Category Archives: Communion

COMMUNION Blog Tour: Day 1

Communion Banner 851 x 315 - AUTHOR

My first week jitters are gone and just in time:

Today is the first day of Communion’s blog tour.

You can catch a introduction to myself here on the Fangtastic Book Blog . (Make sure you enter to win the $30 Amazon gift card while you’re there!)

And, if you’re tired of hearing me go on and on about how great Communion here, you can read someone else say it is too.  Check out Sabina’s blog.

Vampire Wednesdays

Hi everyone

Today I’m making a guest appearance on Mari Well’s blog for her Vampire Wednesday series.  If you’re a fan of vampires or vampire like creatures or if you’re a writer/read who’s looking for something vampirish but a little different, be sure to check out Mari’s blog.  Today you’ll get some detailed info on how my dhampir work.

COMMUNION IS AVAILABLE TODAY!

My debut novel is now available!

Communion Ebook Cover - Copy (480x640)

“Lester Fuller knows isolation well. It has been his only friend since Jadarius Singleton humiliated him last year. But one night after Jadarius’s taunts go too far, Lester stumbles upon Gwynn’s body.  He’s sure she’s dead.  Until she bites him.

Vampires are extinct. There are only the dhampir.

Now something more than human, Lester struggles to determine where he fits in this new society. Just what secrets about the dhampir are his new friends keeping from him? And what will he do when a notorious figure from dhampir history sets her eyes on him?”

Feel free to click the image or HERE to purchase.

NOTE:  If you don’t have an actual Kindle, you can download the app for your smartphone, iPad, or PC.

COMMUNION Blog Tour Current Schedule

Communion Banner 851 x 315 - AUTHOR
There are still some openings for the Release Day Party.  But below is the Final(ish) schedule for my debut novel Communion’s Blog Tour.
There is a prize of a $30 Amazon gift card.  The more blogs you comment on, the more chances you have to win it!  Hope to see you there:

October 7 Guest blog- tour intro
Fang-tastic Books
www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com

October 8 Spotlight
Jody’s Book Reviews, Giveaways & Tours
http://www.jodysbookreviews.com

October 9 Spotlight
Sapphyria’s Book Reviews
saphsbookblog.blogspot.com

October 10 Interview
The Seraphine Muse
http://kasonndraleigh.blogspot.com

October 11 Spotlight
Ramblings of a Book Lunatic
http://booklunaticramblings.blogspot.com

October 14 Spotlight
Rose & Beps Blog –
http://rosebeps.blogspot.it/

October 15 Spotlight and review
Wicca Witch 4 Book Blog
http://wiccawitch4.blogspot.ca/

October 16 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair.
pembrokesinclair.blogspot.com

October 16 review
Booker Like a Hooker
http://bookerlikeahooker.blogspot.com/

October 17 Spotlight
Books and Tales:
http://www.booksandtales.blogspot.co.uk/

October 18 Spotlight and review
Mythical Books
http://mythicalbooks.blogspot.ro/

October 21 review
The Writerly Exploits of Mara Valderran
http://maravalderran.blogspot.com

October 22 Interview
Reading in Twilight
http://readingintwilight.blogspot.com/

October 23 Interview
Books, Books The Magical Fruit
http://booksbooksthemagicalfruit.blogspot.com

October 24 Interview
BookwormBridgette’s World
http://bookwormbridgette.blogspot.com/

October 25 Interview
Crazy Four Books
http://www.crazyfourbooks.blogspot.com

October 28 Interview and review
Once Upon a YA Book
http://onceuponayabook.blogspot.com

October 29 Guest blog
Simply Infatuated
http://www.simplyinfatuated.com/

October 29 Spotlight
Jodie Pierce’s Ink Slinger’s Blog
jodiepierceauthor.blogspot.com/

October 30 Spotlight
Share My Destiny
http://sharemydestiny.blogspot.com

October 31 Halloween Guest blog
The Write at Home Mom
www.creativelygreen.blogspot.com

October 31 review
trips down imagination road
http://a-reader-lives-a-thousand-lives.blogspot.co.uk

November 1 Guest blog and review
Dalene’s Book Reviews
http://dalenesbookreviews.blogspot.com/

November 4 Interview
Butterfly-o-Meter Books
http://butterfly-o-meter.com/

Also, before the tour starts, I’ll be making a special appearance on Mari Well’s blog  on October 2nd for Vampire Wednesdays.

