Cured’s Alternate Ending

So, I was looking at my final revision of CURED today and discovered that I had written two possible endings. I let my editor pick which one we used. Here is the one we did not use:


Kevin and I walk into the town. Every log cabin has the remains of a massive vegetable garden in the yard, with cold weather plants, like acorn squash and gourds, still in the dirt. Ears of corn and baskets filled to overflowing with potatoes are sitting out on front porches, as if no one is worried about them being stolen. And I guess they’re not. If a person has enough to eat, he doesn’t need to steal food.

One log cabin has blue metal boxes in front of it, and I can hear the quiet vibration of bees when we pass them. “What are those?” I ask.

“Beehives,” Kevin explains. “My grandpa’s.”

I can’t help but smile. Bees! I stop walking for a minute and listen to them. “Where is your grandpa?” I ask.

“Zeke’s wife says he’s at the fortress.”

“The fortress?”

“You’ll see.” He takes my hand in his and we keep walking to the other side of the town, to a huge, rectangular building made of weathered logs. The air changes, growing heavy with animal smells, and I am reminded of the zoo. I wrinkle my nose. “What is this place?”

“It’s the fortress—where we keep the tainted ones. The beasts. It is where my sister is.”

My legs slow without me meaning to let them. “Wait. How do you keep them from attacking people?”

“If they’re well fed, they’re not as violent. We keep them in cages and feed them. Once a week or so, they’re sedated and washed, and their cages are cleaned.” Kevin pulls me toward the building. He opens a thick, wooden door, and I can’t help but put my sleeve over my nose and mouth to try and dull the smell.

I am standing in a huge room, with knot-covered wooden columns supporting the ceiling, and metal bars blocking the windows. There are more metal bars, which rise from floor to ceiling. Behind these bars are individual rooms, divided with thick wooden walls that are covered with dents and scratches, and inside each room is a beast. I look from cage to cage, counting. There are nineteen beasts, and one empty cage.

A disheveled, white-haired man is standing in the room, pressing pieces of hard, flat bread into the cages. There are fresh scabs down the side of his face, and he has a black eye. On his left hand is a bandage, where his pointer finger should be—but isn’t. His watery, blue eyes focus on Kevin and the man’s lips thin before he sucks them in against his teeth. He walks over to us but doesn’t say anything.

“Grandpa,” Kevin says, taking the man’s injured hand in his. “What happened to you?”

The old man’s eyes move past Kevin and focus on the empty cage. Kevin turns around and follows his grandpa’s gaze.

“Where’s my sister?” he asks in a strangled whisper.

“She attacked me and got away.”


Happy 2016

Hi, readers! Happy New Year! I am so excited for 2016, and here is why:

#1 thing I am looking forward to this year: Seeing Twenty One Pilots live in Salt Lake City. Let me know if any of you are going to be there, and I will find you and sign your books!

Also this year: I am teaching a class on writing at LDStorymakers Conference in Provo this May. So excited. And nervous.

Plus, I get to Skype with schools all over the USA this year, which is one of my favorite things to do–definitely the next best thing to actually going to the school. Want me to Skype with your school? Ask your teacher to contact me via the contact tab on this website to set it up. Space is limited, so hurry!

Sad thing about this year: My new trilogy has been moved from coming out in fall of this year, to February of next year. So, if you love my books, you’ll have to wait a year to read my new one: The Dragon’s Price. But believe me when I say, it will be worth it.

Lastly: If you have read and loved my books, please tell your friends and family and teachers and fellow students to read them!

Curious About Stung’s Playlist?

You know how some authors have playlists to go with their books? Well, when I wrote STUNG and CURED, there were certain songs I listened to to help get me in the world of STUNG. Here are a few:


SECRET CROWDS by Angels & Airwaves

Jltf by Moby

ONLY THE YOUNG and CROSSFIRE by Brandon Flowers


ANOTHER DAY by Sleepfthief


PARADISE by Coldplay (this is Jack’s main theme!)



AFTER THE STORM by Mumford and Sons

What about you? Do you have a song that you associate with any of my books? Also, if you want to read a short story about Jonah after he makes it to Colorado and meets his mom, click here.

All Because of You (Yes, You!)

Hi, guys! I cannot tell you how awesome all of the comments and emails from you are. Thank you for finding me on here and making me so happy! (Pretend there is a smiley emoticon here.) Hearing from you and knowing that you love my books it the reason I write. IT IS ALL BECAUSE OF YOU!

People have been asking what I’m working on lately. Right now I am writing a trilogy about a sheltered princess who chooses death by dragon over an arranged marriage to a prince from a rival kingdom. The story has sword fighting, romance, dragons, bravery, and violence. The first one is called TRANSFERENCE. If you like my other books, you’ll probably like this trilogy (and yes, I am doing three books in this series for all of you who keep writing and begging me to do a third STUNG book). It comes out next year.

Three random facts about my week:

  1. I never answer my landline (you know–the phone that plugs into the wall!). In fact, it is ringing right now.
  2. My baby stepped in a dead, chewed up mouse. Thanks, cats, for cleaning up after yourselves–NOT!
  3. I have gotten so many emails from readers this week that every time I open my email, it is like Christmas! Thanks, guys!