Tuesday, October 18, 2016


So it's been a while since I've last posted and that's because, well, life has taken a couple unexpected turns that require pretty much all of my attention at the moment. Because of said turns, I have been on a bit of a writing fiction hiatus as of late. Other than the fact I need to focus on a couple things (and unfortunately one of those is health-related), this hiatus has actually been a bit refreshing. I think I needed a break to replenish the ol' creative juices and perhaps gain a little perspective on the whole writing journey in general (and perhaps even the whole life journey as well).

In any case, I hope to be back in the writing chair as well as posting more regularly on this blog at some point in the near-ish future, but I'm still not anticipating that being anytime soon. I haven't been TOTALLY absent, however, as I've been doing a tad bit of writing-related work here and there, but it's been quite sparse, and there hasn't been any actual drafting or revising of manuscripts or anything of that more fiction-nuts-and-bolts-type nature.

Anyway, until next time! Hopefully I'll be back here with more updates and kernels of writing-related awesomeness soon-ish.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Short YA: Potential Change of Plans

Ha! Well, looks like after only a few days of writing that last post, I'm having a bit of a change of heart regarding The Castle in the Girl, and the reason for that is twofold.

One of them is that, upon doing more research, I've discovered that a 30K-word YA book might really not be allllllll that marketable. I mean, there are definitely fairly short YA books on the shelves, but The Castle in the Girl is VERY short for speculative fiction (it's sci-fi). If I leave it as planned, I might more accurately be looking at a novella versus a novel.

On the other hand, I just had a random idea that would extend the length of the book a considerable amount. If it indeed winds up making sense and working out, then that means that what I THOUGHT would be the entire book is really only Part One, and the new idea I had would constitute Part Two. I think it only makes sense, overall, not only in terms of beefing up the length of the book, but also in terms of the story.

It's funny how stories work. Just when we think we've got one all figured out - or mostly figured out - something comes along and surprises us, giving the story a whole new/different trajectory. And usually when we least expect it. I feel like that's happened to me at least once per book I've written.

Anyway, so that's the new plan. I'm going to have to do a lot of brainstorming to flesh out Part Two and see if it truly makes sense and will work, but I have a strong hunch that it will, and that my story will be all the better for it.

So, if you need me for anything, I'll be brainstorming - so BUG OFF!!! JK. But I'll definitely keep you in the loop on The Castle in the Girl's evolution. Given its sudden departure from the original plan, there may yet be more twists in store...(How's that for a cliffhanger?)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Short YA

So I have been plugging away on my new novel, a young adult science fiction currently called The Castle in the Girl (it's an eerie sci-fi with a bit of an M. Night Shyamalan feel to it). It's been going pretty well so far with very few hiccups (knock on wood!), although there's still a good deal of the first draft left to be paved. And of course that's all before another human being - be it a beta reader or critique partner - even lays their fresh pair of eyes upon it and lovingly rips it to shreds.

In any case, I am just encroaching on the 20K-word mark, and it has suddenly occurred to me (although I admit I suspected it all along) that this is going to be a pretty short book. In fact, I'd be surprised if it ebbs its way much past 30K.

[a collective gasp]

Wait - was that just a collective gasp from all of you that I just heard? I'm pretty sure it was. After all, I know what you're thinking - "A young adult book - only 30K words long! That's madness, I tell you. Sheer madness! Is that even......possible?"

Well, I believe it is. Sure, YA books run between 45-80K on average, and can even push a bit beyond that, especially in the speculative area. Heck, my own debut YA dystopian novel, The Fourth Generation, clocks in at a hearty 76K. But YA books can also run on the slimmer side as well. I did a little research just to be sure (and to stop myself from freaking about the marketability of my book) and discovered that some published YA books have indeed been as low as 30K or even somewhere in the 20Ks. And it looks like my new book is going to join that very exclusive, very celebrated (at least in my eyes now that I'm writing one around that length) crew.

The thing is, my book's not nearly as epic as The Fourth Generation. It's a lot quieter, though still packs a punch, I think (I hope!). The bottom line is the story really doesn't call for more than 30K words, and, really, it's all about what the story calls for, right ("Yes, it is," I can hear you all say collectively).

