Friday, December 9, 2022

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The Girl by Victory Witherkeigh

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for The Girl by Victory Witherkeigh. This tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a guest post from the author about what she loves the most about horror. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: The Girl
Author: Victory Witherkeigh
Publication Date: December 6th 2022
Print Length: 356 pages
Genre: Young Adult Horror
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The parents knew it had been a mistake to have a girl. At birth, the girl’s long, elegant fingers wriggled and grasped forward, motioning to strangle the very air from her mother’s lungs. As she grew older, she grew more like her father, whose ancestors would dream of those soon to die. She walked and talked in her sleep, and her parents warded themselves, telling the girl that she was evil, unlovable, their burden to bear only until her eighteenth birthday released them.

The average person on the streets of Los Angeles would look at the girl and see a young woman with dark chocolate eyes, curly long hair, and tanned skin of her Filipina heritage. Her teachers praised her for her scholarly achievements and extracurricular activities, from academic decathlon to cheer.

The girl knew she was different, especially as she grew to accept that the other children’s parents didn’t despise them. Her parents whispered about their pact as odd and disturbing occurrences continued to happen around her. The girl thought being an evil demon should require the skies to bleed, the ground to tremble, an animal sacrifice to seal the bargain, or at least cause some general mayhem. Did other demons work so hard to find friends, do well on their homework, and protect their spoiled younger brother?

The demon was patient. It could afford to wait, to remind the girl when she was hurt that power was hers to take. She needed only embrace it. It could wait. The girl’s parents were doing much of its work already.

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EXCERPT:
She smoothed the wrinkles down on her black Herm├Ęs slacks and shirt before turning the crystal hotel doorknob.

“You bring nothing good into this world,” her mother said, baring her teeth. “You just corrupt and destroy everything. You’re a catalyst, a demonic catalyst. You’re only fit to annihilate. One day you’ll understand the destructive nature of your power. You’ll see the damage you’ll bring to those around you when it’s too late. All those people who tell us you’re amazing, they’ll figure it out. You’ve fooled them for now, but they’ll learn.”

The mother slammed the door as she walked out with that last statement. The tears flowed from the girl’s face as she looked at the door. Her breathing sped up as her stomach roiled, sending her sprinting to the toilet. Her hands were shaking, clammy, as she collapsed to the floor, chills running through her body as she looked up at the ceiling. The orange and bergamot scents of the soaps mixed with the stark, white porcelain tile floor were the only anchors she could focus on to stop herself from throwing up again. Deep in her gut, at the core of her being, there was only one thought she could grasp: she’s right.

“I don’t want to be evil,” she said, whimpering to herself. “I don’t want to be alone.”

“But you aren’t alone, pretty girl,” a voice said with a throaty laugh.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Victory Witherkeigh is a female Filipino author originally from Los Angeles, CA, currently living in the Las Vegas area. Victory was a finalist for Wingless Dreamer’s 2020 Overcoming Fear Short Story award and a 2021 winner of the Two Sisters Writing and Publishing Short Story Contest.

She has print publications in the horror anthologies Supernatural Drabbles of Dread through Macabre Ladies Publishing, Bodies Full of Burning through Sliced Up Press, and In Filth It Shall Be Found through OutCast Press.

Her first novel, set to debut in Spring 2024 with Cinnabar Moth Publishing, has been a finalist for Killer Nashville’s 2020 Claymore Award, a 2020 Cinnamon Press Literature Award Honoree, and long-listed in the 2021 Voyage YA Book Pitch Contest.

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GUEST POST:
- What is it about horror that you love the most?

I didn’t think I was an adrenaline junkie early on as a kid. I remember being afraid or thinking I wasn’t brave or strong as a child. But once I discovered these stories that I could get lost in, it appeared any problem in my real life could never be as crazy as these stories. It also helped that I got a swift kick in the pants with my grandmother at an early age. She picked me up from grade school, only to find me sniveling in my gray plaid uniform jumper and wiping my nose with my white cotton sleeve.

“What’s wrong?!” she said as she parked the car.

Sniff. Sniff.

“Some of the girls….” I said with a hiccup, gasping as I tried to get the sentence out, as I was still crying. “...they…were making fun of my lunch food. They—Sniff. They said it smells funny….”

I’ve never forgotten this moment.

She grabbed the bottom of my chin, forcing me to look directly into her blue-flecked brown eyes.

“Listen to me,” she said, her voice calm. “I did not emigrate to this country, leaving my homeland in the hands of a dictator, just to watch my granddaughter kowtow to a bunch of bullies. You have ten seconds to get out of this car and put those kids in their place… or I will leave this car and do it for you.”

The stories that really stuck with me at a young age always had an element of darkness and horror - Aesop’s Fables or the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales. And the crazy part was just how much danger and gore are present in the original Grimm Fairy Tales and Aesop’s fables. What drew me to horror and dark fantasy was the same rush of shock and probably adrenaline I had sitting in that car as a young girl. There are always these moments where the main characters make the switch, choose a path to plant their feet, and turn around to face the thing, creature, monster, or whatever is haunting them. I won’t say that my decision back then solved my issues in school, but horror has always allowed for a controlled adrenaline rush, a chance of escapism to let me put some fears or woes in perspective or remind me of moments of bravery when I need them.

After all, even at that young age, I knew no bully or monster scarier than my grandmother was angry.
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GIVEAWAY:
Victory Witherkeigh will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

34 comments:

  1. this sounds like an interesting read, thanks

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  2. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  3. The book sounds very interesting. Great cover!

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  4. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  5. Have you ever used a typewriter to write?

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  6. have you ever forgot to save your work on your computer and lost it

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  7. Do you have any advice for new writers?

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  8. Do you ever get discouraged in your writing?

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  9. looks like a fun one

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  10. When did you publish your first novel?

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  11. thanks again for the great giveaway, best wishes with your book

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