You may have heard it here - the ARCs for Personal Demons are in hand.

And I have one copy to give away.

This is big. It's the first book I sold as an agent. An it's the best YA paranormal romance I've read, hands down.  Which means, it's going to take something special to win.

Here's what you've have to do.

Write a story, one hundred words or fewer, using these words:


Bonus points if you can include this phrase: "Release The Krokos."

Contest opens NOW, and runs through midnight Wednesday, June 30th. Post your entry in the comments section.

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Kathleen Ortiz said...

LMFAO ::can't breathe::

Congrats, Suz! :)

Unknown said...

Congrats! This will be fun! Here it goes.
“Suzie, when’s that pizza going to be done?” Dan rolled off of the sofa couch and searched around for his Hanes undershirt. “I don’t want to miss the end of Lucky number Slevin.”
“Here’s your pizza. Dude, put on a shirt.”
“Yeah, yeah. Mmm this pizza is epic. What did you put on this? Oregano?”
“Here,” she said tossing over the spice jar. “I’ve had that laying around for a while and I wanted to use it up.”
“Sage? Ugh, I don’t feel so good.”
“The bathroom is around the corner. Don’t mess with fate.”
“I’m going! Release the Krokos!”

DK Whisman said...

lol! Awesome prize. Well, here's 100 words exactly.


As fate would have it, Dan Krokos found himself caged once again in the lair of the infamous Query Shark. She was moments away from chomping on his latest project and wanted him to watch in horror.

“What kind of title is ‘Epic Laundry Day?’” the Shark scoffed, pouring some sage spice on the manuscript.

“Give me a break,” Dan pleaded. “It’s a first draft.”

Just as the Shark placed her teeth on the work, Suzie Townsend arrived on her white stallion, Slevin.

“I’m only going to tell you this once, Sharkface,” Suzie shouted, raising her harpoon. “Release the Krokos!”

Unknown said...

As a writer of Paranormal YA romance, I must read this book to see what hooked Suzie!!!


Slevin and Dan faced each other, hands balled into fists, ready for their epic battle.

“Fate has brought this upon you two buffoons,” Puff Mommy said, slurping her sage tea.

“Then offer a challenge!” Dan snapped.

'Click', Slevin, born without vocal chords, snapped his fingers.

“Jeeves!” she shouted. A man appeared, holding a jar containing milky light. “This is my life-force, my Krokos. Without it I will die. Only my true champion can retrieve it. Release the Krokos.”

Her essence disappeared. The men began laughing.

“Nice knowin’ you,” Dan said.


The men strolled away hand in hand.


Johnny Mains said...

Lucky Number Slevin was the worst film that Dan had watched in his life. In fact most films couldn’t please him. From shorts to epics, from films of fates to films full of sage advice to films full of wanton bloodlust and debauchery - he watched and hated them all.

One day Dan decided to make his own film. He called it Release the Krokos. It cost him thousands of pounds to do. He hired an aging prostitute called Shirley to play Krokos. And it stank. Badly.

Dan never complained about films again. He also kept quiet about the crabs.

Unknown said...

Every epic has its elder, shooting off sage advice and pyrotechnic spells. Every epic has its hero, a flawed man with the world's fate in his hands. Back when old Dan shouted, "Release the Krokos, Slevin!", I was more flawed than most, and poor Dan, less pyrotechnical.

Dan always was a little crazy. Short-lived, our supposed epic. The scaly beast flew off, frying farmland, as Dan's hands fizzled, and I told him, "You'll have to go after it alone. I'm busy all next week."

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

Love this! okay here goes:

"Why...?" Fingers trembling she touched the sage cloak. Crimson stained the edges forcing us to accept Dan's demise.

"It's the prophecy. He must have - "

Her sobs halted as she swung to look at me.

"He’d never! Slevin warned him of his fate if he were to attempt-"

"Yes. If he were to attempt; what if he succeeded!"

"He couldn't...not without..." Staring past me, her eyes widened.

Turning I saw the ancient text crudely carved; such simple letters yet consequences of epic proportions when combined.


He’d succeeded.

The portal had opened by words of war: Release the Krokos.


Wonderful prize - awesome contest! Such fun!

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Buffy Andrews said...

Suz, what's with this Slev dude? Both you and Janet had him in your contests. He must be one hot guy. Oh, epic, too. You girls think very much alike.Anyway...

Way cool about your paranormal YA. I'm soooo happy for you. Don't even want to think about my personal demons. (Smiles)

Jessica B said...

"Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme..." Fate sang.

"Would you stop singing that?!" Dan snapped.

"Why? That song is epic! You said so yourself!"

"Yeah but only the Release The Krokos cover."

Just then Slevin walked in singing, "Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme..."

Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

Renee Pinner said...

New York City crime bosses were nothing compared to demons, Slevin thought.

“You’re mistaken, I’m not Dan,” Slevin said.

“This is the fate of reneging on a deal with Lucifer,” the bigger demon said, its breath stinking of sage and Sulphur, like a rotten egg salad.

“I’m not Dan,” Slevin said, feeling for the handle to the door behind him.

The smaller demon, with the body of Gollum and a bobble head, stepped forward. Putting his hand against the door, he wheezed a nasty little cough.

“Release the krokos,” he said.

Slevin heard the toilette water start to swirl.

Suzanne Rock said...

Congratulations Suzie (and Lisa). Here's my entry:

“What do you mean, ‘The mission was an epic fail?’” Sage asked.

“Dan won’t part with the DVD. He’s been dying to see ‘Lucky Number Slevin’ for months.”

“This can’t be happening.” It was so stupid to hide that picture in the DVD case. What was she thinking?

Suzie frowned. “Maybe it’s fate. You know you couldn’t hide your clown obsession from him forever. Besides, maybe he won’t post it on Twitter…”

“I doubt it. You know what happens when he thinks he has a good joke. He can’t help but release the Krokos.” Sage rubbed her temples. “I’m doomed.”

