“The Treemakers” Teaser Gallery

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POWER

 

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Love is Enough

 

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Eric's review

 

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Awesome and tragic

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LURE

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MAGIC

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Mateo

“The Treemakers” (YA Dystopian Scifi Horror) is now available. Click here to check out reviews or order on Amazon.

rough colored ocean wave falling down at sunset time

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PROMISE OF DEATH2

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PROMO 1

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“The Treemakers” (YA Dystopian Scifi Horror) is now available. Click here to check out reviews or order on Amazon.

STAY ALIVE rel par

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UK PROMO2

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What's out there

 

 

“The Treemakers” (YA Dystopian Scifi Horror) is now available. Click here to check out reviews or order on Amazon.

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★★★FAN ART!!★★★

Before being a published author, it’s easy to dream about the day that your story is actually in the hands of readers who enjoy it. You wonder things like, “Will my story move people?” and “Will they love it as much as I do?”

You fantasize about the riches, the fame, the fan clubs… and yes, the fan art!

Though the fame and riches haven’t quite found me yet, I’m happy to say the fan art has. What a great feeling, to know my story has moved someone to create art. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.

SO! Without further ado, let me introduce to you, the beginning of my “Fan Art” section! If you’ve read “The Treemakers” and loved it, and you’re feeling artsy, I’d love to see your art, too! If you have something you’d like to send, email it to:

rozelle. treemakers@ gmail. com (remove spaces).

I can’t wait to see it!

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

INTRODUCING

Fan art by Amy Barber

Amy Barber (Hayes)

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

Fan art by Renee N. Meland for #Picadamngoodbook

Renee Meland Picadamngoodbook

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INTRODUCING

Fan Art by Michelle Kluttz

MICHELLEK4

MICHELLEK5

MICHELLEK6

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

“Are You Here for the Frogs? Because You Can’t Have Them. They’re All I’ve Got.”

Short fiction by

 Christina L. Rozelle

 

 

It felt colder in the room that day.

Lucy knew they were trying to kill her, and freezing her was one of the many ways they tried to do it. But that day was different. Along with the usual frigidness, came a quaking emptiness that she couldn’t quite place. The girl that had come by, supposedly to keep her company, went on and on about this love between two people Lucy had never met. She was unsure why the girl was telling her such things. It was none of her business and she could hardly relate. She couldn’t remember if she had ever experienced anything like that in her life. All she could remember now, was the harsh climate of her home, the ever-present loneliness . . . and the frogs.

The frogs were her friends. If she moved too quickly around the room, she’d startle them, so Lucy was sure to remind all who entered to watch for them. And when they told her the frogs weren’t real, she kept quiet, because she knew they were just trying to trick her. They were always trying to trick her.

“Gran? Are you all right?” the girl asked.

Lucy nodded, rocking faster in her chair, keeping an eye on Jasper, the mammoth toad who hid behind her trashcan. She remained cautious as the girl continued, rambling on about the time the man came home from four long years at the war, and how the woman had knitted him the ugliest winter sweater on the planet, but the man loved her so much he wore it proudly anyway. The girl laughed softly as she opened a photo album in her lap.

“I don’t know whose this is, do you?” she asked, running her fingers along a lock of hair. “I can’t read the writing beside it.”

“How would I?” Lucy asked.

The girl’s face tightened with pain, which confused Lucy. Why was this stranger so emotional over things that she knew nothing about? Her eyes wandered to an unfamiliar painting of a young couple, frozen in their laughter, and she wondered what they were laughing about. It made Lucy very sad but she didn’t know why.

“Aww . . .” The girl knelt by Lucy’s side and took her cool, wrinkled hand, cupping it inside her young palms. “I always wondered what you two were laughing at.”

“Oh, that’s not me.” Lucy tried to see why the girl would mistake the woman in it for her.

“Gran, it is you. It’s you and your husband, Dale, my Grandpa. That picture was painted on your honeymoon, fifty-seven years ago.”

Lucy stared at her, feeling the sudden rage she felt when she knew someone was trying to trick her. Tears filled her eyes, blurring the girl’s face. She tightened her trembling fists. “No! You’re lying to me!” She turned away from the horrible picture and her eyes landed on the tiny locket beside her bed. Her chest heaved and swelled as she took it in her hands and opened it.

The girl cried softly beside her.

Lucy looked from the man in the tiny gold heart to the girl . . .

. . . And then, a light turned on somewhere.

