BLOG TOUR & INTERVIEW: The Resistance Series — Tracy Lawson | #YA #Dystopian #Adventure

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INTERVIEW

Today on The FlipSide, I welcome Tracy Lawson, author of The Resistance series, to answer a few questions about life and writing. When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?

I’ve wanted to be a writer as long as I could read. Now that I’ve published several books, I like that it’s a means to reach out to others, to entertain and inform them.

Can you tell us a little about your books and where our readers can find out more about them and you?What projects are you currently working on?

I’ve written the YA dystopian Resistance Series, and two nonfiction history books. My current project is historical fiction, and that, for me, is the best of both worlds. I based the story for Answering Liberty’s Call on events in the lives of my 6x great grandparents. According to family lore, he was a soldier during the American Revolution and she became a courier/spy for General Washington while traveling to bring supplies to Valley Forge. I did extensive research into the period so I my story would be authentic and free from anachronisms, and I learned as much as I could about my family so I could incorporate plenty of real details about their lives into the story. I loved everything about this book, and can’t wait for it to find a home. I just created a Facebook page for the new book, and I hope your readers will come like and follow: https://www.facebook.com/AnnaAsburyStone

What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?

Two of my books have won state-level awards, and it’s a great feeling to know you’ve done a quality job. Eighty agents and publishers rejected my first novel before I found an interested publisher. I was so happy at first, but the situation turned out to be a bad fit. After a series of unfortunate events, I got the rights back to my books and now I self-publish my fiction. I’m much more in control of my situation.

Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?

I’m not as disciplined about having a schedule as I’d like to be. I also work as a freelance choreographer, doing musicals for middle and high schools, so when a show is in production, I don’t really have the time or the energy to write. I like to write in the middle of the night when nothing else is going on. I outline my novels, but my characters often divert and force me to follow! It usually takes me about a year and a half of writing and revision on a novel, but the ideas ruminate before I begin to write.

Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?

I’m currently developing the Resistance Series books into a television pilot. It’s a huge undertaking and I’m learning as I go—but in five years, I’d love to have a show on the air. And a couple more books on the shelf. Aim high, right?

Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?

I published my first book at age 46, and I guess it depends on what you mean by successful. I hope to earn more money from my books as time goes on. Some people might think not hitting the #1 bestseller rank with a novel is failure. But living with regret, rather than trying, is true failure. Don’t be afraid to try.

What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? What’s the first book you read that made you know that you could do this for a career?What book are you currently reading?

The Velveteen Rabbit affected me profoundly as a child. Years later when I read it aloud to my little girl, I broke down sobbing during the part where the stuffed rabbit becomes real and had to stop. I think I scared her! I still can’t read it without crying. About 20 years ago, I read an unpublished draft of Pioneer Girl, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s first attempt at fiction. It later evolved into the Little House books, which are still some of my favorites. I realized that if she could start off like that and achieve what she did, there was certainly hope for me.

So many writers say that they hate reading their own work? Do you ever just sit down and curl up with your own book?

I have a love/hate relationship—mostly because I want to keep revising. I always think my work could be better. But I have experienced falling in love with my books after they’re published. One evening my husband came home from work and said, “Hey, wanna go out for dinner?” I responded, “Sure—but hang on—I’m right in the middle of this really good book.” It was one of mine.

What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing? Are you more of an e-book person or a traditional book person?

As a hybrid author (meaning I self-publish my fiction and have a traditional publisher for my nonfiction) I’m glad the doors are open wider than ever before. I do believe indie authors need to hold themselves to a high standard, and that means hiring editors, getting professional cover design, etc. to make sure their books’ quality rivals those from traditional publishers. I love the feel of a book in my hand. I definitely prefer books, but I love taking several books with me on my Kindle when I travel.

THE BOOKS

Resistance Series

Tracy Lawson

Genre: YA Dystopian Adventure

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Counteract

Resistance Series Book 1

Who do you trust when your world unravels and everything you believed is a lie?

For the past fifteen years, The Office of Civilian Safety and Defense has guarded the public against the rampant threat of terrorism. Teenagers Tommy and Careen have never known life without Civilian Restrictions. For them, there’s no social media. No one is allowed to gather in public places or attend concerts or sporting events. Only a small, select group of adults have driving privileges, but it’s a small price to pay for safety.

Now a new, more deadly, terrorist threat looms: airborne chemical weapons that can be activated without warning. The OCSD is ready with an antidote to counteract the effects of the toxins. Three drops a day is all it takes. It’s a small price to pay for health.

The day the disaster sirens signal the dreaded attack, Tommy shares his last dose with Careen, even though doing so might hasten his death. It’s a small price to pay for a friend.Follow Tommy and Careen as they uncover a web of lies and deceit reaching to the highest levels of the United States government and join an underground resistance group that’s determined to expose the truth.

“Counteract is a novel for our times, but with a decidedly different plot twist. Most dystopian thrillers focus on the devastating consequences of the unleashed virus or poison on society, community, and the individual. They become character studies of the protagonists and antagonists.

“Tracy Lawson’s novel asks an even more disturbing question–what if the real culprit was someone or something we trusted? I thought The Hunger Games might be the Millennial generation’s version of George Orwell’s 1984. Now, I think Counteract and the Resistance Series are more primed to take that spot.”–SR Staley, author of St. Nic, Inc., and the Tortuga Bay series.

Goodreads * Amazon

Book Trailer

Resist

Resistance Series Book 2

“I loved the first book in this series so much that I jumped right into the second one to continue the adventure. The Resistance Series is another great YA dystopian adventure that combines elements of thriller, romance, dystopian, and much more to create a well-rounded story that is sure to appeal to many readers – it definitely has my attention.”–TFL Reader, top 500 Amazon Reviewer

Knowledge comes with a price.