COMMUNION Release Day Party

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Ok you guys,

So in addition to a blog tour, I also ordered a release day party.

Too much?

C’mon.  It’s my debut.  For my first novel to the world EVER.

I just wanna have some fun 🙂

If you’re interested in hosting, you can sign up HERE.

Please and thank you’s,

B.

COMMUNION PREVIEW: Chapter 2

The man sitting across the table from me looked just like me, except he was older and his hair was cut short and professional.  We usually had dinner together every evening.  It was his way of trying to keep us close after my mom left.

“I got a call from Mr. Johnston at work today.”

But he wasn’t like me.  Otherwise he would have known to leave this subject alone.

I let my fork scoop my rice into a pile I now felt too nauseated to eat.  A grain had fallen off onto the pseudo-wood of the table.  It reminded me that we once covered it with a table cloth before eating.

“And?”

“He told me there was another incident with Jay.  You wanna tell me about it?”

“There’s nothing to say.”

I looked from my plate to the dust bunnies on top of the book-case in the living room.  Then back down.  My dad chewed his food in quick, powerful meetings of his mandible and maxilla.

“Well, I’ve told you before the best way to handle a bully,” he said, food not fully chewed.

“Yeah, walk up to him in front of all his friends and bust him right in the face.  Right, Dad?”

“That’s the best way there is.”

“That’s the suicidal way.  Jay’s like twice my size.  He’d demolish me.”

His fork dinged against the plate.  “Son, bullying is about dominance.  You stop being his easy prey and show him you’re going to fight back, and he’ll think twice.”

“Is that before he smashes me for challenging him in front of everyone, or after?  God forbid he gets his friends to join in.”

“He’d be shocked.  And it might lead to a fight.  Just try your best to hold your own before the teachers break it up.  You don’t have to win the fight; you just have to send a message.”

“I’ll pass.  Besides, I stood up to him last year and that didn’t go well.”

“That was before your growth spurt.  And those mixed martial arts lessons I paid for.  You need to do something to defend yourself.  This running away won’t cut it,” he said.

I looked up at him.  I didn’t know where this new resolve came from, but it only irritated me further.  Maybe he didn’t like being silent when his work buddies shared family stories around the water cooler.

“Are you finally tired of having a weak son?”

“If I said I was, would you finally stop being a little bitch?”

I pushed my food away and got up.  I wanted to hit something again.

As my feet stomped the floor, I thought about Jay’s punches.  One had knocked my head straight back into a combination lock.  It happened almost six months ago but the pain was still palpable.  I wasn’t sure if those hits or my dad’s words hurt more.

I needed to be alone.  It was the only time the world made sense.

I lost myself in a tale about monsters and magic on the synthetic pages of my e-reader.

If only I could go on a quest to obtain a magic spell that would incinerate Jadarius.  Or, even better, one that would make my mom come back.  But that kind of stuff didn’t exist in the real world.  Only the magic the other guy must have used when he got my mom to cheat on my dad.

My stomach growled and I realized two hours had passed since my first attempt at dinner.  I could warm up the remains, but the food would bring back memories of the conversation.

I put on my hoodie— the leather jacket from last year had been ruined— and left.  My dad didn’t say anything when I passed by the couch on the way out.

***

There weren’t any noticeable hills in Concord Hills.  Nature was sparse, only coming along in residential neighborhoods and in isolated plots of land along the roads.  Long, tiresome stretches of road.  Route 8 ran northeast to southwest through half of the town.  Running northwest to southeast was Route 343, which eventually led to Crain Highway, which could lead to Washington, D.C.

Concord Hills usually wasn’t in the conversation with other metropolitan towns, but it had a fair number of commuters, my dad being one of them.

I parked away from the building, my car facing a small wooded area that separated this parking lot from another.  I hadn’t decided yet whether I would eat inside McDonald’s or come back to my car.  I was still starved for isolation.

