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Archive for February, 2011

Phew, it’s been a month, that’s for sure. Between snowstorms, writing, sick kids, book launch, and well, writing (LOL), things have been absolutely crazy. My first YA book My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters has been doing really good.

I even got fan mail (woohoo). It’s nice to hear that people are enjoying it.

On the writing front, I’m still hacking away at my story TFGF (that’s its codename—hehehe). Only a select few actually know what it stands for. Right now, I’m about 10 chapters from saying finished! So that’s ¾ of the way done. As I write a chapter, I post it to my crit group, so edits will be fast. I’m hoping to have it sent out to betas no later than mid-march. The plot has taken some surprising turns, which I’m enjoying. And thanks to the fabulous Rhonda Stapleton’s crit on my first 3 chapters, I think I’ll add another chapter at the beginning, as well as do some more fleshing out of characters. She also gave me a cool idea for another added element that I can’t wait to play with (rubs hands together like a fiend).

I’m odd and actually enjoy edits, so I look forward to going back through and getting it cleaned up.

On the reading front, I finished reading The Hollow by Jessica Verday. It was an okay read. The front half was kind of slow, but once I got further in, I really enjoyed it. This morning, I started reading Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning (the last book in the fever series). I’m so excited to finally have this one to read!

Tonight is Vampire Diaries, so I doubt I’ll get anything done other than watching the hotness that is Ian Somerhalder smolder on the screen (LOL). It’s one of my favorite shows, which brings me to the next topic. THE SECRET CIRCLE (OMG). My favorite book series as a teen is coming to TV (squeeeee). CW has already okayed the pilot, and according to EW Britt Robertson is being cast as Cassie (the MC). So excited, I can’t even explain it. I’m VERY eager to see who they’ll cast as Adam and Nick. Here’s hoping that the CW keeps the entire coven of witches. They all had such huge roles to play in the books, and I can’t imagine any of them missing from the cast. But we’ll see how they handle things.

 

I hope everyone else is doing great. And thank you to everyone who purchased/read/won my book! I’ve absolutely LOVED sharing my story with you. Don’t worry, I promise, there will be more to come. Have a book contract in the works (hopefully will receive it any day now) for a different YA series. Then of course, once I finish TFGF and have it back from betas/edits, I’ll be sending that one out to agents. Totally geeked about it.

So that about does it with the updates! Until next time…

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Tell us a little something about your book and what genre it is?
I’ll give you the official blurb in a moment, but as for what genre, it’s a Young Adult fantasy novel.

Darien Oceina is the youngest son of the Great Dragon Lord of the Water. For years he¹s loved and cherished Tai Dawson from afar. Tai is a simple, ordinary girl who doesn¹t even know Darien exists. On his eighteenth birthday, he chooses her as his wife. But there’s one problem: She thinks his choice means she¹s going to be offered as a sacrifice to the Dragon Lord, but instead, she’s forced to move to his home, far away, to give up her life and be his bride.

When she first sees Darien after the ceremony, she doesn’t expect to feel anything but hatred toward him. The two are struggling with the complications of a new marriage when their nation is attacked by a rival dragon species. Together they learn to love one another while they struggle to stay one step ahead in a game where the prize is their survival.
What character(s) do you like the most and why?
In general, I like characters who have a story behind them. Most of the characters I write always appear fine on the surface, but have a lot of layers underneath. They are never consistently one emotion. They all have fears and dreams. I like characters who have a lot of little details all adding up to a wonderful whole. It makes them feel real and relatable. I like feeling what they feel. Some of my favorites: Eddie Dean from Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” series, Mark Diamond and Bobby Pendragon from D.J. MacHale’s “Pendragon” series, Cammie Morgan from Ally Carter’s “Gallagher Girl” series, and probably the entire cast of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter”. This isn’t even all of them. I’m sure I’m leaving a lot of characters out. These are just the most fresh because they’re from books I’ve read recently.
 

