Tag Archives: Lizzie

Short Help Me List & Desert Club invite.

1.  Please vote for ALL IS SILENCE in Wattpad’s STORY OF THE YEAR contest! It’s one of the top 150 Wattpad stories, but they’re letting readers with Twitter accounts vote. If you don’t have a twitter account, you can still spread the word. You may have to search Slater to find it. It’s currently hovering around #60.

2. Lizzie Goodin-Guerrero loves music. Pretty much everything from before her third birthday in 2004. Monday, January 11th was her 14th birthday! So, if there are songs you think she would listen to or songs to listen to while reading a certain part of her story, please send them to me. I’ll post it under the fun tab.

3. Join The Desert Club shirt[Like the Breakfast Club, but pronounced like dessert!). If you’re a fan of the Deserted Lands you can become a ‘Deserter’ and get a FREE ALL IS SILENCE T-Shirt and the opportunity for more special prizes! Come find out more at the Desert Club page.

January Smorgasblog

Okay. Here’s a random list of catch up things for January. 11 in November, 12 in December… Should be either 1 or 13 in January, no? Well, somewhere in between. Here we go.

0. [inserted last] Today is Lizzie’s 14th birthday! Born 1/11/2002.

1. My friend and writing mentor Holly Lisle’ s Memory of Fire (World Gates Series) is on a special price for Amazon Kindle = $0.99.

My review: Great opening to a cool universe. Pretty classic parallel universe with lots of nice twists. Strong females! Yeah. Be happy that they are all out so you don’t have to wait read them all like I did! I can’t find my paperbacks, so now I can have it on ebook! Holly Lisle writes books you can’t put down. This is no exception. 

Currently #211 paid in the Kindle store! Check out her stuff at her websites: [Her Books & Blog] [Her Writing Classes]

2. First Convention booking WeAreAllSFfor 2016. WE ARE ALL SCIFI. NOV. 4–6, 2016 ♦ OCEAN SHORES.

Join Tor editor Beth Meacham, authors Jennifer Brozek, Nancy Kress, Jody Lynn Nye, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Raven Oak, Mike Resnick, David Gerrold, William F. Nolan, James E. Gunn, Angela Korra’ti and many, many more TBA for a fun con at the beach! Kid friendly!

Our other Guests of Honor include Celebrity Guest of Honor Drew Hobson (Grimm, voice actor, State of Decay & more), Games GoH Scott Hungerford, and musical guests Dara Korra’ti (Crime and the Forces of Evil) …and games, costumes, writing workshops, panels, dances…

See you there.

3. We now have the first two members of The Desert Club, a street team of Deserted Lands fans. Want to help? Want a FREE ALL IS SILENCE T-shirt? Click on the link.

4. Oh, and have I asked you to read Toils and Snares? Yes? A hundred times? Are you sure? Are you exaggerating. Only a little? Would you leave an honest review? You haven’t finished it? It’s on your Kindle? I’m needy? Did I tell you why? Did I mention that BookBub promos usually have over 20 reviews and I have 19? You’d tell me if I was that author, right? Oh, I wasn’t but I am now? Yes, in fact, we did play the game of questions in Drama at school. I lost? That was a statement? Oh. You’re right. Sorry.   

5. November’s Elevensies sale sold 111 ebooks, at least that was my count until one final sale came through from November on iBooks. So, 112. Probably biggest month ever for number of sales, but adding in promotional costs made it a less than average month in income. Still a lot more people have read one or more of the Deserted Lands series. I’m planning on doing another sale near my birthday in February and the date of ALL IS SILENCE’s print publication.

6. Some personal goings on you can check up on the non-writing blog. I’m working on lowering stress levels by finishing old projects, getting rid of shtuff, reading more, exercising more and rebooting my relationship with alcohol. Planning on blogging about these processes there, interspersed with non-alcoholic drink recipes and food to go along with them.

7. Working on building a library at Windward High School where I teach. So, moving books from my house thataway as well as donating a bunch of my books to worthy causes like Heinlein for Heroes, Books for troops, alternative high school and juvenile detention center libraries. If you would like to donate to my school library, let me know!

December Smorgasblog – Keep Warm and Dry

12 mini-blog posts for the Holidays. If the weather gets too bad, curl up with a book or an e-book.

A stand-alone parallelequel to ALL IS SILENCE.
A stand-alone parallelequel to ALL IS SILENCE.

I’m re-submitting Toils and Snares for a FREE [Free for the reader, not for me! ;-)] promotion at BookBub today.  If you have read Toils and Snares, please leave an honest review here. In order to successfully submit a book to BookBub, they want enough reviews to be certain it is good enough for the people who subscribe to their service. If you are willing to read and review it, I will send you a FREE ebook copy of it to read. Just send me an e-mail or comment at the bottom of this post. Thanks.

