Teaser Tuesday: The First Fantasy Book I Ever Wrote

I knew I’d wanted to write for a good majority of my life, but I didn’t realize how far back the inclination went until I stumbled upon a container of all my art projects from elementary school. It turns out I’d been telling stories for years before I actually decided to be a writer. One of these stories was a fantasy ‘book’ entitled DRAGONS AND GUARDS DON’T MIX, a sweeping epic of nearly a thousand words with romance, intrigue, betrayal, battle, witches, and dragons.

I was in third grade. I remember working on this book day after day, carefully making the perfect illustrations and working through several drafts of the stories. The rest of my class was doing the same, and at the end of the project we turned them in, along with the rest of the school, to a group of traveling performers called The Imagineers (Now that I’m thinking back on it, how weird is it that there was a traveling group of performers going around to elementary schools? What is this, 1500’s England?) Out of the whole school, they picked three stories to make plays from, and one of them was mine. So, at the age of 8, I got to see my work on the stage for the first time. They modified the story a little bit, and I remember being slightly put out, but still, how cool was that?

Going through that container of my early work, I remembered all this and was pleasantly surprised to discover I’d been working in fantasy for a lot longer than I realized. And today I’m excited to share the story with you.

Behold! The first fantasy book I ever wrote: DRAGONS AND GUARDS DON’T MIX



ONE day in spring, a long time ago, a guard came to the castle of King Hubert and Queen Darlie, looking for a job. Poor King Hubert and Queen Darlie, little did they know that the guard had planned to take over the castle! Moni (the guard’s name) had been spying on the castle, and knew that they had no guard to guard the castle. So he figured that if he came looking for a job, that they would give it to him. He also knew (from his experience being a guard) that when the King and Queen went away they would leave the Kingdom to be ruled by, until they got back, to the guard who guarded the castle. So, on with the story!…

The King and Queen had a daughter named Isabelle. Monti had planned to take her as his wife. Isabelle wanted a pet dragon. Monti offered to go and buy the dragon for her. And she said, “I’d be happy if you would. While you’re out, could you pick up some groceries?” She handed him a list. It was as tall as the princess standing on the guard’s head! “It seems like a lot, but” he went on quickly “I’m sure the dragon you’re getting will help carry them.” Monti said.

While walking to the pet shop, Monti said to himself “You are so sly Monti. You pretend to be a guard, you know that the Princess wanted a dragon, you go get the dragon, your friend, who will pretend to be the princess’s pet, and then you and the dragon can rule!”



When Monti got to the pet shop he said normally “I would like to buy a dragon for the princess please.” The storekeeper said “Dragons back here sir.” Monti followed the storekeeper into the back of the store were HUGE dragons were in tremendous cages. Dragons were eating, sleeping, drinking, fighting, and resting. The storekeeper led Monti through the mazes of cages and showed him one by one the dragons. Monti pretended to be interested in every dragon, and asked questions. When they came to Lighting (the dragon Monti was going to rule with) Monti said affectionly “I’ll take him.”

So the storekeeper took the Dragon out of his cage. Lightning had green wings and a green body. His eyes were blood red like his wings. The tip of his tail was shaped like an arrowhead. It was also blood red. Lighting’s fingernails were a very, very dark red, and his eyebrows were coal black. When Monti paid the storekeeper, they left. Then they went down to the grocery store and got all that was needed. Monti loaded the groceries onto Lightning, and got on him. Lightning flew into the air saying “Hold on!” Lighting was a talking dragon.


They talked about their plan to rule all the way to the castle. Lighting landed by the castle and walked over to the kitchen window. There, they handed the bags to the cooks and left that side of the castle. Lighting walked to Isabelle’s tower. His head just reached her balcony. Monti climbed onto Lightning’s head and stepped into Isabelle’s balcony. There, he called to her. When she came out, she asked him how he got to the balcony without going through her room. Then Monti stepped aside. The princess gasped, then said, “He’s beautiful!”


To the princess’s surprise, Lightning bowed and said in a respectful voice “Pleased to be your pet your highness.” Isabelle said “What’s your name?” in a quite surprised voice. “My name is Lightning,” said you know who in a soft voice. “Would you like to meet my parents?” Isabelle asked. “I’d be honored.” Lightning said.

After Isabelle showed Lightning to her parents, King and Queen both held Monti back to tell him that they were going to Europe. They told him that they had to settle a contract there. They were going tomorrow morning. Monti was so surprised. He hadn’t expected this so soon. As soon it was night, Monti made his way toward Lighting’s cave and they discussed matters. When they woke up, the King and Queen were gone. Monti entered the castle. He ripped up King Huber’s rules and made new ones. The marriage was to take place the day after tomorrow. Unluckily, the King and Queen arrived a day early. The first person to meet them was a servant girl. She told them all that had happened. After that, they gathered a small army of townspeople, and went into the castle. There, they caught the villains, and tied them up.


They went to the town square. Townspeople had gathered there. In the middle of it, there was a launcher. It looked like a teeter-totter. But instead of having seats, there were bowl-like seats. Then the friendly giant held down one end of the launcher. Lightning was placed inside the bowl on the other end. Then the friendly giant let go of the launcher, landing Lightning easily. Then he gave a running start and jumped onto the other end of the launcher. Lightning flew into the air and out of sight. The friendly giant had launched Lightning into space!!! A minute later, ashes came falling form the sky. Lighting must have burnt something. The witches were delighted when the King said they could have Monti for experiments.

