Monday, October 25, 2010

Chapter 5 and Making a new Friend

Good morning! Thanks for the great discussion over Chapter 4. I'm glad it's getting you talking. I was going to add this chat to the end of Chapter 4, but when I looked at it again this morning, I decided that I need a chapter break after Michael says, "afraid to let it go again." I think that's one of my favorite lines in this book so far.

In a poem, you emphasize something by placing it at the end of a line or giving it a line of it's own. In a novel, the end of a chapter is the most emphatic spot. So the chat is now Chapter 5. I got a few surprises I wasn't expecting when I wrote it. I'm curious if you guys will be surprised, too.

Before I post it, though, I want to introduce you to one of TAKEN BY STORM's earliest blog reviewers, Tristi Pinkston. I wrote to her and begged her to review Michael and Leesie's tale. She didn't know me or anything about my book, but she agreed and gave me a gutsy, sincere review. Tristi is featuring me today on her blog's "Making Friends Monday" post! Check it out. It's a very cool idea. She's full of cool ideas. And always fun.

So here's a lively intro to Tristi.

Tristi Pinkston has been blogging since 2006.  On her main blog, ( she covers everything from writing tips and the life of a published author to kid funnies, spiritual thoughts, and embarrassing moments.  She also has a weight loss blog, one for writing challenges, another for her fictional characters … and she lost count of how many others she has. You can find the links for them on her sidebar.

Tristi is the author of five published novels and a whole kit ‘n caboodle of unpublished novels.  Right now she’s focusing on cozy mysteries, although she has written historical fiction in the past and plans to write more in that genre.  She works as a freelance editor and a virtual book tour coordinator.  She loves taking long naps, being charmingly annoying, and watching good movies.  She’s a Mormon, a homeschooler, a Cubmaster, and most of the time, a headless chicken.

 I've yet to catch her in headless chicken mode. I'm looking forward to that. Check out her post about me at !

One more aside and then on to chapter five. Remember I told you I had to research Leesie's injuries? Well, of course, I've been putting that off. So I go to church choir practice yesterday (our church has volunteer everything--including singers in the choir), and after I'm chatting with an older sister about my father-in-law. He's an emeritus general authority for the LDS church, and people who've heard him speak in person remember it for years and years. This kind, wonderful sister told me how he'd given a talk to a group of LDS doctors her husband belongs to. "Doctor?" "Oh, yes. My husband is a retired orthopedic surgeon." Are you kidding me? And he loves to talk about medicine. I'm calling him this afternoon.

Some writers call these gifts from the Creator serendipity. Not me. I call them blessings on my head! Perfect timing, too. Leesie's got to meet with her new doctor in the next chapter. It tickles my soul to think the Lord cares enough about Leesie and Michael to send me this gift, but it doesn't surprise me. Anyone who creates, no matter what they call the phenomenon, knows this joy. He has gifts for all of you, too. I promise.

And now, drum roll, Chapter Five!!

