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    Abbigayle Grace's books on Goodreads
    Elfboy Elfboy (The Pizza Shop Chronicles #1)
    reviews: 2
    ratings: 2 (avg rating 5.00)

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    Published Author + First Interview

    So, I’ve recently become a published author, and had my first interview. On the radio!

    The past few months have been a rollercoaster!

    Just graduating high school in May this year, I’ve had the chance to accomplish several of my dreams. I got lost in the woods (not quite a dream, per say), went rock climbing, rode my first horse… And I published my first novel.

    Elfboy is the first book in The Pizza Shop Chronicles, a series about elves–a few of whom live in and around the rural Kentucky town of Orangeboro. One is a high school principal, and two of them work in the town’s local pizza shop, wherein is hid a portal to their home world.

    When I first started writing the book a year ago, the idea made me so nervous that I didn’t even tell anyone about it until the project was well underway. I mean, a book about an elf prince who works in a pizza shop? Maybe it just wasn’t a good idea. It was “creative” to say the least, crazy if you wanted to say more.

    But here was a chance to try something different, and maybe even hit popular level with readers while doing it.

    So, I took that chance.

    That November, I had another chance. The chance to enter an excerpt of my book in an online writing community’s contest. I entered the first chapter… And I didn’t win. But I did gain extreme popularity with my piece, deciding to publish more of the book in short installments almost daily. The following I gained through it was amazing. Most of the people I worked with on that site gained their followers through hosting contests, or doing community stunts. But I was able to make a name on my writing alone. That was huge for me.

    Huge. The readers started nicknaming my characters and a couple called me “The Cliffhanger Queen”. The feedback I received was amazing! I can’t be thankful enough for all the wonderful people I met and their awesome support.

    I am sorry to say that I left them on the biggest cliffhanger of my book, since I was unable to publish the whole thing there… That was kinda mean.

    After that, it was edit, edit, and edit. My mom edited it again, and we were ready to publish, which we ended up doing while I’m on an extended stay with my sister (enter getting lost in the woods and rock climbing). We communicated through email… A couple times I got really confused, but we eventually did it and the book was out!

    I did a free promotion, mostly on Twitter, but also with my friends in the previously mentioned writing community. And my book made #13 on the Christian Fantasy best-seller list! I was ever more and more amazed as people downloaded and read the book. I didn’t get a lot of reviews, but I got a lot of awesome feedback through comments and messages. One person even told me that Chapter 9 was CRAZY! (Yes, they used all-caps 🙂

    And, I’m fine with crazy now. Especially after the radio interview.

     

    In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we have a local radio show that my whole family has listened to as long as I can remember. The Saturday Light Brigade, the way to get your weekend off to a great start, hosted by the awesome Larry Burger and his wife, Rikki.

    I haven’t told a lot of people, but ever since I was little, I’ve daydreamed about being featured on that show, actually getting to go to the studio and everything.

    Guess what? That really happened. Just a few days ago! Last Saturday, one of my dreams came true.

    And I was so nervous that I forgot to breathe a couple times during reading, and I forgot what to say when I was answering questions… The whole bit. The best consolation with how bad I did is that it was my very first time, and that’s not a great excuse.

    It was hella fun though. Lots of fun. And I learned a lot too. I learned that I need to remember to breathe, and if you sit perfectly straight, you’re going to be uncomfortable.

    Relaxing is a highly under-appreciated and under-practiced art. Not just sit lounging around relaxing. I mean relaxing in a tense situation, remembering to keep your shoulders loose and forgetting that fake smile. Smile for real and let everyone see it.

    I’m not scheduled for another interview anytime soon (that I know of) and probably not publishing another book for a few months, but I think I can do better. You know how you can win experience or “xp” in a video game? I think I just won some.

    I definitely encourage you to do the same. Get your crazy ideas out there! Do stuff you’re afraid to do! Put yourself out there and have an amazing, crazy, awesome life that’s scarier than any rollercoaster!

    And never regret messing up. Never.

    🙂

     

    Awesome book is –> here.

     

    And the amazingly fun interview is –> here.

     

    Thanks for the read! Let me know if I’m getting better at this whole blog-thing 😛

    Elfboy Sample Chapters 1 – 3

    Okay, here it is! A sample of my novel, debuting in August 🙂 Enjoy & don’t be afraid to provide me with criticism!

    Thank you for checking it out! 😀

    Chapter 1

     

     

     

    “Stop worrying, Chris,” my cousin Julie insisted. The two of us stood at the Aunt Sally’s driveway, waiting in a signature thick, Orangeboro Kentucky fog for the school bus. “You won’t be picked on, I promise.”

     

    I didn’t like having a fourteen-year-old talk to me like that. After all, I was going on eighteen. But, I did need the reassurance. I’d always been homeschooled before Mom and Dad died and I imagined I’d be one to get bullied in a public school.

     

    “Aren’t you a little worried about your first day of high school?” She looked standing with her arms crossed, shifting her weight from one foot to the other.

     

    “No.” She rushed to defend herself. “And I’m not scared of him either.”

     

    “Who’s him?” I couldn’t help teasing her about what I expected to be her crush.

     

    “Nobody. Just a kid at school.”

     

    I shrugged my shoulders, going back to listening to the bears moaning around in the woods behind us. I knew even then Julie was wrong, but I didn’t care about asking her more.

     

    I took a deep breath as the enormous, yellow machine emerged from the fog, stopping three feet from us. Aunt Sally be right about the school kids around here, I didn’t feel like using my rusty karate on them.

     

    “Good morning,” a short, sandy-haired driver sang out as I climbed on behind Julie. He reminded me of an old crab I’d found on the beach near my Florida home. “Welcome to Orangeboro High.”

     

    “Thanks,” I said, following Julie to an empty seat.

     

    More kids than I thought existed around the town pleasantly smiled and greeted me. A couple even shook my hand. Surrounded by this much cheerful chatter, I began to feel that maybe I wouldn’t have any trouble in school.

     

    That only lasted until he got on the bus.

     

    The driver stopped in front of an overgrown driveway, with a broken gate and smashed-up mailbox. An old, semi-Victorian style house was only just visible through the trees and fog. It looked like it must have been a grand mansion, but boarded windows and fallen chimneys made it look uninhabited.

     

    The bus door slid open, grinding reluctantly. My observation of the house shattered by the horrible noise, I noticed that everyone had suddenly fallen silent and now sat still in their seats.

     

    Hardly daring, I turned my head the slightest bit towards the door.

     

    A thin kid, who looked younger than me despite his extreme height, pulled himself onto the bus. He wore a t-shirt, ripped up jeans, and a hooded jacket that must’ve been at least three sizes too big, all black. His face, partly hidden by glasses and long dark hair, seemed like it had once been perpetually happy, but was now shut hard. I couldn’t see his eyes through the thick-lensed glasses, but knew they had to be strange.

     

    He mumbled a greeting to the driver, without answer. It almost seemed like the other was trying to hide behind the steering wheel.

     

    Then the boy turned, gripping the backs of two seats with his oversized, gnarly hands, swinging himself forward like I’d been told not to do so many times over the summer in Aunt Sally’s kitchen.

     

    All the other kids turned away, terrified expressions on their faces. Julie glanced at him for half a second as though in anger and then inched closer to me with her eyes on the floor.

     

    He kept coming closer the same way, grabbing the backs of seats and hauling himself forward. A pained look creased his face each time he moved. When he was about halfway to my seat, I saw why. His right leg was twisted almost backwards and unable to bend at the knee.

     

    Startled, my eyes shot to his face. He caught my gaze and held it motionless. The eyes I had expected to see behind the glasses were still not visible as he stared straight at me, so strongly that it seemed more like through me.

     

    The only thing I could feel was desperation. Whether I was desperate to break away so that I could breathe again or if it came from him, I couldn’t tell.

     

    After what seemed like an eternal stare, he flashed a strange half smile like light beaming through cloud and mercifully moved on to the back seat.

     

    I had expected—more like hoped—that the buzz of conversation would pick up once he was seated, but it didn’t. The silence that he brought on the bus stayed, suffocating all the friendliness and warmth that I felt before.

