Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A New Blog

I'm super excited to announce that I will be joining a new blog. Four other fantasy authors will post with me. If you'd like to check it out, the address is

The other authors already have some exciting posts up, including an interview with one of my favorite authors, Brandon Sanderson.

I think this will be an awesome opportunity. My first post is tomorrow. Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fresh From Ye Olde Mind

I've decided to post chapter one from my third book. Keep in mind, this is all fresh stuff. Never been read by anyone but yours truly. But hey, I'm not a selfish gal. I would absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear feedback!


The castle appeared again. Right over the trees, out of nowhere. One minute, a perfect evening sky. A blink later and those towers again. Lily clenched her eyes shut. I’m not crazy. I don’t see anything.

“Lily, you okay?” Ian asked.

Lily opened her eyes and attempted a casual smile. “I’m great.”

Ian stood a few inches taller than most guys, with straight caramel colored hair that fell to his shoulders. He wore skinny jeans, a leather jacket and thick gloves. Always the gloves, even at school. She’d never seen him without them. “Are you sure? You looked scared for a minute there.”

Eva bounded forward. She reminded Lily of a skinny hyena looking for something mischievous to do. “Dude, Lily doesn’t get scared. She’s freaking immune to fear.”

Lily wanted to laugh. If only.

Eva grabbed Lily’s hands and bounced up and down on her toes. “Isn’t this the most awesome spring break ever? Aren’t you sooo excited Ross invited us to his bonfire tonight?”

Lily attempted a smile. “I’m super stoked.”

“Me too!” Eva laughed and stared at the bonfire. A red-head slunk near the flames and tossed sticks in. “Oh look, there’s Ross. I’ll catch you in a minute, okay?”


Eva scampered toward Ross. Behind the bonfire, the Big Cypress River roiled. The dam sat close to the bonfire, churning out tons of water, so loud Lily heard the thundering water from where she stood.

Lily turned back to Ian. He stared at her with a strange expression on his face, as if he were trying to see inside her head. Lily felt unnerved, pushed strands of jet black curls out of her eyes, and headed to the cooler. Ian followed. She stopped near the ice chest and grabbed a cup.

“Let me get that for you,” Ian said as he pulled the Styrofoam cup out of her hands and filled it with kool-aid. He handed it to her and smiled. She took it, stared at the blazin’ berry blast spinning around in her cup, and wondered why Ian suddenly seemed so interested in her.

“Umm, thanks,” she mumbled.

“So you’re name’s Lily White, right? You’re Grant White’s daughter?”

“That’s me.” She smiled, hoping he was mature enough not to start making jokes about the virginal connotations of her name.

Ian only smiled back. Well, at least he passed that test.

He thrust out his gloved hand. “Ian Kanellis. I know we’ve had Greek Lit together, but I’ve never really introduced myself.”

Lily stared at his hand for a moment and then shook it, feeling a little awkward. “I’m glad we got to meet up tonight.”

“Um-hmm,” Lily said as she took a drink of her punch and watched Ross climb the utility ladder leading to the top of the dam. Ian followed Lily’s gaze.

“You think he’ll jump?” Ian asked.

“Not a chance. The guys do this every year. Usually they just climb to the top, wave their arms around and act like morons. Somebody died a few years ago and now they’re all too scared to jump.”

“Are you?”

Lily turned on him. His question sounded innocent enough, but she heard something in his voice that seemed like a threat. “Why do you think I would want to jump off a twenty-foot dam, Ian?”

He shrugged, acted casual. “I’ve heard you’re a daredevil, that’s all.”

“That’s all?”


“You haven’t heard anything else?” she asked.

Ian locked those honey colored eyes on her and she froze. He knows. She wasn’t sure how he could have found out. She’d never told anyone. Maybe she was overacting. How could Ian know about her ancestry—that she was the daughter of a demon? Hadn’t he only been in town a few months?

Ian cleared his throat and turned his gaze on the dam where Ross stood on top, waved his arms around, and acted like a moron.

“You should go up there,” Ian said. “You’d show all the guys up, make them feel like dumb asses. It would be fun.”

Lily crossed her arms and bit her lip. Who was this guy? “You think it would be fun to watch me jump off that dam?”

He smiled and reminded her of the Cheshire cat. The bon fire crackled and sent a pop of sparks through the air that glinted off Ian’s teeth. Lily wasn’t sure if her pounding heart was a result of fear or of something else.

Lily turned to the dam and watched the water rush to the bottom. Beyond the river spanned the towering East Texas pine forest, the trees dark silhouettes at this time of night. The castle flickered into appearance once and then vanished.

“Twenty bucks,” Ian said. He pulled a wadded bill from his back pocket. She stared at it.

“What’s that for?”

“For you. If you jump off the dam.”

 “Is this a joke?”

“Nope.” He straightened out the bill. “What do you think it would feel like to be up there? I’ll bet it’s awesome. Huge adrenaline rush.”

Blood thumped through her ears. She felt her demon wake as if it had been in hibernation. Oh no.

“Have you ever been sky diving? I bet it would feel like that. The rush must be amazing.”

Stop it. Please, stop.

“Here,” Ian said and took her cup. “I’ll hold this while you jump.”

“All right.” Why did I say that? Lily focused on the dam and walked forward.

“And Lily,” Ian called after her.

She turned.

“Don’t forget to swim.”

Lily nodded. Then she started moving again. Half-way to the dam. Oh crap. Why was she doing this again? She didn’t want to go back to the ER. How many times had she been this year? Seven, eight?

No more risky crap, she’d promised herself. No more rushes.

She climbed the ladder. Lights blinked from the top of the dam. Strange alien lights, as if she were boarding a spaceship.

Standing now. On top of the dam. Thousands of gallons of water churning below. Invigorating!

Heart pumping faster. Blood in her cheeks, in her hands.

“There’s someone up there!” A voice shouted. Then all eyes on her.

“Don’t do it!” someone called. Eva?

Wind rushed through her hair, tugged on her jeans. She raised her arms and let tiny drops of water splash her skin. Cold, even for March.

“Lily, don’t!” Eva again.

With her demon’s sight focused, she saw Ian looking at her with those amber lion’s eyes. Jump, he seemed to say.

Lily exhaled. Then inhaled. A tiny voice said she’d drown. Her demon pushed the thought away and she jumped.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Why Haven't I Read This Book?

The Princess Bride.
 The movie is on my top ten list, so why have I never read the book?
Well, now am I. Can I just say--it's awesome.
So funny. Very different from what I've been reading lately but very entertaining.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Updates

No news this week but I did send out three more queries. I try not to think about it too much or I'll get really anxious. One of the agents considering my novel posted her stats. She reads 36,000 queries a year, requests the first thirty pages of about 1,200, and looks at full manuscripts of about 100. Wow. I'm still in that 1,200 category.

I can't dwell on what I can't control, so I made some writing goals for 2012.

1. Finish, edit, and polish all four novels--Forbidden, Forgotten, Forgiven, and Fairy World, MD. (Okay, I just realized today they all started with the letter "F". Must have been the letter "F" day on Sesame Street or something when I picked these.)

2. Write query letters and synopses for all four books.

3. Send out query letters for all four books.

4. If I still have time to kill, start a new book, hopefully something not starting with the letter "F".

And there you go. Now that I've posted this, I feel I really ought to follow through!

Friday, April 13, 2012


# of queries sent since I started querying: 27
# of requests: 2!!!

Can you tell I'm happy about this?

     And just for fun, I want to post a snippet from my second book, FORGOTTEN. To get you up to speed, this scene takes place with my two main characters, Susan King and Grant White. Grant is over a century old though he doesn't look it and he is half-demon. He's just traded his demon half with a witch to save himself from a horrible death.
     Susan and Grant are returning from a place called the under-spirit world when this scene takes place.

            Storm clouds roiled, covering the sun, and Grant felt as if he were back in the under-spirit world. He hated that place, hated what it did to him. When his demon returned, he knew he’d have to go back. He knew he’d never come out.

            Susan walked next to him, biting her nails as they made their way down the forest path. He couldn’t tell her. She’d find out soon enough. “You bite your nails?” he asked.

            She paused, looked at her hand as if she didn’t realize what she’d been doing, and then sighed. “Nervous habit.”

