Monthly Archives: November 2013
FIRE & FLOOD Bonus Scene
Harper Shaw, Minor Character
The Brimstone Bleed started four hours ago, give or take. I’ve traveled as far as necessary for now, put adequate distance between myself and the other Contenders. There will be plenty who travel without stopping, without making a plan.
Like the others, I don’t know anything about this race, only that I need the prize—the Cure—more than I need my own beating heart. I can still remember my mother’s words as I left our home.
“I don’t know where you think you’re going, Harper,” she said. “But you can’t just leave us like this. Not now.”
But I did leave. It’s not like I could tell her about the invitation. Or explain what would happen next. Because the truth was, I didn’t know. Two days ago, I was lounging on my bed, listening to Linkin Park and watching MTV on mute. Today, I’m here, in a jungle, fighting to save the most important person in my life.
A caw rips through the late afternoon, and the dense canopy overhead rustles. I breathe in the smell of rich, damp soil that is almost invigorating. The air is thick and damp and clings to my skin, and everywhere I look is a plant I’ve never seen before. The world is a canvas of purple vines and orange flowers and greenery that swallows the ground beneath my feet. It’s both horrific and captivating at once.
Every few seconds, I stop to swipe insects off my skin. It doesn’t bother me. I’m not the squeamish type. The only thing I’m worried about is the egg in my Brimstone Bleed issued bag. A Pandora, the device said. An animal that will help me win this competition. My heart roars in my chest when the bag against my hip stirs once again.
Now that we’re alone, I drop to my knees and remove the egg. When I see a prominent crack down the side, my entire body buzzes with anticipation. I’ve never had a pet before. Not a dog, not a cat…not even a goldfish. And now I’m supposed to travel with an animal that could potentially save my life and Lillian’s? It’s hard to absorb.
The egg cracks again, and I freeze. My hands hover over the iridescent shell, unsure of what to do. But this Pandora doesn’t need my help. It’s eager to escape its prison, eager to fulfill its destiny. I admire its tenacity already, but my stomach churns wondering what my Pandora will be like. Will it be ruthless? Endearing? Will it make it so that I don’t feel utterly alone?
The egg burst open and I fall back, a gasp escaping my throat. I glance around to ensure we are alone. And when I look back, my hands shaking, my eyes widening, I see it—
Win a signed ARC of FIRE & FLOOD
by Mia Hoddell
A broken promise is all it takes.
Becoming an E.K isn’t a choice for Serena – it’s a necessity to survive. To destroy the
Elementals she has to leave her old life behind. She has to train and follow a strict regime.
But with time against her, she has only a few weeks to master the skills Kai spent his whole
The knowledge passed down from her ancestors is crucial to the Elementals demise and the
success of their mission. However, the path they must follow is lined with riddles, each more
confusing than the next. It doesn’t matter how close to succeeding they get, it’s never enough.
The Elementals are one step ahead at every revelation and that can only mean one thing – the
E.Ks have a traitor among them.
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Excerpts (choose 1)
“Have you ever been swimming here?” I asked moving my head to watch his reaction
as I brought my feet up out of the water and folded them beside me.
“Yeah, most summers when I came here. We all used to use it as a way to cool off or
just have some fun in between training.”
“How about skinny dipping?” I asked my grin growing due to the thoughts running
through my head.
“Why? You want to try it?” he challenged.
“Only if you go first,” I laughed but stopped instantly when he removed his shirt and
tossed it behind us. My eyes widened in surprise and I started to regret my words. “You’re
not being serious are you?” I stuttered as he pulled off his shoes, throwing them over to
where his shirt was crumpled.
“You can’t chicken out now Rea. It was your idea,” he said smiling as he removed
each sock, teasing me as they ended up with the rest of his discarded garments.
I just stared at him, my lips moving but not making a sound as I tried to find an
He laughed at me. “Relax Rea, I’m just teasing you. Well unless you’ve changed your
mind. In that case I’m being deadly serious.” He had a cheeky grin on his face as he spoke
and I pushed him hard, toppling him into the water below.
There was a lot of splashing but Kai surfaced finally, taking a deep breath as he
flicked the hair out of his eyes. I was clutching my stomach in fits of laughter as I bent over.
The shock on his face was priceless.
“Oh you are so dead Rea, so, so dead,” he said, his voice ragged as the cold water and
shock affected his half naked body. I just continued to laugh as he floated in front of me, his
head bobbing up and down in a comical way.
“Good, now we are starting to get somewhere. Although, you are totally wrong about
the Elementals; they are killers and you are blinded into thinking what they want you to see.
They have never hurt you because you have aligned yourself with them but they have killed
many people and you are helping them.”
She flinched as Jack’s words struck a nerve. “Lies!” she hissed before grabbing
Tyler’s wrist, taking him by surprise and dislodging the gun from his grip.
All the other E.Ks raised their weapons, training their barrels on her automatically as
Tyler regained his balance.
“Earth now!” she bellowed and the house began to shake as a green woman in a long
flowing dress made up of ivy and spirit started to appear in front of us.
On my weakened leg I collapsed to the floor again with a scream.
The E.Ks opened fire but another Elemental took its place within seconds.
