December 2014 I met a wonderful author known as Lindy Spencer. From that moment on my career, skills, and network have grown. This is the cover that changed things around for me. I was doing a freebie ebook cover special and this is the results.
The anthology is amazing, as a reader, I loved it! Several genres and styles in one space is ideal for anyone, especially me, who wants to experiences new authors and new stories. I read a wide-range of genres so this was awesome. It’s still free at Smashwords.
Get your free copy here!
Bachman: I recently came across your YouTube channel, one of your videos really expressed something that I strongly feel many in self-publishing has gone through or are currently going through and that’s the ‘My first ‘unboxing’ video’. Within it you talk about going back and fixing previously published novels and how you’re learning by yourself what big publishing companies already know.
Shrum: Yes, certainly, self-publishing has been a learning experience. I probably didn’t have it *as bad* as most self-published authors. I worked for a small press,New Issues, for a couple of years, so I had a sense of the process required to convert a “final” (ha!) draft manuscript into a book. However, I am no wonder woman, and like most mere mortals, I was quite blind to some of my own mistakes. All of this is made worse by the fact that I’m a bit of a perfectionist. Every time someone would (kindly) point out an error, I insisted that I must fix it that very moment.
Bachman: Beyond this video and your ‘Q&A with Kory Shrum, Author of Dying for a Living’ video, is there anything you’d like to share with viewers and readers that you didn’t mention in these videos?
Shrum: Sure. There are crucial elements to putting out a good book–a good cover and a good blurb. Believe it or not, when someone clicks “add to cart”–these are the primary motivators to do so–apart from good reviews. So do not underestimate the importance of both of these tasks. As to the reviews, I have a blog post on that:
Bachman:You’re set for a book release this spring, Dying for Her: Brinkley’s Story, book 3 in the Jesse Sullivan series. Is there anything you can share about this upcoming release?
Shrum: I can tell you that Brinkley’s POV stretches from before Book 1 up through Book 2 while also developing the story beyond Book 2. It covers a lot of ground and has been challenging and rewarding to write. This novel is also more of a murder mystery kind of novel. Guns, bad guys, special agents, and people to save. That kind of thing. I hope you love it. If you’re still skeptical, you can read the first three chapters for free on Wattpad. Ignore the placeholder cover! Don’t judge! We are all allowed to experiment with our creativity!
Bachman: Do you have any more books planned for the Jesse Sullivan Novels series?
Shrum: Yes, Jesse’s series will be about 8-10 books long, depending on how it goes. I won’t cut it off short or get sloppy/crammy with the information, but I do see an end for Jesse.
Bachman: I saw that you’re very accomplished in both fiction and poetry, congratulations. Do you favor writing poetry or fiction stories or do you not have a preference?
Shrum: Thank you. I do not have a preference, no. It would seem I do, though. Fiction takes up a lot more of time than poetry. I tend to write poems only when I am inspired to do so. Fiction is an everyday commitment, especially when it comes to novel writing, which I seem to prefer over short stories. Though I’ve written a few of those as well.
Bachman: When you’re not writing, what are you reading? What authors are you fans of?
Shrum: I just started Heartsick by Chelsea Cain and I just finished The Girl Who Played Go by Shan Sa. In the queue: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, Prince Lestat by Anne Rice, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, The Stand by Stephen King (I know, I know) and Harlan Ellison’s “Deathbird Stories”. This doesn’t even could all the books loaded onto my kindle!
Bachman: Please, tell us more about your group The Four Horsemen of the Bookocalpse?
Shrum: The Four Horsemen of the Bookocalypse is my critique group. You may call me Conquest. We share work every week and they’ve been a great help in making my latest book the best yet. You can learn more about Deathand Justice online, but War cannot be found via the interwebs. In fact, you better hope she doesn’t find you.
Bachman: The indie publishing world is hard, is there anything you wish would change? Anything you’d like to see happening more or less often?
Shrum: I think there are a lot of people out there right now who take advantage of indie authors. They offer services for high prices and extort them that way. Being a freelancer and getting paid well for your time is one thing. Freelancers should definitely be compensated well for what they do. Taking advantage of people because they have a need and limited means to achieve it, that is another beast altogether.
Bachman: Where can we find out more about you and your work?
Shrum: I’m always happy to read comments on myblog, or to make new friends via Twitter, G+, andFacebook. And if any of you are going to be at the RT convention in May, I hope I see you there!
Bachman: With your busy schedule, how do you find time to write?
Spencer: Good question! I try to work in time on at least one day during the weekend, along with some time one or two nights per week to do something to forward my writing, whether it be writing on a current storyline, creating a new short story, or researching a key detail in one story or another. It’s not so much finding the time, but making it. When an activity is important to you, somehow you work it into your schedule. I’ve got a pretty busy week, but I enjoy furthering my stories so I do make the time.
Bachman: What keeps you motivated to keep on that marathon many writers call the writing process?
Spencer: My fans, hands down. Without the readers who enjoy what I’ve written and tell me so, or bring questions I’ve not thought of before, or even those who challenge me with continuing on with a given storyline, I might not keep writing. These are the people I strive to please; the ones I’ve entertained, who ask for more. They are why I stay motivated.
Bachman: What drew you to the current genre(s) in which you write?
Spencer: I’ve always been a believer in karma. It’s a relatively untapped field as far as writing goes, and I want to explore how it reacts and interacts with different situations. I enjoy psychological thrillers, as well, and want to give back to a genre that has kept me company through many hours of my life. A relatively new genre that I’ve begun writing is zombies. I hammered out a short story for a recent anthology challenge and even though it was my first in this genre, I was honored when they told me I’d been chosen for inclusion. I’ve given some thought to continuing on and creating a storyline here, as well, whether it be one book or a series. I’ve not made that decision yet, as its still in the planning stages.
Bachman: Share with us, if you don’t mind, details on the latest book you released. Anything you can tell us about it?
Spencer: The most recent story I’ve released is included in an anthology with a winter theme, though that’s not only my work that includes six other talented authors as well. My most current release of my own is Ripples of the Boomerang, and is the sequel to my first book, The Boomerang Effect. Ripples continue on with the characters from Boomerang, and answers some questions that were left open with my readers. When we left Boomerang, Katy was in a coma and Andy had been hit by a car, with no one but the most astute readers picking up on who was driving the vehicle. It also follows through with Karen, our television reporter, and Ben, the man she was dating. Caroline also makes progress with her story after her world is turned upside down by facts that were revealed to her in the original story. I’d like to tell you more about it, but that would ruin what some have said is a really good read.
Bachman: What does the future look like for your books?
Spencer: Currently I’m looking forward to releasing another anthology of my own, as well as having one of my short stories included in another anthology with other authors. I also have begun to write another story in the Boomerang series – which may or may not make readers happy, knowing one is coming, but then doesn’t a boomerang always come back around when karma throws it?
Bachman: Where can we see you popping up next?
Spencer: I don’t have anything scheduled in 2015 as far as appearances go, at least not at the moment. I spent quite a bit of time showing up at different events through 2014, and am going to take some time off of the tour circuit. My plan is to get in some serious writing time this year and perhaps release both books I’m working on. That would be wonderful! Though I fully expect to add at least one or two events to my calendar as we go through the year, because I can’t seem to stay away from meeting new Lovelies (that’s what I call my readers… my Lovelies) and catching up with my current fans, so stay tuned for more information as far as appearances go!
Bachman: What’s your favorite part of being an author?
Spencer: Entertaining. I enjoy telling a story and hearing back from those who read it that they fully disappeared into my work. That’s what makes all the long hours and hard work worth it; knowing there are people out there who, for a short time, disappeared into a world that existed only in my mind until the pen hit the paper.
Bachman: Share with us, if you will, your reasoning for self-publishing, what about it appeals to you?
Spencer: Self publishing is the only way I’ve published to date, though that’s not to say I wouldn’t be interested in discussing other avenues in the future. Being a little bit OCD, or so I’m told, I find it easier to be able to choose my own cover art, and make the changes I like and discard the ones I don’t. I also appreciate being able to publish when I’m ready and not when someone else says I should; having said that, my main reason for choosing to self-publish is the time frame choice. I don’t have to worry about waiting a year or so for my book to hit the shelves. From what I’ve found during research of different methods, it can take that long when it has to go through an agent, then a publisher, to become available for readers. That’s not what I’m interested in. I want to be able to share my passion for a story when it’s overflowing from my heart and soul, as opposed to having it cooling its heels for months on end before anyone waiting for it can read it.
Spencer: Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! I’m happy we’ve had this chance to get to know each other a little bit better – and I look forward to chatting again in the near future!!
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Bachman: What can you tell us about your latest release that dropped January 5th, Between the Carries?
Sheffield: Between the Carries is the third book in the Tyler Cunningham series, and was in some ways the most fun to write. I feel comfortable approaching the writing these days, and am more confident now than I was writing the earlier books. The story starts off with the protagonist, Tyler, wondering about his place in the world that he’s made: he’s a transplant from NYC, who fled to the Adirondacks after his parents were killed on 9/11, and has since amused himself aiming his savant-esque abilities at a variety of research problems and the occasional consulting-detective. He is interrupted in this process when a friend asks for help in the aftermath of a brutal murder, and ends up answering his own questions/doubts while solving a couple of murders (and narrowly avoiding getting murdered himself).
Bachman: How does it continue story-wise for readers with the series, A Tyler Cunningham Adirondack Mystery?
Sheffield: It connects to the other Tyler Cunningham novels, and novellas, revisiting some old characters and storylines, introducing some new ones, and continuing to explore the Adirondack Park itself as very nearly a character in the series. The novel could certainly be read as a stand-alone, but I think that people will enjoy it more with some familiarity with past events in the series.
Bachman: For those that don’t know, Between the Carriesis the third installment in the series, what can you share with those just discovering your work about the others projects you’ve finished?
Sheffield: Tyler Cunningham is a detective like no other. He mostly wants to hide from the rest of the world. Readers have wondered if he’s somewhere along the Autistic Spectrum, which is an issue that this third books deals with in some detail. Being that he does not easily establish or maintain social relationships, the ones that he has (is forced to) formed are important to the functioning of his life and lifestyle; a number of these relationships are the subjects of a collection of novellas that I wrote that parallel the novels (mini-adventures that are more character-driven than the novels). The books and novellas and Tyler have been described as “Macguyver-ish”, “Jack Reacher with Asperser”, and “Carl Hiiasen in the woods”.
Bachman: You wrote a collection of novellas, The Weaving, a highlighter of characters from the novels, what was your motivation to make a collection like this?
Sheffield: My wife, Gail, and I go out for dinner once a month to discuss my writing projects (she beta-reads, and does a first-run edit on all of my work), and one of the secondary characters came came up during our conversation. Gail was surprised at how quickly I answered some background questions about the character, and it came out that I knew the back-story of all of them, and most particularly how they first met and established relationships with Tyler Cunningham, my protagonist. She said that I should write a few of them down to share with fans of the novel while they had to wait for the next novel to come out, and I gave it a try. The stories in the novellas were a big success, but even more than that, they filled in some details that people interested in the story and setting of the novels really enjoy. Once we had four of them, we decided to release them in a printed format, which is The Weaving. I have a couple more of the stories kicking around in my head, and may get around to downloading them to paper sometime this year.
Bachman: Tell us, please, where the inspiration for such a character as Tyler Cunningham came about? Is there some of you in him?
