GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Character's Court: Jesse vs. Author Kory M. Shrum (Dying by the Hour Book Tour) + Giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Character's Court: Jesse vs. Author Kory M. Shrum (Dying by the Hour Book Tour) + Giveaway

 Jesse vs. Author Kory M. Shrum

The judge takes his seat, tucking his black robe beneath him with the swish of his hand. “Please be seated.”

Everyone in the room complies except for Jesse.

She wails. “Do I have to? My back hurts from that garbage truck.”

“Jesse,” Ally warns. She forces a smile at the judge while tugging at Jesse to sit down. When that doesn’t work, Ally smiles harder. “Your honor, Ms. Sullivan isn’t feeling well today, on account of her recent death replacement.”

“This garbage truck flattened a miata like a tortilla,” Jesse says and cranes her neck to one side. “They had to use the claw to get me out of the thing.”
“Do you think she can stand for a little while, your Honor? Please,” Ally asks.

The judge nods. “Let’s open the case of Jesse Sullivan vs. Kory M. Shrum. I understand that both of you are representing yourselves, is that correct.”

Jesse doesn’t speak. Instead she directs her scowl over at the woman to her right.

“Yes, Your Honor,” is all that Kory says.

“Ms. Sullivan as prosecutor, you bear the burden of proof. Please state your case.”

“I want a divorce, your honor.”

“A divorce?” the judge asks, eyebrows arching. “Are you married to your writer?”

Ally jumps up and leans toward the microphone, her red A-line coat falling open. “She means emancipation. Jesse would like to be emancipated from Ms. Shrum.”

“Yeah,” Jesse says. “I want to be my own person. No more of this controlling bullshit.”

The judge bangs his gavel. “Please watch your language, Ms. Sullivan.”

“Frankly, I’m surprised we made it this far,” Ally mutters to herself.

“What are your reasons for desiring emancipation from your author, Ms. Sullivan?”

“She’s killed me,” Jesse says, folding her arms.

“Killed you?”

“At least 100 times that I know of,” she replies.

“That you know of?” the judge asks, dumbfounded. He looks to the writer sitting in the defendant’s seat, but Ms. Shrum only shrugs.

“Well I have a memory problem, and there was this thing with being buried alive—anyway, it doesn’t matter. She’s a murderer.”

You’re a death replacement agent,” the judge replies, folding his hands neatly on the large wooden shrine enthroning him.

“Well, yeah. OK. So maybe I don’t care so much about that part, or even that she’s turned my father against me, or keeps sending crazy church fanatics after me. But what she did with Lane and Ally, that is the last straw! It’s downright cruel! I demand emancipation.”

Again the judge looks to the writer. Since the defendant is not required to speak on her behalf, it seems she doesn’t intend to until absolutely necessary.

“Please explain the situation to me, Ms. Sullivan.”

“Explain?” Jesse wails, flipping her chestnut ponytail over one shoulder. “Explain!”

“If you please,” the judge says.

“Where to start! First, she puts it into my boyfriend’s head that we should be all monogamous or whatever and I didn’t want to but I agreed. And then, what does she go and do? Convince him it was a bad idea! Makes him break up with me! So now we are “off” again, or taking a break, or whatever the hell you want to call it.”

The judge bangs his gavel. “Language, Ms. Sullivan.”

“If you only knew,” Ally mumbles. “This is practically G-rated.”
Jesse doesn’t stop. “And when I was forced to commit to my boyfriend, I had to quit dating my best friend. Then this one,” she says and jabs a finger at Ally. “Goes and gets another girlfriend. Do you know what that means?”

The judge does not humor her with a reply.

“I’m single. No, OK, single is OK. But not sexless,” Jesse whirls on the writer. “You can send fanatics after me, homicidal fathers, bad guys with guns, you can even kill the people I care about. But how dare you take away the sex! What the hell am I living for?”

The judge beat the gavel again. “Ms. Gallagher?”

Ally stands. “Yes, your honor.”

“Is this true?” he asks.

“We have been attacked by fanatics, homicidal fathers, and bad guys with guns, your honor. Yes.”

“No,” the judge says. “I meant about the other part.”

“Yes, sir,” Ally replies with a slight blush to her face. “I am dating someone else and Jesse—hasn’t heard from Lane for several weeks.”

The judge considers this for a moment, looking at the writer again. When it is clear that the writer has no intention of defending herself. The judge turns back to the prosecution.

“Ms. Sullivan,” the judge began. “You realize that if I emancipate you from your writer, you will be dead.”

Jesse shrugs. “So what. Death is death. I do it all the time.”

“No,” the judge asserts. “If your writer no longer creates you, you will simply not exist. No maniacs, or bad guys, granted. But certainly no—romance—either.”

“Oh,” Jesse says. Blinking once. Then twice. “Can we maybe force her to be nice to me? I understand that Caldwell is a monster and some has to stop him and that’s fine. I guess we can’t prevent that. But can you rule that she has to give me sex in every book? Like out-of-my-mind good sex? It’s really the least she can do.”

The judge turns to the writer. The writer thinks about it for a moment, but then she only shrugs.

Dying by the Hour (Jesse Sullivan #2)
by Kory M. Shrum

Paperback, 443 pages
September 2nd 2014
by Timberlane Press
After 83 deaths, Jesse Sullivan knows how to die. As a Necronite, she is one of the population’s rare 2% who can serve as a death replacement agent, dying so others don’t have to. But using her NRD to save lives is why she’s being hunted.

For Ally Gallagher, death is permanent. If she fails to protect Jesse again, there will be no third attempt. After a quiet year the signs of serious danger have returned. People connected to Jesse are disappearing. Her home is vandalized and threatening messages are turning up in the safest of places.

Then Jesse is taken and Ally has only hours to get her back. But no salvation comes without its price.

About the Author:
Kory M. Shrum lives in Michigan with her partner and a ferocious guard pug. When not writing, she can be found teaching, traveling, and wearing a gi. Her poetry has appeared in North American Review, Bateau and elsewhere. Her first urban fantasy novel Dying for a Living will be available March 4, 2014.