Meet the Pitch Wars 2017 Agents! (Part 2)
Jul17

Meet the Pitch Wars 2017 Agents! (Part 2)

We have an amazing lineup of agents participating in Pitch Wars 2017! On November 1st , the Pitch Wars Agent Showcase will go live for all the mentees, chosen by mentors on August 24th. We will post three separate posts by age category (MG, YA, NA/A), listing the mentees’ pitch and the first words of their manuscript (pitch words + first page words = 300 words). The agents will search from November 1-7 through the posts, find their favorites, and request them. November 1 – 7: Agent Showcase November 1: Adult and New Adult entries November 2: MG entries November 3: YA entries November 7: Last day of Agent Showcase For those of you new to Pitch Wars, check out “Pitch Wars 2017 … all the details!”. And come back July 19th to find your perfect mentor at the Mentor Blog Hop, running July 19-August 2! PLEASE NOTE: This is the list of agents participating in the Agent Showcase in November. They are not mentors. So check out the agents below and see what they’re looking for most in a manuscript. They’re listed in alphabetical order by the agency they work for. This post includes  A-J, and Part 2 includes K-Z. So here they are . . . the second half of our Pitch Wars 2017 agents!   Janklow & Nesbit Associates Brooks Sherman Website | Twitter Represents: MG, YA, A After graduating from Vassar College with a B.A. in Drama, Brooks Sherman worked for several years in the entertainment industry (in both New York and Los Angeles) before joining the Peace Corps and spending two years stationed in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Upon returning to the United States, he set his sights on the publishing industry, starting in 2011 as an assistant at FinePrint Literary Management and working his way up to literary agent, moving to the Bent Agency in 2014, and joining Janklow & Nesbit in 2017. Brooks’s clients include #1 New York Times-bestselling and award-winning authors. For children’s books, he is on the lookout for middle-grade fiction of all genres (especially fantasy and contemporary), young adult fiction of all genres except paranormal romance, and character-driven picture books with an emphasis on humor. His interest in adult fiction runs the gamut from literary to speculative (particularly fantasy, horror, and psychological thriller). For nonfiction, he is seeking projects in the areas of humor, pop culture, politics, and narrative nonfiction. Across all categories, Brooks seeks projects that balance strong voice with gripping plot. Ones that make him laugh earn extra points! He is particularly drawn to stories that elevate marginalized voices and where contemporary social issues are either prominently centered or woven into the worldbuilding; he prefers nuanced narratives over “issue books,” in which characters confront such issues over...

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Meet the Pitch Wars 2017 Agents! (Part 1)
Jul17

Meet the Pitch Wars 2017 Agents! (Part 1)

  We have an amazing lineup of agents participating in Pitch Wars 2017! On November 1st , the Pitch Wars Agent Showcase will go live for all the mentees, chosen by mentors on August 24th. We will post three separate posts by age category (MG, YA, NA/A), listing the mentees’ pitch and the first words of their manuscript (pitch words + first page words = 300 words). The agents will search from November 1-7 through the posts, find their favorites, and request them. November 1 – 7: Agent Showcase November 1: Adult and New Adult entries November 2: MG entries November 3: YA entries November 7: Last day of Agent Showcase For those of you new to Pitch Wars, check out “Pitch Wars 2017 … all the details!”. And come back July 19th to find your perfect mentor at the Mentor Blog Hop, running July 19-August 2! PLEASE NOTE: This is the list of agents participating in the Agent Showcase in November. They are not mentors. So check out the agents below and see what they’re looking for most in a manuscript. They’re listed in alphabetical order by the agency they work for. This post includes  A-J, and Part 2 includes K-Z. So here they are . . . the first half of our Pitch Wars 2017 agents!   Adams Literary Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram Tracy Adams Represent:  MG, YA Tracey Adams co-founded Adams Literary in 2004, after nearly a decade with literary agencies Writers House and McIntosh & Otis, where she was the head of the children’s department. Prior to becoming an agent, she worked in the marketing and editorial departments of Greenwillow Books and Margaret K. McElderry Books. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Tracey speaks frequently about her profession and the children’s book industry at conferences across the country. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the Association of Author Representatives (AAR), and a founding member of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) chapter in Charlotte, NC. In her spare time, Tracey enjoys traveling, playing tennis, cheering for the Carolina Panthers, and test-marketing children’s books with her two daughters. Josh Adams Josh Adams, together with his wife Tracey, runs Adams Literary. A graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia Business School—where he studied finance and accounting, and was awarded the Abe Shuchman Memorial Award in Marketing—Josh spent more than a decade in publishing and media before bringing his editorial and business backgrounds together as a literary agent. A media management specialist, he led teams of creative and business professionals in developing the editorial strategy and positioning of several national publications, and directed the marketing and brand strategy of many well-known...

