Monday, August 25, 2014

"Iris" Release and and Blog Tour Launch...

...is only a week away!!! To celebrate, here's one last excerpt! <3 PS- try and guess who Iris and Kai are stalking ;)

And because it's also Music Crush Monday, I'll share with you again my pick for Iris and Kai. It fits them so well!!!

Love to all xoxo

SJ




EXCERPT: Chapter Twenty-Two

I still remember the feeling it gave me when I’d heard him sing the first time; the boy had a voice that could stir emotion inside a walking corpse. Bring someone back to life. We were headed home when his voice, accompanied by the strumming of a guitar, wafted down from an apartment building. I paused, tugging on Kai’s hand to stop. A voice like that could only belong to some divine entity, or an offspring thereof. It both excited and unnerved my dark soul. 
We pinpointed the window it came from and decided to show up again in the morning. We’d wait for him to emerge so Kai could read his aura.
Unsurprisingly, when the boy left the next day heading for his first day of school, Kai confirmed my suspicions. Silvery threads were woven throughout his aura. He was tall with light brown hair and soulful, sparkling eyes. But he had a way about him, something almost sad and tired to be so youthful and drop dead gorgeous. Like he was trudging through life. Going through the motions. I could tell life in general weighed on him. He needed a change.
A spark of hope ignited inside me. This was the one.
Cloaked in a spell, we followed him that day through the halls of Centennial High. We assumed since he was posing as a senior that he was beginning a new decade in this town. Then it would be off to college, if he chose, or he could continue to work at his dead end job until it was time to move on again.
No wonder he was so sad. He’d probably just moved here over the summer, and this was the beginning of his next ten-year sentence.
The boy mostly kept to himself, ate by himself… but by choice. It was obvious he had every girls’ attention; though it appeared their curiosity about the mysterious model-like boy was in no way reciprocated. I think if he could have camouflaged himself to blend in with the walls, he would have.
After school, he went to a typical high school kind of job – Frederick’s record store. Fitting considering his talent. I couldn’t imagine they paid much, but he had to make a living somehow. My guess was his parents, or parent, had passed some time ago. He was on his own.
Here, being surrounded by other music-lovers, he seemed to have perked a little. He even whistled as he organized a new shipment of vintage records. He inspected one before tucking it away – a Beatles’ album – and smiled to himself, changing the tune of his whistle to their song “Yellow Submarine.” Working here must have been the highlight of his day.
At his apartment that evening, we were able to pick the lock and sneak in. Luckily he was showering so we were able to take our time looking through his things. Unframed, hand-painted art hung above his threadbare sofa. They looked amateur at best; probably local artists. No other pictures were anywhere to be found - a good sign. He had no attachments. The contents of his fridge confirmed his bachelor lifestyle – Chinese leftovers and beer bottles littered the inside.
While Kai and I waited around to get a blood sample, the boy's doorbell rang. I threw Kai a puzzled look, mirroring the one the boy wore. Late night visitors couldn’t have been the norm.
The boy muted the TV and set the takeout container he was eating out of on his makeshift coffee table. Old books served as the base, and he’d placed a sheet of black oval-shaped glass on top.
Shuffling to the door, he threw on a t-shirt and ran a hand through his damp hair. He peeked through the peephole, stiffened with surprise, and then sighed. Whoever it was, he wasn’t thrilled about it. He opened the door anyway.


                                                Don't forget to pre-order you copy on Amazon today!

                           To see the list of websites hosting reviews and excerpts of Iris for the blog tour, click here!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Iris Available for Pre-order on Amazon!!!

Happy Monday! Wanted to spread the word that Iris is available for pre-order on Amazon for .99!!! SO excited that Amazon gives me this option now. Now if we can get Smashwords to get on board so I could offer this though B&N, Kobo, etc, as well, I'll be a happy author. lol

Here's the link to place your order: Iris Pre-order Link

And because it's also Music Crush Monday, here's one of my favorites lately. In case you weren't aware, Quentin Tarantino is one of my favorite writer/ directors, and this Iggy Azalea video seems a bit *ahem* Kill Bill inspired. lol Love it!!!!




Love to all xoxo
SJ

Monday, August 11, 2014

Music Crush Monday!!!

Christina Perri has a way with her songs. You can feel what she's feeling when she sings them. You know she believes in what she's singing. She's either been there or going through it or knows someone who has or is. I LOVE that about her. I guess that's why her music resonates with me so well. All of my characters have traces of me in there somewhere, and when I write them, I pray it's evident.

My next Music Crush Monday is her song The Lonely, and the lyrics fit so well with the main character in my newest untitled project that I just had to share it. Of course, in the next month or so, I'll share more. But for now, I leave you with this hauntingly beautiful song. <3

xoxo
SJ



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Character Name Reveal!!!

