Sunday, February 28, 2010


I am sorry to report that in the last two weeks I have been a very bad, bad blogger, and plan to get back into the swing when I have some time off in a week or so. But, I just wanted to mention that Eleni of lafemmereaders has been nice enough to review my book and post it on her blog! Take a look!

Thanks again Eleni!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Book News!

So, Nikki from was kind enough to read my book, review it, AND post a contest and interview with me. Check it out!

About the review...
It's not a good review. Cough, well, it's kind of a terrible review. But I encourage you to read it, because honestly? This book isn't for everyone; I suppose no book is. Nikki described it as more like a journal, and she's right. It's more like you're living with Phyllis for a year. Thus far readers have either really liked that, or just didn't care for it, and well, that's how most books work, isn't it? One of the things about Nikki's critique that I liked was that she cited examples from the book- that's going to help me out immensely. Thanks Nikki!

There is, of course, that Ouch! after reading a bad review. But all things considered, it's good for me, and it's helpful- it'll help me improve my writing. I appreciate that, perhaps more than anything. So go take a look. Maybe it'll make you curious, or maybe it'll help you to decide that this is NOT the book for you.

Also, yeah, Phyllis and Sid's relationship? A little sketchy. I plan on addressing this in a future post- despite his flaws Sid is one of my favorite people to write. But he's not the best guy.

And thanks for following, Book Crazy Jenn! New goal is 33 followers.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Next Excerpt: Fifteen in Blue

Without further ado, here is the next excerpt I am considering. Forgive me if it is long and full of typos- as I said, these are originals.
Thanks for following, Stacie! New goal is 32 followers.

“Quincy must’ve come back,” I told Johnny. I went to Aunt Chasey’s room, where there was a better view of the front of the house and the end of the driveway.