My first novel,  ALL IS SILENCE, won a WATTYS 2015 Award for Collector’s Dream. Wattpadders can add books they want to read to their Collections and they made it one of the the most-added stories of 2015.  Today there are three easy ways to buy ALL IS SILENCE:

  1. KOBO 30% off ebook – $2.79 with this link and code DEC30
  2. Still waiting for Amazon to put the kindle version at the $3.99 price, so it’s $2.99 for now here.
  3. Want a print version? Go to Village Books and get SIGNED COPIES of one or both of my books in time for the holidays with only $0.99 shipping.

I’m having a great month on Kobo. STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS is being featured on their Science Fiction Next Picks lineup and ALL IS SILENCE is in their December 30 as mentioned above.

In December I will be making appearances at the following events and locations. Come see me there.

  • December 10, 2015. 5:00PM until 8:00PM. Holiday Book FestivalBellingham Cruise Terminal. 17 local authors. Signing, chatting and selling. I’ll have books, t-shirts & ebook download cards.
  • December 12, 2015: GIFTS FOR GEEKS II. 2:00pm – 9:00pm AFK Elixirs & Eatery. Signing, chatting and selling: books, t-shirts and ebook download cards.
  • I’ll be visiting the Whatcom County Juvenile Detention center to talk to the kids there and donate some books.

Join my ‘street team’ The Desert Club [Pronounced Dessert club so it’s a play on The Breakfast Club which Lizzie loves.] and help me promote my books to new readers.

On my personal blog I’ve a post about drivers, the inattentive and tentative, titled Drive South [a nod to one of my faves: John Hiatt…]

Pintado’s cover art for ALL IS SILENCE is up for another award at COVER WARS. You can vote everyday! Scroll to the bottom to vote.

And a partridge in a pear tree…

AIS Extras Part IV: Second Ending Part I

The Semi-Mega-Sad Ending. Part I

There are certainly some “and a lot of things happen here” spots, but you get the gist. Better than the first Scooby Doo ending, but still not right. Not the original spelling of Mannie’s name. A mi, no me gusta. Today you can get all three of my Deserted Lands e-books for under $11 for the “This Sale Goes to Elevensies” Sale!

~L~

“Lizzie knows we’ve gotten captured,” Jess said softly.

Manny turned to Jess. She looked tired, but trying to hold herself together. She was tough, but he was pretty sure it was a thin sheen of toughness. “What do you think she’ll do?”

“Well, if she’s still as crazy as she used to be…” Jess shrugged. “She’d probably gonna get Zach to help her break us out.”

“If they can find us.”

There was a sound out of sight. And muffled voices. Then a female voice carried over the top of them. “Lock me up with the others.” The voice demanded. Then, “Please?”

Manny looked at Jess and she nodded. “Lizzie.” They said at the same time.

A few minutes later the guards led a petite girl with mussed short hair and a man’s jacket and jeans. Her eyes lit up when she saw him. He could see aspects of her mother and strange aspects of himself. He stood and crowded toward the door. “Elizabeth?”

“Dad.” She smiled. “Sorry about the circumstances. Not the reunion I’d imagined.”

The first guard unlocked the door. “Please, step back, sir.”

Manny backed away. The world was suddenly fuzzy and he could feel his heart beat in his head. The door slid open and Lizzie rushed in and wrapped her arms around him, spinning him. He buried his face in her hair as the tears flowed from his eyes. “Oh, Lizzie. Oh, my.”

“Daddy. I’m sorry. I was so afraid I’d never see you.”

“Excuse me, miss? Sir?” The guard had keys in his hands. “I can unlock your cuffs.”

“Daddy, daddy, daddy.” Lizzie repeated.

Her voice and the sound of the words in her mouth buoyed Manny up. He allowed Lizzie to spin him toward the guard without letting go of him. Then his arms were free. He wrapped them around her. No words came. He just held her. The guard left and the cell door slid shut. Manny thought he could see tears threatening in the guards eyes.

“Lizzie. I was afraid I wouldn’t live to see you. And then you were dead.” He winced at the memory. “Then things kind of went black. I’m sorry. It was weak.”

“It’s okay, Daddy.”

Her eyes, glistening red with tears, glowed up at him. “I won’t let it happen again.”

“I don’t care. I found you.” Her body shook with sobs. “I found you.”

“You found me.” He chuckled. “I was lost, but now am found.”

“Amazing Grace?”

“Yeah.” He hugged her close, her head fit just under his chin. “Never been religious, but some of those hymns…”

Jess jumped down and when Manny released her, wrapped Lizzie in her strong farmer girl arms. “God, Lizzie. It’s good to see you.”

“You too, Jess.” Lizzie nodded toward Manny. “Thanks for taking care of my dad.”

“He wouldn’t let me take care of him much, but at least I gave him someone to talk to.”

BeeGee cleared her throat.

Jess stepped aside. “Lizzie, meet BeeGee.”

“Your Dad drank the last of my vodka.”

“Hi, BeeGee.”

The Native American woman shrugged sheepishly. “Your dad’s a good man, Lizzie.”

“Yeah. I hope so.” Lizzie smiled at Manny.

