Thank you so much for all the feedback, guys, you rock! Based on your feedback I did change chapter one a bit. Nala is now eighteen (not sixteen) and I did explain a couple of things better <3 ( @hazelwritesbooks still working on the blurb, thanks so much for your comment ^_^)
Read chapter 1 here
Reblog, reply, or message me with comments, criticism, and suggestions <3
Warning: not proofed yet! Feel free to point out typos, but there will be a few :(
The banging on the door resumes. I jump to close the pantry, while Ma wipes her hands on her simple orange dress. The only window in the shop faces the street, right beside the door. I jump to my cot and close the cupboard.
I hear Ma opening the door, and a kind male voice stating, “Ma’am, I need the girl in the cupboard.”
The cupboard opens, but I know no one touched it because Ghost, the Ghost, the Master of the Capital’s Cursoi unit, is at the door, and Ma and Seria are facing him. I am in fetal position clutching what’s left of Grey’s Anatomy to my chest, when Lethal and Drama walk in after Ghost. Beside Lethal is Zera, tall and gorgeous with her green eyes and smooth blond hair up in a ponytail. If the gossip has it right, she’s the one that erased the crowd’s memory at the parade.
Oh. My. Lars.
Seria squeals, hands to her bright red face. She cannot be happy. Can she? It’s almost as if she sucked all the life from Ma, who backs one step, her arms on her sides, and a determined look on her face, as if she could protect me from the four Cursoi who just invaded our home.
I make no sound. I don’t move. Ghost’s blue eyes take in Ma. He smiles, tilting his head and speaks, “We mean no harm. We are here to help.”
I know he means the words for me as much as Ma.
Seria moves closer to Lethal, who stays motionless, like a bonking ancient statue of perfection. It’s almost as if Lethal and Zera are paused, waiting for instructions. I’ve never heard an order spoken to Cursoi. How the Merc do they operate?
Ghost steps forward, causing Seria to stumble backward and fall on her ass. She doesn’t move, and he adds, “Nala, you are one of us. You belong with us. Come.”
“Bonk you!” I answer. How does he even know my name?
My retort gets everyone’s attention. Zera’s green gaze moves to me with what could be mistaken for interest. Lethal has the biggest hazel eyes I have ever seen, and I’m pretty sure he just concluded I’m dumb.
Who wouldn’t want to discover they’re Cursoi? Me. Right here. Bonk them all. Kill me now. I want to change the world. I want to start a revolution! I’m no loyal soldier!
Drama says, his voice deep and rich, “You might be able to do whatever it is you wanna do, but with us. A million times better.”
If only he knew. But maybe he has a point. Could I infiltrate the Cursoi?
Ma says, “You could be a curer, Nala!”
Ghost’s pale blue eyes study me. “Don’t be afraid. We mean—”
“I don’t want to become Cursoi,” I interrupt. Lethal scoffs, the son of a nymph. Seria and Ma are frozen in place.
Ghost answers, “Nala, you are Cursoi. You don’t become one.”
“And work for Crash? Thank you, but no thank you.”
Lethal rolls his eyes, and I hate him a bit more. I guess the expressionless facade is only for parades. Contempt wafts off him in spiteful waves. Instead, did I just catch a smirk play on Drama’s gorgeous lips? Bonk, he’s hot up close.
His smirk opens in an ill-concealed smile.
What the Merc? What’s so funny?
Ghost says, without any less kindness, “Well, this is not playing out the way I thought it would, Nala, but you either come with us, or we’ll have to terminate you, which would be a real loss for everyone.” He gestures at Ma and Seria, but I know he means the whole planet. Cursoi are sacred.
My eyes lock with Lethal who, no doubt, would do the honors. Not one ounce of pity crosses his bonking angel face, not dread, not annoyance. He’s here to do a job, and he will.
I close my eyes, pretending my eighteenth birthday never happened. I reopen them and look at the Cursoi staring at me. I feel ridiculous, crouched in my cupboard.
Tears are streaming down Ma’s face. Seria is still with her ass on the floor, one hand on her unscathed knee, mouth open, eyes on Lethal. I scoot out of the cupboard, and jump to the floor, ready to infiltrate the bonking Cursoi.
“Fine,” I say, without shedding a tear.
