Archive | September, 2012

Final *Free* Promo for After The Darkness: Episode One

27 Sep

Free September 27 – 29th

The first episode of the After The Darkness series is free at Amazon. Get your copy now! This will probably be the last free promotion I do for the After The Darkness series.  Starting in October, the After The Darkness series will be available at Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and other retailers.

Novel Cover Reveal: “New Hope City”

26 Sep

Thanks to Keri Knutson at Alchemy Book Covers who created this wonderfully designed cover for my novel “New Hope City.”

“New Hope City,” which is the continuation of Sunni Brown’s story (The Shelter) is scheduled for publication Fall 2012. That’s soon! So sign up for the mailing list so you won’t miss an opportunity to get the novel.

20 Sep

This blog post is a few years old; but it is so honest and candid that I had to reblog it here. This is what being poor is…

Whatever

Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.

Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap they see on TV.

Being poor is having to keep buying $800 cars because they’re what you can afford, and then having the cars break down on you, because there’s not an $800 car in America that’s worth a damn.

Being poor is hoping the toothache goes away.

Being poor is knowing your kid goes to friends’ houses but never has friends over to yours.

Being poor is going to the restroom before you get in the school lunch line so your friends will be ahead of you and won’t hear you say “I get free lunch” when you get to the cashier.

Being poor is living next to the freeway.

Being poor is coming back to the car with your children in the back seat, clutching…

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Focusing On Novel: “New Hope City”

19 Sep

The follow up to The Shelter is almost done. I’ve decided to focus most of my energy on finishing the final polish, cover and other administrative tasks so that I can get this baby out on time this Fall.  Please join the mailing list for an opportunity to receive an advance reader’s copy. Also, here’s a free sample:

Long black hair flows behind the thin frame of a teenage girl. As her tattered sneakers slam into the slush covered road, her jeans become sullied with mud. She pumps her fists harder as she tries to run faster, her worn leather satchel hammering against her hip. The boys close in on her. There are six of them. They are fast.  But the fastest, a freckled face boy with blond hair, quickly closes the distance. He reaches out to grab her. She can feel his talon-like fingernails stab at her shoulder. She pumps her arms harder and digs her sneakers into the mud in earnest. Panting heavily, sweat soaking her brow, she comes to a chain linked fence on the edge of the trailer park; but there is no exit, no way to get through. She claws at the fence trying to scale it; but the blond boy’s talons hook onto the hood of her jacket and yank her to the ground. Not more than a few seconds pass before the other boys swarm Sunni as she lies in a dirty mix of mud and snow. Baine lifts his talons, palm jutted out towards his pack of fellow hunters, “Back the fuck off!” The other boys stop, back up, but only slightly, just enough to allow Baine room to bend over and relieve Sunni of her leather satchel and dump its contents onto the ground. Four tins of sardines, a box of saltine crackers and a pair of tiny pink ballerina shoes pour out of the bag and onto the slush covered pavement.

Sunni drags herself backwards and presses her spine into the fence.  Her lips mold into a snarl; but she keeps her angry gaze hidden.  The sound of shuffling feet draws nearer. She lifts her head to find a grinning boy standing shoulder to shoulder with Baine.  Not wanting to look the boy in the eye, she lowers her head slightly and is greeted by the skeletal face of an angry clown resting between the teeth of his jacket zipper.  The zipper teeth widen as the boy extends his arms wide like a circus grandmaster, “Ladies and gentleman….,” circus boy says as if he’s talking to a large audience.

“It look like there some fucking ladies out here?”  Baine interrupts, his freckles turning a fiery red.

Sunni drops her head. She secretly considers herself a lady on good days and despises the entire concept on others.  But the idea of not being considered a lady at all feels humiliating.

Circus boy chuckles, gives a goofy grin and pipes up a correction, “Faggots and gentleman!”

“You saying I hang with fags now?” Baine’s freckles seem to grow into pulsating suns.

Circus boy’s goofy grin disappears. “That ain’t what I meant…,” he says.

