#12 HAVEN

>Dear Secret Agent,

There’s a lot of things Scar doesn’t believe in – magic, monsters, a passing grade in history. That all changes the night of her fifteenth birthday, when the blind woman looks at her, and she finds out her whole life has been a lie. She is dragged into a world of darkness – a world where the creatures of the night are real. Told she isn’t human, she is taken away to a boot camp for vampires, witches and werewolves.

Now she’s learning brand new things, breaking a witch’s Frisbee can really piss them off, challenging a werewolf to a foot race is a bad idea – if you want to live, vampires can hold serious grudges and throw mean left hooks, and the hardest secrets to keep are often the most crucial.

But she has a secret. She is a Dhampir, part-human, part-other, masquerading as a vampire.

When Scar starts seeing visions of attacks, the students begin to disappear. After a video surfaces of her at one of the crime scenes, making her the prime suspect, her very survival might be at stake. Now she must race to prove her innocence before her true nature is exposed.

The only problem is, she’s not entirely sure she’s innocent.

HAVEN is a complete 65,000 word young adult urban fantasy novel. The complete manuscript is available upon your request. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to your reply.

****

Who am I? When someone thrusts their phone under your nose and shows you the pics they took of the fight, you won’t have any trouble spotting me. Forget the scared kid sitting in the background with her nose in the book. She’s trying to pretend she’s not there.

See the girls in the circle around the fight, egging the combatant on? You can almost hear the catcalls, can’t you? Well, I’m not one of them, either.

Now move your gaze into the centre circle. See the girl who might be beautiful but for the split lip and the blood? You’ve got it in one – that’s me!

Memo to self: Find out how I got into this fight.

My name’s Scar. I just turned fifteen, which is why I’m here tonight, since there’s no way anyone would let me in to see any good movies. I still get the kiddie menu, for crying out loud.

This is my first time to The Basement. Innovative name for a club someone set up in a two-storey, fire hazard lacking a basement. This place is just an excuse for non-stop partying, with the added bonus of no mature adults. The dimmed lights and smoky atmosphere make the graffiti on the walls glow. A couple of pinball machines and sagging lounges line the walls. The crowd surrounding me and my opponent takes up the rest of the space.

Her blows come quick – and hard – knocking me back into the fleshy wall of the crowd.


#11 VELVET BALL AND THE BROKEN FAIRY (Revised)

>Dear Secret Agent,

VELVET BALL AND THE BROKEN FAIRY is an MG low fantasy novel, complete at 30,000 words. Sprites have the power to grant wishes, but if they don’t pay attention at magic school, they may never learn how.

After an illness, Velvet Ball moves to a new town, but none of the kids in fourth-grade want to hang out with a bald girl. When they poke fun at her for having no eyelashes or eyebrows, she decides to walk home through the woods. No way is she catching the bus to be tormented again.

Trudging through the forest, she stumbles upon a fairy caught in the bow of a tree. The fairy claims to be Roseberry – Fairy of Crabtree Forest and she promises to grant Velvet a wish if she saves her. After rescuing the fairy, Velvet wishes for her hair back, but nothing happens. Roseberry explains how she was tossed into the tree by bullies, and now she has no magic and her wings are broken. Velvet feels sorry for the helpless little sprite and decides to look after her until she recovers and her power returns.

Happy to finally have a friend, Velvet hides the little fairy in her bedroom. Trouble is, Roseberry isn’t an endearing fairy. She’s rude, demanding, bad-mannered and spoilt. She acts like a princess and expects to be waited on. Velvet figures that Roseberry doesn’t know how to use her powers because she didn’t pay attention in Magic School. But Roseberry’s not interested in learning. She’s too busy trying on doll clothes, looking in the mirror and dancing around the bedroom. And to make matters worse, she creates problems for Velvet and gets her into trouble. Velvet’s patience runs out and she wonders why she’s even bothering to help such an ungrateful little thing, but when the meanest school bully breaks into her house and kidnaps the fairy, Velvet’s heart breaks. She realises how much she loves the little sprite and can’t bear the thought of someone hurting her. After all, Roseberry is her only friend in the whole wide world and Velvet has to save her.

Thank you for your time and consideration. My full manuscript is available upon request.

Sincerely,

Patricia Puddle.

*            *            *

Velvet Ball stretched her butterfly headband over her bald head and sighed. If only she’d listened to her father and worn the beanie he’d knitted her, the two girls in front of her wouldn’t keep peeking at her and giggling.

