Monday, February 4, 2013

Bouncer Post #109

Genre: young adult paranormal
Word Count: 78k words


Greta Shore's shadow has been stolen. Her magick is missing. Her traitorous mother has arranged for Greta to marry her ex-crush turned stalker. Throw in a side of fate and it's a McMisery meal for the seventeen-year-old unicorn shifter. This crap shouldn't happen in the twenty-first century. When Greta runs into yet more trouble, in the form of a shadow demon desperate for her soul, she's scooped into the arms of a mysterious boy, whose touch fills her mind with phantom memories of forgotten love. But her rescuer isn’t her salvation: he’s the source of all shadow demons. And the only way to stop them is to kill their creator… The boy she loves.

RUNNING FROM SHADOWS won first place in the 2012 Reveal Your Inner Vixen contest (Maryland Romance Writers chapter of RWA), won second place in the 20th Annual Heart of the West 2012 contest (Utah chapter of RWA), won second place in the 2012 Launching A Star contest (Florida SpacecoasT chapter of RWA) and is a finalist in the 2012 Show Me the Spark contest (Heartland Romance Authors chapter of RWA).

I am a PRO member of RWA, YARWA, FF&P and Backspace, as well as being active in my local RWA chapter, Chesapeake Romance Writers. My young adult paranormal romance, WITCH WAY TO TURN, is published through Lyrical Press, and USA Today recently recommended the book trailer.

First 250:

The giant oaks of the Red Forest loomed above me. Unease prickled down my spine. Something else was in the woods. Lurking in the shadows. Watching me. I froze mid-step, ice in my veins. Peered into the darkness with my breath caught in my throat.

Haven slammed into my back. “Greta, seriously?”

A shiver rippled through me. The thing in the shadows had taken my attention so completely I’d forgotten my two best friends trailed behind me. What was that thing? Had I imagined it?

When I didn’t answer she stomped in front of me. “Don’t just stop like that.” Haven smoothed a loose strand of pink hair behind her ear. “Damn. Maybe I should take the lead.”

“Whatever.” I risked a quick glance over Haven’s shoulder toward the shadowy figure. Gone.

“What are you looking at?” She followed my gaze.

Jill joined us, her blond hair swaying over her shoulders as she bobbed her head up and down. The giddy smile on her face said she might start clapping at any second. “Ooh, I hope it’s something witchy and dangerous.”

Jill wasn’t even trying to hide her excitement. Of course, I couldn’t exactly blame her. She’d never done a spell with us before. Haven hadn’t ever asked her and I’d never been skilled enough to lead a circle. Until now.

I drew in a deep breath through my nose. The chill of it nearly gave me brain freeze. Was I crazy for needing to do this? For wanting answers?


  1. Wonderful first 250! I'd definitely read more.

    For the query, I was thinking the first three sentences sounded kind of "listy" - and maybe they should. If you make them a list, separated with commas, the following sentence with the McMisery meal (nice!) would flow even better. I also think this sentence could be tightened: "When Greta runs into yet more trouble, in the form of a shadow demon desperate for her soul" by cutting from "yet...form of".

    Good luck!

  2. I enjoyed your opening 250 words, especially the mystery surrounding the shadowy figure and this line: "The chill of it nearly gave me brain freeze." Nice!

  3. There's a lot of info in your query about awards and memberships you have, which is great, but I don't know much about your book itself. You list out a bunch of plot elements, but I don't really understand the overall conflict, or who Greta is, or when/where this is set. She can shift into a unicorn? That's something I'd like to know more about for sure!

    I suggest you flesh out your query a bit more. Who is Greta, and what does she want? Give us a little info about her powers and her world. Then, what is the main conflict and problem she faces? What choice does she have to make? What happens if she fails?

    For your first 250, the writing is good but I think we're thrown into the scene with no explanation or setup. Maybe start it just a few moments back, to set it up a little before she sees the shadow?