Get lost in this story. We dare you.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Get lost in this story. We dare you.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Two years ago, Brenna did the unthinkable. She witnessed the aftermath of a murder and accused her only true friend--the first boy she ever loved--of being a killer.
Now sixteen, Brenna returns to Oklahoma only to discover that Isaac "White Bird" Henry isn't in juvie. The half-breed outcast is in a mental hospital, frozen in time, locked in his mind at the worst moment of his life. And when Brenna touches him, she's pulled into his hellish vision quest, seeing terrifying demons and illusions she doesn't understand.
Feeling isolated and alone, she's up against the whole town, targeted by bullying former classmates, a bigoted small town sheriff, and a tribe who refuses to help one of their own. But when Brenna realizes she's as trapped by the past as White Bird is, this time she won't turn her back on him. She's the only one who can free them both.
Even if she has to expose her secret--a "gift" she's kept hidden her whole life.
I sleep with the dead.
I don’t remember the first time I did it and I try not to think about why. It’s just something I do. My fascination with the dead has become part of me, like the way my middle toes jut out. They make my feet look like they’re shooting the finger 24/7. My “screw you” toes are my best feature, but that doesn’t mean I brag about them. Those babies are kept under wraps—just for my entertainment—the same way I keep my habit of sleeping in cemeteries a secret from anyone. Not even my mother knows I sneak out at night to curl up with the headstones…and the stillness. Some things are best left unsaid.
In the arms of stone angels, I’m not afraid.
I wish I had remembered the part about not telling secrets when I came across my friend White Bird under the bridge at Cry Baby Creek. A woman’s spirit cries for her dead baby and haunts that old rusted steel and wood plank footbridge. I’d seen her plenty of times, I swear to God. She never talked to me. The dead never do. She only cried and clutched the limp body of her baby to her chest.
Back then I didn’t fully understand how fragile the barrier was between my world and another existence where the dead grieved over their babies forever. And I had no idea that a change was coming. Someone would alter how I saw the thin veil between my reality and the vast world beyond it.
And that someone was my friend, White Bird.
When I saw him crying in the shadows of that dry creek bed, just like the ghost of that woman, the sight of him sent chills over my skin. I should have paid attention to what my body was telling me back then—to stay away and leave him alone—but I didn’t.
He was rocking in the shadows and muttering words I didn’t understand. When I got closer, I saw he wasn’t alone, but I couldn’t see the girl’s face. And tears were running down his cheeks. They glistened in the gray of morning, at the razor’s edge of dawn. I wish I had stayed where I was that day—hiding in the dark—but my curiosity grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.
Like an omen, the buzz of flies should have warned me. And thinking back, I wish that I had paid more attention to the sound. Even now, a single housefly can trigger that dark memory. And on nights when the dead can’t comfort me to sleep, I still hear the unending noise of those flies and I think of him. Our paths had crossed that day for a reason, as if it was always meant to be, and both of us were powerless to stop it.
I remember that morning like it was yesterday and I can’t get him out of my head.
White Bird was the first boy I ever loved. He was a half-breed, part Euchee Indian and part whatever. He was an outcast like me, only I couldn’t claim anything cool like being Indian. Because he was half-breed and without parents, the Euchee didn’t officially claim him, but that didn’t matter to White Bird. In his heart he belonged to the Dala, the Bear clan of the tribe, because the bear represented the power of Mother Earth. And the strong animal was a totem sign of the healer. The way I saw it, he had picked his clan well.
In school, the teachers called him by his white name, Isaac Henry. But when it was just the two of us, he preferred I call him by his Indian name and that made me feel real special. He was different from the other boys. I was convinced he had an ancient soul. He was quiet and didn’t speak much, even to me. But when he did open his mouth, the other kids listened and so did I.
Some people were scared of him because he was taller and bigger than most of the boys and he kept to himself. Sometimes he would get into fights. But after he got his tribal band tattoos, the fights stopped and everyone left him alone, including his teachers. His tattoos made him look like a man. And that was fine by me.
He wore his dark hair long to his shoulders and his eye color had flecks of gold and green that reminded me of a field of wheat blowing easy in the Oklahoma wind. And his skin made me think of a golden swirl of sweet caramel. That’s how I thought of him before the nightmare happened. He dominated my mind like a tune I couldn’t get out of my head, something memorable and special.
White Bird was my first crush.
