TORN With the sudden, mysterious death of her father, Samantha discovers her life isn’t what it seems. Not only isn’t she the normal teenage girl she thought she was, Sam must now take her father’s place in the fight between two groups of fallen angels, the Faithful and the Exiled, in a race to save humanity. In addition to dealing with a devastating betrayal—and having feelings for someone she’s forbidden to love—Sam must also fight the growing darkness within her as she struggles to make a choice between fighting alongside the Faithful or succumbing to the temptation of the Exiled. Both sides require sacrifices Sam isn’t sure she can make.
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I knew it was dangerous, but the voice was so tempting...
Unable to speak, I wiped the beads of sweat from my forehead and looked around. I swung my head toward the window and peered outside, searching for the source of the taunting voice. Where was he? The sky had darkened significantly and just beyond the trees I saw a swirling shadow that seemed to pulse. The vegetation surrounding it had withered, becoming gray and lifeless as though the shadow had sucked up all of the energy. A faint hum filled the air, growing louder as the shadow pulsed faster.
Samannnnnnthaaaa...It's time. Join us.
"Where are you?" I could barely get the words out. "What do you want from me?" This voice had plagued me for months and I wanted to know for sure it was Sebastian, yet the thought of finally knowing, finally seeing him, scared me more than the uncertainty.
The voice chuckled. Join us and I will show you everything.
"Never," I whispered. "Never. My father died protecting me. I will never come to you."
Again, a high-pitched and foul laugh rang in my head, making it spin. Dark clouds rolled ominously overhead, the wind picked up and the dull humming became inescapable white noise. Silly girl. You will come to us. You will make the choice. It is your destiny.
Despite my protest, I stepped toward the window then, leaning over the sink, I reached up to unlock it. My reflection was unrecognizable in the glass. My hair was wild and my eyes were huge and black as shadows emanated from within me. Whatever was out there was reaching for me with ghostly fingers, and as I opened the window, a dark mist snaked toward the house. I closed my eyes in giddy anticipation of the unknown.
I've always wanted to write. Ever since I was little, I would craft stories and poems but the idea to actually do it "for real" never really crossed my mind until last year. After sitting on three paragraphs of what would eventually become my first novel, I decided to expand upon what I had. At the time I had no real idea of where the story would go, I just knew I had the time to do something with it.
I hadn't researched market trends, I had no idea about query letters or the evil synopsis, and I was green on the idea of agents and editors and all that is publishing, really. I just wanted to write something I enjoyed. I didn't plot, outline, or character build, I just wrote. And then an author friend mentioned that I should take my writing to a conference.
So with the confidence that my novel would surely be welcomed by all who read it, I signed up for as many seminars and critiques as I could. I knew someone would love it. In those two days, I found out I had a lot to learn.
Funny, but as a former English teacher, you'd think I'd have figured out the importance of editing and revision and revising again. You'd think I'd have known that the first draft is just that, a draft. And when the critiques started coming in, I thought I was done for. Not that the premise wasn't good (I was told it was), not that the characters weren't believable (I was told they were), but I used too much passive voice, I tense shifted and there were some holes in the plotline.
A few agents really liked it, but the market trend couldn't support it. Some were not fond of the way I told the story. I queried and queried my way to 57 flat out rejections and a number of partial and full requests that didn't pan out. But along the way I got some great criticism and pointers and I made the story better. Then, on a whim, I trolled the SavvyAuthors website and signed up for a three line pitch to an editor and I did a happy dance when she requested my full manuscript.
A month later, she responded that she loved the story and the concept but it moved too slowly but I could resubmit if I revised. I informed her I sent her a revision that was based on the opinions of agents, authors and peers but I had the original (cleaned up, of course) and I was sending it in to see if it was more of what she was looking for. And guess what? It was! One caveat, I had to revise the manuscript into past tense. Easy peasy, right? Wrong.
Revising into past tense from present is line editing your entire novel. And it kinda stinks. By the end, I thought my eyes were gonna start bleeding and pop out onto my keyboard. But you know what? That little "exercise" tightened up what was loose, filled in any plot holes that might've still been there and forced me to realize I could be a better writer.
The road to publication can be long. It can be a hop, skip and a jump from your first query. Nothing in publication is set in stone. The market is always changing. And the biggest thing I learned is that it's all subjective. Agents A-Y may pass but all you need is Agent or Editor Z to believe in you as much as you believe in yourself. And I believe in my first novel.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Christine-Hughes/e/B0088YCINW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1359675992&sr=8-2