Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chapter 19 of Pinned but Fluttering Is Now Up

Chapter 19 of Pinned but Fluttering is by far the longest chapter yet at over 4,000 words and is now available on both Wattpad and It's receiving great reviews from both sites and in only a couple of hours has already garnered 25 votes on Wattpad...which is the total number of votes received for the final chapter of Evening Star.

I thought I'd put up an excerpt here from Chapter 19, so here's Bella's flashback to her thirteenth birthday, less than a year after Sarah Black's death. So here 'tis....

The loss of Sarah Black was still a fresh pain for all of us, and Billy had been drinking himself to the point of passing out nearly every night after dinner. Then the two girls left the house to hang out with friends, taking full advantage of the freedom from their usually strict father; they often came home smelling of bourbon, sweet weed, and sex. Rachel and Rebecca, my beloved big sisters who had always watched out for me, were far too caught up in their now-exciting social lives to care that Billy locked me in my room indefinitely as punishment for killing their mother...a punishment they coldly assured me that I fully deserved.

So Jacob hauled his slumped and mumbling father back to his room in the wheelchair and assisted him into bed where he snored away his grief in an alcoholic daze. After the girls left the house in their too-short skirts and too-high heels, Jake would often let me out of my room to watch TV together on the small loveseat. Sometimes I would read while he did homework.

No one had said anything about my birthday all day, and I really didn't care; I didn't deserve a celebration, anyway, and I knew it. But Jacob had been walking around all afternoon with a cat-who-just-ate-the-canary look in his eyes. From behind my deadbolted door, I listened as he helped his intoxicated father to bed, and as Billy's bedroom door clicked closed, Jacob appeared in my room smiling widely. He beckoned, and I hopped off my naked mattress and eagerly followed him into the living room.

Jacob served me half a frozen-but-reheated chicken pot pie for dinner and a shiny red apple...a feast compared to my usual fare. Then his wide grin widened even more, and his black eyes, encircled with dark rings of sleepless nights, sparkled mischievously as I wondered what he was up to.

“Wait here,” Jacob ordered excitedly. “And close your eyes.”

Obediently I masked my eyes with both hands as I heard him rustling about the room. Then just as the curiosity was really getting to me, I heard a whisking sound and smelled the faint sulfur of a lit match.

“Okay, you can look!” he exclaimed.

Lowering my hands, I opened my eyes to see in his large hands a bakery cupcake topped with pink icing and a single lit candle nestled carefully on one of Sarah Black's treasured china plates. Walking carefully forward to keep the candle lit, he laid the plate gently on the coffee table in front of me. Beside it was a large box, wrapped messily in pink tissue paper...and half a roll of Scotch tape. A large silver bow sat crookedly on top of the only gift.

“Happy Birthday, Bella!” Jacob crowed.

I remember feeling the pressure of tears in my eyes as I took in the lit candle swaying in the movement of air as Jacob plopped beside me onto the loveseat, the inexpertly-wrapped gift, but most of all, the beaming face of Jacob Black, his black eyes dancing with merriment and joy, expressions I hadn't seen on his face since his mother's death.

Leaning over, he grasped the edge of the china plate and brought the cupcake and burning candle between us in the soft half-light of the small room. “Make a wish,” he ordered gently, smiling.

But I sobered. I knew which wish I would make, if turning back the clock were truly possible. If the last year had never happened. If I could change that one night...the night when I had killed Sarah Black, the woman whom everyone loved and adored.

The woman whom I loved and adored.

The woman who became my mother after my mother died.

If I could have switched places with her, if I could be dead in her place so that she could be alive for Billy and Jacob and the girls, I would do it without a second thought.

Billy blamed me, and rightly so. As did Rachel and Rebecca. But Jacob, loyal brother that he was, refused to let me think it was my fault...even though it was.

If it weren't for me, Sarah Black would not have been out on the road that night.

