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Sunday, July 18, 2010


I have now posted all of the revised submissions I've received.  Please make sure you are happy with your submissions.  It will have REVISED next to the ones that I received the changes on.  If you sent me a revision, but I haven't made the changes, please feel free to email me again.  I will be informing the SA that all is ready on Tuesday.  Thanks and good luck.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Call for Revisions

Now that you've gotten some really great comments I want you to take those comments and revise your query.  You'll have a week to get me those revisions before I alert the SA that the entries are ready for her perusal.  Good luck! 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Problems with comments

It has come to my attention that for some reason my blog is eating comments.  This appears to be a blogger problem and I'm unable to fix it at this time.  However, I have been getting those comments that are dissappearing in my email and I continue to urge you to keep making them.  Hopefully, blogger will get this figured out soon.  If not, I will email each entrant  personally with a list of the comments on Teusday so you can make the necessary changes, if you wish.  Thanks for your patience and I apologize or the  inconvenience. 


Monday, July 5, 2010

It Starts.

Wow, guys, I'm impressed!  These are some really great queries and stories.  Now remember, please critique a minimum of 5 entries.  And please, give more than just a "wow this is great" response.  Thanks.

You will have until next Tuesday at 8 am EST to get those critiques done.  Then I'll ask for new entries from those wishing to change thiers before the SA looks.

You may not be able to scroll down and see all the entries.  But if you go to the side bar, you'll see a list of titles and their entry numbers.  Simply click on the ones that interest you and critique away.

I'd like for every entry to have at least 5 different critiques, so please start critiquing the ones that have less than 5.  Once we get 5 on all posts we can go back and start critiquing any and all that you want.  As always thanks for all that you've done. 

And please, due to the time and effort that people put into these critiques, please do not ask to be removed from the contest.  I will not remove the entry after critiquing starts.  However, if something big happens (ie offer of rep or a contract from publishing) feel free to email me and let me know.  I'll make sure that your entry is not considered by the SA.  Thanks.

Good luck!



Dear Secret Agent:

Please consider representing my 37,000-word upper middle grade novel, THE TWELFTH OF NEVER, a contemporary coming-of-age story.

Presley may be one of the smartest kids in her eighth-grade class, but she buckles under pressure – or more specifically, she alphabetizes. In stressful moments her mind grabs words from conversation or thoughts and compulsively sorts the letters, like a guard dog chasing its tail as robbers steal the loot. So it’s no surprise when signs from the universe constantly warn her: stay out of the spotlight.

That’s hard to do when her Elvis-loving mom, the school secretary, plays embarrassing snippets of The King’s hits on the PA every day. It’s even harder when the school’s biggest goofball nominates Presley for president and her campaign speech turns disastrous. Her greatest refuge from the drama is her adorable nephew. But Luke’s mom – Presley’s teenage sister – has a secret that threatens to tear the boy from the family forever, unless Presley can stop it.

Suddenly it seems the universe is out to get her – or maybe she's not reading it right. Perhaps the cosmos is whispering a new message with her troubles at school and home: Stay cool. Step into the spotlight. Summon your inner Elvis.

I worked as a reporter at The Associated Press and Los Angeles Times before becoming an English teacher. I also happen to be a compulsive alphabetizer since childhood. I’ve learned to quiet the volume of it, although my method did not involve Elvis. Thank you for your consideration.


If this were a movie, you’d be hearing an Elvis tune right now, the soundtrack to my life. Mom says she gave birth to me serenaded by his love song, “The Twelfth of Never.” And since I entered the world crying in perfect harmony, she named me Presley. Presley Ann Marr.

I try to enjoy his music as any self-respecting eighth grader would -- secretly -- but Mom is Elvis crazy. She even bought a potato chip on eBay because it supposedly resembles his facial profile. If you squint, one burnt edge sort of looks like his hair and those thick sideburns from the 1970s, when he was heavy and wore the sparkly one-piece outfits.

She had the potato chip shellacked, and she keeps it on a tiny foam pad in a clear plastic display box on her desk at work. Which also happens to be at my school. She’s the secretary at Greenhaven Middle, and I’m about to tell her the music has to stop.

First thing every day she plays a cut of some Elvis number over the PA system, instead of doing the school announcements straight. This morning it was “Jailhouse Rock,” the one where the warden throws a party in the county jail.

Deep down I love that song, but it’s always a bad sign when she plays it.

#24- Morgantown

Dear Secret Agent,

When seventeen-year-old Rachel is bitten and changed by Simon, a werewolf with a grudge against her uncle, she does what any sensible girl would do: run as far the hell away as she can get. The problem is her uncle's house in California is the only home she has ever known, and after a few days of driving east, she realizes that soon the Atlantic Ocean will put a flaw in her brilliant plan. Full of frustration and fatigue, she takes a risk and stops in a small-town hotel for the night, only to find another werewolf intent on changing her life.

Despite their rocky first meeting, the local pack leader insists that he can help, and not only with her new identity issues. Simon is still on the hunt for Rachel, and she's not even slightly capable of facing him. Yet.

As she waits for Simon to make his move, Rachel trains with the pack leader, learns to hold her own around other werewolves in the pack, and even makes some friends in the process. None of it will matter though, unless she can convince herself that even though she lost her best friend, her uncle, and her boyfriend Michael, Rachel still has something to live for. But she's not really buying it, because Michael didn't just die. He was murdered.

By Rachel.

Morgantown is a completed 98,000-word urban fantasy young adult novel. Although it stands alone, I plan on expanding Morgantown into a series. This is my first novel.

I am pursuing an English degree at Northwestern University. I am the co-founder and leader of an on-campus critique group, and was featured as upcoming talent to watch in the online magazine ( I am an active member of YAlitchat (a writing community on both twitter and ning) and an avid reader of young adult novels. I also recently won agent Jim McCarthy's first lines contest on his blog, (

I would be happy to send you my complete manuscript for further consideration. Thank you so much for your time!

             I wondered if the girl sitting at the front desk knew things like me existed. How would she react if I told her? Would she be afraid? Would she embrace it? Maybe she would hit the ground running, like I had. I watched with envy as she yawned and flipped through a magazine, glancing at the clock with longing. Her life was probably blissfully normal.

            “Rachel, why do I have to book the room?” Kerrie asked from the passenger seat. We’d been in the parking lot for over ten minutes, and night had long since fallen. I wanted to either get inside, or keep driving.

            I turned to her and pointed to the gashes on my cheeks. “I think I look just a little more suspicious than you do.” Every time I talked, I felt the thin, brick red scabs pulling on my skin.

            She sighed. “And my pale skin won’t be suspicious?”

            “You’ve always been pale.” It’s the blue bags under your eyes and the elongated canines she’d notice first, I didn’t say.

            “Do we have to stop here?” she said, glancing up at the blinking motel sign. The “L” didn’t light up, so the only thing visible from the highway was “Mote.” It was the only sign of civilization we’d seen in forty miles, save for a few desolate gas stations. City lights flashed on the horizon, but I couldn’t handle crowds. Not yet.

            I shrugged. “I don’t know how much longer we can keep moving."


Dear Secret Agent,

The morning after a literally explosive night on the town, a strange but gorgeous woman abducts you from your hospital bed, forces you to get dressed at gunpoint, then tosses you out a window seven stories up! You land, unharmed, thanks to her supernatural abilities. As she stuffs you into a getaway car, she explains that you posses powers similar to hers and she's been sent to protect you from a secret society that is determined to see the both of you dead. That is the warning seventeen-year-old CALEB DUNNELLY receives from the mysterious Scarlet.

After being dragged to a safe house in the suburbs, Caleb demands to know just what the hell is going on. The last thing he expected to be told is that an ancient brotherhood called Libra is after people like him and Scarlet. The reason those lunatics wants his head on a pike? They actually believe he will make the choice that will decide the fate of the world in the ongoing battle between heaven and hell. That bit of cheerful news is followed by the fact that Libra has vowed to prevent the predicted Armageddon, and will mow down anyone stupid enough to get in their way.

