Friday, 30 August 2013

Release Day! Giveaway!

Image from
Well ladies and gentleman, it's finally here!


I am officially a published author. Hard to believe! And I'm so happy to be able to share this exciting day with you! Well, truthfully, I'm celebrating at a staff meeting and finishing up my classroom for the first day on Tuesday. But I may crack open a bottle of wine tonight! And I'm definitely not cooking!

I wanted to share the celebration, so I'm having a giveaway! A signed print copy of the book is the prize! If you want to enter, all you have to do is answer this simple question by doing a little searching on my blog.

What is the NUMBER (hint, hint) of words from the original manuscript that ended up in this final version? Check out the blog archives on the sidebar to find the entry and then use the Rafflecopter below to submit your answer. Once you've done that, you'll unlock the bonus entries which you can earn by following me and Evernight Teen on Twitter and Facebook.

Oh, and in case you'd like to buy my book, it's available on the Evernight Teen site and Amazon so far. More links to come!

Thanks once again!

Monday, 26 August 2013

Evernight Teen Feature: X5 by Diana Stager

Today I'm featuring a fantastic, amazing, wonderful, stellar book from Evernight Teen. Okay, I'm a bit biased because it's MINE! It's a surreal experience to know that very soon, people will be reading a book that I wrote, and hopefully enjoying it. Clearly, I won't give a review because I can't judge my own work objectively. Instead, I'm giving you the official blurb and excerpt!

I should also tell you that I've done a guest post over at the official Evernight Teen Blog, so pop over there for even more goodies!


X5  by Diana Stager

Being a socially awkward geek with anger management issues has made Travis Armstrong an outcast, but on top of that, he has visions of the future. Not that he can tell anyone, except in an anonymous online forum. When he takes a chance and meets with another group member, he winds up at The Bunker, where everyone is like him, and where, finally, he feels like he belongs.

Tara Gage has been at The Bunker since she was thirteen years old. Even among the residents there, she’s unique, and her special talents lead her to discover that The Bunker is not the safe haven it seems to be. She’s determined to escape and get back to her family.

When they each have visions of the other’s death, Travis and Tara know they have to run. With their captors desperate to get them back, they must rely on each other to get away before their visions become reality.


My foot jiggled in time to the song running through my head as I waited for my turn at the polygraphs. Travis was nowhere to be seen, and I was glad of that. Or that's what I told myself whenever I became aware of my disappointment at not seeing him. He drove me crazy, and really didn't seem at all exceptional, but a growing part of me didn't care about that, and just longed to be near him. Disgusted with myself, I tried to think of something else.
My thoughts were cut short when Travis and Mike entered the hallway, both looking upset about something. Their friendship puzzled me. I know Mike was trying to prod Travis into being more of a leader than a loner, but as far as I was concerned, it wasn't working. He was too introverted, too willing to follow along with what the rest of us were doing, or else go off by himself. Both of them sent anxious glances my way, setting me on edge, and just as I stood to go talk to them, the attendant called my name. Casting a last look their way, I turned and entered the polygraph room.
I tried to get through it as quickly as I could so I could find out why Mike had looked so worried. Of course, because I was in a hurry, things took twice as long as normal, and every second wasted irritated the crap out of me. By the time I returned to the hall, Mike was nowhere to be seen, and Travis was pacing back and forth. It seemed I had no choice but to talk to him.
Taking huge strides, I made it to Travis's side quickly and tapped him on the shoulder. When he turned, I hesitated for just a moment when my eyes locked with his, my stomach fluttering. Pull it together, Tara! I took a breath and then said, "What's up with Mike?"
Travis's eyes darted around and he turned to look over each shoulder before giving me a weird look. "Not much," he said finally, though he seemed to be trying to communicate something with his eyes. I frowned, and watched as his eyes widened, then darted to the side, his eyebrows lifting and then drawing together. What the hell? I shrugged and shook my head. Whatever he was trying to tell me wasn't coming across at all. He sighed and opened his mouth to say something else when something behind me caught his attention.
Turning, I saw a couple of armed security guards rushing into the polygraph room Mike had gone in. Remembering Cam, a band tightened around my stomach as my heart began to pound. Security only came to the polygraph rooms for one reason, and my fears were confirmed a moment later when they exited, holding Mike in between them.
"Mike!" I screamed, leaping forward to try to get to him. They couldn't be taking him away! What had he seen? My efforts to reach his side were blocked when Travis grabbed me from behind and wrapped his long arms around me. "Travis, let me go! Let me go!" I struggled against his grip, but it was like iron and I was getting nowhere. Lifting one foot, I kicked backward and connected with his shin. I heard him swear, but he didn't loosen his hold on me.
"Tara, stop," he whispered in my ear. "He knew this was going to happen."
I ignored him and screamed after Mike again. The security team nearly had him to the entrance to the administrative section of The Bunker. "No!" I yelled. "No, you can't take him! Mike!"
His eyes were full of pain when he turned to look at me one last time. I saw his mouth form the words, "I love you." And then the door slammed closed behind him. Hot tears streamed down my cheeks, my heart ached, and though my throat was raw and sore, I couldn't stop screaming. Travis wouldn't let me go no matter how hard I pulled against him. My squirming and wiggling wasn't doing any good, but I couldn't stop. The rational part of my brain knew that Mike was gone and nothing I did would help, but at the same time if I didn't try, I'd be giving up.
Suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my arm and when I turned my head, I saw one of the infirmary staff standing with a syringe in her hand. I tried to say something to her, but the edges of my vision were going fuzzy, and then everything went dark.

