July 24, 2014

COVER & BLURB REVEAL: Out Of The Ashes


Hope brought them together, but it's now fear that drives them...
...and threatens to tear them apart.

Zoe and her companions succeeded in rescuing Dani from the Colony. But not without sacrifice. Beaten and broken, they head west, determined to leave behind the torment and horrors they experienced in Colorado.

As Dani and Zoe make the perilous trek home to Bodega Bay, they learn that danger can take many forms--other survivors, their friends, even themselves--and that things are rarely what they seem. Zoe is desperate to become the woman she sees in others' memories, while Dani struggles to conceal damaging secrets, risking losing herself--her humanity--completely. Together, they must rediscover the true meaning of friendship, love, and trust, and learn just how hard they're willing to fight for what remains of their shattered world.

As relationships are put to the test, second chances are given, and new life emerges, death lurks in the most unlikely of places. To survive, Dani and Zoe must accept that sometimes hope alone isn't enough.


OUT OF THE ASHES will be released on August 23, 2014.

July 19, 2014

The Ending Beginnings: Jake & Clara


Description:
After his sister’s death, Jake is determined to seek revenge against his best-friend-turned-enemy. However, after meeting Clara, who's as convincing as she is unnerving, his plans change completely.

Clara has all but given up on finding her Prince Charming, but the moment Jake walks into the hospital, her future becomes much brighter, despite the world-ravaging virus that's turned everything upside down.

But traveling across the country together proves more difficult than either of them expects, and just when they both think the world couldn't get any worse, it does.

