Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Book Blitz ~ Have You Seen This Girl? (Flocksdale Files #1) by Carissa Ann Lynch - Interview, Prologue and Giveaway

Author: Carissa Ann Lynch
Series: Flocksdale Files #1
Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Wendi Wise is a troubled young woman who snorts her breakfast through a straw and spends more time in rehab than in the real world… 

Her life is seemingly out of control.

But now she has a plan.

That plan involves a sharp set of butcher knives. 

She's going back to where all of her troubles began…


Wendi was lured away from a local skating rink, at the age of thirteen, and held captive in a place she calls 'The House of Horrors.' Dumped off blindfolded on the side of a dirt road, Wendi soon discovered that she was addicted to the drugs they fed her while she was captive. 

Too scared to go home, and having a new habit to deal with, she hopped on a bus, vanishing from the family she loved. 

Vanishing from Flocksdale…

The town of Flocksdale is littered with fliers with a grainy image of young Wendi, and the words 'Have You Seen This Girl?' written below. 

Now, eight years later, she's on a mission—a mission to find the mysterious house from her youth and the monsters who dwell inside it.

“This is the end, beautiful friend, the end…”

★ Paperback:
- Available for FREE with #KindleUnlimited -


Amanda - I was reading a bit about you on your blog. You said that when you were younger you kept a journal, do you still keep up that practice in some shape or form? I also have been into writing nearly my while life and journaling was a big way that I got into it. 
Carissa - Yes, I’ve always loved journaling! As I got older, I moved a lot of my paper journaling to Nowadays, everybody blogs. Some people are afraid they won’t have enough to say, but honestly, I’m afraid of using my blog as a personal journal because I’m so used to having one! Although I mostly write on my laptop or blog these days, I still keep a personal notebook for journal entries, book ideas, and plot notes. I usually take it with me everywhere, in case I want to jot something down. I don’t know if anyone could even read it if they tried; it’s a mess.
 Amanda - Tell us three things about yourself that your readers dont know. 
 Carissa - Okay…I’ve been extremely candid in all of my author interviews but here’s a few things readers probably don’t know about me yet: 
  1. I’m a little bit obsessed with aliens. Not the fictional kind, either. Late at night, when all of my writing is done, I like to lay in bed watching those crazy alien conspiracy shows and eating snacks, all bug-eyed and scared. LOL.
  2. Although I love to write adult-themed stories, often stories that are frightening or mysterious, I love to read cheesy young adult novels more than I’d like to admit.
  3. The story of how I started writing – I’ve told this story before, but I’ll tell you a few things I’ve never told anyone about the process. I’ve always been more of a reader than a writer. My friends used to always ask, “If you like reading so much why don’t you write books?” That always seemed like a silly question. I was too busy reading books to ever want to write one. In fact, I think I once told a friend, “There’s too many good books out there already. I don’t need to write any.” LOL. So, several years ago I decided to put myself on a “book budget”. I’m a paperback kind of girl, and I don’t like borrowing from the library either. My weekly trips to the bookstore were getting ridiculous. So, I decided to try to buy less books and pace myself with the ones I had (and start going to the library some to save money). Well, a week after I got on this “budget”, I ran out of books to read (go figure). At the time, I didn’t have a kindle yet. Here’s the thing: I can’t go a day without reading and I always read – at least a few pages – before bed. It was one in the morning, and without a book, I couldn’t get to sleep. I was so irritated about not having something to read that I decided to start writing a short story of my own. I was making pancakes and randomly came up with the first few lines to my first book, This Is Not About Love. Needless to say, I was hooked. And I didn’t buy any books for a few weeks because I was too involved in writing my own, so the budget plans worked out after all!  I never planned on actually submitting it. My sister pushed me to turn it in. When I submitted my first book, I had no clue what the word “query”meant or how long a book should be, or who the different pubs out there were. I was essentially clueless, and when it comes to rookie mistakes, I’ve made them all. I still think it’s a miracle that I got into doing this at all. But now that I am, I couldn’t imagine giving it up. 
     Amanda - Do you have a favorite author or book/book series? Could you tell us about it? 
    Carissa - I have so many and it changes constantly! I love to read a little bit of everything! As far as favorite authors, I’d have to say Chuck Palahniuk because his writing is edgy and dark, and I admire his ability to evoke a wide range of emotions from his readers. Series…I LOVE series. Anytime I read a good book, I immediately start looking for the rest of the books in the series. One of my favorite series of all time is the Aurora Teagarden mysteries by Charlaine Harris. I don’t know why, but I can reread those books over and over again…
