Saturday, October 29, 2011

CT First Page #12

TITLE:  Revealed
GENRE: YA Paranormal Romance

As long as I didn’t go behind the bleachers tonight, I’d be fine—I hoped. 

“Come with me, Elena…” 

It was homecoming, and I refused to let one scary vision ruin my night. 
As I pushed the sound of the stranger’s voice away, the butterflies beating my insides calmed and my heart rate slowed.  My parents wanted to take pictures on the front lawn while our neighbors watched, embarrassing me, so I had to be able to smile, and I couldn’t do that thinking about what could happen at the dance if my vision held true.
It was a typical beautiful evening in West Palm Beach at dusk; the clouds unique shades of pink and lavender.  The air was unseasonably dry and the light ocean breeze felt great.

“Hey, Elena.”  Devon Lowry said as I approached him on the lawn. 

My pulse quickened at the sight of him, butterflies of a different kind starting in my stomach, making it impossible not to think about our kiss.  I did a double take, noticing how attractive he looked in his black suit and red tie.  He stood as tall as a basketball player, lanky, but muscular, the suit showing off his athletic physique.   

“Hey.”  I tried to sound casual. 

“You look…beautiful.”  His crooked grin made my stomach leap into my throat.

I flushed.  “Thanks, I like your—”

Tessa Stabler bumped into me then, tripping in her high heels.  Devon caught me by my elbow as I stumbled.  A shock ran up my arm and I gasped, meeting his light green eyes. 

CT First Page #11

Title: Erth Too (Sequel to Erth Won)
Genre: MG Fantasy

Morgan watched the heart-shape Heartland from high in the air over a large continent resembling North America, except this Heartland wasn’t on Earth. It was on the first earth, an ancient, powerful, and very intelligent world. He waited to hear Erth One’s voice in his mind while he remembered how he and his best friend Loa, a huge Polynesian, had traveled across the universe to do what the planet couldn’t do for itself—act as its arms and legs to destroy the evil poisoning its Heart Well.

Though not even a whisper came, he couldn’t help smiling. The feeling of flying lightened his heart and his body. Turning, he watched a few of his mouse-brown curls fall in lazy spirals through the violet tinged air.

It seemed Erth One’s mind, much larger than its brain crystals could account for, had healed enough to awaken and synchronize with other minds besides Morgan’s. Otherwise he wouldn’t be able to look down as if from the eyes of a bird, right? Of course this meant he was asleep, because he’d lost the crystal that would let him communicate while awake.

Morgan still felt amazed that two 14-year-old Boy Scouts had served as Erth SCOUTs, Super Conductors of Unified Terraforming, and succeeded against terrible odds in purifying Erth One’s lifeblood. Or had they? Before Morgan could ask Erth One if it felt better, he sank lower until the Heartland’s heartbreak dominated the scene. A putrid smell from the ugly north-south gash invaded his nostrils.

CT First Page #10

Title: The Ash Plague
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

The soldiers locked Flynn’s family in the house and set it on fire in
the night.

Climbing through the cracks of the shattered door, Flynn grabbed his
four-year-old sister from his mother’s battered hands and ran from the
flames, the cracks too small for his parents to escape through. He
flew down the fire-lit streets of the snowy mountain town and
struggled to stay upright amongst the bloody slush beneath his feet.
His country’s army, dressed in bronze and green, trampled through the
streets between the houses and snatched up the people running from
their burning homes while those still trapped in their houses screamed
and thrashed against the walls.

Gagging on the smoke, Flynn held her closer to his chest and skidded
onto the last street of the town, ducking under an arrow and slipping
on the ice. Another arrow flew by his face as his sister sobbed into
his shoulder. Her hands clutched his neck and hair.

Laughter rang out behind him. He turned and saw his elderly neighbors,
dead and splayed out in the dull red snow filling their basement
doorway. The laughing soldiers kicked the bodies back into the
smoke-filled basement. Flynn blinked and turned away. Skidding across
the ice, he twisted his body and darted between two shouting soldiers
standing between him and the safety of the woods. His sister screamed.

CT First Page #9

Title: Here Comes the Sun
Genre: YA Contemporary

I squirm in my seat as I wait impatiently for the giant, red X above the lavatory to disappear. The captain turned off the seat belt light minutes ago, which I assume is an open invitation to roam the plane. I mean, if passengers aren't meant to walk around, then why bother announcing that you're turning off the seat belt light to begin with? That's my justification, anyway. But the giant red X never seems to go away, and my situation is becoming a tad more urgent.

With goosebumps spreading up my arms, I perform some weird hip shimmy as I make my way to the front of the plane, determined to wait my turn. I'm surprised when I'm turned away by a stewardess that's sporting braces and whacked out bangs.

“Ma'am, you're going to have to find your seat until the light above the lavatory door is green with availability.”

Ma'am? Huh. I can't even vote yet.

My feet are heavy, as if they magically turned into cement blocks. How can I turn back now when I'm so close to the promise land? Hurry up and pee, is what I want to shout to whoever is monopolizing the bathroom. But the stewardess isn't stupid, and she's not giving in to my loitering. And so with pressed lips and a well-manicured hand, she points to my seat rows behind me, demanding my dismissal.

I nearly cry as I shuffle back, walking near sideways so as not to shove my butt in anyone's face.

CT First Page #8

TITLE: Bloodlines - The Hourglass Bridge
GENRE: YA Historical Fantasy

 , 30th September, 1509

Serena wanted to run…

 The hourglass, standing on the altar stone in the centre of the clearing, threw back a glimmer of moonlight.       

“Take the glass,” the witch instructed. “Turn it once and see that you have controlled time.”       

It felt like ice in Serena’s trembling hand as she turned it. Beneath the surface the rushing sands of time slowed to a trickle and were still.       

Serena fumbled in her cloak pocket, reassuring herself that the second hourglass was tucked inside. Though it was her last remaining hope, there was no guarantee she could deliver it into the right hands and every chance that to try would be to walk into a trap.        

Perhaps I have already, Serena swallowed dryly, fighting a wave of nausea. Such a betrayal, even if she survived it, would cost thousands of lives and rob her of her children… again.       

“Alasdair,” the witch continued, “you too must control the passing of moments.”       

