Wednesday, February 17, 2016

#SpecFic Bookworm News: An Excerpt from Anna Simpson's White Light

Grimm: The Chopping Block by John Passarella

Grimm: The Chopping Block by John Passarella
Nick Burkhardt knows the stranger the case, the more likely it's Wesen related in John Passarella's The Chopping Block, based off the TV show Grimm. This book is jammed pack with Grimm goodness with main points of view from Nick, Juliette, and Monroe. The fast-paced detective story kept me hooked as more people went missing and more bones showed up. I enjoyed Monroe's attempts to help out a fellow Blutbad, but best of all, I thought Passarella made me understand Juliette's motives more clearly as she plunges into the strange and fascinating Wesen world. Passarella definitely did his homework as he took the TV characters and made them come to life on the page. If you're a fellow Grimmster, then you'll love The Chopping Block by John Passarella.

The Power by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto
Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers
Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
Calamity by Brandon Sanderson
Firstlife by Gena Showalter
These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
Where Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell
Black Hearts by Nicole Castroman
Kingdom of Ashes by Rhiannon Thomas
The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Scardust by Suzanne van Rooyen
Wickedly They Dream by Cathrina Constantine
Harmony Black by Craig Schaefer
Greta and the Lost Army by Chloe Jacobs
Galactic Empires: Eight Novels of Deep Space Adventure by M. Pax, Patty Jansen, and Others
Love Me, Love Me Not by Alyxandra Harvey
Fable Ranger: Summons by A.L. Brown
A Question of Faith by Nicole Zoltack
Paranormal After Dark boxed set by Various Authors
The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
Trace Evidence by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs
Supernatural: Cold Fire by John Passarella
Star Trek: Miasma by Greg Cox
Through the Veil by Colleen Halverson
Ghost Gifts by Laura Spinella
Big Yearning by Christine Rains

To stay free, I perform a ritual every morning. It begins with stepping outside, where dawn streams through the leafy branches of my maple tree, landing, shifting, and dancing on the flowerbeds at my bare feet. A steaming cup of coffee warms my hands. The fragrant air fills my lungs. I sip, leaving the liquid on my tongue to capture a moment of rich goodness.

My name is Emma, and I need to stay grounded and calm. It’s important for my health, so I walk along the fence and let the cool blades of grass tickle my toes and dewdrops cling to my skin. For fun, I kick a ball of dandelion fluff. Little parachutes take flight catching the same breeze moving the leaves above my head. The seeds float up, and up, over the fence to land on Mrs. Perkins’ perfectly tended lawn. Not a dandelion or mat of moss to be seen.

In a half acre of green sits one flowerbed, brimming with Lily of the Valley. I remember the first time I saw them over fifteen years ago. The delicate white bells could only be fairy hats. Today, the round base of cemented river stone is still full of waxy green spear tips. I don’t see fairy hats anymore. No, now I enjoy the effects of nature—its simple perfection.

Mrs. Perkins does it best. In fact, everything around Mrs. Perkins is perfectly cared for—her home, her yard, her car—all perfect.

But not today. A dark line sits between the jamb and the edge of the door.
A few inches of shadow drives my calm away and prickles the long blonde hairs at the nape of my neck. Butterflies in my stomach tell, no scratch that, demand I find my phone and go next door.

Don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not a snoop.

Mrs. Perkins, a wiry old bird, did everything herself. I’m not sure if it is because she’s the independent sort or if she has no one else to help her. Either way, when she suggested we watch out for one another, I agreed.

I’m also alone. It doesn’t bother me unless I catch the flu or something. Then I wonder if I will die and no one will notice. It’s a thought, or fear, I can’t shake. Mrs. Perkins’ house has my full attention, and within it sits the same worry. I’ll check on her because she would do the same for me.

I crash into my kitchen, slopping my coffee onto the counter as I slam the mug down. My phone could be anywhere. My gaze travels from the pine tabletop to the gray marble counter. It’s not here. I push through the swinging door to the living area, run my fingertips between the couch and chair cushions, scan the smoked-glass coffee table through my veil of long blonde hair, and sneak a peek under my overturned book on the throw rug. Desperate, I check around the bowl by the door where I toss my keys as I pass the spiral staircase to the loft. Still nothing.

Down the short hallway, I rush to my bedroom. I tug the midnight blue duvet off the bed and shake it. My pulse speeds up as something thuds on to the carpet. I pick up my smartphone and check the battery. Half power.

Excellent. I dash through my front door, across the lawn and unlatch Mrs. Perkins’ white picket gate. Her shiny yellow front door looks as solid as stone. I follow her path to the back wondering if danger lurks.

I gasp as I near the door. It’s like living a moment in a crime drama. I mimic what I have watched on television and bring up my phone to take a picture. Inching forward, heart pounding, I wonder if poor Mrs. Perkins is sprawled out on the bathroom floor, from a stroke, heart attack, or a butcher knife.

Don’t worry, Mrs. Perkins. I’m coming.

I pull my cotton sleeve over my hand and push the door wider. Her kitchen looks untouched as if it’s sterilized or newly installed. Tiles cool my bare feet with each step. Fear scratches at my nerves, “Mrs. Perkins? It’s Emma from next door. Are you okay?”


I raise the phone to call for help.

A small sound carries from deeper in the house. I should stop, leave, and make the call.

Following the sound might be dangerous or, worse, plain stupid. And I’m scared. So scared, my breathing is all I hear over the pounding of my heart.

I’d look stupid if I’m wrong. Ravenglass Lake is so small-townsville, and Benny the bully is like no cop I’ve ever met. He would be no help. Worst of all, they’d call me crazy for sure. I slip the phone back into my denim pocket, quietly open her knife drawer, and pull out a meat cleaver. Armed, I creep forward.

Thank goodness Mrs. Perkins likes an open airy room. Evil housebreakers have nowhere to hide in the dining room.

A small thump like a cat landing on carpet makes me jump. But Mrs. Perkins doesn’t have a cat…or carpet—only allergies.

I tighten my grip on the cleaver as I stick my head into the living room. All is quiet and undisturbed. I enter the corridor to the front door. To my right are stairs to the upper floor. Farther ahead is a hall closet and nook where she keeps a desk and a small bookcase. Nothing seems touched.

I glance up at the glittery ceiling, swallow, and pull my phone from my pocket. The sensible thing is to dial 911. I sidestep for the front door, but in my mind’s eye Mrs. Perkins, wiry but frail, shakes her head. Her arm outstretched urging me not to leave.

Thump, I freeze. The noise is right beside me coming from the hall closet.

Without thinking, I open the door and find Mrs. Perkins tied up with duct tape across her lips. Her green eyes, round and unblinking, grow wide, and her usual perfect curls are mussed. I drop the cleaver. It clatters on the floor, and I pull the tape free.

White Light by Anna Simpson
Genre: Mystery (with a ghost)
ISBN: 9990051305272

Emma never dreamed of being a super-sleuth. In her mind, she’s more Scooby Doo than Nancy Drew and when her nosy neighbor, Mrs. Perkins, drags her to an anniversary party to solve a mystery, she rolls her eyes, buys a box of chocolates and hops in the car.

What’s a party without an attack on its host—or more accurately on the host’s grandson, sparking an allergic reaction and moving the party to the hospital waiting room. Suddenly, everyone is a suspect. Emma and Mrs. Perkins, along with Great Aunt Alice (a spirit with boundary issues who keeps stepping into Emma’s body like a new dress and playing matchmaker), dive into an investigation that almost gets Emma killed along with the man they are trying to protect. With so many reasons to kill him and so much to be gained if he died, Emma and Mrs. Perkins must unravel the tenuous ties that point to every member of his family as potential killers.

Even if it means going back to the psych ward, Emma will protect her friend and this innocent man. What good is freedom if it’s haunted with guilt?

What Some Are Saying:
Sherry from fundinmental says:
“I love writing that can pull emotions from me and White Light does that.”
“There’s lots to laugh at and some serious business to draw you deeper into the story.”
Mary from Goodreads says:
“This is a great beach read with mystical elements. Simpson creates colorful characters, intriguing plot, and with her use of dialogue keeps the story moving along.”
Anna Simpson lives near the Canadian-US border with her family. Even though she’s lived in several places in British Columbia, her free spirit wasn’t able to settle down until she moved back to her hometown.

She is easy to find though, if you know the magic word — emaginette. Do an internet search using it and you’ll see what I mean. :-)

Anna’s links: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Christine Rains said...

Great excerpt! Congrats to Anna and all the authors releasing books this month.

Sarah Foster said...

Congrats to all of the authors on their releases! That sure is a lot of books!

Julie Flanders said...

I love this excerpt from Anna's book. Definitely left me wanting to read more. And wow, lots of new releases this month! Thanks for sharing, Cherie.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

That is a bunch of books coming out! Whew. Best of luck to Anna!

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Anna and all the other authors releasing soon. =D

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats to Anna! I didn't realize there were any Grimm. I love the series so I'd probably like it. Thanks for sharing about it.

Crystal Collier said...

Ooh! The end of that excerpt is super exciting.

How do you gather that list of releases?

Mark said...

Cool excerpt from _White Light_, thanks for sharing:)

M Pax said...

Congrats to Anna! What a flare for words.

I didn't know they had books for Grimm. I might have to check those out.

Cathy Keaton said...

Congrats to Anna! Her book has a cool, unique premise she should be proud of.

Nicola said...

Very interesting excerpt. I want a Maple tree to greet me each morning.Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

congrats to Anna! I love the excerpt!

Yolanda Renée said...

Congratulations Anna! Great idea!
Anthologies Rock!

Anonymous said...

Cool list of books and I'm very interested in White Light after having seen it on numerous blogs.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wow! Excellent excerpt! It drew me and left me wanting more.

Thanks for that awesome list, Cherie!

Sherry Ellis said...

Lots of releases! Congratulations to all of those authors. I enjoyed the excerpt!

Tamara Narayan said...

Speculative fiction is booming! Good news for the Parallels anthology.

cleemckenzie said...

Look at that list of books! I should be reading, not blogging right now.

Congrats to Anna. I wish her the best.

New Release Books said...

Congrats to Anna and all the authors releasing books this month. Loved the excerpt.

Sandra Cox said...

Great excerpt!
Congrats to all the authors with new releases.
Hi, Cherie. Waving madly.

Tabatha Morrow said...

Anna's excerpt is wonderful. I have to read that book!

TBM said...

Congrats to Anna and all the other authors. Haven't seen the show Grimm, but the book sounds fun.