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Welcome! Books, movies, music, original stories, interviews, writing, libraries, literacy, humor –all with the YA reader in mind, are just a few of the topics you’ll find here. New to the blog? Say hi! Like it? Follow away! Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Another Kindle give away plus signed copy of Exiled and MORE


if we reach 5000 likes on MY FACEBOOK PAGE  before my release date (June 5th), I will hold a contest and offer the winner... 

A signed copy of Exiled...

 A signed Exiled poster

 $30 to spend at The Never Chronicles store

 AND... a kindle loaded with the Exiled eBook. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Life Changer -success beyond yourself

Over the weekend I went to a party to celebrate the 25th anniversary of my mother-in-law's adoption agency.  I went into the evening with expectations and walked out of the restaurant completely blown away.

Family Focus Adoption Services is not your typical adoption agency. I knew they were different, but I didn't realize how different -how cutting edge, passionate (the passion was palpable -yes! from a company in existence for 25 years) and innovative they were.

Those who spoke were phenomenal. Those who listened were captivated.  All the while as I watched, I tried to put my finger on what, after twenty-five years, could energize a group of people like this.

It didn't take long before someone said it.  They change lives.  They've changed lives.  Literally thousands of lives profoundly impacted by this group of dedicated and passionate people.  Despite all the impasses, obstacles and hurdles that they encounter nearly every day, the passion to make a difference in this world -not for them but for others, drives them forward. It drives them right through the barriers they come upon. It drives them to succeed and in their world, success isn't money or power, it's providing loving caring homes for people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds. When they succeed, they've made a difference -a permanent difference, a real difference in someone's life.

And then came my epiphany. What I envision for myself stretches beyond simply writing books people enjoy and into the successes that really matter -changing lives. If more people conducted business with a greater purpose in mind -something beyond the balance sheet, I wonder how much this world could improve? How much good could be done?

And the wheels turn a little faster...


As always, find interviews, writing samples, videos, contests and more on my re-vamped website.

In bookstores 6-5-2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Crazy Life...

I feel the need to apologize for not posting this week.  Things have been so crazy!  Tons of stuff going on with the book right now.

  • I just finished reviewing the page proofs. This was my last opportunity to make any changes (and most likely to the chagrin of my publisher, I took full advantage of the opportunity). 

  • Not long ago, I released the audio version of chapter one -you can listen HERE

  • My publicist scheduled eight meet & greets with bookstore event managers in NJ and NY over this upcoming weekend to discuss book signings etc.

  • I received my ARC (advanced reader copies) and have been distributing them to reviewers and close family and friends...and am about to run out because all of the eight stops this weekend will eat up my remaining copies...but don't worry, I am getting more.

  • My virtual book tour (details HERE)  begins May 19th -less than a month away.

  • By fate or chance, I met someone from the CYWA 

 from their website...

The CYWA draws into membership men, women, and children of diverse backgrounds and faiths, that together they may gain personal responsibility, dignity, and self esteem to help eliminate poverty and improve the quality of life in our community.

and we discussed great possibilities regarding collaborating on literacy and creative writing programs that can be piggybacked onto their House of Blues program. Very exciting!

  • BOTH my daughters started sports (soccer and baseball)...unless you've seen kindergarteners play baseball, you have no idea how funny the whole thing is.  Thank goodness I didn't volunteer for that coaching job! 

  •  Exiled is on NetGalley if there are any reviewers who'd like to check it out

That's about it for the moment!

As always, find interviews, writing samples, videos, contests and more on my re-vamped website.

In bookstores 6-5-2012

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Humanising the Heinous-Guest post by Carlie Cullen

Humanising The Heinous by Carlie Cullen

Nearly every Fantasy book I’ve ever read has at least one villain intent on causing as much harm or mischief as possible and while this makes for an exciting story, not every author treads the path to explore why the villain is the way he/she is. I have to wonder why this is; maybe it’s because the writer is wrapped up in the emotions and back story of the protagonists, maybe they are so busy making their villain evil and plotting the next dastardly trick that they forget to look at the true character behind the evil, and maybe they just didn’t think about it.

