Monday, August 31, 2015

Ash and Darkness, Teaser #3

Hi readers!

In two weeks, Ash and Darkness (Translucent #3), the third novel in my YA sci-fi series, hits shelves! In honor of its release, I've been sharing teasers of the novel. For those of you unfamiliar with my Translucent series, make sure to check out the first novel in the series, Translucent, here! Without further ado, here's the third and final teaser I'll post! (I'll be posting another on my Facebook page next week, so if you want to read more, make sure to check my page out here!)

Ash and Darkness, Teaser #3

I needed to find someone . . . anyone.

In the middle of the deserted intersection of State Street and Las Positas, I coasted my bike to a stop, swung my leg over the bar, and kicked out the kickstand. I stood and turned in a slow circle, shading my eyes against the glare and peering up the length of each street in awe.

Not one car in sight.

From here to the horizon, not a single moving car—no roaring buses spewing soot, no loud motorcycles rupturing my eardrums, no minivans taking kids to weekend soccer games . . . and no pedestrians.

Just silence.

A dozen city blocks of silence.

I’d made it halfway to Emory’s house. I couldn’t ignore it anymore. As far as I could see, heat waves rippled off hot asphalt and fused into a silvery haze on the horizon. The stoplights—all of them dark—stood over deserted intersections, baking in the midday sun.

And all so eerily still. My long hair hung limp and motionless, scalding my neck. Towering over the abandoned sidewalks, the ficus trees stood still as statues. Not one leaf fluttered.

My gaze panned to Loreto Plaza Shopping Center—with Gelson’s Market and Chase Bank and Chaucer’s Books—and my confusion deepened. The parking lot was deserted. Rows and rows of empty spaces, only one parked car—a beat-up Station Wagon lurking sketchily on the fringes.

On a Sunday?

Normally I had to wait five minutes just for a break in traffic to make a left turn out of that lot.

I’d stopped in the middle of a busy intersection at lunchtime on Sunday. So . . . where was everyone? Where were my parents? Where was Megan?

Plus I’d been biking past residential homes all morning, and I’d seen no one. Where were all the lawnmowers? The kids on skateboards, the people walking their dogs, the dads working in their garages?

Evacuated.

The word just popped into my mind.

But even that seemed farfetched. To virtually empty a city? It would take days. There would be stragglers, air raid sirens, the National Guard.


No, there was a simple, obvious explanation. There had to be. Something I was missing. But what?

***

If you enjoyed that, click here to check out and pre-order Ash and Darkness (Translucent #3) from Amazon!

Happy reading!
Dan

Monday, August 24, 2015

Ash and Darkness, Teaser #2

Hey, hey readers! In three weeks Ash and Darkness, the third novel in my Translucent series, hits the shelves, and today I wanted to share another teaser with you! For those of you who haven’t heard of this series of mine, it’s a YA sci-fi series about a strange substance seventeen year old Leona Hewitt finds at the center of a crater that can make her invisible—for a price.

Ash and Darkness, Teaser #2
 
“Emory, can you . . . can you hear me?” A knot tightened in my throat.

Leona?” He traced my hand back to my wrist, his gaze searching the air where I’d spoken.

He could.

“Uh . . . Emory,” I gulped. “There’s . . . there’s something I need to tell you.”

“This is fantastic.” His hand reached my shoulder and moved to my face, my hair. “I thought you were exaggerating, but this . . . what are you . . . how is this . . . ?” His fingers brushed my cheek and lingered on the tears, and he frowned.

“I’m invisible,” I moaned, explaining nothing. I caught his hand and squeezed my eyes shut against his wrist, suddenly trembling all over. “It’s dark matter, I can’t get it off. I put it on, and it got under my skin, and now I can’t get it off, and . . . and it’s eating me alive, and I’m going to be stuck like this forever—” And then I broke down and wept like a four-year-old.

“Hey, hey . . . stop it.” He cupped the side of my head and angled it to look me in the eye. “It’s going to be okay. We’re going to tell my dad. He’ll know what to do. We’re going to get you out of this, alright?”

I nodded, and a little whimper rose in my throat.

“Come here,” he said gruffly. He pulled me into a hug, and I collapsed shivering against his chest, arms tucked between us. In his strong embrace, I became real again, flesh and blood, touchable. I didn’t care that I was naked.