If it weren't for me, clumsily falling out of a tree at the Clearwaters' house while playing hide-and-seek with Leah and Seth, Sarah Black wouldn't have been driving at twilight, taking me to the reservation clinic to x-ray my injured wrist.

If I hadn't been stupid and careless and clumsy as usual, we wouldn't have been in that car, and that drunk driver would have hit someone else or no one else...and Sarah wouldn't have been killed instantly when we hit the tree.

And if I hadn't been the reason for Sarah driving, and if I hadn't walked away with a hairline fracture to my wrist (caused by my fall, not the accident) and a slight concussion, perhaps Billy and the girls wouldn't blame me for their beloved wife's and mother's death.

But none of these wishes were possible.

So as I closed my eyes, I wished desperately that Billy would stop blaming me for Aunt Sarah dying, that he would stop saying I was an angel of death who had caused my mom, my dad, and now his wife to die, and that he would stop drinking and forgive me.

I wished desperately that Rachel and Rebecca would stay home, stay safe, and forgive me.

And I blew out the candle, Jacob smiling at me, his white teeth brilliant in the twilight of the half-darkened room.

Then he thrust the heavy gift into my lap, laughing as I attempted to unwrap the awkward box. Finally I managed to remove the paper with his help, and he helped by slitting open the packing tape with his pocket knife, laughingly refusing to let me handle something so sharp, knowing my track record.

I pulled back the cardboard flaps to reveal a midnight-blue faux leather-bound book, the title embossed in gold print: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. I had squealed with joy, jumping into Jacob's lap with delighted pleasure.

“Thank you! Thank you, Jacob!! It's wonderful!!” I enthused, wrapping my arms around his neck and hugging him close.

“Do you really like it?” he whispered in my ear.

“I love it,” I assured him, smiling.

I hadn't smiled in months, and it felt good.

With Jake smiling back at me, we sat there on the love seat, practically nose-to-nose, me sitting in Jacob's lap, my arms around his neck.

Our smiles faded a little as the energy between us became charged. I was thirteen, he was turning thirteen in a few months. We had always treated each other as brother and sister.

But something changed at that moment. His eyes fixed unblinkingly on mine, Jacob slowly leaned toward me, tilting his head to the side as his lips touched mine.

I didn't move as he kissed me tentatively, gently, his lips warm and sweet as they pressed against mine. Without conscious thought, my eyes closed, my arms tightened around his neck, and I was kissing him back, our mouths hesitantly moving together.

We both backed away at the same time, his black eyes glowing in the dimly-lit room.

“Happy Birthday, Bella,” he smiled warmly.

I blushed, breathless and strangely pleased.

So there's the big revelation in Chapter 19...the reason why Billy blames Bella for Sarah's death, and why Bella even blames herself. This question was raised in the first chapter, and now we finally have the answer....

And about six more questions, LOL!

I've just started a new one-shot, an EPOV story. I have only about 700 words so far, so we'll see where it goes. I hope to work on it during my break as I don't return to homeschooling or teaching until January 9th.

So, back to writing....

--Cassandra :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Readers, Beloved Readers

I still pinch myself every time I log onto Wattpad and view my profile. I simply can't believe the enthusiasm and support I receive from my readers on a daily basis.

This week Evening Star topped 150,000 reads, and Pinned but Fluttering is a mere 25 reads from passing 70,000 reads...which will happen within the next hour or two.

My total vote count for all of my works (two stories and four poems) has passed 3,000. My comments are very nearly to that point.

Each time I post a new chapter to Pinned but Fluttering, I have to spend a few hours responding to the fans who comment. It's wonderful that they do comment--but replying to fifty-some comments twice a week can take up a great deal of time...time I could spend writing.

I had to abandon my twice-weekly updating schedule this weekend because of Christmas, but I will return to posting new chapters of Pinned but Fluttering on Wednesdays and Saturdays this week. I post to as well as to Wattpad, and I finally passed the 100 review-mark for Pinned but Fluttering last week. Yay!

