Archive for May, 2011

And the winner of the ebook copy of My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator is…


I’ll email the copy to you shortly…

Thanks so much to everyone for stopping by reading Kit’s interview! I hope you have a chance to read her book, it’s a great read.


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I’d like to welcome YA author and fellow critique group member Kit Forbes to my blog. Kit graciously let me interview her about her new release: Falling Through Glass.  In honor of her first YA I’m giving away an ebook copy of My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator to one commenter. So make sure you stop in and say hi. And please leave an email so I can contact you if you win.  I’ll draw the winner on Monday (Memorial Day).

Tell us a little something about your book and what genre it is?

A: It’s a time travel romance I feel will appeal to the high school crowd and up.

Japanese-American Emiko Maeda set aside her studies following the sudden death of her father. At odds with her mother and burdened with the guilt over her role in the tragic accident, she moves in with her uncle Jake and comes into possession of an antique mirror. While accompanying Jake to Japan on a film shoot, Emmi is caught in a freak storm and plunged through time–into Feudal Japan and the world of samurai.

Kyoto, Japan

The city of Kyoto is ablaze with violence and on the brink of civil war. Nakagawa Kaemon is a young samurai with a secret. He gathers information on those who claim to “Revere the emperor” but harbor their own agenda to control the country. Kae is honor bound to execute anyone who poses a threat to the throne even if it is Emmi, the unusual young woman he has come to love.

Shameless Plug: It’s available for Kindle: http://amzn.to/muYdy5

Nook: http://bit.ly/jVLl93    

All Romance ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-fallingthroughglass-549999-141.html

and directly through the publisher Noble Young Adult: https://www.nobleyoungadult.com/Books/288        

What character(s) do you like the most and why? If someone made a movie of your book, which actors/actresses would play your characters?

A: I think my favorites have to be the Shinsengumi guys. Seeing their anime versions in the old Rurouni Kenshin show is what got me interested in the history of the period.

While these actors were closer to the right ages back when I first had the idea they probably couldn’t pull off Em & Kae now, since they aren’t household name to most readers I scrounged up a couple pictures via a wiki and a scene from a film that made me fangirlish glee and go “That’s My Hero!”

Kazue Fukiishi as Emmi: http://es.drama.wikia.com/wiki/Fukiishi_Kazue

Yosuke Kubozuka as Kae (scene from the film Makai Tensho (Samurai Resurrection) : http://www.kitforbes.com/images/KubozukaYosuke_Kae.jpg


What are your favorite books? And is there any book in particular that made you want to become a writer?

A: Wow. I have a bunch. I used to love the old gothic romances of Barbara Michaels and all things horror and sweeping historical sagas. On the YA front I really like 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher,
Saundra Mitchell’s Shadowed Summer (still dying to read her newest), The Mediator series by Meg Cabot and her Avalon High.

I think it’s a culmination of the gazillion different types of books I read. It sort of all came together when I fell in love with Anne Rice’s Louis and Lestat and had ot continue their story in my head. and had to write it down.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without while writing?

A: That’s a tough one. I’d say coffee or real sugar Pepsi or Coke depending on the time of day. ^_^

Reality or Fantasy?

A: I have to say combinations thereof. I do love me my paranormal elements.

Your favorite snack?

A: Ooh another toughie. Popcorn and/or Froot Loops

Who’s your literary crush?

A: For the past year it’s been the members of my critique group. ^_^ They’re all talented and productive. *poke poke*

Lastly, what’s your favorite season?

A: We don’t seem to have seasons around here anymore. It tends to slide from too cold to too hot with only a wee bit of “Ah that’s the stuff”.

Thanks so much Kit for dropping by. I’ve enjoyed having you. Be sure to keep up with Kit Forbes. I hear she’s working on some fabulous new stuff!

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Hey everyone, I’m blogging at Totally 4 YA today.  Talking about getting an agent, my son reading one of my stories, and writing…

Hope to see you there!!!

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OMG, this is a great review on my story. So if you get a chance, stop by and see what  Ambur of  the Burning.x.Impossibly.x.Bright blog had to say.

I’m so happy that people like this story. It means A LOT to me. Sniffle (LOL).

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Finally, I can announce that I’ve accepted representation from Denise Barone of the Barone Literary Agency! This morning I had a mini-freak out moment when I emailed to tell her I accepted and my email bounced (OMG). At first, I thought the Friday the 13th curse had struck (and I wasn’t even wearing ridiculous high heels or being chased by an axe wielding maniac).

Luckily, after a few attempts, I got it to go through. So SQUEEEEEEEE…this all seems SO SO SO surreal. And I can actually say: I’VE GOT AN AGENT. MY AGENT. LET ME GET WITH MY AGENT (hehehehe).

But seriously, this has been a loooong journey. 7 years, 8 manuscripts in the making. So take it from me when I say perseverance pays off. Yes, I was found in the slush pile. I have NO connections (unless you count my crushes on various celebrities—LOL).

