The Attic Tragedy Blogtour

The Attic Tragedy Blogtour

Welcome all!

I’ve partnered up with the awesome people at Meerkat Press for a blogtour to celebrate the upcoming release of The Attic Tragedy by J. Ashley Smith. The book releases tomorrow, 6/9/20, and will be available at various retailers. Here is an excerpt from the book itself, and further down is a link for an opportunity to win a $50 book shopping spree!

Let’s do it!


Prologos

Sylvie never called them ghosts, but that’s what they were.

The day we became friends, she walked me through the darkened rooms of her father’s antique shop, trailing her fingers over the objects. All of them were lovingly cleaned, none with even a trace of dust. There were old books and reliquaries, trinket jars and model ships, barometers, credenzas, compendiums and lamps. There were music boxes and what I now know was a Minton hand-painted jardinière. Sylvie brushed them with her long pale fingers, her eyes aflutter, her voice so soft it was almost lost to the tinkle of the overhead chandeliers, the tick tick tick of the many hidden clocks.

“The woman who wore this lost her husband to madness.” Sylvie fingered an ornate ring, curlicued silver bordered with diamonds. “He disappeared when she fell pregnant and everyone thought him dead. He’d been gone three years when she read about him in the paper. He was living rough in Centennial Park, running naked and wild, biting the heads off geese.” She slipped the ring back into its padded velvet tray. “Her mother always said he’d come to no good.”

“Or this,” she said, and her fingers moved to the stem of a burnished brass telescope. “A lover’s memento. The woman who owned this took a keepsake from every man she fell for. Not one of them ever knew of her love. And none loved her in return. She died of loneliness and an overdose of laudanum, lifted from the Gladstone of a doctor she’d set her heart on.”

Sylvie swam between display cases with fluid movements, her touch as delicate as a butterfly. I hardly dared move, afraid my bulk would knock over some priceless curio, topple some fragile ancient thing.

“How do you know?” I asked and followed, squeezing between a bookcase and a mahogany sideboard. A blue glass vase wobbled on its shelf and I reached out to steady it. “D’you find all that on the Internet or something?”

“No, silly,” said Sylvie, eyes laughing. “They tell me.”

I thought she was teasing, so turned away, pretended I was examining the collectables. Beside us was a heavy leather-top desk, the surface inlaid with gold leaf that glittered faintly in the half-light. There was an old-fashioned cash register and a marble bust and, beside them, a black-and-white photo in a silver art deco frame. It was a portrait of a dark-haired woman with round faraway eyes and a haunting smile; just as Sylvie would look in ten years, twenty years—beautiful and tired and sad. But there was a spark in her eyes, as though she were smiling through the sadness, like a single beam of sunlight glimpsed through brooding clouds.

“And this one?” I said and reached to pick it up, but felt through my sweater a delicate touch. Sylvie’s hand on my arm.

I felt hot all over and prayed I wasn’t blushing. Every one of my scars was tingling. “What do you mean they tell you? Like you can . . . hear them?”

Sylvie looked up at me and frowned, her eyebrows furrowed and serious.

“Of course,” she said. “You mean you can’t?”


Sounds pretty good, right? Well, I gave the book a glowing 5 star review! You can also read this review here on my blog.


Now head on over to the giveaway! Best of luck!

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7f291bd818/


Purchase the book here:

LINKS:Meerkat Press|Amazon|Indiebound|Book Depository|Barnes & Noble

Velocities Blog Tour

Velocities Blog Tour


I am proud to announce that Meerkat Press picked me to be a part of their blog tour to promote Kathe Koja’s new short story collection “Velocities”.

I am bringing you an excerpt from one of my favorite stories within the book titled “Baby”.

From BABY by Kathe Koja


It’s hot in here, and the air smells sweet, all sweet and burned, like incense. I love incense, but I can never have any; my allergies, right? Allergic to incense, to cigarette smoke, to weed smoke, to smoke in general, the smoke from the grill at Rob’s Ribs, too, so goodbye to that, and no loss either, I hate this job. The butcher’s aprons are like circus tents, like 3X, and those pointy paper hats we have to wear—“Smokin’ Specialist,” god. They look like big white dunce caps, even Rico looks stupid wearing one and Rico is hot. I’ve never seen anyone as hot as he is.

The only good thing about working here—besides Rico—is hanging out after shift, up on the rooftop while Rob and whoever swabs out the patio, and everyone jokes and flirts, and, if Rob isn’t paying too much attention, me and Rico shotgun a couple of cans of Tecate or something. Then I lean as far over the railing as I can, my hands gripping tight, the metal pressing cold through my shirt; sometimes I let my feet leave the patio, just a few inches, just balancing there on the railing, in thin air . . . Andy always flips when I do it, he’s all like Oh Jani don’t do that Jani you could really hurt yourself! You could fall!

Oh Andy, I always say; Andy’s like a mom or something. Calm down, it’s only gravity, only six floors up but still, if you fell, you’d be a plate of Rob’s Tuesday night special, all bones and red sauce; smush, gross, right? But I love doing it. You can feel the wind rush up between the buildings like invisible water, stealing your breath, filling you right up to the top. It’s so weird, and so choice . . . Like the feeling I always got from you, Baby.

It’s kind of funny that I never called you anything else, just Baby; funny that I even found you, up there in Grammy’s storage space, or crawl space, or whatever it’s called when it’s not really an attic, but it’s just big enough to stand up in. Boxes were piled up everywhere, but mostly all I’d found were old china cup-and-saucer sets, and a bunch of games with missing pieces—Stratego, and Monopoly, and Clue; I already had Clue at home; I used to totally love Clue, even though I cheated when I played, sometimes. Well, all the time. I wanted to win. There were boxes and boxes of Grampy’s old books, doctor books; one was called Surgical Procedures and Facial Deformities and believe me, you did not want to look at that. I flipped it open on one picture where this guy’s mouth was all grown sideways, and his eyes—his eye— Anyway. After that I stayed away from the boxes of books.

And then I found you, Baby, stuffed down in a big box of clothes, chiffon scarves and unraveling lace, the cut-down skirts of fancy dresses, and old shirts like Army uniforms, with steel buttons and appliqués. At the bottom of the box were all kinds of shoes, spike heels, and a couple of satin evening bags with broken clasps. At first I thought you were a kind of purse, too, or a bag, all small and yellow and leathery. But then I turned you over, and I saw that you had a face.

From the award-winning author of The Cipher and Buddha Boy, comes Velocities, Kathe Koja’s second electrifying collection of short fiction. Thirteen stories, two never before published, all flying at the speed of strange. Dark, disturbing, heartfelt and utterly addictive.

AUTHOR LINKS: Website Twitter

You can find out more about the book here:

https://www.meerkatpress.com/books/velocities/

BUY LINKS: Meerkat Press |Amazon Indiebound | Barnes & Noble

Meerkat Press is also doing a $50 book shopping spree giveaway!

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7f291bd817/