Tagparanormal

Excerpt: Caller 107 by Matthew Cox

I agreed to help with the blog tour for Matthew Cox’s YA debut, Caller 107, a contemporary paranormal novel. Submitted for your approval is an excerpt from Chapter Two.

Cover for Caller 107 by Matthew Cox

Cover for Caller 107 by Matthew Cox

Her collective of friends on the front stoop enjoyed a communal wince at the noise; a few whispers of ‘what the fuck are you doing’ made it through the paralytic pain. Fear of Traci being wrong, that someone was still here and was now awake, got her to her feet. Fear of the flashing light got her moving. She unlatched the door, pinching it through her sleeves. Kevin yanked it open and dragged her out onto the porch.

“For a little bitch, you make a shitload of noise.”

“Sorry.” She got snotty. “Who puts a fucking Oriental rug on hardwood without a pad? Shot right out from under me.”

Yeah, I sound like a street kid.

He hauled her down two steps. “You stay right here. You see anything weird, you come running in and warn us. We go out the back.”

Her urgent eyes grew wide. “Hey, there’s―”

Kevin shoved her out of the way, sending her over the porch railing. The stone to the gut knocked the words right out of her, and nauseous guilt kept them gone. Before she could breathe again, the lot of them had disappeared inside, pulling the door closed behind them. Trembling, she meandered onto the sidewalk, cupping sleeve-covered hands over her mouth to warm icy fingers. A lone taxi drove past; she turned her face away before the headlights hit her.

She tasted meatball Hot Pockets again.

What am I doing? Dad can’t make this go away. Even if Rosario is a drug dealer, this is still B&E. From fear, she could resist the shakes. From cold, she could resist the shiver. From both, she succumbed.

Would he even bother to try?

A thud came from the second floor window. She drew a sharp breath, tasting the basement dust from her coat. At least she muffled the yelp. Natalie leaned against the stone railing, gazing at the shadows adrift in the windows. This sort of thing felt much more exciting on TV; being in it sucked.

Nat… They wanna give you drugs. They wanna get you fucked up so you drop your pants and they all take a turn. They are going to get you put in jail. She managed a snarl, thinking about her mother. Her nerves came under control, and she stopped shaking. Serves you right, Mom.

Glimmering red and blue lights invaded the dark one block down. Her legs went to jelly. Silent alarm. She took a step back, thankful the building they chose was right next to an alley. Before the police car nosed around the corner, she bolted into the night. Natalie did not think about where she was going―she had no idea.

About Caller 107

When thirteen-year-old Natalie Rausch said she would die to meet DJ Crazy Todd, she did not mean to be literal.

Two years is a long time to be stuck between two people that want nothing more than to destroy each other. A tween crush on the larger-than-life jock from a local radio station is the only trace of a once-happy life ruined by warring parents.

Whenever WROK 107 ran a contest, she would dive for the phone, getting busy signals and dead air every time. She never expected to get through, but at least with her best friend at her side, it used to be fun.

Before her parents ruined that too.

Her last desperate attempt to get their attention, falling in with a dangerous group of older teens, goes as wrong as possible. With no one left to blame for her mess of a life but herself, karma comes full circle and gives her just a few hours to make up for two years’ worth of mistakes–or be forever lost.

Matthew Cox, author of Caller 107, Virtual Immortality, and Division Zero

Matthew Cox, author of Caller 107, Virtual Immortality, and Division Zero

About Matthew Cox

Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

Social Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Caller 107 Giveaways

We’re running a couple of giveaways for Caller 107.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on LinkedInBuffer this pageShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Katie Young: The Other Lamb

After a few days of relentless self-promotion, it’s time to help out some other authors. Allow me to introduce Katie Young, whose first novel The Other Lamb will be available from Curiosity Quills Press at the end of August. It’s a fantasy/paranormal/horror novel inspired by legends of the Nephilim recorded in Hebrew scriptures.

Cover for

Cover for “The Other Lamb”, by Katie Young

Genre: fantasy, paranormal-horror

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Publication: August 28th, 2014.

Cover Artist: Polina Sapershteyn

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22709423-the-other-lamb

About The Other Lamb

Incarcerated on Earth as punishment for breeding with humans, the Watchers found a way to escape. Zach is living proof of that… even though someone has cut out his heart.

When Zach turns eighteen he develops an insatiable thirst for blood, but he tries to bury his fears and go on enjoying his birthday. His best friend Kim has scored them tickets to the hottest gig in town. But a charged encounter with his idol, the enigmatic rock star known as Grigory, leads to a revelation that shatters everything Zach thinks he knows about himself and the world, and places everyone dear to him in grave danger.

