Posts Tagged ‘Lucienne diver’

I’ve had one brand new book, one short story, and two reissues out within the past several months with two more reissues and a brand new book (Fangdemonium, the 5th and final novel in the Vamped series) coming soon. With all of that and my already more than full-time job as an agent, I haven’t gotten around to posting the excerpt from my young adult suspense novel Faultlines, which is a book very near and dear to my heart. I hope you’ll all read, enjoy, share, comment or do whatever the except inspires you to do!

faultlines-front-cover-final

Excerpt intro: Lisa has committed suicide. Her best friend Vanessa, struggling to come to terms with her friend’s death and piece together what led up to it, now faces another mystery. Someone is taking revenge against those they perceive drove Lisa to her death. Vanessa might even approve…if the pranks weren’t growing more and more serious and if everyone didn’t assume it was her taking revenge and act accordingly. As the danger level of the pranks and retaliations mount, it becomes clear that no one is safe. In this scene we first encounter the work of the vigilante Poetic Justice.

Excerpt:

When the bell rang, I took forever gathering up my things so that Rachel would be gone when I looked up. I wouldn’t give her the chance to “accidentally” hip bump me or any of the other stupid, petty things she was likely to do on any given day. Today I didn’t see any way I would stand for it. My emotions were too close to the surface.

I didn’t have to worry about her once I got through the door. Rachel was more an opportunist than an ambusher. That required forethought, and I wasn’t sure that was really in her wheelhouse. Unfortunately, she’d have another chance at me. Lockers were assigned alphabetically like our seats in homeroom, and hers was directly across the hall from mine. Usually it didn’t bother me. I wasn’t her favorite whipping girl. But today, I was vulnerable and just like a shark, she could smell blood on the water.

Luckily, Rachel was busy chatting with Shelby and Ashley when I reached my locker. They were preoccupied enough that I felt okay to turn my back on them. It was a huge mistake.

Everything happened in an instant. A huge pop, high-pitched screams, and something splattering against me like sudden raindrops out of a clear sky. Freaked, I whipped around, wondering what Rachel had done this time . . . and stopped cold, frozen in shock.

Across from me, Rachel’s locker had exploded, and the terrible trio stood covered in blood. It dripped from them in dark rivulets like from horror-film extras, but they didn’t appear hurt. Just shocked. My brain struggled to process what I was seeing. It was like some kind of dye pack had gone off, but what would something like that be doing there in the first place? And anyway, it didn’t look like dye. It looked like blood.

Rachel spat a thin stream of the stuff out of her mouth and started shaking uncontrollably. She went to wipe the residue from her mouth with her sleeve and dropped the arm like a live snake when she noticed it too was covered in blood.

“Get it off, get it off, get it off!” she chanted in rising panic.

Shelby yanked her shirt over her blood-soaked head, revealing nothing but a thin tank top underneath. She used her inside out clothing to wipe her own face before going for Rachel, who reared back and shrieked, “You’ll just rub it in!”

Ashley had been the least hit, but seemed frozen like me, her almond eyes wide, her mouth clamped shut to avoid any of the stuff getting in.

Marianne raced over to me, but stopped short of touching. “Are you okay?”

Wouldn’t she have been at the locker right next to mine? Hadn’t she been hit by the blood?

I shook myself out of my paralysis. “Fine. You?”

She looked down at herself as if to check. “I stopped off at the restroom. Good thing, I guess.”

She glanced around at the carnage, at the other kids watching but staying well away, at Mrs. Kerringer and Mr. Donally pushing their way through the crowd of students to take charge.

“Look,” Marianne said.

I followed the path of her pointing finger, straight to Rachel’s locker. Inside, painted on the wall in red paint or more fake blood, because it had to be fake, were the words IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT, all in caps.

Rachel saw the teachers coming and tried to throw herself into Mrs. Kerringer’s arms, but the teacher backpedaled, and Rachel got the message. Her arms dropped despondently. She stood, looking forlorn, great big teardrops starting to fall from her eyes, creating track marks in the red goo.

