Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Exclusive look at best-selling new novel, Without Merit

Sneak peek 

Calling all readers!

From the award-winning, bestselling author P.S. Meraux with John Green comes an unusual, supernatural, mystery-thriller. 

She has no memory.
No fingerprints.
No parents.
No cellphone.
When this girl gets out of the hospital it’s going to be a helluva week.

Her hands are a wreck, fingers bruised, swollen and bandaged. Her parents are nowhere to be found. What’s a girl without an identity to do? It’s not like she’s Jason Bourne; there’s no clue implanted in her hip.

Even her supernatural gift is a mystery. How does it work? Where does the magic come from? And what’s causing sparks to shoot out of her fingers?

Targeted by a mysterious group of thugs, they want something they think she has. She has no clue what it is or where she may have stashed it.

Before she can solve the mystery of her past, she must get away from them, cross the border -- all without an identity, money or friends. Oh, and magic or not, she doesn’t have any particular skills to make it easier. She’s no blonde assassin. No government in the world would put a gun in the banged-up hands of this girl.

Racing for her life, fleeing capture-- someone calls her “Merit.” Who is she? Adopting the name may kill her. Yet, Without Merit -- she has no clue to follow at all. 

Here's your chance to check out my new novel. It's a thrilling teen paranormal adventure story. Don't take my word for it, read on in this exclusive sneak peek. 

Excerpt from Without Merit:

