Archive for July, 2010

Phew the last two days were a blast. I particpated in a fabulous panel over on the Romance Divas Forum. The YA Panel called From Acne to Zombies.

The panel was made up of published YA authors who let us pick their brains for 2 whole days. They answered questions about their writing processes, how they got their agents, how long before they got agents, they talked about POVs, characters, settings, timelines, blogs/websites and many, many other topics.

They were so informative and nice! And trust me they didn’t just give one or two word answers, they went into great detail. It was nice as an apsiring author to be able to talk with them and ask questions and get a feel for the industry and what to look forward to through the agent/publishing process.

Oh and in case you’re curious here is a list of the fab authors who participated: Carrie Ryan, Lara Zielin, Linda Gerber, Saundra Mitchell, Brenna Yovanoff, Shannon Delany, Beth Fantaskey, and Rhonda Stapleton.

And I recommend checking out their books! These are some awesome ladies!

Oh and as a bonus, I won a critique of my first 3 chapters and synopsis from the fabulous Rhonda Stapleton! Woohoo!

Can’t wait until next years Not Going to Conference Conference (and in case you’re wondering what exactly that is), it’s an online conference for those of us who can’t make it to RWA Nationals. And it’s totally free! So til next year!

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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

Grass Kiss2 by: Criswey


My face flushed as I stood on the path, watching a dark haired girl straddle her boyfriend. I could’ve lowered the binoculars, but having never got “on base” in my life, I was kind of curious.

Not that I was a perv or something. Besides, it wasn’t my fault that they chose to make out so close to our property line. The wind caught wisps of my brown hair, and I raised my free hand to brush them back.

“Kayla, what’cha looking at?” a familiar voice said behind me.

I didn’t need to turn around to know that Jeremy Nickelson, my “summer best friend” would be there. The binoculars slid from my hand as I whipped around to face him.

“Birds,” I blurted. My breath caught in my throat. God, when had he gotten hot? His blue eyes glittered, no longer hidden behind wire-rimmed glasses. And the metal tracks had been ripped from his mouth, revealing a too perfect smile.

He chuckled. “Birds? You don’t expect me to believe that, do you?” Jeremy grabbed the binoculars before I reached them.

“I thought you guys weren’t getting in until tomorrow,” I squeaked, rubbing my hands on my denim shorts.

“My dad wanted to surprise your dad.” He lifted the binoculars to his eyes. “Whoa, definitely not birds.” Lowering them, he glanced at me.

“Listen, I can totally explain. I’m not a perv—”

Jeremy ran a hand through his shaggy brown hair. “Like I care what you’re looking at. Besides, that chick is hot.”

He grinned again and I moved to fix my hair. God, since when was I self-conscience around Jeremy? Hell, we’d taken baths together when we were younger. We burped and farted and ate mud pies together. But that was before he got sexy!

“Maybe we should head back now. Dad will probably let us take his boat out,” I said.

 He caught my arm. “C’mon, I just got here. And I came all this way to find you.” Jeremy handed the binoculars back to me. “You don’t have to stop watching because of me,” he teased.

I slugged him in the arm then raised the lenses to my eyes. “They’re gone. Probably heard you panting.”

“Yeah, my panting and your drooling.” He laughed. Then his face turned serious. “So have you…you know?” 

The binoculars slipped again, but this time I caught them by the cord. “Are you asking if I’ve done it?”

His cheeks flushed.

“No,” I said. “What about you?”

Jeremy shook his head no. “I wasn’t exactly the kind of guy girls fell for, if you remember.” He kicked at a stone then glanced at me. “Have you kissed anybody?”

 Sure. I’d kissed lots of people. Okay, only if you counted my parents and little brother. And it wasn’t that kind of kissing.


Jeremy grabbed my hand, tugging me toward the field we’d seen the couple in. “C’mon.”

“What are you doing?”

He didn’t answer, but once we got to the area where the grass was pushed down, he took the binoculars from me and tossed them on the ground. His fingers brushed my cheek, before he bent down, lips brushing mine.

My pulse thundered in my ears as I returned the kiss. Jeremy tugged me down on top of him. He pulled back and stared at me.

“I’ve wanted to do that for a long time.” He sounded breathless.

 “You’ve been planning this?” I said.

 “Only since we were two.”

 My fingers laced in his hair, as his mouth caught mine again. From across the field, we heard someone giggling. I peered around and saw the college couple near the woodline.

“I thought they left,” I whispered. “I wonder what they’re doing.”

“Bird watching. Same as us.” Jeremy nuzzled closer and I realized that sometimes best friends made the best boyfriends.