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Day 44 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Amelinda Berube, Alicia Clancy, and Juliana Brandt
Jul11

Day 44 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Amelinda Berube, Alicia Clancy, and Juliana Brandt

Welcome to our Query and 1st Page Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected writers to participate in our query and first page workshops. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a query or 500 word opening from our lucky winners. We’ll be posting four critiques per day (except weekends) through July 7. Our hope is that these samples will help shine up your query and first page 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. First up we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Amelinda Berube Twitter | Instagram | Website Amelinda Bérubé is the author of UNDER THE ICY LAKE, a YA ghost story coming from Sourcebooks Fire in 2018. She’s spent the last ten years as a writer and editor with the Canadian public service, prior to which her career path meandered through academics, carpentry, and administrivia. Amelinda is a passionate fan of YA, SFF, and all things spooky and is delighted to be on the other side of the contest curtain for the first time!   UNDER THE ICY LAKE by Amelinda Berube A former dancer’s grip on sanity starts to slip when she begins to think a dark entity is stalking her and craves her life. Coming 2018 from Sourcebooks Fire. Goodreads     Amelinda’s Query Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Adult GENRE: Romance Thanks to Brenda, Heather and the PitchWars team for a chance to share some thoughts on a query! My suggestions are in [square brackets] below. To the courageous author: As with any critique, my comments and ideas are yours to take or leave or adapt as you see fit. Query writing can be exhausting and horrible (I lost count of my own query swaps somewhere past 20) but try to keep an open mind and a willingness to play with it. You got this! Dear Agent, (One personalized sentence) [I’d recommend adding any personalization with the “housekeeping” at the bottom. I’ve seen multiple agents saying personalization isn’t actually that important to them, so I’d get right to the part that they’re most interested in, namely the story, and include this less critical info further down. The one exception might be if you’re responding to a specific MSWL tweet or a contest request, but you can often flag that in the subject line anyway. It can feel really weird and counterintuitive to just jump into your pitch...

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Day 44 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Amanda Rawson Hill, Cindy Baldwin, & Sarah Nicolas
Jul11

Day 44 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Amanda Rawson Hill, Cindy Baldwin, & Sarah Nicolas

Welcome to our Query and 1st Page Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected writers to participate in our query and first page workshops. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a query or 500 word opening from our lucky winners. We’ll be posting four critiques per day (except weekends) through July 7. Our hope is that these samples will help shine up your query and first page 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. First up we have … Pitch Wars Mentors Amanda Rawson Hill and Cindy Baldwin … Website | Twitter Cindy Baldwin is a Carolina girl who moved to the opposite coast and is now gamely doing her part in keeping Portland weird. As a middle schooler, she kept a book under her bathroom sink to read over and over while fixing her hair or brushing her teeth, and she dreams of someday writing just that kind of book. Where the Watermelons Grow by Cindy Baldwin . . . Add it to Goodreads HarperCollins has acquired Where the Watermelons Grow, a debut by Cindy Baldwin. In this middle-grade novel, 12-year-old Della will do anything to cure her mother’s schizophrenia and keep her family together – even if it means asking for help from the eccentric Bee Lady, and making up from her worst-ever fight with her best friend. Publication is slated for summer 2018. Website | Twitter Amanda Rawson Hill grew up in Southwest Wyoming with a library right outside her back gate (which accounts a lot for how she turned out.) After graduating high school, she attended Brigham Young University where she recieved both her MRS degree and her bachelors degree in chemistry. Today, Amanda lives in the central valley of California with her husband and three children. She loves to homeschool, garden, knit, play the piano, sing, and embarrass her family when she dances.   Amanda and Cindy’s Query Critique . . . Cindy is in red. Amanda is in blue. AGE CATEGORY: Adult GENRE: Fantasy When unrepentantly single programmer Hammond falls in love with a woman named June July August, he learns that Summer is a place where magic still lingers. I’m torn on the efficacy of this logline. I don’t really feel like it is doing the work you need it to and that it’s creating confustion later on in your query. June enjoys sketching while naked, loves waffles, and was...

