Posts tagged Young adult
Posts tagged Young adult
COVER REVEAL: Allure by Lea Nolan
Today, I’m celebrating the cover reveal of Allure, the sequel to Lea Nolan’s Conjure, coming…
BEFORE, a prequel short story to Larkstorm, is FREE on Amazon today. Also includes the first eight chapters of Larkstorm.
Three years prior to LARKSTORM, Lark and her birthmate, Beck, attend her brother’s binding ceremony. Lark’s nervously looked forward to this moment since the invitation arrived: a chance to see finally see her mother face-to-face and to meet her brother’s new mate, Annalise. But she isn’t prepared for the hostility they have toward Beck and the hint of something darker, lurking beneath the merriment.
BEFORE is a short story set in The Sensitives world (35 pages).
Being an indie writer has it ups (creative control) and downs (being in charge). Like many other writers, I have to finance my books myself.
So I got a little creative and have started a Kickstarter project. Kickstarter is a site that matches patrons with projects. People can pledge whatever amount they wish and only have to pay if the project reaches its funding goal.
My project is to help offset the cost of the cover and design of the second book in my Sensitives Trilogy. Covers are one of the most important parts of the book selling process and I’d love to have something as beautiful as the Larkstorm cover for book 2.
Anyway, here’s the link. Even if you choose not to pledge (and get some fabulous rewards for doing so), I’d appreciate if you help me spread the word about my project.
Larkstorm is out as an eBook in the US, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand and basically anywhere English is the primary language!!!
Don’t have an ereader? Amazon has a FREE kindle desktop app
Hate eBooks? The paperback version will be out in a few weeks. I’ll keep you posted.
“B?” I call. A deafening silence answers. My heart races and fear courses through my veins. The sick feeling intensifies and I grab at my stomach. Please, please Bethina, please be here. Hunched forward, I run ahead of my housemates, toward the kitchen.
The fully lit kitchen is abandoned. A pot of water boils on the burner. A cookie sheet of biscuits has been flung haphazardly on the counter.
Terrified, I march through the throng of students in front of me. Their scared whispers fill the air. Once past them, I sprint from room to room searching. “Bethina!” I yell.
“Bethina! Where are you?”
Room after room, empty. I begin to believe the unbelievable - that Bethina is gone - when I see her sitting in the oversized striped chair in the living room, not moving. So still she looks almost asleep, except her eyes are open. Open but not really seeing. She’s just staring.
“B?” I ask softly, but she doesn’t answer. I grab her shoulders and shake her.
“Bethina! Are you okay?”
All the others have joined us. The confused group looks to me, as if I should know what’s going on.
The melting snow from our shoes and hats puddles onto the wood floor. I force myself to calm down and take a deep breath. I step back from Bethina into the semi-circle my housemates have formed in front of the chair and survey the scene. Not knowing what to do, I raise my hand and slap Bethina sharply across the face.
“Bethina!” I scream, becoming more frightened. “Wake up! Do you know what’s happened?”
The outline of my hand on her cheek turns into an ugly red print.
She moves her head from side to side as if making a mental checklist. I’ve seen her do this many times on our outings – making sure she’s left no one behind, counting and identifying each of us.
“Kyra?” she whispers.
I kneel in front of her and take her hand. “Mr. Trevern took her to see the Headmaster.”
Bethina groans and balls her hand under mine. “But no one else?”
“Not from our group.” I swivel around to scan the group of boys who just entered. My eyes dart over each face, searching.
“Where’s Beck?” I ask.
Bethina makes a weird choking sound. Her tear-stained face contorts. A small movement of her head to the side. The world spins. I know before she says it.
“Beck’s not coming back.”
I hear nothing else because the world goes black.
I’ve had a few questions about the trailer and thought I’d answer them here.
1. "Why did you go with an animated trailer instead of live action?" The short answer: Because I wanted to. I love anime and manga and wanted something in that vein. I also love simple illustration and think this hits that note.
2. "Where did you get the music? It’s creepy." My step-father, Russell Lee, did the original arrangement of Alouette. The song has an important role in Larkstorm and he managed to find the haunting element I wanted.
3. "Is that really you doing the voice over?" It is indeed. It only took a hundred tries to get it right.
4. "Who made the trailer?" My brother, Cameron Lee, did the storyboard and editing. His two friends - Amanda Lee and Michelle Tsang - did the illustrations.
A rush of air hits me from the right, then another from my left. They tickle over my body, probing into the loose edges of my jacket. When they find an entrance, they race under my clothes, like a swarm of invisible mosquitos.
What are they?
Before I can figure it out, the tickles become nibbles, then bites. I swat at them, striking my arms, legs and torso until they recede.
Behind me, a whisper. I spin to confront it.
“Who’s there?” My weak voice wavers more than I’d like.
Hushed voices float across the field, churning into one another and mingling with the wind so that I can’t make out specific words.
Something, or someone, watches me from the grass. My quickening pulse thunders in my ears. “I can hear you. I know you’re there.”
A tall, young man steps into the path in front of me. My breath hitches. Even in my confused state, I can see he’s gorgeous. Chiseled jaw, piercing blue eyes, light brown hair. The kind of guy Kyra would make all kinds of inappropriate comments about.
He throws up his hand, like telling me to stop. I freeze.
