#LoveBenAndCharlie

Well, she opened her eyes to light, and to a ‘crash’ that came from below. Charlie’s aristocratic voice (even if he was a common rag) gave a, “Tsk” and a “Tough luck, mate.” While Ben huffed and hollered, “Bloody fairies!”

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

2015-06-01 15.08.24

First rose bloom in my garden! #excited #gardening #growsomethinggreen #loveit #beautiful #roses

A post shared by elschoeman (@elschoeman) on

Hashtags can be a powerful thing, and making your own can be a lot of fun. Take #LoveBenandCharlie for example. A hashtag created by yours truly to tag moments with two of my favourite characters. Haven’t read the story? Here’s a few scenes I love them in!

#LoveBenAndCharlie = Best Ben and Charlie Moments!

Charlie kept his head in his hands as Ben’s voice travelled from the stall beside him, their rooms side by side. “You lied to her,” Ben said, leaning against the wall, his head down. “That was the first ungentlemanly thing I’ve ever heard you say. You wanted her to stay. You don’t want her to change.”

“Selfishness,” Charlie explained, lifting his head from his hands, blinking his tired eyes, “will undo a gentleman.” He took a steadying breath. “What I want is unnecessary to her. My foolish wishing will only hold her back.”

“Your fooling wishing?”

“That she will stay our Isabel forever.”

Ben inhaled long and easy, his arms flexing with the remembrance of having her fragile body there, wrapped in the shield of them. He spoke softly, Charlie barely able to hear the never-before admitted words. “I have the same foolish wish.”

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

“Benjamin,” Charlie ordered. His gentlemanly voice only raised enough for them to hear it, effectively making Ben stop and look back at his best friend. “Put her down. This is not gentlemanly conduct.”

Charlie’s expression was considerate but firm while Ben glared, deciding what was best to do. Slowly, he placed Isabel back on her feet, following Charlie’s orders. She staggered back, and Ben moved to steady her. His temper lowered to nothing, but she bolted away from him, rushing to rid herself of the crazed boys she considered her brothers.’

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

“Love.” Ben tasted the word, his eyes dropping with the mild discomfort of the sticky word.

“Ben, I know you are a sentimentalist,” Charlie braved such unspeakable words, telling him that he knew his unspeakable secret, and Ben merely rolled his eyes. “But you don’t have to worry,” Charlie promised. “Like always, I’ll keep your secrets.”

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

“What the hell is going on here?”

“We seem to have found ourselves in a brawl, Benjamin,” Charlie explained as Ben carefully helped him up off the floor, taking a second to gently wipe the blood from his best friend’s face. All the while Charlie watched Ben’s natural rage begin to tempest. “There’s no reason for you to get involved, mate, the bloke’s already outnumbered. Not that you’re going to listen to me anyway.”

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

“Come now, Benjamin,” Charlie sought to calm him.

As they exited the ring, Mathew silently pointed out to William his attackers, who were waiting outside the arena for him. They would not dare attack with William around. “He’s riding my horse . . .” Ben complained under his breath to Charlie before complaining more fiercely to William.

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

“Probably made with an assortment of herbs. I wouldn’t be surprised if you found it insulting when, in his own way, I suppose we could call it considerate. As it is, he made you something that would attract pixies instead of destroying them. I’d take a guess and say he made it even sweeter for you: encouraging whom he considers fairyblooded. Not that I blame him. I’ve been concerned as well. Though, I didn’t expect him to be the one to intervene.”

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

Ben watched Charlie tuck the drawing he had of Lilly away in his pocket. “She’s lucky to have found a gentleman like you,” he said, wondering how Charlie had gotten such a thing.

Charlie hesitated and then began to unhook the cart horses since he’d already unsaddled the one he was riding. “I wish I were. She deserves a gentleman: someone who can give her castles and riches, like the heroes in my tales to Isabel. A life with me: her yellow hair loose and dancing behind her as she sits in a grassy field, lambs and foals and butterflies about her as she waits for me to ride home from tournament or war—”

“So we’re knights in this daydream?” Ben cut in, frowning at the way Charlie was speaking.

“Working hard, giving up too much, suffering needless suffering—”

What was he talking about? “You’d never let that happen, Charlie. And she looks like the kind of girl who would hit you if you didn’t let her pull her own weight. Sitting in grassy fields with lambs and foals and butterflies is a thought she’d probably rejoice in.”

“And then what if I’m like him?”

“Who?”

“What if I hit her and beat my son and do everything—”

“You’ve got kids in this dream?” But he knew what he was talking about.

“—a man isn’t supposed to do,” Charlie finished.

What could he say to him? He’d seen him and Lilly under the star filled sky promising things to each other that Ben didn’t need to hear along with promising they’d write each other. He’d been shocked the girl knew how to write, but Charlie wasn’t. Maybe she was a little like their Isabel after all . . . “Could you ever strike Isabel?”

“Excuse me?”

“Do you ever want to just punch her?”

“Of course not.”

“Really? Even when she’s being annoying—”

“Ben, if you—”

“Charlie, Lilly will be your Isabel. Just love her like you love her. Trust yourself a little more. You’re not your father.”

“I—”

“You don’t have to pretend to be a gentleman.” Ben pulled Goliath’s saddle off and started toward the tack room, hoping that Charlie would no longer think of throwing his Lilly’s picture away. “You are a gentleman.”

Unlike me . . . Ben thought, glancing back at the house where Isabel was surely discussing whatever was hammering down on her shoulders. He didn’t know what she was planning, but he knew that no matter what it was, they’d be there to protect her. She’d never have to worry about that.

-Isabel by E. L. Schoeman

What’s Up: Writers and Hashtags

#writing #ilovemylife #awesome

Hashtags? Where do you use them?

You use hashtags on Social Media everything: facebook, Instagram, google+, twitter, pinterest, tumblr, youtube, vine, kickstarter, and anywhere else you can think of. Have a blog? Start hashtaging! Hashtags are keywords beginning with the hash mark on public profiles, used to organize searches or to make posts searchable by the public. Does that make sense? Either way, if someone searches for the hashtag #books, and you’ve used this hashtag, then your post may be the first thing that user ends up seeing.

 

Hashtag Examples:

Needed by Writers:

#NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month is held every November), #AmReading #AmWriting #AmEditing #AmRevising #IndieAuthor #WriteGoal #WriteMotivation #WritersLIfe #WritersBlock #WroteToday #Storytelling #WhatToRead #MustRead #Books #BookWorm #GreatReads #Wattpad #BookGiveaway #nonfiction #booknerd #worldofanauthor #literature #storytelling #voiceoffiction #fanfiction #Novelines (to quote your own work) #AuthorLife #EditGoal #WroteToday

Advertising a Book Giveaway?

#Free #Freebie #FreeBook #FreeDownload #BookBuzz #BookGiveaway

Genres, Types, and Loves

#poetsofinstagram #flashfiction #Biopic #Book #Comedy #Cookbooks #Recipes #Cooking #Crime #DarkFantasy #Dystopian #Erotica #KidLitChat #FanFic #fanfiction #Fiction #FlashFic #Food #Historical #HistFic #Horror #KidLit #Literature #LitFic #Mystery #NonFiction #Novel #Paperbacks #bookblog #bookreviewer #Paranormal #RomanceWriter #Romance #Romantic #RomanticSuspense #ScienceFiction #SciFi #ShortStories #ShortReads #ShortStory #SteamPunk #Suspense #TrueStories #UrbanFantasy #WomensFiction #YA #youngadultbooks #youngadult #tumblr #instagram #youtube #kickstarter

Fiction Forever 

#zombieapocolypse #weirdosunite #lovehorror #sacrifice #readingforfun #readingissexy #climax #readinglist #frenchkissing #paperbacks #hardcover #princecharming #fairytale #princessandthefrog #princeatheart #bestvillains #fictionisbetter #whygodwhy

