Good morning, friends! Happy Friday!
I'm kind of excited this morning - and nervous. I'm taking part in a bit of a BlogFest, hosted by some amazing writers. Brenda Drake, Mónica Bustamante Wagner, Kimberly P. Chase, and Elizabeth Briggs are each scouring the blogs of 150 different writers, looking to make "teams" to showcase on their own blogs.
This means I'm about to do something I've never done here on my blog: I'm about to post an unpublished bit of my work, for EVERYONE to see!!! RUN AWAY!!
So...you're about to see one of the two novels I've been working on for the past two years, whenever I'm not writing about zombies or doing my freelance thing. This is my science fiction novel, and you're going to get to see my pitch (i.e. what I'd send to an agent or publisher when trying to get them to read my book) as well as the first 250 words of the novel itself.
This makes me terribly nervous. It's funny - I'll share just about anything, writing-wise, with strangers. I have no fear about sending my stuff out to agents and editors. But sharing with you, my friends, my family, my readers, pretty much makes me want to pass out....so know that this is actually kind of a big step for me.
So. Without further ado. Here's THE BEAUTY THAT REMAINS.
Laidy is growing weary. Her world has been ripped apart by war. Her husband left years ago to fight among the stars, and her city crumbles beneath an endless storm of falling bombs.
As a City Elder, it’s up to Laidy to keep the women and children around her safe, but her job grows ever more difficult when the government tightens its grip on its surviving citizens. Fencing streets with razor-wire and hanging innocent women in newly-constructed gallows, the government wants to make a point: there's no escape during wartime. There is only survival, from one air raid to the next, a bleak existence amid the devastation.
Desperate to save her family – headstrong, adventure-seeking Elani, and Kiel, who’s a year shy of mandatory military service - Laidy flees with her children and her closest friends to the barren desert Outlands. There she finds only death. Despair. Trapped in the battle between her government and the planet’s mind-controlling native creatures, Laidy is forced to choose a side on which to fight. If she doesn’t, the planet of her birth will become a tomb – not just for Laidy, but for the women and children she loves.
THE BEAUTY THAT REMAINS is a story of survival and perseverance, of finding hope and love in unexpected places, inspired by the tales of mothers who fought to save their children during the London Blitz and the Holocaust of World War II. It's science fiction, with a distinct women's slant - a little bit of love, and a whole lot of powerful women, taking care of one another through thick and thin. The manuscript is complete at 98,000 words.
FIRST 250 WORDS:
When the air raid siren unleashed its wail in the cool of the pre-dawn hour, Laidy’s first impulse was to bury her head in the rocky Outland soil like a ring-tailed desert skink. Ignoring the cries of a diving hawk, however, was never an effective strategy for the skink. Neither was ignoring the war for the women of Taremu. It always found them in the end. Laidy glanced over her shoulder at the city, its sleepy shadow broken in the darkness.
Maybe it’s a mistake.
By the light of the full twin moons, Laidy scanned her list and found most of the items unchecked. Her basket was light, almost empty. She looked back again. The sirens howled, but so far no bombs were falling. She took a few steps further into the darkness.
This was Laidy’s time to forage, when the harsh desert heat stood tempered by soft breezes, and the city’s constant hum lay silent. This was the place where Laidy found the roots and herbs to augment the meager supplies provided by the government. Yet here, outside the city, was forbidden territory.
Surely the sirens are wrong tonight.
As if on cue, punishing Laidy for a lone, hopeful thought, a flash burst across the sky, illuminating the Taremu skyline. Followed by a low rumble and a quaking of the ground, the flash quickly darkened. But the first bomb of the day had fallen, and it was close.
Her children, Elani and Kiel, would be waiting at the house.