Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dark Spirits–An Excerpt

Dark Spirits is my second book in my YA paranormal series. It’s going through edits right now and will be available at the beginning of 2013. I thought I’d give you a sneak peek to one of the scenes in this next book. There might be some changes before it gets published, so you're basically reading part of the ARC (advanced readers copy).

Anyway, in this scene, Paige and Nathan are at the Sunday Market, finishing up eating their corndogs . . . Enjoy!

I rose and stuck my hand out for him to give me his corndog stick. He handed it to me, and I went to the overflowing trash can a couple yards away. Then my ears began to ring. I looked at Nathan, and he hurried to me at a painfully human pace. We looked around, but the few people strolling by were immersed in conversation and paid no attention to us.

Nathan took my hand and steered me in the other direction. "C’mon, let’s get back to the truck." As we rushed off, Nathan kept glancing over his shoulder, his posture stiff and alert.

Our ears continued to ring, but still nothing out of the ordinary caught my eyes. When we reached the parking lot, there were people filing into their vehicles and exiting the premises. I wondered if one of them could be a dark spirit. I was just about to get inside the truck when a soft crying noise tore at my heart. It sounded heartbroken and lost. I followed the sound while Nathan stuck our bags in the backseat. I moved to the front of the truck and there sitting on the curb was the most angelic-looking little girl I’d ever seen. She had to be about five years old, and I wondered where her mommy was. My heart immediately went out to her. She was crying in her tiny hands, leaning forward on her knees, her blonde curls tumbling over her face. She scooted her elbows above her knees while she continued to cry, pushing her blue dress up,
revealing black patent leather shoes and white laced socks.

"What’s wrong, sweetie? Did you lose your mommy?" I asked, kneeling in front of her.

"Paige, no!" Nathan hollered at the same time she dropped her hands and grabbed my wrist, yanking me toward her. She was amazingly strong, completely throwing me off guard.

She slowly rolled her head around her neck, her baby face contorting into a ghastly mask, her mouth opening and closing like a fish. Then her dark glowing eyes poured into mine. I was too stunned to do anything but stare, even though her grip was like a tourniquet around my wrist.

"Let. Her. Go," Nathan demanded, now by my side.

The girl jerked her head up, her glowing orbs on Nathan now. "You have no power over me," a man’s deep voice spewed forth from her pink, pouty lips, chilling me to the bone.

"No?" Nathan said, bending so his eyes were leveled with hers. "But I can break her neck, which will take you out of the equation."

"You can’t do that, Nathan," I gasped. "She’s a child!"

"She’s soulless, Paige," he said, keeping his eyes trained on her. "I’m going to tell you one more time. . . Let. Her. Go."

Nathan wasn’t playing around. He was serious, and his ears were red, signaling the rage boiling inside him. The dark spirit must have realized it because he released me. I stumbled sideways, falling into Nathan’s quick arms. The sheer force of it knocked us to a sitting position on the asphalt.

The little girl hopped to her feet and moved her head clockwise in little jerks, her mouth opened in a silent scream. She stepped forward and stopped in front of us. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head, then focused on me, dark and glowing. She grimaced, then blinked, and her eyes turned blue. "Help me," she said in a sweet toddler voice.

I reached for her, but Nathan snatched my wrist, locking his arms around mine. The girl scowled, then blinked, and her eyes were dark and glowing again. I sucked in a sharp breath, and her mouth formed a circle. Her head fell back in deep laughter. It was dark, sinister, and male.

She stopped, looked at me, and pointed. "Vos ero pessum ire," she said in the same deep man’s voice as before. Then she turned and ran away.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

If You Could Speak With A Paranormal Creature Which One Would It Be?

I recently did a blog interview and was asked if I could speak with a paranormal creature which would it be and why? I thought it was a good question and had to give it some thought. I finally decided I’d want to talk to Lilith.

According to legend, Lilith was the first female created out of the earth, the same as Adam. One day Adam demanded she lay beneath him, and Lilith basically told Adam to piss off. She viewed herself as an equal to Adam and refused to be treated as a lesser being. That didn’t go over well. She left Adam and refused to go back to him. She sacrificed paradise for her beliefs in not serving or being oppressed by a man and now lives in darkness as a demon.