And in a perfect world, my first crush should have been unforgettable and magic. But when mine turned out to be the worst nightmare of my pathetic excuse for a life, I knew I’d never deserve to be happy and that magic was overrated. And as for White Bird being unforgettable, the day I saw him under that bridge covered in blood and ranting like a crazed meth head over a girl’s corpse with a knife in his hand, I knew that image would be burned into my brain forever.
It was highly unlikely that I’d forget him and I made sure he’d never forget me. I was the one who turned him in to the sheriff.
ABOUT JORDAN DANE
HarperCollins launched Jordan’s suspense novels back to back in 2008 after the 3-book series sold in auction. Ripped from the headlines, Jordan's gritty plots weave a tapestry of vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Publishers Weekly compared her intense thrillers to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag. This national best-selling, critically acclaimed author’s debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM was named Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2008. Dane’s first Young Adult book is IN THE ARMS OF STONE ANGELS (Apr 2011, Harlequin Teen) with ON A DARK WING set for January 2012. Formerly an energy sales manager, she now writes full time. Jordan and her husband share their San Antonio residence with two cats of highborn lineage and two very lucky rescue dogs.
ANGI: How often to you get lost in a story?
JORDAN: If a story can make me forget that I’m an author, that’s when I really get lost…and fast. Right now I’m reading Ilsa J Bick’s ASHES, a dark YA that has sucked me in. She writes beautifully. Love her word choices, but her characters are very strong and her settings are atmospheric and eerie. Love her.
ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading?
JORDAN: Being a Texas girl, I grew up with a love for horses. The first books I remember craving were any novels with horses in them. Westerns with lone wolf cowboys & fantasies with flying horses suckered me in. I hung out at my elementary school library and read every single book that had a horse in it. With my first summer job, I bought a horse and had a few horses for years until the upkeep got too much with school too. Great memories though.
ANGI: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met?
JORDAN: I’m featuring a hero that I know in my upcoming book ON A DARK WING (Harlequin Teen, Jan 2012). David Clampitt is a cousin of mine and he consulted on this book to help me uncover the heart of my fictional character, Tanner Lange, who is confined to a wheelchair after a tragic four-wheeler accident. In real life, Dave lost the use of his legs when he was a teen and is wheelchair bound. Now Dave is a physical therapist and helps others get back on their feet. He’s happily married and a great guy. An inspiration to me. I had always been impressed with his physical strength, watching him move with such independence and his humor is out of bounds. Dave shared his personal stories of how people treat him—right after the accident to now—and some of those stories broke my heart. I had to include them and infuse Tanner Lange with Dave’s real experiences. Dave Clampitt is who I think of when I see the word “hero.”
ANGI: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
JORDAN: I love Pepé Le Pew. He has obvious drawbacks that he ignores. He’s a lover not a hater. And his rose-colored glasses make him very happy.
ANGI: What turns you off like nothing else?
JORDAN: Chaotic crowds, intense traffic, and slow computers. I need to get better at accepting things beyond my control (like Pepé Le Pew) and enjoy the moment, but I can turn into a crazy person in a heartbeat. Must be my Latin blood. It can be the best of me and the worst.
ANGI: Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?
JORDAN: I usually have a playlist for my YAs, only because it keeps me plugged into the music scene and I love how song lyrics can set the tone for a character or even inspire twists in the plot. I had Buck Cherry & other songs mentioned in this book but one song in the story really makes me smile. It reminds me of my niece who recommended it to me. My character, Brenna Nash, liked this song and so do I.
“I Like Giants” by Kimya Dawson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwhxSV8dLdA
ANGI: Where do you read and how often?
JORDAN: I read every day and it’s become a bedtime ritual. I even go to bed early if I have a particularly good book on my nightstand or on my kindle. I do my edits for the material I wrote that day, but then I indulge in reading other people’s books. Reading transports me to a place where my mind can relax, even if the book is dark, I love how a good story can mellow me out.
ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
JORDAN: People ask this question of me all the time and look at me strangely when I say that I don’t have one favorite. I love so many movies for the various things they do for me and at the time of my life they came along. Even if I started a list, I don’t think it would ever be complete. I recently saw THE TREE OF LIFE and I’m still scratching my head, saying, “huh?” Definitely beyond awful. Sorry, Brad.
ANGI: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?
