The Temptress – Cover Reveal and Off a Friend Winner

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DRUMROLL!!!! 

 

The third book, The Temptress, has an official cover! The first two are getting a makeover as well as part of the new Half Light Publishing home.

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I think it’s my favorite cover yet! (Although I say that with each one) and of course all due to the brilliance of my amazing cover designer, Jason Vollario. Who just gets me.

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Also, we’re going to have beautiful black and white prints available for those coming to our events! (Without the watermark)

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And, if you’re subscribed to my newsletter, then you’ve already seen the announcement, but big congrats to

Arianna Grenawalt

You’re going to be brutally slaughtered thanks to the people who love you! That’s love I tell ya.

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Off a Friend Contest – FINALISTS

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Ok – which one of you has blood on your hands? Oh yeah, all of you sick fuckers. But, that’s why I love you all. My sick, disgusting, macabre fans – readers – people who liked my page… you get the drift.

Before I announced our deadly finalists, I wanted to share some comments that just couldn’t not be shared. (Yeah, yeah grammar nazis.)

Steven Ujueta, who nominated his wife, was close up in being a finalist. But alas, his wife didn’t quite make the cut. (Get it? The cut?) His wife was nominated, Salaih Bush (cool name, though – quite tempting… maybe another book?) and he said “She gave me my beautiful son. She is of no use to me now. LMAOO jk” Ok Steven, I busted out laughing. My husband said you lost points because of your ‘jk’ at the end. Not sure how I feel about his comment, but I digress. FANTASTIC nomination! Like I said, this may get carried into a new book.

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Also, shot outs to fellow writers and/or aspiring authors – your friends love and support your endeavor and think killing you off is the way to show the love. Who are these people? Terry Reilly who nominated Bernice Erehart and Kimberley Hill who nominated Michael Kolesik.

And, several of you were nominated by people who love you and said you’ve been having a rough few years (I’ll leave out names for this one – just because I doubt y’all want your business out there) and of course, your friends thought the best way to cheer ya up was to kill you off. I mean… when you’re at the end of your rope, just slice the damn thing – right? Ha ha, no. It’s ok, I’ll hand you guys over the knife and you can return the favor in the next contest. (Which is coming up end of the year)

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Ok, so without further adieu, our finalists. Please vote! The following was selected by a panel of judges. (Not really, it was just me and my husband)

On a side note – we received a ton of entries and we had a hard time narrowing it down to the final 6. Thank you everyone who nominated and had a great sense of humor about this all! You help make the world go round. I hope you’ll join us on the next one 😀

Only one vote per person. IP’s will be checked, if you try to skew voting by voting multiple times, all your votes will be disqualified. (Must have Javascript to see the survey – Otherwise, please click here )

Create your own user feedback survey

Children at the Window – Sneak Peek

Some things to know about with this chapter. It’s quirky – so it’s not like the rest of the book. It’s mostly dialogue and I can’t really tell you why I decided to write it that way, except that I did.

It’s about halfway through the book and sort of a moment of comic relief in the story.

Hope you enjoy!

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Twenty One

 

“It’s really dark.”

 

“You have a knack for stating the obvious.” I squinted and my knuckles were white as I gripped the steering wheel tighter.

 

“There’s nothing on the radio.” Lynnette played with the search button for the hundredth time.

 

“I wish there was some wall up on the side of the roads.” I pressed my lips together.

 

“Why? Animals would just jump over the walls and be trapped in between them and run back and forth on the road until they got hit.”

 

“Oh, geez.”

 

“Do you want me to drive?” Lynnette switched off the radio and fell back into her seat, defeated.

 

“No, it’s fine.”

 

“I promise I won’t hit any animals.”

 

“No, it’s fine.”

 

“It was an accident.”

 

“I know it was.”

 

“Then why won’t you let me drive?” she pressed.

 

“I want to drive.”

 

“You don’t look like you want to drive.” She sighed when I didn’t answer. “It really is dark,” she said again.

 

“Yeah, it really is. I guess there’s no moon tonight.”

 

“Hmm.”

 

“What?”

 

“Maybe it’s cloudy?”

 

I looked up through the windshield. “I don’t think so.”

 

“Wasn’t there a moon last night?” she asked.

 

I tried to think back. “I don’t remember. Probably not.”

 

She continued looking up at the blackened night sky while I focused on not killing any animals that jumped out in the road.

 

“I really think there was a moon last night.”

 

“And it what? Just disappeared tonight?”

