2 Page Tuesday – Sherry Soule

Today I am pleased to have author Sherry Soule on the blog! So grab a cold drink and enjoy her visit…

 

What was the inspiration behind Beautifully Broken?

 

I’ve always had a morbid fascination with ghosts. I love all things supernatural, and I knew the young adult fiction market was flooded with vampires, fairies, and werewolves, so I decided to make the heroine of my debut novel a sassy witch who works in a haunted house filled with lost souls. Because witches need love too!

 

 

BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN EXCERPT:

 

“Good morning, Shiloh” Ariana said the next morning as she slid into the Jeep, throwing her backpack on the backseat. “I’m extra happy about you getting a vehicle. It sucks taking the bus. You want gas money?”

“Nah. My dad gave me a gas card.” I slowed at the red light.

“We’re gonna be late if we keep hitting all these lights.” She pulled down the visor mirror to check her unruly blond curls.

“I wanna try a spell,” I said. Ari glanced over at me and I added, “To get all the lights to change.”

She shrugged. “Okay.” She rubbed her hands together and added an evil laugh. “Muahaha!”

I giggled. “I’m serious. I’ll try to absorb the color green from the trees and grass with my mind and then I’ll direct it at the traffic lights.”

I gazed at the pines arched thick over Sycamore Avenue and weakening the sunlight. I breathed the fresh fragrance of green spring grass and the scent of pine from the trees supporting lavish conifers on their branches. My ears caught the enchanted chirping of blue birds and the cool morning breeze softly touched my cheeks, blowing wisps of hair across my forehead.

I took a deep, cleansing breath and said, “Traffic light, traffic light, erase all traces of red from my sight.” My gaze fixed on the red signal ahead. “Move these cars along their way, and keep the traffic moving today.” As we approached the next light, it turned green, and I breezed through the intersection.

Ariana clapped her hands. “Whoa! Did you learn that from those books you bought?”

I nodded and smiled. “Maybe I’m a real witch.”

Ari grinned. “I think I’d like having a BFF who’s witchy.”

The rest of the way to school all the lights remained green. We parked in the lot and Paige waved hello from across the quad and joined us. “Shiloh, can I borrow your notes for algebra? I left mine at Grant’s house.”

Ariana made loud kissing noises, and I giggled.

Paige wacked Ariana on the butt with a binder. “Cut it out, Ari. I respect his mind.”

“Sure ya do,” Ariana said with a giggle. We entered the building and went our separate ways. I headed for English class and they walked toward gym. I didn’t have any classes with Ariana this year, which really sucked. I slid into my desk and stashed my backpack beneath it as Mr. Hall handed back our essays. The room fell silent, apart from the murmurs and moans as he passed each desk. To my left, Ashley scanned her paper and smiled smugly. Micah bent over his essay, one hand rubbing the back of his neck. Around me the sounds grew louder, a cough, papers rustling, the scribble of a pen, and someone shifting in their chair. Nervously, I tapped my boot on the metal chair in front of me. Mr. Hall reached my row and I glanced at my grade. Whew. Although I’d written the paper on my real fears, I’d still gotten an A-.

Mr. Hall made his way back up to the front of the classroom and wrote on the blackboard the word, DECISION. “Our lives are determined by the everyday choices we make. And occasionally, we make a choice, sometimes cautiously, sometimes wisely, that yields unwanted results. For your last assignment of the year, I want you to focus on what decision means, and write a short paper on a difficult choice you’ve recently made. This needs to be completed by Thursday, people! We’ll have a class party on Friday before school lets out for summer. Ashley has offered to bring cupcakes…”

I pondered my decision to work at Ravenhurst while he droned on. Was it a smart one or a dangerous one? Was my ambition leading me into serious trouble? My thoughts turned to Trent and a smile spread my lips. Yeah, he was worth a little trouble.

The temperature cooled. Kids were suddenly zipping up jackets and pulling down sleeves. I hunched over and rubbed my arms. I glanced at the air-conditioner, but it wasn’t on. A bad feeling settled all the way down to my belly ring. This primitive instinct always hit me whenever the shadows appeared.

Dark otherworldly shapes entered my line of sight. They scuttled beneath desks, tables, and heavy drapes. Mr. Hall sat on the edge of his desk and read aloud from the textbook. Everyone had their head down, reading along and taking notes.

I listened. Counted to a hundred. Mentally picked out my outfit for school tomorrow. Thought about my history assignment due. I tried not to fidget. I jutted out my chin.

Invisible fingers touched my back. Cold as ice cubes. I turned my head. The wraith floated directly behind my chair. Her fair eyes were like dying spring flowers with frostbite. So haunted they held no trace of life.

Crud. Why did I sit in the back again? Good move, Shiloh.

