Holiday Guest Post by Pitch Wars Mentor, Marie Meyer
Nov30

Holiday Guest Post by Pitch Wars Mentor, Marie Meyer

  Wow! I can’t believe it’s already December! This year flew by! As I reflect on this past year, I have so much to be thankful for. I wrote two books, I traveled, and I got to spend some quality time with my family, to name a few. But, of all things I’ve done this year, it was the time I spent traveling with my family that was the most meaningful. My parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this year (congrats, Mom and Dad)! To honor the life they’ve built together, our entire family: Mom, Dad, my brother, his wife, their three girls, my husband, our two daughters, my mother-in-law, and myself, we all embarked on a Disney Cruise. Naturally, the cruise was amazing. But what was even more magical than spending four days on the ocean and hanging out with the princesses, it was the time I got to spend with my whole family! We’re spread out all over the country, so for us to be in the same place, at the same time, it’s pretty special. From our sixteen-hour girls’ road trip to Florida, the guys flying in to meet us, and watching my daughters’ eyes shine with wonder as they took in the majesty of the Atlantic Ocean, I’ve got memories that will last a lifetime. 16 hours in the car!                                       The Fam! We’re a crazy bunch! Even now, months later, my girls and I will snuggle in bed together and look through all the pictures, trading giggles, reminiscing, sharing stories, holding onto the cherished memories of our summer family adventure while we make new ones. In this holiday season, I’m most thankful for my family, every one of them. For all the love, support, and memories they give me each day, I’m so grateful. My prayer and hope is that you have a blessed holiday. Hug your loved ones and tell them how much they mean to you. Make some new memories, cherish the old ones, and above all else, love one another.   Marie Meyer Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Goodreads | Google +  Marie Meyer was a language arts teacher for fourteen years. She spends her days in the classroom and her nights writing heartfelt new adult romances that will leave readers clamoring for more. She is a member of RWA and the St. Louis Writers Guild. Marie’s short fiction won honorable mentions from the St. Louis Writers Guild in 2010 and 2011. She is a proud mommy and enjoys helping her oldest daughter train for the Special Olympics, making up silly stories with her youngest daughter, and bingeing on...

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Holiday Post and Giveaway by Pitch Wars Mentor, Rosalyn Eves
Nov30

Holiday Post and Giveaway by Pitch Wars Mentor, Rosalyn Eves

  “Special Moments” As a writer, my journey has been full of lots of ups and downs, but nearly all of my ups involve members of my writing group—wonderful women that I’ve been meeting with every other week (and often more) for the past five years. This year, some of those special moments have included holding an advanced review copy (ARC) of my book for the first time—a copy that arrived while I was away from home and one of my critique partners (CPs) drove three hours to bring it to me. (Okay, fine, she was also coming to a conference, but I appreciated the gesture). I taught a class at a local conference to a packed room—the first time I’ve ever had to be moved to a bigger room, with people sitting on the floor and standing at the back–and these women were in the audience, smiling at me while I fought down my nerves. My debut novel owes a lot to them, to their enthusiastic reception the first time I brought a rough draft of the opening chapter to our meeting, to their careful critiques as we worked through the book, to their encouragement as I queried and waited impatiently for news of submissions. But my most memorable moment this year has been a bittersweet one. You see, one of these women lost her husband last month to a tragic accident. At the viewing, we folded her in a group hug and wept together. Later, we stood together underneath an incongruously bright sky at the cemetery, and I realized that somewhere along the journey these women had gone from being just a group of friends who talked about writing, to something like sisters. We’ve celebrated the birth of children, our own birthdays, our book babies—and now those celebrations are both tempered and deepened by our shared grief. This year, I’m grateful to be part of a wider writing community that has buoyed my friend in her grief. I’m grateful to have a book coming out in just under four months. But more than that, I’m grateful that writing has brought me relationships full of laughter, tears, pain, and joy. For the new year, I’m looking forward to my book coming out—but also to spending more time with my writing group, and to an ever-expanding circle of writing friends.   Giveaway: ARC of BLOOD ROSE REBELLION a Rafflecopter giveaway   Twitter | Website Rosalyn Eves grew up in the Rocky Mountains, dividing her time between reading books and bossing her siblings into performing her dramatic scripts. As an adult, the telling and reading of stories is still one...