 

She shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s weird.”

 

“I’m sure you’re just remembering wrong.”

 

“There’s something flying around out there,” she said, her face pressed against the side window.

 

I glanced up at the night sky again. “Like an owl or something?”

 

“I don’t know, it was quick. It’s hard to tell.”

 

“Probably just an owl.”

 

“Yeah, probably.”

 

I tapped my finger on the wheel to a soundless tune.

 

“There it is again.” Lynnette craned her. “I don’t think it’s an owl.”
“What? A bat?”

 

“I don’t know.”

 

“It’s probably your mind playing tricks on you.”

 

She flopped back in her seat again. “I’m bored.”

 

“I can tell.”

 

A loud object thumped against the back window. “What the hell?” I glanced in the rearview mirror and Lynnette turned around in her seat.

 

“What was that?” she asked.

 

“Was that the bat?” My voice came out sounding higher pitched than usual.

 

“Just falling out of the sky?”

 

“I don’t know, maybe it died.”

 

“And landed on our car while we’re driving down the road at eighty miles an hour?”

 

“Look out!” Lynnette screamed and when I looked back at the road a woman lay about a hundred yards ahead, directly in the beam of my headlights.

 

Time didn’t allow me to think. I slammed both feet against the brake pedal and the steering wheel locked. Instead of the pedal going down at once it jittered underfoot. In my peripheral Lynnette place both palms on the dashboard, bracing herself. I cursed under my breath and hoped we stopped in time.

 

We did.

 

“What the fuck?” Lynnette asked.

 

I unlocked my door.

 

“What are you doing?” she asked.

 

“Uh, helping the strange woman lying across the middle of the road?” It was an incredulous question.

 

“What if it’s a trap?”

 

“Seriously? A woman is lying across the road and almost gets killed by a car and you think it’s a trap?”

 

“Call the cops.”

 

“You call the cops. I’m checking on her,” I said, annoyed. She fished for her phone from her purse as I stepped out of the car. I approached the woman and she was lying in the exact same position the entire time. There was no way she was playing  a trick on us.

 

“Hello?” I asked. What else was I supposed to say?

 

“Is she alive?” Lynnette called out from the car.

 

I kneeled beside her. Although pale, her skin had color to it, even in the brightness of the headlights. Her chest rose and fell under her dirt-caked tank top.

 

“She’s alive!” I yelled back.

 

I could hear Lynnette speaking with the 9-1-1 operator.

 

“Amanda, where are we?” Lynnette got out of the car and came to a stop on the other side of the strange lady on the ground. She watched her with what seemed like a mix of apprehension and concern.

 

I looked around. “We passed a town about twenty minutes ago.”

 

“Uh, we passed a town about twenty minutes ago,” she said into the phone. “What town?” she asked me.

 

“We’re on Highway Eighteen,” I offered, hoping it would help.

 

She repeated what I said to the operator. The woman on the ground groaned.

 

“She’s alive,” Lynnette said.

 

“I already told you that.”

 

The woman’s eyes popped open suddenly revealing blood shoot eyes. I fell back on my rear at the startling movement.

“Whoa,” Lynnette said. “That’s creepy.”

 

“Shh. Uh, lady, can you hear me?”

 

She groaned again. Was that an answer?

 

“Yeah, I think she’s gaining consciousness,” Lynnette said into the phone. “I don’t see any,” she added.

 

I raised my eyebrows at her.

 

“They want to know if we see her car around.”

 

Good question. I stood up and walked to the side of my car, looking down the road behind us. I had completely forgotten about the thump on the back window until I saw a red smear down the trunk of my car. I slowly walked completely toward the back around the trunk. The smear went straight down the middle of the trunk and ended just under the back latch. What the hell?

 

“Uh, Amanda?” Lynnette called out. “Please come back here.”

 

I walked back toward Lynnette, all the while trying to figure out what the smear could be. Was it a bat like we thought?

 

“She keeps saying something.”

 

I looked down at the strange woman who was mumbling while looking straight up at the night sky. Lynnette was right, she was creepy.

 

“Cabe?”

 

Lynnette shook her head. “Caleb, I think.”

 

“What happened to 9-1-1?” I realized she wasn’t on the phone anymore.

 

“Oh, I remembered I could just pull the map up on my phone and told her where we were. They’re sending out some units.”

 

“Huh, didn’t even think of that.”

 

“Neither did I. The operator did.”

 

I crossed my arms.

