The Pretty: OUR BROKEN SKY Cover and Teaser   1 comment

I’m so excited to reveal the cover for OUR BROKEN SKY today! (Add to Goodreads!)

This novella means so much to me. Throughout the course of writing THE WICKED WE HAVE DONE, Valerie’s voice was so vibrant and easy to write. It was as though she was demanding a story of her own. With the help of my lovely agent, editor, and publisher, I’m able to share her side with you.

 

In The Wicked We Have Done, readers were introduced to Valerie Crane. But you don’t know her the way you think you do. This is her story…

Valerie has always been different from her identical twin Veda. Tattooed, fiery, and foul-mouthed, Valerie acts on instinct, getting even with anyone who wrongs her passive, and sensitive sister.

At twenty-two, Veda doesn’t want to seek revenge against the three young men who raped her. As for Val…
Val never could manage her anger well.

As far as Val sees it, the Compass Room is simply a quicker way for her to die—payment for the crime she feels no guilt over. There isn’t a reason to fight, not until a girl as broken as she is reminds Val of what it’s like to hope…

Out August 19th, 2014, OUR BROKEN SKY visits Valerie’s past and the few days where she and Jace were alone in the Compass Room.

And the cover! Doesn’t it look especially crazy-gorgeous next to the other two?

Our Broken sky Cover

US COVERCover_soloA

///

///

///

TEASER:

Her name and crime come back to me…

Jacinda Glaser. Her suicide attempt killed a family.

“I feel alive here,” she says. “If I’m going to feel alive, then I want to stay alive.” Her face scrunches up, and another tear slides down her cheek. “The waiting is the worst. And now I don’t know why they’ve put us here of all places. Like they’re teasing us with something beautiful we could live for before they take it away.”

I can’t help it. I laugh. Behind all of those tears she shoots me a dirty look. It’s sincere. I’ve angered her to all hell. “I’m sorry. This place isn’t beautiful to me. It’s torture.”

Her cheeks puff out and she blows air out of her lips, glancing back toward the trees. It’s a ‘fuck off’ gesture if I ever saw one. I didn’t mean to insult her… not really.

“I hate waiting to die,” she says.

“Then don’t. Go out partying hard. Don’t wait for anything.” Hell knows that I never did.

I hold out my hand. She looks at it reluctantly before finally taking it, but then quickly drops it like she touched fire. “Jace,” she mumbles.

“Hi, Jace. I’m—”

“I know who you are.”

I cock my head. The tone of her voice is dark and a little vicious—at least, as vicious as I can ever imagine coming from her.

I should probably stop judging people so much on looks. Jesus.

“That so? Then who am I?”

Her courage falters a bit. I can see it in her eyes. She bites the corner of her lip and looks away again. “Triple homicide. All of those boys. They say that the evidence partially clears you because you couldn’t hang them all by yourself.”

“Partially clears me.” When I lean toward her, she doesn’t back away like I’m expecting her to. “What doomed me?”

“DNA. And the news… some of the news debates say that you… umm….” I grin deviantly, and she finds the words. “Have a psychotic personality.”

News to me. I just thought I was aggressive.

“And what do you think?” I take a step toward her, closing the space between us, and she looks up at me, her eyes narrow lines. “You’re the kind of girl that parties hard on her deathbed, Valerie.”

She says my name like it’s sugar-coated toxic waste. I fucking love it.

Make it Count Cover Reveal & Excerpt!   Leave a comment

MakeItCountMAKE IT COUNT by Megan Erickson kicks off the lighthearted, funny, and sexy Bowler University series! Readers will love the fresh new series filled with laughter and lots of fun in this debut novel!

Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hot-line. The defective organ is constantly distracted, terrible at statistics, and absolutely flooded with inappropriate thoughts about her boyfriend’s gorgeous best friend, Alec…who just so happens to be her brand new college math tutor. Who knew nerd was so hot?

Kat usually goes through tutors like she does boyfriends–both always seem to bail when they realize how hopeless she is. It’s safer for her heart to keep everyone at arm’s reach. But Alec is always stepping just a little too close.

Alec Stone should not be fantasizing about Kat. She’s adorable, unbelievably witty, and completely off limits. He’d never stab his best friend in the back…

But when secrets are revealed, the lines of loyalty are blurred. To MAKE IT COUNT, Alec must learn messy human emotions can’t be solved like a trigonometry function. And Kat has to trust Alec may be the first guy to want her for who she is, and not in spite of it.

 

///

About the author:Headshot3

 

MEGAN ERICKSON grew up in a family that averages 5’3” on a good day and started writing to create characters who could reach the top kitchen shelf.

She’s got a couple of tattoos, has a thing for gladiators and has been called a crazy cat lady. After working as a journalist for years, she decided she liked creating her own endings better and switched back to fiction.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. And no, she still can’t reach the stupid top shelf.

 

LINKS:

Avon Romance

Goodreads

Author website 

Facebook 

Twitter

 

 

EXCERPT:

Kat gathered her books and stuffed them into her plaid Burberry messenger bag, then headed toward the front doors, smoothie from the library snack shop in hand. Head bent, fiddling with the clasp of her bag, she stumbled into a wall of human on the pavement outside.

“Oh, I’m sorry—” Her voice dropped out when she realized the solid flesh belonged to Alec, Max’s best friend.

She’d only met him once or twice before he’d moved in with Max this semester and every time, he cocked his eyebrow with a half frown like he knew something she didn’t. Which he actually did, since he had brainy superpowers. Smarter than a speeding Einstein. Able to leap over C-minus students like her in a single bound.

She didn’t trust people that smart. And she didn’t trust a guy who didn’t ogle her ass or leer at her boobs like every other member of the straight male species on the planet.

Right now, that raised-eyebrow frown pinned her where she stood. His pale green eyes behind thick black frames roamed over her shoulder to the library and then back to her. With his pin-stripe button-down, dark jeans with Converse shoes and hair styled in a short, messy pompadour, he looked like a nerdy Elvis.

His frown morphed into a smile when he spotted the smoothie in her hand, and she definitely didn’t notice his full lips. “You know, you don’t have to venture into the forbidden zone just to get a smoothie.”

Oooh. The jerk. She glanced around surreptitiously, then leaned in and spoke in a low voice. “Just play it cool. Don’t let it slip someone like me snuck in the library.” She gripped his forearm and whispered. “Password today is rosebud.”

His face blanked and he looked at her like he’d never seen her before. Kat debated whether or not that was an improvement over his other look.

But then those intelligent eyes narrowed and a smirk curled his lips. “I know. We nerds get an e-mail every morning.”

See? He always needed the last word. She propped a hand on her hip and leaned in. “Well, sounds like you have a mole. Might want to look into that.”

He opened his mouth but she cut him off. “Just looking out for you guys. Anyway, see ya around!”

Before he could shoot back a snarky comeback, Kat skirted around him and bounded down the stairs. She chalked that up as Kat 1, Alec 0.

Deviant Darling #9: Jule Prevette From The Waking Dark   2 comments

DD promo image

(Counting down to the release of THE WICKED WE HAVE DONE, this post is part of February’s Deviant Darlings blog series. Have a favorite deviant darling? Throw me a shout-out on Twitter (@sarahharian) along with the hashtag #deviantdarlings.)

Find the official Goodreads page for The Waking Dark here.

They called it the killing day. Twelve people dead, all in the space of a few hours. Five murderers: neighbors, relatives, friends. All of them so normal. All of them seemingly harmless. All of them now dead by their own hand . . . except one. And that one has no answers to offer the shattered town. She doesn’t even know why she killed—or whether she’ll do it again.