Before exiting, I noticed a dumpster in the corner of the lot.  I collected my trash on the floorboards:  loose leaf sheets of paper, napkins, and a few empty coffee cups.  I stuffed everything into a bag and tossed it into the large, asymmetrical jade cube.  I turned toward the building but stopped.  I did a double-take and then walked behind the dumpster to confirm what I couldn’t believe.

A body.  The battered body of a white female.  Splotches of her white skin were interrupted by blood and bruises.  I couldn’t tell if the putrid smell came from her or the dumpster.

“Damn…”

An already lousy day had become the opening sequence in a Law and Order episode.  But there would be no transition to the police scene unless I made the call.  I took out my phone to dial 9-1-1, stealing another glimpse at her face.  My finger never made it to the “1” digit.  Instead, breathless, I shifted to get a better look.

“Oh my God…  Guinevere.”

The recognition forced a mixture of emotions.  Guilt.  Even though I was merely the one to find the body, I indirectly felt as if I had done the crime myself.  Sadness.  The world would be less bright without her.  And regret.  I would never get another chance to make a move.

Taking a closer look, I noticed the blood was caked on her and there wasn’t any running off on the pavement beneath her.   While I wasn’t a detective, I had a suspicion her body had been moved.

“I’m sorry, Gwynn,” I said.

I leaned closer to the body, one last time.  She was now just a mass of pale white flesh, purple bruises, and a layer of red grime.  Before I could take another breath, her eyes shot open and she closed the distance between us in a flash.

I caught a glimpse of the sparkle created by the street light reflecting off her elongated teeth, right before I felt her arms lock me in a vice grip and a sharp pain in my neck.

A sound somewhere between a cough and a shout caught in my throat.  My head tilted back and I not only saw the black of night beyond the Golden Arches, but crimson and purple shimmering and swirling lazily in a stream.

Black consumed the other colors until it became the only thing I saw.

***

Find out what happens when Lester awakens in Communion, available Oct. 1st.

Administrative Announcement: Reverse Course

Remember when I said I was going to release Communion in two parts?

Yeeaahh.  Not really.

After talking to several other authors and giving it some more thought, I realized it’s better to publish the whole thing at this.

As a first time author, I need to wow people.  And I need to give them more than they were expecting.  The first half would have ended on a cliffhanger (a huge turn off to some readers).  But now I’ll be selling the full-novel at a steal for $2.99.  And those who read it WILL.  BE.  AMAZED.

One of my reservations was waiting until late next year before having another book available.  As I mentioned in the previous post, Independent Authors are advised to publish a book AT LEAST every 6 months to stay relevant.  I have a book I can use for April 2014.  It won’t be a full novel, but somewhere between 20-30K words.  Still, said project has been very popular with the Wattpad crowd.  After I fix up, I’ll have a shorter piece that will get be a lot of attention.

But the biggest reason of all, this is my debut.  I only get to debut ONCE!  I want to give the world my best with this debut, not just half my best.  I was worried that the second half of the novel would need some additional scenes and sprucing up, but my editor loved the whole thing as it is.

I’ve also gotten responses from my last few beta readers since the time of the previous post.  They also agree:  it’s time to share my baby with the world!

COMMUNION PREVIEW: Chapter 1

Below is the first chapter of my debut novel, Communion, available in full on October 1st.  Enjoy.

“I’d say my teacher forcing me to attend this assembly counts as bullying.  What about you?”

Guinevere Daniels rolled her eyes.  “Yeah.  I’ve got an in-class nap to catch up on.”

The random seating by grades at school assemblies had brought us together for the first time since middle school.  Otherwise, hot thin blondes like Guinevere didn’t talk to guys like me.

“Oh, late night?”

She smiled mischievously.  “Late, but uneventful.”

There were two prominent rumors about Guinevere- the first was that her sister worked as a stripper, which added to her sex appeal. The second was that she broke up with her boyfriend so she could sleep with him and his best friend.  This added to her slut appeal.

