Month: December 2015

Book Tour – Disemblance by Shanae Branham

I’m pleased to welcome Shanae Branham to my blog.  Her novel, Disemblance, is currently on tour with Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours.
 
Meet the Author:
I am a professional writer with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a minor in grammar. I have also attended several years of classes and workshops in screenplay writing at the Los Angeles Screenplay writer’s Expo.
I love suspenseful, action-adventures and clean, young adult, romance stories. I was born and raised in a small town in Idaho. I am the second out of six children. When I was in my early 20’s my mother was killed by a drunk driver. This one incident drastically changed my life. I have always had a passion for reading and writing fiction. Owing to a life long struggle with Dyslexia, early teachers discouraged me from pursuing a career in writing.
As I have spent over twenty-five years transforming my language disabilities into professional writing skills, God has honed my insatiable passion into an incredible vision.
 
 
Clean YA Suspense/ Fantasy
Date Published: 8/8/2012

Jason Tanner lives between two worlds. Problem is, only one is real.

Inside the hologram machine 17-year-old Jason has everything his heart desires, including a digital simulation of his dead mother. While outside the machine, he’s forbidden contact with everyone. Living within the shadow of a serial killer, Jason is captivated by the beautiful girl next door, Boston Manning. Disobeying his father, he secretly cultivates a relationship with her.

For Boston life is divided into those that have and those that have not. Displaced in a new high school, she is determined to have the life she’s always wanted. But will her choices hijack her dreams and plunge her into the treacherous clutches of a serial killer?

As an action-packed romantic thriller, DiSemblance is sure to keep you guessing until the very end.

“A Marvelous, fast-paced thriller, sure to appeal to teen science-fiction aficionados and the uninitiated alike.”  ~ Jill Allen, Clarion Review

 

Excerpt:

Jason (This section is first person through Jason’s point of view.)

Friday, October 31st, night

 

Boston steps through the hole she created in the alder brush onto a patch of grass between a straw-bale wall and the woods.

“Who’s there?” a girl calls from a blanket a short distance off to our right.

I shut off the flashlight and step through beside her, waiting for her instructions.

“Don’t worry, honey.” The male voice is coming from the same direction. “Whoever it is can join us. We’re just getting started.”

Boston drops the machete and bolts back into the woods heading down the trail. I switch on the flashlight and shine it at the voices. The creep that attacked Boston last night and a pretty blonde girl are sitting together on a blanket spread out beside the straw-bale wall. The girl is frantically buttoning her shirt. Hard-edge squints against the light. He’s getting around well, with a cast on his leg.

I pick up Boston’s machete and her backpack and trail her to the car, where she’s trembling in the driver’s seat. Confused by the sudden change of plan, I throw her stuff in the backseat, climb into the passenger side and wait for her to explain herself.

She stares out the front window for the longest time. Then she tosses her mask in the backseat and starts the engine.

“What are you doing?”

Her face is pale as a ghost when she looks at me. “That’s Candice with Ricky.”

I know that her statement is supposed to mean something to me, but it doesn’t. “Who’s Candice?”

“She’s the girl I was going to warn about Ricky.”

“You can still—”

“What?” Her tone is acid. “Tell my friend that the guy she’s making out with tried to rape me last night?”

“Yeah.” I don’t understand what she’s afraid of. If I were Candice, I’d want to know that I was hanging out with a rapist. “Wouldn’t you want to know?”

“But what if Candice doesn’t believe me? What if Ricky says those horrible things about my mother and calls me a slut, again?”

I’m not aware of any horrible things about her mother. “You’re not a slut.”

“Thanks.” She lowers her chin. “If that’s true, then why’d your brother take pictures of me?”

“Because he’s messed up and doesn’t understand people need to be respected.”

Her voice cracks when she speaks. “Why’d your dad let him?”

“Because he doesn’t know how to fix Isaac so he only focuses on his invention, hoping that we’ll be all right on our own.”

She looks at me. “Why didn’t you stop him?”

She’s accusing me of being the bad guy? I feel my pulse throb in my neck as I try to keep the anger out of my voice. “I saw the pictures of our neighbors that you threw away in your room. You didn’t take those pictures because you thought they were sluts, did you?”

Her body goes rigid. “Of course not.”

“My brother likes you.” I touch her hand and her muscles relax. “I should have stopped him, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t want to upset him. Just like you don’t want to upset Candice.”

