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Chris Von Halle — The Fourth Generation

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Today I have author, Chris Von Halle with me to tell us about his new book, THE FOURTH GENERATION. But before we talk to Chris, let’s find out a little bit about one of his characters, Marf.

Marf is the Fourth Gen-- Chris vhmain character’s best friend. He and the main character (Gorin) live in a faction (a suburban house) in a society that exists a hundred years after a birth-transmitted disease that kills everybody when they turn seventeen. I (the author) am sitting with Marf on the shoddy brown sofa in the living room. The room’s wallpaper is peeling away in places, revealing small squares of naked white wall. Marf is short, scrawny, has black hair that sticks up in shocks on his head, and talks in a high voice.

Chris: So, Marf, before we begin, where is everybody in your faction at the moment?

Marf: Well, it’s the middle of the day, so everyone’s out doing their jobs like they should be. And since most of the kids in a faction are supply hunters, most of the ones that live in mine are out in town hunting for Valuable Objects—or artifacts, in other words. The food manger, Jarez, is out in the backyard feeding the chickens, and the housekeeper Peet’s around here somewhere. Probably cleaning.

Chris: So what’s your job in the faction, then?

Marf (puffs out chest): I’m the game hunter. It’s a real important job, man, I’ll tell ya that. I mean, people gotta eat, right? Ya see, when it comes down to it, I’m real good at setting traps and hunting down squirrels with the faction’s nasty fire poker over there by the fireplace. That and Jarez’s chickens and the vegetables from the hydroponic greenhouse keep all ten of us pretty full on a regular basis.

Chris: Interesting. If you don’t mind my asking, what would you say is your greatest flaw?

Marf: HA! Greatest flaw? I ain’t got no flaws, man. Well, at least nothin’ big. But if I had to pick one—and that’s real hard, I’ll tell ya that—I’d say it’s that I work a little too hard. I mean, getting food for the faction’s real important and all, but sometimes a guy needs a little rest every once in a while, ya know?

Chris: Definitely. I see. What would you say is your best quality, then?

Marf: Well, I guess I’d have to say I’m real loyal. Not just to my best friend, Gor, but to my whole faction. I work so incredibly hard at hunting so that they always have enough energy to keep collecting the most precious Valuable Objects every day. Ya know, so that someday our faction can finally win the Tournament of Prestige. I’m thinking we just might have a chance this year, too, since we were sooooo close last year and we keep getting closer every year.

Chris: The Tournament of Prestige, huh? What’s that all about, if you don’t mind my asking?

Marf: ‘Course not, man. I’m the guy to ask, all right. Ya see, this town’s made up of a bunch of factions, and like I said before, the supply hunters in them all hunt for Valuable Objects, or VOs for short, out in the middle of town. The VOs that are more useful and valuable than others are worth more prestige points. At least, according to the rulers who live in their big old mansion on the outskirts of town. So, at the end of the year, the rulers tally up all the points that each faction has gotten over the course of the year and announces the winning faction, which then gets a tour of the rulers’ awesome mansion. Not to mention it gets to live in a whole different mansion itself for an entire year. And, last but not least, it gets its flag raised in the Old World football field in the park for all to see, with all the names of its faction members scrawled on it. It’d be so priceless to win the Tournament of Prestige, man. I swear, my faction better win it at least once before I die!

Chris: Yeah, sounds like quite a prize—or prizes, I should say. Okay, one last question. Who do you admire the most?

Marf: That one’s easy, man. I gotta say my best friend, Gor. He’s the only true friend I’ve got, really. And he collects more VOs than all the other supply hunters in our faction, so he gets the most prestige points of everybody by far. That’s why they all respect him so much. When it comes down to it, and don’t tell anyone this, man, deep down I wish I could be like him.

Chris: All right, well, it was nice meeting you, Marf. Thanks for you agreeing to the interview.
Marf: No problem, man, any time. And if you ever write a sequel, I’d better be the main character!

Chris (laughs): Yeah, we’ll see about that, Marf.

Back Cover Blurb:

In the future, no adults exist. Ever since the plague swept the world 100 years ago, no one has lived past seventeen.

Sixteen-year-old Gorin, a collector of curious artifacts left over from the pre-plague civilization, is on the verge of perishing from that deadly epidemic. And his last wish is to find a way to visit the rulers’ reputedly magnificent, off-limits mansion.

Up against the clock, he and his friend Stausha steal into the mansion and discover a secret more horrifying than they ever could’ve imagined—a secret that holds the key to the survival of the whole human race.

Excerpt:

I raced up the stairwell pretty fast for someone in my awful condition. My empty backpack bounced on my shoulders, my feet landing just in front of the steps’ worn, chipped edges. Sunlight leaked through the dusty windows at the top of each landing, enough to light my way to the decaying apartment building’s eighth floor.

The rest of the Valuable Objects better still be there.

No way I was losing the Tournament of Prestige this year, and the VOs could be worth just enough prestige points to finally push my faction into the top spot. But if someone else found them while I was gone…

At last I made it to the eighth floor. My chest heaved as I sucked in breath, my burning legs threatening to crumple.

You’ve gotta be kidding me.

The second door on the right lay wide open. My heart banged against my ribs, making it tough to breathe, as I crept to the door as quietly as only I could.

I peeked inside the room. My gut clenched, even though I’d seen it coming.

A boy about my size—taller than average with good-size muscles—stood in front of the old wooden cabinets on the left side of the room. He had blotchy, dark gray skin, so was about sixteen years old like me. His back looked a little crooked, like his spine wasn’t quite aligned right. Mine was probably in similar shape.

Even from the doorway I could see through the cabinet doors’ inlaid glass. Empty, except for one measly glass bottle. Sure enough, the boy started to turn away from them. I jerked my head back into the hallway, then peered back in. He made his way to the right side of the room.

No—not there.

He stopped at the faded loveseat wedged against the wall. Patches of peeled leather formed large, complicated shapes that looked like continents on a globe.

Get away from there.

Then again, this room had been scoured countless times over the past fifty years by generations of supply hunters like us, and none of them had found the short, tiny closet behind the sofa. Chances were slim this kid would.

Please, Power, this is my last year, my last chance. Please don’t let him find the VOs.

He walked to the side of the loveseat and put his hands on it. He was about to push it!

I yanked my flashlight out of my pocket, snapped open the battery compartment as quickly and quietly as I could, and hurled a battery across the room. Wasn’t like I needed it. Our faction got fresh batteries every week from the mansion, and could probably get more if we asked.

The battery smacked the back wall by the open window—I felt a light breeze, even from where I stood by the door—and hit the floor with a thud. The boy stopped pushing the sofa. Thankfully, he’d only moved it a couple inches. Not enough to reveal any of the closet.

“What the…?” He watched the battery roll across the wooden floor a bit and stay still.

He walked toward it.

            Yes.

He picked it up and headed toward the window, his back to me. Probably thought someone had thrown the battery through it.

I crept toward the sofa as quietly as I could, so there was no chance the kid could hear me. Few people had feet as soundless as Gorin of Faction 235.

I navigated around the squeaky floorboards. Good thing I’d memorized them during my first two trips to this room, after I’d found the jackpot of a closet this morning. Could never be too careful or prepared for a situation like this. Every VO counted, especially ones worth as many prestige points as DVDs.

When I made it to the loveseat, I shoved it aside as hard as I could and burst into the closet.

“Hey!” the boy cried as I lifted the lid of the plastic blue bin inside and started to stuff the last of the whopping stash—a stack of plastic DVD cases coated in thick dust—into my backpack. Not sure exactly what they were or what they did in the Old World. Us supply hunters weren’t trained to know stuff like that, annoyingly enough, though I’d give all my limbs to be given one hint.

Feet shuffled toward me. “Get your filthy paws off those. They’re mine.”

I turned my head toward the boy. He towered over me, at least by a foot. Thick, muscled arms framed his sides. Okay, so I was wrong—he was bigger and stronger than me. He dug his gaze into mine with pebbles for eyes on his overly broad forehead. A large, beak-like nose jutted from his face.

“Sorry, you know the rules,” I said. “I got to all of these before you, fair and square.” Which meant I got to keep them. Actually, I’d gotten to them way before him, but I had no proof of that, so no use mentioning it.

He folded his meaty arms across his chest. “Sorry, punk, but I don’t play by the rules.”

Author Bio:Chris VH

Chris von Halle has had many different lives in many different worlds—the near and distant future Earth, other planets, and even other dimensions—and his books recreate his childhood memories of such outlandish locations.  In this world and life, he lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and enjoys such extraordinary activities as playing videogames, tennis, and basketball, and writing the occasional comic strip.

Social Media Links:

Website: chrisvonhalle.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chris.v.halle?fref=browse_search

Blog: http://chrisvonhalle.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @ChrisvonHalle

Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble Smashwords

 

 

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Author Iris Blobel– Journey to Her Dreams

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Hi, everyone. I’m highlighting my friend, Iris’s book for you today. Enjoy!

“It’s not the money that makes you rich. It’s the knowledge

that the other person loves you and is always there for you, no

matter what. That makes you content and, therefore, rich.”

