Pitch Polish

Below is my REVISED query and first 150 words… Thanks to everyone who commented!

TITLE: TERRA INCOGNITA
GENRE: YA Post-apocalyptic Paranormal
WORD COUNT: 98,000

Query:

Dear Fantabulous Super-agent:

During an attack by a wraithlike creature, seventeen-year old Haylee Wells falls through a portal into a post-apocalyptic future. Taking refuge with a group of humans, she learns this creature is one of the Pale Ones, who have propelled her through time to claim a power she didn’t even know she had.

She must survive in a world where the Pale Ones reign and can kill with a single touch.  A world where the supernatural is common: inanimate objects become poisonous organisms, humans survive – and fight back – with powers of their own, and Seers discern what secrets lie within the confines of your mind and heart.

Haylee’s own abilities become evident. The gardens flourish with a touch of her hand, her wounds heal more quickly than natural, and she can see the auras of those around her. She and her companions wonder why the supposedly immortal creatures see her – an inexperienced Seer with a knack for healing – as a threat.

She knows she should return home. But the journey to the portal will be dangerous, and her growing affections for her new friends, particularly the duty-bound protector of the group, leave her unsure in which time home resides. If she doesn’t leave, the Pale Ones will decide her fate. They will either kill or enslave her.

TERRA INCOGNITA (98,000 words) is a YA Post-apocalyptic paranormal.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

First 150 words:

As with most of life’s extraordinary problems, I felt ill equipped to handle the beast hurtling toward me. The monster’s yellow eyes focused upon me. Its tongue, dripping saliva, lolled from its mouth.
My eyes flicked left and right, looking for cover. A door to slip through. Anything. But could find no escape.

In a matter of seconds, it lunged for me.

I hit the ground, the air forced from my lungs. And, before I could take a breath, my face was plastered with my dog’s kisses. Laughter bubbled up in my throat, and I tried to shove the more than one hundred pound wolf-hybrid away to no avail. So, arms shaking, I managed to hold him several inches from my body, draw my knees up, and roll us both to the side. I made it to my feet and brushed strands of dark blonde hair away from my mouth.

– – – –

Original is below…

Hello all! I have decided to participate in the GUTGAA Pitch Polish blog hop! Yay! I’ve made so many changes to my query over the last (many) months, sometimes I don’t know up from down… seriously. So, I thought I’d see what you all thought. Any feedback would be appreciated! Thanks!

All right *deep breath* here goes…

TITLE OF MANUSCRIPT: TERRA INCOGNITA
GENRE: YA Post-apocalyptic Paranormal
WORD COUNT: 100,000

Query:
Dear Uber-Agent:

Seventeen-year old Haylee Wells thinks she lives in an ordinary world. Her biggest concern has been convincing her mother she may not want to attend college. Ever. But just out of sight something not so ordinary lurks. Hidden in the shadows of city streets and forests – just like the one in her backyard – the Pale Ones plan their coming out.

In the future, the cities are gone and the land barren. Mankind, fearing the deadly touch of the Pale Ones, knows better than to venture into dark places. Haylee awakens to this world, where the supernatural is common: inanimate objects become poisonous organisms, humans survive – and fight back – with powers of their own, and Seers discern what secrets lie within the confines of your mind and heart.

Taking refuge with a group of humans, she becomes fast friends with Glenna, who has a calming presence – literally – and is drawn to Derik, the duty-bound protector, despite his condescending-jerk quotient and creepy insider knowledge of the Pale Ones. He can sense when they are near, and his description of them leaves her thinking they may be the monsters on which many supernatural creature legends are based.

The Pale Ones know great power dwells within Haylee and have propelled her through time to claim it. When her abilities become evident, she wonders what the supposedly immortal creatures want with an inexperienced Seer with a knack for healing. She knows she should return home. But her growing affections for her new friends, particularly Derik, leave her unsure in which time home resides.

TERRA INCOGNITA (100,000 words) is a YA post-apocalyptic paranormal with romantic elements.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

First 150 words:

As with most of life’s extraordinary problems, I felt ill equipped to handle the beast hurtling toward me. The monster’s yellow eyes focused upon me. Its tongue, dripping saliva, lolled from its mouth. I flicked my eyes left and right, looking for cover. A door to slip through. Anything. But could find no escape. In a matter of seconds, it lunged for me. I hit the ground, the air forced from my lungs. And, before I could take a breath, my face was plastered with the dog’s kisses. Laughter bubbled up in my throat, and I tried to shove the more than one hundred pound wolf-hybrid away to no avail. So, arms shaking, I managed to hold the dog several inches from my body, draw my knees up, and roll us both to the side. I made it to my feet, but the dog remained with his tummy in the air, smiling at me.

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Meet and Greet…

Well… hello, all!

So, I just came across something very awesome – GUTGAA (Gearing Up to Get an Agent) hosted by Deana Barnhart.  I was pretty nervous to sign up (which I just did yesterday) but thought, “Hm.  Well, I do want an agent… And I do want to meet other writers like me… So, what do I have to lose?”  So, I signed up!

I’m so glad (excited and nervous still) to participate in the bloghop.  Go here to see everyone who is participating.  This is going to be so much fun! 🙂

So, a little about me…

I am 29-years old (often mistaken for 18) and the mother of a fearless (except for bees), acrobatic 2-year old girl. I write fantasy (mostly YA paranormal romance) and am currently querying my novel TERRA INCOGNITA to agents… not going so well yet.  I studied art (with a mix of art history and creative writing) in college and love drawing scenes and characters from my own stories.  I’m a progressively worsening klutz and always hurting myself… and I like baking, storms, rainbows, and photography.

