B5: YA Fantasy: FACING DEMONS
Mar15

B5: YA Fantasy: FACING DEMONS

Title: FACING DEMONS Age Category: Young Adult Genre: Fantasy Word Count: 108,000 Pitch: In an African inspired fantasy, twin mercenaries Niles and Cassia must hunt for a hidden foe, bearing encrypted letters. To succeed means unearthing a past best kept buried. But their secrets might bury them anyway. First 250 Word of Manuscript: The guard stared at Cassia’s hands, searching for signs of Aeliana’s fire. He would find none. He motioned for her to flip her hands over to inspect her palms without touching her. Touching a prisoner was dangerous without knowing what she was. Cassia fought to hide the amusement of watching the guard run through the element wielding lists. He gestured for her to continue walking down the tunnel. As they approached a water basin, she slowed, half expecting him to hold her under to be sure she wasn’t one of the Drowned, and was a little insulted when he just pushed her along. She wasn’t looking forward to nearly drowning, but she didn’t like the assumption. The guard stopped at the entrance to one of the cells and glanced at the darkness pooled at her feet. Shadow? Check. He tilted his nose into the air, taking a deep breath. The heavy rains pelted the rails of the small windows at ground-level of the Alsene Hold. He’d smell wet soil and nothing else. The ease of his next breath told her as much. Another check in his lists. Relief washed over the guard smoothing the skin between his brows and easing the tension in his shoulders as he locked her cell. Yet the way he cut his eyes in her direction said that he still considered her a conundrum if not a threat. That he wasn’t fully convinced. And he shouldn’t be. One did not get tossed underground into the Alsene execution cells for being a conundrum....

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B6: YA Fantasy: EVENTIDE
Mar15

B6: YA Fantasy: EVENTIDE

Title: EVENTIDE Age Category: Young Adult Genre: Fantasy Word Count: 99,000 Pitch: TWELFTH NIGHT meets AN EMBER IN THE ASHES when Val, disguised as a boy, boards an enemy ship to find her twin. As she sails into war, she risks both their lives if she’s discovered. First 250 Word of Manuscript: For most, the Pass represented the boundary between the southern clans and the Airyllens. It was where the war over magic finally came to a stop. For me, it meant home. The purple mountains jutted into the sky, glistening as untouched magic cascaded off them like an early morning fog. I leaned over to take in the sight. The port side of my outrigger sailing canoe dipped and cold water splashed onto my parched skin. I jolted. “Spirits!” My voice cracked. I never allowed my canoe to break the surface of the water. Letting my sail out, I tied the mainsheet and moved from the stern to the bow, the wind pulling strands of my black hair out of its braid and into my eyes. My sack hung on the mast, swaying from the waves lapping against the hull. Reaching into it, I fished out the smaller pouch for the last time. My hand shook. I hadn’t seen my home, my family, in three moons. After tonight, I would no longer be a child in the eyes of my clan. I would be chiefess. But now was no time to be emotional. I sat cross-legged and loosened the drawstring of the pouch. Dust the color of the stars lay at the bottom. I dumped the remnants in my hand. The powder sparkled against the contrast of my dark skin before I blew it away. The dust dispersed into the cobalt sky like silver butterflies. I watched it go, knowing it would find its way to Elder Ahi....

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B7: YA Contemporary: THE COLD PLACE
Mar15

