Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Slacker and A Tease...Yep! That's Me!

I'm sure you all have been wondering where I've been the last couple of weeks. Yes, I did fall into a hole...one called SNI Heaven/Hell, depending on how you look at it :) Heaven because I absolutely LOVE Shiny New Ideas...Hell because I abhor writing beginnings. Ah well, such is the life of a writer.

This week, I am hopping on the Two for Tuesday Bandwagon that Kate Hart started. Yes, friends! I am going to give you TWO Teases for the price of one! How sweet is that? The only catch? I need all you lovelies to tell me which one I should concentrate on. I like them both!

Okay...so deal? Yes? AWESOME! Here you go...your comments and votes are much appreciated!!!

HUNTED: YA paranormal romance

Sucking in a shallow, almost silent breath, I flipped back through my memory banks, searching for Tanner’s location. We’d split up several days ago. Traveling was always easier when we were separate. Much easier to elude the hunters that had been tracking our every movement for nearly a decade. Tanner had promised that he’d meet up with me in a day, no more than two. The morning would bring day three.

Had they found him? Tortured him into giving up my location? Had my sudden wakefulness been my body’s attempt at self-preservation? I didn’t really have a chance to mull any of these questions over for the little leprechaun that lived in my head was violently screaming for me to Run! Run! Run! as fast as I possibly could. And, I knew he was right. If I wanted to survive to see another dawn I had to get out and now, but at the same time, another smaller but more insistent voice was telling me to calm down and think this through.

If nine years of running, constantly looking over my shoulder had taught me anything, it was the value of being smart. All the muscle in the world would not save you if you were stupid enough to walk right into a trap. Even if there was no time, I had to stop and plan my next course of action. My survival depended upon it.

I had to leave. There was really no way around that. If they found Tanner...who was I kidding? They did find my brother. There could be no other explanation for his continued absence. Grief slashed painfully through me, ripping my chest wide open at the terrible realization that I was the only one left.

And then there were none. Our line ended with me. The hunters were so close to getting what they’d wanted for all these years…destroying my family.

Gathering up as much courage as I could muster, I shoved up and raced around my room, grabbing up the few clothes and possessions I really couldn’t live without. The one and only bright side to living on the lam was that you never amassed more than a handful of things. You learned quickly what was of true value and what you could do without when you could only take what you could carry in a small knapsack.

I shoved it all in, yanked the zipper shut, and hoisted the bag up onto my back. Then, I crept slowly toward the bedroom door. Easing the old, rotted wood aside, I peeked out into the living room. The house I was currently living in was tiny, no more than a shack, so it was easy to see from my vantage point that the rest of my home was empty…but not for too much longer, I was sure.

I slithered out through the door, slinking my way through the living room. I snatched up a loaf of bread that was sitting on the table as I moved by. When I reached the front door, I breathed out a small sigh of relief. Squaring my shoulders and telling myself that I would make it, I would survive this night, I pushed the door open.

The scream flew out of my mouth before I could think to stop myself. It didn’t matter anymore. I was about to join the rest of my family in death.


And....another :)


LOVE IN A TIME OF POPULARITY: YA contemporary romance

The great thing about living in a small town is that nothing ever happens. Everyone knows everyone. The girl next door is the same one who’s been there since you were five. The man delivering your paper, the one fixing your car, the kindly old woman running the bakery, the doctor who fixes all your hurts: always un-changing.

There is an immeasurable amount of comfort in familiarity.

On the same token, the bad thing about living in a small town is that nothing ever happens. Everyone knows everyone, and everyone knows everyone else’s business. For instance, Mrs. Fellows, across the street, has four grown children and a large collection of grandchildren, but what she loves above all else is the assortment of stray cats that she feeds. Mr. Greenberg, on the next block, runs the hardware store. To anyone who hasn’t lived here all her life, he might appear to be a macho guy, but even if no one talks about it, we all know that Mr. Greenberg’s favorite movie is Sleepless in Seattle and he cries every time he sees it.

My family—like everyone else—has its own rituals, an unending cycle of sameness. Every fall, we go as a family to the cider mill outside of town and get several bushels of apples so that Mom can create an applesauce sweatshop in which my sister and I spend long hours hunkered over the table, peeling and coring apples until our fingers are about to fall off. Every Christmas, we trudge through the streets singing off-key carols. For New Year’s, it is our house that is crammed with half the town, everyone toasting in celebration of another year of absolute monotony.

And, after school lets out for the summer, Dad always comes up with some sort of project to do around the house, something designed to keep us kids out of trouble and simultaneously improve the overall aesthetic of our home. Usually, the heavy lifting would fall to Grant because 1. he is the oldest and 2. he is a boy and by all rights should be able to handle any kind of manual labor. But, with him off to college, the one who would be drafted into slave labor would be me. Oh, joy.

This year’s project? Repainting the house. Double joy. So, while other kids were off having fun and doing things that were so much more interesting, I would be painting a house.

Telling myself that I really didn’t have anything else planned for the summer didn’t seem to help. Yes, all my friends had already shipped off to various summer adventures. Becca was going to California with her parents on vacation. Charlotte, Katherine, and Micah were all going to band camp while Jill and Maggie were headed off to soccer camp. None of them would return until just before school started back up. I was all alone. Just me, a paint brush, and the house. How lucky could a girl get?

Thus began my summer of sameness…that is until he arrived.