Friday, 23 August 2013

X5 Cover Reveal

Getting a release date was great, but finally seeing the cover makes it real! So....

Here it is!

Isn't it awesome? Sour Cherry Designs did a fantastic job and I'm thrilled with it! On Monday, I'm posting the official blurb and teaser excerpt so make sure you stop by.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Evernight Teen Feature: Black Amaranth by Sasha Hibbs

Umm...I'm still trying to figure out this whole Blogger thing and thought I had this scheduled to go live on Monday, but apparently not. Oops. Anyway, here's my review and feature of Evernight Teen's latest release, Black Amaranth by Sasha Hibbs.

Today's feature is Evernight Teen's latest release, Black Amaranth by Sasha Hibbs, which was only released last Friday! Needless to say, I had to do some fast reading to get it done, but it was worth it!

The excerpt below had me intrigued, and right away, Sasha's writing sucked me into the story and wouldn't let go. It's easy to identify with Ally as she struggles to figure out who she is, and contemplates the impact of her decisions (which are VERY far reaching) on the people she cares about, and really, the entire world. 

I think the thing that astounds me most about this book, is the intricate mythology that Sasha has created. She's pulled from a variety of traditions to make a whole new world and that is not easy to do. It could get a bit hard to follow at times, but I think that mostly had to do with the fact that I was up all night reading and therefore very tired! I just didn't want to put it down. 

The climax of the book was extremely powerful, though I can't say much about it or I'll spoil it. Let's just say that there are a lot of twists and surprises.  And  I can't wait for book 2!

Eighteen-year-old Ally Watson arrives home from high school graduation, more than a little annoyed that her Uncle Argyle—Ally’s legal guardian and only surviving relative—didn’t even bother showing up.  But instead of berating him for his forgetfulness, Ally finds him in a life-or-death battle with a monster. Argyle manages to kill the creature, and gives Ally a parcel containing a destiny she never knew existed.

Ally, along with her best friends Michael, Jessica, and David, hurry to Georgia to uncover the truth of Uncle Argyle’s secrets, and the meaning of the mysterious marks that Ally bears. Are the marks related to the blacksmith mythology of her ancestors? Who are these heavenly warriors who show up in the oddest of places? And will an ancient gypsy curse destroy the very things Ally fights to save?  

Black Amaranth: a simple flower, a symbol with an ancient legacy, a conduit for prophecy…while faith and hope are essential to the journey, Ally soon discovers that love is the most powerful force of all.

