Cover Reveal | Andrew Buckley – Hair In All the Wrong Places 2

Hi all. The below is a guest post from Andrew Buckley regarding his latest release, Hair In All the Wrong Places 2.

Happy reading!


Last year, HAIR IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES by Andrew Buckley introduced us to teenage werewolf, Colin Strauss, and the creepy and strange town of Elkwood. The book was released by Month9Books and was also picked up by Scholastic Book Clubs in North America. Now it’s time for things to get hairier . . .

Today is the official cover reveal for HAIR IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES 2: THE PERILS OF GROWING UP WEREWOLF! Below you’ll find the official cover along with links to pre-order your copy! The official release date is October 3rd (just a couple of days before this year’s full hunter’s moon) so mark your calendars!

You can check out Buckley’s interview with Month9Books regarding what you can expect from the sequel, why he decided to write a werewolf series in the first place, introducing the new villain, and a couple of hints about the mystery surrounding Jeremy.

Happy Howling!


Being a werewolf is no picnic. Colin’s constantly hungry, spends a ton of time shaving, and fights to keep his emotions in check to avoid turning into a giant, drooling, hairy, smelly, howling wolf. But Colin’s not the only creature hanging around the town of Elkwood. Vampires, zombies, goblins, ogres, and other questionable visitors and their various shenanigans have got everyone on edge.

Colin just wants to live a normal life, date, and get his homework done on time. But the town of Elkwood needs him. So when a secret government organization asks for his help, will he be able to control the animal inside, or will he give in to the perils of growing up werewolf?


Pre-order on Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Wrong-Places-Perils-Growing-Werewolf-ebook/dp/B074TZJNK9

Pre-Order on Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hair-in-all-the-wrong-places-2-andrew-buckley/1126978969

Purchase Book #1 – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1942664982

Month9Books Interview – http://month9books.tumblr.com

Andrew Buckley’s Website – http://www.andrewbuckleyauthor.com/

Cover Reveal | Convergence

Greetings all!

I’m excited to be able to share the cover for an upcoming urban fantasy thriller I had the pleasure of writing with JR Rain!

Convergence, the first in the new Winter Solstice series, is coming out later this month. Eugene Teplitsky from Curiosity Quills has created the wonderful cover.

Also, another collaborative effort between JR and myself, Silver Light, will be following soon, though I don’t have a specific release date yet.


Solstice Winters has spent most of her life halfway between normal society and the world of her magical parents. However, when getting caught between two worlds becomes more than metaphorical, being able to summon light or open locks might not be enough.

Neither her love life nor her professional life are going anywhere in a hurry. Her boyfriend is successful and handsome, but she constantly has to compete with his job for affection. At thirty-two, she works as a photojournalist for The Spirtualist, a small paper dedicated to magic and the supernatural―that most people regard as a tabloid. Desperate for that ‘one break,’ she’ll do almost anything to get that big story and get into a ‘real’ media outlet.

Years of always not quite fitting in begin to make sense after an error at a particle physics laboratory alters the dimensional alignment of the world, strengthening magic and revealing an unexpected truth to Solstice.

She’s not even human.

In the wake of an event her boss at the paper is calling The Convergence, magical beings are appearing all over the Earth. Solstice doesn’t hesitate, racing to be the first to capture indisputable evidence of mythical beasts. Alas, being a magical creature herself, she soon winds up in the cross-hairs of not only a three-letter government agency, but an ancient sect of mages with dark intentions.

Cover Reveal | CQ Darkscapes Anthology

darkscapes

Greetings everyone!

I’m thrilled to finally be able to show off Eugene Teplitsky’s cover artwork for the upcoming Curiosity Quills anthology: Darkscapes!

Check out the antho page here for the full list of authors and stories: https://curiosityquills.com/books/curiosity-quills-darkscapes/


OOS_Graphic

In my story, Out of Sight, Sima Nuvari, an unwanted sixteen-year-old runaway wakes up in an escape pod after years in stasis. Soon after she starts exploring, she finds some younger kids, also shipped off Earth against their will. Sima’s AI bracelet is their only chance to make sense of a wild uncharted planet, and avoid the deadly Night Scratch.


It is an honor to have my writing in an anthology with so many other wonderful authors, including Piers Anthony, J.R. Rain, Richard Roberts, Robert J Defendi, Randy Attwood, Katie Young, Ann M. Noser, Nathan Croft, Tegan Wren, James Wymore, Andrew Buckley, Darin Kennedy, J.E. Anckorn, B.C. Johnson, S.E. Bennet and Mark Woodring.

