Monday, August 31, 2009
So I proudly annouce the launch of a duel blog that will have posts for both Kendals!
You can find it here as of September 1st, 2009:
One writer, Two Genres
I hope you will stop over and visit me :)
Thursday, August 20, 2009
For more information go here - http://redrosepublishing.com/bookstore/product_info.php?products_id=445
Grace Aldridge is ready to escape to a remote family cottage for some peaceful solitude. She wants to celebrate her one-year anniversary of being cancer free in private, giving her the time to reflect on her battle and her victory.
Crashing her car, spraining her ankle and getting lost in the dark forest were not part of her weekend plans. When Grace stumbles on to Jack Robert's campfire, the handsome stranger tries to make the best of a bad situation. Left with no other option, Grace has to rely on Jack for help.
Despite the awkward circumstances, can Grace let her guard down long enough to actually enjoy the turn of events?
Friday, August 14, 2009
I am excited to announce my newest story, Scavenger Hunt, is coming alone great. I can't wait to see what kind of trouble bad-boy Karson drags Regan into as they race against the clock to complete the Hunt and claim the grand prize! Poor clueless Karson has no idea that he might have met his match in the spunky cheerleader. The fireworks will fly as these two battle to gain control of more than just a scavenger list!
I have committed to myself that I would hit the halfway finished mark this month...I may have set my goals high, but what's a glory of reaching a goal if it doesn't take a little sweat and hard work?
Stay tuned for some exciting snippets coming soon!
Monday, August 3, 2009
Yes -- to all of the above! (Well, except for the part about an agent laughing at me...thank goodness that didn't happen!).
It was a party (after party, after party and so on) until the blisters on my feet made me hang out in the hotel room for a night.
It was work. But the best kind ever! The workshops were super informative. Meeting all these great authors and hearing their stories was motivating and wonderful.
I did get to pitch Melody's Song to not one...not two....but three agents! And all three asked to see more!
So if you are an author, pre-published or published, I sooooo recommend going to a conference if you get the chance. The experience I had, the things I learned, and the chance to talk face to face with three HUGE agents, was worth the $ and the 13 hour drive and the week of vacation not spent with my husband (Sorry hon!).
I'm already planning on hitting the New Jersey conference at the end of October this year, but I'm dragging the man with me for the 12 hour drive lol.
I'll keep everyone posted on the submissions I sent out to the agents, but its up to a 6 month response time.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Why nervous? As you may have read on this blog, I have completed my story Melody's Song. While at Nationals I am hoping to have a few opportunities to discuss my book in detail with an agent or two!
Wish me luck! Once I return, I will be reporting on my experience and hopefully posting lots of fun pictures. Hope you check back to see them!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Below is the first chapter of 'Melody's Song'. This light-paranormal romance is a Young Adult read. After the chapter there are three links to other authors writing YA or adult sweet. I hope you check them out and please feel free to leave any comments! Enjoy!
“Shhh.” My eyes darted around the crowded cafeteria, hoping no one was eavesdropping. My nerves were already fizzled, and I hated when Cassie pronounced my name that way.
“You’re joking, right?”
“Nope, sort of wish I was.” A glob of green Jell-o slid off Cassie’s fork and plopped back into the plastic bowl. She continued to gawk at me, mouth hung open in disbelief. “Stop staring, Cassie.”
“Sorry. I’m just shocked you aren’t more excited.”
Art parked himself into the unoccupied chair at the cafeteria table. “Excited about what?”
I wanted to groan in frustration. Great. Art was the class gossip, it’d be less than two minutes flat and everyone in school would know I’d been called to Mrs. Perkins’s office.
“Mel is excused from fourth period Culture to go see Mrs. Perkins.” A hint of triumph danced in Cassie’s voice. It wasn’t often people had news that Art the know-it-all didn’t already know.
"Shut up! Really?” Art’s voice pitched an octave higher.
“It’s no biggie, so let’s drop it.”
“No way, babe. Being called to the Placement Guide can only mean one thing; you’re being put into training!” Cassie shovelled a spoonful of Jell-o into her mouth, speaking between bites. “Not that it’s surprising.”
“Yeah, it’s not like you have to go through Placement or anything. You’re guaranteed to be a Love Muse.”
“Stop it guys. It’s not like that.” Okay, I’m not blind to the oblivious eye roll shared between my two best friends. “I mean it. Just cause Cupid’s my grandfather doesn’t mean I automatically get to be the Love Muse.”
“Whatever. You’re this year’s Love. Even if you weren’t Cupid’s granddaughter, who else would it be? Cindy Stewart? Right. She’s only knows about lust, not love.” We all giggled. Looking over at Cindy’s table, we watched her usual flock of bees buzzing around their queen. The cheerleader had blond hair, blue eyes, and breasts the size of honeydew melons. No wonder she got all the hottest guys in school. My focus drifted to the jocks’ table and zeroed in on Jimmy Jordan. Even the back of his head was freaking perfect. His trimmed brush cut spiked out into short points at the ends.
