Falling Ash is LIVE on Amazon!

I have a lot to celebrate today.  It’s the three-year anniversary of my officially becoming an indie author, and to help celebrate that achievement, I’m releasing my fifth book: Falling Ash, a Dark Dystopian Romance.  It’s available now to 1-Click or read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

This book won’t be for everyone.  It’s a Dark Romance that comes with the same strong warning I used for The Ransom Series.  That said, I tried to balance the dark and the romance in this book.  Even though it’s all fantasy and escapism, I wanted the romance to be believable because I do think it’s possible to find love amidst darkness.

I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.  I’d love to hear your feedback and find out if you want more, because you wouldn’t believe the sequel idea that quickly developed in my head when I finished writing the first draft of this book.

I proudly present to you Falling Ash, a Dark Dystopian Romance by A.T. Douglas:

~ 1-Click or Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited ~

~ Preview Falling Ash Here ~

~ Add to Goodreads ~

He has me. He holds me. He’ll never let me go.

I’ve faced my fair share of challenges this year. I’ve endured physical and emotional pain and survived the attacks that led to the self-destruction of society, but I don’t know if I can survive this.

I may not want to.

My name before he took me was Ashleigh, but now I’m only Ash.

WARNING: Falling Ash is a Dark Dystopian Romance novel intended for mature audiences 18+. It contains disturbing situations, graphic violence, strong language, and sexual content.

FallingAsh

 

Prologue

Darkness and silence fill the room around me. I try desperately to bring my limbs close to my body, mankind’s natural reaction to retreat inward to its fetal position in times of fear and crisis. I’m physically unable to move, though, my hands bound by leather cuffs dangling me in a strained position from chains directly above my shoulders. My ankles are similarly bound at the floor, my feet barely able to reach the hard surface because of the short distance that the chains keep my legs spread apart.

My breathing quickens erratically as I struggle against the bindings. The rapid movements of air to and from my lungs become deafeningly loud in the complete stillness around me.

Then it all stops. The slow and heavy sound of footsteps from an area nearby halts all movement of my limbs and inhalations from my lips. The muffled sounds of someone approaching grow louder, weighted with purpose, their malicious intent becoming clearer with each step.

The door creaks open, a blinding beam of white light pouring into the room directly at me. I immediately look away, more to avoid seeing what or who will come in next than to avoid the harsh light. The steps aren’t muffled anymore. They’re right here approaching me, quickening in pace until they’re upon me, overtaking me.

Ending me.

“What is your name?” a deep voice asks.

I say nothing. I don’t move. Despite all that I’ve endured since the end of last year and despite how strong I’ve pretended to be, I don’t know that I can face this.

“What is your name?” The voice is more demanding now, the tone quickly escalating to one of anger.

My mouth opens fully intending to speak, but I can’t get anything out. My breath catches in my throat, and I feel like I can hardly breathe.

“Your name.” All patience gone, he grabs my chin and forces my face forward, though my eyes only see his dark outline against the blinding light from the doorway.

“Ashleigh,” I breathe out, and his hardened grasp on my skin instantly releases.

He steps back just enough to look me over from head to toe, then stills before me. “Ash,” he declares definitively. “That will be your name here.” He turns and takes two more steps away, then barely glances over his shoulder at me. “That will be my name for you.”

Without another word, he quickly exits the room and closes the door behind him, leaving me back where I started, drowning in darkness and struggling to survive.

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Cover Reveal for Falling Ash

I had ambitions of letting my photographer do a photo shoot with a model based on my guidance to come up with a cover photo for Falling Ash.  I planned to essentially design and format the cover myself like I’ve done with my previous book covers.  As I was approaching the end of writing the first draft of Falling Ash, though, I began to stress about not even having started the process of getting the cover ready.

Then I found my new favorite graphic designer who also serves as her own photographer: Marisa at Cover Me Darling.

Marisa designed a cover from one of her photos that ended up being absolutely perfect for this book, and when I saw it and the other work she had done, I knew I had to work with her.  All thoughts of doing my own cover went out the window.  All the stress of not even having a photoshoot scheduled was gone.  Within a day or two of getting Marisa the information she needed to complete the cover, I had a final product that I couldn’t be happier with.

I’m thrilled to finally show you how it turned out.  Here is the cover for Falling Ash, a Dark Dystopian Romance, coming exclusively to Kindle on August 11, 2016.

FallingAsh

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Coming Soon ~ Falling Ash by A.T. Douglas

This book I’ve been writing for the last six months isn’t just a manuscript anymore.  It has a final blurb.  Its cover is complete.  Its story has come to life and is almost ready to be put out into the world, so it’s time I finally gave you the details I’ve been keeping close to me for so long.

I’m thrilled to announce the title and blurb for my upcoming release due out on August 11, 2016, the three-year anniversary of the day I officially became an indie author:

Falling Ash, a Dark Dystopian Romance

He has me.  He holds me.  He’ll never let me go.