Awesome Hashtags

#thebeautyofwords #love #uglylove #truelove #myking #princessatheart #swag #WritingParty #bestbookever #fortheloveofbooks #booksforever #fictionalboyfriend #booksaresoulmates #favouritecharacter #fictionalisthenewblack #fangirlsbelike #fangirls  #fictionalcrush #bookaholic #boysinbooksarejustbetter #yabooks #yareads #youngadult #fangirlproblems #ilovebooks #respect❤ #xoxo #journaltime #nighttimeplanning #writefabulously #randomthoughts

More Than Likely Needed

#goodmorningcoffee #coffeetime #espressolove #latte #coffeeaddict #coffeelover #coffeeholic #smoresfrappuccino #smores #working #ilovemyjob #myjob #ilovecats #girlythings #handmadechocolate #chocolates #icecream #tea #cupcakes #teaholic #teatime #icecreamcakes #plannerobsessed #WeekendReader #Share #writerinterview

Where do you Write?

 #cafe #bathtub #myhome #mysweethome #bedroom #hotel #writingdesk #office #officelife #couch #couchpotato #desk #kitchen #withmycat

Just Awesome

#winteriscoming #harrypotter #animecouples #myprecious #conversationpieces #keepreading #fortheloveoffiction

How to make your own hashtags?

Making your own hashtags is pretty simple. Just think of what you want your hashtag to be, make sure it hasn’t been done before, and start using it. Use it in your public social media profiles, and when others see it, they may be encouraged to use it.

Examples of Newly Made Hashtags

#booksbyelschoeman #elschoeman #IsabelByELSchoeman #ViennaByELSchoeman #elschoemanbooks

Youtube and Publishers

2015-02-09 14.35.21

It is unfortunate. Writers are being rejected, not for poor work, but because they don’t have a big enough ‘following.’ How can an author create a following without first being published?

But like everything else, the book publishing industry must evolve. However, it seems to be (kind of/ sort of/ anyone else getting a hinky feeling here?) chopping away at marketing. Instead of figuring out new ways to gain ‘personal’ relationships with fans, they are targeting people who already have that relationship with their fans. Approaching them with book deals, while the approached is none the wiser that the publisher may just be drooling behind closed doors at their following. Is it a matter of ‘I love your blog, let’s work together,’ or ‘I love your channel, let’s work together.’ Or is it more or less, ‘I like your millions of followers. And I’ll do what I have to do to put your name on the cover so I can sell to them.’

It is the newest trend to offer youtubers book deals. Youtubers like Zoe Sugg and Tanya Burr who have admitted that ghostwriters were employed. Zoe Sugg’s Youtube fan base is close to seven million followers.

“YouTube star Zoella, whose real name is Zoe Sugg, famously quit the internet in late 2014 after it emerged that the editorial team at Penguin helped with the writing of her book.” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2901810/Tanya-Burr-latest-YouTube-star-land-book-deal-unlike-Zoella-admitted-ghost-writer.html)

“Vlogger-turned-author Zoella insists she’s not leaving YouTube despite backlash over ghostwritten book.” (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2866840/Vlogger-turned-author-Zoella-insists-s-not-leaving-YouTube-despite-backlash-ghostwritten-book.html)

Should youtube stars, bloggers, and anyone else who wants to, write their own book or have one published? Of course they should!

Why is it kick-ass awesome?

Youtube stars landing book deals is a good thing for the industry because these stars are generally young people with a young fan base. They get young people reading, and may even inspire some to start their own youtube channel or begin writing their own novels.

Why else?

Because they could be great reads!

But should they rush into temptation when publishers come knocking? Really, maybe it’s the publishers who should know better. Do they understand fans? In this case, readers? Unquestionably: you don’t do things at their expense. You don’t do things where they are going to feel cheated or exploited. You don’t do things where they are going to feel conned. And you certainly don’t put your authors in situations where they are going to be slandered by their own fans (not fans that the publishers gained for them, but their own fans).