Journey to Her Dreams

by Iris Blobel

I’m excited to tell you all about the re-release of JOURNEY TO HER DREAMS,

which was in a way the start of my journey to my dreams.

Honestly, yes I was nervous going back re-visiting the story, nervous about the editing process for the new edition.  I can’t believe how much I’ve learnt and how much I’ve -hopefully- grown as a writer.

JOURNEY TO HER DREAMS has enjoyed another full edit and an awesome new cover.

I hope you’ll give Hollie and Sam’s story a chance.

THANK YOU

♥♦♥  ~  OUT NOW  ~  ♥♦♥ 

AMAZON AU: http://bit.ly/1JVfTeM

♥♦♥  SYNOPSIS ♥♦♥ 

Would you travel around the world to uncover the reason for your dreams?

Hollie Anderson does.

A young woman from Tasmania who lives on a farm just outside Launceston, she has got good looks, likes her job and loves to hang out with her friends. She should be happy, right?

But it’s a recurrent dream that throws her daily life into chaos and takes her on a journey to Ireland. While on her quest for answers she meets Sam in Dublin under unusual circumstances and both women, so different in many ways, find out they have one thing in common – and it changes their lives forever.

♥♦♥ MEET THE AUTHOR ♥♦♥

IRIS BLOBEL

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

Social Media Links:

Forgetful! Author Photo Reveal

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Oh no! I need to apologize to you. I announced that I’d reveal my awesome new author photo on Friday. Then I got busy and totally forgot! Sorry!

So, here it is:

Andersen_headshot

It’s taken by Phosterimages.com Be sure to check them out!

Oh, and once the book comes out and you read it, you’ll see that I have 3 shout outs to things that happen in the book in this photo! Can you tell what they are?

Generational Blessing

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A few weeks ago my mother gave me a photocopied journal that belonged to my grandmother. I’d read a few entries, but didn’t get around to reading the whole thing until now. It wasn’t long, not quite two months worth, but it gave insight into a woman I knew to be kind and loving. I knew she loved the Lord, but hearing her say, “I love you Lord on every page showed me how deep that love went. When was the last time I told the Lord I loved him? The journal was full of pra243-edityers, struggles and praises. She never went in to detail; she didn’t need to. The Lord knew her heart.

When I read her words, words like, “Lord, Might I never be so busy that I can’t help someone,” “You are my strength,” “Lead me today to someone whom I can make a difference in their lives,” and “May I never retire from your word, your love, your peace,” I saw a woman who cared more about what her God thought of her than what man thought of her. She didn’t have much, but the little she had she gave away.

I say all this to give thanks for a grandmother who prayed for me by name every day of my life. Who, more than anything loved the Lord and wanted her children and grandchildren to know him personally. I pray that I can be the kind of woman she was, one who loved God more than things of this earth, who gave when it was difficult to give, who prayed for those around her and sought to  be a blessing to others.

Thanks, Gram. Love you and miss you lots.

Name My Character

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It started by me asking a friend or two. Then I decided to put it out to Facebook. Since the Facebook peeps seemed to like it, I sent it out to Twitter and Instagram. I figured why should they get all the love? So I’m adding this blog to the mix.

Help me name my character. This only counts if you haven’t voted on the other sites. Please use the comments below to help me choose between STELLA and HARPER.

She’s a wallflower. She’s afraid of change and risk taking. She’s very observant and able to read others well. Her parents died in an accident, and she lives with her grandparents as a result.

Well, what’s your vote? Stella or Harper? I’ll reveal the official name next week once I tally up all the social media sites. (Yeah, I didn’t plan that very well. It just kinda happened.)

Best Friends…Forever? By Krysten Hager

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BestfriendforeverbannerwebsiteBest Friends…Forever? (Landry’s True Colors Series) by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Good friends have your back, but some go behind it.

I’m excited to have Krysten Hager here to tell a little about her new book.

Blurb:    Landry Albright hopes the new year will start off in an amazing way—instead she has to deal with more frenemy BestFriendsForever453x680issues, boy drama, and having most of her best friends make the cheerleading squad without her. Suddenly, it seems like all anyone can talk about is starting high school next year—something she finds terrifying.

Landry gets her first boyfriend, but then gets dumped just as things come to a head with her friends. She feels lost and left out, but finds good advice about dealing with frenemies from what she considers an unlikely source. Landry faces having to speak up for what’s right, tell the truth (even when it hurts), and how to get past the fear of failure as she gets another shot at competing in the American Ingénue modeling competition.

