Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday's WIP'ed Ink

Friday and Saturday.

Ink Party.

Here, at Ink in the Book

Be there, or be square!

Ha!

Really, Friday and Saturday, I'll be introducing a whole group of writers who'll be joining my inky team. We'll have a new page link up at the top of my blog and we'll be rolling out all kinds of awesomeness. We've got cute avatars and everything.

You don't want to miss because we have some gifts to giveaway and lots of fun stuff happening:)

Now, for today's WIP'ed Ink.

Are you having problems with SHOWING vs. TELLING?

Do you know what that means?

I thought I knew and I thought I had it all taken care of in my writing, but guess what? It's more complicated than all that.

I've done some serious study of what showing is and how to incorporate it into my manuscript. Thanks to the advice from a couple of awesome agents and writer critiques, my manuscript has endured a thorough

"DO TELL ALL!"

makeover.

I have decided to put up a mini ink workshop entitled "Show Off: Stop Telling"

If you are interested in joining, leave a comment and let me know. Classes will be posted on the blog and it's not anything formal. But, there will be a little contest at the end of the workshop and I hope to have an agent judge who will be willing to choose the best Show Off and hand out some gifts!!

I will post all the details next week on the WIP'ed Ink post!

Who wants to show off with me?
Who's going to be here Friday and Saturday for the Ink Party?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday's Mixed Ink

Flickr link

If at first you don't succeed....

You can cry
Throw a fit
Call people names
Tear something up
Eat chocolate
Pout








But afterwards, make sure you try, try again.

Because real failure is falling and never getting up again.

Have a PROSPEROUS week, beautiful guys and dolls.

March 1, I'm having an INK PARTY. Want to join? Good things are happening this weekend:)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday's WIP'ed Ink

WIPs! Do you have a wip you are working on?

Flikr link
Today, I'd like to share some links with you that I've found so helpful while working on on new projects. I just started one today and I've found these tips perfect for starting out a new story.

There aren't many entries on this blog, yet. But let me tell you...if you don't find the words of wisdom printed on these pages, then you might need more help than I can offer!

The Emperor of Ice Cream

I also found this page FULL of helpful advice on opening lines and pages. These are important to remember as you start on the first page. Believe me. You'll be glad I shared this link with you:)

Falling Leaflets

There is an extensive list of links here. Be sure you visit each one! There is a TON of info provided by these agents. Great stuff!

And last, but certainly not least, here is a link for more agent-must-have-info on first page and also, what NOT to begin your WIP with on the first page:

Adventures in YA Publishing

The agents here are candid and honest. Take their advise and apply it to your WIP. You'll have the opening pages ready to wow agents (and readers!) once you start to query:)

Do you have a link you'd like to share? Please do so in the comments below!

Thank you beautiful guys and dolls. Have a sunshiny day:)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday's Tinted Ink

Hey all my beautiful guys and dolls!

I know it's been quiet around here. I'm so sorry! I have been swamped with things and honestly, it's been a real emotional roller coaster around my house the past few weeks!

Yikes!!

So, today, we're talking about inspiration and how we can use it to tint our ink.








Flickr link


Inspiration doesn't come easy. Sometimes, I really, really have to work at it. Other times, it comes so naturally I almost feel guilty over it!

My advice: when inspiration strikes and you are on a nonstopable roll, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE!

When the dry spells come, and they will come sooner or later, you may wonder around, not knowing what to do or how to overcome the blank white page. When that happens, it's okay to lay down the pen and ink and rest. But don't do that for too long of a time. Resting is okay, but get out of that rut and start looking for new inspiration as soon as you can.

Places to look:

Flickr. I love looking through the photos posted there. Amazing inspiraiton abounds!
Pandora. Yay for music!
The Library. You knew that one would be on my list!

What about you? Do you have any tinted ink to share?

Have a great week. Don't forget, my new writers group will be debuting soon. We may have a short delay due to my 4yo daughter accidentally deleting some of my files, but WE ARE COMING SOON to Ink the Book!!!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Winner Announcement!

Who won the 18 Things blog tour free book?

Tamara!
Jamie will be in touch with you:)

Congratulations and thanks everyone for visiting  Tuesday's Tinted Ink!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things

It's time for another Happy Reminder of the small things that keep us happy!

This week, I am happy for:

My husband coming home from a week long trip: Smooches and goodies came back with him!

My daughter has made it to her 2nd trimester and so far, the baby and her, are healthy! (she had a miscarriage earlier, at about this same time in the pregnancy)

I have a new group of writing pals I'm so excited to be part of!

What about you? What are celebrating this week?

As usual, THANK YOU VIKKI for hosting!



EVADE Blog Hop!


When I heard Jessa Russo was going this blog hop, I hopped right right in!

I loved Ever and Frankie was who I rooted for, and I'm still rooting for him! I loved him before I ever met him, and this is why I chose this particular character...

  • Name: Angelica, but my friends call me Angel
  • Age : 16
  • Gender : I'm a girl
Good or bad? Depends. I've been in love with Frankie ever since the night he died. You see, I died the same night Frankie died. Not in a car crash, but I drowned. By the hand of someone I though was my friend. Frankie hasn't met me, yet, nor I him. But we met our fate the same night. Somehow, I feel that connects us, even though Ever doesn't know it. Yet.




Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday's Tinted Ink and 18 Things Blog Tour!