Belinda Bragg flicked her blonde plait over her shoulder and turned around. “Stop stickybeaking on us!”

“I’m not,” said Velvet.

“You were too,” said Emily Pratt. “You’re always spying on us.”

“Yeah,” said Belinda. “She’s always staring at our hair.”

Velvet held her mouth and chuckled. At least she didn’t catch head lice.

Emily squinted meanly at her. “Are you laughing at us?”

Before Velvet could reply, the bell rang. She blew out a big breath and collected her books. There was no point in answering. Those dingbats would still be mean.

When the teacher dismissed them, Velvet grabbed her backpack and bolted out the classroom. She put her hat on and ran across the playground to the gate, but her father was nowhere in sight. Her shoulders dropped and she trudged to the bus queue. Why’d he have to work late again? Now she’d have to suffer the stupid bus trip.

When Bradley Murphy pushed in front of her, Velvet bowed her head to hide her face and stared at the footpath, but he knocked her hat off and held it above her.

“Hey! Give it back!” Velvet stood on her tiptoes, but she couldn’t reach it. Her face hot with embarrassment, she glanced around, but no one would help her.


#10 THE LAND OF IMAGINING

>Dear Secret agent:

Fifteen-year-old Alexia cares more about her stories than her schoolwork; she even writes during class. One day, a cute classmate, Artex, drops a pen in front of her. Alexia tries to return it, but Artex has mysteriously disappeared. Alexia uses the pen, which writes of its own accord about a mystical Land of Imagining. This world is threatened by the Head Demon, who seeks to enslave and kill the All-Knowers, a peaceful race with arcane powers, such as mind reading and healing. Alexia soon learns that what she writes is real, and she has the ability to control the All-Knowers with the magical pen.

Frightened, Alexia hates her new power, believing that she is too young and inexperienced to wield it correctly. She asks her overprotective mother for help but unknowingly confides in the Head Demon disguised as her mother. He steals the pen and kidnaps her family, leaving Alexia no choice but to travel to the Land of Imagining in spite of the danger this entails.

With determination despite lingering doubts, and some help from Artex, Alexia claims her leadership position. The Head Demon wants her dead, but she cares more about her family and her people than about her own life. Alexia must trick demons so she can find their secret lair and secure her pen before the Land of Imagining becomes the Land of Terror.

THE LAND OF IMAGINING is a 80,000-word complete fantasy YA novel.

I have published a medieval fantasy romance series, The Kingdom of Arnhem, Woman of Honor (Desert Breeze Publishing 2009) and Knight of Glory (Desert Breeze Publishing 2010). I have also sold five short stories for anthologies, two of which under the pen name Nicolette Zamora.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

***

My papers scattered everywhere and my books fell with a loud thud as I braced my arms for impact against the cold, hard floor. Snatching my belongings, I glared at the culprit, a tall senior football player.

“Look at the freak.” He snickered, elbowing a friend.

“She’s always writing,” a girl scoffed as she flicked her blond hair over her shoulder. “Such a nerd.”

I stomped over to the bully. “At least I have a brain,” I snapped. “Tell me, how many concussions have you suffered?”

He paused, slowly moving his fingers as he counted to himself. “I dunno, maybe ten times today?”

Unable to stop myself, I snickered.

Realizing that I had duped him, he glared at me. “You better watch it, small fry.” He flicked his hand at me as if I were a pest. His friends laughed, and the crowd walked away.

I scrambled to collect the rest of my papers. Rifling through them, I realized one was missing, the story I had just started in Spanish class, about an obsessive-compulsive knight named Alessandro. No more pages were on the ground. Annoyed anger filled me. Another glance revealed that one of the gang had lagged behind.

Artex, a recent transfer student, stood propped against a row of lockers, his gaze fixed on me. He returned his attention to the single leaf in his hand, which he began to read.

I marched over. “Is that mine?” I asked, my tone sharp and annoyed.

His lips curled into a lazy smile.


#9 BROKEN (REVISED)

>Dear Secret Agent,

Sometimes breaking Heaven’s law is worth it, even if it means Hell’s waiting for you.

When her father’s affair leaves her mother in a state of mental collapse, Sarah Armstrong chooses to live with her eccentric aunt in Massachusetts. Sarah hopes Wenham High School will be the perfect spot to forget the past and start fresh.

Too bad the small town doubles as the ancient stomping ground for Hell’s demons and Heaven’s angels. When Sarah becomes a demon’s pawn to lure an angel out of hiding, she finds an unlikely hero in the sullen, bad-boy rocker Caleb Smith. Every time Caleb saves her life, she chips away at his façade and finds something more than a man – an angel. But losing her heart to Caleb may cost Sarah her soul as well.

BROKEN is a 90,000 word YA paranormal about second chances and a forbidden love that tests Heaven’s boundaries.

I have written for the University of Tennessee’s newspaper and had several poems published in anthologies. I am a member of RWA and the online writing forums Romance Divas and Yalitchat.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Author

 
*********
 

Massachusetts, October 1692

 

 

Freezing rain lashed the angel’s face and dripped rivulets down his bare chest and back, soaking the wool breeches he wore. He shoved the hair out of his eyes. A small procession left the church in the center of the square, the girl among them. Fetters around her ankles and wrists hindered her movement, and she stumbled in the mud. His feet slid forward, his body aching to help her. Instead, his fingers curled into the bark of the tree he leaned against.

The local magistrate yanked her up by the elbow, half-dragging half-hauling her toward the jailhouse opposite the church. Then a short, bloated man in black overcoat and straight-brimmed hat exited. Reverend Harding, the devil himself. It took every ounce of restraint not to fly through the cover of trees and strip Harding from the inside out right there.

The girl paused and turned her face toward the tree line, as if she knew her angel stood there watching. He stepped further back. The magistrate jerked on the shackles, and she disappeared into the building.

Anger boiled in the pit of the angel’s stomach – anger, just like foolish passion, that he should not feel. He sighed and flexed his balled fingers, rubbing them against his thigh. He had to leave; this was his fault. The trial would continue, but he knew the girl was strong enough to withstand Harding’s ludicrous accusations. 

A flutter came from behind, and a hand gripped the angel’s shoulder.


#8 BENCHES (REVISED)

>

Dear Secret Agent,

I am seeking representation for my contemporary young adult novel, BENCHES.

Since his release from juvenile hall, seventeen-year-old DANNY CUMMINGS is determined to make every rumor about him true.  Spending his nights drinking, collecting gambling debt for his criminal Uncle and waking up with nameless girls, Danny is convinced he is on a one-way track to hell and he is in control of the train.  But when LAUREN MCINTOSH lands in the middle of his distructive activities, he realizes he must derail his reckless ways to save her from his sister’s fate and the reason he got into so much trouble in the first place.

Fifteen-year-old Lauren McIntosh can’t see reality passed the fairy-tale her parents have created for her, even when it’s revealed that after twenty years of marriage, her washed-up football star father and ex-head cheerleader mother hate each other.  Marred by rumors of arson and adultery, Lauren and her parents escape to California to repair their family and start over again.  Even as they continue to fall apart, Lauren desperately seeks her happy ending.  Even though she fights against it, Lauren slowly develops feelings for Danny, but she’s not going to let that ruin  her fairy tail ending with her own football jock.

Benches is complete at 73,000 words and varies between the first person point of views of less than honorable Danny and squeaky-clean Lauren. 

***************************************************************************

Benches
Danny
One more shot of vodka.  That’s all it’ll take to do what I need to do, what is expected of me.  That’s all.  Just one.  Lifting the glass, I swig it down, avoiding breathing the fire through my nose. I replace my favorite shooter to its permanent home on the box that serves as a makeshift nightstand and glance past the nameless blonde next to me to the clock on the wall.  2:01 A.M.  I can’t remember how she got here, and I don’t know how she’s getting home.  I can’t care about that now.  I can’t care about anything right now.  I’m just waiting for the vodka to do its job.

  “Hey.”  I nudge her lifeless body.  If it weren’t for her faint breathing, I’d think she was dead.  That’s the last thing I need right now.  “You’ve got to go.”  Nothing.  She doesn’t move.

“Hey!”  I push a little harder on her side. When she finally rolls over, I recognize her, a cheerleader I go to school with—Melinda, I think.  Can’t say I ever thought I’d wake up with her, but I will say it won’t happen again.  “Time to go, Princess.”   Her arms stretch over her head as I get up and pull on yesterday’s pants and t-shirt.

“You got a ride?”  I ask reaching in my wallet for cab money.   I refuse to take her home and there’s no way she’s staying here.  Her eyes glaze over as she’s either trying to wake up or