Tommy and Careen no longer believe the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense’s miracle antidote can protect them from a terrorist’s chemical weapons. After accidentally discovering the antidote’s real purpose,they’ve join the fight to undermine the OCSD’s bid for total control of the population.

Being part of the Resistance brings with it a whole new set of challenges. Not everyone working for change proves trustworthy, and plans to spark a revolution go awry with consequences far beyond anything they bargained for.

Tommy and Careen’s differing viewpoints threaten to drive a wedge between them, and their budding relationship is tested as their destinies move toward an inevitable confrontation with the forces that terrorize the nation.

Where does love fit in when you’re trying to start a revolution?

“Dystopian YA literature needs more writers like Tracy Lawson! Lawson’s lean writing style and idea-driven dialogue reminded me of the novels of Ayn Rand, particularly Anthem, but Resist is much faster paced and holds your attention from the beginning.

“Resist picks up right where the first book, Counteract, leaves off, and readers are thrown immediately into the action. I also loved the way Lawson doesn’t give her characters the easy way out–they are forced to make decisions and suffer the consequences. These are real people that anchor the story, even if the setting is not.” –SR Staley, author of St. Nic, Inc. and the Tortuga Bay series

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Book Trailer

Ignite

Resistance Series Book 3

The Greatest Risk Is To Take No Risk At All.

Nationwide food shortages have sparked civil unrest, and the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense’s hold on the people is slipping. The Resistance’s efforts to hasten the OCSD’s demise have resulted in disaster, with Tommy Bailey and Careen Catecher taking the blame for the ill-fated mission in OP-439.

Both teens struggle to survive the circumstances that force them into the national spotlight—and this time, they’re on opposite sides. On the run and exiled from the Resistance members in BG-098, Tommy makes his way to a Resistance safe house in the capital.

The OCSD is preparing to monitor all under-eighteens with the Cerberean Link, a device that protects them against hunger and sickness and can even locate them if they’re lost. Tommy’s now living in close quarters with Atari, an operative who has been assigned to sabotage the Link. But does Atari plan to use it for his own purposes?

Through it all, Tommy refuses to believe Careen’s loyalties have shifted away from the Resistance, and he’s willing to assume any risk to reconnect with her. Will they be able to trust each other when it matters most?

Goodreads * Amazon

Book Trailer

Revolt

Resistance Series Book 4

The Explosive Conclusion to the Award-Winning Resistance Series

To Deny Freedom is to Deny the Human Spirit.

Fugitive Resistance fighter Tommy Bailey has come out of hiding to help rescue Careen Catecher from the clutches of the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense, where she’s been held and interrogated for information about the rebel group. The OCSD is poised to launch the Cerberean Link, a security device that will put all minors under constant surveillance under the guise of protecting them. 

Fearful that OCSD director Madalyn Davies’s bid for control won’t stop there, the Resistance puts its own plan in motion to sabotage the Link and oust Madalyn from the directorship. Just when everything seems leveraged in the Resistance’s favor, treachery, lies, and long-held secrets threaten to derail it all.

Will even a life together on the run be impossible for Tommy and Careen? Or will the Resistance’s efforts convince the public to put their fears aside and demand freedom?

Goodreads * Amazon

Spark

Careen’s Prequel to the Resistance Series

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“What was our heroine Careen Catecher like BEFORE she became a firebrand for the Resistance? Well, she was just a normal teenage girl trying to survive college in the totalitarian state of Tracy Lawson’s creation.” –review by Patrick Hodges

“Careen is a believable, strong female protagonist who, having survived a harrowing terrorist attack, is now trying to survive [college] in a new ‘Quadrant’ where she can’t seem to fit in.” –review by Candace Williams


A strong heroine is made, not born.

Though Careen Catecher survived a terrorist attack when she was nine, her childhood ended on that awful day. Now, nine years later, she’s ready for her life to truly begin.

A full scholarship to a prestigious university far from her beleaguered home quadrant seems like a dream come true, but when she arrives on campus, she’s perceived as a charity case, despite grades and test scores that prove she’s the academic equal of the best students there.

Careen knows she’s tough enough to survive just about anything, but fitting in with her acquisitive peers—at least on the surface—is necessary if she’s going to leave the past behind and claim the stable future she craves.

But her past won’t stay buried. She’s only been at school for a few weeks when a cryptic message from an unlikely friend raises questions that may put her in danger all over again.

Check out this novella-length prequel to the award-winning Resistance Series, “a promising new YA series about a totalitarian America.” 

**Perma-Free on Amazon!!**

Goodreads * Amazon

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2013_12_17_tracy_portrait_69About the Author: Tracy Lawson knew she wanted to be a writer from the time she could read. In the first grade, she authored sixty-seven contact-paper bound books through her school’s Young Authors program. Though that pace proved impossible to maintain, she always intended to be a real author one day. 

While working toward her Bachelor’s degree in Communication at Ohio University, she studied creative writing with the late Daniel Keyes, author of Flowers for Algernon. After short stints as a media buyer and an investigative analyst, she settled into a 20-year career in the performing arts, teaching tap dancing in Columbus, Ohio, and choreographing musicals. Though her creative energies were focused on dance, she never lost her desire to write, and has a non-fiction book to her credit: Fips, Bots, Doggeries, and More, (McDonald & Woodward, 2012).

Tracy’s love for writing Young Adult fiction is sparked by all the wonderful teens in her life, including her daughter Keri, a college student. Counteract is Tracy’s first novel.