Thanks to Cam for encouraging us to step out of the box. As all the gals in my crit group know, my main focus is YA Fantasy, paranormal, and urban fantasy. So doing something contemporary was a big switch up for me!

Mindy Buchanan


Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

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Beautiful Blogger Award

There are just two award rules: Pass this on to 7 other Beautiful Bloggers and share 7 facts about yourself.

Okay, so I know the award says to give this to seven other people. Well…my sister and I read a lot of the same blogs–so she’s already awarded some of my FAB peeps.

In other words, I’m only giving out 4 (LOL).

Hopefully this does not upset the Blog Award Gods (looking around for random storm cloud and lightning bolt). Phew!

So make sure to check out some of my awesome, fabbity-fab crit group’s blogs!

Cambria Dillon

Mindy Buchanan

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

Oh, and I have to say a huge thank you to my darling sister, who bestowed this award on me. I’d also like to thank the Academy and my mom, and my dad…Wow, sorry they’re telling me to wrap this up (hehehe).

So here are 7 random things about me.

1) I only eat white meat (but not fish). Sorry Mr. Cow, that means no steak for me!

2) I won’t call to order pizza on the phone or go through fast food drive-thru. I know, it’s like a weird phobia or something. I deal with clients all day on the phone and that doesn’t bother me a bit. But tell me I have to call in a pepperoni pizza and I get clammy.

3) I don’t like shopping. Hate the crowds, the traffic, did I mention the crowds? LOL. Okay, well I admit, I do like book shopping. But that’s the only kind.

4) I never get rid of any books. I still have all the books I bought as a kid/teen/adult. I seriously have my own library (hehehe). And if a friend needs a book to read, they come to me. I can’t part with them.

5) I’m obsessed with Star Wars. Absolutely LOVE IT. Give me Luke Skywalker and Han Solo any day of the week. And there may or may not be a spoof video that me, my hubby, and kids filmed about seven years ago (LOL). And yes, last Friday, that was me pretending to conduct the London Orchestra/Symphony while listening to the Star Wars Soundtrack.

6) I do character voices to make my kids laugh. I can do Stitch from Lilo and Stitch, Yoda from Star Wars (yeah go figure), one of the girls from Phineas and Ferb. I also like to try out fake accents (yeah some are better than others).

7) I’m deathly afraid of spiders, snakes, and heights. Won’t kill a spider myself because I’m scared it’ll crawl up my pant leg. And yes that was ME swerving when a spider decided to do acrobatics above my head in my car (not sure how it got in there because I always leave my windows closed).

Snakes, well my sister had to go all Ninja on one in my yard. A rattler that lunged at me and almost gave me a bloody heart attack. Let’s see, the heights thing: I can go on roller coaster, but can’t drive across big bridges (LOL). And I I get paranoid when we go to any place that’s up high and I have the kids. I spend more time jerking them away from edges and railings than enjoying myself. While my hubby goes climbing down mountains and crazy crap like that.

So that’s me. 7 bizarre things.

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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.

Without further delay, this week’s YAFF Muse pic was provided by YAFF Member: Cambria. Don’t forget to check out the other ladies stories, I’ve linked their sites at the end the post. Enjoy!

[b]Musical Burial by OfficialTwilamore[/b]


The bonfire danced against the darkness and I trailed my fingers through the sand. Across the beach I saw my step-sister Katelyn in action, torturing another poor soul. Even from here, I saw Staci Jakobs crying as her boyfriend let Katelyn manhandle him.

            God, Katelyn was such a bitch. And there was nothing I could do about. If I intervened in her “game” then she’d make life at home horrible. She had my father and her mother wrapped around her pretty little fingers.

            No one saw the side of her that I did. How many girls had I witnessed brought to tears because of her? Or how many guys did she lead on then toss aside? Everyone was expendable to her.

            “Faith, hey, anyone sitting here?” Aaron Clark said, blocking the bonfire from view. His shaggy brown hair, blew in the breeze. I met his gaze. His stylish glasses almost hid the cappuccino colored eyes from view. He was hot, in a nerdy kind of way.

            “No, go ahead.”

            He plopped down next to me.

My glance shifted back to my stepsister, his gaze followed to where Katelyn stood rubbing herself against Mark Dallas.

            “So why do you hang out with her?” he asked.

            I turned to him, noticing the pentagram necklace that hung around his neck. “I don’t have much choice. Either I do as she says or she makes life at home hell.”

            God, why did I just blurt that out? Okay, so maybe I liked Aaron. I mean we had every class together and he was always so nice.

            “Maybe it’s time for things to change,” Aaron said, his fingers brushing against mine in the sand. A jolt went through me, and I stared at our hands. For a moment, I swore I saw golden threads wrapping around us. This is where I belong.

