THE GHOST CHRONICLES by Marlo Berliner … release day!
Nov17

THE GHOST CHRONICLES by Marlo Berliner … release day!

It’s a Book Birthday! We’re celebrating the release of THE GHOST CHRONICLES by Marlo Berliner! THE GHOST CHRONICLES is a YA paranormal with romantic elements and adult crossover appeal. This is the story ripped from the headlines about a young person who dies tragically through no fault of their own. Unfortunately we read these stories nearly every day in the newspaper or see them on TV. The kind of young person you hear has died and you find yourself thinking, What a shame. They had so much going for them, such a promising future. Why did that have to happen? For this reason, this book was the book of my heart. I wanted it to be as realistic a story as possible of what it might be like to die tragically and be trapped in the afterlife as a ghost. Let’s face it, we all have to die and none of us can say with certainty what happens when we do. It’s the biggest fear of the unknown there is! Oh, we may think we know, or may have certain beliefs about what might happen, but what if it doesn’t happen that way? What if you are suddenly and unfairly taken from this life and now you’re stuck and don’t know why? How angry would you be? What would you do? How much would you begin to question all you’ve ever believed in? It won’t be completely apparent until later in the series, but I wanted it to be a story of great hope for anyone who has tragically lost someone they love, especially someone young. Here’s the goodreads blurb for the book: Can Michael get to heaven before the devil gets him first, and if it means leaving Sarah is he sure he still wants to go? Michael Andrews had everything – a loving family, a great girlfriend and a promising basketball career. That was before the accident that took his life. Now, he’s a ghost, wandering among the living, struggling to understand why he’s stuck. All he wants is to move on. That is until he meets Sarah, an attractive young girl who died just as tragically as he did. The only trouble is falling in love and binding oneself to another soul is forbidden, for it may keep one or both of the souls bound to earth for longer than they should be. To make matters worse, there’s also a danger in going too far with Sarah, because the “joining” of two souls in the afterlife is also strictly forbidden and they don’t know what will happen if they do go that far. Each time they...

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#Bookhuggles Contest Author Spotlight … Jaye Robin Brown
Nov16

#Bookhuggles Contest Author Spotlight … Jaye Robin Brown

Jaye Robin Brown Website | Twitter | Instagram We’re holding an amazing contest over on Instagram on the hashtag #bookhuggles, where authors are posting pics of themselves with their books and readers are posting pics of their favorite books or current reads. There’s three gift boxes full of books and surprises for US addresses and a $50 Amazon gift card for international addresses up for grabs that will be rewarded to winners of the contest. See the ad below for all the details on how to enter and participate in this event. Today’s featured author is Jaye Robin Brown and her novel NO PLACE TO FALL.   order from Malaprop’s for a signed copy | indie bound | pre-order Novella on amazon | books a million |barnes & noble Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach. When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all. Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.   Instagram: @brendadrakeauthor  ...

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#BookHuggles … a fun event with a mega giveaway & surprises!
Nov13

#BookHuggles … a fun event with a mega giveaway & surprises!

Have an Instagram account? Know a teen who would like to have a chance to win a gift box full of books, swag, and surprises? Enter the Instagram event on #bookhuggles. All you have to do is take a pic of you with your favorite book or current read in a fun setting or holiday scene and post to your Instagram account. Follow the directions in the above photo. Many of our Pitch Wars mentors and other authors will be participating and we have books to give! Follow me on Instagram @brendadrakeauthor and the hashtag for book box updates and to see what pics everyone comes up with. I’ll also post the author pics here on the blog during the holidays season and maybe have more surprises for you. You all know how much I love surprises!! So what are you waiting for? Get...

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HYBRID by K.T. Hanna … release and giveaway!
Nov10

HYBRID by K.T. Hanna … release and giveaway!