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Giveaway

$20 Amazon Gift Card– 1 winner

Careen’s necklace -1 winner

Signed bookmarks – 5 winners

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!

https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/the-resistance-series-book-tour-and-giveaway

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BLOG TOUR & INTERVIEW: Faithful Falls Series — Elle Linder | #ContemporaryRomance

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INTERVIEW

Today I welcome Elle Linder, author of the Faithful Falls series to The FlipSide to answer a few questions about life and writing. Hi Elle, tell me: where are you from?

I was born and raised in California among the dairies and orchards of the Central Valley. It was a great place to be a kid with beaches and mountains all within two hours of my home. Though I didn’t live in Southern California, I had relatives there and visited the area frequently.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

I like to jam to music while drinking wine or spend a weekend binge reading or watching a favorite TV show like Arrow or Lucifer.

Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?

I think my novella, Redemptive Love, would be an excellent movie! It’s a gritty, second-chance romance about inherited double-standards. Joseph and Kate are both Latinos who grew up in families where boys and girls were treated differently. They were high school sweethearts who broke up after a betrayal. Ten years later their paths cross again, and they attempt to reconnect. When ugly truths from their past are uncovered, the only way they’ll get a second chance at love is if they can forgive each other.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I received an honorable mention for short story that I submitted for a Writer’s Digest contest a couple  years ago (2017, I think). It was a validating and proud moment for me. At that moment, I really felt like I accomplished something as a writer and that this could really go somewhere.

THE BOOKS

Faithful Falls Series

Elle Linder

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Luke Hamill: Before Faithful Falls

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Semper Fi and honor above all else

Luke Hamill, staunch in his convictions, is a family man who will go to any length to preserve his marriage, even leave his beloved Marines. After his final tour of duty, his life is upended by the two people he trusted most. Now, a new course is set, one that takes him to Faithful Falls, Idaho.

In this prequel to Stay With Me, Julia, discover what drove Luke to leave all that he knows, and discover Faithful Falls. Even though the road ahead is bumpy, it leads Luke to abundant love and a strong community beyond the horizon. Meet some friendly, unique locals and get comfy in the little tourist town, where those destined to together prove love is stronger than any obstacles life throws their way.

**Get it FREE!!**

Amazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo

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Stay With Me, Julia

Faithful Falls Book 1

FF1-StayWithMeJulia_375x600She is only to be in Idaho for three months.

Her task is simple: run the lakeside resort in her aunt’s absence and return to her life in Los Angeles.

Easy. Or maybe not.

Ruggedly handsome Luke Hamill—Brook Trout Resort’s grounds manager—instantly piques her interest. A former Marine and divorced father of two, Luke introduces Julia to small town living and a passionate love like she’s never known. The mountain man is the total package: tender, strong, sexy, and honorable. He could be everything Julia wants… except for his problematic and meddling ex-wife.

Julia is smart, sensible, and irresistible, and she immediately captures Luke’s heart with her playful tenderness and saucy independence. Now he can’t imagine his life without her.

As Julia’s departure nears, Luke’s mission is clear: show her their love can conquer anything life throws their way.

Can Julia embrace her feelings for Luke, and will they be enough to keep her in Faithful Falls? Or will the challenges of a blended family make her abandon it all and head back to Southern California?

Stay With Me, Julia, is the first book in the Faithful Falls series, where those destined to be together prove love is stronger than the obstacles threatening to tear them apart.

**Only .99 cents until 4/23!!**

Amazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo

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Love Me, Lauren

Faithful Falls Book 2

FF2-LoveMeLauren_375x600She wants more than a one-night stand.

Lauren, a fiercely independent woman, is afraid to commit. Still, she secretly desires to fall in love.

Could it be that simple?

Enter Rick, ex-Marine and single dad, who is looking for a fresh start in Faithful Falls. He has big plans to open a brewery, and no time for love. When he crosses paths with Lauren, her formidable lure is irritating yet irresistible, and sparks fly.

Unexpectedly, Lauren is rattled when her past collides with her present, exposing her fears and insecurities. Once the truth is revealed, it may destroy Rick’s plans, her dreams, and their future.

Can they find the courage to face down Lauren’s demons together and ignite the fire and passion that leads them to their HEA?

Love Me, Lauren is the second book in the Faithful Falls series. Reconnect with Luke and Julia and the quirky characters of this little Idaho tourist town.

Get this sizzling book NOW.

Goodreads * Amazon

Elle Linder_400x398About the Author: Elle lives in NW Minnesota (or the Frozen Tundra, as she likes to call it) with her family. She has lived in all four corners of the U.S., and as a native California country girl, her heart yearns for the Pacific Coast. The One That Matters is Elle’s first novel.

Elle is currently wrapping up several novels in the Faithful Falls series, which include:

Love Me, Lauren
Trust Me, Tiffani
Choose Me, Erika
Forgive Me, Kandace

To find out more about Elle’s published books, future books, biography, and other information, visit her website and be sure to sign up for her newsletter while your there to stay up to date on her book releases and to participate in special promotions and giveaways.

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Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/faithful-falls-book-tour-and-giveaway

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BLOG TOUR & INTERVIEW: The Good Inside Me — Barbara Russell | #YA #ParanormalRomance

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An Interview with Barbara Russell, author of The Good Inside Me

Today I welcome YA author Barbara Russell and her book The Good Inside Me for a quick but fun interview!

Julianne: Welcome Barbara, why don’t you take a few moments to introduce yourself to my readers.

Barbara RussellBarbara: I’m an entomologist and a soil biologist, which is a fancy way to say that I dig in the dirt, looking for bugs. Nature and books have always been my passion. I was a kid when I read The Lord Of The Rings and fell in love with fantasy novels.

When I discovered cozy mystery and crime novels, I fell in love with Hercules Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. Then I grew up and… Nah, I’m joking. I didn’t grow up. Don’t grow up, folks! It’s a trap.