“Bethina’s waiting for you,” he says, the words razor sharp. For being beautiful, there’s something ugly about the way he regards me.
A sliver of pale yellow streaks through the grass. Dull blue appears to my left. A glint of green pulls my attention to the space behind the man.
All around us, dozens of people crouch low in the swaying grass. Watching me.
The man, dressed head-to-toe in muted red, squares his shoulders as if to challenge me.
The hair on my neck pricks up and I take a step back. “I know.”
My eyes find his wrist. Like mine, it’s bare. So, he’s not a State-identified Sensitive. But who, or what, is he? And does he have something to do with the invisible mosquitos?
The man glares at me before retreating back into the grass. He whistles a few snappy notes of a song I vaguely recognize, and vanishes.
I swing my head from side to side – surely he didn’t disappear?
I had promised myself I won’t read reviews because I know I’ll go crazy, but this one was sent to me. I’m happy I read it!
As I change behind a screen- my small attempt at privacy - Beck emerges from the shower. The scent of soap—Beck’s soap—tickles my nose and I grin. Thankfully, I’m hidden and he can’t see my reaction.
He doesn’t need the encouragement - things are hard enough as it is.
“How do these even fit you?” he asks.
I peek around the screen. He stands next to my closet, dressed, but his hair is damp and tousled. He holds the jeans out in front of him like they’re some sort of foreign object, though I know he’s seen a pair before—they’re not that obsolete. “They’re so small. Look!” He shoves his feet into the legs and they get stuck around his ankles. He hops to my bed, nearly tripping in the process, and tries tugging them off.
I pull on my blouse and walk around the screen toward the mirror. “They’re authentic, Beck. There’s no smart technology in them to stretch to the right size. And even if there was, they’re still not meant to be worn by a six-foot-two giant.”
While he struggles to disentangle himself, I smooth my chestnut hair into a loose ponytail. Neat and tidy, just like a future Stateswoman. In the mirror, I see Beck has stopped fighting my jeans and is watching me. Flutters tickle my heart. His eyes burn for a second but then he returns to just regular old Beck.
A weird tension hangs between us. It’s been happening more and more lately. When I catch Beck staring at me, he’ll look away or pretend to be doing something else, and then we avoid each other for a while until the awkwardness passes.
But we don’t have time for that this morning, so I stick out my tongue and hope it distracts him.
“Oh, you did it now!” he growls playfully.
I’m pulled off the ground and hurled through space. The unexpected sensation leaves me dazed and unprepared for what comes next. I land on my bed, my legs dangling over the edge. Beck leaps on me and straddles my waist. He deftly pins me, holding both my hands over my head with one hand.
I look up at him, suppressing my urge to shriek and laugh simultaneously. “We’re going to be-”
The burning look returns to his eyes.
It stops me cold.
“Come out, come out wherever you are. We know you’re here,” a man’s voice sing-songs.
I fumble with my wristlet, trying to find the alarm feature with my frozen fingers.
Why aren’t the school security alarms sounding?
Beck’s fingers wrap around my wristlet. At first, I think he’s going to sound the alarm button, but he does nothing. His rapid breathing fills my ears.
“Come now. This is no way to play.” The man’s voice is so clear, he must be on the other side of the small hill Beck and I have hidden behind.
“Our footprints,” Beck mumbles. “He sees our footprints.”
My body shakes, not from cold, but fear. If he catches us…I press my eyes shut and swallow my scream. Around us, the snow whirls, frantic like the beat of my heart.
Suddenly, I no longer feel the pressure of Beck against my back. He stands on top of the hill, fully exposed.
“What are you doing?” I cry.
Beck keeps his attention focused on what he sees before him.
“Looking for me?” he asks. He sounds calm – not like he’s facing down our greatest threat.
Why would they be looking for him?
My feet slip as I climb the slight incline and I use my hands to steady myself. When I reach the top, Beck positions himself between me and the dozen Sensitives standing below us. My eyes instinctively flit to their wrists – all bare. The State hasn’t caught them yet.
Beck reaches behind himself to hold my hand tightly, as if trying to absorb my trembling.
To my surprise, the ragged group doesn’t attack. They watch Beck and I with confusion, their eyes darting between the two of us and our enjoined hands.
From the back of the group, a disheveled woman steps forward. She lifts her arm, points at us – me. She’s pointing at me.
“I know who you are.” Her crazy eyes gleam. “I know.”
A silent scream lodges in my throat. Of course she does. I’m Malin Greene’s daughter; the direct female descendant of Caitlyn Greene, one of the Founders of the State and the reason Sensitives are hunted.
Everyone knows who I am.
And Senstives hate me and my family more than any other.
My heart whirls as my fear gives way to anger.
Beck’s fingers release mine and travel to my wristlet. He pushes the alarm button, the one I couldn’t find earlier with my numb fingers.
A loud wail fills the air. Sirens. The barricade hums to life, lighting up. In the near-distance, security guards rush toward us.
“We will be free!” the crazed woman shouts. “You can’t stop us!”
I angrily raise my hand to tell them to leave us alone, that there’s no hope for them. They’re caught.
An impossibly blinding white light flashes. Beck screams, “No!” and throws me to the ground again, forcing my gaze away from the Sensitives, toward the distant bay.
“No. No. No. Please,” Beck whispers.
There’s no sound from the bottom of the hill.