     

    That bus ride seemed to last forever, but it was probably less than an hour. When it finally ended, I found myself rushing for the door, gasping for breath and feeling as if I’d just come out of a long, dark, airless tunnel.

     

    “Chris?” Julie’s voice shattered my relief.

     

    “Yeah?”

     

    “You stay away from him,” she said, nodding at the bus, then turned and ran into the brick school building with the rush of kids.

     

    I glanced back at the bus and saw the kid with the limp staring at me through the windows as he made his way towards the door.

     

    As curious as I was, I fully intended to stay away from him.

     

     

     

    Chapter 2

     

     

     

    Hiram P. Snyder, the school principal, must’ve been waiting just inside the door for me since 3 a.m. His eyes were blood-shot, his straw-colored hair looked like he’d torn patches out—forgetting to comb the rest after; and his bowtie was crooked, refusing to stay in place. I soon learned that those things were a part of his normal appearance, but on that first day, they scared me a bit.

     

    What really got me though was the fact that as soon as I walked inside the school, he pounced on me, dragging me into his office.

     

    “Good morning, young man,” he said as though it were perfectly normal for principals to act like that. He motioned for me to sit in one of the stiff cushioned, pouring coffee into a bright orange mug. He took a long sip and stood gazing out the window while the clock on the wall ticked away thirty seconds.

     

    “Is there something you wanted to see me about?” I ventured.

     

    “Not in particular.” He drank more coffee. “I just wanted to welcome you on your first day of school here. And, of course, to warn you.”

     

    “About what?”

     

    He turned from the window, meeting my eyes with his, which were astonishingly dark blue—crimson blue if that was a real color.

     

    “One of the students. Elrond Higgins is his name. I’m sure you saw him on the bus?”

     

    “Yeah.” I knew exactly who he was talking about. “Why?”

     

    The principal took another sip from his mug. It seemed to be as necessary to him as breathing. “Why is not important. You would do better to stay away from him. Now, hurry up and get to history class. It starts in two minutes.”

     

    I had to run to my class. Mr. Snyder’s warning had taken way too much time—and coffee.

     

    As I ran through the hall, I rounded a corner and knocked someone over. We both fell to the floor. Several seconds passed before I realized it was the kid with the twisted leg. The one I’d been warned, twice, to stay away from.

     

    I jumped to my feet with surprise and extended a hand to help him up. “Are you all right?”

     

    “I’m fine!” he flared, ignoring my outstretched hand and trying to get up by himself.

     

    Finally, after realizing he couldn’t do it, he reached up and yanked on my arm. I nearly lost my balance as he pulled himself to his feet.

     

    He still held a firm grip on my arm for nearly a minute after he was up and we both just stood there staring at each other like on the bus, but seeming less hostile.

     

    “Thanks,” he said, giving my hand a shake and letting a slight smile cross on his face. “Thank you.” His voice wasn’t strange, but it missed the mark of normal.

     

    “It’s all right. My name’s Chris, by the way.” Heck with warnings, he didn’t seem so bad.

     

    “Elrond Higgins. Call me El.” He locked away the smile and stared past me a moment before limping off down the hall.

     

    Still on my way to history, I turned to find Julie standing right behind me, glowering.

     

    “I told you to stay away from him!” she hissed, loud enough that anyone in the hall could’ve heard her. “He’s nothing but trouble. Trust me, Chris.”

     

    I shrugged my shoulders. “Let’s get to class.”

     

    I didn’t see that kid—El—again the rest of that day, not even on the bus.

     

    Part of me was glad, wanting to obey the warnings, but most of me wanted to find out more about him. The warnings piqued my interest and anyone with the name Elrond had to be cool—I was a major The Lord of the Rings fan.

     

    That evening over dinner, I decided to ask Aunt Sally if she knew anything, which was likely since she knew literally everything everybody did in Orangeboro.

     

    She burst into tears at the mention of his name and left the table, saying, “you keep well away from him!”

     

    I looked to Julie for an explanation, but she preoccupied herself by picking at her food, eyes full of tears. “Just do what I said earlier,” she mumbled.

     

     

     

    Chapter 3

     

     

     

    The bus ride the next morning went much the same as the day before except that El moved quicker, thankfully not stopping to stare at me again.

