The time has finally arrived! The cover reveal for my newest book, The Long Road Home (April 15, 2016) is below!
The cover is a bit different than we originally anticipated, but we feel as though it fits the story perfectly. The orange represents Brooke’s life in the past–the monochromatic phase in her life. The colors near the top represent her time in the hospital, looking for a brighter future, hoping to recreate herself and her life.
The closer we get to the release day, the more anxious I get. In the meantime, here’s the synopsis below!
Brooke never meant to survive, hoping that the suicide attempt would end all of her suffering. After years of rejection, pain, and heartbreak, she feels as though she’s not good enough for anyone. Now she’s stuck in a hospital, being forced to take antidepressants and is getting therapy for her issues.
And she hates it until she meets Matt.
Now Brooke must remember the past in order to better her future, while trying to keep her feelings for the new patient in check. In this heartbreaking novel, a young girl will laugh, cry, and fight to find her way home to the one place that’s been ruined one too many times–her own heart.
Are you as excited for the book as I am? Let me know down in the comments and feel free to share this post! I look forward to sharing this story with you.
So I finally have a release date for this book. Even though it’s only been two months, it feels like forever, mostly because I’m super excited–and proud–of this book.
The Long Road Home will be release April 15th, 2016!
Along with that, April 15th-17th, I’m hosting an online release day weekend event on Facebook. There will be lots of authors and bloggers doing takeovers, with lots of giveaways! The event is public, so all you have to do is click here to join.
I look forward to seeing everyone there! I also have a cover reveal party here, so be sure to check it out to be one of the first to see the cover!
I did it.
Took me two months, but I finally finished this book. There are a few thoughts I’d like to share, because I have to say, this book was an incredible journey for me to write. With that being said, there were a lot of highs and lows creatively throughout this book.
The book’s currently in editing right now, which I’m very proud of. I got some feedback from an early reader today who said that they liked the book and felt the ending was “weird.” There is a reason I’m addressing this, and I’ll tell you why.
I love feedback. In fact, this person’s feedback is probably going to help improve the ending of the book a lot; that is, writing-wise. Do I regret the ending that I gave to the book? Of course not. Do I regret the decisions the characters make at the end? No. I wanted to write a book that was raw, honest, and powerful.
Granted, the ending, especially after the first draft, really needs some improvement. Believe me, first drafts are never pretty. There’s usually some cases of inconsistencies, or hell, even times where a character’s name changes from Clarice to Claire mid-book (yes, this happened in The Long Road Home, and the character’s name is now Claire). My point is, I appreciate my betas because they give me some input on things I may not catch myself, and this girl’s feedback will probably help the writing style of the ending a lot.
Will I change the ending?
Will some fans want the ending to be rewritten?
Maybe. It all depends on the perspective, and that’s okay.
With Before I Break, I was concerned about the ending as well. Heck, I was so scared that I almost didn’t publish it. But I did and the reviews and feedback I’ve gotten in amazing. I don’t regret where my characters end up. They’re real, honest, living characters that deserve to face reality just as much as people do.
Not every story has a happily-ever-after. Life is not a fairy tale. Life’s a journey that needs to be walked, and the characters in The Long Road Home all face a dose of reality.
With that being said, I hope you all do, too.
Alec John Belle
I have a bit of a surprise for you, and that’s that today I’m releasing the first chapter of Shadow People (The Forbidden Darkness Chronicles, #2)! If you have not read the first book, Forbidden Darkness, this chapter may be spoilery, so read at your own risk.
If you like it, please share it around! Shadow People release in paperback and e-book on December 14th, 2015.
He lunged at me faster than I could blink, and sure enough, I was knocked to the floor as he smashed my face in. Yeah, that was going to hurt in the morning. Trying my best to regain my strength, I flipped my attacker over on his back and he smiled up at me.
“You’re getting better,” Philip replied.
I smiled back. “I told you to not go easy on me.”
