Monday, December 19, 2011

Meet Agent Lauren Hammond

I know, I know it has been forever since I’ve blogged. And so many exciting things have happened over the last few weeks. First, I was offered then accepted representation for PERFECTION.


Then I got busy going through the whole book… again. LOL! Then a synopsis write and sweat for the sequel, FLAWED (tentative book title). Fell behind on my beta reading for my friends.

Anyway, those are my excuses and I’m sticking to them.

As I said, I accepted representation from the most awesome Lauren Hammond. And here is an example of how hardworking she is. I’ve already received 6 requests from publishing houses. Lauren Rocks!!

So, now….

Interview first!!

A hardy round of applause for Lauren Hammond.

Lauren is a superagent extraordinaire at the wonderful ADA Management. And she is also an author. Best of both words. You can find her on twitter @NovelistLauren Oh and follow her blog Living in Literary La La Land.

Now let’s get to know her.

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

Hi everyone! First of all, thank you so much for having me on the blog today!

A little bit about me hmmmm. Well, I’ve been writing pretty much since I’ve been able to hold a pencil. I’m overly enthusiastic. I always try to be positive, even when I have to be negative if that makes any sense. And I interned with ADA for a year before landing my job as an agent—which I also love!

First thing that pops into your mind time... No cheating.

Favorite dessert?

OHHH tough one! I’m a sucker for ice cream. Any kind will do, but my fav is butter pecan. Yum!

What is the first thing you notice on the opposite sex?


Water or wine?

Depends. Water on weekdays. Wine on the weekends. LOL.

Tell us about the most awkward date you ever experienced?

Honestly, I’ve never had an awkward one.. I should probably knock on wood somewhere for that, lol.

Chocolate or Vanilla?


If you were alone on a deserted island, what is the one book you would like to be in your limited supplies?

One… Just one? Come on! Can’t I have two?

Alright… Alright… If I had to pick one it would be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Thanks for sharing!!!!

Now to the agenting questions…

Can you tell us a little bit about ADA Management?

ADA is a newer company, but over the last three years we’ve held our own. We have a talent division, screenwriting division, literary division, even a publicity division.

If you want to know more you can check out our website at the link above.

How did you become an agent?

I interned for ADA for a year before I became an agent. My job was mainly reading through manuscripts..(a slush pile shoveler), and looking for inconsistencies in the manuscripts. After doing that for a year I was offered a position as Executive Literary Manager, which I happily accepted.

I understand that you have recently made your first two sales—how exciting is that? Can you share a little bit about those or still too early?

Make that three J. I can’t say too much because none of them have been announced yet, but be sure to keep an eye out. You’ll see them and read about them very soon.

WOW!! Three!! As I said, Lauren rocks! My fingers are crossed. LOL!!

What is the most thrilling aspect of your job?

Reading. I to read. And I get super excited when I fall in love with a project… That makes the phone call I get to give the author that much sweeter.

What would you love to see cross your desk right now?

I’m obsessed with dark and creepy. Any kind of YA or MG horror novel is something I’m dying to read. Anything boundary-pushing too. I’d also really like some swoon-worthy YA romances packed with some tension and angst.

What is your ratio of queries to requests?

Well, I’ve been agenting for nine months and I only represent nine people. So I think that says enough. I’m extremely selective. Like most agents I want that I have to have this feeling. Or I love it so much I can’t stop reading.

Sometimes you don’t get that feeling as often as you’d like it.

When you do request a manuscript, do you usually request fulls or partials? And why?

Depends. I usually request a partial first and I’ll explain why below.

How soon do you expect to be hooked by requested material?

I almost always request a partial first because if I’m not hooked within the first three chapters, it’s a no-go for me. If I’m still intrigued by the end of the first three chaps, I’ll ask for the full and continue reading.

As an agent, do you mind doing edits?

Developmentally, no. If there are areas that need work within the manuscript I don’t mind suggesting things that might help make it stronger.

When you are reading a manuscript that you have an interest in, do you make notes of things that you would like to change or editing remarks?

Yes, actually. If there is an area that’s not working I’m going to let the writer know. Also, if they do make the changes, I’ll give them a chance to re-submit. We all believe in second chances don’t we?

Would you care to share a typical day of what you do when you take your agent hat off?

When I take the agent hat off, I’m either writing or reading. LOL. And when I’m not doing that I’m spending time with my family. We’re a very close bunch and sadly we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like to.

What is the best information you could pass on to aspiring writers?

Please. Please. Please. Don’t ever listen to anyone when they tell you to give up. I think everyone finds their voice in their own time and that can’t be rushed. I also think if I would have listened to the people who told me to give up at one point I don’t where I’d be. I always like to tell writers to hang in there, be patient, work on your craft. Believe me… Your time will come.

Thank you so much for visiting Lauren. You are absolutely the best!

Thank you sooo much for having me! This was super fun! <3

Lauren will be hosting a contest for me on January 2nd. So stay tuned.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Winner Announced


The winner is announced.....

But first, I just want to thank you all for participating and putting themselves out there. Part of the writing process, you know. I hope this was a learning experience for all. It was fun seeing something else besides the first page. And, I happen to love to have my toes curl. :)

I'd really like to do something like this again, but maybe next time we will do ACTION!!

I also want to thank all the great ladies from Oasis for YA for devoting their time to this. Thanks!!!!

Now the time we've been waiting for. (Trumpets sound)


Melinda Williams, CHARGERS! *Confetti and balloons fall on contestants head*

Tears build while I crawl through the tunnel. Barely to my feet in the janitor’s closet, a hand pulls me into the dark corner. As he presses my back against the wall his scent gives him away.

