Thank you Stamford High School for the AMAZING Visit!

I just got back from what was definitely one of the *coolest* experiences I’ve had as an author thus far – I got to visit the Stamford High School Book Club (in Stamford, CT) for an awesome discussion about Stitch (which they read recently) and my experience as an author!

Let me tell you – talking to readers is about the awesome-est thing ever (and yes I know awesome-est isn’t word, but it is now!!), and I hear from a lot of you guys online (which is AMAZING), but this was my first experience actually sitting down in a room full of people who’ve read my book and just…. wow.  It was really beyond words.

First off, these students were all so thoughtful and bright and cool, and had so many great things going on in their own lives, that I felt special that they even took the time to read Stitch.  They had SO many great questions – about my inspiration for the story, how I got started writing, who my favorite characters are, the most difficult (and best!) parts of writing a book, self-publishing, how I actually approached the writing process, how to market a book, you name it – not to mention (even better!) I got to hear about what they thought of Stitch (no one saw the twist coming, yay!) and the characters and what they hope to see in the next one.  It was a very stimulating and fun conversation – I’m going to be glowing for weeks!

To thank the Stamford HS Book Club for having me, I also gave out some very very early drafts of the first couple chapters of Shudder (you can see it there on the desk in the bottom left corner of the photo) as a Stamford High School exclusive.  I’m SUPER excited to hear what they think, because they are literally the *first* people to see this work, outside of my beta readers.  (Sorry everyone else!! I’ll have the finalized sample chapters up here for the rest of you in a few weeks – these guys needed some kind of perk for getting me out of my house for once!  Haha.)  I actually haven’t even revised those chapters yet – it’s first draft material, so it’s probably typo-laden and not super great – but I thought it would be cool to see these before anyone else!

And I was also thrilled to receive my very first piece of fan art!  Check it out!  (Isn’t this incredible?  Storm literally sketched this drawing of me in 5 minutes right before my eyes, while holding a full conversation with me and the other students – so cool!)

Overall, it was just an amazing day.  HUGE HUGE THANKS to Librarian Mary George for inviting me (and for the delicious red velvet cupcakes!) and to all of the students at Stamford who read the book and joined us for the meeting (and those of you who wanted to be there but couldn’t make it!).  You guys are seriously the best!!  Keep in touch!

Clarifying the Cryptic Amazon Email

If you own a Kindle version of Stitch, you may have received an email from Amazon in the wee hours of the morning that went something a little like this:

An updated version of your past Kindle purchase of Stitch (Stitch Trilogy, Book 1) by Samantha Durante is now available.

The updated version contains the following changes:

–     Typos have been corrected.

–     Significant editorial changes have been made.

Since that email is entirely cryptic and makes the changes I made sound completely overblown, I just wanted to post some clarification.  To be clear: NO EDITORIAL CHANGES HAVE BEEN MADE TO STITCH.

In case you’re curious, these are the actual changes I made:

My reaction while reading Amazon's email

My reaction while reading Amazon’s email

1. Fixed two typos

In Ch 12 when Alessa is reflecting on how mortified she is about running away from Nikhil, one sentence had read, “She couldn’t imagine how she would face him tomorrow, or whenever she happened to see him next, if he even wanted to her see again.”  I fixed it to read “see her” as was intended.  (Shout out to reader Brianna for bringing this one to my attention!)

In the Acknowledgements, I somehow misspelled Stephenie Meyer’s name (used “Stephanie” with an “a” by accident), so I fixed it while I was in there.

2. Added a Note to Readers

Since publishing the book almost eight months ago, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to succeed as an author, and the one thing I’ve relied on almost completely is help from my readers.  Whether bloggers or just plain bibliophiles, you readers are the only reason Stitch has sold any copies, because you’ve all been SO supportive in posting reviews, telling friends on Goodreads and Facebook, blogging/tweeting/shouting from the rooftops about Stitch.  So I wanted to take a moment to say, “Thank you!” and explain to readers just how much this really means to us authors, since as a reader, I never knew!

In case you’re interested and don’t feel like updating your Kindle, this is what the note says:

Dear Reader,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for making time in your busy schedule to read Stitch.  It is an absolute honor to share Alessa and Isaac’s story with you, and I’m thrilled that you chose this book out of the millions of incredible books at your disposal.  Truly, I cannot thank you enough.  You are a dream come true.