I looked around at the gathered kids. Could this be a prank? Or could the sign mean that someone else felt like I did, wanting to strike some kind of blow for Lisa. What was all Rachel’s fault? Was it the bullying or something more? I tried to see whether anyone looked smug or satisfied over the exploding locker. I didn’t know whether I wanted to thank the prankster or . . . or what? He or she’d had the courage, the strength, to do what I hadn’t. Using blood might be over the top, but it had made an impression.

Fear crept in. What if it was real blood? What if it was contaminated or diseased? What if this was more than a prank? I always had some kind of scrape from soccer dives or paper cuts or even hangnails. A thousand little ways to die of infection.

Panic started to rise and my heart to pound. I felt a freak-out coming on.

Marianne must have seen it too. “Mr. Donally, can I get Vanessa to the nurse? I think she’s in shock.”

He turned from the bloody girls to look at me in surprise. From the front, he could see no reason to concern himself with me.

“Why don’t you take all the girls to the nurse?” he said, realization dawning. “Anyone else get hit?”

A couple of nearby kids raised their hands tentatively. I saw fear in their eyes as well.

“All of you to the nurse,” he said. “And don’t touch anything along the way. The rest of you, I need your names. Officer Garza may want to talk to you. Then I want everyone to get to class. The janitor will have to get through with his crash cart. If you need to get past this spot, go around—outside the school and back in through another door. This area is closed.”

I was torn. Part of me wanted to stay and talk to Garza, even though I didn’t have anything to offer. But Marianne took her job seriously, and herded us down the hallway toward the nurse’s office. I didn’t fight her, but I could have broken my neck craning it to see back the way we’d come. I wasn’t the only one. A couple of times Marianne reached out to get one of the other girls moving and stopped herself before actual contact. The second time, Rachel reacted anyway, as if Marianne had not only touched her, but tasered her. She jolted her back to herself, as though someone had flipped her ‘on’ switch.

Rachel wheeled on me with fire in her eyes. “You,” she shrieked. “You did this.”

I glared back at her. “In case you didn’t notice, I got hit too. If I’d set this up, I’d have made sure to be outside the blast zone.”

“No, you’d be smart enough to get splattered to throw off suspicion.”

“Maybe that’s the way your twisty little mind works, but not mine.”

“Liar,” she accused.

Shelby glared at me in solidarity with her friend.

“According to the sign in your locker, it’s all your fault,” I responded. “So, what did you do? Maybe bully Lisa to death?”

Rachel hissed and came at me, nails out like they were talons that could rip me to shreds. I reared back, throwing my hands up to defend myself, anticipating the pain.

Ashley stepped between us.

“That’s enough,” she said, shocking us both. Her voice shook, but her glare said she meant business. “Lisa’s dead. You’re both covered in blood and you want to spill more? Are you crazy?”

Rachel craned her neck to see me over Ashley. From the rage on her face, I think she seriously considered knocking Ashley out of the way and coming for me anyway, crazy or not. With those baby blue eyes flashing, she looked like a possessed Barbie come to life. I think it was only the blood that stopped her.

“This isn’t over,” she spat at me.

“It is for now,” Ashley said. She gave Rachel a significant look that I hoped didn’t mean we’ll get her later.

“Well, here we are,” Marianne cut in, trying to break the tension.

She pushed open the door to the nurse’s office and led the way. Nurse Henning met us just inside. Her eyes widened as she saw us.

“The VP said blood, but I had no idea— Behind the screens, all of you,” she said. “There are sponges, sanitizing soap and nail brushes back there. Do your best. Hit everything.”

Her concern wasn’t exactly doing wonders for my panic, but she’d gotten a lot set up in a short time. The screens she waved us toward were like the ones they used for scoliosis screening back in elementary school. There were tubs there of sudsy, antiseptic-smelling liquid. Not comforting. A minute after we’d stepped behind the screens, the nurse tapped on the metal framework. “I’ve got a bin here of emergency clothes.” She pushed it behind the screens with her sensible white shoes. “You should all pick something to replace what got bloody. I’ve put plastic bags in the bin as well for your dirty clothes.”