 

And now, to answer the “Meet and Greet” questions:

Where do you write?  Wherever I can… I always carry a notebook (various sizes) with me.  At home, I have two main places.  If I really need quiet and solitude to focus, I lock myself in the little office I have set up in my bedroom.  But, mostly, I sit in the living room, on the couch, while my 2-year old watches Nick, Jr.

Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?  There is a cat on my kitchen table.  A very large, sleeping cat.  If he gets any larger, he will have to diet. I know, very unsanitary… but it beats the times when there are two cats sleeping on said table.

Favorite time to write? First thing in the morning (because it’s often the first thing I think about) after feeding my daughter, my animal friends, and myself… OR late at night, when I feel more creative.

Drink of choice while writing? Definitely water… which, most of the time, I forget is even there.  If it’s cold out, I might drink hot cocoa or tea… Mmm… I’m ready for cold weather.

When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?  I do better with silence when writing (can only listen to music when working on visual art) though I am getting much better at writing with Nick, Jr. on the TV.  🙂  Music, however, is a must for inspiration before I write.

What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?  My dreams are most often my inspiration, as with my first manuscript… but music has recently been inspiring my work… My latest idea (I’m only just beginning the research phase) was partially inspired by a song called “I Believe in You” by Don Williams, specifically by the line “I believe in magic.”  It made me think of romance, magic, and cowboys (since the song is an older country song)… and the rest is top secret, for now.  🙂

What’s your most valuable writing tip?  Well, there are so many great writing tips out there… so I’ll stick with the most basic.  Make time to write when/wherever you can.  Keep pen and paper with you at all times.  That way you’re always ready.  When inspiration (or boredom) strikes, write!  Eh, it’s obvious but valuable… I think.

There you have it!  Now hop on over to another blog on the list!
Thanks for stopping by!

Just wanted to share…

Hey all…

I just wanted to share this post with you guys.

Thanks for reading.  I’ll update before too long, I’m sure. 😉

Review of Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator

Spookygirl: Paranormal InvestigatorSpookygirl: Paranormal Investigator by Jill Baguchinsky

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had the privilege of reading an advance copy of Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator and loved it! It was smart, funny, and had it’s scary moments. Though I don’t know much about paranormal investigations and all of the equipment involved, I have read and seen my fair share of books and shows about them, and it seems as though Ms. Baguchinsky has done her research. Violet is an awesome MC – I loved her immediately – and the secondary characters were fleshed out enough to make them likable and interesting enough to make me want to know more. The story was structured and paced well, and the main mystery was very compelling – I wanted to find the answers almost as much as Violet did.

I would definitely recommend Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator. Anyone who loves ghost stories and mysteries will enjoy this book. I am rating it at 4.5 stars (though that’s not technically possible on here) because I more than “really liked it” but reserve “it was amazing” for only a select few reads.

View all my reviews

Entered Pitch. Won Request!

Hello all!

So… I stumbled across a 35-word pitch contest here and won a request for a full of Terra Incognita from an editor at Entangled Publishing!  Very excited and nervous!  It will probably be a while before I know if they want it, though.  In the meantime, I will continue querying agents… I’ve gotta spark some interest somewhere, right?  Hm….  And I will continue to write, as well, though I have slacked off this past week or so.

Also, other cool news… I won an ARC of Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator (the winner of the 2011 ABNA in the YA category).  The copy is in the mail, and the book is due in stores on August 16th.  If you want to check out the author’s blog, you can find it here.  I’m looking forward to reading her book!

To-Read List…

Since this is (mostly) a writing blog, I thought it only fitting to include a post about the books I’m looking forward to purchasing and reading in the not-too-distant future.  So, here we go:

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness, realeased 10 July 2012 (if you haven’t read the first book A Discovery of Witches, and you like that sort of thing, check it out)

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, released 1o July 2012 (she was born in Kentucky, so that’s exciting to me, since I went to college and lived there for a while — and where I live in southern Ohio might as well be Kentucky anyway… I’m just sayin’)

Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz, released 31 July 2012 (whether or not you like Dean Koontz, you may want to try out the Odd Thomas series — paranormal mystery/thriller — they are a lot of fun, so start with the first one… Also they’ve made it into a movie coming out next year, starring Anton Yelchin — I’m totally going to see it!)

The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle, released 25 September 2012 (this is definitely an interesting concept — sounds fantastic!)

There are a ton more, I’m sure… and a lot I still haven’t read that’ve been out for a while already (like book 2 in the Chemical Garden trilogy, Fever by Lauren DeStefano — if you haven’t, you should definitely check out her website, facebook, and twitter… very entertaining and helpful for readers and writers alike — I love her!)  And because it’s coming out next year:

Sever (Chemical Garden Trilogy #3) released 12 February 2013

If I think of more, I’ll add them!

Enjoy!

Just Wanted to Share…

Hey there…  I promised a little while back to share my most recent work.  Tentatively entitled 3 Wishes, it’s a YA story involving fairy tales, a curse, a genie, and true love.  You can find a description here.

Here is the curse:

Your power achieved:
For an eternity you will see
True Love weaved
For all but thee;
 
Cursed with the power
Of wishes three,
Until the hour
Your flame recedes.
 
But this outcome,
One may forestall;
When they succumb
The One for the All.
 
With the Tools they possess
(the Keys, a Book, and One Wish)
All things will coalesce,
As this Curse they abolish.
 
True Love you will have found,
Perhaps too late, you will see.
By Love, you will be unbound,
By her, you will be set free.
 
So to expound:
If you have doubt,
You have until your candle burns down
And your flame goes out.
 

There you have it!  Of course, now I’ve gotten back into writing Creeping Slowly & Evaporating…  and I’m kind of on a roll with it right now.