Come meet the Author of Dream Weaver….Su Williams

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CRINGE-WORTHY?
I always cringe a little when someone
asks me what inspired me to write Dream Weaver, because I know there are haters
out there for the thing that inspired me and I don’t want them to judge my book
because of it. (Dang! Run-along sentence much?!) So, I’ll just out with it from
the get go and hope you give me a chance. OK. So. It was the Twilight Saga that
inspired me to write Dream Weaver. OK, there it is. I know there are millions
of people who absolutely LOVED Twilight…me among them. It had been many years
since I’d written anything of any consequence, but when I finished those
books…and a 9 month round of hypnosis…I thought, “I could do that.” So, I set
out to do it.
A LONG, LONG VOYAGE
It took me 5 years to
get Dream Weaver where I wanted it. I started with a 67 page manuscript that I
pitched to agents and editors at my first conference. To this day I can’t
believe I sent that manuscript out to the people who requested it. At last
year’s
PNWA conference, I pitched to 8 AEs and got 7 requests for
partials. I also met a girl who lived near me and we became ‘editors’ for each
other. I sent her my MS and she sent me hers. She had a lot of questions and
comments when I got it back. Some I agreed with and made the changes. I truly
believe that that one simple act astronomically changed Dream Weaver.
Over those 5 years I
devoured everything I could on writing. I participated in writing prompts on
Writer’s Digest that taught me how to say things with as few words as possible
and still get the picture across. (You only get 500 words on these prompts.) I
got a great book called
Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon. It’s about as
tattered and marked as a well-loved Bible. I even studied an English Comp
textbook. Willingly.
WHO INSPIRED ME?
I have a few absolute favorite authors.
Richelle
Mead
whose Vampire Academy books are such an
intense read, and soon to be a movie, that when I went to reread them I
couldn’t because the emotion is so raw.
Lisa
McMann
is one of writers
that agents might call ‘sparse’. She doesn’t need a lot of flowery speech to
draw the most vibrant pictures. My favorite so far? Dead to You. I wrote to Lisa after I finished and said, ‘Lisa
McMann knows just where to plunge the knife…and twist for good measure.’ Yeah,
that good.
Maggie
Stiefvater
is so beautiful and
lyrical in her writing. Her Shiver
trilogy is AMAZING! She inspire me so much to be more poetic in my writing.
And finally, Annette Curtis Klaus. She captured the very nature of the
beast in her novel Blood and Chocolate.
An uber-great read.
AND THE THANKS GOES TO…
Toni, thanks so much
for allowing me to stop by and meet your friends. I’ve made Dream Weaver
available for ONLY .99 on Amazon Kindle and B&N,
 so I hope readers will make the tiny
investment for it. So far, Dream Weaver has gotten very good ratings. It holds
a 4.2 out of 5 star rating on
Amazon, and a 4.42 stars on GoodReads.
My only question to your readers now
is…Do
You DARE TO DREAM!?
Many thanks,
Su

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 Dream Weaver

 

 

