Posts tagged ‘Earthwalker’

Some Backstory on Me


I’ve been writing for what seems like forever. My mom taught me to read even before I started kindergarten, so I was highly praised in school for my awesome talent! My mother also read a lot, which made me want to read a lot, too. So I read and I read and I read. Finally, somewhere along the way, I started getting this little feeling inside me saying, “I bet I could write better than that.”

Since my self-esteem wasn’t too great it took me many years before I actually wrote something big: a play titled Angel in the House. It was for a women’s lit. class, and was highly acclaimed by the teacher and my fellow students. I got such a rush from writing down all this stuff that I had made up in my head that I wrote a novella titled Native Vengeance. I wanted to start small so I could see what it took to get a large number of words all together in one place. It worked! So I decided to write an entire novel this time, titled Quantum Earth.

I felt so ‘in the zone’ while writing. It was a high like no other! The next step was finding someone to publish my book. That took almost as long as writing the darned thing! But at long last, I ended up with two different publishers wanting it. I made that hard choice and waited for the revision process. My manuscript went back and forth between my editor and me a few times till we got it right. I was so thrilled at this point I could barely eat!

Of course the boom hit when I found out about the marketing aspect of writing a book. I did a crash course on marketing online, trying to figure out the best way to get my book and my name out there to the reading public. I won’t go into much detail as I’m sure you all know by now how much work and a pain in the arse all that is. And all that work seemed like it was for nothing because almost nobody was buying my book no matter what I did.

Nevertheless, the following year I had my second book, Deadly Lucidity, published. But, alas, nobody was buying much of them either. I consulted a book marketing pro, willing to pay him if I had to so I could just sell a few more books. I was surprised when he told me I didn’t need his services as I was doing everything possible, and it was just a matter of time before my books caught on. Very interesting, I thought.

Then I made friends with someone who was self-publishing his own books, and edified me on why self-publishing is really so much better for a writer than traditional for so many reasons. I was convinced. I published Earthwalker and Native Vengeance within a week. I was very happy with self-publishing for a lot of reasons, like having control of my own work, getting paid WAY more for each paper and e-book sold, having all the information about each sale and who bought it, etc. So I went to my publisher and asked for the rights to my first two books so I could publish those, too. I published Quantum Earth in January, and will publish Deadly Lucidity sometime in the fall.

These days I have what I think is a dynamite idea for a new book: a young reporter is assigned to do a story about the latest drug craze that is raging like wildfire across the U.S. To do the story justice she decides to experiment by taking this drug herself, the effects of which are mind traveling to other dimensions. I don’t have a title as of yet, but I’m pretty excited about starting to get it down on paper. So what’s stopping me you may ask? I have to kick some ideas around in my head a bit more before it is solidified enough to warrant actual pen and paper. Ya see, as most of you may know already, writing a whole gosh darn book is a huge commitment not to be taken lightly. You best be sure you have enough words to last the whole way through!

99 Cent Book Deal


Only a few days left to get my books for 99 cents from Smashwords, then they go back up to $2.99 again! Just search my name and it’ll lead you to my books.

My Books Available For A Limited Time For $.99!!!


That’s right, folks. You can now read Quantum Earth, Deadly Lucidity, Native Vengeance, and Earthwalker- Earth can be Hell for a VAMPIRE in e-book form for only 99 cents!

Just go to: https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=julie+achterhoff and you can get some good books for a good price.

Visiting Troy Lambert


Please visit Troy Lambert’s website where you’ll find some cool stuff from me as well as Troy’s awesome other information.

http://www.troylambertwrites.com

Earthwalker Published!!!


My latest novel is now available in paperback and kindle on amazon, smashwords, and createspace. Be one of the first to get a hold of a copy. I really think you’ll enjoy this thriller of a story. You’re in for a wild ride!

