AHHH! BROKEN CHORDS is now out in the world! I can't even believe it. I started plotting the book two years ago, in preparation for NaNoWriMo in 2015. In fact, I specifically wrote it to meet requirements for a call from Leap Books. For a short time only, they'd take submissions from non-agented authors, but only for their Bloody Good Reads series. The books had to be stand-alone YA horror for Leap Books Shine, their novella line, so that's what I wrote. When I sent the story in, I was still a good month away from being accepted into the Pitch2Publication competition and around four months out from the day I signed with my fabulous agent. Needless to say, when editor, Judith Graves, send me an offer on this book, I was thrilled.
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And here we are, literally two years after my brain first started churning around Lenny and Jeb's story, and BROKEN CHORDS is ready for readers. I am so excited for people to read this. I want to say a HUGE thank you to Judith and the other folks at Leap Books for making this such a beautiful book and such a wonderful experience.
Here's a little sneak peek for you.
He wasn’t in the normal world anymore.
Neither was I.
Despite not asking for it, something twisted and bitter in this universe had bestowed it anyway. We’d been transported to the astral plane. The world was bathed in dark beauty, like velvety gauze or some tranquil digital camera filter, making everything hazy and wavery with dim blue-white light. I could actually see the air – or matter or ether or whatever it was--that made up the world around me. When I waved my hand, contrails showed its swishing progress long after I’d ceased movement. Like, whatever I was made of in this form could interact with the very construction material holding this universe together. Or, maybe whatever I was made of in this form was the very construction material of this universe.
“Oh God,” I whispered.
That meant, behind me, within the tent I’d just fled, my body lay prone. Not in sleep, and not a trance. Not dead, but not really alive either.
An empty shell.
I stared at the dark green vinyl before finally getting up the nerve to look inside. My body lay on my air mattress, curled up as if I were merely sleeping. My chest rose and fell as my organs responded to signals from the most primitive part of my brain, which kept the basic functions of human life online even though the system user had abandoned the controls.
I breathed in time with my body. I wasn’t sure if I was really moving air around in my spectral form, but the reflex to carry out the action was strong, and it still felt soothing when I blew what might be nothing out of lungs that probably weren’t there anyway. I took another deep, fake breath and closed my eyes. My brain attempted to point out the ridiculousness of this – how I still felt normal even though I was nothing but a ghost now. A spasm of laughter escaped my throat, but I swallowed it down. If I let my mind think too hard about things like where? and what? and how?, I’d crack. Game over.
Instead, I chanted Jeb’s mantra: “Just go with it.” Then I turned to face the astral plane.