Online writing conference for authors of Adult and New Adult works.


view:  full / summary

Writing Sample - Kaitee MacAdams

Posted by heidinorrod on June 22, 2013 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)

The beginning paragraphs of my Adult Supernatural Historical - KAITEE MACADAMS (the name is still in progress).

Enjoy and thank you for reading!



By:  Heidi R. Norrod


Chapter 1:  Blood Nemesis


Kaitee MacAdams heard the wagon clattering down the rutted dirt lane long before she saw it. Normally she would just step off the path onto the dried leaves making up the forest floor, but the rumors circling the tiny English village of Mayland in the Carolina territory had her hastening her footsteps. The bridge spanning the dip before the river beckoned. She knew she needed to hide from whoever travelled behind her. The blood marring the front of her calico dress would be difficult to explain. Never mind the twigs in her wild, tawny colored tresses, or the scratches riddling most of her exposed porcelain flesh.

The rickety bridge reared up in front of her just as the woman’s shrieks rode the just passed dawn breeze to her ears. Kaitee tried to fight the urge to halt. Not wanting to waste the precious moments she had to look back; she failed.

Darting to the edge of the muddied lane, she pressed her back against the smooth bark of a large beech tree. Instinct screamed for her to keep her back guarded. She couldn’t help it. The Others always attacked from behind it was their nature. She studied the area.

The only thing behind Kaitee was the vacant lane. The distinctly female scream of pain shattered the stillness of the dawn. A flock of early sparrows scattered noisily higher in the trees’ boughs. Blood. The sickly sweet scent of blood clung to the breeze. Kaitee sniffed. The smell bloomed in her mind like a rose. She whimpered; the familiar wanton desire clawed at her stomach

Writing Sample - NEMESIS

Posted by heidinorrod on June 22, 2013 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)

This sample is from my adult supernatural romance entitled, NEMESIS.

I hope you enjoy it and thanks for reading!




By: Heidi Norrod

Chapter 1: Drawing Up The Dead

Her blood and flesh coating his glinting teeth is what Lizzy Collins remembers most about her best friend, Angelina’s murder last month. That’s not all she can remember. Oh no, every single detail is as vivid as the night’s stars. The glaring memories helped her make the decision that Trevor must die now. The problem was no matter how much scrying she’d done, she couldn’t find him or his pack of oversized, slobbering monsters. All the hours spent humped over the tiny table in the kitchen poring over maps of the Appalachian Mountains since that night were lost, but tonight’s storm meant she could try something else. Something illegal for her coven, and for all white witches, but she is beyond caring now.

Lightning flashes a second before thunder rocks through the tiny three-room cabin. Shoving her wild, tangled blonde hair out of her face, Lizzy leans over the newly drawn hexagram on the floor in front of the enormous fireplace. The piece of black chalk in her trembling hand shivers as she places the tip of it right in the center of the diagram. It spins three times on its own, before catapulting into the cheery flames of the fire. They flare up black and hold their color.

It’s too late now. She can’t back out. The black hexagram is complete. Lizzy’s breath catches in her throat. The six-pointed figure is a tag of the mark of the beast. Something slams against the bolted door of the cabin.

Writing Sample - AZTEC PAWN

Posted by heidinorrod on June 22, 2013 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

The first bit of my Adult Historical Fantasy, entitled Aztec Pawn. Bet you didn't think I could write for adults -- did you? ;-)

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy it!





By: Heidi R. Norrod


Preface: Chosen

I was born on the twelfth day of August, the last day of the Minor Festival of the Dead, in the year 1503. Upon my birth, the Priests declared me as one of the gods Chosen, and on my eighteenth birthday, I would die for it. I will be a sacrifice in the hope that the gods would bless my people. Perhaps they believed it fated, that my death would sanctify the Aztec. The problem is they never accounted for me – and I didn’t plan to go out quietly. I was ready to do it alone, but the Priests made a serious error. The gods had other plans for me, plans that no one was ready for, not at all.

It all started when the strange speaking foreigners arrived in Tenochtitlan with their wounded man, the four-legged beasts and sticks that made fire on one end. I was only weeks from my imposed death. Then, things started to change.



Chapter 1: Treasured Feather


The village that spilled outward from the temple steps was overwrought with new weaponry and the voices of children pierced the cooling autumn air as the juvenile hunting competitions started at the jungle’s edge. Everyone in Tenochtitlan seemed happy. Festivals always brought out the best in people. In fact, Quecholli used to be my favorite one to celebrate. This year though, it was different. All the happiness seemed sucked out of the Treasured Feather ceremony, because my only friend, Teno, would be dressed in a deerskin and sacrificed at mid-day. My own sacrifice would come later at dusk.



