A Pitch Wars 2015 Success Interview with Brian Palmer and Holly Faur!
Dec30

A Pitch Wars 2015 Success Interview with Brian Palmer and Holly Faur!

The best part of the contests for us around here is when we hear about successes. Today we celebrate Brian Palmer and his Pitch Wars mentor, Holly Faur! Brian recently signed with Laura Crockett of TriadaUS, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for him. So without further ado, please meet Brian and Holly as they recap their epically awesome Pitch Wars success story. Brian, what made you decide to send a Pitch Wars application to Holly? Okay, so this is the one part of the Pitch Wars experience I regret: I actually did not submit to Holly, but I very nearly did so (she was the last person I crossed off my list of prospective mentors to apply to because I really liked the quiet, literary feel I got from her web page and some of the books she was into, even if they didn’t seem to be quite in the realm of what I was writing)! I couldn’t tell for sure whether she was looking for my kind of novel, and I made the mistake of not contacting her to find out for sure before submitting my applications. Sorry, Holly! The lesson? When in doubt, ask! However, when she swooped in like a ninja with an email whose subject line said “Your Fab Manuscript,” and I remembered the fact that I almost sent her an application, I jumped at the chance to work with her and told her I would be happy to do so if she decided she wanted my manuscript. I loved her enthusiasm for A SILENCE WORTH BREAKING, and could tell she connected with what I was aiming to do with this story, both of which were huge pluses! So to summarize: Holly is awesome, I goofed, she gave me a second chance, and I took it! Holly, what about Brian’s application made you choose him? Brian may have already mentioned above, but he did not sub to me. I had a handful of subs I was strongly considering when his query was passed to me. This is cliche, but it was the voice! He hooked me in the query, and we all already know his synopsis was perfect. I read parts of the manuscript, but I had all I needed. Brian, tell us about the revision period for Pitch Wars? Man, was it intense! I knew going in that it would be hardcore, nose-to-the-grindstone stuff, but even that knowledge only prepared me so much for the real thing! But it was LOADS of fun as well. Holly was the perfect mentor because she “got it” with respect to my novel. She helped me see...

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A Pitch Wars 2015 Success Interview with Leah Collum and Scarlett Cole!
Dec29

A Pitch Wars 2015 Success Interview with Leah Collum and Scarlett Cole!

The best part of the contests for us around here is when we hear about successes. Today we celebrate Leah Collum and her Pitch Wars mentor, Scarlett Cole! Leah recently signed with Katie Shea Boutillier of Donald Maass Literary Agency, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for her. So without further ado, please meet Leah and Scarlett as they recap their epically awesome Pitch Wars success story. Leah, what made you decide to send a Pitch Wars application to Scarlett? Scarlett said she was looking for the perfect mashup of women’s fiction and romance, and my novel is women’s fiction with romantic elements. Plus, she’s a Scorpio and I’m a Pisces, so we’re a match made in water sign heaven! Scarlett, what about Leah’s application made you choose her? I was very fortunate to have received a number of fantastic manuscripts, but there were several things that made THE LOVE TEST stand out. The overall premise is incredibly timely. I love the notion that within the current debate about immigration, there are so many shades of gray to be considered. It’s a provocative question – what would you do if you knew someone who was attempting to carry out immigration fraud? Especially when family, friendship, and love are at stake. Leah’s style of story telling felt very fresh to me. I loved her voice, and I could see huge potential for further character development. I knew I could have impact. And finally, it fulfilled my criteria of walking the line between Women’s Fiction and Romance. Leah, tell us about the revision period for Pitch Wars? It was intense. I added 11,000 words to my overall word count in two months. Between my full-time (and then some) day job and revisions for Pitch Wars, there were times when I wasn’t sure how I could manage it all. But Scarlett was amazingly supportive. Her initial editorial letter was so insightful, and she was full of encouragement as well as suggestions for where and, just as importantly, how to improve my novel. She really went far above and beyond the call of mentoring duty by reading multiple versions of new material and even helping me polish my query letter! I am so lucky to have had her as my mentor and cheerleader on this wild but very fun ride! Of course, I can’t talk about the awesomeness that is Pitch Wars without giving a huge shout out to my fellow mentees. Our Facebook group has been a place of support and camaraderie that is absolutely priceless. They are an amazing group of writers, and I’m so honored to be part of this...

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A #BookHuggles Author Spotlight with A.L. Davroe!
Dec28

A #BookHuggles Author Spotlight with A.L. Davroe!

