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WRiTE CLUB - Round of Six - Bout 2

Here's the second of three bouts between our six semi-finalist.  The voting will remain open for two days until the third and final bout of this round on Saturday.  Read the submission from each WRiTER carefully to determine how it stacks up against their new opponent.  Leave your vote for the sample that resonates with you the most.  Don’t forget to offer some opinions if you have time.  Anyone reading this can vote, so blog/tweet/facebook/text/smoke signal everyone you know and get them to participate as well.  Good luck to both WRiTER’s!

And now…..

In the near corner, welcome back to the ring.....LILY MASON

Mr. Griffin held out a lumpy gold paperweight the size of his palm. "This is all I have that'll hold a spell for an extended period of time.”

I plucked it from his palm and held it up to the light. A frog prince with a jewel-encrusted crown and two glittering emerald eyes returned my gaze. I smiled at it, my stomach fluttering as the urge to kiss it overwhelmed me. Feeling silly, I gave him a quick peck on the lips.

Mr. Griffin gave me an amused look while Angie giggled.

"In the original fairytale, the princess threw the frog against a wall before he turned into the handsome prince." Mr. Griffin said.

Angie scoffed. "She physically abused prince charming while he was a frog and he still married her? Jeez, what a loser."

The frog’s glittering eyes watched me. I narrowed my eyes and whispered to him, "Is that what I’m supposed to do?"

Angie lunged forward. "You’re already dating a frog, let me try."

I dodged her and tossed the frog. It sailed through the air and struck the wall, leaving a dent the size of my fist before thunking to the floor. It wobbled to a stop at my feet like a boomerang.

I looked sheepishly at Mr. Griffin, my cheeks burning. My apology barely bubbled out before the door opened and my ex, Jesse stepped through it.

My breath caught and I stared. He had been gone for sixteen months. No goodbye. No forwarding address. He simply vanished.

He’d been working out while he was gone. His grey t-shirt hugged his chest and arms. The hand in his front jeans pocket tugged his waistline down just enough to reveal a little skin. He could model for one of those ads where they sold clothes using nearly naked hotties.

Angie gave me a wide-eyed look before running over to give him a hug. She squealed when he picked her up and twirled her around.

I rolled my eyes. What a suck up.

“Look what the cat dragged in,” Mr. Griffin said, holding out his hand, “How are you?”

Jesse shook hands before his gaze shifted to me, his mouth set in a thin hard line. “I’m fine, sir.”

Mr. Griffin glanced at us, cleared his throat, and said, “Angie, I need your help out front.”

Reluctantly, Angie smacked Jesse on the butt and followed her dad out of the room, shooting me a wicked smile.

Feeling awkward, I picked up the frog. I hefted it in my palm twice, admiring the weight of it. I contemplated pitching it at Jesse’s head, but set it on the table instead.

When I looked up, he was close. Too close. There was a white scar above his lip that hadn’t been there before.

I decided focusing on his lips was a bad idea. “Did you come to apologize for being a jerk?”

His bright blue eyes studied my face. “I missed you too.”

And in the other corner....JAMIE STUART

Charlene Gentry didn't know what to expect when she died. She wasn't necessarily an evil person, so would heaven welcome her? She wasn't an angel, either, so would hell be her destination? Not that she had a choice, but she assumed those were her only two options.

Certainly not 5542 Sycamore Lane.

She must be dead. How else could she explain the view of her bedroom from above? She didn't own a mirror on the ceiling, as badly as she had dreamed of putting one up there. And the eyes of the body – her body – lying on the bed below were closed.

The front door slammed. "Charlie? You here?"

Robbie. Her big brother finally made it. Was he in time? How long had her body been lying there? Minutes? Hours?

"I'm in the bedroom!" She yelled, but did he hear her? Dammit! How could she move to him? Was she stuck up on the ceiling for all eternity?

The sliding door to the backyard opened. "Hey, fella. Whatcha doing out here?"

Barnaby's claws ticked, ticked, ticked, as they skittered across the kitchen floor. Soon the chocolate lab burst through the bedroom door, Robbie close behind.

"Charlie?" He rushed to her body and placed his fingers against the neck.

Did he get a pulse? Was she still alive? He pulled out his cell.

"It's my sister. I think she OD'd."

"No, I didn't," she said. "It's not what you think."

"Fifty-five forty-two Sycamore Lane… No… Yes… Okay. Please hurry." He dropped the phone on the bed and proceeded to perform CPR. Barnaby whined.

"That's it. Resuscitate me. Bring me back, Robbie!"

After several pumps on her chest, he blew air into her mouth. He repeated the process and checked her neck. "Dammit, Charlie. Come back! Don't leave me."

She willed herself to be by his side, and it happened. So that's how it worked! "I haven't left you," she said. "Don't give up!"

