Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Writer's Voice 2015-EVERLAND!!!

It's like The Voice singing show but instead, a chance for writer's to get a moment in the spotlight! The Writer's Voice! Such a great idea. And I'm so happy for this chance to make it on a team. Thanks to Brenda Drake, Monica Bustamante Wagner, Elizabeth Briggs, and Krista Van Dolzer.

Title:EVERLAND
Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy

Query:

When seventeen-year-old Piper tracks her parents to Cape Verde, the last thing she expects is Everland. Not only has she jumped into a childhood story, but she’s the daughter of a Lost Boy. Except they aren’t boys anymore. The gem that kept them from aging has been stolen by the pirates and they’ve switched roles—the boys growing old and the pirates now teens. If the Lost Boys don’t get the gem back soon, their age will catch up to them for good. 

Though Piper’s dad doesn’t want her involved, she’s not about to waste her years of training in fencing and archery. She must use her skills to save them before time runs out. When she meets the enemy—curly-haired, leather wearing captain with a hook—she’s in trouble. She must protect her heart and return the gem before the Lost Boys die or she’ll be trapped there to watch it happen.  


EVERLAND is a YA contemporary fantasy retelling of Peter Pan, complete at 69,000 words. 



First 250:

One step out of my bedroom and I knew the day had arrived. First clue: the smell of burnt toast drifting from the kitchen. Second clue: when I walked through the doorway, Dad jumped. Third clue: well, it was mid-June. Enough said. 

Dad wiped the juice from his polo, which really was another clue…but who’s counting? 


“Where’s your suit, Dad? Aren’t you going to work?”


His gaze flicked toward me. “Oh, hey Piper. I didn’t hear you come in.”


I shrugged, trying to keep things light. “What’s with the polo?”


Dad gave up on the blossoming stain and leaned against the counter. “Your mom and I are going on a trip today. Didn’t she tell you?”


I shook my head. Mom didn’t have to tell me. About a week before their annual trip, silence settled around the house like a suffocating blanket. They were the worst at keeping secrets and I couldn’t take it any longer.  


“Oh…well…” Dad scratched behind his ear, avoiding my gaze. “We leave in an hour.”


Even breaths. Play ignorant. “What about me?” 


My parents had no idea my bag was already packed. I hid it under my bed the day they started walking on egg-shells, whispering behind closed doors. They weren’t leaving me behind again. Protecting me from the world was one thing, keeping it hidden was another. I adjusted the straps on my fingerless gloves and rubbed the gnarled skin on my palms through the leather. Eleven years after my accident and my hands still hadn’t changed. 



And that's it! Thanks for stopping by.
~Michelle



Monday, May 18, 2015

You. Are. All. AWESOME!!!

I just wanted to give a shout out to all the people who spread the word about my free ebook and downloaded it last week!!! It was a smashing hit! In 5 days, 2090 people downloaded my ebook off Amazon. That's 2090 people who might read it, and 2090 people who might learn something more about Cystic Fibrosis!!! This is a huge deal. The one thing I hope for my book is that it can spread the word and help educate people. And for the 33 people who shared/retweeted my promotion, I'm donating 50 cents to the CF Foundation. So even though my free ebook might not have raised much money, I'm hoping this will help...along with the fact that you may have reached one more person by spreading the word!

So to everyone...

THANK YOU

YOU. ARE. ALL. AWESOME!!!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Book Anniversary Party!!!!

That's right! My book's been out for one year!!! Time to party!




But wait...it's also CF Awareness month, which is another reason to party! 

Image result for CF Awareness Month


Basically, I needed a reason to party. 

In all seriousness, though, the one wish I have for my book is that it will help spread awareness about cystic fibrosis. Even though they are finding more treatments and medications to help delay the effects of CF, there is still no cure. People die from it all the time...and it breaks my heart. 

If you'd like to be a part of the cause, there is so much you can do! There are CF walks all over the country this month. Find one near you and join in! Or you can always donate anytime to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Just learning more about it helps. My ebook is free for the next five days to celebrate and help educate others. You can click on the image below to find it on Amazon.  





Thank you for your support! 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Side Characters

Or supporting characters, whatever you'd like to call them. Let's chat about them, because quite frankly...They. Are. Awesome. Or they can be. More like, they should be! 