I’ve faced my fair share of challenges this year.  I’ve endured physical and emotional pain and survived the attacks that led to the self-destruction of society, but I don’t know if I can survive this.

I may not want to.

My name before he took me was Ashleigh, but now I’m only Ash.

WARNING: Falling Ash is a Dark Dystopian Romance novel intended for mature audiences 18+.  It contains disturbing situations, graphic violence, strong language, and sexual content.

~ Add Falling Ash to Goodreads ~

~ Sign up for the Cover Reveal and Release Day Blitz ~

A Blessing and a Curse

It’s become very clear to me over the last year and a half that being an indie author is both a blessing and a curse.  The beauty of it is we’re just normal people living our regular lives each day while fulfilling our dreams of writing even if that time is limited to the late night or pre-dawn hours and the few spare moments we can get.  The curse of being an indie author is that daily life inevitably gets in the way, not just because it makes precious writing time more difficult to come by, but also because life can be draining, and an exhausted indie author brain is not usually conducive to writing.

Last year was hard.  I learned that having two kids really is a lot more work than just one, especially when one isn’t just a normal kid (that’s a story for another blog post).  My day job that has always kept me busy reached new levels of misery and chaos.  It was a mentally and emotionally exhausting year, and I can’t even begin to tell you how disappointed I was in not having the energy to get back behind the keyboard and write.

I’ve vowed to make this year different, though.  Things at work are just as chaotic as before, but life at home has become a little easier now that my second son is almost a year and a half old and sleeping for longer periods at night (most of the time).  I’m still fighting the exhaustion, but I have the drive to write inspiring me to get through each day.

I also have coffee.  Lots of it.

There’s a point in the writing process when an author gets completely enveloped by their story.  Every idle moment of the day is spent thinking about what’s going to happen next, how to get out of a problem we’ve inadvertently written in the storyline, crafting conversation for the next turn of events.  I’m incredibly excited to say I’m there.  Actually, I’ve been there for months now.

And it’s exactly where I belong.

I’ve had this story in my head since the late summer of 2014 when I was still writing and finalizing Beyond Resistance, the third and final book in The Ransom Series.  I tried to start writing this story for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that November, a couple weeks after Beyond Resistance went live and my second son was born, but I was too busy with a newborn and exhausted from each day.  I tried again to start writing it for NaNoWriMo a year later in November 2015, but I faced the same challenges in not having the time or mental energy to do it.

Hello 2016.

I’m already 40,000 words into writing this story, and I can’t wait to keep going.  My commute to and from work has become my time for plotting out the next scene as I listen to the music that also inspires me.  This story is constantly on my brain, and in the coming months it will finally be down on virtual paper for the world to read.

It won’t be for everyone.  Those who have read The Ransom Series know I’m not afraid to delve into the darkness, and I’m jumping into it completely with this story.  Head first.  No looking back.

As much as I want to tell you the title and the genre and give you the initial blurb for the story, I’m going to torture you a little bit like authors sometimes do in telling you I’m working on a project without actually telling you about the project.  It will make it all that much better when I finally spill the details which, who knows, may be sooner than you think.

In the meantime, though, I hope to make it up to you by being more active on social media and giving you more frequent updates.  I’ll never be overly open and chatty as I tend to be a quiet person, more than happy to sit back in the shadows and observe, but I can certainly do better.  It’s time for me to actively engage in the indie author and reader communities again.

This year will be better than the last.  That flood of exhilaration at hitting the “Publish” button will flow through me again, and I’ll finally get another story out into the world for you to read.

There are a few more bumps to overcome on my way to the smoother path ahead, but I’m keeping my eyes trained forward.  I’ll get there eventually, and I can’t wait to see what happens when I’m finally there.

Beyond Resistance is live on Amazon!

The Ransom Series is complete (for real this time)!

Beyond Resistance, Part Three of The Ransom Series and a book that exists solely thanks to my readers’ support and encouragement, is live on Amazon. Actually, it’s been live since October 21st. I’m only just getting around to this blog post now because I’ve been a little busy since the actual release. After over a day and a half wait, the book finally went live within thirty minutes of the birth of my second son, and life has essentially been chaos since then.

I couldn’t have been more excited to bring these two creations into the world at once, though.

I hope fans of The Ransom Series enjoy this third and final installment that I had no intention of writing when the series was initially published. The fans were right that more of this story needed to be told, and I’m so glad I listened to them.

~ Buy or borrow Beyond Resistance on Amazon ~

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OQINID8/

Blurb Reveal for Beyond Resistance

So here it is. For the fans who have read Beyond Ransom and Beyond Revenge and inspired me to write more to this story, I’m happy to give you the blurb for Beyond Resistance, Part Three of The Ransom Series. I hope you enjoy this final sneak peek into the book before it’s released sometime in October.