            “What are you doing with him?” Katelyn towered over me, her shadow casting me in darkness.

            I shivered. “I’m talking to Aaron.”

            “No you’re not. I’ve got Mark all worked up for you. I’ve decided he’s going to be the one to take your virginity.”

            My pulse thudded in my ears. Was she crazy? No way in hell would I let her decide this for me. Then I saw her cell, her finger already dialing home. Oh God, she’d tell my father something awful.

            Aaron climbed to his feet, pulling me with him. “Go wait in your car for me,” he said.

            “Aaron, listen, I…”

            His eyes glowed. “Everything will be okay, Faith. Trust me.”

            I nodded then started to back away. Katelyn glared, hands on her hips, pink iPod shoved in her pocket.

            “You don’t know who you’re messing with.” I heard her say as I hurried away.

             He chuckled. “No, I think that’s the other way around, Katelyn. You, don’t know who you’re fucking with.”

            The bonfire flames leapt up and I stumbled to my car, locking the doors. A scream filled the night, then everything went silent. Moments later, Aaron appeared carrying Katelyn’s iPod.

            I opened my door and climbed out and he pulled me in his arms.

            “You’re mine, Faith. I’d do anything for you. Remember that.” He handed over the iPod. “Take a listen.”

            Putting the earbuds in, I turned it on. But instead of music playing, the only sound I heard was Katelyn’s screams. When I changed the music selection, there were more screams, but in different octaves.

            A smile formed on my lips and I tossed the iPod in the sand. “I’m free.”

            Aaron wrapped his arms around my waist, tugging me against him. “Yes. No one will ever hurt you again. I’ll make sure of it.”

            “What about the people on the beach?”

            “They won’t remember a thing.” Aaron grinned.

            Climbing into the car, we drove away leaving the iPod on the beach. And in the distance I swore, I still heard her screams. 

Cambria Dillon

Mindy Buchanan

Penny Randall


Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

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Can you get carpal tunnel from checking your email 42,000 times a day? LOL. Okay, so I’m a bit anxious to hear on some of my requests out there. And believe it or not I’m trying to stay busy, working on my current WIP. But dang it if that little Yahoo button isn’t enticing. And the refresh. Right, need to concentrate.

Speaking of said WIP I’ve got a massive and I mean MASSIVE plot twist coming in the next couple of chapters. I’m excited, worried, freaking, happy (did I mention excited?) that it works.

It’s one of those plot twists that I’ve been tossing back and forth for a while because it could tick off some readers. The thing is after lots of debate and back and forth with my sister and one of the gals from my crit group, I knew I had to do it.

 Not only will it create a lot of tension for my MC, but it’ll also explain why some of the characters in my story are acting the way they are. And although it’s going to be a shock, I think it’ll really make people love my MC all the more.

 So yeah, it’s one of the writerly (is that even a word?) decisions I’ve had to make. I’m already almost 1/3 of the way through writing this story and am so excited about it. It’s definitely something different and I’ve had TONS of fun writing it (so far—hehehe).

 So I wonder if anyone else ever frets over plot twists? And how do you handle them?

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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.

Without further delay, this week’s YAFF Muse pic was provided by YAFF Member: Cambria. Don’t forget to check out the other ladies stories, I’ve linked their sites at the end the post. Enjoy!

Gold By: Kizunachan

My fingers tightened around the bars of my cage, hands turning green then gray to blend in with them.

            “Tomorrow will be the big day,” one of the white coats said to another.

            Doctor Parcher held up a syringe, eyes glinting when he caught my gaze. “So it will. We’ll see if Giselle here can pass the test.”

            The test. That’s all they’d been talking about for weeks now. The outcome of my actions in their arena would decide whether their funding continued or not. God, I hated them. Almost as much as I hated myself for agreeing to come here.

            But at fourteen living on the streets, trying to find food, I would’ve accepted almost any offer. I’d never forget when Doctor Parcher found me in the alley, living in the box. How he promised to give me a home and food in exchange for participating in some studies.

            A bunch of shit, that’s what it was. I didn’t know his work would turn me into something almost inhuman. That they’d inject me with a new formula to meld animal DNA with my human DNA.

            And tomorrow, they’d put me in the jungle and watch me perform.

            “Sleep well, Giselle,” Doctor Parcher said. Most of the white coats left the room all accept Ash.

            His auburn hair glimmered beneath the fluorescent lights, his tanned skin dark against his white coat. When the door clicked shut, he turned to me.

            “Take this and tuck it in your boot,” Ash said, handing me a knife. “Tomorrow, you’ll have a chance to escape. I’ll wait for you near the falls.”

