Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Our Journey So Far #40: OH, MY GOSH

Alright. I think I need to come out of the hole I'm in and start talking again. I'm sure you are all wondering whether or not I'm dead. Okay, maybe not, because I'm still posting on my Tumblr ( 

How is my manuscript? Ahh...

Monday, October 5, 2015

Friday, October 2, 2015

Weekly Muse #38: My Playlist is Awesome

Hey guys. It has been a long, long time since I have made a blog post. But when I was looking through my playlist of songs I listen to whenever I write, I realized how much it has evolved and changed. 

So here is my favorite songs I love to listen now. Top five, in no particular order. (That sounds a bit weird. But honestly, I have about a few dozen new songs to listen to.) 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Ahhh! I apologize for not updating and posting as frequently as I should had. Forgive me for my stupid, hectic, and crazy schedule for this month, next month, and probably for the rest of the year. 

I'll spare everyone the rant. I'm afraid I will start pulling ugly words out of thin air like a magician. 



(One more word: ALWAYS KEEP WRITING!!!) 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Advice For Writers #38: How To Keep Focusing On Your Writing

Ha! It is Penelope again. How many of you all can stay focused on your writing? Well, it is easy to go off and look something up on YouTube. (I can't get enough of Kevin Conroy's singing.) 

Let's admit it. It isn't easy to remain focused and motivated. Everyone has a certain attention span, and others are shorter while some are longer. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Our Journey So Far #38: Penelope

Wow. It has been a crazy month so far. July shows no signs of stopping, and I swear that everything and everyone has it out for me. Do I have a red-painted target on my back? Nope. 

Yes, it is weird that I'm posting "Our Journey So Far" on a Thursday, but I'm very late. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Our Journey So Far #37: I'm Back!

Alright, so here is the scoop: Alex Steele (also known as Shay from The Story Goes...) has left Grace & Steele. I'm not going to be changing the url, and I'm the one who is going to be blogging now. Because I'm the only admin here, fewer posts will be going up each weeks. 

See under the cut for more details...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Alex Steele, Signing Off

Alex Steele here today. You may have noticed that neither Grace or I have been all recently. Basically, we've just both been super busy and I can't see a time right now when I won't be super busy. Now, I love this blog, it's so much fun, and Grace is an awesome co-blogger, I just have to minimize my commitments at the moment.

Basically what I am saying is I'm taking a leave from Grace and Steele. One day I might be able to manage two blogs at once but for now I'm going back to posting as my not so cool spy name of Shay over at The Story Goes...

Write on, write on.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

About: Grace & Steele

Hi! It's Penelope again, and on behalf of Grace & Steele, I want to say that we are going to take a small break (one to two weeks) to reevaluate the blog. Thanks for being with us, readers. 

Happy Writing!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Weekly Muse #37: Playlist Again

I love my playlist. I have a playlist on Youtube, and I simply love to put it on repeat. A lot of the songs come from Coldplay, One Republic, Imagine Dragons, and some indie artists. Here are my top favorites underneath the cut. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Advice For Writers #37: Just Live

How many of you guys are tempted to simply write all day and night? I know I am. I love dunking my head into different places, places where I can spend a million dollars and not get there. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Weekly Muse #36: Revision Playlist

So I know I've been taking the easy way out with my Muse posts recently, with lots of embedded Spotify playlists, but I haven't even had time to write recently so I hope you'll excuse me for now.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Our Journey So Far #35: Penelope, Again

Hello, everyone!

So I'm suddenly assaulted by a plot bunny. It isn't wonderful (well, it is), because I'm working on TBQ's rewrite (which I'm so desperate to avoid). 

The name of my novel is... About A Queen.

Please note that this is a working title. I'm still trying to see whether or not this title would work. I'd done this story before, and I gave up on it. Originally, it is supposed to be a retelling of "Snow White." Now, I'm thinking of making it much more loosely based on that tale. 

The changes...

-This might be going into New Adult territory. 
-There is a twist.
-Someone is going to die, but maybe not the evil stepmother. (Oops!) 

The characters...

-Pamola (Or Pamela) Queen: She is the narrator, and she might be about twenty years old (which is a bit older than what I usually work with). Determined and assured of herself, she is the kind of lady no one likes to cross in the middle of the dark alley. 
-Margaret "Peggy" Queen: Narrator's mother, and loves to change her name like how a supermodel changes outfits. The next day, she would be called "Sara." Or "Diana." 

