Creative Writing · Romance · Self publishing · Smashwords

Who Are You? Where Am I? #ShamelessBookPromo, #ShortFiction

Autumn gets a full serving of what awaits her on the “other side” after death. It is not what she expects and not what you think. Like the snippet? Read more in my latest eBook, The Fall of Autumn-FREE until Dec. 1st.

Funny how the pain you think you’d feel before dying would be the worst. The pain of a body finally fizzing out like old soda. The creaks and groans of sick bones, the sore throat that is beyond hell and just having a sheet draped over you in the hospital, hurts your skin.

They doped me up with all kinds of funny name brand medicines, the clear tubing runs through my veins and I have my thumb taped to the “pain control” monitor to allow me to “inject” more drugs into my blood stream as I lay dying.

But none of this is as painful or morbid as staring into the eyes of my boyfriend Darwin Humphrey.

I can tell by the wince in his face, the pain in his tone, that he is watching a shell of me. The true me is slowly wasting away. The rare stomach cancer has finally won. At the age of 24, I am losing the battle. Have lost the battle.

balloons
Image Credit: Pixabay

 

He is probably inwardly groaning right now. The day I found out I had it, I remember sitting in my mother’s favorite chair. The pink one with pink feathers and red and pink small heart pillows(gifts from dad).

Darwin was sending pics of me to his family in Germany. He called me the “hot blonde” and truthfully I was.

I stand at 5’5, long strong, lean legs, breasts that I am/was? Naturally blessed with that had very little bounce and some jiggle. Bright blue eyes and hair that was just naturally straight and white teeth to match.

I was going to be a forensic photographer. I have always been a fan of those enormously addicting crime shows like Criminal Minds, Law and Order, and CSI but my fascination has always been with scenes.

Pictures tell a thousand words.

Right now, Darwin is breaking inside. I can feel it. His hand lightly touches mine, but instead of feeling warm and making me all bright inside, it hurts my paper thin skin. It’s like he is slowly scraping my skin with razor blades and I feel a boiling anger brewing.

At him. At myself. At no one. At God.

He sees an old woman.

Chemo will do that.

My shiny, bright California bred looks are no more. I look 65 to be honest and gaunt. I saw myself in the mirror by accident two months ago and since then, my mom agreed to buy me a veil to wear over my face.

In the hospital, I do not wear it. I do not wear it for Darwin. I don’t care anymore.

His wavy brown hair and lion gold eyes drinks me in from head to toe. Before, when we first met in college, his eyes would trail slowly over my curves causing small fires in my heart, making my stomach flutter.

Now, he looks at me as if I am a stranger. He takes me in slowly because Reality is a Beast. I look away from him and towards another rainy day. It’s true. It never rains Southern California but it is today.

“Autumn…I..love you.”

Instead of responding, my eyes water but even that hurts. Can’t even cry. It’s been a good run in this world. All 24 years of it.

“Please. Look at me, love.” His Boston accent is what always does me in. I love city boys. I love smart ones who are hot.

Darwin is all of that.

He will move on without me in six months to a year maybe. Find another beauty who will console him as he talks about his dead girlfriend, they will share Starbucks coffee a few days out the week until his heart beats a little faster and his touches on her becomes less friendly and more loving- same as he did with me.

They will trade sob stories of the monster of cancer and he will invite her over for dinner at his mom’s.

A year from now or two he may be with or he may not. He will marry someone because that’s Darwin. Hot biology major whose parents are both professors at California State University.

They will welcome her.

He may become a player. Just sleep with a lot of girls.

I look at him and that is when all of a sudden, I feel a POP! Explode in my chest.

My air is cut!

I look to him and he is holding my hand, he is yelling and I see lime green nurse suits. Mom, dad, and my little brother Manly sweep in quick as dust.

Their images blur. It is getting darker in here.

I can’t breathe!

I gasp sharply as my world turns gray and blurry, then suddenly black.