Chapter Five


Kimbo69 says:  Where’ve you guys been? I signed on three hours ago.
Leesie327 says:  Hooray, Kim!!! Michael just told me he found you. This is a cool surprise. He says he filled you in.
Kimbo69 says:  With everything except why you’re hours late for our chat.
Leesie327 says:  We were busy.
Kimbo69 says:  Busy? He told me he wasn’t taking advantage of you. You big dirty liar. Busy? How busy?
Leesie327 says: Be nice to him or I’m signing off.
Kimbo69 says:  Was that from him or you?
Leesie327 says: Me. We were truly busy. I shaved my head, and Michael asked me to marry him.
Kimbo69 says:  Cause and effect? Odd strategy for getting him to commit.
Leesie327 says: He’s always been committed.
Kimbo69 says:  You believe that?
Leesie327 says:  He’s very convincing in person.
Kimbo69 says:  I’ll give him that much. So he proposed for the hundred millionth time. What did you say?
Leesie327 says:  Yes, of course. He didn’t really need to ask. I’ve been wearing his ring since I woke up from the accident.
Kimbo69 says:  Get you when you're down, huh. When’s the big day?
Leesie327 says:  He says end of the summer. I say tomorrow.
Kimbo69 says:  Don’t you have a cast on your hand and other broken stuff?
Leesie327 says:  I’m on a ton of pain pills and Michael is creative. I’m sure he can work around my shortcomings.
Kimbo69 says:  Did that come from you or the scribe?
Leesie327 says:  Me. The scribe is blushing.
Kimbo69 says:  I’d like to see that.
Leesie327 says:  It’s totally irresistible. (Change the subject, girls, or the scribe is out of here.)
Kimbo69 says:  Touchy, touchy. Listen up, Leese. Take it from your friend with years of experience. If you’re going to finally do it, wait until you can use your hands.
Leesie327 says:  (Come off it, Kim. Don’t go there.)
Kimbo69 says:  Butt out, Mr. Secretary. This actually has nothing to do with you. She needs to hear this. You’re a virgin. You’ll probably bleed for at least a week after. You need to be able to deal with the mess.
Kimbo69 says:  Hello? Where are you? Don’t get mad at me. I’m just telling you what you need to know.
Kimbo69 says:  Hey guys, this is getting rude.
Leesie327 says: sorry slow
Kimbo69 says:  He bailed?
Leesie327 says:  yup
Kimbo69 says:  Figures. Such a wimp.
Leesie327 says:  be nice
Kimbo69 says:  I don’t trust him, Leesie. What the hell are you thinking?
Leesie327 says:  he saved me
Kimbo69 says:  Don’t go making him a hero.
Leesie327 says:  I wanted to die
Kimbo69 says:  He told me you blame yourself for the accident. Don’t be crazy. Accidents are accidents.
Leesie327 says: my fault
Kimbo69 says:  It must be rough, girl. But you’ll get through this. Take it easy with Michael.
Leesie327 says:  I’m living now for him…doing a crap job so far but trying
Kimbo69 says:  At least now we can really talk. How’d you convince him to get baptized.
Leesie327 says:  he’s not
Kimbo69 says:  But that was your thing. You wouldn’t say, “yes,” until he joined your church.
Leesie327 says: doesn’t matter now
Kimbo69 says:  Excuse me?
Leesie327 says:  I don’t even care if we get married first
Kimbo69 says:  What’s got into you? You told me it was huge earth-shattering sin to do it without being married.
Leesie327 says:  nothing compared to what I did to Phil…God won’t forgive me that
Kimbo69 says:  He forgives everybody—even girls like me. That’s what I’m counting on.
Leesie327 says:  not me
Kimbo69 says:  What’s so awful about you?
Leesie327 says:  I murdered my brother
Kimbo69 says:  Murder? That’s kind of extreme.
Leesie327 says:  I am why he is dead
Kimbo69 says:  And you think God thinks it’s murder? That’s twisted. It was an accident. I don’t think your parents blame you, either.
Leesie327 says:  they will
Kimbo69 says:  Why?
Leesie327 says:  we fought
Kimbo69 says:  You and Phil? You always fought. That doesn’t mean you murdered him.
Leesie327 says:  over Michael
Kimbo69 says:  Oh crap, is that why you’re with him? He says the Mermaid Thai Queen was a friend. How can you buy that?
Leesie327 says:  his eyes don’t lie
Kimbo69 says:  When are you going to tell him about Phil?
Leesie327 says:  never
Kimbo69 says:  Go home, Leesie. It’s not too late. Tell your parents everything. They’ll understand.
Leesie327 says:  no
Kimbo69 says:  At least call them.
Leesie327 says:  no
Kimbo69 says:  They just lost their son. Running away like this is too cruel. How can you do that to your dad?
Leesie327 says:  had to…can’t go home
Kimbo69 says:  Can I tell them where you are?
Leesie327 says:  did Michael tell you?
Kimbo69 says:  No. Can I call them and tell them you’re safe?
Leesie327 says:  don’t
Kimbo69 says:  Come on.  Give them something.
Leesie327 says:  ok call
Kimbo69 says:  Good girl. You owe me huge for this, by the way. Gigantically huge.
Leesie327 says:  don’t tell them about my hair
Kimbo69 says:  What should I tell them?
Leesie327 says:  best medical care
Kimbo69 says:  That’s good. What about your wedding plans?
Leesie327 says:  no
Kimbo69 says:  You want them to think you’re shacking up with him?
Leesie327 says:  no
Kimbo69 says:  Okay. I’ll try to explain that. What if they ask me why you left?
Leesie327 says:  don’t tell them…I trusted you…please…I’ll die if my mom ever finds out I was screaming at her boy when I lost control of the truck
Kimbo69 says:  She’ll understand. They love you. You call them. Tell them everything. Michael will take you home. He told me so.
Leesie327 says:  no…I’m fine…tell them that
Kimbo69 says:  Okay.
Leesie327 says:  crap
Kimbo69 says:  Is he back? You better delete this chat.
Leesie327 says:  Jaron’s online got to get off