“Andre?” My voice cracks. Dang it.

“How did you know it was me?”

I can’t see his face in the dark, but it must be close because his words brush my cheek. “It’s not hard to guess when you’re so close.”

“Should I back up?”

“I uh…I dunno.” I sniff back the tears that didn’t get to fall.

“You’re upset.” He touches my hair and my muscles tighten.

“I’m just sick of everyone thinking I don’t belong here.”

“I don’t think that.” Now his mouth feels close to my ear.

“Ya, right, I’m not stupid. You’re harder on me than anyone.”

He’s silent for a long time. I swear my heartbeat is loud enough to hear. It only gets worse when his hand rests on my side where prickles break loose. “No, I hate to give you low scores. I just want you to fight harder.”

“I’m trying.” The words are shaky, but I’m surprised they form at all because his fingers are twisting the hair at the back of my neck. I push his hand away. “If you’re trying to distract me, you’re doing a great job. If you want me to understand anything you say, you better stop touching me.”

His hands drop.

“I need sleep.” I shake my head and take a step toward the door.

“No, stay. I want to talk about something else”


“So, you’ll let me touch you.” He pulls me back against the corner, voice thick.

“That isn’t funny.”

“I’m not laughing.” He rests both hands on the wall around me.

“You’re acting weird.”

“I know, but I’m drawn to you like I’ve never been drawn to anything.” He swallows hard. “Trust me, this is not my sort of thing. But I’m sick of fighting it. Everything has been about you for so long. I can’t hide it anymore.”

His hands search me in the dark. Running up my arms, over my shoulders, cupping my neck. His thumbs run along my jaw until my chin is trembling. He drops his forehead to mine. His breathing is sharp, matching my own, but the pounding in my ears is so loud I can barely hear anything else.

Simone,” he whispers before his lips finally close over mine. They’re so warm. His palms circle my neck and pull me in. I think my hands are somewhere near his chest. I always imagined my first kiss as awkward, slobbery, and rushed. Nothing like this.

He pulls back, but barely. I still feel his hot breath on my mouth.

“This can’t be real,” I whisper.

“It feels real to me.” His fingers run through my hair and pull me in again. This time he presses harder. “If this isn’t real, nothing is,” he says resting his lips against my cheek.


Love the part in red above. Nicely done, Melinda!! If you could please email me your first ten pages, I will make sure the girls get it. Hope your email is ready for all the feedback.

Thanks so much to everybody. I had a lot of fun with this contest and I'll be announcing more soon.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

STOP--1st To Make Our Toes Curl Contest

Voting time is now over.

It seems the readers choice is post #3, Rachel McClellan, THE DEVIL'S ANGEL. I must admit that was pretty toe curling.


The voting doesn't stop there.

Now it's time for the entries to go to the ladies from OASIS FOR YA.

As soon as they review all the entries, I will let you know the winner.

That being said, please stop by their blogs. Maybe even follow. They are wise, wise, wise. You can find the links here

And be sure to leave a comment below this post thanking them for their time.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Voting Time for 1st To Make Our Toes Curl Contest

As promised, even though a tad later than I anticipated, the entries are up. If you notice a mistake on your entry, please leave a comment below this post so that I can fix it up for you.

This was a very fun contest and I want to thank everyone who entered.

I was very impressed with the entries for this contest. I had to put splints on my toes to straighten them back out.


Voting Time: Starting now and ending Saturday, Sept 24th.

1) If you entered then please choose three entries that are your favorite. Please do not leave comments for any other entries except the ones that you have chosen. The comment equals one vote.

2) In the comment section tell the author what you loved about their entry.

3) If you made our toes curl in 250 words or less, you get an extra vote.

4) If you are a visitor, please follow the same rules as above.

As a side note: Since you are picking the ones to go to the next round, please read all the entries before you choose your favorites. That way it is fair for all the authors.

Another side note: The whole learning aspect of this contest was so that people could see what the voters liked about the passage. This might give you ideas on how to really make the readers go WOW.

Hugs to all. Good luck!

Sabrina--post 1

Title: Falling
Genre: Fantasy
Email: rainbow.starlight AT yahoo DOT com

I turned around. “Jack?”

A corner of his mouth slightly turned up, his once vibrant blue eyes deep with sadness. “Yes?”

“I’m sorry,” I said, the words almost coming out as a whisper.

He shook his head. “There’s nothing to be sorry about, Kat.”

Tears slid down my cheeks. I vigorously tried to rub them away. My throat closed up and started to make that weird hiccupping noise. Pathetic, Kat.

Jack had stepped forward but I pushed him away. It was already too embarrassing. “I’m sorry. It’s okay, it’s okay!”

“It’s not okay, Kat.” He closed his eyes, breathing in deeply before he continued, “I wish I could go with you. If there was a way, I would find it. I want to be with you, Kat. I love you.”

Time froze in that moment. Millions of thoughts went through my mind in the space of a second. Staring seems to be the only thing I could do. This couldn’t possibly be real. Jack couldn’t. The only thing this could be is a dream. I held my breath, hoping, waiting.

He sighed and turned away, obviously misinterpreting my silence. “I’m sorry. That was—”

I pressed my lips together before bursting out in laughter. A wide, silly grin stretched across my face. “All we can say is sorry. That’s it. You also have nothing to be sorry for because…” My hands rushed to cover my mouth. I can’t say that.

A voice deep inside my mind whispered, Why not?

Cheeks burning, I said the words that I never thought I would say to him, only think. “I love you!”

Rachel McClellan--post 2

Genre: Urban fantasy
Word count: 312

Christian handed me a small, unwrapped box.

"I really wished you wouldn't have," I said as I opened it.

Inside was a silver necklace with what looked like a dog tag hanging from its chain. I pulled it out and tried to read the inscription. It read: Αντέξει μέχρι το τέλος.

"It’s beautiful. Thank you. What does it say?"

"Endure to the End in Greek."

I looked at it closer. "Endure to the end," I whispered. The metal tag had been etched in a circular pattern reminding me of the symbol for eternity.

I turned around. "Will you put it on me?"

He took the ends of the necklace, and, after pushing my hair to the side of my neck, fastened it.

"Why did you choose that inscription?" I asked.

His hands moved to my shoulders. "I know I don't act like it all the time, but you have no idea how much you mean to me." He swallowed. "I need you to endure, to do all that you can to see that you live a good long life. I couldn't bare it if anything were to happen to you."
His body moved close to mine.

In one swift motion I turned around and stared into his eyes. Any thoughts of him thinking I was like a sister were immediately erased. He was looking at me with such passion that I wondered how he was able to hide it for so long.

Christian leaned his forehead against mine and very slowly his hands moved to my waist. My lips parted and air escaped. The sound must’ve startled him because all of a sudden he froze and closed his eyes. His jaw muscles bulged.

"I'm going to go set up a game or something," he said and walked away.

"Can it be twister?" I called after him.

He didn't answer.

Rachel McClellan --post 3

Genre: Urban fantasy
Word count: 215

He didn’t dare move. The sight of her in this place, meant only for the dead, entirely collapsed the world he’d so carefully created.

It was Eve who broke the spell first. She walked gracefully among the headstones, never lowering her eyes from his. Stopping mere inches from him, she tenderly took his hand in hers and moved it to her parted lips.

Lucien moaned in anguish. He couldn’t fight the attraction between them any longer. With both hands, he cradled Eve’s face. He leaned his forehead against hers, eyes closed. She nuzzled him with her cheek and when he felt her warm breath, he let his lips touch hers. A warming sensation raced through his body as if hot water had been poured into him. His lips lingered, wanting to remember this moment forever. Then, hesitantly, his mouth began to move, and his tongue slid along her pink flesh. Eve pulled him closer.

With their bodies pressed tight, the gentle kiss turned into one of longing and passion. All external sounds joined the dead six feet under; even rain’s icy touch left them alone. Together they had created a place of light and beauty, one of peace and serenity. Their kiss lasted only moments, but the power it created transcended time and all eternity.

melinda--post 4

Email: mbuttars83 (at) aol (dot) com
Title: Unsolved
Genre: YA PR
Set up: It’s the middle of the night, and it’s pouring rain. They’re at his family’s Maine estate where he just told her all his secrets and she finally understands him, but she's stressed so he's trying to help calm her mind.

He reached the driveway and turned. His eyes met mine briefly before he lifted his face to the rain and dark sky with his arms outstretched to both sides, palms up. Peace devoured me as I watched him soak in nature so pleasurably. His divine power seemed to glow around his noble stature. The most graceful thing I’d ever seen.

I had to join him.

When I stood before him, I matched his position. Drops of water licked the skin on my arms, face, and neck. I closed my eyes and let the supremacy of Mother Nature clear my head. I focused my senses on the setting, not letting anything else in. The sound of the heavy rain hitting puddles, the feel of water cooling my flesh, the satisfying smell of refreshed life.

Every inch of my body relaxed, and all my anxiety evaporated. Christian had been right. It worked. So easily, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t been enjoying this part of the world before. For the time being, nothing mattered. Something so simple, so beautiful, was more powerful than any drug.

When I opened my eyes, Christian was watching me. His white shirt had become soaked and clung to his carved body. His dark hair, stuck to his forehead. Hunger pooled in his eyes.

“Nice, huh?” He stepped toward me. I stiffened, certain I didn’t look anywhere as good as he did completely drenched.

I nodded and folded my arms. His stare brought stars circling. He slowly got closer and closer.

“You should teach that to everyone,” I said.

“I just did,” he breathed near my ear and pressed his palms into the small of my back. I lost the ability to speak as my blood flowed in rapid speeds. He leaned into me and rested his forehead on mine. His warm breath tickled the bridge of my nose. Mine came out just as rapid and heavy—I needed the extra oxygen to stay conscious. “Touching you reminds me of heaven. Literally.”

My arms came up over his. My hands ran the length of his arms and stopped just under his shoulders, my fingers sneaking under the hem of his sleeves.

A moan rumbled from his throat. “Do you know how nervous that makes me?”

My grip loosened, and I tried to back off.

He pulled me closer. “No, don’t.”

My hands returned to him. I shuddered, sure I could pass out.

“This is the beginning of everything that matters,” he said before dropping his moist lips to mine. His hands moved the hair from the sides of my face and pulled me even closer, making each kiss more ardent than the previous.

My head fuzzed, and my hunger for him made my knees tremble. We’d never been this alone before. His eager hold said he noticed it too. The delight from my blossoming feelings only increased when I thought of how extraordinary Christian was and how he loved me. It quickly grew overwhelming, but in a good way.

erica and christy --post 5

Name: Christy Hintz
Genre: YA Contemporary
Email: nc_hintz(at)

Set up: This scene (323 words) is when Shelby and Dane share their first (forbidden) kiss. Shelby started dating the "guy of her dreams", Bryant, after crushing on him for the past two years, and Dane had always just been the annoying guy whose locker neighbored hers...until recently.

