Pitch Madness 2016: Team Bowser’s Castle
Feb16

Pitch Madness 2016: Team Bowser’s Castle

Pitch Madness 2016 Mario Kart Edition Bowser’s Castle Today we’re excited to introduce the teams for Pitch Madness. Pitch Madness is a contest to win a request from one or more of the participating agents. I will have an agent introduction post up soon. For those who don’t know about Pitch Madness, click here for THE OFFICIAL RULES. Pitch Madness will be on four blogs and each blog host will have a co-host helping them choose their top 15 entries. Some will have a team of first readers who will check for formatting, grammar, and content and put their top picks through to the hosts.  And the top 60 finalists will move onto the agent round! Here are the hosting sites  … Brenda Drake’s site Rebecca Coffindaffer’s site Sharon Johnston’s site Summer Heacock’s site And now, introducing Team Bowser’s Castle hosted by Rebecca Coffindaffer along with her co-host Marieke Ninjkamp … Team Bowser’s Castle will be hosted on Rebecca’s blog. (They won’t be using any second round readers.) HOST Rebecca (Weston) Coffindaffer is an author and freelance copy editor and writer with experience working in both publishing and editing. She’s also a full-time mom to her daughter, Nerd Baby, and wife to her husband, Nerd Boy. In her limited free time, she binge-watches TV shows on Netflix; creates experimental dinners in the kitchen; and uses her dog as a giant, fuzzy pillow. She writes mainly about girls kicking butt and dealing with issues, both of the supernatural and the mundane variety. Website   |   Twitter   |   Tumblr         CO-HOST Marieke Nijkamp is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies, and wants to grow up to be a time traveler. Her debut young adult novel This Is Where It Ends was published by Sourcebooks Fire on January 5, 2016. Website   |   Twitter   |   Amazon Author Page         This is Where it Ends, by Marieke Nijkamp Published by Sourcebooks, January 5, 2016 Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun. 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 The auditorium doors won’t open. 10:05 Someone starts shooting.Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival. Winter ’15 Kids Indie Next List Goodreads YA Best Books of the Month Buzzfeed 5 YA Books You Should Be Reading This January Bustle.com 18...

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Pitch Madness 2016: Team Moo Moo Meadows
Feb16

Pitch Madness 2016: Team Moo Moo Meadows

 Pitch Madness 2016 Mario Kart Edition  Moo Moo Meadows Today we’re excited to introduce the teams for Pitch Madness. Pitch Madness is a contest to win a request from one or more of the participating agents. I will have an agent introduction post up soon. For those who don’t know about Pitch Madness, click here for THE OFFICIAL RULES. Pitch Madness will be on four blogs and each blog host will have a co-host helping them choose their top 15 entries. Some will have a team of first readers who will check for formatting, grammar, and content and put their top picks through to the hosts.  And the top 60 finalists will move onto the agent round! Here are the hosting sites  … Brenda Drake’s site Rebecca Coffindaffer’s site Summer Heacock’s site Sharon Johnston’s site And now, introducing Team Moo Moo Meadows hosted by Sharon Johnston along with her co-host Jeyn Roberts … The second round readers searching the best entries for the Moo Moo Meadows team are . . . Laura Brown: I live in Massachusetts with my husband and five year old son . . . I’m a self-described extrovert trapped in an introverted body, which makes me right at home in social media, even if I lurk a great deal of the time. I graduated from Boston University with a degree in Deaf Studies which led to working in social work for ten years before burning out . . . I’m a big supporter of diverse books, especially in regards to disability. I wear two hearing aids, and have since I was five (that’s, umm, almost thirty a lot of years). I consider myself Hard of Hearing, not impaired. My ears are a big part of who I am and not something I’m willing to change. I write characters with hearing loss. Sometimes it’s part of the plot, sometimes it’s just an is. My goal has always been to bring that part of my world into my novels. SILENT ATTRACTION, my NA (New Adult) Contemporary Romance, coming June 14, 2016 from Avon Impulse. Website   |   Twitter   Heather Bryant: One day I’ll be published. One day I’ll have a book with my name on the cover. One day I’ll own a purple unicorn. Until that day I’m a twenty-something hopeful with an addiction to coffee and anything that makes me smile. Website   |   Twitter       And our Moo Moo Meadows host and co-host will pick 15 finalists and post them on Sharon Johnston’s website … HOST Sharon Johnston: After growing up listening to my father reading fables, folklore and, it’s no surprise I love stories. As soon as...