Sunni smirks at the conflict.  For a moment it’s as if she is just one of the guys participating in some twisted joke.  But the feeling of normality doesn’t last.  Baine gives circus boy one last nasty look and then squats in front of Sunni. He is so close that Sunni smells the deep musty funk of his unwashed body.  With each breath Sunni takes, her anxiety level rises.  She nervously rubs the silver ring on her middle finger and avoids eye contact as the other boys close in on her from all sides.

Circus boy’s voice lowers to a conspiratorial whisper, “Live and in person…”

Baine plucks a sardine tin from the snow and holds it up for examination. “Who am I?” he asks Sunni.

Circus boy chimes in without missing a beat, “Pimp 007!”

“Shut the fuck up!” Baine presses the edge of the sardine tin into Sunni’s forehead forcing her to lift her gaze. “I want her to answer.”

Sunni’s brow furrows and her lips purse as Baine taps the sardine tin against her forehead…one…two…three times.  Sunni’s eyes shutter closed.

“Look at me!” Baines blares.

Sunni’s eyes open again, narrowed and intense.  “The collector,” she says.

Baine smiles with satisfaction. He shifts the sardine can into her line of sight just as Circus boy steps closer.

“Give her some money,” circus boy says and the other boys hum a collective agreement.

“I ain’t giving her shit,” Baine retorts.  He reaches into his back pocket just as the streetlights flicker on.  “She the one that should be paying…ain’t that right?” He pulls out a switch blade and flicks it open like a seasoned pro.  Sunni focuses on the blade and her breathing grows panicky.  Her eyes shift to the boys as she frantically searches the crowd for a sympathetic face – she finds none.  But wait, there is something.  A glimmer in the eyes of one of the boys?  Barely noticeable, Jin, a thin boy wearing a jacket two sizes too small is partially concealed in the crowd of boys. He wears a stiff smile but his eyes – is that sadness — regret?  Jin notices Sunni watching him so he quickly averts his gaze focusing on the pink ballerina shoes instead.  But Jin isn’t the only one who notices the exchange of glances; Baine locks onto Sunni’s line of sight and his narrowed eyes settle on Jin, placing the boy in the spotlight.  Baine’s smile is a hybrid of a snarl and a grin as he speaks, “You got a fan.” Baine’s declaration doesn’t stop Sunni’s staring.  She continues to look, hoping to see those sympathetic eyes again; but Jin only lifts his gaze momentarily for fear of what it might reveal.   Irked by the silent exchange of glances, Baine presses the cold blade into Sunni’s neck – carefully. “He ain’t the one you owing,” he says.

Sunni lifts her chin and swallows hard as the cold steel presses against her skin.  She can feel its sharp edge threatening to slice her neck wide open and she can sense that Baine’s threat is no empty bluff. She wiggles her right leg; but keeps her gaze trained on Baine’s intense eyes. “My shoe,” she says, her voice just as shaky as her hands.

With a tilt of his head Baine orders circus boy to take off Sunni’s shoe.  The boy complies and discovers a fold of dollar bills and some change.  He counts it.  “Three dollars,” circus boy says.

“That ain’t enough.” Baine removes the blade from Sunni’s neck. “Take off your coat,” he says as he slides the blade across her coat collar.  Sunni’s foot is already stinging from the winter cold; so she hesitates.  Getting another coat would be tough. Her chipped fingernails lightly scratch at the zipper; but she’s no closer to disrobing.

I can’t wait to share the entire novel with you. Please join the mailing list to be notified of the release date.

*Free* After The Darkness: Episode One

12 Sep

Free September 12 – 13th

The first episode of the After The Darkness series is free today and tomorrow at Amazon. Get your copy now!

Will Women Become Slaves In A Post-Apocalyptic World?

7 Sep

I ran across an intriguing article by Anninyn at In Case of Survival about gender roles in a post-apocalypse world.

Most post-apocalyptic media (and a lot of prepper groups) have this weird idea that when the world ends the women will finally get back in the kitchen where they belong. While the post-apocalyptic world may be harsher to those of the female gender than the male in some ways, anyone who things gender is the main thing of importance in deciding who does what is going to find their survival group operating at less than peak efficiency.