That is what I have so far. So what do you guys think?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Advice For Writer's 36: How To Take Criticism

Today, I thought we'd talk about critique and feedback and the dreadness that is sending your novel out to beta readers and critique partners.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Weekly Muse #35: Animals

Animals most certainly inspire me in different ways. In literature, they are used as symbolism. Sometimes, they are used as familiars to narrators and especially, characters.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Advice For Writers #35: So Now What?

Camp NaNoWriMo is over (for now). So what does one do now? I know I've probably written a version of this post, but I think repetition would definitely hit everyone in the head. Multiple times. 

So what do we do now?

Okay, first of all, if you aren't finished with NaNoWriMo, finish it. If you can't bring yourself to write it (because of a lack of inspiration, not a lack of determination), then you don't finish it. 

You put it aside. Let it sit. Let it cool down. Let yourself be removed from it, so when you start editing it, you'll be able to see it in a much better light. 

You let it sit. 

You let it sit for a long time, until a month has passed and you feel like visiting the world again. 

Then you read it. You read it again. You read it again and again. You notice the plot holes. You notice the strange words you used. You notice the lack of a good transition. You take notes. You take A LOT of notes. 

That is when you start rewriting again. Because it is a freakin' long process. But don't worry. You are getting closer to the final product. Every step is a step closer to its perfection.

Happy Writing!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Weekly Muse #34 Silent Music

Alex Steele here for your weekly dose of muse! I've been really busy recently and haven't had as much to devote to blogging, but I hope you like what I came up with for this week.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Our Journey So Far #33: Penelope Grace

So, it is a busy week. Camp is closing up, and there are only a few days left! Yay, I hope you all finished your novels or are close to being finished with it.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Weekly Muse #33: Playlist Time!

Now, I'm a hurry, because there are a bunch of things to do (a list from A to Z) and I can't quite seem to finish anything (probably because I was watching Atonement and Miss Congeniality). So I'm going to list my playlist for writing The Lost Princess' fourth/fifth draft. 

Well, technically I started the fourth draft and then abandoned it because I didn't like it at all. Then I started again and called it the fifth draft. That is how it went. 


Okay, here we go. Five with comments and five without. 

1. "Outside" by Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris
My comments: I like "Outside" because I like how it sounds. It totally reminds me of "Summer" and some other hits from Calvin Harris. (Yes, it sounds similar, but it gets writing, so I don't really care.) 

2. "A Team" by Ed Sheeran 
My comments: You all think I'm nuts for liking a song that is terribly sad (to me). Yes, it is depressing, and the lyrics are horrible (in the feels), but it sounds really good. Soft. The kind of song that reminds me of a heartbreak. 

3. "Geronimo" by Sheppard 
My comments: I have no idea what the lyrics are (haven't looked it up) or what the song means, but it sounds really good. 

4. "Blank Space" by Taylor Swift
My comments: Taylor Swift? Give me, give me! 

5. "Budapest" by George Ezra 
My comments: It is one of the softer songs that picks up the tempo and just makes me dance. 

6. "Your Mess is Mine" by Vance Joy
7. "Hold Back The River" by James Bay
8. "Come a Little Closer" by Cage the Elephant
9. "Cigarette Daydreams" by Cage the Elephant
10. "L-O-V-E" by Nat King Cole

So what songs are on your playlist?

Happy Writing!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Advice For Writers #33: Panic Attacks

I have one of the worst panic attacks of all times. Well, maybe not, but to me, it certainly feels like I'm suffering through a 6.0 earthquake while trying to do tap dancing. 

So how to deal with panic attacks?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Weekly Muse #32: Steele's Camp Playlist

This was technically supposed to be Weekly Muse #33 but then Grace missed hers last week and we somehow didn't notice.. We'd like to apologize for that and Grace will back with her Weekly Muse next week!

Since we are in the midst of Camp NaNoWriMo I thought today I'd share my Camp NaNo 2015 playlist with you all!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Our Journey So Far #31: Penelope Grace

Camp is still going on strong. You haven't joined? That is okay. There is still time to join. Or... you can listen to me moan and groan about how much I have to do this April? 

Or both! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Beautiful People #5. Siblings

Beautiful People is a writers meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In! Every month there is a set of ten questions that they post for everyone to answer about their characters! It's both a way for readers to get to know your characters better and for you too. If you're a writer we highly recommend you check it out as it's all kinds of fun! This month is all about siblings or sibling-like relationships...

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Our Journey So Far #30: Alex Steele and Camp!

Alex Steele here today. So, the first week of Camp NaNoWriMo has come and gone. In many ways the first week is the best, you're still super excited and your project is new and fresh and you're basically having a blast. Week two starts the same way and then you typically hit your first bump in the road, your enthusiasm is waning and you HAVEN'T SLEPT IN FOREVER. Arguably the only week better than the first is the last. All that panic to finish on time, it's oddly addicting and just... intoxicating.