The loud, reverberating noise from a handheld microphone ruined my chance for an innuendo.  I cursed our school’s frugality.

“Good morning students,” greeted Mr. Johnston, our assistant principal.

He repeated himself, as he wasn’t satisfied with the initial level of feedback from the crowd.

I leaned closer to Guinevere to whisper, my dark brown arm grazing her white one.

“I’m Lester.”

“Gwynn.  I’m expecting this to get really exciting, so try not to talk my head off.”

I accepted her sarcasm as an invitation. While I doubted the rumor as fact, Gwynn’s ex-boyfriend, Brent, and his best friend, Roman, were the only people she hung out with.  Most of us switched crowds throughout our first year and blended into a new one sophomore year.  Gwynn hadn’t.  I didn’t consider their group intentionally exclusive, but anyone who tried to enter later complained they just didn’t fit.

“Everyone, please give a warm welcome to Dr. Camellia Rosario.”

Gwynn stopped being the object of my eye for a few moments as a posh Hispanic woman in a pant suit walked from the double doors.  Mr. Johnston must have made a mistake when he called her a doctor.  She couldn’t possibly be out of her early twenties.

Dr. Rosario reintroduced herself and went through her credentials, but I was lost in other details, like her full lips and athletic yet curvy body.  Her shoulder-length, wavy, nearly frizzy hair bounced as she paraded around the gym, her amber eyes winnowing the crowd.  She demonstrated presence like the power-executive types, which made me think of my dad, and which likely meant her display was just an attempt to smother the evidence of a depreciating life.

“You may not believe this by my success now, but I used to be bullied, too.”

“She’s right.  I don’t believe her.”

Gwynn shot me a smile.

Dr. Rosario went on talking and I went on not listening.  Until I heard the word “volunteer.”

Her eyes fell right on me.  I’m sure my physical features screamed victim:  tall with lanky arms, horn-rimmed glasses, and an unkempt afro.  But it would cost a lot more than her outfit to get me to open up to my peers.

Dr. Rosario spun around in a circle, still searching.

“Anybody?”

A hand shot up in the air over where the juniors sat.  “I’ll go.”

“Excellent.  Come on down.”

The volunteer’s short dreadlocks bobbed as he stepped down the bleachers.  The grin plastered on his face was as dark as his complexion.  A few students snickered when they saw who it was.

“Thank you,” Dr. Rosario said when he reached her.  “Everyone clap your hands for—”

She held out the microphone to him.

“Jadarius Singleton.”

Applause and knowing laughter went off around me.  I sat still, the only motion coming from the corners of my mouth sinking further.

“Jay’s never been bullied,” Gwynn murmured.  “Lester, you’re shaking.”

“I’m not,” I snapped.

No, of course Jay hadn’t been bullied.  Six-foot-four with a bulky physique that turned away challengers, Jay was usually on the giving end.

Dr. Rosario passed Jay the microphone.

He suppressed his usual crocodile smile.  “Let me reiterate that bullying is no joke.  It is cruel and insensitive and— oh, before I continue, shout out to the wrestling team.  Good win last Saturday, boys.”

The crowd loosened up with a few more laughs, mixed with shouts and cheers.

A guy a few rows above me cupped his hands around his lips and shouted:  “I see you, Jay!”

“I see you, Nicholas,” Jadarius said, pointing to him.  “Be careful of that man.  He’s a bully on the mat.”

He cleared his throat. “But my favorite—or rather, most tragic—example of bullying comes from last spring.  At the end of P.E. class one day, I returned to the locker room to change into my normal clothes.  But my clothes, and a bunch of other freshman’s, had been put into the toilet.”

Jay was full of crap.  He’d been a sophomore last year and he wasn’t the victim of the story he told.  I raised my hand to get the attention of a teacher.  The closest, a group of three, stood together talking.  I tried making eye contact with Ms. Lane, the only teacher I trusted, but she was on the other side of the gym.

“Swirling around in those yellow, pissy waters was the new leather jacket I’d got for Christmas.  It was the last thing my mom bought me before she left me and my dad.”

I jumped up.  As I stepped between students to get to the bottom of the bleachers, Mr. Taiffer caught sight of me and walked over.

