Unnormal Normalcy

Just News and Ramblings From Your Average Author

Blog Hop Against Homophobia

In honor of the International Day Against Homophobia, I am giving away two books! One winner will receive a copy of The Angel and Meant to be Broken, both of which deal with the topic of homophobia.The Angel, however, really deals with it more so than MtbB. In The Angel, Seth Salvadore-Knight must deal with the fact that not everyone accepts his family – because he has two fathers. People constantly try to break his family apart, but they find the strength to keep going. This is a problem that same-sex couples and their families face when homophobic people don’t want to bother trying to understand them as fellow human beings.

If you are new here, here’s what my books are about:

The Angel

*Note, due to multiple technical problems that resulted in a loss of files, I cannot provide a ebook version of this book, only a physical copy.*

From his very first day at Madison High School, Seth is a witness to Brian’s relentless bullying.

And from the beginning he sets out to protect the bully’s victims.

But when Brian starts attacking Seth’s friends, it gets personal.

Then Brian learns about Seth’s gay parents.

That’s when all hell breaks loose.

The final showdown will leave blood in the rain, shots echoing through the night, and lives in tatters…

Check out chapter one!

…..

Meant to be Broken

*Note, this book is not officially published yet, because of delays with the cover art. The winner will receive a proof copy!*

Junior year hasn’t started very well for Ives Fay; his father passed away over the summer and he’s still having trouble accepting it, his mother is dealing with her own depression by chain-smoking and drinking, his sister finds it necessary to sleep with every guy she can in order to deal with her own emotions, and he has an androgynous stalker who comes to school as a guy one day and a girl the next. It’s all really messing with his mind. So he finds his escape in self-mutilation and bottles of alcohol stashed in his closet, hoping that the temporary fix will somehow become permanent. Then, when he’s on a fast track to an early end, he meets Tomi, a guy so much like himself, but so very different. Could their nearly instant friendship be enough to save Ives from his dangerous path? And could Tomi give enough to be Ives’ saving grace? Or will Tomi’s own troubles prevent either of them from ever finding happiness?

Check out chapter one!

…..

To enter:

WordPress won’t allow me to use any of the Google forms, so just leave a comment below by the 20th, and I will randomly select a winner. Please include your name and e-mail address so I can contact you on the 21st. If you do not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be selected. US only entry, please.

May 17, 2012 Posted by | Blog Hop, Meant to be Broken, The Angel | 10 Comments

More of Ryle and Shane

I love them. I don’t know why, but they are the characters who keep poking my brain, demanding to have their story written. Unfortunately, their story comes to me in flashes, flashes that I have sudden urges to write. So, I will eventually get their complete back story done, but it’s likely never going to be more than a collection of short stories of varying length, never a novel.

Here’s a story from their freshman year, when things begin. I posted Shane’s coming-out-to-Ryle scene already.

 

Ryle Salvador had spent the last six months trying to figure himself out, ever since his best friend since third grade, Shane Knight, came out to him. Ryle had casually asked Shane numerous questions about how he’d come to decide what his sexuality was, and he wondered if Shane was having suspicions about him. If he wondered about Ryle, he didn’t say anything, though.

But, it was watching Shane date a guy one year older than himself that really helped Ryle face the truth. He couldn’t fight the wave of jealousy that hit him every time he saw them together, and he was ashamed of how hard it was to hide his smile when Shane told him he’d been dumped after only two weeks.

“High school sucks,” Shane grumbled while they did their homework at Shane’s house a few days later.

Ryle glanced up from the English book he wasn’t really reading. “Yeah, too much work.”

Shane shook his head and threw down his pencil. “No, everything about it sucks. The homework, the classes, the people… Some idiot in history is calling me names now. And Joe’s a bitch.”

“I told you not to date him,” Ryle replied, glancing down at his book again. “He’s not your type.”

“How would you know?” Shane demanded. “I mean, sure, we’ve known each other for six years, but you’re not -”

“I am.”

There was a long pause, during which Ryle stared at page 57 of Lord of the Flies and took nothing in. Why was he so scared? Shane, of all people, should understand him.

“What?” Shane finally asked.