B7: YA Contemporary: THE COLD PLACE

Title: THE COLD PLACE Age Category: Young Adult Genre: Contemporary Word Count: 65,000 Pitch: Everybody knows about Sam. Burned his house for fun. Cuts himself for attention. Locked in a mental hospital for everyone’s safety. Broken beyond repair by fifteen. Everybody knows it. But none of it is true. First 250 Word of Manuscript: I don’t trust this new doctor. “Samuel Guerrero,” he says. He holds on to the O too long, like he owns my name. Owns me. He’s wrong. Wrong about my name. Wrong about me. He leans back in his fake leather chair. Watches my reaction. Observes me like I’m a chemistry experiment. Stirs the mixture. Waits for it to explode. Has he gotten my name wrong on purpose? His lips quirk up at the end. Cunning. “Tell me about your earliest memory?” he continues, “What’s the first thing you–” “Playing with a Tonka truck in the front yard at 112 W. Pearl,” I cut him off before he can finish. It’s the same answer I give all the doctors. It’s boring. It’s safe. It’s a lie. My first memory is mine. I won’t share it with a pack of leeches trying to “understand” me so they can write an article for some medical journal. I know that’s what they want to do because I overheard Dr. Stuart, my first therapist, telling one of the nurses. “He’s such a fascinating case. I could make a name for myself if I could get the kid to open up.” Then he laughed. I never said another word to him after that. The center had to switch doctors since he wasn’t making any progress. When we pass each other in the hall now he avoids my eyes. I hate the doctors. I hate their questions. I hate their hypocrisy. I hate. I hate.  ...

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B8: Adult Upmarket Contemporary LGBTQ+ #ownvoices : SPEEDBUMP
Mar15

B8: Adult Upmarket Contemporary LGBTQ+ #ownvoices : SPEEDBUMP

Title: SPEEDBUMP Age Category: Adult Genre: Upmarket Contemporary LGBTQ+ #ownvoices Word Count: 68,000 Pitch: Ezra wants to accept their post-testosterone body and find love, but caring for a sick brother comes first. When washed-up musician, Red, returns home, Ezra’s family obligations could prevent them from becoming more than friends. First 250 Word of Manuscript: It had been a while since the last time a moving vehicle hit me, but I wasn’t in the mood to take chances. The night was dark—no moon and only a smattering of stars peeking between the clouds. At least the rain had finally stopped. The county road I walked along was flat, but I’d just passed a turn when I saw headlights behind me, coming up fast. A blind turn the locals had been known to straighten now and then, especially when the weekend and low visibility coincided. I ran toward the neighbor’s patched fence, toward safety in the form of a boulder guarding the apex of the turn, hoping whoever sat behind the wheel didn’t mean to run me down. The way my luck was going that night, with the unexpected rain and Granddad’s truck quitting, it surprised me when the car stopped and I still stood upright. The GTO, the 1964 stock GTO that I knew to be deep purple but looked black right then, rocked gently and then settled. It rocked again when he leaned across the seat to roll the window down. Even if he’d seen the truck, he wouldn’t know who I was. He’d left town before we moved there, and only one thing about me was at all noteworthy anyway. Everyone knew the day he came back to town. Red Richardson, also known as Ellred Long, the name he got the day he was born. Back from Los Angeles where he never really made it but came close enough to be a Big Man in this little backwash town of five hundred (give or take). What he was doing that far off the highway or any of the main roads, I had no...

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B9: Adult Mystery: THE POISON SEASON
Mar15

B9: Adult Mystery: THE POISON SEASON

Title: THE POISON SEASON Age Category: Adult Genre: Mystery Word Count: 72.000 Pitch: Poisonous plant expert Kit Magee is devastated by her sister’s apparent suicide. To unearth the truth and set things right, Kit risks revealing she has more than dirt on her hands. First 250 Word of Manuscript: Four minutes to go. “Grindhouse Blues” began to moan its way through my earbuds as I inhaled slowly through my nose. Steady hands, Kit, I willed myself. The blade in my left hand sliced down the length of the flower, cleanly dividing it. With my right hand I spread open the two halves, exposing its male and female parts. Using hemostat clamps I removed the anthers, the male parts holding pollen, and set them carefully onto the paper plate beside me. Breathe. Two minutes. I swept a miniature paintbrush gently across the anthers lifting pollen onto the eyelash-fine hairs. Tapping the brush delicately onto the plate, I smiled as the tiny pile of yellow fluff land softly. Exhale. Less than a minute to complete this phase of my experiment. As I turned to set the net cover over the plate my jumbo-sized cat Max jumped onto the workbench. “Shit!” I grabbed him around his fat yellow middle a split second before his paw landed in the pollen. “Max, you could’ve been poisoned.” I hoisted all twenty-two pounds of him up onto one shoulder and placed the cover over the plate with my free hand. Brugmansia, or Angel’s Trumpet, was a dangerous plant. My sister Margie and I discovered it several years ago at an herb workshop. The host had grown several brugmansia varieties around her property and was fascinated by the plant’s intriguing history as an anesthetic, hallucinogen and deadly poison, earning it the nickname the Devil’s Breath....

