Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"White Chalk" by Pavarti K. Tyler

White Chalk
by Pavarti K. Tyler

I am participating in a Blog Tour for Pavarti K. Tyler's NEW RELEASE White Chalk. You can visit all the tour stops listed below. Today, Pavarti visits Books Direct for an interview. You can also read my 5-BD (the Books Direct equivalent of stars) review. I'd give it more if I could!
Also, be sure you enter the giveaway below for your chance to win some great prizes!

Chelle isn’t what most people consider a typical 13-year-old girl - she doesn't laugh with friends, play sports, or hang out at the mall after school. Instead, she navigates a world well beyond her years.
Life in Dawson, ND spins on as she grasps at people, pleading for someone to save her - to return her to the simple childhood of unicorns on her bedroom wall and stories on her father’s knee.
When Troy Christiansen walks into her life, Chelle is desperate to believe his arrival will be her salvation. So much so, she forgets to save herself. After experiencing a tragedy at school, her world begins to crack, causing a deeper scar in her already fragile psyche.
Follow Chelle’s twisted tale of modern adolescence, as she travels down the rabbit hole into a reality none of us wants to admit actually exists.

Book Trailer

Too cold for me to be out, drenched in a thin sweatshirt, I trudged home after school. November had betrayed me with its promises of clear skies, and I’d skipped the bus.
Mr. Harris pulled up, his oversized body squished into the too small car. When the window rolled down, warm air tinged with the scent of coffee invited me in.
“It’s a little cold for you to be walking, isn’t it, honey?” He peered out the window, brows pulled high to his forehead, appraising my appearance.
“Can you drive me home, Mr. Harris?” My teeth chattered as I spoke.
“Come on, get in. But you know teachers aren’t supposed to pick up students on the side of the road.” He chuckled softly to himself.
“I know. I won’t tell anyone. Please? I’m just so cold.”
In the car, I kicked my soaked backpack out of the way of the heating vent and slid my feet out of my shoes. My toes had gotten so cold I half wondered if they’d be tinged with black—gangrene setting up shop. I leaned back and closed my eyes, letting the warmth of the car envelop me. When I opened them, I realized Mr. Harris hadn’t started driving again.
Instead, he sat staring at me. Parked in the middle of the road, his eyes roamed my body as I shivered.
Cold? Lust? I didn’t know, but the feeling of power spreading through my chest as he took in the curve of my hips made me bold. I sat up and pulled the wet sweatshirt over my head, revealing the T-shirt beneath.
Mr. Harris shifted in his seat. His gaze fell upon my breasts and the sound of his breath sped up.
“Mr. Harris?” I asked, the temptation of seducing a teacher thrilling me.
“Yeah?” His voice was hoarse.
“Thanks for the ride.”
“What?” His body snapped to attention as he remembered where he was. “Oh, right… um….” He shifted position again.
“Really, I appreciate it.” I laid a hand on his arm and rose up in my seat, leaning forward so I could kiss him on the cheek—innocently, like kissing an uncle or cousin. But I knew it wasn’t, and when I pulled away, the dark intensity of his eyes told of desire I’d only been hoping to find.


By Lynda Dickson
White Chalk tells the story of Chelle Whitney is a 13-year-old girl in 8th grade at Northwoods Secondary School. Her father is a drunk who is abusive to her mother, while her mother is so busy working to support them, that she has no time for Chelle. Enter Troy Christiansen, the new boy in school, a junior complete with Mohawk and piercings. Chelle falls "instantly and obsessively in love" with him, a love that will have serious repercussions for Chelle and all of those around her.
Chelle is a Lolita-like character, in an inappropriate relationship with her History teacher. This similarity is further reinforced by the cover image depicting a young girl with a lollipop (compare to Lolita movie poster). But is Chelle as innocent as she seems? And who is seducing whom? What has happened to Chelle to fill her with insecurities and to cause her self-harm and suicidal thoughts? She feels out-of-control, but her self-harm is something she can control. When pain equals pleasure, even the acts which we find abhorrent bring happiness to Chelle. The author provides a handy list of resources for people who may be in a similar situation to Chelle, including where to get help for suicide prevention and cutting.
This book is about a young girl whose desperate need to be loved and wanted leads her to make bad choices. It is a book about teenagers, but its content is suitable for mature people only. It contains coarse language, pedophilia, sexual acts, drug and alcohol abuse, spousal abuse, suicide, and self-harm. As the mother of a fourteen-year-old girl myself, I can only hope that what goes on in this book is not commonplace. That being said, I absolutely loved this book. It reminded me a grittier Sarah DessenIt was a pleasure to read, with beautiful lyrical passages. I'm a big fan and will read anything else this talented writer publishes.