The Ending Beginnings:
I - Carlos
II - Mandy
III - Vanessa
IV - Jake
V - Clara
VI - Jake & Clara
~~~~

1
Jake

Jake sat on an overstuffed couch in the hospital’s rec room, the stark furniture and barren walls brightened by the muted, flashing television. The President’s address looped on the radio at the nurses’ station behind him, and the more the words sank in, the more his mind reeled. A global pandemic? Start over? Build anew? Was that even possible? Amidst his chaotic mind chatter, Jake wondered what the hell he was going to do next.
Rising from the couch, he took three steps toward one of the barred windows across from him, braced his hands against the wall on either side, and let out a long exhale. He stared out at the crashed Cadillac and the few buildings that were visible through the trees across the road. Despite the fact that the city was enshrouded in midnight, it was so changed. It was desolate, like living in the country, but in a more unnatural way. There was no one catching a late night cab…there was no traffic. Street lamps illuminated the haphazardly parked cars on the snow-covered pavement, and a lone, scraggly terrier trotted down the sidewalk, a leash dragging in the snow behind him. The dog stopped and sniffed around the back of the Cadillac, no doubt searching for the remnants of the chips Kyle had left behind, before trotting out of sight.
Choked sobs came from the cafeteria down the hall, breaking Jake’s concentration. The nurse, Roberta, hadn’t been able to calm Kyle down since the kid realized his father was dead, and it was beginning to grate on Jake’s nerves.
As much as he thought he should care about the situation he was in—the disease, the billions dead, the pandemonium—he couldn’t, not really. The memory of Becca, struggling as she took her final breath, was too fresh in his mind, too raw. She was gone; Gabe took her away from him.
Jake’s hands clenched into fists. He needed to stay focused. He needed to get to Peterson Air Force Base. He needed to find Gabe…to hurt Gabe. Emotions boiling, Jake let his hate and anger fuel him into action. He let out a resolute breath and pushed away from the window.
But as suddenly as Jake turned around, he stopped. Clara, the blonde-haired woman whose blue eyes were too assessing, stood in front of him.
Her head was tilted, her lips pursed, and her gaze flicked over his body. “Are you alright?” she asked, her voice light and curious.
Giving her a curt nod, Jake brushed past her with the intention of heading toward the cafeteria.
Clara reached out to him, her hand lightly clasping his biceps.
Body tensing under her touch, Jake froze, looking down at her pale, delicate hand, then into her penetrating eyes.
“It was nice that you tried to help that man,” she said, and a small smile pulled at her lips.
Jake made a derisive noise. “Yeah, well, apparently it wasn’t enough.”
Her brow furrowed, and she let go of his arm. “You did what you could.”
Nodding, he started to take another step.
“You’re leaving, aren’t you?”
Jake frowned and paused again, wondering why she cared one way or the other. “I never should’ve stopped in the first place.”
“No?” Clara’s soft voice turned sharp, and she walked to the window Jake had been staring out of only moments before.
She was scared, he realized. He should be scared. “You’ll be alright here,” he said, his voice carrying a weak attempt at comfort.
Clara muttered something he couldn’t hear.
He tried again. “You have food…Roberta and the other nurse…”
But Clara seemed unfazed by this words, and she turned to face him. “If it’s so safe here, then why won’t you stay? Why leave three helpless women and a child alone?”
Jake shook his head, uncertain why he felt the need to explain anything to this woman. “There are things I have to deal with.”
After a few impatient steps, Clara was directly in front of him. “Take me with you, please?” Her eyebrows lifted and drew together.
“No,” he said. “That’s not going to happen.” He suddenly needed to get out of the room as soon as possible.
“Please.” Like a blade, the word cut into him, threatening to sever his last shred of decency. “Please,” she whispered.
Unable to resist, Jake turned around.
Clara’s eyes were even more pleading than her voice, they were shimmering, and her chest was heaving. “Please,” she repeated. “You have to take me with you. I can’t stay here. You don’t understand, I’ll die if I stay here…”
No. The word was on the tip of his tongue, but it felt leaden and uncooperative. “I have to go to Peterson, alone,” he reminded himself. “I have to go.”
“What’s in Peterson?” she asked, so close that her presence was distracting him. When he didn’t answer her, she continued, “Is it safe there? We need to leave…to go somewhere safe. Please take me somewhere safe, Jake. I can’t bear to be here—in this place, in this city—any longer.”
Slowly, Jake’s eyes shifted to hers, his mind feeling muddled. Words tried to form, and he tried to shake his head, to refuse her pleas, but he couldn’t. There was something about her…something unsettling that made him want to walk away and never look back. But another part of him wanted to give into her…to take her with him…to leave Colorado Springs and find somewhere safe…
Clara reached out to touch his arm again, and Jake flinched away.
Straightening, she seemed to collect herself in a single, fortifying breath. Then, when her eyes met his, it was like they were piercing into his soul. “Please.”



June 13, 2014

Huge EBOOK SALE Tomorrow & A GIVEAWAY of (Post)Apocalyptic Proportions

We're participating in two awesome Facebook events this weekend, and there's no way we could not tell you all about them. Because, really, they're that awesome. Yeah...that awesome. Alright, here they are:

Legends, Lovers, and Lives SALE!



Not only are all of these books going to be on sale tomorrow (Saturday, June 14), but there are already some fantastic giveaways on the Legends, Lovers, and Lives Facebook page, and the prizes include signed paperback copies of After The Ending and Into The Fire as well as the audiobook version of After The Ending! You can find out more about the books included here. Plus, LP will be there, LIVE, hanging out, answering questions, and chatting about books from 12-3 pm EST tomorrow.