“Why did you think I asked you so many questions?” Ryle’s throat felt like sandpaper as he spoke.

“I guess I wondered… I just thought you were curious, since we’d known each other for so long…”

Ryle finally set the book down. “No. I had been wondering about myself before that. I just wanted to find out how to know for sure.”

Shane nodded and picked his pencil back up to play with it. “So… back to my point. What is my type?”

Ryle shrugged. “I’d say someone like me.”

“Someone like you,” Shane repeated, a frightened expression on his face.

“Yeah,” Ryle said, blushing.

“We could ruin what we have,” Shane pointed out quietly. “I don’t want that.”

Ryle nodded and looked away. “I know. I don’t want that to happen either. But what if…” He shook his head and got up from the kitchen table. “I’m sorry,” he stated as he gathered his backpack and his books. There were suddenly tears in his eyes, and he didn’t know why. He started for the door.

“Wait!” Shane jumped to his feet and cut him off before he got to the front door. “Ryle, please,” he begged. “You didn’t give me time to let it sink in. You just surprised me with two really big things.” His green eyes gazed into Ryle’s, and he suddenly shook his head. “You’re right,” he agreed quietly. “What if? I can’t lose this chance. But we’ve been friends for so long…”

“We’ll always be friends,” Ryle assured him. “If it doesn’t work out, we’ll know we were only meant to be friends.”

Shane nodded and took Ryle’s books away to set them on the floor. Then he pulled Ryle into a tight hug. Ryle put his arms around Shane, resting his head against his friend’s shoulder. He loved the feeling of the tender hug; the last time Shane had hugged him this tightly, they had been ten years old – best friends for only a year – and Ryle had been coping with his father’s sudden death. Ryle had felt devotion from Shane then, and he felt it now.

After a while Shane took a step back, and Ryle leaned close, giving Shane a light kiss on the cheek. Shane responded by giving Ryle a soft kiss on the lips. Ryle smiled, so glad to finally be giving them a chance at something more than friendship.

May 9, 2012 Posted by | Ryle/Shane Backstories, The Angel, Writing | Leave a comment

Okay, So…

I’m aware of how much of a slacker I’ve been. It’s just that school has taken a major chunk of my time lately. I’ve hardly been doing any writing, and that is sad. I can’t read very much more than a few pages a day, either, which is even more sad.

But I’ve written some short stories about Ryle and Shane – sort of back-story short scenes, not really stories, I guess.

Anyway, here’s one short scene I wrote a few months ago. Enjoy.

 

Ryle Salvador stared at the map of Madison High School, trying to read the slightly smudged numbers that told which lockers were located in each hall. He checked the other sheet of paper he was holding, the one that told him his locker number and combination, but held no other clues as to how to find it.

“Want to look for mine or yours first?” his best friend, Shane Knight, asked, looking up from his own map and locker assignment.

“Whichever,” Ryle replied. “Why didn’t they point out what hallways had what lockers during orientation yesterday?”

Shane shrugged. “I thought our tour guide sucked. She was too concerned with running into her boyfriend leading that other group every five minutes.”

“I hope when I’m a senior I don’t have a stalker like that.”

His friend snorted. “Come on, I think I know where mine is, at least.”

Ryle followed him up the stairs, silently complaining about how useless their freshman orientation had been the day before. By the end of it they had both just wanted to go home and save finding their lockers for another day, unlike the rest of their classmates. That meant no one was there to point them in the right direction now.

They walked up and down several flights of stairs, found a few dead-ends, walked in a few circles, and made several wrong turns, but finally Shane held his papers up in triumph. “Found it!”

Ryle waited patiently while Shane tried the combination, and swung the locker open with a satisfying whine of metal hinges. At that moment, Ryle had a mental reality check.

“We’re in high school,” he stated. “It’s the real thing. Real classes and tests that actually matter. And a totally different social atmosphere, with bullies and cliques and all that.”

Shane looked up at him from the dial on his locker, a serious expression on his face. “Ryle, I have to tell you something.”

Ryle was startled by his friend’s tone. “Okay.”

“I’m telling you because you’re my best friend and I trust you more than anyone else in the world.” He took a deep breath. “I’m gay.”

