We now interrupt your regularly scheduled programing of The Hero’s Journey for this important announcement.  My current manuscript, Forbidden Signs, has been selected as a Finalist in the Young Adult Category for The Maggie Award of Excellence!  For those of you unfamiliar with the writing industry, here is a link to an article that will give you a little more insight into The Maggies

I could try to place this moment in my life somewhere on The Six Stage Plot Structure or The Hero’s Journey, but it’s impossible to do so at this time .  I can only tell you that I’m ecstatic.  I will never forget this day of my writing journey. 

I love Forbidden Signs…love these kids…Terra, Con, Ethan and Nadia.  Ever since this crazy idea of four Jersey Shore teens waking on the night of their 16th Birthday’s to the realization that they are Elemental Gods and Goddesses tasked with saving the planet popped into my head, I’ve wanted to do their story justice.  That might sound odd, but I know you writers out there understand where I’m coming from.  I’ve inserted little sneak peeks into their world, specifically the life of my hero, Terra, in previous posts.  Below is the opening of the novel.  Terra and Con don’t know that they are the Earth Goddess and Fire God at this time.  It is the night of his 16th Birthday.  Everything that they know is about to change.  Thank you for your support!  

Chapter 1

I stepped onto the small stretch of beach and searched for Conley McGuire.  The crisp sea air blew fresh and alive, invigorated me for the night to come.  Sparks of heat kissed my cheeks.  He was near. 

Sand crunched beneath my sneakers as I walked further into the hum of the party. A group of friends called out from where they’d gathered by the McGuire’s eclectic rock garden far away from the bonfire, but my gaze settled on Con.

His wavy, black hair blew wild in the strong ocean breeze.  The roar and crackle of splintering wood behind him dulled the pulsing beat of the crashing ocean beyond.  He scanned the area, shielding his eyes against the bright early evening sun with a strong, steady hand. 

Look for me.

The moment our eyes connected, my heart trembled, stilled, and grew warm.  He walked towards me, one foot in front of the other, and I mirrored his steps.  My legs shook with uncertainty, while his strides exuded self-confidence, and his smile, secretive and for me alone, left me breathless.  When we reached one another I absorbed the solidity of his presence, a constant all my life, and tried to pinpoint when he’d changed into so much more than my childhood friend. 

Con reached out and touched the tips of his fingers to mine.  Heat surged through my hands then my entire body, a near impossible feat on the cold March beach regardless of the fire.  We stood unmoving for a long time.  With anyone else, I would have felt completely foolish.  The air shifted between us and came to a loud stop.  The sounds of the party grew dim.  The only thing in the world that existed or mattered was Con.  Unable to look away, my throat grew dry as I looked into his deep, sapphire-blue eyes.  Then, as if someone pressed play in a movie, a gust of wind carried tiny particles of earth up from the ground.  They rose rapidly, swirled around us, and floated away.  Earth and sand rumbled beneath my feet like the click of a puzzle piece shifting into place until I stood on solid, unmoving ground. 

“Wow,” Con said. 

“Yeah, wow,” I whispered. 

“Terra, you just made the earth move under my feet.”  The sound of his deep voice and subsequent laughter vibrated low in my belly. 

My eyes widened in surprise.  Strange things like this happened to me all the time, more so when I’m with Con.  Of course he had his own brand of weird, but we had an unspoken agreement not to talk about these things.  Ever.  These unexplainable moments scared me because I had no control over them.  Although Nadia, my former best friend, thought I’d discovered a way to somehow use my freakish abilities to my own gain. 

He smiled and shook his head as if to quiet my fears.  “I’ve been waiting for you.” He took one of my hands in his and wove our fingers together.  I’d held his hand countless times over the years, but this was different.  This was a statement.  I liked it.

About RoseAnn DeFranco

Author - Humorous Contemporary Romance & Young Adult Romance
This entry was posted in Contests, Forbidden Signs, Young Adult and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Yea, you! So happy and proud for you! Drinks…soon!


  2. Rose Ann says:

    Congrats RoseAnn!! Keep us posted…and get your pen ready for autographing books! I want a copy!

  3. Congrats, RoseAnn!! And what a moving excerpt!

  4. Eileen Fowler Sclafani says:

    Yay! So proud of you! Keep followin your dreams.

    • R.A. DeFranco says:

      THANK YOU!!! You can take the girl out of the theatre…but that creative fuel needs to go somewhere, right? Thanks for cheering me on.

  5. Jenna Blue says:

    I am so so so so so incredibly excited for you! and am rooting hard for this win, RoseAnn!

    • R.A. DeFranco says:

      Thank you Jenna! You and all my other critique buddies make me realize that writing is a bit of a team sport!

  6. Michele Corcoran says:


  7. Melody says:


  8. Anne W says:

    This is great news–the Maggie! I enjoyed the opening and can hardly wait to read the book.

  9. KM Fawcett says:

    Congratulations on the final! Good luck. I love the opening and can’t wait to read more!!

  10. Great news, RoseAnn. I’m so excited for you. Best of luck in the final round. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

  11. That’s my girl. I am so proud of you. Love you to the nth degree

  12. Pingback: Turning Point #1: An Opportunity for Shrek…and a few others | R.A. DeFranco – Young Adult Fantasy Author

  13. stephscottil says:

    Hi! I found your blog because I saw you were a finalist for the Lone Star RWA contest along with me for YA. That’s super awesome that you are a Maggie Award finalist. I’m pretty new to RWA so I’m just learning about the contest circuit. I entered one earlier this year and incorporated a lot of the feedback into my story. Good luck with the contest, your story sounds like one I’d like to read.

    Take care! 🙂

    • R.A. DeFranco says:

      Hi Steph –

      This is super awesome that you found me. I wish you the best of luck in the contest and your writing career. The Lone Star Coordindator has been amazing to work with. It sounds as if you did a great job incorporating early feedback. I looked for you on wordpress but was unable to locate your blog. Please send me your link if you get a chance. I’d love to follow you as well.

      Take care! I’ll be thinking of you on the 13th. 🙂

  14. Pingback: A Glimpse of Essence: Stage II – A New Situation | R.A. DeFranco Author – Young Adult Fantasy & Romance

  15. I found you through Nett Robbens’ blog. Congratulations and following. It’s great to see what a fellow writer/blogger is accomplishing.

    • R.A. DeFranco says:

      Hi! Nett’s blog is awesome. I love following the blog path as well. Thanks for the congrats and the follow!

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