Where To Buy

About Sasha Hibbs
By age 5, Sasha Hibbs' favorite movie was Gone With the Wind. By age 12, she completed her 7th grade book report on the sequel, Scarlett. By 18, she met and married her very own Mr. Rhett Butler and as it turns out, she never had to worry about going back to Tara to win the love of her life back. Fortunately, he stuck with her.  
With a love of all things paranormal, the ambiance of the South with its gigantic antebellum mansions and canopies of Spanish moss, and a love for her husband’s rich storytelling of blacksmiths and the mythology surrounding their origins, it wasn’t long until the world of her debut novel, Black Amaranth, was born.
When not working her day job as a nurse, you can find Sasha dreaming of her next beach trip, reading the latest YA novel, and drinking more white chocolate mocha than she should.  
Sasha lives in mountainous West Virginia with her husband, Tim, and their two daughters, Aeliza and Ava. She is currently hard at work on book two in The Vulcan Legacies series.


“LOU’S HOUSE OF BLUES?” Dave read the large neon sign in disbelief. “You’re taking us to a…bar?”
“To the Gypsies, and the one I am seeking out in particular,” Parthenia looked straight ahead, “happens to spend most of her time in this bar.”
“Mom thinks we’re going to church camp.” Dave’s face spread into a big smile. “I wonder what she would say if she knew we were going to a bar.”
“We’re eighteen,” Jessica said, reminding him. “Just once, Dave, please be cool.” Jessica winced.
“Cheer up, Jessica.” Brandi patted her mockingly. “There’s a first time for everything.”
“Whatever. I’m sure this beats your lame keg party,” Jessica said.
Nothing surprised Ally anymore, not even the rough-cut lumber bar staring back at her. Motorcycles and beat up trucks lined the gravel parking lot. A wraparound porch with live oaks bordered the outside. Looking determined, Parthenia motioned for them to follow her up there. As Ally ascended onto the creaky porch, her eye caught a slumbering black dog. She sidestepped to miss treading on the dog. Instinctively, Ally bent down and brushed her hand along the thick black coat.
“Good Lord, Miss,” a voice said. Ally looked up into an old pair of friendly brown eyes. “You must be somebody special,” he said, swaying back and forth in a dilapidated rocking chair, the ripened wood groaning with each sway, paint chipping up the back spindles. “Miss Elma doesn’t like anybody,” he said. His deep Southern accent drew out each syllable slowly.
“Sorry,” Ally apologized.
“No need to be sorry, Miss.” Ally could see a warm smile through the grey stubble wrapped around his aged features. “That there dog showed up one day and she’s been laying here ever since like she’s been waiting on someone.” He turned his head out to the horizon, pulling out a battered harmonica and bringing it up to his lips, he paused and said, “You have a good day, Miss.”
Ally looked down at the dog. Lids slowly peeled back revealing deep-set hazel eyes. The dog stretched out her tired limbs, stood to her full height, and nudged Ally’s knees, placing her head under one of Ally’s open palms. Her long silky hair fell between Ally’s fingers.
“Looks like you’ve got a friend—a very large black German Shepherd friend,” Michael said, his eyes smiling.
“Ally,” Parthenia interrupted, “please tell her to sit. I’ve got a feeling this one’s going to follow you.” Parthenia met Brandi’s gaze, their intense eyes implying something they weren’t saying. “Eli, perhaps it would be best if Solomon and Jeb waited out here with Lucy.”
Eli turned, instructing them to wait and watch over his little sister.
“There are three Ravenscraft women: Denaulda, Griselda, and Irini.” Parthenia looked deeply into Ally’s eyes and then shot a look of caution to Michael and the twins. “Denaulda is the eldest sister, and by right, the acting leader of the Gypsies. She is the most powerful next to their holy woman, Belle Crow. Let me caution you now. Do not cross them. They prove to be useful and good allies, but can also prove to be fearful enemies if you’re not on the same side as them. Remember, the curse of the elder Gypsies coupled with Vulcan crossing them is what caused all of this to ensue in the first place. Their magic runs deep, it’s old, and just as the blaxxmiths have a particular affinity for a single element, Gypsies have a strong affinity for magic.”
“Ooo, this should be fun,” Brandi purred mischievously.
