Friday, September 5, 2014

Q&A Part 2

Here is Part 2 of the Q&A from FB! As before, there may be SPOILERS so please do not read until you've read the books.... unless you are okay with spoilers!

1. What are your plans for future books? What are your ideas? Have you started?

I am in the beginning stages of a new series. I am not sure if it will be a trilogy or two books but I have time to decide that. The premise will be a YA science fiction and dystopian[ish] again... and wait for it.... ALIENS. ;)

I would like to put out another Hampton Harbor series book. Linc is in need of his own story.

I would also like to write a Novella of sorts with short stories from characters in Exceptional that need some wrapping up.

2. Have you considered a Novella set in the future [of Exceptional]?

No, not specifically a novella about Luke and Ally. I think it might be time to let them go for now!

3. Who is on the cover of Ordinary?


4. A spinoff of Max?

Interesting idea.... I'm ready to move on a bit so if you can wait a few years for me to come full circle.

5. Next Hampton Harbor book?

I am going to try and work on it off and on this year as I work on my new series. I am thinking it is Linc's turn.

6. What happened to Rune? 

She would have been saved from staying in the safe houses for the pregnant Ordinarys, but maybe she would chose to stay to be with others like her? Hopefully as the City changes and evolves there will be resources to help her.

7. Does Luke and Ally's baby have a name? Boy/girl?

No name. I think I'll let you guys have your imagination with this one for now! It will most likely be answered in a Novella.

Q&A Part 1

Here is the first set of Q&A from Facebook. SEVERAL of these have spoilers about the series as a whole so if you have not had a chance to read the complete Exceptional trilogy, PLEASE come back to this once you have finished!

Several of you are asking for MORE details. A novella is in the works with some short stories regarding some of our favorite characters and additions to their story lines. But some of the characters and story lines have less detail to give you a chance to form your own ideas and opinions. It let's you, as readers, run with your imagination a little bit as well.

1. If at the end the city has a helicopter, will they ever travel far east? Perhaps to see where the children came from? 

The children came from the WEST but I imagine that they could travel out there if they found it safe. Ally used it to travel to Zone D because she knew it was safe. But I imagine more will be told on this later. ;)

2. Is Ally's baby destined to be an exceptional? What abilities do you think he/she will have?

Yes. Going back to the first book where we talked about the reasons behind the ORC, their baby will mostly definitely be Exceptional. I haven't even thought about abilities! Luke's abilities are pretty powerful, as were Ally's when she had them, so I imagine their child would be powerful as well.
3. What was kemps story? Does he ever recover? 

Stay tuned! :)
4. Will there be a box set paperback release? If yes, will you take cover art submissions by fans? (That would be fun! I smell a contest)

I don't know if I am able to box them using the print publisher that I do. Exceptional is already in print through several major book sellers, and Rogue and Ordinary will be joining it by Christmas. I think the covers will stay as they are for now.
5. Do you feel like Ally had to lose her leg to kind of reign her in?

YES! I didn't want to kill Ally off but I needed a way to calm the speed of her journey and give her a reason to be in the City long enough to commit to Luke.
6. Perhaps I missed this in the book or can't remember the answer but what US city is Lukes northern city in? (Washington?)

Luke and Ally are from Chicago. :) The Eastern City is Philadelphia. The Southern City is Dallas. The Western City is Los Angeles.
7. I would love to see you make a Luke prequel/story! (could cover his parents, why his dad made his choices, how his dad started the rogue mess, perhaps even tie in the children and what the eastern citys look like and of course, plenty of Luke)

Stay tuned. ;) I can't promise a full prequel but I will be covering some of these characters in a novella.

8. Who is Ally and Stosh's dad?

Nothing special here! Just an Exceptional Guard like Luella told us in the first book.

9. You don't bring up Maver or Mazzi, so why weren't they at the wedding?

I have to believe that during the war with the Rogues, and all of the changes going on with the City, people were somewhat displaced. I'd like to imagine that Mazzi is still living with Luke and Ally, cooking for them, and that Maver has found a career in the City, occasionally talking to Luke in passing.

10. Did you write/consider an alternate ending? If so, would you ever release it? If not, was this how you saw the series ending from when you wrote book 1?

