Please welcome author Diana Stager to the blog today. She talks about the inspiration behind her novel, X5 (Lucid Dreamers, FTW!)
Then, keep reading below for information about her book, a link to a Rafflecopter giveaway, and an excerpt!
THEN, scroll down to see the FANTABULOUS cover for Amie & Bethanie Borst’s CINDERSKELLA!!!! (I’ve been waiting a long time to see this one in print–CONGRATS, Amie and Bethanie!)
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Déjà vu, Destiny, and Dreams
So what inspired me to write a book about kids who have precognitive dreams? I’m sure you’re all familiar with the feeling of déjà vu, like you’ve been in exactly the same place doing the same thing some time before. Whenever this happens to me, I feel as though I’m remembering a dream. What if I really had dreamed about those things? And what if I had remembered the dreams afterward? Would I be able to do anything about it?
Visions of the future could be complicated though. If you have such a vision, does that mean that it’s destined to happen, or would you be able to change things? Free will and the right to choose our own path are fundamental ideas in Western society. The antagonists in my book have taken these freedoms away from the kids who have the visions, but my hero and heroine, Travis and Tara, are trying to get it back. They want to take control of their destiny, and they can only hope that their visions are the key to their survival.
I thought it was cool to see the title of this blog! “Author Laura Diamond – Lucid Dreamer” The hero of my book, Travis, discovers that part of his gift is the ability to perform lucid dreaming. The idea behind lucid dreaming is that you can be in conscious control of your dreams while they happen. Theoretically speaking, anyone can do it. I’ve never been able to, though it would be awesome if I could, because it would be an opportunity to do things you might not get the chance to try in your waking life. For Travis, it becomes even more important because he can manipulate his visions to see more than what he normally would. In X5 he doesn’t get the chance to really explore this facet of his gift, but it will become vital in the sequel.
In the end, I had a number of sources of inspiration for this book, all interlinked, and it formed the right combination for my idea. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
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X5 by Diana Stager
Being a socially awkward geek with anger management issues has made Travis Armstrong an outcast, but on top of that, he has visions of the future. Not that he can tell anyone, except in an anonymous online forum. When he takes a chance and meets with another group member, he winds up at The Bunker, where everyone is like him, and where, finally, he feels like he belongs.
Tara Gage has been at The Bunker since she was thirteen years old. Even among the residents there, she’s unique, and her special talents lead her to discover that The Bunker is not the safe haven it seems to be. She’s determined to escape and get back to her family.
When they each have visions of the other’s death, Travis and Tara know they have to run. With their captors desperate to get them back, they must rely on each other to get away before their visions become reality.
My foot jiggled in time to the song running through my head as I waited for my turn at the polygraphs. Travis was nowhere to be seen, and I was glad of that. Or that’s what I told myself whenever I became aware of my disappointment at not seeing him. He drove me crazy, and really didn’t seem at all exceptional, but a growing part of me didn’t care about that, and just longed to be near him. Disgusted with myself, I tried to think of something else.
My thoughts were cut short when Travis and Mike entered the hallway, both looking upset about something. Their friendship puzzled me. I know Mike was trying to prod Travis into being more of a leader than a loner, but as far as I was concerned, it wasn’t working. He was too introverted, too willing to follow along with what the rest of us were doing, or else go off by himself. Both of them sent anxious glances my way, setting me on edge, and just as I stood to go talk to them, the attendant called my name. Casting a last look their way, I turned and entered the polygraph room.
I tried to get through it as quickly as I could so I could find out why Mike had looked so worried. Of course, because I was in a hurry, things took twice as long as normal, and every second wasted irritated the crap out of me. By the time I returned to the hall, Mike was nowhere to be seen, and Travis was pacing back and forth. It seemed I had no choice but to talk to him.
Taking huge strides, I made it to Travis’s side quickly and tapped him on the shoulder. When he turned, I hesitated for just a moment when my eyes locked with his, my stomach fluttering. Pull it together, Tara! I took a breath and then said, “What’s up with Mike?”