“Do you need to pack?” Ghost asks, the ignorant, tactless jerk. I shake my head. I’m wearing the only clothes I own, and clutching Grey’s Anatomy, my only possession. Ghost adds, “Leave the book, Nala. Anything you’ve ever wanted to learn will be at your disposal back home.”
The words don’t make any sense. I swallow my tears, and leave my life behind. I don’t laugh just because I am too busy trying not to cry. I step out of Ma’s lab and Zera lingers inside, likely erasing any memory my family ever had of me.
Don’t cry. Don’t cry. At least they didn’t arrest Ma. At least Ma won’t miss me.
Two more Cursoi are waiting in the alley, leaning against the mossy wall: Kino, dark as night, who likely opened the cupboard I was hiding in through telekinesis , and Dime. I have no idea what Dime’s skill might be, and his nickname is a bit cryptic. His blue hair stands up at all angles and several flat gold rings are pressed around the ridge of his right ear. His skin is incredibly white, making his eyes seem almost black and completely unfocused.
Ghost nods at him and we are gone.
One second I was outside Ma’s lab, and the next I’m in the biggest foyer I have ever seen. It’s a huge room with cream-colored walls and an imposing fireplace off to the left, burning logs. Why in the world would they burn wood? And where did they find it? My spite reaches record highs. I have still no bonking idea how we got here.
A gigantic wooden staircase covered in red velvet starts in the center of the room and splits half way to meet again on the first floor hallway, where many doors, all side by side, face the balustrade. The banister is the same rich mahogany of the stairs and the mantle. There is only one door downstairs, opposite the fireplace, and it’s closed. The floor is pink marble.
Selling the materials in this room would grant my family food for life. Trad-food for life.
It seems strange that despite the lavishness of my surroundings there is no personal touch, no ancient paintings, no holo-pics or projections. The place is completely anonymous.
Drama murmurs right behind me, “It’s okay to ask questions.”
Really? No one spoke to me yet. No one paid me any mind. I wipe my eyes, and shake off the shiver his murmur caused me. It seems quite inappropriate given the circumstances. I remind myself that I do not like him. I hate Cursoi.
Lethal, Dime, Kino, and Zera file up the stairs utterly ignoring me, but Ghost calls, “Dime! You stay, remember?”
The guy musses his blue hair, nodding as if he had just recalled something. “Oh, right, right, right.” He walks back down while the others disappear behind three of the many doors facing the stairs. Ghost and Drama are still beside me.
“Um, okay,” I reply. “How did we get here?”
“Dimensional travel,” Ghost answers. “It’s Dime’s skill. He blinked us here. Dime is short for dimension.”
Dime turns when he hears his name and smiles, but honestly he’s kinda spacey, whistling, hands behind his back.
I nod as if what Ghost said made sense, but Drama’s amused smile tells me he’s onto me.
“Why is this guy still here?” I ask, nodding at Drama, who grins apologetically.
“You need him and Dime to—”
“And where is here?” I interrupt him, more and more unnerved.
“Nowhere,” Ghost answers with a deep sigh. “It would be too dangerous to have all Cursoi in one place: too easy of a target. Dime created this parallel dimension for us.”
Again, Dime grins, moving his head to music only he can hear. I cannot believe he was still at the parade. He looked so hot on the holo-pics, but in real life he’s a bit goofy.
Ghost adds, “Only Cursoi can access this dimension. You’re safe here.”
I was safe home too.
I’m positive I did not speak my thought out loud, yet Drama says, “You wouldn’t have been safe at home for long, Nala. You healed your sister today. It would have been a matter of time for you to become a very easy target.”
How does he know that?
Ghost nods. “You would have been abducted, likely experimented on, and ultimately—” He stops when Drama shakes his head, eyes wide. Ghost puts a hand on my shoulder and I jump, terrified. “Calm down. Let’s get you to your place. You need to rest and start training as soon as possible. You have a lot to catch up, and I want to see what you can do.” I nod, feeling lonely and hopeless. “Drama, Dime: take over. Do you mind?”
Drama answers, “Not at all.”
Dime is lost in thought, staring blankly ahead, frozen. Ghost calls, “Dime. Dime!”
Dime starts. “Oh, yeah. What?”
Ghost shakes his head, and Dime’s gaze focuses as if he had heard something only his ears could capture. At least he’s not threatening like Lethal or…confusing like Drama. I hate how self-assured my hot kidnapper looks. His eyes are constantly on me.