I felt weightless like my body was rising while drifting with the rushing cold ocean that surrounded and carried me on a dubious trajectory toward safety. Dubious because the threat that the water could swallow the life from me always lingered in the background, hungry and churning -- like a shark circling -- never satisfied that I’d somehow escaped its jaws.
My lungs burned and ached for relief. I kept my lips pressed tightly closed, forcing what meager molecules of air left in my lungs out through my nose to keep the water from coming in. I wanted desperately to breathe the water in, to breathe anything in -- just to stop this suffocating sensation.
Fear gripped me. I didn’t want to die. My heart was hammering with adrenaline.
Somewhere in the back of my mind an errant thought was jumping up and down like an irate toddler throwing a tantrum, trying to catch my attention; urging me to remember HOW I got here. A more aggressive, combative thought demanded that I survive first. My survival instinct was boss.
I saw it again.
The glimmer was above me, distorted by the water that twisted the image as it moved. Yet a beacon it remained. Calling me to; Swim! Kick your feet. Reach! Reach! Reach! It seemed to encourage.
Was it a lighted buoy? Logically it made sense. What else would be floating in the ocean with me?
It was certainly lighter up there than here below. Just a few more feet and salvation awaited. I stretched out my hand knowing my fingers would break the surface before my face and felt marginally better imagining that if the fingertips felt air -- that would somehow sustain me in the final seconds until my nose was up there as well. Up there there’s air; oxygen means life.
The air was cold on my fingertips. It hurt. Air shouldn’t hurt.
I curled my fingers protectively into a fist and vaguely recalled that something was wrong. At that moment I didn’t fret about it much, I had more pressing worries. My lungs were ready to burst -- I needed to breathe.
My head broke the surface, I felt a rush of wind on my forehead and more pain. One ear was stinging. I gasped as the awful sensation sent chills down my spine and opened my mouth too soon, nearly choking on the sea water I gulped. It took several heartbeats until I managed to spit enough out to breathe freely.
On the joyous briny scent! I gasped again, filling my lungs, knowing that I was alive. Grateful. My alarm began to subside.
The howl of the wind over the waves was a comfort after the oppressive silence of the deep. Wisps of drenched hair began curling around my ears. The wet locks helped numb the pain. Other blowing tendrils tickled the back of my neck and I shivered. Caught up in my own thankfulness all I could think was; Lordy this is what I nee--
And I was under again. Water crashed over my head pushing me down. The cold was a shock as it enveloped me a second time. It hit hard on the back of my head. My skull throbbed. That meant something, something important, I just couldn’t remember what.
I twisted my body, flapping my arms and legs in wildly uncoordinated movements trying to rise to the surface. There was a brief sensation of something gently passing across my skin more solid than water. Unexpectedly my friendship bracelet detached from my wrist -- then it was gone. I didn’t see where it went amid the flurry of flailing arms.
The knot on the delicate embroidery floss was no match against the powerful ocean. I felt a pang of sadness knowing that I couldn’t spare time looking for it.
My lungs weren’t burning this instant, but I didn’t know how long that would last. I had to get my head to the surface. All my frantic fluttering created was more agitation in the water and a distressing feeling of disorientation. I didn’t know which way was up.
‘Watch where the bubbles go,’ a helpful corner of my brain advised.
In the absence of any other sage benefactor, I did.
The bubbles went the wrong way. They headed past my chin. I bent my head, eyes following them as they bobbed hurriedly past by chest, stomach, hips -- obviously heading toward my shoes.
Wait, they shouldn’t be going that way. Bubbles equal oxygen. They should be heading up to the surface.
I took another look at my shoes as the burning began in my lungs again. My alarm growing with it.
‘Bubbles go up. Follow the bubbles,’ that rational corner of my mind chimed in again.
Bending forward, I began kicking with all my strength, forcing my legs in the opposite direction and pumping my arms through the seemingly insurmountable fortress of water. Somewhere in the back of my mind a ludicrous thought danced about, unimportant to my current circumstances as a hair-bow to a bald man but there nonetheless.
I’d been upside down in the water like a misguided mermaid standing on her head. Somehow that pleased me a little. I had never in my life been able to do a handstand, much less stand on my head. My body lacked the coordination.
Breaking the surface again, I gasped and gasped, sucking in as much air as I could. My fingers were stinging and tender in the cold air, so was my ear. That meant something. At the moment I couldn’t remember what.
With both feet busily kicking-- keeping my head above the swirling surf -- my brain was less confused. The right and left hemispheres were getting oxygen. I could see more now.
It wasn’t a buoy that had beckoned but the first faint glow of sunrise. The timid rays were glittering across the waves, illuminating a rather desolate seascape. Another wave was coming, huge and smooth like the back of some giant leviathan rising from the deep.
The monster swell must have been twenty feet high. Grimacing and doing my best to ignore the searing pain in my fingers I paddled hard, getting at the base of it, moving with the wave.
Kick! Kick! Kick! I silently commanded my tired legs. Fear was being edged out of my thoughts by fatigue. I had to keep trying -- fug it! If I could keep up a steady pace I might get out of this. There was a strip of land over there in the distance. It wasn’t that far, maybe the length of a football field or two?
An impressive array of seabirds darted into the waves near the distant shore, looking for fish no doubt. Squawking and soaring, they eased their hunger while I wrestled with my own.
I headed in that direction. Was it west? It felt like it was west. The orange-yellow orb was somewhere behind me, not yet high enough in the sky to provide much in the way of warmth. The wondrous light it provided was most appreciated. At least now I had the makings of a plan; razor-thin to be sure but it was better than nothing.
A small part of me felt a smidgen of guilt for not taking more time to admire the color it emitted. Wait! That felt wrong. What drowning girl would stop and dwell on the beauty of the burgeoning sunrise? Maybe after I got out of the water, I mused. Was the pain in my head impacting my reasoning?
Unsettled by the thought, I kept swimming. Hoping the insistent, shrieking wind would blow such foolish distractions away from my frazzled mind, I kept trying to focus.
Kicking and paddling I pushed forward, cursing under my breath. Fingers stinging each time I lifted them out of the water. That meant something. I couldn’t remember what.
Suddenly the sun was in front of me. No, not the sun. An explosion of some kind. Was it lightning?
The blast of yellow and white erupted with such force -- extending glaring tentacles in several directions. I shut my eyes in reflex as it impacted near me. The afterimage was uncomfortably etched on the inside of my eyelids.
That hit too close. My head jerked back with a new pain worse than the previous ache.
The panic returned.
I nosedived-- not by choice. Down, down, down, I sank into the darkness under the waves. Opening my eyes didn’t help much, I was surrounded by nothing but water, cold and murky. It cushioned and protected me. But it was too late. Something from the explosion had hit my skull. My thinking was getting muddled and my vision clouded with spots.
Engulfed in turmoil, my lungs began to burn again. It was torture. After the first dunking, I felt like the threshold for holding my breath had somehow lowered.
I couldn’t die -- not like this, I thought feebly. I was too young to die, barely sixteen, too young for such a watery death. There should be some minimum age requirement before a soul was lost to Davy Jones’ locker, I fumed in indignant horror.
My fingers were stinging. Why where they stinging? All ten digits like the rest of me were underwater. They shouldn’t hurt down here, I grimaced. A lock of hair swept by my ear, tugging across it and reminding me of its tenderness.
The searing pain increased. I wanted to open my mouth and scream in anguish. I almost did. Only the knowledge that that would kill me quicker, halted my actions.
A bubble escaped from my lips, bounced against my nose and swiftly rolled passed my eyelashes directing me to a lifeline. I started kicking again, albeit slowly.
If I could just get back up there. Maybe I could make it, I thought with waning strength. Succeeding seemed of little consequence -- except there was something I was forgetting. Something important.
Reaching my stinging fingers forward, I saw an inexplicable flash of bright light that made me squint against the harshness. A hard object impacted sickeningly with my head and a new bolt of pain shot through my skull.
A feeling of lethargy settled over me -- more peaceful than frightening. Gradually my aches and pains turned numb. Once my eyes closed I seemed to lose focus and drifted into the labyrinth of senselessness.