If you enjoyed Stitch and are interested in reading the rest of the series, I encourage you to join the Stitch community at www.samanthadurante.com to sign up for notifications of future Stitch Trilogy releases and to keep up with the tons of exciting extra content that’s published on my blog, Facebook pages, Twitter account, and Goodreads page almost every day.

I also wanted to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude to all of the fans who have so graciously spread the word about Stitch on their blogs and social media.  This book could never have succeeded without your help, and I am utterly in your debt.  You guys are amazing – I really can’t say it enough.

I’ve been reading books since I can remember, but until I began writing professionally, I never understood how truly dependent authors are on their fans.  As a reader, I always assumed that a good author would get picked up by an agent and publisher, and that those allies would use their arsenals of marketing and PR tools to ensure that the author’s books would reach their rightful audience.  And perhaps things used to be like this, once upon a time, but the publishing industry is changing, and unfortunately this is no longer the case.

The traditional publishing model just isn’t working anymore, and as a result, up-and-coming authors are often passed over altogether in favor of proven sellers.  And even those authors lucky enough to find a publisher are not afforded the same amount of support in the marketing department that they once could expect.  That means authors now have to know not only how to write but also how to market their work effectively.

As an author, I’ve since learned that my number one ally in the challenging endeavor of finding an audience for my books is not the marketers and PR people I once thought, but the readers themselves.  Every review on Amazon and Goodreads, every recommendation to a friend, every mention on a blog or Facebook post or tweet has been absolutely invaluable towards Stitch’s success.  So thank you a million times over to everyone who has done this for Stitch, or for any book – you have no idea how important (and appreciated!) you truly are.

As a reader, you hold so much power to aid the authors you love.  If you enjoyed this book – or any book – I encourage you to write a review, tell someone about it, post about it online, and reach out to the author to let them know.  Take whatever steps you can to share your love with the world, because your words really do matter.

Thank you so much for all of your support!
Samantha

Again, to be clear, this was the only “editorial change” made.  I did NOT edit the story in any way, so PLEASE don’t go updating your Kindle and hoping for a “new and improved” version of Stitch, b/c it’s NOT THERE!

I wish Amazon had been more clear about this in their email, but alas, there is little transparency in their policies when it comes to these things, and even littler power allowed to us authors to control what happens with our book once we hit the “publish” button.  I actually knew this was a possibility when I was considering publishing the changes, but after repeated emails to Amazon asking for clarification about what would happen came back with a form response that basically said “it depends,” I decided to just go for it.  If I knew they were going to make it sound like I’d rewritten the ending or something, I might have reconsidered… But what’s done is done, I guess.

In case you’re wondering, there was a motivating factor behind these changes.  With Shudder coming out in June – and therefore upcoming promotions for Stitch (details TBA!) to help get more readers into the series – I wanted to make these changes before a lot more people (hopefully) owned the book, on the off chance that Amazon ended up doing exactly what it did.  So I apologize to those of you who currently own Stitch and who were the unwilling guinea pigs in this experiment, but I promise it was for the greater good.  (Haha, now I’m starting to sound like the Engineers!)

Anyway, sorry for any confusion and I hope this helps clear things up!

“You are sick!” AKA Final Shudder-o-Meter Beta Reader Comments

When I finished the first draft of Shudder a few days ago, I promised I would follow up with some beta reader reactions after they’d had some time to read.  Well, here you go!  :-)

Yeah, the beta readers kinda looked a little like this…

“You are sick!”

“What is <name hidden to avoid spoilers> thinking??  Betraying the rebels?  Really??”

“AHHHH WHY DOESN’T SHE KILL HIM?”

“I’m actually experiencing a book hangover after finishing that, so I decided to re-read Stitch for a little hair-of-the-dog while I wait for the revised draft.” 

“Did you finish the third book yet?  B/c I need it, NOW.”

Muahahahaha – aren’t you just dying to know what they’re all talking about??  Well don’t feel bad, b/c I’m dying to share it – trust me, this whole waiting thing is as painful for me as it is for you!!

And with this post, I’m officially retiring the Shudder-o-Meter, since as of right now it looks like we’re on track for the June 15th release.  Shudder is now in the hands of the second round of beta readers, and then I’ll be moving into the heavy revision process, then formatting, and – finally! – publication.  BAM.

In the meantime, I’m also starting to get the Shudder Blog Tour set up so… posting might be a little slow around here for the next few weeks.  But don’t worry, b/c I’ve already got 97 blogs (!!) signed up for the tour, so there will be PLENTY of new content come June!  Can’t wait!