Cover Reveal | Grey Ronin – Awakened #3

Greetings all!

I am thrilled to finally be able to share the cover for Grey Ronin, book 3 of the Awakened series! The book is scheduled for a 5/23 release.

The Awakened series is a somewhat nonstandard approach to a series in that the first five (of six) books focus on a different primary character, and all their stories come together in book 6.

Grey Ronin follows Mamoru Saito, a samurai in service of the Matsushita Electronics Corporation as he discovers his abilities over technology and his physical body aren’t ‘ancient magic.’ As much as he cannot accept it, he is of the Awakened.

cover2500

 

Cover Reveal | Hair In All the Wrong Places

Greetings all,
I’m happy to be participating in the cover reveal for Andrew’s upcoming paranormal tale about a kid who gets a little more than the usual explosion of hair at puberty. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading this one yet, though I have read his earlier books. Anyone who likes the type of humor found in Monty Python and in Douglas Adams books should check out Stiltskin and Death, The Devil, and the Goldfish. You won’t be disappointed!
Today Andrew Buckley and Month9Books are revealing the cover and first chapter for HAIR IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES! which releases June 7, 2016!
Check out the awesome cover and enter to be one of the first readers to receive an eGalley!!
 
Here’s a message from the author.

Hair in All the Wrong Places is the result of a misspent childhood watching late night movies about werewolves and other creatures that go bump in the night. The story follows Colin Strauss; an outsider in the small town of Elkwood who, in addition to dealing with the struggles of puberty, also finds himself being turned into a werewolf. As if dealing with homework, bullies, and an unrealistic crush on the hot goth girl wasn’t enough! I love this cover because it perfectly captures Colin’s character and his discovery that he might indeed be growing hair in all the
wrong places.

 

Title: HAIR IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES
Author: Andrew Buckley
Pub. Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback
& eBook

What has he done? 
What’s happening to him? 
And what on Earth is that smell?
 
For Colin Strauss, puberty stinks.
Blackouts, hallucinations, and lapses in memory are the perils of growing up
werewolf.
 
Worse than that, Colin worries he might have had something to do with the recent attacks on townspeople. He may have eaten a person. It doesn’t matter that it’s someone he doesn’t particularly like. What kind of boy goes around eating people?
 
Foolishly, all Colin can think about is how Becca Emerson finally kissed him for the first time. Yep. Hormones are afoot. Or at hand. Yikes.

But girls will have to wait. Collin better get himself under control before someone else ends up hurt . . . or worse.


 

Excerpt

First, a word of warning …I don’t want to get too scientific here, but there are a few things you should know before you sink your teeth into this book. I’ve tried to keep it simple enough that anyone twelve and up could read and understand it. Werewolves were everywhere in Europe in the late sixteenth century. Go to a party, there would be a werewolf. Go to work, you’re probably working next to a werewolf. Bump into a stranger on the street—werewolf!

They were slowly killed off in Europe as the true nature of a werewolf is a terribly hard thing to control. Eventually you get that urge to eat someone. And let’s face it; eating people is just rude.

Now here’s the scary bit, the bit that concerns you. While werewolves ceased to be a part of the world, they didn’t necessarily leave it. On the contrary, humans evolved to repress the werewolf gene out of the fear they would be decapitated, shot with a silver bullet, burned alive, or a terrifying combination of all three. What this means is that every single human being is still carrying the werewolf gene. You, right now, sitting right where you are, has the werewolf gene swimming around somewhere inside of you.

Genes are strings of DNA. DNA makes you who you are. You have that werewolf gene inside you. It’s just not active. Not yet.

To fully activate that werewolf gene, you’d have to be bitten by another werewolf, someone who turns into a giant wolf-like creature when there’s a full moon. So fear not! As long as no one has bitten you recently, you’re likely okay.

So why this warning? You’re probably thinking there’s no chance I’ll turn into a werewolf because I haven’t been bitten. That is absolutely true. However, while it’s impossible to turn into a werewolf unless you’re bitten, it is very possible to awaken that sleeping werewolf gene by learning too much about them. This book will teach you a lot about those hairy creatures of the night, so I want you to be extra careful while reading it.

If you notice any of the following things, stop reading immediately:

– You find yourself looking at other humans and thinking lunch.

– You start to notice smells you never smelled before.

– You growl at people instead of talking to them.

– Your nails begin to grow at an alarming rate.