Ryle stared at him for a moment, not sure how to respond. He was sure he was supposed to be surprised, shocked, upset, or something like that. But he wasn’t. In fact, he couldn’t see how it could possibly change anything about how he looked at his friend. And that was just it.

Shane looked like he might be sick. “Are you going to say anything?”

Ryle shrugged. “I don’t care, Shane. Well, I mean, I care,” he amended, seeing Shane go pale. “I’m just not bothered. You’re my best friend, and I want it to stay that way.”

Shane smiled and Ryle could see the relief on his face. “Thank you, Ryle. I knew I could trust you.”

Ryle returned the smile. “Can we go find my locker now?”

As they started back through the maze of hallways in search of his locker, Ryle found himself wanting to question Shane. How had he figured it out? Was he sure? When did he know? Had he told anyone else?

That was the first time Ryle ever admitted to himself that he wasn’t quite sure of his own sexuality.

April 20, 2012 Posted by | Life, Ryle/Shane Backstories, The Angel, Writing | Leave a comment

Short Story Saturday

First, I wish I’d get less SPAM COMMENTS. It’s really annoying.

Anyway, this SST is different. Today I have a short story from The Angel. This is something I wrote recently, because I kept thinking about what happened the night Brian did all his mean things. I think a lot about the side characters from The Angel and what they were doing at certain times. This is one of those times.

Warning: This scene contains vulgar language, sexual language, gore, and spoilers if you haven’t read the book. Thus, read at your own risk and only if you feel comfortable.

Continue reading

September 10, 2011 Posted by | Short Story Saturday, The Angel | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday, Seth!

Jeeze, I’ve been meaning to write this post all day, but my day off from work was less relaxing than I had been expecting. Anyway, just had to say happy birthday to Seth, who is 22 today! I was planning on writing a birthday short story, but life has been giving me very little writing time lately. But, you can still by the Kindle edition of The Angel for $0.99 on Amazon! This sale will be ending on August 31st! Celebrate Seth’s birthday by reading about what happened when he was 17!

From his very first day at Madison High School, Seth is a witness to Brian’s relentless bullying.

And from the beginning he sets out to protect the bully’s victims.

But when Brian starts attacking Seth’s friends, it gets personal.

Then Brian learns about Seth’s gay parents.

That’s when all hell breaks loose.

The final showdown will leave blood in the rain, shots echoing through the night, and lives in tatters…

Buy it now for Kindle.

August 20, 2011 Posted by | The Angel | Leave a comment

Soundtrack Sunday + Updates

I apologize, first of all, for missing Short Story Saturday yesterday. I was busy all week and forgot to schedule it, and I was also busy yesterday. So much is going on that I’m going crazy! Puppy and work and summer classes and figuring out how to get loans when I transfer in the spring and trying to get books read for blog tours and trying to write a little everyday and getting ready for a model horse show – yes, you read that right.

I got a nice little package in the mail the other day; a ton of bookmarks from The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House for participating in Once Upon a Read-a-Thon earlier in the month. Lots of other books I want to read now! But that’s the idea, isn’t it?

And here is a song for The Angel. Enjoy!

July 31, 2011 Posted by | Life, Soundtrack Sunday, The Angel | Leave a comment

Soundtrack Sunday

I keep hearing this song on the radio and it makes me think of all my characters in The Angel and WIP. So, I dedicate it to them. Enjoy!

 

July 17, 2011 Posted by | Soundtrack Sunday, The Angel | Leave a comment

Nightmare Survival and Other News

Well, the past 24 hours have been a total nightmare for me. At about this time last night my computer was infected by this wonderful Trojan virus that is disguised as an antivirus program. Ironic, huh? It basically blocks you from accessing most of the programs on your computer, runs a fake scan that tells you that you have multiple viruses on your computer (the version I got said 25 infections), and tries to make you pay $60 to purchase the “full version” of the program – after which it annihilates your files so you are even worse off. I figured it was a virus when it wouldn’t let me online even after clicking “proceed unprotected (DANGEROUS).” After trying many things to fix it, including a virus scan in safe mode and using my brother’s laptop to download virus-killing software and copying it to a flash drive, I finally managed to win! Yes, it is immensely helpful when your boyfriend is a nerd and his nerd friends are willing to help you with a “simple fix.” For them, I am grateful. Who knows how much money they saved me. I was ready to take the thing to a computer shop at 9am tomorrow, but I have an online class starting this week that would be difficult to manage without a computer.

In other news, Saturday was also the neighborhood garage sale where my grandma lives. I had my own little table with copies of The Angel (I couldn’t get enough copies of Vows in time) and fliers about the books. I wasn’t expecting to sell much, because garage sales aren’t exactly ideal book marketing events, but I did sell a couple copies. There just wasn’t the usual number of people coming through as there usually is. I think it was too close to graduation time, and several other area neighborhoods were having sales this weekend. I hope the planning is better next year!

Have a look at a few pictures I took:

This is the sign my grandma made and stuck on the outside of the garage.

This is my table, complete with Jolly Ranchers that no one ate.

And this is a lunchtime wonder: a cracker down the side of a stack of crackers, within a fully-sealed package. How did this happen?

On a final note, happy Father’s Day to my awesome dad!

Even though it’s not Father’s Day anymore…

June 20, 2011 Posted by | Life, The Angel | Leave a comment

We Have a Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway! Random.org has chosen a winner!

Sassy

from Thrifty Sassy Mama

Just a reminder to everyone else, you can still buy the Kindle edition for just $0.99 for the rest of the month! So, if you didn’t win, you can still get the ebook for super cheap! Click here.

May 9, 2011 Posted by | Giveaways, The Angel | 1 Comment

Spring Blog Carnival!

Pure Imagination

Hosted by Angela from Reading Angel, Candace from Candace’s Book Blog, Mary from The Book Swarm, and Lori from Pure imagination.

This party is basically a giveaway hop, but it’s going to be so much more than that!

Now for the Carnival Part.  During the giveaway hop different blogs will be hosting booths.  Each booth will have a fun challenge for you to do to enter their giveaway!

  • Lori has the Kissing Booth and will be giving away Romance books.
  • Angela has the Haunted House and will be giving away Paranormal books
  • Mary has Rollercoasters and will be giving away a contemporary book.
  • Candace has the Food Court and will be giving away Giftcards (or books of winners choice).
  • Reading Teen has the Fortune Tellers Booth and will be giving away Witch Books.

~~~*~~~

Well, this month marks the one-year anniversary of the publication of The Angel, and what better way to celebrate than with a giveaway? Yes, you guessed it, I’m going to be giving away one signed copy of The Angel at the close of this wonderful Spring Blog Carnival – May 8th.

For those of you who stumbled here just for the Carnival, here’s a little bit about the book:

Official Description:

Seth Salvadore-Knight knew that his family wasn’t exactly “normal,” but he didn’t think his life was really all that different from other seventeen-year-olds’. There were no unusual difficulties in his life, just the average problems all teenagers experienced. That was, until he and his family moved to the town of Madison. Almost instantly the hatred began to show, through violent attacks against him, his family, and his friends. It is this violence, this hatred, that will forever change his life and the lives of those closest to him.

Alternative Description:

From his very first day at Madison High School, Seth is a witness to Brian’s relentless bullying.

And from the beginning he sets out to protect the bully’s victims.

But when Brian starts attacking Seth’s friends, it gets personal.

Then Brian learns about Seth’s gay parents.

That’s when all hell breaks loose.

The final showdown will leave blood in the rain, shots echoing through the night, and lives in tatters…

If you wish to enter the giveaway, please just leave a comment with your name and e-mail address! (WordPress doesn’t let me embed forms using GoogleDocs. Why didn’t I go with Blogger?) USA only, please.

Oh, and I almost forgot! Also, in celebration of the one-year anniversary of The Angel, the Kindle e-book will be on sale for just $0.99, today through May 31st! So if you don’t win the giveaway and still want to read the book, you will be able to get an e-copy super cheap.

To see the other giveaways being held for this event, click here. Again, WordPress won’t let me post the linky code.

May 1, 2011 Posted by | Giveaways, The Angel | 33 Comments

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