By Su Williams 
Prologue 
Nick 
Incorporeal I drift, camouflaged against the shimmering
snow, no more than a sparkling flurry in the wind, dancing just on the
precipice of light shielding me from her–and them. I am her aegis, her
defense from the darkness that presses in on her from without, evil cloaked from
her eyes. I feel her inner darkness’ pull on her; hear it call her name.
Vivid images whose birth I cannot fathom–whether from
within her heart, or tailored for her torment–still, after all these months
accost her sleep and crush her soul. Yet, her screams tear the night and my
heart less often than before. Surely, she is strong enough to endure some
terror; no lifetime is without it. Such a gentle soul so tethered and weighted
by so much loss, so much grief. I have mended what I can of her damaged mind
without wholly purging her memories. At least I can dull her pain, callous her
tender heart.
I know the unwritten code: ‘There are mortals, and there are
immortals, and never the twain shall meet.’ Still, I find myself here, hovering
on the fringe of the woods just outside the halo of light that wreathes her
home. And they haunt the darkness, hidden within the shadows. I sense
them, though not how near. I shudder at the consequences if they discover my
presence. They would kill her, or at the very least brutalize her–just because
they are able, just for my torment, the fresh nightmare of her torture a
delicacy on their lips as they devour my memory.
They are changing, such aberrant evolutions we have found in
their kind of late. Creatures so like us, spoken from the same heavenly breath,
yet worlds apart. Their sustenance makes them monsters, even evil. They grow
stronger pillaging the gifts of our kind and using them as their own and leave
us worse than dead. For this cause, I feel powerless, mortal.
She knows nothing of my world, few mortals do, and it is
only because of a promise and her safety that I enter hers. I vowed to protect
her at any cost, with my life if necessary. And something of her draws me in,
her heart to mine. It wakens an ache, a passion that long ago I laid to rest,
deep beneath the sodden earth, entombed in company of my mortal life.
My heart aches with indecision. Should I go to her, risk her
life perhaps to save it, or leave her be to strengthen from the terror?
CHAPTER 1 Going Under
Night terrors stalk my sleep and haunt me through each day.
I am never free. Macabre phantoms, twisted metal, flames and the sound of my
parent’s screams, their cries for salvation. And I would give it–if I could,
were the realm in which I live and the terrors in which they died equal.
In time, my gasps for air and life abated. I learned to live
without the press of suffocation on my lungs. At the least I was treading water
with some hope of survival. But monsters strike even in the shallows, even when
you’re feet from shore and almost standing on solid ground.
The subtle bumps of a predator, like a shark in the deep,
reawakened the terrors. And I lived in fear of the jaws ripping through me and
dragging me under, lost again to the darkness of terror. The darkness that has
nothing to do with light or sleep.
I am Emari Sweet, sole survivor of a crash I was never in.
The crash that claimed the lives of my beloved parents Zecharias and Jane
Sweet. The crash that left me orphaned at 17. The crash I foresaw in the eyes
of the State Trooper before the words formed on his tongue. Cold and hard, the
words turned my
blood to hardened steel and eviscerated me. My soul twisted
and shredded.
I lived with the terrors for many weeks after that. My best
girl, Ivy, kept my body functioning, the basics for sustenance of life. She
kept me Earthbound and alive when I’d rather have been neither. She guided me
through an icy summer that tumbled into autumn like the leaves off a tree.
Adrian Rovnikov, my father’s best friend, my shrink since
the crash, brought me drugs–antidepressants. But they are only safe in the
right hands. In mine, they are death. So, before I caused irreparable harm, the
pills went the way of dead fish.
Dreams of an angel with eyes of obsidian wound their way
through the darkness until they finally displaced the terrors. His gentle hand
calmed my writhing body, drew out the poison of the chimera, and guided me back
to life. The dark-eyed angel faded as my darkness dawned into light. Yet, even when
the terrors diminished, the torment hovered nearby, stalking my sanity,
prepared to strike at any show of weakness.
Winter’s chill cast a mantle of white over Spokane. Trees
wore shimmering nacreous cloaks that rivaled the grandeur of their summer dress
greens and fall’s autumnal oranges, reds and yellows. The city lay calm and
peaceful under winter’s frigid embrace and my heart still ached under the frost
of grief. I hid it from all but the most discerning eyes.
The tumble of seasons brought more than cold; the real
monster lurked in dark corners and phoned me at work, promised me pain and
fear.
* * *
Daylight masquerades as dusk, the clouds heavy-laden with
snow. An arctic blast extends its arm, balling its fist to bludgeon the car
from the road. Brake lights flash a glaring red. The tires whir and whine on
