SWEET MADNESS by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie … cover reveal and giveaway!
Mar23

SWEET MADNESS by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie … cover reveal and giveaway!

SWEET MADNESS, September 18 2015 from Merit Press Lizzie Borden took an axe And gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty one. Mark it to read on Goodreads! Preorder on Amazon and Barnes & Noble today!   Authors, Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie have given so much to the writing community through their participation in Pitch Wars and other events, and I’m so thrilled to be a part of their SWEET MADENSS’s cover reveal. Also, they’re giving away four books from Merit Press! For a chance to win one, enter the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. Here’s a bit about SWEET MADNESS and the wonderful authors who wrote it … BLURB: Who was Lizzie Borden? A confused young woman, or a coldhearted killer? For generations, people all over the world have wondered how Andrew Borden and his second wife, Abby, met their gruesome deaths. Lizzie, Andrew’s younger daughter, was charged, but a jury took only 90 minutes to find her not guilty. In this retelling, the family maid, Bridget Sullivan, shines a compassionate light on a young woman oppressed by her cheap father and her ambitious stepmother. Was Lizzie mad, or was she driven to madness?   About the Authors:   Trisha Leaver Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr Trisha lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather irreverent black lab. She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life. She writes Young Adult Contemporary fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press. To can learn more about Trisha’s books, upcoming shenanigans, and her quest to reel in the perfect tuna, visit her website www.trishaleaver.com.   Lindsay Currie Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook Lindsay lives in Chicago with her three awesome children, husband, and a one hundred and sixty pound lap dog named Sam. She has an unnatural fondness for coffee, chocolate and things that go bump in the night. She spends her days curled up in the comfortable confines of her writing nook, penning young adult psychological horror, contemporary fiction and science-fiction and is published with Flux/Llewellyn, Merit Press and Spencer Hill Contemporary. Learn more about her at www.lindsaycurrie.com.   a Rafflecopter...

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Another Pitch Wars Success Interview with Linsey Miller and Jessie Devine!
Mar21

Another Pitch Wars Success Interview with Linsey Miller and Jessie Devine!

The best part of the contests for us around here is when we hear about successes. Today I am so beyond excited to introduce you to Linsey Miller and her Pitch Wars mentor Jessie Devine for a Q and A regarding her recent success! Linsey recently signed with Rachel Brooks of L. Perkins Agency. So as to not make this post a novel, we’ll jump right into the interview. Linsey, what made you decide to send a Pitch Wars application to Jessie? I knew from the start I wanted to submit to mentors who mentioned wanting diversity. Then, while combing through all of the awesome bios, Jessie immediately stood out. He liked Scott Westerfeld, tough choices, and romance. I started following Jessie on Twitter and by the end of the week was hoping this cool person who liked all the same books I did and had great insights into publishing would like my manuscript. I really believed Jessie would like the concept and know how to help me improve, but didn’t want to get my hopes up. I tried to sleep through announcement night thinking what was coming would come, but woke up to read the list of mentees anyways. Pitch Wars excitement is probably a better pick-me-up than anything else. Jessie, what about Linsey’s application made you choose her? She sent me exactly what I asked for: YA fantasy with romance and a queer MC. Also: her voice is brilliant.  Linsey, tell us about the revision period for Pitch Wars? It was great! Jessie sent me his notes within a few days: an edit letter and line edits. What blew me away was that Jessie did get the story and how I wanted to tell it, and he knew how to improve it. I treated revisions like a job and after completing Jessie’s revisions, worked on polishing the manuscript. A few weeks before the contest, Jessie and I worked on getting the pitch and first page ready for agents. Jessie, tell us about your experience with mentoring Linsey. How was mentoring your other team members?  My mentoring experience was amazing. Linsey and Melody worked so hard, and they had the best attitudes. They were both totally willing and excited to gut the parts of their mss that needed work, and their perseverance impressed me. They’re both great at taking criticism in stride too. I’m not great at sugarcoating things, but they insist they still like me. 😉 Linsey, after Pitch Wars you signed with Rachel Brooks of the L. Perkins Agency, tell us about “The Call.” Can you tell us the details about the offer: How long did you have...

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UNDER A PAINTED SKY by Stacey Lee … book release!
Mar17

UNDER A PAINTED SKY by Stacey Lee … book release!