 

*

I am floating.

I am light as air and I twist and turn, darkness all around me but I feel so much at peace. It is like for the first time I am not weighed down.

In life we seek peace through religion, or helping out at shelters, using drugs or sex.

But I must say, this is better than all of that combined times 100.

Out of my skin and bones, out from psychological worry, I can float. No care in the care in the world.

“Open your eyes,” a smooth, silky, male voice says. It says something else that sounds like my name but I cannot identify it.

What is my name?

“Is that why it’s so dark?” I whisper. Why does my words sound like…music?

He chuckles. “Yes.” His words are poems too. Even a single word.

I hesitate. I nearly forget where I am and how I got to where I am. Why are my eyes closed?

I use muscle I no longer have to open my eyes.

“It takes a few tries to get used to a new body.”

“Huh?” I really snap open my “eyes” now and the plethora of color explode before me. Colors I don’t know the name of including a few common colors. Light and bright as the sun filters in and I see tall creatures before me. Their shadow advancing on me.

I take a step back.

I am standing on something lush and soft.

“She’s a new one, let us treat her as such.”

Their voices are so loud! I can hear them in my soul! “Stop yelling!” I shout.

“Yup, new body alright. Is there a reason why these people act like this? Do they not know about their transformation?”

Smooth Voice says, “They were not taught it properly. As far as I know they are the only species who can transform after expiring. You’d think they would be informed.”

I inhale a deep, cleansing breath and look down at myself. My feet are the color of bronze, they shine and sparkle. No need for polish. My nude body is positively glowing…

**As a side note, battling cancer is a serious issue. I lost my father to esophageal cancer a few years ago. I was inspired to write about the “what ifs” of the afterlife.

If you want more posts like this, please consider joining my blog and connecting with other wonderful readers and writers!

~Ericajean

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Creative Writing · cyborgs · New Adult · Smashwords

The Fall of Autumn #BittersweetRomance, #SmashwordsDeals

 

Fall of Autumn3a

Click here to download the full book FREE!

Available as epub, PDF, and ,mobi(Kindle)

Coming soon to Barnes and Noble and Amazon

~

I am excited to announce the release of “The Fall of Autumn”. A collection of short fiction taking place during that special crisp, lovely time of the year, and the common theme is: Romance.

If you want a sample of what it’s all about, go to School for Zombies on this blog and read an excerpt. You will love it!

You may download the full book FREE until November 1st. By then it will be $0.99 to purchase.

Thanks to everyone for supporting my blog and this writing adventure. You are way cool!

~Ericajean

Creative Writing · cyborgs · Flash Walk Fiction · Romance · Self publishing · Smashwords · Tracking an Author · Uncategorized

School for Zombies: Dead Guts and Hard Abs

Fall of Autumn3a
The Fall of Autumn by Erica Jean Smith to be Released November 2017

 

 

Although brief, the stories will sweep you away. Here is an excerpt of what you will find…

Update: The Fall of Autumn(full book) is now available. Click here for details!

~

School for Zombies

Part 1

Patty

If anyone would have told me I would be stuck in a closet with the hottest zombie ever this side of the Atlantic, “I would have said WTF and get out of here”.

But here I am. In the janitor’s closet of all places.

Stuck with Sindrome. That’s his name for real. A  tall, well built zombie who looks down on me now like a tasty snack but because of our current and dire situation, he cannot afford to eat me.

“Explain again what you saw.” He growls, annoyed.

I roll my eyes to him.  “I said, I went back to the cafeteria to see if I left my small wallet on the floor by the cashier and I heard the noise and started running. It sounded horrific, like vomiting but, I don’t know.”

I had went into the cafeteria ten minutes earlier to retrieve my pink wallet. I knew better than to go alone.

In my dad’s infinite wisdom, he placed me in a school that was full of dead folks. On the outside everything looks normal and new, and the people look beautiful and normal. Borbon High School is a lie. A fake.

