Pitch Wars Mentee Contender Blog Hop: Mentee Bio!


Alright, I’m joining in!  For those of us writers who entered Pitch Wars, we have some waiting ahead of us before we find out if we’ve been chosen by a mentor. In the meantime, the wonderful Christopher Keelty and Dannie Morin have a wonderful way for us to take off some of the stress…Mentee Bios!!! 


Hi Y’all, *waves* I hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday. I’m especially happy because not only did I just get this super-great-further-inspiration for my YA WIP I’ve been stuck on (FYI followers: the Snow White retelling), I also get to do this awesome blog hop! I LOVE meeting writers. So if you’re a writer and you happen upon this post, please do tell a little about yourself and your current project!!!

Back to the introduction: I hail from Texas, but I attend college in/near Boston (Wellesley). The MS I submitted for Pitch Wars is a MG Thriller, Sci-Fi to be exact, about a twelve-year-old criminal mastermind and her companions who must traverse their city, New Atlantis, for a cube–codename Pandora’s Box–that, in the wrong hands, can destroy their city. Think Artemis Fowl mixed with the TV show Alias along with a bit of Fast and Furious (I like fast cars) and a ton of mythology/supernatural creatures.

Three Facts about Me

(because three is my favorite number)

1. I love inspirational quotes. I used to be really obsessed with horoscopes, as in I had to know the horoscope of anyone I liked to see if we were compatible. I gave up on that, thank goodness but in case you’re a horoscope person, I’m an Aquarius. I’ve heard we’re pretty awesome. Back to the quotes. Beside me, right now, is a huge Muhammad Ali poster with a quote about being a champion on it. I routinely post quotes on tumblr, my blog posts etc…basically anyone who works with me, will get back in return as much inspiration and hope as I’m sure you’ll give me. I love making people laugh and “get back on the horse.” Life’s too short to not live and I am to live every second of it (see what I mean about the quotes).

2. I like interpreting dreams. Why I’m stating this, I’m not quite sure. But I do have a dream dictionary and a knack for pulling dreams apart. This love *cough* obsession, came from all the weird dreams I have or used to have as I haven’t had any lately. Not complaining. At all.

3. My writing is comprised of everything I love. Growing up, I read everything, I still do, and though my interests tend to lean toward speculative fiction, there’s a bit in my stories for everyone (though I do usually write with one person in mind). I love mythology so you’ll always find that. I love Lemony Snicket, so my narrators, at times, tend to get a bit involved (don’t worry, I’ve gotten pretty good at taming them). But I can promise that anyone who works with me, will have a manuscript that constantly surprises them, in many good ways. My friends like to say my mind is every where. That’s probably because I take from everything, I’m constantly watching, listening, alert, awake. This is probably why my current WIP, though based off Snow White, has a bit of The Matrix, some great ink… tattoos, raises questions about healthcare and the use of antibiotics, and has romance because in tough times, love is what you need…oh and maybe a cure, but that story is for another time.

*Bonus – since a picture tells a thousand words and Pinterest and I are best buddies, I thought I’d share with you the Pinterest board for the MG I submitted to Pitch Wars and the rest of my boards (there’s an inspirational quote & writing inspiration one too!).

Many thanks to Christopher for starting this and to Dannie for organizing them. If you want to join in on the fun, click here to visit the linky (be sure to stop by others blogs)! Also, a huge thank you to Brenda Drake and all the wonderful mentors & agents ❤

P.S. I just bought THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater & THE UNWANTEDS by Lisa McMann and cannot wait to read them!!! I’ve heard some great things so if they’re not on your to-reads, go put them on it 🙂 Also, this post by Maggie Stiefvater is what sold me on buying her book.

Whimsically Yours,


THE DREAM THIEVES Blog Tour: Guest Post

Hello Everyone!  It’s a very rainy, New England day over here which doesn’t help to improve my Monday spirits.  However as a plus, well…as a major plus, I have the honor of participating in Maggie Stiefvater’s “mini” blog tour for THE DREAM THIEVES (The Raven Cycle, #2)!!!

Oh, and be sure to read the amazing guest post (the perfect post for a lifelong mythology buff/nerd like myself)…on the mythology in the book!



The second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after….

Guest Post

“The mythology behind the ley lines and mystical, sleeping, dead Welsh Kings”

by Maggie Stiefvater

When I was a small and dark child, a sort of junior Wednesday Addams, I used to check out collections of mythology and folklore from the library. While other children were doing . . . whatever it was that other children did (play catch? Is that a child activity? Something about a little red wagon? Sing songs?) . . . I had my nose buried in big encyclopedias of magical and mysticial and rumored things. One of my favorite things was to catch sly references to mythology in the novels that I read, too. I already knew, in a rather folkloric and certain way, that I, too, was going to be a writer, and I was determined to do the same thing in my own novels.

