Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Magician's Daughter - TWV Entry

Dear Coaches,

Not many women are magicians in 1870, but that doesn’t stop eighteen-year-old Valentina Gianetti. However, when her father is killed onstage at her debut performance, she abandons her dreams in order to find his killer. Her journey starts in Paris and leads her to an underground society of spectacular performers, along with a conspiracy that reaches up to the government. Valentina soon finds herself entangled in multiple murders, suicides, secrets, and cover-ups.

With the help of complicated individuals, including an escaped convict, Spanish spy, and old fortune teller, Valentina immerses herself into the clandestine underground in hopes of tracking down her father’s murderer. Between solving crimes spanning decades, traveling Europe with hired assassins, and performing onstage, a love triangle develops and Valentina is forced to choose between a deep-seated love and a passionate lust.

The Magician’s Daughter is a Historical Fiction novel, complete at 92,130 words. Readers who enjoyed The Historian, The Night Circus, and The Thirteenth Tale will appreciate this novel. I’m a technical writer by day and an aspiring author by night with an unhealthy addiction to the BBC. Thank you for this opportunity!

Desirae Roosa


The custard of the fruit tart gently jiggled at the rumbling of the train. I was hypnotized by its slight vibration; if only to distract myself from what I soon faced. The tranquility of my private carriage lulled me into a moment of calm. I lit the small candle poking from the tart’s middle and closed my eyes.

“Happy birthday, Mama.” The flame extinguished before I could take a breath to blow it out. I smiled. I didn’t have to turn around to see him standing in the doorway, though he made no sound.

“Are you prepared for tomorrow?” His English accent sounded like home; I turned to face him.

“I’ve practiced the three acts so many times I could perform them with my eyes closed.”

“Good girl.” He smiled, the wrinkles around his eyes deepening. He aged so much these last few years and I wondered what he kept from me. It wasn’t only his growing paranoia that tipped me off; but the way he became more and more distracted during his acts, almost expecting an interruption.

“I have a gift for you,” he said, producing a small red flower between his fingers and presenting it to me. The instant that my fingertips brushed against its stem, the flower disappeared, and in its place, hung a gold necklace with a simple red pendant.

“It’s beautiful. Thank you, Father.” His eyes twinkled. I knew he appreciated the term, though he wasn’t my real father.

Seriously? It's Been Over a Year?

Shame on me. Shame on my family. Shame on my neighbors.

I can't believe it's been over a year since I've written a blog post! Oh...wait...yes, yes I can believe that. I never have been good about posting, have I?

Well, I wanted to give you a heads up that, through the grace of complete randomness, I've been selected by a raffle to participate in a writing contest (yay!). The rules are that I have to post my query and first page of my novel to my blog. So, be warned! (Oh, and feel free to leave feedback, as long as it's positive! Just kidding, be long as it's positive...just kidding again! Okay, I'll stop now.) 

I hope you all are doing great, and thanks so much for not giving me the kabash...yet.

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Get to Know that Allusive Character

Happy Wednesday, Literati!

I stumbled upon this interesting writer's tool this morning, and thought that I'd share. It's definitely fun reading what other writers have put out there. Soooo if you've got a shy character who you just can't figure out, perhaps this site can assist! Writing is such a solitary torture activity, so when writers come together, it can truly be an invaluable asset. If you're lucky enough to be part of an awesome writing group (as I am), then you know what I mean! If you're a writer and aren't part of a critique/beta group, my advice? Find one! Go to conferences, get involved with your local writing community and/or writing orgs/chapters, or find an online community, trust me, your experience will be priceless and your writing will improve. I cannot express this enough, it is important for writers to get critical feedback, and family members and best friends do not count! (Hops off soap box, spills oatmeal...seriously, I really did just spill oatmeal all over myself. Nice.)

Anyway, check out the link below and let us know if you post one of your characters up there!

Flesh Out Your Fictional Character on Reddit

Happy Reading and Writing!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Non-Fiction. That is All.

Hello Literati!

Can you believe we're already a couple weeks into March? It's incredible how quickly the days go by. I am, however, happy to report that I did bust out of my Writer's Block. (Freeeedom!) It just took scraping twenty two pages, but hey, whatever works, right? Things are better this way, right? Right? ... (insert cricket chirps here) ...

So, I've been tackling a horrible case of insomnia lately (let's face it, if it's not Writer's Block, it's something else!). Earlier this week, said insomnia led me to open my Netflix queue at 10 p.m. and browse. I came upon a movie that I've always wanted to see, and decided it was about time to give it a shot. The movie? Capote. I know, I know! How have I not seen this movie before?? What?!? How could I? The horror!! 

I won't review the movie here (it was good, enough said), but I will say this, it got me thinking about non-fiction. What I've always found fascinating is how the non-fiction novel, when compared to fiction, is like...well, a newborn baby. For those unawares, Truman Capote's book, In Cold Blood, is considered to be the first work of non-fiction ever published. The book was published in a four-part series by The New Yorker in 1965. That's right, 1965! See? Non-Fiction, a baby genre. Consider fiction for a second, with the first stirrings of the genre being discovered as early as 2000 BC. And stories such as The Illiad and The Odyssey were recorded in 8th century BC. 

Yeah, let that sink in.

Why did it take so long for the birth of a non-fiction story? I have no idea. There are some critics who will site other works as non-fiction, but it's widely agreed that Capote's book was the first non-fiction novel. 

I don't read a lot of non-fiction, but of what I have read, I've enjoyed. If you are new to non-fiction, I'd suggest In Cold Blood, but if you're not one for gory details, check out another one of my favorites, The Catcher was a Spy. And there's always Into Thin Air, which was excellent! How about you, is there a non-fiction book you'd recommend?

In the spirit of Capote, I've taken up a book I've had for a couple years and have yet to read: The Devil in the White City. It's more of a creative non-fiction novel, but so far it's incredibly interesting! So if you're a fiction junkie, maybe next time you're browsing through Goodreads, or trying to figure out what to read next, take a look at something non-fiction, it may surprise you!

What non-fiction books have you read and loved? Or are you devoted to fiction and simply refuse to read non-fiction? Let us know!

...And as always, Happy Reading and Writing!

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Infinite Colossal Wall of Obstruction

We've all been there.

Having a desire to accomplish something - a dream, a goal, getting through a Monday...but then you run into it: The Infinite Colossal Wall of Obstruction. It may be made of brick, cement, a fence running with high voltage electricity...whatever you picture this wall's materials, its sole function is to keep you from accomplishing your intended goal. 

Writer's refer to it oh-so lovingly as Writer's Block.

And right now, it has me walled in! The Wall has me locked within its tight embrace. There are no windows, no light, and no air in this metaphoric cell of brick and mortar.

I was hoping to tug out the unfortunate plot belly my current novel is experiencing. I need to add action, some suspense, a little more mystery (it IS a YA Historical Mystery after all!). So I know what I MUST do, I just have no idea HOW to do it. Not that I've never suffered from plot belly before, but in the past I was able to do a few crunches and voila! But not this last week/weekend. No amount of exercise or evading to other creative outlets (tutu for daughter - check, sew new dress for daughter - check, finish knitting scarf for Mom - check, make ABC books for my kids - check), nothing, NOTHING would permit me to scale that electric fence of definite Writer's Block. (Yes, my wall is brick, covered with electric fencing, and some other alien technology that blasts me with lasers should I attempt to escape.)

I usually find that writing prompts aide in hunting down my snarky muse. But not this time. My characters abandoned me. Ice cream didn't help either. Looking at nice big houses in Santa Barbara did nothing for me. Nor did packing up my sister's stuff for her big move to San Antonio (not that it would, I'm not writing a tragedy here). A small part of me DID, however, blame a certain show that failed to air a new episode this week...but I digress.

What tools do you turn to when you find yourself stuck in a pit of dreaded Writer's Block and your muse is being elusive? Is there a trick you revert to when you're trying to finish any project and just can't find the motivation? What do you turn to for that swift kick in the rear? What are your secrets for breaking down The Wall?

I'd love to hear what works for you, and as always, Happy Reading and Writing!

My trusty grammar source: