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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Blog Tour and Sneak Peek!

It's almost that time again - time for a Blog Tour! In honor of the upcoming release of book 5 of The Gateway Chronicles, The Scroll, my publishing house is hosting a Blog Tour that will begin on Monday, October 14th. Featured will be reviews, guest posts, and more! I hope you tune in for all the action (metaphorically speaking, of course. Writers tend to not actually be that active...) :) The schedule for the tour is as follows:

While the tour is going on, I will also post daily links on my Facebook page here: 

Also, don't forget that I have a new website, and there is a giveaway running on it where you can win an entire E-Book set of books 1-5 of The Gateway Chronicles! Visit and enter now: 

And now, since we are a week (a WEEK!) away from the release of The Scroll, I decided to give you the entire prologue as a sneak peek. Enjoy! I hope it builds your excitement to get your hands on the book next week. 

The Scroll

“What can you ever really know of other people’s souls—of their temptations, their opportunities, their struggles? One soul in the whole creation you do know: and it is the only one whose fate is placed in your hands.”
C. S. Lewis

The Boy and the Fire

Six Years Ago

     Colin couldn’t breathe. His father’s hands were iron gloves around his throat, threatening to do it, to finally kill him. Black dots danced before his eyes, and the side of the building slid out of focus as laughter and a babble of conversation joined with mangled strains of Für Elise not ten feet away.
His mind was screaming. Come outside! Somebody open the door.
     But they didn’t. Nobody ever came to his aid. They all hated him, like his father did.
     His feet twitched, his toes just brushing the ferns in the underbrush, until his dad released him to fall in a crumpled heap on the ground. Colin dragged a ragged breath into his lungs and rolled over, keeping his father always in his sight. He knew what was coming next—the explanation, the ranting and raving, and then more pain.
     “You embarrassed me,” Lawrence Mackaby said as he raked his hands through his golden-blond hair. “Embarrassed me! How dare you make me look bad in front of a potential client?” He fumbled his cigarette lighter from his pocket and Colin flinched, cowering among the leaves. So it was to be burns again. He still bore the scars on his chest from the last time.
     His father lit a cigarette and took a long drag, his hands shaking with rage. Another burst of laughter came from inside the rec hall, and Colin imagined the potential client, the wealthy parent of some camper, waiting on his dad’s return and assuming Colin’s dad had taken him outside merely for a lecture on polite behavior.
     “If I lose his business because of you, you’re going to wish you had never been born,” Mr. Mackaby said, his voice eerily calm. “Stand up.”
     Colin struggled to obey, but his clothes were caught in the underbrush, holding him down as though conspiring against his father’s command. Mr. Mackaby grabbed Colin by the shoulder and wrenched him up so violently Colin stumbled and almost fell again. “Stand up straight and face me like a man. Stop crying like a girl!”
     Was he crying? He hadn’t realized.
     His father pointed at his chest with the cigarette. “Lift your shirt.”
     Colin met his father’s eyes with a dull stare. Just hit me, he thought. Hit me and be done with it. The blows he could take. Sometimes he even savored the pain, imagining himself absorbing it and storing it away for some future day when he’d get his revenge. But the burns grew worse even after the fire was gone. They sizzled and festered, and they smelled of cooked flesh.
     Colin fingered the hem of his shirt, not taking his eyes off his father’s face. If he did it slowly enough, maybe his father would grow impatient and hit him instead.
     Mr. Mackaby lunged forward and ripped Colin’s shirt up and over his head so that he was blinded by fabric and his arms were pinned above him. The searing pain of the hot ash against his skin took his breath away, and then he cried out and kicked with all his might. He felt his foot connect and heard his father double over with a grunt.
     Colin fell into the undergrowth, flailing against his shirt as he tried to regain his sight. He heard his father curse, and the smell of smoke intensified. He yanked his shirt back down over his chest in time to see a pile of dry pine needles go up in a blaze of fire. His father cursed again and kicked at the pile, sending the flames skittering toward the rec hall.
     Colin coughed as the smoke invaded his lungs. The small fire was already blackening the siding of the building. It was his father’s cigarette, his father’s fault, but that wouldn’t matter. Like a snake, he’d slither out of it, and Colin would be blamed.
     So he ran.
     His father called his name, shouted for him to come back, but Colin kept running. Going to jail for arson, or wherever they sent eleven-year-old criminals, would be worse than any punishment his father could concoct for him. He crashed through the underbrush, not paying attention to where he was going. The air around him cleared of smoke just as screams echoed from the rec hall.
     But they’d get out. There were plenty of exits and tall windows. None of them really knew what it was to be trapped.
     Before long, he glimpsed the silvery sheen of the lake through the trees and recognized where he was—the Cedar Point Trail, far removed from the chaos behind him. He slowed to a walk and caught up against a tree. His chest burned from smoke inhalation and exertion, and the actual burn on his skin felt as though it was still on fire. He bent double and held on to the tree for support as he took deep breaths. The deeper he breathed, the more his eyes welled with tears and, before he knew it, he was sobbing and clutching at the tree bark as though his fingernails were claws.
     I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, he thought, wishing his father could feel the power of his oath and burn under it as Colin had burned under the cigarette. “I’ll make you sorry someday,” Colin said, spitting the words like acid. “I swear it, someday I’ll be powerful, and I’ll make you pay!”
     A chill of cold air washed down his back, and he straightened and stilled his sobs and his breathing. The forest had gone silent, and fear invaded his mind where rage had been a moment before. Colin squinted at what looked like a shadow, hovering in the woods, not belonging to any of the trees around it. It was indistinct and shapeless, but it was there.
     Another burst of cold air swept around his neck, and with it came words so quiet they might not have been words at all, but thoughts invading his own.
     You asked for power?
     Colin shivered and took a step toward the shadow. “Are you talking to me?”
     That chill again. The voice. Power is my specialty. Who has hurt you? I can help you to make it right.
     “My—my father.”
     Do you desire to hurt him back?
     Colin squared his shoulders. “Yes.”
     It will take time, and if I help you, you must promise also to help me.
     “I won’t have to do anything . . . illegal, will I?” Colin suppressed the voice in the back of his head that said revenge on his father would certainly be illegal.
     The shadow began to fade.
     “Wait! I’ll help you.”
     “I promise.”
     The shadow darkened and then came near him. I’ve been waiting a long time for you. I’m glad we’re going to be friends.
     “Sure.” Colin’s teeth chattered as the shadow’s approach brought a renewed burst of cold. “What are you? Do you have a name?”
     My name is Tselloch. Let that be enough for now. 


  1. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!! I knew I shouldn't have read this!!! I'm dying here.

  2. Wow. This answers a lot. Waiting on the book patiently....but it is hard! Thanks for showing me the way thorough the gateway. Looking forward to another adventure!!!