He didn't react to her words, but he continued with the CPR.

Where was the ambulance? They should have been here by now. She only lived a couple of blocks away.

Robbie checked her neck again and started to cry.

"No! I don't want to die!" She reached out for him and her hand went through his body.

He didn't feel her. She was nothing.

"How could you be so stupid? I trusted you!" He fell to his knees and placed his head on the bed.

His sobs wrenched her heart, if she even had one anymore. She couldn't blame him. She was stupid. Not for overdosing – she'd been clean for a year – but for trusting Carl. That bastard had killed her.

She had never believed in ghosts before. Looked like she was one now. Was she stuck inside the house forever?

Oh crap. Maybe she was in hell.

Best of luck to both WRiTER's.  In WRiTE CLUB, it’s not about the last man/woman standing, it’s about who knocks the audience out!


  1. My vote is #2, Jamie Stuart. (this was tough)

  2. It's getting harder to make a choice! I'm going to go with #1 because if I had to choose one of these two books to read, that's the one I'd pick.

  3. Most difficult yet as I like both! Going with the second one this time.

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  5. Wow - both well done, of course, to have made it this far. But I'm with Lily Mason..what a set-up! #2 is a decent start, but cluttered with far too many rhetorical questions.

  6. Jeeez, another tough choice.

    Both have very strong points.

    #1 has a charming & amusing voice, interesting characters, a quirky paranormal situation with the magical frog carving, smooth dialogue, and raises compelling story questions. I would definitely keep reading.

    #2 has a distinct and amusingly sarcastic voice, interesting characters, a quirky paranormal situation with the dead MC hovering above her body, smooth (inner) dialogue, and raises compelling story questions. I would definitely keep reading.

    But because I have to choose one, I'll go with Number 1, because for me it did a slightly better job at bringing me into the scene. But this is the thinnest of reasons and seems only slightly better than just flipping a coin.

    Really, both are very good.

  7. Tough one. Both stories were interesting, but the first line in #2 was a killer, in more ways than one! :) So my vote goes to Jamie Stuart.

  8. #1 for me. The second one sounds very interesting and I'd probably pick it up to read as well, but the lighter tone of the first one was more compelling for me.

  9. I'll go with #1, Lily Mason, on this round.

  10. This is hard! But I think I'm going with #2. The first line had me immediately.

  11. Both of these excerpts are wonderful. I vote for #2, Jamie Stuart. I would love to keep reading both stories, but I would say his mystery gripped me the hardest.

  12. Uno - number 1 - #1 I'm sticking with Lily

  13. Hard hard choice. I dunno. There are things about both that I like and things that didn't quite do it for me. I still don't like the number of questions in the second entry (it pulls me away from an otherwise great voice), but something doesn't quite add up in the first one either (she calls him an ex, but Angie says she's currently dating him?) So, hmmmm...

    I'm going with Number 1 because it is more in the genre I typically read, but really, both were great.

  14. Oh, man. Hmm... Well, this is hard, but I'm going with #1. It's just more my type of story. But they're both great! :o) <3

  15. Oh, man, I think the is the toughest one for me so far. Way too tough. I really want to vote for them both. I would keep reading BOTH. But...since I have to choose one, I'm going to go with #1, Lily Mason. I love the voice.

  16. I'm voting for Lily Mason. She's set up a number of questions I want answered -- like what kind of spell is the frog supposed to hold? A summoning spell? Where did the ex-boyfriend appear from, where's he been, and why did the narrator summon him at all?

    Jamie set up a question, too: How did Charlene die? But there's just that one, and it's not quite original as the questions above.

  17. Argh! Okay, since I only have to pick one, then I'll choose Lily Mason. Honestly, both are so good the only difference weighing me in the direction of Lily Mason is the tiny bit of extra sauce from the interaction of the ex couple. Such an eensy-teensy difference.

  18. Really liked these both, so it hurts a little to pick one, but in the end, the number of internal questions asked throughout the second piece became distracting, so the first one gets my vote for smoothability.

  19. Number two is my vote ;) Sounds intriguing, good tight writing :D

  20. Arg!!! So hard. I really like both of these pieces. I think I'll vote for #1.

  21. Fun ones! I'm going with number 1. It had some fascinating possible fantasy going on, and I liked the voice.

  22. This was hard, but my vote is going to #2.

  23. They were both great but I definitely was drawn more to #2.

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  25. Really a tough choice. I like both but I will pick number 2.

  26. I vote #1, Lily Mason. I enjoy the humor and quick pace. #2 is great, too, and has an emotional impact, but it didn't draw me in as quickly or thoroughly. Wonderful writing from both, and both stories I would continue to read!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  27. OMGoodness, I am totally in love with Jamie Stuart! I would (want to) read more.




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