Thursday, June 25, 2015

Author Debra Chapoton Shares Her New Series Exodia



Her latest series, The Exodia Ledgers, will release June, 2015 with EXODIA and OUT OF EXODIA. Based loosely on the ancient story of Moses, this two book dystopian journey is an adventure full of symbolism, hidden codes, and thematic imagery that will appeal to readers of all ages. These high concept novels bridge the gap from young adult to new adult and mix genres including sci-fi, dystopian, magical realism, and speculative fiction.

When she’s not writing Chapoton enjoys the quiet of the full log home she designed and built with her husband. They live in the middle of 62 acres of beautiful woods in northern Michigan, USA.
Excerpt from EXODIA:
Part I: 2093

Chapter 1 The Red Slum

From the first page of the Ledger:
The black voice said, “Live in fire, wild, souls howl here.”
There are two paths to every man’s life. Some choose hell …

IT’S AS IF I too am running for my life.
I sit transfixed by the scene outside the smudged window. A scrubby looking boy races away from a statehouse guardsman barely out of reach of the angry soldier’s whip. I clench my fists, press closer to the window, and let the pounding in my ears cover my idiot tutor’s droning voice:
“… after the Eurasian Nuclear War of 2049 when North America united into 90 states and declared trade independence from the rest of the world …”
The kid reaches the fence and scrambles up the chain links. The frayed end of the guard’s whip catches him on the ankle. Two small oranges spill from his pockets as he lurches to scurry over the top unfazed by the lashing or the broken barbs. He casts a casual, nonchalant glance over his shoulder and disappears out of sight.
My posture relaxes and my pulse returns to normal, but then my eyes fall to the words the tutor has scrawled on the wallboard: Eurasian Nuclear War. The letters jump around in my head and rearrange themselves into I aware casual runner. My heart skips a beat. I’ve been having more of these strange distractions lately. Words change in my head and I miss several minutes of time.
I slump down in my seat and glance at the three other boys forced to sit through this drivel with me. Not one is paying attention. We’ve heard it a thousand times.
“… post-apocalyptic immigration changed the culture of our new nation. Tattoos on the left elbow, red or blue, were given at birth to differentiate the two classes. Intermarriage is punishable by death and so is killing or breaking the bones of someone of the opposite tattoo.”
I fight the urge to cradle my left elbow even though it doesn’t matter since I’m wearing a long sleeved shirt. I can never draw attention to my fading tattoo. As grandson of the most powerful man in the nation, Executive President Bryer Battista, there should be no doubt that I am a Blue.
But I have a doubt. Something isn’t right. No one else’s royal blue tattoo has purpled like mine. For months now I’ve secretly dabbed blue dye on my skin, as much to hide the suspicion from myself as from anyone else, that maybe, just maybe, the tattoo I was given sixteen years ago was red. And maybe I, Dalton Battista, grandson of the cruelest tyrant ever, am not a true member of the elite ruling class. That maybe I belong to society’s religious outcasts–those poor hoarders, low class rejects, slave labor.
It takes a moment before the silence registers on my ears. The tutor is no longer speaking. Four sets of eyes are turned on me, watching, waiting.
“Excuse me? Could you repeat the question?”
“Certainly,” the tutor smirks. “What is the name of the resistance leader who tried to claim all of Exodia for the Reds?”
“Um,” I clear my throat. I love history actually. Half my life I was raised by a Red nanny whose tales of Ronel captivated me. “Ronel, David Ronel, he, um …” I run a hand through my hair, long by current standards, and simply stop talking. My fear of public speaking muzzles me even in this small group.
And now my mind swirls around the fact that this morning I ran out of blue dye.
*   *   *

Debra Chapoton has taught kids of all ages in her main career as a teacher. She has a BA in Spanish and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English. She started writing in 2002 and was surprised to find out that the characters quickly take over the action and dialogue in the stories.

Her first YA novel, EDGE OF ESCAPE, was self-published and then discovered by Piper Verlag Publishing and translated into German. Stalking and obsession get a sympathetic twist in this story of physical and psychological survival.
Her second YA novel, SHELTERED, detours into a different genre as she writes about five teens who confront supernatural forces. Two boys and three girls all harbor secrets which make some of them susceptible to demon possession. Embracing all things supernatural might protect them, but are they ready for the consequences?


In A SOUL’S KISS a tragic accident leaves Jessica comatose, but her spirit escapes her body. Navigating a supernatural realm is tough, but being half dead has its advantages.
Chapoton has also written eleven children’s chapter books for middle grade kids, teen Christian fiction THE GUARDIAN’S DIARY, and a non-fiction work for adults, CROSSING THE SCRIPTURES.
Her latest series, The Exodia Ledgers, will release June, 2015 with EXODIA and OUT OF EXODIA. Based loosely on the ancient story of Moses, this two book dystopian journey is an adventure full of symbolism, hidden codes, and thematic imagery that will appeal to readers of all ages. These high concept novels bridge the gap from young adult to new adult and mix genres including sci-fi, dystopian, magical realism, and speculative fiction.