“And the worst part was I knew who did it.  I stepped to him, expecting the other freshman to join me.  Especially since my best friends had the class with me.”

“Stop him,” I said to Mr. Taiffer, my voice somewhere between a shout and a whisper.  “He’s lying.”

“What do you mean?  I heard about something like that happening last year.”

“Yeah, stupid, it happened to me.”

Jay continued, “He gave me the biggest beat down in the history of Concord Hills High.  It was so bad, my friends watched in amazement.”

Mr. Taiffer didn’t take too well to being insulted.  And my own anger only grew when I heard the taunting laughter of the crowd rise again.

Dr. Rosario reached for the microphone, but Jay dodged her.

“Oh, one more part, one more part,” he told her.  “And this classic tale is brought to you all by the one and only, Lester Fuller.”

My body became as stiff as the unnatural hush.  My heartbeat was absent, along with every other sound.  My brain tried to register this as how a thousand jeering eyes staring at me felt, but it couldn’t quite comprehend it.

“Have a seat, please,” Dr. Rosario said, breaking the silence.

Jay took a bow and then returned to his seat.  The sound from the microphone reverberated again.

“This is exactly the kind of behavior—”

I stopped listening.  Mr. Taiffer had his hand on my shoulders and whispered something about handling this as he tried to lead me back to my seat.  Finally, I pushed his hands off of me and made a bee-line for Jay.

“You wanna fuck with me in front of everyone,” I growled.

I got less than half-way there before Mr. Taiffer and another teacher got in front of me.  They made more requests for proper behavior that never worked and never got anyone anywhere.  While Jay broke the rules as he pleased and was loved by hundreds.

“We’ll take care of this.”

“Yeah, because you did a great job before,” I said to neither one in particular.

Other students watched, even as our speaker tried to draw their attention.  Several of them were on their feet, calling for a fight.  My intense focus on Jay, who waited at the bottom of the bleachers he’d previously sat in, dulled their volume.  I wanted to wipe the smug grin right off his face.  I was nearly oblivious to the teacher’s arms wrapped around me.  While I wasn’t as muscular as Jay, I was only a few inches shorter and formidable in my own ways.

“Don’t let him get the best of you,” Dr. Rosario said, now closer to me.

“Screw you lady, I don’t even know you.”

I bet she’d relish the publicity if she actually stopped me.

“Lester, Lester, come with me.”  The new voice whispering in my ear belonged to Ms. Lane, and rather than trying to force me, she kept her hands off.

“No, not this time.  I’ll put an end to this myself.  I’ll fucking kill Jadarius,” I murmured.

Mr. Taiffer’s hands dropped off me.  “What was that?”

I stopped pushing against them when I realized what I had said. Mr. Taiffer and the other teacher’s reactions were enough to sober me from my rage.

“N-nothing.”

“No, I heard you.  You’re coming with me to the office.”

“For the love of god, Rod.  He’s upset.”

Ms. Lane left my side and appeared right in front of me.

“Let’s go into the hallway, Lester.”  Her tone made it clear it was a command, not a suggestion.

I didn’t say anything, only turned around to lead the way.  I kept my gaze on the ground ahead.

I was oblivious to Dr. Rosario’s words and the hot stares of at least half of the other students.  Ms. Lane and I walked past our school rent-a-cop and towards the double doors.

“He’s fine,” Ms. Lane assured him.

Once in the hallway, I kept walking until I got close enough to a locker to punch it.  Not even a dent.  Another example of how pathetic I was.  I put my back against the same locker and slumped to the floor involuntarily.

Ms. Lane quietly watched me.  I covered half of my face with my hand, as if that would hide my shame from both of us.  The silence of the hallway tried to calm me, but my heart raced with the last bit of my resistance.

“I fuckin’ hate him.”

The silence had gone from soothing to maddening in an instant.  And, even though I didn’t see it, I couldn’t stand the way Ms. Lane looked at me.

“You have every right to.”

She got down to my level and sat with her legs crossed.

“And don’t think he’s going to get away with it.  That little show counts as bullying.  Even though it wasn’t physical, it’ll still be enough to get Jadarius suspended.”

