A FINE MESS by Kelly Siskind . . . Cover Reveal!
May24

A FINE MESS by Kelly Siskind . . . Cover Reveal!

  TITLE: A Fine Mess AUTHOR: Kelly Siskind PUBLISHER: Forever Yours RELEASE DATE: August 2, 2016 Amazon  |  Barns & Noble  |  iBooks  |  Kobo  |  Goodreads Book Excerpt . . . The last person I want to see is Lily. But the plane lands. We disembark. Then we’re approaching the arrivals area. I drape my coat over my carry-on bag, which I’m dragging at an injured snail’s pace. The closer we get to the doors and the throng of people waiting for their loved ones, the tighter my gut twists. Maybe it’s food poisoning. Maybe it was the lamb on the flight. Sweat slicks my palms. Swallowing is painful. Definitely food poisoning. Kolton’s strides get longer. Purposeful. He hasn’t seen Shay in a month, and he’s been a cantankerous asshole. By the time he makes it to the door, he’s ten paces ahead of me. I exit as he drops his bag and closes the distance to her. Her curls fly as he picks her up, and she buries her face in his neck. They kiss as he lowers her to her feet, practically grinding against each other. It’s like watching the end of a romantic comedy filmed by Hugh Hefner. I avert my eyes and spot Lily. Her white-blond hair is tied up in a messy bun, a thin headband taming flyaway pieces. Her pale, freckled cheeks blush as she watches our friends maul each other, and my heart skips a beat. It flat-out stops. I almost pound my chest to restart it, unsure when I developed an arrhythmia. When the rhythm regulates, I take the moment to soak Lily in. Where some hipsters look like they spend hours perfecting their image so everyone knows they listen to bands no one’s heard of and eat organic food washed in purified water from Nepal, Lily’s style is effortless. Her three-quarter-length jacket hangs open over a cream sweater that hits her thighs. Her tight jeans are ripped in a few places, her feet turned in slightly. She may not be the type of girl I’d have envisioned during the Masturbation Olympics of my youth, but she’s all the inspiration I need these days. Her hand floats over her heart as she watches Kolton devour Shay, then her gaze lands on me. It, of course, happens when the chick from the plane appears at my side. She slips something into my pocket, her perfume circling me like a boa constrictor, and she presses her lips to my ear. “If you change your mind, call me.” My food poisoning worsens. As does my arrhythmia. I haven’t puked since I downed enough tequila on my...

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Day 17 (Part 2) of May’s Voice Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Jeanmarie Anaya
May24

Day 17 (Part 2) of May’s Voice Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Jeanmarie Anaya

Welcome to May’s Voice Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected over thirty writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a 500 word sample that the writer chose from his or her manuscript where he or she felt they needed help with their voice. Our hope that these samples will help you with your work and that you’ll get to know some of our wonderful Pitch Wars mentors.We appreciate our mentors for giving up their time to do the critiques. If you have something encouraging to add, feel free to comment below. Please keep all comments tasteful. We will delete any inappropriate or hurtful ones. And now we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Jeanmarie Anaya Website  |  Twitter Jeanmarie is a YA Contemporary writer represented by Jessica Sinsheimer of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency. She’s a University of Michigan grad (Go Blue!) who somehow missed receiving her Hogwarts letter and has never gotten over the disappointment. You can find her on a beach in NYC, with a book in hand, wishing she could surf as well as her daughters.     Jeanmarie’s 500 Word Critique . . . YA Speculative Fiction I awake with an unexpected jerk. My mind is in shock from the awful nightmares. My head hurts, as does my left leg. I feel cool rough wood against my chest and the palms of my hands. My hair and clothes are still damp. A rhythmic chugging reverberates through my right ear that is pressed firmly into the floor. For a moment I cannot make out my surroundings, until it soon dawns upon me that I am alert and inside a moving freight train. I actually made it! [Not entirely sure of the voice yet, but I very much like the descriptive quality of the opening. Great details! You might want to knock out that filter word “feel” in the fourth sentence and rework it for more immediate impact. For ex., “Cool, rough wood digs into my chest and the palms of my hands.” Also, consider rewording the “it soon dawns upon me” part. It comes across as “telling” and I think you’ve done a good enough job here (particularly with the rhythmic chugging detail) to indicate that the main character’s on a train. I think it makes more of an impact if you just state the realization itself outright—“I actually made it! I am inside a moving freight train!”, rather than clog up the flow with extra words.] I lift my head and open my eyes to peer out of the opening of my boxcar. The sky is a deep charcoal, but a gentle glow of early sunlight warms the eastern horizon. [Beautiful line!] “He’s awake,” says a boy’s voice behind...

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Day 17 (Part 1) of May’s Voice Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Lynnette Labelle
May24

Day 17 (Part 1) of May’s Voice Workshop with Pitch Wars Mentor Lynnette Labelle

  Welcome to May’s Voice Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected over thirty writers to participate in the workshop. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a 500 word sample that the writer chose from his or her manuscript where he or she felt they needed help with their voice. Our hope that these samples will help you with your work and that you’ll get to know some of our wonderful Pitch Wars mentors.We appreciate our mentors for giving up their time to do the critiques. If you have something encouraging to add, feel free to comment below. Please keep all comments tasteful. We will delete any inappropriate or hurtful ones. And now we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Lynnette Labelle Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook Lynnette Labelle is a freelance editor with over fifteen years of experience. She’s the owner of Labelle’s Writing on the Wall, an editing and coaching service for writers. Her clients range from new writers to New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors like Roni Loren, Rebecca Hamilton, and Cristin Harber. Lynnette works with writers seeking traditional publishing and indie authors. She specializes in substantive/developmental editing, helps writers create hooky query letters and strong synopses, and she teaches several writing classes. Lynnette is also a romantic suspense author who injects a dark edge into romance. She finaled in the 2015 and 2016 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense Contest, and she won first place in the 2015 Molly Contest (romantic suspense category) offered through the Heart of Denver Romance Writers. She’s been a Pitch Wars mentor since 2015. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, twin daughters, and pets. Despite her love for fictional blood and gore, she gets weak at the sight of real blood. And spiders give her the creeps! Lynnette’s 500 Word Critique . . . MG Fantasy It all started with an egg. A purple one, just big enough to fit into the palm of your hand. (The beginning would be stronger if you could avoid using “it” at the start of the first sentence. The next sentence feels like you’re talking to the reader, but it doesn’t tell me much. Hand sizes vary, so this doesn’t show me the egg’s size. Plus, this is telling. Show us the story. Don’t tell us how it all began.) The Queen (Queen doesn’t need a capital Q here, but it works for your style in this genre as long as you keep it consistent.) eyed it suspiciously through the columns of steam curling around her gigantic purple body. (Avoid using adverbs and adjectives. Use...

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