Ohhhh boy, said the voice exasperatedly inside my head.
Oh boy! I retorted enthusiastically.
There was Sid, going into the house.
I didn’t rush. I checked myself out in the mirror and walked down the stairs, just in time to hear cries of, “Sid!” “Sid, you’re back!” “We’ve missed you!” “How nice that you’ve come!” from the Aunts.
“Hi Kippie, hi Chase,” was pretty much all he could say as they smothered him in hugs.
“Who’s this?” Abe had been sitting on the couch. He was sizing Sid up intently.
I inferred that Quincy had met Abe after Sid left. I told Johnny this telepathically.
Johnny jumped out of my arms and headed for the kitchen. Food over Phyllis, I suppose.
“Hi Sid,” I greeted him from across the room.
“Hey Philly.” Sid pointed to me. “Happy birthday.”
“Abe, this is Dominick Siddons, better known as Sid,” Kippie introduced.
“Good to know you, Sid,” Abe said, flirting. “My name is Abe, I’m Quincy’s best friend.”
“Really? Nice to meet you. Where’s Quince?”
“He went out to run some errands,” said Aunt Chasey. He was buying me a “surprise” ice cream cake.
“I see.” Sid held up a bag. “I don’t know if you’ll like these, Philly, but I thought of you when I saw them.” He handed me two wrapped objects.
“Thank you Sid.” I looked to the Aunts. “I’m opening these.”
“Fine fine, it’s your birthday,” Aunt Chasey said.
The first present was a candle. It was made of black and red wax entwined beautifully. It came in a small black holder.
“I love it,” I murmured.
“Light it,” said Sid and Abe in unison.
I grinned and blew a flame onto the candle.
“Wow,” said Aunt Kippie. “That’s gorgeous.” She took it and placed it on a table.
The other gift was a poster.
“Johnny Depp! Thank you!”
Sid smiled. “I remembered the cat.”
I smiled back.
“How nice of you Sid!” exclaimed Aunt Chasey. “But you must have felt awfully strange purchasing it.”
Sid chuckled. “It’s all right. I don’t make a very convincing gay man.”
Abe sighed. “You’re straight. Of course.”
Suddenly the front door opened and in staggered Sarah. She looked at us all and blinked her eyes. Her hair was green and black, her face was worn and tired.
“H-hi,” she said. She stared blankly at Sid.
“Sid, this is Sarah,” Aunt Chasey informed him.
“I’m Sid,” said Sid.
“Hi. Um..I’m just gonna’ go to my room for a little whi..a little while.”
“It’s Phyllis’s birthday,” Abe told her.
“Oh really? Happy birthday Phyllis. Trust me, it just gets worse.” Sarah wandered to the back staircase and went upstairs.
“Intriguing woman,” Abe said sarcastically.
“She came to us a month or so ago,” Aunt Chasey told Sid. “I do wish I could help her.”
“She’s beyond all help, I’m afraid,”Aunt Kippie remarked sadly.
“Why’s that?” asked Sid.
“The poor girl’s on drugs, she’s sleeping around, she’s drinking. She doesn’t want to be helped.”
“She was in a gang,” I added. “She told me she’s a knife fighter.”
“Her rent’s always on time though,” said Aunt Chasey, adding a happier note.
Sid half-smiled and it was glorious. “Where’s she from?”
“California,” said Aunt Chasey.
“New York,” said Aunt Kippie.
“Hoo boy,” said Abe. “And you’re sure she hasn’t stolen anything yet?”
“Abraham!” Aunt Chasey scolded.
“I’m just saying.” Abe looked out the window. “Where the hell is Quincy? Can’t he find a damned ice cream cake?”
Abe flinched. “Sorry Phyllis.”
“Don’t worry Abe, I already knew.”
“No use keeping secrets from this one,” Abe told the Aunts, gesturing to me with his thumb.
“Oh, by the way. I need to discuss my options with you two,” said Sid.
“Options?” asked Aunt Chasey.
“For...every month.”
“Well, if you can remember how much the rent was before, I’m sure that’ll be fine,” she assured him.
Aunt Kippie gave her a look.
An understanding expression came across Aunt Chasey’s face. “Oh, yes, let’s go into the kitchen and discuss that.” She looked to Abe and I. “Why don’t you two stay in here and wait for Quincy to get back with that cake?” She smiled, and the three of them went into the kitchen.
“That was odd,” I told Abe.
Abe nodded. “Are you sure you want that poster of Johnny Depp?”
The basement door opened, and out stepped Bill.
“Hi-ya Phyllis! Abe.” He sat next to me on the couch, and swung an arm around my shoulder. In a second, I could tell he’d been watching a Jack Nicholson movie, or at least a Christian Slater one.
“How’s the birthday girl?” he asked me.
“I’m all right ‘bout you?”
“Lookin’ forward to some cake. Where the hell’s Quincy?”
“That’s what we wanna’ know!” Abe said, annoyed.
“If he doesn’t get here soon, things are going to get pretty ugly.” Bill cracked his knuckles. “Yep, I might need to get out the old axe.”
If Bill could’ve been slightly saner about who he really was, he could’ve been an actor. He didn’t often change his appearance unless it was a very small change like a hat or something...but somehow he always made it perfectly clear who he was. Aunt Kippie had described Bill’s condition (although she was no psychiatrist) as a “way to escape the real world and his true self.” Whoever that was. I would never know.
Let’s move on to another, better-looking subject — Sid. It had looked to me as though he and the Aunts were all keeping some big secret. No matter, I decided. The Aunts told me everything, what I wanted to know and what I didn’t want to know. They’d tell me after he left, if not while he was here.
The door opened.
“Surprise! Quincy is home!” yelled Quincy, carrying the cakebox. Butch was behind him.
Abe got up. “Thank God. Holy crap Butch! Your eyebrows are blue.”
“No shit sherlock.”
“Shut up you guys! Kippie and Chasey hate cussing. You know that!” exclaimed Quincy.
“Sorry,” they both said.
“But why are his eyebrows blue?!” demanded Abe.
Butch beamed. “I had myself a creative awakening.”
Quincy shook his head. “Some people paint. Butchie dyes his eyebrows.”
Abe raised a normally colored eyebrow and stared at Butch for a second. Then he shrugged. “If you like it, then I like it.”
“I love it!” Butch looked at me. “What about you, Phyllis?”
“Oh Butch, you know I’ve been saying all along that you should dye those things blue.” I did my best Quincy voice.
Butch and Abe laughed. Quincy smirked. “Very funny Phyllis.”
“So does Sid know Butch?” I asked.
“Butch is my man! Of course he knows Sid. Why?”
“He’s here,” said Abe. “Why did you not tell me about this man? He’s HOT.” “Sadly, he’s also straight,” Quincy sighed.
“He could be converted,” Abe insisted.
“Hey, if I can’t convert him then nobody can,” Butch let them know.
“He used to date Anna,” said Quincy.
“Sergeant Anna? The opera singer?” Abe winced.
“Dat be the one mon.”
“Never mind.”
“Hence the ‘used to.’ They couldn’t handle each other.”
“Ahem. Nice eyebrows Butch.” Sid emerged from the kitchen.
“Homigod, Sid Siddons!” Butch rushed up and hugged Sid, who looked a bit disturbed, then relaxed. “You’re back! I can’t believe it!”
“Yeah, I’ll be moving back in in a little while. I’m glad to see you’re still pals with Quince. How long have you had those eyebrows?”
“Since yesterday, actually.”
“You should do your eyebrows blue, Sid,” I told him.
He bounced his eyebrows at me. “You think so?”
My mind almost totally wiped out. “No,” I murmured, shaking my head.
“Hot pink might look nice,” Bill spoke up. “Now let’s open up that cake!”

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hello all,
I have been strangely busy, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does give me far less time for bloggin'. Anyway, the next excerpt will be up within the next few days after some careful consideration. Thanks to those who commented on the first one, and thanks Alyssa and Ina Box for following!
New goal: 30 followers.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bookstore Reading Excerpts: Prologue

Hi everyone! Thanks for taking a look!