Zach is a Naphil, the forbidden offspring of a mortal woman and a Watcher. When those who seek to destroy him snatch Kim, Zach is forced to embark on a journey of discovery spanning continents and ages. With the help of a mysterious stranger named Sam, Zach must unearth the truth about his parentage, find Kim, and discover who has stolen his heart… before he triggers the apocalypse.

About Katie Young

Katie Young is a writer and occasional zombie movie ‘supporting artiste’. She also works in kids’ TV but wishes she were a rock star. She has various shorts available for download from Ether Books, and features in anthologies from Collaboration of the Dead Press, Angelic Knight Press, Indigo Mosaic, Song Stories Press, Static Movement and Fox Spirit Books. Her story, “Atelic”, was shortlisted for the 2010 Writers’ & Artists’ Year Book short fiction prize, and she is a regular contributor to the Are You Sitting Comfortably? story-telling events run by White Rabbit. Katie also writes TV reviews for The Cult Den. The Other Lamb is her first novel. She lives in South East London with her partner and a second-hand cat. She is not a natural redhead.

Find Katie Young Online

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on LinkedInBuffer this pageShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Matthew Cox: Caller 107

I’m starting to suspect that Matthew Cox (Division Zero and Virtual Immortality) doesn’t have a day job. How else is he gearing up to release his first YA title so soon after his last adult effort, Virtual Immortality? Maybe he just has a hell of a backlog. Either way, I’m happy to help him out, especially since he’s a fan of mine.

Cover for Caller 107 by Matthew Cox

Cover for Caller 107 by Matthew Cox

About Caller 107 by Matthew Cox

Genre: young-adult, contemporary paranormal

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Publication: July 22nd, 2014

Cover Artist: Polina Sapershteyn (http://www.polinas-portfolio.com/)

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20359976-caller-107?from_search=true
Description:

When thirteen-year-old Natalie Rausch said she would die to meet DJ Crazy Todd, she did not mean to be literal.

Two years is a long time to be stuck between two people that want nothing more than to destroy each other. A tween crush on the larger-than-life jock from a local radio station is the only trace of a once-happy life ruined by warring parents.

Whenever WROK 107 ran a contest, she would dive for the phone, getting busy signals and dead air every time. She never expected to get through, but at least with her best friend at her side, it used to be fun.

Before her parents ruined that too.

Her last desperate attempt to get their attention, falling in with a dangerous group of older teens, goes as wrong as possible. With no one left to blame for her mess of a life but herself, karma comes full circle and gives her just a few hours to make up for two years’ worth of mistakes–or be forever lost.

Matthew Cox, author of Caller 107, Virtual Immortality, and Division Zero

Matthew Cox, author of Caller 107, Virtual Immortality, and Division Zero

About Matthew Cox

Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

Social Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on LinkedInBuffer this pageShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Silent Clarion: Chapter Four

I’ve removed the original text of this post because Silent Clarion is now a serial coming soon from Curiosity Quills Press. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on LinkedInBuffer this pageShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Jessa Russo: Divide (and Ever)

Jessa Russo asked me to help her promote her new novel Divide, which comes out tomorrow, and I suggested dragging my review for her debut Ever out of the archives. It’s something of an anomaly among her reviews, since I decided to wax pretentious and treat its protagonist as an unreliable narrator.

Jessa Russo - Ever

Jessa Russo – Ever

I should mention from the outset that I tend to avoid reading YA (young adult) fiction. I didn’t like being a teenager, so reading about them isn’t exactly appealing. I tend not to read romance, either, for reasons I can’t even pretend are reasonable.

First, the plot: seventeen year old Eleanor Van Ruysdael (whose nickname, Ever, is derived from her initials) has a dead boyfriend named Frankie, who died in a car crash which she survived. She isn’t over him yet, but it might be difficult to get over a teen crush who insists on haunting you.

What begins as a tale of unrequited love becomes a love triangle when twenty-two-year-old Toby and his father move into the house where Frankie and his family once lived. Though Ever tells us she’s stuck on Frankie on numerous occasions, she is instantly smitten with Toby — to the relief of her friend Jess. After some courtship between Ever and Toby, the arrival of Toby’s ex Ariadne further complicates matters.

Ariadne’s arrival kicks Ever into high gear by introducing an interpersonal conflict halfway through the novel. Ever can’t stand Ariadne, but the feeling isn’t mutual because Ariadne doesn’t regard Ever as an equal worthy of her enmity.

I won’t comment further on the plot, lest I spoil the ending. Instead, I will shift my attention to the mechanisms driving the story. In particular, I wish to consider Ms. Russo’s choice of viewpoint. Ever is told exclusively through the viewpoint of its protagonist. We only know what she tells us. We have no choice but to believe Frankie is real, because Ever tells us other people can see him. When Ever learns that Toby and Ariadne are “soul collectors”, we can only take her words at face value, but Ever doesn’t tell us what exactly soul collectors are, or how they do what they do, because she herself doesn’t know. We remain ignorant of Toby’s motives and those of Ariadne, because we’re limited to Ever’s viewpoint.