– You scratch your head in public using your leg.

– You greet your friends at the bus stop by sniffing their butts.

– You begin to grow hair in all the wrong places.

You’ve been warned.

Chapter One
Loser

Colin looked directly into the reflection staring back at him from the bathroom mirror and with absolute conviction said, “You are a loser.”

His reflection agreed.

Much as he had done almost every day for the last year, Colin evaluated his body. He was tall for a thirteen year old, with lanky limbs and broad pointy shoulders that bordered on skeletal. His face looked to be at odds with the rest of his body with its gaunt features and perpetually dark circles beneath the eyes. Pale skin stood in stark opposition to his unruly dark and stringy hair. Trying to sharpen his vision, he squinted before fumbling with his glasses.

His reflection didn’t look any better with them on.

After drying off, Colin got dressed and headed downstairs.

“Why are you dressed like that?” snapped his grandmother from her usual place in front of the TV. She hadn’t even looked at him yet, not that it mattered. Colin didn’t know what was more disturbing: that despite his grandmother being completely blind, she still watched TV religiously and commented on his clothes every day, or that he still felt the need to defend his choice of clothing to her. He was wearing jeans and an oversized hoody.

“It’s school today, Grandmother. I’m dressed for school,” he murmured.

“I know that!” she spat.

Nothing wrong with her hearing, though.

“Do you need anything?” he asked.

His grandmother sipped tea from a china cup. “I can take care of myself, you little ingrate. Get to school. You’re going to be late. If you don’t get an education, I’ll never get your lazy butt out of here.”

There was no point in arguing.

“And comb your hair before leaving the house. I don’t want people thinking I’m raising a hobo!” she said.

As Colin walked past the living room, his grandmother turned around in her chair and stared in his general direction with gray eyes damaged irreparably by cataracts. Blind eyes followed him as he walked to the door as quickly as he was able. It wasn’t until he was outside with the door firmly closed behind him that he allowed himself to breathe again.

Colin’s grandmother had always terrified him. He couldn’t remember a time when she wasn’t blind or cruel. Colin’s parents lived in Seattle and over the past thirteen years had managed to have as little to do with their only son as humanly possible. They were young when his mother had discovered she was pregnant, and the following nine months had put a severe dent in their career plans. They were both up-and-coming lawyers at large firms, and as soon as they could be rid of Colin, they’d passed him off from one distant relative to another. Beyond that, they had no parental aspirations whatsoever.

Just over a year ago, after a short stint living with an uncle and aunt in Ohio, Colin had been sent to the small town of Elkwood to live with his only living close relative—his grandmother, Beatrice Strauss.

She hadn’t welcomed him, there were no hugs, no loving relationship, just a bitter old woman who spent most of her days parked in front of the TV and commenting on what a disappointment Colin was. He’d tried to help her, but she never wanted it. Despite being blind, she was more than able to get around and take care of herself. The only time she left the house was to attend the monthly town hall meetings to which he was never invited.

Colin was twenty feet from the bus stop when the school bus flew by. The mocking grins of students plastered the bus’s back window as it disappeared over the hill. Thankfully, the school was centrally located, which meant he’d be only slightly late.

On his way to school, Colin passed Mrs. Flipple, a kind old lady who walked her tiny, yappy dog, Jinx, each morning, rain or shine. As per usual, Jinx went straight for Colin, yapping in that high-pitched bark that only small, irritating dogs can make. Colin nodded politely to the old lady and held on to a secret hatred for that little dog.

The town was always overcast, and it rained almost every day of the year, which suited Colin’s depressed personality. He was thankful he didn’t live in a warmer climate as he’d have a much harder time being pale and awkward.

He’d survived the seventh grade at Elkwood School with above-average grades and a below-average number of friends. He was still considered a stranger here. His lack of personality, athleticism, and sense of humor didn’t help in the slightest. He wasn’t handsome enough to be popular or ugly enough to be ignored. He was just weird enough that students could be heard wondering aloud about him as he walked by. Now in the second week of his eighth grade year, Colin had one sort of friend, one unrealistic crush, and was the constant focus of several bullies who were determined to make his life miserable.

Loser.

He reached Elkwood School just as the second bell rang to indicate the start of classes. On average, each grade at the school contained only twenty to thirty students, and because of a limited number of teachers, some classes taught more than one grade or subject.

As Colin ran up the steps to the main entrance, a dark, looming shape confronted him. He looked up into the face of Principal Hebert.