So very true! Surviving in a post-apocalyptic world will take understanding that individuals come with different types of skills and abilities that have nothing to do with their gender.  Yes, of  course women have babies and men can’t. And yes, generally speaking men are physically stronger than women; but these are not life defining characteristics.  Groups that can organize others and utilize their members’ skills will come out on top. Societies who suppress members of their group won’t fair well.

I also think that sometimes the agency of women is overlooked when post-apocalyptic futures are imagined.  Do people really believe that all women will just lay down and take it if they find themselves facing oppression?  All human beings crave liberty and will engage in all levels of subterfuge to fight for that liberty. Societies that have less liberty will inherently have more conflict. And societies with internal conflict are weaker and more susceptible to outside attacks.

SunHi Mistwalker is the author of several books including the “After The Darkness” series set in a frozen post-apocalyptic future. Join SunHi Mistwalker’s mailing list to receive updates, freebies and other perks.

 

Sowing The Seeds Of Revolution: A Closer Look At Page 9

6 Sep

British novelist and literary critic Ford Maddox Ford is quoted as saying, “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” I don’t know if I completely agree with that; but I do find the idea intriguing. As part of a recent blog tour I participated in, I wrote about page 9 of After The Darkness: Episode One. Here’s the blog post below…

The first episode of “After The Darkness” doesn’t have a page 99; but it does a have page nine. So that’s where I’ll begin. If a reader began reading “After The Darkness” at page 9 they would find everything they need to know about the basics of the story.  You have a reluctant agent of oppression, two victims of categorization and a boss man that’s ruthless in his commitment to inflicting suffering.  That about sums it up in a nutshell.

The opening lines of page nine sets the stage: Percy narrows his eyes, his disapproval hidden behind his dark shades, “No, of course…not. Just want to get the job done and over with before the freeze,” he justifies his hesitation. And in an effort to prove that he’s not soft, he wrenches Mila away from Nadia. He yanks her hard; but not too hard — just hard enough to make his point.

Right away we know that Percy is not too happy with the situation at hand; but he has to hide it. Not only does he have to hide his disapproval, he needs to show a false sense of enthusiasm for something he finds distasteful.  I can’t say that I strategically planned for this characterization to fall on page 9; but I did want to show the reader at some point that Percy is a subversive individual. He doesn’t want to go along with the system and he has the seeds of a rebel within.

Then there is Nadia, the main character in this story.  Page 9 makes it clear that Nadia is a rebel and not content to simply accept her fate.  Let’s take a look at a page 9 excerpt:

“Don’t touch her!” Nadia flails about as Thomas binds her wrists behind her back with zip ties. She strains to see her little sister’s face and fights her own urge to sob. Instead she screams. Would the neighbors come? Does anyone care about the horror she is facing?  Unfortunately, she knows the answer is no, no one is willing to risk themselves for others.

This brief passage reveals Nadia’s willingness to fight back even in the face of stronger forces and despite her sad realization of the type of world in which she lives.  But even knowing that not a single soul will come to her aid, she screams anyway, hoping that someone — anyone, will be willing to break the code of silence and compliance.

As a writer, I try not to overwhelm readers with a lot back story and world building too soon. I prefer to sprinkle a little bit of information throughout the story and reveal the foundation of the fictional world in bits and pieces. Page 9 does this well.  Even if a reader only reads page 9, they will discover that this fictional world is freezing, that it is a place where children can be handcuffed and carried away and that people in this world don’t feel free to speak out against injustice or stand up for the rights of others.

Let’s take one final peek at another snippet of text from page 9.

“I promise,” Percy says with a smile he only uses in his work. He would never curse his own kids with that smile — never.

Deception and manipulation – it’s eating Percy alive. But it is also eating away at the society, creating tiny internal rebellions and sowing the seeds of revolution.

To find out when the next episode is published and to receive special discounts, please join our mailing list.  For a limited time, mailing list members will have an opportunity to purchase new episodes at .99 cents.