JUST OFF THE PATH Goodreads Giveaway Starts Today!

Hi all!

Just a quick reminder that Just Off the Path’s Goodreads giveaway begins today and will only go through June 15th, and it already has nearly 500 requests.

Of course, this is good for me and the wonderful people at FireQuill Publishing, but if you want a chance at one of the five copies, please remember to hop over to Goodreads and request your copy.

I’ll drop the link right here!

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaw…/…/236402-just-off-the-path

The official release date for Just Off the Path has been set for September 5th, so look here for updates until then!

‘Just Off the Path’ Cover Reveal!

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There are some major things in store for 2017 at Fire Quill Publishing. Among these are my cover reveal!

Yes, on top of everything else FQP is doing to get a jump on the new year, they are unveiling the official paperback cover for Just Off the Path. They’ve been teasing me since the day I signed about how amazing my cover is going to be, and I have to say that they have outdone themselves. It is more than I could have ever hoped for and more. Honestly, I hope every other author in the world doesn’t get jealous of how utterly sensational this will be.

This is going to happen on January 6th, 2017. 

If you haven’t already, follow FQP on Facebook or Twitter. This will give you exclusive updates on the progress of the novel as a whole, such as the novel release date, and you can also sign up for the Just Off the Path cover reveal.

Please feel free to share their posts and get the word out. More updates to come!

Until then,

WS

 

‘August: Osage County’ and the Origin of Weston

As most people know, Weston is not my birth name. In fact, Weston is the last name of the family in Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer and Tony award-winning play, August: Osage County. One of the most common questions I’ve gotten so far is why I decided to publish under a pen name, and to be honest there really isn’t a single good answer.

First, I should mention that Sullivan didn’t come out of thin air. It was my grandmother’s maiden name, and I think it speaks well to my southern lineage. The fact of the matter is that the Sullivans–whether they kept the name or not through the years–have been very good to me all my life. They are kind, loving souls and I don’t think that anyone could have asked for better extended family. Taking the last name Sullivan, I hope, honors them and ultimately my grandmother.

August: Osage County deals more with the complications of close family, such as mothers, fathers, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The play is, in my opinion, one of the best pieces of literature ever written, and if you haven’t seen it, I believe it’s still on Netflix for the time being. I’m not kidding when I tell you that seeing it will change your perspective on family and life.

I relate strongly to this story, as I think everyone does, because–again, like everyone else–my family is not perfect. Barb, the leading character, finds herself sucked into this horrible situation where her father has gone missing, and her entire family has scrambled back to Osage county, Oklahoma, to comfort her mother, Violet–who is both a cancer patient and drug addict–and await her father’s return. I can say, without spoiling anything, that he doesn’t come back. Instead, the floodgate that’s held back the Weston family secrets opens, and chaos ensues.

The story is touching, funny at times, and you will leave only slightly heartbroken.

I think the most surreal part of this story for me is the relationship between Barb (portrayed by Julia Roberts in the film) and Violet (portrayed by Meryl Streep). Without divulging too much about myself or the plot, I can confirm without a doubt that Tracy Letts was indeed spying on my interactions with my own mother when he wrote this play, because that’s the only way I can possibly imagine that he so effortlessly captured this imperfect, and in as they say several times throughout the story “fucked up” dynamic.

Barb is me, you guys. She’s bitter, condescending, and sarcastic–and she can admit it. But she truly just wants to make everyone happy, honestly wants what’s best for her and the people she loves, and she just wants to make it through the chaos of daily life–to survive all the shit that life has thrown at her all at once.

Violet is the same way. She wants to thrive, but the ghosts of her past keep her grounded in the vicious cycle of addiction and seclusion. She wants to relate to her family, but she can’t seem to do so without lashing out at them. To me, Violet’s animosity comes from the fact that it is so hard for her family to understand her, when she is genuinely the most forthcoming and honest character on stage. In a family held together by secrets, Violet is the only person who never once lies–not to mention, she sees through everyone else’s bullshit, sees them all for who they really are–yet she is the one who takes the blame for every bit of the tension.

I don’t know why this is so important to me now. Probably because I needed a distraction from all the editing I am supposed to be doing right now, or maybe because I just finished reading the play (after watching the movie at least a dozen times since its release back in 2012) and finally I understand all the nuances of the plot.

I haven’t even scratched the surface of this story here, and I’m not going to. There’s nothing I can say that will do it justice. I’m simply going to drop the movie trailer below the post and go back to editing, considering I really, REALLY need to finish the final edits of Just Off the Path.

Thanks for letting me rant, and if anyone actually made it to the bottom of this post, I owe you a drink or something.

P.S: Can we talk about how Tracy Letts is, as the kids say: “goals AF”? He has two Tony Awards, one for Best Play for August, the other as Best Leading Actor in the revival for Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and a Pulitzer Prize, again for August. 

Max jealousy here, just sayin’.

Creative Spotlight: Melissa Sievers

Hi all! It’s been a while, but I’m back with our next creative spotlight!

So, disclaimer. This one is my sister. But, to be honest that wouldn’t have stopped me from not posting if it wasn’t quality work. But, in my humble opinion, she was able to spin out something exciting and fresh, which I have no doubts we’ll be seeing in bookstores one day. For now, though, she spends many of her days working full-time at Starbucks (my obsession), and when she’s not writing in her spare time, she is either just being plain-old lazy (it’s hereditary) or watching makeup tutorials online, as she is a self-taught authority on hair and makeup. Also, if you ever have trouble finding her, she is likely being smothered under a pile of cats.

You will find her interview and the first chapter of her WIP below.

Chapter 1: Cold Ramen

“So, Ms. Carlisle.”

The fair woman cocked her head to the side and set her cut­sapphire eyes on Aria. She tucked

a wild strand of black hair behind her ear and pushed up her glasses.

“I’m sure you know, but I can’t be rude. My name is Cardinal, and I am the orchestrator of the

Birds of Paradise.” A short pause, as if to let the information sink in. “Marigold has told me about

your abilities and your desire to be amongst our ranks. Would you like to elaborate?”

Aria felt her heart behind her ribs, beating like a war drum. The meeting was almost like a job

interview. Her first job interview. With a fire slowly burning upwards from the bottom floor to their

position on the tenth floor. Add in some hell hounds barking at the office door, and there was the

degree of Aria’s anxiety. Being seated with the city’s most influential person aside from the

mayor was awe­inspiring and wonderful, but terrifying and dreadful at the same time.

“Well,” she began, choosing her words as if she were writing with a pen on a final. Her thoughts

flicked to her sophomore finals, and her anxiety worsened. “I’m really honest. Like, much more

so than other people.”

A jet black eyebrow raised, unimpressed.

Aria felt her panic rising, but she swallowed it. She made sure her face was as composed as

she could (people said she was too easy to read) and she smiled. “I can’t lie.”

The silence that followed her statement was heart breaking. Her power wasn’t glamorous in the

least, but her childhood friend known in the Birds as Marigold had assured her that no power

was insignificant. ‘Marigold’­­her real name being Hadley­­had told her that she would at least

be considered for an apprenticeship if she went through with her meeting with the Cardinal.

Damn it, Hadley.

“Is there anything else?” Cardinal elongated the last two words of her sentence and let them

hang in the air, like throwing a rope into the pit Aria had talked herself into.

“Not really,” she found herself replying, before she could hold her tongue. Aria was the second

generation in her family to be born with a power (or a mutation, if political correctness mattered).

Her mother, Justine, had the same lame ability­­to never lie. She found herself cursing her

family; how dare they carry such a boring mutation in their genes?

The Cardinal’s cold gemstone eyes were planted on Aria, and she knew the words that would

be spoken before they ever left those red lips:

“I’m afraid we aren’t really looking for someone with your abilities at this moment. Do you mind

leaving me with your phone number, and I’ll give you a call if the need arises?” The words were

spoken politely, but with a detached smile that told Aria a phone call wasn’t coming.

The college student felt her mood sink, and she knew she had on her ‘lost puppy’ face. It took

all her energy to push her lips back into a smile and agree to something she never would have

wanted to agree to.

“Sounds like a plan.”

Aria left with an “It was nice to meet you” that was halfheartedly returned, and a long elevator

ride that felt like the walk of shame one would make after clogging the toilet.

.

The night of her interview found Aria sitting at a table in her apartment, letting the steam of a $1

soup cup burn the tip of her nose as she stared into it, stirring with rhythmic disinterest. She had

a chemistry book open before her, and her notes splayed out in organized chaos, but her will to

study was at an all time low.

She heard the doorknob click and knew her roommate had returned from work, but couldn’t

muster the energy to look less depressed.

“Uh oh,” Hadley spoke, her voice filling the room as it always had. Her best friend was

supplemental to herself; where Aria was quiet and preferred to hold her tongue, Hadley was

loud and would tell you when there was a problem. Where Aria was a target for people who

were more outspoken, Hadley was the one who stood up for her. “So it didn’t go well, the

interview?”

Though Aria couldn’t tell a lie, she could withhold from speaking altogether, which had become

a common response when asked questions she didn’t want to answer. Her face sank deeper

towards her dinner.

“It was really that bad?” Hadley took a seat at the table with Aria and grabbed her hands.

“Please tell me you’re just kidding and she asked you to join right then and there.”

Aria huffed, blowing a coarse and curly strand of dark brown hair out of her face. She set her

light green eyes on her friend and shook her head. “She didn’t even offer me an apprenticeship.

At this point I would have said yes to being a janitor in the headquarters.”

Hadley squeezed her hands gently before releasing them. “You’re not a janitor, Aria. You’re a

hero and if she can’t see that then it’s her loss.”

“She said she didn’t need anyone with my ability right now and she would call me to let me

know if she ever did. So in other words, she doesn’t need me now and probably never will. I

think I’ll call back and ask to clean bathrooms for minimum wage.” Aria pushed her soup aside

and laid her head on her arms, which were crossed on the table. Her curly hair made her head

look like an untrimmed hedge.

“No, if she said she’d call you then she will. I promise,” Hadley said, sounding as reassuring as

she could in the situation. She knew that Aria was a pretty delicate girl, because she had been

protecting her since they were children. Her power was being honest to others, but sometimes

she couldn’t handle hearing the truth herself. Still, Hadley was sure the Cardinal would have

offered her something­­even if it was just work detail. The Birds were an organization built for

the protection of people with mutations, which was an unfortunate measure that needed to be

taken when the first few powers started presenting themselves in people. Mostly, the boss lady

was extremely welcoming to her own kind.

Aria shrugged and peeked over her forearm. “I think I’m done for with them, but I guess it’s for

the better. Maybe the Flightless could use me.”

Hadley could hear in her friend’s tone that she was kidding, so she smirked playfully and took

the bait to joke back. “Oh, so you’re going to go darkside on me now?”

“I might. The Cardinal seemed completely disinterested. Maybe I need to swear her my enemy

and work on my ability for years to finally surpass her as the leader of the Flightless,” the inner

filmmaker in Aria spoke, one caramel­colored hand to her chin in thought. Her appearance was

obviously mixed between caucasian and african­american, with her corkscrew brown hair and

her warm skin tone. Hadley had always been a little jealous of her plump lips and standout

eyes.

“That would make us enemies too,” she pointed out, suddenly feeling the slightest bit

self­conscious of her own appearance.

“Well, that’s no good,” replied the self­appointed leader of the Flightless. They were a

street­named organization who were actively working against the Birds of Paradise. Their name

was from obvious origins, but their intentions were not so clear. The group was infamous as

public enemy number one, and the Birds were active in containing the threat. Though the

enemy group was comprised of gifted people like themselves, they didn’t seem to understand

that the Birds were an organization built to protect them, too.

Hadley chuckled at the joke a last time and stood up. Her stomach led her to the kitchen, and

she opened the fridge almost mindlessly. “How would you feel about ordering pizza tonight to

celebrate your new calling as a supervillain? It’s on me for landing you a crappy interview.”

Aria looked down at her cup of soup and back at Hadley. “I already made dinner, though.”

Hadley’s response was an eyeroll, which stood out because of the mystical gray color of her

irises. “Nothing is worse than ramen except cold ramen.”

“My life is cold ramen,” Aria dramatized, though she felt considerably better with the presence of

her other half. ‘Better’ enough to eat, so she eventually agreed to a pizza date, and they

decided to walk to the nearest restaurant.

.

The night was warm and mildly humid, which was typical weather for May in the city of

Passerine.

A man of around 25, clothed in a coat that was too long for the season, followed along the

sidewalk. His footsteps were practiced and silent. He’d walked along the same streets his entire

life, but only recently had they changed. Only recently did the citizens feel the need to cross the

street when passersby approached. Though, it was no more than two years ago that he could

say his home was peaceful.

Ironically enough, the peace went away when the peacekeepers arrived.

The man held back a disgusted facial expression aimed toward one of the two girls walking in

front of him. She went by Marigold, and she was one of the so­called peacekeepers. One of the

Birds of Paradise. He watched her dark blonde ponytail swing left to right with her steps and

wondered if she knew what she was truly a part of. Most importantly, he wondered if she would

care if she did know. One could commit any crime, take any punishment­­but none of it mattered

if they didn’t feel regret.

He shook the thought as Marigold said something to her company and disappeared into a

family­owned Italian restaurant.

His only chance to speak to the girl alone had arrived.

.

Twirling her hair with one hand and scrolling through her phone with the other, Aria took on the

typical appearance of a bored teenager.

She leaned against the brick exterior of the pizza place they had decided on and thought

ravenously of the triple­meat­triple­cheese they had ordered. Though ramen was the meal of

her people (broke college students with a part time job at Burger King and not enough financial

aid), pizza was the dinner of champions in her hungry eyes.

Eyes.

Aria looked up from her phone to see a pair of eyes looking straight at her. She dropped her

device in shock, and did not pick it up to check for a broken screen. The eyes that were staring

at her were less than a foot from her own face, and when she mustered the sense to look left

and right for help, she noticed one of his arms stretched out by her head, his hand flat against

the same wall she was leaning on.

Her first thought had something to do with getting raped and left in a dumpster.

Her second was the realization that that was impossible, with Hadley just on the other side of

the wall from her and a street full of people surrounding them. Except that no one was moving,

even people who appeared to be in mid­step.

The world around her was frozen, and all that could move was herself and this man.

“What?” she finally demanded, pressing herself further against the wall to make more space

between them.

He moved closer to account for her created space, and spoke with a voice that was soft and

urgent. “I need to talk to you.”

“This really isn’t a normal way to go about doing that,” she pointed out, squirming to the left,

since her right was blocked by a creepy­man­arm.

He put his other hand up to stop her, and for some reason she could only wonder if her breath

still smelled like garlic from her pre­dinner ramen. She shook her head to expel the thought as

he made his reply.

“What I need to talk to you about is much more important than being polite.” As he spoke, he

blinked his eyes and Aria noticed they were a lovely chocolate brown. His hair and stubble was

dark, which stood out against the pale skin of someone who didn’t get out much.

She found herself averting her eyes to the pavement and to multiple sets of feet that were not

moving but should have been. He had an ability, and it was powerful enough to get into the

Birds­­or the Flightless. Just by the aura he gave off, she assumed the latter. “What is

happening? Why do you need to talk to me? I’m not a Bird, you know.”

“I know you’re not.” He smiled, and it was a smile with strings attached. His teeth were almost

too white. “You aren’t a bird, and neither am I. We have no good or bad blood, and I need you to

meet with me somewhere so we can talk in private.”

“I think this is private enough for me,” Aria said, putting her hands in front of her chest, inches

away from being flat on his ribcage. “You’re really close.”

“It’s my ability,” he said, his smirk still present. “I can freeze time, but it’s hard to keep any

amount of space that isn’t myself from being paused. The smaller the space, the easier to

exempt. Any more questions?”

He said the last part like it was an inconvenience, and Aria felt her face scrunch in displeasure.

“Not anymore, you rude man. I don’t want to do anything with you, especially not to be in your

stupid unfrozen bubble.”

Aria’s face was red with frustrated heat, even though she was normally a cool­tempered person.

She wondered why his tone had gotten to her so much, and this was her last thought before she

shoved her already outstretched hands into the man’s chest and sent him­­or rather herself­­out

of their shared bubble.

In what felt like a split second but could have been days of being frozen for all she knew, Aria’s

company emerged from the Italian place, carrying with her two boxes stacked one on top of the

other.

Her seaweed eyes skimmed the streets around her for the man, but saw no one out of the

ordinary. Everyone that was frozen was not, and it was as if nothing had happened.

“Hey, when did your phone crack?” Hadley said, motioning with her nose at the cell phone in

Aria’s hand.

The latter of the two girls looked to her palm that should have been empty (her phone had had

an unfortunate rendezvous with the pavement, if she was remembering correctly) and noticed a

spider web of cracks extending from the upper right corner of the device.

“I dropped it a second ago,” she said, and it was obviously the truth, or she would have choked

on the words. “While you were getting the pizza.”

“Uh oh, that’s not a cheap fix. Maybe you should call Blue Cardy about being a janitor,” Hadley

joked, nudging Aria with her elbow as she passed by.

Aria followed her friend all the way home, but was much too consumed in her own thoughts to

laugh at the arguably “too soon” joke. She found herself being quiet through dinner and

immediately excusing herself to her bedroom in their shared flat because she “needed to study

for finals”­­which was very true but not her intention.

In the safety of her room, she felt comfortable enough to pull out her phone and google known

people with a time manipulation mutation. When she was about to pull up a list, her phone

buzzed twice and beeped a short melody.

It was a text message from an unknown number that read, “I took your number from your phone

after you pushed me. At least I picked it up for you. I’m a gentleman, I know. Return the favor by

meeting me on Tuesday at 11 P.M. at the enclosed address. See you then. ­S”

The wrinkle between her eyebrows grew deeper with every letter in the message. That guy was

crazy if he thought she was going to do anything for or with him after the chilling first impression

he made. Aria tabbed back to her search and read the list of about 50 names.

One stood out to her, and it made a cloud of noxious realization settle around her and fill the

room.

Sparrow.

“See you then. ­S”

Aria’s posture straightened and she shot to her feet. She closed all the curtains in the room and

found herself pressed against her bedroom door. She sank to the floor and stared at her phone,

reading the name over and over.

Sparrow.

The name was much more familiar than she was expecting. It was very popular when she was

in high school, and she had heard it almost everyday back then. Now, with the Birds growing

stronger every day, it was heard a little less. She hadn’t even considered him, of all the people

who could probably freeze time on the planet.

Really, what could the leader of the Flightless want to talk to her about?

**

WS: First off, tell us about your writing background: What books/authors did you enjoy as a child? Do you see their influence in your current work?

MS: When I was younger, I loved all sorts of books. If you put it in front of me, I would read it. I feel like my style has developed on its own, but I was definitely inspired by the Artemis Fowl series and Percy Jackson and the Olympians. I devoured anything by Suzanne Collins (her most famous work being The Hunger Games) and of course I grew up on Junie B. Jones.

WS: Aria and Hadley have a really interesting dynamic as roommates. How do you view their relationship, and how do you think it will play out in the rest of the story?

MS: I wanted to have a main character who had a lot of growing up to do, and I plan to have Hadley help her out a little. The two girls will learn from the craziness their lives are going to become, and it’s up to them to decide if it brings them closer or breaks them apart.

WS: There are birds everywhere in this story. Why birds?

MS: I chose the “Birds of Paradise” because it is an exotic flower as well as a breed of birds. I wanted a theme for all my heroes’ names that will also have meaning that hints at their personality. Such as, Cardinals are majestic and proud birds, and they stand out in their surroundings–so I named the lead of the Birds “Cardinal”. Marigolds are beautiful flowers that bloom fully only when the sun is out, and they represent courage and confidence–so I named Aria’s supporting character Marigold. It’s not so much I love the idea of birds, but how I think Cardinal–if she were real–would want it.

WS: Can you give us a little hint as to what to expect as the story unfolds?

MS: In my work, I set up a story full of cliches–a girl without a power who wants to be a hero, a supervillain who is just “misunderstood”, a town with a constant good vs. evil battle. I have every intention of taking these cliches and shattering them, only to use the pieces to create something unique and marvelous.

WS: Do you plan on publishing this story as a novel when it’s complete, or do you have other plans?

MS: I wouldn’t be opposed to being published (who would?), but for now I am writing for myself. My story is in its rawest form, so I have some time to decide.

**

Whelp, there you have it! Thanks for reading everyone, and expect to see the next post up here soon!

Creative Spotlight: Danyelle Fay!

 

For years, the luminous Danyelle Fay has championed many causes. She is a feminist, a poet, an avid Bernie Sanders supporter, and has dedicated much of her young life to helping others. I am one of many people who have witnessed Danyelle quite literally prevent suicides through her kind words and enchanting spirit. She is one of the most uplifting and kind people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet, and she is also a gifted poet. She began writing in the sixth grade. Her middle school didn’t have a poetry club so she, along with a couple of her friends and a supportive teacher, went to their principal and formed one. They met weekly for nearly 3 years, and continued into high school. She’s continued writing ever since, and has created some truly beautiful work in that time. Today she has shared some of her favorite poems with me and answered a few questions. So without further ado, I give you the work of Ms. Danyelle Fay. Please feel free to read her interview below the poetry.

**

Flower patches

It was love songs I fell asleep to,
Drunk off of your sweet words,
I can feel the warmth inside of me-
Sunshine traveling through my veins.

Fields of marigolds and daisies,
You’re back and the nightmares will stop,
Because you are a dream come true-
And I can finally breathe again.

 

 

Untitled

The ache I have for you starts in my finger tips,
And it rattles my bones,
I have made you my home.

Oh, what a silly mistake that was made that November day,
I never would’ve guessed,
That it could lead to this.

Maybe we’re the moon and the ocean,
You ground me and influence all I do,
Without you I’d be reckless.

 

My Interview with the Poet:

WS: Tell us about yourself. What do you do in your spare time, what do aspire to do with your life, how have your past experiences influenced your writing?

DF: At a young age I went to writing as a coping skill. It was and still is a major outlet for me. I struggle with mental illness and writing has helped me express my emotions in a healthy way. I love writing because it feels freeing. I can write whatever I’m feeling. There isn’t a wrong way to write.

WS: Tell us about your writing process. 

DF: If I’m being completely honest, I don’t really have much of a process! I usually write when I am overwhelmed with emotions. I am rather picky about my word choices, so sometimes I end up googling synonyms of simple words. Normally by the time I’ve finished writing the poem, I will feel much more at ease.

WS: What do you hope to accomplish through your writing? 

DF: I hope it makes people realize they aren’t alone. I want people to relate to what I write. I know that when I connect with others work, it makes me feel comforted. Even if it only lasts a few moments, that’s important.

WS: What inspires you? 