PS I hate gardening. There, I said it. Sorry fellow Kiwis.

Julianne: What inspired the Good Inside Me?

Barbara: I like to play ‘what if’ when I’m thinking about a new story, so I thought what if a demon is possessed by a human? And what if the human is a really good young woman? I thought it’d be fun to have two different people—a teen demon boy called Shax and a teen girl called Tolis—forced to be together.

Julianne: What is your favourite scene in The Good Inside Me?

Barbara: The scene when Shax has to beg an angel to save Tolis’s brother. I had so much fun writing it. I hope the readers will like it.

Julianne: What do you do when you aren’t writing?

Barbara: Trekking and climbing! I love hiking with my dogs. Forests are the best places ever to think about plot holes and characters’ developments. Not to mention that a good trekking recharges me. I need to get out of the city and its noises now and then and be surrounded by trees and nature. And I like sketching as well. I’m not really good, but it’s fun.

Julianne: What advice would you give new writers?

Barbara: Read everything, from memoirs to sci-fi novels. I love fiction, but true stories are the amazing. There’s a lot to learn from non-fiction books as a writer, and you never know what might inspire you.

Julianne: What’s your work in progress?

Barbara: I’m currently writing something new, a spin-off of my Auckland Steampunk series.

Julianne: Which character can you relate to the most and why?

Barbara: They say that an author is the sum of all of his characters, including the villains, lol. But I feel closer to Shax, the male protagonist. He’s fun to write, and I like how he denies to be a good person.

Julianne: If you choke a Smurf, of what colour does he turn?

Barbara: The same colour he turns when he’s freezing.

Julianne: Anything else you’ll like to add?

Barbara: Actually yes, I’d like to the tell to those people who say they don’t read book to please don’t say out loud. Every time a person says they don’t read, somewhere a writer gets a writer’s block.

And now let’s take a little time to get acquainted with the book!

The Good Inside Me_400x600Dragons, short-tempered archdemons, and hysterical damned souls—Shax is used to dealing with all that. He’s a young fire demon and lives in Hell, after all. What he’s not used to is being possessed by a human. A very good human and a pretty girl at that: sixteen-year-old Tolis. Despite still having control of his body most of the time, Shax can hear Tolis’s voice inside his head and feels what she feels constantly.

Shax’s mentor claims that Tolis hides an ancient, powerful grimoire, a book of spells, and proposes a deal: if Shax finds it, he’ll help Shax get work as a dragon keeper—Shax’s dream job. Tolis swears she doesn’t have the grimoire and asks Shax to help her father, whose soul is turning evil by the minute. Unless Tolis does something, her dad’s soul will end in Hell. Hoping to convince her to give him the grimoire, and not because Shax cares about the man’s soul, he agrees to help.

Goodness is overrated. Since Shax decided to help Tolis, his life has turned into a hurdle race. Thugs chase him, the scientists in Hell want to prod and examine the first possessed demon in history, and he can’t find the darn grimoire.

And the worst part? Due to the unavoidable presence of Tolis, who keeps intruding into his evil thoughts, Shax discovers an almost decent side of himself. In no time at all, he catches himself doing actual good deeds. Is he becoming—yuck—good?

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Goodreads | Amazon

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Giveaway

$25 Amazon Card

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

https://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/the-good-inside-me-book-tour-and-giveaway

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SCREAMS THE MACHINE BLOG TOUR: Sam Mortimer Gets Interviewed! | #SciFi #Dystopia

Today I’m happy to have Sam Mortimer here with me as he tours the internet with his newest release Screams The Machine. Welcome Sam, why don’t you tell everyone a little about yourself?

One of my first completed stories was called Complete Havoc, which was about a serial killer cyborg. I was about eleven years old. Gravitating toward horror, science fiction, and fantasy happened rather helplessly. I was smitten and wanted to consume everything possible about the genres. That doesn’t mean I’m any sort of lexicon, but it does mean checking out a plethora of related material is a happy goal. 

Once upon a time I worked as a jailer. I garnered some hefty experience at dealing with odd situations. The bright side is that the job proved beneficial to writing, but the real-life situations could be violent, heartbreaking, and depressing. It was perpetually saddening to witness some of the circumstances. 

In the end, I’m just a citizen of the cosmos who loves reading and writing in the English language. 

What is your writing process?

When an idea wraps around me, I make sure writing that idea will massages a part of my brain. It’s like a requirement for a story to feel imperative. I’ll happily dedicate to a story that’s meaningful. Screams The Machine was like that for me.

First drafts are usually completed in silence, because I want the world I’m writing about to be as pure and raw as possible. The story feels like it’s actually happening and full of sound anyway. I’m just reporting to you about it. Listening to good music occurs in following drafts, which is an important part the process.

Otherwise, I just write until the story is finished and my muse and cats are satisfied.

Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

I’d love to write badass, steamy romance novels. I mean they would be seriously hot, like ‘hawt’ hot.

What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty, because it’s extremely well written, manages to be meaningful, interesting and entertaining. It’s a visceral tale that deserves its success.

Nueromancer, by William Gibson, have you read it? That’s the first science fiction book that blew my mind and introduced me to cyberpunk. Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is great as well (also a favorite), but the sheer rawness, imagery and prose of Neuromancer is stunning.

The Art of Peace, by Aikido Master Morihei Ueshiba is a work of beauty. The book feels rather cosmic, suggesting we can work in unison with the universe. It promotes solving problems peacefully, truly making it the most tranquil book I’ve ever read. The Art of Peace is good for the soul and expands the mind.

Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a 1000 Faces blew my mind. It’s an intelligent look at the hero archetype throughout various mythologies. The knowledge is presented with depth, and at the time I had no idea anything that smart existed. Plus, it’s the same book George Lucas read that helped inspire Star Wars.

Reading All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque, was a watershed moment in my life. Its language was clear, and for the first time outside of G.I. Joe cartoons, it showed me the reality of war.

If you could cast Screams The Machine, who would you choose to play your main characters

I’d love to see new talent play the characters, but I’d want an experienced production team. That said I wouldn’t be opposed to Jenson Ackles playing Randal.

What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

I’d be enjoying a freshly brewed cup of black coffee while processing the news. I’d be very thankful to the readers and anyone involved that made it happen. I’d call my mom and tell her. She’d be proud.

Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?

Indeed. Coffee and chain-smoking are always vices during writing. For example, even if I had actually stopped smoking at one point, when it comes time to dedicate to longer works, cigarettes happen. Coffee intake is increased by 50%. Sleep is a rare gem. 

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I usually create and record electronic rock music with a bandmate. I’m currently in a two-man piece called Anifail. We have some music on Spotify. Years back I produced a project called Universal Thought Process, and one of my songs was picked up in a horror movie, The Slaughter. I’ll read, watch movies, and play select video games during downtime. My day-job requires much driving, so I do that too.

How do you define success in the realm of writing?

I’m going to paraphrase what I’ve said in a different interview. Seems like there’s personal, critical, and monetary success. Finishing the story is huge, and I’d say that’s the first step in writing success. Then, I suggest sending stories out to people you don’t know. That’s an ultimate testament to your belief in the story. If writing covers a bill that month, I’d deem that a success too. In the end, being happy is about the most success anyone can achieve. Happiness is most important. 

In 10 words or less, describe Screams The Machine to me.

It’s bionic horror in a self-aware universe. Don’t play.

Thank you Sam for taking the time to answer my questions! Now let’s take a look at Screams The Machine

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screamsthemachine_sammortimer_frontcover_fullsizeCash carries a disease; one that’s already killed a large majority of the population and something needs to be done. To stop the crisis from escalating, The Solution (a worldwide organization) is formed and rises to great power. They monitor people’s dreams and shape reality to fit their own wants and needs. In an effort to control existence itself, The Solution is searching for what they believe to be the ultimate tool; a person with the ability to master a deep connection with the mysterious, pervasive energy known only as The Ultimate Reality.

Watching her neighborhood decay, her friends and family perish, Elizabeth Reznik needs to find meaning in her life. She discovers her existence is more meaningful than she could ever have imagined. Operatives of The Solution seek her out, take her from her home and perform brutal experiments on her. Their conclusion? Elizabeth is the one they have been searching for; she is the key to gaining complete power.

The stratagem of The Solution is single minded – own the resources and you own the people. And the last resource available is free will. They will own your thoughts, they will orchestrate your dreams; they will dine on your fears. But there is always a cog in the machine… or in this case, a scream.

Available on:

Amazon: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Amazon Print: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

iTunes | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | CreateSpace (Print)

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sammortimer-authorpicture.jpgABOUT THE AUTHOR — Sam Mortimer has worked the graveyard shift in law enforcement, attended film school, and has been writing strange stories since age eleven. He loves reading, music, and strives to meet the demands of his five cats.

BLOG TOUR: The Calling @BrentTAbell | #Horror #Supernatural #Interview

Today on The Flipside, I’m featuring an interview with Brent Abell, author of The Calling. So let’s take a moment and let Brent introduce himself…

Brent: I reside in Southern Indiana with my wife, sons, and the spirit of my beloved pug who still hangs out at my desk looking for treats. I have a degree in History and Education, but I really don’t do anything with either one, except write historical zombie fiction. I enjoy anything horror related. At this point in my writing career, I’ve had stories featured in over 30 publications from multiple presses. My books Southern Devils, Reconstruction of the Dead: Southern Devils 2, In Memoriam, The Calling, and Wicked Tales for Wicked People collection are available now. I also a co-authored of the horror-comedy Hellmouth series with Armand Rosamilia, Jack Wallen, and Jay Wilburn. Currently, I’m working on the third book in the Southern Devils series and an upcoming novel set in Armand Rosamilia’s Dying Days landscape.

Julianne: What is your writing process?
Brent: I’m not sure if I have a set process. The way my work schedule is, I write when I can. Story-wise, I like to come up with the opening paragraph and the ending. The middle is wide open and I let it grow organically. Sometimes, the characters will do things I didn’t plan on and I’ll have to alter the end, but it works for me. I want the characters to surprise me and make have to change things.

Julianne: Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?
Brent: I think the one genre I’d want to work in would be sci-fi. I am a huge Star Wars nerd and I like tons of other sci-fi franchises. If a chance to work on something like that came up, I’d take it in a heartbeat.

Julianne: What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?
Brent: This is a hard one to narrow down. I believe everything you read has the ability to influence you in some way, shape, or form and I’ve read hundreds of books. However, I shall give narrowing it down a try.

The Rising by Brian Keene – This was the first book I read when I was re-introduced to the new wave of horror that sprang up in the early 2000’s. I learned the old troupes could really be turned on their ears and taken for a new ride.

The Shining by Stephen King – This was the first King book I read and it freaked out my sixth grade teacher. When I closed the book at the end, I knew I wanted to write. Not to chase my family around with an axe, but to bring the darkness to light and give it a voice. It’s been a long road, but I made it.

Night Chills by Dean Koontz – Koontz is a guilty pleasure of mine. This book showed how you make a scary novel without using a monster. Man is the monster and what man can do with technology can be far worse than any vampire or zombie could ever be.