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Pitch Madness 2016: Team Rainbow Road
Feb16

Pitch Madness 2016: Team Rainbow Road

Pitch Madness Mario Kart Edition Rainbow Road Today we’re excited to introduce the teams for Pitch Madness. Pitch Madness is a contest to win a request from one or more of the participating agents. I will have an agent introduction post up soon. For those who don’t know about Pitch Madness, click here for THE OFFICIAL RULES. Pitch Madness will be on four blogs and each blog host will have a co-host helping them choose their top 15 entries. Some will have a team of first readers who will check for formatting, grammar, and content and put their top picks through to the hosts.  And the top 60 finalists will move onto the agent round! Here are the hosting sites  … Brenda Drake’s site Rebecca Coffindaffer’s site Summer Heacock’s site Sharon Johnston’s site And now, introducing Team Rainbow Road hosted by Summer Heacock along with her co-host Dee Romito … The second round readers searching the best entries for the Rainbow Road Team are . . . Sarah Cannon: Despite my best efforts, I’m a hopeless wanderer, partly because I married a newsman. I’ve lived in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Jersey, Ohio, North Carolina, New York, and Indiana. I earned my B.S. of Ed. from Ohio University, and I’ve taught everyone from the earliest readers to college students who need writing help. I homeschool my three kids, and tutor part time for a national franchise. I writes all kinds of speculative fiction for young people, inspired by everything from Browncoats to Dutch folklore to TED Talks. I live in a comfy old grey house, which delights me because it makes me think of Grey House in Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising series. We’re in the only hilly part of this mid-western town. I am always happier surrounded by hills. When I’m not writing or teaching, I grow food, knit, spin, geek out with my family, and sometimes even run on purpose. Website   |   Twitter   Janet Johnson: My husband (a.k.a. Jedi Master Daddy) and I (a.k.a. Princess Mommy) are raising three energetic Jedi: Master London, Jedi Brandt, and Padowan Khyah. I have mastered the use of my purple light-saber (inherited from Mace Windoo himself), the art of identifying the bad guys (they drink prune juice, NOT water), and the ability of crafting bases and ships from scraps (aka legos). In my spare time I write children’s books, translate French to English, and keep up with my blog. So yes, my laundry is probably waiting to be done. Website   |   Twitter     Our Team Rainbow Road host and co-host will pick 15 finalists and post them on...

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Pitch Madness 2016 . . . Introducing Round 1 Readers!
Feb15

Pitch Madness 2016 . . . Introducing Round 1 Readers!

Pitch Madness Mario Kart Edition For those who don’t know about Pitch Madness, click here for THE OFFICIAL RULES. The Pitch Madness submission window will be open from 12:01 AM EST on February 26 until 11:59PM EST! There is no limit of how many entries will be accepted. Please note: All entries sent before or after the allotted times will be deleted. Make sure to perfect your entry. If you make an error, you may not resend. There will be 60 finalists moving onto the agent round. Pitch Madness will accept Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult (never before published) fiction only, novel length (no novellas) completed and polished manuscripts only. All genres (i.e. fantasy, contemporary, sci-fi, and so on) are welcome to enter. This time around we will not accept non-fiction. Only one entry per writer. What do you need to enter? A 35-word (max) pitch and the first 250 words of your finished manuscript. If the 250th word falls in the middle of a sentence, go to the end of the sentence. I will post formatting instructions and where to send when the submission window opens. Pitch Madness will be on four blogs and each blog host will have a co-host helping them choose their top 15 entries. We’ll have a team of first readers who will check for formatting, grammar, and content and put their top picks through to the hosts. All the Twitter fun will happen on #PitchMadness! And here are the 2016 first round readers . . . we love and thank you all!   And our round one reader and trend insider . . . Jami Nord is frequently accused of having a TARDIS, because she gets so much done. Between a day job as a phone monkey, her internship, and the rest of life, she’s really just an expert at time management, hyper organized, and a very fast reader. She grew up reading mountains of scifi and fantasy, cut her professional chops on romance novels, and has a weak spot for GLBT*, disabled, and racially/ethnically diverse characters told with enrapturing style, where their identities are part of who they are, not just a plot thread. Someday, she’ll become an agent, or an editor, and help make dreams come true. In the meantime, she’ll settle for trying to make the industry just a bit more transparent, or at least her tiny corner of it. She lives in Philadelphia, having finally escaped the clutches of south Texas, though she still favors margaritas and good queso. Find her at Adventures in Publishing or on Twitter as @JamiNord   Adrianne Russell, our diversity insider,...

