Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Novel Graveyard

One of my fellow writers, the amazing Suzanne Young (author of the Naughty List and up-coming A Need So Beautiful-which I am beyond excited about), posted a novel graveyard and I happened to think it was a great idea. 

A novel graveyard is exactly how it sounds.  A grave yard full of dead WIPs that got left behind in all the clutter that is my imagination.

I have to admit, I'm a bit ADD when it comes to writing.  I have so many ideas, that I have to start writing them as soon as they pop into my head, which distracts me from the one's I'm already working on!  A crazy cycle, I know.  So in ode to Suzanne Young- here is a chapter from one of may WIPs that that got lost along the way:
A Secret To Keep (keep in mind, this has NOT been edited-so please forgive any mistakes in grammar or spelling)


“People talk and word spreads like an infection. Treacherous actions as such these spread like a plague.”

I gasped. “Are you referring to me as a sickness?”

“Not you in particular, but your obvious lack of propriety and common sense. For how long did you think it would go unnoticed?”

He was taking it too far, but I deserved it. I’d let him come to his own conclusions without as much as the slightest contradiction.

“I don’t know of what you are speaking,” I feigned ignorance.

He was fuming. “I have seen it with my own eyes. But please tell me they have deceived me.”

“I cannot.”

“Then you don’t deny it?”

“I do not admit or nor do I deny anything.” I continued to stand before him, staring straight ahead. Fear ran rampant throughout my body. My hands shook so violently I had to grasp them tightly together, forcing them to stop. Had he looked deeply into my eyes, I wondered if he would have seen the deception.

He continued to pace back and forth at a furious pace. His breathing was labored. It burned my soul to know I had caused this, to know that all I had to do was speak and he would have been put at ease. But the love I had for each of them conflicted, demanding I choose one over the other.

He stopped and whirled about to face me. Storming over he grabbed me by the arms. “Then you lie. You dare lie to my face, to your King?”

Lifting my eyes to his, I admitted only the truth. “I have done nothing wrong.”

And I hadn’t. It was all to protect him; to protect them all. No matter the consequences, this was how it had to be. I would sacrifice anything, everything.

“Tell me now. Did you betray me?” His misty eyes pleaded with me, begging me to release him from the agony. I had brought the most powerful to King exist to his knees.

Tears gathered in my eyes. He would never stop asking or wondering. How could I tell him the truth? No matter what I said, blood would be spilled. I had to make a decision.


From atop the well muscled inky black stallion, Cadoc stroked his wiry graying beard; nervously shifting his gaze along the Northern horizon. His people, land, and castle were all about to be marched upon and in essence, destroyed.

Word of invasion had come but a few hours earlier.

A farmer from the outer skirts of the territory had raced to his King in warning. Unable to sleep, from out of his bedroom window he had spied an enemy scout creeping about in the dead of the night. The man had run his horse hard for several hours and his dark hair had been blown wild when he stood before Cadoc, still in his night clothes for he had not wasted a moment. The people had been on high alert for months, it could have been none other them one of King Humphrey’s men.

A message had been dispatched immediately to the High King Leodegrance, but Cadoc bitterly thought it would be too late. Cadoc’s territory lay in the Southeastern part of Andoriea, almost a day’s journey from where Leodegrance’s troops were last stationed.

Leodegrance’s Troops would likely arrive to find Cadoc’s forces slaughtered; they would be lucky to find women and children alive when the dust settled from Humphrey’s vengeance.

His heart thundered loudly in his chest, constricting every few minutes. Ignoring the increasing pain shooting down his arm, Cadoc steadied his breath and prepared for battle. He turned his horse and rode towards his most trusted and skilled knights: his sons. Colin and Philip sat upon their stallions at the front of the meager army of untrained men who were visibly nervous. There, in the frost covered grass in the early morning light stood farmers, tradesmen; town-folk or farmers who, as warriors, had either seen too many changes of seasons or not enough. Cadoc observed the men and focused on one small face in particular. Though the young man was tall, he found himself wondering if the lad had begun to shave.

His skilled soldiers had gone to join Leodegrance last season when they had become allies; this was what he was left with. Sprinkled among the men he found a few women. Though he did not believe in the practice of letting a female in the ranks, he could not fault them for wanting to defend their land and families. Knowing they would only put up a fight if made to leave, he decided allowing them stay was the wiser choice. Having a female undermine one’s authority was not what they needed.

