Sunday, 24 November 2013

PROMOTION - THE TWILIGHT SWIMMER BY A.C. KAVICH

ISBN: 978-1492806561
ASIN:  B00F2404W8
Publisher: Self/Indie
Pages/Files Size: 252pages/1105KB
Formats Available: Paperback,E-Book

BLURB from Goodreads
One year after her beloved sister drowned while swimming in cold New England waters, sixteen-year-old Brandi Vine is still struggling to understand what happened. As she mourns on the rocky beach where her sister's lifeless body washed ashore, she is unaware that a pair of haunting gray eyes is watching her from beneath rolling ocean waves.

When Brandi attends a party that goes horribly awry, the mysterious owner of the gray eyes emerges from the ocean depths and comes to her rescue. She only sees him for a few brief moments, but that's all it takes to turn Brandi's world upside down. What were the strange markings on his neck that seemed to flutter with every breath? How did he possess such inhuman strength and grace? And why did he look at Brandi with such longing?

Brandi's fascination with the Swimmer grows. She makes it her mission to find him again and learn who - and what - he is. Meanwhile, the Swimmer’s fascination with Brandi compels him to leave the safety of the ocean behind, to be with her at all costs. They are from two different worlds, but neither of the star-crossed romantics can resist the pull of the other.

Ultimately, when her feelings for the Swimmer swell beyond her control, Brandi comes to realize that the strange young man from the sea can unlock the secret of her sister's final swim.


AUTHOR INTERVIEW


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?  
My name is AC Kavich. I was born in East Central Indiana and currently live in San Diego, California. 

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be? 
I was torn between writing and the visual arts. I do my best to "paint the scene" so to speak when I write to take advantage of both interests!

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish? 
I am a self-published writer. While I have attempted to find a publisher for previous work, the landscape of the industry has changed so much in the past few years that I decided to attempt self-publishing for the first time. So far, so good!

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre? 
I plan to continue writing in the YA Fantasy genre. I'm currently at work on the second installment of a trilogy called The Dragon Tree Chronicles. The first book in the series is available now!

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite? 
I am quite fond of the character Spider in my novel The Twilight Swimmer. He's goofy and funny on the outside, but vulnerable and sensitive as well.

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write? 
I've been writing for almost 10 years now. My focus has been screenplays for much of that time, but I'm really enjoying long form fiction now.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair? 
I am the least consistent writer on the planet! I'll work nothing but mornings for a week, then work nothing but owl hours the next. The only thing consistent about my method of working is to write in bursts, like sprints, and take frequent breaks to recharge.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books? 
I certainly do. It can be both educational and uplifting to hear directly from readers, and I don't shy away from negative criticism.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books? 
Not a chance! Even if I were that desperate, I would never let anyone else know!

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books? 
I produced my own covers for both the novels currently in release. I use a program called Serif that's terrific.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title? 
The title always comes somewhere in the middle of writing the novel, and it's not uncommon for me to change a title once or twice before settling on the final title.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along? 
Character traits always emerge organically for me. If if plan too much, I find that I'm forcing the character's voice and I quickly lose authenticity.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story? 
I outline very diligently - a trick I learned as a screenwriter. It allows me to write uninterrupted from start to finish once I actually begin on the prose.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"? 
Never! The cure to writer's block is to have multiple projects at some stage of development at all times. That way, you can always, always, always make forward progress on one of them. For me, momentum is vital.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you? 
I'll never tell!

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing? 
Far too many to list, but they range from Tolkien to Mailer to Rowling... I read everything under the sun.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once? 
Gone With The Wind is a perfect novel and well worth reading once a year.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books? 
Sadly, yes. I think all non-digital media will be the stuff of museums 50 years from now.

Do you have a favourite genre of book?
I adore fantasy and historical fiction.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Get started and concentrate on momentum... it's far better to write one bad page a day than zero good pages.


And any other information you wish to supply?