She snaked out a hand and stroked my arm. Frost slid in my veins at her soft caress. My teeth chattered. “Shiloh, what makes a person heroic is when they don’t let their fears stop them from finding the answers they seek,” the wraith said, although no one heard or saw her but me.

I cringed and pulled my arm free from her grasp.

This is just too much. I mean, a month ago my life’s like, oh—crap—a pop quiz! Today it’s oh—crap, it’s the skulking wraith and I’m on some supernatural hit list.

 

BUY LINKS

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beautifully-broken-sherry-soule/1104027189?ean=2940012787293&itm=1&usri=sherry%2bsoule

 

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Beautifully-Broken-Spellbound-Series-ebook/dp/B0058DE8YI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1309823343&sr=1-1-catcorr

 

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/69419

 

Where you can find Sherry Soule:

Official website: http://sherrysoule.com/

Blog: http://sherrysoule.blogspot.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/writersherry

Book Trailer/YouTube: http://youtu.be/5uqVXKygvUs

goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11634793-beautifully-broken

 

 

2 Page Tuesday – Keta Diablo

Thanks for joining me today for another 2 Page Tuesday! Today I’ve got Keta Diablo in the house. Since my kids are finishing up school I’m always wondering what other authors do with their writing routines in the summer. I asked Keta to share a glimpse of her summer routine.

Hi everyone, and thank you, Debora, for hosting me on your blog. You asked about my summer writing routine. Oh, boy, my entire routine sort of goes South in the summer. I live in the beautiful Midwest, which as you might know is terribly cold with lots of snow in the winter. When summer arrives, we’re all so anxious to get outside into the sunshine and plant flowers that our regular scheduled go kaput!

I do write in the summer though, mostly in the evening. I’ve always been a night owl, even before I became an author. Generally, I plot the story out in my head for several weeks, taking notes here and there about specific scenes I envision. From the notes and the story in my head I sit down at my laptop and write. I don’t always know exactly where the story will take me because I let the characters lead the way. But most often I know the beginning, of course, and the ending.

I’m the first to admit that I’m not as disciplined as I should be in the summer – lol – see above. But stories are always rambling about in my head.

Blurb: Sojourn With A Stranger
Penniless when she arrives in Norfolk, her mother and father drowned at sea, Raine Brinsley longs to return home to her grandfather in Maine. When Derek Stafford, owner of a large plantation, offers a solution to her dilemma, she’s stunned, if not outraged. She’d prefer to fulfill the contract to have his child and forget about him and his self-serving scheme. If only she could dispel the passion he’s awakened in her.

Derek Stafford’s only wish is to father an heir to Stafford House, thus securing his future. He didn’t count on the Scottish lass with green eyes interfering with his well-laid plan. After one night in her arms, guilt, not to mention the loss of his soul, becomes his penance. He’ll do anything to win her back, anything to quench the hunger tormenting his soul.

Rating: Erotic Romance/Historical/Paranormal

* * *

2 Page Teaser:

Derek dropped into an overstuffed divan opposite Raine. He pulled the leather pouch and brown envelope from his vest pocket, and placed them on the oak table separating them. Alternately, she looked between the pouch and his face.

“I’m not certain how to begin.” He wrung his clammy hands. Damn, this is more difficult than I imaged. “We had a discussion several evenings past in the garden?”

“I remember.”

“I explained my father’s desire to obtain a male heir and my inability to produce one thus far?”

Dark green eyes searched his. “Yes, clearly.”

“You’re a beautiful woman with a significant amount of intellect and a variety of coveted traits and talents.”

“Thank you, but you hardly know me.”

“That’s true.” The words managed to slip out his dry throat. “However, what I’ve witnessed since your arrival exceeds my highest expectations.”

“Expectations?”

“You’re in a difficult situation.” He forced a smile. “I’m prepared to offer you a way out.”

“A way out of what, Derek? I’m not understanding―”

“Hear me out, please.” Rising from the chair, he paced before her. “I realize the arrangement will seem outrageous at first, even obtuse, but I’ve thought a great deal about it since our meeting in the garden. I took the liberty of consulting an expert.”

“An expert? Whatever for?”

“Childbirth.”

A nervous giggle left her lips. “I’m not following you. Perhaps you should come right out and tell me what arrangement you’re alluding to.”

The seconds ticked away on the mantle clock, sounding like a thousand crickets had breached the room. “Yes, I’m trying to get to the point of all this.” He stopped pacing and held onto the back of his chair. “Here’s the way of it. You need to earn enough money to return to your grandfather in Maine. I, on the other hand, need a son.”

Her brow furrowed.

“I’m offering you freedom in the long run. In exchange, I want to have a child with you, preferably, a male.” The words rushed forth. “However, if you’re delivered of a female, I’ll love and accept her just the same.”