“Mel, you better go. It’s almost time to meet Mrs. Perkins’.” Cassie jabbed my hand with the back of her plastic fork.
“Ouch. Crap, yeah I don’t want to be late.” I rushed to gather up my bag and books. “Meet me at my locker after Cultures and I’ll fill you in.”
“You’d better.” Art said, giving a playful wink before I dashed from the table.
I sat in the Placement Guide’s office and stared around the overly cheerful room, waiting for the counsellor to arrive. Various posters adorned the bright yellow walls. Commit to be the best. Aim to Inspire. You can make a difference one charge at a time. Lame. Lame. Lame. I pulled some fruity lip-gloss from my oversized backpack and dabbed it on my lips. The sweet strawberry scent calmed me as I smacked my lips together to smear the gloss between them.
The door flew open, and Mrs. Perkins waddled into the room. The short round woman stared at me over the top of her thick-rimmed glasses. A wide red lipstick painted grin made her entire face shine under the harsh fluorescent lighting. “Oh, my, my, my, Melody Cupid. I have been looking forward to this day since your father entered Placement.”
I nodded my head, not sure if I was expected to answer. She hadn’t really asked a question.
“Early placement. Not that I am surprised.” The woman gave me a knowing wink. The same wink/nudge/pat on the shoulder I’d been getting my entire life. Again, I kept my mouth shut, unsure what to say.
Mrs. Perkins gestured for me to stand. Her red face shone up at me, sweat glistening at the edge of her hairline. “Come, come, Melody, we can’t keep the Senate waiting, my dear.”
“The Senate?” The words almost caught in my throat.
“Oh my, didn’t I tell you? I have it here somewhere.” Mrs. Perkins rummaged through the mountain of files, paperwork, and junk food wrappers. I stared in disbelief when she pulled off a hard candy stuck to a pink piece of paper and popped it into her mouth. “Yes, here it is.”
My fingers trembled as I took the pink paper she held out for me. The Senate? Oh. My. God. Cass and Art would have a freaking field day with this. “Why do they want to see me?”
“Now Dear, I’m not going to spoil the surprise. Let’s get going.” Mrs. Perkins gestured to the door. She led me down a spacious corridor and I followed like a wide eye puppy trailing after a bone. Hundreds of butterfly wings flew in circles in my gut, and I had to swallow to stop them from escaping.
We entered the Principal’s office, and I stopped suddenly. Three people turned when the door opened, every eye in the room zeroing in on me. I didn’t recognize the lone woman standing rigidly behind the large desk chair. Principal Kessler stood on the opposite side of the chair and gave me a comforting wink.
I focused my attention on the man seated in the plush leather desk chair. Swallowing passed the rock size lump lodged in my throat, I managed to choke out, “Hello, Grandpa.”
I fumbled through the pages of the file folder, trying to understand what exactly I should be looking at. Not wanting to appear like a complete idiot, I studied the papers with as much interest as I could manage. They read like stereo instructions. I closed the folder and stared at the trio who sat watching me with intent interest.
“Melody, take your time. Read the file again.” The woman to Grandpa’s left spoke with a voice like melted chocolate. Her aqua eyes shimmered in the harsh lights. Looking into them, a wave of easiness seeped into my bones, invading my mind. In that moment, I had clarity. My stomach stopped twitching; the acid threatening to spew from my throat disappeared. I tried to focus again on the pages in front of me. The words didn’t look like a foreign language anymore, and my eyes darted from page to page, processing the information.
Andrew Peterson, nineteen years old, a student at Ohio State University, only child of Stephen and Margaret Peterson. Fourteen more pages followed with details about this guy. The list was extensive with information on everything from him being Boy Scout leader, his first car, his favorite bands, and even his Grade Point Average. Smarty-pants had an impressive 3.8.
I read through the thick file until I got to a glossy headshot on the last page. I sucked air between clenched teeth. My heartbeat hammered in my veins. Andrew Peterson was hot. A wide smile spread across his handsome tanned face, showing off straight, pearly white teeth and the dimple that pinched his left cheek. His liquid amber eyes nearly stopped my heart. Heat flooded my entire body. Slamming the folder shut, I tried to compose myself before looking up at the Senate members. My eyes darted away from Grandpa. I was so embarrassed by my reaction to the freaking photo.
“I don’t understand. Seems like a normal mortal to me.” I clasped my hands over the folder, not feeling like giving it back to them just yet. My fingers itched to open the file and take another peek at Andrew. Would I react the same way with a second look?
Principal Kessler cleared his throat and spoke first. “Andrew Peterson is a charge in need of intervention. Due to his age, and the nature of the situation, we would like to send you.”
Three sets of eyes watched for my reaction. Which, let’s face it, was utter shock. This had to be a mistake. I haven’t even been through Placement yet. Giving me a charge at this age was, well, it was freaking unheard of.
The woman with the soothing voice spoke again. “Melody, we feel you are the only one to assist Mr. Peterson. We will prepare you, but it’s your choice if you want this assignment.”