HYBRID (The Domino Project #2) goes out into the world today. We’re celebrating with an excerpt reading, and a giveaway!   If you haven’t read CHAMELEON – it’s on sale until the end of 11/12/15 for $0.99 K.T. Hanna reads an excerpt Blurb As Sai recovers from her life-threatening injuries, she struggles to piece together her damaged relationship with Dom. He fights the parasite within, suddenly freed from the interference of the other Dominos in his head. Inside Central, Bastian’s Shine dosing has become a dangerous dance. Enhanced security protocols and endless meetings have him on a tightrope, with little room to move without revealing himself. When the GNW release the Damascus to begin their systemic hunt of the Exiled, the noose closes around the rebels and their allies. If they can’t disable the threat, the Exiled won’t be the Damascus’ only agenda. ~ Praise for Chameleon – The Domino Project #1 “Wow! A fast-paced, science fiction delight with fabulous action, a seamless world, and the most unique characters I’ve read in a long time.” Elana Johnson, Author of the Possession Series. “Nikita-like post-apocolyptic novel with a heroine that would give Katniss a run for her money.” Alina @ Unfazeable.com Psionics is wicked cool and I wish a meteor would give me some super-secret powers. The logistics of the abilities are many, and normally would have been a nightmare to follow. Hanna handles it with enough subtle description laced through the opening chapters that you’re able to grasp their powers naturally. Heather @ Aussie Owned and Read A seriously great sci-fi. Dark, edgy and complex. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s a gripping read because of the author’s tense voice; the characters are well defined, believable and likeable, despite all of their flaws; the story flows well; and the ending leaves you on edge to read more. If you like sci-fi, you will love this book. Kate Foster – Author of Winell Road HYBRID is available at the following retailers AMAZON | INDIEBOUND Watermark Books – Signed Copies! Celebrate HYBRID’s release with us! Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway! a Rafflecopter...

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Pitch Wars. Knowing the Numbers … by May B. Bridges
Nov09

Pitch Wars. Knowing the Numbers … by May B. Bridges

May B. Bridges Twitter │ Website Writing romance, upmarket, and women’s fiction. Blogging Life. X-Rated Xmas short story coming soon in Short Fuse Publishing’s 2015 Holiday Hot Reads anthology.     Pitch Wars. Knowing the Numbers. By May B. Bridges 125 pitches. 72 hours. 588 requests. The Pitch Wars numbers are in. Mentees spent two months cutting, dicing, adding, elaborating, scrubbing, and polishing their manuscripts. We worked and reworked—more times than we care to admit—50 or so words into the perfect pitch. Then we thrust our shiny words into the world for agents to see. Agents delved into 125 pitches and dished out 588 request in around 72 hours. That’s nuts! I hope those agents are ready to read. So what were agents into, going crazy over, putting on their boxing gloves for? Let’s look at the numbers. The top requested manuscript, with 25 requests, was a contemporary from the MG section. In YA it was a Fantasy that had agents dreaming of a far off land and landing 21 requests. NA/A had agents feeling the love and sending one Romance 11 requests. You can still read all of the pitches and excerpts. Comments are open so you can show your support for your favorites. If you’re an agent still sneaking around, there isn’t a manuscript among them you can go wrong...

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Pitch Wars Agent Round
Nov02

