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Recovering from the storm

Hey guys. For those of you who don’t follow on other social media, my town was hit by a tornado on Tuesday. (they officially called it some other type of new storm. Lucky us. 😂)
Anyway we are fine. No casualties which is the most important thing. We were without power until Saturday and without cable Internet and phones until Sunday. So sorry, I was unable to get Donna’s post in on time. — even this I am entering from my phone. 

I’ll try to get back on a regular schedule next week. 

Score! You guys are going to love this next series of Monday writer’s-help posts!

Wahoooo!

Wahoo! I’m so excited!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting fellow Month9Books author Donna Galanti. While we were chatting, she mentioned that in her past life she was an intern at a literary agent.

My ears perked up. “Really? What did you do there?”

Are you ready for this? She combed the slush pile.

That means if you had submitted to this agent, your manuscript would have to get through HER FIRST before the novel was even seen by the agent.

Wait----What

If you are unaware, this is really, really common. Many agents use interns to weed through the manuscripts and provide feedback on the submissions. These people are the “gatekeepers”. If you don’t make them happy, you are one step closer to a rejection.

So, how do you make sure your manuscript gets through the gatekeeper?

Well, we’re going to show you!

Writing_A_Great_Novel

Donna kept extensive notes on all the manuscripts she reviewed, and over the next few weeks, she is going to discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly – and how YOU can keep yourself out of the reject pile.

Posts start next week. This is not to be missed if you are querying!

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Lesson Thirty from a Manuscript Red Line: Finale! Summing it all up

Wow.  We’ve been looking at this manuscript (again) for 30 weeks. My does time fly!  I think at this point I have hacked up and drilled everything they had to say as much as possible.  The rest of their comments are just repeats of the same mistakes throughout the work.

Sooooo….. This is the last one.  Thirty posts in all.

Announcement!

I have good news to share! The Gold Mine Manuscript (My friends manuscript that all these posts were based on) has been picked up for publication in 2016!  Woo-hoo! Here is proof that one rejection is not the end all of everything. Just dust yourself off, make changes where necessary, and get back into the race!

 

So, did this help you?  Did you learn from this?  I totally did.  My novel is much more crisp, clean, and fluid as a result of all this information.  I hope you have benefitted as well.

Now the only problem is…. What do I post about on Monday nights from now on?

**GACK**  I have no idea!

Here are all the lessons in a sparkly package for you.  If you missed one, I’d suggest going back and taking a look.  Heck, maybe read them over again to get a fresh perspective.

I hope that you have all benefitted from these lessons as much as I have.  I’d also like to send out a special “thanks” to the brave author who was nice enough to allow me to slice and dice her red-lined manuscript for all the world to learn from.

Just out of curiosity, which lessons helped you the most?

I truly hope all of you will have the opportunity one day to add the revised version of the Gold Mine Manuscript into your own libraries.  Once it is published, (with the author’s permission) I will let you know so you can all see the value of good clear suggestions, and the results of hard work and editing.

Introduction

Lesson One:  Write without Looking

Lesson Two:  Do we like your main character yet?

Lesson Three:  Action Action, where is the Action?

Lesson Four:  And Then there was a Conjunction, or Was There?

Lesson Five:  Let’s keep it in the past

Lesson Six:  Watch that Voice!

Lesson Seven:  Where did that character come from?

Lesson Eight:  Magically Appearing Items in the Setting

Lesson Nine:  Written Any Good (Bad) Cliché’s lately?

Lesson Ten:  Girls Rule and Boys Drool

Lesson Eleven: Pre-Telling

Lesson Twelve:  How Are Your Characters Feeling Today?

Lesson Thirteen:  Keeping inside the Point Of View, Part 1

Lesson Fourteen:  Keeping inside the Point Of View, Part 2

Lesson Fifteen:  How Many POV’s Can You Have?

Lesson Sixteen:  Cutting down your Point of View Characters

Lesson Seventeen:  Who are we talking to?

Lesson Eighteen: What makes your story Unique?

Lesson Nineteen: Don’t annoy the reader

Lesson Twenty: Don’t make things so easy

Lesson Twenty-One: Common, and Cliché Themes

Lesson Twenty-Two: Does your Protagonist “Grow Enough?”

