Author Blog Tour & Contest: Teen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker - What's Your High School Horror Story?

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on Chandler Baker's blog tour for her new book, High School Horror: Teen Frankenstein. I'm really excited about this new series retelling classic horror stories by way of high school students. As part of the tour Chandler and members of the Feiwel & Friends team are sharing their own personal high school horror stories. The team over at Macmillan was kind enough to offer a space for me to share my own horror story, but I hated high school so much, I've actively repressed all memories of it.

We are also lucky to have a copy of Teen Frankenstein to give away to one lucky WFTM reader and an opportunity to win a special prize straight from the author herself. Stick around until after the horror story for instructions on how to enter.

So here is the high school horror story from one of of the Macmillan team with the request of anonymity. Enjoy the schadenfreude!

While I’ve always been relatively athletic, I’ve never been even remotely fast. It might be genetic: my mom’s nickname on her softball team was ‘Chariots of Fire’ (a reference to that scene where they run in slow motion). And perhaps because of my inherent lack of speed, I’ve always despised running, and coincidentally fell ill on the days of the so-called Elementary School ‘Fun Run.’ Given all this, you’d think that the last thing I would EVER do would be to join a cross country team.
Well…it started at the mall. One Saturday afternoon when I was in ninth grade, my friend Carly and I had just exited Bath & Body Works, reeking of Sun-Ripened Raspberry, when all of a sudden, we were greeted by a grade-A teenage hunk. Jake. I’d never seen him before. It turned out he went to private school and knew Carly from a county-sponsored cross country team. After a few minutes of discussion about who knows what (I think it may have involved Austin Powers), I was smitten. So I did the only logical thing: I asked Carly for information and convinced my parents to let me join the team.
I suffered through a few weeknight practices, trying my best to look attractive as I sputtered along behind everyone else, never getting even close to Jake, the fastest guy on the team. When the first meet came along, I was warned by the coach that I might not be ready- but I also knew through the grapevine that after meets, the team went out for pizza, and I knew that that might be my chance to win Jake’s heart. I signed up.
The meet was in the middle of nowhere. My parents gamely drove for 90 minutes to get me there, as I applied and reapplied Bonne Bell lipsmackers in the backseat. When we finally arrived, I joined the other runners in my division at the starting line and told myself that I just had to suffer through these three miles and then I’d be able to make my move. Well. The course was hillier than anything I’d run before and I quickly fell behind the pack. They became distant dots on the horizon. And then I couldn’t see them. I had to stop and walk several times. I was a red, sweaty mess. And by the time I finished, all the vendors were packing up their stands and most of the other teams had left. The only people left were my parents and my teammates who had all clearly finished ages ago, and were all clearly annoyed at having to wait. As I approached the finish line, they began a slow clap. Embarrassed at being such a spectacle, I then burst into tears and, with my eyes blurred, tripped and face-planted on the muddy finish line.  As I looked up, I could see Jake trying his absolute hardest not to laugh.
There was no redeeming this. I trudged back to my parents’ car, skipped the pizza party, and vowed to never again force myself into something just to impress a boy. (This lasted about a year, until I met the Morrissey-loving hipster, but that’s a story for another day…)

Teen Frankenstein
Chandler Baker

Feiwel & Friends
Released January 12, 2016
368 pages
YA / Horror / Classic Retellings

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

High school meets classic horror in this groundbreaking new series.

It was a dark and stormy night when Tor Frankenstein accidentally hit someone with her car. And killed him. But all is not lost--Tor, being the scientific genius she is, brings him back to life...

Thus begins a twisty, turn-y take on a familiar tale, set in the town of Hollow Pines, Texas, where high school is truly horrifying.

Enter to Win a Copy of Teen Frankenstein

Macmillan and Chandler Baker are offer a hard cover copy of High School Horror: Teen Frankenstein to one lucky winner. Enter through the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. The contest will run until midnight January 31. Winner must have a US or Canada mailing address.

If you're brave enough, submit your own high school horror story in the comments below and Chandler herself will be reading each story. She'll pick a few of her favorites from all the blog tour stops and will provide a very special prize to each of those winners. Your high school misery could finally get you free stuff!