“I’m not wearing someone else’s hand-me-downs,” Rachel protested.

“Well then, you can stay in what you’re wearing until your parents bring you something else. I’m calling all of your parents now. If you want to talk to them, please let me know.”

“Don’t worry,” Rachel said, shooting me a look. “They’ll hear all about it.”

I was sure they would. Rachel was not the kind to suffer in silence.

I couldn’t see the gunk on my back, but I could feel it when I moved and my clothes didn’t, stuck to me like glue. It made me want to tear them all off. I did the best I could with the clean up, contorting myself to reach what I could and then sanitizing my hands to within a layer or two of skin. I kept my shirt on, leaving the bin for those who’d received the bulk of the splatter, so I was the first one to the nurse’s desk. Instead of using her phone, I took my cell into the bathroom. I felt like a little girl calling for her mommy, but I couldn’t think of anything else to do. I was suddenly feeling fragile. If one more thing went wrong today, I might just break. I didn’t want to do it in front of witnesses.

“Mom,” I said, when she answered. “I was wrong. I’m not ready. Please come get me.”

Then I waited on the clinic couch. I thanked Marianne as she left, but aside from that I sat in my own little world trying not to think or feel or cry. By the time Mom came to gather me up, I was sure the other girls thought I’d lost my mind, but I couldn’t seem to care. I ignored their looks and the accusations they threw my way—all except for Ashley, who stayed eerily silent after her earlier intervention. The only thing I reacted to was when Mom and I had to pass close to my locker on the way out of school—close enough to see the janitor’s sandwich boards connected to each other with orange plastic ribbon, cordoning off the area like a crime scene. And in the center, all that blood, looking eerily real, maybe awaiting evidence collection before clean up.

It made me think about Lisa’s death. Supposedly there’d been no blood. When she broke the news, Mom said Lisa had hung herself. In her garage. Over a tarp. Which I didn’t get at first, until I thought of all the cop shows where the bowels loosened in death. Then I could almost see it. Lisa wouldn’t want to leave a mess. Not a physical one, anyway.

It was that “almost” that screwed with me. I still couldn’t imagine Lisa killing herself. Not Lisa.

______________

Buy links:

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I’m just back from OASIS, a small convention in the Orlando area that featured the fabulous Faith Hunter as their Guest of Honor. Pre-con festivities started with the GoH’s day out at Universal. A wonderful group gathered to take in Harry Potter World, The Hulk, Kong, The Mummy and many other rides at both Universal Parks, orchestrated by the amazing Peggy Stubblefield. And, of course, Faith Hunter and I had to take a moment to surf some waves and fight Death Eaters pre-park.

OASIS was small but mighty. Panels were packed with great guests like Faith Hunter (of course), Jack McDevitt, Alethea Kontis, Christina Farley, Aria Kane, Owl Goingback, Erica Cameron, Richard Lee Byers, Elle E. Ire, José Iriarte, Elizabeth Schechter, William Hatfield, E. Rose Sabin and others. Unfortunately, I only had my cell phone camera, which doesn’t like inside shots very much, but I did manage to snap a few pics to share with the class! (1st pic, L to R – YA Chicks: Christina Farley, me and Racquel Henry; 2nd pic, L to R – Christina Farley, Alethea Kontis (top), me, Erica Cameron)

Unfortunately, N.K. Jemisin’s novel THE OBELISK GATE didn’t win the Nebula Award Saturday night, but the winners do sound like an amazing bunch and my TBR pile is now that much more overwhelming! Also, since OASIS live-streamed the event, we got to hear and see the slides from astronaut Dr. Kjell Lindgren’s amazing toastmaster speech. If you can find it online, it’s absolutely worth your time.

James Alan Gardner, whose new novel ALL THOSE EXPLOSIONS WERE SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT is coming out in November from Tor Books, tied for best short story for “The Mutants Men Don’t See” in the Asimov’s Readers’ Choice Awards!