     

    I also managed to avoid being taken to Mr. Snyder’s office a second time, though I was sure he watched me from somewhere.

     

    The only time I saw El before lunch was in math class when the teacher was handing out homework. He folded his into an airplane and threw it to her desk without even glancing at it.

     

    Disappointment frowned on his face as she ignored it; as though he wanted to get in trouble, but even the teachers were afraid of him.

     

    At lunch, we ran into each other—literally.

     

    I had just got my tray of food and was walking over to the table where Julie sat when he appeared out of nowhere and we collided.

     

    “Will you stop knocking me over?” he yelled.

     

    Everyone winced and turned away, murmuring as they watched out the corners of their eyes.

     

    “Sorry, I didn’t see you.”

     

    “Maybe you should watch where you’re going.” Getting up by himself this time, he left the cafeteria.

     

    “Wow,” Julie said as I sat down across from her.

     

    “What?”

     

    “You’re the first person who’s dared talk to him like that since…” She stopped abruptly and went back to eating.

     

    “Since when?”

     

    “It doesn’t matter,” she lied.

     

    Before I could press further, a lanky blond kid who looked like he was supposed to be tough walked over.

     

    “Go away, Frank,” Julie demanded.

     

    “I just want to apologize to your cousin,” he said, casting Julie a disgusted glance. “I didn’t mean to trip you. Sorry you fell into Higgins, he’s not very nice.”

     

    “You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Julie said, surprising me with her sudden defense of El.

     

    “Still thinking of him as your “big brother”? He’s a monster.”

     

    “Shut up, Frank!” Julie’s face turned red.

     

    “What for? You think he’s gonna come beat me up for talking to you? The shoe’s not on his foot now.”

     

    “Will you please go away?” I said, as politely as I could manage. “I accept your apology for tripping me and don’t think we have anything else to discuss.”

     

    “Sure thing.” Frank looked surprised by my firmness; most people were. “Just remember that Higgins is no good, regardless of what your cousin tells you.” A smirk crossed his face. “He should be leaving here soon anyway.”

     

    Julie smiled weakly at me after he left. “Thanks.”

     

    “I don’t like him.” I glared after Frank for a moment. “Were you and El friends?”

     

    “Sort of.” Julie squirmed in her seat. “A few years ago.”

     

    “Then why did you tell me to stay away from him?”

     

    For a second, she looked like she was going to explain, but she didn’t. “I don’t want to talk about it. Just stay away from him—stay away from Frank too.”

     

    When school finally ended that day, I saw El head into an alley beside the building.

     

    Frank followed, leading about six other boys.

     

    Trying to ignore their shouts, I kept walking with everybody else to the bus.

     

    Then El called my name.

     

    Sighing, I ran into the alley. I didn’t want to get involved. But, I also couldn’t refuse somebody calling for help.

     

    Behind the school building, Frank and the others were beating up on El. Three of them groaned on the pavement and one was running away. Obviously, El put up a good fight, despite his leg.

     

    “So, are you gonna leave?” Frank asked.

     

    El punched him in the face for a reply, sending him down too.

     

    I clenched my fists and started into the fight with a karate kick that would’ve made Chuck Norris proud.

     

    El gaped at me with a mixed expression of jealousy, admiration, and gratefulness.

     

    I ignored it and focused on knocking Frank back down.

     

    He jumped right up and kicked me to the ground. Just as his fist was about to land on my jaw, El picked him up, throwing him against the school wall.

     

    Everybody else stood still as El held their leader against the brick.

     

    “I’m getting really tired of this, Jessup,” he hissed. “I’m sorry about Greg, but I can’t leave school. Believe me, if I could, I’d have done it a long time ago.”

     

    Seconds held their breath as the two of them locked eyes.

     

    “Yeah right.” Frank kicked El in the shin of his twisted leg.

     

    Gasping loudly in pain, El took a step backwards, shoving Frank roughly into the building. He looked like he might be sick.

     

    “Frank Jessup! Billy Thomas!”

     

    We all looked up to see the principal leaning out a window, orange coffee mug in hand.

     

    “Come up to my office at once. The rest of you, go home.” He caught a gaze from El and held it for a long time before retreating back into his office.