Lesson Twenty-Three from a Manuscript Red Line:  Kindle Syndrome

Lesson Twenty-Four: Remembering where your characters are

Lesson Twenty-Five: Bullying for Bully’s sake

Lesson Twenty-Six:  Capital Letters

Lesson Twenty Seven: Fluidity in Action-The Art of a Good Fight Scene

Lesson Twenty-Eight: Very Discreet Point of View Switches

Lesson Twenty-Nine:  Watch your Synopsis

Don’t forget to let me know which one you enjoyed the most!

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Lesson Nineteen from a Manuscript Red Line: Don’t annoy the reader

I giggled when I typed out this heading.  Everyone knows not to annoy their readers, RIGHT?  But can you tell when you might be doing just that?

For an intro into where these tips are coming from, please see my post: A Full Manuscript Rejection, or a Gold Mine?  You can also click “Rant Worthy Topics” in my right navigation bar.  Choose “Gold Mine Manuscript” to see all the lessons to date.

In the Gold Mine Manuscript, before the extraneous POV’s were taken out, the Reader had more information than the Main Character.  The reason this was bad, is that the reader was fully aware of Bad Guy #2, and knew her name.  (Let’s call her Cindy).  So, a hundred or so pages later, when a character starts talking about “Cindy” and the main character says “Who’s Cindy?”  We get that “Duh” feeling followed by a “Been there, done that” when someone explains to him who “Cindy” is.

The publisher said “We need to know what he knows, not what everybody else knows”.

Now in the revise, the Main Character actually witnesses a scene with “Cindy” in it early in the novel.  (although he doesn’t know it’s Cindy yet.)  So, at least he’s seen her and has an idea of who she is.  I haven’t seen how the author works this part out, yet.

The first time I read the passage that the publisher had a problem with, I thought: “I know this already” but I understood the need for another character to tell the MC what was going on.  It was redundant though, and it didn’t feel right.  The new revision, with fewer POVs, and the MC discovering more on his own, should help work around little things like this.

The best thing to do, is not let any one character know more than your Main Character… if it is something that he or she will eventually have to find out.   You don’t want to be in a position of having to bore your reader even for a line or two, while you bring your Main Character up to speed.

JenniFer_Eaton Sparkle__F

Why are you putting nearly completed projects on the back burner?

If you’ve been following for a while, you know that in 2014, before getting a contract for FIRE IN THE WOODS, I completed:

    1.     A first draft of a middle grade contemporary
    2.     A first draft of an adult paranormal murder mystery romance (with aliens)
    3.     A nearly final draft of a YA dystopian

So why are none of these on my radar for 2015? Why am I setting goals to start one or two new series with these projects waiting in the wings?

It was a very hard decision.

A very very hard decision.

Right now I have something every author dreams of, but never really expects to have: a fan base.  Granted, it’s not huge… but it’s there. And they are vocal, and I love them to pieces. Every single one of them.

  •          Will the middle grade contemporary go over well for someone expecting an alien story? Probably not.
  •          Will the adult alien paranormal be good for this age group? Well, yes, for some, but I will have to publish under another name due to some adult themes… so no… not a good match.
  •          Will the YA dystopian thrill the paranormal-lovers? Maybe, but this is more of a journey tale… a slow burn before the climax. It will probably do well… someday. But I don’t think the timing is right at the moment.

I believe right now is a very precarious time for me. FIRE IN THE WOODS is an action adventure/romance series. I need to build on “this type” of book to keep the momentum moving. I don’t want to take chances with a risky theme, or something I have not tested the waters with.

There will always be time to dust those beauties off.  Hey, sometimes I am just in the mood for editing. Those will be the days I pull those suckers out.

For now, though, I have several really fun thrill ride-type stories plotted out.

  1.        Heavy on the action
  2.        Heroines that are not afraid to stick up for themselves
  3.        And “out of this world” guys that are really easy on the eyes.

Yes, it’s a bit formulaic… but I write the same way I read… for fun.

And to be honest… if I could run through the woods all day with a hot guy and watch stuff explode, I’d be a totally happy camper.

So… Why am I doing this?

Because I want to. Luckily for me, my fan base and I are in agreement.