Then God created Eve who was an obedient and inferior person.

*sticks finger in mouth and gags*

Eve was a total Stepford’s wife.

I don’t know about you, but I’m team Lilith on this one. There is no way I’d allow a man to treat me like he owns me or be subservient to him.

Nope. Not me.

By the way, I honestly think a man came up with the story.

Anyway, Lilith is supposed to be a demon, and if I could talk to her I would. I’d want to know her side of the story, what the world was like back then and what she’s been up to?

I’m aware she could be like Aosoth in my book, Beyond the Eyes, but I’d still have to talk to her. I wouldn’t allow her in my house though, just in case. I’d follow that vampire rule where they can’t come into your house unless invited in.

I'm a dork. I know. But the imagination is a playground I love to visit every chance I get and have some fun. 

 
 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Is My Story Plausible?




I saw this photo and had to copy it.

I grew up watching A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the Thirteenth. However, I’ve never watched the movie Halloween.

I know.


I know.

You’d think somebody like me who loves horror stories would have watched it. But for some reason I haven’t. Maybe one day I will.

Anyway, as a kid, I wrote horror stories. As I got older, I wanted to write stories that could be more plausible like possession.

I don’t know if a spirit can actually possess a human being, but there is a possibility it can, right? To me, possession is one of the freakiest things ever and why I created the Beyond the Eyes series.

I sometimes wonder if there are people born without a soul. I mean, have you ever looked into a stranger’s eyes and there was nothing beyond them?

I used to work at a Pediatrics clinic. One day I was walking behind the front desk where the patient’s parents signed in. A small child was in one of those carrying seats. The mother had put it on the floor so she could fill out some paperwork. The child looked up at me, and I swear his eyes were empty. A chill went up my spine, and I immediately wondered if he was soulless.

I know it’s terrible to think such things about a cute, innocent child, but it is what it is. Since then, that moment has stuck with me throughout the years.

I did a press release for Beyond the Eyes a couple weeks ago and the following was part of the release:

This book, along with the other two in this series throws light on some of life’s darker mysteries.

Have you ever wondered why some people are vicious? Have you ever wondered if they had a soul? What if they were soulless and malevolent entities were able to possess them? Paige discovers the answers to those questions and more.

So is my story plausible?

My second book, Dark Spirits will be out at the beginning of 2013, so I’m going to have to start promoting it soon. I’m thinking about posting an excerpt.

What do you think?

It’s still in edits, but we’re getting close to finishing it. I’m also working with my cover artist right now on the cover.

It’s going to be creepy.

I’ll do a cover reveal when it’s done so you can see it first.

There’s still a lot to do, like the blurb and book trailer. However, things are coming together, and I’m getting excited about this next book.

I just received my edits on chapter 25 from my editor. Here’s what he wrote at the end of it:


"Really good chapter. I’m not being condescending by saying your already admirable writing is now better than ever."

See, it’s true. The more you write, the better you become . . . What an awesome comment!

*grins*

Now I better go tackle those edits.
  
 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I’ve Been Tagged In A Blog Hop

I’ve been tagged by an author friend of mine, which means I need to answer the following questions about my YA paranormal book, Beyond the Eyes.

1.) What is the working title of your book?

I have three books in a YA paranormal series. The first book, Beyond the Eyes is available now. The second book, Dark Spirits will be out at the beginning of next year, and right now I’m halfway done with the rough draft to the third book, The Devil’s Third.

2.) Where did the idea come from for your book Beyond the Eyes?

The idea came to me in many ways: the movie The Exorcist, my own personal experiences, conversations I’ve had with my husband, and my imagination.

3.) What genre does your book fall under?

It falls under the young adult paranormal genre. However, adults who are into this type of story would enjoy it as well.

4.) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I would choose unknown actors so they’re not already typecast from previous shows or movies they’ve done.

5.) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Paige knows evil exists in this world, but she never imagined it would want something from her.

6.) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I self-published this book and will continue to do so with the next two in this series. I did have some agents interested in this book, but for personal reasons I decided to self-publish. I do respect agents though, and if one of my dream agents was to approach me on representing this series, I would seriously consider it.

7.) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Three months.

8.) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

To be honest, I really don’t know. Let’s see . . . The romance would be compared to Twilight. However, my main character Paige is not like Bella in the sense she’s not meek, clumsy or self-depreciating. Paige does cry and is emotional in the first half of this book, but it’s because she’s finally dealing with the feelings she’s been harboring since her father died when she was four. She has to in order to step into the next phase of her life and become a stronger person for what’s ahead of her. Nathan (Paige’s love interest) isn’t controlling like Edward.

The paranormal world in this book would be compared to . . . Okay, check this out . . . If Evermore, The House of Night series, and The Witching Hour, were able to spin their magic and world together, my Beyond the Eyes series would be the result of it, with my own twist to it of course.

The friendship in this series is nothing like I’ve read before. Paige’s relationship with Carrie, Tree, and Brayden is very deep and meaningful.
 
9.) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My inspiration came from my passion for writing, my deep interest in the paranormal, and my experiences and knowledge from growing up in a family who have dealt with the unknown. My parents were paranormal investigators. They investigated UFOs, Bigfoot, and hauntings. And although, my parents divorced and stopped their investigations, the paranormal world had always been a constant in our household, and we still dealt with spiritual encounters.

10.) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The paranormal world I created with the dark spirits brings something new to the table in this genre. Also, I take the reader deeper into the rabbit hole in the next two books. I think readers who are into the unknown and continue to read this series, will appreciate this fresh new idea. At least, I’m hoping so.

So there you have it. I’m supposed to tag five other authors, but frankly all the authors I know have already done this blog hop. Therefore, if you’re an author reading this, I pass the torch to you. :)
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Vampire Diaries Season 4 'Growing Pains' Review

As you know, I love the TV show The Vampire Diaries. I’ve been counting down the weeks and then days to their first show of the season. I’ve read spoilers and watched interviews from some of the cast members. I was prepared to cry during this first episode of the season because of the hype saying to get your tissue box ready.

But I didn’t cry.

Honestly, I was a little disappointed.

The show was good, but it wasn’t ohmyfrickingod that episode kicked ass like I thought it would be.

Here’s my review:

Elena awakes in her bed with Stefan next to her side. Damon is there as well, but he’s in the background (as always) sitting in a chair. They inform Elena on her situation, which I’m glad they did.

Rewind to last season:

When Elena had bumped her head, it caused a cerebral hemorrhage, slowly killing her. She was given Damon’s vampire blood so she would survive. However, when she was in the car with Matt, and they were driving on Wickery bridge, Rebekah appeared in the road. While Matt tried to avoid hitting her, he lost control of his car, and they plummeted into the river. Stefan happened to be there. He dove into the water and reached for Elena, but she indicated to save Matt first. Stefan complied, saved Matt, but then Elena died.

Sort of.

Since she had vampire blood flowing through her veins, she survived.

Now, in present day, she’s in transition. If she drinks blood, she’ll become a vampire. If she doesn’t, she dies. So after Stefan and Damon tells her this, she’s quite upset. The last thing Elena wants is to become a vampire. Both Stefan and Damon know this, and Damon is pissed at Stefan for saving Matt instead of Elena. Stefan tells Damon he’s going to have to live with that decision for the rest of his life, which doesn’t snuff out Damon’s burning anger towards Stefan and Matt for doing this to Elena.

Elena begins to transition. The writers did a good job folding in little details of her transformation into the story. Elena becomes uncomfortable around bright lights and the sun bothers her. When she takes a bite out of a sandwich, she spits it out, telling Stefan it’s gross and all she can think about is blood. Soon after she goes into a laughing fit, then as if she’s one of those dolls with a switch on her back, she burst into tears. Her emotions are unbridled, and she’s going to eventually have to learn to rein them in.

Meanwhile, the council of Mystic Falls bands together with the Pastor leading the group. They’re aware of the vampires in their town and aim to destroy them. They’re able to capture some of them: Stefan, Rebekah, and Elena. The council holds them in a barn, fashioned as a prison. Elena is in big trouble because if she doesn’t drink blood soon, she’ll die.