On the off-chance that a couple people are checking up on my blog, I just want to say:


I'd post a picture of the book, but oh look, there already are a few! There is even a TRAILER if you decide to scroll down and check 'er out. There should be some interesting things to come in the next few weeks- good and bad reviews (possibly just bad, but there's no such thing as bad publicity right?), interviews, and guest posts.

So, as I am a small-time author starting out and also a full-time student, I can only do so much to promote the book at this time. I've been trying to use the internet as
my main vehicle of word-spreading, and I have some ideas to try and keep this blog going for those who read while my posts become a little less frequent. My news right now is rather limited, but what IS exciting is that I may be doing my first reading in April.

What part of the book am I going to read, you ask? How does one make that selection? What kind of scene draws attention, and how do you know?

Good questions. Here's what I'm going to do:

Like any other human being, I could use a little helpful input. I'm going to post ORIGINAL EXCERPTS from the book here each week for you to read, or videos of me reading certain parts, and based on your reactions and comments, I'll choose which excerpt to read aloud. Which means, pretty much, that you'll be deciding what I read for my very first reading EVER as a published author.

So, keeping this part of the post short— for your consideration, here is the original (=there may be errors) prologue to "A House Afire."

The Party.
Jeremy Heron was my good friend Janelle’s boyfriend. I would like to state for the record that he’d never said a kind word to me in my life. He always whispered nasty things to his friends when I walked by them in the hallway at school. He’d openly called me all kinds of names when I turned around and looked at him.
So what was I supposed to do? I wasn’t a big strong person physically, I couldn’t intimidate him. I’d been brought up to be kind to each and every person I met. It was discouraging. What had I done to him?
And it wasn’t as if I could burn him, breathe out flames during class.
But the party was different. It was just kids in the backyard, in the pool, in the house. Janelle’s older sister was the “adult” present. I wouldn’t have gone, shouldn’t have gone, but Janelle had told me she was going to have a fire, and she was the only friend I had.
I was alone at the party, mostly. I hung out with Cassie and Janelle until Jeremy and Trevor showed up. Then Janelle put on music and she and Jeremy started dancing, along with Cassie, Trevor and everyone else at the party.
Jeremy stopped after a few songs. “Hey Phyllis,” he said. I saw him glance at Trevor, like hey, check this out. “Hey Phyllis, you wanna’ dance?”
“Nope, I’m good.”
“C’mon Phyllis, you’re the only one who’s not dancing. Don’t you want to dance with me?”
“Well, when you put it that way, no,” I said.
“Hey,” Janelle had said to Jeremy, “you’re here to dance with me.”
“Yeah, but Phyllis is all alone,” Jeremy told her.
“Let’s go in the pool!” Cassie had shouted. Everyone had cheered at that, and we headed out. A couple of the girls and I played catch with a beach ball in the deep end, while everyone else played Marco Polo in the shallow end. Janelle’s sister brought out pizzas and soda, along with generic party snacks— chips, cookies, a punch bowl, and everything went quite well compared to my usual social experiences.
Until they built the fire.
We all sat around it, in the backyard. A bunch of kids went back in the pool and some others went inside to dance. That left me and a few others by the fire.
“Look at all the colors,” said one of the girls sitting across from me. Her glance flickered to something behind me. I ignored it, stupidly.
“Yeah,” I said, “I love fire.”
And right after the words left my mouth, my head was doused in cold, red liquid. No, not blood.
Jeremy and Trevor had dumped the punch bowl over my head.
Everyone burst out laughing. Okay, so there were only five people who saw, but that didn’t make it any less humiliating.
I ran and jumped into the pool with my clothes on. I didn’t care, it was just a T-shirt and shorts.
Janelle came out of the house as I came out of the pool.
“Phyllis, you’re all wet!”
“Yeah, don’t worry, I’m just gonna’ go sit by the fire and dry off.”
I went and sat by the fire. I was alone. There were a couple of guys kicking a ball around and two girls in the pool, but otherwise, everyone had gone back inside.
After a while I saw Jeremy come out. I looked at him, then at the fire, and, very quickly, I inhaled the fire. The whole thing, leaving behind just the pile of wood. The heat felt good in my lungs.
I stood up. Jeremy was flirting with the girls in the pool. They got out and left him to cover it.
“Janelle sent you out to cover the pool?” I asked.
He ignored me.
Now, that was just rude.
“Hey Germs, look out.”
I don’t know if he looked at me then or not, but either way, I blew the fire I’d inhaled at him with all the heat, smoke, and force I could. It must’ve looked like an explosion.
He screamed, flying backward to the other side of the pool. I breathed it back in.
I heard one of the guys on the other side of the yard say, “What the hell?”
But I didn’t care. I walked around the pool, down to Jeremy.
“Are you listening now, Jeremy?” I said angrily. “I want you to leave me the fuck alone. Forever. Because I don’t think you deserve to live.”
He looked at me. I loved the look on his face. I had never scared anyone before. I hoped he was in shock. Sadly I had somehow managed not to burn him.
“Do you understand?”
He nodded, got up and walked away. Quickly.
After that I’d called my Aunts to take me home.