jRun says:  Leesie? You’re online? What happened to you? You’re parents are going crazy. They called me. You’re dad’s voice. I’ve never heard so much pain.
Leesie327 says:  please tell him I’m sorry
jRun says:  I blame myself for trusting that creep, Michael. He came off so sincere. And you wanted him not me. That much was clear. I couldn’t stand to see you with him like that, so I walked.
Leesie327 says:  not your fault
jRun says:  But he stole you. Where are you? I’ll come get you. I’ll call your Dad. We’ll both come. The whole branch will come. Anything to get you home. I love you, you got to believe that. I’m kicking myself for leaving you alone with him. Whatever’s happened with him—I don’t care. Let me make it up to you, Leesie. Please. Where are you?
Leesie327 says:  my idea to run
jRun says:  You must have felt so desperate. I didn’t realize. I should have stayed.
Leesie327 says:  forget me
jRun says: No way. You’ll get through the grief. I saw it on my mission. I can help you.
Leesie327 says:  I’m a murderer
jRun says:  No. You’re not. Talk to my dad. He’ll help. That’s not what those scriptures mean.
Leesie327 says:  I’m dead
jRun says:  That’s stupid. Think about what you’re doing. Who you’re hurting.
Leesie327 says:  you?
jRun says:  Your mom and dad, Stephie—all of us back home. And, yes, me.
Leesie327 says:  sorry
jRun says:  I still love you. Doesn’t that matter?
Leesie327 says:  it did in high school but you ignored me
jRun says:  Ancient history—don’t throw that in my face at a time like this.
Leesie327 says:  when would be a better time?
jRun says:  I didn’t know you were like this.
Leesie327 says:  honest?
jRun says:  Heartless.
Leesie327 says:  taken
jRun says:  Tell Michael to remember what I said in the hospital. I meant it. Every word.
Leesie327 says:  My idea. Not his. Leave him alone. Leave me alone.
jRun says:  Don’t say that. A week ago you kissed me and said you loved me.
Leesie327 says:  no, I didn’t…I couldn’t say it…remember? I love him…that’s never going to change


  1. Oooooh, I love Leesie's spirit!! She's so cool! And Kim really makes me laugh! Such a cool chapter! Love it! :)

    So cool that you found a doctor! Really looking forward to the next chapter!

    And I love how we all get to discuss parts of the book like this, as it's being written, rather than once it's finished! This is so much fun! :D

  2. Its so much fun for me, too, Jo. And makes me really want to keep pushing forward. You're all great motivation.

  3. I loved it! That chapter was great! Kim is hilarious!I feel bad for Leesie's parents...but she needs to find herself again before she goes home. I am so glad she told Jaron goodbye! Again! :) This story get's better everyday!

  4. I LOVED this chapter! Kim is a great friend, and I love Jaron's screename haha:)

    Funny how Jaron didn't even reply after she said that. Sad that he doesn't take a hint. But I'm glad Jaron is a secondary-support for Leesie. Although he's not the one she loves, he's still there for her, which I think is nice.

  5. Angela I LOVE You! It makes me smile every day after coming home tired from work. Its magical what’s happening with this story, the life taken by the characters and how words flow simply graciously. This story has a powerful message; topics like faith, redemption and real love are not taken for granted even though this appears to be the order of the day in YA literture. This is where your voice as an author always stands out and we as readers respectfully exchanging opinions about a draft shows the deepness of what’s happening on us as lovers of good literature. Kim’s character surprises me with every book by growing and taking life in a way certainly not expected. Kim Spinoff!!! I’m really happy for the blessing of you being able to be accessorized by a doctor. God knows your heart Angela and He knows the message you’re delivering with the story and even though stones crossed your path, you were braver than maybe other authors would have been. The only detail I considered a little controversial was about the “effects” after losing virginity. I understand it does not happen on all girls and if the boy measures precautions and has some experience, he could handle the situation with “grace”. For what we know, Michael’s an expert in the topic /haha/. I can’t wait to read more. By the way, could we be extras at the wedding? Something like the catering girl, the waitress, the one who sells the dress ... possibilities are infinite. Just kidding … Angela I always be a loyal reader but also the craziest one.

  6. True, Michelle. I can always count on Kim to get controversial. I didn't want Kim to get too graphic, but I think she's looking at Leesie who is quite petite and Michael is a big guy. When it comes right down to it, it's kind of all about size.

  7. I love Kim.
    I love Michael.
    I love Leesie.

    Leesie amazes me with each book. Tough Mormon chick who never fails to be assertive.

    And each post makes me love Micheal more. I'm catching up with all the posts I missed. And I LOVE it!

  8. Kim is great, and I can't stop chuckling about Michael blushing!