Monday, October 29, 2012

Awaken Blog Tour!

Awaken hits the blog circuit for the month of November!  YA Novel Reader has once again coordinated an amazing month long tour for the second installment of The Daughters of the Sea Trilogy and I can't wait!  Below is the full list of blogs by date...

11/1/2012 - Review
11/2/2012 - Guest Post
11/3/2012 - Review/Excerpt
11/4/2012 - Guest Post
               - Guest Post
11/5/2012 - Review
11/6/2012 - Review
11/7/2012 - Review
11/8/2012 - Review
11/9/2012 - Guest Post
11/10/2012 - Teaser
               - Teaser
               - Review
11/11/2012 - Review
11/12/2012 - Guest Post
                - Review
11/13/2012 - Review
11/14/2012 - Guest Post
11/15/2012 - Review
11/16/2012 - Teaser
11/17/2012 - Review
11/18/2012 - Guest Post
11/19/2012 - Review
11/20/2012 - Review
11/21/2012 - Review
11/22/2012 - Review
               - Reviews
11/23/2012 - Teaser
11/24/2012 - Review
11/25/2012 - Review
11/26/2012 - Review
11/27/2012 - Review
11/28/2012 - Review
11/29/2012 - Review
11/30/2012 - Guest Post

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Escape

Why do people write?  Why do I write?  That’s a loaded question, but one I’ve been thinking about.  I write for a lot of reasons, but there is one in particular that’s been bubbling up to the surface lately.  It’s pretty simple really. I want to make people feel emotions they would otherwise be scared to feel in their own lives; good and bad.  If I can offer a safe, imaginary world for the reader to escape; one where they are free to feel every emotion that each scene provokes and search their own hearts as they go through the characters’ struggles and triumphs, maybe it will help them back in reality.  It might be a pipe dream, but for some reason it’s one that continues to motivate me.  So, I wanted to share something with everyone that I wrote a couple of years ago.  It’s from my own personal journal and touches on some of my own struggles…

The familiar comfort of depression falls upon my soul.  Blanketing my world with a quilt of numbness. Stitched with the fabric of my pain, it mimics sanity while my heart and soul grow weary beneath its heavy embrace.  The protective barrier built long ago to save me in every way, is never far beneath the surface.  But within its arms, I can’t reach the tools I need to cope.  My pain is quieted, my worries suppressed, and my mind goes blank.  As the wall springs skyward, my feelings are untouchable.  They are instantly disconnected from my reality and therefore exist as separate entities bound only by a silver thread of resistance.  They drift in a current of strength, circulating but never facing their origin.  I must confront this wall of strength in my heart – my weakness must prevail if I am to cope.  The strength and need of depression is neither warranted nor welcome.  Its immediate presence invokes the knowledge that something is just below the surface, needing to escape.  Needing to be listened to, healed, and comforted.  But until I can let go and allow weakness and acceptance to foster, I will lose myself once again to the brutal forces of my own defenses. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Ghosts of Kristen's Past


So, I was watching all of the TV shows that are trying their best to scare the pants off of their viewers with stories of the most haunted places in America or the scariest urban legends.  Then I saw three trailers of scary movies that are coming out in the next couple of weeks.  I felt my ears perk up as a shot of adrenaline ran through my heart and a goofy grin spread across my face.  There's nothing better than a good scary movie that terrifies you to the point of disillusioned fears that hang over your mind for a week or two. I get many, many strange looks when I try to explain that I love to be scared. 

I've always been fascinated by the supernatural world of ghosts, demons, and psychic abilities.  I see scary movies or scary trails as a challenge.  It's almost impossible to scare me.  Why, you ask?  Probably because I've already witnessed a million frightening, spine tingling, and unexplainable occurences throughout my life.  In the spirit of my favorite holiday I figured I'd share some of those experiences with you.  Some are good, some - not so much.

Messenger of Death
I've always had asthma, but over the years I've learned how to control it.  Before this particular night, the last asthma attack I'd had was when I was 12 years old.  When I was 20 and in my senior year of college, I went to sleep one night with thoughts of the History final I had to take the next day at 8am.  At exactly 2:37am, I woke up gasping for breath.  I automatically reached for my asthma spray, sat on the edge of my bed and fought for twenty minutes to get it under control.  It was unlike any other asthma attack - it felt more like someone had wrapped their hands around my throat.  Once my breathing was back to normal I started to lay back down and felt a slight wind brush across my face. Then my door which had been cracked, shut by itself.  After convincing myself I was seeing things, I finally went back to sleep.  The next morning before my final, Mom called to say my grandfather had died.  Several days later I found out he had died in his sleep around 2:30 in the morning.  His lungs had failed.

Seeing into the Past
While in middle school, my family moved to a house on 150 acres of land.  There was a turn-of-the-century farmhouse that stood behind our much newer house and a small pond off to the right.  One day while searching the property, my brother and I found an old family cemetary in the woods with tombstones so old and worn we couldn't even read the engravings.  We snuck into the old farmhouse several times and I came to love it's faded paint, blackened fireplaces, and creaky stairs.  Unfortunately, after several months my parents had the fire dept. burn down the old house since it was anything but safe.  That's when the strange things began happening. Our gravel driveway turned in front of our house and continued around the side.  One day after school, I was by myself and sitting at the kitchen table doing homework.  An old Model-T type car came bouncing down our driveway and past the kitchen window. 