During this time, Jeremy is with Bonnie who decides to go into the spiritual world in an attempt to save Elena from becoming a vampire. Her thinking is, Elena’s soul is in between worlds. If she can enter that realm, find Elena, she can rescue her. But in order to accomplish that, Bonnie has to dip into dark magic. Jeremy doesn’t want her to, but she does anyway. She enters the spirit realm and finds Elena. It’s working. But then Grams appears, and she’s mad as hell at Bonnie. She basically tells Bonnie what she’s doing is forbidden. She can’t be messing with the order of things or using dark magic. Bonnie attempts to argue with Grams, but Grams stands her ground and tells Bonnie to leave and NEVER use dark magic again. Bonnie awakes from her trance and tells Jeremy the bad news.

Damon discovers what the council has done and forces Matt to help him. Damon would really like to kill Matt because he blames Matt for Elena’s unfortunate situation. But he needs Matt’s help in order to save Elena and Stefan, so he restrains his urge to snap Matt’s neck.

Elena is dying in a cell next to Stefan’s. Rebekah is in another one across from them, enjoying watching Elena die (not really, but she says so). Elena tells Stefan she has chosen him over Damon, and she loves him. Through silent tears, Stefan tries to comfort her. He knows if she doesn’t drink blood soon, he’ll lose her forever.

In the interim, this drama craziness spills into Caroline’s life. With Tyler’s . . . um, Klaus’ help, she manages to escape the vehicle the council has her restrained in. At first, she thinks it’s Tyler who saves her. She's overjoyed to see him because she thought he was dead, and she cries happy tears. Shortly after, though, she realizes it’s Klaus in Tyler’s body. They go see Bonnie, and Klaus demands for her to put him back in his old body. At first Bonnie refuses because Grams warned her not to use dark magic again because there WILL be consequences if she does. Klaus in turn–who will not take no for an answer–begins to rip Tyler’s heart out of his body. If she’s not going to help him, so be it. He will kill Tyler. He digs his fingers deeper into Tyler’s chest, and Caroline screams for him to stop. Bonnie complies with Klaus’ demands. While she wields her magic, Grams' spirit manifests and suffers for Bonnie’s actions, leaving Bonnie heartbroken and full of guilt. Klaus is now in his own body and Tyler’s soul is back in his own vessel.

Elena is rapidly deteriorating. Stefan knows if she doesn’t feed soon, she’ll die. I don’t know why Rebekah has a change of heart, but she lures a council member into the barn. She gets him close to her cell, promising to give him wealth in exchange to free her. She manages to grab him, then shoves him towards Stefan’s cell. Stefan snatches him and bangs the council member’s head repeatedly against the bars, knocking him out. Their captor collapses to the floor. A pool of blood gathers, and through the bars, on the brink of death, Elena reaches out. I like this scene because she has to struggle to get to the gore. Finally, her fingertips makes contact with the blood, and her hand flutters to her mouth. She sticks her fingers on her lips, sealing her fate.

Damon and Matt find their way to the council’s hideout where they’re holding Stefan, Elena, and Rebekah. Damon bites Matt’s neck, provoking the council members. In all his badass glory, Damon takes them down and saves the day. He then slams Matt to the ground, preparing to end his life. Suddenly, Elena is there, now a vampire ( I don’t know how she broke free from her cell. That was a little disconcerting). She tells Damon to leave Matt alone, and he backs off.

Damon and Elena haves a conversation. She tells him she remembers everything now . . .

When she was human, he told her he was in love with her, but he didn’t deserve her, Stefan did. He loved her too much to be selfish. And then, he compelled her to forget because he didn’t want to burden her with his feelings. I was hoping Elena would get together with Damon now that she knew those things.

She didn’t.

Even when Damon told her, unlike Stefan, he would have saved her instead of Matt because he knew she never wanted to become a vampire. Of course, Elena defended Stefan’s actions, which was so annoying.

