March 9, 2013

Ashes Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

ARSON is the first book in a Young Adult Paranormal series. Book two, ASHES, is also available now. ARSON GABLE FEELS LIKE A FREAK. HE CAN CREATE FIRE. HE NEVER ASKED FOR IT. HE NEVER WANTED IT. BUT HE CAN'T SHUT IT OFF.
Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl--who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin--moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he's never had: purpose. After years of living in fear, he will be forced to confront his haunting past and embrace the unknown as he walks the fine line between boy and monster. Edgy, realistic, and breathtaking, Arson, the chilling chronicle of an isolated teenager with unimaginable ability, is set to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.


The minds running Salvation Asylum have abducted them for a dark purpose. A campaign has been set in motion to genetically alter mankind. Unknowingly, Arson has become the most vital instrument in this global scheme, initiated by a select group of brilliant scientists and cunning world leaders. Confused, trapped, and unable to fully manifest his abilities, Arson faces a new existence crawling with questions. Will he ever see Emery again? Is Grandma still alive? Can the fate of the human race really hang in the balance of one choice?
Nightmare and reality collide in Ashes, book two in the gripping ARSON trilogy. Love will be tested. Powers will shift. And the past will invade the here and now as Arson discovers a part of himself he has never before known and fights against his own shocking origins. Will this boy who once tempted fire be able to take on a fearful future? When the struggle intensifies and secrets come to light, will Arson be ready to accept the haunting revelation that there may be others out there, others like him?

Excerpt from Book 3 in the Arson series!
 There has been a lot of anticipation for the third book in the Arson series, and that makes me mucho happy. I have been working on it for a while now, perfecting it, making sure that it lives up to the coolness of Ashes. In this except, we get a look into Arson’s mind, his mental landscape. It’s a scary place, make no mistake. Here, the imagination is the limit. Things, ideas, fears, loves, and dark creatures exist in this arena, and all are searching for Arson. He is fragile. He is on the verge of losing his grip. Arson’s mind is trapped, but possibly not for long because Adam, another character with unique abilities, has entered his mind in an effort to set him free.

Hope you dig it!