I'm already working on Chapter 19 and will jot down a little more before bed tonight.

And I hope you like the updates to my blog--inspiration provided by That One Nerdy Girl who walked me through some Blogger upgrades I was unaware of. Thank you, my dear!!

So off to writing I go....


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Evening Star Now Available for Downloading!

Well, with Evening Star now completed, I thought I'd set up some free downloads for you all.

I formatted Evening Star in two ways: 1) a PDF with a regular font (14 point) for reading on a PC/Mac, and 2) a PDF with a much larger font (24 point) for reading on E-Readers like Kindle, Nook, etc.

Basically, these PDFs are the same as the original postings on Wattpad and (see sidebar for links), with the exception of the last few chapters which I edited from looooong chapters into multiple shorter chapters. I didn't remove any wording (or fix many typos--sorry!) but just added a few chapter headings for a total of sixty chapters. The PC/Mac version runs to about 340 pages, and the E-Reader edition comes out at 925 pages. The text of the story itself is 140,000 words.

Trying to get my PDFs uploaded was not easy. I Googled and searched and found DocStoc where I was able to upload my PDFs and have them available here. But if anyone knows of an easier way to upload PDFs into Blogger, I'd be thrilled to learn how.

Anyway, scroll on down to the bottom of my blog, and you'll see the two versions available for downloading, the E-Reader Edition first, then the PC/Mac Edition.

Please let me know if there are any problems with downloading either edition; I haven't used DocStoc before and am hoping it will work well. :)

Consider these downloadable versions of Evening Star as early Christmas gifts to all my wonderful readers!! Enjoy!!!!

And, on the Pinned but Fluttering front, with Chapter 15 uploaded on Wattpad, the story made #1 on the Thriller List, #2 on the Fan Fiction List, and is currently #86 on the What's Hot List...which encompasses the entire website!!! I'm quite thrilled to have made it into the Top 100 for the first time since Evening Star's early days. Yay!!!

Well, I'd better start editing Chapter 16 of Pinned but Fluttering if I want to post it tomorrow. The rough draft was composed on the final day of NaNoWriMo and was extremely rushed, and thus needs a great deal of revising and editing! :)

Merry Christmas again!! Enjoy those downloads!!!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Pinned but Fluttering Milestone...We're #1!!!

Yes, it's Darkward!!!

Well, I did finally win NaNoWriMo...with 14,000 words posted in the final 24 hours. It was exhausting, and I verified my word count with a mere 14 minutes to spare!! Whew!!

But the big news came today when I arose, bleary-eyed after two night this week of grading essays until 3:30-4:00 AM, and checked my Wattpad profile.


A screenshot right off of my Wattpad profile!!  

Pinned but Fluttering was ranked #1 in the Thriller category (which has happened before) and, the big surprise, #1 in the Fan Fiction category!!!! And Pinned but Fluttering was ranked #111 all together on the entire site under "What's Hot!"

In addition, Pinned but Fluttering also passed the 1,000 vote mark and the 1,000 comment mark as well...just yesterday!!! And it's just passed 40,000 reads, too, on Wattpad alone.

So while Pinned but Fluttering only has sixty-some reviews on FanFiction.Net (almost half from two faithful fans who have reviewed every chapter), at least Pinned but Fluttering is receiving lots o' love on Wattpad.

Plus, one of my favorite fan fiction authors, Aleeab4u (who wrote the amazing, incredible Falling Beyond Redemption, pimped Pinned but Fluttering on Twitter earlier this week!!! Yay!!!

And...Chapter 15 of Pinned but Fluttering will be up tomorrow (Saturday)!

So, thank you to all of you delightful readers and faithful reviewers/commenters/voters who have done so much to share my stories and spread the word!!! THANK YOU!!!!

You're the BEST!!!! Love you all!!!!