And, here's the second. And holy mutated post-apocalyptic cow...it's HUGE.

Cruel Summer GIVEAWAY


The grand prize includes 40 ebooks from 17 of the hottest indie apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic authors! We're so flattered to be included! :D And all you have to do to enter is "join" the Cruel Summer Giveaway on Facebook. That's it!

Here are the prizes:




And EVERY SINGLE PERSON who joins the Cruel Summer Giveaway will receive a free sampler pack of participating authors' books!


AND, on June 18th and 19th, Team Lindsey will be hanging out at the Cruel Summer Giveaway Facebook page, chatting, answering questions, and talkin' books. Here's the schedule of when each author will be featured:


We hope to see you at both events! And as always...HAPPY READING! :D

May 31, 2014

The Ending Beginnings: Clara

The fifth novella in The Ending Beginningsthe prequel series to The Ending Series, is available to read on Barnes & NobleAmazon, & Kobo!



Description:

The fifth novella in the prequel serial to The Ending Series.

A virus changed everything. This is how it began.

Clara's childhood was less than ideal, but thanks to her beloved fairy tales, she managed to survive. She also managed to hold onto the hope that, with a little hard work and determination, she would one day find her Prince Charming...her happily ever after. And for a little while, she thinks she has. But just as everything seems to be falling into place, a ghost from the past returns to haunt her.

The Ending Beginnings:
I - Carlos
II - Mandy
III - Vanessa
IV - Jake 
V - Clara
VI - Jake & Clara (June 2014)


1


Without taking her eyes from her book, Clara reached for her chocolate milk, which was sitting on the laminate cafeteria table beside her tattered backpack. Lips pursed around the straw and her feet bouncing with happy anticipation, she took two long pulls of the rich, cold liquid until her straw made a slurping sound, and she set the empty carton back down on the table. All of the other students were out in the quad, fussing about their homework or gushing about boys or complaining about the teachers they didn’t like, but Clara had better things to do. She ignored the ceaseless giggling and chatter as it trickled in through the open cafeteria doors and lost herself in her book.
“It was very late; yet the little mermaid could not take her eyes from the ship, or from the beautiful prince.” She read each line with more passion and longing than was probably natural for a thirteen-year-old girl, but she couldn’t help it. Fairy tales…Prince Charming…happily ever afters…she loved it all. “He is certainly sailing above,” she read softly. “He on whom my wishes depend, and in whose hands I should like to place the happiness of my life.”
Clara thought about Patrick, about his dreamy black hair and his light brown eyes, which always seemed to be saying more than his words ever did.
She sighed and kept reading. “I will venture all for him, and to win an immortal soul…”
Clara smiled as she devoured line after line, every word resonating in her soul, giving her hope that there was another life out there, a life different from the one she had with her mom—a better, easier life.
After another sigh, she stretched her legs out under the table, wiggling her toes in her holey converse and crossing her legs at the ankles, and settled in for a few more pages before the bell rang, signaling the end of lunch.
“‘But if you take away my voice,’ said the little mermaid, ‘what is left for me?’ ‘Your beautiful form,’ said the witch. ‘Your graceful walk and your expressive eyes. Surely with these you can enchain a man’s heart.’”
Clara paused and wrinkled her nose. Your form? Your graceful walk? That didn’t seem right. It sounded too much like something her mom would say.
With a shrug, she pushed her glasses up higher on the bridge of her nose and continued reading. The little mermaid was so passionate, so sure about the prince. Clara longed for the day when she felt that way for someone. Or rather, she longed for the day when someone felt that way about her
Daydreams of Patrick flitted into her mind, and she closed her eyes, imagining what it would feel like to run her hand over his spikey hair. He seemed so mysterious. He was popular and seemingly untouchable, so she guessed that had something to do with it. But there was also the way he looked at her sometimes, his gaze lingering a little too long and his mouth curving into that tiny smirk he seemed to reserve for her alone. Clara was pretty sure he thought about her…at least more than not at all.
And there was that one time at the bus stop, when they’d been waiting under the awning to stay out of the rain. She could never forget the feeling of his soft skin, still tanned from a summer of baseball games played under the afternoon sun, as his arm had brushed against hers. Although she’d been freezing all day because she’d forgotten a coat, it had only taken that one moment, that single, fleeting contact, for her incessant shivers to seem completely worth it.
Clara giggled. Maybe Patrick was her soul mate, her happily ever after; he just didn’t know it yet. But as quickly as the thought fluttered into her mind, it fluttered away.
“Men are pigs, Clara Bear.” Her mom’s voice was grating in her mind. “They’re only as good as the size of their wallet.” Like sand in a windstorm, all of Clara’s whimsical thoughts of her Prince Charming blew away. Her mom clearly didn’t believe fairy tales, but then again, Clara often thought her mom was just an uneducated hussy. At least, that’s what she’d heard other people say about her…when they weren’t saying worse things.
The older Clara was, the more she heard and the more she understood. Part of her knew thinking mean things about her own mom was wrong, but she couldn’t help it. Eye rolling and hateful thoughts had become the norm for Clara when she was around her mom.
“Love is for blind fools, Clara Bear, and blind fools deserve whatever comes to them.”