EXCERPT 1:

I got ready for bed and then stopped to check my social media page one more time and that’s when I saw it — another picture of Peyton, India, and Devon hanging out. They were sitting on the couch with their heads scrunched close together and laughing. It was a cute picture, but then I saw the caption: So glad we could all be together for the holidays. Love these guys soooo much! Best friends forever. #Alltogether #Threemusketeers #BestFriendsForever #ThreeBestFriends #ThreesCompany.

My heart sank. It was India’s caption and anyone who read it would think what a close‑knit group of friends and not realize anyone was missing from that photo. Sure, I was in another state, so naturally I couldn’t be there for it, but the way India wrote that made me feel so left out. I mean, what did she mean by the “ʺThree’s Company”ʺ hashtag? And sometimes people tagged friends who weren’t there in pictures and added, “ʺWish you were here,”ʺ but there was no mention of a fourth member of the group.

“Ready for bed, hon?” Mom asked coming into my room.

“Yeah, just signing off.”

“Okay, sleep well.”

I got into bed and hoped I was reading into things, but the knot in my stomach wouldn’t go away.

Excerpt 2:

“Landry, it’s gotta be so awkward for you to be going to Vladi’s school next year,” Tori said. “I mean, what if you run into him during the tour?”

“It’s a huge place,ʺ Ashanti said. “People break up all the time. It’s not a big deal.ʺ

Tori raised her eyebrows as if to say, “Yeah, right,” and went back to her sandwich. Meanwhile my delicious homemade soup was no longer sitting well. It never occurred to me Vladi might be around during the first pre‑freshman tour. I would be mortified if I ran into him and he was with a girl. Or worse yet, running into him, and he was with Yasmin. Plus, I hadn’t told my mom about the breakup, so if she saw him, she’d probably go over to talk to him. I could already imagine it: “Landry, Vladi’s here! Hon? Why are you hiding behind the garbage can? Your boyfriend, Vladi, is here. Come say, ‘hello.’ Stop trying to run away. Why is everyone laughing and pointing at you and calling you a ‘loser dumpee?’ What does that mean?”

Well, maybe the world would end and I wouldn’t have to deal with high school or Vladi and my mother running into each other.

****

Sadly, the world did not end, and on Thursday, we all had to go to the high school for a freshman information night from 6 to 9 p.m.

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFp2fPFbvTQ&feature=youtu.be

Author bio: Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series. Krysten writes about  Krysten Lindsay Hagerfriendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image in both True Colors and Best Friends…Forever?

Krysten is an Amazon international bestselling author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

What people are saying about True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series Book One):

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

From Books & Authors Spot: “This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren’t everything. This book is related to every teen’s problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.”

Buy Links:

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Best-Friends-Forever-Landrys-Colors-ebook/dp/B00UIP1N5S/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1427190173&sr=1-2

Amazon international: http://authl.it/B00UIP1N5S

Barnesandnoble.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/krysten-lindsay-hager

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/best-friends-forever-19

itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/best-friends…-forever/id979714114?mt=11

Connect with Krysten:

Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/krystenlindsay

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay

Hedge of Protection

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Last night, I attended a teen event fiyc2014_prayer_huddle_forwebor some youth in our church. After one of the evening’s activities, most of the teens left the building to move onto their next activity, while the teen prayer team gathered against one wall to pray. Their backs were to us, ignoring everyone else in the room, and all their heads were bowed as they hung in football huddle form on each other.

One woman from our church said, “Let’s go pray around them.” So a bunch of us made a semi circle around them, closed our eyes and prayed silently. They were surrounded, backed to a wall with the members of our church holding hands, creating a boundary around them. They didn’t know it until they raised their heads a few moments later.

The moment itself only lasted about two minutes, but it gave me a picture that will last forever.

There they were, being faithful to God, lifting their fellow teens and friends to the Lord. And we came around them and prayed a hedge of protection. We were the spiritual boundary, keeping the enemy at bay as they did God’s work.

We as parents do our best to protect our children. We cuddle them. We tell them what they can and can’t do. We tell them where they can and can’t go. We create boundaries for them. But there comes a time when we have to let our children go into the world we’ve prepared them for. We feel helpless, like there’s nothing we can do. But if we think that way, we’d be wrong.

When they step out on their own, our focus moves from being that physical protection to the spiritual one. (Though hopefully, we’ve had a spiritually minded focus all along.) It’s our job as parents and adults to pray a boundary around our children. We must fight the spiritual warfare. We are on the front lines, doing the damage to the enemy lines so that our kids can advance the Kingdom of God. We move into enemy territory and clear the way so they can take the land.

In those two or three minutes last night, God gave me a gift. He opened my eyes to see that my job as a parent, and aunt, a friend is to pray that hedge of spiritual protection into being.

Will you join me?