Happy Wednesday, my lovelies! <3 One of the perks of signing up for my mailing list is having a character named after you. In Iris, the name selected was Kaylee!!! Congrats, Kaylee B! See below for a little passage with the character named after her. :)

Much love xoxo
SJ


***** SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read Book One, do. :) If you have, read on!*****


CHAPTER NINETEEN : No Show

When Kaylee arrived, we invited her to join us. She sat at the table in front of a plate of untouched food, her hands folded in her lap, her shoulders and jaw tense. Her eyes moved nervously between me, Kai and my curious dove, his beady eyes raking over her every now and then.

Five silent minutes passed before she finally spoke. We wanted to give the illusion she was in control; she was in our territory now and had no door to hide behind, and so we’d waited for her to initiate a conversation.

“So what’s this all about?” she asked, her voice shaky and more childlike than before. “Who are you guys?”

I swallowed my last bite of potato and dabbed my napkin at the corners of my mouth. “I’m so glad you came tonight,” I said, smiling reassuringly. I didn’t like the way her gaze now trailed through the woods where she’d appeared from. Planning her escape if need be, I’m sure. “I’m Iris, and this-”

“He’s Kai… I remember,” she interrupted. “I meant why would you guys say I’m in danger? How would you know that?”

Wearing a more serious expression, I jumped right into what Kai and I had rehearsed. I had a feeling we only had a short window to convince her this visit was worth her time before she beelined back home. “We know, Kaylee, because Kai and I are in the same kind of danger. It’s why we live in the woods.”

Kai clasped my hand in a show of support. I still wasn’t sure about this part – Kai and I trying to both pass as hybrids. We looked older. But if they ever questioned it, we’d explain how we were the exception. Some of us don’t quit aging until later. I hoped they’d buy it.

“And the danger we’re all in has to do with what you are,” I continued. “What all of us are.”

Her features softened, the same look as before replacing her tense one – an internal struggle. Something aware and knowing, yet confused as to how we were in on it. That we knew.

We waited for her to speak again.

“You keep saying that,” she said, low and cautious. We were the only ones here, but I suspected it was out of instinct. Habit. Deep, hidden secrets require discretion. They needed to stay hidden. I knew this well.  She whispered the last part. “What I am.”

“What do you think we mean by that?” Kai asked, but not in a challenging way. He was matching her air of caution, and I think it eased her.

 “Well you… I’m guessing you mean…” Her lips pressed into a tight line. She didn’t want to say. It probably went against everything she knew to vocalize the truth, whether it be her heritage, if she knew, her immortality, if she knew, or her ‘gift,’ whatever it was.

“I assure you,” he cajoled. “There’s nothing you can tell us that we don’t already know.”

I nodded in agreement.

Guarded, she searched our eyes again. I hoped she saw sincerity behind them.

After moments of internal deliberation, I could practically see her defenses wavering – to tell us, or not to. She pressed her eyes shut, her shoulders relaxing with a long low breath.

I cheered internally. She was definitely cracking.

“I’m guessing you mean my gift.” Her words sounded like the reticent confession of a longtime sinner. She needed the reprieve, to say it aloud so someone else would know, but hated the sound of it as she did. “The reason I can…” She hesitated, then said, “Shape shift.” She immediately looked as though she’d swallowed something bitter, and I could tell she regretted telling us. This too, I’m sure, was out of instinct. Self-preservation. Nobody needed to know this. Being different, this different, in a world of mundane normalcy could mean bad things. I knew that well, too. As I’m sure gifted humans do, us conjurers hid our ’gifts’ from the ordinaries. It’s human nature to lash out at – and even be violent toward – things they don’t understand, and I’d never had the patience to deal with it.

“Yes… partially, dear,” I said proudly. “Your gift is a part of who you are. It’s what helps make you so unique.”

“But it’s more of a symptom,” Kai added. “You’re gifted because of a larger reason. Do you know what that might be?”

This took her off guard, and I knew without a shadow of a doubt she had no idea about her heritage, and therefore her immortality.


We had a long conversation ahead of us.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Music Crush Monday!!!

Been listening to Kenny Chesney's "American Kids" over and over lately. I'm usually not much of a Chesney fan when it comes to country music, but this one has such a lighthearted feel-good kind of sound, it's infectious!!! Exactly what I need on Mondays. Enjoy :)

xoxo
SJ



Friday, August 1, 2014

Gift Card Winner for August!!!

The winner for the $10 Amazon gift card for the month of August is Ryleigh K! Congrats, girl, and thanks for signing up for my mailing list!!! :)

xoxo
SJ