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Holiday Guest Post and Giveaway by Pitch Wars Mentor, Laura Brown
Nov29

Holiday Guest Post and Giveaway by Pitch Wars Mentor, Laura Brown

This past year has been filled with lots of wonderful writerly thrills for me, and it’s taken me some time to think back and pick out one of those special moments. From landing my agent and publisher, to the debut of my first New Adult Romance, SIGNS OF ATTRACTION, to helping out with contests, there was so much to choose from. All of the above has made this a year I won’t forget. But there was one other unique moment that happened, and that’s the moment I want to talk about. Actually, there were two. As is the case with most writers, we develop a community with our peers. And some of these peers become critique partners (CPs), those brave souls that read our crappy drafts, let us know where we suck, and send heart eyes when the words shine. Thanks to the Internet, these CPs are usually not local. My closest one is still a plane—or long car—ride away. Yet that hasn’t stopped me from emailing, messaging, or texting them almost daily. And what had started with words being exchanged has grown into true friendships. In June, I learned that a family vacation would bring me not too far from one CP. Months of juggling logistics yielded an airport greeting. A week after my book’s release, I stood on an observation deck, waiting to see a face I had previously only seen through a computer screen. And let me tell you, it’s the weirdest and most magical thing when you recognize this person you’ve grown so close to walking towards you. I was a floor above, so I may have yelled and squealed and then paced in front of the elevator, as only the cool people do. The trip was way too short, but I truly enjoyed the opportunity to hug someone who had held my hand through my crazy year! A month later, I learned another CP would be travelling close to my area of the woods on the way to see family. Since there were four children to consider between the two of us, I planned for the meet up to happen at a playground so the kids could play. Our sons are the same age, and both boys were looking forward to hanging out with their mother’s friend. The kids hit it off, running around and having a blast as if they’d known each other for years (kids are amazing that way!). And I got to hug the person I dedicated my 2016 release to—and realize she’s quite a bit taller than me. This visit was also far too short, but our sons sent video...

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Holiday Guest Post and Giveaway by Pitch Wars Mentor, Karen McManus
Nov29

Holiday Guest Post and Giveaway by Pitch Wars Mentor, Karen McManus

  My mother likes to tell the story of when she thought I learned how to read. I was almost four years old, on her lap while she read me my favorite book. She paused for a minute and I took over, telling the story perfectly through the end. Impressed with this flash of brilliance, Mom handed me a new book and waited for me to repeat my performance. I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. I hadn’t been reading the first book. I’d just memorized it, because she read it to me so much. Today I still have books like that—books I’ve read multiple times, that I slip into like a favorite pair of pajamas whenever I need a dose of comfort. A Little Princess. The Hunger Games. Our Mutual Friend. The Secret History. A Confederacy of Dunces. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I can’t imagine a better writing compliment than to have someone return to the world you’ve built. The suspense is over, character arcs are complete, the end is known—but still, something pulls people back in. Maybe it’s the setting, the story line, the language, or that you’ve managed to create characters that feel real enough to miss. Either way, it’s magical. Hell, having someone commit enough time to read your book once is pretty incredible. 2016 has been a rough year in many ways, but when it comes to writing, I have nothing but gratitude. Two weeks into the new year this past January, I sent the first query for my 3rd book. I still remember my hand hovering nervously over that “submit” button, because this was a dream agent and what if my book wasn’t ready? That ended up being the best chance I ever took. I’m so thankful to all the people who made my debut possible: my incredible agent team at Stimola Literary Studio, my brilliant editor at Delacorte Press, and all the wonderful CPs and betas who read and offered insight. In six months, ONE OF US IS LYING will hit the shelves—and who knows? Maybe it will become somebody’s favorite. Or something they enjoy enough to recommend. (Or, let’s face it, something they mark did not finish on Goodreads because it just didn’t appeal). Either way, it’s magical.   Twitter | Website Karen McManus writes YA contemporary fiction from her home in Cambridge, Mass. Her debut novel, ONE OF US IS LYING, will be released from Delacorte Press/Random House on May 30, 2017, and published in fourteen countries. For more information, visit www.karenmcmanus.com or @writerkmc on Twitter. Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound Giveaway: Want an ARC of ONE OF US...

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Holiday Guest Post with Pitch Wars Mentor, Cindy Baldwin
Nov28

Holiday Guest Post with Pitch Wars Mentor, Cindy Baldwin

2016 has been a year of such blessings in my writing career—connecting with new CPs, signing with an incredible agent in the springtime, getting a book deal with a dream publisher this summer, having the chance to co-mentor for Pitch Wars this fall with my dear friend and CP Amanda Rawson Hill. There’s so much to be grateful for (that book deal chief among them, of course!), but as I’ve thought about writing this post, one thing has stayed in the forefront of my mind: Even more than the agent, even more than the book deal, I’m so very grateful for the way my writing community has deepened and broadened in 2016. I’ve been surrounded by like-minded friends and acquaintances whose passion and commitment to their own writing has inspired me to new heights in my own career. I’ve had critique partners who pushed my writing to become better than I thought it could be. I’ve had friends to commiserate and laugh with me when drafting feels like pulling teeth, or when the ideas come so fast I can’t possibly write them all down. I’ve had a community to turn to when the rejections poured in and felt endless, when I was certain that I’d never be able to write anything sellable, when I felt like I was stagnating with no hope of moving on. I’ve had writing friends who have become “life friends”—the people I turn to when I’m feeling overwhelmed with parenting, the people I texted when my husband got his dream job this spring, the people who help me figure out how to balance a writing career with the rest of my life. Early in this year, I was at an all-time low point writing-wise: I’d run out of agents to query on my current project, the book of my heart. I’d gutted and rewritten that book as part of Pitch Wars 2015, and had such high hopes for it—but none of that work had been enough to catch an agent’s eye, and I was sure that nothing I’d ever write would make the cut. One night in February I walked around and around my neighborhood in the dark and the rain, debating the merits of just giving up writing once and for all. Fiction had always been such a big part of my life and my self-identity, but lately it was seeming like more pain than joy. When I got home, my phone was full of e-mails and text messages from two dear friends, both of whom were filled with love and encouragement for my writing journey. Due in no small part to the healing...

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GUARDIAN OF SECRETS by Brenda Drake . . . Cover Reveal and Pre-order Campaign!
Nov28

GUARDIAN OF SECRETS by Brenda Drake . . . Cover Reveal and Pre-order Campaign!

Let us know what you think of the cover for Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2) by Brenda Drake which releases February 7, 2017! This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled TEEN & YA Interrobang! Brenda Drake’s thoughts on the cover: I had an idea of what I wanted the cover of Guardian of Secrets to look like the entire time I was writing the story. I was delighted (I might have screamed) when the cover showed up in my email and it was EXACTLY what I’d imagined. I love that it’s blue since part of the setting of the book takes place in a cold climate. I’m thrilled the couple is on it, too. They resemble the characters I’ve created in my mind perfectly. The cover is so beautiful, and I’m beyond excited to share it with everyone! About Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2) Pre-order today! Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon CA | Amazon UK About the book … Being a Sentinel isn’t all fairytales and secret gardens. Sure, jumping through books into the world’s most beautiful libraries to protect humans from mystical creatures is awesome. No one knows that better than Gia Kearns, but she could do without the part where people are always trying to kill her. Oh, and the fact that Pop and her had to move away from her friends and life as she knew it. And if that isn’t enough, her boyfriend, Arik, is acting strangely. Like, maybe she should be calling him “ex,” since he’s so into another girl. But she doesn’t have time to be mad or even jealous, because someone has to save the world from the upcoming apocalypse, and it looks like that’s going to be Gia. Maybe. If she survives. Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Guardian of Secrets (Library Jumpers, #2) by Brenda Drake today! And if you do pre-order before February 7, 2017, get a signed bookmark, signed locker magnet, and autographed bookplate, plus an entry into the above pictured prize pack. Go to here for details: http://wp.me/P3YLhv-7rA  ...