Clara wondered if her mom had ever been in love. From the sound of it, Clara thought probably not. She knew her own dad was nothing more than a handsome face passing through town; her mom had said as much herself.
Clara resituated herself on the bench of the lunch table. The sound of squeaky soles on the polished floor behind her drew her attention away from her book. Pushing her glasses up on the bridge of her nose, she looked over her shoulder at the cafeteria entrance. Patrick was heading her way.
“Hey,” he said, stopping at the end of the cafeteria table.
“Um…hey.” Clara smiled dumbly, her eyes darting to her beat-up lunch pail, the same Care Bears one she’d been forced to use since elementary school. She shoved it into her backpack.
“You working on Mrs. Larson’s homework already?” He hoisted his backpack up onto his shoulder and pointed to the open book lying on the table in front of Clara.
“Oh”—she held up the book of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales—“yeah. Just trying to get a head start on the book report.” Although it was partially true, she really loved fairy tales, even if these versions were darker than the ones she was familiar with.
Patrick smirked. “We still have, like, three weeks.”
Clara shrugged. She refused to tell him she had nothing else to do. “I think I might be going on vacation next week,” she lied. “I don’t want to fall behind.” Clara couldn’t bear for Patrick, the boy of her dreams, her very own Prince Charming—even if he didn’t know it yet—to learn how boring and lonely she was. “Have you started yet?”
He shook his head, his smirk turning into a smile. His eyes flicked down to her book. “Any of it any good?”
Clara couldn’t hold back the grin that engulfed her face. “The one I’m reading now is pretty good,” she said, not wanting to go so far as to admit she was enthralled with The Little Mermaid. “But I love fairy tales, so…”
Patrick eyed her for a moment, then took a step closer. “Cool. Maybe there’ll be a story in there that I’ll like.”
Clara wondered why he’d stopped to talk to her, but didn’t have the guts to ask. “Maybe.”
“So…where are you going on vacation?”
“Oh, umm, I’m not sure…somewhere with my mom’s boyfriend, I think.”
Snickering and cackling broke into the stillness of the cafeteria behind her, and Clara and Patrick both started. Her heart began to race. No. Please, she silently begged. Not now
Patrick peered over her head, his eyes narrowing. “What’s so funny?”
Clara squeezed her eyes shut, wishing Joanna Rossi, with her long black hair and crystal blue eyes, would just disappear already…forever. She was the most horrid girl at school and seemed to love torturing Clara more than anything else.
“She’s not going on vacation,” Joanna spat. “She’s such a liar.” Her voice grew closer with the sound of each footstep until she finally stepped around the lunch table and planted herself beside Patrick. She looped her arm through his, and her friends strutted up to the other end of the table to watch, like perched vultures waiting to pick away at what was left of Clara once Joanna was finished.
Why didn’t Patrick push Joanna away? Why wouldn’t he at least pull his arm out of hers? They weren’t together, were they?
Joanna’s eyes zeroed in on Clara. “You’re so pathetic. We all know your mom can’t afford to take you anywhere. She can’t even buy you new shoes.” Dropping Patrick’s arm, Joanna took a step forward and leaned down on the lunch table. “My mom said your mom sucked all the men in Bristow dry, so unless you’re moving somewhere else so she can find new rich men to suck dry, you’re full of crap.”
After another wave of boisterous laughter from her friends at the opposite end of the table, Joanna curled her lip and reached for Clara’s backpack. “Have you ever even gone on a vacation before?” As if she were holding a slimy worm, Joanna took the open flap of Clara’s pack between her fingers, pinky raised in disgust as she inspected the ratty state of the bag. Letting go, she wiped her hand on her pants.
“Yes, I have.” Clara snatched her backpack away from the evil witch, her skin flush as she scrambled to zip it up.
“Liar,” Joanna muttered.
Before Clara’s eyes began to blur with unshed tears, she grabbed her book, hugging it against her chest and left the remnants of her lunch on the table. “You’ll eat your words when I’m not here next week!” she screeched before running out of the cafeteria, down the hall, and into the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind her.
The bathroom smelled of mold, soggy paper towels, and toilet water, but Clara didn’t mind. She couldn’t bear seeing Patrick again, not after he’d witnessed her utter humiliation.
Clara’s hands began shaking as her anger and embarrassment combined, resulting in the tears streaking down her cheeks. No one made her cry—not her mom, not her mom’s horrible boyfriends, not other students’ mean comments—and Clara hated that Joanna, of all people, had been the one to provoke the sudden onslaught.
Her horror quickly hardened into seething hatred. “Stupid bitch.”
But deep down, Clara knew it wasn’t just Joanna she was angry at. This was her mom’s fault. Bristow was one of the smallest cities in Oklahoma, so of course, everyone would know how horrible her mom was. No matter what her mom told herself and others, she wasn’t special or entitled to anything in any way—she was pathetic, and she was dragging Clara down with her.
If her mom had been normal, Clara knew she wouldn’t have to worry about stupid girls like Joanna; they’d have nothing to hold over her. Clara knew that, even though she was a little scrawny for her age and poor, she was pretty, or at least, she thought she could be if she tried. All she needed was a different past and newer clothes. If she had those things, she would be the one laughing at the others, she would be the one tormenting Joanna.
As Clara opened her book, she tilted it toward the dim, florescent light and began reading. With each word of hope, love, and happily ever after, she swore to herself that she would never ever be the butt of anyone’s jokes again. Ever.
And she’d do whatever was necessary to make sure of it.