He smiled back at his daughter. “Yeah. I hope so, too.” She shrugged back into his arms and squeezed. He held her close and felt her breathe.

After a while the guards brought in some breakfast. Oatmeal, steaming in bowls. Pretty plain, but with honey and brown sugar on the side. Coffee, hearty smelling and black steamed beside it. And there was sugar and cream to go with it. The guards left them alone while they ate. Something about the experience seemed to lend everything a little extra humanity.

Jess introduced Lizzie to BeeGee and gave her a short version of their meeting. They talked about their journeys while the four of them sat around the rolling cart and ate breakfast. The food was good and filling and the coffee was as hearty as it smelled.

Someone came to the door of the cell, Manny assumed it was the guard and didn’t bother to look.  “I’m glad you found your daughter, son.”

The voice surprised Manny, but he knew who he would see before he looked up. “I’m not really young enough to be your son, Sir.” The captain from the Provo guard post smiled gently at him.

“I know.” The Captain replied, his gruff voice softened. “I’m sorry you didn’t heed my warning. I don’t really have a choice this time. Headquarters is pretty sure they know who you are and why you’re here.”

Manny laughed and with only a hint of bitterness said, “That’s really freakin’ amazing, since I’m pretty damn sure I don’t know why I’m here. Maybe you can tell me so we both know.”

“Well, Lieutenant Manuel Guerrero,” The Captain’s gray eyes twinkled, “they think you’re a military spy sent to infiltrate their city.  ”

“I’m not in the Army anymore,” Manny growled. “And why the Hell would I do that?”

The older man chuckled. “Because, of course, what they’re doing here is the most important thing going in the world. And everyone is going to try to take it away from them.”

Manny stood and crossed to the older man. “And what is going on here?”

“You know what happens when there’s a power vacuum. Two-bit dictators pop up.”

“You don’t sound like you respect your superiors.”

“Oh, I respect my superiors…”

“So what happens next?” Lizzie stood and walked over to the bars.

“I get to escort you back to Provo and you get to meet His Holiness, The Redeemer.”

“Yippee.” Lizzie said with a grimace. “When do we leave?”

“As soon as we’re ready.”

“Can I have one phone call?” Lizzie asked.

The captain laughed out loud. “Good one. Sorry, no. I’m afraid the exchange your father and I had last night has set some wheels turning. The good thing is they think he’s important. That gives you a level of safety not common around here.”

“Great. How come that doesn’t really make me feel better?” Lizzie walked back to the breakfast and finished her coffee.

Manny stepped forward and stared into those eyes. They stared calmly back. They held strength and sadness. What had he lost? What did he still hold dear? He could see that the Captain had chosen duty as his path to deliverance. Manny broke the eye contact. “Well, let’s get moving then.”

The captain motioned to the guards and the doors were opened. “Your chariot awaits.”

The chariot was a converted Hummer stretch Limo. They were joined inside by two armed guards and the Captain. Two military jeeps complete with a mounted machine guns flanked them.

“Riding in style,” Lizze said. The derision dripped from her words.

“Not my choice, young lady,” the Captain said flatly.

The ride to Provo was not altogether unpleasant. Manny and the Captain exchanged war stories as if they were heading to a party.

~M~

Manny stared at the Captain. “We need your help for this to work.”

A flash of pain crossed the old man’s eyes. “I’d like to help, but I can’t. I’ve already done too much, maybe.”

“Why the Hell can’t you help us??” Manny wanted to grab the man and shake his refusal from him. “You don’t like what’s going on. You play your ‘sense of duty’ games, but you won’t really hold yourself to the promises it makes.”

Something in the older man’s manner succumbed. “I can’t.” He sat down heavily and then he did appear to be old enough to be Manny’s father. “They’ve got my grand-daughter. Treating her like a queen…” He cut off. “A queen for a price. She doesn’t want to go and I can’t leave her.”

That was a motivation Manny could understand. He nodded. “Okay. I need to get my people out of here. Can you help me get to my daughter? Maybe we can even set it up so you report our escape to the higher ups to keep you and her both safe.”

 

~L~

Lizzie watched the heated exchange between her father and the self-titled Redeemer.

Manny stopped pacing and turned to the Reedemer. “Okay. What do you want from me so I can free my daughter?”

The Redeemer hovered over a map of what once was the United States. “I want the military government of San Antonio to recognize the sovereign state of Utah.”

Lizzie caught herself before she laughed out loud. The Redeemer glanced toward her. Don’t make it harder on your father. She tensed then relaxed. His eyes were not seeing her, but something else. Maybe his future? Not mine, too, I hope.

He continued with a low, sonorous voice. “And a treaty to be signed that recognizes our ability to govern our subjects and protect our borders.”

“That’s all?” Manny collapsed in a chair.

The Redeemer returned to the present. “Sarcasm won’t help, Mr. Guerrero.”

“Are you sure?” Manny stared at his hands. “Look. Sir. Sorry. Two things. I am not a spy. I am not in the Army anymore. I have no pull with anyone. How can I get you what you want? Send him.” He pointed to the Captain.  “Are you active duty?”

The Captain looked to the Redeemer, who nodded. “27 years active. 14 years in the reserves. I was recalled in September.”

Her father nodded at the Redeemer. “Wouldn’t he be a better choice?”

“He would be. But I need him here.” The Redeemer’s face darkened for a moment. “He commands a certain… Respect.”

“Yes. He does.” Manny sighed.

Lizzie wanted to go hug him, but now was not the time. He straightened up. Very straight. She suddenly saw the soldier in her father.

He stood toe to toe with the Redeemer. His words came out slow. “I think you’re crazy.”

Lizzie watched the Redeemer closely. His lips twitched, but she could not tell if it was in anger or humor.

Then her father stepped back. “But if that’s what it takes to get my people safely out of here….”

“It is. The only way.” The Redeemer faced her father. They held each other’s eyes.

Finally he stepped away. “I need my cell phone back? And how can I communicate with my daughter? You want my assistance you better keep her healthy and safe.”

“Of course.” The Redeemer agreed. “She can call you under supervision. There may be a short delay in your conversations. We don’t want any unmonitored communications.”

“Wait.” Lizzie had heard enough. “My father is an honorable man.”

“That’s what I am counting on.”

Lizzie strode over to the Redeemer. She caught his eyes. “Can I speak to you alone?”

“No, Lizzie.” Her father said behind her.

“I can handle myself, Dad.”

“I’m not worried about you handling yourself.”

“Very amusing, Mr. Guerrero.” The Redeemer’s face did not show amusement. “You may speak with me alone. This way.” He gestured for her to follow him and turned away down the hallway.

Lizzie hugged her dad. “Trust me.” He held her for a moment, then nodded. She could tell he didn’t want her to go, but she could see he wanted to treat her like an adult. For once a parent who will. Sorry, mama. Mostly thinking about Doug. She followed the Redeemer down the hallway and into the door he’d entered. He closed the door behind her.

“Can I get you a drink, Miss?”

“Lizzie. Yes. I’ll take a drink. Coffee and Irish whiskey?”

He chuckled. “Not a very girly drink.”

“I’m not a very girly, girl, Mr.–” She waited.

“You don’t like calling me the Redeemer?” His lips fought the smile they threatened. The smile won. “Very well. Mr. Ray. Mark, if you wish to be even more informal.” He poured the coffee. “Cream?”

“No. Black. Two sugars. Thank you.” She glanced around the room. It was nice not adorned, but not too excessive. The furniture looked like the room. Except the bar he poured the drinks from. It looked like a seriously expensive.

“I try not to be too extravagant, but I have a thing for antiques. The sideboard is 18th century American. Hand-carved. I liberated it from one of the local museums.” He brought her the drink. “So. How can you help me?”

“My father is an honorable man. If he promises to deliver your message to San Antonio he will. If he is doing it voluntarily I expect it will go better for you.” She took a sip of the coffee. It burned slightly both from the heat and the alcohol. “I’ve only recently been reunited with him. I don’t want him to go without me.”

“Understandable. But you are suggesting that I simply let you go?”

“Yes. It would be the smart political thing to do.”

“Miss Guerrero. Lizzie. Do not presume….” He stopped speaking. Something changed in his manner. “Lizzie, there are a variety of dangers out there. You have met the collectors. I barely keep them in control. Others are less, uh… reasonable.” He turned to face her, stepped toward her. His eyes held hers, challenging. “I think it safer for one man to travel south alone.”

“There are others. My friends. Who have still managed to evade your collectors.”

His smile had left his eyes. Lizzie turned away from them. She suddenly felt dizzy, flushed. She undid the next button on her shirt and turned back toward him. Had he put something else in the coffee? “If we meet up with them, we ought to be able to safely deliver your ‘offering of peace’ and respect for other ‘sovereign’ states.”

“You may button your shirt, Ms. Guererro. I am not likely to accede to your wishes with such theatrics.”

She gave him her best ‘oh, my god are you kidding, I wouldn’t sleep with you in a million years look.’ Then she met his eyes. “I’m not trying to seduce you, Mr. Ray. It’s too hot in here.” She crossed to the sideboard and set the coffee down. She poured a glass of water from the pitcher with ice and took a deep drink and refilled it. “That’s better.” She turned back toward him. “I want to propose that you make a show of peaceful acceptance. I want you to grant freedom to any of the people you have collected who wish to leave. My dog-people and the rest.”

“Lizzie. Most of those people cannot take care of themselves. And more importantly most wish to remain. Winter is coming on. We have power, protection and food.” He laughed. “I don’t think you’d get many takers.”