The Books of Blood by Clive Barker – Barker’s tome of short stories is at once beautiful and horrific. It illustrated the power a short story can have and is what helped me decide to try my hand at short stories to start this path off. I love his long fiction too, but damn his short form work is flawless.

Header by Ed Lee – Ed has showed us all how down and dirty horror can be. He is our extreme horror god-father and this book opened my eyes to a new way to approach horror. If it gets gory and crazy, it’s the Ed influence coming out.

Julianne: If you could cast The Calling, who would you choose to play your main characters?
Brent: Let us say The Calling is going to become a movie, I would cast Sam Elliott to play Frank Hill, Mitch Pileggi as Carl, and Robbie Amell as Pratter. Nobody else would even be let in the door to audition as Frank.

Julianne: What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?
Brent: See how it translates to long-term sales and prepare to quit the day job to write full-time. I would also have to make sure it wasn’t April Fool’s Day, that would suck…

Julianne: Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?
Brent: I drink gallons of Diet Mt. Dew when I write. The vices show up when I finish a project. When a novel or novella is finished, I have a special beer on hand and I also smoke a celebratory cigar. I have been known to do the same thing for publication day. I have no problems celebrating twice.

Julianne: What do you do when you’re not writing?
Brent: I work a regular job. When I’m not writing, I read, maintain my comic collection, and I am a huge vintage Star Wars collector. I don’t mean like ten or so years ago, I mean the 1977-1985 era vintage. I also am a member of the 501st Legion, a Star Wars costuming charity group.

Julianne: How do you define success in the realm of writing?
Brent: Being published by a press is success enough. Over the past few years, I’ve seen things grow, but I’m still trying to get to the point where I can go full-time with it. But, I have books with my name on them that people have read and I made some beer money along the way, so it hasn’t been too bad. The people you meet on this journey are also nice. I’ve been to cons and met readers who enjoy my words and that is worth a ton to me.

Julianne: In 10 words or less, describe The Calling to me.
Brent: Small town sheriff has to deal with some evil shit.

Thank you Brent for taking the time to answer my questions. If you`d like to know a little more about Brent and The Calling, keep reading!

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Carl Volker has a problem. After waking one morning with a hangover to find his wife gone, he notices a crow stalking around his yard.  As days go by with no word from his wife, more and more crows gather.

Frank Hill is sheriff in the seemingly pleasant town of White Creek. Up until recently, his job has been fairly mundane but after a recent spree of murders, bodies are beginning to pile up and Frank has no clue as to who the killer may be.

White Creek has kept its secrets hidden well over the years but the sins of its past are coming to light; the town harbors an evil and the bindings that keep it in check are beginning to unravel.

As Frank and Carl’s friendship is tested and their destinies are revealed, the dead accumulate while the crows watch and The Calling begins!

Available on:

Amazon: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil| India | The Netherlands

Amazon Print: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil| India | The Netherlands

Kobo

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Smashwords

CreateSpace (Print)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR — Brent Abell lives in Southern Indiana with his wife, sons, and a pug who sits around eating the souls of wayward people. His stories have been featured in over 30 publications from multiple presses. His work includes his novella In Memoriam, collection Wicked Tales for Wicked People, and novel Southern Devils; which are available now. He also co-authored the horror-comedy Hellmouth series. Currently, he is working on the second book in the Southern Devils series and the next book with Frank Hill in the White Creek Saga.

Facebook: Brent T. Abell

Twitter: @BrentTAbell

Blog: https://brentabell.wordpress.com/

Keep up to date with the rest of the tour – The Calling Blog Tour

EERIE TRAILS OF THE WILD WEIRD WEST BLOG TOUR: Interview with @MaynardBlackoak | #Supernatural #Horror

Today I’m hosting author Maynard Blackoak and his supernatural horror collection Eerie Trails of the Wild Weird West as he tours the internet! Welcome Maynard, why don’t you take a moment and introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you. 

I’m Maynard Blackoak, an author living in Oklahoma. The greatest influences in my writing are the works of Poe, Dickens, and Conan Doyle. Poe for his use of the obscure. Dickens for the way his words paint images in the mind. Conan Doyle for his intellectual approach to telling a story. I mostly draw my inspiration from the sounds and shadows of the night and process them through the splintered windmill of my mind to create my tales. While I have written contemporary tales, I mostly enjoy writing tales in an old school manner.

Maynard, what is your writing process?    

I like to sit in my comfy camo recliner with the TV turned to a classic black and white film as a distraction when an idea gets clogged in the drain. 

Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?       

I’d like to dabble in murder mysteries. I’ve had people suggest I branch out into serious writing but that doesn’t sound like much fun.

I have a few ideas for some cozy mysteries myself! What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

Dickens’ Christmas short stories, and the Sherlock Holmes short stories probably influenced me more than any other books. Have there been more dynamic characters than Scrooge and Sherlock? To a lesser degree, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, and Animal Farm and1984 by Orwell gave me a slight cynical view of society and where it’s going.

Great choices! If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters? 

Can I resurrect the dead to do the casting? I’m a big fan of the classics and don’t believe any actors of today compare to those of the golden age of Hollywood. Since I can’t raise the dead at this time, let’s just use the cast of Tombstone to play characters in my book.

What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

Seriously, is this even a remote possibility? I’d be so excited, I’d probably rush out to the barn and tell my horses all about it while they ate their feed. Dixie Belle is my baby and she thinks I can do anything. Katie probably wouldn’t care for me interrupting her feeding. Cheyenne would probably make me show her proof. She’s such a cynic.

It never hurts to dream big Maynard 😉 Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?    

Sometimes, I have a drink or two or more. Sometimes, I deprive myself of sleep to get a bit of weirdness in my stories. I always take a pinch of Copenhagen. 

What do you do when you’re not writing?      