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B10: Adult Science Fiction Thriller: INVADED
Mar15

B10: Adult Science Fiction Thriller: INVADED

Title: INVADED Age Category: Adult Genre: Science Fiction Thriller Word Count: 107,000 Pitch:  Formerly deceased designer, Tracy Seavers, is now host to a deviant alien entity she abhors. Handsome Detective John Peters can help, unless the alien steers them both into the hands of a serial killer. First 250 Word of Manuscript: Detective John Peters squatted beside a bloodstained patch of sand. He tuned out the news helicopters circling the bridge above him. The overturned tractor-trailer and the smashed blue sedan straddling the guardrail would make for a decent headline, but they always wanted more. He could feel their cameras zooming in, looking for the body they’d been promised. But deceased accident victim, Tracy Seavers, was no longer there. “Dead girls don’t just get up and walk away.” The off-duty EMT, first on-scene, folded his arms. “I’m telling you that girl was light years past CPR.” The odor of diesel engines carried on the late-summer breeze as another firetruck arrived on the bridge. Circumventing the body’s last known location, John blotted out the noise and concentrated on the conundrum at hand. “There was nothing I could do for her.” The EMT shaded his eyes, squinting at the collision scene above. “I heard the other girl screaming so I climbed the hill to see if I could help.” John nodded. The roommate, Laini Hanson, was damn lucky she’d stayed in the car. Too bad Seavers hadn’t done the same. He crouched in the space between the impact-site and a pink, size-nine loafer lying sideways in the sand. A trail of footprints led into the trees where a few uniformed officers directed doe-eyed interns on search and rescue procedures. John sighed, surveying the reckless clusters of college students as they left holes in their search patterns any seven-year-old could avoid. If they hunted for their keys like they searched for a missing person, they’d never get out of their goddamn houses in the morning....

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A Pitch Wars Success Story with Astrid Scholte and her mentors, Joan He and Mara Rutherford
Mar15

A Pitch Wars Success Story with Astrid Scholte and her mentors, Joan He and Mara Rutherford

  When our mentees land an agent or a publishing deal, it’s one of the highlights of being part of Pitch Wars. We’re so excited for Astrid Scholte and her mentors, Joan He and Mara Rutherford. Astrid signed with Hillary Jacobson of ICM Partners and in February you announced your two-book deal with Putnam after Pitch Wars 2016, and we couldn’t be happier for her! Please, help me in congratulating Astrid, Joan, and Mara on their Pitch Wars Success! Astrid, what was it about Joan and Mara that made you choose to send them a Pitch Wars application? I read Joan and Mara’s Wishlist and felt as though they’d already read my manuscript and described the main elements of my book and what I wanted to develop further. They also seemed really lovely and easy to work with. And I liked the idea of having two mentors—twice the feedback and fun! Joan and Mara, what was it about Astrid’s FOUR DEAD QUEENS that hooked you? Joan: Oh gosh where to start? The premise was already amazing, but once I got into reading, I couldn’t pull away from Astrid’s masterful pacing and feisty characters. Then the big twist pretty much sealed the deal. I’d read the synopsis, so I knew what was coming, but had I not, I could have sworn that I wouldn’t have seen it coming, which is very rare for me. Mara: I thought the combination of sci-fi and fantasy elements was really fresh and well done. I could tell this was a book with a lot of commercial appeal, and I thought the unique concept would help Astrid stand out from the crowd. Astrid, tell us about the revision process for Pitch Wars? I received my edit letter soon after the Pitch Wars Mentee announcement and got straight to work. Joan and Mara were fantastic at respecting what I’d already written while questioning certain character motivations and plot points. Most of my notes were around fleshing out the world, which was something I already wanted to focus on, so I knew we were on the same page. I started with big picture edits and delivered the revised first half of the book for Joan to read about a month into Pitch Wars. She gave me a few final notes and then I dove into revising the second half. Once that was done, Mara concentrated on line edits to make the manuscript really shine. She also helped me put together a kick-ass pitch for the agent round! Overall, I found the process really enjoyable. Mara and Joan were such professionals and were always there for any questions, brainstorming sessions or...

