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The Gemini Connection by Teri Polen

Publication Date: June 7th, 2018

Genre: YA Science Fiction/ Dystopian

Teen twin brothers Evan and Simon Resnik are fiercely loyal to each other and share an unusual bond—they experience each other’s emotions as their own and can sense where the other is.

On their dying planet of Tage, scientists work tirelessly on its survival. Like the twins’ parents, Simon is a science prodigy, recruited at a young age to work with the brilliant creator of Scientific Innovations. To the bitter disappointment of their parents, Evan shows no aptitude or interest in science. As a Mindbender, he travels into the minds of scientists to locate buried memories, connect ideas and concepts, and battle recurring nightmares.

When Simon mysteriously disappears, Evan is plunged into a world of loss and unbearable guilt. For the first time, he can’t ‘feel’ Simon—it’s like he no longer exists. Evan blames himself. No one knows that he ignored his brother’s pleas for help on the night he went missing.

A year later, Simon is still gone. Evan lost his twin, but Tage might have lost its last hope of survival when it’s discovered that Simon’s unfinished project could be its salvation. Evan is determined to find him—somewhere—and bring Simon home. Their unusual connection might be more extraordinary than they know, and the key to locating Simon.

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39683743-the-gemini-connection?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Excerpt:

Ugly.  That was the first word that came to mind.  Deadly was next. 

The twisted creation was courtesy of a new client, a scientist.  The nightmare had been tormenting him for the past couple of weeks. 

The monster stood roughly fifteen feet tall, walked on two legs, and stretched two muscled arms in front of it, but its elongated head was a grotesque combination of goat and demon.  Treacherous horns protruded from either side of its skull, torso, and upper thighs, making it difficult for anyone to get close to the beast.  Not that we especially wanted to, but it was part of a Bender’s job requirement to eradicate nightmares.  So, we took up battle positions—Syd to its right, me to its left—crouched in anticipation of this formidable creature’s attack. 

“I’ll go high, you go low,” I called to Syd.  Besides a hideous appearance, the goat thing screeched like a deranged bird, and we strained to hear each other, even with the com units. 

“Got it, Evan.”  She unsheathed a ten-inch dagger from her utility belt, the silver blade glinting in the eerie cast of yellow-green light in this nightmare-scape.  Being somewhat vertically-challenged (she hated it when I said short), Syd might not look intimidating, but give the girl a knife and she was absolutely lethal.  The creature’s leg tendons would be sliced to ribbons in seconds.

Syd dived to the creature’s right, spinning and coming up behind it, as she avoided an angry kick to her head.  She carved into its left limb, and it let out an ear-piercing shriek.

I withdrew an iron mallet from my own belt and catapulted myself off the wall, soaring over the goat-demon and landing a blow to the left side of its skull.  Its head jerked in my direction when I came down on its other side.  The sharpened tip of the horn caught the left side of my rib cage, and a warm flow of blood seeped through my shirt.  Wouldn’t be the first time I’d walked away from a nightmare with a permanent scar. 

Syd scrambled around its legs, careful not to be trampled.  Her dagger was a silver blur as she slashed the gray-haired appendages, the goat-demon staggering in its efforts to avoid her blade. 

The ground was wet—possibly blood.  But with dream or nightmare creations, you couldn’t be sure.  Because this thing’s creator was a scientist, they tended to more detail-oriented.  Odds leaned in the blood direction. 

The light around us took on a red hue.  Did the ambient illumination correlate to the creature’s anger level?  If yellow-green meant annoyed, did red mean take no prisoners?

-The Gemini Connection

 

Purchase Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Teri-Polen/e/B01MYOUA6V

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gemini-connection-teri-polen/1128081066

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/childrens-booksya/thegeminiconnection

 

Author Bio:

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Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy.  The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium.  She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat.  Her first novel, Sarah, a YA horror/thriller, was a horror finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.  Visit her online at www.teripolen.com

 

Social Links:

Website:  https://teripolen.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TeriPolenAuthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TPolen6

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16114393.Teri_Polen

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/tpolen6/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/teripolen/

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/teri-polen

 

Giveaway Details: Signed Copy (US) Digital Copy (International)

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f58/?

 

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Dear Jane by Marina DelVecchio

Publication Date: January 3rd, 2019

Genre: YA/ Coming of Age

Kit Kat is a fifteen-year-old adoptee who writes letters to her favorite literary character, Jane Eyre, as a means of surviving a violent childhood in Greece and a harrowing adoption in New York that requires her to silence her memories and her voice. In writing letters to Jane, Kit Kat discovers a connection to literature that saves her life. Dear Jane is about family, love, forgiveness, and the power of a good book.

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42848718-dear-jane?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Excerpt:

“For the next two weeks that I was in possession of your story, it was as if someone had seen me, claimed me. I had a sister, a mother, an aunt, a place in which I was loved and understood and cared for. I was connected to something solid and real, for even if the story wasn’t real, a real woman had written it, had understood the pain that comes with being rejected and lonely; the angst that comes with being a girl severed from her roots and family.”