“Try to curb your enthusiasm, will you?” Parthenia glared back at Brandi.
“I’ll not say a word.” Brandi winked and said, “Promise.”
“Are they witches?” Jessica asked, a noticeable trace of anxiety in her voice.
“They’re worse than witches,” Eli barked out.
“What is your problem? Considering how you treated me last night, I doubt that your dislike is exclusive to Gypsies. I’m guessing that you hate everyone and everything.” Jessica’s face flushed with anger. Eli fumed, but said nothing.
“No, they are not witches,” Parthenia said, interrupting the awkward silence. “They are Gypsies, and if you want to get on their bad side quick, call one of them a witch.” She turned and looked down her nose at Dave.
“Gotcha,” Dave said, seeming to understand she worried most about what might come out of his mouth.
“Stay behind me and try not to stare at anyone,” Parthenia said.
“Stay, girl.” Ally pointed her finger down at the porch. Miss Elma was obedient, sliding her long muscled legs down, crossing them over top each other and resting her head on her large paws. “Good girl.”
Ally stepped in behind of Parthenia, leaving the rest to trail in after her. Ally looked around in awe. She had never been in a bar before, and wasn’t too disappointed by the one she was standing in now. Red booths lined the unevenly cut board and batten walls, and a few were occupied by men and women who stared directly at them. Round tables just big enough for two were scattered throughout, leading up to a large empty dance floor. Strings of colored bulbs hung down low from the walls, casting dim shadows that mixed in with smoky air. Bar stools surrounded the long slab bar, while behind it a large, intimidating man eyed them up as he casually wiped his hands off on a white towel.
“Hello, Lou,” Parthenia said. “Denaulda around?”
He jerked his head in the direction of the stage, Parthenia following the line of his gaze, sighed softly and said, “Great.”
“Remember me just saying that Gypsies were gifted with a particular talent? Strong magic?” Parthenia whispered close to Ally’s ear. 
“Uh-huh,” Ally said, looking straight ahead to the empty stage.
“Well, you’re about to find out what Denaulda’s is,” Parthenia said, sitting on a barstool and turning to face the stage. “Might as well have a seat and try to stay there.”
Michael and Dave eased down into an empty booth, leaving the opposite side open for the girls. Eli and Brandi opted to sit with Parthenia on barstools.
At the corner of the wooden stage, men were pulling out and tuning guitars and harmonicas. As a slow sultry rhythm played out of their instruments, a petite, dark-haired woman emerged from behind beaded curtains onto the stage. She slinked her way up to the microphone stand like a snake closing in on its prey. She curled her slender fingers around the mic as she cocked her head to the side, looking at her audience with thoughtful, heavy-lidded eyes. Ally’s arms erupted in goose bumps, a surefire warning that something otherworldly was about to happen.
She began to sing, sound floating dreamingly out of her mouth, weaving in and around the crowd like an invisible serpent, creeping up around their heels, sliding up and into their souls.
Michael and Dave twisted around, their heads following the direction of the eerie tune as Jessica mechanically stood up from the bench.
“What are you doing?” Ally whispered between her teeth while tugging on Jessica’s sleeve.
“Just one…dance.” Jessica didn’t look down at Ally; she walked slowly onto the dance floor as though the melody willed her to do so. Problem was, Jessica was a wallflower, or at least when they went to the prom Ally couldn’t peel her away from the wall if her life depended on it.
Ally looked around wondering if Denaulda’s music was having the same effect on everyone else. Brandi smiled naughtily which told Ally there must have been some part of her that expected this. Beside her, Eli watched Jessica through burning eyes. A few patrons joined Jessica on the dance floor, swaying back and forth to the beat, their bodies sweeping in and out in circular motions.
From the wall, a steely gaze followed Jessica. A boy with a shock of blond hair materialized from the shadows and inched his way towards the dance floor. He didn’t look much older than they did but he carried himself like a prowling marauder. His arms encircled Jessica’s waist as he closed the distance between them. To Ally’s surprise, Jessica welcomed him.