She draws her hand away from me. “So you’re saying I should go back!”

“Only if you really believe I should have stopped Isaac.”

She glares at me and turns the radio up so loud that the music destroys any chance of further conversation. After several minutes, she grabs the machete from the back seat and shuts off the radio. “I’m not scared!”

“I know.” But I don’t know. My heart is racing like I’m riding a fifty-foot wave.

Switching the headlights on, she presses on the gas pedal and speeds down Daemon’s driveway. Nearing the back of the maze, she turns onto the grassy section and plows through the edge of the woods moving towards Ricky and Candice. Branches crack and break against the windshield and scrape the side of the car until she stops in front of her targets. Bursting from the vehicle with the machete in one hand and the mini recorder in the other . . .

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Flash Fiction – The Coffee House

On occasion I enjoy writing flash fiction.

I wrote this story back in 2014 (and edited a little tonight).   Hope you enjoy it!

cafeThe Coffee House

I love those pictures of Paris—you know, the ones with the little tables outside of the bistro.   It just looks so… European.  And that probably explains my fascination with the Coffee House.  It’s become my Saturday morning ritual.  I sit at a little bistro table, nibble on a croissant, sip my coffee and watch the town-folk.

It’s amazing really—the things a person can see.   Just this morning, Bill (he looks like a Bill to me) ordered a latte and flirted shamelessly with the barista.  He leaned across the counter, lowered his voice, and slid a five dollar tip underneath her fingers.  The barista giggled, he laughed and I stifled the urge to clear my throat.

I walked to my favorite table and I noticed Bill was seated close by.  As was my custom, I decided to invent a life for Bill.  I imagined he was a successful surgeon, who at any moment would receive an urgent call, prompting him to abandon his morning coffee and hurry to the hospital.  Of course, being a world renowned surgeon left little time for a social life, which in turn, explained his attraction to the young barista.  Surrounded by such intense pressure, pulling patients back from the brink of death—the barista’s youth must have been intoxicating…

Except that wasn’t the truth.

I watched as she approached Bill’s table, pushing a stroller.  I couldn’t hear what she said as she bent down, placing a quick kiss on his check but Bill looked resigned.  Hmmm.  Obviously, she was his wife.  I decided to call her Natalie.  Natalie could use a fashion pointer or two—like the importance of brushing her hair.

I glanced back at Bill.  Gone was the flirt.  He was deflated, slumped in his chair, a hand on the stroller.  It’s sad really, the things you can learn by watching the people around you.  Very sad indeed.  I looked at Bill and wondered if he wished he was a surgeon.

 

 

Author Interview – Varun Kumar

Thanks for stopping by to meet Varun Kumar, the author of An End To The Thrill.  

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Varun-Kumar-I was born in New Delhi, India and I’m currently pursuing my PhD in Electrical Engineering in the US. Writing has always been my hobby- ever since I started reading Enid Blyton as a kid that my mom used to get for me, I was interested in the art of story-telling. I moved on to The Hardy Boys and Agatha Christie and then Sidney Sheldon. Its then I decided to start writing something of my own. An End to the Thrill is the first of the very many to come-a collection of 9 short stories, each story having a thrilling, surprising end. Thus, the name of my book.  I feel my ideas are limitless and I will definitely expand my genre to something other than science fiction fantasy in the near future.

Each writer has their own unique process.  Tell us about yours. 

I used to make up characters everywhere-in school, at home, in the shower, everywhere. I finally started penning them down little by little-whatever came into my mind and would read it over and over again. Every time I read it, I would have a different idea of what’s to happen. I would pen them down too- finally deciding on the best one.

Your book is a collection of science fiction short stories.  What drew you to this genre?978-1-62516-154-3-VKumarCover

I believe that I have a wild imagination and I can make up characters that readers can easily relate to. Writing in this genre has no limits, I can create my own world, my own ‘real’ characters and my own laws. Thus, science fiction.

I am always impatient- I’m so impatient that I cannot wait to tell the reader as to what’s about to happen. Thus, the short stories.

Everyone dreams but not everyone remembers their dreams.  Do you remember your dreams and have they ever inspired a story or a scene in a story?

Absolutely, I think I remember all my dreams. I should have probably mentioned that most of my characters were created in my dreams- with a little tweaks made to them in the shower 😉

When it comes to your writing career, where do you see yourself in ten years?

I would want to see myself as the author of various books- all of them in different genres, each one making an impact one way or another.

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