So, there you have it. A short YA. (See what I did there? I just put the post title right in the middle of the post - pretty cool, huh?) Of course, now that I've said that, the story will probably completely surprise me and demand to be much, much longer and more epic, but I severely doubt that. But, as we all know, stories have a way of both surprising us writers and telling us what it truly needs. So, well, I guess I'll be figuring that all out for sure before long. And, on a side note, I plan on posting its working back-cover blurb soon on the blog to really whet the collective appetite.

Until then, have a very collective day!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Debut Author Giveaway Hop - The Fourth Generation

UPDATE: The winner of this giveaway has been randomly selected and has received their free e-book copy of The Fourth Generation. Thanks for participating in the giveaway hop, everyone! :)

debut author hop

Welcome to my stop on the Debut Author Giveaway Hop hosted by BookHounds! I'm giving away a free e-book copy of my young adult dystopian novel The Fourth Generation. Just leave a comment with your email address below for a chance to win (your email will not be retained nor will it be added to a newsletter).

In the future, no adults exist. Ever since the plague swept the world 100 years ago, no one has lived past seventeen.

Sixteen-year-old Gorin, a collector of curious artifacts left over from the pre-plague civilization, is on the verge of perishing from that deadly epidemic. And his last wish is to find a way to visit the rulers’ reputedly magnificent, off-limits mansion.

Up against the clock, he and his friend Stausha steal into the mansion and discover a secret more horrifying than they ever could’ve imagined—a secret that holds the key to the survival of the whole human race.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop - The Fourth Generation

UPDATE: The winner of this giveaway has been randomly selected and has received their free e-book copy of The Fourth Generation. Thanks for participating in the giveaway hop, everyone! :)

Welcome to my stop on the Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop, hosted by BookHounds. I'm giving away a free e-book copy of my young adult dystopian novel The Fourth Generation. Just post a comment that includes your email address (your email will not be saved or included in a newsletter or anything) on this blog entry, and I will randomly choose somebody to receive a free copy :)

In the future, no adults exist. Ever since the plague swept the world 100 years ago, no one has lived past seventeen.

Sixteen-year-old Gorin, a collector of curious artifacts left over from the pre-plague civilization, is on the verge of perishing from that deadly epidemic. And his last wish is to find a way to visit the rulers’ reputedly magnificent, off-limits mansion.

Up against the clock, he and his friend Stausha steal into the mansion and discover a secret more horrifying than they ever could’ve imagined—a secret that holds the key to the survival of the whole human race.

Here are all the blogs participating in the blog hop: http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=267580

Friday, April 8, 2016

New Project Alert!

So in the exciting life of Chris von Halle (and it really is quite thrilling), it appears as though I have finally landed on the project that I will be writing next (cue exciting music that inspires both myself and blog visitors).

The ironic thing about my next project is that it is not any of the potential projects I outlined in my last post (I believe there were six ideas total). Pretty strange, huh? Especially since I was so sure the next book I was going to write would be one of them. But here's the thing about that...in hindsight I realize that none of those projects truly spoke to me. Sure, they were all good, solid premises/ideas, and they each certainly had captivating elements that caught my whimsy and fancy (like sparkling butterflies), but at the end of the day I just wasn't "in love" with any of them. Funny how I didn't realize that at the time, since the very fact that I wasn't sure which one I wanted to write went to show that I clearly wasn't riveted by any of them.

But now, thankfully, I have a project that I'm whole-heartedly excited about and ready to dig into. The funny thing about that: the inception of it came from a friend of mine who was randomly spouting story ideas one night recently in our apartment (he's not even a fiction writer, btw). An element of one of those ideas latched into my head - right onto my brain, in fact - and I couldn't stop thinking about it. Within literally two days I had a whole, fairly detailed plot skeleton outlined, and was rarin' to get crackin' on the actual manuscript (that was about a week ago).

Yes, it happened THAT quickly. And that's sometimes how it works. Sometimes projects grow on you over time - you keep thinking of new, fun aspects and twists to add to it, and eventually it becomes (cliche alert) crystal-clear that you want to write that story. But sometimes an entirely different type of approach occurs - a random idea suddenly ensnares you and doesn't let you go until you've written everything down about it in a day or two flat, as in with my newest story idea.

