Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Ghost for Sale and Birthday Love

Do you have a birthday season? 

We have a birthday season. Once the middle of September hits, it's crazy until the end of the year. So for the next couple months I'll be doing this: 

Hey, wish me happy birthday for Monday, eh? (I'll even take cheese from strangers.) Best birthday gift ever? Book purchases and reviews. Just sayin'...


Last week Jessie Andersen shared with us THE BREEDING TREE, along with two truths and a lie. Those who guessed the lie correctly were entered into a random drawing for the chance to win her eBook. Her stories are a little long, so they've been condensed to their titles here.

Jessie's Game:




THE LIE: #1. It's a true story, but it didn't happen to Jessie. 

Way to guess everyone! And the winner is:



And now for this week's feature... 

Caitlin King can’t believe that her shopaholic cousin actually bought two ghosts off of eBay. But she can’t ignore the truth when she starts seeing sexy Liam O’Reilly, who’s been dead for over a hundred years. He’s a fascinating specter, and the more time Caitlin spends with him, the closer they become—sending them both spiraling into a star-crossed tailspin. No matter how desperately they long for each other, there’s just no future with a guy who’s already stopped breathing. 

In order to help Liam and his twin sister, Anna, leave their earthly limbo and cross over into the light, Caitlin must find the ghost of Anna’s fiancĂ©. But a malevolent spirit is dead set against Anna moving on. Now Caitlin will have to unravel the mystery surrounding the twins’ past lives in order to keep Liam’s spirit safe—even if it means sacrificing her heart in the process.
Get your copy HERE.

You can enter to win a wristlet and make-your-own charm bracelet, by clicking on the image below! 

Ready to meet the author?

Multi-published author Sandra Cox writes YA Fantasy, Romantic Suspense and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her screened in porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee and enjoying a good book. She's a vegetarian and has a yellow belt in Muay Thai.

Sandra gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. Those who figure out the lie will go into my magic hat for the chance to win an eBook of THE CRYSTAL (in honor of me *grin*) in either eBook or print, winners choice

You have until Tuesday, October 6 at 1 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answers on October 7.

1. I got the idea for Ghost For Sale when I heard on the news a ghost was up for sale on eBay.
2. I was born in Ky, my husband in IL, my daughter in OH and my son in WI.
3. I broke a leg trying to climb Mt. Everest.

So sleuths, which is the lie? Do you love ghost stories? Romances? Got a book you want to send me for my birthday? ; ) Or cheese? 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Free Stories and a Rabid Opossum?

A quick shout from me, I've got another piece of Flash Fiction up at Lightning Quick Reads for your reading pleasure:

Get the rest HERE.

(Leave me some comment love and I'll toss you some cheese, eh?)


Last week Lan Chan shared with us POISON, along with two truths and a lie. Those who guessed the lie correctly were entered into a random drawing for the chance to win one of two copies of her eBook.

Lan's Game:

1. I was born in a refugee camp in Vietnam where I spent the first five years of my life. Whilst there I almost drowned twice by falling into rivers. Once it happened because I was trying to retrieve a flip flog that had fallen in. What a way to go!

2. As you might be able to tell from the environmental themes in Poison I am a bit of a nature geek. To that end I've been experimenting with alternatives to shampoo and conditioner because of all the nasty chemicals they contain. The most popular alternative is baking soda and apple cider vinegar. This is called the "No Poo Method." It did not end well. 

3. Right before we moved to Australia my family moved from the refugee camp to Saigon. One day whilst coming home from the fields surrounding our house, I had my brother on my shoulders but because he was a very chubby baby I tripped and we fell into a muddy field littered with buffalo dung. My mother was not happy when we came home.

THE LIE: #3. This happened to her sister. When they came home she was sitting on the porch, and as a four year old, the first thing she did was run inside and tell on them. 

Way to guess everyone! And the winners are:


Congrats, Ava & Jess! 

And now for this week's feature... 

Is the opportunity to create the next generation of life a dream come true or a deadly nightmare? 

When seventeen year old Katherine Dennard is selected to become a "Creation Specialist" in Sector 4, the opportunity sounds like a dream come true. But Kate soon discovers the darker side of her profession - the disposal of fetal organs and destruction of human life. It makes sense, really. In a society where disease and malformations don t exist, human perfection demands that no genetic "mutants" be allowed to live. For Sector 4, "survival of the fittest" is not just a theory - it's The Institute's main mission. 

When Kate discovers that The Institute is using her DNA to create new life, her work gets personal. In order to save her unviable son, she'll have to trust Micah and his band of underground Natural Born Rebels. The problem is, if The Institute discovers her betrayal, the next body being disposed of could be hers.
Get your copy HERE.

Ready to meet the author?

There’s not much to do growing up in a small town in Western, NY, so J. Andersen wrote stories and won high school writing contests. But in college her writing was limited to term papers. While teaching middle school she began to read young adult books and got serious about writing. She now writes full time, volunteers at the town library, helps to run a School of the Arts at her church, and sings in the church band. She enjoys good coffee—read: home roasted by her husband—crafts, baking, and chasing after her children. You’ll rarely see J. without a book in her hands, and that’s the way she’d like to keep it. 

She ADORES white sharp cheddar. The sharper the better! A couple weeks ago she took a beach picnic with her hubbs. They stopped at a cool little deli near us and got amazing artisan sandwiches and olives stuffed with gouda. OH MY!!! So good. She was instantly hooked. Like, she's-been-eating-them-for-breakfast kind of hooked. Strange, but so yummy.

Jessie gave me two truths and one lie (story) to test your "lie detector" skills. These are a little long, but they're so fun I just had to keep reading. I hope you enjoy them as well. Those who figure out the lie will go into my magic hat for the chance to win an eBook of THE BREEDING TREE

You have until Tuesday, September 29 at 1 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answers on September 30.



   When I was a kid, we vacationed at Allegany State Park. We’d rent a cabin for the week, gallivant around the trails, swim, hike, the works. It was bliss, except for the year I turned 7. 
   Mom and Dad had managed a fire and grilled hamburgers as my brothers and I worked on catching crayfish in the stream behind our campsite. Dinner was uneventful minus the fact that my brother, Matt, continuously threw clumps of dirt in my hair. I’d try to pick them out, but then they’d fall into the mac and cheese on my plate. By the time we finished dinner, it started to rain, so I ran inside to grab my rain coat. There’s nothing worse than camping in the rain, unless you’re 7 years old. Then, rain, shine, it doesn’t matter. Sun meant swimming; rain meant mud pies and puddle jumping. 
   Mom spent a few moments cleaning up while my brothers and I played. I remember holding an umbrella in my hand, probably wielding it as a sword to defend myself from my brothers. I’m sure it would have been a mighty duel if I hadn’t tripped over the fire ring and fell into the burning coals. 
   The sizzle of my skin sent a shriek to my lips and somewhere in the distance I heard two voices, “Mom!!! Mom!!! Jess fell into the fire!” 
   Mom sprinted across the porch, leaped onto the ground and pulled me up. She ripped off my raincoat, which was melting and my pants. 
   In 1986 we didn’t have cell phones, so Mom and Dad threw me in the truck and headed for the entrance of the camp. I lay face down across Mom’s lap, screaming. When we arrived, they called an ambulance. I don’t remember much after that, but Mom says they prayed over me while they waited for the ambulance. She said, I instantly stopped crying and said it didn’t hurt any more. Even when the doctors tried to give me pain medication, I didn’t need it because it didn’t hurt. 
   Today, I have a little scar from the incident, but nothing major. 


   I woke up early, which was unlike me and as soon as my feet hit the floor, I knew it was going to be that kind of day. You see, when I stood up and stretched my back, my water broke. 
   “Um, Todd?”
   He grunted next to me. 
   “You might want to call in sick to work today.”
   “Why’s that?”
   “Because my water just broke.”
   It was a millisecond later that he was moving. 
   Whip on clothes, call the doctor, call the sister-in-law to watch our son, grab the bags. He was a whirlwind of activity. 
   “How are you?” he’d ask.
   “Fine. No contractions yet.”
   In minutes, we were on the road.
   Down the street about a mile, is the turn off for the highway. I glanced at the speedometer. 50 in a 30. “Um, you better slow down.” The moment I said it, I happened to see the big blue. “Because there’s a cop right there!”
   The hubs mumbled under his breath and pulled over. He looked at me, who had not yet started contractions and was pleasantly sitting in the passenger seat. “You better look like you’re in pain.”
   Mr. Officer approached. “License and registration, please.”
   “Um, Officer,” Hubs began, “Would you believe we’re on the way to the hospital to have a baby? My wife is in labor.”
   Mr. Officer leaned his head down to get a good look at me from the window. “Yes, sir, I would. Have a nice day and drive carefully.”
   To this day, I still regret that my hubs didn’t get a ticket to put in the baby book.

