Team Ked

I’m not sure when there was an offer to review DOME. I’m not even entirely sure how or when I volunteered but it came to me by email from Nova Sparks herself.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I read some sci-fi stuff (mostly because genre titles and I don’t mix) but I had already read a snippet of DOME on another person’s blog and I watched the book trailer. It seemed like somehting I’d want to read into.

The story is 65k and told from two POVs. Sam, a Colorado man, and his daughter Emma. The story starts with Sam’s world(s) drowning under some mysterious dreams that foretell an upcoming catastrophe. The destruction of the world.
But at least there’s a rescue…they think.

Well, I thought I would actually talk more about the book’s other characters but…I’m kinda in love with Ked. (He’s taken, ladies. And I will @&%# you up if you try something.) Ked’s Emma’s Syrion friend who takes her around the forbidden darkness of his planet.

And much like Romeo and Juliet, Emma and Ked’s blossoming romance is forbidden and dangerous to both. (Just ask Sam’s too touchy friend) Ked’s coldness at first does a 180 in time to make me love him. Holy CROW! THE BOY MAKES ME SWOON!

If not for the incredible suspense, the sci-fi awesome, or the worldbuilding (damn that planet is well built! You feel the blinding darkness and the dome’s domeiness), get it for KED! I mean, Emma’s POV…yeah, her.

He’s so brave, and so cool, and so level-headed, and I love him, and I married him in space Vegas and he’s the only fictional guy who I’ve tried to marry. (And I have a hot and heavy crush on Mr. Heathcliff. Just ask my tattered WUTHERING HEIGHTS.)

My only real complaints about the self-pub sci-fi 1st POV book was that some places needed some copy editing. At the beginning, I didn’t really believe what was happening to Sam. Also, it wasn’t completely about KED AND EMMA! (but I am a YA romance writer/readerso…)

Sam’s POV definitely added tension though and I loved them. Heart beat fast 😀

I could go on about Ked but I’m sure my Mother-in-Law (oh, she knows about this. She does. I spam her with Wish-You-Were-Here tweet postcards all the time.) would rather me not rewrite the story right here.

Oh, and for those of you who have read DOME before, one: Ked is SOOOOO mine still. Two: Not La Push, the push 😉

Author Nova Sparks:
Twitter: @NovaSparksBooks (!/NovaSparksbooks)


all about dawn

I tweet a lot about #dawnWIP and the continuation. So…

What is #dawnWIP?
It’s a YA 115k (for now). Fantasy. Some romance. I guess part dystopian. (You’ll see.)
The story revolves around the main character Ariel London who gets thrust into a secret society of “outcasts” and double immortals. The only way to leave is to die. Not such an undoable thing when she has a heart condition with less than half a year left on the prognosis.
But that’s why she wants to leave. It’ll take some time to outwit some of the people who want to keep her but that doesn’t work in her favor when she becomes attached to some of the hopeless souls trapped in DDS.
Now leaving would be selfish and murder, but if she doesn’t leave, she’ll never see her family ever again.

Plans for the future?
Haven’t decided. When it’s done. When it’s perfect to me. I’ll either query it, self-pub, or post it up on the blog 🙂 I’m not picky. I might even keep it for myself.

Current projects?
Synopsis, query (for my use), and blurb.
And I’m working on bringing to life the hectic sequel.

Want an extra?
It’s a deleted scene for a reason. But I think it has potential as an extra 🙂

            “Dove-cakes,” Jerry laughed. The leader. He was pretty. Like the rest of the jerks who lived in Lalaland. And ew. Dove-cakes? I frowned. “What did you do to your foot?”
            “Battled the sea creature living at the bottom of my bathtub for some foot soaking time,”
            Rey, the beautiful one, snickered. “Did you lose?”
            “No. You should have seen him,”
            Jerry sat beside me, much to Margret’s sulk, and smiled at me.
            He was so close and so pretty. I stared.
            “Hi, my la—” the baby faced one gasped with one hand over his chest. He collapsed backwards into the beautiful one’s arms.
            I gasped too. “Is he okay?”
            Jerry frowned at me. “My cousin had a bad bone break awhile back.”
            Darren and Rey laughed. “Run,” they said at the same time, remembering. I assumed they were screwing around when the break happened.
            Jerry shrugged. “Harold sort of busted his bone through skin,” he whispered. “Scared the crap out of him,” he whispered and quickly cleared his throat to cover up.
            I turned to Margret who had been invited to the empty chair by the lady. She didn’t seem to care for the boys.
            I turned back to them.
            Darren lifted his auburn eyebrow at me. “How you doin’?”
            They knew the head of the household was right behind me, right?
            Lady Armani was watching curiously but unresponsive. She seemed entranced, actually, with our talk.
            The doors locked the chefs in. I stared, confused, at the butlers locking the glass doors from the outside. No one else had moved.
            Lady Armani suddenly laughed evilly. The sound scared the chefs and yeah, me.
            I turned to her.
            “I have you all to myself!”
            If she wasn’t so damn powerful, I’d really consider taking her to a hospital to get that crazy checked.

keeping the story alive

I don’t know how many times I’ve said this but I’ve rewritten (completely) my current WIP (#dawnWIP) several times in the past few years. And by several times, I can name at least 15 attempts. I have the drafts to prove it.

