. In the distance, plumes of smoke painted the horizon. We were being invaded.

Caleb grabbed my shoulders, jerking me back as a beam of light pulsed to the ground. Tall, gray colored beings walked straight at us. They raised small gun-like weapons.

“C’mon, get on the ship.” Caleb dragged me behind him toward our ship display, right as a red laser beam burst through the doors.

I glanced at the raygun in my hand, and tapped a switch on the side. Then, feeling all Leia like, I aimed the gun at the aliens and pulled the trigger. The weapon pulsed in my hand, and I watched in surprise as lasers flew from the end of it. One of the aliens fell to the ground. Holy crap!

If I wasn’t scared out of my mind, it would’ve been B.A. The floor beneath our feet vibrated, people screamed as they hurried onto the ship. I eyed our craft. This better work.

When we got aboard, the door behind us lifted and closed. Everyone was belted into seats around a large interior, holding helmets, suits, more weapons, and pull down beds. It was something straight off a set of Star Wars. Caleb clutched me tight, tugging me toward the cockpit.

“Do you know how to fly this thing?” I asked, taking a seat between Caleb and his grandpa. Or maybe I should’ve asked if it could fly. Dear Lord, where was the real Han Solo when you needed him. Hell, I’d take his Wookie at this point!

Dr. Z shot me a smile. “Of course. I knew this day was coming. Caleb and I are pilots.”

“Full throttle,” Caleb said, putting on a headset. “We’ll have to blast the wall or we’re not going to get out of here.”

Dr. Z pulled a handle down; his thumb hovered over a red button. “Hang on everybody.”

With one click, fiery red beams shot from our ship taking out the wall and roof. Caleb tugged the steering column back and we lifted from the ground, then shot forward like a cannon ball.

As we flew, I glanced down to see entire towns burning and the large craft responsible for it. Aliens were real. Tears blurred my vision. Our families were gone. And who knew how long we’d survive.

Caleb wrapped an arm around my shoulders. “Everything will be okay, Kayla. You’ll see.”

We cleared into the upper atmosphere, then darted into space. Stars surrounded us, speeding past like a light show.

“He’s right, you know.” Dr. Z pushed an autopilot button. “We’re going to be fine. Just have to make it to the Alpha Red Six space station for supplies. We can survive out here for years.” He got to his feet. “Now, I need to inform our passengers that all is well. Keep us on course Caleb boy.”

When Dr. Z left, Caleb pushed some buttons then turned to me. “I’m glad you came with us.” His fingers traced my cheek and he moved closer, his lips brushing mine. “I always knew you’d be the one.”

My heart thudded in my ears. “The one?”

“My very own Leia. You kicked some alien butt back there.”

“Well, I didn’t don the costume for no reason.” I laughed in spite of everything. Maybe being stuck on spaceship wouldn’t be so bad after all. 

 

Thanks for coming by. Please be sure to drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Miranda Buchanan

Rachel Marie Pratt

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

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Okay, so here it is, my very first book trailer. I finally got it figured out (LOL). I’m hoping to learn more about special effects and all that fun stuff for future ones.

But this trailer is for my upcoming release “My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters” due out February 2011!

Click here to watch the book trailer:  Book Trailer My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters

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Dear Mother Nature,

I’m a survivor. Your latest attempt to ruin my week has been thwarted. Snowmen attacks, crazed drivers who like to wave with their middle finger because I’m driving slow, icy roads, and dogs with snow balls hanging from their fur (which they like to shake off on my lap) didn’t stop me. It’s Friday, and it’s almost time for the weekend to start.

And yet I wonder, don’t you ever get tired of making my commutes twice as long, or snowing on my parade? You had all Christmas break to dump piles of your glittery, celestial flakes on my head. Two whole weeks, where I sat at home, nestled by the Christmas tree with nowhere to go. But NO, you wait until I get back to work to wreak havoc, and vomit your wintry mix on the roads. You’ve made every insane driver on the road my nemesis. People who drive too fast, and honk because I don’t want to drive 100 mph on ice. Or they drive too slow, really, 20 mph on the highway and me stepping on the brakes every two seconds to keep from becoming a part of the exhaust system of the car in front of me does not help my nerves. I see what you’re up to, Mother Nature. You and the weatherman (curses).

I might forgive you, if you give us a break here. Like, only one more snowstorm this season? Okay, I thought as much. Sigh. What’s that? Another storm, next week? Just for me?

Did I mention, I hate winter driving? Perhaps, Mother Nature, you should run more of a democracy and let the people vote on what kind of weather they want. Crisp autumn days, apple cider, scary movies. Ahh, I could handle that. Summer sun, feathery warm breezes and lounging by the pool with a book—definitely more my thing. Even better, Spring, snow melt, green grass. Did I mention no more snow?

What’s that? You don’t care what I want? And you hope my house turns into a snow cone? Well, Mother Nature you don’t have to be so snotty. See if I EVER write you a letter again.

Your Arch Nemesis,

Rebekah

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