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Day 43 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Gabrielle Byrne and Lisa Amowitz
Jul10

Day 43 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Gabrielle Byrne and Lisa Amowitz

Welcome to our Query and 1st Page Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected writers to participate in our query and first page workshops. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a query or 500 word opening from our lucky winners. We’ll be posting four critiques per day (except weekends) through July 7. Our hope is that these samples will help shine up your query and first page 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. First up we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Gabrielle Kirouac Byrne … Gabrielle lives in the rainy wilds of the Pacific Northwest, where she writes fantasy for middle graders. Gabby studied opera in Philadelphia, medieval studies in New York, literature in Scotland, and marine biology in the Pacific Northwest, but writing stories is the common thread that ties all her interests together. She has a degree in literature and another in environmental studies. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her fishing spineless critters out of the Salish sea with her husband and two daughters. She is represented by Catherine Drayton at Inkwell Management. Gabby blogs at www.thewingedpen.com  She tweets at @GKByrne, and posts on instagram at gabriellek.byrne Gabrielle’s Query Critique… AGE CATEGORY: Adult GENRE: Contemporary Romance Dear Agent, NADIA AHMADI is a successful CEO of a not-for-profit organisation in New York. His Royal Highness PRINCE CARLOS is the crown prince of Aragon. While on an official visit to New York, Carlos notices Nadia giving a speech at the United Nations headquarters. He’s struck by her self-assuredness and passion. He asks to meet her again, with Nadia assuming it’s related to her organisation. The two of them meet up again and Nadia’s shocked to learn the prince is more interested in her than a business meeting. Nadia’s quick to judge Carlos as a rich billionaire who doesn’t care about anyone but himself, but she soon realizes there’s more to this prince then she first though. Carlos finds Nadia’s honesty refreshing and wants to get to know her more. Carlos persuades Nadia to give him a chance and their mutual attraction soon leads them spending the limited time they have before Carlos must leave the United States getting to know each other. When Nadia is given the opportunity to travel to London for work, Carlos arranges to meet up with her. But with paparazzi following their every move will a relationship with a prince jeopardise her organisation, something she’s...

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Day 43 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Michella Domenici and Lisa Amowitz
Jul10

Day 43 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query and First Page Workshop with Mentors Michella Domenici and Lisa Amowitz

Welcome to our Query and 1st Page Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected writers to participate in our query and first page workshops. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a query or 500 word opening from our lucky winners. We’ll be posting four critiques per day (except weekends) through July 7. Our hope is that these samples will help shine up your query and first page 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. First up we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Michella Domenici Website | Twitter Michella Domenici was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She studies English and History at Fordham University. When she’s not reading, she’s drinking tea and searching for mermaids. She works at the Brooklyn Public Library, and is represented by Heather Flaherty of The Bent Agency. Michella’s Query Critique… AGE CATEGORY: Young adult GENRE: Contemporary Dear [agent’s first name], Tito Pablo and his husband Craig were the only family seventeen year-old Sim Francisco has ever known ever since Sim’s birth parents died in a car crash more than ten years ago. Pablo unexpectedly dies on All Saint’s Day, and soon after, Sim begins to hear his uncle’s voice in his head, suddenly speak fluent Filipino without realizing it, and see and relive Pablo’s former life as a teenager in the Philippines in his dreams. Sim believes that Pablo is asking him for help with…something. Or someone. The latter proves true when, while unboxing a bunch of mementos his uncle has left for him, Sim finds a printout of what appears to be a part of an email love letter that Pablo sent. Pablo’s husband, Craig, finds out that the letter is definitely not for him. Afraid that he will lose his family for a second time because of what the letter implies, Sim enlists his friends Harper and Nina to hack into cyberspace to locate the rest of the letter, properly translate it, find its recipient, and hopefully clear Pablo’s name. Sim’s search leads him to Angelo “Santi” Santiago, who is also seventeen years old and living in Manila. All Santi wants is to move out—of the house, even out of the country to go to college abroad—in order to escape his mother, who doesn’t approve of his “lifestyle,” and his father, who doesn’t seem to care for him at all. Good thing...