Stitch *Might* Be Temporarily Unavailable

Hey guys – just wanted to give you a heads up that the Stitch print/Kindle versions may not be available in the Amazon store temporarily over the next 48 hours or so.  I published an update to the files (nothing major, just fixing the 2 typos I found since publication last summer), so while the new files are being reviewed, you might not be able to buy the book.  No worries!  I’d imagine everything should be back to normal by the end of Monday if not before.  :-)

It’s finally here: Shudder-o-Meter reaches 100%!!!

Put on your party hats, people – I’ve got news!  As of about 15 minutes ago, the Shudder-o-Meter is 100% complete!!!

Ta-daaaaa!

Shudder-o-Meter: 100%

That’s right!  After a MARATHON weekend of writing, the first draft is finished, fini, finito, caput!

And I’m so, so excited about how it turned out.  No beta reader comments yet – I need to give them a few days to read the final chapters – but I’ll post some as soon I hear back from them.  Trust me, after the last chapter… they’re going to have some things to say.  <Evil grin.>

Update coming soon!  :-D

Update: Here’s a link to the beta reader reactions.

All Weekend Long – Q&A @ New Adult Book Club

New Adult Book ClubI’m super excited to be the featured author for Goodreads’ New Adult Book Club Author Q&A this weekend!  All weekend long, you can swing by the thread and ask me anything at all that suits your fancy, about Stitch/Shudder, writing, life… whatever you’d like!

I absolutely LOVE hearing from fans of the series and talking about your reaction to the books and any questions you have about the story, the characters, my writing process, so please stop by the New Adult Book Club and let me know what you’re thinking!

On Public Humiliation and Customer Service

Yay for Customer Service!Or “How I Really Hope Your Experience Reading My Books Is Nothing Like My Experience with ADT Security”

Note: Update at the bottom of the post – ADT did make an effort to resolve the problem as best they can, so bravo to them!

Raise your hand if you’ve ever left a bagel in the toaster a little too long.  Or if sometimes you pour oil into a too-hot pan on the stove.  Or hey, maybe you just like your meat with a nice sear.

Now raise your hand if you think any of the above should be cause for PUBLIC HUMILIATION.

What?  No one?  Really??  Hmm… Wish someone would tell that to my alarm company.

Last night, I decided to make a chicken caesar salad from scratch for dinner.  A harmless enough endeavor, it would seem, but apparently ADT Security thinks that an acceptable way for this routine meal to play out is this: with firetrucks and police cars (sirens blaring!) outside my house, my cat cowering in fear under the bed for 4 hours, and me and my husband literally shaking from an adrenaline high as we ate our (well-seared) chicken breast, and then me shaking further from FURY after a completely useless call to ADT to ask them for help in preventing this from happening again.

“What the hell happened?” you may ask.  Let me tell you:

The urge struck me yesterday afternoon for a chicken caesar salad, and miracle of miracles, I actually had everything I needed in the house to make it.  So an hour before dinner, I marinated the chicken, washed the lettuce, chopped up some homemade croutons, and started whirring together a zesty little dressing in my food processor.  Once everything was ready, the last thing I needed to do was grill the chicken.

Now, it’s still hovering in the mid-40s in New York most days, and as I just moved into my new house, I don’t yet own a grill.  BUT never fear, I was prepared: I have a stove-top grill pan.  And as a self-proclaimed connoisseur of chicken caesar salads, I happen to know that the best ones featured some nicely grilled chicken breast with just a bit of charring on the outside, so that was my goal.  Sear the outside just a bit and give it those nice grill marks, then pop that baby in the oven to finish cooking.

So there I am, bumbling along in a pleasant domestic bliss, the tantalizing scent of fresh-toasted garlic croutons wafting about me as the grill pan heats up over the stove.  I pull the chicken out of the fridge, spray a little oil onto the pan, gently lay a chicken breast over the grate, and… BAM.

All hell breaks loose.

REEEEEEP.  REEEEEEP.  REEEEEEP.  That’s the smoke detector in my kitchen going off, but it’s okay – it’s just an old one which isn’t connected to the alarm system, basically my warning that something bad’s about to happen if I don’t get my butt moving.

Deep!  Help!”  That’s me screaming for my husband to grab the dishtowel and start fanning the smoke alarm that’s actually connected to the system before it goes off, while I frantically leap from window to window to ventilate.