Dime and Drama move, and I follow them up the stairs, Ghost behind me. The hallway ends against the wall on both left and right. The only thing up here are about thirty doors. Ghost disappears into one of them, and Drama, walking ahead of me, says, “Nala, don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”
Says the kidnapper and pillager.
Drama rolls his eyes. “We did not kidnap you, you should have been here all along, and the materials you see were not pillaged from Earth. Dime conjured them. They cannot leave this dimension.”
“Wait a second!” I yell.
He turns, and I almost walk into his chest. Almost. He smells like the sea, which completely evaporated centuries ago. Yet, I’ve been at several beaches through virtual reality at the museum.
His broad smile makes me feel…like nothing bad could ever happen. I force my brain back into my skull and ask, “Drama, how the Merc do you know what I think or feel?”
Drama shrugs. “It’s my skill. I’m an empath. Do you know what’s an empath?”
“Yes, Drama. I’m poor, not stupid.”
My mind is racing with all the information he could have gathered from my unaware brain. Did he figure out I want to infiltrate Cursoi? Does he know I think he’s the hottest thing on Earth? Dime leans against a wall, waiting, lost in his own world.
Drama says, “Don’t be angry. It’s common for less, uh, affluent people to lack time and money for education.”
“I’m self-taught. And what do you know about less affluent people anyway?” I’m standing in the middle of the hallway, legs apart, hands on my sides, feeling like I might just unleash all of my unhappiness on the closest empath.
“Point taken. I apologize. Anyway, this will be your place.” He waves at a door, and I stare at it.
All the doors are right beside each other. Are Cursoi stowed in coffins when not in use?
Drama must sense my perplexity, because he adds, “Dime and I will make you a place, uh, Dime?” Dime, who had walked down the hallway stops and turns around. Drama adds, “We’ll make you the place you don’t even know you needed. Are you ready?”
I shake my head, staring in his huge brown eyes. I swallow. “Uh, just how much do you feel of my emotions?”
“Ah, it might get pretty specific,” he answers, embarrassed, running a hand in his long disheveled, black, tight curls.
My mouth dries. “How specific?”
He says, “Well, you think Lethal is a piece of dung, which is refreshing. You hate soldiers, and have very original ideas on how you will spend your time here.”
I blanch, outraged. I don’t know if I’m more appalled by the fact he knew I’d kill them all if I could, or the fact he does not seem alarmed in the least.
Drama adds, “Also, you, uh, find me very attractive.”
Flustered, furious, appalled. I think I might just have discovered that my skill is disappearing into steam, but apparently I am still here because Drama adds, “You’ll get used to it. I mean, not my looks, I hope.” He looks away. “If it makes you feel better, I think you’re pretty attractive too.” He smiles.
Really? How’s that even possible? Now I might have dispersed completely.
Drama calls, “Dime? Dime, you there?”
Dime turns to us, “Oh, hey, yeah.” He looks at my face, which still feels on fire, and asks, “What happened to her? Did Lethal get in her pants, already?”
“Oh, bonk you!” I answer.
“Huh?” Dime tilts his head with a playful glint in his black eyes. “I like her already.”
Actually, I like him too. Much easier to deal with him than any of the Cursoi I met so far. Drama leans in to whisper in my ear. “You like him. You find him less intimidating than—”
“Stop it!” I hiss, trying to shake him off.
Dime stares at us, while Drama shrugs and replies, “I know you liked it, the whispering, I mean.”
Dime arches a blue eyebrow and asks, “Are you two done? Nala, if you want to merge with Drama, I don’t even need to make you a place.”
Merge? What the Merc is he talking about? “Oh, shut it,” I reply, opening my door, the eleventh on the right from the staircase, as I just counted.
At first I think I’m staring at a white room, but when I step in, Drama catches me from behind and I realize I would have fallen into…nothing. I am very aware of his arm, tight around my waist, and I am delighted I went to the common baths last night. My heart is spasming.
When he doesn’t release me, I pry his arm off me. “Do you file for sexual harassment in this place?”
Dime laughs out loud, then pauses. “Oh, wait. You were serious?”
Drama chukles too. “I guess you don’t know much about Cursoi. Do you?Can’t wait to teach you.” He says it in a way that should have totally creeped me out yet somehow thrilled me and pissed me off at the same time.
I do my best not to stare at him.“Right. So, what do we do?”
Dime offers me his hand. “One hand to me, one to Drama.”
“Are you serious?”
The corners of Drama’s mouth twitch in amusement. “Yes, but that would have been a great idea. In fact, before you give us your hands, why don’t you take your clothes off?”
“Niiiice,” Dime says.
Their one-track mind should set off all sort of red flags, but it just feels natural to joke about sex with them. I almost kick Drama, when one door opens and Lethal walks out in nothing but a white towel around his waist. His hair hits his shoulders and we are left staring at his muscular back.
Drama sighs. “And there I thought you didn’t like him.”
“Hey, he’s eye-candy.” A pang of longing for Seria makes a hole in my heart.
“He sure is.” Dime sighs.
I continue, “But that’s only one more reason to hate him. I’m more of an underdog type of person.”
“I don’t know if I should be flattered or offended,” Drama replies.
Dime rubs his face in his hands and says through his fingers, “All right, guys, work first, then merge.”
“Merge?” I ask. The two stare at me, clearly at a loss. “Nevermind. So, do I take my clothes off?” I lift the hem of my threadbare tunic, then peek at them. Both Dime and Drama are staring at me with bathed breath, and I burst out laughing. Who knew. I’m a natural at dirty banter.
Drama shakes his head. “I knew you were joking! I should have known!”
Dime offers a hand. “Yeah, I betcha all the blood left your brain to go other places. Come on.”
I do my best to keep up my nonchalant face when I put my hands into theirs, but there is something comforting in knowing that no matter how much I pretend, Drama knows exactly what I’m feeling. There’s no need to hide. He winks at me, likely agreeing.
I’ll get used to it, one day.
“Close your eyes,” Dime says.
“No more pranks,” I chide.
“Well, there’s no need really, it’s more for the surprise factor.”
And so, I do.
I am so sorry I disappeared! I wrote a paranormal romance that reflects my angst on the current political situation. Here is the cover and the blurb. (The forest on the cover is made of pyramidal neurons, it has to do with the plot ;P)
To all soldiers and veterans.
To all minorities,
To the scared, the alienated,
The lonely, the oppressed,
The weird, and the forgotten.
“Once it becomes clear that Nala is Cursoi, she has no choice but to join the sacred military order vowed to protect the life of the President of the United Terrestrial Democracy. In her place, anyone would have rejoiced at the chance of a life of privilege and luxury, but there is nothing Nala wants less, even more so since Crash, the newly elected president, is a racist, hateful bigot.
Will Nala manage to infiltrate the Capital Cursoi Unit and get to the president? Is the sacrifice of one acceptable in order to save the lives of many?
It does not help that she falls quite hard for Drama, a fellow soldier and empath, who could discover her traitorous plans any minute.
Nala will have to face her own demons to realize she might be not so different from the president she very much despises, projecting her own fears and doubts on the people around her. It doesn’t help that Lethal, the executioner of the unit, a dark and gorgeous angel of death and Crash enthusiast, hates Nala’s guts. When fate forces Nala and Lethal to depend on each other for the sake of their own lives and the president’s, things get more than messy.
This provocative paranormal romance explores the difficult choices soldiers make every day, sacrificing their lives and opinions for their faith in democracy and the greater good. Funny, sexy, addictive, and fast-paced, this novel delves into the roots of anger and rage, fear, discrimination, self-acceptance and how the heck we might have ended up in the current political situation.”
I will publish it on Kindle, paperback, and the whole circus, of course, but I’m thinking to serialize it and publish it on Tumblr one chapter a week or so. I know some of you are broke, and I don’t mind :)
I’m so glad someone asked this question! Yes! I do work on multiple books at once. The number may vary.
When I started writing my first book it seemed such an undertaking that I would have never considered entertaining more than one project at once. The truth is that working on multiple projects at once makes my life much much easier.
