300 “Likes” and That Little Something Special…

Hello! As you see in the title, YOU DID IT! Thank you guys! No, I did not forget what I said, just that pesky thing called “life” happened again and dragged me away from my blog for a bit.

Really quickly: “Ice” is still only £.99 on Amazon.co.uk! TODAY IS THE LAST DAY…so get it! ;)

Wow, I’m really caps-y today. Sorry; everything seems like a big deal to me in this post.

Anywho! Here is the interesting tid-bit I told you guys about. First a little information about it so you understand what the heck you’re reading:

I had started writing the chapters that covered Christine’s birthday and I was thinking, “What on earth would Kavick get her?!”

I was kind of freaking out because I had no idea.  Naturally, I had to think like him.

Then I realized he would think, “What on earth am I going to get her?!”

No wonder I was stumped! He would have to ask someone for help, and who other than Anana, one of his closest childhood friends? So, when I wrote this scene, I knew it would never be in the book, but I needed to know how Kavick came to his decision on Christine’s gift, and I had this little idea in the back of my head that maybe I could publish a second “Ice” book (I had thought there wasn’t going to be a sequel back then) and it could be told from the perspective of the Wolf-People, being specifically Kavick, Tartok, Anana, and Suka. It would be their lives, leading up and through “Ice”. If you guys like that idea, let me know by commenting below.

Note: as I’ve mentioned before, spelling errors are many, and some things are different than in the published novel

Copyright © 2011 Elissa Len Lewallen

 

“What is that?” Anana asked in her small monotone. It didn’t even sound like a question when she said it. Questions always sounded like statements when they came out of her mouth. She was crouched on the floor looking at the item Kavick was savagely wrapping with newspaper and packaging tape, tearing a long strip with his teeth. After he patted the tape into place, he sat up straight and examined it, sitting Indian style on the floor.

“It’s a gift,” he said like he was wondering why she had to ask. He then looked at Anana, realizing that if she had to ask, that was a problem….

He looked back down at it and growled in frustration, ripping the newspaper off.

“What are you giving her?”

When he had it completely unwrapped she moved her head a little closer. There she saw an old rumpled red sweater folded loosely, nestled in the center of the nest of newspaper.

He looked to Anana again, looking worried. “I don’t know what to give her. Do you think she’ll like it?”

“What is it?”

“One of my mom’s sweaters. It’s the only female thing I have,” he said, holding it up to debate over his choice of gift again. He laid it back down on the newspaper, noticing it was pilling. “I can’t give her that,” he groaned helplessly as he dropped his face into his hands.

“Well, I think it’s nice, but is it really appropriate for you to give your friend your mother’s clothes?”

He kept his face in his hands. “Probably not,” he said in a muffled voice.

“Shouldn’t you give her something that means something to both of you?”

“Yeah,” he said in the same hopeless, muffled voice. He then removed his face from his hands, but kept his head low, looking up at the gray haired girl. “I can’t afford to by her jewelry….”

“It doesn’t have to be jewelry.”

“What do you give a girl then? I can’t afford to buy her much of anything….”

“Think about what you give me every year.”

He his eyes went up to the ceiling at he thought for a moment. His eyes then moved back to hers. “A frog?” he asked puzzled.

“That was when we were five.”

He thought again. “A rock?”

“That wasn’t exactly what I was thinking of either, but it’s not bad. You got that rock from the lake we always played at in the summer time. I had so much fun, and every time I look at the rock I remember how much fun we had.”

He looked a little more enlightened, but still worried. “I don’t have a rock to give her, though.”

She shifted her legs around from under her and stood up. “C’mon. I still don’t think you’re getting it.”

He looked up at her. “Where are we going?” he still sounded helpless.

“To my house since you can’t remember the other things you’ve given me.”

He stood up, his faded jeans wrinkled and torn in one knee. He was wearing a gray under shirt in the house, so he grabbed his coat and bear fur on his way out. Anana still had her coat on, so she just gave it a quick zip as she walked down the old, creaking steps where the white paint was peeling off the wood. Kavick didn’t bother locking the door, simply pulling it closed behind him. They tread through the snow and through the trees a few minutes before they emerged on the Miller’s property. The house wasn’t much different on the outside with white peeling paint, but it had gray trim and a second story. She unlocked the door from a little key under the snowy rug on the porch and he followed her in. The house was quiet and empty with no lights on. She headed for the hall and kept walking until they reached her room at the end. Kavick had been in there multiple times over the years so it wasn’t a new sight to him, but it looked a little different than he remembered, haven’t being in there for the last six months or so. There were less stuffed bears and no posters on the walls. It seemed quite bare compared to what he remembered. She walked over to her chest of drawers and pulled out a box. In the box was a very flat, folded piece of paper and a leather key ring he immediately recognized. His eyes widened in realization as she held it up from the metal ring. It was made of brown braided leather strips that hung down to grasp a smooth grayish pink stone that nearly matched her gray and red hair. “See? This is what I’m talking about. You gave it to me last year…”

“…because you had just learned how to drive,” he said, finally sounding optimistic.

The corners of her mouth turned up slightly. “You get it now.”

As she placed it back into the little wooden box of trinkets, her hand bumped the paper and a shriveled purple flower fell out. “Oh!” she gasped in a tiny voice.

Kavick carefully picked it up and held it out for her. “Who gave you this?” he asked puzzled, unable to remember anyone giving her such a little flower, or any flower for that matter.

She stared at it, hesitating to answer. For a moment Kavick wondered if she was going to answer at all. He saw how her face became somber and her eyebrows moved downward as if it were a struggle for her to answer. Kavick was completely caught off guard by this and was concerned by the change in her.

“Hey…are you okay? I didn’t mean to…”

She sniffed and wiped her eyes before the tears could leave her lashes. She still wouldn’t look up at him, though. “Tupit…”

Kavick looked at the flower in shock.

“Tupit gave it to me a week before…it…” She sniffed again and wiped her nose, unable to finish the sentence.

Kavick still stared at it in wonder. I never knew…

“We were walking along a cliff over some rocks…we came to a patch of grass that was full of these flowers…he gave one to me.”

She finally looked up at him, clearly knowing that he understood what it meant. Just as she her resolve was starting to crumble again he wrapped his arms around her in a warm hug. “I’m so sorry, Anana. I never knew.”

“I know,” she hiccupped. “I don’t think anyone did.”

 

Okay, so Kavick realized after this, “Hey! I can afford jewelry!” when he was working at the O’Connell’s shop one day, and c’mon. Kavick loves Christine, so even if he doesn’t have much money, he’s going to make it happen. Fortunately, the jewelry in the O’Connell’s shop isn’t expensive, either. It’s just a little gift shop.

Thank you guys again for your awesome support! And if you haven’t read “Ice” you can buy it here, on Amazon. And there’s the trailer below.

 

Talk to you later!

-EL

Special Promotion on “Ice”!

Quick update for you guys: “Ice” is currently only £0.99 on Amazon.co.uk!! Get it here!

And, I’m at 299 “likes” on Facebook now! Thank you so much guys! I’m thinking about posting something a little different for you next time, sort of like a deleted scene, but I knew I wasn’t going to include it in the novel…I think it’s an interesting piece that compliments the novel nicely. :)

Talk to you soon!

-E

Deleted Scene: Kavick Detained

Here is another deleted scene from “Ice”! Thank you for 200 likes!

As you guys read, I think you’ll quickly figure out where this scene takes place. This scene explains what happened to Kavick while he was in the Factory.

Warning: spelling and formatting errors are many.

Copyright © 2011 Elissa Len Lewallen

Light burned through my eyelids. It was so hard to open my eyes, though. My eyelids were so heavy…

So was the rest of my body. I couldn’t move. My body felt like it weighed a ton.

I worked harder and seconds ticked by as I finally managed to open my eyes to mere slits. I peeked out and was blinded by a bright light. I quickly clamped my eyes shut. I groaned from the pain…

I groaned again. The pain was intense and all over my body.

“The subject’s waking up.”

“The sedative’s wearing off.”

I felt my ears twitch at that. Subject? I must be dreaming…

My eyes fluttered open and I forced myself to look through the light. I saw the source of it as my vision cleared and my eyes became stronger. It was a lamp over my face. I looked around, suddenly realizing there was more than just a bright light. Where was I…?

“AAAAAHH!!”

            “Hurry! Strap him down!”

There were machines hooked up to me, needles poking into my arms, forcing some kind of fluids into my body, there were people dressed in white suits, like there was some kind of bio-hazardous chemical in the air they didn’t want to be exposed to.

I was terrified. What had happened to me? What were they doing to me? Where the hell was I?

I suddenly realized I was the one screaming. I was screaming at the top of my lungs and I couldn’t stop. I thrashed on the cold table, trying to break away. I was already strapped to an operating table, so why were they panicking about strapping me down?

I couldn’t fight back the people that were trying to shove me down onto the table. Even my ankles were strapped down. I just kept screaming and trying to wiggle out of their grasp. I tried head butting them, since it was the only thing I could do, but they had those big masks over their heads.

“LET GO OF ME!”