I'm on a bit of a writing hiatus after entering so many contests. But now that I've had a little break while waiting to hear back on some requests, my brain cog-works are finally functioning again. And I can't stop thinking about those awesome side characters! Most specifically, how they can make or break your story. 

Think of them as building blocks to lift your character up. Whether they are good building blocks or bad ones that might corrupt the stack later, if they're not written well, they can make the whole plot stumble. 

Not all of them need a back story but they do need to be consistent...and that usually comes by at least knowing their back story even if the reader doesn't. Some of my favorite side characters are either funny or quirky in some way. If you want some great characters to check out, look no further. These are some of my favorites!!!

Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter series.

Mr. Collins from Pride and Prejudice.

Ari and Janco from Poison Study series.

The satyrs (can't think of their names right now) from the Fablehaven series.

And last, but certainly not least, is Wit from The Way of Kings...who might actually be a main character and we just don't know it yet. He is probably one of my favorite.

There you go. Study them, learn from them, and then write them :)

Keep it up and keep it real.

~Michelle

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

WINNERS!!!

I want to thank everyone who entered the drawing and helped support organ donations! I'm happy to announce the four winners of the giveaway!

CJ Schindler

Carson

Abbey

Natalie Shatlock

I have tried to contact a few of you without much success. If you could contact me, that might be better and we can discuss details :) My email is michelle m merrill (at) hotmail (dot) com. No spaces included.

Thanks again! You are all fabulous and I appreciate your support!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Learn to be, and then become...with a giveaway!!!



Reason #1 why I wrote Changing Fate: to spread the word about cystic fibrosis. I learned that my daughter's friend has CF and I wanted to do something. I didn't have money to donate and I wanted to help in some way. What I didn't know was that I was already helping in an unexpected way...

by being an organ donor.  

Organ donations save lives. Hands down. In a sad event that we lose our life, what better way to go than to save another? It's that simple. One signature and a little logo on your drivers license. 

There are people out there waiting for organs just so they can breathe easy and live to experience life a little longer. I'd like to tell you about 2 of them (even though I could probably come up with a really really really really long list of others). 

The first is Katy Starck Monte. She has cystic fibrosis and is currently waiting for her second double lung transplant. You can learn more about her story here, and support her through #OOMPHforkaty on facebook and twitter

My shout out to Katy and the book I'm offering for the giveaway.

Caleigh Haber also has CF and is fighting to breathe as she waits for her first lung transplant. You can learn more about her story here, and support her through Fight2Breathe on facebook and TeamCaleigh on twitter.  

Both of these girls, and countless others, could benefit from spreading the word about becoming an organ donor. Not just people with CF, but many others as well, lose the battle every day. 

Changing Fate might not match each individual story, but my hope is that it helps others realize the difference they can make just by learning to be so we can all become something greater together. Hopefully we can change the fate of those precious lives that are being lost.   




Please spread the word and feel free to enter the giveaway below. There will be 4 winners!!! Two $10 giftcards to Amazon.com, the paperback copy of my book pictured above, and an e-book copy of the book.

Also, my e-book will be available for 99 cents for the duration of the contest. My purpose isn't to make this about my book, but to spread awareness through my book if it could teach one more person about CF. As always, half of all proceeds will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for the continuing research in finding a cure.

THANK YOU!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 8, 2015

It's a new year!!!

Holy cow! I can't believe it's another year. That means five years ago this month, I started writing. 7 manuscripts and 1 self published book later, and I'm still happy with my decision to become a writer! I love it. 

2014 certainly wasn't what I thought it'd be at the beginning of the year. I wasn't planning on self publishing a book and certainly wasn't planning on going a whole year without writing anything new. I had hoped I would revise a few books and maybe write another NaNo story but...1 self published book later with six months of dealing with extreme anxiety in a 9 year old daughter...and, well, it was what it was. And I did what was most important. And I'm happy I did. Writing will never be fulfilling if it means I'm neglecting what matters most.

Even though my year didn't go as planned, I'm glad it went the way it did. And I'm even more excited to set goals for 2015 and see where the year takes me! I have already started revisions on two books! Once that's finished I hope to query, get an agent, and write more books! I have so many stories to tell! Hence all the exclamation points!!! 

I hope you all the success in your writing goals for this year! 

Care to share any of them with me? I'd love to hear them :)