“No. Maybe not. And maybe I’d only get the troublemakers… More people like me. But how can it hurt? You would appear…” She searched for the word… “magnanimous.” She watched his eyebrow raise and again the war between his smile and his severity. “It gives more support to your request for recognition. You are at the cutting edge. I don’t think there are many places in the country that have programs in place as well as yours to help people.” Lizzie hoped her emphasis on the word help came out as she wanted it to and not sarcastically as she felt. She took another sip of the ice water. She could feel his eyes on her.

“An interesting idea. But if you have a caravan of people it will slow down my… ‘offering of peace,’ as you called it. I need that message delivered before winter hits.”

She could see the wheels spinning, calculating. She said nothing. Let him think on it.

“If he leaves first and with a smaller party while you continue with your ‘volunteers’ at a slower pace. Will that be acceptable? I cannot allow you much in the way of equipment.”

“Perhaps a bus?”

“How many do you expect?”

“I don’t know.” She squared off with him. “How many do you expect would leave if you offered them their freedom?”

He smiled again at that. “Well. I don’t know either. Perhaps we’ll see. Your offer of freedom in the oncoming cold season versus my benevolent offer of protection from the elements and the wild ones on the outside.” He crossed to the window and looked down on the city. “Will your father agree?”

It was Lizzie’s turn to smile. “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask him.”

“Let’s ask him, then, shall we?”

When they walked out together the Captain from the cell had joined her father. He saluted the Redeemer and acknowledged Lizzie with a tip of his hat.

“Mr. Guerrero. Your daughter’s calm reasonableness has prevailed over my fearful protectiveness. Provided you get an early start taking my ‘offering of peace’ south…” The redeemer nodded at Lizzie. “Your daughter has convinced me to offer freedom to those of my people who wish to leave the safety of my City. She will continue south with them. You will have your cell phones returned to you. I’m afraid my basic distrust has only been reinforced by human behaviors since The Fall.”

Lizzie heard an odd emphasis on the word Fall. A religious significance, perhaps? The Redeemer was certainly a powerful personality. What had he done before “The Fall” had come?

“We will be ‘magnanimous’ with our peoples.”

Again the nod to Lizzie. He was charming. Probably sold cars. Lizzie watched her father’s response. It was tentative. He couldn’t quite trust the Redeemer either. But she could see him battling with himself over an appropriate response.

“Forgive me, your Excellence. How am I to trust you?”

“Through my deeds.” The Redeemer smiled. “Lizzie’s plan may rid me of troublemakers who will make it harder to shepherd my flock through the coming dark times. If the people who remain choose my protection, then all will be well.”

The Captain cleared his throat. “You are offering freedom to all who wish it?”

“For those whose reasons to leave outweigh their reasons to stay, Captain, yes. Many will choose to stay for the safety and protection I offer.” Their eyes locked together for a brief moment. “I will entrust you with ensuring that those wishing to leave are allowed to. We cannot offer them much in terms of supplies. Perhaps a school bus or two, depending on how many choose to leave.”

The Captain saluted. “I will begin work on it right away.”

Stay tuned for the next half next weekend. 

 

AIS Extras Part II: NaNOriginal Dream Sequence…

Yes. Dream Sequence… Gonna have to save my dream sequences for the fantasy series. Thanks, Amanda. Good call.

Remember, ALL IS SILENCE is ON SALE for the first time at $2.99 the entire month of November on all major sales sites in honor of NANOWRIMO.

Original Opening Scene of ALL IS SILENCE as written during NaNoWriMo 2012. Working titles were:

ZOMBIE ZOO
followed by
AND EVERYTHING AFTER…
then
ALL IS SILENCE IN THE WORLD
and finally
ALL IS SILENCE

Chapter One

No good sleeping in when her little brother, mom and mom’s live in boy-friend, man-friend, were making so much noise. She pulled a black hoodie and jeans over her t-shirt and underwear, ran her fingers through her short hair. The Boris Karloff buzz-cut had grown out to a boyish length and she wasn’t taking so much crap about it anymore. She had stuff to do. The flood was coming and they needed to move the house.

        She didn’t know how she knew it was so important, but the urgency was undeniable. She grabbed the combat boots and pulled them on over heavy socks–too much dirty work for the Docs. Lizzie’s little brother, Jason was giggling along with her mom’s chuckle. She’d never been into Saturday morning cartoons—too silly and obnoxious. She slammed the door and headed down the long hallway.

        “Thanks for letting me sleep in,” she said to the room.

        Her mom shot her an odd glance from near the stove. “It’s almost dinner-time, lazybones.”

        Jerkwad, mom’s boyfriend laughed loudly. “When you turn eighteen-”

        “You’re not my dad,” she cut off the response she wanted to say aloud.

        “What’re you gonna be when you grow up, sissy?” Jason asked.

        Lizzie glanced at the clock—6:18. But the light was wrong. “We’ve got to get the house moved. The floods are coming.” The rain pounded on the window.

        All three of them stared at her.

        Jerkwad spoke. “What the Hell are you babbling about?””

        “The water’s rising. The rain. The news said-”

        “You ain’t watched the news, Lazy.” Jerkwad shook his head, grinning. “You’ve been asleep all day.”