Buffy Andrews said...

Slevin and Dan graduated from Sage Hill High School in California so it wasn’t just fate that brought them together to make the epic film “Release The Krokos.”

bookaholic said...

OK...I am so bad at this. But I will give it a try cos I am absolutely and literally dying to read Personal Demons! Here goes-

Sage: What's up with you and Lucky Number Slevin,Dan? This is like the millionth time you are watching it!
Dan: This is an epic movie for me,just like its with you and A Simple Twist of Fate! And now get me the tub of pop-corn and release the Krokos!
Sage:Gosh! I wish you'd stop saying that! What does it mean anyways?
Dan: *goes all sage-like* You'll find it out when Fate wants you to...
Sage: Arghh!!

Thank you so much!*fingers crossed*

Francis said...

ROFL, I love these little flash contests. I never win, but I shall not give up until I do.

One hundred words exactly:

The lady in red was strapped to the chair, but even the bounds and Dan were no match for her epic might. A third aid came to help.
The sage doctor finally arrived panting in the room, still tired from watching Lucky Number Slevin for the ninth time until 2:00 am.
"How is she?" the doctor asked.
"GIVE ME MY FIX!" the lady in red screamed.
The personnel sighted. Her fate was decided: she'd drink them all.
Vanquished, the doctor spoke. "Go fetch the diet Sunkist. JUST ONE SIX-PACK THIS TIME!"
The lady in red laughed. "RELEASE THE KROKOS, DOCTOR!"

Francis said...

Congrats on the amazing achievement Lisa, we're all jealous. Hopefully you're too busy having a party to read this! Congrats to the agent for making it happen as well!

KatOwens: Insect Collector said...

Are these getting harder, or is it me?
Here we go:

I crack one eye open and try to focus on the bottle in front of my face.

Dans le vin. Ugg. More like Dans le migraine. I passed out while holding the letter.

I thought the job, the apartment, the whole thing in Greece was fate.

I read it again.

RE: Lease, The Krokos
Dear Sage,

I’m afraid we will not be able to offer you the flat as originally promised. We found frightening photos of your social life on the Facebook. We fear you are not a good match for our rooming house. Best luck in finding other arrangements.

Anonymous said...

Congrats Suzie (and Lisa)! Hope Personal Demons becomes an instant bestseller!

100 words exactly:

Slevin swooped down into the forest clearing, his inky black wings catching on the gnarled branches, snapping the fragile twigs like wishbones. He pushed the pain aside; he was here to deliver a message to the Norns – the three goddess of Fate.

His cloven feet landed on the carpet of sage, perfuming the air with its heady aroma. The Norns spun their weeping eyes towards him.

“You’re in dan-”

“We know,” they said in unison.

Epic fail, Slevin thought. Why had he risked his life coming here?

“How will we defeat Steropes?” he asked.

The Norns hissed. “Release the Krokos.”

Laurie Lamb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

[KO's "RE: Lease, The Krokos" is the kind of thing I wish I'd thought of.]

“How’d you get caught?” asked the woman chained next to me—modest, in shorts and T, but the curves were there, and her eyes—sage colored and flirty.
“Tripped a silent alarm,” I said. “What do kids say now? ‘Epic fail?’ I’m Dan, by the way. Dan Slevin.”
“Like the—”
“Yeah, like the movie.”
“Margaret Brinks, arcane thief-at-large,” she said, then smiled. “Guess it’s fate we met. Plans for escape?”
“One,” I said, chewing. “Magic gum.”
Above us, Emanuel Chesterton, CEO, art collector, and mad wizard looked down into the pit. “Release the Krokos,” he said.
I chewed faster.

Tura Lura said...

This is my first time attempting this, so I hope my little story isn't too terrible. ^_^


Sage Slevin sighed. Dan - his student - tempted fate again.

"It'll be epic!" the boy said.

'Yes, but will it be a success?' Slevin wondered. He couldn't talk him out of it, and so silently watched.

"Release the Krokos!" came the cry.

Chaos ensued.

Cindy said...

My uncle Dan once told me an epic story of a vampire and a demon. It was in the cards of fate that Slevin the vampire was destaned to be with Elise the demon. They meant in a field covered in sage and the sage (flowers) were so beautiful! Slevin and Elise fell in love and got married soon after!

Ok, that was hard! I'd love to enter!

princessbookcindy @ gmail dot com

rebeccakirschbaum said...


Also, I love these things. I used to do them for classes! I always, always failed miserably and honestly, loved every second of my falure!


DAN: Release the Krokos!

Cue--rolling eyes. (New rule--never take Boyfriend to movies involving fate/epic story lines.)

DAN (dead serious, quotes Slevin): You can only kill me once.

Observe--I sever main artery with handy dandy nail file.

ME: Denied! Your line delivery’s nothing like Harnett’s.

Dan crumbles--dead, momentarily.

ADD--(to lifeless, adorable body): You’re sexier, at least.

CUE--screams. Observe--I blow kiss at old lady--poor thing, shaking--she struggles--911! via (“simple, helpful, affordable”) Jiiiitterbug.

DAN (heals, stands, pitiful face): “The sage said not in public, babe.”

ME(shrug): All the world’s a stage--I must play the villainess--so what? I’m still a rock star…

(THE END. Congrats, again, Suzie!)

A.J. Cattapan said...

"What? They are about to release the Krokos book?!? OMG! This is going to be epic!" Janet slid into her seat for third period American Literature.

"Hey, Ms. Townsend," called Dan, "you're such a sage. What do you think will be the fate of this novel? Will it make the New York Times bestseller list?"

Ms. Townsend smiled. "Only Slevin knows."

ally said...