Something is waking in the sleepy town of Oleander’s, Kansas—something dark and hungry that lives in the flat earth and the open sky, in the vengeful hearts of upstanding citizens. As the town begins its descent into blood and madness, five survivors of the killing day are the only ones who can stop Oleander from destroying itself. Jule, the outsider at war with the world; West, the golden boy at war with himself; Daniel, desperate for a different life; Cass, who’s not sure she deserves a life at all; and Ellie, who believes in sacrifice, fate, and in evil. Ellie, who always goes too far. They have nothing in common. They have nothing left to lose. And they have no way out. Which means they have no choice but to stand and fight, to face the darkness in their town—and in themselves. 

~~~

Jule didn’t know what she was doing. For seventeen years, she somehow managed to stay out of trouble, despite her family, despite her reputation, despite the multistate drug operation headquartered fifteen yeards from where she pretended to sleep. And now, in one week, Jule had burned down a building, made out with a sociopath, stabbed a man, disposed of a body, and stormed a cop shop intending to take hostages and free a confessed murderer. So maybe it was fortunate someone else seemed to have done that last job for her.

Ladies and Gents, that pretty much sums up the novel.

Kidding, of course. Jule Prevette is very multi-faceted, and there is so much more to The Waking Dark than even just Jule’s character. At first, I was a little concerned about tackling a book like this for the book series, because I hadn’t read it yet and wasn’t positive how much page time Jule would actually get.

Luckily for me, the book was long and very in-depth with all of its protagonists, given how many of them there were. I fell in love with Jule in-particular, not because she was one of the deviant darlings that I’ve been looking for for the past month, but also because she overcomes her shitty past in a really unique way. She doesn’t simply reject it like a typical victim–a child of druggie, violent parents–refusing to become like them. Instead, she partakes in both the drugs and the violence before she must reject that lifestyle entirely, due to her whole family being slaughtered.

Can I say that I love that Jule tried meth? I LOVE THAT JULE TRIES METH. I know that sounds horrible… I absolutely loathe narcotics and the terrible things they do to people. But the easy thing would be for Jule to say no. That’s what I expected her to do, considering how often she talked about never turning into her family. But she does try meth, after she stabs someone, and before she dumps their body.

Jule also teams up with the story’s obvious villain to burn down a building and then kisses him, even when she loathes him and knows he’s a horrible person. While reading this section, I wasn’t irritated with her poor decision in doing this, but fascinated by her motivation. She seems so confident in many of her decisions within the book that it made me confident that she had a valid reason and would get out of the situation

Of course, antiheroines must have something redeemable about them in order for them to not just be a villain. What’s redeemable about Jule is that she desperately wants a better life. Every time she uses something wicked, it’s in order to attain that better life outside of the closed off town of Oleander. She also cares about the other protagonists–the others who witnessed the violent murders on the killing day. She has the need to protect them.

Jule Prevette to me is the perfect case of an antiheroine. She’s completely flawed and utterly redeemable. I wish that she had a book of her own, because she’s someone I’d like to follow around for another story.

Deviant Darlings #7 & #8: Kit and Fancy from Slice of Cherry   Leave a comment

DD promo image

(Counting down to the release of THE WICKED WE HAVE DONE, this post is part of February’s Deviant Darlings blog series. Have a favorite deviant darling? Throw me a shout-out on Twitter (@sarahharian) along with the hashtag #deviantdarlings.)

You can find the official Goodreads page to Slice of Cherry here.

Kit and Fancy Cordelle are sisters of the best kind: best friends, best confidantes, and best accomplices. The daughters of the infamous Bonesaw Killer, Kit and Fancy are used to feeling like outsiders, and that’s just the way they like it. But in Portero, where the weird and wild run rampant, the Cordelle sisters are hardly the oddest or most dangerous creatures around.

It’s no surprise when Kit and Fancy start to give in to their deepest desire—the desire to kill. What starts as a fascination with slicing open and stitching up quickly spirals into a gratifying murder spree. Of course, the sisters aren’t killing just anyone, only the people who truly deserve it. But the girls have learned from the mistakes of their father, and know that a shred of evidence could get them caught. So when Fancy stumbles upon a mysterious and invisible doorway to another world, she opens a door to endless possibilities…

~~~

*Slight spoiler ahead*

This book was like an excellent combination of Alice in Wonderland and Dexter.

The book is similar to Dexter for obvious reasons–two sisters who have an innate urge to kill take it out on those who are deserving of it. However, this book is like Alice in Wonderland in more ways than one. First is the whimsicality of the world. The magic within nature and strange objects reminded me a lot of Lew Carroll’s novel. Not only this, but another thing that reminded me of Wonderland was the utter disregard that the characters had for strange shit, and by strange shit, I mean violence.

To me, it isn’t the fact that Kit and Fancy are murderers that make them antiheroes. It is the fact that they are so flippant about violence that make them deviants. This also adds to the horror element of the story. If Kit and Fancy were more emotionally scarred by death of violence, or possessed a fiber of guilt within their conscience, this book wouldn’t be nearly as horrific:

Fancy slapped her hand away. “That was different. Besides, you did all the work. I just watched.”

“Don’t try to distance yourself from what happened. Voyeurism is participation.”

“What’re you girls talking about?” asked Madda, eyeing her daughters expectantly as she fried the tomatoes. 

“Nothing,” the sisters trilled in unison, smiling their brightest good-girl smiles. And then Kit turned to Fancy and whispered, “And what’s the difference between Franken and the old man?”

Franken’s a thief, but he never tried to hurt us.”

I don’t think that’d matter in a court of law.”

“Of course it would matter. There’s no legal reason to take a hostage. But with the old man, that was self defense.”

“No, that was self-indulgence.”

