Dark Writerly Places

There are times when my mind travels to a dark place. This may not be surprising unless you know me. I tend to steer clear of horror or scary movies. My favorite movies are comedies, specifically romantic comedies. I enjoy watching sitcoms on TV. I read romances. I write light-hearted, HEA, love stories.

Yet… I have a half drafted horror story on my laptop. I started it years ago and plan to finish it, one day. And now I have another idea for something dark brewing in the distant crevices of my mind.

To best explain, I need to take you on a journey of how it began. The thought itself stems from a real life incident. So let us begin with the dreaded prologue:

The cold basement was musky and not at all inviting, yet down I went to tackle the overflowing laundry. The washer had stopped and the wet clothes transferred to the dryer. Settings adjusted and the button pressed. Only the sound wasn’t right. A thudding noise echoed. Crap, how am I getting my clothes dry?

I let my husband know about the sound and he bolted up and raced down. He explained he and our young son were down in the basement during a storm a few days prior and heard what sounded like an animal in the vents.

I stand still, debating how to best handle the wet clothes, wondering if something was about to run across my feet, as my husband detached the aluminum tubing. He shook and…

A dead rodent fell to the floor.

My heart leapt into my chest. I screamed. The floor turned into lava and I jumped before running out of the basement. Total over reacting. But the creepy crawly feeling would allow me no other response.

Fortunately my husband did not behave like a little girl and brought the poor dead rodent into the words. I tried to share in his sorrow, but I was still freaked and now tiptoed around the basement, still waiting for something live to jump out and bite me.

(long prologue over)

So, flash ahead a few weeks. The sun is shining, the day is beautiful, and I’m walking up the path to my home with my son. Buzzing flies catch my attention. I stand still, let my eyes focus, and what do I see? Another dead rodent. Not sure what this one was, much smaller than the last, all curled up and starting to decompose. I guide my son away from the rodent and text my husband.

Poor husband is busy, so the next day the rodent is still there (apparently the wildlife haven’t deemed the rodent adequate for consumption). As I locked up the front door my mind starts to wander. The day is gorgeous, blue skies, warm weather, the perfect false safety net. The perfect beginning of something sinister. Is this someone getting back at us for the first dead rodent? Some sort of nature’s revenge?

If another dead animal appears, you can bet I’ll be soiling myself. And quite possibly moving. And writing my warped fears down.

Let’s pray there are no more dead rodents. I fear for the cute little bunny that hops around my home!

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Release Day: In The Rearview by Maria Ann Green

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In The Rearview (a YA Contemporary novel) is live! Check out this amazing debut novel by Maria Ann Green.

Excerpt:

Meagan stared down at her desk. Her focus moved beyond the assignment in front of her without actually seeing what she was looking toward. There were lines, spaces of white, and blobs of writing, but nothing seemed important enough to consider closely. Truthfully she didn’t care.

She didn’t feel the need to focus.

Her gaze slowly moved up to the front of the classroom, and again she fixated on a point past what was before her. She did not concentrate on the teacher. There was a face, a moving mouth, but she didn’t connect it with the sounds struggling slowly, like sticky sludge past her ears. She didn’t hear the instructions being uttered; each word fell on deaf ears as she mindlessly doodled.

Twisting her hair around her finger, she thought about how nice it would be to be at home, in bed, with the curtains closed instead of in this loud and hyper school. It seemed her classmates had recently started caring too much about what was going on around them. There was too much drama, too much noise, too much concern jumping all around her. It was all so taxing.

It was such a bother.

Meagan, in contrast, was usually in a world of her own. Her head felt fuzzy most of the time, and unless she used a lot of energy, most conversations sounded muffled, like there was cotton in her ears. She didn’t feel the need to engage anymore. Her desire to try sohard just to do what had once come easily had dwindled to nothing. At first she’d tried, but not now. Not anymore. It had become too difficult to care.

And that was her biggest problem. Meagan didn’t care much about any of these changes. She was fine walking through school without any effort. Her feet felt a little heavier as each day passed, and her head felt a little more under pressure of a crushing fog that numbed her, but she pushed through it all. She didn’t mind neglecting what used to bring her excitement. In fact, it was just easier not to give a crap.

Everything was distinctly lackluster these days.

Here’s where you can grab your copy. I’m off to get mine right now!
Also find where other ebooks are sold!

Giveaway Winners Announced!

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Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the giveaway! I had a ton of fun and I hope you did as well!

Here are the lucky winners:

Winner of the Lila’s Choice Paperback (old cover) – Cindy D
Winner of the Lila’s Choice eBook (Kindle or Nook) – Tina M
Winners of the Lila’s Choice Bookmark (5) – Tina A, April S, Lyn-Marie J, Leanne H, and Jen H
Winner of $5 Amazon Gift Certificate: Jessy T
Winner of $5 Starbucks Gift Card: Bev W

All winners have been notified via e-mail.

