Monday, February 23, 2015

NEVER GIVE UP!

 
GUEST POST
NEVER GIVE UP
by
Ashley Fontainne

Do you have a dream? Something tickling the corners of your mind, wanting to be released, but you ignore it? Does fear of the unknown, how others will react, or the worry of failing keep it locked away?

Fear. No. More.

Unleash your creativity. Paint the first stroke. Mold your first piece of clay. Write your first story. Is it a scary thing to let go of your fears by showing the world what’s been crawling around inside your brain? Terrifying. Your stomach will clench in knots, your heart will pound, and your palms will exude gallons of sweat. Your brain will buzz with the annoying sounds of self-doubt.

Do. It. Anyway.

It took me reaching my forties to finally let go of my fears and publish my first novel. Since that moment in April, 2011, my life has changed in ways I never thought possible when I sat in my Creative Writing class in college, fiddling around with ideas for a book. It took the gentle urgings of a very dedicated professor to embrace my worries, and then let them go. Once I did, even though I truly was petrified when I clicked “submit” on Amazon, I also felt a tremendous sense of joy.

Now, four years, seven books and two movie deals later, I still feel anxious on the eve of a new release. The entire creative process is akin to raising a child, hoping and praying you have done your best, waving goodbye with tears in your eyes as they leave the nest for the first time. After all, the world can be a cruel, harsh place. Some will love your little bundle, others will despise it. It is a gamble each and every time.

But the rewards are well worth it. The sense of accomplishment is overwhelming. The biggest joy I receive with each new book is the knowledge that my words impacted the life of another human being. As a voracious reader, one who has found so much enjoyment in works of others, to even have the opportunity to try and do the same for others is amazing and humbling.

So, I challenge you today to step out of your comfort zone. Break the chains holding you back, and release your creative side, whatever it may be. Paint. Draw. Sculpt. Design. Write. Embrace the fear and use it as a tool to hone your work.

Not hold it back.

*****


About the Book:

My name is Sheryl Ilene Newcomb. And yes, my initials are S.I.N. A funny little piece of whimsical humor my parents found amusing when I arrived. 

Then, it turned out to be true. Looking back with wiser eyes now, my family and I concluded that the events leading up to my transformation started the summer I turned nine. But the day we realized there was a problem, and no turning back, was a week before I started my senior year at Junction City High. The day the fangs and claws appeared and the monster inside of me emerged. 

When mutilated corpses appeared near a pile of brush down by Caney Creek, everything changed. Because evil woke up and growled, its ominous rumblings heard by every living thing in Locasia County, Mississippi.

For More Information

  • Growl is available at Amazon.
  • Watch the book trailer at YouTube.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
 
Purchase at AMAZON


My name is Sheryl Ilene Newcomb. And yes, my initials are S.I.N. A funny little piece of whimsical humor my parents found amusing when I arrived. 

Then, it turned out to be true. Looking back with wiser eyes now, my family and I concluded that the events leading up to my transformation started the summer I turned nine. But the day we realized there was a problem, and no turning back, was a week before I started my senior year at Junction City High. The day the fangs and claws appeared and the monster inside of me emerged. 

When mutilated corpses appeared near a pile of brush down by Caney Creek, everything changed. Because evil woke up and growled, its ominous rumblings heard by every living thing in Locasia County, Mississippi.


Book Excerpt:

It was all over—for now. The ending completed, and the living nightmare of what happened in our sleepy little town nothing more than a permanent stain embedded in my mind and body. I stared at the words on the page, the white paper covered in bright blue ink. The empty pages behind it waited, impatient for me to add more. They sat in mocking silence on the desk in front of me. A twinge of apprehension slithered up my back. 
What am I doing?
During the last three months, I thought I’d done a decent job of stopping the memories. None of what happened was something anyone could be prepared to endure. No longer did the vile sounds and unbelievable images pop up during the middle of the day. I felt a sense of pride I stopped them without the use of medication. With the support of my mom and dad and the Lord above, I worked daily to bury the horrific events.
I shivered at the disturbing recollections. When the crystal clear images of the final battle exploded inside my head, they turned my slender torso into a shivering pile of goose bumps. I was unable to stop the screams of agony and anger when my mind replayed the events at night. Physical and mental anguish would slam into my body and soul as I fought not only the animal inside of me, but the one that stared at me from inside my mind. 
The eerie visions of the final confrontation were as terrifying in my mind’s eye as the actual day they occurred. Dark, jade-green eyes lit from within bored through my own with their anticipatory killing stare. The growl from its furry throat would seem as loud in my memories as it did when it happened. The flexed muscles of the creature jerked in its readiness to shred me down to a bloody pile of mush. The bright moon’s rays shimmered off of its stark white fangs. One swipe of the enormous paw or bite from the strong jaws would end it all. My cries of sorrow erupted at night when the images of the dismembered corpses appeared inside my mind. They were seared into my memory banks. I hadn’t experienced a moment of heart-stopping, frozen-to-one-spot freakouts in two months during the daytime. I whittled them down to only haunting my dreams at night.
Progress, plain and simple. 
A sound caught my attention, so I lifted my stare from the ruled, white paper on the desk and looked out my bedroom window. My sharp, one-eyed gaze glanced over to the pool and settled on the old, rusty swing at the edge of our backyard. I recalled with a slight smile the day last week when I took my first step out of the house and sat outside for almost an hour. The warmth of the sun and the gentle urges of my mother’s voice lured me into the water—at least the shallow end. I considered it a big leap in my recovery progress since I had developed a strong distaste for water. I had sat on the bottom step, the cool water barely up to my shins, and fought the urge to run back inside and lock myself inside my bedroom. The task of quelling my paralyzing fears had taken every ounce of mental strength to overcome. It was beyond weird at my age, but I felt safe in my adolescent bedroom. It was my territory. But I also knew it would become my prison if I didn’t learn to live outside its four walls again. Like a normal, sane person lives.
A quiet snicker from my lips bounced off the walls of my room. Sanity. Normalcy. Those ships sailed away eons ago, pulled under the dark waters of the mighty Mississippi River, never to be seen again.
 