It is a  Night School. For zombies.

And guess what? I am not one.

How do I get away with it? My dad, a chemist involved with making popular perfumes for celebrities, made a special perfume for me that repels the dead. Meaning my brain which is capable of a 2.9 GPA at best, will not be morsels to these monsters.

Turns out though that my “Dad” he really wasn’t my dad though. Just a mad scientist who was using me as bait.

He knew my real dad.

Turns out Sindrome is my only ally because he has living human beings he cares for still.

A living, breathing Barbie doll of a girlfriend he wants to save and he knows I have the perfume that will prevent him from wanting to snack on her brains like a burrito.

So anyway, I walk up into the cafeteria as if I am not completely surrounded by zombies. And. No. I do not eat their food. Are you kidding me? I bring my own bag lunch. I purchase their canned drinks though because they are colder and packaged from a local factory.

I had reached down to pick up my purse when I hear the snap of something like a big chicken bone and followed by a loud shriek.

I look over the sneeze guards which previously shielded meatloaf(yeah right) and mac and cheese. Hidden beneath these dishes are brains. Just to let you know. The “real” food is placed on top to make the zombies feel normal as they once did.

But yeah, its brain squash underneath.

Beyond the large sink and stove, I saw movement in the backroom and then a large splash of red hits the window. Blood.

I bucked out of there quick, just as I heard the quick clicking of heels on my tail.

I turn a corner nearly colliding into a locker and that was when I spotted Sindrome smoking a joint -or appears to be smoking…in the janitor’s closet with the door half opened.

“Let me in!” I whisper loudly pushing him inside, not caring if he dropped his cigarillo. I bang the door closed. Confident I left the ghoul or whatever was chasing me.

“Patty,” Sindrome puts both hands on my shoulder. His whole body is ivory and cold to the touch, but it is those eyes that do me in every time.  They are- aquamarine?

Damn! I am not falling for no damn dead person. Nope! Not me! His eyes are a dreamy, kind of aqua framed by long lashes that are ebony- ebony like his hair, ebony like me and my hair.

This closet is too tiny for my fro and his body. One of us has to go.

“Keep quiet, Patty.” He says again. “I hear something.”

I scooch my body closer to Sindrome, aware that my ample booty is now pressing against surprisingly rock hard abs.

Yes. I’m officially losing it.

But I nearly lose my cookies when through the slats of the door I see some wolf-beast-dog thing with long, yellow teeth stalking the hall.

It was as big, or almost as high as five Great Danes and the smell of death followed it. Even Sindrome smelled better. Well, Sindorme always smells of water and leaves mostly. Cigar leaves. Perhaps he has a better wash regime than I give him credit for.

“What the hell is that?” He asks me.

“I don’t know?” I whisper back. “I am new here to this state, this city, this school. Virginia is looney tunes!”

The wolf monster thing pauses. I see its high black butt and three tails wagging.

My heart nearly plummets.

If Sindrome is truly evil, he could just push me out the door and be done with me. The wolf thing could then gobble me up and maybe it’ll spit out my fro- just to be nice.

I have all kinds of crazy scenarios playing in my head right now.

Sindrome has cold, dead hands on my shoulder and I am pressed up against him like we’re lovers.

We are so. not. lovers.

He hates my guts because of my “dad” and I hate his because he is dead. He has dead guts.

“I have to alert everyone else somehow.”

“Wait. You’re scared of it too? Aren’t you a zombie?”

“I have a very bad feeling about this.” He pulls out his cell phone but I remain on him, booty and all. I am scared and did I mention the closet is cramped? Full of dirty mops and thousands of chemicals I am unfamiliar with.

He texts someone just as we hear another scream and I hear that bone cracking noise again. I cringe and throw my body harder against Sindrome’s body.

“Mfffofme.”

“Huh?” I can’t understand what he is saying.

“I said-” he does something with my hair.