Hey you beautiful guys and dolls! Today, I have a special treat for you! Today, I'm hosting a special guest post with Jamie Ayres, author of 18 Things. She's hear to talk about Sweet First Kisses! Of course it's close to Valentines Day, so I thought it would be appropriate to ask for a kissy scene. Don't worry. It's sweet and clean and perfect.

First, I'd like to take a few minutes and share the results of Operation Agent Ink.

We had 13 entries.

8 request/ partials for YA
4 request/partials for Adult

I'm happy for all those who received requests and for those who didn't. PLEASE DON'T GIVE UP.

Now, here's our guest post from Jamie:


Jamie Ayres
What Was Your First Kiss Like?


It was May 1991. My boyfriend and I had been going out for seven months (which was like seven years in middle school time!), and we thought we were in love. The rumor of the entire sixth grade was he was going to kiss me at the end-of-year dance. I had butterflies in my stomach all day!
That night, he was the perfect gentleman, as always. As far as first boyfriends went, he was the best. He wrote me love letters, he called me every day at exactly the time he said he would, he put up with my mood swings, he bought me candy (still the best way to my heart). He waited until the last slow dance of the night, probably gathering his own courage. I remember him leaning in, the fresh scent of peppermint on his breath, and thinking, okay, this is really happening. For a few seconds, I felt like I was dancing on air. There was lots of *squeeeeing* from my friends and me afterward as I filled them in on every aspect of the kiss.
And so began my love affair with romance . . . .
Of course, he eventually broke my heart (but we’re still friends on Facebook, lol), but I was lucky with love fairly early on in life. I met my husband the first day of high school, and instantly knew I would marry him. He is the inspiration for why I can’t seem to stop myself from constantly reading and writing love stories.
I walked into my fourth period word processing class, and he was sitting in the last row. It wasn’t love or lust at first sight. It was literally just this knowing I would marry him. For the next month, I chatted him up, trying my best to get him to ask me out. Then, my teacher moved me to the front of the room for talking too much. To her credit, she had no idea I was going to marry him one day, so I can’t really blame her. But I totally thought she messed up my plans!
All things happen in God’s perfect timing though, which is one of the major themes in 18 Things. Dan and I never dated in high school. But when I came home for winter break during my first year of college, he finally asked me out. We were married 8 months later, and this August we’ll celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary!
So, tell me, was your first kiss sweet? What’s your inspiration for wanting to read or write love stories? Anyone who comments will be eligible for either an ebook or paperback copy of 18 Things (reader’s choice)!
Description: Author pic.jpgJamie Ayres writes young adult love stories with a paranormal twist by night and teaches very young adults as a public school teacher by day. When not at home on her laptop or at school, she can often be found at a local book store grabbing random children and reading to them. So far, she has not been arrested for this. She lives in southwest Florida with her prince charming, two children (sometimes three based on how Mr. Ayres is acting), and a basset hound. She spent her youthful summers in Grand Haven, Michigan and this setting provided the inspiration for her debut novel, 18 Things. She really does have grandmothers named Olga and Gay but unlike her heroine, she's thankfully not named after either one of them. She loves lazy pajama days, the first page of a good book, stupid funny movies, and sharing stories with fantastic people like you. Visit her website at www.jamieayres.com.

Book Blurb
Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name (after her grandmothers of course) and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend and secret crush since kindergarten.

Then Conner is killed in a freak boating accident and Olga feels responsible. When she downs an entire bottle of pills to deal with the emotional pain, her parents force her into counseling. There, her therapist writes a prescription in the form of a life list titled 18 Things. Eighteen quests to complete the year of her eighteenth birthday.

All she has to do is fire-walk, try out for the cheerleading squad, break a world record, and err . . . go on her first date. Good thing Nate, a new hottie in town, enters her life with perfect timing. He brings the fun factor to her list and helps her discover the beauty and strength inside herself, then complicates things by falling in love with her.

But there's more to Olga’s quests than meets the eye and when her therapist reveals a terrifying secret, her world is shaken.

There’s only one thing she knows for certain: her choices won’t just affect her future, but all eternity.
18 Things is available here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Add 18 Things to your TBR list!
Goodreads






Monday, February 11, 2013

Mondays Mixed Ink

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and are tackling the new week with style and pizazz!

Keep watching for the results of Operation Agent Ink. I'm compiling a list RIGHT NOW TO POST!

Me? This week will be busy. I'm working on revisions and edits.

Plus, the blog will have a new look page next week! That's right, I've got some super fun things coming your way. Remember, I told you I had big plans for Ink in the Book? Well, I do! It's something I never expected, but it all happened so quickly and it's fallen into place without a single wrinkle and I'm so excited to share it with you:)

There's going to be five of us here at Ink in the Book. On my new page, we're creating a writing group. We're planning lots of advice, help, encouragement, reviews, contests, blog hops, and so much more! Great things are in store and I'm so excited to get it started, but alas! It must wait until next week!

Flickr link

Friday, February 8, 2013

Operation Agent Ink Agent Pitch Opportunity

If you are here to visit the CELEBRATING THE SMALL THINGS BLOG HOP, please click here.

You guys! You beautiful guys and dolls! Operation Agent Ink Pitch Opportunity has finally arrived! It's here! And I am so excited about today and tomorrow!

The workshop has been going since November, with sign-ups beginning in in October. We've had so much fun, haven't we?