 

“Hey strange lady, who’s Caleb?”

 

“That’s not nice,” I said.

 

“Okay, lady on the road – who’s Caleb?”

 

She repeated his name again. That wasn’t helpful.
“How long do you think it’ll take for the cops to get here?” I asked, getting anxious.

 

“Should we just leave?”

 

“That’s not why I was asking.”

 

“I know, but I think we should leave. They’ll be here soon, anyway.”

 

“Someone else will hit her.”

 

“We’ll move her to the side of the road,” Lynnette said, showing no indication she wanted to move her.

 

I looked at the lady on the ground.

 

“I don’t want to touch her either.”
“I didn’t say anything,” I said.

 

We stood for a moment, watching her. She kept repeating the name Caleb. Maybe it was someone she knew, I wondered.

 

“Maybe it’s who dumped her here.”

 

I looked up at Lynnette. “Maybe her car went off the side of the road.”

 

“And she what? Walked over here and decided to take a nap?”

 

I put my hands on my hips.

 

“She got dumped here.”

 

“You don’t know that.”

 

“How else did she end up here?”

 

I looked at the lady and kneeled down again. “Hey, lady. What’s your name?”
“Joy,” she responded, clear as day.

 

“Her name is Joy?” Lynnette asked. “That doesn’t sound right.”

 

“What do you mean it doesn’t sound right? How would a name sound?”

 

“I mean, she’s lying in the middle of the road, in the middle of nowhere, where the moon went missing and her name is Joy?”

 

“The moon didn’t go missing.”

 

“Then where did it go?”

 

“It was never there.”

 

“The moon was never there.”

 

“You know what I mean.” Lynnette was right, we shouldn’t stay. But we couldn’t leave her either. “I still don’t get why you think her name doesn’t sound right.”

 

“What’s that?” Lynnette pointed down the road behind me.

 

I spun around. “What the hell?”

 

“Are those kids? Walking down the road?”

It was one word, but it was enough to spring us into action. Joy grabbed my ankle when she screamed, “Run!”

Tomorrow When I Die – Teaser

Today commemorates 101 years since the Armenian Genocide. 1.5 million Armenians were tortured and killed in a silent genocide by the Ottoman Empire.

It’s a genocide that has yet to be officially recognized by the American and Turkish government. President Bill Clinton promised to bring this issue to the table during his campaign, yet failed to do so during his presidency.

1 year from today, Tomorrow When I Die will be released. A literary fiction story told by a 14 year old girl named Anahid. She tells her story from the grave. It’s a heart felt story that’s not only about the horrors of the genocide, but the love, sacrifice, loyalty, and friendship that is found in the darkest realms of terror and evil. A story about how an attempt at eradication ended up being a rise from the ashes.

Mark your calendars, spread the word and let’s count down together over the next 12 months for the world wide release of a story unlike any other. A story that needs to be shared.

It is my best work yet.

 

CHAPTER ONE

Death never comes easy. Sometimes it’s slow and the breath suffers. Sometimes it’s quick and it’s the heart that suffers. Not of the person who dies, but of the person who’s watching.

 

A pressed wing against the muddy ground and I can tell it’s broken. I don’t know what kind of bird it is, but I see many of them around. They are small and fly fast. The dark line of feathers from the beak to the inner corner of its tiny black eyes make it appear angry. ‘Looks like Mama when you eat too many of her Gatas’, my brother would say.

 

I stroke the bird’s soft feathers, like Baba would to my hair when I was sick. It would make me feel better. The tiny bird tries mercilessly to move its wing. An instinct, I wonder, to fly – even though it can barely breathe. I know death will come soon, but it doesn’t. It just suffers.

 

“You need to squash it,” Mama says and her voice startles me.

 

“No!”

 

“It’s suffering.” She stands over me, blocking out the sun. I can only see her outline and her hands are on her hips.

 

“No, Mama!”

 

She clucks her tongue at me and I hope she goes away. I’ll hate her forever if she squashes the bird. I don’t know if it’s a threat.

 

“You want it to suffer?”

 

I shake my head and feel the tears start to come. “I don’t want it to die,” I whisper.

 

“Everything dies, Anahid.”

 

I shake my head again.

 

“I don’t want it to,” is all I can say.

 

The sun is warm on my shoulders again and I know Mama is gone. She’s right. But I don’t know what to do. “I can’t hurt you little bird.” The tiny bird struggles to breathe and its eyes are crusted with dirt and mud and foam forms around the edges of its beak. Death is ugly.