   "There’s a possum in our garbage can.  I think it’s either hurt or rabid, or both,” my husband said as he stood at the back door in his shirt and tie, ready to leave for work.
   The clearly-rabid possum rested comfortably in our garbage can between left over spaghetti and a few rotten onions, hissing at our barking dogs. My husband leaning out to poke it with the end of a broom.
   One glimpse of its head wobbling and the fact that it still hadn’t tried to move told me one thing: Rabid.--Yes, I'm that observant. However, this country chick does not handle rabid animals.  I'm not THAT crazy.
   The hubs, already late for work, was not impressed that this poor creature had decided to take up residence in our garbage can. 
   “It’s a good thing you hadn’t left for work yet, Todd,” I said, hoping he’d get the hint that there was no way on earth I’d kill it myself and he better not leave this house until it was gone!
   He gave me the look.
   “What?  I can’t let the kids out the door. What if it jumps at them?"
   “What if it jumps at me?!”  He sighed. “I don’t know how to kill it.”
   “My brother used a shovel one time.”
   With a disgusted look, he trudged into the house, changed his clothes and ran to the barn to grab the shovel, all while I stayed safely inside (protecting the children!).
   A few moments later, he came inside. “I think it’s dead.  I whacked it like ten times in the head."
   I ran inside to call animal control. 
   Me: Can you send someone out to dispose of a dead rabid opossum for us? Or test it or whatever?
   Them: I’m sorry, maam. We only deal with dogs.
   Me:  Excuse me?
   Them: Perhaps you could put it in the bag and place it out for the sanitation people.
   Me: Um, a few years ago we had a rabid raccoon in our yard.  You sent someone to pick that up.
   Them: I’m sorry maam.
   WHAT THE HECK?! What do you mean you don’t dispose of rabid animals?  Why the heck are you called ANIMAL CONTROL? You aren’t called DOG control!  
   I ran to tell Todd, who was already dressed again and headed toward the car.
   Before I reached the door, I heard the dreaded words again, “Jess?!”
   “IT’S. NOT. DEAD!”
   “WHAT?! What do you mean, ‘It’s not dead.’?”
   “It’s still moving. Look.” He tipped the garbage can my way.
   Sure enough, it wobbled it’s head again.
   “Use the end of the spade shovel this time.”
   Once Todd left for work that fateful morning, I ran inside to call my Dad to ask for him to bring his truck down and empty our whole can into the dumpster at church.
   A few minutes later, my dad pulled up. He peeked his head inside to tell me he'd arrived… at least that’s what I thought.
   “Jess, it’s not dead.”
   "You’ve GOT to be joking. Todd hit it like 16 times in the head.”
   Sure enough, its little body was still breathing. In. Out. In. Out. Oh so slowly. But, when dealing with a rabid animal, you never really know at what point it's going to go postal, start foaming and hissing and lunge at your face with rabies-covered teeth, so we still used caution.
   Thankfully, Dad said he’d take care of it. I called him later to see how everything went. 
   “Well, I whacked it a few more times and tossed it in the dumpster.  But when I looked over the side, I saw that thing perk its head up and look around. I was going to leave it there but thought it might jump out at someone. So I climbed the snow pile and shoveled that thing back out onto the pavement, where I hit it enough times with the shovel to make sure it was really dead.
   “I then had to go tell Betty (the church custodian) that when she came outside to take out the garbage, not to freak out because there was blood spattered on the pavement.”
   Finally the opossum was really dead and I no longer have to fear the ravages of the dangerous creature or dream of mouth- foaming marsupials sneaking into my house.

So sleuths, which is the lie? True or not, which one of the stories is your favorite? Did you check out my flash fiction? What's your favorite dystopian book?