Serena glanced at her husband, whose eyes, like hers, were wet. Alasdair turned the hourglass and passed it back to the witch. Then his hand found Serena’s and their fingers intertwined as they embraced this final, physical memory together. In marrying him, Serena had bound him to this fate. She wore her guilt like an open wound.       

The witch smashed the glass upon the sacrificial rock and gathered a handful of ghostly white sand.        

“Your palm,” she said softly. Serena raised it. Without warning, agony shot through her body.

CT First Page #7

Title: Graceful Death
Genre: YA Paranormal

The instant my knees hit the ground I know. My insomnia is killing me from the inside out. I struggle to pick myself up, but the sweat in my palms turns cold, tacking my hand to the faded mauve linoleum. The faint odor of disinfectant and dirty sneakers wafts up, stinging my nostrils while the entire student body walks around me.
My heart thrums erratically in my ears. My vision spots with white film.
Not in the damn hallway, anywhere but here.
But I can’t control it anymore. Sleep is such a cruel and distant idea by now that when my energy seeps out, threatening to pull me into unconsciousness, the only thing I can do is rebound and rally. So, as the Santa Cruz High School crowd thins, I fall against a set of coral half-lockers and wait it out.
Only one more period, then I can go home, deal with this in private. Other than a few “whoa,” and “doing okay, there, Grace,” the other students ignore me. Except for the guy standing by the window. His tall frame casts a shadow across the floor, draping over me like a psychopath in a movie.
I ready a sharp nasty comment, but the sight of him stops me. I grow colder still. At first I think he’s dressed in all black, some emo kid hoping to get off on witnessing my meltdown, but the chill that pricks my spine warns of something different. Something dangerous.

CT First Page #6

GENRE: YA Fantasy

Mysty didn’t notice the black knight at the bottom of the stairs until she tripped over its mace. She slammed into a tapestry and scratched her face on the rough surface as she crumpled to the floor.

Mom rushed out of the kitchen.  “Are you okay?”

“Who moved the stupid knight?” Mysty asked.

“He’s wishing you a happy birthday.” 

“It’s an old pile of tin, Mom.” Mysty dreaded this day all year. Last year’s present was probably still scurrying around the sewer hissing and terrorizing the smaller natives. She couldn’t imagine what horrors awaited her this year. “Now I have a rug burn.”

“Tapestry burn,” Mom corrected. “You should put some peroxide on that.”

“The entry is a bad place for the knight. We should move it.” While she still had skin on her face.

Mom piled the armor on its pedestal.  “Where would we put it?”

“The basement, out of sight, eBay . . .”

“We aren’t selling the black knight.”

Mysty opened the kitchen door.  “Most people keep potted plants in their entry.” She saw something move outside and hurried to the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of whatever lurked in the woods.  Morning mist clung to barren trees and caressed the icy branches, but nothing was there.

Mom grabbed a bundle of herbs hanging from the ceiling and dropped them in a bubbling cauldron on the stove.  Smoke poured out and filled the kitchen with the stench of burning gym socks.  “Breakfast is ready.”

CT First Page #5

TITLE: Riding the Dam
GENRE: MG humor, coming-of-age

Today was like any other summer day in San Angelo--hot, dry, and full of possibilities.  Today was the day Raymond and I were going to ride the dam. This was not just any dam, but the biggest dam in the world.  I never questioned this fact, but simply understood if it was in Texas, it had to be the biggest.
Raymond and I both had bicycles, but I had decided early on that it was a lot of work to pedal around looking for ways to spice up our days, so I convinced Raymond to let me ride on his handlebars while he did the pedaling.  I told him that this arrangement allowed for easier conversation. This method was not without risks. Some kids got their toes cut off in the spokes of a bike riding like this, so I developed toes like an eagle's talons to wrap around the front axle.

It took us thirty minutes to get to the extreme end of the dam and there, we began our slow assent to the highest point.  It was straight uphill and Raymond was pedaling, almost standing straight up.  This was going to be harder than I thought.  Raymond almost immediately began to question his supplying all the man power as I did the navigating.  It took a lot of convincing, but I explained that in addition to providing good conversation, I could watch for rattlesnakes.  Raymond was deathly afraid of rattlesnakes. We'd never seen any; but I reminded Raymond that it was always a possibility.

CT First Page #4

TITLE: The Rowaness of Shalott
GENTRE: YA Fantasy

Never had I felt the sensation of touch. Not the wind in my hair or stones under my feet. If only I could awaken my skin, startle my half-alive body into awareness, release my spirit from the rowan trees.

Forget I was a nameless Rowaness.

Curling my finger, I beckoned an ocean breeze and twined it around a single blossom, high in the canopy of my favorite rowan tree. The flower floated down, petals like fluttering wings, its life force fading.

With a prayer to Eve, I opened my hand.

The blossom landed in my palm like a silent kiss.


Casting the flower aside, I strode out to the cliff and closed my eyes, listening to the waves crash onto the pebbled shore below. The spray from the ocean whispered through the veil strung over the back of my hair. Then everything hushed until the rowan trees rustled, echoing the sound of a commanding female voice. Her whisperings built into an urgent crescendo, spreading across the island for all the Rowaness to hear. “Veil your faces,” Nimue warned. “The king’s ship is near!”

I ducked to the ground, then after a moment’s hesitation, crept to the cliff’s edge. In the distance, a large vessel rocked upon the water as silhouetted figures drew in its great sail, bearing the crest of the blue dragon. I blinked in disbelief. The king and Merlin hadn’t set foot in Shalott for five years. No men had.

I didn’t veil my face.

CT First Page #3

TITLE:  Unraveled
GENRE:  YA mystery

My mother’s best friend insisted I wear one of her designer dresses to
my first homecoming dance. I couldn’t refuse, nor did I want to.

Inside Nancy Kline’s meticulous closet, I found it impossible to pick
a favorite, until I saw the strapless taffeta bubble dress.

I couldn’t stop grinning. “This is the one.” I handed Nancy the hanger.

She ran her fingers over the fabric, identifying the design. “This
material was imported from India,” she said with pride. Nancy was
going to be a famous fashion designer before she lost her vision.

Up over my head, I slipped the dress on and stood in front of the
mirror. However, the perfect dress wasn’t necessarily the perfect fit.

“Taylor, give me a few minutes and I’ll make a few minor alterations.”
Nancy moved behind her sewing machine and I watched her stitch from
memory. She was fun to talk to, and if she were my age she’d be my
best friend.

“I have some costume jewelry you might be interested in—exceptionally
good imitation. In my guest room, there’s a tall dresser. I think the
second drawer.” Nancy paused. “Help yourself, while I finish up here.”

“No. Really?”

Next to the closet stood the wooden dresser. I opened the first drawer
and sitting right on top, I found an envelope marked adoption papers.
My heart was beating fast, and this little voice in my head said, ‘Do
not open.’ But, the rest of me said, ‘Yes open, and read.’

CT First Page #2

TITLE: Dream Weaver

Snow white sand between my toes. Emerald waters as far as the eye can see. Sun beating down on my face. The warm ocean breeze blowing my hair. This is home. Not the orphanage I’ve lived at for the past seventeen years. Nothing can ruin this.

“Oh look, someone let the Fins out to play,” Poppy Robinson snickers as she and her cronies pass by my towel.
I keep my focus trained on the waves lapping along the shore, staring straight through them as her friends join in her laughter.

I still remember the first time I heard the oh-so-clever nickname created by the students of Destiny Way.

“Who is that?” a girl asked.

“Oh, no one. She’s just a Fin,” replied a second.


“Yeah, from Emerald Coast Home for Orphans, or-Fin. Get it?”

I still hear their cackles ringing in my ears.

“Let’s go Megan,” Mrs. Garver, the house mother at ECHO, calls to me. “Everyone else is on the bus.”

As I stand to brush the sand off my legs, I scan the beach around me. Caught up in my own world once again, I didn't even notice the others were gone. We couldn't have been out here for more than an hour; I’m not even pink from the sun. It sucks that our trips to the beach are only once a month. Never enough time.

I sulk the entire ride home, during dinner, and my nightly routine. Not only is today the last beach day of the year, tomorrow is orientation day at Destiny Way.

CT First Page #1

TITLE: Hunter & Hunted
GENRE: YA Paranormal Romance

The coastline blurred past as I raced over the hard-packed sand littered with sharp rocks. Up ahead, a niche formed between two craggy limestone cliffs caught my eye. I veered for it and glanced behind me as I ran. The limestone scraped against the thin t-shirt on my back as I squeezed myself into the tight space. Spray from the ocean rained down over me, drenched my shirt and turned my long, dark hair into a scraggly mess.
My parents sprinted by and sand flew up in their wake. Once they neared the water’s edge, they slowed and stalked toward their prey like two jungle cats with black leather armor in place of fur. My mother’s katana, with its long, curved blade, glinted in the sun. As I crouched in relative safety with sour fear eating at my stomach, my father didn’t even have his sword at the ready. My father’s claymore was still sheathed down the length of his back, nearly as tall as him.  I tightened my grip on my own weapon, a simple silver dagger. My palms were slick with sweat, and the gritty salt and sand rubbed my skin raw.

My mother caught my eye and made a quick movement with her hand, indicating that she wanted me to follow. I hesitated before I rose from my spot between the rocks. I trailed behind my parents, and sweat beaded my brow when I thought about the battle ahead.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"CRUNCH TIME" First Page Critiques--Call For Submissions

From Friday, Oct. 28 at 12 until Saturday, Oct. 29 at 2, I will accept submissions. I will post them later that day right here at KTCROWLEY.COM for critiquing.
Please send submissions to ktcritiques [AT]

In the subject, please state “CT FIRST PAGE”

This round I will accept all genres and it's one entry per person, per genre (So you can submit 1 adult 1 YA/MG).

Please list the TITLE, GENRE and your SCREEN NAME (I will not include these in the critique posts) above your 250 words (format it the way you normally would).  Please do not stop in the middle of a sentence.  If it goes over the 250 limit by a couple of words, that's fine.  If you stop at 247 words, that's fine, too.

Your submission should look like this:

SCREEN NAME: Your Screen Name Here
TITLE: Your Title Here
GENRE: Your Genre Here

(Excerpt here.)

  • Please leave out "chapter one," chapter "titles", etc.  Otherwise, I may count them toward your 250 and you could lose some of your first page entry.
  • You will receive a confirmation email, but it may not be right away.  Only resend if you don't get one by the last hour of the submission window.  
If you enter, you must critique at least 5 other submissions (if there are only five, please critique all except your own).  This is so it's fair for everyone involved. 

I will accept up to 20 entries.

That’s it!  If you have any questions, please hit me up in the comments.

I hope we can fill up the 20 spots!  Spread the word.  :)

October Logline #14

Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary

While assistant stage-managing the senior center's production of Romeo and Juliet, twelve-year-old Tierra watches as her fabulous Gram falls off Juliet's balcony. Gram's hip isn't the only thing that shatters; Tierra's life is suddenly in pieces, too. With her guardian Gram headed for a nursing home, Tierra’s forced to move in with the globe-trotting mother she barely knows. Talk about stab-yourself-with-a-dagger tragic. And even worse than that? Wondering when her stranger-mother might just up and leave again.

October Logline #13

TITLE: The Rowaness of Shalott
GENRE: YA Fantasy

With her life force tied to a rowan tree, an immortal girl cannot experience the sensation of touch until it is awakened by the young knight Lancelot, who then gives her the name of his unrequited love, Guinevere. But their forbidden romance threatens to expose the secret protecting Guinevere’s female race, the Rowaness. She must sacrifice her capacity to feel, and her growing love, otherwise the bond to her rowan tree is forfeit, along with her life.

October Logline #12

GENRE:  Paranormal Romance
Emma’s psychic abilities lead her to James, her soul mate. However, he has another soul spirit inside him and it needs to be freed. The fate of this soul’s existence rests in their hands. To free it is the ultimate act, and Emma doesn’t like it one bit – James will have to die.

October Logline #11

Title: Opposition
Genre: YA Fantasy

The Aerisians—people living on the invisible, floating continent of Aeris—were given a power beyond the elements and a legendary task centuries ago: protect the Yin Shadow and the Yang Light, the pair that makes up the balance of the Earth. But in the week Atalanta Raire turns fifteen, suddenly the Light is stolen, her sister goes missing, and the only thing Ata can do is go to the Earth Plane, where a trapped Cimmerian bent on twisted revenge shatters free of his prison, and Ata’s nonexistent luck is about to make her his bait for a desperate and crumbling world.

October Logline #10

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

During a summer exchange program in Paris, Sophie accidentally leaps backward in time to 1895. As the window home closes, Sophie must decide whether to unlock a mysterious heirloom’s secrets and return to her own life as a potential prima ballerina, or stay in the past to live someone else’s future with a man whose descendants would never be born.

October Logline #9

Title: Tripplehorn Parker, Hesitant Heroine Extraordinaire
Genre: Upper MG Adventure

Previous logline link:

12-year-old adventure-phobe Tripplehorn Parker opens a secret message the night before traveling to the Ugandan bush, and it urges her to protect an ancient idol by hiding it forever. With her researcher parents distracted by wildlife, she’ll have to nix nerves (and embrace her inner heroine) to find the destiny-controlling treasure and outwit a herd of bad guys who will kill to exploit it.

October Logline #8


Twelve-year-old Justin isn't an arsonist, but nobody is going to believe a
dragon with a stolen egg set the fire. When Justin recovers the egg, a
frost and fire dragon hybrid, he races into a fantastical world, pursued
by the dragon desperate to take it back. If Justin doesn’t return the egg
to its mother in time, two endangered dragon species will become extinct

October Logline #7

TITLE: Left & Right

After a motorcycle accident kills his older sister, ten-year-old Alexander wakes up in the hospital with a hole in his memory and a missing voice. What he’s gained are two invisible friends who have no idea who they are or where they came from. Though Alexander truly wants to help, after losing his sister and his voice, he's terrified that he’ll lose his new friends too.

October Logline #6

TITLE:  Unnatural
GENRE:  YA Paranormal Romance

Previous Post:

Seventeen-year-old Alexa’s life and the future of humanity hang in the balance when the power only she can generate makes her the trophy between two races warring for mankind. Her choice between risk-taking Vanquisher, Dell, and the mysterious Sentinel, Hayden, will not only decide who Alexa loves, but which side she’d die fighting for, revealing alls fate.

October Logline #5

GENRE: Mystery

One wintery night in the woods, a man wrenches a baby from the arms of a teenage girl, thereby opening the door for murder, rape, and incest. Bucky Ontario, clever and daring, learns the shocking truth and goes up against a town determined to stop him at any price.

October Logline #4

Here Comes the Sun

Due to a severe dose of shyness, 17-year-old Natalie's life is as depressing as her favorite MP3 playback list. But a senior trip to England changes everything when she opens up to a kaleidoscope-eyed Beatles fanatic who has her heart crooning love tunes, forcing her to confront the dark event that left her friendless in hopes of starting fresh with her musical soul mate.

October Logline #3

TITLE: Simon's Oath

Two orphaned brothers are hired to rehabilitate the daughter of a brothel owner who doesn’t talk, she only screams and bites. If Simon and Hector can transform her into a normal girl, they will be fed and clothed until they reach adulthood. It they fail, they will be sold back into indentured slavery dredging silt from the local river where a single slip could mean their death.

October Logline #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

Mysty dreams of dating high school basketball star Eric Gallante; instead, she accidentally turns him into a frog. Her kiss could make his amphibious problem permanent so she must find someone with a pure heart – who he hopefully won’t like too much – to kiss him before she is dragged into fairy tale land and punished for her crime.

October Logline #1

TITLE: Dream Weaver

Previous Entry:

When Megan has her first dream at seventeen, she doesn't realize her dreams are special; they become reality. Against her better judgment, she teams up with her new classmate Mason, a Waker who's been sent to help. To save herself and other like her, she must learn to trust what he’s saying, because the faceless people from her dreams are real and will do anything—even kill—to harness the power of her dreams.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

For Those Of You Interested...Here's A New Feature Coming To My Blog Soon!

Critiques are an important part of writing; they allow others to preview our work while opening ourselves up for public opinion, opening our eyes to things we may not see.  They give you a chance to revise and polish your work before it’s reviewed by agents and editors.  It helps improve your writing and it provides the always needed pat on the back when it’s a job well done.  Writers are often the best at critiquing one another’s work, and I’d like to provide a place for people to do that.

So I’ve decided to offer monthly critique rounds on my blog.  Some months it may be for loglines or queries, other months first page rounds.  Depending on my workload, this will most likely fall at the beginning of each month with submission rules being posted one week prior.  Since I’ve never done anything like this before, there may be kinks in the first few rounds, but with any luck, it’ll work straight out of the gate.

I’ll be hosting a first page round in the coming weeks as a beta trial, to see what kind of turn out this gets and if this is a successful feature to keep on my blog.  Stay tuned for details.

For those of you entering the “Baker’s Dozen” on Authoress’s blog, next week, if you feel you need a critique on your first page (250 words) before submissions, please comment below ASAP.  If I get a good response by Friday, October 28, I’ll host a “Crunch Time” critique session for a lucky few over this coming weekend.  By crunch time, I mean there will be a small 24-48 hour critique window open that I hope will give you what you need to make your first page agent-ready. (Speaking of Authoress, you’re probably familiar with her awesome monthly “Secret Agent” contests.  The critique rounds I’ll offer could be the perfect time to test out your work before entering.)

Even if you aren’t entering, make sure to stop by and give your fellow writers your opinion; feedback is greatly appreciated!

From personal experience, critiques have made my writing grow much stronger.  My hope is that by offering you this opportunity, you’ll see your writing grow, too. 

Fingers crossed that this is a success!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

One More Chance To Polish That Logline!

*UPDATE* Due to a couple requests and some flexibility in my schedule today, I have extended the submission time from to .

Since I had SO much fun last week with the second chance logline critique round I hosted to help out those participating in Authoress's Baker's Dozen AND since there was such positive and helpful responses, I've decided to offer one more round!

Now, I sent an email to everyone who participated in last round, but this post is also for those who didn't submit or missed their chance.  My apologies to those of you who have already submitted your entries for the Adult category; I sent it in one mass emailing so that I wouldn’t miss anyone, but if you still want some feedback, feel free to read on.  I'm opening this round to everyone entering the YA/MG category so if you’ve already been through two rounds or none at all, this is probably your last chance!

This is all contingent on enough interest, so as long as I get at least 10 people, I’ll hold it.  If not, I’ll be happy to provide my personal critique at your request.  Here are the rules:

From Wednesday, Oct. 26 at until Thursday, Oct. 27 at , I will accept submissions. I will post them later that night right here at KTCROWLEY.COM for critiquing.

In the subject, please state “LOGLINE”.

Please list title and genre above the logline (format it the way you normally would).

If you would like to include a link to your previous logline or if you want to include the # of your previous entry, I will include that. Otherwise I will post as it’s received.

Please send submissions to crowleykt [AT]

If you enter, you must critique at least 5 other submissions.

I will accept up to 50 entries.

That’s it!  If you have any questions, please hit me up in the comments.

Good luck, everyone!  J

Monday, October 17, 2011

Logline #43

TITLE: Be Careful What You Wish For
GENRE: Paranormal Romance

Seventy year old Viv finally meets her perfect man on a cruise. A genie sends her back in time fifty years to meet him in his prime except, while she remembers him, he doesn't remember her.

Logline #42

Title:  The Company of Old Ladies
Genre:  Upmarket women's

In this coming-of-OLD-age novel, a sixty-something woman stumbles upon a young destitute Asian man and vows to be his benefactor until his funds arrive.  She invites him to stay with her and her equally unconventional roommate in a senior high-rise.  But when he moves in a malicious young woman, when valuable items start vanishing, and when her friend becomes deathly ill, she must either trust him or risk his taking advantage of her good will.  An Asian Tom Sawyer mixes it up with two aging members of the Ya-Ya sisterhood. 

Logline #41

Title:  A Flick of the Switch
Genre:  Adult Fiction

When the hospital suddenly settles a controversial case and removes life support systems for a viable baby, Emily, a nurse recovering from the death of her own preemie, flicks the switches back on. Relying on lessons learned from her unscrupulous estranged husband, Emily must lie, steal and manipulate to keep the baby hidden until he can breath on his own, all the while risking her own dreams of becoming a doctor.

Logline #40

GENRE: Contemporary YA

After her pregnancy is leaked to the press, sixteen-year-old actress Kendall Luxmi Lawson’s squeaky clean image takes a beating and she’s fired from her hit TV show. If she doesn’t figure out a way to revive her dead acting career, she’ll wind up with no fame, no money, and, in her opinion, no life.

Logline #39

Title: Graceful Death
Genre: YA Paranormal


One puff of a joint traps fifteen-year-old Grace into a life of servitude. Tricked into donning Death’s hoodie for an ancient Underworld demon was bad enough, but each soul Grace reaps draws a centuries old war closer to her world. Living a double life in two dimensions, skirting dangerous demons, and living by rules she doesn’t understand, Grace struggles to uncover who she is and keep her loved ones from becoming Underworld casualties.

Logline #38

Title: Dead Like Me
Genre: Mystery

Previous Entry: Round 2, #36

When Detective Kate Springer catches the case of a murdered teenage girl, the investigation brings Kate face to face with the man who abused her as a child. Too fragile, she never publicly accused Roger White of the abuse she had endured. Now, twenty four years later, he’s turned up as a suspect in the Callahan murder. But Roger’s advanced age and infirm health causes Kate to question everything. With time running out, Kate fights to distance herself from the painful feelings over her childhood in order to solve the case and catch a killer.

Logline #37

Title:  Unraveled
Genre:  YA Mystery

Taylor discovers adoption papers connecting one of two friends, who supposedly died in a car crash fourteen years ago, to a neighbor who wants to know who her child is. At the sake of solving the mystery, Taylor uses dishonest methods and uncovers a secret adoption. If she tells the truth she risks losing her friend, destroying a family, or ending up in Juvie Hall. Staying silent isn’t an option, but sometimes a secret can leak out.

Logline #36

TITLE:  Unnatural
GENRE:  YA Paranormal Romance

When seventeen-year-old Alexa discovers she possesses supernatural abilities, her fate as a trophy in a war for mankind between two paranormal races is revealed.  Her life and the future of humanity hang in the balance as her choice between bad-boy Dell and the mysterious Hayden will not only decide who Alexa loves, but which side she fights for.

Logline #35


Twelve-year-old Justin isn’t an arsonist, but nobody is going to believe a
dragon on the run with his mate’s kidnapped egg set the fire. Justin
escapes arrest when he takes the egg back through a portal and races
across a world of flying scorpions, bloodthirsty beasts and a leviathan of
the deep. Even if Justin keeps the egg from being recaptured, he must
reach its mother in time or dragons will go extinct and he will never see
home again, not even juvenile hall.

Logline #34

TITLE: Chasing Carmen Miranda
GENRE: Upmarket Women's Fiction

When Chicagoan Brie McCoy accidentally learns that her picture-perfect mother took her from her biological Brazilian mother when she was a baby, the family secrets begin to unravel.

Logline #33

Title:  Maria’s Beads
Genre:  Middle Grade

Maria is given magical spirit beads just before she learns that her best friend, Diane, has a potentially fatal disease.  They enable the quiet & studious Maria to confront Diane’s parents who oppose medical intervention. Maria marshals her family and her school friends to save her friend, a quest that develops her inner strength and determines her heart path in life.

Logline #32

TITLE: Simon's Oath

Two orphaned brothers are hired to rehabilitate the feral daughter of a brothel owner. If Simon and Hector can transform the screaming, biting shut-in into a normal girl, they will be safe, fed and clothed until they reach adulthood. It they fail, they will be sold back into indentured slavery dredging silt from the local river where a single slip could mean their deaths.

Logline #31

Title: Storm Front
Genre: mystery

A serial killer has made the worlds most popular social networking sites his personal hunting ground and is now coming after Bainbridge Island homicide detective Sarah Lake and her past.

Logline #30

Title:  Riding the Dam
Genre:  MG humor, coming-of-age

The year is 1952 in San Angelo, Texas and ten-year-old Allan spends most days looking for adventure—adventures like riding down a 128 foot dam on his best friend, Raymond’s handlebars, riding on a bucking bronco, and winning the best Concho River storytelling contest.

