A HUGE Thank You to Kristen Simmons and Jean Booknerd for this tour!
The second installment in Kristen Simmons's fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series. After faking their deaths to escape from prison, Ember Miller and Chase Jennings have only one goal: to lay low until the Federal Bureau of Reformation forgets they ever existed. Near-celebrities now for the increasingly sensationalized tales of their struggles with the government, Ember and Chase are recognized and taken in by the Resistance—an underground organization working to systematically take down the government. At headquarters, all eyes are on the sniper, an anonymous assassin taking out FBR soldiers one by one. Rumors are flying about the sniper’s true identity, and Ember and Chase welcome the diversion…. Until the government posts its most-wanted list, and their number one suspect is Ember herself. Orders are shoot to kill, and soldiers are cleared to fire on suspicion alone. Suddenly Ember can’t even step onto the street without fear of being recognized, and “laying low” is a joke. Even members of the Resistance are starting to look at her sideways. With Chase urging her to run, Ember must decide: Go into hiding…or fight back?
Kristen Simmons has a master’s degree in social work and is an advocate for mental health. She lives with her husband Jason and their precious greyhound Rudy in Tampa, Florida
While He Was Away Walmart-Exclusive Cover Reveal and How Inspiration Can Come From Anywhere:
Even a Trip to the Grocery Store and a Handful of Long-Lost Photographs
By Karen Schreck
I sometimes wonder what my mother would say if she knew that her story—one of the saddest, sweetest love stories I’ve ever heard—was retold in a new way in my young adult novel, While He Was Away.
Now Sourcebooks Fire is sharing the story yet again, in a second, exclusive edition, released nation-wide at Walmart. The fact that Sourcebooks believed enough in While He Was Away to bring it to life the first time felt like a much-needed confirmation of years of hard work. The fact that they are standing behind my book again in this way . . . well, it feels like a miracle. I’m truly grateful.
I wonder what my mother would say to this incredible news? I like to think she would be grateful too. I like to think she would be happy. She wanted her story heard after all. So much so that it was one of the last things she told me, just before she died.
One rainy night when I was fourteen, right before cancer left her to ill to talk, let alone drive a car, my mother said, “Come with me. We’re going shopping.” We drove to the little local market and wandered up and down the aisles, as she threw in a can of tuna, some dishwashing soap, and other little things we didn’t need. We paid for these little things. She looked anxious and tired, still she hadn’t said a thing; we hadn’t spoken a word.
It was only when we were parked in our driveway again that my mother said, “I was married once before when I was very young. He died a hero in WWII.” And that was that. Soon after, she died.
I thought about my mother’s mysterious love story for many years. I talked to relatives, found long-lost photographs. The story took seed in me. It flowered into a novel about a young women whose boyfriend leaves for the Iraq War. In her loneliness, she seeks out a grandmother she’s never met, whose first husband died in WWII. She seeks out a character inspired by mother.
A late night drive, a few words spoken in the dark. Even things as simple as this can inspire a novel.
Author: Dawn McCullough White
Published: Claypipe Press; 2 Edition (November 30, 2011)
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Word Count: 220,000 Total
The Trilogy of Shadows contains books 1-3 of Cameo's bloody saga... Cameo the Assassin~ The Kingdom of Sieunes is rife with taverns, dirty streets, and clay pipe smoking citizens all toiling to feed their families and keep themselves in something little better than rags. With a foiled revolution just ten years prior still burning in the hearts of many, the royals enlist the aid of assassins to keep things in order. The townsfolk entertain themselves by dreaming of better times to come and regaling in stories of the undead said to walk the graveyards at night... and of Cameo the killer with corpse-like eyes... Scarred and jaded Cameo is one of the most effective assassins in the employ of the Association, moving from one mission to the next as long as the alcohol keeps flowing. Her acceptance of the murder-for-hire lifestyle is thrown into doubt when she meets a local
highwayman with a penchant for fine clothes and women, and then she begins to think about breaking with the company but no one ever breaks with the Association under good terms. Cameo and the Highwayman~ The land of Shandow is a place of arctic cold, the scene of the bloody revolution and the location of the item Cameo's master wants so badly. In the dark of winter a vampire lies in wait... Opal is unable to run from his past... and Cameo must make a choice that will cost her the last shred of humanity she has left. Cameo and the Vampire~ A vampire's bite tormenting Cameo, she pushes forth on a journey that will find her descending into darkness and at Kyrian's request she is forced into the confrontation she has been avoiding for over fifty years with the undead that made her...
HER EYES WERE WHITISH, corpse-like, caught in the sliver of moon through a tall window overlooking the Azez, and she searched Opal’s face with those dead eyes… a zombie’s eyes.
He had finally fallen asleep after midnight. He had fought it, but lounging in the canopy bed, his head resting against a silk pillow that threatened to engulf him, he eventually succumbed to slumber. He hadn’t bothered to remove anything but his boots.
Kyrian was asleep on one of the fainting couches at the other end of the room.
The room was so quiet. The fire had gone out, and a plume of smoke slipped up and out the chimney, wispy, like a ghost. The room was mostly dark, lit only by the moon, so where the light did fall it caught everything in a gray light. Like Opal’s face.
In his finery, he looked like a romantic painting. The bellowing sleeves, the lightness of his ruffled shirt, and a lone ribbon that dangled down off the mattress. His face was pale in the moonlight.
At the doorway she saw her thralls, the shadow-men whom she had sent to find Ivy’s bones, the treasure that her Master had sent her to seek. They were back, and she couldn’t dally. That could only anger Haffef, and the only time she had done that, she had very nearly died. They stood at the doorway awaiting her next move.
She had hoped they wouldn’t be back so soon.
Cameo slid from the chair she’d been perched on and knelt down silently beside the bed. She removed an empty wine glass from Opal’s hand and set it on the floor.
“Opal,” she uttered, gently brushing a lock of hair off his face.
He stirred, but there was no reply.
She turned and motioned the shadows on ahead of her then, without further pause, swept out the door with the speed of something supernatural.
About the Author:
Dawn McCullough-White writes mainly dark fantasy. Her novels tend to favor the use of anti-authority anti-heroes as the main characters, most commonly with a strong, female protagonist. Dawn was born in 1969, in Rochester, NY, and began writing prose at age 14. Ms. McCullough-White is married and has a young son. She is fascinated by history and social psychology. She is a vegetarian and animal lover. Her favorite drink is Gewürztraminer. She's fan of Alice in Chains, U2, and Stabbing Westward, her favorite books include The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, and The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson. Dawn is represented by the Kleinworks agency.