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EVERLASTING by L. K. Kuhl . . . cover reveal and giveaway!
Feb12

EVERLASTING by L. K. Kuhl . . . cover reveal and giveaway!

BOOK TITLE: EVERLASTING (Everlasting Trilogy, Book 1) AUTHOR: L. K. Kuhl RELEASE DATE: February 18, 2016 GENRE:   Dying wasn’t a choice. For Sophia, it was a need. About the book . . . Seventeen-year-old Sophia Bandell is scared of boys, and her biggest fear is dying. Boys make her uncomfortable and itchy and dying is …well …dying. She is ecstatic when her long lost friend calls her, inviting her to spend the summer with her on the beach at Charleston, South Carolina. When a plastic saucer hits her in the head one day as she’s sunbathing, Sophia has no idea it will forever change the course of her life. It is there she comes face to face with the impressive Tate Forester. She is scared and …itchy, but he’s gorgeous and she can’t shake him from her mind. They begin dating and Sophia soon knows he’s the one. But things turn dark when she finds out Tate isn’t the person he says he is, and the real reason her friend has brought her to the beach is to teach her about life after death. This everlasting summer on the beach gives Sophia a sweet taste of first love—the happiness as well as the heartbreak.   Excerpt: We stood there and looked around, an awkward silence playing between us. Then he stepped closer and took my hand in his, sending a bolt of staggering electricity zipping through my chest. “Her hand fits perfectly in mine.” He whispered this, as if confirming it with someone. His gaze locked on it, analyzing, then with a shake of his head, he spoke louder. “Sophia, I’m sorry. I …I lied to you.” I looked at him—bewilderment crinkling my face—and tried to understand. “Lied?” My voice broke. “I don’t get it.” “I wasn’t sick that day. Well, in a way I was, I guess. The truth is, I was gut-sick. That guy …he was sitting by you the whole day …and …and he never left your side. I’d check throughout the day, but he was still there. I couldn’t help it. I was insanely jealous.” He looked down, his tone deepening as he flexed his fingers that were still laced through mine. “What?” His words astounded me. I swiped my brow with my free hand. “You were jealous …of me?” He released my hand and paced back and forth, the nervousness seeping through as he wrung his hands. “I know it’s stupid, but I couldn’t help myself. I love the way you laugh and …I like you, Sophia …a lot, and it hurt me to see you with someone else.” He lifted his hair...

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AMID THE WIND AND STONE by Nicole Luiken … cover reveal!
Feb11

AMID THE WIND AND STONE by Nicole Luiken … cover reveal!

  Title: Amid Wind & Stone (Otherselves, #2) Author: Nicole Luiken Release Date: Mar. 7, 2016 Genre: YA Fantasy Book Synopsis: There is one True World, and then there are the four Mirror Worlds: Fire, Water, Air, and Stone. Audrey and Dorotea are “otherselves”—twin copies of each other who live on different Mirror Worlds. On Air, Audrey has the ability to communicate with wind spirits. As war looms, she’s torn between loyalty to her country and her feelings for a roguish phantom who may be a dangerous spy. Blackouts and earthquakes threaten the few remaining humans on Stone, who have been forced to live underground. To save her injured sister, Dorotea breaks taboo and releases an imprisoned gargoyle. Brooding, sensitive Jasper makes her wonder if gargoyles aretruly traitors, as she’s always been told. Unbeknownst to them, they both face the same enemy—an evil sorceress bent on shattering all the Mirror Worlds. Goodreads Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28597398-amid-wind-stone Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Amid-Stone-Otherselves-Nicole-Luiken-ebook/dp/B01BKMMFPE Barnes & Noble Buy Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/amid-wind-and-stone-nicole-luiken/1123387309 iBooks Buy Link: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/amid-wind-and-stone/id1082374406 Kobo Buy Link: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/amid-wind-and-stone Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Amid-Stone-Otherselves-Nicole-Luiken-ebook/dp/B01BKMMFPE Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/Amid-Stone-Otherselves-Nicole-Luiken-ebook/dp/B01BKMMFPE Entangled Page: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/amid-wind-stone/   Through Fire & Sea (Otherselves, #1): Synopsis: There is one True World, and then there are the four mirror worlds: fire, water, air, and stone. And each has a magic of its own… In the Fire World, seventeen-year-old Leah is the illegitimate daughter of one of the realm’s most powerful lords. She’s hot-blooded—able to communicate with the tempestuous volcano gods. But she has another gift…the ability to Call her twin “Otherselves” on other worlds. Holly resides in the Water World—our world. When she’s called by Leah from the Fire World, she nearly drowns. Suddenly the world Holly thought she knew is filled with secrets, magic…and deadly peril. For a malevolent force seeks to destroy the mirror worlds. And as Leah and Holly are swept up in the tides of chaos and danger, they have only one choice to save the mirror worlds—to shatter every rule they’ve ever known… Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25338152-through-fire-sea Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Through-Fire-Sea-Entangled-Teen-ebook/dp/B00W1H5BT0 B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/through-fire-sea-nicole-luiken/1121725505 iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/through-fire-sea-entangled/id985135785 Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/through-fire-sea-entangled-teen Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Through-Fire-Sea-Entangled-Teen-ebook/dp/B00W1H5BT0/ Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/Through-Fire-Sea-Entangled-Teen-ebook/dp/B00W1H5BT0 Entangled Page: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/through-fire-sea/   About the author … Nicole Luiken Author Website: http://www.nicoleluiken.com/ Author Twitter: @NicoleLuiken Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Nicole-Luiken-50793836133/ Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/223320.Nicole_Luiken Author Bio: Nicole Luiken wrote her first book at age 13 and never stopped. She is the author of nine published books for young adults, including Violet Eyes and its sequels Silver Eyes and Angels Eyes, Frost, Unlocking the Doors, The Catalyst, Escape to the Overworld, Dreamfire and the sequel Dreamline. Through Fire & Sea, book one of Otherselves, and Amid Wind & Stone, book two of Otherselves, are her most recent releases. She...

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Meet the Literary Author Cupid Team for PitMatch … with instructions.
Feb09

Meet the Literary Author Cupid Team for PitMatch … with instructions.

Are you ready to find your literary match? Join us February 11th between 1PM and 4PM EST for a fun Twitter pitch event. What do you have to do to participate? It’s simple. Agents and editors post their wishlists on the Twitter hashtag #MSWL. Writers seeking representation and/or publication post their Twitter pitches on #PitMatch. Only post once per manuscript. All categories and genres are welcome! The pitch should be like the ones we use for #PitMad. Need to know how to do a Twitter pitch? Check out this page here for information. Two teams of literary cupids–one author team and one literary professionals team–will search both hashtags and tag the writer and literary professional if they find a match along with the hashtag #PitMatchArrow. Each match–request–they create will be worth one point and posted on the @PitMatch scoreboard. Follow along on #PitMatch, #PitMatchArrow, and #PitMatchPoint to follow all the fun.   Meet the cupids that will be joining me on the author team …   Veronica Bartles – @vbartles   K.T. Hanna – @KTHanna   Laura Tims – @lauratims   Lynnette Labelle – @LynnetteLabelle   Trisha Leaver – @tleaver   Stacey Trombley – @Trombolii   Natasha Raulerson – @RaulersonWrites     Mary Ann Marlowe – @maryannmarlowe   Jeanmarie Anaya – @jeanmarieanaya   Fiona McLaren – @BookOmnivore   Laura Heffernan – @LH_Writes   Rebecca Sky – @RebeccaSky   Margarita Montimore – @damiella And they all worked happily ever after together (we...

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Thief of Lies Character Tour with two giveaways!
Feb08

Thief of Lies Character Tour with two giveaways!

I’m thrilled to announce that there is a THIEF OF LIES Character Tour happening now! Each stop will feature a character profile from book one of the Library Jumpers Series, along with small teasers for book two!  There are TWO tour wide giveaways so be sure to check out all the characters for chances to win. Thank you to the hosts for supporting me, and taking part in this exclusive event! Tour Schedule Feb 8th – Beyond the Book Reviews – Bastien Feb 9th – Literary-ly Obsessed – Afton Feb 10th – Traci Kenworth  – Nick Feb 11th – YA Bookmark – Lei Feb 12th – The Reader and the Chef – Kale Feb 13th – YA Book Madness – Demos Feb 14th – Books and Ladders – Jaran Feb 15th – Enchanted by YA – Arik Feb 16th – Burning Impossibly Bright...

