The First Day of School Always Sucks When You’re Crazy

Chapter 4

This is a Young Adult story tackling issues of self-harm and suicide. It is intended for teen readers or older. If you want to read from the beginning, click over to chapter 1.

Outside, the street was abandoned. Mostly retired folks lived in this neighborhood. No kids. Kassandra strolled to the corner where the bus was supposed to pick up. The morning mist rolled in from the ocean, chilling her knees through the holes in the jeans. 

Arroyo Grove High School was the only show in town, which meant a couple hundred kids who’d all known each other since kindergarten. Yeah, this was going to be a killer junior year. She might as well be a freshman again.

Kassandra checked the watch clipped to the purse: 7:22. The bus was supposed to pick up at 7:20. Had it already come? Walking was out of the question. She didn’t even know which direction to go. A breeze picked up and Kassandra hugged herself to keep warm. 

An engine gunned in the distance as a yellow bus chugged down the road. At least it wasn’t a short bus. Now, her mission was simple—avoid awkwardness at all costs. No tripping and don’t getting trapped in the back. 

The bus hissed to a stop and the doors cranked open. A heavyset woman with a short haircut sat behind the wheel. The bus was about three-quarters full—mostly single kids taking up a whole seat. The only open spots were near the back. 

Kassandra trudged down the aisle. A few riders flicked gazes up, though most seemed to be in an early morning daze.

The bus lurched forward as Driver Lady stepped on the gas. Kassandra’s arms flew out to grab the seats, but too late. She stumbled to the floor, purse sailing down the aisle. A slew of giggles erupted. One boy shouted out, “Nice one.”

As Kassandra stood, her jeans pulled away from a sticky goop splattered across the floor. This morning was going so well.

Someone slapped her arm. It was a brunette girl with square rimmed glasses. “The driver always does that. You have to pick a spot in a hurry.”

“Thanks.” Kassandra clenched the seat tops as the bus swung around a turn. The girl looked harmless. Kassandra could probably scoot into the same seat. But the escaped purse was still sliding along the floor in the back.

“I need to grab my purse.”

The girl shrugged, propped a knee against the seat and dove into a paperback book, folded nearly in half.

Kassandra teetered along the aisle and located the crocheted bag under the last seat. She debated trekking back to Book Girl, but that risked another fall and giggles from the bus riders. Maybe the girl was just being polite. She was busy reading and probably didn’t want some stranger butting in.

Driver Lady’s gaze flashed in the rear view mirror. “Sit down back there,” she barked.

Kassandra plopped onto the nearest seat. A giant rip covered most of the vinyl. Someone had gouged out chunks of yellow foam, leaving a deep crevice. A hint of silver metal peeked through.

Kassandra reviewed the scorecard so far—tripped and stuck in the back. At least she was consistently lame. Yanking the spiral out of her purse, she pressed it flat. White creases from the constant folding and unfolding spread like roots along the red cover.

The spiral stored all the snippets of poetry she loved, mostly lines from Romantics like Keats, Byron or Wordsworth. Scribbled notes and mind dumps inhabited the margins. On one page, she discovered part of Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget

What thou among the leaves hast never known

What a joy it’d be to fade away. Just toss the past and move on. Mom took the idea to extremes. If something reminded her of Dad, she sold it, gave it away, or trashed it. Kassandra chuckled. The only thing Mom couldn’t toss out was her. At least not legally.

The bus swerved into the school parking lot. Kassandra placed a hand on the window to keep from sliding into the foam pit. Everyone grabbed their backpacks and jackets. She jammed the notebook into the purse, but spotted a flash of gold peeking from behind some wadded up tissues. She reached for the mystery object.The Tarot cards from the psychic shop. Except they were on the table in the kitchen. Kassandra had seen them. Something unraveled in her brain and one thought floated to the surface—I must be going crazy

What Suit Are You? Giveaway

suit cards

Win a $100 Amazon gift card with the “What Suit Are You” giveaway. This giveaway supports the blog tour for Tarot: The Magician.

Blog Tour Schedule

The following blogs will be hosting me and Tarot: The Magician. Please check them out and comment if you like what you see.

Monday, July 14

A Thousand Lives Lived: This site will show the dream casting for Tarot: The Magician if it were every made into a movie.