An audible gasp fell from her lips. “Oh, but I can’t possibly accept a proposal of marriage from a virtual stranger. It would be most unfair to both―”

Good, God, she thinks Im offering marriage? Marriage? “No, that is, you misunderstood my proposal. I’m not suggesting we marry.”

Her eyes widened.

Walking to the table with a tentative gait, he picked up the envelope. “More money than you could earn in a lifetime is in here. I’m offering half now and the other half when the contract has been met.”

She looked at the envelope and then at him, her tone icy. “How much is in the envelope?”

“Five thousand dollars.”

Another gasp.

“Five thousand now and five thousand the day the child is born.” Tossing the envelope on the table for effect, he continued. “It’s yours right now should you accept my offer.” A rapid pulse took flight in a tiny blue vein in her neck.

“If you’re not offering marriage, in what capacity will I live in the manor?”

“You’ll be free to go home after the child is born. Until then, you’ll have complete freedom to do whatever you choose.”

Her eyes narrowed, and sparked.

“You said you wished to return to your grandfather one day. That day can be sooner than you think if you sign the contract my barrister drafted.” He nodded toward the envelope. “It’s also in there.”

Her face paled. “Horace Masterson, the kindly gentleman who promised me safety until I returned to Maine?”

“Yes, the money guarantees your security, and your safety.” Walking around the chair, he settled into it and leaned forward. “At the very least, read the contract. I’m sure you’ll agree the terms protect you.”

Her lower lip quivered, and he wondered if she might cry. Christ, what would he do if she launched into a crying jag? He couldn’t bear up under her tears.

“You seem quite well prepared.” Her gaze took him apart inch by inch. “I commend your valiant efforts to keep your father’s threats at bay.”

“I can’t find fault with your reaction at the onset, but surely you see the practicality on both sides?” After drawing in a lungful of air, he added, “You’ll be free to go about your life when it’s over in a manner envied by most women. I’ll acquire an heir to Stafford House, and my father will end his relentless pursuit.”

“Oh, please enlighten me.” She pinned him with a lethal glare. “Should I decide to engage in your well-contrived scheme, how do you propose we bring the end result to fruition?”

“It’s quite simple,” he said, aware the temperature in the room leaped to an unbearable degree. “You spend three nights in my bedchamber, the specific nights will be chosen by Madelina. She’s prepared―”

“Who is she?”

“A healer, a woman who dabbles in tonics, remedies. She’s already prepared several concoctions.” He dug for the instructions in the pocket of his vest. “You must follow her recommendations when it comes to diet and tinctures for several weeks. She’s highly skilled, claims certain remedies will enhance the possibility of producing a male child. I’ll expect you to follow her recommendations if you accept my offer.”

She shook her head. “I must applaud your tenacity and the immense preparation you expended in carrying out your duplicitous plot.”

“There is nothing duplicitous about this. I’ve told you everything.”

She looked away from him, but not before he saw the sadness return to her eyes again, and something he didn’t recognize. Indecision? Hatred? An interminable amount of time passed before he dared speak again. “Think of it as a business arrangement.”

She turned to him with a look that said she would love to sever him at the knees with a saber.

“I’d like your decision in two days. You’ll find me in my study two nights from now. If you decline, you can remain at Stafford House until you’ve earned enough money to return to Maine. Do you have any questions?”

“Yes,” she said with calm composure. “Why me? There must be countless women who’d agree to bear your child.”

“I thought I made that clear. You possess undeniable beauty, have obviously been well educated, and you have the physical attributes, height and stature, I hope are passed on to our child.” He shrugged. “It’s that simple.”

Flushed with anger, the green eyes darkened. “Will that be all?”

“Yes,” he replied, finding it difficult to look at her. “Unless you have additional questions.”

“I do not.” She rose from the chair, her tone cold. “I believe I understand perfectly well.” Offering a false curtsy, she added, “If you’ll excuse me, sir.”

He nodded.

The moment her footsteps faded from the room, Derek unfurled himself from the chair and headed for the liquor cabinet, his only thought to down a double dram.


* buy link: Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/gQLMV2

Thanks so much for visiting Debora’s cool blog. I hope you’ll come visit me. You can find me on the Net here:

Keta’s Haunt Author Home: http://www.ketadiablo.com

Keta’s Keep Romance Blog (please follow) http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com
And here’s my Amazon page where you can take a peek at all my books: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=keta+diablo&x=14&y=17

 

Nook: http://bit.ly/gS6XvG

 Thank you, Keta for being a wonderful guest today! What a great excerpt! One lucky winner (chosen at random) will win a sheet of summer themed scrapbook stickers! Just leave a comment to be entered to win!