Fancy couldn’t deny how she’d felt: relief and a slippery pleasure at having taken control over someone. “Maybe a little,” she admitted. 

Kit grinned. “You were right, you know, you and your boydar. I do enjoy evisceration, and so do you. We’re learning all kinds of things about ourselves today.”

Kit and Fancy are also very flippant about sexual violence. After a scene where an old man tries to force Kit into oral sex (and is killed because of it), the girls talk about the event as if were teenage slumber party gossip, robbing the situation of any detriment.

Another thing that makes Kit and Fancy unique even compared to other antiheroes is that Reeves wielded their story in a way where the conflict was never about whether or not they were going to be caught. Compared to a story like Dexter or The Talented Mr. Ripley where being caught is a huge conflict for the murderous protagonists, I never was hugely concerned with whether or not Kit and Fancy were going to face the same fate as their father, maybe because they themselves seemed so unconcerned with hiding their tracks.

I think Reeves did this because she wanted the reader’s focus to be more caught upon the sisters’ coming of age and their relationship with each other. It was her way of proving that the book was so much more than simply two teenage murderers.

Finally, Kit and Fancy are never penalized for their actions. No legal action is taken upon them, and they aren’t ostracized from society or their family for their actions. This would make them the ultimate villains if it weren’t for the fact that they were so relatable in terms of the story line of their coming of age. Kit and Fancy get away with murder, but the story is so much more than that.

signature

Deviant Darling #6: Leah Smith from Dirty Red   1 comment

DD promo image

(Counting down to the release of THE WICKED WE HAVE DONE, this post is part of February’s Deviant Darlings blog series. Have a favorite deviant darling? Throw me a shout-out on Twitter (@sarahharian) along with the hashtag #deviantdarlings.)

Find the official Goodreads page for Dirty Red here.

Dear Opportunist,

You thought you could take him from me, but you lost. Now, that he’s mine I’ll do anything to keep him. Do you doubt me? I have everything that was supposed to be yours. In case you were wondering; he doesn’t ever think about you anymore. I won’t let him go….ever.

Dirty Red

Leah Smith finally has everything she has ever wanted. Except she doesn’t. Her marriage feels more like a loan than a lifelong commitment, and the image she has worked so hard to build is fraying before her eyes. With a new role and a past full of secrets, Leah must decide how far she is willing to go to keep what she has stolen.

~~~

Leah is a very wicked girl, and yet somehow I felt sorry for her.

Leah’s character was completely unforgivable in THE OPPORTUNIST, which is why I love how Tarryn Fisher was ballsy enough to make her the protagonist in her next book. It requires a lot of skill from a writer to develop such a conniving, manipulative character within one book and then force readers to have to put up with the internal workings of her mind in the second… and actually like it.

Leah’s in deep. She worked her ass off to steal her now-husband from the clutches of his old girlfriend. She went as far as to get pregnant in order to secure his love. Now, her body isn’t the same, she doesn’t love her kid, and her relationship with her husband worsens with every passing second. But Leah refuses to change who she is. She’s also very aware of her hate and loathing, but instead of trying to staunch it, she feeds it:

Hate is such a prodigious feeling. It´s hot and oppressive like fire. It starts by burning through your God-given reason until there is nothing left of it but a mound of ash. It moves on to your humanity next, hot tongues flicking across the few remaining threads of innocence until they melt into each other and morph into something ugly. Then, in the rubble of what you were, hate plants a seed of bitterness. The seed grows to a vine chokes what it touches.

I don’t think Leah’s actions are forgivable at all. But somehow, unlike a character such as Amy from Gone Girl, I can still sympathize with Leah. Maybe it is because Fisher wove in bits of Leah’s past that actually make her seem like a victim to wealth. Maybe because she’s juxtaposed by her parents, which are truly horrible people.

Within the realm of Leah’s family, she actually is the least screwed up, which makes me almost proud of her in a sick sense. She’s been through a lot of rejection. Manipulating her husband to stay with her no matter what is simply her way of finally feeling validated by someone who is going to stay with her no matter what, considering everyone else in her life is either vapid, or has left her.

I think another reason why Leah is an antihero verses a villain protagonist is because, as a reader, I wanted to see her happy at the end of the book. I wanted to see her win something, even if it was through the mode of revenge. Somehow I turned my nose up at all of her actions, disgusted with her at many points, but I was still rooting for her to find some sort of validation within her life.

It helps that she was a round character, whose view on the world shifted, albeit slightly, by the end of the novel.

signature

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.