Realizing that his childhood crush, his sister, and his best friend could all be potential targets, Caleb gets Scarlet to take him back to the city. He has no clue how to explain this craziness to everyone, especially since he hasn’t completely wrapped his head around it himself, but there is no time to try and figure things out. Libra is already on the move, and when they turn a simple downtown street into a mystical war zone, Caleb is forced to rely on a power he’s not even sure he has. What is sure of is he must save the ones he loves, even if that means siding with hell’s generals, the Seven Deadly Sins themselves. The rest of the world be damned.

I am pleased to submit my young adult paranormal urban fantasy, SWAYED. This fast-paced 89,000-word tale of romance in the supernatural will appeal to readers who enjoy the passion and paranormality of The Mortal Instruments series, with a touch of the otherworldliness of Anita Blake. I’d be happy to forward the complete manuscript at your request.

I am a freelance writer, a columnist for Writer’s News Weekly—my column is titled Fiction, from the First Draft Forward—and an active member of First Tuesdays and YA Lit Chat. Per your guidelines, I have included the first 250 words.

I thank you for your time and consideration.

*    *    *

I’m going to kill him. Caleb found comfort in that thought. And he meant it this time. It would be quick and clean, and he could leave the body in a ditch where they were widening the highway on the side of I-70 west. No one would bother to start looking for at least a month, and that would be the last place they checked.

Even if someone caught on, Caleb figured he would make a pretty sympathetic defendant. At seventeen he was a student and a public servant to boot. He could imagine the news lineup: Caleb Azriel Dunnelly, local lifeguard, was acquitted of a second-degree murder charge. Jury says they ‘would have done it too’.

“Lighten up, Azzy-baby, it’s a party!” Martin, Caleb’s best friend, and the current object of his irritation, sat there oblivious to any plots to end his life.

“Don’t call me Azzy-baby,” Caleb leveled a dark look at Martin then glanced around their sectional at the back of Confessions, the newest club in downtown Kansas City. At least two hundred people ground against one another on the other side of one-inch thick glass. “You know I hate these places…”

“Not as much as you love me.” Martin grinned. The way the black lights overhead made his teeth glow was creepy.

“If love means a desire to bludgeon to death in a back ally. I can’t believe I let you talk me into this.”

“I can’t believe I had to talk you into it.”


Dear Secret Agent,

HOW TO SURVIVE ANCIENT SPELLS AND CRAZY KINGS is a 38,000 word middle grade contemporary fantasy.

Twelve-year-old Bianca freaks out when the chimney in her dad’s study explodes and transforms into an ancient Maya temple. And then the room turns into a jungle, one sofa at a time. Bianca and her brainy cousin, Melvin, set off to find their grandfather, Zeb, in the ancient city of Etza, where the people haven’t aged in 2,000 years. The cousins must learn to work together as they face loin-cloth wearing skeletons from the underworld, a backstabbing princess, and an ancient prophecy—one that says in three days the city will be destroyed. They’ll find Zeb and zip right out of there. No problem.

Except, Bianca starts to care for her new friends, and Zeb does not want to be rescued. The fact that a crazy king wants to serve Bianca up to the gods as an appetizer is just a minor technicality. But this ancient evil dude has finally met his match.

The ancient Maya culture is in the spotlight with the highly debated 2012 prophecy. I have completed extensive research, and the details are woven into the story. I belong to SCBWI and participate in critique groups. The completed manuscript is available upon request.

Thank you for your time and consideration.



Melvin and I sat face to face, the Checkers board between us. Ever since he
denied the fact I beat him last month, the board game had turned into a

“You’re move,” he said, eyes riveted to the board.

I’d been looking forward to this rematch all week, except I couldn’t concentrate. A heat wave had swept through my dad’s office. The kind of heat that sucks the breath right out of you. Sweat dripped down my back and soaked my shirt, like I was in a jungle or something. So much for my honeysuckle rose deodorant.

Melvin snapped his fingers in my face. “What’s wrong with you?”

Looking at Melvin was like peering into a mirror, if I were a boy. Same dark, twisty hair. Same dimples. Same green eyes. Except I wasn’t a nerd, or at least, I hoped not.

“Seriously. You’re dripping with sweat and it’s December,” he said. “You sick?”

“Nothing’s wrong.” Total lie. I stole a big ole necklace from my dad’s desk drawer. And I felt guilty. But I wasn’t about to tell Melvin. He probably wouldn’t steal a cookie. I moved my Checker piece.

He jumped three of mine. “Has your dad heard from Zeb?”

“No.” And that’s the reason I snooped in my dad’s desk in the first place. Our grandfather, Zeb, had been missing for two years. He was the one person who truly understood me, and my parents didn’t seem to care that he might be in trouble.


Dear Agent:

Sixteen-year-old gothic outcast Natalie Sugarman bartered her soul for her dying mother’s life eleven years ago to a boy demon that could stop time. Now, the lifelines on her palms are slowly vanishing, and she knows it’s just a matter of time before Satan’s little helper returns.

Natalie's learned to keep the soul bargain to herself; after all, blabbing about it in the past has only landed her on a suicide watch, which was followed by a string of lame psychiatric appointments. But when the weirdness begins—snakes gathering around her, disappearing beetles—she seeks answers about her dwindling lifelines from a freaky, glowing-eyed fortuneteller. Creeped out by the psychic’s methods, she bolts from the reading and misses the warning that the demon who stole her soul is closer than she thinks.

After some strange incidents with her new boyfriend, including a hot, levitating make-out session, she realizes he’s the grown-up version of her little nightmare and he’s returned to collect. Natalie must figure out how to win her soul back from the demon before her lifeline completely disappears—even if that means making a deal to damn five other souls to take her place.

DEMON AT MY DOOR, my YA Urban Fantasy is complete at 57,000 words. The manuscript is available upon request. Thank you for your time and consideration.



Life lines. Most people think of them as options game show contestants use to help themselves win a million dollars or something else just as equally lame. Me? I know different. I know that the schoolyard game about those little squiggly lines on your palm forecasting your life is actually real. Believe me, I’ve done the research. Which brings me to the mess I’m in. Why the hell are mine disappearing?

Maybe it’s because of that sadistic, five-year-old soul-stealing bastard.

This is the fourth therapist I’ve been to this year. Each one causes me to question my sanity a little more, so there’s no way I’m going to spill my guts about my newly discovered countdown-clock of death. My chart’s filled with enough crazy.

Tearing my eyes away from my palm, I tuck my hand tightly under my opposite arm to get my mind off the creepy issue rolling through my brain.  Seeing a doctor is Mom’s idea. Did I mention how much I resent being here? My last doctor kicked me out of his practice for not “trying” enough. I begged Mom to let me quit at that point and try to heal myself, but since I’m not legally an adult yet, she still calls the shots for what she deems best for me.

As I wait for the doctor to come in, I gaze around the room and notice Dr. Fletcher’s family photos. They’re all smiling, and it occurs to me that people always seem to smile in photos.

The New Busy is not the too busy. Combine all your e-mail accounts with Hotmail. Get busy.

#19-UNRAVELED (Revised)

Dear Agent:

             I am seeking representation for UNRAVELED, a 56, 000 word young adult mystery.
 All sixteen year old math prodigy, Autumn, wants to do is read about serial killers and dream about becoming an FBI agent. Until one day she comes home and discovers her murdered sister’s body on the living room floor. When the initial evidence points to a burglary gone wrong, Autumn, challenges the police’s theory because of the personal nature of the crime. Despites threats of arrest from the police, she conducts her own investigation using her affinity for math and forensics.
When her investigation reveals that the killer is someone she knows, Autumn offers herself up as bait and sets a dangerous trap to unmask his true nature and to obtain a confession for her sister’s murder.
            UNRAVELED is a stand alone novel with series potential. It will appeal to fans of the Veronica Mars TV Series and Alane Ferguson’s Forensic Files series.
I am regional advisor of the Central Ohio chapter of SCBWI and a member of Sisters in Crime, and a writing organization for female mystery writers. My previous publications include a creative nonfiction article published in the Columbus Dispatch and a short story published on My writing education includes Anastasia Suen’s online picture book workshop, Forensics for Writers, and’s Online Fiction Writing Workshop.
The manuscript is complete and I would be happy to send you some sample chapters or the full manuscript.