“Amy? OMG! It’s been TOO long!” she says, hurrying over to my isle in the grocery store.
“I know! When was the last time that we saw each other?”, I say, trying to think back, putting the sage in the cart.
“We were watching that movie ‘Lucky Number Slevin’, the one with Bruce Willis?”
“YEAH! I remember now! Wow, that night was EPIC! That’s the night you and Dan hooked up!”
“It was like fate! I didn’t even wanna see that movie.”
“And then you were all ‘Release the krokos!’ with Dan. Hah!”

Michele Shaw said...

"Jess, please? Dan swears Slevin wants to meet you. It'll be epic."

"What kind of name is Slevin? And I hate Release the Krokos, so why lose my hearing at their concert?"

"Because, maybe it's fate."

Fate, right. Once again, my sister, Sage, was using me as the sidekick mercy date for the latest loser wingman hanging with her boyfriend. Once again, I found myself giving in right before the doorbell rang.

"Get that, Jess? I'm not ready."

"Anything else, your highness," I mumbled and opened the door.

"Hey Jessica," said Dan. "Meet Slevin."

I smiled and thought, hello fate.

Anonymous said...

Thought you need a dialogue

Tirzah G.

“You’re an idiot, Dan.”
“Who has a guard Chihuahua?”
“Don’t be downer, Sage. Krok is going to be a great watchdog.”
“It’s a Chihuahua not a pit-bull, dum-dum.”
“The pound didn’t have a pity. Too bad. I’d have named him Slevin.”
“Yeah that movie was epic. Cool action.”
“You’re still an idiot.”
“Ah come on, it was fate when I got Krok.”
“Oh really?”
“Yeah watch this…Release the Krokos!”
“Get him off, get him off. Eww, he’s peeing on me. Get him off.”
“Off Krok. Hah, now who’s an idiot?”
“I hate you!”
“Ouch, that hurt!”
“Good. “

Cheryl Angst said...

“Dan! Dan! He’s our man! If he can’t do it no one… Slevin! Don’t!” Bertha shouted as her portly dachshund fired an epic stream down the side of her neighbour’s potted sage. “Damn you!” Bertha shook her jowly fist at the recalcitrant dog. “You know The Suzie hates it when you do that! One of these days—”
“One of these days, what?”
The Suzie’s chill voice nearly caused Bertha to loose her own stream as she tried to block the pottery from view.
“Again?” The Suzie turned on her heel, ignoring Bertha’s pleas. “You were warned. Release The Krokos.”

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Congrats! And thanks for the fun contest!

Dan Krokos.


I shove SAGE ADVICE FROM A TEA GRANNY at him. “Read!” He’ll love it. Take it to Janet. Sure, she’ said no. Sure, there’s a restraining order. But it has to be her.

“I’m blind folded?”

I yank away the scarf.


Right. I untie him.

“Release The Krokos.”


The gas station’s surrounded.

I walk out to meet my fate.

“Rocky Slevin. You’re under arrest.”

But it’s not over. My heart WILL go on. Reid and Slevin WILL climb to the top of the publishing world.

I read it in the leaves.


Anonymous said...

“Release the—”

“Krokos! Get your ass in here.”

“Yes, Ms. Janet?”

“Don’t you try and tempt fate again, Danny boy. If I’ve told you once—hell, that should be enough. Don’t fraternize with Suzie. You’re getting her all confused and googly-eyed. She needs to focus, Krokos. Focus.”

“Yes, Ms. Janet. Sage advice, Ms. Janet.”

“What were you two doing out there anyway?”

“Practicing lines. She’s up for the starring role in FinePrint’s community theater rendition of Bill and Slevin’s Epic Adventure. She’s having trouble with know—love scene.”

“FinePrint doesn’t have a community theater.”



Wendy Tyler Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

Here Goes:

The old Sage did not receive visitors after dark but Prince Slevin had been so adamant, he dared not refuse.

"What's the meaning of this?" Shouted the Sage as he rose to his feet on legs he wished were twenty years younger. "How dare you bind a Krokos in chains."

Prince Sleven pushed the Krokos to the floor and stood his ground. "I caught her with my son, Dan, and if you do not do something about it at once, I will not be responsible for what epic fate may befall us all."

"How impudent. Release the Krokos at once."

C.M. Villani said...

Okay this was really fun. :D I can't wait to read this book!

“Release the Krokos!” yelled the Machiavellian overlord, Darth Reid.

And thus began the last epic battle of the splintered and battle-worn world of Fineprintia. The casualties of this long waged war have been great on both sides. Dan and Slevin had suffered a horrendous fate at the hands of the maniacal Reid. But so had her greatest ally, the Herpet American assssistant.

“Once more into the breech, Dear Friends. Once more!” ordered Suzie, the great Sage of Townsend. Her forces were perched atop the glistening tower of Rubie. “Take aim for the cupcakes and we shall win the day!”

Francis said...

ROFL @justwritecat' entry, good one!

Shelley Watters said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shelley Watters said...

Funny! Here's my entry:

It was an epic day at Fine Print Literary Management. Dan had submitted his latest masterpiece, a novel based on the Lucky Number Slevin. The shark sprinkled sage over the manuscript before she sunk her teeth into its crisp pages. Within moments, only a pile of shredded paper lay on the floor. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand as she picked up the phone and dialed his number.

“Hello?” he answered timidly.

“Release the Krokos!” she yelled into the receiver before slamming it onto the desk.

“What was that about?” Suzie asked.

“Fate,” the shark replied.

Quizzical Feline said...

“You don’t understand,” Gabe said. “There’s an epic battle for your soul.”
“It’s not really a battle,” Luc said. “Fate, Dan and Slevin already decided the outcome.”
“Who’re they?” Frannie asked.
“I’ll explain later. For now, come with me.”
“Yeah. If you want to die. Come with me.”
She looked between them. The safe choice was the angel. So she chose the demon.
Wrapping his arm around her waist, her guided her to the water’s edge.
“Release the Krokos!”
As the sea began to boil, and a sage-colored light lit the demon’s maniacal grin, she understood.
Fate screwed her.