He noticed.

His arms paused on my backside, and my skin turned molten under the imprint of his palms. “Did it eat your clothes, Leona?”

My face flushed. “It doesn’t go on over clothes,” I muttered, eyes still dripping. “It’s not like you can see me.”

“Right, because this leaves so much more to the imagination.” His palm skimmed up my spine, leaving a wake of goosebumps before it froze on the nick in my shoulder. His body tensed.

In about two more seconds, he found the scab on the side of my rib cage where Ashley had jabbed me with the fireplace poker—I winced at his touch—and then the wound on my neck. “What happened?” he growled.

“Stop it . . . nothing,” I lied, burying my face in his chest to escape his prodding.

“Leona,” he warned.

“Can you please not ask about that right now?” My voice came out muffled. “Or ever?”

We lapsed into strained silence.

“I love you,” I whispered into his chest, trying to shut it all out, my cheek slippery against his bare pecs. Then I cringed, realizing what I’d just said. Can you not be pathetic for five seconds?

He pet my hair, said nothing. His chest rose and fell under my face. Probably wondering how to deal with the crazy, desperate, naked, invisible girl who’d snuck into his bedroom—

He sighed and reluctantly breathed into my hair, “I love you too.” Like it was barely true, or only true now and wouldn’t be later, or he didn’t want it to be true.

But true.

At his words, my heart floated up inside me like a helium balloon . . . before it popped and my body went rigid in horror. Uh-oh.

What the hell was wrong with me? What was I thinking?


“No, no, you can’t,” I gasped, pulling away. “There’s . . . there’s something you need to know . . . about me. Before I fade away completely.”

***

If you enjoyed that, click here to see Ash and Darkness on Amazon! And make sure to check out my Facebook page for the next few weeks as I giveaway signed books and Amazon gift cards!

Happy reading,
Dan

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Ash and Darkness Teaser #1

Hi readers!

I hope you all had amazing weekends and, for those of you who are heading back to school, great summers. (But seriously, where did it go? I swear it was June only yesterday.) As much as I’m sad to see summer end, I’m excited for fall. The chillier weather, pumpkin spice everything (yeah, I’m not afraid to admit I’m hooked on the stuff), football games, and … Ash and Darkness’s release!

On September 14, Ash and Darkness (Translucent #3) hits the shelves! I’m beyond excited to share this installment with you. So excited, in fact, that I’ve decided to post teasers every Tuesday for the next three weeks! If you haven’t read the description for Ash and Darkness, click here to do so. And if you haven’t started my Translucent series, click here to see Translucent, the first novel in the series.

Now, without further ado, teaser #1:

Ash and Darkness (Translucent #3), Teaser #1

I stared in horror as the wood pointer scraped across the Ouija board, spelling out another message.

It pointed to the letter ‘I.’

It pointed to the letter ‘A.’

But . . . but who was moving it?

It slid to ‘M’ next. I gaped in disbelief. What was moving it? I leaned forward to watch as it skidded over to ‘D,’ then ‘A.’

I tried to swallow, but couldn’t quite manage, could only stare in disbelief as it slowly crept to ‘R.’

Finally, it pointed to ‘K’ and stopped.

I AM DARK.

My pulse rang in my ears, and a dry pressure built at the base of my throat. It was talking to me again—the creature, dark matter—like it had through my cell phone.

But this was different.

This time it had acted directly on the physical world, it had moved an actual object.

Something was wrong with my left arm, I realized belatedly. It felt wrong. Numb. Like it had been in a funky position for too long and the nerves had stopped responding. Perplexed, I lifted it up . . . and felt my hand lift up from the planchette.

The planchette.

Where it had been resting the entire time.

In a moment of sickening clarity, I understood.

My own invisible hand had moved the planchette, not something else. Dark matter had acted through me.

I was becoming its puppet.


As I faded, its presence grew stronger. Soon, all of me would be gone, and the only thing left would be . . . it.

***

Ash and Darkness is available for pre-order, and I’m hosting several giveaways on Facebook exclusively to readers who’ve pre-ordered the book, so, (1) click here to see Ash and Darkness on Amazon, and then (2) check out my Facebook page to get in on my giveaways!

Happy reading,
Dan