Wednesday, June 29, 2016

#GuestPost from Medeia Sharif with A Love That Disturbs @evernightteen @sharifwrites #amazongiveaway #YA

Please welcome a guest post from Medeia Sharif :)

The Biggest Compliment

by Medeia Sharif

“It stayed with me.”

This is what an early reader of A Love That Disturbs wrote to me. Before a book is released, there are several readers, the informal ones like beta readers and the formal ones like a writer’s editors. I’m glad to say that I elicited a guttural response from them.

I’ve had books stay with me. Sure I like fluffy books, the ones that I put away and forget because they’re great entertainment—and they have their own purpose and reasons for people to choose them—and then there are the other books that worm their way into our minds. I have some favorites that wowed me as I read them and even after I’ve closed them, I think about them. I want to know how the main characters are doing. Certain powerful scenes stick in my mind. I can’t forget my feelings as I read the novel. All of it stayed with me.

I wrote a book that was intense for me as a writer—even though I draft fast, it wasn’t easy writing the tough scenes of this book. My hope is to reach others with that same level of intensity. I want to hear that my novel stayed with my readers.

A Love That Disturbs

by Medeia Sharif

Evernight Teen Publishing/60k words

Maysa Mazari is alarmed by her mother’s talk about arranged marriage. As a hijab-wearing Pakistani-American, she wants to find love on her own. Her judgmental Muslim clique has protected her from racist taunts, although the leader is turning on her as Maysa strays from the group because of her attraction to Haydee.

Haydee Gomez is a former gang member and juvenile detention student. Now living with a clean-cut aunt, she wants to turn her life around, even though one person will never let her forget her roots—Rafe, her abusive pimp. Haydee attempts to pull away from a life of prostitution when she develops feelings for Maysa, although Rafe isn’t willing to give her up too easily.

Finding themselves in danger from Maysa’s friends and Haydee’s pimp, it’s apparent their love disturbs everyone around them as they fight to stay together. 

Buy Links:  Evernight Teen   Amazon   ARe    BookStrand


At least Rafe wouldn’t bother her for a few hours. He knew it was her first day in a new school. Haydee blew her nose, wiped her eyes, and left the bathroom. She walked into first period English and handed the teacher the pass. Students stared. A few had tattoos peeking from the edges of sleeves and shorts, but nothing like what she had. She felt like The Tattooed Woman and avoided staring back at them. She wasn’t in alternative school anymore, where most students had a nasty attitude about anything related to academics. The students in front of her had their books open and had been reading and writing before she walked in. They weren’t looking to fight her and she wasn’t going to fight them.
“Let me write your name down,” the teacher said. “I’ll make a folder for your work. How do you say your name? Heidi?”
“No, it’s Hay-dee,” she corrected Ms. Tookes. “Haydee Gomez.”
Ms. Tookes wrote her name on a notepad and nodded toward an empty desk, so Haydee sat down in a seat in the back with a textbook. The assignment was on the board, but Haydee had trouble seeing. She had lost or broken so many of her eyeglasses in the past that she stopped wearing them. She was slightly nearsighted and lived with her blurry vision just fine. Tomorrow she’d come to class on time and get a seat in the front.
She continued to receive some stares, but then students went back to work.
Feeling like she was on display, Haydee twirled the drawstrings of her hoodie, chewed the inside of her mouth, and smoothed down the baby hairs on her forehead. The door opened and she was grateful for another distraction. It was Maysa, her pink-and-green silk scarf glistening under the fluorescent lights. Haydee’s vision sharpened, as if she could see Maysa clearly, while everything around her was fuzzy. Maysa caught Haydee’s gaze and smiled before turning to Ms. Tookes. “May I take a few pictures of the students working?”
The teacher smiled back. “Take all the pictures you want.”
Maysa had a sunny, innocent demeanor. Haydee wondered what it would be like to have her life. She must have two parents taking care of her. She probably had brothers and sisters who were as nice as she was. Her parents were strict, if she had to cover her head like that, but they most likely were loving. Haydee’s curiosity intensified. She needed to know more about Maysa, who was walking to the back of the room where she was.
“Can I take a picture of you reading the textbook?” Maysa asked.
“Sure,” Haydee said. Anything. She wanted to please this girl. Haydee opened to a random page. It was a Shakespearean sonnet, which was like another language to her. Haydee liked to read, but not classic works. She enjoyed romance books and read any that she could get her hands on. They helped her escape from her own reality by taking her someplace else for a few hours.
Flashes sparked as Maysa took a few shots of Haydee. “You’re very photogenic.”
“Really?” Haydee looked up. “Let me see.”
Maysa neared her and held the back of the camera to Haydee’s face. Looking at the screen, Haydee saw she didn’t look too bad. Her bun was messy in a stylish way, and her head was tilted down to her book. Her cheekbones were sharp, and her right side was on display—not the left one with the black eye. “It’s a nice shot.”
Maysa smiled, and Haydee blinked, not knowing what else to say or do. She wanted to keep Maysa talking so that she wouldn’t leave right away. Because of the picture taking, a few other students had started talking and sneaked looks at the two of them. Haydee knew they must seem like an odd pair interacting with each other. Maysa showed her the next few pictures, at different angles. “I have to go now and get to the next classroom,” she said.
“Oh, all right.” Her gaze was riveted to Maysa’s slender form as she walked out the door.
Haydee’s phone vibrated again. When the teacher wasn’t looking, she slid it out of her pocket.
Got a nice dress for you tonight
Come to my place later so you can try it on
Red, your perfect color
And just like that, the moment was ruined. She shoved her phone back into her pocket. Like she needed another reminder of everything that was wrong in her life. She gritted her teeth and made fists, then forced herself to loosen her hands. She didn’t want to think about Rafe anymore, but how could she not? He was like a virus in her system and she couldn’t get rid of him. She admitted that he took care of her: he beat up johns who mistreated her, handed over any money he promised her, and challenged anyone who bothered her on the rough streets of Miami.
If it hadn’t been for Rafe, she might have been dead at one point, because one of the johns locked her in a bathroom, threatening to kill her later, and he took care of the situation. There were the existing issues of earning money and a degree of safety, but surely she could find another line of work. How would she tell Rafe that she wanted out without having his temper explode? She had seen him cut a man’s face with a razor. Would he do the same to her?