EXCERPT

PROLOGUE

The Swimmer made his home in water so far below the surface that the sun could not penetrate its depth. And yet, despite the blackness, the Swimmer’s gray eyes were always watching. His pupils dilated from lid to hairless lid to sort through the woven shadows of the deep. He could see every alien creature that swam or scuttled by without ever feeling his powerful eyes upon them.
His highly evolved ears were no less remarkable. He could hear the groaning of tectonic plates. He could hear the steady sound of water flowing through his gill line. He could hear the cells of his respiratory system as they strained to draw tiny quantities of oxygen from the liquid and feed his warm blood. His bones were no less ideal for his environment. He could withstand the intense pressure without discomfort, and his veins could process the nitrogen bubbles that left human divers in peril should they kick for the surface too quickly. The cold that increased with the pressure had no effect on his flesh at all.
The only weakness he had ever known was sensitivity to sunlight. Venturing into shallow water during daylight hours exposed his pale flesh to the sun’s rays, and left his skin irritated and discolored. The mild burns would heal, but the experience was unpleasant. He avoided shallow water until the moon climbed up and joined the stars, white points on a black curtain, their brilliance visible even through the distortion of an ocean wave.
It was during these hours, these peaceful moonlight hours, that the Swimmer rose up and swam the contours of the land.
In his twenty years, he had traveled the shores of the world. From the storm swells at the shark-infested tip of South America to the icy surf of Greenland. From the fjords of Northern Europe to the temperate waters of the Bay of Bengal. He swam the length of Japan, the reefs of Australia and the straights of the Arabian Peninsula. All of his kind traveled with the seasons, following food sources as they migrated, moving on when shipping or industrial fishing made the waterways unsafe. But he swam for pleasure, exploring the world one nautical mile at a time.
As he swam beneath the surface, gazing up at unfamiliar shores, he turned his ears toward the sound of noises on land. The hammers of industry. The roar of automobiles and trains. The shrill protests of soaring birds and the chirping of insects. The barking of dogs and the braying of mules. He listened to these sounds with great interest, with academic intensity, as if learning a foreign tongue.
Above all, he listened for their voices. The creatures that looked so much like him. He listened to their joyful conversations on sandy beaches, their protestations of love and hatred on rocky outcroppings, their enraged arguments from cottages and their conspiratorial whispers from the decks of moored boats. In their voices, he heard something like the sounds he could produce if he contracted the muscles of his throat, sealed his gill line from the onrush of water, and opened his mouth. He began to mimic their sounds, seeking out patterns and discerning syllables. And in time, he found in himself a capacity for words.
For human words.
It was years before he began to differentiate between languages. But the human sounds from one shoreline to the next were so different his ears could not help but make distinctions. And when he dared to press his face through that last layer of water and gaze upon the speakers standing upright on shore, he discovered that the different languages were produced by variations of the same species. Those with dark skin on the shore of one continent often spoke a different tongue than those with pale skin on the shore of another.
As he studied their words, as he found patterns, he began to learn local names for landmasses, and for the people who had named them. He learned words like Africa, like South America, like New Zealand. And he understood them. He understood that they were labels, a way for people to speak in concert about a single place they shared. If different languages had different names for the same place, he had not yet decided. It seemed possible, but he had only been swimming for twenty years and his education would take many years more.
For several seasons, however, he had focused on one landmass in particular. A place where people of many different colors walked the shores, sometimes with others who looked like them, sometimes in mixed groups. Most of them spoke the same language. English, they called it. He swam from the frigid waters of the distant Western coast to the warmer waters at the southern edge of the Eastern coast. The journey took months with another enormous landmass dividing his trek. But he rejoined the land and found, to his delight, that the language of these varied peoples bound them to each other, and bound them to this place.
He learned what they called it. A name with music in the letters.
If he could not learn about all of humanity in one lifetime, if there was too little time to swim and watch every variety of human, he would focus on the one place where every variety of person lived together, in one community so large he could scarcely imagine its breadth.
In the Northern Atlantic ocean, the water was cold. Cold enough for him to stay awhile.
And listen.
And watch.
It would not be long before he looked down at his own legs, so similar to theirs, and decided to find out if they could carry him upright. If they could carry him out of the water and onto the shore.