I had over 100 authors and writers sign up for the workshop. Can you believe that? I was surprised, but in a very happy surprise!

Now, I'm not exactly for sure WHY, but many participants (many, many) chose not to send in their entry for the pitch opportunity. And so, there are only a few entries for our agents to choose from. But, these entries are really great and I hope the agents find a manuscript they have been searching for and hoping to find for months!

I received one entry that contained only the query letter. I have emailed her and asked her to send me the first page. When she sends it to me, I will post. So if you see a new entry, don't be alarmed. She sent hers plenty in time for the contest. I just need her first page!

I have turned all comments off allowing only the agents to comment. After the pitch opportunity is over, I'll publish the comments for public viewing ONLY IF THE AUTHORS LET ME KNOW THEY WANT THE PUBLIC TO SEE THEIR COMMENTS. So, authors, please email me and let me know what you want me to do. If you do not send me an email telling me to publish the comments, I will not do so.

I will, however, post a blog post with the results of the entries, how many requests were made, and so forth.

One last thing: *I* was asked by a couple of the agents to post my manuscript for their viewing. I have agreed to do so at their request. Wouldn't you if an agent asked you do this? I mean, it would only be the right thing to do, right?

Mine is the last entry...entry #14

#1

Title: Sacred Blood
Genre: Young Adult, supernatural
Word Count: 87,000

Query:

Upon discovering her vicious ex-boyfriend is a werewolf, 18-year-old
Juliette St. Claire will risk her life to protect his enemies and the
new man she loves, a man harboring his own secret identity.

Juliette lives her existence resigned to her boyfriend, Nathaniel
Jensen's violent whims. After a particularly violent evening, she has
had enough, and a high window is her only chance at escaping with her
life. Desperate to live through the night, she flees.

Finally free, Juliette finds her best friend, but just when she needs
him the most, Tristan Larocque must leave. She learns that he is an
unusual breed of vampire who needs to find and warn a lost vampire
coven that they are in danger from Nathaniel, an instinctively violent
werewolf leader determined to abolish them. Rather than hide from the
danger her ex presents, Juliette, knowing what makes Nathaniel tick
and determined to keep Tristan safe, insists that she accompany him on
his mission.

Over the course of a multi-country journey to save the mysterious
coven, Juliette discovers she has more internal strength and courage
than she'd ever realized. She, the sole human, leads the vampires into
battle against the werewolves and discovers she alone holds the power
to destroy her terrible ex-boyfriend and to save the future of
vampires, or to spare his life.

SACRED BLOOD is a young adult supernatural manuscript complete at
87,000 words. While this manusript stands alone, a trilogy has been
outlined and the second manuscript has been written and is in rough
draft form.

First Page:

Frantic, Juliette St. Claire folded and packed football gear.  She
gasped, twitching at the slightest sound.  The jersey she needed was
still in the living room.  She sprinted to retrieve his shirt, hoping
he would be lenient.

"Hurry up, Stupid!  Me and the team have to take off.  Get my stuff
packed up!"  Nathaniel Jensen slugged Juliette’s arm as she hurried
past him, and smirked at her shocked scream as she crashed into the
cream wall and slunk to the ground.  A china vase fell from its
pedestal, dousing her in cold water.  He grabbed her arms and turned
her to face the hallway mirror.  "Do you like your eye?  Do you want
another?"

Juliette stared at the newest bruise darkening her eye.  She nodded
and shook her head in turn to his questions, longing to get away from
the hands hurting her.  Those hands turned her around and slapped her
across the face.

"You didn't answer me!  Did you like your ugly eye, and do you want
your other to match?"

 "N-n-no, S-S-Sir!" She wanted nothing more than for him to let go.
His fingers digging into her flesh were bruising her, and her punched
arm smarted.

Juliette’s side slammed into the wall again with another
malicious throw.
     
"Hurry up then, or you'll get worse!  Finish up!"

The injured woman ran as fast as she was able to continue gathering
and loading his gear, glad he was going to be gone for a week and
she'd have several days without physical pain.  The thought of
reprieve motivated her to keep standing.

With a last zip, the packing was finished.  Nathaniel snatched his
duffel bag up and pressed a finger hard against Juliette's chest.
"You better be good.  Break any rules and I will find out.  You’ll be
sorry if you do."

The wet kiss smashed to her lips caused a deep ache in Juliette's
heart, tempered only slightly by him walking out of the house.
Certain he wouldn't walk back in, she ran up the stairs and slammed
her bedroom door shut.  Hopeless, her trembling body dropped to the
bed.

She pressed her mouth into the eyelet-covered pillow and screamed
with all her might, but the tears still came.  Juliette pounded her
fists next to her head.

The cell phone on her nightstand beeped.  Nervous, Juliette checked
the new message.

#2

Title: THE DREAMSPEAKER'S DIARY
Genre: YA
Word Count: 70,000

Query:

Brier has a secret: She can speak her dreams into existence. After a frightening childhood event, she’s learned to keep her talent hidden, and she’ll do whatever it takes to prevent her dreams from taking shape.
But that all changes when Keller Temms comes to town. Enigmatic and brooding, he’s a foster child with a guarded past, yet he draws her like nothing else.
Suddenly, Brier's closely controlled life is thrown off balance as her dreams take on a life of their own—even showing up at Grayson High without warning. When agents from a secret dream lab come after her, Brier must push the boundaries of her dreamspeaking abilities in ways she never imagined possible.
As the danger escalates, Brier must decide if Keller can be a trusted ally or if he’s the reason she’s a target in the first place.

