Edge of Truth Now Available!


Photo Credit: Melissa Bowersock (Flickr)

It’s official! EDGE OF TRUTH is out in the wide world. Here’s the details incase you somehow missed them…

ISBN: 13:  978-1-93404-59-7
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian/Paranormal Romance

Rena Moon feels like a prisoner, oppressed by the Overlord’s laws, bound by household rules, even captive to her emotions because when she grows angry, the earth shakes.

She restrains her tightly coiled power, until her best friend is kidnapped. Nevan, Rena’s long-time crush, joins the rescue mission into volatile lands where her mood slips toward the edge of control. For once, the Overlord isn’t holding all the power, but can Rena live with being reduced to what she’s trying so hard to escape?

Find it in print and eBook format at these locations:

Amazon-Buy-Button        button-barnes-and-noble       BooksAMillion_button_thumb


Okay, now that the shameless self-promotion portion is over, let’s get back to the fun stuff.

My what a celebration we’ve had today! I’ve had so much fun chit-chatting with all of you. I’ve learned so much about my FB and blog friends.

For the last contest, I’d like to learn a little more about everyone….

In Edge of Truth, Rena’s is Other. She’s sensitive to ground vibrations, which makes it impossible for her younger brothers to sneak up on her. She also has the power to trigger earthquakes, and since this is an emotion-based ability, it’s can be a burden to her. Both things are physically taxing, sometimes leaving her feeling like she might implode or too exhausted to move.

  • If you were Other, what power would you want? The more flashy it is, the more likely you’d get caught. How much of a risk taker are you?
  • What would be willing to (physically, mentally, emotionally) give up for this power?

For fun or a chance to win a 5-Page Critique by me (open to international entries!!), please leave a comment. For a bonus entry, tweet about this contest AND leave a link to the tweet. PLEASE note whether you’re answering for fun or for a critique. Contest open until midnight CST on June 7, 2013.

The Rafflecopter  contest (find below) will be up for a week. All other contest will remain open until midnight CST, June 7, 2013.

Here’s a recap:

I’ll post contest winner names on my blog and Facebook on June 8, 2013. Be sure to check for your name so you can claim your prize.

Thank you all so so much for making today extra special! Group hug!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Writer’s Voice

(view source)

I entered another contest! The Writer’s Voice is a multi-blog, multi-agent contest hosted by Cupid of Cupid’s Literary Connection, Brenda Drake of Brenda Drake Writes, Monica B.W. of Love YA, and Krista Van Dolzer of Mother. Write. (Repeat.). The gist of it is, writers “audition” by posting the plot summary from their query as well as the first 250 words of their manuscript. Then the blog hosts pick their teams and the agents come in to vote later down the line. Click any of the above links for more details.

And here is my entry (tasha #119), from my YA paranormal EDGE OF TRUTH. Enjoy!

Plot Summary: In the year 2248, a free-spirited teen under a dictatorship struggles to control her power to trigger earthquakes. At least, until her best friend is kidnapped. Rena Moon lives in a divided society where the wealthy enjoy life in the Eden bio-domes, while everyone else lives under strict enforcement of Synbots in Hollowcrest. Rena fears detection because no one knows what happens to Others once apprehended. She believes she’ll find refuge in Eden. Though property is available for anyone who can afford it, strategic oppression prevents Hollowcrest residents from saving enough to buy land.

During an excursion into the forbidden Westrock where Rena vents, i.e. triggers earthquakes, she unearths an antique packed cave. It’s enough to help her family escape poverty. However, Topaz, a Buyer from Eden, kidnaps her best friend, Blaze. He wants the relics’ location and proves he’s willing to torture and kill for it. Intent on saving Blaze and retaining her claim, Rena joins forces with Nevan, her 6’3”, body sculpted from physical labor, secret crush. During the rescue, Rena’s anxiety triggers a massive earthquake, which propels Nevan into a crater. Determined to ensure at least Blaze’s safety, Rena must stay in control, decide what moral boundaries she’s willing to breach with her powers, and what losses she can live with.

First 250

Rena Moon wished she could swap places with the canteen, held tight and pressed to Nevan’s lips. The drained container echoed against the table when he set it down and said something that made his friends laugh.

“Come on,” Rena said to her best friend, Blaze. “Let’s move closer.”

“Why are you whispering? He can’t hear us.”


“The vantage point is better from there.” Blaze pointed to a shaded spot across Transit Plaza. “It’s outside his peripheral. We can stand closer, maybe within hearing range.”

“Loving your attention to detail.” While stealing glances at Nevan, Rena shouldered her backpack and strolled beneath uniform trees.

“Sweet Mother Earth,” Blaze nudged Rena’s shoulder, nearly knocking her off balance in excitement. “They’re gonna do it, again. He’s picking up the spoons.”

“Wha…?” Transfixed, she watched his biceps flex as he shifted and rested his forearms against the edge of the recycled plastic table.

After glancing down both sides, he nodded, once, twice, three times. Someone tapped a set of cups, creating a deep, resonant beat. Nevan joined in, drumming the spoons and knocking his wrist in perfect rhythm to bring the music alive.

With her gift to detect ground vibrations, Rena honed in on the cadence Nevan produced. Every tap thrummed through her, uniting her with his song on a level no one else could know. It drew her toward him, as if he’d attached a melodic tether to her with the intent to reel her in.

Contest Ready?

Ever feel like the bio section at the bottom of your query letter looks a little skimpy? How about the “About” page on your blog, Facebook profile, Twitter profile, etc? For unpublished authors, winning writing contests is a one way to build a writer’s bio.  Word count limitations which challengers writers to keep the ‘short” in short story helps hone skills. Having deadlines provides motivation to complete work in a timely manner. Plus, writers get exposure of their work, and based on which contests entered, that attention could come from publishers or agents.

Here are my tips on increasing your chances of winning:

  • Check and double-check the contest guidelines to make sure your entry fits within the theme, word count, format guidelines. Don’t give the judges a reason to disqualify your entry.
  • Vanquish every typo, grammar, and spelling error from your story. It might not help you win, but a polished  entry can’t hurt either.
  • As with manuscripts, a great hook will draw the judge in. The writer’s job is to make their entry stand out above all others.
  • Unlike with poetry, short stories cannot get away with “Untitled”. Give a lot of consideration to the title for your entry. It tells the judge what to expect. For example, I recently entered my YA short story “Zombie Kibosh Crew” in the OWFI 2012 contest. The story genre is right there in the title and it helped me eliminate backstory. With a 1,200 word limit, cutting words was vital.
  • Stay focused on one point of view. Trying to work in multiple POVs can muddled the entry, may bump you over the contest word count limit, and might confuse the judge.
  • Only enter your best work, especially for fee-based contest. Otherwise, you’re just throwing away your money.
  • Don’t give up!

After you’ve researched which contest are right for you, all that’s left is mustering the courage to enter. One popular contest is the Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. This fee-based contest gains winners publication, potential exposure to editors and agents, and recognition on the Writer’s Digest website. Writer’s Relief List of Writing Contest offer information on contest for creative writers. This site also offers links to anthologies open to submissions, for those chose that route. One of my critique partners recently wrote a post on ongoing contest (here).

Related Articles

10 Tips for Winning Writing Contest
20 Tips for Winning Writing Contest
Why Enter Writing Contest? Let me Count the Ways… (this one includes tips on avoiding scams)

Do you have any writing competition tips? Do you have suggestions for finding other contests?