I know Damon can be an ass, but I think Elena should be with him instead of Stefan.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Stefan, but he doesn’t help her grow as a person or challenge her like Damon does.

Anyway, at the end of the show, Elena is with Stefan, proclaiming her love for him–again. The council members, including the Pastor is at their secret hideout in the country, gathering for a meeting regarding the vampires. The Pastor spouts off some religious nonsense, reminding me of David Koresh, and blows them to smithereens. I think he was compelled to do it, by the way.

So there you have it. It was a good show, but like I said, it left me a little disappointed.

That’s okay, though.

I still love TVD, and I’m looking forward to the next episode and the next and the next . . . You get the idea. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Does True Love Exist?

There are people in this world who doesn’t believe true love exists. And then there's the question about soulmates. Do we have a soulmate somewhere in this huge world? If we do, what if we never find him or her? How sad would that be? But what if we have more than one?

In Beyond the Eyes, this is Paige’s reaction when she first sees Nathan:

Slowly my eyes opened to a pair of dark blue eyes that were full of concern. I blinked a couple times and saw relief cross his boyish face. His short brown hair had blond tips that stood on top of his head in ‘80s skater fashion, and he still had his jacket on. I wondered if he was cold. He was cute, and I couldn’t understand why he’d be concerned about me. A warm smile formed on his face, and for the first time in my life something fluttered inside my chest.

Paige soon questions her feelings towards him. How can she feel this way about somebody she hardly knows, yet he seems familiar to her? Then her best friend Carrie mentions that maybe he’s her soulmate. Paige scoffs at the idea, thinking to herself how lame it is to consider such a thing.

Soulmates.

Yeah, right.

When I started BTE, I questioned whether I should make Paige indifferent to Nathan’s character. The reason why was because I knew there would be people who wouldn’t go for the possibility that, yes, you could meet somebody that instantly rocked your world. And not just somebody. A person who you would feel a deep connection with and could be with forever. But as a writer, I knew I had to be true to myself. Yes, I’d have to be true to my readers. However, if I didn’t follow my heart, my story would suffer. So I trusted in my feelings and went with it.

Was it because I believed in true love?

Maybe.

Actually, yeah. True. Love. Does. Exist.



I recently told an author buddy of mine a story about Kevin and me. She suggested I write a post about it because it gave her hope. I might have written something similar to this in an older post, but I think it’s worth retelling for those who haven’t read it. So here’s my story.

I was living in Phoenix, Arizona and just got out of an abusive relationship. It was a dark time for me, and I was quickly spiraling downward. Feeling lost and alone, I cried myself to sleep. That night I had a dream about a guy. I saw his face. He was cute: dark hair, hazel eyes, round face, boyish looks. And then in my dream a voice told me I would meet this guy in Prescott. Of course, I didn’t believe it. A couple weeks later, I moved to Prescott, Arizona. I stayed with my mom and step-dad. My sister and niece were living there as well. One night my sister invited her boyfriend (Todd) and his roommate over. I was sitting at the kitchen table when Kevin walked in. I about fell out of my chair, and I couldn’t stop staring.

He was the guy in my dream!

No frickin’ way.

I couldn’t believe it.

Two weeks later we were dating. We dated for a month, and during that time I somehow knew we were going to break up. I also knew, though, we would get back together. I didn’t know how I knew, I just did.

One night, Kevin broke off our relationship on the grounds he was too old for me (he’s 9 years older than I). It was a bullshit excuse, but whatever. The real reason was because at the time he felt like he didn’t have anything to offer. He was in between jobs and had to get his life back in order. So he stayed away from me, but every day I thought about him. I couldn’t understand why I had that dream, felt the way I did, but we weren’t together.

It didn’t make sense.

I knew I had to move on, but couldn’t get the idea of us being together out of my mind.

I was driving myself crazy.

So one day I sat down and wrote how I felt about him. I folded the paper and stuck it in my dresser drawer. I thought if I purged my feelings, I’d be able to forget about him.

About us.

I went on with my life.

Three months later, my sister and I rented an apartment together. Three days later, Todd stopped by one evening to see my sister. Guess who was with him?

Yup. You guessed it.

Kevin.