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Holiday Guest Post with Pitch Wars Mentor, J.C. Nelson
Nov28

Holiday Guest Post with Pitch Wars Mentor, J.C. Nelson

  Welcome to our Holiday Guest Posts! Our wonderful mentors will be sharing special moments of the past year and what their hopes are for the new year. Some will be giving away books, too! So I hope you’ll join us for this special celebration. Brenda   First up is J.C. Nelson … For me, one of the most special moments of the year came as a passing act of kindness to my wife, in a situation where I couldn’t be present, and the kindness of a stranger made all the difference. First off, to understand this, we need to flash back to a garage sale where we bought a dog. No, this is not the recommended way to acquire a pet, but the perfect storm of “oh my god she’s so cute” and my wife’s love of animals came together. The result? A small, black ball of fur and bark, named Chloe, who existed for the primary purpose of annoying everyone else in the house. Then my wife’s depression hit. For months she didn’t sleep except during the day. She ate at most one meal a day. She would occasionally sit at the table and watch everyone else while we talked. And she took care of Chloe. That small dog became the reason for her to get up, the reason for her to go out, or eat a slim meal. Eventually the depression lifted, as it does, and there, still beside my wife every day, was Chloe. Flash forward eight years, and my wife took Chloe out for her morning walk.  As they walked along on their leash, a dog in the neighborhood got out. This dog outweighed Chloe eight to one, and when it saw her, it dashed across the street and attacked her, chewing its way down her rib cage. My wife tried to intervene and was attacked as well. Eventually, a man beat the dog off, which left my wife and the dog who had been with her through depression bleeding and alone on the side walk, over a mile from our house, with no phone and no way to get back to go for help. That’s when the moment of absolute kindness occurred: A stranger got her car, wrapped Chloe in a blanket, and drove my wife and her to the vet. Another neighbor stayed at the vet to help my wife fill out the paperwork. Another called me so I could begin the hour long trip home. Our dog survived, after hours of surgery. My wife’s wounds have slowly healed. But when I think of a special moment, it was the act of...

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Young Adult Fantasy Giveaway … enter to win 45+ books (and more!)
Nov28

Young Adult Fantasy Giveaway … enter to win 45+ books (and more!)

Today, I have a fun surprise that I’d like to share with you. To celebrate the end of fall, I’ve teamed up with more than 45 fantastic young adult fantasy authors to give away a huge collection of novels, PLUS a Kindle Fire to one lucky winner! You can win my novel THIEF OF LIES, plus books from authors like L.E. Sterling and Tracy Clark. Enter the giveaway by clicking here: http://bit.ly/fall-ya-fantasy Good luck, and enjoy! Save Save...

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Want to help me reveal the cover for GUARDIAN OF SECRETS?
Nov23

Want to help me reveal the cover for GUARDIAN OF SECRETS?

I’m so excited for the cover reveal for GUARDIAN OF SECRETS. I can NOT wait for you all to see it. It’s so beautiful and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. If you have a blog or if you’d like to share it on your social media site, I’d so appreciate it. The reveal is Monday, November 28. You can sign up here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeqvf2gtLywqH6atWbFwqwUUIIXFksYe5_SHtZAcyrh5hmhA/viewform If you do sign up, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Also on that day, the eBook for THIEF OF LIES goes on sale for $.99. If you haven’t read it yet, Monday would be the day to grab a copy....

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CURSING FATE by Brenda Drake . . . Release Day!
Nov21

CURSING FATE by Brenda Drake . . . Release Day!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes |Kobo Grab your copy today for only $2.99! We’re so excited to share Brenda’s release! Brenda gives so much to the writing community, and we on the contest team hope you’ll join us today and celebrate her new release with us. Share it on your social media and grab a copy for yourself! TITLE: CURSING FATE (Book 2, The Fated Series) AUTHOR: Brenda Drake PUBLISHER: Entangled Publishing RELEASE DATE: November 21, 2016 About the book . . .  There’s something strange about the Layne sisters, and Wade Diaz wants nothing to do with them. Especially the one who ripped his heart out and set it on fire before tossing it in the garbage several months ago. Iris. He can’t even think her name without unconsciously rubbing the spot in his chest where she left a gaping hole. But now her sisters are claiming some evil spirit is after his soul, and Iris is the only one who can save him. Well, at least his heart would stop hurting, right? Didn’t sound so bad. Iris Layne has always been the sweet sister. She’s kind to everyone, including her best friend Wade… Until she makes a horrible mistake and breaks his heart. All she wants is to go back to before ‘the dumping’. Of course, Wade would rather see her in hell first. But then Iris touches her sister’s tarot cards and unleashes an evil curse intent on playing a deadly game where no one Iris loves is safe, especially Wade. How do you convince someone they need your help when you’re the one who hurt them most? Enter the giveaway here. Read chapter one here. You don’t have to read book one to read book two, but you totally should! Check out the Fated series novels by author Brenda Drake: Book one: Touching Fate Book two: Cursing Fate   Brenda Drake Twitter | Website         Save...