Anyway, what did I do my first week of camp? Let's look at the stats and then I'll go into some more detail on my project!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Wordy Gift #6: Inverse

Alright. So Camp NaNoWriMo is on the move. I'm currently writing "Inverse." So below the cut is the long, lengthy, (unedited) first chapter of "Inverse." It is going to be interesting... Let's see...

"Inverse" is YA Dystopia. It tells the story of a society, which is the inverted version of ours. It is told from the perspective of Jazz, a young student living in a small town located in California.

This is the first chapter. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Advice For Writers #31: The First Week of Camp

So we are halfway through Camp NaNoWriMo. If you haven't joined Camp, then hurry up and sign up! Come on! Don't be shy. Camp is awesome. You get to meet others like you. In my co-ed cabin (first time I'd ever been in a cabin with boys), there are people from Florida and other such places. Idaho. Many places.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Weekly Muse #31: For Romance

So, today I thought I'd try to inspire some romance, some love stories. Love stories tend to be the greatest of all, whether they're pushed to the side of epic fantasy, whether they're front and center in some short regency book, whether they are happily ever after or doomed to be tragic. They instill all the FEELS and honestly, as a reader and writer and huge tomboy, it took me a long time to realize this.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Our Journey So Far #29: Penelope Grace

Wow! Camp NaNoWriMo is here! Can't you feel that tension in the air? It is perhaps the pressure to write those number of words! Ahhh! It is so crazy. I know some of you guys are doing rewrites and edits, but I'm making new first drafts. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Preparing For Camp NaNoWriMo 2015! What We're Writing!

So, both Penelope Grace and myself are going to be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in April (which, if you've followed us for a while, isn't a surprise. I mean, we met through Camp NaNo (July) last year and we literally never stop talking about NaNo in general!)! Yay! Cue excitement!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Advice For Writers #30: Deciding What To Write Next

Sometimes it's pretty clear what you should write next. Maybe you just finished the first in a series and want to start on the next. Maybe it's a duology and you need to write the second half. Maybe you have an awesome idea for the companion novel to the book you just started querying! Either way, you know right away what you need to be working on next... Sometimes it's not so clear.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekly Muse #30: Let's Talk TV

Different works of arts require different types of interpretations. In books, you can see a dragon in hundreds of different ways. We have those... adorable little dragons from YA Paranormal novels, "The Game of Thrones" dragons, and that dragon from the Book of Revelations. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Our Journey So Far #28: What I Want To Write

Alex Steele here today to talk about what I've been working on and everything.

So, Camp NaNoWriMo is coming! Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!! Cue simultaneous excitement and panic because I have no idea what I am going to be writing!!!!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Advice For Writers #29: My Schedule Is Full

Oh, yes. These dreaded schedules. Don't you hate them? Seriously. Monday, busy. Tuesday, busy. Wednesday, busy (got to save time to watch Supernatural). Thursday, busy. Friday, busy. Saturday, super busy. Sunday, DON'T BOTHER ME! 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Weekly Muse #29: Music For Distractions

Alex Steele, here again, talking about some music! Now, you may be wondering, what does music, that distracts you, have to do with finding inspiration? Well, it's simple. Sometimes you're in a rut, you can't concentrate or you're just plain stuck and you need to distract yourself. Give your mind a break and time to come up with the thing that's on the tip of your tongue by itself. That's what the distracting music is for!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Our Journey So Far #27: A Bunch Of Girl Problems

Do you know what I hate about periods? Periods. I hate it. Hate it, hate it, hate it. And I can't really write when it is that time of the month. Grr!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Advice For Writers #28: Back To The Basics

Going back to the basics. Sometimes you get stuck. Maybe it's in your sixth draft or maybe your first. It can happen at any stage of your writing. And a lot of the time (in my experience) it's because you're missing something. Some piece of plot, some character, just a simple scene or two, but SOMETHING. That's when you go back to the basics.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Weekly Muse #28: A List Of Chapter Titles

I used to have a sarcastic list of chapter titles for TBQ (The Black Queen). (See it under this cut). 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Our Journey So Far #26 Alex Steele and Constantly Learning

Alex Steele here with an update on what I am working on. I thought that today I'd do something a little different. Our Journey So Far is supposed to be where we give you all an update on what we are currently working on. Instead, I'm going to talk about new things I've discovered about myself and my writing recently.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Advice For Writers #27: Writing As A Whole

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm bringing us back to ALMOST the very beginning. Writing. Writing the first draft. Writing the start, the first chapter, of the story. The prologue. Whatever is the first part of your first draft (I have to admit that I almost never use prologues). 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Beautiful People #4.