Pitch Wars Agent Round

  Welcome to the Pitch Wars Agent Round! For those unfamiliar with Pitch Wars, it’s a contest where published/agented authors, editors, or interns chose mentees and work with them for two months to make their work shine. Over 1600 writers entered the Pitch Wars contest this year, and only 125 were chosen for the agent round. For a list of the amazing agents participating in Pitch Wars 2015, go here. AGENTS: To make requests, simply peruse the following entries and enter what you would like to have the writers’ send you in the comments of the posts. Please include submission guidelines and/or additional instructions. PLEASE only agent comments. All others save your comments until after the agent round. If you would like to cheer on your friends, go to the Twitter hashtag #PitchWars and show your support there. Thank you! Here are the links to each entry’s post separated by category with genres referenced for your convenience…   Middle Grade Playground PW #101: MG Fantasy: FOLLOW ME PW #102: MG Mystery: BITS AND PIECES PW #103: MG Fantasy/Adventure: THE TRINKET GUARDIAN PW #104: MG Mystery: THE LOST TREASURE OF FULL MOON LAKE PW #105: MG Fantasy: ESSENCE PW #106: MG Fantasy: THE SPY OF LIRON PW #107: MG Science Fiction/Time Travel: THE SHATTERED WATCH PW #108: MG Contemporary: THE THREE RULES OF EVERYDAY MAGIC PW #109: MG Fantasy: THE UNWILLING GODDESS PW #110: MG Science Fiction: LEARNING SPACE PW #111: MG Contemporary: FOR SALE BY MINOR PW #112: MG Contemporary: ALAN KIM IS NOT A COWARD (…RIGHT?) PW #113: MG Contemporary: SCARLET RUNNER BEAN PW #114: MG Contemporary: THE NERD ARMY PW #115: MG Mystery: DELAYED PW #116: MG Contemporary Fantasy: THE GIRL IN THE GARDEN PW #117: MG Historical Mystery: UNDER THE DUST OF RANSOM PW #118: MG Fantasy: RIDDLE OF THE TEN KINGDOMS PW #119: MG Adventure: THE MIRAGE SHIFTER PW #120: MG Contemporary: OPERATION MAGIC PW #121: MG Contemporary: RULES FOR RUNNING AWAY PW #122: MG Fantasy: QUEST FOR THE KALEVALA PW #123: MG Contemporary: BRIGHTLY PW #124: MG Realistic Fiction: HOW TO BURY A BULL PW #125: MG Supernatural Thriller: THE UNFORTUNATE ONES PW #126: MG Spooky Mystery: A GHOULISH AFFAIR PW #127: MG Animal Adventure: OLIVE UNNEEDED PW #128: MG Mystery: THE FLYING GARZINIS PW #129: MG Adventure Fantasy: MARCO POLO & THE MAGICIAN’S RING PW #130: MG Horror: SPOOKY JANE     Young Adult Lunchroom PW #201: YA Contemporary: CAST IN SHADOW PW #202: YA Science Fiction: SPACE ACADEMY REJECTS PW #203: YA Thriller: THE RUNAWAYS PW #204: YA Science Fiction: THE ATLANTIC BOND PW #205: YA Historical: THE MESSENGER PW #206: YA...

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PW #101: MG Fantasy: FOLLOW ME
Nov02

PW #101: MG Fantasy: FOLLOW ME

Manuscript Status: Finished! Mentor Name: Kara Seal Mentee Name: Ashley Martin Title: Follow Me Category: Middle Grade Genre: Fantasy Word Count: 51,200 Pitch: Deep inside the wood, cats can talk and white rabbits wear waistcoats. But when Alivia searches the forest for her missing mother, she finds the roots of her family tree tangled in secrets. Now she must fight for a crown she never wanted – or risk losing her mother forever. Excerpt: The wind had turned cold. The breeze reached through the darkness and raised goosebumps on Alivia’s skin. Teeth chattering, she tucked the covers under her brother’s chin and hugged her arms across her chest as she hurried past the open window. The thin white nightgown that swished around her ankles glowed against the darkness. Like a beam of moonlight. Or a ghost. She dove into the warm refuge of her own bed and pulled up the down-filled quilt, wiggling her toes nearer to her stolen bedwarmer. Alivia smiled with impertinent satisfaction. Aunt Lorina would be furious if she knew several of the potatoes buried in the ashes of the kitchen fireplace were now warming Alivia’s feet. But worse than that, if her aunt knew the window was open on such a cold night, she’d lock it up tighter than the glass-doored bookshelves downstairs in the library. Alivia wrinkled her nose as the scent of half-baked potatoes drifted up from beneath the sheets. Since Aunt Lorina’s arrival they’d dined on potatoes at nearly every meal. Potato soup, potato mash, baked potatoes, fried potatoes, and every other form of potato-something that could be imagined. Alivia missed her mother’s cooking almost as much as she missed her touch, her smile… Her voice. It came then, preceded by a gust of wind that rippled the curtains and sent a chill up Alivia’s back, despite the down and potatoes. Like an echo of the wind, a familiar voice whispered. “Follow me…”...

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PW #102: MG Mystery: BITS AND PIECES
Nov02