REEEEEEEEEEP.  REEEEEEEEEEEEP.   REEEEEEEEEEEP.  Aw, CRAP, and there’s the earsplitting shriek of the ADT alarm going off.  Deep has thrown the front door open and is now using a blanket to try to clear the air around the alarm.

“%^&* #U*O(UO! #T^&#%!!!  Gio sweetie, it’s okay, I promise, come back please!  &*^@ @^*&@((^$^!” That’s me cursing while simultaneously trying to comfort my terrified cat AND run to the alarm panel to shut it off.  I sprint across the house, almost falling flat on my face in my haste, but I somehow manage to maintain my footing and reach the panel.

“FIRE.  Alert!  FIRE.  Alert!”  That’s the alarm panel screaming OVER the deafening blare of the siren, as if I hadn’t noticed already that the alarm’s going off.  Thanks guys, don’t know how I missed that one!

Beep beep beep beep, ding!  Whew, I enter the code and shut off the alarm.  We get a full 3 second respite before the smoke detectors realize there’s STILL smoke and they go off again.  I stand there and repeat this process about 6 times until–

RING RING RING!  I pick up the house phone.  “This is ADT Security, we see that there’s an alarm going off at your house.”

“No kidding.  There’s no fire – I just burnt dinner.  How do I shut this thing off before the fire department comes??”

ADT hangs up, because they can’t hear me over the blare of their own alarm, just as I can’t hear the sound of my OWN THOUGHTS over their alarm.  Convenient.

RING RING RING.  There they are calling my cell phone.

“This is ADT Security, we see that there’s an alarm going off at your house.  Could you go outside?  I can’t hear you.”

“I’d love to go outside, but first I need to shut this f-ing thing off.  Can you do that please?”

“What?  I can’t hear you.”

ARGGGGHHHHHH.  I run outside barefoot (it’s 40 degrees, mind you), where the sound of the alarm is hovering just somewhere under 150 decibels (that’s the equivalent of standing 36 inches from an exploding firecracker).  “Okay, I’m outside.  There’s no fire.  I just burnt dinner.  Please shut the alarm off and tell the fire department not to come.”

“One moment please.”

And…. Silence.  Blessed, blessed silence.

But only for a minute.

WAAAAAARRRRHHHH BAWW BAWW – that’s the fire engine – and REEE-ROOO REEE-ROOO – oh, and there’s the sheriff!  SWISH-SWISH-SWISH-SWISH – ah, and there are all my neighbors swatting their curtains aside to see what the hell is going on, since sirens are about as common in our neighborhood as mutant zombie attacks.

You can imagine what happens from here.  The firemen come in and check things out, while my husband and I apologize profusely – me unshowered in my pajamas, flailing tongs about as I try to salvage my chicken.  The very patient men of my town’s volunteer fire department are understanding, and mainly just seem relieved to see that everything is all right.  The sheriff takes down our information to file his report, and is kind enough to comment that, “It smells delicious in here!”  And then they head out, and my neighbors go back to their own meals, probably muttering to themselves about that new girl who can’t cook (since this unfortunately is NOT the first time this has happened since I moved in 5 months ago – far from it, in fact).

So then it was over, kind of.  As the sheer and utter chaos of my life subsides, we sit down to eat, not joined by our cat, who would still be shuddering under the bed 4 hours later – a fact which is significantly more painful to me than the humiliation of all my new neighbors thinking that I am hopeless in the kitchen.  And by the time we clear the table, my nerves have calmed enough think clearly and I decide to call ADT to try to get some help with this issue.

I dial the 800 number, navigate hopefully through the voice prompts, and choose the option for “Trouble With My System.”  I explain to the nice customer service representative what happened tonight, how this is the fourth or fifth time it has happened, and that I’m trying to find a reasonable solution, since this experience is highly disruptive to me and my neighbors, damaging to my cat, and an absolute waste of the limited resources of my small town’s fire and police departments.

And what am I met with?  Nothing but disdain.

“Well, that’s just how the system works.  You could call before you cook and let us know to ignore the system for the next hour.”

“I’m supposed to call you every day before I cook dinner?”

“Do you burn dinner every day?”

