Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Guest Post, Excerpt and 2 Giveaways: Schasm by Shari J. Ryan


When reality utterly fails you, there is always the comfort of the land of dreams. Chloe Valcourt, a tormented nineteen-year-old young woman, has for twelve years hovered between a daily life dominated by an abusive mother and an imagined alternate world that exists only in her mind’s eye. Can she keep track of which is real—and whether or not she is real, too? Schasm is the mind-bending young adult romance by Shari J. Ryan that mines the heart of darkness, where one young woman seeks light in her own shimmering daydreams. 

A psychological condition has captured the body, mind, and soul of Chloe, and thrust her into the hands of probing doctors at the continued mercy of her tyrannical mother. As she struggles to break free of the grim life into which she was born, she continues to suffer the daily assaults from her mother and the dispiriting weakness of her dejected father. When Chloe unexpectedly finds herself drawn into a new, warm life abundant in love and romance with a kindhearted man named Alex, the escape at last gives her a happiness that she's never been allowed to feel. However, when hidden truths reveal a life that she cannot remember, Chloe finds herself lost between what is real and what isn't. 

Blending extreme daydreaming, alternating realities, and multiple personalities, Schasm is a gripping tale that treads the thin line between a harrowing reality and the captivating terrain of an imagined world. As Chloe plays too close to the edge of insanity, her multiple realities clash, leaving her to question everything, including her own existence. Anyone who relishes a flight of fancy with richly drawn characters and surprising twists of plot will be immersed in the strange new world of Schasm, where nothing is at it seems.

The pitfalls of your own imaginary haven

(MB's topic)
Being a writer often means that you have to lose your mind in order to find it again (In my personal experience). This seems to happen to me on a daily basis. Could I be alone with this? All writers must have a little bit of crazy in them, right? 

When my imagination begins to run away, I can't always catch up to it. My thought process seems to take many sharp turns and rarely moves in a straight line, causing difficulty when it comes to focusing on one part of a story at a time. While writer's block doesn't typically affect me, I instead find myself barricaded between many scattered thoughts hitting me all at one time. Because I have a tendency of wanting to use every idea I come up with (Even if it doesn't fit), I tend to argue with myself on which ideas to keep and which to save for another story. 

Because of the way my thought process seems to flow, I feel that Schasm was a great writing experience for my first book. My main Character, Chloe, lives with a psychological condition that enables her to live an alternate life, but only through her daydreams. Her mind doesn't work in normal ways, so she attempts to live in multiple realities in search of happiness, an emotion that has long been missing from her life. But when she goes too far into her own mind, she loses track of what was once real and what is becoming real. Just like Chloe, my writing sometimes appears to travel on a similar thought train.


The open snow-covered field is mesmerizing to look at, and as I stare at it while whizzing by, the snow begins to melt into a blur and turns into the texture of sand. The sand leads my eyes to a blue ocean, rather than the white sky, and the branches of pine trees curl outward as they turn into palm trees.

I experience a brief sense of excitement, thinking I’m heading to my happy place, but it quickly becomes overshadowed as I feel myself choking on water that’s now flooding through my mouth. With an attempt to clear my lungs and throat, I try to force myself to cough up the liquid, but instead of freeing my lungs I end up inhaling more, forcing me to choke even harder. I can’t breathe, and my vision is becoming so blurry that I’m unable to see anything other than some strange curvy lines. My once soothing thoughts are now turning into a panicked frenzy, and all I can do is try to breathe through the breaks of choking. But it seems useless since I just end up inhaling more water. I try to open my eyes again, but instead I become overwhelmed with a burning sensation similar to having soap in my eyes. This is ridiculous!

After what seems like an eternity with no air or sight, I regain some of my vision. I quickly try to focus on what’s going on around me, but before I can make anything out, the scorching sensation returns again. A feeling of impending blackness comes over me as I succumb to the sensation of drowning, and I feel weightless and numb. My body has stopped struggling, and I find some comfort lying on whatever soft surface I appear to be on. As the weakness continues to take over, lethargy begins to set in until I unexpectedly feel two arms underneath me. One arm slides under my legs and the other under my neck. I’m lifted up with ease and carried a few feet from where I was and then placed back down again.

By turns, pressure is being applied to my chest and air is being blown into my mouth as my lips are soothed by a smooth, dispassionate sensation. I feel the rush of trapped water racing up my lungs, through my esophagus, up through my throat, and out of my mouth. The movement fortunately allows me to gasp for air, and after a few free breaths, I feel it’s safe to open my eyes.

There’s a guy in front of me, and he’s dripping wet, kneeling over my body with a concerned look as he tries to catch his own breath.

“Are you okay?” he asks in a soft-spoken voice, his mouth still only inches from mine.

I attempt to respond, but the only thing I can manage to do is cough up more water, right in his face.

He swiftly lifts my head up off of the ground, forcing my airway to open a bit more, and it thankfully seems to help with the choking. After another grueling minute of coughing up more water, I look around and see that I’m sitting just a few feet away from the ocean. I also notice a surrounding crowd of people gawking at me with alarmed looks.

About the author:
Shari J. Ryan has always dreamt of becoming an author and finally decided it was time to pursue her lifelong aspiration by writing her debut young adult novel, Schasm. She has long nurtured a passion for art, reading, and writing, and those hobbies have become a mental escape from her busy life. In the past year, she has put her heart and soul into the creation of her novel, which has taught her that it is never too late and nothing is too hard. The author graduated with a bachelors of science degree from Johnson & Wales University and has written hundreds of articles for various online publications. She is married with two sons.


Catalina Mihaela said...

Foarte interesant subiectul.O alta carte care presupun ca este plina de mister.Imi plac astfel de carti

Beautiful Disaster said...

This sounds awesome. I haven't read it yet but looking forward to doing so.
Thanks :)

Kai said...

I haven't read the book yet but the book does sound interesting. Interesting cover too.

Meghan said...

I haven't read it yet and I do find it interesting! Thanks for the giveaway!

Unknown said...

Sounds interesting,can't wait to read it.