Thursday, May 14, 2015

In Honor of Zombie Awareness Month

My new novel Nightfallen, just happens to be a zombie and werewolf novel. I don't want to give too much away, but I never thought I'd write a zombie novel. Werewolves, sure, but zombies, they are icky and way too scary and every time I read a zombie novel I get nightmares. Yet I wrote one. It's the first in a planned trilogy that is carefully mapped out and ready to go. 

I thought in honor of Zombie Awareness month, I'd introduce you all to Lexy. She's an awesome character, who's not afraid to go after what she wants. This is a deleted scene that was going to start the novel. Things changed a bit, but I thought you all might enjoy meeting Lexy for the first time.  Tell me what you think in the comments.

Three men rush me from the corners of the room. My dad stands against the fourth wall watching. I wipe the sweat out of my eyes before spinning and kicking the first of my attackers. I wince at the muffled thud and his groan. The other two don’t slow down, though I know they want to. 
The second attacker raises the wooden practice sword. He’s armed, I’m not. I duck down and away from him, sweeping my leg in a kick low to the ground. He loses his balance and topples down. I grab the sword and turn, blocking the swing of the third attacker. He meets my gaze, blue eyes steady. With a practiced flip of my sword, I disarm him, and thrust my sword toward his throat, stopping just before I strike.
“It’s not natural,” says John. He’s the first one that fell today. “I’m telling you there is something unholy in the way she moves.” He crosses himself before backing away from me. 
“She’s been training since she could walk,” my dad says. A smile is on his face, the same one I always see when he wants to show me off to a visitor. Smugness and it doesn’t always have to do with me. “You should see her fighting the infected. You want that speed when you’re surrounded. She’s saved more than one life with the way she moves.”
“Still I’ll be glad when it’s time for me to move on.” John shudders and leaves the room without asking for my father’s permission. The other two wait silently, watching me warily, as my dad unfolds his arms and walks toward me. He ruffles my hair. 
I’m soaking with sweat, my shirt sticking to my back. My legs are exposed, and I’m not entirely comfortable standing still in my fighting clothes. I pull back from his touch, the condescending way he speaks about me makes me angry.
“Lexy, go change and get ready for dinner. It’s not every day we get to celebrate your birthday.” He smiles and then nods at the other two who hurry out of the room without looking back. I’m used to the way others are uncomfortable around me. I am the only child in the compound. 
I walk quickly to my room, head down. Stopping only once at a corner until the other people pass. There are a lot of whispers today. It’s been more crowded lately since my father has been calling followers in. My sessions in the practice room have been watched more. Something is changing. I miss the quiet routine of the last two years: study, practice, and then going out to fight. 
We haven’t gone on a raid in two months. I can’t burn off my nervous energy when I practice. I fight men more than twice my age. Their hair is starting to gray, and I feel guilty each time I knock them down. I’m holding back, and we all know it.
When I open my bedroom door I find a package on my desk next to my computer. I rip into the box and pull out a smaller box wrapped in striped pink paper. I tear it off and open a small box, inside is a silver chain, with three small charms. A heart, a star, and a sword.
I slide the card out of the envelope. “Happy Birthday. I wish I could celebrate with you. Love, Jason.” I slip the necklace over my head, smiling at the jingle I hear when I move. It is perfect, just like Jason.
I jump into the shower, washing quickly and changing into the long plain dress that is the uniform for the women in the compound. I am more comfortable now. I love to fight, but inside the compound my differences are emphasized when I’m not dressed like the other women. Being the only girl to fight is difficult at times.
“Lexy, come set the table.” Emma calls down the hall. I button the last button of the dress and turn to leave.