JORDAN: Story telling is always easy because it’s part of who I am and I do it for me. Writing is harder because I do it for others. I have to filter my word choices through my life’s experiences and struggle with the best way to convey what I need in a scene. I don’t even need a glass of wine to story tell. Just sayin’
ANGI: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
JORDAN: I’m so excited to be launching a virtual tour for ON A DARK WING (HarlequinTeen, Jan 2012) in Nov-Dec and YA Bound is hosting it. This will be my first YA tour so I’m very excited. There will be really cool prizes. With each signed book, my character Abbey is sending a surprise care package to every winner. (Abbey hasn’t told me yet what those will be. She’s such a drama queen.) Stay tuned for grand prize news. Amazing! (Advance review copies are available on Netgalley.) I love this book and hope you will too.
ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: Hey, Jordan…Out of all the books you’ve written, who is your favorite hero and why?
JORDAN’S GOTTA ANSWER: This is the same as asking a mother who her favorite kid is. Come on. Every character is a part of me and my life’s experiences. How could I say one has it over another? With each character, I find vulnerability that endears them to me. Many break my heart, but most stick with me even to this day. I feel badly for treating them the way I do too. I’m a bad momma, I guess.
UP NEXT FOR JORDAN
ON A DARK WING
“The choices I had made led to the moment when fate took over. I would learn a lesson I wasn’t prepared for and Death would be my willing teacher.”
Five years ago, Abbey Chandler cheated Death. She survived a horrific car accident, but her lucky break came at the expense of her mother’s life and changed everything. After she crossed paths with Death—by taking the hand of an ethereal boy made of clouds and sky—she would never be normal again. Abbey finds out the hard way that Death never forgets.
STAY IN TOUCH WITH JORDAN through her Website Twitter @JordanDane Blog
JORDAN WILL BE DRAWING for 3 signed copies of IN THE ARMS OF STONE ANGELS from those leaving comments through Sunday, Oct 30th.
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.
JORDAN WOULD LIKE TO KNOW: Which of my characters do readers like best and why.
READERS DON’T FORGET to follow us on Facebook or Twitter >GetLostInAStory or #GetLostStories< for a daily update on who’s visiting GLIAS and what they might be giving away! Join us on Monday when Jill hosts Christine Cody. ~Angi
USA Today Bestseller Angi Morgan is an 11th generation Texan who plots ways to engage her readers with complex story lines, in actual Texas locations. She shares her research and photos on her daily blog: A Picture A Day.
I love to chat with readers. Join Angi's friends through my Fan Page.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
DONNELL: What was your proudest moment as a private investigator?
Judy Duarte returns with a story full of good cheer, Christmas Spirit, and romance!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Danielle's first novel, FALLING UNDER, was originally published by Penguin/Plume in 2008 and now is finally available as an e-book!
I could rave about this book, which I first read in manuscript form--yes, I'm that lucky--but better to share some reviews from people who aren't her critique partner. ;)
Order FALLING UNDER
"Falling Under is one of the most compelling debut novels I have read in a long time. It is gutsy, emotional, sexually charged and, because of its second-person narrative style, unremittingly intense. Younge-Ullman writes her guts out, hurtling forward, pedal to the floor. The result is a gripping story, crackling with energy."Canada's National Post
"...Here's a debut novel that delivers. Extreme, and extremely well done!"Kim Alexander for XM Radio's Fiction Nation
"Fierce, erotic and absolutely fearless...Shocking and moving, Falling Under is edgy as a razor blade and unlike anything you've read before."-- Dame Magazine
"...an astonishing debut novel reminiscent of Janet Fitch's White Oleander...passages so beautiful they hurt. Younge-Ullman has a talent for turning the shadows of life into a thing of beauty, almost poetry..."--Curled Up With a Good Book
"Younge-Ullman has a unique and mesmerizing writing style. It is at once raw and gritty, eloquent and beautiful. Most outstanding is her ability to take the reader inside her character's head and heart, creating a unique and unforgettable reading experience"-- Literarily
"...a story told with great feeling and compassionate attention to how a sensitive person can find herself alienated from everything she needs to feel whole"Feast Magazine
"...hard hitting and explosive, with a raw energy that left me breathless."--Good Housekeeping.com
After growing up as the only child of bitterly divorced parents, Mara Foster has finally gained independence and is embarking on a promising career as an artist. But despite her success, she is fragile. Burdened by a host of fears and anxieties, Mara finds it difficult even to leave her house on most days. When Mara meets Hugo, the walls she has built around herself begin to crumble, and as she struggles to find a breakthrough both in her art and in life, she must come to terms with her own dark secrets in order to get a second chance at happiness.