Sheffield: I am at least partly Tyler (or he’s partly me). The inspiration for him came from the rich variety of people I’ve met in my life, and in my work as a Special Education teacher for the last 15 years; I’ve learned to celebrate our differences, and that “NORMAL” is just a setting on the clothes dryer. Tyler is different, and has to work hard to make his life work, and the world work; in this way, he’s not unlike most people I’ve met … the interesting differences come in how his brain takes in and processes information. His particular, and unique, makeup help him solve crimes, but they also keep getting him in trouble, as he continues to fail to understand, and take into account, the foibles of human nature (and particularly the criminal mind).
Bachman: On your website, you have an interview posted where readers sent in questions asking either you or your character Tyler Cunningham, that’s so unique! How did you come up with something like that?
Sheffield: After my first two novels, Here Be Monstersand Caretakers, were published, I got a couple of emails and private messages asking me questions; a few of them seemed directed at Tyler. I got the idea to open up the floor to a Q&A for either of us, and tried to answer the questions for Tyler as he would. It’s something I had fun with, and would love to do again.
Bachman: From the looks of it, you’re an outdoorsy guy and love where you’re currently living, with this I found a quote that you wanted the Adirondacks to be a character within your story. How did you manage doing that successfully?
Sheffield: The Adirondack Park in Northern New York is a fantastic place to live and explore. It’s big and mostly devoid of people, but absolutely jam-packed with wild places and wild beasties. I’ve had a great time exploring some of the wildest parts of it for the last few decades with a crazy collection of friends, and wanted to share some of my favorite places with readers of my stories. When I’m telling or writing or reading my stories, I can feel and see and smell and hear the places described, because I’ve explored them a thousand times; it’s something that apparently translates well in print, because lots of people comment on the feeling that they get for the Park in my books.
Between the Carries takes readers back into one of the wilder spots in the Adirondack, a motor-free zone accessible only by canoe and multiple carries or portage back into the woods; the map on the cover should be helpful to readers in understanding the wildness and isolation of the backcountry while they’re reading about Tyler running (paddling?) for his life.
Bachman: In December 2014, you were in an anthology,Murder, Mayhem, Monsters, and Mistletoe; do you plan on collaborating with other authors in the future?
Sheffield: The anthology came up at the perfect time for me, and was a lot of fun. I was done with principle editing for Between the Carries, and wanted to try something new when the opportunity came up. I loved working with the variety of writers involved in the project and would love to work with any/all of them again at some time in the future. I have talked with a writer up in my neck of the woods about a collaboration in which we would alternate chapters, telling the story from two different characters’ perspectives. Beyond that, I love the idea of collaborating on a themed collection, and hope to be invited to do so again sometime.
Bachman: For those new to your stories, what’s something you’d like a reader to walk away with after reading one of your books?
Sheffield: I hope that readers of my books come away with a different perspective on life, or some aspect of life. I would love for a phrase or scene or conveyed feeling from my story to stick with them long enough to make them smile and think, and maybe even tell a friend about “this cool thing I just read in a weird detective book.”
Bachman: Do you ever go back and read your own stories? After they’re published and perfected that is.
Sheffield: Every summer, before I start my next novel, I go back through and read all of my books … not every word, but big chunks of them. I want to get the feel for them again, and to immerse myself in the words and weirdness and feeling of place and people. It’s always fun, and always surprising, and I always find something new to enjoy about a story I’m clearly familiar with, having read them all a number of times. I don’t know why it surprises me, since I often revisit books I’ve read before and enjoyed, but coming across my own cleverly turned phrase, a scene that was well-executed, or some nuance of character that I’d forgotten always makes me happy.
Bachman: For those who may not know you, what’s something you can tell us?
Tetreault: ‘I work full time, am the mom of an amazing 18 year old son, and am the proud wife of a retired Air Force Tech Sergeant. And I hope that everyone who reads a book and enjoys it will remember to leave a review and let the author know.’
Bachman: It’s a common saying, ‘A writer should write what they know’. Do you agree?