And of course, he didn’t. Grabbing hold of my hair, he flipped me over his body and managed to stand up. Now I was the one on my back—again—and I was really beginning to feel useless. Yes, he said I was getting better, but he could take me on and win every single time. Getting better and winning were two completely different things.
I stood up and sighed, trying to fix my hair so it didn’t look like the haystack it probably was. Philip stood there, somehow managing to look absolutely gorgeous with his short black hair and piercing green eyes. His smile widened when he saw me trying to compose myself. “I never said we were done.”
“You don’t need to,” I shot back, feeling embarrassment sweep through me, but I kept the sarcastic smile on my face. “I’m saying we’re done for the day because clearly I still can’t take you on, so what’s the point in trying?”
His seductive smile fell flat. “You won’t get better if you just give up.”
“I don’t get any better by trying,” I said, then added, “but I will. Just give me a little more time.”
I left the training room of the Hideout—an underground hiding place for Kristen, who was my best friend, and her family and friends to train. Kristen, Philip and I were Monster Hunters, and we didn’t fight the type of Monsters you would expect. Actually, I didn’t fight any Monsters at all—yet. Unless you counted Kadin. Speaking of him…
“Did you hear back from the Council yet?” I asked. I sat in a comfy chair in the room that sort of resembled a living room of an average house, with a couch, side table, two chairs, and a lamp. Oh, and a looming bookshelf.
Philip sat on the couch, sighing just enough to concern me. Oh no. When he didn’t respond I asked him again. Finally, he said, “Lena did hear back from the Council. They’re coming to the Hideout tomorrow.”
My jaw nearly hit the roof of hell and my heart stopped just a little. I knew this was going to happen. Damn it, why did I have to be so stupid and take on Kadin? “So, does this mean…I may go to…Monster Hunter jail?”
“To be honest,” Philip replied, “I haven’t got a clue. Anything is really possible at this point, but the one thing we don’t need to worry about is not having a good case, which Lena will present to them. The fact of the matter is that Kadin is not a Monster, and unless the Council decides to be assholes and consider him one when his species hasn’t even been identified, it’s entirely possible you could face imprisonment.”
This was even worse than I thought. The only good thing that could possibly come from this was that Kadin wasn’t a Monster. In fact, we had no freaking clue what he was and it bothered me. As if that wasn’t enough, Kadin hadn’t visited my dreams since the night I fought him on the tower. To be perfectly clear, he was trying to kill one of my friends and I had to do whatever I could to make sure he didn’t. I knew the Council was going to keep an eye on him, and once I fought him and somehow shot electricity out of my hands, I knew that they were going to try to charge me with something. As a Monster Hunter, it’s illegal for me to fight Monsters when I’m a Level 0. I was finally a Level 1, but I wasn’t when I fought that bastard, and now I was about to pay the price for it.
The Levels were divided up into 4: Level 0 was when you first became a Monster Hunter. After the first week, you automatically advanced to Level 1. Then at Level 2, you were allowed to hunt the Monsters as long as you’ were with a Level 3, which is the most advanced Level. Don’t ask me why the Council wanted to make our lives more complicated than they already were.
“Have you heard from Kadin?” Philip asked, interrupting my thoughts as if he could read my mind. God, he was good.
“Um, not since that night,” I responded quietly. I don’t know why I sounded disappointed. Maybe it was because Kadin had a lot of answers, and with him gone, all the answers went with him. Kadin might have been a pain in the ass, but he offered a lot of pieces to the puzzle of what was now my life.
“Lena’s tried finding out what the Perfect World is, but whatever Kadin’s talking about, it’s not in any of the Monster Hunter books.” Philip pulled out his cell phone to check a text. “Kristen said she’ll be down in a few minutes, by the way.”
I only nodded. Kristen and I, while we were best friends, had been having our problems. The main one revolved around Philip, whom she’d apparently dated in the past. He cheated on her, driving her to a suicide attempt, which led Kadin to her. Kadin controlled Darkness, a physical entity that apparently sucked negative energy out of people, and if strong enough, could physically harm people. If that wasn’t a big enough problem, more stemmed from my growing feelings for Philip, even though I knew he was a cheater. I was truly a terrible person.