Written in spare, crisp prose and marked by wry humor, Falling Under is a gripping contemporary urban tale of human weakness, friendship and hard-earned redemption. This emotionally resonant story of unexpected love marks the debut of a striking new voice in fiction.
MAUREEN: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
DANIELLE: Like Water for Chocolate
MAUREEN: Oh, I love that too. What’s the first book you remember reading?
DANIELLE: The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe
MAUREEN: Clearly we have similar taste in books/movies. :) Where in the world would you most like to visit?
DANIELLE: I’m dying to go to Prague.
MAUREEN: Hiking boots or high heels?
DANIELLE: Oh dear. Neither. Ideally something in between that is attractive but not excruciating to wear!
MAUREEN: What are you reading right now?
DANIELLE: Keith Cronin’s Me Again.
MAUREEN: What hidden talents do you have?
DANIELLE: If I could only get a hold of one of the hoola hoops they had when I was a kid—they were heavier, or weighted differently than the ones you find now, and I could hoola hoop forever. My fellow 3rd graders were in awe. So, this a very, very hidden talent, since I can never demonstrate it.
MAUREEN: There's a gym near me that has hoola-hoop classes. Just saying. :) What was your favorite book when you were twelve?
DANIELLE: Something inappropriate for a twelve-year-old, I’m sure. I’d say Go Ask Alice and there was another one I loved called I Never Promised You A Rose Garden.
MAUREEN: Once again... similar tastes even at twelve. Would you rather sky dive or scuba dive?
DANIELLE: Scuba. I have NO DESIRE EVER to sky dive. In fact I have a powerful desire to make sure I never have to.
MAUREEN: There we're different. I've done both... Who’s your favorite villain?
DANIELLE: Only one?! Lady M from The Scottish Play (sorry, I’m a theater person, so I can’t actually say the names.) Marquise de Merteuil from Dangerous Liaisons, Iago, Dracula, The Wicked Witch of the West, Javert from Les Miserables
MAUREEN: What’s the most romantic thing anyone ever did for you?
DANIELLE: As kind of a joke, I’d sat with my boyfriend one summer night and given him a “quest”—a list of 27 things to learn/find before he proposed to me. We were really just joking (I thought) and he kept asking me to make the tasks more difficult, and all the while he was writing everything on a cocktail napkin. Over the next few months there were some mysterious deliveries to our condo, and a couple of days where he was out and I couldn’t quite figure out what he was doing. And then, just before the holidays, he presented me with a pull-along grocery cart full of stuff—items from the list—and proposed. Obviously I married the guy!
MAUREEN: Love that story :) What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know?
DANIELLE: Well, I can be funny. I think it comes across in my writing, but you have to know me really, really well, I think, before you see it from me in person. I don’t purposely hide it, but I guess my sense of humor is shy—it only comes out in the right mix of circumstances.
MAUREEN: Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?
DANIELLE: I would probably like to have Erik to dinner. But I would be suspicious of my motives if I did so. Mara’s mom would probably be the one I’d least want to have dinner with, though her dad is a close second, because they are just atrocious parents.
MAUREEN: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
DANIELLE:Yes, I read them and I do pay attention, particularly if someone has taken the time to write a well-balanced, thoughtful review. But if someone just didn’t “get” my work and didn’t like anything about it and is trashing it across the board, I have to just shrug that off because there’s nothing helpful or positive to glean from it. Fortunately I’ve very rarely come across that kind of review.
MAUREEN: Mara, your main character is a visual artist. Did you ever study art?
DANIELLE: Nope. Not only have I never studied art, I am pathetically lacking in talent. Already my five-year-old draws better than me. But I LOVE art and part of why I made Mara an artist is so I could experience being an artist. (Look for books with singers and mathematicians coming up in the future, since I’m lacking in talent in those areas too.)
Without putting in any spoilers for people who have not read the book, I am always curious, when people have read Falling Under, about what they think is going to happen to Mara in the future. I’m also interested in how people perceive the tone of Falling Under. Some readers comment on the intensity of it, some on the “dark” aspects, but I also have the occasional person commenting on how funny it is. It really feels like it’s different for every reader.