     Amanda - You say that you are a “total genre-hopper” , but do you have a favorite genre to write or read? 
    Carissa - I enjoy reading a little bit of everything, and when I’m writing a particular genre I tend to making read selections in a completely different genre. With writing, I started out trying to write everything, jumping around from young adult to fantasy, and even a little science fiction. It’s taken me a couple years to figure this out finally…but I think I’m sticking with the mystery/thriller genre. It’s the most enjoyable and natural genre for me, and I seem better at it than other genres.
     Amanda - Are there any authors that have particularly influenced you? 
    Carissa - Oh my gosh, way too many to count! I guess a few that stand out are some of the early authors I fell in love with as a teen. Carolyn Keene and R.L. Stine are a couple. I could list hundreds more...Wow, your questions are tough J.
     Amanda - I know that this is sometimes a dreaded question amongst authors - I dread it myself - but it’s one that you just have to ask. Was there anything in particular that inspired Have You Seen This Girl (The Flocksdale Files #1)? Where did the idea come from? 
    Carissa - I do sort of dread this question, about all of my books, honestly. Simply because there’s always this fear that readers –particularly, people I know – will think my main character is ME. Well, I’m here to say that my main characters are not supposed to me. BUT…a little bit of me will always be reflected in all of my characters. After all, I created them so I always see something of myself in all of them. With this story in particular, Have You Seen This Girl?, there are so many things that inspired me to write this. I have personal and professional experience dealing with addiction, sexual abuse, and sex offenders. I also live in Indiana, which has recently received nationwide attention for its heroin and HIV epidemic. So, all of the issues in this book are important me, and writing this book was emotional for me. It’s a book about dealing with demons – real demons and the ones living inside of us.
     Amanda - Is a music at all a part of your writing process? It’s a huge part of mine. I personally love hearing about other writers writing processes. Are there any “rituals” you do before or while you write? I seem to almost always have a cup of tea and my carefully selected mucis playing. 
    Carissa - Music is a huge part of my writing process. With this book in particular, it played an even bigger role than usual. Have You Seen This Girl? was inspired by the song lyrics to “The End” by The Doors. The song that Wendi hears while she’s held captive, and also the song she uses later when she seeking her revenge. The original version of this manuscript was filled with Jim Morrison lyrics, but I had to remove them. I use music to get me in the mood right before I write. My set writing time is at night after the kids go to bed. I usually listen to music, eat a snack, then get my notebook and laptop arranged perfectly on the table before I start writing.
     Amanda - Do you have any advice for aspiring authors out there and/or anything more to say before you go? 
    Carissa - I’ve said this before, but it really is true. If you want to be a good writer, then you need to read…A LOT. Reading improves vocab and helps you develop your own skills and interests in particular genres. Never give up. And try your best not to let criticism hurt you. If anything, use the negative feedback to come back ten times better and stronger on your next piece. Also, don’t be surprised if your family and friends think you’re a weirdo for wanting to be a writer. Being weird comes with the territory. J
     Thank you so much for interviewing me and participating in the tour!!! It means the world to me and I hope my answers weren’t too boring :-/
    Amanda - You're so welcome!! It's my pleasure. I don't think that your answers were boring at all. I enjoyed them very much and I'm sure that my followers will, too. :) 
Present Day: I lost my straw three hours ago, which sucks because it was my favorite one. Getting up to look for it seems like a painstaking, insurmountable task right now, but I pull myself up to a sitting position and swing my legs over the side of the bed. The “bed” is nothing more than a dingy, rust-colored mattress that lies on the floor of a two-room basement apartment in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The threadbare carpet that covers the floor provides no support for my feet, and frankly, it stinks. I get down on my knees and lay my face flat against the carpet, holding my breath and peering under an ancient, stained armchair and the dresser that stands beside it. Now, where the fuck is that straw?

All I can see are dust bunnies, mouse droppings, and the carcass of a cockroach. No straw. I let out a frustrated groan. I give up searching, stand back up, and pad across the hall to the tiny bathroom I share with my current boyfriend, Michael, or “Mick” when he thinks he’s cool. I plop down on the toilet, running my hands through my tangled mop of greasy black hair.