The Locus Award finalists were announced last week, and I’m very pleased to have both N.K. Jemisin and R.S. Belcher up for awards! Two authors, three categories – not too shabby!

Fantasy Novel: THE OBELISK GATE by N.K. Jemisin

Horror: THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE WHEEL by R.S. Belcher

Short Story: “The City Born Great” by N.K. Jemisin

In other news, Book Riot did a great list of book recommendations based on favorite Harry Potter characters. Genevieve Cogman, her editors and I are all tickled pink that their recommendation for fans of Hermione Granger (and aren’t we all?) is THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY! Genevieve’s series is so much fun, I heartily recommend it to everyone!

And speaking of recommendations, The Portalist offered suggestions of 11 Books like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” including BLOOD OF THE EARTH (the Soulwood series) by Faith Hunter and GLASS HOUSES (the Morganville Vampires series) by Rachel Caine! So, for you Joss Whedon fans out there, you know what to read!

Oh, one final thing! At the risk of burdening your To Be Read piles, Lore Seekers now has print versions available of the new editions of VAMPED and REVAMPED. I’m so, so excited! And look for the new editions of FANGTASTIC and FANGTABULOUS very soon, along with the all-new conclusion to the series, FANGDEMONIUM.

I have so much good news to share! In no particular order:

cold reign A  huge congratulations to Faith Hunter for hitting #29 on the USA Today bestseller list with her latest Jane Yellowrock novel, COLD REIGN. So thrilled!

assassins-creed-novelization assassin's creed heresy More huge congratulations to Christie Golden not only for her two Scribe Award nominations for Best Adapted – General and Speculative (ASSASSIN’S CREED) and Best Speculative Original (ASSASSIN’S CREED: HERESY), but for being honored by the IAMTW with the 2017 Faust Award and adding her to their prestigious list of media tie-in Grandmasters. So proud!

paper and fire HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY this week to Rachel Caine for the mass market reissue of PAPER AND FIRE, the second novel in her amazing Great Library series comprised thus far of INK AND BONE, PAPER AND FIRE and ASH AND QUILL (coming July 11th!) (For UK links, see INK AND BONE, PAPER AND FIRE and ASH AND QUILL.)

VAMPED - hires REVAMPED new cover All new editions of the first two novels in my Vamped series, VAMPED and REVAMPED, have been released by Lore Seekers Press, both only $2.99 in digital. The next two and a brand new fifth novel will be coming soon!

In all actuality, yesterday was new release day, and while I tweeted, finding time to post my blog was beyond me. Today, after an early start and multiple cups of coffee, I’m pleased to present this week’s new releases! (Although my own, Revamped, is technically a 4/30 release, so you’ll probably hear from me again next week!)

Anyway, this week seems to have a theme: blades and blood!

blade bound.png BLADE BOUND by Chloe Neill, Berkley (Amazon, B&N, Kobo)

“Major kudos to Neill for a series of unforgettable adventures!” —RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ Star Top Pick! Rating

The thrilling final installment of Chloe Neill’s New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series sees sinister sorcery advancing across Chicago, and it might usher in the fall of Cadogan House….  

Since the night of her brutal attack and unwilling transformation into a vampire, Merit has stood as Sentinel and protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House. She’s saved the Windy City from the forces of darkness time and again with her liege and lover, Ethan Sullivan, by her side.

When the House is infiltrated and Merit is attacked by a vampire who seems to be under the sway of dark magic, Merit and Ethan realize the danger is closer than they could have imagined. As malign sorcery spreads throughout the city, Merit must go to war against supernatural powers beyond her comprehension. It is her last chance to save everything—and everyone—she loves.