Interview With the Author
Hi Pavarti, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book White Chalk.

Which writers have influenced you the most? Since I was a teenager I’ve been inspired by Anais Nin and Henry Miller. Both because of the controversial topics they cover but also because of their absolute commitment to brutal honesty. Interestingly, Henry Miller’s crude violence earned him the label of literary fiction and Anais Nin’s more delicate and beautiful descriptions were looked down on as erotica and porn.

What age group do you recommend your book for? This is an adult book. Other books with similar themes such as Gemma by Meg Tilly are listed as 15+. I think White Chalk is fine for teens to read, maybe even important for them to do so, but I would never market this as a YA book. Readers and parents should know they are getting a book with graphic details of abuse and sexuality.

I couldn't agree with you more. I have daughters who are 14 and 16 and whilst I wouldn't want them reading it, I think that they should be aware of the issues raised. What sparked the idea for this book? Emlyn Chand inspired the idea for the character of Chelle.  We were talking about doing a project together which we’ve since scrapped, but in conversations with her the initial seed of Chelle and her relationship with Mr. Harris was born. I took off and ran and realized Chelle’s story was much, much deeper than I’d originally realized.

Which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel? For me they are often the same. The character’s story is the novel.

What was the hardest part to write in this book? The emotional impact it had on me and on my readers. I found that sometimes I needed a week or two away from it just to recover and keep moving forward.

How to you hope this book affects its readers? I hope that White Chalk brings the story of Chelle and others like her to the forefront. It’s so easy to dismiss the reality of the teens and children around us. But the economy and failure of social institutions, they are the ones who suffer. "No child left behind" should be about so much more than test scores.

How long did it take you to write this book? I wrote the first draft in 6 months and then spent 5 months editing.

What is your writing routine? I write every day, even if what I put out is crap. 500 words, no excuses. Usually it ends up being much more.

How did you get your book published? Evolved Publishing picked up White Chalk as my first novel with them. I’m honored to be a part of such a quality team and to have the support of a publisher behind what promises to be a rather controversial book.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer? Shut up, keep writing. Write what you believe in, what scares you, and do it every day. The rest will work out.

Great advice, Pav. What do you like to do when you're not writing? I knit, play with my dog and do yoga :)

What does your family think of your writing? Most are proud of me. Few have read anything I’ve written but they are all supportive. My husband is amazing. Every day when he comes home from work he asks “How was writing today?”

That's great! It's important to have support. Please tell us a bit about your childhood. I’m an only child.  My parent divorced when I was five, so it was just my mom and me for most of my life.

Did you enjoy school? I loved class, hated school. I always did my homework, skipped my junior year of high school and went to Smith College on early admission. But I never fit in and never had a real group of friends, just a handful of solid people I loved.

Did you like reading when you were a child? Everything. I started reading Steven King at 11 and Proust at 15.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I started writing Twilight Fan Fiction in 2010 (I know – shut up) and had so much fun with it and met so many amazing people I wanted to try something on my own. I wrote Consumed By Love for a Supernatural Romance competition and lost (my idea of romance isn’t the same as everyone else’s I guess!) but it was picked up by SNM Horror Magazine as story of the month in 2011.

Did your childhood experiences influence your writing? Yes. My story is not Chelle’s but it could have been.

What was your favorite book as a child? Probably The Indian in the Cupboard. I loved that book, read it over and over.

Who were your favorite authors as a child? I don’t really remember having a favorite as a child. I loved Roald Dahl. But I soon graduated to Dean R. Koontz!

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? Usually death threats of some sort :) I get a lot of complaints that I haven’t written more for TheSandstorm Chronicles and a lot of angry 5 star reviews about White Chalk. My readers tend to be exceptional people who are an amazing source of support for me. I love hearing from them!

What can we look forward to from you in the future? Sugar & Salt will be coming out next with Evolved Publishing. It’s Book One in a novella series about a brothel in Manhattan and the women who work there. Book One is about Janice Cane, the madam who can’t find love, until she goes to speed dating. :)
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me today. Best of luck with the rest of the tour. I absolutely loved the book!