-Dear Jane

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dear-Jane-Marina-DelVecchio/dp/1684331722/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1548257797&sr=8-1&keywords=dear+jane+marina+del+vecchio+book

 

Author Bio:

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Marina DelVecchio is a college professor of literature and women's studies and lives in North Carolina with her family. Her work can be found online at Ms. Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Tishman Review, Her Circle Ezine, and The New Agenda.

Social Links:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marina.delvecchio/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Marinagraphy/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marinagraphy

Website: https://www.marinadelvecchio.com

 

Giveaway Details:

Signed Copy (US) Digital Copy (International)

 

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f60/?


 

Till It Stops Beating (The Maddie Chronicles #4) by Hannah R. Goodman

Publication Date: July 5th, 2018

Genre: YA Contemporary

 

Seventeen-year-old Maddie Hickman has always coped with anxiety by immersing herself into the latest self-help book. Then her grandmother is diagnosed with cancer, and she spirals so far downward that she almost risks losing everything she holds dear.

From applying to college to solving the mystery of why she detests jelly doughnuts to writing a novel for her senior project and reconnecting with an old flame (or two), the ever-mounting stress leads to an unexpected road trip where she is forced to listen to her wildly beating heart. It is only in the back of a convertible with pop music blasting, that she discovers what she needs in order to really live.

If your heart has ever hurt from beating widely, whether from anxiety or love, this book is the one to read.

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40078706-till-it-stops-beating?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Purchase Link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1684330807/

 

 

Excerpt:

“I need to be with Bubbie. I want to be there every day. When she is sick or tired. When she needs help.” I take breath. “I will stay and take care of Bubbie and go to school in January.”

“I don’t like this idea,” Mom says.

Dad sips his coffee instead of gulps. “I don’t know if the deferment is a good idea or not,” he says. “But staying in California for that long? I think it’s sweet to want to stay and care of Bubbie, but what else will you be doing?” He looks at my mom.

Then Mom explodes. “Stan, she is not deferring.” Finally, she looks at me. “You are not deferring. I’m calling Emerson tomorrow to straighten this out.”

This is so ridiculous. When are they going to get it? I stand up. “You know what? This is crazy. I’ve been losing sleep and getting all panicky again over this for the past few weeks and for what? For what reason? Fear of disappointing you? And now here I am full blown disappointing you both and I did not fall apart or die. I am still here. And so are you guys.” I think of Susan’s opening lines to her speech. Welcome to the last day of childhood. “I’m an adult now, Mom. You guys have to let me make my decisions, without trying to guilt me into doing what you want.” And with that, I walk my adult self out of the living room, and they don’t follow.

-Till It Stops Beating

 

Author Bio:

Often referred to as “the teenage whisperer”, Hannah R. Goodman’s twenty-year career working with teenagers includes the titles teacher, tutor, coach, and, more recently, mental health counselor. Hannah has written essays about mental health for various online publications. Her work has appeared on MindBodyGreen, OC87 Recovery Diaries,  Zencare.co, and The Mighty. Though she has previously earned the title author with her first three books, those were all were self-published. This time around, publisher Black Rose Writing released her novel Till It Stops Beating in July, 2018. Literary Titan’s review praised Till It Stops Beating for “tackling a difficult issue like anxiety and making a story that was funny and sweet without making light of the issue.” Hannah is a member of  ARIA  (Association of Rhode Island Authors) as well as a graduate of Pine Manor College's Solstice Program in Creative Writing where she earned an MFA in Writing For Young People. She resides in Bristol, RI with her husband, two daughters, and black and white cat named Zoe.

 

 

Social Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hannahrgoodman

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tillitstopsbeatingnovel/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tillitstopsbeating/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hannah-goodman-76b9596/

Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/Hannah-R.-Goodman/e/B002BLU56K

Website: https://www.hannahrgoodman.com

Email: hrgwriterwoman@gmail.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/969127.Hannah_R_Goodman

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/hannah-r-goodman

 

Giveaway Details: Signed Copy (US) Digital Copy (International)

 

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f61/?

 

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A Step Away by G. Randy Kasten

Publication Date: Soon

Genre: YA Thriller

 

Three friends, Brianna, Sean, and Robert, happen across a body buried in their neighborhood.

Because a police investigation might reveal that the trio is connected to a stolen motor, and that Sean’s mother was having a relationship with a neighbor, the three friends decide they must solve the apparent murder before contacting authorities.

In the process, they sneak into a house, befriend a vigilant neighbor with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and develop a friendship with a kind, older man.

Brianna becomes convinced that clues point to Sean’s father and realizes their detective work is doing more harm than good.

She makes tough choices that affect families and friendships.

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43403388-a-step-away?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Purchase Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Step-Away-G-Randy-Kasten-ebook/dp/B07MM3C8TD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1548170301&sr=8-1&keywords=a+step+away+randy+kasten

 

Excerpt:

Right below the pipe, a human hand and wrist poked out from the dirt, its flesh partly rotted away. The fingers pointed at us.