Denaulda’s lips curled up into a wicked smile. The tune hung in the air, like a poisonous gas. Ally couldn’t ignore the soothing, rich words.
When we were young and full of life
you reached in deep, and pierced my heart with a knife.
The night cries out, sweet and high,
weeping for her children with a gentle sigh.
Young nights, young nights, where did you go?
I can smell the night air, and how the moonlight glowed.
Young nights, young nights, come back to the home we both know.
“Where’s Lucy?” Dave kept his eyes fixed on Denaulda. “I think I should…” Dave’s words drifted off into the chorus.
Jessica reached her hands up and tangled her fingers into the thick blond hair of the boy she’d glued herself to. They appeared to only have eyes for each other as though no one else existed in the room. Ally was ready to get up and separate the two when another wave of lyrics poured out from Denaulda, nailing Ally to her seat.
I have loved you tender and loved you long,
but you were caught in the crossfire, we got it all wrong.
Can we ever go back to the way it used to be?
Young nights under the Spanish moss, just you and me.
I can smell the night air, and how the moonlight glowed.
Young nights, young nights, come back to the home we both know.
Ally couldn’t budge. “Michael?” She looked up, knowing he would fix this, but when she met his eyes, her breath caught in the back of her throat. Heat spread up through her face as his blue eyes bored into hers. The Michael staring at her now wasn’t looking at her as friends look at one another, but as something much different: as a man who looks, really looks, at a woman. Without Denaulda’s enchanting music, Ally wondered if his penetrating gaze would have bothered her or not.
Eli crossed the floor in long strides, catching Ally’s attention. She sat there unable to move, nervous, knowing that the direction Eli was currently going in wasn’t a good one. Eli’d had a chip on his shoulder since they all met, but more so towards Jessica than the rest of them. Ally just didn’t know why, though.
“Enough.” Ally could barely hear what Eli was saying to Jessica over the music. Denaulda looked entertained by what was transpiring on the dance floor. Jessica paid no attention to him, moving in closer to her partner, so close you couldn’t wedge a piece of paper between them.
Eli’s lips twisted into a snarl as he grabbed Jessica’s wrist. The next few moments happened before Ally could fully register what she was seeing. The blond boy swung at Eli, whose hand cupped the boy’s fist, holding him there effortlessly. He jerked Jessica to the side, causing her to rock on her heels, attempting to balance herself. He flung the boy’s fist down in disgust. “You’re done here,” Eli said to the boy through clenched teeth.
“Oh, no we’re not,” Jessica said, seething and stepping away from Eli, going back into the arms of her dance partner.
Eli growled as he grabbed her arm. Jessica spun around and slapped Eli across the face, sending an echo throughout the bar.
“Do not ever touch me again!” Jessica’s face reddened, almost matching the color of her hair. “Do you understand me?”
Eli stood there blinking in disbelief, raising a hand up to where hers had just been.
“Okay, boys.” Denaulda motioned for the band behind her to stop. “I think it’s time for a break.”
As soon as Denaulda quit singing, her spell dissolved. All those affected shook their heads, clearing up the lingering fog, all except Eli. He stood still, tracing the outline of where Jessica’s fingers touched him.
“Um…” Jessica looked back and forth between Eli and the blond boy staring at her and said, “Hmm, this is awkward. Excuse me.” Jessica quickly brushed past them and darted back to sit down. “What was I doing?”
“Let’s just say that you gave Brandi a run for her money,” Ally said, sugar-coating the truth as Jessica slouched down further in the booth.
“Parthenia,” the words were rich, alluring, “what brings you to my neck of the woods?” Denaulda’s eyes slid past Parthenia and landed directly on Ally.
Denaulda tilted her head, studying Ally through suspicious eyes. “I read the stars last night. Do you know what they told me?” Her eyes, the color of ash, rounded as she studied Ally.
Ally couldn’t speak, her voice was jammed. Looking at this sorceress was unnerving. Ally just shook her head no.
         “They told me Death would be coming to visit me today.”