“You’re late again, Mr. Strauss.” His voice sounded like rumbling thunder.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Hebert. I missed the bus.”

“While I admire your use of a classical excuse, I’d prefer if you’d made an attempt at originality. Had you been more creative, I would not feel the need to place you in detention.”

“I’m really sor—”

“But as you’re still trying to apologize rather than give me something interesting to work with, I’ll be seeing you after school.”

Colin studied his feet carefully. “Yes, sir.”

“Run along.” Mr. Hebert gestured, pushing his hand ahead of him in a forward motion.

Colin made his way into the building and chanced a glance back to see Principal Hebert slowly shaking his head. Hebert was a former marine and rumored war hero who had retired to Elkwood almost ten years ago and although he had absolutely no qualifications had been appointed as the school principal. He was a massive hulk of a man with the sort of physique that suggested he could bend large metal things with his bare hands. Principal Hebert was a firm believer in detention and hard work and often liked to combine the two. Most detentions involved cleaning something. Colin made a mental note that his day was not off to a rip-roaring start.

Can’t get any worse.

Colin’s day quickly got worse.

He moved down an empty corridor, his sneakers squeaking loudly on the clean laminate flooring before entering the last classroom on the right.

The entire class turned to look at him. Some groaned, others laughed, a few smirked. Mrs. Davenport was the substitute teacher again today for Biology, and she greeted him with a warm smile.

“Good morning, Colin. Please take a seat. We were just getting started.”

Colin shuffled over to his seat next to Jeremy Rodson, the only person in Elkwood Colin could refer to as a friend. Everyone liked Jeremy even though he had never really joined one particular group. He played on the basketball team, so the jocks liked him. He was smart and maintained decent grades, so he was accepted by the smart kids. He was a good actor, so the creative types liked him. Colin had met him on his first day, and Jeremy had introduced him to the school. With so many commitments, Jeremy wasn’t always around, so Colin was still forced to maintain his unhappy, loner lifestyle.

“No Mr. Winter again?” Colin asked quietly.

“Apparently he’s sick,” said Jeremy and grinned. “Why are you so late?”

“Missed the bus.”

“Detention again?”

“Yup.”

“Pay attention, boys,” said Mrs. Davenport with a smile. She was flipping through a PowerPoint presentation about pheromones.

As the only substitute teacher in the small Elkwood School, Mrs. Davenport was never short of work. She was also the kindest teacher that Colin had ever encountered. Her presence had a calming effect on the students that Mr. Winter could never manage.

Mr. Winter was a jerk. It wasn’t just Colin’s opinion but more of a collective agreement throughout the entire school, including the teachers. An uptight individual in his late thirties, he had a particular hatred for students, teaching, other teachers, and did I mention, students? A few years ago, Mr. Winter’s entire family—wife, parents, grandparents—had been killed in a car accident, and rumor had it that the insurance settlement had been sizeable. The rumor quickly proved true when Mr. Winter started travelling the better part of the school year.

“Pheromones indicate the availability of a female for breeding.” Mrs. Davenport was met with a round of sniggers. “Well, it’s true,” she said calmly. “All animals excrete pheromones, and they can indicate a variety of things. Anything from sex to marking territory, and it can even act as a defense mechanism.”

“Colin, you should get yourself some pheromones,” said Gareth Dugan from behind a textbook. His cronies laughed in honor of their leader’s display of wit.

Gareth was a bully with scraggly hair and a troubled complexion. Having been raised on a farm on the outskirts of Elkwood, Gareth had always struck Colin as being quite large for his age. Gareth didn’t like Colin, but then, the feeling was mutual.

“Why would I need pheromones?” shot back Colin. “Your smell already overpowers everything in the room.”

That probably wasn’t smart.’

The entire room agreed with him by sitting in absolute silence.

“That’s enough,” said Mrs. Davenport and cheerfully continued to describe other chemical factors that trigger social responses.

Colin dared a glance back to see Gareth glaring at him like a lion eyeing an injured antelope.

Gareth would inevitably seek revenge. Colin didn’t need a chemical factor to trigger a social response. All he had to do was open his mouth.

He tried his best to concentrate on his textbook, opened at random, but his thoughts remained fixed on how to save himself a beating Jeremy, who remained happily oblivious and completely free of any such dealings, leaned over enthusiastically.