DF: Nature. I don’t directly write about nature often but I definitely include it in my work. Sometimes I’ll close my eyes and picture a certain scene. Or I’ll associate people with symbols of nature. (A good example might be letting the rain symbolize an ex-best friend.)

WS: What do you hope that other people get from your writing?

DF: I hope they find it within themselves to at least give writing a try. I know many people who get discouraged with themselves and they don’t try writing again. Like I said before there isn’t a wrong way to write!

**

I hope that we haven’t seen the last of Danyelle. (And I don’t think we have, because I’ve been meaning to ask her–and have not yet–to come back in a couple weeks and do a guest post about writing as a therapeutic technique.) But until then, if you have any questions or comments for Danyelle, leave a comment or shoot me an email from my contact page and I’ll make sure they get to her.

Thanks guys!

WS

 

 

Once Upon a Time…

So, this is funny and kind of ironic.

I’ve had this site up for weeks now, but I’ve failed to share it so far because I honestly couldn’t think of anything to post on the blog. That’s not a good thing considering that at this point, this site is made almost entirely of my blog.

I’m not a social media person. I never have been, BUT here are all the reasons you should follow this blog.

  1. This will be the primary source I use to talk about Just Off The Path during editing process. So if you’re interested in reading it or even learning about the publishing process, this is your place to go. I will be blogging every step of the way.
  2. Also, if you’re one of the people who have asked for a signed copy or a free copy, this is the best place to be. Over the next couple months, I will be hosting competitions and giveaways!
  3. Every week I’m going to give the spotlight to someone else (because I’m sure everyone will be tired of hearing about me all the time) and post full stories and work of fiction by other writers. There is no stipulation or qualification to be a guest writer. My goal is to give exposure to those who might struggle the way I did (and continue to do) in the competitive world of writing. I don’t fool myself into believing that I or any of the guests will become rich and famous for the posts they make here, but it’s a start! The beautiful and talented poet Danyelle Fay has generously agreed to be the first guest blogger! So watch out for her work later this week!

With that out of the way, I have some news!

This morning, I woke to an email from my editor. She’s finished with her previous project and has started going through her first round of edits of Just Off The Path. This will likely be the first of many long weeks before the book is finally up for preview, but it’s a step in the right direction! This milestone has me so excited for what’s to come that I’ve decided now is the best time to finally answer the most common question I’ve been asked so far: what is the book about? 

So, without anymore of the formal “FOLLOWMYBLOGFOLLOWMYBLOG” stuff, here is the first summary of Just Off The Path:

Hansel never asked to be a hero. He never wanted to fall in love with Rapunzel, Queen of the East. He didn’t ask to be raised by Gothel the Wretch, and he certainly never wanted to be credited for her arrest. But more than any of that, Hansel never wanted to lie: but he did. He lied about everything.

After Gothel’s arrest, Hansel and his sister Gretel retreat into the woods. Years later, Rapunzel’s guards knock at his door, and they say the words he hoped that he would never hear: Gothel has escaped. As he and Gretel take refuge inside Rapunzel’s castle in the eastern capitol of Hildebrand, Hansel is thrust back into everything he never wanted in the first place: his lies, his legend, and his lust. In the wake of it all, he knows that Gothel has escaped to finish what she started. She is out to make sure that the Sleeping Beauty never wakes, and that Grimm suffocates under her blanket of thorn and vine.

In order to find Gothel and save the kingdom, Hansel and Gretel must look for fact in a land of fairy-tale by following a trail of grisly murders, a girl in a red cape, and a powerful little man who can’t stand the sound of his own name. As they search for answers, Hansel finds that he isn’t the only liar in Grimm, and that there may be a traitor among them of royal proportion.

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Well, there you have it! Your first peak at Just Off The Path! Keep an eye on my blog and social media for excerpts and giveaways in the near future. If you’d like to be a guest writer, hop on over the Contact page and shoot me an email. And remember to head on back a little later this week to read some beautiful poetry by the lovely Danyelle Fay.

Thanks for reading!

W.S.