 

I find a small boulder and can barely lift it. It will definitely do. My eyes are filled with tears and I barely locate where the bird is through my blurry vision.

 

“Please die,” I whisper. “I don’t want to do it.”

 

It moves the broken wing again and looks worse than it did seconds before. I close my eyes as tight as I can and chant ‘I’m sorry’ over and over as I drop the boulder on the little bird.

 

NaNoWriMo Hump-Day Cheats

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We’re approaching the middle of the month and we’re also approaching the half-way mark for NaNo. Needing some pick me ups? Is that finish line looking impossible to cross? Here are some cheats I found that might help us get through!

People are beginning to get hostile – they’re starting to kill off their characters out of spite (guilty) – they’re eating all the chocolate!!!

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Don’t fret!

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Just follow some of these tips and we may save the day after-all.

Here’s a Harry Potter Crawl that was shared on the Half-Light Publishing page

Sign up for the 10,000 word marathon day from the comfort of your own home

Read how this blogger wrote for 464 days straight!

Read this blog on how to push through the middle!

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Need some more tips? Are you a planner? Try pantsing through a chapter. Are you a pantser? Try planning out a chapter. Instead of focusing so much on word count for the day – try doing this 7 day writing challenge.

Day 1: Have your main character do something completely unexpected

Day 2: Kill off an unexpected character

Day 3: Introduce an unexpected character

Day 4: Write an exquisite scene that involves food. Make it so good you can taste it

Day 5: Enjoy any of these writing prompts: War, Parade, Bang, Parade, Apology, Necklace, Poison

Day 6: Have your character encounter an unusual animal.

Day 7: Write an alternate ending

Thanks for playing! Let me know if you try any of my hump-day cheats and how you do! Happy Writing!

The Return of the Titles – and Major Announcements

We were going to wait until the beginning of the year to make the announcement, but since some of the changes will probably be made obvious before then – I thought it best to announce now. We are launching our own publishing label and moving all my titles under the new publishing house, Half-Light Publishing.
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Some of you may have seen the Half-light name on a few of my books (Bohemian Grove, Sun Gate, and now Z Resurrected and Children at the Window) It’s something that I’ve considered for quite some time to make complete and all the right doors kept opening for it, but I didn’t make the leap. Well, we’ve made the leap! We’re officially launching January 1st and it will be a 100% traditional publishing house. Aside from my own titles, we’ll be launching the titles for 3 other authors in 2016.

Stay tuned announcements for the executive team behind Half-Light and submission opportunities.

We are currently in massive building mode to not only get Half-Light fully launched but to move my titles over ASAP — not an easy endeavor! so-many-books-gif

I have an incredible team already in place that’s working night and day to get this done and we’re very excited. Our goal is to bring something new and refreshing to the marketplace. To introduce authors that are outside the box but also what readers have been asking for.nCV8gck

As of right now, you can follow the Half-Light Publishing fan page on Facebook until the site is up and running. It’s a scary but wonderful endeavor. I’ve started several successful businesses in the past and am confident this will be no different.

All my horror/mystery titles will be under Half-Light and I’m in the middle of writing a literary fiction pieces that’s very dear to my heart that I will be shopping out to agents. I’m not sure what the future holds for me specifically, but I know that Half-Light is a publishing label that will surely shine bright!

Zombie Takeover Week with Blog Tour

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Zombie Tour Date: Oct 27th

Tour Stops

Dana Fredsti

Host: Stefani @ Caught Read Handed

Tom Leveen

Host: Tika @ Fangirl Confessions

Joe McKinney

Host: Ashley @ Books Blogging Beauty

Eric A. Shelman

Host: Emily @ Emily Reads Everything

Mark Tufo

Host: Nicole @ Boundless Bookaholic

T.M. Williams

Host: Bex @ Aurelia {lit}{geek}{chic}

Also, don’t forget that #tmwilliamszombieweek is in full swing on http://www.facebook.com/accidentalwriter

Z Resurrected Available for Order!

Z Resurrected is available for ordering on Amazon! It’s available to order in print and Kindle. It will also be available on Nook and iBook (and other e-readers) soon!

So, enjoy your reading and please don’t forget to leave a review! And… if you’ve missed it, the trailer is below!

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Frequently Asked Questions – Or FAQ You!

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What do you think your best work is?

I think my best work to date is probably CLUSTERS. It took me a year of researching and writing to get it done – which is a long time for me. There were times where the writing was so emotional for me I had to walk away before the darkness settled on me too much.