“Did you take a look at Tori yet? Classic Tori outfit.” He grinned and subtly tilted his head backward. Having developed earlier than any other girl in school, Tori was the blond bombshell of Elkwood. Okay, she was more like a small nuclear explosion. To aid the raging hormones of teenage boys, she made a habit of wearing low-cut shirts complimented by extremely short skirts.

Mrs. Davenport turned to the whiteboard, and Colin glanced back three rows on the right to see Tori conveniently perched on the edge of her stool wearing a short powder-blue skirt and knee-high boots.

Colin’s eyes followed the curves of her body upward until he realized she was looking directly at him with a wry smile. He blushed instantly, but the awkward moment was suddenly interrupted as a textbook smashed into the side of his head, sending his glasses skittering across the desk and onto the floor.

The class laughed as Colin slipped from his stool and crawled around in front of the desk, searching for his glasses.

Mrs. Davenport whirled around, spied Colin on the floor, and asked, “What was that? Colin, what are you doing?”

“Sorry, Mrs. Davenport. Just looking for my glasses.”

The bell rang before any further interrogation could be made, and the class headed for the exit. Colin still couldn’t find his glasses.

Ironic. If I was wearing my glasses, I’d have no trouble finding them.

The side of his head was throbbing from where the textbook had struck him. No doubt Gareth or one of his minions to thank for that.

Colin stood and came face-to-face with Becca Emerson, his heartbeat doubling in speed.

“I found your glasses,” she said, handing them over.

“Uh, thanks, B-Becca.”

The rest of the class had cleared out. He put on his glasses, and she came into focus. Around his height with fiery red hair and pale skin, Becca displayed a standoffishness that made most people avoid her. She wasn’t developed like Tori, but neither were most cover models. Becca was a little like Jeremy in that she didn’t associate with any one group, but where he belonged to everyone, she tended to avoid all people. Her dad was some sort of government worker, which translated to “spy” to most middle schoolers.

Becca always wore dark makeup and dark clothes making her look paler than she actually was. She maintained high grades, avoided large groups, and Colin had loved her since he first saw her. It was, of course, a secret love because there was no way he could ever work up the nerve to do anything about it.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

Oh, that voice.

“Uh, yeah. Just another head wound. Probably won’t be the last.” He attempted a half-hearted grin.

They awkwardly stared at each other as Colin’s mind raced for something smart to say.

What do I say? You’re gorgeous? Want to share a slushee? Marry me?

“Okay, well have a good day,” said Becca, and left.

Smooth, Strauss. Very smooth.

Not the most suave guy at the best of times, Colin managed to be even less so around Becca. How would he ever be able to ask her out, let alone have an entire conversation with her if he didn’t even manage to open his mouth?

***

Having made it to last period unscathed, Colin was busy staring at Becca as the minutes on the clock clicked by while he planned his escape. He would have to move fast, get out of the school, and off the grounds. He’d skip the bus altogether—

“Wonder what Hebert’s going to have you do for detention today? My money is on cleaning the gym floor,” said Jeremy.

Detention!

“I’m so screwed.”

“It’s not that bad, just cleaning.”

“Not that,” groaned Colin. “Gareth got detention in third period.”

“Well at least you’ll have company,” said Jeremy unhelpfully.

The bell rang, and Colin’s heart skipped a beat.

“Just once Jer, just once I’d love to be as oblivious as you are.”

“You got detention today, Colin?” asked Becca.

Colin almost dropped his books. He hadn’t noticed her approach. “Uh, yeah. I was late today.”

“I know. I was there.”

“Right.”

“I was wondering if I could talk to you. Alone. I can walk you to your detention.”

“I’ve got to run anyway. Catch ya later.” And with that, Jeremy bounced off.

“Y-yeah, of course,” said Colin. This was new territory. Other than the occasional passing pleasantry, Colin had never had a full conversation with Becca. They walked down the south corridor toward the detention room at the back of the school.

“I know it hasn’t been easy for you,” said Becca without looking at him. “It must be strange to move here. Most people are born here these days.”

“Uh, yeah, I’ve heard that. No one ever moves to Elkwood.”

“The people here aren’t open-minded. They only know what they know. And who they know. This probably isn’t making any sense.”

“No. I mean, yeah. Well. No, no it’s not.”

Becca turned to him. Her eyes were a deep hazel color, he’d never noticed before. She put a hand on his shoulder, and suddenly his insides were on fire. It was only a moment, but Colin felt as if she was looking through him.

