Bar hopping is so 2014. Blog hopping – that’s what the cool kids are doing these days. Or so I keep telling myself. I can’t go bar hopping, My youngest son turns into a ferocious screaming monster if he wakes up and finds us gone (This was actually tested last week. My Mom who babysat him still sounds irritated when I talk to her). What were we talking about? Blog hopping. Specifically, we are on a blog tour where each writer gets to write what he’s working on. Then we have a few drinks together, and I get you a taxi on your way to the next blog.
So pour yourself a tequila, and lets start.
The blog which was before me on this crazy blog train is Cady Vance‘s blog, an awesome writer whose publishing rate puts me to shame. She recently published the paranormal urban fantasy novel Bone Dry and the vigilante thriller The Madmen’s City, which I once saw her describe as “What if Batman had a daughter?”
Already done with your tequila? I haven’t even started talking about my book yet. Here’s another one.
So, let’s talk about what I’m working on. I’m working on the second book in the Narrowdale series, which is called “Moth to a Flame”. For those who haven’t read the first part, Sleepless, the basic premise is this: Narrowdale is a boring suburban town in which nothing ever happens. Or so it seems to fourteen year old Amy Parker when she moves there. However, she quickly discovers that under the facade of the most dull town on earth lies a place with dark secrets and strange phenomenons. Think Twin Peaks. Think Eerie Indiana.
Moth to a Flame finds Amy slowly adjusting to her new life in Narrowdale. The nightmares that have been plaguing her when she first moved had stopped, and her life seems almost normal. But things quickly go awry when she finds out about a woman who died in suspicious circumstances not far from her home. Unable to stay away, Amy starts delving deeper into the mystery of the woman’s death only to find…
Oh my, look what happened. You fell off your chair. Well, the fifth tequila was a bit too much, don’t you think?
Fine, I’ll move on to the opening of my first three chapters:
Is there anything more important than freedom? The human race has always strived for freedom. Freedom from oppression, freedom from ignorance, freedom from persecution. How we long to soar on the wings of freedom. Specifically, how I would currently long to soar on the wings of freedom out of this lesson, about the four freedoms in Rooservelt’s state of the union speech in 1941.
It’s quite impressive, how dull freedom can become in the hands of a boring teacher.
“Can anyone name the four freedoms in Rooservelt’s speech? Anyone? Anyone? Freedom one: Speech and expression…”
I’m sure that back in 1941, president Rooservelt’s speech was all the rage. People probably talked about nothing else. They were like ‘Hey Sam, have you heard the state of the union speech?’ and Sam would reply ‘Have I? Why, I’ve listened to it three times today. It’s my favorite state of the union speech. I have a poster of it in my room!’. But I’m not sure I can relate to it the way they did. Definitely not when the content of the speech is being dismantled by Mrs. Fletcher, the current US history teacher.
“Freedom four: freedom from fear…”
I’m pretty sure that once you assign numbers to freedoms, they lose their meaning. I sigh and glance at Coral. She is sitting alert, drinking in each and every word that leaves Mrs. Fletcher’s mouth. How can someone concentrate so hard at anything? Perhaps she’s sleeping with her eyes open? Or dead? I poke Coral with my finger. She slowly turns her head and looks at me. Her eyes are full of uncomprehending irritation. Who are you and why are you bothering me, her stare seems to ask me. She turns back to the teacher. Perhaps this is not Coral. Perhaps it’s just her body, her brain snatched by aliens. Only in Narrowdale do aliens uh… snatch brains of students in social studies…?
I guess not.
Okay, Amy, stop mucking about. This lesson is important. I open my notebook, leave a few empty lines to fill in the missing details and begin summarizing Mrs. Fletcher’s wise words.
When the president says beware the eagle of America he lists his dreams with world stage
I stare at the sentence I just wrote. I might have missed a few words there. I definitely spaced out for a moment, and she probably said something important that I didn’t write down. Either that, or president Rooservelt was a pretty strange guy. I sigh and put my pen down. I can’t really listen in class. That’s something that other people do. I’m more of a “not listening in class” kind of girl.
School day finally ends. I feel like I should get an award for surviving it. Me and Coral leave together. Dozens of students fill the corridor, trying desperately to escape this prison of knowledge. But tomorrow we will all be back.
As we get closer to the school bus, I stop.
“I think I’ll walk home today.” I say.
“What?” Coral looks at me in surprise “Why?”
“Well…” Why Amy? Seriously, think of a reasonable answer “Fresh… air?”
“Suit yourself,” she shrugs “I’m going on the bus.”
“It’ll give me more time to study for the test.”
“The test that’s a week from now?” I ask, a bit snidely.
“It’s a very impo….”
“Okay, okay, I get it.” I interrupt her.
“Anyway, I don’t have so much time on the weekend,” she says “So I should really cram as much studying time as I can before that.”
“What? Why? What’s happening this weekend?”
“I don’t know,” she smiles “Maybe it’s my friend’s birthday, and we’re going out?”
“Right! It’s my birthday!” I say, cheering up. “For some reason I thought it was next Friday. Yay!”
I finally get home, take the key from my bag and open the door. Ever since Mom started working in Narrowdale’s library, the house is empty when I get back from school. I drop the school bag in the middle of the living room and march to the refrigerator. There’s a note in Mom’s handwriting tacked to it. I scan it quickly.
‘Hey Sweetie. There’s Broccoli and Lasagna in plastic containers in the fridge. Don’t heat them in the microwave, it isn’t healthy, put them in a plate. And please eat at least a bit of the wholesome food I made before you start consuming the usual trash. If I find your school bag on the living room’s floor when I get back, I will burn it, and dance happily around the fire. Love, Mom.’
I open the fridge, move the plastic containers aside and locate some chocolate pudding. I open it happily and lick the lid. It is a scientific fact that the pudding on the lid is somehow much tastier than the pudding in the cup. Then I take my phone out of my pocket and dial Coral.
“Hey, Coral, how’re things?”
“Fine.” She does not sound fine. She sounds on the verge of hysteria.
“Coral, you won’t believe what happened today.”
“I already know what happened. You walked home instead of going on the school bus, because you’re weird. I really don’t believe it, yet somehow it’s true.”
“That’s right. And I saw three police cars around a house in Lake Street.”
“Listen, I’m in the middle of studying…”
“I met Peter, and he told me the lady that lived there is dead!”
How exciting! If you’re desperate to read more, sign up to my newsletter to receive an e-mail once it is published. And if you haven’t bought Sleepless yet, well… go ahead!
You look a bit weird. Are you sure you’re up for this? Yeah? Next blog? Awesome! So off you go to Tammi Labrecque’s blog, author of the romantic comedy For Better, For Worse, the fantasy novella Birthright, and the short story SongHealer which you can pick up for free in her site!
Moth image taken from: Wildlife in a Dorset garden