Thursday, May 12, 2016

Blitz : Everafter

Everafter by M. Lathan

(The Immortals of Westchester Prep, #1)
Publication date: May 15th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
After years of battling leukemia, seventeen-year-old Sydney Long has made peace with her impending death. She expected pain, she expected tearful goodbyes, but she never expected to be turned into an immortal monster who can, with the slightest touch, control life and death.

Now, flowers are stirring when she walks by, she’s oddly drawn to death and the dying, and she must wear gloves to keep her living parents safe.

While her family toils with this supernatural nightmare and finding a way out of it, Sydney falls for magic and an equally as enticing boy who she can’t seem to stay away from.

But nothing comes without a price. When Sydney is targeted for her illegal magic, she’ll learn a whole new meaning of fighting for her life.
Dying hurt as much as I’d thought it would.
My burning lungs begged for relief as air hissed into my nose through a plastic tube. The shallow breaths wheezing out of my mouth somehow tasted like medicine and sweat.
They tasted like my life.
Instead of violins and the somber music that played on movies in moments like this, I was dying to the soundtrack of beeping monitors and the soft shuffling of my parents’ feet. They moved around our suite quietly, like ghosts, as they waited for me to become one and finally lose to leukemia.
I’d spent the last three weeks at an upscale ski resort in Lake Placid, just watching my health fade and my time on Earth dwindle to nothing. The view of the constant snow and the towering mountains in the distance usually distracted me from the pain. I needed that view more than ever tonight. Everything hurt, but in my mind, if I didn’t mention it, if I didn’t break, I would beat cancer in my own way.
We couldn’t afford to stay in this snowy paradise, but my parents didn’t want me to die in a sterile hospital. We’d moved to Lake Placid five months ago to chase another faint glimmer of hope, but the clinical trial had ended like all of the others—with me getting sicker. This time, we weren’t doing anything about it. After five years of giving cancer all we had, my parents had decided that we’d fought too much, cried too much, and hoped too much to do it again.
And that was okay. It had to be.
My final days were passing in a blur of tearful calls from my grandparents, long stares from my mom and dad, and smiles from my strangely exuberant hospice nurse. Sarah, with her endless energy and joy, was easily my favorite person on the planet. She supplied medicine that stopped me from feeling and long stories that kept me thinking, which made me feel alive.
Tonight, she was so busy gabbing about her ballerina days that she’d forgotten a dose of painkillers. I didn’t mention it. As she adjusted my oxygen tube, I stared at her beautiful, pixie-like face and the bright red hair framing it. Her tiny features and permanent smile made her a living fairy to me. My personal Tinkerbelle.
“It’s going to happen tonight, isn’t it?” She didn’t answer me. She draped another blanket over my legs without making eye contact. “They gave me a week to live … a week ago.”
“Sydney, I don’t want you to be concerned about death. Ever. Only focus on life and the living. Remember that, sweet girl.”
What a weird thing to say to an almost-corpse. I didn’t need to remember anything anymore. I laughed at her, and that disturbed my failing lungs. One cough turned into two, and soon Sarah had to hold me as my chest heaved relentlessly. The awful sound summoned my parents to my room.
They crept in with red eyes and rivers flowing down their cheeks, wearing yesterday’s clothes.
Nothing said that I was dying more than my dad being home. No matter where we moved, he worked, thanks to his special talent of finding a job within a day. He’d emigrated from China with his parents as a kid, and his entire family worked like one day off would mean certain death. So that was what he did—he spent his days toiling at dead-end jobs to barely keep us afloat. Except for today.
He squeezed my mom’s hand as they approached my bed. Her long dreads were down and wild tonight, and she looked beautiful despite her swollen face and runny nose. My mom had four piercings in each ear, an effortlessly cool hippy style, and a thick Trinidadian accent. Once, I’d wanted to be just like her, but now, I didn’t know what being like her meant other than crying a lot and receiving bad news.
“Mr. and Mrs. Long,” Sarah said, “I was just about to give Sydney her medicine. She’ll be asleep soon, and you don’t look like you’ve gotten much rest. I can watch her tonight.”
“Sarah,” I whispered, as my chest finally calmed. “Go home. Your shift is over.”
She pressed her warm hand to my cheek. I could’ve sworn, for a moment, I felt completely okay.
Tell us about your new book.

Everafter is about a seventeen year old girl who was sure of her own death. She’s battled cancer since age twelve, and we meet her at the end. But instead of dying, someone turns her into a powerful immortal who can control life and death with a touch. This is the beginning of a paranormal nightmare, and she’s not entirely sure if she wants it to end. It comes with perks like guys she can’t stay away from and the chance to never die again.

What does your writing process look like?

A rollercoaster. I get this cool idea and I start writing like crazy. Everything’s great until I stop to read and see how all over the place I am. That’s when I stop to outline. That keeps me in line and helps me with pacing as well. When the draft is done, the real work begins. I have about four complete and total overhauls in me before the story is ready.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

Yes. I do my best writing when I’m walking, which presents a problem. So I may take my phone on a walk around my neighborhood. When I was in college, I would walk around the creepy part of the library to get my thoughts flowing.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

I think names are extremely important. I always start with baby name websites, and I look for something that sounds like who they are. And I think about what their parents would’ve named them and why. In addition to all of those deep thoughts, I also explore options for nicknames. I never call anyone in my life by their full name, so a character’s name, in my head, has to shorten nicely.

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

Everafter is the first book in the Immortals of Westchester Prep trilogy. I am currently working on Book Two. It has a working title of Nightfall, but I am not to be trusted this early in the process. I’m working on it as fast as I can so readers who fall in love with Sydney’s story can continue it soon.

Thanks for letting me stop by your blog today. Everafter will be released May 15th on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and Smashwords. I hope you enjoy it, and good luck in the giveaway. 
M. Lathan lives in San Antonio with her husband and mini-schnauzer. She enjoys writing and has a B.S. in Psych and a Masters in Counseling. Her passion is a blend of her two interests - creating new worlds and stocking them with crazy people. She enjoys reading anything with interesting characters and writing in front of a window while asking rhetorical questions ... like her idol Carrie Bradshaw.

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