Category Archives: Resonance

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, the Intro.

THE NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP. It’s a hoppy thing. (See what I did, there?)

What is a blog hop? Among other things it is a way for readers to discover new authors. The path to publication has always been a tough one to navigate, and even when it is attained it is usually not that fabled pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Getting seen and read after being published is growing tougher by the minute. There are so many good books out there you’ve never known existed, so many amazing authors who are just not getting the attention their skill warrants. Bookstores are closing and publishers aren’t promoting new authors the way they did in the past. Despite all of our hard work, many deserving authors are simply falling through the cracks. It rests with us, fellow authors, and us, fellow readers, to discover the talent that lies in the big blue beyond.

My place in this little hop is to tell you a bit about my book, Resonance, and to direct you to more authors who deserve a chance to be read and appreciated. Pop back in next Wednesday for my Q&A about Resonance, and for links to five other deserving authors.

So, Resonance is my book. It is a dark urban fantasy with lots of demons and magic, and one very reluctant punk hero whose name is, you guessed it, Resonance. It is currently for sale exclusively through Amazon. Print versions are in the works.

A huge thanks to one of my first-ever writing friends, Sidney Williams, for tagging me to participate. He is a talented author whose work you definitely should be reading. Give him some clicky love and check out his book, Midnight Eyes, from Crossroad Press.

See you in a week.


A Few Quick Updates

I’m backtracking a little through my progress with the Resonance sequel (titled Harmony), because I’ve decided–no, the story’s decided–there has to be a third book.  I never expected this to become a trilogy.  Well, once I had a notion that there was room within the plot confines for a third book, but I never really gave it much thought beyond that.  Then, the other night I was playing the “what if” game with the Architect and an entirely new idea twisted itself out of the current Harmony plot, and set about weaving itself into a whole storyline.  Because of that, some of the events that were going to happen in this upcoming novel have either been shifted to the final book’s plot, or have been deleted altogether.  I don’t mind the work, really, because it’s all going to make for a much more exciting series.  And that’s a good thing.  It’s just chewing up a significant amount of my extra time.

In derby news, we at SRG had another bout on July 17.  We won, by a significant margin.  I don’t have any photos to post, sadly, because no one I know has a camera that’s speedy enough to take the good action pictures, and I’m too lazy to contact the people who do to see if they’ll allow me publication rights.  But, I was there and I skated well.  Promise.  We had an unofficial scrimmage against another team on Sunday night, and we won with a similar score.  This all makes me very happy, and excited for our next bout in August.

I also got new wheels, Atom G-Rods, and my laps-in-five-minutes count went from 26 to 28.  Yay for magically awesome wheels!  Oh, and I have a new helmet.  It does nothing to make me faster.  But, it does a lot for the looking badass category.

This is probably one of my lamer posts, but the derby and writing have been warring for my attention, and I find I don’t have the time I used to for getting these posts together.  Just wanted you all to know I hadn’t died under a pile of cats or derby girls.

Oh, and I have an interview with Adam Slade up at Editing Hat, today, if you’d like to check that out.  I talk about writing, derby, and wading through flooded streets in nightwear.  It’s more amusing than this most likely has been.  Promise–yet again.

    


Buy "Resonance" and Help an Author in Need

I had planned another post entirely.  Had it halfway written this morning, in fact.  And then I heard about urban fantasy author L.A. Banks.  She’s gravely ill and fighting not only a physical battle, but a monetary one.

Back in 2005 I had started reading Minion, the first book in the Vampire Huntress Legends.  I fell in love with the style and characters immediately.  I reached the end–an abrupt finale–and realized the original novel must have had been split in half because of the length.  At the time I was in a frenzy because I was halfway through writing my first book and was already beyond the 80,00-120,000 word count recommended by professionals.  I was writing a monster.  I was terrified, confused, wondering if I should shelve the behemoth, or start hacking at it like Michael Meyers on All Hallow’s Eve.  Discovering that Ms. Banks’ book had been divided in two gave me back a bit of breath, eased the rising hysteria.

About a week after finishing the second novel, The Awakening, I decided to email Ms. Banks about the whole mess.  I expected a quick, form note, or possibly nothing at all.  Instead, I received a sincere, helpful, inspiring letter.  In a single page (an outpouring of literary energy that could have been directed to benefiting her WIP and not mine) she gave me the courage to let Resonance be what it wanted to be.  I haven’t forgotten that.

I am deeply saddened to hear she is now so very ill and that her finances are also dire. I don’t have much, but what I can give, I give freely.  For the next week, the profits from any purchase of Resonance from either Amazon’s Kindle store, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Store, or the iBookstore will go to Ms. Banks.

If you don’t have an e-reader or would rather support her in your own way, please visit the L.A. Banks Auction and Donation Site.

I still have the email she sent me sitting in my inbox as a reminder that people can be good and kind, even the incredibly busy, bestselling ones.

I wish her well.


RESONANCE cut scene #3

This scene is from the first incarnation of the novel.  It made it through one or two editing rounds, and then I cut it out, mostly for brevity’s sake, but also because I didn’t like the tone it set for Res and Wyatt’s relationship.  But, it’s an amusing read on its own.  It takes place just after the Massawangee Cypress Swamp Stone trial when Resonance is talking to the necromancers about her mother’s growing interest in Doug, and dissipating trust in her daughter.

*************

     “I’m sorry.  If there’s anything I can do,” Wyatt said.

      “You can give me a paycheck,” Resonance said.

     “I’m sorry, what did you say?”  Wyatt’s eyes widened.
     “You know what I said.”  She gave a cool shrug.  “I’ve kinda been telling Mom I’ve been coming here for on-the-job-training for the past two weeks.  I told her it was without pay, which she flipped over, but then I told her it would be given to me in back pay after the three month probation period.”  She paused to gauge Wyatt’s reaction–which took the form of a bulging vein in the middle of his forehead. “Soon, though,” she continued, biting back a smile, “she’s going to start harping on me about bringing home a check, so I thought you could just write me one.  Eight hundred ought to cover it.”
     “I–don’t, I…” Wyatt stammered.
     “Come on, I won’t even cash it.  I just need to show her something to get her off my back.”
     “I can’t just… Why didn’t you…?”  He turned an accusatory stare on Quinn. “Did you know about this?”
      Quinn looked nonplussed.
     “We haven’t been talking too much lately,” she answered, voice flat, eyes daring Quinn to speak.  She shrugged again.  “It’s no big deal, really.  You don’t have to do it.  Of course, Mom might come knocking on your door, demanding to know why I haven’t gotten paid.  She would, you know.  She thinks I’m a drooling idiot.  Even worse, she’ll accuse me of funneling it all up my arm and turn me over to some rehab clinic in upstate New York, which would severely hamper my saving the world and all.”
     “Are you always this manipulative?”  Wyatt asked, the first hint of a smile crinkling the corners of his eyes.
     “Pretty much.”  She flashed a wolfish grin.
     “Why don’t you just get a job?”
     “Please.  I can barely look at people, let alone work with them.  Besides, you’d rather have me here, memorizing all of your family journals and magic books and becoming your personal reference set, right?”
“I’ll see what I can do,” Wyatt said, shaking his head.  “You are a little extortionist aren’t you?”
“If I was that bad, I’d make you give me cash.”
“Thanks so much,” Wyatt replied dryly.  “If your mother has questions”–he sighed audibly–“tell her to call me.”
     

The Contest Winners

Thanks to everyone for playing!  I considered all of your stories of rebellion with a sincere amount of gravity and reflection.  After a difficult choice I have decreed the three winners to be:

1) The Walking Man — For standing up against generational expectations, and sheer determination to stay the course.

2) Christina — For CIA-like antics that could have resulted in a field trip to jail had you encountered a more surly police officer.

2) Jenn Sommersby — For teenaged rebellion that truly resonates with Resonance’s own youthful backlash.

Winners, email me at averydebow(at)comcast.net and tell me which format you’d prefer your eBook to be delivered in: PRC (for Kindle), or ePUB (for Barnes and Noble or iBookstore).

Thanks again to everyone who played.  I had fun reading your little tales of badness.


Contest Ends Friday at Noon

If you haven’t shared your story of youthful rebellion with me, now’s the time to do it.  If I decide it is in the top three, then you’ll win a free copy of RESONANCE–your choice of ebook format (PRC for Kindle, or ePUB for Barnes & Noble or iBookstore).

I’m looking forward to hearing about your dark side!


Win a copy of RESONANCE!

Now that RESONANCE is officially settled in on Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and the iBookstore, I’m thinking I’ll celebrate with an ebook giveaway contest.  To celebrate the characters’–urm–colorful natures, I would like you to read the deleted scene below, and then tell me in the comment section about something you did as an act of rebellion in your younger days.  The three best (decided by me on whatever whim I so choose) will receive an eBook copy of RESONANCE in the file format of their choice: E-Pub (for B&N’s Nook store or iBookstore), or PRC (for Kindle).

It doesn’t have to be a masterful piece of prose, just tell me what you did and I’ll decide if I love it.  That simple.

********

Spider Flashback Deleted Scene:

Resonance had been a reluctant transfer student dropped in a lions’ den of scholastic and social overachievement, forced to play dead just to survive.  There was a big kid who sat near the back in her mandatory freshman music class, one of those boys who had no doubt started eighth grade normal-sized, but freakishly grew a foot in every direction over the summer.  His broad shoulders were the perfect shelter, forming a jersey-clad wall for her to hide behind, unheard and unseen.  Not even her classmates seemed to realize she was more than another empty chair at the back of the class.  Except him—the one with the mohawk.  He noticed.
It was his pattern to slouch into the room, fling himself into the chair diagonal to hers, and do nothing for the first half an hour.  Then, as regular as clockwork, he would turn and look at her, his eyes searching her face as if to be sure she hadn’t died or turned to stone, his constant sneer deepening enough with what he saw to drive her further into the shadows. A few seconds later, he would turn back around, and finish off the class with another ten minutes of apathy. 
One February afternoon, however, he did more than that.
Outside the classroom window snow drifted down, covering the grass and cars.  Resonance stared hopefully at the defiantly clear blacktop, absently mouthing the words to the week’s song.  Knuckles rapped on her desk.  She started, and looked up into the rabbity face of Mr. Bilke.
“Since you are so intent on the song today, Miss Murphy,” maybe you should grace us with a solo.”
Her heart dropped to her feet.  Her body felt numb, leaden, as every set of eyes in the room—all those gazes she had strived to avoid for so long—fixed on her.  “I– I can’t,” she squeaked.
“You can’t?”
“No.”
“Why?  Because you haven’t paid attention all year?”  The class snickered.  Fueled by their amusement, Mr. Bilke continued, “Because you hide behind your hair and pretend this class doesn’t exist?  That we don’t exist?”
Resonance prayed she would stop existing.
“I’ll do it.”  All of those burning gazes and curved mouths turned away at the voice. She retreated behind her wall into the soothing shade.  
“Very well, Andrew,” Mr. Bilke said, his tone one of utter astonishment.
“It’s Spider.” The chair ahead and to the right of hers screeched back and the boy with the mohawk curled out of his chair.  He looked back, threw her a conspiratorial wink and strode up to the platform.  Mr. Bilke moved towards his piano. Spider didn’t wait for the music.  He gave the class a cockeyed leer, turned, dropped his shredded jeans and belted out his version of the day’s song, shouting, “It’s-the-age-of-my-hairy-ass,” at the top of his lungs. 
Her teacher and classmates froze. Their paralysis was intoxicating.  For once, Resonance forgot to hide.  She craned her neck for a better look—and laughed.
Fortunately for Spider, Zero Tolerance had not made its way into schools, yet.  Two months later, after his in-school suspension was over, he walked back into the classroom.  Mr. Bilke seethed at his piano.  The students whispered and tittered, re-living the now infamous scene.  Resonance leaned forward and looked him in the eyes, her chin lifted almost defiantly.  The side of his mouth twitched upwards, and her face split into a grin.  He took the chair beside her.

*************
Now it’s your turn. Tell me what you did as a youth to shake up the Establishment. It could win you a novel! I will post the winners next Friday afternoon, so be sure to get your story to me no later than noon (that’s EST for you non-East Coasters out there).


Free Excerpt of RESONANCE–Right Here!

Kindle has offered up a free, embed-able sneak peek of Resonance‘s innards.  Now, I love innards, and there are a lot of them here (255 pages!) so I feel compelled to share them with you.  So, get started.  No clicky links, no downloading software, just move your eyes a bit south and you’re good to go!  Be sure to pop back in later this week for a contest where you can win a copy of the entire eBook.  Yep.  Even more innards, hundreds of pages more–free. Until then, read and enjoy:

KindleReader.LoadSample({containerID: ‘kindleReaderDiv61’, asin: ‘B004KAAADI’, width: ‘800’, height: ‘471’, assoctag: ‘kindleboards-20’});


RESONANCE cut scene #2

I have another fallen scene for you, today. This one used to be where the current Wyatt, Quinn and the Grim scene is. I liked it, very much, but I needed to replace it with a scene that forwarded the story as well as revealed more about the characters. So, this scene got the axe and the Grim arose in its place. Reading it again, I kind of miss this one.

*********

Wyatt seized Quinn’s arm, dragging him backward.

They stood at a safe distance, watching tiny forms materialize like mist from a garden hose sprayed into the summer air. With the haze came first the smell of flowers, heady and sweet. As the clouds gave themselves a shadow of form, the odor became the suffocating stench of earth, bone and blood. The infantile hazes lingered there, straining to form in the cloying scent of their graves.

“This isn’t possible,” Quinn said.

“Apparently it is,” Wyatt’s forehead creased into a frown. “These children’s astral corpses have always been different. They’ve been here for a very long time, trapped in their graves by some form of magic.”

“Still, astral corpses don’t just jump up out of their coffins to say hello.”

“I think our power called to them.”

“How? That’s never happened before and we’ve passed this site dozens of times.”

“Maybe it’s that change we’ve been feeling, some outside factor allowing them to contact us.” Wyatt gazed thoughtfully at the shades for a few more moments, and then sighed. “Whatever caused it, we have to try to release them, or at least put them back. We can’t leave them hovering here like this. I should have helped them a long time ago… Before something like this… Stupid to leave them there, tortured…” Wyatt trailed off, his face a mask of misery and self-loathing.

Quinn gave his uncle a modicum of privacy by turning his attention to the materializing spirits. He closed his eyes, quieted his mind, and connected with the spark inside that fed his ability. Instantly, his head filled with a clamor of tiny voices, all howling for his attention. The spirit children’s plaintive calls stirred a mixture of horror and pity within him.

“They want our help,” he said. “They’re angry.”

“They were unfairly treated when they were tethered to their graves, and now that they have our attention, they want something done about it.” Wyatt’s voice held the detached quality Quinn had come to associate with the practitioner aspect of his uncle’s personality. “They want their turn to live.”

Initially, he had found his uncle’s removed professionalism cold and uncaring. Soon enough, though, he learned it was the only way to survive the continual parade of grief that, if not exactly brought on by him, was reinforced by his actions as both an aspiring mortician and necromancer.

The spirits writhed in the shadows, arms beseeching them to draw near enough to bring them to life. He shuddered, chills wracking his body. The sun still beat down mercilessly, but, for all he could tell, it shone on a different planet.

For these children, it did.

“They don’t know their bodies aren’t around anymore?” he whispered, careful not to draw their attention further.

“No.”

Power prickled along his skin, but this time it was the familiar–if not particularly pleasant–magic of Wyatt. He moved to stand beside his uncle. Although he was not certain what his uncle was about to do, he allowed his power to surge to the surface.

His heart constricted as their tiny consciousnesses reacted, channeling the hope of life towards him. Their momentary glee filled his mind. Mommy and Daddy, play, laughter, friends, love. It sliced through his chest–a knife edged so sharp with longing it nearly cleaved his heart. Then, he followed Wyatt’s lead and sealed it off, severing the painful link of humanity between them.

The only thing they had left in common now was death.

It was a lie to say he and Wyatt brought the deceased back to life. They only re-delivered them to the grave.

Wyatt had begun chanting, low and steady. He added his voice to the melody of the Release–the incantation used when freeing a Raised spirit. For a moment, the specters became clearer, solidified by both their struggle to become material and their outrage at their perceived betrayal.

A cry arose among them, a horrific, screeching parody of their living peers. Over the din his uncle raised his voice as his hands spread in the air, casting his supplication to the Beyond.

As suddenly as it began, the noise ceased. The spirits dissipated without further struggle, vanishing like powder in a breeze.

They were left standing by the graves, both of them breathless from the effort, and on his part, wretched guilt.


Cut scene From RESONANCE

Hi, all. Avery here. While Resonance is getting her bearings back after an extended leave (and coping with the sudden knowledge she’s now a character in a book), I thought I’d give you guys a behind-the-scenes look at the weirdness of Resonance’s home town of Tyne via a deleted scene. This excerpt was removed early on, but it remains a favorite of mine–because it was inspired by real neighbors. Enjoy!




RESONANCE CUT SCENE #1


Resonance braked and cut the wheel sharply to avoid circling the block again, veering the car onto her road, and into the path of two figures.


The two raven-haired little girls occupying the pavement didn’t react as the car ground to a halt a mere foot from them, nor did they acknowledge its continued presence. Holding the skirts of their matching tangerine sundresses like they were about to curtsey, the girls sauntered in a circle around a storm grate embedded in the in the center of the asphalt. Their MaryJanes clicked in cadence as they trained their intent faces on whatever lay below the rusted metal grate.


Muttering a string of curses, Resonance mashed the Accord’s toll button, making the half-lowered window slide all the way into the door.


“Hey,” she called, leaning her head out, “You geniuses might want to move next time a car comes.” They momentarily stopped their circumambulation to turn their sallow faces up at her. Neither girl’s blank gaze registered any emotion. “You slow bussers get me?”


The girls simply watched her with expressionless apathy for a moment longer, and then lowered their heads, resuming their–


Game?


An unexplained chill traveled up Resonance’s spine. She grasped the wheel with suddenly sweaty palms, steering the car around them, driving halfway onto the sidewalk to do so. She peeled into the driveway with aggressive bravado, telling herself there was no reason to be rattled by a couple of potentially lobotomized knee-biters. Chiding herself, she climbed out of the car.


As the door banged shut, her neighbor’s door opened. A matronly woman with large glasses and lank, chin-length brown hair emerged. Resonance opened her mouth to tell the woman her children had nearly become road pizza, but the woman stuck her arm out and began flapping her hand in an exaggerated wave.


“Hiiiii, Neighbor,” the woman trilled in an ear-splitting falsetto. A foolish grin encompassed the lower half of her face, making her look like a pale jack-o-lantern.


Resonance gaped. For once, words wouldn’t come to her mouth. Too taken aback by the woman’s exuberant display to do anything else, she turned abruptly and pretended she’d forgotten something very important in her car. She resurfaced a few moments later to find the two girls had abandoned their diversion and were standing at the edge of their yard, impassively watching her. She looked past them to the mother, whose fleshy arm still flapped like a flag in the wind.


“Hiiiii, Neighbor.”


Resonance headed for the door, moving as fast as her pride would allow. Thankfully, it was unlocked. She pushed her way in, clicking the deadbolt behind her. She didn’t know why she was so rattled. After all, it was just a couple of strange kids and their freakshow mother.


Nothing to be worried about.


Reinforced by her reasoning, she hazarded a peek out the window. The girls stood shoulder-to-shoulder, gazing into the front window.


“Jesus Christ!” The exclamation was a mixture of annoyance and unease. As she yanked down the blinds with a vicious tug, she made sure the last thing the little maggots saw was her middle finger.


There was something majorly wrong with Tyne, no denying it.