Thursday, May 20, 2010

Official BEA Photos and Novel Excerpt

Me with Michael McAlexander

Here are the official pictures from the BEA website.

Giving my acceptance speech

Chatting with an aspiring producer. I need to start wearing make-up. My buggy eyes always make me look ghoulish when I wear black.

While there, several people asked me if I had a website, so when I got back, I took a look at what's available for free ( and did what I could. If you haven't yet, please feel free to check it out! Click on the link below:

Kellie Rice Storyteller

Under "My Work" you will find links to pages created for my most respected writing.

And remember when I asked if anyone wanted to read an excerpt from my novel, Sing Moonlight? You can do so on the site here, complete with swashbuckling background music. Or... you can continue reading the rest of this post!

Note to all potential pirates... all of my work on the site is copyrighted, so don't waste your time.

To put the excerpt in context...

Sing Moonlight is a Young Adult Fantasy novel that follows thirteen-year-old Isabel Alcott as she is kidnapped and taken to a world similar to the Spanish Main. She strikes up an uneasy friendship with a seafaring boy named Devon while she tries to find her way home. Having been a slave as a child, Devon isn’t a trusting person. However, throughout their adventures, Isabel and Devon forge a bond of loyalty and devotion.

Robert Louis Stevenson's classic Treasure Island was a source of inspiration, along with Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials and Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, for there is a bit of Lyra Belaqua and Jo March in Isabel.

Sing Moonlight is the first in a series.

Excerpt from Chapter 6 -- Isabel and Devon's First Meeting

She didn’t know if she had run for several minutes or for many when she heard something crashing through the brush to her right. She came to a halt, hastily wiping at the rivulets of sweat that stung her eyes so that she could see properly, then ducked behind a large fern, shoving the fronds over her head as cover. The thrashing noises charged towards her and she curled up, covering the back of her neck as if she were in an earthquake drill at school, fearing that her wheezing pants would give her away.

The crashing of leaves grew louder and in an instant something smacked into her, tripped, and toppled on top of her with a yelp. Isabel squawked in surprise and scrambled to get away from the thing that was likewise scrambling to get away from her. Through the swaying fronds she glimpsed the bare foot of a human and looked up.

A boy lay on his back, propped up by his elbows, looking just as wild and red as she did. He was wearing tattered trousers that cut off at his calves and his loose white shirt was stained with dirt and sweat. A leather satchel was slung across his chest and she realized that he was holding a knife as if ready for her to attack. There was something wild in his eyes that stilled Isabel’s tongue.

The crack of a musket shot startled them both and the boy scrambled to his feet and was gone in a heartbeat. Isabel could hear more thrashing sounds heading nearer, accompanied by the shouts of men, and remembered the horseback riders she’d seen charging across the field. Hastily rising, Isabel raced after the boy, shoving leaves away as often as she could to keep his darting form in view. After a few yards she lost him and paused to attempt to reorient herself when she caught the scent of the sea.

Shoving through the brush once more, Isabel ran towards the beach and within a few moments broke through the foliage to see the boy hastily shoving a makeshift sailboat out into the surf. A horse grunted further down the beach as it slowed from a canter after breaking the cover of the trees, its hooves digging into the fair sand. The rider was a bearded man with leathery skin who didn’t hesitate to raise his musket and fire into the air as soon as he saw her. “Over here, boys!” he bellowed and Isabel could hear the rest of the mounted men charging towards him through the fronds.

Isabel sprinted towards the boy who was now climbing into his boat as the mounted man and his comrades grouped and charged down the beach towards them. She cried out in frustration as the water slowed her down, sucking at her feet as she trudged towards the boat. The boy saw her approach and rose in his rickety craft, stabbing an oar into the water to shove against the seabed, trying to take off. Isabel dove into the water and swam towards him. “Wait!”

The boy’s only response was a more frantic attempt to get away before she could reach him. One of the men aimed and shot at the two children and the ball hissing through the water near them momentarily distracted the boy enough for Isabel to latch onto the side of his boat and hoist herself up. “Jones!” he shouted then turned to her with a sneer and abandoned his oar to try to shove her out. “What are you doing?”

“Stop it!” Isabel squeaked as she kicked him away from her. Both heard the crack of another musket then the clunking thud of the ball sticking into the wooden hull. The two shared a look as the noise registered and in the brief moment before both scrambled for the oars to shove off together, Isabel noticed what made the boy appear so wild before: his eyes were a shade of honey that she had never seen, like liquid amber. Both stabbed against the ocean floor with an oar, hauling the small craft away from the beach as the riders skidded to a halt and took aim.

The boy darted an arm up and untied the twine lashing the sail to the mast, unfurling the small patch of canvas only to drop onto the floor of the boat as the men fired another shot. Isabel ducked behind a barrel and heard the lead hit water behind them. The boy scrambled back onto his knees and grabbed the end of the boom, angling the sail into the wind. He glanced at her over his shoulder. “Grab the tiller. Tack starboard!”

Isabel stared for a moment, having no idea what he was talking about, then ducked as another gunshot was fired. Part of the sail tore from the ball and Isabel grabbed the wooden handle sticking out of the back of the boat then shoved it to the right. When boat hardly moved, she swung it to the left and the boy let out a whoop as the boat suddenly tacked and gained speed, slicing through the waves into the open sea. Isabel smiled as she watched the men on shore gesticulate and shout at each other before firing a few more futile shots.

The boy handed a rope attached to the end of the boom to Isabel then shrugged off his satchel and climbed to the bow, a bare foot on either side of the boat with the ease of a monkey, and cupped his hands over his mouth, bellowing at the men on shore what sounded like a playground chant. “For devils and scum be the likes of some but lower than a lubber are ye!” One of the men fired a shot that stuck into the mast right above the boy’s head and he dropped back down into the boat like a diving swallow and crawled back towards Isabel, taking the mainsheet and rudder from her. She sat down beside him and watched as the men grew smaller and smaller as the craft gained speed out on the open water.

Tracie -- You have elf ears, too? We should start a club. :) And that's great that you can have chickens in your area now! I think you should get some. Nothing beats fresh eggs!


Tracie said...

Ok What shall we call our club?

the other amanda said...

That little snippet was amazering, hun! I loved it :D Can't wait to see this on bookshelves!