Short Story Contest -most potential winner

The most potential prize is a new award given to the entrant deemed to have an obvious flair for creativity yet still in need of some refinement.  This year's award winner is a fourteen-year-old student from California, USA.  She is currently working on 3 sci-fi/fantasy novels while attending school. Her love of writing, dedication and ability to tell an engrossing story is why Jessica Fine has been selected as the 'Most Potential" winner. Please enjoy her engrossing story.

Camp Burkheart by Jessica Fine
Camp Burkheart was buzzing with noise. Campers scampered all around. The silver crescent moon glowed brightly forcing the stars to fade around it from its blinding light.  I walked clutching my bag, I was so nervous my knuckles were white from gripping it so hard. I strided past the archery lane and weapon/armory shed.  Kids of ages nine to nineteen came to Camp Burkheart, they came to learn to survive and find the rest of their soul.
I’m ready for this, I encouraged myself. I stood there eyeing everyone while I fiddled with my hair re-braiding it over and over.  I checked over all my stuff I needed for tonight, bow, two dozen arrows, some food, clothes, compass, and a pocket knife. That was probably my hundredth time. The cabins around glowed a summery orange from torches that lit up around camp, but the training area was dark, silent, and eerie. Just like the Garboloth Shadow just thinking of him it sent shivers down my spine making me shudder.  I could barely imagine the amount of people that disappeared around its cave. 
A loud voice boomed throughout the camp, “Please all gather around the fire for dinner.” The leader of Camp Burk Heart continued, “Then we will start the search.”
As I got closer the smell of Bar-B-Q wafted through the air making my stomach grumble loudly. The whole camp was able to fit around the fire, seventy-eight. Everyone conversed and watched the flames dance in the night sky sparks going everywhere. We nibbled on our hamburgers even though we felt as if we lost our stomachs to our nerves.
“Okay,” Marrow the leader said. “As you all know tonight is the night you younglings find your ride or well, the other part of your soul, the lost part. Kids who already have found there’s help others prepare.  Don’t be discouraged if this is your third, fourth or whatever, your time will come,” He cleared his throat. “You each will be given what looks like a twig, snap it we’ll will be there to save you from whatever danger occurs in less than five minutes.”
He snapped the twig in half a searing noise came out making everyone cover their ears.
“I think my ears are bleeding!” One muttered in the crowd, making others laugh. Marrow even cracked a smile.
“In twenty minutes gather round in the sparring yard and we will start,” he instructed and walked off well he was pushed off in a bathtub on wheels. Being mer and all.
Only a few stayed at the fire as it died down.  I was one of them finishing my root beer. I had twenty minutes to settle my nerve. I was probably the most nervous being my first time. I zoned out watching the flames. I finally relaxed some until a horn blew making me rattled all over again.
We all grouped up and listened for our name to be called by Marrow.
“Alma-Rose Greenwood!” He called at last.
I walked a few steps forward; it felt like I took my first few steps from crawling. He smiled warmly and handed me my stick we called the whistle stick. Soon everyone had theirs.  He told us how this all became. How when we are born we aren’t born with our whole soul, we have to find them meaning the rest of our soul basically. This is what this camp does.
“Okay, when I blow the horn scatter off into the woods,” He blew a horn.
We all ran into the woods yelling and cheering. I must’ve run two miles until it was pretty quiet and torches faded from other kids. I wasn’t as jittery now as I slowed to a walk.  The deeper I got in the woods the more I heard scampering wild beasts, hissing, and every so often a neigh.
I hoped I wouldn’t share a soul with a Pixie; they were nasty little things, I thought as I hiked through the trees. I didn’t even know how to find my other part of soul .  Some say it will come with destiny. My muscles started to ache and I was parched luckily I heard a creek not too far away.
I sat down on my knees on the edge of the shimmering creek. I would have to wade through it soon and it was freezing. I cupped my hands and drank the icy water making my fingers go numb. I looked at the moon’s reflection and the ripples until I heard a crash behind me. I jumped up and turned towards the sound. There he was, the Garboloth Shadow.  He looked just like the drawings I saw on a map once.  His lair, the most scarce place. He arched his long elegant neck towards the stars like he was a glorious king praising his people.  His dark blue scales with silver tips glinted in the moon light. I ran to a tree and hid behind it before he saw me. I heard a few snorts and a stomps then everything got hotter in the air. The Garboloth Shadow was a dragon.
I had left my bag. I turned and looked around the tree to see what he was burning. He was burning trees to a crisp. I watched him burn others till he looked my way. My tree was next.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up. Just as the flames licked my tree I had ran. I grabbed my bag and bow splashing through the creek sprinting as fast as I could. I heard a few crashes behind me a while ago but I kept running. Well, until I ran into someone.
“Oww, watch it!” A boy said rubbing his head trying to sit up.
“Sorry,” I said quickly searching the woods.
            “Why are you running, anyway?” the tall lanky boy asked.
            “I thought I was being chased by the Garboloth Shadow,” I whispered loudly.
            He looked at me like I was insane, “Did you hit your head when we fell?” He went on, “No one has seen him for over a decade. Even if why didn’t you break your stick?”
             I had no idea why I didn’t.
            “Well, I’m going,” I said. He followed. “We have to find our other part of our soul on our own.”
            “We’ll split soon.”
            We walked in silence but the night was loud.
            “What’s your name?” He broke the silence.
            “Alma-Rose Greenwood.”
            “Ah, Rose,” he looked at the sky. “Red Ravenswood.”
            “Alma-Rose,” I said snidely.
            “So Rose, this your first time?”
            I rolled my eyes, “Yes.”
            “Sixth, people say they find you they come with destiny,” He said. “Not me.”
            “Have a little faith.”
            “Faith, ha I’ve heard that so many times.”
            I heard a growl behind us and snarling. We turned ever so slowly. There stood a wolf like creature a black one, with horns, and a spiked tail with red beady diamond eyes. I swung my bow with and arrow and pointed my arrow at it. Red struggled to unsheathe his sword until he stabbed it toward the creature wolf. I shot an arrow wounding its leg; it howled in pain and hurdled away. Red and I nodded at each other and started to run a few step with more growling this time around us. They were everywhere surrounding us in every angle.
            “How many arrows do you have left,” He asked.
            “Six, I must’ve lost some when I was running.”
 “Don’t move.”
            I slowly reached for my bag searching for my whistle stick, but I stopped when a huge crash started to get closer and louder I stood frozen while I saw the Garboloth Shadow grab Red’s collar of his shirt and yank him in the air. Finally, I unfroze and grabbed his ankle, yanking me into the air too.
            We climbed high screaming as we went up and up. My feet finally stopped clipping the tops of trees. My arm was ripped up, feeling like it would pop out of its socket as I landed on the back of the dragon. I gripped on to Red’s side as we soared through the dark sky with the glow of stars. The dragon couldn’t hold our weight together that much and we started to lose altitude. We finally started to dive down and the dragon struggled to control his wings. Until we started spinning and I lost my grip and fell. I sailed down maybe twenty feet hitting the lake. I breached to the shore and saw Red running my way.  
            “You okay?”
            I nodded. The dragon followed him but I scooted away.
            “It’s okay she is my other well, part of my soul!” He said I looked at him with a crazy expression. “Everything glowed when I touched her and then I could understand and talked to her with my mind.”
 “Her name is Faith.” He said. “She saved us.  She’s good!”
All I could do is stare at them wide eyed.
Find information about my next writing contest, interviews, book news and more on my website.