Cadoc, King of Kalmardia, thought about the events that had lead to this moment. He believed in Leodegrance and decided to align with him. In truth, it was acquiesce Leodegrance as overlord or be overthrown by him or another who would slay him and his people. Leodegrance was the obvious choice because of his moral code: he did not (as so many others did) murder the undefended, euthanize the sick and elderly, abuse women, or exploit children.

Conceding to Leodegrance’s rule, the controller of the Northern lands - King Humphrey -- became enraged. Already Humphrey had taken the lands of eleven other rulers and made it his mission to invade further south, to bring Leodegrance upon his knees, making the mighty King his final conquest by conquering his latest land, thus drawing him into battle.

The sun began to warm the cold ground and over the horizon it seemed as though a never ending stream of marching soldiers filled their vision through the fine mist that rose. Hazy morning light gleaned off their armored chests and shields.

Involuntarily Cadoc whispered, “Lord, help us.”

It was eerily silent on both sides of the vast field.

Colin reached out his hand, placing it on his father’s shoulder in reassurance. Though the site before them was increasingly dire, he remained steadfast in the face of such insurmountable odds. Surrender was something that Colin, either out of arrogance or youthful optimism and invulnerability, never considered.

Father and son looked into each other’s eyes, one whose cloudy light blue eyes were fading with the weariness of age; the others whose deep cerulean eyes were brimming with determination and the valor of youth. To the left sat his eldest son, Philip, whose dark blue eyes remained focused on the task ahead, keeping his emotions at bay. He was a true pillar of strength and wise beyond his young years.

Soon each army stood face to face across the open field; the enemy was statues of marble. They were strong, heavily armed, and their leaders were on a mission he determined to win at any cost.

Alas, Cadoc and his men were determined put up a paramount fight no matter the odds, even if it meant their annihilation. There was no superior way to depart this life than in protection of one’s people.

As Cadoc loosely swung his reigns, urging his steed forward to meet with Humphrey in the center of the pasture, Philip held out his hand to stop him, looking at last to the aging King.

“Father, I ask your permission to meet with Humphrey in your stead,” Philip asked the elder King in his deep baritone voice.

The king looked at his son with pride and fear simultaneously. Philip was a man destined for greatness. He’d already led the men in skirmishes on the borders, but it was when his mother had died he showed his true strength. Cadoc had fallen apart upon his much loved wife’s death and Philip had not only hid it from the people, but assumed as many duties as he could; which happened to include taking responsibility for his younger siblings. Yes, he had shown true strength and unfathomable resilience at a tender age. Philip was destined to be king, whether it was his birthright or not.

But meeting a man like King Humphrey was dangerous to say the least, no matter the rules for conduct during war.

Reluctantly Cadoc nodded his head in agreement and watched as his eldest son rode off to meet the enemy.

In the center of the field the two men halted facing one another, neither dismounting from the strong innocent horseflesh they sat upon, and began to speak.

Cadoc watched as Humphrey’s face became enraged, Philip must have told him they were unwilling to surrender and would not denounce Leodegrance and in his place, accept him as their overlord. Instead of turning his horse back to his men, Cadoc watched as Humphrey held out his hand as if to shake.

Philip grasped the man's outreached hand. Humphrey’s free arm reached for a knife that had been tucked into his belt and sheathed it into the side Philip’s amour where he was unprotected. Philip had no warning or time to react to the act of violence against him. Placing his hand over the wound and pulling it way he looked in shock at the deep crimson blood that spilled from his flesh.

A thousand years passed by in the few moments it took for Philip to slowly slump over his steed. Silently he glided through the air, seemingly weightless, to the soft spring grass. The clatter of the metal resounded in the silence and into the ears of the people as they watched their prince die before their very eyes.

Everything melted away from Cadoc and he only saw thing: his beloved son, heir to the throne, dead upon the ground. He saw Philip’s entire existence pass before his eyes from the moment he was born, his first smile, the first time he picked up a sword, to his abrupt death. Nothing on Earth could condone what had been done. An innocent young man with everything to live for was slain without reason, by a man devoid of a conscience.

Despite the distance between them, Cadoc could see Humphrey sneer at him; Humphrey’s face filled with ostentatious pride. With his chest heaving and rage boiling his blood, there was no time for tears. He vowed Humphrey would die this day.

He heard nothing of the call for attack from his remaining son. Cadoc had already drawn his sword and was charging ahead at full tilt. He maneuvered about the soldiers with determination to reach his goal. The fierce cries of his soldiers rang out, sharing in the violence of his outrage as they charged forward to meet the enemy.