Travis’s eyes darted around and he turned to look over each shoulder before giving me a weird look. “Not much,” he said finally, though he seemed to be trying to communicate something with his eyes. I frowned, and watched as his eyes widened, then darted to the side, his eyebrows lifting and then drawing together. What the hell? I shrugged and shook my head. Whatever he was trying to tell me wasn’t coming across at all. He sighed and opened his mouth to say something else when something behind me caught his attention.
Turning, I saw a couple of armed security guards rushing into the polygraph room Mike had gone in. Remembering Cam, a band tightened around my stomach as my heart began to pound. Security only came to the polygraph rooms for one reason, and my fears were confirmed a moment later when they exited, holding Mike in between them.
“Mike!” I screamed, leaping forward to try to get to him. They couldn’t be taking him away! What had he seen? My efforts to reach his side were blocked when Travis grabbed me from behind and wrapped his long arms around me. “Travis, let me go! Let me go!” I struggled against his grip, but it was like iron and I was getting nowhere. Lifting one foot, I kicked backward and connected with his shin. I heard him swear, but he didn’t loosen his hold on me.
“Tara, stop,” he whispered in my ear. “He knew this was going to happen.”
I ignored him and screamed after Mike again. The security team nearly had him to the entrance to the administrative section of The Bunker. “No!” I yelled. “No, you can’t take him! Mike!”
His eyes were full of pain when he turned to look at me one last time. I saw his mouth form the words, “I love you.” And then the door slammed closed behind him. Hot tears streamed down my cheeks, my heart ached, and though my throat was raw and sore, I couldn’t stop screaming. Travis wouldn’t let me go no matter how hard I pulled against him. My squirming and wiggling wasn’t doing any good, but I couldn’t stop. The rational part of my brain knew that Mike was gone and nothing I did would help, but at the same time if I didn’t try, I’d be giving up.
Suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my arm and when I turned my head, I saw one of the infirmary staff standing with a syringe in her hand. I tried to say something to her, but the edges of my vision were going fuzzy, and then everything went dark.
Diana Stager never met a book she didn’t like. An avid reader from a very early age, she discovered she loved writing her own stories down. She dreamed of being able to write a book, but more sensible ambitions shoved that dream onto the back burner. Over the years, she dabbled with the written word, but always had difficulty finding the right story. Then, one day the light bulb went on, an idea was born, and the rest is history (so cliché but so true).
Diana lives in Cambridge, Ontario in a house full of books. In the space that’s left, are her husband of 13 years, two children, and a cat, all of whom are adorable. She used to have a creepy fish, but sadly, he now swims in the big tank in the sky. She’s an elementary school teacher, who loves music and art.
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Cindy is just a normal, average girl. At least until she wakes up one night to find out she is dead. Well, she isn’t technically dead—she just doesn’t have any hair, nose, or . . . skin. Yep, she is a skeleton—all bones and no body.
Human by day and skeleton by night, Cindy is definitely cursed. It doesn’t help that her mother recently died, only to be replaced by an evil stepmother who makes her do gross things like eat liver and clean rooms with only a toothbrush. It really doesn’t help that her father is scared of her strange nightly body appearance and that there’s no way she can attend the school dance “dressed” like a skeleton.
What ensues is a hysterical tale of a young girl who, while coping with the loss of her mother, embarks on a journey of self-discovery, love, and forgiveness, all the while learning to deal with an evil step-mother and her “skeletal” abnormalities.
Cinderskella is available for purchase at Barnes & Noble
Amie and Bethanie Borst are a mother-daughter writing team. Amie believes in Unicorns, uses glitter whenever the opportunity arises, accessories in pink and eats too much chocolate. Bethanie is a spunky 13 year old middle-schooler who loves archery, long bike rides and studying edible plant-life. Cinderskella is their first book together and is part of the Scarily Ever Laughter series. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors, and blog.
Amie Borst is celebrating her book release and cover reveal with a monthly giveaway in The Great Cinderskella Giveaway! If you’d like to win a $25 Amazon gift card, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. You’ll be automatically entered into the grand prize drawing for a Kindle Fire in October!