CHAPTER ONE

Brandi Vine sat quietly at the dining room table. Her hands were folded in her lap and her straight auburn hair was in her eyes. She could see through it, though. She could always see through it. And at this moment she was looking through the screen of her hair at the head of her spoon, which was buried under a pile of cold mashed potatoes that could not look less appetizing. She found herself wondering how far the potatoes would fly if she slammed the handle hanging over the edge of her plate. She pictured a white glob sailing past her younger brother Cody, his eyes glued to his handheld videogame, his fingers urgently pressing buttons as he muttered to himself. He wouldn’t even notice the projectile. She pictured the glob sailing in front of her mother Sherri, raven hair pulled taut in a tight ponytail, her blue eyes hidden behind the reflection of her eyeglasses. And her father Conrad? Would he jump up with a laugh and try to catch the potato missile in his mouth? Maybe a year ago. Not anymore. Now he would lower his eyes, let her mother raise hell, and wait for the yelling to be over.
Brandi tried to look casual as she pushed her chair back, dropped her napkin over her plate and walked toward the living room.
            “Excuse me, young lady, but you haven’t finished your… You haven’t finished anything!” cried Sherri, her eyes open wider than eyes should open. Brandi wondered how anyone could be so shocked about dinner.
            “She ate her peas,” said Cody without looking up.
            “That’s right! I ate my peas. If I was five that’s all you would care about,” said Brandi, trying and failing to hide the sarcasm in her voice.
            “Peas won’t put any weight back on those bones of yours, now will they?” insisted Sherri.
            “My weight is fine.”
            “It’s not fine. Your pants don’t fit snugly like they used to. Falling right off your hips, aren’t they? Don’t answer! I can see that they are. Conrad, can you see her pants falling right off her hips?”
            Conrad looked up and apologized to Brandi with his eyes. “Your mother wants you to finish your food, sweetheart. Just a few more bites.”
            Sherri guffawed. “You say that like you’re only humoring me. Am I the only one who cares what happens to this family? Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one!”
 “Homework. Lots of homework,” said Brandi as she hurried away from the table and loped up the carpeted stairs to the second story, not daring to look back at the table for fear of her mother’s disapproving eyes.

            On her way to her bedroom, Brandi slipped into her parents’ room. She crept past their bed, its four posts casting dark shadows on the wall. She slipped into their bathroom and opened the medicine cabinet. There were two boxes of tampons on the middle shelf. She took out the first and shook it. It was full. She took out the other box, shook it, and heard a smaller box sliding around inside. With a satisfied grin, she opened the box and took out the hidden pack of cigarettes. She stole two from the pack and replaced everything just the way she found it.

            Her room was large, but half empty. All of Brandi’s belongings were confined on one side: her bed, her dresser and vanity mirror, the framed watercolors she bought from a local artist two summers ago. Brandi turned on her stereo, just loud enough for the music to be audible outside her bedroom door. She always listened to music while she studied. Her parents would leave her alone if they heard it.
            She changed into a pair of beat up, torn blue jeans. They slid off her hips too, worse than the pants her mother had complained about. Brandi yanked them tight with a belt, pulled on a hooded sweatshirt and a pair of boots, and pushed open the window. She stepped through the open window and scrambled up the slanted roof.
            On the far side of the house, Brandi climbed into the branches of an oversized oak then jumped effortlessly to the grass. She was getting better at sneaking out, all the time.
            She kept low as she ran down the slope of the back yard to the channel that marked its back edge. Her father’s two-man sailboat was moored at the end of their short wooden dock. Brandi’s kayak was out of the water, upside-down in the grass. She grabbed one tapered end, heaved with impressive strength for a sixteen-year-old anorexic, and turned the boat upright.

