Six Sentence Sunday, Warder, another Start

I hate the start of my stories for the first several drafts, it takes me forever to get them where I’m happy with them – once I figure out where in the story I want to start.

Here, I’m still not sure. I’ve tried to pitch this several times and it’s not flying so I’ve redone the start. I’m starting with backstory/action from the immediate past, which I don’t want to show, but which I’m hoping isn’t too long and sets up the mood for the story. Sigh, we’ll see. With only six sentence would you want to read more?

Mona stared blearily at the cell phone ringing on her coffee table. An hour and a half was not enough sleep, not after almost getting killed this morning. The memory of the ground heaving under her feet, the cheek-stinging cold as she scrambled away flooded back, jerking her awake. Training my ass. Warder Smythe, like her, could see and manipulate other’s spells, but could not create his own workings.


Certainly not the set spell she’d barely escaped from, despite his claim the body-crushing stone monoliths which had almost trapped her were a test.

So, yes? no? (suggestions?) Sigh, good news is this is just about complete!!


Six Sexy Sentences from Warder by Ellie Heller

I’m still figuring out if the six sentence thing is on Saturday or Sunday. I did Saturday last time, I’ll do Sunday this time. Hey, I’m flexible.

Here is a sneak peak of the ‘pre-sex’ scene from Warder which I referenced yesterday. Right now I have the story written as ‘sweet’ (sex is behind closed doors). But that may change. We’ll see. 🙂

“You don’t have to crash on the couch.”

The bottles in the fridge rattled as Cart slammed the door shut. Before she could turn around he scooped her up in his arms, causing her to shriek and the envelopes she still had in her hands to scatter across the floor as she grabbed his shoulders for balance.

Oh my, his eyes were shifting again and he’d become so hot his body practically scorched her where she touched him. Mona flushed and desire for him left her tingling in all the right places.

“Good, because I really, really didn’t want to.”

Off to revise more. Hopefully one day you’ll see the whole story!

Too Much Backstory vs Not Enough

Or how to give readers what they need to know versus massive info dumps of information.

I don’t do well at this. It’s been the one largest flaw in my published story. People saying they felt they were dropped in the middle of something and didn’t know what was going on because I’d cut out too much backstory.

And I say cut out too much back story because as *everyone* in my crit group knows my first drafts are rife with back story. Paragraphs on why things are the way they are, why things work the way they work and the social structure of the Fae I’m writing about. As each story expands the world I write in, more things come to light about it.

Then I pare it down, going through it at least twice. And then, not infrequently, I’m still told I have too much back story.

So for this submission I tried so very, very hard to minimize the back story and focus on the action. What I ended up with is all action and not enough back story.

Of course the tendency will now to be to not cut as much, but I *think* I can temper that. Hopefully this next story I’ll find the balance between too much information and not nearly enough.

Hmm, you know what I think I need? A blind beta read. So many of my crit partners have seen stories set in the world I’m writing Warder in, I’m worried they know the backstory and place well enough they’ll miss when I’m not giving enough information. I think there’s a Goodreads group for this, let me check. If not, any volunteers? 🙂 I think I’ll have this ready for a beta read mid-June. Let me know.

6 of one, 7 of the other: Ellie’s Sentence Saturday.

Seems I’m a bit behind the times. Nothing new. 🙂

Following a couple of posts I’ve been tagged in, as well as a Saturday tradition, I’m showcasing six sentences from my current work in progress. Oh, and the second paragraph should also count as my ‘seven lines’ for that meme too, since this is from pg 77 of Warder. 🙂

For only a moment, then she[Averill] looked over the wreckage and sobered. She stepped up to the Warder and started asking him questions about the collapse. Mona, again, trailed behind and did not contribute.

Over the course of the next couple of hours the Warder, Cart and his group, along with the Maven and Nic went over as much of the central area of the bridge collapse as they could safely access. With each new finding it became abundantly clear to everyone Weres were deeply involved in the catastrophe. The type of magic used, the signatures left, all pointed to Weres rebelling and loosing control of their magic.

WIP Excerpt

This is an excerpt from the story I’ve been editing, currently titled “Warder”. A contemporary fantasy with romance elements, this is the first story in my Niagara Falls Fae series (which is also a *very* tentative title).

Now this is a work in progress (WIP), and although I’ve been editing, I’ve been working on content, particularly planting seeds for events in later books as well as the dreaded conversion from first to third. Grammar and copy editing are not my strong suit.

That said, enjoy the tidbit! 🙂


Mona stood behind the bar at Fat Louie’s and watched as another layer of snow piled up on the patio. Good thing they’d been busy the last few times she’d worked or she wouldn’t be able to pay her bills. Training to be Warder was fine, and all that, but being an apprentice didn’t put any cash in her pocket.

She ducked out from behind the counter and checked on her only customers, a pair of women on a date. Over the past three years Mona met quite a few of Francine’s first dates. Frankie also met the infrequent blind dates Mona’s brother seemed intent to set her up on as her coffee shop was a great first date spot. Not that Nic enjoyed any type of long-term relationship; no, he just thought he needed to see her settled.

“Hey Francine, you need anything else?” she asked, enjoying the subtle change to perfume from the usual odors of the bar. Very floral today, must be going for a more girly approach with her date.

“Not for me, Mona. Val, you want anything?” Frankie angled her head so that her straight red hair fell in a sweep across her cheek. She did glamorous better than anyone Mona knew and most of her dates were intimidated by it.

The statuesque blonde shook her head, amusement crossing her face. Mona realized the difference which had been niggling at her. Frankie’s dates these days were happy people compared to the Goths she’d first brought in. In more ways than one Mona was glad those days were over; the smell of patchouli, Francine’s choice of perfume then, made her nauseous.

“I’m okay. I’m looking forward to getting home and warming up in front of the fire,” her date’s husky voice caressed Mona’s spine and she don’t swing that way. Mona hid her smile; Francine might have met her match with this one.

Behind her date’s back Mona gave Frankie a surreptitious thumbs up. Frankie didn’t seem to notice, busy pulling out money to pay their tab.

Unsurprisingly they’d bundled themselves into their coats by the time she’d made it back to the bar. She called out a ‘be careful!’ as they headed towards the door. Francine gave Mona a smile and reciprocal ‘thumbs up’ behind her date’s back. Apparently she had caught Mona’s approval after all.

As they went out the door they ran into someone coming in. After a moment of confusion, they sorted themselves out. Her new customer stomped his way over to the coat hooks, dislodging snow with each thud.

Mona rubbed her forehead and glanced at the phone under the bar. The line out was still glowing a steady red; Vince hadn’t hung up from his conversation with his very pregnant wife yet. Mona’s cell reception wasn’t great here, so she’d given Raine this number when they touched base earlier. She’d forgotten her boss might tie up the line the whole night.

The new guy divested himself of his outerwear and sidled up to the bar. She looked at him and wondered why college kids thought she’d be so desperate for tips on winter nights that she wouldn’t check their I.D.

Hope you enjoyed it!

And, yes, I had written those two women, lesbian secondary characters, a long time before I set about writing Ginny’s Capture.) As I told KBGBabbles in my interview coming out next week, it was a trend I wasn’t even aware of until someone pointed it out to me. 🙂

Entered a query / 250 word contest.

Cupid’s Literary Connection is holding a Surprise Agent Invasion, where they ask for your query and first 250 words.

I sent something in. GULP.

The contest goes live from the end of March to Mid-April, after the initial round of in house judging:

If you make it into one of the windows your entry enters AREA 51 and goes before the CIA. The CIA consists of myself and four of the YA Confidential operatives: Copil, Cambria, Cristin, and Karen. The 200 entries will be split up between the five of us randomly and we will each choose our strongest 10 entries to go up on the blog as “victims” of our “Surprise Agent Invasion” event. Of course, the CIA and AREA 51 are very secretive and confidential so this will all take place behind closed doors and you will NOT know which CIA judge received your entry. And as you’ll notice, that is only 50 entries from the 200, so make sure your work is at it’s best!!

Those who make it past the CIA and become “victims” will be notified by Cupid via email. The dates of these emails and when the entries will be posted on the blog for the agent invasion will be disclosed at a later date.

Which means I need to be working on these final edits double time in the *off chance* I get past the first round. Nothing like a deadline to help focus your work!