Saturday, 17 August 2013

It's Almost Time!

On Thursday night, I got the final edits for my book from the publisher at Evernight Teen. And I was shocked when she told me the release date would be August 30.

Two weeks!

In e-publishing, everything moves much quicker than with traditionally printed books, but wow!

I thought I would share a bit about the process for those who aren't familiar with it, or at least the way it's worked for me.

  1. Write a book. (okay this really involves about 50 steps, but I thought I'd condense)
  2. Submit book to publisher via email. This is very cool because it saves tons of trees, not to mention the expense of printing out a whole manuscript, copying it, and mailing it off to who knows how many agents and publishers.
  3. Hopefully, get book accepted. I was extremely lucky because I know most authors have to do step 2 a whole bunch of times before finding a publisher to take the book. Believe it or not, Evernight was only the second publisher I submitted this book to, and that's probably why it was so hard when I got the first round of edits back! Harper Voyager was the first publisher and I fully expected that rejection.
  4. Sign contract and wait for first round of edits. In my case, there was a large gap between the contract signing and the first round because of some changes in personnel. My book got shuffled from one editor to another, and then re-evaluated by the acquisitions editor.
  5. Complete first round and send back. Except this part took me 3.5 months! There were major issues identified with the original manuscript, especially concerning the target audience. Essentially, the way I had written it was more suited to an early teen audience rather than the upper YA target. Hence, the massive re-write.
  6. Receive second round of edits and send back. Thankfully, the second version of the book fit with what they were looking for, and I had just a few things to smooth out. That took me less than a week!
  7. Receive final edits and send back. The first two rounds have to do with the content and continuity of the story more than the grammar, spelling, punctuation. The editor will correct those too, but the last round focuses on it. Of course, I still found some mistakes that not only I had missed in all the times I'd gone over it before, but the editors had missed as well. This happens. And I bet the readers will find others that we missed along the way, too! Sorry!
  8. Formatting and uploading to retailers. This is the part that I don't have anything to do with. The publisher will take the Word document and format for all the reading formats (e.g. pdf, epub, mobi, lit, etc) along with the cover (which I'm hoping to receive soon!) and then they send it to the retailers. 
  9. Release day! It may not get to all retailers right away, but will definitely be available on the Evernight Teen site and Amazon. Don't worry. I'll post links :)
For me, the process from step 2 when I submitted to Evernight, took just over 7 months. And that's only because it took me so long to do the revisions. With a traditional publisher, it would have been over a year, or more.

If you'd like a print copy of my book, they'll still be available, but they use a print-on-demand system. This works out well because it means there aren't piles of the book sitting around gathering dust in stockrooms and warehouses. The retailer prints only a few at a time. 

So now, I'm just waiting and counting the days! I should be receiving the cover in the next week or so, and I'll do a cover reveal when I get it. Stay tuned!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Evernight Teen Feature: Slayer for Hire by P.E. Cunningham

Today I'm featuring the Evernight Teen book, Slayer For Hire by P.E. Cunningham.

This book was a terrific read! It was easy to identify with Billie, the girl with a huge crush on her favorite TV star. She read all the books, watched every show, knew everything there was to know about the show. So naturally, when they come to her town to film the movie, she gets excited. As someone who keeps stalking the filming of the TV show Bitten (based on the Kelley Armstrong book) in my own town, I completely get it!

It's hard to tell you what I liked best about this book because it would be a spoiler. So I'll simply say that there are some interesting plot twists, strong characters, and excellent writing in the book. Highly recommended!

Nineteen-year-old Billie Eshleman loves the TV show Slayer for Hire, and has a major fangirl crush on its hunky star, Dylan Garber. When the show comes to her home town to film a movie version, it’s her greatest dream come true. Unfortunately, she’s not the only fan trying to crash the set. A real vampire has fixated on the fictitious “slayer,” and is determined to make Dylan her mate—like, for the rest of eternity.

With help from Dylan’s co-star, Matt—an actor with vampire-related secrets of his own—it’s up to Billie to keep her idol from joining the ranks of the undead long enough to finish the movie. And, incidentally, keep herself alive in the process.

Slayer for Hire Excerpt

About P.E. Cunningham
Pat (P. E.) Cunningham was born in New Jersey and grew up in Pennsylvania. Raised on a diet of Star Trek and Marvel Comics, she naturally gravitated toward a career as a writer. She’s published in the science fiction, fantasy, and romance genres, and is currently considering horror.  She lives in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where the movieWitness was filmed, but never got to see Harrison Ford in person. Slayer for Hire is her first YA novel.

