Tuesday, March 27, 2012

G.P.A. stands for Greatest Poet Alive come find out why 03/29 by KWOD Radio | Blog Talk Radio

G.P.A. stands for Greatest Poet Alive come find out why 03/29 by KWOD Radio | Blog Talk Radio

Immortals come in more than just vampires; this be elves


Title – Immortal Becoming
by Wendy S. Hales

Genre – Paranormal/Fantasy Romance

ABOUT THE BOOK:
 
Shane Einar is a five hundred year old Volaticus Elven warrior, sworn to duty and honor. His species has inhabited the earth since the beginning of time. The sources of vampire, elf and fairy myths, Volaticus are in reality something altogether different. He never expected to meet Jess Reed. A female living amongst humanity completely unaware that she is Hulven, a human/Elven hybrid race of Volaticus, or that she is on the cusp of Becoming into her Elven traits. Shane should turn Jess over to the Symbiosis of Species Council, SOSC. His attraction to her along with her ability to enrapture him with a smile bars him from it. He rightly suspects that this female is his bloodmate.

Jess had always been psychic, a painful and confusing fact of her life. With Shane’s loving support she learns to control her abilities and discovers the psychically enlightened species that share this world.

Together they sacrifice the power of their bloodmating in the battle to save females from breeding cages under the control of an Elven rogue.

GUEST BLOG POST:

A twisted view—what it is vs what it could be!
Sometimes I find myself with blinders on … what you see is what you get. Being a writer I work hard to keep out of that rut and see thing from a completely different perspective. It’s impossible to build the kind of world I did with Immortal Becoming if your perspective is planted firmly in reality.
 This is a true story.
What it is--
I look out the window of my work and see a man on a ten speed with a rope tied from the seat stand bar to a shopping cart. He towed it behind him completely oblivious to the heads in the vehicles that passed him craning to get a second peek. Okay... weird, back to work right?
Wrong!
What it could be--
In my minds eye I picture the guy before he hopped on his bicycle. Talking to his likewise toothless brother, (No I have no idea if the guy really had teeth... doesn't matter in my imagination he's missing a few).
“Hey Beufford, run out an' get us somethin' ta move our crap over ta the trailer that has the wheels already off. Thata way we donna have ta take 'em offa this one.”
Bike rider AKA Beufford scratches his butt thinking, “Ya got any rope Bubba?”
end of visual...
Let's take that a step farther--
Now I picture the poor shopping cart screaming “OH GOD, I THINK I'M STOLEN!” as it frantically spins it's back wheel hoping to get someone to rescue it. While silently mourning the loss of his shiny wired girlfriend left behind.
Nuts??? Probably, but it makes the day more fun and interesting.
Have you ever seen something that made you go … hmmmm?

GET IMMORTAL BECOMING on Wendy's website at  www.wendyshales.com

AUTHOR BIO:
 
During my hectic life of working and raising children the call of a story in my mind was not always welcome. The niggling character or plot that refused to leave my thoughts until I would sit down a write something … a synopsis, character profile, anything to relieve the creative pressure. With my children grown, and my husbands loving support I dove head first into the depths of my passion and lifelong dream … writing. It was like a floodgate opened in my soul.

I look out at the Rocky Mountain from my window in Utah. I have been blessed with an amazing family and wonderful friends. My husband and I own a small local coffee shop. I enjoy boating golfing, reading and spending time with my family.

 
Format – Ebook
Paperback Release – March 1, 2012

Purchase Links-

Website – www.wendyshales.com
Email – wendys.hales@yahoo.com

 
Excerpts:

#1
Giving her an encouraging smile, he continued. “You are a hybrid between Elven and human. Have you ever heard of a liger—half tiger, half lion?” She nodded hesitantly. “One of your parents was full Elven, and the other would have to be either a Hulven, like you,” adding emphasis so she could get used to the term, “or one of the rare human females who has the genetics to be able to breed with an Elven male. We call them Heredity.”
“Holy shit, I really am a freak of nature.” Tears sprung into her eyes.
“You are prefect, damn it. You ever say anything like that again and I will put you over my knee and spank your sweet little ass till you like it. You understand me?” Shane’s dentes had erupted. How could she even think such a thing? She was the greatest gift ever created.
Jess swallowed audibly, lifting her chin and squaring her shoulders. He sat in awe, watching her fortify herself. Freak of nature she’d called herself. Never. She was a force of nature.
“That Hulven thing is not possible. I knew both of my parents. My mother was like me. She and I could telepathically communicate for as long as I can remember. My father, no way.” She was shaking her head, trying to dismiss the idea.
Shane glanced at her hands, which were wringing in her lap, the only outward sign of her agitation. He’d known this argument would come up. “I have been thinking on that. I don’t think the man you know is your biological father.” Using the vulnerability of her shield, he tried to hedge the probability into her mind.
“Stop that!” she snapped, responding to his mental prod and not liking it. Her shield solidified, shutting him out. “God, just give me a minute.” She stood and marched to the stone entry. “Open it,” she demanded.
He emphasized the pulse of kinetic energy, letting her feel the sensation of the surge. The stone slid forward and to the side slightly.

#2
She reached up and lightly touched his dentes. There was no way she could have known they were an erogenous zone to the Elven. He gave an involuntary, swift intake of breath as her gentle touch generated a tremor that raced through his body.
“Do they hurt?” She withdrew her hand, concern in her voice. Unable to speak, Shane could only give her a slight shake of his head in response. Again she bit her bottom lip, a habit of hers he found endearing. He would give anything to bite her lip for her, if she’d let him. She reached out her hand to his dentes a second time, and he could feel them stretch for her in return. Shane pulled his mouth back from her, running his tongue over the surface of them.
Careful.” He cautioned her telepathically. She swallowed hard but nodded. He leaned his head down slightly and opened his jaw wide to give her access.
She lightly touched the points. “They feel the same as regular teeth to my fingers.” Her expression was full of wonder. Whatever fear he’d seen from her earlier was gone. “They move! I saw a program one time that showed how a snake could pull its prey into it’s body by the fangs. They kind of move like that.”
The dentes muscles are very developed. They control the ability to erupt and retract. We can also lock our jaws.” Like the rest of his body, he could feel the sanguindente muscles trembling with the strain of control he was exercising. When her eyes met his, she must have realized that her effect on him was both agony and ecstasy. She must have felt empowered to know that he was not unaffected by her after all.
Jess leaned until her lips were centimeters from Shane’s. “Can I touch them with my tongue?” The warmth of her breath mingled with his.
He hesitated, his heart already pounding adrenaline into him, stuttered, his mouth watering. His Adam’s apple bounced up and down the way the rest of him wanted to at her proposal. She didn’t wait for his answer. The tip of her tiny pink tongue slipped out to gingerly touch the surface of his dente. Shane groaned loudly, his eyes falling closed, enduring a few of her tentative licks before she withdrew her tongue from him and smiled.
“They aren’t hard like teeth … or soft, either. More like cartilage. Really sharp cartilage.” Shane was still swimming in a sea of oral sensation. “What are they called?”
Sanguindentes. It means ‘blood teeth.’ Or simply dentes.” He could hear the strain in his voice, even telepathically. The female was pushing his limits of control. “We require very little human blood to survive. When we are active, a pint will last us several days. We may require more if we are injured or use excessive amounts of energy. Even then, we never require enough to drain a human. Most now days obtain our sustenance from bagged blood, donated by humans. We use what is considered tainted, or drink what remains after the platelets humans need are removed.”

#3
Jess jogged out to the parking lot, not surprised to see him leaning against her Jeep. He was taller than she had realized at about six foot three, with long, lean, well-defined muscles beneath his jeans and T-shirt. In the waning sunlight, his hair appeared darker, with auburn highlights. What captured her attention was the deep forest-green of his eyes, the color darkening the closer she came. A kaleidoscope of brown specks clustered in the center.
She studied him. He gave her a cocky grin. She was pretty sure he was reading every thought in her head, and yes, she thought he was even sexier up close, the bastard. It didn’t change the fact that he knew her name, what she drove, probably her weight and favorite color, all without her telling him, and she still didn’t even know his name.
“You can stop shielding me or whatever you are doing now,” she grumbled, knowing she should feel grateful for his help. Instead she felt uncomfortable with him having so much knowledge about her. She hated that he was aware of her weakness when it came to psychic overload.
“I haven’t been shielding you for awhile now.” He shrugged, following her around to the driver’s side of her car, holding out his had for her keys. She blinked up at him.
“You are not driving my Jeep! Where do you think you are going with me anyway?” She tossed her bag into the back seat “What do you mean you aren’t shielding me? I would be in agony if you weren’t.” Turning to face him, she shot one question after another at him. A dam of curiosity burst through her. Pointing her finger at his chest, she interrogated him. “What did you do to make it better? Can you teach me how? Why did you call Jerika your protégé?” Hands on her hips, she had backed him several steps away from the door of the Jeep. “What is a protégé? Why are you watching her? How come the officers let you be there at all?” She hoped that last bit didn’t sound quite so jealous and petty to him as it did to her. Jerika was none of her business.
“Whoa, damn female. The deal was I shield your psyche, and you answer a few questions. What the hell?” Holding up both hands defensively, he was laughing at her again, a deep, sexy sound. Her first reaction was to purr and rub up against him like a cat. She felt the blush rising up her neck to redden her face.
“Sorry. Sorry, I know … I just, wow. Today was such a great day. I don’t hurt, at all. I can’t remember not being in some sort of psychic pain. At least … not since my mom. I guess I’m just excited.” She chewed her bottom lip, thinking. Was excited too forward a term? ”Could you at least tell me your name?”
“If I can drive?” He was grinning at her again.
She was so sick of being his private little joke, his arrogant attitude instantly spiraled her to pissed-off. Grateful to feel something empowering rather than the awkwardness he seemed to bring out of her, she pounced. “You seriously expect me to hand over my keys and get into the car with you? Without even knowing your name? Really?”
His grin only widened. “You, Beauty, can definitely take care of yourself. Don’t even pretend to be afraid of me. I’ve watched you kick ass all day.” There was admiration underlying the amusement in his gaze.
“Not being afraid of you does not mean being stupid. If you don’t want to tell me your name, then we can stand right here … safely and in front of a police academy. While you ask me whatever it is you seem to think you want to know.” Still irritated at him, she retraced the few steps back to the side of the Jeep. “Of course, if you really aren’t shielding me, then maybe the deal is off anyway.” Spinning her keys to make loud snapping sounds into her palm, she pretended to consider whether she should leave.
“I really was beginning to like being called Bleacher Boy.” He sighed. “My name is Shanley Einar. You and I both know that we are not going to be able to speak freely here.” He held his hand out for her keys again. “You already knew my name the same way I knew yours. Call me Shane.”
She realized she did. When he said his name, she realized she already knew it. She had known it from the minute he spoke to her. The keys slipped from her hand into his, and she pivoting to walk back around the Jeep, taking a seat on the passenger side. Shane stood at the driver’s open door, holding her hard-won keys. He stared at her a few moments, then climbed into the driver’s seat, adjusting it to fit his long legs.
“Where to?” he asked, starting the motor.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Making Your Dreams Come True with Janine McCaw

Helens-of-Troy
by Janine McCaw

“The Gilmore Girls meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Fifteen year old Goth-chic Ellie has a lot of explaining to do. She’s just moved to the small town of Troy, fought with her uptight mother Helen, met the boy of her dreams and found a dead body on her sexy “new-age” grandmother Helena’s porch. All on the first night!

But Ellie’s not alone. Helen is hiding something. Helen knows all about the kind of eerie dreams her daughter is having — the dreams that show the whereabouts of the missing children of Troy — because she’s had them herself. But she’ll never admit it. Not while Ellie’s sex-crazed friend Ryan is safely behind bars for the murders. Helen knows what it’s like to be attracted to dangerous men.

Then there’s the little matter between Helena and Gaspar Bonvillaine, the teenaged vampire who is learning to feed on young prey. Now that he’s caught Ellie, he doesn’t know whether he wants to kill her or turn her to the dark side and keep her forever. Helena should have finished him off when she had the chance.

To survive the vampire feeding frenzy surrounding them, mom Helen needs to come to terms with her own insecurities and deal with the gifts she has. Helena must learn to ground herself for the good of mankind and more importantly her own family. And Ellie has the toughest choice of all. Ellie must decide whether its time to let her own childhood go and become the woman she is destined to be, one of the ageless and timeless “Helens of Troy”.

ABOUT THE BOOK 


HELENS-OF-TROY is the second novel completed by Janine McCaw.  For the Vancouver-based novelist it is the continuation of a dream, and the fruit of years of working in a different creative realm.

McCaw’s deep understanding of compelling plots, widely appealing characters, natural dialogue and strong story arcs comes directly out of her early career in the film and television industry. McCaw’s skills as an observer started early when her family uprooted from the City to small town Ontario – and she became the classic fish out of water.  Writing down her thoughts became an outlet as she scribbled her way through childhood, while she also developed her observational skills and visual eye with photography.  A die-hard hockey fan, McCaw studied Cinematography at Humber College, and was headed for a career as a cameraperson covering professional sports when she landed an internship in a broadcasting services company. 

McCaw excelled in the television distribution arena.  She joined Thomas Howe & Associates and moved with that company to Vancouver, where she distinguished herself with her talent for identifying the right product for the right market, and her people-skills in negotiating contracts. After furthering her professional development with several high-profile Canadian entertainment companies, she parlayed her reputation as a leading Cable Programming specialist into her own boutique firm.  Formed with a partner, Dark Horse Ent. specialized in finding, and selling, niche Canadian television series - entertainment, information and variety - around the Globe.  McCaw also acted as an independent executive producer on award-winning television Classic Car series,  CHROME DREAMS, and as a distributor for series including ENTRÉE TO ASIA, and AT HOME WITH HERBS.

In high demand as an insightful, humorous and engaging guest speaker, juror and analyst for festivals and trade forums around the country, McCaw also spent large amounts of time traveling abroad to television markets.  Writing relieved the stress of constantly being on the road.  Increasingly, she turned her main hobby into outlines for novels, and finished fleshing out the characters, plot and dialogue for OLIVIA’S MINE, a fictional account of a young bride’s struggle to make a life for herself against the backdrop of the disasters that hit Britannia Beach, British Columbia in the early 1900s.  The book was released in 2006 and continues to be sold at the British Columbia Museum of Mining.

HELENS-OF-TROY was released early in 2012.  McCaw is also currently developing eight other stories for novel form.  All set on the Pacific North West and in Canada’s North, they include the murder mystery A LITTLE FIRST DEGREE,  a feel-good trilogy THE INN AT HAZY WATERS (Northern Exposure meets Fantasy Island), and PUMPER an action romance that has already garnered interest as the basis for a feature film.

Format-E-book

Genre-Paranormal/Supernatural/Fantasy

Purchase:
Amazon
Smashwords
Nook

Author Website -www.helens-of-troy.com
Twitter: mc_janine


 
Making Your Dreams Come True in 2012
 
Like most of you, I pledged allegiance to the flag of the New Year, vowing to dedicate a great part of my day to writing. I even joined a club, promising to scribe 500 words a day, a no-brainer for this finely tuned brain of mine. In the beginning, the brain co-operated, spewing forth words of wisdom at an incredible rate.  But you know how the story goes. Life kicked in, worked kicked in, and I got kicked out of the club because I fell behind on my word count. Within two weeks! Not a great start to 2012 from that perspective.
 
                So I called a "do-over."  You probably didn't know that 2012 has been sanctioned the year of dominus dooverum or something like that, but I have it on good authority that it has. Particularly if you made these error of judgments after a particularly good bottle of post-Christmas cheer. It's like a manufacturer's rebate and it works like this.  Make a list of the ten things you wish to accomplish for yourself in April. Things that make you feel enriched and good about yourself. Got it? Great. Now cut it in half. Move half of it into May because you always were an over-achiever and you're not going to get it done anyway.  With the five things left on your list, dedicate a portion of time each day to one of those tasks. Do what you say you're going to do for these five days. Take two days off during this week. Start again next week dedicating more time to the task until it is accomplished. You've got four shots at it. Better odds than Vegas. The pressure will be off, and you will find yourself enjoying these minutes you have set aside to reach your goal.
 
                If all this fails, go back to that bottle of post-Christmas cheer (if there's any left), drink it, and proclaim to someone you don't particularly get along with, that "I am going to blah, blah,blah" by the end of the year." Make certain to do this in public. When you're reminded of this public outburst, and you WILL be reminded of it, the pressure will be on and you will get it done. Probably pulling all-nighters in December, but you will get it done.
 
                Seriously, we all are living hectic lives these days, and the best thing we can do to make our dreams come true in 2012 is to be kind to ourselves. Dreams are great but goals are even better because goals are easier to achieve. Dreams don't have a whole lot of realism. Goals do. Dreams are short.  Goals take time.  Set a small goal. Achieve it. Set a bigger goal, work towards it.  Taking small steps along the way is the easiest way to climb that hill to your dreams without giving yourself a heart attack on the way up.  You don't want to be out of breath when it's your turn to scream "I'm the King of the world", now do you?


Excerpts:

 “I don’t envy him,” Helen said to Helena as she tightened a fuchsia-hued scarf around her neck. It clashed with her coat, but it was the only one she could find while scrounging through Helena’s hall closet. “Having to tell a parent you can’t find their child,” she continued, “that would be a horrible thing to have to do.” She thought about all the times Ellie had threatened to run away when she was younger.

 “It makes finding the odd body on a porch swing seem like a walk in the park, doesn’t it?” Helena said sarcastically. “I’m sure our bad days don’t even compare to theirs. I have to clean up snot all the time when I’m teaching someone how to use a neti pot. They scrape brains off of windshields after a head on collision. Neither are pleasant, but really…”

 “Okay. Don’t get so defensive. Or descriptive. I take back what I said about the police and the cereal box,” Helen said. “Neti pot?”

 “Think nose bidet. And thank you. But it doesn’t get you off the hook. You still need to tell Ellie about Willie.”

 “Who’s that plump, curly-haired woman who’s glaring at us?” Helen asked, in an attempt to distract her mother. “I’m not getting a love vibe from her.”

“You mean the one dressed in the neon pink tracksuit?”

 “Yes. She’s got to be cold in that outfit. Not to mention embarrassed. Never wear neon after Labor Day. Or ever, really.”

“That’s Betty Lachey, Ryan and Stan’s mom and our illustrious neighbor. With any luck she’ll be hibernating soon and we won’t see her until spring.”

 “That’s not very nice.”
“Nor is she,” Helena laughed. “She hates us.”

 “Us? How can she hate me? She doesn’t even know me.”

“Hate by association,” Helena said, forcing a smile and giving her neighbor a wave. “There’s a small town attitude in Troy, I’m afraid. You’ll get used to it. I did.”

“Is there a Mr. Lachey?” Helen asked, nodding politely to the woman.

 “That subject is strictly verboten if you happen to want to keep the peace. Betty got sick of him constantly hanging around the house and told him to get a hobby. Well he did. A five-foot-six Texan named Traci. She was a brassy woman with guns from the double D ranch, if you get my drift. He ran off with her two summers ago.”

“Well, that explains why she hates you.”

 Helena looked at her daughter. “For the record, I never even looked at her husband.”

 
Hate by association,” Helen answered.


*******

What are you wondering, Ellie?” he asked, as if reading her mind. “Are you wondering whether it’s better for me to kill you now or later?”

 “I was, yes.”

 “And what did you decide?”

 “I was thinking later would be good.”

 “Me too.”

“So, you’re going to let me go?” Ellie asked hopefully. “We can still be friends. Maybe even go to a movie sometime.”

 “Go?” he laughed. “What ever gave you that stupid idea? I’m still going to kill you. Someday. We’re just going to take a little detour. I’m going to take you to hell and back, and then it’s off to grandmother’s house we go.”

 He pulled a switchblade from his pocket.

 “What are you doing?” she asked, terrified to hear the answer.
“You’re too perfect, Ellie.”

 “What’s that supposed to mean?”

 “They’d never believe it. The rest of them. They’d never believe that girl like you would want a boy like me.”

“Then they’d be right.”

He grabbed her arm and pushed up her sleeve. The edge of the knife was cold as he very lightly drew the blade across her wrist. No blood flowed, but it scared the shit out of her, he could tell.
“There’s this thing that happens,” he began to explain, “when one of us wants one of you. Forever. We make a nice little slice in an artery, like this vein hidden so delicately under your skin. Then we suck the consciousness from you, almost to the bitter end. But just before you take your last breath, we give you back one.”

 He saw the the terror in her eyes.

 “Which means?” she asked, her voice barely audible.

 “Which means I bring you back to life. And then you are my slave.”

 He took the edge of the knife and gave her skin a poke. Droplets of ruby red blood rose to the surface. He raised her arm to his lips, his tongue darting to the blood in a slow, deliberate lick.

She felt a warm uneasiness run through her. The initial unpleasantness was replaced by something she could only describe as anesthetic-like. She felt euphoric. Her senses were going into hyperdrive. She could see the miniscule pores on his skin. She could smell his perspiration. She could hear his heartbeat. She found none of it unpleasant.

“Does that give you some idea, Ellie?” he asked. “Of how magical it could all be?”

Monday, March 19, 2012

Visiting the Emerald City with J.A. Beard


The Emerald City
by J.A. Beard
Genre – Young Adult Fantasy
Format – Ebook

In this loose re-imagining of the Wizard of Oz, Kansas teen Gail Dorjee has tried to escape from the pain of her parents' death by retreating into a hard shell of anger and sarcasm.

When her aunt and uncle ship her off to an elite Seattle boarding school, Osland Academy, she spends her first day making enemies, including the school's most powerful clique, the Winged, and their leader, the ruthless Diana.

Social war and the school's uptight teachers are only mild annoyances. Mysterious phone outages, bizarre behavioral blocks, and strange incidents suggest Osland is focused on something much more sinister than education.

Now Gail has to survive at Osland with a pretty pathetic assortment of potential allies: her airhead roommate, a cowardly victim of the Winged, and Diana's cold but handsome boyfriend, Nick.

AUTHOR ARTICLE:


Why Bother Spending Time Reading Lies?

Fiction, it’s been said, is nothing but entertaining lies. It’s an interesting idea when you think about it. In general, most societies function with the idea that people should generally be truthful when dealing with each other. Of course, with fiction, we know it’s a lie. Does that make all the difference? 
I’ve met more than a few people who claim that fiction who see no point in reading fiction. They only have time for “truth” and not tales filled with lies, clever, entertaining, or otherwise. Such thoughts are ancient. There’s a scene in the 11th-century Japanese novel The Tale of Genji where a young woman has to defend her enjoyment of fiction from the insults of the main character. In the far distant past, many stories we now consider fiction, such as myths and legends, were told for entertainment value but often not considered fiction in the same sense as we think of the, for example, the typical Patterson novel.
Many books are read for nothing more than simple entertainment. I certainly know that motivates a lot of my reading. There’s nothing wrong, after all, with just wanting to relax and absorb an enthralling tale or two. If anything, in this hyper-connected world of twenty-four hour news and constant change, it almost seems like we all should spend a bit more time relaxing and just absorbing a bit of creative untruth.

I’ll take it a step further and defend fiction as a source of truth. We live our existences as defined by our memories and interpretations of experiences. No matter how we fancy ourselves objective judges of reality, we are blinded by our own biases. Even if we were totally objective recorders of reality, we’d still be limited by our perceptions. Consider the importance of camera angle in a movie or television program. The camera relays only what it captures. It doesn’t interpret the information, but an ill-placed (or well-placed) camera can make all the difference in the world how a viewer perceives something.
Fiction offers us something similar to those camera angles. It allows us to see one interpretation of a set of experiences through others. While the characters provide us points-of-view, interpretations, and different ways to experience life, the crafting of the work itself also reflects a certain point of view and choices by the author. The author passes along their own truth, of sorts. In reading stories, we learn something about how other people perceive the fundamental aspects of life: love, friendship, death, humor, metaphysics, and so on.
Even if an author tries to not inject their own world-view into a work, the choices they make in creating a story to please an audience still communicate something about how they perceive society. Indeed, many attempts at censorship and other related controversies concerning novels have focused on what sorts of messages, what sorts of truths if you will, they threaten to pass along into a “vulnerable” society.
So, in reading fiction, we gain new perspectives, and these new perspectives can help us perhaps get just a bit closer to objective truth.

J.A. Beard likes to describe himself as a restless soul married to an equally restless soul. His two children are too young yet to discuss whether or not they are restless souls, but he’s betting on it. He likes to call himself the Pie Master, yet is too cowardly to prove his skills in an actual baking competition. So, really, he’s merely a Potential Pie Master.
While writing is one of his great passions, science is another, and when he’s not writing or worrying about baking, he’s working on the completion of his PhD in microbiology.
He blogs at riftwatcher.blogspot.com and is on Twitter as @jabeard_rf



Excerpt 1:
A “network not found” message greeted me when I flipped open my phone. Annoying, sure, but I really didn’t want to talk to my uncle. I doubted he would care anyway. His insolent niece, now thousands of miles away in a different state, wasn’t in his hair now.
“Oh, those don’t work here,” Lydia said. “There’s a phone in the common room in the dorm, but it’s broken right now. Miss Norris said they’ll get it fixed soon. If you need to make a call, maybe you could go to the administrative office.”
“What’re you talking about? How can cell phones not work here?” Outside, in the middle of a major city, there was no way I shouldn’t have been able to get a signal.
She scrunched her forehead. “Well, Miss Norris said it has something to do with metals in the ground. But there’s a rumor a hundred years ago some Indians killed these striking union guys, so now the union guys are ghosts and haunt the school blocking cell phones.” She sighed. “Not Indians. I mean not like Leandra. I mean Native Americans.”
I stared at her. How could I even respond to something like that? I didn’t care that much about political correctness, but cell phone blocking ghosts bordered on crazy.
After a few seconds of thinking of a ghost dodge, I said, “Miss Norris? That’s the dorm manager, right? I remember my uncle mentioning her.”
He loved reminding me if I got in trouble, Miss Norris and the security guards would make sure I wouldn’t leave campus. That’s what sucks about a boarding school, or Osland at least. I was trapped and couldn’t escape at night even if I wasn’t in trouble. Just like prison. Yeah, a prison complete with a gang who called themselves the Winged. They were even led by a sociopath. Perfect.

Excerpt 2:
The sound of shattering glass filled the air. I spun around. Miss Higashi’s glass was strewn across her desk, broken into dozens of shards. Her blouse was soaked and her face contorted in rage. She lifted her gaze from the remains of the glass and glared at me. Okay, now that was unexpected.
I put up both of my hands up in front of me. “You can’t blame me for some weird accident.” If Higashi tripped, would she blame that on me too?
“I see. It makes more sense now.” Miss Higashi sprang to her feet. “Get out. I’m through with you for today, Miss Dorjee. If you’re involved in anymore incidents, you’ll be very, very sorry.”
Startled, I spun back around and hurried out of the office. I slammed the door behind me and took several deep breaths. What the heck was going on? The cell phones were easy enough to explain but the fountain and the glass? Was someone messing with me? Glasses didn’t shatter on their own.
I walked down the hallway as various bizarre scenarios passed through my mind. Diana and her cold boyfriend might have set me up somehow. It would be easy to anger a tightly wound teacher like Miss Higashi and make my life even more miserable than it’d be at the hands of the Winged. I didn’t know. That was a lot of effort to mess with one new transfer student, but Diana probably wasn’t used to someone being so defiant.
A sudden realization smashed into my mind. Diana wouldn’t soak and humiliate herself in front of Leandra. Someone might be setting up both of us.

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