In bookstores 6-5-2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why are literary agents turning their noses up to proven authors?

I was trying to fit this into a Facebook post but it is too good to squeeze in a single post.

 I was told by a big-wig literary agent today, (who will remain anonymous...but he represents a MAJOR player in YA at the moment) when asking a general question to satiate my ever curious mind about whether he would ever consider representing an unencumbered (no agent, no publishing contract) author based on robust book sales, "I don't pay any attention to that." -"that" being book sales. 

He went on to say that he has a better ability to forecast the sales potential of an author than actual readers who purchase the books...so rather than look at sales numbers which are an exact indication of the popularity of a particular author, this guy said "I will determine that for myself."

With what, I wonder, his crystal ball?

This is the problem with (not all but many) agents today. Their arrogance is blinding them to the money making potential this new model publishing market has set in front of them.  They'd rather base their representation upon one piece of paper (your query) and their gut intuition.  Are you okay with letting someone like that handle your work?

I cannot think of a logical reason why picking up unrepresented authors who have already had success in the marketplace would be considered more of a risk than throwing a new name out there and hoping for the best.

If arrogance was ever in question, he went on to say "I'll decide the way I always do: whether I want to make you the sweetest gift I have, namely a percentage of my brain."

So what part of your brain ignores what the marketplace (the readers) wants and relies on the tried and tested methods of an antiquated system?

It's like picking athletes for your pro football team from the local high school rather than division-1 colleges.  Once in a while you'll get lucky but most of the time the kid is a flop -not because he isn't a good athlete but because he doesn't have the street smarts a college program will teach him.

I don't get it.  What would prevent an agent or publisher from picking popular, unencumbered authors out of the marketplace? Fear that they've maxed out their sales?  that they've reached all their potential readers? Is that possible on a shoestring budget? -by which so many of these authors are limited. I think not.

I think this agent needs to re-read his copy of Who Moved my Cheese because not only has his cheese moved, but the maze is changing as well.

End of tirade.