I let out a panicked yell identical to Robert’s but stood frozen. A hot, prickly feeling crawled up my back as Sean as shouted to Robert. “You okay, Robber?” When Robert murmured a response, Sean scrambled down to the creek. “Cover it up!” he demanded as he went, pointing at me me. “Cover it back up!”

                  “We can’t just…” I started.

                  “Cover it up!” Sean was bending over, one hand on Robert’s shoulder. “Just do it!”

I shoveled dirt and leaves at the void, breathing as little as possible and only glancing occasionally at the rotted appendage sticking out at me. Each scoop of crumbly soil slid back down, so finally I started stomping on it to get it to stay, right on top of the hand. I felt as if I was pressing down on something evil. Trying to keep it back. After a minute, Sean stood next to me working with Robert’s abandoned shovel. With his head turned away from the hole, he didn’t help much.

Robert sat where he was, letting out little wails every now and then. It wasn’t a sound like the pain of a sprained ankle or something. It was more like the desperate moans of someone who’d forgotten how to talk.

Once we managed to get the hand covered, we scrambled down the bank, grabbed Robert by his arms, then half carried him and the tools back to the workshop we’d taken over from Sean’s dad. After breathing the rotten stench of the creek, I barely noticed Robert’s smell and couldn’t get that image of the decaying hand out of my mind.

We set Robert down in one of the beaten-up old armchairs we’d dragged in there, then sank down ourselves, panting. The hot prickly feeling was still crawling all over me. Sean and I looked at each other for a few seconds, then away. Robert stared at the floor.

I’d never seen a real skeleton — or a dead body – before. The tuna sandwich I’d eaten an hour earlier seemed to be on a climb back up. I imagined the scene once we called the sheriff; Sean’s parents would arrive home to a flock of cop cars in the driveway. Maybe there’d be a coroner’s van. They’d love driving into that mess.

Then things went from bad to worse. Sean leaned forward and pointed one finger at me and one at Robert. “We can’t tell anyone about this.”

Robert peered out from under the layer of the coarse black hair fallen in front of his eyes. “But Sean, somebody buried a body.”

                  “We know that, Robert,” Sean snapped. His nasty scowl reminded me of his father. “But nobody else is going to know that.”

                  “Why not?” that high voice again. “That body where it is, it’s not by accident.”

Sean turned to me, “Brianna, you know why we can’t tell anyone.” Like he was pleading with me. “You know.”

 

Author Bio:

After some childhood acting and living in England for a year, I graduated from Reed College, then attended law school. As a litigator in California and Washington State for thirty years, I learned a great deal about what people really want, and also how humor helps in tough situations.

Writing remains my main interest. I am the author of Just Trust Me: Finding the Truth in the World of Spin (Quest Books, 2011), a book about discerning truth from appearances. My young adult novel, A Step Away, will be published by Black Rose in 2019.

I have also written a couple of short plays, which were performed at a local theatre in Marin County, CA. The Ribbons Agency is a nearly completed satirical book about the arduous task of securing a literary agent. On a more serious note, I am working on a non fiction book that presents a unique, logical reason to believe that greater international peace is inevitable.    

A resident of San Francisco’s east bay for most of my life, I have lived along Hood Canal (a fjord and part of Puget Sound) in Washington State for the past three years. I’m still adapting to the weather, though it keeps me inside and productive most of the year. When not writing, I’m enjoying the outdoors or playing improvisational piano.

 

Website:

http://gkasten.com

 

Giveaway Details: Signed Copy (US) Digital Copy (International)

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f62/?

 

 

Literary Tropes: What are they and should you stay away from them?

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Tropes

Are they good or bad?


 

First off, let’s ask ourselves, “what is a trope?”

The term trope is used in a figurative sense, i.e. irony, or a reoccurring theme in a story, i.e. forbidden love. The previous statement kind of has two different definitions of what a trope is. In this blog, I will be referring the second part (the reoccurring theme in a story) In the writing community, the term trope is thrown around a lot, and when I was starting my writing journey, I had no idea what the term meant. The only thing that it did to me was turn me off from interacting with other writers because of my own lack of writing terminology.

So, we have answered what a trope is…still confused? Oh, no worries. I was so confused that I had to have many different writers explain to me what it meant until they gave me examples. So, below, I have listed some examples of literary tropes, and hopefully these examples will help you.

Examples of Literary Tropes….ONLY A FEW EXAMPLES

Forbidden Love

Evil Queen

Evil Sorcerer

Abusive Parents

Love Triangle

The Unlikely Hero

THESE ARE NOT ALL THE TROPES USED IN LITERATURE!!!!!!!

Now, here is the next question…should you stay away from them? And here is another question, is there a way to stay away from them?

Here is another heated debate whether or not a writer should stay away from using an overly used trope. My opinion, I say no. If you have an idea for a story that is the “Unlikely Hero” trope…go for it. Humans are creatures of habit, which includes reading novels with the same tropes. I love unlikely hero stories because it brings me to a time in my life when I felt so bad about myself, and I never thought that I would ever mount to anything (oh teenage angst. I don’t miss it.)