A cursory glance at the reviews on Goodreads suggests that this limited perspective frustrates a great many readers to the point where they end up despising the novel. I consider it Ever’s chief virtue. While I might praise Ever’s verisimilitude by virtue of its characters, who are annoying enough to remind me of the teenagers with whom I used to do time in high school, the real value of this novel lies in its unreliable narrator.

An unreliable narrator, according to Wikipedia, is “a narrator, whether in literature, film, or theatre, whose credibility has been seriously compromised” (emphasis mine). Ever’s youth and inexperience alone might compromise her as a narrator, but it’s her psychological issues which push her over the top. Her unresolved grief and survivors’ guilt are both obvious from the first page of the first chapter. Furthermore, because we have to take her word for the fact that others can see Frankie, the ghost himself might be a figment of Ever’s imagination — or a delusion. Even the events culminating in Ever`s cliffhanger ending might only be a fantasy, but it’s a fantasy we must accept at face value, because we only know what Ever tells us.

I don’t know if Jessa Russo intended for Ever to be an unreliable narrator. I could be overthinking a novel which is nothing more than solidly written young adult paranormal romance. Or, Jessa Russo might have infused her material with unexpected literary sophistication through her choice of viewpoint and the care with which she feeds the reader information.

Pick whichever interpretation you think is most flattering.

ruleDon’t forget! Divide comes out tomorrow.

 

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on LinkedInBuffer this pageShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Ryan Hill: The Book of Bart

I’m helping out Curiosity Quills newcomer Ryan Hill today by spreading the word about his debut, a YA paranormal entitled The Book of Bart. Here’s the cover; the book comes out on May 22, 2014.

Ryan Hill: The Book of Bart

Ryan Hill: The Book of Bart

Behold! The cover for Ryan Hill’s debut YA Paranormal novel THE BOOK OF BART, coming May 22 from Curiosity Quills!

Only one thing is so powerful, so dangerous that Heaven and Hell must work together to find it: the Shard of Gabriel.

With a mysterious Black Cloud of Death hot on the shard’s trail, a desperate Heaven enlists the help of Bart, a demon who knows more about the shard than almost anyone. Six years ago, he had it in his hands. If only he’d used it before his coup to overthrow the devil failed. Now, he’s been sprung from his eternal punishment to help Samantha, an angel in training, recover the shard before the Black Cloud of Death finds it.

If Bartholomew wants to succeed, he’ll have to fight the temptation to betray Samantha and the allure of the shard. After an existence full of evil, the only way Bart can get right with Hell is to be good.

Links:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+

 

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on LinkedInBuffer this pageShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

K. H. Koehler: The Devil You Know

I first read The Devil You Know when K. H. Koehler published it through Curiosity Quills Press. Now that she’s gone indie again, she’s taken the opportunity to re-issue the book with a new, stark, minimalistic cover.

I recommend it to fans of adult supernatural thrillers. It’s how Hellblazer should have been Americanized, assuming it was ever necessary to strip John Constantine of his Britishness.

This re-issued edition also includes her novelette And Death Shall Have No Dominion.

The Devil You Know, by K. H. Koehler

The Devil You Know, by K. H. Koehler

Sympathy for the Devil…

Not only does the devil have an only begotten son, but he’s currently residing in the rural town of Blackwater in northeast Pennsylvania. Semi-retired from law enforcement, the handsome, if cynical, Nick Englebrecht becomes quickly caught up in a local missing child case that seems mundane on the outside, but when the sheriff requests his help as a psychic detective to help find the missing girl, his off-the-books investigation quickly leads him to some terrible truths about life, love and the universe as we know it. And if that isn’t bad enough, the angels have begun an ethnic cleansing of all beings with demonic blood. Of course, Nick is at the top of their to-do list.

About the Author

K. H. Koehler is the author of various novels and novellas in the genres of horror, SF, dark fantasy, steampunk and young adult. She is an associate editor at KHP Publishers, owner of K.H. Koehler Books and a partner in The Job Octopus, which specializes in editing and cover design. Her books are available at all major ebook distributors, her covers have appeared on many books in many different genres, and her short work has been featured on Horror World, Literary Mayhem, and in the Bram Stoker Award-winning anthology Demons, edited by John Skipp. She lives in the beautiful wilds of Northeast Pennsylvania with two very large and opinionated Rottweilers. She welcomes reviews and fan mail and you can contact her via her website: khkoehlerbooks.wordpress.com

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on TumblrShare on Google+Share on LinkedInBuffer this pageShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone