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Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Okay, I'm posting my query letter and first 250 words for my novel, MY SISTER'S DATING A SERIAL KILLER.

If you're a reader or writer, please put your critique below. I love honest feedback, so rip away.

If you're a writer, post your query on your blog and sign up over on Michelle4Writes.com. The more, the merrier.

Here goes:

Dear Ms. ,

My Sister’s Dating a Serial Killer (62,000 words) is a fast-paced YA mystery/thriller with magical realism.

Bad things can happen when nobody listens. Especially Cammie’s sister, who’s being a lovesick jerk and denying anything’s wrong with her boyfriend. Cammie’s been watching way too much CSI to buy that. She claims there’s evidence he’s burned down the pastor’s barn and experimented with small animals in his basement lab—two things associated with serial killers, according to Dr. Phil. Cammie’s cried wolf too many times about suspects who turned out to be innocent, so not another soul in Sleepy Valley SC believes the sixteen-year-old’s claim her sister’s boyfriend is a serial killer. Except maybe the police chief’s nephew who takes a shine to Cammie and wants to help, but Cammie’s not sure she can trust him.

Lucky she has her flaky Nana and a spirit who calls herself Flannery O’Connor, but they may be more interference than help.

Cammie could be right this time, but if she doesn’t hurry and get enough evidence to send her sister’s boyfriend to the slammer, both girls could end up in pieces in his basement lab.

Even though I live in the South now, like my heroine, I grew up in a small town—only mine was in northern Wisconsin. The University of South Florida's Palm Prints published one of my short stories, Riverwalk published another online. I also took first place in a Virginia Romance Writers contest and second place for a YA novel in a Florida State Writing Competition. 

Thank you for considering My Sister’s Dating a Serial Killer.


Chapter 1
Into the Deep
“Cameo! Don't jump,” Cort, my older sister, shouts to me from the woodsie Carolina path.
The sweet and succulent blackberries we’d been picking for Mom’s pie still melting in my mouth, I straighten from my diving position, yank off my sweaty T-shirt and hang it on a shrub. For dramatic effect, I step out of my cutoffs like a striper and pull up my one-piece swimsuit, which has lost some of the elasticity around the strapless top.
It’s Cort who needs protecting, not me. I kick off my flip-flops and the warm sand prickle my toes.
When I can’t come up with a way to tell her the truth about her new boyfriend, I plunge deep into the channel.
A luscious wetness covers me until something large swims in my direction. It’s impossible to see what’s hiding in the pitch black underwater. A knot grabs hold of my gut and twists to warn me. Whatever is down here is evil.
Before I can swing into a fast breast stroke in the other direction, something below my feet sends chills up my body. A rough current tumbles me along the river bottom into a sunken tree.
Something large bumps into my leg.  
I jolt back.
Which way to find Cort? My inner compass is off course.
Adrenaline rushes through my body and I battle up from the muddy bottom.
Something grabs my legs from behind.
Not a fish.
Not an alligator.
Those were hands.

Friday, July 10, 2015


When I first got on Twitter, I was enamored with it totally. I spent hours reading other people's Tweets. They were so sexy, so interesting, so smart.

By comparison, mine paled. No doubt because I've been writing non-fiction, health-related books for so long, my sexiness, interestingness and smartness have faded to zero.

Still, I persisted. After all, it was the favored social media for people who held contests for people like me to be favorited by an agent, send them pages from my novel, and ultimately be represented by said agent. One is not sure exactly how long that takes because it's been ions since I started querying, and have not yet Gotten the Call, but that's another story...

Anyway, last week, I began getting messages that I could not post that message. At first, I thought maybe I'd put swear words in it, or been mean to another Twitterer, or some such. But no, I checked my Tweets and they were pristine.

Today, the low blow came.

I was told I could not Follow anyone.

Why not? I'd only followed less than 200 people. Was I on some kind of list I was unaware of for writing thrillers or young adult romance? Maybe my choice of people to follow was bad.Again, I found no problem with the people I'm following. They are all sterling Tweeters.

Then, by some amazing process I've totally forgotten, I discovered a way to send a message to Twitter.


I filled in the form and pushed SUBMIT. I even received a thank you, but along with that were words something like: You will not receive a response to your question. We only collect this information to make Twitter a more pleasurable experience.

If it were anymore pleasurable, I'd probably die, or at the least, go into a hiccup spell.

Any advice out there? Have you, too, had this horrific experience, and if so, how did you get out of it? Are you still alive, or have you been turned into hot, melting taffy?

I'm holding my breath in anticipation of your sterling suggestions.