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Day 42 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Kelly Hopkins and Neal Chase
Jul07

Day 42 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Kelly Hopkins and Neal Chase

Welcome to our Query and 1st Page Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected writers to participate in our query and first page workshops. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a query or 500 word opening from our lucky winners. We’ll be posting four critiques per day (except weekends) through July 7. Our hope is that these samples will help shine up your query and first page 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. First up we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Kelly Hopkins Website | Twitter Kelly has a Bachelor’s degree (Magna Cum Laude) in English/Secondary Education from Marywood University and a Master’s of Education degree in School Library and Information Technologies from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. She’s a Creative Writing teacher and school librarian. She has lectured at Keystone College on Celtic Mythology and will be presenting a workshop on Perfecting Query Letters and Pitches at their Gathering Conference in July 2016. Kelly lives in NE Pennsylvania with her husband, two children, and three rescue horses. Kelly’s Query Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult GENRE: Urban Fantasy Sixteen-year-old Azrielle Grave is [Changed font to italic.] one of the things that goes bump in the night. Except this cockatrice [Is she a dragon? A cockatrice is a mythical creature. If so, you will want to make sure the reader understands her duality.] isn’t a hunter anymore, she’s the one being stalked [by whom? Or what?]. The exposed [How] supernatural world is at risk of extinction thanks to special agencies created by humans to terminate the threat [Why is the supernatural world a threat to humans?] . A semi-voluntary recruit, Azrielle trains to infiltrate behind enemy lines [Who is the enemy?] in an underground academy. But the death toll [Humans or supernaturals?] is rising too fast and she is being sent on an undercover assignment [What is the assignment? Who is sending her?] now, years before she’s ready. . [Think about the basics of good query design: character, conflict, and stakes. Another thing to consider is your genre. If this is urban fantasy, where is this story located? It feels more straight fantasy here especially if most of the story occurs below ground or in an alternate Earth.] Raid Ameen is determined to do his part to save humanity. A weapon’s expert at seventeen, he enjoys putting bullets into...

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Day 42 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors,  Austin Siegemund-Broka, Emily Wibberley, Kristin Smith & Beth Ellyn Summer
Jul07

Day 42 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Austin Siegemund-Broka, Emily Wibberley, Kristin Smith & Beth Ellyn Summer

Welcome to our Query and 1st Page Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected writers to participate in our query and first page workshops. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a query or 500 word opening from our lucky winners. We’ll be posting four critiques per day (except weekends) through July 7. Our hope is that these samples will help shine up your query and first page 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. First up we have … Pitch Wars Mentors Austin Siegemund-Broka, and Emily Wibberley Emily’s Twitter | Austin’s Twitter Austin Siegemund-Broka cowrites YA contemporary with Emily Wibberley. A former journalist for The Hollywood Reporter, where he covered the courts and, yes, met a couple celebrities, he graduated from Harvard in 2014 with a degree in English and a focus on Shakespeare. Emily Wibberley grew up in Southern California, but instead of working on her nonexistent tan at the beach, she spent her time reading, making music and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She attended Princeton University, where she graduated in 2014 with a degree in Psychology. She and Austin now live and write YA contemporary together. Their debut, UPSTAGED, publishes from Puffin in 2018. They live in Los Angeles. Upstaged by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley Pitched as a modern-day retelling of Romeo and Juliet, about a teen girl who always winds up playing the Rosaline in her off-stage relationships – the girl before he finds “the one” – but when cast as Juliet in her school play, she begins to notice the Romeo she never expected. Goodreads Austin and Emily’s Query Critique . . . AGE CATEGORY: Adult GENRE: Fantasy Not even Razsha the Ruthless is surprised when nobles call for her death. What does surprise her is the accusation of killing two chieftains. Now she must keep her wits as sharp as her swords to get the elimination order rescinded. [Great opening paragraph. Tension, character motivation, a little wit, and immediately comprehensible conflict] Since a noble can roam a person’s mind the way tall ships roam the sea, Razsha approaches a noble to barter for his mediation with the clans. [Mind-roaming is a very cool idea—clarify though the connection to mediation. Is it mind-reading or mind-manipulation?] Krovdan’s not just any noble; he’s the enforcer of the most powerful clan. [Why does Razsha go to him? Because he’s the enforcer? Is there another...