     

    All but Frank and another boy took off.

     

    “We’ll get you too, Wilson!” Frank called as he and Bill walked towards the school.

     

    “Not if I can help it.” I turned to El. “Come on, let’s get to the bus.”

     

    He had already started limping down the alley.

     

    “Where are you going?” I called after him.

     

    “To the pizza shop. I work there.” He stopped and turned to face me. “You can come if you want. Joe would be glad to have you.”

     

    I glanced behind me at the school parking lot. The bus had already gone.

     

    “Sure. Why not?” I ran to catch up with El.

    Vertigo – Nameless Poem

    A poem idea I’m working on. It doesn’t really have a title, but I call it Vertigo because that means dizzy 😛

     

     

    I

    She watched him leave

    Glad he was gone.

    He’d hurt her

    He’d used her.

    Glad he was gone.

     

    II

    She watched him leave

    With tears in her eyes.

    He’d been true

    And he’d loved her too.

    With tears in her eyes.

     

    III

    Her world was falling apart

    Ripping at the seams

    And she couldn’t be sure of her heart

    So soiled by dirty love and

    Ripping at the seams.

     

    IV

    She whirled in unconscious grief

    Calling his name.

    Hoping he’d be true

    And come to one who was

    Calling his name.

     

    V

    She thought for a while she was fine

    Able to blossom a smile.

    But his absence was the absence of sun

    And her flower withered until she was

    Unable to blossom a smile.

     

    VI

    She traveled and searched

    Looking for love.

    Love lost through spite

    When he failed to come home one night and left her

    Looking for love.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I

    He left the day she told him to go away

    Looking back over his shoulder

    At a love who thought he’d scorned her

    He knew he’d always be

    Looking back over his shoulder.

     

    II

    He wandered without a home

    And his heart weighed like stone.

    He found rest nowhere away from her

    But couldn’t go back

    And his heart weighed like stone.

     

    III

    His world fell apart

    Shattered at the joints.

    And he fell on the street

    Run-over with his legs

    Shattered at the joints.

     

    IV

    He whirled in unconscious pain

    Calling her name

    Doctors searched and searched

    Everywhere

    Calling her name.

     

    V

    They induced drugs to make him forget

    The ailment of his heart

    So his body would heal

    But they could not heal

    The ailment of his heart.

     

    VI

    Their search continued long and far

    For a love whose heart matched his.

    One he’d lost through a mistake

    And kept him ever aching

    For a love whose heart matched his.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    VII

    She heard her name in the news and her heart leapt.

    He was calling for her!

    She ran until

    She was at his side, for

    He was calling for her!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    VII

    He woke from a stupor to see his love and hear

    Her calling for him.

    A smile. Two smiles.

    A kiss.

    And neither needed to call for either again.

     

    Teasers!

    I’ve got two teasers here. Please vote on your favorite.

    Whichever gets the most votes will be continued on my blog as a series of short stories.

     

    1 The Sad H

    The logo of a circle and sword on the envelope said The SAD H in what certainly looked like mournful gothic lettering. It seemed only natural to assume at the time that my great-uncle George had a ranch of some kind and that was his cattle brand, along with a cheesy western name for the place–the return address was even in Texas!

     

    2 RebelLion

    “Akaiyati Lion!” my mother called from downstairs.

    I rolled my eyes and sat up, sighing as I remembered what day it was. “Her name is Rebel!” I shouted back, groaning as I maneuvered my sore limbs out of bed. “Ouch!” I smacked my head on the ceiling of my tiny room. Again.

     

    Which would you read if these were the beginnings of two books?

    Teacup on stack of books

    Reverie

    I wrote a poem a while ago and then my friend was looking for something to turn into a song… so I offered it to her. This is the poem:

    Reverie

     

    A thought-clouded mist moves in upon the night, 

    Shadows of hope become hidden out of sight. 

    On the wings of reverie, I fly, 

    Daydreaming across a starlit sky. 

    Smoke turns to fire, 

    Devouring a celtic bire. 

    Mirrors forever lie, 

    Telling sweet dreams to die.  

    Kings come crashing down, 

    Bereft of title and crown. 

