Friday, September 14, 2012

End of Tour - Hydra Blog Hop

Imagination has no limits.  A man of questionable talent, who created an entire world centered on a mouse, taught us that.  The Hydra Blog Hop Tour is coming to a close, but it isn’t quite over.  I would leave you now with a young woman, who knows my first statement very well.  Take some time and visit her world.


Please welcome Erin Danzer.

Into the Spiral, coming November from Hydra!


Fifteen-year-old Veronica “Ronnie” Lambert wants to get out from under her older brother’s shadow. When Ronnie is struck by lightning, she suddenly finds herself able to see and hear things in shadows that don’t exist to others. Then Ronnie meets Gavin Clearwater, the hot new guy in all of her classes and finds out he can see and hear the same things she can! The mystery unfolds as Gavin tells her about the Spiral Defenders, a secret group of warriors that travels through space and time to defend the planets of the Spiral.
Before meeting Gavin, Ronnie meets Young Adult author, Rick Goodyear. Upon learning Rick is the Commander of the Spiral Defenders, Ronnie soon realizes Rick isn’t what he seems and that she might be the only one who can stop him from destroying the Spiral. Ronnie’s life is changed forever when she must choose between her destiny as a Spiral Defender or recapturing the life she had before lightning struck.

Fifteen candles adorned the top of the pink and white frosted chocolate cake. Ronnie glared at her brother and mother through the wall of tiny flames. The entire dinner had been overshadowed by news from Brian’s first week back at Dartmouth. How were the dorms this year? Had he seen the girl he’d dated at the end of last term? Ronnie fought the urge to scream at her parents that no one—especially her—cared about any of that!
Everyone sang Happy Birthday and she made her wish. I wish I was a different person, she thought and blew out all of the candles. Her tattoo tingled between her shoulder blades and she reached up to touch the white gauze covering it. A secret smile stole over her face as she remembered she had done something today nobody at the table would approve of. Some of her anger dissipated as she lowered her hand and she grinned at Andi as her mom handed her a large piece of cake.
Ronnie and Andi headed out of the restaurant before her parents and brother. They stopped near the car and Ronnie looked up into the purplish pink sky. Her eyes roamed over the planets she could see. She frowned as she counted them a second time.
“What’s up?” Andi asked seeing Ronnie’s expression. Ronnie shook her head as she counted the planets again. The only one she recognized was Neptune in the northern sky.
“How many planets do you see up there?” Ronnie whispered. For reasons she could only interpret as anger towards her parents, she didn’t want them to see what she had found. She felt like the extra planets in the sky were only for her, like a special birthday gift from the universe. She only wanted to share it with Andi.
“Um, five; why?” Andi replied uncertainly.
“There’s only supposed to be one. Where did the other planets come from?”
“How did you even recognize one?”
Ronnie glanced at her parents.“My dad taught me when I was eight how to recognize the planets throughout the year. It’s the only useful thing I’ve gotten from him.”
Andi reached out and put her hand on Ronnie’s shoulder as they continued to look up at the stars and extra planets. “I’m sure it’s not the only thing,” she replied gently, her voice full of understanding.
“What are you girls looking at?”her dad asked as he wandered away from her brother and mom. Ronnie looked down but not before her dad looked up. “What’s with all the extra planets up there tonight?”
“I don’t know; I thought you might know something,” Ronnie replied blandly and shrugged. “Can we go home now?”
“Yeah, your mom is just saying goodbye to Brian.” Her dad looked uncertain for a moment. “It was okay that your mom invited him, wasn’t it, pumpkin? We just wanted to surprise you for your birthday.”
“Yeah, Dad, it’s fine. I like seeing Brian. It’s totally cool,” she lied with a forced smile. She didn’t want to start a fight or hurt her dad’s feelings. She was pretty sure Brian being here was her mother’s fault.
“That’s cool.” He kissed her cheek and moved away as her mom finally joined them. Brian was already gone and her mom looked a mess. It was time to forget about the extra planets in the sky and go home. Ronnie sighed and silently followed her family and best friend over to the car.
“I’m going to grace you all with my presence for the rest of the night,” Andi announced when they arrived home. Ronnie grinned at her best friend.
“Thank you,” Ronnie said as she hugged Andi, grateful for how well Andi understood dinner had sucked for her. The girls raced up to Ronnie’s room and changed into cotton pajama pants and camisoles. Ronnie sat at her vanity table while Andi sat at the end of her bed watching her. They grinned at each other in the mirror.
“Oh, I didn’t tell you, Shawn texted me today,” Ronnie nonchalantly commented as she used a moist cloth to wipe the makeup from her face. She laughed as she watched Andi wiggle her eyebrows in the mirror.
“How could you conveniently forget to tell me about that?” Andi teased and Ronnie blushed. She finished with her face and tossed Andi her cell phone as she turned back to her friend. Nervous butterflies fluttered in Ronnie’s stomach as she watched her best friend scroll through her conversation with Shawn. Although the girls never hid anything from each other, a part of Ronnie wanted to keep her conversation with Shawn private, like it was another special birthday gift she could treasure. Ronnie picked up her brush and began running it through her waist-length hair while she waited for Andi to return her phone. Andi beamed as she set the phone on the vanity table.