About the Author
Award winning author of multi-cultural and transgressive literature, Pavarti K. Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway. Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry several international law firms. She now lives with her husband, two daughters and one very large, very terrible dog. She keeps busy working with fabulous authors as the Director of Marketing at Novel Publicity and penning her next genre bending novel.
White Chalk (Evolved Publishing) marks Tyler’s third full length novel and promises readers familiar with her work the same mind bending experience. Her other projects include: Shadow on the Wall (Fighting Monkey Press) and Two Moons of Sera (Fighting Monkey Press). Shadow on the Wall has received many awards: Winner of the General Fiction/Novel Category of the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Winner in the Fiction: Multicultural category for The 2012 USA Best Book Awards, and Finalist in the Multicultural Fiction category for the 2012 International Book Awards.
White Chalk has been hailed as "brave", "raw", and "destroyingly beautiful". In line with novels such as White Oleander, Thirteen Reasons Why, and Gemma, White Chalk invites you to witness one girl’s heartrending story of confusion and desperation.

Make sure you enter the giveaway for a stack of amazing prizes!


Blog Tour Stops
Blog Tour Stop
Type of Stop
Top Ten
Guest Post - Puppy Love or Obsession
Guest Post -
Interview & Review
Writers Wednesday
Guest Post
Guest Post - Review

Sunday, July 28, 2013

"Selected Short Stories featuring Cinderella Shoes" by Nicolas Wilson

Selected Short Stories
featuring Cinderella Shoes
by Nicolas Wilson

Cinderella Shoes contains 15 short stories, including the titular story.
Stiletto: An exotic dancer struggles to make a living after encountering a murder-in-progress on the job.
Cast: The world is increasingly run by robots, which grow increasingly human.
Analog: An ex-Air Force pilot subsists after a weapon disables all modern technology.
Weakness: Sergeant Ruocco hanged himself.
My Beloved's Eyes: We leave pieces of ourselves with our loved ones- sometimes literally.
Reformatory: A juvenile delinquent and her roommate mature in the aftermath of a devastating assault.
Capricorn: A man wrecks his life and chases fairy tales, while dealing with his young daughter's impending illness.
Behav: Future terrorists recruit a past terrorist.
Death Echoes: A detective communes with the dead to close their unsolved cases.
Traveled Time: A man examines his life and choices, with the advent of time travel.
Genetic Memory: A dog confronts his owner after gaining the ability to speak and reason.
Darling, Wendy, M.A.: A girl saves her brothers from their abusive father by masquerading as a gang leader. From a 2009 series of shorts reexamining classic heroines.
Eponine: Following her near-death in the streets of Paris, a young woman witnesses the birth of feminism and the industrialization of Europe. From a 2009 series of shorts reexamining classic heroines.
Dorothy: Her fantasy was undoubtedly much happier than the reality of her injuries. From a 2009 series of shorts reexamining classic heroines.
Cinderella Shoes: A man discovers a new side of himself after acquiring women's clothing.

It's strange to think that once upon a time not that many years ago, I didn't care very much for short fiction. I always felt like the ride was over just before it got to start whenever I read a short story. Intervening years have shown me the error of my ways and that in my short-sightedness (no pun intended), I was missing out of some of the best literature by avoiding this format.
Enter Nic Wilson and his Selected Short Stories featuring Cinderella Shoes (try saying that three times fast!). All jokes aside, this collection of short stories from Wilson's literary vault shows just how talented a writer he is. His ability to enthrall readers with compelling tales ranging from a stripper's brush with a sadistic killer with a shoe fetish to a talking dog who could lecture the Surgeon General on genetics is quite remarkable. Each story in this collection makes you think, feel, laugh, or even cry. Tales such as the very emotional "Capricorn" makes this collection a cut above similar works.
I have no idea if the stories in this book were republished elsewhere. But it's great to see such terrific fiction available for the masses. If you're a fan of short stories or just plain good storytelling, then I highly recommend you check out this collection. You won't be disappointed.

About the Author
Nicolas Wilson is a published journalist, graphic novelist, and novelist. He lives in the rainy wastes of Portland, Oregon with his wife, two cats and a dog.
Nic has written eight novels: Whores: not intended to be a factual account of the gender war, and Dag are currently available for eReader and will soon be available in paperback; Nexus, The Necromancer's Gambit, Banksters, Homeless, The Singularity, and Lunacy are all due for publication in the next two years. Nic has also written several short story collections.
Nic's work spans a variety of genres, from political thriller to science fiction and urban fantasy.
For information on Nic's books, and behind-the-scenes looks at his writing, visit Nic's website. Sign up for his mailing list to receive a free novella, Dogs of War.