Want more?

Grab a copy from Amazon.com: Without Merit by P.S. Meraux with John Green
A special promotion begins tomorrow. Be one of the first 500 readers to click on the Amazon.com link and you could get a free Kindle edition.

Want Easter Eggs?

'Merit' loses how many items during the course of her adventure? Clever readers will see what happens to her when the items begin to return.

Happy Reading!
P.S. Meraux

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Grab your free copy of Luminary while this offer lasts.

Right now Luminary is the book of the month on Goodreads YAces Indie Book Club Group. In honor of this group read, I'm making the book available in several markets (America, Canada, Australia, Japan, Mexico and India) for free  this month. So head on over to Amazon.com in your next of the woods and download your free Kindle version today.

Happy Reading All.

For those readers in America the link is here:  

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Exclusive excerpt from Flare:

“Stop it Max,” Emily said in earnest, retracting his leash, tugging him all the way back to her side.
Dagmore stepped forward, stopped and looked up at Jeremy as if seeking permission. Jeremy nodded and began to follow him forward.
Sighing, he stopped a few feet away. “Thanks. How are you?”
Now that he was up close she could see the bags under his eyes and signs of fatigue on his face. His green gaze held a haunted look.
“I’m doing okay. Look Jeremy, I’m sorry about your dad. You really should have let someone know.”
He was shaking his head in disagreement before she finished. “The gazette is a newspaper…remember? Can’t have word getting out.”
They were both silent for several seconds.
Max chose to fill the gap in conversation by making Dagmore feel unwelcome. Straining against the leash, he snarled at the diminutive dog.
The chihuahua eyed Jeremy for a moment. There was a subtle shift of his owner’s head and the dog opened his mouth and barked in response. Not the least bit intimidated by the larger terrier.
“How about you come out with me later for a beer,” Jeremy suggested with a familiar roguish look. “We’ll gossip about the boss and that girl you don’t like up in the marketing department.”
Emily stared at him. Was he talking about Lucy? How did he know Lucy? She’d never confided anything to him about her.
Jeremy smiled pleasantly, studying her.
When he noticed that she wasn’t chomping at the proffered carrot, he dangled a larger one. ‘I’ve been visiting some uh…friends up there. Found out some stuff… A lot of stuff.”
Friends, she puzzled sarcastically. Didn’t the marketing department have a new intern too? Still she was curious. What did he know about the Spakona?
“Really?” Emily replied with interest.
He nodded his dark head more vigorously, wet curls flopping as he did, then flinched and stopped. Spreading the fingers of one large hand over the top of his forehead he squeezed either temple with pinky and thumb.
“Are you okay?”
He shook his head more gingerly, removing the hand and taking another step forward. “I’ve got a killer headache,” he admitted.    
Leaning toward her to speak -- somewhat precariously by the way his feet lurched -- before he settled back on them. Head close to hers, his breath smelled of stale ale as he whispered, “If you come with me, I’ll tell you all of my secrets.”
Emily harbored serious doubt whether Jeremy could drink any more beers without keeling over. She didn’t want to be stuck driving him home in any case. Picturing how easily that scenario could go sideways.
Jeremy’s proximity set off Max like a collision alarm. Barking at the intern until he backed up a step. Mischievous eyes widening as he gave the terrier a sour look.
Smiling more amiably at Emily his expression conveyed, “Can’t blame a guy for trying.
She frowned at him. He was incorrigible.
Small in stature but not in mindset the chihuahua yelped right at Max then darted forward long enough to lick the toe of Emily’s right sneaker. Jumping out of the range of Max’s teeth when the terrier lunged forward. Squatting down a safe distance away as if mocking Max, he was cute.
“Hello Dagmore. What a well-behaved little fella you are,” Emily said in a friendly tone while keeping a firm hold on Max’s leash. The terrier obviously didn’t get the inference. Looking down at her own pooch, she hissed, “Calm down Max!”
Moving the hand holding the leash behind her, she stood between Max and Dagmore. The terrier tried to trot around her feet but she stopped him.
He settled for glowering over her left ankle at Dagmore and growling under his breath.  
The chihuahua looked up at her with warm beady eyes, placidly panting and got back to his feet moving closer. Wiggling in friendliness, he wagged the stub of a clipped tail like his hindquarters were powered by a battery.
“You’re a little flirt,” Emily noted. Like his owner.
As if to validate this observation, the little dog playfully trotted forward again. Due to Max’s restrained location or maybe because of it, Dagmore jumped up on his short hind legs with his upper legs gripping her lower calf and began humping her right ankle. Extending two inches of slightly wet, rosy-colored genitals across the top edge of her shoe, poking her rather aggressively. She could feel the dampness through her sock.
Ewww gross!
Max looked at the spectacle in appalled fascination. Tongue lolling out. Tearing his gaze away long enough to glance up at her accusingly with a look that said, “How come the little guy gets to do that?”

