Hello, my name’s Kris and I like to write paranormal romance.
They need a support group for people like me, because the above sentence is so hard to say, that I usually have to whisper it.
It’s not that I’m ashamed. Okay, I’m lying, but try and understand--I’m an evil scientist! I spend my nine-to-five work days plotting world domination and trying to breed sharks that can breathe air and fire semi-automatic weapons. This is a field dominated by men. In fact, if you google ‘evil scientist’ not one woman pops up.
It’s not that evil scientists don’t understand or appreciate romance. I have plenty of colleagues that have either kidnapped and brainwashed a mate for themselves, or created cyborg wives. They’ve also got a pretty high appreciation for the paranormal in this industry. I mean, who hasn’t tried to reanimate cadavers at one time or another? My coworkers have even been known to read books on occasion. I caught one reading How to Make Minions and Influence Sheepole , just the other day! But for some reason, when you put the three together and say, ‘paranormal romance book’, you better be prepared for shock, horror and incredulity.
I try to avoid the subject at all costs. If it comes up, it usually goes a little something like this:
Evil Scientist: I heard you’re a writer. What do you write?
Kris: Books, mostly.
ES: What sort of books?
Kris: The kind with words and sentences.
ES: What genre?
Kris: Oh…that…well, I write *cough,cough*(voice drops to whisper) paranormal romance *cough, cough, cough* books.
Lately, however, I’ve been feeling guilty about the fact that I try so hard to be someone I’m not. When I first created my mobile death ray, I mounted it to my mini-van, even though most of my colleagues attached theirs to tanks or submarines. I didn’t care about the eyebrows it raised, because I needed room for car seats and as a parent, a vehicle’s safety rating is highly important (plus, no one ever says squat to the mom with the death ray on her van who’s using the carpool lane to pick her kids up from school.).
So what if I write paranormal romance? This is a genre that is consistently on the New York Times Bestseller lists and inspires mass followings. Meanwhile, my colleagues run on an endless hamster wheel of ‘come up with a plan for world domination’, ‘spend millions of dollars bringing plan to fruition’, ‘watch plan fail miserably’, ‘go back to the drawing board’. With the exception of the guy who invented reality television (Yup. Come on, you had to know that was one of us), no one’s ever come close to enslaving humanity and dominating the world. So I write paranormal romance in my off hours, it’s no different than genetically engineering an army of angry badgers programmed to take over Iowa (and then the world, but Iowa always seems to be the test ground). It all comes from the same place. We all want the same things- the adoration of millions and the ability to chain our critics and rivals to a wall and slowly crush their souls by exposing them to a continuous stream of all fourteen seasons of Barney and Friends and then to watch as they gnaw off their own limbs in a futile attempt to escape.I’m Kris. I write paranormal romance books, and I’m proud of it.
Birch Harbor Series, Book 2
Genre: YA paranormal romance
Number of pages: 394
Word Count: 86,000
Cover Artist: Kristen Selleck
College sophomore Chloe Adams returns to Birch Harbor determined to find the remnants of the secret society known as Abraham's Men.
Yet, the only clues she has are the words 'find Ian Rose' and a strange coded journal that once belonged to her father.
No longer able to hear the voices that have plagued her for most of her life, and finally having the loving home she has always dreamed of, Chloe struggles to define what she wants--
Until fate and her mentor conspire to offer her the chance to discover the truth.
Unfortunately, the truth might kill her.
About the Author:
Kristen Selleck is avidly evil. Until recently, she worked as a mad scientist. After several diabolical attempts at world domination proved unsuccessful (most notably, building an army of robots from used pipettes, empty reagent boxes, and other things left lying around the lab), she decided to pick up the pen. She used the pen to poke an annoying lady at the gas station in the eyeball. Then she decided to write.
She has been known to speak with a strong Russian accent. This is inexplicable due to the fact that she was born in Detroit. It has also been documented that she likes vodka, roller coasters, things which are purple, and blowing things up with dry ice. She abhors kittens, wood paneling popularized in the 1970's, and her arch-nemesis Jimmy (the Evil Overlord of Specimen Processing). She was last known to reside in Grand Rapids, and may be in the company of two evil apprentices, and her devoted henchman, Shad. If seen, please contact the FBI immediately (she owes someone in Accounting a sandwich).
Abraham’s Men (Birch Harbor Series #2): Chapter One
The faint buzz of her cell phone shocked Chloe Adams out of a light sleep. Panicked at the thought of missing the call, she struggled to unwind her covers, gave up and lunged toward the windowsill, groping toward the illuminated screen. She didn‘t recognize the number, which was a good sign that it was him.
“Seth?” she asked, as the bad connection crackled against her ear.
“Clo?” His voice was faint, sounding as far away as he actually was.