Colin was way beyond his comfort zone and didn’t know what to do. Was he supposed to say something? Did she want him to kiss her? Or was he misunderstanding her? When it came to reading girls, he was dyslexic. On the flipside, Becca Emerson was actually touching him! With her actual hand! But then she took her hand away and for a moment looked sad.

“I’m sorry, Colin. I thought maybe … but no.” She sighed. “I don’t know if you’ll ever be able to see things clearly here.”

Colin had no idea what she was talking about; he was still reeling from her touch and for once actually managed to say something. “Maybe you could help me?”

Did I just say that?

What was he thinking?

“I have to go. My dad will wonder where I am. Good luck in detention.”

And just like that, she was gone.

The ominous voice of Principal Hebert floated down the hallway. “Nice of you to join us, Mr. Strauss. Are you going to just stand there, or do I need to drag you into detention?”

Colin entered the room, noting the other attendees. Two students, Micah and Nathaniel Cross, otherwise known as the goth twins. They were pale with black tattoos, long black coats, tight black clothing, and permanent frowns plastered across their faces. Gareth sat with his feet up, smirking at Colin.

“Listen up,” began Principal Hebert. “You’re here because you did something or you didn’t do something. All I care about is what you do from here on out. Gareth and Colin, you’re on garbage cleanup. Nathaniel and Micah, you’ll be sweeping the gym floor. One hour, people, and then I expect you back for dismissal.”

Colin’s heart sank in his chest, down his legs, and through the floor. He was a dead man.

Gareth clapped his hands with false cheer. “All right, Colin, buddy. Let’s get to it!”

They grabbed a couple of garbage bags and headed outside. Without saying a word, Gareth just started picking up garbage. Colin, braced for an attack and watched him for a moment before hesitantly bending to the task too. ’It was getting dark, and the rain made the job all the more miserable.

After half an hour, Gareth had vanished around the other side of the building, and Colin began to think that maybe he had been worrying needlessly.

As he rounded a corner toward the back of the school, he saw his mistake. Sam Bale and Kevin Hadfield were sitting on one of the permanent picnic benches. They both looked menacing, as usual. Backtracking quickly, Colin turned and bumped into Gareth who shoved him.

“Where you going, buddy?” He spat that last word.

Colin dropped his garbage bag and backed right into Sam and Kevin, who were standing behind him.

“We don’t have to do this,” pleaded Colin.

“You don’t belong here, Colin,” said Gareth.

“I know. You’ve told me before.”

Gareth stabbed a finger to his chest. “And that smart mouth of yours really doesn’t belong here.”

“It’s attached to the rest of my body; I really don’t have a choice in the matter.”

Gareth faked a punch, and Colin flinched.

“Please, just tell me what to do,” begged Colin, fighting to keep the tears at bay. He’d been here before; he knew what was coming.

Kevin and Sam grabbed one of Colin’s arms while Gareth stood inches from his face. His breath stank. “I want you to go away. That’s all. You don’t belong here. Sooner or later you’ll get the message.”

Gareth punched him hard twice in the stomach and then once in the kidneys. Colin dropped to the ground and curled into a ball. Sam and Kevin began kicking him and then stripped him down to his underwear until finally, they left. Colin lay sobbing on the cold ground, half-naked and in pain.

This had been Colin’s life for over a year. Feeling like he’d failed at life in general, Colin had been reduced to living in a state of constant fear and humiliation. He had suffered bullying and his grandmother’s hatred.

Colin knew he was a loser, but he hated that everyone else knew it too.

The only positive he could think of was Becca and the strange, brief conversation they had shared. He picked himself up, feeling his bruised ribs, wincing as he walked barefoot across the parking lot away from the school. Hebert would be angry that he didn’t return for the end of detention, but he didn’t care. He didn’t intend to come back. He had to do something or he was going to end up dying here in Elkwood.

Colin decided he had to go to Seattle to see his parents.

Tonight.

 

Andrew Buckley attended the Vancouver Film School’s Writing for Film and Television program. After pitching and developing several screenplay projects for film and television, he worked in marketing and public relations, before becoming a professional copy and content writer. During this time Andrew began writing his first adult novel, DEATH, THE DEVIL AND THE GOLDFISH, followed closely by his second novel, STILTSKIN. He works as an editor for Curiosity Quills Press.
Andrew also co-hosts a geek movie podcast, is working on his next novel, and has a stunning amount of other ideas. He now lives happily in the Okanagan Valley, BC with three kids, one cat, one needy dog, one beautiful wife, and a multitude of characters that live comfortably inside of his mind. 

