In addition to writing novels, I teach online
courses in college English—primarily writing classes. This means that almost
all of my work is done from home. I tend to be more introverted than
extraverted, so generally, I’m happy with my current job situation.
But I used to teach traditional college classes,
and I miss discussing books. I miss discussing the characters and their
motivations, the way a plot moves, the wording an author chooses. I miss
interacting with other people about the novels that I love to read.
And this is why I love belonging to online book
clubs like Rave Reviews: it allows me to talk books with other people who love
to read! And in this case, I love discussing books with other indie authors; it
gives me the opportunity to discuss how they deal not only with reading, but
with writing and with marketing, too. I belong to a lot of book clubs online,
but Rave Reviews is quickly becoming my favorite.
Read on for a sneak peek into my new release,Fairy,
Texas, and my first novel,Waking Up Dead, both published by Solstice
Shadows Publishing—then swing by Rave Reviews and join us for a great
Fairy, Texas. A small town like any other.
Laney Harris didn’t want to live there. When her
mother remarried and moved them to a town where a date meant hanging out at the
Sonic, Laney figured that “boring” would have a whole new meaning. A new
stepsister who despised her and a high school where she was the only topic of
gossip were bad enough. But when she met the school counselor (and his terminal
bad breath), she grew suspicious. Especially since he had wings that only she
could see. And then there were Josh and Mason, two gorgeous glimmering-eyed
classmates whose interest in her might not be for the reasons she hoped. Not to
mention that dead guy she nearly tripped over in gym class.
She was right. Boring took on an entirely new
dimension in Fairy, Texas.
Fairy High could have fit into one wing of my old
school. The three-story, red brick building looked like it had been around for
at least a century—it actually had carvings over two of the doorways that read
“Men’s Entrance” and “Women’s Entrance.” I was glad to see that none of the
kids paid any attention to those instructions.
“Counselor’s office,” I muttered to myself. At
least I wasn’t starting in the middle of a term—though given the fact that
there were fewer than 500 students in the entire high school, I didn’t think I
was going to be able to go unnoticed, even in the general bustle of the first
day back from summer vacation.
I walked through the door marked “Men’s Entrance,”
just be contrary, and faced a long hallway lined with heavy wooden doors. The
spaces in between the doors were filled with lockers and marble staircases with
ornate hand-rails flanked each end of the long hallway. Students poured in
behind me, calling out greetings to each other and jostling me off to the side
while I tried to get my bearings. None of the doors obviously led to a main
office; I was going to have to walk the entire length of the hallway. And
people were already starting to stare and whisper.
God. I hated being the new kid.
I took a deep breath and stepped forward. I made it
halfway down the hall without seeing anything informative—all the doors had
numbers over them and many of them had name plaques, but neither of those
things did me any good since I didn’t know the name or office number for the
counselor. I was almost getting desperate enough to ask Kayla, but of course
she was nowhere to be seen.
I turned back from scanning the halls for her and
caught sight of the first adult I’d seen—and almost screamed. As it was, I
gasped loudly enough for a guy walking past me to do a double take. The man
standing in the open doorway was tall, over six feet, and way skinny—so
emaciated that it looked like you ought to be able to see his ribs through his
shirt, if his shirt didn’t hang so loosely on him. He had white hair that stuck
out in tufts, thin lips, a sharp nose, and pale blue eyes that narrowed as he
watched the kids walk past—and all the kids gave him a wide berth without even
seeming to notice that they did so. He stood in an empty circle while students
streamed around him in the crowded hallway.
But none of that was what made me almost scream.
For a moment, just as I’d turned toward him, I
could have sworn that I’d seen the shadow of two huge, black, leathery wings
stretched out behind him.
Waking Up DeadBlurb:
When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she
expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, when she met her fate early
thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex, she went to Alabama. Now
she’s witnessed another murder, and she’s not about to let this one go. She’s
determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to
answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up dead in
When I died, I expected to go to heaven.
Okay. Maybe hell. It’s not like I was perfect or
anything. But I was sort of hoping for heaven.
Instead, I went to Alabama.
Yeah. I know. It’s weird.
I died in Dallas, my hometown. I was killed,
actually. Murdered. I’ll spare you the gruesome details. I don’t like to
remember them myself. Some jerk with a knife–and probably a Bad-Mommy complex.
Believe me, if I knew where he was, I’d go haunt his ass.
At any rate, by the time death came, I was ready
for it–ready to stop hurting, ready to let go. I didn’t even fight it.
And then I woke up dead in Alabama. Talk about
You know, even reincarnation would have been fine
with me–I could have started over, clean slate and all that. Human, cow, bug.
Whatever. But no. I ended up haunting someplace I’d never even been.
That’s not the way it’s supposed to work, right?
Ghosts are supposed to be the tortured spirits of those who cannot let go of
their earthly existence. If they could be convinced to follow the light, they’d
leave behind said earthly existence and quit scaring the bejesus out of the
poor folks who run across them. That’s what all those “ghost hunter” shows on
television tell us.
Let me tell you something. The living don’t know
jack about the dead.
Collins is the author of a number of novels, includingWaking
Texas, andLegally Undead(forthcoming in 2014). She lives in
Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. She teaches
college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love.
She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends
most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves,
and other monsters.