This author spotlight is on traditionally-published and Indie author Jo Schneider. She donated an eBook copy of Fractured Memories, Book 1 in the Jagged Scars series for the giveaway. Her writing is funny, very descriptive, full of meaningful dialogue and she writes the best fight scenes ever! Jo has released the second book in the series called Severed Ties and is about to release the third novel in the coming months.
To give us a taste of the novel, the author has provided us with an excerpt. Enjoy!
Excerpt: “Were you alone?” Matt asked. “Because you seem pretty young to be alone.”
This. Wendy almost lied, but decided the truth was more distracting. “I’m sixteen.”
Matt blinked. “You are?” He immediately held a hand out in front of him. “I didn’t mean…I mean. You just look really young.”
“Yeah, I know. I get it a lot. Don’t feel bad.” But secretly she wanted him to feel bad. Off balance. “And no, I wasn’t alone. But I am now.” An unexpected rise of emotion accompanied the words, and Wendy’s voice caught in her throat.
Matt placed a hand on her good shoulder. “I’m sorry.”
Wendy nodded, holding back a tide of despair with the strength she had left.
“Let me change that bandage for you,” Matt said. He rose and went to the little cupboard above the sink. They kept bandages and cleaner in there. Nothing else. Wendy had checked.
Matt grabbed the supplies and looked at her. “Come over here. Doc said we could actually wash your arm today. That should feel pretty good.”
It did sound good. Wendy rose and walked to the sink. With practiced hands, Matt untied and unwound the existing bandage. Mostly clear fluid was all that leaked from the wound in her arm now. Matt examined the wound, poking a few places but stopping when Wendy flinched away.
“That’s quite the cut,” he said. “What did it?”
Wendy had been thinking about this. “A sword.”
“Ouch,” Matt said. He pulled out a sponge and got it wet. “Let me see it.”
Wendy surrendered her arm and watched as Matt gently cleaned the adhesive and old herbs off. The care he used made her feel as if her own mother were there. A lump rose in her throat, but she swallowed it down and focused on her arm.
The water flowed over her entire lower arm. One minute it was clear, and the next it was red.
A roar filled Wendy’s ears, and her vision blurred. Sounds of a fight invaded her mind. Gunfire, the clanging of metal weapons and screaming. Lots of screaming. The room around Wendy dissolved into a blotchy scene of flashing, black spots and people running. People she knew, but their faces wouldn’t come into focus.
She felt water dripping off her arm, and looked down. The liquid had been replaced by dark, sticky blood. The gash in her arm cut to the bone. The fingers of her other hand tried to hold it together as someone wrapped a bandage around it. Before they finished, a sword flashed, and the man’s faceless head flew out of her vision.
“Wendy?” A voice cut through the vision—the memory. “Hey, are you okay?”
The man’s body fell away, and as it did so, the memory disintegrated. She tried to keep it together. She wanted to know what had happened, even if the truth was too much to bear, but it slipped away like soft dirt between her fingers. The dark blotches resolved once again into her room.
“Wendy?” Matt asked.
Wendy found herself on the floor, curled up into a ball. A sob threatened to claw its way up her throat, but she stuffed it back down.
“What happened? Did I hurt you?” Matt’s voice went up I pitch. “Wendy?”
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic
Book Description: Sixteen year old Wendy never knew the world before the Starvation. She’s learned to put her trust in her knives, and her confidence in her fighting ability. When the Skinnies attack her compound, she’s the lone survivor. Injured and near death, Wendy is rescued and nursed back to health by mysterious strangers. Her saviors offer her a place among them, but trust has never been one of Wendy’s strengths, and suspicion soon leads to evidence that these people might be the group who killed her family. The decision to get her revenge, and take the settlement down from the inside out is easy. Keeping her distance from those she must befriend in order to make it happen proves to be much more difficult.
Author Bio: Jo Ann Schneider grew up in Utah and Colorado, and wonders how people who live in flat places can tell where they’re going. In her sixteenth year, Jo went with her family to Europe. This spawned a travel bug that will never be satisfied. One of Jo’s goals is to travel to all seven continents—five down, two to go.
Perhaps the most challenging thing Jo has ever done (besides write novels) was stick with her Shaolin Kempo classes long enough to earn her black belt. Persistence, not an overabundance of mad skill, is what got her there, and she just keeps going back for more. An intervention may be in order at some point.
Being a geek at heart, Jo has always been drawn to science fiction and fantasy. She writes both, and hopes to introduce readers into worlds that wow them and characters that they can cheer for.
Jo lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her adorkable husband, Jon, who is very useful for science and computer information as well as getting items off of top shelves. By day she is a mechanical designer of disgustingly expensive hand-crafted steel lights, and by night she is a ninja. Woosh, woosh.