The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

My Blog Has Moved!

My new website at www.sarracannon.com is live! That means my blog has also moved with it. You know how I've been talking about wanting to have a dedicated place where I can talk about Indie topics separate from things my readers would be interested in hearing? Well, now I was able to split my blog into two pieces.


The Sweetie Chronicles is now my main blog over on the new site and you can find it HERE. Today's post? Mini Beach Retreat Weekend, where I talk about unplugging from the real world and heading to Myrtle Beach for the weekend to work on Demons Forever.

My Indie Writer Resources blog is found HERE. All on the same website now! There are resources there like links, walkthroughs, my word meter, and now a separate blog just for those writing type topics.

I hope those of you who have followed me here and have enjoyed reading my blog will move over to the new site with me! I'll still probably post a few reminders here just in case, but largely my blog has officially moved. Please come check it out!

Free Preview of Michelle Muto's DON'T FEAR THE REAPER

*I wanted to announce that my blog has a new home at my brand new website! I've been working on this website for a while, and I was happy to have it finally go live this weekend. I am migrating my blog over there as well, so please check it out HERE. For this week, I'll probably be posting my blog both here and at the new site as we transition over.

I am so excited to have the very talented YA author Michelle Muto on my blog today. She has been nice enough to give us a free preview of her book DON'T FEAR THE REAPER. Here is a brief description of the book:

Grief-stricken by the murder of her twin, Keely Morrison is convinced suicide is her ticket to eternal peace and a chance to reunite with her sister. When Keely succeeds in taking her own life, she discovers death isn’t at all what she expected. Instead, she’s trapped in a netherworld on Earth and her only hope for reconnecting with her sister and navigating the afterlife is a bounty-hunting reaper and a sardonic, possibly unscrupulous, demon. But when the demon offers Keely her greatest temptation—revenge on her sister's murderer—she must uncover his motives and determine who she can trust. Because, as Keely soon learns, both reaper and demon are keeping secrets and she fears the worst is true—that her every decision will change how, and with whom, she spends eternity.

Doesn't that sound awesome? Just wait until you read this first chapter! You will want to scoop it right up.

First Chapter Teaser:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for they are with me.

I repeated my version of the psalm as I watched the ribbon of blood drift from my wrist. I’d hoped it would be a distraction—something to stop me from wondering what my sister’s dying thoughts had been. Exhaling slowly, I let the emptiness consume me.

Jordan had kept my secrets and I had kept hers. In the end, it came down to just one secret between us that took her life. Now, it would take mine. I should have said something, but nothing I said or did now could bring her back or make anyone understand what she meant to me.

Are you here, Jordan? Are you with me?Tell me about heaven...

I told myself Jordan was gone, never coming back, but her memories continued to haunt me. I had no idea if there even was an afterlife. If God existed, I was convinced he had given up on me. Not once did I sense he’d heard a single one of my prayers. I wasn’t asking for the world—I only wanted to know if my sister was safe and at peace. What was so hard about that?

She should still be here. It wasn’t fair.

I’d been the difficult one—much more than Jordan. For a while, I’d even gotten into drugs. Mom and Dad had worried I’d get Jordan into drugs, too. But I wouldn’t. Not ever. Besides, that part of my life had been over long before Jordan’s death. A small gargoyle tattoo on my left shoulder was all that remained of my previous lifestyle.

Mom and Dad started treating me differently after Jordan’s funeral two months ago. She and I were twins, so I understood how hard it was for them to look at me and not see her. Sometimes, they wouldn’t look at me at all. Mom went to the psychiatrist, but no one asked if I needed to talk to someone about what happened. No one asked if I needed sleeping pills or antidepressants. Yeah, sure. Don’t give the former addict pills of any sort.

Not one person saw the all-consuming suffering that gnawed at my soul. Why couldn’t anyone see? Jordan had been more than my sister—she’d been my Samson, my strength. I would have done anything for her, and yet, I’d failed her. I wasn’t the one who’d killed her, but I might as well have been. How could I ever live with that? My heart had a stillness to it since her death.

I shall fear no evil.

I couldn’t very well recite the first part of Psalm 23 because it said I shall not want, and I did want. I wanted to go back in time. I wanted my sister back. Clearly, goodness and mercy were never going to be part of my life ever again. In my mind, I saw myself walking through the iron gates of hell with demons cackling gleefully all around.

I didn’t want to die. Not really. I was just tired and didn’t know of another way to stop the pain. Doctors removed a bad appendix. Dentists pulled rotten teeth. What was I supposed to do when my very essence hurt, when the cancer I’d come to call depression made every decent memory agonizingly unbearable?

Before I’d gotten down to cutting my wrist (I managed to only cut one), I’d taken a few swigs of Dad’s tequila—the good kind he kept in the basement freezer. I’d used another swig or two to chase down the remainder of Mom’s sleeping pills in the event I failed to hit an artery or vein. Then I’d set the bottle on the ledge of the tub in case I needed further liquid encouragement. Instead of using a knife or a razor, I attached a cutting blade to my Dad’s Dremel. The Dremel was faster, I reasoned. More efficient.

I recited the line from Psalms 23 again. It had become my personal mantra. It would have been easier to OD, I suppose. But I felt closer to my sister this way, to suffer as she’d suffered.

The words resonated in my parents’ oversized bathroom. I’d chosen theirs because the Jacuzzi tub was larger than the tub in the hall bathroom. Jordan and I used to take bubble baths together in this same tub when we were little.

Innocence felt like a lifetime ago. I searched the bathroom for bubble bath but came up short. Soap might have made the laceration hurt more so it was probably just as well. Besides, the crimson streaming from my wrist like watercolor on silk was oddly mesmerizing.

The loneliness inside proved unrelenting, and the line from the psalms made me feel better. I prayed for the agony inside me to stop. I argued with God. Pleaded. But after all was said and done, I just wanted the darkness to call me home.

I tried not to think of who would find my body or who’d read the note I’d left. I blamed myself not only for failing Jordan, but for failing my parents, too.

My lifeline to this existence continued to bleed out into the warm water. Killing myself had been harder than I’d imagined. I hadn’t anticipated the searing fire racing through my veins. I reached for the tequila with my good arm but couldn’t quite manage. Tears welled in my eyes.

Part of me foolishly felt Jordan was here. The other part feared she wasn’t.

Give me a sign, Sis. Just one.

I imagined seeing my parents at my funeral—their gaunt faces, red-eyed and sleepless. How could I do this to them? Wasn’t the devastation of losing one child enough?

No. Stop. A voice in my head screamed. Don’t do this. Don’t. Please...

I shifted my body, attempted to get my uncooperative legs under me. I could see the phone on my parents’ nightstand. I could make it that far. Had to. The voice was right. I didn’t want to do this. I felt disorientated, dizzy. Darkness crept along the edges of my vision. Focusing became difficult. A sweeping shadow of black caught my attention. Someone stood in the bathroom—not my sister. A man. Had I managed to call 911? I couldn’t remember getting out of the tub. And why’d I get back in? Did I use a towel?

Mom is going to be pissed when she sees the blood I’ve tracked all over the bedroom carpet.

I’m sorry,” I told the man in black.

It’s okay, Keely. Don’t be afraid.” Not my father’s voice. It was softer, with a hint of sorrow. Distant. Fleeting. Later, I’d feel embarrassed about this, but for now I was safe from the nothing I’d almost become. My teeth clattered from the chill. My eyelids fluttered in time with my breaths. The tub water had turned the color of port wine. The ribbons, the pretty, red watercolor ribbons were gone.

Dull gray clouded my sight.

A voice whispered to me, and my consciousness floated to the surface again.

“—okay, Keely.”

Cold. So cold.

I’m right here.”

There was no fear in me as the man bent forward, his face inches from mine. He was my father’s age, and yet strangely older. His eyes were so...blue, almost iridescent. The irises were rimmed in a fine line of black, and the creases etched at the corners reminded me of sunbeams as he gave me a weak smile. The oddly. Dressed. Paramedic. A warm hand reached into the water and cradled mine. My fingers clutched his. I sighed, feeling myself floating, drifting. Light—high and intense exploded before me. No! Too much. Too much! I shuddered and labored to catch my breath, but it wouldn’t come.