So I get used to fulfill the anti-bullying rhetoric.  Hurray for me.

Ms. Lane continued.  “Something to keep in mind for the future:  if Jadarius knows he can get to you, he’ll keep coming after you.”

“Why, though?  Why does he do it?”

“I have a couple of theories.  For one thing, you actually stood up to him.  That doesn’t happen to him often.  Another one, a little more petty:  he’s jealous.”

“Jealous of what?  He’s the popular one.”

“Popularity doesn’t equate to happiness, Lester,” Ms. Lane said.

I was willing to bet that, on any given day, Jay was happier with his life than I was with mine.

My gaze was off the hideously patterned floor and on Ms. Lane.  The petite brunette gave a half-smile as if she could read my cynical thoughts.  She wasn’t hot like Gwynn, but she was easily pretty by any standard.  Certainly enough to be desired wherever she went.  That and her youth—she was only twenty-six—gave her credibility on the topic of popularity, as I knew nothing about it.

“You calm enough to go back inside?”

“If I’m gonna be sent to the office, I’d rather go now instead of listening to Dr. Rosario.”

“I’m sure the assistant principal will want to talk to you later so he can document the incident.  Don’t worry about what you said.  I’ll talk Rod— er, Mr. Taiffer and Mr. Morton into forgetting they heard it.  But come inside.  Who knows, maybe there’ll be some helpful tips.”

I doubted that, but stood up anyway.  Despite the fact I towered over Ms. Lane, who was only a few inches over five feet, I never thought of her as a small person.

She halted once she placed her hands on the double doors.

“One anti-bullying tip I can offer that works, Lester, would be for you to get some friends.  We all need some.”

I frowned.  “But when it comes down to it, you can’t rely on anyone else.  That’s what my fight with Jay last year showed me.”

I no longer spoke to the friends who had watched while Jay pounded me into Concord Hills High School history, as he alluded to earlier.  They ignored my pleas for help while I was being pulverized, so I ignored their requests to remain friends.

“Just remember, we’re all weaker in isolation.”

Communion Blog Tour

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See that banners?  That banners is fan-FREAKIN’-tastic.

I’m really excited to announce a blog tour for Communion.  The tour will include book reviews, interviews, and guest posts by myself.

The dates are from October 7th to November 4th.  We’re still in the process of finalizing the schedule of blogs.  But as soon as I have it, you’ll have it on here.

Hope to see a few of you drop by some of the tour stops.

(Oh, and feel free to like my FB Page.  It could use a little more love.  Link on the right hand side)

Administrative Announcement: Communion in Two Parts

For about a month now, I’ve been going back and forth on whether I want to release the full copy of my debut novel Communion in October or split it into two parts.  In the end, I’ve decided on two parts.

Several factors played into this decision:

1)  For the readers:  Communion is pretty long for a first novel.  The draft I sent to the editor is a little over 86K words.  Out of about 15 people I sent early drafts to for a beta-reading, only about half were able to get through it.  I’m worried people who I’ve never even met might find 86K slightly daunting for an unproven writer.  The first half will be about 45K.  I’m hoping will find this length a little more comfortable.

2) For the story:  While I feel strongly that the first half of Communion is ready to go, the second half needs a little more work.  There are certain minor details that need to be further refined.  Also, if I release Communion in two parts, I can beef up the second half by adding a few more scenes.

3)  For my writing career:  It’s recommended for an Independent Author to release a new book in six month increments at most.  I can release part 2 of Communion in April 2014.  And I’ve already begun planning out the novel for October 2014.

And, I’d much rather leave people with the feeling of “I want more” rather than “I’ve had enough.  Is this book over yet?”

In other news, Communion finally made its way to a professional editor earlier this week.  Her first read-through will be a beta-reading, so I’m looking forward to hearing what she says.

Also, I recently ordered a blog tour via Bewitching Book Tours.  I’ll be posting the banner (it looks AMAZING!) and other info in the next week or two.

So, that’s where my thoughts are.  Do you think this is a wise decision or am I setting myself up for failure?