“Lexy,” the voice is raspy from disuse. It’s not a voice I recognize. Turning I scan the room to be sure I’m alone. I go to the door and lock it. Press my ear against it to listen.
“Lexy.” The voice is right outside my door. The thump and drag of an uneven gait goes past my room, and then the smell hits me through the door. Rotten meat, decaying flesh. So strong I gag. My throat closing up and eyes watering, I reach down for my knives or my sword automatically, but I’m not dressed in hunting gear and my weapons were checked in after our last trip out.
I wait for the sound to move away from me, pressing against the door. My heart is beating hard, as I pray for him to go past. Please don’t let him stop at my door. Several seconds pass, and I crack the door open peering into the hall. The smell is lingering even though he is gone, toward the kitchens.
Taking a deep breath, I run. Emma’s in the kitchen. The other women cannot defend themselves. My silent approach is ruined by the jingle of the charms on my necklace. I burst into the room and everyone looks up at me, but he turns grabbing a knife off of the counter in front of him. One of the women screams and doesn’t stop. There is a clatter as pans and plates drop as the women realize what is happening.
“Lexy.” He smiles, his teeth black in his mouth, his skin is graying, bubbling along one side of this face. One arm is cradled against him. The virus seems to have only attacked one side of his body. He lunges, surprising me with his quickness. The knife in his hand slices against my cheek, drawing a line right underneath my eye.
Gasping, I back down and away as he slashes again. Behind him I see the women gathering against the far wall. I try to kick him, but my feet tangle in my skirt. I duck as he comes at me again with the knife. I gather my skirts up in one hand and kick hard, glad that I only have one pair of shoes. They are heavy combat boots and I can hear the crack of his arm, as I hit it full on. He groans, my cheek is stinging and that eye is watering, tears streaming down the cheek making my vision blurry.
I kick again, and grunt as I hit his hurt arm. He lets go of the knife and moves forward in a burst of speed, grabbing my arm and spinning me toward him. He’s stronger than I thought he would be, and though I’m fighting, dragging myself away from him, he keeps pulling me closer to him. 
The smell is overwhelming, but his touch on my arm is what makes me shudder. His flesh is soft, and spreads over my arm. I want to get away from him. The background noise fades away from me, and his ragged breathing matches mine. I pull again.
“Let go of me,” I scream, stomping one foot down on his. I try to shift my weight to throw him off balance, but he pulls me in closer. Trembling I fight again, wishing I had my weapons with me. If I had a sword or even a knife, I would not be in this situation. I look around for something to grab, to attack him. But everything is too far away. I kick again as his grasp on my arm tightens.
Then men burst in the kitchen in quick movements. They grab him, putting a gun against his head. They won’t shoot if they can help it. The risk of spreading the virus is too great in the kitchen. My dad pries his fingers off of me. And I lean back against him for a moment. Then he shifts me away, and I look at my attacker, hold his gaze as he looks at me with cold blue eyes. He’s not completely gone, like I’ve seen the other victims. There is something in him still.
“Get her cleaned up,” my dad says, turning away from me, and then orders the men in the compound to dispose of him. They walk out in a straight line. The women are huddled against the far wall away from me. Someone is sobbing softly, and some of the women have their arms wrapped around each other. There is food scattered all over the kitchen, splattered on the walls. The smell of something burning tries to etch out the stink of rotting flesh, but it ends up in acrid horrible combination that makes me gag.
“Lexy, are you okay?” Emma walks toward me hands outstretched. She’s the closest thing I have to a mother. Her pale blue eyes are wide, and her usual smile is gone, but she still reaches out to me. Inside I begin to shake, the horror of the moment sinking in as the adrenaline seeps away. 