A.L. DAVROE @ALDavroe 🔹 Instagram 🔹 Website  🔹Facebook 🔹Goodreads 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 A.L. Davroe and her novel, NEXIS … In the domed city of Evanescence, appearance is everything. A Natural Born amongst genetically-altered Aristocrats, all Ella ever wanted was to be like everyone else. Augmented, sparkling, and perfect. Then…the crash. Devastated by her father’s death and struggling with her new physical limitations, Ella is terrified to learn she is not just alone, but little more than a prisoner. Her only escape is to lose herself in Nexis, the hugely popular virtual reality game her father created. In Nexis she meets Guster, a senior player who guides Ella through the strange and compelling new world she now inhabits. He offers Ella guidance, friendship…and something more. Something that allows her to forget about the “real” world, and makes her feel whole again.         Enter the Rafflecopter here for a chance to win 1 of 3 boxes full of books or join the campaign on Instagram … Instagram:...

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A #BookHuggles Author Spotlight with Marieke Nijkamp!
Dec28

A #BookHuggles Author Spotlight with Marieke Nijkamp!

Marieke Nijkamp @mariekeyn 🔹 Instagram 🔹 Website 🔹tumblr 🔹 Goodreads 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 Marieke Nijkamp and her book, THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS …   10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class. 10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open. 10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting. Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival. This Is Where It Ends is a contemporary young adult novel, to be published by Sourcebooks Fire on January 5, 2016. Also available in audio CD and MP3 from Brilliance Audio.     This book isn’t in one of the #bookhuggles boxes, but it is up for pre-order now and has been spotted on the shelves at Barnes & Noble early. US/CAN readers, If you pre-order This Is Where It Ends, you can fill out your contact details here: http://thisiswhereitendsbook.tumblr.com/extras and Sourcebooks will send you a special, This Is Where It Ends-themed lanyard, with “TIME WAS OURS” printed on it. The lanyards will be in Opportunity High School colors and they are extremely cool. What’s more, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a super awesome Grand Prize: a Polaroid Z2300 10MP Digital Instant Print Camera. “I’m especially fond of this grand prize, because I wrote This Is Where It Ends to be a snapshot of life, and this is such an awesome way to celebrate!” ~Marieke Nijkamp So hop over to the Tumblr and enter now! Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound Books-A-Million Apple Books of Wonder (any copies ordered here will be signed by Marieke!)       Enter the Rafflecopter here for a chance to win 1 of 3 boxes full of books or join the campaign on Instagram … Instagram:...

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A #BookHuggles Author Spotlight with Stacey Trombley!
Dec28

A #BookHuggles Author Spotlight with Stacey Trombley!

Stacey Trombley @Trombolii 🔹 Instagram 🔹 Website 🔹 Facebook 🔹 Goodreads 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 Stacey Trombley and her novel, Naked … The best place to hide is in a lie… I could never fit in to the life my parents demanded. By the time I was thirteen, it was too much. I ran away to New York City…and found a nightmare that lasted three years. A nightmare that began and ended with a pimp named Luis. Now I am Dirty Anna. Broken, like everything inside me has gone bad. Except that for the first time, I have a chance to start over. Not just with my parents but at school. Still, the rumors follow me everywhere. Down the hall. In classes. And the only hope I can see is in the wide, brightly lit smile of Jackson, the boy next door. So I lie to him. I lie to protect him from my past. I lie so that I don’t have to be The Girl Who Went Bad. The only problem is that someone in my school knows about New York. Someone knows who I really am. And it’s just a matter of time before the real Anna is exposed…     Enter the Rafflecopter here for a chance to win 1 of 3 boxes full of books or join the campaign on Instagram … Instagram:...

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A Pitch Wars 2015 Success Interview with Sheena Boekweg and Megan Grimit
Dec28