I live on a small ranch with livestock. If I’m not mending fences, fixing barns, or tending to critters, I’m brushhogging, tilling, or clearing land.

Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.

The Lothian Journals   

‘Til Undeath Do Us Part     

I strolled into the office casually, trying not to appear conspicuous.  It somehow seemed odd for one such as myself to be seeking psychiatric treatment.  I had never heard of anyone of my ilk that had done it, but then I had only met one other of my kind and she was not exactly someone in whom I would wish to confide.  In all honesty, I hoped our paths never crossed again.  

Perhaps I was the first vampire to take this particular course of action.  Maybe I was the first vampire having so many issues adjusting to this new way of life. The fact remained.  I needed someone who could advise me on how to cope with existence as a creature of the night. My dilemma: would she believe my situation or merely write me off as just another of her delusional patients?  No matter how I dissected my bold yet desperate move, it seemed to be fraught with dangers.

Thank you Maynard! Now let’s take a closer look at Eerie Trails of the Wild Weird West

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Eerie Trailsof the Wild Weird West

In this collection of fourteen strange tales from the wild west, Cowboys and Indians face down supernatural beings of all varieties – from vampires and werewolves; to ghosts and vengeful spirits; to mythological creatures.

Saddle up cowboys and ladies alike, once the journey begins, Eerie Trails of the Wild Weird West will take you down a strange and bizarre path though the old west that you’ve never been on before.

Available on:

Amazon:

US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | 

Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Amazon Print: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | 

Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | CreateSpace (Print)

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maynard1About the Author — Maynard Blackoak is a freelance writer living in the backwoods of Pawnee County, Oklahoma. He draws upon the sights of neglect and unusual sounds around him for inspiration. A bit of a recluse, he can often be found strolling through an old, forgotten cemetery or in the woods among the twisted black oaks and native elms under the light of the moon.

Twitter: @maynardblackoak

Facebook: Maynard Blackoak

VISCERA BLOG TOUR: An Interview with Jessica B. Bell | #Horror #Collection @Sirens_Call

Jessica B. Bell is currently on tour for her quirky horror collection Viscera, and I’m pleased to share a recent interview I did with her!

Welcome Jessica! What is your writing process?

I sort of plot and write as I go – not that I’m making it up as I go along, but rather that I don’t always know exactly how the story is going to get from point A to point B. I will often think I know how a story is going to end, only to change it along the way. I’ll do a point-form list of the events of the plot, or even just my stream of consciousness thoughts, questions, and things I need to consider along the way. Then I plot through that, and check them off or delete them as I use them.

Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

I do write in several different genres, but I’d love to write a graphic novel. I just need an artist!

What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

  1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – I think not only has this influenced my writing, but my philosophy, my love of books, my outlook on society.
  2. Lord of the Flies by William Golding – again, a book that has shaped my view on humanity, and the evil that lurks in the heart of man.
  3. The Sandman by Neil Gaiman – a graphic novel (well, an entire WORLD, really) that explores various mythologies while creating its own. I’m obsessed with it. It’s beautiful and horrible and so layered that each reveal seems like an act of genius.
  4. IT by Stephen King – I love a lot of Stephen King, but if I had to choose one, this would be the one. It’s every monster movie, every nightmare, every childhood fear all wrapped up in a creepy clown.
  5. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (with honourable mentions to The Lottery and We Have Always Lived in the Castle). This, even more than Stephen King’s The Shining, is how you do a haunted house story. Classic.

If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?

I always thought that Christopher Lloyd would make an excellent Morbo – an aging magician with a shady past and a dark temper. There’s another story about an old British soldier that can only be played by Michael Caine.

What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

Well, I suppose I’d be on the hook for that deal I made with the devil… so I’d likely start drawing arcane symbols on the floor and preparing the sacrifice. Contrary to popular opinion, the devil does not require newborn babies, but will also accept peanut butter sandwiches. Apparently they don’t have peanut butter in Hell.

Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?

Strangely enough, my vices disappear while I’m writing. Even when I smoked (which I don’t anymore) I wouldn’t smoke while writing. I’m too focused to do anything but write. I do listen to a lot of music. Godspeed! You Black Emperor is a current favourite soundtrack for writing.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I read. A lot. I play guitar from time to time, even writing and recording songs when inspiration strikes. I also spend a lot of time doing the other things that writing entails: editing, formatting, proof-reading, creating artwork, promoting. That in itself can be a full-time gig.

Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.

Okay, but it’s going to be slightly more than nine lines for proper impact. This is a story called Thirty-Seven.

“Thirty-seven… thirty-seven… thirty-seven…”

The woman held her dirty knees with ragged hands, fingernails all chipped or missing, and pulled them to her sunken and emaciated chest. Rocking back and forth on the floor of her cell, she repeated her mantra with blank, unblinking eyes. Her hair had taken on both the consistency and nothing-colour of old straw, and her skin, covered in sores, hung slack on her thin frame.

“Thirty-seven?”

This time, it almost seemed to be a question.

“What does it mean, Doctor?”

The man exhaled and scratched the back of his head, as if considering what to tell his young apprentice. The truth was at once simple and yet an enigma. The What was clear. The Why was what he had spent the last twelve years trying to determine. As if answering that question would somehow unlock all the mysteries of the universe. As if he could somehow bring back the dead by uncovering the secrets that lie trapped inside Rose Torrance’s head.

“It’s the number of her victims,” he said, never taking his eyes off Rose, who continued rocking and murmuring.

Sounds very intriguing! While we wait for that to be finished, let’s take a look at Viscera

Viscera_FrontCover_Promo.pngViscera is a collection of short stories full of all the things that make you squirm, cringe, and laugh when you know you shouldn’t. You’ll remember why you’re afraid of the dark and experience an abundance of weird creatures: witches, ancient gods, and all-too-human monsters – the scariest of all.