What do you think your worst work is?

Bohemian Grove. I really had no clue what I was doing when I wrote that. I wasn’t even trying to write a book. I just had this story in my head that needed to come out and it did.

What made you decide to become a writer?

It just happened. I started writing one day and found that I couldn’t stop so that’s what I’m still doing.

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What is your favorite genre to write in?

Whatever one is calling to me at the moment. I don’t like walls or being told what to do. So I don’t like sticking to one genre either. It makes marketing a lot more difficult. But it’s what I love.

Do you listen to music when you write?

90% of the time. The other 10% is because I forgot to bring my earbuds.

Who’s your favorite author?

Dean Koontz and Stephen King. So when my work (CLUSTERS and Anna Hyde) was recently compared to them, I had a little fangirl freak-out.

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Traditional Publishing or Self Publishing?

I still 100% believe that traditional publishing is the way to go for anyone who takes their writing seriously. And the people who don’t take their writing seriously shouldn’t do either. I also believe that once you’re traditionally published, there will be certain manuscripts that will require self-publishing.

If you could make any of your books into a movie, which one would it be?

Definitely Clusters. I just think it’s so aesthetically magnificent that it just needs to be on the big screen. The characters are so real to me that it would be nice to see them three-dimensional. (Four dimensional?) I think Anna Hyde would be fun too, but not sure how anyone could pull it off.

Do any of your characters play off of people you know or actors?

Only one… Jibril from the Bohemian Grove trilogy. That one was Woody Harrelson. Since then, my writing has grown enough that my characters are true to themselves and like all of us, can’t really be ‘played’ by anyone.

Do you ever see yourself in any of your characters?

tumblr_nu9gjlyi8F1tavs5io1_500Gosh, I hope not. My characters are pretty disturbed individuals. I’ve had people say they think Carter is me. But that’s too complimentary. She’s a nice person with no evil intentions.

How do you find the time to write?

You make time. It’s like anything. If you want something bad enough you’ll find a way.

How do you know when you’re done writing a book?

Instinct.

What are you reading now?

Arguably Essays by Christopher Hitchens and a Philippa Gregory story.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on two manuscripts that I’ll be shopping out to agents as I look to take the next step up in my career. One is a straight murder-mystery and the other is historical fiction. I couldn’t decide which one to shop so I’m doing both.

What books do you have coming out?

A zombie anthology, Z Resurrected, next month and Children at the Window – which got pushed back to late fall.

What’s your best advice for aspiring authors?

Everyone has advice and most of it is good advice, but not all of it is pertinent to you. Follow your instinct and ignore the naysayers.

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Have any other questions? Post below and I’ll answer!

Secret CLUSTERS Chapter (SPOILER ALERT) – and RP Game Announcements

You heard about it on my fan page! There’s a secret CLUSTERS chapter out there now. If you want to get your hands on it, then make sure to check out RPGlory’s fan page for an update on their indiegogo campaign.

The chapter is Lorraine’s shortly after Ethan Franco visits her and her last moments. tumblr_mikethDo8v1s5sgazo1_500

TEASER:

She cocked the gun, the double clicking sound of the shotgun shell lodging into the smoothborne barrel of the gun loud enough that an intruder would hear it – the reason she chose a shotgun in the first place. She wasn’t taking any chances. After all, she knew more than anyone that an alarm system and a watchdog didn’t provide the safety and comfort one would think.

Her heart hurt with the memory of her lost nephew – vanished only two feet from where she stood now.

Her breathing was shallow as she gripped the gun tightly between her two hands. It was a monster compared to her small frame. Yet, only provided a small measure of reassurance. Seven years earlier, she would’ve trusted the police, the gun, the sound of the alarm system on her home being set – but today, today she felt like she were in an all consuming void waiting to take her away too…

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Please join me for a live online role-playing session set in my novel Clusters: Case of the Missing. During the event you will have a chance to uncover for yourself some of the mysteries only hinted at in the book. This game is appropriate for people who have never tried a role-playing game before, as well as experienced gamers. Player slots will be available as a perk in RPGlory.com’s upcoming Indiegogo campaign. Register at www.RPGlory.com or sign up for their mailing list (http://www.rpglory.com/membership/XUDRegNotify.asp) to be among the first to be notified when the campaign goes live.

If you’ve read Clusters, which missing case is the most intriguing for you that you’d like to see a chapter from?