Help my YA thriller, Jaded, win!


Help Jaded win!


I entered my Young Adult Thriller, Jaded, in the Swoon Reads competition. The best rated manuscripts will be read by an editor and possibly published.   


Please help me win by following these steps:


  1. Go to
  2. Click on Create an Account
  3. Fill out the required info (you have to be at least 13 years old to sign up)
  4. Next find Jaded
  5. Read
  6. ***Rate by clicking on the hearts (a 5 is the best)*** This step is important!
  7. Click on whether my novel had “heat, tears, laughs, thrills, or all of them
  8. Leave a comment so I know you helped me out


Thanks so much, this means the world to me!

Guest Author: Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie

Cool Interview

...and then there was Sarah

My guest today is Kristy Feltenberger Gillespie, an author who has tackled everything from short stories to YA Thrillers. Please join me in hearing more about Kristy’s work!

If you are interested in participating in the program, you can submit here.

View original post 609 more words

Poem- Father Rubik’s Cube


* Published in SubtleTea Magazine, 2011.

Father Rubik’s Cube


Blue- eyed baby boy born during a winter whiteout

On March 2, sign of the twin fish 

 Like elder, dark-eyed brother, his Irish twin

 Blessed in a typical Catholic baptism 

 In an old coal mining town, southwestern, PA

 Where grey fog clouded the town even in summer

 And inside the home family members scattered to four corners

 Until baby-blue tumbled off the garage wall, cracked his skull and

 Dr. Tragedy discovered benign brain tumors



Suffering with tendonitis, pitched for baseball team and

Wrote for school newspaper although

 Spelling was poor, being gifted in math pleased his

 Perfectionist German father and

 Semi-sweet Irish mother but

 Couldn’t compete with golden-boy brother who taught

  Sometimes you win, more times you lose

 Although his gold never tarnished for he never failed

 Unlike his self-pitying, bronze medal brother



 He meets her: honey-eyed, naive and passionate

 Spends a semester at college and stint in acting troupe

 Then off to Indiana and Kentucky reserve training 

 A plethora of obsessive love letters arrive before

 Saying I do, I do and moving into a 

 Trailer park and months of unemployment before a

 Blue eyed, summer baby girl arrived and he

 Celebrated with Budweiser and Copenhagen snuff

 On a daily intoxicating basis



Extended Irish family in Boston offers employment

 Of steady but back breaking construction work to

 Support a winter blue-eyed baby boy, blonde four-year-old

 And lonely wife who had no one but her children and

 Husband who continued to drink, drank, drunk

 Away the paychecks until a bundle of steel fell upon him

 And the pain turned to angry self pity and he abused

 His son, daughter and honey-eyed wife until she lied

 And relocated to PA, not for vacation but forever



 His wife returned to Boston with her four brothers and left

 Him high and dry with only a six pack and a toaster oven

 So he packed up his wife beater tank tops and followed his

 Parents to central FL where they retired in an adult community

 And he to a rundown fishing village and lost touch with his

 Golden-boy brother who climbed up, up, up in rank and

  Joined the Air Force Paratrooper Special Forces 

 While he slowly lost his eyesight from the constant brain

 Tumors growing like poison ivy



After years of a strained relationship, his blue-eyed son

 Cut the ties and stopped peeing the bed and stuttering

 But his daughter held onto the fleeting memories of watching

 Lighting storms and counting the seconds between crackles

 With her father, who was once her hero, but she let go of the

 Balloon string when he failed to show at her wedding

 While he damned God for his misfortune instead of

 Helping himself by asking for help rather than

 Peeling off once bright but now faded stickers 

Short Story- Internet Love Story

* This was published in eFiction magazine April 2012 *

Rejected by, which supposedly weeds out “crazy” people, and fed up with, which should be re-named, Sandy decides to give a whirl. She’s a cute, up-beat girl, so who really cares if she’s twenty-eight,  and lives alone with two cats in a garage apartment in a hick town far, far, away from Washington D.C.?

Sandy plops down on her twin bed with the faded peach comforter, which she’s had for like ever because she’s a history teacher with lots of student loan debt. Being a teacher certainly has its pros (June, July and August) and cons (crappy pay and a lack of eligible male co-workers).

She turns on her bulky laptop, googles and stares at the screen. After agonizing over a username, Sandy2.0 signs in for a free trial on She adds the 2.0 because she’s new and improved now that she’s lost 175 lbs. of cheating ex-boyfriend.

Ooh, a personality test! What fun! But after the first few questions, she starts to worry about her responses. What does it mean if her pointer finger is longer than her ring finger? Does that make her a freak? And she often “doodles repetitively” when she’s in boring faculty meetings. Does that mean she lacks imagination? And if she answers “maybe” to the question about wanting children with her future partner, does that make her appear wishy-washy?

And the personality test results are in…Sandy2.0 is an explorer! With 10 matches!  She makes sure to broaden her horizons by picking “any” in regards to body type, age, religion, political views, etc. but as she views her matches she has second thoughts about being so open-minded. Sandy2.0 is not about to explore Napoleon-sized men with anime or shoe fetishes, therefore she clicks “not really” where it asks if she’s interested. Ten matches, ten not-really responses. She closes the lid of the laptop with a sigh.

Since is blocked from her work computer, and she has to squint to read anything on her cell phone, Sandy races home each day to her beat up laptop to check her new matches.

One tag line in particular catches her interest. In fact, it makes her laugh so hard that she snorts. “Trombone Anyone?” Sandy clicks on his profile to find a twenty-six year old man with blonde hair and wire-rimmed glasses. Ugh, a starving, trombone-playing musician. But as she’s about to click “not really,” Sandy decides to give this guy named Bill a shot for the following reasons:

  1. He’s not Catholic. Sandy is a “fallen” Catholic and she refuses to get back up.
  2.  He’s not a Scorpio. Sandy has found that Scorpions are quite evil. And her sign, the Gemini, is not compatible with Scorpios anyway.
  3. He does not have an anime or shoe obsession. At least he doesn’t mention having either. And from the pictures, he’s clearly not short.

In order to communicate with him, she’ll have to subscribe. Reluctantly, she goes for the 3-month plan for $33.33. “You best be worth it, tromboner,” she mutters.

For the next two weeks, Sandy and Bill send each other winks and instant messages. Then Bill suggests that they friend each other on Sandy views pictures of Bill’s wiener dogs and he sees photos of her cats.

Sandy also goes out with several guys from the site. Ted is a chef.  He’s also a metro sexual match-aholic. For example, his gloves must match his scarf or he throws a hissy fit. He makes her scrambled eggs with orange wedges for dinner.

Andy is obsessed with his custom gold painted Lexus SUV. He may even make love to it. At the bar, he touches and squeezes her like he’s Pepe Le Pew, the amorous French skunk in the old cartoons she used to watch. And he waves a few Hamiltons in the bartender’s face. Sandy contemplates running away from him while he’s in the bathroom but they’re both parked in the car garage and she’s afraid of breaking a heel.

Frank tries to kiss her but his beard freaks her out. She tells him this. On the second date, he’s hairless and she realizes he has a turkey neck. He should have kept the beard.

In the mean time, Sandy and Bill chat on the phone for like four hours one night. They also text non-stop. Sandy suggests that they never meet in person because she’s afraid that Bill could be a combination of her three past dates- a turkey-necked, egg-beating, Hamilton- tossing jerk. She fears this because she has bad luck. And plus she isn’t really attracted to four-eyed blonde band geeks. All of her past boyfriends have been dark-haired jocks. But then again they’ve all cheated on her and she’s willing to bet a few Hamiltons that band geeks don’t get nearly as many opportunities. And she and Bill have such online chemistry.

They decide to meet at Bar Manassas, a local dive.  He texts her earlier that day. “I have a gig so I’ll be wearing a tux. Wear a dress.” She responds with “R u serious?” And he texts back, “Way serious.”

That night she panics while getting ready. It’s November but she hates wearing tights. She ends up wearing a DKNY jean dress with no tights.

She’s the first to arrive at Bar Manassas so she sits awkwardly at a table for two. Even though she’s allergic to cigarette smoke, she misses it. There’s just something not as cool about a smokeless bar.

A waitress comes over and asks if Sandy needs anything. Sandy starts to ramble on about how she’s waiting for a date. The waitress brings over two Washington Apple shots, on the house. Sandy decides to shoot them both. She hasn’t eaten much that day so it’s not long before she starts to feel warm and relaxed.

OMG! Who is this six-foot-one blonde beefcake? “Hi, I’m Bill,” he says with a grin as he straddles a stool.  He must have played at least soccer in high school!

“I’m Sandy2.0,” she replies. Sober Sandy would have cringed after saying something cheesy like that but Tipsy Sandy smiles.

“You look really nice,” he says.

“Thanks, you don’t look half bad yourself. But where’s your tux?’

“I had to change. The stage lighting was so hot that I felt like an overgrown, boiling penguin.” This makes Sandy crack up which makes Bill laugh too.

Wow, Sandy thinks, he’s cute and funny. Jackpot!

When the waitress arrives, they each order Guinness.

“I’m part Irish,” Bill mentions.

“Me, too!” Sandy exclaims. They have a lot of other things in common, too. They both like Lucky Charms cereal without milk, wooden roller coasters and water sports.

“If you liked milk with your cereal, that would have been a deal breaker,” Sandy jokes.

“And if you were afraid of wiener dogs, that would be the end of you,” Bill replies but he really isn’t joking.

At one point as Bill and Sandy are gazing into each other’s eyes, Bill brushes Sandy’s knee.

“Did you forget to shave?” He asks.

Sandy feels her face grow red. “I did so shave.” She feels her knee. “I must have missed a spot.”

“I’m just joking, Sandy2.0,” he smiles.

Their conversation continues to flow along with the Guinness. Sandy begins to see a future with Bill. Is it the dry stout influencing her or is it truly love at first sight?

At the end of the night, as Sandy and Bill are leaning against his ghetto Dodge Neon, Bill says, “I’m really glad that I joined”

“Me, too,” Sandy says.

(Years later when they recount that night, Bill says that it was Sandy that pulled him close and kissed him. Sandy argues the opposite. Regardless, after that night Sandy doesn’t have to visit any other dating website. Not or, etc. Sandy decides that nothing compares to

In fact, she’s so damn happy that she encourages a slew of her female co-workers to join. Even Miranda, who is the grumpiest little wench, becomes tolerable to work with after she signs up for the 3 month $33.33 membership.

Representatives from are so thrilled with their increase in memberships that they offer Sandy a full-time position paying beaucoup bucks. Part of her job requirement is to spy on client dates. Sandy hearts her new job but sometimes the weekend hours can be a pain. She’s especially bummed that her one-year-since-they-met-anniversary falls on a Saturday night. In the dating world a Saturday night is like a filet mignon whereas Monday is comparable to a chop steak.

She’s even more dejected when she discovers that tonight’s date is at the same dive bar where she met Bill. And to make matters worse, it’s the night of Bill’s buddy’s bachelor’s party, so she won’t get to spend any time with him that night.

Sandy doesn’t shave her legs, allows her hair to air dry which frizzes, and throws on a Redskins sweatshirt and jeans. When she rolls up at Bar Manassas, its 9:00 pm and crowded. Fortunately there’s one stool open but unfortunately it’s between a man whose butt cheeks press against hers and a woman who laughs like a hyena.

“What’ll it be, cupcake?” A middle aged man with a goatee asks.

Sandy isn’t supposed to drink on the job. “A cola with ice, please.” Hyena woman shrieks. “On second thought, add rum.”

She spins in her stool as best as she can with a manatee beside her. She’s supposed to look for a man in his late twenties, with sandy blonde hair and a black jacket. She glances around the bar which isn’t very big and sighs. She could be home with her honey bunny dipping Oreo cookies in chocolate fondue and drinking an expensive Cabernet Sauvignon but instead she’s parked at Bar Manassas.

Finally, she spots a man wearing a leather coat and his hair appears blonde in the dim overhead light. His date, who is facing Sandy, is pretty and resembles Tinker Bell, the flying sprite in the film Peter Pan. Come to think of it, she looks a little bit like one of Bill’s ex-girlfriends. Sandy catches her gaze and the little elf-woman points at her. Ugh. Sandy is supposed to remain inconspicuous. So much for that. Tinker Bell’s date turns around and looks at Sandy. OMG! It’s Bill!

Sandy struggles to turn her stool around. She guzzles the rest of her rum and cola and flags down the bartender.

“Check please!” She exclaims.

“On the house, sugar,” he replies.

The big man beside her belches loudly.

“Thanks,” she mutters, throwing a Hamilton on the counter. Tears pool at the corners of her eyes. Somehow, she makes it out the door and onto the sidewalk without:

  1. Vomiting
  2. Bawling
  3. Tripping

“Sandy!” she hears Bill’s voice and it’s as if one of her former students is running their fingers down a chalkboard.

She feels as if she’s in slow motion, like a zombie swimming in Lemon JELLO, the flavor she hates the most. Not surprisingly, he catches up to her quickly, and grips her shoulder firmly.

“Sandy, it was meant to be a surprise!”

She spins like a broken ballerina, facing him but saying nothing.

“That girl is a waitress there. She was trying to give me a pep talk because I was so nervous.”

With that line, Sandy breaks free of the gelatin and sprints down the street. By the time she collapses on a wooden bench, her hair is tangled and she’s sweating, even though it’s like 32 degrees outside. He’s lying!

“Sandy,” Bill appears like an apparition. “I meant this to be a surprise.”

“Are you crazy?!”

It’s only then that she realizes that he’s wearing a tux.

Bill drops to one knee. He pulls out a square box and flips it open, “Will you be the cherry to my cola?”

“What?” Sandy squints at the tiny solitaire.

“Will you marry me?”

It takes a minute for his question to register. “So you’re not cheating on me with Tinker Bell?”

“The waitress? Of course not!’

“Then yes. I’ll be the cherry to your cola, Bill!”

She’d kiss him but her nose is running, so she embraces him instead.

“I came prepared,” Bill pulls a few tissues from his pocket. “I love you,” he says.

“I love you but I didn’t shave.”

“How do you think you won me over in the first place?” Bill grins.

And once Bill and Sandy are married, they never use, where it’s kosher to “have an affair.” Who knew dolphins were such swingers in the animal world?

Grand Finale

fireworks-blue-300x270You seized the fireworks from my sky, baby
Stole the blues and the reds and the yellows and the greens
Turned off my nightlight when you
Coveted my stars
Crushed them to dust
And I’m left here choking on the smoke
You vanished baby, like a grand finale
Fading into black
Left the imprint of a weeping willow tree
In my sky


scrap basketYou may see a napkin, store receipt, bar coaster

as nothing more than trash but I see a means of


A scrap to craft a poem, a sentence to start a short

story, an idea for a novel…

Some of my best ideas are written in my car

at a red light

My very best thoughts come when I

allow my mind to wander

My Writing


Short Story: The Collector:

Short Story Kayanna Pepper:

Short Story A Fine Winter Day:

Short Story: Motivator:

Short Story: Internet Love Story:

Poem: Father’s Rubik’s Cube: