Tag Archives: Blood of Esta

Bio of a #PitchWars Mentee Hopeful

Pitch-Wars-2014-logoIf I am lucky enough to be chosen by a #PitchWars Mentor, my Mentee bio would look something like this. (I apologize in advance for the lack of GIFs. I didn’t even know what they were until a few days ago. I have, however, added several links to other areas of my blog.)

About Nicole M. Carrara the person

I was born, raised and still live in central New Jersey (yes, there is a central New Jersey). I live as far away from the shore as one can live and still be considered to be from the shore. And in case you were wondering, I do not have a “Jersey” accent (people born and raised in central or south New Jersey generally do not have what out-of-staters consider to be a “Jersey” accent).  I’m an attorney (currently non-practicing), operations manager/contract analyst for a commercial janitorial service consulting company, and a cheerleading coach. I coach both recreation cheerleading and high school cheerleading, which means that from August to March, I have no free weekends, and hardly any free weeknights.

About N. M. Carrara the author

I began writing ten years ago. I have one novel completed, an adult epic fantasy title BLOOD OF ESTA. I also have an MG fantasy and adult paranormal/horror in the works, along with the sequel to BOE.  I’ve written a couple of short stories. THE GILDED MIRROR is about a woman’s irrational fear of mirrors. PANDORA’S BOX is about a guy looking for meaning in his humdrum life.

Hopping around my blog for more information about me.

One of my first blog posts, Getting to Know N. M. Carrara Part I,  is an interview I did of myself. It contains tons of info about me, my law career, cheerleading, my writing, and other fun stuff.

About a month ago, I wrote a blog post, My Writing Journey So Far, summing up my writing journey so far. It talks about the query process, writing workshops and my plans for the future.

I also have a page on my blog called Fun Facts and Stuff. I updated with funny, but pointless information about myself.

Closing words

I am excited about #PitchWars. No matter what happens, I’ve already learned a great deal. Be sure to check out the other potential Mentee Bios on Dannie Morin’s Mentee Bio Hop.

BOE Chapter One, Take Fifty

I have rewritten the first chapter of Blood of Esta so many times since completing the first draft back in 2008 that I’ve lost count. It’s definitely the chapter I’ve revised the most. Probably because it is the only part of a novel that has at least a chance of being read by an agent or publisher when you query them. If they like your query letter, they’ll read the first few pages. If you can’t hook them with those pages, your’re screwed.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had won a professional critique of the synopsis and first three chapters of Blood of Esta. The critique was from the Acquiring Editor at Bell Bridge Books, Debra Dixon. She gave me highly encouraging feedback about Blood of Esta and my writing (my favorite line being “feel very confident that you’ve gotten to a point that your writing is professional and enjoyable”). She also pointed out a few things that she thinks could use some rethinking. The biggest potential “problem” was the prologue. She didn’t feel that the prologue scene, though informational, was powerful enough to open the book. She gave a suggestion for a new opening, one that I’d already been thinking about writing. I took her advice, and below is the new opening scene for Blood of Esta. Comments are always welcome.



N. M. Carrara


One thing I had learned about my connection to the Earth these past thirty years was that cold always meant danger. I’d once walked barefoot across a frozen lake in the Snow Mountains. Without any threat that the ice would crack or that I would be ambushed by predators, the frozen lake felt no different than walking on a plank of damp wood, and the snow that fell in those mountains kissed my skin with the same tepid wetness as a spring drizzle. But confronted with danger, I felt the cold. Like the time I’d trekked through the burning deserts of Gensamer. Even with the blinding sun at the noon apex, the sand below my feet had grown colder as I neared a scorpions’ nest hidden in the dunes. The change in temperature was the Earth’s warning. Cold equaled danger. And now, as I sat waiting on the wall, I didn’t know why an Adornian peace officer and a foreign ambassador were galloping towards the monastery, but the chill that laced the summer air told me that trouble chased after them.  Continue reading BOE Chapter One, Take Fifty

Blood of Esta – Chapter Two

I’m so happy with the new edits that I’m going to post Chapter Two also. Enjoy.


Chapter Two

Jax, Earon, and the ancient monk, Nalo, waited for me in the wood-paneled council room the next morning.

“We sent some of our brothers back to Weston, and to other villages close by to see if they can uncover anything else,” Earon said. “Jackson’s informed us that he sent word to the Emperor in Norberg and asked for a sky-train to expedite your trip. We think it’s best if you continue towards Leayone and see if you can pick up any new information until the sky-train arrives.”

A small door on the south side of the room opened. Warm air blew into the room, carrying on it the scents of lilacs and violets. A third monk entered, followed by Hunter. She wore light-weight, leather armor similar to what Jax and I wore, but modified to fit a woman’s curves—and she had curves. The tight leather molded around her large breasts and shapely hips. She had the thick arms and legs of a warrior, but at only two or three inches over five feet tall, she seemed too small to handle the long sword she had sheathed to her back. She glanced at me with her large, round eyes as she approached. I ran an unsteady hand through my own dark-brown hair.  Continue reading Blood of Esta – Chapter Two

Blood of Esta: Chapter One

I was finally able to get Blood of Esta professionally edited from beginning to end by author, university Dean and writing instructor, Mark Spencer. (Thanks Mark!) He gave me great feedback and editorial suggestions. I think the manuscript is finally ready to go out into the world so I’ve decided to post the prologue and first chapter. Enjoy.




N. M. Carrara

Thirty Years Earlier

Montivi, Sansolo

Rayina Esta’s hair, once an iridescent red and black, clung to her hollow cheeks. She looked down at the newborn cradled in her wasted arms. The blue-grey light of the approaching dawn illuminated the child’s face. It was still slick with afterbirth, having been pulled from Rayina’s dying womb only a moment before. Her time on this earth was ending. The whispers of the Earth had told her so months ago. The moment the Mietmoda had succeeded in killing all other members of her race, Rayina knew she too would die. But she fought with all of her power to keep the essence of her soul inside her dying body long enough to hold her baby girl one time.  Continue reading Blood of Esta: Chapter One