        ““Mom?” Lizzie begged. “Make him shut up.”

        ““He’s right, Liz. What’re you talking about?”

        Jason chimed in, “You goin’ Crazy Lazy on us again?”

        “I hate you all! I hope you all die in the flood. I’m moving the house.” She grabbed a Coke out of the fridge and raincoat off the peg. “I’m moving the house.” She slammed the door. Its aluminum weight did not give her the satisfaction she wanted. When had the heavy wood door gotten replaced?

        The rain pelted her as she pulled on the hoodie and jacket. She turned to the house and found the old single-wide trailer she’d lived in as a kid. Weird. Where was the house? This would be easier to move. She grabbed Jerkwad’s work gloves that never got used and headed around to the front. She started tearing the lower panels away to get to the wheels she knew were under there. Inside she could hear them laughing and joking. Lazy Lizzie was turning into Crazy Lizzie again. She shoved in her earbuds and hit shuffle on her phone. Something metallic and grinding from the 80s soothed her anger. Good working music. With a vengeance, Lizzie tore away more aluminum panels, sending them flying as they broke free.

        The sound of a phone cut through as the song ended. Isn’t someone going to answer it? They call me lazy!? She sent the last panel flying across the yard. How had she done that so fast? The phone still rang. She shook her head in disgust and pulled open the back door to the little kitchen. The house was cold and empty. She slammed the door. The solid wood reverberated. What the Hell was going on? The ringing continued, but Lizzie couldn’t find the phone. It wasn’t on the wall. “Where’d you guys go?” she hollered. The phone stopped. Mom had been cooking. In the new house. Then it was the single-wide. Now she was back in the house, but it was empty. Am I going crazy?

A new screeching sound replaced the phone. Jason’s stupid freaking bird screaming alarm clock. Damn thing could wake the dead. I must be dreaming. It is morning. The dream spun downward as Lizzie’s body sank into the bed. She sighed. For a minute she’d wondered if they were right and the Crazy Lizzie had returned.

Come check out what it later became here. Or buy a copy here for only $2.99 the whole month of November 2015!

 

 

SmorgasBlog – Autumn Falls…

Please, excuse the random catch-all of paragraphs that make up this post. Not sure that any of them deserve a whole blog post at the moment.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: There’s a new interview of me up on YA site: Off The Shelf from Derek Murphy.

COVER ART WIN: Pintado’s cover art for STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS won one of five gold stars for fiction in the September Book Cover Design Awards from The Book Designer. Top 6 out of 115 entries.  “Stunning imagery meets professionally crafted typography. A top-notch design.” Also a great resource to find designers you like and get a sense of what works and what does not and why. Our entry and comments are about  3/4 of the way down the page right past Richard Levesque’s nice new cover for The Girl at the End of the World.

GUEST-POST on Greenerside Digital. The First e-book download card I had ever seen.  Notes on how download cards work and how I hope to utilize them. If you’re an author check this out.

GUEST-POST on Cabin Goddess’ Fourth Wall Friday. Get your own Damn Coffee! A fun interaction between myself and my protagonist.

NEW APPEARANCES:

  • November 28th, 2015. 12-4 pm. Local Author SigningsBarnes and Noble, Bellingham, WA.
  • December 10, 2015. 5:00PM until 8:00PM. Holiday Book FestivalBellingham Cruise Terminal. 17 local authors. Signing, chatting and selling. I’ll have books, t-shirts & ebook download cards.
  • December 12, 2015: GIFTS FOR GEEKS II. 2:00pm – 9:00pm AFK Elixirs & Eatery. Signing, chatting and selling: books, t-shirts and ebook download cards.

ELEVENSIES SALE – Sale on all of my currently available works of fiction. In 11 days leading up to 11/11 readers can get every one of my ebook works for under $11. Outward Bound, Just Desert, One Tin Soldier will all be FREE on certain days, Toils and Snares, $0.99; All Is Silence, $2.99, Straight into Darkness, $6.99. More info as we get closer.

Thanks folks, for following me!

 

 

Guest Post: Destroying the World One Word at a Time

Hey folks,Girlattheendoftheworld

Today I’d like you all to welcome Richard Levesque to my Blog. He is the author the novel, The Girl at the End of the World, a genre partner to my ALL IS SILENCE more than any other book I’ve found. Check out his great new cover. The Girl at the End of the World is on sale now for only $0.99!

Destroying the World One Word at a Time

Plague. Natural Disaster. War. Alien Invasion. Zombies. They’re all catalysts for the end of the world in popular fiction and film. But what is the appeal of such stories? It’s partly in watching and reading with a bit of glee as all the bad things about our world come to an end. But it’s not just that. End-of-the-world stories aren’t just about the end of the world; they’re post-apocalyptic. They’re about what happens after everything goes wrong—which means they’re about survival. And that, I think, is the real appeal.

When I wrote The Girl at the End of the World, I thought of it first and foremost as a survivor’s story. Scarlett Fisher, the heroine, gets an unwanted surprise on her fifteenth birthday—the outbreak of a plague that quickly wipes out everyone she’s ever known. Left alone in a corpse-ridden Los Angeles, she has to figure out how to survive. She faces many challenges, all the while hoping there may be others like her—people who were lucky enough to have been immune to the disease. What she doesn’t think about, though, is that even if others have survived, that wouldn’t necessarily make them good people.

I’m convinced that readers enjoy living vicariously through characters like Scarlett. Reading about her, they picture themselves in peril, imagining themselves in her situation and empathizing with her losses, her fears, and her triumphs. This is true for just about any good end-of-the-world tale, from John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids to Robert Slater’s All Is Silence. The differences are in the ways the world ends—sometimes quietly and sometimes horrifyingly—and it’s the survivors who make it a real story after the dust has settled.

Does the popularity of such stories suggest that we really want to see the world end? I would suggest that’s not the case. Rather, such stories speak to an increased awareness of (and anxiety about) the fragility of our world. We are anxious about climate change, the spread of disease, political unrest, terrorism, etc. And when we see those threats, and worse ones, made manifest in a post-apocalyptic novel, we feel a little bit better for having survived the end of the world along with the characters. When the book is finished, we can go back to real life, scary though it may sometimes be, feeling ready to take it on. We’ve gone to the edge and looked over, and we’ve had characters like Scarlett and Lizzie along with us. Their survival is our survival, and while they may be battered and bruised in the process, we get to curl up with our Kindles and grab some comfort food when the peril gets too intense. There’s a little release that comes from going along for the ride with these characters, and when the world starts feeling a little too scary again, we can grab another book and dive in again.

For anyone who’s interested in diving into The Girl at the End of the World, I’ve dropped the price for the next few days. You can grab your copy at Amazon for just 99 cents. And if you want to read a sample, the first three chapters are available for free at Amazon.

What’s better, if you’d like a chance at winning a signed paperback of The Girl at the End of the World, I’m running a contest for new subscribers to my free newsletter. It’s open to people with US mailing addresses only and you’ll need to subscribe by the end of October. If you don’t win, you’ll still have access to a free ebook, free short stories, and announcements about sales and new releases. If that’s not what you’re interested in, I’d still like to hear your thoughts on why you find books about the end of the world so appealing.

Thanks for the guest post, Richard! I’m going to be following his lead and putting some books on sale in November, too!

Help Me, Please – Part III-V

BookI&IIsmIf you have read the STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS, please tell me if you found errors, typos and/or missing words? I am getting ready to upload to Ingram, so that I can sell in bookstores around the country and so libraries will order the book. Now each time I upload interiors to Ingram it costs me $30, so I want this to be the best it possibly can be at this time.

This appears the week that I ask for help. Earlier in the week I asked for reviews from folks who had read TOILS AND SNARES. Then I asked for help making a potential Kindle Worlds blurb.

My next request is help creating playlists for the Lizzie novels. I want songs pre-2004, when Lizzie’s dad, Mannie, left. Sort of a Patsy Cline  Walking after Midnight to Melissa Etheridge’s Lucky. It’s fairly pop-centered with a class rock/singer songwriter bent.

And the last request for this Help Me week… Other authors have a street team! They’re the fans who spread the word. I even have a name–The Desert Club, pronounced like Dessert Club. Like Breakfast Club, eh? 😉 The Deserters, as they might like to be called, would help tell people about the Deserted Lands series. They might have special access to cool swag like T-Shirts, special first editions, etc. So, if you’re interested send me an e-mail or sign up for the newsletter. Or tell someone who is into the apocalyptic genre about it!

That’ll do for now. I literally have three more blog posts ready to go, but keep having important immediate needs upsetting the apple cart.

Book Clubs and Classrooms – Study Questions on All Is Silence

Now that ALL IS SILENCE has been out for a while, folks have started doing bookclub readings of it. In order to help out, I have created discussion questions for ALL IS SILENCE.  I found questions written for Mindy McGinnis’ awesome book, NOT A DROP TO DRINK and adapted them.

I would be very excited to visit your book club in real life if you are within Western Washington or virtually if you are not. We can meet online via Skype or Google Hangouts. If there is another venue you would like to meet virtually on, please let me know.

If you are interested in doing a book club or class study of ALL IS SILENCE or STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS, please contact me about special prices for larger quantities of the book. Every 10 books will get you a free book and free shipping. Smaller quantities will get a graduated discount.

Here are the questions. If you have questions that go deeper into the meanings of the ALL IS SILENCE or the rest of the Deserted Lands Universe, please share them below.

AIS Half-Title BastardDISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Download as word or pdf.

  1. In what ways is Lizzie forced to mature and take on adult roles? Provide examples of this.
  1. Lizzie notes that she’s always breaking promises as she decides to go outside. Does she always break her promises in the book? What are the exceptions?
  1. Lizzie’s relationships with adults are rarely positive. What about her life sets this up?
  1. Lizzie cares deeply about many things. What is important to Lizzie and why?
  1. How far in the future do you think the novel is supposed to take place? What makes you think that?
  1. What do you think is the theme of ALL IS SILENCE? Trace the theme throughout the book and provide examples.
  1. How do the teen-agers face the end of the world differently than the adults and why? How do they differ from each other? Why?
  1. One of the aspects of ALL IS SILENCE readers have questioned is the continuation of electrical based services. Talk to someone in your local area about power sources, cell towers and how long would it take to lose what services and why?
  1. The title of the novel is a reference to a rock and roll song. Which song does it reference? If you are unfamiliar with the song, once you locate it, read it. What do you think the novel has in common with the song that would cause the author to choose this title? Think critically and creatively.
  1. Each of the sections also has a rock song title. How do they connect to what happens in that third.
  1. This novel has been described as both dystopian, post-apocalyptic and apocalyptic. Which is the better definition and why?
  1. Outside of the human equation what will the effect be on other animals, domesticated and wild, as time goes by?
  1. If 95-98% of the human population dies, how long will the food last? Most apocalypses immediately assume that people will be fighting over food and valuables. This author takes the opposite approach—there is suddenly plenty of everything.
  1. What is the role of parenting in this novel, and who plays the role of parent and in what ways?
  1. Different communities have responded very differently to the crisis, from hippy-peaceful-sharing to martial law. Which way do think things would be likely to go in your local community.
  1. The author has created a subset of survivor who has been impacted, losing many of their higher reasoning skills. They are variously referred to as drones, dog-people and the simple ones. Which of these terms is most appropriate and why? What would be the best way to help these people?
  1. Are there clichéd characters or plot elements in this novel that either escape the cliché or are sunk by it?
  1. Many people consider the level of profanity excessive in ALL IS SILENCE. Do you think it is excessive, why or why not? Would it work as well if the language was tidied up?
  1. The writer who wrote ALL IS SILENCE is a forty-something male? Are there moments where the character of Lizzie does not seem to be a teen girl? Does it matter what the gender of the author is?
  1. According the American Library Association, Young Adult Literature is a term that refers to literature written for an audience of 12-25 year olds, with a median age of 18-19. Though some disparage literature labeled such, in fact much of classical literature taught in high schools and colleges has been designated for youth or even children, including books by Dickens, Twain, Austen, and even Shakespeare. Given that the target audience of books such as this novel seems to be this age group, discuss why it might especially appeal to the young adult audience or be especially relevant for your generation. Why might you also want adults of an older generation to read and consider this work?

Adapted and inspired by questions on
Mindy McGinnis’ Not a Drop to Drink.

3W: Weird Wiki Request, Winning on Wattpad & Writer Worries…

WIKIPEDIA: This is a weird request for me. As I ready myself to release my second novel, I feel like I should have wikipedia entry, so people can find me and I believe it also gives an air of respectability! Since the first novel has one some awards, has decent sales, and the newer works are also getting good press, I think it is time. I know I could write it myself, but that feels even more weird than asking for someone else to do it! If you are a wikipedia editor, know one or would like to become one, I’d like to invite you to practice on me! 😉 Thanks.

WATTPAD: Today, ALL IS SILENCE is #21, STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS is #17, and TOILS AND SNARES is #72! I miss being #1, but happy with the staying power… Come read it for free if you can’t afford to buy it or you live in the Philippines! 😉 Seriously, 17% of my 108,000+ Wattpad readers are from the Philippines!wp05232015

There have been a few burps and hiccoughs as they adjust their algorithms. At times ALL IS SILENCE has disappeared from the charts while having some of the best numbers ever. I think it’s impacted the number of new reads and followers, but since I’ve gotten 2300+ followers and they are helping me out, I can’t complain much!

I put a request for reviews on Wattpad and within a few days I had five new reviews! This alone is probably worth the price of the time I’ve spent. On the bittersweet side, I am getting so many questions and comments [40-60 a day] that I can’t even begin to think about answering them all. I used to answer each one, but now, if I did, I would get no fiction written and that would kind of make answering the fan questions sort of moot!

WRITER WORRIES: This week I put STRAIGHT INTO DARKNESS up on Amazon as a presale. [Please don’t buy it yet! If you want to know why, read this post: PLEASE DON”T BUY MY NOVEL.] That means I have 76 days to finish it. It is by far more challenging than the first novel was: hree major plot-lines/point of view characters and no road trips! I’ve got the Second Novel Omnipresent Blues as Mindy McGinnis calls them.

In addition to writing the novel, I need to continue to maintain my web presence: this blog, my personal blog, twitter, facebook, Google+ and more. I’m hoping to have a bit more time next year to focus on the writing, but we’ll see if my day job agrees to help!

Thanks for reading, please check out the newest page on the website. R U There?, a page to send Lizzie messages and get responses… Thanks Amanda J. Hagarty, excellent editor, writer and media maven!