“He touched me.” The spot on my arm where his flesh touched mine is beginning to tingle and burn. I look down and see bits of the gray flesh adhering to my skin. When we fight we go out in a full uniform, the only part of us that is exposed is our faces. I’ve never actually made contact before. Then my cheek begins to sting more. I look down at my shirt; blood is dripping onto it.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Vote for Nightfallen

As way of announcement, I entered a contest for my newest novel Nightfallen.

The story is pretty awesome, with lots of sword fights, zombies and sweet romantic moments. I've entered the book description in a contest, and would love if you could check it out and vote.

Vote Here for Nightfallen by Miriam Louise

I'll be publishing Nightfallen later this summer. It has final edits to go through, and I still need a cover for it.

Don't worry. I'm in the middle of getting the next Isis book ready to go. I wrote Nightfallen awhile ago, and I decided it was time to share it with everyone. Stay tuned for more news on the Triquetra Trilogy and Nightfallen in the next few months.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Indie Books: Pride & Popularity by Jenni James

Jenni James has written an entire series based on Jane Austin novels. I love Jane Austin, and I feel like Jenni James did a great job of following the basic story lines while creating an entire new story and world Each of the novels take place in the same town or have similar characters. They are a lot of fun and definitely worth checking out. She has several out right now, so if you like them, you'll have a lot to read.

In Pride & Popularity, Chloe Hart does not like the popular crowd, especially Taylor Anderson. The story goes from there. It's funny and sweet and just a great read.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Indie Books: Unmaking Hunter Kennedy by Anne Eliot

I read Anne Eliot's first book Almost: A Love Story and I really enjoyed it. So when I found out she had another book out I was super excited. I really enjoyed Unmaking Hunter Kennedy. It had a sweet story and a unique perspective on the whole falling in love with a celebrity factor. 

In the story Vere, who is kind of a geek, is charged with the task of helping Hunter Kennedy hide from the press so he can deal with some trouble that he has run into.  The story is good. Genuinely fun and heartwarming. If you haven't read it, you should check it out.

What did you think of the book?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Indie Books: Working It Out by Rachael Anderson

Rachael Anderson is one of the indie authors that I automatically buy the book when I realize that she has a new one released. She does a great job building the relationships, and having the characters really connect, plus all of her romances are clean, which is something I look for when I'm reading.

In Working It Out, Grace works as a physical therapist, and she gets a patient Seth. Her first impression is not very good, and then there is the additional complication that he is her patient. The relationship builds and there are a lot of ups and downs that go throughout the story. 

I really enjoyed it, and if you like it, I suggest that you check out her other work as well.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Indie Books: Missing Lily by Annette K Larsen

Missing Lily Tour
  missing lily

  Missing Lily “You don’t know who I am,” I whispered. He didn’t move—either away from me, or closer—and after an interminable moment, I stepped back and hurried out of the house. He didn’t follow me as I fled into the night. Lylin was not used to being alone—much less alone, hurt, and lost. So when she is separated from her guard and forced to abandon her horse, she counts herself lucky to stumble upon a manor house. Still frightened by those who chased her into the night, she keeps her identity a secret, calling herself Lily as she accepts the help of kind servants, and the compassion of Lord Fallon. When they fall into an easy friendship, she wonders if her secrecy was too hasty. However, as she gets to know the manor and its residents, Lylin discovers that she’s not the only one hiding secrets, and it may be a very good thing that her host doesn’t know her true identity as a member of the royal family.  
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add to goodreads Annette

Author Annette K. Larsen I was born in Utah, part of a crazy, fun family of nine. I grew up in Flagstaff, AZ and St. Louis, MO before striking out on my own college adventure in Virginia. I decided to try my hand at writing novels after I was married and living in Idaho. I write clean romance because it’s my favorite genre, but often difficult to find.
I have Charlotte Brontë to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally, a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to face the reality of sacrificing what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but in the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it. I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.
Not yet read Just Ella?
It is on sale for $3.99 for the duration of the blog tour.
Grab your copy on Amazon.
Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/15/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Indie Books: The Outer Edge of Heaven by Jaclyn Hawkes

Jaclyn Hawkes is likely my favorite Indie author. She has written a slew of books, mostly romance, very clean with religious overtones. She has a historical book Warrior's Moon A Love Story.  I stumbled into her by reading The Most Important Catch. I'veenjoyed everything I've read by her, and I highly recommend reading her books.

In The Outer Edge of Heaven,  Charlie decides to go help out on a ranch over the summer instead of taking on a high powered internship. Charlie wants something different from what her parents want from her, and this book is about how Charlie finds her way. Of course there is a very swoon worthy leading man involved as well. Have you read anything by Jaclyn Hawkes? What did you think?

Just a heads up, she writes LDS fiction, and some of her books are a bit heavy handed when it comes to religious themes. If that's going to bother you, you may want to steer clear of the Rockland Ranch series, where it is a lot more prevalent, other books it's not as strong. If that's not going to bother you, each of the books in that series is fantastic, and well worth reading.