Words caught in my throat. My head waged war with my nerves. It wasn’t exactly an easy yes or no. Dangling a carrot like that in front of me, it was hard not to bite. A million questions crammed into my brain at once, all jumbling together and making no sense. I closed my eyes trying to focus. I knew somewhere in the confusion, there were questions I needed to ask, but I couldn’t get a coherent thought together. I flipped through the file again, my fingers leading me to his photo. His amber eyes pacified the shouting voice in my head so I could think. “Why does he need help?”
“He is at school pursuing a career to help his family, but he is destined to be a great teacher. A mentor for the generation to come.”
Vague. I’d always heard that the Senate had a way of answering questions with more questions. I looked up at Grandpa. His piercing eyes watched me with interest[A2] , but I couldn’t read his expression. Concern? Hope? Disappointment?
The woman and Principal Kessler shared a look, but Grandpa never took his eyes off me. He was the first to speak. “Andrew Peterson needs help. Is that not reason enough to accept our decision?”
Ouch. Andrew’s smiling face stared up at me from the open file on my lap. The pools of golden amber clouded my thoughts. Little goose bumps exploded across my arms. My head bobbed up and down in response to Grandpa’s question. Yes, it was enough reason. Something deep inside me pulled me to this stranger. I needed to help him.
For the first time since I entered the room, the trio seemed to relax, and a sort of tranquility filled the room, as if my answer actually had been unforeseen. Never, in our history, had a Muse ever refused to take a charge. It just didn’t happen. Ever. Was there even a choice? I stared down at his photo again. What was the big deal? If I didn’t take the charge they’d just assign his case to someone else, right? A flash of jealousy pierced deep in my gut. No, Andrew was mine. My cheeks flushed hot with heat at the intensity of my thought. God, I didn’t want to look at the Senate members, especially my Grandpa. I controlled my movements, careful not to wipe away the sweat prickling at the edge of my hairline. Taking three deep breaths, I finally looked up, a knife wrenched into my stomach. All three adults across the table were grinning like fools, knowing smirks on their smug faces. What have I gotten myself into?
What will happen once Melody arrives in Ohio and meets up with Drew? Find out of August 1st when I post some of chapter two!
Time to continue your way on the Summer Reading Trail! Click one of the links below to three great authors!
1) YA - Jennifer Feddersen - Shadow Armies
2) Sweet Debbie Mumford - Something Unexpected
3) Sweet - Sheila Roberts - Love in Bloom
Enjoy your stroll down the reading trail!
Today, I’ve put together a few questions for Cate. Let’s pick her brain and see what naughties we can uncover!
Ok, here we go!
How (when/why) did you start writing?
The first experience I ever had with creative writing was actually in the third grade. It wasn’t much more than taking the weekly list of vocabulary words and creating a story instead of having a quiz. I loved it and it stuck with me. Ironically, those vocab words happened to Halloween words, like vampire and ghost.
I continued to write off and on all through school, but when I was senior I realized that someday this was what I wanted to do. I switched from writing fan fic stories for my friends to writing my first historical romance – the one that maybe one day I’ll get back to.
As for writing YA, I just sort of stumbled upon it. I never imagined how comfortable it would be, or how easy my voice fits that of a teen. I think I must tap into my inner teenager, and that’s fun.
What do you write? Okay, the gimme is YA, but spill more details about the creations and babies of Cate!
Paranormal, I love it. I love reading it and that filters into my writing. It was the first thing I ever wrote, and it just stuck with me I guess. Another on my back burner is a …vampire romance, but I set it aside too. Right now, I’ve got two series I’m cooking up. The first is forbidden romance (I love that plot line) between a young girl and an angel in hiding. I hope for this story to continue through about four books. My general thought is that it will follow the trials of a sassy, but mild mannered girl who falls for an angel and through the story grows into a “Buffy-esque” demon slayer, protecting her hero.
Tell me 3 things that few people know about you?
I am an avid Star Wars freak fanatic.
I love dragonflies, and I collect them.
I don’t watch TV. Instead, I rent movies. Or if the show is worth it, I’ll by the entire season on DVD, like Alias (one of my favorites), Heroes and True Blood.
What is your writing process – are you a pantser or plotter?
I used to be a pantser, and to some degree I still am. I let the muse take over and write as the story unfolds in my mind. Or sometimes, I have scene or conversation that spawns a larger scene, and I just have to get it down. But after hitting some roadblocks recently, I realized that I need to plot as well. I discovered using a big foam board with post-it notes is AWESOME. I can set the board up across from me and I know where I’m going with the plot. I can see what scenes have come before and know that H/h can’t mention that yet, or so on.
I guess I write organically, but then have to use the board to plot.
What has been your biggest hurdle as a writer?
Finishing a manuscript. Oh yeah and those little devils called commas.
Worse memory from high school?
Sneaking to get a ride with a friend in her older boyfriend’s car, then he never showed up
and I had to call my mom to come and get me. She was mad because she had a no riding in cars rule.
Best memory from high school?
Being Assistant Stage Manager for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and having the cast party at my house.
Thanks for reading! Check back next Wednesday, July 8th when Cate puts me in the hot seat!