San Angelo has its share of quirky characters like John the rodeo rider with the glass eye, Mr. Franklin who has the gift of taming wasps, and Aunt Hope who teaches Allan to catch, kill, and fry up chickens and wrangle snakes. In other words, it’s a young boy’s paradise…until Allan’s mother becomes ill and his world is changed forever.

Logline #29

Title:  BABY DOE
Genre:  Mystery

One wintery night in the woods, a man wrenches a baby from the arms of a teenage girl, thereby opening the door for murder, rape, and incest. Bucky Ontario, clever and daring, learns the shocking truth and goes up against a town determined to stop him at any price.

Logline #28

TITLE: Gladys Gatsby Takes the Cake
GENRE: Humorous MG

Gladys Gatsby has dreamed of becoming a restaurant critic for the New
York Times—she just didn’t expect to be assigned her first review at
age 11. Now, if she wants to meet her deadline and hang on to her
dream job, she’ll have to defy her fast-food-loving parents, cook her
way into the heart of her sixth-grade archenemy, and battle
Manhattan’s meanest maitre d’.

Logline #27

Title:  Polaris
Genre:  YA sci-fi

After seventeen year-old Geneva Reid is found floating in the middle of the ocean, missing for ten years without having aged a day, she struggles to understand the events leading up to her disappearance and the reasons why she is in danger now.

Logline #26

Title: Terra Incognita
Genre: Fantasy

When Haylee Wells is attacked by a pale creature and transported to a future she barely recognizes – where these creatures reign and humans are their prey – she must realize the growing power within herself.  If she fails to do so, she faces consequences much worse than never returning home – she risks becoming a slave to the “Pale Ones.”

Logline #25

Title: Saving Andromeda
Genre: YA mystery

Eighteen year-old Emma hunts for the truth behind her birth mother’s murder confession. A famous bio-dad, simmering family feuds and a hostile crew of new relatives trip up her investigation, which kicks into high gear when Emma realizes Andromeda gave a false confession. Her hunt to discover who Andromeda was really protecting leads to a killer determined to let the truth die with Emma.

Logline #24

Title: Ripple Effect
Genre: YA Time Travel Dystopian

When the time machines seventeen-year-old Kali Addison’s dad invented are destroyed, she discovers the power to travel through time is within her. With a heavy handed government wanting to reproduce Kali for their own use and those who wiped out her dads work wanting her dead, she hardly has time to figure out who she really is. If one of them catch her before she does, it’s times up—for everyone.

Logline #23

TITLE: Dream Weaver


Megan has her first dream at seventeen, but she doesn't realize her dreams are special, they become reality. Confused and frightened by this new power, she teams up with mysterious new guy Mason who's been sent to help her learn the truth: there's a group of people who will stop at nothing to harness the power of her dreams.

Logline #22

Genre: YA Historical Fantasy

Previous post: #38

Revised logline: Sophie accidentally travels backward in time to 1895 Paris, and must find a way home or risk changing the future when she is mistaken for a missing girl, and falls for the Jewish activist meant for the girl’s sister.

Logline #21

Genre: YA Fantasy

Mysty dreams of dating high school basketball star Eric Gallante; instead, she accidentally turns him into a frog. Her kiss could make his amphibious problem permanent so she has to find someone with a pure heart – who he hopefully won’t like too much – to kiss him before she is lured into fairy tale land and punished for her crime.

Logline #20

Title: Into Nevermore
Genre: MG Fantasy Adventure

On Firma, Earth’s unusual sister-planet, Felix witnesses his puckish mentor being dragged into the Nevermore Woods by cloaked figures. Everyone thinks the kidnapping is a prank, but Felix knows better and must brave the forest and its sinister creatures in order to save him.

Logline #18

Title: Bloodlines - The Hourglass Bridge
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy


When an ancient ritual drags Diamond into a hidden, magical civilization in the 16th century, she quickly realizes there's more to worry about than how much school she's missing. Her ancestors hold the powers which protect their city and an immortal witch threatens to destroy them for it, forcing Diamond to fight for her bloodline's survival or risk being eradicated from history itself.

Logline #19

GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy

Even though it's against Mer rules, seventeen-year-old Meredith thinks she can keep her relationship with the human boy she saved a secret. She trusts herself to keep it all in control...until she falls in love with him, her secret is found out, and a mysterious death has the Mer suspecting she is a Siren, a caller of men. Suddenly, Meredith's friendships, love, and ultimate freedom all depend on her finding answers, even if they are not the ones she wanted.

Logline #17

Title: The Rowaness of Shalott
Genre: YA Fantasy

After spending her life loveless and nameless, an immortal girl falls in love with the young knight Lancelot, who names her Guinevere and awakens her dormant ability to feel touch. But their forbidden romance threatens to expose the secluded existence of her irresistible female race, and the addictive sensation of touch weakens the bond to Guinevere’s rowan tree—the force keeping her alive.

Logline #16

Title: The Saint and the Smith
Genre: Historical Fiction with strong elements of fantasy

Merewyn's powers swirl out of control every time Warin, the cynical blacksmith, comes near. To keep from killing the man she can't help but love and protect him from King Henry III who wants his head, she must risk the noose and master her sometimes saintly, oftentimes devilish abilities.

Logline #15

Title:  The Paradox Cure
Genre:  MG Science Fiction

Bioengineering genius Amanda Shine has a trash-talkingpipistrellus bat, a bonobo ape with personal-space issues, and a snow leopard on wheels. Good thing, because Amanda will need all their help to rescue her missing mother and save Earth’s dying animals—going extinct thanks to widespread amateur genetic engineering. Problem is, both her mom and the potential cure for extinction are nine billion miles away on planet Paradox. She’ll have to suck up to smarmy real estate mogul H.C. Chafey to make the trans-universal hike. And Chafey has plans of his own for Amanda’s stratospheric I.Q.

Logline #14

Title: Smoke and Wait
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Special Agent Alexandra MacPherson’s forte is arresting sociopaths who
blow things up, not decapitating monsters that replicate through their
victims. But she will, and accept help from a man she barely knows and
doesn’t trust, if it means solving an ugly case. With any luck, Alex
won't die in the process, or come back if she does.

Logline #13

Title: FanGirl
Genre: YA

Ms. Snark Post #3

In FANGIRL Ruby Miller is cast as an iconic zombie hunter in the television adaptation of her favorite graphic novel. Between navigating hot actors and script lines the eighteen year-old learns that trusting her instincts in a world of agents and paparazzi is as terrifying as coming face to face with a reanimated corpse

Logline #12

Title: Master of the Miracles
Genre: Literary/Historical Fiction

When Ora's attempts at conception fail she starts to think that God wants more from her than prayer. She begins to have stigmatic visions of a 2nd Century woman named Bruriah. In a quest to learn more, Ora studies Talmud with a Yeshiva student who she should not be speaking to - let alone meeting in private. When she becomes pregnant with twins that were not conceived with her husband, Ora is confronted with the same choice Bruriah faced 2000 years before.

Logline #11

TITLE: Supernatural Freak
GENRE: urban fantasy

In contemporary London, 25 year old paranormal consultant Robyn Wise joins
forces with the ancient spirit living inside her to fight the Dark Cloud,
a malevolent entity determined to absorb Fairyland's power. If Robyn
fails, all good magic will be eradicated from Earth, and our planet will
turn into a hopeless desert where mercy is dead.

Logline #10

Title: Opposition
Genre: YA Fantasy

logline #20

The Aerisians—people living on the invisible, floating continent of Aeris—were given a power beyond the elements and a legendary task centuries ago: protect the Yin Shadow and the Yang Light, the syzygy that makes up the balance of the Earth. But in the week Atalanta Raire turns fifteen, suddenly the Light is stolen, her sister goes missing, and the only thing Ata can do is go to the Earth Plane, where there are much more awaits than just a lost sister and a pilfered Light.

Logline #9

GENRE:  Women's fiction / thriller

Lena, a stunning and mysterious mail-order bride from Russia, trades her troubled past for The American Dream – but gets a husband as rotten as he is rich. When Lena and the au pair, Amy, begin a secretive affair, things start to get hot, and dangerous. Desperate for freedom, both women are faced with life-or-death choices – until they learn who really is in control of their lives. But does this lesson come too late?

Logline #8

Title: Here Comes the Sun
Genre: YA-Contemporary

Everyone has a soundtrack to their life; a list of songs they listen to when they're excited and happy or lonely and sad. But just as 17-year-old Natalie's soundtrack mirrors her life with sad songs brought on by a severe dose of shyness, she meets an unavailable and outgoing Beatles fanatic who has her heart crooning love tunes, forcing her to confront her introverted ways before he, too, walks away.

Logline #7

GENRE:  Paranormal Romance/Fantasy

Original Log Line:

Arianh, Tiernan and Aiden are the reincarnation of a medieval lord, witch and wizard, who have been reunited by an ancient spell.  The three must remember and settle their past differences in time to save their futures as a sinister man from their prior life is back too, and he wants revenge.

Logline #6

Genre:  Upper middle grade

#34 of round 3

Abandoned on her grandfather’s farm, twelve year old Madison stumbles on a spell in her ancestor’s journal, awakens magic hidden in her genes…and sprouts wings!  When Madison’s story goes viral, her long-absent mother shows up with superstar plans for her Butterfly Girl.  Madison will have to decide if a glamorous life with the mother she dreamed of is worth moving away from the friends who stood by her – and from Grandpa, who loved her before the whole world knew her name.

Logline #5

Title:  Dying Is Not An Option
Genre:  Crime Fiction

Round 3, Logline #18

Santa Barbara Police Officer Claire Hartman relies on control, courage and an unwavering will to survive to get through her shift—bonus points if she gets to draw on her sardonic wit instead of her sidearm, but when she becomes the target of a vengeful gang member, Claire wrestles with who to trust while she hunts the man who has sworn to kill her.

Logline #4

Title: Cloaked In Fur
Genre: Urban Fantasy


With Daciana’s boyfriend abducted by the wulfkin alpha because he is convinced she wants his position, chances are her human lover won’t be alive much longer. To make matters worse, her transformation ceremony is less than five days away and promises to make her human forever. Daciana will do whatever it takes to save her man before the ritual, even if it means revealing her true wolf nature to a human and outing herself from the pack family.

Logline #3

Genre:  YA Urban Fantasy

Standing at the edge of her own freshly-dug grave, Sara Jacobs is about to tell the most important story of her life. From a gossip-crazed high school to a moonless limbo of tombstone-covered hills, this is how her mysterious mother’s legacy blew her boring world apart. And how she put it all back together.

Logline #2

Title: Tripplehorn Parker, Hesitant Heroine Extraordinaire
Genre: Upper MG Adventure

Previous logline link:

The night before leaving for the Ugandan bush, adventure-phobic 12-year-old Tripplehorn Parker is horrified to receive a secret message urging her to protect an ancient idol by hiding it forever. But with her researcher parents distracted by African wildlife, and with the world’s destiny at stake, she’ll have to use smarts and nerve to find the powerful object and outwit a herd of bad guys who will kill to exploit it.

Logline #1

TITLE:  Pendulum
GENRE:  Mystery/Suspense

Revision from Round 3 Logline (Miss Snark's First Victim)    #25

When the coroner rules her beloved twin brother murdered his family, then committed suicide, Charlotte Reynolds (Charlie) moves in her brother's pre-civil war home, vowing to stay until she proves his innocence. But when she calls to report nocturnal visitations by an unseen intruder, the police dismiss her as a drunken whack job just like her brother, leaving Charlie alone to confront the terrifying possibility the unseen intruder may be real.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Calling All Revisions For Logline Round 3!

If you were one of the lucky ones and got into logline critique round 3 (or missed one of the previous chances for revised critiquing) at Authoress’s blog and have made your revisions, here is your chance to have them critiqued again! 

From now until Monday October 17, I will accept submissions.  I will post them later Monday night for critiquing right here on this blog.

Please send submissions to crowleykt [AT] gmail [DOT] com (the address is also posted to your right).

In the subject line, please state “LOGLINE”.

Please list title and genre above the logline (format it the way you normally would).

If you would like to include a link to your previous logline or if you want to include the # of your previous entry on Authoress’s site, I will include that.  Otherwise I will post as it’s received.

Please make sure to come back here tomorrow night and help out my fellow writers in their quest to perfect their loglines!  It’s a lot of fun and I know it’s very much appreciated.  As I’ve said before, this is a form of support, so let’s help these writers out!

Can’t wait to see how they’ve come along!  J

Friday, October 14, 2011

Emotional Space For Rent: Negativity Need Not Apply...

Little update on where I’m at before I get to the actual post. 

At this moment, I’m in the mountains, on a mini-vacation.  But since I’m a bone-head and forgot to post this yesterday, here I am.

I’ve got 5 novels in the works, with 6 ideas in development.  My brain has been on double overdrive.  My unique protagonists are being nice to one another, but jealousy is brimming.  It’s hard to pay attention to them all at once, and placating them is becoming difficult. 

If only there were 48 hours in a day, maybe I could actually get everyone’s stories written and completed. 

As for everything else, I’m going to save that for my anniversary post, which is in just over 2 weeks.  Now, onto this post!

Negativity has moved in, and it’s not paying rent. 

For weeks I’ve been in this weird place, not sure where I’m going or how to even get there.  It started out as this little whisper in my ear, easily ignored by some good music.  Now it’s full-on yelling, all the time.  It’s gotten so loud, it’s actually making my loudest protagonist, Kat (though we’re still arguing over her name, but this is what I’ll call her for now), quiet down a bit.  If you were in my head, you would know that says something. 

So this post is going to be about negativity and doubt, and some ways I find helpful in confronting them.  I’m going to refer to negativity and doubt as one entity, negativity, because they pretty much go hand-in-hand. 

Most negativity is self-contained, meaning it’s you and your mind creating it.  Once it’s there, in even the tiniest form, it’ll grow like a Chia Pet, because it’s human nature to pay attention to it.  If it’s there, it’s for a reason.  It may not be a good one, but there is a reason.  The question you have to ask is why it’s there. 

It may take a little soul-searching, but it’s worth the effort.  Dissect it.  When did it first appear?  Was there an inciting incident or did it manifest on its own?  Is there a deeper meaning behind this negativity or are you just being hard on yourself?  Is the negativity misplaced?  What can you do to erase it and get back to a good place?  There are many questions to ask, many answers to find.  For some, it’s simple, for others like me, not so much.  These are some of the questions I’ve asked myself recently.  Here are my answers.

When did it first appear?  About 5 weeks ago, while working on my query letter for the hundredth time.

Was there an inciting incident or did it manifest on its own?  Both.  I got an okay critique on said query, made suggested corrections, sent it back and got another okay critique, questioning the very things that were suggested I change the last round.  Enter frustration.  I instantly thought “If it’s still not perfect, it’s never going to be perfect.  I’m never going to get it right.”  It’s been a snowball rolling downhill since.

Is there a deeper meaning behind this negativity or are you just being hard on yourself?  I think I’m just being hard on myself, like always.

Is the negativity misplaced?  Maybe—perfection doesn’t exist.  Getting frustrated is easy to do, but it’s not the solution.  Just because my query still needs a little work doesn’t mean everything I’ve written stinks. 

What can you do to erase it and get back to a good place?  I have to ask my critiquer about why she questioned my changes (that she had suggested) so that I can get a better understanding as to what she’s looking for.  Maybe there was a miscommunication.  She’s there to help me and I can’t get help if I don’t ask for it.  I also need to lean on my support system a little more.  It’s been a while since I’ve gotten a pat on the back, and I could really use one right about now.

There.  Negativity located, addressed and after a conversation with my critiquer, resolved.  I’ve got more negativity lurking thanks to this one small thing, so to get rid of it all, I’ll probably have to rinse and repeat.  Maybe I’ll have to do more than that, like below. 

Not so cut and dry?  Went through your questions, but not happy with the answers?  Talk it out with someone in your support system.  A fresh set of ears (or eyes, if it’s negativity over a piece of work like me) can give you the advice and perspective you need. 

Or maybe you need to step away from whatever it is that has you feeling this way for a while, clear your head.  Everyone needs a break; it’s learning when to take one that’s crucial.  If you’re burnt out, you’re never going to feel good about what you’re doing.  And negativity’s friend, resentment, may start festering.  For writers, this means turning off the computer, tucking the manuscript away in a drawer, switching mental gears and focusing on something non-writing related until you feel good again. 

If it’s coming from someone instead of something, the same rules can apply.  Ask questions, get your answers, or simply walk away.  Remember, no one should make you feel badly just because.  Take what they say with a grain of salt.  The world is full of negative people and it’s something we have to deal with, especially writers, but we don’t have to be defined or discouraged by it.  Criticism should only be constructive and meant to help you, anything less than that is nothing you need to be listening to.  People are subjective and opinionated, so not everyone is going to be a fan of what you’re doing, but that doesn’t mean they have to step on your feelings or that you have to listen to it.  Know that if they don’t like your work, there are two people behind them that do.  I don’t expect everyone to be a walking ray of sunshine, but no one has to rain on you, either.  And if it’s not already clear, these types of people probably shouldn’t be in your support system.

If you ignore the root of the negativity with no positive results, it could swallow you whole.  It may make you want to quit, and that’s definitely not the answer, even when it seems like the best solution.  Negativity never has good ideas, and quitting is the prime example of how not dealing with it can turn out.  Push through it, conquer it.  Negativity should never win, nor should it ever make it to your heart.  Once it’s there, it can become permanent (trust me, I know from experience) and then it’s got a piece of you forever.  And what did it take place of?  Some of your confidence, and that’s hard to get back.  Save yourself the pain and evict negativity now. 

Once you’ve dealt with negativity, keep it at bay.  I post quotes almost daily that help me keep the positive energy flowing.  Reviewing the work I’m proud of also helps.  Lean on that support system.  The thing that helps me the most, though?  Remembering why I do what I do and how it makes me feel, how much I love it.  It helps keep away negativity 98% of the time.  I get to follow my dreams and feel passion for my work.  In turn, I feel not just happy, but lucky.  That’s what you should feel, too.

Try thinking about why you do what you do, how it makes you feel.  Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Are you smiling?  I hope so.  J