How could I have forgotten them? I looked at my watch and sped up. Math club started in twenty minutes so I’d raced home, desperate to grab the practice questions I’d left behind. Once I got there, I bolted up the porch steps and paused on the stoop to grab my keys. I aimed them at the lock. My heart rocketed to my throat as the door squeaked opened when I touched the key to the lock.
I edged the door open and peered inside. The crime books I’d read stated never to go inside and to call the police from a neighbor’s house. I was going to do just that until I saw a running shoe with purple laces.
            I rushed inside and my world froze.
I couldn’t process what I was seeing.
Sliding in beside her, I pressed my index and middle finger against her carotid artery and felt for a pulse. Nothing. My heart leapt since her skin still felt warm. My mind scrambled. I couldn’t remember what to do.
Thank God my Junior Red Cross training took over and sprang into action. I grabbed the phone off the end table and punched in 911.
            “9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”
            “I need an ambulance immediately…my sister’s been hurt. She’s bleeding and I can’t find a pulse. I live at 1698 Nolana Road. Please! Hurry!”
            “Okay, Miss, I’ve dispatched the paramedics but I’m going to need to get some additional information,” she said.

#20-Flirting With Fire

Dear Secret Agent,

Flirting With Fire ~ A Pyromance is a first person YA book with alternating male and female POV.  It’s 82, 000 words and a paranormal romance.

Sidra has always enjoyed playing with fire, but things at school are a little more flammable than she is used to.  This new guy, Asher, for example, is smoking hot but also strange and mysterious.  Everyone knows her nickname is Scorch because of her pyromania, but they don’t know she is painting the local fires before they happen.  If they did, all hell might break loose, and they’d come looking for her.  Speaking of hell, there is a whole different world out there that Asher fights.  Pyrodemons and hunters and a dog that hides in shadows.  There are secrets he just doesn’t share… even if Scorch does light his heart on fire.  When fire strikes too close, Sidra has to trust someone.  She might get burnt, but with how hot Asher is, perhaps it’s time to play with fire.  With any luck, she’ll get scorched.

I’m an insomniac, and I write for crazy amounts of time instead of sleeping, so I’ve also written other manuscripts in other genres both for adults and young adults.  I have a supportive but geeky husband, and I’m blessed with two wonderful Special Needs children.

Thank you for your time and consideration.



My father says I’m a classic introvert.  He claims the damage my mother did to my ego by forcing me to live out her glory days has created an unrealistic expectation for success that has made me feel like a failure.  No matter what I do—no matter what I say—I’ve already lost—according to my father, I mean.  He ran off with his secretary—no, excuse me—his administrative assistant, Bliss, a year ago, so what does he know about failing?  Actually, it seems like he’s a professional at failing.  And, yes, her name really is Bliss.  I’m to call her mother now.

I won’t, of course.  I’d just as soon staple my own tongue.  Plus, it would kill my mom—my actual mom—the one who gave birth to me—not the one screwing my father.

My father also says I have anger issues.  He’s right, but it has nothing to do with my mother.  I just like to be angry.  If I keep it to myself, it doesn’t bother anyone else, so what’s the big deal?  Nothing.  I’ve been working on channeling it into things—mostly painting.

I paint almost entirely in reds and oranges.  I like to paint fire and things on fire.  This bothers some people at school.  My mom understands, so I do most of my painting at home.  My friends call me “Scorch.”  It started in junior high, and I haven’t been able to drop the name.

#18- Assignment 9 (REVISED)

Dear Secret Agent,

Tragedies have punctuated Casey’s life, but she has never explored them – until a creative writing assignment forces her to delve into the events that shaped her.  An autobiography involving painful and traumatic childhood memories is no picnic, even as an eighteen-year-old who thinks she’s put all that behind her.

When Casey meets Mark, she discovers he is struggling with his assignment too.  Their connection is immediate, and the two are drawn to one another.  Casey wants their relationship to blossom, but is terrified by the possible outcome - everyone close to her ends up abandoning her.

As they write their ‘Assignment 9’, Casey and Mark discover things about themselves, their families and each other that will change their lives forever.  One big question remains unanswered: are they really soul mates, or nothing more than damaged goods seeking solace and empathy?  If Casey dares to find out, she may be surprised by the answer.

Assignment 9, a 71,000 word young adult novel, was a semifinalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.  My short stories have appeared in HER Magazine, All Things Girl, Halfway Down The Stairs, A Fly in Amber, Daily Flash Anthology, The Barrier Islands Review, and Residential Aliens. I am currently revising another YA novel, a companion piece to Assignment 9, and have just completed my first book for adults, a western/romance set at the tail end of the Australian gold rush.
I would be delighted to send you sample chapters, or the entire manuscript, at your request.  Thank you for your time and consideration.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.




He’s going to call on me, I think.  He’s going to call on me and I’ll probably puke. There are only twelve of us in this class - seven boys and five girls – so it will not take too long before it’s my turn to present my work in progress.

Work in progress?  So far I’ve made no progress on this so-called work.  I have no idea how to start writing this.  We were given the assignment almost three weeks ago and I’ve been putting it off ever since.  Now my tutor is expecting something.  A draft perhaps, or at least a detailed outline.  But I have nothing.  So here I am, sitting in class, working knots out of my hair as I think about it.  Above me a near-dead fluorescent tube hums and buzzes, disrupting my chain of thought.  I’ve been thinking a lot, and the more I do, the more certain I am that the beginning of my story was long before I ever imagined.  Perhaps even before I was born.

I pray the class will end before Ian reaches me.  I even pray for Alice Wilkins to be called on before me.  Alice, with her long-winded explanations and incessant questioning, her interminable need for assurance and approval.  Usually it bugs me, the way it bugs almost everyone here, but today I would welcome it.  It may be the only thing that saves me from humiliating myself.


Dear Secret Agent;

Sixteen-year-old Emma’s ability to heal makes her indispensable to the man who murdered her. The Collector has kept Emma's soul, along with many others, as a trophy for years-- until her glass bottle shatters and she escapes.

Emma is now a free, albeit hunted, ghost. But any existence is better than the torture of waiting to be used as a band-aid to a sociopath. Until she meets Ryan. He’s very much alive, making Emma’s lack of a body torturous. But, when Emma realizes the full extent of her healing ability, a real life becomes possible. She can’t justify her freedom when the Collector still holds countless other souls captive, including the girl who helped her escape. So, Emma decides to risk her freedom, and possibly Ryan’s life and soul to rescue the rest of the souls still trapped in the Collector's morbid collection.

THE COLLECTED is a YA paranormal novel and is complete at 81,000 words. The full manuscript is available upon request. Thank you for taking the time to consider representing me. I look forward to hearing from you.



250 word revision:

Through the glass of Emma’s bottle, the tiny basement room appeared curved and distorted. The door crashed open and the Collector limped over the threshold. He dragged his left leg behind him, smearing blood across the floor with his foot. Emma’s heart sank. He needed her talent again.

The Collector staggered toward her. Glass bottles of various shapes and sizes occupied the shelves of the curio cabinet where she waited. Spotlights illuminated the carefully placed bottles, casting colorful shadows. Emma prayed he'd pass her by, but it was a wasted prayer. She knew what he needed, and none of the others could give it. His eyes scanned over them all, but stopped on her.

His fingers trembled as he grasped Emma’s bottle and loosened the lid. He left the cap on until he brought it to his lips, and in one fluid motion he removed the lid and inhaled, drawing Emma into his body.

A wave of his pain smacked into her and she gasped. She could feel the heat from his left leg as it throbbed with each beat of his heart. He squeezed his eyes closed, blocking Emma’s vision of the small room. When he opened them again the room tilted and he plopped down on the only chair.

'Fix it' Emma heard his thoughts as if he were speaking out loud. 'And no funny business. If I have to force you this time, I’ll make you remember George for me. Do you want that?'

#17-Curse of the Granville Fortune (REVISED)

Dear Secret Agent:

Twelve-year-old J.B. is plagued with visions of a blinding white light that seems to burn into his skull. He can sense people around him, though all he sees is the light. But he hears the voice of an old woman, screeching and accusing and calling down a curse on him for stealing. And the strangest thing of all? He’s never stolen anything.

The visions leave him sweaty, lightheaded and certain he’s turning into some kind of freak. But when he sneaks a peek at his dad’s journal, he discovers his family really is cursed, thanks to an ancestor who stole the massive Granville fortune. Now J.B.’s life is one disaster after another.

To break the curse, J.B. and his sister must find and return the Granville’s stolen property. But the fortune is hidden inside an enchanted forest that brings intruders worst fears to life. The forest is also home to the vicious Grimault thieves who will stop at nothing to claim the Granville fortune for their own. On a dangerous journey through the woods, J.B. meets two others who share his visions and suffer from the same curse. Now they must work together to break the curse that has plagued three households for hundreds of years.

My middle grade fantasy, CURSE OF THE GRANVILLE FORTUNE, is complete at 47,000 words. While the novel stands alone, it is the first book in a proposed series entitled The Three. As a former Middle School Language Arts teacher, I have a great understanding of the 10-14 age group. I have had eleven short stories accepted and/or published previously in various children’s magazines. I am also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

I would be happy to send you a complete manuscript of CURSE OF THE GRANVILLE FORTUNE for your review, in hopes that you will consider representing me. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.


            I was about to climb the biggest bike ramp at the park when the vision hit me. Some people might think having visions was cool, but for me it was a curse.
            I clutched the handlebars, trying to steady the bike. But my hands and arms tingled with a warmth that made me sweat like a freak. Not now! I couldn’t have a vision here. Holly would think I was having a fit or something.
            “J.B., what’s wrong?” Holly asked, as my bike swerved.
            I’d never told anyone about the visions. I didn’t want to be labeled a head case and forced to see some shrink. But I felt Holly’s eyes on me as my body shook. I didn’t have a choice. I purposely missed the bike ramp and crashed into a bush, hoping the accident would cover up the strange things that were about to happen to me.
            My eyes shut at the exact moment of the collision, and the vision flooded my brain.
            "You three who bring disgrace to your families shall suffer great misfortune. Your lives shall be cursed until you return what was taken this night."
            The old woman’s voice thundered in my ears, but I couldn’t see her anywhere. In fact, I couldn’t see anything except the brilliant white light surrounding my body. A warm electric current pulsed through my veins. I felt like I was floating, but something weighed me down by my shoulders. Something familiar. I wasn’t alone.


Dear Secret Agent,

High school sophomore, Kat Gamble is exceptional at everything she does.  Gymnastics.  Cheerleading.  School.  Everything.  Until the day she totally screws up the one thing everyone else seems to get right – death.

Killed in a car crash, Kat finds herself in the hospital being jolted awake by a handsome stranger named Jack, who says he can help, but she must go with him immediately.  Forced to choose between him and a doctor – who comes complete with his own Children of the Corn hospital staff that makes her hair stand unattractively on end - Kat opts to take her chances with Jack.

After all, he’s so much cuter.

In a whirlwind escape, Kat is whisked away to Wagner Academy, an elite finishing school for the undead.  There, she learns about the strange new abilities they all possess, along with the history behind the Romulaires - the beings who want to feed on the souls of the newly undead, in order to become more human.

But she won’t be expected to do this alone.  No, she’ll trudge through the following three years Linked to the next unlucky dead kid…who just so happens to be Kessler Gray: only the biggest news to light up the silver screen since RPat came to town.

Oh, and her creepy doctor?  Yeah, he's not done with her yet.

Gaining a second shot at life, all Kat really wants is to make it through high school, preferably in one piece.  But being hunted by the legion of Romulaires for the tattered remnants of her soul – not to mention surviving her bond to one of the hottest, most arrogant teen celebs to ever grace the tabloids - well, that just might be what kills her.  Again.

KAT GAMBLE AND THE RISE OF THE ROMULAIRES is a YA Urban Fantasy complete at 104,000-words.  I’m an active member of both the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, as well as the SCBWI.

Thank you so much for your time; I look forward to hearing from you.


     “What do you mean I’m dead?  What the hell is that supposed to mean - and I’m sorry…but who are you?” I scoffed at the potentially gorgeous guy that for some reason was standing in my room.  I say potentially gorgeous, as right now I wasn’t too impressed with what he’d been saying.   
     I wasn’t trying to be rude or anything, but come on!  What normal person waltzes into someone else’s room, wakes them up from an incredible dream about almost naked male movie stars, and announces to them that they’re dead?  I mean, who does that?  Unless of course, I wasn’t actually awake - which I had to admit, was entirely possible.
     But as I blinked almost in slow motion and scanned my surroundings, I suddenly realized something that was stranger than the fact that this guy was telling me I was dead.
     We weren’t in my room.
     Oh, my head was starting to hurt.  And as I raised my hands to my temples, to rub away the soon to be headache I knew was coming, I felt the scratchy plastic bracelet that circled my wrist.
     Huh.  That pale yellow color was so not in season right now; I mean after all, it was mid-August and nowhere near spring time.  So why would I be wearing a bracelet that wasn’t remotely chic or in fashion, let alone made of plastic?  Ew.
     I rolled the bracelet around in my fingers and realized it was a hospital I.D. band.

#13-Twisted Summer (REVISED)

Dear Agent,
Sydney was plagued with depression a few years back and has refused to seek counseling. Keeping control of her life and staying relatively happy has helped her fight the sadness and anxiety that comes as a result of the depression. But when flowers and cryptic notes from a secret admirer arrive Sydney becomes obsessed with figuring out who he is. Her obsession leaves her feeling like the careful control over her life she’s established is slipping away.

While Sydney’s trying to unravel the secret admirer mystery AJ, her best guy friend, feels compelled to confess his feelings for her in fear that this may be his last chance.

TWISTED SUMMER is a young adult novel complete at 51,000 words. I’d be happy to send a partial or full manuscript at your request. Thank you; and I look forward to hearing from you.



First 250
Deep breaths in and out, in and out; telling myself that helped with the anxiety of post try-out jitters. I’d made it down to the locker rooms to decide if I should change. Since it took time while I stopped to talk, I only had fifteen minutes to get ready before everyone left. The anxiety shouldn’t have been that bad. I landed all the jumps. I knew what I was doing. It’s not like I hadn’t been in this position before. I’d been on the squad for three years running. I guess the stage fright never really went away. I was in my black shorts and tiger shirt, my hair was pulled up in a ponytail. I looked in the mirror and my makeup looked fine. Everything was still in place after try-outs. No need to change clothes. There was too much adrenaline left over for me to walk casually, so I jogged back up the stairs and outside to meet up with my teammates.

Walking out to my car I saw that everyone was standing around it, this wouldn’t have been unusual except that they weren’t talking. They were all looking patiently at me like I was about to give a speech. I didn’t understand what was going on. When I got to the door of my Mini Cooper, a gift from my parents for my sixteenth birthday, I saw something lying in the front seat. My first thought was “who broke into my car?” I never left my car unlocked.


Dear Secret Agent,

The stars and signs don’t lie, but sometimes the diviner reading them does.

On the surface, life is pretty normal for sixteen year-old Mossy Burke. She goes to a regular high school, she’d love to make varsity cross-country and have a boyfriend--if she could get her parents to lift their ban on dating, imposed after Mossy’s epic indiscretion. But Mossy’s home life is far from normal. Her family belongs to an ancient Druid clan. They work with the elements, and wield secret knowledge, which is memorized and safeguarded by a few select members.

When Mossy finds a wren’s skeleton during her coming-of-age ritual, the clan’s diviner proclaims Mossy’s path in life is to memorize all the Druid’s secret knowledge. Mossy fears she isn’t smart enough, but accepts the task to regain her parents’ respect. Soon a crush-worthy shape-shifter and a nightmarish kayak trip make Mossy question why anyone would entrust her with secrets capable of tipping the balance of all realms: mortal, immortal and fey.