Have you ever placed a few years’ worth of writing on a back burner?

JenniFer_EatonF

A 15-Second Comedic Trailer for FIRE IN THE WOODS @month9books @Georgia_mcbride

Last week I introduced the idea of the 15 second trailer. (Here’s the link to the post if you missed it)

This week’s mini-trailer is a little comedy bit I built.  It started off as this still picture meme…

Girls Boys Aliens

but out of nowhere I started messing with elements moving around. Before I knew it I was adding music and sound effects.

This was a TON of work, because it is essentially stop-motion photography.  Hey, I’m learning. And having fun while I do it!

I really have no idea where I was going with this. FIRE IN THE WOODS is not a comedy… I guess I was just in a quirky mood.

What do you think?

I'm not really sure where I was going with this. FIRE IN THE WOODS is not a comedy … I guess I was just in a goofy mood. Enjoy!

A video posted by Jennifer M. Eaton (@jennifer_m_eaton) on

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_JenniFer____EatoN

It’s time to set goals for 2015 (If you haven’t already)

Ah, yes, it’s that magical time of year. Resolutions are everywhere… but rather than resolutions, I like to set goals. That way I can look back on the previous year and say, “Yeah, that was a good year.”

FireInTheWoods.v6-Book1-FinalWell, last year ended up getting blown out of the water (in a good way) by getting the multi-book deal.  That sort of set all my previous writing goals way way way onto the back burner. And for this year, those old 2014 goals are getting pushed back even further.  Maybe even to the point of hanging them on the wall to get them completely out of the way (but still in sight, in case I want to grab one. You know what I mean?)

As usual, I need to look at what I “have to do.”  This year, per my contract, I “have to:”

  1. Edit and sign off on the final version of ASHES IN THE SKY
  2. Market ASHES IN THE SKY for tentative September 2015 release.
  3. Finish “Book Three” and submit it to my publisher by March 1
  4. Complete the outline of optioned “Book Four” and submit to my publisher for approval by June 1.
  5. Edit and sign off on final “Book three”
  6. Market “Book Three” for Tentative late 2015 release

That’s a lot to do, but I have some other goals in mind.

Book three is half way done. I need to submit it in March, so that gives me nine whole months to play with something new while I’m not editing. Woohoo!

So here are my remaining goals for 2015:

7. Write a new book in a new world (Complete, polish, and send out to query)

8A. Write first draft of a second new book in a new world, OR

8B. Write the outlined “Book Four” of FIRE IN THE WOODS if my publisher takes up the option.

So, if you’ve been following along my insanity train for the past few years, it’s going to be another fun ride.

What is in store for you this year?

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JenniFer_EatonF

Read Chapter Two of @JenniferMEaton ‘s FIRE IN THE WOODS for free! Question and answer session after. @Month9Books

Woo-hoo! Here we are at day two of five chapters of FIRE IN THE WOODS. Enjoy!

Fire in the Woods Cover

Chapter 2

Trumpets!

My eyes popped open as round after round of incessant choruses of Reveille echoed over the base PA system, shocking the world and demanding everyone get up and take notice that the ungodly time of O-six-hundred-hours had arrived.

A groan escaped my lips as I pushed up off my desk. Every muscle in my neck and back screamed at the same time. I must have fallen asleep waiting for my pictures to upload. Rubbing the back of my neck, I stood as the last trumpet bellowed its obnoxious call.

God, I hated that stinking song.

The screen-saver flicked off when I jiggled my mouse. The website from last night was still waiting for me to confirm my order. I smiled and clicked the button. I’d be a few hours before the store opened and I could pick up the pictures that would change my life. Once I added the best of yesterday’s shots to my portfolio, no one would dream of refusing my college application.

The sun sparkled through my windowpanes. In the distance, three dark birds circled over the forest in a beautiful, blue sky. A thin tendril of smoke trailed from the trees, a small reminder of yesterday’s chaos. The coolness of the glass enlivened my skin as I pressed my forehead against the window. Despite the unbelievable shots I’d taken, I was glad it was finally over.

I stumbled through the hallway and peeked in dad’s room. His bed hadn’t been slept in. So much for his day off. Ignoring the grumbling of my impatient stomach, I treated my sore muscles to a shower and got dressed.