Thinking my stepdad had brought home an antique car, I ran out the back door and around the house to the end of the driveway.  To my surprise, there was no car to be found.  I walked around the house but still found nothing.  Then I turned around towards the spot where the old farmhouse house had once stood.  The only thing that had survived the fire were the two chimneys on either side still pointing up at the sky accusingly.  Except on this particular day. When I turned, the farmhouse had reappeared.  After staring at it's wooden porch that no longer hung at an odd angle and windows adorned with lace curtains in disbelief for several moments, I closed my eyes tight and tried to calm my heart that was threatening to beat of my chest.  When I peeked through my eyelashes, only the two brick chimneys stood glaring back at me. 

Upon going back inside the house, I walked back into the kitchen where every cabinet and drawer had been opened.  I ran around frantically trying to close them, when the phone rang.  All I heard was breathing on the other end.  Close to tears, I ran into my room and locked the door until I saw my brother get off the bus from my bedroom window.  Noises, finding random objects in odd places and seeing doors open on their own continued to happen until we moved again after another year.

Next week I'll share some more spine tingling stories that will explain my fascination with all things supernatural....bwahahaha (that's my evil laugh)...stay tuned...

Monday, October 8, 2012

From Bald Head Island with love

The Daughters of the Sea Trilogy takes place on Bald Head Island, NC - one of my all time favorite places. I don't know if it's because you can only reach it by boat or that there are no cars allowed on the island or maybe it's just the simple beauty of it.  Either way, I wanted to share a little bit of it with you! 

This is standing on the east beach (where the House of Lorelei is located) looking toward Cape Fear.  This is the stretch of sand Stasia and her roommates would have walked to get to the bonfire that first week in FORSAKEN.  In the distance, you can see the Cape as it turns out into the ocean, creating the point.

One of the many old live oak trees that I love!

The plaque for the Frying Pan Shoals - which is also where the Light Station is located...

The Frying Pan Shoals Light Station!  This is where the Sons spend most of their time and also the location of the Cimmerian Ball (PS: there really is a helicopter pad on top)...  below is a picture looking down from one of the platforms...eek!

And last but not least, my favorite tree on the whole island......


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Breathe No More

I wanted to share one of the vices I have that inspires me to no end.  It doesn't matter what time of day, how I feel, or what is going on around me for some reason Evanescence reaches down into my soul and starts juggling it like a bunch of fire batons.  For those not 'in the know' Evanescence is a band that's been around for atleast fifteen years, probably more and they are, shall I say, on the darker side.  You won't find any sunshine or pink butterflies in their songs.  You'll find yourself in their songs.  Whoa.  Deep, right?  Well brace yourself, here's more. 

I think the best writers are those who have experienced as many emotions and as many ups and downs that life has to offer.  They are able to write from the perspective of 'this is how I felt-' instead of 'this is how I think I would feel-'  But that means embracing all kinds of things about yourself that some people might not want to embrace.  They aren't the things that you want to cuddle up with or draw all over a notebook with little hearts all around them.  And those are the things that Amy Lee writes about in her songs. 

I'm not talking about the whole three songs you've ever heard on the radio, I'm talking about the ones that you kind of have to search for (I don't cause I have all four albums which my husband repeatedly tries to throw out of a moving car).  I think her songs also reach out to a younger generation that our culture has swept under the rug.  I'm not talking about grunge or the goth kids you see running around with black lipstick and black wardrobes, I'm talking about Molly down the street that comes home from soccer practice and cuts on her arms.  The same Molly who goes to school the next day in long sleeves. The girls I follow on Tumblr that take pictures of the bruises they gave themselves or the cuts they made down their thigh.  Sometimes it's good to let yourself go to that 'dark place' might just learn a few things about yourself... 

Below is one of the songs (poems if you will) I really like - it's called Breathe No More.  You won't hear Taylor Swift doing a cover of this anytime soon...

I've been looking in the mirror for so long
That I've come to believe my soul's on the other side
Oh, the little pieces falling, shatter
Shards of me too sharp to put back together
Too small to matter but big enough to cut me
Into so many little pieces if I try to touch her

And I bleed, I bleed
And I breathe, I breathe no more

Take a breath and I try to draw from my spirits well
Yet again you refuse to drink like a stubborn child
Lie to me, convince me that I've been sick forever
And all of this will make sense when I get better
I know the difference between myself and my reflection
I just can't help but to wonder which of us do you love

So I bleed, I bleed
And I breathe, I breathe now
Bleed, I bleed and I breathe
I breathe, I breathe, I breathe no more

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Character Bio's!

To celebrate the release of Awaken, I've decided to post Bio's of all of the descendents!  I'm going to post a couple each day throughout the week!  Today I have posted the Bio's for Stasia's roommates under The Descendents tab: Carmen, Willow, and Phoebe!  They are real people in my head who I have grown to love and adore, so I wanted to share them with the rest of the world!  Enjoy!

I am so excited to announce the release of Awaken, the second installment of the Daughters of the Sea Trilogy!  It is now available on Amazon and Barnes&Noble!