Beautiful People is a writers meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In! Every month there is a set of ten questions that they post for everyone to answer about their characters! It's both a way for readers to get to know your characters better and for you too. If you're a writer we highly recommend you check it out as it's all kinds of fun!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Weekly Muse #27: What Inspires Alex Steele

Alex Steele here again with some Weekly Muse. This week I thought I'd do something I've only done once(here) and that's to pick one of my books and list out a bunch of random things that inspired me to write it(or outline it as it may be). I did it back in November(I think?) with my book This World In Gray, this time though I'm going to be focusing on Goth Girl a book I am currently outlining.

The cool thing about this post is it includes all kinds of inspiration! Not just songs or quotes but pictures and feelings, anything and everything random!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Our Journey So Far #25: Penelope Grace

So what am I up to now? No. Not pranks. That is next month. (So I'm giving you all a head's up). What am I doing? And what will I be doing this week (and next week)?

Monday, March 2, 2015

6 Month Check In! Grace and Steele Interview Each Other!

So....Grace & Steele is officially 6 months old! And we're both really excited about it! This post is going to be just a little back and forth between Penelope Grace and I, similar to the first post we ever did, and just a little check in on all we've done in the last six months, sound fun?

Advice For Writers #26: Tips For Dealing With Rejection

Alex Steele here to talk a little bit about dealing with rejection.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Weekly Muse #26: Lift Yourself Up

Lift Yourself Up. Not exactly the most brilliant title ever, but I'm mostly centering on self-esteem. Things that make you feel like you are on top of the world.

And I mean, songs. Not things.

Anyway, let's start with the countdown. Unfortunately, I'm in too much of a hurry to get album pictures. Arg! I'm so swamped with everything I have to do.

Aye, aye, aye. Mamma mia! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Our Journey So Far #24: Alex Steele's Chaotic Mind!

Hmm, what did I talk about last time? Sorry, excuse me while I check... Right, I talked about my February plans! Exciting stuff, really. =)

Let's just jump on in, okay?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Advice For Writers #25: At A Loss For Words

So what does one do when they are at a loss for words? Well, from my experiences, I go back onto Tumblr, spend ten hours on that site, and reblog everything I see. But I suspect that most writers probably won't waste half of their lifetime on there.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Weekly Muse #25: Why You Should Use Pinterest and Finding Inspiration

Hey, Alex Steele here today to talk about finding inspiration! This does fit both into Weekly Muse, where we try to help inspire you, and Advice For Writers, where we try to give awesome advice, but I decided for the sake of argument to just call it a Weekly Muse post!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Our Journey So Far #23: Penelope Grace

Another busy month! Ahh... I wish I can do so many things, but I'm afraid I won't have time to do everything I want to do. But for this month, I'm going to be focusing on some certain things.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Late Valentines Tag

So, I know valentines is over and Grace and I don't normally do nonwriting related posts BUT this seemed like so much fun and I(Alex Steele) couldn't not do it! Plus, Rachel tagged everyone who saw the post and in my mind it's like a chain letter if you break it bad things happen!

This is a valentines tag created by Rachel @ Secret Scribblings, so...let's get personal!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Advice For Writers #24: How To Deal With Icky Feelings

Alex Steele here to talk about self-doubt. It's a big thing, and everyone does it, writers and non-writers alike and it's basically impossible to overcome. On that note, let's get started!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Speed... What?: Alex Steele

Hey all, Alex Steele here today! This is my questionnaire for Grace's Valentine's writer's critique partner matchmaking! Basically, everyone fills out the questionnaire, links it on Grace's post and then you visit other blogs and try and find people with similar interests! Hopefully, this leads you to finding some critique partners and writing friends!

(Grace: And I'm totally jealous by how you explained the matchmaking much better than I ever could). 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Speed... What?

Raise your hand, if you are single. (I'm raising my hand). Raise your hand, if you have a book boyfriend. (Actually, I have multiple ones, but I will raise my hand for this). Raise your hand, if you have a friend who is your critique partner. (I'm raising my hand). 

The purpose of this post, which is called "Speed... What?", is to help writers find potential writers and critique partners. 

So how are we going to do this?

It is sort of like a blind date. In the linkup below, you will... Ahh! I'm getting way ahead of myself. Let's get back to the beginning and do this step by step.

