Gwen Gardner: Demon Holes vs. the Knight Bus

Today you’re in for a treat because Gwen Gardner is here to guest post, woot woot! I first came across Gwen on the blogosphere because we both had our debut into the publishing world around the same time, her with Giving Up the Ghost, and me with 18 Things. I’m pretty sure it was our Ninja Captain that brought us together. If you don’t know Gwen yet (go ahead & slap yourself), allow me to introduce her.

Gwen Gardner author photo

Gwen Gardner is a native Californian living in sunny San Diego, where her love of reading and writing led to a BA in English literature. Life is now complete with her husband, two dogs and a daily call from her daughter.

Since ghosts feature prominently in her young adult Indigo Eady Paranormal “Cozy” Mystery series, she has a secret desire to meet one face to face – but will run screaming for the hills if she ever does. Gwen adores travel and experiencing the cultures and foods of different countries. She is always up for an adventure and anything involving chocolate – not necessarily in that order.

Knight Bus vs. Demon Hole

Thanks for hosting me today, Jamie!

I know Jamie is a Harry Potter fan and so am I! We’re both still waiting for our owls from Hogwarts with our invitations to attend. Well, Jamie would be one of the professors, for sure. Probably Muggle Studies, because she’s so good at human nature. I’m sure I’d be sorted into Griffindor where I’d excel at Defense Against the Dark Arts. At least, my characters might or might not agree with that.

I mean, I get them into dark and dangerous situations, but I get them out again, don’t I?

Indigo Eady is a ghost-whispering teen psychic and the protagonist in my Afterlife novella series. In Second Death (book I), I did sort of have her sucked down into a demon hole. She later compared it to that scene in Harry Potter’s The Prisoner of Azkaban where Harry inadvertently hails the Knight Bus.

The Knight Bus rescues witches or wizards in trouble and takes them where they need to go. There’s a scene where Ernie Prang is driving and throws a switch to maneuver between two muggle buses and so the Knight Bus shrinks to about six inches wide, squeezing all on board into a fun-mirror deformed version of themselves.

Well, according to Indigo, that’s what it feels like getting sucked down a demon hole. Sort of like being squeezed through the gullet of a snake. Slow, arduous and suffocating.

But that’s where the similarity between the Knight Bus and a Demon Hole ends. The Knight Bus is completely dangerous, true. It averages about one accident per week. None of the seats or beds is bolted down and so they slide all over the place. And being squeezed like that can’t be good for the mind or body. But at least they offer beds and hot chocolate!

Demon Holes–well, you can imagine what a nightmare they are. Indigo hasn’t quite forgiven me for the following scene, where she found herself all alone in the cemetery… at night…

Second Death cover

 

I reminded myself we were still in Gertrude’s Garden. We’d already seen how easy it was to go from one dimension to another without even trying. Yeah, maybe that was it. I should wait right there for Badger and Simon to get back. I folded my arms over my chest. Clamped my teeth together to keep my chin from wobbling. “Yeah, I’m just going to wait right here,” I spoke aloud, continuing to scan the area. “Sounds like a good plan, Indigo,” I answered myself. I glanced left and right. “I’ll just sit and wait,” I mumbled, backing up to the Earl’s headstone and sliding down into a sitting position. I waited and waited. And waited some more. I’ll admit that patience wasn’t my best virtue.

I changed position, using my left hand to shift to a more comfortable spot. That’s when I felt it. A general tugging sensation, followed by a swarm of orbs swirling up my arm. A squeezing numbness encompassed my body, like I was being swallowed whole by a boa constrictor, suffocating slowly, inch by inch, while contracting muscles pushed and sucked me further and further down into the bowels of…

SPLOT!

I lay on my back, no idea what had just happened, only that I couldn’t breathe. Panic was about to set in when my lungs finally expanded. I sucked in air like a fish gasping for water. Scrambling to my feet, I found myself in a narrow, dusky corridor, lit intermittently by orblight sconces along the walls. The floor and walls were uneven and dirt-packed, with roots protruding, some big, some small. The impression of being deep underground clung to me, like I’d been buried alive. I struggled to control my breathing, which threatened to turn into full-on hyperventilation.

You really landed in it this time, Indigo Eady. Under the freaking cemetery! I whimpered, which echoed and dwindled to silence down the corridor.

What do you think? Has Indigo forgiven me?

Thanks, Gwen! I loved your HP analogy, & this book sounds A*M*A*Z*I*N*G!!

Don’t forget to follow Gwen on social media! She’s a hoot!!

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You can buy her book now on Amazon or iTunes!!