Indiebound | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Powells | BAM   An unforgettable story of friendship and sacrifice–perfect for fans of Code Name Verity. Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.   Reviews … “A vivid, nontraditional western…with plenty of twists…Growing romantic undertones with hints of uncertain sexuality add bonus interest to a story that distinguishes itself by integrating strands of Chinese lore and wisdom, Christianity, and music with themes of friendship, diversity, and survival.”— Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review “Well-crafted and suspenseful, with more flow than ebb to the tension that stretches like taut wires across plotlines, Lee’s tale ingeniously incorporates Chinese philosophy and healing, music, art and religion, as well as issues of race and discrimination (including abolitionist views and examples of cruel slave treatment)…Emotionally resonant and not without humor, this impressive debut about survival and connection, resourcefulness and perseverance will keep readers on the very edges of their seats.” — Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review “High drama, tension, romantic longings, and touches of humor will entice historical fiction fans, and will be a perfect tie-in to social studies curriculum.”— School Library Journal “You’re going to love this book. It has heroines that will fill your heart with courage, a plot that will keep your blood rushing, and a love story that will take your breath away.”— Francisco X. Stork, award-winning author of MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD “Under a Painted Sky shines light on an underserved corner of American History in the Wild West with beauty, grace and humor, while deftly addressing race, class and gender politics. Gorgeously imagined, told with wit, insight and characters you grow quickly to love, Stacey Lee brings us a romance adventure of the best order.”— Sherri L. Smith, award-winning author of...

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Another Pitch Wars Success Interview with Whitney Taylor and Erica Chapman!
Mar11

Another Pitch Wars Success Interview with Whitney Taylor and Erica Chapman!

The best part of the contests for us around here is when we hear about successes. Today I am so beyond excited to introduce you to Whitney Taylor and her Pitch Wars mentor Erica M. Chapman for a Q and A regarding her recent success! Whitney recently signed with Maria Vicente of P.S. Literary Agency. So as to not make this post a novel, we’ll jump right into the interview. Whitney, what made you decide to send a Pitch Wars application to Erica? The moment I came across Erica’s blog and saw that she was looking for YA that dealt with mental health issues, I was sold. I was nervous that not many people would “get” my book because it deals with depression in an offbeat sort of way, but I felt extremely confident that she would be the perfect person to submit to after reading her blog. She had great credentials and a ton of experience, so I knew I’d be in good hands. I even made a list of all the potential mentors and put her on the very top, bolded and underlined! Erica, what about Whitney’s application made you choose her? Oh, I was pulled in by Whitney’s amazing voice. I read hers early on and couldn’t stop thinking about it. Something just stuck with me about the story. Whitney is such a talented writer! Also, I could pinpoint how I could help her MS and that’s important to me, that I can help. Hard to pass up a voice like hers up when it’s presented to you  😉 Whitney, tell us about the revision period for Pitch Wars? Revisions are never not intimidating! Erica suggested big-picture edits to start, and luckily it wasn’t too much of an overhaul. The changes she suggested were elements of the story I’d already had my doubts about, so it was great that we were totally on the same page. She line-edited a few chapters for me once I’d revised them to the point where I was convinced they were written in another language. Her greatest nugget of wisdom was: when it comes to story-telling, sometimes a little subtlety goes a long way. (Seriously, some parts of my manuscript read like All My Children). Erica, tell us about your experience with mentoring Whitney. How was mentoring your other team members?  Mentoring was a blast. I had a great experience this year and learned a lot myself. I devoured both stories! I really lucked out with the talent this year. Both Whitney and Megan wrote stories I couldn’t pass up. There were so many great pitches/250 I wavered on, but I always trust...

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A call for #PitMad Success Stories.
Mar10

A call for #PitMad Success Stories.

  Sólveig Zophoníasdóttir I’m always getting tweets about successes that happened because of the #PitMad twitter pitch parties, and I thought it might be fun to document those successes. So if you’ve found an agent or publisher during the twitter pitch parties, we’d love to hear about it. We’ll add a page to the blog specifically for #PitMad successes. How can you participate? Easy. Just tell us the details about your success in one to two paragraphs in the comments of this post. Please include your twitter handle, name, and your agent’s name or publisher’s name.  We’ll put them all together in one place so future twitter pitch hopefuls can get inspiration by your success. Can’t wait to read the successes. Thank you in advance for...

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Awakening by Shannon Duffy Book Trailer Reveal!
Mar09

Awakening by Shannon Duffy Book Trailer Reveal!