And that’s why dragons and guards don’t mix.


Thankfully my storytelling skills have gotten a lot better (I like to think), but this story still holds a special place in my heart. :-) Also I have no idea why I thought dragons had eyebrows. None at all.

Teaser Tuesday: Zombie Book Excerpt

As promised, here’s an excerpt from the zombie book I was hoping to work on. I say was because it’s going to have to be put to the side for right now, even though I love it and can’t wait to work on it one day!

Also, I’m going to be out of town for the next 5 days in Florida along with some friends from Let The Words Flow! So excited! The house doesn’t have any internet, though, so if there are any emergencies, like the zombie apocalypse, count me unresponsive. ;-)

Click on ‘Read the Rest of this Entry’ to read Chapter 1 from the zombie book, tentatively titled THE DEAD-FILLED HALLS!!!

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Teaser Tuesday: Sleeping Beauty Excerpt!

If you watch me on Twitter then you might have seen me talk a lot lately about writing this first draft of Roses of Ash, my sleeping beauty retelling. Oddly enough, it’s going way better than I expected. I wrote 10k this weekend and am close to breaking 32k on the story itself. I will, of course, hope to end at around 80k but we’ll see. The ending keeps wanting to spin off into a trilogy, yikes!

Anyway, because I’m thrilled to death with the story and the characters I thought I’d share an excerpt from the beginning. For context, our main character is Talia (Sleeping Beauty), and this scene takes place just after she’s woken up with no memory of the past, and the servant with her, Soren, has explained what happened a hundred years ago. They’re about to venture out into the winter to try and escape the frozen kingdom.

This is also pretty much the first fight scene I’ve ever written.

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6 Moments in the Life of a Young Writer

True Stories.


I walked three blocks to the bus stop in the chill Washington air, wavering all over the sidewalk because I was finishing up a book from my high school’s library. When my bus arrived -number 105- I climbed into the humid interior and plopped down on a green seat, pulling Animorph books out of my backpack.

“Gimme Gimme Gimme!”

Diana, a Croatian exchange student, eagerly took the books from my hands and returned the ones she’d read last night.

I turned around to my friend Christine, who had printed off an epic fan fiction she’d been telling me about.

“I left it on the printer last night and my dad almost found it,” she said, handing over the unbound pages.

I laughed in horror. “Omg that would have been awful!”

“I know! I’d be grounded for weeks! Again!”


My best friend and her guy friend wriggled on the bed in front of me.

“See, if you do it like this, the non-dominant arms get in the way.”

“I see what you mean. Do it with you on top.”

They rotated.

“Is that comfortable?”

“Well, she’s making my belt dig into my skin. There’s a very narrow margin where this can be comfortable… too low and she’s on the goods, too high and she’s on the bladder.”

I studied them critically. “Can you try it against the wall? I had my characters do that once.”

They got up, and assumed the position by the nearest wall. They froze, as if for a photo-op. “Like this?”

“Yeah… is that doable for long periods of time?”

He started to lose his grip, and they crashed to the floor.

“I guess not,” I said dryly, and we all burst out laughing.


I put the cap on the black Sharpie and picked up the blue one. He sighed, and snuggled further into the pillow. I thought for a moment, then wrote a line from one of my poems on the skin of his back.

“Hold still,” I said, and held up my laptop to take a picture of my artwork.

“How does it look?” he asked, voice muffled.

I re-read every line I had drawn on him, my words smiling up at me, dark in contrast to his pale skin. I smiled. “You’re the most beautiful man in the world.”


I sat in the boardroom by myself, nervous that the phone from my desk would ring, or someone would knock on the door, or my cell phone would buzz. I didn’t want to be disturbed, but felt guilty for being unavailable, even for an hour.

I sat in the chair at the head of the conference table, then moved to the side, trying to pick the one spot in the room where I was most comfortable. I checked the time on my laptop. Two minutes. My work email had been closed down, and my manuscript was pulled up. The document included the agent’s name in it.

The phone rang.


I stared at my journal on the front porch. I hadn’t used it in two years, and didn’t really feel like using it now, but my counselor thought it would be therapeutic.

It was 5:30 but he wouldn’t be coming home to me anymore. I’d promised a rewrite to my agent, but I hadn’t worked on it in months. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep without crying. I stared at the paper with nothing to say. I set the journal down and put my head in my hands.


I drove home, singing along with the CD, happy because he would be there when I arrived, and my world had been put back together. My mind began wandering, and suddenly new characters popped into my head for the first time in three years.

“Yes!” I yelled, shaking my steering wheel. “Yes! Yes! Yes!”


Teaser Tuesday: NAMELESS first chapter

I wrote 4,600 words over the weekend, and on Monday I lost my thumb drive. :O

It’s okay, I’ve been sending chapters to my wonderful CP katzhang, so I only lost about 300 words that I’d worked on since the last update. Still, those 300 words were hard to recreate. I told Chris to get me a beautiful thumb drive on a long chain and I’ll just wear it around my neck constantly. He could even get my name engraved on it >:-)

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, and I haven’t done this in a while, I thought I’d share the first chapter from the revamped NAMELESS

I hope you like it as much as I do. <3

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