Arson book 3 excerpt

The patterns of his nightmare were a disease. Arson hated the hallways, the rooms—they all had the same ruined look: identical flaking, green-black walls and dead windows. His rage had spawned a reckless trail of flames that wandered beyond and behind their cautious footsteps. Faded lockers had hindered some of his harshest memories from being exposed; nevertheless, he noticed a sequence of metal cages had been pulled open, bent. Rust formed along the lockers’ twisted edges. A leak from the ceiling was now trickling down to corrupt their feeble frames. It didn’t take long at all for things to decay in this place, that much was obvious. Arson’s pulse quickened at the sight of all the torn-open realms.
Adam approached each step with a certain fearlessness Arson so desperately wished he possessed. A steady pace that suggested he was looking for something and was close to finding it. But all the silence was driving Arson crazy. He had so many questions, questions about his powers, about sliding, about why he was plagued to live memories that weren’t his. If Adam could enter another’s subconscious, did he too have to endure someone else’s intense past? Did he ever get stuck inside of a nightmare like this?
Arson’s eyes opened and shut rapidly, as if his body—or, the body of his mind—knew that doing so was such a waste of time. He took a deep breath. As much as he wanted to know the answers to all of his questions, there was one mystery he needed solved first. It was the one thing that mattered above all. He’d been distraught over it since he got trapped in this distorted reality, since before Adam showed up and made everything even more of a blur. Was Emery still alive?
Why hadn’t she broken through?
Why hadn’t she crossed into this supernatural existence?
Why hadn’t the vision of his escape been real? He’d held her against his chest. He’d felt her skin on his skin. Emery was real, all of it was. Arson knew that he mutilated every last one of the sick fiends who had fed him lies and injected him with poisons. They all turned to ash in a matter of minutes. He’d risen out of his coma already and ended their scheme. In fact, he was there again now, his body unleashing a torrent of wrath, power he barely could control. With one breath, he’d watched a doctor become dust. Just by thinking it, his father’s heart had incinerated. The asylum was laid to waste, and Emery’s beautiful smile was first to welcome him back to the real world. If he entertained this reality long enough, maybe he’d smell her again, feel her hair slide across his knuckles, and even sense his knees quiver as her warm breath tickled his neck. He would never let her go.
Cut it out,” Adam said, nudging Arson’s ribs. “Do you want to get out or stay in la-la land? If we plan on escaping, keep all that sentimental garbage at bay. You need to be able to tell the difference between what’s real and what isn’t. Your “breakthrough” never actually happened. This place just made you think it did. Get over it.”
This is my dream,” Arson snarled. “My mind created it. I can control it.”
Can you?”
No reply. Arson just kept walking.
Some people say you can control what happens in your dreams. I say maybe, if you’re strong enough.”
I am. Look around you.”
Adam studied the fiery shapes blazing around them. Colorful flowers that bloomed into the bodies of creatures only a teenage mind could fathom. Dragons and serpents and spiders blended together. An intoxicating splash of sapphire, crimson, and golden light.
Okay, showoff. But starting fires doesn’t mean you can control everything that happens here. There’s some stuff that goes way back. It’s deep in your subconscious. I’ll bet you don’t even know half the stuff that’s locked in here with us. Or even remember it. I’m talking memories, ideas, bad dream kinda crap. It’s no wonder you haven’t gotten out yet.”
Adam spoke like a frustrated teacher. As they walked by another classroom, Arson was instantly reminded of several teachers he hated. Maybe Adam’s voice was theirs.
It makes sense if you just think about it for a second. Your mind is a powerful computer. It’s capable of storing images you may have only seen once, thoughts you probably didn’t even mean to think. You read a book, and in that book a woman gets brutally murdered to death. Your imagination takes a picture with the words that described the action. That picture is now floating around in your brain, forever. You hear a song and it makes you angry. Watch a movie and you get excited because some couple is going at it on-screen. All of those things—the lusts, the fears, confusion, hatred—it all lives in here. A part of us can contain it only for so long, but when you’re stuck, like this, all bets are off. There is no delete button, no shut-off switch. You get the good with the bad. Unfortunately, your mind seems to like letting out all the bad. Not to mention, in here, you’re weaker.”
You make it seem like I’m powerless.”
Adam stopped midstride and scratched his temple. His eye twitched when he spoke. “You’re missing it, Arson. It’s not just about power.” Adam snapped his fingers and his thumb lit like a candle. As the flame crossed fingertips, a grin toyed with his mouth. “See? You could be your own personal superhero in here if you wanted, but that wouldn’t be enough. You still wouldn’t get out. Because that’s not how it works.”
I know, the code and whatever.”
Hey, might wanna lose the attitude. I’m trying to help you. There is a specific code that should be able to break you out. Maybe if you got past yourself and started thinking about the future instead of drowning in the past you might be able to help me find the locations of these codes. And just maybe, we get out of here alive.”
Adam quenched the fire in his palm and continued walking.
Wait a second. You mean it’s possible for me to die in here?”
Adam abruptly replied, “I’ve seen some strange things in my years, but like I said, this is different. All bets are off. Anything’s possible.”
But if I die in here, maybe I just wake up.”
You’re in a coma, Arson. Your real-world body atrophies slowly, but it’s happening. A day in here can wear on you out there. Given your weak physical state, if you die in this place, I don’t think you’re just gonna wake up. Besides, if you do, it’ll just keep going. More experiments. More tests. It’ll never step until we end it. I can help.”
A tidal wave collided with Arson’s mind. He was close to drowning, couldn’t breathe. His thoughts crashed into one another—a jumbled, fearful mess. “But these are my thoughts—”
Most of them.”
Right. But they can kill me?”
An idea is more dangerous than a bullet. A memory can paralyze you. One thought can destroy you. Think about it. It’s perfect in a sick way, how the mind works. A nightmare of your own design. You’ve got some freaky stuff in here.”
If I could see your brain, I’m sure I’d be shocked too, Arson thought.
Maybe you would be, maybe not,” Adam said.
I hate it that you can do that.”
We’re in your head, remember? For all intents and purposes, I am just another memory. I slid into your mind and chose Danny’s shell because he isn’t a threat. A lot of other things in this place are.”
The heat from the fire he created was starting to push into his pores. Arson began to sweat. “If what you said is true, you know, about the memories and the things trapped in here with us…why should I trust you?”
Maybe you can’t.”
Arson was anything but comfortable with that answer.
But right now, I’m here with you, trying to locate the codes that can save your life. You’re no use to me stuck in here.”
What are you talking about?”
What?” Adam said.
No use to you?”
Is that what I said? I meant no use to us. To people like us.”
There are more?”
Adam grinned. “Yes. And there are still more whose abilities have not manifested, but in time they will. Listen to me, you are by far the most unique. I need you, Arson. We need you. Your power, your mind. There’s a darkness coming. Our kind needs someone like you on our side.”
The weight of everything was crushing. Arson had just wanted to be a normal teenager with normal problems. He wanted to freak out about which college to attend. He wanted to bicker with his girlfriend about which movie to watch on a Friday night. But he wasn’t that boy. He was a superfreak. He didn’t have the luxury of normalcy.
Being normal is overrated. I would’ve thought you’d grasped that by now. And the scumbags who did this to you, they’re the freaks. They’re the virus.” Adam pounded his palm against Arson’s chest like a commander who was instilling the values of war into one of his troops. “Never forget that that!”
Arson nodded and followed Adam around the corner. A man with sharp ears stood in the shadow, waiting with a knife.
Great,” Adam sighed.
Isaac?” Arson said, puzzled.
Adam turned his head, but never took his eyes off the man hiding in the shadows. “Well, on the bright side, at least you’re already acquainted.”
Isaac’s fingers choked a blade, some of his fingers daring the harsh edges to take some skin. Slivers of blood snaked down the metal tip and leaked onto the ash floor, where Arson swore Isaac’s body should have been.
I killed him,” he said to Adam.
Nothing’s permanent. Haven’t you ever had the same dream twice?”
What’s the plan, fearless leader?” Arson said, his throat shaky with a lack of confidence.
Playtime,” came Isaac’s intense whisper. His arm flinched, and he moved closer. Arson tried to focus on the man’s shape, but every time he did, the image would distort, like a bad television signal. Body features got choppy, his clothes faded out then came back. But the knife, and that sick glow in his father’s eyes, never left.
I killed you once, Isaac. I’ll do it again.”
No need for the threats, son. I’m here to help you, really. To save you. To set you free.” Isaac’s lips peeled back to reveal a horrible smile made of twisted, iron teeth. Black smudges lined the corners of Isaac’s mouth and spots ran up his cheek. He looked infected.
Stay away from us,” Arson ordered, his eyes expanding as new fire spread to the walls.
This is how you see me, son. I am a fractured mess. You want me this way so I can’t harm you, so the truth can’t harm you. You’ve made me a villain. But I swear I’m nothing if not made of good intentions. Father knows best.”
You are not my father. You’re a dead man. You abandoned me at birth.”
But I am here to walk you into your resurrection. Just one cut is all it will take. I swear you will be free.”
Don’t buy it, Arson,” Adam said.
But what if this is a part of me? It came back. It didn’t want to stay dead after all. What if it’s trying to save me from...” Arson hesitated, “myself?”
Are you serious? The guy has a knife, and he looks pretty comfortable with it. It’s not your father, Arson. This ghost will never be him. You could make nice in here all you like, but it doesn’t change the fact that the real Isaac Gable is a part of their system, the ones who did this to you. The ones who put you here. You wouldn’t be in this coma if it weren’t for them. He’s been with the order for a long time. Bury him!”
Isaac licked his teeth then his lips, and his eyes lit with anticipation. He clenched his raw knuckles against the handle of the blade and started running toward them. A wild flame raced out from the wall and cut through the floor, singeing the man’s feet. As the shoes began to melt, Arson heard his father scream. He wished he could capture every blood-curdling cry, and he knew deep down, that if they didn’t get out soon, he would hear the sounds again.
It won’t be that easy, boy.” Isaac still had the weapon. He lunged out to strike. Arson glanced down at his feet, now blood-red, the flesh near-devoured. Bone had replaced flesh. “Let me finish it,” Isaac cooed. “Let me set you free. I set Kay free. Grandma’s free now. Come here!”
Arson didn’t move when Isaac leapt toward him. Adam stood motionless as a bat-like flame swooped down from the ceiling and began to melt the skin around Isaac’s neck. Arson should’ve closed his eyes, but he couldn’t. Isaac’s smile turned a distorted kind of sad as pink material dripped off his cheekbones. His clothing was wilting to ashes, and Arson could see his beating heart, but as he blinked, the screams played a sorrow chorus in his eardrums, like an orchestra ascending to an otherworldly crescendo. And with a blink, Isaac was gone, but a whisper drifted into the air one last time. “I set Grandma free,” it said.
You hesitated,” Adam exhaled deeply, disappointed.
He’s gone. Isn’t that what matters?” Arson replied, the flames cowering back to the walls and corners.
No. He was going to kill you, Arson. How could you even think for a second that he was on your side?”
Arson kept walking.
What if he’d gotten a little closer with that knife, huh? What if he decided to end this nightmare? You’d be dead.”
You don’t know that for sure!” Arson shouted.
I know enough to be sure that death isn’t the best way out. It’s far too dangerous.”
Let it go. The arson in me took over anyway, and it killed him.”
I killed him,” Adam said defiantly.
Arson turned around.
When you hesitated, I sent those flames to do what you couldn’t. It’s that weakness in you that held you back. It’ll be your undoing.”
Don’t do that again,” Arson ordered.
What? Save you? Make the choice you can’t? Please. If I hadn’t acted, you’d be a bloody mess, and maybe the same goes for me. I’ve never been inside someone’s head when they died. You may not entirely care what happens to you in here, but I’m not ready to quit just yet. So pull your head out of the sand, and start thinking straight. Isaac’s not the only thing that’ll be looking for us.”
Arson’s eyes wandered from Adam, the boy who looked so much like his childhood friend. A friend who had misled him. 


Grand Prize Includes:
Signed copy of Arson
Signed copy of Ashes
Custom Arson T-Shirt
E-books of Arson and Ashes (Nook or Kindle)
Custom Personalized letter from Estevan Vega telling you how classy you are ;)
$25 Amazon Gift Card
(US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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