The Writer’s Voice Contest

The W Voice 2014

Querying a new novel is a grueling process — research, pitch, pray, repeat.  Some very cool people have pulled yet another fresh idea from their bag of “We care about writers and writing.”

Thanks to the luck of a Rafflecopter drawing, I get to play along. Next, I’m supposed to post the query and the first 250 words for my new Adult Fantasy novel DIAMOND GIRLS. (82,300 words)

But first, a huge thank you to Brenda Drake,  Mónica Bustamante WagnerKimberly P. Chase, and Elizabeth Briggs for hosting and serving as judges for this quest for creative greatness.

Dear Writer’s Voice Coaches –

Fifteen years ago Dorella Diamond’s rock-star celebrity was every young girl’s dream, and her hard-partying lifestyle a worn parent’s fantasy. Then a tell-all scandal burned across news stands and teleprompters around the world. Dorella disappeared from public view.

It wasn’t the scandal. It’s just hard to be a rock star when every time you get excited you turn into a dachshund. A bruja’s curse for sleeping with the witch’s husband made sure Dorella lived a dog’s life. Now the money’s running out and she needs her own life back. Thing is, her best chance at finding the witch and lifting the curse is in recruiting the only guy who might believe her, the boyfriend she cheated on — the journalist who wrote the story.

The night he and Dorella broke up, Thomas Gray filed his story and climbed into a bottle.  He lost his job, and several others after that one before climbing out again. Sober and chasing his own comeback, maybe helping Dorella lift the curse is Gray’s best chance at getting his own life back.

DIAMOND GIRLS, complete at 82,300 words, is a bit of voodoo, a double shot at redemption and a lot of fun, played out across the music, food and magic that is New Orleans.

I’m Eldon Hughes, a writer and storyteller in southern Illinois. A short story, DEMONSPAWN, was published by Emerald Tales. The urban fantasy novel POISON & WINE was self-published in March of 2014.

Thank you for your time, and for your consideration, and this chance to be a part of The Writer’s Voice competition.

Diamond Girls

First 250 words:


Dim candles in a close room, the air thick with incense, a heady combination of herbs and sweet grass from back home.  The bathroom door was closed so as not to wake her young children, sleeping in the motel room beyond.  No worries about waking the man, passed out and snoring on the bed.

As if… drunken culo.  

Still, he was her man, father to her little hijas. It was her duty to protect them, and him.  She looked in the mirror, studying her eyes for any hesitancy, any small sign of doubt in her own faith before returning to work.  She’d fashioned the tiny figure from several bars of motel soap, soaked until they were soft enough to be formed together and shaped to her needs. Short red hairs, with their tight curls, had been worked in and out of the soap. Care was taken to first separate them from the coarser, dark hairs of her husband.  She rinsed the dark hairs down the sink and used a little more water to massage the figure into its final form.   It wasn’t perfect, but her abuela had taught her well.  It would do.

You wish to act like a bitch.  She whispered into the darkness.  So be it.


Where are they now?

At the pinnacle of her fame, Dorella Diamond was a fiery combination of Shania Twain and Madonna with a jagged slice of Lou Reed thrown in for some street cred.



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