Suddenly someone walked over to me and shoved something over my face. I jerked my head around, trying to keep them from me, but it didn’t work. They fiddled with the straps of the thing until it was tight around my head. I looked down at it over my nose and mouth and realized they had actually just put a muzzle on me.

There were so many people crowded around me, pushing me down, it was no use to fight back, but I was going to do everything I could. I suddenly knew what they meant by “strapping” me down, because they put more straps on me. The put two over my torso, over my elbows, shoulders, my legs…I was totally immobile and useless. I couldn’t move any part of my body.

I felt another needle poke into my arm and soon my eyes felt heavy again. I tried to keep them open, but soon I couldn’t anymore.

 

I woke up from the cold. I was shivering. I opened my eyes easier this time. There wasn’t a blinding light in my face, like before. It was dark and dim. I jumped up and looked around the tiny room. It wasn’t a room. It was a cell. I least I wasn’t strapped down anymore…

I suddenly remembered the muzzle and clawed at my face to take it off; but it wasn’t there anymore.

I looked up at the low, concrete ceiling. I could easily touch it. I fought back the urge to duck down from it. It would have been claustrophobic if it weren’t for the caged door that allowed me to look out across the room to see a wall lined with more cells, and even pins that were housing dogs and wolves…

I felt my eyes widen as I suddenly realized where I was. I was in the factory. I had been kidnapped by the hunter. I held my head as I tried to remember how it happened. I couldn’t. I couldn’t remember anything except arguing with Tark about Christine. I had been walking through snow…so much snow, and it was so dark…

I held my shivering body again. I looked down at the white scrubs I was wearing. They were wrinkled. I began to wonder how long I had been here. I took note of the camera in the corner of my cell and looked over at the tiny sink and toilet beneath it. They planned to have me here a long time.

I suddenly got an insane idea…or maybe it was perfectly sane. If I couldn’t get out, I could drown myself in the sink. Maybe it could hold just enough water to cover my face…

I shook my head, telling myself I wasn’t going to give up.

I grabbed the cold bars and stared at the other people and dogs asleep in their cells.

I was getting out.

But, why were they holding me here? The hunters killed my kind…why spare me?

And were the others here like me?

Everyone was asleep except me. Well, the prisoners were asleep; I’m sure there were people watching my every move via the camera in the top corner of my cell. I had to find out if the others stuck in here were like me or not. I whistled, making a few of the animals wake up, the others just stirred in their sleep. Some didn’t even seem phased. They were probably drugged like I had been. One of the dogs, a black Lab, and a couple of the wolves looked at me. I wasn’t an unusual sight to them. They did nothing except watch me from behind their tiny, barred doors, looking as helpless as I was feeling. I could see the defeat in the animals’ eyes. Their spirits had been broken; they were used to living in those little cages; they had no hope.

I stepped away from the bars and looked down at the floor. My feet were bare and cold. I could already feel the courage to break free starting to leave my body as I began to fear if I would become just like them.

I started thinking about Tark. When I had talked to him last we had fought. I couldn’t believe “Leave me alone” were the last words I had said to him…

I held my head, drowning in grief. I was the only family Tark had left. He always was strong, but his biggest strength is being able to hide his feelings. I know how hard it was when it was just Tupit, him and I. The first time we went to school after our other brothers’ death, he had looked both of us sternly in the eye and said, “Now on, we stick together.”

And we did. The three of us spent all of our free time together and began relying on each other. We all had needed that after what happened.

And then after Tupit was killed…

I rubbed my face hard, wishing I could have saved him.

Tark just shut me out after Tupit died. He was unusually silent and his temper flared more often. I know he blamed himself, even though it wasn’t his fault.

Suddenly I saw Christine’s face in my mind. I remembered her laugh and wanted to laugh, too. I wanted to smile, or maybe I wanted to cry because I could never see her or my brother again and I was going to be a guinea pig for God knows what for the rest of my life. I didn’t know how to feel. I struggled to hold on to myself, the free spirited Kavick that would never let anything restrain him, rules or people.

“…Hey…”

I looked up from my hands at the distant voice. One of the people in the cells got up from his tiny bed and rubbed his hair. His was to me. It took me a second to realize the voice was coming from someone out of my sight, and the person standing up in his cell had been awakened by the voice.

“…Looks like they got another one. What’s your name?”

I planted my face to the bars, straining my eyes to move far enough over in their sockets to see the master of the voice, but I couldn’t. The room was too vast, and his cell must have been on the same wall as mine.

I thought for a moment how I should answer. “…Kavick Skarling.”