I've also realized something about myself as a writer because of this (over-excitement alert) rather thrilling experience. I realized that my approach to writing has altered a bit yet again. I used to start writing as soon as I had an idea or premise I found captivating (a write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of guy), but now I like to write out at least a semi-detailed plot skeleton, or al least know what the major pieces of the plot are going to be, before I start writing. Once I see the shape the story is taking, it's a lot easier for me to make an educated decision regarding whether it will actually be fun to write. Or whether it will even be a good story in the first place, for that matter.

Looking back, I've definitely started writing projects that just didn't have a lot of potential for captivating  plotting - and it was because I was way too impatient and just wanted to start writing DAMNIT!!!! haha. Ironically, even though I had those six story ideas I outlined in my last post, a few of them I didn't have any plot skeletons for. That goes to show how little they truly sparked my interest, even though there were intriguing aspects about each of them.

Anyway, enough babbling about my writing (or brainstorming) process. For those interested (and because I pretty much want to tell the world), my new project is a young adult science fiction (though it's a bit of a cross-genre tale, too; the other genre - fantasy), and it's currently called The Castle in the Girl. I'm really excited about this one, guys, and I hope it continues to be as exciting on paper (pun intended) as it is in my mind at the moment.

Another "fun aspect" of the new story: It reminds me of some of M. Night Shyamalan's work.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Vot to Write, Vot to Write?

So a few months ago I finished a draft (a pretty edited one, as I'm the revise-as-I-go type of writer) of my middle-grade science fiction book called Picket Town. I've been enjoying a little break from writing so far, but the creative well has been building up again, and I'm finding myself starting to get itchy about writing again (what else is new?). The problem - I once again don't have a story idea that I'm ready to fully dig my teeth into and start writing.

I know what you're thinking - isn't that the same, exact issue I had with my last book - right before I discovered the old idea for Picket Town hidden deep in the ancient recesses of my fabled "story idea doc"? And you're right. Six months after I discovered that artifact - bang! There was a draft of Picket Town in all its glory. But now I am once again without a new story to write...

BUT - this time around I have  a few potential ideas. Six, to be exact. None have declared themselves the official winner yet in the competition for what I will write next, but I think they are all pretty fun and solid ideas, at the very least. Interestingly enough, I've brainstormed each of them quite a few times, and have already worked through a significant amount of the plot skeleton for a couple of them. An aspect of just about all of them had been born as long as a few years ago, and I have since built on each of them here and there, adding them to the story idea doc as I went. Anyway, here's a little snippet of each, if you're curious (but I can't give away too much, as that would spoil the fun).

1. A dark middle-grade fantasy that's also somewhat of a science fiction story (I guess it's really a cross-genre tale). This one is my latest obsession, and it involves fairies, pixie dust, advanced technology, and a physically dark world. It's currently called "The Faerie Slums."

2. A middle-grade science fiction that involves a generation spaceship's trash unit, mutated humans, and a massive, ferocious monster that lives in a chemically polluted lake. I first conceived of this one about three years ago.

3. An adult campy comedy in which rabbits have taken over a future Earth. (OK, this one is admittedly not at the forefront of my consideration, but there's something about it that's kind of amusing/captivating to me.)

4. A young adult science fiction that involves a polluted future Earth, a time machine, and a love triangle between the three main characters (that last part certainly makes this one a unique story for me). I have actually brainstormed most of the plot skeleton for this one. Definitely a front-runner.

5. A middle-grade fantasy/science fiction involving kids with superpowers. I really love the villains (twin twelve-year-olds) of this potential tale.

6. A humorous epic fantasy middle-grade (lots of middle-grade around these parts) that pokes fun at epic fantasy tropes. Has a great stock of humorous characters, including the narrator, who is actually not the protagonist nor even appears in the story. I've had this idea for at least four years now and it keeps rearing its head every time idea-hunting season comes around. Maybe this season will be its time to shine...or be hunted...or whatever is an appropriate metaphor given the situation.