Awakening by Shannon Duffy Release Date: 04/07/15 Entangled Teen Pre-Order Links: Amazon│Barnes & Noble│KoboBooks| iTunes Add it to Goodreads   I’m so thrilled to share my good friend and critique partner Shannon Duffy’s book trailer for AWAKENING! Check it out, you’re going to love it … Link to trailer: http://youtu.be/uFnypTJrb8g   About Awakening … Desiree Six (because she was born on a Friday) believes in everything the Protectorate stands for. She likes the safety and security of having her entire life planned out—her career, her mate, even the date of her death. She doesn’t even think to question when Darian, her childhood friend and neighbor, is convicted of murdering his parents. They had seemed like such a loving family. But if he was convicted, then he must have done it. Then Darian shows up in her room late one night. He has escaped the Terrorscape—a nightmare machine used to punish all Noncompliants—and he needs Desiree’s help. What he tells her rocks her world to its core and makes her doubt everything she’s ever been told. With this new information, will Desiree and Darian be able to escape the Protectorate before it’s too late?   About the Author … Shannon Duffy Author of MG and YA books full of adventure. I grew up on the east coast of Canada in the province of Newfoundland and now live in Ontario. I love writing, reading, fashion, fitness, and traveling. Author links:            ...

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Another Pitch Wars Success Interview with Sean Lamb and Dannie Morin!
Mar07

Another Pitch Wars Success Interview with Sean Lamb and Dannie Morin!

The best part of the contests for us around here is when we hear about successes. Today I am so beyond excited to introduce you to Sean Lamb and his Pitch Wars mentor Dannie Morin for a Q and A regarding her recent success! Sean recently signed with Amy Tipton of Signature Literary Agency.  So as to not make this post a novel, we’ll jump right into the interview. Sean, what made you decide to send a Pitch Wars application to Dannie? Dannie was at the top of my list as soon as I saw she wanted “all the boy books.” Her PW bio also mentioned her work as an addictions therapist, and I thought she might be able to share some insights into working with struggling teens that would relate to my book. I also participated in one of her Bait and Pitch workshops a few months prior, and she helped polish my Twitter pitch. Dannie, what about Sean’s application made you choose him? Sean’s manuscript refused to be put away. That’s the only way I can describe it. There were a couple other manuscripts that I also liked that were more polished, but his manuscript demanded my attention. Every time I tried to convince myself that I needed to go with something that was more query-ready, I couldn’t make myself do it. I loved his writing too hard. I was excited about the concept and I wanted to be a part of the journey. And he had a great pitch, I remembered his idea from the workshop he mentioned, and it had stuck with me. It was an emotion-based decision, and a good one, because he’s worked really hard and it’s paying off. Sean, tell us about the revision period for Pitch Wars? Dannie’s edit letter was a bit intimidating, but she organized it in a way that let me break it into sections and pinpoint specific areas that needed major help. First, I went through the manuscript and addressed her inline comments. Then I went through the full edit letter one section at a time until I felt like the revised draft was in a good place. I also drank gallons of coffee. Dannie, tell us about your experience with mentoring Sean. How was mentoring your other team members? I really enjoyed working with Sean. My team this year was very easy-going but determined. One thing I loved about Sean’s attitude toward revision is that he was very focused on the writing itself, the process of writing, as opposed to the agent round. He entered PitchWars for the exact reason this particular pitch contest is intended—to...

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HOW TO PUNISH YOUR PLAYBOY by Mina Vaughn … cover reveal!
Mar06

HOW TO PUNISH YOUR PLAYBOY by Mina Vaughn … cover reveal!