“Annette?” Lucy whispered.

The girl cried harder and wrapped her arms around Lucy’s neck.

“You’re my . . . my granddaughter . . . .”

Annette nodded and kissed Lucy’s cheek.

Lucy looked down at the man in the gold heart. She tilted her head slightly to the right, daring to look at the picture on the wall again. And then, she knew. Lucy closed the locket up tight inside her palm. How could she forget?

Dale was a great man. There was never a day that went by that he didn’t do something for someone else. He was a war hero, a teacher, a giver, a lover . . . . But most of all, he was her best friend for fifty-seven years.

“He’s . . . gone?” Lucy asked.

Annette nodded, tears trailing her cheeks.

“Please,” Lucy begged. “Please don’t let me forget my Dale. I don’t want to be without my Dale,” she pleaded, holding her granddaughter as tight as her weak arms could manage.

Annette sobbed into her grandma’s lap. Because she knew there was nothing she could do. It was only a matter of time.

As Lucy squeezed the locket, drenching her granddaughter’s shoulder with her tears, Jasper hopped out from behind the trashcan and shook his head at her.

“Wait. . . .” Lucy pushed Annette back, held her at arm’s length. “Who are you? Are you here for the frogs? Because you can’t have them. They’re all I’ve got.”

 

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To preorder Christina’s Upper YA Dystopian Sci-Fi novel, “The Treemakers,” releasing on December 3, 2014, follow this link.

“The Treemakers” Cover Reveal! (And the story behind it)

AFront

About this special cover:

This is a slightly modified version of a masterpiece painted by the hand of my Nana, Mildred Louise Atnip-Howard, born on April 6, 1929.

By age ten, her mother had died and her father dropped her and five younger siblings off at Boles Home Orphanage in Quinlan, Texas. There she sat for days on the front stoop, waiting for him to return . . . but he never did. She was left to figure out how to live life as an orphan, while simultaneously being a mother-figure to her younger siblings.

Young nanaMildred grew to be a pillar in the Boles Home community. Admired by her peers for her faith, beauty, strength, gentle nature, and integrity, she graduated high school, attended college, and then went on to have a family of her own. After raising seven children, she and her husband, my Papa, went back to Boles Home, where they spent five years fostering over one hundred-twenty girls. She was the mother figure and positive role model many of them never had. She was truly a remarkable woman.

 

My Nana died on December 28, 2010, from cancer-related illness. Our family was devastated. For the past few years, we’ve been on the path that leads through pain, to healing. Her life taught me to be strong, to strive for gentleness, forgiveness and integrity, and to never stop believing in myself and expecting great things to come. Navigating the choppy, murky waters of grief after her death gave me a new outlook on everything. How precious life is. How it can be gone in an instant. How this too shall pass, and healing comes. How things don’t always happen the way you think they should or when you think they should, but that ultimately, when you look back, you’ll see the secret inner-workings of it all. And “when the secrets are revealed, you will see the way the magic works.” (The Treemakers)

I can only hope that my story—and the use of her masterpiece as its cover—can honor her life; her true magnum opus.

Many of the aforementioned themes are represented in my upcoming novel, “The Treemakers.” Though it is a Dystopian/Scifi and a story of its own (Joy is not modeled after my Nana), the search for the spark in the dark is there, as well as the discovery of it in the most unlikely place, and in the most magical, unexpected ways. I really hope you enjoy it.

Let me reiterate how grateful I am to have made the decision to become an independent author. If I had not, I may not have had the opportunity to honor a woman who means so much to me, my family, and so many other people. Having the freedom to choose to honor someone amazing who is no longer with us, as opposed to “what will sell my book,” was not much of a choice. (Though, I hope it’ll do both! 😉 )

Here’s a summary of “The Treemakers”

What if death was the only way?

In this bleak dystopian future, the Earth is dying. Left behind are the orphans of Greenleigh, doomed to a life of building mechanical trees for Bygonne.

Their rules state:
No talking, laughing, playing, or physical contact of any kind during working hours—which are from six a.m. to six p.m.

A passionate storyteller, and mother figure to the children enslaved in the Tree Factory, sixteen-year-old Joy Montgomery must operate deadly machinery with a baby on her back, and only dream of what life once was.

“What was it like out there? When sunlight was still precious, nourishing…? Now, it fries everything through that lovely hole in the sky.”

But the iron bonds of friendship and family, the discovery of magic in the dark, and fiery love amidst devastation soon fuel her search for a way out.