So there you have it - the six ideas I'm currently considering. Every one of them has something that captivates or amuses to me, but, again, none of them have declared themselves the official winner yet. I'll be sure to post the one that eventually makes the cut, if indeed one of these does at all........oooooooooooh...how's that for a cliffhanger?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Mystery in Fiction

Today I want to talk about mystery in fiction, and I'm not referring to the genre of fiction, mystery. The fun thing about stories in general is that each one is kind of like a mystery, in a sense. Each deals with the [typically] very slowly unveiling of information, one piece at a time, that continues to illuminate the bigger picture of the story. Therefore, a good story purposefully poses captivating questions that readers wants to know the answers to. That's what keeps them reading the pages or watching the movie or TV show or what have you.

To that, I wanted to point out, well, a couple pointers (how's that for a suave turn-of-phrase?) that I'd been thinking about lately. The first one is that I realize that I personally want to keep the questions, a.k.a. the mystery, going all the way to the very bitter end of my own stories. I've noticed that, over the years, when I'm reading a book or watching a movie, unless it's a comedy I sometimes lose interest in what's happening toward the end. Now that I've thought about it, I think part of the reason is because the writer hasn't included a question to keep my interest. Sometimes at the end of the second act of a story I'm reading, the overall story question basically boils down to, "How is the protagonist (and perhaps her friends) going to get out of all of this NOW?" And that's a fine question, for sure. In fact, it's necessary for a good story, as far as I'm concerned. But I personally want a little more. I want another captivating question that I want to know the answer to, even if it's just a small mystery that doesn't necessarily impact the plot in a major way. Again, as long as that question is captivating. Because of this realization I've made (at least about myself), I now strive to have a small mystery like that toward the very end of my own stories (again, if it's not a comedy). Or, barring that, at least some kind of plot twist. I think it just makes for a stronger, more arresting story.

The other thing pertaining to mystery in fiction I was thinking about recently deals with always trying to put yourself, as the writer, in the eyes of the reader. Okay, that might sound obvious enough on paper, but as writers we tend to get so carried away with the world and characters we've created (I know I'm personally more likely to get lost in the fantasy worlds I invent) that we sometimes forget to take a step back and try to view our stories through the lens of the reader. When I'm in the throes of creation (a.k.a. writing, for the layman), part of what makes the story fun for me is that I, as the writer, know what's "really going on it" in my story. Oftentimes I even know exactly how I'm going to throw the reader's perception of my entire world itself on its head (if that particular twist happens to apply to my story, which it does sometimes as a science fiction/fantasy writer). However, that doesn't necessarily mean that that fun is going to translate to the reader. Since they don't know what I'm planning, they need a little something to keep them going. A little something extra. They need a little extra something special called mystery. (Okay, I'm sure you saw that coming from a mile away based on how I was building up to it in those last couple sentences).

To go into the matter further, there needs to be something in the plot or world that makes the reader think, "Hmmm...I wonder what's up with THAT?" Or, "That's odd. I wonder what THAT has to do with in the story." Ultimately, you want them to wonder about "what's really going on," to keep them reading until BAM! You hit them with the next big plot twist. Of course, you don't want them to figure out that twist in advance, so there's that difficult balance to strike, but that's part of the fun for us writers, too! Bonus points if you can drop some red herrings in there (those can be quite fun, indeed).

Anyway, those are just some of my recent thoughts on mystery in fiction and how I've employed them and intend to continue to employ them. It's tough, of course, and you never want to be predictable, but if you can pull readers along with perfectly planted little nuggets of mystery, make them think something different than what you've got planned, and then - BAM! - hit them on the head caveman-with-a-club style with a twist that both surprises and reveals more about the story, I can think of few things more satisfying as a writer.

Now, off to think about more nuggets of mystery to infuse throughout my current story, including toward the very end.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I'm Over on Author Michelle Hauck's Blog Today

It 'tis there that I am discussing book promotion and marketing, which is TOUGH STUFF, folks! Stop on by if you'd like to take a look at a few tips I've put together.


Monday, February 1, 2016

*SALE* The Fourth Generation - Only 99₵

Yep - I'm having a sale - of my OWN book - the young adult dystopian novel The Fourth Generation. It'll be at the mindblowingly low price of only 99₵ from now until February 14, 2016. So if you haven't already gotten yourself a copy, now would be an excellent time.


On Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/z474hq9

Friday, January 22, 2016

New Release! LANDRY IN LIKE by Krysten Lindsay Hager (Landry's True Colors Series Book 3)

Hello, everyone,

Guess who's baaaaaaaaaaack!!! Author Krysten Lindsay Hager - that's who! - with the latest installment in her fantastic Landry's True Colors Series, Landry in Like (book three in the series). For those who are unfamiliar with the series, here's a summary:

The Landry's True Colors Series is a clean reads young adult humor series about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, crushes, and self-image.

Blurb: Things seem to be going well in Landry Albright’s world—she’s getting invited to be on local talk shows to talk about her modeling career, her best friends have her back, and her boyfriend Vladi has becoming someone she can truly count on…and then everything changes. Suddenly it seems like most of the girls in school are into hanging out at a new teen dance club, while Landry just wants to spend her weekends playing video games and baking cupcakes at sleepovers. Then, Yasmin McCarty, the most popular girl in school, starts to come between Landry’s friendship with Ashanti. Things take a turn when Yasmin tells Vladi that Landry is interested in another boy. Can Landry get her relationships with Ashanti and Vladi back or will she be left out and left behind?  

I wanted to call my friends and tell them about being on the talk show, but Mom said we had to be at the TV station super early — even before school started. She said I could text them, but I had to turn off my phone and go to bed.

“I’m waking you up at four a.m.,” she said. “You have to be there at five-thirty.”

“Can I just call Peyton and Ashanti? Please?”

“Fine, but you have five minutes and then that phone is mine and you’re in bed.”

I dialed Peyton, but her mom said she was in the shower. I told her mom about the show tomorrow and said my mom wouldn’t let me stay up any later to call Peyton back.

“How exciting! I will make sure Peyton knows, and I will be watching you tomorrow. Good luck, honey,” Mrs. Urich said.

I called Ashanti next and told her.

“Get out. Get. Out. No way. This is so exciting!”

“I’m so nervous. My stomach is already doing cartwheels. I can’t do one, but my stomach can. Seems unfair. What if I throw up before I go on? I did that right before I went on at the statewide Ingénue modeling competition in Detroit, and my mom had to give me a cough drop to cover up the smell.”

 “I’m sure you’ll be fine, but… just in case, take a cough drop with you,” Ashanti said. “Good luck. You’ll be great and I’ll go set the DVR now.”

 I hung up and sent a text to Vladi, India, Devon, Thalia, Tori, and Ericka, so no one would be mad and feel left out. Then I shut off my phone. Mom poked her head in the door to make sure I was in bed.

“Night, hon. Try to get some rest,” she said.

Easier said than done. I stared at my ceiling while thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong tomorrow. Seeing as the show was on in the morning, I never got to watch it, so I had no idea what the set was like — did it have super high chairs and I’d struggle to get into them? And what if it had those higher stools that were kind of tippy and my rear overshot the seat and I fell off? Or what if the prep questions got lost and the interviewer asked me random things like my feelings on nuclear war or asked me about some foreign political leader who I had never heard of before, and I appeared stupid? Why did I say I’d do this? I tried to get comfortable and it felt like I had just dozed off when I felt my mom shaking my shoulder.
“Rise and shine, TV star,” she said.


Author bio: 


Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series and the new ​Star Series. Krysten writes about  friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image in True Colors, Best Friends…Forever? And Landry in Like, as well as in, Next Door to a Star (Star Series). Her sequel to Next Door to a Star will be out March 22 2016.

Krysten is a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes YA, MG, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in southwestern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Author talk show interview: http://wdtn.com/2014/11/06/true-colors/

What people are saying about True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series Book One):

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Release & Giveaway! DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND by Heather Eagar

Hi everyone,

Today I'm pleased to welcome Heather Eagar to my blog. She's the author of the Young Adult Historical Fantasy Devil's Playground, which releases today (very exciting!!!). Thanks for stopping by, Heather! Below is a blurb of the book, a short interview with Heather, and don't miss the chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card by entering the rafflecopter here! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/75f3b4121/"

Sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Winters may be a witch, but she doesn’t know the first thing about magic.