To be a successful writer, I truly believe that you MUST stand by your story…your writing style. If someone says, “oh don’t write that story because it’s too close to another or “oh that trope is overly used” screw them. They aren’t being supportive or useful. Stand by yourself. Because these people may not see the vision you have, so as a writer, it’s your job to bring them the story.

My opinion: Tropes are AMAZING and FUN

So, we’ve learned what a trope is AND I insisted that you make your own mind up about your story. I hope you find these helpful. There are numerous resources on tropes and writing on skillshare (Jenna Moreci has GREAT videos on it).

Book Reviews: How and Why are They Important?

Hello My Amazing Readers!

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to get back to blogging. I hope you all had an amazing/relaxing time with friends, family or alone. It’s a time of reflection and spending time with those you love.

So, what am I to blog about today? After making a few lists, one particular topic kept showing up: Book Reviews.

This can be a somewhat heated topic with some people, but here at the Writer’s Alley, we believe in a well-structured, FREE, book review, and I am going to get into why.

First off, why even pursue books reviews? Well, the answer is really easy. A book review for any author is paramount. The book review has a few, key reasons: one, someone will read your story. Two, leaving a review on the social media platforms. i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, Bookbub, Goodreads, will tell a potential reader that your story was read. Also, building a review rating will help your novel more exposure. On sites like Amazon, after a certain number of reviews, you novel will occur more in searches after a certain number of reviews. I don’t want to say it’s 25 reviews because I’ve heard conflicting reports on it. Pursue as many friends, family, book bloggers, Booktubers or anyone else. This is your novel; marketing is part of it.

And here is where it can get tricky. I believe that ANY review is better than no review. I would rather take a 1 star review says more than no star. The person may have hated the story (you should be realistic that not everyone will like your story. Someone will hate it. Someone will bad mouth it. BUT the number of people who like it/love it/reread it is way more likely). Before you start sending your story out into the world, build the thick skin about reviews. You will survive. I’m sure someone didn’t like Stephen King’s novels or JK Rowlings. I mean come on!

Secondly, you need to fully understand what a good review consists of. Here is another touchy/tricky subject, should you pay for a review? My answer is NO. Why should you pay for a review? Well, think about it. How would it look? If you were a reader, and you know the author paid for a review (it’s just an example lol), don’t you think that the review could potentially compromised? I completely understand that as a writer, you want to have as many reviews as possible, but you want authentic, genuine reviews. I reader will understand if your novel has a low rating or a high rating.

Thirdly, another important thing about getting a review: Asking before you send something! There is nothing more annoying to have someone send a novel to you without speaking to the reviewer. That is a NO-NO. Don’t do it. If someone sends me their story without speaking to me, I will not review it.

Now, I love to review novels. I read any genre; fiction or non-fiction. I don’t care what format. I am super approachable. I will make time for a book review. After we discuss what I require, I will find a date, and I immediately respond with a date to the author. I know dates are very important.

Check out my book review policy if you ever want a book review!!!!!

So, what should you take away from this blog:

1) Reviews are very important

2) Don’t pay for a review

3) Ask a reviewer before you send your novel

Contact me if you have any questions about book reviews or suggestions on how to approach book reviewers.

Have a great evening/day!

Love,

Jacob

What makes someone a good writer?

I was recently asked this question by a fellow author (Allen T. St. Claire), “what makes a someone a good writer?” Throughout my day, I was pondering what traits does one require? If you go further, what makes someone a writer?

So, let’s analyze the inquiry.

What makes someone a writer?

I know that everyone has their own opinion when it comes what makes someone a writer. Does it take a four year degree? Do you have to be able to outline? Are “pantsers” writers? Do you have to sell a certain amount of books before you’re consider a real author?

In my opinion, a writer is someone who has an idea. The difference between a writer and an artist is how we express our creativity. I express my inner words by putting them on paper…or a laptop. Do I have a four-year degree in Creative Writing? No. Do I outline? I actually outlined the 2nd book of my series to see how it would go….and I actually liked it. Have I sold any books? I actually have a good amount of pre-orders, so I feel confident, but that isn’t why I consider myself a writer. As I stated above, I put the worlds I create on a piece of paper, and I share them with the world. I pray that everyone loves them, but not everyone will like my stories.

Even though I am a new writer, there seems to be a common theme on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that I am seeing. There are newer writers make statements that they aren’t true writers or they can’t wait to be a writer. And I say, “you are a writer!”

Believe in yourself….trust in your talents. Writing is a skill, and a skill that will forever grow.

What makes a good writer?

YOU DON’T NEED ANYONE TO TELL YOU THAT YOU ARE GREAT, AND YOU ARE A GREAT WRITER

To me, a good writer is someone who completely believes in their stories. There story truly embodies the writer’s heart and soul. I truly believe that a reader will be able to tell how much effort you put into your story.

So, please writers, believe in yourself. You don’t need someone else telling you how amazing you are!