I was sitting in front of the TV with just a long T-shirt on. Ya know, one of those T-shirt pjs. You can say I was surprised and embarrassed, but I handled it well. I chatted with him, but kept my distance, though my heart was pounding. The next day when I came home from work, my sister handed me a letter from Kevin.

I still have the letter, by the way.

It said he missed me and still had feelings for me. I wrote a note back to him saying if it was true what he said, then we needed to talk. I wasn’t about to jump back into a relationship with him–even though I wanted to–until we got some things straight. I gave him a specific time to come over. If he didn’t show up at that set time, then in my mind he wasn’t serious. I honestly didn’t think he would, but he did.

Right on time.

He later told me the night he came by my apartment, he told Todd he was going to marry me.

"Don’t you think that’s a little premature?" Todd asked him.

"I know it’s crazy," Kevin answered. "But I’m going to marry Becki."

Kevin told me he knew without a doubt we would get married. And the rest is history.

One of the best things I’d ever done was marry him. We’ve been together for 18 yrs. and we’re still the same with each other as we were when we dated (cuddly, mushy, crazy about each other).

I never knew you could keep falling in love with the same person, but you can.

It’s endless.

So you see. True love does exist.

Soulmates?

Well I don’t know about that. But Kevin and I do have a connection we can’t explain. There’s been too many uncanny circumstances that have happened between us to chalk it up as coincidence.

For all you single people out there. There is hope.

Don’t give up.

Just remember, above all things, you have to love and respect yourself. Your happiness shouldn’t be reliant on another person. Do what brings joy to you and never change who you are. The right person will come along and love you for you.



Sunday, October 7, 2012

Book Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Summary from Amazon.com

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
 
I give this book 3 stars
 
I’ve been wanting to read Beautiful Creatures for a while now and finally broke down and bought it.

The setting of the story is in Gatlin, South Carolina. I love the opening line. Kami and Margaret did a wonderful job hooking the reader.

Sixteen-year-old Ethan Wate was the main character in this story, told in his point-of-view. I liked his character because he was a good person. His mom had recently died and I felt bad for him because his heart ached for her.

The story began with Ethan having dreams about a girl. He was free falling in the air, in a black hole made of mud. A girl called to him, falling as well. Ethan clawed at the mud, trying to catch her, but she slipped through his fingers. He could smell her: lemons and rosemary. And he felt like he couldn’t live without her. When he awoke with a start, a weird song played on his iPod. The lyrics started out as sixteen moons and sixteen years. He thought he’d heard it before, though, he didn’t know where. When he yanked the covers back, he discovered dirt in his bed, and his finger nails were caked with mud, just like the last time he had the dream. Of course, he stripped his bed and stuffed the dirty linen in a hamper to hide it from Amma.

Amma was the housekeeper who not only helped raise Ethan but his dad as well. She was the authority figure in the household and one of my favorite characters. Think aunt Be with a southern attitude, superstitious, and a Seer. Amma made charms and would stick them in the windowsills to ward off evil spirits. She made little dolls and placed them in drawers. She also did tarot card readings. So it took me by surprise when she didn’t question the dirty sheets, and Ethan wasn’t freaked out enough about his dream to have shared it with Amma, knowing she would have believed him. But as a reader, curious about the overall story, I overlooked it.

Link (Wesley Jefferson Lincoln) was Ethan’s best friend. I liked his character as well. He was a true friend and always had Ethan’s back.

As the story rolled forward, I became annoyed with the repetition of Ethan saying nothing ever changed in Gatlin and how he desperately wanted to leave. Mentioning it once was enough. Twice, I could pardon it. But three or more times . . . nerve grating.

Lena Duchannes was the new girl, the girl in Ethan’s dreams, smelling of lemons and rosemary. She stuck out like a sore thumb among their classmates. Gatlin rarely had new comers in their small town, which automatically made her an outcast. She wore the wrong clothes and was Old Man Macon Ravenwood’s (the town’s recluse who lived in Gatlins’ oldest plantation) niece. She drove a hearse, adding to her  reputation as being the niece of the town’s freak. But despite his peers shunning Lena, Ethan found himself drawn to her. While at school, Ethan heard her play on a violin the same song he heard on his iPod, and he smelled lemon and rosemary. He knew then Lena was the girl in his dreams. Not only that, they suddenly were able to talk to each other telepathically ( kelting–an unspoken word of communication), which I thought added a cool twist to the story.