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A Pitch Wars Success Story with Kit Grant and her mentors, Rosalyn Eves and Erin Summerill
Mar13

A Pitch Wars Success Story with Kit Grant and her mentors, Rosalyn Eves and Erin Summerill

  When our mentees land an agent or a publishing deal, it’s one of the highlights of being part of Pitch Wars. We’re so excited for Kit Grant and her mentors, Rosalyn Eves and Erin Summerill. Kit signed with Josh Adams of Adams Literary after Pitch Wars 2016, and we couldn’t be happier for her! Please, help me in congratulating Emma and Jennie on their Pitch Wars Success! Rosalyn and Erin, what was it about Kit’s A COURT OF MIRACLES that hooked you? Rosalyn: I was first drawn to the premise–Jungle Book meets Les Miserables. And then when I started reading, the story was so fast-paced and the world so fascinating that we both agreed we wanted to work with this story. Kit has a very distinctive, spare, lyrical style that I loved. Erin: Hmm…good question. I don’t think there was one thing exactly, but the overall ring of A Court Of Miracles sounds nice. I’m drawn into any courtly settings. Kit, tell us about the revision process for Pitch Wars? We did 3 rounds of revisions. Two big picture and a line edit. I agreed 100% with their vision for LeBook. We removed a main character, changed the mushy middle, and added new scenes. They also worked on my synopsis, query and pitch. My favourite part of working with them was the hilarious swooning over my MC’s love interest that happened in the track changes comments. I did get stuck for two weeks on 1st round edits that I agreed with but couldn’t fathom how to implement. I brainstormed, shared with my mentors, tried to write through the issues, had to trash newly written scenes. Finally I cornered my husband (who had never read LeBook) and threw the plot problems at him. As someone completely removed from it all, he was able in 5 minutes to solve my issues. I’ve decided to keep him. I was finishing line-edits during the agent round which was a SUPER good distraction. Rosalyn and Erin, tell us about your experience mentoring Kit. Rosalyn: Erin and I took turns on various rounds. I took Erin’s notes and put together an edit letter of some big picture things we wanted to change, then Erin went through a second time to make comments on the drafts, and I did some final line edits/copy edits. Kit was a great sport about the edits–she took the comments seriously and worked hard to overhaul her story. Erin: She was lovely to work with because she took our suggestions and gave them consideration instead of shooting our ideas down instantly. I like that she would think about the changes we wanted her to make and she would...

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A Pitch Wars Success Story with Tamara Girardi and her mentor Molly Lee
Mar10