the frozen asphalt seeking elusive purchase. The wind flings the car across
three frosted lanes. Panic twists my father’s face as the car fishtails out of control.
His frantic hands, hands that can do anything, build anything, grapple
uselessly at the wheel. My mother’s face is fear-white, her mouth a perfect ‘o’
that disappears beneath her small, stark hand. A wall of white emerges out of
the flurry before the windshield, but not of snow. Cement. Massive and
merciless. The shiny new sedan plows into the bridge abutment, lifting Mom’s
side of the car into flight. Giant sparkling snowflakes of shattering glass fly
into the air as the car rolls over and over. Metal screams and moans in
protest. Finally settling on its top, the car slides across the icy black
tarmac, a path of broken scattered pieces in its wake.
Upside down, my mother’s pallid face appears at her
window. Violent crimson drenches her hair, a severe contrast against her
spectral skin. Her dazzling emerald green eyes, my own eyes staring back at me,
implore for my help. Pounding hysterically, her knuckles split and bleed,
smearing the window in a web of red. The roar of fire drowns her cries, flames that
now return the light to the day, and vanquish the masquerade.
Driven by panic, I plunge through the whirling eddies of
snow. But I can’t get to them. I have no traction, my steps falter. I am
prisoner to the freezing storm, powerless to save them; held at bay by the
fireball that lights the grey gauzy day cotton-bright like summer, and sends
seismic shockwaves that undulate the ground beneath me. Shrapnel of rocks and
glass rain down upon me.
Exhausted and useless, I collapse to my knees on the
caustic, sub-zero ice. The acrid smell of smoke and gasoline grows heavy in the
air, searing my throat and nostrils. Like a pin-hole camera, the light etches
the panic and fear on my mother’s face onto my retinas and deep into my brain.
The blaze scorches my eyes, bringing my tears to a boil. Searing heat and the
horror of looking into the faces of my mother and father as the flames devour
them forces me to look away. My body finally crumbles onto the cold freeway, in
exhausted agony. I crush my ears with my hands to block out the maelstrom.
Their haunting screams reverberate in my ears, echoes of the torment resounding
throughout my body.
The reality of my own screams awoke me. I bolted upright and
clutched my head. My body trembled and rocked, soaked in sweat, as I manically
searched for a thread of truth. My breath rasped from my raw lungs that
thrashed against the smoke-that-wasn’t.
Comforting gazes from my black and white movie monsters
centered my thoughts. Bela Legosi, both Lon Chaneys, Boris Karloff and even
Vlad Dracul himself, with his large round piercing eyes, crowded the walls of
my black and white bedroom. Vlad was the only true monster there, but somehow I
found a strange compassion for the man, given his tortured history. My glossy
companions brought my heart an odd comfort.
* * *
Ninety minutes later, I sat in Adrian’s office and debated
with myself just how much to tell him. I didn’t need the ‘Emari, you should
come stay with us’ lecture again. I’d proved to the Spokane Courts that I was
capable in every way to be considered an adult, and was granted emancipation.
“Nightmares again?” Adrian asked.
“Ya think?” I wasn’t being disrespectful. We were just
beyond fluff and formality.
“Any idea what the stress trigger is this time?”
“Um…” I squirmed against the soft red leather of his couch.
“There’s this guy…”
A small conspiratorial smile crept onto Adrian’s face while
I paused, contemplating.
“Uh, no. I mean a bad guy. He’s calling me. At work. Like
phone stalking me.” I hated admitting even this little bit to him, but most of
the time his psycho-babble really did help.
Adrian leaned across the desk. His eyes narrowed and deep
canyons grooved his forehead. “And just what is being done to stop him?”
Great! Just what I need. ‘Protective-daddy’ mode.
“It’s all good.” I waved him down. “My friend, Jesse,
escorts me to and from my car every day and Collin keeps one of the Loss
Prevention guys in the department as much as he can.” Despite playing it off as
no big deal to Adrian, a cold uneasiness squirmed through me like night
crawlers.
“Is he only calling you at work?” The Doc was in full-on
interrogation mode now.
“Yes. Only at work. But it’s weird. It’s like he’s watching
me but the LP guys never find anyone.”
“Tell me you’ve called the police.”
“Sure, sure. Nothing the cops can do unless the guy actually
kills me or something, though.”
Adrian sat back in his chair with a harrumph of frustration,
the ‘daddy-look’ still plastered on his face. “Emari…”
“Adrian. Don’t even start.”
“Then why are you here?” he retorted.
“The night terrors? You’re supposed to say a bunch of
‘shrinky’ kinds of things to make me feel better.”
So he did. And when he was done, he walked me to the door.
He gave me the usual ‘be careful’ and ‘buckle up for safety’ speech; something
he and Dad must’ve gone to school together to learn.
Then he gave me his best fatherly hug. I had to admit, his
arms truly did feel like the safest place in the world.
“See you for Thanksgiving?” he asked.
“Sure, Uncle Adrian. Kiss Celeste and the kids for me.” He