The only sound Cadoc heard was the blood pulsating through his veins, the beating of his failing heart, and the air that exploded from his lungs each time he breathed. He heard nothing but blood. He felt nothing but blood. He knew nothing but blood. He saw only a treacherous king who must now give him his blood. Death was now, for king Cadoc, an ally. And in this frenzied insanity for death, the overwhelming odds against Cadoc’s forces were rendered slightly more favorable.

The din of battle was silence to Cadoc as he charged forward into the sea of enemy soldiers. His sword flashed, reflecting the light of the golden morning sun as he slashed through Humphrey’s men.

Keeping on his path in his rage and skilled swordsmanship towards Humphrey, he slowly sliced a path through the flesh of men towards the overweight king. There was no thought in his mind that his beloved son was murdered, there was no thought for the army behind or in front of him. There was only the animalistic insanity of a warrior-king avenging his scion.

Humphrey was waiting for him, willing him to make it through his legions, knowing that Cadoc was not thinking about strategy or tactics, that he was consumed by vengeance. Upon Humphrey’s face was the unmistakable look of satisfaction as though he had already won even though the battle had just begun. The power hungry king held out his hand and waved his personal royal guards away, beckoning his adversary forward, enticing him into single combat.

Each man deftly unsaddled from their horse and approached one another.

Cadoc swung his sword mightily with both hands. As the sharp blades met and deflected off one another, he kept a firm grip on the handle and quickly was ready for another attack. He attacked from the right, the left, they circled around one another.

Humphrey was holding back, taunting him. They both knew Humphrey the upper hand, yet it would not stop him from defending the honor of his fallen son.

At last, one of them made contact; Humphrey swiped his sword cross Cadoc’s thigh causing him to stumble and fall to his knees. With weary eyes he looked up and into the face of a man who coveted all belonging to Leodegrance. Closing his eyes he resigned himself to being reunited with Philip.

Humphrey raised his hands and brought his sword high above his head. He smiled in satisfaction down at the broken king, joyous at the impending victory. That moment of hesitation allowed another to intervene. As he plunged the blade downward, seeking to spill the blood of Cadoc, a sharp reverberation of clashing steel sounded and the blade was stopped short.

Then a voice sounded like a bell in Cadoc’s ears; the voice of the archangel speaking to him, calling him back to Earth.

“Cadoc!” the thunderous voice shouted and caused Cadoc to open his eyes.

He looked up to see the man whose voice he had grown to recognize as well as his own. At some point King Leodegrance had arrived and joined in the battle. The High King had come to protect his people and at last Cadoc felt emotion, not for himself, but for those around him. It was an odd thing to feel a sense of joy for those around him at a time when so much sorrow bombarded one’s soul.

Having been awakened, Cadoc pulled himself together and stood, choosing to resume protecting all that was left. It took but mere moments for the young king to end Humphrey’s life before moving onto the next soldier.

Word quickly spread among the ranks of King Humphrey’s men that their king had been decapitated. Enemy soldiers fell back while other decided it would be in their best interest to pledge allegiance to Leodegrance, having been forced to join Humphrey as he took over their territories. Leodegrance would soon head northward to acquire the now vacant throne. In his pride, Humphrey had refused to name a successor and had no offspring.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

OMG, I bought some new books...

If you know me at all, then you already know how rare it is that I buy books. Not because I don’t love to read, because I do. But because they are hella expensive! It just so happens that my local Borders is closing; which means 40% off! How could I resist?!

When I do buy books, I have to be honest and say, it’s usually romance novels. This time however, I was determine to buy what I write, YA. There was one in particular that I HAD to buy. Praying that they still had it, I promptly hunted it down. After searching high and low, through mass piles of randomness, I found it!

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White was in my hands at last!

“Why this book?” you ask.

Yup, that’s right. I said, “Twitter.” About a year ago I began following fellow authors, agents, and so forth. Kiersten White happened to be one of them. And when I saw that she was a fellow San Diego resident, I HAD to show my support.

Without a doubt, Paranormalcy did not disappoint (look, even Luna loved it!). Within the first few pages I was completely sucked in and couldn’t escape…nor did I want to. Within 6 hours, and trying to read while I ate, I had read the entire book! Sadly, I did have to put it down while I cooked (burning down the apartment wasn’t something I had in mind).

Kiersten gave the heroine, Evie, a fresh and authentic voice full of wit, sarcasm, enthusiasm, and the occasional grumpiness so typical of teenagers. The reader is drawn in and brought along on a whirl wind adventure, giving new life to our ordinary world. More importantly, the reader sees through fresh eyes as Evie explores and learns about the ‘normal’ world.

In an industry that is overly saturated with vampire stories, Kirsten sheds not only a new light on them (no, this is not a vamp book), but on every other paranormal/magical creature out there; including some shinny new ones.

From start to finish, I had no idea where this book was going to end up. With twists and turns, highs and lows, it’s full of butt-kicking adventure, mystery, some great fashion, and first love the whole way through.

In my opinion the best part of the book is the kissing scene. I wish my first kiss had been half that wonderful! I seriously think I said, “Awww!” out loud and I was smiling so hard my cheeks hurt. Without a doubt, I was as giddy as Evie and swooning right along with her.  Just thinking and blogging about it now is giving me butterflies again!

Before I was even two thirds of the way done, I was ready to hunt Kiersten down, bang on her door, and demand she let me read book two immediately.

Right now I’m wishing each and every one of my fingers would turn into thumbs, because they’d all be up.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When it comes to describing colors...

When it comes to describing colors I have the hardest time!  Which is why I found a sort of "cheat sheet."

Yup, it's a brand of paint and I LOVE it!  There is always a specific shade you see or imagine that you want to put in your book, but how do you describe something that's a muted shade of purple?  Because simply writing "muted shade of purple" wont cut least for me it wont.  But when you say "Winter Amethyst" or perhaps "Frosted Grape" it sounds slightly more magical.  (ok, so frosted grape was mine, but you get the idea.) 

Keep in mind not all names of paint can't be used.  Calling a shade turquoise "Wipeout" isn't going to work.  It can however inspire a whole sentence or paragraph dedicated to it.

"He fell into the abyss and disappeared into its turquoise murky depths, like a surfer sinking into a wave at dusk."

Hope you find my "cheat sheet" helpful!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Need a name for the book!

Usually I have no problem naming my books....until now.
I just can't seem to come up with a name for the YA I'm currently working on.  So, if anyone has a suggestion or two, please let me know!

Here is the first chapter for your enjoyment:



Death, it is an inevitable part of life. For some, it is a means to an end where as for others it is an unavoidable terrifying prospect everyone must face. Every life comes to an end at precisely the right time.

It was autumn in Dayville, Connecticut. The sun was shining on that Saturday afternoon and a slight chill floated on the gentle breeze that swirled about, gently rustling the turning leaves in the trees as they faded from green to vibrant shades of yellow, red, and orange.

No one suspected it, but a dark cloud lingered and edged its way closer as time went by. I took the antique style pocket watch from my vest coat pocket and looked at its face. The second hand ticked; its sound available to my ears alone.


Only four more minutes and it would be time to collect him.

I strolled leisurely along the sidewalk that led into the park. Delight filled screams emerged from the children playing as they climbed, ran, and swung. It would end all too soon.

I spotted him as he flew out from the tunnel of the slide and into the loving arms of a young lady that waited for him at the bottom. His blonde hair caught the afternoon light; it looked like a golden halo. He smiled with his heart, his cherub cheeks filled with laughter, and his corn flower blue eyes danced with joy as only a small child’s could.

It was taking the young ones bothered me. There was so much that they had yet to experience…and never would. I, myself, had never had any of it. Part of me hungered for the human experience instead of watching from the sidelines.

The female stood, carrying the boy in her arms. With their backs turned, she walked with him to the bench where their belongings sat. Gently she sat him down and tugged of his shoes. She tipped them over, emptying out the fine grains of sand that filled them. He squirmed, eager to get down and head home. It was his fourth birthday. Cake would be waiting for him when they returned.

“Hold still Jake,” I heard her tell him as I walked up behind them.

She brushed off his shocks, put his feet back into the shoes, and tied the laces. Her hands were delicate and her fingers nimble.

“It’s my birthday, Aamira!” he told her gleefully for the twentieth time that day.

“I know,” she responded. “You’re a big boy now.”

Love for the little boy filled Aamira’s voice. She stood, picked up her purse, and held out her hand for Jake to hold.

It was the beginning of the end.

Instead of taking it, he slid off the bench and bolted down the sidewalk and towards the street.

“Jake! Stop right there!” she yelled after him.

He didn’t listen. Jake giggled as he ran, excited to head home.

Aamira didn’t waste any time. She raced after him.

A squat looking man with a bulging stomach walking a dog let Jake race by as he stood watching it all take place. He could have stopped what was about to happen had he reached out for the child…or had he moved out of Aamira’s way when he saw her running after the small boy. His poodle jumped on her the leash became tangled in her feet, causing her to fall. She scrambled to get up.

