Month: August 2015

Second Position by Katherine Locke

Four years ago, a car accident ended Zedekiah Harrow’s ballet career and sent Philadelphia Ballet principal dancer Alyona Miller spinning toward the breakdown that suspended her own. What they lost on the side of the road that day can never be replaced, and grief is always harshest under a spotlight…

Now twenty-three, Zed teaches music and theatre at a private school in Washington, D.C. and regularly attends AA meetings to keep the pain at bay. Aly has returned to D.C. to live with her mother while

trying to recover from the mental and physical breakdown that forced her to take a leave of absence from the ballet world, and her adoring fans.

When Zed and Aly run into each other in a coffee shop, it’s as if no time has passed at all. But without the buffer and escape of dance—and with so much lust, anger and heartbreak hanging between them—their renewed connection will either allow them to build the together they never had… or destroy the fragile recoveries they’ve only started to make.

District Ballet Company #1

New Adult, Contemporary Romance

 

Excerpt

Zed

Some things you’ll never erase from your memory. In front of me, the ice-blond braid swinging on a primly dressed woman’s back makes me sway on the spot. I know that braid, and it doesn’t belong here. Not where I am. Anywhere but here, here where it brings with it a tide of memories I’ve worked hard to bury. Images, bright and sharp and very red, slam around in my head, and I curl my fingers into my palm, hard. The pain pushes the memories back where they belong.

My first thought is, It can’t be her.

My second thought is, Oh, God, please don’t let her see me walk.
It might not be her. Lots of women have blond hair, and a lot of women dye their hair to get her particular shade of gold. Three people between us, and I can’t see her profile. I study her neck, her shoulders, the way she stands. I’m almost positive it is her. A certain unmistakable, accidental grace to the way her hands shake when she unsnaps her wallet.
“Small tea, one orange tea bag, one vanilla. I’ll pay for both.”
Her tea order hasn’t changed in the four years since I’ve seen her, or the eleven years I’ve known her. Her voice is a little smaller, a reflection of her body. But she still likes to taste things vibrantly. And she’s the only one ordering a hot drink in the late July heat.
In the last memory I have of her, she’s stretched out next to me in bed, wearing nothing but a smile. She glowed, on and off the stage. This girl, at the counter now, is anything other than bright. She moves dully. She used to lean on counters and flirt, regardless of who was at the register. She hasn’t flipped her hair once. Everything I know is in the past tense.
I almost say her name, almost call out to her against all my better instincts. Then they ask her for the name for the cup, and I hear her say, “Aly.”

About the Author

Katherine Locke lives and writes in a very small town outside of Philadelphia, where she’s ruled by her feline overlords and her addiction to chai lattes. She writes about that which she cannot do: ballet, time travel, and magic. When she’s not writing, she’s probably tweeting. She not-so-secretly believes most stories are fairy tales in disguise. She can be found online at katherinelockebooks.com and on Twitter: @bibliogato.

Giveaway

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Silence Isn’t Okay

I’ve seen a lot of people in the last few days waving around the word “ally.” What does that word even mean? Good ole dictionary.com says it’s “a person, group, or nation that is associated with another or others for some common cause or purpose.” When we’re talking about diversity and marginalization, an ally is someone who stands by you. An ally is someone who listens to your needs and makes your voice louder. An ally is someone who celebrates your victories, mourns your defeats, and fights by your side as if your battles were their own.

I’ve seen many examples of great allyship in the last few days. I’ve also seen some really, really terrible examples from people that I previously admired.

I’m about to postulate. Here goes.

If you are in a position of safety and you are unwilling to rock the boat for people who aren’t in a position of safety, you are not an ally. Nope. Don’t care. You can argue with me until we both drop dead. I will never, ever, not believe that.

But, but, one person can’t possibly take up every cause!!

No one asked you as an individual to take up every cause. That would be exhausting. But when something shakes your industry and a particular group of people in it to the core, that is not the moment to step away from the soap box like, “Nah, not my cause. Too tired. Takes too much energy.” If typing out a statement, or providing a retweet, or signal boosting marginalized voices who don’t happen to be your marginalized voice takes up too much of your time and energy, you probably need to reevaluate your definition of ally.

But, I’m an activist! Look at all the positive work I do over here!

It’s not enough. I’m sorry. It’s not enough. To quote Ellen Oh, “Hate is that thing that won’t go away if you ignore it. Hate doesn’t work that way.” You can’t claim to be an ally if you fight things that misrepresent and/or damage your own group, but ignore things that damage other groups in favor of posting happy books and butterflies. Or, I suppose you can, but let’s be honest about our intentions, please. If you are an ally in support of one group only, just say it. Let’s stop pretending to be something we’re not.

But if I talk about negative things, aren’t I just signal boosting them? I want to be a force of positivity!

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this nonstatement as an excuse to ignore things that make people uncomfortable. You think you’re uncomfortable? Imagine how unfuckingcomfortable the people are who are literally being attacked, directly, by the thing you are ignoring.

I’m just worried if I make a statement about something from my professional platform that it might send the wrong message.

You might want to reconsider the message you’re trying to send.

Silence isn’t neutrality. Silence is apathy. Silence means you have taken the side of the oppressor.

One more time.

If you have safety and privilege and you don’t fight for those who don’t have safety and privilege, do not call yourself an ally.

Pitch Wars Mentor Bio!

PitchWars - YAToday’s the day! It’s time to decide which #PitchWars mentors are going to fight over your submission.

But wait, what’s Pitch Wars???

Here is an answer!

I love Pitch Wars because agented writers help unagented writers realize their potential. I also love it because it’s a catalyst for friendships that last forever! I also also love it because I get to throw down.

Why I’m awesome:

I’m represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary. She’s the coolest person ever. I write what I’m requesting, and I have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. I’m also an editorial intern for YA at  Entangled Publishing, and I know how tough it is to work through feedback sometimes. We can talk it out.

This is my second year mentoring! Last year my mentee was the lovely Linsey Miller, and she signed with Rachel Brooks from L. Perkins. Ready to make it two for two?

I’m wildly queer and an unshakable advocate for the trans community. I’m also a We Need Diverse Books team member. I’m in this thing to make marginalized voices louder and important stories impossible to ignore.

If I pick you, I will give you feedback on your entire ms, big picture and inline.

I have a squishy-faced dog named Pickles. Meet your mascot:

sleepy pickles

I’m a martial artist.

I’m super competitive.

I once sang Fall Out Boy live at a drag show.

#TeamDevine

Books I loved recently:

What I’m looking for:

  • Young adult, only. See that coffee cup up there? I will be just as grumpy if you send me non-YA as I am when there is not enough espresso in my Americano.
  • Excellent LGBTQIA representation. This is a requirement.
  • Fresh, smart contemporary
  • Exciting sci-fi with relatable characters (think THE LUNAR CHRONICLES)
  • Fantasy that feels new.
  • Character driven stories that stick with me
  • Romance and love interests that make me swoon
  • Tough choices
  • Snappy voice
  • Sex positivity

What I’m not looking for:

  • Literally anything with an all-white, all-cis, all-straight cast.
  • Anything that’s not YA
  • Genres I didn’t request
  • Books about religion
  • Predictable stories that rely heavily on tropes
  • Passive main characters

Alright. Show me what you’ve got. For submission guidelines, go here. And I suppose you can check out these other mentors if you have to. 😉