Blank said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dot S.( said...

Loved every one of the stories. Here's mine.
She lit the sage candle Dan had given her for Christmas. The powerful aphrodisiac filled the room.

Sleven approached her from behind, slipping his hands around her waist and pulling her close. "You know, this is epic." he whispered in her ear.

She shuddered and turned in his arms. "It's fate" she answered breathless and heart pounding. This is what she had waited for, he was going to release the Krokos.

Blank said...

From the town of Fate, located over the babbling brook, Suzy Slevin set out. She travelled, cloaked by night, into Hollow-Dan woods, desperate to release the Krokos. A figure stepped out from behind a tree.
Suzy faltered as the fairy Keeper, Sage Bottomley, said, “You’re too late.”
“But I came to free them!”
“Epic and Enid. Kroko have been held captive too long. Their wings have fallen off.”
Suzy saw the two fairies huddled together in the jar with their wings glimmering at their feet.
“I didn’t mean to hurt them,” she whimpered.
Sage sighed. “Children rarely ever do.”

Blank said...

Interesting prompts, and congrats.
T.L Tyson -

Summer Spring said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Summer Spring said...

“So… Why isn’t this an epic waste of my time?” Dan asked?
“Nothing we do is ever a waste,” Suzie said. “It’s all fate guiding us. Sage wisdom, no?”
Dan rolled his eyes. “Yeah. Sage.” He slammed his bottle down. “This isn’t working! I’m not anywhere near drunk, and I’m on drink number slevin…” He cleared his throat. “Seven.”
“Think it kicked in,” Suzie said, watching Dan’s eyes slide out of focus. She let him have another one before trying to stop him. “That’s enough.” She grabbed the bottle, but Dan wouldn’t let go. “Release! The Krokos wills it so!”

Suzie's Fan Club said...

Sage, Epic, Slevin and Fate conspired. Tired of the new apartment; tired of the crates; tired of walkies on leashes; they want to run with the big dogs in Prospect Park.

Suzie returned after her usual 19.5 hour workday. All four dogs - gone!

The clues? Knotted bedsheets, and a window held open with a food dish.

Suzie raced to Prospect Park. Harried barking guided her. Sean Ferrell crouched by a bench, weeping.

"It's Dan!" he wailed. "Hounds from hell have taken him prisoner."

Suzie knew instantly.

"Release the Krokos," she barked. "He is NOT a chew toy."

Weronika Janczuk said...

Congratulations, Suzie - I've been following Lisa's excerpts on her blog and it is indeed fantastic. I can't wait to get my hands on a real copy.

Good luck to everyone!

MarissaV said...

“I don’t want sage, I want saffron. Damn you, I don’t care what you have to do.”

“Release the Krokos.”


He didn’t even know where our saffron came from. He was oblivious and his ego was epic.


I turned to see his boning knife inches from my throat. Was this my fate? Was I to die on the kitchen floor?

“Please, Slevin, I didn’t mean to offend.”

The swinging doors opened and I turned to see the packed restaurant staring in our direction.

Slevin lowered his hand.

Defeated, I turned towards the pantry to find the saffron.

Nicole Dahl said...

"Dan, mah man!" I said, "Release the Krokos!" I demanded, pointing at his ipod hooked into the dash.
"It's Krokus, dumbass."
"Screaming in the niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight…" I hummed a few bars, "I'd dieeeeeeeeeeee for you!" I finished the verse with an (extremely well acted) death scene.
Dan tried to pretend he was all wise and sage, but dude, this was our first Horror Con. We are talking Epic! He was as excited as I was. "Dan, just, you know, don't get all wasted and start raving about the movie Slevin. It's Sevin."
Dan raised his chin, stayed mute and drove on.

Emily H said...

The sage stared into his bowl of chicken noodle soup as though it held the answer to his hobbit problem. They were advancing closer everyday and his elves just weren’t up to the challenge of fighting them. They were too chatty. He sneezed miserably. Maybe this was all fate, maybe the epic battle practically hovering over his head was meant to be. Why couldn’t he be like Dan Brown, and pull an idea out of his @rse? Wait. That was it. WWDBD? He quivered in excitement. “Elf Slevin!” He cleared his throat. “I mean Elf Seven! Release the Krokos!”

Val said...

Red ribbons of blood snaked down each side of Dan's face as he knelt beside Slevin's pond. When I approached him I could see his mouth foaming like a mad dog. "They've poisoned the sage, don't stay here," he said. "My fate doesn't have to be yours too, save yourself!" I felt my legs sway and betray me when I realized the horror of the situation. There would be no way out of town now, not after they the release Krokos. If the sage was poisoned that meant everyone else in Epic was as good as dead, including me.

Sarah from Hawthorne said...

Sweat trickled down Renee's back as she pounded away at the baked earth, trying to force some moisture into the soil for her perennials. Just another day in her epic battle against the Arizona clay.

She loved Dan Slevin but now she wondered if fate was speaking to her through ground so hard it choked the life out of all but the hardiest plants.

With sudden violence she grabbed the wilted shoots, ripped them out of the ground. ‘Sage,’ Renee thought. ‘I’ll plant sage instead,’ and she released the crocus into the compost pile.

Andrew said...

When I go for extra credit, I go all out, so with one word to spare...


Dan sighed at his fate. His was an epic story arc of espionage and intrigue which would never be published, though it would shape the course of history. He turned to Slevin, his Russian handler, and spoke the code phrase which would put unforeseen wheels in motion:

"Release the Krokos."

