Sunday, April 17, 2011

I decided...

To stop doing book reviews on this blog. I wanted to go back to making this one about me and my writing, not about other peoples. Instead, I started a new one over at this location and it's going to all about books, books, books! Come check it out!

I am really trying to get back into writing. So hopefully more very, very soon!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Freshman Affair, a teaser!

Hello all! It's Tuesday Teaser Time! (See. I am trying to blog more. I wasn't lying) This is a scene from The Freshman Affair, which I haven't worked on in awhile but it's been sneaking into my mind again lately. Remember, contemporary YA (yes I'm still calling it YA even if my MCs are freshman in college) isn't my strong suit but I'm trying. Let me know what you think!

Grace had finally pulled herself away from her homework at about one-thirty a.m. and had sunk into bed without even changing out of her clothes. When her alarm rang out loudly on her bedside table, she almost chucked the thing across the room. But then she realized it would just be one more thing she’d have to take care of before class, so she satisfied the urge by slamming down on the top with a bit more force then necessary. It wasn’t much, but it would do.

“Urgh… What time is it?” Her roommate, Casey, slurred from her side of the room.

Grace let out a big yawn before she responded, “It’s about nine. Sorry babe, I didn’t know you were here or else I would have just used my phone as an alarm.”

Casey sat up in bed and stretched, “Don’t worry about it. If you hadn’t woke me up, I probably would have missed my class. I didn’t pour myself into bed until about four.”

She laughed, “So who was he this time?”

At first, Casey looked defensive but then she let out a burst of bright, bubbly laughter, “His name was Chad. He’s on the football team,” she cracked her neck loudly, “He was definitely worth being sore and tired for.”

Sometimes, Grace didn’t know why her and Casey were still friends. Casey was still very stuck in the partying and hooking up phase that Grace had outgrown after she got out of the psych ward. She didn’t mind going to a party and drinking every one and then but for Casey is was basically a nightly ritual. Grace didn’t know how she did it.

But then Grace remembered how Casey stuck by her, even when most of her friends were calling her a freak. Casey defended her and told people off who said anything bad about her. Casey might have been a little loose in her morals, but she had always been a fierce and loyal friend. She was worth keeping in Grace’s life.

So instead of making some judgmental comment that a lot of people would, Grace just laughed and said, “I bet he’s saying the same about you right now.”

Casey tsked, “Please. After the things I did to that boy, he’s not going to be able to walk, much less form complete sentences.”

Grace laughed loudly and shook her head. “Hey, I’m going to call Tristan quick, see if he maybe wants to grab breakfast before class.” Casey nodded and started gathering up her bathroom bag so she could go take a shower.

But Grace didn’t get a chance to dial before a text message caught her eye. Gracie. If I could, I would punch your step dad in the face. Love, Reece.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

VDGP Teaser

Since I usually post an intense scene from VDGP, I figured I'd show you that I do, sometimes, let my characters be happy. Here is a lighter scene between Gwen and Jay.

“I’m sure you’ll get used to it eventually. You are stuck with me for the rest of your life, you know.” I leaned back against him and breathed in his scent deeply. He smelled masculine and musky, like he been holed up reading old books for days. It was a smell I had come to know as home in the last two years.

Jay wrapped his muscular arms around me and met my eyes in the mirror, “My dear Gwendolyn,” I rolled my eyes at my full name but didn’t say anything. Even though I wasn’t fond of it, it never sounded better than when it came from his mouth, “tell me about the dream.” I sighed heavily and considered not telling him. I didn’t really want to drag it back to the surface but I knew deep down it would make me feel better if I talked about it. And who better to confine in then my friendly vampire boyfriend.

Just as I opened my mouth to tell him there was a scratch at the door and I heard our puppy Howie whining just outside the door. We usually let him sleep in the room with us but last night we wanted some alone time and it was surprising how fast getting your feet licked by a dog could ruin the mood. I smiled and Jay dropped his arms so I could open the door.

Howie, our three month old Rottweiler, came bounding in. He tried two times to jump onto our bed but keep sliding off of our silk sheets before Jay picked him up and sat him on the bed. Howie jumped on his chest and started licking his face. Jay fell back onto the bed, laughing. I watched the from the door and smiled. I may have lost my parents when I was eight, but that didn’t mean I didn’t have a family.

Howie stopped licking Jay long enough to turn and look at him. He barked firmly at me once as if to say, “Get over here silly!” before turning his attention back to Jay. I laughed wholeheartedly and went to join them on the bed. As soon as I sat down Howie jumped onto my lap and served me with my daily serving of morning kisses. Howie was usually playful and loving but whenever we left him to sleep in his dog bed in the living room, he acted as if he hadn’t seen us in days. I giggled as he assured himself that we were really there and hadn’t left him. When he was satisfied, he flopped himself into my lap and panted. He was growing so fast that in another couple months he wouldn’t be able to fit in my lap anymore. I scratched him behind his ears and turned to Jay smiling.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Teaser... Er... Thursday?

Since I missed out last week, and am posting this two days late, I figured I'd post two teaser today to make up for it a bit. And there's a reward at the end. Just for you guys. This first one is from The Freshman Affair.

She reached for the door handle, but stopped herself, suddenly nervous. She looked down at herself and straightened her gray skirt that fell just above her knees. At that moment, she was very glad she had decided to dress up a little this morning. She had paired the skirt with her favorite long sleeved blue v-neck that showed just a taste of cleavage and had a gray bird that trailed up her side. Quickly, she ran her fingers through her wavy brown hair, took a deep breath, and pushed through the door.

Reece had been pacing in front of the doors nervously, wondering what was taking her so long. Right when he had convinced himself that he should go back, just in case something happened to her, Grace came through the door.

She walked up to him and opened her mouth to say something, then closed it again. He tried to think of something, anything to say, but his mind was completely blank. Not a damn thing came to mind. All he could was stare at her.

In some ways, she looked completely different. The last time he saw her, she was about three inches shorter, her hair reached the middle of her back, and she was still a girl, small in more ways then one. Now she had grown up, in more ways then one. He couldn’t help it when his eyes grazed over her chest and he couldn’t stop the blood from rushing to the lower parts of his anatomy. When he managed to regain himself, he continued his inspection of her. Another thing that surprised him was that she had cut her hair so it barely rested on her shoulders. Before she moved away, her long hair was her favorite feature. She had adamantly claimed that she would never cut it above her shoulder blades. It took him a minute to decided whether or not he liked it but he noticed it framed her face perfectly, causing her fair skin and delicate features to be even more striking. As she had grown taller, the bit of baby fat she carried with her up until middle school had disappeared completely. Super model skinny, no. Healthy looking, yes. Even with all these differences, just underneath it he could still the girl he’d grown up with. His first real crush.

She’s beautiful. Reece had always thought so, even when they were just toddlers running around on the playground, but it was different now. She looked put together and mature. She looked young and hopeful. She was simply beautiful. And Reece was surprised when his throat tightened and his mouth ran dry. Grace was affecting him more than any girl had in years.

Finally, it was Grace who broke the silence first, “Reece Brooks. What a pleasant surprise.” Her voice was soft and even, as if she was completely calm.

Reece took a few breaths before answering, trying to bring that same level of calm indifference to his voice. “Grace Reynolds,” he barely got her name out before she flung her arms around his waist. Reece tensed up, surprised, but after a moment, relaxed and returned her embrace. Grace was about seven inches shorter than him so her head was pressed against his chest and he could rest his chin easily on her head.

He heard her mumble something against his chest so he pulled back, “What was that?”

Her eyes were full of emotion and Reece thought he saw tears welling up in her eyes but they never spilled out, “I’m so glad you’re here.”

And here is the second one, this one from VDGP:

It wasn’t hard to find the crime scene. First off, it was less then two blocks away from the street Jay and I had been patrolling the night before. That worried me more than I’d like to admit. Dante’s face crept into my thoughts but I pushed him away. If I thought about it, there was a very good chance I’d have a breakdown. Yet another thing I’d never admit out loud.

Secondly, there could be no mistaking the bright flashing lights of the cop cars, ambulances, even fire trucks. A van with the words City Morgue painted on the side went by us just as we found a place to park.

“Damn. There goes the bodies. I was hoping to avoid a trip to the morgue if I could.”

Riley nods, oddly silence. I touched his arm and he met my eye. “What’s wrong?” I asked, genuine concern filling my voice.

He shivered once, “There’s a reason I never go on any of these things. I’m not good with violence and dead bodies and cops.”

“You could have stayed home. I wouldn’t have held it against you.”

He scoffed, “Bullshit, I coulda stayed home. You knew the second you mentioned Dante’s name I’d go with you. I couldn’t leave you to face any of this alone, and you knew that,” he sighed heavily before visibly shaking himself, “I’m not mad. But don’t pretend I could be anywhere but here right now.”

I hung my head, ashamed. Riley was the only one I told the whole story to, even the parts about Jay. And I know I shouldn’t have. He was right. I did know he’d come along if Dante was involved. The truth was, I wasn’t the only one to lose part of my family the night my parents died. Riley’s parents and mine had been so close that Riley called them Aunt and Uncle, just as I did with his. If Dante could be a part of this in anyway, Riley would be by my side the whole way. And it wasn’t fair to him.

“I’m sorry. You’re not wrong. I did know you’d never say no. I just.. I couldn’t do this alone you know?” My voice wavered and I hated myself for it.

Riley put his arm around me and pulled me into a half hug. His lips pressed a kiss into my hair. “I know.” He held me like that for a moment longer, then let me go. Part of me wanted to wrap his arm back around me and hide in his arms, but I would never allow myself to do that. Not even in private, definitely not at a crime scene.

And now for your reward:

A soaking wet Jake Gyllenhaal:
And for my guy readers,

(Click to see full picture. Too lazy to screw with the size)
Cause she is so damn hot.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TFA Teaser!

Here is another Teaser from TFA, since I got such good responses to it last week. This is right away in the beginning, the first time Grace and Reece see each again.

While he read down the names of students, Grace quickly jotted down a few notes about the class. All freshman had to sign up for a freshman seminar and Grace had chosen the one that immediately jumped off the paper. She knew this class would give her all the college, and life, skills she would ever need. “Zombies: Advice for College.” Even thinking the name of the class brought a trace of a smile to her lips.

“Brooks, Reece.” Grace’s head snapped up with recognition. Did he really just say…

“Here,” a deep, familiar voice called from the back of the room. Grace practically knocked her desk over when she swirled around to look. The two people next to her eyed her cautiously but she forgot all about them, about everyone, when she located the face that went with the voice.

There he was, Reece. Her Reece. If she hadn’t been staring right at his ridiculously handsome face she never would have believed it. It had been about six years since she had seen her childhood sweetheart, but she knew it was him. His had grown up, but she could still see the boy she used to know. A small smile grazed her lips. Reece was here.

They still do roll call in college? Reece thought idly to himself. I thought they grew out of that. He sighed aloud and responded automatically when his name was called. Guess not. He stopped paying attention again so the teacher read through his large list. When he had read the name of this class, Reece thought it would be a popular choice so it would be easy to fade into the background, grade wise that is. In everything else, Reece had always and would always love attention. He thrived on it. He had been the star point guard on his high school basketball team as long as he could remember. Liking attention sort of came with the territory.

His hand moved without thought across the sheet of paper in front of him, doodling nonsense. His thoughts drifted to his plans with the team tonight, but two words yanked him back to reality abruptly.

“Reynolds, Grace.”

A smooth, silky voice rang out from a few rows in front of him, “Here.” Reece gazed frantically around the room, searching for that voice. He knew he heard right, but he wouldn’t believe it until he saw her. Grace Reynolds wasn’t that uncommon of a name. Just because there was a girl with the same name, and voice, didn’t mean it was really….

Then he found her, and realized she found him too. When Reece met those blue-gray eyes, he knew there was no mistake. It was Grace Robin Reynolds, better known to him as Gracie Lou.

They looked at each other for a solid minute, then Grace smiled slightly, almost shyly, before waving and turning back around. Reece’s eyebrows crinkled. Was that it? Was that all he got? Just a smile and a wave? He shook his head. It didn’t make sense. Here he was, practically jumping out of his skin, and she just turns around, perfectly unaffected by the fact that they had just seen each other for the first time in six years?

Reece crossed his arms and sank down into his seat, completely unable to even fain interest in the lecture about zombies. Memories from the past bombarded his thoughts and long forgotten feelings came flooding back. His breath escaped him in a sigh. Gracie.

And yes, the Zombie class is a real thing. One of my best friends took it her first year in college and I fell in love with the idea. Hope you liked it!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday Teaser! Finally.

I was going to post a new scene I wrote for VDGP, but after Hands Down by Dashboard Confessional came on in the car, I needed to work on The Freshman Affair. The song is perfect for Grace and Reece's story. Perrrrfect. I came home and wrote the following scene (and a bit more) in all of fifteen minutes. The words just flew out. I love when a song can inspire you like that. It's a great feeling.

Alright, enough talk. Here is said scene.

Grace and Reece were doing more talking than studying, no matter how hard Grace tried to force him to concentrate. Their Psychology books lay all but forgotten in front of them.

“Reece, shut up already. You’re already falling behind in school and I’m trying to help you,” She stabbed his book dramatically. “Let’s get to work already!”

“Pssht. I don’t need school. I plan on getting by on my looks, thank you.”

She tossed her pencil at him and frowns. Reece quickly pocketed it. “There. Now we can’t study. You seem to have lost your pencil.” His grin was cocky and triumphant.

Before he could react, Grace threw the book from her lap and launched herself at him. She tried to pin him to the ground and wrestle the pencil back from him, but he easily rolled her over, pinning her instead.

“Bad move, Reynolds,” Reece declared, then started to tickle her. Grace shrieked, struggled, and laughed loudly all at the same time. She was insanely ticklish, and Reece hadn’t forgotten.

Happy laughter bubbled out of Grace’s mouth as she tried to speak, “Puh… Please,” she giggled harder, “I surrender!” She practically shouted at him. “You win, stop! Stop!”

Reece nodded happily and stopped his assault on her. Grace met his eyes, tears in hers from laughing so much. Reece’s smile faded and a look of intensity replaced it. He was still on top of her, impossible warm and close. For a moment, she forgot herself and Tristan. She let herself be the girl in seventh grade who had been so in love with him. She let herself get lost in those beautiful hazel eyes that brought back such wonderful memories from her childhood.

Then he started to bring his lips to hers.

Grace scrambled out from under him. Standing up, she kept backing away until her back hit the wall. Reece sank back on his heels and wouldn’t meet her eye.

“Reece,” she began, “I can’t. Tristan,” Reece’s hand shot up in the air to stop her.

“I’ve got to go.” He packed up his things and left without saying another word.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Lessons in writing

I used to think I had to start my story from the beginning and write straight through to the end. So when I would get stuck, I just gave up. If one scene wouldn't come to me, the whole novel would end up getting trunked.

Thank God I grew out of that.

I used to think I could only wing it. Planning and outlining were not for me. And yet, I couldn't finish a draft. I would get to about the 20k mark, and lose the story completely because I didn't have a plan about where it was going. (I knew how it would start and how I wanted it to end. The middle was a mystery to me)

But I now know that doesn't work for me either.

I came to a realization today that I wanted to share with you all:

I am growing as a writer.

I'm slowly but surely learning what works for me and what doesn't. My writing is getting better the more I do it. I am even getting more disciplined when it comes to a writing schedule. I am actually working at achieving my dream.

I know that I have a long way to go. I know that no one ever stops growing as a writer (hopefully anyways). But I'm on the right track. And it feels good.
Absolute Write
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AW Bloggers Unite!