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One Mentor’s Journey: Query Trenches to Published Author by Dan Koboldt
Feb02

One Mentor’s Journey: Query Trenches to Published Author by Dan Koboldt

POST BY: Dan Koboldt Pitching contests can be a double edged sword. On one hand, they offer aspiring authors a chance to get some additional exposure to literary agents, often with the input of author-mentors who’ve already managed to land one. On the other hand, they’re notoriously hard to get into, meaning that the vast majority of hopeful entrants will get a rejection instead. I’ve been on both sides of these pitching contests. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. But without them, my life would not be the same. Let’s hit the rewind button to two years ago.   The Author Side In January 2014, I’d begun querying a manuscript for an adult sci-fi novel. That’s when I first got wind of #PitMad, a Twitter pitching event for authors seeking representation or publication. I entered, and I made tons of friends. But I struck out, agent-wise. Soon after, I heard about Sun Versus Snow and Pitch Madness, which were more involved contests. I entered those, too, and waited on tenterhooks with hundreds of other authors who hoped to nab one of the slots. When I didn’t get in, I was devastated. Most writers put their hearts into their work, and so each rejection is like a punch to the gut. But I’m stubborn, so I kept querying the old-fashioned way. A couple of months later, I got an offer of representation. Landing An Agent Landing an agent is an important milestone for the aspiring author. It opens so many doors. Suddenly, the hosts of those contests that I hadn’t gotten into were asking me to mentor for them. Secret communities of neo-pro writers granted me access. It’s more than knowing that your manuscript will go out to the big five. It’s like being handed keys to a kingdom you never knew existed. The thing is, I’d made so many friends in the query trenches. I didn’t consider myself an expert at getting an agent, but I wanted them to have the secret keys, too. So I started my own pitching event (#SFFpit) just for sci-fi and fantasy authors. And I said hell yes, I’ll mentor for those pitching contests. Those were some of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The Mentor Side When I first became a mentor for Pitch Wars, it was a bit intimidating. Most of the other mentors had done it before. Some had gotten book deals or already been published. I was a newbie and had no idea what to expect. I’d landed an agent, but that was the extent of my credibility. It was a shock when 70 entrants picked me...

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Book Spotlight: THE FOURTH GENERATION by Chris von Halle
Feb01

Book Spotlight: THE FOURTH GENERATION by Chris von Halle

Title: The Fourth Generation Author: Chris von Halle Genre: YA Dystopian   Price: 99 cents Sale days: February 1 through February 14 (See buy links at the bottom of the post.) About this book . . . In the future, no adults exist. Ever since the plague swept the world 100 years ago, no one has lived past seventeen. Sixteen-year-old Gorin, a collector of curious artifacts left over from the pre-plague civilization, is on the verge of perishing from that deadly epidemic. And his last wish is to find a way to visit the rulers’ reputedly magnificent, off-limits mansion. Up against the clock, he and his friend Stausha steal into the mansion and discover a secret more horrifying than they ever could’ve imagined—a secret that holds the key to the survival of the whole human race.   Excerpt: I raced up the stairwell pretty fast for someone in my awful condition. My empty backpack bounced on my shoulders, my feet landing just in front of the steps’ worn, chipped edges. Sunlight leaked through the dusty windows at the top of each landing, enough to light my way to the decaying apartment building’s eighth floor. The rest of the Valuable Objects better still be there. No way I was losing the Tournament of Prestige this year, and the VOs could be worth just enough prestige points to finally push my faction into the top spot. But if someone else found them while I was gone… At last I made it to the eighth floor. My chest heaved as I sucked in breath, my burning legs threatening to crumple. You’ve gotta be kidding me. The second door on the right lay wide open. My heart banged against my ribs, making it tough to breathe, as I crept to the door as quietly as only I could. I peeked inside the room. My gut clenched, even though I’d seen it coming. A boy about my size—taller than average with good-size muscles—stood in front of the old wooden cabinets on the left side of the room. He had blotchy, dark gray skin, so was about sixteen years old like me. His back looked a little crooked, like his spine wasn’t quite aligned right. Mine was probably in similar shape. Even from the doorway I could see through the cabinet doors’ inlaid glass. Empty, except for one measly glass bottle. Sure enough, the boy started to turn away from them. I jerked my head back into the hallway, then peered back in. He made his way to the right side of the room. No—not there. He stopped at the faded loveseat wedged against the...

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