Ethan and Lena hooked up. Of course, she tried to push him away several times, using mysterious excuses on why Ethan would be better off without her. But he wouldn’t give up on her, and then finally Lena opened herself and her world to him.

She was a Caster (a.k.a. witch). On her sixteenth birthday, under the moon, there would be a Claiming. Her family was cursed, and Lena could turn dark or light on that fateful night. Her path would be chosen for her. If she turned dark, she’d become a different person. Turning into a heartless, evil person was what Lena feared the most, so she and Ethan went searching for answers on how to break the curse.

As the story progressed, so did the enchanting world of Lena’s life. I found it distracting because there was too much magic going on. It reminded me of watching a movie overwhelmed with special effects, stealing the heart of the story. Also, Lena’s cousin, Ridley, who was dark, had me rolling my eyes. Not because her character was under developed. Kami and Margaret did a fine job creating Ridley’s character. However, I thought it was cheesy Ridley would carry a red lollipop with her and ever time she would lick and suck it, mortals would do her bidding. But other than that, she was a great addition to the cast.

I didn’t care for how some of the scenes were cut short, as if you were talking to somebody on a cell phone, and then the line would disconnect in the middle of the conversation. And then there were other scenes that bled together and became sort of confusing. I think they should have been given their own stage to shine. Or, flowed together more smoothly.

But despite those flaws, I think this was a good story for being Kami and Margaret’s first novel. And although this 563-page book could have been shorter, I appreciated the author’s hard work.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

An Arrogant Ass Monkey

This week at work, I had to deal with a guy who was a total ass monkey.

Here’s what happened:

A man in his mid-fifties (I’m guessing) came into my office. He was average in stature, had white hair and piercing blue eyes. He strutted to my desk. I did an internal eye roll, not in the least bit intimidated by him.

"What’s your cash price for propane?" he asked.

"The price for propane," I said, "whether you’re paying cash, check, or credit card is $1.29 a gallon."

He smirked. "Well, I’ve been receiving nasty letters from you guys, so I’m here to pay my bill."

Side Note: I sent him one letter because I left a couple messages on his answering machine regarding his outstanding balance, and he never called me back. For the record, the letter is not a nasty one.

I pulled up his account on the computer and told him how much he owed. He withdrew a huge wad of cash out of his pocket, acting like a big shot. He then asked me how much it would cost for 300 gallons of propane on top of what he already owed. I added it up, and when I turned to tell him, there were twenty dollar bills scattered all over my desk.

"Is that the right amount?" I asked him, eyeing the money.

He smirked again. "Don’t you know how to count? Where did you go to school?"

I gathered the bills. "Do I look that stupid?" I proceeded to count them under his watchful eyes, refusing to get flustered.

"No," he answered. "But you never know about pretty blondes."

Omigod! Who is this ass monkey?

I meant to tell him it wasn’t right to stereotype people. But I was so stunned by his comment I said, "You shouldn’t be hypercritical. Just because somebody looks a certain way, doesn’t mean they’re like that."

He shrugged it off and asked me again where I went to school. I ignored him and wrote out a receipt. When I handed him his copy, he locked his eyes on mine and stared at me. A slow smile crossed his face, and then somebody walked in and he left.

Later on that day, I told my driver (Bob) about the guy. Bob told me he knew who he was, and he’d heard the guy was busted for being a peeping Tom.

Creepy.

Can you believe it, though?

Kevin told me I should have responded to the where-did-you-go-to-school comment with this retort in a hillbilly accent: "I was in the sixth grade three times, and I know my gazintas. One gazinta. Two gazintas. Three gazintas."

I laughed.

And you know what? I have a feeling I’ll be seeing that guy again, and if he behaves like he did this week, I’ll act like a half-witted hillbilly chick and throw in some gazintas for good measure.