Check out Allen T. St. Claire’s blog:
https://www.themidnightgoose.blogspot.com

***If you want to check out my debut novel Augur of Shadows, check the links below***

www.amazon.com/dp/B07KXDLT6H (eBook)
www.barnesandnoble.com/s/9781987015348 (Paperback and eBook)
www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/augur-of-shadows (eBook)

VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR IN MARCH-APRIL!!!!!!

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Well, the past week here at the Writer’s Alley has been filled with many developments! Some of them I can speak about in this post, and some of them you will find out in the coming weeks.

One of the most amazing things is scheduling of my Virtual Book Tour!!!!! I have a great opportunity to partner with Silver Dagger Book Tours! ***In the post below is the link that leads to the sign up sheet.*** The book tour will occur March 1-April 1. I hope you will stay tuned for all of the fun!!!!!!

The Book Tour will happen with many bloggers who sign up, including guest posts, reviews, and more. There will be a giveaway during the time. You don’t want to miss the amazing prizes that I have planned!

If you have a website/blog, and you want to participate, please come join us and sign up! If you know someone who would want to participate, share the link!

There is more exciting news! I have a book signing set up! More details later, but I wanted to share to you all the exciting news!

Well, I have to get back to editing my manuscript, but I hope you all are doing well. Please, don’t hesitate to contact me or message me. I am always willing to speak with any of you.

Love,

Jacob

Pantser versus Plotter...Does it matter?

Since I had started writing my debut novel, and interacting within the writing communities of Facebook and Twitter, there was a term that showed up constantly, Pantser. The term Pantser showed up in conversations, newsfeeds, blog posts, and I really could continue. So, I looked up the term, and the term indicates that someone doesn’t create an outline for the writing.

I wanted to blog about my experiences of the pros and cons of both because I see a lot of shade being thrown on both sides. As an author who doesn’t use these terms, there are some people who don’t know about them, and they may or may not be receiving negativity because they may not outline their novel, or they get flack because they take the time to outline.

******DISCLAIMER BEFORE YOU READ THIS BLOG POST. THIS BLOG IS NOT ATTACKING OR MAKING JUDGEMENT ON ANYONE WHO FALLS INTO EITHER OR BOTH CATEGORIES. THESE ARE MY OBSERVATIONS.*******

Pantser

Pro’s

-Without having an outline, you allow the story to fully develop as you write. If you don’t like a certain part of the story, you may change it. If you want to add another character or a scene to further development backstory, you may add as much as you want without worrying about redoing your outline.

Con’s

-If you hit a case of the “writer’s block” syndrome, it may be a littler more difficult for you to get over the hump. Unless you push passed the writer’s block, the chances of you not finishing the project may happen. Also, the story may goes in many directions without any guidance. So, just be aware of your story’s direction.

Plotter/Outliner

Pro’s

-You have planned out your entire novel. You know where the story is going to go. You know exactly the number of characters, arcs and the ending. Also, someone who outlined their story may write their story faster (doesn’t mean better).

Con’s

-This is a HUGE reason why I am not an “outliner”. The writer is bound to their outline. If you want to change something, you may have to change the entire outline, which takes away from your writing.

So, the question of this blog is: Does it matter? Does it matter that you are a plotter or a pantser? In my opinion, it doesn’t matter. I truly believe that as writers, we need stop worrying about whether we are plotting the “right” way, or are we going to be accepted by our peers if they find out that we don’t plot. The ONLY thing that we need to worry about as writers is our stories. Our stories are what we make us authors.

When someone reads your novel, do you think that the reader is going to wonder, “wow…how long was this author’s outline?” Nope. Trust me. If you concentrate on your stories then I can bet that you will be a happier writer, and your story will flow out of you.

Well, I hope this blog was informative and helpful. Please, like, share and comment on the blog. I would love to hear your thoughts. We can start a constructive, positive conversation.

Love,

Jacob J. Rundle

P.S. Have you read the first two chapters of my debut novel? No? You need to! Go…go do it…like…now! :)

The First Two Chapters of Augur of Shadows!!!!!!

Hello all!

I am so excited to share this piece of my soul with you all. I started this novel some time ago, and I have been diligently working to make it a perfect reflection of the world that I see in my mind when I think of Augur of Shadows: Book 1 of the Destined Series. Please, read the first few chapters, and leave comments, ask questions. Let’s continue to support each other, and let’s get those conversations started. I hope you all enjoy the introduction to my debut novel.

Love,

Jacob J. Rundle

***There will be grammatical and formatting mistakes. My MS is still being editing and revised***



CHAPTER 1

 

NEW YORK CITY

 

New York City fostered some of the most architecturally exquisite infrastructures in the world. The buildings that once reached to the skies, now barely stood a few feet tall. The remaining enacted structures had pieces falling towards the streets, leaving massive indentations in the war-ridden streets. Sheets of darkness covered the skies in every direction. There was no sign of life except for a woman, Trish, her daughter, Abby along with a few other survivors.

The winds echoed with the screams of the thousands of departed souls. Numerous abandoned cars filled the inner-city streets and interstates. The once vibrant city had become a snapshot of an apocalyptic scene. The aroma of engine fluid and gasoline filled the surrounding areas, making the lonely warriors’ trek extremely difficult. Trish’s group made their way through one of the world’s biggest graveyards in order to find any remaining signs of life, and she hoped to find a safe place. Trish found staying alert was difficult with the city had possessed a disorientating essence.   

