Teaser Tuesday: The Castle in Transylvania, Back from the Dead: The original zombie story by Jules Verne


Here’s a few teasers from my spooky read this week. I know, I know…you’re saying Jules Verne? Zombies? Really? I mean…isn’t he all about Sci Fi and sea monsters and stuff? Zombies and Romance? That’s what I said, anyway. Jules Verne came back on my radar because a good friend said his favorite book ever was by Jules Verne called Mysterious Island. He’s a native French speaker, so it was no surprise that when we started talking about our favorite novels most of his were French, and most of them were authors I’d never heard of. I really loved Mysterious Island so I guess that’s why this title jumped out at me while I was checking out books on a recent visit to see my daughter in Boulder. I’m not really a zombie girl, but I’m hooked now. Jules Verne wrote this story in 1892.

First sentence:

“This story is not fantastic; it is only romantic. Should we conclude that it isn’t true, given its implausibility? That would be a mistake. We are living in a time when anything can happen–one can almost say, when everything has happened. If our tale is not very likely today, it can be so tomorrow, thanks to the scientific resources that are the lot of the future, so no one should take it into his head to rank it among legends.”


“But there was no time to lose, for it was probable that someone would enter the crypt, as soon as they thought he had fallen asleep under the influence of the sleep-inducing drink.

The work went faster then he could have hoped, since mildew had eaten away the wood around the metallic framework that held the bolts to the embrasure. With his knife, Franz managed to detach the round part, working almost noiselessly, pausing sometimes, listening, making sure he heard nothing outside.”

What are you reading this Halloween week? Happy Haunting!

Teaser Tuesday: Gamelan––Growing up under Japanese Occupation

I’ve been researching and trying to write a story based on my family’s experience in World War II for about ten years now, ever since Dad started to open up about his experience. For ten years we’ve been sitting down with each other, talking about events, locations and his experiences, getting clear about the “when” and “wheres” of his time as a prisoner. When we first sat down together, it was difficult for him to remember just how many prisons he was in and how long he had been a prisoner. But, together, we pieced the puzzle together. I’ve read that “why” isn’t a very spiritual question. I kind of like that insight.

I’ve tried five different times to write the story as a novel. And, well…it just wasn’t happening. Each attempt fell apart for one reason or another. And then, after I’d taken only a few storyboarding classes at Art Center at Night, creative fireworks went off and I saw the whole story. I like to write my novels cinematically, so I guess the transition to screenplays is natural, even as I have a lot to learn. Part of the reason why this story hasn’t come together as a novel has to do with the fact that the scope of the story has seemed so epic to me, spanning several generations, and like my screenplay writing instructor said, “that’s the trouble with true stories”…all the details. The story needed focus and that’s what I’ve been working very hard on over the past few months. Here is the opening scene from Gamelan.


A bamboo and barbed wire fence. An old, white man’s emaciated wrinkled, shaky hand clenches three cigarettes. The boney, but steady hand of HANS (19) takes the cigarettes from the old man.

HANS hammers a crooked nail into a rough-hewn wooden plank.


Liberty is something you can’t understand until it’s taken away. You become a different person. You become a prisoner. You learn what it is to survive.

Last weekend my family had a reunion where we celebrated Dad’s 90th birthday!

Happy Birthday Dad! 


Teaser Tuesday: THE STORYTELLERS…release day a week away & e-ARC winners!


Congrats to Jodi, Kerri, Diana, Aimee & Daniela, winner of THE STORYTELLERS Cover Reveal e-ARC giveaway! There’s more giveaways on the book blog tour starting next week, and lots of exclusive excerpts, interviews and the book trailer & dream cast reveals too:D I hope you can join in the fun that gets started on 9.9.13. Thanks so much for all your support!

YA Ice Cream Teasers! [Part 1]

I got an ice cream maker for Christmas and I’ve been totally obsessed by ice cream! I’ve made peppermint and lavender so far and I’m super excited to make some chocolate next:) So, it gave me an idea. I wanted to post some ice cream excerpts from the latest young adult fantasy fiction. I got so many that I need to post them in two parts! So, grab an ice cream cone and enjoy Part 1 of the Ice Cream Teaser posts:)

Continue reading YA Ice Cream Teasers! [Part 1]

Teaser Tuesday: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Opens at Nightfall
Closes at Dawn
“What kind of cicrcus is only open at night?” people ask. No one has a proper answer, yet as dusk approaches there is a substantial crowd of spectators gathering outside the gates. 
You are among them, of course. 
-From The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Tuesday Teaser: The Lost City of Z

Here’s a bit of what I’m reading today from The Lost City of Z by David Grann:

“While Madame Blavatsky continued to practice the arts of a medium, she gradually turned her attention to more ambitious psychic frontiers. Claiming that she was a conduit for a brotherhood of reincarnated Tibetan mahatmas, she tried to give birth to a new religion called Theosophy, or “wisdom of the gods.” It drew heavily on occult teachings and Eastern religions, particularly Buddhism, and for many Westerners it came to represent a kind of counterculture, replete with vegetarianism. As the historian Janet Oppenheim noted in The Other World, “For those who wanted to rebel dramatically against the constraints of the Victorian ethos––however they perceived that elusive entity––the flavor of heresy must have been particularly alluring when concocted by so unabashed an outsider as H.P. Blavatsky.”