Chicagoland Vampires series

Some Girls Bite

Friday Night Bites

Twice Bitten

Hard Bitten

Drink Deep

Biting Cold

House Rules

Biting Bad

Wild Things

Blood Games

Dark Debt

Midnight Marked

Blade Bound

* And stories: High Stakes (Luc & Lindsey Short Story), Howling For You (Jeff & Fallon Novella), Lucky Break (Ethan & Merit Novella), Phantom Kiss (Ethan & Merit Novella)

shadows blade SHADOW’S BLADE by David B. Coe, Baen Books mass market reissue (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo)

“Coe balances wit and drama, gives his female characters plenty of agency, and even throws in a bit of The Maltese Falcon via a powerful object everyone desires. This noir-tinged urban fantasy with real-feeling magic and multiple moral quandaries is highly recommended.”—Publishers Weekly

Book #3 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, the critically acclaimed contemporary fantasy series from fantasy all-star David B. Coe. A hardboiled, magic-using private detective fights dark sorcerers in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justis Fearsson is a weremyste and a private detective. He wields potent magic, but every month, on the full moon, he loses his mind. His battles with insanity have already cost him his job as a cop; he can’t afford to let them interfere with his latest case.

Phoenix has become ground zero in a magical war, and an army of werecreatures, blood sorcerers, and necromancers has made Jay its number one target. When he is hired to track down a woman who has gone missing with her two young children, he has a hunch that the dark ones are to blame. But then he’s also brought in by the police to help with a murder investigation, and all the evidence implicates this same woman. Soon he is caught up in a deadly race to find not only the young family, but also an ancient weapon that could prove decisive in the looming conflict. Can he keep himself alive long enough to reach the woman and her kids before his enemies do? And can he claim the weapon before the people he loves, and the world he knows, are lost in a storm of flame, blood, and darkest sorcery?

The Case Files of Justis Fearsson

Spell Blind

His Father’s Eyes

Shadow’s Blade

REVAMPED new cover REVAMPED by Lucienne Diver, Lore Seekers Press (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

“This is a witty vampire romance/adventure with plenty of heart and action. Diver has written a supernatural sequel to Vamped that will attract even reluctant readers.”   —VOYA, reviewed by Ava Ehde

Revamped by Lucienne Diver was witty, sweet, and just dark enough to ignite my morbid taste buds.” —Bitten by Books

After surviving super spy club training, Gina, Bobby and their fanged friends are sent on their first mission—undercover at a New York high school where some seriously weird stuff is going down. As excited as Gina is to get out of spook central, she’s less than impressed with her new identity as goth-girl Geneva Belfry. No color palette to speak of—more chains than a bike rack—and don’t even get her started on the shoes. About the only thing she can say for her all-black wardrobe is that it’s great for hiding blood spatter and other fashion faux pas.

And there will be blood.

Kids at the high school are going crazy—sudden outbreaks of violence, kids sleepwalking through school or dropping out entirely. Serious magic surges have been detected in the area, along with a mysterious and nearly mythic figure . . . someone who should be long dead and at least thrice buried.

Some legends just won’t die.

Vamped series

Vamped

Revamped

Fangtastic (new edition forthcoming)

Fangtabulous (new edition forthcoming)

Fangdemonium (all-new novel forthcoming!)

Hey, all, author me is taking over the blog this morning. I’ve had two wonderful publications (at least, I think they’re wonderful, though I admit to the possibility of bias) out in the last few months, and I’ve been too busy to do proper promotion for them. Bad author, no cookie.

faultlines-front-cover-final Soooo… Today I’m going to say a bit about them both. You may have heard me talk a bit about FAULTLINES, my young adult thriller, which is so near and dear to my heart. In brief, FAULTLINES is about a girl whose world is turned upside down by her best friend’s suicide. Vanessa is devastated by her best friend’s death, and blindsided as well. Lisa had pushed her and everyone else away in the months before her death, so Vanessa has no idea what led up to it, though she feels she owes it to Lisa to find out and put all the horrible rumors to rest. But while she’s reconstructing the events of Lisa’s life, someone begins taking revenge against those they perceive drove her to her death. Vanessa might approve of this vigilante, Poetic Justice, if the pranks weren’t growing more and more serious and if everyone didn’t assume it was her taking revenge and react accordingly. As the danger level of the pranks and retaliations mount, it becomes clear that no one is safe.

There are a few exciting new developments on this book. There’s an excerpt of the book now up on the YA Chicks blog! Earlier this week, the fantastic Mia Siegert (author of JERKBAIT) put up a fabulous review and Spotify playlist for the book. The editors of The Big Thrill have been very good to me, posting and tweeting out my interview in the International Thriller Writers newsletter.

For anyone who can’t get enough of hearing me talk (no? just me then? oh, hi, Mom!), there are also these guest posts and interviews for the book:

Books, Coffee, and Crafts – where, of course, I talk about books, coffee and crafts

Slippery Words – where I talk about where the story started for me and why it’s important

Deborah Blake’s Blog – about switching gears from humor to more serious stuff

Tez Says – the problem with the no-ripple approach

YA Books Central Interview

Fiction University – Punching Up Your Prose

And not to give anything away, but two recent, very personal posts that tie in to issues in the book:

A Personal Post for Bullying Awareness Week

Victimization

tribulations-cover And now for something completely different! Faith Hunter put together two wonderful anthologies of stories set in her Rogue Mage world (novels: BLOODRING, SERAPHS, HOST), and I’m very pleased to have a story in  TRIBULATIONS!  Inspired by my trip to Ireland, my story “Rolling Stone” follows Aoife Cleary, traveling talespinner and a little bit more. And…well, you can read all about it in my Q&A over on Faith Hunter’s blog or you can pick up the anthology and read the story itself (and I hope you will).

Well, that’s it for now, but I should have new and exciting news soon, so stay tuned!

Happy New Year! Despite our challenges ahead, I hope it truly will be a happy, healthy, hopeful, magical new year for you all.

I’m excited about the kick off to the year, which has already included:

I have a happy book birthday shout-out as well! Or a happy novella birthday, anyway, for Keith R.A. Decandido’s Super City Cops: UNDERCOVER BLUES, the second in the series after SCC: AVENGING AMETHYST, which was published last month.

super-city-cops2

The great metropolis of Super City is the home of dozens of costumed heroes — the Terrific Trio, the Bruiser, the Superlative Six, the Cowboy, and many more — who do battle against the super-villains who terrorize the citizenry.

These aren’t their stories …

When the heroes are done punching out the villains, it’s left to the stalwart men and women of the Super City Police Department to restrain them, arrest them, and hope that this time there’s enough evidence to actually convict them.

Just another day on the job for the Super City Cops.

Faith Hunter is bringing out two new anthologies of Rogue Mage stories: TRIALS and TRIBULATIONS, later to be combined into an omnibus edition for print called TRIUMPHANT.  Last month I revealed the cover for the first, and today I’m pleased to reveal the cover for the second, TRIBULATIONS, which includes a story written by me!

Tribulations Cover.jpg

17 Vignettes and Short Stories set in Faith Hunter’s World of Thorn St. Croix

The Rogue Mage story began with the post-apocalyptic novels BLOODRING, SERAPHS, and HOST, when epic battles between Thorn St. Croix and the forces of Darkness were fought. TRIBULATIONS (Rogue Mage Anthology Vol. II) takes place during and after the series timeline. These stories and vignettes, set in Faith Hunter’s Rogue Mage world, are adventures with new characters and old, facing Darkness and an uncertain future.

The relationships between seraphs, kylen, second-unforeseen, mages, seraph-touched, spawn, humans grow deeper, and the battles with dragons and their creatures grow more dangerous. TRIBULATIONS features new short stories from five authors—including Faith Hunter—and vignettes from the Rogue Mage role playing game.

TRIALS and TRIBULATIONS will soon be followed by TRIUMPHANT—the paperback omnibus (both Anthology Volumes I and II in a bound format).

TRIBULATIONS Authors: Faith Hunter, Jean Rabe, Spike Y Jones, Christina Stiles, Lucienne Diver.