First of all, we are going to play a little interview. This set of questions will go on your own blog, and YOU will answer them. (And yes, I'll be playing, too!). 10 questions, here we go:

  1. What is the farthest stage of writing you're in? Remember that publishing (traditional or self-publishing is our goal! (Say... "currently writing first draft," "editing," "querying," "sending out to beta readers," or "published." You can say "it's complicated," if you wish). 
  2. Dog or cat? Or neither? 
  3. What is your favorite book?
  4. What genres are you most familiar with? Or which genres are you writing? (Feel free to go forth and explain in detail!). 
  5. Greatest piece of inspiration? 
  6. Previous experience in writing? (If you don't have anything to say or admit, then you can simply tell us about how you got into writing. Or you can answer both questions). 
  7. Your goal! Your personal goal. Is it to write for yourself? Or is it to write for others? 
  8. Favorite food?
  9. Favorite song?
  10. And finally, what is the synopsis of your most favorite (or greatest) work? Don't be scared. We won't laugh (unless it is meant to be humor). 
So, please answer the 10 questions in your own blog posts. Use Tumblr, Blogger, Wordpress, your own website... Anything. Don't forget to link up with us so others can see your answers! 

Remember that we are trying to set you up with a potential critique partner. That means you will have to put up a way for potential critique partners to contact you. It can be email, Twitter, Facebook, and other ways.

And... One more thing. And this is crucial, so please don't skim over the next paragraph! 

There are some rules, of course. I'm going to put them in a list, so it is easier to read.

  1. Be polite.
  2. Don't harass people and fellow authors. If they are not interested, then they are not interested.
  3. You may exchange work, but no one sends spam! 
  4. Please stay safe, and remember the safety rules of surfing the Internet. (Yes, this might be a list of rules for teens, but even adults should review it). 
  5. Remember Internet etiquettes and the rules of "don't be a douche."
  6. Lastly, have fun. 
  7. If you have any problems, please contact me or Alex. Our email is at graceandsteele (at) gmail (dot) com. 

(If you're a little confused about how it al works feel free to comment below with questions and you can check out Grace's own post right here!)

Hopefully, you'll find a critique partner. If not, then you can always ask Alex or me, we may not have time right away, but we'd love to make new critiquing friends! 

That's it! Leave your comments and thoughts in the section below!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Speed... What?: Penelope Grace

Yay! So this is my answers to "Speed... What?" You can use this post as a guideline or example of how "Speed... What?" linkup posts should be like. Tomorrow, I think Alex Steele would be making hers, and it will be really awesome. 

Q & A:

1. What is the farthest stage of writing you're in? Remember that publishing (traditional or self-publishing is our goal! (Say... "currently writing first draft," "editing," "querying," "sending out to beta readers," or "published." You can say "it's complicated," if you wish).
That would be querying, which is The Lost Princess' current stage. However, I'm thinking of bumping it back to "editing." So it should be fun! 

2. Dog or cat? Or neither? 
How about both? I don't mind either (though I do have a very terrible experience with dogs, but I never let it get me down). 

3. What is your favorite book?
This is way too hard. Too hard! There are way too many books out there to name, and if I tried, just tried, my favorite books would be on a 100 book list in no particular order. But Scarlet by Marissa Meyer is always worthy enough to mention.

4. What genres are you most familiar with? Or which genres are you writing? (Feel free to go forth and explain in detail!). 
Gosh. Umm... I'm always in the Young Adult genre, just hanging around. In the subgenres, it is definitely YA Fairy Tale Retellings. That is the genre I'm most familiar with. Just love fairy tales.

5. Greatest piece of inspiration? 
It is hard to put this into simple words. But I will try.

Greatest piece of inspiration will be music. I just love songs from Florence + the Machine and Imagine Dragons. Rock and alternative is always my favorite, and I don't mind hanging out with pop music on a Friday.

6. Previous experience in writing? (If you don't have anything to say or admit, then you can simply tell us about how you got into writing. Or you can answer both questions). 
I'd never written for a newspaper, and I'd never been published (by a major publisher). 

I got into writing when I was 11 or 12. I never really liked writing essays (though I can do it), but I always had my head stuck in the clouds. Mom claims I should stop imagining and dreaming and focus on the real world, but I can't do that. I think I'm too much of a dreamer. And then I started putting down my imagination and dreams into words to never forget them. So that is how I got into writing.

7. Your goal! Your personal goal. Is it to write for yourself? Or is it to write for others? 
In the beginning, it was for myself. I just wanted to see a book written by me, out there. But I think I started realizing when I was about 15 that I could inspire other people. And I can take readers into places. Figuratively taking them inside of my head (ha, it is pretty much Wonderland in my head). And I can twist and play with things...

Okay, I'm getting way off-topic, but the basics is that... I used to write for myself, but now I'm writing for those like me. A sort of escape hatch from the real world, a sort of crazy and mad world that makes the real world clearer. Sort of like a reflection on reality. 