“Kai, you have to silence her. It’s like what happened with me!” I shouted over the
noise as I clutched at my ankle, which was now bright red and sending sharp flashes of pain
through my leg.
“Tyler, silence her,” I heard Jack roar and then everything seemed to slow down.
I saw her body, limp and lifeless falling towards the floor. Her arms trailed behind her,
bouncing up slightly as they collided against the dirty wooden planks with a thud.
I screamed, covering my face so as not to see what had happened. Please don’t be
dead, please don’t be dead, I repeated in my mind despite what she had done to us. Shooting
a person was a lot different from murdering an Elemental in my opinion.
by Mia Hoddell
The world is dangerous – but love will kill you.
Little did Serena Jackson know that one simple, flirty remark to an anonymous guy online
would lead to her world being changed forever.
She doesn’t know him, but inexplicably, is drawn. She knows it is wrong but she agrees to
His real name is Kai. He is beautiful. And immediately Serena feels herself blindly falling for
him even though she senses a lie. She knows he is hiding something and it terrifies her.
What she doesn’t realise is that her entire life has been built on secrets and lies. The people
she loved left her in the dark for a reason.
She trusted them. She trusts Kai. But as he pulls her straight into the heart of the danger the
lies and deadly secrets are revealed. They overwhelm her, and the person she once was no
longer exists as she is thrown into a ruthless world of elemental forces. The price of truth is
her life—and now the world wants her dead.
Buy Links: Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Lulu
“I couldn’t put it down. So I finished it last night and all I can say is WOW! This book was
amazing and different.” Brianna (Book Blogger)
“I loved how the author took a different approach to writing a love story in modern times
with the paranormal element present. I thought it was absolutely wonderful and refreshing.
Marvelous!” Kathy H (Amazon Reviewer)
“In the end I had fallen in love with this story…completely untraditional it was a very
original idea, not to mention modern. This story had such a good plot and the story structure
was sound.” Kacii – The Kooky Bookworm (Book Blogger)
Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time
writing or reading and loves anything paranormal. Mia always had a love of writing but never
reading. She was more interested in sports and hated sitting still – despite getting three poems
published before the age of sixteen. Finally though, she found some novels that captured her
interest and developed a love of reading which is now one of her favourite hobbies.
Mia began with poems before moving on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia
found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series ‘The
Wanderer Trilogy’ and from there other ideas have emerged. With a total of nine books
planned at this moment, she is busy working on her second series ‘Elemental Killers’ before
moving onto the next idea on her ever growing list.
When his own parents died of not-so-natural causes at the age of eleven, Boy Nobody found himself under the control of The Program, a shadowy government organization that uses brainwashed kids as counter-espionage operatives. But somewhere, deep inside Boy Nobody, is somebody: the boy he once was, the boy who wants normal things (like a real home, his parents back), a boy who wants out. And he just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program’s next mission.
Last year I queried a story and received nothing but rejection after rejection. Sound familiar to some of you? Well, this little story never should have been sent out there into the world. It wasn’t ready and I was naive. Not only wasn’t my story ready, but I didn’t do enough research into the agents I was submitting to. Big mistake, but one I learned from and one short year later I’m back to submitting. A new manuscript.
Still making mistakes? Yup. Definitely not perfect in any way, shape or form but I’m learning.
This time, I have a critique partner to help me with revisions and edits. I’ve made many writer friends via my blog, Twitter and BEA. And I’ve done a lot of research on agents, publishers, etc. A new tool to me this time around is Query Tracker. If you are currently submitting or planning to do so in the near future, this site is invaluable and it just happens to be where I came up with a great idea.
I never in a million years thought I’d do this– want to or need to– but I’ve decided to stick my neck out and take a chance. I’m adding a new post to my blog: advice for authors/writers submitting their work. All of this will be based on my experiences with my own submitting. It’s my hope that we can all learn from each other, not demoralize anyone. These are my opinions and my opinions alone, but I would love comments and advice from the writing community too. Remember, it takes a village:)
I know we all use Query Tracker because it helps to keep our submissions organized. It is also a wonderful tool for doing research on agencies and publishers; however, I think we forget that ANYONE can access and view our comments.
I have read countless comments that I appreciate, such as those of you who post the length of time it’s taken for an agent to respond to a query. There are some commenters who are forgetting one important thing: agents CAN and DO read the comments made about THEM!
I have been quite shocked at the level of contriteness I’ve seen in comments. Calling agents out on their form rejection letters or their no response=no practices is certainly not going to endear you an agent, in fact it might be the reason some are being rejected.
Agents are in business for a reason and they know what they’re doing. Yes, some times it is very difficult to wait. Knowing that we may never get a response from a query we sent can be tough; however, we need to remember that our manuscript and our query is not the only one a particular agent is receiving. Plus, agents are working for their current clients. As a client, would you want your agent to be working hard for you OR a possible client?
That being said, alienating an agent or agents in general is not a good career move. Helping other writers follow timelines and giving some insight into what is being accepted is. So please, don’t hang around these chatty places and get sucked into negative behavior. Use this time to do research or just plain write. It’s a better use of your time.