Brandi paddled her kayak through the channel. Her shoulders were tight with the effort, her wrists and elbows strained. But the exertion felt good. Frogs cooed and croaked from the water’s edge. Fish streaked beneath the surface in search of reckless insects hovering overhead. Swaying willow trees leaned over the water, tickling the glassy surface with low hanging branches. On both sides of the channel, there were docks and moored boats. Homes like her own rose up from dark, manicured yards, their windows illuminated from within like staring eyes, open wide like her mother’s. She shook the thought from her mind and dug in deeper with her paddle as she headed toward the ocean.
The channel widened and became an inlet. The inlet widened and became a rounded cove. An outcropping of land covered with dense trees shielded the mouth of the waterway from the heavier winds of the open sea. But the air was much cooler here, and Brandi pulled her hood over her head to fight off a shiver. She kept paddling, feeling the current tug at the bottom of the kayak, dragging her toward deeper water, then pushing her back. She lifted her paddle, set it across her legs and allowed herself to be carried by the water. It was seductive, to be at the water’s mercy. She wanted to toss the paddle overboard and lie back, staring up at the moon and let herself be carried away. But she resisted the urge, lowered her shoulder and paddled toward the rocky shore.
Brandi dragged her kayak onto the beach, cringing at the sound of its belly scraping on the rocks. Her father had taught her not to ground the kayak on anything but sand or grass, but she didn’t have much choice. This beach wasn’t tourist friendly. She crossed her arms across her gurgling stomach and marched the length of the shore until she reached Flat Rock.
It was a single bolder that had somehow found its way here, into the cove, untold thousands of years ago if her father could be believed. And it was cleaved in half, almost perfectly, down the center. One half had fallen on its side, its sharp edge jutting upward and pointing at the stars. The other half presented a table a few feet above the lapping high tide. She sat and drew her knees to her chest. She wrapped her ponytail around her neck like a scarf and tucked her hands inside the pocket of her sweatshirt. She found the two cigarettes she’d boosted from her mother’s secret stash and a lighter she always kept on hand. Her fingers were stiff with cold, and it was difficult to get a flame, but she pressed her lips against the filter and drew in deep when she finally produced a spark. The warm smoke tasted terrible, but it warmed her up.
She couldn’t quite admit it to herself, but she always brought the second cigarette for Jenny. For her sister. She was one year older than Brandi and better than Brndi in every way. So much smarter. Filled with so much more kindness and thoughtfulness. Everything Brandi wanted to be, until… It was stupid, to bring the cigarette. Jenny wouldn’t have touched it even if she were here. She’d have smiled at Brandi in that way she had, that way of making her opinion perfectly clear, and perfectly persuasive, without speaking a single word. Perfectly clear. Perfectly persuasive. Perfect.
That was Jenny.
That was Jenny. Not anymore. Jenny was gone.
And this is where it happened. At least, this is where it ended. With her body lying on the rocky beach at dawn, her jeans and sweater soaked with seawater and clinging to her body like a second skin. She was lying on her back when the fishermen found her, stretched out, her hands folded on her stomach as if she was only sleeping. The fishermen claimed she still had color in her skin. They tried to put air back in her lungs. But no. She would not breathe. They called the police to report the body. The man who answered was the sheriff, Conrad Vine.
Brandi’s father.
Brandi knew that Conrad would have been silent when he heard the news. He wouldn’t have cried out, or yelled. He wouldn’t have slammed the phone down angrily. He wouldn’t even have asked questions to try to convince himself that it wasn’t Jenny. He would have known, the second he heard that a girl with auburn hair had been found on the beach, that it could only be Jenny.
Conrad had lovingly dubbed his daughter the twilight swimmer.
For years, a sudden fever would overtake Jenny. When the fever struck, she would need the water. It was a compulsion, and no amount of punishment or pleading from Conrad or Sherri could persuade her to be more sensible. On those nights when the fever took her, Jenny always found a way to swim. She wouldn’t bother changing into her bathing suit. She wouldn’t even bother undressing. She would wade into any body of water she could find, fully clothed, and slip below the surface. Bath water warm or icy cold, it didn’t matter. She needed to swim. She would swim at any cost.
And now it had cost her life.
Conrad rarely spoke of the day he got the call, but Brandi had pieced together the details into something like the truth.
Jenny’s body was lying on a steel table under cold fluorescent tube lights, her clothing cut away and discarded so the coroner could examine her body, her hair drying shapelessly in the refrigerated air, clinging to her bare shoulders and neck. The medical examiners covered her nakedness when Conrad came in the room to identify her. But he knew she was exposed and vulnerable underneath the sheet. That had surely horrified him most of all – the casual violation of his daughter’s modesty.
Conrad came home and sat in his police cruiser in the driveway. It was still summer, and the kids were home. He decided to tell Sherri first. He had to tell Sherri first. Jenny heard her mother’s screams from within the confines of the room she shared with Jenny. She knew immediately what the screams meant.
The family gathered in the front room. Sheri looked like a homeless woman, despite her immaculate clothes and hair. Despite the rings that always decorated her slender fingers and the silver necklace that dangled at her neck. She demanded an answer to a question that could not be answered: What could possess a perfectly sensible girl to go swimming at night?
It had to be the medication she was on. The pills the doctors gave her, to keep Jenny’s moods from swinging so violently. They would center Jenny, the doctors had promised. They would keep her level and steady. It was the only way to treat her condition, to keep her from racing toward the poles of human emotion. Sherri had convinced Conrad that the doctors knew best. And Conrad had reluctantly agreed. And Jenny started taking the pills.
And now she was dead. And Sheri was furious.
“She started swimming long before the medication,” Conrad insisted, gently. But Sherri wouldn’t listen to him. She had decided, she was certain, that the pills were to blame. They had made her Jenny worse, not better. They had made her senses dull, too dull to realize the water was too cold or the current too strong. Too dull to realize her body was too tired from swimming and she needed to go to shore.

The cigarette was making Brandi nauseous. She stubbed it out on the edge of Flat Rock. It slipped from her fingers and landed in the surf below. A wave washed over the cigarette and swept it out toward the open ocean.
As Brandi made her way from Flat Rock to her beached kayak, wiping angry tears from her eyes, she did not sense that another pair of eyes was watching her. Not from the woods behind the beach, but from the water. From just below the surface.
Gray eyes.

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