The thing is the first story I ever sent out I got requests for partials and fulls on. So I thought: “Hey, this will be a piece of cake.” Well, it wasn’t. I got rejections (back when everyone wanted them sent by snail mail).  I continued to write other stories, research agents/publishers online, and try to hone my craft. The next story I sent out garnered more requests, and ultimately rejections. Same for the next three stories.

Then two years ago, I decided to do the mentor program through Romance Divas. I got paired up with Lee Bross, who helped me significantly. I learned where some of my weak points were and for three months she helped me strengthen my writing.

The story I wrote after taking part in the program really seemed to sit well with the agents. I got actual “feedback”. This helped me to pinpoint what I was doing wrong. And to get personalized rejections from agents is HUGE (and rare—LOL).

Then a critique group asked if I’d like to fill in for the summer because one of their members would be out. I agreed. Let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I made. They were hardcore, but I learned a TON from them. At the end of the summer we parted ways, but I knew they’d taught be a lot about my writing.

This brings us to last year, when I joined YAFF (Ya Ficition Fanatics) a by-application-only critique group. Here, I got a chance to meet ten other fabulous ladies who became not only my best friends but “writing buddies” as well. These gals helped to shape my writing. Both old members and new. They provided me with great feedback as well as support and encouragement. And they were/are brutally honest. If something isn’t working, they’ll let you know. But at the same time if they love aspects of the story, they point that out too.

The point is they prepared me for this moment. They didn’t let me get lazy with my writing. Trust me, these girls let me know if they thought I wasn’t being true to a character or if I tried to give quick/easy descriptions/plot twists when I was capable of something bigger. Here’s the thing, all of this took time.

And I admit, I didn’t stick to the traditional route. In November, I decided (while working on TFGF) that I wanted my stories read. So I subbed some of my stuff out to e-pubs/small publishers. In December, I signed my first book contract with Astraea Press. I still wanted to pursue an agent, but I also knew I wanted people to read my stories. Even if I never make it big, this has always been my main goal. To share my stories with others.

At the end of March I started querying TFGF. It got requests (yay), but I tried not to get my hopes up. I sent my letters out in batches. If I got a request, I sent out another query. If I got a rejection, I sent out another query.

Then I came across a newer agent. I verified she was legit (on Preditors and Editors) and sent out a query. The best decision I’d ever made. Denise got back to me within 24 hours requesting a full MS. Then five or six hours later she emailed me again to offer rep. She included extensive notes about revisions etc. At that moment, I had other partials/fulls out so I emailed all the agents involved and let them know about the offer. And I waited (which is way harder than it sounds).

And the rest, as they say, is history.

This WASN’T an overnight thing. I spent 7 years working my tail off. I read articles on writing. I followed agent/author/publisher blogs. I joined Query Tracker and Agent Query. Whenever I had the chance, I entered contests in order to get feedback. I joined a crit group (which was one of my most instrumental choices I’ve ever made). But most importantly, I KEPT WRITING! The only way to get better is to practice.

So, if you’re in the querying trenches, hang in there. And remember, anything worth having is worth fighting for. You want to get an agent or be published? Then work hard for it.

Looking back, I’m glad it’s taken me this long to get an agent. Because let’s face it, the harder we have to work for something, the more we’ll appreciate it!

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So today is the day that decides everything. Okay, so I might be acting a little dramatic. LOL. It’s been a long week waiting for the remaining agents to get in contact. And by the end of the night, I’ll be able to say: “I’ve got an agent.” Four words, mind you, that I’ve dreamt of saying for years. And it still seems so surreal. Like at any moment I’m going to wake up. Might need someone to pinch me (but not too hard, my fair skin bruises easy—snicker).

In the coming days, I can’t wait to share my LOOOONG journey with you. The “almost there” moments, the heart ache, the excitement, the hard work, and of course the lovely ladies of my crit group who helped me along the way.

It’s so hard to fathom that my childhood dream is on its way to being fulfilled. See Mom and Dad, all those years spent curled up with books and notebooks (when I was supposed to be doing chores/sleeping/doing homework) totally paid off.

I hope you’ll all come back tomorrow and share my happy moment with me! ((HUGS)). OMG, I just realized tomorrow is Friday the 13th. Hmmm…I hope I don’t see anyone with hockey masks lurking around my house (note to self: Do NOT wear high heel shoes tomorrow). That’d totally put a damper on things. Yeah, I know, that makes my life sound like a horror movie waiting to happen (LOL).

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Phew! It hasn’t been a crazy 24 hours. Next week, I should have some news of the agenty sort to share (squeeee).  A moment  7 years in the making. So stay tuned for an update…

In other news, yesterday was my anniversary (yay). And my darling of a husband bought me some books. See, he knows me too well (LOL). That’s right. I’d rather have a bouquet of books than flowers (ooh, maybe I should start a business called Bouquet of Books–LOL). He got me Divergent by Veronica Roth, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare, and Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt. They will be going into my TBR pile which is GINORMOUS right now. I’ve still got 14 books on my shelf that I haven’t got to yet. Although, I am making a dent (LOL).