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Songs of Destruction and Dating Nerds

Today I’m so excited to let one of my favorite publishing sistas from Curiosity Quills take over my blog to promote her new release!

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Let me just say that I LOOOVED her first book, Fade, and recommended it to anyone looking for a paranormal read.

Let me also say that Ayden has been served a pretty large cup of suffering as of late, and she could really use our help promoting her new book right now. You can visit her blog if you’d like the full story. But as always, Ayden is keeping strong and carrying on . . . . so take it away, Ayden!

Songs of Destruction:  FALL’s Playlist by @AKMorgen

Music is such a big source of inspiration for me. Nothing invokes a certain emotion, memory, or frame of mind quite like the perfect song. Naturally, one of the first things I do when I sit down to write is to create a playlist that reminds me of the story in some way.

In my new release, FALL (The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two), we see this struggle unfolding between Arionna Jacobs and Dace Matthews, our apocalypse stopping heroine and hero, where they both have their own ideas on what’s best for everyone. They end up clashing over those differences of opinion and reacting to this added element of angst in their relationship in some pretty intense ways at times. As a result, this created a sort of dark, melancholy tone for FALL in places.

I’m not exactly a dark and melancholy kind of person, so it was critical that I found music that captured that feeling or it simply wouldn’t have worked. But because FALL took over a year to write, I often reached this point where I literally could not listen to a specific song again without wanting to scream. I had to switch things up for my sanity, so the playlist for FALL evolved and changed a lot while I wrote.

Luckily, there is an endless supply of music out there that really captures the more angsty parts of FALL, so I had a lot of good choices. 🙂

Here are some of my favorite angst-ridden songs from FALL’s playlists:

  • Letters      From The Sky – The Civil Wars      – This song so perfectly captures Ari and Dace’s relationship, and the      whole hopeful yet melancholy apocalypse theme of the series, I added it to      the list the first time I heard it.
  • Closer      – Burn Season –      This song reminds me so much of Dace at times. He’s so screwed up, and yet      so amazingly good at the same time, I always feel a little sad for him.
  • Maybe      Tomorrow – Stereophonics – I      can’t think of any other song that says so much with so little. It’s sad,      it’s hopeful, and just all around powerful.
  • All      Falls Down – Adelitas Way – This song was an early favorite.      I love it for Ronan, who we see a lot more of in FALL, and really start      getting to know. It also perfectly captures some of the darkest points of      the entire Ragnarök series.
  • Radioactive      – Imagination Dragons – This      song has such a great feel to it. There’s that apocalyptic vibe, and then      that self-loathing vibe, and then underneath all of that is the story of      an awakening or desire to change. We see a little of each in FALL.
  • Always      – Saliva – This is      one of my all time favorite pissed off songs. It’s so spot on when it      comes to that “breaking point” of relationship angst. I rocked      it a time or five.
  • One      More Night – Maroon 5      – This is another great dysfunctional relationship song. Plus, I don’t      know anyone who can make dysfunction sound as hot as Adam Levine does.
  • Hold      it Against Me –      Sam Tsui – Speaking of hot, I love, love, love Sam Tsui’s cover of this      song. It’s so raw and lovely at the same time. There’s a specific scene in      FALL where this song fit perfectly.
  • Tears      of an Angel – Ryandan      – If I had to pick a single song to listen to while writing the entire      Ragnarök Prophesies series, this song would be it. It’s haunting,      beautiful, sad, hopeful, and just all around amazing.

You can listen to this playlist, as well as a few bonus tracks, here.

About the Author:

A.K. Morgen lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband, three dogs, and demonic cat. She has a graduate degree in Criminal Justice and Law, and plans to save the world some day. When she’s not writing, she spends her time teaching her niece and nephews how to cause mischief. You can also find her dancing in the grocery store, building a spork army, and fundraising for nonprofits close to her heart.

You can learn more about Ayden at http://akmorgen.com or by following her on Twitter, GoodReads, or Facebook.

FALL – The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two (summary)

RagnarokProphesies1

How do you save someone who doesn’t want to be saved?

Those called to stand guard against the end are broken, and Sköll and Hati run free. Now Arionna Jacobs and Dace Matthews face a threat unlike any before. Ragnarök is coming and they aren’t strong enough to stop it.

Arionna thought she understood sacrifice, but she never counted on her destiny tearing Dace apart. Ever since she nearly died, he has been consumed with guilt. Now it threatens to turn him into the monster he always feared.

It’s up to Arionna to stop him before it’s too late, but the path to hell is paved with good intentions, and Dace is hurtling toward self destruction. This time, Arionna isn’t sure she can save him from himself. Can she convince him to let the past go, or is her true destiny to sacrifice her heart in exchange for the lives of the people she loves?