Writing Sample - SICARI DAWN

Posted by heidinorrod on June 22, 2013 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Below is a sample of my Young Adult Romantic Horror entitled SICARI DAWN.

Thanks so much for reading!




By: Heidi R. Norrod


Chapter 1: Death Order


The infamous black door leaps up in front of me ending my trek through the sulfurous and acrid lakes that make up this section of Hell. This is perfect because I already feel cranky and venomous. The last thing I desire is to go through that damn door. I already know what the Sexprimi of the Concilium want, and it means that I’ll have to go back to the surface. I just returned less than three hours ago, leaving nine dead bodies in the swamps near New Orleans. Life was supposed to be unfair, not eternity. I sigh and reach for the bleached bone skull of the lesser demon that is the doorknob. It turns soundlessly in my hand.

An odor that smells an awful lot like burnt rubber assaults my nose. Fighting to keep my nose from crinkling up in distaste, I look around the cavernous black-walled room. Two massive panoramic windows slice through the sidewalls. One gave the Sexprimi a perfect bird’s-eye-view of the tortured souls, the ones that supposedly burn all eternity – yeah those tortured souls. Although normally they only burn until either the Sexprimi or Emperor Lucifer finds a better use for them.

The other window reveals all the action from the rest of us, from the Sicari and the Castra, but mostly the army, because as assassins we, sicari, rarely stay in Hell for very long at a time.


Another Writing Sample - HIDDEN INSIDE HER

Posted by heidinorrod on June 22, 2013 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

This writing sample of 250ish words is from my Young Adult Science Fiction Romance, entitled HIDDEN INSIDE HER. I do hope you enjoy.

Thanks for reading friends,





By: Heidi R. Norrod


Chapter 1: Black Sun, First Sign


The day the sun went black and stayed black was the first sign. Jasmine Foster knew that the sun had eclipsed more times in the last three weeks than it should, even with the frayed atmosphere. On this last day of February when the sun went black, the temperature dropped from 103 degrees Fahrenheit to 50 in less than an hour. Wren and Jasmine were in the top of the lookout tower above what was Atlanta, Georgia, but now it was simply USA Town 5, shivering with the sudden decrease in the temperature.

“What the heck is going on here, Jazz? It hasn’t been this cold in like forty years.” Wren asked her teeth chattering.

Jasmine took in her friend’s cutoffs that barely covered her hips and her bare midriff. “Not sure. I haven’t gotten anything from NAPS about it.”

“Um why would you? They’re on Red Earth and we’re still here.” Wren’s eyes sized up Jasmine’s own thin linen short shorts and tank top. “And aren’t you cold?”

“The New Age Pirates send out information on anything they hijack from the Red Earth government.” Jasmine squinted into the quickly growing darkness thanks to the absence of the sun.

“Ah! So you think this is a ploy by RE-NASA to freeze us out into the open, so they can kidnap us and drag us all off to that hell hole they call the utopia of the universe or whatever.”

Jasmine shook her head. “No. I’m saying that if it was a tactic of theirs then NAPS would’ve told me.”



Another Writing Sample - June 2013

Posted by heidinorrod on June 22, 2013 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Again, I want to share the first 250ish words of my Historical Romance. Set in the 1st century, Roman Empire. I do hope you enjoy it.

As always - Thank you for reading!



By: Heidi R. Norrod


Chapter 1: In the Twilight

Bracken wraps my ankle and I stumble fighting to regain balance on the rocky, uneven mountain terrain. I fail. Toppling sideways my knee comes up hard against the thick, knobby part of an exposed tree root. Pain shoots up my leg and I grimace. In the slivers of light that slice through the thick canopy overhead, I study my knee. Only a small smear of blood mars the eerily pale skin.

I start to push myself back up. The noises from the shoreline no longer reach me on the humid breeze in this alien city. I had to be getting close. Mother needed the healer. Her illness had only grown worse since we shipped out of the bay on Crete. She couldn’t die. She couldn’t leave me alone here, in this unforgiving city.

Regaining my balance, I stand to my full height, wincing as my knee protests. There will be a huge bruise there later I can already feel it. Shuffling my feet in hopes of avoiding any other rebelling vines, I start forward. I pass around the huge tree and note that the woods seem thinner. Maybe, I am close.

Hope speeds up my pace again. The edge of the clearing beckons, when a deep guttural growl freezes me in place. My heart thuds hollowly. Slowly I twist my head around trying to find the source of the feral sound. Even with the assistance of the watery light, all I can make out are the dancing shadows and the thick undergrowth waving in the wind.