8. Favorite food?
When I'm hungry, I will think spinach taste good. But seriously, favorite food? Hard. Hard. Food is life. I think I'll go with Chinese dumplings, though. And Japanese sushi. And Korean BBQ. And Italian pasta. And... Okay, I better stop making you all hungry.

9. Favorite song?
See Numero Cinco. Florence + the Machine. The Black Keys. Imagine Dragons. Taylor Swift's 1989. Gavin Degraw. Basically, any songs by those artists. And I only scratch the surface. 

10. And finally, what is the synopsis of your most favorite (or greatest) work? Don't be scared. We won't laugh (unless it is meant to be humor).
I updated The Black Queen's synopsis. Hopefully, it is way better now than before. (Also, previous synopsis follows the first draft of TBQ. This one, the newer one, follows the second draft of TBQ. Fun stuff). 
"A game of chess has simple rules.

There are two queens, two kings, four bishops, four rooks, four knights, and sixteen pawns. They move in certain ways and predictable patterns. Two sides, fighting each other. Their war can only end in three ways: checkmate, stalemate, and draw.

But when it involves real people? It gets complicated.

Ashlina Four is a lowly pawn, just recently dead and killed by her despised grandmother. Caught in an unfamiliar land beyond death, Ashlina quickly finds allies: √Čric with his troubling duality and web of lies and truths, Warner who is changing for the worse, and Lola with her dangerous plans that will shake up the chessboard. All of them have secrets and agendas of her own.

She is haunted by nightmares. She is targeted by hellhounds, savage beasts intent on chasing her until she is gone permanently. She knows that none of her allies can be trusted completely. She knows that time is running out. But how can she run when her destiny is written in the stars?

The only checkmate is death."
That is it! 

Oh, yes. And one more thing. Contact info in case you are interested in working together. First of all, email: graceandsteele (at) gmail (dot) com. You can also message me via Grace & Steele's Facebook page. Try Twitter (handle: @PeneGrace). Or you can simply leave a comment on this page with your email address. 

And as the creator of this linkup, contact me at graceandsteele (at) gmail (dot) com if you have any further questions or concerns. 

Happy Editing!

Weekly Muse #24: Love Is In The Air

Valentine's Day is tomorrow! Yay. And boo, for some people. Valentine's Day, for me, reminds me of all the makeout scenes I've written. I don't know about you, but I think there is something wrong there.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Our Journey So Far #22: Steele's February Plans

Alex Steele here today to talk about what I'm working on! So, last time I talked about A War Of Queens which I am currently working on outlining (mostly world building at the moment). At the beginning of January, I talked about how each month I was going to be focusing on one main thing at a time. In January, it was This World In Gray, which, I have since finished my list of revisions on and is now sitting on the side for a bit, going to be beta read soon and then...well we'll see!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Advice For Writers #23: How to Revise Your First Draft Part 3

Part 2 is here.

So two weeks ago, I talked about beta readers. It is the second step of revising. As I'd said before, beta readers will open your eyes a bit more. Be careful not to pick those who care more about your feelings than your work. After all, they might sugarcoat the critique. And don't pick your enemies. They are not the most pleasant lot. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Beautiful People #3: Valentine's Edition!


Beautiful people is a meme created by Cait @ Paperfury and  Sky @Further Up and Further, This meme comes along once a month and it's all about writing! This month is focused on romantic relationships! Do check out this meme if you're a writer as it's lots of fun, you can check it out here!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Weekly Muse #23: Songs For Darker Fantasy

Alex Steele here with another music-themed muse post, what? It's what Grace and I do best! So, true story, I'm writing this when I should be revising... oops?

Today I'm going to talk about some songs that I think can inspire some nice darker grittier fantasy/paranormal/dystopian. These are just some bada** songs that are a bit darker and I feel like they could inspire some great characters (heroes and anti-heroes) in some darker fantasy.

Also, I feel like I need to place a warning here and that's that some of these songs and videos are mature (not PG 13) so listen to them at your own discretion.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Our Journey So Far #21: Remodeling.

So. I'm rewriting TLP all over again. That is for sure. But there are a few other things I'm doing. And there are some things that I've finished recently. So, yay! 

I guess this is a cause for celebration? Yes?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

To Do Lists #1

This is a new monthly feature we're going to be doing at Grace and Steele and we thought we'd give a little introduction first.