There is no alternate ending. Some of the major plot points changed as I went along. For instance, for awhile there was never going to be a reveal of Stosh being Exceptional. Ally was going to have a much harder healing road from her leg, and would have spent weeks in Champaign recovering. The scene with Sabine was changed over and over, rewritten a dozen times, and so on.

Ally was always going to end up with Luke and she was always going to settle on the Northern City as home while also dealing diplomatically with the changes going on in the country.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ordinary is HERE!

If you haven't seen it on Amazon yet, Ordinary has been released. I know what you are thinking...


Me too. I appreciate all of the patience as I dealt with health issues this past Fall, Winter, and Spring, and then took time to love on my new baby and settle in as a new family of five.

You can get it HERE on Amazon.

If you are just joining me, you'll want to start with the first book in the series.


And then move on to book two, Rogue.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Chapter 1 of Ordinary

Ordinary comes out on FRIDAY. For real, now! If you have been following along on my Facebook page, you know about all of the heath scares I've been dealing with.

I am so happy to have this done.

so SO happy.

So to PUMP YOU UP for Friday's release, here is the first chapter in Ordinary.


Ally stood on the steps outside Heath's office, gazing up at the clear sky. It had rained for two days and nights, not letting up except for a few moments here and there. The roads were almost completely hidden under large puddles of water, except for a few spots of concrete poking out here and there. The dirt areas of Champaign had turned to thick mud, and had become play areas for the children in town. The rain had never bothered Ally until now.
She had wanted to leave Champaign as soon as they had gotten back from the City. She had even gone as far as to pack her bags and grab a map from Max's basement to come up with a quick plan. Max had spent hours trying to talk her down, and even Stosh had stepped in.
"Ally, think about this." Max had said to her as she did circles in his basement.
"We need more time to plan," Stosh had added.
Ally had stopped and glared at them both. "I don't want to wait around here any longer than necessary. Not with Heath sitting in his office and planning out ways to destroy the City. I just risked my life to save all of those people, and for what?”
"He isn't going to destroy the City," Max had pointed out. "Just return it to it's former self... pre-virus."
Ally had moved toward him then, wishing she still had her abilities to knock him back. Her fists would have to do.
Stosh had grabbed her from behind and held on tight with an arm around her waist. "Let's just wait a few more days and settle on a plan. I'm not saying stay, Al, because I want to leave just as much as you do. But we can't going running into the Wilderness, in the middle of the night, when there may be Rogues hiding out there."
Ally had relaxed against her brother. 
Max had looked at her with a mix of concern and regret.
They had planned on leaving three days after that conversation. It was enough time to make plans, gather supplies, and hunt down Rogues outside of Champaign. The hunting parties had found two groups of Rogues; one with eight and another with five. They had all been cured and were recovering in the jail, which was now more of an infirmary.
Two days into planning the storms had come and they decided to wait it out.
Now the rain was gone, the skies were clear, and they were headed out in an hour.
Ally, Stosh, and Sabine.
Willow would be staying behind to have the baby in Champaign. Once Ally found the southern City, and they knew they were safe, she would come back and get her. 
Max stormed out of the building, his eyebrows furrowed and his blue eyes fierce.
"Heath is ready to see you," he said before stomping down the stairs.
Ally watched him disappear into the woods, knowing he was headed toward the abandoned part of Champaign. The place he had taken her to several weeks ago, to show her his hopes for the future. She wondered if he still had the same dreams, knowing that his uncle had bigger plans and knowing that change was coming.
She turned and walked into the building, knowing just where to find Heath now. He was seated at his desk, not staring at the wall but through it. She recognized a man deep in thought, but she didn't care at the moment.
"Heath," she said in greeting as she took a seat in front of his desk.
"Ally," he responded. "You wanted to see me."
"You probably know that we're leaving this morning," she said to him. "I'm meeting Stosh and Sabine in an hour."
Heath just nodded.
It had been hard for her to ask Max to set up this meeting. She didn't really want to see Heath, or talk to him, but she would be naive to think that they didn't need his help.
"Would you be willing to give us some of the guns to take with us, in case we encounter any Rogues along the way?"