You can read the official prologue to FALL here.

FALL – The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two will be available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble on October 5, 2013 from Curiosity Quills Press.  FADE – The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book One is available now at Amazon US, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

*Thanks for visiting, Ayden! You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers! I loved your playlist! Maroon 5 and The Civil Wars are two of my favs!

What song is at the top of your playlist right now? I don’t know why, but I’m loving Royals by Lorde. I heard it for the first time on the way to my retreat last weekend when I was in the car with teenagers, and now it’s stuck in my head. Sooo catchy . . . .

Last but not least, I’d also like to give a shout out to the hilarious Cassie Mae! Happy Book Birthday, chica! Be sure to pick up her new release on Kindle today for only $2.99!

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18 Things List for Clara from Champion in the Darkness!!

Hi,  ya’ll! And Happy Over-the-Hump Day! I have a very special treat for you! You may recall my cover reveal for Tyrean Martinson’s Champion In The Darkness a couple of weeks ago. I’m not exactly sure on what blog Tyrean and I first met, but I LOVE her! And today, she’s baaack, with a very creative list of 18 Things. Her tie-in made me smile . . . Enjoy!

*Thanks, Jamie*

Inspired by Jamie’s book 18 Things, I thought it would be fun to create an 18 Things list for my main character, Clara, from Champion In the Darkness. I imagine that these are Clara’s 18 Things from the beginning of her story. Unlike Olga, I think this is Clara’s lifetime list. She doesn’t necessarily get to fulfill all of them in the book, but she gets in a little less than half of them. (I won’t say which ones)

Clara’s 18 Things:

1. Enter the Chamber of Swords, and choose a blade of power, the kind only carried by Sword Masters in the land of Septily.

2. Become a Sword Guard like her mom, or a Sword Scout like her unofficial mentor, Stelia.

3. Sneak into the castle and gather information about the King’s Shadow Guards, a mercenary group he hired to replace his Sword Guards.

4. Spar with her friend Salene nearly every day of her life.

5. Be the best Sword Master she can be.

6. Learn how to play an instrument like her dad.

7. Find out about her mom’s secretive past.

8. Protect her country from any outside attack, especially from the Drinaii army and the Dark Sisterhood led by Kalidess.

9. Travel to all seven districts of Septily to complete her training.

10. Go sailing.

11. Travel to the Far Isles, to Destiny Island, and the Trader’s Cove.

12. Swim in the ocean by the Far Isles.

13. Visit Aerland, the country of the griffins and the griffin riders.

14. Fly on a griffin.

15. Haggle with a Trader from Trader’s Cove.

16. Go on a quest.

17. Play the most memorable prank in Septily, ever, but not something that would get her in trouble or cause any damage.

18. Fall in love.

If you want to know more about Clara and which of these 18 things she gets to do, check out Champion In the Darkness.

And I highly encourage you to read Jamie Ayres’ 18 Things. It’s an inspiring book!

*Awww, thanks girlfriend!! And I highly encourage YOU to read Champion In the Darkness!! Can I just say that my favorites from Clara’s list were: #18, #17, #16, and #10! Thanks for sharing, Clara!*

Champion in the Darkness Cover

The Blurb:

Clara is younger than most trainees, but she is ready to hold a Sword Master’s blade. While visions and ancient prophecies stand in her way, they also offer a destiny unlike any other. Clara is aided by a haunted mentor, Stelia, whose knowledge of their enemy Kalidess is both a bane and a blessing. As evil threatens their land, Clara and Stelia must find the strength to overcome the darkness.

*Champion in the Darkness is YA Christian Fantasy, and is the first book in the Champion Trilogy*

Tyrean Martinson

Tyrean Martinson lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest, encouraged by her multi-talented husband and daughters. She likes to write, read, teach, ski, bicycle, walk, and sometimes she likes to sing and dance in the rain.

Using her degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English, Tyrean homeschools her two daughters and teaches writing and literature classes at a homeschool co-op.

Tyrean has been published in e-zines like Every Day Poets, Every Day Fiction and Mindflights, and a few print anthologies like The Best of Every Day Poets and Sunday Snaps: The Stories. Champion in the Darkness is her first book, but she plans to write many more.

Champion in the Darkness can be found at these links:

Amazon for paperback and kindle  

Nook

Kobo

Smashwords

Goodreads

Tyrean Martinson can be found at these links:

 Blog  

Twitter

Facebook

Thanks so much, Tyrean! And now, completely off subject . . . I know this video has been going around the web for the past month, but I just got the chance to watch it today and wanted to share the Pep Talk from Kid President (AKA Soulpancake).