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Monday, July 5, 2010


Dear Secret Agent,

Sixteen year-old Yseult is beautiful.

She is also sarcastic, witty, bookish and loyal, but no one ever seems
to notice those things.  All anyone in the countryside of 19th Century
France ever notices is that Yseult is a prime candidate for wifehood,
and would make a lovely ornament for some lucky man to parade around
as his own.

But there is nothing Yseult wants less than the locked cage of
matrimony.  And when an arranged marriage threatens to quash her
independence forever, she stages her own death to avoid it, escaping
into an unknown—and likely perilous—future with nothing but an odd
gypsy diary and a stolen flower to guide her.

She expects her flight to result in danger…doom, even.  She does not
expect it to leave her in an enchanted utopia, occupied by a
beastly-looking young man with no ability to perceive beauty.  A young
man—René—who can only see her for who she truly is; just as she learns
to see him.

But despite René’s overwhelming goodness, Yseult’s old prejudice
against marriage makes her hesitant to admit her growing love for him,
and when given the excuse, she flees: both her feelings and René
himself.  Out of the protection of her false death, however, Yseult is
once again in danger of her former betrothed—who is willing to kidnap
her in order to ensure she becomes his wife.  And what’s more, Yseult
soon discovers that, thanks to a cruel enchantment, her absence is
killing René…quite literally.

In order to save René and herself, Yseult must defy the men who would
break her.  She must embrace a love that is strong enough to defeat a
powerful curse.  And above all, she must realize that, from the
monstrous to the beautiful, things are not always what they seem.

EPHEMERAL, a YA fairy tale, is complete at 61,000 words.

My short stories have been published in Knowonder! Magazine,
Spaceports & Spidersilk, and YARN (the Young Adult Review Network).  I
also write regularly for on the subject of Young Adult

Thank you for your time and consideration,


I am already desperate to leave.  In the sunny breakfast parlor of our
chateau, my family sits divided: half pretending we are civilized, the
other half making no effort to disguise the fact that we are not.  My
sisters’ quarreling is maddening anywhere, but inside the house it can
make a person’s brain writhe like a worm in the sun.  And Ansel, my
eldest brother, only makes it worse by interfering.

I tip the last of my coffee into my mouth and shut my eyes, trying to
block out their inane argument, wondering how quickly I can escape and
get back to my book.  A breeze drifts in from the open window,
carrying the scent of honeysuckle and magnolia.  The scent of summer.
It curls through my long hair, and I focus on the sensation of its
invisible tendrils, snaking across my neck and over my cheeks.

“Who on earth is that?” my father’s voice interrupts, cutting off both
my concentration and my sisters’ verbal fencing match.  While Elita
and Dore blink dumbly at him, I turn with my three brothers to follow
Father’s gaze.

The front lawn of our country estate stretches grandly before us like
the garden of a small palace.  Each hedge is carefully pruned; each
flower meticulously planted; each stone lining the paths chosen with
care.  Even the fountain—the jewel in the setting—seems to spout in a
perfect arc, letting no drop of water go astray.  And now, shambling
down the path...