Oh. He pushes it down. I am about to swing on him and knock him out for that alone. Then he growls: “I said your hair is in my mouth.”

“Oh, God. Sorry.”

Sindrome swears under his breath and suddenly my worst nightmare comes true.

I am pushed through the door with my arms out and I stumble into a hallway that is suddenly overcrowded with zombies. Teachers and everybody is scurrying. Blood dripping from hands and faces.

Some are with a gaping hole in their chest to the point I can see the wall clearly though them and the stampede.

I am tossed and thrown about, trying to run for the exit when I am roughly pulled from the melee.

“This way”, he growls low in my ear and before I can protest, I am yanked again through the crowds.

“You have your motorcycle?” He asks.

“I do.”

“We need it.” I pull the keys from my pocket, unsure how this will all play out.

If I’m smart, I could let him get torn to shreds by the  Wolf Beast thing.

But who said I was smart?

We are moving too fast down the hall and that is when I hear the worst sound of all.

“The hell?” Sindrome pauses as the top floor, that holds the library and classrooms, suddenly wobbles as if it is made of rubber and I see some plaster fall down.

Three very big, large black Wolf Beasts stands at the top. Red eyes looking right at me and through me.

Copyright ©2017, Erica Jean Smith

*The rest of the short story will  be released November 2017 as part of The Fall of Autumn Collection for Smashwords and Barnes and Noble!

 

Creative Writing · Self publishing · Smashwords · Uncategorized

Note to Readers of ‘Kiss of Stone’

Note to Readers!

Due to moving around a lot and losing material and technology(I know, really bad), there has been a severe delay in creating a second book to the Mark of Fortune series.

However, I am no longer in denial.

The genie romance was designed to present, simply, an idea. That’s it.

This is not to say that Sam and Stone’s story is completely over. I wrote it during a time that the world was built completely by my imagination and the direction I wish it to go continues to get stifled by the Muse.

Muse wins.

I am deeply sorry to my readers who enjoyed the work. Deeply. My heart breaks when I think of what the series can become.

However, all hope is not lost. I will be publishing great content and working on future genie books following a trajectory I think we all will be satisfied with. For now, join me in my adventure creating content in other genres I enjoy!

XOXO,

Erica

P.S. I am working on a serious memoir and some poems at this time. Visit me at Smashwords to find more of my writings and don’t forget to check out Write Resumes Right 2017, where I hope to collaborate with you on the structure, challenge and rewarding phase of job app writing.

Woot!

 

Creative Writing · Devices for Reading · Smashwords · Wattpad Stories · writing · Youth/Young Adult

Is Wattpad the App for You?

Woman writing
Writing for Wattpad Can be Fun/ Image taken from stokpic.com

Wattpad may be the best social app for writers and readers out there, but don’t be discouraged or surprised if you find your works aren’t being read and as popularized as others.

I have learned quite a bit about Watppad within the last year and even though I really enjoy the app, it is not something that is working for me at the time. Perhaps you are thinking of posting up free stories on there too and so hopefully this quick guide can help.

Published or Unpublished, Unleash it on Wattpad

One of the first stories I published on Wattpad is Weight and See. I began it sometime around February 2016 or March?

By the end of June 2016-roughly three months, I had at least 800+ reads and quite a few comments. From one reader.

It was not a story I published previously, just one I wrote off the top of my head and I uploaded it weekly. Finally, I took it down and published it on Smashwords where currently it has 1,071 downloads.

What was the secret?

After not even getting a burp on Wattpad, I finally decided to tag my book properly. It was a teen fiction first and foremost, that happened to have romance in it. Also, I tagged it according to location, serious matters, and as general fiction. That may have helped.

Either way, I was jealous of teen writers with 1.5k reads and likes…

One Wattpader decided to upload an already published novel for free and she grabbed more fans that way.

Teen Fiction Rules in that Domain

Estelle Maskame

Ashley Royer

Are just two of many who have made their debut on Wattpad and are now publishing mavens with agents.