Instead of stating things like, “The factual accuracy of the matter is simply that Zoe Sugg did not write Girl Online on her own.” They should be stating things like, “Every novel takes team effort in editing, designing, and overall creating. The factual accuracy of the matter is that this is Zoe Sugg’s awesome novel and we’re all excited to be a part of it.”

Or, hell, if it really was Ghost Written, the publishers should have put the other writer’s name on the cover as well as Zoe Sugg’s name.

“I absolutely love vlogging, but the comments recently mostly made me sick to my stomach. To the point I couldn’t bare to scroll down and read them in the fear that the top comments would be so mean, whether that was a personal attack on me, or someone else I loved. I’ve never felt this way before, and it’s so disheartening. That once fun, happy place that I uploaded content had all of a sudden turned so evil.” (http://www.zoella.co.uk/2014/11/why-i-stopped-daily-vlogging-hate-on.html)

But I would like to add (I don’t know how many of you have experienced slander, negative comments and such, and how consuming it can be) that Zoe Sugg hasn’t left youtube and you can find her channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gejL03izgc

I think authors everywhere (published or aspiring) can learn from this. Taking away from this, not only to take precautions and protect yourself and your fans, how to rise above negativity and slander, but how to also reach out and get personal with your fans. Writers are being rejected not for poor work, but for poor fan base (although, why settle for 10% of royalties when you can create a book and receive 100% of royalties if you have the fan base is beyond me).

For writers needing to connect and build a fan base, Zoe Sugg’s channel and blog are wonderful places to get inspired. http://www.zoella.co.uk/p/pradvertising.html

2015-02-11 17.18.56

(http://www.buzzfeed.com/danieldalton/story-juice#.ayOwDjKNW)

Creating a Cookbook

Julia Child was rejected by almost every publishing house because Mastering the Art of French Cooking wasn’t considered a salable book. Later in life, another of her books was turned down, which became a huge success as well. The folks who wrote The Silver Palate Cookbook came up with the idea over drinks at home one night and had no idea what they were doing. But they took a risk, worked hard, and it paid off: They got the book they wanted, it met with great success, and the rest – as they say – is history.’ (http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2007/07/writing-your-ow/)

Creating a Cookbook

In my last entry, I mentioned that creating a cookbook or gathering a collection of recipes would be a good idea for a Christmas gift. I decided I’m going to make a cookbook dedicated to my family in time for next Christmas. For those family members who read my blog, whoops, the surprise is ruined. But I think a POD cookbook (and hopefully hardcover) would (hopefully) be a beloved gift.

But here’s the thing. I’ve never made a cookbook before!

For this book, I’m not planning on landing an agent or publisher. It’s something I want to create for myself and my family- not something I’m looking to make an income or living off of. If a buyer is interested in the book, that’s awesome, but I’m not about to spend thousands on marketing.

‘Included in the proposal should be extensive samples of content, the tables of contents, recipe list and sample recipes if applicable, as well as a winning biography of you. And very importantly, a plan for how the book will sell once it’s published. Including as much as possible in there is a good idea, perhaps a sample chapter or two.’ (http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2007/07/writing-your-ow/)

Since I don’t need to focus on how this book is going to sell, I can take the pressure off myself and just have fun with making it!

Things My Family Cookbook is going to Need:

-Title of cookbook:

(Schoeman Family

Christmas

Cookbook)

-Fetching book cover and back cover

-collection of favourite holiday recipes

-Decide between colour or black and white photos

-Table of Contents and Recipe Index

-Readable fonts and sizes for a workable, hands on cookbook

“Designing a recipe collection makes you realize just how much work goes into a professional cookbook: the balance of recipes, the writing and, most of all, the luscious photography.” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/09/AR2008120900646.html)

If I were going to start creating cookbooks for a living, a piece of advice that was given to me was to start the blog first. Spend a year or two blogging about food, finding your passion or niche, and establish an audience.