Indulge your twisted sense of humor with stories about unconventional werewolves and a woman with a frog fetish. Know what it’s like to arrive too late to save an unusual alien abductee, or giggle with sick delight as a woman serves up a special Hasenpfeffer dinner to her pig of a husband.

Settle in for bedtime stories fit for monsters.

Viscera will grab you by the gut and squeeze, making you cry for mercy—or laugh like a fiend!

Viscera is available on:

Amazon:

US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Amazon Print:

US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Kobo

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

iTunes

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jessicabbellABOUT THE AUTHOR — Jessica B. Bell is a Canadian writer of strange fiction. It is rumoured that she lives in a damp, dark basement, writing her twisted tales in her own blood on faded yellow parchment. Her stories have been published in various anthologies, the most recent of which is Voices. She also writes under the name Helena Hann-Basquiat, and has published two novels on the metafictional topic of Jessica B. Bell, titled Jessica and Singularity. A third and final novel is planned for 2017.

Find more of Jessica’s (and Helena’s) writing at whoisjessica.com.

SPOTLIGHT BLITZ: We’re Not in Kansas | #SciFi #Thriller

Science Fiction/Thriller
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Archeologist and single mother, Macy, and her teenage daughter, Tiffany, are off on a fool-hardy search for traces of an ancient Egyptian cat-goddess, Bastet. What they find is far more than they bargained for: a dangerous dictator, a mysterious police inspector, and a grizzled Indiana Jones look-alike.
 
You might say the trip takes them right out of this world. Will they get home alive, or simply disappear into very thin air?
 
Set in the near future, with a blend of thriller and speculative fiction, and a hint of romance.
 
Purchase Links
 
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About the Author — After winning a Canadian Authors national contest, Ron connected with Champagne Books of Alberta to complete “The Dark Lady” fantasy trilogy, followed by “The Queen’s Pawn” trilogy, and his fantasy detective series of eight novellas: “The Housetrap Chronicles.” His latest novel with Champagne is “Alex in Wanderland.”
 
Ron recently signed with a second publisher, eTreasures Publishing of Florida with, “We’re Not in Kansas,” a near-future thriller, followed by a what-if, “Toltec” trilogy. The first book in the series, Toltec Dawn is available now, with the second, Toltec Khan, available shortly.
 
Ron, a member of several writing groups, reviews genre novels for an on-line magazine and sometimes escapes to his sailboat on Lake Winnipeg.
 
Contact Links
 
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SPOTLIGHT BLITZ: Edge of Yesterday | #Romance #TimeTravel @TarahScott

Time Travel Romance
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Two of Scottish romance’s most loved authors have joined pens to write a thrilling new time travel series filled with passion, danger, and intrigue. These never-before-published novels will sweep you to Scotland’s Highland Heatheredge, where magic is real, time is relevant, and there is no escape from desire…
Men are disappearing in the Highland crofting village of Heatheredge. The authorities suspect foul play, but without signs of violence—or bodies—they can’t prove a thing.
World champion swordsman Cailean Ross is living the fantasy of a lifetime as the victor of Heatheredge’s medieval reenactment Gathering. But when the fantasy turns into reality, swordplay becomes a fight to the death and he finds himself among the ‘missing’ statistics.
Julianna Mackay flees a man she fears is an evil wizard and literally runs into handsome Cailean Ross. Cailean defends Lady Julianna from her attackers. Together, they set out in search of the key to a six-hundred-year-old curse that can only be broken in medieval Scotland.
When the veil of time is lifted, Cailean and Julianna find that love may not be enough to save them or those they hold dear.
 
Purchase Links
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About the Authors — USA Today and Internationally bestselling authors Sue-Ellen Welfonder and Tarah Scott have more in common than friendship. For many years, they’ve both enjoyed spending their working hours in a world of romance and adventure, bringing handsome Highlanders and their ladies to life. Now they’ve joined pens, deciding that when it comes to happily-ever-afters, two writers can stir up even more danger and desire for the characters they love. The EDGE series, Scottish time travel romances, is their first co-authored project, and launches Dec. 27th with EDGE OF YESTERDAY.     

Contact Links 
 

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FRIDAY FICTION: Never Saw It Coming… | #FreeFiction

Never Saw It Coming…

Was it wrong to imagine that infernal can being driven deep into his forehead?

I don’t think I can fucking take it anymore! All that infuriating sipping, the sucking of the last drop; it was enough to drive a woman to drink. But never from a can… Ever! Why won’t he simply give up; admit defeat? How can he possibly not know he’s done? Does he do it just to grate on my nerves? There’s a part of me that believes he does it for that very reason. He’s slowly filing down each of my nerves, waiting for me to strike out. I certainly will not disappoint him one of these days, but I need to bide my time. Stupid fucking ass is going to get what’s coming to him and I will be the one to give it to him! Oh yes I will, and I dare anyone to stop me. Hell. I don’t even care if I go to jail – it would be worth it never to have to hear that infernal slurp again.

The skin on the back of my neck crawls as I hear it again. My blood boils as my last nerve is frayed beyond repair. It snaps and so do I. I grab that fucking can from his finger and crumple it, hearing the tiniest of tinkle as the last of the amber liquid sloshes against the aluminum side. Fucking perfect! This time he really wasn’t done, but I don’t care… It’s going to be the last time he ever sucks the fumes from his beer again. My hands hurt as the sharp, pointed edges draw blood from my fingers as I shake the can in front of his dumbfounded face. That look… I want to savour that look. He never saw it coming…

Copyright © 2013 Julianne Snow