Monday, October 2, 2017

So Excited About This!!!!!

Congratulations P.S. Meraux!
is a 2017 Readers' Favorite Silver Medal Winner in the Young Adult - Paranormal genre!

For immediate release:
Author's new book receives a warm literary welcome.
Readers' Favorite announces the review of the Young Adult - Paranormal book "Luminary" by P.S. Meraux, currently available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1514679671.

Readers' Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the "Best Websites for Authors" and "Honoring Excellence" awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

Reviewed By Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite:

Luminary by P.S. Meraux is Volume 1 of the Luminary Saga. There is no written rule that says you can only have one soulmate in your lifetime. And there is nothing that says you get to choose your soulmate either. A student from Georgia has lost her soulmate; even worse, her backup soulmate has gone as well and she never got to meet either of them. This puts her life on an unexpected course and the Paragons, a race of supernatural beings, must step in and help. They must retrofit a soul to match with Emily and this won’t be pleasant. Unfortunately, it is the only way to make sure that soulmates match perfectly otherwise humanity cannot advance. Things are going wrong in the world of Paragon though; Emily isn’t the only one to lose her first and second soulmates so quickly and the Paragons now have a tough job on their hands to get everyone matched up again or face the failure of the human race.

Luminary (Luminary Saga) Volume 1 by P.S. Meraux is an interesting book with an original and thrilling plot. The detail in this story is superb and written in such a descriptive way that you can’t help but picture the story in your mind as you read it. The plot is original and that is great to see because so many books in a genre follow the same basic outline – it made a nice change to read something totally different. This is a light-hearted story, with humor scattered throughout, blended with fantasy and the supernatural, resulting in a great read that keeps you hooked from the first to the last pages. The characters were very well-developed, obviously in preparation for the next in the series. I can’t wait to read book two.

You can learn more about P.S. Meraux and "Luminary" at 
https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/luminary where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Readers Really Do Judge A Book By Its Cover

I had a dilemma for the final book in the Luminary Saga, Flare. Should I continue with the concept of making each cover visually independent of the previous ones...or revert back to the basic design of the silhouette over a different background? After re-configuring the cover art with a new take on the silhouette, I thought the decision was made. But a book is never done until it's actually published. Which meant I had some wiggle room.

It's true what they say -- readers really do judge a book by its cover. 

Thus I went back to the drawing board -- quite literally.  Playing around with some of the themes explored in the last book in the series, I added images and subtracted them until I was happy with the result. This second option I honestly like better and think is more indicative of a major event in Flare.

So when Flare comes out in October look for the book cover (below) with the volcano (new design). The old design (far below) with the silhouette will not be used; if you're looking for that at your favorite booksellers you won't find it.

I don't have the exact date for Flare's launch  -- which is fast approaching -- but I will post it as soon as it's available.

P.S. Meraux

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Mummy Flops in U.S. While Ranking in $$$ Overseas.

Warner Brothers had high hopes with their new creature feature, The Mummy. The reboot of the horror classic was supposed to kick off a new dark universe for the studio with more epic monster movies to come. Unfortunately the only scary thing about The Mummy is how poorly it’s doing at the U.S. box office. That fact alone may not herald a death knell for the burgeoning franchise. The film did very well overseas, making back the entire production budget during opening weekend.

Director Alex Kurtzman's The Mummy (2017) has a decent plot, some stellar CGI and decades of Hollywood lore to draw from. So why did it fail with American Audiences?

I have a theory.

