Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Authors celebrating All Hallows Eve 2013

Even authors get a little twitchy on Halloween. I challenged a few to come to a party on The Hub dressed in character and prepared to tell a little about that character. I had no idea how creative some of them would be with the assignment. The result is four different authors with four different YA stories, from the spooky to the romantic to the downright fun.

Christine Verstraete in
costume as girl Z
Take a look at Rebecca, the heroine of Girl Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie by by C.A. (Christine) Verstraete, and read while Rebecca, that is, Girl Z, tells her story in her own words.

Think you know zombies? You know, the bitey, icky, smelly kind? Well… you can be a zombie and not-be-that-way, right? My name's Rebecca Herrera Hayes—Becca to my friends—and I found something almost worse when I woke up in the hospital…

My cousin Spence came home one day and through an accidental scratch, he infected me with the Z-virus. I wanted to go to prom and go on dates and see my friends at school… You know, normal stuff any 16-year-old wants to do.

No mas. I went back to school. Can you say awfullll?
The principal thought he had a good idea, segregating us part Zs into our own section, but it made me feel really bad, you know? And then I heard the whispers, and saw the stares… When you have a strange diet (no, not that!), and weird quirks like a "twirly" eye and walk sometimes almost like a female Wolfman, some adults—and even some kids—just don't understand.

I'm coping. Kind of. It's hard sometimes, but I can't think of myself so much and I have to take care of Carm. She gets pretty freaked out. My mom's out there with Carm's mom, too, trying to get back home from Chicago after they went to find Spence.

I didn't ask for this! I'm not even as bad off as some of the others (wow, the z-virus really did a trick on some of the guys!) But I still knew it was school's out for me and my other cousin, Carm. At least she and mi familia are there for me.

Oh, no! Vigilantes! I didn't want to leave home, but it's better so my Tia Imelda is safe. Me and Carm'll go help my mom's friend in Lake Geneva who's having a hard time fighting off the full Zs by himself.

Carm's friend Jesse and his brother, Gabe, said they'd meet us there. But I don't know… Gabe's a part Z like me, which Carm says makes us perfect together. But he doesn't have all these quirks like I do… Will he like me? I guess I should give him a chance… right?

Recipe for summoning the Fae: (from Hold Tight by Cherie Colyer and published by Omnific Publishing in 2013)
Author Cherie Colyer as
teen witch Madison Riley
  • bowl, preferable ceramic but your kid brother’s plastic Cars cereal bowl will do in a pinch
  • water from nature’s spring
  • three rose petals (I prefer pink myself)
  • three acorns
  • spell from the Book of Fae
Please cast with extreme caution as these faeries are nothing like those in a Disney cartoon.

Hold Tight is the second book in the Embrace series. Sixteen year-old Madison, portrayed here by the author, is still getting a hold of her powers, and ...I'll let her tell the story.

Hi! I’m Madison. Although I don’t wear a witch’s hat or brew potions in a cauldron, I do possess magical powers and I have been known to cast a spell or three when my dad isn’t looking. He still thinks witches are the stuff of fairytales and spell is something I learned in grade school, and I have no intentions of correcting him anytime soon.

It’s just me, Dad, and my pesky kid brother, Chase. This time of year, you’ll find me with a pumpkin spice latte in one hand and Raisinets in the other. And, even though I know there are things that go bump in the night, I still love Halloween.

I recently embraced my magical powers. The trick now is learning how to control them. Until I can do that, by boyfriend and I can’t enjoy a simple kiss without getting shocked by our powers colliding. Instead of mastering my new skills, though, I’m stuck watching Chase and doing chores.

But being a witch has its benefits. With a simple spell, I can conjure some help around the house. Or so I thought. My idea of “help” invited trouble of its own, and it’s not just the faeries I have to worry about. I should have heeded that warning and cast this spell with caution, because this one isn’t easily undone.

Author Kym Brunner as 17-year-old
Monroe Baker, dressed for work at her
dad’s 1920s style restaurant
In Wanted: Dead or in Love by Kym Brunner, coming from Merit Press in 2014, Monroe has the ghost of the legendary Bonnie Parker inhabiting her body, fighting her for control. Because whoever inhabits the bodies at the deadline . . .survives.

In Monroe's own words:

Being impulsive, I act first, think later. I don’t recommend it. Now I’m on probation for something stupid I did at school. If I get arrested again, the judge will give me jail time. To keep out of trouble, I work as a waitress at my dad’s Roaring '20s restaurant, dressed like a flapper. Didn’t take long for me to screw up again. Here’s what happened: Dad showed me the spent bullets that they pulled out of famous criminal lovebirds, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow’s dead bodies––items he bought at a gangster memorabilia show. Who would have known that Bonnie and Clyde’s spirits were locked inside that container, waiting to be freed? Not me certainly, or I wouldn’t have done it. Opening the container wasn’t enough to make Bonnie’s spirit search for a new body to inhabit, but given my lousy luck, I cut my finger on the stupid thing, opening the door for the whiny, love-starved Bonnie Parker to enter my body.

Course, at first I didn’t really believe that she was inside of me (who would, right?) so later that night, after I met this cute but dull guy named Jack, I showed him the slugs. Bad move. Turns out Clyde hadn’t lost an ounce of his slyness, easily infecting poor Jack and quickly committing a crime. Luckily, Jack finds a way to get back in charge, but after doing some investigation, we find out we have only 36 hours to ditch these outlaws or we’ll share our bodies with them indefinitely. See what I mean about bad luck?

Take it from me––spontaneity’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.

Amanda and her husband
as The Strangers
1816 Candles by Amanda Brice is a time travel novella in which a chance encounter during a costume ball at a historic tavern sends high school senior Lauren Harper back in time to early Americana. Now she’s experiencing the actual events of the “Legend of the Female Stranger” she’s heard her entire life growing up. Can she solve the mystery of this ghost, find her way back home…and deal with her own emotions when she falls in love with a guy who lived 200 years before her?

Here's what the author had to say about the truth hidden inside her fiction:

In 1816, after docking at the seaport in Alexandria, a man and woman checked into the hotel at Gadsby's and were shown the most extravagant room because their clothes gave the appearance of great wealth. The woman was ill, and her husband called in doctors, but eventually she passed away and was buried in the local graveyard with an elaborate headstone. But what makes this story unusual was that the man made everyone swear never to reveal her name, and then the next day he skipped town without paying his bills. The only trace left of the entire event was the inscription on
the headstone:
To the memory of a
whose mortal sufferings terminated
on the 14th day of October 1816
Aged 23 years and 8 months
Local lore claims that the Female Stranger is known to haunt the hotel to this day. She is occasionally seen in the upstairs window of Room 8, holding a lit candle. Docents at the Gadsby’s Tavern Museum say they have heard the sound of someone walking around upstairs, only to find there is no one there.

Some believe she was Theodosia Burr Alston, the distraught daughter of disgraced Vice President Aaron Burr. Others believed that the Female Stranger was a kidnapped European princess or possibly even Napoleon hiding out in drag. Still others believe the entire situation was an elaborate scam devised by con men, and that both the Male and Female Strangers escaped with a large amount of money, laughing all the way to the bank. Or there’s the author's husband’s favorite explanation — aliens.

Or maybe she was a time traveler, as 1816 CANDLES explores.


Kym Brunner (author of Wanted: Dead or In Love) said...

This was such fun to do! Thanks for including me in your Hallows Eve post!

CA Verstraete said...

Thanks for the great post. And so sorry about the recent turn of events. All the books look great!