Friday excerpts: Death does cheerleading
The picture to the right is a little abstract, but the pale blue eyes match Blake's, my main character in my work in progress, called The Reaper's Daughter. I also liked the wings because they also symbolize to me the Grim Reaper's wings of death. Anyway, the excerpt below is from Chapter 1. I'm hoping to have this book finished later this summer/early fall.
The Reaper's Daughter by KM Randall
Excerpt from Ch. 1
The Specters are black
The Specters are white
The Specters will haunt you and fight, fight, fight!
My breath fogged in the air as I shouted the cheer, while my fingerless gloves muffled my claps in the early autumn afternoon. I marched and clapped my way into formation and prepped myself for the lift. I felt my base, Brandon, wrap his strong hands around my calves and ankles and then I was soaring up, the wind whooshing around me, my feet instinctively planting onto his shoulders and my muscles working to keep myself balanced. The adrenalin kicked in, giving me that rush, the one that made it seem as if my blood sparkled within me and my heart danced in symphony to the head thrashing of eighties hair bands. The only reason I was on the squad was to be a flyer. It was like a death wish, sailing through the air like that, propelling my body in a way most sane people wouldn't dare. Plus, I got to satisfy both my physical need to be propelled through space and my dad’s need for me to do it in a structured environment while furthering my school career.
Just as I got my balance atop Brandon's shoulders, I noticed the crows. Their big, black bodies were littered all over the field like a bad omen—just sitting there, not doing anything but staring. Or maybe they were watching. I don't know why in those moments I was so focused on the birds, but they had always creeped me out. Maybe because they tended to hang out in my backyard like they were waiting to pick someone off. And that's when I saw him.
He had light brown skin that made me think of caramel and his silky black hair was pulled back into a ponytail. But it was his intense dark eyes that looked as if they’d been lined with kohl that made me pause, because there was no way to look away. He was sitting amidst the crowded stands, but he was the only person I saw. Everything around me fell away aside from the thundering of my heart and his slow, cocksure grin that split his mouth as he winked a dazzling golden brown eye my way. It was the grin that did it, making me shudder so hard I felt my balance slip. I tried to recover, my arms wind-milling around me, but I heard the audience in the bleachers gasp and knew it wasn't good. And then there was just air around me.
Copyright by Katrina M. Mendolera
Book Cover Love
I'm back with new, pretty book covers. Here's a few of my latest faves. I'm going to totally include my own since I'm biased like that.
The first two I nabbed from Summer Reads YA, because the blogger features some really great eye candy picks on a weekly basis. Although, I'd seen an ad for Dorothy Must Die on Goodreads several times and was intrigued by the cover and premise. I simply just like the second one. You can't see the tagline, but it reads, "off with their heads," so it was as much the art as it was the tag that got me. In the third cover, the red of her hair creates such a sharp contrast to the gray of the sky.
The first book below is, you've probably guessed, my beautiful book cover designed by the talented Greg Simanson at Booktrope Publishing. The second, also designed by Simanson, is a book I edited. But biased or not biased, the cover is beautiful, with the blues and greens looking like strokes from a paintbrush. Thirdly, I give you Joe Vampire: Night Falls. Although I have yet to read this new short in his series, author Steve Luna recently redesigned his covers and this one is my favorite. But they're all pretty fantastic.
If you have any favorite book covers send me a link. I love book cover eye candy.
One of my early readers was listening to this recently and said it reminded her of my upcoming novel, Fractured Dream. I just love that she thought of my book when listening to music, and the fact that it's already got the first song of a soundtrack.
Here's an excerpt from my writing with a fantasy art pic to go with it. I just love fantasy art, and what better way to appreciate it than illustrate scenes from Fractured Dream. The below excerpt is from the beginning of Chapter 10: The-Inbetween, and gives us our first glimpse of one of the fairytale characters that gets a retelling. Although the girl in the picture is lacking in clothes, I imagine Jess looking fierce like this, but with silvery eyes of course.
Excerpt Chapter 10 - The In-Between
Fractured Dream (The Dreamer Saga) pub date: June 21
Story’s dreams that night starred the same red-haired woman from her paintings. She was tall, fierce, and terrible. Her eyes gleamed like chrome lit with a vengeful mercurial fire as animals ran from her, their eyes white with terror. It was her painting come to life.
Story watched from an unseen place, wondering why this deceptively beautiful night stalker made her feel so afraid—not for herself, but for the woman. The red-haired predator came upon her quarry, a hulking black-pelted wolf. She leapt with feline grace and landed on the animal, sharp steel glinting in the moonlight before she plunged it into its neck, the wolf’s fur soaking up the red that leaked from his wound. She started to gut the animal and seemed intent on the task for a few seconds. Story thought she might start puking in the bushes any moment, watching the girl slice into the wolf. She was swallowing bile back down when she realized the redhead was staring directly at her. The girl’s steel eyes widened as if she were seeing a ghost, the cold glint of her gaze losing its edge. A smile slowly curved the woman’s full, sensual mouth.
“Story?” she asked, rising to her feet.
The biggest question for authors I think is, where did you get your idea? I think there's many factors that come into play. But when you're talking inspiration, I believe the process of writing is an important element, although at times there has to be a catalyst that comes into play. Home. Love. Books., a very aesthetically pleasing book review blog, was kind enough to host a guest post from me on, you might have guessed, inspiration. If you're interested, I talk about some of the elements that came into play when I got the idea for Fractured Dream, and how it continued to play a role in my life while I was writing the book. Check out, Working for the Lightening Strike: Inspiration
Not long ago, I looked out my kitchen window and saw a flock of crows in my backyard. It’s a familiar site. They come often and always make me think of death. You know, harbingers and all that. But on that particular day they became the inspiration for the book I’m currently writing, igniting an idea that didn’t exist before they decided to creep me out by littering my lawn with their huge, black-feathered bodies... See more here.
K.M. Randall writes fantasy and paranormal for both a general and young adult audience. Her debut novel, an epic fantasy called Fractured Dream, launched in June 2014, and her second book, The Reaper's Daughter, launched May 2015. Randall also published Fairytale Lost, a prequel to Fractured Dream, as an exclusive on Wattpad. She blogs about dreams, female heroines, and activism and its relevancy to the literary and fictional world. And when in the season, sometimes she just likes to talk about Halloween. She is currently hard at work on the second book in the Dreamer Saga series, Shattered World.