The digital clock on my dresser blinked four-seventeen. So much for the fool-proof back-up battery. I made a mental note to fix the time later.

While liberating a few knots from my hair, I made a beeline to the refrigerator. Fruit, eggs, milk … Boring. I shoved aside a few food savers and smiled.

“Bingo.”

I slid out a plate of German chocolate layer cake. Smacking my lips in anticipation, I plopped back in front of my computer and scanned the photos I’d sent to the drugstore print shop. I could hear Dad now, “Why don’t you just send the pictures to the PX. It’s cheaper.”

Yeah, they’re cheaper all right—and pixely.

Not to mention the fact that they might confiscate a few of the shots I’d taken of the soldiers. My brow furrowed as I scanned the photos of the platoon gathered near the edge of the forest. In every shot, the soldiers were facing the woods. If they were there to keep the people safe, wouldn’t they be facing out?

Swallowing down the last bite of cake, I walked downstairs and peeked out the front window. No sign of Dad yet, but I wasn’t about to sit there and wait for him. I dialed up his cell, but his voicemail answered.

“Hey Dad, it’s Jess. Everything’s fine. No problems last night. I’m going to walk down to the drugstore to pick up some pictures, okay? Don’t worry, I’m going in completely the opposite direction from where the fire was, so I won’t be anywhere near the cleanup. See you later.”

I hung up and grabbed a notepad and pen. Standard Major Martinez protocol dictated a note as well as a message. I flipped to an empty page and let him know where I was going, sealing it with a smiley-face.

Outside, a summer breeze caressed my face. I inhaled the crisp morning air and crinkled my nose at the slight hint of smoke lingering from the fire. Yuck.

Quiet greeted me throughout the compound, as if yesterday’s calamity never happened. Funny, how quickly everything adjusts back to normal. I guess the fire really wasn’t as big a deal as I thought.

The heaviness still hung in the air, though. Not that I thought a plane crash would take it away. Everything about Maguire, and the other three military bases I’d lived on, stifled me like a prison without walls, and the pressure seemed to tighten every day.

Day trips with Mom used to help, but now that she was gone, and with Dad sinking further and further into his shell … Well, things just weren’t the same without Mom.

Relief swept over me as I passed the guard shack and walked into the real world. I laughed at myself. I was only a few feet away from military ground, and most of those houses were probably still Army or Air Force families all squashed together since they merged Fort Dix with Maguire. It was civilian land, though, and it smelled like freedom. Well, smoky freedom at the moment, but still freedom.

I headed toward the woods and allowed my thoughts to drift up and away, clearing my mind and letting it wander. Senior year began in a few weeks, and I’d have to start looking for colleges.

Looking … funny. There was only one choice. Columbia. Their arts department was the tops. My application was already filled out, and these photographs were going to cinch it for me.

Dad dreamed of me going to West Point. We’d already sent in the paperwork, but I didn’t care that every Martinez since my great-grandfather went there. I had to live my life, not his.

A larger than life advertisement on the side of a passing NJ Transit bus made me smile. Fire in the Woods, starring Jared Linden and Chris Stevens. In theaters September tenth. Jared leaned forward in the photo, ready to pounce off the side of the bus. Chris Stevens stood beside him, shirtless with hands in pockets and beautiful blond tresses falling seductively toward one eye. I loved Chris’s new haircut, and Jared—Yum. Five foot ten inches of pure tall-dark-and-handsome. They were both just to die for.

A sudden movement drew my attention from the bus. I skidded to a stop. To my right, maybe a hundred feet from the forest, stood the most beautiful buck I’d ever seen. I held my breath trying not to move as he stared me down. A majestic twelve-point rack of antlers scrolled from his head, and his white and brown tail flickered incessantly. After a long, breathless wait, his mouth swirled in a chewing motion. Nature in its most beautiful form.

An eerie shadow cast across the grass as the sun shone through his rack. The silhouette formed little fingers that seemed to reach for me. Wow. If I took that picture at just the right angle …

Shoot. My camera sat safely at home, not attached to my hip where it should have been. Diversity in the portfolio was a must. I needed a picture of that guy. I inched forward and the buck raised his head, shifting the shadow from sight.

“It’s okay,” I whispered. “I won’t hurt you.”