Too late, Mossy discovers she’s been set up. The very knowledge she is responsible for protecting has been stolen from her while she slept, and is about to be used to destroy her family and clan. To save them she has to act now, she must push aside her fear of failing, risk the respect she craves. And confront a powerful diviner who knows Mossy’s weaknesses and the true meaning behind finding a wren skeleton.

SECRET KNOWLEDGE is unique to the market because Druids haven’t been prominently used in contemporary YA novels. At the same time, Druids are popular in computer games and therefore are a culture and mythos which many of teens are familiar with.

I am seeking representation for my 65,000-word YA contemporary fantasy, SECRET KNOWLEDGE and future works.

I am a member of SFWA and SCBWI. I have had short stories appear in a number of magazines, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, The Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle, and also George Scither’s Cat Tales anthology (Wildside Press).

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Mossy blew out a breath and pushed herself from a jog to a sprint. If she didn’t stop worrying and start focusing on her running, she’d never make the varsity team. But how could she not think about it? Tonight she’d recite the words, take the candle and go into the forest alone. Tonight everything would change.

A pair of varsity runners passed Mossy on her left. She willed her legs to move faster, but her muscles tightened and she dropped to the back of the pack. Damn. She had to focus.

Mossy pumped her arms. She struggled to catch-up. But by the time she reached where the jogging path started up the forested hill, she was a good fifty yards behind the team.

 As the other runners disappeared over the hill’s crest, Mossy stopped running and hunched over in the middle of the path, hands on her knees, dizziness pulling in around her as she struggled to catch her breath. Of all days, why did practice have to start today?

The thud of a runner’s footsteps came back down the hill toward her. “You okay?” Bethany’s voice asked.

Mossy looked up at her older sister. “I feel like I’m going to puke.”

“I told you to pace yourself.”

“That’s not it.” Mossy took a gulp of air to steady her voice. “I keep thinking about tonight.”

“Why don’t you skip the rest of practice?” Bethany nodded at the forest, toward the direction of their house. “Take the short cut home.”


Dear Secret Agent:

Alex is willing to sacrifice anything to save her sister. The problem?
Her sacrifice might spell bad news for the rest of the human race.

Alex’s life is typical of an average sixteen-year-old: there’s school,
a part-time job, a modest social life (it doesn’t get much better than
‘modest’ in her rural North Carolina town). Then along comes a
werewolf that tries to drown her in the lake behind her house. She
escapes, but not before receiving a healthy dose of the creature’s
toxin—which should make the next full moon interesting. And it does.
Just not in the way she was expecting. Because the full-moon comes and
goes, but it doesn’t bring the expected gruesome transformations or
beastly urges with it. In her search for the reason behind her
obstinate humanity, Alex starts to unravel a past that threatens to
make her future very complicated.

The complications don’t waste any time starting, either. While she’s
busy trying to figure out just who (or what) she is, the most
important person in her life—her little sister Lora—is taken. During
her quest to get her back, Alex learns of the magic, binding pact that
prevents lycans (the creature from which werewolves originate) from
harming humans. It was invoked centuries ago, in a desperate
last-ditch effort to curb the bloody relations between the two races.
As the descendant of the one who created the pact, Alex is the only
one capable of severing it. Something she would never even think about
doing. Or at least, she wouldn’t have thought about it—until she
realizes the cost of not doing so may be her little sister’s life.

DESCENDANT is a young adult paranormal, and it is complete at 88,000
words. Although the story stands complete as-is, there is strong
potential for a sequel to follow. Thank you for taking the time to
consider representing my work. I look forward to hearing from you!

All the best,

First 250:

    The newspapers all said it was an accident. That there was no reason
to suspect any foul play had been involved. That the lake was swollen
from the recent rains, and my dad hadn’t been a particularly strong
swimmer to begin with. It was tragic, yeah. But things like this
 It was a beautiful day for a funeral. My mom kept saying we should be
thankful for that, but to be honest it was kind of pissing me off. The
sun’s rays were too warm, that breeze too refreshing, and every note
those stupid birds chirped was like a personal insult to my grief.
Rain would have been more appropriate. Or a thunderstorm with
gale-force winds and hail the size of golf balls.
 The pastor from our church was reading something from the Bible
propped open in his hands, his voice sounding like it might crack any
second now. Like everyone else in Dalton, he’d been a close friend of
my father’s.  A small group of mourners stood with us in a semi-circle
around the pastor, most of them with wads of well-used tissue clenched
in their fists. My little sister, Lora, had gone through almost an
entire box by herself. She’d absentmindedly shredded and dropped most
of them to the ground, so now the pointy toes of her black heels
peeked out from underneath a mountain of white.  I felt a little
ashamed, looking at them. My own heels were completely visible, and my
face was dry.


Dear Secret Agent:

I am currently seeking representation on my Paranormal Romance, RUNAWAYS.

The magical world is trying to hunt down seventeen-year-old, shadowarine fairy, Felicity Taylor.

Felicity is accused of murdering her roommate, Mary Swan. Brooks, her appointed guardian, steals her away before the magical council can punish her. Innocent, on the run, and living among the humans, hoping no one will discover them.

In order to take back her freedom, she must find Mary’s killer. But the truth lies within Edinburgh, the place that holds the magical council. Determined to clear her name, she heads off to Edinburgh. There she finds a scroll foretelling her destined path, and the real reason the council wanted her dead. Felicity feels she will never be free again. With the help of Brooks and some friends, together they will stop what’s foretold to come. Even if fate calls her to do what’s wrong. RUNAWAYS is complete at 70,000 words.

I am an active member of the YALITCHAT writing community.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.


Revised 250 words:

      Chapter 1

Exhausted. I dreaded these long hours at school.

I needed to be outdoors. Maybe climbing a tree or on a safari. But no, I was chained to a desk, waiting for the horror that should arrive at my house at dusk. Yeah, my past is catching up with me.

My Anatomy teacher, Mrs. Nelson, a pudgy, middle-age woman with too much lipstick on her lips and teeth, bored me. She droned on and on about the DNA structure in humans. Caring less, I scribbled loops on the outside of my notebook.

Her body shifted as she wrote more notes on the board that I didn't bother taking. Her thick fingers barely held the thin piece of chalk.

I looped another castle then studied the other students surrounding me. Some paid attention, but most looked as bored as I felt—glazed eye and slacked jaw. I glanced at the ticking second hand of the clock and stifled a sigh. Today was never going to end.

"Felicity. Felicity," Brooks whispered, snapping his fingers in front of my face.

I blinked and stared at him. He surprised me by speaking verbally instead of mentally like usual.

He narrowed his icy-blue eyes. "Are you writing any of this stuff down?"

I shook my head. What was the point? I already knew the stuff, and structurally speaking, I was not human. All this high school stuff was nothing more than a cover while I lay hidden from my magical parents.


Dear Secret Agent,

Bound in a loveless marriage to an eighty year old man at the age of fifteen.

This is Julie Avery Haynsworth’s fate. Or at least it will be if she abides to her parents’ wishes and marries Viscount Vaugh to settle their numerous debts.

Driven by desperation and clad in a stable boy’s clothing, Julie escapes in the middle of the night with nothing but the desire to live her own life. She finds shelter with a poor yet kind family as Avery Haynes, a homeless lost ‘boy’. Even though she knows she is far from safe, she can’t help but lower her guard around the trusting family--enough to fall in love with Hayden Bennett, the only son in the family, who sees her as the “brother he never had”. Despite her unrequited love and the fact that he is about to pledge his life to another, she finds life at the Bennett house happier than she ever thought possible.

But happily ever after doesn’t last for long. Her simple life is soon interrupted by a handsome stranger, Marcus Edmund Atherton, the son of the Marquess of Wickham. From the start, his taunting smirk and knowing eyes make her worry that he may know more about her than he lets on. But just when she convinces herself that he doesn’t know anything after all, she gets a surprise visit from the last people she ever wanted to see—her parents.