And can I just say ZOMGDIDYOUSEEVDLASTNIGHT! The writers for the Vampire Diaries show are freakin geniuses. Seriously. Me and my sister were watching it and we had tears people! I love the twist with Elijah, Jenna, and John. Totally made the show. And I’m still trying to figure out what’s going to happen with Damon. Because I LOVE that character. Le sigh.

Tomorrow I’ll be spending most of the day at the soccer fields watching my son Chase and Daughter Erin play. Should be lots of fun. And tonight, I actually get to go home after work. That’s right. NO RUNNING! It’s like a National Holiday or something (snicker). I can’t remember the last time I got to come home before 8:00 pm. Oh. Right. BEFORE soccer got underway.

And that about does it with everything going on in my life. Will check in for sure next week…

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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!



Photo credit: Kakisky from Morguefile.com

Tiny dancers swayed across the dance floor, their multi-colored tutus gave me a headache. Already I felt the ballet moms’ eyes burning into the back of my head. They probably thought I was a perv. I mean, I was the only guy sitting in the dance studio. My balls itched, but I didn’t dare scratch them. Otherwise, they really might think I was playing with myself.

Classical music echoed across the room and I groaned. Why in the hell did I tell Katie Nigel I’d give her a ride home from dance today?

Because she has a nice rack.

“Okay girls, now move your hips like this,” Katie said.

My eyes bulged as they trailed up her long legs to her pelvis. Shit. I shifted in my chair, dropping my coat in my lap to hide the bulge.

Okay, breathe Damien. You’ve seen chicks dance before.

“All right. That’s it ladies. We’ll see you next Tuesday.” Katie smiled, swiping a strand of loose dark hair from her face.

High-pitched little girl voices echoed as they scurried out to their moms to put on their coats and tennis shoes.

Katie came out last and made beeline for me. “Damien, hey, I hate to be a pain, but do you think you could stick around for another fifteen minutes? I so need to practice my routine.”

I’d eat dog crap if she asked. My lips twitched. “Yeah. Take as long as you need.”

She held out her hand to me. “Want to watch?”

She had no idea.

I let her lead me into the mirrored room, my combat boots heavy on the wooden floor. Katie grabbed a chair from the corner and set it up at the center of the room.

“So why aren’t there any guys hanging around here?” I ran a hand through my blonde hair.

“Because we eat them up.” She rolled her eyes. “Trust me, all guys are the same. They hate dancing and gymnastics. You know if it doesn’t have a football or baseball in it…”

I shrugged. “I don’t mind ballet.” Especially if it meant watching Katie.


Katie smiled then dimmed the lights. Music with a heavy drumbeat pulsed in the air. She spun around me, her leg gliding over my head as she kicked up and out. My heart thudded as if it might burst through my skin. Her movements were almost ritualistic, the way they kept time with each beat.

She bent backward then twisted to face me once more. Her finger traced my cheek. God, if she didn’t stop, I’d have to make a quick trip to the bathroom.

Her lips turned up at the corners as if she read my thoughts. “See, you’re all the same.”


“I know what you’re thinking, Damien. Trust me. I know that look. You would follow me anywhere. Do anything I say. All for the chance to be with me.” Katie stopped moving. “The thing is, you don’t stand a chance. Because in the end, you’ll end up just like the rest of them.”

The rest of who?

Then the lighting changed and I saw the bones lining the walls of the room. The stench of spoiled meat made me gag. I tried to stand, but strong hands held me in my chair. Katie laughed, deep and throaty. Then her jaw unhinged, and rows upon rows of teeth gleamed like butcher knives.

I screamed, but no sound came out as she lunged forward. My flesh tore from my body, as she ripped into me. Warm liquid poured into my eyes. My blood.

“Damien, come on, get up. You’re going to be late for school.”

With a howl, I fell from my bed. Sweat drenched me.


She stood with her arms crossed. “I’ve been calling your name for the last ten minutes.”

It was just a dream. Relief flooded me.

“Listen, Mrs. Nigel and I are supposed to go to a purse party tonight. Do you think you can give her daughter Katie a ride home from dance class?”

I went still. “No. Absolutely not.”

Mom frowned. “You don’t have to be rude.”

“I’m not. I’ve got plans.”

“Since when?”

Since my effed up dream of being eaten alive by her. “I promised Matt I’d teach him some new guitar chords.”

“Fine. I’ll tell her no.” Mom stormed from my room.

She’d probably be pissed at me for the rest of the day. But I didn’t care. I threw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. After I grabbed my book bag, I headed out the door to my blazer.

I pulled onto the main road then sped up in order to avoid getting stuck behind the school bus. As I turned ontoMonroe Avenue, I spotted Katie. She glanced at me, a smile forming on her lips. I jerked my head around and stared straight ahead. No way in hell would I ever look at her tits again. As a matter of fact, I considered talking to Mom tonight about transferring schools.

For a moment, I thought I heard her laugh.

It was just a dream,” I whispered. Wasn’t it?

Thanks for coming by. Please be sure to drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Miranda Buchanan

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