The name and idea were taken from the fact that Grace and I are constantly emailing each other with little to do lists for what we want/have to do that day or week or month with everything from reading to sleeping (that's me, I'm the lazy one) to school work to, of course, writing. So, we thought we'd take that and make an update post once a month. We'll share what we did this month and the list for the next month all centered around writing and so on and so forth for all the months!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Weekly Muse #22: On My Playlist

Hi again! Penelope. Again. So I'm going to list the songs on my playlist. It is most certainly random, and I will try to explain why I like some of these songs. Others... Well, you'll have to listen to know why I like them. 

5 songs and in no particular order. Here we go. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Our Journey So Far #20: Steele's Quirky Writing Habits

Hey, Steele here today to talk about what I'm currently working on. I also wanted to discuss some quirky writing habits I have.

Much like athletes with all their superstitions writers tend have their own personal quirks and things we do time after time, whether for good luck or just because we always have. Here are some of mine. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Advice For Writers #21: How to Revise Your First Draft Part 2

And I'm back! Part 1 is "Advice For Writers #19." Feel free to go back and reread that! It will open in a new window. At least, it should.

Read more of this post underneath the cut.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekly Muse #21: What To Listen To When Revising

Alex Steele here today with another music-themed muse post. In my mind, music is the most inspiring thing. It can inspire you, make you get up and move, put into words every feeling you've ever had, and so much more. Here on Grace and Steele, we've shared many muse posts about music: love songs, sad songs, fantasy like songs, and more. Today though, I simply want to talk about the kind of songs that I like to listen to while revising.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Our Journey So Far #19: WDS, TLP, TBQ, WC, and Plot Bunnies

What is WDS? TLP? TBQ? 

Hopefully, you all know what a plot bunny is. Here is a screenshot of the Urban Dictionary for your information. It is right below the cut...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Advice For Writers #20: Write What You Know?

Alex Steele here today to discuss something I'm sure we all hear a lot. And that is: write what you know.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Weekly Muse #20: Teary Books

When you read a very, very sad book, don't you get inspired to write something? Like write anything? I totally do. I think I got inspired to write Benevolence after reading a book on angels. (Benevolence is about angels and demons, for your information). No! I did not write Benevolence because of Supernatural. That was before I got into Supernatural

So... I'm going to make a list of teary books. Books that will most definitely ignite a spark (or tear) in you. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Our Journey So Far #18: The Beginning

Steele here today with another update on my writing journey. The title of this post...the beginning...the beginning of what? My revisions!

Today's post is going to be fairly short, just a small update, so here we go!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Beautiful People #2: About Us!


Beautiful people is a meme created by Cait @ Paperfury and  Sky @Furether Up and Further, This meme comes along once a month and it's all about writing! Most months are focused on our characters, but this month is all about us, the writers! Do check out this meme if you're a writer as it's lots of fun, you can check it out here!


1. How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’? Hmm. I guess I would say that I officially started considering myself a writer when I was 13 (about 5 years now), and that was when I started outlining my very first book, which I literally spent years outlining.

2. How/why did you start writing? Well, I got an idea (I actually remember the exact moment I got this idea as it was the day Taylor Swift's Speak Now came out and the first time I heard the song Long Live), and I'd known for years before then that I wanted to be a writer, but I didn't actually start writing it (the idea) until 2013, and then it was basically because my brother forced me too.

3. What’s your favorite part of writing? Living in make believe worlds, whether they look like the real one or wildly different.

4. What’s your biggest writing struggle? Hmmm, hard question. What do you even mean!?

I would probably say world building, I struggle with it a lot. In my mind, I'll have my whole fantasy world built up but I suck (at the moment) at building it on paper.

5. Do you write best at night or day? Most definitely night, in a large part due to the fact that during the day I can put things off, because it's like 'eh, I have all day', at night that doesn't work so well.

6. What does your writing space look like? (Feel free to show us pictures!) Pretty chaotic most the time.

Sadly, it's fairly clean and organized right now!

7. How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft? Typically? I don't think I have a typically. I do NaNo a lot (camp and regular) and I've written a lot of my drafts in one month but I've also taken two or three months with some of them. So, I can do it in a month but sometimes I draw it out longer for one reason or another.

8. How many projects do you work on at once? I prefer to only concentrate on one at time and give it my full attention.

9. Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between? In between and sometimes both. Depends on what I'm writing, happy fluffy contemporary? Happy ending. Most other things I like to go for sad yet hopeful...most the time. =)

10. List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey. Rick Riordan, his books got me into reading and wanting to write in the first place. Jandy Nelson, whose beautifully descriptive writing inspired to try changing up my style a bit. Lauren Oliver, whose Delirium trilogy was the first to kind of make me realize, that yes, romance and action can fit together. Also, I feel like J.K. Rowling doesn't even need to be mentioned...because, obviously. Lastly, Cinda Williams Chima, whose books first taught me to love high fantasy and want to create equally awesome worlds.

11. Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not? Yes, my family reads everything I write. My brother reads everything first and is lots of help not only with editing(I hate commas, they always trip me up) but just...with everything, and I'm not against other people reading it. I just have find ones that I really trust before I let them read it. Why? Because it can only help!

12. What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream? To be traditionally published. Also, to land my dream agent...yes I have a dream agent, I stalk her blog (anonymously) and everything. 

That's not creepy, right?

(Grace: I don't know. I stalk Misha Collins' Twitter "anonymously.")
(Steele: yeah, but you would stalk him in real life if you could!)

13. If you didn’t write, what would you want to do? Um, nothing? Writing is EVERYTHING. If I have to pick though...? Probably be a chef/baker, I love baking and cooking and yeah.

14. Do you have a book you’d like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet? Yes, mainly my fairy tale retelling series. To me, retellings (especially with them being, basically the new thing) have to be really awesome and really original and I'm not ready to attempt it yet even if I do have my main idea for it.

15. Which story has your heart and won’t let go? Dragon Heir, my first novel. But, at the moment, it's hanging in stasis while I try to figure out how to fix it and make it even awesomer.


1. How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’? Gosh. Well, I considered myself an essayist when I was pretty young. But I think I switched to writing at around 11 or 12. 

2. How/why did you start writing? There is a ton of people who inspired me to write (though I didn't know what it was at that time). I can thank a bunch of people from my high school teachers to certain organizations. I think it is Marissa Meyer who gave me the final push into this insane life choice. 

(And no, I don't know her, though I wish because she seems really awesome). 

3. What’s your favorite part of writing? World building. But I love writing the climax of the story way before I write the first chapter. Also, quotes. 

4. What’s your biggest writing struggle? Hahaha. I can list way too many. But the biggest struggle is probably editing. Editing and seeing the flaws. Plot holes... Eh, I can really see it, but parts that don't make sense or is simply just weird? I need help. 

5. Do you write best at night or day? I'll tell you the truth. I rarely write at night. I guess I'm not a night owl. So I'll say that I write best during the day.

6. What does your writing space look like? (Feel free to show us pictures!) Hahaha. No. I'm not showing pictures. You will all think me a hoarder.

7. How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft? Oh. This one varies. I think the shortest time (my record) is 8 days. The longest is 4 months. On average, I finish my novels in about 1 to 1.5 months. 

8. How many projects do you work on at once? Currently, I'm working on editing TBQ (The Black Queen) and writing WDS (Welcome to the Dark Side). 

9. Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between? Well... I know some of my novels are "somewhere in between." I haven't written any "sad ones" yet, but "happy endings" are mostly everywhere.

10. List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey. I already mentioned Marissa Meyer. J.K. Rowling is more than obvious, and Rick Riordan is spectacular with his humor and Greek myths. I will have to mention Ally Carter, too.

11. Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not? Yes! I do (and the links are in the "Our Works" page). I believe that in order to improve my writing and my works, I should let readers review it and criticize me. 

12. What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream? I think that is to be published by a traditional publisher and have people talk about what I've written. 

13. If you didn’t write, what would you want to do? I would be someone in the STEM fields. (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). But I won't hold my breath on that! I might end up going in a crazy direction.

14. Do you have a book you’d like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet? No. I actually believe I can write... No, no, no. Scratch that. 

Let me say this: I haven't met a plot bunny which looked like Mt. Everest to me. TLP used to be one, but TLP is now in its third draft and querying (probably will come back to revise it for the fourth time!). 

In my vision, in my shoes, I'm not seeing a mountain nor hiking a mountain right now. 

15. Which story has your heart and won’t let go? AHHHH! Don't make me make that choice! There are so many stories that have my heart because they are all pieces of me. But the one that probably has my heart, is WDS and TBQ. I can't choose between them! 

Please do leave us links to your posts in the comments!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Weekly Muse #19: Inspirational Quotes Round 3!

Alex Steele here once more. We're trying to get things back in order on Grace & Steele so even though I did Weekly Muse last week, I'm also doing it this week. Grace will back with her next dose of muse next Friday!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Our Journey So Far #17: My Would-Be Hectic Year, 2015

Yeah, yeah. I stole this idea from Alex. Blah, blah, blah. I'm plagiarist. I'm a thief. Whatever. You can call me anything you want. 

So. 2015. Forget it. 2014 is already insane for me. Have you seen it? Well, I'm making a cut below. So read on if you want to know about the recap of 2014 and the plans for 2015. 

Here we go.