I reached into my pocket and fumbled for my phone. The aperture on the camera feature opened, and I lifted the screen toward him. Without warning, the deer sprang into the air. It flipped its tail toward me and bolted into the woods.

“Awe, man.”

Clutching my camera-phone, I ran to the trees and squinted into the brambles. The buck’s dark, shiny eyes blinked within the brush. He chewed twice before he trotted deeper into the foliage.

“Come on, dude, I just want a picture.”

I ramrodded my way into the forest, the branches whipping back as I set them free. The morning warmth gave way to cool, damp air beneath the trees as I hopped over a group of fallen logs and ducked under a giant poison ivy vine climbing up a tree. I paused, listening to the woods. Silence greeted me, followed by the chirps of two birds chasing each other from tree to tree in the upper canopy. I slowed and fought to catch my breath. He was gone.

My chest throbbed as I leaned my hands on my knees. Sheesh, he was fast. I chuckled to myself. What was I thinking?

A puff of smoke rose over some brush on my right. I pulled the bushes aside and found the remains of a small smoldering campfire. Some people were so irresponsible. I tossed dirt on the embers until they winked out. Good deed for the day: done.

Turning to head back out of the woods, I froze. A noise blasted through the forest, screeching like a smoke alarm gone haywire. A stabbing pain tore into my brain. I slammed my hands over my ears, but I couldn’t fight the drills boring inside me. Head pounding, I howled, but my own voice fell victim to the vibrations within my mind.

I dropped to my knees. “Please stop! Make it stop!”

The squalling encompassed everything. Tears pooled in my eyes, blurring my vision before trailing down my cheeks. I wailed in misery.

Until it stopped.

I shook, reeling from the unexpected silence. A faint hum lingered, a frightening reminder of the sound’s intensity. Hands still covering my ears, I sucked in a short breath and dared another. Holding as still as possible, I scanned the trees.

What the heck was going on?

Sobbing, I blinked back fresh tears and wiped my cheek clean. A leaf fell to the ground at my feet, but the rest of the forest remained motionless. The chirping birds had vanished. Nothing stirred to disrupt the eerie quiet—not even a gentle rustle of the wind.

I cringed, frightened by a thrash behind a large fallen tree. Ignoring the instinct to flee like the buck, I inched forward and peeked over the log.

A guy, maybe seventeen or eighteen, lay curled in a ball on the ground. His hands pressed against his ears as he whimpered through twisted lips. A tight-fitting white tee-shirt clung to his back, slightly untucked from his faded blue jeans. His soulful whimper clawed my heart as he rocked steadily on the woodland floor.

Biting my lip, I mustered up the courage to speak. “Are you okay?”

He grunted. “Please stop! Make it stop!”

“The noise? But it’s gone now.”

He twitched and moaned. The brush beneath him crunched with every movement.

“It’s okay,” I said. “Just breathe. It’s over. Everything will be all right.”

Panic centered in my chest, as if something reached inside me and tugged. A haze seeped into my thoughts, and I shook my head to clear it. What was wrong with me?

The boy hadn’t reacted to my questions, almost as if he couldn’t hear me. A helpless, panicked swirl within my ribs gave me pause. I had to do something, but what?

My hands balled into fists. “What’s wrong?”

I shoved aside a stray branch and jumped over the log. The boy stopped rocking as I approached, but his body quaked with long, labored breaths.

“It’s okay. It’s over.”

He didn’t respond. I looked through the tree trunks and over the bramble and ferns … only leaves and vines and trees blending into more trees for as far as I could see. There was no one else to help him. I ran my fingers through the hair at my temples, massaging the sensitive skin where my brain still pulsed with a dull ache.

Pull yourself together, Jess.

The guy pushed up on one arm. His long, dark bangs fell over his face. Cautiously, I placed my hand on his back.

“Hey, are you all right?”

His entire body flinched. He popped out of his crouch, shifting away with a cry of alarm. He kicked his feet against the leaves and dirt, backing himself away. A murmur escaped his lips as he smashed against a tree trunk. His turquoise-blue eyes widened. His gaze darted in every direction.

Were his eyes actually turquoise? I tilted my head to the side. Yeah, they really were. Must be contacts or something.

I raised my palms, keeping my distance. “It’s okay. I won’t hurt you.”

He focused on me, mouth open, taking in huge gulps of air. His right hand reached up and held his left shoulder as he bit his bottom lip. Beautiful white teeth grazed his slightly tanned skin before he closed his eyes and swallowed hard.

I stepped closer. “Are you hurt?”

The guy scrambled away, sliding beside the tree.

I raised my hands. “Okay, okay. I was only trying to help.” I eased down on a patch of moss. “What do you think that was anyway?”

His eyes centered on me—freaking me out with their odd color. I wanted to look away, but I couldn’t. My eyes burned and grew heavy—until he blinked.

A waft of air entered my lungs, and I let it out slowly. Why was I holding my breath? I rubbed my eyes. What was wrong with me? I felt, I don’t know, different—like a cloud covered me. No, like a blanket. A nice, safe blanket.

A wince contorted the boy’s face as he stretched his neck. He crinkled his nose, his breathing settling to a more normal pace.

His gaze seemed to search through me, and the foggy feeling deepened. I relaxed, taking in his strong round cheeks and delicate jawline. I must have won the lottery or something … stuck in the middle of the woods with a guy who—come to think of it—looked a lot like Jared Linden.

“So,” I began, trying not to focus on those muscular arms nearly busting out of his tight tee-shirt. “What’s your name?”

“Your name?” His hair fell in loose waves along the bangs, flipped back over short-cropped sides … exactly like Chris Stevens’s hair, but much darker—almost black.

“Yeah, you know—your name.” I pointed to my chest. “I’m Jess.”

I waited for an introduction that didn’t come. He just looked at me, blinking hard like something was stuck in his eyes.

“And you are?”

He squinted. “David?” His eyebrows arched, almost as if he were making sure his name was okay.

“Are you asking me, or telling me?”

A maddening grin shot across his face. Jared Linden eat your heart out. Damn, this guy looked like he should be on a magazine cover, not out traipsing around in the woods—or whatever he was doing out here.

“David,” he said. “My name is David.”

“Okay, now that we got that out of the way, are you all right? Is your shoulder hurt?”

He shifted to the left. A grimace twisted his lips. “My shoulder? Umm, yeah. It hurts in the back.”

“I took first-aid last year. Do you want me to take a look at it?”

“Take a look at it?” He blinked twice.

“Yeah. You’ll need to take your shirt off, okay?”

“Shirt off?” He placed his hand down, crushing the jagged leaves of a fern.

“Okay, did you hit your head or something, because you’re, like, repeating everything I say.”

He blinked his eyes hard again. His breathing came in shallow wheezes, as if every lungful hurt. I half expected to find a gunshot wound, but I’d probably have seen the blood by now. At least I hoped so. It’d be embarrassing if I passed out and he ended up taking care of me instead.

“Here. Let me help you.” I reached for the bottom of his tee-shirt and helped him lift it over his head.

“Ouch.” David grabbed his shoulder before I could get the shirt over the other arm. The white fabric hung in the crook of his elbow, dragging the ground and picking up a few pine needles.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you.” I shifted to kneel behind him. His gaze tracked me like I had a knife or something. “Okay, let’s take a look.”

I chewed the inside of my cheek and took the longest look of my life. He was flawless. Absolutely flawless. Slightly bronzed, unblemished skin covered strong shoulders. He almost seemed air-brushed. I reached out to touch him, and his muscles rippled and tensed.

A gasp escaped my lips. Dang. I mean seriously: Da-ha-hang. If I didn’t distract myself, I was gonna drool all over him. “So, what do you think that loud noise was?”

“Loud noise?”

“There you go again, repeating me.” My jaw fell open. “Holy cow. You weren’t in the plane crash were you?”

“Plane crash?”

“Still repeating.”

He shook his head. “No. No plane.”

A light wind blew overhead, bringing life back to the forest. The birds resumed chirping as I slipped beside him. “Did you see it, the crash?”

He nodded. “Yes.”

“You didn’t get hit by shrapnel or anything, did you?”

His lips formed a word, but stopped. “I, I don’t know.”

“Crap, talk about picking the wrong time to be in the woods.” I moved behind him again, and ran my hand along his back. I couldn’t find any trace of injury, but his skin seemed hotter than Hel…well, really hot.