So when people ask me how much mythology research I did for my books, I suppose the truthful answer is: “a lot. Long ago.” I will often reread my favorite books on it, but it doesn’t really count as research if you’ve already seen it.

But then, for the Raven Cycle, I found I needed something more. I needed to throw myself into researching the ley lines, and that was something completely different. For starters, stuff about the ley lines wasn’t found in the mythology/folk lore section. It was found in the New Age section.

In I plunged, expecting to find more of the same. A modern sort of mythology, really.

Here is the thing about mythology and folklore. It is not real, but it is true. It reflects the culture and mores of the people who invented it. It captures for all time a moment of collective longing or fear or pride. Every hero represents a historical ideal, even if he doesn’t represent a historical figure.

Really, it is history with all of the facts taken out and magic put in instead.

But reading about the leylines wasn’t like that at all. The books about them didn’t feature any mythology or folklore: they were fairly new creations. The ley lines in the UK throbbed very faintly with a cultural desire to reconnect with their history, but by the time the ley line stuff got imported to the States, it was all feeling quite airy-fairy and ungrounded.

I was presented with an entirely new challenge: make this fairly new creation feel not only like it had been around forever, but like it was organic. I wanted the readers to believe in Gansey’s quest, and to do that, his belief in the ley lines had to feel quixotic but not absolutely unfounded. It meant that even though my research started in the New Age section, it then ranged through geology books and history books and back to yet more mythology books. It is hard work to make something look like it’s always been there, but I’ve always enjoyed a good bit of forgery (is this a childlike activity? If so, go back and add it to the list up at the top).

When you’re reading the Raven Cycle though, I hope all of my work will be invisible. I hope that the new bits and the old bits are indistinguishable. And I hope that, most of all, it makes you feel like Gansey: curious. How it would please my black heart to know that I was creating more people who eschew red wagons (and . . . jump rope? Children still do that, right?) to get lost in the mythology section of their library.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author

maggieAll of Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She’s made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki.

Author Links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Courtesy of Maggie Stiefvater and Scholastic Inc. in conjunction with the Maggie Stiefvater Blog Contest. © Maggie Stiefvater 2013.

Also…a huge thank you to Maggie Stiefvater, Krista Kucheman, and the rest of the Scholastic, Inc. team for the chance to participate in this tour & for these awesome goodies!  

photo (33)

Though I do love the signed copy of THE DREAM THIEVES (review to come!), I’m especially in love with the custom model Mitsubishi (my little brother would be so jealous!) 🙂

Whimsically Yours,


The Incomplete Guide to Preternatural Creatures: Chapter Two

Mermaids and Sirens, oh my…

Sirens, or Sirena as is their Latin name, are very deadly creatures. Most people think Sirens are another name for Mermaids but trust me, Ariel would not appreciate that comparison.

No one really seems to know their origins: some say that they are the daughters of the Greek river god river god Achelous, while others say they were the companions of Persephone and were given their wings by Demeter to find Persephone after Hades took her to the Underworld.

Where mermaids are generally friendly half human/half fish like creatures Sirens are completely deadly. I think that the best reference I can give for what they are like was in that ridiculous movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides — those creatures were called mermaids they most definitely were much closer to Sirens.

Sirens are always strikingly beautiful women, and they are as old as time. The first Sirens were more bird-like than the ones now are, they were part human and part bird, with wings that allowed them to scoop up their prey. Within the last couple hundred years Sirens began to shed their wings and grow fish-like tails in order to resemble their mermaid cousins and thus shed of their evil image.

However that is where the similarities end: Sirens have a deadly song, they use this song along with their striking appearance to lure in men, traditionally sailors and adventurers who have come into their waters. Mermaids on the other hand, contrary to popular belief, do not really sing…they just swim around seemingly oblivious to the evils around them. They are actually quiet dull creatures but I would prefer them to a Siren any day.

How to Spot a Siren:
Well aside from their strikingly beautiful appearance I would say if you’re of the male variety and happen to sailing out in the ocean and then magically see a large fish tail or a mysterious woman sitting on a rock I would say that you have a Siren on your hands. At this point my best advice for you would be to turn the other direction, and put some earplugs in…NEVER sail without them!

For women, I would say that you are pretty much safe from Sirens unless you happen to be more beautiful than they are, then they might see you as a threat that must be killed immediately.

They won’t waste their song on you, they will just try to drag you into the water and drown you…so as a general rule for everyone (just to be safe) stay away from the edge of your boat aka no Titanic stuff.