Andrew is represented by Mark Gottlieb at the Trident Media Group.Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive an eGalley of HAIR IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES.

International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interview | Hayley Stone

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Hayley Stone, author of MACHINATIONS, which is due out on June 14th, 2016. Also, I get to help share the cover reveal.

Machinations Final Cover


 

Perfect for fans of Robopocalypse, this action-packed science-fiction debut introduces a chilling future and an unforgettable heroine with a powerful role to play in the battle for humanity’s survival.

 The machines have risen, but not out of malice. They were simply following a command: to stop the endless wars that have plagued the world throughout history. Their solution was perfectly logical. To end the fighting, they decided to end the human race.

A potent symbol of the resistance, Rhona Long has served on the front lines of the conflict since the first Machinations began—until she is killed during a rescue mission gone wrong. Now Rhona awakens to find herself transported to a new body, complete with her DNA, her personality, even her memories. She is a clone . . . of herself.

Trapped in the shadow of the life she once knew, the reincarnated Rhona must find her place among old friends and newfound enemies—and quickly. For the machines are inching closer to exterminating humans for good. And only Rhona, whoever she is now, can save them.


Machinations is available for pre-order:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

And don’t forget to add it to your list on Goodreads!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Hayley Stone has lived her entire life in sunny California, where the weather is usually perfect and nothing as exciting as a robot apocalypse ever happens. When not reading or writing, she freelances as a graphic designer, falls in love with videogame characters, and analyzes buildings for velociraptor entry points. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in German from California State University, Sacramento.

Machinations is her debut novel, releasing June 14th, 2016 from Hydra/Random House.


Interview

  • Congratulations on the release of your debut novel! Regarding the process of going from staring at a Word document to being published: Aside from getting signed, what was the best thing, worst, and most surprising to occur along the way?

Thanks, Matt! And thanks for having me on the blog.

This is a great question. The best moment of this crazy process was my agent giving me the news that my editor, Anne Groell, loved the book. Anne freaking Groell who edits for two of my favorite authors, George R.R. Martin and Peter F. Hamilton, loved my book! Not only did she love it, but everyone at the publisher did as well. You try to have confidence and faith in your work, but it never hurts to hear that it’s good from someone with the industry experience to know.

The worst thing was the waiting. While on submission, it’s easy to second-guess every narrative decision you’ve made in a book and be cannibalized by doubt. I won’t lie: there were times I thought, “okay, if no one wants this book, that’s that. I’ll have to live with it.” I’m so glad it is getting published, however, as the story is near and dear to my heart. Also, the main character’s a riot to write.

As for the most surprising moment, it was getting actual input into the design of the cover. You hear horror stories of writers getting saddled with covers they hate, and I was worried about that happening. Thankfully, my fears were unfounded! The designer I worked with was very open to suggestion, and together we ended up with a design I absolutely love.

  • Let’s start with something you’ve probably been asked a dozen times – Can you give us some insight into what got you interested in writing a novel and how you went about deciding on genre?

I was practically a writer in the womb. As soon as I could put two words together, I was making up stories and pushing them onto people, haha! I didn’t jump straight into novel-writing, however. I began as a fanfiction author, playing in other people’s universe, adding an original character here and there. Post-by-post roleplaying also helped me grow as a writer, allowing me to interact with other people’s writing styles, and improve on my own. I finally made the leap to writing—and finishing—novels in 2009, prompted by the challenge of National Novel Writing Month.

As for genre, I’ve always been a sci-fi and fantasy girl. I grew up on Star Wars and Legend of Zelda, so I guess it was only natural for me to gravitate toward the SFF genre when it came time to write.

  • What is your target audience for MACHINATIONS? Is this a young-adult title or adult sci fi?

Machinations is adult sci-fi, but I think it would appeal to readers of upper YA, as well. It features a spunky female protagonist that I feel people of any age will relate to. It also has a clear, concise writing style that makes for fairly easy reading.

  • Tell us a little about the machines involved. Is this a story of runaway technology where everything from microwave ovens to cars to jet planes is trying to kill people, or are we talking about androids and cyborgs?

No, no killer microwaves, sadly!

There are various models of machines in Machinations, each with a specific purpose—scouting and combat, to name a few. I wouldn’t classify them as androids or cyborgs; they don’t share humanoid features, nor are they combined with human anatomy. The majority of the machines are actually dependent on a higher artificial intelligence referred to as the higher echelon, which possesses true sentience. Imagine a hive of mindless worker bees, all governed by an intelligent queen. That comes close to the machines we’re dealing with here.