Simon & Schuster Pre-order now! Amazon’s Kindle Store Apple iBookstore Barnes & Noble Blio Books-a-Million Google ebookstore Kobo Add to your Goodreads bookshelf!   How to Punish Your Playboy By Mina Vaughn Synopsis: In this saucy and funny domination romance, pin-up model Veronika Kane meets sexy, arrogant Aston Delano and decides to teach this playboy a lesson he’ll never forget. When Veronika Kane hears that she’s up for Miss Pin Up Las Vegas, she auctions off her classic hot-rod and decides to head out west. But when the man who bought her car, hot restaurateur Aston Delano, asks her to “show him the ropes,” his not-so-innocent question takes them down a surprising, sexy road. And as they travel cross-country as Domme/sub, their chemistry sizzles—as do the luscious meals Aston creates. Torn between the rediscovered pleasure of food and worry about staying in competition shape, Mistress Veronika unexpectedly finds herself as much a pupil as a teacher. Throw in long-distance trouble from her ex and from Aston’s family, and it’s a potential recipe for disaster. A road trip can be hard on any relationship—will this drive them apart, or will they buckle in for the long haul? Excerpt: I put my hands on my knees and leaned over in a full-on sex kitten pose. “I’m kinky. I’m into bondage. I like to tie men like you up and have them for dinner,” I said into his ear. Part of me contemplated adding, Not, like, literally, since this boy was skittish. Again with the ragged breaths. This one was going to drive me crazy. I undid those tempting buttons on his vest first. Jeez, a jacket, vest, and shirt just to get to this guy’s skin? What a tease. “Okay,” he said softly. “Um, what do I do?” His eyes were still full of fear and questions, but I knew he was game. His body was telling me more by the second. His open, wet mouth and the stiffening in his pants betrayed his real interest. I smiled. “All you have to do is obey. Submit.” “Okay, but I don’t think I’ve ever done either of those things in my life,” he admitted, his roguish expression returning. I knew he was too cocky for this. “What happens if I don’t?” He narrowed his eyes and pouted his lips. Instead of dropping my smile, it widened. “You get punished.” It was go big or go home time with my Dirty Playboy, and he had lessons to learn. His tan skin blanched slightly and he forced a nod. “Yes . . . Mistress?” I tapped his cheek with my fingers. “You’re a fast...

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FAIRY KEEPER by Amy Bearce … book release!
Mar05

FAIRY KEEPER by Amy Bearce … book release!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble Goodreads Giveaway!   FAIRY KEEPER, by Amy Bearce, an upper middle grade fantasy Synopsis:   Forget cute fairies in pretty dresses.  In the world of Aluvia, most fairies are more like irritable, moody insects.  Still, almost everyone views the fairy keeper mark as a gift.  It reveals someone has the ability to attract and even control fairies.  Fourteen-year-old Sierra considers it a curse, one that binds her to a dark alchemist father who steals her fairies’ mind-altering nectar for his illegal elixirs and poisons.  But when her fairy queen and all the other queens go missing, more than just the life of her fairy is in the balance if they aren’t found.  Sierra will stop at nothing to find them, leading her to a magical secret lost since ancient times.  The magic waiting for her has the power to transform the world, but only if she can first embrace her destiny as a fairy keeper. Curiosity Quill’s page for Fairy Keeper (has sample chapters): https://curiosityquills.com/books/fairy-keeper/ Amy Bearce Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest Amy writes stories for tweens and teens. She is a former reading teacher who now has her Masters in Library Science. As an Army kid, she moved eight times before she was eighteen, so she feels especially fortunate to be married to her high school sweetheart. Together they’re raising two daughters and are currently living in Germany. A perfect day for Amy involves rain pattering on the windows, popcorn, and every member of her family curled up in one cozy room reading a good...

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Pitch Madness SORRY! Edition … Game on!
Mar01

Pitch Madness SORRY! Edition … Game on!

Welcome to the Red Team! It’s been a long week of reading through all the amazing pitches. Our wonderful readers have narrowed the slush, and your game hosts have chosen sixty pitches for the game. To meet the slush readers, agent insiders, and the blog teams go to this post here. And you can find out more about the amazing agents playing the game on this post here. For those of you not familiar with Pitch Madness, it’s a contest where agents compete in a game against their peers for pitches and you can find the instructions here. This Pitch Madness the game is Scroll down to view all 15 picks for my blog or click on the links to each post … Middle Grade B-1: Middle Grade Humor: THE RANSOM OF MISS ELVERNA DOWER B-2: Middle Grade Contemporary Fantasy: THE GREAT WOODS B-3: Middle Grade Fantasy: DARK SKY’S ASHES Young Adult B-4: Young Adult Urban Fantasy (LGBQTIA): MEMORIES OF THE FALLEN B-5: Young Adult Contemporary: THE FAN GENE B-6: Young Adult Gothic Horror: IN DARKNESS WE RISE B-7: Young Adult Fantasy: FORSAKEN B-8: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy: CHARMED LEVERAGE B-9: Young Adult Mythological Fantasy: JANE UNWRAPPED B-10: Young Adult Fantasy: DOLL HOUSE New Adult/Adult B-11: New Adult Contemporary: DARE YOU B-12: Adult Women’s Fiction: THE KIDDUSH LADIES B-13: Adult Historical Fantasy: CHALK CIRCLES B-14: Adult Historical Women’s Fiction: SOMEPLACE WILD B-15: Adult Thriller/Suspense: WHILE WE WEPT B-16: Adult Women’s Fiction: THE WILDFLOWER SEASON B-17: Adult Literary/Magical Realism: GRAVITY LESSENS   Go to the other hosts’ blogs to read all the winning pitches … Brenda Drake’s blog Rebecca Coffindaffer’s blog Summer Heacock’s blog Sharon Johnston’s blog   Comments are set to moderation so the agents won’t see their competitors’ bids. Please no comments other than those from the agents. After the game, we’ll release the moderation and let you all comment on the entries. We’ll reveal the agent requests on March 4 at 12:00PM (that’s noon) EST. Please note: We will email submission details for all requests by the agents. After the contest, agents will make requests to us for the pitches they loved and did not win. All the twitter fun will happen on the hashtag #PitchMadness! Congratulations to those who’ve made it into the game! For those who haven’t made it (and whoever else wants to join us), we are hosting a Twitter Pitch Party on March 11 from 8AM to 8PM EST on the hashtag #PitMad. How do you twitter pitch? You can find all the details here. A huge HUGE thank you to my team, Kimberly P. Chase, Fiona McLaren, and Naomi Hughes!   And...

