Monday, April 20, 2015

Guest Blog & Giveaway: Piercing the Darkness by Angela Dennis

UFI welcomes Author Angela Dennis. Thanks for Joining us!!

Music and Writing: An Intricate Connection

I’m so excited to have the opportunity to be here.  Thank you much for the invite!   

I’m a fairly passionate person, so there are numerous things that catch my fancy. However, my creative pursuits have always centered around two things, music and writing. This may simply be because I can’t sketch worth a darn, or because I don’t have the patience for intricate arts like glass-blowing or creating stain glass that require a lot of sitting and waiting. But mostly, I think it is because music and writing are intricately connected.

Thanks to my mom, to whom I will be forever grateful, I started playing the piano when I was very young, close to time I started walking. I was blessed with a teacher who believed not just in the strict discipline of learning an instrument, but also in the creative endeavor of writing music. So, from the beginning, I began to write songs. Mainly they were about my dog, or how much I liked to play outside…things I loved at the time. But it taught me that music was a fantastic outlet for my emotions. It was a way to express my dreams and desires.  

Now jump forward several years to when I first discovered books. I love books. The smell of them. The feel of them.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my Kindle as well. But there is something extremely satisfying about sitting down with a cup of coffee and a brand new paperback. That feeling is somewhat irreplaceable.

I was in grade school when I first put pen to paper. It was a dark story about ghosts and witches, which, I’m sure, gave my teacher pause. But I loved it. I loved having an outlet for my raging, overactive imagination.  I never stopped writing. And, clearly, I never stop writing about ghosts, witches, and other things that go bump in the night.  But now when I sit down to write, I always have a playlist ready to go. Music evokes such strong emotions in me, I do my best writing when it’s blasting in my ear buds.

Piercing the Darkness was the first book I’ve ever completely written to music. The writing stage, editing stage…all set to a soundtrack.  And I’d love to share that soundtrack with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. But I should warn you…I discovered Imagine Dragons while writing this book, as you can probably tell.On Top of the World – Imagine Dragon.
  • Pompeii – Bastille
  • Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
  • It’s Time – Imagine Dragons
  • Something I Need – One Republic
  • Let Her Go – Passenger
  • Tiptoe – Imagine Dragons
  • Monster – Imagine Dragons
  • Amsterdam – Imagine Dragons
  • Bleeding Out – Imagine Dragons
  • RipTide – Vance Joy
  • What You Wanted – One Republic
  • All the Way – Timeflies
  • Say Something – A Great Big World
  • Demons – Imagine Dragons
  • For the First Time – The Script
  • Closer to Love – Matt Kearney
  • Oblivion -- Bastille

Angela Dennis lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband, son and a sheltie with a hero complex. When she is not at her computer crafting stories, she can be found feeding her coffee addiction, playing peek-a-boo, or teaching her son about the great adventures found only in books.

You can visit Angela at her blog

She loves to hear from her readers, so don’t forget to find her on Twitter to chat.

Find Angela and her books

The Piercing Darkness
Shadow Born #2.5
Amazon BN Samhain iTunes Kobo
 Love knows no bounds.

Cursed by the dark mage who killed her, Hilda Janssen has wandered the Earthly plane as a ghost for fifty years, finally finding her place as an IRT hunter, policing supernatural misfits trapped on Earth after a brutal war.

When a demon attacks, putting her team in mortal danger, Hilda sacrifices herself to save her friends. She’s already died once; what difference will doing it again make? But instead of meeting a final death, Hilda is cast into the Void, a magical prison from which there is no escape.

Her only hope is Cade Kerrigan, the lover she left behind after her first death. Their bond and his magic are the only things strong enough to pull her through the Veil. But Cade has no idea his soulmate came back as a ghost, and he isn’t too happy to have been left in the dark.

They must put aside the baggage of the past to save Hilda from a fate worse than death.

Warning: Contains star-crossed lovers destined for a second chance, a whirlwind of powerful magic, and a love so strong it defies even death.

Everything hurt, even her teeth. Hilda eased to her hands and knees, spitting dirt from her mouth. She had no idea how much time had passed, and she didn’t really care. All she wanted to know was where the hell she was.

She tried to stand, but pain brought her back to her knees on the damp ground. Rubbing at her burning eyes, she shook her head. Her vision was blurry at best, and all she could see for miles was dirt and darkness. The air was thick with humidity and stank of wood smoke, burning her lungs each time she inhaled.

Wait. She was breathing. Ghosts didn’t breathe. And they didn’t hurt.

Her legs gave out and she collapsed onto the ground. She ran her fingers through the soggy earth at her side, realizing she could feel it. Fighting back her growing alarm, she brushed her fingertips across her face. She could feel that too, and it felt solid.

Holy shit, she still had a body. She had no idea how that was possible, but she was going with it. This time when she stood, she was prepared for the instant pain and weakness, so she managed to stay on her feet. She spun around, searching for something, anything, other than the endless darkness.

She definitely was not still on the Earthly plane. This place felt different. The air was gritty, felt dirty against her skin. And something about it seemed…wrong.

As her eyes adjusted, she realized there were globe-like fixtures scattered beneath the ground. They shimmered with pale blue light that barely penetrated the dense atmosphere.

But it was bright enough she could make out the outline of a hillside in the distance. Maybe if she climbed to the top she could get a better look around.

She wrapped her arms around her chest to try and get warm, realizing she was naked.

How she had missed that was anyone’s guess, but it was irrelevant. It wasn’t as if she could pull a pair of pants and a sweater out of thin air. She’d figure it out later, once she got her bearings.

Bare feet dancing across the rough, pebbled landscape, she kept her eyes focused on the hill in front of her, confident her salvation lay on the other side. The farther she walked, the more confused she became. This plane didn’t fit the description of any plane she’d heard of, and the education Brenna had given her had been fairly extensive. There was a tingle of doubt in the back of her mind, a part of her that was convinced she was finally completely dead and this was her afterlife. But she refused to believe that.

So she moved forward, step by painful step, against the wind’s resistance, through the thick layers of fog, until she was only a few yards from the hillside. Now that she was close, she realized the hill was made of a series of jagged stones, jutting out at various dangerous looking angles. It would take a miracle for her to reach the top, but she was known for beating the odds. She’d never know if she didn’t try.

Her hand was clutching the first notch in the rock when she heard it. A mix between a growl and a hiss echoed through the night. It was so loud, she unconsciously released the rock, pressing both palms over her ears to block it out. The ground shook with the force of whatever was coming and the wind stopped abruptly as if it too was running away.

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