A Pitch Wars Success Story with Tamara Girardi and her mentor Molly Lee

When our mentees land an agent or a publishing deal, it’s one of the highlights of being part of Pitch Wars. We’re so excited for Tamara Girardi  and her mentor, Molly Lee. Tamara signed with Melissa Nasson with Rubin Pfeffer Content after Pitch Wars 2016, and we couldn’t be happier for her! Please, help me in congratulating Tamara and Molly on their Pitch Wars Success! Tamara, what was it about Molly that made you choose to send them a Pitch Wars application? Molly’s Wish List attracted me right away. It read, “I love to see instances where a girl/woman is in a profession/situation that is tailored toward men and she’s hacking it right there with the boys.” My YA contemporary GRIDIRON GIRL is about a girl who competes against her boyfriend to be the starting quarterback of the football team, so the whole story is about her trying to hack it with the guys. Also, I want to say that I took the advice to ask questions of the mentors seriously when picking my six. Molly didn’t specifically mention sports, so I tweeted her to be sure she has an interest in them. Fortunately for me, she did! My next step was to read some of my potential mentors’ works (because narrowing down to six was HARD), and one chapter of Molly’s EDGE OF CHAOS had me in love. She made me feel instantly. Molly, what was it about Tamara’s GRIDIRON GIRL that hooked you? The pitch for GRIDIRON GIRL was solid. It showed the stakes, voice, and had a great hook all in one. A girl has to go up against her boyfriend for the starting quarterback position? Forget about it! Sign me up! Tamara, tell us about the revision process for Pitch Wars? It was fantastic. Molly sent me comments immediately. Her feedback was impressive and exciting; it sparked so many ideas, and I added several scenes to the manuscript that made it much stronger! And with Molly’s skills of writing romance, the book definitely got steamier, which I kind of loved! Most importantly, though, Molly was open to my ideas of how to fix the problems she noted in the manuscript. I agreed with one of the problems she identified, but not necessarily the solution she suggested. I took some time to mull it over and proposed an alternative solution to her. She read the revised pages and loved them. That taught me a lot about working with an agent and editor in the future – how to trust good feedback but also be true to the story you want to tell.  And I appreciated her respect for my work...

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A Pitch Wars Success Story with Kara McDowell and her mentors, Brenda Drake and Heather Cashman
Mar09

A Pitch Wars Success Story with Kara McDowell and her mentors, Brenda Drake and Heather Cashman

  Brenda and I have extra cause to celebrate this success story! Kara McDowell was our very own mentee! And we love her bunches and bunches. Kara signed with Kristy Hunter of The Knight Agency after Pitch Wars 2016, and we couldn’t be happier for her! Please, help Brenda and I to celebrate Kara’s Pitch Wars Success! Kara, what was it about Brenda and Heather that made you choose to send them a Pitch Wars application? Because I was the scavenger hunt winner, I didn’t get to choose my mentors. That said, I couldn’t have asked for anyone better. I consider myself so lucky to be mentored by the people who make Pitch Wars possible. Brenda is so sweet and supportive, and Heather’s edits were amazing. Brenda and Heather (yep, that’s me), what was it about Kara’s NOT HER STORY that hooked you? She won the scavenger hunt drawing! And we are so happy she did. Kara, tell us about the revision process for Pitch Wars? I never told Brenda this, but when I first read her edit letter, I cried. I’d never received an edit letter before, so it was a very new experience for me. I’d also been hearing stories about mentors sending 15 page letters with instructions to cut characters or rewrite entire sections of the manuscript. Brenda’s letter was not like that, and it threw me for a loop. She focused a lot on the characters, and suggested that I find ways to help them connect better with each other and the reader. At first, I thought her minimal changes meant that my book was beyond saving. Over time, I realized that she was letting me take ownership of my revisions so I could keep my story and my voice intact. We planned that I would spend the month of September working on those big picture revisions, and October would be dedicated to line edits. I finished my first round of edits a few days early, and sent my final pages to Heather with a note telling her I was going to try to give birth to my baby that weekend. That kind of thing rarely goes according to plan, but my baby did end up coming that Friday! I took a week or so off while Heather worked on line edits, and then jumped back in as soon as she got the pages to me. (I’m honesty not sure how I did this. I was so tired the entire month of October.) Line edits were a lot more work than I was expecting, but it was so encouraging to see my manuscript transforming before my eyes. I...

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A Pitch Wars Success Interview with Emma Nelson and her mentor, Jennie Nash
Mar08