PW #102: MG Mystery: BITS AND PIECES

Manuscript Status: Finished Mentor Name: Julie Dao Mentee Name: Lorien Hallama Title: BITS AND PIECES Category: MG Genre: Mystery Word Count: 50,020   Pitch: 13-year-old Quinn Parker uncovers a centuries-old-mystery that threatens her whole town. After learning the awful truth about her neighbors, ‘The Oldies’, and the gruesome secret of how they stay young, Quinn faces a race against time to expose them before she becomes their next victim.   Excerpt: Before he died, my dad warned us about Stine Street. “You ever notice that our neighbors don’t age?” he asked Mom and me at dinner. “They seem to get younger by the minute. Just the other day I saw Mr. Wayne sprinting laps around the pond. Sprinting! You believe that? It’s like he went out and got a new pair of legs or something.” Mom smirked as she passed the potatoes and told him to get real. “This is real,” Dad insisted. “I’m telling you, one day you’ll be sitting at this very table saying, Wow, James was right. If only I had listened to him.” “Oh, if only.” At that Mom laughed like Dad was the funniest man on earth. After all, it was her idea to move to Stine Street, AKA, Senior Street, AKA the Dead End Street Where No One Ever Dies. My friends and I call our neighbors “The Oldies”. Mom tells me it’s not a very nice nickname. “With any luck, Quinn, we’ll all live long enough to be as old and look as good as them one day,” she says. I tell Mom that’s the problem: they look too good for their age. It’s like they keep getting younger instead of older. Mom tells me I sound as paranoid as my dad. Then I guess that makes me Team Dad all the way. He was a cop. He had great instincts, so if he believed that something was up with the Oldies, then something was up with the...

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PW #103: MG Fantasy/Adventure: THE TRINKET GUARDIAN
Nov02

PW #103: MG Fantasy/Adventure: THE TRINKET GUARDIAN

Manuscript Status: Finished Mentor Name: Elly Blake Mentee Name: Hilary Harwell Title: THE TRINKET GUARDIAN Category: MG Genre: Fantasy/Adventure Word Count: 49,000 Pitch: When a mist sweeps into town and Grandfather vanishes, twelve-year-old Oliver Pennybottom must enter the land of Mim. There, he’ll have to unravel riddles and battle shape-shifting shadow-beasts in his quest for the powerful trinkets that can save both Grandfather and Mim from a merciless, magic-thirsty Crow Lord. Excerpt: Grandfather placed the cool metal into Oliver’s hand and folded it closed. “The importance of a key can never be fully understood until it finds its lock.” Locks went with keys like trinkets went with magic, nothing new there. But this wasn’t the beginning of one of Grandfather’s usual tales, so Oliver held his tongue. Grandfather was the only parent he’d ever had. The only one he could remember, anyway. Trusting him had always been easy. “Keep it close, no matter what.” Grandfather cleared his throat and shifted his seat. Oliver opened his hand, studying the key’s swirls and bends. “If it’s important, you should hide it somewhere safe. That’s what I always do with things I don’t want to lose.” Grandfather chuckled and leaned into the wooden bench—one of many dotting the park near their house. Everything was old and tired in this part of Harwinton. The weed-ridden lanes, the crumbling stone walls, broken-windowed factories. They made Oliver long for something nicer, something clean and sparkling new. Grandfather’s gaze drifted away from the key, over Oliver’s shoulder. His smile faded. “What is it?” Oliver glanced past rambling brambles, up to the cobblestone bridge. A mist lingered at the bridge’s edge, then it shifted. Grandfather’s body tensed, and his finger shot to his lips. Worry seized Oliver’s throat. He gripped the bench, straining to see. A shadow passed through the gloom. Grandfather jumped to his feet. “We must go.” Then, in a gravelly whisper, “I’d never forgive myself.”...

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PW #104: MG Mystery: THE LOST TREASURE OF FULL MOON LAKE
Nov02

PW #104: MG Mystery: THE LOST TREASURE OF FULL MOON LAKE

Manuscript Status: Finished Mentor Name: Jenna Lehne Mentee Name: Wendy Parris Title: THE LOST TREASURE OF FULL MOON LAKE Category: Middle Grade Genre: Mystery Word Count: 45,000 Pitch: Desperate to save her grandparents’ failing Wisconsin lake resort from demolition, twelve-year-old Mia begs a Ouija board for help. A ghost named Gus responds, claiming knowledge of long-lost cash hidden onsite. Thrilled, Mia follows his sketchy clues, until she discovers Gus was a Chicago bank robber who disappeared in 1932—and his ghost is after her big brother. Clock ticking, Mia must find the loot to bail out the resort before her brother sleeps with the fishes and her family’s legacy disappears forever. Excerpt:  For Mia Molloy, summer never officially began until she dove into Full Moon Lake. Luckily, her grandparents understood this. The second their beat-up Jeep stopped next to the Tamarack Landing lodge, Mia opened the passenger door and hit the ground running. She peeled down to her bathing suit, flinging her T-shirt and shorts on the grass as she raced toward the edge of the bluff, joy bubbling in her chest. Behind her a screen door creaked and a voice whooped, “Finally!” Mia grinned, picturing her best bud Connor McGee bursting out of the ranch house next door, but she couldn’t wait for him. She kept going, skittering down the stone steps to the beach, tearing across the warm sand, pounding along the aluminum dock. Reaching the end, she launched herself into the air, sailing free for one glorious split-second and then—whoosh!—plunged headfirst into the icy Wisconsin water. A muffled roar filled Mia’s ears as she shot downward, her thick black hair streaming away from her face. The second her fingertips struck the reeds she reversed course, legs scissoring, arms sweeping, until she broke through the lake’s surface and inhaled a gulp of fresh, piney air. Summer had started....