Rose Shadow Ink: This excellent site will host an excerpt of the book.

Tuesday, July 15

Adventures in Writing by T. H. Hernandez: This site will share a guest post about the writing process for Tarot: The Magician.

Make it Happen: This site will have a review of Tarot: The Magician.

Wednesday, July 16

My Favorite Things: This site will host an excerpt of the book.

SnoopyDoo’s Book Reviews: This site will host a different excerpt of the book.

Friday, July 18

Becky On Books: This site will host another excerpt of the book.

Book Blurb

When Kassandra Troy discovers an ancient tarot deck, her life takes a thrilling and frightening turn. She triggers The Magician card, and releases the mysterious and captivating Luke Rykell. He lifts Kassandra out of despair, dispelling the devastation she feels after her father’s death. But Luke has a dark secret. He wants the magical deck for himself. The only way Kassandra can save herself is to journey into the Tarot cards. But once inside, can she ever escape?

Irresistibly compelling and heart-wrenching, Tarot: The Magician is a superb fantasy tale that will haunt you long after you’ve read the last page.

Download the ebook from Midnight Frost Books as well as AmazonBarnes and Noble and Smashwords. Not sure? Read a free sample here. Or click on the fancy schmancy button below.

Snail Sample Button

Tarot Book Trailer

I worked for over two months drawing and coloring the panels you see in this trailer. I wanted it to be as special as the book. However, I was daunted by the music. I’m no musician. However, if it were silent, or had canned music, that would undermine all the hard work I put into the animation. Bradley Coy came to my rescue. For the full story on how the theme for the book trailer was created, read A Theme Song for an ebook.

Book Reviews

Don’t trust me. Here are readers who have read and commented on the book.

“I especially enjoyed Kassandra’s journey through the cards as she tries to solve the problems she’s faced with and find her way out. And the ending gives me hope for a sequel (or a series?)” by Tara at Dividing by Zero

Giveaway Details

By helping me promote Tarot: The Magician, you some cash to spend. I’ll email you an Amazon gift card so you can buy your own swag.

Print

 

Click this LINK or anywhere on the image below to take you to enter the giveaway. You can also enter via Facebook. Hurry, this event ends Friday, July 25th!

 

JulyPromo

Tarot Blog Tour Giveaway

TAROT word blog tour

When Kassandra Troy discovers an ancient tarot deck, her life takes a thrilling and frightening turn. She triggers The Magician card, and releases the mysterious and captivating Luke Rykell. He lifts Kassandra out of despair, dispelling the devastation she feels after her father’s death. But Luke has a dark secret. He wants the magical deck for himself. The only way Kassandra can save herself is to journey into the Tarot cards. But once inside, can she ever escape?

Irresistibly compelling and heart-wrenching, Tarot: The Magician is a superb fantasy tale that will haunt you long after you’ve read the last page.

Download the ebook from Midnight Frost Books as well as AmazonBarnes and Noble and Smashwords. Not sure? Read a free sample here. Or click on the fancy schmancy button below.

Snail Sample Button

Tarot Book Trailer

I worked for over two months drawing and coloring the panels you see in this trailer. I wanted it to be as special as the book. However, I was daunted by the music. I’m no musician. However, if it were silent, or had canned music, that would undermine all the hard work I put into the animation. Bradley Coy came to my rescue. For the full story on how the theme for the book trailer was created, read A Theme Song for an ebook.

Book Reviews

Don’t trust me. Here are readers who have read and commented on the book.

“I especially enjoyed Kassandra’s journey through the cards as she tries to solve the problems she’s faced with and find her way out. And the ending gives me hope for a sequel (or a series?)” by Tara at Dividing by Zero

Giveaway Details

By helping me promote Tarot: The Magician, you some gifts. This time around, I’m giving away the Steampunk Tarot by Barbara Moore and Aly Fell. It looks wickedly cool. I’m quite temped to order a second for myself.

steampunk-standout

 

You’ll also get some cash to spend. I’ll email you an Amazon gift card so you can buy your own swag.

15-gift-card-amazon

Click this LINK or anywhere on the image below to take you to enter the giveaway. You can also enter via Facebook. Hurry, this event ends Friday, June 20th!

Blog Tour PROMO