I stood up when he did, and before I turned back toward the house, he grabbed my hand.


I didn’t get a chance to look up and see his eyes before his lips were on mine. There was nothing shivering in me now. Instead, every part of me melted into him. His warm lips moved on mine. Mine followed right along. I wrapped my arms around him and slid my fingertips up into his hair.

Before I knew what happened, he pulled away. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have. You, you have—.”

Panic rushed to my head. “Bryant.” The panic dropped to my stomach and I felt sick. How could I go from feeling so happy and amazing to feeling the gut-clenching guilt I felt now? “I totally forgot about him.”

“I didn’t.” It came out in a whispered groan. “I’m sorry.”

“I’m a terrible person.” I tried to clear my head after having drunk up too much of the starry night and firelight.

He tugged on my hand and led me to the house. He stopped by the wood pile and faced me. Too close. I’d forget again in a heartbeat. I looked up at him and he looked down at me. The dark surrounded us, a blanket hiding us from the world.

“It wasn’t your fault. You—. I—. Damn. Shelby, I’ve—.”

I put my hand on his chest to stop him from saying whatever he was about to say. “No, it was my fault. A girl with a boyfriend shouldn’t act like this.” Shouldn’t feel like this. I took my hand off him and stepped away. “I have to go.”

He nodded and walked me to my car.

In silence.

After the door shut, I rolled down the window. “Thank you. I had a lot of fun.” Lame. I’d had more than fun. But what was there to say when it ended on such a bittersweet note?

~~Angela --post 6

Title: ENVY
Genre: YA Fantasy
Setup: Nate wants to hate Envy for what she is, half-Atlantean. But she has no clue of her heritage and that her people are planning to take over earth. He thought he could stay away, but he fell for her after being forced to spend time with her because his twin sister is Envy's only friend since she moved to Saint Simon's Island. They've spent the day together and now there's some romantic tension he wants to ignore.

“You have issues!” I shouted as he walked away. The rain was pouring down, soaking me. But I didn’t care. With my fists balled at my side, I closed the gap he’d put between us. The closer I got the more tense his muscles grew, straining the almost transparent fabric of his white t-shirt.

“Me?” he demanded without turning. By the way his body flexed, I could tell he wanted to run, but he owed me some answers and I was willing to tackle him if it meant he would stay.

“You saved me, pulling me out of the ocean that first day, then we had that collision in the hall… you treated me like The Plague. And then today you invited me to the water park while Paige had to work and we had fun. It was one of the best days of my life. You acted like I was a human being, and one you might like and now, now you’re back to hating me again. What happened? Is it because your sister is my best friend? Does this have something to do with Paige?”

Slowly, he turned to face me. Flashes of lightening illuminated the beautiful contours of his face, his taut jaw and rain-blackened hair. His eyes were closed at first. As he pried them open, I could see their beautiful green backlit with flames of anger.

“I wanted to hate you, tried to…” I kept waiting for a but “I’ve tried to…but.” It never came. Instead, he tried to hurt me further. “You think I’m the one with issues when you’re the one who refuses to touch anyone or let anyone get close to you!” Nate shouted, finally letting full emotion flavor his words. “That’s why Paige is the perfect friend for you! Neither of you ever let anyone in!”

He started to turn away again. With thunder booming and slices of lightening splitting the sky overhead, sizzling and crackling, it was like a furious symphony playing theme music to out argument.

“I would let YOU!” I finally screamed. “I would let you.”

I closed my eyes, exposing my emotions made me want to cry and knowing that he was probably running away as fast as he could make the tears fall faster, mixing with the rain sliding down my cheeks. When I opened them, Nate was strutting purposefully in my direction. I was shocked when he reached out, thinking he meant to hit me, that I’d made him that angry. But the light in his eyes was no longer the fire of fury, it was the blaze of passion that only grew brighter the closer his lips got to mine.

Without hesitation, I stretched up on my toes as he leaned down, cupping the back of my neck and the small of my back, pulling me to him, like he could press us together and make us one. It wasn’t gentle like I’d always thought my first kiss would be — if I ever had one. It was fervent and filled with emotions that we’d both been holding back.

A.E. Martin --post 7

Title: Ravenous Dusk
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
Set up: Neither of them want to give in to their feelings, for different reasons: Kieran to protect her (MC: Blake), from something she doesn’t yet know about him, and Blake because she’s supposed to hate Kieran because of something he’d done to her. This is the first time they get close.

“You’re trembling,” Kieran said.

“Am I?” I asked. I hadn’t noticed. He moved closer then, and drew me into his arms.

“I’m sorry for the things you have to see,” he whispered. His breath tickled against my neck, and it made my body ache with something I tried to fight against. Despite myself, I found myself turning into the crook of his neck, lightly breathing in the scent of him. Could smell be described as dark? Because that was how Kieran smelled, deliciously dark. He pulled back slowly, his cheek brushing against mine as he did so.

“I would spare you from my world if I could,” he said. Damn it, he was too close, because I was barely hearing what he was saying, all I could think about was giving him permission to do whatever he wanted that involved those soft looking lips and my body. Kieran brought his hand up to cup my cheek, lightly brushing his thumb over my bottom lip, which he was staring at.

“I wish I could,” he said softly. Since he was touching my lip and staring at it, I was sure I knew what he was talking about.

“Why don’t you?” I found myself asking. I’d slap myself for that later. His eyes were back on mine, and I felt paralyzed. The air felt like it was getting thicker, and warmer. I myself felt burning hot, and it was all I could do to stop my hands from tugging up his shirt.