Her father, a wizard himself, has forbidden the use of her powers for her own protection. But when accusations of witchcraft start flying through Salem Village, Elizabeth wishes she was more prepared.

Despite her lack of magical knowledge, Elizabeth appoints herself to save innocent women from the untimely demise the village has in store for them. Elizabeth finds, however, that she is not the hero Salem needs her to be. When Elizabeth is betrayed by someone she trusts, she loses control of her emotions and unintentionally curses the village with the ten plagues of Egypt. Now, Elizabeth must figure out how to break the curse before the morning of the tenth plague—the plague of death. 

If she fails, Salem will cease to exist.

Q &A
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Devil’s Playground?
A: It was actually my husband’s idea! Years ago when I was working on a different novel he said, “Hey, why don’t you do a story about an actual witch who lives in Salem during the witch trials.” I thought it was the best idea EVER and took it from there. It has become quite a different story than either of us envisioned, but so much better.
Q: Do you use actual people from the trials in your story?
A: Yes, I do! My main characters are mostly fictional, but I use actual people from the trials as supporting characters, and also some of quotes from the trials as well.
Q: Is Devil’s Playground a part of a series, or is it just one book?
A: I always intended for it to be just one book. Even as I was submitting it to agents and publishers, I didn’t want there to be a sequel. But with some invaluable feedback, my whole ending changed. And with that change, it seemed pretty clear that there was more to Elizabeth’s story. So…that was a long answer to say, it is the first book in a series. Because I never intended for there to be another book, I am still in the rough draft stage for book #2.
There, amongst the yellow kernels, the corner of a large book peeks through the grain. Instead of rushing up to Mother, for she certainly needs the corn by now, I drop the bag on an old bench. Dust explodes in my face, and I use my sleeve to stifle an expected sneeze. Shaking my head, I reach into the corn and pull out a large, leather-bound book.

 “What are you doing buried down here amongst our harvest?” I murmur, running my fingers down the thick spine. At first glance it doesn’t look like much; the cover has no title and no design. The only thing that makes the book remotely interesting is the iron clasp sealing it shut—only the clasp isn’t secure. It rests, slightly ajar, and with a gentle prodding, it falls open.

My fingers tremble as I nudge the book open. It all feels wrong somehow, me alone with this mysterious book. The pages seem ancient, so much so that I am afraid to turn them, certain they will crumble away. Studying the first page, I am in awe at the beautiful penmanship. If I didn’t know any better, I would say the letters are swirling, changing, before my eyes.

But that is impossible.

After staring at the page for a moment or two, I am surprised when the letters take form, and I am able to decipher several words. Kempe’s Magisches Buch für Hexerei und Zauberei. It is in German, but I have a feeling I know what kind of book this is.

“No, that is impossible,” I whisper, stepping back. “Father would never have kept such a thing.”

 And yet, he has.

I ought to hide the book away—and never look at it again. Something like this can only bring trouble. Even I know that. But an invisible force draws me close once more, and I don’t have the power to resist. Even if I did have the power, I don’t have the desire. I must know what is in that book.

Gently turning to a page at random, I stare at the strange writing. As with the cover page, the letters continue to swirl, and I wait for them to arrange themselves. Unsichtbarkeit, it finally reads in bold letters. “I wish I knew German.”

And then the letters begin to change and rearrange. When they have settled once more, I am astonished at what is in front of me. Invisibility, it says. Four lines follow the title, though, and I can’t understand a word of it. It isn’t German, and certainly not English.

“Lumen transeat per me,” I sound out. My toes begin to tingle. I try not to become too excited; it could have been a coincidence. “Ut non alii videre.” The tingling sensation moves from the toes and up my legs. Blood rushes to my head, and I feel faint, but I don’t want to stop. “Lumen—”

“What is the meaning of this?” a deep voice thunders. Before I have time to react, the book is snatched from my hands, and I am looking into the furious face of Father.

About Heather:

Heather Eagar currently resides in Logan, Utah where she strives to balance her love of writing with raising a husband and two kids. Her short story, The Quake, was recently published in the Wells Street Journal, a publication distributed by the University of Westminster. Heather is also a book reviewer and you can find reviews for Middle-grade fiction through Adult novels on her website,www.heatheraeagar.com

Twitter: @haeagar
Instagram: wonder_of_words (Stay tuned for a post a day through 2016)

Find the book here!!! :


Saturday, January 9, 2016

FINISH HIM by Deanna Dee...Author Spotlight!