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PW #105: MG Fantasy: ESSENCE
Nov02

PW #105: MG Fantasy: ESSENCE

Manuscript Status: Finished Mentor Name: J.C. Davis Mentee Name: K. Kazul Wolf Title: ESSENCE Category: Middle Grade Genre: Fantasy Word Count: 56,000 Pitch: Emma has amnesia, soul-zombies, and dragons to worry about. With no one to trust and a wall of monsters encroaching around her, remembering her past is the key to escape — even if truth is more dangerous than the lies. HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE meets ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Excerpt: I open my eyes to darkness staring at me. Sweaty blankets tangle around me as I scramble back, slamming against the headboard. Hair like fire surrounds an angled face and dark skin, all perched on a body that’s too long. But those eyes. No irises or whites — completely black. “Hey there,” his voice rumbles in a sharp accent. “It’s all right, I’m not —” He reaches out a hand. His fingers are tipped in claws. A scream tears from my lungs and my vision blurs. I fumble off the bed, my elbow cracking against the floor, pain blinding me. What is he? Where am I? White walls, white bed, hardwood floor my elbow’s already discovered — I don’t know any of it. “Shh, you’re going to hurt yourself.” He leaps over the bed, landing in front of me with predatory grace. He raises his hands, showing off the vicious talons. “I’m not going to harm you.” “D-don’t come any closer.” I can’t get loose from the blankets. “What a-are you?” He doesn’t move. “I… I’m Bob. And you?” That’s a name. Not a what. He’s hiding something, or he’s stupid. “Are you okay?” He reaches out. “I said don’t move!” My voice is a screech. I clutch the blankets tighter. “Okay.” He backs off. “What about my question? What are you?” “I… I’m…” My brain freezes, like it needs a reboot. I can’t remember my name. Or how old I am. Where I live, my friends, my parents. I don’t know who I...

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PW #106: MG Fantasy: THE SPY OF LIRON
Nov02

PW #106: MG Fantasy: THE SPY OF LIRON

Manuscript Status: Finished  Mentor Name: Wade Albert White Mentee Name: Timanda J. Wertz Title: THE SPY OF LIRON Category: MG Genre: Fantasy Word Count: 64,000 Pitch: Twelve-year-old Leila is used to being underestimated. Nobody sees a kitchen slave who walks with a crutch as a threat. But when the Guardstone protecting her kingdom goes missing, she infiltrates the enemy commander’s camp as a serving girl. If she finds the stone she’ll claim a reward large enough to free her family. If she fails, her whole kingdom will be enslaved. Excerpt: Lord Jarib could beat me just for being in his house. If he discovers the real reason I snuck in, he’ll do a lot more than that. At the first glimpse of a shadow in the corridor I lunge through the nearest open door into a storage room filled with baskets and shelves. As I limp farther in to where the light disappears in a tangle of winter robes, it occurs to me trapping myself with no escape route might not be my best idea ever. I wiggle between the robes and shrink into the corner where the air is so still I hear nothing but my own heart pounding quick as a sunbird’s wings. Inhaling a breath choked with cedar and valerian, I try not to think about what will happen if I’m caught. A scuffling from the door alerts me I’m not alone in here. The way whoever it is moves, as if the act of lifting a foot fully off the ground would use too much energy, tells me it’s an older slave. Sandals shuffle along the stone floor until he’s so close I could poke him with my crutch. If he gets any nearer he’ll hear my heart thrashing like a crocodile caught in a net. When the robes around me quiver, I flatten myself tighter against the...

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