Heath nodded again. Or maybe he hadn't stopped nodding. He looked tired, older somehow.
"Yes, of course, take whatever you need. Not just guns," he responded. "You know where the warehouses are."
Ally nodded and stood. "Thank you," she managed through gritted teeth.
"I am sorry," Heath said before she left, "that it came to this."
"Me too," Ally said, not even bothering to turn and look at him.
The meeting was just how she wanted it: short and to the point. Stosh and Sabine had arrived at the steps, their large packed bags in hand. Max had retrieved the large packs from the warehouse on the second day of planning, saying he thought they had been used for camping and hunting trips in the old world.
"We need to go to the warehouse and get them ourselves, but we can have the guns," Ally told them.
"I'll go with you," Stosh said. "Sabine, can you stay with the packs?"
She just nodded, twirling her red hair around her finger. She hadn't been quite the same since they came back from the City. The war against the Rogues had affected her, watching people die and her home be ripped apart. She was distant these days, and really only spoke with Stosh.
Once they were far from the building Ally looked over at Stosh. "How is she?"
Stosh shook his head. "Upset. Depressed. Distant. A few other things, too."
Ally put her hand on her brother's shoulder. "She'll be back. That was a lot for any of us to take in."
"What if it gets worse, Al?" he asked. "We don't know what we are walking into down south."
"She agreed to come," Ally said. "She knows the risks. We have to take the chance. It’s either that or stay here, where another war is brewing."
"You were so quick to jump into the first war. What about this one?" Stosh asked.
"Things have changed," she responded. "Luke has changed, the City has changed, and I'm not so sure this is a war I can stop. I don't think it will be violent like the war with the Rogues. I think there will be a lot of verbal back-and-forth.”
They walked the remaining distance to the warehouses in silence. She knew which warehouse the guns were stored in, and they headed straight there. She rapped on the door three times, and then twice again, in a musical tone. The door creaked open and a familiar face peered out at them.
"Lilla!" Ally said excitingly, but then her smiled faded. Lilla looked different. "You're...."
"Ordinary," Lilla responded. 
"Did he..." Ally couldn't speak through the anger.
"No!" Lilla said quickly. "I volunteered. I said I would, we all did."
Ally thought of all the Exceptionals she had spent the night with during the raid. The same night Stosh and Sabine had been taken to the City.
"Why?" Ally asked.
"It was the least we could do, after all Heath has done for us. He needed to test the gas."
Understanding dawned on Ally. She hadn't even thought about how he had managed to develop the gas, or how he knew it even worked. She was suddenly glad that she hadn't heard of this before she had gone to see him. It would have been a less civil conversation.
"We need guns," was all Ally said.
Lilla nodded and held up one finger.
She returned ten minutes later with a black duffel bag and handed it to Ally.
It was full and heavy.
"Come with us," Ally blurted out. "Come south."
Lilla's eyes widened with surprised.
"I... I shouldn't. My brother, and the others," she stuttered. It seemed very unlike the Lilla that Ally had first met.
Understanding hit Ally. Lilla was lost without her abilities.
"We could use one more to make our group an even number," Ally said with a smile.
Lilla smiled. "Really?
Ally nodded. "You can always come back."
Lilla stood in the doorway, biting the corner of her lip.
"Okay," she responded with a smile. "I'll grab my things."
“Grab a pack and fill it with clothes, blankets, and dry food." Ally told her. "Then meet us at the steps outside Heath's. Quickly."
Lilla nodded and then disappeared.
"Outnumbered three to one," Stosh said with a sigh.
"I'm sorry, I don't know why I invited her, it just felt like the right thing to do," Ally said.
"Replacing Willow?" Stosh asked.
"She should be with us," Ally responded. "It doesn't feel right without her."
Stosh nodded. "You know why she can't come."
"I do," Ally agreed. "We started out with four, and four we'll be when we reach the southern City."
Stosh took the gun bag from her and slung it over his shoulder. They took the walk back into town more slowly, not in as much of a rush knowing that Lilla had to gather her things now. When they reached the steps, Sabine was sitting at the top, clutching her pack and looking pale.
Stosh rushed to her side. "Sabine? What happened?"
Sabine looked past him and straight at Ally.
"He's here," she croaked.
Ally raised one eyebrow and shared a nervous glance with Stosh. Was Sabine losing it?"
"He's here," she said again.
"Who?" Ally asked.
"In there, with Heath." Sabine pointed at the door. "Luke."
Ally's heart stopped beating and for a moment she was sure she was going to pass out. Her body tingled almost painfully, and she stumbled forward.
"Ally, wait..." Stosh said.
But Ally was already running toward the building.