Short Story Contest 7th place

Dragon, My Darling  by Cat Cheatle

I was just an egg, a tiny speck in the universe waiting to sprout. I’ve spent weeks in this shell and the bigger I grow the tighter it gets and the more eager I am to escape into the Earth.
Just yesterday I blew out the window of a strange man’s car. I landed safely on a pile of new grass trimmings. The wind took me away, off of my soft landing and blew me to the front porch of an eight year old girl, who stood right in front of me. She must have felt me hit her because she bent down and picked me up off the hard ground. Her hands were warm and soft, like a young girl’s hands should be.
She seemed to take an interest in me. I explored with her, I saw what she saw. After a few days of acquiring me she planted me in a nearby field. Making sure not to dig to deep or too shallow. She came to water me every few days or so. I was inflating with water, growing more and more plump. I could see her growing older, she was eleven now, still watering me. I had just began to sprout. I will soon see the world through eyes of my own instead of through a shell.
She turned thirteen just as my head began to peak through the ground. In another year I could see, and communicate with my eyes. She brought her little brother out to see me. She explained to him what I was, a dragon, and to be sure to help take excellent care of me throughout our lives. During her teenage years she would come visit me often, telling me about her day and her worries. She expressed her worried thoughts about what would happen once I’m fully out of the ground and in the world, being a part of it.
My mouth is now in that field. It failed to talk but water and fire spewed out of it. I could start fires and end them. I could drown and burn. Two forms of destruction. I could feel a disturbance in my mind, almost like all of my innocence has disappeared. I wanted to kill, to destroy, to harm, but then- to love. There’s been a tree to my right growing along side me, not far away. I spat water at it. I enjoyed the effect it had. My mouth was a powerful force. I burned the tree down and watched it burn, watched it crumble. When the fire spread too close to me I just set my water weapon on it. I have arms now, I can crush, I can swat the flies that land on my long horned snout away.
The girl came to visit me in the field, it was her last day of her senior year. She saw burned tree, and the fire I had caused. She was quite furious with me, stating her disappointment and disapproval. She was speaking to me as if I was some sort of toddler. I wouldn’t say I was more sophisticated then her, but I am surely more powerful. She told me that I was forbidden to burn or drown anything in a destructive way. What’s the point of being a fire and water spewing dragon if I’m not allowed to use my talents?
I’m up to my waist now, I can twist and turn. I’ve needed to stretch my back for years. Oh, how good it feels. The girl came home for the summer- she just finished her second year of college. She brought me a treat, a family of rabbits she found in a nearby rabbit den. I enjoyed feeling those drops of rabbit blood running down my neck.
My kneecaps are in the world, they can finally breath. It is quite difficult to stay balanced, but as soon as I’m big enough to get out of the ground my muscles will quickly grow into strong tools for me to use. I miss the scent of the girl. It’s getting lonely here in the field. The birds and squirrels don’t know how to speak, they only squeak and tweet. I don’t understand what they say, if they’re saying anything at all. I often think of what other animals lives are like. How do they come to be? Are they grown, like me? I crave something to do, someone to talk to. I’ve burned up the majority of the things I can reach.
A middle aged man just emerged out of the nearby forest. I hope he can’t see me. If he can, I hope he is weaponless. I am still just a young dragon, I have not learned the ways of the world. I do know the main goal in the life of a dragon, reach them before they reach you. A dragon’s life is very Do or Die. How does one not end up tired of being chased or threatened? How does one not get tired of having the need to kill everything threatening in it’s path? The man has spotted me. Thankfully his hands are empty, his one threatening aspect is just being human. I tilt my head upwards, pointing my mouth towards the cloudy sky. I release a long flame from my mouth, watch it rise above me and watch it disappear. I hope the man was watching too, he needs to know I’m dangerous. He needs to see that I am a threat to his well being. He does, he notices the line of fire I brought into the world. He smiles at me. It looks half friendly, and half evil. Then again, I’m not an expert at deciphering the good humans from the bad. I have only met two in my life, both of which were friendly and soothing. This may be the first bad intentioned human I’ve encountered. He slowly walks towards me. He’s still smiling. I am still knee deep in the ground, I've tried getting out but my roots must still be connected. Maybe someone needs to come pull me out, like a carrot. The man is now a few feet away from me. I see him reach into his shoe, remove a knife while  his grin keeps getting better, and more evil. I take a deep breath. I wait another few seconds, and when he’s right in front of me, a large flaming flame escapes me. It stops right on the man, I see his lips turn from a smile, to an open gaping hole. My fire reaches him, and his screams reach my ears. Our little gifts to one another. He stops screaming as he falls to the ground. He must have lost his life. If I was his life I would have wanted out too. I now spit water at the dead man, cooling him down. I have to eat the body before the girl, my friend, comes back. Who knows when she arrives. The body is cool now- I reach my arms out, and pull him closer. I lick the body. It is a very unappetizing taste. I will have to wait a few more days until the full amount of my limbs are outside of the dirt.
On this day, I step out of the earth. I am free. I am part of the world. I walk for a few minutes, getting used to my feet. All I can think about is that girl, and how proud she must be of me. Or has she forgotten about me? She must be in her thirties now. I stop worrying myself with her life, and drag the burnt, rotting body to the forest, where I end my body transportation journey. I strut out of the small amount of the forest I have gone into, feeling rather good about myself. What do I do with my time now that I have freedom? I quickly back away from the forest, and light it on fire.
It  comes to my realisation that I am a dragon at the same time I pick up her scent. Following her trail I run to the girl’s house, excited to see her, anticipating her reaction. I ignore all the humans I pass, and their reactions to the sight of me. I burst into the girl’s house, telling her to come away with me, and we will fly to a better place. I see her father scream at me and his daughter, but it fails to phase me. My friend, my only friend, agrees. Her father, still screaming at her, tries to hold her back. The daughter ignores her father and hops onto my back. I see the father grab the house’s biggest kitchen knife, and throw it towards us. It hits his daughter who falls off of my back and bleeds too much to be salvaged. I cry, I run out of the house, and once outside, burn it down and fly away, alone.

Find information about my next writing contest, interviews, book news and more on my website.

In bookstores 6-5-2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The inexplicable disappearance of Karma Radwyn

by J. R. Wagner

She punched the glass.  Not once, but repeatedly as the tears ran down her cheeks. With each strike she envisioned the face of a different girl behind the mirror.  Carolyn. Nancy. Amanda. Heather.  By the third girl, the mirror split.  By the fifth, a fist sized hole of shattered mirror replaced where her face had been reflected moments ago.  Bits of broken glass ripped apart her knuckles. She went on. Sobbing, cursing, bleeding, punching. The pain was there, but she was projecting it onto her victims as if they were feeling the throbbing of her wrist (certainly broken), the tearing of her flesh (what was left of it).