The weird thing was, Kristen had told me just about a week ago that I should do what made me happy—but what did? Would Philip really make me happy?
“Heather,” Philip interrupted again. “You’re thinking about something. What is it?”
No way in hell was I going to have this conversation. Quickly making something up, I said, “I was just thinking about Kadin and where he might be. There’s no way I managed to scare him off permanently and it’s just odd that he hasn’t even made an attempt to come back.”
Philip chuckled. “You did kind of shoot lightning at him.”
Yeah, don’t remind me, I thought. “I couldn’t even do it again if I wanted to. It kind of just happened. Is that even normal for Monster Hunters?” He didn’t need to answer because I already knew what he was going to say.
“There’s also something I should mention,” Philip said. “You may not like it.”
My insides churned at the thought of whatever might come out of his mouth. “Oh Lord, should I be worried?”
He shrugged. “Um, most likely. You see…the Council is coming tomorrow because Hayden is leaving the hospital tonight.”
Uh oh. I really didn’t like where this was going. “What does Hayden have to do with any of this? I mean, obviously he saw some stuff but—”
“Yes, but you, Kristen, and I know otherwise. He was there but he also did something on the rooftop that made the Darkness disappear. When the Darkness tried to get him, you told Kristen and me that it disintegrated. The thing is, we haven’t told the Council, but the Council is checking in on him to make sure he doesn’t expose us. He hasn’t said anything at the hospital, but we don’t know what he’s feeling right now. We have no idea if he’s even really come to grips with what happened.”
Yes, of course the Council was going to want to talk to Hayden. I mean, why wouldn’t they? He was there that evening, but it didn’t make things any better. The Council, the ones who controlled everything in the Monster Hunter world, was coming to see Hayden. Hell, I hadn’t even met them, but from what I heard, I had a right to be afraid.
“What will happen?” I asked. “If they decide that Hayden is a threat or will tell someone?”
Philip said nothing.
“Philip,” I said in a stern voice. My heart was beating a thousand miles per minute and I couldn’t control my anxiety. “What are they going to do to him if he won’t keep quiet?”
Finally he said, “Well…let’s just say they can make deaths look like an accident.”
How have you all been? I have been super busy the last few days with my move, but I’m super excited to talk to you about my new online serial drama Masquerade!
This may sound familiar to some of you. In fact, it may sound very familiar. That’s because Masquerade was a series I was writing earlier in the year. While I was writing it, I had a sudden urge to add in a plot twist, but it didn’t turn out very well due to other things that happened in the series.
Now I’m writing it again. It follows the lives of a group of teens at a high school called Wellington. Each of them starts seeing a mysterious figure they call Masquerade, and soon they realize they’re caught in a much bigger mystery than they thought. Who is the Masquerade? What do they want? Is there more than one? Why are they doing this?
So many questions and so much time to flesh it out. I welcome you to join this journey with me, because I really enjoy the series, concept, and characters.
Be warned: This series is self-published online by me. I have edited to the best of my abilities and hope that the story is intriguing. I have no plans of ever making this a book, because I love the idea of a serial drama.
Right now there’s a Season One. This follows one school year of their lives. It will consist of about 20-22 “episodes” to read, and if it does well, I will continue. I have enough story to last about 3 seasons.
There’s no specific days that I post, simply because my life is busy. I try to post as often as possible to keep readers interested. And guess what? The first few episodes are already up! If you notice, there’s a Masquerade tab at the top (or in the “menu” if you’re on mobile). Click on that and it’ll bring you to the list of episodes! Or you can go to the blog http://www.whoismasquerade.wordpress.com.
I hope you join me on this journey, as I’m really excited! I love to interact with the readers, so if you have theories, tell me! I love them!
Thanks so much for your patience with me lately. News on Shadow People coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy Masquerade!
-Alec John Belle