A Pitch Wars 2015 Success Interview with Sheena Boekweg and Megan Grimit

The best part of the contests for us around here is when we hear about successes. Today we celebrate Sheena Boekweg and her Pitch Wars mentor, Megan Grimit! Sheena recently signed with Jessica Sinsheimer with Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for her. So without further ado, please meet Sheena and Megan as they recap their epically awesome Pitch Wars success story. Sheena, what made you decide to send a Pitch Wars application to Megan? On Megan’s Mentor post she said she was a romance ninja who was looking for dark, twisty, and weird stories. My novel The Waxling is about a girl made of wax who was created to die, so it’s about as weird as it gets, and I knew it needed help with the romantic progression. It was a no brainer really. And Megan seemed really fun on Twitter. Megan, what about Sheena’s application made you choose her? Sheena’s application was actually one of the first ones that made me stop and say, “Wait, WHAT?” and read it again. And then her pages were phenomenal, creepy, interesting, and there was just something so original and spunky about her premise. Plus, once I started talking to her, I knew right away that she was the kind of person I’d love to work with. She’s a wonderful person. Sheena, tell us about the revision period for Pitch Wars? Megan gave me a nine page long edit letter that was pure gold. We also video chatted once a week, and Megan was always available for questions. On my end, it involved a lot of furious rewriting. Megan suggested some big changes that I fell in love with, but it meant essentially rewriting the entire book in two and a half weeks, and then revising that brand new book until it was agent ready in another two – three weeks. I couldn’t have done it without Megan, and the support of my family, and a buttload of candy. Megan, tell us about your experience with mentoring Sheena. Sheena’s the kind of person where I can say “What if we ripped ALL of this to pieces and changed everything?!?” and she says “OKAY! SOUNDS GREAT!” and pulls it off in two weeks. She’s incredibly hard working and when she believes in the changes she executes them flawlessly. We had so many conversations, on the phone, on G-chat, over video, where we just threw around ideas until something clicked, and they were so much fun. Pitch Wars was tough, and the time limit was hard on both of us sometimes, but it was completely worth it in...

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Happy Holidays and a BookHuggles pic for Thief of Lies!
Dec23

Happy Holidays and a BookHuggles pic for Thief of Lies!

Happy Holidays! I hope you all have a wonderful season. It’s been an amazing year and I can’t wait to see what next year brings. If you haven’t entered #BookHuggles giveaway, make sure to sign up on the Rafflecopter here, and/or participate on Instagram. Details are below. I just received hardcover copies of Thief of Lies! I love it so much. So here is my #BookHuggles pic and there’s a video here that I did to show everyone how beautiful it is …   Instagram: @brendadrakeauthor   Stay safe and I’ll see you all after the long...

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A #BookHuggles Author Spotlight with Tamara Mayata!
Dec18

A #BookHuggles Author Spotlight with Tamara Mayata!

Tamara Mayata  @FeakySnucker🔹  Instagram 🔹Facebook  🔹 Goodreads 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 Tamara Mayata and her novel, The Sowing …   Get it today for $.99! Amazon Twenty-first birthday? Check. Strange new powers? Check. Getting through this heinous WTF-ery alive? I’ll get back to you. Learning she’s Fae and has powers should have been the coolest day of Syxx’s life. Instead, she’s plunged into a decades-long battle of free will vs survival. Wrong place at the wrong time? Understatement of the century. The Fae Council has brought hundreds of reluctant Fae to the city to participate in The Sowing—a creepy traditional breeding ceremony. No one has ever dared openly challenge the Council, but a secret resistance movement has been gaining momentum. Syxx is a Moondreamer—a rare type of Fae that can make wishes come true and will things into being. The Resistance believes Syxx has the power to overthrow the Council, but her untamed abilities are still developing. With her new friends—a sexy half-incubus and a sweet leprechaun—pushing her forward, Syxx steps into the role of revolutionary. She’s got three options: Submit (no!), die (hell no!), or start a revolution.     Enter the Rafflecopter here for a chance to win 1 of 3 boxes full of books or join the campaign on Instagram … Instagram:...

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A #PitMad Success Story with Judith Gonda!
Dec17

A #PitMad Success Story with Judith Gonda!