New Interview With Julie by Mike Angley


1) Brief bio

Julie Achterhoff has enjoyed writing since early childhood. She impressed her teachers with her stories written in many genres. One teacher in the eighth grade told her that after reading one of her scary stories she couldn’t sleep all night! Julie didn’t start writing seriously until after raising her five children on her own. During this time she worked as a homebirth midwife. Her first published work was a novella titled Native Vengeance. This was followed by her fictional thriller, Quantum Earth. Deadly Lucidity is her most recent thriller.

1. Please tell me a little bit about your professional or personal background…the prequel if you would to your writing career.

I have always loved reading, especially horror and thriller type books. They scared me to death as a kid, but I read whatever my mother handed down to me, so I was kind of forced into it! I read a lot of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and I’ll never forget Tales of the Cthulu Mythos. I guess I figured that it was fun to scare people with your writing. My first major writing, though, was a play I wrote for a women’s lit class I took a few years ago, which wasn’t horrific in the least. It was about three women in three different centuries, and the struggles each of them had being women writers. It’s called Angel In The House. Before my writing career began I delivered babies at home, something completely different from writing!

2. Why did you choose to write novels?

I think it’s because I feel like writers can have such a huge impact on people if they write well enough. I started writing a few novels over the years, but never had the extra time until recently to actually finish one. Whenever I was writing, I just got the greatest feeling! It made me feel excited and important. I could just imagine other people reading my words and maybe really liking what they read. It was a thrill just thinking about it.

3. Tell me about your story.

Since this interview is focusing on Deadly Lucidity, I’ll talk about that one. Marie is kind of an eccentric woman who has learned to stay lucid during her dreams. That means she is totally conscious when in the dream state. She can go where she wants to and do anything. But she suddenly starts dreaming about a crazed psychopath who is trying to kill her. Then, her dreams become so real that she becomes trapped in them. They are becoming more and more bizarre, too. She meets a man named Murphy, who ends up helping her try to escape this nightmare. They journey together towards a place they’ve been told is a way out, while trying to stay one step ahead of the psychopath, among other strange beings and situations. Marie’s growing passion for Murphy causes her to have to make some tough choices, though. How can she leave her “dream man” behind?

4. How did you develop the character of your protagonist?

Marie starts off being in therapy, relying on medication to prevent recurring panic attacks and general anxiety. She is basically alone in the world. Her only “real” friends are in her dreams. She is also a writer. I kind of modeled her after myself, only more of a caricature of me. Through her dream experiences she is pretty much forced to come into her own power. She doesn’t have much choice but to become stronger and grow. There are some weak moments for her, of course, but she overcomes the obstacles that come her way to save her own life.

5. What are your hero’s strengths and weaknesses?

Marie is very fearful. She doesn’t want to go on. She hides in her own little world, writing day after day. She doesn’t realize her true strengths until she is faced with people and situations that will make or break her. Her whole world is turned upside down, which presents challenges she has never even considered before this. All she can do is pull herself out of the way she was, and on the way changes from a caterpillar into a butterfly.

6. What about an antagonist…is there a unique “bad guy” or a recurring nemesis of any kind?

Oh, yes. This crazy lunatic that is chasing her down is a real weirdo! He has somehow fixated on her, and his only goal is to torture and kill Marie. He also has some really interesting idiosyncrasies. All I’ll say is that she gets into some very tight spots with this guy!

7. Did any of your real-life experiences factor in to the plot at all?

Yes. I’ve had some very lucid dreams myself. Some of them have been nightmares that I’ve had a tough time getting out of. This book was actually inspired by one of them. I thought I woke up from a perfectly nice dream, when in reality I went straight into the realest nightmare I’ve ever had! I actually thought it was really happening. Luckily, I was finally able to really wake myself up, but I was practically hysterical. It took quite a while to calm myself down.

8. Beyond this novel what are your future writing plans?

I’m almost finished with my third book titled Earthwalker. It takes a completely fresh approach to the world of vampires. In it, vampires originated from another planet, and have a common ancestry with humans. It’s only when they live on Earth for too long that they get a taste for human blood. On their own planet they only drink animal blood, and are even more civilized and advanced technologically than humans. One of them crashes his spaceship in the wilderness near where a young woman named Willa is camping. He is severely burned, and she nurses him back to health. His English name is Paul, and the two fall in love. But that’s just the beginning. They must go through many terrible situations together before their story is told. Both of them are stretched to their very limits.