“…Still usin’ Inuit names, huh? Not too many do that anymore, and for good reason. Inuit are the first ones they check out.”

“Yeah, well, Kevin’s on my birth certificate.”

“Smart, but proud, eh?”

“Very proud.”

“I was, too…” the man’s voice trailed off and I could hear that defeat I saw in the eyes of the animals. “Well, listen; we can’t keep talkin’ like this or they’ll separate us. We have to keep our conversations short and far apart.”

“One question,” I interjected as fast as I can since I knew we needed to end our conversation since the cameras were watching us. It wouldn’t be long until they figured out I was talking to someone. “How long have you been here?”

There was a pause. At first I thought he wasn’t going to answer, but then he said, “Long enough to have no idea. You lose all sense of night and day here since there’s no windows.”

I thought that was a strange answer. In the summer the sun never went down, and in the winter the sun never came up. Why would that make any difference? Then it dawned on me; he wasn’t from Alaska. That would explain the bit of accent I heard. “You’re from Canada, near the Lower Forty-eight?”

“Yeah,” he said sounding surprised. “You psychic or somethin’?”

Actually, the the more I heard him talk, the more he sounded like a New Yorker.

I dodged the question since we were short on time. “So, you’ve been here long enough to be familiar with the place.”

He chuckled and said bitterly, “I only see what they let me see, which is this room and their little testing room where they muzzle me and take and me for a walk on their treadmill. Good luck tryin’ to get out. As soon as you try, they’ll poke you with a needle and then its lights out…that is, if they let you live.”

 

You can purchase “Ice” on Amazon.com.

Looking Back…

Hello, everyone, and hello 2014!

Here is my first post of the new year, and it’s only right that I thank you guys for such an awesome year! I invite you to look back at 2013 with me…

Note: this walk down memory lane contains important information for independent authors that are new to the business of publishing. Deleted scene for 200 Facebook likes will be up a few minutes after this post. Thank you guys! :D

 

So, 2013 started out a little rocky since remnants of 2012 were washing over, which was a total disaster of a year for me. 2013 was improving from the get-go, though. I was still new at my job, which had started out pretty bad and I was set on quitting after I had raised the money for an editor for my book and a couple of promotional items (which would make it around a thousand dollars), but even then I was thinking that wasn’t going to happen. I was ready to get out and find a new job pronto. Things quickly turned around, though, and the people that had been rude to me, even whispering angrily about me within earshot,  were turning kind and understanding toward me! I couldn’t believe it!  Now I am so glad that I decided not to quit when I had planned and gave the place a second chance. Now I have been there for over a year! (Yaaay!)

Don’t get me wrong, 2013 wasn’t a perfect year…

So, back in 2012 I had someone helping me proof my book, and almost as soon as 2013 rolled around, I quickly abandoned the “hire an editor for an obscene amount of money” idea, and decided on asking friends and family to help me proof and give their opinion, essentially acting as editors for me. There’s a problem when you ask someone to do something for free, and when they already have their hands full with their job, family, etc….naturally, your project gets pushed to the back more often than not. I thought “Ice” was never going to finish getting edited. I had gone over it countless times, of course, but I knew I was still missing things…and I needed to know if I should change any scenes in the book! Pretty quickly it became just one person helping me edit the whole (the person who was helping me before), and I would have to take my concerns about certain parts of my book to one other person who was known for being brutally honest about my work and have her read just those sections one at a time and give me her input as we went. Even that became hard to do! (I still couldn’t get her to until right before publishing!) It was like nobody had time for “Ice” and I had finished it over a year ago! I was getting fed-up and ready to publish it as-is, but I knew that would be a mistake and I would never be able to live with myself if I did. But, how else was I ever going to get it published?

So, my full time “editor” quickly became part-time…and then once-in-a while-time…and then “Ice” didn’t get touched for 3 months at one point (by this time we are in January of 2013). I had gone from extremely depressed, to extremely frustrated. I had politely reminded my “editor” periodically throughout the three months and nothing had been done. So I went to her and I reminded her of our talk in the beginning about how often we expected work to get done. I told her if she couldn’t do it, just let me know. She insisted she could do it. Thing didn’t change, though, until one day I told her she didn’t need to worry about working on “Ice” anymore, because I had decided to publish it.

That did it! She started an aggressive schedule, and we were able to work on it every single night. We had it done by June, and then all I had to do was just edit the formatting!

Here’s my advice to fellow independent authors who cannot afford, or simply do not want to pay ridiculous fees for an editor: do not be afraid to be honest with your “editor”! I let things drag out too long! If you do not hear anything back in a couple of weeks, give them the “You don’t have to worry about it anymore, I’m publishing it now. Thanks for all of your help!” thing.