  • As your book hasn’t released yet, I haven’t had a chance to read it – but based on the description, I couldn’t help but notice some similarities to the Terminator franchise in that intelligent machines have made the decision to wipe out humanity, and there’s a resistance. Aside from the lack of time travel, what unique twists does MACHINATIONS bring to this setting?

You’re not the first person to make that comparison, haha! On the surface, they do share the whole “robot apocalypse” premise, but they’re totally different stories when it comes down to it.

For starters, Machinations takes place in Alaska, and without giving too much away, I can tell you the majority of the machines the characters encounter are not nearly as sophisticated as a T-1000, and the higher echelon morally divergent from Skynet. The story also centers more on the struggle of the main character, Rhona, a clone left questioning what it means to be human after being “born” prematurely. At the same time she’s trying to fit back into her old life, she’s also running a struggling resistance. Rhona wishes she had it as easy as Sarah Connor. 😉

At its core, Machinations explores themes of identity and living up to expectations—those dictated by society versus the self—which I don’t think the Terminator franchise ever really touches on.

  • What authors would you consider to be your inspirations, and if you had to pick a favorite book, could you?

Ooh, inspirations! Off the top of my head: Margaret Atwood, George R.R. Martin, Audrey Niffenegger, Matthew Stover, and most recently, Kameron Hurley.

I think I’d rather have teeth pulled than pick a favorite book! But for the purposes of this interview, let’s say Kindred by Octavia Butler. That’s a book that stays with you long after you finish the final page.

  • Some writers develop idiosyncratic habits around writing – such as always having a cup of Tazo orange tea close at hand while drafting (looks around innocently). What, if anything, do you need to have in order to get into the zone?

It’s funny you should mention tea, as that’s been my go-to lately! A black chai does wonders to coax out the muse. I also like to use music to get myself into a specific mood when writing certain scenes, especially emotional ones.

I have a few other writer idiosyncrasies that are a lot weirder. I like to draft with all my paragraphs justified, and if the word count shows at the bottom of the document, I prefer ending on a 0 or 5.

  • Are any of your characters inspired by or based on anyone real?

If they were, I’d never admit it! 😉

Kidding aside, as a rule, I don’t usually base characters off of people I actually know. That said, I do tend to use “character models”—celebrities whose appearance help me visualize the character better. For instance, I’ve always imagined my main character, Rhona, as looking like Karen Gillan. Blame Doctor Who.

  • You’ve perhaps seen that comic where the author meant “the curtains are blue,” but the English professor goes on and on about the ‘deeper meaning’ behind the curtains being blue. To what extent (if any) is your story, or smaller elements within, a metaphor with a deeper meaning?

I’m meticulous when it comes to my writing, so nothing is really throwaway. If it’s on the page,  chances are good that I’ve included it for a reason. Plus, I come from a fandom background where everything can mean something if you squint, so I might have included things for the sole purpose of what they might inspire readers to imagine. I look forward to seeing what crazy and wild interpretations may come from an otherwise benign moment of description or dialogue. Bwahaha! clears throat Ahem.

  • Now that you’ve got a release date and a book coming out (congrats again by the way) – is there anything you would do differently if you had the chance to change any part of the process?

Hmmm. Not really! I’ve been very fortunate in the way things have worked out for Machinations, in no small part due to the efforts of my agent, Marlene Stringer. When you have good people fighting in your corner, it makes it much easier to get done what you need to get done.

  • Is MACHINATIONS part of a series or a standalone novel? What plans do you have writing wise in the future?

I’m glad you asked! Machinations is the first book in a planned series, though it can definitely be read as a standalone. I’m currently contracted for two books and finishing up the first draft of the sequel right now. My hope is that these two books will sell well enough to justify writing a third.

  • While writing, do your characters ever do anything you weren’t expecting? If so, do you run with it or force them back in line?

All the freaking time. In my experience, forcing them back into line never works. It just makes the narrative feel insincere, and authenticity of feeling is always my primary goal in telling a story. At the end of the day, the characters tend to drive the plot in my stories more than the plot drives them, and that’s the way I like it.

  • And finally, what message do you have for your readers?

I hope you’ll check out Machinations when it releases this summer. If you enjoy it, please tweet me and/or spread the word using the hashtag #Machinations to let others know about the book. I love connecting with fellow fans of sci-fi and fantasy—especially other writers—so if that’s you, definitely drop me a line!