Monday, February 27, 2012

March madness Prep #9

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 56k
(Updated at 1:45 p.m.)

When pre-prelaw student Taylor Simmons wakes up in bed with Evan McKinley, the only solution to save her tarnished reputation is convincing everyone that they’d been dating all along. Now if only he would agree…

First 150 words:
     Before I even opened my eyes, I knew something was wrong. Why? Because I wasn’t in my bed with the cream duvet comforter that Mom and I got at Macy’s last month like I should be. The fabric under my fingertips was my first clue. It was cool and kind of scratchy.

     Evidence number two: it smelled different. Not in a bad way. Just not like the apple cinnamon air freshener that Mom was fond of and sprayed all over the house despite the fact that Dad and I hated cinnamon. I countered it by walking around the house with vanilla tea candles.  Instead it smelled like cotton with a faint touch of pine and grass.

     But the most damning evidence of all was when I opened my eyes and saw the muscular bare back of a half-naked guy—at least I hoped half since I couldn’t see beneath the navy blanket wrapped around his hips—that definitely should NOT be in my bed.

Prepping for March Madness #8

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy Romance
Word Count: 50,000

Traumatized by a brutal duke, Princess Araya seeks freedom, not love, and is surprised when she finds herself falling for the man who rescues her.  Too bad the duke is set on getting her back.

First 150 words: 
     I clung to the saddle as Major tore down the path in front of us.  My muscles burned and sweat dripped into my eyes, but I could not let my horse slow down.  Not when the heaving sound of his labored breathing tore at my heart.  Not when my face and arms stung from low-hanging branches ripping at them.  Not even when a monstrous fallen log loomed before us.  Leaning forward and ducking low on Major’s neck, I extended the reins.  With a grunt, he launched us into the air.

     For the barest of moments, time hung suspended, leaving only the soaring.

     His hooves slammed back down, but he stumbled on the landing.  I pitched forward, nearly flying out of the saddle.  I flailed and tried to straighten while my horse regained his footing.  My left stirrup dangled uselessly beside my foot, but I pushed Major back into a gallop, even as I struggled to recover my balance.  

*Please critique and post feedback in comments below*

Sunday, February 26, 2012

March Madness Prep #7

Genre: YA Post Apocalyptic
Word Count: 60,000


Sixteen-year-old Fay may be the demon destined to destroy her civilization, so she turns to God and love to redeem herself. But when you have a natural urge to kill, not even the call of God can stop you.

First 150 words: 

     Fay sat on the dirt floor of the underground cave she called home, eyeing the small monster with slight annoyance. This particular one looked a bit like a deformed tortoise, except without the shell and with eight rows of needle teeth that could barely fit into its mouth. It hissed at her. She rolled her eyes and resumed packing her books for school.

     Honestly, how many more of these things did she have to kill before they got the point and left her alone? A lot more, probably. They’d been coming around since as long as she could remember.

     She cinched her book bag shut and looked at the creature again. Again, it hissed, but this time bent down as if it were about to pounce. She lifted her foot and slammed it down on its skinny neck, severing it from the crusty body. It screamed, but its head continued to hop around, lunging for her foot. 

*Please critique and post feedback in comments below*

March Madness Prep #6

Genre: YA fantasy
Word Count: 100 000

(Updated 4:15 p.m.)

When nerdy teenager Diamond is hauled back into a 16th century, magical civilization, she must unleash the destructive new powers within herself to defend her ancestors in a war she doesn’t know she started.

(Updated 9:10 a.m.)
First 150 words: 
     Di stopped, dead. The room was an apocalyptic mess. Her twin brother’s rats’-nest hair, scruffy uniform and muddy trainers were like camouflage amidst the chaos.
     “Who took my school bag?” he whined, kicking aside piles of dirty laundry and untouched textbooks.

     “Not this again, Coby.” Di checked her watch. “Will you hurry up? Mum and Dad already left for work and the bus’ll be here in a sec’.”

     Coby muttered something, probably rude, but at least he wasn’t making last-minute fridge raids or playing hallway football.  And if he complained again about his morning being ruined by face-washing and teeth-cleaning and other things fifteen-year-old boys say are a waste of time, she might just snap and make him organize himself.

     Like that’ll ever happen. Di sighed. “I’ll help you look.”

     “Right.” Coby finger-combed his hair as he passed her, though he still looked like he’d been mugged. By a cyclone.

*Please critique and post feedback in comments below*

March Madness Prep #5

Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 54,000

Whisper Stevens' nineteenth birthday could be her last. The reincarnation of a woman trapped in Paradise, Whisper must fight to survive as an immortal tries to kill her and reclaim his lost love.

Paris, France
December 31, 1511

Christophe shoved his hand deeper into his trouser pocket, his fingertips lightly splaying across the little velvet box residing there. He smiled, thinking of what the ring meant for him, for them. Lillianna had been betrothed to him for four years now, and finally,finally, he planned to propose. He was grateful for the first time in his life for his family’s influence.

When he’d first met his Lilli, she’d been a budding fourteen year old, all gangly limbs and clumsy feet. But he’d seen the beauty in her even then, buried deep in her sapphire eyes. And as he watched her grow, he knew marrying her wouldn’t be a duty to his family, or even hers. It would be a joy to himself. A pleasure, even.

*Please critique and post feedback in comments below*

March Madness Prep #4

Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 47400

(Updated 10:15 p.m.)

Seventeen-year-old Alaina wants to be a “princess.” When the perfect boy kisses her, she thinks it might finally happen. But her toxic best friend, Kendra, is determined to convince her she’ll always be a frog.

First 150 Words:
     The bell rang, and I jumped out of my seat, scurrying out the door before my best friend, Kendra, could catch up with me.  I hate ditching her like this every day, but it’s easier than fighting.

     “Hi gorgeous, how was your day?” My second best friend, Jarod, met me at the door with a hug and took my books.

     Every day, Jarod meets me after 6th period. He acts like he hasn’t seen me in months, even though it’s only been a few hours. We only have band together this year, and we never get to talk. So every day it’s the same routine. Jarod leaves study hall two minutes before the end of last period and sprints across the school so he can be waiting when the bell rings.  

     I glanced back.  Mr. Finn was talking to Kendra about her grades again.  I had at least five minutes.

*Please critique and post feedback in comments below*

Pitch Madness Prep #3

Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 91,000

In a world where emotions are banned by a spell, sixteen year old Kiana must find an enchanted jar of tears and use them to stop the tyrannical Arcaian soldiers from stealing her people's magic. 

First 150:
     Any minute now I’ll get caught. The heavy tread of military boots will hammer through the silence, and they’ll try to take my magic. Too bad I don’t have any, but the Arcaians won’t know that until it’s too late. The thought alone sends shivers down my spine.

     I duck into a foggy alleyway and listen for something—anything—to warn me that the Arcs are nearby. Shivers nibble at my skin, and I break for the tremor—a large piece of yellow machinery resting by the abandoned fuel station. Its long crane beds into the concrete lot near the fuel pumps. I stop by one of its massive wheels, catching my breath. The acrid smell of burnt magic fills the air around the machine, and my jaw clenches. I hate that smell. Like we need another reminder of what those axrats are doing when they steal our magic.

*Please critique and post feedback in comments below*

March Madness Prep #2

Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 62,000

Burdened with the secret of becoming a faery warrior, studious fourteen-year-old Liz must prepare for a war in a world she never knew existed against enemies already hunting her, making high school more complicated.

First 150 words: (updated at 9:10 a.m.)

     Liz felt foolish, even childish, sneaking to follow her parents. Tomorrow was her first day of high school. She promised herself she would get to bed soon, but for now she needed to stay out of sight. 

     “Where are they going?” she whispered, her heart racing.

     She scurried through their backyard, hearing the familiar sound of the rolling waves below. Her parents ventured closer to the cliff’s edge, stopping at a large oak. Liz, hidden from their sight, stared. 

     A sudden breeze sent a chill down her spine and the hair on her arms stood up. She watched, wide-eyed, as the oak began to sway and shudder. Then a section of the trunk just . . . swung open, revealing only blackness. 

     Her head bobbed from treetop to door in disbelief. 

     She felt frozen, struggling just to breathe. But when the oak shuddered again, Liz instinctively lunged for the opening.  

*Please critique and post feedback in comments below*

March Madness Prep #1

Genre: YA Science Fiction
Word Count: 64,000

When sixteen-year-old Clementine wins an escape from the Surface slums and poisonous moon, she learns the boy she loves but left behind will suffer a fate worse than death if she can't save him.

First 150 Words:
     Today is the day I have to prove I deserve to stay alive.

     I stand in the dirt beside the fence that separates my shack from the street, watching the last of the moon slip away in the sky. My grip tightens on the hem of my dress line, and my knuckles whiten. My mind flits between thinking too many things and thinking nothing at all.

     Children head down the road. I wonder if they stayed awake all night, like I did. I wonder where Logan is and how a “few extra hours” of work for “ill attitude,” as our overseer put it, turned into twelve. He should be here already.

     I bite my lip and stare at each minuscule shard of wood in the fence.

     Speed up, I urge time. Then, Slow down.

     My fingers squeeze the slab so hard they burn.

     “Hey, Clementine!”

     I snap my head up.

*Please critique and post feedback in comments below*

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Prepping for March Madness

WOW, I have missed blogging but I have been busy rewriting and am finally ready to get back to socializing.

Since I was not up with my social networking I missed out on a pitch workshop on Brenda Drake's blog.

The pitch workshop was to prepare for the awesome contest Brenda, Shelley Watters and Cassandra Marshalls are hosting.

AGENT MARCH MADNESS, where agents will be bidding on your 35-word pitch and first 150 words of your finished young adult and middle grade novels.
(Yes, you read that right Agents bidding on your work)

Getting to my point: For anyone, who like me, missed out on the workshop I am offering to post anyone's 35-word pitch and first 150 words on my blog for some helpful critiquing.

Anyone interested email me at by Sunday February 26th and I will then post the pitches and first 150 words.

Here's what to submit:

Word Count:
First 150 words:

If you are interested in entering AGENT MARCH MADNESS and did not get into the workshop let's get our pitches ready to kick some butt and get some agent attention!

I will post each submission I get by Monday February 27th which should give plenty of time for everyone to give feedback in enough time that we can make adjustments before we have to send the final to Brenda Drake on March 2nd.

I have a few rules:
1) Be constructive and helpful
2) If you submit please critique at least 2 entries
3) If you submit please tweet, blog or post on facebook (not so much a rule but a suggestion to help get as much feedback as possible on our entries)

GOOD LUCK and Happy Writing!