Standing, she called out after the boy yet again. He never stopped running.

She was gaining ground on him.

Aamira reached out to grab him, missing his shirt by a mere inch. Jake jumped off the curb and headed for their red brick metallic Pathfinder parked on the opposite side of the street.

A heart rendering screamed ripped through the air.

I was beside the boy as he looked down. Then he studied the silver car that had tried to veer to the side. It had not been enough. There was nothing to be done for it.

I held out my hand to Jake. His small hand grasped mine and he looked up at me.

"Do I get to go home now? I want my Mommy and Daddy." His voice shook slightly, not quite grasping what had happened.

"Yes," I told him, "to your new home. You parents will meet you there later."

"What about Aamira? I want her to come with me now."

I shook my head.

Jake looked at his elder sister. "I don't want her to cry." His lower lip pouted.

I did what I swore I'd never do. For the first time, I looked at the one left behind.

Aamira was sobbing. Tears streamed down the gentle slopes of her cheeks as she shook her head vehement as if it would change the outcome, refusing to accept her new reality. In her arms she cradled the boy.

She looked up and she saw me, truly saw me standing there. Her stormy glistening grey eyes pierced mine. She became real to me in that instant, no longer an invisible casualty of my job. Her eyes, I knew those eye and her soul from a time before, but from where?

I breathed her in. Her hair was the color of hazelnut with streaked with honey, her sun-kissed skin still warmly glowing from the summer sun, her lips were pouty ripened raspberries, and the smell of her skin was nothing I could compare it to. I had never smelled anything before that moment. I had to know what it was. I had to know...her.

It disappeared in an instant.

She was back to looking at the small lifeless body in her arms, rocking him gently on the sun warmed pavement.

A crowd of people had gathered around. Sirens wailed in the distance.

"I don't want her to cry," repeated Jake as he tugged on my hand.

I tore my eyes from the weeping angel and returned them to Jake. I understood the sadness in his eyes.

"She won't cry forever," I told him. "One day she will be with you again."

Right then and there I wanted to trade his soul for hers. I would have if I could have done anything about it.

'She should be dead,' I thought longingly. She had to die, I wanted…no, needed…her to die. Perhaps in her death, I would be made whole.

“It’s time to go now,” I told him.

Death, it is an inevitable part of life. For some, it is a means to an end where as for others it is an unavoidable terrifying prospect everyone must face. Every life comes to an end at precisely the right time.

Death is immortal. I am immortal. I am death.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Feels like Autumn

Here in San Diego it felt like a perfect autumn May.

The air was crisp and clean just like I loved about living in the Mid-West and East Coast all of those years ago, it reminded me of the first book I completed in writing.  Not because it was set in that time of year or in either of those places, but because it was when I first began writing it.

As I did some shopping and drank my beloved iced coffee, I began to think about how inspired I'd become during those months I took to writing at least four hours a day, just about seven days a week.  I had a passion for a story line I fell in love with. 

Recently, writers block has been bombarding me.  Writing has come in spurts.  I begin a book and quickly find myself bored which in turn makes me skip to starting yet another story.

I am thankfunl for the weather today.  It reminded me of the passion I had to write and focus even when I found myself stuck.  Over the next week I will be going over "ANGEL'S GRACE," editing, and re-editing, to send it out once again.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Could the second time be the charm?

Recently, I finished my second book. The first one was a young adult novel; but this time I opted for a middle grade book and lightened up the mood a bit.

Nervous as any unpublished writer, I took to sending my query letter once again. The disappointment of having no requests from the first book still lingered in my mind, but I plunged forward none the less.

Within the first 48 hours I had two request for the full manuscript!

I was leaving work when my phone went off (thank goodness for my blackberry). Just as I walked out the door I pulled out my phone and read the email, fully expecting the typical, "Not for me."

Imagine my shock when I realized it was a request! I cried. Immediately I called my boyfriend and was promptly sent to voicemail. Sadly, he is in Haiti and unable to check his voicemail, but I can't wait until he listens to it! Freaking out is an understatement! As he has a degree in literature and is an AMAZING writer, I know he will be as excited as I was when he hears it at last.

Then at about five in the morning, my phone went off again. Usually I ignore it...actually, I turn it off. But with having sent query letters, I left it on. Once again I was reduced to tears and was unable to fall back asleep. The lack of sleep was more than worth it.

Now it's a waiting game to see what will become of my latest book. For now I am hoping the second book is the charm. But just in case, I've already started a third!