Also for a POD cookbook, I’m going to need a selection of POD companies

  1. http://www.blurb.ca/cookbooks
  2. www.createspace.com
  3. https://www1.ingramspark.com/
  4. http://www.bookemon.com/
  5. www.lulu.com
  6. http://www.tastebook.com/cookbook_studio

And Different Ways to Make the Cookbook Special

-Family Signatures

-Family tree

-Family Photos (grandparents when young, sisters when infants, marriage pictures and such) (In this case, Christmas photos)

-Stories

-Quotes

-Illustrations instead of photos

-Food Facts or Cooking Facts

“Community cookbooks are very popular for a reason – people love to eat and personal recipes evoke memories and traditions.” (http://www.morriscookbooks.com/dc/shared/MGuide.pdf)

If this cookbook goes well, I’m thinking of doing a Memory Cookbook for my grandmother. She passed this winter. I think a collection of photos of her when she was a young woman, stories I know about her, and gathered recipes would be treasured gift for her remaining family.

“Things to avoid if you are self publishing:

Bulleted lists do not always convert easily into publishing programs.

Fancy fonts may be pretty, but are difficult for the reader.

Make sure the title can be read from 5 to 10 feet away.”

(http://successexpressmagazine.com/WritingACookbook.html)

Interview with International Award Winning Author Viga Boland

book 1

Interview with International Award Winning Author Viga Boland By Ellen Schoeman

 

The International Award Winning novel, No Tears For My Father, is a true story of incest and abuse to a young girl by her biological father. That young girl being the author herself.

Boland’s second novel, Learning to Love Myself, has been published the same way as No Tears For My Father.

“I’ve enjoyed it enough to recently decide to do my second book exactly the same way as I did the first. I self-published using the same Canadian printing company. From the time I gave them the final pdf, to the day the books arrived, was a week. Can’t complain about that. Quality of my books is excellent, as good as anything a traditional publisher would print. However, it goes without saying that what happened after that (spreading the word, selling the books, arranging book talks, signings, and trying to get them into libraries) is a huge job requiring many hours of work. But the rewards are all mine too and that’s very satisfying,” says Boland.

“I’m all for self-publishing if a writer has the financial means to do so. Online sites like CreateSpace & Lightning Source are attracting lots of indie writers and making it both easy and affordable for them to go it alone. There’s also the option of having a good printing service do it all for you in the same way as those sites do i.e you set your book up according to their required formats and away they go. I like that option better than the others as I was able to find an excellent Canadian company who provided super-fast service and delivered the books to my door. I dealt with Canadian in Canadian dollars and kept the money in Canada. And the price was comparable, perhaps even better than my peers are getting with the American companies cited above.

“There’s also sites like Blurb who have a Canadian division that offer a remarkable way to self-publish using their real-time book editor. Price is a bit higher, but again, quality is tops. So there’s more than enough options for those who can afford to self-publish.”

 

Q What were your reasons for considering indie-publishing?

A “Primarily my age. Being in my late 60’s, I have no time to wait for months for rejection slips from one publisher after another until I finally locate one who gets it. And even if that one comes along on the first submission, how long before the publisher prints the book and gets it to the stores? A year? Two? I could be dead before anyone buys the first copy. So that was the main reason. The second reason for going it alone was my subject: child sexual abuse/incest is such an important subject one would think a publisher would jump at it. But it’s also a touchy, sensitive subject and my reason for writing the book wasn’t for money or fame: it was to get out an important message, quickly, to those who need to hear it: other victims, so they know they are not alone and that we must speak up for ourselves and shatter the silence.

“The biggest disadvantage is the time needed for self-promotion. If we are busy marketing ourselves, we don’t have time to write. And of course, it’ll be much harder and much less likely that our books can become big sellers if we don’t have the $$ needed to promote them. Also, as I’ve found twice now, that despite several edits and not just by me, there are still mistakes in commas, quotation marks, double words or wrong letters. Really annoying!”

 

Q What would you say would be your biggest struggle to overcome as a writer?

A “Finding enough time to write when I’m in the mood and being able to work without others constantly interrupting me … mainly my husband these days!