WISTFUL LOVERS (73,000 words young adult historical romance) is a Regency era love story loosely based on the popular Chinese legend The Butterfly Lovers. Thank you for your time and consideration.



I left that very night.

I didn’t want to, nor did I plan to. But it was something that had to be done. I no longer had a choice. Not after my parents decided to practically sell me to keep themselves in splendor. Although in their defense, weak as it was, I wasn’t even supposed to know about the deal. If I hadn’t skipped my lessons that day I certainly wouldn’t have.

That morning, I silently slipped down the stairs, away from the library. Darting down the hall, I was sprinting toward the door when I heard Mother’s excited voice coming from the sitting room. I stopped on my tracks.

This was a change, she had been quite downcast for the past week.

Curious, I tiptoed down the hall until I could hear her more clearly.

“I didn’t think he would agree to our proposition. Thank goodness his wife had the courtesy to pass away when she did.”

“And for once, I am thankful you’ve given me so many daughters.” Father’s familiar deep chuckle drifted through the air.

I peered around the edge of the door and saw them sipping tea together by the parlor window.

“Even so, we’re lucky that he agreed to forget our debt in exchange for one of our daughters. Even if she is still a bit young.”  Mother countered with a shake of her head, her dark hair so tightly pinned back that it barely moved.


Dear Agent,

The last thing sixteen-year-old Jessa Whitley expects on her class trip to Greece is to find out she’s the next Hercules. She’s never thrown a punch and her asthma turns even the shortest sprint into a wheezing marathon. When her superhuman strength kicks in and a couple of in-the-flesh Greek gods find her, she’s hurdled into a myth-turned-real world that she used to only day-dream about.

Jessa finds out she’s the last demigod around to set things straight with the Underworld. Not cool, especially when friends and classmates start wondering if she’s gone crazy, and even more so when the god of death is out to destroy her soul. As part of her new powers, Jessa sees visions of a brewing apocalypse which only she can stop. No matter how much Underworld daemon butt she has to kick, Death doesn’t seem to take the hint. He gets personal by threatening everyone she loves, including the god she might be falling in love with.

Balancing normal life and the extraordinary is a lot harder than she expected. Jessa must find a way to make things right, and the only way to do that? Embrace her inner badass and bring the fight to Death. Putting him back in his place, literally, and stopping the destruction of mortals is a huge Herculean task. And Jessa's still not sure she's cut out for the job.

MYTHIC, a young adult fantasy, is Buffy meets Percy Jackson and would appeal to fans of Rosemary Clement-Moore and Terra Lynn Childs. I’m an active member of the SCBWI, RWA, DFW Writers’ Workshop and YALitChat workshop. Recently, MYTHIC placed 3rd for my regional RWA chapter's 2010 Great Expectations contest. I'd be delighted to send the manuscript, complete at 76,000 words, at your request. Thanks for your time, and I look forward to hearing back from you!

Shine On,


The guy following me was nowhere in sight. Don’t get me wrong, having any kind of guy—let alone a Greek one—chase me around added bonus points to my constantly dipping scale of self-confidence. But this guy wasn’t a teenager. No, he was more than likely a perv, and I could’ve sworn I’d seen him on our class tour in Delphi the day before. Or maybe I was just being paranoid.

I stopped and glanced through the stream of people in the Acropolis museum, all trickling down the same paths in a mediocre pace. My eyes moved over families, lines of tourists, and groups of children. To my horror, they landed on a familiar face half hidden beneath a mat of curly blond hair.

The guy stared, frozen like me in the bustle of museum goers, only a few people keeping us separated. Okay, so I wasn’t being paranoid. I gripped my purse tighter. If I ran, I’d most likely look like an idiot. If I continued to stand there in shock, I’d most likely look like an idiot. But it didn’t matter what I planned on doing, because in the time it took my brain to comprehend the fact that I really and truly did have a stalker, he turned to mist. That’s right, the guy evaporated into thin air.

        Holy crap, that wasn’t possible. One minute he was there, and the next? Not so much.


Dear Secret Agent:

The last few months in the kingdom have been the worst of Will Landon’s fourteen years. Why should this feast day be any different?

With everyone else except him hard at work, Will makes the mistake of exploring the forbidden lower tunnels with a grudge and an empty stomach. Had he known that the cheese he found was no ordinary cheese, but the true source of the evil king’s power, he never would have eaten it. Okay, maybe he wouldn’t have touched it. But if he had known of the penalties—banishment and a disfiguring spell—surely he would have thought it through.

With help from the queen's stowaway dinosaur, a stolen pirate ship, the visiting dignitary’s kidnapped son and a timekeeper mouse that lives in his head, Will Landon embarks on a search for cheese. Will he find the royal cheese before time runs out?

THE CHEESEHEAD CURSE is a 37,000-word middle grade medieval fantasy for boys and girls, the first in a planned series. I have included the first 250 words for your review.

I have a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing and have been an active member of SCBWI since 2004. Thank you for your time and consideration.



Will Landon looked around the castle’s kitchen for witnesses. For once, no one noticed him. They were busy preparing for the feast. He cupped a hand over a sweet-smelling treat and quickly slid it toward him.

Aunt Matilda slapped her fleshy hand down hard on his. “Off wit’ you!”

“Ouch!” Will yelled mostly in surprise. All eyes turned toward him, angrier than the last time. He flushed and dropped the pastry back into the stack.

“All good,” he said with a smile. “Just helping.” He patted it into place and turned from their glares toward Auntie’s.

“Sorry, Auntie,” he said, his head hanging low. He rubbed the hand she’d smacked.

“Of all days, you pick this one to try me?” She leaned into him, mere inches from his face. She blew out her words slowly, like a mad bull. “Stop. This nonsense. Before you. Get me. Into trouble.” Her exaggerated Irish accent and panting breath were signs that she was out of breath and out of patience.

“Sorry. Really.” Will held his palms up. “No treats. I promise.”

Auntie turned to the twenty or so people within the hot, heavy timbered structure. Raising her voice loud enough to be heard, she said, “You think I don’t see everything in this kitchen?” Everyone froze. “I see everything and everyone. Especially today.” She pointed a finger all around. They held their breaths until she turned back to Will.

With one hand cocked on her hip, she sighed. “Have you nothing to do?”


Dear Secret Agent,

Based upon the concept of Aryan purity, Ellyssa is genetically engineered to be the perfect soldier: stronger, intelligent, unemotional, and telepathic. Her purpose? To eradicate inferior beings. A task she's spent her whole life training and conditioning for under the strict guidance of her creator.

Then she runs into the epitome of inferiority--a dark-haired renegade. He speaks to her by pushing his thoughts of a place she's never visited into her mind. An inconceivable possibility since she is the one who usually does the psychic picking. Not only that, but he's clearly not from her society. A substandard person who should not possess such an extraordinary gift.

Yet he does, and his unspoken words initiate a catalyst. Ellyssa finds herself questioning her indoctrination and, even worse, feeling emotions. Confused and afraid her creator will discover her mental breakdown Ellyssa runs away from her life and embarks on a journey that leads to the realization there is more to her than what she was bred to be.

Unfortunately, her creator has other plans.

PERFECTION is a young-adult dystopian complete at 99,000 words.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Ellyssa, a.k.a. Subject 62, sprinted through the dark alley after escaping from her long-term captors who she’d thought of as family for eighteen years. Not a family in the traditional sense, but family nevertheless.

The sirens piercing the night an hour earlier had finally faded, but she still didn’t stop. Pumping her legs harder, she carried onward with the messenger bag thumping against her right thigh. Her mind raced as it flipped through the map she’d memorized. Turn right here, left there. She had to reach the train that would take her away from Chicago. There she might find safety…or her death.

She slipped behind a metal dumpster and blended within the shadows. Heart slamming inside her chest, she waited for it to quiet. Against her expectations, it didn’t.
She knew, and knew well, the physiological responses from physical exertion--she and the others were in top physical condition and trained to fight--but the ongoing racing of her heart was caused from something different. Another new sensation she hadn’t felt before.


Her body was capable of feeling such useless emotions, but unlike ordinary citizens, she was taught to control and suppress them. Emotions served as a hindrance to their goal as soldiers. But since her encounter with the dark-haired prisoner at The Center, all that had changed.

Interesting, but she didn’t like it. It made her feel…unsure and…paranoid. She edged to the corner and peered into the alley. Dark shadows wavered slightly, but nothing solid moved.


Dear Secret Agent,

High school is tough—especially when your boyfriend is gay.

Alicia Cruz and Savannah Parker would never be seen at the same lunch table. Alicia speaks only when she has to, wears her clothes extra large, and clings to any guy that gives her the time of day. Savannah, on the other hand, is a tad vulgar, wears attire that hugs her curves, but falls for the one guy who hasn’t literally thrown himself at her. These two girls have nothing in common. Until they discover their boyfriends are lovers.

Austin Hayden has gone emo. He quit the football team, started a band, and now headlines his school’s lame production of Hairspray. He meets Alicia, and she’s cool. And needy. But just the right amount of distraction to conceal his secret. A secret that only Savannah knows, and this kills Austin. So he sets his sights on her new boyfriend. Vengeance is a bitch.

Wants is a contemporary YA novel, complete at approximately 68,000 words, that spans over the course of a school year and enters the point-of-view of each character in this “love square.” It not only dissects the anatomy of heartbreak, but it also examines the frustrations of discovering and coming to terms with one’s own identity.

I have been a guest blogger for YA Highway, and my topic was on GLBTQ issues in YA literature. As a school counselor, I have seen firsthand the many self-doubt and sacrifices that students have to encounter when taken to task about their sexual identity. I’m currently completing my MFA in creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where I also work as a reader for the school’s literary magazine. Additionally, I am a member of SCBWI and AWP.

I have pasted the first ten pages of my manuscript per your guidelines. Your consideration would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


It’s not that I’m ugly or anything. There’s just a lot of me to love. I mean, a lot. For Christmas, I got a pair of skinny dark-blue jeans. The ones I’ve seen on display at my favorite store forever. The ones that made the mannequin’s ass perk up like bunny ears. My mom bought a size twelve. I couldn’t even pull them up past my thighs. I just told my mom that I was waiting for the right time to wear them. Most women in my family are curvy anyway, but my curves were hidden by jiggle and bloat.

“More cushion for the pushin’,” Austin would say to me in his best faux-Texas drawl, cupping one of my butt cheeks. Which meant that because of my affection for all things sugary and fried, I had a great ass. Or at least that I should stop strategically tying jackets around my waist. After all, it did land me Austin.

And I wouldn’t let anyone forget that. I made sure to take my usual spots at all his rock shows—front and center, almost hugging the stage. He’d catch my eye and wink, and I’d get lightheaded like a tween at a Disney-sponsored concert. But that was okay because it was Austin and everyone wanted some kind of attention from Austin. And I knew he was all too willing to give them what they wanted.


Dear Secret Agent,

Chuck Masters isn't gunnin' for trouble, he just wants to have a little fun. Fun's not something his one-horse Oklahoma town is known for. It is known for basketball, and Chuck's the MVP of the eighth grade team. That is, until he and new kid, Foster F. Finkman, pull one prank too many and cause a substitute teacher to resign. Chuck's conscience kicks in, and he bucks Triple F's next stunt. Finkman disses Chuck's single mom--a declaration of all-out war. Chuck launches "The Revenge of the Pink Granny Panties" with a basket of oversized undies as his arsenal. But when the get-even scheme backfires, Chuck loses his spot on the basketball team, the respect of the coach he looks to as a father, and his friends. In order to get his life on track, Chuck's got to put away paybacks and become a real team player. REVENGE OF THE PINK GRANNY PANTIES is a middle-grade novel complete at 27,000 words.

My publishing credits include Highlights for Children, Chess Life for Kids, Characters, and Story Something. I've won several writing awards, most notably Highlights Author of the Month, Feb. 2010, and Highlights Fiction Contest Winner, 2009. I'm a member of SCBWI.

Thank you for your time and consideration.



I walked into math class and scoped out the sub. Easy prey.

What little life Mr. Thompson had was about to get a whole lot worse.

Our math teacher had finally had her kid and was home changing diapers for a month. We were on our second sub of the week, and Foster F. Finkman made it his job to upset subs.

I was his partner in crime.

Mr. Thompson was the victim of a bad brown toupee. It looked like Grunt, my guinea pig. This teacher wannabe was somewhere between thirty and fifty, had braces and smelled like there was roadkill in his grill. I'd had him as a sub since kindergarten and he hadn't changed a bit. Except for the braces.

Toupee Thompson knew all of us at Harly Middle School by name. It isn't a big school, since Harly isn't a big town. Okies say you can stand at one end of it and spit to the other. So when he noticed Finkman was new, the sub flashed a silvery smile and squeaked, "What's your name,
young man?"

Finkman stood and squeaked back, "Foster Florentine Finkman, sir. And I hope you don't mind my asking, but has your hairpiece had its rabies shot?"

The class cracked up. Thompson turned pink and had this foamy spit at the corners of his mouth. "Finkman? What kind of stupid made up name is that? Is that the best you could do?"


Dear Secret Agent,

I am requesting your consideration of THE WIND WALKER, a young adult paranormal. Complete at 80,000 words, it is likely to appeal to readers of Melissa Marr and Cassandra Clare.

Half-mortal Michaela Bell fears the power that coils inside her—for seventeen years her mother has warned her not to use it. But when she sees her stepfather punch her mother, she can’t help herself. And that’s exactly what Lilith, a dark goddess banished by Michaela’s true father, has planned all along. Tapping into Michaela’s power intertwines their energies and lets Lilith escape her otherworldly prison.

Fleeing Lilith, Michaela finds help from Luke, an immortal who secretly fell in love with her while protecting her in the mortal realm. He leads her to safety in the world of beautiful beings like her father who are simultaneously angels, gods, shapeshifters, and the mythology behind all mythologies.

With Michaela and Lilith linked, killing one will destroy the other. While the immortals block Lilith from stealing more of her energy, Michaela must remain hidden at the Winter House learning to use her power and her father’s sword to protect herself. Then Lilith threatens her human mother, and Michaela can’t trade her mother’s safety for her own. Lured out into danger, she and Luke fall into a succession of Lilith’s traps, and Michaela must choose what to save: her own life and the forbidden promise of her love for Luke; or the safety of the human race.

I am a full-time copywriter and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. My fiction for young readers has been published in magazines including Ladybug, Highlights, Humpty Dumpty, and the Journal for Early Childhood Education.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,


I refuse to be the abomination that destroys the world. But in my defense, you can’t trap power and try to hold it. Power is tricky. It worms around your safeguards, finds traction, and shatters every protection the minute your guard is down.

There should be an alarm for that kind of explosion, a hint of brimstone. My only warning was the front door left open on a cold, October day, and weeks of dreaming had dulled my senses. Or maybe I was used to my mother forgetting things like doors, birthdays, and even groceries. I’d stopped expecting trouble the past few years.

I crossed the lawn thinking about my Calculus exam and helping my friend Sophie with her Halloween costume on Friday. The sweet smoke of burning leaves pricked my nose. The wind caught my hair and whipped it around my shoulders. Daughtry played on my iPod as I climbed the wide, porch steps, and the big, leather purse full of books kept time against my hip. Everything looked normal.

The illusion shattered with my stepfather’s fist and my mother’s broken scream.

The open door framed them as she fell.

I gasped and tripped on the threshold. Power uncoiled inside me, a surge of energy shivering along my nerves, searing through my fingers to explode with a force that left me shaking.

Bobby Ray flew back across the room and crashed against the wall.

I stared at my hands in disbelief.

His arm smashed a vase in a spray


Dear Secret Agent,

Seventeen-year-old Calleigh has a secret. If told, it could cost her best friend her life. To protect her, Calleigh has to pretend to be the girl she was before she was assaulted ten months ago.

As if.

Her mom wants Calleigh to spend her summer training for the high school swim team tryouts. But Calleigh can’t stomach wearing her swimsuit. Not after she was kidnapped and assaulted by a stalker who’s still on the loose. She’s unable to tell anyone what happened because he threatened to kill her and her best friend if she reveals the truth.

Aaron, a former competitive swimmer, encourages her to start swimming with him in secret. Only thing is, he’s suddenly super protective . . . and she has no idea why. As Calleigh begins falling for Aaron, she discovers they’re linked in a way she could never have imagined—a connection that could be deadly for Calleigh.

LOST IN A HEARTBEAT is an 80,000-word, YA romantic suspense novel. It will appeal to readers who enjoy the character-based stories of Sarah Dessen and Sarah Ockler, and also to those who love the romance and danger in PERFECT CHEMISTRY and THE BODY FINDER.

A member of the SCBWI, I’ve attended New York City and Los Angeles annual conferences for the past three years. I recently completed two online fiction writing courses through Writer’s Digest, including one on writing for teens.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


It was like diving off a ten-meter platform when you’re terrified of heights. Easy, really.

Yeah, right, I thought, as I watched one of the girls from the swim team practice her freestyle in the lake, while I pretended not to care about swimming anymore. My muscles ached to race across the sand and dive in. To swim like I was born to do. But doing what I craved wasn’t so easy. Not without serious consequences.

I looked down the stretch of sand and fidgeted with the dolphin charm on my bracelet. A slow breath escaped my lips. I was safe. No one was watching me. At least not from the busy beach.

“Calleigh, are you cold?” Alejandra asked from the beach towel next to mine, the warm breeze brushing brown strands of hair against her face. She’d already stripped down to her bikini, while I sat, barefoot, in my jeans and navy hoodie. The hood hid my light blond hair. The way I now preferred it.

“Maybe I’m coming down with something.”

“Or maybe you’re just not eating enough.” She unscrewed the cap of her sunscreen, and smeared coconut-scented lotion on her light olive skin.

I knew where this was headed. “Your sister’s the anorexic, not me.”

“Yeah, well, when we were on the swim team, it was like you were eating all the time. But now, nada. You’re just skin and bones.”


Dear Secret Agent,

Sixteen year-old Yseult is beautiful.

She is also sarcastic, witty, bookish and loyal, but no one ever seems
to notice those things.  All anyone in the countryside of 19th Century
France ever notices is that Yseult is a prime candidate for wifehood,
and would make a lovely ornament for some lucky man to parade around
as his own.

But there is nothing Yseult wants less than the locked cage of
matrimony.  And when an arranged marriage threatens to quash her
independence forever, she stages her own death to avoid it, escaping
into an unknown—and likely perilous—future with nothing but an odd
gypsy diary and a stolen flower to guide her.

She expects her flight to result in danger…doom, even.  She does not
expect it to leave her in an enchanted utopia, occupied by a
beastly-looking young man with no ability to perceive beauty.  A young
man—René—who can only see her for who she truly is; just as she learns
to see him.

But despite René’s overwhelming goodness, Yseult’s old prejudice
against marriage makes her hesitant to admit her growing love for him,
and when given the excuse, she flees: both her feelings and René
himself.  Out of the protection of her false death, however, Yseult is
once again in danger of her former betrothed—who is willing to kidnap
her in order to ensure she becomes his wife.  And what’s more, Yseult
soon discovers that, thanks to a cruel enchantment, her absence is
killing René…quite literally.

In order to save René and herself, Yseult must defy the men who would
break her.  She must embrace a love that is strong enough to defeat a
powerful curse.  And above all, she must realize that, from the
monstrous to the beautiful, things are not always what they seem.

EPHEMERAL, a YA fairy tale, is complete at 61,000 words.

My short stories have been published in Knowonder! Magazine,
Spaceports & Spidersilk, and YARN (the Young Adult Review Network).  I
also write regularly for on the subject of Young Adult

Thank you for your time and consideration,


I am already desperate to leave.  In the sunny breakfast parlor of our
chateau, my family sits divided: half pretending we are civilized, the
other half making no effort to disguise the fact that we are not.  My
sisters’ quarreling is maddening anywhere, but inside the house it can
make a person’s brain writhe like a worm in the sun.  And Ansel, my
eldest brother, only makes it worse by interfering.

I tip the last of my coffee into my mouth and shut my eyes, trying to
block out their inane argument, wondering how quickly I can escape and
get back to my book.  A breeze drifts in from the open window,
carrying the scent of honeysuckle and magnolia.  The scent of summer.
It curls through my long hair, and I focus on the sensation of its
invisible tendrils, snaking across my neck and over my cheeks.

“Who on earth is that?” my father’s voice interrupts, cutting off both
my concentration and my sisters’ verbal fencing match.  While Elita
and Dore blink dumbly at him, I turn with my three brothers to follow
Father’s gaze.

The front lawn of our country estate stretches grandly before us like
the garden of a small palace.  Each hedge is carefully pruned; each
flower meticulously planted; each stone lining the paths chosen with
care.  Even the fountain—the jewel in the setting—seems to spout in a
perfect arc, letting no drop of water go astray.  And now, shambling
down the path...


Ten years ago, a legend was born among the Teken Clansmen; one Lord Arthus intends to keep secret.

Each Teken is born with a mark, but tenth year Deglan Borian’s mark has been morphing again, unlike any of his peers. His sleep is plagued with danger and a pale faced girl who is calling for him to find her. When the Teken authorities catch wind of his mark, Deglan’s parents encourage him to find the girl, regardless of where it takes him.

Daydreamer Meia is a troubled foster child who moves to a new home every few months. When she’s not in the clouds, she spends her time in a make believe world, far from the cares of the schoolyard. Normal ten-year-old girls dream of tea parties and dolls, but not Meia. Her dreams come from the pages of an adventure book and stretch well into the fantasy world and beyond.

Meia can hardly contain her joy when her new foster parents decide to take her on the vacation of a lifetime. The Cook Islands have been the backdrop for her dreams since before she could remember.

When Meia meets Deglan on the Penrhyn atoll, both of their lives will change forever. Secrets of the legend come to life will haunt their every move. Only one minor problem… Meia is a human and Deglan is… a dragon.


“Deglan?” Mom’s voice rang through the heavy morning mist. “Deglan, get up! You are going to be late for instruction again.”

I shoved the pillow over my head and rolled over. The pale speckled face from my dream still lingered around the edges of my mind. I hoped to get a few more minutes in the fantastic dream.

“Deglan Borian,” said my impatient Mom. “If you don’t get up right now…”

I sensed her reaching to the floor and knew what came next. I jumped from my pallet as the book flew past me, narrowly missing. “Ha!”

“You better be up,” she said, unimpressed. “Carik is already waiting outside.”

“What? He said he wasn’t going to instruction today.” I peeked out the window to see the large grey body of Carik chasing a garden gnome. “Carik, leave him alone! Didn’t he already call truce?”

Carik looked up at me and laughed. “There is no such thing as truce to a dragon.”

The garden gnome ran between his legs and dove for his burrow, nearly caught by Carik’s swipe.

“If you aren’t careful,” I pointed at the other side of the lawn, “the whole lot of ‘em will revolt when your back is turned. I’ve seen it and it isn’t pretty.”

Carik laughed again. “Get down here; we’re going to be late.”

“Yeah, yeah. Keep your horns on. I’m coming.”

In the washroom, I gazed at my unfamiliar reflection in the mirror and cringed. I’d heard terrible things about the end of the ninth year, but this was ridiculous.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Submissions are now closed! Thanks for entering.  The 25 entries will be posted Monday.  Good luck to all who've entered.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July's Secret Agent Contest

It's that time again!  Time for another secret agent contest.  Pay close attention because the rules have changed slightly and can be found here.

For this contest I will only be accepting submissions for kid lit.  That means any genre of Young adult, Mid-grade, and Chapter books. 

The contest is open from NOW! until either I get 25 entries or until Monday at 0800 EST.  Results will be given no later than August 1.

While this contest is only open to those with a finished manuscript, anyone who wishes to offer critiques on the query and/or first 250 words may and would be strongly appreciated. 

Good luck to all those who enter!