Thursday, 28 August 2014

Ready. Set. WRITE! Beta/CP Match-Up Post

Welcome to the RSW beta/CP match-up! If you missed the details on Monday, you can find them in the second half of my my post here. I hope all of you who participate find readers that fit well with your WIPs and that some great writing partnerships can be made today!

Now a bit about my WIP…

Book two of my trilogy, Engrave, is complete and in the hands of my lovely CP/sister Jaime. I need betas for Engrave, but that means anyone who volunteers would need to read book one, Envision, first. It’s been critiqued and beta read and polished to a shine, so if you’re up for that, you can check it out below. I’ll stick to sharing info about book one, seeing as I don’t want to give away any spoilers about book two.

Age category: Upper YA
Genre: light sci-fi with elements of cyberpunk
Warnings: swearing, some sexual content, drug use later in series, though not explicit and not promoted (Nothing super edgy, but I like to warn potential readers in case they're uncomfortable with these things.)
When I’ll be ready for betas: now for Envision, hopefully later this fall or winter for Engrave (once it’s been critiqued and polished)

Love list for Envision:

narrow escapes ■ slow burn romance ■ a motorcycle ■ an inappropriately funny tech guy ■ rainbow hair ■ digitally enhanced minds ■ broken stained glass ■ chases ■ energy pulse weapons ■ a drastic makeover ■ piggybacks ■ Keats ■ a cryptic wooden box ■ mean right hooks ■ keys ■ urban green spaces ■ books with real pages ■ books with no pages at all ■ secrets ■ glow-in-the-dark spray paint ■ egg rolls ■ unique cameras ■ fun with jiu-jitsu and krav maga ■ sink sprayers ■ imploding things ■ tunnels ■ connections ■ an asymmetrical chandelier ■ memories ■ rain ■ Jell-o breaks ■ biker jackets ■ long stretches of highway ■ the limbo between dreaming and waking ■ sparrows ■ autumn leaves ■ ideals this world has long since forgotten ■ torn up letters ■ Romanticism ■ introverts ■ first kisses ■ finders keepers ■ glow bracelets ■ taiko drums ■ photos ■ holograms ■ acrobats ■ a near future setting

My query description:

When eighteen-year-old Naia witnesses her dad's murder, she believes his death is revenge for inventing the Ports, implants that turn human minds into computers. She flees his killers, intending to seek help from EnvisiTech, the powerful company responsible for marketing Port technology.

Her escape is thwarted when she’s kidnapped by Evan, leader of the anti-Port extremist group known as the Retros. He insists it’s for her protection, but she doesn’t know whether to believe his claims that EnvisiTech is behind her dad’s murder or that the Ports cause devastating physical symptoms and are being used by the company to manipulate minds.

While struggling to come to terms with her dad's death and the possibility that he was involved in a twisted plot to control humanity, Naia must determine whom to trust. But it isn't as simple as choosing a side, especially when someone is targeting Port users with a deadly digital virus. She must find her place in the fight and face her growing feelings for Evan, whose real identity could be one of the greatest obstacles of all.

An excerpt:

Not being a Retro, there isn’t much for me to do around here, and I’m getting stir crazy. Mostly I sit around using my Port to pass the time, but mentally flipping through old magazines and watching reruns of TV shows on the backs of my eyelids gets boring pretty fast. At home I could inload new entertainment whenever I wanted. Here, that’s not an option. Brodie would never let me use his computers to access that sort of thing, and Evan, His High and Mightiness, would have a conniption. He’s already annoyed by the amount of time I spend using my Port.
This morning, I’m listening to music in what’s become my usual spot on the sofa when he slams a stack of books down on the coffee table so hard it makes me jump.
“Help yourself,” he says with a mocking smile. “I assume you know how to read.”
“Are you always such a condescending jerk?” I try not to scan the titles on the cracked spines even though I’m bored enough that the offer is tempting, and I’m curious what kind of literature the dark tempered leader of the Retros is into. “For your information, I have over two hundred books stored in my head.”
Unimpressed, he taps the pile and settles into a chair, crossing one booted foot over the other on the coffee table. He spends the next hour frowning into a battered volume of Longfellow’s poems, turning the pages with curt exaggeration as if to emphasize the superiority of his reading method over mine. As much as I’m itching to borrow one of the books, I refuse to award him the pleasure of seeing me give in.
He hasn’t made any attempts to continue our conversation from the night of the mission. I guess he realizes I need time and space to make sense of everything that’s happened. Either that or he’s given up trying to convince me I should be on their side. Not that he’s been around much. Lately he takes off for a couple days at a time. I have no idea where he goes, but before he leaves, he always takes two flash drives from the mysterious box behind the computer station, sits at the island with his back to everyone and inloads from them. I wish I knew what secrets are hidden on those drives, what secrets he carries in his head. Maybe then I’d know what to do about my situation.

Some additional thoughts on Envision:

Even though technology is central to Envision, it isn’t hard sci-fi. Imagine if that iPad or smart phone you tote around with you was in your head. That’s what this is about. I’m actually not a very techie person and the characters really are the heart of the story. It’s more about connections between people than computers.

I’m big on plot twists, characters with layers, slow burn romance and fast-paced plots, dark atmosphere, high stakes, a mix of tragedy and humour, suspense, urban sprawl versus nature, and contrasting Romanticism with science and technology.

One last thing: If you beta read for me, then I’m willing to beta read for you.

So…any takers?


  1. Hey Erin! Your books sound like a mix of LEGEND by Marie Lu and THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX by Mary Pearson. I'm very interested in being a beta reader for you! I normally read a series back to back, so I think my feedback would be more helpful to you if I read them both once ENGRAVE is ready, but if you're wanting feedback on ENLIGHTEN, and you want it now, I can do it that way too. My YA fantasy probably won't be ready for a beta read until right around the New Year. You can check my post to see if you're interested in a swap. And no worries if you're not! I know fantasy isn't for everyone. :D Although I hope you are because I really want to read your books! Haha!

  2. I love this premise so much! And that love list is full of so much awesome. I still think about this story and am sad it hasn't found a home. :(

  3. I'm a bit late commenting, but I'd love to read this if you're still needing betas! :) The draft I'm working on will probably be ready for a beta read by October/November (it's crossover urban fantasy - I've classed it as adult because of the protagonists' ages, though it's upper-YA suitable).