Where to Buy
Evernight Teen
Barnes & Noble

Monday, 5 August 2013

Evernight Teen Feature: Disintegrate by Christine Klocek-Lim

Back in April I did a cover reveal for Disintegrate by Christine Klocek-Lim. Since then I've had a chance to actually read the book and I loved it!

The book has such an interesting concept. Emily, the main character, has the ability to manipulate matter and as a result she can do things like walk through walls. When she is in her first year at college, she meets a guy, Jax, who seems to have the same powers. The book follows the adventures of these two as they try to get away from the mystery bad guys pursuing them. In addition to the neat twist on the kids-with-super-powers theme, the book is well-written, fast paced, and engaging. I loved Emily's voice, and I thought she was a believable character. I'm sure you'll enjoy Disintegrate as much as I did. I think I sense a sequel, too, and I can't wait!

Disintegrate by Christine Klocek-Lim

Young Adult, Paranormal, Suspense, Romance
Word Count: 51,000
Published By: Evernight Teen

an Evernight Editor's Pick!
an ARe Bestseller!
a Night Owl Reviews Top Pick!


Emily just wanted a normal life: a boyfriend, college, two parents who loved her. Instead, her dad disappeared when she was fourteen and her life at college is anything but ordinary.

When you can manipulate matter like putty and you have no idea why, how do you pretend to be like everyone else? What happens when you meet a guy who has the same powers? Do you trust him to help you find the answers you need?

Emily desperately wants to believe that Jax can help, but the stakes grow higher than she’d ever expected: someone is after them and they’re not afraid to use violence to get what they want.

Author Details:

Christine Klocek-Lim spends most of her time daydreaming—which isn't much different from what she did as a girl in northeast Pennsylvania, as a college student in Pittsburgh, as a twenty-something technical writer in New York City, and as a young mother in suburban New Jersey. For the past decade or so she's been dream-surfing in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania.

She's published a pile of romance novels, a few poetry chapbooks, and a bunch of short stories.