Slevin's eyes bulged in horror. “One hundred words—or fewer!—we’ve ever exchanged…but I never thought those would be the final three.”

Dan gave a sage smile. “We’ve all got our personal demons, Slev. Let Susie know I love her. I’ll miss New York.”

The trapdoor’s latch clicked open.

Simon Hay said...

I’m adding sage to the soup when Lucifer asks, “Dan, shall I wait?” He’s watching the movie Lucky Number Slevin.

“No, babe.” He loves Josh Hartnett.

From the kitchen I can see the words Release The Krokos tattooed on his shoulder, and I wonder what it means. Beneath it is a crucifix and the phrase, Epic Fail. I get that.

It’s cool living with the devil: he’s a clean freak, patient, gentle, and a good lover. I think fate brought us together, but Luc doesn’t believe in fate, or God.

Without looking up he moves to make room for me.

suzanne said...

The tiny plane bounced across the makeshift air strip in the Greek town that shared his name. Dan Krokos knew it was fate that had brought Slevin Angelopoulos crashing into the pump of his gas station. He had dragged her from the burning wreckage of her Kelly green Ford saving her life. Now he was on an epic journey to bring her home.

“You’re almost there,” he whispered to the tightly bandaged girl beside him.

The hatch of the plane slowly opened. “Release the Krokos,” someone cried. Red saffron waved above the waiting crowd. “The hero's come home.”

joanQ6 said...

Dan wiped his bloody hands on his apron and threw them up in surrender. His fate was in the hands of the judges now, as the clock ticked down to zero in the Epic Battle of Sage.

For years, he had watched “Beat the Chef” on his big-screen TV, never believing he’d have the chance to take on Slevin—the one-armed, undefeated champ who could outchop any two-fisted opponent.

“Release the Krokos,” Slevin boomed as he swaggered across the stadium kitchen.

Dan vowed it would be the last time the celebrity chef ever uttered his nonsense.

ClothDragon said...

99 words:

“Where’d our sage go, Dan?”

“Why you askin’ me?” He lifted lightly glowing the bottle to his lips.

“’Cause you said you’d watch him.” Why did fate always stick me with morons? Forgetting the deadly efflorescence we were confiscating even while he drank it?

“It’s a party man, not an inquisition.” Dan grinned as I facepalmed. It hadn’t been either. “Oh, man, is that a stripper? Epic! Don’t worry, Dude, Slevin’s gonna be fine.”

I grabbed the bottle as he passed, fighting him for control. “Release the Krokos.”

“Bitch,” he snapped, but he did.

He’d live.

How many wouldn’t?

Carolyn said...

Dan twisted the knob, once, twice, and it stuck on the third and he grunted. "Mr Slevin never said nuthin' about fate," he grumbled and wrapped up the still-dripping hose. He dragged it through the sage and thyme and didn't even notice the chives.

"Fate or not," the stranger sighed, "consider it a job worthy of a Homerian epic."

The hose was wrapped, and Dan nodded. "Fine. I'll take it."

The stranger grinned and tipped his head and hat. "Then I shall release the krokos, and may the gods be with you."

He left, night fell, and Dan stood alone.

Erin Knightley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

“Release the Krokos.”


“You heard me.”

“I think you mean, ‘Release the Kraken.’”

“No, I don’t.”

“You mean Dan Krokos?”


“What’s the point in releasing him? What would that accomplish?”

“Epic destruction.”

“You’ve lost your mind.”

“Have not.”

“Er… yes. You have.”

“I’m just helping fulfill his destiny.”

“Fate has nothing to do with this, you idiot. They’re going to revoke your supervillain card.”

“It’s all in the plan, my man.”

“Wait… now what are you doing?”


“With sage?”

“It’s good luck.”

“Next you’ll be choosing lucky numbers.”

“Already have.”

“Which one?”


“Good God.”

Erin Knightley said...

100 words on the nose :)

I looked to the old woman, deciding whether or not to heed her sage advice. She thumped her cane on the old wood floor, her eyes staring unseeingly in the distance.

“It’s gonna be a dark night when fates collide. You be slaving 'way for that man Dan, and a storm’s gonna come.” Her thick Cajun accent muddled her words, making slaving sound like slevin, and that came out like dat. “You’d best take cover.”

I shivered; the coming days would be epic. Turning to the keeper, I nodded toward the caged beast at his feet. “Okay. Release the Krokos.”

nomad said...

Slevin had to release the krokos saffron carefully. He knew the crop was PDO and he was committing an epic theft. He gathered the tiny red webs with surgeon’s precision and deposited them into the bags DAN provided. Their tests had nothing to do with epicurean delight; they were part of a formula that may cure the bends. The sage doctor instructed the concoction’s success was dependant on the freshness of ingredients. When he reached the edge of the cliff fate blew an anabatic draft, nearly stealing his precious cargo. He wiped his brow, secured the bag, then descended. Quickly!

Marjorie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cole Howard said...

“Do you believe in fate, Dan?”

Dan lay silent on the pillow.

“Yeah, me neither.” He set the pistol on the nightstand. “I used to, I really did. The whole sage-like God directing us on some epic. I really did.”

Dan lay silent on the pillow.

“But that’s not the case, Dan. That’s bullshit. Some of us just die in our sleep. And others don’t.”

He stood up and walked to the bathroom, used the toilet, and then thoroughly washed his hands.

“Slevin says he’s sorry.” He picked up his gun and left.

Dan lay silent on the pillow.

Katt said...

"Release the Krokos Hounds!" bellowed Slevin.
Dan lifted the handle. The heavy door slid open. Nothing happened.
"Your fate is sealed," whispered Sage. "The hounds have refused to partake. A slap of epic proportions, sir."
"Horsefeathers! The damned creatures have been spoiled."
"You call living in that box spoiled, sir?"
"Then overfed!"
"Not quite yet, sir."
Dan wheeled around, his eyes huge, his jaw gaping - like the door beneath the handle he still held. The detail had escaped him, until the moment Slevin stepped up behind him.
Of course by then, it was much too late.