I can’t say for sure why it failed so many times but I can tell you all the things I did.

First, I wrote the damn thing. The first time I made things up, tied them together, and finished it with a cliffhanger into the next chapter of the series (it wasn’t meant for a series when I started it but it said so at the end. Damn endings.)

I was a newbie. It had to be my fifth full lenght story? So when I was done, didn’t want to leave it, hated it when I read it, tossed it and started over. And over. And over. And over again.

It wasn’t how I liked it so I took one idea, wrote the rest of the series and couldn’t edit the first part of the story. So I did what anyone would do–or should do, really–go back to the original, sit my butt down, and write.

That’s what I’m doing now but it’s been two years so a lot of the original is hard to put in…enter the handy-dandy Director’s Notebook writing edition!

That’s right. I’m writing a diary to #dawnWIP on my first struggles, the original scenes that made me fall in love, where the characters came from, the original playlist, and the like.

I have to say  writing a Writer’s Notebook was the best idea I ever had. When I put down the essence of the story, I can write #dawnWIP, read the notebook, and edit.

Hopefully, this version will make it to MS state.  And it will get there with the essence I’ve saved into the notebook.

My tips:

  1. Write as a companion. Director’s Notebooks exist. Paw through one sometime.
  2. Let yourself wander in the explanations/inspirations/processes
  3. Speak all the truth
  4. Pretend you’re rich-off-your-butt famous and let yourself talk to your fans. They want to know every detail about this story 🙂

Let me know what you guys think!


I often complain about some of my classmates. Some of them are rude, others very petty (worse) than me, but most of them hate each other and never tell. There’s always drama, but I recently tweeted that one of my classmates (I get along with her too) had medical problems “up the yin-yang”.

I said it because I’m pro-natural choice. You eat better, excercise, and do the best you can, you’ll be the best you can. There are instances when your body can’t do something or the other no matter how hard you try. That’s where I think you have to med up.

This classmate had all kinds of problems and I saw how she ate and thought to myself that if she took care of herself instead of love about it, she wouldn’t have to interrupt class with her med stories.

Tweets on her specifically I might still stand by (I can’t remember them all) but she said something about her mother’s complications and I tweeted the same thing. This family obviously doesn’t take care of themselves, I thought to myself.

Well, later on, she said that most of her mother’s complications where from skin cancer. And I felt terrible. I shouldn’t have said that without knowing. I know I didn’t know but it’s one of the only times I opened my big mouth to talk about someone I didn’t completely know.

Moral of the story: I’ll never talk about anyone again. That I don’t know. I know a lot of my classmate because she talks about everything and I know what she’s doing is wrong. She knows it’s wrong. But I shouldn’t talk about her either.

Judging is bad.

So I wanted to apologize publicly for that because that was totally wrong of me and next time you see me talk about someone’s health/choices slap me over the head 🙂

the query game: things agents don’t want to see

We’ve all seen those tweets with the #queries/#querytip hashtag and we’ve retweeted and taken notes. I’ve pulled together all the notes I have on queries so far.

1. Don’t start queries with clauses
ex: With Melanie Gray on the verge of…, Heather…

2. No first POV
I’ve seen agents vary on this, though. Like Nelson Literary Agency. I’m sure one of their new clients wrote a 1st POV query.

3. Read author under the agent’s name and their guidelines.
You’d be surprised how different guidelines can be from agent to agent. They also want personalized letters. Writers who query want to get pubbed (duh) and just mass querying makes you look like you’re desperate for it. If you do your research and show it in your letter, it shows that you took the time to find someone you want to work with. (Don’t waste my time, I won’t waste yours–agent rule)

4. Avoid acronyms everyday people wouldn’t understand
MIA most of us know to be Missing in Action. FBI we might not all know but we have some idea what it means. ME most of us would draw a blank on. (ME=Medical Examiner. Thank you, Liana Brooks.)

5. Don’t give the point of the story, let it show.
Don’t say the theme, let it show through. Can’t let it show? Just talk about the story up until the deciding point.

6. Don’t be redundant and for everyone’s benefit: K.I.S.S. (tell me you know this one. I hate using the word stupid. Oh well: Keep it simple, stupid.)

7. Edit queries.
Let them age. You age and edit your MS don’t you? Queries TOO.

8. 250 word count is good for a query. (1 pg)

9. No links
The way I see it, but agents probably don’t–I don’t know–, they have no reason to trust you or put extra effort. Again, never heard an agent say that but that’s the way I see it.

The point is to entice the agent into asking for more and letting the agent fall in love with your story. Agents WANT to fall in love with your work. They love books just as much as you do so do your part to hook them and reel them in 🙂

Have something to add? Feel free to comment below!

feedback time

Stay, die.



So whatever I chose would have to be based on something else.

A little part of me wondered if I could pick an option where death had a slimmer chance of winning.

If I stayed…would this lifestyle really be so bad? Always guarded, always protected, loved maybe.

If I left, the world would end quickly.

As much as I hated him, as much as I feared him, without him…

What could I choose? If the person who could save my life wanted to take it?

I won’t say how I feel because I want to know what you think. NOTHING IS OFF THE TABLE AS FAR AS COMMENTS.

Please comment! It’d be nice to have someone pick this apart and let me know what they think!