“Abby, keep going baby. You have to keep going. And you will not stop!” Trish tried to urge Abby to continue, but her little one couldn’t move anymore.

“Momma, where are we supposed to go?” Abby fought back her tears, yet she was unsuccessful. The whispers of the others in the group drowned out her mother’s reply. Abby began to panic, and her breathing became erratic and uncontrollable.

“Abby is right. Where are we supposed to go, Trish?” She turned around, and saw that Tim Stevenson had asked the sarcastic question.

“Tim, anywhere that is safe.” Trisha answered. He rolled his eyes with disapproval of her answer. Trish saw that he didn’t agree with her plan, yet she didn’t care because the only person that she worried about was Abby. She couldn’t believe how far that Tim had fallen since the attack. She remembered him as the most energetic spokesperson she heard, and she loved how he delivered messages of hope on Sundays.  

“I don’t know. We just have to get away from the city. I do know that we can’t stay here anymore, and we can’t let them find us,” Trish attended Abby, who started having a panic attack. Trish was determined to comfort Abby, but she found it difficult because Abby’s attack worsened as time passed.

“Breathe, baby. Slow your heartbeat and breath.” Trish rubbed Abby’s back. She prayed Abby’s nerves calmed.  

“Why, momma? Do they want to hurt us?” Abby ran into her mother’s arms due to the fear of the mysterious predator.

“Baby, I have no idea. I do know that if they find us baby, they will try to separate us. You need to know that I won’t let that happen.” Trish firmly hugged Abby, not letting her daughter move an inch.

“Momma, I am really scared.” Abby locked eyes with her mother, and she channeled her mother’s strength.

“My Abby,” Trish kissed Abby’s forehead.

“Momma, I will protect you. I am strong.” Abby stood tall for her mother to see.

“Baby girl, you are powerful because you are my daughter.” Trish gathered Abby and her belongings, and she motioned to the others to continue moving.

They continued their pursuit to find a safe area. None of them had seen any other survivors. They had been running in between the debris of fallen buildings, catching sight of the hundreds of abandoned vehicles on the streets, and avoiding what appeared to be falling brush fires from the sky. The ash from the tree fires filled the air, creating a non-breathable environment for them.   

“Momma, why did people leave these cars?” Abby pointed to the abandoned vehicles.

“Well, baby, they had to leave them. They left them the day the light appeared in the sky, remember?” explained Trish. Her inner monologue started to rush through her head, ‘How are we going to get through this? Oh my God, I don’t know what to do. Who were those things? I can’t let my baby hear the fear in my voice. Who are the ones in cloaks? I don’t think that we are going to survive.’

All the emotions and thoughts washed over Trish, leaving her feeling disorientated. A wave of fear paralyzed everyone, hearing the impact of burning debris hit the ground. The shock waves spread throughout all of the remaining areas. The survivors stood still, reminiscing of what once was. An entire flaming tree crashed down in front of their eyes, which forced them to scramble. The impact of the tree threw Trish into the side of an abandoned vehicle.

“Momma! You’ve been hit! You have burns on your arms! Momma! We need to get you some help!” Abby tried to examine her mother’s injuries, but Trish shielded the horror from Abby’s innocent eyes.

“Honey, listen to me. You have to stay calm, and be quiet. They will hear you. Do not worry about me,” Trish hushed Abby.

Out of the corner of Trish’s ear, she heard, “Will you tell your daughter to shut up?” She immediately came to Abby’s defense as a lioness readied to pounce on her prey.

“No one will speak to my daughter. You have a problem then you can leave.” Trish stood ahead of the group, and she wait for a response.

Trish heard a faint whisper, “Abby.” She turned to see which one whispered Abby’s name, yet she found nothing. She examined the area for any indication of a new survivor. Trish only saw the same individuals that she had been with the entire time.

“What the hell?” She thought that she had started going crazy. Her felt that her fear started turning into extreme paranoia. She took another step, and she heard the same faint whisper, “Abby.” Trish braced herself for a fight, yet she was left standing against herself.

“Momma, what’s wrong?” Abby stared at her mother.

“Oh, nothing baby. Keep moving.” Trish felt horrible for lying to Abby, but she knew that she would make the situation worse had she mentioned hearing a ghostly voice.

“Abby.” The voice materialized within the somber mists. Trish about-faced to catch the culprit, and what she found left her speechless. She squinted her eyes to see if what she saw was real. She couldn’t believe her eyes.

She bored into the eyes of a mysterious boy. She was in disbelief. The boy didn’t look over the age of seventeen years old.

“Hello?” Trish tried to gain the boy’s attention, yet he didn’t respond. The boy’s face was inconclusive. Trish became relentless with finding out the boy’s identity.

“Abby.” The boy mourned for Trish’s ears, which forced her to cease her pursuit. She stood face-to-face with the boy, and all she saw was his pajamas he was wearing. She saw glimmers of blue markings on the boy’s face, hands and arms.