If that doesn’t work, and they are just like, “Okay,” then they didn’t really care, because they know it was their responsibility, and they failed. And then don’t hesitate to look for other people who love to read; they would probably love to have the opportunity to proof a novel! I remember back when I was a teenager, one of my friends asked me to proof, or “BETA” as we called it then, a fan fiction of theirs. I enjoyed it, because I loved to read! Even if someone is not really crazy about the subject matter, they will be curious simply because they like to read, and that the novel is going to be published will further intrigue them, and if they know you, then they’re going to want to read what you’ve been working on for so long, anyway! You do need to ask them how often they will be able to work on it, and when they have an estimate for you, make a schedule to meet with them periodically so you can address the changes, any questions they might have, and then you don’t have to worry about time slipping away from them as easily as it did for my editor. I didn’t hold us to a schedule, and that was my first and probably biggest mistake. Also, give the “editor” your phone number and e-mail address, so if they need to contact you before you meet, they will be able to. That will help things move along faster, too. And most of all, which probably goes without saying, DO NOT FORGET TO THANK THEM! You would not be able to publish your novel without their help! You should probably give them a free copy, too, so they can see the finished work you guys spent so much time on. That’s what I did. :)

 

Everything regarding “Ice” improved from there. I set out on foot putting up flyers around town, talking to shop owners about anyone that might be interested in selling a book by a local author, or simply interested in letting me put up a flyer. A lot of people couldn’t help me, but there was some valuable advice, too. Kelli of the Okie Crowe helped me tremendously! Her wonderful, darling shop is located on South Boston in the Philcade Building. She is really nice, her store that is full of unique things, as well. I love the shops in Downtown Tulsa! Everyone is selling either locally made items, and/or novelty treasures I haven’t seen anywhere else! I remember I bought a beer fizzing bath bomb from her, and it actually looked like beer! It even had foam on top! There are a lot of cute gifts in her store. I have been meaning to go back ever since. Kelli told me about William, and his store Decopolis, and how he was looking to work with local authors!

I set out to Decopolis from there. I remember I was too scared to ask if they wanted to sell my book, so I asked them if they would be interested in letting me put a flyer in their window, told them I was a local author, and if they knew of any shops that might let me advertise in their window. William said yes, and told me about some other shops, and as I started to walk away, he called out to me and told me he would like to sell my book, if I was interested. That was the start of a beautiful friendship! :)

Thank you, Kelli!

(By the way, I will have links to the stores mentioned at the bottom of this post.)

I had two book signings in 2013! I got my first royalty payment! (Yaaay again!)

No, I did not get a car in 2013 like I wanted, which I think must annoy some people I know, because a few people have really given me a hard time about it, going so far as to try to embarrass me in a room full of people. My book always came first, so I have no regrets. I am a writer, first and foremost, so that is how it will always be, and I will only have regrets if I don’t prioritize that way. You might think it irritates the people who drive me to work. But it doesn’t. They tell me the same thing: your book comes first. If I lived my life any other way, THAT would irritate them.

Publishing a book has a lot of unexpected expenses, which a lot of people don’t understand. Here’s my advice to you: if you are going to publish a book, it really does have to come first and other things are going to have to wait, otherwise, you will never get published! For example, I had used my parents computer to write most of “Ice” (I started it on a little Netbook which became the victim of a clever virus), and when it came down to the formatting business, their computer crashed. I had to suddenly buy a laptop, an expense I hadn’t been planning on. I purposely bought a Windows, because I was familiar with Microsoft Word. Well, I was in for a surprise: Windows computers no longer come with Microsoft Word, so I had to pay $110 for it! Then there was virus protection, since the free trial only lasts so long, a website…the list goes on and on.

In 2013, I made new friends and reconnected with old friends.

In 2013, I lost people dear to me, including my Aunt Billie, one of the people “Ice” is dedicated to. I often wonder what she would think of the book. Really think of it, not just what she would tell me because she loved me. She was always so excited to read it. I tell myself she would probably genuinely love it, just because it was by someone she loved, and that she would be proud of me no matter what my book was about, because that’s the type of wonderful, caring person she was.

Now that “Ice” is done, and 2013 is done, I can focus on the sequel, plan for future projects, and finally get that car! :D

I am so excited for the new year, and what it will bring for all of us! I look forward to hearing from you guys, and THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Happy New Year!

-Elissa

The Okie Crowe’s Facebook page is here, and the Okie Crowe’s website is here. Here is the link to Decopolis’ website, and here is the link to Decopolis’ Facebook page.

Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me, and who has read “Ice”!