Seriously.  They didn’t seem to care what I was going through, how this was affecting my family or my community, and most certainly did not care to hear my suggestions for how they might improve this customer experience for the future.  And there are A LOT of ways this process could be improved:

1. ADT could call me BEFORE they call the fire department, so I can tell them if it’s a false alarm.

2. Maybe #1 is too extreme and could delay service in the event of an actual emergency – okay, I buy that.  Then how about – at my request, after the third+ time this happened – ADT makes a note in their system that if the smoke detectors go off between the hours of 6-8 pm, I’m probably cooking dinner, and just during this time period, they should call first.

3. Here’s a simple one: When I put the code into the alarm and punch, “OFF” the system should actually LISTEN TO ME.  The sirens should stop, and if I do this quickly enough, ADT should realize there’s NOT A PROBLEM and not alert the fire department (or at least call first to check before they do).

4. Maybe I could have some way to disable the alarms preemptively, either by entering a code before I cook something for dinner that I know is likely to smoke or by simply pulling the alarm out of the wall (which is what I’ve always done with the simple battery operated detectors, but if I do that with this system, my alarm panel beeps incessantly until I put it back).

5. At the very least, someone from ADT could offer to come take a look at my system and give me a few suggestions, and should have noted my experience and sent the information to their product development team so that they can try to fix this experience as best they can.  But all I got was, “You burn dinner every day?”

(One caveat – I know from previous conversations with ADT that they feel their hands are tied on some of the solutions I suggested above, since apparently there’s now a state law that requires automatic fire dispatch before the homeowner is contacted.  But seriously, whoever came up with that asinine law has obviously never used a kitchen.  And I can’t be the only one experiencing this – ADT should go to the state armed with data about how many of these false alarms are wasting valuable municipal resources, and I’m sure something could be done, especially at a time when city/state budgets are so tight to begin with.)

Okay, enough about ADT.

I know this blog is supposed to be about writing.  So, how does this at all relate to my experience an author?

Here’s how: because I realize that, like an ADT security system, my books are a product, and the people who buy them – you, my readers – are my customers.  And that means you deserve the utmost respect and to feel that your experiences with my product – and opinions on how to improve it – are valued.

I just want my readers to know that if you ever think of any way that I can improve my products, I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT.  Whether it’s a typo or formatting error you come across, a potential plot hole, an idea for a character or story line, or even an account of how I repeated publicly humiliated you by making you cry/scream/laugh out loud while reading one of my books (okay, in that one case, I’ll probably just give myself a pat on the back… sorry!), PLEASE TELL ME.  (You can contact me here!)

I promise I won’t treat you how ADT has treated me.  Even if I can’t actually enact your suggestions, I will listen to them and explain why, and take them into account with my future work.  And I will appreciate that you took the time to give me your feedback.

Because that’s how valued customers should be treated.  Hear that, ADT?  I hope you’re taking notes.

Update 4/4: I received a call today from ADT customer service, and they apologized for the issue and suggested a solution which is about the best we could come up with given the constraints of the automatic dispatch law (which they also said they’d look into).  Apparently you can login to ADT.com to set the system on “test” for an hour, so I can do this before I cook something (like a steak seared in butter, YUM) that I know is likely to smoke.  (Note, though, that this just prevents ADT from dispatching – it won’t prevent the sirens from going off in the house.  BUT, I realized that while the system is in test mode, I can take the smoke detectors down and put them in a closet, and then enter the code to stop it from beeping at me.  So this should be an okay preemptive solution, and as long as the smoke isn’t too bad, I *might* actually be able to pull it off on an accidental burn as well…)  A bit of a clunky solution, but hey, at least they’re trying.  Thanks for listening, ADT!  Now THAT’S how you do customer service.  :-)

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: Shudder is coming!!! Cover Reveals start TODAY

So… Easter weekend got a *bit* in the way of my progress with the Shudder drafts the past few days, but never fear – the release train is still on schedule!  In fact, starting today and continuing for the next few weeks, you may notice some Shudder buzz popping up at your favorite book blogs…

And that’s because it’s time to reveal the Shudder cover!  So without further ado, here ya go:

Shudder by Samantha DuranteTa-da!  What do you think??

Here’s a little more about what you can expect to see in Shudder:

It’s only been three days, and already everything is different.

Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa’s life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she’d counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she’d thought she’d tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she’s discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.

And then there are the visions.

The memory-altering “stitch” unlocked something in Alessa’s mind, and now she can’t shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers – and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world’s sorry history – will soon leave Alessa reeling…

The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante’s shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.

Add Shudder to Goodreads

Yay!  Can’t wait to share Shudder with you guys!!!