            Under the thick rain clouds, Susan’s face seemed paler than usual, almost sallow. He still thought she was the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen. He couldn’t understand why. He’d met plenty of women in his lifetime. Duchesses and wealthy heiresses with finer clothing and more alluring features. Something about Susan baffled him.

        A damp wind rushed past, rustling the pine boughs and making them hiss as they brushed against each other. Susan stared at the forest as if it were a foreign place.

        “Something wrong?” Grant asked.

        “I’m not sure. This place. It seems almost . . . I don’t know.”


        She raised an eyebrow. “No.”

        “Then what?”

        “Pretty, I suppose. Almost.”

        “Thought you hated Texas.”

        “I do.”

        “Thought you said everything here was ugly.”

        “It is.”

        Susan didn’t hold his gaze. A few moments later, she started biting her nails again. Grant caught her hand in his and grasped it. “What are you doing?” she asked.

        “Keeping you from ruining a perfectly good set of fingers.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday Again

As promised, this weeks stats.
Submissions sent this week: 8
Responses: 0
Total number of queries floating in cyberspace waiting for a response: 15

Yes, I haven't heard any news this week. However, I did go to the hospital yesterday for an EGD and the doctor found a big ol' bloody ulcer in my stomach.

Better luck next week, I suppose.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Query Guts

It takes guts to send out queries. No matter how thick your skin, rejection hurts. You’ve put your time, your SOUL into writing, and now you get one, maybe two lines of “not right for us.”

I’ve decided to put my guts out there, so to speak. I’ve started querying my first novel, FORBIDDEN, a young adult fantasy about a girl named Ivy Hines who has three days to find an ancient sword before a demon-man named Mr. White uses a magic ring to steal her soul.

Here are my stats:

# of queries sent: 14

# of rejections: 4

Request for pages: 1 (this amounted to a “no”)

I’ll try to post updated stats every Wednesday.

My goal is not to run down agents. I’d hate to be in their position to be honest. There are some great blogs out there to help the struggling author like myself.

Query shark is one. You can read her advice at Book Ends does workshop Wednesday’s where they critique a query letter every Wednesday. You can find them at

And in keeping with the theme of spilling my guts, I will take the plunge and post my query. Feel free to rip it to shreds.

Dear Ms. Agent,

            Ivy Hines doesn’t regret stabbing Mr. White. Living in Texas in 1877, Ivy knows a knife in the heart isn’t a customary response to his marriage proposal. But if seventeen-year old Ivy had known Mr. White’s engagement ring would leech away her soul to give him immortality, she would have stabbed him sooner.

The only way to remove the ring is to destroy Mr. White. Ivy has three days to find the one weapon that will defeat him, the blade mentioned in Genesis to guard the Tree of Life: the flaming sword. Ivy trusts Christian, her closest friend, to help her find the blade. But Christian tells her secrets about the sons of Adam and Eve, two brothers who found the forbidden fruit and were reborn as immortals. Christian also tells her Mr. White’s true identity—the world’s first murderer.

            FORBIDDEN is a young-adult fantasy of 85,000 words. It is the first of a three-book saga. My manuscript has been professionally edited. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and I attended the writer’s seminar taught by NEW YORK TIMES-bestselling author William Bernhardt.

My manuscript is available at your request. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Taking the Easy Way Out

I have a daily word goal of writing 1,000 words a day. (Now you know why I never blog.) A few days ago I'd hit the 700 word mark, took a break, came back to the computer when Word encountered a "fatal error." Basically my words were lost and they weren't coming back. Even auto save wouldn't kick in.

At that point, I realized I had two choices. Choice one: get angry, stop writing, and go through the rest of my day feeling bitter. Choice two: Re-write those 700 words and 300 more after that.

Obviously, choice one would have been easiest. But I have a daily word goal. I suppose I could have cheated, written 300 words and been done with it. But that wouldn't have counted in my book.

I started again, mad at first, but then found re-writing those words came pretty easily. When I'd finished, I'd written 1,100 words.

Lesson learned: Be persistent, even if the easy way out means less work, is more appealing, and takes less time. I don't think anyone can finish writing a book by taking the easy way out.