Today on BlookGirl, we have Courtney Vail, author of Kings & Queens, a Young Adult Mystery/Sci-fi.Kings & Queens debuted on January 27, 2012 and was published by Little Prince Publishing. I love supporting indie publishers and authors, so I was thrilled to readKings & Queens and to have the opportunity to have Courtney Vail as a guest. This Blog Tour is part of the SupaGurl Books Blog Tour, so be sure to check out the other stops on the tour!

Without further ado, dear reader, meet Majesty Alistair: the spunky main character of Kings & Queens:

Seventeen-year-old Majesty Alistair wants police to look further into her father’s fatal car wreck, hopes the baseball team she manages can reclaim the state crown, aches for Derek…or, no…maybe Alec…maybe. And she mostly wishes to retract the hateful words she said to her dad right before slamming the door in his face, only to never see him again.

All her desires get sidelined, though, when she overhears two fellow students planning a church massacre. She doubts cops will follow up on her tip since they’re sick of her coming around with notions of possible crimes-in-the-works. And it’s not like she cries wolf. Not really. They’d be freaked too, but they’re not the ones suffering from bloody dreams that hint at disaster like some crazy, street guy forecasting the Apocalypse.

So, she does what any habitual winner with zero cred would do…try to I.D. the nutjobs before they act. But, when their agenda turns out to be far bigger than she ever assumed, and even friends start looking suspect, the truth and her actions threaten to haunt her forever, especially since she’s left with blood on her hands, the blood of someone she loves.

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Word Power

Guest Post by Courtney Vail

Hi. Majesty Alistair here, manager of the best baseball best team in the state: the Cedar Creek Colts. Regardless of what you may have heard about my coronation or latest win in the Kentucky Derby,  you’ve got it all wrong. I really bear the crown of a loser.

Sure, I can devour a pint on Ben & Jerry’s faster than anyone and somehow get par on almost every hole in pitch & putt, even though I despise golf—seriously, it’s duller than dirt. I can name all the Muppets, the Roman gods, the Greek gods, Red Sox players—past and present—and know the entire Beatles discology by heart.  I can unscramble word jumbles in about a second flat, crush a baseball into the 400’s, leave dust in the eyes of everyone at my school. My quick wit and zappy tongue have shoved all verbal opponents into the shadows. So, with all those wins in my possession, I should be like the Queen Bee or something, right?  Well, I’m so not.

There’s one thing I painfully lost at: I didn’t shut my fat trap when it counted most.

I don’t mean the jokes, the nudges, the comebacks. That’s all in good fun, it’s just sport. I mean the uncalled for, wretched, totally regrettable words I can’t take back … the things I said to my dad right before slamming the door in his face, only to ever see him again. The scene is stuck on loop in my mind. Shout, slam, shout, slam, shout, slam. It’s always there. Just like that. I can never say I’m sorry or go back to yesterday or exchange spite for kindness. My dad died in a horrific car wreck just hours later. Did he think of that, what I said, in his last moments? He may have. That niggle haunts me.

I never realized the power of my words before. I exchange tit for tat with those daring enough to take me on, I stand up for myself and take up defense for anyone I care about. All that being admirable, I kind of thought it nullified the rest: the poison, the gossip, the whispers, the jeers, the curses. It doesn’t. And I’ve done so much of that. Too much of that.

Losing my dad was only the beginning of a streak of heartbreaks for me. And the only way I can get over the past and through all the pain is to create a better today. People, kids even, are killing themselves from words. I don’t want that on my conscience. I never want that to cause that, to crush someone’s spirit, ever again. So, I’ve decided to expel all vitriol from my person.

Now, from this day forward, and every day, I’m going to make it a point to make someone smile, to brighten a day, to be blessing and a contrasting voice in a sea of mean ogres.  I’m going to seek out the most downtrodden, abused souls and aim to be the game changer, an angel really, maybe the only ray of hope they can find.

If words have the power to kill, then they certainly have the power to save too. So I have to try. To heal, I need to take all my pain and channel it into positive action that makes a difference. Maybe then, someday, my words will finally set me free. And I can stop being a loser.

COURTNEY VAIL writes totally twisted YA and adult suspense. She enjoys braiding mystery, suspense & romance with some kind of weirdness. Her addictions to crazy coffee concoctions, Funny Bones, Ben & Jerry’s, and bacon keep her running and writing. She currently lives in New England with a comedian stud and a wild gang of kidlets.