When she’s not writing Chapoton enjoys the quiet of the full log home she designed and built with her husband. They live in the middle of 62 acres of beautiful woods in northern Michigan, USA.
 Please visit author Debra Chapoton on her website, twitter , and  Facebook page.
To purchase her book on amazon .
 


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A review of SEVEN LETTERS FROM PARIS by Pam Ferderbar


Firstly, I have to say that I know Samantha Verant. Her parents and I go way back. I knew her when she was married before, I knew her when she was divorced, and I am getting to know her now, as a happy, fulfilled, romantic and completely beloved
woman.

Any time a friend writes a book I figure I’ll enjoy it because I obviously like that person well enough to call her or him friend. So it stands to reason I’ll like what he or she writes. Then along comes a book like Seven Letters From Paris, and it’s a revelation. An eye-opener. An utter joy.

Although I adored Samantha since the day we met, I mostly viewed her through the lens of being friends with her parents. I knew her stories through them. Her sadness was their sadness. Her heartbreak, theirs. I’ve only come to really know the person of Samantha through her exquisite memoir, and as a result she has taken shape as the guardian angel of second chances, and a living testament to the idea that we deserve true, deep, soul-mate love, and should never settle for less.

Samantha is the kind woman whom other women want as their best friend. She’s beautiful, but has just enough dirt under the nails to be a real broad. You know she’d have your back in any situation and be the first one at your side in celebration and sorrow. So reading her memoir is the savory experience of sitting with your best friend (assuming your best friend is a magnetic storyteller), glass of wine in hand, and listening closely while she spins a magical tale—a true story no less, of love lost and love found. And that’s only referring to her having found herself. The part with the Frenchman is just…bliss.

 “Tonight I am cooking from the heart, choosing self-belief over fear.” This is the first sentence in the preface, and it conveys the wide-eyed wonder of a woman who has decided to follow her heart come hell or high water. It’s easy to look at her life in retrospect and say, yeah, sure, of course she should have done this and that. Of course there was a happy ending in the offing. But we mustn’t underestimate how difficult it can be to change—to really and truly change everything about the way we are living.

As women many of us are afraid to hurt someone’s feelings, especially if that someone is the man to whom we have been married for a decade—even if it has been a loveless marriage. The bigger issue is Samantha’s anxiety about whether or not she deserves to be loved, and that is a tough thing for anyone to face. It’s a lot easier to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and hoping that if things don’t get better at least they won’t get worse.

But in the back of her mind, perhaps where her family and friends had planted the seeds of worthiness, Samantha decided to reboot. And that is where her memoir begins.

 As her 40th birthday looms large, Samantha faces down her fears, and after ten long years she finally leaves a loveless marriage, and the city she has called home for a decade. Penniless, jobless and feeling pretty hopeless, she moves across the country, and back in with her parents. That’s enough to make even the strongest person collapse, but Samantha started building momentum with that first step.

From there she evaluates the choices she’s made in her life, and decides to start cooking from the heart and not out of fear. She can’t escape the feeling that she may have met the love of her life 20 years earlier on a trip to Paris, but 20 years is a long time. What are the chances he’ll remember things the same way, if at all? What if she makes a fool of herself? And what if he is angry that she never answered even one of the seven love letters he wrote after they met—letters of longing, devotion, desire, and finally the last, of quiet despair.

Fortunately for us all, Samantha was not made a fool. And Jean-Luc hadn’t forgotten a thing. It turns out that for 20 years there was an ember burning in both their hearts.

Self-deprecating, joyful, hilariously funny and down-to-earth, Samantha’s memoir should be required reading for all women. The message is simple; happily ever after is a recipe that must be cooked from the heart.

And just because I can…I have to tell you that I was at their wedding, and as the French contingent and the Americans took turns reading from the seven letters, there wasn’t a dry eye under the perfectly moonlit sky. It was, and continues to be, a real life fairytale. Samantha is working on another book, Seven Hours from Paris, which promises to be as delicious and inspired as the first.


Twenty years, seven letters, and one long-lost love of a lifetime

At age 40, Samantha Verant’s life is falling apart - she’s jobless, in debt, and feeling stuck... until she stumbles upon seven old love letters from Jean-Luc, the sexy Frenchman she’d met in Paris when she was 19. With a quick Google search, she finds him, and both are quick to realize that the passion they felt 20 years prior hasn’t faded with time and distance. Samantha knows that jetting off to France to reconnect with a man she only knew for one sun-drenched, passion-filled day is crazy - but it’s the kind of crazy she’s been waiting for her whole life.

Part travel memoir, part love adventure, Seven Letters from Paris is the story of how seven old love letters written in 1989 inspired me to reboot my life and restart my heart.

Samantha Verant, author of Seven Letters from Paris, a Memoir