What are your favorite books? And is there any book in particular that made you want to become a writer?

I can’t say there was one book in particular that made me want to become a writer. It was just something that happened naturally at a young age. I guess because I have a vivid imagination and no other outlet for it. As for some of my favorite books:

Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling

The Stand/The Dark Tower Series – Stephen King

The Last Aprentice Series – Joseph Delaney

The Hunger Games Series – Suzanne Collins

Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norell – Susanna Clarke

The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova

Gramercy Park – Paula Cohen

Animorphs Series – K. A. Applegate

and so many more….
What’s the one thing you can’t live without while writing?

My writing gloves. They keep my hands warm while I type. I get cold easily. I also have a writing checklist which keeps me organized while I work. I take it with me everywhere, so I can add and take away from it as needed. Otherwise I need a nice quiet space so I can focus. I’m easy to please.

Reality or Fantasy?

Fantasy. I write best in a fantasy world, though I can do some reality. I like the idea of anything being possible.

Your favorite snack?

I’m currently addicted to Caramel Corn.

Lastly, what’s your favorite season?

Anything that isn’t winter? I can’t say I have an all time favorite season. So long as it’s not -10 like it usually is where I’m at, I’m a happy camper!

Make sure to check out J.F. Jenkins blog for a chance to win a copy of her book!

Her book is now available through Astraea Press!

Thanks so much J.F. for stopping by… 


 

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Hey everyone, I’ll be blogging at Totally 4 YA today. Tackling the subject of books turned movies/TV shows. So drop on by and say hi!

And thanks to all of you who have been hanging out here lately! Been having fun getting to know you…

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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!

Photo Credit manicmorff at morguefile.com

“Hey, watch it nerd.” Greg Weathers rammed his shoulder into my arm, knocking the books from my hands.

“God, he’s such a jerk.” My narrowed eyes followed him down the hallway.

“Here, let me help you.” Stephen shoved his glasses up his nose and bent to get my textbooks.

“Some days, I just wish everyone would disappear,” I said with a frown.

Stephen tweaked a strand of my blonde hair. “Everyone?”

Behind the oversized glasses, a pair of cobalt blue eyes stared back. His shaggy dark hair needed to be cut, but his perfect smile made my heartbeat slug my chest like a boxer pummeling a punching bag.

“Everyone, but you.”

His hand brushed mine as he gave me back my things, a flare of heat shot up my arm. “Do you mean that, Serena?” he whispered.

My gaze flicked to Greg Weathers, who stood propped against his locker with Lindsay Decker pressed against him. Hard to believe he and I dated over the summer. Now he made my life a living hell, all because I wouldn’t do it in his parents’ boat. I was supposed to be popular. But Greg wrecked me. And every day, I had to come to this crap hole called school, only to endure the stupid rumors he spread.

“Serena?” Stephen said, nudging my shoulder with his.

“Yeah, I mean it. I wish you and I were the only people left on earth.”

*****

With a yawn, I rolled out of bed. The sun streamed through my window like a large Broadway spotlight. It warmed my skin, and I smiled. Quick shower. Breakfast. Then off to hell, or school as Mom and Dad like to call it.

Silence stretched throughout the house, and I glanced at my clock. Almost 10:00 pm. Crap. I whipped the door of my room open. The battery must’ve died. But why hadn’t my parents or little brother got me up?

“Mom. Dad?” I hollered, making my way through the house. When I got to the kitchen, they weren’t there. In fact, last night’s dishes were still in the sink. The coffee pot was off, which made no sense since my parents practically needed IVs of caffeine to get around in the mornings.

This had to be some kind of joke. I hurried to my parents’ bedroom. On top of their bed, rumpled, were their clothes. Laid out like they’d disappeared right out of them.

I backed out of the room then ventured into my brother Caleb’s. He wasn’t there. Only a pair of pajamas lay in his spot, still covered beneath the blankets. Panic clutched tight to my throat, constricting it until I couldn’t breathe.