9. Will you continue to feature the same protagonist in future stories? Will any other characters migrate over to future books?

I’m not sure about that yet. Probably not. I like to write books that are completely different from each other or anything I’ve ever read before.

10. Anything else you might want to add?

I had a video trailer made for Deadly Lucidity, which can be found at: http://www.associatedcontent.com/video/687534/book_video_trailer_deadly_lucidity.html?cat=38

Readers can also read part of the book at: http://www.freado.com/book/6046/Deadly-Lucidity

It can be purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0984421904?ie=UTF8&force-full-site=1

It’s now on sale on Kindle for $3.19

Here is a review:

4.0 out of 5 stars An Engaging Suspense Thriller, June 16, 2010
By Apex Reviews (Durham, NC USA)
(VINE VOICE)

This review is from: Deadly Lucidity (Paperback)
Caught in a dream world from which she can’t escape, Marie finds herself hunted by a dangerous psychopath. Her situation is far from hopeless, though, as a handsome Ranger named Murphy vows both to protect her and help her find a way back to the real world. Over the course of their shared adventures, Marie looks very much forward to getting her life back to normal – but her growing passion for Murphy makes the prospect of leaving him behind an increasingly difficult choice to make…

Skillfully crafted by author Julie Achterhoff, Deadly Lucidity is an engaging suspense thriller. In it, Achterhoff has crafted a compelling alternate nether world straight out of the darkest regions of any imagination. In addition, as Marie wends her way through a series of increasingly perilous events, you find yourself rooting not-so-silently on her behalf, turning each fresh page in rapt anticipation of precisely what fate awaits her as the story progresses. Furthermore, the genuine affection that she and Murphy feel for one another adds a layer of palpable tension to the overall tale, drawing the reader in even more as this modern twist on the age-old tale of good vs. evil plays itself out in fantastical fashion.

A dynamic, riveting thriller with a host of intriguing twists, Deadly Lucidity is a recommended read for lovers of well crafted fantasy suspense tales.