Rowenna --post 8

Title: The Dispatch
Genre: YA Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic
Email: hyalineblue079 at yahoo dot com
The First: First time these two knuckleheads are honest with one another about how they feel.

I sink closer to Nick, and lean my head against his shoulder. He tenses.

“Don’t move. This doesn’t have to mean anything. Just…just don’t move.” I whisper into the night, as though I meant for the trees to hear, not him.

“I can’t.”

“I know. Please—I just need someone close, for a few minutes.”

“No—I can’t be close for just a few minutes.” He pulls back, but catches my face in his rough palm. “Damn it Cadia, I cared for you from the beginning. I didn’t want you coming with us because you make me—I act stupidly when you’re around. I take dumb risks. You know what the first thing was that I thought when you ended up with us that night? I thought, damn it all—I’ll have to watch her die.”

“There’s no reason to assume—“

“Yes, there is! There’s every reason to assume that any of us isn’t getting out of this. And I could handle that thinking about Vi or Kasha or myself, but not about you.”

I want to speak, to contradict him, but I can’t. Instead, I catch his face in both my hands and steady him. His cheeks are rough with several days of stubble, and I trace my thumbs over it as though I can smooth it away, smooth away the lines worry has creased between his eyes. I pull him into the moonlight with me, illuminating his face. He swallows hard—I can feel his jaw tense—and then he looks at me.

“That evening, in the lodge. Before they took you.”

I nod.

“I kissed you because I thought it was over. Because I thought they were going to…and I couldn’t imagine letting you go without having one—just one—moment like that together.”

He looks at me, defeated and defiant in one determined glance. Pressure—sweet, stifling and terrible—builds in my throat, and I capture his mouth with mine before I can stop myself. My arms are around his neck, my hands pressed into his matted hair. His body wraps around mine, engulfing me as he kisses back.

“Assets and liabilities,” I whisper as I free myself from his powerful embrace. “I think this is an asset.”

“You have no idea what kind of a liability this is,” he replies as he gathers my face in his hands and kisses me, fiercely. My hands move down his back, feeling the sinewy muscle flex beneath my hands, catching against the ridges of a deep scar on his shoulder. He leans into me, warm and real and as broken as I am, and then lays his head on my shoulder. I feel his breath against my neck and rest my cheek on his rough hair.

“We should either get some sleep or keep moving,” he whispers after a long pause.

Tish--post 9

Title: Scent of a White Rose
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
set-up: first time MC's see each other.

The guy smiled and I thought I would die.

Right then the clouds broke, and he looked like an angel bathed in moonlight. He was so gorgeous. He had to be about 6’ 2”, and solid muscle from the looks of him. Not bulky like those beefed-up body builders, but very athletic. Wide shoulders, broad chest, thin waist, and what I was sure would be strong, muscled legs. With the moonlight shining on him, I could see he had dark blonde hair, with golden highlights, cut shaggy and sharp. I hadn’t realized that I was half hanging out the open window of the limo, when he turned suddenly and looked right at me. I thought I would die… again!

His eyes were a so beautiful, and it felt like they were piercing me. They were an amber color, a rich brown with gold highlights, just like his hair, mixing together like swirled caramel and honey. He was amazing and the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.

Right then Jill came barreling out of the nightclub with her escort closely behind her. She was saying something like, “I only wanted a quick shot”, the rest of us started laughing from the car. As she started to walk past the beautiful man, he reached out and tapped her gently on the shoulder. She stopped and he started speaking to her. She kept glancing at the car and back at him with a huge smile on her face, then he handed her something and disappeared back inside.

I was so anxious to see what this impossibly gorgeous guy had said to my friend. I was sure it had to do with her only using the facilities instead of being a paying customer or something like that, as it was obvious by the t-shirt he wore that had the club’s logo on it, that he worked there.

When Jill got in the car, she sat there for a moment with a “cat-ate-the-mouse” grin on her face and then she handed me a business card. It was shiny and smooth and had the nightclubs logo and name on the front. I turned it over and found a hand scribbled note that read, “The scent of a white Rose fills my nose. Innocent, sweet, and someone I’d like to meet.” ~ Christian

My mouth was gapping open, Jillian was still smiling at me and Penny and my other friends were already passing the card around reading the poem out loud.

Holy shit! Jill proceeded to tell me that he had asked her my name and then scratched out that poem so fast she could barely see his hand move. He had included his phone number on the back as well, and told her to have me call him after dark in 2 days. Which of course, I did.

Jenny --post 10

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Title: Rivers Underneath

“Beautiful night,” a voice spoke from the shadows. It sounded deep, firm, steady. Male.

Emma’s heart skipped and she drew toward the figure hidden beside the garage.

“Gabe?” She caught her breath as he stepped into a pool of light, tall and well muscled. The moonlight traced the edges of his face and reflected in his sun-kissed hair.

“Hi, Emma.”

Part of her wanted to rush forward and wrap her arms around his neck, but she refrained. They had both been children the last time they’d met and their friendship had been the innocent friendship of childhood. “I thought I saw you in the woods,” she said.

He hesitated. A whisper of uncertainty cracked through his quiet emotions, still so familiar and comforting in spite of the years they’d spent apart. His calm permeated the air around him and she felt like she could breath for the first time since he’d left.

“I wasn’t sure you’d want to see me,” he said. “It’s been a long time.”

“Too long,” Emma said, instantly regretting her words. He didn’t need to know how she’d counted the years. “I mean, I haven’t seen you since you moved.”