“I write only in the mornings, usually 1-2 hours before breakfast, and unfortunately, not every day as is advised, simply because I don’t always have time or I’m just not in the mood or I didn’t sleep well or whatever. But when I am in the mood and get started, sometimes I can’t stop and just want to go on and on. My other commitments generally don’t allow me that luxury. When I’m writing, it’s stylus to iPad (no more pen to paper) and I just let the words come out. This is not the time to edit, re-think, change a word or phrase … just write. Let it flow. Editing might come days later or chapters later. Stopping to edit lets the inner critic grab hold and creativity stops dead.”
Q What are your goals for your writing career?

A “To just keep on doing whatever the muse tells me to for as long as I can see. And that, sadly, won’t be long as I’m slowly going blind. That is heartbreaking. Waited all my life for this time and now I have trouble seeing the screen and cannot hold a pen without cramping. Hence the stylus and ipad!”

book 2

To learn more about Boland’s books, please visit

http://www.vigaboland.com

About the Interviewer

els1

Ellen Schoeman (pen name E. L. Schoeman) is the author of the award winning YA Historical Romance novel, Isabel. All in all, I’m a YA writer. Apart from writing, I love to travel, ride horses, read too many books, and meet interesting people with interesting stories.

Check out my second novel, Vienna, at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/496820

First Chapter of Choice

Getting my third novel ready to enter the world! My next young adult novel, Choice, is about Dragon Warriors battling a demon apocalypse. Choice is the heroine, and she’s pretty freaking badass.

Apart from getting Choice prepared for the eBook world, I’m also working on getting Vienna ready for print! (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/496820)

Hope you enjoy the first chapter of Choice (can also be found at http://www.wattpad.com/story/27493111-choice-by-e-l-schoeman)

 

1

The Survivor

 

 

“Everything will be fine,” she told herself. “I will not let you die so easily.”

Her washed-out jeans felt heavy on her legs. The bottoms were soaked from the downpour an hour ago. It wasn’t raining now, but the after-smell reminded her of her father’s advice. ‘Marriage is like a steak dinner,’ he’d said the day he’d come up with a husband for her, a thunderstorm raging on outside. ‘Some people ruin it by adding condiments. Some people overcook it. Some people cook it just right, but add all the wrong sides. And some people throw away everything else and just eat the steak.’

‘What does that have to do with your not giving me a choice? You forgot to add that some people ruin marriage by getting married.’

‘I don’t know what I mean,’ he’d admitted, walking away, as if that settled it. ‘But now I really want a steak.’

She swung her crossbow into her steady hands, knocking open the ratty excuse for a door, and entering through the back of the warehouse. There was a musty, vomit-like, unwashed smell along with the darkness that had to remain darkness because any light would give her away. If the lights went on, things would come out, or things would go running.

Her army-boots were exceptionally silent as she moved, listening for noise above the scurrying of rats. If she was lucky, it wouldn’t be done eating. If she was luckier, it hadn’t started at all, but she wasn’t ever that lucky.

She’d never saved anyone before.

For months she’d been trailing it all over the country. Staying in hotels, buying overpriced gas, sending late night texts to her dad to tell him she’d lived another day. He never responded, not unless she said she was on her way home and he decided he wanted her to pick up something for him. Can you believe that? Not even a, ‘Glad you weren’t eaten, honey. Have a good night.’ All she got was, ‘I’m out of bread. Pick some up on your way through.’

She was trained to move through darkness: to close her eyes and see then what her open eyes missed. Fear wasn’t an option, even when it was there, tasting dry and as if she hadn’t brushed her teeth in days. But there wasn’t room for fear now, listening to the shuffles up ahead as she crept around boxes and shelves, careful with the placement of her feet, the crossbow light in her hands.

It was here.

She fired once before flinging herself to the side, missing its quick attack, her back hitting a light switch. The place lit up, blinding her. Being tackled to the ground sucked. Having the crossbow knocked out of her hands sucked more, but wrestling with the thing on top of her sucked the most. Struggling free, she kicked it in the head, and headed for the crossbow with it laughing behind her.