“So, he got you something,” Andi commented and Ronnie nodded. “And you weren’t there to pick it out for him. I wonder what it could be.” Andi’s eyes got comically large as she jumped up and stared Ronnie in the face, their noses inches apart. Ronnie automatically flinched backwards, hitting the mirror with her brush.
“Maybe he got you jewelry or a gift certificate to your favorite store. Or maybe he bought you a journal and wrote a really sweet message on the first page, confessing his undying love for you and begging you to end his misery by being his girlfriend,” Andi guessed and Ronnie burst out laughing. She set down her brush and moved to sit next to Andi, still shaking with laughter.
“You’re crazy,” Ronnie declared.“You’re absolutely certifiable if you think Shawn is ever going to be that romantic, let alone be secretly in love with me.”
“What? It could happen.”
“And pigs could fly some day.”Ronnie rolled her eyes and shook her head. “You’re crazy,” she repeated, giving Andi a gentle shove towards the middle of the bed. Andi lost her balance and slid off the end, landing with a thump on the floor at Ronnie’s feet. Both girls giggled as Ronnie slid down to the floor to sit next to her best friend. She grabbed one of her pillows and folded it into a ball in her lap, hugging it as she bit her lower lip.
“So, I got this new tattoo and my brother won’t be at school with me this year. Do you really think I can be my own person? Do you think I can make people see me as someone other than Brian’s little sister?”
“If by people, you mean a certain hunky though oblivious best friend of ours, yes,” Andi replied and Ronnie smiled. A rumble of thunder through the open window had both girls on their feet and Ronnie crossed the room to check it out. Dark storm clouds were quickly rolling through the night sky. Ronnie grimaced as she closed her window.
“Great, just what I need,” she grumbled. “What a perfect ending to such a perfect birthday. You know, I did think when I saw Brian at dinner that getting struck by lightning was all I needed to complete this day.”
“It wasn’t all that bad; you did get a tattoo today and you got to have dinner with me,” Andi pointed out. Ronnie nodded.
“Too true, and it’s rained almost every night this week anyway. So what should we do now?”
Andi glanced at the window as another rumble of thunder sounded. “I guess we could go downstairs and watch a movie.”
“Sounds great.” Ronnie wound her arm around Andi’s waist and led the way out of her bedroom.
They brought out blankets and pillows before deciding on a movie to watch. Because it was her birthday, Andi let Ronnie pick one out. Ronnie finally decided on a popular romantic comedy she hadn't seen in a while. They lay on the floor between their blankets and watched. Ronnie tried to ignore the crashing thunder and sizzling lightning, but soon it got to be too much. She stood up and crossed to the only window in the room, situated over her dad’s desk. Rain lashed the window at a ninety degree angle and lightning blinded her momentarily. Heavy black rain clouds churned overhead. Terror rang through her and she screamed as a bolt of lightning suddenly struck the ground at the lake’s edge outside her house.
“Oh my god!” Ronnie squealed as she jumped back from the window. She tripped over the chair behind her dad’s desk and ended up sprawled on the floor just below the window sill.
“Get away from the window,” her mom shrieked as she ran into the room. Another lightning bolt slammed into the ground in their backyard, closer to the house this time. Ronnie scrambled to her feet, thinking Mother Nature was targeting her house as her mom grabbed her and Andi and pulled both girls out of the room.
“We have to get into the cellar before the house gets struck,” her mom instructed and Ronnie numbly nodded. Not only was the house made of wood, it was held together by a steel frame. Her dad had been told it would make a stronger structure. Now, seeing the lightning strike closer and closer to her house, Ronnie thought it was the stupidest idea she had ever heard.
She ran through the house behind her mom and Andi as yet another bolt of lightning flashed as it struck down. Ronnie and Andi screamed and her mom told them to keep moving. The front door swung wildly on its hinges in the fierce gusts. Ronnie could just barely make out her dad by the open cellar door through the rain and swinging door.
“Go! Get out of here!” Ronnie yelled as she pushed Andi to run faster and was relieved when Andi stumbled out into the rain soaked night towards her dad. Ronnie had a moment to look out at her parents and best friend as the sky lit up with the next bolt of lightning.
“Ronnie!” Her mom screamed as Ronnie’s foot pushed off from the metal door stop but it was too late. An electrical current shot through her as she stumbled out of the house. She fell to the ground, twitching as she passed out.

Author Bio:
 Erin Danzer wrote her first book at 10-years-old for a Young Authors competition, where she was awarded an Honorable Mention and discovered a passion for the written word. She’s written several novels and short stories since that spark ignited. She writes a monthly short story serial, The Cassandra Serafin Chronicles, posting alternately on her blog and in Literary Lunes bi-monthly online magazine. Erin resides in Racine, Wisconsin, with her husband, two children, and their cat.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for having me today, Michael! This looks great! :)