If you haven’t read Beyond Ransom and Beyond Revenge, this blurb reveal isn’t for you. I don’t want to spoil the first two books in the series for you.

You can find the blurb for Beyond Resistance at the Goodreads link below. It’s a great opportunity to add the book to your TBR while you’re there!

~ Beyond Resistance on Goodreads ~

First look at Beyond Resistance

I can’t wait a moment longer.

After three months of writing and a couple weeks of editing, I’m finally ready to give you this first look into Beyond Resistance, Part Three of The Ransom Series.

If you haven’t read Beyond Ransom and Beyond Revenge yet, avert your eyes from the rest of this post as this excerpt won’t necessarily make sense to you and will spoil your reading experience for the first two books in the series. The three books are meant to be read in order.

I was going to write up something here to preface this excerpt, but I think I’ll let it speak for itself. I’d love to hear about your reaction to reading it.

Without further delay, I present to you the Prologue…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The emblazoned sun fills the sky above me. It’s the same sun I’ve known all my life but feels completely different here with its dry heat over this barren desert terrain. I’m far from home, and I know it’s dangerous to be here, but this is something I have to do. My family needs this. I need this.

And he needs me, too.

We’ve only had this raging celestial body in the heavens to connect us all together, but its pull on the Earth is nothing compared to the pull of family. Resisting the primal need to be together is something we can’t do anymore. There is no moving on with life knowing that the final piece of our family is out there.

We understand the risks. We know what’s at stake. We’re ready to face whatever the hell life decides to throw at us, because honestly it can’t be worse than the difficulties we’ve already endured. It’s time for happiness and love to bring our family back together after being apart for so long.

It’s time.

I can feel the sweat beading on the back of my neck as I watch closely for any movement from the massive building in front of me. I’d like to think my body’s reaction is from the heat of leaning on this black car in the full sun of mid-afternoon as I wait, but I know nerves are playing their part. While our plan is well underway, this moment is where it could all fall apart. The next few hours will tell me just how risky this self-created situation is.

A blaring buzzer sounds from the building before a metal side door opens. For the intensity of the sound, I would have expected an army to emerge from inside, but only one man with a plastic bag in hand walks out before the door closes abruptly behind him.

He walks with his eyes trained on the ground and no urgency to his movements. Even at this distance, I can see the worn lines of age that travel across his skin. His hair is wiry and gray with white patches throughout. As he walks down the path toward the massive barbed wire fence that separates us, I fear the life within him has been as drained as it appears to have affected his body.

Even after the guard at the gate unlocks a door in the fence and allows the man to leave, there is no purpose to the man’s steps. He glances up only briefly to acknowledge that there is a car waiting for him as expected, though I see his expression long enough to recognize the look of confusion there.

When he’s within feet of me and the car, he finally looks up to meet my gaze and clears his throat. “You’re from the cab company?”

It pains me to hear the hopelessness in his voice. Given what this man has endured and what just happened to change his life around, he should be elated, full of anticipation, ready to take on the fucking world.

I smile and avoid his question completely. I won’t lie to the man. I will never lie to him. “I’m here to take you home.”

He laughs under his breath, a guttural sound full of sarcasm and discontent. I’m on the verge of putting it all out there right at this very moment to make him feel better and understand, but I have to wait until we’re on the road. I can’t risk anyone seeing his reaction.

Before I can move to do it for him, he opens the front passenger door and takes his seat, slamming the door shut behind him.

I take a brief moment to breathe and remember who I’ve just met and how long I’ve waited to meet him. There is no room for anger or frustration between us.

He will understand.

I move around the car and buckle into the driver’s seat, glancing only briefly next to me to confirm the scowl I expected would be on the man’s face. Without another word, I start up the car and get us on the road.

The car’s radio is silent. Only the sound of the air conditioner combating the heat of the summer sun fills the space between us, though the car feels thick with tension.

I need to make him understand, to put his worries to rest. Though I’ve been ready to do this for an eternity, now that the moment is finally here, it’s almost impossible to know what to say.

I turn to face him, fully intent on opening my mouth to speak and get the words out with no stopping until he realizes just how great of a turn his life has really taken, but there’s no need for me to say a thing. Understanding is written all over his face as his eyes remain fixed on my left hand on the steering wheel.

“Oh my God,” he whispers in disbelief. Tears and sparks of life fill his eyes as he raises them to look at me. “It’s you, isn’t it?”

My heart momentarily jumps to my throat as I glance down at my left wrist and the small black symbol of infinity tattooed there. I slowly bring the car to a stop on the side of the desert road before turning to meet the man’s gaze again, swallowing hard before speaking.

“It’s good to finally meet you, Grandpa.”

~Beyond Resistance, copyright 2014 by A.T. Douglas, coming October 2014.