Tetreault: ‘No. If you only write what you know, you will never grow as a writer. Challenge yourself to learn something new every time you write.’
Bachman: How has your life influenced your writing or style of writing?
Tetreault: ‘I have a pretty full life, between working full time and being a wife and mom, so my writing tends to be done during my spare time and as a result, my writing tends to have a simple eloquence to it. That is, I somehow manage to immerse you in the scene, with a minimum of words.
Bachman: What do you think is the most important part to remember about the writing process?
Tetreault: ‘That it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Your story takes as long as it takes to write and trying to push to have it finished faster is going to cause the story to suffer.’
Bachman: Some writers may say that they enjoy the writing over the marketing side, as a self-publishing author, what would you say is your favorite part?
Tetreault: ‘Getting to talk to fans! Seriously! I write to tell stories, and when I get a message or e-mail from a fan telling me how much they loved my story, well….there’s nothing better!’
Bachman: If you could co-write with any author in the world, past and present, who would it be and why?
Tetreault: ‘Oh crap…there are SO many I could choose from!!!! If we’re talking about Mainstream authors, it would either be Gena Show later or Lara Adrian because they are both amazing author of the paranormal and urban fantasy genres. Ones in the Indie side of the house, I would say Rissa Blakely or Michelle Rabe. I am privileged enough to call both these amazing women my friend, and I feel our writing styles, while different, would be a perfect complement to one another.
Bachman: You were busy in 2014 giving readers’ a lot, what can readers and fans expect from you in 2015?
Tetreault: ‘The new year is one full of lots of fun and surprises. At the moment, I’ve got at least one full novel and perhaps two short stories planned!
Bachman: What current projects do you have going? Any tidbits you can share to tease readers?
Tetreault: ‘Current project is Bonded (Nightshade #4). This is Gianna and Gideon’s story. We met them in Beloved (Nightshade #3), and from the get go, there’s obviously some kind of story between them. This is their story.
Here’s an excerpt:
““Come,” she told him, “It grows late, and you still have wounds to be tended to.”
Gideon turned into Gianna, his free arm wrapping around her waist. “I’m fine,” he told her, in all honesty, “There’s nothing wrong with me that some food, a hot shower, and rest won’t cure.” Then, before Gianna could protest, Gideon planted a kiss on her mouth.
It was supposed to be a swift kiss of thanks, perhaps even brotherly in intent, but the moment his lips met hers, the kiss took on a life of its own, and he realized in a flash that he’d wanted to do this from the moment he’d laid eyes on her this evening, had hoped for a replay of that all too brief kiss they’d shared in this very room just months ago. He hadn’t been able to enjoy their last kiss, and he made an effort to do so now. With single minded focus, Gideon kissed her, coaxing, seducing her into a kiss of wild abandon. It became a kiss of give and take, of exploration and discovery, of seduction and promise, and Gideon was pretty certain that if his eternal soul weren’t already damned, it would be after taking this small piece of Gianna’s innocence.
Except Gianna wasn’t the innocent Gideon gave her credit for; for that matter, with the sole exception of the very young, most Fey women were only perceived as virginal and pure. Gianna was just shy of two hundred and fifty years old, though thanks to her fey blood, she appeared to be only in her mid-twenties. And she was several decades removed from her virgin years, thank you very much. There had been a brief, awkward affair, more than a century ago, but since that time there hadn’t been a male, Fey or otherwise, who had made her blood burn hot enough to desire him. Until this very moment, until this man kissed her, Gianna had been happy remaining celibate. Now, with Gideon’s taste on her tongue and the feel of his warm strength under her hands, her only thought was to bed him, to glut her senses on him until they both collapsed from sheer, pleasured exhaustion. Her lips followed the cords of his neck to his jaw, and then to his ear where her teeth grazed the shell before she purred,
“My Offer still stands; allow me to satisfy your needs.” She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and pressed her body tight to his, her hips cradling the hard ridge of his cock. “Let me fulfill all of your needs tonight, Gideon.” Then she was kissing him again, her meaning and intentions crystal clear as her body slid and writhed enticingly against his.
Gideon groaned against her mouth, his hand thrusting deep into the heavy mass of her midnight curls in order to claim her mouth for an even deeper kiss. When he felt her fingers tangle into his hair and tighten almost painfully, he grunted in pleasure and approval; Gianna’s love making would be just wild enough to satisfy his cravings and needs, would be wicked enough to keep things imaginative and avoid the pitfall of routine. Gideon could imagine spending decades learning all of Gianna’s carnal secrets, could imagine making love to her in the middle of a field of wildflowers as the moon rose and bathed her beautiful body in pale light, could imagine drinking in her lilac scent and drowning in the nectar of her kiss…
Something small and warm pushed against the side of his face with unrelenting insistence, the pressure not letting up. He fought against that pressure until something minute and hard shoved up his left nostril and yanked several nose hairs out by the root. The pain rebounded off the inside of his skull and brought tears to his eyes. With a roar, Gideon stumbled back from Gianna, and he swore with blistering sulfur. When his vision cleared, Pipkin stood on the table helping Gianna straighten her blouse and smooth her hair.
“Someone is approaching, sire!”
“Shit,” Gideon cursed, grabbing his sword.
Gianna stopped him. “Sit back down and I’ll finish cleaning your wounds,” she told him, her breathing still ragged. “No one will question your being here so late if they think I’m rendering aid.” Gideon couldn’t find anything wrong with her reasoning, so moving swiftly, he took his seat again.
By the time Leopold, king of the Fey and Gianna’s father, entered the room, Gianna was busy scrubbing away at blood and filth in order to stitch a nasty cut on Gideon’s face and Pipkin was acting as her assistant while the other dozen or so Brownies hid, silent and alert, in the burlap sacks at Gideon’s feet.”
Bachman: I spotted you doing events in person, what’s your favorite part of doing an event like that?
Nicole: I love doing events! I absolutely love getting to know people! This past year I’ve met so many amazing people!
Bachman: Take us through, if you don’t mind, your writing process?
Do you do an outline or freestyle it letting your characters tell you where they want to go? I’ve done both and they both seem to work well for me. My first book I just sat down and wrote. But since I’ve been working in a series I find now that I need to have an outline. I have bios on each of my characters too, just to keep them straight. I know the general idea of where the book is going but a lot of the book comes from just letting the words come as I type. The characters in my head are pretty loud and usually take me to places I never imagined the story to go. And I love it that way.
Bachman: What has inspired Unavoidable Chance?
Unavoidable Chance is so special to me! The female main character, Ava, is so like me. She’s an over-thinker and her brain goes fifty different directions in a minute. That’s so me! I had so much fun writing this book!! This book for me was a ten on the Kleenex scale to write too! I love when people contact me and tell me how their husband had to come into the room just to check on them because they were balling while reading my book! To be able to put so much emotion in words in a book is just so amazing!
Bachman: Unavoidable Chance is the fifth installment in your Running into Love Series, please, if you don’t mind, what inspired this series?
Nicole: I’m not sure what inspired it, exactly. It just kind of hit me one day. A family who each sibling would in one way or another physically run into someone and begins this powerful, magical, journey together and ends up soul-mates. I didn’t even know each siblings story yet until the end of the previous book. All of them were sort of this freight trail idea that literally hit me and my brain just ran with it.
Bachman: When you begin writing a story, what helps you get into the mindset of one of your characters? What do you hope readers take away after reading one of your books?
Nicole: I have a set goal for each day. I have to reread what I wrote the previous day before I can get going again. I love rereading to see where I was yesterday and I usually add in additional emotion or thoughts too. Something I hope everyone takes away from my books and this is what is in each of the stories…true love, no matter who you are or where you are in your life is possible. I honestly believe there is someone for everyone just waiting out there for that perfect moment. I’m a true romantic! I love happily ever afters!
Through my digging, I realized you’re a loving wife and mother. I always enjoy asking and learning how writers balance a family life and their writing lifestyle. Please, share with us how you do this? Is it hard for you? I’m so blessed to be a stay at home mom. My boys are older teenagers now, so I’m home alone during school days. I love to write in a quiet house, when no one is home. I usually don’t do author related business after I pick up my boys from school or on the weekends. I feel like I wear multiple hats and it depends on what time of day it is which one I wear.
Bachman: On your Amazon profile, it says that you were curious to write in romance because you’d fallen in love with the romance books you’d become a fan of. Are there any other genres you find yourself wanting to write in?
Nicole: So far, no, I’m pretty stuck on romance. I’m a mushy gushy hearts and flowers kind of girl.
Bachman: If you could collaborate on a book with another writer, who and why?
Nicole: I’d love to collaborate on a book with other authors. I couldn’t say who…that would be hard!
Bachman: What’s your favorite book you’ve written so far and why?
Bond: Honestly, it would be my Harvest Saga series. I love the world in that book. It’s dystopian and so much fun to write because it’s one of my favorite genres to read. And it’s more complex than it seems. J
Bachman: What keeps you inspired?
Bond: I seem to have caught the writing bug and it won’t let me rest! I’m always thinking of new plots and characters. But I’d have to say that my family, friends and fans keep me going. It would be pretty disheartening not to have support. But when someone drops a note on my timeline or in a message that says they read and loved my book and they ask when the next is coming out….that’s the best feeling. It keeps me going.
Bachman: What inspired your latest story?
Bond: Crazy Love is set in a time where a second US Civil War has broken out. It’s not a story about the war itself, but rather of one widow’s attempt at survival and of her grief. But more than that, it’s a story about second chances. We all need those.
It was inspired by my home state of WV and the fact that we all feel depression and grief at times. But we can’t let it overwhelm us or take us down. We fight.
Bachman: Anything you can share about this story?
Bond: Excerpt: “Some days I wonder if I’m not better off dead,” I vowed, clenching my teeth tight. The muscles in my arms burned like wildfire and sweat beaded and dripped off my face. I gave the enormous iron monster another shove for good measure. It wouldn’t budge. Stubborn thing.
Backing away, I gave it the stink eye as I caught my breath and let my body rest for a minute. My loud and overly dramatic groan filled the moth-ball scented air around me. Damn it. I’d have to ask Joey for help. And, if there was one thing I hated, it was bothering Joey. He already did so much to help me out since…
I turned and looked at Andrew. He wore a tight white t-shirt and a shit-eating grin, reclining in the plush upholstered fire-engine red chair that had been Mrs. Maddox’s favorite. It was God-awful—gaudy and matched absolutely nothing in the house, but hey, when you live to be ninety-something, you earn the right to a ridiculous chair, and just about anything else you want to wear, have or do.
Pushing my fingers into my curly brown hair, sweat coated my skin. I growled at him. It was all his fault. “This is all your fault.”
That arrogant smirk fell off his face quick. “None of this is my fault,” he protested, sitting forward with elbows on his knees. The full lips of his mouth dropped open.
Bullshit. “It totally is and you know it.”
He huffed and then ran the fingers of both hands through his now-hanging head. “Are we going to go through this again?”
“No. Not this morning. We have to hurry. Now, disappear while I go run and get Joey.”
I looked back at the cast iron beast and sighed. When I looked back toward Andrew, he was gone. He followed direction better as a ghost than he ever did when he was alive.
I would have to suck it up, put my big-girl panties on as Andrew had always said and ask for help. Trudging to Joey’s house in the dark was gonna suck. The winter had been harsh and hadn’t quite let go of the land or the weather yet. Technically, it was spring. I guess the seasons aren’t dependent on those little calendar squares after all. Effing calendar.
