YA Society

Creepy Fun Friday

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Earlier this week I introduced you to a brand new site created just for fans of YA indie fiction, The YA Storytellers Society. Twice each month members of the society will blog about a common topic. This week’s topic is Creepy & Lovin’ It. So, here’s a creepy excerpt from my book, To Light the Path.

Path front coverMerrilyn sat staring into the fire, debating with herself silently over all the things the Dream Stealer had said to her. She couldn’t hope any longer that he would stay away, but at the same time, she didn’t want to hear his promises anymore. She knew he couldn’t keep them; they had to be lies. Still, she wondered about the man who could invade her thoughts so easily. Who was he, and what did he really want with her? She hoped tonight to find out.

She took her place by the fire Aiden had built and tried to force herself to sleep. Instead, sleep eluded her. She tossed and turned long after the others were snoring. Merrilyn wondered if maybe she had been foolish to think she would hear his voice again so soon. With a deep sigh, she gave up trying to sleep and watched the smoke curl up toward the stars.

The clouds were thick tonight and a chill filled the air. She was glad for her warm blankets and snuggled deeper into them. Justan’s arm fell off of her and he snored loudly before rolling over to face the opposite direction.

Merrilyn turned back to stare at the fire and nearly jumped in surprise. The smoke had changed. Instead of the thin wisp rising slowly away from the dying flames, it now billowed into a large cloud that puffed and grew as she watched.

The Dream Stealer’s voice called to her, and Merrilyn tried not to smile in relief.

“You were waiting for me?” he asked, a hint of laughter in his voice this time. “I am a little surprised, Merrilyn. It seems you can’t decide how you feel about me.”

Her mind had been drawing its own picture of him for weeks. Now she wondered if his face would match the beautiful voice she heard singing in her dreams.

The smoke billowed suddenly, and a man appeared stepping out of the haze. Though she could not at first see his face clearly, her first thought was that he was the most handsome man she had ever seen.

He smiled at that. He was dark, his hair a deep brown, almost black, and his eyes were the same. He wore a black cloak that covered most of him.

The smoke swirled around him, pooling at his feet and then rushing away along the ground. She looked around, surprised to find herself standing at the top of a mountain. She could see the land stretching out all around her in every direction. It was beautiful and she wondered about all the places she had never seen. She gazed at the expansive scene in wonder.

“It could be yours,” he said softly beside her.

She turned to look up at him, searching his face, eager to read his expression now that she could. But it told her nothing more. He watched her calmly, waiting for her reply.

“Who are you to give it to me?” she asked at last.

He laughed. “What a clever question. Haven’t you guessed?”

Merrilyn shook her head.

“Ah, well then. I have a question for you,” he said with a smile. “Why did you want to see me?”

He took her hand and raised it to his lips. Then, he turned it over, running his thumb across her wrist where her pulse throbbed a bit quicker. His smile widened as he pressed a kiss into the palm of her hand.

She watched him with a mixture of fear and fascination. He lifted an eyebrow as he watched the play of emotions on her face.

“Shall I answer that for you?” he asked, teasingly.

“I want to know what it is you want from me,” she said at last.

“I only want to give you all that you desire. Surely you cannot object to that.”

She appraised him warily, and his lips twisted into a smile.

“Ah, I forgot. You don’t trust me.”

He sighed dramatically.

“I suppose I will just have to convince you then,” he said. “Come with me and I will show you.”

Her eyes widened at this suggestion.

He waited, hand outstretched for her, his eyes locked on hers. At last, with a deep breath for courage, she took his hand and fog billowed at her feet. It grew into a great cloud, swirling around her until she could no longer see anything but the Dream Stealer smiling down at her.

Slowly, the fog faded. They appeared in a stone chamber that reminded her of the king’s great room back in Nomar. It held no furniture except an enormous throne made of solid stone. It was black and as her eyes travelled the room, Merrilyn noticed scorch marks along the walls and floor. Strange since the room no longer smelled of fire.

“This could be yours,” he said softly, pulling her further into the room. “Here, you could sit on a throne and rule the nations.”

He pointed to the far wall where several large windows looked out over a great valley. She stepped closer, staring out at the land below. From here it seemed as though she could see the entire world.

“All of this could be yours, if you will choose it.”

He stared down into her eyes and she felt her pulse quicken. “I will see to it that you have all that you want, all that you long for. I will make you the greatest woman who has ever lived. All will know your name and speak it with reverence.”