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Day 41 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Gail Villanueva, Isabelle Adrid, & Heather Cashman
Jul06

Day 41 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Gail Villanueva, Isabelle Adrid, & Heather Cashman

Welcome to our Query and 1st Page Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected writers to participate in our query and first page workshops. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a query or 500 word opening from our lucky winners. We’ll be posting four critiques per day (except weekends) through July 7. Our hope is that these samples will help shine up your query and first page 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. First up we have … Pitch Wars Mentors Gail Villanueva and Isabelle Adrid … Gail Villanueva is a Filipina author based in the Philippines. She runs a design studio with her husband in the outskirts of Manila, but also does freelance copywriting on the side. When not in front of her computer coding a website or writing a story, you’ll find her in the backyard, playing with four dogs, five ducks, a chicken, a turtle, and a cat. Gail writes upmarket MG, both historical and contemporary, and with elements of magic. Her fiction is represented by Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Trident Media Group. Find Gail: Twitter | Website Isabelle Adrid is a YA author who writes contemporary fiction with speculative elements. She is also an avid reader of MG books. She was born and raised in San Diego, and she currently resides in the Philippines. When she’s not writing or reading books, you’ll find her binge-watching TV shows, movies, and Korean dramas. Her work is represented by Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary and Management. Find Isabelle: Twitter | Website Gail and Isabelle’s Query Critique… AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult GENRE: Dark Epic Fantasy Dear _____: I am seeking representation for my YA dark epic fantasy with a Middle Eastern-inspired setting. Seventeen-year-old resistance fighter Sidara has a wit as sharp as her sword [Sidara sounds like a cool heroine, one who isn’t your stereotypical damsel in distress. But who is Sidara apart from her sharp wit? Is she a princess? A soldier? A magic user? A commoner? A blacksmith? An assassin? Specifying what makes Sidara special will also help set the tone of your query. We will have no doubt it’s a fantasy, because right now, “resistance fighter” and “sword” alone gives us historical vibes instead of fantasy.]  and nothing left to lose [While “nothing to lose” can give the impression that Sidara has something going on that brought her into such state, it would...

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Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett . . . signed ARC Giveaway!
Jul06

Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett . . . signed ARC Giveaway!

TITLE: Hollywood Homicide AUTHOR: Kellye Garrett PUBLISHER: Midnight Ink (August 8, 2017)   Pre-order links . . . Amazon | IndieBound | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads   About the book . . . Dayna Anderson doesn’t set out to solve a murder. All the semi-famous, mega-broke black actress wants is to help her parents keep their house. After witnessing a deadly hit-and-run, she figures pursuing the fifteen-grand reward isn’t the craziest thing a Hollywood actress has done for some cash. But what starts as simply trying to remember a speeding car soon blossoms into a full-on investigation. As Dayna digs deeper into the victim’s life, she wants more than just reward money. She’s determined to find the poor woman’s killer too. When she connects the accident to a notorious Hollywood crime spree, Dayna chases down leads at paparazzi hot spots, celeb homes and movie premieres. She loves every second—until someone tries to kill her. And there are no second takes in real life. Praise for Hollywood Homicide . . . “Veteran TV writer Garrett uses her Cold Case experience to inform her debut, which sets up more than one charming character and isn’t afraid to go cynical on all things LA.”—Kirkus Reviews “Fun, smart, endearingly flawed and impressively determined, Dayna Anderson is a heroine readers will fall in love with immediately. I relished every unexpected twist and turn of this highly entertaining mystery!”—Kyra Davis, New York Times bestselling author “Hollywood Homicide is a non-stop fun read with humor sharp as a stiletto heel. Heroine Dayna Anderson . . . is smart, self-deprecating and flat-out hilarious.”—Ellen Byron, Agatha-nominated and USA Today bestselling author of The Cajun Country Mysteries “Hollywood Homicide has a heart as big as Los Angeles, a plot as twisty as the 110 Freeway and a heroine just as complex as the burger battle between In N Out and Fatburger. Kellye Garrett makes you laugh and then, hits you in the gut—like a great novelist should. Can’t wait for the next adventure with Garrett and Dayna Anderson!”—Rachel Howzell Hall, author of critically-acclaimed LAPD Detective Elouise Norton series “There’s a spunky new sleuth in town: Dayna Anderson takes readers on a madcap ride through the underbelly of La La Land, laced with high fashion, Twitter feeds, celebrities—and murder!”—Lucy Burdette, author of the bestselling Key West Food Critic Mysteries “Buckle up for a fun, fast-paced joyride through the streets of Los Angeles. Hollywood Homicide is packed with action and suspense, but it’s Garrett’s fresh voice and sharp dialogue that really sets this book apart. A delight from start to finish!”—Marla Cooper, author of the Destination Wedding Mystery series “Funny, twisty, compelling. Hollywood Homicide is the whole...