This wasn’t happening. No. Flipping. Way. I’m dreaming, I repeated several times. My legs trembled beneath me as I made my way to the front of the house. I jerked the outside door open and stepped onto the porch.

Dew clung to the grass like tears as I looked around in horror. There were no cars driving in the street. No kids at bus stops. There weren’t even any birds or animals about.

I stepped from the porch, cool cement kissed the bottoms of my feet. Piles of clothes littered two driveways of my neighbors.

“Hello?” I yelled. No one answered.

God, what happened? Maybe Armageddon? Then why am I still alive?

I turned to go back inside, when I heard someone call my name.

“Serena!”

“Stephen.”

He covered the distance between us in several strides, and clutched me to his chest. Gone were his glasses, his feigned nerdiness. In his place stood a tall, confident guy.

“What’s going on?” My voice squeaked.

“You made the wish, Serena. And I granted it.” He pulled back, his eyes held me in place.

“A wi—wish?”

“You said you wished that we were the only people left on earth. So I granted it for you. My love.”

Thanks for dropping by: Make sure to check out some of my fellow YAFF members’ stories too!

Miranda Buchanan

Traci Kenworth

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First of all, I want to say how awesome it was to have Kim Bowman as a guest yesterday. She’s a FABULOUS lady!!! It was fun getting to see some new faces as well.

I ended up choosing (randomly) 2 winners since we had quite a few commenters for an ebook of My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters.

Ciara Knight

Jennifer Fischetto

I’ll email it over shortly. Thanks again to everyone who stopped in! Great to have you!!

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I had the pleasure of sitting down (er…emailing) with the ever lovely Kim Bowman for an interview. Kim’s first book Wayward Soul has just released with Astraea Press and promises to be an excellent read!

And to celebrate the release of Kim’s book, I’ll give away a copy of my own book My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters to one lucky commenter! Make sure to leave your email address in the post. Now, without further adieu, here’s Kim…

1.How does it feel to be a first time author?

I keep pinching my husband to see if I’m dreaming…He assures me I’m NOT dreaming (though I think he just wants me to stop pinching him!)

  

2.Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

  

I live in Indiana with my husband and 2 of our 4 kids (2 are at college). My kids are 23, 21, 19, and 2! Needless to say, the 2 year old was a BIG surprise. I work at home part time as a customer service representative, book editor, and writer (thanks to my wonderful husband who works too much so I can stay home)

Did you always want to be an author?

In a word – YES! I have books of poems, songs, stories, etc. that I have written since I was in grade school, but I never pursued it until I had my son in 2008.

  

3.How did you find Astraea Press? I’m in a writing critique group with one of the co-owners, Stephanie Taylor (who is awesome by the way). She posted on our group that she was starting Astraea Press and I submitted my book.

  

4.What can the readers expect from your work?

Oh boy! Fun and sarcasm (my hero is VERY sarcastic). Aside from that, my story is original and unique. Yes, I have one of the usual paranormal characters—a werewolf, but I added a totally different paranormal element by having my heroine be a spirit guide. I don’t think that’s been done before. It’s a twist that I think will intrigue and interest readers and, hopefully, make them want more.

  

5.Tell us a little bit about your book.

My heroine, Zanna Seoul, is a spirit guide. A spirit guide is an invisible force who watches over a human, called a charge, while the person lives on Earth. Zanna accidentally causes the death of a fellow spirit guide’s charge while trying to save the life of the man she loves. Because of her actions, she is stripped of her position and banished to Earth to die. With Zanna no longer guiding him and his memory of her erased, Owen Nash is left wide open as the target of the vengeful spirit guide who feels he’s been wronged. A guide who also happens to be a werewolf. Once on Earth, Zanna refuses to stand by and watch Owen die, so she intervenes again, setting off a chain of events that could mean death for all of them if she doesn’t go back and undo the mess she’s made.