Gabriel tentatively moved toward her. She could feel immense strength and vitality behind the steady, careful control of his movements, but stepped toward him.

“Five years is too long,” he said. “I started to forget.”

Emma smiled. “I haven’t forgotten you,” she said.

A small smile caught his lips. “I haven’t forgotten you either.”

Carrie-Anne -- post 11

Title: Little Ragdoll
Genre: Contemporary historical women's fiction

Setup: 18-year-old Adicia and 20-year-old Ricky were recently married in an convenience marriage to save Adicia from the much-older creep her parents were trying to force her to marry. Shortly after escaping Manhattan for Hudson Falls, NY, Ricky received a forwarded draft notice and will be going to Vietnam. They're in the Tunnel of Love at a county fair, and Adicia is offering her husband, who's in love with her, the chance to consummate their unconventional marriage before he has to leave in the morning. She has also just admitted she thinks she has a crush on him, even though she doesn't love him the way a wife loves a husband yet.

Adicia inches away from him. “Fine, if you’re not interested, you don’t have to accept my offer. I was just suggesting something I thought you might want while you still have the chance. I wasn’t gonna force you to do anything.”

He reaches over for her hand. “Hey, don’t be like that. You know I’d do anything to make you happy while I’m still here with you. I just know what happened to you with those two jerks before, and I need to make sure you’re offering this for the right reasons. I’ll still be your husband even if I go away without having consummated the marriage.”

She nods, looking ahead at the darkened water sadly. “Why does this water have to be so calm when in real life we’re swimming frantically against a mass of troubled waters that doesn’t seem like it’ll ever abate? And why did God, if he exists, have to punish me by showing me a glimpse of a happy ending and giving me a cute husband if I can’t even have either until I’ve been through yet another tribulation in my life? Other couples who are thrown together in an arranged marriage sleep together when they’re not in love yet. I guess I don’t deserve even that one consolation when you’re about to go away. I thought you loved me unconditionally, just the way I am. Who knows, maybe you’re just not man enough to want to do it. You rich intellectuals and limousine liberals really are all talk and no game when it comes to actually doing something you profess to care about so much.”

This last comment seizes his attention. “Is that what you think of me? I’ll show you who’s a man and not a mouse.”

Adicia feels butterflies in her stomach as Ricky takes her chin under his hand and gently kisses her. When he sees the awestruck smile on her face in the dark and that she’s not pulling away, he does it again for longer. He only separates himself from her when he sees the exit tunnel approaching, not wanting to get caught by the ride operator or anyone still walking around.

“How was that for someone you thought was a mouse and not a man?” he whispers as they’re walking back to the car.

“That was really nice,” she says giddily. “Now I know why they say that it feels so good and special when you’re with someone you really like, and not something someone’s forcing on you.”

“So I take it your offer to make a man of me is still open?”

“Most definitely.”

Stephanie S.--post 12

Genre: YA sci-fi
Title: The End World

His gaze was on me but I didn’t want to look at him. Before I could go around him, he grabbed me by the wrist. I yanked my arm out of his grasp but he was already surrounding me with his arms.

“Lana, stop,” his calm voice was in my ear.

“Fuck you! You betrayed me! Just like him!” I spat on his shoulder. I tried to break his iron hold but he wouldn’t budge. “Let go of me!”

“I can’t let you go out. It’s daylight. They’ll spot you.”

“Like I care. You lied to me. You all freaking lied to me!” I screamed against his skin. Tears rushed down my cheeks and I didn’t care if he saw me cry. I screamed again, louder, just an animal howl, expelling the rage in my chest.

“I care,” Alex finally answered. “And what if they spot this place, what about the others?”

I tried the ‘play dead’ strategy and went limp. “I’m not gonna try to leave, you can let go now,” I whispered.

His arms relaxed but he grabbed my hands, not letting go. Our fingers intertwined. I let my head rest against his chest and I closed my eyes.

We stood there in silence, salty moisture at the corner of my mouth. The recycling fans hummed in the background, only witness to our truce. He finally released me and I thought he was going to leave but instead he brushed my hair away from my neck and kissed the corner of my jaw. A shiver ran down my back and I looked up at him. His eyes anchored on mine, his brow furrowed with concern. In that moment, I could see it all, all the deepest parts of him: his concern, his maturity and his history.

I tasted him, my lips brushing his. He caught my kiss midstream and pressed harder against my mouth, raw in his eagerness. His tongue parted my lips, burrowing further into my soul. I stopped thinking for a second. I forgot about my father, about The Program and about my failed mission. There were only his lips on mine and his arm supporting my back. His teeth tucked gently at my lower lip and a moan escaped me.

My hand went up to his head, holding the back of his neck, my fingers laced in his hair.

Even though I didn’t want to stop kissing him, I pulled away.

I looked up at him, searching his face for regret. He smiled, the dimples I loved so much at the corner of his mouth.

“Did I finally shut you up?”

I looked down, self-conscious and worried I had enjoyed his kiss way too much.

“Hey, hey,” he raised my chin with his finger, anchored his eyes on mine. “We are doing nothing wrong, you know that, right?”

Were we?

Sharon Bayliss--post 13

Email: sharonebayliss(at)yahoo(dot)com
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Title: Stormland

Watching TV together...

“I don’t see how she doesn’t know that her boyfriend is a vampire,” Warren said, pointing at the television screen. “He’s got freaking fangs for God sake. And he never goes outside during the day, because what, to avoid skin cancer?”

“She’s not the sharpest," Lena said. "I don’t know why she would want to date a vampire anyway. All cold and hard. Not very snuggly.”

“So, you wouldn’t mind the bloodsucking and the whole undead thing if he was more snuggly?” Warren asked.

“Exactly. I--,”

Lena stopped midsentence. While talking, they had scooted closer to each other and their bare arms were touching. She stared down at the place where their skin met. The energy…or whatever it was…was flowing into her skin like she was a lamp that had just been plugged in. When she pulled her arm away it took an extra tug like the energy running between them had a magnetizing effect. Warren was studying her reaction. His cheeks had become flushed.

“What is that?” she asked.

“You can feel it?”

She laid her hands on his forearm. She could feel what he meant by amplified ‘energy’, like the life force or whatever it was inside her that makes her feel happy, depressed, scared, hungry, everything, had been turned up a few notches. And right now, since happy was her main emotion, it was swelling inside her like warmth. She could picture it running through her like yellow light.

Warren sighed deeply like he’d just eased into a hot bath. “That feels nice, you touching me. Like some of the extra energy is being sucked out of me. I’m lighter. Usually, it feels like other’s people’s energies are fighting with mine or contaminating it. But not yours.”

Lena couldn’t help but wonder what it would feel like if they had more skin touching…a lot more…and the feeling she got from him made it hard to care what the consequences were. She guessed he was thinking something similar and they just stared at each other for a few seconds.

Melinda Williams--post 14
genre: YA Contemporary
Title: Chargers
set up: She is on her way home, in the middle of the night, after a party/meeting under the school with an elite secretive society. This is when he first admits his feelings to our MC.

Tears build while I crawl through the tunnel. Barely to my feet in the janitor’s closet, a hand pulls me into the dark corner. As he presses my back against the wall his scent gives him away.

“Andre?” My voice cracks. Dang it.

“How did you know it was me?”

I can’t see his face in the dark, but it must be close because his words brush my cheek. “It’s not hard to guess when you’re so close.”

“Should I back up?”

“I uh…I dunno.” I sniff back the tears that didn’t get to fall.

“You’re upset.” He touches my hair and my muscles tighten.

“I’m just sick of everyone thinking I don’t belong here.”

“I don’t think that.” Now his mouth feels close to my ear.

“Ya, right, I’m not stupid. You’re harder on me than anyone.”

He’s silent for a long time. I swear my heartbeat is loud enough to hear. It only gets worse when his hand rests on my side where prickles break loose. “No, I hate to give you low scores. I just want you to fight harder.”

“I’m trying.” The words are shaky, but I’m surprised they form at all because his fingers are twisting the hair at the back of my neck. I push his hand away. “If you’re trying to distract me, you’re doing a great job. If you want me to understand anything you say, you better stop touching me.”

His hands drop.

“I need sleep.” I shake my head and take a step toward the door.

“No, stay. I want to talk about something else”


“So, you’ll let me touch you.” He pulls me back against the corner, voice thick.

“That isn’t funny.”

“I’m not laughing.” He rests both hands on the wall around me.

“You’re acting weird.”

“I know, but I’m drawn to you like I’ve never been drawn to anything.” He swallows hard. “Trust me, this is not my sort of thing. But I’m sick of fighting it. Everything has been about you for so long. I can’t hide it anymore.”

His hands search me in the dark. Running up my arms, over my shoulders, cupping my neck. His thumbs run along my jaw until my chin is trembling. He drops his forehead to mine. His breathing is sharp, matching my own, but the pounding in my ears is so loud I can barely hear anything else.

“Simone,” he whispers before his lips finally close over mine. They’re so warm. His palms circle my neck and pull me in. I think my hands are somewhere near his chest. I always imagined my first kiss as awkward, slobbery, and rushed. Nothing like this.

He pulls back, but barely. I still feel his hot breath on my mouth.

“This can’t be real,” I whisper.

“It feels real to me.” His fingers run through my hair and pull me in again. This time he presses harder. “If this isn’t real, nothing is,” he says resting his lips against my cheek.

Kimmy--post 15

Genre: YA paranormal romance
Setting: Sitting on a blanket in a park at sunset (under 250 words)

He started playing with his shoelace. I watched two lightning bugs float by.

He sighed. “Liz, wanted to ask you something.”

“Sure.” I swallowed hard. He leaned toward me.

He opened his mouth twice before he finally spoke. “Would you mind if...I mean, can I...oh, what the hell.”

He took my face in his hands, his eyes holding mine hostage. I felt my heart pick up the pace until it sounded like a motor. He hesitated for a brief second, then leaned in and almost touched my lips.

I closed my eyes. Every nerve fiber I owned yearned for his touch. I felt hot breath on my face as his breathing sped up. His lips brushed my right cheek, then my left. I didn't dare open my eyes in case I was dreaming. Finally, warm, soft lips pressed against mine, and in that instant, I knew this was it.

Chris Edwards was the last guy I would ever kiss.

Taryn--post 16

Genre: YA spec fic
Email: tarynalAThotmailDOTcm
First: make out session :)

Kalyn spun him around and yanked down on his neck, gentleness forgotten. A girl barely over five feet couldn’t hurt a guy six feet six, anyway. She crushed her mouth to his, kissing him in the way she imagined Tony would kiss, passionate, experienced, and arrogant. Taking, without any thought of what she was giving, from Jeff what she wanted, his preferences ignored. It had been too long without him, and too much of a fight to let him go.

How dare he accuse her of looking at Tony like that? She nipped sharply at his bottom lip and he let out a small groan in her mouth. When she’d only had eyes for him since the moment they met? She raked her nails down his back, feeling wiry muscle through his shirt. This is punishment.

But in the very moment she thought that, his arms were around her, pulling her up and up, until he no longer had to bend in two to reach her lips. She locked her legs around his waist and shuddered as he started to kiss her back with the same passion.

“This,” he muttered in between hard kisses, “is for letting me believe it.”

As her lips swelled red and tender, she melted into his embrace, forgetting the scene, the time, and the war brewing. She knew enough of real life to doubt it would last, but in that moment she didn’t care.

E. Arroyo--post 17

Title: Angel
Genre: YA supernatural Horror/thriller
set-up: not the first kiss but an important moment for both MC's.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered.

“Me too. About everything.” His voice came out bitter and he hated it.

She stiffened beside him and released his hand, lowering her eyes to the ground. “You don’t have to be so pushy,” she remarked, her voice tainted with pain.

He looked at her, his mouth hanging open. “Me? Pushy? You’re the one leading me by the nose here. I’m stupid enough to buy it.”

She gasped. “You’re such a baby. You tell me you love me and clam up like it came out of your second brain and I’m the one leading you?” her voice was high, the veins on her neck bulged.

He wanted to possess all of her. To take her right then and there and before he could even think of all the negative consequences of _that_ action, he pulled her tight against him, pinning her with his body and the truck, and claimed her. She squirmed under him as he ravaged her lips, tasting her. Anger swept through him giving him freedom. A release he had never known possible.

She put her palm on his chest and every cell in his body exploded in decadent ecstasy. He pressed himself closer ignoring her own warning of space. It only excited him more. He was done with this cat and mouse game with her. She was his.

He lifted her and settled her on the ground. She wrapped her arms around his neck and slipped forward pressing against his bulging pants. If he were a god he would make their clothes disappear. He released her mouth and ravaged her neck, and explored every inch of her body. He needed to feel her bare flesh against him it was what drove him.

“Jake stop,” she whispered. But Jake could no longer find reason that didn’t lead to this. He felt like a man dying of a thirst only she could quench. It was both pain and ecstasy. He took her wrist and pinned them against her side. Heat trailed from her warm flesh, her scent wafted up his nostrils into his brain. His senses heightened to the point where she could no longer hide from him. She was embedded in his mind and soul. He laced his fingers around her jeans and began to inch them lower.

“Jake, stop,” she whispered through a haze of thick air. She pushed his hand away. “Stop it.”

He opened his eyes to her and saw fear. Raw fear. He laughed. A deep throaty laughter. His body covered her. She couldn’t move. “I can take you right now and make you scream.” His voice deep. “We were meant to be together Angel, Always.”

“Why are you doing this?” her voice broke, sending sharp needles through him. He blinked and the sudden realization burned through him. Could he make her scream? Could he force himself on her? Isn’t that what Pat did to her? He breathed heavily and stood up, a searing pain flittered up his back.

S. Kyle Davis post 18

Title: Blackbird
Genre: YA Fantasy Thriller
First: First time Regan admits feelings for Taylor (sort of)
Setup: A bomb exploded and Taylor fell out of a window. She wakes to find Regan and Pyrrhus by her bed.

"What happened?" I repeated, willing someone to explain.

Regan walked over to Pyrrhus. He seemed annoyed by it, like he was conceding something by going around to Pyrrhus’s side of the bed. I was too tired to figure out their crap right now. What mattered was that they were both here. Regan stood next to Pyrrhus. He took a breath, and said, "They don't know for sure, but they think someone from the normal school must have planted a booby trap on my laptop. A prank to get back at the advanced class they couldn’t join. It wasn't a strong enough explosive to be lethal to anyone other than my computer." Regan's anger intensified his over-proper accent, so that each consonant burst from him like a mini-tirade.

"Did I break anything?" I asked.

"That's an understatement," Regan laughed humorlessly. "You basically shattered your leg, broke your arm, and fractured a vertebra."

"Oh, no..." I said, my eyes watering. "Am I... can I... walk?"

"It's ok. You're alright," Pyrrhus said quickly. "The doctors here healed you already. Your bones are mended. You still have a lot of bruising that will have to heal, but the bones and nerves are fine. You'll be fine in a week. You should be able to go back to your room tomorrow."

Relief flooded into me. "You jerks," I said with a pitiful attempt at force. "You empty-headed morons," I added, smiling as the insult from the game earlier came easily to my lips.

"What?" Regan asked. The two of them exchanged a look, probably worrying about brain damage.

"Don’t lead me on like that... Make me... worry." I felt the sleep threatening to engulf me again, and though every other part of my body wanted to slip into it, my head wanted to stay here with Regan and Pyrrhus.

"Oh, we’re the jerk for making you worry?" Regan asked in mock incredulity.

"Sorry," I mumbled. My weak voice ruined the sarcasm. I was almost asleep now. "I'll try my best... to not fall... out of windows... in the future."

"See that you do," Pyrrhus smiled. He walked up and held my hand, engulfing it in his two huge ones. It was nice and warm, and I felt my cheeks go pink. I’d never held a boy’s hand before. Regan cleared his throat, and Pyrrhus pulled away. My cold hand made me feel empty and alone.

Pyrrhus stepped back, and Regan stepped forward. He reached out and brushed the hair out of my face. My skin felt hot under his cool touch. As he cleared my bangs, he leaned over and kissed my forehead softly. "Get better kid," he whispered, his lips hovering an inch from my forehead. As I fell unconscious, I heard him add, more to himself than me, "Don't scare me again. I don't want to lose you too."