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CATALYST by Kristin Smith … release day!
Nov21

CATALYST by Kristin Smith … release day!

Kristin Smith’s debut novel, Catalyst, officially releases today!  Catalyst Kristin Smith (The Deception Game, #1) Published by: Clean Teen Publishing Publication date: November 21st 2016 Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult   Too pretty. Too smart. Too perfect. In a crumbling, futuristic Las Vegas where the wealthy choose the characteristics of their children like ordering off a drive-thru menu, seventeen-year-old Sienna Preston doesn’t fit in. As a normal girl surrounded by genetically modified teenagers, all of her imperfections are on display. But after the death of her father, everything she’s ever known and loved changes in an instant. With little skills to help provide for her family, Sienna clings to the two things that come easily—lying and stealing. But not all thief-for-hire assignments go as planned. When a covert exchange of a stolen computer chip is intercepted, she becomes entangled with a corrupt government official who uses her thieving past as leverage, her mother as collateral, and the genetically modified poster boy she’s falling for as bait. In order to rescue her mother, there may only be one option—joining forces with the Fringe, an extremist group, and their young leader who’s too hot to be bad. Problem is, these revolutionaries aren’t what they seem, and the secrets they’re hiding could be more dangerous than Sienna is prepared for. In the end, she must be willing to risk everything to save the one thing that matters most. Catalyst is a thrilling adventure of danger, romance, intrigue, and deception. Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo **Look for Catalyst on the shelves of Barnes and Noble stores nationwide, coming in December!**   Author Bio:   Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at kristinsmithbooks.com.   Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Blog   Enter the Giveaway to win a Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box!   a Rafflecopter...

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BEST. NIGHT. EVER.: A Story Told from Seven Points of View . . . Cover Reveal and giveaway!
Nov18

BEST. NIGHT. EVER.: A Story Told from Seven Points of View . . . Cover Reveal and giveaway!

Cover illustration by James Lopez   TITLE: BEST. NIGHT. EVER.: A Story Told from Seven Points of View AUTHORS: Rachele Alpine, Ronni Arno, Alison Cherry, Stephanie Faris, Jen Malone, Gail Nall, and Dee Romito PUBLISHER: Aladdin/Simon & Schuster RELEASE DATE: August 15, 2017 Goodreads | Preorder     About the book . . . Love Actually meets Adventures in Babysitting in this hilarious novel written by seven authors about seven classmates who are preparing for a crazy night at their middle school dance. Lynnfield Middle School is prepped and ready for a dance to remember, including an awesome performance from Heart Grenade, the all-girl band who recently won a Battle of the Bands contest. Seven classmates—Carmen, Genevieve, Tess, Ryan, Ellie, Ashlyn, and Jade—intend to make the most of the night…or at least the five of them who are able to attend do. The other two would sacrifice almost anything to be there. One thing’s for sure—this entire crew is in for one epic night! Rachele Alpine, Ronni Arno, Alison Cherry, Stephanie Faris, Jen Malone, Gail Nall, and Dee Romito have created a charming, hilarious, and relatable novel that’s perfect for anyone who can’t wait to dance the night away.   About the authors . . . Twitter | Website Rachele Alpine is the author of the middle grade novels Operation Pucker Up and You Throw Like a Girl and the young adult novels A Void the Size of the World and Canary. By day she’s a high school English teacher, by night she’s a wife and mom, and she finds any time in between to write. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio where she writes with the companionship of the world’s cutest dog and a big bag of gummy peaches.  She loves hearing from readers!   Twitter | Website Ronni Arno is the author of the middle grade novels Ruby Reinvented, Dear Poppy, and Molly in the Middle. She lives on the coast of Maine with her husband, two daughters, and her dogs, Hazel and Mabel. When she’s not writing, Ronni stalks her kids for story ideas, kayaks, and eats chocolate… but not usually at the same time.   Twitter | Website Alison Cherry is the author of the middle grade novels Willows vs. Wolverines and The Classy Crooks Club and the young adult novels Red, For Real, and Look Both Ways. She is a professional photographer and spent many years working as a lighting designer for theater, dance, and opera productions. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her two cats.   Twitter | Website Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go...

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