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Day 40 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Susan Gray Foster and RuthAnne Snow
Jul05

Day 40 (Part 2): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentors, Susan Gray Foster and RuthAnne Snow

Welcome to our Query and 1st Page Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected writers to participate in our query and first page workshops. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a query or 500 word opening from our lucky winners. We’ll be posting four critiques per day (except weekends) through July 7. Our hope is that these samples will help shine up your query and first page 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. First up we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Susan Gray Foster … Website | Twitter Susan Gray Foster was born into a family of avid readers and has been hoping to impress them with her writing ever since. When she’s not struggling in her quest to spin words into magic, she helps her high school students find the magic in classic literature, and helps other writers discover the magic in their own writing, both as a freelance editor and as a book coach at Author Accelerator. Susan believes in creativity and empathy, and enjoys tea, songwriting, reading, and hanging out with her dogs. She lives with her ever-patient Aussie husband in Arizona’s beautiful Sonoran Desert, and she’s her kids’ number one fan. Her YA fiction is represented by Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates. Susan’s Query Critique… AGE CATEGORY: YA GENRE: Dark Fantasy Dear [Agent]: Desperate to leave behind her life as an assassin, eighteen-year old Jennica makes a bargain with a powerful immortal. [I love the way you jump right into the story. This is intriguing!] In return for protecting a child who holds a corrupt magic in check, [I’m not quite sure what this means. Does the child have the corrupt magic but they’re holding it in check? Or the child holds others’ corrupt magic in check? Also, what is this corrupt magic? Obviously, you can’t include a lot of detail in a query, but I’d like some hint of what this means. Is it dangerous?] Jennica is offered a way to atone for the crimes she’s committed. [Does protecting the child allow her to atone? Or protecting the child just allows her the chance to atone by doing something else?] More than redemption, Jennica wants to vanquish the darkness within her that revels in the cruelty and suffering she inflicts on others. [Oooh! This is dark and intriguing! I wonder if you could condense and combine this...

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Day 40 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentor, Dawn Ius
Jul05

Day 40 (Part 1): Pitch Wars Query & 1st Page Workshop with mentor, Dawn Ius

  Welcome to our Query and 1st Page Workshop with some of our amazing Pitch Wars mentors. From a Rafflecopter lottery drawing, we selected writers to participate in our query and first page workshops. Each mentor has graciously critiqued a query or 500 word opening from our lucky winners. We’ll be posting four critiques per day (except weekends) through July 7. Our hope is that these samples will help shine up your query and first page 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. Today we have … Pitch Wars Mentor Dawn Ius Twitter | Website DAWN IUS is a short-story author, novelist, screenwriter, professional editor, and communications specialist. She is co-founder and senior editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Assistant Managing Editor of the International Thriller Writers’ e-zine, The Big Thrill, and the author of ten educational graphic novels published by the Alberta Canola Producers Commission. Her first contemporary young adult novel, ANNE & HENRY, will be published Fall 2015 from Simon Pulse, and her yet unpublished novel HEARTLESS was recently optioned for development of a TV show by Verite Films. Dawn also writes young adult thriller and paranormal fiction under the last name DALTON. Her short story, THREAD OF THE PAST was included in the SPIRITED anthology (Leap Books, 2012), and her novel, KILLER’S INSTINCT (Leap Books, 2013), co-written with Judith Graves, was nominated for the Silver Falchion award. As well, her short story DRUNK was published in an Alice-in-Wonderland-inspired anthology, FALLING FOR ALICE, April 2015, by Vine Leaves Press. When she’s not slaying fictional monsters, she’s geeking out over fairy tales, Jack Bauer, Halloween, sports cars, and all things that go bump in the night. Dawn lives in Alberta, Canada, with her husband, Jeff, and their giant English Mastiff, Roarke. Dawn’s recent book … Amazon | Barnes & Noble In this wonderfully “clever and compelling” (Kirkus Reviews) retelling of the infamous—and torrid—love affair between Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, history collides with the present when a sizzling romance ignites in a modern-day high school. Henry Tudor’s life has been mapped out since the day he was born: student body president, valedictorian, Harvard Law School, and a stunning political career just like his father’s. But ever since the death of his brother, the pressure for Henry to be perfect has doubled. And now he’s trapped: forbidden from pursuing a life as an artist or dating any girl who isn’t Tudor-approved. Then Anne Boleyn crashes into his life. Wild, brash, and...

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