Early Sunday Sample - for June 2013

Posted by heidinorrod on June 22, 2013 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

For those interested -

Below is the first 250-ish words of my 70,000-word Young Adult Romantic PsychoThriller that I'm editing currently (stupid commas and redundant words. ;-)) - it is subject to change, but if you are interested in how I write, please enjoy.

And as always - Thank you for reading!



By: Heidi R. Norrod

Chapter 1: The Fortune

You will prove to be a worldwide phenomenon.

Nikki Bordeaux wads up the slip of paper from the fortune cookie with a grimace. All she wants is the surgery. She doesn’t care about anything else. Two years as THE high school freak is long enough. Junior year is supposed to be better. Apparently, though the cosmos were aligning against her. She looks down at the repulsive extra thumb on her right hand and wiggles it independently of the other thumb – her thumb, not his, his thumb wiggles like parasite on her hand.

She looks back at the crinkled fortune and crinkles her nose in distaste. “Yeah, because having six fingers on my hand isn’t bad enough.”

She can barely hear the words over the raucous clattering of dishes and monologues of voices in the Chinese restaurant, how her mother heard it is a mystery. Nikki sees Tamara Bordeaux’s mouth drop open and braces for the familiar chiding. She passes the silent moment by staring at her right hand, the second thumb making her feel sick.

“Nikki, it’s just who you are, stop worrying with it so much.” Tamara lays a gentle hand over Nikki’s right hand.

Nikki almost jerks her hand away, but stops under the suspicion that it would only make things worse. “Mom, please. Can I just have it removed?”

Tamara sighs, looking away toward the front door of the restaurant gifting Nikki a perfect view of the fine lines that sweep outward from the corner of her eye.

Historical Accuracy in Fiction

Posted by heidinorrod on June 18, 2013 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

First, let me make my definition of ‘Historical Fiction’ obvious.

Historical Fiction: A made up story of historical signification, with accurate historical settings, language, customs, and clothing.

So why am I writing this post?

Having recently completed a historical (suspense) romance set in the first century A.D. Roman Empire, I was trying to find comparable titles to use in my query to agents. I did find a few however, the gross negligence, historically speaking, of the writers of said books/novels makes me not want to compare my book to theirs – and I won’t. Here’s why -

*Rest assured throughout this post I will NOT use novel titles or author’s names*

One novel said that Jesus was crucified in the year 00 A.D. – that is wrong. He was crucified in the year 33 A.D. – not only is this stepping on the toes of history, it is also stepping on the toes of Christianity.

Another novel had wrong dates associating with the Roman/Britain invasion.

Yet another novel used ‘street slang’ from the 20th/21st century A.D. for their Roman Empire series. I’m fairly positive Romans did not use terms like; ‘she got so knocked up from that dude.’; ‘Damn, she’s fine.’; ‘I’m gonna want to pop her cherry.’

There were several other instances; however, this will suffice to get my point across. Another side note here, some will argue that historical fantasy is different. My answer to that is, it is but it isn’t. History still needs to be accurate, even if you flip it around some – i.e. Vesuvius still needs to erupt on August 24, 79 A.D. in Italy, not some other time. Cortes still needs to invade the Aztec and Mayans in the 1500’s etc…

There’s more –

Why is it important? It’s just fiction and who’s going to care or even know anyway?

Me for one, I’ll know and so will every other history buff, nerd, major on the planet, and those that do know WILL speak out. As a writer, you have a responsibility to your reader to give them an accurate story. If someone isn’t familiar with some event say, and they read your book about the SAME event – then what they read they will accept as TRUTH. It would be the same thing as having an algebra teacher that taught you the order of operations backwards - wrong. On a personal level, it makes you, as a writer, seem uneducated or some could argue, arrogant (I mean - “Hey, I’ll write this anyway I want to and people will believe me, because they are too stupid to realize it’s wrong.”).

You don’t want to be THAT kind of writer. You just don’t. To play toward everyone’s narcissism a bit, faulty historical references WILL lead to BAD reviews, BAD reviews WILL hurt your sales, and low sales WILL mean LESS money for you.

How you can remedy it –

Research, research, and more research.

If you don’t want to do it hire a researcher to do it for you, however, I strongly suggest that you double-check what they bring back to you, so it won’t negatively influence YOUR book.

For my recently completed historical fiction, I spent over two years researching the facts and in that two-year period, I wrote other stuff so it’s not as if you’ll not be able to do any writing. I am very proud of my finished novel and I won’t say ‘all’ facts are spot on, but they are as close as I can get them. After all having a few discrepancies is normal as not everyone reads the same into things as someone else might. In reading historical events from two perspectives both can be a bit different. Such as, reading the Roman encounters with Britain from Julius Caesar’s point-of-view is going to be different from reading a Celtic warrior’s point-of-view. Those places are where writers can take their leeway, look at them rather like loopholes in a contract.