Chelsea Perry
Apex Reviews

Earthwalker Excerpt


That night, as they slept, Paul twisted and turned in the sheets. He saw a young boy; another student of his: Damien. They were feasting on rat’s blood together. Paul loathed rats. They didn’t even have that much blood in their veins. Besides, they gave him the creeps. Yet the two of them were bloodthirsty. Paul couldn’t remember ever having felt so unquenchable in his life. He’d no sooner finish with one rat than grab another from the filthy floor, piercing it with his sharp canines and sucking it dry. He glanced over at Damien, who was covered with rat blood. Paul felt the warm, sticky liquid run down his own chin, and all over his clothes. He suddenly felt disgusted with himself, and threw down the rat he was drinking from. Damien was still gorging. The air was stale and smelled of all that carnage. Paul felt his bile rise. He thought he was going to vomit.
At that moment, Willa walked into the room wearing a gown in the fashion of his people. She came to him and pressed her lips against his own. He was partly disgusted, but partly aroused. He knew she must be tasting the blood in his mouth. Then she looked down at the boy. He held a rat up as if for her inspection. She nodded, and took the vile creature from him. Smiling at Paul, she put the rat to her lips and opened her mouth…
Paul woke up shivering. He’d tossed the sheets completely off himself.
“Paul? Honey? Are you okay?” Willa asked as she sat up in bed.
“Yeah,” he said, “I’ll be fine. Just had a nightmare, that’s all.”
“Really? What was it about?”
He told her about it.
“Eww, that’s pretty gross! I bet I know why you had that dream. We were just talking about humans who become vampires. It was just lying there in your subconscious and came through in your dreams.”
“Yeah, I know, but it seemed so real. We believe dreams can be very powerful messengers. It worries me.”
Indeed, he had a deep frown on his face, and had started sweating. Willa put her arms around him, but he didn’t hug her back.
“What’s wrong?’
“Nothing. I just have a sick feeling in my gut about this one. Something about Damien. I think I’ll meditate and try to reach him telepathically. He wasn’t my best student, but maybe I need to watch him anyway.”
“I trust your gut, honey. You do what you need to do.”
She kissed his cheek and lay back down. But she couldn’t stop thinking about her own interpretation of Paul’s dream. She did not share it with him because it would only upset him. Besides, nothing was ever written in stone. Despite her dismissal of the dream, Willa was too keyed up to sleep, and stared at nothingness for an hour before her own dreams took her away.
Meanwhile, the disgusting images played over and over again in Paul’s mind. He couldn’t stop trying to find the true meaning of it all. He didn’t fall back asleep until dawn.
Paul was only slightly groggy over coffee the next morning. He felt as though he didn’t need sleep here on Earth anymore. His teeth ached. He needed to hunt. He loped out the back door and into the deep woods without a word. Willa tried to be understanding, but after all, it was just a dream. It could just be Paul’s subconscious conjuring up a concoction of meaningless drivel. But Paul was taking it very seriously, too seriously for her liking.
When he returned, she decided to face him with her doubts.
“Paul, I think you might be putting too much weight on this dream of yours. Couldn’t it mean nothing at all? I’ve had a lot of dreams that seemed so real, but ended up being just my imagination gone wild.”
He looked down at her with his unshaven face and mussed up hair.
“Willa, you have to understand there are differences between our races. One of the things we have developed to a higher level is our dream lives. We don’t normally even have dreams, but when we do they have great meaning. The tough part is figuring out the interpretation of the dream. I have to do some thinking about the meaning of my dream last night. I might even need help from a dream looker. Those are people from my planet who can link up with one’s mind and see the visions from a dream. I believe what I saw last night means that we’re in danger, especially you. Please try and open your mind, and realize that it wasn’t any ordinary human dream. For me, it was real, and could have an impact on our lives.”
Willa felt her hand tingle, as she had been holding the arm of the chair so tightly as he spoke these words. Perspiration broke out on her forehead. A slight panic arose inside her.
“So your dreams are sometimes prophetic?”
“Almost always.”
“Okay then, we definitely have a problem.”
“Exactly.”
Willa’s fear escalated as she went over Paul’s dream in her mind once more. What could munching on rats possibly mean? She shivered at the thought of putting one anywhere near her mouth. Paul was going to have to interpret this dream. She had no idea what the heck it might mean. But she had a pretty good idea it wasn’t good.
“I’m going to the bedroom to meditate on it. Try not to make any loud noises, okay?”
“I won’t,” she said, and reached up to kiss him on the cheek. He smiled, but it quickly faded. Apparently he wasn’t feeling terribly positive about the dream, either. Nevertheless, he went into the bedroom, closing the door behind him, to see if he could garner anything substantial from his midnight vision.
Meanwhile, Willa decided to take care of some mundane chores she’d been putting off. When Paul still hadn’t come out she went into the garden. She was happy to see that it had started flourishing again after having been neglected for the past couple weeks. Some of the plants had tiny buds on them, promising flowers. She sat down on the warm earth. It was a good feeling. She let the sun shine on her upturned face. Soon Paul’s lips touched hers. At first it startled her, but then she leaned into his kiss. Finally pulling away, he sat down next to her.