Anonymous said...

“Slevin?” she asked incredulously. “You picked the number ‘slevin’?”

Dan scoffed at her ignorance. “It’s only the most epic number ever! I had to pick it.”

Trish rubbed her eyes as she cursed Fate. She’d been trying to release the Krokos since she was ten, and all that stood in her way was a number that didn’t exist, told to her by an idiot that did. But she looked reluctantly at the key pad anyways and...

The safe opened silently, slowly, and Trish could only shake her head in disbelief. Score one for the Sage of Slevin.

Carolyn said...

“The guest bedroom’s already green.”

“No, it’s mint. This is sage.”

“I’m sorry, did you say green and green?”


“Here’s one! Fateful Fuschia! Let’s paint the bedroom that!”

“You always get hysterical when your mom’s coming to town.”

“And you always get annoyingly self-controlled.”

“What about this? Epically Emerald. That’s pretty.”

“I say we take Periwinkle, Granny Smith Apple, Piggy Bank Pink, mix ‘em up, and use that. It’ll be a brand new color.”


“I’m naming it Slevin.”

“Of course you are.”

“You’re taking one third of Slevin.”

“No, I’m taking Granny Smith Apple. Your mom’ll love it.”

Byronius Maximus said...

She died that night in her sleep. The faint aroma of a familiar herb tickled his nose. He had to consider how her fate came so soon, so premature. “Dan, is that sage? Do you smell it?”

Dan wondered, not for the first time, how Lieutenant Slevin could be so nasally astute. All he could smell was the toilet that hadn’t been cleaned in months. The garbage piled up in the hallway. Sage? Was he kidding?

A ragged hard copy of “Release the Krokos” lay on the floor, covered in puke.

The investigation would be epic. No doubt about it.

Penelope Wright said...

I am probably the world’s biggest Dan Hill fan. Sometimes When We Touch…well…it’s just epic. I suppose it was fate that Slevin would ultimately be the one to introduce us.

He barged in, slamming my screen door against the wall like he always does. “Release the Krokos!” he bellowed, then staggered to my couch, where he flopped facedown.

“What does that mean?” I said, my nose wrinkling. He smelled like sage, and something else I couldn’t quite place. Something meaty.

He raised his head an inch. “It means get your Adult Contemporary ass in gear. You’re gonna love me.”

Alicia said...

"What the slevin are you doing?" I yell as he steps a foot onto the narrow ledge.

"Dude, it's gonna be epic,” he says, looking down.

"What? Your splattered guts all over the ground?" I point down at the ant-size people below. "Yeah, I'm sure they're gonna think it's epic too as they're wiping bits and pieces of Sage off themselves."

"Come on Dan, you're killing my suicide buzz. This is fate, man. I have to free myself from this human cocoon."

I reach out to grab him just as he springs forward and yells, "Release the Krokos!"

Anonymous said...

The note said "Release the Krokos." Deciphering my wife's bad spelling and worse handwriting I realized it said "reseed the crocus." Doable--she was always complaining about 'slevin"--she meant "slavin'--at her job daily while I telecommuted. I was resigned to my fate; love is not only blind, it's deaf and mute,too. After my epic struggle to attain my sixth dan black belt, the sage words of my sensei still stayed in my ears. "The oxen are slow, but the Earth is patient." Patience is a virtue--I must be the most virtuous person on this planet.

Lisa B said...

Dan said it is almost impossible to get into the new demon sushi restaurant. Luckily, as fate would have it his second cousin is a brimstone dealer. The epic fish tank behind the bar displayed evil looking aquatic delicacies never seen in human oceans

“Tonight we are serving white slevin wrapped in nightshade along with sage and whisky fed krokos,” the taloned server informed us. Dan ordered a plate of each.

I new not to show fear but one look at the moving eyeball on my plate and I couldn’t stifle a yelp.

“Release the krokos,” hissed the server.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the misspelled word! It is pretty late at night for me. Can you delete my previous entry? Here is my corrected entry:

Dan said it is almost impossible to get into the new demon sushi restaurant. Luckily, as fate would have it his second cousin is a brimstone dealer. The epic fish tank behind the bar displayed evil looking aquatic delicacies never seen in human oceans

“Tonight we are serving white slevin wrapped in nightshade along with sage and whisky fed krokos,” the taloned server informed us. Dan ordered a plate of each.

I knew not to show fear but one look at the moving eyeball on my plate and I couldn’t stifle a yelp.

“Release the krokos,” hissed the server.

Lale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lale said...

Fear blossomed hot in Slevin’s stomach as he smelled the earthy scent of sage. Even though he was now a sixth degree Dan and almost beyond harm, the smell of the spice his parents had been cooking with the day he discovered their bodies still gave him shivers. As fate would dictate, he came across it more often than he should have during his job as a policeman-a line of work that some called epic but that most thought had turned him into a madman.

Spiced Apple Eye said...

"I will not crush the sage," Dan said. Slevin shoved a girl into the ring who sniffed the air. In the corner crouched a fanged creature, its slitted eyes studied the morsel. Slevin grinned, "Release the Krokos."

Dan's fists closed upon the sage, his power drained even as the Krokos leapt for him. Fate smelled Slevin's sage as his power grew. Blind he discounted the child and she approached unchallenged. Fate crushed the sage. Slevin sputtered as his strength waned. Dan breathed his last with triumphant words, "never mess with Fate." Thus ended his epic tale.

Kevin said...