“What are you?” She rushed over to the boy with the sight of a falling, burning bush.

“Watch out!” Trish lunged to rescue the boy, however; she passed through his corporeal body, and she crashed into the ground. She whipped around to see if the boy had survived, but there was no evidence of anyone being there. Trish became a firm believer that her mental instability and delusions have won, and she had officially lost her mind.

CHAPTER 2

 

HENRI’S ROOM

 

Henri suddenly woke from a deep slumber, and jolted him self out of bed. He felt disorientated from his dream. He tried to focus his sight onto a stationary object so that he could regain focus. His senses were on high alert, and he continued to hear the screeching sounds of falling debris, and the whimpering screams of the survivors from his dream.

He felt the droplets of sweat coursing down his face and back, and the aroma of burnt tar was lingering in his nostrils. He knew that his equilibrium was off balance, which left him feeling as though he had spilt him self into two. One name continued to mull over in his mind, and he couldn’t take the throbbing migraine from the recycling of the name, so he tried to relinquish her from his thoughts, “Abby!”

His mother ran into the room, “Honey, what’s wrong? Why are you screaming?”

“Where is she? Abby!” Henri locked eyes with his mother, and for a second, she didn’t recognize who was looking back at her.  

“Henri, calm down. Please, stop screaming.” His mother stared at him while she held back tears. Henri freed himself from the trance when he realized that he was sitting on the edge of his bed. His mother stared at him, alarmed and confused. Henri became annoyed at his mother for still starring at him.

“Honey, you’re all wet. Your heart is racing. What is wrong, Henri?  And, Who is Abby?” She examined Henri from head to toe to find anything that explained why he screamed bloody murder.

“I…. have…. no idea,” his disorientation forcedly pulled his attention from the present reality. He realized that Abby was the little girl who was in his dream. For a second, Henri contemplated whether or not he knew her. Henri snapped out of his bewilderment, and he scanned his entire room to regain a sense of where he was. He noticed that he was looking at the poster his parents gave him for his tenth birthday, of his favorite comic book character, Phoenix. For as long as he could remember, Henri wished that he could be like her. He didn’t want the responsibility of having a cosmic influence because he could barely handle doing his morning chores, but he loved the idea of escaping from his reality. His mother did love to remind him constantly. He did, however, wish that he could to somewhere new. He wished that he could fly away.

Henri had a wave of thoughts rush into his head, ‘was that? A dream? It felt like I was watching a movie. It was not normal. I could feel the mother’s pain of losing her daughter. The little girl was ripped away from my fingers as well as her mom’s. I could also hear the voices of the people running around, searching for sanctuary. All of the panic and fear came over me as if I was the one experiencing this terrible event. I could feel the heat on my skin. The scent of burnt concrete was nauseating; and I could feel the adrenaline as if it was still pumping through my veins. What is happening to me? I didn’t watch any scary movies last night. Maybe, I ate something bad.’

“Are you okay, Henri? Your screaming terrified me. I have never heard you scream like that before,” his mother pulled him into her arms if it was her first time holding her child.  

“Mom, would you stop it. I don’t need a hug right now. I’ll be okay. It was just a nightmare…. that’s all,” he readied him self for bed. He was not in the mood to discuss what he had just experienced, and he didn’t want to hear how church could make him feel better.

“A nightmare? About a girl named Abby?” She continued to examine him to see if he had hit his head on anything; maybe that would explain what her son was saying to her.

“Henri, you are really worrying me. You have become distant, and we don’t talk anymore. What is going on with you?” His mother instantly started crying at the thought of her son pulling away from her. She stood up front his bed, and she started to walk towards the door. When she reached the threshold, Henri stopped her,

“You know me, Mom. I just love those Indie horror flicks. I can’t get enough of them.” Henri mumbled under his breath so she didn’t hear him.

“Um. Mom,” Henri stopped himself from telling her his secret, but he the internal struggle again, and the idea of telling his mom terrified him. There had been so many times that he wanted to just say the words, but every time, Henri found an excuse not to tell her. He looked at his alarm clock, and he noticed that many minutes passed, and he needed to get his mother to leave.

  “There is something that I want to say, but I don’t know how you will take it.” He slowly glanced at her to see her expression. For a moment, Henri told himself that he decided to tell his mother. He didn’t want his fear to get in his way anymore. He went to say three simple words, yet his fear popped its ugly head in, and Henri shut his mouth before he said anything to his mother. He hated the idea of not telling her the truth because he knew how much pain that she was feeling because his dad was gone, and he knew that she had a problem with blaming her self for his withdrawal. Henri knew that his secret was the reason for the dissolution of their relationship.

“You need to get some sleep. Your first day of school is tomorrow, and I don’t want you to be exhausted. If you need me, come and get me.” She walked over to him, and kissed him on the forehead. To re-assure his mom, Henri smiled, and he uttered, “Night, Mom. I’ll see you in the morning.” He hated how things were anymore, and he knew that things would change when he told his mother the truth. He wasn’t ready for the possibility of losing his mother.

