Saturday, February 23, 2013

Guest Blogger Brandi Schmidt

Please welcome author Brandi Schmidt today! She's bravely answered my infamous Rick Reed questions, and is going to talk about her newest release, The Kindling. And about the giveaway to go with it. Brandi, why don't you  make yourself at home, and go ahead and start?

The Questions
1)      You’re marooned on a small island with one person and one item of your choice—who is that person and what item do you have?
My husband and sunscreen (lame – I know, but sunburns suck!)

2)      Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life—and which character in that musical are you?
Grease—cross between Sandy and Rizzo J

   3)    Take these three words and give me a 100 word or less scenario using them:  daughter, light, no

“No honey, monsters aren’t real” the mother said while stoking the hair of her four year old daughter.
“But brother said that he saw one in the closet!”
“Your brother was just trying to scare you, it’s okay, and there are no monsters in there.” The mother smiled at the sweet young face and kissed her forehead. “We can keep the light on, if that helps.” She nodded frantically and scooted into her covers.  The mother left her alone. Not tonight I thought but soon. Quietly, I maneuvered out of the bushes below her window. Sometimes monsters are real. 

SO – I don’t know where that came from, but it’s totally creepy and yucky to boot! UGH…who knows what goes on in a writer’s mind? I think it’s fear more than anything since I have two daughters. If it’s fiction, then it can’t be real…right? Yep—and yes I do hover over my children.

4)      You’ve just been let loose in the world of fiction, with permission to do anyone you want. Who do you fuck first and why? N/A J

5)      What is your idea of how to spend romantic time with your significant other? Dinner, drinks and talking...then to bed.

6)      When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot? All of the above, I usually know the entire plot first and all my characters, it’s just their names I need to figure out. God has given me many stories to tell. I just need the time to get them all out.

7)      If they were to make the story of your life into a movie, who should play you?
Reese Witherspoon

8)      Who’s your favorite horror villain and why?
Freddy Kruger…he was always a bit witty and funny before he killed you.

   9)   Do you have an historical crush and if so, who is it? No…I’m not good at this game J

  10) Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?
Yes – there is one that I need to tell. It’s a YA paranormal novel called SINNERS. I think it would help a lot of kids that are struggling through high school, but it’s just not in the cards right now.

Excerpt:   The Kindling

“Hi there,” Ginger bounced onto a barstool next to me, her spark still all a tingle.

“Hey, how are you? You look so much better than you did the other day.”

“Oh yeah, that.” Ginger looked down and fiddled with a coaster. “I’m sorry about that. I was kind of crazy for a moment. I really didn’t mean to unload on you like that. But thank you so much for talking to me. I really took what you had to say to heart and got a new outlook on the dating world.”

“Really? What do you mean?”

“Well, you said that I have a soul mate. I figured, why can’t it be Garrett? So I called him, and we’re dating again. It was all a huge misunderstanding. He apologized, and everything is, well, great.”

“What? I said he was not the guy, not your soul mate.”

“Yeah, I know, but really, how do you know that for sure?”

“Because I know,” I almost yelled at her.

She leaned away from me, looking totally freaked. Taking a deep breath, I tried to calm my voice. “What I meant to say is that there is someone better for you, a perfect fit. Someone that won’t make you cry, no matter the misunderstanding.” I was almost pleading with her.

“Yeah, yeah, I know, like a fairytale. That’s all good and stuff, but this is reality. Sometimes you just take what you can get.”

“What? Don’t you want your boyfriend to be ‘the one?’ Why on earth would you settle?” I couldn’t believe she would just give up. I guessed that was what most people did, settle. If you cannot be with the one you love…love the one you’re with.

“I don’t really know you, but you seem like a good person. A little too intense, but a good person. Thanks for the opinion, but I know what I’m doing.” She thought she was much wiser than me, but I could see the little girl inside her that just wanted to be loved. I couldn’t think too badly of her. I remembered not too long ago, lying on the cold ground outside my garage wishing I had someone, anyone, just so I wasn’t alone. But that was before, before I knew what true love was, before I knew it actually existed.

“But,” I started to protest. She held up a hand, and I knew there was no talking to her tonight. Why should I continue to fight? She’d given up. Why couldn’t I?

The burst of cold air rocked the restaurant, making us both shiver and whip our heads towards the open front door. There stood a hooded man covered with snow. He was stamping his feet and cursing the weather under his breath. Then I noticed the small, snow-covered bouquet he held in his hands. It was him, it was Kevin. I almost jumped out of my chair, but something inside me said to sit and wait, to let things happen naturally.
Ginger sat next to me sipping her Coke. I could tell she was about to leave. I overheard the manager talking to Kevin

“I have these flowers to deliver. I’m late. The snow caught everyone off-guard, and it was a parking lot out there.” He took his hood off, and I saw his lovely spark. It pulsed with excitement, and so did my heart. “Is there a Ginger here?”

“Hey, Ginger, I think that guy over there said your name. They may want you or something,” I said, trying to be as nonchalant as I could, although my heart was about to burst. She turned, smiled, and bounced out of the stool. I watched breathlessly.

“You need something?” Ginger asked cheerfully.

“Oh, you are here. These are for you,” the manager said, surprised. Ginger smiled and grabbed the bouquet from Kevin. She buried her nose in the flowers and pulled out the card. She didn’t see him yet. She didn’t look up. He was still standing in front of her, staring at her with wide eyes. Reading the card, she froze, obviously not expecting what was written. I remembered it clearly, since it was from me. It read, Look up to see your future; there was always only One.

Slowly, she raised her head. The spark pulsed, and she saw him. For the first time, she saw him. Kevin looked at her, and his spark intensified. It was so beautiful. The most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. Ginger’s spark grew to an intensity I had never seen from her. It was bright and big and completely full of life. The sparks’ yellow edges melted into each other, just as Kyle’s and Jessica’s had. The two sparks enveloped each other, fusing into one. The center was pink, then radiated to a yellow. It filled the entire restaurant. They pulsed to their own beat until they fused completely. Then they beat as one, one amazing love. I gasped and grabbed the bar with my right hand. I could feel my eyes begin to burn from the light, but I couldn’t look away. My head spun, and I could feel myself being drained of energy.
I didn’t notice at first, but I wasn’t alone. He held me from behind with his arm around my waist. He whispered, “You’ve done well, Tru.” I remembered his soft voice from the day Kyle and Jessica fused.
My phantom helper was back. I had thought it was my imagination that day in the church, that he wasn’t real. Now he was here again to support me. He was someone to lean on, someone that could see what I saw, and someone to share this with.

“I thought this would get easier,” I whispered to him.

“It will. I promise,” he whispered. “As the eyes are the windows to the soul, love is a spark of the divine. Bask in its love. Be more than you ever thought you could be. Today and forever, you are gifted.” 

And now for the giveaway!  One lucky commenter will win a cover card and a $5 GC to Muse to purchase the ebook. Brandi will sign the card and dedicate it to the person of your choice! All you have to do is comment to win, and be sure to leave an email address. No address, no entry!

Brandi will pick a winner at the end of the weekend!

Thanks for stopping by, Brandi!

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

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