Title: Finish Him
Author: Deanna Dee

Sonya Black never expected a petty sibling quarrel could lead to her sister being drugged. Overcome with guilt, Sonya vows to bring the jerk to justice. When she dives into her own investigation, she lands belly up in the company of Jaxon Nyles, the security guard who may have all the answers.

But being a detective isn’t as easy as Sonya thinks. On top of that, Jaxon always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Is he a suspect, or is he falling for her? More important, is she falling for him?

The round has begun. Who will flirt? Who will win? Will hearts break in the process?


With a complex pressing of buttons, the screen goes dim, and my opponent explodes into a fountain of blood and innards. Take that, pixels. The familiar zing of a victory glides through my blood, and it’s all I can do to keep the smirk off my lips. I haven’t been on Thanksgiving break for three hours, and already I’m kicking ass at video games and racking up the bragging points.

Dawn mutters a string of unintelligible syllables. It’s too bad not everyone’s having as good a time as me. “I will defeat you, Dwarf.”

I hit X on my controller to bring us back to the character selection screen. Dawn is the GM, Game Master, of the Marshalls and Magics campaign our group has going, and I play a dwarf. Possibly, she thinks calling me by my race will unhinge me enough for her to win a round. Not likely. “Yeah, yeah. Pick a character.”

Dawn sighs and selects Kerdwin, a random character who appeared in one of the side stories ten years ago. His combos are weak, and his powers are weaker. I keep all this to myself. Dawn pulls no punches during M and M. It’s not my fault if she’s bad at selecting characters in Bloodrage Anarchy: Silver Edition…or any other edition, really.

“Good choice,” I say instead and, with automatic movements, navigate three down and two over to Dalara, warrior princess of the outer realm of Simenia. The screen goes dark for the loading process, and our characters appear on the top of a narrow mountain. Lightning arcs overhead, and drums pound a war beat.

Round One, the game’s automated voice, which sounds like a constipated ogre, says. Kerdwin stands in a pathetic pose Dawn probably knows a name for. Dalara also stands in a pose she would know, but hers looks kick-ass and involves balancing on the balls of her feet and swaying. FIGHT! The constipated ogre bellows his call to arms.

Constipation or not, the call is all I need. I send Dalara into a flying kick and knock Kerdwin backwards. Next, I close the distance to execute Dalara’s strongest combo, a series of kicks and punches that will result in Kerdwin flying across the screen.

“Damn you.” Dawn blocks, breaking my combo. She jumps back until there’s an entire screen of distance between us.

Unfortunately for her, the reprieve will be slight. I regain my feet and go into attack mode, pressing forward twice and then the A button to activate a special attack. Dalara says something understandable only by the people of some tiny country in Asia, and dark flames erupt from her hands. I do this twice more, and Dawn’s life bar drops to a quarter remaining. She ducks my fourth attempt, leaps my fifth, and comes at me, getting through my defenses and landing a punch. The tip of my health bar turns red.

Oh hell no. That shitake will not fly. “Nice.” I send a high kick into Kerdwin’s face and follow with a punching combo. Kerdwin sways on his feet, and I shoot more black flame. “But not nice enough.” Dalara shifts to her ready stance. Kerdwin falls, and the game constipatedly announces my victory. Vacation has never been sweeter.

“Rah!” Parker screams. He’s sitting across the room on my bed, and somehow, he still almost makes me go deaf. “Excellent! Continue! Piff the Eviscerator desires more bloodshed!”

Dawn’s character staggers to his feet, and Dawn and I exchange the kind of sideways glance gamers use when they don’t want to take their attention from the screen. Parker plays an illusionist mage in M and M and, because he’s Parker, has named his illusionist mage Piff the Eviscerator.

“Silence, Gnome,” Dawn says in her intimidate-everyone-but-Parker voice. She’s probably hoping the boy will one day have enough sense to fear her and be quiet.

“Eviscerate!” Parker punches the air. “Blood!” However, that day is not today.

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