Lila’s Choice is on sale for $0.99 for one more day! Don’t miss the sale. Amazon or B&N

Looking for another giveaway? Check out my writer friend’s blog for another opportunity to win some great prizes!

 

LILA’S CHOICE Relaunch!

Please, cue the drumroll while I lift the curtain and unveil the shiny new cover for LILA’S CHOICE:

Lila's Choice Cover - small

The celebration of the relaunch does not stop here! For one week, LILA’S CHOICE ebook will be on sale for $0.99! Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble have the updated cover and the sale price, though a few spots are taking a bit longer to show the completely updated cover (I assure you . I’ll share here the full paperback cover as well:

Lila's Choice Full Silhouette1 finalAmazon Link  / Barnes & Noble Link

And that’s not all! I’m also hosting a Giveaway with some great, great prizes! Unfortunately I am unable to show the Giveaway here, but there are two ways you can go enter. You can go to my Facebook Page and click on the Giveaway tab, or click here to be taken directly to the Giveaway. My apologies for the links, technology is wonderful, though at times it can be limiting.

For more information on LILA’S CHOICE, including a blurb and excerpt, click on the My Books tab at the top of the page. Before you leave, check out two new teasers of the novel:

LC promo LC promo1

Bittersweet Writing Changes—New Cover for LILA’S CHOICE

A couple months ago I made a difficult decision to make some changes to LILA’S CHOICE. This is the hardest change I’ve had to make. Worse than killing off characters and cutting minor plots. I decided to change the cover.

There are many reasons this change was a difficult one to make. The main one being who my artist was: my husband. My very talented husband made my original cover. From scratch. I love his work. When he started working on this I had no idea what I wanted, all I knew was that I loved artwork for covers and envisioned LILA’S CHOICE that way. He went through a few concepts and the final result matched my story and my characters.

So why the change? I may love the cover but the cover is ultimately a marketing move. I’ve seen countless articles about how important the cover is for sales. I’ve spent a great deal of time looking at other novels in my genre and seeing what covers readers have been gravitating towards. In the end I came to the hard conclusion my cover wasn’t grabbing the right reader. So I broke my husband’s heart and went back to the drawing board.

Somehow I managed to fall in love with a second cover. In some ways it is similar to the original, in other ways it is not. Ultimately it sets the tone in a different way and I hope will catch the eye.

Now I am taking two risks: one that my husband will forgive me (he’s requested I watch a bunch of horror movies with him, I’m hoping I can get out of those, not my cup of tea), and two that the new cover will be worth risking marital bliss.

Tomorrow I’ll see which end is up. Be sure to come back for the reveal. I’ll have a rafflecopter going with some great prizes. LILA’S CHOICE, all spiffed up with her new cover, will go on sale in celebration. I look forward to seeing you there.

And if you have any ideas how I can make my lovely, talented, wonderful husband forgive me, I’m all ears.

 

Cover Reveal: IN THE REARVIEW by Maria Ann Green

One of the best parts of being a writer is all the writer friends I have made. Writers are truly a supportive group and we cheer on each others success. Today I am thrilled to cheer on Maria and her debut novel, IN THE REARVIEW.

IN THE REARVIEW is a Young Adult Contemporary novel, set to release on Aug 19th.

When Meagan’s secret is found out, and she realizes there is no way to outrun her habit of cutting, she tries to work through it, and her depression, before she cuts too deep, making a mistake that can never be undone.

Meagan’s problems aren’t like every other adolescent’s no matter how much she wishes they could be. Hers are worse. They’ve pulled her down into the depths of a depression that is anything but normal. She begins her pattern of self-harm as her depression threatens to drown her. She starts with one cut that leads to the next, and the next. After starting, it’s apparent that there’s no stopping, and Meagan spirals into a dark and cruel world she doesn’t understand. Meagan cuts to feel better, but that comfort doesn’t last long enough, and soon life is worse than it ever was before.

While learning to quit cutting Meagan faces life-altering obstacles and grows up in the process. IN THE REARVIEW is a story of pain, loss, confusion, and hope told through Meagan’s poems, journal entries, and a splash of narrative.

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Heartbreak, Healing, Hope

About Maria: Maria Green currently lives in Minnesota, despite its bitter winters, with her husband. She graduated with a degree in Psychology and a minor in English. When she isn’t writing, Maria loves to read with a cup of strong coffee or a glass of sweet wine, craft, and spend time with her family. This is her first published novel. Maria headshotFor more information on Maria, her novel and a future giveaway, check out the following links: