A Little Birthday Treat for Everyone

When it’s your birthday, you’re expected to bring cupcakes to work with you (I always thought it should be the other way around, but whatever). However, I try to play by the rules. So, consider this portion of chapter 1 of my book These Great Affects like a tray of cupcakes. Enjoy and pick up your copy on Amazon!

these-great-affects-cover-2Heather told Adelle one day, “When your parents give you the ‘It’s-Not-You-It’s-Us’ talk, text me the code word ‘BAD FISH.’ It’s an acronym of all the bad words. You’ll want to yell them all if this announcement ever happens. Repeatedly. I’ll be here for you to yell them at or text them to.”

“What does the I stand for?” Adelle had asked, clicking through all the bad words in her mind.

“That’s a freebie. It can be interpreted into anything you’d like.”

As Adelle types “BAD FISH” into her phone, she turns the corner onto River Road and meanders down the sidewalk. It takes less than thirty seconds for her phone to chirp, signaling Heather’s urgent call.

Adelle passes a fire hydrant and a street sign as she brings the phone to her ear. From behind her she hears an inflated POP! POP! of tires bouncing onto the curb. She spins her head around and finds her entire line of vision filled with the front bumper of an approaching car. She flinches, throwing her arms up protectively, waiting for the inevitable impact, but the car never makes contact.

At least not with her.

At the sound of metal compacting, Adelle lowers her arms and no longer sees the front of the car. Instead, in its place is a thick veil of mist, spraying Adelle with cold water, which is oddly refreshing in this late July heat. The air around her is filled with deafening static noise like the aftermath of an explosion. It all happens too fast for her to be scared or have any rational thoughts outside of, I’m dead. This is what it’s like to die. It’s…wet.

But when Adelle realizes she still has to breathe in and out in order to stay alive, she knows she’s not dead.

The pieces start falling into place as she looks around. The thick wall of mist is actually water shooting up from the ground and falling back to earth. When her senses start regrouping, she sees that the street sign she just passed has been mercifully spared but the yellow fire hydrant next to it has been smashed completely off its bolts, causing the explosion of water.

Adelle peers through the water to see the car that caused the upheaval. It’s a black Nissan Altima. As she observes the chaos before her, she realizes how close she had just come to dying. Her knees shake and she’s tempted to drop to the ground, but she can’t because the water is already up to her ankles.

As Adelle tries to collect herself, a passerby rushes around the gushing water. He’s soaking wet and excitable. He’s about Adelle’s age, maybe half a foot taller, with long skinny arms and wild hands flying all over the wet air.

He’s yelling something, but it’s inaudible because of the tumultuous water pounding the concrete all around them. Nevertheless, he continues to yell indistinguishably while pushing his wet hair back and bending over to catch his breath as though he has just completed a marathon.

He holds his phone up and begins taking pictures of the crash site. She crosses over to him to see if he’ll help her get the driver out of the vehicle, but the guy holds his finger out to hold her off.

Adelle yells over the thundering water. “Shouldn’t we help the driver?”

The guy leans forward, dripping wet, cups his ear with his hand, and leans toward her. She grunts in frustration and pushes him out of the way, her feet sloshing through the water so she can get to the driver’s door. But it’s already wide open, and there’s no one in the seat. She wonders if the driver ran off.

She turns back toward the guy and points toward the river, away from the downpour. The guy nods and follows her, but not before snapping another picture of the car with his phone, a big grin spread across his face.

They step across the street, away from the accident, rounding a large white pillar that holds up the walking bridge. There they find a bench facing the river. But before she can say anything, the guy speaks up first. “Did you see that?” he asks, as though spotting a deer from the highway.

“Um. I kinda had a front row seat,” Adelle answers lamely. She’s starting to wonder if this guy is the driver, but judging by his misplaced excitement, she doubts it. 

“Good! You saw it, so you can testify to the police that I wasn’t drinking or anything. The cops will want your version, not just mine. I’ll need you to back me up.”

“Back you up? From what?” Adelle asks, wondering if she did in fact hit her head.

“From a felony, I don’t know,” the guy says. “I’m sure the car’s totaled. I don’t know what that means as far as a write-up goes. This is my first accident.”

Maybe his tongue is just wet and slippery from the water, but the guy talks incredibly fast, and it takes a moment for Adelle to catch up to what he’s saying. “Wait. You’re the driver? You almost hit me!”

The guy looks at Adelle quizzically, squinting his eyes as though trying to recall her. “Um. I’m not aware of almost running over someone with my car. That’d be kind of hard to miss, wouldn’t you say?”

Perhaps it’s because of her parents’ out-of-the-blue divorce, or because she’s suddenly soaking wet, or because she was just reminded of her frail mortality, but with everything compounded, she erupts like a zit long neglected.

“You’re a BAD FISH! You can’t just almost kill me and then not own up to it.  And you certainly shouldn’t ignore me by standing there taking pictures on your stupid phone! At least see if I’m okay, idiot!” She wonders for a brief moment if that should be her freebie, but throws it from her mind.

“Whoa,” he says, putting his hands up. “Did you just call me a ‘bad fish’? What does that even mean? Did I offend you in some other life?”

“Believe me, being offensive would be the least of your crimes,” Adelle says, scathingly.

The water on her sunglasses is drying up against the sun and collecting into obnoxious white droplets obscuring her vision. She pulls them off to clean them with her dress, and she hears the guy catch his breath. Adelle looks up and finds him staring at her.

“What,” she says, “choke on some water?”

He clears his throat and nonchalantly holds his phone up to his face, then lowers it.

“Did you just take a picture of me?” Adelle demands.

“Wait. What?” he says, acting confused. “I just needed to know the time.”

Liar.

For some reason he looks dumbfounded and it’s annoying her.

A car slows and the driver peers at them and asks if they need assistance. “We’re good,” the guy says, waving the driver on. “We’re good.”

As the vehicle crawls away, Adelle reaches into her purse in an attempt to fish out her phone. But instead of finding it, her fingers grope her pink “Write On” notebook and she discovers that it’s sopping wet.

“Damn it,” she says, pulling it out of her water-balloon purse, dripping it all over her feet.

“Is that your diary?” the guy asks.

“I don’t keep a diary. It’s not 1992.”

“Right. Sorry. Is it your little black book? Only, you’re a girl, so it’s pink. Want to add my number?”

“Yeah, actually. So I can turn you into the police.” She’s looking through the other pockets of her purse as she says this. “Now will you shut up? I’m looking for my phone so I can call the cops for real. You should never be allowed to drive again.”

“That’s kind of harsh.”

Adelle halts, shoving her notebook underneath her arm, and tries to decide if he really just said that. “Dude. You almost killed me. I’d say that’s pretty lenient.” His eyes go wide and he leans forward as if pressing her for more. “Did you seriously not see me?” she asks. “I was right in front of you. No, I take that back, I was on the sidewalk!”

“Yeah, I definitely didn’t see you. It’s hard to concentrate on the road when you’re rearranging your playlist.”

“That’s why I almost got hit? Because you were playing with your stupid music?” Adelle can’t remember when she’s heard her voice sound this upset.

“Hey,” he says, suddenly defensive, “I wasn’t playing, I was rearranging. And besides, Coldplay is not stupid. Coldplay is something to be taken seriously as one of the greatest bands of the twenty-first century.”

 “You nearly commit a felony and you’re talking about a stupid band?” Adelle asks, incredulous.

“Again. Not stupid. Because of Coldplay, there is life. Coldplay is baby-making music.” And then he adds with a smirk and an obnoxious wink, “If my iPod still works, I’ll show you what I mean sometime.” He waves another car on without taking his eyes off of her.

Not one to be cowed, Adelle throws her sunglasses back on and says, “Right. I doubt they’ll let you take your iPod with you to jail. And any baby-making will not be with me.”

“Touché.”

Remembering she was holding her phone when she almost got hit, she looks toward the geyser and realizes it must be submerged somewhere in the muddy flood.

When Adelle looks back to the guy, he’s holding his own phone out to her. “Here. Use mine.” He’s holding out his wet device for her. “It’s waterproof. Password is ‘J-Law,’ one word, no dash, no spaces. Can you call an ambulance first? I’m a little woozy from the accident. Possible whiplash.” He says this while rubbing the back of his neck with his free hand.

“Why are you talking so fast? Are you nervous or something?”

“No, this is how I normally talk. Life’s too short to take your time, and some people have a lot to say, so I talk fast. I click my tongue when I’m nervous.”

She glares hard at him before snatching the phone out of his hand. “Jennifer Lawrence, huh?” she asks coyly.

“Oh, yeah. Big crush. Totally hopeless. If I knew she was going to visit me in jail, I would not complain about being arrested.”

Adelle unlocks his phone with his password. His wallpaper is a picture of a slightly older, chubby guy with a backwards hat posing like an extra from Straight Outta Compton. “Is this your accomplice?”

“Nah, that’s my brother Eric.”

She wouldn’t have asked such a snarky question had she read the caption on the bottom of the screen first: “Rest in peace my friend.”

“He’s dead?” she asks.

“Yeah. Can you call the cops now? I’d rather not tell you my life story at the moment. Unless you’d like to come to my house and I’ll grill you a mean cheese sandwich while we talk.”

The fact that he offered her his phone so she can call the cops assures her that he’s no menace after all. But she wonders if her next move is very smart. She stretches her arm out, offering his phone back. No, she will not be calling the cops on him today. She’ll leave that to someone else.

“Why don’t you hold on to that for me for a while,” he insists. “Borrow it.”

“It’s fine. I’ll go look for mine and get it replaced,” she says, hating that the edge in her voice is dulling. “Besides, I’m sure you need to call your parents so they can pick you up.”

“You think I’m in a hurry to tell them about this?” He waves his hands in front of him as though fending off a threat. “I’ll be taking my time walking home so I can put together a well-rehearsed confession. I’ll be like the prodigal son coming home from his countryside escapades. Except, I doubt my parents will throw me a party and feed me suckling bacon.”

“You’re telling them in person?” Adelle asks, surprised, and kind of impressed.

“Why not? Better than over the phone.”

Adelle laughs, thinking he’s joking. “Right. But at least you wouldn’t be there for the initial shock and outrage.”

“But that’s the best part. That’s the whole point of the Affect.” The guy says this as though speaking of holy things in a church. 

“The affect?” Adelle asks, scrunching her brow.

“Yeah. The Affect. Being present on purpose for the benefit of those tomorrow.”

“Present on purpose,” Adelle repeats, wondering if that would make a good slogan for some self-help gimmick. “That’s cool.” But then her tone changes to sarcasm. “I was afraid you’d be all nonsensical or something, so I’m glad you cleared that up.”

He laughs and suddenly he’s not talking at such a whirlwind speed. “What I mean is, yeah, it’s gonna suck when I tell my parents that I totaled their car. But I try to think in terms of tomorrow or next week if I meet new people, I’ll have an awesome story to tell. Or many years from now when I tell my kids about today, which I inevitably will because, let’s face it, today will be pretty hard to forget.” He’s not speaking so fast now. Each word is punctuated with importance and urgency as though delivering sensitive instructions, and he can’t afford to have his listener miss a thing. He crosses one wet leg over the other and continues. “So when I tell them about this, I want to be able to describe the looks on my parents’ faces. That’s the Affect you can’t get over the phone; that’s the Affect that will make this story worth repeating. For the benefit of those tomorrow.”

Adelle doesn’t have a clue how to respond to this except to say, “Gotta do it for the kids, huh.”

He flashes a smile that kind of affects her breathing. His eyes are sparkling blue and alert. They look like they don’t have the ability to show disinterest in anything. His cheeks are soft, but firm anyway. His dark hair is matted against his head, but Adelle can tell that if it were dry it would probably be brown and wavy. He’s wearing gym shorts and a white T-shirt, and she wonders where he was off to. The gym? His arms are skinny, but they’re toned; no strangers to free-weights, she suspects.

Adelle forces herself to look off to the side so as not to stare. Then he says, “Though, now I’m wondering if describing my parents’ faces will even be the big climax of the story.”

 “Yeah,” she says, still looking away. “I’m sure your kids will be more impressed about the totaled car and the flooded street.” By this point the water has washed over the entire width of the street. Another car sloshes through the flood and pulls up next to the site. The driver is already on the phone.

“That’s certainly a good aside,” says Trill, “but I was thinking the biggest Affect could be meeting my children’s mother for the first time in the falling sewage water.” Adelle chokes a little and her eyes instinctively dart back to meet his. Thankfully he saves her from having to respond. “Forward, I know,” he continues. “Isn’t life too short to drag things out? But I don’t need to remind you of that, do I, Second Chance Girl?”

Adelle’s mind seems to be on pause and fast-forward at the same time. Either way, nothing in her brain is coherent as she tries to comprehend his words, and it’s not because he’s talking fast again.

 “Anyway,” the guy continues, standing up from the bench. “You’ve got my number. Give me a call sometime. And don’t worry about your phone. I’ll fish it out for you. I know a guy who can replace it free of charge.”

“Wait,” she manages as he begins to walk back toward the accident. The other driver is getting out of his car now. Adelle’s voice comes out hoarse. “I have your phone, not your number.”

“Correction: You have my phone, therefore my number.”

“But how would I call you, then?”

“I expect to see several missed calls from my number when I get your phone fixed. My name’s Trill by the way.”

Trill walks away, back toward the flooded street and his smashed up car. Adelle stops him only to say, “‘Prim Forever.’ No spaces. Number 4.”

He raises her phone like he’s toasting and smiles. “Hunger Games. Good taste.” Then he continues on his way.

And that’s how Adelle meets her first love who will not live long enough to tell their story to anyone. 

Get the full book here!

How My Birthday Made Everyone Sad

How do you announce to your coworkers that it’s your birthday without sounding self-important? Well, I had my chance to yesterday, but it kind of backfired.

Normally, I don’t go around my workplace announcing it’s my birthday. But I had to this morning because some other guy was going to get all the attention. In our group chat, someone randomly said: “It’s Andrew’s birthday!”

I scratched my head wondering who in the world I would have said that to.

Before I could type in something funny like, “Hold your applause, please,” this OTHER Andrew chimed in and said, “Aw, thanks!”

Of course, I can’t let him be a birthday hog. I had received a birthday card from my parents earlier in the week saying “Happy 38th birthday, Andy!” It was a nice card, but there was just one thing wrong. It was about five years too early. I’m only turning 33. (I don’t blame them for putting the wrong age, at least I look good for 38! … Plus, half the time, I get my own kids’ ages wrong.)

So in an effort to subtly suggest it’s my birthday too, I wrote in the group chat: “I got a card from my mom in the mail saying I’m five years older than I am.”

I waited for the overflow of birthday wishes and virtual hugs. But instead, I got this response:

“I wish had a mom.”

And hence followed a long string of people sharing their sad birthday stories like, “My family forgot my birthday one year. They didn’t even remember it a week later when they called me.”

“My dog died on my birthday.”

“My divorce was finalized on my birthday.”

And so on.

The ultimate birthday burn.

these-great-affects-cover-2So after that little catastrophe, I think I’ll stay quiet about my birthday today and focus instead on my book release, These Great Affects, which comes out today on Amazon! If you want to talk about being sad (or truly wish me a happy birthday), then this is the book for you. It’s a teen book about a girl who falls in love with a guy after he dies…

What do you do when you fall in love too late? That’s what happens to fifteen-year-old Adelle Hitchens in this emotionally-charged YA novel. She and Trill Vikus take an almost instant liking to each other, love is about to blossom, and chances are about to be taken. But when Trill dies in a freak accident, Adelle is forced to believe that love just isn’t for her. Until Trill comes back as a ghost, and thinking they’ve been given a second chance with each other, they fall in love, even though they know there’s no way things can turn out they way they so desperately want.

The book opens up with an original short story by upcoming Endever author R. Tim Morris.

So wish me a super happy birthday and buy These Great Affects today, share it with your friends and family, and help make this book a success! Click here to purchase. 

Also available from Endever: A Deathly Compromise, by Coral Rivera.

Endever’s First Book Release!!

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It’s here, and just in time for Halloween!

Coral Rivera’s brilliant debut novel is about Death — Dee, for short — the queen of the underworld incarnated into the form of a young woman who has taken up residence in a Portland hospital. With a killer attitude and a playlist to match, she spirits away the souls of the dying for their journey to the great beyond. The only problem? She’s been housed in the same host body for centuries, and she’s growing restless waiting for the next great disaster to strike. Enter Aria, a precocious young patient who challenges her perception of humanity, and Lux, a handsome stranger with an advanced form of cancer. Soon Dee finds herself locked in the struggle of her “life.” Will she follow the path that the Book of Fortune has set aside? Or will she go against the Fates and begin to write her own destiny, compromising her heart in the process?

A Deathly Compromise is now available as an ebook on Amazon. Head on over and purchase your copy today!

Please be advised that this novel contains some strong language and mild violence.  

https://www.amazon.com/Deathly-Compromise-Coral-Rivera-ebook/dp/B01M3UYHNV/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477571601&sr=8-1&keywords=a+deathly+compromise

Just One Week!

That’s right, after dozens of rewrites, hundreds of revisions, and lost sleep over stray commas, it’s finally here.

My YA novel, These Great Affects, comes out one week from today. It’s the story of a girl who meets a guy and falls in love with him . . . after he dies. Early reviews have been positive (I’ll post them on Facebook), so I hope it remains that way with all of you.

It’s a big day for Endever, being our first book release. I fully hope that you all will come around to buy it on Amazon. I want to throw out there too, that it opens up with a short story by the talented Ryan Morris, marking his publishing debut.

And that’s not all. One week after that, on October 27, we’ll be releasing our second novel, A Deathly Compromise, by Coral Rivera. It’s the story of Dee, an angel of death who solicits a Portland hospital for patients who are ready to leave this world. You’re seriously going to be in for a treat with this one!

Read below for an excerpt from These Great Affects. 

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Another long un-awkward silence drifts by and Trill asks, “What are you thinking?”

“What?” Adelle asks. She swallows hard. She doesn’t know how to answer. Here sits the great and immortal Trill Vikus—in her room—and he wants to catch a glimpse of what’s going on inside her head.

But what is there to tell? What is she thinking? She’s given up trying to figure out why he’s still here, and at the moment she’s thinking a hundred different things, and yet nothing all at once. It’s like her thoughts are a carousel spinning wildly out of control—they’re a blur and she can’t stop the spinning to articulate just one thought. Adelle tells him the only thing she can think to say. “I don’t know.”

“Come on,” says Trill. “Try me. Give me a good Affect.”

She’s thinking about how hard it was letting go of him and she’s both angry and happy that he’s back in her life. But she wonders for how long. It’s a question she hates to ask because it suggests the end of something good. The end of the one good thing in her life.

“I’m thinking about last goodbyes,” Adelle finally says.

It’s such a weird thought that she expects Trill to scoff. But instead he says, “Which kinds? Like ‘see you later’s’ or permanent goodbyes?”

“Like deathbed goodbyes,” she says. “Hospice kind of goodbyes. The ones you know are the last ones.”

“Right. Or if you’re in a cult and you’re all about to kill yourselves,” Trill suggests.

“That’s morbid,” she says, suppressing a smile at his weirdness. “Or what about if you’re an astronaut and you’re losing oxygen and you’ve got only ten minutes to talk to your family via video transmission.”

Trill guffaws and says, “Did you really just use the word ‘via’?”

Adelle laughs along with him, realizing that “via” is a word much better read than said. It’s the sort of laugh that is generally reserved between close friends.

When they begin to calm their laughter a little, Trill asks, “Say you’re that astronaut losing oxygen and you’re talking to your family via video transmission. These would be like, not only the last words you’d say to your family, but the last words you’d say ever. In other words, you’re not extracting your own Affect but you’re leaving one behind for someone else. What would you say?”

“I don’t know,” Adelle admits solemnly, trying to take the question as seriously as he asked it.

“No, really. This is your greatest Affect you’ll be leaving for your family. These words are the epitome of your very existence. These are the words you will be remembered for saying long after you’re gone. These words will be read on major blogs all across the world and plaster the cover of every magazine from Health and Beauty to Playboy.”

“Okay,” Adelle says, sitting up from her bed now, accepting the challenge. “I’m about to die. My greatest Affect. I guess I’d say, ‘Mom, Dad . . . ’”

“No, no,” Trill interrupts, shaking his head. “Pretend it’s your kids and your husband. It’s more dramatic that way.”

Playing along, Adelle clears her throat and says, “My kids and my husband. Okay. ‘Timmy . . . Verdell . . . Mr. Hitchens,’” Trill loses it completely and it takes all of Adelle’s nonexistent stage talent to keep a straight face. Somehow she’s able to, and she continues, “‘I’m about to die now. But even though you won’t have a mommy anymore, just remember . . . I will always love you.'”

“Seriously?” asks Trill. “That’s what you’d spend your last ten minutes saying to your family? I mean, you’ve got ten whole minutes! Are you just going to stare at each other the rest of the time?”

“What’s wrong with that?” Adelle says, “Everyone says that before they die.”

“Exactly! Why do you want to sound like everyone else? Your kids are going to grow up wondering if those were their mommy’s last words or Bruce Willis’. The point is, say something that they’ll remember—something that comes from you and only you. Try again.”

Feeling motivated, Adelle sits up straighter, takes a deep breath, and says, “Kids . . . Husband . . . I love you. Very much?” she adds.

Trill shakes his head and puts his hands together in a slow-motion applause with a full two seconds between claps. “Beautiful. Just. Beautiful. That’ll be engrained on my heart forever . . . very much.”

“Shut up,” Adelle says, throwing a pillow at him. If she could shove him, she would. “What sort of wise and heart-wrenching prose would you share?”

“Well,” says Trill, sitting up now too, “seeing that I’m not likely to get married or have kids, and you’re the closest to a wife I had, I’ll just say it to you.”

The rising sun is striving to peek through the white curtains and illuminates his face, which is the most serious she’s ever seen him. Trill clears his throat. “Adelle Hitchens. Though I may have only minutes to live, I want you to know that every move you make, every breath you take, I will always be with you.”

Adelle realizes she has been holding her breath in case he says something that will threaten to take it away. When it’s clear he isn’t going to continue, she raises her eyebrows and leans forward. “That’s it?” she asks. “Mine was better than that, and a lot less creepy.”

“I didn’t say I had anything better,” says Trill, spreading his hands. “That kind of thing takes a lifetime to come up with.”

“I mean, ‘I will always be with you’?” she says in mock offense. “How cliché. And besides, what does that even mean? Like, I can’t do anything in private? Ever? Because you’ll always be with me?”

“You’ll just have to go your whole life wondering,” says Trill, with a sexy sly smile playing at his lips.