“Our hearts and breath are a symphony in the stillness, beating and breathing a dangerous song of freedom in a servant’s world. I’ve never felt more alive. The promise of possible death clashes against the realization of power over the Superiors. I refuse to follow their rules any longer.”

Aided by an unlikely ally who harbors a dangerous secret, Joy and the Treemakers embark on a quest for freedom, and for the truth about the existence of a forbidden paradise.

 

To purchase “The Treemakers,” in the US, follow this link: http://www.amazon.com/Treemakers-Christina-L-Rozelle-ebook/dp/B00P49KVKG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420127222&sr=8-1&keywords=the+treemakers

To purchase in the UK, follow this link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00P49KVKG/

“The Toothbrush and the Lie”

When I see Charlie’s toothbrush on the sink as I brush my teeth, once again, I leave it alone. After twenty-seven years of sharing the same six-by-eight foot space, leaving each other’s stuff alone, I suppose it’s out of habit more than anything.

They came to clean his stuff out of our cell and I don’t know what came over me. I told those bastards it was my hootch and I’d be the one to decide what to do with Charlie’s stuff, now that he was gone. They could see blood in my eyes so they left me alone. And for the first time in twenty-seven years, I was alone in my cell, with plenty of time to reminisce . . . .

You’d think people would have more sympathy for men who’ve fought for this country once they’ve gone crazy. People love you while you’re away risking your life in guerilla warfare, but once you come back, alls you get is a sea of cold shoulders. It’s enough to make a man hate; especially the Chucks that were the reason for the whole thing.

It didn’t take me long to lose Mary once I got back from my second tour. After you’ve murdered thousands of people—women, children—you’re a changed man. I wasn’t the same long-haired boy they drafted, that’s for sure. I was angry, drunk, and abusive, and eventually, after a year of that, my wife finally put me out. I was on the street for two years before I got so hungry and desperate for booze that I robbed an ice-cream shop. I’ll never understand why I chose that place. Whoever heard of an ice-cream shop owner with a sawed-off under the counter? He pinned me to the ground with the barrel digging into my neck and his foot pressed into my upper back, waiting for the cops.

In that moment, I experienced a sort of death. My life passed before my eyes in snapshots, faded gray and tattered by my constant cramming of them back down in my pocket of memories—the ones I couldn’t bear to stare at for too long. And then, I wasn’t there anymore; I was under attack. I flipped around and took the gook’s gun and fired, blowing his head against the wall behind him.

And then, I woke up.

They gave me life with no parole. And to pour salt in the wound, they stuck me in a cell with a goddamn Charlie. I told them they were no good fucking cherries, and if they didn’t get that Chuck son-of-a-bitch outta my cell, I’d kill him. Just like I killed his relatives back in Nam. I threatened the slanty-eyed bastard, and beat him within a splinter of his life for touching my toothbrush (which he never did again), and ended up in solitary for a week. Then, they threw me right back in there, with him reading his gook bible. And I knew I was stuck with him. For good.

Weeks turned into months and then years, and Charlie and I learned to work around each other. He never touched my stuff and I never touched his. And looking at his bed—the cold blankets pulled back, bible still lain open, its pages fanned and crumpled beneath it—I haven’t been able to bring myself to touch his things, even now.

***

Charlie comes to me in a dream and tells me he always considered me a friend, even though we never once spoke. Even after what I did to him. Even after I never once called him by his real name. He tells me he forgives me, and that I should forgive myself, too. He says he’ll be waiting for me on the bright side.

I gasp myself awake and stumble to the stainless steel mirror by the sink. I splash cold water on my face and struggle to breathe. I grip the edge of the sink with trembling hands, accidentally knocking Hao’s toothbrush onto the concrete floor. I stare at it for a second in disbelief. I had just thought of him as “Hao” for the first time. I bend down to pick up his toothbrush, but instead I fold up under the sink, cradling it and sobbing like a schoolgirl. Hao was never the enemy I made him out to be. He left me alone because it was my wish. He never hated me or my sins. He forgave me, respected me when there was no one else left that did. Hao was no enemy . . . .

And he was never coming back.

This story was first published in The Oddville Press, Volume 2, Issue 2. There are so many great stories in that issue, as well as the newest issue that just came out a few days ago. Definitely worth the free download! You can download both issues, as well as Volume 1, Issues 1-6 with this nifty little link right HERE.