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WANTED: Critique Partner for Kareena

Hello, everyone!

classifiedKareena, a YA writer, e-mailed me wanting to know how she might find a critique partner online. I asked if she was interested in posting a "wanted ad" here on Lit Rambles and she agreed! Please read her details below and consider exchanging a few e-mails and pages with her to see if you're compatible.

Note: Comments are welcome; however, derogatory and/or harsh criticisms will be deleted if they arise. That's not what we're looking for with this posting.


My needs are simple. I am looking for someone to exchange a few pages with from time to to time and to bounce ideas off. They don't need to be editing experts- I have a friend who does that for me already- I just need someone who is widely read in my genre, who instinctively knows when something sucks or not and who can the grade the level of suckiness on a scale of 1-10, and of course can give some insight into why it sucks.

If they would be available for phone conversations at would be great too. I have skype. Just in case you are not familiar with it Skype is this great program that you can download for free from www.skype.com and once both parties have it on their computers you can talk or free anywhere in the world.

This book is written for teens ages 13-16. I would prefer a one on one critique with someone who writes in my genre (fantasy-science fiction) so I would love it if you placed the wanted add for me. I don't think I am ready to go totally public yet so I think I'll pass on the online critique group for now.


Excerpt From the Novel entitled, The Spinner's Wheel, written by Kareena Vassall

Chapter 2

Sara’s discovery

Earth-2010: Wichita Falls, Texas U.S.A

The soft morning light filtered into the sky blue room through filmy white curtains draping the two windows. A fragrant, warm breeze swept though a partially open window rustling the open pages of the science encyclopedia resting on top the bright yellow quilt covering the double bed, tuning the page from a picture of a DNA double helix to one of Halley’s comet.

At the foot of the bed, directly under the small figure huddled under the covers, lay a large brown and white cat sprawled inelegantly on his back, the tip of his tail twitching slightly. The small figure beneath the quilt flung out her foot suddenly and the cat leapt from what was obviously a comfortable spot with a frustrated hiss.

A soft chuckle emanated from the bed, and a small, heart shaped, freckled face framed by long dark red hair raised up briefly off the blue pillowcase and looked down at the disgusted feline glaring at her from the side of the bed and said without sympathy. “I told you to sleep in your own bed Mr. Piddles.” Mr. Piddles sniffed scornfully at her as if she smelled like a wet dog, turned and stalked off towards the corner of the room, his tail held high.

Sixteen year old Sara Gallagher looked to the left of her bed at the small white side table and reached out to shut off the alarm to the clock just as it struck seven. Looking at the clock, she glared and stuck out her tongue at the cheerful face of bug’s bunny whose head was currently cut in half by the long hand of the clock pointing at twelve.

Rubbing her eyes with the cuff of her black and white polka dot pajamas, she swung her legs off the bed unto the fluffy beige carpet and sat up. She peered at herself in the mirror that ran the length of the closet door and began the typical morning ritual of looking for any new freckles that might have miraculously popped up on her face overnight.

After satisfying herself that there were only the usual twenty two freckles adorning her nose, she stood, winked at Albert Einstein who gazed down at her from the poster pasted over the side table, his black pipe perched at the corner of his mouth, and shrugged on her fluffy white dressing gown.

Sitting down at the small dressing table with its heart shaped mirror, Sara carefully pulled back her hair into a ponytail, picked up her rechargeable toothbrush and headed towards her bedroom door. Suddenly, there was a loud crash from downstairs, and her mothers’ frustrated screech resounded through the house as delighted masculine laughter filtered up the stairs.

Sara grinned and threw down her toothbrush unto the bed. This domestic unrest could only mean one thing, her uncle Valerius had come to visit. Wrenching open her bedroom door Sara and Mr. Piddles bounded down the stairs, stopped by the entrance of the family room and watched the proceedings with interest.

Uncle Valerius was hiding behind the blue living room sofa. His muscular, six foot three frame was crouched down low, a difficult thing Sara thought for a man of his size and weight.Vibrant green eyes the exact shade of her mothers caught sight of her.

“Sara” he said with a gleeful smile upon his face, “take cover, your mother is on the warpath again.” He warily raised his head above the edge of the sofa and pointed to the tall, slim woman with the waist length dark brown hair who was currently rifling noisily through the broom closet in the far, right hand corner of the room, no doubt looking for something pointy and dangerous to jab her brother with. Mr. Piddles took one look at this irate vision in bright pink pajamas and ran back up the stairs.

Sara ducked behind the sofa and said laughingly, “you make it sound like she is this way all the time uncle Val, she is only like this when you visit,” she added, both of them wincing simultaneously when a large wooden carving came sailing over the sofa to hit the wall behind, bouncing to the exact spot where Mr. Piddles had been standing. Evidently her mother hadn’t been able to find anything in the broom closet.

Her uncle Valerius looked at the carving with an expression of great sympathy and said, “well I guess I bring out the best in her.” He was obviously enjoying himself immensely.

Valerius pushed out his booted foot and managed, with some effort to roll the bust to him. Indicating to Sara’s white cotton dressing gown he said,

“Lend me that for a minute Sara; I think its time to surrender myself to my fate.”


There's your teaser! If you're interested, please e-mail Kareena at kareenavassall(at)hotmail(dot)com. And if you're interested in placing your own wanted ad, e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com


Roni Loren said...

I have a few of my blog followers also looking for beta readers and crit partners. I opened up my comments today for people to leave "personal" ads requesting what they are looking for. So Kareena, feel free to check that out. I know most of my readers are YA writers as well. Good luck!

Hilary Wagner said...

Hi Miss Casey,

You may want to go to my blog today...just saying! ;)

xoxo -- Hilary

Tara McClendon said...

Best of luck finding someone.

Unknown said...

Roni- Thanks for the info. I will check that out.
Thanks Tara. I will need all the good luck wishes I can get.