I guided myself to Joey’s with the flashlight’s tiny sphere of light. Thank God for the battery stockpile. The path beneath my feet was still worn but in the summer would be covered with briars and weeds. Though we would use it, it wouldn’t be as often. We would both have more than enough work to do on our own plots of land.
Joey lived over the hill from me. His farm was situated behind Andrew’s
…er, mine, and was nearly the same size and shape.
Andrew’s folks passed last year. Andrew and I were married and since he was their only child, the farm was technically and legally mine now. Although there were no courts to validate my claim on the land and property. I’d just have to treat it like mine and defend it the same.
Twelve-hundred acres of rolling hills, hay and timber. If it wasn’t for Joey, I wouldn’t have survived this long. He was a country boy—a cocky one, but he was efficient and a hell of a lot more knowledgeable than me. And that was what made me cringe as I walked up the wooden steps and onto his front porch. He was a boy, at least in my eyes he was. I considered him a little brother at this point. Unfortunately, sometimes Joey didn’t feel the same way. He was always talking about repopulating the U.S. with me. Cringe. Guys were always horny and it wasn’t like there was a surplus of anything now, let alone women.
I knocked on the door. After a few minutes with no signs of life, I knocked again, louder and for longer.
Finally, I heard him. He opened the door with one green eye opened, the other clenched tight. “Did you finally come to your senses, Shelby? Decide you want some of this?”
I rolled my eyes at him. I knew it was coming.
“Don’t flatter yourself, Romeo. I need your muscles.”
“My man muscle?” he said in a sleep-thickened voice. Joey smirked, finally opening his protesting eye and wagging his sleep-mussed eyebrows. The blonde hair on the left side of his head was matted down against his skull and the rest was sticking straight up like he’d stuck his finger in a light socket.
“Joey, get dressed and get your hind end out here. Old Lady Maddox died.”
That was all it took. Word that someone had kicked the bucket and people began circling like vultures to take what they needed from the belongings left behind. I was the first vulture who had found her. So far, no one else knew she’d died in her sleep and I planned to get that stove out of her house come hell or high water.
The Cases had prepared for every apocalyptic scenario known to man except for one: that they would pass on leaving everything to me. I was an apocalypse unto myself. They would have known how to fix the things I didn’t have a clue about.
Survival skills: one.
Bachman: I’ve seen you participate in several events; anymore we can look forward to seeing you participate in?
Bond: I have an online event planned in March with some of my author friends. It’s called March Into Reading and here is the link: Facebook Event
Here are author events I plan to attend in 2015:
Roanoke Author Invasion, April
UtopYA Con, June
Books & Bourbon, August
Pumpkin Festival, October
Great Lakes Book Bash, October
Rebels & Readers, November
Bachman: What’s your favorite part? Writing or marketing?
Bond: Writing, I’m not the best at marketing and it takes so much time.
Bachman: For fans, is there anything you’d like to announce or surprise them with?
Bond: Well, sure!
*Dark Bishop (serial series I’m writing with my bestie, Rachael Brownell) will release in April. One book per day from April 29-May 3, 2015)
*Reclaim should be available in May. I don’t have a set release date yet, but it’s coming!
*I’m getting ready to write a contemporary serial that is related to SIN…. J
*Planning to write a new paranormal and dystopian later in the year.
Bachman: Is there a book you just can’t put down right now?
Bond: I just finished Mia Sheridan’s Kyland. It is amazing. I might re-read that one. Her books are fantastic and Kyland did not disappoint. That’s a paperback I plan to buy now.
Bachman: What are some of your favorite writers and books?
Bond: Mia Sheridan (Kyland, Archer’s Voice)
Elle Casey (Rebel Series)
Amy Bartol (Premonition Series)
Jo Michaels (I, Zombie)
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander)
Lila Felix (Anything she writes)
And last but never least, my bestie, Rachael Brownell. I love her Holding On series, Secrets & Lies and Monroe from Take a Gamble is my book boyfriend. Hands off, Ladies! J
Crazy Love – Amazon