wasn’t really my uncle. Just my father’s closest friend in the world.
“Of course. See you then, Emari.”
“See ya.”
I shambled into work after my meeting with Adrian. Ivy saw
me for the zombie I was, so in contrast to her perky pixiness. Her ornery smile
wavered as I drew nearer but she reined it in. She’d given up months ago with
the ‘you look like hell’ comments. Visine and Covergirl couldn’t wreak miracles
that big. She opened her arms and I stepped inside.
“You okay?” she whispered.
I stepped out of her embrace. “Sure, sure,” I said with a
grin, and a quote from one of our favorite books. The marbled blue of her eyes
softened into limpid pools, so vast any guy could swim in them. I tucked a wisp
of her soft brown hair behind her ear. “Let’s get to work.”
She pinched my arm playfully as she released me. “Collin’s
got LP scheduled in an hour, but Blake came early, off the clock,” she informed
me as we sorted children’s clothing to reshelf. “Jess’s gonna be pissed you
didn’t wait for him.”
Jesse DeLaRosa was the closest thing to a real life Prince
Charming in my world. He was instantly likeable, flirtatious in the sweetest
way, easy at being a fast friend, faultlessly kindhearted. His ingenuous smile
lit up any room, a constant feature that graced his lightly bronzed face. He
sang or whistled while he worked, no matter how mundane or dirty the job, a
lingering accent, from his days as a child in Puerto Rico colored his speech.
He was a couple of years older than Ivy and me, but he clicked with our
dorkiness and we’d become best friends. He’d taken it upon himself to be my
daily escort–even on his days off.
“He’ll get over it,” I told her, but inwardly I hoped he
wasn’t too mad at me.
Every time the phone rang, it jangled our nerves. Ivy’s hand
lashed out with the speed of a viper to
protect me from innocuous callers.
“You can’t field all of the calls, Ives,” I said after the
fourth call.
“I can try,” she replied with a smug half smile.
The stalker wouldn’t call with Ivy present, and we both knew
it. He would wait until she went on break, as though he had a bird’s nest in
the middle of the department. He wanted me alone, separated from the pack,
vulnerable.
Ivy reluctantly took her break and Blake haunted the racks.
Despite my anticipation, adrenalin shot through me like an ice river and my
heart banged against my ribcage when the phone rang. I watched Ivy’s shadow
disappear from sight as I reached a quivering hand to the phone.
“Children’s Department,” I choked out. Collin instructed us
not to give our names until this ‘situation’ was resolved.
“I see you,” the voice purred gruffly. I envisioned a lion
crouched in tall grass. Rigid, poised for attack. His words were soft and
succinct, as though masking something from me, but the smooth lacquered surface
didn’t camouflage the menace that roiled underneath–like the delicate crust of
cooled lava veiling the molten lake beneath.
Blake’s eyes locked on my face as he lurched away from a
rack of boy’s jeans. They followed the silent nod of my head. The muscles of
his line-backer physique hardened as he prowled the department.
“I’m sorry. What was that?” I delayed. My voice quivered
with anger, to my dismay. I wasn’t scared. I was pissed. But I knew he would
read it as fear–just what he wanted.
“Your rent-a-cop won’t catch me.” The lion’s throaty warning
growl. His voice turned acerbic, his need to induce fear sparked electrically
through the phone. “Nah. He’s not even a rent-a-cop. Not even a pathetic mall
cop. Just some punk kid they hired to baby-sit the store.”
Baby-sit? Either this guy’s full of crap or he’s freakin’
huge.
I was betting on full of crap.
He chortled at my unease, and I heard something familiar but
untouchable in his voice. Like I knew him from somewhere–and that pissed me
off even more. “What the hell do you want?” I demanded.
“Just you,” he said slowly. He sniggered again with a
ghoulish glee and the line went dead.
“Damn it!” I slammed the phone down and turned with a start.
A customer, a woman with a little boy about five glared at me with righteous
indignation. “Oh. I’m so sorry. I just…it was…there was this guy.”
She harrumphed and stormed away, towing the boy in her
sanctimonious wake. No doubt to complain to my manager.
So. Let her.
Blake shuffled up to the quad, what we associates at Cash’s
Department Store called our customer service desks. “Sorry, Em. No luck.” He
looked every bit the defeated athlete, his hands stuffed into his jeans pockets
making his shoulders and arms bulge.
“It’s all good. He’ll get bored eventually and go away.” I
hope.
Chapter 2 Haunted
I was prophetic, if not pathetic. The calls ceased and my
stalker fell silent, not so much as a heavy breather. Perhaps he’d moved on to
some other prey. Poor girl. Everyone around me breathed easier. But a
specter of black ice lingered under the surface, chilled me to my core. Deep
down I felt a dark and malevolent storm brewing. I wondered if I’d manage to
survive it unscathed or if my entire world would shatter with the velocity of
its fury.
* * *

 

  DREAM
WEAVER
is now only .99 on Amazon. A story of mind-benders & breakers.
Are your memories your own?
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