Today I'm announcing an upcoming new release, Extracing Essence by James Wymore. Details:
Release Date: May 15, 2013
Author Website: http://jameswymore.wordpress.com
Author Twitter: @jameswymore
On her quest to destroy the Nightmares feeding from her fear, Megan encounters Intershroud, the governing entity of the Dreamworld, and must work with her new friends to stop the agency from continuing its evil agenda, and to destroy her own Nightmares for good.
Looks interesting, doesn't it? I have a copy to review, but it could be awhile before I'm able to do so. Don't let that slow you down! Here's an excerpt from the book to give you a better idea as to whether this sounds like your sort of thing.
At first, the color gray dominated her mind. Then, details slowly began to fill in around her, and Megan found herself at school. Only a few of her friends came to class today. They were all wearing matching uniforms with white blouses and black skirts. Since her school didn’t have uniforms, this worried Megan. She started brushing chalk dust off the skirt and checking to see if the others thought it was strange. The desks littered the room chaotically in defiance of the usual order at school, so she had to push a few out of the way to join her friends. Only dim sunlight from one small window lit the room. Jessica gazed out longingly.
“What’s going on?” Megan asked. “Where’s everybody else?”
“They’re all outside,” Jessica said.
“Why?” Meg continued. “What are they doing? Aren’t they worried they’ll be late for class?”
“No,” said Erin, the dark-haired girl beside her. “The teacher’s out there, too. They all are.”
“Let’s go outside,” said Jessica, gazing intently out the tinted glass. “It looks fun.”
“Can I see?” Megan asked.
Erin crowded in, blocking the view. “Wow! It’s a whole carnival.” Turning from the window, she began to walk toward the door. “I wish I had more money.”
“Where are you going?” Megan asked. She didn’t want to go to the carnival. Something told her to stay away. Her hands began to shake a little.
“To have fun with the others,” the three girls said in unison.
“Let’s stay in here,” Megan suggested, her voice faltering.
They slowed their pace only a moment at the door. Jenny, the shortest, said, “And miss all the fun? No way. I love carnivals.”
“Please stay with me,” Megan begged.
“Forget it,” said Erin as they disappeared. She called down the hall, “If you’re going to stay, you’re going to do it by yourself.”
Darkness surrounded her. The fear of being alone in the dark propelled her out into the hall. She jogged to catch up. They were far ahead. She couldn’t lose her friends. She could feel the fear rising inside her as she edged closer to the door. Light was pouring in, the light at the end of a dark tunnel. She couldn’t make out any details until she reached the doorframe. She paused again, clinging desperately to it, hoping there was another choice—anything.
When her eyes adjusted, she could see a cotton-candy stand, a small roller coaster, a fishing game, a dunking machine, and other attractions all in red and orange booths. There were people all around, but she couldn’t see her friends anywhere. With her arms folded for comfort, she began to meander through the swarm. People bumped into her as if they couldn’t see her. Several times she found herself fenced in by groups in line or having conversations over top of her. The harder she pushed to break free, the more they backed into her and shifted to block her.
Suddenly she stopped. Her hands leaped to her mouth to catch a small gasp before it escaped. Before her was a huge carousel, taller even than the school. Dark paint covered the animals, which raced around in circles while sporting horrible sneers and eerie grimaces. Macabre fascination kept her from running in fear, just like the moment before jerking your fingers away from a hot stove.
One moment was all it took. Before she could bolt, she saw them. Erin rode on a black grizzly bear with huge claws. Behind the bear, a pine-green snake was bobbing up and down, carrying Jessica, who grinned widely.
They waved when they noticed her. The metal and boards creaked and popped as if the whole contraption was moments from implosion. Jenny motioned for her to come up.
Megan couldn’t step on the rotating platform. Nothing in the world would ever make her get on the merry- go-round; even if it meant losing her friends. Fear dragged her away. She turned to run but instead jumped back with a short scream. A short, fat clown blocked her retreat. Dressed in a puffy red suit with yellow dots, covered in dirt and oil, his horrifying face featured a large, red mouth painted into a sneer. She couldn’t look away from his two side-tufts of green hair.
She wanted to dart, but found herself paralyzed like a statue. She couldn’t even breathe. The clown reached up and touched her cheek. His sweaty finger left a line of white, greasy makeup, which itched. There were tears on her face, but she refused to scream. Some unvoiced wisdom told her it would make him even happier if she did.
The clown pulled out a floppy balloon. Sputtering globs of spit from the sides of his mouth, he blew air and rigidity into the rubbery blue line until it expanded into a long curve. Meg tried to look away as he began twisting it with a grating sound. She wanted to see or hear anything else, but the balloon drew her attention in a new way. It had shimmering patterns of yellow light. It seemed to be flickering in a familiar moiré pattern between parallel shadow lines. It was hypnotic. As he tied the balloon, his hands left smeared fingerprints of the same greasy makeup all over it. Only when the clown was done could she look away from the lights to see what he had made. It was the shape of a knife.
Instantly her hand shot up to hold back a scream. She turned on her heels and sprinted. She ran off the pavement with her hand still clenching her mouth. She hurdled over the rocks lining the perimeter of the parking lot, determined to escape. As she rushed away, she entered longer grass. Then she passed bushes and trees.
She stopped as soon as she realized she had sprinted into a dead forest. The bushes were dried sagebrush. The trees were black shadows with only a few dead leaves clinging to twisted branches. She stopped once the balding clown was out of sight. She tried to retrace her steps, only to discover she was lost. The lines on her cheeks from dried tears parted around the greasy paint on her cheek. Now those lines filled again with new tears.
The sun abandoned her and the wind began to whistle through the thin branches. Some small rustling sound drove her into a panic again. She chose a direction and ran blindly. It was hopeless, she knew. The ending was inevitable. She didn’t run to escape now; she ran because if she stood still she would go crazy. Soon the trees thinned and opened around a large tent with huge red-and-white stripes running up it to a single sharp point.
The circus. Out of the frying pan; into the fire. She remembered how this tent used to make her so happy. It had not made her happy for a long time. She knew there was no escape. She let the numbness of shock wash over her. It was too late to resist now. It had happened so many times. She didn’t try to fight it anymore. Next time she could try again to escape. She just stumbled slowly through the dirty front flaps of the tent door, dreading what waited for her.