I wait for the pee to come. Then wait some more. I can remember one of my old AA mentors, telling me once why opiates interfere with bodily functions like peeing, for instance. It was something about wires in the brain getting crossed…I wish I had a stopwatch to time this affair, but then it finally comes and I let out a sigh of relief.

Mick’s clothes from the night before are strewn across the bathroom floor at my feet. Suddenly I have a thought, and begin rummaging through the pockets of a brown pair of khaki shorts that I remember him wearing last night. I find what I’m looking for: a tattered black wallet, worn out from age and being sat on all day long. I open it up and peer inside. It only contains two dollars, but that’s fine by me—all I need is one.

Pulling out the faded, crumpled bill, I smooth it flat against the round edges of the wash basin. Once flattened, I begin slowly rolling it into a perfectly cylindrical mini-version of my straw. It’s basically perfect.

The dope is in my bedroom drawer, along with my razor. Using the tiny blade, I lovingly chop the heroin until it is fine and powdery, and then use the rolled up dollar bill to suck it straight up my nose. Its taste hits the back of my throat instantly and drains down through my sinuses, a sensation I used to loathe but have grown to love.

Wiping the residue from my nose noisily with the back of my hand, I glance at Mick, who is still passed out on the bed. Getting high makes him sleepy, but it fills me with an insatiable need to do something productive.

Our bedroom is dotted with tiny land mines of crumpled t-shirts, inside-out jeans, and day-old panties. I make my way around the room, picking them up and tossing them all into a wicker laundry basket in the corner.

Besides the bedroom and bathroom, we have a small, windowless sitting area, a narrow galley kitchen, and a small extra bedroom that we use for trash and other random items. I move my cleaning to the living room, gathering up snack wrappers and empty Solo cups, and then carry them into the small silver garbage can under the kitchen sink. The sink is filled to the brim with two-day-old dishes, so I start filling the sink with water and shampoo.

I’ve been out of dish soap for weeks now, but the hair care product seems to get the job done so I don’t complain. The water from the faucet never gets hot because our gas got shut off months ago. If I want hot water, I have to boil it. This all sounds ridiculous, I know. This is the twenty-first century, but my addiction has me back in the Stone Age, because when you’re an addict, you don’t spend money on things like food, water, clothes, electricity…you spend it on drugs. At least the truly hardcore addicts like me do.

Crusty teacups, sauce-covered plates, and sour-smelling utensils permeate the water, rising steadily to the brim. I plunge my hands into the frigid, cloudy water and begin mindlessly washing.

For the past six months, our daily life can be divided into three segments: looking for money to buy heroin, finding the drug, and then getting high. Oh, I almost forgot about the fourth segment: coming down from the drug—my least favorite time of day. Our entire life revolves around heroin and our bodies rely on it to function. It’s not about getting “high” anymore because I never feel lifted or high-spirited, or overly anything these days. We wake up feeling low and we need it to feel normal. Maybe they should change the expression to “getting normal” or “avoiding feeling like shit,” instead of “getting high.”

Today will be different though. Today I have a date with my good friend rehab, and in six hours from now, my daily routine should change dramatically. Mick isn’t going, but I’m fine with that. He’ll do his own thing when he’s ready. I’ve been planning this for a month now, and finally the phone call came: a bed opened up at the local in-patient clinic and today is the day to report.

I’ve been to rehab before, and will mostly like go again after this stint, but everything is about to change. This time around, major plans have been made for when I get out of rehab.

Those plans involve me and a sharp set of butcher knives, but I’ll explain that later.

Perhaps you’re wondering how I got this way. Or perhaps you don’t give a damn. Either way, this is my story. It’s not a story about addiction. This is a story about murder.


Besides my family, my greatest love in life is books. Reading them, writing them, holding them, smelling them…well, you get the idea. I’ve always loved to read, and some of my earliest childhood memories are me, tucked away in my room, lost in a good book. I received a five dollar allowance each week, and I always — always — spent it on books. My love affair with writing started early, but it mostly involved journaling and writing silly poems. Several years ago, I didn’t have a book to read so I decided on a whim to write my own story, something I’d like to read. It turned out to be harder than I thought, but from that point on I was hooked. My first and second books were released by Sarah Book Publishing: This Is Not About Love and Grayson’s Ridge. I’m a total genre-hopper. Basically, I like to write what I like to read: a little bit of everything! I reside in Floyds Knobs, Indiana with my husband, three children, and massive collection of books. I have a degree in psychology and worked as a counselor.


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