Also, this may not even need to be said but –DO NOT RELY SOLELY ON THE INTERNET FOR YOUR RESEARCH!!! Just don’t. If you do use the ‘net, use websites ending in .edu or .gov etc…be very wary of .coms, please be cautious.

Just one more wee note here – no matter if your book is meant to be a full blown historical or you just have a few historical references in your contemporary novel (even paranormal romance – I won’t even get into how many of those I’ve read with wrong historical facts – vampire books are one of the worst to be inaccurate), you still need, no have to, research and get your information accurate.

That’s about it – there’s a lot more that I could say. In fact, I think I could stand up here on my soapbox for a long time yet, but I won’t. I think that the above is a nice summary of what could turn into a very long drawn out lecture – what I did major in History while in college, and no I will not tell you how long ago that’s been, so there. ;-)

Happy reading!



Guest Post From Literary Agent/Attorney, Eric Ruben

Posted by heidinorrod on June 6, 2013 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

I thank Mr. Ruben for taking the time out of his busy schedule to write this guest post for me - You can also follow Eric on twitter @RubenAgency, and I do suggest that you do follow him. His #askagent posts are very helpful, and his other posts are very educational for beginning writers/queriers.

Now, from Eric --




I’m an expert at rejection. I’ve spent decades as a professional actor, stand-up, and singer. I’ve had years in New York where I’ve auditioned over 100 times without a call back. I’ve done film, stage, commercials and even print advertising. I’ve interviewed with many agents before getting my own at a giant New York agency and then I was dropped. Trust me when I tell you, if you are seeking success but do not want to experience rejection, you are walking east looking for a sunset. You will be very disappointed.


Rejection is a part of success, just as death is a part of life. The too are inseparable. The bottom line is, if you want success in any endeavor, you must embrace the reality that you will face rejection.


Rejection itself is not bad. Our judgments about it are what creates pain. Whatever you resist, persists, grows stronger, and dominates your life. So often we fear things that, in reality, are far less painful than the actual event. What if you embraced rejection as a step in your education? What if you decided to learn from the rejection, adjusted course and moved forward? That simple change in attitude could be a game changer for you.


In addition, beware the gossiping group. Many enjoy your company when you are not doing well and want to share the misery. Hours can be wasted discussing how the business sucks, agents and editors are scum and that no one “gets” how great you are. Do you think that leads to growth and success?


As an entertainment attorney, literary agent and talent manager, I still face rejection. First, through my clients. I would be arrogant and a liar if I told you that signing with me meant instant success. Working with me is yet another step toward success, not a guarantee of it. Secondly, I get rejected by clients I want to sign, clients who leave me for many reasons (most unknown to me), and editors, directors and producers who don’t see what I see.


If you only get one message from this, it should be this: do not fear rejection. It shows that you are a professional. Remember, if you take no chances, you will not have to deal with rejection. But is that the life you want?



Eric W. Ruben, Esq., President

The Ruben Agency


Teach? Love the Infinity Ring Series? This is for you.

Posted by heidinorrod on October 25, 2012 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Scholastic has done it again (making life all awesome for teachers). Familiar with the Common Core Resources? Look what Scholastic did -


The newest Common Core resources for the Infinity Ring series. Through the Infinity Ring series children were able to experience history like never before—and now thanks to the new FREE Common Core State Standards multimedia materials, student can continue the adventure with teachers in the classroom.


The whiteboard activities are a fun and interactive way to extend the Infinity Ring experience into the classroom. The file itself is a quickly downloadable flash file that can be played on PC, Mac, and of course whiteboards. The Infinity Ring Common Core Interactive Whiteboard Hello Rashmi,Activities are on the Teach Infinity Ring page: www.scholastic.com/teachinfinityring.




Infinity Ring Whiteboard Activities


· The activity file is robust, including four activities, along with bonus content like the series trailer and Hystorian briefing video.


· The activities encourage students to explore Book One: A Mutiny in Time in ways that deepen comprehension and align with the goals of the Common Core State Standards.


· The activity file includes easy-to- read Common Core State Standards citations, enabling teachers to quickly understand which standards they are teaching.


· The activities allow teachers to enhance the series’ multimedia storytelling through the latest whiteboard technology.


· The activities are fun and positioned to kids as their “Hystorian Training,” which they must complete to be official members of the Hystorians.


· The activities drive back to the game site by encouraging teachers to distribute a code after completion of the activities, which allows students to unlock a Master of Mutiny Medal for their vault