6.Would you give us your links so we can find you on the web?

 

Sure! They can visit me at

www.kimbowmanauthor.blogspot.com

7.We’d love to read an excerpt.

He looked at her like she was crazy, mouth agape.

She waved her hand in front of his face. “Owen, the road.”

He jerked his eyes back to the road and began to chuckle. This woman had just told him he should be dead; it was either laugh or cry. Next he started to laugh. A few hours ago, he thought his biggest problem was that he had picked up a crazy at the bar and now she knew where he lived. And yet somehow, he was willingly driving her around town, either chasing after or being chased by a werewolf.

A werewolf. He broke into loud guffaws. If what she said was true, she had been watching over him his whole life, seen everything he had ever done, and she still chose to get romantically involved with him—she was crazy. 

 “What’s so funny?”

He wiped the tears from his eyes. “Spirit guide. That’s a good one. Are we going to chant and cast spells? Maybe dance naked in the moonlight? No wonder it cost so much to call the psychic hotline. You people really are in a different area code. The spirit side.”

  

Tell us how your book came into existence:

:    I knew I wanted to write a paranormal romance, but I wanted it to be original and unique to me. I believe we have unseen forces that guide and protect us. Call them guardian angels, spirit guides, luck, fate…it all amounts to the same thing. I’m a huge Sylvia Browne fan and she has a very special relationship with her spirit guide, so I thought why not use a spirit guide as the basis for my story. I added my own twist and Zanna was born.

  

Tell us about your writing routine:

HAHA! That’s a good one. My routine revolves around my two-year-old, Cage, who has radar when it comes to mommy’s evil computer. Even if he’s in bed, he knows when I set down to write. I generally can get about an hour’s worth of writing done first thing in the morning while he’s getting his Mickey Mouse fix. After that, it’s 5 minutes here, ten minutes there.

  

What inspires you? Not really inspires, but I have to give my husband, Tony, and sister, Michele, their due here – they support me so much!  Now, as far as inspires – my crit group inspires me to challenge myself and make my story better. I HAVE to give a big shout-out to The Sunset Pixies: Stephanie Taylor, Bridget Lashbrook, Morgana Katz, Tedi-Lea DeBruler, Ludvica Boota, Sandra Gonzalez, Renee Silvana, Ashley Christman, Chelle Sandell, Courtney Hilton. It is so awesome to have people who understand this crazy writing world!!

  

How do you get through writer’s block? My imagination runs to wild I never suffer from writer’s block. My biggest issue is description and detail. I could write a whole story in a week, but then adding the detail is the killer.

  

Do you have any themes you write around? What if? That’s my theme. What if this happened, what if that happened…oh the possibilities.

  

What are you working on next? I am working on the sequel to Wayward Soul. I’m really excited about this story. It has a twist you won’t believe!! (LOL – a little quirk of mine – I know how the book is going to end before I write it) I’m also working on a story that is about ½ written which is tentatively titled Phantom Heart. It is about a heart transplant patient who…well, you’ll have to wait and see!

  

What character(s) do you like the most and why?

I love Owen. Initially, Owen wasn’t supposed to be my hero. He was just going to be a way to create a believable conflict between my heroine (Zanna) and my intended hero-turned villain (Jakub). But sarcastic Owen had other ideas. He’s the whole reason I decided to write a sequel.

  

What are your favorite books? Anything by Judith McNaught. I love them all and have read them all so much I know them by heart. Also, anything by Johanna Lindsey, David Baldacci, Dean Koonz, Jude Devareaux, Brenda Joyce, Stephanie Taylor (yes, that StephanieJ), and last but not least Stephen King.

  

And is there any book in particular that made you want to become a writer

I always wanted to write, but when I read Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game I made it my mission to write that kind of suspense and emotion. It’s a book that needs to be required in every creative writing class. He basically takes one character and builds this heartfelt story that chills you to the bone. I would LOVE to see a movie made, but I think it would be impossible for any actress to capture Jessie’s emotion on screen.

 

What’s the one thing you can’t live without while writing? COKE!!!

  

Reality or Fantasy?

Not to be cheesy, but I’m trying to be honest here. My reality is a fantasy. Perfect – no. Fantasy – yes. I’m married to my best friend, I get to stay home with my son, and I get to write!! Who could ask for more (HUGE GRIN).

  

Your favorite snack? Reece’s white chocolate peanut butter cups.

  

Lastly, what’s your favorite season?

SUMMER (okay, my answer could have something to do with the fact that I’ve been snowed in for THREE days.) Seriously, I love summer. It gets my destructive, busy-body, two-year-old son outside. 
 
 
And Kim has offered another excerpt for you to enjoy:
 
She reached out to pull the door closed and saw a flash of brown. It happened so fast she didn’t have a chance to react. The werewolf sunk its teeth into her arm.

“Owen!” She kicked out at Jakub and tried to pull free, to go back out the driver’s door.

“Let go of her.” Owen grabbed her with one arm, trying to pull her away from the vicious beast, while he rammed his fist repeatedly into the nose and jaw of the lycan.

It was no use. The werewolf sunk its razor sharp teeth in to the bone, pinching a nerve, causing her whole body to convulse and spasm. Her arm felt like someone took a knife and cut it open from her shoulder to her wrist then poured rubbing alcohol in the wound. Stars exploded in front of her eyes. She knew she was screaming, but she could only feel uncomfortable tingling in her ears.

Someone behind her tried to jerk her free of the lycan’s hold. Owen? There was a popping noise and then the smell of burning sulfur. The werewolf yelped, but continued to shake and tug on her arm, pulling it away from her body, nearly jerking it out of the socket.

If the lycan hadn’t dragged her knife out the window she would have used it to cut off her arm to stop the torturous pain. She no longer had control over her convulsing body and just as her mind went blank, she had the fleeting thought; this must be what death feels like.

 
 Thanks so much Kim for dropping by! It was awesome having you! Make sure to check out Kim’s new release Wayward Soul it’s available from Astraea Press
 

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To celebrate the launch of her new book Wayward Soul, Kim Bowman is holding a BLOG SCAVENGER HUNT February 15, 2011.

RULES:

The contest will start at 9 a.m. EST at the Astraea Press blog  (Look in the comments below Kim’s interview for the first location then follow each blog after that). http://www.astraeapress.blogspot.com/. Every half hour (9:30, 10, 10:30, and so forth) Kim will post a comment letting you know which blog to visit next. You will visit a total of 10 different blogs through the day. YOU MUST LEAVE A COMMENT ON EVERY BLOG IN ORDER TO WIN!

There will be a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place winner!!

First Place will receive an ebook gift basket that will include a copy of Kim’s new release Wayward Soul as well as two other Astraea Press releases, Rebekah Purdy’s Seeking Shapeshifters and Bri Clark’s Familial Witch, the future Astraea Press release Spartan Heart by Kristine Cheney, Stephanie Taylor’s new release My One True Love, a hard copy of Sylvia Browne’s book Contacting Your Spirit Guide, and a $20 ecoupon to use for future purchases at http://astraeapress.com/!!

Second Place will receive 3 future Astraea Press ebook releases (Sucker for a Hot Rod by Joselyn Vaughn, Legend of the Oceina Dragon by J. F. Jenkins, and Therese Gilardi’s Matching Wits with Venus) , an ecopy of Kim’s book Wayward Soul, and a $10 ecoupon to use for future purchases at http://astraeapress.com/!!

Third Place will receive 3 future Astraea Press ebook releases (Vanessa Barger’s Into the Ether, Elaine Cantrell’s A New Dream, and Kay Springsteen’s Heartsight) and an ecopy of Kim’s book Wayward Soul.

Fourth Place will receive an ecopy of Kim’s new release Wayward Soul.

Check out the Astraea Press Books offered in the contests http://astraeapress.com/.

It’s going to be a ton of fun! I hope to see all of you!

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First of all I’d like to announce the winners of my Valentine’s Day Contest. 1st Place Prize ($10.00 Barnes and Noble gift card/ebook of My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator) goes to Joey Nichols. 2nd Place Prize (ebook of My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator) goes to Melody Westervelt.

I’ll be contacting you both shortly! Congrats and HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Now, tomorrow is going to be a REALLY fun day. My friend and fellow author, Kim Bowman is going to be hosting a fabulous scavenger hunt with chances to win some AWESOME prizes (of the book type). Here are the details!!!!

To celebrate the launch of her new book Wayward Soul, Kim Bowman is holding a BLOG SCAVENGER HUNT February 15, 2011.

RULES:

The contest will start at 9 a.m. EST at the Astraea Press blog http://www.astraeapress.blogspot.com/. Every half hour (9:30, 10, 10:30, and so forth) Kim will post a comment letting you know which blog to visit next. You will visit a total of 10 different blogs through the day. YOU MUST LEAVE A COMMENT ON EVERY BLOG IN ORDER TO WIN!

There will be a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place winner!!

First Place will receive an ebook gift basket that will include a copy of Kim’s new release Wayward Soul as well as two other Astraea Press releases, Rebekah Purdy’s Seeking Shapeshifters and Bri Clark’s Familial Witch, the future Astraea Press release Spartan Heart by Kristine Cheney, Stephanie Taylor’s new release My One True Love, a hard copy of Sylvia Browne’s book Contacting Your Spirit Guide, and a $20 ecoupon to use for future purchases at http://astraeapress.com/!!

Second Place will receive 3 future Astraea Press ebook releases (Sucker for a Hot Rod by Joselyn Vaughn, Legend of the Oceina Dragon by J. F. Jenkins, and Therese Gilardi’s Matching Wits with Venus) , an ecopy of Kim’s book Wayward Soul, and a $10 ecoupon to use for future purchases at http://astraeapress.com/!!

Third Place will receive 3 future Astraea Press ebook releases (Vanessa Barger’s Into the Ether, Elaine Cantrell’s A New Dream, and Kay Springsteen’s Heartsight) and an ecopy of Kim’s book Wayward Soul.

Fourth Place will receive an ecopy of Kim’s new release Wayward Soul.

Check out the Astraea Press Books offered in the contests http://astraeapress.com/.

It’s going to be a ton of fun! I hope to see all of you!

Now for my RANDOM MUSINGS! This weekend my ebook My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters was ranked #43 under the Love and Romance category on AMAZON UK (right below Melissa Marr’s Fragile Eternity–OMG). And on the Omni Lit site my book is # 5 for the YA Bestsellers, and # 14 under the All Romance eBook YA bestsellers!

I know I wouldn’t be achieving any of this without all my readers! SO THANK YOU….

And the question I’ve been getting most: Are you planning on writing a book 2, and if so when? The answer is YES, I do plan to write another book in the My Dad’s series. However, I need to finish a current project I’m working on first. But after that, I’m hoping to get my tail in gear and get you all what you’ve been asking for (LOL).

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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!

Photo Credit:  November 1 106 by jdurham Morguefile.com

After the last of the tourists loaded into the covered wagon, I pulled the canopy tight. Sweat beaded on my brow, in the stifling July heat. My heavy dress and bonnet were one of several downsides to working for my parents at the “Oregon Trail Tours.” The hours sucked, the pay wasn’t great, and I had no life outside of helping out. Not that I minded, too, much. I liked the history, but a date every now and then would be nice.

“Everyone on board, Jasmine?” Dad turned in his seat at the front of the wagon.

I counted five heads. “Yeah, we’re all set.”

Dad took hold of the reins, and the horses began to move. The wagon rolled forward, hitting several ruts and jarring the passengers. I groaned.

I cleared my throat, and gave a forced smile. “Hi, my name is Jasmine. Welcome to the Oregon Trail Tours. Today, you’ll get to see what it was like for families to travel west. Along the way, we’ll reenact what might happen on a true wagon train. For instance, how the pioneers passed the time riding in the wagon, and you’ll have a chance to help take care of the horses.”

The blonde guy snorted. “Sounds like we’ll be doing your job for you.”

“Abe, that’s enough,” his mom said.

My face burned. Seriously, there should be an age limit on these tours. Like no morons under the age of twenty. There were two teen guys on this overnight. Of course they wouldn’t appreciate the westward movement.

With my skirt fisted in my hand, I continued. “We’ll take lunch this afternoon by the creek, so you experience what the settlers would’ve eaten. Then we’ll travel to where the teepees are set up on the plains. You’ll be able to unload your bags and get settled in for the overnight.”

“This sounds wonderful,” Abe’s mom said. She gave her husband’s arm a tug, but he was too wrapped up in his Blackberry.

“Sounds lame.” Abe nudged the boy next to him. “What do you say, Alex? Think we’ll get to see some hot prairie girls running around?”

Alex raised his hooded eyes, and grinned. “I don’t know. Depends on if Jasmine here decides to do laps.”

“Boys, enough,” the mom said again.

Would it be too much to ask Dad to hit a giant rut and knock them out?

*****

We stopped a couple of hours later to make lunch, while Dad fed the horses. The scent of beans cooking over a fire and homemade bread made my mouth water.

Can it get any hotter?
 
My gaze drifted to the creek. Since everyone was preoccupied, I decided to sneak off for a minute. Untying my bonnet, my blonde hair toppled in my face. I swiped it back then made my way to the water. On the shore, I cupped my hand, scooping up cool liquid to my face. 
A loud splash sounded from beside me. My heart jumped. I glowered when I realized Abe had tossed a rock.

“Watch what you’re doing,” I said.

“I am.” Abe’s mouth twitched.

“You look warm, maybe I can help you cool off.” Alex leaned down, flinging water down the front of my dress.

“Ooo, wet t-shirt contest, Little House on the Prairie style!” Abe winked. “C’mon Jasmine, we’re from the east coast. Show us what you western girls are made of.”

I’d show him all right. Maybe if I shoved my size 6 ½ cowgirl boot up is butt, that’d wipe the grin from his face.

“Sorry, I can’t fraternize.” With that, I spun on my heel. Mom and Dad so owed me for this. Because there were like a thousand ways I could strangle the boys with a rattlesnake.

Mom quirked an eyebrow at me, when I offered to help get the food served.

“Why are you all wet?”

“Don’t ask.”

*****

When the teepees came into view, I sighed in relief. I just had to get through a quick tour of the main area and dinner. Then I could ditch Abe and Alex. They’d spent the whole trip making snide comments, while their dad talked on the phone. The mom gave me sympathetic smiles, which didn’t help. And the old guy, who must be grandpa, grated on my last nerve with his “version” of history.

“Make sure the lanterns are on in the exhibits,” Dad said, wiping his forehead with a handkerchief. “I’ll send the visitors through in a few minutes.”

He didn’t have to ask me twice. I raced to the largest of the teepees. My fingers brushed against the switch on the lantern. I gasped, much like I did every time I came in here. The Native American figures stared back at me; a woman posed to grind corn. While a warrior in the back, had war paint streaked across his face. There were native artifacts like blankets, furs, dishes, weapons, and clothing scattered about for people to look at.

But it was the young warrior that always caught my attention. His dark eyes seemed to watch me. Okay, so it was weird to have a crush on an inanimate object. But he was hot for a statue. I gave a small wave then hurried from the teepee.