Book Trailer at YouTube:





About the Author

Award-winning and International bestselling author Ashley Fontainne is an avid reader of mostly the classics. Ashley became a fan of the written word in her youth, starting with the Nancy Drew mystery series. Stories that immerse the reader deep into the human psyche and the monsters that lurk within us are her favorite reads.

Her muse for penning the Eviscerating the Snake series was The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Ashley's love for this book is what sparked her desire to write her debut novel, Accountable to None, the first book in the trilogy. With a modern setting to the tale, Ashley delves into just what lengths a person is willing to go when they seek personal justice for heinous acts perpetrated upon them. The second novel in the series, Zero Balance focuses on the cost and reciprocal cycle that obtaining revenge has on the seeker. For once the cycle starts, where does it end? How far will the tendrils of revenge expand? Adjusting Journal Entries answered that question: far and wide.

Her short thriller entitled Number Seventy-Five, touches upon the sometimes dangerous world of online dating. Number Seventy-Five took home the BRONZE medal in fiction/suspense at the 2013 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards contest and is currently in production for a feature film.

Her paranormal thriller entitled The Lie, won the GOLD medal in the 2013 Illumination Book Awards for fiction/suspense and is also in production for a feature film.

The suspenseful mystery Empty Shell, released September 29, 2014. Ashley then delves into the paranormal with a Southern Gothic horror/suspense novel, Growl, scheduled for release in the Spring of 2015. Plus, she will be teaming up with Lillian Hansen (Ashley calls her Mom!) to pen a three-part murder mystery/suspense series entitled The Magnolia Series. The first book, Blood Ties, is due out the Summer of 2015.

Ashley also hosts The WriteStuff, a popular BlogTalk Radio show, each Friday night at 10 p.m. CST. 
For More Information

15 comments:

  1. S.I.N sounds like a real goer. Congratulations on your success. Your trilogy sounds awesome.

    Hi Yolanda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Denise, thanks for stopping by. Love the S.I.N. too - very intriguing!

      Delete
  2. can't give up indeed, have to go for it and not hold ourselves back

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So very, very true Pat.

      Sorry, I'm trying to see how many times I can use the word very. Someone said - it's a bad thing to do! :)

      Delete
  3. Thank you for allowing me to be a guest today on your lovely blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Ashley,

      My pleasure, like Denise says, Awesome premise - Congratulations,and good luck with your tour! Love that you chose my blog for your inspiring post!

      Delete
  4. Very inspiring post. We can't sit around all the time thinking "what if". Growl sounds like a really powerful read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nick,
      Can't wait to see your tour begin. Yes, I agree, this is a great post! Never give up! Been close a few times, but really, it's just to much fun to keep trying!

      Delete
  5. Two movie deals - whoa! Congratulations. Every author's dream.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Alex, gearing up for your release, isn't it exciting. When will your books be movies?
      Soon, very, very soon, I'm sure!

      Delete
  6. Thank you! Yes, this entire journey has been amazing. You never know what's around the bend until you start the journey!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great advice Ashley and it sounds like your journey has been a fruitful one!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Delightfully creepy book trailer! Sounds like quite a writing journey!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shannon,

      Thanks again for all those wonderful links. And your horror book reviews, excellent!

      Delete

Would love to hear from you, say hello and leave your blog address - I'll visit, but please take with you my undying gratitude that you stopped by for a read. Be well, be happy, and may your blog surfing bring you joy!