Posted in Blog tour, Giveaway, Science Fiction, Spotlight, Young Adult on October 10, 2014

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Sometimes what you think is normal, is anything but


Told in the vein of Susan Pfeiffer’s LIFE AS WE KNOW IT and Courtney Summers’ THIS IS NOT A TEST, this new YA novel will appeal to fans of Sci-Fi both young and old. END OF NORMAL is now available at Amazon and Champagne Books. Get to know more about Susan in this exclusive letter to readers…



16-year-old Olivia Richards’ last day of normal is simply that, normal. She spends her entire pre-school morning dressing to impress gorgeous guy Sawyer Rising, the hottest guy in high school. She argues with her mother about her skinny jeans being too tight, which Olivia considers ridiculous because isn’t that the point of skinny jeans? Sometimes her mother makes no sense. Olivia’s normal world also includes her gentle astrophysicist father and her twin brother Charlie, who is deaf. Despite proclaiming that his deafness is no big deal, deep inside Olivia feels it is a big deal and that it’s her duty to protect him.

Olivia’s normal ends that night when strange lights shoot out of the sky and turn into stinging drones, killing their parents, or at least they think their parents die, but do they? Forced to flee, the twins join forces with friends Axel, Clara, and Sawyer, to search for answers to the strange invasion. Discovering a conspiracy to hide the location of a second earth, they search for a way to stop the destruction of their world.


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Stupid me, I’d forgotten about the world outside our house. There were all of our neighbors. They could help us. Help Mom. I squirmed away from Charlie and sprinted to the front door, flinging it open. The night was deadly calm, nothing moving, all of the houses shadowy and silent.

“Help us,” I shouted. “Mom needs help.”

Racing off our porch, I ran to the Anderson’s next door and hammered on their front door. “Help us, please, help us.”

My voice was loud enough to raise the dead, which was one of Mom’s stock phrases. When Clara and I got loud—not Charlie, never Charlie—Mom would come to our room, smiling, always smiling, and say those words. If it were possible, if my loudness could raise my dead mother, I’d scream until my lungs burst, dying myself if Mom would not be dead.

The Anderson’s house stayed dark. The door remained shut. I beat my fists against it, and still no one appeared. Defeated, I turned back to our house. Charlie loped across the lawn toward me, his arms flagging me down, his fingers signing, Dad.

We tore home, leaving our door open. I hoped someone would notice, and rush in to save us. I realized it was another one of my fantasies. After all what could anyone really do? This wasn’t a movie where dead people could be made whole again. This was the real world where real stuff happened.

Hollow and empty, I wandered into the living room where Dad still blew air into Mom’s mouth and struck her chest, again, and again, and again. Charlie and I reached for his arms, “Dad, stop. It won’t do any good, She’s dead.” His vacant stare stopped us. It was almost as if he was dead too. I threw myself at him. “Dad, stop. You’ve got to stop.”

I tried to tell him it would do no good. That. She. Was. Dead.



The words boomed inside me, echoing across the expanse of my skull and I crouched onto the floor sobbing. I wept until I ached and my cries sounded hoarse and dry and spent and I couldn’t stay still any longer. I stumbled around the house, dragging myself from room to room in a funk of misery and disbelief. In the bathroom, I somehow managed to twist on the faucet and with the water flowing fast and hot, I attempted to scrub the night off my skin. The soap stung, and I cherished the pain. Pain gave me clarity. It helped me understand nothing would change my mother’s dying.

I slumped against the sink, slowly slipping to the cold tile floor. Charlie squatted next to me and we leaned against each other.

Finally, he stood and lifted me up beside him.

I’m afraid, my fingers told him.

Me too, his replied.

About the Author

Susan ArscottSusan worked as a high school teacher until she thought her head would explode from all the ideas and questions her students asked. Thinking it would be easier; she foolishly switched from teaching to the ridiculous job of professional fundraiser. After spending more years than she wants to admit begging strangers for money, she gathered what pride she had left and enrolled in Spalding University’s MFA program where she became blissfully happy working with other writers and improving her writing. She currently lives and writes in Seabrook, Texas with her husband Mike, Vlad the cat, and their deaf dog Chester.

Her first YA novel, END OF NORMAL, will be available October 6, 2014 by Champagne Books and can be purchased through any online bookstore. I am in the process of developing a new, and much better website, but until it’s ready, you can check out my current, rather pitiful site. It has my bi-weekly blog and books I’m working on. My new site will be much better, so bookmark my web address and check back in a few weeks.

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