And before Tom Cruise fans start yelling at me, hear me out. I don’t plan on bashing the guy or his acting. For the most part I can get behind and even applaud his roles. Cruise is excellent at playing the tough guy, the self-sacrificing hero with a patriotic soul. And people love him for it.
And that’s what I think part of the problem is with this movie.

The script for the 2017 film, while touted as a reboot of the Hollywood classic, actually seems to draw a lot of inspiration from director Stephen Sommers’ 1999 version of The Mummy. That one --starring Brendan Fraser went on to become a cult classic. I wasn’t even a fan of it when it first came out but by now I can quote almost every line.
The lead character was an opportunist rogue, named Rick with a map that’s supposed to help him in his search for treasure. He finds an ancient evil buried under the desert sand and inadvertently unleashes an unholy plague upon the earth. His buddy, Beni, winds up helping the resurrected Mummy.
Rick, with the help of a sweet-faced Egyptologist, her brother and a Medjai warrior who commands a legion of soldiers -- must band together to save the day. Oh, and one of them is to be sacrificed in order to reincarnate a powerful evil being.

In the 2017 version, the lead’s name is Nick. Also an opportunist rogue with a stolen map in search of treasure. He finds an ancient evil buried under the sand and inadvertently unleashes an unholy bitch upon the earth. His buddy, Vail, winds up indirectly helping the resurrected corpse.
Nick, with the help of a pretty archaeologist, her ally --who runs a consortium that tracks monsters, and a group of special forces types -- must band together to save the day. Oh and one of them is to be sacrificed in order to reincarnate a powerful evil being.

Everybody on the same page?

The problem with the modern version is that Kurtzman’s script lacks the essential humor of the Sommers’ feature. So does the cast. It doesn’t offer much that is new, aside from setting up this “monster watching’ consortium" with Dr. Jekyll at the helm. Which frankly added another level of exposition that was just too long.

Fraser’s Rick had a way of letting the audience in on the gag. Be it venting his frustration with Evie or Jonathan -- or even taking swipes at his former jailer. He never took himself too seriously and the audience was always in on it. There was great chemistry among the entire ensemble.

And while there are light moments in the 2017 film, Cruise works too hard at it. It’s more of an exercise in saying the right words at the right moment, yet it fails to charm. The audience is never invited to be in on the joke. Each line is delivered in a believable manner but lacks the mojo needed to captivate or woo. 

Another problem with this current Mummy is the ending. I know that Warner Brothers is setting up the sequel with it. This was not the proper way to go about it. Granted most people expect Cruise’s Ethan Hunt or Jack Reacher  to be self-sacrificing and not get the girl. However that’s not the character profile of Rick/Nick. And thus made the final scenes unsatisfying.

If this film was a paint by the numbers portrait, I’d say the technique is there. The painter managed to stay between the lines and select the right color scheme. And I might spend a moment looking at the end result on display -- just to be polite. But I wouldn’t take it home with me or call it art.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

     While critics have lambasted Captain Jack Sparrow and his new assortment of frenemies in this fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, I have to call 'em out since I disagree with them. Granted it's not as good as the first POC was (what sequel is?) That doesn't mean it's unwatchable.
     The film is obviously going for a younger vibe with the introduction of Aussie actor, Brenton Thwaites -- you'll remember him as Prince Phillip from Maleficent and British actress Kaya Scodelario  -- you'll recall that she played Teresa Agnes in the Maze Runner films. She's returning to that role in 2018.
    There are a few cameos of well-established characters from the other films that round out the sizable cast which make it more memorable for fans of the franchise and I willingly admit to being one.
    The action is a little choppy in the beginning of the film as the background for Henry Turner (Thwaites) and the driving need to save his father is established.  It picks up shortly after that scene in the credits from At World's End.  That's all settled long before act two arrives and the true hunt for Poseidon's Trident gets underway in earnest.
     Carina (Scodelario) brings a stubborn, intelligent woman to the cast. Every good story needs one of those. She's not a pirate. When she and Henry discover that they share a similar childhood hardship, instant chemistry abounds.
     The script offers glimpses of Jack's backstory and a little more of Captain Barbossa's past. It's nice to see that he's not quite as horrid as he was in some of the other films.
     I won't go into Captain Salazar's role too much as I don't wish to spoil the show. The ending was predictable but very satisfying. People were actually clapping in the theater when I saw it.  So whether critics poo-poo it or not the rest of us were pleased. Not only by this film but the prospect of two more to come. In the words of Captain Jack Sparrow: "Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!"