Finally, the comfort of darkness rose to greet me.

Where to buy/download sample chapters:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Smashwords

Connect with Michelle:

Blog

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Twitter

Announcing CHANNELER'S CHOICE by Heather McCorkle!



Just released February 27th in hardback and eBook, Channeler's Choice, the sequel to Heather McCorkle's earth-conscious urban fantasy, The Secret Of Spruce Knoll. To celebrate she's doing a blog tour from February 27th through March 15th along with a giveaway. Here are the prizes:


Winner #1:
  • An eBook of Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper
  • An eBook of Running Wide Open by Lisa Nowak
  • An eBook of The Secret Of Spruce Knoll (if you don’t have a copy yet)
  • A paperback of Born Of Fire & Dies Irae (novella combination by Heather McCorkle and Christine Fonseca released through Compass Press)
  • And of course, Channeler’s Choice swag (bookmarks, postcards, etc.)

Winner #2
  • An eBook of Beautiful Demons & Inner Demons by Sarra Cannon
  • An eBook of Bound by C.K. Bryant
  • An eBook of The Secret Of Spruce Knoll (if you don’t have a copy yet)
  • A paperback of Born Of Fire & Dies Irae (novella combination by Heather McCorkle and Christine Fonseca released through Compass Press)
  • And of course, Channeler’s Choice swag (bookmarks, postcards, etc.)

If you don’t have an eReader then you’ll definitely want to stay tuned on Heather’s blog for a HUGE giveaway taking place at the end of the Channeler’s Choice tour.

To enter the giveaways for Heather's blog tour, stop by Heather's blog and fill out the Rafflecopter entry form!



Here is a bit about Channeler's Choice:

With her parents’ murderer’s dead, Eren can finally concentrate on fitting in at Spruce Knoll High, not to mention figuring out what it means to be a channeler. If only it were that easy. It turns out she isn’t normal even among channelers - she may be a legendary warrior meant to protect the earth in a last great battle.

But Mayan prophecies are the least of her worries as she involuntarily starts to gather her own Society, another girl moves in on Aiden, her powers rage out of control, and worst of all, someone is stalking her. To top it all off, Eren discovers she doesn’t have to be a channeler after all - she has a choice.

As an old threat closes in and she risks ending up like her parents, she is forced to decide. Be a normal teenager and leave the legendary warrior stuff to someone else, or embrace a dark destiny?



It can be found here:
Amazon

MILESTONE: 60,000 Books Sold!

Yippeee!!! I'm very excited to announce that yesterday, I hit a new sales milestone. 60,000 books sold. This is an all-time figure, starting when I self-published my first novel, Beautiful Demons, at the end of October 2010. It took me almost exactly 16 months to reach this milestone, and I couldn't be happier.


More than anything, I just wanted to say thank you! Thank you to all my faithful readers who have purchased the books in the Peachville High Demons series and supported me. It means more to me than I could ever say. You have all made my dreams come true. There is nothing I have ever wanted to do more than write, and every day for the last 16 months has felt like a gift. So thank you so much.

I'm setting my sights now on 75k, and then the 100,000 sales milestone, hoping to hit them both before the end of 2012! That might be a tad ambitious, but a girl can hope right? :)

Back to Work!

I am safely home in North Carolina and getting back to work on the rough draft of Demons Forever! I had such a great time in Georgia, but I always feel like I lose a lot of work time when I go there. It's just too hard to concentrate on writing when there's so much family activity. I mean, it's hard to justify crawling into a cave somewhere to spend hours writing when I barely get to see my mom and sister and brother, you know?


So the bottom line is that I didn't really get any work done while I was away, lol. /sigh.

Now I'm back though, and ready to go. I spent a lot of time on my drive thinking about this final book and where Harper and Jackson will end up. I'm really excited about this last stage of their journey. My goal right now is to finish the rough draft by March 15th. This is a pretty ambitious goal considering that this book is definitely going to be the longest in the series, but I know I can do it.

Once I finish the rough draft, I'll have a much better idea of when the book will be released. Also, I have the cover art already for the book, but I think I will wait and reveal it after the rough draft is done!! One of my critique group members saw it and said that she thinks it's the best cover in the series, so I really hope all of you will like it! You'll just have to wait a tiny bit longer to see it.

Thanks again for all of the encouragement and to all of you who have bought and reviewed Rival Demons. So far on Amazon, the book has all 5 star reviews! It's almost the same for Barnes and Noble, but there is one lone 1 star review that simply reads "What order do these books go in?" LOL. I've been so appreciative of everyone who has taken the time to read and review the book! And believe me, I'm overwhelmed by the positive response. I am going to do everything in my power to make Demons Forever just as good, if not better!

So, long story short, I'm back and hard at work. :)

Home to Georgia

No, I haven't completely fallen off the face of the earth, lol. When I'm starting work on a new book, I always sort of crawl into this cave where I have less to say to the outside world. And I've been working a lot on Demons Forever. Since this is the final book in my series, it's obviously very near and dear to my heart. I've been spending a lot of time thinking about my characters, reading back through important scenes, writing out lists of all of the unanswered questions. I really want this book to be something special.

That's the main reason I've been more quiet lately. Unfortunately, my concentration on the book is about to get slightly interrupted. I'm heading home to Georgia this afternoon to spend a week with my Mom and other family. They are throwing me my first baby shower tomorrow, and I'm so excited!!! It's going to be lots of fun. I have a feeling most of the week will be all about baby - shopping, talking, dreaming. I do actually have high hopes of getting a little bit of work done on the book, but it won't be full focus like normal.

I also probably won't have a lot of time to blog or be on Twitter or Facebook. I just wanted to let you all know that I haven't forgotten about you or about the book. I'm just taking a week to be with family and celebrate being pregnant. :) I'm really looking forward to it!

I'll be back next Friday and it will be right back to work!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!! It's always such a fun day of telling people you love them and watching romantic movies or daydreaming about the future. Today, I have been thinking a lot about my sweet little baby boy, Andrew, who will be coming in June. I hope he knows how much I love him already :).

My husband and I are not doing anything fancy tonight. Just going to see a movie - and nothing romantic, haha. I think we're going to see Chronicle, which I've heard is good. And I can't resist movies about teens with powers, hehe. It should be a fun evening!!

Today, I've spent some time working on Book 6 of the Peachville High Demons series, thinking a lot about Harper and Jackson's relationship. They've been through their share of rough times, so how will it all end for them? Sometimes, even though I'm the author, I feel like it's out of my hands. I feel like I've become so close to these characters that they really truly must exist somewhere. I'm just lucky enough to know them and to be able to tell their story. Is that weird? LOL.

I'm already getting a lot of emails and messages from those of you wanting to know when Demons Forever is going to come out. All I can tell you is that I'm working on it! I promise, I will do my best to keep my word meter here on the right side of my blog updated so you can follow my progress on the rough draft. I will also keep posting blogs, tweets, and facebook updates on how the book is coming along. As soon as I know when the book will come out, trust me, you'll know too!! All I can say for sure is that I'm going to do everything humanly possible to get this book out before baby Andrew comes in June!

Oh, and in other news, I'm also working hard on a new website! It's actually completely designed (by my amazing cover designer, Robin Ludwig, and my great friend Tivi at Creativity Loft), but right now I'm working on getting the content set up. As a little warning, I will be moving my blog to the new site when it launches at the end of the month. I hope you'll follow me there :). Like I've been talking about for a while, I'll be splitting my blog into two pages - one more for readers and fans and one more for Indie authors and those interested in self-publishing news and tips and opinions. I'm excited about the change and can't wait to show you the new site!

I hope you all have a very happy day with your loved ones!

Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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Sarra's bookshelf: sarra-s-favorites

Beautiful DemonsThe Time Traveler's WifeLoveroot: PoemsFear of FlyingWe the LivingAnthem

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