Danielle will give a free e-book copy of Falling Under to a random commenter on this post. Comment must be made by November 1, 2011 and will be drawn using random.org. Prize will be awarded via a Smashwords gift certificate.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Joanna Karaplis is from Vancouver but now makes her home in Toronto with her husband and two cats. Fractured: Happily Never After? is her first published book. Besides writing, she also enjoys reading (both printed books and e-books), swing dancing, and stand-up comedy. She blogs sporadically at www.joannakaraplis.com.
About the Book
But what would happen if Snow White were around today? Would Cinderella still need a fairy godmother? And would the Little Mermaid show up on YouTube?
Joanna Karaplis has put an unexpected spin on Snow White, Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid; she’s quietly fractured the stories and then reassembled them for the 21st Century. So, while there may not be a whole lot of horse-drawn carriages and magic potions, you can be sure that there will be at least one evil witch and maybe even a handsome prince (or two)…
Published in November 2010 by McKellar & Martin Publishing Group Ltd. You can order online at Amazon.ca (support the publisher by using the link on their website!), Chapters Indigo, or McNally Robinson.
Read what bloggers and other reviewers have said about Fractured at http://www.joannakaraplis.com/reviews/
Get to Know Joanna Karaplis
: What's your favourite holiday?
JOANNA: I love Halloween, because I like dressing up and seeing everyone else's creative costumes, but my favourite holiday is Christmas. Lots of people complain about Christmas decorations going up as soon as Halloween is over, but I don't mind. It's one of the only things I enjoy about winter. I love seeing houses and trees decorated in lights, and hearing Christmas carols. I also enjoy that it's a nice long holiday and you can justify lounging around the house in your pjs for a few days. I'm less concerned with buying or receiving presents or hosting a big meal--perhaps that's why I find it relaxing rather than stressful!
MAUREEN: Cats or dogs?
JOANNA: My husband smugly insists that he turned me into a cat person, but I insist that I'm just a currently-dogless dog person who happens to have two cats. (Still following?) Luckily for me, my cats exhibit many fine dog-like qualities: they run to greet me when I come home, they like tummy rubs, and sometimes they play fetch. Once we have a dog lifestyle, I'll probably get a dog--nothing beats their devotion and enthusiasm!--but for now, I don't have the time to give a dog all the walks it deserves. The cats are far lazier, and thus lower maintenance.
MAUREEN: Did you belong to a clique in high school? Which one of the standard high school stereotypes did you best fit into?
JOANNA: I was a total nerd. Editor of the school paper, Star Trek fan, avid reader of science fiction, and completely uninterested in fashion. Initially, I tried to hide my nerd tendencies, but I don't think I ever fooled anyone, and by the time I was fifteen, I was proudly flying my geek flag by wearing Black Adder t-shirts and mismatched quirky socks, quoting Monty Python, and not being ashamed if anyone else thought the things I liked were weird or uncool. I'm still a huge nerd, but I think I dress better now. A little.
MAUREEN: Salsa or guacamole?
JOANNA: Tomatoes give me heartburn and I don't like avocados, so my original answer was "neither." However, when I started dating my husband, he made me guacamole and I tried it to be polite (ok, and because he was cute). Good thing I did, because it was delicious! I still don't like avocados, but now I love guacamole.
MAUREEN: What turns you off like nothing else?
JOANNA: Cruelty and hate. I'm not religious, but I think "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a great principle to live by.
MAUREEN: Where do you most like to read and how often?
JOANNA: My preferred spot is by the window at home. I read daily, at home and on my subway commute, and I generally finish a minimum of a book a week. In fact, I should probably read a little less so that I have more time to write instead! I especially love young adult fiction, both realistic stories and dystopian ones.
Gotta Ask, Gotta Answer
MAUREEN: What was your favorite book when you were twelve?
JOANNA: When I was twelve, I read The Call of the Wild by Jack London, and then I went looking for other tales of dogs and wolves in the wilderness. I began reading lots of books by Jim Kjelgaard--Big Red, Irish Red, Snow Dog. They were always about a young boy and his dog surviving in the wilderness together. A bit of a change from the Baby-Sitters Club books I'd read when I was a bit younger!
Joanna Asks Readers:
What do you like to know about your favourite authors, and does knowing more about them affect how you read their books?
Keep in Touch with Joanna Here:
Thanks so much for a great interview, Joanna! Readers, come back tomorrow for an interview with author Danielle Younge-Ullman.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address. Those leaving comments through Sunday at noon CST following this post will be eligible for the drawing.