How to Defeat Them:
As I said before there really is not much you can do against Sirens but one main thing to remember about them is that they are incredibly lonely. You see Sirens, unlike Mermaids who generally live in large groups (much like fish), are solitary creatures. They might take down a ship together but other than that they are alone. Their deepest wish is to find someone who will love them and will spend eternity with them but for some reason they don’t really understand that when they take their chosen one down to their underwater lair, the person drowns.  Which is why sometimes they get angry and decide to destroy a ship and kill all of its passengers for no other reason than pure spite.

So only way to defeat them is either to trick them into believing that you really love them long enough to kill them, a stab in the heart with a knife or sword is preferable. Or escape them by putting in some earplugs and ignoring their calls, most times they will leave you alone if you don’t come willingly…but not always.

Final Note/Warning
As always with almost all magical creatures…DO NOT look them in the eyes, as they say the eyes are the windows to one’s soul, and trust me when I say that Sirens have some very powerful souls.

Also the El-Naddaha are their “cousins” so the same rules apply.

Yours truly,

Dr. P. C. Howard, Preternatural Expert

-P.S. Check back next Tuesday to learn about more creatures.  Also should you fear that you need to know about a certain creature ASAP, you may comment below this post asking me to include a chapter in my book.


Be sure to view past entries!

The Incomplete Guide to Preternatural Creatures: Chapter One



The Big Kahuna:
Homo Immortus aka Vampyres aka Vampires

Vampires, as they are most commonly known, are creatures of the undead variety. They have existed since the beginning of time. One of their most popular creation myths is that they are descended from Angels. The story is that when the Angels were cast down from the heavens as they fell they became vampires with Lucifer, the Dark One, as the original vampire. Of course no one knows whether or not this is true and there is not really any way to prove it since Lucifer is rumored to have died* thousands of years ago.

*In my expert opinion I believe that something that old doesn’t just die, I’d rather believe that he is in more of a long sleep, waiting and watching for the right moment to come back into power.

Truth vs. Myth:

As you might guess, nothing exists as long as vampires have without creating a few myths of their own, that is why I have included this section to help you, dear reader, tell the truth from the myth.

Mirrors: Vampire have reflections…THE END.  This was an old myth created years ago to calm people’s fears because if vampires did not have reflections then they didn’t have souls right? …wrong.

Holy Water: It won’t necessarily save your life against the creatures, but it will work.  Holy Water can create nasty scars on vampires and it can be used to ward them off from yourself, your house, and anything else you want to protect from them. Of course, I wouldn’t advise going to your nearest (Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, etc…) church and stacking up on it…you might look a little suspicious.

Sunlight: This is pretty much a given/well known fact: vampires and the Sun do not mix.  However there are exceptions, while vampires do not sparkle in the sun, as one author once stated, they can develop immunity to the Sun as they age. The older and more powerful the vampire, the earlier they are able to rise (makes sense, right?).  It is my theory that if you were to meet one that was old and powerful enough, it would be immune to sunlight; of course I haven’t really tested this theory because I probably wouldn’t be alive to tell the tale.

Religious Items: Contrary to popular belief not only crosses can deter vampires, in fact any religious item will work, as long as you believe in it.  And it does not necessarily have to be a physical item, I have quoted the Bible…you might think it funny, but here I am…guess it worked.

Stakes: Now before you go getting your Buffy the Vampire Slayer on, hold up for a minute. Staking a Vampire will work but it’s kind of messy. I mean just think about it for a minute, a wooden stake going through a vampire…got the picture? Good.  Let’s not do that again.

So how can I kill a vampire you might ask, well first off I would say chill your horses. This is not the time to try and become the next Buffy, Anita Blake, or Van Helsing, it’s not going to happen.  The only time you should even think about killing a vampire is if you are face to face with one and it’s for self-defense. And if that is the case then I suggest you don’t think about it because if you do, then you’re probably already dead. Got it? Great. So my advice to you, and this is completely off the record because I don’t want to be liable if you get yourself killed, is to get a good gun and shoot it…with silver bullets (stock up on them, they work for most preternatural creatures except faeries, more on that later, but DO NOT try them on the fae!). THE END.

Blood: I feel like I shouldn’t have to say anything about this but until vampires “come out” I doubt there will be any kind of blood substitute drink that will be invented (even then, that’s a stretch) so until that horrible time, yes, they drink blood. And to answer your second question, yes they do have fangs and yes they do use them to pierce your skin, and yes the neck as well as other places with major veins are the most desirable spots…you have been warned.


Vampires have many powers and as with immunity to the Sun, they gain them with age. Now just because a vampire is old does not mean it’s powerful, just as some people are naturally followers, some vampires are as well. Common vampire powers include: mind control (never look a vampire, or most preternatural creatures for that matter, in the eyes), flight (some vampires have it, some don’t, it’s a “born” trait, not acquired), super-fast speed and strength.  I’m sure there are others but, hey, I’m trying to save your life not spend all day listing powers.


How will you know if you see one?  Well, you probably won’t but if you did see one the first thing you would notice is that they are paler that the average human.  No matter their skin color vampires will seem to have a sort of translucent glow to their skin.   Other than that and the fact that they seem to be a little more graceful than the average human, they will look ordinary. See, most people and authors of vampire lore always think and say that vampires are gorgeous creatures, that they have the ability to seduce you with one glance. Not really true, that is probably just the mind control (most preternatural creatures have some version of this so be wary).  Sure there are some strikingly beautiful vampires but they were probably like that before they were turned. Vampires look just like us, if you are human that is, that’s the dangerous thing about them.  How else would they have survived this long?

Side Note: Old Mr. Moore who never comes out in the daytime because of his “skin condition” or “sun allergy” could be your friendly neighborhood vampire…yes those do exist as well. So if you were thinking of using this guide to help you find a vampire who would then turn you, rid you of your “puberty blemishes” then you could become the Bella to his Edward (or vice versa), please think again.

And now the section you have all been waiting for… (yes twihards I’m talking to you):

How to Become a Vampire

I don’t know who would be foolish enough to buy this guide with the hope of tracking down a vampire so that it could turn them but if that’s your wish…so be it (just don’t try to plead for your life after the love of your sixteen-year-old heart dumps you and you go on a rampage through several towns).

Step Number 1: Find a willing vampire

Step Number 2: Say goodbye to everyone you know: I doubt they will believe you are a vampire, and if they do what will probably happen is that the FBI will hear of you and then you will become a test subject…if you are foolish enough to be caught

Step Number 3: Fake your death…you can’t just disappear.

Step Number 4: This is where it gets tricky because there are two options but the second is only done in emergency situations because it’s rather dangerous (…as if the rest of this process isn’t).

  • 1st way: Over a series of three days the vampire will bite the human, drinking their blood and creating a bond between them. On the third day the vampire drinks almost all of the human’s blood, leaving just enough to keep the human barely alive and then exchanges some of their blood with the human. This is the best method because it creates a bond with the human making sure someone can control the crazy newbie vamp.
  • 2nd way: Much more dangerous! The vampire drinks the human’s blood until they are nearly dead and then exchanges blood with them (really foolish).

Step Number 5: The human is then left and rises to become a vampire in 1-3 nights** depending on how powerful the vampire that created them is.

**Most people think that the human has to be buried in the ground with the vampire, I have even heard interpretations where they have to be buried in hallow ground not that that would make sense because of the whole vampires not mixing well with religious items regardless this is false. I mean can you really see a vampire actually getting in the ground with an undead human…I don’t think so.

Also the catch is that if the vampire for some reason does not finish “the deal” the human could become one of the undead, a restless soul wandering the Earth. Almost like a zombie out for vengeance on the one who stole its life. And since it’s kind of hard to get vampires to hold to their promises once you’re almost drained of all of your blood, this whole process is just a bad idea (I promise you, he/she is not worth it).

Yours truly,

Dr. P. C. Howard, Preternatural Expert

-P.S. Check back next Tuesday to learn about sirens and mermaids (yes, there is a difference).  Also should you fear that you need to know about a certain creature ASAP, you may comment below this post asking me to include a chapter in my book.


The Incomplete Guide to Preternatural Creatures: Introduction

Hi Readers,

I LOVE writing, (I know you’re thinking, duh) well I also LOVE all things seemingly “unnatural”.  A while back, (via Goodreads) as a purely fun project — that might turn into a full-fledged Adult Urban Fantasy series on day — I began writing this guide to preternatural creates.  Why?  Because  we read about them everywhere, different myths, stories, legends, etc…about the same creature so why not (have a little/lot of fun) and create and end all, be all (incomplete) guide to these creatures.  I’ll stop my yapping and let the genius, Dr. P. C. Howard take it over from here 😉


Dear Readers,

You have in your hands one of my precious guides to the preternatural world.  DO NOT LOSE IT.  In it you can find information about creatures you have only dreamed about (why I don’t know), these include vampires, werewolves, fairies, and even some creatures you’ve never heard about.  The information presented in this guide is, no matter what you may hear from others, very real indeed.  So if you even want to stand a chance against these creatures, should you ever meet one (hopefully you don’t), I highly suggest you start reading now.

Yours truly,

Dr. P. C. Howard, Preternatural Expert

-P.S. Be sure to check back every Tuesday for updates as I am constantly expanding this guide.  And as a special sneak peak, for your benefit more than mine since these creatures are always rapidly evolving, I suggest you check out Chapter One: Vampires (otherwise known as The Big Kahuna, Vampyres & Homo Immortus) which will be revealed at 3pm EST.

Also should you fear that you need to know about a certain creature ASAP, you may comment below this post asking me to include a chapter in my book.

–P. C.