Word Count: 103,000
At sixteen, Aryana’s already survived five years longer than the average half-blood, securing her right to live by working as an accomplished assassin—a Blade. Owned by a handsome young alpha Blade, named Marec, Aryana kills the tribal leaders’ enemies, avoids the bloodthirsty crawlers, and excels at not attracting attention to herself. In her world, attention for a half-blood ends in death.
Then a job goes horribly wrong and Aryana comes face-to-face with a Golden Being, Colm, one of the creatures who trapped the humans on Manhattan Island a century ago. He awakens a magic within her that she’s kept hidden for years, and tells her she’s the future of mankind; the new Eve, holding life and death in her hands. As Aryana’s delicately balanced life begins to unravel, Colm won’t leave her alone. He can’t seem to understand that Aryana only wants to hide her magic, find a way to show Marec how she feels, and earn a place with the humans where she can truly belong.
But as her power grows, she realizes she's putting too many people in danger and she needs to make a choice. While the city gears up for Winter Solstice--a night filled with danger and death--Aryana will have to pick a side: Marec, the boy who saved her life, and the only one who makes her feel human, or Colm, her strange new guardian who pushes her toward independence, and the only link to her true destiny as a Golden Born.
GOLDEN (103,000 words) is a YA post-apocalyptic-fantasy novel set one hundred and fifty years after the end of the world; a stand-alone with series potential. The first fifteen pages of GOLDEN were nominated for the Sue Alexander Award at SCBWI-LA by Arianne Lewin (Penguin/Putnam) in 2009.
I’m a member of SCBWI, Codex Writer's Group, and was accepted into Orson Scott Card’s Literary Boot Camp in 2008. I've been mentored one-on-one in my writing by James Scott Bell and Randy Ingermanson, and had several short stories published in various online and print magazines (Dragons, Knights & Angels, AlienSkin, and The Year’s Best Anthology for The Sword Review). I was also given the First Annual True Grit Award at the Mount Herman Writer’s Conference for my apparent inability to give up. On a practical level, I’ve dealt extensively with teens in crisis as a counselor at the Crisis Pregnancy Center, as a Youth Pastor with my husband for seven years, and as a mentor at the Psychiatric Hospital in our area.
The boys have this thing they like to do. A lunch game, they call it.
First, you get yourself an abandoned building--not difficult around here. Wait until you’ve got good sunlight. Then, you catch yourself a night crawler--and I don’t mean a worm. I mean, one of the undead that come up from the holes and cracks in the earth at night and scrounge around the City for warm blood.
After you’ve got that hundred-year-old corpse in your clutches--usually shot up with raig (the drug of choice for crawler-catching) and tied with a sheet--you lock yourself in the abandoned building, black the windows to keep the sunlight out, untie your captive, and tra-la, you have yourself a game. It should be called: Kill The People Eater, Before It Kills You.
Being a girl, I’m constantly having to prove myself.
Ray…bet you can’t jump to that ledge. Ray…bet you can’t hit that rat from here.
Boys…bet your brains are as small as your wankers.
This is how it is when you’re surrounded with male crazy 24-7. You have no choice except to beat them at their own game.
And so, I’ll chop off this crawler’s head before it can bite off mine.