If you’re excited too, make sure you don’t miss the release – currently slated for June 15th, 2013 (assuming all goes well with the revision/publication process).  Here are a few simple things you could do ensure you’ll get notification when Shudder is available:

Oh, and even better news…  Doing any of the above will earn you entries into the GIVEAWAY for a SIGNED ARC of SHUDDER!!!  Enter below!  :-D

Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!

Planning for the Blog Tour (coming this summer!) is underway, so stay tuned for updates…  And if you or someone you know would like to host a tour stop, sign up here!

J. A. Huss Range/Magpie Release Day BLITZ

Remember the new releases in the I Am Just Junco series from author J. A. Huss that I mentioned a few weeks back?  Well guess what – they’re here!  All the info you need is below, along with an awesome giveaway!
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RANGE

THE MAGPIE BRIDGE
I Am Just/Not Junco
J. A. Huss
Published: March 27, 2013
Genre: New Adult Science Fiction
RANGE INFO

Two years have passed since Inanna stole Junco away from Lucan. Two years of unimaginable pain. Two years of isolation, mutilation and torture. Two years of fear and loneliness in a morph tank. And that’s not something you just get over, even if you are psycho-assassin, Junco Coot.

Now Junco has to learn to live with the consequences. Her Siblings are suspicious and angry, half her team is dead, Tier is wreaking death and destruction, Lucan is holding his secrets close, and she is spiraling out of control.

There is only one partnership that matters anymore – only one person she will trust and take direction from – and only one way out of the Hell she’s been sentenced to.

Junco is tired of fighting and death. She’s had enough and this time she means to end it – once and for all.

Junco is tired of fighting and death. She’s had enough and this time she means to end it – once and for all.

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MAGPIE BRIDGE INFO

Raubtier Aves, 039-1, a.k.a TIER
Son of Lucan
Ranking Officer of the Avian military
Powerful
Ruthless
And devoted to Junco, no matter whatTier was left with one specific order and he’s not about to screw it up. He might lose all his allies, his brothers, his shot at defeating the High Order, and his own Eternal Salvation – but he’s willing to risk it all to keep one small girl alive.Tier reveals his part in the epic tale of The Seven Siblings, spilling secrets and motivations that will leave you breathless and wanting more. The Magpie Bridge paves the way for the final installment in the new adult Series, I Am Just Junco. The final book in the Junco Epic, RETURN, will be released on December 2, 2013.

New Adult Addiction New Adult Addiction
New Adult Addiction New Adult Addiction

EXCERPT

The last time I was here in Subjack’s tunnels pops back into my mind. The day I met Gideon again after being separated for years, back when I was still tucking down those memories. He was acting the same way with me then, exasperated with my detached attitude.”—I don’t want you to start any shit in here, got it?”

“Why would I start shit, Gid? I’m not a complete psychopath.”

He stares down at me, his eyes darting back and forth as he searches mine, then blinks and straightens up. “OK, whatever then. No scenes.”

I shrug. Why would I create a scene?

The biometrics on the door are triggered by someone on the other side and it slips open with a perfunctory whoosh.

When I look into the new room, Tier is staring down at me and I lunge at him, clasping my hands around his throat.

“You asshole, how dare you come here!” More words are spewing out of my mouth, ‘fuck’ mostly, ‘bastard’ and ‘dickhead’ put in several appearances, and then we’re wrestling on the ground. I’ve got my foot wrapped around his neck and he’s trying to grab my hands as Gideon pulls on me. I swing back with an elbow and crack Gid hard in the chin and he growls. My pretty flower dress is picking up little dust bunnies and all sorts of other debris as we roll around on the floor but I could give a shit.

“How dare you,” I growl as I lean down into Tier’s ear. “How dare you show your face to me again!”

“Junco!” he commands me as he squirms. “Calm the fuck down! That’s an order!”

I wriggle out of his grip and swing my foot around, slap him in the face with it, and then flip over and crack him once in the neck. “Fuck you and your orders, you prick.”

His hands scramble to grab me by the waist, then slip up my dress and I remember I’m hiding something. Something he’s not supposed to know about. I stop my struggle for a brief moment, hoping his hands will stop, but they don’t. They slide right up and find my secret.
And then he lets go and pushes me off him.

Bad-Ass Junco is BACK!
(And-She’s-A-Crazy-Bitch Giveaway)
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Win The Junco-is-Psycho RANGE Blog Tour $150 Grand Prize.
Or one of two runner up prizes!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label).

She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.

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