First of all, let me lead a round of applause for Brenda Drake and all the wonderful PitchWars mentors who are absolutely awesome! They are positive, upbeat, energetic, generous, and kind to authors struggling to keep the faith while navigating the crazy-making quagmire and limbo of the query trenches. I entered PitchWars 2015 and received encouraging feedback (as I did a year earlier) (thank you, in particular, to Karma Brown, Sarah Henning, Kellye Garrett, Sonia Hartl, and Kristin Wright) that nourished my spirit, built my confidence, and motivated me to enter PitMad in September 2015. One of the mentors, Jennifer Hawkins, ran a twitter pitch workshop (with feedback) on her blog and another, Sonia Hartl, had a random drawing for a query crit which I won. Both opportunities proved to be invaluable. Here are the variations of my twitter pitch that got favorited by agents and editors: LAPD volunteer sets out to clear her dean husband when he’s accused of murder but the trail leads back to him GONE GIRL+CASTLE #PitMad #A #M GONE GIRL+CASTLE Police volunteer seeking killer to clear her husband runs into glitch: the trail leads back to her husband #PitMad #A #M CASTLE+GONE GIRL When LAPD volunteer sets out to find killer of USC deans, all clues point to her husband #PitMad #A #Mystery CASTLE+GONE GIRL –LAPD volunteer sets out to find killer of college deans but the trail leads back to her college dean husband #PitMad #A #M I scheduled my twitter pitches on TweetDeck and was thrilled to get favorited by three agents and three publishers. One agent, Dawn Dowdle of Blue Ridge Literary Agency, was a very good match for my amateur sleuth mystery FRIGHT ON, the first book (set at USC) in my university-themed Pac-12 Mystery Series. When I looked her up on Publishers Marketplace I saw she was the #1 dealmaker for Fiction: Mystery/Crime. I submitted FRIGHT ON with my newly-revised query and a couple of weeks later Dawn emailed me that she’d like a phone call. I tried not to get too excited because I’d been down the “I love it—let’s talk” road before with another agent for an R & R that eventually petered out. So I knew not all calls lead to offers. But, to my delight, Dawn’s call did. Thank you, Brenda, for being the patron saint of authors. Thank you, agents (especially Dawn Dowdle) and editors for participating. Thank you, mentors, for paying it forward. And thank you, fellow contest participants, you are all amazing. I am grateful to all of you for your encouraging and commiserating tweets. The writing community is super! Hope to...

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Enter the #BookHuggles Rafflecopter for a chance to win 1 of 3 boxes full of books & swag!
Dec15

Enter the #BookHuggles Rafflecopter for a chance to win 1 of 3 boxes full of books & swag!

  I’ve been hosting a giveaway on Instagram and now I’m bringing it here to my blog and all social medias! Want a chance to win 1 of 3 boxes full of books, prizes, and swag? Enter the Rafflecopter from now and until December 31 or participate in the Instagram promotion. I will compile entries from both the Rafflecopter and Instagram to determine a winner. There will be two young adult boxes and one adult box (winners’ choices) & an international giveaway. Here are some of the books going in the boxes …   Find, like, or repost the Author Spotlights on Instagram under the hashtag #bookhuggles to earn more entries. Here are pics of some of the authors who are participating so far …   a Rafflecopter giveaway Now head on over to Instagram and earn some more entries for the giveaway … Instagram: @brendadrakeauthor 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!!      ...

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A #BookHuggles Author Spotlight with Maggie E. Hall!
Dec14

A #BookHuggles Author Spotlight with Maggie E. Hall!

Maggie E. Hall   Author Links: Website   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads Traveler. Author. Designer. THE CONSPIRACY OF US (YA thriller/code-breaking/secret societies/Paris/Istanbul/kissing) out now, sequel MAP OF FATES out 3/2016.     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 Maggie E. Hall and her novels THE CONSPIRACY OF US and MAP OF FATES …   Title: The Conspiracy of Us Author: Maggie Hall Series: The Conspiracy of Us, #1 Publication Date: January 13th, 2015 Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers Summary from Goodreads: A fast-paced international escapade, laced with adrenaline, glamour, and romance–perfect for fans of Ally Carter Avery West’s newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. Part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want to use her as a pawn. Some want her dead. To unravel the mystery putting her life in danger, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul with two boys who work for the Circle—beautiful, volatile Stellan and mysterious, magnetic Jack. But as the clues expose a stunning conspiracy that might plunge the world into World War 3, she discovers that both boys are hiding secrets of their own. Now she will have to choose not only between freedom and family–but between the boy who might help her save the world, and the one she’s falling in love with. Buy Links: Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   iTunes   |   Kobo   Title: Map of Fates Author: Maggie Hall Series: The Conspiracy of Us, #2 Publication Date: March 8th, 2016 Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers Summary from Goodreads: Two weeks. That’s how long it took for Avery West’s ordinary life to change forever: In two weeks, she discovered she was heiress to a powerful secret society known as the Circle, learned her mother was taken hostage by the Circle’s enemies, and fell for a boy she’s not allowed to love,...

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Eerie Book Release party is happening this TUESDAY with tons of prizes!
Dec12

Eerie Book Release party is happening this TUESDAY with tons of prizes!

Eerie Book Release party is happening this TUESDAY. But Colleen is kicking things off early with 36 pre-party giveaways already posted and an online HIDDEN TREASURE hunt starting MONDAY, December 14.   Win a $50 gift card, sterling silver Irish jewelry, a Starbucks GC, an amazon gc, and tons of books!   Come enter the posted giveaways HERE and TELL YOUR FRIENDS!...

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