“What’s the last thing you remember?”

His shoulders twitched. “You asking if I was okay.”

“Don’t you remember holding your head and screaming in agony?”

He rubbed his forehead. “Oh, umm, yeah. It was … strange.”

“Strange is kind of an understatement, don’t you think?” I removed my hand. “I can’t see any swelling. Where does it hurt?”

“In the shoulder middle.”

I ran my hand across his back lightly once, and applied gentle pressure in the center of the blade.

He cried out.

“Oh, Sorry.” It hit me that I’d barely passed first-aid class. I had no idea what I was doing.

He grumbled, flinching. “Can you first aid it?”

I laughed. “First aid it?”

“Can you help me?”

I sat back, just missing a daddy long-legs scurrying across the ground. “David, I think you need to go to a hospital.”

He raised his hand. “No. No hospital.”

“But you’re hurt. You probably need an x-ray.”

“No. I definitely don’t need one of those.” He stood and cried out, clutching his arm.

“Listen, are you in trouble or something? Are you running from the police?”

“No … not the police.”

I propped myself against a small tree. “So you are running. From who? You’re not, like, a criminal or anything, right?”

“No. I just don’t want to be found.” His gaze drifted downward.

Way in the back of my mind, a little trickle of doubt and fear struggled against an overwhelming need to help him. I should have done the smart thing and run, but I couldn’t just leave the poor guy there.

“Listen. You don’t have to tell me what’s up, but you’re hurt. You at least need some ice.”

He looked up. “Ice?”

“You know—to keep it from swelling.”

A deep furrow crossed his brow. “Can you get me ice?”

“I guess. Do you want to walk back to my place with me?” I shuddered. Did I just invite a guy I didn’t even know back to my house?

“No. Bring it here.”

Relief washed over me, but not because I was afraid of David. I was more afraid of Dad finding me alone with a boy. Bring ice? No problem. I glanced around the trees, no longer sure which way I’d come from.

“The only problem is I’m not sure I’ll be able to find you again. I’m not even sure if I can find my way out.”

He motioned behind me. “You are six-hundred and twenty-seven point five meters north east of where you entered the woods.”

I stared at him as my geek-meter went haywire. “You’re kidding, right?”

He paled slightly and shrugged, glancing away. “Yes, of course. You did come from that direction, though.”

He was probably some kind of a math nerd or something. Damn cute math nerd, though. “Okay. I’ll be right back.” I started walking.

“Jess?”

My hair grazed my check as I turned back toward him. “Yeah?”

David eased himself against the log. “Thank you.”

“No problem.” As long as my dad isn’t home, that is.

I imagined all the possible Major Martinez interrogation questions. None of them ended up good. I turned to the woods and quickened my pace. I had to get in and out of the house before Dad got home.

[end of chapter two preview]

So there’s the second chapter of FIRE IN THE WOODS. What did you think of Jess and David? What would you do if you found a hurt boy in the woods? Does anything odd seem to be going on?

To read the third chapter of FIRE IN THE WOODS click here. (Available after December 3)

JenniFer_EatonF

Vlog – Video Blog “What makes you book different?” This is the one where my dog Burbs!

Fire in the Woods CoverHere’s installment four of my video interview tour for FIRE IN THE WOODS.

Fire in the Woods CoverA visit from my hermit crab, and “What makes your book different?”

Guess what? FIRE IN THE WOODS is still $.99 but you have to act fast. Prices return to normal some time tomorrow.

Woa!

To celebrate Month9Books’s birthday, all Month9Books titles on ebook were only $.99 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

And the price of FIRE IN THE WOODS has not increased to $3.99 yet!

 

Say_What

If you haven’t picked up FIRE IN THE WOODS yet, Now is your chance to get it for only $.99.

Fire in the Woods Cover

Awesome!

Zing to Amazon to pick it up:

http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Woods-Jennifer-M-Eaton-ebook/dp/B00MLDECDK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1411521702&sr=1-1&keywords=fire+in+the+woods

Zing to Barnes and Noble to get my copy:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fire-in-the-woods-jennifer-m-eaton/1120148885?ean=9780692242018

JenniFer_EatonF