            His fingers brushed mine and I gazed at him.

            “Why are you helping me?”

            “Do I need to explain?”

            He knew as well as I did that if he got caught, they’d kill him. Yet, here he was giving me a chance at freedom. The one doctor in the whole compound who’d treated me like the human I used to be.

            “Thank you,” I whispered.

            Ash smiled. “How do you feel about Washington?” he asked.

            “Anywhere away from here.”

            “Tomorrow,” he said, turning off the light.

            The next morning, my cage was moved to the jungle. Doctor Parcher dropped me in a clearing. Already, I saw several of the white coats loading rifles, like they were joining a hunting party. And I was the target.

            Green canopies blotted out most of the sun, while wildlife chattered around me.

            “We will open your cage doors by remote. Then you’ll have ten minutes to hide before we come find you.”

            Swallowing the lump in my throat, I nodded. God they were sick. I recognized some of the senators and rich contributors loading weapons. It was all a game to them. But we’d see who had the last laugh.

            After a few minutes, the bolt popped open and I darted into the trees. But I didn’t go far. I didn’t need to. They had no idea the extent of my abilities. A smile spread across my lips.

            Pressing myself against the tree, I watched my skin change to brown and green. And the first white coat walked right by me. He never saw me coming. Knife in hand, I took him down.

            In less than thirty minutes, I’d left the pile of carnage in the jungle and rushed to the falls, where I found Ash sitting behind the wheel of his jeep.

            Wiping the blood from my hands, I climbed in next to him and he leaned over to kiss me.

            “My little chameleon is free.”

            “So she is.” I grinned.


After commenting, be sure to stop by other YAFFER sites to see how the picture inspired them:

Mindy Buchanan

Penny Randall

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

R.M. Gilbert

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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.

Without further delay, this week’s YAFF Muse pic was provided by YAFF Member: Cambria. Don’t forget to check out the other ladies stories, I’ve linked their sites at the end the post. Enjoy!

Autostop byCriswey


           Gravel crunched beneath my hiking boots, the sun blazing in the distance. I held my thumb up, hoping to hitch a ride out of this place. But I didn’t want to ride with just anyone. I wanted to ride with him.

            Already, I could sense his presence. Last time I’d seen him, I’d been with Grandma in the garden. And I remembered his dark eyes and shaggy black hair. The sadness in his eyes, that made me want to hug him. It was hard to forget my name on his lips when he offered me a rose.

            A familiar black SUV came into view and I smiled. He was here.

            The vehicle slowed then pulled over beside me. A tinted window came down, revealing the driver.

            “Bailey, what are you doing? You shouldn’t be here, not on this road.”

            “I—I fell hiking. I’m pretty banged up, but figured if I got to the road someone would help me.” No sense in explaining that I hoped it’d be him that came along. He haunted my dreams at night, no matter how wrong it seemed.

            “We need to get you back home,” he said.

            Fear enveloped me. “Can’t I ride with you for awhile?”

            The shadows around him shifted, his jaw tightened. But when his eyes met mine, I saw that same tortured look that often painted my own face.

            “Only to the border, no further.” His fingers reached for mine, but he stopped midair, then gripped the steering wheel once more.

            “Thank you,” I said. “I haven’t seen you in a while.”

            He laughed. “Be thankful, Bailey. Besides, there hasn’t been reason for me to visit as of late. Things have kept me elsewhere.”

            “And yet here you are,” I teased.

            “Because you called for me.” His smile faded. Trees blurred as he sped up. I didn’t want him to hurry. I wanted to stay with him longer.

            Clearing my throat, I turned to him. “You must know.”

            We pulled to the side of the road, right at the Stone Hollow border. “Know what?”

            “That I love you. Ever since that night at Morgan’s when I first saw you.”

            This time, he caught my hand in his. “And I love you. But you know that I cannot take you before your time.”

            Tears streamed down my face. “I know.”

            “You’ve got your whole life ahead of you, Bailey. Live it. Then when the day comes, I’ll come to you.”

            “But I’ll be old and you won’t want me any longer.”

            He chuckled. “I want you to get old. And if I knew of a way that we could be together without ending you, I would.”

            He bent down, cool lips grazing mine.

            “Please stay. Just a while longer,” I pleaded, hands tracing his pale face.

            “No, love, it’s time for you to get back.” Death opened my door for me and he kissed me once more. “Until we meet again.”

            Then he pulled away and I traced the spot where his lips had touched.

            Flashing lights brought me back as the paramedic leaned over me. “We’ve got a pulse!”

            Death loved me, but he let me go. But we’d meet again someday, it was inevitable.


Cambria Dillon

R.M. Gilbert

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

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