Author Bio:
Medeia Sharif was born in New York City and presently calls Miami her home. She received her master's degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University. Published through various presses, she writes middle grade and young adult short stories and novels. In addition to being a writer, she's a public school teacher.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Day in the Life of Danielle Belwater :) @evernightteen @Dbelwater #amazongiveaway #paranrmal

A Not-So-Productive Day In The Life Of….

Some days are always better than others, but when you have a young family, two jobs and a house that needs a clean from time to time, writing often rates a poor ranking way down on the priority list.

On the rare occasion I do get a day to myself to write and be creative it is most often when all inspiration decides to take a road trip.

My day usually starts off about 5am when I’m woken from a dream involving Daryl Dixon in leather. My youngest daughter has woken up. It’s still dark and if I look out the window the stars are still out. It’s just not right.  I pull the blankets up and pretend I can’t hear her.

But the screaming becomes too loud to ignore.

The screaming and invariable stomping around the house wakes up my eldest daughter and she gets up and also starts running riot. This usually results in both daughters standing at my bedside by 6am poking me in the face.

Meanwhile, their father sleeps peacefully beside me.

I drag myself from bed, boil my dressing gown and slip on the kettle. Or is it the other way round, it’s too early to tell the difference.

For the next hour there is screaming, crying, food throwing, more crying (me), a lot of tantrums (again, me) and eventually, somehow, they get to school with their Dad.

I stand in the tornado ripped living room in silence and thank the gods for peace. I spend a little bit of time putting the house back up the right way, shower and then its time to write!

Twenty minutes later, I’m still staring at a blank screen. Maybe food will help so I eat a banana, then back to more blank screen staring.   I decide to listen to some inspirational music that might give me an idea where my characters are and why they have deserted me.

More coffee required.

I’ve written  8 words… 8. Only another 69,992 to go.  Maybe more food will help so I eat some Thai leftovers.

Then a trickle of an idea comes to me and I start writing. Words come out even though half of them don’t make sense, but I write them anyway. There is always the editing process to fix it!

15 minutes later it’s time to go and pick up my daughters from school and day care and I’ve managed a measly 200 words.

Oh well, there’s always tomorrow!


(Erlanis Chronicles, 2)
by Danielle Belwater

Evernight Teen Publishing/63K

Blood is thicker than water, or so the story goes…

 As fast as Cora can run, there is no escaping the blood that ties her to an ancient, evil past.

Amongst the bitter cold and driving snow, Nate must find a way to protect the love of his life, before the darkness falls and Cora is lost to him forever.

Buy Links:   ARe  Evernight Teen   Amazon   

14+ due to adult situations
Why? Why did I need to go home? Other than for shelter, no one needed me there. Nate was all I had left. He was my reason for breathing and now the sole reason I got up every morning. The thought of harm coming to Nate made my heart hammer in my chest even harder. I jammed my hands deep into my coat pockets and focused on letting oxygen flow into my lungs.
In a single moment of clarity, I knew. I mean, I knew I loved Nate; that was without question. But if I didn’t have him in my life, it would be nothing but vacuous space.
I brushed snow off the fallen tree trunk and sat down. My thinking tree. Nate and I came here often to sit and talk, read, or watch the day simply pass us by. I piled up handful after handful of snow, heaping them on top of each other until a small avalanche rolled off the log and into a heap on the ground.
You are the key.
I leapt off the log landing two feet together, crushing the peak of snow beneath my shoes.
“Who’s there?” I shoved my fists into my hips and squared my shoulders. If there was someone there, they didn’t know who they were messing with.
The rustling of leaves came from above and a sprinkling of disturbed snow flittered down in front of my face. The flapping of beating wings and the call of a solitary bird echoed overhead. I caught sight of white feathers tipped with black before they disappeared above the trees and out of sight.
“Is anyone there?” I called out again, but I had a feeling I wouldn’t get a response.
The softness of the voice rolled around my head as I lingered amongst the tall trees on my way back home.
I am the key. The answer is within my blood. What did that mean?

About the Author:
Danielle Belwater adores the concept of true love and that everyone has their Prince Charming or Snow White out there somewhere, even if they have to fight demons, ghosts, and wizards to find it.
Danielle has been having a love affair with words since she was young and in primary school, writing some rather imaginative tales. This love has followed her into adulthood. 
She lives in rural South Australia with her husband, young daughters and way too many animals to mention. She spends most of her time dreaming up characters, stories, ghostly tales, and watching Firefly re-runs.  She also cooks the odd meal for her family to avoid them looking like skeletons at official author functions!  
Danielle is passionate about reading and her interests include pretty much anything with words from rolling four volume epics to the daily newspaper. 

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