“I think I know what it means. Part of it, anyway,” he told her. “Some very lean times are coming for us. Rats symbolize scarcity. Vampires wouldn’t touch them unless they were desperate. I also got that somehow someone’s going to try and turn you. Don’t be scared, though. I would never let that happen. I just have to be on guard. The only part that still mystifies me is where Damien fits into it all. He seemed like a nice kid. As I recall, he did well in our classes, but didn’t excel. I think I’ll listen in on the radio transmissions and see if I can find out anything from that.”
“You mean a vampire is going to try and turn me into one of you?” Willa’s voice quivered.
“I do. But please don’t forget that that’s just my interpretation of the dream. I’m afraid, though, that seeing you in those clothes and holding a rat to your mouth seems pretty clear. In my dream you were definitely a vampire.”
Willa’s stomach knotted up.
“Paul? You never told me if it’s true that vampires live a long time. Is it?”
“Yeah. Why do you ask?”
“Well, actually I was wondering how old you are.” There. It was out. Willa dreaded the answer.
“I’m only twenty-six. You see, I was born a vampire. But my parents are well over two hundred years old. They were around during the dark times when Panterra was controlled by a clan of vampires known as the Mankyries. Those were bad times from what I know about it.”
Willa was relieved. She’s half expected to find out Paul was much older than she was. Now she knew he was only a year older. Thank goodness, she thought. She couldn’t have stood it if he were really an old man deep down inside. It would have changed the way she saw him, she knew. She smiled and kissed him.
“What was that for? Not that I mind.”
“I’m just glad you’re not really old or something. I couldn’t take that.”
He looked serious for a moment. “But you do realize I’ll get older, don’t you?”
She looked at him quizzically. “Of course, silly. And so will I. We’ll grow old together.”
His face grew sad. “The life span of a human female is eighty-two years as of now. But Willa, the lifespan of a vampire can be hundreds of years.”
Her smile faded. “I’m an idiot,” she said. “I should have realized. I’ll be gone long before you then.”
She put her head in her hands. Paul stroked her hair.
“And you’ll never even look much older than you do now, will you?” she asked, looking up at him.
“That’s right. Willa, I’m sorry.” He brought her into his arms and held her. “I feel as bad about this as you do, honey. In fact, probably worse knowing that I’ll lose you one day. I’ll have to spend the rest of my life without you. I haven’t even wanted to think about it. That’s why I never brought it up.”
Depression fell over her like a veil. This was so unfair. When she was an old lady, people would think Paul was her grandson or something! And how disgusting she would eventually be to him!
“Honey, please don’t be upset. It’ll all work out somehow. I’ve heard your people are making huge advances in how long you’ll be able to live. Hell, some of you live to be a hundred and thirty something even these days. And by the time you’re forty our people will have been able to share our technological advances with Earth, too.” He was pleading with her, but her face said it all.
“But Paul, I’ll look older no matter what. What am I going to do about that? Keep getting plastic surgery so I can look twenty-five forever? I can’t deal with this,” she said, and ran into the bedroom, closing the door behind her, blocking Paul out.
Tears of pain and frustration fell down her cheeks. Why hadn’t she thought of this before? She wondered what else she was blocking out or missing. She supposed she had just not thought Paul was like vampires in the movies or books. He seemed so normal to her except for his diet requirements; so much like a human. Now she was forced to see him as an alien being and she didn’t like it one bit. She realized that he must have thought about all this before now. Yet he had never said a word. He’d kept it from her. She felt a flare of anger towards him, but the feeling left as quickly as it had appeared. He was only trying to make her happy, yet he had been suffering, knowing all along that their time together was short-lived by his time standards. She kept trying to think of something that could be done, but it was like a cat and mouse chase in her head. One thought led to another, which led nowhere.
Paul knocked on the door. “Can I come in?” he asked quietly.
Willa wiped her tears away. She felt so naïve.
“Yeah.”
Paul slipped into the room and sat down by her side.
“There is an answer, you know. I could turn you myself.”
He said it so matter-of-factly that she almost laughed. He couldn’t be serious. But the look on his face told her otherwise. He was quite serious.
“You don’t have to decide right away,” he said quickly. “We’ve got plenty of time. But I want you to know I’ve given this a lot of thought. It’s not just a whim. I didn’t want it to have to come to this, but you’re so upset that I thought this might be the time to bring it up.”
He took her hand in his, and bent down to kiss it. Then he slowly kissed his way up her arm to her shoulder. Willa began to relax at his touch. He kissed the hollow of her throat. They made love almost frantically then, clutching each other as if they were lost at sea, stranded in a lifeboat. Afterwards, they lay exhausted on top of the covers, sweat pouring off their bodies.

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