“You can go in and have a look around now,” I said to the tourists. The three adults headed up first, while Abe and Alex sipped water from canteens.

Abe raised his to me as if it to toast me. I rolled my eyes.

A while later the adults came back to sit around the fire. The boys, however, disappeared. Great! My eyes darted around camp. I needed to find them.

Voices carried from the teepee. With a groan, I moved to the opening to find them on the display side of the fence, messing with the tomahawks and the string of scalps hanging from the warrior’s belt.

“Hey, get out of there!” I grabbed the axe from Alex. “These aren’t toys.”

“It’s not like they need them anymore, they’re dead,” Abe said. He waved the scalps above my head. When I jumped to get them, he shoved me out of the way. “If you want to get tips from us, you better keep your mouth shut.”

He tossed the scalps in the dirt and they walked out, laughing. My eyes narrowed as I retrieved the scalps. I wiped them off as best I could, then hopped into the display.

“Sorry,” I said softly to the statue. I secured his treasures back on his belt then turned to go. Something snagged my skirt. I whipped around to find myself caught up on the figure. Reaching down I pulled the fabric from its hand and gasped. It felt warm. My heart leapt into my throat. For a moment, I thought the warrior nodded.

*****

I awoke the next morning to screams, and leapt from my sleeping bag. Sunlight blinded me, as I hobbled from my teepee.

“My boys are gone!” the mom screeched.

“I’ll look around.” Maybe a coyote ate them. I chuckled at the thought as I made my way to the display tent. The lantern was on, but there were no signs of the boys. Then I caught movement from the corner of my eye. The warrior. He smiled at me. There, hanging from his belt were two new scalps.

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

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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Coming Soon from Astraea Press February 2011It’s finally here. The day I’ve waited for my ENTIRE life (well, most of it anyway). BOOK RELEASE DAY: Happy Book Birthday to My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters.

The e-book version is available for purchase on the following sites, please note that some of the sites may not have it uploaded right away… (Paperback version to come later this month):

Sites where it is available now:

All Romance eBooks

Astraea Press

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble

eFiction Bookstore

Omni Lit

1 Place For Romance

Smashwords

The following sites should have it posted shortly

iBookstore

Diesel Bookstore

Reader Store Sony ebooks

Books On Board

Coffee Time Romance

Trapezium Books

ISBN: 9781936852000

Also, make sure to check out my fellow Astraea Press authors: Bri Clark, and Kendall Evans whose books also come out today!

And to kick off my first book, I had the chance to be interviewed by some fabulous ladies/blogs (well, I suppose the blog itself didn’t interview me—LOL). So make sure to stop by and say hi. You’ll get a chance to know me better, and read a couple of excerpts from My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator: Seeking Shapeshifters! And just so you know, if you leave comments on the interviews it’ll give you extra chances to win for my Valentine’s Day First Crush Contest!

Interviews With:

Rachel Marie Pratt (My Sister)

Kim Bowman

J.F. Jenkins

Astraea Press Blog

Speaking of contest here are the details below!

VALENTINE’S DAY FIRST CRUSH CONTEST:

In honor of my first book release, I’m holding a contest for 1 lucky winner to get there hands on a copy of my e-book as well as a $10.00 gift card to Barnes & Noble. And I’ll also choose a second winner, who will receive a copy of my e-book. The contest will run from February 1-13, 2011. I’ll draw the two winners on February 14th (Happy Valentine’s Day).

How to enter? All you need to do is leave a comment telling me about your FIRST EVER crush! If you don’t want to post that, perhaps let me know who your celebrity crush is! And to earn bonus entries, stop by the blogs I’m interviewing at and leave a comment. Make sure you let me know that you’ve commented in more than one place so I can tally them up.

For Example:

+1 for commenting on Rebekah’s Blog

+1 for commenting on the Astraea Press Blog etc.

Make sure you leave me your email address so I can contact you if you win! 

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