“Good night, Henri.” She left the room, and returned to her room. Henri sat in his bed, replaying the dream in his mind. He wondered what was happening in his dream. Everything about the dream felt unbelievably real. For what seemed like hours, his thoughts of Trish and Abby raced in and out of his thoughts.  

Henri wished that his dad could be with him. He knew that his dad would listen to him. His thoughts returned to his dream. Henri wondered about the light Trish had mentioned. He didn’t know why the city was abandoned, and there were almost no other people around. He couldn’t stop asking himself what had happened. Yet, he was intrigued by whom or what the light was, but a part of him didn’t entirely want to know the identity of the light either. He remembered the smells and the sounds. The eerie chills that filled the city’s rubble, and Henri felt an enormous presence in the city.

My Article on Stormgate Press!!!!!

Hello everyone!

I hope that everyone is having a great Friday. The weather in New Orleans has finally mimicked the weather that I experienced, growing up in Illinois. The nice, cool, crisp breeze brushes against you, and you get the chills all over. If anyone of you have never been to New Orleans, the weather is usually extremely humid and very hot.

Now, onto the point of this post, which is not to give you all a weather report. So, a week ago, I was given the opportunity to write an article as a guest on Charles Millhouse’s online blog Stormgate Press. I am proud to announce that the article launched this morning at 9 a.m., and there has been a good amount of positive feedback already! I want to thank everyone who took the time to read the article. Please, continue sharing the article with others who you think would love it.

I take great pride in the fact that I am self-publishing, and all the knowledge I have gained because of my experience self-publishing.

So, if you haven’t visited Charles Millhouse’s site, you should. You are missing out if you haven’t already.

http://blog.stormgatepress.com/2018/11/guest-blogger-jacob-rundle.html?m=1

Poems

Hey everyone!

So, I thought that I would do something fun today, and I would write a poem for the first time ever. ***Disclaimer*** I have no technical training in poetry, but I thought it would be fun, and I have said before that I love to learn. So, please leave comments so that I can learn! Also, I needed a break from editing my fifth draft, so why not write some poetry?!


Light

Glossy, Lucid

Showing, Healing, Loving

Ever so dazzling

Hope



Darkness

Constant, Silent

Spreading, Lingering, Returning

Never ending

Shadow




What Should I Write?

In the course of writing my debut novel, title to be revealed really soon, I started to ask myself, “what should I write? What genre is popular?” I have compiled a significant amount of research for writing a novel, and one of the sources stated to write a book in a genre that is selling well. I ask myself, “why would I want to do that?” I don’t understand why someone would write a novel in a particular genre so that it sells? And through the course of the past couple of weeks, I have noticed a trend on social media, i.e. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

I truly believe that writing should come from a place of joy, excitement and motivation. One would want to write the genre that has the magic lasso that binds them. If you love fantasy, then write fantasy. You love contemporary realism then go for it. Write what you love. Please, if you remember anything from this blog, remember this, no one sees the world the way that you do. So, if you have an idea for a story, start writing. Don’t look back. Don’t worry that your story may or may not be like someone else’s. It doesn’t matter because, as I stated earlier, no one sees the world that you do. Write your beauty. Write your love. Just write!

Jacob

Writing has shaped me

For years I wanted to write a piece that would motivate someone in any way possible. As many other individuals in their lives, I allowed my self doubts get in my way. Anytime that I had an idea for a story, I shrugged it off. I locked it away in the vault of my mind.

Am I good enough? What if no one reads what I wrote? Worst off, what if someone hates what I wrote? These are some of the self-damaging ideas that ran through my mind. There comes a point in your life when you need to stand up for yourself even if the villain in your story is you.

I always did well in school when I was a child, so I knew that I had talent; however, my grammar is not always perfect. I do make run-on sentences, and I still to this very day hate semi-colons. Should I have allowed these insignificancies stop me? The answer is always no.

One afternoon on a day off, I had the idea to write. I had no idea why I had the idea run through my head. There was a few moments when those pesky old insecurities came creeping back, and I started to doubt myself and my abilities. After a few minutes of mental torture, I said enough is enough. I picked up a pen, and I started to write. I wrote for hours and hours. At the end of the day, I examined my writing, and I wrote more than 10K words!!!

A very important lesson, that I have learned in the time that I started writing, is that the only person that gets in your way is you. We all need to love who we are, and we need to find the self-confidence in ourselves so that we can share the stories that we have. I truly believe that each and every story that one has in their minds will affect someone. Maybe that one person needs your story to get through a hard time. Maybe a young boy or girl is confused, and they read a story where the Main Character (MC) is going through a similar situation.

I have embraced who I am as a writer. No one is perfect. Not everyone will remember where the comma goes ( I really do hate commas). You will make mistakes. Someone will give you a bad review (I believe that you aren’t a true author till you get a bad review). And you will doubt your abilities, but you must get through the bad spot, the writer’s block. You will get through it. I know that writing has made me a much better person, and I love who I am. So should you. <3

Love,

Jacob