    Burns and scars will always stay  

    Until memory’s chain breaks away. 

    Whispers cry out against the pain, 

    But words will still remain. 

    Are things broken now blemished? 

    Or can they still shine undiminished? 

    Paper rents and steel melts in flood, 

    Only bitter ink will stain the blood. 

    The heart will flake away 

    Unless love paints anew each day. 

    Beware the knife-edged blade of hate may cut its strings, 

    Striking chords a dead bird sings. 

    Eyes shine with sunlight shades of tears 

    Hearts break confronted with lovers’ fears. 

    Tarnished jewels lie in wait 

    For fish who’ll swallow no other bait. 

    The web-mesh of fate, 

    Will not catch the one who’s late. 

    Wandering shoes are lost, 

    Drowned in burning frost. 

    Rhymes elude the starstruck poet, 

    But he’s afraid lest the king should know it. 

    Reverie’s wings break and shatter, 

    Dreams, after all, are the only things that matter.

     

    And this is the song!

    It’s called Words Will Still Remain and the singer is my friend, Juliana Cardine. Make sure to check out her YouTube channel and subscribe! She’s amazing.

     

    Fairytale Limericks

    After reading an entire book of Edward Lear’s fantastical limericks, I decided to try writing some myself. Fairytale retellings seemed like a good idea. The frog prince is one of my absolute favorites, but I like Cinderella too.

     

    The Frog Prince

    There was once a lovely princess in the kingdom of Dall

    Who once owned a lovely golden ball

    She lost it in a deep bog

    It was rescued by a bullfrog

    Who, when kissed, was a prince and then the king of Dall.

     

     

     

     

    Cindrella

    I

    At a ball in the kingdom of Perulgripper,

    Cinderella, fair maid, lost a glass slipper

    The prince searched far and wide,

    Intending to make his bride

    The one who could wear that dainty slipper.

     

    II

     

    It was tried unsuccessfully on her step-sisters,

    Causing both their feet to sprout horrible blisters

    But on Cinderella it fit fine

    And she was glad to leave behind

    Her terrible step-mother and sisters.

    Inspiration

    Inspiration is elusive like a dragonfly,

    A sparkling, fleeting jewel,

    Hovering ever out of reach.

    If I could catch one such jewel from the sky,

    Pluck it down and suck it dry

    Like a leech,

    I might have more to write,

    More bedazzling pieces of fantasy flight

    Within my human reach.

     

     

    “Writing is no trouble: you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself–it is the occurring which is difficult.” —Stephen Leacock

    The Chicken and the Writer

    Silver Spangled Hamburg ElfboyI’ve always been a writer with dreams of being one of the most famous novelists in the world.

    I started my first novel at age twelve and, after years of procrastination and world-building, finished it at sixteen. It wasn’t the best thing, but I showed me so much about writing and what I could do that I decided to turn it into a chronology and am still working on it on and off.

    That novel didn’t make me a writer though.

    A chicken did.

    A chicken I got for Christmas and lacked a name.

    I tried making up some names like for characters in my book, but they didn’t work. It seemed like my chicken, a Silver Spangled Hamburg cockerel (pictured), would remain nameless forever.

    Then one night, I had a dream. A dream about my chicken.

     

     

    I was looking through the catalog of the hatchery that my chicken had come from and saw his picture taking up an entire page as a multi-prize winner. The name on the caption was Elfboy. 

     

    When I woke up, I wrote down the name immediately, adopting it not only for my chicken’s name since it fit perfectly, but seeing in it potential for an amazing book.

    I spent probably a month just toying around with the idea for a book titled Elfboy. Nothing came for a while… until I took on a private challenge to try and create one of the best characters in the world. I wanted to create a character that every reader would fall in love with, and Elfboy seemed the perfect starting place. It pretty much worked too; eight out of thirteen beta-readers had the same favorite character, along with me.

    I plotted, drafted, and typed out the book in six months with plenty of beta-reader feedback along the way, most notably my sister, who provided some really awesome encouragement. Now, it’s awaiting a final edit before publication.

    Like my first book, it’s not the greatest, but it really made a writer out of me. I can’t wait to share it with you later on this year!