She couldn't help the anger. Couldn't control the pain.  Not physical but emotional -the worst of the pair. What made it the most infuriating was the reason behind their malice.   There wasn't one.  Karma hardly knew any of these girls before Monday.  She'd never had a problem with any of them -in fact, she didn't even realize several of them went to her school.  So why did they direct their hate at her? This she couldn't understand, would never understand and none of them, not one was willing to offer an explanation.

Small bits of shorn flesh mixed with broken glass meandered down the streams of blood toward the bottom of the mirror. The sound of the impact like a hand slapping the surface of a still pond.  On she went. Punching. Screaming. Raging.

Was it because she wasn't like them? Skinny, blonde, tan.  When Karma saw the girls she knew in the hallway,  she tried her best not to wince at the ridiculousness of their appearance. Orange skin from either a bad spray tan or time in a tanning booth. Hair so light she could see clear through to their scalps. Makeup so thick she wondered if, when they blinked, their eyelids would become stuck. So skinny they look malnourished.  She truly pitied them. Was that it? Her pity?  Had they seen it in her expression as they passed in the hall?  Could they have been so perceptive?  She doubted it.  They were too self-involved to notice anyone -especially someone like her.  Quiet, intelligent, creative.

A large piece of glass slid away from the lower left section of the wall-sized mirror and crashed to the floor.  Karma was in the old section of the school so she wasn't concerned about someone hearing the crash (or her screams and curses). The school had gated off the old section to 'preserve its antiquity' and only allowed people inside during parents night. Karma was on the school newspaper and frequented a basement supply room where new building met old to retrieve various items during one of their after-school brainstorming sessions.  She had seen the alcove before but never bothered to pay it any attention until, by chance, she dropped a large roll of paper.  Rather than coming to a stop on the floor, the paper rolled, picking up speed as it went, until it reached the semi-circular alcove. As she stooped to pick up the paper, Karma noticed something on the wall.  Line-of-sight from the hallway would have prevented the causal visitor to the supply room from noticing the cast iron ladder bolted into the wall just above her head.

As the echo from the glass receded, a sharp pain surged up  Karma's arm to her elbow. Despite the pain, she cocked her arm back to throw another punch.  Something made  her pause.  She thought it was a result of the light of the slit-like windows reflecting off the broken glass so she stepped to the side where the mirror was still in relatively good condition. There it was again.  A flicker in the distance -like a candle.  Impossible yet it was there.

It grew brighter revealing a passage.  That's it, she thought. I've driven myself to madness.  The enormity of the situation sent a surge of fear and anger through her body.  Without my mind, I am nothing, she thought.  She charged at the broken mirror head-first, hoping to knock out whatever hysteria had taken over. With powerful thighs, Karma pushed herself forward...and was gone.

As always, find interviews, writing samples, videos, contests and more on my re-vamped website.