Both are in high school.

Some Wattpaders who are adults, write teen fiction and if they achieve the right voice and audience, make it big.

My favorite Wattpad author(including the gifted ones above) is LD Crichton, who writes new adult and teen fiction.

Not into writing for the much younger, pubescent audience? That is quite alright. Wattpad has many categories you can sift your writing chops into, just take note that right now Wattpad is dominated by the teen fiction category.

Why?

My opinion is that when Wattpad first began, teens took to it more and faster.

It is social media after all and you read free books all day long. Even I like that idea. You can literally type a whole book on your phone and upload it right after.

The Wattpad App, Technicalities

Yes. Wattpad is great.

The app is proclaimed as magical.

Yet there are some bugs Wattpad need to fix.

First of all, I was working on a teen fiction the other day and decided, “Let me write this on my mobile phone. For a new writing experience. Should be fun.”

And it was.

For a day.

Next thing I knew, I published my chapters and one was missing.

Wattpad warns you to never delete a story or even part of it because you cannot undo it.

So I did the “unpublished” then “re-publish” thing. Still not working.

I copied my chapter on my Android phone, and deleted the story. That way I can just copy to a new empty chapter- start over right?

Nope.

Nothing worked, nothing showed up. I deleted part of my story. I will never see it again.

Wattpad needs to fix this. Allowing Wattpaders to delete their story while giving a few days before a story is deleted permanently, is a better solution.

What Writing Platform is Working for Me?

Right now, Smashwords is awesome for me. I complete the manuscript, edit and upload it and the readers pour in faster than on Wattpad.

Just like Smashwords, Wattpad has an algorithm. You must use proper keywords, tags, update regularly(Smashwords prefer you post multiple books if you want to see great results), and an awesome cover and blurb.

I may use Wattpad again one day, I will definitely read stories on there now. But it is definitely too “loud” to be heard. Even with their writing contests, it has been rumored that those who are already popular on Wattpad may get chosen over you.

My advice? Try them all out. See what works best for you.

Patience is also the key, which is why perhaps I should have kept my teen fiction on there, seeing as people have requested a part 2 now.

Good luck to you all and let me know of your experience!

Devices for Reading · Self publishing · Smashwords

Easy Navigation Links for The Write Web(Mobile Users)

 

 

Sometimes, mobile phones do not display all the home page options unless you scroll down ridiculously long posts, then you’ll see all the goodies down there(you know what I mean).

So here are some links to help you navigate around my blog.

  • First, is the Currently Reading section. I am reading  the YA novel, Melt With You: A Totally 80s Romance, by Addison Moore. It is FREE to download!  melt-with-you-cover
  • If you are a writer needing your book formatted for Smashwords, please head over to Eurekajean’s page for more information! A great service for you!
  • Don’t feel like paying for a book you may want to read? Next, is the Loan Book Rangers Club where I offer books I can loan from Loan Book Rangers3my Kindle. Keep checking back for updates!
  • Finally, and importantly- Contact me if you have questions, suggestions, and comments! Go the Contact Page.

Please Note: There are review gems after this post, so don’t stop here! Please keep reading and share what you see. Sharing leaves a good feeling. Promise!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.5 Star Review · Five Star Review · Smashwords · Youth/Young Adult

Popular Teen Fiction You Can Download FREE Right Now

Psst!

Hey you!

I know you’re craving really good books to read this summer and nothing boring.

Here is your list of totally FREE awesome downloadables RIGHT NOW. All books have received 4 stars and up. You’re Welcome.

YA novel collage
Blog Design created by Ericajean using Canva

Weight and See by Sienna Dance

Unenchanted by Chanda Hahn

Rhuna: Keeper of Wisdom by Barbara Underwood

In Between by Jenny B. Jones

The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorensen

The Soulkeepers by G.P. Ching

This is not your ordinary, boring school reading list either.

Special thanks to Smashwords and Amazon Kindle.