About the Author

Chandler Baker got her start ghostwriting novels for teens and tweens, including installments in a book series that has sold more than 1 million copies. She grew up in Florida, went to college at the University of Pennsylvania and studied law at the University of Texas. She now lives in Austin with her husband. Although she loves spinning tales with a touch of horror, she is a much bigger scaredy-cat than her stories would lead you to believe. 

You can find Chandler as the books contributor on the YouTube channel Weird Girls.

  • Add High School Horror: Teen Frankenstein to your to-read list on Goodreads.
  • Join in on social media with #HighSchoolHorror
  • Visit Chandler's website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram!

Visit the Other Stops on the Tour!

11-JanFierce Reads

12-Jan  Good Books and Good Wine

13-Jan  Jana's Book List

14-Jan  Booki Emoji

15-Jan  Sci Fi Chick

16-Jan  Novel Novice

17-Jan  Word Spelunking

18-Jan  XPresso Reads

19-Jan  Working for the Mandroid

20-JanKatie's Book Blog

Author Guest Post: Worldbuilding Magic University by Cecilia Tan

Working for the Mandroid is happy to welcome Cecilia Tan, author of the sexy fantasy Magic University series. The fourth and final book in the series, Poet and the Prophecy, just came out this past Tuesday. We're happy to welcome Cecilia to the blog to discuss the world building that went into the series as it comes to a conclusion. Take it away, Cecilia!

Back to School: Worldbuilding Magic University

by Cecilia Tan

Worldbuilding is fun, no doubt about it. I love creating magic systems and societies for my novels, and part of me hearkens back to my days as a teenage dungeonmaster, creating places and surprises for old Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. While writing the Magic University books, though, I had some interesting challenges in creating a magical college campus.

For one thing, I had to create the curriculum. What would the courses of study be at Veritas? In the books themselves I end up naming about a dozen departments, including alchemy, ritual arts, conjuration, and metaphysics. "Esoteric arts" is the name given to the study of sex magic because just calling it sex magic was too much for the founders of Harvard.

Yes, Harvard--my magical university is a part of Harvard, existing as a school within a school, with its own deans and degree programs. This meant my worldbuilding got to include a lot of funky facts about Harvard, like the fact that Lowell House rents out their dining hall to other houses (including magical ones) for parties and functions.

In fact I borrowed the Harvard house system to make four magical houses. Yes, that's also a direct nod to J.K .Rowling's Harry Potter series, but I also ended up with four because the "sorting" is done with tarot cards, and which suit you pull determines which house you end up in. Kyle draws the Ace of Swords which lands him in Gladius House. The fact that the sorting is basically random, despite each house having a "character," was also a commentary by me on the flaws of Hogwarts-style sorting based on personality traits. If you want, you can believe that a card draw is "fate," but really, it's just a one-in-four chance, ensuring even distribution over time.

I tried to be as consistent as possible within my magic system, but given that this is a university setting I left room for there to be debate about how certain parts of magic works, the same way scientists or economists or historians sit around and debate their subjects with each other. Also like with non-magical subjects, some classes require lab work, some tests, some term papers, and some subjects are easier than others.

Just like in any university, some of the degree programs have prerequisites or placement tests. To join the Department of Esoteric Arts, scholars have to prove they're bisexual, since ritual sex with partners of any gender might be required. At first Kyle isn't sure he can pass all of the tests to get into Esoteric Arts but it's really not a spoiler to tell you that he has what it takes to pass with flying colors. (In fact, he gets good at flying, too.) It is somewhat inconvenient when he has to practice to do his sex magic homework, though, and his roommate never goes out...

One of the subplots that runs through the books is that the departments of Applied Enchantment and Conjuration are being merged into one, something that happens in real-life universities around here (in the Boston area) all the time, wreaking havoc on the faculty and students. In the end Kyle may be able to save the world, but nothing can save the university administration from budget cuts!

The Poet & The Prophecy (Magic University #4)
Cecilia Tan

Ravenous Romance
Released September 22, 2015
318 pages

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Kyle Wadsworth has mastered sex magic, dreamwalking, his bisexuality, and even poetry in his years at Veritas. But in this conclusion to the Magic University series of new adult paranormal fantasy romance, Kyle begins his senior year full of doubt. Will the dire ancient prophecy he has been studying come true if Kyle cannot find true love? The signs of the Burning Days seem to be everywhere—odd storms, earthquakes, and people losing their magic—and though Kyle has many loving friends and eager acquaintances, he has no true love in sight. The only person in Kyle's heart is Frost, and the last time they laid eyes on each other, it didn't end well.

Frost has a troubled past and deep secrets. Kyle begins to hope, though, when it appears he and Frost will be in a class together. A poetry class. Maybe Frost will start to thaw after all, though Kyle has a long way to go from nemesis to lover. If the prophecy speaks true, our hero will need love to keep the world, his friends, and himself from losing magic forever.

About the Author:

Cecilia Tan is "simply one of the most important writers, editors, and innovators in contemporary American erotic literature," according to Susie Bright. RT Magazine awarded her Career Achievement in Erotic Romance in 2015 and their prestigious Pioneer Award. Tan's BDSM romance novel Slow Surrender (Hachette/Forever, 2013) also won the RT Reviewers Choice Award in Erotic Romance and the Maggie Award for Excellence from the Georgia Romance Writers chapter of RWA. She lives in the Boston area with her lifelong partner corwin and three cats. 

Website | Twitter

Guest Post: Science Fiction & Science by S.H. Jucha

Today we have a special visit from science fiction writer S.H. Jucha. He is the author of The Silver Ships, and enjoys discussing all things science fiction and space related. He stopped by Working for the Mandroid today to discuss a little bit about the connection between science fiction and science fact.

Science Fiction and Science
By SH Jucha

Historically, fiction writers have been the harbingers of our future science. You need look no further than the incomparable Isaac Asimov, a master of hard science fiction, who detailed robotics, artificial intelligence, and space exploration more than sixty years ago. Robert A. Heinlein anticipated the cell phone in his book, Space Cadet, thirty-five years before the technology was invented by Motorola, and Arthur C. Clarke, often called the “Prophet of the Space Age,” proposed a satellite communication system in 1945.

However, in the 21st century, science has been stealing the headlines away from science fiction. New Horizons sent us images of Pluto and its moons—Charon, Nix, Hydra, Styx and Kerberos. Philae landed on a comet, and NASA's Kepler spacecraft has identified another near-Earth planet in the habitable zone of a sun-like star.

Two more significant scientific endeavors are set to unfold in the near future. The James Webb Space Telescope is scheduled to be launched in 2018 into an orbit around the sun. It will be able to view events 200 to 300 million years after the Big Bang. Over the remainder of this decade and the next, the “Mars One” mission plans to establish a human settlement on Mars.

In addition to hard science prognostications, fiction writers have long envisioned mankind’s future encounters with aliens and have portrayed sentient life in a myriad of ways from war-faring empires to symbionts, who ride a human’s brain, to artificial intelligences, which have left their creators behind. Recently, science has been catching up with fiction writers on the subject of life in outer space.

Investigations of carbon-rich meteorites have found evidence of life apart from that of Earth. Amino acids, which are the essential building blocks of life, have been discovered on meteorites. Most telling is that the amino acids were created in both low-level and high-level temperatures.

If you follow the numbers—billions of galaxies and up to 300 billion stars per galaxy—astronomers estimate that there are about 70 billion trillion stars. In our short investigative period, we’ve already discovered 4,696 exoplanets, creating an enormous potential for life. Maybe the science fiction writers have been right about the possibilities of aliens.

While we dream of space exploration far into the future, I would like to express my hopes for the near future, events that might take place in the next few decades. I see incredible potential for space exploration, especially long-term space habitation, which may provide solutions for many of Earth’s critical problems.

Self-sufficient space habitats will require alternative methods of recycling of many material categories. It will be too expensive to ship trash back to Earth. One category, petrochemical products, includes plastics, which are quite durable and slow to degrade, but there are examples of micro-organisms accelerating the degradation processes. Imagine the value of developing bio-engineered bacterium, fungi, yeasts, algae, and lichens to completely recycle plastics. It would be a win-win for space habitation and humankind if scientists perfected solutions which could efficiently breakdown plastics, especially the billions of tons of discarded plastics on Earth, into environmentally friendly compounds.

Science fiction writers continue to envision a variety of futures for the human race, but it will be the duty of science to bring one of them to fruition.

 

S. H. Jucha is the author of the science fiction series, The Silver Ships. For more information, about the author, visit his website at http://scottjucha.com. His books are available on Amazon in several formats.

The Silver Ships
SH Jucha

See more on Goodreads

An explorer-tug captain, Alex Racine detects a damaged alien craft drifting into the system. Recognizing a once in a lifetime opportunity to make first contact, Alex pulls off a daring maneuver to latch on to the derelict.

Alex discovers the ship was attacked by an unknown craft, the first of its kind ever encountered. The mysterious silver ship's attack was both instant and deadly.

What enfolds is a story of the descendants of two Earth colony ships, with very different histories, meeting 700 years after their founding and uniting to defend humanity from the silver ships.
 

Author Blog Tour Guest Post & Review: In Midnight's Silence by T. Frohock

Wecome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on T. Frohock's blog tour for In Midnight's Silence, the first in her Los Nefilim series! If this novella about angels and daimons on the verge of Civil War in early 20th century Spain sounds like your time of book, it's currently available for Kindle and Nook for just 99 cents!! It would make for a great summer beach read!

I asked T. why she choose to set her Los Nefilim series in early 20th century Spain, and she provided this lovely guest post to explain some of the historical background that inspired her story. Take it away T.!

Researching Spain and the Spanish Civil War

I’ve been getting this question a lot, and I really appreciate the opportunity to get all my various thoughts in one spot.

Why Spain?

The answer is really easy. Generally, when I write a novel, the characters come to me before the story. I had an idea for a character named Guillermo, who was Spanish. The novel was set in 1348 in Aragon. I didn’t realize at the time how much research I would have to do in order to familiarize myself with Spain, but it really turned into a wonderful experience.

The reason I chose to set that first novel on the Iberian Peninsula had to do with another storyline that I’d developed for the book. The characters were Nephilim (Nefilim in Spanish, hence the series name), and they reincarnate with the memories of their past lives intact. This particular group was in Jerusalem during their firstborn lives. When the Romans conquered what is today Israel, and instigated the diaspora, some Jews fled to the Iberian Peninsula. Since people migrated in that direction, I wondered if maybe souls would, too.

I had intended for that novel to be the beginning of a series, and I wanted to bring those characters up through the Spanish Civil War. However, other projects took precedence, so for a while I forgot about Guillermo, Diago, and Miquel along with their entwined stories. Meanwhile, the seeds for Los Nefilim were there, germinating while I worked on other projects.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, that novel didn’t sell. I went on to write other things, but I never forgot the characters or their stories. Last year, I was asked to write a novella, and since the original story was in limbo, I talked with my agent about resurrecting the characters in a new story for the sake of the novella.

I never considered changing their nationality. By this time, these characters were Spanish in my mind. I also wanted a more modern setting, and changed the protagonist from Guillermo to Diago.

I have a strong background in World War II history, and initially started to place the story in that time period; however, it seemed kind of ridiculous to thrust them into World War II when, being Spanish, they were much more likely to be involved in the Spanish Civil War. Guillermo del Toro's exquisite Pan's Labyrinth really intrigued me, because he managed to capture the brutality of the period without losing the beauty and magic of the Spanish people and the country. After Pan’s Labyrinth, I watched The Devil’s Backbone, which was another film by del Toro, also set during the Spanish Civil War.

I got my hands on several histories of the Spanish Civil War and began to research the period just prior to and during the war. I set the story in Barcelona, because the city is old and has such a spooky history. Ghosts and vampires and poltergeists haunt the city, so I figured what were a few more Nefilim, angels, and daimons? The powerful religious history of Barcelona, Catalonia, and Spain just fit the world that I’d built for my Nefilim and their magic.

I used several histories in order to reconstruct the time period. If you’re interested in reading more about Spain and the Spanish Civil War, here a few:

The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 by Antony Beevor

The Franco Years by Jose Yglesias

The Life and Death of the Spanish Republic: A Witness to the Spanish Civil War by Henry Buckley

Medieval Iberia: Readings from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources (second edition) edited by Olivia Remie Constable

Queer Iberia: Sexualities, Cultures, and Crossings from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance edited by Josiah Blackmore and Gregory S. Hutcheson

The Spanish Civil War: Reaction, Revolution, Revenge by Paul Preston

The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth Century Spain by Paul Preston

About T. Frohock

Web site: http://www.tfrohock.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/T_Frohock

BIO: T. Frohock has turned a love of dark fantasy and horror into tales of deliciously creepy fiction. Her other publications include everything from novelettes to short stories. She is also the author of the novel, Miserere: An Autumn Tale. Her newest series, Los Nefilim, is coming from Harper Voyager Impulse and debuts in June 2015 with the novella, In Midnight's Silence.

T. lives in North Carolina where she has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying.

In Midnight’s Silence
T. Frohock

Harper Voyager Impulse
I received a copy of this novella from the publisher in return for being on the blog tour
Released June 23, 2015
128 pages
Fantasy / Novella / Angels

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Kobo

The fate of mankind has nothing to do with mankind…
Born of an angel and a daimon, Diago Alvarez is a singular being in a country torn by a looming civil war and the spiritual struggle between the forces of angels and daimons. With allegiance to no one but his partner Miquel, he is content to simply live in Barcelona, caring only for the man he loves and the music he makes. Yet, neither side is satisfied to let him lead this domesticated life and, knowing they can't get to him directly, they do the one thing he's always feared.
They go after Miquel.
Now, in order to save his lover's life, he is forced by an angel to perform a gruesome task: feed a child to the daimon Moloch in exchange for a coin that will limit the extent of the world's next war. The mission is fraught with danger, the time he has to accomplish it is limited…and the child he is to sacrifice is the son Diago never knew existed.
A lyrical tale in a world of music and magic, T. Frohock's In Midnight's Silence shows the lengths a man will go to save the people he loves, and the sides he'll choose when the sidelines are no longer an option.

T. Frohock’s world of In Midnight’s Silence is one hiding a dark underbelly where daimons and angels fight for control and power. At the start it feels familiar and like the real world, so it becomes jarring when suddenly a deep mythology becomes hinted at and characters’ histories are alluded to in passing references. For awhile I honestly believed I’d picked up the series in the middle and had to continue to reassure myself that In Midnight’s Silence was the beginning. There just seemed like so much had happened before that I wasn’t privy to that I should already know.

Diago was born from a daimon and an angel, and refuses to pledge to anyone side of the battle looming over early 20th century Spain. He lives and loves a Nephilim named Miquel, who fights on the side of angels, but mostly they live in a small apartment in Barcelona and work their jobs as a music teacher and a guitar player. That is until an angel kidnaps Miquel in order to blackmail Diago to do a deadly errand for him.

Diago’s world is one where supernatural beings have magical powers, primarily through music. This was a unique take on magic with characters humming, whistling and singing to fight their enemies. It produces an interesting imagery and allows for those on the same side to create harmonious music as their fight battles. I really enjoyed the idea of music and tones as magic, though there isn’t really much explanation on how things work. It just creates a mysterious, often dark undertone to what could have otherwise been unexplained and basic magic.

Diago is a conflicted figure, happy in his life though caught in the middle of a bigger picture. When he discovers a son he never knew he had, he becomes more conflicted, but also becomes a more heroic figure. Miquel is less formed, seen only as the lover to fight for and not so much as a character of his own, but in a 128 page novella, it’s difficult to truly fill out the secondary characters.

In Midnight’s Silence gives a glimpse to a much larger world that deserves a much larger book. This felt like a promotional prequel to something bigger coming out. The world is dark and intriguing with shadows of darkness everywhere ready to pounce on our heroes. The magic system provides an atmospheric nature to a short story that made me want more. This is an interesting introduction to a new take on angels and demons fighting for the fate of the world.

I received a copy of this novella from the publisher for being on the tour. All opinions are my own.

Author Blog Tour & Contest: Guest Post from Taran Matharu, Author of The Novice: Summoner Book 1

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on Taran Matharu's blog tour for The Novice: Summoner Book 1, which just came out last week. I'm really excited to have him on the blog talking about sidekicks and what qualities really make a sidekick stand out. I mean, every good hero needs a sidekick, don't they?

You can see the entire tour schedule over on Mac Teen's blog here. If you'd like to read more of Taran's work, check out what he has hosted on WattPad here. We also have a copy of The Novice to give away, so stick around until the end of the post to enter!

What Does It Take to Create a Memorable Sidekick?

Creating a memorable sidekick is no easy task. With so many characteristics to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down what kind of character you want them to be. That being said there are a few common traits that I love to see in sidekicks. Here are just a few of them.

1.) Big, hairy and even a little simple

Both powerful and adorable, these creatures tend to be immensely protective of their partners. Some of the best known examples of these are Ludo from Labyrinth, Chewbacca from Star Wars, Baloo from The Jungle Book and Carol from Where the Wild Things Are.

2.) Only capable of saying one word or phrase

By limiting their ability to communicate, their connection with the protagonist becomes less cerebral and more emotional, which is just how I like it. I can’t help but include Chewie again on this list, as well as Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, Pikachu from Pokemon, Hodor from Game of Thrones and the Librarian from Discworld.

3.) Stubborn, independent and even a little mischievous

Sidekicks are not obedient servants to be ordered about. The best ones are always strong characters and think for themselves. My favorites are Lilo from Lilo and Stitch, Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon, Hooch from Turner and Hooch and Donkey from Shrek (to name but a few).

 

Thanks for stopping by Working for the Mandroid, Taran! I can't wait to see where Fletcher and his sidekick go next!

The Novice: Summoner Book 1
Taran Matharu

Feiwel & Friends
Released May 5, 2015
398 pages

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.

Win a Copy of The Novice: Summoner Book 1 by Taran Matharu!

Taran and his lovely publisher have provided a hard copy of The Novice to give away to one lucky Working for the Mandroid visitor. If you're interested and have a mailing address in the US, enter below before May 31 for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Blog Tour: Guest Post from Eric Walters, Author of Fight the Power

Welcome to the Working for the Mandroid tour stop on Eric Walters' blog tour for Fight the Power. This is the sequel to the fantastic post-apocalypse-in-real-time YA novel The Rule of Three that came out last year. It's a great and incredibly realistic look at what might happen to modern society in a suburban town if electricity sudden disappeared along with anything electrical. The first book was a whirlwind that freaked me out and the second looks to be the same sort of thing that will leave me cowering in my bed at night in paranoia.

Today Eric has stopped by WFTM to discuss some of his tips to stay safe even in the most unfamiliar of areas. Take it away Eric.

 

16 Tips for Paranoid Travelers (And Especially Paranoid Everyday Life)

I travel fairly extensively – I’ve been in more than 30 countries in the world and have put myself in some fairly dangerous situations including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, trekking across Kenya, walking across the Sahara Desert, entering the biggest slum in Africa and walking tigers on a leash.  My characters in The Rule of Three talk about being rather paranoid at times and I think I have a healthy sense of paranoia myself.  

Here are some of the things I do to keep safe – well safer – in my travels.

1) Be aware of your physical surroundings.  Nobody can ever follow me – by foot or car more than a short distance – before I’m aware of their presence.  I stop, pull over and let them pass.

2) Always have local people on the ground who can direct you, give you guidance and support.

3) Be aware of local traditions, customs, unique dangers and situations that could cause trouble.

4) Always have a back-up plan.

5) Arrive early, ask questions, be suspicious.

6) Have a supply of medications available to cover what might be needed – especially when you’re in places you can’t get things readily.

7) Have a back-up credit card and extra money.

8) Keep your extra money in at least three different locations on your person.

9) Never pack anything of value in anywhere except your carry-on luggage.

10) Sometimes you have to be the ‘biggest’ guy in the room.  Sometimes you have to be assertive, sometimes you have to be aggressive, sometimes you have to let people think you’re just a little bit crazy because others leave crazy people alone.

11) If you want to be completely safe stay at home, in bed, with the door locked and a pillow over your head.

12) Have a photocopy of your passport and credit cards stashed somewhere safely away from the real things.

13) Try to look like you belong.

14) Walk in such a determined way so that you look like you own the place.

15) Keep hydrated and make sure that water source is clean.

16) And most important – zippered pockets!

 

Fight the Power
Eric Walters

Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Releases January 20, 2015
320 pages
YA / Post-Apocalyptic

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

The world keeps getting darker in this second reality-based survival adventure in the Rule of Three trilogy

After sixty-six days of a catastrophic global blackout, life in the suburbs is not what it used to be for Adam and his fortified neighborhood of Eden Mills. Although an explosive clash has minimized one threat from outside the walls, Adam’s battle-hardened mentor, Herb, continues to make decisions in the name of security that are increasingly wrenching and questionable. Like his police chief mom and others, Adam will follow Herb’s lead. But when the next threat comes from an unexpected direction, nobody is ready for it. And someone is going to pay the price—because of Adam’s mistakes and mistaken trust.

Author Blog Tour Guest Post: Jay Posey, Author of Morningstar Falls & Three

I am so excited to have Jay Posey stopping by WFTM again, this time in support of his new release Morningstar Falls. This is the second book in his Legends of the Duskwalker series, which started with the fantabulous Three (one of my favorite reads for 2013). Today he stops by to discuss telling his story from the point of view of a different main character than in Three. Also as a note, Morningstar Falls is on presale on Amazon right now for just $5! Take it away, Jay!

On Changing Horses Midstream

My latest book Morningside Fall is the second novel in a trilogy, and it picks up a little over a year after the first book (titled Three) ends.  Perhaps a little unusually, the main character of the second book isn’t the same as the first.  The main characters of Morningside Fall are Cass and Wren, mother and son, and though they’re both returning characters from Three, neither of them were the primary point-of-view for the first book.  Having a different lead character (or two) for the second book brought its own pros and cons; some creative advantages along with some interesting challenges.

First, the pros.  Probably unsurprisingly, using different leads gave me the opportunity as a writer to explore the world through different eyes and to experience everything from perspectives I hadn’t necessarily spent a lot of time with in the first novel.  I was in Wren’s head especially a lot more in the sequel, and it was good for me creatively to see what life was like for him both internally and externally.  It also gave me the opportunity to give readers more insight into these characters than they would have gotten otherwise. 

Using different characters also gave me a new palette of challenges, obstacles, and threats to work with over the course of the story.  It opened up a lot of interesting possibilities for me, knowing that things that wouldn’t have been much of an issue for Three (the main character of the first novel) could be a matter of life and death for young Wren, for example.  New challenges forced me to find new solutions and took me in directions I probably wouldn’t have explored otherwise.

Finally, I wanted Morningside Fall to be its own story, not just a rehash of the one I’d told in the first book, and adopting new main characters let me experiment with a different tone and theme.  It forced me to think about everything from a different perspective, rather than falling back on things I knew had worked before.  It was scary and frustrating at times, but it was good to challenge myself, to test my own limits, and hopefully to grow as a writer through the process.

Which obviously means it wasn’t all smooth sailing, and there were definitely some downsides.  I wasn’t nearly as comfortable with Cass and Wren as I had been writing Three.  Three was a character I felt I’d known for a long time, and as strange as it may sound, I trusted him enough to know that he’d be able to adapt and overcome whatever I threw at him.  Cass and Wren are both strong characters in their own right, but I didn’t have the same confidence in myself when it came to writing them, and at times I struggled with not being sure whether I was pulling punches or not.  It’s a weird experience to feel like your characters are better people than you might be able to convey.  That really slowed me down more than I had been expecting.

And the big thing: I had no idea how The Audience was going to react to the transition.  I spent a lot of time fretting over that with the second book; a debut novel is a nerve-wracking experience all its own, but at least with the first book I didn’t feel the pressure of Expectation hovering over me.  With the sequel, I knew there would be people out there waiting to see where I took things next, and the fear of disappointing them was pretty strong.  I probably let it get into my head more than I should have, especially since there was no way for me to know how people would react until I actually wrote the thing and got it out there for them to read.

Ultimately, I’m pleased with the story I was able to tell with Morningside Fall, and even though it was a significant challenge for me, I’m glad that I pushed through with my original intent to focus on the characters that I did.  I hope my readers feel the same way.

 

Thanks for stopping by, Jay! I highly recommend that you guys all read these books because they are fantastic. Here's a bit more about Morningstar Falls. Just a reminder, there are MASSIVE SPOILERS for Three in the description.

Morningstar Falls
Jay Posey

Angry Robot
Releases April 29, 2014
432 pages

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

The lone gunman Three is gone, and Wren is the new governor of the devastated settlement of Morningside, but there is turmoil in the city. When his life is put in danger, Wren is forced to flee Morningside until he and his retinue can determine who can be trusted.

They arrive at the border outpost, Ninestory, only to find it has been infested with Weir in greater numbers than anyone has ever seen. These lost, dangerous creatures are harbouring a terrible secret – one that will have consequences not just for Wren and his comrades, but for the future of what remains of the world.