The main reasons are:
1) Once I am done with one revision (first draft, revision, editing etc…) I need to let the book sit for at least a couple of weeks before I go back to it with a fresh look
2) Sometimes I get stuck. I always try to write whatever feel exciting to me at any given time, so that I can avoid writer’s block and all the frustartion and self-loathing that come with it
For example, as you all know I have been working for many years on two series taking place in Italy. In the first series (The Italian Saga, following characters from 10 until 18) was complete in November 2016 (YAY!) and is doing really well (thank you! No best seller or any of that, but I’m pretty steady as an Amazon author, selling a bit every day, and I am slowly accruing reviews on Goodreads and Amazon). I am now working on the second series (following the same characters of the Italian Saga from college on). I am reading book 1 to my writer’s group (2/3 through, editing book 2, and drafting book 3.)
Or at least, I was.
Then the presidential election happened.
I don’t mean to offend anyone, I respect the results of the election, and I respect democracy. Trump IS my president, because I respect that the majority of voting Americans chose him.
Which is what I could not deal with.
I could not write anymore :(
I mean, I kinda did, but not with the usual fervor. I was angry, depressed. I had a hard time getting up in the morning. I cried a lot. I felt demotivated. My project dragged. The themes of the book I was working on were dear to me, bit not inflaming me as much as the current slight to civil human rights (apparently entitling a chunk of population to behave like a bunch of hateful assholes) *Pardon my French*.
Sure enough, you may have noticed that my daily posts went down to zero (except for my Instagram feed). (I’m still here, and I read and reply to all mail, which has been really helpful.)
Then, Christmas happened.
On the night of the 25th I had this very vivid, complex dream. On the 26th I woke up and kept thinking about it all day, developing a plot. On the 27th I started writing the story. I am not sure if it will be a novel, a short story or a novella, but it’s fantasy and, as much as it has a bunch of sexy scenes because why not, it deals with politics, anger, diversity, self-awareness and a Trump-like president.
I wrote 23,000 words in three days. (In spite of the fact that I was staying with family and could only write late at night, then on the plane back home).
So, in short, write about whatever worries you, write about your angst, your love, your sex-life or lack thereof, your fantasies, and terrors. Write about what keeps you up at night and what keeps you in bed on gloomy mornings.
Don’t be afraid to jump within a number of projects: some of them will see the lights, some might not, but what matters is that you are changing the world by doing the thing you love doing best: writing.
And guess what…I guess here is a post ;)
Any Christmas miracle YOU want to share? Add it in the comments ^_^
Have a wonderful New Year!
About GB Amman
I am part unicorn and part ninja, but mostly a nerd. I’m a college professor of molecular biology with a wicked sense of humor. Weaver of dreams, author of novels, fierce advocate of respect and diversity.
Here is my first series, now complete, and available as Kindle, audio, and paperbacks. Click to check them out. Perfect gift for bibliophiles, tomboys, kickass girls, and independent thinkers at large.
Books are gifts you can open again and again. So here is a selection for all fiction readers based on themes/main characters:
Books with a physically impaired main character: Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by L Bardugo, The beginning of Everything by R Schneider
Books with a kickass heroine: War of the Fae series by E Casey, Graceling series by K Cashore, The Italian Saga by GB Amman
Books with a great POC main character: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by S Alexie, Island Beneath the Sea by I Allende, The Unfinished Song series by T Maya, The Obeahman’s dagger by N Daniels, The Lunar Chronicles by S Meyer, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by L Bardugo
Books about loss: I’ll Give you the Sun by J Nelson, The Sky is Everywhere by J Nelson, Sex-O-S by GB Amman
LGBTQ romance: Carry On by R Rowell, Simon & the Homo Sapiens Agenda by B Albertalli, I’ll Give you the Sun by J Nelson
Addictive series: War of the Fae series by E Casey, Graceling series by K Cashore, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by L Bardugo, The Italian Saga by GB Amman
Books that teach you something: The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery, The Italian Saga by GB Amman, Shantaram by GD Roberts
Books for the bibliophile to be: the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
YA Page turners that are NOT romance: Neverwhere by N Gaiman, The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery, The Ocean at the end of the Lane by N Gaiman, An Italian Adventure by GB Amman,
Books about fictional not-so-fictional politics that will make you think: The President Factor by P Obermeyer, 1984 by G Orwell, The Hunger Games series by S Collins
Can’t put it down uplifting YA romance: Lola & the Boy next Door by S. Perkins, Forget Nico by GB Amman, I’ll Give you the Sun by J Nelson, Eleanor & Park by R Rowell,
Can’t put it down traditional “cheesy” romance: Rhyn trilogy by L Ford
Romance where the main heroine is not a girly girl: Lola & the Boy next Door by S. Perkins, Forget Nico by GB Amman, Eleanor & Park by R Rowell, War of the Fae series by E Casey, Graceling series by K Cashore, The Lunar Chronicles by S Meyer
Witty books that blew my mind: Timequake by K Vonnegut, Rant by C Palahniuk, Breakfast of Champions by K Vonnegut
Sweet coming out books: I’ll Give you the Sun by J Nelson, Carry On by R Rowell, Simon & the Homo Sapiens Agenda by B Albertalli
Books with main characters that perceive themselves as overweight: Eleanor & Park by R Rowell, Sex-O-S by GB Amman
Books where the main character suffers of eating disorders: Sex-O-S by GB Amman
Books with a main character struggling with mental illness: Love like Crazy by M Squires, Sex-O-S by GB Amman
Books taking place in South of US: The Line by JD Horn, Paper Towns by J Green, Sookie Stackhouse series by C Harris
Books taking place in the Caribbean: Island Beneath the Sea by I Allende, The Obeahman’s dagger by N Daniels
Books that challenge Catholic religion: His Dark Materials (Golden Compass Trilogy) by P Pullman, The Italian Saga by GB Amman
Books that take place in India: Shantaram by GD Roberts
Books that take place in Europe: Anna & the French Kiss by S. Perkins, The Italian Saga by GB Amman
Insightful books: Shantaram by GD Roberts, The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery, The Italian Saga by GB Amman
Books about childhood you can’t put down (with pre-teen characters): Ocean at the End of the Lane by N Gaiman, An Italian Adventure by GB Amman, The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery
Books with blow-your-mind crazy plots: Rant by C Palahniuk, Breakfast of Champions by K Vonnegut
YA Romance where the male interests are exceptionally smart: A Thousand Pieces of You by C Gray
Books where a main character was abused: Love like Crazy by M Squires, Sex-O-S by GB Amman
Books were the male lead is sensitive and smart: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by S Alexie, I’ll Give you the Sun by J Nelson, The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery, the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
Books where one or more main characters are overcoming trauma: Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by L Bardugo, The beginning of Everything by R Schneider, Sex-O-S by GB Amman
Books dealing with the first time: Sex-O-S by GB Amman
Books with a main character dealing with autism: Born on a Blue Day by Daniet Tammet, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon, Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks (actually narrated from the point of view of the imaginary friend ^_^)
*Please feel free to add your own recommendations!*
In particular, RECOMMENDATIONS NEEDED FOR:
-Books with trans main characters
-Books with lesbian main characters
-Books with bi main characters
-Books with asexual main characters
Coming from yours truly soon: books about addiction, abusive relationships, controlling boyfriends (not in a good light), books about women in science, books about immigrating in the US.
Who am I to give you recommendations?
I am part unicorn and part ninja. A college professor of molecular biology with a wicked sense of humor. Weaver of dreams, author of novels, fierce advocate of respect and diversity. My name is...
Word of the day: baldric a belt for a sword or other piece of equipment, worn over one shoulder and reaching down to the opposite hip.
Want me to edit your first 200 words?
E-mail them to gaia.b.amman at gmail dot com with subject 200 words and keep an eye on the blog. If I select it I will edit it for free and post it on Tumblr for everyone to chime in. If I don’t post about it, I will still get back to you with my honest opinion <3
Let me know if you want your name or blog url in the post, or if you wish your work to remain anonymous. Feel free to reblog and add your personal answer or any comments you might find useful for the authors who submit their first 200 words. Disagreeing with me is very reasonable and encouraged ^_^
This is the text as I received it:
What I liked about this piece:
BRAVO! I really liked this piece a lot ^_^
Red flags you need to be careful about:
These are minor fixes any editor would catch, but that will cause your manuscript to be immediately click-deleted by most agents/publishers
Minor edits I would make:
Did you like the original better? Do you have any other suggestions or comments? Join the conversation ^_^
Who am I to give you advice?
I am GB Amman, the author of the Italian Saga (#TIS), a YA series taking place in gorgeous Italy, and talking about everything important with humor and feels aplenty.
You can check out the books here (e-books, paperbacks, audio)
The last volume, book 4, is finally OUT!!! The series is COMPLETE!!!
The books are recommended for ages 13 and above, but most of my readers are adults.
Get the Indie author Guide free! ^_^
Get it for free here :)
Surely, my dear ^_^
The Italian Saga
The Italian Saga is a series of four novels following the same characters growing up in Italy. Each book is self standing, although connected to the others. The books talk about Italy and its culture, but are not historical fiction per se. They are more coming of age novels, each focused on different themes.
Rather than create another stereotypical set of perfect characters for everyone to swoon over, I wanted to portray very realistic ones so well that readers would understand them and fall in love with them in spite of all their defects.
Some characters get a happy ending, some don’t. The first time is amazing for some, awkward for others. Kissing does not always equate to dizziness and swooning. Characters might break down, hurt themselves, and suffer of mental or physical illnesses.
Book 1 An Italian Adventure, It will all make less sense when you grow up
Plot: Northern Italy, 80s. Leda is a bookish tomboy who just doesn’t fit it. When shady Nico moves to town from Sicily the two strike an unlikely friendship that will transform both kids.
Although the main characters are nine at the beginning of the book, this is NOT a middle grade book (imagine Stranger Things without the horror factor). The book is more young adult, funny and very emotional, dealing with the hustle of growing up following the orders of grownups who have no idea what they are doing.
Themes: childhood, friendship, adventure, abusive siblings, divorcing parents, immigration, Italian culture (the book takes place in the suburbs around Milan, Arese specifically, in the Alps, Val di Non specifically, and in Sardinia).
You will love this book if you liked Stranger Things, the Goonies, The Absolutely True Diary of a part-time Indian, or the Ocean at the End of the Lane.
Book 2 Out of the Nest, An Italian Summer
Plot: Northern Italy, 1990. Tomboy Leda falls in love. This book portrays a typical Italian summer, kids hanging out at the pool, watching soccer, meeting after dinner in somebody’s basement to watch a scary movie. Several plot lines intertwine, pondering about love, making out and, at least for bookish Leda, the meaning of life.
Themes: friendship, dating, love, fitting in, gender identity, kickass heroines, feminism, being an introvert, Italian culture (Tuscany and the hills around Lucca among other places).
You will love this book if you liked Stand by Me and Eleanor & Park.
Book 3 Forget Nico, Falling for the Wrong Italian
Plot: Northern Italy, 90s. Bookish, tomboy Leda has a crush for bad boy Nico, and it seems like a terrible idea. As she starts high school, she struggles to fit in and will end up falling pretty hard for the wrong boy.
Themes: teen angst, romance, dating, love, fitting in, self-cutting, gender identity, kickass heroines, feminism, being an introvert, Italian culture (Liguria and the beautiful region of Cinque Terre -Five Earths-).
You will love this book if you like swoony but realistic romance like Eleanor & Park, Love like Crazy, I’ll Give you the Sun.
Book 4, Sex-O-S, the Tragicomical Adventure of an Italian Surviving the First Time
Plot: Northern Italy, 90s. Leda is finally dating the boy of her dreams, but is she ready for the first time? This books is a great companion if you are pondering about the first time yourself, or if you just want to reminisce about that time. You will laugh, cry, and swoon, guaranteed. Heartfelt and uplifting.
Themes: sex and dating, first time, religion, family, relationships, eating disorders, teen pregnancies, high school, independence, feminism, coming of age.
You will love this book if you like swoony but realistic romance like Eleanor & Park, Love like Crazy, I’ll Give you the Sun, but honestly, I don’t think a book like this was ever written.
Read the books for free with Kindle unlimited, or download the audio on Audible ^_^
And by the way…
I find it fascinating how our culture (both Italian and American) mushed under the "sex umbrella" topics ranging from pornography to health, so that we have a hard time teaching our children about sexuality, so that women don't feel comfortable sharing a pregnancy till after the first trimester (as if miscarriage would be something not to talk about, not to be consoled about!), so that rape and child abuse run rampant because of the ignorance our misguided shame allowed to proliferate. (I don’t write run-on sentences very often. When I do, I have good reasons ;P)
Education (tactful, sensible) is always a good thing.
Let's talk about it!
The Italian Saga continues!
Italy, the 80s. Learn, laugh, love. "Addictive!"