Thursday, June 8, 2017

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Secrets of Skin and Stone by Wendy Laine

UFI welcomes Author Wendy Laine. Thanks for Joining us!!

Into the Past:

At age five, I loved “There’s a Wocket in my Pocket” by Dr. Seuss. I had my mom read it again and again. My daughter really loved Dr. Seuss and we have a horde of them still on her shelves.

When I was eleven years old, I adored the Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles. They were just so magical. It was like visiting another world. I got so involved that it felt real to me. I felt the same way when I found Harry Potter as an adult. The world was just everything.

At sixteen, I was all about romance…and drama actually. I loved going to plays and Shakespeare was a huge favorite of mine. I even took a Shakespeare class in high school. While his tragedies are great when performed, I love the story from “Much Ado about Nothing.” I loved the interplay between Beatrice and Benedict and it’s more readable than many of his other plays.

When I was twenty, I was reading way too many textbooks. Between college years as an English major and then technical school in optometric assisting, ugh, so much technical reading. But, I did have one college class where we read “The Princess Bride” for the class. I loved being able to compare one of my favorite movies with the book. The movie is better. In my opinion. And how rare is that?

I would have loved to have more books with characters with mental illness that weren’t “coming of age” books. I read to escape back then and I still do. Authors are lucky in that if they can’t find the book they want to read…they can write it, and that’s what I did here. I wanted a book with normalized mental illness. Piper is a cutter and has OCD, but she also solves a mystery and falls for a guy…who can shift into a gargoyle.

I hope someday someone remembers my book as something they read as a teen. That would be…magical. Thank you for letting me post on your site and I love suggestions from other readers for books with normalized mental illness. Please find me and recommend these books because I can’t write them all. Well, I can try. I’m kidding.

Wendy Laine is the penname of author Wendy Sparrow. Writing is in Wendy’s blood as are equal parts of Mountain Dew and chocolate. Wendy has been telling tales since she was a child with varying amounts of success. Her parents clearly anticipated her forays into the paranormal because she heard “The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ over and over. She lives in Washington State with a wonderful husband and two quirky kids and is active in Autism and OCD support networks. She can usually be found on Twitter where she’ll talk to anyone who talks to her and occasionally just to herself.

Find Wendy and her books

 Secrets of Skin and Stone
Amazon  BN  Kobo  iBooks
Something is wrong in Hidden Creek. The sleepy Alabama town is more haunted than any place fiend hunter Grisham Caso has ever seen. Unearthed graves, curse bags, and spilled blood all point to an evil that could destroy his gargoyle birthright. The town isn’t safe for anyone, and everyone says fiery Piper Devon knows why.

Piper wants to leave Hidden Creek behind. She’s had enough of secrets—they hide in the shadows of her room and tell her terrible things are coming. Too-charming city boy Grisham might be her only chance to save herself.

To survive, Piper and Grisham have to shed their secrets and depend only on each other. But what lurks in Hidden Creek still might take everything away from them, including each other.
Excerpt #3:

“Do you believe in ghosts?” I asked abruptly, in a much softer voice. Some folks in Hidden Creek might not mind a ghostbuster around. A few of them had their businesses blessed by Pastor Green before they’d even think about opening up.
“I believe there’s a lot more than what meets the eye. I believe people can be haunted.”
“By ghosts?”
“By a lot of things.”
When I looked up, he was staring at me as if he knew. He couldn’t. I was being paranoid and stupid. But his gaze fell to my shoulder as if he could see the cuts through my shirt. Nothing had made me feel more naked than his piercing eyes on my shoulder. I covered my shoulder with my hand.
Maybe he was psychic. That made me even more uncomfortable. The things that strayed through my brain everyday would scare a saint.
“Are you haunted?” I asked him, trying to shift his attention.
His lips tipped up on one side and he gave me a considering look. “Sure am. Not as haunted as some around, but you live long enough and see enough, you get ghosts and memories following you that’ll make you shiver on dark nights. I imagine there are a lot of older folks in this town who are good and haunted.”
When you notice everything, you notice when a casual comment isn’t casual. Gris was fishing for information. He’d thrown out a line to see if I’d bite. Maybe this was why he was paying attention to me, trying to charm me. He wanted information. It made my heart sick—which was ridiculous. Knowing why Gris was interested in me was useful and kept me from getting in too deep with him. “You mean like by actual ghosts?”
“Maybe. Maybe just by dreams. Maybe it’s sickness. Maybe it’s bad luck. People explain things in all sorts of ways. My cousin says weird things happen here. Sometimes.”
I wanted to call Danny a liar, but I shook my head instead.
“You’re saying they don’t?” Gris’s eyebrows raised.
“I’m saying it’s not sometimes.”

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  1. Hi Wendy! Thanks for your post here, I'm looking forward to reading "Secrets of Skin and Stone."

    As to more normalized mental health stories, I whole heartedly recommend Mishell Baker's "The Arcadia Project" series. There are currently only two books in the series, "Borderline" and "Phantom Pains" but they are excellent reads. They are on my "must buy" list. :) I hope you enjoy them, too.

  2. Thank you! I will stick them on my TBR and check them out. *fistbumps*

  3. Sounds like an interesting novel. I am looking forward to reading it!

  4. Mountain Dew & chocolate. That's an interesting combination.

  5. Hello good luck on your book and with your mountain dew and chocolate..


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