THE DREAMSPEAKER'S DIARY is a 70,000 word YA novel with series potential. It features paranormal elements combined with a strong female protagonist. 

Jenny is the co-owner of Luminary Creative Media, where she acts as a scriptwriter and assists on set. She has written and voiced national commercial spots, but her first passion is novel writing. She is actively pursuing publication while writing her first YA fantasy, FURTHERON.

First Page: 

     Prologue
-->
If I’m not careful, they’ll come for me and take me away. That’s what my mother told me the one and only time we talked about my condition. That memory is buried deep in my mind, so old that it’s hazy around the edges. Back then the lines between my dreams and reality often blurred—until I got it all under control.

But it’s happening again, and the more my control slips, the more I think that what she said is true--and that they may still come for me after all.
-Brier Yardleigh
Dream Diary, entry 1

-->
Chapter 1

When I turned six, I learned the monsters in my closet were real—but what scared me most was realizing I had put them there.

This is my first thought when I wake in the basement closet sprawled beside the baseboards. My fingers trace the grooves of claw marks—in the place my mother couldn’t cover with paint. Her words from that night come back to me and I’m reminded that, as scary as the creature in the closet was, the people who will come for me if I’m discovered are worse. My second thought is that I have to get my dreamspeaking under control, because this is the third time this week I’ve woken up in the damn closet.

The floor creaks and a light switches on.

“Brier?” My sister’s muffled voice reaches me beyond a wall of old coats.

Squinting against the sudden brightness, I scramble out on my hands and knees.  


#3

Title: Fire and Ice
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 88,000
Query:

With one simple touch, two teens discover a world of monsters and secret societies within the realms of humanity.



When sixteen-year-old Shelly accidentally runs into too-hot-for-his-own-good Kale, she discovers he ignites a fire within her—literally. After uncovering her fire power she starts receiving threatening text messages, and begins to see monsters that should be confined to fairy tales lurking in the real world.  After Shelly is kidnapped by a troll with questionable hygiene, she comes face to face with her mystery texter, Red, a woman determined to use Shelly for her own sadistic purposes. Of course Shelly’s not going to turn to the dark side if she can help it, but when Red threatens her family and friends, there’s no choice left.

Red’s first task for Shelly is to infiltrate the Circle of Elements, a secret society of people with powers just like Shelly’s, who protect the world from Travelers (those creepy things Shelly’s been seeing). Unfortunately, the only way for Shelly to get into the Circle is to get closer to Kale, the boy who started it all.  Working for Red is harder than Shelly anticipated, especially when her feelings for Kale start getting in the way. As Shelly delves deeper into the Circle she realizes if Red succeeds in destroying it, chaos will erupt as Travelers are set loose on humanity. Shelly’s the only one close enough to Red to stop her, but in doing so she’ll not only put her family at risk, but the life of the boy she’s fallen for.


First Page:



Shelly
 Honking cars blared around me. Yellow cabs dotted the street, the suffocating heat of bodies pressed together loomed as I stood at the crosswalk, waiting with the dozens of other pedestrians for the signal to change.
             
Unzipping my purse, I placed the sonogram picture in my hand back into the pocket, making sure the fragile surface was snug and safe. The memory of the Doctor’s visit was still fresh, the lingering remnants still holding to me after my session at the studio. Someone bumped against me as the crowd began to move.  
     
If a few months ago you told me my wish to be a big sister from over ten years ago was finally going to come true, I probably would have kept on walking. Ignoring an untruth is easier than calling it out for its blatant rudeness and punching it in the face. Or so my mom had taught me. 
The anxious feeling dropped into my chest, like an expectation of something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Pulling my purse closer to my body I told myself just because my parents were having a miracle baby, it didn’t mean I was somehow unimportant, that my existence would be disregarded. It was ridiculous. But my palms were sweating and my stomach churned, and I found myself toeing the line of insecurity.
A gangly Santa Clause in a stained red suit stood in front of a department store, waving a bell. His crooked white beard flapped in the wind, revealing a smooth mass of skin beneath. I pulled out a bill from my jeans and dropped it into his bucket.
The strap of my purse was suddenly yanked, pulling me with it.
“Hey!” Dark glasses filled my vision.

#4

Title: ELEMENTAL FIRE       
Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 70,000


Query:

Fourteen-year-old Brook wishes she could merge the two halves of her life: the fearless girl who flies across the countryside on the back of a runaway horse and the timid misfit who flails at communicating with her friends and father after her mother’s death.

Her father’s repeated disappearances don’t help either. Brook hides in his workshop as he walks through a solid rock wall momentarily turned into a blinding doorway to another world. She follows and must confront all her insecurities to prevent the theft of five ancient talismans by a madman responsible for the bizarre blizzard that killed her mother.

Only by cooperating with two boys who fight their own desires to snatch the talismans, trusting them with the secret of her new ability to track hidden people by their Heartfires and harnessing the mind-healing power of the Fire talisman can she prevent the destruction of her path home.

ELEMENTAL FIRE is a YA Fantasy, complete at 70,000 words. It functions as a standalone book, but is intended to be the first of a five book Elemental series similar to Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality with touches of The Last Airbender.

I have a degree in Physics and train endurance horses—both of which play a role in this manuscript.


First Page:

I peered into the stone-walled room Dad used as his home laboratory. I’d never gone inside without Dad around, but I needed to punch holes in my stirrup leathers. I got my first horse three months ago, and my inherited saddle was made for someone much bigger. Even when Vienna behaved, my skinny butt slid all over.

Contraptions Dad built for the university physics lab littered steel workbenches. Shivering, I avoided bony metal arms bolted to magnifying glasses, laser tubes and LED displays. No idea what the latest project did, but Dad’s gadgets hadn’t topped our discussions for several months.
I dug through drawers filled with soldering irons, resistors and meters. Nothing looked capable of poking holes through leather, so I made sure nothing looked out of place and returned to the garage part of the old apple shed. Buried under unfinished projects, I found a large nail and hammer. Wouldn’t be pretty, but it’d get the job done.

As I raised the hammer, the lab door opened. A thin man wearing a ridiculous Futurama tee rushed through. Dad’s head above robot Bender’s body. I would have laughed, but maybe it was the perfect uniform.

“Dad? Where’d you come from? I was just in there.”

Brown eyes gawked from behind thick lenses. His mouth opened and closed.

“Brook, stay out of my shop. My equipment’s expensive.” He stabbed a finger in my face with each word. “Just. Stay. Out.”

Seriously? He appears in a locked room, and I’m the one in trouble?

#5

Title: Deceptive Cadence
Genre: YA Contemporary with Time Travel elements
Word Count: 85,000


 
Query:

Cadence awakes in a hospital to find her husband and daughter dead, killed in a freak earthquake. So when her guardian angel appears and offers her a chance to go back in time with all the knowledge she has, she accepts, desperate to prevent their deaths.

She shoots back eleven years to her fourteen-year-old self, and faces high school all over again. She is determined to do everything better, including preventing the loss of her best friend, which broke her heart, and not dating any of her original, drama-inducing boyfriends. Her main focus is on her future husband, who she won’t meet for several years.

But James Gordon crosses her path. While she wishes to remain single, the bad boy pursues her. He threatens to disrupt everything that is to come as she begins to grow unwanted feelings for him, and distract her from her original goal: to save her future family.

First Page:

A steady beep brought me out of unconsciousness. My eyes felt heavy and I struggled to open them. There was a distinct aroma of cleaning products. My brain switched on as I realized where I was. I forced my eyes open and the beeping sped up. The walls were white in the hospital room, and directly across from me was a closed bathroom door. To my left was a brown couch under a window – which was covered by blinds – and to my right was a tan leather armchair. I was completely alone. Where was my family? My husband? My eighteen-month-old daughter?

I tried to sit up but my whole body writhed with pain. I moaned, and a second later a nurse, dressed in aqua scrubs, burst into the room. “It’s all right, just don’t move,” she said in a soothing voice.
I wanted to ask a million questions, but I couldn’t seem to form any words. She gently pressed me back onto the bed and checked me over. I watched her, as she avoided looking directly into my eye. I followed her movements which was when I became aware of the cast on my arm. My right leg was bound and raised in a sling and appeared to have large bolts sticking out of my thigh. “What happened?” I finally managed to utter.

The nurse slowed. “You have a fractured femur, ulna and radius. You also sustained substantial head trauma which is why you’ve been unconscious for the past few days.”

“Few days?” I groaned. “What day is it?”

“Thursday.”

“But how? The last thing I remember was... was...” I didn’t actually know. The Monday was a haze.

 “But how? The last thing I remember was... was...” I didn’t actually know. The Monday was a haze.

#6

Title: REINVENTING DOROTHY WEIL
Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 65,000

Query:

16-year-old Dorothy Weil knows there’s something worse than being seen as a loser: not being seen at all. Her social anxiety disorder makes it nearly impossible to make friends, and her parents don’t even bother to ask her opinion when her dad decides to take a six-month sabbatical in London. But when Dorothy’s therapist suggests that she use the opportunity to reinvent herself, something inside of Dorothy clicks.
In London, Dorothy introduces herself as Kenzie, the name of the most popular girl in school back home. And somehow, pretending to be Kenzie allows Dorothy to become the person she’s always wanted to be: popular, funny, outgoing. Then Dorothy’s father decides to tutor a freshman at the university, Jonathon North, and it’s as if he can see right through Kenzie’s shiny exterior to the dull girl underneath. Even worse, Dorothy finds herself caring what Jonathon thinks of her.
 
When Dorothy is caught in the middle of a violent protest, her father sends Jonathon to rescue her. But when the tables turn and Dorothy ends up saving Jonathon, she unintentionally exposes her true self in the process. Now she must choose between the good opinion of everyone she’s worked so hard to fool and the one opinion that really matters: her own.
 
REINVENTING DOROTHY WEIL is a 65,000-word contemporary YA novel. I have personally battled social anxiety disorder, the most common anxiety disorder among teens and adults, and I believe many teens will relate to Dorothy’s struggle. In addition to my work at the consulate general in Yekaterinburg, Russia, I volunteer for a book club for Russian high school students. I have written and edited professionally for several newspapers, magazines and websites (most recently at the Marine Corps magazine Leatherneck), and I have a Master’s degree from the University of London.

First page:


Dorothy stared at the essay question in front of her and laughed.
Q: If you could have any of the following super powers, which would it be and why?
A) Invisibility
B) Telepathy
C) The ability to fly
D) Time travel
 
The question was supposed to be fun. It was the freebie at the end of every English test, ten points that guaranteed even the biggest slacker wouldn’t get a zero. She should just pick one, write a quick essay, and turn it in. But for someone who overanalyzed everything, nothing was ever that simple.
Invisibility. Dorothy didn’t need a super power for that; she’d spent most of her life perfecting the art of invisibility. The only benefit to it—aside from avoiding unwanted attention (and for Dorothy, all attention was unwanted)—was that you got to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations, which brought her to telepathy. You didn’t need to eavesdrop if you could read minds, and you didn’t need to read minds if you were invisible. People seemed to forget that Dorothy was present most of the time, which meant she overheard more conversations than she wanted to.
She knew the approximate bra size of every girl in the junior class, thanks to her seat next to two football players in History. She knew who’d lost their virginity at Homecoming, who was doing drugs, whose parents were going through a messy divorce, and who had a you-know-what the size of a cocktail weenie.

#7

Title: Secretly Enchanted
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 93,000


Query:
With fierce intelligence and impeccable charm, world-renowned biological researcher James Blackburn leads scientists to discoveries that expose the very secrets of the universe. When a windstorm shatters a laboratory on a perfect spring day, even he can't explain it. He will discover the culprit.

With the power to defy physics' uncompromising laws, Kyla leads a double life. To the world she is assistant professor Dr. Kyla Conley, but to her people, she is the most powerful enchantress of all time. At all costs, she must protect her people's secret. To do so she must convince one researcher that sorcery does not exist.

With no choice but to infiltrate his investigation and derail his mission, Kyla fights to prove the supernatural lives only in dreams and fairytales, all the while resisting the inexplicable attraction that grows every day. As the masterful scientist grows closer to her greatest secret, she can only wonder…
What will he do when he discovers the truth?

Secretly Enchanted is a paranormal romance and is complete at 94,000 words in length.  My manuscripts have seen success in various RWA-sponsored contests including First Place in the Sweet Spicy Spooky Contest, Unsinkable Heroine Award in the Molly, Third Place in the Southern Heat Contest, Third Place in the STAR Contest and two semi-finalist showings in the Molly Contest.  I am currently a finalist in the FRW Golden Palm and the RWA Emily competitions.

I have written seven manuscripts in addition to Secretly Enchanted, including three paranormal romances, three contemporary romances and one children's fantasy.
With over a decade of professional writing experience, I produced a wide variety of written material for businesses and individual clients across a variety of subject matters. I worked both in advertising agencies and marketing departments as a copywriter. My freelance articles on the web garner more than 20,000 clicks a day. I am active in the Florida Romance Writers, a local chapter of Romance Writers of America.

I have poured my heart into this story.  I hope it enraptures yours.  Thank you very much for your consideration.

First 250:

Sweat tickled his forehead. It formed first as a misty sheen, then as a thick mask, turning furrows and ridges into tiny creeks and lakes. Above a bushy eyebrow it became a river, miniature and yet flowing, ever so slowly creeping down a valley of wrinkles to razor-thin lips. It tasted salty and hot and full of fear.

Nerves normally ruled Chester as he conducted his experiments. But not like today.

Not with this experiment and most certainly not with these compounds. One wrong move and an explosion would rock the science lab like homemade fireworks on the Fourth of July, all but certainly demolishing his coveted position as assistant to the nation's leading biologist.

Mix the contents of test tube A with beaker B, and then beaker C with beaker D. Place everything in a large bowl, then stir. Chester slowly followed the experiment's recipe, holding his breath until the last compound had been mixed and danger averted. With a wide smile, he released the air in a long, slow whistle.

The bowl rattled.

Chester stopped and stared, the whistle dying on his lips as it shook once more, clearly unperturbed that its movements didn't quite fit in with the laws of physics. It continued as a beaker joined in on the fun, first one glass bottle, then another and another. Confusion and fear drove icy tendrils through Chester's chest as he watched an ever-increasing number of items rattle and shake, dancing to an imaginary rock and roll concert.

#8

Title: WITHOUT BORDERS

Genre: Multicultural/Women’s Fiction

Word Count: 75,000

Query:

    

Amanda Smith’s grandpapa taught her the language of his birth country but died without revealing anything of his life before America. Determined to find answers, Amanda leaves her home in Texas for the city her grandpapa grew up in, Pécs, Hungary.

Captured by the beauty and history of the walled city without cultural borders, Amanda embraces all of its aspects, including the people ostracized by racial barriers-- Gypsies. Excitement flutters inside her when Luca, a Gypsy dancer, moves his hips with precision. And she yearns to know him more when she observes him caring for his dying sister. After a short, summer fling she agrees to an odd marriage proposal.

Before the wedding, her grandpapa’s brother visits. He exposes the real reason his brother fled Hungary for America. Secrets that open old wounds and reveal a connection with Luca’s clan. The Gypsy family rejects Amanda, and even her fiancé walks away because of clan loyalties. Now she questions everything she knew about her beloved grandpapa and must repair the wounds she didn’t intend to open.

WITHOUT BORDERS is multicultural/women’s fiction set in Pécs, Hungary. It is complete at 75,000 words.

I am a regular attendee of DFW Writers’ Conference and have recently spent time in Pécs, exploring the city and its culture.

Included below is the first page per your submission guidelines.

Thank you for your consideration.

First Page:


In front of the café Amanda visited often, a plump woman in blue jeans fiddled on a cracked violin. Her dark hair danced and jerked with the movements of her playing. A boy, no older than fifteen, sat behind her beating a drum, and a man whose face had been baked in the sun provided harmony with his accordion. In his yellow and crimson tunic, he was the only one who wore the traditional garb of his people. Amanda had read Gypsy bands had gone out of style, yet this group of musicians gathered an audience on the corner of a walking path in Pécs, Hungary.
A gasp drew Amanda’s attention to a man who somersaulted out of the crowd. He must have been lurking among the spectators, waiting for his cue. He wore a gold vest over his bronze muscles, reminiscent of idol statues often seen in India. His quick steps moved to the music, and he slapped his body in a rhythmic percussion. The audience clapped as the music escalated faster and louder as the dancer kept in time. The fevered pitch consumed every movement and every thought on that corner. Everything in sight had become the song. Then at its crescendo, it ended.

After brief bows, the musicians started another tune, this one slower and more purposeful. The dancer raised his arms and snapped while he moved with precision through the gathering. He selected a couple of women, a few children, and a man and brought them to the front.


#9

Title: Going Thru Hell
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 72,000


Query: 

-->
For Kylie Rippons changing events in time is like braiding. Except the steep cost the power demands – she must forfeit a pieces of soul.
The gods want her unique skills for their never-ending wars, uncaring of the cost she must bear. But she prefers sanity with her tattered spirit intact. The only solution is to wage war against the powerful immortals using secondary abilities, especially if it guarantees her beloved son, Riot, will remain a secret.
Two ancient goddesses, an outcast Valkyrie and a rogue Beserker team up with Kylie to protect and fight with her. Together, they hunt the gods, in hopes of forcing them leave her alone. Too bad life gets in the way. She loses battles, betrayed by a beloved ally, and finds herself on the verge being completely soulless.
 Kylie wants her son, sanity and live a life of peace in the Denver suburbs. Instead, the gods learn of young Riot, a demi-god with the same power as his mother, and intend to use him as leverage. She must face her worst nightmare: braid time and temporarily remove the threat to Riot - losing soul and sanity in the process, or find the courage to follow one bright string depicting a time line in which Riot is safe. And she is dead.

First Page:

I desperately wanted to bang my head on the desk but the boss would only make me pay for any damages. Glancing over the desk, trying to find anything heavy I could throw at the arrogant god which refused to shut up. He'd only laugh at any pathetic attempt to shut him up with pencil holders and files. The PC tower might work. I shook my head, the paycheck couldn't take the hit.

To make matters even funnier, the god in question couldn't be seen by anyone else. My co-workers would have great stories of me throwing various objects at thin air. Last Christmas party notwithstanding, I didn't need any more rumors circulating.

“Go. Away.” I narrowed my eyes. Amun was built like any other male god I'd ever seen – tall, muscular, handsome. The only difference could be seen in his bronze skin, beautiful mahogany colored eyes and straight, smooth, thick black hair. He always wore a stupid St. Louis Rams t-shirt. Both of his wrists were encircled by badly inked ram tats.

#10

Title: Entrusted
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Word Count:

Query: 
When seventeen year old Emma's best friend turns out to be protective spirit, she never imagined he was sent to save her from her boyfriend Luke.  Emma may not have a family and lived in group homes her whole life, but even she knows love shouldn’t come at a price.  In an attempt to escape Luke’s obsessive control, Emma is pulled into a world of Native American legend, and hidden powers of telepathy begin to emerge.   Able to hear the thoughts of those around her would be an advantage, that is if Luke wasn’t able to block her.  As her powers grow stronger she learns about Skinwalkers—witches who alter their shape to wreak havoc on humans.  And Luke is one of them.  Disguised as a raven, Luke watches, waiting until Emma turns eighteen so he can reclaim the powers that are rightfully his, even if it means killing everyone in his way.
When Emma meets Solomon, a young medicine man, he offers her protection. But knowing what happened to the last person she befriended and unsure of Solomon’s true intentions, she pushes him away.  When the connection with Solomon and his family becomes too strong, Emma knows she can’t turn her back on her first chance at real love.  She must learn to use the powers she’s been entrusted to defeat Luke, or risk losing the only family she has ever known.   

First Page:
-->
Before the car had come to a complete stop I knew whoever was inside had a hold on me. 
 “Is that a new one?” Greg slid off the trunk of my car and started stretching for our run
“Guess so.” I shrugged.
The car pulled along the sidewalk and the man driving got out. I followed Greg to the grass and attempted to look casual even though my heart was racing.
“Put your tongue back in your mouth. You haven’t even seen who’s in there yet. Maybe it’s a girl,” he teased. Greg was my running partner and the only real friend I’d ever had.
“There’s just something…” I let my voice trail off when the back door to the car opened and a boy about my age stepped out.
My heart pulled in my chest when my eyes fell on the large black and purple bruise covering the side of his face.  His lip was split open and a faint line of stitches held a gash across his cheek closed.  I wanted to see his eyes, to know that whatever had happened to him hadn’t broken him.  But he kept his head cast down.  He hoisted his bag over his shoulder and followed the man into the yard.
“Hey Emma.” The case worker nodded at me.
“Hey.” I raised my chin in a quick nod.
They walked up to the front door just as Mrs. Farrar, the head of my Therapeutic Group Home, opened it.