She turned, ready for the second act.

He looked the same from when she’d seen him last except that his eyes were black with white, upside-down crosses for irises. Blood was running from the sides of his eyes. But he was the same well-set, dark skinned beauty her father set up as her fiancé.

There wasn’t time for horror or shock (because how was she to know her husband-to-be had turned into a crazed monster). There was only time to act and she hoisted another arrow and let it fly. Another, another, and another arrow flew, all avoided by the slightest tips of his head.

“The master of the world commands me to kill.” Her fiancé looked at the limp body of his victim adjacent him. “So I’ll kill.”

“Fate?” He didn’t seem to recognize his name. Was he this mounds-of-crazy when he’d taken her hand, promising he’d protect her, that they would want for nothing? Did it matter? She hadn’t cared then. She didn’t care that she’d have to kill him now. “What’s your master’s name?”

His gaze held her, blood now streaming from the sides of his mouth. “The master,” was his answer.

“How lame,” was hers, and she took the handgun she’d been hiding behind her back and double-tapped him in the chest. He fell back. Scrambling to his feet, he hissed with fury before rushing at her.

“How lame,” was her response, pulling the blade from her belt and cutting off his head, watching as it bounced along the floor until it rolled against the wall. The rest of him twitched to nothing.

She walked over to the head and took it into her left hand. Collecting her equipment, she started away until the body shifted. Freezing before turning back slowly, the victim she’d thought was dead was trying to push itself up.

It was worse than having the creature resurrect itself.

The victim took in the scene. “Is it dead?”

She raised the head in her hand. “You’re a boy?”

“Yeah.”

Man, he looked like a girl. “But I heard a woman screaming.”

She could make out his blush under the blood and warehouse dirt as he sat there, unsure of what to say.

“Never mind then. It was only you.” She took a few steps back, trying to leave, but unsure how to do so. This was awkward. What was she supposed to say to this guy? “So you’re a doctor, huh?”

“How do you know that?”

Because those creatures are only killing medics . . . “Well . . .” She’d never had a survivor before, ever. She wasn’t trained how to deal with those. She was only trained how to deal with things. “Later.”

“Wait.” He was up and following her. “What’s your name?”

Walking faster, she didn’t turn around. “None of your damn business.”

“Can I call you ‘NYDB’ for short?”

No response.

“I’m Deacon.”

No response.

“You can’t just leave me here!”

“You need a lift or something?”

“I mean, you can’t just expect me to . . .”

“To what?”

“To forget about you, to let you disappear.”

She vaguely looked back at his scrawny form: bony and delicate, with Asian features and wild, frightened eyes. “You look like the type that should be used to it.”

“That’s what I mean. I get the chance to latch on to a crossbow slinging girl like you, I better make sure she’s the one that doesn’t miss out on a guy like me.”

“Not interested in useless luggage.”

“Think about this, really think about it: I’m a medic. You’re badass, don’t get me wrong. But that thing ripped your arm open and you’ve got a bloody lip. I can heal you quicker than you can heal yourself, unless you’ve been to med school . . .”

“I haven’t.”

“Great. I mean, great for me.”

“I know what you meant.”

They were out of the warehouse and he was taking in her lime green hot rod in wonderment. Not that she blamed him. These days it was all horses and horse shit and the roads were a bloody mess.

Tossing the head into the trunk, she got into the car and rolled down the passenger side’s window. He stood on the sidewalk, a blood-soaked forgotten puppy. “What are you waiting for? Get into the fucking car.”

(Choice, first chapter, by E. L. Schoeman. Novel coming soon, 2015!)

That’s So Me

November 22, Isabel’s birthday and the day of the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards Ceremony. I was there with my purse full of business cards and book stubs. I even had the dress. And I was ready to introduce myself. However, going swimming an hour or so before the ceremony and getting stun by a jellyfish was something I was not prepared for lol I’ll blame the evening on that. But regardless, I felt very shy. I was very shy. I also tripped walking up the stage, but luckily I didn’t fall lol

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