“That’s like saying, ‘When a breeze blows across your face, that’s my breath on your cheek.’ That’s so gross. And creepy!”

“Or what about, ‘When the grass tickles your bare feet, those are my fingers reaching up at you.’”

Adelle snorts and adds, “Or how about, ‘When you’re in the shower and the water is running down your body, that’s—’” she can’t finish because both she and Trill give into another fit of laughter.

“So we’re agreed then,” Trill manages through breaths, “that when we say our last goodbye, we won’t be A) cliché or B) creepy and disgusting.”

“Deal,” Adelle says, wiping the tears from her eyes. “I’m glad we’ve got that covered, otherwise we would have been severely disappointed with one another.”

It’s an odd conversation to have with someone who didn’t get their last goodbye in, but as they sit there laughing with each other, it’s easy to forget that Trill Vikus already did have his last words on this earth.

Two New Books For YA and Paranormal Fans!

As promised, here are the covers to Endever’s first two publications! Feel free to read through the synopsis’s of each book, admire the designs, and mark your calendars for the release dates. All credit on these beautiful covers goes to Kyle Richardson of Born on the Frontier fame. Enjoy!

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Adelle is the center of this upcoming young adult book, These Great Affects by Andrew Toy. Adelle and Trill meet in an unconventional way. They also are forced to say goodbye too soon, even before they have a chance to kiss, hug, or even hold hands. When Trill’s life is cut unexpectedly short, Adelle begins to believe that love just isn’t for her. But she has second thoughts when Trill comes back to visit her as a ghost, and at first it seems they’ve been given a second chance. But soon they realize the awful truth: will she really have to say goodbye to him again? Spoiler alert: This is not a love story. This is a loved story, about the past-tense love. A love that really, doesn’t last very long, but goes farther than can be imagined. 

These Great Affects will be released on October 20, 2016.

 

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A Deathly Compromise by Coral Rivera: 
Meet Death — Dee, for short — the queen of the underworld incarnated into the form of a young woman who has taken up residence in a Portland hospital. With a killer attitude and a playlist to match, she spirits away the souls of the dying for their journey to the great beyond. The only problem? She’s been housed in the same host body for centuries, and she’s growing restless waiting for the next great disaster to strike. Enter Aria, a precocious young patient who challenges her perception of humanity, and Lux, a handsome stranger with an advanced form of cancer. Soon Dee finds herself locked in the struggle of her “life.” Will she follow the path that the Book of Fortune has set aside? Or will she go against the Fates and begin to write her own destiny, compromising her heart in the process?
A Deathly Compromise will be released on October 27, 2016.
Tweet which title(s) you’re most looking forward to, to @EndeverPubStuds: #TheseGreatAffects or #ADeathlyCompromise
For every ten Facebook shares or Twitter mentions we’ll release passages from these books!
Love the cover designs as much as we do? Visit Kyle Richardson at Born on the Frontier. I recommend checking out his site even for some fun browsing. He has also been a real pleasure to work with these past few weeks, a great asset if you’re looking for creative talent. 

Submit Your Short Story, Win $150!

 

Yesterday I posted the big announcement of my new publishing company, Endever Publishing Studios, and introduced you to my co-founders/co-owners, Joseph and Lynn. I am so excited to keep you abreast of the company’s growth and for you to get to know my partners through the next several months.

Thank you SO much for your support and likes and Facebook shares (127 in under 24 hours!). But remember, it doesn’t just stop there.

Your short story submission is vital to our company’s birth. Here’s why. The $10 fee goes  to the following:

  • The $150 cash prize for the winner of the writing contest (chosen amongst three finalists who will have their work published on this blog). On top of the monetary prize, the winner will have his/her story published on this blog and Endever’s blog which will be up soon, AND have the opportunity to write a short story to be featured in one of our upcoming books published through Endever.
  • It costs around $250 to resister the company in the state of Kentucky.
  • We’re looking at up to $150 to purchase an ISBN number for our first book (that little barcode on the back of all of your books).
  • Any remaining money will go toward a professional cover design artist to give our first book (which we decided on today) a professional look and feel.

Friends, I implore you to keep sharing this link to our writing contest, spread the word, but MOST IMPORTANTLY, submit your short story for consideration to win the prize and help fund Endever.

Endever Publishing Studios, I believe, is just the first step to revolutionizing the publishing industry, and your submission can be a part of that much-needed change.

Thank you so much for your support and good luck!

Click here to submit!

Follow Endever on Facebook and Twitter to watch us grow!

Any questions, please email us at endeverpublishing@gmail.com

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Book Rec: Looking for Calvin and Hobbes

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There are very few people who do not have fond memories of reading the morning paper with a cup of coffee or a bowl of cereal, and the first thing they flipped to was the funny pages. Not for Peanuts or Garfield, but to read more adventures of a boy and his stuffed tiger.

77122In these strips, you were almost guaranteed a laugh to start your day off. Sometimes you’d be forced to ponder a philosophical topic. Sometimes your heart would break. Sometimes you’d nod your head in agreement or shake your head at Calvin’s silly antics and oddball disputes with his tiger Hobbes.

But who was the man who made millions of people laugh on a daily basis? Every Calvin and Hobbes strip was signed by “Bill Watterson,” and we all owed a debt of gratitude to him, but who was he, and where could he be found?

 

That’s what Nevin Martell asks, and he takes it upon himself to travel wo0Kzthe country in search of the greatest cartoonist our generation (and quite possibly the world) has ever seen.

But don’t worry. Martell is not out to exploit our dear friend, Mr. Watterson. He’s not simply after a juicy topic. His goal, as he states early on in his book, is to show Mr. Watterson how much he’s appreciated and missed, and to reveal the man behind the strip so his readers can have a tangible person to thank for his brilliancy.

In essence, Martell’s book, Looking for Calvin and Hobbes, is a love letter written on our behalf. There’s not a single illustration of the boy and his tiger except for the Calvin’s shoe walking in one direction and Hobbes’ tail cutting off on the other side of the cover. Illustrations in this book would not have been needed because the author captures those strips so perfectly that you can recall those original scenes as clear as day.

Martell does a supberb job at anazlyzing the strip as though he were a serious seminary student bent on dissecting a New King James Bible commentary. On the outset, some might think it kind of embarrassing how much he pored into this strip, viewing it from all angles, analyzing themes and recurring situations, and hypothosizing Watterson’s inspiration for the strip.

Calvin-Hobbes-calvin-and-hobbes-23762778-1280-800But really, it’s not embarrassing at all, because given the chance, we’d all do the same thing. So as fans of the strip, we’re indebted to Martell for doing the hard and tedius work for us.

I’m not going to lie. Some parts of this book made me tear up quite a bit. Not because the author was unsuccessful in tracking down his subject, or because it turned out that Mr. Watterson never took his seat in the limelight for all to admire and lavish praise upon, but because the author handled to topic with such care and attention that I felt like he truly did understand my own personal love of Calvin and Hobbes. And there were instances where I truly felt like I was back in my wooden fort in my backyard with copies of Calvin and Hobbes collections splayed all around me.

On a more personal note, Calvin and Hobbes had such an impact on me that it, in many ways, inspired my debut novel The Man in the Box. Calvin had such a vivd and wild imagination that my protagonist could have had the same childhood experience as Calvin. (The imagination, as you know, catches up with my protagonist, Robbie Lake, and he’s thrusted back into a more cynical, darker version of his childhood dreamlands. Not to mention all the countless ways Calvin reinvented the box.)

So lovers and fans of Calvin and Hobbes will adore their own personal walks down memory lane as Martell gives us permission, as adults, to have one last playtime with Calvin and his stuffed tiger.

You can read more about Nevin and his work here.

Read my review of the documentary Dear Mr. Watterson here.

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