"What time is it?" asked Dan.
"'slevin, or is it ten? Hell I don't know," replied Nathan."What are we doing guarding this town anyway? We take over a town in an epic battle for sage?"
"Saffron you idiot." Dan snapped.
"The fate of the world rests on saffron from Krokos? Why don't we just release the Krokos people and go buy some saffron at Costco?"
“Shut up you donkey! It's gotta be Greek saffron. That's what they told us. Just keep your mouth shut and do your job.”
“Ok...still, sounds pretty stupid....”
Dan rolled his eyes.

Steve Forti said...

I enter Sage Apartments, my copy of The Epic of Gilgamesh tucked under my arm. A man with an ice pack held to his swollen mouth follows me into the elevator. He smells like the dentist’s office, and a sudden toothache makes me hope I’m not soon facing a similar fate.
“Which floor?”
“Slevin,” he slurs, holding up fingers.
I press the button and wait for the doors to release. The Krakos – Dan and Emily – are coming over later, and Dan loves ancient texts. He’ll never suspect I’ve poisoned the pages – finally, revenge for stealing my spices.
Ouch, my tooth.

Rachael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachael said...

“I’m running to Slevin. Do you want a Slurpee?” Dan hollered on his way out the door, but didn’t wait for an answer. I didn’t look up from my papers. My marriage sucked.

When I met him, I thought it was fate. He was wise for 18, full of sage advice, and our time spent doing the grownup was epic. I didn’t know that within days of saying “I do” I would be abandoned for nerdboys in the basement screaming things like “Release the Krokos, Dungeon Master!”

Under “irreconcilable differences” I wrote “Role player,” and signed away my marriage.

JD Horn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JD Horn said...

Her fingers brushed mine as we both reached for the hand break release. The Krokos hills glowed in the Mediterranean sun, the same light that was blessed by fate to touch her bare shoulders. The car, ancient as the epic of Odysseus, spluttered forward from the village toward the fields scented by saffron and sage.

I spoke no Greek. She knew only a few words of English. We made due with a pidgin French. “Je t’aime,” I said. Her clipped accent rendered her response into “Slevin keeparl, Dan.” This I translated into “C’est le vin qui parle.”

Anonymous said...

Sage went on her epic binge alone. Knowing her fate, her friends couldn’t watch again.

By midnight, she only had to nod at the bartender, a cute guy named Dan, when she wanted more.

"Release the Krokos," she yelled, replacing the name of the whiskey with that of her boyfriend. Novelist, yeah right. Bastard worked at a gas station.

She heard herself laughing, realized it sounded like a cackle.

"That's sleven drinks in two hours, if you’re crounting," she said.

The only response was another cackle, which she took to be from her personal demons. Those bitches never shut up.


Kelsey said...

Thanks for the giveaway :) Love the creative contest. Here goes:

“Release The Krokos, sage—er, page!” Slevin shouted, leaping off his bed, brandishing his small wooden sword. He wore a sheet as a cape, and just then he stepped on it and made a strangled sound.

His roommate, Dan, sat in the corner, looking at him with a bored expression. “Could you make this epic adventure quieter? The nurse will come in here.”

Slevin ignored this. He climbed back on the bed, shouting at his invisible foe, whacking the sword on the wall. “Come meet your fate!” the boy boomed.

He tripped on the long sheet and hit his head.


Marjorie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marjorie said...

Dan smelled parsley and sage, and he was vaguely reminded of his epic luck last year when he lunched with the charismatic Janet Reid.

On this day, he sat in the Blue Pointe Grill waiting for Rosemary, who was always late. He put his stories under his chair. Then, the door burst open and Slevin Kelevra headed for his table.

"Release the Krokos's," Slevin screamed. "Release the Krokos," he demanded. "Huh," Dan replied. "Release the Krokoses," Slevin cried. Without hesitation, Dan handed over "The Easy Way Out" and "Skinless," and he smiled. Fate worked in such strange ways.

Unknown said...

Dan Slevin adjusted his broken glasses. They were held together by tape, and the words kept blurring.
"I'll show them!" He laughed maniacally.
He hoped it was maniacal. It kind of ended in a cough.
The epic spell had been written by a mad sage. It would summon a dread dragon, a horrible beast of fate. Dan’s glasses slipped again as he read the final words:
"Release the Krokus!"
He paused when the dragon did not appear. Squinting, he raised the book to his face.
"Wait, I meant Kraken," Dan muttered before drowning in a slimy tide of froggy ribbits.

Tamara Narayan said...

The dragon growled in his cage—teeth gnashing, eyes red.

Dan gripped his sword. It would be a fight of epic proportions.

“Let me give you some advice,” Slevin said. “Your fate is sealed. Put the sword to your own throat while you can.”

Dan winked. “Sage advice friend, but I’ll tarry on this putrid plane a bit longer.”

Slevin frowned. “Fine, have it your way. Guard! Release the . . .”

“Krokos! Down!”

Dan dropped to the ground, hearing the deadly arrow’s hiss as it found its mark.

Blood poured out of Slevin’s mouth and he fell.

Christina Auret said...

Well congratulations. I'm sure the book will be a roaring success.

My entry:

The guy was leaning against one of the Slevin gum adverts that covered the bus shelter. Sage saw that he was reading her favorite epic fantasy before she really saw him. Most people thought Release The Krokos was the worst thing ever written, but she noticed the guy looked like he was enjoying himself.
Sage seldom really looked at her fellow commuters, but when the bus arrived and Dan looked up she really saw him and he really saw her. Fate can be funny. Sage had never dreamed she would fall in love at the bus shelter.

Miss Cris said...

When I saw the mirror covered in coke I knew I’d see Jesus’s dick that night.

Across the room Sage watched Madison body-roll while Leonard Cohen Hallelujah’d.

“You get epic?”

First hit.

I looked down at the white pile in my face and back up at Dan.

“What?” I said. Shit, 21 years and never had a Holy-Jehovah-is-this-peer-pressure moment.