She glanced away from his intense gaze and looked again out the windows at the world below. It was dark now, as though a storm were growing and the clouds choked out all the moonlight, obscuring the earth below from her sight.

Merrilyn took a deep breath, suddenly fearful. Something deep within her warned of an unseen danger and she tried to understand it, to see it clearly, but it eluded her. She looked up at the man beside her and saw how he watched her with coolness, as though he understood the reason for her fear better than she.

Intrigued?
Merrilyn’s adventure begins in A Light in the Darkness
and continues in book two, To Light the Path.

Read more creepy tales by our society members HERE.

writer's life

Confession: I Hibernate for the Winter

I admit it – I fell a little behind. Okay. A LOT behind. I haven’t blogged in a month and I haven’t written any new material in almost three months. THREE MONTHS! How did that happen?

Well, winter came along and took all of my energy and tossed it in a deep dark hole somewhere. I’ve always had trouble with winter, but this one seemed extra dark and depressing for some reason. I’m not sure I have ever documented exactly how crazy my life as a writer has been in the last year, but it started to catch up with me around Christmas time and by mid-January I was burnt out. It went something like this:

March 2012: Decide to become a full-time writer. Rewrite 1st book.
April 2012 : Start a blog, edit 1st book, research self-publishing
May 2012: Find an editor, blog like crazy, start working on book 2.
June 2012: Finish rewrite of book 2, start work on cover art
July 2012: Read editor’s notes, revise book 1, finalize cover art
August 2012: Publish 1st book (A Light In The Darkness), send book 2 to editor
Sept 2012: Read editor’s notes and revise book 2, photo shoot for cover
Oct 2012: Publish 2nd book (To Light the Path)
Nov. 2012: Finish book 3 and send to editor. Get elected president of Fiction Writers of Central Arkansas
Dec. 2012: Read editor’s notes and revise, finalize cover art plans
Jan. 2013: Publish book 3 (Seen) and work on book 4
Feb. 2013: Host a month of book giveaways and call it “Share the Love Scavenger Hunt”
March2013:  CRAWL IN BED AND DON’T COME OUT UNTIL SPRING!

So, here it is spring and I’m finally coming out of hiding. I apologize to all of you and especially to my Young Adult Author Club friends who missed out on a month’s worth of author promos and personal indie author chatter. I am so deeply sorry that I dropped the ball. I’m going to make it up to you. Cross my heart! As a matter of fact, starting tomorrow I’m going to be posting all the fabulous author awesomeness that I missed while hibernating. In the meantime, hop on over to the YA Carnival website and check out what you’ve been missing. Those girls have got it going on!

Love you guys!

Heather

 

 

My Books, nanowrimo, writer's life

What’s Next?

I am proud and very relieved to say that my new book, To Light The Path, is now available on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo. Soon you’ll be able to order a print copy from Amazon, too. I am very proud of this book and grateful in so many ways. The process of editing this book helped me to understand why I am writing and who I am writing for as I work on each new project. I started out with a story to tell, but it has grown into so much more. I can hardly wait to see where this journey takes me!

So, a lot of friends have asked me, “What’s next?” Ha. Well, that is a complicated question. I have a lot of amazing things coming up soon. Here are just a few:

  • A Light In the Darkness will be featured on some really fabulous blogs for Christian fiction fans. Watch this site for more details to come in the next few weeks!
  • Next week, I’ll be speaking at the North Little Rock Leadership Symposium. Elementary students in our district’s gifted and talented program will get a glimpse of what it’s like to be an author and hear all about how important leadership skills are in this business.
  • Next month, I’ll be leading an after school program at the Main library for young writers. We’ll be working toward finishing books for National Novel Writing Month along with writers from all over the world.
  • Meanwhile, I’m leading my annual young writer’s club every Monday afternoon and this year I’m typing up all my lessons. By the end of November, the club will all have finished novels and I’ll have a complete curriculum to share with teachers and parents everywhere.
  • Oh! And did I mention I’m working on a new series? I already have the preliminary editorial notes for my next book and I’m hard at work on revisions. I hope to introduce all of you to a new batch of characters and a whole new adventure sometime in November. It’s going to be epic!

So, that’s what’s going on here at my writing desk. How about you? Do you have big plans this fall? Is anyone joining me and the writing club for NaNoWriMo? If so, you might want to stop by next week as I start a new series on pre-writing activities that will get you ready for the big day. For more information about NaNoWriMo and how you can participate, visit their site.

Happy Writing!

Heather