twitter: @chrissiemkl

Where to Buy: 
“I … think you’ve got the wrong impression of the two of us,” she mumbled. “We’re just friends.” And that’s all we’ll ever be, Emily told herself.
The woman shook her head. “No. I don’t think I do.” She wiped at the bar, nodding once as though making up her mind. “He’s a good kid.” She moved off, pouring a beer as she made her way down to the other end of the bar.
Emily blinked, confused by the bartender’s confidence. Jax sang on, oblivious to the conversation they were having about him only a few feet away.
And then the wall by the door exploded.
Emily froze for a split second while the bartender looked stupidly at the mess, then rushed for the stage, shoving through the few people beginning to realize something was very, very wrong. Jax hadn’t reacted and her first instinct was to get him to safety. She knew they were there for her, and she also knew they wouldn’t hesitate to destroy anyone near her in an effort to get to her. The best thing to do was get out.
Heart pounding, she grabbed him by the sleeve and dragged him down and off the stage. His guitar strap broke and the instrument hit the floor with a harsh twang. She winced, knowing it was his dad’s guitar, and important to Jax, but she didn’t stop. She couldn’t afford to do anything about it. Her skin was jumping and buzzing and she yanked—
Jax fell over her, hands raised, and Emily chanced a look back. There were three of them, huge and intent. Their faces were covered. One had a shotgun, oh God…
“Get down!” Jax yelled, shoving her over.
She ignored him, pulling until he had no choice but to follow. It was that or step on her. He still had his hands up. Something went boom—the gun, she thought—and then the staccato crunch of wood splintering around her bled through her panic. She shoved Jax ahead of her, hard. The door behind the stage hung ajar, and she stumbled for it, skin prickling as static arced around her fingers.
“Get back!” she panted, and Jax tripped. She tried to pull him up, but his muscular frame was too much for her thin frame. “Jax, you’ve gotta get up.”
He stared at her from the floor, dazed. A trickle of blood ran from a cut near his eye.
Was he hit? “Jax, get up!” she hissed.
Finally, he shoved off from the floor and staggered to his feet, falling against her. Not shot then, she thought, relieved. He wouldn’t be standing if he’d been seriously injured.
She tugged him down the dark hallway. When she looked back, she couldn’t believe they hadn’t been followed. Or at least not yet. Swallowing hard, she grabbed his hand, ignoring the electric tingle of his skin, and dragged him into the wall. He oofed as his head hit the paneling, but she had no time to worry about it. She pressed her fingers to the dirty surface and pushed, concentrating on dissolving the bonds of matter in her body and his. It wasn’t easy. She had to sort of push her energy into it, harder than she’d ever had to before. It felt a little like juggling upside down. She needed to hang onto him and release everything else, simultaneously. She had to keep his hand solid in hers while phasing their bodies out. For a moment, she thought she would fail or go mad, and then something clicked—
Thank God.
—her hands sank into the wall. She shuddered, hating the sticky feel of molecules sliding into her like this. One finger, one hand, no problem, but her entire body? That was creepy and weird. What she was doing wasn’t natural. Humans weren’t supposed to be able to shove pieces of themselves into pieces of other stuff, and here she was trying to shove her entire body, and Jax’s too, into the filthy inside of a bar wall. She almost sobbed … it was taking too long, they were coming—
—and then Jax’s fingers tightened around hers and it felt like electricity shooting into her bones. He gasped and then they fell into the wall together, their matter pressed into and within the wood and concrete and insulation.
Nausea rose. She fought it down. No time for that, she snarled to herself. No damn space for barfing. She gripped Jax’s hand, trying to keep still and quiet and think while also somehow conveying to him the need for calm. He could freak out later.
And he would, she knew. They were completely hidden, existing half in reality and half in the shadowy space between atoms that she’d been able to manipulate since forever. He would want to know how she did it. He would want do know why she’d dragged him into this.
A short, sharp boom echoed weirdly through her. They’d made it to the hall, though she couldn’t see them. She couldn’t see anything. Her eyes didn’t work inside the wall. Jax’s iron-willed calm filtered slowly through her veins, as if she could feel his emotions. God, this was completely horrible, she thought, willing the men to just go away. She needed to run—
—and then there was silence. She didn’t know how long it had been quiet, but Jax was pulling at her. She forced herself to think move and let go andenough and she stepped forward and out—
—and they fell into the hall, coughing. She stifled a gag, her right hand burning from the rough flooring. She’d just caught herself before her head hit the opposite wall.
“Jesus, what—” Jax choked, turning to her. He wouldn’t let go of her hand.
“We need to see if they’re gone,” she managed, rubbing her face on her shoulder. Her knees hurt. She felt filthy, as if she’d ingested the dirt that penetrated every portion of the wall.
Jax leaned down and put his free hand flat on the floor. He closed his eyes.
Emily stared. What was he doing?
A second later he shook his head. “Everyone is gone.” He grimaced. “Or dead.”
“How—” she began to ask, but then the skin on her hand prickled, the one he still held. Jax looked at her arm. She looked at his palm. Tiny sparks arced between them, silver stars that made no sense.

Friday, 2 August 2013

X5 by the Numbers

Image from

I must have done something right, because after submitting my revised MS to the editor, I received it back within a week and the publisher had this to say:

"The editor was impressed with your revision and thoroughly enjoyed the book"

Wahoo! There were a few areas where I had to make changes, which I did, and I sent it back, so now I believe it's going to the copy editor, and I may soon have a date for release. We shall see, and I will definitely keep you posted.

In the meantime, I have some trivia for you about my book, X5.

30 - number of days to write the first version
70, 588 - number of words in the original submission to Evernight Teen
5,000 - approximate number of words from the original that made it into the new version
55,000 - approximate number of words of new material (we'll see how much makes it into the final version!)
16 - number of weeks to re-write
3 - number of different Prologues written
3 - number of new first chapters written
35 - approximate number of Starbucks' Chai Lattes consumed while re-writing
13440 - approximate number of hairs lost during the re-write

It's been much more of a process than I bargained for! What a learning experience, but I know in the end it will be worth it!