“Dude, she’s totally straight-laced.” Sage saved fate, blessed me with a new hyphenate.

“Hundred percent straight-laced?”

I nod.

Second hit.

He looked like he was praying to Madison’s three-tier plastic wheeled drawer.

Slevin always said those things were too low.

Stephanie Lorée said...

“Bring me the slevin shages,” Zeus demanded, waving his cup until a dark liquid sloshed over, ruining his lighting print toga.

“The seven sages are dead, your mightiness,” the minion said.

“Who’sh gonna esplain to this wench I’m boss?”

“Calliope is the Muse of Epic Poetry, your illustriousness.” The page dabbed wine with the God-approved Tide™ stick. “And your daughter.”

“She’sa wench! Dance, wench, dan—”

“Your awesomeness, perhaps your affections might be better directed at the Fates. Clotho often glances your—”

“Spinster,” Zeus spit. “I know wenches needs.”

“Your wonderfulness, you can’t mean—”

“Yesh. Release The Krokos.”

Lauren Jean said...

It was an epic day. A stabbing downtown had everyone talking. "One dead in brutal murder" would be the headline in the newspaper for which I work. Our motto, "Covers Harney County Like the Sagebrush," usually involves stories on 4-H and cattle prices. This was actual news.

I arrived at the scene with my camera.

"Hey, Slevin," I greeted the Police Chief.

"Dan, about time," he replied.

"Anyone in custody?"

"As fate would have it, we just picked up Paul and Stu."

"The Krokos boys?"

"Yeah, but we'll have to release the Krokos if we can't produce more evidence."

Master P said...

She hated being a sage to the netherworld. But it was her fate since the day she was born with the mark. “The mark of the Krocos,” her grandmammy said. At the time she had no idea what that meant. And she wished she had never found out.

“Slevin, slither and slime,” she chanted. “An angry god from time.”

“I don’t like this,” said Dan. “Not at all.”

“Shh,” she hissed as her eyes rolled back.

He did as he was told.

“Ep…Ep…ic…ic,” she stammered in a tongue older than man.

And the stench of the Krocos was upon them.

Master P said...

“Stay put, Walter,” she said with finality.

He nodded obediently as she disappeared into the store.

The sunlight in his eyes was soon replaced by a voice.

“The destroyer is ready to attack, Admiral Dan!” called the plebe.

He nodded again. Only a sage man could rescue them from an unsavory fate. “As Admiral of the U.S.S. Slevin it is an epic day,” he replied. “We will sink the Krocos for the safety of our country.”

The plebe smiled in admiration. The sun shined brighter.

“Walter Mitty, Junior,” asked his mother upon return. “Are you daydreaming again?”

He didn’t answer.

Ellie said...

"What time is it?"

"'Slevin," Dan replied through a mouthful of sage dressing. I'd been cooking all morning and he'd been eating all morning, an epic performance on both sides.

"Dinner's at noon. Let the turkey rest, or the juices will run and release the k-- Rokos?" I peered out the window. "Get another chair. Rokos Tabakovich is here."

Dan obliged, kissing my cheek as he passed.

Thanksgiving in July. Why not? Who knew if we'd see November? The aliens would reach Earth tonight and dammit, I wasn't leaving anyone to face their fate without first facing a pecan pie.

Latoya Alloway said...

Sheila Howard sat watching her mother, wondering how the woman who used to offer her such sage advice could now barely recognize her own face in the mirror.
“Steven, mom. His name is Steven.”
“Steven” she states as if trying to imprint the word onto her brain with permanent marker.
Sheila’s husband, Dan, interjected, “Come on, honey. Let’s go. We’ve been here an hour and she doesn’t recognize any of us.”
As Sheila left she scanned her mother and knew she would never return despite the epic consequences that decision may hold for her mother’s fate.

Tammy said...

Slevin and Sage raced through the garden, tempting fate. The farmer took aim with his epic style gun.


"You no good varmints. Get out of my garden."

Through the neighbor's fence, the rabbits ran, passing their brother Dan. Startled, the younger rabbit froze in terror. Something whizzed by the trio. The farmer crashed through the gate, tripped and fell, hollering a string of curses.


Dazed, the farmer rose to his haunches, staring warily at the large dog.

Giggling, the brother hares slipped through the other side of the fence.

"Release The Krokos," the youngest one cried.

Unknown said...

“Fate brought us together.” Dan Slevin tenderly pulled his girlfriend’s hands into his as he dropped to his knees and pulled out a small box.

“Release the Krokos!” bellowed a voice from above. Confetti dumped down on them from the second story as his fraternity brother, Jim, emptied a bucket in one fell swoop.

It wasn’t the gentle snowfall of paper that Dan had imagined.

“Epic,” said Sage as she spat a clump of paper out of her face. “You can’t even propose on your own?”

Kate Higgins said...

Dan pulled at the tiny scrap of parchment hidden beneath the dusty epic manuscript his father had been working on before he disappeared. Old, weathered and barely in one piece, the paper ripped in two. Dan sighed and stuck the mini flashlight between his teeth and struggled to hold the two scraps together with both hands. He could just barely read the cryptic message, “Beware! Do not release the Krokos!” And although the writing was strangely loose and shaky, the signature was still faintly legible, it read, “The Sage of Slevin.” This was the final clue to his father’s fate.

Kate Higgins said...

Suzie, I hope you take into consideration that it's only 9:32pm on June 30th where I live. Seattle. You didn't specify eastern time as your deadline. Great Idea for a contest.

JD Horn said...

Argh! The suspense! The envelope, please!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Matthew MacNish said...

I haven't read this book, but my daughter loved it and reviewed it on Lisa and Laura's blog. Lisa D. seemed pretty happy about her thoughts.

Considering that the accomplishment is yours as well Suzie, I thought I would share the link with you, here.