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Pitch Madness B-1: MG: THE RANSOM OF MISS ELVERNA DOWER
Mar01

Pitch Madness B-1: MG: THE RANSOM OF MISS ELVERNA DOWER

Genre: Middle Grade Humor Word Count: 30,000 Pitch: Seventh graders Casey and Tim are used to being in trouble, but they get more than they can handle when they impulsively kidnap their demanding English teacher and nobody, especially their principal, wants her back. Excerpt: PROLOGUE Tuesday. There is very little point to Tuesdays. It is a well-known fact that nothing important ever happened on a Tuesday, certainly nothing good ever did. And Tuesdays in February are probably the most pointless days in all of history. Dark, cold, not even halfway to Friday—well, research would probably show that most of the bad decisions ever made were made on Tuesdays in February. Your mind just isn’t right. Of course, some February Tuesdays stand out more than others. One in particular was the kind of February Tuesday that kind of sticks in your memory. Forever. You see that was the Tuesday they decided to kidnap Miss Dower. CHAPTER ONE “I don’t suppose you’re ready for English.” Casey Matthews pulled open the locker she shared with Tim. “Is anyone ever ready for English?” She bent down and checked her look in the smudged mirror that hung on the door. She actually liked today’s version of the loosely organized frizz of her dark hair, and the new fluorescent lime green and black striped top went well with her skinny black jeans and Converse. For an added touch, a coordinating lime green bandana dangled from the back pocket of her jeans. She reached into the little pocket of her backpack. A little more black eyeliner. Actually, a lot more. “Are you auditioning for the school play?” Tim asked. “I hear they need a raccoon.” She slammed the door and looked down at Tim with the same pained expression she saw on her mother when she applied her extra eyeliner before coming to school....

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Pitch Madness B-2: MG: THE GREAT WOODS
Mar01

Pitch Madness B-2: MG: THE GREAT WOODS

Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary Fantasy Word Count: 37,000 Pitch: Jenny ran to the forbidden woods to escape her turbulent family. Now the unicorns there are dying, and it’s her fault. To save them, she must best a lion and steal blood from a giant. Excerpt: It began with the fireflies, as magic often does. Jenny was in the field behind her grandparents’ house with her younger brother, chasing fireflies. She spied a good one, low-flying and lackadaisical, and followed it past the shed and into the darkening woods. “Jen-ny,” Billy’s voice echoed through the trees. He always worried about her. He was worse than Gran. Jenny wouldn’t be bothered about Billy and his fretting, though. Or about her grumpy grandparents and their boring old house, or her parents a million miles away in Evanston. She scanned the woods like a prowling jaguar. She wanted that flashing light, and she was going to get it. The light flared to her left. Jenny crept up to it. She had her special blue jar, the one her dad gave her right before she left, tight in her hands. She lunged for the firefly, but it darted past a thin beech. Jenny pursed her lips and blew her bangs out of her eyes. You’re not getting away that easy, mister. Little sticks and sharp pebbles replaced the soft July grass under her bare feet as she got deeper into the woods. That should have been a sign – the woods knew Jenny didn’t belong there, and tried to urge her away. Jenny didn’t notice the warning, though. She only had eyes for that small and magical glow. The firefly lit beyond a low bush, and Jenny’s eyes lit with it. It was close. She could get it. She tiptoed toward it....

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