“Can you hear me?” she asked louder.
“Barely. I don’t know how long I can keep the signal, we just got back to the village and it’s been…and I don’t know how long…just wanted…”
The static washed over his voice in waves.
“Seth, I can’t hear you. When does your plane come in? Did you find out if you could get the earlier flight?”
“…that everything’s okay, that you’re doing alright. If it starts again…Father Andrew’s…you can stay with him until I get back…”
“I’m fine, everything’s fine, just tell me when you’ll be in, so I can-”
“Are you there…I can‘t…? Clo?”
The static conquered his voice entirely.
Chloe pounded her fist against the windowsill in frustration. She hated Costa Rica, hated forestry, hated Michigan State University for its wonderful Study Abroad programs. Why was he calling in the middle of the night anyway? There was just an hour’s time difference between Birch Harbor and…
The time, according to the bedside clock, was only ten. Only ten o’clock at night and she wasn’t in Birch Harbor any more, she was home. Coming back to a place she hadn’t seen in years was odd. She had to remind herself that these were her things…it was her clock, her bed, her windowsill…her room…the place where she had laid down to sleep almost every night for sixteen years. It wasn’t the same anymore. It seemed to belong to another girl who might come in at any moment and find her there.
After two years away from home, she wasn’t even sure that her key would work when no one answered the door. Exhausted after the nine hour drive from Birch Harbor, she had gone to her old room, dropped her bags, and collapsed on the bed. She hadn’t been asleep very long when he called.
Home…and at ten o’clock at night, it was a safe bet that her mother and sisters were too. They would have seen her car in the driveway.
Chloe held her breath and listened. Sitting up in her bed in the dark, holding her breath and listening for the sound of voices from downstairs made her feel like a child again. Realizing this, she got up and turned the light on. She was not a child anymore, she was almost nineteen, and would make sure they knew it too.
When her eyes adjusted to the light, she noticed that her suitcase had been moved. The closet was open, and her clothes were hanging in it. That meant her mother had come in while she was sleeping. Her mother had gone through her things.
Chloe took a deep breath and expelled it slowly. No point in getting angry. Her mother would only say she was trying to be helpful or give some other excuse, and then turn silent and disdainful. If she wanted to get any information out of the woman, she was going to have to play the prodigal daughter.
Truth be told, she had nowhere else to go. She had spent the first part of the summer with her roommate Sam, but the strain between the girl and her family over Sam’s constant binge drinking had made the stay uncomfortable.
Seth had left for Costa Rica at the end of May, and her only other option would have been to spend the next month in a hotel--which she had actually considered, but decided against it after reviewing her bank statement. The small inheritance her father left, still had to stretch through three more years of college and…at some point…a trip to London.
So she was home. A place she dreaded for many reasons. It was in this room where she first heard the voices that had almost ruined her life.
Chloe ran her hand slowly along the wall, stopping where she knew the word ‘help’ had been painted over. She could still feel the grooves where the pen had dug into the wall.
“I’m back,” she whispered.
She closed her eyes and waited, judging the silence. Nothing…not even a whisper, and then from downstairs came the faint sound of ice clinking against a glass.
“I know what you wanted now,’ she breathed, ‘tell me what you need to, I’m ready to listen.”
She could hear the sound of someone walking across the kitchen floor below her, and the squeak of a cupboard door opening. She knew which cupboard it would be, the one where the linens were kept, and where the vodka was well-known to be hidden.
“I don’t know how long I’ll be here, maybe not long at all. If you’ve got something to say about Abraham’s Men…you had better say it soon.”
Again she waited, her hand pressed against the hidden word, holding still, because somehow she felt that they were there, that they were still watching, waiting to speak, and from far away, there came the faintest sort of answer. A sound like something tiny and metallic. A sound like air rushing toward her…like-
Chloe felt the cold air brush across her feet and graze her legs. Panicking, she stumbled backwards while almost instantly realizing that the air conditioning had kicked on, and that the noise and the cold air had only come from the duct in the floor.
Chloe laughed at herself. Somewhere, in some remote part of a Costa Rican jungle, Seth probably felt the strange urge to rub his forehead. She could almost envision him sitting in the chair at her desk, shaking his head while saying, “If you would just think about things logically…”
Her mother’s voice rang up the stairs. There was no avoiding it now. It was time to face the lion in its den.
Down in the kitchen, Debra Adams sat poker straight at the head of the family table. At her left hand was the glass of red liquid they all pretended was cranberry juice. Tonight, the vodka bottle sat incriminatingly on the counter behind her. In all her life, Chloe had never witnessed such an open admission of her mother’s drinking. It was a family secret, the evidence always kept out of sight. She wasn’t sure if the bottle on the counter was a sign of something good or bad.
“You came home,” Debra observed.