A Pitch Wars Success Interview with Emma Nelson and her mentor, Jennie Nash

  When our mentees land an agent or a publishing deal, it’s one of the highlights of being part of Pitch Wars. We’re so excited for Emma Nelson and her mentor, Jennie Nash. Emma signed with Amanda Ayers Barnett of Donaghy Literary Group after Pitch Wars 2016, and we couldn’t be happier for her! Please, help me in congratulating Emma and Jennie on their Pitch Wars Success!   Emma, what was it about Jennie that made you choose to send them a Pitch Wars application? When I decided to apply to Pitch Wars, I spent several hours obsessing over each of the mentors. I checked out their mentor bios, websites, and social media. I was so drawn to Jennie because of her online presence and the fact that book mentoring was literally what she did for a living. I loved that she seemed so disciplined and structured and successful at helping many books come together. I wanted to be part of that! Jennie, what was it about Emma’s manuscript that hooked you? Emma’s manuscript had something about it that just kept calling to me. It had a very ambitious concept, a fun plot, great characters and all kinds of action — which are all great things — but a lot of entries had those things. Emma’s writing had something else that was special about it — a kind of pizazz. I could tell I was in the presence of a real storyteller. Emma, tell us about the revision process for Pitch Wars? The first thing we did was have a long call, I think it was almost two hours, where we talked about things we needed to nail down. They were big questions like genre, age category, MC’s internal goals, stuff like that. It felt like the most work was in the weeks before I actually started revising, because Jennie was adamant that I had to solidify the underpinnings before I could do anything with the plot or characters. After that, we did a few rounds of big content edits, and then some line edits/minor tweaking. We worked big to small, and it was a really great process that improved the book tremendously. Jennie, tell us about your experience mentoring Emma. She was the dream writer because she did a TON of hard work BEFORE we even started doing revisions. It was all the work she needed to do to answer who her main character really was, and what was actually happening to her on a soul level. It was the hard stuff, and Emma never complained or balked or said there wasn’t time. Plus in the middle of it she has...

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ENIGMA by Tonya Kuper … cover reveal and giveaway!
Mar07

ENIGMA by Tonya Kuper … cover reveal and giveaway!

Let us know what you think of the cover for Enigma (Schrodinger’s Consortium, #2) by Tonya Kuper, which releases July 4, 2017! This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled TEEN & YA Books Central!   About Enigma (Schrodinger’s Consortium, #2): Worst. Road Trip. Ever. Escaping with Reid Wentworth should have been fun, but how can I enjoy it when I just (accidentally) killed someone, my mom and brother are in danger, and the Consortium is trying to enslave humanity? (Yeah, they aren’t fooling around.) So feeling something for Reid Wentworth was not part of the plan. Trying to help unite the Resistance against the Consortium means I can’t be distracted by hot boys. The Resistance secret hideout isn’t exactly the rebel base of my dreams. A traitor there wants me dead, but we have no idea who it is. And with both the Resistance and the Consortium trying to control me, the only one I can trust is Reid. If we’re going to have any chance of protecting my family, controlling my unstable powers, and surviving the clash between the Oculi factions, I’m going to have to catch this traitor. By using myself as bait.   Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Enigma (Schrodinger’s Consortium, #2)  by Tonya Kuper today! Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon CA | Amazon UK Add to Goodreads About Tonya Kuper: Tonya Kuper writes young adult science fiction and contemporary novels. She first fell in love with reading in elementary school, which eventually lead to earning a BA in Elementary Education and a MS in Reading Education, but she never thought she’d write a novel, let alone several. When Tonya isn’t writing, she teaches Young Adult Literature Writing Workshop at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, laughs as much as possible, loves music, and nerds-out over Star Wars, Sherlock, and all things pop-culture. She lives in Omaha, NE with her husband and two rad boys. Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google + | Instagram   Enigma Pre-order Campaign! Whether you were you planning to pre-order Enigma anyway or are intrigued by the idea of the pre-order campaign that Tonya Kuper has devised for  this release, you can all benefit from pre-ordering either the eBook or paperback edition, sharing a screenshot of your receipt, and registering your pre-order with Entangled Teen! When you pre-order Enigma between now and Friday, June 30, 2017 at 11:59 pm EDT and send both the proof of your pre-order and register your pre-order, you’ll automatically receive an Enigma swag pack, including a signed book plate, as a FREE Gift. (US only) AND if you’re one of the first 20 people to pre-order Enigma, send us proof and register your pre-order, you’ll also receive a custom vinyl decal of the dragon eye symbol that is important to the Oculi...

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