Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rough Draft In Progress

I've mentioned Twisting Fate (sequel to Shadowing Fate) on the blog and even posted a (Pantser in Progress, Will Probably Change!) blurb for it. What I haven't mentioned is that I'm also working on book one in a new series at the same time.

Since I don't have a deadline yet for TF, I have the luxury to divide my writing time.

Naturally, I have no title yet. Shadowing Fate was Alexa Tate Book One for months and I'm afraid the same will have to be true for this new series. (Hang on, long time blog readers, Earl is finally getting his day!)

I give you: Lilli Stone Book One

First line: "Some days fate hands you calorie-free chocolate and dates with men who don't live with their mothers. Other days, it sets fire to your hair, slaps five extra pounds of water weight across your stomach, and dumps you head-first into your neighbor's pig trough."

Setting: A small town in Tennessee near the Smokey Mountains


All Lilli Stone wanted from her life was a career as an actress, a date with Johnny Depp, and one perfect day when her bi-polar mother forgot to be disappointed in her daughter. Instead, dropped by her Hollywood agent and fired from her waitressing job, she returns home to Tennessee to care for her senile Gramps and her (slightly psychotic) Great Aunt Beatrice. She expects to fade quietly into the fabric of small-town living without a single ripple to show she ever left.

Her mother has other plans.

Jonathan Stewart is a private investigator specializing in tracking the kind of creatures most people don't believe exist. When an outbreak of terrifying supernatural events hits eastern Tennessee, he traces the source to a tiny town nestled in the shadows of the Smokey Mountains. Opening a private investigation office as a front for his paranormal research, Jonathan heads into the mountains to destroy the cause of the crisis.

His first foray into the heart of the Smokeys meets with disaster. Now, Jonathan is injured, unable to continue his research in the field, and a demon of unspeakable darkness has his scent. Worse, the residents in tiny Bird's Eye, Tennessee have taken Jonathan at his word. Over-run with clients spouting complaints about missing ATVs and murdered roosters, Jonathan needs help. When Elizabeth Stone tells him her daughter is an ex-FBI agent returning from a five year stint in deep-cover and is looking for work, he jumps at the chance to hire her.

Now, trapped in a lie of breath-taking audacity, Lilli must take on the role of a lifetime or risk exposing her mother's mental illness to the entire community. Taking online private detective courses by night, she spends her days trying to look like she knows what she's doing. One fainting goat, two instances of shooting inanimate objects, and three high-speed chases using stolen lawnmowers later, Jonathan is getting suspicious and Lilli is running out of excuses.

Meanwhile, the demon set loose in the mountains is closing in and someone in town wants Jonathan and Lilli dead. Will Jonathan and Lilli learn to trust each other in time to defeat their common enemy or will they take their secrets with them to the grave?


  1. Cool! That sounds really interesting, CJ. =)

  2. Thanks! :) It's been percolating in my brain for two years now.

  3. that sounds so good - please hurry up and finish it so I can read it. LOVE your first line by the way.

  4. Hi :)
    Great opening!
    Yay for a new book on the go!
    All the best,

  5. On first read I read it as "calorie-free chocolate and dates" which didn't make sense since dates are fairly caloric.

    I kinda want more details about the lawnmower chases. And have you considered upgrading to full-on lawn tractor chases?

  6. Oh my holy crap, that sounds hilarious and absolutely awesome. :volunteers to beta:

  7. Hmmm... I'd say they take their secrets with them to the grave. ;)

    I'm just curious... do/did you, as "pantser" already know there's more than one book from the start? Or is that just leaving room for the possibility and/or optimism?

    I've been thinking lately the 'series.' Usually I'm not awate of more until it just happens.

  8. In this case, I know it's a series. It becomes something like X Files meets I Love Lucy...

  9. This sounds pretty dern awesome. At first, it sounded like a teen nominated, something my school would expect us to read even though it's uninteresting book, but you pulled through, as I knew you would. But...fainting goats, did I or my mom inspire that? I barely remember leaving you a comment about them, not sure.

  10. Lol. Nope. :) Lilli's story has been in my head for the last two years. Earl the goat was born one night while I was out to dinner with my hubby. :)

  11. Out to dinner...
    You know what, I'm not sure I want to know how that came about.

  12. LOL. We often talk about the crazy story ideas taking up real estate in my head. Lilli's story has so much comedic material in it that the idea of a fainting goat named Earl was a natural outcome.

    We laughed ourselves senseless in the middle of Red Lobster, btw. People all around us were staring slack-jawed and bug-eyed which only made it funnier.

  13. Hey CJ,

    Your book sounds great! I admire you for being able to write two books at once! I can barely manage one.

    BTW, I just finished "Goddess of the Hunt" and it was wonderful. I, too, will buy the next two without even looking at the first line!


  14. Ahhhh ... Lilli ... You know I love it.

  15. ROFLMBO!!!! I love the first line! Awesomeness.


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