#11

Title: Dragon
Genre: Adult Fantasy with Romantic Elements
Word Count: 72,000


Query: 

Dear Agents,

The mighty dragons who have defended Kalon for centuries are dying, victims of merciless attacks by a foreign dragon clan. The dragon council is panicking and desperate to find a replacement for the females they've lost. Maayin is their last hope, never mind she has lived under the assumption of being human for eighteen years.

Taken from her home, told she is a dragon, Maayin is unwilling to trust anyone but Jaimin, her young tutor. He has his own reservations about keeping her imprisoned in all but name and promises to return her to her home if she can prove she is human and of no use to the council's scheme of using her to keep the species viable.

Her struggle to accept the truth of being a dragon brings her dangerously closer to Jaimin. She doesn't know that her tutor is keeping her from an elder dragon who is more than willing to destroy Maayin's spirit in favour of obeying the council's plans. Nor is she aware that her growing feelings for Jaimin go against the ancient law forbidding them from being together.

When Maayin at last learns of the council's plan, she flees and falls right into the grasp of the murderous dragon clan. There she discovers other females, prisoners from the Kalon kingdom. This fate will become hers if she does not escape. But freedom will mean returning to face the council's plan and the dragon they've chosen for her. Unless she can somehow convince the council to let her choose her own mate.

DRAGON, complete at 72,000 words, is a standalone Fantasy novel told in the alternating POVs of Maayin and Jaimin.


First Page: 

Maay hummed as she worked the old loom, the dull clack of wood a lullaby to her ears. Sunlight blazed into the solarium, the normally stifling heat cooled every so often by a gust coming through the open windows.  She cocked her head to the sound of footsteps echoing from down the hall. Men. It had to be, for their boots hit the stone with such a racket and the occasional, punctuating clink of metal.

Frowning at the woven threads before her, she idly looped another through the strands. It sounded like guards. What would they be doing here? Not many men came to this quarter of the castle, mostly servants with their soft shoes and the irritating habit of blending into the background.

She glanced over her shoulder, perusing the room. Her gaze settled on the plants that separated the solarium from the other rooms and screened the bulk of the sunlight from those entering. The green leaves bobbed in the breeze. Bright, inviting and absent of extra shadows.

Yes, she was still alone. Figures. The first time she wanted a servant nearby and there were none around. But was that not why she'd chosen this section of the castle in the first place? To be alone?

Perhaps she was imagining things. Why earlier, Maay could have sworn she'd heard the mighty whump of wings overhead. Although she’d hurried to the window and risked falling as she leant out to see, nothing untoward had caught her eye. She could seek out answers. Someone would know. Except, in leaving her weaving incomplete, she risked returning to discover someone, like one of her sweet younger sisters, had lovingly unravelled it.

The shuttle skipped a thread. Grumbling, she redid the line. She had to finish it before the autumn banquet next week. This would be the year she finally completed a tapestry in time. Allowing herself to be treated like a child until the next year was unthinkable. Not when this autumn marked her eighteenth year.

#12

Title: NEEDING HER 
Genre: Women's Fiction
Word Count: 84,000
Query:
After finding out she’ll give birth to a second son, Victoria Logan is determined to make her third and final a girl.

Victoria yearns to have a daughter who will fulfill her desire for a meaningful mother-daughter relationship, unlike the lackluster one she has with her own mother. She joins an online gender swaying forum, consults with a psychic, gazes up at the moon for just the right cloak of darkness, and tries out different lovemaking positions. During her quest, she battles pessimism from family and friends and a heartache that tests her will.

On the gender swaying forum, she meets Lacey Dalton, the mother of two daughters, scarred by her infant son’s death and possessed with the need to bear another son. Lacey can’t risk a mere fifty percent chance at obtaining him. While considering high-tech options, she pursues a gender selection method that comes with an almost ironclad guarantee, but one that her husband is morally opposed to, violating the fragile trust in her marriage.

When Victoria and Lacey meet in real life, it’s an experience that offers them perspective and insight into each other’s worlds. Both women discover the essence of what really matters.

Complete at 84,000 words, NEEDING HER, is a work of women’s fiction, with upmarket appeal.
 
 First 250:

 I wanted to hear “It’s a girl!” for Christmas.

A sweet, baby girl I would sing dreamy lullabies to, wrap in my arms, and snuggle close. She’d be a beautiful springtime baby born just in time for Easter.

I envisioned my little girl wearing a dress with pink stripes over soft white linen. I could see her chubby cheeks, eyes as blue as mine, and my husband’s dimples. She would be the perfect match to our three-year-old son.

“Are you ready to find out?” my husband, Ryan, asked me.

We sat in the doctor’s office, waiting for our twenty-week ultrasound. Our son Wyatt played next to me with two dump trucks we brought along. “BAM!” Wyatt screeched, crashing one dump truck into the other. The loser rolled down off the polished armrest of the chair, careening to the carpet.
“Wyatt, pipe down,” Ryan said.

Our son grinned up at his father, one side of his lips hitched up higher. Wyatt resumed playing with his trucks.

“I still think the baby’s going to be a girl,” he said, flipping briskly through a sports magazine.

“I hope it’s my girl,” I said, for what seemed like the twentieth time that week.

My husband grimaced. “Victoria,” he chided. “The health of the baby is all that matters. You know that.”

“I know, I know,” I let my words trail off. He knew all about my longtime dream to have a daughter, so I could piece together a part of the void that lingered in me.