In bookstores 6-5-2012

Short story contest 6th place

The Egg by Emma Grimm

The rain came down hard. I shielded my head with my arm but it didn't do much. I darted across the small meadow to finally spot my destination. Only a little longer and I would soon be in the forest. The big, old, dark forest. The reason my delusional friend told me to meet her there is unknown. I had finally made it to the forest. I wiped my dark, wet hair out of my face. Every inch of my body soaked with the freezing cold downpour. I waited for a while, afraid to enter this pitch-black forest. I couldn't turn back now. Not when I was so close. I entered, ignoring the thoughts that kept creeping into my mind. The rain lightened once I was in the forest, the trees having given me shelter. I waited, catching my breath under a tree. Then I saw a light, a very faint light. I watched it move back and forth in the darkness. It gave me hope. The only light in the darkness. I desired it. I wanted to be with that light. I ran to it, faster and faster, trying to jump tree roots as they came across my path. The light was getting bigger and bigger. I saw the silhouette of a person standing about 500 feet in front of me, when I tripped. I hit the cold ground painfully. I lay there motionless, with my eyes closed, wishing the pain to go away. I could hear a small yell from some distance away, and tried to understand what was being said. Once the voice got louder, I could hear my name being repeated.
“ Madeleine! Madeleine are you okay?” The anxious voice of my friend called out to me. I muttered a groan. Although I wanted to reassure her of my well being, I didn't want to move from my resting place on the earthy ground. The yelling continued until she was right up next to me.
“Are you okay Madeleine?” She asked, breathing so heavily it was almost impossible to understand her.
“Yeah, but I think I might need some help getting up.”
“Okay, I was so worried.” She put her hands under my arms and lifted me to my feet. “Oh my god you’re soaked! Did you not bring an umbrella?” She had finally caught her breath and was now leaning against a tree.
“No, I didn't. How did you find me anyway in this darkness?”
“ With this.” She held up a blue flash light and pointed it at my face. I had to cover my eyes with my hands. I realized this is what I had seen before, the beautiful light.
“ Why did you bring me here anyway?”
“For this” She reached her hand into her pocket and took out what seemed to be a rock. She put her flashlights beam onto the rock.
“What is it” I asked her curiously.
“Its an egg! I found it on the ground a couple days ago and was going to try and hatch it but my mom found out so I decided to give it to you.” She said as she handed me the warm egg.
“What do I want with a stupid egg?” As I said this, a flash of lighting struck nearby.
“It’s not like other eggs. I think it can hear everything you say. I don't know for sure, but I have a feeling this egg has a purpose.” I played with the egg in my hand. It fit perfectly in my palm. Even though I had just met the egg, I felt myself growing strongly attached to it.
“Thank you.” I said to my friend. She smiled a big smile as I turned to bring the egg home.
    When I got home I made my egg a nice warm bed. I put a lamp right above it so it did not get too cold. I could now fully see the colors of the egg, a dark green with two purple spots on the top. Then I went to take a nice warm shower and realized that I couldn't get my mind off the egg. What could it be? Whatever its was I wanted it to be safe and to be able to hatch. I wish I had something to keep it warmer. Then I had an idea. I got quickly out of the shower and began to blow dry my hair. When I was done I went to my drawer got out my pink-handled scissors and cut my hair until I had a rough kind of pixie hairdo. I picked up the strands of hair and placed them in the nest where the egg sat calmly. I laughed a booming laugh at the site of the hair nest I had made. I got into bed a watched my egg. I watched it until the sun rose again. I had to leave my egg at home while I went to school. My parents were furious about my new hair style, but I ignored them. At school I was dreaming about seeing my egg again, all alone probably freezing to death. I was growing more and more anxious knowing that I needed to keep it warm. My teacher had come to look at my work, but seeing nothing more then some drawings of eggs, told me that I would have to do some work or go to the principal. This maddened me.
“ I’m going to do what ever I want!” I yelled at her standing up from my seat. All of the heads of the 24 children spun around to look at me.
“Young lady, you do not talk to me like that.” She snapped.
“You are nothing but a waste of space!” I screamed in my deepest voice. “I do not have to waste my time with someone as dim-witted as you!”
“Go to the principal!” She screamed so loud every one in the class shuddered. Everyone but me. I stood there not moving not even breathing.
“GO!” She yelled. I got my stuff and left the room. Instead of going to the principal’s office I went home to my egg. I went strait to my room passing my mom without looking at her.
“Honey? Why are you home from school so early?” She seemed concerned. I slammed the door behind me and went to my egg. There were cracks in it. It was hatching. I felt myself get happier and happier as the little reptilian legs started to come out. As I saw the head I finally knew what it was; A dragon! My mother knocked on the door of my bedroom.
“Are you okay in there?’ She asked in her calm, motherly voice.
The dragon was fully out of its shell and was now walking around the nest I had made it. I  started to laugh. My mother was now pounding on the door.The dragon took a deep breath and blew. Instead of air, fire erupted out of the little creature’s mouth. I had to touch it, I had to feel the scaly reptilian back. I put my finger out to stroke it when its teeth sunk into my flesh. I quickly pulled my hand away and watched as ruby red blood dripped down my finger. I screamed which only made my mother pound louder. The dragon looked at me with its black eyes and I knew it was over. It opened its teeth filled mouth and began to devour the flesh that used to be me. I was the dragon’s first meal.

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In bookstores 6-5-2012