Ally wasn't sure what she was expecting to find in Heath's office.
A dead body?
Two dead bodies?
Heath and Luke grasping each other's throats?
Instead she found a very calm Heath sitting at his desk, and a very calm Luke sitting across from him.
Max was leaning against the wall, looking pissed off.
Three pairs of eyes turned to look at her.
Ally met Luke's eyes first. Then she remembered the last time she looked into those eyes; in his room, in his bed, when the pregnant Ordinary came in. He hadn't changed much in a week. His dark hair was buzzed again, but other than that he was still tall and lean, his muscles showing underneath this shirt.
Her eyes flicked over to Heath, who was trying to sit up straight and appear in charge. Then they flicked to Max, who had gone back to using his eyes to bore a hole into the back of Luke's head.
Ally wasn't sure exactly what she should say, but she sure wasn't going to miss the rest of whatever conversation they had been having. She slid into the chair next to Luke and waited.
"Heath and I were just discussing a peace treaty." Luke spoke first.
"Oh is that right?" Ally responded.
Heath nodded reluctantly. "Lukin here would like to postpone my plans for one month."
"Or you could just call it off," Ally added.
Heath shot her a glare and she returned it.
"Why one month?" She asked, forcing herself to look at Luke.
"I figured it would be enough time for us to reach the southern city, and come back again," he responded lightly. "I told Heath that if I don't return by then, he is free to do as he pleases."
Luke spoke as though he were talking about the weather. Slightly interested but not enough to show emotion
Ally's mouth hung open and she looked at Heath, and then Luke again.
"I've agreed," Heath said.
Ally groaned. "You've got to be kidding me."
"I'm going too," Max piped in.
"Max," Heath growled.
Suddenly Ally understood what they had been arguing about just an hour ago. Max wanted to travel south with them. She had been surprised when he hadn’t volunteered during their planning. Champaign was his home. His friends and family were here, and he didn't really have a reason to leave.
Except maybe Ally, but she had made it clear that they were just friends. At least, for now. A future with Max had seemed impossible with him in Champaign, but now that he was coming south with them, the possibility was back on the table.
"No," he held his hand up. "I'm old enough to decide for myself, and I'm going. Someone from Champaign should be on this trip, as a representative." Max was reaching now. "I can bring back information."
Heath didn't buy it, and neither did Ally, but neither said a word.
Max eyed Luke cautiously.
Luke was back to watching Ally.
"So, can I join you?" Luke asked her.
He was asking for her permission. She wondered what would happen if she said no. Would he go anyway and travel by his own means? As much as she didn't want to admit it, they could use him in their group. He would be the only Exceptional, and a powerful one at that. 
Also, Ally needed him.
She wasn't ready to point out that it would take much longer than a month to go where they were going. It had taken almost as long for them to get to Champaign and it wasn’t really that far from the City, just a handful of hours by transport.
She sat up straighter and tried to appear casual and uninterested. "Yeah, of course."

The corner of Luke's mouth pulled up into a smile. "Good, because I have some surprises."

Friday, March 28, 2014

Ordinary Release

I am writing this here because it will be a mouthful on Facebook. I never keep up with this blog. First I said Ordinary would be out last Fall. Then it was early 2014. Then March.

I expected to have Ordinary out by now.

I wasn't expecting everything that would happen over the past 9 months. A very trying pregnancy, deaths in the family, health problems, possibility of a sick baby, blood pressure, etc etc etc.

Life got in the way.

I've been disappointed in myself for awhile now, mad that I haven't released the book. But my health has been bad and I've been trying to take care of myself and the baby. In the past few weeks I've been battling high blood pressure. If you've ever experience blood pressure issues, whether in pregnancy or not, you understand how crappy it can make you feel.

Severe headaches that can't be controlled with medicine. Dizziness. Blurred vision. Nausea.

It makes it hard to work. The only cure for my blood pressure is to lay on my left side and drink water. Well, there isn't much I can do from being flat on my left side besides watch TV, sleep, and maybe prop my Kindle to read.

All that being said.

Ordinary will be released.... drum roll please....


Covers are not my strong suit. I'm sure a publishing house would tear me to pieces. But really, all you care about is what's after the cover, am I right?!